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3/31/2013

Haganai is finished!

Haganai season 2 is over and it ended in the most unexpected way possible. I think the fans of the series will either love or hate the ending depending on which characters they like but all in all, the entire series is just very, VERY good. I'm not going to hunt for the manga, which has two volumes for sale already.


This is one of the best Anime comedies I've seen and now understand the popularity it has all over the internet. The characters are serously well-created, hilarious, strange and funny and the things they do and happen to them are excellent. Fortunately, it's just 25-episodes long so watching it should only take a few hours. I seriously recommend it.


3/28/2013

Ni No Kuni!

I'm really hooked to Ni No Kuni now, today I played about 6 straight hours of it and it seems like I can't get enough of the charm and battle system of the game. But a small issue is annoying me a little. The game appears to focus a lot on grinding to make Familiars useful. When you catch a new creature or evolve one that you already have, their level goes back to 1 so you have to spend a LOT of time grinding them to see if they're useful or not. 


It already happened to me twice that I start to level up a Familiar only to be disappointed by the results later on and end up abandoning it. It's a little bit annoying. So far, I'm just trying to play the game with the creatures I started with. Like the Mite, the monkey from the first town and the little fairy from the second forest (which is really, REALLY powerful). 

Changing subject, I know I've been kind of away from the place in the last days but I've been focusing a lot on gaming, Anime and my girlfriend but I do have some plans to write up a few longer articles like reviews and Anime stuff. I gotta get on that during the weekend. 

3/21/2013

Two new RPG games to backlog!

This morning, my copies of The Witcher 2 and Atelier Ayesha arrived. I'm more excited about Ayesha to be honest and will most likely finish it as soon as I'm done with Ni No Kuni. Witcher will have to wait because Deus Ex's successor will be Fallout 3. Still, I'm very happy to own these two babies.


Deus Ex HR Progress

One of the single-player games I'm currently on is Deus Ex Human Revolution, which I think I'm nearing the end. I feel that the development process here was too unfair because in all reality, HR is a fantastic game. The way the player can upgrade Jensen's abilities however he likes and focus on many different playstyles is incredible. The different ways to acomplish a single objective, by hacking, shooting your way in, sneaking through vents or even go invisible is amazing but a single aspect of the game kills the entire experience: The boss battles.


The boss battles, in my opinion hinder completely the overall experience of the game. The force you to take on lethal methods and use guns to kill them. For someone who's focusing on sneaking by, hacking and not being seen, like me, this is really uncomfortable. I'm nearing the third boss fight and I'm scared that I might not have enough tool to take him down, but still I'm very excited about the rest of the adventure. This game really is amazing outside bosses.

3/19/2013

A little update

This past week I've been very sick, a severe cold hit me and I'm still recovering from it. But I feel like I should post at least a small paragraph on some stuff I need to remember to write about, like reviews for Dynasty Warriors Next and Project Diva f, both for the PS Vita. I'm still playing Deus Ex HR, Horizong, P4 Arena and Ni No Kuni so reviews for those will come later. 


I'm also really hooked to several anime series, I'm still on Tamako Market, Haganai 2nd season, Gundam 00 and many others. I met Nichijou and it's probably my favorite series in the world (even better than Azumanga Daioh). It's seriously good. I'll most likely start to write small articles on each series once I finish them. 

3/11/2013

REVIEW: Lollipop Chainsaw (Xbox 360)


Zombie apocalypse games seem to be getting more and more famous as the current generation of gaming keeps going. We’ve seen many that fall into the shooter category like Left 4 Dead and even casual mobile games like Plants vs. Zombies but Lollipop Chainsaw comes to the industry with a modified idea of what a Zombie crisis is supposed to be like, breaks tons of clichés and manages to end up being a fairly nice action game.

Lollipop Chainsaw tells the story of Juliet, a very beautiful and sexy student from San Romero High School who is also a cheerleader that loves to eat lollipops who finds herself in the middle of an on-going Zombie Apocalypse that starts in her very school. In the beginning of the game, she reveals to be a Zombie Hunter who kills the undead with a huge chainsaw, just like her parents and two weird sisters.

After a while, her boyfriend Nick gets beaten by a Zombie so she decapitates him and performs a Voo-Doo ritual on his head to stop him from dying and turning into an undead. She then decides to carry Nick’s head tied to her waist during the adventure into which she’ll try to kill thousands of Zombies, discover the reasons behind the crisis and stop it once and for all.

As you can see, the whole setting behind Lollipop Chainsaw is very strange and uncommon. Though the game has a fair amount of gore and badmouthing, most of it is filled with comedy, humor and comic-relief. The game doesn’t take itself seriously at any point and this makes it be a welcome and different take on a setting that we usually see as dark, sad and even very lonely.

In terms of graphics, Lollipop Chainsaw looks very nice for the most part. Many of its textures even use a small amount of cel-shading to make them feel like a comic book. There are some minor issues with the antialiasing and HDR in the Xbox 360 version as well as some camera issues when fighting many zombies at the same time in tight spaces like corridors but nothing really hinders the experience as a whole.

The use of colors is nice and the characters are very well-animated, at least the important ones. The frame rate is consistent for the most part though at some very specific points it can slow down if you let too many things happen in the screen at the same time. It’s not annoying, almost never happens, but it’s definitely there.

Musically, the game is like a tribute to Pop Culture. Using many famous songs like “Hey Mickey” which no one would have ever imagined being in a Zombie apocalypse game. You can like or dislike the soundtrack but the truth is that it fits with the setting and the feeling the game is trying to irradiate at all times.

Lollipop Chainsaw has a fantastic use of voice-acting, Juliet and Nick sound perfectly and have excellent lines that will definitely make you laugh several times through the game, other characters like Juliet’s pervert Japanese master or her crazy little sister sound awesome too. The entire game is voiced so no unnecessary reading will have to be done during it. Even the Zombies themselves talk and usually drop pretty funny lines when Juliet cuts them down with her chainsaw.

Then there’s the gameplay, where Lollipop Chainsaw takes many of the best aspects from similar titles (in gameplay) like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden to craft a combat system that is really varied, offers tons of options and most importantly, is very fun. Players will control Juliet around pressing buttons to jump, dodge attacks and use her chainsaw to cut enemies down in style.

As you advance through the game, you’ll earn money to buy different things like extra HP, more combos, different moves and even sexy outfits for Juliet. When you kill many zombies with a single strike, the money Juliet earns from that specific kill is multiplied, so it’s vital to try and kill this way as much as possible to have enough money to buy what you need and want as soon as you can.

During the game, many parts of it will try to vary the pace, making Juliet pole-dance to kill the Zombies, shoot enemies down turning her chainsaw into a rifle and even lure suicide-bomber Zombies to kill their own buddies. These parts of the game are well-done and very fun for the most part. Several sections will have her use Nick’s head to control decapitated corpses to help her destroy debris or lift heavy obstacles.

In her adventure, Juliet will visit many different parts of her town like the high school itself, stadium, farm, junkyard and even a very weird arcade building. Each of the areas have their own events, minigames, stories and most importantly, a very cool boss battle that will prove to be really challenging. All of these require specific tactics to be defeated so it’s not just attack and dodge on them. That definitely won’t work on bosses.

Besides the main story, which can be played in different difficulty levels, players can choose to replay the stage to beat a high-score to compete in online leaderboards, try to beat their own record and of course, earn most of the game’s Achievements in Xbox Live. Lollipop Chainsaw is rather short, most players will finish it in around 10 or 12 hours, maybe less and the score attack mode add a lot of replay value to it.

Lollipop Chainsaw, as a whole, reminds players of the past, when games didn’t necessarily try to be realistic, intense and overly mature to sell and cater to the tastes of a casual market that was not important at the time. Instead, this title tries to be unique, take a setting everyone seems to like a lot and turn it into something unusual, funny and at the same time, good and honestly, it does that right.

It’s almost a given that Lollipop Chainsaw will end up being a misunderstood game and even an underrated one because it just tries too hard to make focus in the humor, Juliet’s sexy looks and behavior, lack of sense and the comic-relief of the entire adventure instead of the blood-guns-undead formula.

The game is pretty good. It’s not perfect, it definitely won’t divide the industry in “before” and “after” and to be realistic, it won’t ever be famous at all. But Lollipop Chainsaw is definitely worth playing. The graphics are very cool just like the soundtrack, the voice-acting is simply fantastic and the gameplay is extremely fun, varied and offers tons of things to do and try from start to finish, and besides, Juliet is just too hot. To be honest, Lollipop Chainsaw is an underrated game that it’s definitely superior to more-famous titles that share genre with it. Everyone out there should try this game.


Pros:

-          Great setting focuses more on humor and comedy than anything else.
-          Solid gameplay with tons of things to do and minigames.
-          Juliet is a great main character.
-          Great boss battles.
-          Combat is varied with lots of combos and tools to use.
-          Voice acting is excellent.

Cons:

-          Some minor camera issues.
-          It’s easy not to like the soundtrack.


-          Graphics and Visuals………....8
-          Music and Sound Effects…......8
-          Gameplay………………….…8
-          Replay Value……………..…..8

-          Overall Score……………….. 8 / 10

3/08/2013

The new moe

Tamako Market is an Anime series being aired in Japan right now. The final version will have a total of twelve episodes but as of right now, only nine have been aired (I'm downloading that one right now). The series is made by the same artists from K-On so it's moe with high-school girls being cute and doing cute things. 

Fans of the genre will definitely like it because it resembles some of the best things from similar Animes, the characters are likable, the story is cool and overall it's pretty funny. Tamako is the main character, a Japanese high-school girl who works in her family's mochi store (rice cake). She loves shopping around a market where she lives and has some pretty friends at school, a guy who secretly likes her and other random friends like a "lady" who sells flowers but somehow's got a manly voice. 


Things get weird when a pretty fat talking bird arrives at the shopping distric to live with Tamako and her family claiming to be from a royal family and looking for a prince's bride. The series is very weird and many stuff simply don't make sense, but the sum of all is pretty entertaining so I believe it will get really famous in a short time. 

The first two episodes have Tamako convince her neighbors to decorate the shopping district for Valentine's Day and work for New Year's Eve so I'm pretty sure we'll be seing things like Summer camp, school trips and a beach episode with the girls and the bird smashing a watermelon. Like in most Animes out there. You can find torrents to download the first nine episodes in www.nyaa.eu so I recommend giving it a try. 

3/05/2013

Time for adventure...


Ni No Kuni is exactly the kind of game I needed to keep my hope in the gaming industry alive. Especially after the majestic experience that was (and is) Persona 4 Golden. This game really seems to take the word "adventure" very seriously because that's the best way to describe it, a wonderful adventure. 

I'm just a little after getting to Al Mamoon, trying to restore Esther's heart by finding her soulmate in Motorville and I'm just in love with this game. The level of detail in every single location, the sidequests (and the game's incentive to finish them), the battle system and the wonderful orchestrated music is the perfect mix for a JRPG fan like me. These fucking games aren't done with. They're as strong as they've always been, just less popular because of the casual and shooter market is louder.

From now on, I will seriously advice every PS3 owner I know that I consider a good gamer to buy this masterpiece and more importantly, play it. I'm only in the beginning and I already think it's quite possibly the best exclusive JRPG in the PlayStation 3. Trust me, it's that good.

3/04/2013

Let's go back to the anime world

If there's something I've stopped doing for the last several months, is sitting my ass down and watch good anime. I seriously tried to get into this wave of live-action American series that are so popular like The Walking Dead and the truth is that other than House M.D and Game of Thrones, none of them are appealing to me at all. So after I stumbled upon a nice Facebook page that randomly shares anime shit I found another website called nyaa.eu that works wonders to download anime episodes and series via torrent. It's VERY cool. 

I went and got the first eight episodes of Tamako Market and the entire first season of Bokuwa Tomodachi-ga Sukunai. A series that is extremely popular in communities like 4chan to give it a go and resumed my tower of DVDs to give a second run of another series I liked but only watched once like Gundam 00.


Tamako Market is a moe series from the same creators of K-On and Bokuwa Tomodachi-ga Sukunai (also known simply as Haganai) is a high school comedy about a bunch of guys and hot girls making a weird school club. Both fall into the comedy genre so I'm pretty good with that. I like those series and to say the truth, I'm currently finding those much more interesting and entertaining than action-based series that usually become extremely predictable in the first few episodes.

My plan is to start taking anime more into consideration when spending free time at home instead of automatically turning on a console to play. And of course, mentioning the series I like and don't like here in the blog. Besides all that, I'm joining an online community to try and make some friends worldwide who like the thing so they can give me opinions on what to watch, what to avoid and get recommendations from them. So I guess I'll be talking a lot more about anime now.