Saturday, April 19, 2014
Since the last Arc i know things are not going well for this series but i didn't expect The World God only knows would be concluded in sunch really disappointing way. While i don't mind with who Keima ending up with in the series, it feels the story from the last few chapters just fast forwarded and skipped plenty of important details which is the primary reason i see the conclusion for the series to be unsatisfying. I guess the publisher decided to stop the serialization which is why we got such abrupt ending though i suppose it is bound to happen when the author dragged an arc too long. In the end TWGOK ends up like those mangas that interrupted midway and failed to make a significant impact itself. Let see how the Author will cope with this and how the next work will fare any better
Friday, April 4, 2014
There have been some debates for years already whether game is capable to become an art form and in my opinion, a handful of them can be considered to be an art but indeed majority of games can't be considered as one. One of those game that i considered to be artistic is Flower, a simple title yet offers immersive even though short experience and powerful message. The gameplay is very straightforward, you control a flower petal and try to bloom other flowers in the stage and getting bigger in the process. Throughout the game, Flower try to deliver message about the relationship between human and nature and i feel the wish that this game contains is that someday the relationship between human and nature would be more harmonius than the present which is not that ideal. Flower is quite similar with Journey which is another game developed by the same company as they share the common theme which i believe to be Life, Death and Rebirth though Flower heavily emphasized on the Life part where as Journey focus on the latter aspects.
For me an art is a crystallization of human expression manifested in physical form which contain a strong emotion or a wish and Flower fits very well in this description which is why i consider it as a work of art. For a game to be an art it can only rely with its visual and audio to deliver the message which is abit tricky and that's why most of the games are just merely entertainment. If you only like intense action game you probably will not like Flower but if you look to unwind yourself and seek tranquility in game i think you will appreciate this game. I still feel 6 stage is abit short for Flower since i feel alot more can be explored with this game as the medium for instance an oriental stage with interactions of the water ripple with the contrast between past and present would be interesting to see. If you like Flower you may try Zen Bound which got different gameplay but works wonder!
Sunday, March 23, 2014
I have tried numbers of similar games to Monster Hunter over past few years and now Toukiden goes into the list as well. I have just finished the story mode few days ago and at the moment is halfway through the multiplayer mission. I am a Spear user since i was a Lancer in MH and i find the weapon is the most versatile weapon in the game for any role and i use SPT mitama since i loved to break Oni parts and this mitama is the best for this task.
I have tried Ragnarok Odyssey, God Eater and Lord of Arcana but in my opinion Toukiden beats them all when it comes to the potential to be a real contender to MH and even surpass it if given couple of years. While the gameplay mechanics is nowhere as solid as MH, Toukiden took all of the good things from the previous MH clones and improvise on them which are shown in the form of their core gameplay like Mitamas(which are similar to RO cards but less tedious) and then AIs which are even more competent than God Eater which was pretty good already as well as cool but not too flashy combat compared to Lord of Arcana. The main weakness of Toukiden is the lack of content which is rather expected considering the effort spent on the first game is mostly focused on how things works in the game and after you finished Chapter 5 things are abit repetitive as the game have introduced all of the Onis variation by the time you finish the storyline. However i would say Koei Tecmo is already pretty much on the right track for this game considering the first God Eater is even less perfect than Toukiden and once a expansion title is released the game will show more of its worth. Most people forgot Toukiden is just first iteration of the series and it can't compete with MH yet as the later have come a long way before it reached the position up until now.
What i wish for the future expansion or possible sequel is more Onis obviously as well as more AI partners so it would be merrier as well as more variation of the Mitama Spells and lastly less wackier end game armors. Give Toukiden 2 or 3 years and i believe it will be a serious contender for Monster Hunter.
|Even the series got really adorable Mascot!|
Monday, March 17, 2014
I watched the OVA years ago which is beautifully animated though rather hard to follow and afterward i decided to get the Novels which have 2 volumes translated so far as i heard good things about them. Took me a year actually to get to read the novel but certainly this novel is well written one. The setting is your basic Humanity against Alien but what makes Yukikaze unique is the design of the Alien themselves which are called JAM in this series. Unlike most Aliens, design JAMs are not vicious looking creature like Zergs or Tyranids but instead in the novel they are deoicted as rather enigmatic beings, While Humanities managed to fight a stalemate fight with JAMs it appears that the Aliens are much sinister than they appear to be which is why they are rather appealing. Just like the OVA, Yukikaze focus on relationship between Rei Fukai and his seemingly sentient plane Yukikaze herself which feels like a romance between human and machine.
The first book is rather episodic roughly about Rei's daily life on Faery, the planet where the war with JAMs are being waged on and then the 2nd book takes up on the pace where one of the JAMs sinister plan begin to take place. For this series i wouldn't say it is appropriate to compare which works is superior but the Novel and the OVA goes hand in hand where the Novel served as the the foundation for the series and the OVA complements it. I heard there is 3rd book from the series which is untranslated yet but i hipe it will be translated one day
Monday, March 10, 2014
Back when i was a kid around 4th grade i was collecting B-Daman toys which were robot plastic model kits which you had a small B-daman to put on the ball like cockpit. And today i was digging back my old toys and saw the particular toys which was the Yellow Robot that can be combined with other 2 Robots to form a giant robot which i used to have all 3 of them. This makes me dig the net and found what i was looking for and decided to write this post. It turns out the robot toys are from particular B-daman series called Bakugaiden and it seems there is another item to be put on wishlist. This particular set called Saint Dragon have 4 robot model from White, Blue, Yellow and Black bomber can be combined together to form a dragonlike mech named Saint Dragon. By this time this product is really rare and going to cost a kidney to get one either on Ebay or Mandarake costing about more than $100. I think i will try to find this toy when i go to Hongkong and didn't care if it is bootleg due to rarity status because these toys means alot for me when i was a kid and partially drives me to get into plastic models. First i think i am going to watch the B-daman Bakugaiden no matter how silly the series and if anyone knows where can i get this toy for reasonable price, please let me know but it would be even better if Takara Tomy decided to reissue the kit one day. Before i stopped writing at this post, here is the giant robot that i said to be the combination of the 3 robots which is called Saint Blaster.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Up until now my impression with Darker than Black is not the best especially due to 2nd season but we can still admit the series did have characters like our favorite Chinese electric batman, Hei. There is not much DtB merchandise but at least they got a very good physical representation of this lead character from the series. The figure was released back in 2011 by medicom the creator of Real action heroes series and it cost like more than 20k yen to get one but i think it is well worth the price. I think if i ever go to Japan, this is one of the item that i will look for there considering the market price for a piece of RAH Hei will cost you an arm and a leg to get which you can have a look on Ebay. Hei kinda reminds me with the protagonist from Nitroplus VN called Kikokugai, Kong Taoluo who got couple of close similarities. What do you guys think?
|Chinese electric batman predecessor?|
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
One of the great japanese classic manga and it think it is one of the best too in depicting Edo era. Lone Wolf and Cub tells the story of a ronin Ogami Itto and his son Daigoro who went on a quest of revenge against great samurai clan of Yagyu who have dishonor and killed Itto's clan due to power hunger as Itto once held the esteemed position of Shogun's executioner. Ogami Itto is Chuck Norris in Edo era as throughout his adventure in 27 volumes anyone who face against him are dead which some of them are good people. What makes this manga special apart from the vibrant depiction of the Edo era is how Bushido is depicted in the series which is easier for reader to understand along with great doses of tragedy. This is one of the must read classic manga if you appreciate them and Sabu to Ichi torimonohikae is one of the closest title that is similar to this one.
Monday, February 10, 2014
I think it has been couple of years already i do limited coverage for Wonderfest which is one of the major event where the companies in hobby industry showing some future release for their products. I always pay attention to Kotobukiya and maybe Megahouse or Bandai and as always lots of stuff to be shown but not the one i look forward to. Shingeki no Kyojin and Nintendo as well as Kancolle products are shown a lot in the wonderfest.
From Kotobukiya section there are couple of new SRW kits from OGs2 but no Masoukishin. It appears Kotobukiya will be going to release AS Belial kit as Laevatein follow up soon which indicate there is a chance that FMP series will be reignited in some way considering Z3 is coming up which Bandai also even prepare a Metal Build for Laevatein. Muvluv got some new 1/144 kit but for non scale, Takemikazuchi got 1.5 version which probably address the issues of the former version. The upcoming Frame Arms is also being displayed which are 2 knight esque model which indicate that Frame Arms are likely to take different directions than it used to be.
I was expecting Sentinel going to show their new RIOBOT lineup but i guess they plenty already last year. Megahouse is going to release something for Orguss which is likely to be action figure and as for Max Factory, i am quite surprised that they catch up with Dougram lineup quite fast as numerous grunt units models are shown. The notable one is Soltic and Iron Foot which is the MP version of Dougram. Guyver figma is confirmed for this year at long last and Archer from FSN is getting figma though i am not too interested due to the figure size. That's all my coverage for this year's wonderfest and hopefully i will still do the next year.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
One of the hottest manga at the moment which i have followed since the first translation came out. While a little bit over the top, this manga shows that history and shonen genre could make an epic tag team duo. Kingdom or Wangzhen Tianxia tells about the 7 warring states era in China in the perspective of a youth named Li Xin about his journey to become Great General under Heaven and unite whole China with Qin banner. Kingdom is not the first manga that tells a story about Warring states era, but possible the most epic one yet. The manga still very far off to finish since it still few decades before Qin dynasty arise which means more potential for more epic moments as long as the mangaka keep focused though the current arc is already so epic. Chinese histories runs really deep and make a very good story, with Kingdom hopefully we will see more manga cover the history of China other than 3 warring kingdoms which Genghis khan's tale would be a great start. I would recommend to stick with the manga because the anime got terrible 3D battle animation. If you like Kingdom you may check Bokko which covered the same period though different genre and i had given my opinion before which you can check here
Thursday, January 30, 2014
I am never good at Shoot'em up or STG game but i do play some of the series due to the plane design and these genre were part of my childhood. One of the STG title that catches my eye is Ray series which are published by Taito back in 90s which i played Raycrisis the most. A few while ago Kotobukiya released a model kit for the plane model from Raystorm which is called R-Gray1 in the game which is the standard model of the plane used in every Ray series. What makes Ray series different with other shooters is that it have lockon system which you can destroy offscreen targets to make them stop shooting or coming to shoot you on the screen, The main fighter in the series use standard bullet and laser cannon to shoot offscreen opponent. I only just played Raystorm recently on my Vita through PS1 Classics which is a blast. As for the kit, it is quite expensive costing more than 5000 yen base price but if you experienced modeller, i think this kit is a good one to build. Personally i find the base color of the model is too bright and i think if i ever got one of this kit, i will make it in 2P colors. Speaking of STG game, 90s is the best time and i played Psikyo's title alot and Dreamcast got plenty of them as well. Though i wished PSN had more STG games other than the PS1 classics which i hope Ikaruga will show up someday.