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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