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.