Welcome to the last blogg of the year. It’s been a fucking roller-coaster ride this year. Or perhaps it’s been more like a broken roller-coaster that ends with everyone fucking burning in flames. Either way my goal for his blogg is to present my reviews on games and anime. So I will try my best not to burst into a sudden fit of rage or into a ball of tears. To lighten the mood have some music.
Pokemon Y (3DS):
I’m still playing this game. If that’s a testament to my pokefever I’m not sure what is. Pokemon Y is probably the best experience I’ve had with the series since Soul Silver on the DS in 2010. Back then I was going through a rough time (although for different reasons compared to now) and I had amassed over 2/3 of the pokedex. My time with Soul Silver was cut short when the game corrupted on me and it took me a couple of years to play any pokemon game after that. For the most part I was under-whelmed by gen 5 or at the very least it’s first half. Once I picked up Pokemon Y though my enthusiasm for the series came rushing back to me. Let’s start with graphics, the new look is something I enjoyed since it was like watching a fast paced high quality pokemon stadium instead of just the 2D sprites I was used to. I suppose some charm is lost but new charms are gained in the process, in particular this was the first game I actually chose the female trainer for since there was an emphasis on character customisation and it was very easy to make her adorable *ahem*. That aside character design for generic trainers is the best it’s probably been and the game is filled with personality. The new pokemon designs are actually pretty neat and this was the first time since gen 3 that I had a tough choice picking my starter (I chose froakie). The pokemon in this region are like a melting pot of all the previous games and it’s such wonderful diversity. In terms of story it’s not much at all but luckily it’s not as forced as Pokemon White and instead allows it to feel more personal like the previous generations (1-4). The music has it’s highlights but not much at all stood out to me which is a little sad but not unexpected. Also there’s a frame-rate issue that while I didn’t rage over like some people, still was noticeable for me. In terms of the world layout, I’m sick of this need for complicated cities that simply take up more space instead of adding anything interesting. It’s fun at first but once you’ve seen it all the main city is just a pain which is a shame considering the rest of the world is fun to traverse and explore. As for the gameplay itself I absolutely adore it, the game does a great job of making the main quest fun and providing quite a bit to do… until you reach the credits. While I have my nitpicks with this game, the main thing that bugs me is the lack of quality post-game content. Where did all the legendary pokemon go this gen? Why aren’t there new routes to explore now? I’d also wish there were more places to train rather than just the battle chateau. There is the looker quests but they’re not much. Maybe we’ll find some more answers once PokeBank releases (for real this time). Luckily the game has online functionality which should keep you going for a long time… well it’s doing just that for me at least. While no where near as polished or bountiful as Soul Silver this game is still pretty amazing and I can quite easily recommend it to people wanting to join the fun.
Pokemon Origins (Anime):
Following the trend of Pokemon I decided to check out the new 4 episode anime they recently released. Considering it’s only 4 episodes it manages to sum up the first generation nicely and it actually feels kind of epic at times. It looks pretty neat and sounds pretty neat as well. It’s much darker than the anime we grew up with, and it’s more accurate to the actual game. Although they take liberties with it to make it more cinematic and they add in a mega-evolution probably in an attempt to hype pokemon X even more. My favourite part was probably the Giovanni segment in which we see a villain with depth which isn’t common in the series. There’s also the lavender town episode and a tonne of epic fights at the end that make this worth the watch for pokemon fans. If were or still are a fan of the games this is worth your time and it’s not going to take you long to give it a shot.
The World God Only Knows: Season 3 (Anime):
This is a trip down memory lane. Back in 2011 I started watching anime and as some of you may remember this particular series was one of the first to make it into my reviews. It was also one that had a gamer character that I thought was kind of a badass, in that he’s smooth and calculated. He’s an enigma to viewer as he’s constantly switching between being cold hearted and being romantic, I for one began to wonder where the characters actual emotions lied and in this case that’s a good sign. The soundtrack is still pretty damn catchy and this one of the better looking comedy/romance animes out there. The basic premise is that Katsuragi must win the hearts of girls in order to capture loose souls, after this they forget what just happened (and their feelings) and life goes back to normal. This time though it’s not as comedic and straight forward as a new plot macguffin makes certain characters remember the time they spent with the protagonist, and this causes all sorts of complications. While the plot is complete BS for the most part it doesn’t matter too much since this series is more about the characters and how they deal with the absurd situation. It’s emotional and funny but requires you watch the first two seasons first (although I recommend those as well). I think you might notice the depth once you reach the end.
Pokemon White 2 (DS):
This game is what Pokemon White should have been. It’s more expansive, with less forced story, and most importantly it doesn’t force gen 5 pokemon onto the player. The whole map feels a little convoluted and the path you take is rather abstract but still linear. Overall the new areas added are interesting and enough has been changed to make the previous areas fun to explore. It looks exactly like Pokemon White although the improved level design is visually appealing. In fact if you haven’t played any of the generation 5 games yet then skip to this one. White 2 has a much better post-game which includes a tonne of legendary pokemon and the excellent white tree-hollow (which gives you a shiny dragon type pokemon). There’s some neat features as well, including the hidden grotto’s and the area based pokedex system. I’m a little sad that these features are exclusive to this game though since they were pretty neat. The story is a bit more generic in some ways, but the introduction of Colres was pretty interesting since he’s pretty much the opposite of N but he isn’t an antagonist either. The music is the best I’ve heard in a pokemon game for years, like the best sound track since Soul Silver. It’s unique and quirky and the individuality given to each gym is fantastic. As for gameplay well it’s still pretty fucking sweet and if I wasn’t investing so much time into Pokemon Y I probably would have invested a lot more effort into this game. I kind of sped through it in the rush for the pokemon bank that hasn’t been released yet. I will say there’s a problem in route distribution though, as many of the routes share a lot of the same pokemon and that hinders the variety quite a bit. Overall a good game worth checking out.
Attack on Titan (Anime):
I’ve noticed that every year there’s anime that gets over-hyped. Last year it was Sword Art Online, a great anime that had a bellow average second half and wasn’t really worth the praise. This years over-hyped anime was Attack on Titan. There’s no question in my mind that it’s no where near the levels of praise it’s received but it’s actually pretty epic. There’s violence, character development and a mysterious overall plot. In terms of looks it’s got great style and some awesome scenes but it also has some crappy animation in places. In terms of music it’s freaking fantastic, with that opening theme and a memorable soundtrack. The music really helps with the epic tone they were going for and it’s much appreciated. However this show is nowhere near complete from the looks of things and I can easily see it turning into a full metal alchemist length series. I’m not sure if this is the best thing I’ve seen all year but I guess it’ll make the top 10, but I won’t make any promises. Eren, Levi, Mikasa are all great and interesting characters that I can relate to and the rest of the cast while never having the same impact were certainly likeable. If you need any more reason to check it out keep in mind that team for star is doing an abridging of attack on titan.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS):
I’ve played three of these games this year. This one was probably the most lacklustre. The NSMB series has become over saturated and the games are doing very little to feel unique. In fact the world maps for this game look almost exactly like the first game on the DS, and they even have some world maps that are just cheap looking and for the most part blank. In fact the game fails in presentation for the most part, as the 3D effect is rarely put to any good use and not a lot of effort was put into making the game stand-out other than the focus on coins. The music is pretty much exactly the same as it was in the previous games so I can’t really say much about it other than it’s still catchy and the credits theme is nice. The focus of this game was the coins, but to be honest I never really felt compelled to try and reach the 1000000 mark. I simply sailed through the game collecting the large star coins and finding the secret exits and levels, and that’s about it. The game is also much shorter than the console releases, but at least it didn’t do the 3D Land level repeat thing. The game felt very formulaic but it also catered to my obsessive need to collect things so I can’t say it’s a bad game. In fact it’s a good game and if you haven’t played any of the previous nsmb games then you might as well check this out if you have a 3DS. But from where I’m standing it’s nothing more than a fun little romp that doesn’t really amaze me. It’s become mediocre which is a shame since the concept had a lot of potential. It left me at half mast so to speak (get it cause the game has flags).
So that was the last Chaos Blogg of the year. Kind of anti-climatic don’t ya think? 2013 was in the end a just another arbitrary year, and I’m sure much of the same awaits us in 2014. I hope to see you then.