Gillman’s Top Five Games of 2015

  1. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation

2014-12-29-235703

I love the Neptunia games.  They are some of the more unique, fun, and comfy titles that come out.  Thankfully we were lucky enough to get four of them released within five months this year, with even more coming very soon.  It is almost like someone broke into my head and took all the things that I wanted in the world, and then just shoved it all out for the first half of the calendar.  Oddly, nothing came out in the latter half.

The reason that this game is so low on the list is that there is some really nasty grinding late in the game, for the true ending, that is near impossible to speed up.  Aside from that one, rather noticeable, annoyance the game is pretty fantastic.  The problem becomes that it is a wonderful slide into enjoyment that is suddenly interrupted by this one section.  It seems out of place, and very much like a holdover from the previous title that this one was supposed to “remaster”.

  1. Disgaea 5

disgaea-2

I am obsessed with the Disgaea games.  There is something about endless amounts of improvement to a character and their equipment that just strike an odd cord with me.  The story is always something as forgettable as the average summer popcorn flick, but if you are going to the game for that you are missing the point – infinite replayability, randomly generated dungeons that work as intended, and a loving nod to the fans that have been with the series since its start.

The series has had its ups and downs throughout the years, at times not making the transition to new consoles that well –and re-releasing the first game on every system that they could, to diminishing results—it seems that the series is finally finding the path to what once made it great.  Although it still has some grow, Disgaea 5 is a step in all the right directions –aside from DLC and pricing that should have been included in the game—so maybe NISA will finally figuring out what they are doing next time

  1. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed

neptuniau2

Take everything about the core series of the Neptunia games, and pretty much forget about all of it.  Instead of being a mix of classical and modern JRPGs, you have a straight out action game with the same beloved characters running around and bashing the living hell out of all of the series iconic enemies.  While history has taught the intelligent gamer that these kind of cross-genre exploits end poorly (Dirge of Cerberus), there is finally an exception to that rule—although it is probably Japanese enough that no one will bother looking.

It is hard to hide subtly in a 3D brawler game, and even worse when RPG elements are thrown in, as most people can just level grind certain enemies and blast out a vast chunk of the game.  Thankfully Idea Factory managed to remember that each one of the elements play as important of a role as the last, while not making the game ever really lean too much to any of the genres that it was borrowing from.  The end result is something that is enjoyable, engaging, and fan-servicing enough to make it memorable.

  1. Atelier Shalle

Atelier-Shallie-Alchemists-of-the-Dusk-Sea-6

Since Atelier Rorona came out six years ago, we have enjoyed yearly releases of new titles in the series.  What is even better is that every one of the titles has seen domestic release since this advent, something that a decade ago never would have happened.  The game is comfortable, oddly deep in areas, and about as moe as you can get and still be able to sell it in the states. It is the perfect mix of everything that I love about the series balled into one neat package.

The only problem, and it is an incredibly small one, is the baggage that the game has picked up from being the third in the series for this storyline—really something that only the most diehard fans would ever really notice, or care about.  This first game, Ayesha, was probably the worst game in the catalog that has seen these shores.  While the rest have made marked improvements, they can’t seem but referencing back to that title, carrying around the weight of the uninteresting and lackluster performances given.

  1. Dungeon Travelers 2

DT2 (14)

Dungeon Traveler 2 is not for the faint of heart, in many, many ways.  First off, it is one of the more punishing genres out there (first person-RPG).  Then there is the entire “fan-service” debate that seems to pop-up from the non- initiated.  But for those of us who are strong enough to dig through that super surface level crust you can find one of the more entertaining and engrossing titles that has been released in some time.  It is hard to say much negative about a game that literally has almost an entire additional game, in the form of an epilogue, just neatly stuffed in—and never mentioned in almost all materials on it.

This game is everything that an anime fan could hope for, from the main characters being adorable (to insanely hot) monster-girls, to the characters in the party almost all representing some of the more notable—and at times less notable—character tropes of heroines found in popular Japanese entertainment.  It is also one of my favorite ways to clear out a stream chatroom when obnoxious posters hang out for just a little too long.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/5/15 – 4/11/15

Good:
Better Call Saul: Season 1, Episode 10

I wish I could pull scams like this

Where: AMC
When: Mondays at 10:00 PM
Why:
Because Breaking Bad (aside from the title) wasn’t just a great show about someone losing total control over their sanity and actively ruining the lives of those around him.  Better Call Saul, for the moment, is about a man who is actively trying to do the right thing but keeps getting put back into a life that he wanted to escape.  It is like when an ice cream shop opens up between a Planet Fitness and a Weight Watchers, but with more sibling rivalry and less people saying things about a “no judgment zone”.

I would watch anything the lead writer/creator (Vince Gilligan) came up with at this point.  If they announced that they were doing an adaptation of the white pages, the yellow pages boring little brother, I would watch it.  He would find a way to make it about sex, guilt, high stakes something or another, and ending up on the wrong side of the law when all you want to do is find out why so many people have S starting their last name.

Bad:
Olympus: Season 1, Episode 2

Acting is hard

Where: SyFy
When: Thursdays at 10:00 PM
Why:
Not everything that the SyFy channel puts out is pure gold, or even Sharknado 2: The Chronicles of Sugar Ray.  Most of the time the things that they produce end up being less like Battlestar Galaticta, or even Zombie Nation if we are being honest, and more like watching a Sliders marathon where it only shows the second to last episode in the series over and over again.  Olympus leans more towards the later seasons of Eureka (like a normal Sliders marathon, but with everything in reverse order and not from the same season), in that it will probably have devoted fans but manage to be successfully—and rightfully—hated by everyone else, than really expecting it to be good or not constantly on a green screen.  It even has the weird, “none of this will ever matter” feel that was well established as a foothold when SyFy decided that if anything lasted more than three seasons they were completely allowed to reboot their universe, once a season.  Towards the end Eureka managed two reboots in one season, say what you want; not caring that hard what your fans think takes effort.

Take everything you saw in an HBO preview of Rome, or The Tudors or old timey show like that, not watch the show proper, and then make it about Greek Mythology, which you also know almost nothing about—you would get the pilot episode here. If I had to guess I would say that Olympus was cast at a Comicon based only on what people where wearing, then expected to bring that custom as they had no budget to supply anything addition–aside from bedsheets.  The main character’s (Tom York) weapon is a rope, not Michelangelo’s grappling hook from the latter seasons of TMNT, a rope with nothing on the end of it. Not even a knot. No one makes fun of him for this. He also doesn’t have a name.  Not in even a cool way, like he was abandoned traumatically or something else Batman worthy,  it literally sounds like they just couldn’t think up a good one in time for filming, made an B.S. excuse, and went with it.  Things like this really make me wonder if I could just walk into their SyFy headquarters and just pitch whatever and have it picked up for two seasons.  It is like they are in some kind of strange Brewster’s Millions gamble with all their Galaticta money.

Good:
Mad Men

It is like they are having a Scooby Doo off

Where: AMC
When: Sundays at 10:00 PM
Why:
It isn’t that Mad Men tries to outline what manly men should be, or even that it has what an acceptable life in the 60s probably resembled.  I am not even sure about how much of the stuff that they depict on the show is historically accurate after a certain point.  What I am sure about is that the show is just riveting; each of the characters in it are self-absorbed in such a specific way that they have created a little world that only exists for themselves, a place that others only ever really visit.  It is great to see, though, as these people fumble through their own issues while trying to deal with whatever is thrown at them.  Oddly the key to the best writing in the show is that no one ever really seems to know what someone else is doing until they either see it or it is explained to them, because story telling.

There are two shows on TV that are able to take yearlong breaks, mid-season, while not losing viewer ship or even changing the number in front of that series.  That said it is also the most annoying thing to ever have been done, it has only ever been done on AMC, and even the box sets for Breaking Bad refer to each part of that season differently.  It takes Don Draper (Jon Hamm) sized testicles to pull a stunt like that and think that it is “for the best.”  That would be like me trying to explain to my dog that it would be beneficial for it to learn to brew beer for me, because I am not sure which one of us would get less out of that conversation.

Bad:
The Comedians: Season 1, Episode 1

It would have been funnier if Pussy Riot wasn't a real band

Where: FX
When: Thursdays at 10:00 PM
Why:
I don’t even dislike this show that much, but man Billy Crystal got super old.  It is like someone found the least attractive statue made out of miscellaneous gum pieces, of him, and motorized it to act. It is a toss-up on the last thing I saw Billy Crystal in, either City Slicker 2 or some random walk on roll that Robin Williams got him.  If those references make me seem old, just remember that he was in his 40s when he was doing those, and that was probably a good 20 years ago.  It still creeps me out that Hollywood seems to keep people in a Hyperbolic Time Chamber and only allow them to have two set ages ever:  Age introduced and super creepy “what the hell happened to your face and mind Clint Eastwood” old.

Crystal plays himself across from Josh Glad, who before this I think I had a super vague idea of who that was (and am still unsure if I am thinking of him or Jonah Hill). The show is dry, awkward, and about making a series of poor life choices that end up making you committed to a project you hate.  There are also all these subtle nods to the way that the world works inside of “the business”, which I am sure would be way funnier if I was part of that circle; which is oddly a new trend that seems to be emerging in more niche comedies and only makes me want to stop watch to discourage people from doing it more.

Best:
China, IL: Season 3, Episode 1

Everyone loves you baby cakes

Where: Cartoon Network
When:  Sundays at 12:00 AM
Why:
I love China, IL.  It is hard to explain to pretty much anyone my depths of love for this show in any manner that doesn’t just seem to be completely insane.  It is a show that is about a public college that has stopped caring so long ago that the only thing that can make most of the professors even feel emotion is belittling and demoralizing every student in their class.  Within the first 60 seconds of the show (intro included) one of the pupil has the nickname “flip flops” forced on them, and while the current week is only the second episode, they have refused to refer to them as anything else since that moment forward.  In my mind that is how roll call is done in the class.  I want to go there.  In my dream they hire me to teach English.  We would only watch subtitle anime.

Did I mention that Hulk Hogan is The Dean, and 95% of the time I don’t know if he is acting or if someone just hung out in the bushes around his house and recorded random things that he randomly states—kind of like what they did for the last couple of years for Ebert.  Side note, I would love to have a computer program that I could make Hogan say anything I wanted.  We would be best friends.

Worst:
The Big Bang Theory: Season 8, Episode 20

Everyone hates you, WIl Wheaton

Where: CBS
When: Thursdays at 8:00 PM
Why:
I don’t even hate The Big Bang Theory for the same reasons that everyone else does; I could care less about them making nerd culture more accessible to the masses, I don’t think that the forced insertion of marketable catch-phrases is either annoying or draws away from the characters, and screw everyone that says it wouldn’t be funny without the laugh track.  Watch 10 minutes of M*A*S*H without the laugh track; it was the greatest show on television and still needed to remind you it was a comedy about tragedy. No, the problem is that the show the people writing it have forgotten what it was about to begin with, becoming so lost that even if they had a map to get back they would probably end up at a Donkey Show with a robotic version of a racist Jerry Seinfeld.

Recently the actress that “played”, I guess, the voice of Howard’s (Simon Helberg) mother (Carol Ann Susi) passed away in real life and the show managed to –for all intents and purposes—respectfully kill off the character so no one else would play her.  The issue is that I think that the people who write the show might be sociopaths who learned emotions from watching monkeys fight over abandoned children at the zoo.  It isn’t situation that is wrong or messed up, but the way that everything is written around it that feels stilted and dumb, as if the showrunner (Chuck Lorre) was hoping an episode of That 70’s Show might break out instead.  Then recently Howard had an unknown half-brother (Matt Bennett) show up for, and this is understating it, very close to no reason.  That doesn’t matter though, since they only share half a genetic code, were raised by two polar opposing people, and had the exactly opposite gendered role models they were clearly destined to end up almost exactly the same.

(April Fools) Japan is Enabling Single White Males and Must be Stopped

In recent days I’ve been spending some time on the internet and watching mainstream cable news, and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been living my life incorrectly.  I’ve lost my way.  My greatest error in life?  My love of anime and Japanese video games.  Japan’s otaku culture is a terrible abomination that encourages oppression, misogyny, and rape.

Japan has weaponized child pornography to include gun fetishism, another pleasure of cis white devils.

The BBC (whom is always right about everything, and made an excellent call in regard to Top Gear) has spoken about this issue in depth, in this well written, thoroughly researched article:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30698640

We all know that drawings are the same exact thing as child porn.  But the real issue here is the fact that anime is enjoyed by the most terrible, most racist, most rapey-ist race on earth, the white male.  White males, especially the nerdy ones, are 100% prone to rape and misogyny according to MSNBC and some random people on Twitter, so my facts check out.  DO NOT QUESTION MY FACTS, I WILL REPORT YOU FOR HARASSMENT.

Japan is encouraging men to like breasts, furthering the enlistment of more cis white men into the patriarchy.

Anime is full of sexually attractive women of all ages, and even the men are not only good looking, but fat people are few and far between.  This discourages fat acceptance, racial inclusivity, and breeds sexism and misogyny.  Trust me, I’ve read a tumblr blog or two, I practically have a degree in identifying sexism.  Japan hides behind their so-called “Asian” heritage, but it is clear that they can only be white if they are this evil.  It’s time to call them out for their bigotry before they create any more tools for the patriarchy.

That’s why I’m calling for a global ban on all Japanese entertainment.  Yes, even their live action stuff.  Everything I’ve enjoyed from there now triggers me and the three foxkin headmates I have.  Clearly that is more than enough reason to bash and uproot a foreign culture.  Better yet, let’s show them social justice is serious about equality for everyone by nuking them again.  Once they are gone I won’t be triggered by their sexist garbage and I can finally go back to blogging about what gender I think I should be.

Just terrible humans

Please don’t forget to donate to my patreon, that will somehow make the world more equal and stuff.  Don’t do it for me, do it to stop the patriarchy.  DEATH TO CAPITALISM!!!!!!

(April Fools) Video Games is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

  1. Women have rights and video game don’t respect ideals

Wake up, AMERICA

Name one person that has ever been a lead in a video game that was also a women.  You can’t.  You also can’t name someone that was transgendered that was even IN A VIDEO GAME.  That is because the moment that you start to make video games you become part of the machine.  You don’t care about the feelings or rights of others, you only want money and to make sale.

  1. Video Games is not ART and can’t be

Does this look like art?!?

Art is something you go to school for.  It isn’t something that you can make in your parents basement with a couple of friends in your free time.  Ebert beat cancer, but he couldn’t beat into gamers heads that their hobbies didn’t matter.  Things that matter are well made movies, like the ChiPs TV series  and paintings of things that are hard to look at and difficult smells.

  1. No one Famous Likes Games

The most famous man in the world

We all know that the famous are trend setters and do everything correctly.  They are the best of everything in America.  The only way that you could be better would be to be European, or better yet! Bruce Jenner! Not only do no stars ever play video games, and we know because there has never been a single picture of oen of them EVER WITH ONE but the entire hemisphere of Europe has outlawed them so much that the tax makes one game cost almost 10 times as much as over here.  They have made all drugs legal in their wisdom of gay marriage, but they refuse to let games be discounted.  Isn’t America backwards?

  1. IT IS A wastE OF TIME

Who Ever this GUY is IS RIGHT

There is nothing that can be made better by sitting in front of something else.  You can’t learnt, you cannot built, you cannot even build a relationship with someone of your own sex.  The only thing you can do is avoid others while being fed messages from a source that claims to be interactive, but I have proven it is not!  All the freedom it expresses to have is simply different shades of grey, you are only their to devour the message that the MAN is forcing you to pay for.  An average new game for the newest system, the Wii, costs 15 dollars!  That isn’t even the upper limit!  Games can cost as much as a new car!  Why?  So you can devour the self hate that is vomited by a single thought organizism.

Go to college instead.