Sometimes you just have to accept that a show you love won’t come back. But you can still get excited when it pops back into the limelight with a flurry of recent news and events.
Dear Esther is a Half Life 2 source mod turned retail and plays very similar to the free mod Stanley Parable, you awaken in a world all alone and walk forward as a narrator tells you a story.
“A deserted island… a lost man… memories of a fatal crash… a book written by a dying explorer.”
The focus is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of the island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are triggered by moving along the linear paths until you hit a dead end. At the dead end you simply turn around and you’ll find a new path that branches off and you can continue walking forward. There are also a few moments of well composed music that stand out against the simple environmental sounds that fill most of the game’s soundtrack.
Now if this sounds good to you so far I am sorry, this “game” is the most boring 80 minutes I’ve ever spent with this hobby.
I’m going to keep the spoilers below the page break. Before that however I want to say that this game is the worst aspects of “art games”. It is boring, almost to a criminal degree. You can only move at a slow walk, unable to interact with anything at all, the only thing you can effect is finding a trigger for the narrator, but his story is such a jumbled mess that I started wishing he would stop talking his nonsense. The story is poorly told, convoluted, and completely full of itself. I am glad that I played this “game” because now I know it’s hogwash that doesn’t deserve any of the praise it received.
The 3DS hasn’t had the strongest line up, all three games I had bought for it in the last year were ports of older games. With my July turning into a lot of traveling, including my first trip to Otakon, I decided I needed a new 3DS game, and Kingdom Hearts 3Ds wouldn’t be out in time. So I talked myself into the Final Fantasy Rhythm game. I was very hesitant going in since I completely suck at games like Rhythm Heaven DS and Elite Beats.
At the 7 hour mark I realized this may be the best FF game they’ve released in the last decade. And the funny thing is it has nothing to do with story, or visuals. This game is just amazing music, the best from 25 years of games with fantastic music.
The Rhythm game is fun and the perfect amount of challenge for me. It isn’t afraid to have you replay songs to get better at them and I want to replay the songs, not only because I love them, but each time is another chance to improve my aggregate score, collect all kinds of items, unlock more songs, modes and even characters, level up my party of final fantasy heroes who learn skills that can slightly change the experience and so much more. You can even replay songs with nothing equipped increasing difficulty, but increasing the chance to get more collectables and a boosted score. They have found a way to make me love grinding. Even after beating the game I’m no where near done. I’ve now clocked 20 hours and still going strong.
I will probably talk myself into buying a few of the dlc songs, FFVI songs are some of my all time favorite. But I really hope square realizes the prices are a bit much and eventually release a cheaper bundle.
I have thoughts I no longer want to leave contained in my head to rot!
This by no means that I have the free time to post again, if anything I’m busier than I’ve ever been.
Yet here I am attempting to make a comeback to the blogging scene. (Even if my most popular post was a capture post of all the Nerv logos in the first remake movie)
This’ll be fun 🙂
It’s probably in large part thanks to the recent PHX Comicon that I now find myself buying more anime and I want to say Funimation may just be the greatest and yet worse thing to happen to our industry in years.
A lot has changed in the US since I started paying for anime. The most significant has been our move away from the Japanese standard 3-4 eps per DVD release, and now (outside of Bandai) pretty much every release is either the full season or maybe split into two releases. We’ve got new companies throwing their hats into the game with sub only releases. There are international BluRay releases. Legal streams of most current anime through crunchyroll and Hulu, lets not forget the ever growing instant library on Netflix. And the greatest/worst of them has been Funimation, releasing many of their shows for free streaming and combo BlueRay/DVD releases for full seasons for only $60, though I can usually find them for 30-40 on Amazon or RightStuf (its almost like they hate money).
For the last year, Funimation has received almost all of my anime budget, and their selection of shows still leaves me wishing I had more money to give them. But I now won’t even consider paying for each DVD release for Bandai’s K-on. I bought each special edition of Haruhi, but now I won’t even consider paying for anything less than 12 episodes at a time. I know I’m not the only one who has been spoiled by this. It can’t possibly be good for the industry and with reports of Funimation’s parent company attempting to sell it I wonder how long things will last.
We’ve just had one of the largest manga publishers, Tokyopop, shutdown suddenly and it has only been a few years since Geneon shut their doors as well. Bandai has been extremely skidish over the changing market, and blew my mind when they actually released KuroKami on BluRay as dub only. Bandai then seemed to quickly disappear from the US market up to bringing over K-on and I worry that they could be following Geneon if K-on proves to be too great a loss for them… though, they do still have the Haruhi movie coming sometime soon (Wendee Lee said she had just finished her work in dubbing it and that it premiers at this year’s Anime Expo. I’m hoping the BluRay is not too far behind!)
I love being able to buy my favorite shows, and Funimation has made me feel as if I’m actually getting a sweet deal and not being ripped off compared to the live action boxsets. I just hope this bubble doesn’t pop on us.
(First post using WordPress on my Android, not sure how well it’ll turn out..)
I was listening to some podcasts recently and it was mentioned just how culturally wide Video Games are compared to any other medium. After thinking more about it, it’s really quite amazing. We have games coming from literally ALL over the world and we don’t even have to separate them into a different category, like “Foreign Movies”
Mario(Japan) sits there right next to Medal of Honor: Heroes 2(Canada), Assassin’s Creed(Canada owned by the French) sits right next to Alan Wake(Finland), and Heavy Rain (Paris, France) sits right next to Heavenly Sword (Cambridge, England). Let’s not forget Call of Duty created by a California team, the most recent release (BlackOps) had portions of the game developed by teams from all over the world.
My point is we have games developed by different people not just from all parts of the world, but actually still IN all parts of the world. All those different cultures and experiences defining and shaping the gaming experiences they share with the rest of the world and BEST of all, we don’t segregate it. Everything is listed in Alphabetical order, be it the turn based japanese RPG or an american rack up points for shooting someone in the face.
Another fascinating aspect of video games, I visited Washington DC in November of last year, and I was constantly seeing things that reminded me of my trips through Fallout3, I could pull up a map of Arlington and see where the landmarks lined up. I’ve heard stories of people who have said the same after visiting New York, Paris and Tokyo. That through games like Grand Theft Auto, The Saboteur and The World Ends With You, they then recognize land marks and know what directions they would go to find others. Video Games have an amazing ability to teach, history, skills, culture, and so much more, and do it in a way that you may not even realize you are learning anything at all. All you know is that you are having fun playing a game.
Gaming isn’t the same the world over, I know what does well in Japan doesn’t always do well here and vice versa(especially when Microsoft is involved). The PS3 and PSP have a much stronger following in the UK than in the US, but they sometimes end up waiting an extra year for games from Nintendo. And really, that’s the only thing that I think we still need to improve, we need more localization teams to help spread gaming to every corner of the Earth. I can’t think of any other entertainment that is so widely distributed the world over and I love it.
I’m still alive, and about once every other month I check this thing and am amazed that its reporting more traffic than it ever had while I was active. There are two posts I would like to do soon, one is the Eva post for the 2nd movie, and the other is about AX2010.
The lack of activity though can be traced to:
1) having a full time job.
2) having a Facebook account. Usually my posts originated from wanting to tell /somebody/ what I thought was cool, and FB fills thaw void well enough with MAL forums completing the process.
Truthfully the reason behind this post is almost as much testing out the WordPress app for Android as it is anything else.
Anyways, I’m excited for this new season of Anime that is upon us, and I hope to post again soon…. or at least within the next month.