Jolly Good Bookie: Ghost of the Shipwreck


Hey guys it’s Sam, Tanzania’s typing terror, and if there’s one thing I do for a living, it’s read. Reading is the top support of my writing curriculum, let alone is it the most fun thing to do atop of it. Without books, I’d never have ideas for styling new comics. Speaking of books, guess who’s coming back to review another?…Yep, the jolly good bookie! Today’s book is the third of a companion series to Italy’s famed Geronimo Stilton…but it’s under Thea’s eyes now! Ladies and gentlemice, I present to you Thea Stilton and the Ghost of the Shipwreck.

The series beginning in April 2009 with The Dragon’s Code, this book follows the storyline that has been part of series lore for 2 years: Thea is Geronimo’s brother, and his polar opposite: when Geronimo is such a ‘fraidy mouse, Thea loves embarking on adventures across the globe! The story begins at Mouseford Academy, Thea’s school when she was young. She had a such a good time there that she returned to teach a journalism class. In this era, she met 5 special students: Nicky, Pamela, Colette, Paulina, and Violet. They all became great friends faster than a Cheez-It. They even named their group after Thea, and since, they have been known as the Thea Sisters. Isn’t that cute?

This following installment to The Mountain of Fire follows the Sisters to the discovery of a mysterious shipwreck off Whale Island during a marine biology lesson. Legend has it a diamond of all sorts of rarities called Jasmine’s Heart was aboard the ship when it sank. But that’s just the start. Professor van Kraken, biology teacher, vanishes, and the five must find him and the priceless jewel. And when they think it’s all over, they get an invitation to China for yet another lost treasure hunt! To make a long story short: someone must really like Clash of the Titans.

So the series’ first-ever double feature does follow the “villain is the least expected” format from a lot of books, but it garners what I call that Geronimo touch, rebalancing all the writing, illustration, and perspective to their most colorful. And Ghost of the Shipwreck isn’t half bad for a Geronimo-like book. I don’t even believe I have any flawing points to chew this book out for!

3 out of 5 – Educational value – Each mouse originates from a real-life country. Nicky is Australian, Colette is French, Paulina is Peruvian, Violet is Chinese, and Pamela (best for last!) is Tanzanian! And you may think all they do is sit around filing their nails, but actual facts come from the different places they trek into, such as learning undersea facts, and not just a taste, but a mouthful of Chinese culture.

2 out of 5 – Positive messages – Perseverance?

2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – The Sisters do find a way out of aspects of trouble, and almost always find a way out of any bad situation. These are what people call “superthinkers”, the people that can rely on their mind to find a way to save their life.

5 out of 5 – Ease of readGhost of the Shipwreck is obviously a book all ages can enjoy. It doesn’t show any severe signs of violence whatsoever, it’s funny, informational, and the ultimate friendship. Amongst setting the blog record of scoring a perfect 5!

1 out of 5 – Violence – Some henchmen do interrupt a juggling show, so they get bombarded with eggs, fruit, and veggies.

1 out of 5 – Romance (love cannot be too inappropriate) – At the start of the book, Violet bears a “mega crush” on Professor van Kraken.

0 out of 5 - Language – Believe it or not, this is not shown here.

1 out of 5 – Product PlacementThea Stilton is a 2-year old companion series to Italy’s most famous “mouse author” 7-year old series, Geronimo Stilton.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not featured. However, the mice do enjoy tea, which relates to coffee, and coffee…never mind, this aspect is not featured.

………………………………….

Entertainment: A+ (5 points)

Fun: A+ (5 points)

Smarts: A (4 points)

Style: A+ (5 points)

Read-Again Ratio: A+ (5 points)

Humor: A (5 points)

Final score: 29 out of 30 (EVEN CLOSER!), 5 stars out of 5

CONSENSUS: Ghost of the Shipwreck must be read, because it’s a perfect mix of every emotion rolled up into one, plus it’s peppered with undersea and Chinese-cultural facts that always keep the book going. If there’s a chart of 2010′s top 10 books, #3, #2, and #1 would all be Ghost of the Shipwreck.

FUN FACTS, GOOFS, AND OTHER SILLY STUFF: On page 108, when Madame Hu is trying to get her paws on a lacquer box, Colette says, “Paws off, cheddarface!”, which is coincidentally the name of Geronimo’s sixth book. Also, on the cover, you see that Colette (the blonde at the bottom) has a blue scuba wetsuit. But in the book, it is pink. I feel so guilty taking off that point for Smarts.

PRICE: Interested in getting the book? Swim over to Amazon and get it for 8 dollars (plus the new and used prices of $4.00 and 30 cents), or scurry over to Barnes & Noble for the same big price, but save 75% getting the marketplace version of just $2.

RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Brother, you shouldn’t even be asking that question after all this. YES, OF COURSE BUY! I’ve no doubt that this needn’t be skipped, or my name is not Sammwak!

………………………………..

So if you haven’t had the chance to read this series, don’t wait any longer! Go to the library, get one of their books, and embark alongside their adventures!

- Sam

p.s. If there’s one thing I have a habit of doing, it’s starting new blogs. After several failed experiments like Gamers United League, Sammwak en Espanol, and vice versa, I have settled on my legitimate companion blog…2Sam2Mwak! Named after Potter Puppet Pals creator Neil Cicierega’s 2nd channel (2Neil2Cicierega), and honoring several famous YouTubers’ second channels (freddiew2 and finebros2, for instance), I’ll have even more juice that goes more behind-the-scenes than ever before! Stay tuned for the world premiere of 2Sam2Mwak on October 28, the nearest I could ever get to the Halloween special without intersecting into it!

 

 

Brink


There are lots of people out there that love shooters. Some are used to the brutal bloodbaths of Call of Duty or Halo, while others like to take it easy with games like Kane & Lynch or Crysis. But there are those other games that mix it up. Speaking of those games, one is coming out soon, but not very soon. Actually May 10, to be exact. This a treat from Splash Damage, whom specialize in shooters, as well as Valve Corp, famous for series like Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress. The revolution begins with the new third-person shooter, Brink.

The main story of the game takes place in the utopian city of The Ark, a floating city surrounded by the waters from a flooded Earth. The Ark is where two factions named “Resistance” and “Security” fight to the death, either fighting for the Ark or uniting/defending The Ark. Up to sixteen can play this online. My own brother described Brink as a mixture of Mass Effect, Monday Night Combat, and Mirror’s Edge. How it resembles Mass Effect is that it’s some weird crazy sci-fi shooter, and you can play as bots and weirdos like that. Monday Night Combat is resembled since you can actually pick a CHARACTER CLASS to be for the game: the operative, whose job is to sabotage the other team, hacking turrets and such, the medic, whose job is to heal, revive, and buff teammates, the soldier, whose job is to specialize in warfare and weaponry, and the engineer, whose job is to defend tactical zones, improve weapons, and more. How it looks like Mirror’s Edge is the heavy use of parkour, which they smartly conceal by passing it as the system of SMART: Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain.

People are saying that Brink is the shooter that we have been waiting for. But is it really worth its puffed-up proud price of nearly $60 at GameStop? Let’s find out.

So, personally, now, do you think that Brink is worth your hard-earned cash…SH, caSH?

Check out YouTube or your local surroundings for more about Brink, and I’ll join you next time here on Sammwak!! ;)

-Sam

p.s. Did you know that the release dates of Brink kept getting bumped up and down? It went in this order: fall 2010, bumped up to May 13, 2011, bumped back to May 10, 2011. :D

Top Wii Games of 2010 (for kids!)


Hey guys it’s Sam and since it’s the new year of 2011, it’s time to reflect on the unforgettable games 2010 had to offer. Some were nail-biting thrillers like Alan Wake, others were baths of bullets like Battlefield: Bad Company 2. This one goes off to the outstanding motion-control Wii console. Especially for those who don’t know WHAT to pick for their Wii for the new year. Here are the top Wii games of 2010 that could just be a helper.

5. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

That'll hurt tomorrow morning.

In this groundbreaking crossover, players compete in one-and-one battles to give their opponents the beautiful K.O. they’ve dreamed of. They also have lifebars like the old but still at large Mortal Kombat series, but there’s no kill. This game depicts a 2.5D environment. Players brawl in 2D arenas, but the models themselves are modeled in a 3-dimensional style. A perfect twist on your usual Capcom crossover. I haven’t the foggiest idea why this game was LIKED, but I haven’t played a Capcom crossover. NONE. Ultimate All-Stars met with respective critical acclaim, and it seems like this game might be worth the owning. You can hitch the pre-owned version at GameStop for $24.99 if you’re interested.

4. Kirby’s Epic Yarn

So cute!

In this charming tenth platform installation in the Kirby series, our charming hero gets sucked into Patch Land after eating a “Metamato”, where everything is made of yarn…even himself. You crank the Wii remote sideways to engage in this breathtaking adventure as you can turn Kirby into a tank, a submarine, and practically anything else that is mobile in this cute-as-a-button Wii game. The reception for this game is better than any other, so maybe you might wanna hitch it at GameStop for $49.99, or if you’re a swell investor, you can hit the pre-owned version for $39.99.

3. Donkey Kong Country Returns

Whoever stole his bananas...

What to get if you combine a game with 2D gameplay and a chunk of 3D graphics? Donkey Kong Country Returns. In this groundbreaking adventure from Nintendo once again, it brings its good old pal from the 90s, Donkey Kong Country, to life collecting bananas, and the precious golden ‘KONG’ words. According to X-Play, it was something and the 2-player co-op that brought it down. Whatsoever, the game met with positive reception from critics, so maybe hitching this game for $49.99, or the pre-owned version for $39.99, could just be your matchmaker.

2. Disney Epic Mickey

Wasteland. Ain't it a doll?...

In this platforming action-adventure from Disney Interactive Studios, Mickey Mouse is back with a magical paintbrush that can be used to paint OR thin. Mickey is in the not-too-good land of Wasteland, the land of all forgotten and neglected Disney characters from maybe decades ago, like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. After it garnered a perfect 5 stars out of 5 from X-Play, I’m starting to get closer looks for this game. This used 2D side-scrolling, and some say the camera got a bit uncooperative, like in Mini Ninjas. But, that looked like the only con for Epic Mickey as it garnered mixed to positive reviews, respectively. It’s waiting at GameStop for only $49.99, or the pre-owned version for $39.99. Come on, you know you want to buy it…

AND THE TOP WII GAME OF 2010 IS….

***(pause for effect)***

Naw, I’m just pulling your leg. The REAL winner is…

1. Super Mario Galaxy 2

I told you not to drink too much water, Yoshi!

In this great Super Mario Galaxy sequel, you must collect Power Stars, which are earned for accomplishing tasks and challenges that lead to later challenges, all around 3D planets that the game throws at you. It has groundbreaking effects that make Mario fans stand up and root for its Italian hero. The music is beautiful, the visuals are just are good…there’s respectively no con for Super Mario Galaxy 2 as it garners universal acclaim…even the critics just can’t resist the irresistible Mario and his brother, Luigi. It’s waiting at GameStop for $49.99, or the pre-owned version for $39.99.

I also acknowledge some of the approval of this game selection to Henry Udongo, one of my closest friends. He helped me decide Donkey Kong Country Returns‘s place on the list, and a small early chunk of Epic Mickey. Can YOU find it?

These are the (in my opinion) best Wii games 2010 had to offer, with Super Mario Galaxy 2 leading the five like a conga. This has been Sammwak, and stay tuned for my Top Xbox 360 Games of 2010! Later!

Yours truly,

Sam Mwakasisi

p.s. Henry made me write that :D

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 FROM SAMMWAK


Hey guys it’s Sam and I’m wishing you a happy New Year here from Sammwak! As you know, lots of people are abuzz about the ending of 2010 and the beginning of 2011! I’ll kind of look back on 2010. That year shone. It truly shone. But there’s a very special day for this blog in 2011…its first anniversary! Only the biggest brains would remember this, but my first-ever post (in fact, my first handful of posts) was released April 11, 2010! So the anniversary will take place April 11, 2011! My birthstone is an amethyst, since I was born in February. But my BLOG’S birthstone is apparently a diamond. LUCKY!!! >:( But my blog is like a child to me. It must be treated as such. I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t turn my back to Sammwak. Hey, that rhymes! I bet you can’t turn your back on anything. Except for what you dislike. But Sammwak wishes you a Happy New Year, and so do I. I care for you. I can’t turn you down. I can’t stop thinking about my viewers. And now, as my post is almost at 2,500 hits or such, I really want to thank you for the appreciation you’ve given me for almost half this year. Without you, Sammwak would’ve never been created in the first place. And before this turns into a mind-numbing emotional speech that could take you a day to finish (or, the MNESTCTYADTF as an acronym), I shall close this post.

Happy new year,

Sam

 

2010 FIFA World Cup review


When I get older, I will be stronger, they’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag…

Recognize that tune? It’s the anthem to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, “Wavin’ Flag” by Somali-Canadian singer K’naan. I already posted up a World Cup post right when it began, smack on June 11. But we all know that the man of the match, Andrés Iniesta, scored Spain’s winning goal. But now since the trees are shedding in autumn, everyone’s “gotten over” the World Cup, and now everybody’s returning to their usual errands.

But to Spanish Internet-surfers, especially Iniesta (if Spain has Internet), this may get you jogged up from the World Cup. It’s a video game review, but featuring the 2010 World Cup’s companion video game, which was released in April…2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

Now, since we have a 360, we’re “renting” this game for the week from the Portage District Library (link to their site will be below) because some buds are coming tomorrow, and we thought they’ll dig a sports game. And I have a few GOOD reasons how this game is fun:

GROUNDBREAKING GRAPHICS! – My brother says that this game included FIFA 11‘s engine, which runs the graphics/visuals. He may/may not be right. But the visuals are so good, from a distance, it looks as if the real World Cup is going on. From a close-up look, it still looks like the ordinary graphics from FIFA 11 or 10.

And believe me, good graphics is only the first step in a successful game, sports or not. But srsly. A game may have epic gameplay, and good partnership, but the most junky graphics. I mean seriously, it looks more like a pixelated heap of nothingness for visualization.

GOOD DETAIL! I never knew EA Sports was so detailed! I mean, while u are creating ur player, you can change such things about him that no one would notice, such as your ear protrusion, your cheekbones, heck even your nose length! Some peeps would never even notice them! A player can go off with a nose too curved to the right, or ears that stick too out or in. Good thing EA Sports caught those details red-handed, and led them back to jail, where they should easily be “noticed.”

ONLINE EXPANSION! Not getting enough World Cup fever? Sneeze and sniffle when you take your experience and ur player online for more epic sports battles! Compete against peoples, and even see if you got what it takes to overcome the online 2010 World Cup!

EPIC CELEBRATIONS! When you score a goal, don’t just stand there while the spectators roar and applaud on their feet. You have to celebrate, too! And, thanks to Coca-Cola, we have the most epic celebrations. You can do a backflip, you can do the Robot, heck, you can even do the unlockable African Dance! Because a soccer game isn’t right when the players just stand there absentminded when their teammates jump for joy.

…..

So, the G&B:

THE GOOD

The most jaw-dropping visuals…Good online expansion…wonderful detail.

THE BAD

Come on you stupid ball, go into the net!

……

Final consensus: The World Cup companion rises to as much success as the championship, with those groundbreaking visuals, swell online expansions, and jaw-dropping detail that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

With a final score of 9.6 (superb), this has been a Sammwak vid game review.

Thx for watching, please like it and subscribe plz.

- Sam

p.s. Here’s the link to the Portage District Library’s site:

http://www.pdl.lib.mi.us/

L8trs.

Sam