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Friday, 22 September 2017

What We're Watching 22/9/17

Hello! You all might recall that Wednesday and Thursday were both entirely sans posts: This is largely because I was off visiting Reecey most of this week, and while we did plan to watch and write a review of Lars von Trier's Manderlay, what we actually did was play a ton of Yakuza Kiwami, on account of how that's a lot more fun, and how I hate Lars von Trier's work.

In that vein, here's a What We're Watching that could probably be more accurately described as a What We're Playing.

What We're Watching

Yakuza Kiwami.

So, during my four day absence, there was a great deal of Yakuza Kiwami, as myself and Reecey finished Yakuza 0 on the Monday and spent the next few days determinedly making our way through the first eight or so chapters.

Thus far, it's definitely a very fun game (that one boss battle with Lex Luthor and Kingpin's son notwithstanding), and it's vastly improved by the addition of the Majima Everywhere system, where local lunatic Goro Majima will come up with zany, off the wall ways to make Kiryu fight him.

And by 'vastly improved,' I mean 'it turns half of the game into the weirdest dating sim,' as you roam the district looking for Majima so that you can take him out drinking, or bowling, or to a private club. Sometimes it doesn't even end with a fight.

Best love story in video games 2017.


In my ongoing quest to stockholm myself into liking Fate, I elected to watch a few episodes of Fate/Zero -- the original novel was written by Gen Urobuchi, whose work I adore, and the anime was directed by Ei Aoki (who most recently worked on the brilliant Re:Creators), so I thought it was worth a shot, even if I've thus far found every other branch of this franchise to be physically painful.

The first thing that stood out to me was how much of a gap there is between Urobuchi and Kinoko Nasu's writing skills: Nasu has his characters drone on and on, delivering very little information in a lot of words, and usually adding a hefty dose of creepiness on top of it; Urobuchi, meanwhile, is markedly more concise, emotive, and clever in his use of language.

(Not that Urobuchi doesn't have a tendency to have characters drone on: Makishima in Psycho-Pass is evidence enough of that.)

Bafflingly, Fate/Zero isn't terrible so far. It may even be good. It's certainly not a great anime (at least not three episodes in), and it doesn't hold a candle to Urobuchi's later works, but it's easily the best branch of this particular tree.

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below.

So, when Reecey and I weren't playing Yakuza Kiwami, we were playing Dragon Quest Heroes, which is actually a charming little game.

It's a Warriors-style game, so a hack and slash with a wide range of characters, wherein they're pitted against dozens or hundreds strong hordes of enemies, with only bosses posing a threat and with the main challenge being a spinning-plates type thing, wherein you must defend multiple places at once by rushing between them.

It's got a fun, lighthearted storyline (despite the accidental implications that monsters are an oppressed slave class), some really fun gameplay, characters that aren't that deep but are at least a lot of fun, and the short missions mean that it's the perfect game to play in little bitesized chunks. 

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