Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Will Berry Bitty Adventures Air Its 4th Season?

Upon the initial announcement from the Discovery corporation that Berry Bitty Adventures will indeed return for a fourth season, there's been no news about its airing new episodes since then. This announcement was made a month ago in May, so I'm sure that Strawberry Shortcake fans are eagerly anticipating the promos for the new season to be released, as am I.

However, I've checked my TV guide time and time again, hoping to see when the Discovery Family Channel will reintroduce the animated series back to its daily programming, but that hasn't happened yet, either.

Since I'd read that the new season is supposedly airing in spring of this year, that would mean that it's coming in May, right? After all, summer begins in June, so it seems apparent that the show would return in about a few weeks.

On the downside, I can't be entirely sure that season four will even premiere this summer - in fact, it may be pushed back to the fall. I'm only resorting to this conclusion because of the details listed on the corporate site: it said that it was listing the lineup of shows for the 2015-16 season, and that would automatically push Strawberry to the fall because I know for a fact that her new season isn't going to last from May 2015 to possibly winter 2016. That would make for a pretty long season, which I wouldn't mind, of course, but we have to take into consideration that the last two seasons of Berry Bitty Adventures only had thirteen episodes apiece, so I won't be surprised if season four is also restricted with a half season's-worth of episodes.

Again, I just want to keep everyone up-to-date as to what's going on with the show. I now know for certain that it is returning, I just don't know when. I've been just as confused as most of you regarding Strawberry's show, and I'm glad that we're finally beginning to solve the puzzle as to what's been going on with Berry Bitty Adventures for the last two years.

As for Strawberry switching to Iconix, I'm assuming that she's still getting settled in to her new production team, and I can tell the difference by the different kind of content she posts on her social media as well as by her activity patterns. I'm just curious as to what new changes Iconix will make for the character, if they plan to make any, that is.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Berry Bitty Adventures Cast in The Sims 3

Since I stated that I would buy The Sims 3 in one of my recent posts, I thought I'd post an update as to what I've been doing in the game so far. First of all, the process of me creating the Berry Bitty Adventures cast in Create a Sim was overall a great success. They turned out a whoooole lot better than I was expecting.       

I am very pleased with the way Raspberry Torte turned out this go round. If you read my other post entitled "Strawberry Shortcake in The Sims 4," you'll notice that the Raspberry Sim wound up looking like the worst one in the bunch. I was unsure if she would look any better in The Sims 3, but again, I'm surprised with the results. I downloaded her hairstyle off the official Sims 3 website, but I could only buy it with Simpoints, which you have to purchase with physical money (I had earned some from buying the game, but it was a limited supply). The site provides an alternative to earning Simpoints besides the former, and that involves watching ads on their website so they can reward you with five points every time you finish watching an approx. thirty-second advertisement. At the time I'd thought this was a good idea so I could save my points to later buy more clothing, hairstyles, and hopefully new cities, but then my antivirus software notified me that it blocked a virus, which - you guessed it - came from watching those ads. I don't know what I'll do about the situation at this point; I'm unsure if I should just limit the amount of ads that I watch so I can still earn more points or if I just shouldn't take the risk. A computer virus is not something you should mess with, so I guess I'm at a dead end here.

As for Strawberry Shortcake, I think she looks pretty good, too - well, overall. I was able to give her her trademark hat, unlike I could in The Sims 4, and what I especially like about The Sims 3 is that it enables you to customize the clothing to look the way you want. That's what I did with Strawberry's hat so that it actually resembles her one on the show. I'm not too fond of how it sort of hides her face and casts a bit of shadow, but I changed her hairstyle with a few of her other outfits just for the sake of getting rid of these minor issues. If you look closely, you'll notice that I also gave her pink highlights, a significant feature that can often be found in the dolls, unlike I could give her in the other game.

By the time I got around to Lemon Meringue, I was running short on hairstyles to give her. The game includes quite a few hairstyles, no doubt, but none of them resembled Lemon's hairdo at all. I basically had no other choice but to choose this one, which I guess can pass for a Lemon-esque 'do.

I ran into the same issue with Orange Blossom: no hairstyle options. The other girls had taken up the other good styles, so I became a little dismayed when I couldn't find one to suit Orange. I then settled for this side braid with the flowers, because it fits pretty well with her character, doesn't it?
Hm. With Blueberry, I don't quite know how I feel about this version of her. I mean, she overall does look like the character, but I can't part with the version of her that I created in the fourth installment. I can let the minor differences slide, but I'm wishing that I could make her look more like the other model. Now that I think about it, I think I need to lower her eyes a little bit; they seem kind of too high for her face.

And last but not least, we have Plum Pudding. This isn't the outfit I wanted to snap a picture of her in, but I never got around to putting her back in the other one. I should, though - it's much cuter. Anyway, since I've started playing the game, I've given her an athletic trait, and I am instantly regretting that decision now. She won't stop exercising, so she's become very muscular and chunky-looking, and that's not how I wanted her to look. On top of that, she tends to get dirty a lot faster than the other girls. I kinda want to go back and get rid of that trait, but I don't know how. What I do know is that it's possible, as I've seen other Simmers do it all the time.

Apart from creating the cast from Berry Bitty Adventures, I've had a load of fun playing this game so far, but it does come with a few frustrations, I must admit. For example, the girls clog the toilet all the time and break things, I've already had two house fires, and the current house they're living in is so small that they keep blocking each other's paths. To solve this dilemma, I've built a new house for them to live in, which I made to look more like Blueberry's bookstore. However, I can't afford to move them into it yet, and I'm trying to refrain from using cheats.

Also, I like all of the fun activities that they can do. I'm not going to list all of them because that would make this already pretty lengthy post quite unbearably long, so I'll name a couple of them. With the Seasons expansion pack you can make your Sims attend festivals at Central Park, and that, too, comes with a set of fun activities for the characters. Lemon looks very happy that she has her face painted, and Strawberry sure looks like she's really enjoying that snow cone while sitting in the rain.

Meanwhile, Cherry Jam lives by herself in Bridgeport where she leads a lonely life. I initially decided to place her in the city instead of with her friends because I wanted her to experience the celebrity life since she is a pop star and all, but I find myself getting a little bored with her character because there isn't much for her to do. I might just place her in Sunset Valley with her friends, but I wanted to see what the other towns in the game are like as well.

In addition to these characters, I've also created Apple Dumplin and Sweet and Sour Grapes from season four, though I haven't gotten around to actually playing as them yet. I don't know if I should place them in Sunset Valley, a.k.a "Berry Bitty City," or if I should give Cherry some friends and put them in Bridgeport ("Berry Big City"). Whichever choice I make, I'm more than likely going to post pictures of them, probably on my Twitter instead of on here. I don't know if this is my last post about the Sims or if I should be expecting to write some more about them in the future - it just depends, I guess. However, this is my last Sims-themed blog post for now.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Berry Bitty Adventures Returns to Discovery Family Channel with a 4th Season

I'll make this blog post simple and sweet. Good news, Strawberry Shortcake fans: Berry Bitty Adventures is in fact returning for a fourth season, despite the previous rumors! After waiting two long years, we finally get to see a new episode! I'd lost all hope of there ever being a new season, but then I happened to stumble upon this site yesterday:
 This being said, there are still a couple of fuzzy areas that need to be cleared. First, will this be the last season of Berry Bitty Adventures, or is there a possibility that a season five will follow shortly afterwards? I'd read that there is a possibility of a new television series being adapted now that Strawberry belongs to Iconix, but there was never any official word about it. Second, what made Discovery Family Channel decide to bring the show back after completely taking it off the air? Is there a chance that the company actually read what the fans were saying about their favorite shows being cancelled, me being one of them? That I don't know.
Regardless of what the answers might be, I'm just thrilled that my favorite show is returning for a new season after all this time. However, I should have known that this would be announced right after I come to the conclusion that Berry Bitty Adventures is cancelled and made a video about it and everything. Oh, well. :/

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Strawberry Shortcake in The Sims 4

You may not know this, dear readers, but for quite a while now, I've been into the Sims games. To be honest, I'd say that is the only other brand next to Strawberry Shortcake that I am immensely into, once I come to think about it. I guess I feel this way about it, that rush of excitement, that desire to play it, because there's no other game out there like it that could even compete (at least, not that I'm aware of). Besides, what isn't fun about creating your own world where you have control of the characters' lives?

My fascination with it began a little while back, which, believe it or not, was actually half a decade ago. I discovered The Sims 3 back in 2010, and I instantly wanted the game as soon as I saw all of the videos people made with and about it all over YouTube. However, since I was still on the pretty young side, but not quite too young for the game in my opinion, my parents wouldn't allow me buy it because they felt it wasn't age appropriate for me.

So now we skip to some years later, and by that time, I was pretty much over the game; I had no desire to buy it anymore, and I had decided to move on to other things. "Oh, well," I thought at the time, "I guess it just wasn't meant to be." But deep inside, I knew that I still wanted it, and this feeling resurfaced just a few months back after the release of the Sims 4 Create a Sim demo.

A few months ago (or it could have been more so like a couple - I'm not the best at keeping up with time), I decided to download the demo for myself, just to see what it was like. I was pretty interested in the new features such as the ability to shape the characters' faces with your mouse instead of a grid, and all the while I was very curious to see if I could manage to replicate the cast of Berry Bitty Adventures.

I overall really enjoyed the Create a Sim demo, but in all honesty, I felt like it was lacking something. Creating Strawberry Shortcake and her friends was a very fun task, but it was difficult all the same because I didn't have the necessary features to customize them the way I wanted to. I actually like how Strawberry and Blueberry turned out, but as for the rest of them, they hardly resemble their actual selves at all - well, I'd say Orange does a little bit, but Lemon, Raspberry, Plum, and Cherry don't even look like themselves.

Oh no! Where is Strawberry's trademark hat?! I didn't think that she needed a hat because I wouldn't say that it suited her well. Besides, she stopped wearing it as much in season three of B.B.A.

At first glance, you may not think that this looks like Strawberry all too much, but believe me, it was much harder than I anticipated to create a more humanistic version of the characters. On the show, they all generally have the same face molds and eye shapes, so the only distinctions they have between one another are their eye colors and hair colors. This being said, I tried to imagine what the girls would look like if they were actual people; I imagined that Strawberry would look something like this, so that's the look I went for.

Now we'll move on to Blueberry, and I'm overall pleased with her results. If she were an actual person, I assume that should would look a little something like this, so she turned out better than I thought. The hairstyle is pretty spot on to her real one, to my surprise, and the game even had her very fair skin complexion. I'm having a hard time choosing whether I like the Blueberry Sim or the Strawberry Sim better. What do you think?

And now we'll move on to the rejects, the sims that I had so much difficulty with that they wound up looking nothing like they were supposed to. This in part is due to the lack of content, so I believe that they would have turned out better if they had some things as simple as Plum's dark hair color or Raspberry Torte's hairstyle. Brace yourself.

This is how Orange Blossom and Plum Pudding turned out. Orange isn't too bad, I guess, but Plum is just a catastrophe. Her ponytail is too short and lacks a bit of definition, and as I stated above, there isn't an option for dark purple hair, so I had to settle for a more lilac hue. I know that they don't have to look exactly like the actual characters, but I'm a perfectionist: if I don't complete a task to my liking, I'll keep working on it until I deem it acceptable, and if it doesn't turn out the way I want it to, I become very frustrated.

And Lemon and Raspberry - oh boy. They are something else entirely. It was really hard trying to come up with molds for their faces; I had an image in my head for Strawberry's and Blueberry's but I could hardly think of a single thing for these two. Perhaps I can go back and edit them a bit more later, but I don't know if there is much more that I can do.

Out of all of them, though, I'd say Cherry is my least favorite Sim I've made. It's just something that I can't get right with her face mold, no matter how much I tweaked it and tweaked it some more. I could have possibly made her look a lot better if I used custom content, but I'm still new at playing this game, and I'm pretty leery about downloading things to my computer. You never know what file might contain a virus!

Anyhow, since my little adventures on the demo, I really got into watching Let's Play videos on YouTube, which led me into a dilemma. I enjoyed watching videos of the newest game, yes, but something kept drawing me back to The Sims 3. Perhaps it was because this game has an open-world view and it offers more customization for the characters (such as Plum's hair color). Perhaps it was because this version of the game allows the sims to ride in cars and actually walk on the street instead of having a loading screen in its place. Perhaps it was because The Sims 3 has more features in general. While The Sims 4 looks pretty great, I'm not too set on buying it; it's ridden of all of the features of the previous game and replaced them with more simplistic elements. I'm in no way criticizing or bashing The Sims 4, but The Sims 3 just has a place in my heart, and that's the game I want to stick with. However, what I really like about 4 is the style of the characters - I wouldn't say that I'm too fond of how they look in 3, but I'm sure I can work something out. Unfortunately, that means that I have no use for Strawberry and her friends in the demo whatsoever; they'll just stay in there, never again to be interacted with. I'm hoping that I can try to recreate them in 3, but that's going to take a loooot of work. I think I can manage it, though. I hope.

Once I finally came to my decision, I approached my parents again with my request to buy the game, and five long years later, they finally said "yes"! They said that they believe that I'm mature enough to play it now that I'm significantly older. After that, I jumped on the opportunity as soon as I could so I could order the game and a couple of expansion packs online (I'm really looking forward to playing Seasons - how fun would it be for the characters to play in the snow and celebrate Christmas and Halloween?). The convenient thing about The Sims 4 coming out is that The Sims 3 packs are on clearance to make way for the new games. When the 3 games were initially released, they were all about $50, no joke. Now, you can find three games in one for slightly less than $20.

I ordered The Sims 3 Starter Pack along with Supernatural and Seasons, but sadly, the third one was out of stock, so I have to wait about a week or so before I can place another order for it. I received my first two games this evening.

What you may be curious about is what I exactly plan on doing with this game. Well, besides playing it for leisure, I will once again attempt to create Strawberry Shortcake and her friends, but along with that I'll also try to build Berry Bitty City. I think it would be extremely fun to film a mini series of Let's Play videos and upload them to my channel, but I'm so paranoid about YouTube's gaming policy that I'm hesitant to do so. I've already used enough copyrighted content on my first account, so I really don't want to start doing the same thing on my second one. My main concern is whether or not EA is comfortable with YouTube partners uploading content from their games and placing advertisements alongside them. I just don't know; I'll have to investigate the issue more. But if I do decide to make a short gaming series, will my subscribers actually like it, let alone watch it? Everyone seems to only have an eye for my stop motions and whatever is entitled "A Day in Berry Bitty City," so I'm not too sure on that one. Risks have to be taken, I suppose.

I really wanted to install my game and start playing it tonight, but I wanted to back up my computer first so I could delete some of my files to create more space, and that in itself is taking a very long time. I've waited five years for this, Laptop - don't disappoint me now! I'll probably just have to wait until tomorrow or Friday. It just depends because I also have a five-page paper about an advertisement to write before Monday.

Anyway, I guess that's about it for this post. Sometimes I tend to ramble, so quite a few of my posts will be pretty lengthy. If you actually read this whole thing, I appreciate that you took the time out of your day to do so. Here's a cookie as your reward. Okay, it's getting a bit late, so I think I'll watch a couple of more Let's Play videos before turning in for the night. Until next time!