This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a Mario sub-series that is fairly obscure. It’s Mario Golf!
Plot Synopsis: Wait you’re expecting a plot to a game about Golf? Seriously?
Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty boring, in fact this is a pretty lame game. The game was all about hitting the “sweet spot” by tapping the A button at the correct time while aiming towards the hole. If you could do that successfully and repeatedly, the game quickly devolved into a really boring repetition of that single “mini-game”. Now that isn’t to say this was a terrible game, by all accounts it was great for multiplayer, although I never did convince my friends to play the game with me, because “Golf is boring”, so I can’t confirm or deny that.
Art: The art is quite a bit like it came out of Mario 64, which shouldn’t be a surprise to be honest. That means it’s aged incredibly poorly, and the game looks like crap now a days.
Music: It’s Mario music, but toned down because you’re playing “Golf”.
Overall: Skip this game, it’s really, really not worth going out of your way to even bother playing it.
For those who like: Golf, Sports, Mario, Repetitive Minigames.
Merry Christmas everyone! This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Gunjou ni Siren by Momokuri Mikan!
Plot Synopsis: Two guys: cousins, both left-handed, both passionate about becoming their school team’s best pitcher. One of them has already lost the spot once – back in elementary school – and his cousin moved away not long after, seemingly clueless to the fact that he was leaving the guy who introduced him to baseball dispirited and defeated…
Plot: The plot is decent, and more than a bit melodramatic. I don’t mind the melodrama all that much, but it did feel a touch over the top, and I’ve got a tolerance for that sort of thing. I only read this first chapter, but I definitely enjoyed reading it quite a bit. Sadly it doesn’t have many translated chapters out there yet, and due to being sick still (I’m writing this in advance) I didn’t have the bandwidth or brain power needed to sort out the untranslated chapters.
Characters: Shuuji is our main character and he’s a pretty mopey guy. I honestly don’t like him. He’s incredibly bitter over something that is pretty minor. Sorry, but losing your spot in a grade school sports team isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. Sora on the other hand seems to either be incredibly good at masking his true feelings or is just clueless. Personally I’m thinking it’s clueless, but who knows.
Art: I’d make a comment about how it’s Shueisha level work, but after checking the publication information it turns out that they do publish it. So yea, guess it does.
Overall: A good read, with sadly very few chapters released in English.
For those who like: Drama, Sports, School Life, Angst, Great Artwork.
This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Mr Fullswing by Suzuki Shinya!
Plot Synopsis: Saruno Amakuni is a 15-year-old student of Junishi High School. As a teenage boy, he desperately tries to find a girlfriend. Being fed up with seeing all the girls fall in love with high school athletes, he decides to join a sports-club himself. He starts looking around at the different sports clubs with the guidance of his friend, Sawamatsu Kengo. They go to check out the weight lifting club (of which there is only one member, a large, frighteningly buff guy), only for Saruno to see a girl that he assumes to be the manager of the club and show off for her. After sufficiently hurting himself, he helps the girl, Torii Nagi , carry some weights off somewhere, and while talking to her finds out that she is actually a manager for the baseball club, not the weight lifting club…
Plot: The plot of this first chapter is full of gags, and it gets more than a little bit annoying. Frankly I’m really not interested in continuing to read this series. Maybe it gets better later on in the series, but basing my judgement off this first chapter (which is the whole purpose of my Quick Reviews) I’m not going to count on it.
Characters: Frankly I don’t like Amakuni, he’s a perverted brat who continuously makes a fool of himself. The rest of the cast isn’t that great either, in fact the only semi likable character is Nagi, but she’s pretty shallowly represented in this first chapter so I can’t get a good read on her as a character.
Art: The art is the only good thing about the series, which shouldn’t be a surprise as it’s published by Shueisha.
Overall: Based on this first chapter it’s an easily skippable Sports series.
For those who like: Sports, Baseball, School Life.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above and/or Mediocrity.
Hey all I’m back with another new series of the Summer 2017 season for this week’s Anime Sunday. It’s my Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions!
Plot Synopsis: An aimless Japanese youth named Fujita Tatara, is heading back home after school when he recognizes someone from his school entering a building. While looking at the sign outside he’s accosted by delinquents.. However after a person on a motorcycle comes to his rescue he’s suddenly thrust into the building….
Plot: The plot of this first episode is pretty great. It had enough of a hook for me to watch every available episode at the time back to back (5 at the time). While I won’t say that it’s bad to watch on weekly basis, I found the enjoyment of the story was better for me if I binged watched the series. Ballroom is a 2-cour series, so it’ll have two seasons of episodes to watch if you want to hold off on watching it till everything is aired.
Characters: Tatara is a pretty typical kid, but I really enjoy him as a main character. Hanaoka Shizuku is one of the female leads, and while she’s the first we encounter I actually don’t like her all that much. She doesn’t really give off much emotion so it’s hard to relate to her. Sengoku, Tatara’s mentor is a pretty hilarious guy, and fairly intense as well. The rest of the cast is good too.
Art: The artwork is pretty awesome, and while it may seem a little off at first, it will quickly grow on you. It’ll make more sense as you continue watching the series.
Music: The score definitely fits perfectly for the series. Even the opening and ending themes quickly grow on you.
Overall: Definitely worth a try and while there are some awkward moments for the most part this series won’t make you cringe.
For those who like: Ballroom Dancing, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Artwork, Awesome Musical Score.
This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a series from the creator of Kuroko no Basuke. It’s Robot x Laserbeam by Fujimaki Tadatoshi!
Plot Synopsis: When a high school boy who’s been nicknamed “Robot” due to his unemotional demeanour and lack of social skills encounters golf for the first time, his life takes a dramatic turn.
Plot: The plot isn’t quite as ridiculous as Kuroko, where Kuroko is constantly surprising people due to his lack of presence. That’s actually a good thing. Because, at least in this first chapter, everything that was shown is actually possible by normal people, given enough practice with golf. I can actually personally attest to that, as while what Robot does is not easy at all, it’s possible. I’ve been told by pretty decent golfers, including my step-father whose gotten a hole-in-one on one of the toughest golf holes I’ve ever seen and that includes really famous professional courses, that my own form is pretty good, but that I had trouble with the control of power. Most people have the problem the other way around, easy to gauge power but keeping your form in the correct stance is difficult.
Characters: Robot is a pretty emotionless guy, and while he’s noticeable unlike Kuroko they both are pretty awkward in social contexts. Tomoya, Robot’s friend is a pretty decent guy as well, although his form is pretty terrible, which Robot comments on.
Art: It’s excellent which considering who is the Mangaka and the publisher that should come as no surprise to anyone.
Overall: This is a must read for any Sports Manga fans. It might be a bit less action intense than Kuroko, but it’s still good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Anime of this series in a year or two.
For those who like: Sports, Golf, Excellent Plot Fantastic Characters, Amazing Artwork.
This week I’m back with another Quick Review for Manga Monday. It’s Grand Blue by Inoue Kenji!
Plot Synopsis: A new life begins for Kitahara Iori as he begins his college career near the ocean in Izu city, full of excitement for his new life. He will be moving into his Uncle’s diving store “Grand Blue.” There he finds the beautiful ocean, beautiful women, and men that love diving and alcohol. Will Iori be able to live his college life dream?
Plot: The plot is really sort of sparse in this first chapter, it starts off pretty similarly to a bunch of other series, but quickly devolves. In fact as soon as Iori encounters most of his uncle’s clientele playing Strip-Baseball-Scissors the chapter goes off the rails. It was amusing at first, but it got old pretty quickly.
Characters: Iori is probably one of my least favorite main characters I’ve read yet. If only because he quickly succumbs to peer pressure and starts playing Strip-Baseball-Scissors and gets hammered… The rest of the cast isn’t that great either.
Art: The art is great however, and probably the only saving grace this series has. The ridiculous faces are pretty hilarious as well.
Overall: This might be a fun series to read for those who like to read about drunkards, but otherwise it’s a series to avoid.
For those who like: Drunkards, Strip-Baseball-Scissors, Diving, Great Artwork.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’ve got an old game I keep forgetting to cover. It’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater!
Gameplay: There wasn’t any plot, the point of the game was to score the highest amount of points by performing tricks in the various levels. There were also secrets to be found by exploring said levels as well. Frankly looking back the gameplay of this game wasn’t super spectacular, which isn’t surprising given that I’ve forgotten to cover the game until now. That being said despite it being simple it was one of the best selling games of the time.
Art: It’s dated poorly, but given that it was released during the N64 era of consoles, that isn’t surprising at all.
Music: It wasn’t well done, and could easily be noticed that it was looping.
Overall: If you get the chance to play it, go ahead, but there are games out there with more depth and they are probably a better way to spend your time.
For those who like: Skateboarding, Sports, Tricks, Simple Gameplay.