Daybreak Illusion



She loves money...who can say?

In an entire anime of cute little girls, "Daybreak Illusion" doesn't really have a lot to choose out from in my opinion. The cast as a whole may have been pretty good, but to pick out a single girl can be a little tough at times. That's why Ginka takes the cake here, because out of all the girls in Sefiro Fiore, she has the most likable personality. A girl who fawns over money? That's not something you can fish out of in the midst of girls like Seira and Luna.


First of all, her fighting style is easily the most captivating out of the entire cast.  Fighting with a humongous spear obviously fits her more for offense, and she can create a giant shield out of coins! This further amplifies her priorities over money, like in the story. While I do think that her appearance when in tarot form is only the second best (Akari takes the cake for best designed outfit when fighting), its good enough considering all of her other positives traits.


She is the most cheerful out of the 4 girls, and honestly, her "don't give a f**k" attitude really makes her more likable than the other girls. She just wants to do what she wants to do, without much of a sense of duty in mind, and because of this it ends in her inevitable sacrifice for the team. She does come back at the end with a really halfhearted reason though...I hoped for a better explanation.



Kyoukai No Kanata



Noted for coolest shade hunter!

You'd never expect such an epic concept in "Kyoukai NO Kanata", and that is further backed up some pretty epic characters. Not that I hate the main characters, but Izumi Nase is just too cool of a character to pass up, and she is easily my pick for the best character in "Kyoukai No Kanata". There's a lot to her that we don't know, but from what we can see, she's as badass as they come.


She may not be the most well fleshed out or well developed character in the works, but in terms of outer appearances and impressions, nothing beats Izumi in "Kyoukai No Kanata". She's calm, collected, cool, pretty and a complete badass overall. The ice queen? Yes please. Her powers to reign over ice is something to behold in the anime, where everyone else is pretty much small fry compared to her.


As said previously, we know nothing much about her other than her being an extremely potent shade hunter. During the lull, she practically decimates a massive amount of shades at once, and its proven that she wasn't even fighting seriously at the time. She seems to have some deal with the shades, as the anime stated, and maybe we'll get to see that when the time comes. She's still pretty damn awesome in my book though.


Galilei Donna



Funky steam punk space pirate ass mother f**ker!


Well, there's not much I can say here. He's the closest character we have in "Galilei Donna" that's a badass pimp. Honestly, we don't see enough of him, not at all, considering how freaking pimpish and likable he is, he doesn't really appear all that much in the anime. How is he cool? Imagine Hiroshi Kamiya voicing a space pirate with a mischievous womanizing personality. Well, that's Cicinho for you.


He first comes off as quite a douche bag in the first episode, and continues to be so as he constantly goes after the 3 Galilei sisters. But it soon becomes apparent that he has feelings for Hazuki, constantly harrassing her as they meet. Even so, she looks out for her safety and constantly comes into protection of the 3 sisters when they are being pursued.


Not only that, but in an episode's explanation of his back story, its said that when he was young, he took up a bunch of tortured kids and orphans. He brought them into his care to form the group that he commands today...he gets mad respect for that. It's unfortunate that we won't get to see Cicinho and Hazuki come together, but I suppose we can always assume that they came together, because in a particular episode, Hazuki pretty much relied on Cicinho for emotional support.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Great Game OSTs (Part 1)

Music is very important in games. It makes the very experience of gaming orgasmic to the ears. Whether it means an awesome piece of music playing during a normal battle, a boss fight, or just walking around in dungeons and towns. Music in games can be downright badass, or just brilliant to listen to overall, and you know it. This is a new series of posts dedicated to the very amazing pieces of music scattered across the many genres of games that I love to play, and holy hell, some of these can be really ear orgasmic, so get ready to feel like a complete kingpin. 

Take note that I won't be including songs from music games.



Fighting Game Music

Music has to be good in fighting games, because well, you'll be listening to character and stage themes for a very long time when you're actually fighting against your opponent. The music can really get your blood going at times and fighting game music really has a whole lot of amazing themes that can be pleasing to the ear, or just want to make you go all out against your opponent. Here are some songs that make the bill just right.






Song: Rebellion II (Ragna's Theme)
From: Blazblue:Chrono Phantasma
Artist: Daisuke Ishiwatari


Daisuke Ishiwatari is a f**king god. He makes some of the most amazing themes of all time, and the "Blazblue" games are enough of a testimony for that...I can just place the entire "Blazblue" ost here. Ragna's theme has always been a staple for the "Blazblue" games, and its a common theme because you'll either be playing as Ragna or against Ragna most of the time. His theme, "Rebellion", is really catchy and badass as hell, its the very mark of an anti-hero's theme. This goes without saying, the theme fits Ragna really well, and listening to it during a fight is just great. The recent "Chrono Phantasma" remake of this theme made it even more badass....I mean dear god, listen to those f**king rifts!


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







Song: Endless Despair II (Yuki Terumi, Unlimited Hazama's Theme)
From: Blazblue:Chrono Phantasma
Artist: Daisuke Ishiwatari


If we need a protagonist's theme in here, we'll need a villain, and by god, Terumi's theme is just beast. The theme itself being beast is self explanatory, because Terumi is a f**king beast....a villain that just doesn't know how to stop. "Endless Despair II" is the overhaul to Unlimited Hazama's theme in "Continuum Shift", and honestly, its a lot better than it was before. It now really gives the feel of total despair, just as you should feel when fighting against him. Its got moments of pure badassery and moments that tell you "you're f**ked". Oh yes, and of course, who can forget badass guitar rifts, this song has plenty, especially that first few 20 seconds.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJGH8RzJMy4





Song: Volcanic Rim Theme
From: Street Fighter IV
Artist: Hideyuki Fukasawa


I am honestly not a huge fan of "Street Fighter", but one cannot deny the epicness of the "Volcanic Rim Theme" of "Street Fighter IV". This has got to be one of the best stage themes ever created in a fighting game....it just makes you want to beat your opponent off the face of the Earth in front of a raging...volcano, all before having an epic final push to finally defeat him. When you hear this theme, you cannot help but scream "SHINKUUUU.....HADOKEN!!!!!!!" off into the setting sun. Yes, this theme is that good.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEiJkA7vrAI





Song: Dormammu's Theme
From: Marvel Vs Capcom 3
Artist: Hideyuki Fukasawa


When you want to talk about badass themes, you can't miss out Dormammu from "Marvel Vs Capcom 3", because this guy has possibly the best theme in the entire game, beating out the likes of Deadpool and Zero. It makes him feel like a badass boss character, which he sadly isn't....but it still fits him well, just because he's got that look of a badass boss character indeed. As you know from "Blazblue" themes, I love guitar rifts, and Dormammu's theme has plenty. Imagine this f**king theme playing and you're staring up to this colossal man....you'll shit your pants.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6mDxjG49K8



RPG Music


RPG music can mean anything. Be it battle themes or boss themes....or even town themes and dungeon themes, all of this count. Music in RPG means a whole lot too, because well, you'll be listening to the same damn battle themes and boss themes all day long, so these have to be really good. Thankfully, most of them are.





Song: On The Verge Of Assault
From: Final Fantasy VII -Crisis Core-
Artist: Takeru Ishimoto


To be perfectly chill, I thought that "Final Fantasy VII" had an amazing OST. But in all honestly, "Crisis Core" takes the cake for having the better soundtrack. I mean, COME ON, everything that "Final Fantasy VII" had, "Crisis Core" had it, and it was better....WAY better. "On The Verge Of Assault" was an alternate take on the FF7 battle theme, and lets just be real here, this is a f**king epic battle theme, as far as it goes. Nothing beats this on the scale of a FF battle theme, the only one that comes close is probably "Last Hunter" from "Final Fantasy XIII-2".


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZt1lBWr_zM





Song: Pinch Battle
From: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
Artist: Takami Asano


One of the many reasons why you should own a NDS, "SMT: Devil Survivor" has a kickass set of tunes, and so does its successor, "Devil Survivor 2". However, let's start with one of the songs that set everything on the right foot...."Devil Survivor"'s battle theme. "Pinch Battle" was BAD-ASS, that's all I can say about it. For a SRPG, a theme like "Pinch Battle" really sets you on edge, as you scan the field for enemies and decide on your next move...this song playing in the background just keeps you jumpy as hell all the way throughout the battle, whether its a difficult battle or not.


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





Song: Class A Alien "Mysterio"
From: Black Rock Shooter:The Game
Artist: Manabu Namiki


Its hard to consider "Black Rock Shooter:The Game" to be a proper RPG, because it has shooter elements mixed in. But it doesn't change the fact that the game had a subpar OST for the most part....until you meet the bosses. The boss themes in this game are absolutely phenomenal, there's no way around it. Every single one of the boss themes are freaking amazing, and "Class A Alien "Mysterio"" is just one of the 4 amazing boss themes in the game. This one features the fights against SZZU and LLWO...its probably my favorite out of the 3 starting boss themes. Its synthy and full of moments that make you go "I can win this".


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





Song: Irregular Hunt 1
From: Megaman X Command Mission
Aritst: Shinya Okada, Yuko Komiyama, and Seiko Kobuchi


Bet you didn't see this one coming. The "Megaman X Command Mission" RPG certainly wasn't the best out there, but 2 things still remain. One, its still Megaman, and two, we all know that Megaman has f**king awesome as shit music. "Megaman X Command Mission"'s first battle theme, "Irregular Hunt 1", proves to be so. If Megaman X were to make an RPG and have a battle theme, this would be the perfect song to put it in. It sounds freaking futuristic, its full of synths and groovy beats....this song makes your blood boil for an epic battle. Too bad this is only for normal enemies though.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GV6VZI1DLg






Song: Nefertiti
From: Mana Khemia:Student Alliance
Artist: Ken Nakagawa


This one was obvious. "Nerfititi" was one of the most iconic boss themes in JRPG history...just because. If you've listened to it before, you should know how f**king awesome it sounds! It even got a remix in "Atelier Meruru Plus", to make it even better, but I still do prefer the original. This is pretty much a boss theme that plays only against Isolde, and damn, they did it so well. SO WELL! Its probably the most viewed song out of the soundtrack of "Mana Khemia", nothing came close to "Nefertiti'. If you want to feel f**king badass, "Nerfertiti" can run make your imagination run wild in your mind.


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


Other

Here are some songs in other types of games that make you go wack as hell. Fighting games and RPGs are great, but other types of games have memorable soundtracks as well.




Name: Forza Del Destino
From: Devil May Cry 4
Artist: Tetsuya Shibata


"Devil May Cry" has a nice history of having heavy metal music as their battle themes. Most of these sound especially good, especially during boss battles and regular enemy encounters. While "Devil May Cry 4" was regarded as one of the weaker entries of the series, no one can deny the epicness of its soundtrack, and especially "Forza Del Destino", the best song in the soundtrack IMO. This plays in the second battle against Dante, and hell was it epic as heck to listen to while battling against the man. This is how you hype up a boss battle against someone as awesome as Dante.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7b4Ew0RIxo





Name: Flight Of The Coward
From: Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin
Artist: Yoshito Hirano


If anybody played "Days Of Ruin", you'll know this f**ker. This is the one SOB that I could never forget, not only because of what he did in the story, but because his battle was the absolute most ridiculous fight in the game (yes, Clauder's fight wasn't as bad as this). But also because he has the most wicked sounding theme in the game. You'd think him for a fool, but his theme is begs to differ, and in the odd defying battle against him, you'll be listening to the full awesomeness of his theme while dying to his troops. Waylon may be an asshole, but his theme is great.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV-ULQEsdcg



There are tons of great video game music, so don't worry, there will be more to come!



I do love me my fighting games, and whenever I see something that interests me, I get hyped as f**k. There hasn't been a lot of fighting games to really get me super hyped up since the days of the reveal of "Marvel Vs Capcom 3". Indeed, those were the days, the cinematic trailer that they used as the reveal as SO amazing....to bad the game could have been somewhat better. "Persona 4:Arena" came close to reaching "MVC 3"'s level of hype, but in the end, it still wasn't on the same level.


So with some fighting games on the horizon that I would potentially be interested in ("P4A: Super Climax Hold", "BB: Chrono Phantasma", "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle", "Guilty Gear Xrd"), all of them don't really get me hyped to the same levels as the original "P4A" and "MVC 3"....however, there is one sleeper title that really got me interested. Deep down, I was hoping for something like this to happen, FOR A VERY LONG TIME. 


Yep, with the title of this post, you'd already know what I'm referring to. "Dengki Bunko Fighting Climax" is a fighting game crossover featuring anime characters from the various "Dengki Bunko" light novels, and believe it or not, this is the closest thing that we've ever had to an anime fighting game. Hell, this IS the definition of an anime fighting game crossover! As an avid watcher of anime, this excites me to no end! Though with the initial reveals, it looks like there's still quite a bit more to go before the full roster comes out...Anyway, it matters not, I'm hyped for "Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax", and I'll be doing an initial character impression posts on its currently revealed roster. Support characters not yet included, I'll probably talk about them in the future. I haven't actually played the games, but I'll be using what I know from trailers and screenshots.


I cannot wait for this game! Seriously! I'll import if I have to, god dammit! (PLEASE release for the consoles!)






Name: Asuna
From: Sword Art Online
Role: Playable Character


I love SAO, I love it with pride! However, putting Asuna in the game may not be the smartest move. Sure it'll attract fanboys, I mean, everyone loves her (okay, almost everyone). In all honesty, while she will work in a fighting game, I'd very much rather see Kirito and his overpowered dual wielding bullshit (more on this later). He would make SUCH an insane character to play as! With Asuna though, we get to see her magic casts, sword arts etc etc...its alright, but not as exciting as it would be to see Kirito in the game. She'd work great as a support, but meh, if they want to put her as a playable character, I guess it works too.


Hype Ranking: 6th






Name: Shana
From: Shakugan No Shana
Role: Playable Character


Shana seems like a sensible choice. I loved the "Shakugan No Shana" series, and honestly there's many characters that I'd like to see made playable (Playable Sabrac would make me die a happy man, Khamsin would be freaking epic as well), but Shana would be a very close 3rd. From what I can see, she's a rush down character, and I'd like to think that she can play this role well. A great choice overall, I'm quite sure even if the anime is over, Shana would still have a lot of fans. 


Hype Ranking: 4th






Name: Kuroyukihime
From: Accel World
Role: Playable Character


I've never watched "Accel World", but I do know that it's quite popular, so I wouldn't be too surprised to see the poster girl of "Accel World", Kuroyukihime, to make an appearance. As someone who knows nothing of the franchise, I can't say that I'm too excited or too disappointed in this pick...but judging from videos and screen shots alone, she's a pretty gimmicky character. She's got nice melee combos with a scythe of some sort. For now she's low on my radar, we'll just have to wait until I get my hands on the game for more info. To be fair about her ranking...I haven't watched "Accel World".


Hype Ranking: 8th






Name: Misaka Mikoto
From: To Aru Majutsu No Index
Role: Playable Character


You know me, I'm an absolute fanboy when it comes to the "Index" franchise. Misaka being in the game is freaking fantastic! Sure there are other characters that I would like from the "Index" franchise to have made it in (Kanzaki Kaori, Accelerator and more), but Misaka is an amazing choice. Or more probably, it was the most sensible choice, because when people think of the franchise, she's probably the number one girl to come to mind. A tsundere electrically powered girl? Yes please! Plus, her play style is keep away based, which fits her well (though I'm not a fan of keep away types in fighting games).


Hype Ranking: 1st






Name: Kirino Kousaka
From: Oreimo
Role: Playable Character



How did she make it in?! I mean, I'm stoked that she's in here, but I have no idea how they made a move set for someone like Kirino in a fighting game. Kirino is popular, but as a fighting game character, she'd have to be orthodox as f**k (which is how she is in the trailers). I'd see her as a nice commercial choice, since she is somewhat well received...but still, its weird. Doesn't matter though, if the likes of Phoenix Wright made it into UMVC 3, I don't see how Kirino can't work. She cosplays in battle, which is pretty hilarious and character fitting at the same time.


Hype Ranking: 7th






Name: Shizuo Heiwajima
From: Durarara!
Role: Playable Character


The only playable manly man character (Kirito isn't a true man) in the game so far is a f**king badass one. If there was a character pick from the "Durarara!" series to be put into a fighting game, no one would fit better than Shizuo. This was seriously a nice pick, one of my favorite ones in the game thus far. I mean, Celty would be great with her scythe and motorcycle, but since she's an assist, I can't complain. I'd rather take Shizuo as a playable character over her anyway. And since he is a melee, grapple based character, it fits him even more. Can't wait to smash faces as him.


Hype Ranking: 3rd





Name: Tomoka Minato
From: Ro-Kyu-Bu!
Role: Playable Character


Tomoka making it into the game is pretty....strange. I mean, A FREAKING LOLI BASKETBALL GIRL! I have no idea what the heck is going on, but hey, if Kirino works, Tomoka may not be too far away. In all seriousness, I think Tomoka would actually beat Kirino in a real fight anyway...so, why not? Seeing as the other "Ro-Kyu-Bu!" girls made it in as support characters, there's not much more I need to say. Hey, I'd play as Tomoka, don't mind me. I'll be shooting basketballs at your face, all day. I wonder if they'll make her scoop move a super....I'm strangely excited for this character, aren't I?


Hype Ranking: 5th






Name: Kirito

From: Sword Art Online
Role: Playable Character


First of all, this erases the assumption that there's only one playable character from each franchise, since we already have Asuna. Second of all, Kirito should have been the SAO representative, no offense to Asuna fans, but Kirito just looks too good, and from the trailer alone, he's just a f**king badass. He starts off with a single sword, then he can cast dual wield to actually gain his second sword. I can't wait to see more on how he works, because the possibilities are just endless!  His super already looks insane, stardust stream mother f**kers!


Hype Ranking: 2nd

Overall hype ranking

1st: Misaka Mikoto
2nd: Kirito
3rd: Shizuo Heiwajima
4th: Shana
5th: Tomoka Minato
6th: Asuna
7th: Kirino Kousaka
8th: Kuroyukihime 



I cannot wait for more characters to be revealed! (Please, we need Taiga)



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Chocolate Insomnia (Yui Horie)
OP 2 - Happy Bite (Emiri Kato)
OP 3 - Musou Express (Kana Hanazawa)
OP 4 - Kogarashi Sentiment (Chiwa Saito, Shinichiro Miki)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Ai O Utae (Luna Haruna)

ED 2 - Sono Koe Wo Oboeteru (Marina Kawano)

Genre: Comedy, Psychological, Supernatural




Its commonplace that the "Monogatari" girls are some of the more popular female characters in the anime industry. People actually love the series hell a lot more than I do, and while a difference of opinion is at hand here, I won't go as far as to say that the series is rather "overrated". The "Monogatari" series has its own special charms that no other anime can match up to, that much I can understand. Harems as an overall aren't received too damn well by the general otaku populace, and only a handful make it out to be "amazing" or "godly" by some other anime standards. The "Monogatari" series is currently one of the few franchises out there that's on top of the charts right now...good for them. However, with "Monogatari Series Second Season", they tried to expand the franchise even further, so far as to making it a full blown 26 episode anime. And well, they did a damn good job.



I have.....no remorse. 

The "Monogatari" series always had a habit of putting out many good opening songs...so I'll get right to it. For Hanekawa's arc, the opening song is "Chocolate Insomnia" by Yui Horie (the seiyuu for Hanekawa), and its fair at best. I very much prefered "Sugar Sweet Nightmare" back in "Bakemonogatari". Its sweet...and decent, but that's all really. The second opening which features Hachikuji's arc is "Happy Bite" by Emiri Kato, and to say to least.....its a very happy song. I'm not a fan of the very happy songs...so I'll leave it at that.


The 3rd opening which features Nadeko's arc is "Musou Express" by Kana Hanazawa. While its a darker song than "Renai Circulation", its still retains its contagiousness, and I can say that its worthy to carry on that title. The 4th and final opening is hilariously good, which features Kaiki's arc, the song is "Kogarashi Sentiment" by Chiwa Saito and Shinichiro Miki. Its an awesome throwback to the old 80s and early 90s anime....which is nostalgic, to say the least. I loved it the most out of the 4 opening songs, actually.



Rating: 8.0/10



Its great, that's all I can say to it. It retains its format in "Nisemonogatari", which I actually loved way more than "Bakemonogatari", because it had great pacing. "Monogatari Series Second Season" continues that trend, and it spends more episodes in each individual arc to further explain and elaborate on the current situation of our heroines. Its great that Koyomi isn't so much as the star for every arc anymore, and having insight from the girls themselves (or Kaiki in the final arc) is a great way to shed more light on the situations. Every arc is done very well, and while the recap episodes aren't really needed, they serve as a good summary for those who never watched the OVAs (I never watched Nekomonogatari, so episode 6 was a lifesaver). For those who don't know the series very well, it does fan service segments well, the story for each arc is very in-depth, the art style is unique as hell, and the characters have very...awkward and entertaining conversations. It may not sound appealing, but it quickly becomes addicting.



Black Hanekawa is not amused.

About how the story opens up...its different from usual. Koyomi and Shinobu are missing, off into their own time travel antics, and they've also become caught up in some ridiculous situations regarding a black miasma. Hachikuji is involved, so it became hard to contact her, while Nadeko is going through an imminent phase in her life as well. This time, Hanekawa takes on the spotlight, telling us about how intentionally screwed up her life actually is. One day though, on the way to school, she runs into a tiger that is easily 5 times her size. The tiger in question actually ignores her, but she feels that the apparition inside her apparently is acting up once again. With this in mind, she consults Senjougahara, and realizes that her house just burned down. With nowhere to stay, she goes to live by herself in the abandoned school building of old, where Meme used to reside. After getting an earful from Senjougahara, she starts to live with her. Then she realizes that she is starting to become her cat self once again...


"Monogatari Series Second Season" is easily more of what the previous seasons have already done. Fortunately this time around, the arcs are pretty interesting on their own, and they do spawn some thought invoking in our heads. The final arc in particular, puts us in the shoes of Kaiki, a "villain" from a previous story, and that was rather interesting. Surely there's more to come, with the success of the series, and honestly, I can't wait to see what else they can come up with.


Peace.



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Kimi ga Yume o Tsuretekita (Ai Kayano, Mariko Nakatsu, Natsumi Takamori)
OP 2 - Yume No Tsuzuki (Konomi Suzuki)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Days Of Dash (Konomi Suzuki)
ED 2 - Prime Number -Minna to Deaeru Hi- (Asuka Okura)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Episodes: 24



When you shed a tear during an anime, you know shit's going down (or at least, almost shed a tear). "The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou" is the next thing closest to the likes of "Toradora" or "Clannad", its a high school romance anime with love triangles and intensified dramas galore. Its animes like these that many people would turn a blind eye to, but if you're an avid fan of romance dramas and such, "The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou" is a brilliant addition to your collection. Brilliant characters, a simple yet effective story, strong morals about life and some other great segments make this one of the best animes of 2013. Plus, if you've taken a liking to Mashiro right at the start of the anime, its a safe bet to say that you'll be taking this one with a smile on your face the entire f**king way. "The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou" shows us school life at its best, but can help us get emotional when it really counts.



The anime's very energetic cast and crew.

The first opening theme is "Kimi ga Yume o Tsuretekita" by Ai Kayano, Mariko Nakatsu and Natsumi Takamori, the seiyuus of Mashiro, Nanami and Misaki. Its a decently energetic song, which is a nice fit to the first half of the anime I suppose. However, out of all the songs used in the openings and endings, I think it's the least attractive choice. The first ending theme is "Days Of Dash" by Konomi Suzuki, which is, like the opening theme, an energetic song...though this one has a slightly catchier tune to it.


The second opening theme is "Yume No Tsuzuki" by Konomi Suzuki once again, and while it is a step down from her first ending theme "Days Of Dash", I do think that its decently paced enough as an opening song. The second ending however, is the best song of the four, and that 's "Prime Number -Minna to Deaeru Hi-" by Asuka Okura. The freaking tune to the song is SO addictive, and the song itself is also catchy as hell. The ending animations also has everyone bopping their heads to it, so I do it most of the time when I listen to this song on the road (people think I'm crazy).



Rating: 8.5/10



This is some really deep shit right here. Not only is "The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou" really high on energetic vibes (Misaki's antics are really quite contagious) most of the time, its serious when it needs to be, and the characters are some of the best I've seen in a high school romance/comedy anime. Character development is really strong for some of these here, and you can see the changes that happen throughout the anime...though honestly, everyone changes for the better here. Through hardships and trials, these guys all develop into magnificent characters to the end, and the love relationships between some of the characters were pretty intense too, in my opinion. The characters are just great, the story develops well and is full of hardships for out characters...but that just helps in character development. The anime is funny at times, and seriously, it concludes in the best way possible. This is what a great anime is all about!



The best question of all time.


Kanda Sorata is a very interesting young man. He likes cats, and he hates being looked at differently by others. He is living in the dorms of Sui High, which does not allows pets. Unfortunately for him, he picked up a stray white cat on the streets, which he names Hikari. Upon the discovery of Hikari, the principal gives Sorata a proposition. Either he moves out of with his cats to the outcast dorm Sakurasou, or stay at the regular dorms, but ditch the cat. Sorata chooses to move to Sakurasou without a second thought, which made his reputation take a dip. However, life isn't all bad in Sakurasou, until one day when the dorm supervisor, Chihiro sensei, tells Sorata to pick up a cousin of hers. This cousin is Mashiro Shiina, a world renown painter that is a genius at what she does. HOWEVER, it turns out that besides painting, Mashiro doesn't know how to do anything else. She can't dress herself, she has no common sense, and she doesn't know how others think. Thus Chihiro proposes that somebody take care of Mashiro, a duty known as "Mashiro duty". Guess who gets to babysit her? Sorata says hi.


"The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou" is a textbook example on how to make an impactful anime. From start to finish, "The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou" never failed to impress. Even now, whenever I watch the graduation episode (episode 23), I still get hit right in the feels.  If you want an anime that summarises all that is high school, "The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou" works very well. Oh and lets not forget, romance fans will love this as well.


Peace.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Shin Megami Tensei IV

Gamespot Score: 8.0 (Great)

My Score: 8.0


(+) Pros: - Great story with various outcomes based on alignment, - A strong cast of characters, - Combat can be challenging (though somewhat cheap), - The process of recruiting demons and fusing new ones is very addictive, - Tons of content, both story and optional,.

(-) Cons: - Difficulty can be rage inducing for new players (somethings the game is even downright cheap), - Not a lot of variety in areas.


Gameplay time: 40 hours +, 10 hours per subsequent playthrough






I love the "Shin Megami Tensei" series. Hell, we all love it, but here's the thing. "Shin Megami Tensei IV" is the fourth installment to the original "SMT" games. No, I'm talking about the likes of "Persona", "Strange Journey", "Soul Hackers", "Devil Survivor" or anything of the sort. "SMT" used to have its own games, without all these little spin off names, and "SMT IV" is the obvious fourth installments. When it comes to the main "SMT" games, I haven't played a single damn one, but when "SMT IV" was announced, I looked at a few trailers and got myself interested. In a way, its very similar to the likes of "Strange Journey", being a dungeon crawler where you get to talk to and recruit demons...it looked simple, yet revolutionary with the technical advancements on the 3DS. So here's my journey through "SMT IV", the incredibly hyped franchise debut on the 3DS.



Okay, so the story. The story focuses on once again, a silent protagonist that goes by the default name of Flynn. Flynn belongs in a world known as the Eastern Kingdom Of Mikado, a medieval country that splits its people into two categories, the luxurors and the casualries. The luxurors are the rich, honorable and prideful people, while the casualries are the poor, humble people that work their butts off to improve the living conditions of the people in the country. It's a biased system, and the people know it. Flynn is a casualry, together with his friend Issachar, they make it to Mikado castle to participate in the gauntlet rite, a ritual that picks a handful of youths from all around the country to become samurai. Flynn becomes one, but Issachar doesn't, and for Flynn's first mission, he is to enter a dungeon to slay...demons. Flynn's new life involving demons begins.



Bye bye demons.

The "SMT" series has always had a strong focus on their story..."SMT IV" is no different. While it touches on some really sensitive themes, the game does not sugarcoat anything unnecessary and throws us a harsh story about this virtual reality (in some ways, it relates to real life as well). I do not like to spoil too much of it, so I won't, but I'll say that its not your usual JRPG story that you can find anywhere, I assure you. What's else though is that like most other "SMT" games in the series, the story has multiple endings, each of which can be replayed in "New Game +" for more insight on a different view of the story. This has always been a strong point of the "SMT" games.


Like previous "SMT" games of old, the multiple endings stem off the path your character decides to choose, though alignment values. Alignment values are points that cater into the way your character responds to different questions, and whether or not the response that you picked was a "lawful", "neutral" or "chaotic" response, it adds to your alignment value. If you responded in such a way that a person aligned with law would, your alignment shifts towards law, the same way that it shifts towards chaos if you make a choice that an "evil" person would. Neutral is the middle ground...the most "human" response. These values are calculated and will matter towards what kind of ending you will get at the end of the game...sort of like a karma system.


F**k you. You'll run away after taking my stuff half of the time.

A great story requires a strong cast of characters, and that's just what "SMT IV" has. You'll grow attached to your fellow samurai Prentice quickly, be it the quick triggering Walter, the goody-two-shoes Jonathan, or the girl that takes neither stance, Isabeu. Each character is strong enough to hold their own through specific story incidents, and you can choose to take their stance when the alignment issues come to light. There aren't many characters in this one in comparison to some of the other games in the "SMT" series (more specifically the "Devil Survivor" games and "Persona" games), but it works well too. The English voice acting is top notch to boot.


Now let's talk about the gameplay. "SMT IV" is a 3rd person dungeon crawler with dynamic camera angles that you can manipulate as you wish. You explore location, find demons, engage them in combat, rinse and repeat. The dungeon exploration itself is completely new, as they have removed the first person dungeon crawling mechanics of old. With the new third person camera, you can look up to climb ledges and ladders, look down to jump over scaffolding or pits. You can turn the camera manually, crouch over small holes, jump over long distances...to say the least, the game is making good use of the 3DS technology to create a nice dungeon crawling experience.


Isabeu is awesome. You go girl!

Combat is your standard turn based affair that we're used to seeing in "SMT" games of old. Not the ones like in "Persona" or "Devil Survivor", but more reminiscent to the likes of "Strange Journey" and "Nocturne". You get 1 turn for each character in your party, up to 4 at a time, and the enemy has a fixed amount of turns as well. Acting with any action costs a turn, but striking an enemy's weakness will grant you an extra turn. You can also pass your turn on to your next party member if you feel like the current character won't be effective during that turn, 2 passes take up one turn, so you can work around that for a perfect coherent strategy. If played against the enemy correctly by abusing weaknesses, you can have up to 8 actions in a single turn.


Of course, this all applies to the enemy as well. If they score well against your team, they'll get to move a lot more than you do, and when that happens, it's most probably game over for you. This game is brutal, and the game will constantly try to throw you on your back foot with very difficult demon encounters left and right. Missing will make you lose turns, so will striking the enemy's strong points, and if you land critical hits, you get extra turns. Battle is a very strategic affair, and you WILL need to manipulate the weaknesses and strengths for your team to get more turns on your side. 



Behold! The gauntlet rite!

Combat is nice and all, but the game wouldn't be "SMT" without the talk of demons. You know what I'm talking about. During combat, you'll be doing battle mostly against demons of many types, like in many "SMT" games, you will be able to negotiate with these demons to get them to your side. Before the demons will commit themselves to you, you will need to get on their good side, as always. This can come in many ways, be it answering their questions to their liking, giving them items, macca, your health, spirit and so on. Demons that have been suckered to your side will then fight for you...or you can use them for demon fusion, an aspect that has been present in the franchise for a long time. Fusing two different demons will get you a new one, that's how it works. When going to new areas and recruiting new demons, new fusion possibilities are always open, so this is a very addictive process to find yourself the perfect team.


Game content isn't lacking in any way. On your first run, the main story alone will get you somewhere easily between the 20-30 hour mark, WITHOUT side quests. This is fine, but the game tosses you a lot of side quests from time to time...its the matter of whether you want to do them, or not. The side quests don't seem like much as first, but as you complete prerequisites more pop up here and there...it soon becomes overwhelming. Hell you even get side quests from demons during random encounters, they will employ you for help. With all these side quests in mind you can easily cook up another 10-20 hours, if you are the hardcore type. Lets not forger that you can go for the other endings after you finish the game, letting for multiple playthroughs.


Demon fusion!

Like most "SMT" games are..."SMT IV" is hard. Like, it will break your balls if you go in unprepared. The game throws you into many boss battles with the odds stacked against you. Enemies get the first move most of the time, and if you do not have the right team composition, you will die before you get a chance to even fight back. It discourages new players, to say the least, though veterans should be just fine. There is also a huge lack in environment variety this time around, since we're travelling around the city of Tokyo for the majority of the game....you won't be seeing much except for buildings, streets, buildings, streets....and more streets. Okay, maybe you'll see some underground train stations, but that's it. Not weird castles, deserts or volcanic areas...it's all in the city.


"SMT IV" is surely a great debut for the franchise on the 3DS....though I kind of expected more. The exploration mechanics have been severely improved, and challenging battles make this an entry that won't be soon forgotten. But, the lack of environments really make exploration a lot less fun this time around. There's a lot to do on "SMT IV", but unless you're really hardcore, you won't be digging too much into those. Fans of the series will find a lot to like about "SMT IV", new comers will find something to like, but it isn't the best place to start in this franchise.







Happy gaming!



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Fly Away (Misuzu Togashi)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Baby! Baby! (Various seiyuus of the anime)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance

Episodes: 12



We've seen this time and time again, but it doesn't seem to be letting up. "Maken-Ki! Battling Venus" is a rather old anime now, aired back in 2011, with a second season currently on air, but its an anime archetype that we've all seen before. Big boobs, panty shots and fan service galore...that's what "Maken-Ki" is all about. Surely we've seen fan service anime such as this elsewhere, but that doesn't mean "Maken-Ki" is going to stop. The stereotypical high school fan service animes continue to strive for greatness in the modern day anime industry, and while it has received mixed reception, as long as its got the numbers, they'll keep on coming. Honestly, I do like my fan service anime as long as they don't get too out of proportion, and "Maken-Ki" is certainly not the worst out of the bunch. It does its job well, but that's all.


Ta-da! E cup swimsuit babes!

The opening theme is "Fly Away" by Misuzu Togashi, and for a fanservice anime such as this, I actually expected worse. "Fly Away" is a rather soothing fantasy pop tune, sure its not anything too hardcore, but what did you expect. In this situation, its a nice song. The ending theme is basic cutesy seiyuu stuff. The name of the song is "Baby! Baby!", and obviously by the name of the song, you can already tell what kind of song it is. Its sang by all the different seiyuus in the anime, they switch every episode. Let's not go there, shall we?



Rating: 7.0/10



Well if its all fanservice and almost no substance, its probably only decent. Not to say that it has NO substance other than the boobs and panty shots....there are some decent concept here....or so I say. And when I mean decent I mean decent. A school where only the specially gifted can go to while working their way through powers and weapons known as the Maken sounds really mainstream, since there are many animes that feature life in high school with awesome powers and such. "Maken-Ki" does it decently, just not nearly as close as many others. With that out of the way, the only things we have left are the girls and the action. Action is subpar at most, nothing surprising there, and the girls are self explanatory if you even take a look at fan art. Every one has huge boobs except for 3 girls, and other than Himegami, the rest of them don't seem to have really interesting personalities. To say the least, they're stereotypical.



Ah yes, the beauty of panty shots...

Oyama Takeru is nothing but a pervertic and idiotic young man that is about to attend high school. After attending an all boys school for almost his entire life, he finally gets the freedom of selecting a co-ed academy for high school. The Tenbi academy....an academy that focuses on training its students in the way of martial arts and the usage of Maken, replicas of ancient weapons. Takeru enrolls not knowing what kind of school this is, and on his first day, he is greeted by his childhood friend, Haruko, as she is the vice president of the student council. Anyway, as first days go, he witnesses a Maken battle right in front of him for the very first time and could not believe his eyes. After nearly being the victim of a powerful attack, being kissed by a girl who claims to be his fiance, he is put into a room with 3 girls, 2 of which he has never seen before in his life. Thus begins his life in Tenbi academy....


"Maken-Ki" is as straightforward as it gets when it comes to a fan service anime. It even has a swimsuit OVA episode with tits and tentacles. If you're into the fan service types of anime, "Maken-Ki" is fine, but even then there are better choices out there. Its a decent experience overall...just don't expect to be too impressed.


Peace.



Sanctuary Guardian
HP: 2560
Skills: Lightning Blasts*, Head Charge, Pounce, Poison Tail Sweep*, Flurry Swipes*, Shockwave
Souls: 30000

Difficulty: 4/5
Times died on 1st playthrough: 10+



"Dark Souls" will always be hard. After about a couple of years after finishing the game, they throw out a DLC, taunting the players to jump right in with a "Come at me, bro!". Of course, any sensible gamer WILL get their hands on the DLC, one way or another...then they will rage, once again. The DLC, "Artorias Of The Abyss", is ridiculously difficult. Dangerous enemies, merciless bosses and  a whole new landscape...of course, the only reason why we're here today, is to analyze the bosses. The moment you step into Oolacile, you are greeted by the Sanctuary Guardian, one of the hardest bosses in the game, and the easiest out of the DLC baddies. This is a message from the developers...you are going to die. A lot.


Nom nom nom!

I'll be frank with you. The Sanctuary Guardian is relentless. He gives almost no openings, and he will throw attacks on you over and over with almost no chance for you to hit him without being traded back. You're going to need some VERY fast weapon if you want to land hits on him without risk. A ranged strategy is going to be rather difficult because he has many ways to jump in on you. All in all, if you don't study his patterns, he is going to be a very tough opponent.


Lightning Blasts* - Simple enough, he shoots multiple blasts of electricity on your face. He can either do this on the ground, or fly into the air to do it, which will then be a lot harder to avoid. Dodging rapidly is the way to go, unless you have a nice lightning resistant shield.

Head Charge - He pulls his head back and rams himself straight into you for massive damage. Easily dodged, but it can be blocked as well if you have decent stamina.

Pounce - He just runs at you from far away and pounces you from a considerable distance. It does't do that much damage and can be easily blocked or dodged, but he will almost always follow up with flurry swipes.

Poison Tail Sweep* - I hate this move. He just spins his body around to net you with his tail, doing moderate damage and inflicting poison. You can block, but you'll still take the poison ailment head on if you have no poison resistance. Roll away to deal with this.

Flurry Swipes* - He relentlessly hits you in melee range with swipes and bites. You can roll away rapidly to completely negate his frontal assault, but since the start up time on this move is so quick its a little bit hard to read. Blocking is not recommended, as he will eventually break your guard with his multiple hits.

Shockwave - He gets up on twos and slams his feet down to create a shockwave that does almost no damage but renders you in a stunned position, letting him follow up with another attack. Dodge away, as blocking this will leave you staggered as well.



That's a lot of attacks, but honestly, there are only a few you need to look out for. His lightning blasts can be really scary if he starts to spam them...and he will if you're staying too far away from him. He can shoot these on the ground or up in the air when he decides to fly around. Needless to say, you'll want to see less of this because it can be a little bit scary. Once you do get into range, he'll start using a lot more attacks...at least you don't have to deal with more lightning blasts.


When you are in mid range, he'll usually open up with 2 moves, either head charge or pounce. Head charge has a little bit of a start time so its rather easy to see coming,  its easily dodged, but can deal a good amount of damage if it connects. Shockwave is even easier to see coming, but its a mistake to actually block it because of the stagger animation, leaving you open to other attacks like flurry swipes of head charge. Just look out for these two attacks, if he manages to come in on you with head charge, you'll be in range for melee combat. If he does shockwave, just back off and wait for a chance.


In melee range, you'll mostly need to look out for flurry swipes and poison tail sweep. It's hard to predict which attack will come out first, because for the most part, these attacks have close to no start up time. Instead of keeping your shield up, its a nice to prepare yourself to dodge attacks when needed. Flurry strikes is crazy strong if he manages to land all 4 hits, enough to instantly kill you if you're not of a decent VIT. Poison tail sweep is just annoying, because not only does it do decent damage, the poison is infuriating.



Oleh!

The Sanctuary Guardian is a fearsome foe. He has a lot up his sleeves and there's little chance to actually deal any "safe" damage to him. He is rather squishy though, so you can take that into account. Beating him grants you 30000 souls and the Guardian Soul, as well as passage into the town of Oolacile. Take note that if you come back here later on, you can face off against 2 Sanctuary Guardians at once, which is a daunting task that I've not been able to accomplish by myself.


Peace.



Sup, it's been a long time, but not as long as the previous gap between "Greatest Boss Fight" posts...


Anyway, today we got a boss from one of the games that only the hardcore JRPG fans will play...and that's from "Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice Of Arland". Seriously though, this game took a huge step forward from previous games in terms of the boss battles, everything went up over the roof here, and the boss themes in this game were just badass beyond all hell (despite being a game with a pink haired princess as the main character). Say hello to Airshatter, the final boss of the game, and probably the toughest cookie out there in the game (IMO he's harder than Evil Face from "Atelier Totori"). Before we go any deeper though, let me just clarify that the Airshatter that I'm refering to today is the one that you fight with Gio in your party, the one that you need to fight in order to get the "Alchemist!" ending. 


The normal Airshatter is a pussy, yeah, I said it. But for some god forsaken reason not known to mankind, he gains a f**king massive power spike when you decide to fight him with Gio. Without Gio, he is a shell of his former self. WITH Gio, this guy is a beast.


Yo, he is at least 10 times your size.

First off, this guy is f**king menacing. Second off, he can nullify your buffs like a jackass. His attacks hurt like crap, even at the low 70s, this guy can crush you without problem. Even with the best equipment and speed belts, this guy can WRECK you as hard as Masked G does. You WILL need the best equipment in the game with fire resistance mixed in there, because even when you take reduced damage from fire, his damage will stack up very quickly and you will lose control of the fight the instant one of your characters go down. You will need elixirs, LOTS of them, and make sure your characters have weapons with ice damaged forged in, any extra damage helps. As for your elixirs, make sure they are multi purpose, make them restore MP, revive fallen members, give fire resistance, so on and so forth. With all this in mind, you're ready to go.


Oh, and make sure that your guys are level 70, or at the very least, you need to be in the high 60s.


Fire is his play, and the volcano is his domain. If you have good fire resistance before this fight, you've pretty much secured yourself the first few turns of this fight. Yes, only the first few turns, because as the fight drags on, he WILL reduce your resistances and start doing a ton of damage. Meruru will probably be on permanent healing duty, don't bother fixing her for offense. Gio should be spamming shadow and strike, with a good speed belt, he'll be getting off multiple hits per turn, which is pretty much required, because he WILL be your main DPS in this fight. As for your second party member, I'd recommend Lias, Mimi or Esty. Lias's WT manipulation spam is VERY useful for this fight, because trust me, you don't want this guy taking moves, he hurts more and more with each hit.


With Mimi, reducing Airshatter's speed also helps tremendously. As mentioned with Lias, you don't want this guy moving if possible, with her SPD down debuff spam you can make sure that he takes only one move for your every 2. Esty is a risky one, but if you have severely buffed up weapons, you can destroy Airshatter in a short amount of time with Esty's defense debuff spam. Not to mention that she can get free turns just like Gio does, so she'll be joining him in bursting Airshatter down. Your party members have to go ALL OUT offense here, Meruru will be on healing and buff duty. If a turn frees you up to not use an elixir, throw in mystery ankhs or something to buff up your team, though this will be short lived, because Airshatter loves to debuff.



You will need to use EVERYTHING at your disposal.

Note that in this battle, you are constantly at a timer. Not only will Airshatter continuously reduce fire resistance from your team, making you prone to dieing more, he will be constantly using an attack Volcanic Bomb, which acts like a meteor item. Once he uses it, the damn thing will be bombing on your team every turn like its an extra attack from the Airshatter. What's worst is that he will continue to use it throughout the match, to the point where you will have to eat 3 bombs each turns PLUS the attack from Airshatter.


Needless to say you need to finish this fight fast. But with Gio on your team, this thing has 30000 HP and ridiculous defenses. To makes things EVEN worse, this idiot will use a move called Burn All after a set amount of turns when he hits critical levels. This attacks does thousands of points of damage and hits multiple times. In a game where your HP barely exceeds 999, a move doing thousands of points of damage is...just ridiculous. Needless to say, you WILL die from this move, and no, auto alarms can't save you, because this shit is OP. What CAN save you however, is two things. Gio and Totori. If you don't know, these 2 have passives that prevent them from going down.


That said, this is incredibly luck based. It happened to me, it can happen to you. Airshatter used Burn All, killed off Meruru, but Totori and Gio survived through their passives alone. Then Totori used Elixir to revive Meruru and the fight just continued from there. So there's a way to survive Burn All....Gio is a must have on your team, so you may be lucky enough to have his passive go off, the only reason you'd take Totori is because you'll want to use items offensively with Meruru, and you'll be using Totori as a healer.


Long story short. Kill him fast before his fire damage gets too out of hand, take elixirs that not only heal HP, MP and LP but also boost stats and resistances, take characters like Lias, Mimi and Esty for maximum effectiveness. If you do see Burn All....pray that Gio survives.


Rating: 8/10