It’s hard to deny that Gris is nothing short of a fantastic game – and I don’t mean that in a “review-score” way, but more in the traditional way; that it’s gorgeous, poignant, and transportative. Unfortunately, its myriad positive points in that field can feel compromised at times by Gris’ seemingly-obligatory affordances to its format.
You don’t need to be overly-familiar with anime or manga to know that they tend to fawn over their female characters. For better or for worse, modern stories have an observable habit of leveraging "damaged" characters - typically girls and women - rather than letting them speak for themselves, and even stories that make a run at deconstructing this structure can still hit pitfalls.
As my post history should make fairly apparent, I love role-playing games, and the more role-playing-y, the better. Naturally, this extends well past just video games – probably my longest and deepest exposure to general role-playing is in the form of play-by-post forum RPGs.
I love me a good puzzles in a game, especially in an adventure game, but it’s entirely possible to just… stumble through most of these. Minit strives to solve this – and it does so admirably.
Something as quick-hitting and disconnected as sketch comedy is in a perfect position to come across as impenetrable from the outside. Yet Nichijou’s glowing acclaim proves that a firm enough grasp on the fundamentals of comedy can surmount any of these barriers.
I don’t believe that the recent God of War would be anywhere near as well-regarded nor widely-recognized if it wasn’t prepared to disassemble its own foundations and leave reams of material on the floor in favor of what makes it really work.
I openly adore Pokémon. The series has maintained an overwhelmingly positive image for over twenty years running, and for the occasional flack that it gets for its parallels to cockfighting, the series has always been every bit as much about the childlike wonder of exploration, discovery, and collection. The franchise behaves the same across other media, too – including its annual movie releases.
One of the very quickest ways to kill my interest in a game is to railroad me into a tutorial. Conversely, the fastest way to get me on board is to display trust in the audience. But Pan-Pan just takes it to the next level on top of that.
One of the things I’ve loved about anime for such a long time now is its broad reach and willingness to focus on just about any subject. The Great Passage is an eleven-episode television series entirely about the process of editing a dictionary - and it’s absolutely among the most fascinating show that premiered in its debut season.
A lot of what makes Key Visual Arts special specifically comes out of Jun Maeda. So when I heard that he had collaborated on a concept album with Nagi Yanagi, I was absolutely all-in on that peanut-butter-and-chocolate pairing. To little surprise, the end result is something truly special.
Obviously, I love looking back at movies, games, shows – darn near anything under the umbrella term “media” – and celebrating what makes it so memorable. Heck, that’s effectively the mission statement of this blog. Awards shows seem custom-built to do that, so in theory I should be completely and totally on-board with them. Not so much.
Certain anime can have some miserable pacing issues – and I don’t always consider that to be a flat problem. There’s definitely more than one way in which a series’ complete lack of urgency can actually work in its favor. Enter the near-entirety of Shoujo series.
Unfortunately, in the context of video games, it always feels like there’s some degree of separation between the fiction itself and the delivery method. which makes games that do bridge this gap well that much more notable. Games like Digital: A Love Story.
Assuming that you have even the most passing degree of pop culture literacy, you absolutely shouldn't need me to tell you that Dragon Ball has a penchant to move astonishingly slowly. It's practically the series' defining feature. And ya know what? I don't really mind.
Bravely Second is seemingly unafraid to utterly bury you in options for possible party builds and accompanying tactics. But it never really feels like too much at any point, owed to its fantastic pacing.