Archive for August, 2008

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Dreamfall

August 29, 2008

With the said much time at hand I’m also finally able to play some games I always somehow wanted to play but never had the moment where I was just sitting before my computer wondering what to do now and coincidentally looking at the game box I bought some time ago and thinking that this finally might be the time to finally play that thing that I spend good money on after all. However, this wasn’t the case with Dreamfall … but it was the case with The Longest Journey, which is the predecessor of Dreamfall and which, in fact, I only bought because I heard so much good about Dreamfall. And, to finally make a point, I finished Dreamfall this week and I must (gladly) agree that it is surely a great game worth playing, especially because of its absorbing story.

But I can’t help but wonder if this story is so well written as they say as well, because in the end this game goes pretty much Neon Genesis Evangelion on its players and leaves lots of questions unanswered and lots of situations unresolved. This might be intentional to let the player/viewer leave space for speculation and to fill the holes left at their liking, but it can also be a rather cheap way of avoiding the fact that ones own story just got too big and no good conclusion could be found in the end. Independent from this it could also be because of funds running out, which is at least true for NGE, but looking at everything that followed the original series I believe nobody really has any answers to give and I don’t think that anybody really wants any answers anymore. Well, anyway, from my point of view it is rather easy to build up an epic story, finishing it in a satisfying way certainly isn’t. And therefore, this is the main point at which good storytelling should be judged.

Having said the above, I’d like to once again confirm that, like NGE, Dreamfall is a great experience. It’s just that it leaves such a heavy feeling of incompleteness that even after a few days I still catch myself nearly starting the game to play on only to realise that there is no more to play. But, at least, there seems to be a good chance for a sequel that hopefully will finish the story satisfyingly in the end. So, everybody who likes story-driven adventures should give Dreamfall a try as well as its predecessor, The Longest Journey, but please take this last warning:

Just don’t finish this game at the end of an already bad day!

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Tetsuwan Birdy Decode

August 20, 2008

Tetsuwan Birdy Decode is one of the few series of the current season I’m actually watching. I’d like to say that it’s because of the story, characters, art or such (which aren’t bad at all most of the time), but I’m afraid my real main reason is just the jumping around of Birdy’s silhouette in the opening.

Maybe not the best reason, but sure good enough for me.

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Tsukihime

August 4, 2008

The current anime summer season is rather slow for me. There are just some few shows I’m following at the moment and practically none especially enthusiastic, but this gave and still gives me enough free time to finally play through the Tsukihime franchise I could collect over the past one and a half year (later was’nt an easy task for sure if one can’t/don’t want to spend too much money on this). In the end I got Tsukihime, Tsukihime Plus-Disk, Kagetsu Tohya and Melty Blood ReAct, which hopefully are all Tsukihime games one can collect as for today (at least these are the ones I’ve found English patches for, many thanks to MirrorMoon and Beast’s Lair by the way).

So far I’m through the first three games and I’m sure impressed by them. Each arc is touching on its own, but the later ones about the Tohno family are really great. This lets me understand now why so many people were rather disappointed about the anime that followed mostly Arcueids arc (but with the practical non-existence of the “main” heroine Arcueid in the later arcs there was not so much choice for the producers I guess). Of course, being an eroge, each heroine falls for the protagonist and finds a way to get laid, but that’s just a small cliché price to pay, doesn’t take very much time within whole story and with the patches comes the nice option to turn this sexual content off if desired. Finally, after the mostly serious Tsukihime the parodic Plus-Disk, the half-parodic Kagetsu Tohya and the translators (in some easter-eggs) twist a lot with the tragedy-loaded characters which is really a lot of fun to read and watch.

For the obligatory rating, I’d said Hisui > Ciel > Arcueid > Kohaku > Akiha, whereat Ciel scored many points later in the parodic games through her constantly breaking of the fourth wall whining about the popularity polls she lost and how the budget for her got cut short because nobody would care.

So, with Melty Blood being the last game to play now and also being a fighting game I’ll finally have a chance to prove my mad fighting skillz again. I remember myself to be pretty good at playing Mortal Kombat 4, those were the days…

…okay, maybe I wasn’t even decent, but at least I had made my own soundtrack CD to which losing didn’t felt that, uh, humiliating.