Well I’ve done 50 of these now. That’s right welcome to the big one. In todays blogg you’ll find plenty of games and a good helping of anime and movies. For the most part everything here does have positive aspects but I feel I may be a bit harsh. That said though I personally feel people let some awful things slide so maybe it’s best if I don’t hold too much back. Since this section isn’t making too much sense please ignore it and indulge in the following music remixes.
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U):
Super Mario 3D World is the sequel to 3D Land on the 3DS a game which I personally consider the worst 3D Mario game, and one that felt like an awful experiment. 3D World unfortunately suffers some of the key flaws and these flaws stop it from being a great game and make it just a good one, a game somewhat on par with the new super mario games. 3D world has awful controls, mainly because despite the fact you can use the analogue stick you can only really move in about 8 directions which limits the range of movement you have and works poorly within a 3D game. Hell even Crash Bandicoot felt better equipped to deal with this design choice and that was back on the PS1 when the main control was the d-pad. In this day an age this kind of sloppy control is almost inexcusable and the same goes for the camera which is normally static with some very basic movements (more like angle choices). Mario has never had a truly perfect camera but the other games at least tried and realised it was a good for a 3D platformer. Of course if the camera were to freely move then the multiplayer wouldn’t even be possible reallybut the camera provided still doesn’t quite work with multiplayer either and quite frankly this game didn’t really need multiplayer to begin with. So to summarise the game controls poorly and the camera is still static isometric bullshit. This is a real shame because 3D World gets a lot of stuff right and it had so much potential. For starters the game isn’t just Racoon mario the game, and the distribution of items feels a hell of a lot better, it feels like we have more choices in items somehow. The level is also much more interesting this time and only the final 2 worlds recycle any content. Also I don’t remember seeing any shadow mario bullshit meaning the bonus levels had some fucking effort put into them. In fact there were new bosses and shit, new characters and new twists on the themes of the levels. Also every thing looks really nice except the draw distance. The music is the best Mario soundtrack since the galaxy games, with lots of remixes and new tunes giving off a really fun vibe. Oh and that Bowser map theme just listen to it, it kicks ass. So overall if they had fixed the fundamental problems of the game they could have had a solid 3D platformer here, one that could easily hang out with the best of them. I also enjoyed the collection aspects which were emphasised in this game through green stars and stamps. However the only level I didn’t like was the very last one, the timed blocks can fuck themselves and being put into a level with no checkpoints is disgusting considering how much of a difficulty spike it is. Regardless it you see Mario 3D World on sale than it may well be worth your time it’s by no means a terrible game but one that’s incredibly flawed in some fundamental areas. In short it’s wasted potential but that potential is amazing.
Golden Time (Anime):
Golden Time is a romance anime that actually focuses more on an actual relationship rather than just the forming of one like most shows of this genre do. In a way though it actually seems to focus more on the idea of memory and identity. Taking in place in a college setting the story follows somewhat generic protagonist Banri as he deals with amnesia. His problems stem from his memories returning and if I were to delve further I’d be giving away the plot. Suffice to say the returning memories are the key drama here and the story focuses on how to deal with the past. Some episodes are heartbreakingly painful but overall it’s an enjoyable experience. It’s not outstanding to any degree though and I think you’d be better off watching Toradora or Clannad if you’re looking for romance. Hell even Honey and Clover might be a better choice even if that show does repeat itself just a bit too much. The look is nice and it looks almost exactly like Toradora so there’s not much to complain about there, the soundtrack however doesn’t do much to stand out to me besides the opening and ending themes which really set the tone of the show very well. I liked the conflict between past and present to a degree and it has its sweet moments that could make you barf rainbows. The ending gets a bit too symbolic for it’s own good at one point and that could have been handled better. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it but if you’re wanting this type of experience and you’ve already seen better shows then it couldn’t hurt to give it a watch. To be honest though there are much worse things you could watch in this genre.
Two camps seem to have formed around Godzilla 2014, one side adores the suspense of the film while the other finds the film to be a tease of awesome monster action. I think my own view is somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning towards a more negative view. For starters I really loved the first part of the movie as we focus on Bryan Cranston and his relationship with the protagonist and his constant pursuit for the truth behind an “Earthquake”. This part had interesting drama, good acting and plenty of suspense. However due to major plot events the story decides to focus on exposition to explain the monsters and the protagonists journey. The protagonist however is quite bland and boring, and brings this into the territory of other military/monster/alien action films (like Battle Los Angeles). It’s quite painful to see the waisted potential for this story and luckily it’s not complete garbage but it gets awfully dull at times. Godzilla also fights some monsters and these scenes are pretty cool but you’ll notice that most of these are cut at weird times which makes them incredibly short and while it could be a suspense thing it honestly feels more like a tease or a budget cut. The soundtrack is pretty neat and the visuals are also pretty neat but I wouldn’t describe any of them as outstanding. For the most part I’d say this a good movie if only for the first part and the action provided throughout, however I was never invested in the protagonist to any degree and his trials felt unimportant yet the film spent so much time show us them. Instead his story helps to develop a tone that I felt was far too serious for the contents of the film. This has fucking nuclear seeking monsters firing laser beams at each other and yet everything else is so damn serious, hell even jaws knew when to give a good line (I’ve seen people compare this to jaws). A better story for the protagonist and maybe some more light hearted writing could have made this an incredible movie but as it is, I’d say just rent it when you can.
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U):
Mario Kart feels like it’s been in a bit of a mediocre slump since the amazing Mario Kart DS. Mario Kart Wii suffered from bullshit AI and some boring track design, overall the game felt unfair the majority of the time. What Wii did though was introduce bikes which I personally prefer. Mario Kart 7 on the other hand just hasn’t kept my interest but I’m still willing to go back and complete later on. For the most part Mario Kart 8 fixes these problems or at least provides a more enjoyable experience. It’s probably the best Mario Kart with had since DS but it does have some issues I want to get out of the way. The Battle mode is garbage, luckily for me battle mode was never a priority and I’m only mildly sad to see it turn into a weird variant of race. More importantly the character roster is fucking awful, with the history of Mario being as huge as it is surely we didn’t need to resort to Baby and Metal characters that simply show poor thinking from Nintendo. Granted it wouldn’t be that bad but Nintendo is removing staple characters like diddy kong and dry bones in order to replace them with recolours/fanfic characters. Honestly that’s about all that stops this from being my favourite Mario Kart game so far. For starters the game is beautiful graphically and style wise, with excellent colours and lighting. This is one of the best looking Wii U games and even duller courses a revitalised by looks alone (I’m looking at you moo moo meadows). This game also has a freaking beautiful soundtrack, consisting of excellent remixes and awesome new tunes. Just listen to dolphin shoals, it’s a shame you don’t get to hear much of the clip because of the track design but still. Speaking of track design it’s all pretty sweet here, while no F-zero the anti-grav helps add even more diversity to tracks so you’re constantly moving between air, sea, land and ceiling. The freedom they have alongside the new HD stuff has lead to some to stunning courses being made with the likes of Sunshine Airport, Cloud-top cruise, Mount Wario and that racetrack from Wreck-it Ralph. Then we have the retro courses given a whole new feel due to the new mechanics. Even GBA Mario Circuit in now fun and I’m really impressed at how some of these once mundane tracks now have life to them, and that also goes for already amazing tracks like Tic Toc Clock and Yoshi Valley. The gameplay is typical Mario Kart but the coins add an element of depth particularly in time trail mode where you need to go for coins on your first lap which map increase the lap time. The tires and body of your kart make a big difference in this game and once you find something that works for you it’s rather satisfying, although you may have to factor in the characters weight as well. The online play and multiplayer is fun although I admit that I didn’t spend as much time as I’d like with it (Thanks Australian Internet). The single player is also relatively fun this time with only the occasional unfair AI or RNG bullshit that plagued Wii, in fact the items feel far more balanced with the introduction of the super horn. The game is kind of easy though since you no longer need to 3 star every cup but I believe that was done since they knew that you could still unfairly lose out of the blue. The time trials are also fairly reasonable and they show quite a few shortcuts as well. Getting the golden glider might be a pain though since it needs 10,000 coins and I don’t have time for that. Finally there’s the Mario Kart TV stuff which allows you to edit replays to some degree and spawned plenty of memes, it’s a neat little addition that gives value to the replay function which the replay function hasn’t really had since it’s creation. Overall this is a great game and one of the Top 3 games on the Wii U. If you have the console you should go pick it up, I highly recommend it.
Kid Icarus Uprising (3DS):
Kid Icarus Uprising is another game that could have been amazing but is fundamentally held back by shitty controls. In fact if nintendo had simply used Circle pad pro effectively they could have fixed the problem entirely. Let’s start off with the good, the game looks nice and has plenty of visual flair and variety. Although some of the on ground stages use some very basic backgrounds at points. The visuals also include the well designed locations and characters with lots of new and old crazy enemies and such being added to the mix. In short I like the design in terms of visuals. I also love the soundtrack, it’s not all amazing but there’s some excellent themes here and each piece of music does well set the mood and theme of the levels. In flight sections the music reflects the action and story perfectly in the same way a film actually would and it’s nice to see this done well here. The story isn’t anything extraordinary but the dialogue certainly is and it’s all rather light hearted and comedic. The characters are all likeable for the most part and the charm is actually in part to a well done localisation and good voice acting which is something Nintendo hasn’t seen much of if at all. Seriously some games like this require me to change the voices to another language due to really bad voice acting, so I’m genuinely happy to say that I didn’t feel the need to even look for that option here. It shows they put effort into the presentation. But all this brilliant stuff feels kind of wasted here, because majority of the time this game controls poorly and it’s painful to play. Hand cramps are common thing to experience trying to play this and the fact nintendo bundled a stand is all too telling of how bullshit it is. The air sections play very well though so gameplay wise it’s not a complete pain but the problem is these sections don’t last long enough compared to the ground stuff. The game is constantly switching from Sin and Punishment/Star fox styled gameplay to wonky camera on ground sections that feel like a bad 3rd person shooter. Now Prime Hunters did a similar thing of DS however I found that first person was decent to control with this set-up. KIU is a 3rd person game though and so not only do you control your aim with touch-screen you’re also rotating the camera around. This one aspect is what breaks the game because you are always fighting the camera in order to aim and progress, it’s unintuitive and when you factor in hand cramps and power ups on the touch screen it just too much pain. If you’re lucky you can eventually adjust to it but quite frankly you shouldn’t have to begin with. Also the dodge mechanic is linked to the run mechanic and is unreliable at best, clearly another side effect of the controls chosen. The game is also kind of too big for it’s own good in terms of collectibles and the like, it clearly tries to emulate Brawl but doesn’t have that same longevity to it. I don’t normally think this is a good idea but if Nintendo could port this to Wii U with new controls using dual analogue then we’d have a freaking good game here. Or even better we could make a sequel on Wii U that’s designed with the dual sticks in mind from the start so we can solve all the problems. As it is now KIU is not worth your time unless you’ve got a lot of money and want to take a gamble, there are so many better games on the 3DS to play and even the original Kid Icarus is a hell of a lot more fun even if it does lack the wonderful visuals and characters.
X-men: Days of future past (movie):
As far as I’m concerned the X-men movies have been a roll ever since First Class. After that we had the Wolverine and now we have Days of future past which takes the series in a rather interesting direction. For starters there’s a nice visual contrast between the future setting and the past setting, it’s also pretty neat to see both versions of the cast in the same movie. I also enjoyed the soundtrack to a degree, though I wouldn’t say it’s the best I’ve heard it suits the movie fine. There’s lots of great drama and action here and not much I really feel like complaining about which is far better than cap 2 and spidey 2 got from me. I like how the movie has some fun with itself at times and Quicksilver is pretty big part of that aspect and he does his job well. What else can I say without spoiling it for you guys? In many ways it’s a bit of a game changer for the story and there are some pretty cool scenes I don’t want to spoil for you. Some of them rather emotional. It’s quite obvious though that the series won’t be the same after this movie and there are still some logical inconsistencies in these movies due to how many there have been. Also anything involving time travel easily creates plot holes but the logic they use here reminded me a little of Steins;Gate in some ways and that in itself kept the time travel intriguing and tension filled. I can easily recommend this movie to anyone who has seen the previous X-men movies and I encourage you to go see it for yourself at the cinema if you can.
Gone Home (PC):
Gone Home is a rather controversial game it seems, probably because it received a huge amount of praise from various journalists yet doesn’t have a lot going for it in the gameplay department. I’d like to think I’m more middle ground because while I don’t dislike this game, it’s nowhere near game of the year material even if it does tackle some pretty serious subject matters. For starters if you do play this game please turn subtitles on as there’s a lot of handwriting and small fonts used in this game, using subtitles should make the experience a bit clearer and smoother. Next I’d like to address that this game is of the same genre that The Stanley Parable and Dear Esther belong to, this genre I shall dub “the walking vn” although in terms of these games Gone Home has the most gameplay mechanics yet at the same time is probably the least quality of the three. For starters while Gone Home has a decent soundtrack it doesn’t have anywhere near enough music to include in this blog or at the very least not much of it has made its way to YouTube. Gone Home looks rather nice but it’s not really going to win any graphic awards, however it does have a 90’s visual charm to it and the use of lighting creates atmosphere. The tone of the game is rather serious but it does try to throw you red herrings which make the game a little tense at times. It feels cheap and dishonest though since the story isn’t really about anything the atmosphere conveys and having red herrings kind of muddies your expectations. However I will admit that the environment created is well done. I won’t delve too deep into the story but I did find it somewhat interesting but I think the game needed better focus on what topics it wanted to cover. But that attribute helps in building a somewhat realistic world and makes it feel like you’re looking into the lives of realistic people. The majority of the game is walking and picking up objects and examining them, not everything provides to the narrative though and later in the game the amount of repeated objects around the house gets annoying. This is also an incredibly short game that could take you between 2 and 4 hours so it’s best to get it on sale if it does capture your curiosity. It tells a decent story and immerses you briefly in the lives of these characters as you investigate, almost everyone on the internet spoiled this one though so that may explain why wasn’t exactly blown away by the narrative. It’s a nice little game that has some heart to it but it’s nothing that I would highly recommend, luckily though it’s the steam sale so it may be worth the look. Note: the bellow videos do not represent my opinion but I thought I’d give you some other perspectives so you can make up your own mind.
Ummm Akagi is an anime about Mahjong which from my understanding is a Japanese gambling game which I would kind of compare to Poker in a way. To be honest I’m not really knowledgeable on the subject matter and the same goes for any type of gambling really, although I do see the appeal in playing a card game every once in a while for fun. Having tried a little Mahjong I’d say the same goes in that I wouldn’t mind playing it every once in a while with friends, although learning the rules getting past the language barrier seems a little difficult. With that out of the way I’d like to say knowing at least some of the basics of Mahjong should make this anime a rather entertaining experience but I won’t say it’s entirely necessary since the anime guides you along the key plot points and details (even better if you use fan subbers or something). The story follows Akagi and his adventures in various high stakes Mahjong games, there’s a lot of clever thinking and the like going on here in other words a good old battle of wits. The visual style feels unique although I will admit it’s a little ugly and all the characters are reminiscent of Wario and Waluigi. It’s a tense viewing experience and one that mostly enjoyable, although there are some episodes that simply explain the events of the previous episode in detail giving an insight into Akagis tactics. This show is indeed horribly paced but it drew me into the experience and I was somewhat hooked to the events shown, which often got rather over the top in terms of visual flair. My only other real complaint is how unceremoniously the show ends, there’s no real conclusion and in that sense it feels very unfinished. Of course I personally found the experience worth my time although it’s tough show to recommend, and I’d say it’s rather niche. One thing I can recommend though is the excellent soundtrack which is both atmospheric and catchy to a degree, in fact it’s a very good note to leave on.
Well that’s 50 Chaos Bloggs completed now, I hope you enjoyed yourself and that you continue with me into the future with this series. If you have questions or things to say that’d be nice. Almost all comments make me feel some kind of warmth.