Tag Archives: retlock

Super Smash Bros Brawl

super smash brosSuper Smash Bros Brawl is a fighting game where many characters from various games collide. It is made for the Wii and pre-dated by Super Smash Bros Melee for the GameCube, and before that, the original Super Smash Bros for the N64.

SSBB has the main characters from many popular series. For instance, you can battle as Mario or Luigi, or as Fox, or as Kirby, or as any of the many other main characters. In my opinion, SSBB is one of the best multiplayer games, and is great for parties, sleepovers, or just play dates.

SSBB has various modes to play in. There is the regular fighting mode, or you can dive into the story by playing “Sub Space Emissary,” or you can try the various challenge modes like “Target Smash” or “Home-Run Contest,” or you can play Wi-Fi and battle people across the world.

Not only are the games high-quality and challenging, pitting your favorite characters against each other is really cool. Once again I say it is one of the best multiplayer games out there.


Age 13

QUICK LINK:
See Super Smash Bros. Brawl at Amazon.com

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Filed under Games, Retlock, Wii

Kirby Air Ride for GameCube

Kirby Air Ride is a racing game that was made in 2003 for the GameCube. It is old I admit, but I was intrigued by a Kirby racing game, so I decided to check it out. It is now one of my favorite games ever! It is fast-paced and exciting fun and very challenging to complete.

Kirby Air Ride has three modes of gameplay: Air Ride, Top Ride, and City Trial. All of these modes have a list of achievements, unique differences, and sub modes.

Air Ride mode is a basic racing mode, except you only start with one car which is the Warp Star. Thankfully, most of the other cars are easy to unlock, but a few others are insanely hard to unlock. It has two sub-modes which are Free Run and Time Attack. In Free Run you have no enemies to obstruct you, so you can go for as long and far as you want until you quit. Time Attack is a mode to see how fast you can complete three laps.

Top Ride mode is a racing mode, but instead of playing at the regular view it is played at a bird’s eye view with shorter tracks. Top Ride has no unlockable cars; instead you have only the free star and the turn star. Its two sub-modes are also Time Attack and Free Run.

City Trial is a mode where you have no choice of car in the beginning. Instead you always start on the compact star, in a city where you gather power-ups and find new cars in order to win in the mini game that comes after time runs out. You also can thwart your enemies by attacking them and gathering the power-ups that they drop. It also has two sub-modes: Free Run and Stadium. In Stadium you can freely play any mini game that you have played in City Trial.

Buy this game! I’ll bet you enjoy it as much as I do.


Age 13

QUICK LINK:
Kirby Air Ride

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Filed under GameCube, Games, Retlock

Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS is a portable game station. It’s predated by the Nintendo Gameboy and Nintendo Gameboy Advance, and has various models.

The DS is the first of all of the DS systems. It’s very bulky and rough. I have not played it myself, but my some of my friends own the DS, and it is very durable. On of my friends dropped his DS out of a moving car and it still works. The DS can play the older Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games.

The DS Lite is the second model of the DS. It is less durable but smaller, smoother, and easier to carry around. It can also play Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games. I used to own one but it broke when someone bumped into me and I dropped it.

The DSi is the third model of DS and the one that I currently own. It is sleeker and even more portable than the past models. It has some cool features that the older models did not have. For instance, it can access the internet and has a flip book function and more fun things; however, the DSi cannot play Gameboy or Gameboy Advance games.

The DSi XL is the latest model of the DS and is basically the same as the DSi except that it is much larger and more durable. I am not sure if it has any additional functions because I have not used one and none of my friends have either.

The 3DS is the future model of DS which is scheduled to be released on March 27, 2011. It will have 3D graphics without the use of glasses, as well as a joy-stick.

I know what I’m putting on my wish list!


QUICK LINK:
Preorder your DS3 today!

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Filed under Games, Handheld Games, Retlock

A Single Shard

In A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, the main character, Tree-ear, is an orphan boy in a twelfth-century Korean potter’s village. Tree-ear lives under the bridge with his friend Crane-man and loves to watch his favorite potter, Min, throwing pots. Tree-ear accidentally breaks one of Min’s pots and offers to work for Min to pay for the damage. Min and Tree-ear both learn that life moves on even when loved ones die.

Tree-ear is a Korean orphan boy who lives under a bridge with Crane-Man, who is crippled. Tree-ear wants to become a great potter someday, and he watches Min, a master potter, throw pots on a wheel. When Tree-ear accidentally breaks one of Min’s pots he sees an opportunity and offer to work for Min to repay the broken pot.

Tree-ear is hoping that if he works long enough for Min he will get to learn to make pottery, but when Tree-ear asks if he can make a pot Min says that he won’t teach him. Min says that pottery is an art passed down from father to son, and Tree-ear is not his son. Min’s son Hyung-gu died a long time ago and Min is still bitter and unable to let go of his son.

Tree-ear continues to work for Min, gathering wood and preparing clay, doing his best work and sharing his food with Crane-man. One day word comes that an emissary from the King’s Court is coming to look for a new potter, a very rare occasion. Min sends Tree-ear to show his pottery before the emissary. Tree-ear returns with a royal commission for Min.

Tree-ear was surprised that Min did not seem happier with the royal commission, but then Min tells him that Crane-man was in an accident and killed. Min tells Tree-ear to find a large stump of wood because he will need his own wheel if he is going to help Min with the royal commission. Ajima, Min’s wife, invites Tree-ear to live with them, and asks if he would like to be called Hyung-pil, a name that shares a syllable with their dead son’s name. This was an honor bestowed upon siblings.

In conclusion, Min and Tree-ear both learn that loved ones do die but life still moves on and is better when you don’t hold onto whoever has died and not let go of them. I thought the book was really good because the whole thing seemed very realistic. I especially liked the idea that the whole village ran mostly on the pottery industry. I do suggest this book for others to read. Despite its lack of dragons and magic, it is still a very good book.


QUICK LINK:
A Single Shard

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Filed under Adventure Stories, Books, Historical Fiction, Other Cultures, Retlock

The Place of Lions

In The Place of Lions, by Eric Campbell, the main character, Chris Harris, is a regular school kid until his father decides to make a new start in Africa. When their plane crashes near a pride of lions, Chris must take care of his father and the pilot, and feels like their survival depends on an old lion staying in charge of the pride. The lion and Chris both learn that just because they are different species doesn’t mean they can’t help each other.

Chris and his father get on a small plane to Tanzania with only a pilot as the other person on board. The pilot is a nature lover, and swerves to avoid a flock of birds, which becomes a calamity when one of the wings hits a baobab tree and the plane crashes to the ground. Chris is the only one who isn’t injured too badly and he must take care of his father and the pilot. He splints his father’s broken leg and builds a shelter for the pilot, who has a punctured lung.

The plane has crashed right next to a pride of lions, with a very old lion as their leader. Chris is afraid the lions will attack, but the old lion leaves them alone, seeming to sense that they are not a threat. The old lion saves Chris’s life twice: once when the lionesses were about to attack and he calls them away, and once when poachers were threatening Chris and the lion frightened them away.

When a younger, more agile lion challenges for dominance, Chris starts to fear the worst for the older lion. The old lion decides to abandon his post as king of the pride and sets off to the one place he wants to go back to before he dies, to his birthplace. Chris accidentally helps him relocate his birthplace when the poachers chase him near that area, and the old lion rescues him from the poachers there. Chris, his father, and the pilot are eventually rescued by a safari man who comes to investigate the poachers.

Chris learns that by reaching out to help others, you may end up helping yourself. This was a good book, and I enjoyed reading it, but I think it sped through events too quickly. I think that the author message was that even if you’re a different species you can still help each other.


QUICK LINK:
Place of Lions (Piper)

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Filed under Adventure Stories, Books, Retlock

Beyond the Western Sea

Beyond the Western Sea: The Escape from Home, by Avi, is the first book in a series about the characters Patrick O’Connell, Maura O’Connell, Laurence Kirkle, and many more characters. Maura and her brother Patrick both think it is time to leave Ireland and start anew in America, so they go to Liverpool to catch a ship. There they meet Laurence, a boy who ran away from home to get out of his brother’s shadow. All of them learn that words are easier then actions.

Mr. O’Connell had gone to America some time before, leaving his wife and two children, Patrick and Maura, in Ireland. When the O’Connell family receives a package of money from their father, there is a note begging them to come to America and join him. Because their house is going to be demolished, they don’t have much choice and start the journey to Liverpool, where they can take a boat to America. When they are about to get on the boat to go to Liverpool, Mrs. O’Connell decides that she would rather stay in Ireland, and leaves Maura and Patrick to find their way to America by themselves.

Laurence Kirkle was born into a very rich family, but because of the fact that he was born second, his older brother is the one who will inherit the Kirkle empire. Laurence is tired of his brother bossing him around so he decides to head for America. Laurence has almost all his money stolen and barely makes it to Liverpool. Since he has no ticket to get on the boat, Patrick and Maura help him to stow away.

The book ends with all three children on the boat to America. Laurence, Maura, and Patrick all learn that just because you say you can do something doesn’t mean it will be easy. In conclusion, I thought it was a good book, but if I hadn’t needed to read it I wouldn’t have because I thought the beginning was not very good.


QUICK LINK:
The Escape From Home (Beyond the Western Sea, Book 1)

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Filed under Books, Historical Fiction, Retlock

The Golden Goblet

The book The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, is a good book set in Egypt with characters like: Rekh, Ranofer, Heqet, Wenamon, Gebu, and many others. When Ranofer’s father dies, Gebu his half brother takes Ranofer into his home “out of the goodness of his heart.” Ranofer is put to work at the goldsmith shop and later as a stonemason, where he discovers and thwarts a plot to raid a pharoah’s tomb. I believe that the author’s message was that if you put your head to it and stick with it that you can achieve great feats.

Ranofer was learning to be a goldsmith with his father when his father died. Hi half-brother Gebu puts him to work at another goldsmith shop owned by Rekh, but as a helper, not as apprentice because Gebu wants him only to earn money which goes straight to Gebu, but being apprenticed costs money. Later Ranofer realizes there is another reason Gebu wants him working as an errand boy at the goldsmither’s shop, when gold starts to go missing from the shop. Ranofer overheard someone talking about how small pieces could be easily hidden in one’s mouth or bread loaf or even in a wineskin. Ranofer remembers that every few nights, Gebu makes him pick up a wineskin from a Ibni, who washes the gold at the goldsmith shop. Ranofer realizes Ibni would easily be able to slip gold into a wineskin, and he suspects that Ibni is passing gold to Gebu this way. Ranofer comes up with a plan and proves Ibni guilty.

After Ibni is fired from the goldsmith’s shop, Gebu has no use for Ranofer there any more. He puts Ranofer into his own stone-cutting shop and apprentices him there. Ranofer hates stonecutting, especially when he realizes how dangerous it is. He worries about his hands and losing fingers, and whether it will ruin his ability to work gold, which he loves.

Later Ranofer notices Gebu’s clothes getting steadily finer and of richer materials. Ranofer guesses that either the pharaoh was paying Gebu highly for something, or Gebu was stealing again. Heqet, an apprentice from Rekh’s goldsmith shop, brings interesting news that he overheard: Gebu and his friend Wenamon talking about a secret meeting during the upcoming festival. When Ranofer follows them, he finds that they are tomb robbers. They have dug out a cavern and are now tunneling into the tomb of the queen’s parents. He runs back to the city and finds his way into the palace and tells the queen. Afterward, Gebu and Wenamon are arrested, and Ranofer is finally free to do as he pleases.

I believe that the author’s message was that you can achieve a lot if you put your head to it. I found this story quite a good book and would suggest it to others because it’s well written and has a good plot. The plot plays out in an interesting way.


QUICK LINKS:
The Golden Goblet (Newbery Library, Puffin)
See more great books from Eloise Jarvis McGraw!

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Filed under Books, Historical Fiction, Retlock