Bastion – Mini Review

Bastion launched for the Xbox Arcade, July 20, 2011, as part of their summer arcade lineup.  There has been some buzz about this game when it was first revealed for its colorful visuals and unique narrative style.  Bastion is simply a marvel.  Watercolors and floating islands that form right under your feet, scatter the landscape as a gruff voice reminiscent of Jet from Cowboy Bebop narrates your adventure as you undertake it.  The style of game play is defiantly a throw back to the Super Nintendo era of video games as you brawl your way through enemies and upgrade your weapons.  It is truly a unique experience.

The narrator is what separates this game from hundreds of others.  As you pick up a weapon he talks about it, as you kill a giant boss he tells of your epic fight and victory.  The deep voiced man quite literally narrates your adventure as you play the game.  The floating landscape that forms up under your feet also helps play into this story telling vibe.  It feels like you are playing a story and it is being created as you play.

Combat in Bastion is simple and satisfying.  You obtain many a weapon along your journey, but you may only equip two.  Weapons vary greatly from one another from a crushing hammer to a machete that slashes foes to ribbons, while also serving as a ranged weapon.  Upgrades also differ enough to warrant multiple changes to your weapons to see what style you enjoy the most.  The combat can become tiresome though as nothing really changes along the way only the weapons help freshen up the experience.
Besides the main quest there are a few challenges you can do that require you to have mastered your weapon to the fullest.  These are usually quick easy distractions that are only a momentary detour to your main quest.  The main quest is what will keep you playing this relatively short game.  The quest of “The Kid” and his goal to help repair the Bastion and the mystery behind the Calamity are what will engage you into this title’s tale.

Bastion is a fresh take on an old formula that simply works.  The addition of a narrator is a risk that more games need to take.  This delightful title is well forth its price tag and should at least be experienced if you are nostalgic to the Super Nintendo era or are intrigued by its unique mechanics.  Be sure to check it out.

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Yet another new Persona 4 anime trailer

You know the drill by now. It’s on the Mayonaka TV website, only available for a limited time. This one features the opening song for the series, “sky’s the limit,” which features the same vocalist as the songs from the game. This trailer also shows a few of the Social Link characters meaning the Social Links will likely be incorporated into the story somehow, as well as a few more of the personas in action, and most importantly the Junes jingle at the end. The series will air this fall and will last two cours( around 24 to 26 episodes). Here’s a YouTube embed.

Angel Beats Redux

Itsumo hitori aruiteta. Furekaeru to minna ha tooku .....

Angel Beats Redux

This article is about what I’d like to see done with Angel Beats & is written from the perspective of one who has seen the series only. I’m an anime fan in that I like/watch these movies/series & that’s it. I’m not into books, magazines, models/figurines, manga, knick knacks or any other off screen ephemera associated with anime. If there are any “holes” in this article this is why.

I want to pretend episode 4.5 never happened. Yui supplies more than enough “energy” for the SSS. Surprisingly, TK wasn’t all that hyper in comparison to the rest of the gang.

Drop the Guild. Peripheral at best. Except for episode 2, the group isn’t seen except for one or two individuals “in the back ground” so to speak.Yuri & Takeyama seem proficient with tech. Perhaps they could “procure” supplies (Though no where near as good as Kanade.). “Getting rid” of the guild could free up some time for another characters’ back story.

Essential backstories:

Hinata- Main secondary protagonist. Need to know.

TK- I actually like this character, mainly because he’s underexposed (In an American production he’d not only be THE main character but would also be obnoxious, LOUD, & “just too kool”. In short, a jerk.) What was he like when alive? One of the uncool kids at school? A fan of “all things American”? A frustrated rocker? It would be nice if he’d mutter a less “vague” phrase now & then (The mumbling father figure of Hanna Barberas’ Hillbilly Bears show would say a “coherent” sentance every so often.)

Shiina- Too much of a mystery girl. Is her skill as a “ninja” a reverse of having been picked- on/abused while living or inadequacey as a martial artist? Why the obsession with “cute” things? Did she have bad luck with pets?

Naoi- Yes, we already know his backstory. But how did he get his expertise in hypnotism?

Why no revolvers? All I saw were semi-autos (I never liked the trigger pulls on Berettas & schlocks ….. er Glocks. Too mushy out of the box.).

Essential disappearances:

Have the “rapture” of GiDeMo, along with Yusa, separate from the en-masse “catching away” in ep 12.

TK, Shiina, Noda at least. The rest of the SSS “fighters” in a separate mass exodus?

Again, I realize there other media connected with this series & thus some of the same or different info would be there. My main interest in my video hobby are on the films and shows themselves, with anime being a comparitively small part of it.

Article copyright © 1-6-11 Jay Agan

This article originally posted at Jays’ Tee Vee.

Nendoroid Petite: B.G.M Festival Set – vol.0 Review

Last year, an announcement was made about an event being held in Japan called B.G.M. Festival. It would be lead by charismatic bishoujo producer of Overdrive, Bamboo, who brought together musicians who appeared in their games. At the event they would have these petite Nendoroid figures of a few of the stars of the bishoujo games for an exclusive sale. Now, you can save yourself a trip to this event and have this excellent set for yourself!

What’s included in the set is a total of five figures. (pop quiz, hotshot! Try naming them before I list them to test your bishoujo skills! …Go!!) They include Miyako Miyamura (ef -a fairy tale of the two), Kenshin Uesugi (Sengoku Rance), Otome Asakura (Da Capo 2), Kirari (Kira Kira), and Asuka Watarai (Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai). They each stand at 65mm tall, so about the size your thumb. Pretty tiny, but rest assured, Good Smile didn’t skimp on the details!

With their small stature, even if you stand at distance you’ll see how carefully crafted this little gals are. The shape of each of them are unique and the color paint used are properly represented from their game counterpart, from Kirari’s slight shades of pink on her hair to Asuka’s soft and warm toned school uniform.

As I was taking a closer look, I became even more astonished at how much detail was shown. Otome has a silver design of flowers that are so faint, yet, detailed that I couldn’t help, but be impressed. Her armband’s symbol even stands out despite how tiny it is. Kirari comes with her signature mic and guitar (both detachable). Fans will quickly notice the ribbon and stuffed cat on the mic, and guitar enthusiasts (like myself!) will appreciate the miniature Les Paul Junior-esque electric guitar sitting comfortably on her left hand.
Who stands out the most (literally?) is Kenshin. If her sword doesn’t command your attention, then her pointy helmet will! The paint on her is so vibrant and is a nice contrast to the other characters in the set. Even the bottom of her dress is subtle, yet, the open space is what draws your eyes in to it.

The packaging is as thoughtful as the presentation. You needn’t worry about any loose bits shaking around the box. Everything is carefully placed in their snugged plastic place. Even the miniature sword has a tight spot for it.
Speaking of tight, each figure comes with a stand to place them on for display. It’s clear with the base about the same circumference as the the heads with prop that has rounded joints that connects it to the figure. I have to say it again, the detail of how the prop stand was to be place on the back of the figures is so awesome. It rests perfectly on the ribbons of Miyako’s and Asuka’s uniforms, it’s almost too clever! The joints themselves can be a little tricky to snap on properly, as with most sturdy joints. To get them on you’ll have to detach the figures head (as some have enormous hair) from the body and ease the joint on the back, then connect the other end to the base. The joints do allows for some wiggle room, but with these being petite Nendoroids there only so much you can do to begin with other than move an arm slightly up and down. You’d want to let these characters rest in place anyway as their stance fits perfectly with their personalities down to a T.

The Nendoroid Petite: B.G.M Festival Set is a tiny package that really packs a punch. Good Smile did good on all of the companies beloved characters in the most pleasant ways and I highly recommend it to fans at the asking retail price.

You can still grab these gals at the AmiAmi shop! Have a look at more pics in this set here!

Simulcast Links updated

Now that Crunchyroll has finally announced the final show in their summer lineup I should mention that I’ve updated the Simulcast Links page. It has all the new simulcasts from Crunchyroll, plus all of the continuing simulcasts from the previous season. Summer has also seen the entry of two new players in the simulcast field. Bandai is doing their first simulcast this season with the series Sacred Seven, which they are streaming through Hulu and Crunchyroll.

There’s also NicoNico, the recently launched English version of a Japanese video site. NicoNico’s largest contribution to the simulcasting business would appear to be delaying some series on Crunchyroll. Any series that is on both sites will only be on NicoNico at first, with the episode going up on Crunchyroll a week later. On the positive side this has caused Crunchyroll to change how things work for non-subscribers, so now any series that was on NicoNico first is viewable by both subscribers and non-subscribers at the same time on Crunchyroll. Of course you still have to pay if you want to watch it in HD on Crunchyroll.

Alongside links to every simulcast there’s also information about the various sites that stream the simulcasts. I’ve also added logos for every site because logos are cool. So yeah. Go look at the page.