Tag Archives: Otaku

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.

Otaku Review: Fate/ Stay Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/ Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

I am the bone of my sword
Steel is my body and fire is my blood
I have created over a thousand blades
Unknown to Death, Nor known to Life
Have withstood pain to create many weapons
Yet, those hands will never hold anything
So as I pray, unlimited blade works.

One of my all time favorite anime series. It got plot, characters and is beautifully animated. The anime is an adaptation of a visual novel with unlock-able sex scenes. Unfortunately I can’t stand the insane walls of boring text and repeating names. This is a thing that makes a good anime adaption a gods end. The Fate universe is a complex one with a ton of plot lines and spin-offs. Infinite blade works is the second adaptation, which focus on a different plot line and point of view than Fate/ Stay night. Ultimately it’s the same characters only being used differently. To be honest the naming convention is way to convoluted and confusing. Generally it’s easier to just refer to it all as the Nasuverse. Naturally some die hard fans will disagree with me, proclaiming that the visual novels are superior. If you can get hold of a good translation that is.

Unlimited blade works, follows the path of the sorceress Rin and her summoned servant known as archer. Which both partake in a conflict know as the holy grail war. Where several stuck up and questionable mage families compete for the ultimate price. Which will grant the winner his ultimate wish. Naturally the families participating does their best to summon the strongest and most vicious heroic spirits possible. Essentially when well known heroes of legends die, they will become a part of the Holy grail. Waiting to be summoned by whomever participates in the Grail war.

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The story mainly focuses on Rin whom is a young magician, whose father groomed into becoming a part of the grail war. She is quite skilled and very headstrong, with a soft and sensible side as well. Every now and then she also cracks a joke. This alone makes her leagues above the cookie cutter stereotypes most series cram down our throats these days.
Meanwhile her servant Archer is quite fantastic as well and actually look like a seasoned and buff warrior. With a snarky attitude and an infinite amount of swords to throw around.
Lastly there is Saber; A blond knight, that is so serious that and no nonsense as you can get her and yet have a somewhat compelling personality.

Lastly there is Shirou, whom starts off as interesting as a wash cloth with a traumatic past. Whom eventually he becomes more than a pushover handy man. The kind that has to be stabbed a lot, before he learns his lesson. Which happens a lot, as most of the players in the grail war does not play around much; Nor do they play fair. Even if the characters are fleshed out and very interesting. They still have the nasty habit of beating everyone over the head with a blunt encyclopedia of exposition. Followed by long periods of little action and some shocking plot twists.

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The music score is fairly decent and the voice actors does a splendid job for the most part. Can’t say much about the dubbing. I have no good reason to watch the English version at all. Meanwhile the art style is quite moody with a gradient filter to all. It even makes the odd facial structure of the characters looks good. The backgrounds are not much to write home about. Since it takes place in Japan, there is the generic school, temples and a lot of streets with no names. The animation quality is very good despite many slow and moody moments.

Unlimited Blade Works comes highly recommended and  is quite addictive, leaving the viewer either frustrated, or just craving more.

Njål H Sand

Otaku Review: Knights of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia

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A Netflix original, mostly 3d animated, manga adaption by the same name. The master mind and author behind this series is Tsutomu Nihei. Whom is well known for emotional scenes, striking vistas and insanely huge and complicated environments. His previous work Blame! Took place in a huge ever expanding mega structure. This time around it’s a science fiction epic that takes place in a generation ship. A asteroid made into a humongous spaceship that has been traveling for generations though unknown space. On the run from some very, very creepy and clearly organic beings. sid4These monstrosities looks like something out of a Lovecraftian nightmare and will shred you to pieces with razor sharp appendages. Meanwhile try very hard to fight them with rocket propelled mecha. Which uses lances among other things as weapon. There is a reason why it’s called Knights of Sidonia, Naturally the students also use them to joust during combat training. By now you should know that this series is in no way affiliated with the Knights of Cydonia song from the band Muse.  Interestingly enough this puts it somewhat on the hard side of the science fiction reality scale,  Though the Guano as the thing they is know as, is anything but real.

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The main protagonist Nagate Tanikaze is a fairly decent one and is just shy of being a spike haired loud mouth. Tough he has his moments. Since he is from outside the system he’s the odd one out and slowly but surely he gains the respect of his peers. However this is a seinen  series, which gives the characters a lot more emotional flexibility, which also make then infinity more expandable. I will not go into more details, as few people like spoilers. Almost everyone with a name can die and probably will die.  At least this holds true for the first half of the series. Nagate, is a bit of an oddity that emerged from the under belly of Sidonia in order to raid the rice storage. Naturally a chase scene ensues, he got heavily injured and eventually got conscripted. By the way, have I mentioned that anyone can die? I just had to be sure. For reasons unknown to me there is also a female baker bear in the series as well.

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Mi biggest complain would be that I feel that there is something seriously wrong with the framerate. The animations have a nasty habit of getting choppy. There are plotting and visual differences between the manga and anime, but it’s mostly faithful. There are also cases of naked breast in the comic. sid6

All in all a fairly enjoyable show, based on a very decently drawn and made manga. Though at times I wish that Knights of Sidonia was drawn instead. But you know what they say; taste is a butt, split in half and the middle is shit. One thing that also stands out is the overuse of the color white, as everyone seems to parade around in their uniform all the time. Keep in mind this is not a child friendly series, there are a lot of violence, blood and people dying in gruesome ways.

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Njål H Sand