Apologies for the delay on the next Fate post; I had an oddly busy weekend. It’ll be here soon. God help us.
For now, here’s some things I enjoyed recently but don’t have enough time/thoughts to do a full writeup on.
Super NES jRPG
never played this game as a kid because I was incredibly turned off by
the Dragonball-style art and assumed it was mindless shonen. I never
played it as an adult because people talk about Earthbound in the same
way and God above does that game suck. But my assumptions bit me in the
ass, because this is a great, multifaceted game that still holds up
today. It’s an engrossing story with fun gameplay. It was one of the
first RPGs to feature multiple endings and a litany of sidequests that
affected them, and it still feels fresh. I really loved it. The cast
tilts male but is surprisingly varied, proving that we have made
literally zero progress in 20 years.
As a warning,
the sequel/spiritual successor Chrono Cross was a disaster of epic
proportions. DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID. There are like 40 hours
of my life I will never get back.
Puella Magi Oriko Magica
without its issues, including “meh” art and some questionable
storytelling decisions, this is still an interesting and quality
addition to the Madoka canon. It takes place in one of the doomed
timelines and focuses on a girl with the power of foresight who sees the
horrible witch Madoka is destined to become. It’s a quick read, but an engrossing one.
Rune Factory 4
I love this series, which is a spinoff of Harvest Moon (a franchise I’m tirelessly devoted to).
It’s light on plot but I love the gameplay, and the game is absolutely
enormous in the best possibly way. If you like Harvest Moon and you like
jRPGs, you’ll like this. The best story in the series goes to Rune Factory 3, which I also highly, highly recommend (though it does present some interesting… logistical questions). The most recent Wii game, Tides of Destiny, was decidedly mediocre.
Ni no Kuni
This is “Studio Ghibli: The Game.” It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s
cute, clever, fun escapsim with some interestingly unique gameplay and a
fresh fairytale story mercifully devoid of the obnoxious sexism that
plagues jRPGs made for teen-to-adult audiences. Contains all the
sidequests and monster-raising a jRPG should. It’s one of those games
that reminds you why video games are fun.
Attack on Titan
worth the hype. I liked the anime much better than the comic, as I felt
it was better-paced and explained the setting better and, perhaps most
of all, the art was thousands of times better in the anime (I really
loved it). Does shockingly well with female characters. Mikasa Ackermann
is one of the best I’ve found in a long time.The sub of the first 25 or
so episodes is on Netflix right now, so go watch it!
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
was one of the most feminist anime movies I’ve ever seen. Then again, that’s
what you’d expect from Miyazaki. It’s also one of those movies that when
the credits roll, all you can do it sit there and think, “…wow.” If
you’re downloading it, be sure you get the 2005 Disney re-dub and NOT
the original dub, which was an epic disaster. I recommend the dub over
the sub because it makes it easier to look at the art, which is amazing.