Final Impressions: Daibanchou – Big Bang Age

daibanchou1As promised, here is my review of Alice Soft’s 2003 eroge RPG Daibanchou: Big Bang Age. I’m honestly not sure why I started playing this game to begin with, but I’m pretty sure it’s because I found an intriguing image of one of the heroines and a little bit of research here and a little more there, and voila, next thing you know I have the English-translated version of the game downloaded on my computer. As a fan of RPGs and cute anime girls, this seemed to be up my alley, even if it did have erotic content. I had played Utawarerumono previously and that game was amazingly fun even though there were sex scenes in it, so I figured I’d give Big Bang Age a try.

I’m glad I did, because even though the game has a really steep learning curve, it was incredibly addictive once I started figuring it all out. So let me do my best to explain why.

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WTF?!? Japan – Eroge/Visual Novel Pet Peeves

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Against my better judgment, I decided I’d like to write a review on the game Daibanchou: Big Bang Age. You see, Daibanchou is an eroge with RPG elements. For those of you who don’t know, an eroge – sometimes called a hentai game or H-game – is a Japanese video game that features erotic content, most often with anime-style artwork. So you can probably see why I’d be hesitant to post something like this in a public forum. This is not that post, by the way. Look for the review/final impressions in my next post, which should hopefully be up not long after this one. This is more of a warm-up for that review so you can understand my head-space while I was playing it.

To be honest, I don’t play very many eroges or visual novels in general; I think I’ve only ever played about five in total, but that’s not to say I’m not overly familiar with them because when you’re inundated in the culture, you tend to pick up on a lot of things. Truth be told I’m kind of a sucker for an attractive character design and am compelled to discover the character’s origin. Researching trivial things is kind of my forte.

How can I say no to this face?

How can I say no to this?

Personally, I tend to find them a bit tedious and trite in a lot of ways. CG stills of sex scenes do very little for me and the cringe-worthy dialogue and narration describing the sexual encounter in detail does even less for me. But as you may know, many of the romantic-comedy anime shows out there these days are actually based on preexisting eroges that have been stripped down into one route and with all of the sexual content completely removed. These are often referred to as harem shows, and they usually end with the protagonist either choosing one specific girl or never settling and keeping the possibilities open for all of the harem candidates. So sometimes it’s tempting to check out the other story possibilities the multiple routes provide, while also potentially satisfying one’s curiosity as to how all the sex factors in.

That having been said, I have a few problems in general with these sorts of games and I kind of wanted to clear the air and explain why. That’s kind of why I created this blog in the first place (to air grievances, not discuss eroge). Granted, it’s probably a bit unfair to put this under the WTF?!? Japan banner, but given that it’s somewhat related and I’m about to crap all over the eroge format, it seemed only fitting.

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Don’t Be Raping, Bro: A reaction to the “Luring your Rapebait” frat email that went viral

tno

I’m sure most of you have seen the truly reprehensible email by the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity member at Georgia Tech with the subject line “Luring your Rapebait.” For those of you that haven’t, here’s the full text in all it’s degrading and objectifying glory:

“Alright chods, some of you could use some help on how to mack and succeed at parties. Mostly pledges do, but some bros could use a review. For anytime throughout the party… If you are standing by yourself at any point, YOU ARE OUTTA HERE!!! If you are talking to a brother of your pledge brothers when there are girls just standing around, YOU ARE OUTTA HERE!!!

Ok, if it is before midnight… A group of girls is standing around, grab a bro or pledge bro and go talk to them. First, introduce yourself and get their name, ask if they are having a good time, and then ask if they want anything to drink. If they say yes, walk them to the bar and tell them what we have to drink. If they say no and they look like they are in a sorority, ask them if they are in a sorority (DUH). If not, choose one of the following: where are you living, where are you from, have you been here before, how are classes going, or where all have you been tonight. Then proceed to have a conversation. IF THEY ARE HAMMERED AT ANY POINT BEFORE MIDNIGHT, JUST SKIP THE CHIT CHAT AND GO DANCE.

Midnight or after, if you have been talking for awhile and they’ve had a couple drinks, ask if they want to dance. If you see an untalked to group or a solo girl, go up to her and ask if she wants anything to drink. If she says yes, get her a drink and then ask if she wants to dance. If she says no, ask her to dance. DANCING IS FUN!!!!! Always try to dance. If she does not want to dance and is with friends, say “aw thats no fun” (or something like that) and then ask one of her friends.

Here is how to dance: Grab them on the hips with your 2 hands and then let them grind against your dick. After that slowly alternate between just putting your hand across their stomach, but make sure don’t to go to high (keep it under the boob) or too low(dont try to finger her… yet). After a song, start putting your cheek on the side of her cheek. ALWAYS USE YOUR HANDS OR ARMS TO GUIDE THEIR DANCING in order to maximize your pleasure. If she starts putting her hair over her ear, THAT MEANS SHE WANTS A KISS. Therefore, try to give her a kiss on the cheek. They usually like that and nothing really should ebcome of it. In the case, go for the neck kiss. If for some reason they aren’t down for a cheek kiss, just dance through it or say you are going to get another drink and see if they want one. And then repeat from the beginning.

If the party is going good (a.k.a. there are a lot of open girls) try to escalate cause it’s awesome. Here is how to escalate: Try to twist her hips around to face you and dance front to front. FROM THERE THE OPTIONS ARE UNLIMITED! You can make-out with her (tongue on tongue), you can stick your hand up her shirt (not right away though), you can go for a butt grab (outside or inside the shirts), or use your imagination. ALWAYS START WITH THE MAKING OUT!!!! NO RAPING.

A short guide consist of the 7 E’s of HOOKING UP! 1. Encounter (spot a girl or group of girls) 2. Engage (go up and talk to them) 3. Escalate (ask them to dance, or ask them to go up to your room or find a couch, depending on what kind of party) 4. Erection (GET HARD) 5. Excavate (should be self-explanatory) 6. Ejaculate (should also be self explanatory) 7. Expunge (send them out of your room and on their way out when you are finished. IF ANYTHING EVER FAILS, GO GET MORE ALCOHOL. I want to see everyone succeed at the next couple parties.

In luring rapebait,
[name redacted].”

Charming, isn’t it?

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Final Impressions: Deadpool (Video Game)

Deadpool 11 variantAdmittedly I was a bit cautiously optimistic about the Deadpool game when High Moon Studios first announced it. Don’t get me wrong, Deadpool is an awesome character and if anyone deserves their own video game, it’s him. I was just a bit worried that, well, initially that it was just going to be a cheap churned-out cash-grab piece of trash like so many other comic book video games in the past (*cough*Aquaman*cough*). But I was also nervous because I wasn’t sure if a somewhat grating, ultra-violent, borderline-psychotic, somewhat needy, completely batshit-insane, fourth-wall breaking character could do well as the main character in his own video game.

The first thing I want to point out is that this game is Rated M for Mature (17+) and there is certainly a reason for that, so before I get into the meat of the review, a refresher course on the character of Deadpool is probably in order since the nature of his personality has much to do with that rating as well as the mileage the player will get out of the game. For the sake of the game, here’s what you need to know:

Deadpool, real name Wade Wilson, was born in Canada and was a mercenary before being diagnosed with cancer. He was enrolled in the Weapon X program, the same program that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton, and was given Wolverine’s healing factor which keeps his cancer at bay and makes him virtually unkillable; it unfortunately had the side-effect of rendering his body hideously scarred due to the accelerated growth of his cancerous tumors, which is why he constantly wears a mask. Considered something of a failure, he was ejected from the Weapon X program and entered into the Hospice, a government facility where failed superhuman operatives were treated. It was also where patients secretly underwent sadistic experiments, with patients placing bets in a “deadpool” as to how long each patient would survive. Not exactly of sound mind to begin with, these experiments helped crack Wilson’s insanity even further, and during his near-death experiences during the experiments, he found his romantic kindred spirit in the cosmic entity Death, the female embodiment of the taker of souls, as the name implies. His affair with Death would also catch the attention of Thanos, who has something of an obsession with Death himself, and thus he made him immortal so that the two could never be together, thus eliminating Wade as a rival. Escaping the Hospice, Wilson took the name Deadpool and became a mercenary for hire.

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Top 10 Fanfiction Pet Peeves

yaoi

So back in the day I used to read a good deal of fanfiction. I even penned the occasional story, though I haven’t written anything fandom related in about seven years. I don’t read it anymore either. But I know a lot of people still do, so as something of a throw-back, I decided to do a blog post on it as a bit of a lark.

Let’s face it, the majority of the fanfiction out there is absolute crap. But you know what, that’s okay, because at least it means that people are passionate enough about something to write about it. I’m all in favor of writing, whatever the topic might be. I would not be the writer I am today had I not started with fanfiction, as it helped me develop not only my writing skills, but also helped me find my writing voice. It also gave me a chance to play with certain themes in a short story format and was good practice for grasping characterization, given that these were already established characters in a pre-existing world. So while fanfiction may have a bad reputation, for those that take the writing seriously, I see it as nothing but a positive thing.

That having been said, however, my time spent wading through the swaths of horrendous fanfics just to find the rare diamond in the rough has allowed me to accumulate a stock-pile of ire-inducing pet peeves that I have routinely stumbled across in my reading. To be fair, there are certain givens that should not come as a surprise when reading fanfiction, especially since a large number of fanfic writers are school-aged youngsters, so things like bad grammar, occasional misspellings and naive, cliche and often-times flat, non-descriptive prose are to be expected. As such, I will not be taking potshots at those qualities since I believe that practice makes perfect, and it’s a bit unfair to rag on someone for at least making an effort to write; I don’t want to discourage anyone from making the attempt so long as they have every intention of improving as they continue.

Everything else, however, is fair game, so let ‘er rip:

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Final Impressions: Tomb Raider (2013)

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Given that this is the third blog entry I’ve written about Lara Croft, it almost feels like I should just make this a Tomb Raider themed blog from this point on. I’m kidding, of course, but the amount of words I’ve dedicated to the ass-kicking video game heroine are certainly well beyond my expectations.

Which leads to Lara Croft’s latest outing, the rebooted origin tale Tomb Raider, a game which anyone who read my previous blog about the subject would have guessed that I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near with a 10-foot pole. Admittedly, I didn’t have any intention of doing so, but some of the sterling reviews I had seen definitely carried a lot of weight, though I think the Conan O’Brien Clueless Gamer video was the thing that put it over the edge into the “must have” category (if you haven’t seen it yet, do so now!).

So before I get into whether the game lived up to the hype and the nitty-gritty details of the game, let’s deal with the controversy that I blogged about before: the victimization of Lara Croft thing. As a refresher, Crystal Dynamics executive producer Ron Rosenberg had stated that the savage islanders attempt to rape Lara and that becomes the impetus for her ‘fight or die’ transformation. Additionally, he also alluded to the fact that male players especially would feel like they are her helpers more than they would identify with Lara, which sounded a wee bit chauvinistic. I had said at the time that my hope was that all of the controversy was based solely on what was said and not what was actually within the game’s context, and for the most part that thankfully appeared to be the case.

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The Best of Anime: 2012

nisemonogatari

Given that 2012 ended over a month ago, I figured I should probably strike while the iron is still reasonably lukewarm and do an end of year ‘best of’ for anime, especially given that the whole season wrap-up thing I had planned to make a regular feature went nowhere. Essentially I found that I couldn’t be bothered writing about all of the shows I had watched every three months since I tended to find that I had little to say about the ones I enjoyed, I couldn’t really find the motivation to write about the so-so shows and unfortunately I had the most to say about the shows I disliked, making for a very uneven and ranty wrap-up (yes, I am aware that I have issues).

Anyway, back to the main subject. The rules behind my picks are quite simple:

1. My lists only include shows I have actually watched. I cannot speak to the quality of shows I didn’t watch, but chances are I never gave them a look-see for a reason. This rule will especially be true for the most disappointing shows since it’s not fair to categorize shows as being terrible – even if they actually are – when I’ve never seen them; hence the reason I don’t have a ‘worst of’ category.

2. A show needs to have ended in 2012, so any two cour (season) shows that started in 2012 but have continued into 2013 are ineligible.

So with that said, here are the 2012 winners:

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