October Review, November Plans

It’s the start of a new month, and the easy thing to do is talk about last month, and what I’m going to do this month, so I’ll do that.

Last month’s plans are here, but to summarize:

  • Do dailies in most games.
  • For ESO
    • Finish Ebonheart Pact questline
    • Start Summerset Expansion (mostly for jewelry crafting)
  • Do Halloween stuff in the various games that have them.
  • Get and start Atelier Ryza

So how did I do? Pretty much what I thought I would. Star Trek Online had another TFO event (Kobayashi Maru rerun), which I’ve been doing. I had 14 TFO daily tokens saved up from previous events, so I was able to start right into the dilithium pickups. Usually I wouldn’t bother, but getting several days’ worth in less than ten minutes a day is pretty compelling. The rest of the games have just been logging in for the bare minimum, mostly. Dragalia Lost event dailies have required a lot more effort than I’d like, mostly because the rewards-per-action are ridiculously low, compared to what the daily is asking for.

In ESO I did indeed finish the Ebonheart Pact storyline. It was a bit more involved than I thought, requiring finishing a sufficient amount of the main quest. And it also turns out the the three main quests merge to one last zone (which is the worst zone in the game, imo: Coldharbour), and then you can finish the main story too. So I did. Then I figured, while I’m here, I might as well start the Aldmeri Dominion questline, since that was my supposed original questline. I figured I’d just do the starting zone, since that’s usually pretty short, then get into Summerset proper. Well, again, plans changed. That first Altmer zone is pretty compelling. Or at least the Queen is. Couldn’t just abandon her. But I also wanted the jewelry crafting stuff. Turns out, you just need to do one quest to get the jewelry writs, which I had long fulfilled the conditions for. Popped in, did that, went back to the Altmer quests. Finished the second zone, on to the third.

Halloween stuff, did that. Not too much to say about the gacha Halloweens, since they were mostly in the early parts of the month, at least for the new stuff. ESO’s Halloween has proven longer. There’s more to do, just for the dailies. Gave up on doing FFXIV’s Halloween – I wasn’t going to get to that game anytime soon, and I’m not subbing a month for a day, a week tops, in content.

I did pop into Astellia Online’s free weekend (pt 1). I didn’t hear about it until it was half-over, and was just planning on trying the second free weekend. But then ESO servers decided to crap out, so I was left with a bit of free time. Character creation was odd: they clearly had specific characters in mind for specific roles, and the character creator is mostly in varying up those specific characters. Mage gives you a freakish doll-loli-thing (a lot like the doll pet you first get), and getting that to be human-looking was a chore. And sizing her up even 25% still leaves you with a shrimp. Otherwise, nothing to write home about. It sounds like a fun story, but I wish the translation was actually competent.

And of course, Atelier Ryza came out. And I played it. So far, liking it a lot. It’s a slower burn than other Atelier games, I think, but that’s fine by me.

As for my future plans, I think I’ll just keep on keepin’ on. ESO will probably get relegated to “daily only” status as long as I’m playing Ryza. I’m feeling a hankering for something a little different; maybe after that, I’ll get back into Cities Skylines, since I went through the expense of buying all the DLC.

For Black Friday, I’ll be on the lookout for Switch and/or PS4 sales, leaning heavily towards the Switch. Possibly also RDR2 for PC, depending on how I’m feeling when it comes out. I don’t know if that’s a “Buy full price” game for me: I liked RDR a lot, but I don’t know if I liked it that much.

Yes, I did just happen to have these Atelier Ryza screenshots handy; how can you tell?

Granblue Fantasy: The Anime: Season 2 Episode 5: The Review

Gran, trying to get free gacha unit.

Here we have the end of the Vira arc. And what an end it was. It’s pretty much wholly anime-original, yet still leaves things at the same state they would be if following the game more closely.

This will be shorter than the last couple of reviews, since most of the episode is action. We left off the last episode with Vira taking out General Furias’s ship. Well, the rest of the Imperial forces didn’t really take too kindly to that. Too bad their cannons were no match for Vira chargin’ her layzor. This was actually a nice touch: at no other point do we get the feeling of the true power of a primal beast: sure, Tiamat and Leviathan are big guys, but we just get the feeling that they’re powerful because they are big. CheVira, on the other hand, is just herself, but is able to take care of things impressively, and no sweat. Good thing Chevalier is a guardian…and as a guardian, once pointed back at the island, the damage was kept relatively low.

And then there’s a sword fight, Lyria does something besides yelling, and the rest of the crew get to participate in important ways too, coming in clutch at multiple times (Io especially). Very nicely directed all around. Too bad it looks not-good for the most part: that cheap-looking feeling from the first three episodes is back. Really brings things down a notch or two from what it could have been.

Then people get stabbed, Vira cries, everything works out, the end. Might sound a bit simple, but this episode is really the action climax to the whole arc; this could easily be made into an anime movie. Nice to see a rebuilding scene – usually in these sort of situations, the heroes bugger off to their next adventure, while the place they were heroing in still smoulders (and/or is fixed up nice and quick for the next episode).

Armor? What’s that?

This whole arc, but especially this episode, really is carried by Vira. She’s the one doing most of the talking, screaming, and so on. And Asami Imai nails it. The dialog itself works, as well as any other anime, but as usual the acting is what has to sell it. There were times I was taken aback by the sheer weight of emotion coming from the screen. All of the other performances are good, but Vira is great.

I’ve really been liking this show so far. I just watched the last season out of a sort of duty: it was the anime of my game, and I was going to buy it anyways (dem codes man), so might as well watch it. But I actually look forward to this show. Sure, it’s not the best show ever, but the writing and acting is pretty good. This episode was a good example of that.

It’s cool, let’s stand around celebrating; this hoodie gives +12 DEF so I only got a little stabbed.