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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Aquarian Age: Tokyo Wars(アクエリアンエイジ ~東京ウォーズ~)

I'd like to think that I have a pretty good tolerance for being able to enjoy games despite any flaws that the ignorant masses would normally bitch and moan about. However, even I have some games that I just can't quite manage to even want to attempt to finish. Because of my personal integrity, I refuse to rate or score games I haven't fully completed *cough* unlike all pro review sites *cough* so I have a new rating for games that I'm 99.99% sure I will never finish: orz to signify that I gave up in pitiful defeat. And congratulations Aquarian Age for being the first game on this blog that "beat" me!

I'd like to know how much of the budget was just for this OP

Now, one likely reason I couldn't finish this game is admittedly totally not the game's fault. I just don't like strategy games all that much. I'm fine with strategy RPGs but when it comes to games like Nobunaga or Generation of Chaos (shudder), it's just not my cup of tea.

Even so, I'm always willing to try any game if the cover art looks interesting. (Yeah, I'm still a sucker that way.) This game has some stuff going for it such as some voice acting though the audio balance and quality is terrible. It also has other redeeming qualities such as um... a DiGi Charat cameo and umm... yeah... drawing up a blank here.

My ex-copy of the game already purged from the closet of shame™
The thing about this particular title that made me eventually toss the disc (CIB ofc) into the trash was I could swear the CPU was cheating. (Don't worry, I didn't just waste it, I tossed it into a Gamestop dumpster so I'm sure it's safely in the hands of some dumpster diver by now.)

If you try to take over another territory's square or err... I guess a hexagon, you get to pick 3 characters from your recruits for battle. The 3 possible moves are basically a rock-paper-scissor type system and this is where I felt the CPU was cheating. After winning a few battles, no matter how many times I tried saving and reloading, the game would make me lose. Of course, it could've been totally my imagination and the CPU is properly using a random number generator seeded by the pattern of air particles detected by the console... or something. But I just didn't trust it and that's why the disc will be out there somewhere never to be completed by me at least.

The fact that there's a longplay of this highlights how amazing (useless) the internet is

Score: orz I can't stand cheating... unless it's me doing it out of 5

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

orz - Failed to finish (not rated)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


I just finished Steins;Gate and yes, it is 2018. So yeah I guess I'm a bit late to the party. I would've called this a "missed classic" but I didn't really "miss" it, I just happened to watch the anime before I knew anything about visual novels. So if you're also one of those who already watched the anime and are wondering if it's worth playing the game, well, read on to find out!

Yeah, the original art style is slightly different
Of course by now, everybody already knows about this super mainstream title and you can find reviews from all the major outlets including the typical diarrhea job by our good old, ignorant, and kind of retarded SJW champion white knight: IGN (I'll spare you the link). However, only a Jhipster like yours truly or I guess one of those fan translation filthy pirates can make observations after having finished the previous entry Chaos;Head.

Unfortunately, no imouto underwear this time around...
While you don't need to know anything about Chaos;Head to play this game, there are tons of references to the first game, including for example FES singing on the UDX display. This game takes place around a year after the events of Chaos;Head. You would think there would have been a much bigger societal impact from the crazy events in that game, considering the new gene murders such as the guy with the human baby fetus sewed into his belly. (Yeah ugh. I did say that game was Cero Z.) But hey, that was all the way in Shibuya and Steins;Gate takes place in Akihabara which is like a whole 12 stops away on the Yamanote-sen so no worries, eh?

Everything is FINE
Fortunately, Steins;Gate is not nearly as dark and gory and while the first game had barely any science, this game really does live up to the Science Adventure moniker. The network security part was total bunk so I'm sure if I was a theoretical physicist, I would be rolling my eyes, but it seemed believable enough to my laymen eyes. The only junk science that really annoyed me was the whole vegetables vs meat theory for Ruka's D-mail. You'll know what I'm talking about if you play the game but yeah, genetics, people! Still, at least it was really cool how the series tied the Visual Rebuilding technology of Noah II from Chaos;Head to Chris's research and ultimately the final modification to the denwa-renji (kari).

Now with 200% MORE SCIENCE!!
Obviously, the game isn't just about worm holes and string theory. The real highlight is the emotional and bitter-sweet story brought to life by the top A-list voice acting including the classic tsundere treatment by Mingos, the timeless loli princess Yukarin, and of course the iyashi-kei soothing sweetness of Kana-chan. Oh, and Okabe's voice actor was great too though I didn't bother to look up his name. (Pfft, males.)

Kidding aside, some powerful story telling right here
In addition, the cell phone mechanic (yay flip phones!) was a lot more interesting than the mousou trigger from the first game which only really had a binary choice between negative and positive delusions. It was especially neat in certain spots when a character reacts if you pull out your phone while they're talking to you. However, it was a bit cumbersome to figure out the exact words to reply to in order to reach the true ending. I'm sure it's possible without a guide if you like that trial-and-error kind of thing but I had better things to do. Still, I appreciate the effort and it's always good to have an ADV game that tries something new instead of the vanilla menu like every other ADV title out there.

A clear case of Facebook addiction...
Score: 4 Bill Murray totally raped and killed some people in Groundhog Day. C'mon, you know he did, don't be naive out of 5 (48 hours for platinum)

Whoa, I don't remember THIS in the anime...
Overall, this is truly a classic in every sense of the word. A great story and a fully polished, fun experience from beginning to end. The music, while not mind-blowing, does a great job of enhancing the mood and the OP of course is great.

Never gets too old for another listen

Honestly, I kind of regret watching the anime first as the visual novel is a much fuller experience. I would have enjoyed this game a lot more if I hadn't watched the anime. I also much preferred the highly stylized art style of the game. In fact, I don't really see the appeal of playing the game with the anime style so I'll probably skip on the upcoming Steins;Gate Elite.

Please step on my face too, Kurisu-sama!!
Would I say this game is worth playing even if you already watched the anime? I think so but I would probably wait at least a few years to make the story feel a bit more fresh as a lot of the mystery is lost. The alternative endings are pretty short and only add a bit more to the main story.

Totally nothing of interest happening here!
While the true ending was a bit too Hollywood happy times for some, they did address this with a surprise alternative ending in a niconico stream of the anime. This was, of course, a tease for Steins;Gate 0, a game I'm excited to dig into sometime hopefully in the near future.

Some bonus screenshots totally not for clickbait revenue. May want to avoid if highly spoiler sensitive.

LOL on the Index reference

Based on their English skills, SERN doesn't seem much of threat?

No audit logs for login attempts? Sys Admin FAIL

This completely unnecessary attack on women is the cherry on top of a thinly veiled attempt to degrade anime girls into mere animated drawings whose sole existence is to satisfy the disgusting needs of our male patriarchy. Score: 0/10 Awful - IGN 

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely