Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood


Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
The art style is refreshing, the characters stay true and are believeable, it has some genuinely sad moments; the protagonist IS a badass guy with a dark past but he's never characterized as unbeatable, and frankly he ends up losing almost as many fights as he wins. It's a sci-fi action show set in the equivalent of early 20th century Germany, and the sci-fi elements (alchemy) are more science than fantasy and have rules and restrictions they abide by. Oh, and did I mention the story's really good?
Just make sure you watch Brotherhood and not the original series, it actually follows the plot of the manga and is better overall.

The truth is that I like certain things about the first anime and certain other things about the second anime. In the first anime, I felt that the story and characters were more interesting, while the action left something to be desired. In Brotherhood, there was a lot more action and some great animation as well as some cool new characters, but the manga-faithful storyline also brought with it some awful characters and a story which, to me, was somewhat less interesting. The final fight consisted only of "let's blindly throw everything we have at him and hope he gets tired."


Sadly, the worst aspects of Fullmetal Alchemist are shared by both versions:
- Alphonse is whiny and annoying, and hardly ever contributes to a fight despite the fact that he could fucking kill almost anything.
- The use of alchemy, despite all of its potential, is horribly uninteresting and unoriginal. There were some interesting moves in the first anime, like fucking up the structure of Greed's carbon shield and turning Sloth into ethanol, but most of the "alchemy" in both series could be better described as telekinesis (e.g., moving the earth to create a wall, etc.). That's fucking boring.
- Anime clich├ęs and visual gags.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Aeris my Goddess

For all the shit people talked and still talk about FF7 (and I was guilty of it too, as a teenager who was totally  into JRPGs before they were cool) its popularity and enduring presence make sense to me. Cloud's story is the story of a dorky loser becoming an admirable man and learning that he doesn't have to live in the shadows of his fantasy hero idols (Sephiroth, Zack) or pine for a Perfect Lover (Aeris) because the girl next door (Tifa) has been there for him all along. Of course that resonates with nerds. It's a game about them.

In either case I also think Sephiroth is a well-executed villain in the way that he seems like he's always one step ahead of the party and so dangerous that you're not sure you want to catch up to him, and when you finally do something terrible happens. And I think there's a theme of reconciliation with one's own self and dreams that connects rather slyly to the game's other theme of reconciliation with nature and the earth.

A lot of the game is terrible, almost all of its spinoffs are ridiculous over the top garbage, and it's aged poorly to boot. But I think I understand why it struck such a chord with so many people, and I don't think it's a stupid game at all.

Ironically, most of the people who still love it to death and draw pictures of it and write fanfiction about it completely missed most of what I was talking about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BACK WITH A REVIEW

Rance Quest, which will be Rance VIII for the series, will be a full 3D questing RPG.
You pick up quests and achieve them as you progress.
If you fail on a quest you still retain the EXP, but have to restart the quest from the start
Any quests you have already completed are repeatable, so any events and items you missed in the quest can be salvaged later.
Rance heads to the forest of Kalar to undo the curse on Sill...

Characters shown on the TG magazine scan
Sachiko Centers: Schoolgirl saved by rance while being attacked by monsters.
She ends up in his party as a defender. Her dream is simply to become an ideal housewife.
Crookoo Mofus (kurukkoo is how pigeon crying is written in Japanese): A mysterious girl exorcising evil spirits living in the Kalar forest.
Suzume: the Super-kunoichi who aided Rance in the last game. She tags along as his guardian this time.
Reset (Lisette) Kalar: Cute, cheery kalar girl. The description doesn't say if she's related to Rance, possibly to avoid spoilers to new comers to the series.
(In her introduction to the series in Kichikuoh Rance, she's the daughter of Rance and Pastel, the queen of Kalar.
It's not clear if this plot has been carried over to this canon entry yet, but hopefully. Or Alicesoft will have thousands of angry oldschool fans to deal with)
Aegis Kalar: A soldier who guards the Kalar forest from human invaders who come to hunt their crystals.
(The crystals on the forehead of a Kalar turns from red to blue when they lose virginity.
They possess massive magical powers, prompting these human poachers to come rape Kalar and take their crystals for money. A Kalar dies when she loses her crystal)

The three girls from Iceframe are back!
The evil lesbian bitch Megadeath (green hair), The sleeping beauty Cessna (blue), and the nurse Prima (silver).
They were the original members of Iceframe in Rance VI

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kickin it 1994

Next year is going to be the year that the Super Nintendo secures its place as the greatest console of all time. And why's that?
Chrono Trigger. People from Final Fantasy collaborating with Akira fucking Toriyama? It's going to be like...trying to find the crystals on Penguin Island - can't wait for all the Arale cameos, and other funny stuff that Toriyama's doubtlessly gonna throw in!

You know what else, bumtickled Segafags? Killer Instinct. Have you seen some of those combos? 30 hits, nucka. And it looks like I'm watching a video. Hell, I wonder if I'm playing it through my Super NES or my VCR.

Sure feels good to be a Nintendude.