Monday, 17 February 2014

Game Review: Resident Evil: Revelations

I was playing this game about two weeks before my exams started. Big mistake because this is an addictive game and I can't stop playing. Even more so because I am a die-hard Resident fan. However, writing a review for games is always going to be difficult so please bear with me.

Title: Resident Evil: Revelations

Year: 2012 / 2013

Publisher: Capcom

Platform: Nintendo 3DS, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, PC

Genre: Survival horror

Review: First of all, I am amazed that this game is originally intended for the Nintendo 3DS. I always thought that the 3DS is designed for Pokemon, not Resident Evil. I am not sure how is the game like in the 3DS, but I definitely liked it in PC.

If you had played Resident Evil 6, you know how horrible that game was and you are well aware that Capcom has done a big mistake of completely switching the genre of Resident Evil games from survival horror to action, and they did a terrible job at that. Click here if you would like to check out my review on Resident Evil 6. That is kinda sad for me because I was really anticipating for the game while having a major exam. Apparently Capcom enjoys pissing their fans off by unnecessarily destroying everything their fans like for a certain franchise. DmC: Devil May Cry for example. I don't even wanna begin talking about it.

However, rest assured that this game is nothing like Resident Evil 6. This is a true survival horror game although you won't be able to fight zombies just yet. In this game, ammunition is scarce and your enemies are strong. This is what makes Resident Evil games fun and challenging at the same time. I completed this game on Casual mode, but already having a hard time in Normal mode. I can't even begin to imagine Infernal mode. Some of the gameplay systems are either changed or removed. For example, you can no longer distract the enemy by shooting it on the head etc. and perform a melee immediately. Distraction became more difficult, but now you can charge up your melee moves before unleashing it. The roll/sprint/dash maneuvers from Resident Evil 6 are removed altogether, which is sad because that is one feature I enjoyed in Resident Evil 6 and they are helpful. The weapon upgrade system is back and you don't have to pay for them. You just need to search for the upgrade parts. The Resident Evil 2 storage box system is back as well which possibly made the game a bit unrealistic, but I wont complain. Capcom did their best to bring back the essence of Resident Evil. In short, I enjoyed the control system and the gameplay of Resident Evil Revelations.

As this game centers more on the ocean, there is much water theme to this game. As such, you will need to do a lot of swimming. I will also not complain about the how unrealistic this game is here, because if it is you'll never win. Rest assured, it is fun. More fun than Resident Evil 6 at least. There are also multiple interesting puzzles to be solved and most of them require you to think. The one game I find petty annoying (not the game's fault), is that the map is pretty big and for people with a terrible sense of direction like me, it can be quite tiresome to go from once place or another especially when a character just tell you to go to a particular place and you'll have to recall where is that and how to get there. A map is provided to you, but to me it wasn't very helpful. Fortunately, for most part of the game, there's only one direction and you'll just have to follow your partner when you get lost. In fact, the role of your partner in this game is just to make you feel more secure.

Rejoice dear fans, as Jill Valentine has return alongside Chris Redfield, my favorite character in the Resident Evil series! Unfortunately, this isn't a sequel to Resident Evil 6, but a prequel which takes place sometime in 2005. A few other new characters are introduced in the game as well. Jill's partner for most of the game is Anglo-Italian Parker Luciani and he is a very likable character. Chris' partner for most of the game on the other hand, is Jessica Sherawat who is, let's just say, not so likable. Poor Chris always get in unfortunate incidents for some reason. Fun fact: In the Japanese version of the game, Jessica Sherawat is voiced by the legendary Nana Mizuki. There are other playable characters as well and I am happy to say they are pretty enjoyable to play as. As for the storyline, I find it a rather confusing one as I don't quite understand who is doing what. To illustrate a point, the final boss in this game is not exactly the main antagonist but rather a somewhat random character. Speaking of which, the final boss in this game is the epitome of Capcom's logic defiance on what viruses can do. Well, you'll just have to enjoy the challenge and not giving it too much thoughts.

Overall, I find this game really enjoyable. If Capcom could somehow integrate Resident Evil Revelations with some elements of Resident Evil 6 and other series it will be perfect. I also hope Capcom would bring back zombie hostiles as well though I do enjoy battling with various species of bio-organic weapons (it's what Resident Evil call the enemies) in Resident Evil Revelations. Also I won't deny that this game is downright challenging and difficult. This game is the symbol of a good balance between survival horror and action, what Resident Evil games should be like. Of course, there are still rooms for improvement but I think Capcom is heading the right direction this time. I have really high hopes for Resident Evil 7. Last but not least, all hail Chris Redfield! XD

Rating: 8/10

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Anime Review: Strike Witches The Movie (The first 5 minutes)

Hi, everyone. Recently I've watched the Strike Witches movie and I could last only 5 minutes before I stopped the movie and deleted it entirely. So now I'm going to review about what I watched in that 5 minutes. I know you might hate me for 'judging the book by its cover', but I've got good reasons and my conscience is clear. First impression matters yo!

Title: Strike Witches The Movie

What is it about: Alien invasion and the rise of humanity against them. This is probably the ten billionth time I've seen this cliche.

Review: Personally I find it pretty uncomfortable writing this review, but I felt I just had to. Obviously I'm not going to talk much about the storyline because I had no idea at all, but the starting of this movie suggests that it is definitely not something new. However, I have to say that it is epic to see a war taking place between indestructible alien robots and humanity. Therefore, I was actually having my hopes high in this movie.

Then guess who are the savior of mankind? Little girls who are armed with machine guns and a little bit of magic known as Witches (a pretty mean name for the hope of mankind's salvation huh?)! But seriously, does it always have to be little girls? This is the case with Valkyria Chronicles, Infinite Stratos, Sora no Woto, somewhat with Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, etc.. These are the girls who are for some reason, blessed with superpowers that only them could stand against the overpowered opponents. Then again, I won't complain much about this because Valkyria Chronicles and Nanoha are pretty great anime (and games).

My real complain here is the fact that this movie completely abuses the elements of ecchi. This is the point where things get a bit explicit. For the entire 5 minutes, there is a panty-shot literally in every 20 seconds. I know this is quite common in most anime, but this one comes at the wrong place at the wrong time. Imagine a group of these Witches battling out with aliens, and all the camera is trying to do was to get a close-up shots of the Witches' panties. Worse, these witches aren't even wearing any pants, nor skirt for that matter, just so that they can give us a clear shot of their underwear. Come on, whoever made this movie. What is it that you are trying to show us? The epic battle or the sexy panties? To be honest, I personally don't find them sexy at all. Instead I find it somewhat stupid. Is this anime supposed to be one that is serious or mischievous? Because both definitely do not go well together. Is the creator of this anime trying to attract more guys to watch this movie? If that is so, it is a huge mistake and a failure that definitely backfires.

To sum it up, this anime isn't what I expect it to be: epic. Yeah, girls with machine guns are epic, and I like that. But girls with machine guns, overwhelmingly large breasts and incredible short skirt to the point that they are pretty much negligible (or no skirt/pants in this case)? Not so much. Take it as you may, I judge female anime characters by the size of their bust, and I definitely don't like oppai (to put it in layman's term, it means unrealistically huge boobs). Well, fortunately the oppai part isn't too much of a problem in the Strike Witches movie (at least not in the first 5 minutes), but still it doesn't make things any better. You may try to persuade me to continue watching this movie for the sake of the storyline, but as it is this movie is bad enough, and I'm sorry to say I won't be interested.

In conclusion, I appeal to everyone who makes anime to please consider their audiences so as to not offend anyone and display anything are viewed as improper. Anime doesn't need to be sexually explicit or disturbing to be attractive you know? Also, if you are a girl and you are reading this, please don't think I'm perverted a jerk. I see real-life girls differently from anime character :P

Rating: I can't rate the whole movie because like I said, I didn't watch it till the end. However, for the first 5 minutes alone, I'll give it a 3/10.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Anime Review: Unbreakable Machine Doll

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! In conjunction with this celebration of love, I will be posting a review of the most romantic anime there is out there! :D

The happy face of "I just murdered several machines like an infernal badass"
Title: Unbreakable Machine Doll

What is it about: Overpowered 'dolls' destroying each other alongside buildings. Oh ya, I was kidding about the romantic part :P

Review: Once again, an anime that features dolls! And I like it! However, these dolls are unlike those of Rozen Maiden and the likes, and the so-called dolls in this anime takes on various forms such as human, dragons, dogs etc. which are by no means mechanical (except for the mecha dolls). These dolls even have blood in them (again, except the mecha ones), so they are actually more alive than merely a combat puppet.

Speaking of combat, I can assure you that this anime is highly action packed which involves human-sized dolls battling out with, say, a hundred-feet tall dragon. Not only that, the one thing that is very likable of the battle scenes in this anime is that they are very strategy-filled. The main character, though being overpowered, isn't exactly one that is powerful enough to match most of his way-more-overpowered opponents, but I do find him very admirable because he often assess the situation with a calm and calculative mind, and engages in combat with strategy to defeat his opponents. He's also a tough guy who manages to survive multiple life-threatening blows, which could be kind of unrealistic at times.

In terms of storyline, this anime does have an interesting and well thought out plot for a 12-episode anime. Though given the complexity of the story line, it is expected that 12 episodes isn't quite sufficient to convey in full what was introduced to the audience. As a result, too many unanswered questions arose in this anime. Speaking of which, this anime tend to introduce too many characters that are significant but somewhat random to the point where things get a little confusing, and this does contribute to some of those unanswered questions. Also, most of these characters are introduced to us a being extremely powerful, but they are never actually seen engaging in combat. Some of them merely appeared for a short while and not much are told about them. As such, a sequel is highly anticipated and given the popularity of this anime, I would say it is pretty likely. If there isn't, it is going to be one massive letdown, but I'm having my hopes high.

In conclusion, this is one of the few anime which I found to be really epic. The fight scenes are really enjoyable to watch, though I do admit that some supposedly really powerful enemy were defeated pretty fast. Epic battles aside, this anime is also a humorous one especially given that one of the main character's forte is sarcasm. I do enjoy the background music in this anime, but unfortunately not the opening and ending theme. Last but not least, I really enjoy watching this anime because.......... loli! XD

Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Movie Review: Suspect X (The Japanese one)

My exams are finally finished and now is the start of my 1-month semester break, so I finally have the time in my hands to write on a review of the best movie (best Japanese movie at the very least) I've ever come to know. I've watched this movie quite some time ago actually, and I think I'm going to watch it again soon.

Title: Suspect X (Yougisha X no Kenshin)

(Not to be confused with Samurai X or Rurouni Kenshin)

What is it about: Who needs forensic science when you have physics? And who needs alibi when you have mathematics?

Review: What happen when you strike a steel ball with several steel balls aligned on a rail on one end? Obviously, according to the law of conservation of energy and momentum, the energy will be transferred and cause the ball on the other end to roll at the same speed. What happens then, when you attach a powerful neodymium magnet to one side of the line of steel balls and a ball is rolled towards it? It will cause an instant acceleration of the ball prior to striking the line, causing the ball on the other end to fire at a high speed. What then... if you put the steel ball on a seriously powerful superconducting magnetic accelerator? Well, according to the movie, it's really awesome! XD

Suspect X is a movie for those science geek out there who wants to see how physics and mathematics are applied in epic ways to solve criminal cases. Yes, the one doing the crime-solving is a physicist assisted by a detective. If you haven't notice, this physicist is Yukawa Manabu from the detective drama series Galileo. What makes this movie a lot more interesting, and longer than other cases he has solved in the drama, is that the adversary this time is a genius mathematician who happened to be Yukawa's best friend (and probably the one and only person who understands his physics mumbo-jumbo.)

For a little spoiler, the mathematician didn't exactly commit the crime, but assisted his neighbor to cover up a homicide she committed by creating the perfect alibi. If you haven't watch the Galileo series, Yukawa is basically a professor who has no interest whatsoever in anything but physics, and a detective often seek his knowledge in physics to solve various bizarre crimes. So, the drama is pretty much a Detective Conan style crime solving series which is rather repetitive throughout the episodes. However, in this movie, there is much more than that. This movie talks about some of Yukawa's past and his relationship with the mathematician. Being his best friend, he also had to deal with the dilemma of protecting his friends or unraveling the truth. The truth to the case is also extremely difficult for Yukawa to unravel and for the first time ever, he actually did mistakes in his deductions. Well, he is going against a genius after all. Also, in this movie you'll get  to see Yukawa being emotional which totally does not happen in the drama even if someone were to drop dead in front of him.

If you love physics and/or mathematics and you learn them in high school or university, you'll definitely like this movie. You don't have to completely understand them, though I doubt anyone can unless your name happened to be Albert Einstein. It's still pretty cool to see how these people do their reasoning and calculations. Of course, there are much more of these to be seen in the drama series Galileo, which brings me to my next point.

As much as this movie makes references to physics and mathematics, I must unfortunately admit that this movie has significantly less application of physics in the crime-solving process that it does in the drama. This is because this movie highlights the complexity behind the crimes rather than the methodology, hence more applications of logic is deployed. It also focuses more on story line rather than pure crime-solving. It is more on the characters being calculative in their respective plans and investigation, rather than their actual performance and demonstration of the theory and math. This is rather unfortunate, but I believe it is a reasonable sacrifice. If you would like to see Yukawa applying the laws of physics full force and solving impossible crimes like a boss (and shaming the cops in the process), be my guest and watch the Galileo series. Trust me, it's really not bad!

Rest assured though, this movie is definitely not a boring one especially given the complexity of the case. What detective movie is better than two great minds going head-to-head with each other? Also, while this movie could get pretty serious, it does also make you laugh at times. In other words, this is not the typical detective movie that involves nothing but crime scene investigation, illogical coincidences, yada yada yada, the end. There's actually a lot of story line in it, and they are interesting to watch. Last but not least, that girl is quite pretty! XD

Rating: 8.5/10