Chaos Blogg 59: Risky

So yeah this year is moving pretty fast, I’ve been distracted by a bunch of stuff… mainly pokemon but still. This also means my video projects are delayed so sorry that they didn’t show up at all. Anyway I’ve got plenty of stuff here in this Chaos Blogg, including 3 really awesome games, some average to decent movies, and an anime that’s pretty good but requires quite a bit of previous anime viewing.

The Swapper (PSVita):

Let’s start things off with one of the best indie games I’ve played in a while. The Swapper is a game you can find on PC, Vita and a bunch of consoles including the Wii U. The Swapper is a sci-fi 2D puzzle platformer that deals with the idea of clones and swapping bodies both in terms of narrative and gameplay. The story is centred around the core mechanic of the game which isn’t as common as you’d think it would be. I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone but to give you an impression it’s one that aims to make it’s audience think somewhat and takes some unexpected turns. It’s very mysterious and certainly outdoes the likes of Prometheus (yes I still hate that movie). Although it does get borderline pretentious at some points. The visuals certainly add to this, as this game beautiful and does a fairly good job of distinguishing areas from each other (Also there’s a map and the game is pretty linear so if you get lost it’s 100% your incompetence). I adore most sci-fi aesthetics anyway so I doubt it would surprise anyone that I really enjoyed the visuals. Music wise it’s a mixed bag, some tracks stood out as really beautiful pieces but outside of those few that caught my attention it’s an unremarkable soundtrack that serves atmosphere and story purposes for the most part. It’s not terrible by any means but it leaves quite a bit to be desired.

The most important feature though is the gameplay and this is some of the best puzzle gameplay I’ve seen in a while. It’s no Portal but I felt it was a balanced challenge for the most part with no puzzle feeling too easy and only one puzzle ever feeling to hard. It was possible to be stumped for a few minutes but when those Eureaka moments come it feels amazing. Which isn’t a feeling that’s easy to create. There’s some anti-grav sections that are a tad annoying but they’re a minor complaint and simply change the pace a little. Also if you want to go after achievements you may want to look it up since they’re well hidden areas that only really experimental players are likely to find (maybe idiots with dumb luck as well?). So yeah excluding one annoying puzzle (I’m sure you’ll know which one when you get to it) this game is an absolute joy to play and it’s won me over on both aesthetic and gameplay. I highly recommend this one and I hope you enjoy it.

The Gambler (Movie): 

I’d like to start this by saying, I have not seen the original movie before and I didn’t even know this was a remake until I was already in my seat chugging down popcorn and quickly looking at some movie reviews while waiting for the screen to light up. My opinion on this movie is that it’s fairly average, and it’s highly likely to be unpopular with a lot of people that do see it. In fact if it wasn’t for a realisation I had at the very end of the film I never would have realised the characters true intentions and goals and simply assumed he was a fucking idiot. The protagonist is abrasive, pretentious and all around asshole but he does make for an interesting character, and there’s some interesting ideas here even though a few of them reek of decades long past. Also this movie is mostly talking so if you’re expecting a ton of action well it’s not really here but there are some rather suspenseful scenes that don’t rely on conversation and I felt most invested at these points. Especially the ending which was mostly visuals and music, along with some symbolism that was a bit on the nose but helped put the pieces together.

I don’t know about you but I haven’t thought about a movie like this for quite a long time, where the protagonist is a puzzle as opposed to the plot itself being mysterious. In that regards I think I enjoyed this experience, however it was an overall mediocre movie as I spent a lot of time groaning at the dialogue and the movie just dragged along in an almost repetitive fashion. I think the acting was decent for the most part, and that visuals certainly seemed more representative of older films or at least that’s how it felt to me and this includes costuming as well. There’s a strange clash of modern tech and older style trends but again that may have just been me. Music wise there’s a good soundtrack here but I’ve honestly forgotten most if not all of it, so while it’s unique enough compared to other movies it overall felt forgettable. My recommendation for this movie is to rent it if you are curious after all that I’ve talked about, I’m guessing it’ll only click with some people and to others it may just be pretentious garbage hence why I don’t recommend purchasing a movie ticket for this one. Assuming it’s even still in the cinemas at this point in time.

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Directors Cut (PC):

I’m so happy that I got to finally play this game, as it never looked like it was heading in my direction. Back in the days of the DSi I constantly saw praise for this game online and it was often compared to Metroid which I was playing a lot of around that time (and had recently been tarnished). So you’d think I’d jump on the chance to play back then right? Well for starters back then I couldn’t afford a DSi, and as the 3DS eShop has shown me I wouldn’t even be able to purchase the game because it was never made available in Australia. Why? well I have no clue, as the game is available in Europe so I’m guessing it didn’t pass the classification board or something stupid. So even with the 3DS I was unable to access such a highly praised piece of DSiware, until this version was released on steam that is. Of course by now it’s been out for over 6 months on Steam but it went completely under my radar and even once I bought the game, it made it’s way to the backlog for a couple of months.

Shantae: Riskys Revenge is an amazing game, there’s no doubt in my mind that this game had earned its praise back in the day. In fact it fixes almost all the problems I had with the original GBC game. The hit boxes are functional and everything felt so much more responsive, I felt that when I go hit it was my fault and not the game being a dick. There’s now a map system which is mediocre but far more functional than the previous entry. There’s no more instant death when falling into pits or spikes, so there’s no need for lives system and the game has you relying on save points instead (a metroivania troupe). The dancing is heavily improved and simplified although the removal of the warp dances didn’t suit my taste. There’s also far less grinding and instead of regular items there are magic items which run off a magic bar and are viable to use more often. However to access most of these powers you need to collect Magic Jars which have pretty much replaced all the collectables from the previous games. It’s an interesting idea but it also means there is a shortage of Heart Containers for some reason. Hell they even poke fun at their own directional error (the whole east and west mix up) from the first game, which was nice a touch.

Top the improved gameplay off with an amazing visual style that made my jaw drop even though I was viewing it on my computer and some extremely beautiful music that makes the previous ost look lacking and you have what could easily be one of my favourite games. That is if it wasn’t so damn short. It took me under 9 hours to complete the game and while that may not seem so bad when you notice the lack of dances, dungeons and areas in general it feels more like the first half of a game as opposed to a complete experience. It feels like such a waste as other games which can be completed far faster on average like Super Metroid have a lot more content and power up variety. Hell you can spend ages in your first playthrough of Super Metroid and even then it’s highly likely you’ll miss something. Riskys Revenge though just feels like half a game and that’s so disappointing since it also ticks so many of the right boxes, but even the first game had more content. It’s like only receiving half of your burger/pizza it’s so delicious while it lasts but the experience is over too soon and you’re left wanting more.

Overall though I will still recommend this game, especially if it goes on sale, it’s got a lot of replayability and while it lasts it’s an amazing experience. I mean just listen to this soundtrack it’s outstanding. Oh and the whole forest and town sections having layers you can switch between is beautiful, it just adds to the visual appeal and I think that may be one thing I’ll miss if it has been removed in the sequel. Aaaand speaking of that sequel lets hope it’s longer than what was on offer here.

Jupiter Ascending (Movie):

Made by the creators of The Matrix movies this film goes to show that can certainly do nice visuals and aesthetics but also shows that they just take interesting stories and concepts and somehow manage to make them somewhat bland. The second Matrix movie has to be one of the most pointless things I’ve ever seen, and thank goodness this movie doesn’t reach that level. Not by any means bad Jupiter Ascending is a sci-fi fantasy movie that had some potential. The story has some really interesting elements involving space enterprises and space aristocracy. Of course these ideas have probably presented themselves before (I’m thinking hitch hikers guide to the galaxy) but perhaps without fantasy leanings. The plot itself though is rather drawn out and takes a while to get to the point, in fact there’s some action sequences that go on a bit too long. Good news though is that the characterisation and acting is at least decent and characters actually have some backstory. It’s visually amazing in 3D and I’m not sure how translates onto a 2D screen but I’m assuming the difference is negligible, either way it doesn’t quite make up for its mediocrity to be worth the cinema ticket. Soundtrack wise it’s not awful and it does have its moments but it is far too forgettable.

Honestly this movie just isn’t interesting enough for me to keep typing. I suggest checking it out on DVD/BluRay or whatever cheapest option you have but I don’t think it’ll be anyone’s priority. Maybe if you’re really curious you could check out the trailers and stuff to see if you like the visuals?

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U):

Captain Toad is the best thing to come out of the recent Mario 3D series. You know those games that don’t control well and don’t understand the idea of cameras. Well this spin-off manages to do both of these things, of course you are moving at a slower pace most of the time but some levels show it’s not impossible to have had this type of control in 3D World as they have dashpads. When this game was first announced I was sceptical. While fun the captain toad mini-games in 3D world were a little bland and a little boring, it was hard to visualise this mini-game becoming something meaningful and charming. Yet somehow Nintendo did it, they turned a mini-game into a charming spin-off that has quite a bit of variety.

First of all this game is beautiful and another pleasant showing of HD Nintendo, it was pleasant on my eyes and that’s probably helped by the art style that feels like 3D World but slightly polished and for lack of a better word cuter. Heck this game even looks nice on the gamepad and I’d say it’s the perfect game to lie down and relax with. Also this game brings some elements back from older titles such as Super Mario Bros. 2 and Donkey Kong, which include turnips, shy guys and ladders. Also there’s finally a new antagonist to the series who very much seems reminiscent of SMB2 along several stages that carry a similar aesthetic. It’s a nice touch that throws back to older games while also being fresh. Music wise it’s nice, most of it is relaxing, some of it is intense and some of it is a little annoying which is a shame since the soundtrack is mostly the same as Mario 3D Worlds excellent soundtrack but they don’t really use/remix the best music pieces from that game.

Gameplay wise Captain Toads: Treasure Tracker is a puzzle-platformer, it’s not a particularly challenging one but if you’re going for all the optional objectives and gems then there are some challenging moments. There weren’t too many points where I felt like it was the games fault that I missed something, and I never felt frustrated until the game decided to change things up for its final bonus level which is a randomly generated maze of bullshit that brings back the clone chasing from 3D Land. Captain Toad is no where near fast enough for this type of gameplay and it becomes stale pretty quickly. Luckily the rest of the game sticks to it’s strengths and there’s no real reward for completing the maze of bullshit anyway. Of course while the core gameplay resembles that of the mini-game but with more depth, they’ve also added some extra types of gameplay to vary things up without frustrating the player. There are several stages that involve stealth elements, some repeated “Boss Fights”, a Pickaxe power up that acts like the Donkey Kong hammer, Double Cherries, and most notably rail shooter sections that involve turnips. Combine that with a somewhat wide variety of stage gimmicks and themes and you have a game that feels like it has a surprise around most corners, which is nice since this is a game under the Mario franchise and it’s not always like this. Of course if you’ve played 3D World you will see a lot of returning elements and that may be considered a negative but honestly I found those elements more enjoyable in this game then I did in 3D World. Enough rambling, Captain Toad is a game I highly recommend to Wii U owners. You could say it’s a bit too short for it’s price (but it feels complete) but I can easily recommend this over 3D World any day and this was an extremely unexpected gem.

Hanamonogatari (Anime):

I’m sure most of you not skipping over this have at least seen some Monogatari but I’d like to recap just in case. The Monogatari series is an anime with a somewhat quirky art style and a overarching story that actually has substantial character arcs. Unfortunately it also plagued with fan service which while not always a terrible thing, often enters weird territory. Thankfully the worst of it was in Nisemonogatari and since then the series has grown in quality and Hanamonogatari is a fine example of that. This entry focuses on Kanbaru a reoccurring side character that hadn’t taken a centre role since Bakemonogatari where she was introduced. This time she’s the protagonist and I’m glad to the see this series viewing things from other perspectives than Kyomi. We’re also introduced to a new character and the story focuses on the rivalry between the two. There’s far more depth to it than that but I think it’s best not spoil the specifics for those who have yet to see it. The story is perhaps the saddest in the series so far for me and I mean that in a positive way. Visually it’s still impressive, and the soundtrack is also up to standard. Overall if you are into anime then Monogatari is worth your time at some point, or at the very least worth a try because after a bump in the road this series has become a good place for interesting characters and dialogue, along with visual appeal.

Thanks again for checking out this blog, I’ve kind of dropped the ball on a couple of these but that’s just the way it is. Okay now while slowly slip into sleep, please enjoy these images and perhaps leave a comment. Note: There’ll be some videos this month so stay tuned.

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Chaos Blogg 58: Better than expected

First of all I’m sorry about how long this particular blogg took, it’s almost my bloody birthday and I have yet to post a single one of these in 2015. I’ve been fairly busy though with making my shitty videos and moving house yet again. Getting settled here is a bit tough since there’s been issues with air-conditioning, erratic weather behaviour and some mysterious odour (probably methane/sewage) smothering the bathroom. Anyway that’s enough of the mildly personal crap, it’s time to address the title of this one. Pretty much everything here outdid my expectations, which is most certainly a positive. It’s not all going to be good news since I’ll still have my complaints but for the most part everything here was some degree of pleasant. Now for the pre-show remix stuff.

Tamako Love Story (Anime Movie):

One Anime I watched last year was Tamako Market. It was a small series that looked good, had a nice amount of comedy and a decent amount of heart. It didn’t really have a solid sense of closure, and for the most part it was a series that didn’t absolutely need it. Along comes Tamako Love Story, the movie which takes after the events of the series and explores more of the emotional/drama/romance side of the story. This also means it’s somewhat lacking in comedy, especially since the bird Dera has gone home. For those who didn’t like Dera this might be a turn on, but if you enjoyed the show because of the fat birds antics then you may be disappointed with this film. I very much liked this though, it looked good, had a decent soundtrack and had a story that turned my insides to mush without forcing me to puke. It also provided a certain sense of closure to the story as a whole and while it’s tone does contrast with the series it’s simply expanding on some of it’s more serious (dramatic?) plot-lines. I don’t want to go into spoiler territory, so all I can say is that I recommend this to people who liked Tamako Market and wanted to see a continuation/closure. Personally I was expecting a movie that went nowhere at all and wasted my time like many of these series based anime movies do. Luckily it was far better than expected. Just be warned it might be too sweet for some.

Amagi Brilliant Park (anime):

I really expected nothing from this, in fact I was prepared for a stinker. This may because all I knew about the show was it had good animation and the fact it had fan-service. Normally something like that isn’t very good and makes for a quick negative review where I tell you all it’s not worth your time. Funnily enough Amagi Brilliant Park actually went against my expectations, sure it did have fan-service moments but thankfully they weren’t the bulk of the experience and less contrived then the usual “oh whoops I tripped and landed in your breasts”. This series is actually more comedy focused while at the same attempts a somewhat light hearted narrative that doesn’t make things melodramatic but doesn’t completely remove the drama element. The characters are actually reasonably developed throughout the series and while not all questions are answered it doesn’t feel like it’s sequel baiting. The premise is that local amusement park needs more visitors and they hire the somewhat reluctant protagonist to take care of things. The protagonist is more interesting than the normal, but not exactly ground breaking. Any more information I would consider to be in spoiler territory, and even though it’s not plot heavy I think the less you know the better. What I can say though is that mascot characters pretty much make the experience enjoyable with the humour they provide (Some may find them annoying).

As a side note it’s a very good looking anime and unlike something like Nisekoi it’s at least somewhat deserving of it’s popularity. Soundtrack wise it’s a bit simplistic but there’s some weird unique tunes there somewhere that I found interesting (Weird and unique in terms of this type of anime anyway). Overall if you want a new comedy anime this one isn’t a bad choice although I hope you’ve watched the better stuff first.

ugh youtube why must you force people to mangle songs? Trust me if you watch the show that stuff will sound different.

The Imitation Game (Movie): 

With my recent move comes a new opportunity, the new house is located within walking distance of the cinema and shopping complex meaning that amount movies you’ll probably see in the Chaos Blogg is going to increase. First up for 2015 is the imitation game, a movie about Alan Turing and the struggles to crack the Enigma code during WWII. It’s another bio-pic and these types of films will more often than not gain critical praise and be regarded highly assuming they’re not botched completely. I was a little hesitant to watch this since I’m not a fan of keira knightley or Bennedict cumberbatch, but luckily enough they do a good job here and don’t really come across as annoying. The soundtrack is your standard movie soundtrack and while it certainly fits the mood I never got a long lasting impression from it. The story itself is a bit of a tragedy as it focuses more on the struggles of Turing rather than the war itself, however the struggle to crack the code is perhaps the biggest plot-line and where I personally had the most investment. While not outright stated Turing has some type of Aspergers syndrome in the film (or at least displays aspects of it). They do focus on his sexuality though and while it does get a little on the nose towards the end of the movie, the subject is handled in a way that suits the narrative and helps to build the character rather than stealing all of the spotlight. This isn’t a happy movie and there are some incredibly impacting moments of drama that left me thinking something along the lines of “aw shit”. I was also fairly impressed how they managed to handle all the sub-plots within the movie and tie it all in within the themes of secrecy and what it means to be human. Overall I think it’s a fairly well done movie, and if you’re into these types of films it may be worth a look.

Super Smash Bros. 4 (Wii U):

Oh boy I’m not looking forward to writing this one. I’ve copped some shit over this game and my opinions, but really all it took was fire emblem awakening to tip the scales in favour of purchasing this game. That and price drop and a couple of beers. Anyway lets get the negative shit out the way first. This game treats the Metroid franchise like shit and pretty much ignores the existence of the prime games while sucking Other M’s crusty ass. It’s even more stupid than Sega including Sonic 06 in Sonic Generations (in that game they show that crisis city could actually be a good level). Also I still hate Dark Pit with a passion, he’s a dumb unimportant character that has all the charm of a fanmade sonic recolour. There’s also the issue with several music pieces being repeated to absurd degrees, we didn’t need that many versions of Ridley’s theme, Jungle Japes, or the main mario theme. This really limits what is otherwise an amazing soundtrack and really it’s something that’s probably going to become DLC at some point (that’s just my guess). I also didn’t enjoy smash tour and it’s associated challenges, however I could see it being tolerable in multiplayer. And finally the system in classic mode is a bit bullshit in that a game over forces down the difficulty basically forcing you to start over from scratch if you’re going for challenges. While that does expand re-playability it’s pretty forced and I’d much rather sacrifice my prizes or money in order to continue. Of course that could lead to players becoming too familiar with master core but I think it would avoid frustrating the player too much, especially if they slip up on something stupid.

Okay now for the more positive side of the review. Pretty much all the other single player modes are fun and addicting, hell even classic has this factor which made getting through 8.0 at least tolerable. Getting all the CDs isn’t a stupid task this time around, as really all you have to do is 8.0 classic, of course most the tracks you unlock are straight from Brawl or the 3DS game but there’s some neat stuff here that’s worth unlocking. Also the custom moves are neat although I think having most of them being random drops severely reduces their usability with friends (either way they’re very useful in single player). The multiplayer is a blast with friends and the omega stages allow for some variety even if your friends are the type who don’t like stage hazards. I do think there’s a balancing issue with the stages though as it’s often too dull or too hectic or it’s the great cave offensive. Of course you can still make your own stages (a lot more awesomely mind you) so that solves some issues but there’s not much official that sits in that middle of the road category. Visually this game is impressive and that goes for most stages and characters (with some exceptions), and while the soundtrack didn’t meet all expectations what’s there is beautifully done and I hope you give a listen to it bellow. Items are still annoying most of the time but there’s some cool shit, and really they’re only annoying when computer players abuse them in single player (sure game just spawn a gustbellows on top of Olimar).

In terms of online well it’s certainly improved over Brawl but there were times it lagged like hell, mainly because of 4 player battles. One on Ones ran pretty well online although there was some noticeable input delay meaning spam based characters have a bit of an advantage (from my experience anyway). I’m not sure if there is a way to optimise it to the point of no delay but if Nintendo actually got some dedicated servers for the game it could probably be a much better experience (also my country needs make the internet not blow). Amiibos are kind of limited but they do scratch that collectible itch and they do make decent training partners if you want to practise against something tougher than the AI. Now for what is considered the meat of smash bros. the gameplay, personally it feels like an improvement over Brawl and it seems more balanced. Of course I’m no professional player so I’m not the best judge on the subject so take that with a grain of salt. Some characters have been improved with my old pals Yoshi and Sonic getting a nice boost, and some new characters were unexpectedly fun to play with including Pacman, Greninja and Robin. I’m sure most people who want the game have it by now but I do think this is worth getting for the right price, so take that as a small recommendation if you’re actually on the fence. Also yes I do currently use Lucina as a main even if I do think her being a clone is stupid, I think she’s a better character (as in personality and design wise) than Marth though and her move set is familiar to me over all which made her a bit easier to pick up straight away.

Note: Still mad that nintendo keep shoving other m into games, like please stop it. Like monster hunter didn’t need that shit.

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (3DS):

Too much water.

Overused jokes aside though I didn’t really find the constant use of water in this game to be a major annoyance, the ocean routes can get tedious at certain points in the game but it didn’t bother me much. What did bother me though was HMs, there’s just too many in this game and it’s a pain in the ass at times, especially since fly is redundant. I do think Surf, waterfall and strength can be useful but rock smash and cut need to go (it’s long overdue), it really does limit the pokemon you can use and really clogs up your movesets unless you want to waste a slot on a HM slave. Other than that these games are pretty much improved over the originals and in X and Y in some places. This game has a bit more to do post game wise and there’s a lot more opportunity to collect/catch legendaries and shiny pokemon. There’s also the secret bases that allow you to battle peoples teams run by an AI, it’s amazing seeing some of the impressive shit people have and hopefully my team can leave that kind of impression one day. It’s disappointing to see the friend safari go the way of the dodo but it wasn’t exactly an essential feature and neither were the fashion elements. I honestly haven’t spent much time playing contests so I expect not be finished with this game for quite a while yet. The new Mega Evolutions added to the game are pretty cool, and they’re a lot convenient to find this time around.

Visually it’s pretty much just X/Y but there’s a bit more visual flare to the cutscenes and the like, in fact it felt rather cinematic at points. However the story hasn’t aged well and the delta episode brings pokemon into even more convoluted territory (yet it’s still really simple), hopefully the games don’t decide to go down this route from now on since the games work well with simplicity. Also the music is so fucking good, a lot more tunes stand out this time around and a lot of them got stuck in my head. Just listen to that, it’s wonderful. I also want to mention that I regret not getting Omega Ruby since that seemed like it had the better characters while it’s easier to argue that Alpha Sapphire has the better pokemon available. Gameplay wise it’s very much more of the same, with various upgrades and improvements, for example there’s an egg hatching spot in game that’s pretty much there for egg hatching, so if that’s what you want to do you can do it one handed while multi tasking. Creating your team, hunting for shinys, collecting pokemon, and battling are all still rather addicting.

I can’t really judge the difficulty of the game though since I did my own version of a wonder trade run and tried to use a bunch of pokemon I never used before including Mandibuzz and Flareon. Also considering you can access most of the post game content before the elite four I found myself over-levelled once I took them on and I was able to wipe the floor with them… so I suggest not doing that if you want it to have any challenge at all. I also received a shiny Duskull through wonder trade which is now a Dusclops and still on my team, and a shiny Ralts through regular trade. Overall I had an absolute blast with the game despite its flaw(s) and it certainly passed the expectations I had going in, if the only problem you had with X and Y was post game content than this is worth getting.

Spyro the Dragon (Vita):

My experience with Spyro hasn’t been one that I remember clearly, I played the demo of the first game on one of the old demo discs and the game had this strange charm that I enjoyed but never really felt compelled to actually explore until some years later where I rented what I think was the second game. My memories of that are very limited and haven’t stuck with me like my memories of Crash Bandicoot have. Later on around the time I was playing the game cube I still occasionally bought and played PS1 games since they were much cheaper then, which was when I got a hold of Spyro 3 which I only really remember the flying penguin sergeant bird (that’s his name right it’s been so long). I do remember the style of these games though and now having played Spyro one I feel like I’ve got a better chance of revisiting those one day (at least spyro 2 since I remember nothing from that).

The game itself has this nostalgic feeling which is a little weird since a lot of these levels were very new for me, and the experience was mostly fresh. The game looks really polished for a 3D PS1 title with it’s happy cartoon like visuals, but it lacks some of the visual appeal games like crash, croc, and gex. It just feels very sparse and empty at times like there could be more to the environments and backgrounds. Spyro has a great soundtrack but it’s the type of soundtrack where I can’t remember an individual tune but instead I remember the general feel of it which I’ve noticed quite a bit from Sony games. Game play wise Spyro feels good to control which is impressive in this particular era of gaming, of course he can be a little clunky at times but this is mostly a camera issue, some jumps also don’t have enough leeway and there are often times where you overestimate your glide and fall to your death, but it doesn’t really ever get too annoying. Lives are easy to come by and the game doesn’t ever really rush you. This is most likely due to the games collectathon  nature. It’s no Banjo Kazooie but each level has you exploring an area to collect gems and save your dragon friends. Overall I’d describe the experience as relaxing, with really easy boss fights, and levels where you fly around going through hoops and shit (they vary up the gameplay and failure doesn’t cost you a life). The only thing I found to be an issue gameplay wise is the super charge which is perhaps the hardest thing to pull off and often not very straight forward, it’s not impossible though and once you actually pull it off there’s a nice level of satisfaction. It’s really the only thing I think really needed fixing so it was less temperamental, there were many times I’d screw up a jump without knowing where I went wrong and it just felt like the game was being really finicky about the whole thing. That aside though Spyro is an amazing yet simple game that is well worth 120%ing yourselves. It easily gets my recommendation especially for those who like to collect and/or are platformer enthusiasts, I can’t say I was expecting to like it as much as I did.

Hooray the first Chaos Blogg of the year is done, I hope you found something here interesting and I hope you stay tuned for more bloggs and a new video coming soon. I’m actually pretty glad I got this sorted before my birthday tomorrow since I’d rather get started on some new things now. Thank you all for reading this, have some pictures and I’ll see you later.

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Chaos Blogg 57: Shovel Knight

With the new year around the corner I figured it was time to do the last Chaos Blogg of 2014. It hasn’t been a productive year for me but at the same I’m certainly doing better than I was this time last year. As the stuff featured today, well it’s a mixed bag. Some of it’s amazing, some of it is average and there’s a couple of huge disappointments as well. So lets get this show on the road I guess.

Shovel Knight (Wii U):

I was waiting for Shovel Knight for quite a long time as the game took it’s sweet time getting onto consoles in regions such a Australia and Europe. It was certainly worth that wait though as Shovel Knight is certainly one of the best games of the year 2014. It’s a old school styled platformer and while a lot of titles have tried to capitalise on retro aesthetics and gameplay in the indie scene, Shovel Knight is far more polished. The game looks amazing, the sprites are beautiful and the art style is charming (If I were to describe it would be like Megaman crossed with Shantae but in a medi-evil setting, of course that’s probably not accurate at all but that’s what comes to mind when I look at it). Then of course there’s the excellent music, so damn catchy and pleasing to the ears. It’s obviously reminiscent of the Mega Man series and due to technology advancements I’d say it might even be better. Even just the standard sound effects are pleasing to the ears. They also integrated the music into the gameplay with collectable music sheets that you collect by finding secrets. It adds a nice incentive to explore and search for secrets and the like (And when you hand the music sheets in you get some dialogue, some gold and the ability to listen to the track in game when you visit the bard). The game is also fairly well written with plenty of quirky characters with somewhat funny dialogue, it’s really easy to accidentally skip the dialogue though which is a little annoying when it’s your first play-through. As for the story itself, well it’s incredibly simple, in order to fit with the retro style I’d assume. However it’s surprisingly heart warming at times and there’s a clear effort at some sort world building, not everything is as straightforward as I’d thought it’d be which is very much welcome. Of course what makes Shovel Knight worth playing though is the gameplay, which takes elements from the likes of Megaman, Castlevania, Zelda II, SMB3, and Duck Tales. You go through somewhat linear levels but it’s relatively easy to find hidden areas and what not in order to collect more treasure which you can use to purchase upgrades. These upgrades are new weapons that are for the most part useful in a least capacity, however there are also permanent Shovel upgrades, Health Upgrades, Magic Upgrades and optional armours. Be warned though as the armours are fairly useless, or at least the most expensive one is. Treasure is also an important part of the punishment system within the game, as when you die you lose a percentage of your total treasure meaning it’s possible to lose all you hard earned loot. You can then go back to where you died and try to collect your loot again but the treasure disappears if you die again before collecting it. This adds an element of tension to failure without actually resorting to game over screens and continues, of course it’s not perfect as sometimes treasure bags would just end up in impossible to reach locations which is a dick move. To be quite honest I’d much rather you all check out this game for yourselves, it’s an amazing experience and one that I don’t think my description would do justice. Other than my small complaints about the armour and the treasure bag system there’s not much of anything I want to complain about. Well there is one stage that was a pain in the ass as it had wind based platforming challenges, and if you die on the final boss you can’t get your treasure back, it doesn’t show up once you revive so the only way to avoid losing your gold at this point is to not die. Overall the gameplay is amazingly fun (and addictive), it keeps things fresh from level to level without ever feeling too gimmicky and there’s plenty of optional areas that keep the game from being too short. It’s just all so beautifully polished that it could easily join many of the great classics and perhaps even surpass them. I’d say this is a must play for most people.

Escape Goat (PC): 

If Shovel Knight shoots for the stars then Escape Goat is quite content with staying on the ground and accomplishing its goals on Earth. Escape Goat is another indie game that goes for a retro visual style and unfortunately it kind of blends in with a lot of other games at the moment, of course that doesn’t mean it’s without merits though. It’s still a good looking game and it has a pretty nice soundtrack that I probably won’t remember. There’s an attempt at some sort of narrative but it’s probably the weakest part of the game and isn’t exactly interesting. All you need to know is that you’re a goat that needs to escape. In order to escape you must rescue some magic sheep who somehow open the exit for you. Escape Goat is a puzzle platformer where you go through individual rooms pressing switches, and collecting keys in order to open the way to the next room. It gets progressively more difficult but each set of rooms has it’s own particular theme and challenge, and there is some degree of choice in which order you complete these room sets. Overall the puzzles are fairly simple and so are the controls, you charge with the goat to break blocks and move faster, and you can use your mouse friend (Whoops forgot to mention you have a mouse as a companion) in order to activate out of reach switches and what not. Some levels have magic hats that let you switch places with the mouse which gives some variety to the puzzles which is rather needed. While I can’t point out anything major that I disliked during my time with the game, I can’t really point out anything that amazed me either. It’s a short and simple game that has its challenging moments. Unless you want to tackle the achievements or really difficult bonus content (which is pretty freaking hard), there’s not much replay value. In many ways it’s an average game, but it’s functional and still fun. You’re also highly likely to find it on sale on steam and for those prices it’s a good deal.

Psycho Pass 2 (Anime):

I was somewhat excited about Psycho Pass 2 when I first heard about it, as the Psycho Pass was an amazing anime that really stood out from the crowd for me. It had amazing pacing and character development, and unfortunately those aspects didn’t really carry over to the new season. To be blunt Psycho Pass 2 is a disappointment, and the major reason why it’s a disappointment is its length. For some reason it’s only 11 episodes which is really short in comparison to the first season, in fact I didn’t even realise it was over until about a week after it finished airing. Of course you can argue that Psycho Pass 2 is just one story instead of multiple but the problem with that is Psycho Pass did a lot of character building in that time and also did a great job of establishing the villain before the final confrontation. Psycho Pass 2 on the other hand has all the building blocks to be amazing and for most of the anime it is pretty amazing, with fast paced action but also slow tension building. There’s some pretty great characters here and if they had been properly fleshed out enough they could even rival the cast of the first season (As it is though only Akane is amazing). The soundtrack is pretty neat with an opening that really stuck out to me, and I was pleased with the visuals although it sometimes feels a bit off. However the last few episode really drop the ball as they pretty much explain almost all the mystery away in one huge exposition dump and once that happens the pacing goes out the window. It speeds through what should be a really tense process of discovering the truth and some events aren’t even given a proper explanation when they should. It screams “We needed more episodes” and it’s such a huge waste of amazing potential, of course having a poor ending doesn’t automatically make something crap but it does drop the overall quality. If it had gone on longer I think they could have revealed things at a better pace while also allowing some of the more impacting moments to have a greater impact towards the end. As it is, it’s good enough to be passable but I don’t recommend it as highly as the original and if you do check out just brace yourself.

Aaaaand that’s all I could find that was decent enough to use for this since the OP is being hounded by copywriter shit.

Big Hero 6 (Movie):

The internet is a difficult place when it comes to knowing what movies are actually good or not, for example something as mediocre as Frozen has received stupid amounts of recognition. Big Hero Six has also received a ton of praise and I was quite apprehensive to watch it, however this apprehension was unfounded. Big Hero Six is a fun family movie that is filled with comedy, action and emotional drama. The setting is incredibly unique and it takes a while to adjust to the strange mix of eastern and western culture present here, however it’s an interesting location and suits the story and characters. I was impressed with the movie visually and while I personally don’t think much of the soundtrack it has plenty of great moments and I’m sure it’ll appeal to some people. I think the real strength of the movie is the characters, in particular Baymax who very much steals the show. The amount of personality in the character is excellent and provides for comedic purposes while also being one of the main emotional points as well. The other 5 heroes are also somewhat noteworthy however they don’t really get much development, and are there to support the protagonist, and provide comedy and action. Of course it takes a lot of effort to flesh out this many characters in just one movie so with that considered they did make a very charming and funny cast of characters (If there’s a sequel they could probably expand on them I guess). As previously mentioned there are some very touching moments in the movie and this really does change this from an average superhero comedy kids movie thing into something with a little bit of depth. Of course it’s not on the same level as The Incredibles but I felt it got pretty close. The plot itself though is a little predictable but takes some odd turns and doesn’t end up where I expected it to. The one problem I remember having though is that after a certain point the movie seems to rush a little after it spends quite a while developing the protagonist and Baymax. All the character development gets completely reversed after one emotional scene and it’s suddenly time for the finale. A couple more scenes could have this transition work better and could also given some more time to work on the antagonist. I also found some of the lines said with the action sequences absolutely horrendously cheesy and generic, luckily I didn’t notice these often but that did make me cringe on occasion. Overall with this movie I consider these pretty small complaints, it’s worth watching and I can certainly give it my recommendation.

Grisaia no Kajitsu (anime): 

Do not watch this anime, for goodness sake don’t do this to yourself. Grisaia no Kajitsu was originally a Visual Novel and one that I completed this year but didn’t bother to talk about due to the shit ton of sex scenes within the game (over 10 of them) and I really didn’t want to recommend that kind of thing on here. What I will say though is if you want to experience this story you’re far better off going for the visual novel, as the anime is a poor adaptation at best and at worst a fucking train wreck. Things start out relatively okay as the anime foreshadows some of the darker/emotional stuff but for the majority of 3 episodes it focuses on comedy and character building. Then they go down hill as they tackle one of the character routes (which would take a long time in the vn) in about 2 episodes which results in a lot of great scenes from the vn being cut in favour of shots of characters peeing themselves (well just one shot at this point in time). In what could only be described as a “THEY ANIMATED THAT OF ALL THINGS?” feeling, I was worried. And sure enough the next 2 character routes are butchered almost completely and shoved into a single episode each. That’s hours and hours of story shoved into 20 minutes and it is awful, even on it’s own merits the new changes to the storyline still lack depth and it just feels awkward.

The source material did have an interesting almost uneasy contrast between sexual content, humour, and depressing story-lines however in this anime it just feels off. Especially when in the final episodes about such horrible topics like survivors guilt, starvation, and hostage situations there are several out of place underwear shots and even more shots of urine. Is this some kind of fetish? I mean I know there’s a fetish like that out there but why the fuck are you catering to it is my question. WHY? You didn’t bother animating any of the cool shit, any of the emotional shit and just straight up went for poorly timed fan service and pee shots. *ahem* It’s just bad, and it’s a shame since it could’ve been good, if they had better focus, time and directing this could’ve been great. But the way it is, this anime is just barely mediocre and it only gets that because of Michiru and her comedic moments. Avoid this one and read the VN if you’re curious, just don’t watch this garbage like I did. (Worst anime I’ve seen this year I think).

I hope you all have a happy new year, this is the last Chaos Blogg of 2014, even though it’s technically 2015 right now. I kind of forgot to do this yesterday but I’m glad it’s over now and I hope you enjoyed or found it interesting. Please enjoy some pictures, I’ve included a winter themed pic this time for you people in the northern hemisphere. Please stay tuned for more blogs coming your way in the next couple of week.

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The Chaos Blogg 56: it’s like one of my Japanese animes

So it’s been a long time but here we are with what may be the final Chaos Blogg of the year 2014. It’s taken a while but that’s because of one rather large game that I felt like I needed to include in this particular blogg. I’ve also got one movie and one anime series being looked at here, so hopefully you’ll find something of interest. Anyway here’s the usual remixes, I hope you enjoy yourselves.

Castlevania II: Simons Quest (NES emulator):

I’m sure most of you have at least heard of this game by now, it’s infamous across the Internet for being a terrible game thanks to the likes of AVGN and Egoraptor. So it may surprise you to know that I didn’t actually find this to be a terrible game. Wait what? Have you gone barmy? that harsh Australian sunshine finally melted your brain? I can already hear the questions, well thankfully I can explain. Castlevania II is a terrible game IF you don’t know what to do before hand, the game is terribly cryptic for one and it also lacks any sort of map, if not for the Internet you’d get stuck fairly quickly. However I only decided to tackle the game on a whim after watching a couple of online playthroughs, which means for the most part I knew what to do. Once you have that knowledge it removes one of the biggest problems of the game and makes the overall experience more enjoyable. Does it make it a good game? well not really but it does make it playable and at best a decent framework for better games. First of all the game has a wonderful soundtrack… well mainly just Bloody Tears but the rest of the soundtrack is also nice and somewhat catchy. The graphics aren’t as terrible as some have said but they do leave something to be desired even by NES standards. As for the gameplay the closest comparison I can make at the moment is Zelda 2, lots of 2D side-scrolling with many dungeons (mansions) and plenty of grinding. You walk around killing enemies in order to collect hearts which let you buy helpful items, whip upgrades and side weapons. There’s also a level system that isn’t very prominent but whenever you level up you refill your health bar, which for me occurred at rather convenient times. Personally I didn’t find the grinding in this game unbearable however I do see the potential for it to get frustrating as a game over reduces your heart count to zero. In fact the most frustrating sections of the game involve the dumb green blob enemies, which are incredibly cheap and often dickishly placed. Of course another infamous part of the game is the day/night cycle. “What a horrible night to have a curse” has become an infamous video game quote and really the transition is not as annoying as you’d think it’d be but as time has gone by other games have made the transition much smoother. What is annoying though is the fact that towns close during the night meaning you can’t refill health or buy items and often just have to sit and grind the night away (grinding the night away could be a good thing in a different context). It’s really dumb when you consider the fact that the game has you on a timer with how long you take determining the ending you receive.

The mansions are pretty bland most of the time and the bosses are pretty much a joke (there’ only 3 of them). This leads me to my largest complaint with the game outside of the obvious, the level design. Simons Quest has level design that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Metroid or Zelda game but the problem is there’s no reward for exploring large portions of the game. Perhaps they simply intended to have areas meant for grinding but considering I noticed most of these sections at the end of the game it seems like they were there to extend game time. These areas are pointless, hell there’s even a mansion with a random room filled with boulders suspended in mid-air. Behind the boulders is nothing so there’s no need to go near them to begin with, why not just make the area inaccessible and not waste my time. There’s a solid foundation of a game here though, it controls as well as the first game, and it’s pleasing to the ears. It’s however hindered by poor level design and unintuitive progression. I will not recommend this game unless you’re compelled out of curiosity like I was in which case I recommend watching someone else play it first unless you want to rip your hair out.

Shantae (3DS eShop): 

Shantae is what Simons Quest wished it could’ve been, it’s an action adventure game that takes place on a 2D and has exploration elements. It feels like it was heavily influenced by the Metroid and Zelda games of old and it’s at least a decent example of metroidvania gameplay. Before I end up gushing praise I want to address all my complaints with the game first. For starters there are weird glitches on occasions mainly involving strange changes in colour and there was one time the game completely froze on me, however thanks to emulation this wasn’t too much of an inconvenience. The main problem I find with this game though is the hitboxes, the phrase “where the fuck are they?” comes to mind. Luckily it doesn’t break the game to unplayable degree but hitting enemies never feels consistent and I suspect this is one of the many drawbacks of the detailed sprite work. Also one thing this game didn’t fix from Simons Quest is the lack of a map, it always helps to have a map and in these kinds of games I would say it’s essential in helping the player navigate with little frustration. Navigation is also made difficult due to the inconsistency of the platforms, background objects, and objects you can interact with. The tutorial level is a great example as you can walk through some barrels and crates but not others, this could of been fixed by perhaps colour coding or even just using some sort of outline. I’m also not a big fan of fireflies as they only show up at night which is a little dickish, I did enjoy collecting them though but I think this aspect of the game would have been more fun had they given shantae a dance in order to switch between day and night, as it is you have to wait long periods of time if you want to find the fireflies and it’s kind of a pain. At one point in the game the NPCs give you the wrong directions, in what is either a big blunder or a intentional dick move, you can end up traversing the wrong area for quite a while. I also want to mention that there is a life system which I think is a little redundant in these type of games but when I consider the hitboxes, the instant death obstacles and the close up camera I can understand why they decided to go this route.

Now with all the flaws out the way lets focus on what makes this game pretty freaking good. Well for starters there’s the beautiful 8-bit sprite work and animation, it’s some of the best I’ve ever seen and it compliments the art style. The character designs are nice and would eventually lead to wayforwards signature style with the likes of Might Switch Force. The soundtrack is another positive, it’s catchy 8-bit goodness and while I won’t say it’s the game boys best soundtrack, it’s better than a lot of modern soundtracks and suits the game well. One of the key mechanics of the game is dancing, which allows you to transform and eventually travel across the world easier. Dancing is a fun mechanic and while it can have moments of tediousness, it seems like a pretty clever way of working around gameboy limitations without having to navigate through menus. The transformations are pretty cool and they have balances to make them all rather useful, for example the monkey transformation has momentum and is harder to control while the elephant can’t jump more than a little hop off the ground (Just some advice: the spider is useful at the endgame). I also love the design of the Labyrinths which are basically Zelda dungeons in a side-scrolling style (similar to the mansions), they’re fun and have plenty of puzzles and gimmicks that keep things feeling fresh. The main one I remember is the 2nd one as it involves magnetism in a somewhat interesting way. Aside from the fireflies collecting in this game is enjoyable with heart containers, warp squids and animal transformation upgrades to collect, they’re all useful in game and are therefore very rewarding to find, and most cases you’re required to solve some sort of puzzle to get some of them. A lot of these puzzles actually require you to buy items from the stores which is something I encourage anyone playing this game to do. Experiment with the items and you’ll eventually be rewarded but don’t be too spend crazy as permanent combat upgrades require your coins and while there’s only 4 of them they’re all pricey and may require you to do some grinding. Shantae expands on some of the better ideas present in Simons Quest and even made the day/night cycle in this type of game more seamless and less annoying (towns stay open at night, hooray!). Of course it has it’s own fair share of problems but most of these seem to be the result of hardware limitations rather than just sheer stupidity, and hopefully when I get to the sequels these problems have been ironed out altogether. Shantae has a pleasing aesthetic and is whole lot of fun to play, I personally recommend this one and I’d say it’s worth playing.

Interstellar (movie): 

Interstellar has to be one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, however just like most of Nolans movies it’s somewhat polarising. While I personally like memento, Inception and the batman trilogy I sometimes find myself wondering if they’re actually profound or just pretentious. I don’t think I’ll ever reach a solid conclusion on this issue so I’ll try to put it aside for now. More importantly I think this is something you should all check out on your own time with minimal spoilers so I hope not to go too into detail on anything plot wise. Visually this movie is very impressive and I personally found it to be one of the more beautiful movies of the year, and they managed a nice variety of locations. The soundtrack is excellent and Hans Zimmer once again proves that he can make moving pieces of music that are also somewhat memorable, it works very well with the space backgrounds and also heightens the drama nicely. In short I’d say Interstellar is a space drama based on characters trying to survive in a harsh apocalyptic setting. They do a good job of establishing the relationships between the characters and every character felt like they had an actual motivation. I also feel they do a great job in world (galaxy?) building as the slower pace at the start allows for the audience to somewhat understand the dire situation the human race finds itself in. It’s an incredibly long movie and this may be seen as negative but unlike some long movies I have seen I was heavily engaged with this one. I was caught up into the drama, the mystery and the sheer beauty of it all. They also tackled an issue I had never before seen tackled in a movie before, which is the concept of relativity. Not only was it interesting it was a great way to build drama and tension, and it’s a concept that I feel provides this movie its most emotional scenes. What I will say though is that the ending enters some less believable territory but it didn’t really detract from the experience overall and instead gave the story an overall cohesion (At least in my head any way). Once again I very much recommend this one, unless of course you don’t like Nolan at all which may be the case for some of you.

Metal Gear Solid (PSVITA):

I’ve never played a Metal Gear game before and honestly the series has a reputation of being more cutscene over gameplay, to the degree that many people jokingly call the games movies. I was reluctant to check the series out and when I tried the demo of MGS3 on the 3DS I was pretty much turned off the series as the demo felt clunky and unintuitive. After all the years of hearing people rave about the series though I got curious and decided to download the first game, and I’m very glad that I gave this series a second chance as MGS1 is a fantastic game. I can see why people regard this game highly, it’s quirky with lots of neat little ideas but the gameplay still feels very retro. By that I mean it’s both fun and addictive in the same way that games like A link to the past or Super Metroid are but also with a larger story focus which feels like a lot of current games but with a lot more effort and charm. While I’m not a fan of he convoluted plot present in this game it does a good job of building characters, and manages to build some serious drama and emotions while at the same time as being rather ridiculous. It’s hard to describe because it’s almost like “playing” a parody of spy movie while at the same time actually playing a spy movie. I won’t say it’s award winning writing but it provided lots of entertainment and I’m impressed that they made it work. I also believe the presentation helps in this aspect as the game has a really good soundtrack (not the best on the PS1 but still pretty good), that is made of both atmospheric tunes and some catchy melodies. The game also looks pretty good for the PS1 and manages to maintain it’s own somewhat unique artstyle.

The main thing I enjoyed about this was the gameplay which is funny since I’ve never been a huge fan of stealth in video games as it’s often stressful and very slow, mainly due to all those moments of “how the fuck did they see me”. In MGS I didn’t really notice too many of those moments as the game does a fairly good job of establishing what the AI can and can’t see. It also helps that the game gives you a map and a top down fixed camera viewpoint which allow for easy navigation. You can also enter first person mode to check ahead and the camera often changes when you lean up against walls and cover. When it comes to combat though the game is very clunky and it can make many of the boss fights really difficult. However I didn’t really find the combat annoying in anyway but I kind of wish the game had more weapons based tutorials (in the tutorials section obviously) as it’s not always intuitive, of course I may have missed a conversation in game explaining the mechanics since that sometimes happens. For any other first timers you should probably learn how to choke enemies using the square button and also to crawl over claymores to collect them, it’ll help you out big time. I also love the small amounts of exploration in the game as it rewards you with ammo and extra upgrades for sneaking in to somewhat out of the way areas. I will say that backtracking in this game is a little annoying though mainly because it’s forced to the storyline and just travelling can be a challenge in a stealth game (At the same time the game is self aware of this fact and Snake is typically more pissed about it than you are, which is pretty funny). There’s all sorts of interesting gameplay elements like the anti-anxiety meds used in the sniper battles and the fact you can catch a cold which can instantly be cured with cold medicine but also makes you sneeze and therefore alerts enemies to your presence. Even the codec system is really interestingly designed and it’s really clever way of installing hints, tutorials and saving into the game without breaking the immersion, it helps that the voice acting is charmingly hammy but not actually terrible (if that makes sense).

I do have one pretty major complaint though and that’s the multiple endings, first off why would you let the end of the game be decided by an out of place button mashing section  I guess they were trying to simulate the torture that snake was going through but it feels very out of place and in no way should any amount of importance have been placed on this segment of gameplay. It’s like having the fate of Hyrule depend on the fishing minigame in OOT (thank god that’s not the case). Also the button masher has several cutscenes before hand and it takes a relatively long time -once you get the game over and for some dickish reason get booted to the title screen-  to get back to the button masher. It doesn’t help that I personally hate these types of button mashing sections to begin with as they’ve always felt like a cheap way of stopping player progress. It’s what I consider the worst part of the game and it made me reconsider playing through again to obtain the good ending. In the end though I really enjoyed Metal Gear Solid and it gets a solid recommendation from me. It’s an addictive game and I’m sure you’ll have a blast, just make sure you’re in the mood for lot’s of continuous dialogue and cutscenes.

Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS):

Fire Emblem Awakening is addictive but it also fundamentally changes the Fire Emblem series gameplay and I can see why some don’t see it as a proper Fire Emblem game. From my perspective some changes are welcome, like being to have a shit ton more supports and the whole ‘sparkly spots that give you shit’ thing replacing secret spots that only give thieves or really lucky units stuff. However because of the sparkly spots and the large number of merchants on the map it’s incredibly to end up with way too many weapons to the point where item management is pretty tedious, but the game compensates for that with an optimisation feature which works pretty well, but it feels a little hollow compared to other games (even though in FE7 I had too many weapons I was still able to keep track of most of them) where item management was a somewhat relaxing experience. The biggest change is the emphasis on supports with the pairing system, which makes supports more important in combat and in many circumstances down right necessary. The system allows adjacent units to attack together and sometimes defend each other but it also allows you to combine your units effectively giving you a way to rescue weaker characters without consequence. The emphasis on supports seems to have affected the effort put into minor characters during the main story, which means most characters get one chapter of story related dialogue and the game depends entirely on supports to flesh them out. It’s a little disappointing since Radiant Dawn did I better job of building the characters within the main story and it was a more solid story for it (I think even Path of Radiance did a better job). It almost feels like Awakenings support system is a reaction to the lack of good supports within Radiant Dawn (and if memory serves correctly shadow dragon) and it’s very clear that they put a ton of effort into this aspect of the game. The supports are really nice though, and do a good job of characterisation, they also make sure that every player will have a slightly different experience and this really shows when S ranks enter the picture. It effects both gameplay and dialogue and it lends the game an incredible replay value that trumps most of the series (which is saying something since I think Fire Emblem has high replay value).

The pairing mechanic is kind of broken and fundamentally changes the way the game is played. I felt slightly less strategic and cautious but at the same time it makes the game go faster and gives you more options when in a pinch. It also eventually balances out as you realise pairing too much limits the amount of attacks you can make on a given turn and in some battles extreme caution is still recommend even while using pairing. There’s also a bit of weird difficulty curve as one chapter can be incredibly easy while the next is a huge pain. Grinding is back from Sacred Stones and is very helpful early game but can make your team op pretty quickly for certain chapters so I don’t recommend overdoing it except when you’re about to tackle side chapters 18 to 23 (In fact it may be better to tackle the final boss before doing these side chapters). As a whole I feel the game is a lot easier than previous entries but it still has it’s moments of brutality and often the AI will punish if given the chance (sometimes you just get shit luck though) and don’t get me started on Side Chapter 23, it’s hell and I still haven’t been able to complete it without sacrificing someone (didn’t save after that though). There’s a quality cast of female characters (I’d be here a while if I listed all that I thought were well done), while the male cast is very bland design wise with many shades of brown hair but they at least have plenty of effort put into characterisation. Only Frederick, My Unit (aka Robin), Gerome, Owain and Chrom really stood out for me straight away, however a lot of characters grew on me over time. Tharja is freaking amazing, both combat wise, personality wise, and design wise (see images bellow I guess), but she ended up being less powerful than some of the later game units in the end (like Noire for example).

As for the story itself well I didn’t feel it as much as I should have, partly due to some spoilers but it didn’t pick up until chapter 7 and while it’s certainly a better narrative than the GBA games the world itself felt like it was lacking details, however this is in comparison to PoR and RD which went to great lengths to establish the countries and even the politics of those countries (Also there were battle briefing scenes where we got to see the strategies being planned). Awakening only gives a small glimpse into these types of matters with notions of Khans and Conquers but doesn’t give it any importance than “these guys are your opponent now”. With that said though many chapters such as chapter 10 were beautifully done and the core of the story is solid and allows for character drama, and many great moments that are all pretty much spoilers. The music in this game is a mixed bag, some of it sounds like generic JRPG stuff, while a lot of it is really beautiful and captivating (chapter 10 for example). While PoR and RD seemed to excel at character specifics tunes and tracks that played mainly in the dialogue sections, Awakening for the most part doesn’t do a good job with those and instead does an excellent job of battle and combat themes. For those themes alone I’d say it’s an excellent soundtrack. Overall I’d say I love this game and for now it’s found it’s place just above Sacred Stones in my ranking of the series, of course I also think it’s lacking some things and it doesn’t measure up to Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn but it doesn’t really have to. As of this moment this game is one I can highly recommend to all 3DS owners, it seems perfectly suited to newer players but I will warn veterans that this is a rather different experience but luckily the core remains intact… except for the magic triangle and light magic for some reason. Also if you want a laugh you might want to purchase the Scramble pack DLC, it actually provides more characterisation (also fan service).

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Anime):

I’m really not sure how to go about describing this series, but I guess at it’s base it’s a comedy about people who make romance manga. So in many ways it makes fun of troupes and conventions. In this regard it’s somewhat like Watamote and I don’t think I’d be able to recommend this to any anime newcomer. With that said though the I found the series genuinely funny and while it’s not marathon material I felt like it was worth watching. It looks and sounds good as well, so it doesn’t lose points in that regard. I’d give it a place alongside other comedies I enjoyed like Working and D-frag, perhaps even a little higher. I honestly don’t have any complaints at all for this one, although it doesn’t really go anywhere it felt like it used that to it’s own advantage rather thanconstantly trying to pretend it was going somewhere. There’s also no generic male protagonist character and for the most part there’s very little fanservice which will either be a plus or minus depending on your tastes and maybe even your mood. Very interesting characters overall and interesting character dynamics, for those who are more versed in this medium I think this series is a safe recommendation.

and the next track is a joke one.

And here’s some pictures.

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Thank you for being patient with me, it took me far longer than usual to create this particular post. I’m glad I was able to do it before the year ended. I’m also sorry for the length of some of these, I had a lot of thoughts on my mind about most of these games and then when it came to the singular anime I had very little on my mind (Probably partially due it’s good quality and my current tired state). I hope you enjoyed yourselves and if you want to talk about any of these things more feel free to do so in the comments.

The Chaos Blogg 55: Sly Raccoon

Well things are really rough right now, perhaps even more rough than last time. I’m currently dealing with horrible mental garbage (Some days I feel like I’m going crazy among other things), and I also managed to get a skin problem and a common cold as well. Luckily though I’ve still got stuff to review here and I was a bit quicker this time. Hopefully you all enjoy what’s on offer, and I’ll continue hoping that medicine can actually save me. Ahem, enough depressing crap here’s some music.

Metrico (PSVITA): 

This game is a kind of a troll, it’s a puzzle platformer that tries to use every single input of the Vita in order to create puzzles and platforming challenges. By every single input, I mean every single input. Every jump, every movement, every death and every checkpoint could be used in a puzzle. The more annoying stuff though occurs when you have to use the touchpad to aim projectiles, or you have to use the motion sensors, or when you have to use the lighting feature. While they may be interesting concepts they’re not exactly comfortable or precise and they’re the games main downfall, especially if you go after achievements. Metrico has an interesting art-style to complement it’s game-play, as the entire world is presented in info-graphs with fractions and percentages everywhere. These fractions and percentages, help you solve the puzzles and if you pay close attention you’ll notice that they can help you find collectibles. Interesting enough collectables in this game are like secondary hidden puzzles and they do add some replay value if you miss them on your first try. The strange but beautiful presentation is also complemented by the soundtrack which while unmemorable is certainly fitting for the game and rather relaxing (which is necessary since there is frustration to be had). Overall I found this game to be quite fun and clever, but it was also a pain in the ass at times. If you have a Vita though it may be worth checking out assuming it’s relatively cheap. The game is short though so you may want to keep that in mind, and I think watching the videos bellow may give you a better impression of the game than my words could do alone so I hope you do that. (I really had nothing major to compliment or criticise here).

Note: I couldn’t find the soundtrack so the above videos will have to do

Sly Raccoon (PSVITA):

Okay so I’ve never played Sly Cooper before but I knew since it received huge amounts of praise on this website (Mainly from Blair) that it was about time I looked into the series. Know as simply Sly Raccoon in my country, Sly 1 was part of the trilogy package for PSVITA which I bought on a whim, and I do plan to play the other two games in the package once I’m ready. I also want to say that some of the complaints I did have may be due to the Vita port rather than flaws with the original game on PS2, however I don’t have the experience necessary to figure it out myself. First off lets start with the animated cut scenes, while I do enjoy the cartoon-like nature of the cut-scenes in the game and how the effectively presented the rather simple story, I can’t say the art-style was all that appealing to me. Art-style aside though the cut-scenes were at a rather low resolution and they looked like a low quality You Tube video in that regard, that being said though they were still rather charming and that was probably thanks to the voice acting. The voice acting in this game suits the cartoon-like style, and the writing never enters exceptional territory. There are laughs to be had but nothing quite as funny as say Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, nor anything truly bad enough to become kind of unintentionally funny (like starfox and Sonic Adventure). The in game visuals grew on me as the game went on and they remind me of that Bugs Bunny game on PS1 a little. Music wise Sly Cooper is good, but nothing in this game anyway is extremely catchy nor do any tracks stand out. As a whole though the soundtrack is very recognisable due to reoccurring instruments, melodies and whatnot. The music does it’s job well setting the tone of the game.

Game-play wise Sly Cooper at first comes across as a very generic platformer from the PS2 era, it’s linear but with collection elements so it’s reminiscent of crash bandicoot in that aspect. However I get the feeling Sly Cooper was a template that many licensed platformers may have copied back then, although it may have been influenced itself from many games in the genre. As a whole the game is rather easy yet losing lives is also rather easy as sly can only take one hit before he croaks unless you have a lucky horseshoe. Sly is also a bit clunky but not to an awful detriment besides a few levels with tricky to obtain bottles, however there were several times I got stuck in objects due to strange glitches in platforming which caused me to restart some levels. As for the whole thief aspect well, I never really felt like I was doing any impressive stealth. For the most part it’s just avoid objects and enemies and there’s no much else to it but it serves it’s purpose to make the game stand out more, and there’s no bullshit with enemies seeing you when they shouldn’t have (except when they turn around as soon as you hit the attack button, though I guess that’s my timing). There’s also some shooter and driving segments to try and vary up the game-play, these segments handle decently but they could use far more tuning. The game gets more interesting with it’s platforming with world 2 and onwards since new skills are introduced and the level design seems to get a lot more creative and interesting, although you’ll notice more and more mini-game like segments popping up the further into the game you go. In fact there’s even a rhythm based boss fight which is kind of cool, however this fight also highlighted the fact that the game needs skip-able cut-scenes. Now of course with all these things said I actually enjoyed my time with Sly Raccoon and I hope that the series improves as I explore the sequels. It was a short but rather fun platformer with plenty of collectables to satisfy my desire to collect. It also has a lot of cool abilities to unlock include the ability to speed time up and slow it down and the power to just break the difficulty curve by surviving pitfalls and water. I enjoyed my time with Sly Raccoon and it became my first platinum quite easily, it wasn’t a challenge but it was a really enjoyable time and shows quite a lot of potential. I recommend it for those who’ve got a day or two to kill and want something fun and relaxing (well for the most part).

The Judge (Movie):

Don’t let the premise fool you, there’s not a lot of murder mystery stuff here and this film is pretty much dedicated to family drama. That said though The Judge felt like it was lacking focus, like it had so many sub plots that it was having trouble keeping track. That sometimes makes for a more interesting and some dare say a more realistic experience. In this case though it just felt like a little too much at times, especially with just how creepy some of this stuff got and how easily some of it got brushed aside. For example the romance sub-plot was rather creepy and unnecessary but the sub-plot with the brothers isn’t expand on much at all. There’s also some gross scenes thrown in here, involving urination, vomiting and diarrhoea. You could argue they provide humour and/or make the movie feel more real and gritty, but to me it feels unnecessary and doesn’t actually benefit the film. Those complaints taken into account I somewhat enjoyed the film, Robert Downing Jr. does a fairly solid job here and so does most of the cast, and it was certainly able to hit me with the feelings at times. Of course nothing amazing stood out to me about the movie but that may be my reaction to family dramas in general, and if you’re curious about the film you’re best off renting it first since I get the feeling it’ll be hit or miss.

Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Wii):

“What’s wrong with me?” “I think you’re crazy” “I want a Second Opinion” “You’re also lazy” – Planet of the Apes the musical 

Ignoring Simpsons quotes for now I never really thought I’d be playing a Wii game, nor did I think I’d be playing a Trauma Centre game at all. Being a Wii launch title the game isn’t exactly a shining example of what the system can do and it clearly shows that it was roughly adapted from a DS game as well. Visually it’s lacklustre although I don’t mind the character designs and on the DS this would be pretty passable. The soundtrack is fairly standard outside of the exceptions like this one and it serves its purpose well, actually it’s a better than standard but just not enough to get me to remember it in the long term. The game-play is pretty much an arcade surgery game, with VN like cut-scenes to provide story in between surgeries. You’re not offered any story choices and well the writing isn’t the games strong suit, though I thought it was kind of charming in a cheesy drama way, and there’s at least an attempt at building some characters. As for actually playing the game it’s pretty fun but also incredibly frustrating. The game is played using the IR pointer in the Wii-mote and typically this works for a lot of games pretty well (Metroid Prime, Pikmin, Red Steel 2), but in Trauma Centre it’s less than ideal as the game requires some precision at a very fast speed and that’s often difficult to pull off with the shaky Wii-mote pointer. I get the feeling it would be smoother on touchscreens but I heard the DS version of the game had poor item management that wasn’t time friendly. The difficulty is also pretty fucking intense and for the most part is actually manageable on Normal mode, it feels bullshit at times but you can also argue it’s just very challenging. The disease know as Triti though can go fuck itself, but luckily you can cheese your way through it using the Healing Touch, a special ability that slows down time and can only be used once per operation. Eventually though once I reached the 2 final operations I was pretty tired of some of the nonsense, and had to shamefully lower the difficulty which then made those operations feel a little too easy. To quickly describe the problem they expect you to perform 4 surgeries in a row without any deaths and the diseases you’re fighting are some of the most pesky ones to deal with including the freaking Triti at the very start of the operation. Overall this game was stressful, somewhat fun and just a bit too flawed for me to recommend it to anyone. If you’re just really curious like (I was) maybe it’s worth a look, hell you might like the intense challenge and the arcade like nature of the game. On the other hand I just don’t think it’d be worth the money and I’m sure more recent game would have improved upon this formulae anyway, so I recommend borrowing it from someone else like I did or you could hope to find it for super cheap somewhere.

Space Dandy season 2 (Anime):

Yeah I could probably copy and paste my first Space Dandy review here but I feel that overall this season was a little bit of an improvement in that I can’t remember a single episode that made me go ‘ugh’ like the last episode of season one did. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect though as while there’s still variety a lot of these episodes felt like they were constantly trying to be surreal and that can get a little stale. Space Dandy still has a rather impressive soundtrack and rather neat visuals, and the characters are given a bit more depth this season. They even managed to connect most of these seriously disconnected stories in at least some way, which was an unexpected surprise (though not really since it’s blatantly set-up at the start of the series). Crap I’m already out of things to type, there was nothing really here to make me want to go into further detail in either a positive or negative way. I guess this is probably because I’m treading the same territory again. I do think this series is something you should check out though and I hope you enjoy it, it’s got some laughs, it’s got some action, there’s quite a bit of episode variety and it can get emotional at times as well.

Princess Mononoke (Anime Movie):

Ah Ghibli, how you hit and miss with me so often is quite extraordinary, some of films I really enjoy like Howls moving castle, Kiki’s delivery service and the ever popular Spirited Away. Other films though have left me wanting more, or in the case of Poppy Hill wanting my time back. Luckily Princess Mononoke is on the enjoyable side of the spectrum. For starters it’s a bit more violent than what I’ve come to expect, and this means it had plenty of stunning action which while not necessary can be a helpful ingredient. Visually it’s quite impressive, although it’s not as visually impressive as newer Ghibli films. In terms of soundtrack it delivers some moving pieces but it’s not the type of music that sticks with you afterwards (I do think it works with the movie though). Princess Mononoke tackles that old man versus nature debate and does an interesting job of showing both sides in a sympathetic way, the protagonist is often struggling against both sides while searching for a way to end the curse of hatred placed onto him. I wouldn’t say the themes of the film are subtle but it doesn’t feel like it was shoving them in my face either. The characters are mostly well characterised which includes the animals/gods as well as the human characters, although Mononoke herself could have been given a bit more, since for the titular character she was a little lacking. Princess Mononoke feels like an adventure film, with a very well paced plot and an actually somewhat satisfying conclusion. It was far more fun than I expected it to be, and I highly recommend this one to pretty much everyone.

Okay so that’s done and over, I want to apologise because I don’t think any of these were as detailed as normal. At the same time though a lot of this stuff didn’t inspire me to either compliment it in detail, nor was there anything particularly horrible about any of it. I have no idea if it’s just me or the games/anime in particular but hopefully next time I’ll have a bit more to say. Thank you for reading enjoy some pictures.

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Chaos Blogg 54 – Take to the Witness Stand, Proud

It feels like this one has taken me ages, however I hope this Chaos Blogg has something you might find interesting. I also want to briefly mention that I’m going through some rough stuff at the moment thanks to my own brain being a complete douche, which may have an impact on the review things. Also if you recognise the pun in the title I’m sure you could possibly guess some of the content in this Blogg. Anyway hope you enjoy these remixes, lets keep going.

Ace Attorney Investigations 2 (DS emulator on PC):

I remember mourning that this game wouldn’t see a translation years ago, as Capcom kept this game from leaving Japan. It was a bummer because well Investigations 1 was my favourite game in the franchise and felt a lot more involved than most of the games in this series in terms of pure gameplay, it also had a well paced story and wasn’t alienating to newcomers (most characters in that game were new with only a few characters reoccurring). Investigations 2 was finally translated by the fans and a Beta patch was released just this year. For the most part the fan translators did a great job in bringing out the games charm and they put in quite the bit of effort with adjustments to the credits and even their own sound-files used for the new characters. Of course it’s not all peachy as the translators let in some horribly dated and unfunny references *cough*attackontitan*cough*pacificrim*cough* which make some lines reek of 2012/2013. Some of the fan voices also didn’t really suit the characters at all (Judge Courtney for one), however considering we’re talking about fans here I’d say it’s pretty good work. Anyway as for the game itself well for starters it looks just as fine as Investigations 1 and the new characters are most well designed in that regard. The music is freaking amazing, even by Ace Attorney standards which is pretty freaking high. There’s some remixes and reused tracks but most of it is new stuff and this new stuff has this vibe that feels a little more ‘rock’ (I really don’t have the proper words for it). Gameplay wise AAI2 feels much more restricted than AAI did, and while I don’t think linearity matters too much with the Ace Attorney series as Dual Destinies proved I do think AAI’s strength was that it felt like you had a decent amount of control. In AAI2 things are a lot more simple you investigate a specific crime-scene, cross-examine people and then repeat as the story moves you to a different location. It’s not much of a problem but it removes some of the agency the player had previously or at least the illusion of agency. Logic Chess is a nice addition to the game although compared to a lot of similar segments it’s rather easy although the time-limit provides pressure. As for the games story and plot well this is where I feel it’s either a love it or hate it kind of deal, as AAI2 tries very hard to raise the stakes with each case to somewhat ridiculous levels. Naturally as these games go on the stakes get higher and the drama gets heavier but by Chapter 3 it seriously felt like the game was in endgame territory and quite frankly that was the best case in the game (I’d say it’s pretty important to the overall series as well). AAI2 also tries to create a far more interconnected plot meaning the story itself gets a little convoluted, and although it’s still a blast and the drama is high it gets bogged in it’s own scale at times removing some of the satisfaction of solving the various mysteries these games normally present. In that sense it’s a bit of a double-edged sword and it’s what makes this game rather unique. I’d also like to mention the games focus on bringing back more and more characters from old games. Normally it’s nice to see characters returning because well it’s often balanced with a whole bunch of new characters, however by the time you reach the end it’s ridiculous just how many characters were bought back for no real justifiable reason other than to tie itself to the main series (like it wasn’t even subtle). In the end though Ace Attorney Investigations 2 is still a good game, but in terms of the Ace Attorney series it’s about the second worst only just above Apollo Justice and it’s dumb-ass time travel paradox shit. Really though it’s no going to cost you much to form your own opinion on the matter and there’s still plenty to love about this game after all is said and done.

The Giver (movie): 

I read this book when I was in high school, that was a long time ago and my memory was rather fuzzy when I watched this but it did manage to connect with what little I do remember about the book. Of course judging a movie to a book isn’t something I want to do here and on it’s own merits I don’t think The Giver was a bad film at all. In fact I’d say it’s a decent movie that’s perhaps even borderline good. I will admit though that going in I wasn’t really expecting much and well it managed to jump over the bar I had set for it. The soundtrack is beautiful, and the use of colour through-out the film was nice and I like how it subtly it changed as the movie went on. In terms of presentation it was neat and the story was fairly solid, although it does feel like the movie rushed things at times. I really don’t have much to compliment outside of perhaps the piano scene and perhaps the conflict between the giver and the douche canoes at the end, as I felt it conveyed emotion well enough to the point where I felt some emotion towards the story. I also only have one real criticism and that’s the scene where they SPOILER kill a baby END SPOILER I don’t think they needed to show that scene in detail especially when they don’t really show anything similar in nature within the film. It was a huge contrast to the rest of the movie and to me felt like it was there for just shock value. In fact I’m pretty sure the audience would have got the conveyed message if you just showed the needle and then cutaway to the reaction of the main characters. Of course that’s mainly because I also felt that the scene as it was, was rather tasteless. Anyway if you think you’d handle it then I can recommend it, but this isn’t a high priority film.

Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PSVita):

The first Dangan Ronpa was #5 in my top 10 last year and well it had earned it’s spot with providing an addictive game, charming characters, a wonderful narrative and unique visual style and soundtrack. SDR2 has most of these things as well, however in terms of story and gameplay it’s inferior to original game. But why is that well gameplay wise you can do more things which is a plus but a lot of these things aren’t much fun, for example the mechanic of exploring the island is just dull and might as well have been a menu screen as it’s only purpose seems to be for a tamagochi mini-game (I guess it’s optional but still). The class trial segments have also seen new content added, most of which is fine like the Logic Drive and the ability to affirm as well as negate testimony (In fact these are pretty neat). However the hangmans gambit and Rebuttal showdown are just kind of annoying, and I’m not sure why they changed hangmans gambit anyway as it was fine as it was in the original. Of course these gameplay complaints aside it’s still very much the same experience as the first game with a different story and set of characters (Also yes the visuals and sound design are great, just in case I forgot to address that). The story is a mixed bag, with some of the best chapters but also some of the worst chapters. Chapter 3 for example was horrible in that a lot of stuff wasn’t explained and it’s only at the end of the game when this chapter makes sense, although it doesn’t make up for how unsatisfying and unpleasant the chapter was. On flip side there’s stuff like Chapter 4 which I thought handled characterisation really well and was perhaps the most fun to solve. SDR2 is very much a roller coaster experience of story quality which makes it inconsistent compared to the first game that was solid pretty much all around. However I will say that I think part of this came from the fact that people have been spoiling this game like crazy for me and it’s pretty annoying how casually huge spoilers are thrown around for this series, so if you plan to play these games be extra cautious about spoilers. One thing SDR2 did well is characters and characterisation (except a certain someone in chapter 3 like wtf), a lot of these characters are well written although I don’t think I like them as much as the previous games cast (a few exceptions of course). There’s also some extra modes, one of which is a strange action minigame starring Usami the games comedy mascot character and the other is a dating sim/work management game that allows you to get to know the characters better (Including the dead ones) which has it’s sweet moments. (Hmmm I seem to have neglected mentioning the core premise of the game) Just to back track for newbies this is indeed a game where you solve murders and mysteries, similar to Ace Attorney but also with some elements of the Zero Escape series. That said if you haven’t go check out the first one (I recommend setting the voices to Japanese) and if you like what you see the move on to this one. It’s a bit of a downgrade but I’d say it’s still worth playing and is overall a good game.

No Game, No Life (Anime):

What do I think of No Game, No Life? Well to be honest at this point I’m kind of indifferent towards it. I was neither impressed or annoyed out of my wits end by what I saw and overall it’s a mediocre anime with some potential. Funnily enough a certain MyIGNer mentioned this anime after my review of Nisekoi and said that many of the things I said about Nisekoi applied to this anime. While there’s truth to that as both of these shows are good looking, rather shallow and have no end in near sight I don’t think that does this show justice since this show actually has a plot and some sort of drama. For starters No game, No life takes place in a fantasy world where all conflict is resolved through games instead of war. This means the protagonists have a goal and while the plot is rather simple and perhaps generic it at least tries to draw in the viewer. The games themselves have at least an illusion of strategy between the characters and the ‘pulling shit out of thin air’ has been done better elsewhere but it’s somewhat entertaining here. The soundtrack is decent and the characters aren’t that bad. However I can’t quite recommend this one when there’s so much better stuff out there, and I don’t see myself returning to this one in a hurry.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders First Half (Anime):

Wait wait wait Chaos, didn’t you already review this? Also what do you mean by First Half? Well no I haven’t reviewed this yet since Stardust Crusaders is Part 3 of Jjba while the ones I reviewed previously were only parts 1 and 2. As for the First Half part well Part 3 is much bigger than Part 1 and 2, and from my sources is around 50 episodes which means at this point that it’s halfway complete. I decided to watch the first half now because of reasons that I myself don’t quite understand. This series takes place in the 80’s sometime after the events of Part 2 and introduces the concept of the Stand, which is a physical manifestation of a persons spiritual energy (at least that’s how I remember the characters describing it). The Stand kind of replaces the Ripple from the previous series and is front and centre most of these episodes. In that sense it’s a lot more formulaic than the previous series and it can get a little predictable but they seem to have done that on purpose for comedic value and it’s acknowledged somewhat by the characters. The bat-shit crazy charm is still there though and the show is still highly entertaining, with a wonderful soundtrack, excellent visuals and endearing characters. Not every episode is going to hit the mark though and there was one time where I was left a little queasy. It hasn’t quite reached the same level of entertainment as Part 2 did bar for a couple of episodes (6 and 12) but I guess that’s like comparing Gold to Platinum. The first half of Part 3 is a solid anime and still some of the best stuff I’ve seen all year, if you’re curious go check out Part 1 and 2 and then decide if you want to continue, and for those who have seen that much and plan to continue you’re most likely going to enjoy this. Even if Jotaro’s adventure doesn’t have quite the same amount of brilliant bullshit as Joseph’s. Note: Brilliant Bullshit is a compliment.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS):

10/10 it’s Okay

Seriously though I had everything typed up and just as I saved my internet decide “lol, I better shit myself” pretty much deleting everything I had written. Honestly I can’t fucking remember it was exactly that I even wrote, and I’m just fucking lucky that I was able to recover what I did. So what did I say about Animal Crossing: New Leaf? Well I pretty much said it was a well made that’s good for short daily spurts and not much else, and that personally I just didn’t have the commitment or attention span to invest more time into this one.

The music is relaxing, the characters are cute and the so is the art-style. It’s all very simple but charming and while I don’t recommend it for everyone if you’re into similar types of games it’s probably worth your time. As for complaints well all I can really say is that I don’t like fish, that the bugs make some annoying noises when you wear headphones and that the mayoral stuff feels a little extra pointless at times. Anyway I might go back to it around Halloween so if you want me to do that let me know and I’ll get ready for the guilt trip. If no one wants me to do that though I’ll move on to the likes of Fire Emblem and Luigi’s Mansion… hopefully doing a much better review than this one. Anyway I’m going to try and finish this up now so I don’t have to put up with more bull shit. I really am sorry but I’m tto tired write all that crap again.

So aside from that last one I hope you enjoyed this blogg, I plan to do another video review soon so please stay tuned for that. And to apologise for the fuck up here’s some pictures. Seriously though feedback is helpful people. Also if you actually want to talk about Animal Crossing New Leaf then feel free to do that in the comments as well.

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The Chaos Blogg 53: Limited Blade Works

This one probably took a while but to be honest it felt rather quick. Today we have not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 GAMES being reviewed (if you consider these reviews that is). There’s also some anime here, and I hope you can find something that interests you in this blogg. Now lets have some music.

Fate/Extra (PSP): 

Wait a PSP game? holy shit I haven’t talked about one of these in about a year. While probably not the best example of what the PSP is capable of Fate/Extra is what would consider a good game, and one of the more memorable experiences I personally have had on the handheld. Funnily enough I won this in a competitive raffle of sorts run by a very kind and generous individual. Such incredible luck doesn’t happen too often, so I knew I had to make the most of this opportunity. The story of this game is quite similar to Fate/Stay Night however it doesn’t acquire too much knowledge of the series due to it being set in an alternate universe. This Alternate universe is more sci-fi in nature than 100% straight up fantasy as you wake up inside a large computer known as the moon cell and are forced into a death tournament where the winner gets their wish fulfilled. That’s right it follows some Matrix like logic (although there’s more of a magic-based twist to it), and in order for you to battle the moon cell generates your servant (saber, archer and caster). The story explains itself decently throughout the game and while it can be confusing it’s not mind melting. The appeal to the story is the characters that are both charming and well developed, in particular the servant you pick is highly developed (assuming you did everything correctly) and there’s depth and variety in the opponents you face through out the story.

Visually this game doesn’t have too much going for it, however the character portraits are beautiful in both design and art style which gives the game it’s own unique feel. The inside of the arena is also visually appealing with bright colours and an interesting style even if I did think there were too many fish in the background (I don’t like fish). The Music is also top notch with lots of catchy upbeat tunes as well as some well done sorrowful pieces, there’s elements of what I call jazz here and elements of electronic music as well. Now for the gameplay which is where Fate/Extra is actually rather hit and miss. You first pick your servant which will affect difficulty (Saber is meant to be the easiest but her character more than makes up for that) then as the story progresses you must ‘explore’ the arena where you train your servant and collect items in order to be ready for the next boss fight. It’s a rather simple premise and as long as you explore the ‘hub world’ each day before entering the arena it’s pretty hard to screw up royally. The combat itself is like an RPG had sex with Scissor, paper, rock and to be honest I haven’t seen anything like this before. Each battle has 6 moves per turn and in those 6 moves you must input commands, which range from Guard, Break, Attack and Special (which uses up mana). This means you have to guess/predict your opponents moves and knowing is probably more than half the battle in this game. You gain this knowledge by fighting enemies and for boss fights you find it through the story itself. The whole system is a bit more intricate than I can describe and I don’t really want to spend all day writing a tutorial.

For the majority of the game I had fun with this combat system as enemy moves formed patterns that I could pick up on and it was fairly rewarding figuring stuff out without all the required knowledge. Gameplay wise the most fun sections are the boss battles as they offer a fair challenge and they let you go all out without having to fear too many consequences. Using all your items, skills and eventually your Noble Phantasm (super special move) to beat tough opponents is a blast although it will all depend on your servant and the amount of grinding you’ve done. This is where we reach the main complaint, and that’s the grinding which is tedious at first but eventually ends up both tedious and stressful. For starters you’re limited to small areas that take a fair amount of time to move around, you have to fight the same enemies over and over, and there’s no way to save when you’re in the arena meaning if you die in the arena hours of grinding can be wasted. To be honest it doesn’t become a problem until about the 5th chapter, which is when enemies are given their own special moves which are hard to predict and seemingly random. Some enemies can also inflict random paralysis even if you do guard an attack successfully and it’s horrifying when it happens. One situation had me grinding brand new enemies after a boss encounter and that took several retries and a lot of luck to get through. Another time in chapter 6 a random enemy managed to hit me with a special move (didn’t see it coming) that ALSO paralysed me, this paralysis let the enemy take out my character in about 4 hits sinking about 2 hours down the drain. These pure RNG elements made grinding for xp a boring slug through enemies as wondered when and where the next bullshit would come from, luckily the caution I did take saved me from a lot of bullshit but it was never quite as fun. I also found the grinding may have been too much when it came to the final boss who was kind of a cake walk, but that may just be Saber being op in some regards.

Overall there was enough good story, music, art style and boss fights to make me feel like my time was well spent, however there are some huge negatives with grinding and RNG that bring this game down quite a bit and the presentation is lacklustre in areas. I personally think fans of the Fate series are the ones most likely to garner the most enjoyment from this title. Whether you check it out or not is up to you but just be cautious friends.

Kara no Kyoukai (Anime movies): 

Anime movies? But Chaos don’t you normally just review one movie at a time? Yes I normally do that but Kara no Kyoukai is an exception since while it is technically a series of movies it honestly feels more like a mini-series with some episodes being as short as 50 minutes to some going long over the hour mark. If I were to review all 8 movies separately it’d get rather boring and time consuming. The animation quality is pretty good, it was made by the same people who did Fate/Zero and even the stuff from 2007 still holds up. The soundtrack is also well done and there’s some pretty memorable central musical themes of course since these are movies I think some of the soundtrack is quite forgettable but I still encourage you to give it a listen. As for the story well once you piece it together it’s a rather touching story that brings up various moral questions even if it does lay it on a bit too thick at times. However plot is a bit different as these movies are not only out of chronological order but the first 4 are so intentionally vague and misleading that it’s a little frustrating to try and figure out all the details. Movie 5-8 kick everything up a notch, everything visually improves and despite 5’s intentional misdirections all these movies clarify a lot of the vague details and have more solid plots than 1-4. The later half is when I felt like everything was paying off and was when I felt the most emotional investment in the characters and their stories. However I must warn you now these movies are not for faint hearted people as they contain some very dark and disturbing themes, lots of gore and the 3rd movie has nudity and rape I’ve put those Bold just in case some idiot doesn’t read through the whole thing. The nudity is rather tame but the series doesn’t shy away from things like rape, cannibalism, suicide and just murder in general (but it’s reserved enough for it to not make me feel ill). Also note that there are supernatural elements and magical shit in these movies so be warned if that ain’t your cup of tea. If you think you can handle it then it has my recommendation because half way in the series I found myself enjoying the story quite a bit.

Mega Man 6 (Wii U VC):

Mega Man 6 is probably one of the better Mega Man games I’ve played. “But Chaos that game’s too easy” I hear you say, well you do have a point the game is rather easy however considering the average Mega Man difficulty this might be the perfect starting point for new comers to the series. Difficulty aside I had a blast playing Mega Man 6 and could easily see it sliding under Mega Man 2 & 3 in my own top 5 list. I enjoy the 8-bit graphical style of this game and visually it seems nicely polished probably due to it being a later NES title. The robot masters in this game range from lazy stereotypes like Flame man and Tomahawk man to the kind of weird like Yamato man and Centaur man. The music is good old classic 8-bit Mega Man and the themes I included here I pretty much ones I all enjoyed, although the soundtrack doesn’t reach 2, 3 or 9 levels. As for the game-play itself well the charge shot pretty much wrecks everything but the new weapons aren’t exactly useless, for example Flame mans weapon can melt ice walls and also deals a ton of damage to plenty of bosses (Silver Tomahawk is pretty neat as well). The levels like Mega Man 5 also have gimmicks to them, like Plant man whose stage has springs, the Centaur man stage has water and upside down water, Knight mans stage has bumpers and treadmills, and the Flame man stage has pits of oil and moving platforms you somewhat control. The stages have variety and even replay-ability as several stages have alternate exits and hidden goodies (for example Yamato Man has a hidden miniboss). Get all the secret exits and you gain beat who can help you out in a jam. Having alternate paths is a pretty awesome thing and to get most of them you need to use the rush adaptors that give an awesome punch and a jetpack. With these adaptors they found a work around for the weapon energy problem as each now comes with a smaller gage that’s used up quickly but also recharges automatically. It’s somewhat exploitable but since it runs out fast so it’s not a good idea to over rely on it, yet at the same time you don’t have to hunt down weapon energy for the damn things. No doubt this game is easy but it’s a lot of fun and I could easily recommend it to anyone looking to start off their mega man experience on a lighter note, before they work their way onto the likes of 2 and 3 of course. Note: I think they tried to compensate for some of this with lots of ceiling spikes.

Liberation Maiden (3DS eShop):

Fans of Kid Icarus Uprising are probably going to dislike me more than they already do but I’m quite adamant about those ground controls being shit. So how on earth do you get 3D shooting to work on the 3DS with out the Circle Pad Pro and without it being on-rails. Well Liberation Maiden has a good crack at figuring that out and I have to say it’s a lot better than Nintendo’s own solution. Liberation Maiden is a small shooter where you control the president of New Japan who flies around in a mech and shoots up a bunch of enemies in order to Liberate her country. The plot and the premise are fairly nonsensical but the character designs and various artwork are very neat which is probably expected from a Level 5 game. The cut-scenes were well done and the music is pretty kick-ass, although you’ll find the in game visuals to be a little lacking on detail (I would by no means call them bad though). The biggest downside is the games incredibly short length, as you can play Liberation Maiden in about a couple of hours. However you can argue this adds replay value but I haven’t really had the urge to play it again yet, so that may just be for those who love this genre and love getting high scores. In that regard you may want to get the game on sale instead of paying full price but I’ll leave that choice to each of you. Anyway lets get back on track to the game-play itself. Unlike Kid Icarus you control Shoko by using the L button the switch between strafing and free movement, this gives you greater freedom to move around and removes most camera problems out of the equation. However this leaves the question of how do you shoot? Well they figured a way around that by using the touch screen itself to shoot, this means as you aim you lock onto targets and when you let go you fire your ammunition which is also your shields, which means the greater the damage you deal at once the more exposed you are to a quick death. It’s a brilliant idea and the controls work well for the most part unless you forget to actually fire any weapons of course. Like Kid Icarus Uprising this game gives you hand cramps but thankfully the game is short enough for those cramps to not be too detrimental (so the two major negatives compliment each other I guess). There’s also plenty of lore here hidden in the game and I guess that’s why they made a VN sequel (although I get the feeling that ass was a factor as well). Anyway it’s a short but fun game and it may be worth your time if you’re curious and have too much money (you lucky bastard).

Fire Emblem (Wii U VC): 

This is the first localised Fire Emblem and was the game we got thanks to the popularity of Roy and Marth in Melee. Also known as Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken and FE7, Fire Emblem is an excellent turn based strategy game known for its cruel perma-death feature. Now lets start with what I liked since while I do love this game I feel it does fail in many areas compared to the rest of the series. Hector, Eliwood, Lyn (who is super attractive, just getting that out there), Jafar, Nino, Athos, Ninian, Nils and the villain Nergal are all rather interesting characters who I felt had rather emotional and dramatic stories which suit this series well (they also have good designs). The dynamic between Jafar and Nino for example is a story of redemption that I thought was pretty powerful (I didn’t support them though I’m just going off the main story). Various other spoilers with these characters made me enjoy the story and hopefully I’ll remember this games story as time passes. That said there’s fantastic replay value as after Eliwoods story is complete you gain access to Hectors story, however I have yet to complete Hectors adventure so I’m not sure if it’s worth playing through just yet.

As mentioned the story is engaging and can be emotional at times which is something I found lacking in Shadow Dragon (FE11). In fact the entire game is better than Shadow Dragon as the gameplay is far more addictive and I would argue less bullshit. If you’re curious the units I found most useful besides the 3 lords were the two snipers Wil and Rebecca, the pegasus knight Florina and the druid Canas who could pretty much own both of the final bosses. The music in this game is solid, with several stand out tracks although it’s a little on the generic side at times and other games in the series have better soundtracks (this one is still great though don’t get me wrong). Also since it’s on Wii U you now have access to an optional battle save feature, the kind which was in Radiant Dawn. It’s only really viable in long battles and while it is exploitable it can easily fuck you over so it’s not an instant win thing. (speaking of exploits you can also exploit some bosses and arenas which could be handy if rng screws you).

Now for the negatives, Night of farewells can go fuck itself and so can the Berserker staff, that chapter was long tedious and to top of it off the ass-hole with the annoying staff was on his own little island with an angelic robe in tow (it’s an item that increases your HP). Trying to get that robe and survive was one of the most unpleasant things I’ve ever tried to do and I eventually said fuck it and killed that ass-hole. That being said I won’t claim myself to be an expert, in fact I know I lack skill in these games and they always feel like a challenge to me. Of course another complaint I have is this games difficulty curve or lack of one, most chapters are straight forward while others are painful and then there are times where it’s just too easy and I’m left sitting around waiting for time to pass. I remember other games in the series having difficulty peaks and troughs but never to this degree of inconsistency. This is going to get me some flack but the supporting characters felt bland and unmemorable, not quite as bad as Shadow dragon (I only remember Marth and Shiina) but to the point where they felt very cliché and that I had seen them all elsewhere. The only way to flesh out these characters is with supports which take a long time and waste a lot of turns to get, which if your impatient like I was you wont bother too much with. I also felt the ending was a little anit-climatic and the Epilogue was lacking though I get the feeling I’ll find much more in Hectors story (although that’s just my hunch).

If you’re wondering yes I love this game, to the point where I even started a second play through today. I find the game-play addictive and I kind of want to see if I can flesh out more of the characters next time. Do I recommend this game? Yes, while no Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance or Radiant Dawn, FE7 is a solid entry in the series and one I can recommend to most people (Right now it’s also the cheapest out of these, so yeah go get it).

Space Dandy (Anime): 

Right so this only covers season 1 so there’ll probably be a season 2 review later this year I guess. Space Dandy is a great comedy anime, that centres around the adventures of Space Dandy a bounty hunter who is perverted and rather incompetent. That’s about as much premise as I’ll give as the series is pretty off the wall and no one episode is the same in terms of theme and plot (It’s highly implied that some sort of multi-verse thing is going on). The series looks great and sounds great. There’s plenty of laughs here, but there’s also some surprisingly emotional episodes and they do a really good job of building up most of the main characters. However I though the last episode of this season was a bit crap and it was dumb note to leave on. But really I don’t have much to talk about here. It’s a fun but short anime and I’d say it’s worth your time if you want a comedic anime set in space. Hell actually I’ll just recommend it to most people who are into anime as you should all at least give it a shot if you haven’t already.

Thanks for sticking with me on this one, there’s some long ones here and not everything got the same amount of time but hopefully you like what was done here, if not then maybe the perverts in the audience will enjoy the following pictures. Also I’m thinking of trying to do a video review on Fire Emblem, however since my equipment is shit it’s not going to be that great but I at least want to see if I can pull it off or not.

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See you next time for Chaos Blogg 54