Things are getting hectic, but it’s not long till the last break of the year. I’d like to say I have some major improvements planned but at the moment i’m probably just going to add a title index so people can view posts by which GSNs are mentioned in them, rather than by post type. I’d also like to get some art commissioned at some point, so if anyone reading this knows anyone looking for work please let me know.
Anyways, this week’s topics are the new anime-and-VN-based TCG Weiss Schwarz, Webseries and the Nintendo DS Visual Novel 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors. Let’s get started.
Trading Card Games have always been on the fringe of what i’ve been interested in. I’ve collected them, but they’ve never been a big thing in my life. From Pokemon when I was younger to Yu-Gi-Oh! and Cardfight Vanguard now, they’ve just been something extra to amuse myself with. Some TCGs have anime based on them, while others have spun off from existing anime. But what if there was a TCG stemming from multiple anime and even Visual Novels to boot? Well, that’s Weiss Schwarz.
While I collected Pokemon cards because they were based on Pokemon, my more recent collections exist solely to allow me to play their associated game. Now, with Weiss Schwarz featuring titles like Fate/Zero, Little Busters!, Angel Beats! and Persona (and many more), I once again have a reason to throw away all my pocket money (er…hard-earned wages). To be honest, I don’t even care if the game itself is any good…I just want to get my hands on all the cards featuring the anime I love! I’m not sure about most countries, but I know Weiss Schwarz has released in the US and is heading towards a late-August release in New Zealand. Considering our location at the bottom of the world, that probably means you all have it already.
Beyond physical TCGs i’ve dabbled in the Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! video games, which are actually pretty good. Are any of you folks interested in TCGs?
Webseries are pretty much TV series but on the internet. Easy, right? They’re usually pretty entertaining and today I have 3 of them to talk about.
The first and newest series on my list is Video Game High School. You can watch it for free on youtube or on the VGHS website. The title more or less gives away the plot: there’s a High School where you play Video Games. My initial reaction was to immediately watch the first episode because anything with that premise was bound to be awesome. After having finished the first season, though, I can only conclude that VGHS was merely above average. The setting, special effects and actors were all brilliant but the writing really let the rest of the production down. The number of awkward jokes that fall flat is huge (though there were a number of clever references to gaming culture that I noticed). If you like the idea, watch it. If you don’t, don’t. That is all.
Secondly there’s the older and more well-known The Guild which, again, you can watch on youtube or on the official website. Featuring a group of people playing what may as well be World of Warcraft, The Guild has a whole six seasons worth of episodes. Again, this one’s a comedy. While the first season was funded by donations (and is therefore of lower quality), The Guild was quickly picked up and funded by Microsoft and Sprint (which I assume is an American company). I liked it enough to watch the first three seasons, but not enough to discover that three more seasons existed, so you can draw your own conclusions from that. If it helps, I probably will watch the new ones now that i’ve found them.
Finally, Doomsday Arcade started as an entry for an online webseries contest and quickly became much more. You can watch it on youtube or at The Escapist. The production quality starts off fairly low, as the series was made by two High School students, but the excellent gaming-related humor and ridiculous number of references make Doomsday Arcade incredibly entertaining. As with VGHS there are a few gags that aren’t particularly funny but the rest of the show more than makes up for it. If anyone asked me for a webseries recommendation, Doomsday Arcade would be it.
Last but not least I have a bit of a confession to make: I played 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors and didn’t finish it. For those of you that aren’t in the know, 999 is a rather popular Visual Novel for the Nintendo DS which I have yet to see a negative comment about. Before I move on I want to make one thing clear: I am not saying that 999 is a bad game.
999 is about a group of people who are trapped on a sinking ship and forced to take part in something called the Nonary Game. Basically they have to go through a series of escape-the-room type situations while the numbers 1 through 9 are constantly being thrown at them. There’s a lot more to it than that though and I implore you to give it a go before giving my opinion any credit.
The reason I dropped 999 had more to do with how I went about playing than the actual quality of them game. Being a DS game an emulator was the way to go, which was my first mistake. With most Visual Novels you can select which speed you want the txt to display at, and clicking while the text is loading automatically loads that line. 999 has neither of those features and the text loads as fast as a snail in salt. I would assume that everyone who liked 999 has a lot more patience than me, but unfortunately I am not one of those people and immediately turned to the fast-forward feature of my emulator. This was my second mistake.
Fast-forwarding affects everything, including the sound, so in order to save my ears I had to continue without the BGM. This meant that any sort of atmosphere it fostered went right out the window. I continued my soundless, super-fast romp through 999 for 2 endings (both of which were abrupt and not particularly enjoyable) and was heading toward the True Ending when I realized that, due to the mistake I had made in choosing how to play the game, I wasn’t going to enjoy the ending no matter what happened – I just wasn’t immersed in the story enough to care. I had not played 999 in the manner it was intended to be played and the price was my enjoyment and ability to judge the game in a non-biased way. Many of you won’t care about all this, but I kinda wanted to get it off my chest.
I suppose in the end it was sort of the game’s fault as well as my own…but I still can’t give it a proper review.
You guys may not have noticed, but in my previous posts (and pages) every single picture has a hidden message when you hover over it. I’ve tried changing to captions for this post. Is it better this way, or are secrets just that much cooler?
“No matter how important a person is, some day you will lose them. No matter how much you desire it, eternity is one thing you shall never possess. It’s the time you do spend with that person that’s important, so that you can meet your parting without regret.” – Modified from Ef – A Fairy Tale of the Two (Yuuko)