Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Seiyuus - Who you need to know

Many times when you play video games or watch anime, do you wonder who are the voices behind your favorite characters? Do you sometimes realize that this certain character sounds a lot like this one other character you saw before? When you look them up in wiki and realize that they were voiced by the same person you will go "Ah, no wonder that voice seemed familiar". Then you look at that voice actor's history of voiced characters, and when you see a lot of characters you know, you will go "HOLY SHIT".


This my friends, are the power of the seiyuus. Without them our characters wouldn't be half as memorable, be it in a good or bad way. These talented people give characters in games and anime life, and give otherwise lifeless characters a form of impact. I will do a series of posts describing seiyuus I like now and then, but for today, these are my favorites, and the ones that YOU, should know.



Kana Hanazawa





She is the queen of moe. I freaking loved her voice ever since I first saw her role of Kanade as the "Kuudere" kind of character but after discovering more of her characters I just fell in love. She is like the manifestation of moe itself, voicing characters like Mayuri (Steins;Gate), Shiemi (Ao no Exorcist) and Kobato (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai). She also does well with kuudere voices, such as characters like Kanade (Angel Beats), Sophie (Tales of Graces F), Kuroneko (Oreimo), Anri (Durarara!) and Black rock shooter (Black rock shooter - The anime). Finally, lets not forget the sexy ones like Charlotte (Infinite Stratos) and Rana (Freezing).


Characters  from left to right 

1st row: Kanade (Angel Beats), Sophie (Tales Of Graces F), Kuroneko (Oreimo), Kobato (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Mayuri (Steins;Gate)

2nd row: Ayase (Guilty Crown), Shiemi (Ao No Exorcist)

3rd row: Mikan (To-Love Ru), Charlotte (Infinite Stratos), Black Rock Shooter (Black Rock Shooter), Anri (Durarara!), Rana (Freezing)



Jun Fukuyama





BOW DOWN TO YOUR TRUE KING!


Honestly I do not watch most of the stuff or play most of the games in which he voices for, but TBH, it doesn't really matter all that much. He is Lelouch Vi Britannia. THE LELOUCH VI BRITANNIA. KING, AND RIGHTFUL RULER OF THIS WORLD! Honestly though, his voice is just bad ass to no regard,  he fits the roles of tyranic and badass people, inclusive of Lelouch (Code Geass) and Maximillian (Valkyria Chronicles). He has done cool voices like Shinra (Durarara!), or can go full retard silly mode, like Torii (Kyokai Senjou Horizon) and Sado (MM!). Or he can full a high voice and go kid mode, Kyle (Tales of Destiny 2) and Onion knight (Dissidia:Final Fantasy) style!


Characters from left to right

1st row: Kyle (Tales Of Destiny 2), Onion Knight (Dissidia:Final Fantasy)

2nd row: Torii (Kyokai Senjou Horizon), Shinra (Durarara!)

3rd row: Sado (MM!), Maximillian (Valkyria Chronicles)

Center: Lelouch (Code Geass)



Miyuki Sawashiro





If Kana Hanazawa is the voice of moe, Miyuki Sawashiro is the voice of womanly sexiness. Most of her characters have this pseudo deep voice that makes them sound INCREDIBLY sexy, and while many say she lacks variety in her voices, HER VOICE SHE USES THE MOST SHOULD STAY. I'm talking about the sexy voice, for characters like Makoto (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation), Milla (Tales of Xillia), Seri (K),  Canaan (CANAAN), Inaba (Kokoro Connect) and a little bit of Kanbaru (Bakemonogatari). She proves that she can voice young boys with Carl (Blazblue), and we all gotta love that cocky, "Ojou-sama" tone with characters like Shinku (Rozen Maiden), Perrine (Strike Witches) and Elizabeth (Persona 3).


Characters from left to right

1st row: Makoto (Devil Survivor 2), Milla (Tales Of Xillia), Seri (K), Carl (Blazblue)

2nd row: Shinku (Rozen Maiden), Perrine (Strike Witches), Canaan (CANAAN), Death Master (Black Rock Shooter)

3rd row: Inaba (Kokoro Connect), Kanbaru (Monogatari series), Elizabeth (Persona 3)



Takahiro Sakurai






This dude. This, dude. He has, easily, one of the most bishounen voices ever, and the thing is, he's pretty much everywhere. He has practically only one voice, but he can change his tone well enough to suit different characters. I mean, he can do soft tone badass heroes, characters like Cloud (Final Fantasy 7), Kira (Bleach) and Haseo (.Hack//GU) fit the bill for that. Or he can go all "ORE WA MAMORU MISERU" with Asbel (Tales of Graces F), Megaman X (Megaman X), Faldio (Valkyria Chronicles) and Suzaku (Code Geass). Finally, we have his bishounen voice, which are guys like Sasori (Naruto Shippuden), Kusanagi (K), Matsuyuki (Anohana) and Alcor (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation).


Characters from left to right

1st row: Cloud (Final Fantasy 7), Asbel (Tales Of Graces F), X (Megaman X series)

2nd row: Sasori (Naruto Shipuuden), Kira (Bleach), Suzaku (Code Geass), Kusanagi (K)

3rd row: Matsuyuki (Anohana), Faldio (Valkyria Chronicles), Meme (Bakemonogatari), Haseo (.Hack//GU), Alcor (Devil Survivor 2)



Nana Mizuki





She is the epitome of perfection. While I do not watch a good deal of stuff she is in, I know that she is a well known singer is Japan. She has some AMAZING songs, as well as doing some AMAZING roles in games and anime. She has great diversity in her voices, and its super hard to tell her apart from her characters. She has the high super cute voices like Hinata (Naruto), Collete (Tales of Symphony) and Moka (Rosario + Vampire). Then she has serious voices like Misaki (Darker than Black) and Lan fan (Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood). Then as for the middle ground, we've got Saya (Blood-C) and Tsubasa (Senki Zesshou Symphogear). She has done more, but I haven't watched those (like Magical girl Nanoha).


Characters from left to right

1st row: Hinata (Naruto), Colette (Tales Of Symphonia)

2nd row: Moka (Rosario + Vampire), Lan Fan (Fullmetal Alchemist:Brotherhood)

3rd row: Misaki (Darker Than Black), Saya (Blood-C)

Center: Tsubasa (Senki Zesshou Symphogear)



There are probably more to come, stay tuned!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Witch's House

Gamspot Score: n/a

My Score: 8.0


(+)Pros: - Dark atmosphere that runs throughout the entire game, - Scary at times you least expect it to be, - Variety of different floors and rooms make exploring each one of them refreshing, - Great puzzles, - True ending leaves players a lot more than desired, - Multiple endings.

(-)Cons: - Short, - Well, the true ending might not appeal to everyone, big time.

Gameplay time: Less than 5 hours






Pixel horror RPGs are great. Talented minds in Japan have managed to create these little RPG maker stories that turn out to be complete masterpieces. Thanks to a YouTube let's player "Pewdiepie", I have come to discover some of these, but eventually I went looking for more myself, and played a whole bunch of them (you will see a lot of RPG maker horror games coming to be reviewed soon). Well I'll save the rest for another time, because this game is nuts. Its nuts in a good way, and I can assure it. "The Witch's House" makes sure that players will not want to revisit it ever again, especially if they have seen its true ending. It definitely does well in scaring its players, that's for sure.


There is not much of a story here at first, and most of the pieces only come together at the end. There's certainly not as much story in it as "Ib" had. You play as Viola, a 13 year old young blonde girl that wanders into the forest. She wakes up in the middle of a grass patch after passing out and soon realizes that she can not leave the forest. Without any possible way of exit, her only choice is to enter a huge mansion in the middle of the forest, and of course, we all know...That is the witch's house.


Yep, that's our protagonist.

Being an RPG maker game, the gameplay is as simple as it comes. You run around environments interacting with objects, trying to find items or signs to solve puzzles that prevent you from continuing ahead. Most usually end up with you trying to look for a key to open a door, or an item to pave the way forward. Its similar to "Ib" and "Corpse Party:Blood Covered". The visual style is similar to, since all the games that I mentioned were RPG maker games. "The Witch's House", being a horror adventure, retains a dark atmosphere throughout the game, which will make your hair stand on end. You will never know when something might jump out of a corner to scare the hell out of you, and its a feeling that you will carry throughout the game.


And a scary experience this is. "The Witch's House" carries jump scares and just plain old creepy moments all around. Open a door and suddenly a life-sized toy soldier stands in front of you, shoots you and ends your life. A frog dies and as you leave the room, its ghost appears behind you, and when you re-enter the room, it disappears. The actions you take will take a toll on you during these scary moments. During an early puzzle in the game, you have to cut the limbs of a teddy bear, and a few minutes later into the puzzle, a gigantic teddy bear burst out of the door and attempts to crush you.


Believe me when I say exploring a room in this game is quite scary at times.

As you venture through the witch's house, you will come across a variety of floors and rooms, each with their own unique touch and feel to it. Plus, most floors contain some sort of puzzle, and most rooms have a piece of the puzzle that you will need. You will come across gardens, libraries, study rooms, kitchens, and some parts which you may not usually find in a house. Backtracking is present in the game, but they never feel too tedious as they usually surprise the player with some sort of secret. Like when you take a ladder and a tunnel from a further floor up, you suddenly find yourself in a kitchen at the start of the game, with a new section to explore.


And of course, as expected of a RPG maker game of this caliber, the puzzles are great. Most are well thought out and require multiple pieces to complete. However, most of these are just to find a way to open a door, or just to proceed, though they are still a pleasure to solve and will prove satisfying. The puzzles also feel different from one another, so it won't feel like you're doing the same thing throughout the game at all, which is very important. Also, what's a game like this without multiple endings?



Well its time to GTFO then.

This will be a common point for all RPG maker games, they are short. Yeah, they are all free and we shouldn't complain, but its still something that I should mention. However, it shouldn't get to you as the game itself is great...it just doesn't last long enough and you'll wish that there was more. The one true thing that people may not like about this game is the true ending. I won't spoil anything hear, but its a lot to bear and if you're a weak hearted player, this may tick you in the wrong way. I know I was surprised.


I won't spoil about the true ending of this game, but I will say that it is different from what many would expect. It bears too much of a weight for some players, and it caught me off guard for sure. Its a good and a bad thing. Other than that, the entire game is fantastic. Its a free, RPG maker horror adventure that takes less than 5 hours to complete, but leaves a lot more in your heart after that. You'll like it, because I'm quite sure I loved it.





Happy gaming!



Ending songs
ED 1- Yakusoku no Sora he ~Watashi no Ita Basho~ (Ishida Youko, Dai 501 Tougou Sentou Koukuu Dan)

Genre: Action, Magic, Science fiction


When I went into the movie for "Strike Witches", I really didn't know what to expect. After finishing season 2 I thought the anime was done for. It was over for me when season 2 ended, as I thought the ending pretty much spelled everything for me. But when I noticed that there was a movie that was actually a direct sequel for the anime, I was puzzled. I was puzzled, but I still was hyped as f**k to watch it. As you all know I really love the franchise, and if they tell me that they are making a movie with my favorite witches in it, why the f**k not?



What a happy family.

There isn't an opening song for the movie, but I won't complain. Instead, we have an ending song with a ridiculously long name. "Yakusoku no Sora he ~ Watashi no Ita Basho~" is sang by Yoko Ishida and the entire cast of the 501st joint witches. It has the same feel as the ending songs from the two anime seasons, so if you've been keeping up, you know what to expect. Its a good song for an ending with the rolling credits, but not much else.


Rating: 8.0/10


I loved the movie, but not as much as the 2 anime seasons. Sure it's got the same great characters and everything else, but I did feel that there was a stronger focus on a new weaker character which wasn't the best idea IMO. We still get to see everyone else, but only in small separate bits and it just doesn't add up as well. Still, it is a movie, so expect some increase in quality. The animation feels more crisp and there is a good amount of CGI going on. Everything from the dog fights to explosions and neuroi appearances seem to have been dealt with nicely. Its surely a worthy improvement for the big screen. 



Oh shit what just happened way over there?

"Strike Witches:The Movie" puts us in the shoes of Miyafuji Yoshika once again. Following the events of the anime series, Yoshika lost her powers to save Sakamoto in the end of season 2, so while the Strike Witches dissembled, Yoshika went back to Fuso to help out in her familt clinic, while the rest of the witches went about to doing their own things, most of them continuing the role of hunting down Neuroi that threaten the land. Yoshika, being one of the heroes that liberated two countries of Neuroi, was well known, and she was offered a chance to study for scholarship overseas. Being escorted by a newbie witch, Shizuka, Yoshika takes out of her country to pursue further studies, where she discovers that the threat of the neuroi has not disappeared, and even without her powers, she does all she can to help pitch into the fight.


What's there to complain? While I do think the movie is slightly weaker than the anime, it still stands as a great film overall. If you like "Strike Witches", you'll like the movie, that goes without saying. There isn't anything here that'd bring the overall experience down, but I'd say that many of the witches we see in the movie don't appear in the anime at all (some belong to manga, other novel spin-offs etc). Plus, it hints at a third season, and while I suspect it will just be season 1 and 2 all over again, I won't be against it XD.

Peace.



The League E-sports scene is huge, and I follow it pretty well. The ins and outs, what's good and whats not, I watch the LCS and MLG pretty often to know a little bit more about what the pros are up to. So now lets measure the current meta that the pros are putting out with my favorite champions.

I'm going to do it alphabetically. 





Blitzcrank is a super strong aggressive bot lane SP. Even with Thresh being the new support king right now, Blitz still has a place in the bot lane. If you land a grab on anyone in lane, there's a high probability that a kill will be grabbed, and that is just insane. His in-lane presence is just so strong, you cannot afford to get grabbed by Blitz because he follows it up with E which will launch you up and CC you indefinitely. A strong laning partner to have no matter which ADC you are (preferably the strong and aggressive early game ones).


Its always good to have him during the team fight phase, nuff said. As long as you don't grab hazardous targets like Amumu or Wukong into your team you pretty guarantee a free kill to make fights a 4 v 5 right off the bat. 


So yes, I think he is VIABLE in professional competitive play.  





He's insane, that's what he is. As long as you don't have ridiculously lousy aim, you can make Cho a tanky CC nightmare for the enemy team. He is a strong jungler AND top laner. In the jungle he clears fast and can gank well IF the skill shots land. He is also incredibly sustained, a decent invader, and transitions well into the late game. In the top lane he is just a sustained beast that keeps on farming. He can't really kill his opposition, but eventually he will become so tanky and annoying that almost nothing can stop him. He transitions even better in top than in the jungle, making him a big scary monster.


His team fighting is ridiculous. If you go tanky CDR, you spam your CC over and over on the enemy team, making it impossible to escape or fight properly. Tanky AP makes everything in your arsenal hurt AND still packs the CC your team needs. Feast is OP no matter which build you go for. He is super hard to kill as well, and you can't really ignore him in team fights...but focusing him is also the wrong choice.


Need I say more? I think he's VIABLE.





Yes, its fun to dunk continuously, everyone knows that. The joy of playing Darius is nearly unmatched throughout the entire league, and he is one scary mother f**ker that builds tanky and can still demolish teams. Though the fact remains, he is completely melee except for a short ranged pull and gets kited to hell and back. He is mostly a top laner, and while he is a great bully against some top laners, he completely gets destroyed by some others. He's good, but not the most reliable if you ask me. If you get behind in lane as Darius, good luck catching back up. But at the same time if you get ahead with him, the enemy is going to cry.


Team fighting is tricky for him. He usually has to build tanky because he has to be in the front line to soak up all that damage. He still does good damage without much damage items, but the problems lies in being kited. He gets kited so bad that some teams will kill him without him being able to do any damage at all. Though with the right team comp, he can work, but its still a big risk.


Viable? In the right team comps, YES HE IS VIABLE. But most of the time? IFFY at best.





If you've seen the amount of times she has been picked in the LCS, it doesn't take a genius to figure out how strong she is right now. Even WITH the nerfs, she still kicks ass in the mid lane. Great poke with Q, good sustain with W, and when come 6 she is going to destroy targets she sets her eyes upon. She works wonders in the mid lane with her safe gameplay pre-6, and transitions into a scary threat post 6. Its unwise to all-in a Diana post-6, and she knows it.


She shines well as an assassin in team fights. She does ridiculous amounts of damage to enemy carries and applies constant pressure as she jumps to them, using moonfall and following up with her passive. Her shield not only does damage but makes her tanky as well, and its also on a rather short cool down. Double casts of her ultimate means that no squishy shall escape her wrath. Using hourglass to wait for cooldowns is also something Diana players like to do best in team fights and it works out well.


She's VIABLE.





I almost don't want to explain about Elise, because probably everyone in the world knows how stupidly annoying and powerful she is. She can go mid, jungle, top and support, its silly. She is so versatile because of her kit. Her Q does % damage and is a great poke tool to harass the living piss out of anyone. W can be used for a short burst of damage and to check brushes. Her E stuns, and everything in her spider form just spells "I'm going to all in and destroy you". She is a monster in lane, and in the jungle, she has some very sick ganks as well. 


Team fights can go any way with Elise around. She can be a peeler for the ADC, staying at the back lines and wearing the enemy bruisers down with her % damage abilities, making sure they go down fast, using cocoon to keep them in place as well. Or she can turn into spider form, jump onto enemy carries and obliterate them. Since most Elise players build rather tanky, its hard to take her down, and because her abilities are % based, she takes you down easily no matter who you are.


VIABLE. I would say it 10 times if I had to.





He has seen favor in the LCS on both EU and NA, but he still needs work. While he has some good ganks that can catch many off guard, its easy to counter the horse. He's a jungler, but not a very good one outisde of ganking. He clears VERY SLOWLY early on, and his sustain is just bad. He can't duel most other junglers worth a shit, and if he gets invaded WITHOUT getting any ganks in, he's pretty much screwed. His ganks are where he shines though. His E makes it hard to spot him, and he ganks directly very well post 6. His ability to catch laners off guard is amazing.


If he's decently farmed, he's a beast in team fights. He doesn't have to be fed, as long as he isn't behind, he can be a great front line initiator that sticks to the enemy carry. His sustain with W (even though nerfed) is very strong and he can do good damage while staying alive in team fights. His ult is great for initiating, has good CC via fear, and if he's left ignored, he can deal good AOE damage.


He's a RISK. If he gets massive help and protection from team mates early, he's VIABLE.





Like Elise, I almost want to ignore this section. She has fallen a little bit out of favor recently, but she's still super strong. Mid, top, jungle, support and even ADC at times, Kayle is just so versatile.  Mid and top Kayle bullies opponents out of lane with insane damage via Q and E, while sustaining decently with W. Post 6 they can win duels with almost every lane opponent out there. In the jungle she clears fast and ganks decently, whilst having good sustain and above average dueling. As a support she sustains and pokes well, post 6 she saves the ADC if they mess up.


In team fights she's great even if she feed 0/8. Intervention is so broken that it helps win a completely botched team fight. Any important character that is out of position gets saved instantly, and your tank suddenly gets to take so much more hits. And if Kayle herself is fed, lets not forget she evaporates squishies almost instantly, whilst being able to save anybody on the team with intervention.


Her
VIABILITY levels are off the charts.






Super tanky rock solid dude. He is an immovable object in the top lane. His sustain is high thanks to his shield. He shrugs off most harass and unless his opponent tries to all in him, his health bar won't be dropping low anytime soon. And IF his opponent tries to all in him, Malphite will come out on top. Why? Ground slam, that's all. Albeit a small selection of top laners, Malphite counters all the rest. He will trade any day with any body, and when they start to show fear of the rock, Seismic shards will continuously lower their health bars until they are low enough for the dive.


Team fighting has never been this simple. Unstoppable force the enemy team when they are bunched up, or if they are spread out, the enemy carry will do. Follow up with ground slam, watch the bruisers and ADC get rendered useless. Your job is as easy as that, how do you mess that up? And if you don't mess it up, its probably a won team fight as long as your team reacts appropriately.


VIABLE, nuff said. Unless the enemy runs a full ap comp.






Superb initiator, excellent ganker, decent duelist, good clear speed. This guy has almost everything you would want in a jungler. However in this meta, most of the good jungle picks are amazing duelists, and due to the fact that wards are everywhere now, he has fallen a little bit out of favor. However, his ganks are still amazing, and can set a game rolling if he gets a few in. He can't really pick fights with some of the high damaging junglers, and while he can invade, his ganks are what saves him.


He becomes a little sloppy during team fights. He is the main initiator for the team, but unless he is somewhat fed, he is going to get blown up instantly. The CC he offers is mediocre compared to some of the heavy CC tanky champions (considering he falls into that category). Unless you have fed your team big time during the early levels, there's not much to be done here. His ult is very unreliable.


In the right team comps, VIABLE...I think. Otherwise he's IFFY.





He has seen SOME play recently, but that doesn't really means he will be deemed OP. He has problems. He clears slow during early levels, he's screwed if he gets invaded, he can't duel worth a shit and is extremely blue buff reliant. Sound familiar? Nautilus is alot like Hecarim, and his shitty early game can be a problem if its not addressed by his team mates. His sustain isn't the best, so he really needs that early game help. His ganks however, are some of the best in the game, and if he doesn't fall behind, he transitions into a complete CC monster.


Depth charge is an okay initiating tool, it pops an important target into the air. Other than that, hes got a root, a slow and a pull...that's a ton of CC. And if you get stuff like twin shadows and omen, its even more slows. Your CC makes it so your team can take down important targets while you lock them down. You also serve as a great peeler for your carries if the need arises.


Like Hecarim, he's a RISK. But VIABLE if he receives early protection.





An excellent lane bully, but nothing else. He is extremely fun to play top and mid, where you can dunk, destroy and completely deny an enemy laner if done right. But outside of that, he's nothing much. He doesn't scale well, and outside of that, he drops off incredibly heavily come late game. His laning is super strong. Against a bruiser with great all-in abilities, maxing Q for the spammable poke to deny and drive them out of lane is just so easy to do. Against a squishy mid laner, maxing E ensures them swift death if you manage to get in. 


His team fighting is pretty bad, admittedly. He needs to build survivability to ensure he gets his full combo off, but if he does that, he sacrifices some damage which may be needed to kill off the enemy ADC. If he goes full damage, he dies faster than anybody else in the game. Unlike other assasins like Talon that can get away with building full damage, Pantheon suffers from not being able to transition very well into the late game.


He's a COUNTER PICK to many champions. But not viable in my opinion.





He has a really shitty jungling experience, but very powerful ganking to make up for that. You clear slower than a turtle, you die pretty quickly as you have no sustain, you suck against invaders and can't duel worth a shit. Though you can escape well against invaders, but that doesn't really help much. You need a lot of early protection if the enemy has somebody like a Lee sin who just wants to murder your ass. Your ganks are amazing and very hard to escape from, since power ball to taunt is practically unstoppable.


Your team fight is great, but against some enemy compositions, it can backfire HARD. Without any innate ability to close the gap against your enemies, some compositions can completely negate your initiation with many ways (stuns, slows, etc). However if you do get in and taunt the enemy ADC, rest assured that your job is complete.


Hes too RISKY, and gets COUNTERED HARD by some team comps.





Have you seen Megazero's Riven? Riven is a great top laner that transitions into a beast. Her early game is rather strong, but hell, if she doesn't fall behind, her late game is stronger. She has very strong early presence, as she can harass well with all of her skills then E out, or all-in with her combo. She is resource-less, that means its hard to drive a good riven player out of lane. Her E negates harass if done right, and she isn't afraid to pick a fight. Her power spike at level 6 isn't even funny, not many can duel her after that.


She can get kited in a team fight, but if she uses her multiple gap closers well, she can close on to squishy targets and obliterate them. Her damage with her ult turned on is obscene, and wind slash is a great way to close off rights and deal a ton of damage. Her E also scales with damage, so she can build a ton of damage items, kill important targets, and still get away.


VIABLE, but gets COUNTERED by some in lane.





You poke, you sustain, you help your ADC run, you stun your opponents, that is the gist of Sona. She is a very safe pick for a support, and in lane she can be very useful. Her Q poke is deadly during the early levels, and can really deny the enemy ADC if they have no sustain and you have a very poke heavy ADC on your side as well. You can do unexpected burst early on, and if the enemy retaliate, you can sustain you and your ADC quite well with your W as well. When you hit 6, you can perform some sick combos with your ADC if possible (MF, EZ, Ashe and some others as well).


Team fights are easy for Sona. If you can a good ult on many enemies, you've won the fight already, other than that, just stick to your ADC. Your auras can really help them survive, and you can peel for them well if the need arises. Most importantly though, your ult must not miss, because if it does, your team is done.


VIABLE.





Unfortunately for my favorite character, things don't seem too bright. While he is a good laner for the most part, he gets countered too easily. He gets his ass beat early by laners with superior range advantage as his sustain doesn't come until 6, and even then he might be too much behind already. But against most others, he can pretty much destroy them as his all-in damage is pretty damn high early on. His passive helps him sustain MANA WISE, but not much until post 6.


Even then, in team fights, he gets countered so easily. Ignite destroys his sustain, and so does that damn Morellonomicon. Halved healing is a really big deal and it forces him to get stuff like spirit visage, or just to go full damage instead of a sustain heavy build, which isn't ideal for him. He can still kill squishies, but losing his tankiness is kind of a big deal especially if he is the only fed one on the team.


Sadly he is not viable, but is a GREAT COUNTER PICK to some laners.





Easy mode jungling is what defines Trundle. His sustain is super high, and he clears easily. He also does well in waltzing into the opponent's jungle to steal stuff and beat him up if he sees him. He is pretty what defines jungling, his ganking isn't half bad as well if you do it right. Pillar is a great engaging, ganking and escaping tool all at once. Anybody who tries to pick a fight with you...sadly, isn't going to have a very good time at all, as Trundle is one of the best early game jungle duelists.


This is where problems start to arise for Trundle. He gets kited even with his W, he just doesn't do very well other than using pillar to displace the enemy team. He can still duel well, but in a team fight he is nothing but a sticky annoying fella trying to annoy the crap out of something. His ult turns a tank into a squishy, but that's pretty much it.


He isn't viable...yet. He is however, GOOD AGAINST CERTAIN TEAM COMPS.





Almost every ADC is good right now, and Urgot is no different. However, its not worth to have him at your team at times because he usually builds tanky with not much damage. He is a different kind of ADC, and drops off late into the game, so he pretty much has to stomp early on or he is going to suck. Fortunately, he is a strong early game character that can poke enemies very well, and combined with an offensive support, its an easy kill with locked on acid hunters.


If you miss E during team fights, you are screwed. If enemy bruisers jump on you, you can survive, but you deal not as much damage as the enemy ADC. Your ult gives you bonuses to armor and MR, but you risk putting yourself into major danger if you do. Needless to say, you need a lot of protection to be able to deal enough damage.


He's a RISK.





Another easy jungler. She clears well, sustains well, duels well, and invades well. She pretty much beats a lot of other junglers already. Her big fists ensures that she beats up invaders or those getting invaded by her, and she escapes well if she is being pursued. Her ganking is pretty sloppy per-6, but once she hits 6, her ganks become insanely good.


She's great for team fights. Her ult is super valuable for stopping the ADC for just that few crucial seconds for your team bruisers to get in. If she has some innate damage items built for her, she can actually dish out quite an insane amount of pain. 


She's VIABLE on the right teams. 





He has seen popularity recently, and its understandable. He has okay clear speeds, great ganks, duels and even strong invading abilities. To top it off, his ganks are ridiculously easy to pull off. Rolling thunder gives him good movement speed to go in, flip the enemy and the gank is pretty much done. He does pretty good damage early on too, so there's really little you can do to escape from this fella.


He acts as a peeler during team fights. For some teams, you'd want him to initiate, but he gets countered hard by certain team comps that its hard for him to go in. Peeling suits him better, as he can flip bruisers and assasins off the ADC, while slowing them and applying constant pressure. Initiating for him only works for some teams.


He's pretty IFFY.





Another easy mode jungler. He sustains himself so well that he pretty much always stays at 100%. Everything else about him is pretty average, except for his dueling. He pretty much wins all 1v1s, as his sustain is just unreal. His ganks are terrible pre-6, with no gap closers and/or CC, he's pretty much useless. At 6 though, he has some amazing ganks against solo lanes. A 1.7 second supress is just a long time for a team laner to finish the job.


Team fighting for him is just saddening against most decent team comps. His ult gets interrupted by CC, so there goes your chance of trying to lock down the enemy ADC. However, you can still auto attack and chunk down enemies if they ignore you (most teams tend to do). You have insanse sustain to win fights if you are the last one left on your team against 1 or 2 of the enemy.


Sadly, he's NOT A VIABLE  pick. 





Ninja boy is a pretty contested pick right now. He is a great mid and top laner. He shoves lanes very well, he is resource-less, he can kill his opponents or deny them a lot early on. He harasses well, he has great dueling capabilities, and if things get too nasty, he can escape easily with his shadow clone swap. Against a squishy opponent, he completely wrecks them, and against a more tanky one, he harasses and wears them down until he can burst them.


In team fights Zed's only role is to pretty much, ult in on the enemy ADC, burst them down instantly. That's it, if you are alive after that all you need to do is constantly apply damage until you drop. Most Zeds drop instantly after finishing their  burst anyway. Your ult is pretty strong, so you can kill an enemy ADC instantly, unless you are really behind.


He's VIABLE.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Valkyria Chronicles 2

Gamespot Score: 8.0 (Great)

My Score: 8.5


(+)Pros: - Same great RPG/strategic turn based combat system with tweaks that don't ruin the experience, - Improved class progression with the addition of a brand new class by itself, - Interesting classmates, each with their own background and side story, - Good new multi-player mode, - Fun story that ramps up to become something epic later on, - Insane amount of content overall.


(-)Cons: - AI STILL pretty incompetent at times (tough some challenging enemies manage to keep the difficulty at a reasonable level), - Maps are pretty much repeated like crazy.


Gameplay time: 40-50 Hours +





Its hard to replicate a game's greatness, except for a sequel of course. "Valkyria Chronicles" was an amazing game, and a sequel only made the franchise grew even further. "Valkyria Chronicles 2" takes everything awesome from the original and puts it into our palms, more specifically, the PSP. Going portable was not a very good idea in my opinion, and I feared the worst when I started my journey for this game...but my fears were quickly wiped away. The core game play is still solid, in fact, a good deal of it has been improved upon. The story still sticks to us, and everything you loved about the original is probably present in here. Whatever anyone says, this game will definitely please you if you already were a "Valkyria Chronicles" fan. As long as you have played the first game, you are good to go.




The story may need a little bit getting used to at the start, since there is quite a difference in direction between this game and its predecessor. You play as Avan Hardins, a regular countryside bumpkin working out his everyday life. He has always looked up to his bigger brother, Leon, who went to Lanseal academy to study and become a proud and successful Gallian soldier. One day, a teacher from the academy visits Avan, telling him that his brother has been killed in combat. Suddenly, rebels, ex-gallians who detest the peace between Gallia and the Empire, attack the area. Avan fends them off with others to help him, and joins Lanseal academy to search for missing information about his brother. There, he joins class G, the lousiest class among all of the Lanseal academy. Can he adapt to life at this academy?



Armor techs, the new class in the game. They are a melee class.


Right off the bat you are going to realize something, the combat system is the same. Its not 100% similar, but the core of it remains in tact, and that is a god send. The good old gameplay from the original is still here and we can all enjoy it once more. You see everything from a map's point of view, and select a unit to command. After that you are moved straight to the field controlling that unit in a third person perspective. You can move that unit as much as you want until its stamina runs out, then you end your turn there. You can perform one action with that unit while you are in control, be it attack, or something else exclusive to that unit. This time however, there are some new tweaks.


First off, the morale system. If this turns 0 you lose (though there are many more ways to lose a fight). Every time a team mate falls on the field, the morale decreases. Whenever a base gets taken, it goes down as well. Put it this way, every time something goes against your squad's favor, it decreases. However, as take down enemies and capture bases, it goes up. Its pretty much give an take, though I must say I have never lost a battle due to reaching 0 morale. Another new feature is the swapping of maps during battle, which can be annoying at first. Instead of one gigantic map as always, this sequel has you fight in multiple inter-linked small ones. By capturing certain bases that serve as paths from one map to the other, you gain access to another map, which some of your other units are or just opening a brand new section to fight in.



Got your back!

Outside of the combat, the class progression system has been improved, by a good deal. Back in the original, leveling up your individual classes will eventually net your soldiers to become veterans. In here, its different. Leveling up your different classes still make them stronger, but instead of just becoming a veteran, your soldiers get to choose between different split paths in that class tree. Engineers can choose to upgrade to a veteran level or to become a brand new class called the anthem corps, while scouts can become veterans or snipers. To further make diversity, at the end of these there are another 2 choices you get from each path, which makes up for a total of 4 end game choices for each class. To make things better, there is a new class in the game called the armor techs, which are a brand new melee class that can tank bullets up front, create covers, remove mines and smash enemy soldiers in, a great new addition to what we already have.


To upgrade your units to these new promotions, you need credits for individual students, and these can be hunted by clearing random skirmish maps. Hunting credits for each individual student seems like a pain, but as you use some of your classmates in combat, you improve your relation with them, opening up cut scenes and stories with each and every one. Each different classmate has a different story to share, and its fun to improve your relationships with them to learn more about their story before reaching a satisfying end to almost each one. Multi-player is also another new feat they put into the game, and its a welcome addition. Basically you get to team up with a friend and each of you put your own units into the mission you guys agreed to do. Both of you share half the CP each, and can assume control of your own units AT the same time. Its always great for some friendly fun together.



Welcome to the worst class, rejects!

The consistent problem of the AI not performing well still comes into play in the sequel. Just like in the original, the enemies walk in circles, don't kill your unit when they have the chance, or just suck completely. They can spend multiple CPs controlling the same guy to have him move to point A, look at your unit, then move to point B, then move back to where he came from, accomplishing totally nothing. Also, lots of the maps are recycled in side content and even for the main story content. You will be seeing the same maps over and over, it eventually gets sick. You can finish most quickly if you are good, but it still gets old pretty quickly as new maps come in slow.


"Valkyria Chronicles 2" is a great and worthy sequel to its already amazing predecessor. It makes changes where it matters while leaving the core gameplay untouched and in tact. Its a fun, challenging strategy RPG  that provides a decent challenge and great story. With so much more characters to love and a lot more optional stuff this time round, the total content the game provides is absolutely massive. Fans of the series will love the sequel for what it is. It is really unfortunate that we won't see the third game localized though. However, there is a translation project in the works! Look out for that.





Happy gaming!


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Parties in RPGs - Final Fantasy XIII

The famed worst "Final Fantasy"!!!


Bullshit. It may be different from other games from the franchise, but that doesn't particularly makes the worst. Its all opinion, and while I do think "Square Enix" is walking the wrong road here with making "Final Fantasy XIII-3", the original FF 13 was quite enjoyable.

XIII-2 was the one that brought it down IMO.


*SPOILERS*



Heroines in the franchises shouldn't be that badly favored....

Name: Lightning
Traits: Commando, Ravager, Medic
Rating: 9/10


In my opinion she's easily the best character in the game. Though her crystarium route gives her little HP compared to the rest of the character cast, I really like her character specific roles. Commando, Ravager and Medic are easily the best 3 roles in the game to have in a character. The physical damage from Commando, the magic damage from Ravager, and the heals from the Medic really makes her a great pick in most party compositions.


Since her base stats are pretty much a balanced batch between the magic damage and physical damage, she works well as both Commando and Ravager, so at any time you can have her at any of those roles to deal damage since she does well at both. Though I must say come late game, her exclusive Commando ability "Army of One" (can't really remember, I might be wrong here), totally wrecks the shit out of enemies, even better than almost everyone else.



Man that shit is pretty Yaoi.

Name: Snow
Traits: Commando, Ravager, Sentinel
Rating: 5/10


I hate Snow. That bloody shonen hero attitude shouldn't be in a "Final Fantasy" game, but well, here it is. Snow is the very manifestation of the word "tank" in a party. He's the team tank, but honestly, you don't need one in "Final Fantasy XIII", which makes Snow's placement in any team rather questionable. He's the tankiest guy in the game, but that's it.


Let's take a look at his roles. Commando, Ravager and Sentinel. Honestly, his damage is very very sub-par, probably the lowest in the game, which makes his Commando and Ravager roles pretty much shit next to anybody else's in the game. His only redeeming quality is Sentinel, which is by far the most useless class late game because every boss tosses huge AOE crap on your team. You basically only need Sentinel on every character for damage reduction with the guards, nothing else.



There for comedic relief, is a black. Good guy Sazh.


Name: Sazh
Traits: Commando, Ravager, Synergist
Rating: 8/10


Sazh is pretty good, believe it or not. His health growth is actually pretty respectable, and he has some sweet combinations when it comes to roles. He can take on many different combinations and honestly, he's pretty good at most of these roles, but excels most in his Synergist role. He's a good pick for your team if you need him.


Commando, Ravager and Synergist. These are some nice roles. He packs a bigger punch in Ravager than Commando, so he's a better spell caster if you ever need damage. He picks up good Synergist spells faster than any other character in the game, so he's actually a great Syngergist,  better than Hope until Hope gets all of his spells, then they are pretty much on par.



No one likes whiny kids, but at least he gets better.


Name: Hope
Traits: Ravager, Medic, Synergist
Rating: 8/10


Hope is awesome sauce. Although he has like, the worst health in the game, his crazy magic damages makes him pretty much the must have for spell casting. I swear, I hated him more than Snow as a character, but at least he bucks up in the character development area and becomes a better person. In battle though, you will have to like this guy because of how useful he is.


Ravager, Medic and Synergist. He is pretty much the best Ravager and Medic in the game, there is simply close to no contest because he has insane magic stats. His Synergist role is all right, though I prefer Sazh for this, because Hope's spells in this role don't pick up as quickly. You can even have him as a Commando when you unlock all roles for everyone, as a ruin spamming hope destroys everything.



For the millionth time on this blog....MOE MOE KYUN!


Name: Vanille
Traits: Ravager, Medic, Saboteur
Rating: 7/10


I honestly just hate Saboteurs, because the debuffs are pretty minor for the most part on bosses. Vanille is another high scaling magic damage character, but not as insane as the levels of Hope. And for people complaining how Vanille is annoying as a character, they definitely haven't  seen the definition of any annoying character before, because she is NOTHING compared to some others.


Anyway, Ravager, Medic and Saboteur. As I said, I hate Saboteurs, but Vanille is probably the best one in the game. Debuffs galore, she gets the job done if you actually NEED a Sabotuer, because debuffing usually does damage too, and it scales well with her magic. Other than that, her Ravager and Medic roles are pretty much just slightly weaker versions of Hope's.



Jetch? Why did you go for a sex change?


Name: Fang
Traits: Commando, Sentinel, Saboteur
Rating: 8/10


Despite having two of my hatest roles in the game, Fang deserves a score of 8 just because of her obscene physical stats growth. Her physical damage is INSANE, probably higher than or on par with the magic scores of Hope. Also, she is pretty much an all in character, so if you have support-ish characters to back her up, Fang is pretty much a star in your team.


Her Commando role is pretty much the best in the game. Watch her damage a staggered enemy and watch her do a digit's extra worth of damage to the enemy than the rest of your team, yes, she's that crazy. She opens up great paradigm shifts as the lead commando, and let her sit for the SEN, MED, MED combo for some easy fights. She can work as a Saboteur, but just for the debuffs, since Vanille's do more damage.



That's it.


My party
-------------------------------------

Lightning
Hope
Fang

-------------------------------------


The rest in ranking

-------------------------------------

Sazh
Vanille
Snow

-------------------------------------


Peace. More to come.


Opening songs
OP 1- Ichiban Ippai (Aki Toyosaki)

Ending songs
ED 1- Singing! (Yoko Hikasa)

Genre: Drama, Comedy



Another anime movie review! Its going to be my second one thus far, but it shouldn't be too much different from normal anime reviews. So without further ado, let's get down to it. Today's movie is "K-on!"'s movie. It doesn't have a particularly special name to it, so lets just call it the "K-on!" movie (Bleach movie was called "The hell verse"). What can I say? Its "K-on!", that alone would sell to a ton of fans already. Even if the movie sucked major balls, all the moe-hungry fans would still rush to the theaters during the premier to catch a final glimpse of their favorite moe high school band. Does that mean the movie sucks? F**king no, far from that.



We'll probably never forget about them, even if we won't ever be seeing them again.

The opening song the movie is "Ichiban Ippai" by Aki Toyosaki, seiyuu of Yui. Like most the "K-on!" anime openings, this is another fast-beat catchy song that gets you off your feet. The cute and high pitched voice of Yui works here, and it'll probably make a good "Osu" or "Stepmania" beatmap :). The ending song is "Singing" by Yoko Hikasa, aka Mio. Its awesome, probably my 2nd favorite of her "K-on!" related songs, right behind "Sweet bitter beauty song" and "No! Thank you!". Great stuff, there's just no denying that as a J-pop fan.



Rating: 8.0/10


It's a great movie. Come on, don't give me that look. "K-on! is a wonderful franchise that I would never want to part ways with, and this movie just made me feel even stronger towards that. I kind of wanted a direct sequel to what happened after season 2, but wishful thinking isn't enough, because its not. It takes place somewhere near the end of season 2, and while that wasn't what I wanted, it worked out pretty well in the end, because I thought that this was a funny, entertaining and heartfelt movie. Everything we love about "K-on!" applies  here, but in a larger scale I guess.



That's right girls! Keep staying adorable!

Taking place in season 2, the story of the movie begins as Yui, Ritsu, Mio and Tsumugi pass their university entrance exams. All of them are going to the same university....except Azusa, who has another year to go. In the midst of celebrating they decide where they want to go for their graduation trip...they settle for London, of all places. So without much to decide upon, they head to London, and you do know that 5 japanese high school girls, especially such retarded and ditsy ones, going to London without any adults pretty much spells trouble. Putting their musical talents to good use, they attempt to spark the life of Japanese music into London among all the mess.


If movies are all about the substance, then you've got what you came for when you decided on this movie. Fans of  "K-on!" are probably the ones who are going to watch this anyway, so I can safely say that if you're a fan, this is pretty much a win-win situation, because everything we know and love about "K-on!" is probably present in this movie. This may or may not be the last we see of "HTT", but I sure as hell hope we do see more. 


Peace.