Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “anime”

Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! (Steam Store)

After Mairu finally starts her comedy club, a teen idol visits in order to join. Unfortunately, Chitose doesn’t want that to happen and will stop at nothing to destroy Mairu’s club once and for all. To make a bad situation worse, the president of the Classical Comedy Club has it in for Mairu, and wants to bring her club down.

That’s right; Cherry Tree High Comedy Club got a sequel. This game is unusual in one aspect. You know how, in some reviews, I skip the paragraph that explains the plot of the video game because there’s no plot to be found? This game has no game play to be found. It’s purely visual novel without even letting you choose where to take the story. Contrary to what the summary would have you believe, the main conflict isn’t about Mairu. It’s actually between Ai (the pop star) and Hoemi (Mairu’s best friend). Ai wants to be a comedian and replaces Hoemi as Mairu’s partner in a comedic duo due to having better chemistry with her. Hoemi has no desire to be a comedian but is afraid that Ai will replace Hoemi as Mairu’s best friend. Eventually, it leads to an argument between Hoemi and Ai with neither side being right and neither side being wrong. The game also has side episodes that explore the relationships between the other characters, such as Mai and Ravian trying to find a tutor for school subjects they are both hopeless at. That’s actually much better than it sounds. In other words, this is not a video game. It’s a slice of life anime in visual novel form.

This game is entertaining and amusing. I give it 9 out of 10; definitely worth looking at.

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Princess of Ruin Preview (Unbrokenhours.com)

This trailer is for the very first commercial game by Unbroken Hours that I was lucky enough to beta test!  When a stranger, Xallaun, saves a young girl, Raissa, from a prison, she has no idea who she is.  With her is Kione, a mysterious fire wizard, and Cyraen, an enigmatic boy with a doll he always carries around.

All they know is that they’re trapped in the ruins of a castle that two of them, Raissa and Kione, feel the urge to protect with their life while Cyraen feels the same urge for his doll.  Can Raissa, Kione and Cyraen get their memories back?  What’s the story behind the mysterious castle?  How does Xallaun fit into all this?  Find out when Unbroken Hours releases Princess of Ruin.

Digimon (Amazon.com)

From the makers of Tamagotchi comes the Digital Monster itself, Digimon. This creature traveled all the way from the Megalithic Mainframe for you to train it. Maybe you’ll be able to get the ultimate Digimon. Maybe you’ll be your Digimon’s downfall.

That’s right; the popular anime started out as little more than a virtual toy. When Tamagotchi started out, it wasn’t doing very well with boys. Therefore, Bandai created Digimon to make money off both genders. Like the Tamagotchi, you raise the Digimon into adulthood. Unlike the Tamagotchi, you can train the Digimon for battle. When your Digimon reaches rookie form, you can hook it up to other devices for a battle. If your Digimon wins enough times, you can unlock its ultimate form.

I find this toy very addictive. I give it 7 out of 10; a huge blast from my past.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete (Amazon.com)

After saving The Planet from Meteor, Cloud and the gang live out their mundane lives.  Unfortunately, three men claiming to be Jenova’s children are attempting to resurrect their mother.  To make matters worse, a disease called Geostigma is spreading throughout the population.  Can the gang stop these men and find a cure?

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the original DVD version but I do remember that they didn’t go into very much detail about Geostigma or the new character, Denzel.  In the Blu-ray edition, they showed the effects of the disease and gave us some clue as to who Denzel is.  Because of this, I was more emotionally invested in what was going on.  I even cried a bit when the children infected with Geostigma climbed in the back of Kadaj’s truck and were tricked into drinking mind-controlling water.  Yes, I am well aware of how bad that sounds but Kadaj had no pedophiliac intentions, at least I hope not.  Then they’re all forced to stand around a statue while Kadaj summons a monster.  There are also scenes that show the true heroism of the main characters, such as Tifa refusing to abandon Denzel in one scene and Marlene in another, despite the fact that she was putting her own life in danger.  Reno and Rude also showed heroism when the monster showed up.  True that they were running from it, but they at least tried to take some of the children around the statue with them.  One scene that I truly loved was when the rest of the characters joined Tifa to help her defeat the monster, showing true heroism on their parts.

Even with the new footage, this movie is not without its problems.  For starters, despite Cloud’s resolution that he had to get over his issues at the end of the game, he still acts incredibly depressed.  I actually think it’s realistic because many people in real life will make an outside declaration of change and fail to follow through, but that’s not the reason the writers did this.  They felt that audiences wouldn’t recognize Cloud if he felt an emotion other than depression.  He also had a tendency to leave without telling Tifa, Marlene and Denzel, who are his family, and go deal with his own issues.  I get that he was suffering from Geostigma and still dealing with his issues from the game but this doesn’t make him look like a badass loner.  It makes him look like a deadbeat dad, especially when you consider that Denzel also has Geostigma and Cloud could have helped him through this.  Maybe I’m being harsh, but when you have a family, it doesn’t matter what issues you have.  You need to always be there for them.  You can’t go running off on your own doing who knows what while your family’s at home worried sick about you.  Thankfully, Tifa and Marlene call him out on this.  Reno and Rude are also downgraded from the threatening enemies they were in the game to plucky comic relief.  In addition, during the climax, the rest of the characters that were playable in the game show up out of nowhere with no explanation of where they’ve been and how they all got back.  Oh, and they have no problem working with Shinra, not even Barrett who lost his original gang to them.  Kadaj is also way too easily forgiven and I would go into detail about it but I don’t want to give anything away.  My final problem with the movie was that the editing was still a little sloppy.  Sometimes it took me a while to figure out what was a flashback and what was the present.

Despite the movie’s problems, it does remember the game it was a spinoff of.  There are scenes where some of the characters use materia to give them power, though in the game it’s used by inserting it into your armor and weapons slots rather than into your body.  Like I said earlier, even though there’s no explanation as to why the rest of the cast show up in the movie, as a Final Fantasy VII fan it was great seeing them all reunite to take down the huge monster.  A few instances had them breaking the laws of physics, such as each character launching Cloud into the sky to deliver the final blow.  Sephiroth even returns for one last fight with Cloud with his theme song playing during the entire battle.

The Blu-ray comes with extra features, one of them being an anime about Denzel’s past.  I actually enjoyed that more than the movie because, while the film didn’t know whether it wanted to be a dark movie about a raging sickness or an action flick to please the Final Fantasy fans, the anime knew exactly what it wanted to do and stuck with it.  Denzel wants to join an organization called MRO and explains his reasons for doing so to the recruiter in the form of an origin story.  In other words, we get to see what made a happy privileged boy into an orphan that Cloud and Tifa take in.  We also see the effects that the war between Avalanche and Shinra had on ordinary citizens of Midgar.

Despite the movie’s flaws, I found it entertaining.  I give it 8 out of 10; two extra points for the included anime.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (Amazon.com)

When Professor Layton’s former student, Janice Quatlane, invites him and his apprentice, Luke, to watch her opera, they end up trapped in an elaborate game.  The rules, solve each puzzle before time runs out and win eternal life, or suffer instant death.

You’re probably wondering when you missed this installment in the Layton games and you actually didn’t because it’s a movie.  Now you’re wondering why I’m reviewing it if it’s not a video game and the answer is simple, I’m expanding my repertoire to include books, movies and so on but there’s a catch.  It has to be based off of a video game because that is my area of concern.  Now you’re probably thinking that since it’s a movie based off of a video game it must suck and you couldn’t be more wrong.

The main problem with video game movies is that during the adaptation process, they tend to remove what it was that made the video game great.  This one only removed the elements of the games that were unnecessary, such as the mini-games and the random people giving you puzzles out on the street, and stays true to the essence of the series, the puzzles.  They are numbered in the exact same way that they are in the games and the timer is the puzzle music that plays in the games.  Just like in the games, they show pictured credits of what happened to the characters and if you’re patient enough to sit through it all, you get to watch the true ending.  Oh, and since this is a flashback, expect to see cameos of all of your favorite characters.

The plot revolves around the game at the Crown Petone Opera House that Layton and Luke find themselves trapped in while Emmy gathers clues on land.  Another element of the movie is a legend about the lost city of Ambrosia where its people await the return of their queen.  I can’t give away too much so all I can say is that the ending wraps everything up in true Professor Layton style.

This movie is a must see for fans of the Professor Layton games.  I give it 8 out of 10; not sure if you’d enjoy it as much if you don’t like the games.

Miss Management (Bigfishgames.com)

Denise expected her new job as office manager to be tough, she just didn’t know how tough.  Not only does she have to make sure she completes tasks on time, she has to help her eccentric co-workers complete their goals.

This is like playing through an office comedy.  Each character has their own quirks with the exception of Denise who’s the only sane woman there.

The characters have individual interests, Tara’s love of manga and drawing being an example.  There are quite a few laugh out loud moments and you’ll wonder how you’re going to make these people get any work done but that’s just part of the charm.

The game plays out very much like a business Diner Dash.  You have to get tasks to people on time while helping them accomplish their own goals.

Lowering the stress of one character might raise the stress of another.  For example, Mahavir wants to chat up every female co-worker.  The only problem is not a single one of them can stand him.  You can also purchase snacks, drinks and office manuals to help reach your goals.  Try to get all three stars in each level.

This game is amusing and fun.  I give it 9 out of 10; it’s like playing through a sitcom.

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