Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall 2012 Anime List


Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de
Bakuman. 3
Battle Spirits: Sword Eye
Busou Shink
Chou Soku Henkei Gyrozette
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
Cross Fight B-Daman eS
Girls und Panzer 
Haitai Nanafa
Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb
Initial D Fifth Stage 
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Jormungand Perfect Order 
Ixion Saga DT
Kamisama Hajimemashita 
Litchi DE Hikari Club
Little Busters! 
Medaka Box Abnormal
Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne
Oshiri Kajiri Mushi
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
Seitokai no Ichizon Second Season 
Shin Sekai Yori
Suki-tte Ii na yo. 
To Love-Ru – Trouble: Darkness 
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 
Wooser no Sono Higurashi
Zetsuen no Tempest 


Accel World (OVA)
Amagami SS+ plus: Onsen Special (BD)
Arata naru Sekai: Mirai-hen (OVA)
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai: Add-on Disc (OVA)
Eureka Seven: AO (OVA)
Hagure Yuusha no Estetica Special (BD)
Hiiro no Kakera Second Season (TV)
Idolmaster: Shiny Festa (OVA)
Inu x Boku SS Special (BD)
Ippatsu Hicchuu!! Devander (OVA) 
Kono Danshi, Uchuujin to Tatakaemasu. (OVA)
Minami-ke (OAD)
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Finale (OVA)
Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru: Futari no Elder (OVA) 
Sakura Taisen Kanadegumi (OAD)
Tales of Symphonia: Sekai Tougou Hen (OVA)
Usogui (OAD)  


Fall really is nearing, huh? Times flew so fast, I haven't even finished catching up over half of my current weekly watchlist from the Summer. Games, work and dota, as usual. To be honest in the past few months I thought I rarely followed the latest anime and manga update/news, and I don't really feel the urge to finish most of my current watchlist at the moment. Signs of deteriorating interest, I guess, but I digress. 

Nevertheless, Fall is coming soon, and despite feeling less excited about each and every coming season, I'd still like to try watching those that caught my attention. This Fall, there really is only one series I'm totally not gonna miss this fall - Bakuman 3, because I totally love the first 2 seasons. As usual, there's tons of new series that I haven't bothered enough to check whether I'm gonna watch them or not for now, but I'm sure once they're out, they're gonna decide for me. Like how I'm totally love the likes of Sword Art Online, Oda Nobuna, Hyouka and Kuroko Basuke in my current weekly watchlist. On a side note, I've long stopped reading HnG and didn't even finish the 2nd season, but I'm kinda curious about this "completely" new, independent HnG anime.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland

Atelier Meruru: Apprentice of Arland The Atelier Arland series reached its third instalment with the release of Atelier Meruru: the Apprentice of Arland. Being a big fan of the series since the inception of Atelier Rorona, there is no way I’m gonna miss this one. Though, it took me quite awhile before I could concentrate on this game mainly because previously I was still preoccupied with platinuming Tales of Grace F (on top of real life commitments, animu, dota etc). So far, I am probably halfway through the game, reaching the third year of Meruru’s task as the kingdom’s alchemist princess. And my impression toward the game has been good so far, though certain aspect of the game kinda gave me a mixed feeling. 

Title:Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland
Developer: GUST
Platform: PlayStation 3 (PS3)
Genre: jrpg
Release date: June 23 2011 (JPN) /May 31 2012 (NA)

Plot summary:

Merurulince Rede Arls is a 15-year old girl who is not just the princess of the small kingdom of Arls but also the apprentice of the legendary alchemist and adventurer Totooria Helmold, the main character of the first sequel. The story continues approximately one year after the end of Atelier Totori and tells us of Meruru's intent to develop the kingdom of Arls. Together with the friends she has and new ones she gets to know she tries everything to expand the kingdom so she will hopefully be able to achieve an even greater goal. During her adventure she gains the experience she needs to become an adult and to show Arland that she is worth being the apprentice of Totori.

There you have it. In Atelier Rorona, it’s about you trying to keep a workshop alive; in Atelier Totori you’re trying to be the greatest adventurer in the world; and now in Atelier Meruru, you’re a princess trying to use incorporate alchemy to develop and expand her kingdom. The story itself isn’t anywhere near your ordinary save-the-world jrpg cliché, and it didn’t need to be, because the game is all about item gathering, synthesizing, side quests, character events, ending, endings, and ENDINGS. 

What I really, really like about the game (and Atelier Arland series, in general) is the massive item and equipment customization via alchemy/synthesis. The synthesis system/mechanics in Meruru is a big improvement from Totori, which was also a big improvement from Rorona. The basic of the synthesis is still similar (basic items to be consumed, mana and days requirement, alchemy difficulty level), but the advance stuff like item cost level, trait inheritance/upgrade/selection and trait choice in general were better implemented in Meruru. Here, you can combine a low level traits to create the higher level trait, and should the cost is too high, there’s always an option to slap a few Cost+ trait in the ingredients, making synhesizing a bit less in a pain. There’s also a whole lot of new traits introduced in Atelier Meruru that made item customizing more interesting and exciting. Stuff like Melt, etc etc etc that you never see in Atelier Rorona or Totori. And, there’s also one really friggin imbalanced trait that you can put on your weapon – Rainbow Power that grants all 4 elements to attacks and increase damage dealt – but comes with an enormous cost of 50. Trying to make a really, really good weapon in Meruru is not easy, I would say. 

There’s also a whole lot of new synthesised item introduced in this game. Since the goal of this game is to develop the kingdom with alchemy, you had to create a lot of miscellaneous stuff used exclusively for quest – things like Dense Wood, Kingdom Flag, Animal Resonator, Living Shovel/Rope/Hoe etc, the list went on. So much that even until now, I haven’t even synthesised 50% of the total items that currently appeared in my synthesis list. At the same time, you also need to balance your synthesis time with creating your own items. You know, stuffs for battles like ingots and cloths for weapon/armors/accessories, healing items and bombs. On a side note, if Tera Bomb is the most badass bomb in Atelier Rorona, N/A and Himmelstern the most badass bomb in Atelier Totori, I wonder what the strongest bomb in Atelier Meruru is. I haven’t advance far enough into the story to experiment with the many new bombs that appeared in my synthesis list -___- 

OK, lets talk about the character for a bit. A lot of characters from Rorona and Totori returned, and there’s also quite a number of playable characters for you to choose from, some of which you’d never expect you’d be able to use. Totori returned as another useful alchemist in your party, so did Sterk, Gino, Gio, Mimi and “Rorona”. New playable characters include Lias, Keina and…Esty Dee!! That already made it 9 characters to choose from. Then you have the DLC character that you can use in battle – Rufus, Hanna (mmmmm) and…Pamela! 12 characters in total, that’s quite a lot considering you can only use 3 for your battle party. Now, lets talk about “Rorona”. Heavens knows I’m a big, big fan of Mai Kadowaki and Rorolina Frixel, but goddamit THIS Rorona totally turned me off. I really dislikes the idea/story of Rorona turning into some 6 years old kid with lost memories due to the Potion of Youth, so now instead of feasting myself with the adult Rorona that I always love, I had to endure watching the kid Rorona acting like a dumb kid (duh). Anything other than this current child Rorona is better, I really want to see how a grown up Rorona would looked like in Atelier Meruru : ( 
OK, rant over, but I really, really don’t enjoy watching this current child Rorona.

Battle-wise, Gio is probably the strongest character to use in battle, but he didn’t come early, and I personally don’t like him (because of his ending in Atelier Rorona, huhuhu), so alternatively, I would say Sterk, Esty or Mimi is the best offensive attacker to have. Sterk is just a pure damage dealer; Esty awesome with her AOE and double slice attack; while Mimi is useful for her insane speed and various stat-reducing skills. As for support, Keina is quite useful for normal battle because despite her low LP, her normal attack has huge AOE and can inflict sleep! Rorona also had obscenely large AOE normal attack, on top of being able to use item. No comment on Lias, Rorona and Gino because I haven’t use them enough to judge their combat abilities. On a side note, Rorona with Reverse Torque is an immense tanker! 

There's a lot more for me to say about the game, but I guess I'll save it for another post.  Oh yeah, platinuming this game doesn't seem so hard, though we need to play it twice.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Impression Series: Summer 2012 [Part 2]

Oda Nobuna no Yabou
Genre: harem, comedy, romance
Studio Production: Madhouse Studios
Number of Episodes: ??
Comments: The first thing that popped up into my mind when I read the plot summary is…huh, another sengoku-themed series, and a Sengoku Otome look-alike on top of that? And indeed the two were remarkably similar, with the exception that the main character being teleported from the modern day world is a male, and the Sengoku era he’s teleported into is not exclusively an all-girl period. And, it was much better than Sengoku Otome, relatively speaking. I’m totally having fun watching the show, for lots of reason. Be it because I love playing Samurai Warriors/Sengoku Basara video games and hence somehow can relate myself with Sagara; or because I love the plot development where thanks to his in-depth knowledge of Nobunaga's reign, Sagara become the mastermind of almost everything that occurred in Nobuna’s reign (and his constant banter with Nobuna, which is always funny and cute); or maybe because I simply like Oda Nobuna (or to be exact, her seiyuu Kanae Ito). So far the plot never tell how Sagara ended up stranded in that sengoku era, not that I care, since I'm sure sooner or later the cause will be revealed. For now I'm just enjoying the fact that he did a good job as Nobuna's right hand man, along with the comedy romance that came as each episodes pass. One of the series that tops my weekly watchlist this season.
Verdict: 4.5/5

Kokoro Connect
Genre: drama, comedy, school life
Studio Production: SILVER LINK
Number of Episodes: 17
Comments: I thought the story is all about body/soul transfer, until I watched the latest episode...well nonetheless Kokoro Connect is one of the better show I've watched this season, and I'm loving every episodes I've watched so far. Basically the show revolves around the supernatural incidents occurred to 5 first year high school students - Taichi, Nagase, Kiriyama, Inaba and Aoki, who ended up randomly and mysteriously switched their bodies around for unknown reason to them; and later, experienced another form of mysterious phenomenon that really challenge their sanity and sensibility. What I like about it is the fact that while the series is predominantly a drama with lots of confrontation, monologues and confessions occurred between each of them, the story cleverly include humorous moments where appropriate that lighten the mood. Each of the characters were also have unique personalities and problems that made them likeable. Taichi is a selfless freak who would never thought about himself ahead of others; Nagase is still trying to find her "true self" due to her family problems; Kiriyama was an androphobic due to a an unfortunate incident; Aoki is...well, I dunno much about him lol. And Inaba, despite always looking tough and calm when all of them were together, was actually a very fragile girl that looks like her very soul could shatter due to those body switching and deepest desire incidents.
p/s: I like Teichii as a guy, because he's puroresu fan : )
Verdict: 4/5

Sword Art Online
Genre: action, fantasy, romance
Studio Production: A-1 Pictures
Number of Episodes: 25
Comments: Right after I watched the first episode, immediately I went to search for the light novel and found it (you know where to find it). After reading and skimming through some of the chapters and volumes, I got to say that I'm pretty impressed (hugely) with the story, but after watching 6 episodes of the anime to date, I'm a little bit disappointed. A very good story adapted from a great light novel, but the execution of the anime was poor. I dont know if its intentional or not, but I really think  the plot and character development was poor throughout the 6 episodes I've watched. The anime could be done better by going into the main story in detail, and skipping the side stories (where many of these early episodes are). Or of they were to include them, do it with a bit more depth included because these side characters (Silica,  Sachi and her guild members etc) left little to no impression to the viewers, despite their interesting side stories. Maybe this was done because the planned 25 episodes won't be enough to fill the large amount of stories that the novel had. I even doubt that the story would go into ALO or GGO, but hey, I can only pray that the story and plot development would be better after this, because the series already had great animation art and bgms to complement the great original story. No Umineko deja vu, please.
p/s: Imagining myself playing Cabal, as my Force Blader or Force Archer and trapped in the game's world...hummm might be awesome!
Verdict: 4.5/5

Bimbougami ga
Genre: comedy, supernatural
Studio Production: Sunrise
Number of Episodes: 13

Comments: The story is focused on a highschool girl, Sakura “Chichiko” Ichiko who was blessed with everything (looks, boobs, brains, money etc) a person can dream, thanks to her fortune that is so abundant that she sucked in other people’s fortune. Then came the god of misfortune, Momiji who tries to return the fortune balance around Sakura back to normal, but everytime she tried to do something, she would failed miserably...that fits her title. At first the series didn’t really seems all that interesting to me, but boy was I mistaken. I reserved my impression in the first 2 episodes because although I like the jokes, gags and parodies used, as a whole the series doesn’t really came up as a comedy show that I would enjoy week in week out. Then I watched episode 3 and the poor guy was introduced, the plot were developed better and the series somehow became much more enjoyable for me. I really LOL’ed big time with so many of the dialogues and comedies, I certainly laughed a lot more to all the parodies used, especially the many dragon ball references (There's no way that can be right!!!XD). And one more thing that kinda made me really like the series is, well..maybe it’s just me but I thought some of the BGMs used really remind me to some of the battle themes and BGMs used in FFXIII and FFX. The OP song was rather catchy too, and I like it.

Koi to Senkyou to Chocolate
Genre: comedy, drama, romance
Studio Production: AIC Build
Number of Episodes: 13
Comments: I don’t have many things to say about the series because I watched the show more or less to kill some 20 minutes of my life every week. A generic harem centered around club activities and politics around student council election, I would say the series  got my approval because it has Mai Kadowaki!!! Damn blame Rorona for my acute fanaticism toward her (sucks that she’s back to loli in Atelier Meruru...). Well to the very least, I guess it’s gonna be interesting to see how Oojima Yuki is going to win the votes of the academy students and keep his “leisure” club alive.
Verdict: 3.5/5

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru
Genre: harem, romance
Studio Production: Studio Gokumi
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: Another generic harem comedy romance show, yet I managed to watch all the way to the episode 4, and counting. The story of a high class guy trying to find his real little sister among the many girls that he met at his new school is interesting, unfortunately the plot development was poor and a bit predictable. Though in  the end  of the day for these kind of series, I care less about the story and plot, I care more about enjoying the harem romance. And it’s fun to have a guess and  on who Shougo's real imouto is (spoiler alert).
Verdict: 3/5

That's all for Summer 2012 for me. If I had to rank them from what I've watched so far, I'd say my top 5 series for this season (not in order) are Moyashimon Returns, Oda Nobuna no Yabou, Kokoro Connect, Sword Art Online and Binbogami-ga. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Platinum Series [12]: Tales of Grace F

It's not me if I didn't get a platinum for arguably my favorite JRPG series, the Tales.It's been quite awhile since my last Platinum (FFXIII-2), added to the fact that I didn't have as much time as I used to for games. Overall, it took me about 3 months to platinum this game, or roughly 150+ hours of in-game time. Not so much I guess, compared to the time I spent on Tales of Vesperia or Star Ocean 4.

Title: Tales of Grace F
Developer: Namco Tales Studio

Platform: PlayStation 3 (PS3)

Genre: Japanese role playing game (jrpg)

Release date: March 2012 (NA)

Overall Platinum Difficulty: 5/10 (moderate) 

 If I could compare Tales of Grace F with another games that I've platinumed, I would say the difficulty is roughly similar to Resonance of Fate - there's not too many overwhelmingly skill/technical-based trophies, and most of the time you need to spend time grinding for a few trophies. In Tales of Grace F's case, it's the trophy that require you to develop your Eleth Mixer to its maximum capacity of 9999. A time consuming process, considering you normally get only a few eleth increase (sometimes NONE) when you cooked a dish in battle. Thankfully there's this wonderful dish called Miso Stew that made the task much faster - going from around 6.5k eleth to the maximum 9999 eleth in about 4 hours (though the non-stop grinding is boring).

Talk about skill-based trophies, there are a few of those, but none of them are as gruesomely annoying and frustrating than special challenge 17 in Tales of Vesperia (aiming Yeager's heart core). (Probably) the most difficult trophy to get; the "Beat _______ in 60 seconds"; beat the last boss on Chaos mode; beat the secret bosses in Zhonegace/Coliseum etc; are all easily attainable in New Game+ with little to no effort, especially on Easy mode. They are harder to accomplish in your first playthrough, but still attainable through title grinding/eleth gauge preparation/duelizing weapons. 

And then the rest of the trophies, in which largely requires you to unlock about 100 titles for each characters (except Richard). That's it. We really don't have to go through the tedious process of completely do everything like we need to do in Vesperia. No need to fight every single enemies, no need to complete every single Collector's book, no need to watch all skits, no need to get all items etc. I kinda wish there's a trophy for getting every single titles in the game, and THAT's what I call a real difficult trophy to get.

guess what I'm playing right now XD

Overall,  Tales of Grace F was a real enjoyment for me. While the "friendship" theme of the story is a little bit too generic and boring, the characters and good voice acting made up for that. But most importantly the gameplay is one that I really enjoyed the most out of recent Tales series. It's fast-paced, balanced, easy to chain, and nowhere near as broken as Vesperia (blablabla Tidal Wave!). The Grade system in this series also ensure that we can't really "farm" grade for subsequent playthrough (again, blablabla Tidal Wave!). The only other disappointment I had for the series are the forgettable musics, it was definitely one of the least memorable OST in recent Tales's series. 

Okay, time to anticipate the next Tales series to be localised into English, Tales of Xillia!!!! 
Speaking of which, where oh where is Tales of Vesperia PS3 English !!! \(゜ロ\)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Impression Series: Summer 2012 [Part 1]

(No) thanks to Tales of Grace F, my time spent watching anime last spring was severely limited (in the end I ended up with only Hyouka, Kuroko, Amnesia and Sankarea in my weekly watchlist while others were still in my on-hold list). But now that I’ve nearly platinumed the game (only 1 trophy left), I should have more time to spend on anime, or at least keep up with more titles this season than last spring. And so far, Summer 2012 offered quite a number of series that have taken a lot of my interest.  I guess I'll just make this a quick of an impression.
p/s: Hakuouki without Yukimura is kinda boring : (

Moyashimon Returns 
Genre: comedy, microbiology (lol)
Studio Production: Shirogumi Inc
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: So, why not start with the series I wanted to watch the most this season, Moyashimon Returns. I can never forget the first season, one of the few series that actually brought me deeply into anime back then in 2007. It's good to see the series back. The stories needs no explanation, and being a former agricultural student who partially involved in bacterial work and fermentation processes, I found the theme really engaging. Everyone returned and still haven't changed much, though I would say the art for some of the characters seems to be tweaked a little (especially Oikawa and Sawaki). The microbes were cute, the comedy was funny, and just like season 1, the story did a great job in explaining a lot of fermentation and bacterial stuff in the series. Especially the ED song, that was awesome (and always made me smile when they introduce those microbes). As for where the plot will go after this...well as long as they keep the story interesting, funny and informative, I'm all in for the series. Oh yeah, I'm still kinda interested about why Kei drop out of college and changed into a Trap : )
verdict: 5/5 (absolutely must watch!)

Arcana Famiglia 
Genre: action, comedy, drama
Studio Production: J.C. Staff
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: Okay, I thought I was in for some Baccano treat, but I realized I was wrong after about 10 minutes into the first episode. The premise of battle tournament between group members, each with their own arcana powers (being arguably the strongest, it's no wonder that the Papa and Mama are The World and Judgement respectively) to select the new leader for the group were interesting to say the least, and the animation art was quite excellent to boot. Unfortunately, the characters left me a bit unimpressed. Yes they are unique, gifted with special powers blablabla, but I just can't help but finding the guys in the group typical, boring and uninteresting, especially the reckless Liberta (Fool arcana, huh?). It's gonna be interesting to see how each of them are going to develop and utilize their Arcana power for the battle, if that ever happened.
p/s: somehow I prefer Nova-Fecilita pairing more than Liberta.
verdict: 3/5 (might continue watching)

Tari Tari 
Genre: comedy, drama
Studio Production: P.A. Works
Number of Episodes: 13
Comments: Am I weird for saying that the title is awful? Nonetheless, the first few episodes gave me quite a good impression. A likeable and fascinating story of a group of student in their final year of high school, each with their own unique backgrounds and pasts, trying to live their dream  (or rather, a person's dream), brought together and ended up creating a club that benefits all of them, one way or another (Choir and Sometimes Badminton Club, really?). Neat and beautiful graphic as expected from P.A. Works, from the background scenery to character creation, as well as great choice of seiyuu. And, True Tear's Reflectia OP song certainly caught my attention in episode 1, that choir was great and brings back good old memories : )
verdict: 4.5/5 (watching)

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica 
Genre: action, drama, fantasy, romance
Studio Production: ARMS
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: Hagure Yuusha no Erotica...? So much of my impression in the first 2 episodes, but it changed a little in episode 3, because surprisingly there's not a single uncensored stuff! Thank goodness (lol). I like the story - imagine (or some sort) Tidus beat Jecth and Yu Yevon, take its daughter (whoever it was) and back to his other world of Zanarkand, and the story started from that point onward, where he still inherited whatever combat skill he learned in Spira and had to enroll in some kind of college. Okay, pardon the lame analogy. But you get the gist, that's what the anime basically is, and I like it. The fact that Akatsuki is not your usual weak guy, a bit perverted yet kind-hearted and love to tease people around him (esp those from Student Council) were refreshing and funny. The graphic, action, musics (Faylan!), my favorite seiyuus, I love all of them, and I certainly would not want to miss this anime.
verdict: 4/5 (watching)

Genre: adventure, fantasy, romance, comedy
Studio Production: Diomedea
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: Okay, normal student-turned Godslayer Godou Kusanagi, the Campione, now being hunted by all kind of divine beings for his accomplishment and powers. I've never bothered to read the LN, so my impression was totally based on what I saw from the first 3 episodes of the anime. The story was okay and entertaining at times, but I feel some of the scenes were very predictable and lacked proper buildup (what's the deal with Athena and Krancar, again?). Not to mention that the subpar graphic and battle effect made it a bit less interesting for me. One more thing, while being totally different, I can't help but thinking about 2 other similar shows that's being aired at this same season whenever I watch this anime.
verdict: 3/5

Yuru Yuri 2
Genre: comedy slice of life
Studio Production: Dogakobo
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: I have to admit that I love the first season, probably one of the very few all-girl, mild yuri shows that I like to watch - mostly because of Kyouko and Ayano lol. And of course, I also like the show because I enjoyed comedy slice of life, if it's done the right way. So now that the second season is out, I guess there's no reason for me "not" to watch the show, although sometimes I feel the random stuff they put in there was... too random? If you know what I mean. Good for some laugh, at least.
verdict: 3.5/5

that's it for part 1.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer 2012 Anime List



sources: fansubwiki/moetron


There's really only one series that truly gets me exited the moment I read the news and then the summer list: MOYASHIMON RETURNS!!! Okay, there are others too, like Yuruyuri 2nd season, Hakuouki Reimeiroku and some other new series, but I'd definitely, positively won't ever miss Moyashimon. I probably wouldn't watch that much series this summer since I'd likely spent more times on dota and games (Atelier Meruru!). Nonetheless, one thing about Persona 4 anime that I didn't quite like is the fact that the ending is...normal. But apparently the upcoming movie will include the True End, and that is gonna be awesome. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tales of Grace F: marching toward the Platinum

I had to say that in the past 2 months I was so absorbed with Tales of Grace F that the majority of my free time were spent on this game, and hence giving me little time to play other games, watch anime (though I never missed Kuroko, Amnesia and Hyouka every week so far) or even DotA.  How do I describe it...ToGF is just too addictive that I couldn't help but wanting to finish the game asap, do most of the sidequests I could do, and then move on to the 2nd playthrough and enjoy all the reward I could get from the Grade Shop.

So So after completing the main game, I then spend some time completing the Lineage&Legacy chapter (damn the monsters in this chapter is crazy I couldn't quite keep up with them on Chaos), beat Fodra Queen, then reload back into the main game and complete Zhonecage dungeon. All in the last 2 weeks, but even then I still feel that there's quite a lot left for me to do. Such as....beating most of the end game bosses+Zhonecage on Chaos. Playing a second playthrough with lots of Grade Shop bonus. And most importantly...Platinum.

Currently I've completed 70% of the trophies available in the game. There's still 30% left, but they aren't really easy to obtain, at least not within the next few days/weeks. I need to complete all sidequests (curse you Weapon trait/nature); then beat the final bosses of main arc as well as Queen Fodra under 30 secs (possible on first playthrough, I just need to prepare my character better for the fight); then finish the last floor of Zhonecage and beat the boss, Solomus. That's all there is for my Platinum completion I guess. 

Now that I've finished the game, what kind of impression do I have about the game? Obviously a great one. The gameplay is fast, much faster than Vesperia, Abyss or Symphonia. The A and B-artes features made comboing much more fun, because you can chain a long combo, combining both type of artes as long as you have enough Capacity Chain (CC). The Accel mode available from the Future Arc made battles even more enjoyable, due to the fact that you can control when to activate it (unlike Eleth Burst). 

My character assessment:

  • Asbel - I used him almost through the entire Adult Arc, and he's easy to combo, back and forth from A to B-artes. Aurora Lotus, too bad we got it so late in the game (unless you grind and grind and grind to lvl 100 quickly). A cool character but very dense when it come to love. I still prefer someone like Yuri Llowel though.
  • Sophie - I used her almost through the entire Future Arc, because I kinda got bored with Asbel. Her A-arte combo was totally awesome. My fav B-arte combo: Gauntlet Blitz into Dualblade Spin. A pigtailed loli.
  • Cheria - The main healer. I only use her when I want to revive a character, cuz her A-arte range was rather short, and her stronger B-artes (INDIGNITION!!!) take a long time to cast, unless I combo it with A-artes. The osana najimi type. I love using Rita Mordio's Magical Bee costume on her. If only I could get the DLC Natalia costume....
  • Hubert - One of my favorite when it comes to racking up high combo count. He is the master at that. In fact, you can easily get 100+ combo by using him alone, provided that all your combo attacks managed to hit the enemy. His dualblade consist of sword, bow, guns, dualblade, damn it can turn into anything. Favorite Arte: Aerial Barrage (lol easiest skill for killing lots of enemies at once). The otouto. At first I kida dislike him, but over time his battle prowess proved that he is a must in my party.
  • Pascal - the hybrid mage, or so I would say. Her weapon is a staff, but sometimes it can change into a pistol in battle. I rarely use her but she's a good crowd controller with her AOE spells. But she definitely needs some tanker in order to be more useful in battle, especially on Chaos. Oh, her Accel Mystic Arte is a LOL. The genius, Rita Mordio type, but without the tsundere trait, while also a crazy chick. Y'okay!
  • Malik - I hate his bladerang A-arte. The backswing took quite a while to pull, so sometimes the enemies's attack might reach you before you can even start comboing. His B-arte spells are quite good though. The elderly in the party, he taught a lot of "unnecessary" stuff to Sophie lol.
  • Richard - rarely used him since he's only available in Future Arc. More or less like Hubert+Malik combined, I'm not really a fan of spellcasting B-artes. Can't say too much about him, cuz he had major roles in the Adult Arc.

 Got a lot more in my mind to write about, but I guess I'll save it for the next entry.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Warriors Orochi 3 - crossover, and more crossover

Bought last April, I don't really have a plan to buy Warriors Orochi 3 because 1. I don't think I've played its prequel. 2. My gaming schedule is soo preoccupied by FFXIII-2, and then Tales of Grace F. And 3. The game's BD was so bloody expensive compared to other normal PS3 games. But in the end, I ended up buying the game because I thought I need a hack-and-slash game to play whenever I'm not playing Tales of Grace F, plus I've already completely finished with Sengoku Basara 3. So here it is, splashing RM200.00 for a copy of Warriors Orochi 3. 

As I've mentioned above,  I really don't remember whether I've ever played any of the series's previous installment. Most likely, I've never played them since WO1 and WO2 were released while I was still in Australia, and the only PS2 games I remembered ever bought/downloaded during those whole period are P4, Samurai Warriors Empire (or its sequel) and Front Mission 4.

Title:Warriors Orochi 3
Developer: Omega Force/Techmo Koei
Platform: PlayStation 3 (PS3), XBOX 360
Genre: Hack and Slash
Release date: March/April 2012

Despite having bought the game for more than 2 months already, I haven't really had the time to play the game at its fullest because, well, as you may have guessed, Tales of Grace F. Once in awhile, I did stop and play this game. So far, I'm roughly at the beginning of chapter 2, right after Kai and co joined the party. So with the little experience I had with the game, my thoughts on the game so far:

Overall I'd say the gameplay/basic mechanics was pretty much like those in Samurai Warriors/Dynasty Warriors series: normal and strong attacks; jump and aerial attacks, musou and ultimate musou attacks. 3 characters can be selected to battle a stage, and you can freely switch between them in the middle of battle. And all three of them can combile their musou attacks to unleash a devastating finisher that will likely kill any normal bosses. The normal soldiers were far too passive (most of them), though the bosses were pretty strong. The gameplay is definitely much simpler than Sengoku Basara in that the combo wasn't as complex and articulate, and there's probably dozens of characters in Warriors Orochi 3 that shares similar skillsets. Oh, did I say that there's around 150 characters that you can unlock and play in the whole game?

Hero selection
There's way too much characters to choose from in this game. 150 is a lot, currently I've only unlocked like 20-25 of them. The sheer number of character, however kinda made things less interesting for me, because I bet more than half of those characters have similar skillsets that doesn't make them any different than the others (except their musou/charge attack). Some characters did stand above the rest (eg Orochi X, Wukong etc), but I feel that far too many others are underwhelming.

Other features
Tea Party to raise affinity between characters; lots of unlockable stuff in extra menu; lots of stage in story mode; weapon tempering and upgrade; and Musou Battlefield that allow you to create a battlefield, and customize it any way you want and then shares it online. If I had more time with the game (which I believe I don't), I'd probably play around with this feature though.

All in all, I'd way that while Warriors Orochi 3 was a fun game to play and a good pick for me to kill time and play some short stages, the overall enjoyment I had in this game is less than what I had while playing series like Sengoku Basara 3. Maybe because I like the less serious tone adopted in SB3, or maybe because I like the unique characters and elaborate combos in SB3.  I know, these 2 are entirely different series with different approach and slightly different gamepla, but comparison between the two is inevitable. I bet I won't even had the time to try all 150 characters once I unlocked them.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Impression Series: Spring 2012 [Part 2]

Damn I'm sure taking my time for this (Tales of Grace F is just too awesome). I was supposed to post this weeks ago, but somehow I totally forgot about it and the entry ended up in my draft. Now this is not even supposed to be called a first impression entry...well I guess no use keeping it forever in my draft list, so I might as well finish the post now before I forgot about it again. Nonetheless, not much to add to the 6 series I've watched in my part 1.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia
Genre: mystery, romance, supernatural, comedy
Studio Production: Silver Link
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: When I looked at the anime list released for this season some months ago, for some reason I had a feeling that this series would be the show I would “probably” enjoy the most this season, together with Sankarea. And my hunch was correct. Amnesia, while vaguely similar to Sankarea, was quite entertaining in much more different ways. For one, the OP song Choir Jail was so awesome I don’t think I would remove it from my playlist for a long time (along with Kusoo Merosogii and Dead End). Secondly, the plot was entertaining. From the existence of the legendary ghost named Yuuko that haunts the school but in fact was a pretty girl who often hanged out with the main character Teichii Niya; other members of Paranormal Investigation Club Okonogi and Kanoe who often made things even more entertaining; the mystery/supernatural elements added every now and then, mainly revolving around Yuuko’s tale and her past; and most importantly, the comedy/romance. The animation art was magnificently done with many scenes incorporating darker background to complement the theme. And I like the fact that sometimes it assimilate SHAFT's unique animation style, with the unique camera angle, random dialogue appearing every now and then…
verdict: 5/5

Genre: mystery, school life
Studio Production: Kyoto Animation
Number of Episodes: 21
Comments: Finally another show by KyoAni, but I didn’t really expect they would go for this kind of series. You know…the mild mystery genre that once engulfed the Suzumiya Haruhi series, but without the element of supernatural in it. Hyouka tells the story of an “eco-friendly” boy named Oreki Houtarou who doesn’t like to get involved in anything and would rather preserve his energy...for nothing. Until one day when he was “coerced” into joining the Classic Club by his sister, met a super curious girl named Chitanda Eru, and from that point his energy conservation lifestyle seems to be over, no thanks to his great logic and analysis ability. The little mystery that came in every episode was well crafted given the fact that Houtarou often solved it in the simplest manner possible, then when it comes to the bigger mystery, he used every possible information available to draw the most feasible answer to the puzzle. Despite their contrasting nature, the unenthusiastic Houtarou and energetically curious Chitanda, along with their friends Fukube and Ibara are quite good pairings when it comes to doing their routine club activities.
 verdict: 4.5/5
p/s: is this the season of long black haired girl? Rea of Sankarea, Yuuko of Amnesia, Yuka of Natsuiro Kiseki, Chitanda of Hyouka....

Hiiro no Kakera
Genre: fantasy, romance, supernatural
Studio Production: Studio DEEN
Number of Episodes: 26
Comments: Damn now it’s already over 8 episodes, can’t even call this a first impression, huh. When the series first aired, I’ve never really planned to put this into my watchlist. But as I watched a few more episodes, I kinda started to like the series, maybe because it had the resemblance to Hakuouki, from the reverse harem point, and the same production of studio DEEN. Mind you I’m no fan of reverse harem, but those from DEEN seem to have something that I enjoyed. Maybe the action/supernatural factor, maybe the animation art…The plot revolves around a girl named Tamaki, a descendant of the powerful Tamayori princess and hence was targeted by all kind of menaces, but surrounding her are 5 guardians assigned to protect her. The plot was rather slow at first but then it started to build up quickly once those people that targeted Tamaki appeared, complemented by some nice fighting scenes. One thing I’m really hoping for though is that it won’t have a disappointing ending, like Hakuouki. And I want to see the romance more. Well, a long way to go I guess.
verdict: 4/5

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
Genre: comedy
Studio Production: Xebec
Number of Episodes: 12
Comments: my god, an anime with all the weird names from cthulhu mythos, thanks HP Lovecraft. Never been the fan of the work so I’ll put the mythology aside, but I certainly had a lot of laugh watching the craziness of the characters in this series, the ridiculousness of the jokes, the repeated gags that reminds me to Bokusatsu-tenshi Dokuro-chan. But with less guro. So the story (well do people really care about the plot of this series?) is about Nyaruko (aka Nyarlathotep), a totally messed up "deity" withh so many crazy shit going on inside her head, coming to earth for the sole reason to protect a boy named Mahiro Yasaka, and subsequently all kind of other “mystic” creatures/aliens came either to help them or to oppose/break them. To be honest there’s really not much for me to say, the plot was forgettable but it was balanced by the unique characters, pretty animation and funny jokes. A light-hearted comedy series like this is always welcomed into my watchlist.
verdict: 3.5/5

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Victory Quotes

....and and this is one of the reason why Tales series are so enjoyable, especially Tales of Grace F. Pascal, Sophie, Malik, Cheria, Asbel, Hubert and to some extent, Richard made things really entertaining XD

or for just the English sound clips to complement the video above;

still a long way to finish the game...I mean, Platinum it. Gonna enjoy it slowly.