Thursday, July 26, 2012

Some video games I played

I haven't been talking about what video games I've been playing lately, so this post is going to be dedicated to that. I planned to add another poll but it won't let me for some reason.

Let's start at the very beginning. I was playing Dark Souls quite a bit and I was really liking it. But then I got stuck at a certain part of the game. I don't know the names of the locations but it was the area where you had to fight two bosses at once. You might be thinking, "Oh, that shouldn't be a problem." But it IS. I tried a few more times, grinded, and even got new armor but nothing helped. Normally I would keep trying but I just stopped playing. I was stuck in that area and you can't go back to the hub until you beat the boss. Yes, literally stuck there. The game became unappealing at that point. I'll go back to it someday, I think.

Now, at some point I decided to go back and give Fate/Extra another try since the game was severely lackluster when I first played it. Well, it was still kinda poop. The gameplay is the main problem here. Sure, they tried to make it different but it's just really sluggish and boring. It doesn't have that "fun" factor that other RPGs are supposed to have with its gameplay. I guess this is why they bundled it with a figma. The dungeons are kinda bland and the school, the main hub area, feels hollow and boring. But for some reason I kept playing. I don't know why. Maybe it was the mediocre story or the quirky interactions with a more rude SEIBAH. Or maybe it was my video game pride saying, "I'm gonna beat this fucking game! FUCK YEAH!" I stopped playing this game around 2 weeks ago. I was pretty far into it. I'm not sure if I enjoyed playing the game or I liked the thought of me beating it. One thing is for certain, I will come back to it.

 At the same time I played Phantasy Star Online 2. I signed up during the open beta since I couldn't wait anymore. The game was awesome, it was everything you'd expect from the sequel to Phantasy Star Online. I don't play it too much since there's nothing that really compels me to play more. It's pretty much a huge grind, which is what the series is about. A fun grind, though.

True hero of GUNDAMu

 Let's move onto some recent games. I've been playing Gundam Battle Operation, a lot. It was the one that I was looking forward to and it did not disappoint. Well, there is one thing. Being a free to play online game, you can only play up to three matches. Once those matches are up, you have to wait two hours for one more chance to play. This can stack up to three. You also get rewarded free matches for doing various things like ranking up. There's also the quick method, which is to pay money to add a set amount of games. It isn't pay to win since matchmaking does a good job at pairing you up with similarly ranked players.
I mostly play as Zeon.
The game is all online multiplayer, so no local play. You start off with a junker grunt mobile suit and later on you can upgrade to better grunt mobile suits. Yup, this game is mostly grunt units and it's pretty cool. There are those super special, high level mechs such as the Dom, Gouf, and da GUNDAM. These take quite a bit of time to unlock but if you've been playing every chance you get since the beginning, then you'd probably have these mechs by now. I, personally, have not so I'm still using level 2 mechs.
I wish you could use this in the game.
Actually, I just barely unlocked the painting option. Yeah, you can paint your mechs and the pilot. Fucking awesome. Paint it red to go three times faster. Oh, and I'm doing surprisingly well when I play, sometimes I do the best out of the entire team. I'm at the stage where I do better than most people but I can't beat high level people since their mechs are much more advanced than mine so I go down in two hits. Finding out how to use custom search led me to play with high level people. Never again. As you can tell, I really like this game. Maybe some of you with PS3s can come join the fun. It's only on Japanese PSN so you need a Japanese account. The game is, of course, completely in Japanese but still very playable for those that don't know the language. The controls will take some getting used to, as do a lot of games, but you really need to learn how to control effectively if you want to become the best newtype there is. If you're curious, check out some gameplay videos on youtube.

There's a couple more games I've been playing but I'll save those for later.  Next post, probably.

So, what have you been playing?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Anime 2012

Since a few weeks have passed since the start of this new season, I thought I should go over what I'm watching. A simple first look at things, not an in-depth review. Before we start, there's also a poll I've set up. I'll be adding new ones every now and then.

When I saw the promotional art, I knew that it wasn't going to be anything special. Yes, I do have an extra sense that tells what's going to be good just by looking at the cover. Only works with anime, though. The first episode was kinda poop but it all changed at episode 2. It suddenly became lots of fun to watch because of the generic anime plot elements. In fact, it was so generic that it kind of felt like parody. Still, not recommended but I'm having fun with it.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
I picked this up completely on a whim and I didn't really know what to expect. What I got was a cute, cynical comedy that has a unique style. The comedy style seems to be a bit different than most. I don't really know how to describe it. It is a bit cynical but but not entirely. Also, the unique art style is very appealing to me.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
A harem series that I picked up because I knew it would be entertaining. Of course, that's what ended up happening. Not really sure what to say since it's just another harem with a different setting. It also features chocolate and politics, as the name implies.

Kokoro Connect
I was looking forward to this one for a while. A slice of life series that deals with body swapping. Very funny at times and the antics that ensue are also fun. I'm really enjoying this one. I'm pretty sure you'll notice that the character designs look like modern KyoAni. That's because the character designer of K-ON did the art for the original light novel. I was disappointed that KyoAni didn't animate this, though. It would've made sense but I guess it didn't happen. Silver Link is doing it instead and they're doing a pretty decent job at it. The animation itself still has a sort of "cheapness" to it, since the studio isn't really known for their spectacular animation.

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!
A generic harem series that was obviously made to sell. If you didn't know this already, then you are a fool. Despite how generic it is, I'm still enjoying this. The story has no substance whatsoever but it's still good fun to watch.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II
A direct continuation of the first series. I have no idea what's going on but I like it. Yes, that's Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. It doesn't look like they changed much from production, though correct me if I'm wrong. It's still as fun as always. My only problem is that I didn't rewatch the first season so I'm still confused as to what's going on. But I'm slowly remembering what happened as time goes on.

Moyashimon Returns
The microbes are back with all new adventures..... is what I would say if that's what this series was about. It's just more slice of life adventures in an agriculture college that involves a main character that can see microbes. Still just as good as the first series, though they changed the character designs for some reason. It was a really weird change and I really would like to know why this happened. It doesn't matter too much since I'm really liking this series.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
Adding to what I said from my AX post. I was able to watch the first two episodes again, as well as episode three, by myself and I actually enjoyed it more. I guess I hate watching things with other people. It still isn't very good, though. The opening song is just bad. I have no idea what they were thinking with this. The show still suffers from atrocious direction. The animation looks cheap a lot of the time. I know that using CG for the mechs saved the studio a lot of money but it's just terrible anytime you use it. The fight scenes lost a lot of life because of this and, in the end, felt very stale. I'm still enjoying it since the characters are entertaining and the voice acting is pretty good. Ono Daisuke and Tomokazu Sugita are back again! The end is predictable but Muv-Luv is all about the ride there.
EDIT: It seems that the director was replaced with someone else in the middle of production and the whole studio is a mess. The cause seems to be a work overload and not enough resources to finish it all. It really baffles me how this could've happened in the first place. I really hope that the studio can recover from all this.

Sword Art Online
Another series that I was really looking forward to. Every episode seems to deliver and I look forward to watching it every week. The concept itself is interesting, you're stuck in a video game and you can't get out until you beat the game. It kind of has the survival aspect that I enjoy. Can't really say much else since the story feels like it hasn't opened up yet.

Tari Tari
A nice slice of life show by P. A. Works. The gimmick of this one is music, more specifically, the choir club. It's nice and I really like it so far. It does suffer from a lot of generic events and I can kinda predict how this will end but I still enjoy it.

So those are all of the new series I'm watching this season. In addition, I'm still watching the series that are still going on from last season.

So what are you guys watching?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Anime Expo 2012

I just got back from Anime Expo, well I didn't just get back but I did go. I won't be sharing a lot of cosplay pictures but I will post some in order to pad out this post.

I got a 4-day pass but only attended the first three since the last day never has anything interesting and I was pretty exhausted at that point. There was a big turnout this year. Usually the first day is kinda slow but there was still a lot of people. I went there early since there was a certain event I wanted to go to.

Yep. I just HAD to go since it's Muv-Luv.

I guess you could say I'm a fan.
I was waiting in line right when the line first formed, which was when the panel before it first started. It was well worth it since I got to sit in the front row.

In front of the swag master himself.
Ayami(right) was pretty adorable during this.

The panel was just an introduction to Muv-Luv and some thoughts on the upcoming anime. Nothing of much worth except certain anecdotes of production.

I did, however, make Yoshimune Kouki laugh during the panel. Since a lot of people were being stupid and yelling stuff out at random times. Just like any panel. It all began when ayami was introducing herself to the audience in english. She was doing pretty well until the end when she finally got nervous and stopped. I, acting like the silly person I am, yelled out "大丈夫!" and Kouki said under his breath, laughing, "へへー、大丈夫。" Made my fucking day. Yes, it really did happen.

Immediately after that was the wait for the Fate/Zero finale screening/Q&A. I knew that I had to get in line right away since Type-Moon has some very dedicated fans. Sure enough, the line was already getting long. I wasn't at a bad spot since the line got extremely crowded at the end. My seat wasn't too bad considering the place was packed. No cameras were allowed but I did see a lot of people taking pictures. I didn't want to risk it. The panel started with Koyama Rikiya, Aoki Ei, Kondo Hikaru, LiSA, and Kajiura Yuki coming on stage along with some really good Fate/Zero cosplayers behind them. I really wish I got a picture of this. They introduced themselves and then left so we could see the finale. Watching the final two episodes back to back on the big screen with thundering speakers was a really great experience. Obviously better than watching it at home. After that there was a Q&A with Aoki Ei, Kondo Hikaru, and Koyama Rikiya. A few interesting questions, such as the coincidental air dates, which turned out to just be coincidences according to both director and producer. Of course, it wouldn't be a ufotable panel without mention of a Heaven's Feel adaptaion. The answer was the usual, "there are no plans." Koyama was ignored until they finally asked him a question at the end. He should've been asked more since he can really draw a crowd.

After the panel was the usual hanging around along with all the cosplayers. Eating lunch and then hang around some more. There wasn't anything else that interested me that day.

Well, there was this interesting situation.

Which, apparently, drew a huge crowd. Don't worry, it's just Spider-man and panda chillin out.

Posting this for skype friend since they wanted to see it.
Day 2 came and straight to the exhibit hall it is. I browsed through most of the booths and bought stuff at some. Some places were cheaper than others but that's to be expected. All of this was to waste time before we lined up for another panel.

Yep, a continuation of the Q&A from the day before. I lined up pretty early so I got to sit in the second row.

Please excuse my shitty camera.

More questions, which consisted of not just Fate/Zero but their other works as well. There was also mention of Heaven's Feel...., again. This time they asked, "If you were to adapt Heaven's Feel..." Apparently they got tired of hearing this so Kondo decided to play dumb and say "What's that?" The guy asking the question went along with this and proceeded to describe Fate/Stay Night. Kondo then ended with, "This work sounds very interesting. If you know where to buy this, I'll certainly try it out."

Their faces when asked difficult questions. Every question was difficult.

There was a raffle at the end, which let you be first in line to get their autograph. They chose around 30 people as winners....., and I was one of them.

I really don't know how to feel. I really wasn't expecting this but I guess it's cool.

After that, it was just more wandering around the exhibit hall and hanging out with the cosplayers. I pretty much did all I wanted to do that day and everything else didn't really interest me.

I didn't catch too many Touhou cosplay but from what I saw, they weren't that great.

Day 3 started off with a lot to do. I wasn't planning to do much but I decided to go to the Production IG panel on a whim. I had no idea that they were going to give out free stuff. The speaker was pretty generous with giving people free stuff and it got kinda chaotic at times. She would ask a trivia question and if you got it right you would get some autographed merchandise and if you got it wrong you still get autographed merchandise. There was a guy who answered wrong and decided to leave right away so the speaker stopped him and asked, "Are you leaving? Why are you leaving?" "Because I didn't win anything..." "Oh, okay. If I give you something will you stay?" Of course, he got something. The panel itself was just a showcase of current and upcoming Production IG titles. Oh, and Satou Tatsuo was sitting with the audience in the front for some reason. Yup, lots of fun.

After that was the Madhouse panel. I didn't take any pictures for some reason even though it was allowed. It was a Q&A with Asaka Morio, Hamada Kunihiko, and Tsunoki Takuya. They were asked a bunch of questions about Chihayafuru and Cardcaptor Sakura. They did ask about Kaiji season 3 but they only said that they would love to work on it but didn't know if there were any plans. There was also mention of Chihayafuru season 2 but they said they had no idea if they were going to be involved in it or if it was going to a different studio. This news made everybody kinda sad.

After that I saw some anime being played at some of the video rooms as well as buying more things at the exhibit hall. Again, I was wasting time before I lined up for the premiere of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse.

 I got there two hours early and there was already people waiting around for the line to start. The panel before it was a stupid naruto panel and the line was enormous. It took a while for them to leave so we could start lining up. This came back to haunt us since the premiere was delayed by more than an hour. We were all getting anxious and the line kept getting bigger. It didn't take long for "FUCK NARUTO!" to start getting thrown around. I was the second person to say that. I then suggested we start a chant. Nobody knew what to say so I belted out "MUV LUV MUV LUV....." The people around me followed and the hall got quiet for a second. I stopped since I got tired and I guess everybody followed.

We were finally seated and I got second row in front of the screen. No cameras were allowed. The premiere fan line, which is pretty much the 'let me cut in line because I payed more' line, was pretty big so a lot of the good seats were taken but I still had a good view. Also, before the presentation started. I managed to wave my hand at Yoshimune Kouki since nobody else knew it was him. He waved back even though he was probably busy walking back and forth. I was surprised to hear that Kuribayashi Minami and ayami were going to perform live for us. I sat in front of the screen, which meant I was little away from the stage but I still got an okay view. After they performed, the anime started.

They played the first two episodes back to back and it was all anime original. It gave me some insight on how people were trained and the world before the BETA came to attack. It was nice to see everything animated but there was a lot of misplaced directorial decisions. Some stuff came off as really cheesy and there was also some minor things that only a fan could catch. I would say that the first two episodes were okay. It tried too hard to please both fans and newcomers but kind of fell flat on its face at times. It wanted a Muv Luv Extra/Unlimited feel to start off with and slam you with Alternative type twists. But it doesn't really work that way. It was okay and I appreciated it for insight it gave to the universe it takes place in. We'll have to see how the rest of the series turns out. The end was followed with an encore by Kuribayashi Minami.

AX was fun though it wasn't the best. A lot of stuff happened and I met a lot of people. It's the only time of year you could walk up to a random person and start talking about anime. I'm kind of sad that it's all over but good things aren't meant to last. I hope you guys enjoyed this stupid long post.