Monday, December 31, 2018

Worldly Weekend: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX

Full Disclosure: This article will serve as the "main" review for Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, as I have no interest in importing the original version.

And so begins our journey into the world of Kingdom Hearts remasters. For the uninformed, the three we'll be reviewing are three-course meal packages -- two upgraded ports and a cinematic feature "retelling" the story behind one of the handheld spinoffs -- designed for the purpose of uniting the series onto one console in PlayStation 3 (barring Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, which exclusively released for PlayStation 4 and would later be repackaged in Kingdom Hearts - The Story So Far on the same console). Given my peculiar relationship with this bizarre franchise, I simply cannot ignore reiterations that've hooked new fans, and so here we are.

In this case, we are reviewing Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX. Putting aside the series' latest in bizarre names, this first collection contains the "Final Mix" upgrade of the original Kingdom Hearts, PlayStation 2's Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories remake of the Game Boy Advance game, and a movie version of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. As you may recall, I have conflicting feelings on all three: the first one's an aged, wannabe masterpiece that's more of a bizarrely enchanting freshman project, Re:Chain of Memories is an inferior remake worth only for 3D novelty, and 358/2 Days' pretentious presentation can't mask its identity as mediocre product. For the weathered Kingdom Hearts fan as myself, barring the first-ever release of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix in the West, this is not an especially enticing purchase, particularly when considering 1.5 ReMIX has been repackaged into two further collections:  Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts -The Story So Far-.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

We Never Learn Vol. 1 Review (Hey Poor Player)

I don't think I'll be covering this series any farther, but I wanted at least one more rom-com before the year wrapped up, so what better choice than a Shonen Jump title?

I think We Never Learn would be really solid if it cut down on the sexualization hijinks. Call me a prude, but the stuff with Kirisu-sensei is really...yeah. Nisekoi was refreshing in that regard.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review (Hey Poor Player)

Three days and 2600+ words -- all for the sake of the game that's taken over my life for the past ten days.

Have I mentioned how much I love Smash Bros.? I love it so much that I just share my favorite screenshots I've been taking. Here's one that's gained some traction on Twitter.

One Piece Vol. 88 Review

Have I been making it obvious I don't like Whole Cake Island? Goodness, I almost feel as exhausted as I did back in the weekly serial. Reverie and Wano can't come soon enough!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Best 25 Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS Remixes (Hey Poor Player)

In case you wanted a taste of how busy I've been over the past week, well, here ya go! My co-worker Kenny and I have been playing thgis since we met at E3, and I couldn't think of a better send-off to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS than this! Please enjoy our hard work by endlessly complaining about all your favorite songs that missed the cut.  

In the meantime: there's less than an hour to go until my digital copy of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate unlocks, and uh...I'm strangely chill about it. Expect not to hear from me for the next couple days as I embark into Nintendo Nirvana.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Notice: Unfortunately, there wasn't time to access my SD-card saved screenshots for this review, so aside from my Miiverse archives, you may witness press screenshots of varying sizes. An error in formatting also excised most of the music links. Please excuse the inconsistency for now.

Again, the same disclaimer found within my Super Smash Bros. for 3DS review applies here: namely, any and all analysis on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's worth as a competitive fighter shan't be present here. This is not a matter of passive-aggression, but merely one of disinterest, as I simply don't approach fighting games in that manner. Truth be told, however, the "casual" moniker is one I've soured on, as it doesn't accurately convey my relationship with Smash Bros. in the slightest; indeed, as both these reviews prove, my Smash intimacy demands I grant them in-depth evaluations as functioning video games, be it how much I delight in smashing things or the quality of alternative play provided.

And given director Masahiro Sakurai's God-given design philosophies -- "always consider the beginner player" and "make every game as it were your last" -- there is certainly no shortage of that to go around. Like every Smash Bros. before it, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is my kingdom -- one divided alongside its 3DS cousin, with which it shares the same gameplay engine and massive character roster. Common sense would entail I enjoy this version just as much -- if not more so -- but with an expanded empire such as this, its imperfections become far more prominent. As a self-proclaimed Nintendo fanboy, I am not blind to these faults -- much as I desire for Wii U to be a masterpiece, it only just misses the cut, and that wounds me just as much as I deeply adore it.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Dr. Stone Vol. 2 Review (Hey Poor Player)

 Article Here

Ouch. Yeah, this stung to write. As a professional reviewer, I hesitate the ethics of using "wait and see," but I cite Dr. Stone as one of Jump's current best for a reason. Hopefully Volume 3 picks up the slack!

By the way, I've been crank out a bunch of 3/3.5 reviews lately, haven't I? Believe it or not, another one's on the way, and the series involved may shock you...

Worldly Weekend: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

You know what? I'm skipping ahead. I don't have to play Kingdom Hearts: re:Coded to know it's utterly expendable to the series at large and that it was only designed for capitalizing upon the brand.  The latter's particularly indefensible upon having the arduous displeasure of watching its movie adaption in Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX, wherein I was begging, pleading for the bloated mess to end. We'll get to that when the time comes, but needless to say, I have very little interest in repeating my trauma with something so mercenary.

Anyway, here we are with 2012's Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance for 3DS. Commemorating Kingdom Hearts' tenth anniversary, it's only fitting that a) this would be the very last game to (finally!) utilize the original graphical engines and b) this would be the first in a line of games paving the way to Kingdom Hearts III. In fairness, I cannot recall if the latter was an explicit decision (the "lineup" bit, I mean), but it certainly exists now: there's the mobile Kingdom Hearts χ (which I haven't bothered with, and apparently will have key references in Kingdom Hearts III; groovy) and 2/3rds of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue: the playable Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage (the very end of which directly leads into Kingdom Hearts III's opening) and Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. (A cinematic adaption of the aforementioned mobile game, which further convinced me it wasn't bothering with.)