Underrated Gems: A Beautiful Ride to Carlisle

Dana and Sharon, the only characters in this visual novel

I’m a Brit, my family is mostly from Cumbria and the Scottish Borders, and I like trains – I have visited the National Railway Museum in York on several occasions and I can name every locomotive used on the National Rail network. I also like anime and visual novels.

So the moment I heard about a visual novel called “A Beautiful Ride to Carlisle” my interest had already peaked. That’s the city my grandparents hail from, and its where I hope to live again in the future.

When I found out it was a cute yuri romance about two girls meeting on a train, I picked up my debit card and bought it instantly. That was a decision I have absolutely no regrets about.

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My trip to the UK’s National Video Game Museum

The UK’s first permanent video game museum launched in Nottingham in 2015, attracting more than 100,000 visitors within two years and winning several awards. I had always planned on paying a visit, but it relocated before I got the chance. Thankfully, its new location is my home city of Sheffield, so I was able to experience it over the weekend without travelling too far!

The museum is a ~15 minute walk from Sheffield train station and is fairly easy to find using Google Maps or similar. Trams and buses also stop nearby, so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting there.

The entry price is also very reasonable – £11 for adults and £9 for children, students and the disabled. If you book a ticket online the day before your trip, you even get a 50p discount – but do keep in mind the museum is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!

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First Impressions on Mary Skelter: Nightmares (PS Vita)

Since the PlayStation Vita is being discontinued in Europe and North America, I decided to avoid making any purchases in this season’s Steam sale and instead spend my money on handheld games that interest me, before they go out of print and become rare.

Among the games I picked up this month is Mary Skelter: Nightmares, which drew me in with its stunning cover art. The game is a 2016 dungeon crawling JRPG developed by Compile Heart and Idea Factory of Hyperdimension Neptunia fame in which the player explores a mysterious jail.

When I place the cartridge in my Vita and open the game, I’m greeted by one of the most beautiful opening sequences I’ve ever seen, made even better by the original Vita’s OLED screen. Great art, lovely colours, solid music – what’s not to like?

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