Chaos Blogg 51: Valiant Hearts

4 games for you today folks and some anime. It’s all downloadable titles so I think you can get most of these on steam which is probably a good way to get these games on the cheap. Are they worth the price? Well lets find out. Oh right, here’s some remixes.

Battleblock Theatre (PC): 

This game may well be the funniest game of the year, or at the very one of the funniest I’ve played this year (rivalled by the Stanley parable). Received as an unexpected gift fromcelsium (who you may know as Ghandi and excellent streamer and a very generous person) I somewhat quickly started this game only to put it on the back-burner in favour of completing other things (see last blogg). However I resumed playing eventually and really enjoyed myself with this game, in fact I intend to go back and explore further at some point provided I have someone wanting to join me. The key draw of this game is the presentation: the beautiful cartoon art-style, the wacky yet simple character designs, the wonderful and comedic narration and voice acting by Stamper (whose normal work is actually kind of gross and it seems he produces amazing stuff when he has to actually censor himself to a degree), the awesome heart pounding and somewhat catchy soundtrack, and the overall level of polish. The gameplay itself is a rather standard platform affair, with elements of puzzle games and collect-a-thons thrown in. Each world consists of 9 regular levels, 2 finale levels and 3 encore levels which are often very brutal. To complete a level you need to find 3 gems and enter the exit, however the finales and encores race you against a timer which I personally don’t like but it’s often easier to A++ these levels than the regular sort. The game uses a grading system depending on how many gems/yarn you collect and how fast you collect everything, and since I’m a somewhat obsessive collector I collected most of the gems and yarn except for the ones in the final encore which can go suck on bull testicles. For the most part the platforming is straightforward and the levels are well designed with plenty of secrets, however there’s some moments where the game feels like a user made level used to dick with people and to force them to use exploits and shit. I’m guessing in those moments I missed something but luckily enough the game gives you shortcut items that can help you out of trouble. Overall the game-play is solid and quite fun, even if I wouldn’t say it’s anything extraordinary. Forgot to mention but the controls are fluid and suit the level design, it all meshes well together. As for longevity well the game has a level creator which is rather in-depth and kind of fun, it reminded me of when I used to play Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 and made levels in that game. There’s also a lot of multiplayer content including various versus modes and a co-op story mode that changes the level design to suit co-operative play. So even if the game is short by your standards there should be quite a bit here to engross you for a long period of time, assuming you have the creative and/or friends. I could probably recommend this game for the presentation factors alone, however the gameplay is also fun and worth playing. Just a reminder but I’m not sure which features are exclusive to PC so you should into that if you want to purchase this game.

Valiant Hearts: The great war (XBLA):

This game is great and it’s without a doubt my favourite game included in this post. Valiant Hearts is a puzzle adventure type game of a rather linear nature, the puzzles for the most part are intuitive and the game often allows some very minor exploration where you can find historical artefacts. For the most part it’s a linear experience that’s also quite relaxing doesn’t require too much skill. However there are some action sections to spice up game play, these include taxi levels where you need to avoid obstacles, some levels that have some stealth mechanics, levels where you control tanks and moments of gameplay that require a mini-rhythm game. These different styles of gameplay keep everything feeling diverse and stop the game getting stale, in fact they make for great pacing and variety. The only complaint I could give is that some of them have achievements that require 100% accuracy which means replaying/restarting levels over and over again which gets a little tedious. Another minor complaint is that some collectible objects blend into the ground even when highlighting is on. Overall the gameplay is fun and I enjoyed most of the level and puzzle designs. Music wise it seems Valiant Hearts is filled with a lot of classic (styled?) music and it seems a lot of the soundtrack was used from other sources, but I could be wrong about that. Either way the soundtrack is filled with beautiful pieces that fit the themes of the game and convey the tone well, and that piano stuff is just excellent (it’s not really what I’d call memorable though). Visually the game is very impressive with interesting character designs and hell of a lot of gorgeous detail put into pretty much every area. You can tell this is related to the new Rayman games and it’s a nice contrast between the rather gritty setting and themes. In fact considering the setting and story, I was surprised at how they managed to show variety in colours and the like, I was really impressed by it all and I can’t say I’ve ever seen a game handle this setting like this visually. Speaking of setting and story the game feels like it’s in two halves, one which is more of an adventure and the other which feels far more serious and sombre. I personally like this as the first half develops a lot of the characters while the second shows more of the impact of the war on them, while I wasn’t crying at the end I thought these were fairly well done and likeable characters and the story was a take on WWI that could be at times light hearted or exaggerated but it never felt like it was mocking the serious subject. The game is also filled with historical facts and details, which is pretty neat since it reminded me of the days when 12 year old me would just read up on history most of the time (the collectibles also contribute to these details). Overall I can’t find anything big that I thought was off about the game, and I can highly recommend this game to any looking for a puzzle/adventure game set in a unique setting for the genre. Hell I recommend it to all but the most impatient of players.

Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (Anime):

If you have a great memory you may remember me recommending this anime some time in the past. Well to be more precise I was talking about the first season back then and with the last year a whole new season was made. This show is going to be a big one I can tell, since not a lot of the overall story threads are tied up at the end of this season but at the very least I can manage it with individual seasons. Magi looks just as good as it did previously and the visual design of new locations is pretty sweet. The same pretty much goes for the soundtrack which has some really great moments but is often mediocre and just serves its purpose. The story and characters are charming just as they were previously although I personally dislike some, and not all of the protagonists get the same amount of screen time. The first half of the story is a fun adventure where the protagonist develop and go their separate ways, there some fun action here and it’s a good time as the series keeps a sense of humour. Also developed are several other characters and we’re introduced to a much larger cast of characters and many a brand new setting. The second half decides to focus on Aladdin and the characters of magnostadt a country found on magic. Several characters are introduced here and developed quite nicely and unexpectedly, in fact overall I was impressed by some of the complex themes (well they seem complex to me anyway) and I felt the story naturally lead itself to the climax. The action and drama are quite impressive overall, and there was one moment in particular that stood out as quite epic. Really I don’t want to talk to much more since I feel like anything else I could say is a spoiler of some sort. What I will say though is that Magi season two is worth watching is enjoyed season one and that the series is so far is one that I can recommend anyone wanting a good action anime with a unique setting. Will it make the end of year top 10? Not sure really, but it has some chance.

Akuma no Riddle (Anime):

While interesting in premise Akuma no Riddle fails in it’s execution and is mostly wasted potential. The reason for this is that the show is far too short to effectively develop all let alone any of the characters. It really boggles my mind that they would try and explain one character per episode, and a lot of them end up feeling shallow. It’s really hard to give a shit about most characters in here which is a shame since the whole thing has some interesting visual design and there was potential for something so much better story wise. The fact each character gets their own ending theme is also a level of polish that suggests potential, that clearly effort was being put into some areas. Soundtrack wise though it’s nothing special outside of those ending themes and I really can’t remember a single track without any vocals which shows just how forgettable the soundtrack is. Story wise it’s an interesting premise as a bunch of (highly implied lesbian) assassins are gathered to try and kill one target in order to have their wishes fulfilled, there’s some intrigue but the plot twists are kind of meh and not really anything worth calling a twist. The ending was also fucking lazy and cements this show as mediocre at best. Of course not everything is garbage as the potential shines through in a couple of episodes starting with episode 8 and ending episode 11 once the ‘twist’ is revealed. Those few episodes focus more on action and tension, while also somewhat developing characters effectively. This is most likely because the pacing changes in these episodes giving more time for everything rather than just speeding through like the rest of the show does. Overall the action sequences aren’t bad and I was surprised by how some characters seemed bland but turned out to be somewhat interesting. At the same time some really potentially interesting characters are wasted and one in particular is completely shafted by shitty and confusing writing. Do I recommend it? No, there’s a lot better stuff out there, and while this show does have the visuals and action done fairly well, it’s just so damn rushed in terms of pacing and feels poorly written because of that. Wasted potential.

Outland (XBLA): 

Outland is one of those game where a lot of elements clash and produce kind of an average game, which is strange since in the earlier levels (areas) it shows little signs of turning out this way (In fact it’s very promising). Firstly Outland is a beautiful game that has a rather simple silhouette art style and a calming natural feel. There’s plenty of bright colours on objects and in backgrounds, and the red and blue colour coding is a key element in progressing through the games hazards. Unfortunately though this beauty is also a weakness, as some of the backgrounds make certain objects and enemies hard to see at points. Outland has a beautiful soundtrack that is incredibly relaxing and atmospheric, however not much of it is really memorable at all and doesn’t leave a lasting impression. There’s also something oddly nostalgic about this game and it’s hard to put my finger on but the presentation leaves me feeling calm and relaxed. The gameplay is semi-metroidvania in nature since there’s some exploring and backtracking, however it’s all optional unless you want 100% of the upgrades and collectibles. Even then though the game doesn’t really reward those efforts and by Metroidvania standards it’s not that great, in fact you’re better off playing Guacamelee or Shadow Complex both of which are downloadable games that are extremely fun and great examples of the Metroidvania genre. Putting aside the small size of the game and somewhat linear nature of the experience there’s a far bigger set of problems that I think hold this back from being an excellent game. The first is the mixture of clunky control and bullet-hell-like designs, the character is way too slow and cumbersome for the level design which seems like something better suited for a bullet hell shooter at times. I remember some games having similar elements and they often had fast moving characters, and they also had a health bar system… in Outland there’s a hearts system like Zelda but instead of having varying degrees of damage each hit you take loses you one heart. This is rather brutal at times when the game throws bullet-hell like challenges or gives you multiple enemies that aren’t always intuitive to deal with. You also need to deal with enemies in close range except for the couple of special projectile moves that take up one of your yellow power tank things with each use. All these things combine together at times to feel rather unfair than challenging. I think it may be because they wanted to focus on the colour switching mechanic which is necessary to avoid ‘bullets’ and to attack enemies. It’s a rather neat idea but I don’t think it suits the gameplay style at all, and I often found myself losing my hearts quickly to these annoying obstacles. Also switching has been in other games and ironically enough you’ll find something similar done better in Guacamelee, although that game lacks the colour based ‘bullets’ so it’s not quite the same. As much as I’m giving Outland a hard time I will admit that it’s still fun and is by no means a stinker, if you’ve played the best than Outland could fill your Metroidvania cravings although even the linear Metroid Fusion may offer you a better meal in that regard.

Brothers – A tale of two sons (PC):

Brothers is that game you may have seen Xbox trying to promote last year amongst the likes of Flashback and that crappy TMNT game, in fact it’s the only game from that promotion that I could say is worth playing. The game has an arguable generic style but I personally feel that it has an almost fairytale fantasy kind of charm and you can see some of those darker fairytale elements throughout the game. My explanation doesn’t really do it any justice but the level design is rather charming and there’s some well designed creatures even if the visuals aren’t ground-breaking. The music for this game is pretty meh at best as seemingly all of the soundtrack has annoying vocals. Sure they help build the atmosphere but they are rather ear grating and I don’t think I’ll return to this soundtrack at any point in time. Story wise Brothers is a somewhat dark adventure but the darkness is more in the themes than the tone itself. I found the adventure interesting and I think if you want to play the game you should discover it all for yourself. What I will say is that I’ve seen better and more interesting stories but I think this game still offers a worthwhile narrative. Before I forget I noticed that the PC version I was playing suffered from glitches and graphical fuck-ups, one time the younger Brother clipped through a cliff-face and I couldn’t get him out, and there were several occasions where textures wouldn’t load on certain objects. I’m not sure if the glitches are exclusive to the PC version or not but keep that in mind before you go to buy it (assuming you want to). The gameplay itself is a rather linear puzzle/adventure game, however there are several small things you can do as extras and some of these even involve extra puzzles. You’ll find this game is extremely easy to 100% so it’s certainly more about focusing on the experience itself and the unique gameplay concept. Said concept is the fact that you control two brothers at the same time using both of the control sticks to move one brother each and one of the shoulder buttons to trigger actions. It’s hard to get used to but luckily the slow pacing doesn’t punish you for the adjustment period and it leads to some interesting gameplay experiences later on. Overall I really enjoyed these puzzles and I think it’s something worth experiencing. Sometimes the game is a bit to slow and sometimes some of the actions you have to do make no sense, like the time I had to dive underwater to save one of the characters but found myself unable to save them except by pure random accident. If anything the core concept is a lot of fun and this game has a lot of potential. However I would say it needs some polish in some areas and as it is I would say it’s worth picking up on sale but I wouldn’t buy it full price unless I was really curious to try the controls (don’t get me wrong I like this game).

Well that’s it for this blogg, as you can see I may have been a bit too harsh but I honestly enjoyed everything here in some capacity. I think I’m noticing that with time the bars get set higher and higher as I experience more and more. Luckily for me there’s also an opposite bar that gets set lower and lower, and this week it hasn’t budged much at all. Anyway my nonsense aside I hope you enjoyed reading this or at the very least I hope you have something to comment. Here’s some pictures as a reward for the more perverted among you. Thanks for reading.

 

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Chaos Blogg 50: X-men Kart

Well I’ve done 50 of these now. That’s right welcome to the big one. In todays blogg you’ll find plenty of games and a good helping of anime and movies. For the most part everything here does have positive aspects but I feel I may be a bit harsh. That said though I personally feel people let some awful things slide so maybe it’s best if I don’t hold too much back. Since this section isn’t making too much sense please ignore it and indulge in the following music remixes.

Super Mario 3D World (Wii U): 

Super Mario 3D World is the sequel to 3D Land on the 3DS a game which I personally consider the worst 3D Mario game, and one that felt like an awful experiment. 3D World unfortunately suffers some of the key flaws and these flaws stop it from being a great game and make it just a good one, a game somewhat on par with the new super mario games. 3D world has awful controls, mainly because despite the fact you can use the analogue stick you can only really move in about 8 directions which limits the range of movement you have and works poorly within a 3D game. Hell even Crash Bandicoot felt better equipped to deal with this design choice and that was back on the PS1 when the main control was the d-pad. In this day an age this kind of sloppy control is almost inexcusable and the same goes for the camera which is normally static with some very basic movements (more like angle choices). Mario has never had a truly perfect camera but the other games at least tried and realised it was a good for a 3D platformer. Of course if the camera were to freely move then the multiplayer wouldn’t even be possible reallybut the camera provided still doesn’t quite work with multiplayer either and quite frankly this game didn’t really need multiplayer to begin with. So to summarise the game controls poorly and the camera is still static isometric bullshit. This is a real shame because 3D World gets a lot of stuff right and it had so much potential. For starters the game isn’t just Racoon mario the game, and the distribution of items feels a hell of a lot better, it feels like we have more choices in items somehow. The level is also much more interesting this time and only the final 2 worlds recycle any content. Also I don’t remember seeing any shadow mario bullshit meaning the bonus levels had some fucking effort put into them. In fact there were new bosses and shit, new characters and new twists on the themes of the levels. Also every thing looks really nice except the draw distance. The music is the best Mario soundtrack since the galaxy games, with lots of remixes and new tunes giving off a really fun vibe. Oh and that Bowser map theme just listen to it, it kicks ass. So overall if they had fixed the fundamental problems of the game they could have had a solid 3D platformer here, one that could easily hang out with the best of them. I also enjoyed the collection aspects which were emphasised in this game through green stars and stamps. However the only level I didn’t like was the very last one, the timed blocks can fuck themselves and being put into a level with no checkpoints is disgusting considering how much of a difficulty spike it is. Regardless it you see Mario 3D World on sale than it may well be worth your time it’s by no means a terrible game but one that’s incredibly flawed in some fundamental areas. In short it’s wasted potential but that potential is amazing.

Golden Time (Anime): 

Golden Time is a romance anime that actually focuses more on an actual relationship rather than just the forming of one like most shows of this genre do. In a way though it actually seems to focus more on the idea of memory and identity. Taking in place in a college setting the story follows somewhat generic protagonist Banri as he deals with amnesia. His problems stem from his memories returning and if I were to delve further I’d be giving away the plot. Suffice to say the returning memories are the key drama here and the story focuses on how to deal with the past. Some episodes are heartbreakingly painful but overall it’s an enjoyable experience. It’s not outstanding to any degree though and I think you’d be better off watching Toradora or Clannad if you’re looking for romance. Hell even Honey and Clover might be a better choice even if that show does repeat itself just a bit too much. The look is nice and it looks almost exactly like Toradora so there’s not much to complain about there, the soundtrack however doesn’t do much to stand out to me besides the opening and ending themes which really set the tone of the show very well. I liked the conflict between past and present to a degree and it has its sweet moments that could make you barf rainbows. The ending gets a bit too symbolic for it’s own good at one point and that could have been handled better. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it but if you’re wanting this type of experience and you’ve already seen better shows then it couldn’t hurt to give it a watch. To be honest though there are much worse things you could watch in this genre.

Godzilla (movie): 

Two camps seem to have formed around Godzilla 2014, one side adores the suspense of the film while the other finds the film to be a tease of awesome monster action. I think my own view is somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning towards a more negative view. For starters I really loved the first part of the movie as we focus on Bryan Cranston and his relationship with the protagonist and his constant pursuit for the truth behind an “Earthquake”. This part had interesting drama, good acting and plenty of suspense. However due to major plot events the story decides to focus on exposition to explain the monsters and the protagonists journey. The protagonist however is quite bland and boring, and brings this into the territory of other military/monster/alien action films (like Battle Los Angeles). It’s quite painful to see the waisted potential for this story and luckily it’s not complete garbage but it gets awfully dull at times. Godzilla also fights some monsters and these scenes are pretty cool but you’ll notice that most of these are cut at weird times which makes them incredibly short and while it could be a suspense thing it honestly feels more like a tease or a budget cut. The soundtrack is pretty neat and the visuals are also pretty neat but I wouldn’t describe any of them as outstanding. For the most part I’d say this a good movie if only for the first part and the action provided throughout, however I was never invested in the protagonist to any degree and his trials felt unimportant yet the film spent so much time show us them. Instead his story helps to develop a tone that I felt was far too serious for the contents of the film. This has fucking nuclear seeking monsters firing laser beams at each other and yet everything else is so damn serious, hell even jaws knew when to give a good line (I’ve seen people compare this to jaws). A better story for the protagonist and maybe some more light hearted writing could have made this an incredible movie but as it is, I’d say just rent it when you can.

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U):

Mario Kart feels like it’s been in a bit of a mediocre slump since the amazing Mario Kart DS. Mario Kart Wii suffered from bullshit AI and some boring track design, overall the game felt unfair the majority of the time. What Wii did though was introduce bikes which I personally prefer. Mario Kart 7 on the other hand just hasn’t kept my interest but I’m still willing to go back and complete later on. For the most part Mario Kart 8 fixes these problems or at least provides a more enjoyable experience. It’s probably the best Mario Kart with had since DS but it does have some issues I want to get out of the way. The Battle mode is garbage, luckily for me battle mode was never a priority and I’m only mildly sad to see it turn into a weird variant of race. More importantly the character roster is fucking awful, with the history of Mario being as huge as it is surely we didn’t need to resort to Baby and Metal characters that simply show poor thinking from Nintendo. Granted it wouldn’t be that bad but Nintendo is removing staple characters like diddy kong and dry bones in order to replace them with recolours/fanfic characters. Honestly that’s about all that stops this from being my favourite Mario Kart game so far. For starters the game is beautiful graphically and style wise, with excellent colours and lighting. This is one of the best looking Wii U games and even duller courses a revitalised by looks alone (I’m looking at you moo moo meadows). This game also has a freaking beautiful soundtrack, consisting of excellent remixes and awesome new tunes. Just listen to dolphin shoals, it’s a shame you don’t get to hear much of the clip because of the track design but still. Speaking of track design it’s all pretty sweet here, while no F-zero the anti-grav helps add even more diversity to tracks so you’re constantly moving between air, sea, land and ceiling. The freedom they have alongside the new HD stuff has lead to some to stunning courses being made with the likes of Sunshine Airport, Cloud-top cruise, Mount Wario and that racetrack from Wreck-it Ralph. Then we have the retro courses given a whole new feel due to the new mechanics. Even GBA Mario Circuit in now fun and I’m really impressed at how some of these once mundane tracks now have life to them, and that also goes for already amazing tracks like Tic Toc Clock and Yoshi Valley. The gameplay is typical Mario Kart but the coins add an element of depth particularly in time trail mode where you need to go for coins on your first lap which map increase the lap time. The tires and body of your kart make a big difference in this game and once you find something that works for you it’s rather satisfying, although you may have to factor in the characters weight as well. The online play and multiplayer is fun although I admit that I didn’t spend as much time as I’d like with it (Thanks Australian Internet). The single player is also relatively fun this time with only the occasional unfair AI or RNG bullshit that plagued Wii, in fact the items feel far more balanced with the introduction of the super horn. The game is kind of easy though since you no longer need to 3 star every cup but I believe that was done since they knew that you could still unfairly lose out of the blue. The time trials are also fairly reasonable and they show quite a few shortcuts as well. Getting the golden glider might be a pain though since it needs 10,000 coins and I don’t have time for that. Finally there’s the Mario Kart TV stuff which allows you to edit replays to some degree and spawned plenty of memes, it’s a neat little addition that gives value to the replay function which the replay function hasn’t really had since it’s creation. Overall this is a great game and one of the Top 3 games on the Wii U. If you have the console you should go pick it up, I highly recommend it.

Kid Icarus Uprising (3DS):

Kid Icarus Uprising is another game that could have been amazing but is fundamentally held back by shitty controls. In fact if nintendo had simply used Circle pad pro effectively they could have fixed the problem entirely. Let’s start off with the good, the game looks nice and has plenty of visual flair and variety. Although some of the on ground stages use some very basic backgrounds at points. The visuals also include the well designed locations and characters with lots of new and old crazy enemies and such being added to the mix. In short I like the design in terms of visuals. I also love the soundtrack, it’s not all amazing but there’s some excellent themes here and each piece of music does well set the mood and theme of the levels. In flight sections the music reflects the action and story perfectly in the same way a film actually would and it’s nice to see this done well here. The story isn’t anything extraordinary but the dialogue certainly is and it’s all rather light hearted and comedic. The characters are all likeable for the most part and the charm is actually in part to a well done localisation and good voice acting which is something Nintendo hasn’t seen much of if at all. Seriously some games like this require me to change the voices to another language due to really bad voice acting, so I’m genuinely happy to say that I didn’t feel the need to even look for that option here. It shows they put effort into the presentation. But all this brilliant stuff feels kind of wasted here, because majority of the time this game controls poorly and it’s painful to play. Hand cramps are common thing to experience trying to play this and the fact nintendo bundled a stand is all too telling of how bullshit it is. The air sections play very well though so gameplay wise it’s not a complete pain but the problem is these sections don’t last long enough compared to the ground stuff. The game is constantly switching from Sin and Punishment/Star fox styled gameplay to wonky camera on ground sections that feel like a bad 3rd person shooter. Now Prime Hunters did a similar thing of DS however I found that first person was decent to control with this set-up. KIU is a 3rd person game though and so not only do you control your aim with touch-screen you’re also rotating the camera around. This one aspect is what breaks the game because you are always fighting the camera in order to aim and progress, it’s unintuitive and when you factor in hand cramps and power ups on the touch screen it just too much pain. If you’re lucky you can eventually adjust to it but quite frankly you shouldn’t have to begin with. Also the dodge mechanic is linked to the run mechanic and is unreliable at best, clearly another side effect of the controls chosen. The game is also kind of too big for it’s own good in terms of collectibles and the like, it clearly tries to emulate Brawl but doesn’t have that same longevity to it. I don’t normally think this is a good idea but if Nintendo could port this to Wii U with new controls using dual analogue then we’d have a freaking good game here. Or even better we could make a sequel on Wii U that’s designed with the dual sticks in mind from the start so we can solve all the problems. As it is now KIU is not worth your time unless you’ve got a lot of money and want to take a gamble, there are so many better games on the 3DS to play and even the original Kid Icarus is a hell of a lot more fun even if it does lack the wonderful visuals and characters.

X-men: Days of future past (movie):

As far as I’m concerned the X-men movies have been a roll ever since First Class. After that we had the Wolverine and now we have Days of future past which takes the series in a rather interesting direction. For starters there’s a nice visual contrast between the future setting and the past setting, it’s also pretty neat to see both versions of the cast in the same movie. I also enjoyed the soundtrack to a degree, though I wouldn’t say it’s the best I’ve heard it suits the movie fine. There’s lots of great drama and action here and not much I really feel like complaining about which is far better than cap 2 and spidey 2 got from me. I like how the movie has some fun with itself at times and Quicksilver is pretty big part of that aspect and he does his job well. What else can I say without spoiling it for you guys? In many ways it’s a bit of a game changer for the story and there are some pretty cool scenes I don’t want to spoil for you. Some of them rather emotional. It’s quite obvious though that the series won’t be the same after this movie and there are still some logical inconsistencies in these movies due to how many there have been. Also anything involving time travel easily creates plot holes but the logic they use here reminded me a little of Steins;Gate in some ways and that in itself kept the time travel intriguing and tension filled. I can easily recommend this movie to anyone who has seen the previous X-men movies and I encourage you to go see it for yourself at the cinema if you can.

Gone Home (PC): 

Gone Home is a rather controversial game it seems, probably because it received a huge amount of praise from various journalists yet doesn’t have a lot going for it in the gameplay department. I’d like to think I’m more middle ground because while I don’t dislike this game, it’s nowhere near game of the year material even if it does tackle some pretty serious subject matters. For starters if you do play this game please turn subtitles on as there’s a lot of handwriting and small fonts used in this game, using subtitles should make the experience a bit clearer and smoother. Next I’d like to address that this game is of the same genre that The Stanley Parable and Dear Esther belong to, this genre I shall dub “the walking vn” although in terms of these games Gone Home has the most gameplay mechanics yet at the same time is probably the least quality of the three. For starters while Gone Home has a decent soundtrack it doesn’t have anywhere near enough music to include in this blog or at the very least not much of it has made its way to YouTube. Gone Home looks rather nice but it’s not really going to win any graphic awards, however it does have a 90′s visual charm to it and the use of lighting creates atmosphere. The tone of the game is rather serious but it does try to throw you red herrings which make the game a little tense at times. It feels cheap and dishonest though since the story isn’t really about anything the atmosphere conveys and having red herrings kind of muddies your expectations. However I will admit that the environment created is well done. I won’t delve too deep into the story but I did find it somewhat interesting but I think the game needed better focus on what topics it wanted to cover. But that attribute helps in building a somewhat realistic world and makes it feel like you’re looking into the lives of realistic people. The majority of the game is walking and picking up objects and examining them, not everything provides to the narrative though and later in the game the amount of repeated objects around the house gets annoying. This is also an incredibly short game that could take you between 2 and 4 hours so it’s best to get it on sale if it does capture your curiosity. It tells a decent story and immerses you briefly in the lives of these characters as you investigate, almost everyone on the internet spoiled this one though so that may explain why wasn’t exactly blown away by the narrative. It’s a nice little game that has some heart to it but it’s nothing that I would highly recommend, luckily though it’s the steam sale so it may be worth the look. Note: the bellow videos do not represent my opinion but I thought I’d give you some other perspectives so you can make up your own mind.

Akagi (Anime): 

Ummm Akagi is an anime about Mahjong which from my understanding is a Japanese gambling game which I would kind of compare to Poker in a way. To be honest I’m not really knowledgeable on the subject matter and the same goes for any type of gambling really, although I do see the appeal in playing a card game every once in a while for fun. Having tried a little Mahjong I’d say the same goes in that I wouldn’t mind playing it every once in a while with friends, although learning the rules getting past the language barrier seems a little difficult. With that out of the way I’d like to say knowing at least some of the basics of Mahjong should make this anime a rather entertaining experience but I won’t say it’s entirely necessary since the anime guides you along the key plot points and details (even better if you use fan subbers or something). The story follows Akagi and his adventures in various high stakes Mahjong games, there’s a lot of clever thinking and the like going on here in other words a good old battle of wits. The visual style feels unique although I will admit it’s a little ugly and all the characters are reminiscent of Wario and Waluigi. It’s a tense viewing experience and one that mostly enjoyable, although there are some episodes that simply explain the events of the previous episode in detail giving an insight into Akagis tactics. This show is indeed horribly paced but it drew me into the experience and I was somewhat hooked to the events shown, which often got rather over the top in terms of visual flair. My only other real complaint is how unceremoniously the show ends, there’s no real conclusion and in that sense it feels very unfinished. Of course I personally found the experience worth my time although it’s tough show to recommend, and I’d say it’s rather niche. One thing I can recommend though is the excellent soundtrack which is both atmospheric and catchy to a degree, in fact it’s a very good note to leave on.

Well that’s 50 Chaos Bloggs completed now, I hope you enjoyed yourself and that you continue with me into the future with this series. If you have questions or things to say that’d be nice. Almost all comments make me feel some kind of warmth.

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Chaos Blogg 49: Kill la Kill

Hey this one is ready relatively quick. And guess what guys it’s mostly good news, everything here is flawed but none of this stuff was a major disappointment like last time. However almost everything here is freaking weird, and I can’t promise this weirdness is for everyone. On with the remixes.

Megaman X2 (Wii U VC): 

Megaman X easily became my second favourite Megaman game when I played it a couple of years ago. I loved the slightly more forgiving game-play the increased mobility and the introduction of wall jumping. I also loved the kick ass soundtrack and the minor metroidvania elements added to the game. Originally on the SNES, X2 pretty much ticks all of these boxes but doesn’t shine as brightly as the first X game. The visuals are the same for the most part although X gets a new suit design and the introduction of the C4 chip means that you’ll see the occasional wire-frame. The level designs don’t really stand out much visually except for perhaps the snail and moth levels (the names escape me) speaking of which the maverick designs are rather quirky or at least quirkier than the last game. In short it looks as good as X1, however in terms of soundtrack it doesn’t quite ever reach the same level of greatness. The tracks in X2 are still amazing though and I had to think a little about which I wanted to include in this blogg. In each stage there’s 2 collectible items that increase your health, give you a suit upgrade or a reserve tank. The suit upgrades are fairly decent as they give you extra firepower, allow you to locate other secrets and dash in mid-air. In fact for the most part 100% this game is rather easy, as long as you can find the secrets and have enough dexterity to use your arsenal to collect them. I really felt like I was using all of my weapons in this game rather than just relying on the mega buster, for example flame stags weapon can be used to dash in mid air when fully charged, combine this with the mid air and and you can pull off some tricky stuff. This nets you a final secret weapon which is pretty neat since it can instant KO some of the final bosses. Hell this game even has an ice beam which can turn enemies into platforms. In that regard I really like the gameplay here, but at the same time it felt a little bit on the easy side. The challenge of the game comes from trying to beat the X Hunters hidden throughout the game that unlock the true ending and let you skip a boss towards the end. It’s an interesting mix-up but because of their random nature you could end up fighting them when you’re not prepared to deal with thus getting your ass kicked. As you can see I’ve gone way too much into the details, the game is good but lacks the flair of the first and that’s a simple summary. If you want to check it out I can highly recommend it but I would suggest checking out X1 first if you haven’t already.

Jazzpunk (PC): 

Jazzpunk was introduced to me through the videos of two people, Jim Sterling (who voice acted in this game) and MyIGN’s own Ghandi who also goes by the username Celsium and runs a stream on Twitch called The streaming mug. Jazzpunk is an experience, one that I would say is just as fun to watch as it is to play, which isn’t something I normally say about story driven games but Jazzpunk thrives on humour over substantial story and characters. Jazzpunk is weird and is a little difficult to describe, the visual style is simple but does a good job and feels like some sort of cartoon. The visuals aren’t the best graphically though but the style is enough compensation. The soundtrack is there but it’s all based on where in the environment you are rather than following you and your actions, it’s a weird effect and it makes it tough to appreciate the soundtrack (which is decent at best). The gameplay is kind of clumsy and most of your 4 hours will be spent on clicking on NPCs and random objects. However there is some variety here with various minigames referencing many popular/infamous titles like space invaders, quake, street fighter, wave race and even tennis for the virtual boy. In short the gameplay is fun but can get boring quickly. This game really does depend on it’s humour to pull it through and since humour is so very subjective I can’t recommend it to everyone. The game is random, off the wall and the jokes will probably only work once, or at least they did with me. Of course if you see it on sale during the summer sale then I say it may just be worth it for the experience alone, otherwise you may just want to watch it. I mean there are some pretty neat jokes and humorous moments.

Kill la Kill (Anime):

After some mediocre anime I finally decided to watch something good. Let me start with the soundtrack, this is one of the few animes that had me seriously thinking about which songs I wanted to include in this blogg. Almost every character has a unique theme filled with personality and it still fits the show very well. It was apparently the same composer as Attack on Titan which had a few excellent tracks, however for Kill la Kill he freaking pulls out some amazing stuff and the whole thing sounds amazing. This show lets the composer shine. The visuals are done by the same people who made Gurren Laggan a show which I recommended a couple of years ago I think. It has an awesome style that allows for crazy stuff to happen and I find it difficult to describe. I guess it allows for more humour and is far less realistic than other styles you might be used to. Also to note is that this show has almost every character without clothes at some point which ties into the plot however it may come across as too fanservice-y for some. The sheer amount of skin exposure though pretty much makes it feel like a non-issue, not many times did I feel like the show was trying to arouse me, unlike other shows such as high school of the dead or numerous short comedy animes. It just feels like a part of the visual style and at times a part of the humour and the plot. As for story and character well it feels like a mixed bag. The show has an extremely fast pace which is a double edged sword. The pacing works very well for the first half where the story is mostly action comedy and while the fights are meant to be somewhat serious the show feels balanced between light heartedness and seriousness. The pacing doesn’t work as well in the second half however as a whole bunch of plot twists cause the show to change the status quo dramatically several episodes in a row. The fights also became less spectacular after a certain point (i.e. the huge plot twist) but overall the show doesn’t really suffer greatly. Kill la Kill is a fun time, and it’s a show I can highly recommend to people who enjoy anime. I would just caution those who don’t like seeing too much ‘skin’ although there’s no graphic details. I forgot to mention that some of the style choices reminded me of Tarantino for some reason. Please listen to the music.

The Amazing Spiderman 2 (movie):

Spiderman is a device topic when it comes to the movies. Many like and grew up with the Rami movies and many also like the more humour filled spiderman played by Andrew Garfield. Each set side of the argument has it’s merits and each spiderman movie has been a mixed bag. Personally I adore Spider man 1 and 2, while also thoroughly enjoying the amazing spiderman. One movie I do despise though is Spiderman 3 which had a poorly thought out plot and flipped flopped all over the place without making anything feel connected. It also had emo peter which has gained the same kind of ‘praise’ as The Room did i.e. so bad it’s good. When I saw the reviews for the amazing spiderman 2 I was surprised by the level of hate it had received. Worse than Spiderman 3? How? How could they fuck up that badly? So out of curiosity I went to see it with my own eyes and this may be one of the few times I enjoyed a movie with such negative press. Is this the best spidey movie? No it’s not. Is it better than the amazing spiderman? In some areas I’d say yes, in other areas no. Is it worse than Spiderman 3? No way in hell. Now it does attempt some of the things Spiderman 3 did like having multiple villains and too many plot threads, it could have been 2 movies to be honest. But it executes these things far better. The plot threads actually feel tied together as if the actions of each character are effecting the overall story rather than just randomly fighting each other at random points. I also really enjoyed Electro as his character was interesting not necessarily another scientist, he was also visually more impressive than both the lizard and the green goblin. The ost for this movie stands out a lot more than the previous one although it’s still not as iconic as the main theme of the rami trilogy. Another compliment I have is just how humorous this movie is, especially with Spiderman himself which is an aspect I’m glad to see return from its predecessor and given even more focus. Spiderman himself is a far more endearing character this time if it wasn’t for some awkward peter parker performances. Speaking of awkward performances this movie has plenty of them, and it can be kind of distracting maybe it’s truer to the characters (I’m not the guy to ask about that) but some lines just made me cringe and think “did we really need to say that” not all performances were awkward but enough were for me to notice. Overall I’d say the movie was overly ambitious yet still wasn’t quite the train wreck it’s a far prettier web of plot threads than Spiderman 3, and I can recommend renting this at the very least once. For myself I enjoyed it enough to contemplate purchasing it on sale. Perhaps they might even improve on some scenes with a directors cut as the ending was meant to be a lot darker than what was delivered. I think they would have been better off making it either longer or two separate movies. Now I’ll brace myself for impact from the people who detest this movie.

Another World/Out of this world (PC):

Another World is an obscure retro multiplatform game that was bought to my attention by game grumps. It’s been on the Amiga, the Mega Drive, the SNES, the 3DO and now PC as it was remade in HD. The artstyle is simple but somewhat unique and the HD visuals give the game a much smoother look. The game is charming and has a decent soundtrack even if there isn’t much of it. From what I’ve played and seen the PC version has less music than the older counterparts which I found strange, overall though I had a hard time finding and noticing the music in this game so it’s not the strongest feature. This game reminds me of Heart of Darkness a PS1 game from my childhood that was punishing and relied on try and error. The same very much applies to this game, if you can’t think like the creator you’ll have a hard time. The length of this game is really short so it does depend on you failing for longevity. Given that it’s a strange platform/adventure hybrid you often find yourself screwing despite knowing what to do as well, especially when it comes to the combat involving your ray gun. By no means would I say this is a bad game, but I really can’t recommend it unless you’re curious and see it on sale. The trial and error gets a bit frustrating and the game can be rather clunky at times, although there’s a weird sense of satisfaction in completing it. I did have fun though just in case you thought otherwise.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (anime):

I was going to say Kill la Kill was the weirdest thing I had seen in a while but then I watched this show. This show is based off source material from a different era in time to ours and that shows itself in the artstyle. The artstyle is excessively manly in a way that has a weird sense of charm. It’s also a little off putting considering how different the medium looks in this day and age. If you do take the plunge though you’re in for one hell of a an experience.., a bizarre adventure if you (I said the line). An action comedy JoJo centres around the adventures of the Joestar family, things get rather serious yet it all still feels rather campy and comedic. The music is nice and the ending theme is a British rock piece (at least I think it is). The dialogue is excellent and the sound effects are also something that stands out, the setting is rather unique by anime standards and the time period caught me off guard. Now I’m only talking about Part 1 and 2 when I say all these things since this is an ongoing show with Part 3 currently airing. However the way the story is set I can easily recommend this anime. Of course this is very much something you should experience yourself before you decide if you want to watch it or not. I had an absolute blast and laughed quite a bit and to my surprise I was even invested in the story somewhat. To be honest I don’t have much else to say since I enjoyed this so much.

Okay so this blogg is over. I really hope you found something here that got your curiosity in particular I found the anime included here to be top shelf stuff but I understand if it’s not your cup of tea. Expect the next blogg to be larger in size as it’s the big 50 next time. Anyway here’s a picture.

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see you next time.

Chaos Blogg 48: Slightly disappointing sequels 

there I think that should suit the tone nicely. Now these things aren’t terrible in fact many of them are still good, just not as good as they could have been or have made out to be. I hope enjoy the content today, and here’s some music.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Movie):

Marvel movies have been doing well in maintaining quality as of late (ignoring Ghost Rider), after the couple of missteps in Iron Man 2 and Thor, Captain America and the Avengers were a nice a comeback to quality. With Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 both being improvements over their predecessors (and No I don’t mean the first Iron man movie) Captain America 2 had bigger shoes to fill. The first movie was a rather heart warming origin story set in the second world war. Judging from the reviews I was fairly confident winter soldier would be an even better experience and well while I didn’t expect it to reach the lofty heights of the Avengers I really didn’t think people would have overrated it this much. Of course it’s probably a matter of preferences but I found this movie somewhat lacking. I think it’s because the tone of the movie feels perhaps a bit too serious for the actual events within. Sure we’re dealing with more of an espionage scenario but at the same time there are mechanical wings, cyborgs, Indiana Jones villains, and a fucking 1980s(?) computer with a human consciousness on board. The music for instance feels far too serious for these events, and this film is very much lacking the humour quality present in almost all the other films (we get maybe a couple of jokes and that’s it, in fact the delivery of most of these jokes falls kind of flat). It’s a very visually engaging movie for sure, and the second half was really enjoyable even if it reminded me of star wars in some ways (not a bad thing but not something would want your audience to catch onto too easily). However the plot is weak, and thanks to the internet it’s even weaker as all major plot-twists have become FUCKING MEMES (at least to people who go into these movies without any comic book knowledge). Sure it’s a rather huge game changer for the series of movies but it also feels kind of stupid since some of the antagonists are so obvious (um extra scene really highlights this with the fucking campy ass germans with the fucking monocles how did you NOT notice those guys?) and the computer oh god the computer. That scene with the computer completely fucked up my sense of disbelief. In a world of gods, aliens and super villains you’d think that would be the least of my worries, but to suddenly say this universe had the tech to store human consciousness in the 1980s(?) pushed my logic too far. Why hadn’t we heard about this before? Surely Stark or Banner would have done this by now then? was ‘magic’ used? How the fuck did they figure out how to do this? Perhaps I’m looking too much into but that scene hurt my head. The Falcon is a pretty cool character and most of the cast does a decent job but I don’t feel connected to them as much this time around. It may have something to do with the abuse of death and revival “does anyone in this movie die?”, or maybe the scene with peggy (that’s her name right?) where she looks so not convincingly old, or maybe because the first half was pretty much “the good guys are the bad guys”. Not that the overall product is terrible but I’m just having such a hard time wrapping my head around why people love it when I myself see this as a step backward from even the first Captain America. One thing I will say though is that helps set up the foundations for the next movies although whether that’s positive or not depends on those movies and personal preference. I recommend this movie but set the bar kind of low or at least lower than the reviews set it.

Professor Layton and The Last Spectre (DS):

I fucked up on this one. The Last Spectre has been in my backlog almost completed since 2011. Suffice to say most of this review is going off my memories alone and as such I’m very much open to any actual corrections if I get any facts wrong. First off lets start with sound, as far as these games go this is your standard Layton Soundtrack. The main theme is one you have to wait for to get good which makes me often skip it on the title screen, it’s a wonderfully soundtrack though. This game is also incredibly beautiful, and while it doesn’t have the best environments from my perspective it’s hard to deny the quality of the art and the overall wonderfully feeling this game gives you. The gameplay itself is your standard Layton puzzle solving with puzzles involving logic, math and moving blocks *shudder*. These puzzles are pretty hard and in that respect you might be better off learning the ropes from the more forgiving Layton vs. Wright (oh the irony). Apart from a few puzzles and the block puzzles I remember enjoying the puzzling aspect quite a bit. In fact I’m finding myself with cravings for these types of Puzzles as of late so going back to this game helped me get my fix. Layton is also an adventure in some aspects so you’ll be tapping the screen looking for coin and other hidden goodies. There’s also minigames that open up over time and these carry their own charm and challenges, they’re also important if you want all the puzzles. Unique to this game is the London Life feature, which functions like a Layton styled animal crossing and is styled to look like Earthbound. It was a fun little distraction but really nothing that should be a priority. The only real thing that holds this game back is the story itself, or more so the fact that the mystery was rather lacking. I found myself predicting the conclusion very easily for the most part except for some of the specific details. However as an origin for Luke this story works fine and it even gets somewhat emotional at the end, so in that respect the story isn’t terrible just too predictable. Also I find American Luke kind of jarring after being so used to the European cockney Luke voice. I could pass it off in my head as time changing his voice but voices don’t really get higher, in fact the common understanding is that they get deeper with age. Overall I can recommend this game but it loses points on story and you’re better off playing the first trilogy. Oh almost forgot, the villain is kind of lame.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren (Anime):

Now you might remember that last year I highly enjoy Chuunibyou and it made it’s way into last years top 10. When I heard about the second season I was pretty happy, since the first had a nice story I thought this would be a continuation. However this sequel has no reason to really exist and doesn’t progress the series in anyway substantially. Instead it chooses to give a message of “go at your own pace” which is a fine message to give people but overall it’s not good for a story and certainly wasn’t worth an entire 12 episodes. Firstly this anime is rather good looking with some top notch visuals, the music isn’t bad either and the characters are still somewhat charming. However the only plot lines worth caring about are those of the side characters who go through character development and actually change a bit throughout the season. It feels like the main protagonists are dragging this down ironically enough, their interesting story arcs seem to be over and constantly going back to focus on them just shows how unnecessary this anime is. Sure they face minor challenges and the like but everything goes back to the status quo at the end of the day like some god damn sitcom. Sophia steals the show which makes sense since she’s a brand new character who actually has to go through some change towards the end of the series. There’s potential for some quality drama here, to go along with the decent comedy but it’s never really capitalised on which brings up the question why bother with these protagonists? If you’re not going to do anything interesting with them why not switch the focus completely and have them as the side characters this time. Changing the main character could have kept things fresh and give us an actual story. Overall this series is a waste of time unless you want some light hearted comedy that looks really pretty. So in many ways I can still recommend it but it pales compared to the first.

D-Frag! (Anime):

D-Frag is a comedy anime and probably one of the better ones I’ve seen in my time. Although I wouldn’t say it’s close to the best, it provides an enjoyable time without giving any impression that it might attempt a thrilling narrative. It’s also not as fan-service-y as other shows in this genre at least by comparison. In fact this may be the only thing on this blog that didn’t disappoint me in some capacity. None of the characters were too bland, and it felt like it was focusing on the jokes and characters rather than spending time creating unneeded drama or overextended exposition. There’s conflict and character progression but it felt like it simply focused on keeping things fun. Though this isn’t Nichijou quality, it has fine music and visuals, and decent characters. It’s filled with troupes of course but it didn’t feel like I was simply just exploring things I had seen before. If you want a comedy anime then I can recommend this, it’s short and nowhere near as garbage as some of the rotten stinkers you can find in this genre. In fact it may even feel a little unique in some ways and the protagonist doesn’t feel bland as is the norm for the genre.

They Bleed Pixels (PC):

I can’t quite remember who gave me this game, but I thank them for this experience nonetheless. They Bleed Pixels is a game of uneven difficulty, and this is probably the biggest issue I had with the game. Most levels were fun, challenging experiences as I hunted down my enemies, slaughtered them with the combat system and searched for collectible pages of a book. However for at least 4 levels the game was a painful task of trial and error, with some brutal challenges that felt more cheap than fun. Now this is about 30% of the game that suffers from this and it’s not 100% evenly distributed with the first of these levels being only 4 levels in. Perhaps the controls are too tight or maybe too floaty it’s hard for me to pin down why but these levels felt like I was being punished for not being pixel perfect. That may have been the objective but the rest of the game seemed to find the perfect balance. Maybe it was dickish enemy or spike placement but towards the end I felt like the levels of cruelty were a bit too high and not very rewarding. In fact I assumed at one point I had to perform some almost impossible wall jumps which I didn’t have to do at all. The fact I had so easily accepted the idea proves just how much the game was dicking me around. What did I like though? Well I liked the soundtrack, it felt somewhat unique but suited the dark gloomy tone. One track sounded like the suspense theme from Ace Attorney though. The visuals are also charming for the most part, although I feel the lack of detail in the actual levels was a bit of a downer. It was probably to try and focus on the gameplay (irony is that the visuals sometimes impede gameplay since spike surfaces blend with the outlines at times) more but this game could have looked a lot a better. The bonus levels you unlock are a fun change of pace in sound, visuals and even gameplay mechanics. There’s also unlock-able art which is pretty beautiful though it doesn’t feel like the best reward. The fact the bonus levels overshadow some of the actual levels is a bit of a problem and reminds me of Resident Evil 5 where the DLC trumped most of the game. What makes the gameplay unique is the combat system which works on one button and has quite a bit of diversity and the check point system which is dependent on the player collecting blood and forming the checkpoint themselves once the bar is full. With the full bar you can get a higher core so there’s an element of risk and reward. However because the checkpoints depend on the player stopping all movement the game uses other methods to control where you place checkpoints. Which includes placement of hazards and enemies that at times are more of a cheap hindrance than an actual challenge, like the damn ice surfaces. The checkpoint idea was pretty clever though and this certainly has the foundations of a fantastic game. The majority of the levels are well designed bordering between the lines of punishment and fun. The backgrounds are beautiful and the stages being themed is a nice touch. It’s still a good game and one I can recommend if you see at the steam sale. Just prepare for a few hours of swearing and raging.

Witch Craft Works (Anime):

I decided to speed run this anime in a couple of days and to my surprise it wasn’t terrible. It’s no masterpiece but it had potential to be a good comedy/romance with action to boot. The story centres around generic protagonist and the ‘princess’ of the school who turns out to be a witch and his bodyguard. The interactions between these two is the romance element, while the various villains that try to attack them represent the comedy element. The plot is all over the place and it’s rather wacky yet rather standard for anime. However in the later half the story tries to take itself too seriously, and gets rather convoluted without answering any of the key questions or mysteries raised throughout. These details are hinted at and it seems this sloppy storytelling is the result of this being an ‘anime only’ ending meaning that the source material wasn’t complete when this adaptation was made. This anime is visually appealing with some impressive action, and it’s soundtrack is pretty decent with a really catchy ending theme (note I should have watched this for the last blog now that I think about it). I felt the protagonists were developed to a reasonable degree even if they were bland at times, however none of the quirky cast is given time to develop and shine, and when they are given time it’s often an irrelevant comedy skit scene that’s not really funny and often jarring (like what the fuck does this have to do with anything? why should we care?). It’s far from terrible but it’s not something I can easily recommend since it doesn’t really have enough time to excel at anything and has a very sloppy plot and ending. Also the main antagonist felt random, shoehorned in and wasn’t a very well written character. So much potential but it needed more time.

I hope you all made it through this rather negative addition of the Chaos Blogg. We’re getting ever closer to the big milestone, so I hope you all stay tuned. In the meantime enjoy these two pictures. Also comments are encouraged.

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Chaos Blogg 47: Witches!!

Well, I don’t want go into too much but I understand my last post wasn’t well received. I suppose that’s what I get for venting my rage although I was surprised to find sympathetic people whom didn’t leave an actual comment on the post. Anyway I still like all you people but I can’t say I was feeling good with some of the backlash I got, granted none of it was said with malice but some of it cut a little (I suck at coping with this kind of thing because I’m mentally unwell). Anyway THIS blogg is mainly positive, I pretty enjoyed everything here in some capacity and while I do have complaints there was nothing to disappointing. Anyway have some remixes and sit back and relax, if you can anyway.

Guacamelee! (PSVita): 

I remember someone saying that this was their favourite game of 2013, and I can say that this is indeed one of the best games I’ve played from that year. I pretty much found it by accident when I went to download Gravity Rush off PS Plus. I saw that it was free and well, I couldn’t say no to a free game that looked that interesting. I finally decided to play it after I finished Tropical Freeze. Soon into my journey I realised that this was in fact a Metroidvania game, and one of the best I’ve played in recent years. The artstyle is quirky with a Mexican luchador theme, that means bright colours and lots of interesting designs. Part of the aesthetic is constant visual references to video game and Internet culture. The most obvious being the tribute to Metroid with the Choozo Statues, although you may notice things like grumpy cat, tf2, megaman, zelda and mario all in the background of the game. It’s part of the games quirky charm and humour that blends well with the visual style and soundtrack. While I didn’t laugh a tone, I did often crack a smile and that’s pretty good considering the not so inspired story (Love the characters though). The soundtrack sounds very typical of what you think when you hear the word mexico except less sinister and more on the light-hearted energetic side. It’s catchy enough and suits the game although you probably won’t remember it once your done with the game. The main draw here is the game-play which is a mixture of 2D fighter and Metroidvania. I say 2D fighter because that’s the only words that comes to mind when describing the emphasis on melee combat perhaps it’s more in line with a 2D brawler or beat-em-up. Of course you have to find your special moves through out the game and these allow to explore new areas while at the same time allow for variation in the battles in fact they’re downright necessary for most fighting. You’ll earn a lot of awesome and strange abilities and this allows you to explore areas in new ways each time. In fact while it doesn’t have the same amount of content as say Super Metroid or SotN it really does a good job of being a metroidvania title. Exploration is rewarding and if you 100% the game you get a different ending as well as some rewarding challenges. Trust me this is a game people should experience for themselves and it’s on several platforms already (it’s also making it’s way to Wii U). The combat is actually interesting as well… for the most part anyway as it can get a bit stale later on. The highlight for me though was the chicken power up, which acts like a hilarious version of the morph ball. If I have one complaint it’s that it does feel a bit awkward at first getting used to the fighting, it may also be a bit on the short side for some people. Loved it.

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright (3DS):

I remember getting really hyped about this game back in the launch days of the 3DS. Of course I had no idea it would take this fucking long to translate. But at the very least it was released and wasn’t left to fansubbers like a certain game on the nintendo DS. Is this the best game of all time… no it’s not, is it even the best of either series… no I can’t say that either. What I can say though is that it’s an excellent crossover and with a little tweaking it could have been a showcase for the best of each respective series. Firstly the visuals are pretty neat (although I think AA5 looks better) and the game is filled with charm, of course at first there was a clash of artstyle’s which could have become much more visually displeasing if it weren’t for the setting of most the game being it’s own unique creation that somewhat blends the styles together so that the differences don’t feel as huge. You’ll also notice a lot more cinematic presentation which is standard for Layton but not something the Ace Attorney series deals with often, luckily the cutscenes seem polished although in 3D they look a little bit off at times. The soundtrack is also a nice mixture of classic Layton and Ace Attorney tracks that have been heavily remixed. It starts off rather plain but as the game goes on it gets more of it’s own flare that really mixes up the two franchises while at the same time reflecting the setting of the game. The story isn’t exactly what you’d expect but it certainly does it’s job of being a mystery and anyone who is a fan of Layton will be right at home with this sense of intrigue. The introduction to the medieval setting of Labyrinthia is when the game actually starts to shine and the from there it’s a spoiler-tastic ride involving witches and magic. This game almost bought me to tears at one point and at other made me laugh with enjoyment. Of course with the amount of in jokes and references I can’t help but caution anyone who has never played any of these games. If you’re a fan of either IP though this is probably a must play title. I found the story enjoyable and I loved the characters although at times things got a little hammy and/or cheesy which wasn’t helped by some of the voice-acting being a bit lacklustre (Espella sounds like she’s talking to children the entire time, ugh). I have various little nit picks about the game including the Objection being strangely quiet, the Layton puzzles being a little too easy (or maybe they’re just not as punishing as before?) and too few (the puzzles cut out of the game though actually seem too hard), and that some of the ace attorney segments have a different logic to them at points so it feels a little strange. Overall once you adjust it’s a fun adventure game with an interesting mystery story, awesome puzzles, fun charming characters, a good sense of humour (the post game content is very funny so far), excellent soundtrack and plenty of long court battles.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3 – Rebellion (Anime Movie):

I don’t normally review these kinds of movies because they’re normally inconsequential to the overall plot of their respective series. However this Madoka movie is in fact a continuation of the series and I figured I’d give it some time to type about it. First of all anyone who has not seen the series or the other movie which recap the series I highly suggest you just go out and watch them if you’re interested. It won’t appeal to everyone but it’s a rather dark story hidden under a lot rather cute stuff and it’s one that helped introduce me to the likes of Psycho Pass and Fate/Zero. Anyway this movie is beautiful and well even if you end up hating the story you may just get enough out of the visuals alone. As for music I’d say the soundtrack is nice although trying to find it was a pain, it pretty holds up the standard that the series created for the most part. There’s some exquisite fight scenes and plenty of gooey mushy stuff as well, if that’s what you’re looking for. The ending has seemed to polarise the fans of this franchise and that’s probably because it feels unfinished. Not in an obvious “cliffhanger so we can get a sequel” way but more in the sense that there’s an unresolved conflict that could have provided an excellent climax and perhaps closure. The effect is pretty much the same though, it makes the audience want more content and well there’s potential for a grand finale so to speak. Of course I have no idea what will happen, so this could just be a story that has a lacklustre ending. What’s for certain is that this was an enjoyable movie that felt like a natural next step in terms of story. Of course I can only still recommend it to the fans.

The LEGO movie (movie): 

Hey I actually went to the movies, ain’t that something. This movie only just made its way down under and I decided to go and see what the deal was for myself. For the first few minutes I wasn’t really getting into it, however once things started getting action packed I felt that the charms of the movie were kicking in and was rather impressed with what was on display. I’m not 100% sure if it was stop motion or CGI but I liked what I saw and it was quite charming including the myriad of action scenes as well as some humour based off the visuals. The soundtrack is okay, to be honest I hated the ‘everything is awesome song’ and it was probably the worst part of the whole movie. On the plus side there’s the wonderful performances of Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and surprisingly Will Ferell. The licensed characters actually worked really well and didn’t feel like the soul cash ins (see food fight for that) they added quite a bit of comedy and put quite a few smiles on my geeky face. There’s really not much I could possibly complain about here, it’s nonsensical but really clever with a rather good message to it, although it’s one you might have encountered in the Toy Story films. This one I can recommend to pretty much everyone and I hope you enjoy it.

Kirby’s Dream Course (VC):

I randomly bought this game on Wii U one day and I can’t quite remember why. Perhaps it was on sale? well either way it ended up in my backlog and after seeing some entertaining footage of it I thought I’d actually invest the time to play this game. It a wise choice because Kirby’s Dream Course is the most fun I’ve had with any sort of golf based game. In truth it’s a shining example of how kirby spin-off games are of the highest quality. It’s a game that has charming 16-bit visuals and a relaxing soundtrack, although I don’t really remember the soundtrack too well. The gameplay is a mixture of golf and puzzle game and once I grasped it was more of a puzzle game I started figuring out how to complete most holes in two or three shots. It’s rather simple in terms of mechanics and they should be easy to grasp, some tips would be that you can curve the ball using the B button and that you can also spin the ball on certain shots. Also the power ups and how you use them are crucial to victory. Some of the power ups also allow you some direct control, mainly the UFO and tornado ones. It actually got a little addicting and I wouldn’t mind going back to it at a later date for some brief fun. I will say that the game is rather punishing which kind of contradicts the whole Kirby Golf thing, I found course 3 in particular to be a bit of a bitch. However you do have the option to abuse save states on the Wii U if you want to (some may frown on you doing so but it’s just a way to save time and actually figure out the puzzle) don’t use them during multiplayer though that’d probably piss someone off. Anyway this game is a huge amount of fun and an unexpected gem, and it makes that NES golf game Nintendo gave me look like complete and utter garbage.

Tamako Market (Anime):

If you’re wanting a short feel good anime that’s light on story elements but isn’t a fan service comedy this is the place to be. Tamako Market is a slice of life comedy that centers around Tamako who stumbles into a talking bird and ends up bringing it home with her. The bird is the main source of comedy but it’s nice to see a comedy that doesn’t centre around sexual circumstances. There’s also quite a bit of emotion here and I surprised that such a short show could make me water up a little at times. It’s visually attractive and has a nice soundtrack, although the highlights are the op and ed which is what I will probably remember the most from this particular soundtrack. At first there’s not much of an overarching plot-line but towards the end all the little plot threads kind of join together and there is at a least a story to this show even if it’s nothing amazing. Instead once again the enjoyment comes from characters and the dialogue which in some cases is a turn-off but for this short series it works in it’s favour. If you’re into anime I could probably recommend this to you if you’re looking for something quick and light hearted. Overall it was enjoyable.

You may not want to watch this next one since it could be considered a spoiler, you could probably get away with just listening though maybe.

Thank you for time, I hope you enjoyed some portion of this blogg and I hope to hear what you think in the comments. Also here’s a picture for you kind people. Next on my schedule I’ll be trying to finish a longer game than I normally tackle. I’ll also be trying to clear some more stuff out of the backlog so stay tuned.

Chaos Blogg 46: Tropical Freeze

It’s been an extended period of time but I get the feeling that’s going to be the case with this series from now on. It seems like I can’t keep up the pace I had last year, which is unfortunate but expected. In this blogg there’s mainly recent games, with the main highlight being the new Donkey Kong game. I hope you enjoy the content here, and please enjoy these remixes.

The Stanley Parable (PC): 

Now this is a tough review, or is it? You see in order to describe to you the experience of playing the stanley parable I may in fact spoil the stanley parable. Perhaps this game is a huge mind fuck or perhaps it is not a huge mind fuck. It’s within your interests to check out this game on your own and experience it as freshly as you can. I had no idea what to expect when I played the game or did I? Either way I found it an enjoyable experience. In terms of visuals it’s rather basic but maybe it’s not rather basic and it is in fact incredibly abstract and off the wall. What I can assure you of though is that the game uses similar visuals to portal and half-life and while perhaps it’s outdated by today’s standards the stanley parable manages to have a unique to style. The soundtrack is in the same basket, it’s high quality but not really memorable in regard and that’s mainly because of the nature of the game itself. I really enjoyed the Stanley Parable and it’s even though I refuse to give you too much information as of this time I can highly recommend it to you. If you want to talk to me one on one about it though feel free and we can discuss some of my other opinions on the game.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3DS VC):

This one was in my backlog for about a year I guess, so one afternoon I decided to play-through it all. And well I was done sometime later that evening, because this game is incredibly short. Super Mario Land 2 feels a lot more like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World than it predecessor does, and it controls a lot more like a conventional Mario game but slower and perhaps a bit more floaty. Firstly this is a really great looking game for the GameBoy although there is better, in terms of style though I can’t say it feels 100% Mario other than the character sprites. The stages and the world map feel like very new a fresh for this series and diverge from what was the norm for Mario at the time. We have levels inside whales, in toy factories, in graveyards, on the moon and inside a normal house. The common theme here to me seems to be that Mario small when compared to seemingly everyday objects, sure the obvious the example is the Macro world but the toy level, and the giant tree world make me feel like Mario is an insect exploring most of this world. Or perhaps Mario built his personal castle on an island inhabited by giants? As for the music well it’s basically a single tune just remixed over and over again, and while this tune is good, it doesn’t ever quite reach the levels of the first super Mario land. The gameplay is fairly standard Mario fair but I feel like this was when Wario Land became an idea (the two games feel similar in areas) it’s rather easy for the most part and 100% it just requires you to find a few secret exits. Of course the difficulty isn’t evenly spread across the game and after an easy little romp you’re treated to a tough gauntlet like challenge for the final stage. This kind of jump pisses me off a little since I’d rather a gradual difficulty increase over time. Despite all this though I rather enjoy Mario Land 2 and it’s an easy to recommend title for someone who has a couple of hours to kill, just don’t expect something amazing.

Kanon 2006 (Anime):

Kanon is an anime along the same lines of Clannad and Little Busters, in that it attempts to cause you feels and other heart pains. Why 2006 though what does that mean? Well this anime was made twice within a rather short time span. The first anime however was, I am told, utter garbage and a different studio made a remake in 2006. Remake isn’t the right word I guess since both series were based off of a visual novel of the same name. Kanon looks rather pretty however the style is a bit on the way too cute that it’s almost creepy side of the spectrum with HUGE eyes and the like (trust me that sounds like a lot of anime to some but no this should be noticeable to regulars of the medium as well). Over all it doesn’t look bad though and on the plus side none of the character designs felt too generic. As for music I’d say Kanon does rather well in this area, maybe not so much for opening and ending themes but the soundtrack itself is beautiful and really tries to tug at the heart strings. Now as for the story itself well it’s rather sad but it’s often sadder in the first story arcs than the latter ones, with several tear worthy moments early on and then not much for later. That’s not to say it won’t mess with you though, unless of course you pick up on the obvious symbolic clues and piece together the plot twists before they happen like I did. I found myself guessing a lot of plot points before they happened and that meant reduced impact. Who knows if better pacing were in place it could have been exceptional but the way it is now it’s an inferior series that’s outshone by the likes of Clannad and some cases Little Busters as well. Only watch if you’re into the genre and have already watched the better stuff.

Remember Me (Xbox360):

A rather ironic name for a rather forgettable game. Remember Me is probably worst game in this blogg but it’s not actually an awful game. From the get go it’s a rather visually stunning game that feels like a grittier Mirrors Edge in terms of visuals. While the designs don’t always hit the mark there are some really beautiful and visually appealing segments. However most of the locations are repeated throughout the game which for such a linear design feels kind of lazy, (granted the level design itself changes but visually it’s kind of a let down), one of the most visually enthralling sections is a boss fight arena that somewhat defies my description. This boss arena also houses the most memorable piece of music in the entire game which kind of funny because the fight isn’t that fun and drags on to long. The soundtrack over all is forgettable but actually pretty neat and at least interesting and not just the usual movie sounding pieces found in modern gaming. The story and characters seem kind of ambitious and the twists are actually kind of nice, the story was no where near as garbage as I’d thought it would be but it’s not exactly a masterpiece either. The gameplay doesn’t really work well with the ideas presented and the story itself. Basically you’re a memory hunter living a world where the control of memories has become a major factor in power, I found this world interesting and I wanted to explore and really delve into peoples memories. However the gameplay for some reason is just a mediocre 3D brawler with some Uncharted style climbing segments and some dickishly placed collectibles. While it’s not exactly bad it’s rather tedious and even the twist on making your own combos just feels lacklustre. This game can grown on you at times though and there’s eventually a decent variety to your special attacks. There’s also some excellent memory manipulation segments that have you alter peoples memories and can even allow you to goof off a bit. However there’s only 4 of these segments throughout the entire game and it feels like a missed opportunity. In fact I feel like this should have been a stealth based game with a lot more memory manipulation segments and less poorly done combat. The game we got isn’t exactly bad but you’re best saving this for when it’s in the bargain bin.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U): 

Back when this game was first announced I was disappointed with Retro since I was eagerly awaiting for them to return to revive the currently comatose Metroid series. Perhaps they have something planned for later but now is not the time to dwell on that since they’ve provided another excellent game once again. Tropical Freeze excels on the ideas of returns and produce and overall more enjoyable experience and one that feels a lot more original (that’s pretty much the same story as Prime and Prime 2 by the way). First of all the game is shorter or at least feels shorter anyway, with only 7 worlds in total which when compared to the standard these days of 9 words feels like a let down. However the quality of these worlds for the most part has increased in terms of beauty and creativity, instead of just going through the standard DKC tropes (It also means none of the boss fights are repeated). I was caught off guard by a very Dutch looking world and then an African savannah. Then there’s the beauty of juicy jungle which may have been my favourite world in the game. Even the tired old snow levels feel interesting and fresh here as we see the old regions from the first game given a new icy twist. It goes without saying that the game is beautiful but something about the entire water world felt out of place in this game perhaps because it was a common trope in comparison but maybe because the water levels force you to deal with the clumsy water controls. The water controls aren’t bad but they are inferior to something like Rayman Origins or in my personal opinion the original DKC games (they’re still better than mario though). It would have been a huge relief if they bought back Enguarde for this game but alas such flexible controls weren’t available. Not only does the game look amazing (bringing back the silhouette levels and introducing dynamic camera angles for others) but it sounds amazing as well. If you read my last post you should know that I think highly of this soundtrack and bellow this review are my top 4 favourite tracks in the game. I personally felt the Donkey Kong Country 2 remixes were the best but the overall soundtrack is one that will probably stand the test of time for video game sound tracks. Now as for the gameplay it’s really fun and addictive just like the first Retro studios Donkey Kong game. This time though they’ve added Dixie Kong and Cranky Kong to the mix, Dixie Kong is op as all hell but using her doesn’t really feel like a cheat except in levels where you’re not meant to have a buddy beside you. Cranky Kong on the other hand is Duck Tales mode and in many places makes the levels harder but is also necessary for some areas of the game if you plan to 200% this thing. To be honest though I’m not really done with the game yet having only gone over the 150% mark so far. The rocket barrel levels are actually fun this time and the mine cart levels feel a lot more inventive and less over-used than Returns. I actually found the lacklustre levels to be the rhino and underwater levels but that’s only in comparison to the rest of an amazing game. What I did like about the new water mechanics were levels that were mainly land based but had optional water segments to explore, these were really nice and not that frustrating. This is probably my second favourite Wii U game so far just bellow Pikmin 3 and I say that this is a must purchase game for anyone with the console. Note: I have talked about this game elsewhere but if you have any questions feel free to ask me.

Guilty Crown (Anime): 

Guilty Crown is another example of lost potential when it comes to anime. To start with the visuals are amazing and the soundtrack while not my cup of tea is actually pretty good. What we have here though is some terrible writing, not that the story is bad or that characters are rubbish but that the plot just doesn’t focus enough on the things it should like the wide and diverse cast of characters. In fact I’d say that it’s too ambitious for a 22 episode anime and that it would have benefited from spreading it’s content across 50 episodes, which is a strange thing to say but that’s how it seems to me. In many ways this anime attempts to be Code Geass with it’s shit ton of plot twists and large cast of characters, however in terms of quality the closest thing that comes to mind is Future Diary both shows had horrible pacing and a constantly changing status quo with not enough character development when needed. In fact there’s almost no character development in Guilty Crown and because of that I rarely cared about any of the characters. Other than the protagonist there’s Inori, Tsugumi and Hare and everyone else is just kind of there and in my apathy zone. It’s bizarre because there are many moments of quality drama and these plot points if given more time could have worked really well for this anime. Instead we end up with what feels like a rush job of beautiful action scenes and a roughly thrown together plot that has more holes than Swiss cheese. If you think you can handle seeing wasted potential than this may be worth a shot, it’s a very average anime and you can all do much better.

I hope you enjoyed this blogg, I’m really sorry about how late this is but whatever, shit does happen. Here have this picture and have a good night.

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Chaos Blogg 45: Golden Colours

I feel like I’m kind of late with this one but whatever. In this blog there’s 3 games, a couple of anime’s and one movie. I actually cover some more recent stuff this time so I hope you all enjoy what I have to offer. Also my birthday is tomorrow. Anyway have some music remixes.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS):  

I remember playing A Link to the Past a few years ago and I even wrote up about it on this blog page of mine. It was one of those classics I missed and I was glad to finally experience it. A Link Between Worlds is the sequel to ALTTP and even though it never reaches the same heights as the original game it is one of the best new Zelda games I’ve played in a long time. It’s also the best 2D Zelda since Phantom Hourglass (which gets dwarfed by this game as well just to clarify) although I wouldn’t say it’s better than Links Awakening. Majority of the games soundtrack is remixed from other games in the series mainly ALTTP but there’s also some stuff from OOT, however it’s still an excellent soundtrack and the remixes are well done. The visual style is excellent and it really does feel like ALTTP in 3D, it’s got that older style and it stays very faithful to it other than some obvious upgrades and new characters. The new characters in Lorule fit the style well and the new villain wasn’t that bad and reminded me of the designs of OOT and MM. In fact in many ways it’s like they sprinkled OOT all over ALTTP including the seven sages room and the colour design of Zelda herself (which is funny considering OOT borrowed heavily from ALTTP). The game is visually appealing and it makes excellent use of the 3D effect which is something I haven’t really seen since the Pilotwings and 3D Land age of the 3DS. The story is fairly normal for Zelda although there’s a couple of plot twists, there’s no real sense of drama until the very end of the game, I thought the painting element was a great way to have the new power be story relevant though. As for the actual gameplay itself ALBW takes a rather unique approach in that you have huge amounts of freedom from the start. This is a concept that hasn’t been used much if at all since the original Zelda on the NES and while at first it feels overwhelming you’ll eventually come to appreciate not being blocked out of areas for a long period of time. ALBW doesn’t really have too many new items though so you may feel a little shafted there but some things control differently like the sand rod and the ice rod, then you have the tornado rod and wall morph abilities that bring something kind of new to the table. It’s an extremely fun game that appealed to my kleptomania but it was a little short and a little easy. There’s maybe a few tough moments but compared to the other games this is a bit of a cake walk. In fact the hardest part of this game is the minigames you need to complete for 100% completion and by this I’m mainly referring to the dash race, the rupee rushes and the baseball minigame. Thank goodness there wasn’t another fishing minigame *shudders* anyway go play this game if you have a 3DS it’s a fun time.

Monogatari Series (Anime):

Some of you may remember me reviewing Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari around this time last year, most of you probably don’t so a quick refresher might be needed. Bakemonogatari was an interesting and entertaining series and then nisemonogatari turned it into 80% fanservice content. Well since nise the series has had a second season featuring many different titles (Hence why it’s now grouped under Monogatari series). The series maintains it’s beautiful art style and interesting and varied soundtrack but this times there’s actually a story worth telling here and it’s not just the series protagonist dicking around while perving on the rest of the cast. First there’s Nekomonogatari which centres around the Hanekawa and is shown from her perspective, this gives some neat insights into her character and says some stuff about embracing negative emotions (i.e. don’t fucking ignore your own shit and think everything is okay). Kabukimonogatari is a time travel story that was fun to watch although you’ll probably enjoy it more if Bakemonogatari is fresh in your mind. Otorimonogatari is a bit of a mind fuck and actually develops the character Sengoku Nadeko into someone actually interesting that has depth. The final 2 stories have some moving character moments and explore some characters I never expected them to explore. I would say the one thing this series did was surprise me, I actually felt things for characters that I had never really cared for in the first place. The changing perspectives is a nice touch and was a great change since it normally meant less fanservice although that is still around. Most importantly is that there is an overarching plot and several subplots which was something I missed last time. You could very well say this series has become worth watching because of it. To anyone used to anime this well worth watching.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Movie): 

I’ll confess now that I do not remember the original Jack Ryan movie so in my mind there were really no expectations for this at all. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the cinema and Jack Ryan was a pleasant surprise. It’s a decent looking movie with a decent soundtrack and rather standard plot. However it’s fairly well executed for what should be just a generic action film. To simplify this movie felt like a Bourne movie if it were actually engaging. Since the plot is straight forward there’s more attention to the actual characters, the action scenes and the building of tension. While it’s no James Bond, it’s an tense movie and one that was rather enjoyable. However I don’t have much to say about it other than this so I’ll cut short here and recommend that you check it out on DVD if the movie is no longer airing in your cinemas that is. It may just surprise you as well. Also it has the guy who plays the new captain Kirk in the lead role and he does a good job as far I’m concerned.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PSVITA): 

Having never played an Uncharted game I decided that upon purchasing a Vita that I would finally play one. For the most part this was a good idea as Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a fun time to be had. For starters this game is very visually stunning in terms of environments although there’s not much variety it’s beautiful, although the character models could use some work. The game also sounds top notch with a few exceptional tracks that are emotionally moving and provide an epic adventure movie type feel. However the soundtrack does suffer from going by unnoticed during most of the actual gameplay and some tracks were kind of lame (the main villains theme for example). The story is pretty much national treasure without nic cage and the kidnapping of the president, it’s a straightforward adventure movie plot with a lot of effort put into the details of the mythology. In fact this game seems to focus on witty dialogue rather than putting effort in emotional moments this means characters like Dante and Sully stand out as more charming than Chase and the games main protagonist. The gameplay for the ost part is solid and fun, it reminded me of god of war but with shooting instead of brawling, and it’s easy to compare it to Tomb Raider although I will say that Tomb Raider is a far better game in terms of level design. For starters Uncharted is not only linear but it’s also restrictive in that it punishes you for exploring, you’ll be searching for collectibles only to die a ridiculous death because you jumped 2 feet to a place the game didn’t want you to go. This then sets you back to a checkpoint and you have to listen to various lines over and over again. If you’re playing the game without collecting everything you’ll have a fun time and these things will be barely noticeable but if you’re kind of klepto when it comes to games you will find yourself annoyed. It also felt glitchy at times but the biggest problem has to be the forced in Vita gimmicks. For starters rubbing the screen with my finger is not fun, secondly having to tap on objects during a cut-scene in order to collect all the items is unintuitive and complete BS and finally at one point I was forced to point my Vita at the kitchen light in the middle of the night because there was an unstoppable puzzle that used a lighting based gimmick. I was given no warning to that puzzle and there’s only one in the game but that’s an immersion breaking experience if there was one. For the most part this was a really fun game although and since it’s free on PS Plus there’s no reason not to grab it if you have a Vita, but there’s just so much that gets annoying thanks to system based gimmicks (it’s like all the third party wii-games that had shoehorned motion controls). In fact most of the problems can be solved by making everything optional instead. Also the stage design is actually pretty neat even if there’s not too much variety and I like the Aztec and Mayan like theme going on here.

(okay wow the last track above is so freaking amazing)

Kyoukai no Kanata (Anime):

This anime came out at the end of last year and it was fairly well received to my understanding. Most likely because it’s visually stunning and has likeable characters. The action scenes are amazing and the soundtrack is pretty decent. The story also had a lot of potential, but in many ways it feels untapped, it’s as if there wasn’t enough time tell a story this big in 12 episodes and this case a lot of the time needed for development and characterisation is lost. We’re kind of just thrown into the story and dragged along for the ride with no real time to breathe besides for one episode which was a comedic story that was rather charming. The ingredients for something amazing are here and I wouldn’t mind some more to be honest, but this story need as much time and care as the fight scenes and it didn’t really get it. I still recommend it to people who want something quick to watch though, just be prepared to have some emotions messed with at the end.

Sonic Colours (DS): 

In the wake of recent news I need to play an actual sonic game so I pulled this out of my backlog and had a real blast with it. I played the entire game, collected all the red rings and won all the Chaos Emeralds (one requires you to play vs. mode by yourself) and fought the secret final boss Mother Wisp (must we name aliens “Mother” something). It was fun but at times frustration ensued as many of the red rings were well hidden and required some precise platforming. However mastering the stages provided rewards and even though my ranks sucked for the most part I had lots of fun. The game is 2D and in many ways lacks the visual appeal of the console colours but it has it’s own visual charms and it gives a fresh feel to some of the stage concepts (Planet Wisp feels more natural this time, and asteroid coaster has more green goop). I can say the same about the music as well since almost all the soundtrack is ripped straight from the wii game, of course it doesn’t sound bad but I’d much rather listen to the console music. As for the gameplay itself it’s pretty much Sonic Rush but with Wisp powers included. The wisp powers for the most part are the main focus of this game and take up large chunks of many of the levels however there implementation is well done for the most part. My only complaint about gameplay is that some stages have required sections that take too long to complete and don’t really add much to the game (*cough* starlight carnival act 2 *cough*) of course this was also a problem found in Sonic Rush. If you still have a DS playing device then you could probably find this game for cheap and if you’re a sonic fan this will probably be worth it.

I hope you enjoyed these reviews, you can probably tell I’ve rushed through some things but you can ask me questions if you have any. Please share your thoughts and enjoy the picture which is like a birthday present to myself.

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