I can bet you didn’t expect this to show up on a technically WoW-themed blog, did you. ;) Well, the main reason is that continuing to restrict myself to blogging only about WoW was a really bad idea – especially if there is nothing interesting happening to me in Azeroth, as it happens quite often lately – and you can see the results of that from the sparingly appearing posts here. So, here it is – my second big hobby besides gaming. There will be more coming, but don’t count on me blogging about each new episode that gets aired. ;)
With that short introduction out of the way, lets get straight to the meat of the post. The series presented here are ordered in the way I’ve liked them so far – remember though that I’ve seen only one or two episodes of each, as they are still new and being currently shown on Japanese TV. The pictures below are linked to the full (or almost full, as most of these are in 720p and I’ve resized them for web) versions of the screencaps.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
So, what do we have here. A girl who enrolled in an all-boys high school that recently turned co-ed, and is now the president of the school’s student council. The same girl happens to absolutely hate all males and wants to turn the school into a nice place, one more suitable for girls. The very same girl also works part-time in a maid cafe (in a different district of the city of course, so the students of the school won’t use it against her) after school to support her family. Then it just takes a few of her classmates to discover that fact, and we have the story rolling.
Well, what can I say about it. Somehow I tend to watch and enjoy these kind of anime, and Kaichou has all the qualities that I need – nice and simple art style, an explosive female protagonist and lots and lots of humour. Which is why it’s placed here as the show I’ll definitely keep watching this Spring.
B Gata H Kei
Once again we have a school and a beautiful girl, but this time, her plans are completely different. Her dream is to have sex with a hundred different guys, and she just has to find a nice (possibly inexperienced as well so she doesn’t get laughed at) guy for a good start! Of course she does – by accidentally falling on him in a book shop and thinking he sacrificed himself to save her. It doesn’t really help that she proceeds to scare him away right after that, and she didn’t even remember his face. Fortunately for her (and conveniently for the viewers), the poor guy is sitting right next to her in the classroom on the next day. Things go more crazy from that point, as both of them are inexperienced virgins and afraid of basically everything. That’s what makes it really fun, though.
It’s simply hilarious to watch, and manages to not turn into something focused mostly on showcasing pretty boobs and asses, for which it gets a lot of bonus points. It’s a really strong contender for the first place in this season for me, whatever might that tell about me. ;)
Senkou no Night Raid
Away from pretty schoolgirls for a bit, here’s something a bit more serious. This story is set in a year 1931 and takes place in China, where a small group of people with supernatural powers (teleporting, telekinesis, telepathy and improved vision) is sent to infiltrate a camp of an armed organization and rescue a kidnapped president of a Japanese company. Fortunately, even though they mostly rely on their powers to succeed, it somehow doesn’t feel like it’s going to turn into a superhero movie type of thing.
There have been only one episode of this anime so far, and they haven’t really explained anything in it other than what I’ve wrote above. It might be fun if the studio can put an interesting story behind it, but it’s really hard to decide after 24 minutes of almost pure action. I’ll definitely watch at least one or two more episodes, as the first one surely did a good job at capturing the viewer’s interest.
Arakawa Under the Bridge
Another comedy show this season, this one is a bit more of the weird variety. A young boy is saved from drowning by a homeless girl living under the bridge, and because he hates being indebted to anyone (and especially over something that big), he asks her what can he do to repay her. She doesn’t want money from him or a new house, and instead asks him to fall in love with her.
The first two episodes are really strange. I’m still not totally convinced if I like it – they have some good moments, but most of the situations just keeps me amazed at the absurdity of them, rather than laughing. Oh, and that also includes the opening animation. Still, it’s not really that bad, so I’ll see if it becomes more interesting later.
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
Guess what, it’s another school comedy. This one is a magic school though, so at least it’s somewhat different from the others. Here we follow a young boy that just recently transferred here, and managed to become the center of attention for the whole school from the start. How? Well, the school has a mysterious hat assigning students to the houses bird foretelling the students’ futures, and this very boy is told that he will be a Demon King, instead of a good high priest that he dreams to be. With news of that announcement spreading around the school, soon the boy will find himself right in the middle of panic, destruction and, for some unknown reason, naked female body parts.
Well, the last part is what makes this anime (or rather, the whole ecchi comedy genre that it belongs to) a bit strange. They could’ve drop it and it would be a standard show, not especially bad or good, but instead they insist on putting our hero in weird situations as a way to show off boobs and make silly jokes about him being a pervert. Nothing too excessive though, so I don’t really mind, at least as long as they keep in on that level. It’s not a show to be a fan of, but it won’t hurt your brain to watch it as well.
Another school – but this time it’s also an afterlife. Should it surprise anyone then that everyone inside is already dead and can’t die again, no matter what happens to them? Probably not. What should surprise you though, is that there’s some sort of a resistance group here that is fighting against God and the angel (who is conveniently named Angel, and looks like a normal high school girl – that is, if we overlook her immunity to any damage and ability to summon huge blades from her wrists) that supervises this world. With guns. Lots of guns. Why the Angel lets them do so, is a mystery though.
So far it’s mostly a silly comedy show, but I’m hoping that will change and there will be some sort of story in it as well. Doesn’t really help that it’s drawn and animated in a weird style, especially all the male characters – and after the first episode the fandom already found a number of animation mistakes in the video. I’m not the one to care too much about some mistakes, if it also happens to have an interesting story, but so far it sadly doesn’t. I hope it will pick up speed in the few next episodes.
A kid finds a broken robot toy, tries to repair it, the toy suddenly gets hit with a lightning bolt and comes to life as a giant robot, granting the kid (named Joey btw, but it’s not like anyone should really care) a freaking big controller glove in the process. Don’t ask me how that works. Together they save the kid’s almost-girlfriend from a nasty gas explosion, fight aliens and who knows what else.
It’s a series done by Stan Lee and Bones, both big names in their respective areas. Unfortunately it turned out to be rather annoying to watch – sure, the animation quality is what you would expect from a big animation studio, but the characters are drawn in a very weird way that I don’t really like at all. And the fact that almost all we can hear from Joey’s mouth is “HEEEEROOOOMAAAAAN ENGAAAGE” and similar things (the second word is variable here, “HEEEROOOOMAAAAAAAAAN” unfortunately isn’t), doesn’t really help.
Or maybe I’m just getting too old for standard Marvel comics stuff, who knows. One way or the other, I was very disappointed after watching the first episode – and then I’ve tried the second with a very slight spark of hope that things will change and Joey will maybe learn how to be a proper protagonist, utter more than two decent sentences for an episode and shout at his robot less. He didn’t.
So, “HEEEROOOMAAAAAAAN DELEEETE”. I won’t miss it at all, I’ve got enough good shows to watch instead. Too bad though, as I was really interested in it when I saw Bones and Stan Lee together in the preview.
Of course it’s not all, and to be honest it’s not even the half of the new shows, but the rest are hardly interesting for me. They’re either too cute, too focused on boobs and fanservice, or some kind of sports anime, which I have no interest in at all. Then there’s also a few shows that I simply didn’t have time to check out (or that haven’t started yet), being mostly RAINBOW Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, Saraiya Goyou and maybe one or two more that I’ll try to check out. There’s also a new season of K-On! and Durarara! still hasn’t ended, so I’ll have something to watch anyway. ;)
Those of you that for some reason (totally unknown to me, though) follow me on Twitter might have noticed already – yesterday I’ve received an email from Blizzard stating that my account was upgraded with a new beta key. After almost a day of waiting due to some kind of Battle.net website failure (fortunately I’ve had work to do, so I haven’t gone totally insane), I’ve finally managed to download and install the beta client.
Since it’s already quite late here, I’ve only played a short 1v1 game against the AI, but I have to say that I liked it, even though I’ve never really got into the original Starcraft. Maybe that’s just the feeling of something both new and familiar, however weird it might sound. But I’ll write more about that after a few more games.
One thing that I was afraid of was the graphics. I was wondering if Blizzard will keep the low requirements of WoW in a completely new game. As my laptop isn’t exactly a gaming rig, will it still be able to run it? I was really surprised when I discovered that it will be good enough. Sure, I’ve had to set the graphic settings to “low”, but I don’t actually care about that, as long as I’m able to run the game smoothly. It looks kind of like the original Starcraft though, only with 3D units instead of sprites.
One new and awesomely cool feature is the replay system. It saves online matches and enables you to watch them again from any point of view, slow down, rewind, see what orders were issued, what was built, how many resources the player had, things like that. I have no doubt it will be a lot of help for a player like me, who’s definitely going to be absolutely smashed into the ground for the first two weeks or so. ;)
Oh, and I’m on the Europe side of the beta, so if anyone wants to add me there for some weird reason, you can send a friend invite towards Saithir.aervithar – apparently that’s my BN handle there.
More awesome news from Blizzard’s development team came out this Friday with previews of next few classes. This leaves only the poor Paladins for the next week for some reason.
Mushrooms! It’s weird though, but as I only play Resto, I don’t really mind. Getting Dispel Magic will be good – finally all of the healing classes will have it, which they should in the beginning.
The biggest change here is the changing of the Tree of Life. It will be a cooldown (similar to Metamorphosis they say, which told me nothing at all and I had to check Wowhead to see that it has 30 sec duration and 3 min cooldown) instead of a passive ability. It’s kind of disturbing, but on the other hand, I’ve been looking at my tree looking exactly the same for one and a half of expansion now. I just hope that the gear will be worth it, or I’m afraid I’ll have to pay for Sheven’s operation and his transformation into a female night elf. ;)
On a more serious note though, I don’t really mind. It’s not the tree form I like in the class (though it’s cool and all that), it’s the healing style, and that doesn’t seem to be changing that much – only for the better with bits and pieces like Regrowth leaving an AoE healing patch on the ground if it crits. I just hope that with removing of the boring talents they’ve talked earlier, they will be adding some fun ones instead.
Some time ago I’ve tried to level up my hunter when I was bored, but the ongoing mana problems weren’t really making it any less boring, so he’s still sitting somewhere around Borean Tundra, waiting for the Cataclysm to happen. Changing mana to focus needed, but I’m a bit disappointed here about losing ammo. It will just feel weird, and I would prefer to have an infinite item in the ammo slot instead, maybe with different damage types or something.
Second thing that I like is Camouflage, which just sounds fun. The rest – stables changes, finally getting a pet from level 1, losing some melee abilities, launching all traps at range and others – are for me just icings on a cake that is focus. Awesome icings nonetheless, especially the level 1 change.
I haven’t really played a mage before, so I might not be the best person to talk about this, but as I’m planning to make one in the future, here goes.
The big one – Time Warp. Basically it’s a Bloodlust/Heroism finally given to another class. So long, Deathwing-EU Alliance shamans, finally I won’t have to put up with your crap when I can have a mage with a brain instead. It’s about time some other class got this kind of ability and from a raid leader perspective I don’t really care about all the poor shamans that are afraid of losing their raid spots. If you won’t suck, you won’t lose the spot, rather than the rest of the raid having to endure you for your unique buff we need. They should have done it much earlier, when they gave shamans to the Alliance.
Wall of Fog sounds nice as well – with the addition of rated battlegrounds this will be a nice defensive tool in some of the places, if used right of course. Would be more fun if it was a wall of ice making a new wall and breaking line of sight, though.
Lately Blizzard is publishing a lot of information about the classes in the next expansion. It’s a good thing, but if they happen to drop some of these new and awesome features, I’d be really disappointed. So, here’s a quick preview of some I’m most interested in. I won’t write about all of them, as you can read them by yourself and I have no doubt you’ve already done so. ;)
The warrior changes are so awesome I’m starting to think it’s a late April Fools joke. They looked at everything that is annoying in playing a warrior right now, and changed it for the better. The few highlights below doesn’t really show that, but I’ve read the preview and I’m really excited about tanking on my warrior in Cataclysm.
- Heroic Strike will no longer be an “on next swing” attack, as we are removing this mechanic in Cataclysm. And all the Protection warriors around the world rejoiced at a thought that their wrists will be (somewhat) saved from the RSI, and their mousewheels saved from dying an early death from overuse. Seriously.
- Talents and abilities – Heroic Leap sounds awesome, and I really hope it will stay in the final version – even if the healers already hate me for charging into the mobs, now I will be able to do it with style. The Furious Sundering will be a nice thing to have for dps warriors when there’s no warrior tank around, and I really hope it won’t be buried deep in the tree so Arms will be able to get it as well.
The rogue class was pretty much fine in Wrath, except for the Subtlety tree (which I don’t really care about anyway). The changes we’ve seen so far make it from being just fine to cool.
- Changes to the combo points system. This includes such things as an ability to transfer unused points to a new target when you change targets – something that was quite annoying in any fight with more than one mob. Making passive abilities like Slice and Dice use points on a recently killed target (rather than wasting the ones on the current one, which could be used for dealing damage) is the big thing here. We’ll see how it plays, but it looks like it will be not as annoying to play a rogue.
- The rogue drops a Smoke Bomb, creating a cloud that interferes with enemy targeting. Enemies who are outside the cloud will find themselves unable to target units inside the cloud with single-target abilities. Enemies can move inside the cloud to attack, or they can use area-of-effect (AoE) abilities at any time to attack opponents in a cloud. This new ability is something absolutely new and awesome, even more than the warrior’s Heroic Leap, which is just a more awesome Charge.
While I still haven’t leveled my little Priest above level 28 or so, these new things in the preview make me want to do it before the expansion. The highlight here is the Leap of Faith, which is basically a Death Grip used on a friendly target. Sounds very fun. ;) Changes to healing and a group Power Word: Barrier are also cool.
The Shaman changes were a bit disappointing, as there isn’t much awesome things there. A new AoE heal is nice I guess, some fixes with Elemental as well, but it seemed like they were focused on Enhancement the most, which I don’t play at all, so meh.
Warlocks and Death Knights – no real comments here. It will be nice for DK’s to finally get a single tanking tree, at least from my raid leading point of view. Warlocks are all about the soul shards, just like in the Blizzcon preview – I’m not really interested in them right now, but after the expansion hits I might as well roll one if it’s not as annoying as I hear it is now.
All in all, it’s a lot of cool and exciting things in one. I will be really disappointed if they decide to not do some of these, and I really hope to see all of this in the game.
After about a month of playing Eve Online, here’s where I am – in a tiny shuttle, orbiting a gigantic titan class vessel – the Caldari Navy Leviathan, sitting in an orbit above the planet of Luminaire VII, or what my character would rather call it – Caldari Prime.
It’s one of the things that make the Eve universe have a nice story that the players take part in. While some of the players might simply ignore the rpg setting, I kind of like it, especially if it lets me take a very close look on something that is currently one of the largest and most deadly spaceship a player can fly in the game – and in a way that doesn’t involve me being blown up rather quickly by an angry mob of other players. The second picture shows the scale better – you can see my 40m long shuttle in the middle of the screen, flying across the top of the Leviathan.
So far I’m in a newbie friendly training corporation called the Unseen Academy – I mostly spend the time here flying around on my own, doing missions and other stuff, and once in a while attending various trainings of all kinds. So far we’ve done group mission running, some pvp, some mining operations, and a frigate tournament of sorts. If you happen to be a Polish player as well, I’d really recommend them (just like they were recommended to me) – if not, there’s also a few others, Eve University being probably the most known of them. It’s a nice way to get to know the game better, see what you can do in here and find what will be fun for you.
Still, I haven’t totally decided on what I will be doing after the Academy. Missions are okay, but they’re getting quickly repetitive and boring. Exploration (especially in high security systems) is nice, but very, very random – one day you can get loot worth from 5 to 30 million ISK each, other times you fly around scanning system after system, and get either wormholes or hidden asteroid belts. Mining, trading, production and research… I can’t go there, too static for me. This would leave pvp (probably in null sec), which I’m still a bit scared of… ;)