The Four Classic Chinese Novels

Eighteen years ago, I collected a much coveted PS2 system on release, and had to choose a game to go with it. I picked Dynasty Warriors 2 as the best of a limited selection, and ended up rather enjoying. One unintended consequence of this was that I learnt of the existence of the material that inspired it – the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In due course, I read and enjoyed two English translations of ROTK. Continue reading

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A Happier Ending? Nier Automata’s ’Joke’ Endings

In addition to its five main endings, Nier Automata completes its A-Z of endings with 21 bad endings that can be triggered at various points throughout the game. Whilst some of these endings accelerate the bleak vision of the future that permeates the game, a handful of them actually offer a brighter outlook for 2B, 9S and A2 than the proper endings. In this article, I examine joke endings F-Z, and rate them on a happiness scale, from a single Emil head (pretty depressing) to five Emil heads (comparatively cheerful). Continue reading

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Nier Automata: Four Needlessly Depressing Sidequests

With Yoko Taro at the helm, we all knew that Nier Automata wasn’t going to be a comedy festival. Thanks to his work on Drakengard and the original Nier, we knew that whatever he came up with in his latest work would screw with our hearts and minds. We were prepared for devastating revelations about the nature of the world, for characters pushed to their emotional limits. We knew that, and accepted it. Continue reading

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Kit Kat Quest

Last update: 03/05/19

I had long known that Japanese Kit Kats were a bit of a phenomenon. People at work would bring back bags of green tea, strawberry and melon Kit Kats from their trips to Japan. Two and a half years ago, I took the plunge and ordered a selection box of eight mini Kit Kats from the Japan Centre. Over coffee, my tasting companions and myself tried them, and I wrote down our reactions verbatim, resulting in the first iteration of this blog. Continue reading

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Ni no Kuni 2

Although I was a bit late to the party when it came to the original No no Kuni, when I finally got around to playing the game, I was enchanted. Even now, the first two adjectives that come to mind when I think of it are ‘charming’ and ‘delightful’. Sure, it was far from perfect – poor AI and spending most boss fights desperately holding out for glims whilst my allies lay dead on the floor spring to mind – but there was something amazingly magical about feeling like I was starring in my very own Studio Ghibli movie. Continue reading

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.hack//G.U. Last Recode – Grossly Underwhelming

Many years ago, I wrote a blog post about how much I loved the original quartet of .hack games. Despite their flaws, I enjoyed the hundred or so hours I spent with those games, and regarded .hack in general as one of my favourite franchises.

Then, time passed, the .hack franchise entered its second generation. The World, the fictitious MMORPG around which the franchise, was succeeded by The World:R2, a new game with new characters. My early enthusiasm for this second wave was swiftly dampened, however, by 2006’s .hack//Roots – an anime so excruciatingly dull that I gave up on it halfway through. This left me less than desperate to get stuck into Roots’ sequel – a trio of PS2 games known as .hack//GU. Continue reading

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Thoughts on Utena from a first time viewer

Revolutionary Girl Utena was one of the series I always thought I probably should watch, but I just quite got around to it. That all changed in the closing months of 2017, when Ana Mardoll’s blogs, coupled with a desire to see a bi main character, tipped me over from “should watch” to “okay, all I’m going to do in my free time is get through these thirty-nine episodes plus one movie”.

I now speak to you from the other side of that experience. Having delved into the writings of others on the subject, the general message seems to be that you should go back and rewatch the series to pick up on all the things you missed the first time – that on rewatch, you’ll know what’s going on and be able to pick up subtle signs. And yes, I’m thinking of doing that, but for now, I wanted to speak about what it feels like to have seen the series only once. Continue reading

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Cat Quest

Years ago, cats and dragons fought a bloody war, but ultimately, the destined cats known as Dragonblood claimed victory. Now, the dragons have returned, and it’s up to you, a destined kitty, to take up your sword and protect the land once again.

I love RPGs. I also love cats. With that in mind, it was inevitable that I would eventually turn my attention to Cat Quest, an open world RPG set in a land entirely populated by cute kitties. Yes, I had recently been burned by Spacecats With Lasers, but the Cat Quest demo convinced me that my money really would be well spent this time around. Continue reading

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Spacecats With Lasers

Last week, I saw an intriguing article on My Nintendo News, promising that a game called Spacecats With Lasers would be heading to Switch the following week. I was immediately excited – I love cats, I love space, and the idea of being a spacecat shooting things up with lasers immediately appealed to me. I was well aware that I was probably just being suckered in by the name, but I reassured myself that the screenshots looked sufficiently exciting. Continue reading

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Is the Order a Rabbit?

In a sleepy town of wooden framed houses and cobbled streets, five girls work as waitresses at various cafés around town. With hot drinks, delicious cakes, and rabbit mascots, you can always guarantee a fulfilling and wholesome experience, be it at Rabbit House, Ame Usa An, or Fleur du Lapin. Continue reading

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