Tag Archives: Asia

Otaku Review: Detective Conan/ Case Closed

Conan as a kid

Take a genius crime-solving teenager. Put him in the body of a six-year-old child, give him a tranquilizer dart, a shooting clock and some other high tech tools that would make Q jealous. Sprinkle it with 800 plus episodes and 20 movies riddled with crime and corpses and there you have it. Detective Conan (aka: Case Closed) is the longest running detective series in the world…and also one of the most violent series imaginable. In virtually every episode someone dies in a gruesome and mysterious way.

A corpse has been found!

Kundo Shinchi was tailing some men in black who knocked him out and fed him an experimental drug that shrunk his body. Since this would put some real strain on his hobby of solving crimes, he came up with a brilliant ploy. He got his friend, Dr. Agasa to make him a bunch of gadgets to compensate for his size and age. Conan then moved in with his friend and potential love interest: Ran.

Conan and the kids from his class


Incidentally, his childhood friend has a father who is a drunken womanizing gumshoe who jumps to conclusions and sucks at solving cases. Fortunately this turned out to be easily rectified, as Conan drugs the poor sod and proceeds to imitate his voice every time a suspect is about to be exposed. This gave the man the nickname Sleeping Kogoro, and a lot of fame (which in turn attracted even more cases). Naturally Conan has to keep it hidden from everyone else, lest the men in black who shrunk him in the first place find out he’s alive, and the proceed to kill everyone he loves and cares about.


Mind you, he’s quite capable of getting them almost killed himself due to the abnormally high crime rate in Japan. I can assure you that when he and his friends are about and at it, corpses will fall from the sky in a flat, featureless desert.

Kogoro, random stranger, Rans friend, Ran and the kids
I want those spy glasses!
Suspension of disbelief, Ran is a black belt.
Rule of awesome beats reality!

Every now and then he is also joined by his fellow classmates and Heiji, who is also a detective, and Ai, who was part of the organization. She too, shrunk herself into a child with the mysterious drug. It should by now be worth mentioning that the first episode of Detective Conan starts with a couple getting decapitated in a roller-coaster, which means that the series can get quite bloody and absurd at times. Most of the time however, it’s quite down to earth (if you ignore the absurd number of explosives that show up in the movies and his inflatable soccer ball dispenser).Some suspension of disbelief is needed, since the whole reason Detective Conan keeps up the masquerade from his friends does become quite arbitrary. It’s not that hard to deduce that this kid is too smart for his own good. But then again time does not seem to move much in the series, even when the technology is updated. The author has clearly done his research, and for the most part it’s accurate and wears its inspiration on its sleeve.

Watch it on Crunchyroll

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Rogue State

Rogue-State-Free-Download-PC-Game-300x160First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to rule your own nation, Rogue State from LRDGames, Inc. may be the game for you. Welcome to Basenji; yes, it’s a breed of dog, but it’s also the name of the country you’ve inherited after a recent governmental overthrow. As the leader of Basenji, will you be merciful to your citizens and friendly to the rest of the world, or will you rule as a tyrant for your own personal gain. The choice is yours.

InANutshellAs supreme tyran…er…leader…your first task is to create a cabinet. There are three well-meaning ministers waiting for assignments, as well as your brother Farouk who wants nothing but to take leadership for himself. Farouk is highly charismatic and has the ear of many of the people. Unfortunately, you cannot dismiss your brother; he must be assigned to one of the cabinet positions. The following screen lists these positions, along with the effects of benevolent charge (in green), and the effect of appointing Farouk (in red).
RS1aNext on the agenda is reconstruction. Basenji needs a lot of work and it’s up to you to hire nationals, as well as those from the international community to see it through. To which infrastructure will you assign resources first, engineering or medical? These are the kinds of choices that will influence your successes and failures throughout the game.

As with everything in politics, funding is essential. There are actually two forms of currency in Rogue State. One is “Treasury Funds” and the other is “Loyalty of Parliament”. Both must be carefully managed. Also, keep in mind that you are free to govern as you please; even to the people’s detriment. But working for the overall good, while fending off Farouk’s efforts to the contrary seems to me the best way to go.

As with any government, balance is key to pleasing the masses. Basenji’s population is comprised of four political parties known as “factions”; the distribution of which can be seen on the “policies” screen. Use the sliders to set policy that will win the approval of one or more of the parties. Of course as one group becomes happy with your decisions, others may oppose. There is a sort of rock-paper-scissors effect among the people…and with 14 policies to juggle, the game’s replay options are practically endless!

RS2Occasionally, a cabinet minister will have something to say about the way you’re running the country. He will ask you to raise the approval rating of his own faction to a certain level, and within a certain number of turns. If you succeed, that minister’s approval of you rises. If not, it will drop. If your ministers’ approval rating drops too much, they will become “disloyal”, giving Farouk an opportunity to overthrow you.

RS3aWhile managing your country’s interior, it’s easy to forget the international scene. The United Nations will send Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to assist your rebuilding efforts, but at an approval cost. If you are a violator of human rights for example, the U.N. can threaten sanctions. If this happens, allocate resources for immediate reform!
RS4Overall, is Rogue State worth it? Absolutely, yes. It is both humorous and ominous at the same time. As stated, the replay value is very high; letting you test out various styles of rule. My only suggestion would be to add even more content and complexity to this fun geopolitical sim.
RSScale-Chris Roberts-