Time to post yet again. This time we have an equal amount of anime, games and movies. Among which is the first of three Fire Emblem Fates ‘reviews’ I’ll be posting this year (hopefully). Hopefully you find some enjoyment here and to kick things off lets have some tunes.
One Punch Man (Anime):
Finally getting around to this one long after the huge hype has died down. Thankfully it’s actually a good show and the popularity is somewhat warranted. It’s got fantastic action, decent comedy and even some depth. It’s not fantastic though as its own randomness can get in the way of a coherent story or theme. It’s still got good visuals, music, characters and overall presentation which makes this anime well worth watching and fairly easy to recommend. Not much else to say, so lets move on.
Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction (PS3):
Outside of the upgraded graphics compared to the PS2 titles this is pretty much your standard ratchet and clank title with a few motion based gimmicks thanks to the six-axis controller (Thankfully it’s nothing overly intrusive). I’d also the difficulty is much lower in this title and overall the game felt shorter. It was nice that some backstory for ratchet is explored but the writing isn’t quite as amusing as Ratchet and Clank 3 or various other titles. The attempt at a more personal and epic style of story has potential but I don’t think it’s ever capitalised on properly. On top of that we have an ending on a cliffhanger and an odd one at that. The game is still fun to play though and it has the visual and audio charm necessary to keep the whole thing an awesome experience. In fact I can’t even remember any core gameplay complaints I had outside of difficulty and six-axis bullshit, which I think is indicative of it being a good game.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (PC):
While a lot better than most of the games that inspired it the AVGN game is really flawed game mainly because of the overuse of death blocks and the over commitment to being as shitty as possible without actually being shitty. It’s a fine line to tread and the fact that I was able to enjoy it in some way means they achieved their goal somewhat. The music is excellent, the visuals are alright and the whole thing is dripping with references to this particular internet show (Outdoing a lot of licensed games in the process). However there are times when it feels like it crosses the line into becoming shit as opposed to parodying said shit, for example the characters have a slight momentum that makes precision a pain in the ass, the vanishing death blocks outright suck and the lives system is a terrible idea for a game that has such quick and frequent deaths. I do put some blame on having to use my keyboard but ultimately the final cluster fuck of a level at the end shows just how unfair it can be. Which is weird since it can also be a fair challenge at times and there are the making of a great game here. Rambling aside I recommend checking this out when it’s on sale, otherwise don’t worry too much about it.
Rakudai Kishi no Kyabarurii (Anime):
An okay anime that includes romance, fan service, drama and action. In many ways it has difficulty finding a consistent tone but thankfully most of what it does has at least visual polish. The romance and fan service are quite connected to each other and this ends up connected to the drama as well so I can’t say much of it felt too out of place in the story. Thankfully there are lighthearted moments that induce laughter but the show doesn’t ever feel like it’s trying to be a comedy which if it did would probably ruin the whole thing. The soundtrack is also fine. Not much else I wish to say other than that I don’t recommend it highly but at the same time I think it could be worth watching for some and I personally thought it was alright.
X-Men: Apocalypse (Movie):
A rather fun action movie that covers quite a lot of characters and at times seems to retread old ground a tad too much. I mean this is somewhat expected after they rebooted the universe with Days of Future Past and in many ways I found it quite fascinating. I was also surprised how violent this movie was in comparison to the previous one and I think that lent the villain of this title a lot more presence. The villain was menacing and while he was more fantastical than previous villains he never felt out of place in this movie. It was a bit of cluster fuck but it manged to have some depth and was overall a fun time. However I think this is also time for a warning since the whole professor X and Magneto character arcs are starting to feel really repetitive in the same way that wolverine was. If there is going to be another X-Men film these characters need to take a back seat or at the very least not seem like they’re repeating the same paths they followed in the previous films. Other than that I think the film is well worth watching for all but those who are easily confused.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Anime):
The concept of fantasy worlds and our modern one has lead to some good stuff recently, Overlord and Gate being the examples of this. Grimgar tackles a similar concept to Overlord (Vaguely I guess, maybe the first season of sao is a better comparison?) but with a larger amount of mystery and protagonists that don’t remember anything. This leads to a darker tone as the characters have to work themselves up from scratch and risk their lives facing even the most common fodder enemies. It’s admittedly slow (I’ve seen some call it a slice of life set in a fantasy RPG world) but in return it offers great drama and a fuckton of tension. The artstyle is beautiful and the soundtrack is pretty good too. However I don’t think it’s close to finished yet as none of the actual mysteries are solved in this season, So while I personally recommend it I think it might be worth waiting for a second season.
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (3DS):
I love this game but I also feel disappointed in this localisation. It’s not so much the cut content and cringe worthy dialogue that left a slightly sour taste but the lack of dual audio and the terrible dubbing on most of the characters. For example Camilla now sounds like someones creepy grandma who smokes too much, Kagero sounds like a zombie with a lisp and the male Corrin voice I chose made some of the more emotional scenes absolutely laughable. Thankfully some of the characters sound okay like Xander, Caeldori and my personal favourite Sophie so I can’t say it’s 100% awful. The fact we’ve taken such a step back from Awakening by removing dual audio is what I consider the games biggest fault, since for the most part the game plays like Awakening but with some altered mechanics and a better narrative. The music is great and for the most part I like the visual style. For the most part I enjoyed the gameplay but with the removal of the weapon durability it feels a little less important to spend as much time planning ahead. There’s also two/three difficulty spikes in the Birthright campaign and I feel like the game intentionally tried to encourage grinding at these points.
Anyway as much as I complain I actually really enjoyed this playthrough and I got quite addicted to the game. In many ways I think the problems I have with it come from a place of wanting it to be even better and quite frankly it’s a little hard to even critique the meat of the game when the presentation problems are so distracting. I’m planning my next playthrough already and it’s going to be quite the undertaking to even get it underway but I hope the next two reviews of this game can be more substantial than this. At this point I can’t recommend it but I think I may be able to once I’m done with all 3 routes.
Money Monster (Movie):
A mediocre thriller movie centred around stock and a tv show about the stock market. It was okay I guess, but it felt a tad preachy and had a cameo or two that seemed a little odd to me. Ultimately it’s not worth your time but I was lucky enough to have a free ticket so no harm done. Maybe rent it for cheap in a few years time?
Alright folks I hope you enjoyed this and I look forward to reading some of your thoughts on this stuff. Assuming that someone actually comments. Anyway if you’ve sat through all this, I hereby reward you with the usual pictures. Thank you for sticking with me.