[Novel] The Day of the Triffids (John Wyndham)

The Day of the Triffids

Book

A post-apocalyptic novel about semi-sentient plants and an epidemic of blindness that’s oddly reminiscent of modern zombie setups.

Positive:
Negative:
Interesting concept
Feels like a zombie book, just with plants
Relatively likable characters
Thematically overshadowed by Jose Saramago’s Blindness
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[Game] Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Ys VIII

Game

A satisfying if not exactly mind-blowing action JRPG.

Positive:
Negative:
The island is interesting to explore
Silent protagonist undermines the story
Likable characters, except the protagonist
Game-play doesn’t feel as tight as 2D Ys
Interesting story inspired by evolution
Lots of cool boss fights
Good English localization (retranslation)

[Novel] The Magus (John Fowles)

The Magus

Book

A surreal adventure through a man’s growth to accept responsibility.

Positive:
Negative:
Interesting, profound characters
A few parts can feel a bit slow on the pacing side
Surreal atmosphere
Exotic, fascinating location
Enthralling plot full of mysteries
Solid, well-written story
Thought-provoking on life and responsibility

[Game] Into the Breach

Into the Breach

Game

An insanely addicting and satisfying turn-based strategy game that’s a bit bare-bones on the narrative and way too short for how good it is (I ended up beating the game with all teams because I just couldn’t let it end so soon).

Positive:
Negative:
Good atmospheric soundtrack
Bare-bones narrative
Fantastic, super addicting and super satisfying game-play
Too short

[Anime] Sangatsu no Lion

Sangatsu no Lion

Anime

Note: this impression is based on the first season of the show.

A shogi anime that’s more about its realistic, profound characters and fancy SHAFT animation than the actual sport. It has some stuff going for it, but the lack of clear goal and extremely slow pace bored the hell out of me.

Positive:
Negative:
Unique and artistic SHAFT animation
Dull plot
Realistic, profound characters
Extremely slow pace
Characters aren’t all that interesting
Fails to make shogi any interesting, or even explain it properly for that matter

[Game] Subnautica

Subnautica

Game

An survival game that focuses on underwater exploration that’s so freaking spooky it can double function as a horror game, especially in VR. It’s been a while since I was so bummed out by seeing a game end.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful underwater world design
The end-game vehicles become a chore to navigate
Fascinating, spooky setting full of mysteries
Achieving the ending feels more like busywork after you’ve explored everything
Effective, atmospheric music that pumps you up
Buggy VR support that can cause motion sickness
An absolute treat to explore
Surprisingly involving plot
Addicting survival game-play

 

[Novel] The Three-Body Problem (Cixin Liu)

Three Body Problem

Book

A fascinating extraterrestrial contact story that explores some deliciously thought-provoking scientific subjects and also offers insight into China’s history and culture.

Positive:
Negative:
Interesting, likable characters
There are some slow parts around the middle that can get a bit boring
Engaging plot
Although telling a fairly self-consistent story, ends on a sequel bait
Thought-provoking scientific concepts
Enlightening on China’s history and culture