Sunday, 25 March 2012

LOL Heroes, Shana III

Wordy-words time: I just finished watching Legend of the Legendary Heroes (not to be confused with the galactic ones) and wow was that a great series.  Otherwise known as LOL Heroes the series was one of many different things, to the extent that it's hard to categorize.  Broadly speaking it's a political series in a fantasy world with occasional war and or fighting.

Depiction of politics probably is the most central aspect to the series: the story - at least sequentially - begins with the bastard child of nobleman seizing power and seeking to reform his country (such as many politicians with good intent set out to do), however as in real politics things don't go quite so smoothly or so honestly.  I could say more about the political side of the story, but it would really really spoil the impact of the story to anyone who is unfamiliar with it - needless to say a lot happens.

Ferris serves as a comic foil for much of the series.
As an aside to the political story, the Usurper-King appoints an old friend (Ryner Lute) and a swordswoman (Ferris Eris, token bishoujo) to seek out magical artifacts (or hero relics as the story calls them) which are of military benefit to his kingdom.  This side of the story is much more fantasy based, with magical powers and abilities frequently being used.  Ryner is more or less the reluctant protagonist of the series (see also: Rincewind in Discworld) who possessing extraordinary magical powers is considered the best person for the job.  The magical powers come with a price however, as certain conditions will cause Ryner to go berserk and destroy everything - something Ryner himself is aware of and seeks to avoid.  It's a nice plot device that neatly avoids powerlevel herpaderp.

My mind is buzzing but I'm running out of steam here.  Needless to say, great series and one which is seriously so worth checking out.  If I were to make any complaints, it would be that the artwork mish-mashes a variety of European styles from the last 2000 years... which feels a bit weird (especially when you see character wearing modern-ish clothes) but that's a pretty minor complaint.
Series 2 when D:

Also today I finished Shana III.  I must say that was a pretty satisfactory ending to the series, it did a nice job of finishing things without falling prey to seeming predictable.  On the whole it was enjoyable series, not one I would watch again but it was certainly entertaining to follow it each week.
No more Sydonay or Hecate ;_;

The biggest shortcoming of the series was that it had far too many periphery characters who could have easily been omitted, I'd rather the episodes focused more on say Shana herself or the central members of Bal Masque, who were always the most interesting characters to follow in the series.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Another post about Another.

Not Misaka.
I have previously posted about "Another" in various blog posts, noting with passing time that the quality of the show has declined significantly. 

I just... arg.  I mad.  Where do I even begin?  None of this latest episode made any sense whatsover, it was just 20 minutes of pointless grimdark.  The episode started with a character about to reveal all when conveniently they get interrupted, some guy decided to randomly kill someone else because he thought this other person was a murderer (yeah really makes sense), then an unrelated corpse is discovered in a burning room (which somehow contains the fire for a very long time without any structural damage), then some crazy old lady appears and starts killing people, then some crazy girl appears and starts killing people - said crazy girl then gets on a speaker system and tells people to kill... OH I DON'T CARE.  This was just beyond stupid.

How can I put this... the best analogy to describe the show at present is to say that it has flown completely off the rails and collided with motorway traffic to cause a multi-car-train-wreck.  It is so far beyond being a trainwreck right now I cannot think of any other way to describe it.  It is just incredibly bad, in this episode it went past the point of being enjoyable bad which you can laugh at.

"Send the dead back to death" was a line which got repeated A LOT in the last few episodes.  I can forgive "people die when they are killed", but this is whole new level of DERP.  This probably neatly summarizes the series in a single image I guess.

One episode of the show is left to watch, I'm not expecting any improvement but it would be nice if it did improve.

For anyone who has a passing interest in the series, here is the ONLY GOOD PART in gif form.

Yeah that's it right here.  A small dance scene and about all there ever was of character development in this (I'm not even kidding).

I was planning to write stuff about the penultimate episode of Shakugan no Shana III, I'm running short of time now so all I'll say is that the episode had a pleasantly unexpected outcome.  It was a very mixed series in terms of enjoyment, some points being pretty awesome (the new Yuuji was badass) but there were far too many of those long drawn out battle scenes which weren't particularly interesting in previous series, and it took itself far too seriously for something that's a bit weird and goofy.  That said, there were points in the Shana series which I really loved like the OVAs or the Movie (which was so much better than the first arc in the TV series), there was just something a bit flat about this final series.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Bad Modders / Game Developers

Being involved in game development you get to meet a lot of people over the years, most of whom I'm pleased to say are extremely decent and amiable fellows.  But there are one or two bad apples I've met on occasion - not often I should add, but lately there seems to have been a fair number of them appear. 

Typically these bad developers amass a following of supporters who give credence to their sloppy work / behaviour.  It's pretty frustrating to see someone blatantly plagiarizing content and getting heaped with praise by a teeming group of people who don't know any better, which serves to legitimize (at least in the minds of some developers) sloppy practice.

This brings me to the next kind of bad developer I really hate seeing, one who hangs on the coattails of successful IP.  Now, in many cases you could justify making something like "Half Life 2: City Whatever" providing you were making it as a mod for Half Life 2; where things go wrong is when people start making things like "Nazi Zombies Source" or "Modern Warfare Source" (I'm not making these up), which typically have extremely weak developed content - yet once again uninformed members of the public flock to such mods purely because of the IP.  I really hate this, it's like someone scheduling a bad tribute act to a now defunct superband or a bootlegger selling now out of print movies... it's a cheap way to rip off someone else's work purely by using their name.

Tying in to all of this is the egotistical developer: one who is completely incapable of seeing fault in their work, who refuses to listen to constructive criticism and is always incapable of working with other people.  I especially despise this kind of developer: no one is above criticism, it's pretty sad that almost all of these people will rely on fans to defend their own delusional shortcomings.  What is worse is that they reflect extremely badly on the rest of the developer community... they have extremely destructive asocial personalities that... uhh I must confess that at this point I am pretty drunk and am struggling to remember where I was going with this.  Long story short these bad types of developer often overlap with each other, it's kind of annoying to see so many of them around right now.

Time for Gintama and sobriety.