Monday, May 25, 2015

Japanese games I not/maybe/will buy

DECIDED NOT TO BUY

SHINING RESONANCE


I wasn't going to get this anyway since the Shining games have all been subpar and Sega has gone action RPG AI teammates instead of the Valkyria gameplay. Was looking through the Amazon JP reviews and saw something I couldn't believe: you have to pay 100 yen to retry a boss fight after you die!

WTF! Apparently save points are a ways away from bosses and I'm very sure its not the Bloodborne open a shortcut and just run two minutes to a boss. Not to mention it has a total of 8000 yen of DLC. Idolmaster anyone? Shining games have all been crap since Camelot left the series.

BRAVELY SECOND


I don't know why games news sites were surprised that the sales for Second were lower than Default. Why wasn't much attention given to how stupid the second half and the characters in Bravely Default were?

I played the demo, I like how they solved spamming bravely by introducing chain battles and getting rewards the longer you chain. Because its a game where anyone can be any class, they just rerused all the assets and they all look the same to me.

The Madoka writer is no longer writing but reviews indicate the story is even worse with no urgency. Sad news for old school RPGs but there were too many things in the first game I didn't like. The 3 characters in the demo were supposed to be musketeers but they can change into any character class.

RAY GIGANT

 
I got so excited when I saw the first trailer with the 2D animations of the characters standing. Then the last trailer came out and turns out there's no attack animations like any low budget first person dungeon crawler.  


XENOBLADE X


I never played the first game and I'm not a fan of single player MMOs cause those games usually feel like doing many randomly generated side quests. There's a Japanese world for these type of games, sagyou game 作業ゲーム. Kill monsters, get upgrades, rinse and repeat. Plus the reviews seem to indicate that the story is not as good as the previous game.

A 4 star review on Amazon JP says:

クエストという形で受けるので、メインストーリーがおまけのように感じられてしまうのは否めません。

I can't deny that the main story feels like an omake (bonus) when considering the contents of the quests. 

最初から最後までクライマックスだった前作と比べると話が盛り上がりません。

Compared to the previous game, the climax is not as exiting.

Not a fan of grinding for the sake of grinding so I'm staying away. Thought about getting the previous game, Xenoblade but that would require getting a wiimote and bar. Why can't bloody Nintendo emulate it on the Wii U controller or something?

PROJECT MIRAI DELUXE

Charging full price for the same fucking (enchanced) game with redone videos. WTF Sega?


I MIGHT GET

LANGRISSER 3DS

Langrisser is alive! I'm so excited, except....

the soldiers look like bowling balls carrying toothpicks? Since its obvious Masaya doesn't have the budget, just go back to old 2D sprites. I don't care if it looks like a SFC game. If the troops still look like that, I'm not getting this. I understand super deformed but the size of the heads is outrageous.

Its only two more months from release and there are no further pictures of the troops which gives me some hope they are fixing them up. The only thing we've got is artwork and old school Langrisser music on the official website. If it doesn't work out, I've still got the old Langrisser games on my Vita to go through anyway.



I WILL DEFINITELY BUY

STELLA GLOW


Imageepoch's final game. I know its a harem RPG but I downloaded the demo and its decent ie doesn't feel like a undercooked RPG like the Shining and Furyu games. Any decent strategy RPG is a must buy for me. Plus I didn't mind the SD characters so much. Hopefully it won't be obvious they ran out of money halfway through the game.

FIRE EMBLEM IF

Already got this preordered. Awakening was ok but its got a decent budget and its an old school strategy RPG. Please be very good. Hate Nintendo charging extra for splitting the game into two. I'm pretty sure both games use a lot of similar assets but grid based RPGs are niche genre, although the previous game sold nearly 2 million copies.
Please be good so we can have more grid strategy RPGs!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Five things I learned from Love Riron Eps 1-3

1. If you have beautiful girls around you, it will increase your appeal and pick up success rate. Duh.....

2. If an ugly guy (busaiku) has pretty boy (ikemen) friends, things might start start to blend in the girl might find the guy not so busaiku.... or go with one of the ikemen. Why would someone go to a kyabakura to nanpa in the first place?

3. Monday low tide shell gathering theory! Women who go out on Monday morning or usually nurses or beauticians who just finished their shift.

4. Apparently eromen AV aka adult videos aimed at women are getting popular. That's the eromen actor giving a kyabajou 2 fingers.


5. To avoid police raids at love hotels, highway prostitution is available in Japan aka sex in van.


The 2 part Love Riron dorama special was quite funny.

This dorama serious is not, especially the theories.

The main character is also more annoying than Densha.


Do not watch. Watch the special instead.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Arslan senki Eps 1-7


Arslan is based on the novels written by Tanaka Yoshiki, the same writer that the classic anime Legend of Galactic Heroes is based on. Speaking of LoGH, where is that remake that was announced last year? No matter, one cannot improve on perfection anyway. There was an Arslan OVA many, many years ago and I sort of remember bits and pieces of it while watching the anime.


While LoGH was about monarchy vs democracy, Arslan is about a religiously fanatical country vs a country built on slavery. Like LoGH, many characters are introduced and there are plenty of good and bad people on both sides. Its not as balanced as LoGH since most of our main characters are from Pars and the story is about how Arslan the prince of a defeated nation becomes King but not everyone from Lustania is a bad person either.


Art-wise, Arslan is very inconsistent and like so many anime, just seems to get worse by the episode. My main concern is that Arslan keeps going until the end. Guin Saga only lasted one season. I've previously said that an anime as great as LoGH would not have been made in today's anime climate and I fear for Arslan's survival.


A smart anime about politics, death in a world of no easy answers would not be able to attract viewers unless Arslan was the lone male in the series and there was a hot spring and going to the beach episode.


While I can't call it a must watch cause I'm waiting for the story to continue past the OVA and really get going. The story is still in the setting up characters mode. I'm not looking forward to the anguish when Arslan will most likely not be renewed for season 2 just like Guin Saga.


Speaking of heartbreaking half done fantasy anime series, where is the fourth Berserk movie?  (and the latest Berserk chapter) Kentaro Miura can't possibly still be playing Idolmaster, can he?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Yami no Bansosha Ep 5


"Saving someone is not always justice and killing someone is not always evil"

By the jdorama gods, WOWOW has done it again and created another must watch show. The level of Japanese required is a bit higher than usual and I had to watch the last episode 5 twice before I understood the story. Thanks to anonymous in my post for eps 1-4 for clearing some of my misunderstandings with the plot. If you've got basic Japanese down, I absolutely recommend watching Yami no Bansosha slowly with a dictionary cause its that damn good.

So, its going to be spoilers from here on out. Someone needs to sub Yami no Bansosha. WOWOW has been bringing in a great age of smart Japanese doramas these last few years. Its too sad that the jdorama watching people would rather idoru doramas.



SPOILERS!!!!

So Mangaka's art was once praised by this girl. Unfortunately, this girl was gang raped and Mangaka saw it. They committed carbon monoxide suicide by charcoal burning but Mangaka survived. Mangaka grows up and starts on a killing similar looking girls by the same method and sketching them while they die to capture that moment.

Shonen befriends Mangaka in the park on day and witnesses Mangaka's crime. Shonen's mom is involved with a dodgy religious cult and dies suspiciously. Mangaka avenges Shonen's death by killing the cult leader. Mangaka helps him not to redeem himself but because Shonen praised his manga.


Shonen is sent to Nagoya to live with his mom's relatives but is abused by the grandfather. Mangaka ends up killing the grandfather, probably at a snack and goes to prison for 6 years for Shonen.

Yami no Bansosha is the story about a very bad person who does some arguably good things for a kid who faced much difficulty in life and who both share a love for manga. Did Mangaka actually save Shonen or did he doom his life by exacting revenge on his behalf? Or did Shonen actually save Mangaka with his friendship? Holy shit! This dorama is deep.


Goddamn, I need to rewatch Yami no Bansosha. There's probably little details that I've missed. I can believe WOWOW topped Kageri Yuki Natsu. Absolutely must watch show.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Eps 1-6


When I heard the name of this anime, I had this image of the sukebe adventurer who went into dungeons to pick up chicks. They'll be perverted gags and this adventurer will save the day but not get the girl and off to the next dungeon and he'll have this female companion who is disgusted by all him constantly trying to get into the skirt of any female adventurer he comes across. I thought the worst thing that could happen was that the anime would run out of funny ways for him to pick up and lose the girl. I was wrong.

The worst thing that could happen was for the anime to turn out to be a Sword Art Online clone. First off, why the fuck did they use 'pick up girls' for the English title when 'deai wo motomete' sounds more like 'want to meet'?


This show is so generic, there's no freaking humour in it. Anyone who's watched some anime can guess every single piece of dialogue and plot point before it happens. I just skimmed 6 episodes in half an hour going yup, what else is new? Oh loli character calling main character onii-chan and he's going to win her over cause he's so stupid nice.

It is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator of anime fans with the same harem formula. Tenchi Muyo did a much better job with the formula 20 years ago. All this has done is reminded me I never got to watching Those who hunt elves. I believe its about looking for a female elf with a map on her back so they have to strip elves or something. Pretty sure its a lot better then Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka. Avoid.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The end of the video game director



Its been a sad week in video games. First is all a bunch rumours about Hideo Kojima, legendary director of the Metal Gear series being treated like crap by Konami surfaced. (see above video) A lot of signs have been popping up such as the cancellation of Silent Hills but Konami's silence speaks volumes.

Sounds like Konami is going to put more money into mobile gaming, gambling and health centres. (no, not those type of health centres) The shift to mobile gaming is changing gaming for the worse. Video games are created to make money but video games are also art, and while not as low risk as mobile gaming and gambling machines, a great game such as Bloodborne provides an experience that other mediums cannot rival.

Speaking of Bloodborne, the President of Sony's Worldwide Studious just platinumed the damn game. No one can doubt his gaming credentials and he believed in the Souls series for Sony to pump some money in and allow From Software to create this masterpiece. I'm playing NG+ and bloody hell, its even more difficult.

Sadly, he is one of the few executives who understand that creating good games takes time and effort and is willingly to gamble on a good studio and director.

Castlevania's director Igarashi was also in the news this week for raising 1 million to create the rip off of his own game. Konami killed the series by trying to go God of War with it and Igarashi, could not not even get any of the video game companies to take a punt on him. Japanese companies would rather produce cheap games about looking up underwear than investing in a director with a proven track record.

However, is this all fault of video game executives or just an effect of the way sales are going? Hardcore gamers can talk about gameplay but sales speak different. According to Sega Sammy's Financial Statement, the much derided Sonic Boom sold 620 000 copies while Ryu ga Gotoku 0 only sold 380 000 copies.While one can argue that Sonic Boom is combined worldwide sales, and the Yakuza series typically sells about 200 000 copies outside Japan, the fact is that a cheaply made, outsourced game outsold a game that had 30 AV actresses and a lot more blood, sweat and other bodily fluids.

Unless you are a major publisher who can pump huge amounts of money into marketing so that the voices saying how repetitive and boring your pretty game are drowned out, the alternative is low risk, high return. Bayonetta 2 was universally praised and caused me to get a Wii U but sales were very bad. Luckily Nintendo has been printing money since the DS and Wii but is any executive in Nintendo going to put more money in Bayonetta 3 because the series so good, damn the sales? (I will sacrifice a lot of animals for this to happen)

Companies now live or die by their games. Dollars talk louder than a celebrated director who has brought millions of dollars of profit. The amount of time and money to invest in making a real AAA game like MGS5 (not fake AAA games with random mission generators) is difficult for an executive who has to do quarterly earning reports to investors. Even Yuji Naka was forced to delay his Wii game by the publisher which in turned killed sales cause the gameplay was more suited to the Wii than Wii U.

The only ones left standing is Toshihiro Nagoshi, now chief producer of Ryu ga Gotoku, Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of the Souls games and Kamiya of Platinum games. Hopefully with him being on Sega's board of directors, the series will never die. Inafune had to use kickstarter to make a Rockman game cause Capcom can't even afford him the budget to make one. Hironobu Sakaguchi and Yu Suzuki are making mobile games. If Street Fighter 5 doesn't sell more than 2 millions copies next year, the series is over.

While it is true that no one is bigger than a company but it looks like no company today will back a director's vision all the way.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kokoro ga Pokitto ne Eps 1-3


Kokoro ga Pokitto ne is a quadrangle love story that's pretty boring. We have a divorced couple played by Abe Sadao and Yamaguchi Tomoko. Abe Sadao is a former salaryman who broke down and got divorced and is now working at a furniture repair shop run by Fujiki Naohito who is always happy go lucky and is never worried.


Yamaguchi Tomoko changed her name and is forever obsessed with her blog and is dating the furniture boss. The fourth character is a tall, young woman who views furniture boss as her god and gets to fixated over anyone she falls in love with.


The theme is this show is that everyone has mental problems. Abe Sadao doesn't like people anymore but its more he is surrounded by super annoying people. Furniture boss's naivety is has not been utilised yet Yamaguchi Tomoko's character seems super shallow doing things for her blog. I'm guilty of it as well but she takes it to the extreme. She's just annoyingly boring.  The fourth character, I don't give a crap about. I just think she is miscast.


I really wanted to quit after episode 2 and gave Okada Yoshikazu one more episode but its just not funny nor are the characters interesting. The concept is but the execution is lacking. Really boring for me. Maybe it'll finally get going somewhere in the middle but its too late for me. Avoid.