Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation ~ [Final Episode]

For a series that suffered as much from pacing issues as this one did, the last episode was perfect. It was really really good actually. It gave us the backstory on how Sakurako and Shoutaro met, it got them back together as a pair. It made the rest of the series seem like it mattered in very big ways. Not to mention the after credits scene that had me screeching like a volicoraptor who’d had it’s toes stepped on.
So basically the episode starts with Shoutaro moping about not seeing Sakurako-san. As he walks, heading home after hanging around the area near her house. He reflects on the circumstances in which he met her.

first meeting, dead body? good times!

first meeting, dead body? good times!

A senile old woman, escaping from her nursing home. Looking for something, a shrine. A shrine that had been moved, she wanted to find something. A body, the body of her father. Who she killed when she was only a girl. That was the first case they solved together. It brought Shoutaro something he wanted more then anything.

An escape from his everyday life.

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and as he reflects on the first case they solved together, he remembers something that she had told him back then. ‘Time waits for no one’ is basically the sum of it. Without exception, everything dies. Sometimes, they die sooner rather then later. However, they die. It’s a fact of life.
He runs to her house and tells her that even if he has to stare into the abyss that is Hanabusa. He wants to do so by her side, that he trusts her to protect him. I have to say, I got quiet the kick out of him proudly declaring that he trusted her because she had a wonderful assistant.
Himself.

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They head inside for some of Grans apple pie and the credits start rolling. Well, that was nice. Oh look, there’s time after the credits I wonder what could…..
OMG, WHAT IS THAT PAINTING OF SAKURAKO? AH, HE’S MIMICING HER POSE. HANABUSA WHAT? please insert hyperventilating reviewer here! What is this feeling? Is this the hype train? WHERE’S MY SECOND SEASON, ANNOUNCE IT, ANNOUNCE IT NOW!

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Overall thoughts

From the minute I laid eyes on the preview for Sakurako-san I knew I had to cover it. It had a beautiful black haired girl holding a skull, IT MET ALL OF MY STANDARDS. With that said, how did I end up liking it? Well, fair enough. All of my issues with the series come down to pacing more then anything else. The animation was pretty much gorgeous, the characters were fairly enjoyable but the pacing…my GOD the pacing.

Let’s start with the Animation: The Animation in Sakurako-san was generally very beautiful, though it seemed to me like they were struggling with the quality near the end. Not the last episode, but the episode before that had some awkward moments with the characters faces.
I mean, it’s not game changing or ruins the shows quality completely. Just something I noticed, perhaps they blew their budget earlier on. With some of the beautiful shots of Sakurako or of the painting of the horse that Kougami’s grandmother did. Those will always stick out as some of the best moments for me.

Characters: Each of the characters were fairly enjoyable. Even Isozaki who comes off as an almost horrible person in episode 6 you come to really feel for in the episodes that focus around him. I liked all of the characters that were involved in the show, even if the episode that only revolved around the side characters was the most painful thing I ever had to watch. On a side note, we got to meet almost everyone they focused on in the opening…except one character….WHO IS THIS GUY?

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The PACING: OH GOD, this is where this show fell on it’s face. For such a short series, it took FOREVER. To get to the Hanabusa stuff and didn’t even really get interesting until the last three episodes. I know people who dropped the series because they couldn’t keep waiting for it to actually pick up. I can’t blame them either, if we’d had a promise of a season 2 or even a longer series. This may not of been as much of a problem but even Detective Conan, that has been running over 300 episodes knew to bait us with it’s main antagonist early on.

Should you watch Sakurako-san? Based off the last episode? I’m going to say ‘Yes, as long as you’re willing to wait for the payoff’ it has some pacing issues but it’s a beautifully animated show with interesting characters. Now excuse me while i sit here and stare at it screaming ‘SEASON 2 WHEN!?’

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s investigation nets a fairly solid 7/10.

~Midnight

High School Star Musical ~ Final Thoughts

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Midnight’s thoughts

I guess what’s most important in looking back at this series is taking a look at what my first impression of it was. Now, I’m quoting myself here “The summery doesn’t do much for me, however the pv does. Seeing the animation and the characters and the [gay undertones]. I think I’ll be checking this one out, yo know…for the comedy.”
From there, I can pretty much say it satisfied all of my expectations for the series. It was pretty enough, if not a little wonky from time to time. The characters, for the most part were generally enjoyable. A few of them got on my nerves. [looking at you, Akatsuki. You too Hiragi!]
However, for the most part. Everyone else was pretty enjoyable and I really came to like them.

As for those gay undertones, WELL, I wasn’t wrong! I mean, aside from Hoshitani’s completely obvious love of Ootori. There was that Nayuki and Hoshitani scene. Was that a canon confession? Did he mean it as friendship? We’ll never know, but I’m going to believe it was genuine and thus a fairly large step having a canonly gay confession in a non Shonen-ai series.
Well, it’s alright. Too be fair, I’d been saying Nayuki wasn’t exactly straight since he was riding around on Dolphins singing about his friendship with Hoshitani in the early series.

The songs were pretty nice, only three really stick out in my mind and will probably hold a permanent place in my mp3 player and in my heart. Which are, in reverse order three to 1.

3. Kao councils song – This song was a good way to ease us into what the rest of the show would be like, it was catchy. established the series ‘bad guys’ in a most epic way. This was the first song in the show to really get my blood pumping.

2. Ending song/Seishun Countdown – I’d loved the ending since I first heard it, so when it began playing as they performed in the final episode. I was practically bouncing in front of my computer with glee. It’s catchy, and fun to listen too. As it’s sung by the main characters of the show. It’s a testament to their vocal talent….but not as much as my number one song.

1. Ayanagi Showtime[Team Ootori’s version] – I don’t know what to tell you, from the minute this song came on I was entirely obsessed with it. I kept watching it over and over, I found a copy of the full version and began listening to it. I think I had the song stuck on repeat for at least a day. This was the song in this anime that completely stole my heart.
However, it has to be the Team Ootori version. The tempo, the voices, the beat, the heart. None of it is there in the Team Hiragi version. Which is unfortunate, because it’s not that the people they got to sing for Team Hiragi aren’t talented….it’s that, the team Ootori version was created to be more ‘exciting’ more ‘wild.’ because that’s the kind of group they were.

High School Star musical managed to be everything I expected, and maybe a little more. Because it often didn’t fall into cliche’s that I expected it too. Such as everyone moping when Ootori left. The ending felt a little rushed, but for a series I had fairly low expectations for outside of some juicy shipping bait. It wasn’t bad.

I’ll give Starmyu a 9/10.

Now back to you Charibo!
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Yo Yo Yo It’s Charibo

It’s time for my final thoughts on High School Star Musical

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When I first heard of this show in the fall anime preview I knew this was going to be my thing. I’m a sucker for musical shows and well, I do enjoy good looking anime boys. However I was kind of worried this show was going to be a Shounen Ai, but hopefully it wasn’t. Well, obviously they are all gay undertones but this was more funny than romantic, so I’d like to call them Homodachis or “gay friendly”. They like to take baths together and they enjoy practicing and sweating with their bros but of course: No homo.

Story: Not amazing but enjoyable. I didn’t have so many expectations for the story so I wasn’t disappointed. But I was quite annoyed during the last episodes with all the problems around Otoori’s departure. I felt like all this stuff could have been avoid if Akaatsuki wasn’t such a Dick. So yeah, I pretty much stayed for the songs and because they were always amazing. I doubt the fact that this show is going to get a second season but if I’m wrong, I’ll be there watching it.

Characters: All the cast is nice expect Akaatsuki who is a complete douchebag. I’d like to give the “Best guy” trophy to Kakeru Tengenji because he has an amazing voice, red hair, a cute cat and a Tsundere with a lot of blushing personality. So yeah Kakeru : Best guy. But, special Mention to Nayuki for being too pure for this world and for selling me dreams during the episode 11 with his love confession. Thanks Nayuki, UR awesome bruh

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Just look at him

Songs: The first songs were really funny with some random insertions. Special Mention to Nayuki’s song (again Nayuki I love you bro) that made my heart melt while making me laugh at the same time. Also, I’d like to give the “Random” trophy to Team Hiragi for their performance at the Hiragi’s mansion. The way they come out of nowhere was one of the best moments, special mention to Shu’s friend for dancing on a rooftop. But overall I did enjoyed pretty much all the songs. Also, I’m glad Akaatsuki didn’t get a song. Wow, I really hate him…

Here’s my subjective Top 3 of the songs:

Rank Title Interpreters Why
1 Ayanagi Showtime Team Otoori Simply the best, I was in love with this song the minute Nayuki started singing. This is amazing. I still “try” to sing it in my shower, without success.

? ?SUSUME TOOKU HARUKA TOOKU!? ?

Don’t throw rocks at me, I don’t know japanese but this is what I hear

2 World of Flowers Kakeru Tengenji Catchy as hell and the Art is amazing. For me it was the best character song. What ? You’re saying that I’m biased because I like Kakeru ? Pfff SO WHAT ?
3 Star of Star Team Hiragi I love the Team Hiragi. The lyrics, their way of dancing is really funny and the way this song was inserted was one of the best moments of the show

Score: I’ll give this sow an 8,5/10 because it was too funny. My only regret is the animation quality which was kind of bad sometimes, especially with the characters not in the first plan. They had what I like to call ” crazy resting faces” when they face features go crazy all with one eye bigger than an other and other stuff like that?

Hum?

Like my drawing you’re saying ?

Yes exactly, see you get it

However, I do give this show a big round of applause for not choosing the easy path and not animating the dancing parts with 3D characters. Thank you STARMYU, thank you.

Young Black Jack ~ Episode 12 [Final Episode]

This episode was, good? Yes, the episode itself was good. However, as the ‘final episode’ it sort of failed? If it had of come earlier in the series it would of been amazing and probably stood out as one of my favorite episodes. However, it’s placement in the series is the episodes downfall.
Which is really unfortunate because it’s emotionally charged, it made you feel for a character you only knew for a short amount of time and really made you feel for Hazama.

The basic plot of the episode comes down to revolution and the story of the very first person that Hazama stitched up. A well meaning girl who wanted to help change her country for the better but got messed up in something she couldn’t handle. She’s a sweet girl, who gave Hazama a necklace the first time he helped patch her up as payment.
I am REALLY REALLY REALLY PISSED THEY KILLED HER OFF. I was thinking like, halfway through the episode I was thinking ‘if she dies, I’m going to be really mad.’ and then they did.

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I get what they were doing, showing the corruption of the world. They were also making a point about not being able to save everyone. He did everything he could to patch her up in that tiny cabin. Only to have her go out and be shot by the police. An innocent, well sort of innocent girl.
Wrapped up in bandages. Unable to fight anyone, who only wandered outside to try to stop the fighting. Ends up being the only casualty.

Even with how angry I am they killed her though, I can’t be angry because of the humanity it brought out in Hazama. As he was holding her in his arms as she died, assuring her that he would keep patching her up. Forever and ever, and how she smiled and said that next time she’d pay him back properly.

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I really liked the ending in which the narrator said that he would one say get rid of the name Hazama Kuuro and come to call himself ‘Black Jack’ I really like that whole, the narrator was the main character from the future thing. If they had of put that ending, on the previous episode? It would of made for an amazing ending!

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Overall review

I loved Young Black Jack, I think it worked on a lot of levels. What it liked most of all though was that it seemed very well thought out and well researched. The parts of the series that took place in Vietnam, didn’t feel like they were written by someone who was looking back from current times.
The race riots, and the episodes that took place there. I was worried half to death about those episodes, however, they were treated with care. It seemed like the team involved with making this show was trying it’s absolute best to respect Tezuka’s work.
From the way they handled those subjects, to the treatment of his other characters such as the characters from Dororo that appeared in the three part series before the end.

With that being noted, the animation was also fairly consistently nice. Something that I rather enjoyed was despite the fact that this show was a medical drama, there was never a lot of blood and gore. The scenes were always very tasteful, of course, it is a medical drama. There was some blood and every once and a while a shot of something inside the human body like a vain.
It was never gross, it was never over the top. Which was enjoyable.

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Now onto characters. The main selling point of the series is Hazama, as the character the show was there to show us the story of how he became the character known as ‘Black Jack’. Hazama was a very enjoyable character with a lot you could connect with him with. He wanted to help save people and wasn’t much for all of the red tape and corruption that stopped people from getting the help they needed.
I think it was actually said best in the last episode. He is a little rough around the edges, but he’s got a very good heart. I’ve never seen Black Jack, I’ve made that very clear in reviewing. However, I think it’s that discretion of him that has made Black Jack such a timeless and famous character.

Then there is Maiko. She’s just cute, she plays a nice parallel to Hazama throughout the series. While he was a student, she was an intern. Someone who was allowed to do the things that Hazama did. She wasn’t as naturally talented as him, but she never got mad at him for being as good as he was either. She was curious yes, but never jealous or angry. If anything, she was a good support system for him in everything he went through.

Lastly, there is Yabu. Who we never heard from again after the Civil War arc. However, I loved seeing him in the series. If you look at him in the opening and in episode 1. The doctor who is afraid of blood, goes on to be a stunning war doctor. He was someone that Hazama inspired. Instead of playing the parallel to Hazama, he played the part of someone who wanted to improve himself and did so through seeing Hazama’s work.
Hazama aside, he is the character in this series that saw the most character growth from his first appearance to his last.

Overall, I can’t speak as someone who has seen the original series. However, from the perspective of someone who hasn’t seen the original series. Young Black Jack is most definitely worth the watch. With a solid 9.5/10, the point 5 is for not nailing the landing as well as it could of….Now excuse me while I go watch the actual series. Crunchyroll, here I come!

~Midnight

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation ~ Episode 1 [A princess who loves bones][First impressions]

So when I looked at this show the first time I saw a few things that clued me in that this needed to be the show that I shotgunned this season. First, it’s a mystery show. I do love mystery shows. Second off, the animation was absolutely beautiful and I do love beautifully animated shows. Last but not least at all, was the appearance of Sakurako-san in the PV being a beautiful black haired woman kissing a skull.
DID SOMEONE SAY BEAUTIFUL BLACK HAIRED WOMAN KISSING A SKULL? THIS IS MY KIND OF SHOW!

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In all seriousness. Episode one proved to be everything I expected and more, the story follows Shotaro Tatewaki and his, somewhat complicated relationship with Sakurako-san. He’s not her boyfriend, or even really friends…something more of an assistant as they go and collect bones together. Her job, hobby and life goals all revolve around bones. She digs up animal bones and reconstructs their bodies from the remains.
Though every time they go out together, they somehow stumble upon human remains…Well that sounds like an episode of Detective Conan am I right? Alright, nobodies laughing. So let’s move on.

So they go down to the beach to look for animal bones and find a human skull instead. Shotaro calls the cops, but there’s honestly no point since the skull is over a hundred years old. Maybe he should of let her finish telling him about it before he called in the cops. Because now she’s pissed at him, because she wanted to keep it and they’re not going to let her now.
Omg, she’s so cute. She pouts about it. Like she’s weird, super weird but in the cutest way! She even tries to make off with the skull at the end of the episode and gets really upset when she’s outed on it!

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Anyway, on their way to the station the cop mentions that two bodies had washed up on a beach nearby where they had been. It appeared to be a double suicide, Sakurako has him pull over and goes to investigate their bodies. Which, she concludes was not a double suicide but in fact a double homicide that was disguised as a double suicide.
The proof? Well it’s in the pudding so to say, or in the knot that holds their hands together and in the lack of mucus in their mouths to indicate drowning.

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I can’t say for sure if this show is going to work on a case by week basis or if there is going to be an underlying plot. Perhaps something to do with how stagnate the town seems to the main character. Perhaps a serial murder case that would break the ‘usual’ of everything. Something that the police might call her in to help on since her uncle, who was a specialist has retired due to illness.
I’m looking forward to it regardless. I think Sakurako-san is precious, even if she’s an anti-social bone maniac with a tendency for playing her music too loudly. Shotaro needs to do something to earn her respect. I’m sure he will, I just wonder what it will be.

The animation in this show is gorgeous, the part where she goes into ‘investigation mode’ and all of the colorful animal skeletons parade around her. Is absolutely breathe taking. The part in the beginning that was in the PV, the part that sold me on the show to begin with. The part with her and the skull, that is another moment where the animation just shines.

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Will I be covering Sakurako-san? Yes, for sure! I mean, I did shotgun it for a reason! BEAUTIFUL BLACK HAIRED LADY WITH BONE OBSESSION! Yay murder mysteries.

~Midnight

Young Black Jack ~ Episode 1: The price of a life [First Impressions]

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I am very sad to say that I am unfamiliar with the late Osamu Tezuka’s original Blackjack manga. Having only heard about the series through an AMV at an anime convention a year or two ago. I honestly, wish I could share this amv with you for it was not just a work of editing beauty. It was more then enough to get you to drop everything you are doing and go watch Blackjack right now.
Sadly for me, I have yet to get a chance to do such. With that being said, Episode 1 of Young Blackjack was my first encounter with a real episode of the series. What did I think of it? How did it hold up? Let’s take a look.

During a chaotic age of riot and revolution, many jobs are suffering, including that of the medical field. With interns lining up on the streets, they need any help they can get in order to heal the people in need. This holds especially true when a bus and a train collide and also, a young boy who’s bike was on the train tracks comes in with two of his limbs severed from his body.
When the other doctors say there is nothing they can do to reattach the limbs and it’s either the kids limbs or his life. However, Hazuma Kuroo, or the man who will later be known as Blackjack says that he can do the surgery.

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with that being said, there is a price. In this case, the price is 5 million yen. A hefty price, but can you really give a value to the life of your son? Well, you could let your son live as a cripple for the rest of his life. The other doctors could do at least that much, however, this young doctor is offering you a miracle. So they agree to pay it and Hazuma gets to work.

The actual surgery scenes are well done, it’s not too bloody. Very classy,does a lot of interesting visual techniques. I’m not a doctor, so the accuracy of the surgery and the terms that are used in it are beyond me. With that being said, the visuals made it easy enough to follow and made sure that I did not lose interest. The surgery is a success.
Hazuma is understandably shaken by the entire process, it being his first surgery. I think, that’s what they say anyway, I’m not entirely convinced.

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Now remember when I said you can’t put a price on a miracle for your kid? Well apparently, you can. You can rip off the doctor who made it so your kid wouldn’t be a cripple for the rest of his life and only pay him five hundred thousand instead of five million. Okay, I get it, five million is a lot of money. I wouldn’t really want to have to pay it either.
That’s pretty low though, like, this guy performed what other doctors said was impossible and kept your kid from being a cripple for life. Yes, he’s just a student. No, he does not have a medical license. He saved your kids life and limbs! You can’t put a price on a miracle.

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Let’s wrap this post up with a few final thoughts on the animation and characters.

Animation: The animation in this show is gorgeous, that was the first thought I had as the episode began. The character designs of many of the side characters carry a very Tezuka feel to them. However, with that being said. I think that the main characters. Hazuma, Maiko, the doctor who’s E.R. that they used to operate in but I don’t believe they mentioned the name of feature a almost different style. You can still pin them as Tezuka’s works, but not as much as say someone like the boys father.
I think in my mind, since it’s the most famous of his works I will always think of this style as “The Astro Boy” style. That’s probably just me and it’s strange that I would make that association since I’ve never seen Astro Boy.

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Characters: The characters all seem rather interesting. Hazuma or Blackjack, has interested me since I’ve heard about him. It’s no secret to know that he performs without a license even in the later series. I don’t know if the reason he doesn’t have a license is explained in the original or if that’s what Young Blackjack is going to explain to us. I also don’t know anything about his patchwork.

Second off, there is Okamoto Maiko is a medical intern at the hospital, one of the few people not partaking in the protests. She seems nice an earnest young woman with a real interest in helping people. She sticks with Hazuma through the surgery when she’s under no real obligation to do so and was probably needed back at the hospital taking care of the multiple other victims. She was ready to reel Hazuma in if it began to look impossible.

Lastly, we have the unnamed doctor. Who is afraid of blood and gets high, he’s an interesting character to be sure. He helped them out by watching the boys vitals so he wouldn’t have to look at the blood. What’s his story? What kind of doctor is afraid of blood? How do Hazuma and him know each other? I have to say he’s probably the one I’m most interested in so far.

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I really enjoyed this first episode and I don’t think it will let up, the question here is if the series will adhere to more of a ‘patient of the week’ formula or hold a more cohesive plot. With the way the opening is looking and the story of the strike going on, it’s looking like there may be a more cohesive plot going on. I’m going to keep an eye on this series.
I think it has a lot of potential. Hopefully, I’ll be able to double back sometime and watch the original. Until then, I think i’ll be covering Young Blackjack.

~Midnight

Overlord ~ Episode 13 [We adventure on] [Final impressions]

I have not seen a battle go quiet so according to plan since I saw the first half of Death Note. With that being said, Ains planned out his battle with Shelltear perfectly. He also made a point of showing that not just he, but the guild as a whole, would never be taken down. He switches from weapon to weapon of his old comrades. Using the power of the guild to bring her down.
Along with this, we get the commentary of the NPC’s who are watching the fight. Talking about who’s weapons they are, what they do, what tactical advantage he’s given himself by choosing that weapon.

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In the end, it’s a spell that takes her down. The brainwashed Shelltear Bloodfallen is taken down. Good thing that the guild has MORE then enough gold to resurrect her!
Though she is brought back, her memories are pretty fuzzy and she can’t give them any clues on who used the world class item on her. All of the rest of the guardians give her a pretty hard time, but Ains is quick to assure her that it isn’t her fault. Also, it seems as if the resurrection went alright, except for the fact that her glorious breast seem to be missing.

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Also, her thinking that she’s going to get laid and the resulting look on Albedo’s face? Gold!

As the opening music sparks up in the background, we’re welcomed to a barrage of things going on at the meanwhile. Things going on with the Theocracy, what’s going on with Sebas as he acts as bait. That guy from the cave that Shelltear scared off meeting up with Gazef in that stormy town that Sebas is in. We see Ains as an adamantite level adventurer, being told that there are no requests of his level at the adventurers guild.

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As the music from the opening ends, we move into the ending. That’s it, that’s the end. Phew, um, well I think I’ll have to cover my thoughts here entirely in the Final impressions. As for this episode though? It’s good, not sure if it’s end of the season good…but it’s good. Now let’s double back and get down to our final impressions why don’t we!?
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Final Impressions

The only thing keeping Overlord from being the best show of the season is there is no promise of a season two. With the series ending on a ‘There’s still much to do’ with the promise of an enemy that can actually stand up against them. Someone who can use world level items. I want to see more! With Light novels being hard to obtain in the states, it’s up to another anime adaptation for us to see what comes next.

This show has a lot good about it. The characters are fun and interesting, yes, the main character is OP and you almost never feel like he’s in any real danger. I don’t really think that’s a downside though. Yes, it would of been nice to see someone outside the guild give Ains a hard time. It might of been fun to see him struggle, but it didn’t need it.
It managed to be entertaining without leading us on to think our main character might lose. Actually, that’s something in anime that bothers me to no end. When you know a main character is going to win, but it makes it seem like they aren’t. That’s just….obnoxious really. Either actually have them lose or let them be so overpowered that we are never worried like with Momonga!

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Overlord is really what i’ve been looking for in one of these ‘stuck in a video game’ anime. Since honestly, I don’t think he’s really in the game anymore. That being said, how did it happen? What happened to his body in the real world? Is he in a coma? In that case, is this a dream? Is it real? Was his guild from the game movedd to a fantasy world?
That once again brings me to, what happened to his body? This is why this show needs a season 2 so badly, it leaves so many questions. Who was it that did that to Shelltear. While the ending scenes lead us to believe it was someone involved with the Theocracy.

Who’s that powerful though?! It’s been said multiple times throughout the series so far that spells past level 7 are damn near impossible for a normal human. Much less world class items and magic. On the note of this not being another run of the mill, ‘stuck in a video game’ anime. I like that it has even sort of inverted many of the tropes.
Such as instead of having an attractive highly desired main character. We have a skeleton, with two girls who STILL want to be ‘boned’ by him. So it still carries on the harem aspect of most of these shows in an inverted sort of way.

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The ideas behind this show. The loss of friends, the making of new ones, moving through hard times and well….a huge lesson in power-gaming. On that note, it’s not so far-fetched. We all know that guy, that guy who spent a ton of money on a game to become powerful or has poured in a rediculous amount of hours. You hear about them all the time on MMO’s so the best part is. He’s not special, he’s not a beta-tester or even someone who is that GOOD at the game. Just someone who put in a lot of time and money. it’s all just so interesting, it’s not like he’s even really trying to get back home. So much as find something of the people he knew before, and as he sees the NPC’s as reflections of his old guild mates in this last episode. I think he’s slowly finding what he’s looking for, if not in the way he wanted too.

The only thing we can do from here is hope that a season 2 will be Greenlit soon, so we can continue to watch the adventures of Ains Ooal Gown and maybe solve some of the mysteries that the first season left us with.

Um, so I guess it would be time to rank the series but that’s so hard without knowing if it will continue or not. Based off what we have?

9/10, 10/10 if we get a promise of more!

~Midnight

Durarara x2 Ten ~ Episode 24 [The organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai] [Final]

For a final episode of a season, this episode was a little subdue. However, with that being said that’s because it’s setting us up for the beautiful thing that will be arc three of season 2! The chess board is set with all the players getting ready. The Yellow scarves going against the Dollars, the Dollars against the Yellow Scarves. There’s a war brewing in Ikebukuro and at it’s center, two best friends ready to take each other down.
There’s also Anri, who while not directly involved has stakes in this as well with Saika….oh my god Saika. If I had to point out ONE plot point in this show that drives me up a wall it’s trying to figure out who’s controlled by Saika and who isn’t.

vlcsnap-2015-09-29-15h02m13s217

On that note, which Saika? Anri’s? The chick working with Izaya, the one under the control of the secretary lady who worked under the organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai. Who we have now confirmed is not one person, but in fact multiple people under one name. Most of which Izaya had taken out this episode. Speaking of being taken out…

WHAT IS IT WITH THIS SEASON AND TAKING OUT MY DARLING IZAYA IN THE FINALE’S!? What did he ever do to…..well there’s that, and that….okay so he did a lot of things to a lot of people to deserve this. I think my real problem here is that he’s been taken down twice by someone who doesn’t deserve it. If it was Shizuo or Masaomi or even Verona. I could kind of get behind it.
The organization known as Yodogiri Jinnai has no business taking him out when there is a list of people who deserve it more.

vlcsnap-2015-09-29-14h56m44s162

The most interesting scene of the episode by far though is the ending, as Celty returns home to the apartment that her and Shinra share. She finds an odd assortment of people there. Shingen, his wife, Walker, Togusa, Namie and others….wait, how did Namie get there? Safe and sound none the less? What’s going on here? This isn’t the first odd assortment of people meeting this season but…
I don’t get this one. There is little rhyme or reason too it. I’m sure it will be explained in the next cour but for now. I’m just left here wondering to myself “What?”

vlcsnap-2015-09-29-14h56m27s984

In particular, even beyond Namie I am curious about Walker and Togusa. As two people who were out on the war path, why would they show up here? Walker was attacked by Izumii and narrowly avoided a full out fight. He mentioned going somewhere to hide, like a base or something…but why Shinra’s house? Well once again, I’m sure it’s something that will be explored more next cour.
____________________________________________
Final impression

Well, more like a end of this cour impression. It won’t be a true final impression until the whole thing is over. With that being said, x2 Ten had a lot of things going for it but in the end it was all build up for the final cour that will be coming out in January next year. It was the people and events boiling too the point that the war of Ikebukuro is ready to break out.

It’s sad to say but honestly, I don’t have a lot to say here. Until the season is actually over, what is there too say? I am concerned about the sanity of Mikado. I’m always upset when something happens to Izaya. I would like Shizuo to not be under arrest anymore, in particular under obviously false charges. It was an interesting ride but it will be even better when it comes to it’s conclusion next cour.

What’s going to happen?! Is war going to break out? Is celty’s head going to awaken? Will we finally get a handle on all of these different Saika’s!? Seriously, there are at least three that I know of right now and probably more. It’s driving me crazy. Oh well…That’s it for now!

~Midnight

Dangan Ronpa: Ultra Despair Girls [Video game review]

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After months of waiting, here we are. The localization of Ultra Despair Girls in the United States. For a while, the fandom was fairly convinced that the topics in this game would be a little too heavy to warrant a localization. The had every right to be worried, but despite that our prayers were answered and the game got an English translation. So how does this third person shooter/puzzle game stack up against their light novel with mild adventure game element brothers?
Can Komaru Neagi’s game be anywhere near as good as her brothers, will this game fall to hope or into horrid despair? Let’s jump right in and find out.

Spoilers for all three games lay below this point, so if you must, turn back now. Here’s a picture of Shirokuma to keep you from accidentally looking down. Isn’t he cute?

ShirokumacgAlright, still with me? Good, let’s break this review up into a few sections. We’ll proceed to go through plot, game play and then discuss extra content/replay value.

plot:
You begin taking a look at the life of one miss Komaru Neagi, little sister of Makoto from the first game. She’s been living a year and a half, in a two bedroom apartment. As a captive, unable to go outside.
One day she hears noise outside of her door and believes she’s being saved. Only to be met by the steal claws of a Monokuma ready to kill her. She proceeds to run out and meet with Byakuya and other members of the ‘Future Foundation’. The Future Foundation is an organization that was formed to combat the despair and tragedy caused by Junko Enoshima.

You’re given the hacking gun to combat the Monokuma’s and get about 5 to 10 minutes of over powered gameplay in which breaking them is easy.
Then Nagito happens, and he reworks the gun to scale it for game purposes. I say Nagito, because we know that’s who it is. However, in this game he is merely known as ‘servant’.
You get tossed into this killing game, where these 5 kids known as the Warriors of Hope are slaying ‘Demons’ [Adults], to create a paradise for children. They are the ones controlling the Monokuma’s, the Monokuma kids, and the robots of the city. [I feel like their robots were also the basis for the Monobeasts in Dangan Ronpa 2]

qg7nxzngznmwiaysfqka

The Warriors of Hope are a group of kids from Hopes Peak Elementary, because that was a thing. [Since WHEN was that a thing? Neither of the previous games mentioned any branches of the school outside of the academy. Which had like, extreme rules to get into…unless you paid them a ton of money and got into the reserve course…but we all know how that turned out.]
and we’re all in the trouble maker class. They also all had completely horrible home lives and were almost all going to commit suicide together when Junko ‘saved’ them. Of course, let’s be honest with ourselves here. She was totally using them to spread despair, of course. At least these kids aren’t that delusional and know that she was using them.

The game is set up in a series of 5 chapters as opposed to the other two games 6 chapter format. Which I suppose is why it felt a little short to me, each chapter you fight a different warrior of hope while slowly discovering more and more of what’s really going on. Which is that Monaca, the small girl haired child in a wheel chair is trying not to create a paradise for children but instead to create the successor to the Ultimate Despair.

We are led to think through most of the game that the one she’s trying to make into Junk’s successor is herself, in the last chapter though. We discover the one that she was trying to turn into the Ultimate Despair the whole time. Is you, younger sister of the Ultimate Hope that killed Junko.
Not going to lie, if Toko hadn’t of been there with Komaru. It probably would of worked, when it shows the image of Matoko and Komaru’s parents dead. Even I snapped a bit, I wasn’t even really paying attention to what I was clicking and thought for a moment that I made the wrong choice. Which, ultimately I was told later by someone else playing that both choices at that time were to press the button.
Well it’s good that Toko was there to slap the despair out of you.

This is honestly the most base summery I could give of the plot. A lot of the finer details are a lot more unsettling and disturbing. I should say that this game should carry a lot of trigger warnings. The subjects talked about include but are not limited to physical and mental abuse, child rape, suicide, graphic death scenes. I thought the last game jumped the shark when it was talking about people having sex with a dead body. There were moments in Ultra Despair Girls that really churned my stomach.

I did enjoy the scene in the ending that showed the AI’s in both Shiro and Kurokuma and revealed that they were prototypes for the AI Junko that appears in the next game. I enjoyed seeing Izuru and the hints that are dropped, such as saying that he’ll be a different person the next time she sees him. The only thing about the ending that really bothered me, was that Monaca lived. Not only lived, but is still out there somewhere working on becoming the Next Ultimate Despair.
Since she doesn’t show up in DR 2, there is no real info on her whereabouts or if the Future Foundation is sure that she is still out there. Will that tie into the next game? I really hope I don’t ever have too see this psychotic little brat again…

Monako

Alright, now let’s get into the game play. I played on the easiest setting because I wanted to get a feel of the story. So I can’t speak for the higher difficulties but…IF I HAD IT ON THE EASIEST SETTING. THEN I THINK I WOULD KILL MYSELF IF I TURNED IT UP ANY HIGHER!

The hit boxes on almost everything are nearly impossible to hit. Ammo is limited enough on the easy setting, forget what it would be any higher. The puzzles are fairly easy and make for fun game play and make you feel rewarded with special music and animation for beating them. It’s honestly the shooting part that drove me crazy, perhaps it’s just that I’ve never been very good at 3rd person shooters.
Or shooters in general. So I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me the game play was kind of annoying. I missed the almost graphic novel like style of the other two games.
I understand trying to move a game into a new Genre, but this was sort of like…the Chain of Memories of Dangan games.

Now for the extra content/replay value. Well, as in DR 2 there is a hide and seek. Inside of Hidden Monokuma’s, it’s the hidden Warriors of Hope. Finding them helps your overall score, which is based on your battle, your puzzle solving, how many times you retry and finding the hidden Warriors. I never got higher then a C, but each chapter is ended with a fantasy Toko is having of Byakuya getting whipped.
…..
Hot. I MEAN, -cough-

Aside from that, post game you can of course unlock the background music, cinematic scenes and images from the game. There is also the novel Ultimate Despair Hagakure which is a side story about Yasuhiro and Leon’s cousin battling their way through the Monokuma filled city. It’s formatted in the style that DR: IF was when you could read in during DR 2.

So is there replay value? Yes, if you mess up puzzles or just want a better score. Want to find the Hidden Warriors, or since this IS a Dangan Ronpa game. Maybe all you want to do is double back and catch all the subtle foreshadowing that lies before the final chapter. If this game is anything like the other two, it’s there for sure.

Overall? I liked the game. Not nearly as much as the two that came before it but it was still fun. I will say though, they jumped a few sharks this game. I’m also really glad that we didn’t end up killing any of the kids really. A picture post game tells us that they all lived. Monaca aside, i generally feel bad for most of the kids in the Warriors of Hope. They had legitimately horrible lives, Monaca…oh no, people in her home ignored her.

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In comparison to ANY of the rest of those kids, she’s just…GAH. They created her with the idea of making a completely unsympathetic character that the fans could hate. They worked to give her no redeeming qualities and I feel as if they really succeeded. She’s a psychotic bitch, that’s all there is too that! Now, Spike Chunsoft. Get to work on DR 3 amd let’s not venture back into this 3rd person shooter style.
It’s nice for one game, but it could get tiring fast.

~Midnight

Pokemon ORAS [7.8 too much water, just kidding.]


pokemon-oras-cover (1)
I’m going to be the first person to admit that I never liked Hoenn in the old games, it was my least favorite region for a multitude of reasons. [Least fav starters, bad evil teams, too much water, ect.] So when the remakes were announced I was like, “Oh great, that thing I never wanted” but being a fan of the Pokemon series I owed it to Nintendo to go back and give Hoenn a fighting chance, maybe the remakes would make me not hate it, maybe I could come out saying “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So i sucked up my pride and pre-ordered myself a copy of Alpha Sapphire. Upon booting up the game I realized, MY MEMORY OF THIS GAME IS HORRID!

I can’t even name half the gym leaders, much less any of the elite four. I remember the Team leaders names but that’s from years of sheer unadulterated loathing! How did the plot go again?

I DON’T REMEMBER! I remember showing up in a moving truck and Norman being your Dad, that’s like…it. So basically I noticed I would be playing this game all over for the first time for the most part.

Now, what did I think of it? Honestly? I loved it. There were a lot of small details to this game that made me really happy. First off, the graphics are amazing, half the time I can hardly convince myself I’m playing a Pokemon game with how lovely everything looks. Second, cut scenes, yes you heard me right. Pokemon, with cut scenes.

One that really stands out in my mind is when you reach the end of Petalburg Woods and it cuts to the Aqua Grunt you just beat calling their superior, I nearly burst out into tears. One of my favorite things about Pokemon is their evil organizations and getting just to see something as small as that, giving us insight into how they work was a huge treat.

The plot was a lot more polished and finished then I remember it being before as well, everything fell into place and for the first time ever I found myself not hating Team Aqua or screaming about how stupid their plan was. Why? What changed? Was it the way they put more depth to Archies character? How everyone responded when Kyogre did start the huge downpour? I can’t say for sure but as completely jaded as I was against these teams I expected to hate them a whole hell of a lot more then I did.
The after game also had a really interesting and engaging plot going on to get you to Rayquaza and Deoxys.

ORAS of course plays pretty much like your typical Pokemon game, integrating things from the new game into the old. New things that were kept include Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, though we lose the roller skates and the ability to customize our characters. [-sobs softly-] We gain Pokemon contests and Secret bases which were some of the staples of the original Sapphire and Ruby games. I haven’t done much with my secret base yet so I don’t have much room to comment on how that works I have run a few Pokemon through the contests. Somehow, they seem easier then I recall perhaps that’s just my bad memory of the game though.

One thing does bug me about the contest though, THESE THINGS, these ugly ass outfits! I mean, the contests are fun, the cosplay pikachu you get is adorable but what are these?! An absolute fashion disaster that’s what! If we couldn’t have customization anywhere else in the game we could of at least had it during the contests so we wouldn’t have to look like freaks! I’m not sure which outfit is worse, the ugly tutu that the girl is wearing or the….1970’s vomit that the guy is stuck with.

hero_heroine_contest

Something I know is easier is making Poke’blocks, there used to be a mini game to create your poke’blocks but now it’s as easy as popping four berries into the blender and hoping it will spit out the poke’block you want, I saw some kind of guide on how to make them so I guess there is some kind of skill to it but honestly it was never a function I was a huge fan of, call me when we’re mixing up poffins in Sinnoh.

Another new thing that transferred over from the new games was the new experience share. I know this bothered a lot of people since they claim it makes the game too easy, but as a person who plays Pokemon casually I think it’s the greatest invention since the Pokemon Storage system. That being said however, I feel like the challenge level of this game was relatively low, I can’t recall being overly threatened by any of the gym leaders and I laughed at every Team Aqua battle and took out their pokemon with one magical leaf or psychic attack. The only battles that I struggled with at all at first were the elite four and the champion.
[Mega Metagross is evil and needs to be burned.]

mega-metagross

Another new feature that you get near the end of the game is the Eon Flute, which allows you to summon the Latios/Latias you were given earlier in the game from anywhere and fly around the skies of Hoenn might be the most wonderful thing ever. It totally eliminates the need for the HM for fly. which is a good thing because that brings me to my biggest complaint of this game.

SO MANY HM’S! You need surf, you need Dive, you need Waterfall, you need Cut, you need Rock Smash, you need Strength…. I can’t even with this. I know this is the way it used to be but gonna be rather honest with you, didn’t miss it. I ended up with two HM slaves on my team just to accommodate all of the HM’s I needed just to get through the main story line. I should not need two HM slaves just to finish the main story.

TOO MANY, DON'T LIKE!

TOO MANY, DON’T LIKE!

That aside, everything in this game was really spot on. I have a whole new view of Hoenn, I like it a lot better then I did before and i’m hoping for more remakes like this is the future.

Can you imagine Team Galactic blowing up a lake in these high res graphics? That’s the things my nightmares are made of and of course, my largest dream would be to see the Kanto region done like this. Can you imagine having cut scenes with Team Rocket and interacting more with Giovanni? I would sob my eyes out in happiness.
Overall, this was a great experience that gave me a whole new view of a game I previously hated. Oh and IGN can suck it, there wasn’t too much water! There was actually LESS water then i remember there being…at least I think there was…maybe the same amount.

Maybe…

~Midnight


SAVAGE

So, I come from a rather different perspective from my pal Midnight. For one, Gen 3 is one of my favorite if not my favorite generation of pokemon. It was the last gen I played with my dad (who was pretty much the only other person who played pokemon with me at the time), and it was the time for me when a brand new pokemon game was still fresh and new. Its also one I played with the most often, since I lacked pretty much anything else to do at that point in my life. So, overall, I came in to ORAS with very high expectations. And?

I will say this-it definitely feels like Hoenn. It captures the feel of the old games, and the new things seem to fit in perfectly. The entire game feels very familiar and fills me with all kinds of nostalgia. In addition, the new designs, graphics, and other gameplay elements really worked great for the game. Things like Flannery being so adorkable and Wally being so frail, the new designs and the ways the characters are animated just do so much better to give the characters and places personality. As for the new elements to the story, I really like them too. The new motivations for Magma and Aqua, the new stuff with Steven, the entire Delta episode all were great and added so much more to the game’s story, which was pretty ambitious to begin with. However, I will say I don’t really like Zinnia…she just really annoys me with how high and mighty she is about everything. But hey, that’s one part.

In terms of gameplay stuff, there was a lot to like. I really like the tip-toe and pokenav feature, so you can find pokemon with egg moves with just a little bit of patience rather than chain breeding things. The Eon Flute was also just a brilliant new addition, as it makes flying around so much easier…pretty much making the HM Fly utterly obsolete. Supertraining and pokemon amie are still here, and they remain great. However, there are some issues I found with the game, part of them dealing with some things that are a little too old fashioned. Having separate poke centers and poke marts is a small thing, but it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. Also, one thing that did change I’m not happy about is that the Safari zone…isn’t even the safari zone anymore. Its nice to catch pokemon by battling and your own poke balls, but there isn’t that sense of variety. Though now I remember, the old Safari Zone in Gen 3 wasn’t that amazing either. I do like the Mirage Islands and the new way to catch legendaries. With nearly every legendary absent from X and Y, you can catch so many. Though I find it funny some legendaries are so easy to capture, but the Golems remain just as they were, incredibly complex riddles to get to them all.

I will say, my first play through was a Nuzlocke, and it was very rewarding in terms of difficulty. The game without exp all remains tough, and while I had a good mid-point, I was nearly destroyed the 8th badge and onward. Seriously, Wallace’s Milotic is a freaking nightmare. But with alot of determination…and using two pokemon pretty much to take on the Elite Four, I succeeded. It reminded me of the challenge there was in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and I’m quite happy after you beat the Elite Four, they get bumped up to be even more powerful.

Overall, these games are fun, nice, and most significantly, beautiful. Gamefreak really put their all to make everything look amazing and it does. The scenery, the birds, the water, the character designs, it all works awesomely. Its been fun seeing the remakes of the games, and while they didn’t add an insane bunch of new features, or even some features people loved in X and Y, they made sure this was an incredibly well done remake. If you’re a pokemon fan..you probably have it already, but really if you don’t you should get it. Its just a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the game may show next.

~Savage

Pokemon ORAS [7.8 too much water, just kidding.]


pokemon-oras-cover (1)
I’m going to be the first person to admit that I never liked Hoenn in the old games, it was my least favorite region for a multitude of reasons. [Least fav starters, bad evil teams, too much water, ect.] So when the remakes were announced I was like, “Oh great, that thing I never wanted” but being a fan of the Pokemon series I owed it to Nintendo to go back and give Hoenn a fighting chance, maybe the remakes would make me not hate it, maybe I could come out saying “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So i sucked up my pride and pre-ordered myself a copy of Alpha Sapphire. Upon booting up the game I realized, MY MEMORY OF THIS GAME IS HORRID!

I can’t even name half the gym leaders, much less any of the elite four. I remember the Team leaders names but that’s from years of sheer unadulterated loathing! How did the plot go again?

I DON’T REMEMBER! I remember showing up in a moving truck and Norman being your Dad, that’s like…it. So basically I noticed I would be playing this game all over for the first time for the most part.

Now, what did I think of it? Honestly? I loved it. There were a lot of small details to this game that made me really happy. First off, the graphics are amazing, half the time I can hardly convince myself I’m playing a Pokemon game with how lovely everything looks. Second, cut scenes, yes you heard me right. Pokemon, with cut scenes.

One that really stands out in my mind is when you reach the end of Petalburg Woods and it cuts to the Aqua Grunt you just beat calling their superior, I nearly burst out into tears. One of my favorite things about Pokemon is their evil organizations and getting just to see something as small as that, giving us insight into how they work was a huge treat.

The plot was a lot more polished and finished then I remember it being before as well, everything fell into place and for the first time ever I found myself not hating Team Aqua or screaming about how stupid their plan was. Why? What changed? Was it the way they put more depth to Archies character? How everyone responded when Kyogre did start the huge downpour? I can’t say for sure but as completely jaded as I was against these teams I expected to hate them a whole hell of a lot more then I did.
The after game also had a really interesting and engaging plot going on to get you to Rayquaza and Deoxys.

ORAS of course plays pretty much like your typical Pokemon game, integrating things from the new game into the old. New things that were kept include Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, though we lose the roller skates and the ability to customize our characters. [-sobs softly-] We gain Pokemon contests and Secret bases which were some of the staples of the original Sapphire and Ruby games. I haven’t done much with my secret base yet so I don’t have much room to comment on how that works I have run a few Pokemon through the contests. Somehow, they seem easier then I recall perhaps that’s just my bad memory of the game though.

One thing does bug me about the contest though, THESE THINGS, these ugly ass outfits! I mean, the contests are fun, the cosplay pikachu you get is adorable but what are these?! An absolute fashion disaster that’s what! If we couldn’t have customization anywhere else in the game we could of at least had it during the contests so we wouldn’t have to look like freaks! I’m not sure which outfit is worse, the ugly tutu that the girl is wearing or the….1970’s vomit that the guy is stuck with.

hero_heroine_contest

Something I know is easier is making Poke’blocks, there used to be a mini game to create your poke’blocks but now it’s as easy as popping four berries into the blender and hoping it will spit out the poke’block you want, I saw some kind of guide on how to make them so I guess there is some kind of skill to it but honestly it was never a function I was a huge fan of, call me when we’re mixing up poffins in Sinnoh.

Another new thing that transferred over from the new games was the new experience share. I know this bothered a lot of people since they claim it makes the game too easy, but as a person who plays Pokemon casually I think it’s the greatest invention since the Pokemon Storage system. That being said however, I feel like the challenge level of this game was relatively low, I can’t recall being overly threatened by any of the gym leaders and I laughed at every Team Aqua battle and took out their pokemon with one magical leaf or psychic attack. The only battles that I struggled with at all at first were the elite four and the champion.
[Mega Metagross is evil and needs to be burned.]

mega-metagross

Another new feature that you get near the end of the game is the Eon Flute, which allows you to summon the Latios/Latias you were given earlier in the game from anywhere and fly around the skies of Hoenn might be the most wonderful thing ever. It totally eliminates the need for the HM for fly. which is a good thing because that brings me to my biggest complaint of this game.

SO MANY HM’S! You need surf, you need Dive, you need Waterfall, you need Cut, you need Rock Smash, you need Strength…. I can’t even with this. I know this is the way it used to be but gonna be rather honest with you, didn’t miss it. I ended up with two HM slaves on my team just to accommodate all of the HM’s I needed just to get through the main story line. I should not need two HM slaves just to finish the main story.

TOO MANY, DON'T LIKE!

TOO MANY, DON’T LIKE!

That aside, everything in this game was really spot on. I have a whole new view of Hoenn, I like it a lot better then I did before and i’m hoping for more remakes like this is the future.

Can you imagine Team Galactic blowing up a lake in these high res graphics? That’s the things my nightmares are made of and of course, my largest dream would be to see the Kanto region done like this. Can you imagine having cut scenes with Team Rocket and interacting more with Giovanni? I would sob my eyes out in happiness.
Overall, this was a great experience that gave me a whole new view of a game I previously hated. Oh and IGN can suck it, there wasn’t too much water! There was actually LESS water then i remember there being…at least I think there was…maybe the same amount.

Maybe…

~Midnight


SAVAGE

So, I come from a rather different perspective from my pal Midnight. For one, Gen 3 is one of my favorite if not my favorite generation of pokemon. It was the last gen I played with my dad (who was pretty much the only other person who played pokemon with me at the time), and it was the time for me when a brand new pokemon game was still fresh and new. Its also one I played with the most often, since I lacked pretty much anything else to do at that point in my life. So, overall, I came in to ORAS with very high expectations. And?

I will say this-it definitely feels like Hoenn. It captures the feel of the old games, and the new things seem to fit in perfectly. The entire game feels very familiar and fills me with all kinds of nostalgia. In addition, the new designs, graphics, and other gameplay elements really worked great for the game. Things like Flannery being so adorkable and Wally being so frail, the new designs and the ways the characters are animated just do so much better to give the characters and places personality. As for the new elements to the story, I really like them too. The new motivations for Magma and Aqua, the new stuff with Steven, the entire Delta episode all were great and added so much more to the game’s story, which was pretty ambitious to begin with. However, I will say I don’t really like Zinnia…she just really annoys me with how high and mighty she is about everything. But hey, that’s one part.

In terms of gameplay stuff, there was a lot to like. I really like the tip-toe and pokenav feature, so you can find pokemon with egg moves with just a little bit of patience rather than chain breeding things. The Eon Flute was also just a brilliant new addition, as it makes flying around so much easier…pretty much making the HM Fly utterly obsolete. Supertraining and pokemon amie are still here, and they remain great. However, there are some issues I found with the game, part of them dealing with some things that are a little too old fashioned. Having separate poke centers and poke marts is a small thing, but it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. Also, one thing that did change I’m not happy about is that the Safari zone…isn’t even the safari zone anymore. Its nice to catch pokemon by battling and your own poke balls, but there isn’t that sense of variety. Though now I remember, the old Safari Zone in Gen 3 wasn’t that amazing either. I do like the Mirage Islands and the new way to catch legendaries. With nearly every legendary absent from X and Y, you can catch so many. Though I find it funny some legendaries are so easy to capture, but the Golems remain just as they were, incredibly complex riddles to get to them all.

I will say, my first play through was a Nuzlocke, and it was very rewarding in terms of difficulty. The game without exp all remains tough, and while I had a good mid-point, I was nearly destroyed the 8th badge and onward. Seriously, Wallace’s Milotic is a freaking nightmare. But with alot of determination…and using two pokemon pretty much to take on the Elite Four, I succeeded. It reminded me of the challenge there was in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and I’m quite happy after you beat the Elite Four, they get bumped up to be even more powerful.

Overall, these games are fun, nice, and most significantly, beautiful. Gamefreak really put their all to make everything look amazing and it does. The scenery, the birds, the water, the character designs, it all works awesomely. Its been fun seeing the remakes of the games, and while they didn’t add an insane bunch of new features, or even some features people loved in X and Y, they made sure this was an incredibly well done remake. If you’re a pokemon fan..you probably have it already, but really if you don’t you should get it. Its just a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the game may show next.

~Savage