Tag Archive: survival


never alone title

When times are at their worst, often that is when evil will choose to strike. Where blizzards never cease to bellow their wintery wilds and frostbitten winds tear and rage at everything in its path, a young girl ventures away from the safety of her starving village to see what could be causing the devastating weather. The path ahead of her is laden with trials and dangers from the deadly jaws of polar bears to strangers ransacking her village to sinking ice caps and tumultuous waters. With naught but her courage and her new found arctic fox companion, they traverse the dangers together with the aid of helpful ancient spirits to see what lies in wait at the end of the blizzards roar.

never aloneNever Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), developed by Upper One Games, is so much more than just a beautiful puzzle/platformer – it is a collaboration of gaming and Native Alaskan folklore told through an interactive experience. The game, however, was not simply a product of devoted research and interviews; but rather had direct involvement with over 40 Native elders, storytellers and community members of the Iñupiat people creating not only an atmospheric and endearing gameplay experience but also including an informative documentary on the culture.

Never Alone allows players to take control of both the young Iñupiat girl, Nuna, and the arctic fox either by switching between the two in single player mode or allowing (and encouraging) playing with a friend through local co-op. The playstyle of each character is different enough to keep things interesting and add an extra layer to the puzzles as each cannot always reach places via the same methods. Nuna has the ability to push objects, climb ropes and use a bolas weapon to break through certain obstacles; whereas the fox has a much better jumping and climbingnever alone 3 ability, can fit in small tunnels and also communicate with ancient spirits that aid the two in their difficult journey for survival. The controls are smooth and easy to grasp as Nuna and fox jump, climb, shatter ice and branches, and out maneuver creatures that wish for their demise, though that is not to say there aren’t times where what the characters should do and what they actually do differed (usually leading to a swift, and slightly heart-wrenching death on one part or the other). Luckily, check point saves occur fairly often so there is not much backtracking to be done if a more difficult or timing induced area is encountered.

Aesthetically, the game is absolutely gorgeous. From the airbrushed art style of the main game to the simple sketches of the story’s cutscenes, it all comes together fluidly. Faded out and cloudy edges of the screen give sense of the all encompassing blizzard surrounding everything while soft and vivid tones accentuate danger and safety – a subtle hint that speaks volumes. The overlying story itself is narrated in the Native Iñupiat language almost giving a feeling of listening to a folk tale by the light of the fire as the images come to life in front of your very eyes.

never alone 4Never Alone offers players a unique chance to experience a culture so very few know much about and does so in an artistic way that really brings everything to life. Available on PC and next gen consoles, it is certainly worth at least one playthrough to experience the beauty and artistry of the game and story (although perhaps not for its full price tag). The game may take a couple of hours to 100% and finish with about 30 minutes of documentary unlockables to be viewed as well either during the playthrough or afterwards. For those with Playstation Plus, Never Alone is free to download for the month of April; so do yourself a favor and spend a little time with this one. Between the endearing affection and trust between Nuna and the fox and the overall passion the developers imbued within every moment, it truly speaks for itself.

never alone 2

 Always remember that no matter what happens, you are never truly alone.

evolve title

 

Behold this beautiful living planet! A place unlike any other with an abundance of exotic wildlife and fauna nearly untouched by human population and advancement. There is, of course, the small detail that everything existing on this world has a strong penchant for death and dismemberment – but that’s all just part of the fun! Oh, and let’s not forget the slight problem of enormously overpowered monsters that inhabit the world and aim to make it their own. But enough idle chit chat! Go and enjoy the beauty that abounds under foot, overhead and all around. Keep your weapons loaded and your wits about you. Welcome to Shear, Hunters!

Most people who see the words 4v1 will instantly have numerous thoughts fly through their heads such as ‘There is no way that is fair!’, ‘Someone must think themselves elite as all get out to expect to win solo against 4 people’, ‘This sounds totally AWESOME!’ Well, the creators of the much adored Left 4 Dead series have brought about a new world for fans of cooperative and versus multiplayer to annihilate each other in with Evolve.

evolveInstead of the usual 4 person cooperative against AI or 4v4 matches, Evolve introduces an asymmetrical fps experience that works amazingly well where no matter which side is represented, they will have to use every ability and know how in order to outsmart, out-maneuver and overpower the enemy before they end up gazing longingly at the winners circle just out of reach. Currently, there are 12 possible hunters that can be chosen from to include 3 assault classes, 3 support classes, 3 medic classes, and 3 trapper classes. The beauty of it lies in that each of the hunters all have unique weapons and abilities which can aid their team in different ways (however they do all share the same class ability whether that be a shield, invisibility, regen field, or mobile arena). This allows for numerous combinations and strategy when it comes to completing the objective or destroying the monster for that particular match. The monsters have similar options, though seeing as they are solitary hunters, there are only 3 variances as of right now to include the Goliath, the Kraken and the Wraith – each with their own devastating attacks and abilities.

Before even deciding which hunter or monster is to be played, there is the choice of map and objective which can greatly alter the outcome of the match if not taken into account. Evolve is so much more than simply the hunters and monsters going after each other for the kill. The heart and soul of the game lies in its Evacuation mode – a 5 map alternating circuit where the outcome of each match has the potential for beneficial or detrimental effects going forward for the winning and losing side, finally leading up to a finale where the fate of the planet is decided. Additionally, each map mode can be played on its own or rotating. There is hunt mode – where hunters track the monster throughout a decently large map and aim to kill it before it kills them; Nest – where hunters aim to destroy monster eggs before the monster hatches or kills the hunters in the process; Rescue – where survivors scattered and injured throughout the map must be revived and escorted to the dropship to safety before the monster kills them first; and Defend – where the monster (and its powerful minions) aim to destroy generators and ultimately the power ship as the hunters work to thwart its destruction.

Within each match there are also additional things to keep in mind besides hunters and monster killing each other evolve huntersand trying to complete the main objective. Hunters must be wary of the environment as well as each other as wildlife can easily incapacitate a hunter whether it is by elite albino creature or by man eating plant. Monsters have the additional tactic of up-keeping the games namesake and evolving by consuming fallen wildlife throughout Shear to reach the coveted and extremely volatile stage 3 monster.

The variances in maps, matches, monsters and hunters lead the game to having over 800 thousand possibilities with no two matches every being quite the same. But wait, there is even more! Each hunter can be leveled up in their unique weapons to become even more powerful and useful to the team; where monsters can do just the same to reach that ever desired Elite status of mastery. An overall leveling system unlocking hunter and monster perks as well as badges and other accolades are also tracked; and lets not forget the bragging rights on how high each class or monster is ranked on the leaderboards.

Looking past the concepts that make up Evolve, its core makeup is pretty solid in itself. Gameplay wise, the controls are smooth and fluid whether it is using the jetpack to traverse cliffs or get a birds eye view of the terrain to switching weapons and aiding teammates in need. Running, jumping and jetpack evasions all but scratch the surface as even the great size of the monsters is attributed in their great leaps and span over the land. Visually the graphics are beautiful from the plants and creatures found on Shear to the harmful effects of acidic gas flooding from destroyed power plants and airships flying overhead. The only problem is taking a second to actually enjoy the beauty all around as you careen across the landscape in hot pursuit of death itself. Evolve is truly a solid gaming experience all around no matter if you prefer playing solo with extremely intelligent AI bots or with friends and strangers through multiplayer rounds.

evolve wraithNow let’s take a moment to explore the more controversial side of Evolve: the reviews! If you look around the Internet, likely you will come across a huge array of reviews having outstanding scores to dismal ones. How could this be possible? Well, there are two sides here – those based on gameplay experience and those based on sales experience. The gameplay experience reviews will likely be the higher of the two in regards to the actual gameplay, graphics, sound, replay-ability, controls, and ingenuity (basically, everything the developers worked hard to implement into the game); the sales experience reviews will be the lower tier, most not even giving the actual game much chance because of disagreement with involvement from a monetary standpoint. What is frustrating is that for those gamers on the fence about trying this game, it leaves them little help in what to think when enough negative reviews may make a large enough impact to scare them away from trying a game they might actually truly enjoy.

So why the money issues when it comes to Evolve? Well, it mostly boils down to the $60 price tag, day one dlc, a season pass and pre-order bonuses. I will honestly say that I can see their point, but I wholeheartedly disagree with where they are coming from. Here are some thoughts on it –

The price tag: yes, it is the full price that most new games retail at. Take into account the amount of time, effort and resources the developers put into creating a game such as this and it does add up. If it is too much, simply wait for the price to go down – it will.

The day one DLC: I agree, it is frustrating to see at times. Why put out a game when there is still additional contentevolve creature that should be implemented into it originally and force gamers to pay extra for something that could have simply been launched from the start? I get it. However, the day one DLC complaints are really not an issue at all because of one simple thing: what could be bought had zero impact or advantage to playing the game. If buying weapon and character skins is really that big of a deal, well then just don’t buy them – they certainly won’t make you play better and is just for those who like to stand out from the crowd a little bit (something that most players will likely not even notice amidst everything else going on).

The season pass: Most games these days are coming out with them, however it comes down to each individual game if paying the extra for all additional content is truly worth the price. Take Borderlands 2 for example, is the season pass worth it? Most definitely! What about a season pass for a game that simply offers a couple extra maps and weapons? Well, maybe not so much. Evolve’s season pass is hard to pinpoint right now as nothing additional has come out for it yet. More monsters and hunters have been announced and speculated and perhaps even additional maps or game modes, but we will just have to wait and see what lies in store.

Lastly, the pre-order bonuses: How this is even an argument baffles me, and yet I have seen it mentioned. In today’s retail world, pre-orders are what guarantee sales for companies and in return they often offer free exclusive content to those purchasing the game. Taking advantage of this benefit is not only held by a particular group of people – anyone can do so simply by pre-purchasing or putting a small amount down on the game before its release date. That said, the bonuses for doing so are non-game changing: skins, extra characters, a map or maybe a weapon. Most games coming out have pre-order bonuses linked to them, and whether people decide to take advantage of it or not is purely up to them.

evolve goliathSo take what you will from media and user reviews and decide for yourself what is truly worth your hard earned time and money. Not every AAA title with great reviews is loved by all and not every low scoring game is a complete waste of time. Play what you want and then make your own opinion of it. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what the game is so long as you are having fun with friends.

Regardless of it all, Evolve is a solid multiplayer experience for next gen consoles and pc that already has accumulated over 100 years time in gameplay since its launch a couple weeks ago. Whether it is fighting and dying with friends and strangers or showing off solo superiority, there is much awaiting on Shear for all.

It is out there. Waiting. Fighting. Hunting. Dying.

Evolving.

E3 2014 ~ So Far…

E3-2014

It looks awesome!

It is an event that gamers throughout the world as well as those within the industry look forward to each year.  It is an event where thousands view the conference from their homes via live streaming while others traverse the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center brushing shoulders with big name developers and playing demos of games that seem barely more than a wandering thought for most; it is a time in which all eyes focus towards one finite point. And as always, oh what a show it has been so far.

Monday marked day zero of the 4 day conference showcasing Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony and all they have in store within the coming future.

Xbox-Logo-E3

 

Microsoft presented a succinct showing of numerous exclusive and large titles that would exhibit all that the XBox One is truly capable of. Glimpsing the first images of huge names such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Witcher 3 gameplay footage, Tom Clancy Thehalo_5_guardians-672x372 Division, Forza, and Sunset Overdrive; that alone would have been enough to keep gamers glued onto the coming horizon. Add in a few unexpected twists such as Phantom Dust, an original Xbox remake; much loved Crackdown; new title Scalebound; and of course numerous smaller titles such as Project Spark, Ori and the Dark Forest and handfuls of other Indie games that hold just as much impact and there is little more that could be asked for. Lastly, who could forget to mention the news surrounding the Halo series – Masterchief collection coming out end of year containing all the previous Halo games leading up to the much anticipated Halo 5: Guardians. Microsoft ended their conference stating that they make the Xbox for the gamers and that every gamer helps “shape the future” of the beloved brand and system.

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EA took the stage next bringing with them an entourage of sporting titles and other big names. Opening with Star Wars Battlefront and the greatly anticipated Dragon Age Inquisition (accompanied by a live musical performance) set the stage for what was to DAInquisitionGoGamercome. The new Sims 4 captured much attention with their “smarter Sims, weirder stories” demo which outlined the limitless possibilities players will have. Additionally, EA brought forth gameplay and footage of the new UFC game, NHL 15, PGA Tour (“Golf without limit”), Madden 15 and Fifa 15 to round out their sports venues. Criterion Games went behind the scenes of their newest work which, while unnamed, promises to showcase every mode of transportation and extreme adventure known to man. MOBA Dawngate and Mirror’s Edge also gained some press time. The finale of EA’s conference came with not only long minutes of gameplay for Battlefield Hardline (set on the streets, cops and criminals) but also announced the start of the live beta opening with 64 PS4s in room and directions on how to register both PS4 and PC to those at the conference and at home.

ubisoft-logo-pnggamescom-2013-line-up-gaming-cypher-ranmydne

Next on the lineup came Ubisoft, which in my opinion gave one of the most entertaining shows thus far (pre-show rules given by none other than a group of Rabbids, of course). Opening the stage with the first 5 minutes of footage from Far Cry 4, it started the show on a grand scale and kept on climbing. Just Dance 2015 followed introducing not only new gameplay footage and music but also a new way of playing the game altogether – with a smart phone. Using technology most everyone has paired with the Just Dance App allows anywhere from one to thousands of people to play together – anyone, anytime, anywhere – and of course this was demonstrated with about 30 people on stage, in the balcony and in the aisles of the conference room. Tom Clancy The Divisionac unity graced the screen next with more visual footage to aid the gameplay viewed earlier by Microsoft. As a zombie apocalypse survival shooter without the zombies, its line of “tragedy is invisible” really struck home after viewing this side of the presentation. Racing across the world and a tournament of teams accompanied more information on The Crew with an announced beta of July 23 and a November 11 release date. Next up on their list of heavy hitters came Assassin’s Creed Unity, not only giving an intense preview of the game and just what exactly it means when it says ‘unity’ but also showing an entire missions worth of live gameplay. AC Unity is set to release October 28. On another level entirely, to help gamers enjoy a bit of fitness a new game called Shape Up was introduced as well making fitness activities into a competition (and what gamer can turn down a competition, anyway?). From the talented creators of Child of Light, Valiant Hearts The Great War tore at the crowd and viewer’s heartstrings as it showed a glimpse into the story of 4 separate military personnel all accompanied by their faithful canine. For their grand finale, Ubisoft unveiled something that nobody saw coming. Showing unnamed gameplay as a co-op team of 4 attempts to infiltrate a house and recapture a hostage with tactical prowess, good aim and perma-death, audiences watched in awe as Rainbow Six: Siege was unveiled and truly almost stole the entire show.

PS4-logo-201_440

Sony ended day zero of E3 with a somewhat overly long but well done conference. As anyone who watched the conference can say, there is no doubt that Sony ever tires of stating how they bring things to gamers first and they bring it better. Destiny opened their show as well as announcing a glacier white PS4 bundle that will be available at game launch. Following this came numerous game previews and announcements to include The Order 1886 footage, Entwined, Infamous DLC, Little Big Planet 3, Bloodborne, Far Cry Destiny4 (with the ability to play co-op even if friends do not own the game), Dead Island 2, Diablo III (with last of us zombies included – hello clickers! :eek:), Battlefield Hardline, Disney Infinity 2, Majicka 2, Remastered classic Grim Fandango, Let it die, Abzu (from some of the same creators as Journey), and No Man’s Sky. A huge list of games all with great potential as well as great exclusives for playing them on PS4. Additional hardware was also shown such as Project Morpheus, the supposed future of gaming incorporating the Playstation camera. Also discussed was PSN as a whole as well as free to play games. Information was also given on Playstation Now and its hundreds of titles available on any device and even a Sony TV with a dualshock 3 controller (July 31 open beta PS4). Playstation TV will also be available later this year for a $99 price tag or a $130 bundle. Following this technology interlude it returned to what players really wanted to see: Mortal Kombat X gameplay, PS+ promotions, A new show based on a graphic novel called Powers, Ratchet & Clank movie and remastered game, Last of Us remastered, Metal Gear Solid 5 Phantom Pain footage, Grand Theft Auto V for PS4 announcement, Batman Arkham Knight gameplay and a glimpse at Uncharted 4. Phew. It was a long two hour conference for Sony, but they certainly delivered.

Nintendo-logo-red

Finally, the start of Day One began with Nintendo’s pre-recorded conference and they brought exactly what people were looking for. Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U showed more depth into Mii fighting styles and techniques (to include brawler, fighter andYoshisWoolyWorld gunner as well as over 36 mixed abilities) and also gave the first view of something called Amiibo – a way of bringing toys to life (much like Disney Infinity or Skylanders). These small figures of Mario, Link, Pikachu and many more can be used to bring powerful, yet unique, characters into certain games such as Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart (among many more to come) simply by hovering the figurine over a corner of the Wii U Gamepad. The adorable Yoshi’s Woolly World was looked into as well showing the initial idea process of it to actual game play as well as a look into a new game featuring Toad called Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. A game that most everyone held their breath in anticipation for was word of  a new Zelda game for Wii U and although only a small amount of footage was seen, the promise of a truly open world and the beauty and mystery that has always surrounded the Zelda universe surely made every fan smile. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire as well as Bayonetta 2 were given some previews as well as Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Small interviews and footage were also shown for the upcoming Hyrule Warriors (confirming Link, Zelda, Impa and Midna as playable characters), Mario Maker (an amusing new twist on creating and playing Mario levels either in classic or more updated form) and a new ink shooter battle game called Splatoon.

Mortal-Kombat-X-Trailer

All in all, E3 2014 has been huge and there is no way to crown just one conference as the best. With major cross platform titles to exclusive franchises to unique and quirky adventures, there is something for every type of gamer no matter what system they may own or prefer (if not all of them). As E3 continues for the next two days there are still bounds of news, trailers, booths and demos to see whether it is on site at the convention center or from the comfort of home. So enjoy one of the biggest events in the gaming industry, let anticipation reach an entirely new level and know that at the end of the day, everyone is leaving as a winner!

“A person who cannot give up anything, can change nothing.”

Attack on titan wall

One hundred years ago humanity was thrust into a one-sided conflict against incredible giant humanoid Titans; a devastation that would result in a majority of the population being wiped out – without remorse, without reason. Since then, peace has been found within the safe and well defensive confines of three ginormous walls: Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and the center-most Wall Sina. During this time, many people have lived their lives happily without ever laying eyes on a Titan; but peace can only last for so long uninterrupted…

In the year 845, the outermost wall containing the Shiganshina district would experience this terror once again and numerous citizens and military personnel would invariably lose their lives and lay witness to a massacre and evacuation that would not soon be forgotten.

Within this area called home to so many, three youth connected by difficult experiences and dreams of the outside world go about attack on titan legionstheir day as if it is any other. Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackerman make their way home while completing chores and stop to see the return of the brave but war-torn Survey Corps; one of three branches of the military that go beyond the walls in hopes of quelling the Titan onslaught and gathering intel – though usually at the cost of many lives. As people insult and disgrace the men and women as they return home, Eren is enraged, hoping to one day join their ranks and help gain humanities freedom. Along the way they also run into a close friend named Armin Arlert, a sweet and intelligent young man who would do anything for his friends.

It is after a brief visit home that all hell breaks lose upon Shiganshina as a giant Colossus Titan appears as well as another variant known as an Armored Titan break through Wall Maria and let lose an onslaught of Titans onto humanities doorstep. Peace has ended and blood swiftly begins to flow down the streets of destruction and terror. As military personnel try their best to defeat the 3 to 15 meter tall titans overtaking the city and evacuate as many citizens as possible via boat to the inner walls; the three youth make their way to safety but it is not without tragedy or heartbreak. As refugees to the inner Wall Rose, Eren vows to join the cadet ranks and enter the fight personally to kill any and all Titans that have torn his life asunder. At this proclamation, Mikasa and Armin also agree to enlist in order to help protect Eren as well as accomplish their own motives.

attack-on-titan titanThe next 5 years follows the three through harsh military training: vigorous regiments, classes, hand to hand combat and mastering the core weapon used to down their most formidable foe – 3D Vertical Maneuvering Equipment. This equipment sits at the belt and is comprised of a storage vessel for blades on each side connected with a trigger hilt which not only houses the sharp swords for use but also triggers the maneuver part of the gear. The maneuvering allows the user to be versatile in air combat via gas supply by extending two separate hookshot-esque lines into walls, building, trees and Titans – and is invariably the only method that allows reach to the Titans true weak point: a death stroke to the back of the neck. Most other attacks will simply allow the Titan to regenerate injuries and lost limbs within a short amount of time.

Attack on Titan, or Shingeki no Kyojin, is a 25 episode anime that follows humanities fight for survival against the fearsome Titans. Staying close to Eren, Mikasa and Armin, as well as the other cadets in their graduating class, they are thrust headfirst into battle and bloodshed, unknown circumstances and enemies and even distrust within their own ranks. As they watch elite members of the guard fall time and again, they must somehow find the strength to carry on with their mission…no matter what the cost.

attack on titanIt is an action intense, dramatic anime that will keep attention throughout. With a decent amount of character growth within the first season, it brings forth many different elements and truly accentuates the fact that there is rarely an easy or correct decision. A good leader must be willing to risk everything to gain results, and this is truly the mindset that becomes impossible to ignore. Although many of the ‘shocking’ moments and realizations can be estimated beforehand, it does not take away the intensity and want to keep watching. There should be some warning though as it does contain a large amount of graphic content from horrific and bloody deaths to the harsh language one would expect to accompany such atmosphere. The anime ends with just as many questions as it begins with, if not more; but that leaves plenty of room for the oncoming second season to pick up with.

At one point in the series a character states that, “It takes great courage to go against the tide. I respect that.” In difficult times it can be easy to simply cower in fear and run with the crowd, but it is those who stand up to fear that show their true strengths when it really counts – and it is those that make all the difference.

“They are the prey and we are the hunters!”

Dead End ~ [Mirai Nikki]

mirai nikki

Survival. It is a will of human nature; an inescapable drive to prolong life for as long as possible. For some, the journey through life is simple as a walk through the park; but for others…they may find themselves in a desperate fight until they draw their last dying breath.

Although it may not be given much thought by most, the world maintains its equilibrium through the upholding of the laws of time and space. However, time is something that not everyone has enough of. In particular, the god who controls this continuum, Deus Ex Machina, is quickly nearing the end of his existence and must find a suitable replacement before all order falls to chaos and the world is destroyed.

May 2  11:33  [Inside School]

Other side of hallway explodes.

It’s guesswork, but she’s aiming at us for sure.

mirai nikki 12To do this, he creates a survival game made up of 12 unique contestants. Their identities kept hidden within the audience chamber so they can only vocalize briefly with Deus and each other; though in all reality, all participants live within close proximity. What draws these twelve individuals together in this game is not only the rule that whoever is left standing at the end will become a god; but a now enhanced hobby that all of them separately share: a diary.

Their regular daily diaries have now been changed into “future diaries” and allow the user to see entries they have yet to even write, although their purpose is as unique as the individuals themselves. This feature allows the user to see a short glimpse into their upcoming future, however, as most people know, the future can change in a heartbeat. As such, each diary will instantly update as soon as their current future is altered and each participant must then adjust their plans accordingly upon hearing that signature sound. After all, this is a game of survival and finding the identity of the other diary owners is only the beginning.

May 2  12:10

Yukkii told me how he really felt.

You were lonely, Yukkii.

The diaries themselves come in many forms as well: from scrolls to voice recorders to picture books, however the most common device is the user’s cell phone. One stipulation that comes with being a future diary owner is that it is not only the user’s life that must be looked out for, but also that of their diary. Should their cell phone or other device be broken or torn, so too will that end the diary owners life and they will be eliminated from the game and thrust into nothingness. One other unique feature is that each diary is classified according to the type of diary entries the user made previous to it becoming enhanced. A terrorist uses her escape diary to ensure her flawless get away; a police officer views his investigation evidence; and two lovers keep track of each others actions and whereabouts, knowing of harm long before it has chance to strike.

Of these twelve participants, two main protagonists emerge: Amano Yukiteru, holder of the random diary, and Gasai Yuno, holder of mirai-nikki-live-actionthe Yukiteru diary. These two quickly become a powerful duo, mostly due to Yuno’s strength and action but also due to how their future diaries work together. The random diary allows Yuki to view what is happening around him at all times; however this has its flaws as well, as it only records things according to Yuki’s views and beliefs. Yuno’s diary tracks everything that is happening to Yuki, so she has first hand knowledge of what is to come concerning him. Together, they make a team that can thwart most turn of events; and it is a good thing, as these two find themselves dead center of it all straight out of the gate. From the termination of a serial killer to a school terrorist bombing to the over rising of followers in the Sacred Eye cult to the end of days; Yuno’s love and protection for Yuki gets them through most everything, although not always via a method that Yuki prefers. Friendships, betrayals, sympathy, jealousy and insanity all run rampant between Yuki and Yuno as well as the other diary owners and select friends who offer their alliance and help to the situation.

Suspicious figures sighted by the rear –

Chasing him down with fellow followers.

Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary) is an anime depicting a psychological bloodbath for survival. Whether the participant’s goal is simply to live and create a better world or to become a god, it truly makes little difference as there can only be one true victor in the end. As alliances come to pass and break apart, diary owners not only find themselves relying on each other instead of being enemies but also find reinforcement within the police, high school friends and even other support systems. Perhaps none of the diary owner’s lives have been picture perfect, but oftentimes knowing struggle and hardship can only make one fight harder in the long run.

mirai-nikki-13Running 26 episodes, Mirai Nikki is one that will not only instantly draw you in with its captivating and action-packed story line  but also with its vast myriad of characters that you will come to both love and hate. There are many intriguing personalities, especially the diary owners, that will catch and hold your attention effortlessly; yet even so, there is not a single character that I can recall supporting throughout the entirety of the show. Even the main protagonists, who you should follow and support in victory and defeat, have their own psychotic and selfish moments that turn them into the bane of everyone’s existence. Alternatively though, there are characters that also make quite the opposite turn around and end up shining through in unexpected ways.

13:10

Mar is fighting 2nd.

The knife comes toward the left side of Mars head!!

Be Careful!!!

Aside from the characters and story, the music, mood, and design of the series also make it stand out among others. The soundtrack provides empowerment, somber empathy and mystique to an already emotion gripped ride. From addictive opening and ending themes to fully orchestrated and vocalized character themes, the music only stands to enrich this anime more. Gore, violence and horrifying situations occur to a generous amount of the cast and there is very little left to imagination throughout the series; however, as if to add just the right balance, there are plenty of happy, carefree moments mixed with emotional ones to truly draw you into its grasp.

July 17  20:19  [east research building -> west research building]

I go down the slope and get to the west research building. No enemies around.

The ability to see the future may very well be a gift and a curse. In the end though, nothing is ever certain. The future in sight might change in an instant and every action causes reaction…whether it be on the desired course or not.

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When the blood and tears finally stop flowing and the game reaches its end; the only question that remains is: what future still awaits?

…and was it worth it?

Ignorance is Bliss in Utopia ~ No. 6

“Is that what life is, Nezumi? Shion? If it is, that means you guys taught me what it is to be alive. You never know what happens. There’s nothing absolute about what humans create.”

A perfect world. A world without corruption or poverty, where people love their city, their home, and cherish all that they love. With life giving such comfort, who would ever dare to think anything otherwise?

It all started four years ago, in the midst a horrific  storm; when young honor student Shion flung back the windows, stepped into the pouring rain and winds and shouted for all his heart to the skies above. Never would he have expected to see a young dark haired boy standing in that same window, a bullet wound bloodying his arm and a spirit to fight and will to survive nearly unmatched. Never would he imagine how this night would change his entire future.No.6.full.606472

But four years is more than enough time for life to be ripped apart at the seams.

Working his sub-average job running surveillance of a local park, a strange and unexplainable death occurs leaving Shion and his work partner in total awe. Within mere seconds a normal man is aged, dead and decayed and authorities swiftly take the body away. When the same fate meets his partner the next day at work, the authorities not only take the body away but also place Shion under arrest for suspicion – not for the death, but for once harboring an escaped person in his youth and speaking in suspicion of his own government and city.

It is then, upon his transport to the correctional facility, that he is reunited with the boy he helped those four years ago, Nezumi. Perhaps his reasons lay to pay back the favor or perhaps to give Shion, a sole person who showed him kindness, another chance at life.

Nezumi and Shion escape outside the walls of No. 6 and into the western area – a reality that the citizens of No. 6 truly know nothing of. With the help of Nezumi, Shion narrowly survives meeting the same fate of his coworker by removing the parasite before it can truly take hold and destroy him. From there, they seek to make a change…although their sights are not necessarily set on the same goal.

No.6 animeFor Nezumi, that goal is to destroy No. 6 in its entirety; for Shion, it is to create a serum to save his home and beloved city. However, their goals may not be so far apart as the two form a bond and end up racing towards the finish together, working with a once journalist of No.6 and a woman known as Dogkeeper.

No. 6 is an 11 episode series revolving around the downfall of a perfect city and those who aim to fight back. As dark secrets and cover-ups begin to unfold and evil acts become apparent, there is truly no place safe for anyone – inside or outside the city. Black or white, good or evil, inside or outside – this is how Nezumi sees things and it doesn’t take long before the others begin to think similarly of their situation.

Although short in length, the series never failed to bring up a riveting plot, unseen twists and character growth. One area in which the anime did leave question is that there is simply so much material given that it often leaves many things unanswered. When all is said and done though, it is a series that certainly entertains and will keep you watching to the very end.

“You called me, and I listened. I reached out, and you caught my arm. I opened the window so I could meet you.

That’s our truth, Nezumi.”

H.O.T.D. Zombie 101

“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.” ~ T.S. Eliot

In High School of the Dead there is only one class that needs to be passed: survival.

For those who may not be ready, here’s a small crash course to better prepare yourself for the possible imminent zombie apocalypse:

#1 – If you get bitten you become one of them.

#2 – Unlike people, they have no fear, no reservation.

#3 – Stay quiet. Sound draws their attention.

#4 – Wear clothing you can run, jump, and fight in.

#5 – No matter how big the vehicle, running over hordes of zombies may not always be the best option.

#6 – Always have a partner and never try to fight them off alone (unless there is no other option).

#7 – Aim for the head and always shoot to kill.

#8 – Always have a weapon/ammo (gun, pole, sword, baseball bat, etc. [use your imagination, yes, anything can become a weapon]).

#9 – Always be ready to move. A safe house is a place for short term rest, not for long term haven.

#10 – They will not cross or go into water directly.

#11 – Shorter falls and stumblings will only hinder them momentarily. They can recover quickly.

#12 – Fire will kill (re-kill?) them, but they neither fear it nor will be stopped immediately by it.

I’d expect much of this to be common sense…however, that seems to be a rare commodity at the best of circumstances usually. Granted, there is far more than this list covers that can be done to learn and prepare; however, keep in mind that an outbreak can take anywhere from months to minutes to spread.  So how will you be graded on the test: will you be a survivor or will you become one of them? Passing or failing will be entirely up to you. 🙂