[Novel] The Heart of the Matter (Graham Greene)

The Heart of the Matter

Book

A story of a man too good for his time in an exotic location of western Africa.

Positive:
Negative:
Interesting, likable, profound characters
Lacks the usual Graham Greene mystery
Exotic location
Thought-provoking on life
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[Game] Persona 5

Perosna 5

Game

It didn’t quite live up to its predecessors, but Persona 5 is still the best JRPG I’ve played in years.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful visuals, both on technical and artistic sides
Less background music variation than in the previous installments
Awesome soundtrack that oozes style
Underwhelming (and kind of stupid) human villains
Great, funky atmosphere
The story up until the very end feels like a collection of set pieces
Likable characters
Characters pale in comparison to the previous installments
Enthralling plot
Story feels a lot more simplistic compared to previous installments
Awesome culmination (once human villains are out of the way)
Thought-provoking on society
Fantastic challenging but fair game-play
The social sim parts are absolutely addicting

[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

[Novel] The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)

the-pillars-of-the-earth

A fascinating journey to the Middle Ages that follows an ambitious architectural project of a cathedral and the lives and adventures of many people — both historical and fictional — that end up involved with it.

Positive: Negative:
Interesting, likable characters A few historical inaccuracies here and there
Surprisingly captivating plot Not really the deepest book you’ll ever read
Multilayered, epic story
Enlightening on 12th century England

 

[Novel] The Portrait of the Lady (Henry James)

the-portrait-of-a-lady

The Portrait of the Lady lacks the wit of Jane Austen and the profundity of Marcel Proust, ending up as a fine, but ultimately forgettable depiction of the life of aristocracy in 19th century England, and their clashes with American culture.

I can’t help but visualize this being something equivalent to a 19th century telenovela that happened to be ascribed literary merit just because of how old it was.

Positive: Negative:
Provides some insight on the life of 19th century British aristocracy Dim-witted, annoying protagonist
Relatively profound characters Characters aren’t all that interesting
Nothing much really ever happens in the plot

 

[Game] Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Danganronpa

A psychological thriller mystery adventure game that feels like a blend of Persona and Phoenix Wright. …And you know that can only mean good.

I ended up picking the official translation for the PC version, and while I could tell NISA put quite a bit of effort into conveying the quirky dialogue, their take is rough around the edges with tone inconsistencies and a few mistranslations here and there which leads me to recommend the fan translation by Black Dragon Hunt and Ritobito instead that from what I’ve seen, ironically, feels more professional.

Positive: Negative:
Beautiful, attractive character designs Not fully voiced
Memorable, wacky soundtrack Some murders come off convoluted to the extent it’s detrimental to the perpetrator
Good voice-acting Interesting characters who are forced to “retire” early feel wasted
Bizarre and mysterious yet upbeat atmosphere The lack of proper romance options holds the game a step away from a true masterpiece
Interesting, extremely likable, quirky, and relatively profound characters The free roaming sections in-between murders feel like a waste of time
Monokuma is bearwsome
Interesting, thought-provoking story
Captivating plot full of mysteries and twists
A couple of ingenious detective tricks
A couple of strong emotional scenes, especially when it comes down to unexpected betrayals
Solving and re-enacting mysteries is incredibly fun