Hello and welcome to all you beautiful dragons, today we’re doing something a little different. This is a character analysis of your beloved protagonist: Neptune from the Hyperdimension Neptutnia series. We’re asking two questions, how does the console and company (SEGA) affect her character and which of her forms is closer to her true nature? So without further ado let’s get into it.
First and foremost it’s unclear how much the unreleased SEGA Neptune influenced Nep’s character. There’s debate on whether she personifies the SEGA Neptune or a fictitious console created by the game developers. For the purposes of this analysis we’ll consider it a mixture.
Originally the SEGA Neptune was planned to be an intermediate console between the SEGA Mega Drive (Genesis) and the SEGA Saturn. It would be a Mega Drive (Genesis) combined with a 32X but the project was cancelled in 1995, not wishing to dilute the market for the soon to be released Saturn. There isn’t much information on the scraped console so it’s hard to speculate any personality traits derived from it.
On the other hand, the fictional Neptune console the game developers designed, made in-game by Planeptune, specs and features can be found. Visually the console is nothing like anything available in reality, an indication of Planeptune’s technological advancement and focus. It’s shaped like a D Pad with each side being a CD Port. The primary colour is a solid black with neon purple highlights. It has many features that gamers can only dream of existing. An A.I. operating system, capable of automatically performing complex tasks with a simple auditory command. The A.I Model Neptune is designed to emulate a real human. It’s starting configuration is energetic and optimistic, making it difficult to control at times. More time spent communicating with the console the more it adapts to the owners preferences and less errors occur. Among the many other futuristic features are, a multiple split-core processors that emulate human DNA, the memory is beyond comprehension and has the capability to play 4D games, audio and movies; but the only other important feature for our purposes is the Play Controller. It’s able to output movies, music and can tickle you. How very Nep?
Now it’s difficult to determine what era of SEGAIdea Factory might have considered for inspiration. Let’s assume more modern SEGA, beyond the Dreamcast days. Looking at the games released in that time doesn’t hold much water. There are many different franchises made and released by SEGA including arcade games. Amongst all of them are many games that can reflect both sides of Nep’s personality so it’s best to try to narrow down the scope. It’s safe to say SEGA is most known for Sonic the Hedgehog and maybe those are the only games that need to be considered. Between 2001 and 2003 SEGA shifted to third-party software development. Deciding to stop producing their own consoles, SEGA started developing games for third-party software such as the PS2 and Gameboy Advance. Then between 2003 and 2015 SEGA merged with Sammy (a pachinko and pachiclot manufacturing company). Eventually Sammy completely took over SEGA after buying it’s remaining shares. From there SEGA experienced many changes but nothing that would have an impact on a character inspired by the company.
Above are the four different forms of Neptune. Her human form, Goddess form, Next form and older Neptune. It’s hard to connect her design to SEGA. The closest is the white and blue colouring in reference to the company’s logo. Except this blue is the wrong shade. Neptune has a light blue colour whereas the SEGA logo sports dark blue. Yes Neptune has a lot of D Pad imagery but D Pads are a staple for most controllers nowadays, including the ones with joysticks. So SEGA barely influences Nep’s character design.
It’s clear to see the bigger influence is the fictional Neptune console created by the game developers. Neptune’s goddess form and older Nep are the best examples with the black and darker purple colour scheme. Her goddess lost purple form resembles the console the most with the see through purple screen on her stomach. Older Neptune’s outfit is basically a pallet shift of regular Nep’s Parka dress with a few details and shapes changed.
Neptune’s personality has already been touched on in a previous post, be sure to read that for a more indepth take on Nep’s personality. To recap she is a happy-go-lucky girl with a strong sense of justice. She’s a bit ditzy but confident and optimistic. In her goddess form, she’s more mature and calm. She takes full advantage of her intelligence and observation skills. So what influence did SEGA have when creating Nep’s personality? As previously stated SEGA is bound to have released and/or developed games that fit both her forms personalities so we’re just going to focus on the company’s mascot: Sonic the Hedgehog. For those unfamiliar with the Sonic games it might be hard to see the similarities. Sonic is a free-spirited humanoid hedgehog with a strong sense of justice and adventure that’s gotta go fast. Couldn’t resist. Sonic can be reckless, charging into situations and fights without thinking. Generally Sonic is easygoing, cool, carefree, impatient and hates being bored. He has a lot of self confidence which results in an inflated ego, sass, quick-wit and cockiness. Quickly multiple parallels start to appear between Neptune’s and Sonic’s personalities. They’re both super confident, easy going and have a strong sense of justice. Looking at other characters in the Sonic series there isn’t an exact character that matches Purple Heart. There are similar traits here and there but nothing on the level of Neptune and Sonic. So it can be assumed that Idea Factory took inspiration from SEGA’s mascot character, Sonic, when personifying SEGA and the fictional console they made for it. Of course it’s also worth noting the fictional Neptune console. A console that’s A.I operating systems default configuration closely resembles Neptune’s personality, energetic and optimistic.
Finally, Neptune’s true nature needs to be determined, something which isn’t really that difficult. All that’s needed is older Neptune. Older Neptune is from the Ultra dimension and because CPUs are created in that dimension and not born Neptune never became a CPU. As Neptune has gotten older her personality has become a combination of her energetic self and Purple Heart. Leaning more towards the human form of Neptune that players are familiar with. Even though Neptune is believed to be a bit ditzy by other characters there are moments she uses that to her advantage. This information partnered with what can be surmised regarding the relationship between SEGA and the designing of Neptune, it can be assumed that Neptune’s human form is her true nature. Purple Heart is a mature, calm damper on her energetic nature when she needs it. Despite this, at times Neptune’s true nature will leak through when she is in her goddess form. For example, when she transforms into Purple Heart just so she can ride a rollercoaster.
In conclusion, it has been determined that SEGA’s influence on Neptune’s character largely stems from their mascot character Sonic the Hedgehog. And as for Neptune’s true nature it can be determined that it shines through in Neptune’s human form. The energetic, optimistic and friendly protagonist players love.
Thank you for taking the time to read about Neptune.This took a bit longer then I would’ve liked but what can you do. I’ll see you all in the next post.
Hello and welcome to all you beautiful dragons, today I’m starting a waifu war. That’s not my intention but when you rank characters it’s a risk. The point is people have different opinions on waifus. This is a joint piece featuring myself, The Hostess and Saethyrax the Daydreamer. The main order was decided by me and if Saethyrax’s opinion differs it’s written in red next to the black. Similarly sections he’s written are in red. This is also a great way to introduce the characters to anyone who doesn’t know the series.
“Boo! Play with me too!” – Peashy
“Oops! I forgot! I wasn’t supposed to say it’s nice to meet you. Forget that I was nice, okay?” – Yellow Heart
Peashy is one of the CPUs for Planeptune in the Ultra dimension. She personifies a PC, easy to figure out from her name. Peashy is pretty much a child and not the adorable kind. No, she’s an unruly kid that freely tackles others and breaks things. Peashy can be annoying. Her energetic and outgoing nature compliments her combat style, punching/fists. Despite her tough act she can be very emotional and burst into tears. To reiterate she is a child. An annoying child. Granted Yellow Heart’s design is cute and she has impressive “assets”, if that’s your thing. Underneath that she’s still Peashy. When she transforms her personality barely changes. There’s no hate for Peashy but she is annoying. That lands her at the bottom of the list.
“Get frozen into a glacier, dummy!” – Ram
“How dare you make Rom play hostage and make her cry! You’ll pay, dummy!” – White Sister
Ram is one of the CPU Candidates of Lowee, the younger sister of the Lowee twins. Both sisters personify the Nintendo DS handheld systems. Ram is the more dominant twin, taking charge in conversations. She leans closer to the more aggressive side of Blanc’s personality. Although no one can compete with Blanc’s rage. Again she’s a child so she’s playful and in her case bratty. This brattiness and her big headedness can make her unlikable. On top of that she freely dishes out insults. Ram is akin to a steamroller. She’ll take over a conversation, sprinkle in some insults and not listen to reason or other people’s opinions. She does have her good points. She will do anything to protect her sister. She can be cute, if she would shut her mouth some of the time. Bottom line when you compare Ram to the other CPU Candidates she is the least likable.
10. Rei Ryghts
“Oh dear! I’m sorry, sorry, so so sorry!”- Rei Ryghts
“Your low-class whore personality makes it debut, I see. This is why you CPUs are vulgar whelps.”- Blue Heart*Only assumed based on the established naming convention.
Rei Ryghts was the CPU of the forgotten nation of Tari and the main antagonist of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory. She personifies the Atari 2600 console. She led the villain group of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory unaware that she was even a goddess having forgotten long ago, believing herself to be just a normal human.
Rei has a drastic personality change when she transforms into her goddess form. Rei’s personality is quite gentle in her human form. She lacks confidence and has trouble conveying her ideas to her allies, who constantly tease her on a daily basis. In her Goddess form however, she becomes incredibly aggressive, arrogant and abusive towards others. She also loses her confidence problems when she’s transformed. Rei’s CPU personality would sometimes leak through to her human form, totally changing outward impressions of this normally kind, soft spoken girl. Rei’s reason for being a villain is because she failed as a CPU, she believed all CPUs were doomed to fail.
Rei is more interesting than the previous two. When there’s a large difference between a CPU’s human form personality and Goddess personality it makes scenes and encounters more entertaining. However Rei is an antagonist. A good antagonist but still one all the same. Of course the hero characters are going to out rank her.
“Perhaps the world can wait just one more week while I speed through that game…” – Vert
“Wh-?! Breasts are symbolic for both maturity and fertility. The size of my bust equates my aptitude as a goddess.” – Green Heart
Vert is the CPU for Leanbox and personifies Xbox consoles. On the surface she appears to be the oldest and most mature of the CPUs. She’s kind, regal and loves her tea. Around the other CPUs she happily takes a big sister role, not having any younger siblings herself. Once you look beneath the caring, wise and sometimes playful Goddess you see that she has a serious gaming addiction. Locking herself in her room for several days, skirting her duties as CPU to play games. Due to her lack of a younger sister Vert tries her best to steal Nepgear as the sister she never had. Maybe if Microsoft attempted a handheld console that would change for poor Vert. Something else you quickly begin to realise with Vert is that she can sound quite pretentious, especially when talking about herself. Being proud of your beauty and “assets” is all well and good but maybe don’t mention it every time you level up. Vert is my least favourite of the main Goddesses. No hate, just a preference for more entertaining personalities. That is why she is here.
“What the goodness?” – Nepgear
“I still have a ways to go… I have to try harder…” – Purple Sister
Nepgear is the CPU Candidate for Planeptune, personifying a fictitious handheld console, N-Gear, based on the unreleased Sega Game Gear. Nepgear’s personality is the opposite of her older sister. She’s organised and hardworking, most of the time being the more mature/responsible out of the two. Nepgear is a simple character. She’s genuine, kind and a reliable girl who deals with major self confidence issues. This low self esteem means that she gets pushed around or requires encouragement from her team to push through. Making Nepgear a bit of a doormat. Nepgear is a tinkerer and is pretty good with technology, occasionally using these talents to help out her sister and friends. Nepgear is pretty much the nice doormat who is overshadowed by other characters. Sorry Nepgear you’re not a little closer to Neptune this time.
“Who are you calling “socially inept?!”- Noire
“As soon as we’re done here, this guy’s fired.” – Black Heart
Noire is CPU of the nation of Lastation, she and her nation personify the Playstation series of consoles. Noire fits the role of your typical tsundere for your regular anime gaming needs. Out of the main 4 she is the hardest working, a lot of the times putting work before her own well being. During her time off from Goddess work she either plays games, spends time with her sister or does cosplay, she prefers to keep her cosplay hobby a secret though. In the remake of the first game she is the first of the other three goddesses to befriend Neptune and in later games is usually the closest friend Neptune has out of the other goddesses, even if it doesn’t seem it on the surface. I will say, out of the costume designs I like Noire’s the best.
I agree. I like Noire’s costume design best, there being some exceptions here and there. Personally I’m not a big Tsundere person. There are some who are my favourites but generally I find Tsunderes unnecessarily mean. Being cute for just your crush doesn’t make up for that in my book. So there are characters I like more than Noire.
“No matter what happens, we’ll make it through with my protag ruleset!” – Neptune
“Why bother with statistics when reality has already given you the answer?” – Purple Heart
Neptune is the CPU for Planeptune and personifies a fictitious Sega console that is based on the unreleased Sega Neptune. She is carefree and playful, appearing to act immature most of the time. Her ditziness combined with her strong sense of justice means Neptune acts before thinking. Sometimes that works out in her favour and others leave her needing help. Her friendly, happy-go-lucky nature means she makes friends pretty easily, quickly giving them cute nicknames. Her optimism and confidence are traits that Nepgear and others admire about her. When she transforms into Purple Heart her personality changes dramatically. Purple Heart is much more mature and serious than her human form. She can take a step back and assess a situation with keen observation and in a rational manner. Maintaining her strong sense of justice and confidence, possibly increasing with transforming, results in Purple Heart having an inflated ego, believing that no one can beat her. Oddly I like Purple Heart more then Neptune, something to do with her taking situations seriously. Neptune see’s everything as a joke or a game. That’s entertaining and sets the tones for the games but not enough to have me calling Neptune waifu.
“It’s not like I wanted to come to this concert or anything.”- Uni
Uni is the CPU Candidate of Lastation, making her Noire’s younger sister. She personifies the Playstation handheld consoles. Uni is only really similar to Noire in that she’s a little bit tsundere, there are other similarities between them but no other obvious ones. Uni comes off as an ordinary teenage girl desperately trying to live up to her sister’s expectations, even missing out on making friends to do so. Despite her lack of free time, she has managed to become best friends with Nepgear.
Uni is the only of the goddesses that prefers to use ranged weapons, though in some games she forgets you’re supposed to shoot enemies with it not whack them. In her human form she uses rifles and in her HDD form she uses a BFG (If you don’t know this acronym, what rock have you been living under. No, not the giant.) the likes of which rival most other BFGs you’ll see. The fact she uses such a heavy weapon shows that even though she looks about 16 (hard to tell but she looks younger than Compa, who may be in her 20s) she’s stronger than most people in their prime. Interestingly, she’s the only goddess to get “smaller” when she transforms.
Uni is a great character and the only reason I can give that she is in this spot is because she has tough competition. She’s beaten by cuteness, entertainment and personality differences.
“Ram, when you’re a meanie… I don’t like it…” – Rom
“Let’s… do our best.” – Rom
Rom is the other CPU Candidate for Lowee and older sister of the Lowee twins. Both sisters personify Nintendo handheld consoles. Rom takes after the more soft spoken and serene aspects of Blanc’s personality. She can be quiet and even seen as shy. Although Rom mostly follows the lead of Ram she does have her own free will. Rom doesn’t always agree with how Ram acts or what she does but let’s her sister do what she wants anyway. When push comes to shove Rom will be the one to get Ram to listen to reason when she’s too busy steamrolling. She is exceedingly polite, calling everyone Miss or Mr. Rom is a precious cinnamon roll that needs to be protected from this world. Rom is my favourite CPU Candidate because of how adorable she is.
3. Uzume Tennouboshi
“I’m pretty hungry.” – Uzume
“It’s Uzume’s turn!~” – Orange Heart
Uzume is the CPU for Planeptune in Zero dimension. She is the personification of the Sega Dreamcast. She comes across as a tomboy with the desire to appear cool so that she’s seen as reliable. Uzume puts all her friends and people above everything else, willing to die in order to protect them. Only those closest to her can catch a brief glimpse of her relaxing. All of this is a mask she created when she became the only CPU left in Zero dimension. Her true nature comes out to play when she transforms into Orange Heart. In her Goddess form Uzume is this cutesy, adorable muffin full of innocence. A girl of pure heart that wishes everything is okay. I fell in love with Uzume. Her personality change is a bit of a whiplash but just made me fall harder.
“I’m now writing a battle harem, slice-of-life novel. It will be epic.”- Blanc
“Tch! It’s the damn game’s fault! We’re playing the boxing game next! Left, left, right hook, uppercut!!!”- Blanc enraged, her usual state.
“Shut it! I can’t stand the way you talk all high n’ mighty, Thunder Tits!” – White Heart, shouting at Green Heart
Blanc is the CPU of Lowee. She personifies the Nintendo consoles, mainly the Wii. She’s the most aggressive out of the CPUs. She’s got a hair trigger personality, meaning that one moment she’s the calmest person you’ve ever seen, then in a blink she’s rage incarnate. Her volatility makes her difficult to work with, but she will work with others if it’s for the fate of Lowee or Gamindustri as a whole. The other CPUs, mainly Vert, like to get her riled up just because they think it’s funny. She is probably the toughest out of the CPUs, I personally have had her hold out way longer than the others in losing combats.
Blanc likes to read and aspires to be a writer, she’s not very good though and nobody buys her books. She is very caring about her younger sisters, even if they drive her up the wall frequently. As the games went on she’s become a lot more open, spending more time with her fellow goddesses and generally having fun.
Blanc is extremely entertaining and funny, this comes from her quick changes in personality. I see some of myself in her. She’s an avid reader and dreams of being a writer. Although an extreme and exaggerated, Blanc is an example of the idea that it’s the quiet ones to watch out for. Quiet people can be nice and polite but if you anger them it’s scary. I know, I’m like this, not as short of a fuse as Blanc. As much as I love Blanc there is one more who holds the top spot in my heart.
“Nice to meet you! I’m Plutia. Actually, Neptune isn’t the main character, I am!”- Plutia, bonus voice
“Hey Blanny. Look at me. Let me see your tear-stained face and bright red eyes…” – Iris Heart, teasing the Blanc of her dimension
Plutia (Pururut in Japan) is the CPU of Planeptune in Ultra dimension, which is based on the 80s. She personifies the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for you guys in America). Plutia is a very kind, cheerful and easy going individual. She seems to be constantly tired to the point that she doesn’t even bother to change out of her pyjamas, yes that dress is her pyjamas. Plutia has one of the largest personality differences between her human form and her HDD form, Iris Heart. Iris Heart throws all of Plutia’s kindness out the window, being a sadist with a massive superiority complex. Iris Heart considers all the others her pets, there to be “played” with. Iris Heart speech is generally quite lewd, tending to make dirty jokes or speak in innuendo. You’d be forgiven for thinking Plutia and Iris Heart were different people. Plutia does have mild sadistic tendencies but not to the extent of Iris Heart. Plutia’s hobbies include making dolls, spending time with her best friend Noire (Ultra Dimension) and napping, who’d have thought.
Plutia is my top girl. I love her character design, her personality and her HDD form brings a new dynamic to the group. It’s pretty clear by now that the cuteness factor influences my likes and Plutie’s got that, even with her sadistic tendencies.
Here we are at the end. Who are your goddess waifus? Do we have similar tastes? If you didn’t know the characters before I hope you do now. Thank you all for reading. Sending you love and light and we’ll see you in the next post.
Hello and welcome to all you beautiful dragons, today I have a very special announcement. August 19th is the 10th anniversary for the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. To celebrate, this August we’re going to spend the whole month talking about this great series.
There are so many entries within the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, including the main games, spin off games, a 2013 anime and a manga. Hyperdimension Neptunia is a mix between RPG and visual novel. During main story events most of the visual novel sections are fully voiced, in the English version.
Each game has its own story but the story structure for the main games can be generalized, sort of. Hyperdimension Neptunia takes place in a world where major gaming companies have been reimagined as nations ruled by goddesses. The goddesses, in true anime form, are a human girl anthropomorphism of their nation’s console. Our protagonist Neptune and her nation are based upon Sega, if were still a competing company in the console war, with Neptune being based on the unreleased Sega Neptune. In every game there is always a threat that arises which the goddesses must unite against to protect the land of the series, Gamindustri. Sometimes they end up going to different dimensions and help protect that world before finding a way home. The spin off games vary dramatically on what you might get.
This is a brief introduction to the series. There is so much to cover over the next month why rush with sharing all the information now. Hopefully you’ll discover a new series or a game to try out. Maybe you’re already a fan and just happy to celebrate with some fellow fans.
After what happened in June, having a project will be good. At the least keeping focus will be easier. As part of the celebration we’re doing a 30 day challenge. Go to teatimewithdragons on Instagram to take part. Thank you all for reading and we’ll see you all in the next post.
Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. The time has come at last. It’s time to talk about The Last Of Us: Part 2. A game that has greatly divided the community. Today we’re going to look at the many different aspects of the game and touch on the parts that have sparked rage in many fans. So without further ado let’s get into it.
For any non Playstation players or those who might not know, The Last Of Us: Part 2 is the long awaited sequel to, you guessed it, The Last Of Us. Fans have eagerly awaited this sequel since the initial release of the first game back in 2013. Well maybe not all of them; some think a sequel was unnecessary. That might be true but Joel and Ellie’s story touched so many hearts that people wanted more, I certainly did. In June 2020 developers Naughty Dog and writer and director Neil Drunkmen released what fans had been waiting for. The reception was… mixed. A number of critics and fans praised the game, whilst a good dose of players felt disappointed.
The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Granted graphics don’t make or break a game but they certainly help. Loyal fans look back on The Last Of Us and remember the incredible locations and stunning views. 7 years later this post-apocalyptic world looks more beautiful than ever. An example of how much the graphics have improved can be seen right from the off set with the scene of Joel saving Ellie in Salt Lake City. The 2020 version displays huge improvements: sharper visuals, the lighting and shading and the characters looking even closer to real people. We’re verging on an era where video games look so real they just become playable movies. Making it difficult to tell whether it’s computer generated or live action. With some games already achieving this feat.
There are so many stunning views it’d be hard to pick a favourite. Near the top world be at the beginning; Jackson with and without snow. Gorgeous. Most of the sights to see are within a beautifully destroyed Seattle. Stunning in it’s own way.
With the large buildings and spaces to admire it’s easy to get swept away looking around, missing all the intricate tiny details. This game is full of details. The team behind The Last Of Us Part 2 clearly put a lot of work into it. Some examples include leaving footprints in the snow, Ellie squinting when zooming in, clothes and hair when in contact with water, blood seeping through bandages, Ellie physically puts things in her backpack. There is so much more. Things that take multiple playthroughs to notice.
The gameplay skeleton is still there, the way you learnt to play in The Last Of Us. Building on that skeleton, the developers added some things and altered others. A major change is the ability to go prone. Instead of just crouching you can also go prone letting you crawl around in tall grass, making it harder for you to be seen. You can also shoot whilst prone. Play your cards right and you can clear out an area by being on your stomach. If you’re forced into hand to hand combat with infected or other survivors it’s made easier with the ability to dodge attacks. You can even dodge Clickers from grabbing you. A detail that should’ve been there from the beginning.
You play as two different characters which, of course, have different play You play as two different characters which, of course, have different play styles, weapons and craftables. Ellie is built for stealth and hiding. She still has her unbreakable knife, perfect for stealth takedowns. She can craft trip mines, place them and lure unsuspecting enemies to them. In addition Ellie can craft smoke bombs used for either escaping, hiding or running in for an attack. The standout Ellie specific guns are the bow and hunting rifle. Bow is the obvious choice for stealth, arrows are easily crafted. The hunting rifle is powerful and easy to aim. Finally Ellie can swim now. Is it bad they took away one of her weaknesses? No. Not only would it be a bit frustrating for the player to maneuver around a flooding city as a character who can’t swim but living in a post-apocalypse world knowing how to swim would increase your survivability. Also Joel would’ve been a terrible dad if he didn’t teach her. He gets flashbacks to manueving her around on a pallet and that one time she almost drowned. Ellie feels like a more developed version of her setup in the first game. It’s good that she isn’t a carbon copy of Joel. The developers made her her own character.
Abby is the one that feels closer to Joel in her set up. She’s built for aggressive play. She has to craft shivs which means you have to use them Abby is the one that feels closer to Joel in her set up. She’s built for aggressive play. She has to craft shivs which means you have to use them carefully. Pretty much need to save them for Clickers similarly to the first game. Her craftable throwable is a pipe bomb, a very direct explosive. Some Abby exclusive weapons are the flamethrower, a double barrel shotgun and a crossbow. Unlike Ellie’s bow, ammo for the crossbow can’t be crafted. So aim for those headshots. The double barrel shotgun is powerful and good to have if been swarmed. The flamethrower is the best weapon to use against Bloaters, a luxury Ellie doesn’t get. Abby has a fear of heights, not quite crippling but it’s extreme. Her phobia is seen several times throughout the game.
In order to unlock new skill trees you have to find training manuels shattered throughout the game. A cool way of doing it. Ellie’s skill trees are more stealth focused where as Abby’s is fighting and weapons based. Refelecting the set ups the developers made for each character.
The gameplay in The Last Of Us always felt a bit repetitive, Part 2 is similar in that regard. Some enemies have been added that change the dynamic a bit but ultimately it’s still the same. You go from one group of enemies, whether infected or survivor, to another; killing them either in stealth or head on. It must be difficult to play The Last Of Us 2 with a pacifist approach, especially since some enemies you have to kill. Between enemy encounters is either story progression and/or supply gathering. There are some very minor bits of puzzle solving. Restarting a generator or getting to an area for supplies and collectables.
The improvements to the gameplay in Part 2 did make enemy encounters more enjoyable. Going prone being a big help. Two things there should’ve been more of are areas where water is used as cover and having the ability/choice to send infected after enemy survivors. Overall like most people I don’t play this series for the gameplay. The story and characters are what most people want.
Let’s talk about the enemies. First the survivors; we have the WLF, Let’s talk about the enemies. First the survivors; we have the WLF, Seraphites (Scars) and Rattlers. All have both male and female soldiers. Yes there is gender equality in the groups of enemies you slaughter. Progress. The developers have also named all of these survivors across all factions. No longer can gamers go on guilt free killing sprees of nameless fodder. Although fighting them isn’t all that different, each faction has their own personalities and way of survival.
The WLF don’t live all that differently to Jackson. They have agriculture and power. Unlike Jackson they are fighting a civil war. They’ve formed an The WLF don’t live all that differently to Jackson. They have agriculture and power. Unlike Jackson they are fighting a civil war. They’ve formed an army/melicia to protect their people against the infected and the Seraphites. The WLF are the first to introduce dogs as an enemy. Dogs can follow your scent trail, allowing them to quickly find your hiding spot. Really you want to take them out as quickly as possible. At first I felt bad about killing the dogs but swiftly got over that when they became annoying. Use explosive arrows to take out both the dog and they’re handler. No longer a problem.
The Seraphites are a religious group at war with the WLF. They verge on cult territory. All follow the teachings of a woman who believed she was a prophet. Their primary weapons are melee and bows and arrows. They have a few guns but it goes against their rules to not use anything from the ‘old world’. During combat they communicate using whistles. Getting hit with an arrow slows you down and you have to pull it out. Seraphites have a unique enemy. A bigger person with a sledgehammer. They’re a little bit harder to take down. Ellie can’t engage them in melee combat so best to shoot them. Abby however can and faces off with one on Seraphite island that just does not want to die.
The last faction are at the tail end of the game, the Rattlers. At first I thought these people were cannibals but now I’m not so sure. They take people they find in Santa Barbara prisoner but I don’t know what they do with them. Abby and Lev were there for a few days before they left them to die. The Rattlers didn’t seem like good people. Getting enjoyment out of hurting people and teasing the infected aren’t good signs. They might have kept infected as pets. This group didn’t have any new enemies, too late in the game, but they had dogs. Plus they had infected chained up, giving you the option to release them upon the survivors during encounters.
Speaking of infected, there have been some very good additions and changes. Runners and Clickers are pretty much the same as the first game. Stalkers are now harder to detect and act like stealthy predators. No longer are you left wondering what’s the difference between Stalkers and Runners. A new type of infected has been added called Shambler. Shamblers are individuals who have been infected for several years and dwell around areas with water. They expel large spore clouds that can cause acidic burns. Upon death the spores explode. Best kept at a distance. I don’t know if I’m the only one who thought this but I never saw Bloaters as a boss enemy in the first game. I just thought they were a rare tougher enemy, similar to the sledgehammer Seraphites in this game. My mind changed when Part 2 gave Bloaters arenas like areas when fighting them. Definitely a boss fight, no doubt about that now. Their charging is also a lot scarier now. Finally, one more new infected was added: The Rat King. That thing is a beast. It’s a Clicker and Bloater fused together to make this giant behemoth. During the Rat King boss fight I was either screaming or yelling. I did not want to fight that thing. I didn’t like it. Truly a fantastic enemy.
It’s a small thing but let’s not forget about the collectables. Besides the training manuals Ellie and Abby have their own unique collectable items. Ellie collects superhero trading cards, which are awesome. I’m nowhere near having all of them but I did find an interdimensional whale. Enough said. Abby collects coins, specifically she’s after coins from each state. A hobby she uses to feel connected to her dad.
Let’s start with our main girl: Ellie. Ellie goes on a significant external and internal journey. She’s experienced loss before but nothing on the same level as losing Joel. After that moment Ellie’s only want is revenge. She arrives in the anger stage of grief and refuses to move. Like with most characters experiencing grief, what Ellie really needs is to accept his death. Accept and move forward. Thankfully she gets there, eventually. She’s not the same person on the other side though. With all the death that she causes it would be concerning if she didn’t change. She kills a lot of people over both games but there’s a difference between the intimite one on one kills and torture Ellie does and the random groups of enemies she has to get through. A major turning point is when Ellie tortures Nina to find out where Abby is. The camera angle, the red lighting, the fact the player has to push a button for each swing of her crowbar highlights that Ellie is crossing a line. She’s going to kill Abby and nothing will stop her. She will do whatever it takes.
Seeing Ellie in flashbacks and on the farm show just how consumed by anger and grief she is throughout her time in Seattle. In those moments we see her goofy pun loving self again. There’s nothing better than her excitement and wonder at the Wyoming museum.
At the final confrontation I was so proud of Ellie for letting Abby and Lev go. She was so close to what she wanted but didn’t go through with it in the end. Even if she had it wouldn’t have made her feel better. It wouldn’t have brought Joel back.
Ashley Johnson, Ellie’s voice actor, is incredible. She does such a good job which is highlighted even more by the use of motion capture. She puts her all into this performance, right down to the facial expressions.
Now for our other main character: Abby. Abby is a bit similar to Ellie. Not in termNow for our other main character: Abby. Abby is a bit similar to Ellie. Not in terms of personality, they’re quite the opposite in that regard. No Abby is also easily consumed by her want for revenge. 5 years Abby focused on getting revenge on her father’s killer. She throws herself into training with that goal in mind. Finally she does get that revenge but at a cost. Torturing and killing Joel haunts her long after she’s left Jackson. That might explain some of her actions when she’s back in Seattle. She’s one of Issac’s, the WLF leader, most trusted soldiers but goes awol to make sure Owen is safe. Everything else kind of spirals out from there. After she finds Owen she does something she never would’ve done before, she goes back to save two runaway Seraphites that she runs into. Unexpectedly for her she bonds with them and those relationships change her. Meanwhile across Seattle she’s losing all of her other friends. I do believe if Dina hadn’t been pregnant Abby would’ve killed both her and Ellie.
Abby is not my favourite character, not just because she murdered Joel. I just didn’t bond or connect with her. Sure you see her side of the story but that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to be okay with her actions. She’s very goal orientated, seen with her obsession for revenge, hunting down Owen and in a flashback insisting they return to training. None of that free spirit goofiness that Ellie normally possesses. I like her more when she’s with Lev but that’s probably because I like Lev.
Whether you like Abby or not we can all agree that Laura Bailey, Abby’s voice actor, did an amazing job. Just light Ashley she gave her all in that performance. It’s heartbreaking to hear that she has been receiving death threats. She is one of the nicest human beings on the planet. A beacon of light who doesn’t deserve this abuse. Actors are not the characters.
The only other characters I want to talk in depth about are Joel, Dina and Lev. I like Jesse but there wasn’t really much to him. I loved Tommy in the first game but he wasn’t around much in this one. In fact his actions were reckless and nearly got him killed. The only one of Abby’s friends I liked was Manny, he was entertaining and I was a little sad when he died. Not enough to shed a tear though. And finally Yara. I liked her too, just not as much as Lev. Honestly she went through so much I didn’t think she had to die. In the end she did sacrifice herself to protect Lev, her driving character force.
I’m happy with what we see of Joel, him being best dad. That’s all I want, all I could’ve asked for. Fair enough he deserved better and I would’ve preferred he was in the whole game, like most people. Some have touched on the subject of why Joel wasn’t cautious/suspicious of Abby. It’s because he saw a girl the same age as Ellie, why would he be suspicious. That comes back to one of the stand out lines of the game, “I’m just a girl. I’m not a threat.” You can see Joel’s attitude change when he sees the rest of Abby’s crew. It’s too late then, Joel’s fate is sealed. No amount of him showing kindness to Abby will quiet her burning desire for revenge. Maybe it would’ve been different if he was pregnant. I’m kidding.
I really liked Dina. Her and Ellie just clicked. I would even say Dina is a perfect match for Ellie. She’s smart, can look after herself and most importantly has good banter. My gripe with Dina reveals she’s pregnant and from then on is basically out of the game. Don’t let me explore a destroyed city with my ship and then have the upbeat half stay behind at the theatre. I wanted more travels with Dina, that’s all I’m saying.
Finally let’s talk about Lev. I adore Lev. He needs to be protected from this world, especially a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies and cannibalistic survivors. Amongst all the anger and hate about the story people are forgetting about Lev. Lev is another step up in the LGBT representation in The Last Of Us series. I’m so happy that I haven’t seen articles popping up left and right questioning if the inclusion of a tansgender character is necessary. Lev is an amazing character and good representation. Just because the apocalypse happened doesn’t mean there aren’t transgender people, similarly to there still being homosexual people. Lev’s story even resonates with our modern day. Lev’s treatment from his religious society is something still seen in our own reality. Shocking really. I hope there are those who feel seen through Lev. Beyond that Lev is incredibly brave. Still a bit naive but he stays true to himself. I’ll say it again, I adore Lev. His bond with Abby is lovely and that is the main reason I enjoyed Abby’s half of the story.
Alright, the time has come. Let’s get into the story. You start in a semi good place. Jackson is thriving, you can pet a dog and absolutely destroy some children in a snowball fight. Ellie’s ordinary world is perfectly established. The only problem is her and Joel’s relationship is strained, something you don’t know the full picture of until later. Then we switch to Abby, a character you’ve never seen before. We know she’s looking for someone. My first thoughts were this is our villain and she’s looking for Joel. I was correct.
So our inciting incident of Joel’s death happens. The event that has caused many people to hate this game, send death threats and what not. I’ll be honest I didn’t cry at Joel’s death. I was sad, don’t get me wrong but shock overwhelmed the feelings of sadness. Shock that it happened and how. Let’s think about why that is. Joel and Ellie were happy and safe in Jackson. They have no reason to leave. Something extreme had to happen for there to be a story. Unfortunately the character who had to die was Joel. His character arc was complete. He’d accepted the death of Sarah and moved forward. Now Ellie has to experience a similar pain. Could a different story path have been taken? Yes, but we can think about those later.
After the traumatic inciting incident Tommy leaves for Seattle and Ellie goes after him with Dina. Then you have 3 days in Seattle and between each day you have a flashback section with Joel.
I’m perfectly happy with day one. You have a bit of puzzle solving. There’s a slightly open world section that you explore on horseback with Dina. Why isn’t there more of that in this game? Ellie’s 15th birthday is also a great section from start to finish. Heartwarming and magical. After that it gets repetitive. Day 2 and 3 is Ellie going to different locations looking for Tommy, actually she’s hunting Abby/looking for someone that knows where she is. I like the use of pathetic fallacy leading up to and on day 3. This storm is hitting for the climax. You find out that Ellie discovers the truth about what happened with the Fireflies in Salt Lake City. Something that could’ve been handled better. Ellie’s part of the story is very much her seeking revenge and grieving Joel with a bit of guilt thrown in. Ellie doesn’t find Abby in the end but she does leave a trail of her friends’ bodies in her wake. So Abby finds her at the theatre. She shoots Jesse in the eye and holds Ellie and Tommy at gunpoint. At this point we switch to Abby’s half of the story.
Unlike Ellie, Abby has a different goal for each day. Day 1: Find Owen. Day 2: Help Yara. Day 3: Save Lev from Seraphite island. A nice change of pace. Between her days we see she’s still dealing with her dad’s death and moments from her past. Mostly her relationship with Owen. Abby’s sections where she has to face her fear of heights instead of fighting enemies is refreshing. Short lived but refreshing. Finally the boss fight with Ellie is great. Different but I found it great. Facing off in different areas of the theatre with Ellie cycling through all her specific weapons is fantastic. A step up from David’s boss fight. Of course I wasn’t comfortable fighting my girl but that might be part of the point. In the end Abby let’s Ellie and Dina go.
Seeing Abby’s side of the story is a way to get the audience to understand her motivations and empathise with her but I don’t think that’s the whole picture. The goal is not to paint Ellie as the bad guy. It’s showing you that in this devastated world there are no good guys or bad guys. Both protagonists thought they were doing the right thing. They were seeking justice. They are the heroes of their own story and the other one is the villain in their eyes.
The story isn’t over yet. Ellie, Dina and JJ become a happy family on the farm Dina dreamed of. Unfortunately Ellie is still processing her grief and guilt. With a push from Tommy she leaves for Santa Barbara in search of Abby. The time on the farm is special. It’s happy and beautiful. A place both Dina and Ellie can live happily ever after.
In Santa Barbara Abby and Lev learn the Fireflies are regrouping on Catalina Island but are quickly captured by the local faction before they can leave. Lucky for them Ellie arrives just in time to save them. The harmony is short lived because she still wants to kill Abby. Our final fight is two exhausted, dying women punching each other to death. Not the most climatic end but a fitting one. Ellie wins but decides to let Abby and Lev go. Our final scene is Ellie returning to the now empty farm. Here you see her acceptance. The right way for the story to end.
Overall not a bad story. It’s nowhere near as good as the first game but that would’ve been a hard feat to accomplish. I would’ve liked to have the days grouped together rather than the character’s sides of the story. See if that would have affected the emotional impact of character deaths. Different stories they could’ve told range from an attack on Jackson forcing the town to relocate to another immune person showing up. The only limit is the creators imagination and apparently it stopped at revenge story. One aspect I missed was seeing all over the country but I’m just fine with one city. Sometimes it’s good to focus on the impact on one location.
Something else to touch on across both games is the vaccine plot point. Even with our technology today we don’t have vaccines for fungal infections and deceases. How do a group of doctors, who didn’t finish their studies, expect to make one with post-apocalypse resources? Their rush to cut out Ellie’s brain to make this “vaccine” doesn’t make sense either. Surely they’d want to run more tests, think about this more. As far as they know they only have one shot. Why risk their only immune person? Why did no one wake Ellie and let her make a decision? She’s 14, she’s old enough to make a decision about her own life. Why are all these adults making it for her? On another note, why is everyone acting like Abby’s dad is the only doctor that can make this vaccine? There must be other more experienced doctors still alive. Plus all the vaccine’s going to do is protect all the people that haven’t been infected. What about the millions of already infected people? You’d need a cure to help them. A cure that would be impossible to synthesise.
In conclusion I enjoyed The Last Of Us Part 2. There were many improvements from the first game. It’s just such a shame the story wasn’t one of them. I would still recommend this game to people, just make sure you also play the first one. The Last Of Us Part 2 gets a Sapphire dragon from me. Not all the way up there but still a fantastic game.
Huge congratulations to anyone who made it this far! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my longest post so far. I’ll see you all in the next one.
Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. This is Let’s Have a Cuppa. On the 1st of each month I’ll be doing a catch up on what’s going on in my life. Having a look at the past month, what I’m doing right now and what I hope to achieve over the next month. Kind of like a long journal entry. Who might be interested in reading that? I have no idea but there must be someone out there. I do know it’s good to have a check in every so often. Good for the mind. So without further ado let’s get into it.
April has been a month. I think we all know why. First I want to say thank you to everyone who has followed my relatively small blog. The content can only get better, I promise. I’ve technically uploaded one post a week this month but I want to do more. One problem I have is lack of confidence. I’m too focused on what others might think. Like I’m worried about posting too much of one thing. Right now I would be happy to do several posts on Anime/Otome games. Really it shouldn’t bother me and I should post about what I want. Is this entertaining? Is my writing any good? Am I giving misinformation? All self destructive questions that plague both my blog work and story writing. Even if you know that you have to keep doing something to get better at it, self doubt and the fear of failure can still hold you back. This is a battle that I know most creative people fight against. I’m just happy I no longer fall into depression. This is a mental area I still need to improve. All I can do is be myself and deal with those moments as they come. When in doubt, be yourself. Something else I need to figure out is the balance between my blog work and competition writing. At the moment I think it will vary depending on the competition rules. Over in social media world I think I’ve been doing quite well, at least on Instagram. Granted I’m not as consistent as I could be but considering before I never really posted anything. In my eyes that’s a big improvement. Follows on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are always appreciated.
So what have I been up to? Buckle your seatbelts because there’s a lot to cover. As you can gather I’ve been working on a short story. It follows an apprentice searching for a new power source to prevent her Master from losing his magic with a bit more to it. I’ve entered this fantasy tale into the Bristol Short Story Prize. It’ll be awhile before you guys get to read it but I’ll keep you updated on what happens. I’ve also had this urge to write lyrics for some reason. Bare in mind I’ve never dabbled in that world before. I’ve got to do more research before I give it a go. We’ll see what happens. I do have friends who are musicians and have beautiful singing voices so who knows. Something might come of it.
I am still reading The Vampire Lestat. Two months I’ve been clawing my way through this book. It’s not bad, I just want to move onto something else. I can already hear you asking, ‘why didn’t you just read a different book and come back later?’ Because I like doing one thing at a time and I know I would forget what I’ve already read. But I’m close to the end now. I might even post a review. I’ve also started the habit of listening to audiobooks whilst in the bath. At the moment it’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, narrated by Stephen Fry. Not my first venture through this tale but I am noticing different things when it’s being read to me. And I’m not 5 or 6.
I haven’t really thought about talking about music on here but why not? I’ve been really interested in listening to Powerwolf lately, particularly Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend and Sanctified in Dynamite. A new band discovery for me is Once Monsters. They don’t have many songs but I like everyone I’ve listened to so far. I hope to hear more from them. Imagine Dragons Natural has been on my repeat list, alongside It’s Terror Time Again by Skycycle. You know, the chase song in Scooby Doo on Zombie Island. A bit random I know. Doing music clip quizzes on Sporcle has been occupying my time as well. I’ve heard clips of songs I’ve not heard in years as well as being exposed to new things.
Game wise I haven’t played anything new, even though I have a huge backlog. I regularly play online games with my brother, Overwatch being a main one we usually play. There is a new hero that again I may or may not talk about here. Another game I’ve been wanting to revisit is Vermintide 2. Kerillian is my girl.
I’ve been dabbling with a handful of mobile games. I revisited Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery with the intention of catching up on the main story. I was greeted with events that ultimately requires you to spend money to reach the end. Oh well. I’m stuck at home, constantly connected to wifi, might as well enjoy my Hogwarts adventure. Obey Me! Is one I’ve been playing for awhile. I think since it’s release. I love it so don’t be surprised if you see full length posts about it. Another one of those card collecting games but it keeps me coming back. I won’t say anymore because I might start rambling so I’ll just move on. All of you know I’m playing A3! I’m trying not to wiz through the story since they’ve made all of it available. I just hope I get to keep all the chapters unlocked after I’ve read them and all this is over. Finally I’ve been playing Uta no Prince Sama Shining Live. Yet another game where you collect cards but it’s mainly a rhythm game. No surprise all the music is from Utapri, many songs from the members of Starish and Quartet Night. There is a story but from what I can tell it’s a means to unlock more songs. Wow! You can tell a lot about me from my choice of mobile games. I say C’est la vie.
There’s quite a bit TV wise that I’m watching. First I’ll cover new and weekly shows. Batwoman has at last graced UK screens and I’m not disappointed. Granted I’m not anxiously waiting for each new episode but I enjoy sitting down to watch it. Sometimes I envy America for having the DC streaming service. Please can I have it. Please. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is like a fusion of Glee and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I highly recommend everyone to watch it. The most recent episode featured a wonderful scene with a deaf character signing Fight Song. It’s beautiful. On Netflix I’m watching the latest season of Drag Race. Not much else to say there. Last Week Tonight is my only source of news at the moment. Honestly I’d rather stay updated on current events via a comedy show. At least it’s a little less depressing. Brooklyn 99 season 7 is now airing here. So happy to see Jake and Amy’s relationship going to the next level. Two crime shows I’m watching are Murdoch Mysteries and Miss Scarlett and the Duke. Two shows that could easily have a crossover episode but that likely won’t happen. I smell fanfiction potential. Any other Murdoch fans out there? Anime wise I have been sucked into My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Caterina is one of the smartest dumbest characters I’ve ever seen. I’m hooked and plan on reading the light novels. Finally there’s this Ghost Adventures series called Serial Killer Ghosts. They go to different locations supposedly haunted by the ghosts of serial killers. Two shows I’m rewatching are Leverage and Kim Possible. Leverage is essentially modern day robin hood and Kim Possible is a nostalgia trip for me. Two anime I’m working my way through are Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, I’m on Diamond is Unbreakable, and Fruits Basket (2019).
For May there are two writing competitions I plan to enter. Both with shorter word limits so I should be able to balance blog work better. That being said I aim to up my number of posts to the equivalent of at least two posts a week. May or may not sound like a lot but to me it might be a challenge. I also want to be more consistent with uploads on my both my blog and socials. Finally I want to learn and practise using GIMP so that I can make my own images. Baby steps at the moment.
And there we have it. The future is a bit uncertain right now but that doesn’t mean everything has to stop. Looking back helps to improve for the future. No matter how small. Let’s make May a magical month. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you all in the next post.
Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. Happy month of Easter everyone. To celebrate this time of chocolate bunnies, egg hunting and spring arriving in full force let’s look at some bunnies in fiction. These are some of my favourite fictional rabbits in no particular order. Without further ado let’s get into it.
Officer Judy Hopps
First up is none other than Officer Judy Hopps from one of the best animated films, Zootopia. Or Zootropolis to those of us in the UK and a few other countries. I love Judy. All she wants to do is help people and make the world a better place. Judy overcomes every obstacle in her way, always with a positive attitude. On her journey to achieving her dreams she faces many challenges and stigma from people set in their ways. Never does she let it get her down, in fact she goes out of her way to prove those people wrong. Not only is she extremely driven, she’s also very kind. She gets herself and Nick out of some trouble because of an act of kindness, saving someone’s life instead of catching the bad guy. Judy is so inspiring, especially for young children.
Monomi is a mascot character in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair and appears in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak. Originally she was a rabbit magical girl named Usami but is forcefully transformed by Monokuma to resemble him when he takes control. He renames her Monomi. He only changes her appearence not her personality. Right from the beginning the students don’t trust, finding her overly sweet nature and low intelligence annoying. Being treated like this doesn’t affect Monomi because she only wants to help and protect her students. Whether they appreciate it or not doesn’t matter to her; she’s used to being underappreciated. Monomi is kindhearted and just wants her students to foster love and friendship. Monomi is the good mascot character to counteract Monokuma’s bad, even though she can’t do much to stop him. I will admit I found Monomi annoying at times but sometimes she could be useful. And there are moments of dialogue she has that brings the students spirits back up amidst all the despair surrounding them.
Reisen Udongein Inaba
Reisen Udongein Inaba is from the world of Touhou, first appearing as a stage 5 boss in Imperishable Night. She is a refugee moon rabbit who settles down in Gensokyo with notorious moon fugitives Kaguya and Eirin. I will admit I don’t play Touhou games or know much about the lore apart from what I hear from my brother. Reisen is one of the characters that caught my attention. I love her design and her fluffy tail is adorable. I find the image of her holding her right hand in finger gun shape cool, implying that’s how she fires her danmaku (bullet hell). Her main ability is to make people insane with her eyes, hence why her character theme is titled Lunatic Eyes ~ Invisible Full Moon. Her personality is described as carefree and crazed. She can quickly adapt to the circumstances surrounding her. I don’t have much else to say, I just like her.
E. Aster Bunnymund
E. Aster Bunnymund is Rise of the Guardians re-imagining of the Easter Bunny. He is a badass. Not only is he a warrior rabbit that travels across the galaxy but his weapons of choice are enchanted boomerangs and exploding easter eggs. Bunnymund is the Guardian of Hope. His home lies underneath Australia which explains why he developed an Australian accent. He is a cool, calm and brilliant warrior. He takes great pride in Easter and the season surrounding it, Spring. I love Rise of the Guardians and think it’s a very underrated film. I like a lot of the main cast. I always saw Bunnymund as a badass. He’s voiced by Hugh Jackman. Can’t get much cool then that.
Cream the Rabbit
Cream from Sonic the Hedgehog is adorable, do I need to say anymore? She first appears in Sonic Advance 2. Something I always found odd about Cream was her method of flight. Wouldn’t her ears get tangled up or worse. I guess it’s similar to Tails and no need to question it. Cream is generally happy, polite and courteous. Even towards Eggman. She is hardworking and more than happy to help out her friends however she can. Again, do I need to say anything more than that she’s adorable?
Rabbit of Caerbannog
Rabbit of Caerbannog, better known as the Killer Rabbit, is a key antagonist in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He’s so iconic and ferocious that he shows up in the musical adaptation, Spamalot. What appears to be a cute white bunny quickly turns into a rabid beast killing all in it’s path. Not a bunny to be messed with. The star of one of my favourite scenes in the film.
Thumper from Bambi is the best friend of the title character. He is mischievous and takes Bambi under his wing, showing him the ways of the forest. It’s been years since I last watched Bambi but I know it was a part of my childhood. The scene I remember most is when Bambi and Thumper meet Flower. I remember their childhood days the most. Especially little Thumper showing Bambi how to do things.
Jihae is one of the love interests in Dandelion- Wishes Brought To You, a korean otome game. Jihae is my favourite out of the three bunny characters. He’s gorgeous, even in bunny form. Those eyes. He’s a loyal knight to Jieun and is very protective of him. Jihae’s devotion to Jieun is shown to be completely selfless, bordering on obsessive. Before being romanced he is rather reserved but will express his disdain for the cat characters. On his route he is the perfect gentleman and occasionally acts shyer around the heroine. At times his jealous side will come out mostly because of Jisoo, who sees Jihae as a rival. The heroine helps Jihae overcome his self consciousness and dependency issues.
I doubt many people know of this game but one of my favourite fictional bunnies is Harriet from Ghost Master. She’s a trickster spirit whose most useful abilities are shapeshift, ethereal gift and abhorrent apparition. The latter can pretty much terrify or drive people insane, especially the mortal she’s taken the shape of. Harriet is one of those spirits who harbours a sincere interest in mortals, wanting to make friends with them. After I unlock her I pretty much end up taking her on every future map. It’s not surprising considering her character design but she does have quite a sexual tone to her voice. Let’s just say she probably introduced a number of furries to that world.
I had to include a bunny pokemon and I chose Buneary. Specifically Dawn’s Buneary from the Diamond and Pearl seasons of the anime. Already Buneary has a cute design but Dawn’s Buneary uses that to her advantage when competing in contests. In addition she improvises with her moves to stand out more, primarily using her ice beam. She is a cheery, kind and helpful pokemon. Also Dawn’s Buneary has a crush on Ash’s Pikachu and it’s adorable.
As a bonus we have Daisy. The death of this little bunny in Doom sparked a rage in Doomguy that will never be extinguished. Daisy can be found hidden somewhere in every level of the recently released Doom Eternal.
In conclusion, there are many more fictional bunnies out there but these are a few of my favourites. I either know a lot about them, adore their designs or both. Hopefully you’ve seen some of your favourites too and hopefully you’ve been introduced to something new. Thank you all for reading and I’ll see you in the next post.
Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. For those who have read my post looking at the spring anime for this year it will come as no surprise that I’ve started playing A3! I’m still playing through it so what I’m going to do is talk about the different sections of the story as I go, starting with the prologue. So without further ado let’s get into it.
A3! Act! Addict! Actor! Is a mobile character/card collecting otome game. Developed and published by LIBER Entertainment, creators of primarily mobile games. The game was first released in Japan January 27th 2017 for both Iphone and Android. The English translated version was released October 23rd 2019. The main story is fully voiced, apart from the heroine, like most otome games. As you already know the game has already received an anime adaptation but there is also a manga available to read. Other material I’ve found are CDs. What I’ve played so far hasn’t had a focus on musicals but I’m happy to see they’ve released songs. I quite like the OP and I want to listen to more.
Now before I get into the story I want to talk about the “gameplay” if you can call it that. It makes sense to look at these elements first since this is a character/card collecting game. Though unlike other character/card collecting games I’ve played this one’s primary focus is the story. Story parts are unlocked by levelling up. To level up you do practise sessions with the boys. During the session you can either tap to cycle through the lessons or enable the auto feature. For something like this I think the auto feature is useful. By doing practises small scenes with the character you are doing the session with are unlocked. These are cute little scenes between the character and heroine related to rehearsals. It’s details like this that have kept me coming back to play the game.
The cards you collect unlock backstage scenes as you level them up. I feel these backstage stories are where the real otome elements come in. They’re short, what I would call, romantic scenes between the boy and heroine. Not to mention scenes of the boys interacting with each other can also be unlocked. Being able to unlock these stories gives players a reason to continue playing beyond that main story. It also encourages you to collect more cards and to level them up. Another way to gain experience for levelling up is by putting on shows. Both shows and practise sessions require energy to do. Shows use a different energy type to practises so when you can’t do anymore of one you can move onto the other. Using premiare tickets you can even watch the shows in the theatre. They’re a cute a five minute show that you can watch. You can see the characters act out the play in chibi form. It is adorable.
Other features include the boys doing street theatre to earn cash for increasing the actors card stats. Along with cash you also need to collect items to be able to do that. Finally you can add friends and give each other flowers to earn friendship points. Friendship points are used for tryouts, which is how you collect cards. I think the way this system is setup has kept me interested in the game. Story and characters are why I play these types of things and if it’s relatively easy to unlock new story parts I can put up with the other aspects of the game.
I think most people would describe the art style as generic or nothing special. That might be true. To me it looks like what you’d typically see from anime and I like that style. It’s familiar and I’ve always thought it was pretty. I like the backgrounds and character designs. The CGs have a different look. They feel brighter and animated, breathing life into the characters. If you’re a fan of the typical anime style then you’ll like the art for A3 as much as I do.
I’ve already mentioned that the main story is fully voiced and I think it’s done well. I’ve found that I tend to like the japanese casting. The voices generally suit the characters and the emotion comes through. Whether it sounds like that to me because I don’t speak Japanese I don’t know. The important thing for me is whether my immersion is being broken or not. For all the characters I’ve encountered so far the voice direction has been good. I feel that’s the same with all the characters. I’m interested to hear the casting for the heroine in the anime.
Now it’s storytime. You, the player, can choose the first name for Miss Tachibana. Or you can use her default name Izumi. At the very beginning of the prologue we get a glimpse of the future. Here we see the Spring troupe about to go on stage. It’s closing night and it’s a full house.Cut to the present. On Veluda Way Tachibana is looking for a particular theatre. While wandering around she spots someone in trouble and rushes to help. A young man also passing by does the same. But all is well. This is a street act, a regular occurrence on Veluda Way. The actors performing are from the God troupe, one of the best troupes in the district. The young man who stopped to help asks them about joining. Ultimately he decides against joining because they don’t provide accomodation. This is a great introduction to the way Veluda Way works and what is normal in this world of theatres. The rules of this world are being established for the player. Witnessing the God troupe actors also introduces competition and generally shows off the standard of acting within the district.
Tachibana moves on and finds the theatre she’s been looking for. The Mankai Theatre. But it’s about to be torn down by a yakuza looking guy. Tachibana’s words, not mine. Before anything can happen Tachibana intervenes. She manages to get them to stop long enough so she can watch what might be the Mankai Company’s last performance. It doesn’t go well. The play is short, the writing is terrible and the only human actor has a serious case of stage fright. The other actor being a cockatoo named Kamekichi. Whilst the yakuza is still set on tearing the theatre down, Tachibana sees potential. She even learns that her father used to be the Mankai Company’s director before he disappeared. Yakuza guy decides to give her a chance and tasks her with finding new actors before sunset. Tachibana, the manager and lone actor quickly put on a street act and recruit two new actors. One of them is the young man seen earlier. The group return to the theatre in time. Seeing this yakuza guy decides to give the Mankai Company one more chance to pay off their debt. With two conditions: they must put on four shows within the year with four different troupes and Tachibana has to be the director. Tachibana accepts the challenge. Now she only has one month to put on the first show and have a full house on closing night.
That’s pretty much where the prologue ends. I like the story. There’s a clear conflict and right off the bat the main characters are at a disadvantage. I wanted to be an actor at one point so of course I want to see these young aspiring actors succeed. Even if we might have already seen a glimpse at what’s to come I want to see the journey. Meet all the characters and watch them grow. I know I should have an issue with these being all male troupes but this is an otome. I’m not here for equality, I’m here for the boys. Hot boys with engaging stories.
I like Tachibana as the heroine. She has two clear wounds. Her father is missing, plot point that may or may not be explored later, and she gave up on her dream of being an actor. Something that she was probably only pushed into because of her past directors telling her she can’t act. But now she’s going to use her knowledge to help save the Mankai Company. She really steps into the role of a leader, helping each actor to improve. She even has the ability to recognise the areas that she needs to improve. She has her doubts sometimes but she doesn’t let it get her down. Ultimately Tachibana has a big heart, is a great leader and has some funny lines/thoughts. Making her a great character to play as.
One other character I want to talk about is Matsukawa Isuke, the useless manager. I’m not calling him useless to be mean but it’s a fact. While it’s just been him running the Mankai Company everything has fallen to pieces. They’re in so much debt to the yakuza that the theatre is at risk of being demolished. All that’s left of what was once four acting troupes is a lone newbie actor. They only put on terrible mini plays written by Matsukawa. He also can’t cook. Meals being provided is supposed to be a perk for living in the dorm but that’s not the case with Matukawa cooking them. Even his website setup is terrible. But despite all that, his shabby appearance and cowardice, he has heart. Somehow he always appears cheerful. He believes and loves the Mankai Company and it’s theatre. That’s why he finally tried to seek out Tachibana’s father. So he might be a bit useless but you can’t hate him. He brings comedy to the story. On some occasions he even serves as an ear for Tachibana.
In conclusion, this is just the beginning. I love A3! so far. It’s not the typical otome I like to play. It doesn’t have specific routes for each boy but it doesn’t have to. I love the story, where it’s set and the characters, including the protagonist. If you’re interested why not download it? Read through the prologue and see what you think. Anyone want to add me as a friend? Alternatively you can give the anime a look, something I will be doing in the future. Look out for that.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you all in the next post.
Hello and welcome all you beautiful people. Today I want to talk about Apex Legends, an online battle royale developed by Respawn Entertainment that I regularly play with my brother. The legends you can choose from are diverse in many ways, each with their own unique abilities. Once in a game you play in squads of three, there being twenty squads in total, with the aim of becoming the Apex champion. All you have to do is be the last squad standing. Easier said than done. Believe me.
There’s a lot I could talk about with Apex Legends, particularly the characters, but today I want to focus on the new season. Season 4: Assimilation started about a month ago with some significant changes.
Sniper weapons have been made into their own weapon type similar to shotguns. It’s an easy change to get used to but it does mean that you have to carry around two different types of ammo rather than stocking up on one. Maybe this was done in an attempt to make sniper ammo harder to find. Who knows. I do think one of the reasons the developers did this was because they added the Sentinel. That’s right! We have a new gun. The Sentinel: a bolt action sniper rifle. It is a powerful weapon. You can even increase the power further by using shield batteries to charge it. With all that being said it’s not really a gun for me. I’m not the best with sniper rifles in the first place so I don’t really choose to use them unless there’s nothing else around. Just because it’s not my favourite doesn’t mean it isn’t a good choice to use. If you play the game why not try it yourself.
In the customization department they’ve added charms that you can put on your guns. It doesn’t change anything except there’s now a charm dangling on your gun but I love this. I hope they add more. My favourite is the origami dragon for obvious reasons.
The developers added the option on the main menu to go to the firing range. I would say it’s not entirely necessary since I hardly use it. It’s a great place to practise aiming at stationary targets, something you rarely find players being in the main game. You can try using all the guns. Understanding how they work and finding which ones you prefer using before jumping into the arena. If you’re waiting for a friend to join it can also be a good place to pass some time.
One of the biggest changes to happen this season is to the map. Gone are most of the ice covered buildings, green landscapes and bright midday sun. World’s Edge is now blanketed in the red hue of lava and a rising or setting sun, I can’t quite tell. Lying at the heart of the map is the Planet Harvester which has created multiple lave fissures throughout the landscape, splitting Capital city in two. Thankfully you don’t die if you fall into one of the fissures. However you do take 25 damage and are slowly lifted back onto the map. Another feature added to the map is Mirage’s party bus, actually called Mirage’s voyage. It’s exactly how it sounds: an airship with a party on it. And hundreds of Mirage holograms. Well what feels like hundreds of them. Mirage also has some ‘tasteful’ paintings. If there was any doubt in your mind about how narcissistic Mirage is then that airship puts his personality into perspective. I do think the party bus is in celebration of the games anniversary. But when you have no idea they added this thing and stumble upon it whilst playing it’s kind of like a shock to the system. I found it so funny and completely out there. On the games website there’s an explanation on the changes to the map and it’s really interesting reading about the goals the developers were aiming for. It’s clear their intent was to make a map that players had become accustomed to feel new. Give them new points of interest to explore and move away from repeating strategies every game. There are still times when I miss playing the original map, King’s Canyon. It would be nice if the option was always available to play on that map still.
Finally it’s time to discuss the new character: Revenant. I know mostly everyone has been waiting for another robot to be added but I don’t think this was the friend Pathfinder was expecting. Revenant was once human. He was the top hitman within the Mercenary Syndicate. He would go about his day witnessing his human face whenever he looked in the mirror. Until one day his programming failed and he saw what he had become. What the Mercenary Syndicate and Hammond Robotics had turned him into. Once he realised the truth he went on a quest for revenge. I believe that moment is what we see in his character introduction trailer, if you’ve seen it. I do know that people are theorising that the next legend to be added is the little girl in the trailer. Those events are set twenty years in the past so it’s possible. That girl, now a young woman, seeking vengeance for her parents death enters the games in pursuit of the very being that killed them makes complete sense. I look forward to seeing her if she is our next legend, especially with all the wolf imagery surrounding her.
Anyway back to Revenant. He doesn’t have the best personality. An extremely cynical, all around bully who enjoys killing. What’s not to like? He even calls humans the derogatory name Skinbags. Despite his rubbish personality I like playing as this legend. When playing him it’s probably best to take an aggressive approach, something I’m not very good at. Or willing to do. I know I prefer to be on the defensive rather than the attack so maybe not the best character for me to play in order to win but you can’t win them all. His ability is called Silence. An orb that deals damage and disables enemies abilities for ten seconds. With his ultimate ability, Death Totem, a totem is deployed which protects members of the squad who have touched it from death. Instead of dying or being knocked down you’re returned to the totem. It is only for a certain amount of time and the totems influence can only reach a certain distance so use this ult wisely. Revenant’s passive ability allows him to move faster whilst crouching and to climb higher. Ideal for sneaking up on people and traversing the terrain. Like I’ve already stated, I like playing this character. Now I understand what he can do I can start working towards using him to his full potential. The other legends I prefer playing are Lifeline, Pathfinder and Crypto.
That’s just about everything on Season 4. There is a lot more that I could talk about regarding Apex Legends but I’m going to end here for now. I find Apex Legends a fun game to play with friends and siblings or on your own. But I don’t really play on my own. The one major problem is that one more game can quickly turn into ten games or more. Not really something you can completely blame on the game. But that’s a psychological discussion for another time. I hope all you beautiful people have a wonderful day. I’ll see you in the next post.
Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. I’m sure you’ve all heard about it and probably played it by now. I mean the full release is this Friday. But today I’m going to talk about Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Demo. The upcoming game was announced during Pokemon Direct on 9th January and the full release is set for 6th March this year. For now the demo is available on the Switch store. No spoiler warning this time since it’s a demo and nothing big storywise happens.
I’ll tell you a bit about the series for any non Pokemon fans out there. Mystery Dungeon is a spin-off game series that started way back in 2005. Whilst working on this post I discovered that the developers are Spike Chunsoft who also developed Danganronpa, another favourite game series of mine. Rescue Team DX is a reimagining of the first two games: Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team and Mystery Dungeon Blue Rescue Team. The story centres around you waking up to find that you’ve been turned into a pokemon. Teaming up with your partner you must help find and stop the source of the mysterious natural disasters and strange behaviour of some of the locals. Along the way you make many friends and find your place in this new world you wake up in.
As a kid I put a lot of hours into the original. I had Blue Rescue Team on the DS and absolutely loved it. Jumping into the demo for Rescue Team DX I was immediately taken back to those childhood days. A big part of that is due to the music. Sound is really a powerful memory trigger. Hearing the theme song I felt like I was transported back to sitting in the back of the car whilst we drove somewhere. I love that they’ve brought the music back from the original pretty much the same as it was. Music isn’t my forte but it does sound like it’s been given a new coat of paint. It’s sharper and clearer. I really do adore the music, especially the opening titles. It gives the feeling of adventure and epicness.
The first thing to do when you start a new game is the personality quiz that determines which Pokemon you are. Unlike in the original you can choose who you want to play as if you don’t like what the quiz gives you. This was a great feature to add because it means you don’t have to spend hours retaking the quiz till you eventually get the pokemon you want to be. My first result was Torchic which I don’t mind. There’s nothing wrong with Torchic but I wanted to be Eevee. Eevee is one of my favourite pokemon and the one I got the first time when I played the original. For my partner I chose Cyndaquil and named her Cinder. Now I was ready for my journey to begin.
The story is pretty much a carbon company of the original but what do expect? It is a reimagining of it after all. You meet your partner, save a caterpie and form a rescue team. Then you save some magnemite and meet a young diglett before doing some more rescue missions. Interspersed between each day you experience a dream that draws you closer to the answer as to why you were turned into a pokemon. Then a dugtrio, whose mother of the diglett you met on an earlier day, asks for your help. This is where the demo ends. You can still explore the square but that’s it. There really isn’t much else to do when you get to that point. One thing they should’ve done is let you go on more rescue missions. Actually that might get boring too since there’s only two dungeons to explore. Oh well, it is only a demo. If you want more you can always go play another Mystery Dungeon game if you’ve got one.
So the story might not be all that different, the art style on the other hand certainly is. All the pokemon are 3D models now, similar to the main Pokemon games but with a parchment feel to them. The reaction stills are back accompanying the speak boxes, looking pretty much the same as they always did. The movement of the models is fluid and for some reason more entertaining to watch than their predecessors. When in the dungeons you no longer immediately switch places with your partner, or whoever is behind you, when you want to go backwards. Instead you push them in that direction. It is quite funny watching them spin around in circles as you push them. I should point out is possible to switch with them, it’s just funny pushing them around. I must say the background art is beautiful. It looks as if it’s been hand drawn. The colours give this dreamlike quality to the background, making the characters appear sharper. The colouring makes me think of water colours. It’s just so vibrant.
I think it’s important to point out how easy it is to delete your save file, when you want to I mean. I always remember having to look up how to do it when I want to start a new game with the main series. With this Mystery Dungeon there is a very clearly labeled option on the main menu. It may have been there in past games but this is the first I’ve noticed it. Maybe to some this isn’t a big deal but to someone who likes to replay things it is.
Lastly I want to talk about the controls. One new feature they’ve added is auto mode. You press the button and your team ventures through the dungeon on their own, picking up items as they go. Coming across an enemy stops auto mode and you have to fight them manually. I don’t like this feature. Surely this is just the game playing itself. Why would I use that when I bought the thing for me to play it? Answer is I wouldn’t. I feel the attack controls have changed since I last played one of these games. The quick attack button no longer just has you jumping on your opponent, instead it uses one of your known moves at random. And now it’s a lot easier to choose which move you want to use. You just push L2 and choose the corresponding button for the move you want to use. I swear in the original you had to go into the menus to do that stuff. But I may be remembering that wrong. Or they changed it up in later games. I wouldn’t know since the two Mystery Dungeons I’ve played are Blue and Sky.
That’s it. There really isn’t much else to say since this is only a demo. I know I’m looking forward to the full release of an updated version of a game I loved as a child. I’m sure this will appeal to people like myself and to children that get to experience this story for the first time. I hope all you beautiful people have a wonderful day. I’ll see you in the next post.