Video Game Tuesday: My Games of the Year 2017 Edition

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering my picks for my favorites of this year. It’s My Games of the Year 2017 Edition!

Best Gameplay: Tales of Berseria is by far my favorite JRPG of all time, it’s got an amazing combat system and an equally amazing story with a really kickass female lead who has tons of character depth. Berseria allowed even people with minor physical disabilities like myself to enjoy the hell out of the combat system while still feeling like you were growing in skill along with the characters growth in the game. By the time I was done playing this game I was at the hardest difficulty setting in the Post Game Dungeon beating the hell out of enemies with Mystic Artes Chains while doing tons of damage. Not many games allow for people to really grow into the combat system and still feel like it’s got depth enough to be interesting endlessly. Berseria captured that quality easily, and that’s why it’s getting my Best Gameplay award.

Best Story: This was a close one for me between Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood and Tales of Berseria. However as Berseria is it’s own complete game and FFXIV is somewhat episodic given it’s nature, I had to give the award to Berseria.  It was really close though.

Best Artwork: I might hate everything else about the game, but Destiny 2 was pretty freaking beautiful to look at. However that’s about the only good thing it had going for it. However tying this was Stormblood, it’s got a less realistic art style, but it’s no less beautiful and it had a hell of a lot more locations to explore.

Best Musical Score: Final Fantasy XIV has always impressed me with it’s amazing musical score done by the incredibly talented Masayoshi Soken. The only gripe I have is that the Stormblood OST hasn’t been released yet! I want to listen to the sounds of the Azim Steppes while I’m writing or enjoying the thrilling pace of Stormblood’s exquisite Primal fight themes while on a walk to the store. Needless to say that Stormblood impressed the hell out of me, and while the currently released music of Stormblood hasn’t exceeded the awesomeness that is the Sophia boss theme it’s equaled it many, many times.

Best Mobile Game: Fate/Grand Order wins this one. Sure it’s got some serious grinding going on, Christmas Stocking farming sucked, but the story and lack of any competitive mode made it the top Mobile Game for me. I don’t like PvP modes all that much, so the fact that F/GO doesn’t have one isn’t a bad thing.

Overall: This was a really close one for me, but Berseria beat out Stormblood based purely off the same fact that it’s not an MMO that has content patches. That enclosed experience was amazing, and while Stormblood is without doubt the most fun I’ve had playing a MMO including the days of Tarren Mill versus Southshore on a PvP server, it isn’t a fully enclosed experience. So Berseria wins this one again.

Runner up: Stormblood for reasons stated above.

A Distant Third: Fate/Grand Order, it’s at least upfront about what you’re getting into, unlike a certain space shooter…. even if you have shit luck at anything RNG like me.

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Anime Sunday: Winners of Winter 2017

Hey all! This Anime Sunday I’m back with my pick of winners for the previous season of Anime, and yes this post has been highly delayed. Sorry about that, but circumstances and my decision to post on an every other day schedule for a while have only let me do a few Anime Sunday columns since I started posting again. Anyways it’s my Winners of Winter 2017!

Youjo Senki: This was a great show to watch and I highly enjoyed watching a villainous protagonist. Sure it might have been a tad too gory for my tastes, but it was a fun show to watch nonetheless.

Dragon Maid: This was an absolutely hilarious show, and I enjoyed watching it thoroughly. If you enjoy some off beat comedy, Dragon Maid was the highlight of the season in my opinion.

ACCA-13: This was a surprisingly fun show to watch, with plenty of political intrigue and drama. It’s art style was also pretty neat.

Honorable Mentions:

Tales of Zestiria the X: The second half of the Tales of Zestiria adaptation, I never got to watch it, but I’m happy ufotable was able to create something that took the story of both Zestiria and Berseria and wove them together.

Naruto Shippuden: This had it’s final episode in this season, and while the “sequel” has started with Boruto, it still deserves a mention.

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

Anime Sunday: Winners of 2016

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This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering the best of last year’s Anime. It’s my Winners of 2016!

GATE: I’ve enjoyed watching GATE an episode at a time with my Aunt every few weeks and having ended in Winter 2016, it deserves this spot for the wonderful story it showed me and her.

Boku no Hero Academia: Boku no Hero was an awesome show to watch for all of us who at one point or another all wanted to be a superhero.

ReZero: ReZero wowed the world in 2016, and if you haven’t watched it yet you are truly missing out. This might just have been the best show this year.

Yuri on Ice: Yuri on Ice pushed the boundaries of animation and storytelling this year and stunned viewers with your beautiful choreography. YOI impressed even Olympic skaters. This is the big contender for best of the year with ReZero in my books.

3-gatsu: 3-gatsu shows the story of a boy who deals with depression in a way even the most dense person can understand. Just for that it deserves a spot on this list, the fact that it has an awesome story as well is icing on the cake.

Honorable Mentions:

Tales of Zestiria the X: Animated by my favorite studio ufotable, ToZX was an awesome show to watch, but it also included story and characters from the yet to be released in the west Tales of Berseria, so I can’t give it a formal spot because of that.

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

Anime Sunday: Most Anticipated Winter 2017 Anime

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Happy New Years All! This week’s Anime Sunday is looking at the coming season. It’s my Most Anticipated Winter 2017 Anime!

Yojou Senki: This is apparently a very well done Light Novel series, but I’ve never read it, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out. Given that it’s had a collaboration with Overlord this should prove to be a fun, if slightly evil series.

Kuzu no Honkai: Also known as Scum’s Wish, this will be a series I intend on watching as I enjoy the Manga quite a bit. Since the series will be finished by the end of the Winter 2016 season, I’m hoping they won’t try to squeeze the plot into too few episodes and cause pacing problems.

Tales of Zestiria the X Second Season: Seriously, I loved this game, and while I did stop watching the first season midway through due to not wanting to spoil myself for Tales of Berseria, I still will end up watching this series, hopefully by the end of February at the latest. This is after all being animated by ufotable, the best studio out there.

Hand Shakers: This is produced by the same people who brought us the K series, a series I’m very fond of. So I’ve got high hopes for this new series by the same people. Hopefully it’s just as excellent as K.

CHAOS;CHILD: This is adapted from a Visual Novel that is apparently very excellent, so I’m looking forward to watching this. Hopefully it sticks to one route only, otherwise it’ll turn out like many other VN adaptations.

Konosuba 2: This was a pretty funny series, and it’s getting a second season this season. I’ll be watching it if only to try and forget the horrible year that was 2016.

ēlDLIVE: This is an adaptation of a Manga by the creator of Reborn, so I’m looking forward to this if only for the art style as I’ve always enjoyed his art style.

Honorable Mentions:

Masamune-Kun no Revenge: This is a Romcom, something I tend to stay away from, but after 2016 I think we can all use some more lighthearted moments.

Fuuka: I stopped reading the Manga a while ago, but Kouji Seo always does romances pretty well, so this gets an honorable mention.

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

Video Game Tuesday: JRPGs and Turn-Based Combat

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic I hear thrown about way too much. It’s all about JRPGs and Turn-Based Combat!

What do you mean too much?: I mean that I hear people critique many JRPGs or call them not pure JRPGs because they don’t use Turn-Based Combat like Final Fantasy or Pokemon. First off that’s a load of crap, what seperates a JRPG from a Western RPG is the way the story is handled.  The lack of a coherent story without having to dig through hours worth of lore and tool tips is something that JRPGs lack and are a huge point in their favor for me. WRPGs tend to be much more open about how you can proceed with the story, or not proceed with it at all and just adventure. Morrowind is the perfect example of a WRPG. Secondly the Final Fantasy series has used the Active Time Battle System since the fourth entry in the series. so you FFVII fans out there calm yourselves before raising up in arms against me.

But JRPGs aren’t JRPGs without Turn Based Combat!: I call bull on that, there are plenty of JRPGs that don’t use Turn Based Combat and they are excellent games, my favorite JRPG of all time Tales of Zestiria doesn’t use it all and that was a strength for it. In fact it’s the entire reason that Zestiria won it’s place over Chrono Trigger for me. I hate Chrono Trigger’s combat system because of it’s sometimes clunky nature. Zestiria had amazing combat in comparison. Final Fantasy XV, the one that just got released a couple weeks ago, has no turn based action at all as well. It just might be my favorite battle system outside of a Tales of game I’ve played.

So just because a JRPG doesn’t use turn based combat doesn’t mean it’s not a pure JRPG, and it doesn’t mean it’s bad.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Video Game Tuesday: Dual Audio

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that I, and many others, place a lot of value on. It’s all about Dual Audio!

What do you mean Dual Audio?: I mean the ability to switch between two different languages in a Video Games settings to allow for the main spoken word in the game to be one language instead of the localized version, if the player wishes to do so. Tales of Zestiria, still my all time favorite JRPG, had the ability to switch between English and Japanese at any time out of battle through the settings menu and it was wonderful. The emotions and feelings of the characters came through so much better with the original Japanese dub instead of the English dub. This option should be included in every game that gets localized into another language.

Why?: Because even if you don’t understand the words themselves the emotions are very clear in a person’s tone of voice. Plus what is the subtitle option, which you are going to turn on anyway, used for except for just such things? Now if you actually understand the language and the localization is done poorly, looking at you Digimon Cyber Sleuth and SAO: Lost Song, you can get confused by the conflicting messages of the voice and the text. However that is a problem that is becoming less and less prevalent in today’s games. Most games have excellent Localization. Tales of Zestiria for example was wonderfully done, and while there was maybe one or two points that the text didn’t quite match what the voice was actually saying, it was spot on.

What about (Insert language here) to (Insert your native language here)?: Well it doesn’t just have to be Japanese to English, The Ezio set of Assassin’s Creed games had options to allow you to set the language to French or Spanish or Italian. The last in particular was awesome because the game was set in Italy for the most part and you could just read the subtitles to get the specifics while hearing the emotions being spoken in the actual language that the character would use.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, do you want more Dual Audio in games in the future? Leave a comment below!

Anime Sunday: Winners of Summer 2016

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This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering my favorites from this latest season of Anime! It’s my Winners of Summer 2016!

ReZero: ReZero has proven to be an absolutely fantastic series from start to finish, and I’m really sad that the current Anime is over, although considering that it just overtook the Light Novels (but not the Web Novel) I’m not too unhappy. Maybe we’ll get another season of this wonderful Anime in the future, because we could all use more of Rem the Best Girl.

Qualidea Code: I really don’t like this Anime’s first episode, but like I mentioned in my first episode impressions a few weeks back I really advise watching the first four episodes (including the credits) before making any judgement.

orange: I enjoyed this series quite a bit, and while it’s not at all action oriented or even really exciting I was pleased with the way it went down. Besides if the original source material was an award winner among thousands of other entries, than it has to be good.

Tales of Zestiria the X: I want to mention this series as it definitely had the best art quality, although ReZero came really, really close. ufotable is my favorite studio for good reason and Zestiria’s Anime adaptation was another trophy in their case already packed with them. I do want to mention that I didn’t continue watching the series past episode 3, because it ends up touching upon Tales of Berseria, a pre-sequel set in the same world as Zestiria and since it hasn’t come out in the West yet I won’t be watching the rest of this series until I finish playing the game to avoid spoiling myself. Also I heard that the ufotable will be animating more seasons of the Zestiria so I’ll probably wait till they’re all out as well.

Honorable Mentions:

Love Live Sunshine: I didn’t enjoy the Anime, but the music of the multimedia project is always fun to listen to when I’m bored or doing something that requires me to use the writing or reading portion of my brain.

Masou Gakuen HxH: For being taken off the air; This was due to it’s risque material that was too much even for a certain Japanese Broadcasting Company. You have to try really hard to do that, and that’s also why I never covered it during the season in my columns. I didn’t want to get into trouble with my Editor at GiN. I could’ve probably worked something out, but I just didn’t want to spend the time on doing so when I could cover a series like Qualidea Code.

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