Music of the Week #461

Just a bit more

One of my larger write-ups only needs some accompanying visuals then it’ll be ready to go and hopefully I can keep up up with a promise that I’ll have a follow-up post ready by the week after it goes up. Aside from the write-ups though, I’m in the middle of a three-way crossroad where I can play two sequels or play something new entirely which is an interesting prospect but it’s not like anyone will find out which one I’ll do until around month later since I’d like to have finished whatever new game I started but also finish up previous game write-ups but consolidate my thoughts on it as well.

Continuing my rants about Cold Steel, this week’s tune once again narrowly dodges my litany of nitpicking about the poisoned well of disappointment Cold Steel presents to the series as a whole as my previous complaints about the bonding events being too shallow compared to natural interactions between characters in story beats. Ymir is the first of two primary hubs for the Class VII and it hosts at least three instances where bonding events can occur between chapters. Unlike a single instance in Cold Steel where you could help Emma find Fie to earn points with both of them, CS2’s bonding events do have successive follow-up moments that further invest into a single character which is at least a step in the right direction for more meaningful interaction but still falls short of other characters interacting with others, even if some characters do start to show up in other interaction moments. The relationship with x character to Rean is not the biggest problem but everyone else not interacting with each other yet acting like they’re the closest RPG group you’ve ever seen.

Music of the Week #460

There goes another month.

I was worried for a bit that I might not be able to keep a semi-constant pace with these gametalks since I’d actually prefer to finish some of these games I’m talking about and I had some reservations going in on the one I’m playing right now. Thankfully that hurdle has been crossed and I’m in the middle of writing up a big two-parter so something is still being written here. Not to mention, it’s week 3 of summer season and the two series I am following at the very least seem to have hit their stride getting something established. To be fair, that statement doesn’t really apply to Uzaki but there was significantly more dere than being an annoyance in last week’s episode which I liked.

In a sign that they somewhat understood what was lacking in CS1, CS2 has a bunch of trapped treasure chests around the game’s overworld that holds a set amount of monsters for you to defeat, something that is common since Trails in the Sky. CS2 introduces a new limitation of bringing along two specific party members to deal with a given chest and aside from good loot, the bond points earned are substantial but despite being a good challenge in-game, CS2 is where I think the potential for more character interaction were wasted. You had the cast split-up with their own little parties but even then they still feel like they’re waiting their entire lives to reunite with Rean first before meeting up with the other groups. At least now there was an excuse for some party members to be excluded in certain segments so some interactions, albeit limited, could take place but nope. You’re still having Rean be the fulcrum of every interaction and conversation with a given party member.

Music of the Week #459

Summer’s on hold

So given my lack of acknowledgement of the summer season aside from two series that do not lend themselves to regular coverage, I think I’ll be using these video-game posts as my extended summer project. Unless Oregairu S3 does something for me, I don’t see myself talking much about it. Honestly, I fear for Fall and Winter because something tells me I won’t have much to watch either. Maybe it’s time to dive back into that other project I was wanting to get to about talking about some older stuff.

This week’s tune revolves around one the more interesting elements of Cold Steel’s saga revolving the GIANT ROBOTS that become prevalent to the plot by CS2 and is one of the secrets of CS1’s finale that keep things interesting by the endgame. CS2 introduces mech on mech battles as a climatic chapter enders that are remotely “interesting” as a gameplay element but isn’t put front and center to the plot’s development, at least not until the end and then they get front and center billing in CS3 and 4. Despite the simplicity of what the plot ultimately turns out to be in CS4, the utterly bloated machinations of trying to involve every character becomes a detriment to an otherwise simplistic set-up.

Nioh: Changing up the Formula

As the fire faded away with Bloodborne’s acclaimed DLC and in the limbo of Dark Souls 3’s final DLC to close the long-running saga, the month of February 2017 was when the Souls-like subgenre of games fully blossomed into the scene with Nioh. Back then, I was debating on getting it to stave off the month-long wait I had left for the Ringed City DLC but decided against it and decided to fully dive into the Trails of series instead. Nioh escaped my mind for quite some time but I did hear some reviews praising the different approach to combat but as well has having a few more bosses that felt a lot more “unfair” compared to the likes of Dark Souls’ calculated difficulty. I thought about buying it for a time but then Ghosts of Tsushima and Sekiro muddled my opinion of samurai-souls games for a while so it wouldn’t be until it went up for free that I finally had no excuse but to try it for myself.

Continue reading Nioh: Changing up the Formula

Music of the Week #458

A bit off-track

Uzaki and Oregairu are out and they’re not the type of shows that I’m all that good in “covering”. Uzaki is mostly a comedy while Oregairu has way too damn much subtext going on in every line of dialogue that it’d be tough to talk about, especially when I’ve forgotten what happened previously. Season 2 was definitely a bit more “please talk it out instead of expecting everyone to know what you’re thinking” compared to Season 1. Think I’ll opt for the weekly recap format instead of individual episode coverage, that is, if I even get to it this season since I’m still trying to write up more games.

Cold Steel 2 does something that no other entry in the sub-series did, have exclusive New Game plus content that tied to the greater questions into the story. A rather substantial reveal regarding two school-goers that would not otherwise be revealed until late into Cold Steel 3 occurs as you collect an NG+ item drop after events called the Black Records. Little did we know that the giant mechs would take center-stage and somehow Falcom still made that setting boring.

Music of the Week #457

Summer’s here

I got two big games I can pick to talk about and they’re both bound to take another week or two to write up, but I think I’ll go for the shorter one for simplicity’s sake. Summer is in full swing and I’m taking a look at the lineup as I type this. So far it’s mostly season 2’s I don’t care about and then a season 3 I care about with Oregairu finally coming after its weird ending and it’s most recent conclusion in the light novels. I have no idea what exactly occurred aside from a lot of alleged padding before the final volume so I guess we’ll find out what’s in store soon. Uzaki-chan is also getting animation which surprised me because I’m pretty sure Nagatoro-san existed long before it and that just had its anime announced.

So we’re going to skip the inferior regular battle theme in CS2 and go straight to the song that plays when you incrementally meet-up back with Class VII members across your re-treading of Erebonia. The reunion scenes are particularly filled with some problems because of one detail but before I go into detail about that, I have to cover something from the first game. At the end of Cold Steel 1, you’re forced to be separated from the rest of your party and whomever you grew the closest to, as in, the classmate you spent the most bonding events with, will say a unique line. In Cold Steel 2, the game treats it as you having this moment with EVERYONE so not only do any romantic subtext become leveled with every single female, you’re also best bros with all the guys too. Normally, this wouldn’t be too big an issue but the worst part comes to light when this relationship quota-reset occurs AGAIN in Cold Steel 3.

Music of the Week #456

Another big-ish post out of the way.

If I’m not mistaken, now that Kaguya-sama S2’s Episode 12 is done, I think the Spring Season has come to a close and lemme tell you, I have absolutely no idea what Summer is supposed to have. I’ll try and get to that business soon. Titanfall 2’s post doesn’t have as much going for it since I don’t have history with the franchise, although I’d immediately support a titanfall 3 if it ever sees the light of day in this day of age of- do people still play battle royales? I don’t know what’s “in” anymore.

At the very least, Cold Steel 2 doesn’t start bad immediately. The mountain ranges of Ymir near Rean’s hometown is a welcome change of scenery and apparently it was visited previously by the cast in a drama CD of all things which I don’t believe was translated into english, at least not officially. The circumstances of Rean’s departure is an exciting prospect but that wonder won’t last for long.