Anime Sunday: Most Anticipated Summer 2018 Anime

This week for Anime Sunday I’m looking ahead. It’s my Most Anticipated Summer 2018 Anime!

Isekai Maou to Shoukan Dorei Majutsu: This is an Isekai series, I’ve heard it’s a fairly funny series with a ridiculously OP main character. Whether it’s any good remains to be seen, but it’s a pretty okay Light Novel series.

Hyakuren no Haou to Seiyaku no Valkyria: This is another Isekai series, but this time the main character isn’t some OP bad ass and actually has to work his ass off and isn’t given any help from pretty much anyone upon arriving in a new world. I’m unsure on this series as I haven’t read it’s original Light Novels, but given the synopsis and the fact that the main character isn’t some walking nuke I’m interested.

Happy Sugar Life: This is a Horror series. If you want to know how screwed up humans can be, you might want to watch this. Me I’m just watching it because it’s more psychological horror rather than a traditional horror series. I might regret it, but I’ll be giving it a shot.

Honorable Mentions:

Fate/Extra Last Encore: The second season of Last Encore, this will continue the weird adaptation of a game I really need to finish playing.

One Room Season Two: I enjoyed these short form Anime last year, and I’ve been a fan of the main artist for this series. So I’ll be giving this a quick watch.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday.

Advertisements

Sensate Saturday: Emotions and Stories

emotions_and_stories

This week for Sensate Saturday I’m covering a topic I’ve been pondering for a long time. It’s all about Emotions and Stories.

What do I mean Emotions and Stories: Well it’s the personal belief that I hold that any story that can make me feel something intense* is a good story. Longtime readers will know that I don’t use a scoring system unless I’m required to do so like on my Game Reviews for GiN. Even then, I still prefer not to make them, and I often forget that I need to add them. My editor has often had to remind me to include my scores in the review. I don’t generally give something my time unless I view it as a decent story, or I’m trying something out. I’ll be blunt if I feel it’s lacking, and sometimes brutally so, but I don’t think any story is particularly bad even if it has parts I don’t like because they make me feel sorrowful. Mistborn is one of my favorite series of all time, but I can’t stand reading or listening to the books past a certain point because it just makes me too sad knowing the outcome of the story.

Alright so that’s great and all, but so what?: Well it’s why I write the way I do, I won’t take away the feeling that a story can evoke in you as a consumer by spoiling something. It’s also why after reading a good story I always feel very slightly differently afterwards. A character might be incredibly brutal, but does so in order to protect his friends and family, a thought that until I read a story where the main character is just such a character I would’ve felt would be inherently wrong or evil. But after reading that story I was able to understand somethings about why we as Humans sometimes act the way we do. Not every story is able to make such a clear “lesson” for me, but I know I’m influenced heavily by all stories I consume. A story where a character I have known throughout the entire story suddenly and unexpectedly dying might hit me pretty hard emotionally and I might be out of it for a few hours afterwards.

Personally I don’t know if other people get so emotionally invested and feel such intense feelings like I do, but for me it’s a side effect of being such a story fanatic and lover. I’ve always preferred a good story to the point that I used sit around the elders when I was visiting my Father and going to a friend of his, someone I might have met once in passing, for a meal. Even when I was much younger I would sit around the table to listen to stories rather than go play with any kids around my age. For me a story was much more interesting than any sort of playtime I could’ve had with fellow kids. Was it mentally healthy for me to grow up like that?  I don’t know, I’m not a psychologist. I just consume stories and write about my thoughts about those stories.

That’s it for this week’s Sensate Saturday! Thanks for reading my ramble, I promise to get back to a more routine topic next week! Any comments or thoughts are definitely welcome below!

1: My only exception to the rule is disgust in the story as a whole, not any particular part. Twilight is such an exception and for many, many reasons.

Video Game Tuesday: WoW vs. FFXIV

ff14

For this week’s Video Game Tuesday I’m going to be talking about the differences between WoW vs. FFXIV.

Art: Let’s get the obvious one out of the way, the art styles are completely different in each game, but FFXIV has the advantage of being newer and it blows WoW out of the water in terms of Art. There are some impacts however to having such great looking art assests however. Winner: FFXIV

Open Connected World: WoW has the advantage here with most of their content out in the world having no loading screens, FFXIV has great looking areas, but they are behind loading screens. This wasn’t originally the case, but with A Realm Reborn they broke up the 6 main zones into smaller pieces to reduce server strain.  Winner: WoW

Customization: WoW added the Transmogrification system in patch 4.3, and it helped add a bit of customization to their game. But it didn’t add much, you still never see your characters body under all that armor unless you run around naked, and the body itself isn’t customizable all that much. In contrast FFXIV allows for vast amounts of customization from character height to hair color highlights. In addition their version of the Transmog system, the Glamour system allows for all sorts of customization of the character and they even added fun items that you can glamour onto your battle gear like a Santa outfit, or even no clothes out all (well except for the standard undergarments each race wears). Not only that, but where as WoW recently introduced the Garrison System, their take on Player Housing, FFXIV has truly customizable Player Housing in their game, for both their guild system (called Free Companies or FCs) and private player owned housing. Winner: FFXIV

Combat Gameplay: The combat gameplay is pretty similar between both of the games, the only difference really is the fact that you can play FFXIV on the PlayStation systems. This does have some impact on things which I’ll cover later. Winner: Neither.

Crafting Systems: The crafting sytem in WoW is really basic, and while it is easier to level up it’s not that fulfilling compared to FFXIV’s crafting system. It’s certainly much more complicated, but once you get into it it’s quite fun. Winner: FFXIV

Gathering Systems: WoW has the better gathering systems, where FFXIV had such a great crafting system they tried to do the same thing for gathering and it just doesn’t work as well. You can still fail at gathering something even with a very high percentage of success, like 97%, and it will occur often. This means leveling up the gathering profession is not only frustrating, but very difficult to do. Winner: WoW

Storyline: FFXIV has the better story hands down by far with their plot making you feel like an epic hero by the end of Act 1 of a Realm Reborn and even though you still get some menial tasks, it’s joked about quite a bit by NPCs, it’s not nearly as bad as the ones that WoW seems to have endlessly.

Questing: FFXIV has the better quests, with some of them having voiced cutscenes and others being just awesome. You’d never get a questline like the Hildibrand quest line in World of Warcraft. Hildibrand’s questline was the most I’ve ever laughed in an MMORPG due to the game and not something a player did. Winner: FFXIV easily

Modding: WoW has allowed mods to be made for their game allowing players to make things like Deadly Boss Mods, or Auctioneer which help out greatly in the game. FFXIV has none of these things, but makes up for it with having most of the functions of mods being in built into the game. You can’t customize the look of your action bars like in WoW, but you don’t need to. Things like Auctioneer or DBM or DPS meters however aren’t in the game and while some people complain about it, and PC users use third party programs to do it anyway for some things, it’s a bannable offense to do so. Winner: Neither, WoW requires certain mods to be played with anything other than perfection, FFXIV doesn’t require it of you, but you won’t progress far in endgame content with subpar skills like you could do in WoW with DBM.

Raids: WoW has the more clever and interesting mechanics for raids, but because they are done assuming 99% of the player base is using boss mods to help with them they can do so. FFXIV on the other hand has less interesting raid mechanics, but has more fulfillment because you have to rely purely on your teams skill to complete. Winner: FFXIV, because it’s much more skill based than WoW.

Class System: FFXIV allows you to be everything with one character, which is quite fun. However doing so means you need to grind out the additional classes to level them up, which isn’t that fun. WoW on the other hand only allows one character to be one class.  Regarding class feel the advantage goes to FFXIV because each class is quite different visually and mechanically. Winner: FFXIV

Overall: I enjoyed WoW quite a bit, but the story of the RTS games never really got into the MMO. FFXIV has a great storyline and is a fun MMO at the same time, which for me makes it the winner. Others will disagree, or point out that I’m not touching on Mythic raids in WoW. You are right, I’m not covering those things because those things require a time and skill investment of hundreds upon hundreds of hours to participate in. Mythic level raids are great, but to be honest you’d never complete those things without something like DBM, FFXIV doesn’t give you that choice and requires pure skill for their most difficult content. Winner: FFXIV

Retro Game Friday: Mega Man ZX

megaman_zx

This week on Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel series to Mega Man Zero! It’s Mega Man ZX!

Plot Synopsis: Mega Man ZX takes place 200 years after the end of the Mega Man Zero series, in the year 25XX. in which humans and Reploids now coexist peacefully. After some time of peace and prosperity; humans, reploids, and the Humanoids (cyborgs in the Mega Man ZX universe) of Earth manage to revive some of the former Nations. After which, several incidents of mechanical lifeforms becoming Mavericks. The Mavericks made several areas dangerous. Trading between nations became obstructed, which caused the nations to become divided into utopia-like cities such as “Innerpeace.” These cities became safe havens for peaceful reploids, humans and humanoids. The dangerous Mavericks known as Mechaniloids began to appear in the outlands and threatened the peace. The utopia-like cities and the outlands were divided into separate Areas and remarkable developments were made due to the efforts of the corporation Slither Inc. Slither Inc. possessed technology unearthed from ruins in the Outlands. Peaceful life in Innerpeace is maintained by using the technology offered by Slither Inc. Still, Maverick attacks occur in the frontier regions, which are more exposed to the enemy. To repel the attacks, the humanoids in these areas developed an organization devoted to the defending their region. This organization is known as the Guardians. The Guardians defend the Outlands and investigate the cause of the Maverick attacks. The original leader of the Guardians disappears during the investigation of an Outlands area.

Ten years prior to the beginning of the story, the protagonists, Vent (ヴァン Van) and Aile (エール Ēru) lose their mother to a Maverick raid in the amusement park and become orphans. They were taken in by Girouette (ジルウェ Jiruwe) or Giro, the owner of Giro Express, which is a delivery service delivering all kinds of items. Giro is contacted by an unknown person to deliver an important package to a rendezvous point in the Area A forest.

Plot: The plot is actually pretty decent, nothing spectacular however. I enjoyed the fact that it introduced new characters that wasn’t X or Zero, although they do make small cameos sort of.

Characters: I played as Aile first and then played as Vent, there were very few differences between the characters except for some lines of dialogue. Giro was easily my favorite character in the game.

Gameplay: It plays quite a bit like Mega Man Zero, although the ability to switch between different models in combat to fit the situtation was quite nice.My favorite was Model HX although Model ZX is quite fun.

Art: It looks and feels a lot like Mega Man Zero and that’s not a bad thing.

Music: I actually listened to the music for this game! It was amazing.

Overall: If you haven’t played this yet, you ought to as it’s just good fun.

For those who like: Mega Man, Mega Man Zero, Sidescrollers, Gameplay that is actually Difficult.

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

Video Game Tuesday: What do my clan mates want for Destiny 2

destiny_cover_art

This week for Video Game Tuesday I promised some friends of mine to mention them in an article, and I thought of a perfect way of doing so!

Preface: I’m only including one name of each person in order to preserve their anonymity. Also I did this on the spur of the moment and I’m writing this last minute with a raging fever and racking cough. Please forgive any errors in spelling, grammar or anything else that may occur.

My clan’s wants for Destiny 2:

Chris: He wants Destiny to become more of an MMO than it already is, he prefers the way MMO’s do somethings (like expanded Inventory and Hotkey functionality)

Craig: Expanded Story, someone had to say it! Hopefully next week’s The Dark Below brings a more coherent story to Destiny in-game.

Lantner: He wants more loot to flow like Borderlands games; personally I think the way they do it already is okay, they just need to up the chances of getting gear from drops instead of Ascendant Materials.

Sean: He wants the story to be like Interstellar, in fact he just wants Bungie to straight up use that as the backstory. Unfortunately I think this is very unlikely to happen due to copyright infringements.

Feldman: He wants the Grimoire cards in game and in the loading screens (how about placing an unread Grimoire Card in the loading screens Bungie?)

Al: He wants Minigames (Like Racing or Spaceship flying; they would be completely optional and players could avoid the hassle by choosing to enjoy a loading screen instead in between planets and the Tower.) Please do this!

Myself: I’d love to be able to fly around in my Outrageous Fortune and blast enemy ships in a “Hyperspace” like tunnel ala star fox or hell Bungie’s excellent Space flight section of Halo: Reach.

Other comments that got thrown out during the conversation that I gathered answers in; but I can’t remember due to that raging fever who said what:

Exotic lore in game maybe through their bounty quests? Something like learning what the grimoire cards tell about some Exotics like Thorn’s ones.

No Exotics earned through PvP. Lots of players hate the Crucible, and while I enjoy a game every month or so, I don’t want to grind for an exotic for hours in it.

What do you want in Destiny 2. Leave a comment below and I’ll probably respond shortly thereafter (it all depends on this cold I got).

Light Novel Thursday: ELYSION virtual region by Kazuma Jouchi

elysion

This week on Light Novel Thursday I’m going over one of those rare completed series. It’s ELYSION virtual region by Kazuma Jouchi.

Plot Synopsis: An incredibly athletic older brother, Tenryo Taiga. A programming genius girl, Tenryo Fuyuki. Siblings separated for 8 years ended up living under one roof again. After facing the problem a lack of funds for living expenses, so Fuyuki proposes a way to earn money. A core system deeply involved in people’s daily lives, a game that awards you money as a prize for defeating malicious bugs in the cyber world, the《Aries》 structure.

Plot: The plot isn’t amazing, as all the main two females are after Taiga, with one of them being his sister he’s understandably uncomfortable around her. The action scenes are interesting however, but I can’t help but think this series wasn’t doing well and got canned, as I haven’t finished the last volume yet. Though with only three volumes maybe it was just a short series nothing amazingly long like Toaru is, which is sitting at 32 volumes released so far.

Characters: Taiga is a musclebrained idiot for the most part, although he can pull out his bad ass when he’s pushed. Fuyuki is clingy and slightly annoying, in fact I actually don’t like her all that much. Rui is a much more interesting character, and probably my favorite one, although that might be because her weapon program in《Aries》are these little gems that turn into different weapons when thrown.

Art: The art is quite good however and I really wouldn’t mind seeing more of the nauribon’s work.

Overall: If you don’t mind hating one of two main characters read this series, otherwise go read Toaru instead.

For those who like: Science-Fiction, Virtual Reality stories, Gaming stories, Bad ass main characters.

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

 

Retro Game Friday: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

castlevania

This week I’m covering Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. It’s my favorite DS Castlevania game.

Plot Synopsis: The story occurs in Dracula’s castle and is set in 1944 Europe during World War II. In addition to the castle, the main characters explore various different paintings that have been constructed by Brauner, a villain. The paintings act as portals to new areas and feature a distinct look that is different from the main castle.

Plot: The plot is decent, not amazing though.

Gameplay: The gameplay is however really good, I enjoy the partner system immensely.

Music: The music is amazing, although not quite as good as Symphony of the Night.

Art: Since it’s based off Symphony of the Night it’s great, but expect model recycling except for some new characters and Death and Drac getting a new model.

Overall: If you like Metroidvania games play this one.

For those who like: Exploration, Action, Adventure, Castlevania, Metroid.

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