Opening Songs
OP 1 - Chase The World (May'n)
OP 2 - Burst The Gravity (Altima)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Unfinished (Kotoko)
ED 2 - Unite (Sachika Misawa)


Genre: Action, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction

Episodes: 24




I wasn't really all that determined to watch "Accel World" until midway through this year, which is quite a detriment, really. I really didn't like how the main character was just another snobby fat kid, and that fact alone drove me away from the anime for a very long time, even though I've heard countless rumors from my friends that it was really good. After dragging my ass out of the denial bin, I finally got to it, and I must say, I've been missing out. "Accel World" may not be as amazing or emotional as SAO on a whole, but by itself, its strong enough to convince me that both franchises were written by the same person. "Accel World" is a tale full of emotion, character development, cool ass avatars and action packed fight scenes. As long as you can get past the really annoying main character, there's a whole new world of hype for you to experience!



What did I tell you? Cool ass avatars!

The songs in the anime are pretty awesome, something that I kind of expected considering how hyped "Accel World" was meant to be. "Chase The World" by May'n is an amazing song, probably her best one up to date. Its full of hype, her vocals are really strong here, and the song has full of epic moments. The opening animations are also one of the best of any anime I've seen in quite awhile. "Burst The Gravity" by Altima is the second opening, and while the song by itself is better than "Chase The World" IMO, the opening animations aren't. Its just like any other Altima song, which has lots of anison feels in it...something I really enjoy.


Even the ending themes are good. The first ending theme is "Unfinished" by Kotoko, and while its not her best song yet, its pretty good, even by her standards. It could have easily been opening material, but I guess not this time. The 2nd ending theme is "Unite" by Sachika Misawa, the seiyuu of Kuroyukihime. While its the weaker of the 2 ending themes, its still pretty good and fits quite well. Nothing to dislike here, an awesome set of songs.



Rating: 8.0/10



It would have been better if Haruyuki wasn't such a bitch of a main character. Almost the entirety of the world of "Accel World" IS fantastic! The setting is great, the concept of "Brain Burst" is pretty freaking awesome. The characters grow really well (points for Taku), there are a ton of awesome fights, and the duel avatar designs are really creative. Let's not forget that there's a lot of drama going on here, and some of the "romantic" scenarios could actually work out. However, Haruyuki has to ruin it all. He's a wimp, he's whiny, he cries like a baby almost every episode, and he claims to become a better person, but by the end of the entire first season, it feels like he's only changed oh-so-slightly. There are also some slight pacing issues here and there, but those only hurt the show slightly. Its only the way that Haruyuki is portrayed as a main character that really makes me dislike him.


Apparently Kuroyukihime gets impressed easily.

Our protagonist is Haruyuki Arita. A fat, chubby young man leading a miserable life. Because of his appearance, he is constantly bullied in school, especially by a delinquent by the name of Araya. He gets beat up everyday, has to buy lunch for others, and can only nod his head in response because of his weak social standing. All he has is his two best friends, Chiyu and Taku, but even they can't do much to help him, and spending time with them both after school is all he cares about. Also, he constantly dives into the net, a new trend at that present age period to live off his real world life. One day, he is noticed by the most popular girl in the school, Kuroyukihime, and she calls him to the senior's cafeteria in real life. There, she introduces to him "Brain Burst", a program that gives him an opportunity to use "Burst Link", an ability to accelerate oneself in real life. They both work with each other to get rid of Araya, as well as exposing Haruyuki to a new kind of world that he would never expect...


"Accel World" has a lot of potential. A season two would truly make me one happy man, but unfortunately, there's no word of such a thing yet. Maybe in the near future we'll hear some news about it, but until then, let's hope Haruyuki mans up a little bit, because if he was a better main character, "Accel World" could easily top the likes of its competition: "Sword Art Online".


Peace.



Dragonrider
HP: 3170
Skills: Halberd Strikes, Halberd Slam
Souls: 12000

Difficulty: 1/5
Deaths: 0



Before you proceed any further...you should head back into  "Heide's Tower Of Flame" to do some leveling up. There, you'll run into a lot of powerful knight enemies that grant a hefty amount of souls per kill. Traverse further inward and take the first junction to the right, follow it to the end to find a pretty intimidating foe awaiting you at the end of the fog gate. Meet the Dragonrider, apparently one of the weakest bosses in the game...he should have been the first one. Anyways, don't expect much of a challenge.



All right...who died to this guy?

As long as you keep the platforms raised, this guy is a COMPLETE pushover. He is slow, his attacks are sluggish, and you have a lot of room to move around and just avoid him. He is very predictable, even on your first try, and its almost impossible to lose to him unless you screw up big time. There are a lot of openings, just bide your time and go in for a few strikes every time he swings his weapon. You'll have him in no time.


Halberd Strikes - Simple swings that do moderate damage. These are easily blockable, and rolling away is also an option if you wish.

Halberd Slam - Just a vertical slam downward with his weapon. Does a little bit more damage than his simple swings, but its easier to dodge.


There's not much strategy to fighting. As long as you have platforms raised up, you cannot go wrong. You have a lot of room to maneuver around him and simply just walk out of his attacks. There's simply nothing much to say here, just wait for him to swing, go in and hit him, back off, rinse and repeat. He does the same damn things for the entire match, just that when he is about to die, he swings more times in rapid succession, even though its nothing you can't block.



Nice try bud, but you'll never hit anyone with those attacks.

Just repeat the same pattern of hitting him and then backing off every time he readies another attack. Its almost certain that none of his attacks can hit you unless you're standing still on purpose. Even then, you can block each and every one of his attacks with ease. He might take a few hits, but he'll go down soon enough for a very, VERY easy 12000 souls. Well earned friend.




But wait! It's not quite over yet! There's another boss in "Heide's Tower Of Flame"!


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







Old Dragonslayer
HP: 2880
Skills: Spear Combos, Spear Thrust*, Gliding Spear, Aerial Spear, Dark Spear*, Dark Butt Slam*
Souls: 20000

Difficulty: 2.5/5
Deaths: 5



Remember the junction where I told you to turn right for the boss fight versus Dragonrider? This time, turn left, and go all the way, facing more knight enemies. Eventually you'll come across a lever which grants you access to a bridge and eventually bringing you to the "Cathedral Of Blue". Of course, not everything is as it seems in this grand chapel, because upon entering, you're immediately faced with a boss...a familiar one at that. The Old Dragonslayer certainly strikes us as a familiar resemblance to someone we've fought before...but surely there's a lot more to this than I can ever think of. He's the boss and the only enemy in the
Cathedral Of Blue".




Okay bro, why don't you just chill?


In a few ways, The Old Dragonslayer's attacks can be quite easy to see coming if you're fought him countless times back in Lordran. Fortunately, he's roughly the same boss that we've fought so long ago, but with a few changes. For one, Smough isn't with him, so no ridiculous 2v1 scenarios anymore. Secondly, he no longer fights with lightning, but instead, he calls forth the powers of the abyss. With this in mind however, fighting him in his current state is a lot easier than it was fighting him alongside Smough in the first "Dark Souls". Now then, let's see what he's got.



Spear Combos - A variety of spear attack combinations, most of them opening up with a simple spear stab, then following up with something else. Easily blocked, side stepped, or rolled.

Spear Thrust* - One of his old signature moves, he stabs you hard with the spear, then thrusts upwards, lifting you into the air and shocking you for massive, massive damage. Roll away.

Gliding Spear - Another one of his old moves. He charges at you from afar and strikes you hard with one good spear attack. Roll away or block.

Aerial Spear - Another old school attack. He jumps towards you and then quickly attacks you while his is still midair. Just block or roll away.

Dark Spear* - A re-imagining of his old Lightning spear move, except this time it shoots dark projectiles. These do quite a lot of it damage if it stacks up, so roll away rapidly to dodge.

Dark Butt Slam* - A dark version of his infamous Electric Butt Slam. This one still does a lot of damage, even when blocked, so just rapidly roll backwards to avoid this dastardly move.



While he is but a shell of his former self, The Old Dragonslayer can still pack a punch. You will still die if you don't adapt to his attacks, and he WILL kill you if you make mistakes. While he uses a lot of his old moves his overall battle style is rather different this time round so you'll need fight with your wits up. Luckily for us, he is VERY melee based and will constantly try to rush you down with the same few attacks, so as long as you stay close, you've got plenty of chances to look for openings and strike him hard.


Well....nice try.

First off are his spear combos. These will always open up with a straightforward stab attack, followed by different types of other attacks. He can follow up with spear swipes, a slam, another thrust, or everything together. Still, blocking these should be no issue with a decent shield, but if he decides to chain everything together it may leave you open for another attack because of the stamina lost. Its most recommended for you to stick to his left side (with his empty arm), as it gives you a lot of room to kite and dodge his spear combos with ease. Every time he finishes one combo, feel free to go in for a few strikes.


The spear thrust is an old favorite of his. It functions the same as before, and it still does ridiculous damage. In "Dark Souls II", he gains a sudden burst of increased defense when performing this move, meaning that if you decide to hit him here, you won't be doing as much. You should still be hitting him though, since lesser damage is still better than no damage. Just be sure to roll away when you see him wind up for a spear thrust. 


Ironically, you shouldn't try to distance yourself from the Old Dragonslayer for the course of the entire fight, because it opens him up for more dangerous attacks for you to deal with. Gliding spear is yet again another one of his old moves, and just like before, you can't underestimate this.  Having the ability to gap close to you from halfway across the battlefield still works in his favor, and it can nab you while you're potting up....so be careful. Dark spear is just a dark version of lightning spear, he shoots multiples of it so you better spam that roll button, because getting hit by multiple versions of that can be deadly.


Its not over until its over!


Finally we have the dark butt slam, a dark version of the old electric butt slam that used to kill everyone. The bad news is that this still does a lot of damage, but its also true that you can avoid it the same way you used to avoid electric butt slam. Rolling away will net you out of its range, and if you're lucky, you can get in a few hits as well.


That's all for the Old Dragonslayer. Killing him nets you 20000 souls, a real hefty amount for such an early game boss, and it gives you some well deserved levels for preparation against The Pursuer. Let's hope this is the last we see of Ornstein....or is it?



Peace, more to come.



Kana Asumi




Kana Asumi is as girly as girls go. Her voices are pretty varied...she has done of ton different character archetypes before, and most of which are very well done. She can do very high tone cute-sy voices like Bridget (Prism Ark) or Felicia (Darkstalkers). Then we have her more "normal" voices in very regular high school voices like Mikoto (Kampfer), Yuu (BRS:The Animation) and Kazari (To Ar Majutsu No Index), though in a way, these three have their own different alter egos. Madoka (Dog X Scissors) and Reina (Strike The Blood) are just your very regular loving little sister archetypes...even though Reina isn't really a little sister, she just acts a lot like one. Chihiro (The World God Only Knows) is easily the most emotional character she has played, and Airi (Devil Survivor 2) is probably her only tsundere character that I really know. Blanc (Hyperdimension Neptunia) is like, her most obvious kuudere role, Midori (Devil Survivor) and Ene (Mekaku City Actors) are her more cheerful characters, which I enjoy the most.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Bridgette (Prism Ark), Mikoto (Kampfer), Kazari (To Aru Majutsu No Index), Yuu/Strenght (Black Rock Shooter:The Animation)

2nd row: Chihiro (The World God Only Knows), Midori (Devil Survivor), Blanc (Hyperdimension Neptunia), Felicia (Darkstalkers)

3rd row: Airi (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation), Ene (Mekaku City Actors), Madoka (Dog X Scissors), Reina (Strike The Blood)




Emiri Kato






Emiri Kato is probably one of the voice actresses that I really liked, but she didn't appear in much of the stuff that I watched. She has one of the most likable voices for any female character, EVER. She definitely needs more recognition. She sets her standard first with the tsundere as f**k Kagami (Lucky Star), which is also her most normal voice out of everyone in her list. Next we have the more arrogant girls, like that of Disk (Needless), or the boasty Kate (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai). Blair (Soul Eater) is just championship level seductive, though she's also very cheery. The Kinoshita twins are just her masterpiece characters (Baka To Test To Shokanju), showing that she can do a male voice just fine. Hachikugi (Monogatari Series) is just downright adorable, while Noe (D-Frag) on the other hand is stupidly adorable. Finally, we have her kuudere types, which we've seen in recent anime with Akatsuki (Log Horizon) and Hajime (Hamatora).


Characters from left to right


1st row: Kagami (Lucky Star), Disk (Needless), Kate (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai)

2nd row: Hachikuji (Monogatari series), Kinoshita twins (Baka To Test To Shokanju), Blair (Soul Eater)

3rd row: Akatsuki (Log Horizon), Hajime (Hamatora), Noe (D-Frag!)




Minako Kotobuki





Here we have another lady well versed in the ways of the ojou sama. I mean, god, just look at her roles! She first got popular with her role as Mugi (K-on!), and honestly, that was just the tip of the iceberg for her, because she can do so much more than just your regular cheery high school girl. She's got bitchy girls under her belt with Sagami (My teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU), a smart aleck who just wants to help her friends with Kanon (Guilty Crown), and then we have the typical shounen female who tries to be useful with Serah (Final Fantasy 13-2). Of course, I love the hell out of all of her ojou-sama esque roles. Kongou (To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) is just cocky as heck with that glamorous laugh and attitude of hers. Sen (Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls) is just stupidly sexy and is just a spoiled rich girl on top of everything. Ninomiya (Valvrave) is just that popular girl that gets everything...except for what she wants. Gin (Kyokai Senjou Horizon) was just thrown there, showing that she could do a strong, kuudere type just fine.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Kongou (To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Sen (Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls), Kanon (Guilty Crown)

2nd row: Gin (Kyokai Senjou Horizon), Sagami (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU), Ninomiya (Valvrave)

3rd row: Tsumugi (K-on!), Serah (Final Fantasy XIII-2)



Junichi Suwabe





Probably the male seiyuu with THE MOST BADASS voice out there, like, in all seriousness. He sounds manly as all hell, and he is able to bend that sexy voice of his into the most magnificent of character archetypes. Standard bijin main characters that you see everyday? No problem, Komuro (High School Of The Dead) and Andy (Zettai Karen Children The Unlimited: Hyoubu Kyouske) say hi. Both are full of emotion and heroic impulses to protect all of their friends. Majestic anti-heroes? Archer (Fate Series), Yamato (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation) and in some sense, Lars (Tekken 6) fit the bill very nicely. How about the fabulous, well mannered gentlemen like Theodore (Persona 3 Portable) and Friagne (Shakugan No Shana)? How about a bloodthirsty fighter? Grimmjow (Bleach) is as superb as he gets. And of course, if you want to do villains, this guy has got it covered like no other, with badasses like Shiro (Okami-San And Her Seven Companions) and Relius (Blazblue Series) out there, no one is safe.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Archer (Fate Series), Grimmjow (Bleach)

2nd row: Lars (Tekken 6), Yamato (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation), Komuro (High School Of The Dead), Friagne (Shakugan No Shana)

3rd row: Relius (Blazblue series), Theodore (Persona 3 Portable), Andy (Zettai Karen Children The Unlimited: Hyoubu Kyouske), Shiro (Okami-San And Her Seven Companions)



Kaori Nazuka





Probably having one of the most elegant voices in all of the anime industry, Kaori Nazuka stands very strong as a voice actor. She's got many types of characters under her belt, all using that loving, soothing and sometimes seductive voice of hers to act them out. Her best tone to me is the one that she uses in many of her characters, the one that makes a girl sound so frail, fragile and sometimes, worth protecting. I'm talking about the characters like Eureka (Eureka Seven), Miyu (Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya), Nunally (Code Geass Series), Lynne (Strike Witches) and Totori (Atelier Arland Series). Of course, many of these characters have different sides to them (Miyu being a little bit of a kuudere, Nunally acting all rebellious towards her bro towards the end). Nadeshiko (Inukami) and Kotegawa (To Love Ru) are her standard high school girl voices, that can sound pretty sexy at times...especially with Kotegawa.  Then we have Akari (Nagi No Asukara), who is kind of a loving older sister, an archetype that she could really get used to doing.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Eureka (Eureka Seven), Miyu (Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya), Akari (Nagi No Asukara), Nunally (Code Geass Series)

2nd row: Nadeshiko (Inukami), Lynne (Strike Witches), Totori (Atelier Arland Series), Kotegawa (To Love Ru)



Peace.



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Crowds (White Ash)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Innocent Note (Maaya Uchida)


Genre: Action, Science Fiction

Episodes: 12



When it comes to hero type animes...I'm not too big of a fan of them. "Gatchaman Crowds" belongs to this genre, with characters transforming into "Kamen Rider" esque beings that kick all sorts of alien ass. Normally I would be against watching these kind of shows, but "Gatchaman Crowds" drew me in from the very beginning. While its primary concept and designs may be commonly overused, a brilliant cast of characters make it a rather enjoyable series from start to finish. Combined with excellent CG animations and good fight scenes, you're in a fun (but short) ride. Its definetely not the best thing ever, but its still something you can marvel at when its at its best. Still, it being short plagues it with some issues that you'll see almost everyday with common anime archetypes, so you might have to deal with that.


Just cuz Hajime is so f**king adorable!


The opening song is "Crowds" by White Ash, and its got to be one of the most addicting songs I've heard in a long time. Its catchy as hell, the vocals are crude and amazing at the same time. It gives off this huge vibe of awesomeness and badassery...its really hard not to like it. The ending theme is a disappointing average one, its "Innocent Note" by Maaya Uchida. Its your very standard affair of a slow song, with a little bit of jumps here and there to up its tempo. Nothing too special here.



Rating: 7.5/10



Its does its job well when it counts. The story is pretty boring and generic at first but quickly ramps up into something pretty good right towards the end. However, the story isn't exactly its best point, its the characters that take part in it. Almost everyone is likable and is awesome in some way or another, except for a couple of stereotypes here and there. Though there isn't much in terms of character development, its the way that the characters are presented that makes them awesome...especially our egoistic female lead. While the animation by itself is already somewhat above average, the CG animations where the characters turn into their "Gatchaman" selves are downright magnificent. Its a pity though that the actual awesome fight scenes only come towards the end of the show.



Gatcha! Mother f**kers!


Ichinose Hajime is just your everyday normal high school girl whose just cheery as f**k. She remains cheerful as a shining star of her classmates, with everyone knowing her one way or another. There's one thing that she was always crazy about, and that's notebooks. She keeps different kinds of notebooks all around her, even going as far as giving them names. She meets a strange man one day known as JJ, and she gives Hajime the power of the "Gatchaman". Of course, Hajime has no idea what that is, until she runs into an armored individual chasing down a strange floating being in the middle of the street. It seems like only she could see what was going on. When the floating being was defeated and the armored individual revealed, she realized that he was Sugane, one of her senpais in school. After Sugane is done explaining the existence of the "Gatchaman", Hajime finds herself in a group with a fate that she would have never expected.


With a season 2 looming over us soon enough, "Gatchaman Crowds" seems like something promising that we could invest some time into. If they explained some of the stuff that happened in season 1 over at season 2, I could see this becoming somewhat of a ongoing thing when the time comes. Just make sure you scream "Gatcha!" when we finally get season 2.


Peace.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Mobile Games:They're Not So Bad

You'd think that in this society, where mobile games dominate the general public market, a hardcore gamer like myself would shun these games and complete HATE them. Well, while I do despise the fact that some of the major gaming franchises that I love have made the jump into the mobile gaming genre, I don't exactly hate all mobile games. In fact, I do play some of them. Why? Well I'm in the god damn military, where most of the handheld gaming consoles aren't allowed. So yes, the sad truth is I have to rely on these once in awhile to get entertainment...at least until I reach home during the evening.


So here are some mobile games to engulf yourselves in. Take these as a grain of salt, as a small step forward for you when you are at some horrible place where you can't play legit video games, be it at work, school, or some other shit.



Trading Card Games




Yeah, you would think that I would love the loving shit out of trading card games, especially the anime esque ones. There are many decent TCGs out there for the mobile, but there's only one that kept my attention for so long, and its "Million Arthur". There's really nothing that it offers a step further than the others, really, its just that I prefer the story, art style, and overall flow of the game. Its a lot simpler and IMO, more attractive than games like say, "Devil Maker Tokyo" or "Darklord Legends". You basically grind and explore areas over and over for more cards, EXP to level up, or faeries to fight...that also give exp. Then there's a story to follow, which can be decent on its own right. What's more, the game throws you tons of events with exclusive unlockables to keep you interested. Its actually a very addictive investment of time, if you ask me.



Music/Rhythm Games




This one is more of a hybrid music/trading card game, but it doesn't matter, you'll spend more time trying to hit notes than anything else, though collecting cards DOES play quite a big role. "Love Live: School Idol Festival" is a combination of a music game, as well as an idol recruiting game under the disguise of card collecting. It's very simple to play, so its hard to go wrong with such a strategy. Gameplay consists of having 9 idols in your team, and having them all laid out in a semi circle formation around your screen. Notes constantly fly to them during the song, and tapping the idols as the notes arrive will let you successfully "hit" the notes. While playing the songs are decently fun (though reaching for their stretch goals is insane), its the unlocking of the idols that make it go that extra mile of making it "fun", especially if you've watched the anime and grown attached to these girls.






"Cytus" is just amazing. It's probably the best free music game out there for mobile devices, and for good reason. The game play is simple and addictive, akin to that of the old "Djmax" games on the PSP or "Jubeat" in arcades. You just tap the notes that appear on screen following a line that moves up and down, a lot like the "K-on!" game for PSP. Its very easy to get into, and before you know it, you'll find yourself engrossed in it, picking song after song, and going for better scores on higher difficulties. While the game is on the easy side compared to most other hardcore rhythm games, it can get rather ridiculous at times and its always those really insane songs that keep me coming back for more. Plus, its excellent exercise for your fingers! Though you might get some awkward stares if you play this on a crowded train, since your fingers are moving so fast.



MMORPGs






While I really don't like the fact that only the slasher and ranger are available to play for free, "Soul Guardians" is actually a pretty decent platformer MMORPG game that can be fun. With combos, decent maps, a sizable player base, and many fun dungeons, you can easily get yourself lost in this game. Think of it as an upgraded version of 2D platforming MMOs like "Maplestory" or "Latale" online. There's a lot to do here, and I've yet to hit the tip of the iceberg, so I can't really say how long this experience will last for you. Having somewhat of a story is a nice plus, though I must say that the story is probably the least of the things you need to look out for.




If anything, I already quit this game, but its worth mentioning since I DID invest quite a bit of time into it. "Brave Frontier" is probably one of the easiest games to play out there. All you do is click on enemies all day and watch your your monsters go ham. Its easy as hell, but at the same time, the fun part of "Brave Frontier" isn't the combat or the brave bursts or any of that shit....its about collecting new monsters. You never know what new ally you can get, be it a dragon, another human type, or even a robot. Most of the rare monsters are pretty badass and let's be honest, we'll just put anything that's badass into the game.



Misc. Games




Everyone plays this game, and its no surprise why. "Dumb Ways To Die" is what it is, its a dumb game. Its dumb, but its addictive. Its just a quick series of time based mini games where you do what the on screen prompts tell you to. Its usually dumb shit like not pressing a button, trying to cover up holes, or swatting bees off the screen. There's really nothing that would encourage continuous play here, but its just one of those games that you pop up when you really have nothing to do during a very short span of time, like waiting for a train or when you're taking a really quick shit.





I'm actually quite the fan of the "Fantasy Defense" series. Sure, there are tons of good tower defense games out there for mobile devices, but this was the first tower defense game I touched on my android, and I loved the heck out of it. After finishing the 1st one, I was stoked to find out that they had a 2nd one...so I went ahead and gave it a go. While they decided to go for a more pay to play module, it was still a great game that could still be played free (all you need is a lot of patience to grind for gold). With vast improvements over the 1st game, it was quite an addictive experience as well, with more unlockables and upgrades.




There are more amazing mobile games out there that I'm sure I haven't touched on, however, these are just the ones that I like to play. Take note that mobile games are for when you're out there with nothing better to do, never lose your true gamer soul at home! Your consoles need some love too!


Peace.





Opening Songs
OP 1 - Stalemate! (IOSYS jk Girls)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Please Enter Everyone's Names (Kana Hanazawa, Shizuka Itou, Aki Toyosaki)

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice Of Life

Episodes: 12



Looks like its that time again. What time? Time for more high school shenanigans of course, because it seems like that's where all the fun is, especially with shows like "D-Frag!" out there. Its shows like these where you can watch it at your own free time, get a few good laughs out of it and memories out of it....and you don't really have to pay too much attention. Its the beauty of these simple, comedy, high school romance harems that seem to work most of the time. Its good at what it does, introducing great characters with some cliched but spunky scenarios that'll break out a good sweat. There's a lot to like in "D-Frag!", and unless you have an overwhelming hatred for high school scenarios and the such, its pretty much guaranteed that you'll enjoy your time. Just be prepared for a lot of bullshit, the good kind.



I want a swim suit episode...why didn't we get a swim suit episode?!

And with ridiculous shows come ridiculous theme songs! "Stalemate" by IOSYS jk Girls is as speedy and fast paced as it gets. Its just crazy fast, and at the same time, catchy. It does a good job at not being too cutesy, and I really appreciate that, its an opening fitting to this anime. The ending theme, "Please Enter Everyone's Names" by Kana Hanazawa, Shizuka Itou and Aki Toyosaki, is almost the same. Its a fast paced ending theme that relies on being catchy and or cutesy at the same time. It kind of succeeds, but as much as the opening does.



Rating: 8.0/10



Its really enjoyable to watch...maybe because its one of those shows that manage to do well without having to use too much cliches. It doesn't require on too much fan service. In fact, fan service is kept to a minimum, and I'm surprised with that fact, considering its a high school romance comedy anime. It manages to make use of very cliched events that most other anime of the same genre have and manages to make them entertaining. We're mostly used to seeing bouts like school festivals or guys peeking on girls in the changing room, but "D-Frag!" manages to exaggerate them to the point of being ridiculous, so much that it becomes hilarious. Then we have some magnificently presented characters of insane variety, be it our club girls who fantasize about powers that they might or might not have, a ditzy club president with big boobs and cries all the time, or a crazy delinquent whose's special powers come from him watching an insane amount of anime. It's all too entertaining, really.



Do what?!

The story stars as Kazama Kenji, the biggest, somewhat baddest delinquent in the entire school. As he rolls the grounds with his gang, the Kazama family, they quickly find out that they don't really have much to do in their school. One day though he picks up some flyers for a girl recruiting members for her club in the school's front gate, and that girl remembers him for his kindness. Unfortunately, a fire breaks out in this girl's club room, Kazama and his gang mates help to put out the fire...only to find out that it was a trap. It seemed like this girl's club, the "Game Developing Club", was running out of members, and they were desperate to recruit someone new. Unfortunately for Kenji and his friends, she had him in mind, and they used the fire to lure them into a devious trap. Kenji is forced to join the club after some brutal mistreatment, and his entire delinquent life turned to shambles in a few days as he became a slave to the "Game Developing Club" for Roka and her girls.


Let's hope life improves for Kenji in his club, because I sure hope for a second season. It seems rather likely because apparently "D-Frag!" did get somewhat of a good response from the people. It was about time a good high school comedy themed anime came out, and "D-Frag!" was somewhat of a temporary response for my "Baka Test" fix. More ridiculousness like this could really do us good once in awhile.


Peace.



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Divine Intervention (Fhana)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Witch Activity (KMM Dan)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy Romance

Episodes: 12



We always see the guy taking charge in harems. I mean yeah, the main protagonist in a harem usually isn't depicted as the strongest character, but most of the time, he is the one to push the buttons of the girls, getting them aroused, angry or simply flustered. "Witch Craft Works" is possibly the first show that shows me otherwise. Never before have I seen a male character designed to be so ridiculously useless (sure, there are other very good competitors for this position out there), such that the female lead has to hold his hand all the f**king time. Its annoying, that much I'll agree, to see the male representative of this anime to be so pathetic. But still, other than the main character himself being quite an eyesore, "Witch Craft Works" is another high school action harem with some interesting concepts BUT just isn't executed well enough. There is room for some cool interpretations here and there, but overall, it was just too short or insignificant to make a lasting impression. It isn't bad by any means, just a little soft spoken. It could really use more punch to it.



A...male witch?

The opening song is "Divine Intervention" by Fhana, and I expected it to be pretty awesome if it shares the same name as Kayle's ult from LoL (totally off topic, forgive me). Luckily, it IS good, almost too good for "Witch Craft Works". It's a very fantasy esque anison type of song that'll get passed for any sort of good fantasy anime, "Witch Craft Works" fits nicely for this. The ending theme though, "Witch Activity" by KMM Dan, is your typical anime ending theme song that tries to be catchy. It IS catchy, but its just not very good at anything else other than that.


Rating: 7.0/10



It could have easily been a lot more interesting if it didn't just focus about useless stuff. There are some awkward pacing issues here, and there honestly aren't too many interesting characters other than a select few, like maybe Takamiya's sister, or the strange girl Chronoire and her mysterious crocodile bodyguard. There aren't a lot of main action segments, but the few that are present are decently well done. The romance feels half hearted and honestly a little bit one sided, because Kagari is such a f**king Kuudere (I hate kuuderes, no emotion whatsoever). Other than that though, "Witch Craft Works" does do a fantastic job of keeping us entertained. It might not be the action, the characters, or any fanservice (at least it doesn't resort to that), but just the overall mood of the show. It can be funny at times, and honestly, I kind of like those 5 witches that always mess around, because hell, they're probably the funniest characters in the show. In terms of comedy, "Witch Craft Works" does well. And who can forget the magnificently ridiculous love story of Kagari and Takamiya's mothers?


Behold, the most fire-y female anime character ever made!
(Sorry Shana, she's got you beat)


The story talks about your everyday high school protagonist loser, Takamiya Honoka, just a regular boy with nothing too special in his life. Of course, like in any anime, something has to change his life, so a weird girl attacked him in the school courtyard with a flying building. He was saved by the most popular girl in his class, Ayaka Kagari, and "Surprise!", she's got super powers! It seems like Kagari was a witch that was destined to protect Takamiya just in case something like this happened to him. Kagari was fatally wounded, but miraculously survived. She fought back the witch to save Takamiya, and it seemed like the witches are after something inside him. Kagari revealed the world of witches and magic to Takamiya, only to have more witches enroll into school as transfer students...to hunt him down. So his entire life went to shit, and Kagari sticks with him more than over to protect him.


So that's all for "Witch Craft Works". With the way that it ended, I'm expecting a 2nd season, though I'm not exactly too hyped for it. There are many things that could have been done better, and honestly, it needs more interesting characters. For a first season, it wasn't too bad, but of course, I expect a 2nd season to be somewhat similar. Let's hope that they make the story a bit better this time at least.


Peace.



Romance an anime is super f**king normal, its so normal that its nothing to be surprised at anymore. Some couples are well developed, some love each other to the ends of the Earth. Some are just one sided, some are just too embarassed to tell each other they're true feelings, even though both of them really love each other. These kinds of relationships are there, like it or not, and today I'm here to discuss some of my favorite pairings in anime. Note that these are subjective, and well...to each his own I guess.



The Lovey Dovey Couples


Kirito And Asuna





Let's start with the more well known couples. Kirito and Asuna's relationship strikes off as more interesting and is actually one that we can relate to....if you play MMORPGs. Relationships in real life are one thing, but if love blooms from an MMORPG, its hard to really confirm it. Maybe you'll stay as couples in game, but in real life you don't know each other. In a situation as dangerous and desperate as "Sword Art Online", it's normal that you'd want to protect a love one like you would in real life. Kirito's love for Asuna and her love for his is really something you can UNDERSTAND, especially when they return to their normal lives, and you see Kirito, all weak and shriveled up when he awakes, try to see his loved one. This is one pairing I really like, even though I don't really love Asuna as a character. Sorry Leafa.


Ryuji And Taiga




This one is obvious. Ryuji and Taiga may not be so well made out for each other at first, but they're definitely great together when misunderstandings are cleared up. Tiger and dragon just sound so nice together, but another thing that's so amazing about these 2 is how they grew to understand one another. It starts off as a love hate relationship, with Ryuji helping out Taiga to get close to Kitamura, and Taiga will try to keep it from Minori that Ryuji is actually crazy about her. As Ryuji keeps helping Taiga out, it becomes obvious to her how nice Ryuji actually IS to her, and then she starts to develop feelings for him. She grew to find out that she loved him, and that she NEEDED him as a person. When all shit breaks lose in that final confession, Taiga finally breaks free of her tsundere mode and tells Ryuji how he feels. A crazy high school relationship, but also a very beautiful one.



Okabe And Kurisu





Okabe and Kurisu are like two sides of the same freaking coin. They're both scientists, they both look at the logical (or in Okabe's case, the illogical) side of things, and they both work things out for the best of their interests. Of course, but how could two science fags fall for each other?! Especially when Okabe has the likes of Mayuri, Suzuha and more at his side?! Well, it all boils down to how Kurisu actually shows interest in Okabe, and that how he, no matter how freaking clueless he is, actually cares for her. Mayuri is more of a supportive childhood friend, and no matter how much he wants to save her, he still loves Kurisu. Their love truly blooms when Kurisu needed to leave for the states, but it didn't matter. No matter what timeline he gets himself into, Kurisu and Okabe will still know, that they share a bond that no other could.



The What Ifs


Oreki And Chitanda




Oreki and Chitanda aren't exactly an official pair, but they might as well just do it already. Oreki doesn't really give a shit about anything else and wants a peaceful life, but out of the f**king blue comes Eru. KIRINARIMASU, was what she said, and Oreki could not resist those big blue eyes of hers. Time goes on as Oreki continues to solve Chitanda's curious mysteries, but have you wondered if they actually harbored any feelings for each other? Sure Oreki doesn't give a f**k, but he starts to grow more interested in Chitanda and what she was about. Chitanda doesn't really dive deep into romantic issues with Oreki, but perhaps she has a thing for him? Who knows, we'll never know. But hopefully they'll come to a point of agreement some day, these two would make a nice pair.



Kyouske And Kuroneko





I'm still really pissed about this one. Its a "What if" scenario because it really is. Kyouske and Kuroneko really got together in the anime for awhile, but then they broke up for the most stupid reason. Then when Kuroneko finally wanted to reconcile with Kyouske....he turned her down for his very own sister. Now that is just screwed up. The scene where Kuroneko bawled her eyes out and screamed into the night because of her sadness really ripped my heart into shreds. Think about it, if Kyouske said "Yes" to her at that very moments, things could have really gotten sweet for these two. I think Kuroneko really loves Kyouske, and even the Kyouske, who was a dick in that one moment, really loved her too. Two reasons why I think Kyouske rejected her at the time, he felt too strongly for his sister, and he didn't want to get hurt again, like what happened before when Kuroneko broke up with him. It was a blunder on both of their parts, but a more massive one on Kyouske, they could have been a wonderful couple.



Hayate And Hinagiku





This really needs to happen, even though I don't think it'll be the case. Hayate has a long running series now, and he has a lot to choose from. Honestly I think he'll take Nagi or Athena at the end, just because the plot wills it, but I think Hinagiku deserves his love. She's just like Hayate in so many ways, just that one is a lot smarter than the other. Both come from poor backgrounds, have scumbag parents, and if they kind of think alike as well. Hinagiku seems to like Hayate, and he sort of has some form of fondness for her, he just doesn't know what to do....just like Hinagiku in many ways, when she goes uber tsundere. I think Hinagiku just needs that little push for her to get to Hayate's heart, but she has many obstacles in the way though. More specifically, Hayate's thick skull and his lack of knowledge about girls.




The Crazies


Yukiteru And Yuno





Oh yeah, these two are a couple alright, but it almost makes you wonder if they REALLY just did that. I mean, yeah, they DO love each other at the end, no doubt about that, but man were they freaking crazy. Yuki is the poor victim, and Yuno was the crazy stalker. How many times did Yuno almost kill Yuki? How many times did Yuno go bat shit insane FOR Yuki? And Yuki is freaking insane as well. After all that Yuno did, HE STILL LOVED HER! He still continued to care for her, he still looked out for he. Sure he might give her the look of fear from time to time, but in the end, he overlooked everything Yuno did, and still loved her. He stayed alive for tens and thousands of years as the next god, all looking for an opportunity to see her again. These two are nuts.



Peace.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Blade And Soul (Chinese Client)

Gamespot Score: n/a

My Score: 7.8


(+) Pros: - Beautiful visuals, both artistically and technically, - Action packed, combo styled game play, - Feels incredibly fast, - Decent story for an MMORPG, - More skill based than anything else, - PvP feels intense, - Great boss fights.

(-) Cons: - Repetitive enemies with similar attack patterns, - Some game breaking glitches, - Leveling up requirements spike VERY quickly.


Gameplay time: -






First off let's just say one thing before we begin with this review: Fuck You NcSoft! We were promised an English "Blade And Soul" release back in 2012...or was it late 2011? Either way, it doesn't matter, f**k it. 3 years have past and nothing was done, it still isn't stateside. I don't know what they're smoking...but luckily for us, Blade And Soul Dojo's savior made an English patch for the Chinese client of the game. If you're wondering, that's how I managed to get a good taste of "Blade And Soul", by an English fan made patch for the Chinese client. So was it worth it? Of course! "Blade And Soul" is one of the most beautiful free to play MMORPGs I've ever experienced to date, though of course, it has its flaws as well. Let's put everything aside and get to the game for now. REVENGE!!!!



I'll say it up straight, "Blade And Soul" is an MMORPG that actually has a story. It follows you, a disciple of the great master Hon. You're living in a temple, training under Hon alongside his other disciples. You never really knew much about your master, but trained under him anyway, to master your soul and inner spirit. Of course, this all changes immediately when the dojo is attacked by strange individuals. Jin, the leader of the group, attacks and kills master Hon, and in a last ditch effort to save you, you are blown off a cliff. Your character is sent flying to the bottom of the ocean, where you are saved by other kind souls. And thus begins your quest for revenge, as you roam the land, seeking the truth of Master Hon and the people behind his murder.



Character creation is pretty sexy.


For an MMO to have a credible story...its quite impressive actually. As I mentioned before in many of my reviews for MMORPGs, story isn't something that many MMORGPs manage to nail down, even if the game does have any sort of lore in it whatsoever, it isn't explained well. The storytelling just isn't there, or its just not effective enough to get us sucked into it. "Blade And Soul" manages this part exceptionally well, with fully voiced characters, good animations and best of all, full CG cutscenes. These do well to really tell the story proper, as there tends to be a lot of to be emotional moments in the game, especially when you get to the conclusion of the game's story.


To me, the story is a bonus, since I'm used to MMORPGs with horrible storytelling. Let's get to the main reason why everyone wants to play "Blade And Soul", the visuals. The game is absolutely stunning if you play on high or above, and believe me, its not hard to achieve. Both technically and artistically, this game excels when it comes its visual aspects. The environments, while sometimes a little bit repetitive, look fantastic, and everything else from the enemies to the character models themselves are pretty damn amazing. There are plenty of character types and classes, ranging from Jin, the regular humans, Gon, the big bulky dudes, and Lyn, the little squirrel chibis. The character models especially....wow! I literally drooled a little when creating my character. While the customization choices are pretty normal, everything just looks awesome to behold.




The gon are awesome.


And of course, this translate well to combat, it looks flashy as all hell with a massive amount of visual flair that'll be enough to pop your eyeballs out. Speaking about combat, its easily the selling point about this game. Nowadays, most MMORPGs are skill based, instead of the standard point and click, then watch an animation play out....while that style of play has a charm of its own, its getting stale nowadays with all the action packed, skill based games out there. "Blade And Soul" is another one of those games, instead of pointing and clicking then watching an animation play out, "Blade And Soul" is all about controlling the flow of battle by yourself.


While you can only equip up to a few set of abilities at once, these play a major part in battle. Blademasters, Assasins and Kung Fu users all attack up close, either flaring opponents up with combos, netting them with stuns, slows and knockdowns. There isn't a clear cut specification of what's suppose to do what in this game, everyone does their own thing. Summoners are supposed to be a support class, but they can dish out a ton of damage on their own too with their kitty cats. In "Blade And Soul" you can dodge enemy attacks, counter them, then inflict all sorts of pain on your own. Every encounter with an enemy will be a tough one, especially later on, since the game spikes up in difficulty quite quickly. 



Run! Run like the wind!

Why does the game spike up in difficulty? Its simple. Quests don't give you new weapons too often, and its also true that armor does not grant ANY defensive stats whatsoever. Its all the soul pieces that grant you stats, stuff like critical chance, critical damage, parry percentage, so on and so forth, and if you use these pieces for defensive stats, you're missing out on a lot of offense. The game also feels VERY fast, true to its theme. This applies to most things, like combat or just simply running around. Combat feels fast because you'll have to be on the ball most of the time. Running around feels fast only because the game has some slight parkor physics. You can sprint around the field INCREDIBLY quickly, you can jump massive heights, and you can even glide through the air to get around places quickly.


I know this is just a good addition to replace mounts if the game would have it, but this feels a lot more efficient to get around places. There are also jump points, where your character can use after a certain point in the game to do a little flight mechanic, where you jump incredible heights to get places. It looks cool as heck. When it boils down to it, the game just knows how to make things look very stylish, and with that it scores with flying colors.



No no no...you ain't touching me!


Remember how I said the game was skill based? Yeah, it matters when fighting regular enemies, but it matters more for PVP. During a certain point in the game, you are faced with a decision to join two factions, and then later on, if you meet somebody of the opposite faction...its time to fight. Like in most games PVP is a matter of reading your opponent, but more so here because one mistake can really cost you in this game. There are a lot of factors to take into account, like dodging or countering your foes.


What more can you look forward to? How about the fact that there are some pretty good instances in this game. Most MMORPGs have decent instances, but what really nails it for "Blade And Soul" are the boss fights. You can't beat these things by just muscling them to death, you really can't. And considering how this game doesn't have a specific classification of their different roles, there's really no such thing as a "frontline" or "backline", just the manifestation of everybody's skills on how to predict, dodge, and take down a superior enemy.



Come on swag fags lighten up!


There are quite a few issues that make "Blade And Soul" a lot less enjoyable than it should have been, for such a high production value game. First off...they could really use some more enemy types. ITS ALWAYS THE SAME HUMANOID ENEMY TYPES FOR THE WHOLE FREAKING GAME! It gets kind of annoying that all you fight are regular dudes with rifles, halberds and swords all the time during story missions. There are also glitches laid around here and there:game breaking glitches. Sometimes you get stuck in a wide open spot for no freaking reason, you try to move and then you keep getting teleporting to the same damn spot. There is an escape function, but sometimes even that isn't enough to help you, you'll need to aggro monsters to your position for them to KILL you, then respawn in town. And this is just a personal gripe, after lvl 20, leveling up requirements take a massive spike, and that's just cheap.


That's "Blade And Soul" for you. For the state its in right now, its good for what it is, but could have been better. As for NCsoft, I have no idea what they're smoking, but its because of them that many don't get to enjoy this game. As I mentioned earlier, the chinese version has a patch right now so go for that if you want to play the game.


http://www.gameskinny.com/3nzea/blade-soul-china-guide-to-downloading-and-registering






Happy gaming!






Opening Songs
OP 1 - Goyia No Machiawase (Hello Sleepwalkers)


Ending Songs
ED 1 - Heart Realize (Tia)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural

Episodes: 12



Wonder how gods live their lives? Sometimes its not as complicated as you would think...with the way "Noragami" presents it to us. Instead of something serious or overwhelming, "Noragami" shows us a lighthearted story about how a wandering god lives his life, and how he deals with his ups and downs. With a lot of emotion, some great characters, and wonderful storytelling, "Noragami" is one of those shows that you'll have to see for yourself. Its really not too special or unique, but it does enough to please the average viewer. It does its job nicely, and honestly seeing life through the eyes of a carefree god and his troublesome shinki might be a little bit more interesting than you think.



All for 5 yen!

The opening song is "Goyia No Machiawase" by Hello Sleepwalkers. Not really anything too spectacular or crazy about it if you ask me, its kind of just....there. Its a simple rock song, but I figured a band like Uverworld or Rookiez is Punk'D would work better here. The ending song is "Heart Realize" by Tia, and its not too bad. Its what you'd expect out of a Supercell song, since Ryo composed it. Its lighthearted and simple...nothing much else.



Rating: 7.5/10



For something like this, its plenty good. "Noragami" has some solid ground work right off the bat. Its gives off a fantastic first impression and continues to do well all the way, though it never really IMPRESSED to the point of no end during any part of the show whatsoever. It just managed to maintain this steady pace of goodness...but never really stepped beyond that. What really carries it through though, are the great characters that are presented to us, especially the likes of Yukine and Hiyori. Yato is just awesome as he starts off and remains so all the way. Then there are others who just made the experience a lot more satisfying, but I won't go too in depth. The storytelling and pacing are excellent, though overall the anime did feel short. Of course, its funny, Yato and Hiyori are pretty damn hilarious when they need to be.



That's right Yato, laugh more.


The story features Yato, a Japanese god of war who wanders the earth. Yato is pretty pathetic for a god, he doesn't have his own shrine, and he goes around with his Shinki, Tomone, to grant the wishes of the people...earning 5 yen every time. With this in mind, its easy to tell that Yato is going to need a LOOONG time to finally earn enough for a meal...let alone a shrine. One day Tomone couldn't stand Yato any more, and she left his side as a Shinki. Without a Shinki, Yato is defenseless, and can't kill impurities. He sulks and sulks until he sees a job for him:to find a cat named Kami-sama. Of course, he just had to screw it up and he almost got ran into by a vehicle, but a human girl named Hiyori saved him. Hiyori, surprisingly didn't die, but instead her soul became loose, and she's regularly able to leave her body. She hires Yato to solve this problem for her, and he agrees...for 5 yen. This is how Hiyori became connected to Yato...for the rest of her life.


Its a pity how "Noragami" only had 12 episodes, but it wasn't as if that it ended prematurely. I think that it ended well...just that I do think that it had more room for potential, with the world that it has built with these 12 episodes. Let's just hope that there's more to come, if possible.


Peace.