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"End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Mon 31 Dec 11:39post reply

Once more, we are poised on the brink... of the new year!

What things were special to you this year? What games did you manage to beat? What games did you manage to even take out of their shrink wrap? Did you finally read a book that you felt was actually worthwhile? Was there anything you did that you felt was particularly meaningful? Let it all out here, where it can be sealed away in perpetuity/posterity!

To kick things off, I finally beat the second half of Nier Automata!
I still think from time to time the game feels like it's going "FEEL THIS EMOTION! RIGHT NOW! EVEN THOUGH I BUILT UP NOTHING FOR IT!" and either you go along with it or you roll your eyes at it.
But it's still a decent game, and the amount of labor and artistry that went into its aesthetics is off the scale.

I think 428 Shibuya Scramble is awesome even though I've not even played two hours of it!

Labyrinth of Refrain is the freshest and most interesting take on the old dungeon crawling games I've played in years, and is probably the first NIS game that I genuinely enjoy playing rather than merely going "I wish these sprites were in a game I liked playing"!

EDF V is the latest mainline EDF game which means it is automatically one of the best and one of my favourite games of the year!

I might even install Horizon Zero Dawn before 2019!

I seriously contemplated changing from the video game industry to some other industry! I still haven't figured it out yet, but that's probably one of the biggest life changes for me in years!

Exclamation marks!






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"Re(1):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Mon 31 Dec 21:50post reply

This year has been... "OKAY". Like, not great, not bad, it could have been worse. Slightly.

The main game that sticks to my mind remains Obra Dinn. It wasn't as bold as Papers, Please, just a very solid detective game. It's the Hollow Knight of Sherlockholmsery. There's not a lot of concurrence here. A good experience. I like.

Speaking of new games from developers from a prior masterpiece, Into the Breach was a disappointment. It was not bad, more than OKAY even, but it was a tall order to follow FTL, and while ITB had very interesting ideas, its over simplification prevented it from being the classic FTL was.

In the same vein, The Hex, from the guy of Pony Island (yeah, quite a different pedigree) was fun, but far too long. These kind of metanarrative games can hold up for 2 hours maximum. 6 hours was too long. It did have interesting ideas with the jumping between each character's actual games (the platformer, the JRPG, the Fallout/wasteland, the first person perspective...) and the criticism of some people in the industry was quite humorous.

Minit was good. Really good. A Zelda game where you die every minute and need to achieve as much as possible during that minute before having to start over. Excellent concept and execution.

Venturing into the realm of weird indies, The Shrouded Isle was a nice surprise, but could have been better. It's surprisingly close to Obra Dinn: it has almost as few colours on screen, and it's, once the trappings of the delirious end-of-days cult have been set aside, a solid detective game, where instead of finding who's a murderer, you're trying to identify who has doubts against the true faith, who is reading books (sacrilege!), or, even worse, who is NOT a murderer. And since you need to find and sacrifice a culprit every season, the game surprisingly ventures into the realm of Papers Please's faceless bureaucracy: you need to meet your target of a sacrifice per season, and if you haven't found the culprit in time, anyone will do.
The added layer of balancing the diplomacy with the families of the sinners makes the thing even more lively, since you sometimes will need to let the culprit go away in order to appease tensions with a certain clan.
I just felt the game became too repetitive after a while, and once you're in the loop of things, you just end up clicking on names to the end.

Chuchel was really dumb and good. Eastern-European classic animation into a point and click? Well, yeah!

Vampyr was... OKAY. Many flaws, but an interesting proposition and atmosphere go a long way. I want to believe AA games will be able to survive when the AAA bubble finally bursts. I can live with upscaled-PS3 games.

Soulcalibur 6 has a proper scenario mode, and that alone makes it the best game of the series. I really don't care about anything else.

Dead Cells was fun for a while. It's one of these games I liked better during Early Access, until they added too many things and I stopped being interested. Another case of "more is too much". But it was OKAY.

Swery's new game, the Missing, had a very interesting story. I'm quite happy to know he managed to get funds to make a game about such powerful and gripping topics. It's unfortunate that Swery still doesn't know how to properly make games. I uninstalled halfway through and watched the rest on Youtube.

Rockman 11 came and went. It was properly done. Except the music, there's no garish issue. It was... OKAY.

I have quite a few games on hold at the moment, but instead of finishing them, for some reason I remembered I hadn't played DMC4, so I'm trying to go through it now before 5 is released. 10 years late is not too late!

For 2019, to my surprise, I have 3 mainstream games on my to-play list. The Bio2 remake, DMC5 and Sekiro all intrigue me in different ways. Hopefully I won't be too disappointed!
Early 2019 should see the release of Sunless Skies, the sequel to Sunless Sea. I haven't touched the early access version even though I backed up the project, because that's the best way to ruin your own fun with this kind of games. The catch phrase "Betray a Queen, Murder a Sun" is almost as good as "Lose your mind, Eat your crew" from the previous one. Hope it's good!
Indivisible should also be released. I really wish them all the good in the world (in term of quality and of sales), but I have the feeling their time has passed? It's been quite a while since the kickstarter. I hope they'll be able to make it.
The Sinking City, the other half of the project that went into development hell and got split into two games (last month's Call of Cthulhu and this one) will also be released. It has really good marketing (and more importantly, a third person view so I can actually play it). Moreover, it will be very interesting to see whether the game manages to be good after the weird development cycle it went through.
There's quite a few other small games incoming (Baba is You, Untitled Goose Game, maybe Shakedown Hawaii, and who knows, Wattam finally?). I have high hopes for Godhood, the blandly named god game from the makers of Renewed Explorers and especially Reus, one of my favourite games from 5 years ago. Hopefully it delivers.

However, this is an old person forum, so my biggest hope for 2019 is to have more classic PS2/3 games properly ported to PC (and whatever other platform). Capcom has been really good at it, with their belt scroller collection, DMC1-2-3, Killer 7 and soon Onimusha (and I hope the PC version will be able to be modded to get the original sound track back). Hopefully, Onimusha 2, 3 and Shin will follow, and more importantly God Hand. If the drab SF anniversary thing was successful enough, I hope the amazing PS2 Vampire compilation will follow. Besides that... I don't dare hoping for a Justice Gakuen compilation, since it probably wouldn't have the dating sim in it, but, well, who knows. Maybe some sort of BASARA resurgence, or at least some up-port?
Sega has ported most of the games I care about. They even did End of Eternity, which I may very well maybe play! Sakura Taisen 1-2-3 would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath. The true issue with Sega now is rather Atlus, who continues to be a shit company AND hold Vanillaware hostage. Someone needs to release Dragon's Crown on PC yesteryear.
SQEX continues to be irrelevant. I don't think Scarlet Grace will be released in the west, and we'd be lucky if they do finish RS3. The chances of them porting any other important game from their library (Legend of Mana, Vagrant Story) are slim to none. Best of luck for KH3, I guess. Bamco... who knows. Who cares. Ah, and I wish all the best to KT to not screw up Ni-Oh 2.

So, yeah. It was OKAY.







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"Re(2):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Tue 1 Jan 04:14post reply

Wow, what great summaries! I don't have anything as interesting or coherent to say. The end of the year seems to have snuck up on me so I haven't properly summarized 2018. Maybe I'll get everything sorted out by March of next year. But since that's useless here are a couple quick bullet points.

Thanks to Iggy's recommendation last year I recently tried out Hollow Knight. It feels like a children's novel that is simultaneously charming and bleak. That, or it feels like a SFC Nausicaa that's been re-skinned for Western markets. Whatever it is, I like it even though I'm terrible when it comes to fighting the bosses. The only part I dislike is the death system that feels cribbed from Dark Souls. The day developers realize that not ever game needs to be Dark Souls will be a fine day indeed.

I really enjoyed the time I put into a borrowed copy of Spider-Man. AAA games are the unsustainable Wal-Marts of the game industry. But if we are going to have these bottomless pits around I'm glad to have one that features a fun main character who controls properly, unlike the chunky blocks that constitute Rockstar protagonists.

The dress-up game of 2018 is adequate but feels like it could contain so much more. The fact that there are no ninja hoods in a game that allows you to make a ninja character seems like an obvious oversight. Oh, the Soul Calibur game that came bundled with the wardrobe simulator seems okay too, I guess.





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"Re(2):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Tue 1 Jan 04:41:post reply

After buying PS4 games for a couple of years with no PS4 console, I finally managed to get a used PS4 console for 45 bucks. Controller battery dies off even when shut off. But still worth it.

I completely forgot about the end of the year wrap up and did manage to throw some small reviews of games I played that can be seen at a previous post thread HERE.

The only game I managed to play afterwards was Sonic Mania. Great game and enjoyed everything about it. Lots of replay value. However, the secret stages to obtain emeralds is extremely crappy. Won't go to details but I give Sonic Mania a 8/10.

I managed to buy almost every fighting game out this year. So will take time to go over those games with much learning curve. Would like to see a Fighting EX Layer physical release. Looking forward to more fighting games. Would like to buy a Guilty Gear game but geez so many upgraded versions of the same game come out every 6 months nearly.

But boy was it a trip back to 1998 with all the fighting games out this year. I felt like a kid again playing video games. Hopefully something in store for us in 2019 comes about.

I also managed to watch the Gundam series under the Universal timeline. This was in preparation if the new Gundam NT released this year. Some series I have seen before and some I have not. Below is a rank list of the best Gundam series under the UC timeline.

1. Gundam Origin - they did a real good job with this OVA.

2. Mobile Suit Gundam - classic.

3. Gundam 0083 Stardust Memories - great animation, music, atmosphere, and acting. I think this series is underrated as people felt the OVA was a turn off due to the constant bickering between Koe U. and Bernard M. In my point of view.

4. Gundam 8th MS Team - this was a positivity driven OVA done just good enough.

5. Gundam Chars counterattack - great overall but felt the ending was rushed.

6. Gundam Thunderbolt - good premise and could have asked for more.

7. Gundam 0080 War in the pocket - more dramatic than action and it was executed well.

8. Zeta Gundam - amazing first half with second half full of crying nagging complaining drama queens.

9. Gundam F91 - great ideas but execution was not complete and transition between scenes cut out huge gaps.

10. Gundam Unicorn - great animation but so much blabbering and yapping it was not intriguing at all.

11. ZZ Gundam - what can I really say?

12. MS Igloo - good for one ride and nothing memorable.

I have not watched Twilight Axis and Narrative as of yet.

I do need some clarity from anyone who is knowledgeable in the Gundam series.


So this year was playing catch up with video games finally and hopefully finish more this year.





Long Live I AM!

[this message was edited by neo0r0chiaku on Tue 1 Jan 04:43]



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"Re(3):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Tue 1 Jan 07:38:post reply

I have The Missing and my interesting story about it is that there's a part early in the game where you learn to throw things and need to dislodge some boxes in order to move on. Shortly after that, out of morbid curiosity I had the character stand under a lowering bridge or lowering box or something like that to see if she would just pop out from under it or would cause some other funny collision related issue.

What happened is that she got absolutely ROCKETED into the sky at terrific speed, to a height so high I have no idea if she hit the limit or not, but she was travelling upwards for a REALLY long time before she eventually started falling. I had no idea where she was going to land. Eventually she landed back in a forest, and I seriously wondered where in the game I was, and I also wondered if the game was going to let me continue. Before long, I saw rabbits suspended in the air that ran off on invisible paths, and reached the big field of flowers and windmills, and the game went into its full and expected Twin Peaks mode.

Except that I had no idea what I might've skipped between when she launched and now. Was there something interesting I missed? Was there nothing at all, and maybe I just hit the scenario boundary? Who knows. In any case, the feeling of suddenly descending into the dream was full and complete, and it is one of those delightful cases where a bug in a game fully maintains the conceit of the game being a game while being fully consistent with the surreal scenario of the game.

The memorableness of this makes this a solid moment of 2018 for me. I somewhat agree that as a game, it feels heavily inspired by Limbo and Inside, but the basic game elements like moving your character around and the visuals are rather more crudely made. However, having a more concrete scenario with talking characters makes the game a little more approachable in a rather different way.





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"Re(4):Nier of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Tue 1 Jan 08:28post reply

Amazingly, I played some games that were even as recent as 2017-2018, some of which I'll mention elsewhere, so consider this a thrilling (huge lie) Maou Preview!

Iggy of the Year: I finally met Iggy for a most Londonian adventure after years of virtual courtship camaraderie. Among other things, we chuckled over the British attempt at a "Japanese" restaurant, and I realized about 36 hours later that "aubergine" is apparently what British people say when they actually mean to say "eggplant."

Nier of the Year: Nier Automata is still the Nier of the Year for 2018. Spoon-kun, I certainly hope "second half" means seeing Ending E? Anyway, it's a work of such monumental genius (and fun!) that I'll continue to deploy the same bemused smirk and raised eyebrow to people complaining about true but irrelevant facts like how "the map is kind of crappy" and "Route B is boring" as I did for people who said that Flower "doesn't have many extras" and that Wander and the Colossus' horse "didn't always obey me [i.e. acted like a horse]."

Sonic of the Quarter-Century: Sonic Mania is magnificent, and yes, I do mean that quarter-century since Sonic 2 and CD (eat it, Sonic 3). I'll write more on this somewhere else.

Still whippin' ass every year: As anyone foolish enough to set foot near the Dracula thread noticed, I finally got a proper PCE copy of Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, and it's never let me down. Now with fewer ISOs!

Princess Maker 3 Soul Calibur 6 Princess Calibur 6: I said it somewhere else, but SC 6 is worse than SC 1 and 2 but better than 3-5, making it the best one in 15 years! One day I'll stop trying to play it as if it were SC 2, but in the meantime, those sure are some hilarious costumes you guys have made.

Books: Most of Minato Kanae's books are way too scary for me to read, including Confessions which was made into an alarming movie I accidentally watched one time, but her "Boukyou" ("Nostalgia for Home") is a great collection of moody or moving stories set on the same depopulating island modeled on the Seto Inland Sea, with occasional murder mysteries. Speaking of British things, Rumpole of the Bailey is still great fun, both in print and TV.

I'm still late: Meanwhile, my guilty stack of physical games I'm overdue to play has been augmented by a virtual stack of digital games I'm overdue to play via Iggy, many of them obviously brilliant even if too scary for me to launch on most days, such as the exciting-looking Obra Dinn or the has-too-many-bugs Hollow Knight.





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"Re(5):Nier of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Tue 1 Jan 09:07post reply

quote:

Nier of the Year: Nier Automata is still the Nier of the Year for 2018. Spoon-kun, I certainly hope "second half" means seeing Ending E? Anyway, it's a work of such monumental genius (and fun!) that I'll continue to deploy the same bemused smirk and raised eyebrow to people complaining about true but irrelevant facts like how "the map is kind of crappy" and "Route B is boring" as I did for people who said that Flower "doesn't have many extras" and that Wander and the Colossus' horse "didn't always obey me [i.e. acted like a horse]."



I've not yet gotten ending E, just ABCD and a clutch of bad/funny endings. In fact, I was met with terrific trepidation when it asked "Do you allow the pod to continue?" because I wasn't sure if it was going to continue with destroying everything or NOT destroying everything!





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"Re(3):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Tue 1 Jan 23:28post reply

This year I didn't play many titles, I didn't buy almost anything, and I still have a lot of backlog to complete.
I think the game I liked the most this year was Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, very charming game, story, artwork, a bit repetitive gameplay but not too much, I usually don't go for platinums, but I platinumed it.
I also started playing Okami for the first time, but I didn't complete it yet, so it doesn't count for 2018.

quote:

I also managed to watch the Gundam series under the Universal timeline. This was in preparation if the new Gundam NT released this year. Some series I have seen before and some I have not. Below is a rank list of the best Gundam series under the UC timeline.
-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


You are missing also Victory Gundam, UC 153, but seeing where you put Z, I suspect that you will not like it much.
It's one of the most polarizing series, with (many) people hating it and (few) people loving it.





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"Re(4):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Sun 6 Jan 00:57post reply

This was my second year as an adult who has an stable job, so I'm slowly starting to realize that I definitely don't have the free time that I had on school or even college. Also for some reason, I have only played 50-80 hours kind of games, so I also realized that I definitely I couldn't play a big array of games.

So in that regard, I think that my most special game was YS 8 Lacrimosa of Dana (Which even though I bought it on 2017, I started it last year thanks to Nisa terrible localizaton job, although at least they patched it. Anyway, I loved this game since the second that I saw the title screen in the intro, since my childhood that I didn't started a game for such a long time only because I was hypnothized watching the intro,while also being the first game that impressed me in 4k (I played Destiny 2 which obviously has better production values, but it was too gritty for my taste) YS 8 has sub par graphics, but I really love the art direction in this game, everything is so "Sega Blue Sky" that it really felt like a love letter to older games. And the actual game is so tight, is very rewarding to pull out attacks, guard, dodges, and specially on nightmare, and the music was from another level (classic falcom) overall, it was definitely an experience that made me fall in love with gaming again.

As for anime, this year I definitely didn't watched much of it (adult free time) to the point that I wasn't suscribed to any streaming service, until October where I subbed to Crunchyroll to watch Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 5. To my surprise, Vento Aureo is very boring (although the opening is my second favorite after great days, and is still jojo so I'm going to watch it anyway) so to justify my sub, I started watching other animes from the season, and I fell in love with 3 series, Golden Kamuy,Zombie Land Saga and Bunny Girl Senpai to make this shorter, I love how the relationship between the characters was developed, and the 2 later series pleasently surprised me, since the first impression that the crunchyroll thumbnail gave me was that those series would be utter trash, but they were amazing, and I'm sad that all of them finished (until next season)







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"Re(5):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Sun 6 Jan 22:12post reply

I could probably edit this in to my previous post but I'm too lazy.

On the anime front I've recently been catching up on the muscular madness of Grappler Baki. It's the type of story where a thirteen year old boy can get in a death match with his father and the supporting cast is so into fighting that they enthusiastically enable this lunacy. Anyway, on the game front I like that there is a Chinese martial artist in the story is obviously the inspiration for Tekken's Feng Wei. He even has the same distinctive facial structure. However, at around the same time proto-Feng is introduced Rei and Yuda from HnK somehow end up becoming background characters in the Bakiverse. Depending on your mood, pop culture is either derivative or constantly builds upon itself.







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"Re(6):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Mon 7 Jan 10:38post reply

quote:
I could probably edit this in to my previous post but I'm too lazy.

On the anime front I've recently been catching up on the muscular madness of Grappler Baki. It's the type of story where a thirteen year old boy can get in a death match with his father and the supporting cast is so into fighting that they enthusiastically enable this lunacy. Anyway, on the game front I like that there is a Chinese martial artist in the story is obviously the inspiration for Tekken's Feng Wei. He even has the same distinctive facial structure. However, at around the same time proto-Feng is introduced Rei and Yuda from HnK somehow end up becoming background characters in the Bakiverse. Depending on your mood, pop culture is either derivative or constantly builds upon itself.



The recent Netflix airing of one of the Baki arcs is kinda interesting if only as a reminder of what a bizarre and nihilistic story that arc was. It has a tremendously exciting prologue that is terrifically grand, and then it eventually takes all of these new characters and degrades them into such a state that you feel bad for witnessing it all. By the end of it, though they are a bunch of murderers deserving whatever justice visits them, you are just left with a sense of being appalled at the almost casual callousness and cruelty put upon them by previously existing cast members of the manga.

In some sense it is a sort of tremendous diametric opposite of the shounen fighting/competition manga style, in that effort/lineage/friendship/virtue/morality/etc are all considered meaningless and people die horribly, which makes it overall very much in tune with many seinen works whose principle theme tends to be "you aren't important/special and what you do barely matters". Indeed, what mirth there is in this Baki arc is often of a sadistic and schadenfreudic kind.





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"Re(2):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Wed 9 Jan 00:45post reply

quote:
This year has been... "OKAY". Like, not great, not bad, it could have been worse. Slightly.



I have to say "OKAY" describes my recollection of the last year for me as well.

I played most of the big games from last year except Nier and Red Dead Redemption 2. I finally got a Switch and have to say the best game I played all year was Breath of the Wild, which came out in early 2017, but DAMN what a game.

God of War was REALLY good, but a lot of small stuff added up for me. First and foremost is the over the shoulder combat camera. Sure there is a threat ring and the boy telling you where enemies are, but I could never get into it. The camera angle works great with throwing the axe and most enemies aren't too troublesome, but when I would get into an encounter with multiple dark elves it felt frustrating. The combat system itself didn't open itself up until you got your second weapon which was well into the second half of the game. The cooldown on runic sub attacks felt too long. I know cooldown decreased when you leveled up, but at that point it was so late in the game for me to really get into it. I could go on and on, but I really don't see myself looking back on this game in a couple of years.

Spider-Man is another game I would describe as REALLY good. I loved all the extra costumes the game had that each had their own gameplay quark. It really reminded me of the PS1 Spidey game which had suits with different stats and bonuses. The web swinging if great, but I would still say I prefer Spider-Man 2's style. NYC is beautiful and filled with NPCs to make it a bustling city. There were some design choices that felt really dated though. Forced Stealth, Audio logs and pipe maze puzzles? I thought we were passed that 10 years ago. Mission design felt fairly old fashioned too. Especially the science stations. Swinging through smog felt like something I should be doing in a PS2 game. Combat was okay. The game doesn't give you a great crowd control option until a few hours in. There is some problems with fighting in an open street where a low barrier or light pole will get in your way, but the big issue is when there are jetpack enemies that are hard to track with the camera. I also have issue with some art direction with the enemy designs. There is a whole gang that dresses in black and white and in one stage you are in a black and white "realm" where it is a pain to see what is going on when a half dozen enemies all blend into the background. I could also go on and on.

The only anime I got into this year was Pop Team Epic. It is silly, but the bite size jokes made it work for me. I really liked the "Freeza" and "Cell" episode.







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"Re(7):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Wed 9 Jan 05:18post reply

quote:
In some sense it is a sort of tremendous diametric opposite of the shounen fighting/competition manga style, in that effort/lineage/friendship/virtue/morality/etc are all considered meaningless and people die horribly, which makes it overall very much in tune with many seinen works whose principle theme tends to be "you aren't important/special and what you do barely matters". Indeed, what mirth there is in this Baki arc is often of a sadistic and schadenfreudic kind.


You're right, there is something subversive about the way Baki approaches the genre trappings it deals with. The first anime season plays out like one long set-up for the final "joke." Baki spends the entire season getting stronger like the shonen protagonist he is only for the final battle to turn into an immediate one-sided ass-whooping. The capper was all the friends he made through combat looking on aghast as the expected outcome of the story arc went out the window. I've only watched the parts of the convict arc that are on US Netflix but so far it already feels like the criminals have gotten more than they expected. Instead of traveling to Japan to find a group of heroes they meet up with a large gang of dead-eyed monsters who are just as brutal as the convicts but manage to function in society because they mostly only attack each other. So far it looks like the reason the convicts will lose is because they waste their time with petty cruelties to innocent people and aren't dedicating themselves to single-mindedly crushing strong opponents.

In other manga the characters would fight for friendship or some other trope. In Baki the violence is the entire point. It may not be uplifting but I'm enjoying the honesty of the series. That, and something hysterically insane happens in nearly every episode. I haven't laughed this much in ages!

To bring this back around to video games, I like that SF5 has also been trying to deal with the concept of fighting for the sake of fighting. Since there's no central plot in SF the only way they could develop the storylines for the characters was mostly to explore why continue to fight each other with seemingly no purpose. SF mostly ends up being light hearted silliness (as opposed to the red meat silliness of Baki) but it's interesting to see that even mentioned in a game.





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"Re(8):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Wed 16 Jan 16:25post reply

Games I've put substantial time into in 2018:


SSS Tier

Spiderman - "You really feel like Spiderman!" Good combat, great traversal, excellent camera, super polished. There are things to nitpick but really the highest quality game I've played all year.

Obra Dinn - Extremely well done puzzle game with a great mystery and ending. Made me feel very smart when I figured out things. Very smart scope decisions, but it's still unbelievable that a single person made this.

God of War - Excellent combat, great storytelling techniques, beautiful looking, and the one shot camera (and overall camerawork) was very cool. Overall story was strong but the ending felt a little meh to me though.

Gorogoa - Must play, very creative and innovative puzzle game. Amazing storytelling through gameplay. I met the guy who made it and he's exceedingly humble. Glad that it succeeded.

Monster Hunter World - Got close to ruining my marriage. Got kinda sick of it after 100+ hours. Amazing world design, beautiful monsters. Anything outside the core systems are clunky as f, core systems are clunky unless you know how to play Monster Hunter already. But for a nerd like me it scratched a really nice itch, and the high quality art finally allowed me to enjoy the series.


A Tier

Hollow Knight - Great world, music, simple but effective character control. Addictive and sprawling. Felt a bit long but I enjoyed my time with it and played until the "True Ending".

Tekken 7 - Finally, a game that kinda makes up for VF not existing any more. Customization is kinda shitty but other than that, a great game. Single player is very high quality too.

Tetris Effect - Excellent game in VR, really great music, fun gameplay additions. Tetris is still amazing after all these years. Almost as good as that Ubisoft Tetris game (LOL).

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Combat is shallow, but this game had moments that really scared the shit out of me. Excellent horror/drama/narrative game.



B Tier

FFXV - Lots and lots of jank, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as a whole. The way some of the story moments were expressed through gameplay really impressed me. But the jank got in the way of all those great ideas... glad I played it after everything was patched up the wazoo, apparently there wasn't a real ending when it was released (lol square). Also the DLC was polished and fun. The multiplayer mode was pretty meh.

Romancing SaGa 2 - First time playing this game, and I haven't finished it yet, but it's so expansive and ambitious, and equally hard to understand without a FAQ. I really want a modern, high budget version of this game but it will probably never exist...

Danganronpa 2 - I enjoy this series because of the story, but I can barely tolerate the weird art and music. I can't wait to finish the third game and put it to bed. I still love the core gameplay loop, but I hope the 3rd one mixes it up more.

One Shot - Very cool PC only indie RPG. It does some really innovative things that I won't spoil. Starts off really slow but once you're in it, it grabs you kind of like Undertale.

Florence - iOS "game" that you may have heard something about. It has some really cool moments that were inspiring to me. Smart storytelling with gameplay.


C Tier

Elite Dangerous - I played this a lot in VR during lunch. Was basically a space trucking simulator for me, but it really convinced me that VR was awesome. Just the act of landing my ship, soaring around the galaxy, etc. felt so immersive. The core gameplay is kind of shallow but the immersion really grabbed me. Now I want to play Star Citizen in VR, 3-4 years later when it actually releases :)

Vignettes - Another really cool iOS game. It only has one gimmick but it uses that gimmick extremely well. Great example of exploring one gameplay possibility to the fullest.

Dragon Quest Builders - I know it's just Minecraft with a skin, but the core is really fun, and I think the progression is much better. I had to stop playing it because it started consuming my life a bit... It's comfort food...my brain began melting as I chip chip chipped away at the terrain. I want to play the sequel but the demo left me cold, not sure what I want to do.


Games I'm excited about in 2019:

Death Stranding?
Cyberpunk??
Um... can't really think of much else right now.







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"Re(8):End of the Year Round-up Quarantine" , posted Thu 17 Jan 07:20post reply

quote:
In some sense it is a sort of tremendous diametric opposite of the shounen fighting/competition manga style, in that effort/lineage/friendship/virtue/morality/etc are all considered meaningless and people die horribly, which makes it overall very much in tune with many seinen works whose principle theme tends to be "you aren't important/special and what you do barely matters". Indeed, what mirth there is in this Baki arc is often of a sadistic and schadenfreudic kind.

You're right, there is something subversive about the way Baki approaches the genre trappings it deals with. The first anime season plays out like one long set-up for the final "joke." Baki spends the entire season getting stronger like the shonen protagonist he is only for the final battle to turn into an immediate one-sided ass-whooping. The capper was all the friends he made through combat looking on aghast as the expected outcome of the story arc went out the window. I've only watched the parts of the convict arc that are on US Netflix but so far it already feels like the criminals have gotten more than they expected. Instead of traveling to Japan to find a group of heroes they meet up with a large gang of dead-eyed monsters who are just as brutal as the convicts but manage to function in society because they mostly only attack each other. So far it looks like the reason the convicts will lose is because they waste their time with petty cruelties to innocent people and aren't dedicatin

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There's an entire arc where Muhammad Ali's son is introduced, beats some guy amazingly, enrages Baki's invincible father... only to get horribly beaten by one person after another, requiring him to even get his tongue surgically repaired, where he proceeds to get trained back up by Muhammad Ali so that he can fight Baki, only to lose to Baki in like one page by Baki kicking him in the groin immediately at the start of the fight. That this comes after the convicts arc make you think that the readers should've seen it coming, but it was still quite something.

There are times when I think the person who writes Baki hates the series as much as he loves it.