Getsumen Kichimae: The first note is a rather depressing one (at least to me). After getting my hopes up that this company would make a comeback with their release of Premium Box Set #2: Rakuen ~Ai kawarazuna boku no baii~, Getsumen Kichimae is officially dead. While I don't know the details as to why, the company went MIA back in late November of '06. Their site simply vanished from the internet, leaving all of us to wonder what happened. Rumors have floated around that the company was getting bought out by Age (makers of MabuRabu and Kimi ga nozomu eien) since then, but most of the comments and blogs on the matter have pretty much decreed that the company is dead and that any and all products it has created have gone down with it. This includes things like the recent Premium Box #1, which contained their first real hit, Rocket Summer, as well as some of the older games made under the name TerraLunar. Real shame to see them go, but I guess this kind of thing does happen every once in a while (reminds me of the time Wonderfarm died and took the Hand Maid Mai anime down with it). Long live Mishiba Karen.
FFXII: In my endless crusade against Squaresoft, I went out and got myself a used copy of this game (suck it, square!). I can't say much about it, since I feel like clawing my ears off every time I hear Vaan talk, which means I turn the game off every five minutes or so. Using Ivalice as the setting would not have been so bad if they had bothered to connect it to the original Final Fantasy Tactics instead of the cheap knock-off that was Tactics Advanced.
Record of Lodoss War: For some reason, I had this on my search bar, so I delved into what my programs pulled up and I managed to get an episode of the TV series for this. God it brings back memories. I wish someone would revive the TV series or OVA. We're due for a good fantasy setting anime, and nothing so far has reached Lodoss in that respect. Then again I'm the guy that likes Mahou Senshi Riui, AKA Louie the Rune Soldier but hates Slayers, so my opinion doesn't count. >.>;
Sentakuya Shin-chan: A bad game in almost every regard, but I don't have much else to write about today. Sentakuya Shin-chan means "Dry Cleaning Shin-chan". The player takes the role of Shinji, a jobless ronin that has his funds taken away by his parents, who simply tell him to get a job and he's on his own. He looks through the classifieds and finds an ad for help at a dry cleaning place called "Asai Cleaning". This is where his adventures in dry cleaning and adulterous activities begin, since he manages to get a job at Assai as a pick-up and delivery guy. As luck would have it, the cleaner's is owned by Asai Sayaka, a young widow who inherited the shop from her deceased husband. Yes, you know where this going, so I won't say any more. My main gripe is that the game is hideously repetitive, lacks in music and some of the character designs are just a bit on the weird side...almost as if overdone. The characters themselves don't shine much, since aside from Sayaka we have Ukai Masayo (an uninteresting celebrity-type woman), Enomoto Mari (the seemingly innocent foreigner that speaks REALLY broken Japanese and has a really annoying voice), and Igarashi Yuuko (owner of a dry cleaner's and self-proclaimed rival of Sayaka). The concept is kind of interesting (especially since Sayaka is the type of woman who is learning the ropes as she goes), but the execution is not good. This is further aggravated by the less-than-stellar characters. That and the needlessly excessive ero, but that goes without saying. In short, boring yaru game.
Legend of Zelda ~The Twilight Princess~: This I have found to be the subject of debate as to whether this title is worthy of being in the Zelda franchise. My view on the matter is as follows: The game took a different route in expressing it's setting, while at the same time doing away with the now over-used concept of the holders of the Triforce pieces being pivotal to the plot in the games. It's interesting that the lesser roles Link, Zelda and Ganondorf play in TP have met so much resistance, especially since Link in other games has been the mute protagonist with little to no background, Zelda has been the character you don't see until very near the end of the game (Kamigami no Triforce, AKA A Link to the Past being the only game in the series that does not follow this scheme), and Ganondorf has been the king of thieves who threatens peace and order in the world. Comparatively, TP places them with characters who bring a story greater than a simple conflict involving the three holders of the Triforce. In fact, it is not even talked about until real late in the game.
Most of the negative reviews and posts I have seen argue that it's not really a Zelda game because Midna, the Twilight Princess, plays a greater role in the main plot than Link or Zelda do, and her actions carry a lot of weight throughout the course of the game. Some even complain that Link is nothing more than some device through which Midna's story moves. They seem to neglect that Link up until now has just been someone who, while being the avatar of the player, is a complete stranger and outsider to the in-game world. TP's Link is probably the deepest version of the character that I have ever seen (next to the Link in Wind Waker): He has a house, is part of a community, has a job, has a girlfriend, and has a place in the minds and hearts of others. This in itself sets him apart from other representations of the hero, since this hero has a place to return to when all is said and done.
Admitedly, Zelda does play a very minor role in TP, serving as a side-arm to Link during the horseback duel with Ganondorf and not much more (though Zelda does sacrifice something in order to save Midna halfway through the game). Ganondorf was also left to become an obscure driving force behind the bad guys, but not the feared villian that he has been in other games. The thing is that the story, regardless of the roles our trio get to play out, is about the twilight princess. While it may seem demeaning to have the three famous names of the legend as plot devices or driving forces, the formula has been over-used.
Besides, how many times throughout the games have you actually gotten to fight Princess Zelda? >.>
That's it for today. Feel free to flame me for the whole Zelda thing. Anyway, that's my two cents on the matter.
"Kaese yo...boku no Rakuen..."