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Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

And here’s the next set. Again, I’ll start with Mayoi Neko, and go onto Night Raid.

Mayoi Neko Overrun

Here’s yet another surprise for me this season. There was very little information originally on MayoiNeko, so I wasn’t really expecting anything from it, but it turned out to be better than I anticipated. Hardly world class, but worth a giggle or two. Anyway, as previously noted, our setting is a run down sweet shop called (bizarrely) Stray Cats. Takumi is a generic harem anime protagonist (TM) who also appears to be an orphan adopted by the Sister, Otome. He also has another childhood friend, Fumino, whom is textbook tsundere.

Interestingly though, Takumi actually seems to understand Fumino’s nature (as dishonest and double-sided) with an insight rarely exhibited by protagonists, so maybe he has some potential after all.

I assume she was going for a spine breaking wake up move, but it failed. Oh dear.


The middle guy is an Otaku at war with Fumino because he feels she’s too much of a cliche. I had to laugh at that.


Rich Loli with Ninja Maids and a cosplay fetish? Check.
As a hilarious side note, Chise (the Loli) has the voice actress of Index, and the maids serving her are Mikoto and Kuroko from the same series respectively.


One wonders whether the maids are begrudging servants when things like this happen, though… LOL…


Hey, it’s an anime about catgirls, so that makes perfect sense. Of course, in the real world, I’m sure Fumino would be straight-jacketed in short order. Oh, and the loose plot is that a young boy claims to have seen a huge (girl sized) cat that ate an important cake. Despite the fact that we eventually learn that the boy was fibbing, Fumino goes off to search. Fortunately, said cat-girl is actually discovered thieving a fish from the market.


The catgirl has some real serious agility powers to evade capture; and gets away, until the sister returns with…


Oh my gods! Its Patchiouli!

I laughed my ass off when I saw how close the character design was (somehow it didn’t click when I was doing the preview). Especially considering that there have been fanarts of Patchy with cat-ears. I also agree with the sisters sentiment since I’m fond of purple haired, red eyed combos.

Well, like I say, I wasn’t expecting anything, but the fact that this show doesn’t try to lampshade its identity and is rather tongue in cheek scores it alot of bonus points. The daft references help too. I’m not sure about our male lead at the moment, but he has some slight potential due to insight, domestic prowess, and not ~seeming~ to be too perverse. I guess we’ll see.


Senkou no Night Raid

Yet again, I was surprised by this one, and my early estimate had a bit of a crippling oversight. Namely, I thought they were going to play it straight without a fantasy element. I was wrong, since all of the protagonists have some kind of special power.

Because of this, it shares some more similarities with Bantorra besides its artsy style. Everything else about the preview was correct, however. It follows a special Japanese military spy operation in China. The first part follows a rescue operation of an important Japanese Businessman from a Chinese Paramilitary group whom have taken him hostage. However, there is a small conspiracy intertwined when it is discovered that said man is actually selling weapons to them for his own profit.


He hasn’t got a foot to stand on! (wow that’s a bad pun…) Ahem. Anyway, Aoi (right hand chap) seems to have some kind of time control. I suppose it could be telekinesis, but he’s continually going out about ‘running out of time’, so I’m thinking its an ability to mess with causality of certain objects (as in, actually, this bullet from this timeframe was going to hit over there, then I’ll speed to 14X your timeframe and slap you in the face etc.)


This is the guy whom is be rescued. He looked a bit dodgy to me as soon as I saw it.


There’s always time for bike stunts off the side of a bridge girder. LOL.


This shady chap seems to be in charge of the secret service. His shadow bodyguard also seems to remind me of Spike Spiegal, LOL.


They’re pretty advanced for their time period, this lot, with aerial photography and paratrooper assaults.


Natsume the uber sniper shows off his infinite zoom vision by picking off a carefully placed det-pack on a roof from about 3 miles away.


Kazura, meanwhile, has matter tranmogrification. In other words, he can Flash Move to a place he can see, and take people with him.

It’s hardly Allison & Lillia level conspiracy, but the first episode was a pretty fun ride overall. What is especially interesting was that they aren’t afraid to use a good chunk of Mandarin. Its a common anime failing to think everyone in the world speaks fluent Japanese, so its a nice change to see this decision.

Ah yeah, also, didn’t mention the girl operative, Yukina. She has telepathy, long distance mental communication and mind-melding, and really connects the whole team together.

Anyway, it was a pretty (if dark) first showing, and it whet my appetite, so I’m looking forward to this providing a nice action/thriller mixture.

That’s all for now. I think we’re pretty much done with initial previews. I still have to look at Daimaou and Hakuouki, but I’ll probably do those as well soon.

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Well, I’m certainly behind again, and here’s the culprit. I finally got around to picking up a copy of Dragon Age: Origins. I always wanted to grab it since I’ve long loved the Neverwinter Nights games and Bioware’s awesome RPGs in general; but I was a bit wary about immediately getting it since I wasn’t sure that my lower end Radeon could actually manage to cope, so I waited for a reduced price.

Fortunately for me, it could. Admittedly, I’m forced to use low detail, but its not much of a issue, since I still get to use 1280 x 800 and high quality textures with minimal lag, so it looks decent. The only problem I actually had was all eyes were a creepy black when I first booted. This is apparently an issue with cards that don’t have good quality pixel shaders. However, with some searching, I found a handy mod that changes them to a flat texture. This means nearly everyone has brown eyes in the game, but I can cope with that (it’s better than black orbs of death!).

In any case, I spent a short while as Teres Cousland, a Human Noble Rogue, but then decided I had made some very poor choices for skills and talents, so I decided to re-start again and check out the Mage Origin.

This led to me using Ilyana Amell:

Astute Fire Emblem fans might recognise her. I’ll readily admit to being an Ilyana fanboy; and when I saw this potential hairstyle (part of the extra hairstyles mod I also picked up before playing…) during character creation, I was pretty much sealed in playing as her.

The above is from the initial intro for the Mage Origin; you’re an apprentice of the Circle Tower whom is about to go in for your Harrowing. Mages in this setting are those whom have a deeper connection to the Fade, the realm of spirits and where people go when they dream. However, in possessing this ability, you also become like a beacon to the daemons that live on the other side. So the Harrowing is a test for you to prove you’re stronger than the daemons that would try to possess you (they always want an excuse to leak into the material plane, and mages offer a convienient express train if they cannot resist!). Mages whom become possessed or liase with daemons might become abominations or blood mages. These are hunted furiously by the Templars. Anyway I’ll stop plot exposition now as it’ll end up being spoiler city for those who haven’t played the game.

You, of course, are destined for more than simple magehood. You are recruited by Duncan, the leader of Grey Wardens of Ferelden (that beardy chap in the middle); as a new Blight is upon the land.

You end up fighting at the Battle of Ostagar (which is very impressively cinematic, it feels as exciting as being in battle of Helms Deep from the LotR films), and then being set on a quest to find allies to stop the Blight (which is not a plague per se, its actually an invasion of Darkspawn led by an Archdemon, in case you were guessing).

Grey Wardens are the only people whom can actually kill an Archdemon, because they drink the blood of the Darkspawn and gain a small modicum of their strength. Many die in the process of inbibing the tainted blood, but survival gives you ability to sense the taint in all things and find weaknesses where there are none.

And to do this, you also find several NPC companions, like the Ex-Templar Alistair, above. Keeping the party happy is one of the more interesting underlying mechanics of the game, carried over and enhanced from Neverwinter Nights 2: quite alot of the choices you make and conversations you have with people in the game affect what the party think of you. If they hate you too much they’ll probably end up leaving for good; but if they like you, they become stronger fighters. Several of the companions are also romance options too if you like them enough and you get to know them through and through.

To add further to this process, many of the quests have hard moral choices for you. For example, a child mage possessed by a demon appears in one scenario. He was innocent and possessed somewhat by accident. There is probably nothing you can do, but can you really bring yourself to do the humane thing and kill the poor kid? (especially with his screaming mother around…) Or do you try your hardest to save the brat, even if it requires resorting to forbidden magic that might kill or damn you in return?

This Mabari War Dog also becomes a party member. I thought this was a pretty amusing screenshot with the dead Hurlock at the dogs feet (and he looks so happy!). I have to say, the dog has some terribly funny scenes too, as his ‘dialogue’ of appropriate barks, whines and yaps gives him quite exceptional personification.

As you might imagine, the game is pretty over the top gory in some cases. Melee fighters have several ‘overkill’ animations when you drop an enemy (dual wielders behead the target, heavy weapon users spin the foe and then reverse sheathe their weapon in the enemy, and so on). There are also honest to goodness sex scenes for the cumilation of the romances (none of that fade to black nonsense like in Neverwinter Nights 2 here, no siree!), though those are fairly tame, I’m told, by default. I wouldn’t actually know since I didn’t play before adding a bevy of the most popular mods (including a sex scene ‘upgrade’, LOL, which does make things mildly zesty).

Again, during the Brecilican Forest section, you have a choice whether to aid the Dalish Elves or the Werewolves.

Experienced players of this game might notice that in my playthrough, I customised Alistair and Leiliana to be dual-wield and Sten to be sword and board. I myself specialise in Lightning (I had to, really, given it’s Ilyana I’m based on), with a side on party support and the various Glyphs since Glyph of Repulsion is amazing in this game, and thats not even counting the potential paralysis explosion combo.

To again explain slightly: there’s a couple handfuls of combos you can manage with spells. You can, for example, spew magical grease and then set it on fire with a fireball to make a blazing inferno of death. You can shatter people who are frozen by cold spells. Combining Force spells can be quite horrible, and so on. I guess this is to compensate for the mages inability to get overkills.

Hilariously, Wynne (centre) has also been given a youth potion in the tweak mods I installed. Since it made me laugh so much, I decided to keep it, even if it is out of character (she is supposed to be in her 60’s), since its funny to have her complain about her health and be a ‘lecturing old lady’ type with a strangely youthful appearance.

Anyway, I think that’s enough of that. If you’d like to know more about the game, you can read the Dragon Age Wiki. If you’re interested in Mods for the game, you can get those from The Dragon Age Nexus.

I’m currently preparing a preview of the next anime season, which should be up some time soon, so if you’re waiting for that, please be patient, thankyou!

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I decided today I’d attempt to write a little occassional featurette about VN’s and dating games I’ve been playing or have played, primarily since the FSN topic has proved so popular, but also because they’re a genre thats always interested me as a storyteller despite the obvious stigma attached to them (because of the erotic materials usually present).

My most recent play was the Dakkodango translation of Tears to Tiara, which is a recent and pretty interesting title by Leaf, who themselves are probably more known for Utawarerumono, among other things. I was immediately interested in this upon hearing about the translation, since it combines RPG elements into a Visual Novel, like Utaware does.

Its got an interesting Celt/Roman background going on; and gives its own interpretation of that sort of Classical/Iron Age era combined with the King Arthur myth. As in, your base of  operations is Avalon; and your nearest city of the empire is Londinium.

I won’t spoil much of the story, but it involves the exodus of a tribe, the making of a new king, and its full of mythical creatures, elves, angels et al.

The battle system is an unusual Pausable Real Time affair with other commands and skills and recruitment of minor characters in a way that somewhat resembles Disgaea’s system. But it works quite well, if not being tremendously challenging (then again, I’m not on the Hard difficulty setting, so…)

Naturally, our hero somewhat resembles Hakuoro from Utawarerumono in the fact that he’s a total pimp. Basically all of the female main characters sleep with him, some almost without reason (cough…Morgan, I’m looking at you…), though at least him accidently having to marry Llyr because he stole her Seal skin was LOL.

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Well, its an obligatory title screen shot, which shows Arthur, Rhiannon, and Arawn.

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Llyr’s going shopping, apparently. I rather like her as a character, and as a battle unit, since she’s got alot of useful water magic for healing and ice attacks.

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What were you smoking, Rhiannon? Well, at least this scene amused me, since Arthur shows off his amazing sewing skills, putting the House Elves to shame.

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Map of the area.

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Yes, Arthur, Taleisin IS creepy. I mean, who would trust a character who’s class is ACTUALLY ‘Spoony Bard’?

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Deploying units for a battle. You can only ever deploy 8 characters in a battle. However, there are 10 main characters, and as you can hire as many ‘mercenaries’ as you want. I have 5 of them. Hence, you’ll need to alternate to keep the XP up.

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Alot can go on in a battle. Thankfully, the A.I. is reasonable at keeping on top of things, so long as it doesn’t concern pathfinding. It also really needs to begin healing earlier, but then, at least you still have things to do…

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Octavia is, naturally, a wife of Arawn’s too…the Roman one…in case you can’t guess…

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Actually, this dragon went down surprisingly easily…I was quite surprised…

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Inevitable, but still amusing.

Heh, well, I quite enjoyed that little article. Perhaps I’ll do some more of these in time. Stay tuned…

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