Game Project Announcement

19 Apr

Yes, as you can see, this blog is still alive and kicking for you to see, and today I got a pretty cool announcement for you all, I have started work on my first Game project.

The project will be called Endless Dungeon, I cannot give to much details yet as I am currently working on the core features and getting them programmed and working in the game. However, the aim for the project will be to produce a dungeon crawler where you randomly get given dungeons to work though, fighting monsters and working out puzzles in order to get rewards at the end of the dungeon. The game is currently planned for an early 2017 release on Android and PC, and will be focused on endless gameplay that you can quickly pick up and put down whenever you need to.

Well that’s all for today’s entry, until next time.

Anime Review: Another

16 Mar

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Since watching the show Mirai Nikki last year, Thriller has since been a genre of great interest for myself, so when a friend from Dissidia Forums told me about Another, I was immediately interested to see what the show was like, and if it could live up to the scope Mirai Nikki has set for me. After finishing the show last night in one sitting, you will be pleased to hear that it was not far from reaching this scope.

  • Anime: Another
  • Aired: Winter 2012
  • Length: 12 30 Minute Episodes
  • Genre: School, Thriller, Horror

Another follows a student called Kouichi Sasakibara who has just moved from Tokyo, and is about to join Yomiyama Middle School when he suddenly fall ill after joining the school, he meets a mysterious student called Mei Misaki. After meeting her, strange events starts to happen in class 3-3 and everybody starts to panic, Kouichi then discovers that Class 3-3 has been cursed for over 25 years, the anime shows the class struggle to try and lift this curse after events start to unfold. The show sets out to be a mixture of Thriller and horror at the same time, jumps and scares are more common than your normal thriller. The story is a great one, with many twists, and during the entire time, I was only able to pre-predict one twist in the story, other than that, every other plot twist that the story had to offer generally surprised me. and this is the way thrillers should be, the only minor issue I had with the story was the slow introduction of the curse, it took almost half the show to finally get the curse explained, but other than this, the studio had a great plot on their hands.

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Characters were another strong point Another had (haha, that unintended pun tho!) The lead characters were strongly developed, had a flushed out backstory behind each of them, and were designed (even more with Mei) with great detail. Looking at each of the two main characters, Kouichi really had that aura of ‘I need to know’ behind him, always asking questions, and always looking to find out the true mystery around Mei, and why the others didn’t even seem to think she was even in the class. While Mei really shined as the girl of mystery, and the design choice of giving her a Eye patch really helped, along with the design choice of giving her a paler skin color. The way she spoke gave her that extra bit of mystery as well, the soft and to the point tone of her lines made her truly look like a strange character, even right at the end of the show, not much was known of Mei and her past, and this was better left the way it was.

Side characters were surprisingly detailed as well, smaller characters like say, the rest of Class 3-3 really had some story behind them, they were not left as the ‘oh, there’s a rest of the class too’ kind of situation. Each student within the class had a basic back story behind them, with family, and each class member had their own personally. This isn’t something you see that often for characters that may get, say, 10-20 lines across the entire show, but this was a good move to at least, have the entire class of 3-3 have their own personally.

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Music was, sadly, one of the weaker points of the show, with it’s soundtrack only containing 13 tracks, don’t expect to be listening to a wide range of music, to be honest, you will be hearing the same tracks quite a few times over the course of the show. However, the soundtrack  composed by Kow Otani does some good pieces that can be listened to again, Track 07 is for me, the standout track in the 13 track OST the show has to offer. The song tends to play when Mei is telling Kouichi something about her or her past. The calm smoothing tone of track 07 does really stand out from what is otherwise, a pretty standard Horror soundtrack.

Another-anime-3

Finally, a quick look at the voice cast, Mei was voiced by Takamor Natsumi while Kouichi was voiced by Abe Atsuhi. Kouichi has a calm yet collective voice to him, while Mei has that mysterious and slightly sharp voice. With Mei this works really well, while Kouichi also has a voice that fits in well, but it’s nothing ground breaking, still, the entire voice cast done a great job of giving the characters, each and everyone of them the personally they need.

Overall, Another is a great show that is helped by it’s great storytelling as well as it’s strong cast of characters. If you are looking for an anime with the thrills and spills you need from  the genre then you come to the right place. With it being a 12 episode anime as well, you, like me, can very well sit down and watch in an evening, just be ready for a soundtrack where you might be hearing the same tracks over and over, as 13 tracks for a 6 hour show just isn’t enough.

Score:

  • Storytelling: 8
  • Characters: 9
  • Music: 6
  • Voice Acting: 8
  • Overall: 31/40

Stevie Reviews: Ocean Waves, Ponyo and Whisper to the Heart

6 Aug

It been quite the while guys, but today I am back with a new blog post for all you guys. Today, I will be doing 3 short reviews of the various Studio Ghibli films I been watching over the past few days. For people that do not know, Film4 are currently doing a Studio Ghibli season, with a different film on everyday at 11AM. So without any further ado, it time to get this show on the road.

Ocean Waves

This first movie is not so much a movie, but more a TV special, as it only times at 72 minutes. The film follows a university student travelling back to his hometown a year after he finished high school, during the trip back, he remembers his last year of high school. During the year, Taku ended up in a love triangle between his best friend Yutaka and a transfer student from Tokyo named Rikako.

I will say this, this is pretty much Ghibli’s most mature film, from the movies that I have seen from the studio, and I got to say it was a nice change, but it sadly gets hit by a few problems in my view. The main one being Rikako, her character, is a interesting one, but I find they took her, how could I put this, cruelness a bit to far. I think the story could of gone more in depth as well, I would of loved to learn more about the characters and their past, sadly this problem is most likely due to the length.

Overall, the movie is well worth the watch if you want to watch a different kind of Ghibli film, but this is one of the companies weaker films. It is still great non of the less, even more so when you know that students made it. Note that there is no dub version, which surprised me more that the channel even showed the film. I would give the film a 7/10.

Ponyo

 

Moving forward quite a few years, Ponyo is a 2008 offering from the company, and follows a boy called Sōsuke, who befriends a goldfish. After tasting human blood, and gaining a liking for the boy, the fish turns into a human in the hope that she can stay with him. they then journey together to find Sōsuke’s mother.

If you don’t like, or can’t look past the childish theme then this isn’t the film for you, this one is aimed toward children. Non of the less, this is a fantastic film, the characters are developed amazingly, even to the point where they are more developed than Spirited Away. The story is a great one to, with the telling of the bonds that can be developed by humans, even to creatures that are a different kind to us. The animation is great to, here a fact, this was the first film from the company since 2008 to use traditional animation methods.

If you can look past the childish theme, you will be in to quite an adventure, a magical world of adventure, the sea, and of course Ponyo awaits, I wasn’t a fan of the ending theme however. Overall I will give the film a 9/10.

Whisper to the Heart

Our final offering today is a 1995 film based on a manga of the same name. The film follows Shizuku, a 14 year old school student who loves to read, and after meeting Seiji, a boy in the same grade as her who loves to play the violin, she gets inspired to start writing.

I found the film really interesting, as it was telling 2 stories rather than 1, one about the 2 characters mentions, and another about a statue of a baron cat called Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, who was spilt from his partner. The second story is in fact the story Shizuku is writing during the second half of the film. I felt this was done very, very well. The baron even got his own film 7 years later, as he stars in The Cat Returns, which if you want to watch, is tomorrows offering on Film4.

There are a few problems however, the biggest one was Yuko, Shizuku friend, there was a side story about her and a friend she liked, this was not developed on nowhere near far enough. You don’t even find out what happened with them at the end. it saddened me quite a bit. I still really enjoyed the film non the less. I give the film a final score of 8/10.

Keep your eye on my YouTube channel, where I will be reviewing another Ghibli film more in depth, but for now this will do. Until next time guys, keep being awesome.

Oh, one more thing, gamers might recognize Shizuku English voice actress, she was voiced by Brittany Snow, who voiced Naminé in Kingdom Hearts II

E3: Square Enix are BACK With a Bang!

12 Jun

E3 is just closing up right now, people have enjoyed the show, and Next Gen are looking fantastic. Out of all the triple A developers, there was one that out-shined, the underdogs who fans were hoping, dreaming for maybe Versus XIII news, but was thinking it was an outside hope. They arrived at the Sony conference, and we was like “Final Fant………. wait…… VERSUS!” The fans were going mad, seeing 3 and a half minutes of footage which even had gameplay. Then…. well, we got the biggest shock, I would even say it was the biggest shock of E3. A trailer, Sora looking sexy, then the logo appeared, “ooo nice kingdom hea……… HOLY SHIT KINGDOM HEARTS III AGGGHHHH FHJHGGJ.”

After all these years, Square Enix arrived and took the show, in style, after a terrible generation, Square Enix are back with a bang. Yes you did just hear that, Square Enix are finally back to them awesome self after being ill for over 6 years. It great to see the company taking E3 by storm, these surprises, shocks, Fans are proud to be Square Enix fans again. I am currently so proud to be a Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts fan, these games look great, Final Fantasy Versus……. errr, I mean it new name, Final Fantasy XV looks fantastic, showing what JRPG’s needed, change.

I am going to leave it like this for today, I’ll leave the trailers below in case you been sleeping under a rock this week! I’ll leave a few images as well, including one that sums up my view on PS4 vs Xbox One.

XV!!!!

 

KH3 OMFG YES!!!

 

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Announcement: Final Fantasy Charity Stream

25 Mar

Just a quick Second blog post for today, I’m just writing quickly to announce that I am going to be running a 5 day charity stream, playing yes you guessed it, Final Fantasy!

 

Charity Stream Banner

More details are to come, but the plan is to Play 3 Final Fantasy games over 5 days, these games will be:

  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2

All this will be done to raise money for Cancer Research UK, A Charity that hunts for a cure for Cancer. It will run from 9AM to 12AM GMT every day.

Sorry I can’t give more details, but for updates, follow me on Twitter or Follow the Facebook Event Page

Until Next Time, Keep Playing, I leave you with a random image of Yuna :3

 

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster – Comparison Images and Views

24 Mar

It been quite a while since I last posted, I know, but your in a bit of a treat today! Fresh out of Friday’s announcement and PAX East, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is announced, and even has a trailer ‘well in German anyway’. for people who missed it, here the trailer:

 

 

Now, the reason I am posting today is to compare the differences between the PS2 version and the HD Trailer released today, So without any further ado, let’s begin.

Our first image compares a section of the famous lake scene, it shows Yuna crying in the lake.

 

Yuna HD Side by Side

The big different here is the tear she shedding, you can in fact see the tear, she crying. while seeable in the PS2 version it nothing compared to the HD Version. The lighting has been given quite a upgrade here too, with the scene being much darker ‘the way it should be,’ and Yuna having so many more shadows on her. Water has much more shine, the trees are much more detailed and Yuna’s accessories look much more detailed, just to name a few of the other updates.  overall looking great compared to the PS2 version.

Next, it time to go onto that boat to Luca:

 

Boat Scene Side by Side

Again, the lighting difference is very noticeable here, but this time the scene is now much brighter than before. Yuna’s model is also now much thinner, the stars are looking pretty awesome in HD too. Sadly on the other hand, this scene have seemed to have a switch from using Higher poly models to lower ones. It a shame really, the better high poly models could of really blossomed here.

 

Next, it that famous opening scene:

 

Opening Side by Side 2

Again, a noticeable lighting different can be seen here, that fire looking sexy too. This scene however have been tweaked from the original game. This shot was taken so that Tidus is at the same point in both shots, in the PS2 shot, the weapons cannot be seen. so for this one, I did another shot to show the difference in the weapons!

Opening Side by Side 

Tidus’s weapon looks so much better now compared to the PS2 version, the water inside even moves on the PS3 Version ‘look at the trailer to see what I mean.’

Next, back to the lake, but this time let’s compare Tidus

 

Tidus Side by Side

Looking pretty good I say, Tidus’s hair looks much more real now compared to the PS2. Once again the lighting has been upgraded, and it looking much better than before. Tidus has more detail to his face now as well.

Finally, one more Yuna compare, because I’m such a Yuna fanboy :3:

 

Yuna Sunset Side by Side 

One simple thing to say here… that sunset!

I got to say, Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is looking to be quite a upgrade, with it having much more than just a new coat of paint. It gets better, Final Fantasy X-2 is also getting the HD Treatment, and will be bundled with Final Fantasy X on one disc on PS3 as Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster. Sadly for you Portable fans you will have to buy each game on it own on Vita. Finally, both versions will be the International version, with Final Fantasy X International never seeing US Shores, and Final Fantasy X-2 International never seeing Western Shores, this is a must buy for Final Fantasy X Fans!

Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster on PS3 as well as Final Fantasy X HD Remaster and Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster on Vita will be released some time in 2013. Final Fantasy Fans will soon be able to once again experience the wonderful world of Spira, and experience the beautiful Love Story of the Blitzball Player Tidus, and the Young Summoner Yuna. This time experienceing the story in full glorious HD!

For more updates on Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster, as well as anything I get up to, follow me on Twitter. Until next time, this is Steven, signing out, I leave you with screens released on the Website on Friday

 

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Top one is PS2, Bottom one is PS3/Vita

Character Discussion: The Crazy Girl Known as Yuno Gasai

9 Mar

If you don’t recognize this character, then you never watched a good anime, joking aside I decided to use my first character discussion post to talk about Yuno Gasai from the anime Mirai Nikki (or Future Diary in English). I note that I am going to be talking about the early stages of the anime, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, look away now.

Now the warning out of the way, Yuno is a 14 year old high school student, she attends the same school as Yuki, the main character in the anime. The anime set her out to be a prefect, innocent high school student, who just hang out with friends like any other high school girl would. during the first episode of the anime, Yuki is being chased by a serial murderer (yep, serial murderers in the first episode) and Yuno finds him and helps him run away from the murderer, at the end of the episode she kills the murderer with him.

Before I carry on with this, I need to explain the anime a bit, Mirai Nikki is a anime about 12 people being caught in a survival game, with the last one standing becoming God of the Universe. Each of the 12 players each hold a Future Diary, a object that can read into the future, but each character can only see a certain part of the future. For example, one of the future diary’s goes into the future to find a escape route, another will go into a future to solve crime and so on.

The reason Yuno was able to lead Yuki out and away from the killer was due to her Future Diary, Yukiteru Diary, which pretty much allow her to see into the future and tell what Yuki doing, anytime of the day. Rather creepy huh, after that, Yuki decides that it would be best to keep Yuno close.

As the episodes go on, you find out about a rather weaid, and VERY creepy side to her, at the end of the second episode, Yuki walks into a room in her house, to find, yep, DEAD BODIES!! From this second on, the true colors of Yuno comes out, a 14 year old girl that would do anything to be by Yuki’s side, even killing people, alot of people.

Why you ask that I talk about this character, well I’m here to say why I like her as a character. Now trust me when I say that her creepy side is creepy, but her personally is really interesting. Because after all, she is just a high school student who’s in love with somebody, and at the end of the day, she just wants to be by Yuki’s side. She just goes by it in the wrong way, but love can do that, even from my personal experience I done some weaid things for love, trust me. Still, her creepy side is very creepy, but I think that helps with the mysterious side of her character, the side that the viewer is trying to learn in the course of watching the anime.

Yuno is also a very popular character on the internet, seriously she very much one of the more recognizable anime characters. She even has her own internet meme, yep that right, she even has a internet meme due to a very famous ‘and rather scary’ image that get broadcasted alot over the net. Known as the Yandere trance, her face is changed to look like other anime or even game characters, pointless to my post, but a interesting fact non of the less.

I think I’ll leave it at that for today, I hope you enjoyed learning a little about the cute yet creepy Yuno. You should give Mirai Nikki a watch if you get the time, it a great thiller anime with a interesting romance story on the side. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Subscribe to my blog for more posts on Anime, as well as Games, my journey to become a Games Designer and much more! Today I’ll leave you with a video, the first opening theme for the anime, it GREAT, and it fits the anime very well. Until next time, be careful where you walk, there might just be a Yuno following you ready to kill you once and for all.