Life is empty and meaningless, and the world is an isolated rock flying through cold dark space. This is the 100th post on this site! Let’s celebrate by looking at a sample of strange search terms from the past year.
1) if mario ate toad
Toad is famously a sentient mushroom and an attendant to Princess Peach, Mario’s perpetually kidnapped girlfriend (?). Toad is often one of Mario’s allies in his quest to rescue Peach. But what if Mario ate Toad? this reader wonders. I know you expect me to say something like “he would get high!!! lol”. But I’m not a hack Buzzfeed writer and I don’t take the easy way out. The effect of eating Toad upon Mario would depend upon Toad’s species. If Toad has psychoactive properties, Mario would get high. But Toad might be poisonious, in which case Mario would get ill or even die. And the effect of eating Toad upon Toad would be that he would definitely die. Anyway, why should Mario eat Toad? That wouldn’t be in character for him.
2) numbers to rivens domes
Riven is a difficult game. Its puzzles are pretty god damn demanding, requiring the player to learn a base-25 number system. So it’s understandable that folks would want an easy solution to the game’s notorious golden dome puzzle. Unfortunately, the number code to open the golden domes (which is necessary to beat the game) is randomly generated each game. Have fun learning that fucked up number system!
3) smt iv u didnt want the lawful ending
U sure didn’t want the Shin Megami Tensei IV Law ending. It sucked. The Law ending in an SMT game always sucks. For the uninitiated the standard SMT Law route involves cooperating with the Abrahamic God to wipe out humanity or at best to turn humanity into mindless worshippers of the LORD. Said God in SMT is typically in the form of YHVH, aka Yod Hey Vav Hey, aka Tetragrammaton, the God of the Old Testament. You may feel that OT God was a bit of a jerk and a tyrant, and Atlus agrees with you if you do. So Law route generally sucks, even more than Chaos, which at least allows for some fun shaking up of things with Lucifer’s angelic blessing. All my Neutral bros know the best route though.
4) lewd 3ds games
So many people find this site searching for lewd 3ds games. What they don’t realize is the Vita has a much better lewd game collection. Out of those games, Monster Monpiece and Akiba’s Trip are at least halfway good, though the latter requires a high tolerance for and understanding of otaku-style perverted weirdness to really enjoy. Casuals shouldn’t bother, in other words.
5) why didn’t the people put a girl in persona 3 ps2
Maybe because they knew
p3p girls getting fucked videos
would be a thing people would start searching for if they did. I don’t actually much like what the female protagonist of Portable does to the story of P3 – anyway, I don’t think you can even consider her story or character canon as far as Persona canon goes (and there is such a thing, since all the Persona games inarguably take place in the same universe, one that FeMC doesn’t fit into.) She does have a cute design, though.
6) va-11 yuri
Tons of people are also out hunting for porn, especially yuri (or lesbian) porn, featuring chatacters from cyberpunk bartending visual novel VA-11 HALL-A. Not a huge surprise considering how much the sexual theme is tied into the story. Protagonist Jill is herself bisexual, and various other characters swing one or the other way (and then there’s sexbot Dorothy, who swings every way.)
7) robot girl x male human rule 34
God damn it why are all my readers perverts.
I guess I have to blame myself. I do think Aigis is best girl in Persona 3. I’m sure there’s plenty of such material out there for those who want to seek it out, despite Aigis’ robotic build and lack of relevant anatomy. 2B from NieR: Automata is a somewhat more humanoid android and is featured in about 100,000 metric tons of porn, but she also weighs 148.8 kg (328 lb) according to the game’s creators despite being exceedingly fit-looking, so a hypothetical human contemplating a situation with such an android might take that into consideration. (Crushed pelvises are not covered by all insurance plans.)
8) dynasty warriors cross stitch
Not even sure what to do with this one, or how such a search brought this reader here. Perhaps he was searching for this charming Lu Bu themed Valentine’s Day card.
It is no secret that I like the Megaten series. I’ve reviewed several titles in the series in these pages, and I have played more still. One aspect of the series I haven’t said much about, though, is the visual design. Kazuma Kaneko is responsible for most of the look of the mainline SMT games and many of its spinoffs. Most of the demon designs he came up with 25 years ago are still used in the series to this day, and they all look great. A lot of the covers look great too. But some of them aren’t so great! Some of them are kind of shitty. Usually the western covers. Yeah yeah, I’m a weeb, I know. Fuck off.
Shin Megami Tensei III is one of my favorite games. The Japanese cover is nice too: silent player character Demi-fiend’s face superimposed in blue. Very cool and stylish.
The North American cover moves the title to the top, blows up the Nocturne subtitle, and removes the III (we didn’t get SMT I or II, so this choice makes sense.) It also changes the primary color from blue to red and stamps a pentgram on the front. Because this game is hardcore and about demons, and it has to be red and have devil symbols.
The European cover beats all the others though. Totally different, with a picture of Demi-fiend about to fire a Freikugel out of his forehead. But forget him – check out Dante in the background!!! Yes, Dante from the Devil May Cry series is here, with his cool dual wielded pistols and cool dialogue. Dante is in the game for about 0.06 percent of the story and really has nothing to do with the story even, having been shoehorned into the Maniacs edition of the game that was released as Nocturne/Lucifer’s Call in the West. In case you were wondering, this European SMT III cover is the source of that “featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series” meme.
Let’s not mention the fact that the subtitle Lucifer’s Call is a massive honking spoiler in itself.
If you live in the US, chances are good your first SMT was a Persona game. However, it was probably not Persona, released on the PSX in Japan and later NA (and EU?) SMT was almost unknown in the West at the time. So the nice subtle JP cover above, featuring the faces of the silent protagonist and his shadow self, would not work for Western audiences, right?
In a wonderful example of the angry Kirby effect, the NA cover of Persona features a huge scary evil-looking demon. With a cross on the front for seemingly no reason. We have to make this weird anime high school demon-summoning game appeal to the kids after all. And the kids like Marilyn Manson and that kind of shit. Too bad it didn’t quite work, because Megaten didn’t really start to break out in the West until Persona 3 in 2006.
The NA cover of Persona is a good hint to how the localizers treated the game as a whole: they mangled the fuck out of it. They did their best to westernize the game down to badly recoloring the characters and changing their names. They even removed an entire sidequest out of fear that it would be too hard for American babby gamers. Thankfully, the unmangled original was later ported to the West on the PSP.
My favorite Megaten covers are the PSX ports of the old Super Famicom games that we never got in America. Shin Megami Tensei I throws several demons (incubuses? Incubi?) on its cover surrounding the old SMT logo, a magic circle with Loki in the middle (a reference to the original 1980s Megami Tensei novels the series is based on.) The demons look like the kinds of statues of angels and saints you might see if you visit an old cathedral. Only it would have to be a satanic cathedral in this case. Do those exist outside of SMT games?
Of course, I’m a much bigger fan of the Shin Megami Tensei II cover. Kaneko’s Angel design scandalized some folks when the Persona series broke out in the West with 3 and 4 and even more with 5. Yes, the angel in SMT is meant to look like that. That is bondage gear and she is blindfolded and handcuffed through a padlock attached to her tiny leather shorts. Why? The games’ compendium descriptions for Angel try to explain that they were punished by Heaven for some reason and that they are bound because of it or something. I don’t buy this explanation. I think Kaneko just wanted to draw a sexy bondage angel. I suppose I can’t blame him. Anyway, Angel is nothing compared to the controversy ginned up by Mermaid’s design in SMT IV Apocalypse.
This is my favorite SMT cover. And I don’t even know what it means. Shin Megami Tensei if… was a spinoff made for the Super Famicom and remade for the Playstation. It never saw a release outside of Japan, and unlike SMT I and II, it doesn’t even have an English fan translation. I do know that it’s the first SMT game to take place in a high school setting, and thus it’s the direct inspiration for the Persona series. Its title is also a reference to the weird 60s British film if…. starring Malcolm McDowell as a rebellious boarding school student (for you Clockwork Orange fans, it’s worth checking out.) In any case, the cover is cool – a massive demon (looks like Principality, with his spiky crown) looking down on a prostrated student, as though sitting in judgment of him. The spotlight shining on the student adds to the effect. Really interesting cover.
I’ve started a new project located here. The purpose of this new project is to split my writing into two distinct areas. I’ll still be writing posts (infrequently, what’s new) here about games and entertainment and what I think of them, and I’ll also be writing posts at the new site, and reposting old articles that stemmed from old failed bullshit experiments that I still have laying around that someone might be interested in. Basically this site is still my ultra-popular legitimate flagship site and the other site is for shitposting. Extreme shitposting, mostly about subjects that nobody will care about.
Wait, this site is for shitposting too. I guess that’s all I do here. Anyway, if you like my shitposting, be sure to check out my other project. Calling it a project makes it sound more impressive than it is, right? Yeah, I thought so too.
Every podunk Youtube channel and blog is making its own best games of the year list, so I figured I should as well. So as not to fall behind.
1) NieR: Automata
I didn’t review this game because there was no point. Everyone has already declared NieR: Automata the best game of the year, and rightly so. I can’t disagree with that judgment. NieR has everything: android booty, robot-killing action, and a thought-provoking story. It’s also great having an irreverent, doesn’t-give-a-shit guy like Yoko Taro around in the increasingly self-important land of game developers. Or maybe that attitude is only prevalent here in America.
NieR: Automata also wins my “best soundtrack of the year” award. Yoko Taro and co. can throw that award on the pile with the others.
2) Persona 5
I did review Persona 5, though once again I have to say that my review was completely unnecessary. People who don’t even like JRPGs loved this tale of high school students with magical powers who fight demons in a shadow world. I loved it too, but only 99% as much as NieR, so it gets second place. It also wins my “second best soundtrack of the year” prize. It’s really too bad Persona 5 didn’t come out in 2016. (Actually, it did come out in 2016 – but the NA release came six months later, so as far as I’m concerned it’s a 2017 game and it still loses to NieR.)
3) VA-11 HALL-A
I have sort of a love-hate relationship with “indie games”. Some of them take a brilliant idea and fuck it over with bad gameplay mechanics, while others have a decent sense of how to construct a game but can’t help pretentiousnessing all over the place until you’re fucking sick. VA-11 HALL-A is a game with a good concept executed well, one that’s fun and has great, memorable characters. You might not like it because it’s more or less a visual novel with a bartending minigame attached (if you’re the “games must have ACTUAL ACTION” type) or because it features a very young-looking sexbot character (if you’re the overly sensitive SJW type – never mind that this character is really one of the most interesting in the game and explores some of the possible morality issues surrounding her very existence. I did know a few people who dropped the game for this reason.) But if you don’t like this game, you’re wrong. Yeah, I know, opinions and all. But you’re still wrong. VA-11 HALL-A is a great game, and you’re wrong if you don’t like it.
Wait, this game – this actually was released in 2016, wasn’t it?
Well, shit. Never mind. It still deserves to be on this list.
4) Gravity Rush 2
The gravity-bending heroine of the first Gravity Rush returns to the PS4 for more adventures. Gravity Rush 2 is a good game. Once again, if anyone tells you differently, they’re wrong. Also, Kat is a really cute character.
Okay, it’s time to admit that I haven’t played many of this year’s newest and hottest games. I’ve been playing a lot of Stella Glow lately, but it came out in 2015. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Horizon Zero Dawn but for some reason I don’t feel a great desire to play it. It would probably be on this list if I’d bothered with it.
Anyway, have a happy new year. Or not. Whatever. Does it even matter anymore?
Yeah, so I took another one of my month-long breaks from writing. In this case, I hope I can excuse myself by saying that I started a new job and the pace of it has been nearly killing me. When I get home the last thing I feel like doing is writing. Still, I felt like writing something at least, if only to assure my millions of readers that I’m not quite dead yet. As a way to relax after an especially stressful day at work last week, I started rewatching the amazing Cowboy Bebop, the second anime series I watched in my life after Neon Genesis Evangelion. While Eva doesn’t quite hold up over time (it’s still good, but way more impressive when you’re an edgy 12 year-old boy like I was when I watched it) Cowboy Bebop totally does hold up, every bit as well as it did when I first saw it on Adult Swim ages ago.
So I thought about writing about Cowboy Bebop as a part of my long-dead “Anime for people who hate anime” series. I gave up on that idea, though, because there’s no point. Everyone already knows Bebop as that one anime that you can recommend to your normie friends without them thinking you’re a big nerd or a pervert. I can’t say anything about the series that hasn’t already been said.
I can write about the music, though. I’ve listened to my entire four-album Cowboy Bebop soundtrack playlist on my commutes about seven times over now, and it isn’t even getting old. Out of all four albums, almost all the tracks are great. As the show’s name implies, Cowboy Bebop features both a lot of American country-western-sounding music (Spokey Dokey, Don’t Bother None, Forever Broke) and a lot of jazz (OP theme Tank!, Rush, Odd Ones.) But there’s a lot more that composer Yoko Kanno and her band The Seatbelts have to offer – straight up rock (Want It All Back), Queen-style operatics (Rain), weirdness (Cats on Mars), and a crooner ballad (Words That We Couldn’t Say) that I don’t like very much but that at least has enough care put into the music and lyrics that they’re not brimming with cheese. And a god damn great recording of Ave Maria performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic just for the show. If I have any favorites among the four albums I’ve got, though, they’re probably Piano Black and See You Space Cowboy. And Wo Qui Non Coin, which might make you cry if you know the whole context of the song with regard to the show. Not that I’ve ever cried while listening to music or watching a show. No. Not me. I’m a tough guy, got it?
The soundtrack to this show is so damn good that it is absolutely worth buying all four albums, even if you have to import them.* As far as I can tell, none of the albums are any better than the others; they each have a lot of great tracks from the series that are essential to have. Though I guess I should mention that Vitaminless is about half the length of the others, but if you skip it you’re missing out on the ED theme The Real Folk Blues and the weirdly hilarious Black Coffee, featuring dialogue between a guy continuously asking a girl out for coffee (“aw, come on, just this time”) and the girl continuously refusing (“nnnno!”) over a jazz accompaniment. I know how that feels, guy. I’m sorry.
I’m lazy, so that’s all I’m going to write. Just listen to the music. Or better yet, hear the music when you watch the show. The music on its own is great, but it’s a lot better if you’ve seen Cowboy Bebop. The series uses music in a way that few other series do, anime or not.
*Of course there’s an alternative to buying these soundtracks, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.
I don’t normally do these kinds of things, but after being tagged by fellow writer and friend of the site The Otaku Judge to take part in this “Five Flaming Hotties” blog post chain I felt motivated to do so. The rules of the game are as follows (quoted verbatim from its creators):
1. You must add the name of the blog who tagged you AND those of the 2 Reel Quirky Cats, Thoughts All Sorts and Realweegiemidget Reviews with links to these sites as given here.. and use the natty picture promoting this post (found later in this post).
2. List 5 of your all time greatest hotties from TV or Film. ie crushes / objects of your affection.
3. Say how you were introduced to them, and why you like them (keep it clean)
4. Link to 7 other bloggers.
5. Add lovely pictures of those you selected.
6. Oh…and post the rules..
However, I have to add a couple of tweaks to the game. First, I won’t be tagging anyone, because as any reader of this site knows, it is a dead end as far as blogs go. The only guy I would have thought to tag has tagged me already, and the few other blogs I follow wouldn’t take an interest in this game.
And second, just like TOJ did, I’ll be picking characters from games and anime. Fantasy is better than reality, and anyway, I always honestly thought celebrity crushes were far weirder than fictional character crushes. Make fun of the whole waifu thing all you want, but none of the suicidally depressed forever-alones pining after their non-existent girlfriends will ever be arrested for stalking a flesh and blood human being because of it. Unless one of them goes after a voice actor or a female mangaka or someone like that. Stalking is serious business, people. Don’t do it.
Okay, I’m getting off track. Here’s my list:
Chances are decent you don’t know who the hell this is, because she’s a character from a Dreamcast JRPG released in 2000 that never saw a sequel. Today a copy of either the Dreamcast original or the Gamecube remaster of Skies of Arcadia is almost worth its weight in gold, they’re so hard to find.
If you do come across it, Skies of Arcadia is a great game about three friends who scour the skies in airships as pirates, but as the good kind of pirates who only attack and plunder bad guys. Aika is main character Vyse’s childhood friend, a fierce, tomboyish sky sailor. The game hints at a possible future love triangle where Vyse has to choose between Aika and the demure magical moon princess healer girl Fina, but the choice is obvious to me, even if the game suggests Fina has the upper hand. Well screw you game. Why are you so damn rare and expensive now anyway?
4) Tifa Lockhart
Are all the characters on this list going to be from old JPRGs? No, not all of them. But Tifa has to be included here. The third in the love triangle (this time a way more real and immediate one) with hero Cloud and fated-to-die Aeris was my pick. Hell, Tifa owns a bar. Did Aeris own a bar? No. She sold flowers on a street corner. Tifa is better. Case closed. That’s not even mentioning Tifa’s other assets, which are considerable.*
Now I’m imagining a path in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud gives back control of AVALANCHE to Barrett, marries Tifa, and hangs out in 7th Heaven all day every day. If the upcoming PS4 remake of FF7 doesn’t include this as an alternate ending I’ll be disappointed. (Of course it won’t – just another reason why I’m probably right that it will be lousy.)
Holo (or Horo, depending on how you read her name – “Holo” is official but either one seems legit enough) is a sort of minor harvest goddess who can take the form of a cute girl with wolf ears and tail or of a huge, menacing she-wolf who can tear people apart. As you might imagine, Holo is pretty popular and is probably one of the big reasons the medieval economics/romance adventure series Spice and Wolf has found success. A self-proclaimed genius with a vain streak, Holo can be annoying sometimes, but her charms definitely outweigh her irritating qualities, and she gets serious when the situation demands it. And she’s cute as hell. I don’t mind admitting that I’m kind of shallow.
2) Rin Tohsaka
TOJ included Rin on his list, and I have no reason to disagree with him. It’s probably my masochist streak, but Rin is my favorite out of all the Type-Moon characters. The only child and heiress of a great family of mages, Rin is required to take part in a battle for the Holy Grail against other mages, including the regular-guy-with-hidden-magical-powers player character Shirou. Rin is one of the first characters people think of when they think of the “tsundere” character type, which more or less means she pretends to hate you but secretly likes you. Or something. It’s a popular trope, and Rin is popular too. And why not? She’s a good character with an interesting backstory (see the excellent anime series Fate/Zero for some of that, and see the film Unlimited Blade Works for the rest of Rin’s story, or read the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel if you have 50 hours to spare.)
Strictly speaking, Aigis from Persona 3 isn’t a woman, or even a human. She’s an android. But she would probably be my first choice for a partner. Before you definitely decide that I’m insane, consider the following:
– Aigis doesn’t have to eat or drink, meaning lower household expenses.
– Aigis passes for a human girl when she’s wearing clothes, so you can trick the judge into issuing your marriage license.
– Aigis is a super-weapon created by a secret military commission, and she comes equipped with fingers that retract into guns and and sets of various gun attachments for her arms. No need to plan for home defense when your wife is an entire army in herself.
– Best girl in Persona 3.
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Hell, if you don’t want to marry a mega-weapon android girl after reading the above, I have to wonder what’s wrong with you. Sure, you’d never be able to have a kid with her, but you could adopt. There are plenty of abandoned children and orphans out there who need good families, even ones where Mom is a robot.
* If you thought this was a reference to boobs, that really says more about you than it does about me.