QOTW: What’s Your Favorite Anime Opening?

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for another Question of The Week! Now if you don’t know already, I thoroughly enjoy anime. From the zany antics of a slice of life comedy to the unbearable sorrow of a heart wrenching drama, I will watch it all. However, nothing gets me more pumped up for a show then a good opening song. (I’ve even been known to keep watching an objectively terrible show because the opening theme is too good.) Here are a few of my favorite openings:

“Obsession” – .hack/Sign

The first theme song that I can recall leaving a lasting impression in my head was “Obsession” by See-Saw for the show .hack//Sign. The shrill noise in the first two seconds gets my heart beating at full throttle every time.

“Forever We Can Make It” – To Love Ru

When it comes to bad shows, I think it’s pretty difficult to top something like To Love Ru, but damned if it doesn’t have a banging opening song. With its catchy lyrics and heavy hitting pop punk attitude “Forever We Can Make It” by Thyme is hard to ignore.

“Sawakaze”Kimi Ni Todoke

It would be an egregious act if I didn’t introduce more people to one of the greatest romance anime of all time, Kimi Ni Todoke. While I can admit the opening of the first season didn’t quite hook me, the second season’s opening really hits me where it hurts. If any show could be perfectly defined by its theme song, Kimi Ni Todoke is encapsulated exquisitely by “Sawakaze” by Tomofumi Tanizawa. With no embarrassment, I can state this song makes me cry with each listen.

Those are some of my favorite anime openings. What are some of yours? Please let us know in the comments!

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QOTW: What’s Your Worst Gaming Experience?

We’ve all been there. We’ve either purchased a game we’ve waited years for only to be sorely disappointed or we tried playing a multiplayer game with an overly aggressive and angry individual that destroyed any essence of fun. Whatever the case or cases may be, we’ve had unfortunate times in our gaming history, but which one was the worst?

Now, I know this is a subjective question. By gaming experience, I quite literally mean any experience involving gaming. You don’t even have to be the one playing the game. Maybe you saw a friend throw his controller through his TV because he was struggling to get that final high score in Peggle. Maybe your worst gaming experience was having to watch your friend play Peggle. Who knows? All that matters is that it qualifies by being a video game experience. No board games this time around.

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Seriously. Look what they did to the fucking unicorn.

For me, it’s too hard to call. It’s not that there’s so many for me to choose from, it’s just that they are all about equal levels of shitty. I’ve had games spoiled for me, I’ve had people act like jackasses when I was trying to play seriously in co-op and I’ve even had times where things nearly got violent. I find it hard to pick just one. I’ve reached this point that unless someone repeatedly punches me in the face while I’m playing a game I’ve waited 10 years for while telling me in painful detail how the main character dies in the last level, I probably won’t be too phased by anything.

So what about you? What was your worst gaming experience?

QOTW: How Do You Tackle Your Video Game Backlog?

I’ve amassed over 200 games for my PS4, over 40 for my 3DS and another 40 for my Vita. That’s not to mention all the games I own for my PS3 and steam account. Out of all of those games, I know I’ve only played about four or five dozen. That might sound like a lot, but when you put it against 300+ games, only playing fifty or sixty some odd games doesn’t really feel like much of a dent. It’s led me to question if I’ll ever get through my backlog of games.

What even qualifies as checking off a game on the list? Is it simply playing the game for a sufficient amount of time or do you actually have to beat the game?  My personal belief is that it’s when you’ve played the game enough to where you want to stop playing it. Whether or not that means you enjoy it enough to conquer it or enjoy it so little you uninstall it from your console, having a full experience, whether positive or negative seems like a good determining factor in my eyes. For instance, there are games like Tetris, how many times are you going to play that before you consider it a game you’ve fully experienced or experienced enough of to check it off your list? Granted this formula must be changed depending on the type of game you’re playing.

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“I think I’ve got the hang of this.”

There’s the sense of obligation as well. I’ve purchased these games, why wouldn’t I play them? I clearly had enough interested to buy them in the first place. What is keeping me from playing them now? Is it just because I can go and play something safe and familiar instead? Is the risk worth the reward? What if I find out that I just spent all that time and money on something that’s garbage? A Lot of the time that’s what holds me back. “Oh man, this game looks so good…oh look there’s Destiny, a familiar shooter? Sounds good to me,” that kind of thing.

What I really want to know is: are there other ways to take down your backlog? What’s your preferred method? How many games have you gotten through and how many do you have left?

Let us know in the replies!

Written by G. S. Martin

Question Of The Week: What Do We Do With Tutorials?

Tutorials in most games bother me, but none of them bother me as much as tutorials in JRPGs. Unfortunately, Persona 5 is no exception. Like everyone else, I’ve been waiting for Persona 5 for what feels like an eternity, so practically shoving the disc into my system was a no-brainer for me when I finally got my grubby little hands on it. I was met with hours long of hand holding. I suppose one could argue that considering a main entry in the Persona series hasn’t been released since Persona 4 in 2008 and Persona 4: Golden for the Vita in 2012 that Atlus wanted to give both old and new players of the franchise an easy way to settle in. The only problem with a process like that is it makes the story and the game feel like they’re dragging. It made me realize how often I’m hit with a problem like this: a sense of struggle to get to the good parts of a game.

Coincidentally, on the same day Persona 5 was released, Drawn To Death was put online as one of PlayStation’s free games with PS Plus and I ran into the same exact problem. For a game that’s all about being fast, hectic and crazy, the idea of a mind-numbingly boring tutorial seems counter intuitive. The real problem with Drawn To Death’s tutorial system is that it doesn’t stop after the section they labeled as a tutorial, it continues on for a few online matches as well. The developers had this uncontrollable urge to explain every single detail to their audience. It makes the experience stutter.

Amidst all this tutorial hell another game seemed to pull away from this pattern and was met with a lot of critical praise. I am of course talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. The game abandons almost all ideas of a tutorial. It gives you a few tips for how to use a power here and there, but everything else from the story to the gameplay is completely up to you to figure out and experience on your own. It’s made me wonder. Is this the right way to do a tutorial or is it simply situational? Do developers really think players are too stupid to figure out what the X button does on their own or are they just afraid they’ve made a game that’s so complex in its mechanics that everything needs to be explained? What exactly should we be doing with tutorials?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

Written by G. S. Martin