Robotics;Notes: Frau is best

Akiho diversion success!
I have been pondering the thought of covering this show weekly, but that didn't turn out it seems. I have seen both Stein's;Gate and Chaos;Head and noted the similarities between the two as they focus around plenty of thriller like moments while depicting large scale misfortunes that creep up in what starts out as harmless events. Robotics;Notes thus far has been a good show to watch, and continues to slowly unravel character traits and deeper seeded flaws with each character. The one thing I love about this show is how well they pace the inner character conflicts, as the characters themselves don't become directly involved in any large scale government like secret that will somehow alter the world, but rather, the characters begin to change and grow over time as some larger scale events come in to play.

Why are all robot eyes red! When will they learn this stuff gives nightmares!
The main concerns that slowly see the light every now and then help to keep you interested in what's going on, but they don't try and steal the spotlight form the characters themselves, which is a good thing. I recall absolutely hating how Chaos;Head turned from being focused towards a possibly insane hikikomori who ventures further into his lost mind, to being about how this now slightly more normal character saves the world from a man using a crazy machine, the plot and focus of the show heavily shifts from character to awkwardly inserted plot. Robotics;Notes starts off very slow, and only hints at a few interesting topics and large scale issues, but ultimately it stays on course of the characters.

Frau and Kaito having a light conversation 
The theme I get from watching the show is that each character is trying to find something, mainly a reason to live their life. The unfolding of each character is something that leaves you to love and hate traits about them. Each character is introduce with obvious flaws, but over time we learn more about them, and rather than having them overcome their flaws in some cheezy flipside to their original personalities, we are treated to a deeper understanding of what makes each characetr tick. I could go on about how each character evolves over time and comes to terms with themselves, but I will say that Frau is my favourite character thus far.

Mr. Fabulous, but his name is actually Subaru, and I think he made that outfit himself

While she may not have the lead early on in the show, her overarching importance comes into play and we are able to understand where she has come from and what purpose she has given herself. The unveiling of her nature towards Kaito (main protagonist) later on really shows how wonderfully crafted each character is paced while keeping the larger concerns of their world as a known factor but without stealing the show. I will note that I really don't want to see this show try and create any romances, but if there were to be one I'm hoping for Frau and Kaito.

Now I will say that so far the plot and characters are nearing a meeting point and I hope the show continues to grow towards that climax that may or may not fail like the previous shows (Steins;Gate and Chaos;head). Hopefully I will try and post episodic events and keep up to date on what happens.


Kotoura-san Ep 1-3. First Impression It's GOOD

This season of new shows certainly crept up on me, bit me in the @$$ and shouted, "Where have you been Djr7!". And so I have returned to trying to catch up on everything I missed in the first few weeks of releases.

Kotoura-san wasn't a show I had looked into, in fact I only noticed it when a friend of mine pulled it up at school, and I can honestly say I am quite amazed by it's writing. The show is mainly humour based romance high school comedy with an added twist of the main character being able to read people's minds. The events that take place are very fundamental and common, guy meets girl, girl finds out about jealous rival who is shut down by guy, etc etc. What makes this show so incredibly amazing is in the presentation and writing. The whole romance comedy thing has been done to death, but this show has some very deep and concerning dark issues that play a strong mental role on each of the characters and help shape each character's true personalities.

The pacing is well done, and the events that unravel aren't very creative or new, but they are well developed and told through a darker mental sense that creates some wonderful internal character conflict with the main girl Kotoura.

Kotoura's first episode will come as a shock to you and show you some very saddening events, it also works up to create one of the best character introductions that really gives you a full understanding of what the main character is going through and how she approaches her life. Manabe is the main guy character that Kotoura takes a liking to, he is also the core of the show's humour, offering some precise moments to make you laugh.

The show wonderfully balances humour, high school romance, and a dark comparison to how ugly the world can be. This is my favorite show of this new season, although Shinsekai is still #1 for me.


The Return of Fire Emblem

It has been 6 long years since the last decent fire emblem game. Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn (2007), the first N.A. sequel to a previous Fire Emblem game (Path of Radiance 2005). While FE (Fire Emblem) Shadow Dragon (2009) was a poor remake of the original Fire Emblem game and I do not consider it a worthy mention in the Fire Emblem series.

The next Fire Emblem game is titled "Awakening", and looks to be one of the best FE games to date. The game looks to have been incredibly improved on several aspects from past FE games. FE Shadow Dragon tried to change things up by acting as an easier game for new players to the series, unfortunately the game had chopped up most of the dialogue heavy story and removed the FE difficulty by replacing fallen comrades with new ones. While my hate for the last Fire Emblem should stay contained within a locked safe and shouldn't be touched with a ten meter pole, it helps show some light on where Intelligent Systems has decided to go with improving the FE formula.

I am very upset to learn that there is a 3DS bundle for the Fire Emblem game, as I really want it but already have a 3DS.

Awakening looks to stay with the classic Fire Emblem design, but looks make several improvements in certain areas. The New Fire Emblem is said to add more unique classes, while I do not know what this entirely means, lets look at how the previous FE games utilized new classes.
Fire Emblem - The only game to have the player be an actual character in the game, albeit only the essence of the tactician and not an actual usable character.

Fire Emblem Sacred Stones - Removed the useless player character. Introduced new 2nd tier classes with the ability to choose between 2 or 3 classes for leveling up. Added sub classes that could be labelled as tier 0.5, there were only three characters each belonging to mage, warrior and knight.

Fire Emblem Path of Radiance - Removed the items used to level up to 2nd tier and replaced the Dark Mages class with Wind Mages and removed custom choice 2nd tier classes, also removing the Dancer class which saddened me. Introduced a multiple of horse riding classes to replace the Ranger, as well as adding the soldier class. Introduced new race class of animals (Laguz).

Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn - Introduced a third tier of classes and trolled players with enemy Dark Mages but no playable Dark Mage class.

Fire Emblem Awakening appears to re-introduce the player as a character, but this time the player will be able to make a custom playable character, hopefully this custom character actually fits in with the story. I speculate that there will be two tiers of classes with an extra beginner sub class that was in the Sacred Stones game. Since they are offering more classes it seems plausible that you will be able to choose between classes for tier 2 level ups. From the character description on the official Fire Emblem site, I believe they are finally bringing back the Dark Mage, which has me jumping for joy. Additionally there are over 40 classes, introducing the return of the Troubadour, Ranger, Great Knight, Valkyrie, and my favourite Dancer. New classes include a Trickster class which seems to come from the Theif, a Griffon Rider, a Pegasus riding mage and more. The main characters of each Fire Emblem game have been of a different class, having given us rapier, axe, lance, and sword wielding lords from the first two FE games in N.A., mercenary leading hero of Path of Radiance and magic wielder of Radiant Dawn, It seems we will be getting another Ike mercenary leader for this one.

The game's story currently looks to be as big as Radiant Dawn/ Path of Radiance, with multiple nations and possible enemy rulers, the game could in fact look to be a new series with a possible sequel if it sells well. An interesting fact is there is a character known as Marth, who bears a mask; will this game be somehow tied to the past two Fire Emblem games? (FE released a sequel to Shadow Sword but it wasn't localized).

The combat appears to have increased the pace significantly, and looks to incorporate team attacks as you can strategically group units together and move them as one, or place units near others for team attacks. The game is also apparently 1-2 players, but I believe the game is only multiplayer in online battles. The Critical Hits were something I always enjoyed in terms of visuals, but after seeing the Critical animation for archers on the Trailer, it seems critical attacks might have been ignored for added spectacles. On a side note free DLC is available within a set period of time upon purchase, but the notion of more DLC will hopefully not feel like we are paying for content that should have been in the game at launch.

The visuals of the game represent the DS and Gameboy Advance graphics, but show wonderful 3D battles and cutscenes. The 3D models look to be the best for human figures, showing detail and colour whereas the past 3D games have been bland and low on quality. The game also shows some awesome animated videos as well as beautiful 2D images of the characters during dialogue. The actual 3D effect for the 3DS will hopefully stand out and make the game appear even greater looking, but that is hard to judge without having the actual game. Another thing to note is the added voice casting, while the game isn't totally voiced, there are a few words and emotions that are voiced for each character during dialogue, which will offer a greater sense of the characters and their personalities, they even talk during combat which is a nice added feature.

Romance and Relationships have been given a huge boost as we will finally be able to see increase in relations between allies and what looks to be a more intricate system for allowing characters to increase their fondness and friendship level. The game also announces that character relations can reach marriage, whether or not it will be a deeper experience than a quick 2D dialogue remains to be seen.

Overall this new Fire Emblem game has the best art that looks and feels new and fresh, the game appears to have been developed to try and be the best FE game to date, and I certainly cannot wait for it to be released on Feb 4th.

WiiU Upcoming Games

Xenoblade Chronicles Sequel?
Nintendo's latest announcement comes as a full package of news regarding the WiiU.

Platinum Games has been very busy getting a lot of games out of it's production line, and is almost integrated with Nintendo with the amount of work they are doing with Bayonetta, Wonderful 101, and other games on Nintendo. New highlights and video footage showed The Wonderful 101 and it's crazy action heavy experience; I hope it delivers to a higher level that shows Nintendo can get better IP's out on the big screen.

Wonderful 101
The biggest gaming news from Nintendo's Iwata is the announcement of some brand new exclusive games coming to Nintendo. Shin Megami Tensai X Fire Emblem mash-up, who knows what this will be as most mash-up games are usually those of the fighting style but I see this sticking to the JRPG atmosphere and it will be very interesting to see where this leads. I love the Fire Emblem series a lot and I am very excited to see some info about this hopefully at E3.

A Xenoblade Sequel looks to be in the mix as the trailer for this new Xeno game ends with what looks like the main character from Xeno-Chronicles. The game looks to incorporate large monsters in a higher action based game similar to Monster Hunter, but the game mixes swords with guns and even Mecha's.

An HD remake of Zelda Windwaker seems to be their test on HD with games. The graphics are much more high def and still feel wonderfully cartoony. Windwaker will be released in Fall and will keep us busy as we impatiently wait for the Zelda WiiU.

Iwata announced that a playable form of the next Mario WiiU as well as the next Mario Cart at E3, apparently they have evolved but does that mean they will be better? Kirby's Epic Yarn is making a new game with Yoshi as its main character. Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's story creator is supervising the development.

Quite possibly the most important information that I took from the announcement was how Nintendo is moving forward as a company focused on bringing higher quality games at the expense of time. More time is being added to their titles and this will hopefully see Nintendo shine the way they did in the N64 days. Iwata explained that the new Zelda game and Smash Bros. game are taking their time to make sure they create some of the best games Nintendo has ever produced.

I'm really looking forward to what Nintendo will be bringing us, and how happy I am that they realized the lack of games upon the WiiU's release.