Chaos Blogg 63: Unlimited Game Boy Works

– The Chaos Vault –

Metroid: Zero Mission (Wii U VC):

First up is Zero Mission, which is one of the few games that gets the extra Chaos Vault title.

When I first played Zero Mission I was impressed by how they improved upon the original game and it’s design. Second only to Super Metroid in terms of 2D games in the series, Zero Mission takes the layout of the NES game and gives it some of the best parts of Super and Fusion. For example you can now wall jump, cling to ledges, move faster and actually save your game. I also think the game benefits from being a remake as Nintendo have shown that they’re not too good at creating maps for the series any more as their original efforts (without retro) amount to a bunch of sectors in a space station. Having a template to work off is certainly a good thing although this certainly isn’t Super Metroid’s level of excellence as sequence breaking isn’t as viable, although there are well hidden short cuts for skilled players.

As with most well designed Metroidvania titles collecting items is amazingly satisfying and you should do just fine as the map is a great help in giving you general locations of items. The game also gives you vague directions towards your destination like Prime does without being overly restrictive, it feels more like a gentle nudge rather than an actual order. Of course I find item collection in this game slightly unbalanced in it’s difficulty, as many items require you to perform feats of great skill using the various speedbooster abilities. This gave some trouble early on as in the past 5 years I had forgotten about most of speedbooster mechanics in this game, and was much more used to Super Metroid use of the ability. Many regard this title as the hardest game in the series to 100% and while I don’t agree with that to any degree I certainly acknowledge that there’s some bullshit in the later game that may make you want to give up on that objective but I think the satisfaction at the end is worth it.

Now lets talk music, Zero Mission has an excellent soundtrack consisting of remixes of the original game giving it flairs of super and prime soundtracks in the process. It’s often quite blood pumping and ominous, and certainly feels like a great tone for this first mission. The art style is still rather dark and creepy but it had plenty of colour and often reminded me of a comic book which is certainly a more fitting look for a sci-fi series like Metroid than what they showed at this years E3. Of course it’s not my favourite visual look of the series as Super Metroid and Prime trump it (I mean the ship designs in Zero Mission are just awful, the space pirates are flying around in oddly coloured sperm cells), but the visuals are pleasing and helped establish the Zero suit design which has become both a blessing and a curse for the franchise. Speaking of the Zero Suit I think the stealth section was a little forced and while I do think it varied up gameplay, the map that they created for it was rather annoying to traverse afterwards and would have been better with some extra thought put into shortcuts. Of course it’s also a huge power high as you go around killing all the pirates that were giving you shit before hand. In short it’s a minor complaint and I think that can be said of most issues about the game. Zero Mission is a title that still holds up and one that I can easily recommend to pretty much anyone, however if you’re getting into 2D Metroid you should consider Super Metroid first and then make this your second choice.

Wario Land II (3DS VC):

Wario Land II was an unexpected surprise, a sequel to Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land this sequel takes a different approach to level progression. Up until this point the Land games had either been entirely linear or used a world map structure which is more traditional for platformers as a whole. Wario Land II though offers multiple branching paths that lead to multiple endings. Of course that would be more impressive in story based games but in this title it only really allows for some humour and more level themes/variety. Well it also means that the levels are designed with various secret exits which is great since each level is filled with secrets areas and encourages exploration. It’s somewhat slow but the exploration focus really drew me into this game and the emphasis on basic puzzles was also a positive.

One complaint I’ve seen for this game is that it’s too easy, well it’s easy in the sense that you can’t die but I personally find losing coins to be enough of a punishment especially if you’re going for 100% completion. A lot of enemies also give comedic abilities and hindrances which is an interesting dynamic which lends itself to many surprising moments. Sometimes it’s vital to use these new forms to pass a stage and to find secrets, and the rate at which each new mechanic is introduced is steady and avoids overwhelming the player. Aside from completing all the levels in the game to reach 100% you also need to find enough coins to open the treasure chest at the end and to play a minigame at an often secret location within the level itself. They’re simple and straight forward plus if you push the home button at the right moment you can cheat the system if you only have 50 coins on you (trust me that makes more sense once you play the minigame). Once you’ve done this you will find all the treasure and complete the map which will unlock the final level, which is one of the freakiest things I’ve ever seen on the game boy. It’s also a pain in the ass to beat but it didn’t feel like an unfair challenge, also you get to hear some kickass music. Speaking of the soundtrack most of the tunes are repetitive but this isn’t a bad soundtrack by any means, it just doesn’t hold up to the best the game boy has to offer.

Visually this game is somewhat basic but that’s somewhat expected of titles on the older systems. Since it was on Game Boy Colour it does a decent job using colours and there’s a decent variety of level themes on offer here which is nice. There’s an odd charm to this game and while it may be perhaps too forgiving for some it’s still a blast to play and has some excellent level design. It also has re-playability and you don’t have to trudge through every level just to get back to the next fork in the road since there’s a super helpful level select screen once you’ve completed one of the endings. I can most certainly recommend this one unless your the type who needs everything to be really fast. Of course I would suggest other games on the system first but I do think it’s worth playing.

Sonic Advance 3 (GBA): 

So this game managed to take second place in the backlog tournament, which is rather baffling all things considered however I was able to get through this quicker than I will be able to get through other titles that made the cut.

Sonic Advance 3 is the third game in the Advance trilogy on the game boy advance, it was around the time sonic was reaching his darkest years on home consoles and soon the portable scene would be sonic’s safe haven until Colours released. Of course this game isn’t exactly the shining beacon for the portable entries as it’s incredibly flawed. First off lets start with the control, it can be painful and takes adjustment on part of the player for it to become either passable or enjoyable depending on how much of a stickler you are for sonic physics. Another flaw is present within the level design as you’ll find yourself running into many instances of being crushed without warning. This was also before the days bottomless pits had those warning signs which proves troublesome if you want to search for the games collectibles. Really the crushing blocks would be less bullshit if this was made on a system with a bigger screen and we could therefore see more of what’s ahead in the level. Another problem is that the games awesome pair-up system is horribly imbalanced with many pairs being practically useless in comparison to others, in particular there’s not much advantage at all to using Knuckles with Sonic as a partner since it nerfs his gliding and climbing ability for some reason. Note: on every 3rd Act make sure to be using Sonic as the player character as it’s the only way to unlock the other characters.

Funnily enough my main problem with the game though is the stupid requirements to collect all the Chaos Emeralds. First off you need to find all the Chao in each zone, which is quite a bit of effort since this isn’t quite Sonic CD levels of design. You’ll find yourself replaying levels over and over looking for your cute little pals and once you unlock a key which spawns randomly in any act. That’s right all that effort for the KEY so once you stumble upon the key which can range from “too easy” to “it’s no use” you finally get a single CHANCE to take on the special stage. Yep that’s right it doesn’t permanently unlock the special stage so if you fuck it up you have to hunt for another fucking key. This is perhaps one of the most annoying Chaos Emerald hunts I’ve dealt with only topped by Advance 1 with it’s complete BS special stages that clearly don’t understand how to convey depth in 2D… wait those are in Advance 3 as well? well FUCK! Okay to be fair the special stages themselves don’t get bad until zone 6 and zone 7 but the fact that depth is still an issue is pretty bad. Combine these things together and you may find yourself going through levels again and again and again just unlock more tries at the special stage. This is the worst way to extend a games life and quite honestly it’s what lead to me giving up and just getting the normal or “bad” ending.

However if you can play this game on the Virtual Console or an emulator it’s fine since we have these things called save states which allow us to deal with bullshit such as this. Repeating the same 4 minutes over and over again? Nah fuck that man, just press restore or load and try it again until you finally get it right. Quite frankly I do not recommend getting this game on a cartridge outside of some sort of collectors value. Which is a shame since otherwise I’d say this is a pretty good game since there are many positives. The visuals are nice with many levels that don’t feel like they were ripped out of previous games… although sunset hill is a thing. Speed seems to be handled moderately well visually and there weren’t many glitches outside of the times I bumped the cartridge by accident. In terms of just gameplay it’s actually a good time especially if your just doing a casual run through of the game, the pair system has moments when it shines and it’s nice to see variety through that means. Advance 3 also has a pretty amazing soundtrack which is usually one of the guarantees of sonic games although that is arguable since music taste does vary. A good time on an emulator is to be had with this game otherwise it’s best to play something like Sonic Rush, Sonic Colours (DS) or Sonic Generations (3DS) if you’re looking for a portable Sonic game.

Jurassic World (Movie): 

When I first heard about this movie and saw a brief trailer it looked like they were going to drag another classic of the 90’s into the dust and turn it into a cheesy disaster movie with next to know character. However as time went by they changed the marketing direction somewhat and it was clear that heart was actually being put into this movie. I personally think it paid off as Jurassic was a fun movie that new how to keep the fell of the first film while also updating it for modern times. The previous 2 sequels used characters from the first movie to try and bring in back the audience and personally I find 2 to be absolutely awful, while 3 was at least mildly entertaining when it was released.

I really like the direction they took with the movie as it feels more like it’s own universe/timeline instead of just the crazy story of John Hammond making islands of dinosaurs. The events of the original movie actually had a butterfly a effect and I think that’s interesting to see. Also I think it helps that while the original characters are mentioned they don’t ever make a guest appearance (at least not a blatant one) this gives the new cast a time to shine and I think it pays off. The guy who played Pi (from the life of Pi) does a great job of playing the quirky out of touch park owner, and Chris Pratt shows us all that his previous role wasn’t a fluke. The comedic timing is a lot better here than the sequels but the movie certainly knows how to hit hard with the emotional moments, however there were times I felt it was going too far into horror/disaster movie cliche territory which I think it loses points for. Of course this film about a dinosaur theme park is cheesy but I think it manages the line between fun and dramatic fairly well. I also laughed my ass off at the ending which I don’t think I’ve done in a while.

Visually I think it’s impressive however I did see it in 3D which may have effected my immersion. Perhaps it enhanced the experience since I remember at least a couple of cool moments with the effect. I don’t want to comment on the whole CG vs. Puppets thing since people seem to be hung up about that. The soundtrack is pretty freaking sweet although post of it is forgettable outside of the main theme that makes it’s way into a shit ton of tracks. Overall I recommend this movie for it’s characters, it’s writing and the overall fun time it offers.

Love Live! (Anime): 

Love Live is a mediocre anime and one that is suitable for those who like the particular music it offers. After seeing many people carry on about the show I was curious about the fuss and while I don’t feel regret about having seen this I don’t think it’s much of a big deal at all. For starters while it’s certainly cute it’s not exactly excellent visually, and for a show surrounding idols and music a lot of the ost misses the mark in terms of memorability and some of the actual songs end up blending together by the end. Funnily enough though I think this series has decent character development and the first half certainly had a rather enjoyable story. The whole struggles they go through in order to form their group is a interesting journey and the challenges they face seem to downgrade once the second half hits and thus it loses some drama in the process. The second half felt like it lacked focus and drive, but at the same time it built more onto some of the characters and had some moving moments (although they felt a bit forced at times). It also ended on a semi-cliff-hanger for a movie that is coming out this year or so I’ve heard. Outside of the charming characters, some comedic value and some good songs there are not many reasons for me to recommend this series but I do think it’ll appeal to someone so if any of this sounds interesting to your tastes you may want to look into. Otherwise it is quite mediocre and you could spend the time better elsewhere.

Fate Stay/Night: Unlimited Blade Works (Anime):

Oh yeah, now this is some good shit right here. If you’ve been with me for the long haul you would remember a Chaos Blogg with several Fate/Stay Night related reviews. It’s been a couple of years since then and in that time I’ve grown more and more attached to the series, which means I’ve been extremely hyped for this anime since it’s announcement. Funnily the toughest thing for me right now is to decide whether to recommend this or Fate/Zero first, as this series does have many tweaks in order to flow with Zero’s narrative but Zero is meant to be the prequel which you’re not meant watch first in most situations. For the time being I’m leaning more towards recommending Zero first but I’m honestly not too sure. Also for the love of all that is good avoid the 2006 anime and the 2010 movie with the same title as this, they’ve become quite obsolete now and I don’t you all to sit through that.

The animation in this shows is fucking fantastic and it delivers a fuck ton of excellent action sequences, which is the kind of thing that felt incredibly absent from the previous adaptations and at the very least you’ll provided with a spectacle. As for soundtrack well, it’s better than Zero but doesn’t really pick up until the second season at which point I was clamouring to listen to the full tracks but they’re not even released yet. The first half does have some good themes but a large chunk of it feels like generic battle orchestra with out much sign of the original VN soundtrack. In the end though it excels in Audio and Visual departments, and thankfully it also does a great job of presenting the story. It’s not a one for one adaptation of the source material however most of the changes fit thematically with it’s prequel and in some cases we’re given more insight into some characters backstory. Of course I will note that some characters get shafted as time constraints seem to remove some depth from side characters. However when the previous adaptations went completely off track or were just a glorified highlights reel this anime did a fantastic fucking job of telling the story while tweaking it within reason.

Of course my view is of someone who has read the source material and I have extreme bias in that regard, I get the feeling many who entered with Zero and it’s much darker narrative won’t enjoy this show as much but I honestly hope people can enjoy both while acknowledging the difference and similarities. In fact most complaints I have with the story originate from the VN itself and that’s because the VN is designed to have each of the 3 timelines or routes build on top of each other giving the player/reader a greater understanding of this fictional world. Of course these complaints are minor and I’ve already gushed enough so to continue without going into spoiler territory isn’t feasible. Please check out this anime, and the prequel since I think they’re worth it plus there’s movies being made by the same animation studio that cover different timelines. *gets yanked off stage by a giant cane*

Ahem, now that I’m done here it’s off towards blogg 64 which shouldn’t take too long. Those four videos on the other hand is a different story and honestly I have no clue when I’ll finish them but hey motivation is weird thing that strikes at odd times. Anyway thank you so much for reading, and enjoy these pictures.

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Chaos Blogg 62: Beans

As of typing this blogg I have come down with some sort of cold, so yeah that’s a rather annoying thing but luckily in terms of anime and games it’s been a fairly good time. And yeah this title doesn’t make much sense at the moment but just go with it. On with the remixes.

Mario and Luigi: Super Star Saga (Wii U VC):

My history with the Mario and Luigi games has left me with opinions that often go against the common consensus for fans of this series. I had tried Super Star Saga years ago but didn’t find much value in the early parts of the game. Fast Forward in time a bit and that’s when I played Partners in Time the second game in the series (the first one on the DS and to my shock the most disliked in the franchise) which was followed by Bowsers Inside Story. I enjoyed Partners in Time quite a bit, it was simple and a little short but pretty much every moment was fun for myself and I didn’t feel restricted. Bowsers Inside Story though is a game I didn’t quite enjoy much at all. Certainly the ideas were interesting but the core gameplay was split into many pieces and neither one was as polished as I would’ve liked (Although to its credit it had an impressive soundtrack and witty dialogue). Super Star Saga though is pretty much puts both of these sequels to shame. For starters it’s a more cohesive world which allows you to explore and discover, in fact you could probably compare it to 2D Zelda games in some aspects. The core gameplay is fun and is expanded upon (instead of being chopped into pieces), with gameplay variety being saved for various mini-games throughout the adventure. Visually it’s fairly good for GBA and the animations are excellent with presentation that reminded me a little of Super Mario RPG at time. The writing and characters are excellent, as is the standard for Mario’s RPG spin-off’s. The wacky writing also influences the gameplay and there’s some pretty cool moments that stuck out to me (Mainly involving Luigi). The music is also rather nice but this is one area where I think Bowsers Inside Story trumps this game, there’s also excellent sound design overall and the game feels like a tribute to the entire series from (the Arcade days to Mario Sunshine).

In terms of complaints well the early game is a little boring and that made it difficult for the game to peak my interest years ago. The locales are also a tad bland in comparison to other RPG’s Mario has been in. Of course there some exceptions and due the games level of polish it’s not much an issue, in fact it’s probably more to do with personal preference and exposure to video game clichés. I do have a bit of a problem with the collectibles since there are so many damn beans in hidden spots that aside from some special equipment (which is pretty sweet and involves Professor E.Gadd) and a bunch of stat boosting items feel rather worthless. In fact they’re more currency disguised collectible now that I think about it, since you can find an island at the end of the game that pretty much lets you grind a ton of beans of all types (there are 4 types of beans you can collect). So in that regard 100%-ing this game is pretty easy but it’s still fun and kind of useful to go searching around for secrets especially since they often lead to rare equipment that is rather useful. The battles have the same charm as you’d find in any Mario RPG, mixing turn based combat with a more responsive flare. Pressing the jump button when jumping on an enemies head will cause max damage and jumping can be used to dodge enemies and counter-attack them. Outside of Pokemon I’d say this is a great way of introducing players to the RPG genre and may even appeal to players who don’t typically enjoy RPGs to begin with. This game is a blast in gameplay and writing, it’s nothing award winning but it’s a fun comedic romp and one I do encourage others to play. Of course I don’t think my words do it justice and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface.

Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (Vita):

Straight off the bat purchasing this game really depends on your stance on anime-styled fanservice, do you find it gross and want nothing to do with it? Then stay away from it with a ten-foot pole and you’ll thank me later. Do absolutely love the stuff and embrace your desires? Well then this might be right up your alley. My personally stance is somewhere in the middle and really does depend on context. As you may know I find anime that overdo fanservice and sacrifice plot, story, characterisation, and comedy in the process to be quite rubbish. For example the fanservice in Grisaia no Kajitsu (an anime from last year) was poorly placed, unnecessary and killed what little credibility it had. Funnily enough though the source material had plenty of fanservice moments they could have used if they wanted to but they didn’t (no clue why). With Senran Kagura there’s a lot of stuff here that is to my personal taste (hopefully that doesn’t shock any of you), but there are also many things that just didn’t sit well with me at all, and I have a really difficult time recommending it because of that (I don’t really want to elaborate on this, if you’re all interested in the game I suggest doing some research prior instead of jumping in).

Visually it’s not overly impressive and I could easily see this game working on inferior hardware, the artstyle itself isn’t bad. It’s not close to the best but it does carve out some identity for itself and if we compare it to pretty much all DOA games it dose a better job of not falling into that gross uncanny valley territory that I can’t stand. Some of the character designs are nice while others are just kind of “What the fuck were you thinking” and that becomes a pain whenever the game forces you to play with certain characters. Of course you can customise all clothing, so you can change most elements of design yourself. However this feature also hosts the games most fanservicey mechanics that are most likely going to make you uncomfortable to some degree.

One thing that didn’t make me uncomfortable is the games rather excellent soundtrack, which I honestly wasn’t expecting. Some of these tunes are memorable but even the ones that aren’t too memorable are suited to the characters and gameplay. In fact the soundtrack was probably the most consistently awesome thing in the game and if you’re not interested in the game I could still recommend listening to the music bellow so you can see if it’s to your taste or not. Voice acting is solid as far as I can tell, it was in Japanese and I don’t think I can quite determine quality because of that reason. The story is quite odd as these seemingly cliché characters are actually given some backstory and layers of personality and character. I feel it contradicts a lot of the shallow elements that are a part of the core of this game, and the overall plots (there’s 4 different plots just like sonic heroes) are just poorly written so the depth added to characters doesn’t have much to back it up most of the time (I would say there are some good moments but the bar was set fairly low). Any long term engagement depends on the dialogue and humour, and the gameplay itself. I was honestly surprised that I even found some funny moments here since a lot of the jokes were one note, and over-used by the end of the game. However characters like Murasaki and Hikage were able to bring me laughter quite a bit and they helped make the experience above average (fyi the character Yomi is obsessed with bean sprouts which helped with the weird title of this blogg).

The gameplay is an odd mix of fighter and hack n slash. You’re in closed arenas fighting either an enemy Shinobi (one of the other characters) or a horde of random goon shinobi. It’s not a very complex affair and after I finished the first of four stories it began to grow more and more stale until the harder AI started showing up. Like any hack in slash it’s fun in small doses and it can be quite cathartic at times, in fact it took me so long to finish since it was only fun in such small doses. Honestly the only people I see enjoying this type of gameplay for long periods of time are people who like ANY hack and slash game they find, but even then the one on one battles don’t feel like they fit nicely into this genre and they remind me more of that one DBZ game I played on the wii but with less characters and less to do since you only have a few special moves and “combos”. Which leads me to my final point, just don’t bother and if you’re still curious wait for permanent price drops and stuff like that. I have most certainly played worse games in my life time, but I’ve also played far better. I don’t want to completely shit on this game though, as there’s certainly potential for improvement and it was overall above average. Anyway NEXT!!!

Junketsu no Maria (Anime):

This anime which roughly translates to Maria the Virgin Witch kind of flew under the radar last season however it has some connection to Code Geass (I think a writer maybe?) and takes place in middle ages France sometime after Joan of Arc. Of course this takes place in world of magic, angels, witches and demons so don’t be expecting a large level of realism here. It’s blatantly sexual at times but rarely did it feel like fanservice, and as the series goes on some really dark themes and events are introduced. Not Kara no Kyoukai levels of dark but quite dark none the less, and it’s quite a contrast to the first few episodes. The ost is fairly nice and adds to emotional impact but I can’t quite remember any specific track at the moment. Visually well it’s slightly lower quality than a lot of stuff I’ve watched recently but it’s not a big drawback and the artstyle is fairly nice. There’s a lot of great characters as far as I’m concerned and a lot of interesting themes that suit the setting. There’s also some cool action sequences but I’d say they’re not the focus of the anime. I honestly don’t have much to complain about or discuss without delving into major spoilers. The conclusion felt rushed and many interesting side characters felt like they didn’t go anywhere, like they were just kind of wasted. Aside from those points it’s a decent and rather short anime that you may want to consider checking out at some point.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (3DS):

This was a game I kind of wanted to put into the long forgotten Chaos Vault category but considering the game has been changed quite a bit I feel it doesn’t quite fit into that category. I don’t think I made it a secret around here that Majora’s Mask was one of my favourite Zelda games and I think this version has cemented my love for this game. While I may not have felt the same level of emotions towards the games story and characters (because I already knew what to expect) it still made sure I felt it’s darker tone. The music is pretty much the same, and by that I mean it’s fan-FUCKING-tastic, although I think it would’ve been interesting to see it all remixed in the style of the ending credits which are beautiful. Visually the game is upgraded and I’d say it’s better than OOT 3D, though that’s more because Majora’s Mask was a later N64 title and had more polish to begin with. I haven’t felt this relaxed in a while, exploring familiar territory with various changes and realising just how much of the game I remembered since I last played it 5 years ago. Of course I ended up forgetting some things and the stone masks location change really confused me, so it wasn’t all perfect. Funnily enough they really did improve the Great Bay temple which I didn’t expect at all, and really only Snowhead temple gave me trouble in this run. Boss fights were also changed to some degree, with Gyorg acting far more like a certain Metroid Prime 2 boss than he did previously. The two giant worms have changed significantly so I recommend paying close attention to your fairy this time around since failure to do so may result in you running out of time.

The game has been streamlined to be far less cryptic and more helpful but it never felt like it was hand holding since the original was often considered a challenge compared to the rest of the series. If there’s a harder mode I have no idea, but perhaps they should consider a more hardcore mode for people who want to punish themselves. These changes made the game far more addictive and combined with my own knowledge it was really fun and quite quick to 100%. No longer did I have to wait an entire cycle if I fucked up the Anju and Kefei sidequest because of a single fuck-up, and I appreciate that quite a bit. They’ve also added a new 7th bottle which makes a certain useless mask now useful for something. At present time the only thing that I can think of that I didn’t enjoy was the fishing stuff and that’s because I knew it was pointless, and honestly I didn’t even try it due to my phobia of fish. There’s some glitches here and there but this is a damn fun game that has been quite improved by this upgrade. I highly recommend it for both newcomers and veterans, and I hope you all have a great time. Also this game has Magic Beans so it gets a 10/10 AND WE’RE DONE HERE.

Death Parade (Anime):

Most of the anime I’ve watched this year so far has ranged from slightly bellow average to good, however not much has gone past that point so far. Death Parade may be the best anime I’ve talked about for months, and it is one that I can easily recommend off the bat. In fact I’m so very hesitant to talk about any details for fear of spoiling it for you all (under the assumption you have not seen it yet of course). This anime looks really good in my eyes and the way things are animated reminded me of Death Note to some degree, of course I might be completely wrong in that comparison but that’s what it reminded me of. The soundtrack is pretty good, but pales compared to the opening theme for the show which is excellent and really gets the blood pumping. The story is done really well and for such a short series it does a great job of targeting the emotions. Pretty much all the characters are well written and I found myself quite caught up in the questions presented by the series. I do encourage you to check it out since I’d rather not sit here gushing vaguely about the series and I would prefer to talk about certain aspects of this series in the comments bellow instead.

The Unfinished Swan (Vita):

As of this moment I think this game is still available for free on PS+ and for that I’d say it’s worth downloading and playing. The Unfinished Swan is a first person puzzle game that starts off with a really interesting idea. Your world is an empty void of white, and in order for you to make progress you must throw black paint all over the place in order to make sense of your surroundings. It’s a really fun idea and the game is quite beautiful for this, but the problem is that obviously saw that the idea would lose strength over time and the game shifts over to other ideas that aren’t quite as fun or interesting. For example you can’t do much of anything for a big chunk of the second chapter until you the power to make vines grow which is kind of interesting in that it allows you to climb around and explore a bit. The mechanics of the third chapter are pretty much fairly standard light based “puzzles” that don’t involve your projectiles. That is until you reach a couple of sections that allow you to create blocks and similar objects that allow to traverse. It’s not a terrible mechanic but it is a bit tedious and looks like something from the game Metrico instead of belonging to this particular game. These aren’t terrible ideas but as the game progresses it feels like it loses it’s core concepts more and more over time. Perhaps this is to reflect the narrative about a King that is narrated to you throughout the game? I’d like to think the game should have tried more with the 3rd part at least to incorporate the painting idea more.

Anyway enough on the negative since this game is still quite fun to play, and looks good throughout even if it sets its own bar too high. The story is interesting and a little moving although it’s quite heavy on symbolism, and if that’s your thing then this might be to your tastes (I liked it but didn’t find too moving). Outside of the main gameplay you can search around for balloons which for me was probably the most satisfying part of the game. Thankfully if you miss any the game gives you a Balloon radar so you can go back and get the ones that got away. In fact the balloons unlock all sorts of neat things like abilities, concept art, a sniper rifle and a Prototype level which is interesting but certainly lacking in beauty (mainly because there’s no music). Speaking of music this game has a pleasant soundtrack and I hope you give it a listen bellow, I don’t know if I’ll remember any particular piece but it’s certainly a crucial part of the experience. Overall this game is worth playing for the experience, but I don’t recommend paying full price for this and I encourage you to make good use of you PS+ subscriptions.

And that is the end of that chapter, it’s bean maybe a week (or it at least feels like it) since I actually started typing this but I pretty much spent the last week with a cold that made thinking about this stuff difficult and annoying so I instead just watched some DVDs and decided to start up the backlog tournament which is still ongoing. Anyway thank you so much for reading, I’ll leave you with some pictures.

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Note: I always find it funny that I end up talking more about stuff that is flawed then I do about stuff that I actually really enjoy.

Chaos Blogg 61: Age of Bags

So this took some time but that happens. I’m feeling very tired as of late, and I’ve been having to deal with tooth aches, holidays and other things. Yesterday was Anzac day over here and I went out of my way to make some biscuits for the occasion. They weren’t too bad but the more experimental chocolate ones didn’t sit well, and they felt like something that needed to be eaten with ice-cream oddly enough. I honestly didn’t expect most of the games on this blog, they just happened on a whim but this also means I can save the stuff I was planning for later. In other news I got a New 3DS XL limited Majoras Mask edition, it’s pretty sweet but also means I need to sell my old one which is easier said than done. Anyway enough of my ramblings please enjoy some remixes and we’ll get on with the show.

Banjo-Tooie (XBLA): 

For the longest time people had always made Banjo-Tooie seem like a terribly long task, difficult to navigate and hard to complete. Once I started the game I too felt overwhelmed by the size of it all, and just how much stuff there was to collect. Of course once I was in the thick of it, the fun took over and I enjoyed exploring new locations and backtracking to figure out new things. More often than not I would pass by a collectable out of reach with no clue how to get it, and most of the time I just assumed backtracking was needed. However the more I played the more I solved these “puzzles” in the back of my mind and the revelations were a joy in themselves. Of course that doesn’t mean they weren’t points where I was freaking clueless and chances are it was to do with ledges or grenades, but more often than not I could figure stuff out. In many ways Tooie is more adventure oriented than Kazooie was and everything is far more connected and collecting jiggies is a bit of a slow burn process this time. I honestly can’t pick between the two since they both felt rather different without being better or worse.

What I do think is better in this game though is the visuals, there’s a bit more polish and the designs are a little more interesting with less cliche level ideas and themes. The music is certainly on par with the first game and I think it’s the kind of soundtrack I’ll remember for the feel rather than any individual tune (except for Grunty’s lair which is only in one area I think). As for story well, I don’t think anyone is playing this game for story per se but the writing is rather clever still and the characters are excellent. It has even more charm than the first although I miss Grunty and her rhymes. This games humour still holds up well and can be even a little morbid (I want to say Adult but I don’t think that quite fits) at times, which makes sense since Conker was around a similar time period. There feels like there was plenty of love put into this game, as I doubt I even saw all the clever jokes within the game.

Gameplay is pretty amazing taking Banjo-Kazooies controls and adding plenty of new items and abilities, it expands the ideas without heavily altering the formulae. Outside of the more Open approach to the game the core gameplay feels pretty much the same, collect items and get stuff to feel heavy amounts of satisfaction. Of course as a negative I have too mention that this game has far too many mini-games for its own good. Most of them are shooting based which isn’t a bad thing since they control better than Golden-Eye. However what is a bad thing, is the button mashing mini-games. Button Mashing mini-games in single player titles was one of gamings biggest problems in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Pretty much saying fuck you to the players skill at the core gameplay and asking them to press buttons at often absurd degrees, hell fucking motion waggle wasless frustrating than these tacked on button mashers. Banjo-Tooie is a reminder of why we left this shit in the past where it belongs. What I’m talking about is Canary Mary, the character whose AI cheats when you race her in a button mashing mini-game. Typically it’s not much of an issue since her first three challenges are a cake walk. The final one though is a pain in the fucking ass, and I salute anyone who can pull this shit off, on an Xbox 360 controller since I as sure hell can’t. Canary Mary still holds that last damn cheato page and pretty much cock-blocked my 100% run-through. Honestly when they were working on updating some of this stuff surely they could take the time and fix this broken mini-game.

If we ignore Canary Mary though, Banjo-Tooie is an excellent game and a worthy purchase for those with a 360 or a functioning N64 (and a large wallet most likely). Perhaps I didn’t go into super depth about my favourite parts but I kind of believe it’s a little redundant since you should probably play Kazooie before Tooie, and I want you to experience this games magic first hand. Just don’t try for 100% unless you have a good workaround or have a thing for pain (go for 99% though).

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Anime):

This anime opens with some quite blatant fan-service but at the same time accompanies said fan-service with dialogue which pretty much mocks what it’s doing. This isn’t an entirely new concept I believe I’ve seen many shows that have realised adding a sense of self-awareness can make some of these scenes funny, but the question is does this anime (Which we’ll now refer to as Saekano for shorthand) actually poke fun at itself in a clever way or is it perhaps just doing so to justify the fan-service. I can’t quite figure out the answer but I feel that either way, this wasn’t a terrible show and it was far from the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen and I might even consider it good. Music wise I say there are some good pieces here but most of them show up later in the series, otherwise I’d say the soundtrack doesn’t stand out much at all. Visually it’s filled with fan service shots which isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it seems to be a trend in series that have quite a bit of dialogue, but even then it can get a bit on the nose. If that’s your thing (honestly if we’re talking just myself it depends on my mood) though you’ll be glad to know it’s fairly well handled and animated. In fact I’d say the whole series looks nice although the op and ed are visually uninteresting.

The story of this anime centres around an otaku protagonist who finds himself suddenly inspired to make a dating sim. Of course during the creation of such a product he ends up in a harem situation which is at least more bearable by the writing and premise. The protagonist is fairly more concerned about the end goal and quite obviously avoids romance instead of just coming off as a fucking dunderhead (of course this may just be how interpreted it since he is still rather generic). The characters are handled fairly well and their motivations make sense most of the time, but I wouldn’t say the story is anything to write home about. What I think does deserve praise are the more comedic moments and part of that does come from the self awareness that seems to be present, of course there are better shows that do similar things and with less fan service. In summary I think it’s a decent comedy with elements of romance and drama, that has its moments of greatness but also plenty of moments of blatantly doing the stuff it pokes fun of. Not quite shallow and not quite deep.

Note: finding videos for anime is getting rough since they seem to be fucking crazy about copyright shit

Mario Tennis Open (3DS):

When I was around the age of 12 I used to play a lot of Mario Power Tennis for the gamecube, it wasn’t my favourite multiplayer title as back then Melee, Mario Party 5 and Double Dash still took most of my attention in that area. However Power Tennis was a great game, with plenty of courts, modes, minigames and characters. With all this in mind you’d think that Mario Tennis Open would have more content and overall improve over the previous game. Well you would in fact be wrong. Mario Tennis Open is a blatant step-backwards from the gamecube title and it’s pretty obvious when you look at all the characters cut from the roster to be replaced by QR code colour swaps and baby characters. No more Koopa Trooper or Shy Guy but you can play as Metal Mario and Baby Peach instead because repeating the exact same character is nintendos fucking jam and butter these days. Also Petey Piranha is gone and so is Wiggler, and honestly the only new character that is actually new is Luma (Luma’s inclusion makes me laugh more than anything).

In terms of courts this game has but only 1 more than the Power Tennis but you’ll also probably notice the complete lack of optional Gimmick modes which means that the courts are overall vanilla and boring. Well what about Mini-games then? They’ve been cut in half that’s what and they quite similar to what was here previously it’s almost shameful. If the quality was high I would probably be less critical of the games lack of content but it’s overall an average game that feels like it was built around this idea of grinding for items in the shop and playing a shit tone of online multiplayer. News flash no one is playing this thing, so all this Mii gear and costuming is actually pointless.Why do I say average though? since it’s pretty much the same gameplay as Power Tennis right? well it’s not quite, sure it’s very similar but it completely removed the Power shot system that was introduced in Power Tennis (it was optional in many modes I believe). The power shot system made the games feel more dangerous as it had both an offensive and defensive mode and it often came down to when you’d actually use it. Instead of expanding this idea, it’s been cut completely and replaced with Chance Shots, which as far as I can tell just comes down to who is lucky enough to get the Purple shots (It involves you paying attention to symbols on the ground). I honestly felt like this limited my options and made the game more Mario Party 8-esque in nature. With that said though the game is a decent challenge and I did manage to have fun with the singleplayer modes even if I did get a little angry sometimes.

When there are so many excellent 3DS games out there, I see no need to purchase this one. In fact if they were so keen on delivering such a small amount of content this should have been a downloadable title at most. It’s graphically fine but it certainly needed more time in the oven in that regard as well, and to top it off the music is rather average with the best tunes coming from rather simple remixes. Do yourself a favour and play the gamecube game instead, maybe someday it’ll get a legitimate sequel.

(Ugh I couldn’t find any good quality music for this game on the net, sorry everyone)

Monster Bag (Vita):

Monster Bag is a promising game, it has a great artstyle and a rather morbid sense of humour. The gameplay ideas are interesting with some Ghost Trick like stuff going on. There’s also a rather heart warming narrative here which you may even be able to interpret as symbolism. In terms of music I can’t remember a single track but that also means there was nothing awful in that regard either (it certainly doesn’t help that this game was tough to find videos for). The major flaw I think this game has is the touch screen controls. To be honest I can’t stand excessively using the Vita’s touchscreen since it lacks a stylus and I don’t see why this games simply mechanics couldn’t have been all button controlled. It takes away from what is a rather simple and interesting game and makes it a bit tedious and unreliable at times. To simply describe it, this is a puzzle stealth game, and for the most part it’s pretty good in that regard. I wouldn’t say great but I didn’t feel too frustrated either. Then as it got closer to the end, the timing need became somewhat ridiculous and I ended up quite frustrated until they came up with some clever distraction based puzzles… then it went back to the bullshit it was doing before when I got to the final level. One thing that this game needs is skip-able cut-scenes after the first time seeing them. It just adds to the frustration at the end and it shows why games where failing a puzzle is a common thing often have stuff reset quickly (which is mostly the case in this game) and also often allow you to skip cutscenes.

This game is probably still free on PS+ and I honestly have no good reason to not recommend you play this rather charming but massively flawed game, especially if any of the bellow videos do anything for you. I do not recommend that you actually go out of your way to purchase this game though, as there are far better games on the system and I honestly can’t justify putting down money for this thing. Not quite a monstrosity but not worth bagging yourself a copy.

(I couldn’t find enough videos so have this slam jam)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Movie):

The Marvel movies haven’t exactly been consistent in quality over the years, sometimes we get something kind of lame, sometimes we get something pretty good and sometimes we get something amazingly good. Age of Ultron falls into the pretty good category, which is in itself impressive considering just how many sub-plots are in this series. I was certainly impressed by the visual spectacle and the new character designs, of course I think the soundtrack is nice but gotg set the bar much higher. I’m glad to see the series keep a sense of humour while also managing the more serious moments effectively, there’s also plenty of character development going on and none of it feels overly contradictory. Of course there’s a certain relationship that really felt out of the blue and Ultron himself feels underdeveloped which is a shame since I found Ultron to be a rather interesting character with a rather morbid sense of humour. There’s very little background info provided in the movie about him although I’m sure comic fans may know it already, but I still feel it needed more time to develop this particular character (especially since they’re in the fucking title).

I find these to be minor complaints though when I consider just how much is happening within this movie, and the fact they managed to expand on characters both new and old. For example Hawkeye really stood out to me in this movie as an interesting character, who is aware of how much of an underdog he is and pretty much kicks major ass. I think I’ll shut my trap here though, since I don’t want to spoil the entire movie for everyone. If you have seen it though I’d be interested to see your thoughts and maybe we can get down to the more spoiler-ish elements. Also yes I do recommend watching this movie.

(again another case of having limited music choices, so I just went with trailer music. I’m sorry for this everyone)

Koufuku Graffiti (Anime):

A rather simple slice of life anime that uses cooking as a means of having characters bond and learn various life lessons. It sounds rather wholesome in theory and a lot of the time it actually is quite a charming and moving show… but then they actually eat the food.

I think this video speaks louder than anything I could say. The eating of the food is erotic in nature and I’m honestly not sure how I personally feel about this, but I can easily see this making or breaking the experience for people. It does tone down as the series gets passed the halfway mark and this allows for more of the emotional elements to kick in, even if they are quite mild. One episode got to me though towards the end and that caught me by surprise since the show is didn’t really reach that point before nor did it do so again afterwards. As for soundtrack, it ranges from slightly annoying to decent. Visually it’s good but it almost feels like a waste of talent but nowhere near Nisekoi levels of waste. The sense of humour is also a positive. Ultimately though this is an average show that drags on a bit too long and some episodes felt like pure “food porn service” and not much else, which is a little sad since there are some good moments here. I don’t recommend it though, unless you’re actually really turned on by the above footage, have a thing for Japanese cuisine or have not much else to watch. Once this current season ends I’m sure I’ll have better anime to recommend.

(Once again can’t find the original op because it’s not like that’s free marketing for your shit right guys?)

And that’s the end of that chapter. So want to apologise for the lack of music, just some bad luck on my part I guess. I think YouTube needs to stop with this instant claim bullshit since I don’t think it’ll benefit anyone long term. Also I’ll be working on a new video now, but I’ll also be playing Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros due to the DLC this week so if you want to race or fight against my horrible Australian Internet let me know and we might be able to get something going. Note: The intro is now out of date since ANZAC day was on Saturday. Anyway here are some pictures, thank you for reading.

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Chaos Blogg 60: WayForward Anniversary

Well here we are yet again with another small milestone, with episode 60. I think I was quicker in getting this one up so hopefully I’m able to keep up this kind of pace while also tackling some other stuff that’s important. This post is also accidentally a celebration of WayForwards 25th anniversary hence the title. You may know these guys for Shantae, Might Switch Force and the Duck Tales remake. They seem to have a good grasp on what they’re doing and I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the future (I honestly think they’d be a better fit for the Metroid series than next level games, and they won’t make it look like a low budget late 2000’s cartoon). Anyway enough mild rambling there’s some movies and anime as well for people who are interested, so lets start with some music remixes.

CHAPPiE (movie): 

Something about Chappie caught my attention and I was really looking forward to seeing it without really knowing what to expect. Thankfully it delivered since I was not expecting such a weird and often emotionally taxing movie. Visually it’s similar to this particular directors previous works, there’s a lot of broken and desolate stuff/locations which give the setting of South Africa an almost post-apocalypse vibe. Some characters seem like came out of the 2000’s with their vocabulary and the 80s and 90s with their costumes and style, or at least that’s how it looks to me.

Chappie is set in the near future of 2017 where robotic cops have reduced crime rates drastically, at the same time the inventor is putting his spare time into developing true artificial intelligence. Suffice to say stuff happens which involves quite a few turns and unexpected twists. It was kind of refreshing for me at least since a lot movies have felt a tad predictable as of late (Jupiter Ascending comes to mind), and while unexpected turns aren’t always going to work I didn’t find them jarring here. The acting certainly feels cheesy but in a more intentional way or at least that’s the case with some characters including Hugh Jackman’s Robot Dundee. Visually it’s appealing and the soundtrack is some good shit and suits the visuals and overall tone, I think the composer was Hans Zimmer but if I’m wrong the videos bellow should give the name of the composer.

I feel I could say more about this movie but I also feel giving too much info will spoil the experience which is one I could probably recommend to most people to at least try out. If you don’t want to take the risk rent it at a later date but I feel like it was worthwhile seeing on the big-screen.

Note: The movie does get violent at times, so keep that in mind if you’re squeamish. Some of it comes out of left field.

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (3DS):

This game is freaking fantastic, and I feel it’s one of the best titles on the 3DS and the Wii U. At first the game was a little jarring as not only are the dances gone but so is the item magic bar and many of your attack items. The attack items seemed like an annoying idea but thankfully enemies actually have a chance of dropping some meaning you don’t have to grind and waste currency. The game also removes the overview map must there’s one on the lower screen that follows the player and it functions a little better. This may also be due to the level design itself and the fact this game goes a bit Prime 3 and has you visiting many locations via a menu/vehicle system. This time in a more Zelda/Metroid fashion you gain upgrades that give you more moves for traversal and combat, and these are some pretty neat upgrades that feel very inspired by such classic Nintendo franchises.

The extra mobility without having to do any dancing at all actually allows for some more interesting labyrinth designs and overall the map works well with the items, even if it’s not as interconnected as Risky’s Revenge was. There’s definitely more collectibles this time around in the form of Heart Squids that work almost exactly like Heart Pieces in the Zelda series, and a bunch of special enemies that you need to kill for the best ending. This game feels a lot more complete than it’s predecessor with 5 dungeons and plenty of varied areas to explore. Most of these areas reflect the original Game Boy Colour game but they have a lot more personality this time around. How did this stack up as Metroidvania title? Well I’d say it does a pretty good job maybe on par with Guacamelee but I think more backtracking and secrets could have pushed it over the edge into kreygasmic territory. That means this game just has to settle for excellent (see that’s meant to be funny since excellent is a really good thing, while settling for something is seen a really bad thing. COMEDY).

Okay so I think I’ve established that the gameplay is worth buying for, but if that’s somehow not enough this game is visually stunning with a polished up artstyle which I personally prefer, and the pixel graphics and animations are stunning although the game has rather limited use of 3D. The location variety is another positive and while many staples repeat we do get plenty of new areas, it’s all good though in my book. To continue gushing I’d actually like to complement the story this time around and not just the fantastic comedic writing. The story has more nuances and sub plots than previously, meaning a lot of these characters are fleshed out and I was somewhat invested in the story this time. This series is showing a lot of potential to have a really interesting lore and backstory that given the right pacing could lead to some awesome moments. The music is another fantastic strength this game has, and the composer (Jake Kaufman) is quickly becoming one of my favourites in video game soundtracks, just please listen to this it’s beautiful and gives the game so much more character. This soundtrack just makes me pretty happy and I had a hard time deciding which ones to include in this blogg post. Anyway this’ll be last you see of this on here for a while since the next game is still in production but I’m happy to let all know that these games are worth playing (except maybe the GBC one though).

Note: almost forgot to mention that there’s some gameplay sections that vary things up a bit which do their job without taking too much from the main game (glares at the stupid battle tower).

Tsukimonogatari (Anime):

Damn, monogatari was on a roll and then this happened. It’s likely to get better once again but the creepy fan-service from nisemonogatari is in full force (to be fair there has always been fanservice in the series). Mercifully it’s just one episode of this, but in a four episode arc that’s still a decent chunk of time where not much happens. Of course once the story kicks in it’s interesting, it’s a more of an aftermath story but it also feels like it’s leading up to some sort of conclusion. I will say that I felt like certain lines were repeated far too often but the series is ‘chatty’ in nature so I guess this isn’t unexpected.

Music is about series standard and the same goes for the visuals. Not much else to say, if you’re into the monogatri series or have seen it then you should know whether this is for you or not. If any first timer wants to give it a try go watch Bakemonogatari and see if it’s your thing or not.

Might Switch Force 2 (3DS):

One of the benefits of the WayForward anniversary was the eShop sale where you could grab Pirates Curse and the original Mighty Switch Force along with this fantastic sequel. People this game was on sale for $1.50 which is pretty crazy in my book and caught me off guard. I had the spare change on hand and well here we are. The original MSF was a great puzzle platformer of fast paced nature and carried a theme of cops and robbers, it was pretty great and the game made decent use of 3D. MSF2 changes up the theme to fire fighting as you now have to rescue characters from various disasters and what not. Of course this is pretty much just a premise as the gameplay is mostly the same and the objective is to solve puzzles find the girls and make it to exit while also scoring a good time.

What has changed though is that you now have a hose which shoots water similar to Mario Sunshine but without the need to refill or any of the extra versatility. This is quite a significant change in some ways as you now have fire hazards, mud blocks, fire blocks and hose blocks which create some interesting new puzzles especially when mixed in with the series core block switching gameplay. I thought it was really cool that they made it fresh without having to change what was great about the first game in the series. I did notice that the levels felt more horizontal in design but there’s also more open ended levels and levels of a tower like fashion. The game is pretty short though so unless you’re big on speed running this may not be your thing, however since I’m not into speed running the experience was over fairly quick but I enjoyed solving all the puzzles at my own pace which also includes finding the baby in each level (A reference to the whole “my baby, my baby” from various films). I was also far less frustrated this time around and the skills you develop in the first game transfer over pretty well.

In my eyes less frustration and more collectibles is a good thing especially since MSF had a horrendously painful final level. Upon completion you get a neat upgraded hose that wrecks shit with high pressure water, and if you rescue every baby you’ll unlock the main characters gym clothes as an optional costume. Of course like most WayForward titles this game is a pleasure to the ears with another fantastic soundtrack, that does kind of go into some genres I’m not fond of but never really gets irritating in any capacity. The music is a tad forgettable in comparison to Shantae, DuckTales Remastered and Shovel Knight but it makes the game a real joy to play and really brings energy to the whole thing. The visuals are also still very nice, and in terms of levels, backgrounds and foregrounds I think they’re somewhat improved (I think the 3D may have been better here). The visual style is still cute and upbeat so if you didn’t like the style of the first game I doubt you’d the style here.

If you’re looking for a good fast paced puzzle platformer series that has replay value for speed enthusiasts, the Might Switch Force series is highly recommended especially when it goes on sale. I’d say 2 was my personal favourite by the way.

Run All Night (movie):

Another Liam Neeson action film, he’s been very much type cast into this type of role ever since he did Taken which became a franchise that outlived it’s welcome (still have not seen tak3n). Playing a protective father who kills people Neesons character fits the bill except this time he’s a criminal, a drunk and says quite a lot of filthy things. Perhaps I just haven’t seen enough of his previous movies but it was a nice change for me not to see him in some sort mentor or hero role, and I personally really enjoyed his acting (although I’m not a big fan of some of the crude lines). I hated his character at first and the movie does a good job of developing him into a character with a bit of complexity.

The movie itself gets a bit generic but the premise in the trailer wasn’t something I had seen done before and I leave that up to my personal lack of experience rather than the movie being creative with it’s storyline. I thought the action was handled very well or at the very least well enough, it felt really tense at times and there’s some pretty cool shit that happens. None of it goes what I would call ‘over the top’ but you could easily compare it to the action you’d find in Taken. In terms of soundtrack it’s not one I noticed much during the film itself but listening to it afterwards lead  me to think it was somewhat neat and not quite as generic as I was expecting.

Overall I’d say this is worth renting, but I can’t recommend it at the cinema unless you really want to see an action movie and/or Liam Neeson. There are some moments where I was moved by the movie but that’s more to do with my own issues with my father and the fact Liam Neeson playing such an asshole outclassed him (that may be too personal for this format but fuck it).

Kantai Collection (Anime):

I thought this was going to be complete garbage, and I prepared myself for such an eventuality. Strangely enough this series is passable to decent which I wasn’t expecting from a concept like this. Based a popular japanese game of the same name Kantai Collection also known as Kancolle is about battleships that are actually girls who defend the seas from aliens that like to move by water. Basically it’s naval battles with anime girls which reminded of Girls und Panzer and it’s kind of around that level of quality but lower. For starters the series looks fine for the most part although in battle scenes the 3D stuff can be quite obvious and a little jarring, and they could probably be improved. The soundtrack was unimpressive for the most part since it all kind of blended together for me, however the op and ed are pretty fucking neat and catchy (I’m guessing that videos on this page for them no longer work though since music companies like to be giant turds like that).

First episode was unimpressive but it came into it’s stride afterward finding a nice spot between drama and comedy, in fact it even got sad at one point and there was a sense of danger to the situations around that time. The humour is either hit or miss with some not so funny running gags and plenty of great moments thanks to Kongou. There’s also some character building with the protagonist but the cast ends up far to bloated to be completely flesh out within just 12 episodes. The thing that is kind of disappointing is that this series could’ve gone into a more darker direction with lots more casualties (or at least like 2 or 3 overdoing is just as bad) however they kind of went with a predictable and rushed conclusion that was quite unsatisfying.

As of now though they’re planning a second season which could possibly bring the series into a better position or just end up sinking it completely. In that regards I can’t recommend it just yet but if you’re that interested it’s not the worst thing to watch and I don’t necessarily regret watching it but it’s not top 10 material either.

Okay so that’s it for this Chaos Blogg, you have my thanks for reading this and even more thanks if you left a comment. There won’t be a new video review for a while I think but the next Chaos Blogg shouldn’t be too long either if things go to plan. Here are some pictures as per usual and I hope you all have a great day.

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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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