Hyouka 13-18: The games of a Genius are the bane of the Ordinary

No I’m not gone… Just had to concentrate on my final VFX project for my 3rd semester. Then again I won’t be doing a weekly post from now on. I’d only be posting either every other week or when an arc ends or just when I feel like it. Also, I’ll be making shorter posts now since things are still getting busy.  ヾ( ̄0 ̄; )ノ

Anyway, I pretty sure we all already know how awesome the recent arc is. How they started off with multiple events then slowly and flawlessly tied them all together. We also got to know more about Fukube and Ibara. Who are the main focus of this arc.

With Ibara, we found the not so friendly relationship she is having with her fellow manga club members. I find it admiring that she is capable of coping up and resisting the harassment from them. But this shows her strong will and love for manga, which I found very attractive.

Now this time, Fukubes part in the arc is more “Important”. Since he is the stories detective maniac, he tries to solve the Juumoji mystery. But then he finds a rival, Koureyuki Tani, and his purpose for fighting Fukube is one mystery that has yet to be solved. However the rival Fukube finds is of course Oreki. And throughout the arc he desperately tries to solve the mystery to prove to that he too can be a detective.

Chitandas role in this arc has been brought down to a support character and she didn’t really do much so we’ll skip her. So Oreki on the other hand has had a peculiar role in this arc. On one hand the arc shows little of him making it seem like he is a support character like Chitanda, but then in those little scenes he tends get the key pieces to the mystery.

So while the arc tries to focus on Fukube and Ibaras story they bring in this odd feeling by making Oreki take all the big pieces. Which actually works because with this arc they were clearly trying to show “the difference between talent and skill”. Which is pretty much the meaning and idea to the whole arc. This idea is also apparent from Ayako Kouchi and Jiro Tanabe’s jealousy over Haruna Anjo and Muneyoshi Kugayamas work “A Corpse by Evening”. In the end, the way the writer fuses everything together throughout the arc is just so seamless and perfect. *Applause*  *Applause* *Applause*

However it is NOT safe to say that what they’ve shown here is the difference between talent and skill. Talent and skill are not so far apart, in the end it is the one who develops that particular ability throughout the days who will be the one to come on top. Now look at Oreki, he wasn’t even developing his talent until recently but then he was able to figure out such a complex mystery through some “I never thought I’d find a clue there” ways? Lets face it Oreki is a genius and genius is something high above both talent and skill. So rather than saying “the difference between talent and skill”, the right term here is “Genius vs Ordinary”.

As for the recent episode, meh. Good filler but the only thing we could get out of it the more development from Oreki and Chitanda, especially in the end part.


Anime Revolution Vancouver 2012 Day 1 (partial)

This weekend is the start of the first Anime Revolution here in Vancouver B.C as it marks my first ever anime con. Here is a brief re-cap of today's events, but there was so much to write about that I don't have time at the moment.

There was a ton of awesome stuff on day 1, first off it took about an hour and a half to get into the damn convention center, which was equal for both pre-registered people and people just registering, which kinda ruined the whole pre-register option.

While standing in a long line-up there were some awesome cosplayers which grabbed the attention of some people from Japan wanting pics with everyone, except for me. I dressed as Shizuo Heiwajima, and I must say it was pretty legit.

Surprisingly there was a ratio of 50-50 for cosplays and regular street clothes, but there was definitely a lot of people attending. The most common cosplay theme was Zelda, with about 10 or so Link's sporting various colours and costume quality. There was also an abundance of Vocaloid, Madoca Magica, Final Fantasy, and FMA. There were a ton of unique costumes including a SIMS guy, Lolipop Chainsaw, Super Meat Boy, Pedo Bear, and fully suited Alphonse Elric. Some of the most High quality costumes were a full Master Chief outfit with fans inside his helmet, cellphone attached to his arm, glowing lights, shotgunn, and speaker system, which took him about 1000 hours to make.

For the events I watched the Anime Walk Off, where two dressed cosplay competitors battle it out on stage with dance moves, and zoolander actions to move on to the next round. This event was pretty hilarious as Loki and Lelouche battled it out with steeds including a My Little Pony cosplayer.

The biggest thing was the large vendor area where you could buy an assortment of posters, plush dolls, weapons, Gundams, manga, movies, and all your anime merchandise. I ended up spending $100 on a Shining hearts Figure, World Ends With You badge, three posters featuring Lightning, Black Rock Shooter, and Midna on wolf Link, as well as a mini Cyndaquill handmade wool doll.

I need some sleep as the con starts at 9am tomorrow so I will try and get day 1 and 2 up when I get home tomorrow night, unless I stay there till 1am that is haha.

Xenoblade Chronicles Review 10/10

Xenoblade offers a compelling story, fresh game mechanics, awesome exploration, easy questing, and a return to quality RPG gaming since the first Dragon's Age.

In this day and age of AAA blockbuster high budget video games, Xenoblade Chronicles comes as a welcomed return to simplistic casual gaming. The game features one of the most fluid gameplay ever, offering absolutely no loading during play.

This game was brilliantly polished in terms of pace, combat system, and the whole RPG theme. The graphics are quite lackluster and blurry but, it's still a beautiful game.

The story runs deep so I hear, I am only on the fourth area and it took me about 10 hours to get there while doing almost every single side quest. The intro starts off with the usual, big ass machines arriving and wrecking up the place and it's up to the lone hero who wields a unique power to defeat them, after a certain incident that almost had me in tears, the hero heads off in search of vengeance. Several characters and an interesting relationship web of every named interactive character creates some fun side missions and additional dialogue.  The story thus far of my play time perfectly guides the player forward and will definitely excite anyone. The game world is set on two titans, yes you are running around on two massive titans that have long been dead, this just blows my mind more than as a planet within a planet like FFXIII.

The most irritating yet enjoyable thing is the voice actors, unfortunately we don't have any north american voices and we get the whole UK dubbing, which is a bit annoying outside of cutscenes with their extra dialogue. Having UK voice actors somehow makes the game a bit more enjoyable and the voice acting is well done and helps create the mood, but the voices themselves irk me slightly, but also gives off a unique charm. The characters themselves are well defined and their combat styles reinforce their character types, so all around the characters are enjoyable.

So the game is pretty linear in terms of story, but the amount of side quests and exploration makes this game incredibly open. You are never forced down a linear path following the story quest like FFXIII. The game allows you to simply delay the main story and start side questing, but the side quests are completely optional and act as ways to level up and get cash without having to grind. Often do the quests require you to gather a certain amount of loot from a specific enemy, but what makes this amazing is that you can gather the loot before even accepting the quest. I usually kill all new enemies about 3 times and by the time I get the quest to gather the needed items, I already have them.

The combat is flawless, each character you play has a completely different way to fight, and each character can be played four ways as a support, healer, tank, or assassin. I even got to play as the game's tank and dish out massive damage with a set of attack spells. The combat has a bunch of QTE (quick time events) that are so well suited that they feel like a part of the combat rather than a gimmick like Prince of Persia 3. Also several ways of customizing each character's ability slots to suite a role you want them as and level up each character however you want.Yes you can play as any character in your three man party to explore different play styles which makes grinding and questing plenty of fun.

- Great open world to explore at your own pace.
- Casual grinding that has great pace and flow.
- Unique combat experience and character roles.
- A very interesting story despite starting off stereotypical.
- Constant graphics so we are never torn between higher and lower quality cutscenes and gameplay.
- Plenty of additional quests to help you level without the need for mindless grinding.
- Plenty of items to customize your character's attire and armour.

- It's only on the Wii so low quality graphics, but it still looks good and is immersive.
- Side quests don't add much to the story or create enough side story appeal like Dragon Age 2.

This game is easily top 5 games I have played over the past few years and possibly sits at number 1 on my list. Anyone who has a Wii, MUST get this game if they enjoy any form of RPG or fantasy games.