I want to confess up front that despite being a fan of music, I actually know very little about it, so any comments here on instruments/composition/etc. will be necessarily vague. All I can really talk about is how I feel about the music, not it’s innate properties. Disclaimers section over. Continue reading Parasite Eve: Special Soundtrack Edition
I’ve always been a fan of the “Your home base is now infested with monsters” event. Familiar territory becomes exciting again, and as an added bonus, for once you know where the hell you’re going. When they say “Ben is upstairs”, you already know where the upstairs staircase is! Sweet.
Day 3 begins with Aya waking up alone in the dilapidated apartment in Soho from Day 2. Outside, she discovers that Maeda has been sleeping right outside the door, despite her warnings that he might get set on fire at any moment. Maeda shrugs it off and claims that he won’t believe that will happen without “scientific proof.” Considering the fact he just saw someone randomly catch fire in the middle of the street last night, I reckon he needs a lot of proof. Those scientists: When they aren’t evil, they’re anal. Or maybe he’s just bullshitting and the fact is he just wanted to stay near Aya (which is seriously implied in the game, I’m not making that up– although that’s totally the type of thing I would make up.)
I was planning on starting with Lara’s Home, since unlike in TR1, there’s an actual puzzle to solve this time. However, since I hate hedge mazes and everything they stand for, I’m going to pretend Croft Manor doesn’t exist and move on to the first level proper. I’m no longer going to be able to ignore the fact that Lara’s Home has become an actual level by TR3, but let’s deal with one problem at a time.
After noting how easy Day One was, I have to say that Day Two is a huge step up. I didn’t
remember it being difficult, but after running straight through and not taking on any
unnecessary battles in this playthrough, the bosses were a bit tough– I had no healing
items left by the time I’d finished with Eve for the night…fighting her, that is.
Since I’ve been carefully ignoring any sort of gameplay mechanics in favor of recapping the story thus far, this battle-heavy sequence presents a good time to finally explain them a
little; it’s the battle system, as much as the story, that made PE a standout RPG of its
Me and Tomb Raider II
Though I completed TR1 first, Tomb Raider II was the first game I ever really wanted; it was the reason I saved up my babysitting money and bought a Playstation. After barely touching videogames other than short Mario sessions at friends’ houses when I was little, sometime in early high school, I was flipping through an issue of Newsweek after school one day to see a one-page article on the upcoming sequel. From the first screenshot, Lara in her leather jacket on a pristine snowfield in Tibet, I was intrigued. The idea that videogames would allow me to explore gorgeous, imaginary worlds hit me all at once.
I used to read my parent’s copies of Newsweek in those days to pretend I understood the articles, and if it weren’t for that, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten involved in gaming at all. Maybe one day I’ll write an alternate history for myself where my parents subscribed to Time instead, I never learned about Tomb Raider, and instead I became a nuclear physicist and solved the forthcoming energy crisis (why not?) Continue reading Annotated Playthrough: Tomb Raider II
I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I’m not typically interested in feminist criticism. When a text actually lends itself to it at all, the resulting analysis is often obvious to the point of being banal: you mean, stuff written decades ago was more overtly sexist than we generally see today? You don’t say.
However, when the penultimate level of a video game involves traipsing around what is basically a giant womb, pitting one alpha-female absolutely obsessed with self-reliance against another alpha-female absolutely obsessed with the power of creation, while giant eggs are bursting forth with new life all over the place, well…there might be some feminine symbolism going on there; I could be wrong.
This is a roundabout way of saying that some of my thoughts on this level may seem a lot like feminist criticism, and that’s a bit of a pain; I still don’t like it on general principle. It’s just, even a stopped clock is right once a day, you know? Continue reading Tomb Raider Level 14: Atlantis
My bad, guys. I was going to do for Penguindrum what I did for Madhouse’s X-Men and blog it weekly (much as it pains me to even mention the two in the same breath), and in fact threatened bodily harm to anyone else who tried. For reasons not worth going into, it’s been a bad couple of months for blogging for me. In recompense, I offer my thoughts on Penguindrum ten episodes in- such as they are. I’m not going to apologize for calling “dibs” and not following up though, because apologizing for that would require the assumption that anyone takes my aniblogging-related threats seriously.
Summary: Another one of them K-On clones, only this time I think the creators really wanted to make a magical girl anime- so why didn’t they? Do they get, like, a tax break for making another one of these “four girls in a club that does nothing” shows? It boggles the mind. Anyway, it’s watchable and pretty inoffensive thus far, but also a tad dull- more than a tad if the references don’t amuse you as much as they do me.
Streaming: Crunchyroll. Continue reading Summer 2011: Yuru Yuri
Summary: I, uh, loathe this show. From a plot perspective it’s actually not bad so far, but something about it just rubs me entirely the wrong way and I don’t even know what that is. The female characters are cookie-cutter as usual, and one character’s tumor-like giant boobs distract from the proceedings every time she’s on screen, but still, why did I hate watching this so much? I thought I was used to sexism, but is this like the set of tumor boobs that broke that camel’s back or something? I’m mystified.
Streaming: On Crunchyroll. Yaaay, something is finally streaming. Continue reading Summer 2011 Anime: Kamisama Dolls