[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
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[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

 

[Novel] Heechee Rendezvous (Frederik Pohl)

Heechee Rendezvous

It’s interesting how every book in Gateway series feel like it should belong to a completely different sci-fi genre. While the first novel mostly concentrated on the protagonist and analyzing his mental state, and the second was some weird xenophobia mystery, the third installment is a space opera that offers the grandest of scales but is somehow the least exciting.

Well, at least I know what one of the main inspirations of Mass Effect was.

Positive: Negative:
Fascinating setting
Feels very incomplete, as if it just stops instead of delivering an ending
Large intergalactic scale The answers to the Heechee mysteries turn out pretty underwhelming
Relatively interesting, likable characters Despite the scale, the least memorable of Gateway books
Engrossing plot with a couple of cool twists

[Anime] Parasyte: The Maxim

Kiseijuu

A dark paranormal thriller that besides remaining throughly entertaining and tense from the beginning to the end actually manages to reasonably argue the propriety of monsters that devour mankind.

Positive: Negative:
Awesome opening Some discrepancies with a nineties manga being adapted to a modern day setting (cell phones)
Good OST The last few episodes that depict dealing with the final threat are a bit too action driven
Interesting setting
Interesting, likable, profound characters (especially the protagonist)
Tight, captivating plot
Full of surprising and emotional twists
Solid, interesting story
Thought-provoking on what constitutes a man (protag keeps turning into “something” else)
Thought-provoking on human place in the ecosystem