Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kaguya-Sama: Love is War Vol. 1 Review (Hey Poor Player)

Alright, I confess: I read rom-coms! Don't judge me! Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be following this series, but to broaden my scope I decided to cover another genre, and what better choice than a series I was already reading? You can think of this review as a taste test of sorts.

Anyway, I've begun adding jump breaks to my reviews, and while it's a meticulous process, hopefully the front page at least is much easier to sift through!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Astra Lost in Space Vol. 2 Review

This one was really tough to write, but at least it's done.

Anyway, I've been a bit behind this month, so with the extra time this week I'll be arranging my game journalism section to include manga and whatnot. I'm also finally looking into ways to add jumps toposts, so navigating the blog won't be nearly as much of a hassle. I'll let y'all know when that happens, but in the meantime, expect another review or two this week.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Worldly Weekend: Kingdom Hearts II

Note: minor spoilers within this review. There's nothing too major, but I simply had to talk about how much the story bothered me here.

My dear readers, I ask you to journey with me to a different time: 2005, where Japan's Weekly Famitsu magazine was hyping up Kingdom Hearts II as if it were the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This is not an exaggeration -- every week, Japanese readers (and Western fans dependent on online scans and translations) were subject to adrenaline-inducing eye candy, with the game's revamped engine providing flashy Reaction Commands and Drive Form acrobatics for protagonist Sora. Clamored Disney films such as Mulan and The Lion King were joining the world lineup, as groundbreaking inclusions like Pirates of the Caribbean, Steamboat Willie and TRON continually surprised fans the world over. A Keyblade-wielding Mickey Mouse was jumping around like Yoda, as the Final Fantasy cameos ramped up with Final Fantasy X's Auron as a party member, Advent Children outfits for the FF7 cast, and even including folks not designed by series director Tetsuya Nomura (Vivi and Setzer, to be precise). Even once-maligned efforts like the Gummi Ship and The Little Mermaid's Atlantica were completely reworked, operating respectively in the vein of Disneyland rides and theater musicals.

In other words, whereas the first game was a good-natured but rough-around-the-edges freshman project, Kingdom Hearts II was set to finally realize the original's dream: a masterful celebration of Disney and wistful nostalgia blended with brooding Final Fantasy influences, all framed within a gameplay engine that could do it justice. Naturally, I myself awaited it as a supernatural revelation, but what did I ultimately think of it when came out?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Silver Spoon Vol. 1 Review (Hey Poor Player)

A bit late bringing this here, but I've been wanting to talk about this manga forever! And yes, I know never reading Fullmetal Alchemist is blasphemy, but while I may've mentioned this before, I'll be reviewing the Fullmetal Editions beginning later this Apring.

Anyway, I'd been meaning to have some reviews up by now, but some real-life stuff got in the way. Expect stuff this weekend.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

On Shadow of the Colossus PS4’s Photo Mode And Its Expression of Storytelling (Hey Poor Player)

Ah, it's always nice to talk about my favorite non-Nintendo games! While unfortunately plans to discuss the original Shadow of the Colossus for Worldly Weekend before the PS4 version's release didn't pan out, I thought I'd at least make up for it by discussing the remake's best feature: the Photo Mode.

Unfortunately, as expected, it was a tough article to write, and it ended up bumping out a Worldly Weekend review from this weekend. However, that was probably inevitable anyway since that review ballooned to a bigger size than expected; in fact, it'll end up being roughly the size of my old elongated reviews. Hey, I never said I'd stop doing those!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Hero Academia Vol. 11 Review (Hey Poor Player)

Yes, your eyes aren't fooling you: this is the first time I've ever provided TWO REVIEWS in the same day! Praise be my hard work!

Regardless, I understand this might be a bit inconvenient for my first My Hero Academia review, but it's absolutely impossible to discuss the events within this volume without diving into spoiler territory, so heed caution!

Worldly Weekend: Dragon Quest II (Dragon Warrior II) (NES)

It's really hard for me to look at the above cover. While hardly problematic in itself, something about this localized box art for Dragon Quest II -- Dragon Warrior II in the States -- irks me more than the one for the first, which is mighty odd considering they both subscribe to the 80's style of realistic medieval fantasy. Could it be the exaggerated chest for the Princess of Moonbrooke, or that at this point I'm far, far too accustomed to Akira Toriyama's signature artwork for the series?

Ah, yes, that's more like it. And the answer is apparent as well: as much as the NES Dragon Warrior covers attempt to present the games as no-nonsense affairs, the goofy enemies obviously suggest a more tongue-in-cheek affair, and thus it's insanely difficult imagining the American art having any agency in our imaginations. Naturally, Toriyama's art is the way to go, so let us not tarry upon such incongruities.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

One Piece Vol. 85 Review (Hey Poor Player)

Waaaaaay back when I first started this blog, I mentioned I may deviate from games to talk about how much I love One Piece, and now I finally can! Of course, I reviewed One Piece: Unlimited World Red a few years back, but that's not quite the same.

Anyway, expect The Promised Neverland and My Hero Academia this week. I'm also planning to review Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon at this month's end; so excited that's finally coming here!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Donkey Kong Country

I don't typically touch upon my Asperger's in these reviews, but there's a certain memory regarding Donkey Kong Country that must be shared. By far the most prominent of my preschooler-age quirks were my made-up words: nonsense given purpose only to the mind of a self-absorbed child. Often taking the form of onomatopoeia, one such word -- "BWAH BWAH!" -- was born from the powerful opening visual of Donkey Kong barreling through his tree house's front door and slamming into the ground below. A ritual was born every time I replayed that level, that same guttural erupting from my throat in very same shrill ferocity of Baby Animal from Muppet Babies.

The point being, the visual prominence of Donkey Kong Country inspired people to the point of babbling nonsense at the sight of its pre-rendered 3D visuals, myself included. And why shouldn't they, when it was not only the Super Nintendo's greatest technical marvel but groundbreaking enough to ensure the 16-bit market wasn't done just yet. Of course, there are those who believe Donkey Kong Country's only claim to fame was its graphics and not its actual gameplay, which is often perceived as inferior to the likes of Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island