Sunday, January 29, 2012

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter~

Alright, gonna give a short review of this game. Beat it like a little over a week ago and I have to say it's an RPG that I enjoyed very much. Compared to new RPG's in recent years. It gave me a very similar feeling as Skies of Arcadia did when I first played it and as anyone who knows me at all could guess, that's a very good thing. So, I'll just go down the line highlighting some different aspects.

Music: Excellent soundtrack. Now I'm even more glad the game came with a bonus soundtrack with quite a bit of music on it from the game. Doesn't matter either way because you can listen to any piece of music in the game itself. You can unlock them as you progress though you need music points to do so. Which aren't that hard to find if you explore well. Anyways, many tracks remind me of Skies of Arcadia music as well. Especially ones like To the Blue Sky. That is very reminiscent of the intro to Skies of Arcadia. So, put simply, this soundtrack is pretty awesome. Good stuff.

Art Style: Also excellent. I love the world design and characters designs of this game. Also the anime cutscenes of the game were done by animation studio MADHOUSE which worked on anime like Trigun and Death Note. Tis good stuff there. The world is comprised of floating islands, each one with different environments and themes. Also pretty reminiscent to Skies of Arcadia whose different continents were similar to real life countries and continents. The people of the world resemble different breeds and species of dogs and cats or Caninu and Felineko as they're called in game. And their ancestors being wolves and lions. Pretty interesting concept especially as the story of the game unfolds.

Characters: Wonderful and lovable. Like Skies of Arcadia once again. The only characters you really won't like are the villains but that's how it's supposed to be xD From the main characters down to just small side quests characters, they tried to develop every single one of them giving you a background story and a wide variety of personalities. It was obvious that someone put quite a bit of effort into really making the world of this game come alive.

Game Play: Very fun and fast paced. You do most of the exploring with Red on his robot and there's lots of stuff to explore on each island. If you're trying to collect everything anyways. The battle system mostly involves picking up and throwing your enemy with your robot or throwing projectiles back at them. You can customize Red's robot to your liking. Focusing on attack and defense or other stats depending on what you like. You can do combos with your throwing and special moves as you progress through the game too.

Story: Definitely interesting and pretty good. Nothing earth shaking or anything like that. Unless you count finding out that the world you've been exploring the whole time is pieces of earth. You explore one last piece of old earth below the clouds at one point and find out how it was destroyed. Humans got a hold of technology they weren't ready for. But yeah, it's similar to Skies of Arcadia here too where you have someone who wants to basically reset earth and let it restart from scratch. Interesting what species took the place of the humans after all this. But anyways, Red, the main character stops the guy wanting to reset the world and makes a promise that they won't let the world go back to the way earth once was. And if this generation can't do it then their children will and so on. Basically, as long as they don't give up trying then they haven't failed yet.

So, there you go. That's Solatorobo: Red the Hunter. An excellent RPG that could very well get a sequel if you play it all the way to completion and do the final quest, which kinda hints that there could be one. Will be interesting to see~ But until next time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Digimon Xros Wars (Episodes 1-54)~

Alright, I have finished the first two arcs of Digimon Xros Wars~ The season itself was split in two with the first 30 episodes being all about collecting code crowns and whoever grabbed all of them could change the Digital World into anything they desired. For better or worse obviously. The last 24 episodes followed Taiki and Shoutmon as they go back to the Digital World, after getting forcefully sent back to the real world by Bugramon, only to find that a lot of time has passed while they were gone and it's been completely conquered by the Bugra Army and split into 7 kingdoms each ruled by a death general.

Story: I'm basing this off other seasons of Digimon not on anime itself but the overall story here is pretty good. They seem to be getting better and better in this area with each new season and that's commendable really. It still follows the basic principle of saving the Digital World from an evil maniac but beyond that there are some deeper elements. Lots of character development and themes that make it not just a kid's anime anymore.

The story follows Taiki, the main guy, and his partner Shoutmon who wants to become king of the Digital World in order to change it into the world it should be. In the first 30 episodes, the way to do this was to collect all of the Code Crowns of the Digital World's areas. Long ago, the Digital World had been broken up like this from a huge clash between the legendary Digimon and Bugramon as they tried to stop him from achieving his ideals. At the end of the first arc, Bugramon manages to nab all of the Code Crowns and forcefully send Taiki and Shoutmon back to the real world. However, while there they meet Omnimon, one of the legendary Digimon, who has the ability to send them back to the Digital World. Turns out he's the one who chose Taiki and gave him the Xros Loader, pinning his hopes that he would be the one to save the Digital World.

Before going back, they have to stop Tactimon who followed them there and is causing havoc. But Shoutmon by himself with no one to DigiXros with doesn't have the power. But with the power of strong bonds and friendship from Taiki's friends in Tactimon's grasp and their courage and determination in the face of death, Shoutmon gains the ability to Super Digivolve into OmegaShoutmon. With this new power he destroys Tactimon and he and Taiki return to the Digital World with Omnimon's help. When they return, the Digital World has been completely transformed and split into 7 kingdoms ruled by Death Generals, the strongest Digimon chosen by the Bugra Army.

Taiki meets up with Nene and Kiriha, who he left behind there, and have been struggling to survive against the Bugra Army's new rule and harsh kingdoms. They team up and Kiriha faces the demons of his past and the truth about friendship and what true friends really are, realizing the truth behind what his father said before he died. Nene faces the reality of using force to stop her little brother from making a huge mistake in thinking the Digital World is just a game. And Taiki faces his weakness of being too kind and learning what has to be done to help someone may not always be what you want to do. Together they discover a new found power of Great Xros to create Shoutmon X7, which helps them defeat most of the Death Generals and stop Nene's little brother, Yuu, from making a huge mistake in thinking what happens here isn't real.

With the loss of some friends and great allies along the way, Taiki and the others manage to arrive at the final destination. They learn of DarkKnightmon and Bugramon being brothers who were both only deceiving each other as being allies. DarkKnightmon wanted to use the power of DigiXros to defeat Bugramon by combining with him and taking his power for himself. However, this backfires as Bugramon is the more powerful of the two and crushes his brother from the inside, taking back control of their new found form. Now with even more power he wants to combine both the real and Digital Worlds, ruling both as the ultimate king. But with help from the legendary Digimon and the Code Crown, which still exists and has chosen Taiki and Shoutmon because of their ideals in turning the Digital World into a peaceful place again, they discover a new power with the help of all the bonds and friendships they created throughout their journey in the Digital World. An even more powerful DigiXros between all the Digimon is born, Shoutmon X7 Superior Mode:

With this, Bugramon is defeated and both worlds are saved. Shoutmon and the other Digimon return to the Digital World to help with the clean up process and turn the Digital World in the peaceful, beautiful place it should be. And Shoutmon obtains his goal of Digimon king. Taiki and the others return to their normal lives in the real world, ready for another adventure that could be coming.

Overall: Xros Wars is a very nice addition to the Digimon series. The music and animation are all top notch and improved. I can feel some inspiration from other anime coming into play as well here. Gurren Lagann being one. It was well worth watching and there's still a third arc to watch taking place a year after the events of the first 54 episodes. Basically, a direct sequel to the first two arcs. I shall be catching all of this and seeing what it's all about.

Localization: This season does appear to be making its way over under the title of Digimon Fusion Battles but I won't be taking any part in it. It's already obvious they are going to ruin it simply by looking at the name changes and some other details. So, I shall be sticking with the subs all the way here.

And with that, I believe that's I need to say about this for now. Until I finish the third arc, so till then~

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year~ 2012

Hopefully this year brings with it bigger and better things~ ^^
Have a good one, everyone~