Tag Archives: review

I finished a JRPG and damn does it feel good

18 Aug

Much as I enjoy RPG as a genre in video games, leveling up your characters and being immersed in the story, I never really gotten around to finishing playing. It takes too long and I would lose interest as the “grinding” (i.e. doing same stuff over and over and over…and over) leaves me feeling burnt out.

nothing but a barely cute showboat at the high school competition.

barely cute.

Persona 4, however, is a different story.

My friend Albert got me Persona 4 Golden for the PS Vita last fall.

When I first began playing, it was okay but didn’t grab my interest as much. The Fusion (combining your ‘Pokemon spirits’ to make bigger, powerful ones) got me confused, Social Links came off as tacky (“oh so-and-so opened up a little…*flash* friendship leveled up!). But while the game was not hinged on the “save the princess/world/both”, I was intrigued on solving the mystery of  who was committing these murders and kidnappings in Inaba, a small town in Japan.

(So okay, you can argue eventually it becomes “save the world”, but by that point in the game, I’m already invested. Not some old stranger going up to me and without any context say “save the world, tarnations!”)

Another friend, who is not familiar with RPGs, asked me to describe what Persona 4 Golden is like, and I said something along the lines like: “Bunch of high school kids investigate a murder mystery and it plays like Pokemon.”

After about seven hours into the game, something clicked. Maybe it’s the story got more interesting or the Fusion made sense. So fast-forward some 93 hours, I finally achieved getting the True Ending after getting two bad ones. I always thought completing a JRPG was somewhat impossible as I’ll easily be sidetracked by side quests and other video games on my backlog. But have a fascinating story, smooth interface, and the option for my character to date someone (Yukiko’s taken, sorry), then I’m onboard.

Also, after having played the game, it made this comic pretty damn awesome to read. (There’s always the animated/voiced version on Youtube. Do read it first.)

Felt so good to have played it well. I really don’t want to leave Inaba. (I will return someday, maybe.) So now I’m playing Persona Arena and Persona 3. Looking forward to Persona 5.




movie trailers can spoil your expectations

3 Sep

Last week, I watched World’s End with my friend Donald. What made this viewing interesting is Donald saw the trailer prior to the movie while I did not. My only knowledge of the film was seeing the movie poster the size of a postage stamp in a magazine.

I had already seen the previous films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, directed by Edgar White and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. And I enjoyed those films and in particular Hot Fuzz. So by those involved alone, I was excited.

My experience with the film was a series of amused grins and the droll lols. Even with the most absurd elements of humans who became robots that bleed blue blood and Simon Pegg playing a free-spirited jerk, the film was creative and seasoned with witty British humour. I left the theater with a IQ point higher. (Of course, you must consider an IQ point taken from me earlier when watching the trailer for Bad Grandpa.)

After the watching the film, my friend and I talked about it. I was surprised of how random (and yet so fitting when you compare to the other two films) when I thought it was just a hit-all-twelve-pubs-in-one-go with a tinge of the supernatural film. Donald, who had seen the trailer, was wondering when the robots were going to show up.

Movie trailers are essential in building up expectations and drawing viewers, but they can easily lead someone to expect when something is supposed to happen or worse, feel misled what the movie trailer had originally impressed. (As in the trailer for The Lone Ranger showing the exciting adventures, but not the numerous plots bogging down the movie.)


Of course, I wish I hadn’t watch the trailers to Star Trek Into Darkness. While there was no plot spoilers, it did reveal too much. The identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s antagonist character’s past occupation was revealed and the size of the Federation warship. It took away the awe and instead replaced it with, “oh yea, that.”

fascinated by Nolan’s Bane? then read Knightfall

6 Aug

I saw the cover Batman Knightfall volume 1 a couple of times. The image of Bane breaking Batman’s back lingered in my mind, and subconsciously compelled me to watch Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises.

So I watched the movie and enjoyed it. It was dark and complex in how Bane has masterminded Gotham to be isolated and threatened by a nuclear bomb. Until watching the film, I never envisioned Bane to be a serious, calculating character. (Cue memories of WB’s animated Bane who is exaggerated in his physical features and movements.) Maybe it’s the voice that made it more mysterious and frightening though in retrospect, his voice does sound more like a circus ringmaster with a stuffy nose.

I recently saw Knightfall vol. 1 and 2 available at a public library and checked both of them out.

I was amazed by how much deeper the Batman vs. Bane story runs. Throughout the first volume, Bane is obsessed with testing Batman’s endurance and tests the dark knight by freeing everyone in Arkham Asylum, including many familiar faces such as the Joker and Poison Ivy.

If you found Bane to be fascinating thanks to Nolan’s interpretation, the Knightfall will not disappoint.

I’m currently reading Knightfall volume two, and I must say it does a good job of depicting the Batman after the fight with Bane. (Much more will make sense about the Batman after you have read volume one.)


media galore #1

7 Feb

Thought I also start a series of asides about what books, movies, shows, and stuff I’ve been reading. Maybe you might like it, or maybe not.

Anne of Green Gables (book): This is a book I never expected to be reading. I was browsing the library’s Overdrive¹ and saw this title in the audiobook section. I do have a reluctance toward reading books published in the early 19th century because they tend to be dense and wordy. Also, this is a book not marketed to the mid-twenties Korean-American male reader. When I began listening, I was drawn to the rustic setting and the narrator’s gentle storytelling, and when Anne makes her entrance, yes, she can be quite wordy, but it’s not the kind associated with dour bearded writers; it’s rather the delightful kind, taking in the child’s speech powered by fervent imagination and wit.

Your Republic is Calling You (book): There’s this thing I have when it comes to reading works by Korean and Korean-American authors. My command of the language may not be up to par, but I feel this connection I have by reading works by those who share the same heritage as me. Published in English, of course. Anyways, I had seen this book around and a few weeks ago when I saw it while browsing the fiction shelves at a library, I decided to check it out. I’m a few chapters in, and if you can deal with another book that begins with someone waking up, you’ll be taken in by the how Young-Na Kim weaves in everyday events with observation and memory with espionage as the backdrop.

Nedroid (webcomic): In college, I was a huge webcomic geek. To the point I would have seven bookmark folders, each labeled for every day of the week, and I would read the updated comics of the day. I still am, but I have fallen behind my webcomic readings. This comic is  one I keep up with. It’s zany yet somewhat relatable, like going on space adventures or having an argument about toilet paper.

¹Next time when you visit your public library, ask if they have Overdrive. If they do, get access to it. It features a good number of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download onto your smartphone and tablet. You can also download it onto your computer as well. I always was reluctant to check out an audiobook let alone buy one. This is completely free. When it comes to returning a title, it’ll automatically expire so you don’t have to turn it in and pay any fines.