Fantasy Life Trailer

 

I feel like all my dreams are coming true on the 3DS. Fantasy Life is a beautiful combination of Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest.

The graphics look cute but not saccharine, and the gameplay looks fun. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a knight one day, then a lumberjack, then a wizard?

In world exploration looks vast and with all the jobs that your own customizable character can take on, it looks like gamers can expect to pour limitless hours into Fantasy Life.

The gaming lineup for the 3DS keeps on getting better and better in Japan. I can only hope that the gaming lineup on this side of the world keeps up.

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Games I Can’t Wait to Play on the 3DS

With E3 having been done for a bit and my 3DS still searching for more games, I’d thought I’d do a post about the games I can’t wait to get a hold of in 2012/2013.

Created by Yashuhiro Wada, the man behind Harvest Moon, Project Happiness looks like a new take on one of my most beloved franchises. You get to play as a boy or girl who looks after a shop in town, trying to create relationships with the townspeople. Like in Harvest Moon, one of your goals is to woo and marry a townsman or lady, by giving them gifts. A big part in wooing this time around is that you have to try and find out your special persons fondest wish so you can grant it. I love the animation style and since I liked the bazaar element in Harvest Moon: Bazaar, I am really looking forward to running my own store.

Although the only trailer for Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is in Japanese, the American release date is set for October 2012. I loved 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors for the DS. Which means I am super excited for this release. Coming out on the 3DS, the growing franchise gets a graphical overhaul which will hopefully make the puzzles more crafty and indepth. 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors was a great visual novel and horror survival game and this sequel looks like its ready to ramp up the fear.

I never owned a GameCube. So unfortunately I was never able to play the first Luigi’s Mansion. But I want to rectify this loss and give its sequel a go. And I mean, this just looks plain fun. It’s like being your own personal Ghostbuster. In overalls.

Some Mario games are better than others. But I have never played a Mario game that I haven’t liked. It’s just good coin collecting platforming fun. (Does anyone else want to play coin block head Mario as much as I do?)

I haven’t been wild about the last few entries in the Harvest Moon franchise, but I can’t help but be sucked back in time and time again. It seems every time a new entry is released I get starry eyed and my excitement meter shoots through the roof.  Thankfully, it helps that this time they seem to be trying really hard to give the series a must needed boost of freshness, by making the world of Harvest Moon more interesting and interactive.

LEGO Lord of the Rings. Love the books. Love the movies. Just give it to me.

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Getting Hit With Airsoft

I had no idea what Airsoft was before I went. I lived in a world where the most dangerous games I could think of were laser tag and punch buggy. I wasn’t equipped to hold a fake MP5 submachine gun with plastic bullets against a group of men who owned their own military fatigues and guns.

MP5 Submachine Gun

Going in I should have seen that my ass would get served with a round of high intensity bullet rounds, smacking in five different directions all across my body. Of course being naive, I thought Airsoft would be a fun excursion with my friends, that might possibly hurt, but you know, not make me waiver in fear as I call out for mercy as a sniper laser zones in on my chest.

The first thing that happens when you arrive at the Airsoft center is that they make you sign a wavier that doesn’t leave them liable for any injuries occurred while in the game. That should have been a sign to get the fuck out and never return, but unfortunately for me my pride got in the way and wouldn’t let me dash out faster than Sonic the Hedgehog running through a loop-de-loop.

After signing over your personal well-being, you get ushered into a dark room with a small TV that tells you how to: cock your gun, fire, hide, not get shot in the face, die, etc. After 10 minutes of fear and personal quavering as reality hits, you get saddled with a tactical vest that offer’s the most basic protection to the chest and holds your magazines; and a mask and helmet to prevent eye and head injures. Then BAM! Off you go to get slaughtered.

Not the exact layout. My Airsoft arena had a car. But you get the idea.

It’s dark. There are wooden walls that give you cover for the first few moments before you emerge into the arena. Swearing and breathing heavily, I go in trying to crouch and somehow make my six-foot frame seem smaller. Paranoid, I hit the first person I see coming from the other direction behind a large wooden wall. My first trial at hitting an opponent fails heavily as I hear a “What the fuck? I’m on your fucking team!” Opps. I say sorry and slink off, wishing that the difference between teams was more than a black or brown camo coloured helmet.

The only thing that protects you from brain damage.

I get hit, repeatedly, as soon as I make my presence known. It hurts. My arm feels like its on fire as the pellets hit me. I scream hit as I manoeuvre out of the way. My ass gets barraged as I turn away. There is nothing quite like a hailstorm of pellets to the ass to make you feel alive.

I keep coming back trying to find my opponents, but it’s dark, my glasses are foggy and I feel sweat coming down my forehead. I hit a man, feel crazed with power and get shot in the arm immediately after, really blowing the ego boost. I try again, keeping close to the walls, hunkered down as far as I can, and suddenly pellets fly and I’m holding down the trigger as I fire furiously at a man dressed in dark beige camo on top of a fort of cardboard boxes. I yell “hit,” but feel a bit of victory.

Victory is a fleeting feeling in Airsoft as the next round has me being pelleted in the arm and leg. The next encounter with a shooter ends with me being nailed twice in the stomach at close range and clutching myself like I’d done too many tequila shots and got my ass served to me in a bar fight.

In pain, sweaty, and fearful for my backside, I leave the arena and hand in my equipment. I ask the guy at the counter if other girls come and play Airsoft. He looks at me and shakes his head, saying that it’s mostly guys with past experience (with guns I am guessing), which come and play Airsoft; now if only I had asked that question before my integration into the battle zone.

I leave the Airsoft facility with pride and bruises, knowing that I did something so far out of my comfort zone, but also knowing that I’d never hold a gun again. Well, not until the zombie apocalypse happens.

Camera not working and wounds in inappropriate places, so here is an awesome zombie shirt that asks real world hitting questions.

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My Top Ten Anime Of All Time: Numbers 4 to 1

Trying to get this blog up again. So here is the rush order of My Top Ten Anime Of All Time: Numbers 4 to 1.

4. Cowboy Bebop: Cowboys in space anime style. A great anime that a lot of anime fans first get exposed to (pre-Full Metal Alchemist). High octane level story complete with a sterling cast featuring the accomplished pickpocket and  hand to hand combat master Spike Spiegel; owner of the ship Bebop and best mate Jet Black; luscious and lovely Faye Valentine; oddball and hacker Ed; and Ein lab dog extraordinaire. As a bonus Cowboy Bebop contains great fight scenes, humour up the wazoo, and a storyline that might make the most manliest man shed a tear at the end. Cowboy Bebop is another classic anime that fans can watch subbed or dubbed.

3. The Twelve Kingdoms: A fierce and unlikable bitch becomes queen. Every queen has their story about coming into power and The Twelve Kingdoms just happens to star a very unlikable girl named Yoko. But as in all good stories, Yoko changes over time into an incredibly fierce and likable main character. Unfortunately, The Twelve Kingdoms anime was never finished so the anime ends on a cliffhanger. But don’t let that stop you from watching one of the most interesting and entertaining fantasy anime out there.

2. Seirei no Moribito (Morbito: Guardian of the Water Spirit): Another female centered fantasy series. Seirei no Moribito is about a bodyguard named Balsa who is assigned to protect Prince Chagum of the Imperial Family, as he bares the egg of the water spirit said to bring misfortune and destruction to the land. Running from Prince Chagum’s own father and his pack of hunters sworn to kill Chagum, Balsa shows impeccable skill and strength as a protector but also as a foster mother to Chagum. Like The Twelve Kingdoms, Seirei no Moribito is a great fantasy with a strong female lead, beautiful animation, and relatable characters that constantly move the plot forward.

1. Princess Tutu: You don’t have to like ballet to love Princess Tutu. In a small pond at the edge of a small town, a lonely duck watches a boy named Mytho dance across the water, wishing that she could be with him. When a strange story teller named Drosselmeyer grants her wish, the duck is changed into a girl named Ahiru (or Duck if you are watching the dub), as well as Princess Tutu, a beautiful princess who has sworn to protect Mytho and find all the missing pieces of his heart. The anime follows Ahiru as she restores pieces of Mytho’s heart, Mytho having lost the shards of his heart in a previous tale. Princess Tutu is based loosely on the ballet Swan Lake and incorporates many ballet moves, music, and fairy tales. Princess Tutu is a dark anime, but one filled with lots of hope, intriguing story telling, complex antagonists, and love triangles that will keep any fan interested until the last credit role.

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My Top Ten Anime Of All Time – #5 Petite Princess Yucie

DVD cover of Petite Princess Yucie

5. Petite Princess Yucie: Don’t overlook this anime as just a kid’s show. The first few episodes may rest a bit on the old magical girl formula, but it quickly grows into its own.

Petite Princess Yucie is about a 17 year old year named Yucie who is stuck in a 10 year olds body. Not wanting to look 10 forever, Yucie decides to become a Platinum Princess candidate at the Princess Academy. At the Academy, Yucie joins four other Princess candidates, Kokoru, Glenda, Elmina, and Beth, in competition for the Eternal Tiara. The tiara able to grant the winner one wish.

The Princess Gang

The beginning episodes of Petite Princess Yucie rely on the formula of having the girl’s complete relatively normal tasks as they do odd jobs for town’s people. The episodes ending with heart warming results and lessons learned. But as the show continues the main plot unravels, turning the show’s light hearted attitude into something darker with more of a punch (but still remains kid friendly).

The show is mostly centred on the friendship between the five girls, but it does have an amazing romantic lead called Arc. Arc is a mysterious blond boy who falls in love with Yucie over time, nicknaming her “forehead.” The banter between Yucie and Arc is really cute and had me and my friend gushing over their romance.

Yucie and Arc

The dub for Petite Princess Yucie is horrible. I can’t stand it. But my friend watched it dubed and liked it… but personally I would rather listen to a fork being dragged across a chalkboard. At least it would emit softer tones. For me, subed is the only way to go, the characters well matched to their voice actors.

Petite Princess Yucie is a magical girl series that managed to make me and my best friend sob and blubber by the last episode. I have a tendency to over use the word “heart,” but Petite Princess Yucie really has it. It is a charming and humorous anime about friendship and how you and your best friends can overcome anything as long as you are together.

Taichi Yagami (from anime-planet.com)

KDW’s embarrassing side note: I had a crush on Tai from Digimon when I was 12. I hated Sora because he liked her, but shipped Mimi and Jo like a ferocious forest fire. I still have the VHS of the movie.

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My Top Ten Anime Of All Time – #6 Kurau: Phantom Memory

The S.A.V.E. DVD is cheap to buy

6. Kurau: Phantom Memory: I like Kurau: Phantom Memory because of the plot, but also because I really like both female protagonists Kurau and Christmas.

As a young girl, Kurau visits her father’s laboratory where he is researching “Rynax Energy,” which he hopes to be a new alternative energy source. But the experiment goes horribly wrong and Kurau’s body is taken over by two sentient beings — a Pair of Rynax. One Rynax is too weak to awaken, but the other awakens and she and Kurau merge, staring a symbiotic relationship. This enables Kurau to gain extraordinary and inhuman abilities.

Kurau and Christmas - from animepalm.com

Ten years later, the second Rynax emerges from Kurau (literally) in the form of a young girl named Christmas. The two bonding and acting like sisters.

Together Kurau and Christmas meet other Rynax Pairs as they try to outrun the Global Police Organization who wants to destroy all Pairs as they are seen as a treat that could endanger the world.

Kurau: Phantom Memory kept me captivated from start to finish. Kurau is an amazing female protagonist as she is strong and loving, looking out for Christmas however she can. Christmas on the other hand is sweet and caring, but she is strong willed and is always willing to do anything to protect Kurau. They make each other happy, the love between the two felt whole heartily through the series. The sister dynamic in Kurau something that other sister driven shows should aspire too.

Kurau and Christmas looking happy

Both sub and dub contain a talented bunch of voice actors. This is another anime where watching the anime subed or dubed comes down to personal preference.

Kurau: Phantom Memory is on my Top Ten List because it gives me two kickass heroines, an interesting sci-fi action plot, questions scientific ethics, and asks the viewer to think about what the word “family” means.

KDW’s embarrassing side note: Back in 7th grade me and my friend decided that we’d skip school to watch Dragon Ball Z. So we phoned in sick for each other, trying to emulate our mothers’ voices. But when push came to shove, we were too chicken shit and went back to school. But by then school wide panic had arisen.

Two of my teachers hurried up to me as I enter class, their faces stricken with worry. They ambush me with questions having thought that I’d been kidnapped or been a part of a not so elaborate prank. Scared and pale faced, I told them a not so witty white lie that I had felt sick and had called in, not thinking that I would make to school. I was then forgiven and continued learning stuff. At home, I was grounded.

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My Top Ten Anime Of All Time – #7 Fantastic Children

Fantastic Children DVD Cover - from force-anime.com

7. Fantastic Children: I’m not gonna lie. When I first started watching Fantastic Children, I was bored to tears. I didn’t get it. The pacing felt too slow, the plot line dragging on forever as nothing seemed to happen in the first few episodes. But by the end of the series I was sobbing and my mind was blown by how events had unfolded. It is an anime that fans of mystery and sci-fi (and just anime in total) should watch at least once. I don’t even want to talk about the story line too deeply in fear that I might give something away. Just watch it.

Fantastic Children surrounds the mystery of a group of white haired kids, who have been spotted across Europe over a span of 500 years. They are called “Berfort Children,” named after a fictional town in Belgium where they were first seen in 1489.

The Berfort Children

In 2012 a young boy named Tohma meets a girl named Helga and is pulled into the secrets of her past and the mystery that surrounds the Berfort Children. Helga trying to find out the secrets behind a series of paintings that haunt her, and why she keeps on having visions of an old monument.

The plot for Fantastic Children is thought provoking and meaningful with twists and turns that will tug on your heart strings and make your head spin. I would say more on the topic, but anything more would be too spoilery. However it is safe to say that I haven’t watched an anime that has made me feel so many different emotions in the last few episodes since Fantastic Children.

A hint of what is to come - from TV Tropes

The dub for Fantastic Children is awful. Don’t listen to it unless you are a hardcore dub fan. The dub loses a lot of poignancy in translation and the voice actors are just plain horrible. The sub on the other hand is well done, each voice actor suiting their roles.

Fantastic Children is an unfortunate anime that has been looked over for flashier titles. The DVD cover is plain and the name sounds like a title of a bad sci-fi movie. But if you take a chance on Fantastic Children, you will find out that the title is true to form and that this anime is an overseen gem.

KDW’s embarrassing side note: I really don’t have one for this anime. So… umm… when I was around twelve I dreamed up fanfiction that featured me and Trunks. Yeah. /Fails.

Look at this fine piece of ass. I know you did too 😉 - taken from the geocities archive

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