Tag Archives: Japan

Haven Reviews: Inferno Climber

Haven: Reviews Inferno Climber

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When I started the game I thought long and hard about which hero to chose from. All of them have something different about them. In the end it did not matter one bit. The game narrator kept feeding me stories of my greatness and insurmountable power. Naturally this story sounds way too good to be true. However that is the curse of a hero, to charge head first into a six meter tall dragon like creature. With only a dingy wooden rod to aid me. The outcome was certain from the get go, especially since I had no idea of how to play the game. Yes I died, in a fiery inferno. Normally death is the end, ironically enough I actually met him. He’s an ever so cheerful fellow. A very important and very cruel creature. Instead of staying dead, I woke up in a shallow grave, within a dying world.

Inferno Climber is a skill based combat game, with a leveling system and breakable weapons. After dying to a big bad boss, the player spawns in another location, where the game tutorial actually starts. This level is also one of the most important ones, as each time I   return to it, I can pick up weapons and potions again.

20160912135946_1Due to the nature of the game, death is a guaranty. Unfortunately this means that I have to chase down and recover my corpse, after buying a death certificate from Death. But in order to reach my body, I have to pick one of the other heroes available, which is the reason the first pick does not matter too much. However at some point I will probably run out of fresh corpses to throw at the meat grinder. The world of Inferno Climber is also covered in puzzles and devious traps. Which is one of the fun factors. Inch by inch, the world opens up and more secrets are found. 20160912143918_1

Luckily some of the most obnoxious areas game me a breather when I failed too much. There is a section of stealth, where overly aggressive skeletons patrols. I died a lot there and eventually a giant chicken spawned. The bird gave me a deodorant, which made me harder to see until I broke stealth. Enemies have no mercy and have no quarrels about kicking people on the ground. Which make recovery from a hard blow very hard, frustrating and unforgiving indeed. Some selected few enemies also have quick time events in order to escape them. Luckily the camera cooperates most of the time and lock-on actually works. Though it hates small spaces and being up against a wall. 20160911222646_1

There is also a fair deal of towering bosses, that will wipe the floor with anyone unprepared. I learned this the hard way. As my foes fall before me in Inferno Climber, experience points and money is doped as well. Each level up provides stat points to use. In the stat menu there is the usual selection of stats, which are quite self explanatory. The other way to improve stats is through loot, however even the strongest of armors will eventually break. Which is why there is a crafting system in place. Which proves a way make supplies.

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Graphically the game is very basic and a bit rough around the edges. Where everything serves a purpose. It a bit on the brown and the dark side at times though. Weirdly enough there are a lot of loading screens, despite the stylistic nature of it all. Music is solid and very instrumental, with some jaunty tunes and adds a lot to the atmosphere. The in-game sound effects of Inferno Climber are decent, if not for the critical existence failure alert. Having a repetitive beeping when almost dead is just bad design.
To top it all of the writing is decent and the game can be set to Japanese as well.

To sum it up, fun, frustrating and flawed. Highly recommended for people whom like a challenge, exploration and skill based combat. The kind that is after more that state of the art graphics. The Steam Achievements helps as well. On a final note,  do not expect to complete Inferno Climber in one sitting.

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Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Njål Sand

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.

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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.

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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.

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SCIENCE!

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.

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Kogoro, random stranger, Rans friend, Ran and the kids
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I want those spy glasses!
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Suspension of disbelief, Ran is a black belt.
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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
http://www.crunchyroll.com/case-closed

Njål Sand

Otaku Review: Vandread

My first encounter with anime, as I’ve come to know it, was Vandread. Everything prior to it was either Pokemon or Moomin. In the Vandread universe, men and women live on two different words, which are at war with each other. The beginning sequence follows a ceremony where a new flagship is to be launched and Hibiki has lost a wager and is trying to steal a Mecha. Just as a team of pirates strike, stuff blows up and the prototype ship fuses with the pirate ship. From there on a space adventure with a very unlikely and gender-segregated crew begins.

The show has 26 episodes divided into two seasons; a move that condenses the plot into 75 minutes and a manga. The main theme of the series is the different perspective between men and women who are learning how to live together after being raised on separate worlds…a true culture clash of epic proportions. This is all wrapped inside a deeper plot, complete with character development, tastefully ecchi content and beautifully drawn characters. We follow the shenanigans of the crew and the stubborn, cocky spiky-haired main character, as well as the ditzy alien-loving Dita, who keeps referring to Hibiki as Mr. Alien.

Indeed, this is bonafide scifi show after all, with 3D animated space fights, where he can “merge” his Mecha with the female fighter crafts. This results in some awesome combinations with some rather suggestive cockpit and crew placements! The supporting cast is nice and varied, though they borrow quite a lot form stereotypes. Luckily there is no violent tsundere as the main love interest. Too many shows includes a headstrong, sexually insecure girl whom beats up the boy for just looking at her, even when it’s an honest accident.

In an ocean of questionable animation quality, this is quite pleasant to look at and very decently animated. Due to 3D being used in space, it does not feel out of place at all, even though the 3D has not aged that well. However, it’s a very nice way to avoid the uncanny valley. Naturally there is a stupidly catchy theme song that will probably get stuck in your head. I can’t go too much into the plot details, since that would ruin the story. However the whole series is on YouTube, it seems. The dub there is not too bad; however it’s still a dub.

I enjoyed it, as I’m sure you will as well.

-Njål Sand-