Posted on 16 March 2018 with categories: Game Reviews

I have been thinking of doing this for a while but now seems like a good time to write a review on the thing I have been obsessing over for the past few months. As I have no doubt made clear on this site, I am a massive fan of the Fate series and one particular part of it that has eluded me for quite a while has been the mobile game, Fate/Grand Order. I saw hope when it was confirmed for a overseas release but got disheartened when it was confirmed to be only for America with no plans of a European release. I originally intended to wait for a European release but as time went on that prospect was looking to never happen and around Halloween I caved and used an API app to download Fate/Grand Order. It has proved to be both a blessing and a curse in a way. A blessing in that it makes for a magnificent time waster and introduced me to a whole batch of new servants and lore never present in other Fate works. And a curse in that I have put a significant amount of money into this game, an amount I would be ashamed to admit. But what is this game like?

One particular thing that makes Fate GO stand out from other mobile offerings is that there is a higher emphasis on story and this is very apparent with the exceedingly long prologue the game makes new players go through before they get to the meat of the game. The story is told in visual novel style though with more limited resources such as each character only having one sprite with changing expressions. As such I am afraid that despite the extra effort put into it, story is not this games strongpoint. The incredibly limited nature of mobile as well as the games mechanics often get in the way of the story reaching the level of its contemporaries. There is a Fate GO OVA which should give you an idea of the stories quality and for a mobile game story it may be above average but as far as Nasuverse works go, it’s passable at best. Even without the limitations of the device, the story suffers from having inconsistent writing quality due to different writers for each story arc. Even then each story scene pretty much ends with “Oh no, monsters showed up and we must fight them!” The protagonist has no real character as they act mainly as a player surrogate and while Mash does grow on you, she is admittedly a rather plain character. Roman has some character but mainly acts as the story’s whipping boy for comic relief. Honestly when it comes to story I find that the games special events often hold the best it has to offer as it’s when they stop taking things so seriously and just have fun with the concept.
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Posted on 19 October 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

This may be one of the most difficult reviews I have ever had to write as Wonderful Everyday, which I will refer to from this point forward by its abbreviation SubaHibi, is a story that very much depends on the viewer not being prepared for it. Now I have been looking forward to this game quite a bit, as word online was that it is a visual novel unlike most and delves into some rather dark themes. I backed the Kickstarter and was waiting adamantly for the the release with hope that this could be a title to add to my all time favorites. In retrospect it was the wrong way to approach this story as many overhyped the game and failed to remark on it’s rather large shortcomings. You can buy this game currently on steam but if you do so please do remember to apply a free patch to the game. The reason this is critical is that only the first chapter of the game has been put on Steam and to access the remaining six chapters this patch must be applied. The reason for this is mainly to get around Steam’s rather odd stance against pornographic content and making SubaHibi an All Ages game(Aka, removing the sex scenes) is impossible due to their importance to the story.

A question you are likely asking is what is SubaHIbi about? Answering that question for any other story would be an easy matter but here I must mind my words as I could very well spoil what may be the best part about this story. For you see SubiHibi takes an odd approach to storytelling in that the game is split up into seven chapters. Each which features a different unreliable narrator going through the strange events that took place during a two week period. The goal of SubaHibi is to take these different perspectives on the same events and piece together just what exactly happened and what caused it. As such this visual novel does not follow the standard model of having routes based on which heroine is chosen but instead follows a mostly linear route that has some small side endings. As a fan of murder mysteries I love this approach of taking stories told from different perspectives to piece together an overall narrative and was quite engaged by it. However the first chapter acts as a poor introduction to this story as it is mainly preoccupied with trying to convince you that SubaHIbi is a dime a dozen Yuri visual novel. Walking in with high expectations and reading what is equal to a fairly trashy waste of time is likely to turn many off before they get to the real story. You can argue that the first chapter holds symbolic merit upon completing the story but well you only would see that if you make it to the end of the visual novel.
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Posted on 28 September 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

I don’t plan to do this often but after playing this I wanted to make a post recommending it. I could have done a review like I usually do but in this case the story is so short and the VN can be downloaded for free so if I was to write a full review of it i would most likely spoil the experience. The length of the game is about 3 to 4 hours and while it likely doesn’t look like something all that interesting I can guarantee that it is well worth reading. The first hour is a bit tough to get through as it is rather dull and starts up slowly. But once things get going this story picks up immensely so power though till you get to that point. The visual novel was made in 2 years by a former Smash Bro’s Modder and despite it’s style it is an English Only Visual novel, meaning that it is not made in Japan. You can download the game from this site but it will also be available from Steam here. I highly recommend checking it out as it’s certainly a fascinating experience.

Posted on 19 July 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

In the Visual novel fandom there are certain titles referred to Kamige.(God(ly) games) I previously thought the term referred to the best the medium has to offer but in recent times come to realise that a game can be referred to as a Kamige while not necessarily being the best. So Kamige as I understand it are Visual novels which stand out from the rabble and sadly many of these cannot be experienced by those of us who don’t speak Japanese. Fortunately due to the efforts of localization companies we now have several Kamige on the way. Baldr Sky, Subahibi and more are coming. Thus the first to grace our shores is Dies Irae and believe me that it wasn’t easy. As a backer of the kickstarter I watched this thing go through hell to reach our shores, from horrible mismanagement of the kickstarter to the embarrassing moment where Dies Irae had yet to reach it’s goal when a Nekopara anime kickstarter running at the same time raised one million in funds. It was dark days, truly dark days, but now we have it. A title once called untranslatable and forever out of gasp is in my hands. Now having played it, what do I think of Dies irae?

Dies Irae has four main routes and five side stories and while this version has the option to lock you into a girl’s route before starting a new game, I highly recommend that you don’t make use of it. I used these buttons to lock me into each girl’s route and encountered a glitch where I couldn’t unlock the final side story due to having missed dialogue in choices. So I recommend you use the common route button and get to the girls routes using a walkthrough. On that note as a very important rule of this visual novel is that while you can chose any girls route from the start, you should complete the girl’s routes in the following order: Kasumi, Kei, Marie, Rea. The reason for this is that later routes expect you to know knowledge from previous routes and playing them out of order can leave you confused as to just what is even going on. More importantly is that Rea’s route is clearly the finale of the entire story so playing it first would lose it’s impact. The strict route structure is a bit of pain, in particular as the quality of the story goes from worst to best. However it is interesting to see events of earlier routes subconsciously affect events of later routes. Things which previously didn’t make much sense or felt out of nowhere take on new meaning when you take into account the matter of eternal recurrence. But alas, what is the story of Dies Irae? It’s difficult to go into detail without spoilers but lets say it starts with a matter regarding a serial killer which evolves into a full blown battle which pits our main protagonist Ren against a group of superpowered nazi’s from the remnants of World War II known as the Obsidian Round Table.
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Posted on 3 May 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

When I heard about the reveal of a sequel to Nier my initial reaction was of relative apathy. Even upon hearing it was coming to PC I was relatively unhyped. To say I was uninterested would be wrong as I did previously hear of Nier being a game with a interesting and strange story but I couldn’t really find myself all that invested in it. Around the release of Nier Automata my interest in the game went higher as I learn more about the writer, Yoko Taro. Taro is a strange fellow who likes to write strange stories. He has a desire to test the boundaries of video game storytelling and his previous efforts were noted for being strange but refreshingly unique tales. The biggest problem is that while Taro has wrote some interesting stories for his games, ones enough to gather him a fanbase, even the most dedicated of fans would struggle to say they were good games. A Yoko Taro game was something you played for the plot and the gameplay was often the thing you had to struggle through to get that plot. This is another one of those things that had me rather apprehensive about a new Nier game. However this time is different as Platinum games steps up to lend a helping hand. Thanks to that while people could debate the quality of the story compared to his previous work, this is clearly Yoko Taro’s best game. One which has me rather interested to experience the rest of his work. Before playing Nier Automata I watched summery videos on youtube of Nier and Drakengard 3(As Nier is a spinoff of the Drakengard series.) Not that you need to know anything about those works as Nier Automata is clearly it’s own self contained entity. For this review I played the steam version of the game and I will try to avoid spoilers. Lets dive in.

The game is set thousands of years after the end of Nier 1 and earth has been conquered by Aliens.Humans have retreated to the moon and use an Army of Androids to go down to earth to take back the planet for the human race. Likewise the Aliens combat these androids with an army of Machines and this battle has been raging between the two for hundreds of years. You play as an android by the name of B2 who is send down earth and works together with a hacker android called 9S to fight the machine menace. Said androids also happen to fight with samurai swords while in gothic maid and butler outfits with heads up displays in blindfolds. I mentioned this before, but Yoko Taro does indeed write strange stories. The story is certainly intriguing as it explores the nature of what makes something human and whether the self is truly a irreplaceable thing. The androids are the most humanlike creatures on earth but have a rule against feeling emotion. Though expressing emotion isn’t so much as a reinforced law as plenty of androids break it. I saw that a android repressing emotion was more out of decorum rather than a genuine law. The androids hold humans to a high regard so it’s fitting that they would find imitating them to be disingenuous. I do admit that the story has very interesting idea’s and execution but I found my biggest gripe with the story is that it is just how disconnected the events of it where. Each part of the story has very little correlation to the other and there isn’t really much of an overarching goal besides the matter of reclaiming the earth. Though how that is accomplished is never made particularly clear. For most of the game you are ordered to investigate an area and often take down a certain robot but there isn’t any real sense of progress on what you are doing. One thing that really speaks of this flaw is that in the second half of the story suddenly a massive robot appears and the entire android army is tasked with taking it down. Is this massive robot related to the antagonist? No. Is it used for character development or to shed insight into Nier Automata’s themes? No. Does it affect the plot in any way? Not really besides giving a reason for 2B and 9S to be separated. Overall the whole section feels like their was a big section of the script which had “Insert multi stage boss fight here” on it. This is what really bugged me about the story of this game, it’s so disjointed. Like Yoko Taro wanted to present a series of idea’s but didn’t really attempt to weave them into an ongoing narrative.
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Posted on 17 February 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

I admit my first reaction to this visual novel wasn’t a positive one. Maybe it was because of Nekopara having a hugely successful kickstarter when Dies Irae was struggling to reach it’s goal.(I mean Jesus Christ the Nekopara anime OVA kickstarter raised nearly one million dollars. People really want catgirls.) I more or least saw the cover art, briefly skimmed the synopsis and said nope. However I got word that there was more to this story that means the eye and I tend to be fascinated by turning innocent concepts dark. My review this time will be shorter than my average ones as this visual novel clocks in at about a three and a half to four hour read. So due to it’s short length, the more i talk about it, the more I risk spoiling it. In any case the brief rundown is that a man is in a rough point in his marriage. His wife won’t give him a break and his daughter avoids him. One night after a fight the man goes for a walk and encounters a mysterious catgirl who claims to be a cat from his childhood. The catgirl called Bell wishes to repay the man for a favor he did in his childhood while also proclaiming that she is in love with him. Thus the man called Robin tries to avoid the temptation of this catgirl while dealing with a ever breaking down marriage.

One thing I was surprised by is that this visual novel is remarkably well written when compared to your standard fare. It would be very easy to turn this kind of concept fetishitic and fanservicely but the story manages to avoid that for the most part. The writing focuses mainly on the moral dilemma of the protagonist. Though starting out wary of Bell, he finds that as his home life gets increasingly stressful while Bell gives him the attention he desires. Always seemly knowing just what he wants to hear. So essentially we have a sort of Fatal Attraction story with the protagonist getting tempted by a potentially dangerous individual while trying to mend problems in his current relationship. I like how the rift is portrayed in that it’s not the usual abusive drunk or shouting matches. More cold indifference and an unwillingness for either side to just give the other a break. Neither side is particularly in the right here as while Sally does get far too bent out of shape over suspecting her husband of infidelity, Robin tends to gloss over his own failings in his family life in his inner monologues. For example, Robin mentioned that he attempted to teach his daughter piano lessons when she was young. From the way he puts it, he just gently tried to teach her and then gave up when she showed that she had no interest. However from the way Sally remarks about it, it seems those lessons were not quite as pleasant as Robin makes them out to be. The characters feel realistic apart from Bell’s more anime like mannerisms in her attempts to seduce Robin. But that in turn does make it clear why this girl is alluring to him.
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Posted on 9 February 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

When watching anime you are bound to come across a Chuunibyou character. The normal human being who acts like they are the protagonist of some terrible power trip anime. But did you ever wonder just what it was that gave them the idea to act like this? Well wonder no further because these people likely played 11eyes. This visual novel is essentially a distillation of every tired anime trope under the sun so your enjoyment of it will likely depend on how exposed to these tropes you are. Most would know this title from an anime adaption made in 2009 and I remember reading the anime’s synopsis and getting interested. However I heard that the anime adaption was poor and having recently got into visual novels I wanted to experience the story in it’s original format. Lucky for me, there was an ongoing fan translation of 11eyes so I waited patiently for it to be completed. Unfortunately that fan translation went the way of many a fan translation and ended up going silent with work stopping completely. It’s things like this that make me appreciate companies like Mangagamer and Sekai as while a kickstarter may be necessary and it takes time, at least it gets done. Eventually I just gave up on playing the story entirely when suddenly in 2016 an English patch for 11eyes was released. Thus I saw this as an opportune moment to see what I missed all these years. As it turns out, it wasn’t all that much.

Our story involves a Heterochromatic eyepatch wearing boy called Kakaru who along with his childhood friend Yuka find themselves thrown into an alternate version of their town which they refer to as the red night. A world shaded in red with is filled with monsters that seek to kill them that disappears after a certain period of time. Soon they run into a group of monsters calling themselves the black knights who swear to kill Kakaru and Yuka as well as the four other people who were pulled into the red night. So they work to join the other people dragged into the nightmare, work together to beat the black knights and hopefully regain their normal lives. The thing that mainly intrigued me about this concept was that at any moment of their lives they could be pulled into the red night without warning and the idea of a bunch of superpowered teens fighting off a nightmare world on a regular basis is a rather interesting. However this story has serious pacing issues as the beginning really drags due to the characters. A big feature of this visual novel is something called crossvision. For you see the majority of this VN is read from the perspective of Kakaru and crossvision allows you to see a scene from the perspective of another character. In theory this is interesting as it allows you to see what the characters are thinking at particular moments and see things which happen to other people when Kakaru isn’t around. However in practice you find that you can only see certain scenes from a specific person’s perspective rather than the freedom to move between characters at any moment. In essence it’s like watching a movie where every now and again you have to pause and go to the scene selection menu to watch a scene that wasn’t included in the movie. This is a game with bad pacing as is so this certainly kills it. What doesn’t help that some scenes are  exactly the same as a scene from Kakaru’s perspective, just with some extra lines of inner monologue.
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Posted on 2 February 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

A good while back I bought a little game for the Wii called Monster Hunter Tri. After playing it for a bit I got tired of collecting bits of twig and not doing the monster hunting the title promised and left it on the wayside. Then one week I decided to put in my all and finished Monster Hunter Tri and came to find what made the series so appealing. Though I stopped keeping up with the game because every time I bought one there would be a Monster Hunter slightly better edition released and the games are so much of a time sink that I can never get around to playing them. Now you may be wondering just why am I talking about Monster Hunter when this is a God Eater review? Well that’s simple, God Eater wears its inspiration inspiration on it’s sleeve. To the degree that I was ready to label it babies first Monster Hunter within its first third of missions. For reference the copy I am reviewing is God Eater Resurrection steam version which comes free when you buy God Eater 2 on steam.

Thanks to my experience with the God Eater anime I walked into this game expecting absolutely nothing from the story. That was most certainly a good call. This story is just as bland and forgettable as the anime portrayed it so in that regard I guess it was a faithful adaption. Which isn’t really helped when you have a silent self insert protagonist. There was only one point I became somewhat invested in the story and that had to do with a girl who pretty much had the personality of Asuka Langley Soryu but was hit with a serious case of PTSD. Helping her work through it was a rather good part of the story for me but I may be projecting as she has the upward character arc that Asuka so desperately needed. Other than that I found it hard to really feel the levity of this world on the brink of destruction by aragami when everyone in it dresses like they came out of a cosplay convention. Forgive me but it’s a little hard to take the situation seriously when the woman giving me missions is wearing no top besides a jacket zipped down with no bra and pants that show off the sides of her thighs. I feel a serious disconnect as what she is wearing doesn’t seem to reflect her no nonsense personality at all. Everyone else is a bunch of standard stereotypes as well with Souma(Actually had to look up his name because I forgot it) being the worst offender as he is standard emo all the way. The presentation isn’t much to look at either seeing as this is a remastered PSP game and no matter how prettied up it is you can see the signs of it’s portable origin. The first part of the game is essentially about teaching a human aragami to love and stopping the plans of the evil director who you can pretty much guess is evil by the time he opens his mouth. After that it becomes a hunt to find a former mentor who goes missing and lastly just some powerful Aragami shows up and you have to kill it. The story tries to tug at you but I found myself purely apathetic which is funny because the way I designed my avatar it looks like he gave about as much of a damn as I did. I will say that the weird sense of style does give you a lot of customisation when it comes to your avatar. So naturally I fulfilled my dream of hunting monsters dressed like a pimp with a tiny top hat and a scythe.
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Posted on 25 November 2016 with categories: Game Reviews

The Disgaea series has been one that has caught my interest from time to time when shifting between games. It’s artstyle is certainly its most distinctive feature at a glance but for someone like myself the real draw of the series was it’s similarities to one of the most shining yet overlooked gems of the Final Fantasy franchise. That being of course, Final Fantasy Tactics. Disgaea however promised more, more levels, more customization, more content, more of absolutely everything. But with more comes the thing which is likely to keep many from trying it, game length. My entire playtime with Disgaea clocked in at 42 hours and I was focusing on only the main story. Taking into account the series rather famous post game content and extra features you could spend double, if not triple the time I spent on it. Disgaea is certainly a game that gives you your money’s worth and if made today perhaps it would have as much ridiculous DLC and collector’s editions as Watchdogs 2 has. Oh yes the days when you could have extra content in a game and not have to fork over a fiver. Anyway for this review I will be covering the Steam PC release of Disgaea opposed of its Playstation 2, DS and PSP counterparts. Now the PC version had a rocky start as on release the port had dozens of problems. Graphical glitches, crashes, frame drops, Lack of resolution settings…honestly it was a bit of a mess. However in recent times the port has been fixed up and as least on my rig it ran with no real problems. Only real problem I encountered was the game crashing if you tried to start it when the monitor was connected via HDMI to a TV but in recent patches that issue has been resolved. To avoid this for Disgaea 2 being released in January of next year they are currently Beta testing it by giving out free copies for testing purposes.(Sadly the submission date to be a Beta tester has passed so I will have to buy it instead) Considering that I think Disgaea 2 should have a much more favorable reception. But well moving on to the review.

Getting into Disgaea I had a feeling I wouldn’t be playing the games for the story and from word on forums apparently this game has the best story of the franchise. If this is the best story the series has to offer I say it’s truly not impressive. It’s not bad but the focus is mostly on humor with some small attempts to tug heartstrings from time to time. It’s a passable JRPG story but not a very memorable one. Part of the reason is that Disgaea holds a kind of anime episodic format which even has the female sidekick narrating next episode previews which are pretty much complete lies endorsing her as the main Heroine. As such the story is divided up into episodes which generally have three to four battles in them a piece. The plot deals with the demon son of the Overlord of the underworld attempting to take his position on the throne while fighting off opposition for the throne. You would think this would be the end goal of the game but halfway through he pretty much achieves this end and instead humans are introduced in the form of three heroes invading hell. These characters are fine though the main gimmick of the guy being a Flash Gordan parody gets tiresome quickly. This wouldn’t be all that bad but the second half of the story almost exclusively focuses on these humans and a war between Netherworld and Earth. Then in the last episode angels take center stage as the final boss. In a sense we have three main story arcs with some small episodic side stories in between. The main theme seems to be about a trainee angel Flonne helping to teach the overlord’s son Laharl to love which yeah is trit and cliche. Best moment of the story really was this angel Trainee being sent down to assassinate Laharl but failing hard because she was too polite and kind. Hearing her say “Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m an Assassin.” to Laharl did make me chuckle.

Let us talk about the meat of the game, the gameplay and boy, I knew going into this that this would be a grind heavy game but they really were not kidding. Gameplay in Disgaea plays much like a Fire Emblem game, with a grid like level layout where you direct up to 14 characters to move and attack enemies. It’s fairly light strategy wise as most battles are decided depending on the levels and it really just becomes a matter of using the skill best suited to hitting the most enemies. Out of the 42 hours I spent on this I could be fairly certain on saying that 30 of those hours were spent grinding. In Disgaea you can level up everything, and I do mean everything. Par for the course you can level up characters but use spells and you level those up, use skills and you level those up, you can level up weapon mastery, you can level up weapons, you level up specialists, you can level your weapons and items using item world, you can level up you standing in the dark assembly, you can level up shops if you buy from them and quite frankly anything that can be leveled, will be leveled. I said in my fairy Fencer review that if you have too many systems in place for getting strong, it becomes harder to balance the game for a good challenge and boy does Disgaea suffer from the same problem. Let me be blunt and say in Disgaea you are either underpowered or overpowered with rare times of ever being in between. The biggest challenge you can get can be from how geo panels(Places which grant bonuses to the player/enemy standing on them) which can really give you some painful levels to get through. There is even a level where everywhere is filled with panels that make people invincible so the only way to win is the lead/throw enemies to the one panel that doesn’t have the invincibility effect. I made a particular mistake one time were I accidentally made the entire field of play invincible, hereby making my characters and the enemy impossible to beat. That was certainly a facepalm moment.

The grind is the name of the game but if there is a major failing of Disgaea it’s just how poor a job it does with teaching you it’s systems. The overall interface is fairly clumsy seeing as you can’t actually view how close a character is to a level up or even how much experience they have.(You can see total experience in a separate status window but that doesn’t mention how close to a level up.) Some of the most important options are hidden under it’s awkward menus and the game really only tells you the barest minimum to get through it. Now you are informed that you can finish DIsgaea with minimal knowledge and this is true, but doing so will leave you oblivious to the game’s finer points with its mechanics as well as missing out on features which could make your life a whole lot easier. I find it rather annoying that so much detail was given on the nature of Geo panels and how to cause a chain attack with them when you will most certainly never actually use it. Yet you are given barely any info on how the Dark Assembly works or the nature of Specialists. There is info present with an NPC throwing out answers to how they work but this is akin to learning English by reading a dictionary. Just try reading over these lines several times it just won’t hit home how it all works until you fiddle with it yourself. To figure out how a number of things work I had to jump to the Disgaea wiki just to get my bearings. Even then I only came to realise about Specialists when I reached near the end of the game. Basically you would find weapons have weird names attached to them like Firefighter, teacher, gladiator and for the majority of the game i had no idea what these things even were. Only late into the game did I find out that all these things were essentially code for passive stat bonuses and by using item world you can double these stat bonuses and even move them between weapons.

What makes these so important is that there is a specialist which can double or even triple the amount of exp a character gets from enemies. In a game about grinding, that aspect is critical. Another thing it fails to tell you about is the master and servant system which is briefly mentioned but chances are that you will have no idea how it works. This is likely the best aspect of Disgaea as it gives a ridiculous level of customization to your characters. Here’s how it works, using your characters you can create other characters which are those characters servants. masters and servants don’t really differ all that much except in one aspect. The master can use and learn all the skills of the servant if placed beside them. So as an example, let’s say you have a zombie character whom you want to give healing spells. Well you use the dark assembly to create a priest using that zombie character. You level up the priest gain most of the healing spells and then you place that priest beside your zombie in combat. Then the zombie can use all the healing spells the priest has learned and if the zombie uses a healing spell enough times to level up, that healing spell is permanently added to that zombies skills. Meaning that regardless of whether priest is around or not, that zombie can cast healing spells on anyone. So making use of this system you can have Priests with martial arts abilities, dragons who can cast spells, mages who can use swords. Almost anything is possible and it certainly is fun mixing and matching to give a character the skills you want. The downside is that to power up the character you want, you need to create and level up another character whom you don’t care about. Which is troublesome when you want a mage who can use all types of magic and find that fire, wind, ice and star magic is split up between four characters.

So what’s Item world you may ask? Well in Disgaea each item, be it weapon, armour or usage, can be leveled up to be more powerful. To do this you go to Item world which is similar to a gauntlet of battles. Think of being at the top of a tower with several floors filled with enemies and the only way to progress down a floor is to either kill the enemies on that floor or find the stairs. Thus we have a pretty big source of most of your grinding as well as the most tedious aspect of Disgaea as a whole. Grinding isn’t exactly a praiseworthy aspect of gaming, mainly because it is used as a means to pad out gametime. However depending on how it’s done it doesn’t have to be a unpleasant experience. Keep it speedy and relatively easy with generous pace of reward and grinding can even be a fun aspect of a game. But here is where item world flatters. Item world is slow, time consuming and can be a massive pain at times. Reasons as to why is in part due to the randomly generated terrain of the floors which doesn’t always make the level player friendly. Nothing is unbeatable but it can make some levels that force you to throw characters all about the place just to reach the stairs. There were times I groaned when the game spawned the exit in such an awkward place and put a specialist on a platform to far to throw to or attack. To make matters worse, you cannot leave item world until you at least get ten floors down(Or use a genji’s exit which can only be obtained by going ten floors down in a item.) and it takes at least thirty to forty minutes to get down that far.

If you have the patience of a god you can go down up to hundred floors if you wish to give the item a serious boost in power but I never saw it as worth it. This mode is one of the best ways of powering up your characters but the complete slog of it just made me avoid using it until absolutely necessary. But then let’s talk about something that really bugs me about this game and it’s how you level. Unlike regular RPGs experience isn’t given out evenly among the team when you complete a battle. Instead exp is given to whomever happens to land the last blow to an enemy. This is a big problem for three reasons. For one, leveling up healing units is a massive pain as they have to kill units to gain higher level healing spells. Another is that you end up relying on certain units a lot which makes them a much higher level than the rest of the team. Ultimately the stronger units get all the experience when the weaker units get jack which leads to grinding your weaker units up to an acceptable level as you progress through the game. Lastly you end up using your stronger units to weaken higher level enemies just so your weaker units can land the last blow and it is all too easy to accidently kill the enemy. Personally I would prefer if Disgaea took on a system like Suikoden where experience is divided evenly and allows weaker units to catch up quickly with stronger ones. It’s just one of the things that could make the grind of Disgaea a little less inconvenient.

Disgaea to me is a prototype for a much better game. Within it’s clunky systems and tedious aspects lies the groundwork for a fantastic strategy RPG. I know a lot of this review was essentially me complaining about various parts of it’s systems (I didn’t even get into things throwing enemies into other enemies to double their levels or the mostly useless bonus gauge.) but I did have fun with this game. It’s just that this fun comes with a big if attached to it. I am hesitant to recommend this game as you can have fun with it if you are willing to put up with it’s rough edges. It is my hope that with it’s sequel it could polish up it’s lesser aspects and cut down the tedium of grinding to present an immensely fun experience. From word of mouth it looks like that’s exactly what it’s going to do and certainly am most interested in seeing that. What’s better is that there isn’t any real connection storywise to this game it seems so people can jump into what could be a much more friendly gaming interface. I hope they bring more of the series to PC so I can see this system evolve and potentially produce an excellent title. As for this title alone I say if you are interested I would say to make sure you know what you are getting into and whether you have to patience to deal with it’s blemishes. If you can look past it’s faults you certainly will have something to keep you busy for quite a while.

Posted on 25 August 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Game Reviews

Well I promised I would do a review of this visual novel quite a while ago and believe it or not I only just got around to finishing it. If the fellow who requested it is still here then here you go, I kept my word. Anyway it has been a while since my last game review and I have been itching to cover more visual novels on this site. What better way to jump back into the fray than with The house in Fata Morgana made by Novectacle in 2012(2010 if you consider the trail version) but recently localised by Mangagamer and published on Steam on May of this year. Now this game is a strange beast for a Visual novel. Usually a VN has a main protagonist who lives in Japan and has a number of female friends who act as alternate routes and stories depending on who you choose to partner up with. Fata Morgana doesn’t have that and just in case you were thinking it, it’s not an Otome novel either. (AKA, what i just described but with male friends) Instead what we have here is a visual novel set in the west forgoing the usual anime style for a more comic book/gothic portrait style with a story that is akin to anthology of tragedy tales. For those concerned about censorship, there is none here as this game was all ages, meaning it holds no pornographic content. Don’t take that to mean that it isn’t dark or gory because I can assure you that is most certainly not the case. In a world where in the vast majority of cases you primary concern is choosing your first waifu, this game sticks out and very much in a good way. Don’t take it that I consider visual novels to be generally trash, this is more like the anime industry were for very interesting title you have a truckload of terrible fanservice fantasy harem battle anime. Only difference here is that unlike the anime industry, the dozens of visual titles coming out are not all translated, leaving potential greats sitting in the visual novel database unread due to no English translation. As a prime example, Baldr Sky which has held a spot in the top 5 visual novels of all time in VNDB since 2009 is only just now getting an English translation. It honestly pains me when i think of the numerous potential great titles which escape my grasp due to a lack of a translation. But alas let us move on.
(more…)

CHANGE USERNAME
Amagi
I love the ED song for Tonegawa
Lenlo
I recommend it. Its the best gambling anime out there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will watch Kaiji someday...someday...just keep forgetting to get around to it.
Anonymous2419710
@Kaiser-Eoghan He's working on a new anime film, not sure when it's coming out
Anonymous2419539
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji
Anonymous2417730
Can't say that I'm interested in a Jin-Roh remake with the plot transplanted to a near future Korea instead of the 1950s alternate history setting of the original.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still need to see his patlabor show and the first Patlabor film he did.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Need to rewatch the original. I recently did a rewatch of Oshii's works. They benefit from second viewings...and sometimes it better to just to run with some of them/let them wash over you largely because he isn't a particularly accessible director, wish he would return to making animated films though.
SuperMario
So Netflixe acquires a korean reanke of Jinroh huh? I guess it's just a matter of time
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dvd of the new, 6th Gundam origin ova came out last Friday but I can't find it on nya =<
Amagi
It's ongoing, two volumes out in Japan. Mangadex seems to be pretty fast with scanlations.
Masky
Ye have any idea whether its already finished one that hasn't been translated or on going series? Like I said, it seems macabre in fun way so would be disappointing to know it didn't do well
Amagi
@Masky: I found this Marry Grave manga coincidentally while browsing a board. It's really oldschoolish but in an entertaining way. It seems to be weekly or biweekly, but not sure.
Amagi
The idea of how this story is told is completely fresh and unused although I don't wanna spoil anything for people who don't know anything about it. And as if the whole mainstory wasn't nice enough there was a little hint at the end of the game that was a quite shocking reveal. Some people even missed this since the hint was pretty inconspicuous and not directly related to the main plot/character.
Amagi
It's real. Wow. This could easily become the best drama anime of the year if done right. The game was (IMO) fantastic despite being a pixelish RPG maker style game.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Holy shit really? To the Moon?
Amagi
Speaking of Urasawa there was announcement of a Pluto adaption last year, I guess they're still working on it. A good choice IMO, Pluto was not only my favorite Urasawa aside from 20thCB so far, it's one of the few that might be easier to adapt and it isn't too long.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Haven't read Chicago yet, maybe I will look into it. Kinda curious what series this mangaka will do next, same with Urasawa.
Masky
Huh? Found weird manga named Marry Grave. It feels like older manga but I'm not sure what its release date is.. Has rather interesting art and premise though first chapter is bit clunky on exposition
Kaiser-Eoghan
slightly disappointed to see happy sugar life not being covered =<
Lenlo
Oh man, 57? Franxx must have really gone down hill, because you seemed pretty into halfway through or so Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
<Crazy aunt in happy sugar life will have Belldandy's voice actress
<Terror the terror OMO
Kaiser-Eoghan
How do I save Chi no Wadachi's protagonist =< Manga giving me post traumatic stress ;M ;
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And that game, to the moon is getting an adaptation. I haven't played it nor know anything about it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It seems you were onto something when you said in your satsuriku no tenshi impressions/posts that other freeware games might see a chance at an adaptation. I recall you talking about a game called To the moon on here a few years back.
Vonter
I did like how they decided to use a Halo aesthetic for the lack of a better term. Bases and alien ships have this Halo like design and color schemes to them. Also when I though a harem could only be depicted in one way, this series proves me wrong.
Vonter
But after season 2. Oh boy, the series becomes a really intriguing and exciting sci fantasy journey, with lots of motivations, hillturns and mystery.
Vonter
I catch up to the Voltron series in Netflix and man. It might the best anime-like series I've watched all year. I was having doubt after season one because while not awful at the start, it's very typical Voltron good versus evil and the like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Chicago was one of the first Manga I read when I was 11, by the same author as 7 seeds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: A 7 seeds adaptation would be preferable, its the more mature of the two. My favourite parts of that manga is everything relating to Hana and also the flashbacks to Ango's team's past, also that flashback side arc which was set in that shelter centered on that guy who had nothing to do with the cast.
AidanAK47
For Mahou, I just wanna see the first VN translated.
Amagi
We will never see the Mahou sequel VN either
Amagi
Theoretically ufotable but I think they'd prefer to wait for the updated story of the new VN sooo never ever
AidanAK47
Op was pretty good for an anime that didn't exist. Honestly wonder what would come first. The remake of the VN or an anime adaption by Ufotable.
Amagi
Just as the Tsukihime anime doesn't exist (liked the OP of that nonexisting anime though)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: The original Basara anime doesn't exist, only the manga does.
Amagi
@Lenlo: I really loved it and as far as I know most people who didn't read it refused it due to its drawing style not the content. The style could get an improvement as anime and I think the story is something most people would enjoy. The side characters were all awesome and pretty diverse too, which is kinda worthy of mention because the series had a ton of them.
Amagi
Arisa might get a decent fanbase as well considering it's some sort of mystery-thriller shoujo despite it's appearance.
Lenlo
Oooh Basara would be one I would want to see
Amagi
@Kaiser: I wish we'd get an actual Basara or 7 Seeds adaption some day. But guess it's impossible in the age of 12-episode series.
Lenlo
Yeah, the Marvin reveal was done in as tasteful a way as I could see it being done. It was just creepy enough without being voyeur
Kaiser-Eoghan
**Done
Kaiser-Eoghan
*superficially
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I have never read this, LetDai is sometimes compared superficial to banana fish.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More fantasy/horror shoujo/josei manga, old ones, not otomeshit or school lifeshit could be adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And wasn't the reveal regarding Marvin down in a tasteful/restrained enough way while still getting the point across?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akimi Yoshida is actually quite diverse, aside from banana fish, she also wrote Our little sister.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"and NOT with naked muscular men. That’d be depressing!" Thank fuck we still have the slender ones then lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the looks of it Sugar life's only getting 12 episodes, which means it'll stop just before it really gets going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I think 2 volumes of the manga have been covered so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: "However its spelt" and there I am, realizing how rubbish I am with names and remembering/spelling them.
Lenlo
Oh man, Banana Fish is 24 episodes? Oh awesome. All the time in the world
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: In small doese, small doses he would be tolerable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
An anime about all of us would be fucking magnificent and I will hear nothing to the contrary of this fact.
Lenlo
However that name is spelt
Lenlo
Hmm, Steins;Gate 0 Okabe, or what? Cause Hyoin Kyoma would drive me up a wall.
Lenlo
Oh Grand Blue has some great reaction faces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not slice of life, but outside of all the dark stuff, I'd probably think Okabe Rintaro would be a fun guy to be around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually that brings up something, in all of the slice of life dramas/comedies out there, a good measure for how worthwhile some of them are could be "Which ones would I actually like to hang out with the characters in"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember when Free! aired, joking with another guy on here who would be who.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could probably get great reaction faces of the manga/show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I could keep up with the drunkening though.
Lenlo
Wait, ive been psychic robbed? When? How?
Lenlo
Ive known people like them before, though less cartoonishly dude-bro. They are fun in bursts. Made for some good experiences. Luckily the ones I knew, also knew when I was at my socializing limit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jokingly we'd all be blond otaku-t-shirt guy though =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I have committed un-intentional psychic theft of your thoughts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mario has to be the skinny dark haired Asian guy because it fits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As funny as these characters are, I probably wouldn't hang out with then if they were real, I'd probably be iritated by them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually hadn't thought it as far as the personalities .
AidanAK47
For I am the one that trolls
AidanAK47
@Kaiser/Lenlo, Wait then whose who in that screenshot. Cause looks wise I would likely be Iori but personality wise I would be closer to the burly dudes.
Lenlo
As for the updated setting, I think it will work out. Keeps it sorta relevant for modern audiences. I'm curious if the changes will be obvious or not, but the story should still work
Lenlo
As for Banana Fish, after this episode, Im not to worried about the fetishizing of homosexual relationships. Unlike alot of Shoujo/Yaoi-lite/bait stuff, it actually seems to condemn some aspects of the trope in manga.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I had the exact same thought for that screenshot and the writers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol Now imagine each of the characters in the screenshot representing a writer on this blog =P
SuperMario
Fixed
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I posted using my phone so that was the best I could do
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to state, regarding banana fish, for those avoiding it because of shounen-ai vibes or because its aimed at women, even though its listed as shoujo, its really the female equivalent to a seinen manga, it also created, even in Japan a massive crossover audience that also included heterosexual males.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whew lad, might want to center/neat-en up the screenshot on the latest post =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
See lenlo, while I love the adaptation, I'm still worried about the updated setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga had something about American foreign policy and the Mafia boss having to do with anti-communism, I wonder will the anime commit to that.
Lenlo
So far, Banana Fish is ony of my favorites. Im gonna make it very clear why tomorrow when I post on it, but boy I wasnt expecting it to commit so fully.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, my ranking so far of the premieres: -Angels of death
-Happy sugar life
-Banana fish
-Grand blue
Shichisei and planet with are dropped, will only watch sirius until I get bored. Don't like shounen action so I'm not continuing Angolmeh.
SuperMario
I know he's a good writer, hence I was looking forward to Dog eat dog. That film made me think he passed his prime
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Raging bull and mishima also he wrote those.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Nicholas Cage is awful and so was Dog eat dog I can agree to that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its alot better than that I can tell you. Also he wrote the affliction, taxi driver and hardcore, all great films.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you mean First Reformed? I watched Schraders' previous work Dog Eat Dog and absolutely hated it. Hated it with a passion
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't even know that until you pointed out
Kaiser-Eoghan
*movie blog
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How amusing, you uses "red blood moon" on your movie blood as a section for bad anime, and have the AKA abbreviation right next to it and that has the same spelling as the Japanese word for Red.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've got a feeling you might be a fan of Paul Schraders new film, its a mashup of Ordet, Winter light, diary of a country priest and Taxi driver. It is speechy, but it has alot to say and Ethan Hawke is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think i'd be able to stop myself pulling an animal ears girl's ears if they were real. I'd have to know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think I needed to watch it, just so I could have the feeling of getting away from the world while not needing to think.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that's basically the appeal of Cgdct shows. They're hardy deep or even have that much conflict, but they're adorable and fluffy. Good enough for me ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
The filter/visual style angolmis was going for initially completely took my concentration away from the show.
SuperWooper
(which includes a review of the inevitable AOTS) :^)
SuperWooper
Only one more First Impressions post to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Grand blue is funny but like with wotaku I'm not sure there'll be an incentive to watch every episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Maybe every season or so I will try to fit in a cute girls doing cute things show. I watched Konohana Kitan yesterday and while hardly essential, it was actually sort of adorable.
Amagi
A bit new info about the next When they Cry. Guess the release date will be the winter comiket. Really wonder how it will be, I have to admit I enjoyed the endless arguments in the Umineko VN a lot. Also it seems it will get the same music composers again.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That airs on July 22.
Anonymous2394727
were is attack on titan 3???
SuperMario
I'll still write a post once the first impressions' over, along with my general thoughts on this season.
SuperMario
Meanwhile, we already decided which shows to blog for this season. The coverage is as follows:
Aidan: Grand Blue, Planet With, Satsuriku no Tenshi
Mario: Chio-chan, Shoujo Kageki, Hanebado
Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0, Banana Fish
SuperMario
Just an update to you, dear readers. We're working on finishing these 1st impressions posts and try to finish it in few days time (3 more posts).
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Harry not Eddie
**Gundam F91
Kaiser-Eoghan
Have the blurays of 08th ms team downloading now to re-watch. Never seen Gundam F91 one . Really looking forward to the final origin ova and whenever more of Thunderbolt is coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eddie was a bit crap though, especially when you stand him up against other Char-esque characters and some of the other characters aren't quite as compelling. Loved the old American style setting though, crazypants main baddy was fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I finally finished/rewatched Turn A Gundam lately. It delivers strongly on its spectacle Heim and Soleil were great and my favourite gundam girls , the artstyle grows on you and because of that art style, it gets away with being one of the weirder phase gundamns, where G Gundam wasn't so lucky in that regard.
Amagi
Highscore Girl is way more annoying than I exptected it to be.
Amagi
Haven't played it (yet) but AFAIK they stay there and only move from floor to floor, I guess it's why they shortly mentioned these murders on the different floors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Does the entirety of satsuriku no tenshi stay in the building? I could seen the sense of claustropohbia for the audience disappearing if they left it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back on that comment, I should say, I have not read grand blues manga, so its entirely possible why the animes presentation made me laugh a bit because I've no comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, that blonde muscular guy in Grand blue made me laugh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like how we have very little idea of the buildings layout in satsuriku no tenshi.
Amagi
Not really looking forward to Gridman as I see the typical warning signs I noticed for Kiznaiver and Franxx as well here. The only positive thing is that the series seems to have an actual villain for once. The lack of that was one of the problems that bothered me with Franxx (not counting literal faceless aliens as "actual villain").
Amagi
I hope next actual Imaishi anime will be a good Trigger again. Honestly didn't really like any of their series done by other directors, Promare would be the first series done by the TTGL team again after KlK and Luluco. My only fear is that it might be a TTGL clone but it's too early to for that.
AidanAK47
I am gunning for Kyohime Lancer and Mordred Rider. Thankfully I don't really care about the five starts so my odds are not quite as bad.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes I am happy I got her with just one ticket since I am saving for the upcoming rate ups as well, especially Summer. Hell I need Martha.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Had a few moments like that which were not related to Fate go. Anyhoo I didn't bother rolling Da Vinchi as I got no real interest in him/her(Hard to decide when their reason for genderbending has more to do with beauty rather than gender.) Instead saving my Quartz for either the summer servants for the Knights of the round.
Amagi
Not lying but I had I dream yesterday about getting FGO's Da Vinci with one ticket, woke up, spent one ticket and got her (Yes. "Her"). I am so far into that anime stuff guess I am now developing esp powers just for that.
Amagi
Finally new Sirius subs I hope they are tolerable.
Amagi
Chio-chan is relatable
SuperMario
She's one of the actress I'm really fond of. But of course given how big a status she is
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If voices could be married I'd marry hers =P
SuperMario
Other 2 shows are Cells at Work and Phantom in the Twilight
SuperMario
Kana Hanazawa's extremely busy this season. She's also voicing for 2 other shows. Give me a minute so I can check up these other shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent I've heard Kana Hanazawa's voice was in 3-gatsu no lion where she voiced Hina, hearing her voice psychochick from happy sugar life makes it all the eerier =P Also watching this feels like less of a slog than reading the early chapters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scanners/photocopier machines however are the greater satan.
Amagi
What kind of cosmic rule forbids printers to ever work properly?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that satsuriku no tenshi's manga adaptation apparently is paced better and more effective at immersing the reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my time with shichisei subaru stops here, the cliffhangers just feel liked bad bait and while I hate jumping to buzzwords, this was just really generic and hamfisted. Its like I'm watching a crap adaptation of a bad moe datesim visual novel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah this is also a pretty stilted translation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I ended up watching it with mediocre subtitles also.
Amagi
Wait is Sirius subbed? Nonmeme subs I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Banana fish succeeds in making itself work as an action series all the more stronger, because it allows itself to have a good emotional backing. I'd forgotten how much of prick that one cop was in that scene in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If you want a reasonably quick boredom killer thats gorier than some modern anime allows you could probably do worse than Sirius.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, regarding Happy sugar lifes manga, Late volume 6-volume 8, we're kind of getting somewhere, especially with one particular flashback relating to Shio.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I too am not even impervious to cute and huggable things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*mikocchi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do plan on watch sorayori, konohana kitan and hakumei no mocchi someday.
SuperMario
*Asobi Asobase
SuperMario
So far, I enjoy Asobi Asobasa and Chio-chan so much that I watched them twice. Guess I do have a thing for cute girls comedy shows after all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hataraku Saibou, wouldn't be the first edutainment thing in anime , kemono souja and Moyashimon aswell.
Lenlo
Nope, not this week. One week hold since we are sorta between/starting a new season
Kaiser-Eoghan
No steins gate episode this week?
Masky
Hue hue, seems like around time of first impressions I don't need to do my usual isekai complaining because it gets done by someone else instead :D
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Hanebado! – 02/03 [Meat’s the Best After a Workout!/ She Was Perfect]

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Darling in the Franxx – 23[DARLING in the FRANXX]

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