Crystal Dreams

August 4, 2015

A Fun Side Project

Chances are if you’ve viewed any of the tumblr blogs, you already know this, but I wanted to mention it on my site to explain the lack of updates recently (though, part of it is not having too much to play right now! I sadly was unable to record the voting for the 3rd Splatfest :( But should still have videos participating in it on Saturday and some videos/possible streams tomorrow as well).

But yes moving on, I’m sure most people who have read this blog or my twitter know I am incredibly excited about Happy Home Designer. While I do have some apprehensions about minor things, I’m just really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to play. So, when Sami Spoon asked if I was up to making a guide with her as she’s playing the game in Japanese, I quickly agreed and thus, it began 😛

You can find the guide by clicking here! :) At the moment, the layout itself is up. The pages that will take the longest to complete are Items and Character stuff just as there’s so many. I’m hoping Buildings will be the next page we get up. But yes, it’s been a good way to help somewhat quell my excitement. I can’t wait to be able to play it myself in September <3

July 27, 2015

Big Splatoon Update – August 5th!

So, people have been anticipating the Splatoon update in August for many many reasons–the biggest being that it was going to finally let Friends pair up with eachother. That said, the update will apparently be containing much more than I expected. You can read the full source over on BusinessWire, but I will be picking out some of the things that caught my attention the most.

To start, I will bring up what most people were waiting for the update for:

The new update introduces Squad Battle and Private Battle matchmaking options. In Squad Battle, players can participate in Ranked Battle rule sets with friends, rather than being teamed up with other players through a random selection. After a player creates a squad, friends can be recruited to form a team of two to four Inklings. Friends will always play together on the same team and battle against other squads at random.


In Private Battle, friends can splat it up in private, customizable matches. Two to eight friends can battle together by selecting their favorite map, mode and weapons. The number of participants ranges from 1v1 to 4v4, but teams don’t have to be even: If the host chooses, he or she can select a 1v4, 1v2, or any other combination of players.


Now I’ll be honest, this has been something I have been both looking forward to and dreading at the same time. I do want to say I am disappointed that you can’t be in a team of 4 versus other teams in Turf War–only Ranked. While you can choose which mode for all 8, it doesn’t seem to work that way for you and 3 friends vs four friends you may not know. I’m also assuming your ranks won’t go up in this mode either, though, I don’t really care either way for if it does or not. It has been confirmed your rank DOES actually go up and you can still earn experience which is pretty neat.

My main reason for dreading though, as I feel once people can set teams, there will be a lot of precedence on roles and what to wear and there has already been stuff building up to that. I just don’t like seeing things get super competitive and knowing I’m not that great of a player, I don’t see myself becoming part of someone’s squad.

Making it even worse is just the fact that there’s still no real local play. I’d love to try things out locally with friends or even a silly 1 vs 1 with my fiancé, but it sadly isn’t possible :(

That said, it’ll be great to finally be able to just play with groups of friends if we want to. The question now is if they will still randomize or if it’ll always be the same four or if there is a setting for it to randomize or not. Considering there is a Set Teams button though, I have a feeling you’ll get to pick:
And it seems you can set a password for your lobby too, which is nice. Unfortunately, you do not get experience for this mode which I find… incredibly silly (especially as you do in Ranked and even in Mario Kart 8, if you customize around, you can still earn coins to unlock things). Unless you really want to play around with a mode, the play with friends option is still viable and while it may take longer for it to be all your friends, at least you’ll still learn experience.

Just seems like a really silly thing to me. I would’ve felt it’d have been more likely for Squad Battles to not get ranked/experience so the fact that it is getting it while Private Battles are not completely blows my mind–and not in the good way :/

Moving on, I think it’s pretty cool you can do smaller groups and even a Tag-team kind of thing with two others to take on other Ranked teams as well:

Moving past that, the part that surprised me quite a bit was this:

With this robust new update also comes an increased level cap in both Regular Battle and Ranked Battle modes. After downloading the software update, players will be able to reach level 50 (raised from level 20) and rank S and S+ (both higher than A+).

I did not expect any level cap increasements at all. While I definitely know some people have been really wanting a level increase, I never felt like it was needed. It’ll be a long journey for 30 more levels. I just hope that most of the weapons and new items won’t be locked behind them. Speaking of new items, there will be more than 40 new pieces of gear being added to the game “including everything from a leather jacket to a sushi-chef costume.” For those who may be unaware, the Sushi-Chef costume was actually the winner in the Famitsu Contest:
While I don’t think I’ll use it personally, it’s still pretty cool and I’m super happy it’s coming over in the first place–a lot of people were worried it’d be exclusive to Japan. I hope other regions do a contest like this too at some point.

I just hope one of the new pieces of gear is a dress (Poodle skirt to go with Leather Jacket would also be acceptable). With Ninja Squid. Please give me a Ninja Squid dress. Please.

And it was then I was hit with an even bigger surprise–two new weapon types:

While Inklings around the world are enjoying and mastering the current arsenal of weapons in Splatoon, two new weapon types will be available with the update, adding a new layer of strategy to the game. The bucket-like Slosher weapons hurl ink straight ahead at an impressive range. By adjusting the angle, these new weapons can be used to splat opponents who are up high or even on the other side of a wall.


With the Gatling-style Splatling, players can charge blasts of all-powerful ink. A maximum charge unleashes the full potential of this particular weapon type.


While I don’t see either beating out the Roller for me (after all, both still seem to use aim which is something I do not do well with), I definitely find both interesting and am curious how they will be in the game.

Finally, Urchin Underpass is getting quite a bit of construction too!
While some of it looks interesting, I actually really like Urchin Underpass. Blackbelly Skatepark and Bluefin Depot tend to be my least favorites with a still undecided opinion on Camp Triggerfish so I’d just have rather seen either of those changed up over Urchin Underpass. I hope I can catch it for a last stroll before it closes down for construction.

So despite some of my apprehensions, I’m honestly really excited and I did not expect the update so soon–I mean, I knew it was August, but I was expecting mid to late August over having it next Wednesday. And rest assured, more stuff is still going to continue to come out!:

Despite its size and scope, this massive August update is not the end of the splat-acular free content coming to Splatoon. Following this update, more content will continually roll out through the rest of the summer and fall, including the Rainmaker Ranked Battle mode, additional maps and new weapons. More details about these additions will be revealed in the future.

I’ll be honest–I was really hoping we’d see Rainmaker in this update! And maybe a new map too. Mostly sad that Rainmaker will still be a bit off, but maybe we’ll see it in the next big (although, probably not as big as this :P) update. What are you looking forward to most? :)

July 24, 2015

Rest in Peace, Mr. Iwata

So, as most people know by now, Mr. Iwata unfortunately passed away about two weeks ago. Nobody really expected it and despite having to skip E3 the last two years, most thought it was nothing this serious (I mean, look how well he did in the E3 video as a Muppet last month!). A lot of people have been asking me to write something though so I will do my best.

It’s been hard for me to think of something to say. There are so many great stories about Mr. Iwata that people have posted and he was such a big contribution to both Nintendo and the gaming industry as a whole–being a gamer himself, he had a point of view beyond just a company president and did so many awesome things. In fact, Pokemon Gold & Silver were the first games I played in Japanese.

While I still couldn’t think of too much to say involving it beyond wishing all the best to Nintendo and Iwata’s family, I wanted to make sure I stopped by the tribute that the Nintendo World Store had set up. Today (July 24th) is the last day so I made sure to stop by yesterday and I tried my best to make something for the occasion:

As for my note, it was a simple Thank you and a few other words, but I did do my best to draw a cute Kirby too. I didn’t feel right taking a picture of the table with his photo and the books, but it was a very nice set-up. We did take a picture of the area where everyone had placed things:
Some close-ups:

Seeing everything together is really nice. But yes, Thank you so much Mr. Iwata for everything you did.

July 22, 2015

It was my birthday on Saturday so let’s bake a cake!

It’s been so long since I made a baking entry on here! While I haven’t baked as much as I’ve liked to recently (wedding plans take up a lot of time ;~;), the main issue tends to be either not making anything too new or due to things being… jumped on before I can get a chance to take many pictures of the steps.

Despite that, I decided I really wanted to make a nice cake for myself as I didn’t really get a proper birthday cake on my birthday. I would’ve made it on the day or even Sunday, but after a very busy Saturday and the giant heatwave that started on Sunday until tonight, it ended up being pushed back… I decided not to write anything on it (I think that’d be going too far when I’m doing it for myself), but I’m at least making my favorite kind of cake 😛

I’ve always been rather picky with birthday cakes. I’ll try pretty much anything, but I’ve always had a favorite kind of cake–chocolate cake with vanilla/marshmallow frosting. My grandmother has made my cake for most of my life, but I know she’s been busy with things and I don’t really want to bother her with making my cake again this year. I dislike 90% of store bought cakes and despite living around many bakeries, I generally don’t like any of their cakes. In general, most bakeries around here never taste very fresh to me and if I do like something, it’s usually a cupcake specialty shop.

Going back to cakes, the only store bought cake I really enjoy (that has frosting anyway so excluding coffee cakes and crumb cakes) is this one:
Entenmann’s Marshmallow Iced Devil’s Food Cake. But while I do enjoy it, I wanted to have something special–it doesn’t feel right just picking up a cake from the store for my birthday.

And thus, the cake baking was commenced. I started with a cake recipe adapted from Add a Pinch while the icing is adapted from Cake Duchess.

    Ingredients for Cake

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¾ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons Baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Hot Water

    Cake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F (177º C)
  2. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with a type of baking spray (like PAM) or spreading a light coat of butter around the pan and flouring lightly.
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into whatever bowl you plan to mix the cake batter in (I personally use a KitchenAid Mixer Stand)
  4. Add milk, vegetable oil, both eggs (I recommend breaking them in a separate bowl to make sure no egg shells get into the mixture), and the vanilla extract to the flour/dry mixture and mix everything together on medium speed until completely combined.
  5. Reduce the speed to slowly add in the hot water to the cake batter.
  6. Once everything is in, start beating the cake batter on high speed for about 1 minute to add air.
  7. Pour cake batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick in the center of the cake and have it come out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
  9. Then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely.
  10. Once cool, add frosting.

I forgot to take a picture of the cake before frosting it, but yes, I can’t stress enough about not frosting the cake until it is cool. It’ll just slide off. Or melt. Or both. Either way, it won’t be fun. Regardless, while the cake is cooling, it’s a perfect time to start the frosting (if you didn’t make it while it was in the oven anyway):

    Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • ⅓ cup Water
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

    Frosting Instructions

  1. Add the water, sugar, and cream of tartar to a medium sauce pan. Do not stir. Bring it to a boil.
  2. Leave it boiling until thick clear bubbles appear. As soon as it does, remove the pan from heat and turn the fire off.
  3. In a glass or metal bowl, put in the 4 egg whites and beat them until the mixture becomes thick and foamy causing soft white peaks to form.
  4. At this time, slowly add in the sugar syrup.
  5. Once fully added and mixed, add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Mix until nice and fluffy.
  7. Add a few drops of red food coloring because pink is the best color.
  8. If the cake is cool, frost it!

The lovely frosting:

Our finished cake!:

Now to enjoy a piece of belated birthday cake <3 cake3

Bonus: TheDaftLynx surprised me with this lovely drawing of Mega Audino for my birthday!
I love it so much. Thank you again!! <3

July 21, 2015

Getting more excited for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

This is crossposted from my Animal Crossing Tumblr.

If anyone here reads my twitter, you will know I talk about being excited for Happy Home Designer a lot. I already reblogged the article I wrote on my main website and while I am still pretty undecided on where I should write Happy Home Designer stuff (Here or my Animal Crossing blog site), that doesn’t really lessen my excitement.

It’s definitely a game where I’m planning to take it slowly over preparing everything ahead of time. I’m sure I’ll want to change things up as I unlock more items. But yes, between more customization options being confirmed (Gender, Hair, Eyes, Skin Color, and Facial Expression), how cool window customization is along with the awesomeness of the interior doorway customization:

And then just the special mascot/sponsor villagers that I’m REALLY hoping they both come over somehow:

I can’t help but just be super excited about all of it.

This Window is also my favorite:

July 19, 2015

Splatoon – The second Splatfest!

This time, I was on Team Water Slides(s)!
To be honest though, I really don’t care for Roller coasters or Water slides. The main reason Water Slides won is because if it’s one where I can pick my own speed or like a lazy river type of water slide, I like it while I hate like 99% of Roller coasters. In fact, the only one I’ve gone on where I wasn’t completely hysterical was the Runaway Train on Disney. And just barely.

I’m not really a fan of thrill rides, if you couldn’t tell 😛 Meanwhile, PAL regions have the much better theme of Eating vs Sleeping. I’d easily be on Team Eating as I feel sleep takes away from getting things done. I’d also be Team Milk Tea for Japan’s <3 Going back to the North American Splatfest, it seems I continue to be unlucky with dates. Yesterday was my birthday so I actually had a lot of things going on and thus, didn't get to play as long as I'd have liked! I did manage to hit Water Slide Queen though:
I even streamed it! Unfortunately, Water Slides lost by 4 points :( I was having horrible matches most of the time–wish I could’ve stayed playing longer when I finally got a good team. In general, I had a lot more uneven match-ups in this Splatfest–I don’t mean 4 vs 4 (though, I did have a few where Rollercoasters had less than 4 people), but that often it was one team constantly demolishing the other over it being pretty even or close. I had a lot more fun with Cats vs Dogs where it just felt a lot more even, even if the dog vs dog matches were annoying (I had no Water Slide vs Water Slide, but I heard some people did).

You can watch my journey of getting to Water Slide Queen over on Youtube. Below is the final part when I hit the rank!:

July 17, 2015

Jenny LeClue & Slime Rancher

So, today I wanted to talk briefly about two Indie Games I am pretty excited for. If you look at the title, you can probably tell which they are 😛 But regardless, I will be mentioning them again anyway!

The first is Jenny LeClue where you play as the titular character. The game is a mystery-adventure game. I love detective games and am always excited to see ones that focus more on puzzles and exploration over games that use a very point & click or I-Spy kind of gameplay. I had a lot of fun playing the Playable demo and while I’m sad I missed the kickstarter, I made sure to at least place a preorder for the game. You can check the trailer out below!:

And here’s two of my favorite screenshots:

As for the second game, that is the recently shown off Slime Rancher. Slimes are always pretty awesome to me–besides looking so squishy and cute, they always have so many variations. And this game is showing that it will continue that trend:
I’m not even sure which I like more. Both are adorable.

The game has you essentially raising a Slime Ranch. You play as Beatrix LeBeau who’s job is essentially wrangling slimes with her vacpack. It looks pretty fun and definitely seems like they plan to have a lot to do and many different slime variations.

You can check out the trailer for it below:

And as a bonus, these slimes remind me a lot of an adoptable some friends of mine owned a long time ago–I’ve chosen two to show off below:

And the nostalgia just makes me all the more excited.

July 6, 2015

The Trailer for Disney Magical World 2!

This is a Crosspost from my Disney Magcial World blog

If you haven’t watched the trailer/PV yet for Disney Magical World 2, I’d highly recommend doing so before you continue reading as I will be talking a lot about stuff in this trailer along with pictures.

So, to start, I think this image from the end is likely what the worlds will be:

That said, MANY characters seemed to have their own special areas–it may just be not as big as a World in this game, but closer to the hubs in the last game.

Speaking of which, Castleton is huge in this game:
There are so many different areas and it just looks amazing:

Besides the characters from movies, more general characters from the various old Disney shorts will be showing up too!:

At the moment, there is no confirmation if all the characters will be back, but I find it very likely.
I mean, just look.

These were all the characters & series shown in the trailer–a * means they showed a world, a ~ means they showed an area (either for the parade or something else), but no clear idea if it’ll be a new hub world:
-Unsurprisingly, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto 😛
-Rapunzel & Flynn from Tangled ~
-Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from Frozen *
-Ralph and Venelope from Wreck-it Ralph ~
-Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, and King Triton from The Little Mermaid *
-Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, Smee, Wendy, John, and Michael from Peter Pan ~
-Stitch, Lilo, Jumba, Pleakley, and Nani (and let’s be honest, Angel will most likely be here too) from Lilo and Stitch *
-Alice & The Queen of Hearts – Alice in Wonderland *
-Jack Skellington, Sally, and Zero – Nightmare Before Christmas ~
-Marie – The Aristocats ~
-The entire Beauty and the Beast Cast ~
-The Entire Winnie the Pooh Crew *
-Snow White and the 7 Dwarves *
-Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie ~
-Captain Jack Sparrow
-Cinderella and Prince Charming ~

While there’s no confirmations for Captain Jack, Aladdin, and Cinderella, considering they all had worlds last time and it seems at least two of the worlds are returning and being expanded, I find it likely the others will get worlds again. As it is, with such a big hub world I have really high hopes maybe we can get more areas through DLC and DLC continued for much longer than the first game.

Unfortunately, it seems you will be fighting ghosts again, but the actual worlds look even more amazing in this game and it seems there is a lot more to do. Cafes will also be returning with a stage that it seems you can have performers on:
Due to all the dancing minigames, I feel that will be taken into some account with the stage and performers. I hope there is a bigger item limit for the Cafe this time. Besides the Cafes though, all previous activities will be returning along with more. The only one I’m not sure about is the Card Album, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it back. Also, it seems Minnie’s outfit I mentioned in the last entry is a possible dress you can get so yay:

Also, if you buy the CD for the theme song of the game, you will get a downloadable code for her outfit:

Which is REALLY cute and I hope there is a way it comes over as I doubt they can do the CD Promotion here unfortunately.

Plus early purchases will be getting a download code for the Frozen Fever costumes and even better: If you have saved data for the first game, you get a gold mickey balloon and a ticket for some pecos which is really really cool. I kind of wish you could transfer some of your stuff too though! (Big thank you to NyaChan AKA ProfessorBel for these lovely extra tidbits!):
img_special_01 img_special_02

Crossing my fingers for online play T~T That is just such a big thing I really hope they do.

July 4, 2015

Splatoon: The First Splatfest – Adventures of Team Dog!

So, today was the very first North American Splatfest! In the usual battle of Dogs vs Cats, I chose Dogs (though, I do also like cats) and battled my way to victory. I expected to be playing a long time, but managed to hit top rank after about 4 hours. I would say 4-5 hours is probably the average time most would need to play, ignoring things like disconnects.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with Splatfest. The Plaza looks amazing, the music is great, and it’s just generally a fun environment. Most of my issues with it were more of the inner mechanics such as:
1. No map switching. Even though you have three maps instead of the usual two, I missed the map switching. :( If Callie and Marie can pause from dancing and singing to give you announcements when you first load up, they could for new ones too! I’m not really sure why maps weren’t changing.

2. Wait times. It wasn’t the end of the world, but considering the delay/push-back of Splatfest was BECAUSE of wait times, the fact that I had waits more often than not of 40 seconds up to 2 minutes or so was kind of annoying.

3. But I’d honestly have rather waited over getting Same Team matches. I still haven’t heard of anyone having Cat vs Cat matches so it seems it may have just been an issue with the Dog team, but these were kind of disappointing as while you could still earn points towards your title and level experience, it still doesn’t add to your team which is the biggest point of Splatfest.

4. Many matches ended up just sorting in 1, 2, or 3 people instead of a full team of four. Those matches never ended well for the other team, although, I did win one match when I only had three.

5. Weird lag issues. I was disconnected from maps twice (once near the beginning and another right after they showed the results while I was waiting for the “Play again” option to come up) and had a lot of the inking but no ink is being placed. Or late kills which involve you somehow also getting killed and just it was really weird.

Despite these issues though, I really did have fun. And thus, I will end this with a lovely Team Dog commemorative picture:
(Inkling!me by Apheros & you can find the original screenshot I took on Miiverse!)

You can also watch below (or go to my Youtube channel) for recordings of the the stream I did on my journey to become the Dog Queen!:

I hope to try and play a bit more later (though, I don’t think I’ll stream) to help support Team Dog some more! I’m very happy that I was also able to hit level 20 while getting to Dog Queen Rank and even had enough money to upgrade my usual attire to all have 3 slots! :) I think I’ll upgrade the School Girl Uniform next once we have some Sea Snails!

Edit for July 5th: The results are in! Team Dog has won! 😀 Yay! I’ve seen a lot of people upset with how the results went and made a post over on our site’s Tumblr talking about it and why there’s no reason to be this upset (except about the date). You can check out below for a video showing the results and getting our Super Sea Snails (I want a plushie of them)!

The GEM series Mimi Tachikawa Figure & the Sakura Figma/Figuart Comparison!

So, I had some fun things that I preordered ages ago arrive today which was pretty exciting. Firstly, the GEM series Mimi Tachikawa & Palmon figure arrived!:
Back view:

She comes with a stand, an extra face (not pictured, but it honestly looks just like the official photos as shown below):

And a ponytail:
Which was replaced for her hat in the first two pictures. I honestly had a bit of a hard time setting her up and they are only about 3 inches and aren’t poseable any other way.

Mimi is my favorite Digimon character, but the product itself is honestly a bit overpriced considering. :( I do like it, but I’m not entirely sure why it ended up costing about 6,000 Yen (and that doesn’t even count overseas shipping and buying service fees).

Moving onto the Sakura figma, you may recall my post on the Sakura Figuart. I will say that both figures are great. I think I prefer the face of the Figuart more, but there is a lot I like more about the Figma.
To start, a good way to explain them is the Figma has a bit more accessories while the Figuart seems to have more poseability (though, the Figma also feels a lot more sturdy than the Figuart because of this). The Figuart has an extra face and set of hands while the Figma has 2 extra cards (A Clow Card, a card being summoned/caught, and a Sakura Card), both wands, two sets of wings (The smaller ones that are part of the costume and the big ones for if you have Sakura using the Fly card). While the Figuart’s Clow Card is blank, all three of the Figma ones are of the Fly card.

While I may prefer the Sakura Figuart appearance/face-wise, I easily prefer the Kero that comes with the Figma:
He’s much more dynamic, comes with a stand, and even if his tail isn’t bendable, I just really like this Kero.

As for Sakura herself out of the box:
As you can see, there are several minor differences. As I have the Figuart with the Sealing Wand and a Clow Card, I gave the Figma the Star Wand and Sakura Card. I also just want to point out the stands–Figma stand is much sturdier, but the Figuart stand is much nicer looking and I still love the detail of it.

Here is a front and back comparison of the Figma (Left) and Figuart (right) side by side:

Both are great and pretty similar so it’s really just which you’d rather go with/like more personally :) I’m not sure if I’d have been able to decide if I waited and just picked up one.

And both are cheaper than the GEM Series Mimi and Palmon XP

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