Monday, July 28, 2014

Anime Haul! Hits [and Misses] of Summer 2014

July's almost over, and I've been getting myself into the fever of anime! One thing that remains though is that I ultimately need to get back into the rhythm of reading manga as well (especially now that my bookcase is set up). I'm sure that I'll get there eventually.

A lot of the anime I've been watching feels... rushed, for lack of a better word, and I remember the good old days of 25-26 episodes with in anime season. When it was anything shorter it felt so much more satisfying. Nowadays, I sort of dread the end. Not because "I don't want it to be over!!", but because it ends up feeling like a great waste of time on the part of those who put forth effort into making the anime and then on my part for watching it.

Harsh, I know, but them's the breaks. It's been hard to find something entertaining and worthwhile, but I'm sure that's only because I've only dipped my toe into the vast Summer Anime pool. I'll try to tackle them all (okay, more of them), but for now, let's kick things off with:

Bakumatsu Rock.

Monday, July 21, 2014

GDR Book Club. Prophecy of the Sisters

Prophecy of the Sisters is about the twin sisters Lia and Alice who have just become orphans. Their mother died when they were young, and with the recent passing of their father, they've also become enemies. Locked in a prophecy, the sisters must fill their roles and unlocked the tangled mysteries.

Every now and again, I buy a book that looks interesting and doesn't quite fit the bill. Prophecy of the Sisters is definitely one of those books. Unlike when I read the other books, I keep picking this up, reading a few chapters, and putting it down with a sense of disappointment. Prophecy of the Sisters isn't written in a way where it's constantly captivating. It's one of the few first person books that I've read, and for some reason, that only drags the book down further.

The way that the book is written puts me off. The common "elegance" of 19th century America seems very flaky and lacks sustenance. While reading it, I can envision the characters as amateur actors without a real understanding of characterisation or emotions. Harsh as it is, I believe this to be the truth. The characters all seem bland and stiff. Their elegance chalky, leaving a bad taste behind with every scene they're in. So much so that even understandable emotions of surprise, fear, or anger just seem false and leave me feeling unimpressed.

I understand characters being confused and saying things in their confusion that seem a bit... obvious, but there's something about Lia's naïveté that comes across as frustratingly juvenile. It's almost as though she's completely unaware of herself and her surroundings. Lia comes across as more than just a sheltered girl—she's too young in her mannerisms, too sweet, and too pampered

The story's idea of the prophecy does actually capture my interest, but since the story is from Lia's POV, the prophecy's mysticism is somewhat dampened. I'm not sure how I feel about this book as a whole as it feels a lot like something else too many times.

The middle of the end of the book makes everything decidedly more interesting, and the actual end got me almost excited. Not just because it was over but because it seemed so definitive and adventurous—a contrast to the rest of the book entirely. After the final tragedy, I finally found myself to be invested in the ongoings of the plot (even if certain parts still made me roll my eyes), but by then it was too little, too late, and the book was over far quicker than I expected.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dragon Age Combo Pack [2 of 2].

After a long time, we're finally wrapping up this combo pack. I haven't talked about Dragon Age II in a long time. Mostly because after I finished it, I jumped into other games while being obsessed with. Well, I'll get to that soon. Let's talk about the game a bit.

I don't really think there's a character I hated in my party. Merrill was annoying, but that's 90% because she's so damned hardheaded and can't listen to reason. Andy hates her, absolutely despises her, and wanted to subject her to the worst dialogue options as well as just leave her out of combat (if he could manage it). I didn't mind her so much, but damn. She's annoying.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reclaim Your [Dis]Honour

Warning: I have no current interest in comparing Dishonored to Thief.
This is only amplified in the fact that I have little to no interest in completing Thief past my current place.

Now that that's out of the way, I want to say that I really liked playing Dishonoured. These days, I'm none too good with stealth games (-ahemMetalGear-), but it's because of my lessened proficiency that I enjoyed Dishonoured so much. Looting and complimenting missions, being a stealth assassins, using the powers of the Outsider—all of it combined into a really enjoyable experience.

I liked how each seemingly minor character has an impact on your story in some way if you choose to interact with them. I love the details in the wreckage of the world as well. The books lying around can give you insight into characters without directly saying who's being referred to. Bystanders can be just that or they can be your greatest leads.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Let's Go Local: Hotel Indigo — A Long Gone Review

Let me preface this by saying the last time I've stepped foot inside Hotel Indigo was in 2012. However, I've been suffering a great wave of nostalgia lately because of the people I meet at work. After a particularly pleasant encounter, I decided to say something about this hotel. Aah, yes. I, strangely, remember this like it was yesterday.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Our #1 Soul Suspect

Another new game that I've had the benefit of checking out. It surprised me that Airtight Games has so recently shuttered its operations. It's honestly a shame, but here's a look into their most recent and final release.

Murdered: Soul Suspect is a game that honestly sort of popped up on me. You play as Ronan, a cop recently murdered almost out of the blue while on a case. He's a tattooed bad guy gone good gone ghoul with a someone dry sense of humour. While looking for his killer, you also trip up over another, very pertinent case: a series of murders perpetrated by the Bell Killer. Along the way, you meet a young, hardheaded psychic named Joy who's looking for her mother. As you can guess, your paths intertwine, and you have to put together the clues by communicating with the living and the dead.