Retro Game Friday: Shantae

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure classic. It’s Shantae!

Plot Synopsis: A gang of pirates, the Tinkerbats, led by Risky Boots, attacks Scuttle Town and steals a prototype steam engine from Mimic, the town’s resident treasure hunter. Mimic tells Shantae, the guardian of Scuttle Town, that if Risky retrieves four magical “elemental stones”, she could power up the steam engine and create an unstoppable weapon out of it. Shantae travels across Sequin Land, determined to retrieve the steam engine and the elemental stones and stop Risky.

Plot: Look this isn’t a game that has an amazing plot, but it was fun to play.

Gameplay: Shantae was reminiscent of Banjo-Kazooie for me. Though not quite as good as Banjo-Kazooie, it allowed Shantae to transform into various forms like an Elephant or Monkey. This was a platformer through and through and while it wasn’t especially amazing, it was enough to gain a following, albeit a bit of a cult following. The game was obscured by the launch of the GameBoy Advance and since this was on the GameBoy Color it didn’t receive quite enough attention.

Art: The art is fully 2D, which is good because it’s aged pretty well since 2002.

Music: Don’t remember a whit, if I ever even listened to it. Remember that I played my portable games while traveled when I was younger so having the music on wasn’t really looked on kindly.

Overall: This was a fun game, if somewhat lacking in plot.

For those who like: Platformers, Transformations, Middle Eastern Mythologies, Great Gameplay, Good Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: Steel Wolves of Craedia by G. Akella

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the third entry in the Realm of Arkon series. It’s Steel Wolves of Craedia by G. Akella!

Plot Synopsis: The flames of war spread through the Cursed Princedom to devastating effect. Bound by powerful centuries-old magic, the Great Essences yearn to regain their freedom. In the face of an impossible mission, Krian has no choice but to keep going, while risking everything that’s become dear to him. The only solution is to become stronger and forget the meaning of the word “impossible.” And so a plangent wolf’s howl soars over the battlefield as a plate-clad cavalry rushes the enemy ranks…

Plot: The plot of this third entry is really intense, although there are some light moments. Like with Bonbon, who is a never-ending source of hilarity. This book focuses more on Krian and his growing band of companions that have to deal with the entire province of Craedia and the monsters that live within. That being said there is a portion of the book that focuses on Max and his friends as they level up in the realm of Karn.

Characters: We get introduced to quite a few new characters, all of them quite good. That being said Bonbon is still just too awesome, although Krian still is great as well, Bonbon might just become my favorite side character in the entire series.

Overall: If you enjoyed the first two, you’ll love this third entry.

Manga Monday: Sakigake Otokojuku by Miyashita Akira

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a rather ridiculous Manga. It’s Sakigake Otokojuku by Miyashita Akira!

Plot Synopsis: The genius principal of the private school, Edajima Heihachi, was a war hero during World War II. He trained his students to play an active role in politics, economics and industries in Japan and all over the world, though the way of training is highly anachronistic. Staged in a private boys’ school that teaches ōendan to troubled teenagers. The students are trained to “revive the Spirit of Japan” and mainly engage in fighting courses.

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is pretty freaking ridiculous and while I’ve been told that the series has a Genre Shift later, the first chapter is almost nothing but gags. I don’t have a problem with Gag Manga in general, but they can get grating after a while so knowing that it doesn’t just stick to gags is good. I’ll probably read the entire series eventually, as it’s been completely translated a while ago.

Characters: Tsurigi Momotaro is our protagonist and he fits right in with the rest of the Manga. He has a quote in this first chapter that I wholly agree with. “There’s no place for logic in Otokojuku.” It is pretty much the entire theme of this first chapter.  Edajima on the other hand is completely over the top in his reactions to criticism. I enjoyed both of them immensely.

Art: The art is pretty standard for the era it was written in, which was 1985 when it first ran. That being said it was pretty awesome with tons of detail and shading, and since it’s a Shueisha publication I expect the art will stay pretty uniformly awesome during the entire series.

Overall: If you enjoy Gags and Martial Arts, you’ll enjoy Otokojuku.

For those who like: Action, Comedy, Drama, Gag Manga, Hilarious Plot and Characters, Excellent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

TNT: Breakers Arc 01 by Chwiryong

Hey all I’m back with the first set of chapters in a Korean Novel I just finished reading the other day for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday. It’s Breakers Arc 01 by Chwiryong!

Plot Synopsis: My name is Joo In-gong. The name that my parents gave me meant ‘protagonist’ of the world. As anyone can predict, I was constantly teased due to my name. In kindergarten, elementary school, middle school and high school. If I went to university as planned then I would probably be laughed at there as well. So, at one point, I really hated my name. But not anymore. Now, I think slightly differently. Maybe being named Joo In-gong was a type of foreshadowing?

[Name: Shutra] [Age: 17] [Species: Gandharva] [Occupation: Protagonist] [Uniqueness: Prince, Conquest Knight] This shows my situation on the Assenbah Continent at a glance.

My name is Joo In-gong. A protagonist.

Plot: The plot is pretty great and is a mix of LitRPG with the Isekai/Tensei Genres.  It deals with In-gong being transported to a world that is almost exactly like a game he loved to play except that he isn’t the characters he played in that game, he’s the weakest side character in the entire game… So yea this was a great start to a series that is pretty freaking awesome. I read the entire series or book in just a few days and even better news is that it’s been fully translated. So you don’t need to wait for it to be completed, it already is.

Characters: In-gong or Shutra is our protagonist and he’s pretty much a weakling. However the rest of the cast we get introduced to in these opening chapters is just as amazing. Carack is just an awesome character, and Caitlin is probably one of my favorite characters in the entire series.

Overall: If you love the LitRPG genre or just like a great story, Breakers will be right up your alley. It’s a relatively short series with only 231 chapters, but since it’s been fully translated it’s a worthy trade off.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Politics, Romance, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all that put together?

Retro Game Friday: Rogue Squadron II

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Rogue Squadron. It’s Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader!

Plot: The plot is pretty decent, it follows the exploits of Rogue Squadron during the time of the original trilogy. So we have Luke and Wedge as our player characters.

Gameplay: This is one of my favorite games because of how simple it was to fly the various ships in this game. Lots of games try to make it hard to fly in them, and frankly I find that to be frustrating and shortsighted if it’s purely a single player game. My favorite ship to fly was the A-Wing, I always preferred speed over anything else, but it was quite fun to play all the various ships, including the Buick.

Music: Classic Star Wars, which is great.

Art: The only thing about this game that hasn’t withstood the test of time is the artwork, I’m sure there are mods out there to update the game to make it more palatable in today’s market, but back in the day this was really quite amazing. I remember seeing the E3 Reveal of this game and thinking that I could barely tell if it was a scene from the movie or game footage at first.

Overall: If you love Star Wars, or Combat Flight Sims, you need to play Rogue Squadron II!

Manga Monday: Journey to the West by Zheng Jian He

Hey all, I’m back with another Quick Review for this week’s

Plot Synopsis: The journey to the West was a conspiracy of heaven! After the Sutra (Buddhist sacred texts) went missing for more than a decade, thus Heaven sent its army to search for it. In order not to let the Sutra once again fall into the hands of heaven, the journey to West begin again.

Plot: So this takes the Chinese classic, Journey to the West and turns the whole thing onto it’s head. This first chapter deals with introducing us to the major characters, but it did capture my attention almost immediately. That might be more to do with my fascination with the original Journey to the West though.

Characters: Bai Lang seems to be our main character, and he’s a pretty chill guy. He loves the status quo, although he has a fascination with becoming human. I’m not entirely sure what that is all about, whether this is strictly a character trait of Bai Lang’s or if it is a goal pursued in many pieces of Chinese Literature.  Xiao Yu on the other hand seems to be an interesting young woman. But there seems to be something off about her.

Art: The art is pretty awesome.

Overall: If you like classic Chinese literature you ought to give this a read.

For those who like: Chinese Legends, Action, Adventure, Drama, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Artwork, Interesting Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

TNT: Lazy Dungeon Master Arc 1 by Onikage Spanner

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the first arc in a new series I haven’t covered before. It’s Lazy Dungeon Master Arc 1 by Onikage Spanner!

Plot Synopsis: “Hey, hurry up and massacre those bandits! “No way, I don’t want to work…” Spending my daily life in leisure, that was my pastime—until I was summoned into another world and met a blonde loli introducing herself as Dungeon Core No. 695. “Save my dungeon. By the way, if the dungeon core is destroyed, you’ll also go down with me as the dungeon master.”A dungeon with a single room. Moreover, one already controlled by bandits. This is a [Checkmate] no matter how you look at it. Guess there’s nothing to do but somehow get out of this situation so that I can [Not Work]!!

Plot: I don’t think I’ve ever read from a lazier protagonists’ point of view ever. I mean Keima is smart, but damn is he super lazy. The plot is excellent though.

Characters: I have to admit I like Keima, even if he’s a lazy punk. Rokuko is also pretty interesting, in an adorable airhead sort of way. The rest of the cast is pretty small in this first arc however.

Overall: This is a solid start to a pretty good series, if you can get over the fact that the main desire of the protagonist is to literally lay around in bed all day, every day.