Another fun week, and Christmas is coming up too! Good times 😀
Net-Juu no Susume ep. 10: Oh, this was ADORABLE! The whole episode is about Sakurai and Morioka being cute and awkward in Sakurai’s apartment, with both of them desperately attracted to each other but being too shy to do anything about it. I kinda expected them to get it on, but this is an all-ages type of anime, so yeah, not happening :p All we get at the end is them going on a date together and finally–FINALLY–holding hands. So cute~
My thoughts on the series overall? Delightful, lighthearted, good for all ages, a fun romp all around, and definitely one of my favorites this season. My only problems with it? Sakurai and Moriko are super cute, but Sakurai is just tooooo dense, all of his problems could have been solved if he just hit on Moriko a little and made it clear he was interested. Second, I thought some of the secondary characters could be a little more developed, we see the folks behind Kanbe and Lilac, but not much else. I thought Lilac’s player would get more attention, as well as the married couple, but nah. :p
Kekkai Sensen S2 ep. 10: Ooh, this was a pretty poignant episode, looking at the life of another one of Leo’s colleagues in Libra, K.K. She’s the team sniper, but she’s also a mother of 2, and always feels guilty when her job takes her away from her kids. She gets around that in this episode by remote-piloting a couple of sniper drones while attending a “parents come to school day” for her kid, which allows her to provide fire support for her friends when they’re on a tough mission while keeping her promise to her son. However, her teammates encounter a really tough robotic opponent, and it seems like she has no choice but to break that promise and head over there in person, but she figures out that robot is a drone remotely controlled by someone else…and that someone else is another parent at the school! Wow. She can’t apprehend him for fear of causing a scene in front of her son, but she does distract him long enough for her teammates to find an opening and destroy the bot. Phew…it wasn’t an in-depth look at the subject, but it was nice to see an anime deal with the challenges of being a parent while working at an important job at the same time, even in a very fantasy scenario. As usual, the kinda stuff I like to see these days 😮
Inuyashiki 10: Oh shit, this was a great episode! Not much to say about it aside from: At long last, Inuyashiki and Hiro have their mano-a-mano showdown! The fight choreography was really great, but the computer animation was kinda cheap…ah, well. At least Inuyashiki triumphs and the day is saved, though it seems Hiro isn’t quite dead yet. Guess the next ep will be the last…
I also saw The Disaster Artist, a dramatized account of the making of the famous “The Room” movie. Pretty fun. It wasn’t a crowded theater and I was the only one who laughed at a few points, but Lord alive, the lead actor really captured Tommy Wiseau’s…Wiseau-ness. The story, I suppose, was kinda touching/feel-good, with the moral that you should always follow your dreams, though you should also be careful while doing so in order to avoid alienating your friends. But yeah, pretty nice, pretty nice.
Finished up the little side project Star had for me. Hopefully with that done, we can get to Dragonar for a bit 😀
Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs. Oh, this is a delight! Got it on Steam Sale a while ago and definitely enjoying it. It was made by a Polish studio (and you know I love Poland 😀 ). In terms of aesthetics, it reminds me of games like Eldritch Hunter–relatively anime inspired, but very cartoonish in the sense that all the visuals are colorful and “quirky”–there are no dark, crumbling cathedrals under a bloodred sky like in Bloodborne, or knights in ornate, bloodstained armor, just a lot of generically cute-looking guys and girls in typical fantasy garb with a lot of cheerful yellows, blues, and greens. The aesthetics of the non-human characters are generally the same–dragons look funny and quirky rather than dangerous, zombies seem cartoony and childish rather than threatening, and so on. The voice acting is…OK. Some folks don’t like it, but it reminded me of one of those classic, lighthearted kid’s animes they used to show on Toonami back in the 90s.
Not that this is a bad thing at all, mind you. The general tenor of the game seems to be intended to be lighthearted and not-too-serious. You play as Kay Loren, a rather undistinguished minor noble who finds out that he’s actually the distant descendant of the king of another nation! Unfortunately, when he arrives, he finds out that his “kingdom” has been long abandoned and fallen to ruin, and even worse, his ancestors from that kingdom racked up insane amounts of debts, which he is responsible for paying! So yeah, not your typical fantasy “save the world” plot XD
In terms of actual gameplay? Well, there are a few ways to go about your task. You start off on an ‘overworld’ screen displaying your kingdom, where most of the buildings are in disrepair. There’s a calendar on one side of the screen, detailing how many days you have until the bank guys come knocking. You can spend time (usually a day) along with some money and other resources to repair one of the buildings, or you can talk to some of the other characters-party members, merchants you find in town, etc.–and build up your “personal bonds” with them, unlocking skills and stuff. Finally, you can also view the entire region, and from that region map you can take a party (you start off with only yourself and your loyal knight, but you can recruit more people) to adventure in caves, mountains, and forests. In those places, you fight monsters, bandits, and other evildoers in isometric, panel-based turn-based tactical combat, sort of like a simpler version of final fantasy tactics, in order to win money and materials to help upgrade your town. Doing any of these things helps complete “Kingdom Quests,” and completing a certain number every month satisfies the people to whom you’re in debt and keeps them from buying you out (thus giving you a Game Over). That’s pretty nifty, IMO.
The ‘personal bond’ thing is also good at giving the game a bit of a serious touch. For the most part, the main plot is just funny and amusing, but some of the conversations you can have with your troops can be almost profound at times. Check this out, for instance:
Most of the main dialogues are puns and memes, but sceneslike this are a bit more heady meditation on virtue, duty, things like that.
Additionally, the way the plot unfolds is really nifty as well. It’s actually almost like a historian or genealogist wrote this–I wonder if any were on the staff at Pixelated Milk games (the creators of Regalia). Since you need a ton of money to pay off the debts of your ancestors, the protag tries to see if they had any hidden vaults of treasure or at least a rainy day fund. As it turns out, some of his forebears–the ones who didn’t squander money on gambling–actually did, and Kay finds this out by going into archives and libraries and looking at letters and building blueprints to find mentions of vaults and architectural instructions for treasuries! Then he finds their specific locations by looking at old paintings of where they were supposedly built and sending many letters to distant relatives who might know. That kind of painstaking investigation isn’t so different from the stuff historians do, and I wrote a little bit about it in Wayward Son as well. Very cool, given the amount of time I’ve spent on the study of history I always enjoy seeing any portrayal of the historical method (as opposed to just tidbits of historical information) in my entertainment, so this tickled me. These polish folks at Pixelated Milk definitely knew what they were doin’ 😀
Unfortunately, the tactical battle parts are the absolute worst, hands-down. Tedious, RNG-filled shitfests (at least on Normal mode) where nearly every skill you have is completely useless due to line of sight (your characters are, for some reason, entirely unable to kneel, so your own troops block line of sight constantly) and a habit of missing just about every attack you make even if its hit percentage is above 80%. There are certain “perks” you can equip to reduce these problems, but since you can only take a limited number of perks, bypassing line of sight requirements presents a significant handicap. At least in XCOM and Xenonauts, you could fire around corners and over the head of friendly troops who were kneeling instead of having your own forces be, essentially, equally annoying hindrances as the enemies. Thankfully, there’s a casual mode to escape this nonsense, but the fact that the battle system is so awful in the first place is a shame.
But, ah, well…even a flawed battle system is outweighed by the quality of the writing and other game design choices. I still recommend it overall.
Nothin much this week, cause I’ve been busy with Star’s little side project :p
Same as above.
Well, back to business next week, hopefully…;D