"Date A Live" is a harem based on dating spirits. Its a little different from what we see normally from harems and comes off as something pretty awesome. The characters are likable (except for a small few) and everything else just spells goodness. "Love Live! School Idol Project" is another idol based anime like "The Idolm@ster", but with a different theme and setting. Still pretty great though. "Mashiro Iro Symphony" is just another pretty good romance anime. Nothing more, nothing less....



Date A Live

I honestly didn't care much for "Date A Live" when I first started it. But of course, you know the drill, I loved the crap out of the characters and it became one my favorite harems to date. With such an awesome selection of characters, how can you not at least like one?!


Love me my big busty warrior girls :3

I originally wasn't sold too much on Tohka. I mean, she was so hell bent on killing shit early on, and she seemed like one of those soul-less warriors that would destroy everything without hesitation. Good thing I gave her character a chance, as she grew to become one of most adorable things I have ever seen in an anime. As she got to know Shido, her personality changed and took a complete 180, and honestly, with some common sense beat into her, she becomes quite the angel!


The complete personality change in Tohka makes her really cute (and seriously, Marina Inoue as her VA is just PERFECT). From an angry sword wielding chick, to a naive, innocent school girl who didn't know anything and just wanted to be normal. It was an amazing shift in character for me, and changing into that naive, innocent school girl really got me all tingly inside. Its just one of those moments where you'd want to squeeze her silly.


I believe that she's the one for Shido in the end. I know, you Yoshino fans would rage at me, but COME on. You take all the possible candidates and then you look at Tohka, she's the most fitting! (But then there's Kotori, though I think Shido is the kind of guy that doesn't dig little sisters) It still shows that Tohka gets jealous if anyone but her gets hold of Shido though, as she has regained her powers through jealousy before. However, that honestly just makes her a better character in my opinion.



Love Live! School Idol Project

After "The Idolm@ster", the sky was the limit for me. Any type of idol themed anime, or at least anything completely music related didn't really get to me too much. "Love Live! School Idol Project" was a good experience, albeit a little bit cheesy. I think it deserves a spotlight of its own, and its good that its getting its own share of love in Japan.


Sexy~

Really though, in a 9 girl idol group, any kind of character works. Seriously. "Love Live!" has plenty of characters, whether or not you want to like, hate, abolish or hug them is completely up to you. Viewer's choice, there's lots of personality to go around (of course, not as much as "The Idolm@ster). In a group where everyone just practices, have fun and get into troubles, someone like Nozomi really hits the atmosphere right out of the park.


You've got your aspiring lead dancer, that's Honoka. The serious girl who wants everyone to practice, that's Umi. The tsundere girl, that's Maki. The complete bitch that suddenly becomes good, that Ayase. Nozomi is just the mood lifter, and that's a little something that the group needs in my opinion. Nozomi is serious about what she does, but when something gets a little too serious, she steps in to keep everything in check. To put it simply, shes the badass >:D.


Nothing much is really known about Nozomi herself, which actually plays a big part in her overall appeal. She's sexy, sure. She likes to grope the girls as punishment to keep their spirits up, true. But we've never really seen anything about her background, other than her being a shrine maiden that can predict badassery through tarot cards. She's an amazing person, in fact she's the one who brought Ayase into the group. Now if only we get to know more about her in season 2....



Mashiro Iro Symphony

Romance. Girls. Big white furry ball creature. Romance. End of Story.

....TRUE romance, not some half assed shit.


What are you doing?! Don't cover that up!

I honestly do not recall much of what happened in "Mashiro Iro Symphony", but its alright, because I remembered alot about my favorite girl there, Airi. When you see the characters in that anime, many of them come off as pretty memorable (except for the maid), but Airi went through the most change in her character, which actually made her even more likable than she already was. Yes, I have a thing for tsunderes, but that's not the point here.


Airi started of as a complete...how do you say this. A complete bitch. She hated boys, and the very mutual thought of merging her all-girls school with a mixed school was a nightmare to her. She detested guys right off the start, even though Shingo helped her at the very start of the anime, she gave him no regard when school opened at first. Ouch.


Of course, through many events of constant accidental sexual harassment, Airi's constant flame of hatred slowly died off, and she grew to accept things as the rest of her classmates did long before her. She even started to develop a liking for Shingo, though it eventually got overthrown by other characters (Sana and Miu). I honestly thought Shingo was going to go for Airi in the end, but I guess things happen. Miu was a god choice, but I'd rather Airi or Sana in the end. Its just a shame that it didn't happen. Airi ftw!



Peace.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Warframe (PC Open Beta)

Gamespot Score: 6.0 (Fair)

My Score: 7.0


(+)Pros: - Great first impressions and starting few hours, - Maneuvering your Warframe around the maps with creative ways is fun and entertaining, - Plenty of weapons that you can add to your arsenal, - Mod customization is addictive and can power up your Warframe in many ways, - Diverse variety of select-able Warframes, each with their cool looks, abilities and specialties, - 4 player co-op is thrilling for some of the more challenging maps.

(-)Cons: - Severe lack of map and enemy types, - Lack of PvP mode is a huge wasted potential, - Hunting for ingredients to craft better items is highly repetitive. 


Gameplay time: - 






Ever want to run around walls like a badass space ninja? Wield katanas, hammers, great swords and kunais in space? Shoot at your enemies with dual sub machine guns, shotguns and snipers? Or how about conjuring forth elemental powers to scorch, freeze or electrify your enemies? Warframe seems like a really cool game to have all this things in them, and in reality, it actually is. You get to do all those things and more, this is a game PACKED with content. There's a lot to do, a lot to craft and there's sure as hell a lot of things to kill to satisfy your lust for battle as a badass space ninja. Warframe makes players feel badass by infiltrating massive enemy ships with just their lonesome selves, taking out every single enemy in their path with their skills alone. As a co-op game, having your fellow space ninja join you makes the experience all the more rewarding, and Warframe brings out the best of its arsenal to please its players there.


In Warframe, you play as the Tenno, a group of descendants of an ancient mystical art. The Tenno have great ability in each and everyone of them, using those abilities they complete all missions given to them with unmatched precision. They have been asleep for centuries, only to awaken to fight against warring factions that pose a threat to them. The Tenno, being the strong, self centered group they are, fight to repel all their enemies, trusting only each other, they work as a powerful, coherent force that can destroy anything in their path, to bring an end to their opponents.


Space ninjas use guns too, because f**k you

When you first step into the game...you're going to be wowed, that's for sure. When you first take control of your Warframe, everything feels just right. You're going to be shooting enemies, killing them with your katana, and blasting them away with your Tenno abilities. Your mobility feels off the charts and you feel like you can do everything. That's just the wonderful first impressions that you're having. The first few hours of the game feel great, exploring everything you can do as a Warframe and executing all these tiny little maneuvers and abilities just makes you feel like a badass. You're going to have a very fun first few hours into the game.


The best part about playing Warframe is feeling the insane mobility you have for yourself. All Warframe types have different speeds, but their methods of maneuver still feel ridiculously good. You can sprint, jump, do back flips, jump on walls, climb UP walls, run ON walls, do a jump kick and much more. On many occasions when you're running through hallways without enemies, you can't resist but do a trick or two, to earn style points and get to places quicker. Creative maneuvers will quickly reveal many shortcuts around maps, and you'll feel like a badass on top of everything. Feels like a parkour game at times.



Customize your load-out to make yourself feel like a boss

You may be a space ninja, but even space ninjas need weapons. Fortunately, there are a ton of them available for your selection. There are 4 weapon types available for each and every Warframe. Your primary weapon branches out to stuff like shotguns, assault rifles, snipers or even bows. Your secondary weapons are your pistols, your third weapons are melee weapons, which come in a variety as well. Katanas, swords, fists, hammers or pole sticks....take your pick. You also have a sentinel to take along, a little floating robot that acts as your ally, either helping your defensively, or attack enemies offensively.   You can take 4 weapons to the field at once, and using them grants them EXP, helping them level up. Leveled weapons get stronger and gain more mod slots.


Mod slots are the capacity which your weapons can store....I'm talking mods of course (this sentence made no sense). The higher your capacity, the more mods you can store. Mods are little cards that you pick up throughout stages, they drop as you beat enemies. Different weapons have different mod types, and each weapon can be equipped with their own set of mods. Some mods increase damage, others bullet capacity, firing rate or even armor piercing to deal damage to armored enemies. Some mods even grant elemental damage to your weapons (fire, ice etc), while others let you shoot THROUGH enemies to hit enemies behind. Since there are tons of different mods for each sub category, you can easily spend a lot of time on this. And what if you can upgrade mods by fusing it with other mods? It adds a whole new level to the depth of mod management and customization.



Mod time bitches!

Throughout the game there are plenty of Warframes for you to pick from, and this is easily my favorite part of the game. Each and every Warframe looks incredibly different from one another, and all are cool as f**k. You can choose one of three Warframes from the start, Excalibur (a melee, tank focused Warframe with powerful melee abilities), Loki (a fast, balanced Warframe with stealth and deception abilities) and Mag (a weak, shield focused Warframe with a mix of defensive and offensive abilities). Each Warframe you choose plays differently from one another, and they have their own unique skills. There are other Warframes that you may also choose to craft after getting sufficient ingredients from elsewhere. 


I described the 3 starter Warframes up above, but there's so much more you can make! Ember is a fire elemental based Warframe that comes with tons of fire abilities to burn up enemies. Volt is a lighting based Warframe with tons of supercharging self buff and offensive abilities. Rhino is a super tank Warframe with the ability to stun lock enemies (great against bosses). Nyx is a Warframe that thrives on disruption of regular enemies, using mind control. Ash is a stealthy, assassin type Warframe specializing in taking out single targets and getting out fast. Trinity is a support Warframe with plenty of healing and defensive traits. Frost is a tanky, ice based Warframe with frost abilities and huge scale disruption. Saryn is poison based, with skills that inflict damage over time on enemies (great against bosses as well). 


An example of the bosses you will be facing in game.

What Warframe you choose affects how you play, and if also affects your role in a team. There are more Warframes than the ones I mentioned above (Banshee, Nova and others), but it means the same thing. What different types of Warframe you bring to a team changes how you take on missions. Embers are great against infested enemies, Rhinos are great against bosses. Things like this can always change how a mission can go, and the possible combination of Warframes in a team make co-op missions with others a thrill to play. Like weapons, your Warframes level up, and have their own set of mods, boosting health, speed and jump distance...among others.


The game lets you team up with up to 4 players, and its safe to say that co-op is the way to go for this game. Playing alone is fine, but some missions are incredibly difficult to tackle alone (you can still do it, you just have to be a f**king genius at the game). And when you do tackle these maps as 4, it becomes way more fun and has more structure to it. Sure some players are just scumbags overall, but if you play with friends the game quickly becomes more enjoyable, and you can see that Warframe was meant to be a team game. Tackling on bosses as a team makes you feel badass, as you flank him and hit from from different directions at once, plummeting him with an array of different skills.


Here, have some space zombies!

With so much content, how can I only rate the game as decent (7.0-7.4 is decent in my books)? Well, to put it bluntly, the game is just a huge mindf**k of repetition. Throughout the game you'll be fighting 3 factions of enemies, the grineer, corpus and infested. Each faction of enemy has about 3-4 enemy types....that means that there are less than 15 enemy types TOTAL in this game. If you combine all the explorable areas in every solar system...there are easily over 90 stages in the game. 90 stages...spread out across 15 enemy types. Also, there are 90 stages and by the time I quit the game, there were only THREE stage types. F**KING, THREE. A cave, a spaceship and an ice map....AND NO, THE DARKENED SPACESHIP DOES NOT COUNT AS A SEPARATE MAP TYPE.


So you'll be seeing the same maps and same enemies throughout your entire journey through the game, that enough is BAD. The lack of a PvP mode is also a wasted potential. I mean you look at the game, and you think of the mechanics....PvP would be perfect here. A 16 player deathmatch would be f**king beast....and f**king chaotic at the same time. Also, when you go ingredient hunting, you will absolutely HATE yourself. It is soooo repetitive....SO repetitive. Visiting the same map 20 times to get f**king rubido is the worst shit ever, or having to kill the same boss 10 times to get all 3 ingredients to craft a Warframe can get INFURIATING.


SLASH!

So that's Warframe guys. It has tons of things that other FREE MMOs do not provide, but its also what we call "Repetition at its finest". Its one of the most repetitive games I have ever played, and also one of the most creative ones at the same time. There's a lot to like about Warframe, but at the same times there's a lot to hate as well. Its currently still in open beta, so you can go check it out, but if I were you I'd wait for the full actual release. The game is getting its own release for the PS4, which I will be looking forward to when it comes. The game has a good deal of potential to be good, but currently, the game really needs some diversity in its enemies and map types. Still a good experience for those looking for something different.







Enjoy some would be female faces of the female Warframes!

Happy gaming!



Opening songs
OP 1 - ZERO!! (Minami Kuriyabashi)


Ending songs
ED 1 - Tsuki Hana (Nano.RIPE)

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of life

Episodes: 13



When you watch a lot of anime you feel like you've seen everything before. Sometimes though, something completely different might find you, and you'll enjoy it a good fair bit. That's "Hataraku Maou Sama" right there, I've never seen anything quite like it, and it creates quite a wonderful world for us to absorb outselves in. The beauty of a fantasy theme set in modern day never ceases to entertain me, and I thought that "Hataraku Maou Sama" was a pretty one of a kind anime filled with wondrous characters, a unique plot, and great animation overall. Its really one of the sleeper hits of 2013 in my opinion, with all the mainstream stuff you'd see out there, "Hataraku Maou Sama"'s unique setting really sets it different from what you'd usually see in anime. Plus, it succeeds in being funny on top of all that, how can you resist?



Alright guys here's some Emi and Chiho for you

I'll be honest, its been awhile since I heard Minami Kuriyabashi sing, quite awhile indeed. "ZERO!!" was a pleasant reminder that she was still strong in her expertise in J-pop. It was a great song, it fit the anime, it felt epic to listen to, and its kind of catchy at that, however, they took a few episodes to fix the opening animation, which was annoying. The ending was is "Tsuki Hana" by Nano.RIPE, and its another slow song, which is not something I would like. Well, it IS an ending song, so what'd you expect. Nano.RIPE has done some better songs IMO.



Rating: 8.5/10



I love "Hataraku Maou Sama". I've been watching quite a lot of great animes recently. Before this it was "Date A Live" (the best harem I've seen in awhile), then "Hataraku Maou Sama" took me by storm. It boldly tries some ideas that worked out fantastically. The comedic value is high, the characters are all pretty damn lovable (most of them anyway), and they all have a ton of character development. The fantasy setting is great, this whole talk about demons and the heroes from an old ancient time living in a modern society just fits so well. The fights aren't too shabby, there's lots of visual flair and watching the characters we love that usually look so normal in their everyday lives dish out some powerful attack is pretty entertaining. However, we could use better villains, in my opinion.


Ladies and gentlemen, the great demon lord Satan and his demonic general Alsiel.

Meet the great demon lord Satan, leader of all demons upon the magical world of Ente Isla. Being the demon lord that he is, he decides to rule the entire world himself by spreading his demon armies and 4 most trusted generals to conquer the 4 different continents. The entire world fell into despair as the continents fell to his demons 1 by 1....until a hero rose up to fight against the demons. The entire world looked up to the hero, and they all fought back against the demons under her command. The tide quickly turn as the entire world cornered the demon lord back to his own castle, and when even that fell out of his hands, he decided to open the magical gate to retreat to another world with his strategist, Alsiel. Well, the end up in Earth, as nothing but regular humans, without much of their power left. They decide to live in this world for the time being until their powers return, and Satan, now renamed as Maou Sadou, works at McRonald to earn cash to sustain him and Alsiel....


"Hataraku Maou Sama" is an awesome anime that most otaku's shouldn't let up. Hell, I'd recommend it to everyone, because it doesn't really focus too much on the ecchi/fanservice factor, anyone would get a good kick out of the anime. Easily one of the best animes of the season, and I really hope that they would go with a season 2, just because there is SO MUCH more potential that the series can really pull out.


Peace.



Que GlaDoS voice, "Hello, how have you been? It's been a loooooong time..."


Seriously though, its been a good 9 months since our last "Greatest boss fights" post. Its not that there aren't any more epic bosses to me, I just couldn't find any that would match up to par with the likes of  Kurt Zisa, Lucifer or even Isolde. As I play more games, my standards for "epic" bosses get higher and higher, eventually it becomes really hard to find something that pleases me (I got nothing out of "Tales Of Graces F", seriously).  


And here I am today with a boss from a pretty niche game. I reviewed "Dengeki Gakuen RPG:Cross of Venus" some time ago, and today we discuss one of the game's 3 secret bosses, Accelerator. I love Accelerator, he's easily my favorite character from "To Aru Majutsu no Index", someone as broken as him shouldn't really be allowed to exist, because he outshines everyone else. In "Dengeki Gakuen", Accelerator becomes available to fight after you defeat the game. Most bosses in the game can be manageable through grinding (even Crowley wasn't too hard once you hit the 70s), but Accelerator is a different story.



Unfortunately I couldn't find a clearer picture

The thing about most bosses in the game is that they hit hard, but their attacks have leeway and are predictable if done right. The key to beating most bosses is to memorize attack patterns and dodge/defend against their particularly powerful moves. Accelerator breaks most of that. For one, you have to lose to him the first time. Nope, nothing you can do, you have to lose once before you can do anything. After losing to him your party can go to academy city to grab the special effect card that you need to equip for fighting him. That means you'd have to lose one card slot to beat him.


And then when you finally get to fighting him, you have to worry about 2 things. His reflective ability and his blood reversal one hit KO move. With your new card, you can negate his reflect ability which will f**king screw you over 100000 times when you're spamming railguns from Misaka and Phoenix fire from Shana. You have to keep note of the time when Accelerator is disabled, this is the only time where you'll get the chance to hit him with whatever f**king skills you have. Keep note, he is tanky. Also, you can't go too ham, because you might never know when your card effect might end, and when it ends while in the middle of a skill cast, you're gonna eat it back and probably lose a character.



Hail the ultimate badass

So when your card effect wears off and he gets his reflective ability back, you're going to want to play cat and mouse. Dodge around all his attacks until your card comes off cooldown before you try to hit him again. His blood reversal is stupid, he just touches you and you die, that's it. Its a 1 hit ko, but the chances of your character dieing to the attack isn't 100% (he has a chance to whiff it, though the chance of you dieing from a direct hit is pretty high). Its completely melee, but Accelerator teleports around the map, making it extremely unpredictable, probably the reason why a lot of players keep dieing to him.


Remember how I said memorizing the attack patterns of bosses help you in this game? There's no way to memorize what Accelerator is going to do because he basically teleports around without you being to do anything. He can teleport away from you to hit you with a ranged vector attack (not too much of a threat), or teleport straight right up to your face to one shot you. Either way, he is mobile in both running away and catching you, making this battle extremely frustrating. However, even when his reflective ability is down, he can still f**king murder you without any problems, that means you need some method to actually hit this guy!


Long melee combo chains can still work here, but you're constantly at risk of being one shotted if you're up close. Long ranged, spammable skills work wonders here, since you can basically blast him safely from afar. This is probably one of the reasons why Misaka is such a godly pick, constant railgun spam will wear him down quickly. Shana, Kino and the MC are also good choices. Healing cards don't matter all too much, he's going to kill you instantly if you get hit anyway. Boosting your attack stats works wonders here. He's one tanky douche bag.


Difficulty: 8/10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O872fshdZ2U

Credits to Renkozuku


Opening songs
OP 1 - Take your way (Livetune feat.Fukase)

Ending songs
ED 1 - Be (Song Riders)

Genre: Action, Drama, Supernatural

Episodes: 13



If its no mystery to you guys, you should know that I f**king love the "Devil Survivor" franchise. 9.5 for the first one and 9.0 for the second....a bit tad high scores for both, but that just shows how much I love the series as a whole. I was super stoked for the anime, and even more so when I heard that the guys that did the "Persona 4" animation were going to do it. However, after everything blew over...I felt that I got cheated. "Devil Survivor 2:The Animation" is a pretty good anime on its own, but it completely puts shame to the what the game offered. "Persona 4:The Animation" was amazing, why couldn't "Devil Survivor 2" receive that same attention? Why disregard so much that made "Devil Survivor 2" awesome, and just rush it out the way it did? Those who didn't play the game might see a good anime, but for those who did, this animation is a watered version of what full potential that we could have possibly gotten.



This, my friends, is good advertising

Well to its credit the anime has some pretty amazing songs. "Take your way" by Livetune is a pretty sexy sounding song. The singer is a guy, no homo, but I did find the song to be really catchy, and the tune was just beast, as expected as the group who does some of the more well known Hatsune Miku songs (though we can all agree that his voice sounds...kinda feminine). The ending song is just badass. "Be" by song riders is a heavy rock song, sounds like something One Ok Rock would do. Its supposed to be Engrish? But its really not, it sounds right and its great.



Rating: 7.5/10



Its good I guess, but its just not nearly at what it could be. Its NOWHERE near its full potential. "Persona 4" was made awesome, why couldn't you guys do it for "Devil survivor 2"? I guess its something to do with the budget. "Devil Survivor 2:The Animation" has great animation, great fight scenes, and some of its characters are really fleshed out (lets see, like maybe 3 of them). The rest of the characters have almost zero characterization.....at least compared to the game. Many other character feels so god damn insignificant, and I just felt like this was the wrong way to go. The first few episodes showed promise, but after the 2nd day everything else felt rushed, like they needed to cram everything in 13 episodes. In my opinion, this could have easily gone 26, and if they did, they could have easily covered a ton of characterization that the characters truly deserve. But alas, it did not.



Too close dude! Too f**king close!

The story stars Hibiki Kuze, a young man who just finished his college entrance exam with his best friend, Daichi. The two were discussing their plans for the future, and on the way home they meet a beautiful young lady who was wearing the same uniform as they did, Io. The 3 talked briefly about a death site app that they downloaded on their phone, which allowed them to foresee the deaths of those close to them. Immediately after that they each received a death clip about each other, and a train collapse over them, causing them to "die". After waking up they realized that they have the ability to control over demons through their app. The 3 soon get recruited to JPs, a corporation built for the sole purpose of eliminating the demons.


"Devil Survivor 2:The Animation" is a pretty good anime, I'll leave it at that. It could have been way more, but with the way it is, it just serves as good action material with not much else. Most of the characters that are in the anime have close to zero character development, which saddens me as most of these characters are way more than how they were portrayed in this shallow representation of the game. Sadly, its not what I was looking forward to.


Peace.

Gamespot Score: n/a

My Score: 8.0


(+)Pros: - Brilliant synthesis system that has been built upon from the first game, - Story feels like it feels a lot more emotional and important this time around, - Improved visuals on character models, - New characters are more relate-able and likable, old characters also feel more matured, - Battle system has been improved, - Still has a load of endings, - Even more areas than in the first game (albeit some of them feel repeated and lazy).

(-)Cons: - Its a lot harder to manage on the technical side and in terms of overall difficulty, - Honestly, the time management will still screw you over.


Gameplay time: About 30 hours




If you've followed me for a bit you'll know that I looked forward to this game in like...forever. I went hunting for "Atelier Rorona" (which was nearly extinct at the time)  and spent ages looking for it just to play it so that I could follow up to "Atelier Totori". Then when I finished "Atelier Rorona", "Atelier Totori" was running low on stock as well. Tis a tough journey indeed, but here I am with an opinion of the game, at long last. Its easy to say tough, that the game didn't disappoint. "Atelier Totori" is an improvement to "Atelier Rorona" in almost every way, making it a superior, and in the end, a more enjoyable game. Fans of the "Atelier" series will enjoy it, and as a sequel, the game does its job extremely well to cater to the fans.




"Atelier Totori" takes place about 5 years after the events of "Atelier Rorona", and focuses on a young 13 year old girl known as Totoria Helmond, or Totori for short. Totori has lead a rather easy-going life in an ever changing world. Starting a few years ago, Arland has officially recognized the title of adventurers, a job for those willing enough take on. An adventurer explores uncharted areas, defeats monsters, accepts quests, and more, all to gain fame and fortune. Many around the world gather to become adventurers, Totori's mother included. She was known as the best adventurer around, but she went missing one day and never came home. 


Meanwhile, Rorona has been trying to spread the word of alchemy, trying to teach it to other talented individuals, but never managed to find one. She found Totori and Totori seemed to have talent for it. Rorona became Totori's teacher, teaching her the basics of alchemy before running off somewhere again. In present day, with the alchemy that Totori has been learning, she strives to become and adventurer, to look for her lost mother. Many areas around Arland are unauthorized to enter for non-adventurers, so this was something she had to do eventually. With her childhood friend Gino, the two start saving to leave for Arland, where they can get their adventurer licenses approved.



Meet our new characters!

As the sequel to "Atelier Rorona", you can immediately tell that many things are similar. The flow of the game remains mostly the same. You synthesize alchemy items, you turn them in for quests or to friends to increase your friendship, you pass the days on the calendar until the deadline for an event or important story scene. Though I'd say that it feels similar, there are some changes. Instead of creating a certain item (or amount of items) to pass up on a certain date, you play to increase your license level, which consists of various everyday tasks in the game, such as synthesis, hunting monsters, doing quests and exploring new areas. 


In a way, this feels a lot less pressuring than before, as you can basically up your rank by doing what you would normally do without much to push you on. With that said, to fulfill the game's main requirements to increase your license is a far less daunting task than producing certain items for the dateline in the original "Atelier Rorona". Any "Atelier" game is incomplete without synthesis, and it goes without saying that it returns in "Atelier Totori". The base mechanics are similar, you obtain recipes for some items, then you mix items required in the recipe to create said item, easy right?


There's a lot to making a bomb that explodes ice.

However, this is "Atelier" we are talking about, there's a lot more to that. Your alchemy level goes up as you synthesize more items, and having a high alchemy level ensures that your items are of the best quality. Higher level items require a higher alchemy level, and creating a high level item when you are low leveled can only spell disaster. Or if you manage to make one, it will be of low quality for the most part, though the ingredients used play a huge role in that quality balance. Low quality ingredients usually equal to low quality end products. However, if you are of a high alchemy, creating low level alchemy items usually will have it completed in high quality.


This applies to many things in the game, they all center around alchemy. If you create healing items, high quality ones heal more while the low quality ones heal less. High quality bombs do more damage in battle and can destroy obstacles in maps, while low quality ones do the opposite. Whats more, some ingredients have traits attached to them, and using these ingredients to make your items ensure that you get an extra kick out of them. If you have a trait that heals mana in your healing salve, it will heal both health and mana when used. Its the little things like this that make the system even deeper than ever, and this applies to our equipment later on, the possibilities are off the charts.


Its Cordelia! Wait...did she even age?

Alchemy is one thing, but story is another. If you enjoyed the easy-going story of "Atelier Rorona", you won't be disappointed, there's still a lot of that going on here, though the main meat of the story is way more serious this time around. The early 60% of the game feels like the original, but later on, things get more emotional, serious and eventually it feels like a different game, when Totori has to battle an epic creature. The change of pace as the game proceeds eventually feels great, and I felt that it was something that the game could use.


Character models also look VASTLY improved. We had this chibi theme going on in "Atelier Rorona", in "Atelier Totori", everyone looks fleshed out and more importantly, so much better! They looked like proportionate 3D anime characters now, which really improves the experience. The new characters are more likable than the old ones in my opinion, they are different in personality, but in the end they all feel like they belong in the same family as the characters in "Atelier Rorona". We have a cocky young lad, an easy going happy-go lucky powerful young woman, a funky ass scientist and a tsundere very similar to Cordelia.


Great to see old faces again!

Some old characters also make a re-appearance. Rorona, without a doubt is back as Totori's teacher (though she doesn't appear until quite some time has passed), Cordelia is now the guild's main counter as the license giver. Iksel is now the head chef of Arland's Sunrise Cafe, and ol' Sterk is still as grouchy as ever, though with the disbandment of Arland's knighthood, he has become more of a wanderer now. Some old shopkeepers also make a return, but since the game is about Totori, it takes place in two places, Arland, and Totori's home town, Alanya, which is more of a quite fishing village. Arland is the town of familiar faces, Alanya is a place for the new ones.


The battle system has improved for the better. No longer do you use HP for skills (which was a questionable mechanic in my opinion), but everybody has mana now. Totori is the main star here, just like Rorona in the first game. She is one of the only two characters in the game who can use items in battle, which is a HUGE factor in terms of how a battle can turn in your favor. And in case you're wondering, the other character who can use items is of course, Rorona, our heroine from the original.



Defend! Defend our cute little Totori!

As Totori is the star  of every battle, every time an enemy attacks her, you have the option to defend her with any of your other 2 characters in the party, and every time she attacks, any of your other characters can follow up with her's. An additional stat, LP, acts as an endurance meter. When your LP runs low, your characters start to fare worse in battle, and they are at full strength when its at its maximum.  MP now exists as a gauge for skills, and the fourth bar below your character's stats in battle act as a super gauge, for super moves when they are maxed out (you probably won't see this unless its a boss battle).


Battle only takes place outside of town (obviously), and there are a lot more areas for you explore this time, same ranging so far away from town, it takes a month for you to get there and back. Time spent in these areas is now calculated differently. When you enter the map, a day is split into 10 segments. Gathering items takes up 4 segments of a day, while battling monsters usually take 2, so on and so forth. You can now spent multiple days in a map, so spending your time wisely is a must (the game spans across 6 years in comparison to the previous game's 3). Oh yeah, endings, like the old game, there are tons of them, and it all factors to the events you managed to finish and your friendship with certain party members (thank f**king god you can skip the credits now).


Sterk is still broken as f**k

As you can tell, the game is huge, and that means that there's a lot more to manage, so much to the point that its sickening. The time constriction might be less than before, but 6 years to complete the game 100% is very very difficult, even for someone like myself who finished both Rorona and Meruru pretty much 90%. "Atelier Totori" is the hardest out of all 3 games, in my opinion. And well, that leads to me saying that the time management is still a factor in "Atelier Totori". There's too much to do, and while I said that its EASIER to meet the game's minimum main requirements, its still tough as hell to go for anything more than the main requirements. You want the true end? You better work your ass off for it.


"Atelier Totori", being the 2nd game in the Arland trilogy, proves to be a great improvement over the 1st game. You can see the differences over the 1st game, and you'll oggle at them. Better visuals, better combat, more exploration, and better game mechanics overall make this a much better game. However, this isn't the series's maximum potential. Stay tuned for my "Atelier Meruru" review.




CHIMS!!! CHIMS EVERYWHERE!

Happy gaming!



Gravelord Nito
HP: 4317
Skills: Slash, Sword slam, Plague storm*, Grab, Gravelord Sword*, Revive skeletons
Souls: 60000

Difficulty: 2.5/5 (With divine weapon), 3.5/5 (Without divine weapon)
Times died on 1st playthrough: 5+



After killing the joke of a boss that is the Pinwheel, you will traverse into the deadly tomb of the giants, a terrifying area with tons of gigantic skeletons and a deformed four legged skeleton being that hits for ridiculous amounts of damage. Its also completely dark, and you will f**king die without the help of a sunlight maggot or skull lantern. Nito is the second of the soul lords that I would recommend for you to defeat, because he's fairly easy compared to the other 2 left. However though, how difficult this is going to be depends on whether or not you have a good divine weapon, because Nito is a necromancer, and that is just depressing. He is the boss of the Tomb of the giants.



Big massive skeleton dude = immediately intimidating

Nito is not that tough of a boss alone, but he has f**king skeleton dudes in there with him. How the fight goes depends on whether or not you have a good divine weapon. If you do, dispatching these skeleton once and for all in an easy feat. If you don't, Nito revives them for days and weeks as you continue to kill them, and the battle soon becomes an undead orgy fest with Nito himself hitting you along with all his little skeleton buddies. For someone his size, he obviously hits hard as hell, with massive attacks. But at the same time, he is rather slow, making him easy to dodge and predict.


Slash - A regular slash that does moderate damage and is easy to block and dodge. He telegraphs this heavily.

Sword slam - He raises the sword horizontally above his head and slams it down for some good damage. Heavily telegraphed. Can be dodged, blocking not advised.

Plague storm* - Nito starts to draw black miasma within him, before releasing it all at once to cause a huge explosion in a big radius around him, dealing heavy damage. Start running as he soon as you see him charge.

Grab - He grabs you and starts to squish you hard for some good damage. Can be rolled away, but if caught you can mash buttons to break free.

Gravelord sword* - He stabs his sword into the ground, causing a gravelord sword to impale you from under the ground. He uses this far away. Hard to avoid from afar, can be dodged.

Revive skeletons - If his buddies aren't killed with a divine weapon, Nito revives them forever until he is defeated.



Despite having a lot of skills, Nito is actually not that tough without his buddies. If you go in with a divine weapon the fight is much, MUCH easier. Without one and this can become a pretty frustrating fight quickly. There are regular skeleton enemies at the beginning of the arena, and 3 big ones waiting at the other end. No matter what happens, its advised to not make the 3 big skeletons at the back take aggro, because we all know how much of a bitch they are. Fighting Nito with 3 big skeletons and 3 small skeletons that revive is a complete nightmare.


If you have a divine weapon, kill the small skeletons that approach you the moment you enter the arena. No problems there, the tomb of giants is FILLED with big ones, so the regular sized ones should be no problem. You should be able to kill them before Nito reaches you, where you can then fight him man to man. If you do NOT have a divine weapon, dodge around the skeletons and try to kill them fast with your best weapon (you should be able to one or two shot them), then focus on Nito. They will come back to life, so you don't have much time before they become an annoyance yet again.


This isn't fun.

Nito himself has some huge area covering attacks, so he'll be killing his own skeletons in a fight if they are around him, though it doesn't f**king matter as skeletons killed by him will get revived (this may screw your plans if you actually have a divine weapon). Most of his attacks are slow and heavily telegraphed, so dodging and then counter attacking is your best course of action here. His slash is slow as hell, and can be blocked/dodged without issue. Sword slam is slow as well, though dodging from this one would be good. Both of these attacks can set you up for counter attacks easily. His grab is harder to look out for, but spamming buttons will break you free no problem.


Gravelord sword is his most ridiculous ability. It snipes you from anywhere in the map and does stupidly high damage, as well as inflicts toxic. He sometimes does this the moment you step into the boss area, which is f**king cheap. Its quite predictable when hes nearby, but most of the time he does this when you cannot see him yet, which is what makes it such a cheap ass attack to dodge. Note that sometimes he will spam this, and in that situation you're probably f**ked unless you move TO him.


Plague storm is a huge AOE explosion that takes a long time to charge. Its very similar to the explosion from King Allant in "Demons' Souls". When you see him charge it up, back the f**k away. This usually kills all his ally skeletons around him if they are alive. Sometimes he will just decide to spam this, you can get a hit  or two on him at the beginning of his charge.



Props for creating such a menacing big ass skeleton dude.

And that my friends, is Nito! He's a big ass skeleton douche bags that is pretty hard with his buddies, but alone he's not too bad. The difference of having a divine weapon and not having one here is staggering, as it can either mean making a battle an average battle, or a very tough one. You've fought tougher guys, believe me. He gives 60000 souls, which is a hefty amount, no matter who you are. 


Next time, more soul lords.


Peace.



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Bokura Wa Ima Mada De (μ's)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Kitto Seishun Ga Kikoeru (μ's)

Genre: Drama

Episodes: 13



So, you ready for more "The Idolm@ster"!?....Wait, no, this is something different. Seriously, when I saw "Love Live!", I immediately thought "Idolm@ster", because it was so similar in so many ways. Singing, dancing, bonding between girls and pursuing a musical career for a better cause.....can you tell me that its not similar? Still, there are some differences that make it stand out from its overshadowing counterpart. "Love Live!" focuses more about school life for these girls instead of making a professional living out of it like the girls in 765 pro like to do, and because of that, the girls are a lot less "business" (still, the "Idolm@ster" girls aren't really too business like either), they're more about having fun doing what they love. If you want to watch "Love Live!", just picture "The Idolm@ster", but with all the characters doing their music related things in school, like an after school club activity.



Meet your idols!

Being an anime all about idols, music and singing, its no surprise here that the songs used for the opening and ending theme are all by the seiyuus of the main characters themselves. The opening song is "Bokura Wa Ima Mada De", and well, it sounds just like an "Idolm@ster" opening song, which fits the theme here. Its a happy, upbeat song and I guess its supposed to sound inspiring. I would put it somewhere between "Ready!" and "Change!" (opening songs of "The Idolm@ster"). The ending song "Kitto Seishun Ga Kikoeru" sounds better IMO, since it has a catchier tune and more synchronized  singing between all the girls. A great ending song, better than I expected.



Rating: 8.0/10



Maybe I'm a sucker for animes like these, I don't know. "Love Live!" may not be as entertaining as "The Idolm@ster" was, but its close. There's just as much drama here as there is in "The Idolm@ster" to make things interesting. Sure there's less characters here, but that doesn't mean character development or screen time for characters is lacking. There may be less characters, but 9 idols in an idol group is still pretty big (look at "Girl's Generation"), and it still makes up for some crazy shenanigans. The characters have different personalities, but some are just flat out annoying sometimes. Overall, everyone would have their own pick for a favorite, but in my opinion, everyone becomes somewhat likable towards the end. There's a lot less singing than you'd think though, but its fine because the anime makes up for it with tons of interesting situations.



SO MANY GIRLS....but not as much as in"The Idolm@ster"!

The story talks about Honoka, a 2nd year student her school that she loves. One day it was decided by the school principal that the school would shut down due to a lack of demand in new students, and this troubled Honoka. She wanted to save the school, but she did not know how. While she was walking around town one day she noticed a popular school with tons of onlookers cheering on their school idols, a group known as "Arise". Honoka had an idea to save the school, to start a school idol group. She gets her 2 best friends Kotori and Umi to start a group together with her. Things start out fine, but they needed a composer, so Honoka looked up a first year student she found playing the piano one day. After the 3 of them received a song from her, the journey began.


"Love Live!" is just as good as they come. Its a great anime on its own, with many reasons to love it (if you can open your eyes to these kinds of anime), and while I keep comparing it to "The Idolm@ster", it actually stands fine on its own. It needs more popularity, I tell you, and hopefully the upcoming second season answers for that.


Peace.

Today is the day of tsunderes. I'm sure there are many more awesome tsundere seiyuus, but today I'll be talking about the queen herself. Oh yeah, the male seiyuus today are rather seasoned veterans, so if you're a long time fan of anime and games (I really mean long time here), you'll know them for sure.



Marina Inoue




God she's f**king perfect. She's no stranger to tsundere voices (she has a tint of that in most of her characters), but she can do so much more. She has a pretty sexy voice, rather similar to the likes of Yoko Hikasa and Miyuki Sawashiro, but she has her own charm. Lets start with the tsunderes, I guess Laura (Infinite Stratos) counts (though she sounds more dandere to me), Yozora counts too (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), along with a little bit of Tohka (Date A Live), Neito (Kyokai Senjou Horizon) and Tsukiumi (Sekirei). She has her own tone of a "typical heroine" voice in our female MC (Persona 3 portable), Alicia (Valkyria Chronicles), Rei (High School Of The Dead), Natsuru (Kampfer) and Kohak (Tales of Hearts). She can do guys no problem, just look at Male Natsuru (Kampfer) and Armin (Shingeki No Kyojin). Kana (Minami-ke) however, shows us she can do a comedic character no problem!


Characters from left to right

1st row: Laura (Infinite Stratos), Armin (Shingeki No Kyojin), Yozora (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Dekinai), Tsukiumi (Sekirei)

2nd row: Rei (Highschool Of The Dead), Female MC (Persona 3 Portable), Natsuru (Kampfer), Neito (Kyoukai Senjou Horizon)

3rd row: Kana (Minami-ke series), Tohka (Date A Live), Alicia (Valkyria Chronicles), Kohak (Tales Of Hearts)


Takehito Koyasu




Bitch please, you'd all at least head Koyasu's voice once as long as you've watched sufficient anime. He's in so much stuff that its not even funny, but I can only relate to so few. Koyasu looks f**king fabulous for a dude nearing his fifties, and he's got a pretty sexy voice for someone his age. You know, that one voice he uses for everything he does? He stretches his voice well, but I like the villain tone the most, doing guys like Dio (Jojo), Kuroi (The Idolm@ster), Eddie (Guilty Gear) and Oberon (Sword Art Online) fit him the most in my opinion. Jade (Tales Of the Abyss) and Rufus (Atelier Meruru) are just cool and collected, so are Zastin (To Love Ru) and Adam (Needless) to an extent. HOWEVER, Zastin and Adam also have a little bit of his comedic side to them, which is hilarious, might I add.


Characters from left to right

1st row: Dio (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure), Adam (Needless), Zastin (To Love Ru), Eddie (Guilty Gear)

2nd row: Jade (Tales Of The Abyss), Kuroi (The Idolm@ster), Rufus (Atelier Meruru), Oberon (Sword Art Online)



Ayana Taketatsu




You don't talk tsundere without including Ayana Taketatsu, because she has a ton of tsunderes in my resume, I'm sure. Sure before everything else, her voice is cute as all heck, and she voices mostly lolis, but its still a voice very much suited for tsunderes in my opinion. Azusa (K-on!) is the an exception, apparently, since she sounds really normal there, kind of like Ayahi (The World God Only Knows). Tsugumi (Guilty Crown) is another high spirited girl like the other 2, though she has a more serious side to her at times. Ako (Kiss x Sis) is just naive and kind of seductive, and her tsundere counterparts Kotori (Date A Live), Kirino (Oreimo), Mio (MM!) make her shine. Koneko (Highschool DxD) is kind of a kuudere, but also a little tsundere on the inside. Lyfa/Suguha (Sword Art Online) is more of the submissive and protective little sister.


Characters from left to right

1st row: Azusa (K-on!), Tsugumi (Guilty Crown), Ayahi (The World God Only Knows), Koneko (Highschool DxD)

2nd row: Ako (Kiss x Sis), Kotori (Date A Live), Kirino (Oreimo), Mio (MM!), Lyfa (Sword Art Online)




Shizuka Itou



Tsundere prevails once again with Shizuka Itou. She voices some really sexy characters, and she has the voice for that. Some seiyuus have the voice for lolis while some have the voice for sexy babes, Shizuka Itou fits the latter. Who can ever forget her legendary voice role as Hinagiku (Hayate No Gotoku!), one of THE tsunderes in the anime itself (she's still voicing Hingaiku up to date, its been 6 years already). Kanzaki (To aru Majutsu No Index) and Christiane (Maji de Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai) are somewhat similar, both being sexy samurai girls....and being tsundere as well. Wilhemina (Shakugan No Shana) is just monotone all the time, and Lenalee (D.gray man) is pretty normal considering the other girls she voices. Yayoi (Psycho Pass) is all business, and Akeno (Highschool DxD) is just a sexy, seductive vixen. Koko (Jormungand) is just fun, probably one of her best voices IMO.


Characters from left to right

1st row: Lenalee (D.Gray Man), Wilhemina (Shakugan No Shana), Christaine (Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai)

2nd row: Kanzaki (To Aru Majutsu No Index), Hinagiku (Hayate No Gotoku! Series)

3rd row: Akeno (Highschool DxD), Yayoi (Psycho Pass), Koko (Jormungand)



Akio Ohtsuka




Do you feel the awesomeness? Akio Ohtsuka may be well over 50, but he's easily one of most badass sounding dudes on the planet. Having a deep, badass voice that can be bending in so many ways really makes the characters he voice stand out to be crazy cool. He voices the legendary Solid Snake (Metal Gear solid), but most of his voices are manly, strong and powerful fighters....with his good share of overpowered villain dudes. Wammu (Jojo), Kyoraku (Bleach), Gio (Atelier Arland series), Gabranth (Final Fantasy XII), Xehanort (Kingdom Hearts Series) and Skull Knight (Berserk) come to mind. Jaegar (Valkyria Chronicles) deserves a special mention for being a cool, laid back villain.


Characters from left to right

1st row: Wammu (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure), Kyoraku (Bleach), Gio (Atelier Arland Series)

2nd row: Snake (Metal Gear Solid Series), Gabranth (Final Fantasy XII)

3rd row: Xehanort (Kingdom Hearts Series), Skull Knight (Berserk), Jaegar (Valkyria Chronicles)



Rie Kugimiya




She destroys you with her tsundere superiority, there is no doubt about that. Rie Kugimiya is known as the queen of tsunderes, tsundeRIE is what they call her. No surprise there, I mean, come on, LOOK AT THIS SHIT. Shana (Shakugan No Shana), Nagi (Hayate No Gotoku), Agnese (To Aru Majutsu No Index II), Iori (The Idolm@ster), Yukimura (Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls) and Taiga (Toradora!) are ALL ridiculous tsunderes on their own! How.....HOW?!! She's in her early thirties but she sounds younger than 10 in most of her voices! The power of voice acting man. The closest she's ever come to voicing a dude is in Alphonse Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist), and she does very good clingy girl characters like Rose (Dragon Crisis!) and Marta (Tales Of Symphonia:Dawn Of A New World). Mizore (Rosario to Vampire) is just funny, being bored all the time, while Sharon (Umineko) sounds somewhat mature. Rise (Persona 4) is just a happy energetic girl who wants to have fun. 


Characters from left to right

1st row: Taiga (Toradora), Alphonse Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist), Yukimura (Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls), Rose (Dragon Crisis), Rise (Persona 4)

2nd row: Mizore (Rosario + Vampire), Sharon (Umineko), Agnes (To Aru Majutsu No Index Series), Iori (The Idolm@ster), Martha (Tales Of Symphonia:Dawn Of A New World)

3rd row: Shana (Shakugan No Shana), Nagi (Hayate No Gotoku! Series)



Peace, more to come in the future!



Opening songs
OP 1 - Date A Live (Sweet ARMS)

Ending songs
ED 1 - Save The World (Iori Nomizu)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance, Science Fiction

Episodes: 12



You'd almost never go wrong with the harem genre of anime. However, harem is everywhere, so much that some people grow tired of it, while others continue to look forward to new ones to quench their thirst for the never ending search for a perfect harem. There is no perfect harem....but sometimes something as awesome as "Date A Live" comes along. The entire concept of the anime spells eroge, and sure enough, there was a game for "Date A Live" shortly after the anime aired. Still, it feels genuinely unique as each "girl" (technically a spirit) feels different and how the anime tackles each arc differently definitely makes everything way more interesting, rather than just having an entire orgy of sexy girls available to the main character right off the start. Plus, romance, there's quite a bit of it here.



Take your pick!

"Date A Live" by Sweet ARMS is the opening songs, and I would say that it sounds great. As an opening to a hybrid harem action hybrid, the epic feel really fits the theme of the anime, and all in all its something that I would like to listen to. The ending song, "Save The World" by Iori Nomizu is something that I would NOT listen to though. I mean, its Iori Nomizu, but the song just doesn't have enough of the catchy vibes that makes songs like these catchy.... (f**k it, I don't even know what I'm saying anymore).



Rating: 8.5/10



One of the best harem animes I have seen, hands down. Trust me when I say I've seen a multitude of harem animes (just look at my review history, LOOK AT IT), "Date A Live" is one of the best ones out there. The tone used when referring to romance isn't as strong/heavy as some others, but as a harem, it does the job well when describing our girls and giving them the appropriate attention. As mentioned earlier, new girls are introduced in each new arc, and the way each one is introduced is unique. Since our harem candidates are "spirits", each one of them has their own individual trait, and its cool to see each of their own ones. Also, since they are "spirits", most of them start off naive, which means that watching them adapt to humans can be really entertaining.... 



Cute AND Sexy! That's our Tohka!

Itsuka Shido is your everyday regular high school kid (like every single protagonist!) that lives regularly with his cute little sister (once again, like every single protagonist!). The two are pretty close knit, and one day they decide to meet for some food after school. Shido's sister Kotori promises to be at the diner where they are supposed to meet at no matter what, and the two depart for school. However a space distortion was about to happen and the entire town evacuates underground. Shido, worried that her sister might still be at the diner where the distortion was about to take place, made a run for it, disregarding his own safety. There he meets an armored girl being attacked by a bunch of mech girls. Shido wakes up in an unfamiliar craft known as Ratatoskr, and is briefed about spirits causing the distortions. The only way for the distortions to stop is to stop the spirit, either by letting the AST (the mech girls) kill the spirit, or making the spirit fall in love. Shido chooses the latter.


"Date A Live" is just another harem, but a very well executed one with great twists which make it rather different from the others. I really enjoyed my time with "Date A Live", and with an announced second season, it just makes me all the more excited to see what's up for the sequel. There are some loose ends that are yet to be tied up, so a sequel makes a lot of sense.


Peace.