Long Hiatus

It certainly has been awhile since I last posted a blog on here (November 2014?!). Honestly a lot was going on the end of 2014 and through 2015. The year of 2016 has been no different! I have a very hard time trying to carve time out to blog because there’s SO many things I would love to do with my time but I am making it a goal to blog a little bit more this year.

A project that I wanted to do last year, but never really got around to, was a Dragon Warrior Adventure log. I have completed the first game, still need to complete the second game and so on – but the main purpose of this little project was to try a different type of writing style in the form of reviewing the game. I have no idea when I am going to start on this, currently I have been going through multiple phases of catching up on TV shows/anime, playing through Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, reading, so on and so forth. It may end up becoming a summer project but we’ll see.

I have recently moved into a new place with my fiancé and we have adopted a puppy, Rocket. He’s a handful and it has been a very stressful experience with him as well. We have been dealing with his separation anxiety, which was driving us crazy trying everything we possibly could do without having to get him medication. Nothing was working at all and we finally broke and decided he needs medicine to help with it while we train him. Thankfully things seem to be getting better the last few weeks, not as much destructive chewing and no more being an annoyance to the neighbors. We have to leave him out of the crate because he ends up trying to break out of the crate and we did not want him hurting himself. Things are finally getting set into a set routine now with the dog after altering schedules and doing a variety of things.

Work has been very stressful on me the past month to the point where I come home mentally tired and do not want to really do anything but relax. I even came down with a cold this past Friday after the stress left my body. I’m thinking once I start to feel better though I want to pick up working out again. I started and stopped in January when I was trying to start it up again. I just feel like my mind was not in the right place and I was not motivated enough to continue through with it.

With things starting to finally fall into place I feel that my mind is in the right state to actually begin to do things now. I don’t feel like I am all over the place or trying to take on too many tasks at once right now. I have not forgotten about this blog, I be sure to crave out time to write more when I can. Till next time!

 

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Following the continuation of my last blog posted, we have Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair! I was not as huge of a fan of the sequel as I was of the first game. I felt the story was pretty decent, I liked the characters, but I was not super thrilled with how it was located on an island. I felt even though I liked it that the game was lacking and it wasn’t even something I could pin point as one thing, it was more a bunch of little changes that I felt took away from it.

Basically following the previous game, you are put onto an island, Jabberwock Island, with 16 student total. Every student remembers what they are an ultimate of except you the main character; he has no idea what he is.  This time a new character similar to Monokuma appears called Monomi and she is a rabbit. She claims to be your teacher and that everyone has to collect hope fragments to pass and graduate off the island. Then of course this seems to be going too well and Monokuma appears to break up the fun and bring back the murder game.  So then our story begins!

Very similar to the first game you have Daily Life, walking around speaking to who you and want and investigating anything you are allowed to. In the Free Time periods when you talk to people you gather hope fragments which you can trade in to buy skills to help you with the Class Trials. Also a new concept of the player leveled has been added. You can walk everywhere to raise your level, speaking with people, looking at things, etc. all increases your level. This allows you to equip more skills.

Then very similar after your first murder happens you go to Deadly Life, which you investigate the murder that happened and collect evidence for the class trial. Nothing has changed here at all, it’s completely the same. Afterwards you then progress to the class trial to proceed with identifying the criminal. The class trial is pretty much the same as well but it does contain a few new elements to it, along with mini games.

    

Exactly life the first game there are Nonstop Debates where the player will need to shoot truth bullets at contradictions, they are still colored yellow. In addition to this there is now Blue words, these words are known as Agreements, where you shoot a truth bullet to show someone is stating the truth. You still have Hangman’s Gambit, but now instead it required the players to combine the matching letters coming in from both sides before they collide into letters that are not the same. The combined letters can either be destroyed or used to spell out the clue. I found it to be more annoying this time around and felt that this mini-game should have just been replaced with something else. I feel they did not make the challenge fun enough but more frustrating.

          

Panic Talk Action, aka Bullet Time Battles, is pretty much the same. It still used rhythm based gameplay to break through the student’s defenses. The controls were a little different from the previous game, now instead the player has to spell out a phrase in the correct order at the end to win. If you get it wrong the student builds some defense back and you need to break it down again. Another mini game I was not super wowed with the change.

The Closing Argument is pretty much the same but was revised, this revision I did not mind so much. You are still given events you need to look at and place them in the right spot. This time around though you are given a few events instead of all the events to place in the correct spot.

There was a new element of gameplay added to the class trail called Rebuttal Showdown, this is happens when a student attempts to refute the player’s logic. The player must slash apart their opponent’s arguments to gain control of the conversation and reveal new information. This needs to happen before you can use your Truth Sword, which is basically a bullet but since it’s slashing, they changed it to a sword. You need to pick the right truth sword to use based on the conversation. The truth sword like a bullet will need to be used to strike through the correct weak point when it appears.

Another new element added was the minigame called Logical Drive. This minigame I actually really liked is kind of like a snowboarding game but you are steering down a logical tube and avoid obstacles, pitfalls, and occasionally choosing a route that has an answer when a question is given. The route you choose helps you come to your logical conclusion, and yes if you pick the wrong one it will let you know.

Then the final new element added was the Spot Select. This is basically really easy where the player needs to examine an image and just show where the important spot is in it. Your class trial will come to an end once you find out who the killer is and then they get punished just like in the first game and you then get graded.

Outside the main game there was a fun side items you could do such as raise your virtual pet or play Magical Girl Miracle Monomi. The virtual pet is located in the start menu while you’re in game. It grows when you walk around. Depending on how much Hope or Despair it has depicts how it will grow. After it reaches a certain point in growth it will give you an item and then kind of die I guess but leaves an egg to get re-hatch.  Magical Girl minigame is in the loading screen when you start the game up; you control Monomi and fight off against waves of cute monsters.

Similar to the first games School Mode, there is Island Mode; this like the first game is only available after you complete the game. Players do not go through the killing game in this but instead aim to make friends with everyone and earn Hope Fragments. It allows the player to bond more with the characters more easily than the main story does.  Also unlocked after clearing the game once is Danganronpa IF, it’s a short story depicting an alternate story line for the first game

No animation has been announced for this game yet.

This is a fun game to play after the first game; I personally was not super wowed with it. The story was good; I liked how this one had more of a twist to it. The cast of characters was just as good as the first games. I feel it just came down to the changes they made to the class trials that made me not enjoy the game so much. Some of the changes I did not mind but I felt they were trying to put too much into it this time around. If they decide to make another one hopefully they do not decide to add more items to what they already have existing and figure out which parts they want to keep and take out.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Danganronpa was released on the Vita and had a sequel to follow. The first game Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc was I feel the better of the two. There was also an animation made of the first game which is basically identical.

If you are a fan of Phoenix Wright games this game is extremely similar but with a few twists. You have the concept of a “court” system of on-going debates with your peers and of course there is a guilty verdict with a nice spin on things, and finally overcoming the despair of this game of murder.

The series revolves around an elite high school known as Hope’s Peak Academy; every year they select students known as Ultimate’s, who are at the top of their field. There is also the Ultimate Lucky student who is chosen at random to join the school as well from a lottery.

The first game starts off with 15 students total thinking they are starting their first day of school when all of a sudden they lose conscience. They wake up to find that the school they entered was not what they thought it was supposed to look like, it’s empty, bolted up, and has a crazy but amazing teddy bear named Monokuma telling them they are not allowed to leave unless they murder someone and get away with it.

Now this game has a lot of dialogue scenes but after the story gets going and you have free time. Free time allows you to roam and explore the place, talk to people and build friendships, and do whatever you want where you are allowed to.  Depending on how close you get with people new skills will be awarded to you which will help you out in the Class Trials. This part of the game is Daily life, nothing terrible happening, everyone is happy I suppose.

Then your first murder happens and you now enter Deadly Life. You start investigating by finding clues to help solve who done it. There’s an easy way to see what you need to look at by hitting a button (I believe it was one of the bumpers) and it circles all the things you can investigate; this can also be used in Daily Life. After conducting the investigation you go to the class trial.

                                    

During the class trial you have a Nonstop Debate, where the students just talk about their findings or just yell and blame. It can get fast paced and you need to really pay attention since the words/statements are literally going across the screen. You have what are Truth Bullets, or evidence and you need to shoot the right statement they go to. The statements or words have yellow words that you can shoot depending on if you think it’s a contradiction to any evidence you have.  Sometimes you may not have the evidence to shoot a contradiction, which in this case you can take someone’s statement and memorize it into a truth bullet and then shoot a different statement. These debates are times but do get repeated over and over if needed until your time is up. In order to get more time you sometimes see purple statements/words fly across the screen. You can break them but be careful not to hit a truth bullet on them or you lose time and the statement you went to shoot that it blocked will not be broken. Your truth bullet is basically reflected. Luckily there is an ability to slow the speed down with a bumper button and you can shoot the statement easier. But again the slowdown also has a certain amount of length it can be held for. The beginning is a lot easier than later in the game. The player does have health as well, so the more you mess up the closer you are to a game over.

                                           

The class trial has some other mini games as well that can happen such as Hangman’s Gambit, Bullet Time Battle and Closing Argument. Hangman’s Gambit is a shooting puzzle where you see blank spaces at the bottom and you need to shoot down specific letters to spell out the clue. This game can get pretty annoying at times when you have to wait for that right letter to come by and it takes forever. You do lose health during this game as well.

Bullet Time is a one-on-one debate with another student that has a rhythm style gameplay. When the opponent makes remarks, the player must press buttons in time to the beat to lock onto the remarks and shoot them down. Otherwise you lose health, and also this game does get other features added to it. There may be times where the opponent can cause a negative effect and the rhythm beats to press disappear. There’s also an effect you get where you become invincible and you can basically hit the button whenever without penalty. Your power also cancels out a negative effect.

Closing Arguments is a puzzle that is comic strip form; the player needs to piece together the events of the crime from beginning to end. This doesn’t really have much to it besides looking at all the events of the crime and the player putting them in the right place. After the player completes this the class trial ends and the killer is then punished. You are ranked on how well you did throughout the different parts of the trial.

After completing the game there is a mode called School Life, Monokuma gives tasks to the students with building several backup units of himself. Each day the player assigns students to scavenge rooms to find parts and to also make sure the school is cleaned up and others just rest. Just like the main game you get free time to do what you want or use Trip Tickets earned to take students on trips.

Earlier I mentioned there was also an animation created for the first game, there is honestly no difference from the game to the anime. The only difference would be that as the episodes progress the investigation time is sped up to get through to the class trial faster. So basically if you do not feel like playing the game, you can just watch the anime. Unless you want to play the game but watch it play out in front of you. It was not fabulous of an anime but it was still fun to watch and I appreciate they kept the same voice actors from the game in the anime. Otherwise it would have been horrible.

                       

Over all it was a fun game with a nice new twist on it. I highly recommend it; it is seriously a Phoenix Wright game that has gone to the dark side.

Corpse Party Game vs OVA *May Contain Spoilers*

Typically I do not play horror games, I am typically the one either watching a Lets Play off YouTube or I watch someone in person play it. I am not afraid to admit I get scared playing horror games, I get very jumpy and my sense of hearing heightens making me jump at random noises in my own apartment. One day thinking I really would like to play the horror game myself I decided to pick up Corpse Party and actually try it out. I thought that the gore aspect of it was very cool and hey it can’t be too scary since it seemed more like a walk around and talk game. Boy was I a little bit off! I completely did not think I was going to get chased by crazed people or ghosts and then have them yelling after me. It was lets say a very unique experience for me playing my first horror game.

What really drew me to the game was the fact that it was more of a visual novel with action in it. I have been growing onto the games with a lot of dialogue lately so that did not bother me much. What did bother me though was the ear shattering screams all the time, but again to be expected if you’re in a broken down school with dead things all around you. I also loved the fact of all the gore, I am a huge gore person so to see that in a game was refreshing for me. It really helped with giving the game its atmosphere. The music was great as well in helping with that, there was a few times I did not want to do anything because of the creepy music or I was too busy running and yelling at my character to run that the music did not help the situation at all!

 

The story was really well done in my opinion and the fact that there are multiple endings was a nice aspect to have as well! You could either have everyone die, some people die, or the important
people live. The reason I say important people is because not everyone is making it out of that death school. Another thing I liked about the game was you got to play multiple characters in the chapters to see what they find out about the school and how their experience in the horror-fest is playing out. I have to say the scariest part of the game for me was when I was Yuka and I was running away from this guy who wanted to kill me and all you hear when you’re running is the man calling after you and it made me cringe and whimper a littl
e when I was running away. It was very scary, I would take a ghost over that any day. Although the man coming a live in the science room was not as fabulous either, that scared me a little bit too.

It’s a great game to play if you have not done so already. You actually can feel the horror the characters are experiencing and you get drawn into the mystery surrounding the school. You start wondering who did all this, why did they do this, and then you realize it was not who they are saying it was the whole time. I was literally shocked when I found out who was actually doing the murders and then I thought well this story just got more interesting!

 

After playing the first game there was a second game that came out onto the PSP which I was not as scared in truth be told. It was more of a first person walk around dungeon game, but it was interesting to learn more about the school and the people who died. Not going too much detail into it since it has been awhile since I last played it, but it was fun in its own ways but I do not think it was as scary as the first game was. I was not too thrilled with how they changed the way it was played, I feel it took away from it. Yeah you had an occasional run scene but it was not as scary as someone actually chasing your little sprite around. There was a few quick time events where you needed to make a choice within a time limit and then a certain result would happen. I think that was maybe the only part you were thinking WHAT DO I PICK?! since you have only a few seconds to respond to it. The other thing that was different was when you ran into someone or talking to someone they stood in front of you and you see a head and torso image of them. Which I though was a nice touch since of the bigger head off to the side of the text box (I’m referring to what Harvest Moon Back to Nature text boxes are like). Both games though give the nice screenshots of the important scenes happening ie: new character, death, someone randomly tied up, someone about to die, etc.

 

After playing both of these games I found out there is a Manga and an Anime for them! I was super excited because I thought awesome now I can watch it unfold in front of me and then leisurely read about it. I have not yet started the Manga for it but I did happen to catch the anime or OVA for it. It was a 4 episode long OVA which was about what I was expecting it to be, they were each about 30 minute episodes and I will say it was pretty awesome watching it animated. It starts off just like the first Corpse Party game did, everyone does the charm chant and they get teleported to the school of horror. That is when I started to think I really hope they don’t make it too much like that game because that what seemed like was happening. Surprisingly it did contain a few different things from the game, one being a lot more gore splatter! So I was thrilled to see that if you could not tell; there was also a few parts of the story that seemed to not match up with how
the game went, so I like that it kept to the route it did. I was also happy to see it did not give the good ending of the game and pretty much just more death than you would normally see in the game. If you get a wrong ending in a chapter the game will stop and say Wrong Ending and you need to restart to continue. Well the anime was more of we don’t care who has died the story will continue! Which made it awesome to see practically every wrong ending happen out all the way to the end. The OVA only contained scenes from the first Corpse Party game, there has been nothing about an anime release for the second game.

Both the anime and the game was really fun to watch and play. I highly recommend watching the OVA after you play the game because it will spoil a few things for you. Any horror game/anime enthusiast should pick up the game and take a gander at the OVA when there is a chance. It’s fun to play and great to watch!

Game Review: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

The Super Nintendo was and is still one of my favorite systems I own. It has a wide variety of great games that people just cannot get over because they were just that amazing. One of these games for me is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. If you have never played this game and you love the SNES and RPGs and/or Mario even then, yes, you must play this game. I was so shocked when I found out my fiancé never played this game and he loves the SNES and loves RPGs.

What makes this game so unique for me is that it is the first Mario game that I truly fell in love with. The story is simple and similar to most other Mario games: Rescue the Princess…but then eventually turns into a bigger mission of saving the Dreams of people and fixing the Star Road. It was also the first 3D SNES game that looked good!

For me a role playing game is nothing without a good cast of characters and this game certainly delivered. You not only get to have Mario, Bowser, and Peach but you also get accompanied by a fluffy marshmallow looking guy names Mallow and the possessed doll Geno. As you progress through the game and gather them, you get to experience each of their stories and how this tragedy is affecting them all.

                      

The enemy side as well had some pretty funny characters that you run into. The first for me would be Booster; he was an odd ball but his personality was great. I really like the Valentina and Dodo duo, followed by the Axem Rangers (yes they are the evil power rangers).

                                 

Another great component to the game is the music for it. I could listen to this games soundtrack over and over if I wanted to; it had such great variety and each song fit perfectly for each level or situation. There is not one soundtrack I liked better than another, it was just equally great. Along the lines of the music I will say the graphics for the game during the SNES era are amazing. I loved the 3D effect; it really brought the game to life. It made a lot of things come through better than a 2D game would such as scenes when Mario was explaining situations and was changing into multiple characters to explain. It also made the world map different from other games, dungeons/towns have a different feel as well.

Some of the aspects of the game that I really loved were the battles, level up system, the world map, and side quests. There of course are a multitude of things about the game I loved but these were some of the more unique/fun aspects of the game (besides other things). Battles were more interactive where you could push the button with the right timing to add extra defense or extra attack power. It was more than just pushing a button and selecting attack, defense, item, or spell.  Also sometimes you could get the item you used back to with the right timing. I sometimes feel like that just may have been me thinking that when I got the freebie.  The one thing I sometimes did not like was that you share the flower points (points to use for spells). It was not too bad considering my party mainly had Peach using the points and sometimes Mario would too but Bowser would only attack so my points didn’t go down too fast. But I feel if you use magic heavily then I can see it being problematic.  Another aspect of it I liked was the fact different buttons were used for each different and it was not a boring menu. The only down fall was if you’re pushing the buttons too fast you may accidentally hit a button you don’t want and have to click the right one again.

When a character got to leveling up I liked the selection system where you picked what to upgrade for your characters. The game though helped a little bit to show what you should pick to better make use of the character.  For example Bowser for his special attack and defense would get +1, which HP he could get +3, and normal attack and defense he could get +1. The another level it could be different his normal attack and defense could be +2 while the others are +1.

The world map was one of the greatest parts of the game I feel. I really liked how each story line was secluded to a world map and you traveled through them completing a little story and getting a star piece. Right in the beginning after you get Mallow and Geno in your group and you travel through to Moleville (one of the best towns) you get your first star piece but then after that I really liked the build up to when you head to Boosters’ area and get to go through a little fun side diversion before the next big star battle. Each map either had one or two towns on it and a few dungeons on it. I feel each map had some sort of side quest tide to it as well such as Yoshi’s Island race, getting a special weapon, a casino, help compose music, etc.

 

Some of the fun parts of the game would be everything! Yet I’ll list a few that were some of my personal favorites. In Moleville there is a cart ride at the end of the dungeon. The music was peppy and fun and getting to ride around in a mine cart to beat your time over and over was pretty fun. Another fun place was Booster’s Tower! I really loved how you could fight the Snifits that were Boosters pals and that there were a few secrets to this place. One secret was an easter egg for the 8-Bit Mario when you went behind a curtain. There’s a couple other easter eggs that are found such as Link and the boss Clux from Final Fantasy. I loved the mini game of hiding behind the curtain to not let Booster find you. It had a lot twists with it, I especially liked how when you progress a certain amount up the tower Booster would come himself and do a little skit. After Booster’s Tower you get to go to a town called Marrymore, which is by far my favorite town. There is a hotel you can stay at there and there’s a suite room which is a bit pricey on the coins. What is great about it is you can keep sleeping there over and over again! Just make sure you don’t go down to the desk area or it will ruin it. But if you stayed multiple nights and you do go down to the desk, they will yell at you and you get to work as a bell boy for the extra amount of nights you stayed there. It’s actually pretty fun, sometimes the customers will give you tips, other times they won’t.

           

                            

Nimbus Land was my other favorite map because I really loved the Valentina and Dodo duo. You also get to see Birdo in the Nimbus Castle! It also has a fun little mini game of not letting Dodo hit you when you are in statue form, it had catchy music and it was fun to see Dodo get flustered and try to tell Valentina about it but she didn’t really care. I also liked the scene here with King Nimbus and asking for your entire parties autographs too, it was worth a few giggles. After Nimbus Land you go into a Volcano which has my all-time favorite boss: The Axem Ranger. As I said before they are the evil power rangers and they are great. Each one has a unique personality and says fun stuff when you are chasing after them and while fighting them.  Finally there is Bowser’s Castle; I truly enjoyed the part of the castle with the 8 doors. There was two of every type of type of door and each had a prize at the end. They were either the last weapons for some of the characters or random items to use as weapons such as rock candies.

To wrap it up Super Mario RPG is a really fun game with a lot of replay value. After you complete it once, yes the game does seem a lot shorter, but it’s still always a good run through of a classic.

What has been going on?

Hello fellow readers!

I have been on a bit of a hiatus mainly because of life in general. Work has seamlessly taken over all of my free time and by the time I am done with work all I feel like doing is sitting down and watching a good anime, play a good game, or read a good book/manga. The last thing I feel like doing is writing, which is why I have not published anything in a few months. I am hoping due to me looking for a new job and getting back to a somewhat normal life where I am not living my life to work that I will start posting more regularly. I have a huge list of drafts waiting to get completed/started for games that I have completed and animes I have been watching, along with some of the new manga/books I have been reading. So hopefully they will be making their way done the pipeline soon. But I am still here, it has been on my mind to blog more and hopefully that will start happening as things get progressively better.

Phoenix Wright:Duel Destinies

The Phoenix Wright series is one of my favorite of all time. It really drew me in with the cast of characters, the story for each game, and game play. The series has had three games on the DS based around Phoenix Wright being a defence attorney and defending an interesting cast of characters. He was always accompanied by Maya Fey and her cousin Pearl Fey to help in his investigations. Dick Gumshoe was the key detective in the first three games, each one held a different prosecutor. Following the Phoenix Wright trials they created a game following Miles Edgeworth and Dick Gumshoe. Followed by this was Apollo Justice and this finally leads to Phoenix Wright Duel Destinies!

Duel Destinies involves characters from both Apollo Justice and the Phoenix Wright games. It introduces a new band of characters as well including a new detective: Detective Bobby Fulbright, a new side kick for Phoenix and Apollo named Athena, and new prosecution: Simon Blackquill. I like how this game brings in the old and blends it really well with the new, that is a feature of the game that has always been done very well.

The game takes place roughly a year after the events of Apollo Justice, the legal system has entered a dark era, filled with false charges and fabricated evidence. The Wright Anything Agency has been busy with Phoenix Wright getting back in the swing of being a Defense Attorney, he takes aboard Athena Cykes, who specializes in analytical psychology, and of course they are joined by Apollo. When going through the story you are basically trying to find the truth in all the cases and stop this dark era of the law from taking over the court system.

The flow of the game pretty much follows the flow of the previous games. You’ll see an intro to the case  and then you will go into Phoenix and company enjoying a peaceful time out then suddenly getting thrown into the case.

You get to do investigation and then afterwards head to court and present your case to defend your client. I really liked how they kept Phoenix Wright’s ability with the Psych Locks and Apollo’s Bracelet ability. A new ability in the game is Athena’s emotion lock system. You analyze the account of the witness at certain times when something deeper is hidden. You have to pick out which emotion either does not belong, seems to be the more dominate one, or an emotion that should be there that is not there presently.

I enjoyed the cast of characters in the game, though I was a bit sad to not see Detective Gumshoe. I felt that he really made the series have it’s funny moments. Fulbright was okay but not able to replace Gumshoe and live up to his funny moments. Blackquill was an okay character, I found him to be annoying at times. It was pretty fun though when you knew you had him outwitted with something and he just looked so angry. Loved those moments! You got to see a lot of old faces as well such as Edgeworth and Gavin. I enjoyed how they brought the old faces in to keep showing you how everyone’s relationship has been growing over the missed time.

The DLC that came with the game I feel was a great addition to the story. It covers the time of Phoenix after he got his badge back with his first big case. His client for this case was defending an Orca Whale. I will say that whale was adorable. I loved the whole pirate theme as well, probably one of the best cases the series has had.

If you are a fan of this series I highly recommend playing this. It was a great installment and has kept true to the Phoenix Wright gameplay.

10/10