I’m so ready for this… what’s that you say? March…?
I listen to a lot of instrumental music on YouTube, like Nier: Automata soundtrack, Westworld soundtrack, Persona 5 music, etc. Sometimes I let YouTube’s autoplay just run wild, and that’s how I ran across the beautiful soundtrack for Ori and the Blind Forest.
I had vaguely heard good things about this game from when it first came out, but I was on the outs on video games at the time so never looked into it. After being randomly introduced to the soundtrack, I started listening to it on an infrequent regular basis. Finally, this last weekend, while visiting a friend, the topic came up and he decided on a whim to buy the game. We ended up playing it for a few hours then and there, and wow, what a gorgeous game.
Ori is a Metroidvania game, meaning it’s a 2D platformer where you gain the ability to do more and more things over the course of the game. Your only actions at first are the standard running and jumping, as well as being able to shoot things with the spirit that follows you around. The new actions you learn include Megaman stuff like double-jumping, wall sliding, charge attacks, etc. There is also a consistent map where you can always travel back to old locations to find secrets and powerups you couldn’t reach the first time you did the level since your actions were limited.
You play as Ori, a… I’m not totally sure, forest spirit?… on a quest to restore the dying forest. It’s kind of a somber story… along the way, you find I think remnants of dead forest spirits that you commune with to gain their powers. The primary antagonist is a giant shadow owl Kuro, who you discover only attacked the forest to begin with because the Tree of Light, Ori’s “biological parent,” as it were, killed her shadow babies when it spread its light trying to find the lost Ori.
The soundtrack and very vibrant and pleasant, and goes well with the art direction. There is no human civilization in this game, although there are some stone and wood walls that operate from switches, so most of the environments are some variation on nature. A gloomy forest, a dark cavern, a windswept mountain. There are also levels for the “temples” that restore certain powers to nature, namely the water temple, wind temple, and fire temple, that are much more puzzle-focused rather than pure platformy.
I played on Normal and finished the game in about 12 hours or so. I spent some of that time going back to explore places I couldn’t reach before, so I probably could have done it in less time. I ended up with I believe 88% of the total world explored, and I know I skipped an entire optional dungeon, so there is definitely more content to explore. There are a lot of classic platformer sequences, like moving platforms, dodging periodic projectiles while navigating spike pit-filled areas, and ceiling traps that drop when you get too close, the usual.
I bought the game for $20 straight up and already consider it money well-spent. Again, love the visual/audio combination, and the game itself is challenging with fun puzzles that aren’t so hard you’d throw your controller, but you do get that sense of satisfaction when you clear it or figure out a trick for the first time. If you’re looking for a great game to spend a bit of time on, maybe switching off with a friend, Ori is a great choice, and it has a sequel coming out next year!
Well, it’s been a month since my last extremely short post. What has happened in between? Let’s take a look into my boring life.
As usual, I’m still playing Fate/Grand Order, both the JP and EN versions. JP recently celebrated the 3rd anniversary, so there were some neat collectible Craft Essences you could get. You can see pictures of them all here. We found out that the new summer Servants will be Jeanne d’Arc, Ibaraki-Douji, and Ushiwakamaru, but still no word on exactly when the new summer event will be starting. Meanwhile in EN, the first summer event is about 10 days in, and I’ve finished clearing out the shop, so just waiting for part 2 to begin (in 7.5 hours) so I can roll for Artoria Archer :v
I got a bunch of books a couple weeks ago, so I’ve been working through those as well. I was very happy with Didn’t I Say to Make my Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, though Seven Seas could really use a better proofreader since I caught at least 2 instances of the wrong name being used when an action or line clearly should have been attributed to someone else. Accel World 14 turned out to be another cliffhanger, so now I have to wait for the next book to finish this plotline -.- Kumoko 3 was good, though not much to report on it, just eager to read the next part.
In other LN news, J-Novel Club announced yesterday that they’re picking up Bakarina! The full Japanese title is Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shite shimatta…, or “I reincarnated into an otome game villainess who only gets destruction flags.” This series I super adore, since it’s just completely hilarious but also very heartwarming. The fan translation ended halfway through volume 4, so I’m very happy we’re getting this officially, and JNC’s releases should catch up very quickly!
Anime this season is pretty meh. Planet With, Mizukami Satoshi’s pet project, is super great, and How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord is surprisingly done well, but I’m not really excited about any other series. There are some that I’ve heard are quite good but I just personally haven’t given a shot yet, like Hanebado, Harukana Receive, and Grand Blue Dreaming, as well as Cells At Work.
I started rewatching Orphan Black since I was showing it to a friend and got back into it :) I still haven’t watched season 5, so this is a good way to refresh myself on the entire mystery before bidding the series farewell.
Finally, I am hoping to try devoting myself to learning Japanese again and maybe picking up a web novel to translate for practice. Or I might try writing again in general. Or both! Main problem is I spend so much time in front of the computer that I’m starting to really think I should find other hobbies haha.
Anyway, this has been your August 2018 update! I should stop swearing to be better about my blog, since I know I just won’t place that much importance on it haha.
It was just a year ago when I was hoping the Kaguya-sama manga would get picked up for English release, now it’s getting an anime! Super exciting!
It’s been a while since I posted, so figured I’d write something up!
I kinda burned myself out on Monster Hunter World, so that’s been kind of set to the side while I wait for new content to come out and/or more friends to get the game. In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of LN/WN reading, and the new anime season just started last week.
Hinamatsuri is my pick for this season so far. Isekai Izayaka “Nobu” is also great, it’s a 10-minute short followed by some real life sequences, which is pretty nice since I can pick up some cooking tips :P Golden Kamui would have been amazing if it didn’t have such outrageously bad CGI. Maybe the second episode will be better, but as is it’s merely watchable. I’m actually quite taken by Uma Musume; it could have been just another cute girls/idol anime, but the production values are quite good, they really downplay the idol stuff right now, and overall it just seems like they tried to put together a really interesting anime rather than just capitalize on the market trends.
Life’s been whatever. I work from home, so I kind of feel like every day is the same since I barely interact with any other people face-to-face. I’m looking into picking up martial arts again; I kind of tried a few times to find a place over the last few years, but nothing ever really looked promising to me. We’ll see how this time goes! My book collection is starting to really get out of hand, since I’m running out of shelf space and just building stacks on the floor, haha.
Still playing Fate/GO, just finished the Da Vinci event (picked up a NP2 Jeanne Alter), now we have a few days “off” until the Fate/Zero Accel collab event begins. I do like redoing these events in English, it feels like I get a lot more since I can both understand the story and also apply my previous knowledge to optimize getting through the events and picking up items I need and stuff. Looking forward to the summer and Prisma Ilya events coming later this year!
In other media, I’m super pumped for Avengers and Westworld coming really soon! I’ll want to do another Westworld rewatch, but not sure if I can manage it since…
This is still in early stages, but I started doing some actual translation! It’s a Japanese web novel with almost 200 chapters out, I’m hoping to get somewhere between 50-100 done before I post anything. It’s been a lot of fun so far. I’m still relying quite heavily on the combination of Google Translate, Jisho, and Thesaurus.com, but there are a lot of words I’m starting to recognize now, and this is also improving my writing skills as I find ways to express things that don’t translate directly into English very well.
I did 4 chapters in about a week, but one of them was super short. I’m hoping to get through 5 chapters a week once I get used to it, pending other events like Dominaria prerelease and relatives visiting, but that means I might have stuff to post in a few months.
Thanks for reading!
For those who haven’t heard, due to some not-so-subtle social media publicity, Infinity War is coming out on April 27 worldwide, instead of waiting until May 4 in the US!