I still take a quick look for any short term summer jobs. I doubt I'll find any, but the recent WonFest added 5 figures to my shopping list. I had to cut out on some games and books to budget for them. At the very least, games should be cheaper the longer I wait. The only games I'm planning to get is Fate/Extella and Project Diva X. I might cancel on the latter. I have a feeling Extella will suck complete ass. I'm a sucker for the Fate franchise, so I'll still get it. If they have an English collector's edition, I'll get that instead. Sigh.
In the end, Canadapost didn't go on strike. This means the eyes for my new doll arrived. However, Miku's stand seems to be stuck in limbo. SAL shipments used to take on average 2 weeks to arrive, but lately it's been more like 1.5 - 2 months. It started a little bit after November, so it shouldn't be related to the strike.
Here's some brief reviews.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
With the abundance of free time I have now, I was finally able to pick up where I left off and finish this game. This game is more or less the same as its prequel, except with minor tweaks to the gameplay. Magic was overpowered as hell in the prequel and while it's still strong in this game, it was nerfed slightly. However, I was still able to power through the game with a full party casting nothing but magic.
The biggest gameplay change I noticed was that there were a lot less monster encounters when opening chests. I thought this would be a problem because it was my main source of EXP outside of bosses, but the boss EXP was enough to keep my characters leveled. I literally did not fight a single encounter outside required fights and chest battles.
The plot picks up right where the prequel left off and it wraps up the majority of the story at the end. There's still some unanswered questions as expected since there is a third and final sequel. Honestly though, even if there wasn't another sequel I would still be satisfied.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
For the first hour or two, I wanted to kill myself. The game starts off going to your new school and thrusting you into a dungeon with practically all your party members. The majority of them give awful first impressions and the others weren't that interesting. They do become more likable over time, however, some of them get a lot more development than others.
The school setting really holds back this game. When all your characters are students, it limits the variety you can have in the cast. There was a Persona like social link system implemented to try to make school life more interesting, but the events felt like filler. Nothing actually happens. With the school being the hub, the game sends you off to other areas via trains. This is more me just being nit-picky, but by traveling via trains, I have no awareness of where locations are. You know which direction the grocery store is relative to your home, right? Now imagine if you spent your entire life teleporting there instead. You would have no idea which direction it would even be from your house.
The battle system is better than Trails of the Sky. I still don't find it that special or challenging. Unfortunately, I did have to actually fight unrequired monsters to keep up in levels. Near the end, I was just avoiding everything I could because I just wanted to finish the game. Ironically, I barely used magic in this game. Even for healing.
I can't say much about the plot without spoiling. I did find it getting ridiculous at the end and it made me question if I wanted to buy the sequel. Like Trails in the Sky, it starts off very, VERY slow.
With all that said, the characters will probably be the deciding factor if you like this game or not. Taste is subjective, but I think it's safe to say that Rean is an inferior main character compared to Estelle from Trails of the Sky. Estelle actually had a love interest that goes somewhere. Rean is just like ??? the entire game.
I know I made many comparisons to Trails in the Sky. It's just that I played these two games back to back and it was very easy to distinguish why Trails in the Sky was much more enjoyable. That said, Cold Steel isn't a bad game. I would say it's a good game if I was generous.
Fie best girl.
The antagonist is Zero from Code Geass
They build Knightmare frames...literally. Seriously?
Millium worst girl.
Maria Holic Manga
I found out Bookwalker translated the entire series. I bought the first 6 volumes that were physically published, but then Tokyopop died and I lost any hope that anyone would continue. I was relucatant to buy digital versions of manga, but I could not find anywhere that hosted the translated scans from Bookwalker. Eventually, I caved in and bought it. There was another publisher that picked up Maria Holic for physical release, but it would take forever to finish all 14 volumes.
I don't think there's much to say about this manga. There are plenty of jokes, but they're really hit or miss. The story doesn't really try to go anywhere until the last volume and even at the end, nothing really happens. I mean, yeah, there's a plot twist, but then you realize that everything is still the same regardless. The entire twist could of never happened and the result is more or less the same.
It's an average series that make you smile from the occasional on mark joke. I personally like it because of Mariya.