Katte Ni Kaizou

After a mysterious murderer nearly succeeded to kill Katsu Kaizou, his (Katsu) only chance to survive depends on unique abilities of Suzu Saien, who can transform humans into cyborgs. Now Katsu it a powerful half-man, half-robot and, together with his servant Titan he restlessly defends our Earth from all kinds of dangers it might face. Or at least he thinks so.

Actually, there weren’t any murders or murderers, he isn’t a cyborg and instead of a typical shounen about a hero-to-be we have another creation of a tandem consisting of two crazy geniuses – Kouji Kumeta and Shinbou Akiyuki.

I’m really surprised that Kumeta had released 26 (!) volumes of Katte Ni Kaizou manga before he moved on and started working on our beloved Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (though 30 volumes of SZS look even more puzzling). What kind of person do you need to be to create 26 books of that? Perverts writing poems, perverts living on the edge, perverts who will teach you what you should wear next fall… Unceasing dialogues and monologues, hundreds pages of them, all topics one can think of, crazy characters — and just 6 episodes. We all must demand that this feast of innovative approaches in anime continues. Despite the fact that now we’ve had 3 seasons and countless number of specials dedicated to one sensei who isn’t especially fond of our world.

Until Dawn

Hah, seems that the number of games I finished increased dramatically after I bought a PS4 =) The last victim is a horror game Until Dawn.

“Your actions will change the outcome of the game.”
“Create your own unique story.”
“Every small detail matters.”

Bath towels – the kind of clothing that never lets you down

Until Dawn is a “movie-game” about 8 people, who’re trying to survive a night in an empty resort in Alberta.

The game mixes all known types of scary things – Japanese horrors, zombies, a maniac who’s running after our characters. Must admit that the mix is rather successful. Yeah, the story is full of clich├ęs and if it was a movie we’d probably just skip it without any regrets. But for a video game this is definitely something new. All pieces are glued together well enough, we’re getting all necessary explanations and I didn’t feel that I was being tricked. Choices… they matter. Not to the extent they might’ve but the number of people who’ll make it through the night is certainly depends on what you’re selecting in dialogues and how you’re acting in key scenes.

Choices, choices…

What else… the game looks really well, especially in static (some animations are a bit weird, Mike’s in particular). Until Dawn is a scary game, especially in its first half, so it’s a good idea to play it in the evening and with turned off light. While in general everything in the game is “fine” some moments are above average – like episodes with the psychiatrist or a beautiful video I found in the sanatorium.

One of features of the game – the actors were used not only for the motion capture but as, you know, actors

The Witcher 3

Despite the size of The Witcher 3 (it’s huge!) I’m going to write just a few lines about this game, which I, finally, finished the other day.

First of all, about its graphics – I’m pretending to be a graphics programmer, after all. Considering the vast world of the game I’m not able to find anything worth rambling about. The characters and everything else in the game look a bit stylized but altogether it feels like real medieval cities/villages with real humans and not-so-humans inhabiting these places. And the game runs pretty smoothly on PS4.

Time to express some love. The most valuable asset of the game is its dialogues. The story is good enough, side quests can allow you to spend a hundred hours there, easily (although I wouldn’t say that they are incredibly elaborate, except those in Novigrad). But for me the conversations became the main reason to return back to the Geralt’s adventure again and again. CD Project Red’s writers did great job, pushing the player to try various options in dialogues, just to hear another sarcastic comment or a joke (I wish there were more options sometimes). “(Vesemir) Yes, Yen is already in the castle. I understand that she is a strong emancipated woman but Geralt, why did she throw away a bed from the window? (Gerald, expressionless, as usual) -Hm, it’s a shame. It was a good bed.” “(Someone, who has just handed over a not very pleasant task to Geralt) Seems, you’re not excited about this, are you? (Geralt) No, I’m very excited. It’s mutagens that don’t allow me to show all the joy I’m experiencing.” And so on, and so forth. If you know the story of relationships between characters it might be even more interesting.

What I don’t like is Ciri. I didn’t feel any sympathy for this character when was reading the Witcher books and the game’s writers carefully brought all traits I didn’t like about her into the video game version. All chapters where I had to play as this, hm, Witcheress, looked totally out of the game. I’d rather play as one of sorceressess, this would be an absolutely different gameplay (though I’ve never understood the Yennifer’s charm Geralt fell for). Triss, yes. I would play as Triss =)

The second minus (relative, I’m sure that for many people this is not a minus) is the the end of the game is kind of long. Too long, to my taste. I was about to throw victoriously hands in the air when had defeated the Wild Hunt but it appeared to be just the First Final Battle. Then we had the Second Final Battle. And then we had the Final Scenes. And Geralt had to run as a delivery boy preparing for either of the big fights in the end.

The last minus – I really wanted more choices in dialogues. Not just “You’re either going to steal horses with us or we’ll start a fight and Ciri will be disappointed”. Some quests gave me such opportunities, a lot of them – didn’t.

Anyway, The Witcher 3 is a monumental piece of art, which is going to be a long-standing standard for all developers who want to develop a modern RPG.