The Price of Using Anime, and Wading through Boring Cornfields: The Action Game Edition

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So lately Draco has been trying to win things. The other day Draco won 3 dollars. For you who may not know how much that is well think of it as about one Lego Minifigure. If you don’t have those in your country that is sad because they are cool. So anyway today Draco did a survey and they were like gift card. Draco would like a gift card. But here is the part that is actually relevant and ya know… the point. On this survey they asked what is the most important factor in your anime purchases. How can you ask Draco to pick just one. Ya breaken Draco’s heart survey… And the worst part, The  Worst  Part, was that “price” was an option. Draco wanted to pick something good like “Draco really loved the story”, “The soundtrack is amazing”, “The art was top notch and has withstood the test of time”, or the obvious answer “postcards”(Yes we all really want those post cards so keep em coming people). There are so many reasons and the one Draco had to pick was price. The prices on this sort of thing are insane. Say you really like Kill la Kill and want to watch it for as long as blu-ray isn’t outdated. You’re going to be paying around $60 for just 5 episodes. When you factor in the rest you end up at over $200. Draco can’t afford that, you can’t afford that(unless you can in which case lend Draco some money bucko.(This is a joke don’t feel the need to give Draco money yet)) and it’s honestly not worth that. Even the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya the “complete”(i.e. half the series)  series is going to run you over a hundred dollars. Anime fans should not have to deal with these atrocities and Draco should get to give better survey answers.

It's cost efficient sorta

It’s cost efficient sorta

Draco finished Running with Rifles the other day(finally) and it reminded Draco of an important part of game testing. Make sure everything works how it should. The people who made this game didn’t Draco guesses. This lead to the worst final mission part one Draco has seen in a while. Basically the idea was that you were alone even though the game is about being a faceless mass in a massive army and you had to destroy communication towers in the enemy base. You were desperately outmanned and you would have to destroy the towers to stop enemies from repopulating the area. As you did this the mission would become more doable as there would be less troops. The problem is they let the AI be too smart. While enemies could not spawn in the destroyed comm area they could spawn in the other areas, run out of their area into the lost one, and reman the defense. Since they weren’t in their area more troops appears and the endless army held the line. So it basically took hours and hours to wade through nonsense which never died to find these stupid radio towers and destroy them.  Not even that was easy because you can’t destroy the towers with basic gear. Ya had to run to a shop, spend some currency, and then hope you didn’t die because that’ll be all down the drain. Thank goodness it was followed by a wonderful part 2 because Draco was very annoyed.

The Greatest of All Time and It’s Still Tuesday, Right?

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Draco is truly jealous. The people who wrote the newest episode of Tales From the Borderlands did a bang up job(Not really spoilers but sorta spoilers). Sometimes when a game is trying to do a sad scene they’ll make you press f or something but these geniuses let you make anime references. That is perfect that is perfect that is perfect. Any game that doesn’t let Draco mourn with an anime reference now gets a lower score assuming they don’t have any anime references elsewhere. Aside from anime they had one of the best fight scenes of all time. Probably better than the Community paint ball episode. It’s hard to write good fight scenes and this was exceptional.  Draco was laughing like a maniac the entire time. Shock, awe, and fizzle swish. Passersby were likely terrified they had run into a super villain or something.

pew pew

pew pew

There is actually something more important then good writing though. Well not really but it’s up there. Publishing your work. Putting it out there. That is how you become a true artist. Even just showing something to another person or animal counts. If you hate showing living creatures get a stuffed animal or one of those hug pillows. You’re always going to be your worst critic because you see your work in the early stages but those numskulls only see the end result. Even if they don’t like it you can lie and say it took five minutes. They’ll never know. Anyway, the point is that Draco wrote this post on Tuesday or Wednesday(What you expect Draco to remember things? pfft) and forgot to hit publish. Ahahahahahaha.

Least Interesting Vampire and We’ll be There for You When You Don’t Need Us

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What’s with the sun making people sneeze? Is there like a sun allergy. Draco’s seen those people who can’t go into sun light because it hurt them but sneezing seems weird. Plants make sense because it could be something in the air but the sun isn’t sending sun spores to disturb your nose. There is probably a really good reason like yawning has or maybe sunny days encourage other stuff to make you sneeze and it’s not the actual cause but who really knows? Still a better vampire sunlight repercussion than sparkling.

Thank you Yui for the best gif material

Thank you Yui for the best gif material

Why does the power have to go out when it’s either really hot or really cold? That’s usually when you need it the most!!!!! Ya it’s reasonable but it’s unfair. What good is air conditioning or heating if they can’t work in extreme heat or cold. That’s like a machine that can instantly perform a surgery but only if you do not actually need it. Weird. Or a car that can only drive when you have nowhere to go. Cake on every day but your birthday. Toilet paper in the stall next to yours. The bullet proof vests in cop or action shows. They wear them but not when or where they’ll get shot.

Drills are Love and Crime of Fashion

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Draco’s been gone a while but there is a pretty good reason for it. Physical and emotional trauma! :D Really it was just a bunch of dental work. So much dental work that later that night Draco actually had flashbacks and started quivering. Sure the Dentist and the Dental Assistants(worst band name) were very nice but when you have several people moving well over 11 dental instruments in your mouth at once while upside down and you’re having your mouth filled with water by that stupid hose thing you’ll have trouble writing for a time. Ignore the actual pain in Draco’s teeth or the fact that Draco requires about 7 times the numbing stuff(which for unknown reasons make Draco do exaggerated hand movements while talking*Hyper jazz hands deploy!*), that’s almost as traumatic as this pictured character working on your teeth.

Lucky Star really did know Draco in a deep and personal way

Lucky Star really did know Draco in a deep and personal way

All the cool games came out too. Curse you dental work! Game of Thrones finally let you martyr the martyr and Life is Strange traumatized its fans with an ugly shirt. Seriously that shirt is more traumatizing than anything that happened in Game of Thrones. The worst shirt.

Ya that shirt never stops being ugly.

Ya that shirt never stops being ugly.

The world is ending and the most horrific atrocity is that awful awful shirt. That super tornado hurricane monster thing cannot hit Arcadia Bay fast enough. This shirt is almost as bad as the review IGN wrote.Seriously they’re complaining that the main character is acting more serious when the world is ending and they finally found their suspect for a murder investigation. Sorry she couldn’t be all calm and hipstery while the smell of rotting flesh filled her nose ya nincompoop  In hindsight the pain of the dentist(which still hurts a little to be honest) is nothing in comparison.

Planets and Peoples

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This post is going to cover a very important issue and then after that Draco’ll share some love.

Pluto. There is a debate about whether the planet Pluto is a Planet or a Dwarf Planet. Those for planet just love Pluto and want it to stay a planet. Those against say if you call Pluto a planet you have to call a million other things planets and then suddenly school children everywhere would have to memorize a million planet names in order to get a job in construction. Ya get that kiddos? That’s biting commentary on the quality of education. Anyway, as usual there is a right answer. Let PLUTO be a planet and none of the others. People are attached to Pluto but that same attachment doesn’t extend to random rock five. Just redefine planets as whatever they defined one as AND Pluto. It can be an honorary Planet. There is always an exception to the rule so just let Pluto be the exception. Everyone would be happy. An honorary award for someone who tried their darnedest to be a planet. Sure they didn’t come in first… or eighth, but they showed real hustle.

Photo by NASA probe

Photo by NASA probe

Now for the love part. There are a lot of people on the internet.  Some of them are really good. They deserve recognition and also Draco just learned how search engine optimization works. Now on to a list of people or peoples who Draco thinks are cool.

#1: Nirvana : A lover of books and fangirling over a variety of things. For some reason or another she has an innate wisdom that Draco would have loved to have had years ago. Slightly jealous. She may write a book some day so you should probably get on this before she gets famous. You can be the hipster who read her stuff before it was published. Expect books and probably Sherlock stuff.

#2: Terramoura : A Great Youtuber with interesting words to say and a cat. Her audio is also really good which disqualified a few other candidates from this post. She has said Draco’s name multiple times though so there may be a bias. She did a full Transistor playthrough and is mid Mother along with some indie and cat goodness. Expect cats and rpgs.

#3: rmp792 : Very British Sword-fighting Violinist. He gives quality reviews with his slightly cooler friend Martin and does a bunch of Visual Novels. Anyone who can play Sunrider and live to tell the tale is pretty cool in Draco’s book and once again the audio is acceptable. Expect Visual Novels and interesting reviews.

#4: The Professor : You gotta like anyone who refers to themself as The Professor. What other selling point do you need? Expect their new newspaper PT News.

#5: Geek Remix : A single person and/or Sentient AI that claims to be two separate individual girls who play games and do podcasts. They have the capacity for humor and the ability to do distinct voices which is impressive. Expect interesting Theories and weird nonsense that probably shouldn’t exist such as all of this.

“Fear is freedom! Subjugation is liberation! and Puppies are Cute!” and Splatfest ruffsults

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Look at this cutie. This is a puppy for those of you who don’t know.

Look at those defiant little eyes. They’re like “Ya I’m cute fool. Close your gaping mouth and give me treats or throw a ball.” Puppies are cute. It’s a fact. An unstated but also very stated law of the universe. “But Draco, That’s a contradiction!” Ya well take this.

"Fear is freedom!                                 Subjugation is liberation!                               Contradiction is truth!                                           Those are the facts of this world, and you will all surrender to them, you pigs in human clothing!".

“Fear is freedom! Subjugation is liberation! Contradiction is truth! Those are the facts of this world, and you will all surrender to them, you pigs in human clothing!”.

You can’t argue with flowing hair you fool.

Sharks. They aren’t needlessly cruel enough to murder people only trying to help them. That’s a scientific fact. They could rip you limb from limb with there massive infinite teeth or even become a nado.

So it stands to reason that a combination of these two primal forces would lead to something truly unstoppable. Something that will resonate with the core of your very soul.

Prepare yourselves. This is Shark Puppy.

sp1_1

Look at the cute OH MY STARS AND THE OTHER THING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway you can read the comic here.

On the note of puppies, Splatoon had their first American Splatfest. This competition festival thingy pitted kitties versus doggies. It was close and their may have been some less than fair aspects with the rules being partially withheld but oh well Puppies won the day. Truly this is a glorious time to be a puppy. You win festivals, you get to be part shark, and you get posts on Dracoblag written about you. Also Marie, Draco’s favorite Squid Sister from Splatoon was also on team dog. You get Marie and Draco on your team. Talk about your all star first draft sports words team.

CaaaAAAaaaaTttcCCh a Riiiiiiiide and Cannon Fodder vs Cannon… Operator? Deployer? IDK…

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Tales From the Borderlands Ep3 was short.

There were plenty of great points but the ultimate conclusion is that it was short. Everything about it was great mind you but it really was short. It’s probably just the middle bit. The Wolf Among Us’s middle bit also felt short so maybe the rest will feel longer. The other two though they felt significantly longer because more was happening overall. But Draco has talked about the others and this was basically the same except it introduced new characters. One very important character is this little lady.

 

She is just the most positive adorablist robot Draco has had the pleasure of seeing this week. This series is truly one of the best telltale series and this right here is one of its best characters. Forget Sasha and her cool hair and seemingly constant need to make sandwiches(Not sexist, she actually does this. Actually the writers might be but probably not. Regardless Draco isn’t and that is the point.)  because this little bot is spectacular.

Speaking of short Draco also tried Running with Rifles and Gratuitous Space Battles II because Steam sale and all that. They, unlike Tales From The Borderlands, can’t use the episodic excuse because they aren’t episodic.They do make up for it however by being pretty cool. They both had this perspective on war that was sorta interesting. RwR has you as a soldier who is not going to be a hero and who will not really make much of a difference. The commander will throw you at a wall and when you die another one will be thrown at the wall until that wall falls. GSB2 does the opposite and says that you are so important you have to stay parsecs away from the actual battle. Those were both kind of cute even though they had opposing themes which could be a moral to this post. If you want that to be the moral of this post press 1 now. While you do that Draco should let you know that Draco found a way to connect this second half to the first half! Amazing huh?Characters from TFTB like Rhys see themselves as characters from GSB2 but are viewed by others as RwR characters. It connects it works that’s it. Don’t question it. It it it it it. It.

Outages? Moe War Time! and Splatoon Life Lesson Uno

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Ya know what’s really enjoyable? When both cable and internet go out at the same time. If it was just the internet there could be a show on and if it’s TV well you can probably watch it on the internet. Lucky for Comcast and their horrible service Draco is not reliant on them. Draco has anime DVDs and books. Draco spent yesterday watching Lucky Star while reading the Art of War. Now normally Draco would have continued writing the post and you’d be getting a paragraph full of Splatoon nonsense but Lucky Star, a moe masterpiece which apparently influenced Draco quite a bit, and the Art of War, the original Buzzfeed but for murdering people with large groups of other people. A magical combination that everyone should be jealous of.

Anyway Splatoon. It’s not really Draco’s type of game but there is an important lesson to be learned from it. Additionally the two little mascot idols they made, Callie and Marie are great. Like barely any lines and they work it. Solid defined characters that you can enjoy even though the way the game makers set up their part is incredibly annoying. let’s get the amiibo machine up and running because they are, Draco approved.

By AegisP

By AegisP

But the lesson is what matters. When Draco first started, every game was a loss. It was awful. Draco felt like a total loser but then Draco took a break, tried again, and magic. Draco was #1 every time and this lesson became clear. Sometimes when a team fails it is everyone else’s fault. Don’t blame yourself all the time. If you’re failing, someone else is to blame. It is NEVER your fault. It’s theirs.(disclaimer: this isn’t always true. Sometimes it is but not always. dbd) Also Squid Girl dlc is still a thing so yay!

Anti-Convenience Store and Making Your Own Branches

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You would think that with items being purchasable online that Draco would constantly make rash decisions and buy stupid things Draco doesn’t need. Lately it seems like the opposite is true. This interests Draco in ways that are boring and uninteresting to basically everyone else. Apparently that feeling at a store that you won’t be able to buy the item once you leave helps sell the item. So the thing that sells something to Draco at a convenience store is the lack of future convenience.

Draco’s been playing a lot of Choice based games and in really every one the Stanley Parable rears its head and says choice doesn’t matter. People would run around spreading this philosophy and at a point it made Draco a bit sad.

A word without choice is basically meaningless and one can’t help being upset by it. Draco however won’t take a fight lying down. Sometimes it takes a while for an insight to occur, hell it took one Greek philosopher several decades to prove anything actually exist(he could only prove color) but that comes with the job. It turns out that The Stanley Parable can be beaten. There are actually two ways to beat it funny enough but one is more “completing” it rather than beating. Anyway…

Win #1 This really isn’t a win in Draco’s book but it is a win. The Stanley Parable is trying to get a message across. They want you to play the game and receive the message. By receiving the message you are in fact winning the game. Strictly by sitting down and listening you are almost certain to win. Pretty darn easy.

Win #2 During one ending the Narrator scoffs at the player for thinking the game can be beaten. He laughs as most people run from monitor to monitor to stop an explosive device from being detonated. It’s this part that set up the problem and presented the solution. The entire game was made off another game’s engine. There are two choices and for the most part only one is ever taken. They could get up, find the tools, and make their own ending. The key to beating a choice game in the sense of there being no choice is in fact fanfiction. When presented with two options at a restaurant, you can select one or the other like you do, or you can go home and make your own food. Now one could counter that by saying that there is a limited number of blah blah wrong. Every day new people are inspired by the things that other people chose to do and so forever throughout the existence of sentient beings there will be an infinity number of choices. The Stanley parable can be beaten simply by writing ” And Stanley blinked and found himself in bed. That dream was rather odd and he just happened to dream about dreaming in his dream, but regardless of that he realized that his job wasn’t very fun. He quit and started a bakery which became very popular with the locals of the area.”. Always remember your choices are not futile. You can just decide to say screw you universe and start a bakery, or not if you prefer. One way or another there may or may not be a bakery. If that bakery doesn’t feel meaningful enough you can start another bakery or even drive a taxi cab. Or not. Now the next question is is that meaningful. Well we could look at very successful fanfcition stories like The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan and Sunrider Academy or we could go the simple route. Starting a bakery means that the world has one more bakery. It MEANS. It also means that there cannot be a potato farm or a book store in that same location. Can’t have a bank either. That is pretty meaningful. So you can in fact make meaningful choices thereby defeating the game. It’s not a win in the sense that they wanted but it is a win for humanity and that’s honestly better.

Sons of Winter and Bioware Let’s You Flirt with Everybody So Step it Up Telltale

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When you play the game of Game of Thrones, you hit or you really don’t. Did Telltale hit? Is Draco going to do one of those nicer paragraphed reviews? You betcha.

Episode name

Sons of Winter is a stupid name. There wasn’t even a White Walker and that was the menu screen. That’s like opening a box with a mug picture on the front and finding a spoon. They don’t even relate it to the story. They just took words GoT uses and smushed them together.

Gameplay

Dragons aren’t usually bait but in Game of Thrones they basically are. Dany with her Dragons = views and this game tried that last episode, made a little cliffhanger, and yet they didn’t start with that. Instead you’re presented with a sign that said nothing you do matters and you are reminded of the not really choice that goes on with Gared Tuttle and blonde bowl cut guy. You could say suspense but then you get the “they waited 6 weeks to build suspense” response. That choice thing will always be the most annoying part of really all Telltale and they should at least hide it in the middle. Most of the scenes make it apparent why the choices couldn’t matter because most of this episode would have been optional but it’s still not ok.

There were optional qte rather than mandatory ones and that is appreciated. They still make you think you have options and that is truly magic.

Nothing too diffiucult and there were multiple ways to do the same thing which is nice.

Assorted Art Thing

The sounds are fine but never as good as Tales From The Borderlands or The Wolf Among us. That is alright though because they were amazing and we can’t all be amazing.

The real genius here in GOT is the spectacular obviously planned graphical failures. Super dramatic moment, devices that shoot stick like objects at everyone’s faces are pointed at those very faces, and that Ludd Lunkhead with Bad Hair Whitehill, jerk that he is, is about to tune the fork if you know what that means. It surely doesn’t mean what you think. It’s actually stabbing someone in the eye. Nothing could possibly save our poor unfortunate– WHOA it’s DUNCAN Blah Blah Blah FEEELINGS Tuttle and he has turned into a FLOATING GIANT GHOST. Odd that no one comments on this giant ghost man but the best way to fight a ghost is to ignore it. Next we have dramatic spy gala. Mira Now Kinda a BA Forrester is about to get caught by her boss who said not to come to the dramatic spy gala. Oh woe is us, what could save her. Oh it seems the Lord of Light himself has intervened and sent a giant floating cup for Mira to hide behind. Truly flawless mistakes.

Additionally they reused a character model. The guy was dead. Don’t do that.

Story

This is the good part.  They really just do a good job and surpass many of the actual show’s episodes in quality. Mira especially shines and is arguably better than Sansa in both book and show. She has developed more as a character in 4 one hour episodes than Sansa did in 5 books or seasons combined. She started as the equivalent to Sansa because who needs originality and came out being a character who has a brain and eyes.

Rodrik continues to deliver some of the most powerful scenes in the story, especially in episode 3 but it continues now in Episode 4. Actually that might not be true. Because of the imaginary choice mechanic he might just seem like a bumbling imbecile who changes his strategy from being a great guy to a sniveling coward in two seconds flat. Rodrik makes the idea that less choice should be available. Anyway in Draco’s experience he seems like a great guy with reasonable personality and a power behind him that will  make him a fine martyr if and when he almost definitely dies. Rodrik the Unbroken they will call him!

Asher is slightly less great but him and Beskha in Meereen have been a sight above Dany in Meereen. They’re fun. That’s basically all you can say. They have good times, bad times, and you feel for them.  You get that from them every episode aside from ep 1.

Gared was a disappointment. Didn’t really have options and when the Ygritte Clone Potential Romance Girl Sister of Widling Guy showed up you can’t even be flirty. There was an option that was all “Well, aren’t you going to introduce us?” and it should have gone like “Hey buddy, why don’t you introduce us to your sister *wink* *wink*” or perhaps like a normal person with”Why don’t you introduce us” but instead that option produces “Hey you piece of ####! Why don’t you ####### introduce us!!!!!!! *pulls out machine gun and starts firing erratically in the air*”. Even if you’re not doing the romance thing why does there have to be an angry option? It just came out of nowhere. Combine that with the forcing you out of the wall nonsense and you get a sad sad story. Sad in the not high quality way. Just ignore him and get to the interesting people.

Verdict: This review took longer to write than the actual episode took to play. Do with that information what you will.

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