I feel like I’m kind of late with this one but whatever. In this blog there’s 3 games, a couple of anime’s and one movie. I actually cover some more recent stuff this time so I hope you all enjoy what I have to offer. Also my birthday is tomorrow. Anyway have some music remixes.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS):
I remember playing A Link to the Past a few years ago and I even wrote up about it on this blog page of mine. It was one of those classics I missed and I was glad to finally experience it. A Link Between Worlds is the sequel to ALTTP and even though it never reaches the same heights as the original game it is one of the best new Zelda games I’ve played in a long time. It’s also the best 2D Zelda since Phantom Hourglass (which gets dwarfed by this game as well just to clarify) although I wouldn’t say it’s better than Links Awakening. Majority of the games soundtrack is remixed from other games in the series mainly ALTTP but there’s also some stuff from OOT, however it’s still an excellent soundtrack and the remixes are well done. The visual style is excellent and it really does feel like ALTTP in 3D, it’s got that older style and it stays very faithful to it other than some obvious upgrades and new characters. The new characters in Lorule fit the style well and the new villain wasn’t that bad and reminded me of the designs of OOT and MM. In fact in many ways it’s like they sprinkled OOT all over ALTTP including the seven sages room and the colour design of Zelda herself (which is funny considering OOT borrowed heavily from ALTTP). The game is visually appealing and it makes excellent use of the 3D effect which is something I haven’t really seen since the Pilotwings and 3D Land age of the 3DS. The story is fairly normal for Zelda although there’s a couple of plot twists, there’s no real sense of drama until the very end of the game, I thought the painting element was a great way to have the new power be story relevant though. As for the actual gameplay itself ALBW takes a rather unique approach in that you have huge amounts of freedom from the start. This is a concept that hasn’t been used much if at all since the original Zelda on the NES and while at first it feels overwhelming you’ll eventually come to appreciate not being blocked out of areas for a long period of time. ALBW doesn’t really have too many new items though so you may feel a little shafted there but some things control differently like the sand rod and the ice rod, then you have the tornado rod and wall morph abilities that bring something kind of new to the table. It’s an extremely fun game that appealed to my kleptomania but it was a little short and a little easy. There’s maybe a few tough moments but compared to the other games this is a bit of a cake walk. In fact the hardest part of this game is the minigames you need to complete for 100% completion and by this I’m mainly referring to the dash race, the rupee rushes and the baseball minigame. Thank goodness there wasn’t another fishing minigame *shudders* anyway go play this game if you have a 3DS it’s a fun time.
Monogatari Series (Anime):
Some of you may remember me reviewing Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari around this time last year, most of you probably don’t so a quick refresher might be needed. Bakemonogatari was an interesting and entertaining series and then nisemonogatari turned it into 80% fanservice content. Well since nise the series has had a second season featuring many different titles (Hence why it’s now grouped under Monogatari series). The series maintains it’s beautiful art style and interesting and varied soundtrack but this times there’s actually a story worth telling here and it’s not just the series protagonist dicking around while perving on the rest of the cast. First there’s Nekomonogatari which centres around the Hanekawa and is shown from her perspective, this gives some neat insights into her character and says some stuff about embracing negative emotions (i.e. don’t fucking ignore your own shit and think everything is okay). Kabukimonogatari is a time travel story that was fun to watch although you’ll probably enjoy it more if Bakemonogatari is fresh in your mind. Otorimonogatari is a bit of a mind fuck and actually develops the character Sengoku Nadeko into someone actually interesting that has depth. The final 2 stories have some moving character moments and explore some characters I never expected them to explore. I would say the one thing this series did was surprise me, I actually felt things for characters that I had never really cared for in the first place. The changing perspectives is a nice touch and was a great change since it normally meant less fanservice although that is still around. Most importantly is that there is an overarching plot and several subplots which was something I missed last time. You could very well say this series has become worth watching because of it. To anyone used to anime this well worth watching.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Movie):
I’ll confess now that I do not remember the original Jack Ryan movie so in my mind there were really no expectations for this at all. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the cinema and Jack Ryan was a pleasant surprise. It’s a decent looking movie with a decent soundtrack and rather standard plot. However it’s fairly well executed for what should be just a generic action film. To simplify this movie felt like a Bourne movie if it were actually engaging. Since the plot is straight forward there’s more attention to the actual characters, the action scenes and the building of tension. While it’s no James Bond, it’s an tense movie and one that was rather enjoyable. However I don’t have much to say about it other than this so I’ll cut short here and recommend that you check it out on DVD if the movie is no longer airing in your cinemas that is. It may just surprise you as well. Also it has the guy who plays the new captain Kirk in the lead role and he does a good job as far I’m concerned.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PSVITA):
Having never played an Uncharted game I decided that upon purchasing a Vita that I would finally play one. For the most part this was a good idea as Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a fun time to be had. For starters this game is very visually stunning in terms of environments although there’s not much variety it’s beautiful, although the character models could use some work. The game also sounds top notch with a few exceptional tracks that are emotionally moving and provide an epic adventure movie type feel. However the soundtrack does suffer from going by unnoticed during most of the actual gameplay and some tracks were kind of lame (the main villains theme for example). The story is pretty much national treasure without nic cage and the kidnapping of the president, it’s a straightforward adventure movie plot with a lot of effort put into the details of the mythology. In fact this game seems to focus on witty dialogue rather than putting effort in emotional moments this means characters like Dante and Sully stand out as more charming than Chase and the games main protagonist. The gameplay for the ost part is solid and fun, it reminded me of god of war but with shooting instead of brawling, and it’s easy to compare it to Tomb Raider although I will say that Tomb Raider is a far better game in terms of level design. For starters Uncharted is not only linear but it’s also restrictive in that it punishes you for exploring, you’ll be searching for collectibles only to die a ridiculous death because you jumped 2 feet to a place the game didn’t want you to go. This then sets you back to a checkpoint and you have to listen to various lines over and over again. If you’re playing the game without collecting everything you’ll have a fun time and these things will be barely noticeable but if you’re kind of klepto when it comes to games you will find yourself annoyed. It also felt glitchy at times but the biggest problem has to be the forced in Vita gimmicks. For starters rubbing the screen with my finger is not fun, secondly having to tap on objects during a cut-scene in order to collect all the items is unintuitive and complete BS and finally at one point I was forced to point my Vita at the kitchen light in the middle of the night because there was an unstoppable puzzle that used a lighting based gimmick. I was given no warning to that puzzle and there’s only one in the game but that’s an immersion breaking experience if there was one. For the most part this was a really fun game although and since it’s free on PS Plus there’s no reason not to grab it if you have a Vita, but there’s just so much that gets annoying thanks to system based gimmicks (it’s like all the third party wii-games that had shoehorned motion controls). In fact most of the problems can be solved by making everything optional instead. Also the stage design is actually pretty neat even if there’s not too much variety and I like the Aztec and Mayan like theme going on here.
(okay wow the last track above is so freaking amazing)
Kyoukai no Kanata (Anime):
This anime came out at the end of last year and it was fairly well received to my understanding. Most likely because it’s visually stunning and has likeable characters. The action scenes are amazing and the soundtrack is pretty decent. The story also had a lot of potential, but in many ways it feels untapped, it’s as if there wasn’t enough time tell a story this big in 12 episodes and this case a lot of the time needed for development and characterisation is lost. We’re kind of just thrown into the story and dragged along for the ride with no real time to breathe besides for one episode which was a comedic story that was rather charming. The ingredients for something amazing are here and I wouldn’t mind some more to be honest, but this story need as much time and care as the fight scenes and it didn’t really get it. I still recommend it to people who want something quick to watch though, just be prepared to have some emotions messed with at the end.
Sonic Colours (DS):
In the wake of recent news I need to play an actual sonic game so I pulled this out of my backlog and had a real blast with it. I played the entire game, collected all the red rings and won all the Chaos Emeralds (one requires you to play vs. mode by yourself) and fought the secret final boss Mother Wisp (must we name aliens “Mother” something). It was fun but at times frustration ensued as many of the red rings were well hidden and required some precise platforming. However mastering the stages provided rewards and even though my ranks sucked for the most part I had lots of fun. The game is 2D and in many ways lacks the visual appeal of the console colours but it has it’s own visual charms and it gives a fresh feel to some of the stage concepts (Planet Wisp feels more natural this time, and asteroid coaster has more green goop). I can say the same about the music as well since almost all the soundtrack is ripped straight from the wii game, of course it doesn’t sound bad but I’d much rather listen to the console music. As for the gameplay itself it’s pretty much Sonic Rush but with Wisp powers included. The wisp powers for the most part are the main focus of this game and take up large chunks of many of the levels however there implementation is well done for the most part. My only complaint about gameplay is that some stages have required sections that take too long to complete and don’t really add much to the game (*cough* starlight carnival act 2 *cough*) of course this was also a problem found in Sonic Rush. If you still have a DS playing device then you could probably find this game for cheap and if you’re a sonic fan this will probably be worth it.
I hope you enjoyed these reviews, you can probably tell I’ve rushed through some things but you can ask me questions if you have any. Please share your thoughts and enjoy the picture which is like a birthday present to myself.