Capsules III

These have been fun to do, so I’m going to make them a fairly regular feature.

Image from Allison and Lillia

Image from Allison and Lillia

Something I’m watching: Fate/Stay Night

I’m giving this one another shot after thoroughly enjoying Fate/Zero. It still suffers from the slow pacing in the beginning that made me drop it previously, but I find all of the cast and the overall story far more interesting now that I’ve seen the prequel and know things they do not (MWAHAHAHA). This may turn out to be a double-edged sword though, as any poorly done characterizations of the Heroic Spirits will look all the worse in comparison to Fate/Zero. I’m going to try and stick with Fate/Stay Night through to the end, but from what I’ve read, it’s the weakest part of the series, but necessary for understanding Fate/Zero completely, as well as Unlimited Blade Works, so I’ll see how this goes.

Something I’ve just watched: Allison and Lillia, Generation One

An energetic, light-hearted, and fun romp of an adventure set in vaguely 1930s not-quite-Europe, which happens to be one of my favorite settings ever. The first season follows genki-as-all-get-out fighter ace Lillia; and Wil, her bookish companion (though a crack shot) whom she always finds a way to drag into her wacky hijinks (while failing to successfully confess her love). Their escapades include a treasure hunt, finding lost royalty, and murder on the Awesome-Cool-Luxury-Train express. Their dynamic calls to mind Haruhi Suzumiya and Kyon, with a bit of Sherlock Holmes and Watson thrown in in the final story arc. The supporting cast is quite enjoyable as well, and there is a fun chemistry and camaraderie between all of the characters; they are a fun bunch to go on adventures with.

The series’ fun is marred only by a few authorial blunders in the last two episodes. First, a character who is revealed to have committed and planned to commit terrible acts, even in the name of world peace, is forgiven far too easily, and his wrongdoings are brushed aside rather quickly. Secondly, the audience is robbed a properly satisfying climax to the romantic arc of the story; Wil remains oblivious pretty much right up until the end, then BAM! married during a last episode time skip. These are only minor complaints though, and were they the only flaws, I could easily overlook them. However, in the last episode, which should, in this kind of tale, be the happy conclusion of the adventure, Wil makes a particularly senseless and selfish decision. It’s intended to setup the events of season 2, but it comes from nowhere and no good explanation is given as to why he would act so out of character, and with so little regard to Allison’s feelings on the matter. As my younger brother ranted at the TV, “I just lost all respect for you, bro!”. The mood whiplash was strong. Watching this show was like watching a child playing happily with a ball, only for him to drop the ball, have it roll down a hill, and then detonate, blowing up a school bus full of orphans and kittens. Do yourself a favor, and watch this, but stop after episode 12.

Something I’m playing: The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game

My younger brother had been building and painting the model kits for a while now. I had some unassembled uruk hai from a birthday or two ago still near the bottom of my lead mountain. Found the big rulebook for my brother’s birthday so he could play with his friend, and assembled my uruks. We played a few games ourselves, and all of sudden I was hooked and breaking out the paints to complete my uruk army right and proper, and already planning out a Misty Mountains goblin army. This is one of the best systems I’ve seen Games Workshop produce, which is probably why, as of The Hobbit, it’s only been updated once compared with 40K’s and Fantasy’s bajillion tweaks. It feels like a more stripped down yet subtle version of those systems. I tip my hat to whoever realized that since most fights between grunts generally come down to a 1 point difference in fighting skill level, you might as well do away with keeping track of that except for the 1/6 of the time that it matters.  I also like how the heroic action system encourages you to move your troops in formations as though they were a squad, but doesn’t force you, making switching between larger and smaller scale battles easier than in 40K. The heroic actions also give heroes an important command and control role that makes them more than just guys with better stats. Quite fun, and there may be some photos and session reports in the near future.

Something I’m anticipating: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

I didn’t own an N64 growing up; the Wii was my first console. As such, I’m very much a handheld gamer, and very excited to finally be able to play one of the most hallowed Zelda games of all time, all the way through, on my own system. In the past, I’d only played a couple of dungeons and side quests from MM on my friend’s console, and watched another friend do battle with the various forms of Majora (we were all huddled around the TV on the couch in his basement, doing what kids nowadays do with their computers and YouTube; the concept of Let’s Play-style videos still boggles my mind, even as I enjoy watching PewDiePie quest his way through The Walking Dead).

Something I’m working on: A friendly Anon over at L. Jagi Lamplighter’s blog has posted an intelligent and lengthy rebuttal to my Magic: The Superverting post that deserves an equally intelligent answer.

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Posted on February 7, 2015, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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