My Favorite Things – 10/15/17

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Back in July of this year, YouTuber Super Eyepatch Wolf released a video talking about his favorite things of 2017. It was a well structure video where he talked about all of the things he was enjoying this year, and I thought it was a cool concept. As such, I decided I would do something similar, and list everything I’ve been enjoying as of late.

Anime

March Comes in Like a Lion:

March-Comes-in-Like-a-Lion-CoverI started March Comes in Like a Lion during the summer of this year, and I have been in love with the show ever since. Shaft’s vividly expressive art style combined with the depressingly somber tale of Rei Kiriyama’s journey to find happiness in his current situation makes for one of the best shows to come out in recent years. It takes everything I love about a good slice of life, mature themes, diverse and deep characters, and cranks it up to eleven.

As I somewhat ramblingly documented in another post, I can also very much relate to Rei’s sense of being unsure as to what he wants out of life. His journey is one that, while not many people are likely to go through themselves, many can find comfort in because of the similarities to situations that we all have. For Example, even though Rei has been playing shogi his whole life, he doesn’t really enjoy it the way many of the people he plays against do. The only reason Rei even plays shogi in the first place is because of his late father. Rei plays shogi because it reminds him of his father, not because he has fun with it.

With the start of the second season just recently, My interest has been thoroughly renewed. I’m eager to see if the show’s second iteration will do it as much justice as the first.

Log Horizon:

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While I haven’t actually watched the show in over a year, Log Horizon has continually held my interest because of the large cliffhanger that concluded the show’s second season. After ending the show in the middle of a vital point of the story, I got more than a bit mad. Of course, I later found out that there wasn’t any more material to adapt, as the light novel author had been thrown in jail for tax evasion, and proceeded to get even madder.

Regardless, Log Horizon is a show that is very much worthy of praise. Many have called it the smarter version of Sword Art Online, but I don’t think it should have to cast in the shadow of a show that came before it. Log Horizon takes the premise of being in an MMO and does it very accurately, from the leveling system to the cooldown on abilities and the combat, and in that way exceeds SAO, with maybe a few exceptions.

I hope that in the future Log Horizon will get the continuation it deserves. There is no reason of this high a quality should be left by the wayside to be forgotten.

Phi Brain:

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One of my favorite shows of all time and a show that will never not be one of my favorites, Phi Brain: Puzzle of God takes what is possibly one of the stupidest premises of all time and makes it entertaining as hell. Kaito, an orphan whose parents died while on a trip for work, has always loved puzzles. One day he discover’s that a group called P.O.G. wants to solve the puzzle of God, and obtain all of the immense power that comes with it.

The show immediately becomes a game show like battle series where the characters are fighting against in each other in a puzzle of the week format for a majority of the show, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.

Most of the writing in the show is admittedly quite basic, and most of the characters, aside from Kaito and some of the villains, are a bit one-dimensional. Phi Brain is a show that really focuses on the things it does well and gets by doing the bare minimum with other elements. However, I still love it to death.

Video Games

Divinity:

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I am a man with many interests, and video games are very much one of those interests. In Fact, I like a lot of different genres, from shooters to MOBAs to, especially, RPGs. Divinity is a game that I discovered only recently after it was recommended to me by a good friend, and boy am I a fan.

Divinity is a turn-based RPG focused around your customizable characters known as “source hunters” who help fight evil in the world. Your first mission is investigating the murder of a council member in a small town, and in there, you discover your destiny.

Despite the somewhat cheesy story, the game is both challenging and innovative in the gameplay department. Unlike other RPG, the enemies in the game do not respawn, so you can’t level grind in any one area. This makes it much harder to level up and progress through the game, but not to the point where it becomes frustrating, as there is an abundant number of side quest made available to you as the player.

Divinity has been critically acclaimed as being one of the best games in recent years, and I can’t say I disagree. With fun and challenging gameplay, it is definitely one of my favorites.

Smite:

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Not exactly a niche game, but still worth mentioning as being one of my favorites. I remember the first time finding out about it and then realizing I had no experience with MOBA’s whatsoever. Even so, I dived in and gave it a try. I eventually got my immediate friend group into the game, and we spent hours upon hours practicing and having a great time.

Aside from personal enjoyment, Smite has a few elements that make it fairly distinct. The third person view, as opposed to an overhead view, is one that is very often cited, but Smite also has a much lower barrier to entry, as you can buy all of the characters, and any future characters, for just 30 bucks, and there are a ton of characters in free rotation at any given time, which makes it much more accessible to an average player.

What I enjoy most about the game is its lore. Smite is based on the ancient gods of different Mythos, which most recently has included gods from the Celtic Pantheon. Getting to read about the characters and realize that these were deities that people believed in at one point is kind of surreal.

Gwent:

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Based off a game within a game from the well-received Witcher 3, Gwent is a card game that plays somewhat like poker. Each player puts a card on the board each turn, trying to put more power on the board than your opponent. This happens in a two out of three style match, but aside from drawing a few cards after each round, you only play with whats in your hand.

Gwent is, for the most part, a well-designed card game that brings a lot of new ideas to the table. It combines the well-crafted card are of a game like Hearthstone with a completely different game structure to make something new and fun.

Not having played Witcher 3 before, almost all of the cards go over my head, but the lore of the game is still interesting, and even though I haven’t played as much recently, It’s a game I will likely continue to play for a while.

YouTubers

Spectrum Pulse:

Being someone who listens to just about everything when it comes to music, there a few places where I like to go to get recommendations for what to listen to. Spectrum Pulse, run by Mark Grondon, is a Music, Movie review channel that also reviews just about everything, be it pop, rock, jazz, country or whatever.

His reviews are well researched and often times he’ll bring up things that I didn’t even know about the artist and/or movie he’s reviewing. Mark also does a series called Billboard Breakdown where he looks at and talks about all of the activity of the weekly hot 100 list. This series is where I get a lot of my news about popular music and also some things to listen to as well.

LeeandLie:

In a somewhat similar vein, and also pertaining to anime, LeeandLie is a channel run by Amanda Lee who does fantastic covers of anime and video game songs. She does almost everything, from Angel Beats to the recently aired Re:Creators, all with a fantastic voice.

Conclusion

And that’s everything I’ve been enjoying recently. I might start doing a smaller version of this list on a more regular basis. If you guys enjoy anything here let me know in the comments. Until next time, see ya.

 

 

 

 

 

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