Chaos Blogg 75: Hollow Ataraxia

So I intended to get this out at least a week ago, but between my stomach issues, a lack of internet and now a full on cold I’ve been unmotivated to type up this stuff. Within we have a lot of anime, and at least one interesting game. Anyway you know the drill, here’s some music.

Fate/Hollow Ataraxia (Visual Novel):

It took me a while to get back to this one. Ultimately I can only recommend this to people who have played/read the first VN and even then I can’t say it’s a necessity. In terms of story it’s not quite a traditional sequel and comes across as more of a side story that takes place after the first game. I think it’s important not to get your hopes up for the narrative here, the focus is more on characters, comedy and mystery. This is contrasted with some really dark and serious shit that can be somewhat disturbing. In many ways Hollow is to Stay/Night as Majora’s Mask is to Ocarina of Time. Even some of the music reminded me of Majora, it’s often more sombre in tone and gives off a foreboading feeling. The extreme contrast of tones creates a weird experience but one that’s still enjoyable. It’s non-linear in structure which makes 100%-ing it a bit less tedious and the rewards for exploring more of the game include a couple of minigames which are pretty cool (Even if they’re a bit bullshit). There’s only one mandatory H-scene this time which makes it more bearable for those who dislike such content (even then I’m confused as to why they didn’t make them all optional). Overall I can only recommend this for huge fans who want to see more character interactions and the like, otherwise it’s very inconsequential.

Ben-Hur (Movie):

So I haven’t seen the original so I can’t make any comparisons. I found this to be an entertaining action/drama movie that just falls apart at the conclusion. It gets a little preachy and it ends up with a lot of plot holes. I was left confused and while the movie was long it could’ve taken a few extra minutes to explain shit properly. Quite frankly I have nothing else to say on this movie, I think you don’t miss much by skipping it but there’s no major harm in watching it either.

Bakuon!! (Anime):

A short anime about a bunch of girls in a motorbike club. It’s not much on an actual plot but it maintains some continuity and has enough character development to not feel too static. The show is a comedy about a somewhat niche subject matter (seems niche to me anyway), but it still made me laugh and didn’t leaved me confused. I guess that means it’s semi-educational (or just advertising)? Or maybe it’s just good at providing the viewer with enough context to land a joke? And that’s all I want to say, give it a look if you like but it’s not one I would consider a priority. Note: Oh almost forgot they make some excitebike jokes in this as a sort of running gag, not everyday you see that.

Planetarian (Anime OVA):

A short five episode series based off of a short Visual Novel. Planetarian is well worth watching as it is quite the emotional experience and won’t take up much of your time at all. Easily recommended and that’s all I have to say, just give it a look.

Joker Game (Anime):

A 12 episode series about Japanese spies in world war 2, it’s more or less a bunch of short stories about espionage. It was a good watch but somewhat unremarkable. There’s no clear protagonist or much of an overarching story, so it’s not a show you have to overly invest yourself in but neither is it one that encourages consistent viewing. Worth a look at least.

Another Metroid 2 Remake (PC):

Nintendo really is out of touch these days, as can be seen by the fact that a fan made remake of an old game was able to become the best Metroid game of the past 7 years. So while Nintendo peddle out the insulting pile of crap that is Federation Force, it’s up to people who understand the series to keep it alive. In fact they’ve done it for free. The people behind this game deserve a lot more than they’ve received. Instead of being given a job though Nintendo screwed them as it was their legal right to do so (it’s still a huge dick move though). Anyway point is while you can still find the game online the official site for it isn’t offering it and there’ll be no more patches to it in future (unless someone else does it I guess). It’s such a shame since this game is fan-fucking-tastic taking the base game of Metroid 2 (which I already adore) and giving it the Super Metroid and Metroid Zero Mission polish. Of course this means the game is more linear than the norm but they managed to add more exploration and backtracking in a game that didn’t have the traditional backtracking. Honestly I’m not sure how you could make Metroid 2 more exploration based than this without changing a lot of the games core. The graphical style is great although the image slides at the beginning and end are unpolished. The music in this game is beautiful and gives a prime style to some classic tracks. Just everything about this game was so fun. It’s a real treat for fans of the series and one that even adds some minor innovations or perhaps you’d call them minor gimmicks. These additions are all great and show that new things can be done with the series without fucking derailing it and turning into an entirely different genre (*cough* Other M *cough*). So yeah please check out AM2R folks I think it’s well worth your time especially if you’re a fan of the series.

LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 (PS3):

A fairly standard LEGO game at least as far as I remember them being. The main difference is the explorable hub and a larger amount of abilities compared to previous titles (and by that I mean LEGO star wars since that was the last one I played like over a decade ago by now). The game is very relaxing due to it’s low stakes and overall mindless collectathon nature. The presentation needs some work as it lacks polish however a soundtrack pretty much ripped out of the movies makes up for this in some aspects. Being a LEGO game I don’t feel there’s much to critique, however this a fairly easy game to recommend to family’s with younger children or just about anyone looking to relax.

New Game! (Anime):

A small 12 episode anime. It’s the usual comedy fair but it does have some heart and something that resembles a narrative structure. It’s nothing spectacular but it does what it sets out to do fairly well and was a joy to watch. It’s worth a watch for anime fans but not something I recommend for newcomers.

The secret life of pets (Movies):

A fairly forgettable animated feature that can’t quite decide what type of story it wants to tell. It has some fun moments but there’s nothing close to real substance here. Maybe take your kids to see it but you’d better off renting it for them later or something.

Alright that’s all for now, I can’t say I was too enthusiastic about much of this stuff which is why I haven’t written much here. Hopefully this is helpful someone in the future. I’ll leave you with some pictures now.

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