Category Archives: Otaku-Haven

This is the archives for Otaku-Haven where we have written about either reviews, editorials, or discussed various topics of certain genre’s The articles are listed in chronological order, and if you’re looking for a particular article please use the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.

It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

Haven Editorial: Cosplay is good

Cosplay is to me a wholesome activity, that promotes creativity and fun. For people of all ages. Children love to play dress up, Halloween promotes it and we have a similar tradition in Norway, only with singing for candy on new years eve. Not to mention that people love to host costume parties and masquerade balls. There is also a lot more kinky ways to use a tantalizing costume. Cosplay is short for costume fun and that’s the main point.

However there are also several unintended benefits in the recent and increased popularity. A lot of old crafts was about to die out, due to mass production and few career prospects. It used to be a common profession to sew custom clothes, such as fancy, frilly party dresses and such. There is only so many tailors and seamstress the community can keep aloft, when anyone can buy a suit at a mall. Mass producing cosplay is virtually impossible. Since there are millions of characters to pick from and they all have something unique about them. Which is quite awesome indeed. There is an old saying that goes «If you want something done right, do it yourself». Creating a costume is hard work and a real mental challenge, that forces the one making it to think about the best approach. Both when it comes to picking materials and when it comes to assembly.

Let’s face it. Everything is possible on a 3d model, or in an animated show. Because it is not real. Creating cosplay is all about making it real. Which requires a sound mind and some insanity. Since it is a common fact that big shoulder plates will never stay in place and that female clothing is not designed to stay on. Personal I use the term practical problem solving. Challenges is a part of life, but creative crafting is a way to overcome that. Most costumes includes many intricate sewing patterns, fancy fabric and a lot of armour pieces. Due to the decline of old professions a lot of the knowledge needed has to searched for online, due to a lack of good mentor figures. Sure a lot of it can be searched for online, but for the most of us we learn by trying. On a side note, its a very common thing for people being too hung up on collecting reference materials, you know downloading a ton of character pictures onto a hard drive. Then to never interact with the pictures again. Anyhow, crafting armour, making weapons and intricate , all requires crafting. Which also teaches people to use tools and think for themselves. This in turn makes a person more independent. Apparently a lot of people does not know how to do minor maintenance at home, or own a hammer.

Another positive effect cosplay has on people, is the ability to make friends and boost self confidence. It is quite a challenge to walk around in a costume, where everyone will look and admire you. Meeting new people is also easier when one have something in common. It breaks the ice. Plus all the professional venues has a zero drug and no alcohol policy. let’s face it, many people have a very difficult time being around other people or initiate a conversation, it’s a surprisingly good ice breaker. Cosplay is also starting to become a viable way to sustain oneself. Such as winning price money. Live streaming the prop making progress. Which is what I do. There is also a market in selling products to people who lack the patience or the skill to do it themselves. On top of that there is a huge market itself in selling materials to create a costume from. Most of the more exotic martial I use is only sold online and shipped from abroad.

Personally I love crafting costume props and make them work. Which is why I stream the creative process several times during each week.
https://www.twitch.tv/zaceron

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Touhou Genso Wanderer

There are some games out there that inspire greatness, that exude the promise of greatness and that are just naturally amazing. However, Touhou Genso Wanderer is not one of these games.

I love the character designs and artwork, the voice acting and the animation for the game is simply amazing. Like holy hell the animation for the cut-scenes is on par with some of the greatest games I have ever seen for anime-styled games.

However, it’s the actual gameplay that has been disappointing. You get a world of build up and then when you get to actually playing the game it is a simple dungeon explorer title with nothing special or amazing about it. No attention to detail, repetitive music and ultimately bland to look at it. It has a strong feeling like the assets were ripped from RPG maker software, titled in and coded for a Play Station 4 game.

Touhou Genso Wanderer is a title that could have been great but gave up half-way through. Although I am not sure on why, it could be budget constraints; it could be poor direction, or even simply poor design.

The controls for the game were pretty confusing as well and the screen re-size function on the Play Station 4 didn’t help much in its visuals as well. The game just simply kept overriding the default options I had placed in.  So I could never see the full status bar of my character.

I know I am being very critical about the game, but honestly that is what I am here for to be critical about games. The game sucks, put simply and people can complain and argue that with me to their blue in the face. I don’t like how they didn’t get the stage design more detail, I don’t like the repetitive music on a infinite loop, I don’t like how they mashed the controls together and barely gave any type of tutorial to go along with it.

I’d like to say it’s one of the worst games I have ever played, but there’s quite a few in the running for that.  The best part of the game is simply its branding. The beautiful and colorful characters, the animation, even the voice acting are pretty nice. It’s just everything else about the title that’s bad.

If you want in this article appears several images from the game to explain what I mean in regards to its poor level design and why I dislike it.    

If I had to say some positive things about it, I’d say that the level transition goes quickly and loads up well. But that is because they are doing a tiled asset approach and don’t have a lot of things to load.

Actual combat remains somewhat of a bore and the plot used to let you battle actual humans in the game is a simple plot convenience that lets them recycle assets to help keep the file size low for this game.

I’d say don’t buy it, but if you like sloppy work for a cheaply made game that most people could put together on the RPG maker forum with basic coding and simple assets than. By all means this game is the game for you! Although if the fan base reads this article, which they probably will at some point, my opinion probably doesn’t matter to you so enjoy the game anyways.

-Daniel Clatworthy

For the record if anyone also wanted to know, I’m not the only person who feel’s this way, a lot of people on Metacritic say the same thing.

Haven Review: Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps

   “Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-“is the first part of a visual novel game set in an all girls missionary school in japan. You follow Suoh Shirahane from her arrival at this school, and in her quest to overcome personal challenges and make friends.

Suoh is a very shy, kind and beautiful girl with a passion for books. Growing up very isolated from other children made her long for friendship. Her choice for joining this school was their friendship program. Where all students will be assigned compatible friends to share dorm rooms with while they live at the school. Suoh tries her best to navigate the social scene to get the friends she desperately wants, which causes her some embarrassment at times. But she learns from these experiences and moves on, and friendships starts to blossom in her life. Being around all the different people at school also has some darker sides, and makes memories of her childhood come back to her throughout the story, and you gradually learn more about Suohs past.

The game is a simple “click your way through” the story, and will also give you opportunities to make decisions that will have an effect on Suohs life.  So you as a player will determine this girl’s path through her time at the school while you make lifelong decisions and solve mysteries, all while fulfilling the responsibilities as a student.

Flowers is a very pretty game, with wonderful art and also with nice background music. They also used voice actors for this game, which makes it even more immersive and interesting to play. If you like anime/manga in a school setting, or you like quality manga art, you might want to give this game a try.

Personally I enjoy this game, but in moderate portions. Playing for too long became a little boring for me, it can be a bit slow, but then again it is a visual novel. But I do find myself wondering what is going happen to Suoh and return to the game to continue her story. I have yet to play many visual novel games, so I cannot compare this to others. But I do enjoy “Flowers”, and I personally would recommend it and feel it is worth buying.

“Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-“is the first part of a visual novel game set in an all girls missionary school in japan. You follow Suoh Shirahane from her arrival at this school, and in her quest to overcome personal challenges and make friends.

Suoh is a very shy, kind and beautiful girl with a passion for books. Growing up very isolated from other children made her long for friendship. Her choice for joining this school was their friendship program. Where all students will be assigned compatible friends to share dorm rooms with while they live at the school. Suoh tries her best to navigate the social scene to get the friends she desperately wants, which causes her some embarrassment at times. But she learns from these experiences and moves on, and friendships starts to blossom in her life. Being around all the different people at school also has some darker sides, and makes memories of her childhood come back to her throughout the story, and you gradually learn more about Suohs past.

The game is a simple “click your way through” the story, and will also give you opportunities to make decisions that will have an effect on Suohs life.  So you as a player will determine this girl’s path through her time at the school while you make lifelong decisions and solve mysteries, all while fulfilling the responsibilities as a student.

Flowers is a very pretty game, with wonderful art and also with nice background music. They also used voice actors for this game, which makes it even more immersive and interesting to play. If you like anime/manga in a school setting, or you like quality manga art, you might want to give this game a try.

Personally I enjoy this game, but in moderate portions. Playing for too long became a little boring for me, it can be a bit slow, but then again it is a visual novel. But I do find myself wondering what is going happen to Suoh and return to the game to continue her story. I have yet to play many visual novel games, so I cannot compare this to others. But I do enjoy “Flowers”, and I personally would recommend it and feel it is worth buying.

-Ingelin Gridset