This week, I’ve begun work on my Top 50 Favorite Albums list; and if you know me, then you know that I take favorites lists entirely too seriously. With my friend Brandon Tolentino taking them just as seriously, however, it’s become a fun bonding exercise, as well as fueling my already prominent obsession.
The troubling thing is that it’s hard to listen to all of the one-hundred albums which are nominated for my list while getting anything else done—or in fact doing anything else at all. A lot of my spare time revolves around watching youtube videos, which is hard to do when you’re listening to music, so a different idle activity was needed. Something which could be done without much concentration, so that I could really take in the music as well. My initial solution was, of course, Minesweeper.
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I like Minesweeper a lot, but it’s not very engaging. Every game is essentially the exact same, never lasting more than five minutes, and it’s almost impossible to beat because it always comes down to a guess at some point. I can play maybe twenty minutes of Minesweeper tops before I’m sick of it, so after some of that, I went onto my friend’s Steam in search of something else to play. That’s when I noticed he got Darksiders in some kind of Humble Bundle, and I decided to give it a whirl.
Here I will I try and reconcile the fact that I didn’t enjoy Bioshock Infinite at all against its warm reception amongst reviewers. There’s an extent to which I can see the appeal of this game, but the qualities I see in it are what I’d expect to be a niche appreciation, and not the kind of stuff that drives a game to the level of love it receives.
This is NOT me trying to say that Bioshock Infinite is “overrated,” because I think that term is bullshit—my point here is to explain what I experienced with this game, and how it doesn’t line up with what I’ve heard about it.
We were like, “let’s eat every kind of chicken in the area.” And then I was like, “dude, video.” And this happened.
It speaks for how busy I’ve kept, that I completely forgot to make a post rounding up 2012. It only occurred to me at the last minute that I was accidentally breaking a tradition which spans the entire history of my blog. But whatever, it’s better late than never with a tradition that I actually hold pretty dear, so let’s get it together.
2012 is an odd, and in some ways difficult year to look back on. I spent the first two thirds of the year doing a whole lot of fuck-all, and then suddenly I spent the last third doing things almost constantly. It was a year largely about new things—namely, video games and ponies—with little of the good ol’ standby that started this blog, anime. In fact, I did not complete a single anime which started this year, breaking my record from 2009 of only completing one.
So, Secret Santa! I sorta saw these shows some several months ago, but surely I’ve still got something to say about them.
I’m interested in knowing who my santa was, because it’s possible that they chose these shows out of reading my site and having a pretty good idea of who I am and what I like (a yuri fan who just started working full-time), or they may have just picked their two favorite Noitamina shows that I hadn’t seen yet.
Note that I was also recommended Perfect Blue, which I’d already seen, but apparently forgot to add to my MAL page. I sent a message to Reverse Thieves to tell my santa about this, but I never heard back from them, so I don’t know if the message got through, or if the santa just never came up with another recommendation.
If you’ve already read my Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow review, this is just a video version of that review, with a minute and a half-long skit tacked onto the front. The skit was recorded for the hell of it and I thought the best way not to let it go to waste would be to actually integrate it with a video review. I want to get back into video reviews, but this is just a bit of testing the waters.
Is Aria of Sorrow an action-RPG? It has a leveling system, plus a plethora weapons and armor which effect the player’s stats. The core mechanics are similar to games like Dark Souls, only much less complex or interesting. It’s more RPG than The Legend of Zelda, which I’ve covered in this series as well, so I’m including it.
The other day I tried to play Circle of the Moon and found it wrought with poor design choices, so I skipped to its better-received sibling, Aria of Sorrow—the third and final Castlevania game released on the GBA. Aria of Sorrow usually ranks in the top ten on lists of the best GBA games of all time, and has universally positive reviews. Some consider it to be one of the best games in the Castlevania franchise.
This might be a weird way to start an analysis, but I need to get it off my chest: Mass Effect is too short. My playthrough clocked in at around twenty-one hours, and I did somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of all the side quests. I’m starting with this because twelve hours into the game, I was ready to consider Mass Effect as one of the few games that I can truly call favorites (alongside Dark Souls, Tera Online, and Super Meat Boy). However, the game ended so abruptly that it left me wanting more, to where I think I’ll need to play the other Mass Effect games before I’ll be able to call them a favorite as a whole.
I’ll dissect a bunch of the game’s strengths and weaknesses in a bit, but before that, I want to briefly summarize my playthrough, which has a lot to show for what I felt about the game’s pacing.