Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

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The Wakuing Dead

August 18, 2015

Ghost Trick Phantom DetectiveJoin us at Waku Waku NYC August 29th and 30th!
Enter code WAKUFULWAY to get a weekend pass for $35.
(expires: August 19th)

hisui_icon_4040 As a follow-up to the code we gave out yesterday for Waku Waku NYC, I wrote a little article for the convention site about an overlooked gem on Keiji Inafune’s resume.

Lest everyone forget this is still ostensibly a detective-themed blog, the article highlights Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective which is a game beloved by Kate and I. If you have never played the game (or never heard of it) then I really suggest you read the post.

(Then go out and buy the game.)

Ghosts of the Past

-Alain

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Top 8 Type-Moon Items I Would Love to See Translated – 2015 Edition

January 15, 2015

 Back in 2012 I did a post about the five Type-Moon projects I would love to see translated. Since then some of my dreams came true and at the same time others of them are still unfulfilled. That said we finally have a fully translated Fate/Hollow Ataraxia so I’m generally going to put the post in the success column. One could argue that I had nothing to do with that so I’m going to say that we might only want to write it onto the success column with a pencil. Still with Fate/Hollow Ataraxia out-of-the-way I really wanted to do a new post to cover some of the material that has come out in the meantime. Just as quickly as wonderful things get translated there are two more things that come out that I still wonder about. Theoretically someone might read this post and get a bit of powerful inspiration they might not have otherwise had. Who knows. Stranger things have happened.

Everything on the list has to be a full on Type-Moon project. That means as much as I would love to see a translated Red Dragon it does not get a spot on the list. Also there has to be some easily conceivable way of seeing a translation. While I am curious to read Ice Flowers I don’t know anyone who has a copy of it. This is hardly a definitive list. There are countless things I would love to add but five is a good start.

They are just titles that as far as I know have not been fully translated into English. If you have evidence that is not the case please send it my way. I would love to be wrong.

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Fate/Hollow Ataraxia: Fuyuki City Cooking Simulator (Now with Bonus Holy Grail War)

January 9, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 It seemed like Fate/Hollow Ataraxia was in an eternal limbo where is was fairly close to being translated but at the same time became a running joke that it would never be finished in some sort of Zeno’s Paradox. It seemed the closer it was to be done the longer it took between updates. The original game came out on  October, 28th 2005. In the mean time on April 12, 2012, 6 years and 5 months later, Mahou Tsukai no Yoru was released. It quickly became an odd race to see which of the two would come out first. In the beginning it seemed like Witch on the Holy Night would easily cross the finish line before its predecessor. But then Mahou Tsukai no Yoru crashed into the same wall that Fate/Hollow Ataraxia had hit and both of them were in limbo. Then the cold war was finally broken.

If you have even seen a stalled fan work you will quickly realize that threats, pleas, well wishes, and indifference either do nothing or actually actively block progress. Threats and insults just usually make the people behind the project wonder why they started such an undertaking for an ungrateful audience. Pleas often just become regarded as passive aggressive threats rather quickly. Well wishes often start off as encouraging but often become a weight around the teams neck as time goes on. Indifference is usually the greatest killer of stalled projects as they give permission to whoever is working on the project to finally let it go.

There are usually only three things that revitalize such a project. The first is new blood. A new addition to the team can sometimes stir things up. The only problem is new people can easily throw off a team dynamic permanently killing the project and often such projects are not quick to take on new people anyway. The second is new inspiration. Sometimes the people involved will just get a second wind and finish off a project.The problem with that is that while there are 1001 events that can trigger such a renaissance the muse is fickle and such events are extremely rare and unpredictable. It turns out the most common thing that spurns these projects to be finished, in my humble opinion, is wounded pride. I have seen dozens of projects that seem like they will never move forward that spring to life when someone else looks like they might beat the original team. An official license or a rival group has completed thousands of projects that an ocean of cheers and jeers have not budged.

Fate/Hollow Ataraxia is no exception to the rule. It seemed that someone leaked a working copy with Google Translations as place holders in the unfinished parts. A few month later the full real translation was complete. Forget about love or hate. It seems that spite is one of the most powerful forces of the planet.

But with that sordid affair in the past we are mostly here to answer the real questions. How is Fate/Hollow Ataraxia as a follow-up to Fate/Stay Night? How do CarenBazett, and Avenger stack up to the original cast? Is there enough Saber?

The answer to the last question is always no.

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A Puzzling Objection: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

September 19, 2014

hisui_icon_4040 Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney always seemed like someone’s dream more than something that would get made. More the realm of fan fiction and comical videos than something you would actually play. Super Robot Wars, Project X Zone, Super Smash Bros., and Tekken X Street Fighter are all notable examples that while crossovers are not commonplace they are also hardly unheard of. So when the game was announced there was a good deal of buzz around the title. They are both melodramatic comedic puzzle games with a mystery structure and an anime style. The game play and mechanics  in both series was very different but it was fairly clear to most people with little effort both games could be combined in a way that let both of their strengths shine. All it would take is a smart story and a solid commitment to both sides of the crossover. There were a lot of things that could go wrong but it was equally feasible for the game to succeed big time.

And then we actually got Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I have read a bunch of reviews at this point and no one has hated the game. Overall all the reviews have been positive. But none of them have been glowing. If anything the general feeling has been underwhelming. It was fine but it could have been better. A lot of the complaints seem like nitpicks. They did not have enough cameos from fan favorite characters, mechanics from both main games could have blended more, the puzzles and court cases should have been tougher, hint coins made parts too easy, or the story could have been tighter were all sort of mediocre critics of the game I heard.

It is east to assume that this a the case of haters going to hate or that people have over inflated expectations that no game could live up to. But I don’t think that reaction is unwarranted. I think it is more people wandering through their reviews trying to touch on what made the game not live up to their dream but not being able to touch the core of their discontent. The thing is the sticking point might very well be at the heart of the story but to talk about that means spoiling a good deal of the plot.

So before we go to the rest of the review I’m going to give the game a quick one paragraph review and if you don’t want to be spoiled you can just read that and the decide if you want the game or not. But if you have played the game or don’t care about spoilers you can just continue past the next paragraph. I think that it the fairest way to do this.

I like the game but acknowledge its flaws. The game is decidedly more Professor Layton than Phoenix Wright in both storytelling and game play. Both halves get a chance to shine but Layton gets the first billing on the title for a reason. The puzzles for both halves is a bit more easy mode than what you are used to in the respective main series. If you are new to either half you won’t be over your head but if your and old hat don’t expect to be challenged most of the time. The story is fun but your mileage may vary on the twist during the last third. If you a fan of either series where is something to enjoy. The puzzles parts feel very Layton and I actually thought the Witch Trials were an interesting twist of the Ace Attorney formula. Just temper your expectations. This is more of good combination of two franchises than a golden child that is greater than the sums of its parts.

I might just be really happy that Maya has not been shipped off to the land of random offhanded mentions like she has in the recent games.

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