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Ella Els. Ben Woodard. Ulf Wolf. Bits and Pieces. Wren Cavanagh. The Dangerous Woods 4 of 4. Those worlds are so full you'll spend hours in every nook and cranny, seeking out collectibles and new items. That's the short version -- Kingdom Hearts is like the alien species in Arrival and you need your own Amy Adams to even have a chance at translating the Proper Noun soup the game shovels at you for 40 hours. Remember, it has had 17 years of backstory, spread out across multiple spin-offs and video game consoles.
Kingdom Hearts' story is buffeted by each world -- hours-long segments of Disney-laced nostalgia and joy, dripping with colour and sound. It jumps from watching Elsa belt out Let It Go, complete with full rendering of the famous Frozen scene, to sailing the High Seas in your own pirate ship and helping Jack Sparrow face down Davy Jones in a matter of hours.
Leaning into that weirdness and diversity really helps push the game forward because the thrill of uncovering the next Disney world never fades. That doesn't mean each world is particularly thrilling , especially when you compare Frozen's Arendelle with Big Hero 6's San Fransokyo, for instance. But it's that feeling of what the next world might bring that makes it easy to forget you've recently put your controller down for a minute cutscene to watch two hooded figures yell random exposition at each other about a Keyblade War.
Still, this is the best looking Kingdom Hearts game, taking full advantage of this generation's powerful consoles. But the feeling that kept creeping up on me is how badly I wanted to get back to the combat: that dazzling ballet of light and carnage, where your weapons make the most satisfying pop off an enemy's skull and the tinkling sound of collected "munny" jangles against your ears.
For all my love of Disney films, Kingdom Hearts is still, at its core, a solid action RPG, where each battle is like an Olympics-level figure skating competition with a gigantic weapon and confetti cannons constantly exploding in your face. It sparkles, but behind it all, the series still relies on the same mechanics it always has -- press X to attack, over and over again. The mechanics within those battles have evolved from Kingdom Hearts II, with new ideas ripped from other nonmajor instalments in the series. These new additions, with ridiculous Proper Nouns like "Flowmotion" and "Shotlock", enable the simplistic button-mashing of combat degrees of variation while sustaining the series' penchant for going OTT.
You have the ability, like always, to smack that X button, but you can also run up big combos, casting your magic or summoning allies such as Wreck-It Ralph, Simba and Ariel. On top of that, new Disneyland-themed attractions finally get their day in the sun, with Sora being able to summon a variety of theme park rides like the carousel, the famous tea cups and blaster rides, to devastating effect.
The Attractions are powerful end-the-battle-quickly attacks, bursting with neon yellows, pinks and blues -- an assault on your senses and the enemies on-screen. Over time, they become a little less appealing, and 40 hours in, you might not even be using them all, except to get you out of a pickle. Tell that to my year-old self and you will likely find him puking into a bucket laden with stickers of Bill Gates sensually laying in front of a PC.
I can't speak to how it runs on the PS4, which some might deem its "home" console, but it is a delicious 40 hours of eye-numbing graphics. There's little slowdown, even when the screen fills up with towering Heartless or swift Nobodies zipping in and out of existence in various parts of the screen. The Disney worlds practically beg to be photographed and like any game worth its salt these days, there is a limited in-game photo mode that lets you do just that.
The Gummiphone, Sora's handheld, would have been described as a record-keeper, glossary, bestiary and GameBoy in , but now we simply call it a "smartphone". The always connected device stores a variety of collectible Game and Watch-style games and tracks all your treasures and records, but its most important feature is its camera. Yes, you can take selfies. I keep telling you, it's The camera plays a huge role in the overall narrative though -- for the diehards. Throughout the game, Mickey Mouse logos are scattered on walls, in buckets and obscured by shadows throughout each world.
If you photograph these Lucky Emblems, you get to see the game's "secret ending". In Kingdom Hearts parlance, that's kind of like a Marvel after-the-credits scene, except you don't just have to sit in the cinema an extra 12 minutes laughing at the peasants who leave the film early, you have to investigate every nook of Kingdom Hearts' bulging worlds. It's not a horrendous task, considering everything is a delight to look at, but getting the required amount of Lucky Emblems is another of Kingdom Hearts' design choices that rips you away from doing the best thing in Kingdom Hearts: whacking things with a giant key.
As destiny would have it, I played through the back half of Kingdom Hearts 3 in my childhood bedroom. The same bedroom I hadn't spent a night in for six years, after venturing out to take on the big, wide world by myself and make new friends in other cities. That Kingdom Hearts tells a similar tale is not lost on me. Looking at the play timer slowly tick over to 43 hours, it's hard not to think back on the difference 13 years makes. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews.
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May 10, Renata rated it really liked it. I chanced upon this book while casually browsing through Kindle. The cover has a child-like charm to it, but I was looking for something light among the other current serious reads, and decided to have a go with it. And it was a fun read indeed.
As the title suggests, this collection of stories revolves around the theme of mind-swapping - Parents swapping minds with children, siblings switchin I chanced upon this book while casually browsing through Kindle. The situations are funny, scary, embarrassing, twisted and spooky, and feature a wide range of characters. Each of the stories is creatively titled with an illustration.
In addition, there are numerous illustrations throughout the book, in keeping with the events of each story. I personally feel the illustrator should have been credited on the front cover — the illustrations are fabulous. A very entertaining book, I would recommend this to both children and adults.
The relatively simplistic usage of language makes this very readable for kids as well. Artists will also enjoy this book — the illustrations beautifully depict how one can tell a story through pictures.