Saturday, March 19, 2016

Recent interests (2015) part 2

If you'll remember, about seven months ago (give or take a few days), I was terribly sick and didn't know what else to do, so I decided to make a list of my recent interests. Now I decided to make another list of the things that interested me the six months after that. And hey, I'm even sick again to commemorate the event! Lovely! Ok, here we go.

This is one that I actually forgot to add in the first Recent Interests post, so here it is now. Outlast… I first got into Outlast by watching Teens React Gaming: Outlast on the REACT channel (gif source). If there is one thing I can say about Outlast, it is that it's legitimately terrifying. It's not just the jumpscares that get to me, though those are pretty well crafted, but the chase scenes. Oh gosh, those chase scenes have me so riled up. You can practically feel the enemies grabbing at your ankles as you climb into a vent to get away! The camera mechanic is really interesting, and I feel like the sound of the night vision activating should become a staple sound in horror games. The story is immersive enough, and you really start to connect with Miles Upshur, the journalist you play as. Your combined want to get out of there makes the ending of Outlast just that much upsetting. The DLC, Outlast Whistleblower also has an interesting story, though the gore factor is pushed to unbelievable heights… Your character, Waylon Park, is a very sympathetic person who you've just got admire for his strength, and just like with Miles you connect with his want get out, making the ending of the DLC just that much more satisfying after having finished the main game. The visuals are really impressive, and I am ESPECIALLY impressed with the fact that you can see the body of the character you play as (something that always impresses me in a FPS game). Now on that note, if there was something I didn't like about the game, that would be its disturbing visuals/gore factor. In Outlast alone I feel that they tried way too hard to make the inmates of the asylum look as disturbing as possible. I get that terrible things happen, but making them look terribly deformed doesn't creep me out or make me feel sorry for them. It's just kind of gross. As for Whistleblower, I'm not gonna talk too much on that. I saw the censored version on Teens React Gaming: Whistleblower, and I still feel it was over the top. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't like overly disturbing visuals or gratuitous amounts of gore. Focus more on the atmosphere! Like the scene in Whistleblower when you're being stalked by an inmate with multiple personality disorder. That was really well done! Other than that though, this is a really good horror game, and I'm interested to see what Outlast 2 will bring to the table.

I got into this thanks to Markiplier's Let's Play of it. Another horror game, but this one is much more low key compared to Outlast. I don't even really think of Ib as a horror game really. The whole story and atmosphere is something like… Alice in Wonderland meets Coraline. As an RPG game, the visuals of Ib aren't all that stunning, but the world that's created with these visuals more than makes up for it. The puzzles that you have to get through in this game are rather clever, and sometimes legitimately terrifying. (That freakin' doll room). What really makes this game for me though, is the story and characters. Ib, the character you play as throughout most of the game, is a silently stoic little girl who you can't help but admire and root for. Garry (my personal favorite, so sue me) comes off as a bit of a wimp at first, but you grow to admire his courage and selflessness. Mary is a truly tragic character whom you usually end up pitying in the end. It's kind of sad to know that there is no happy ending for ALL of the characters. Mary All Alone has got to be the saddest and most terrifying out of all the endings (of which there are many). My personal favorite ending is Welcome to the World of Guertena, a slightly unnerving ending and ironically the only one where the characters stay together. I don't know, I guess there's something appealing story wise, the idea that these characters will stay forever in this mad world, the playthings of a tragic little girl. I am definitely going to get this game sometime… [Gif source: this epic video]

We Happy Few
Yes, yet another game, but I actually got into this one do to research, as opposed to watching Markiplier or Jacksepticeye play the alpha version. Which I did, but that doesn't matter. When I first saw We Happy Few, it mainly had me interested because of how similar it was to Bioshock in the artstyle and gameplay. So I did a little more research, and the concept of We Happy Few had me hooked immediately. A dystopian 1960s England where everyone is a drugged out into a state of perpetual and unnerving happiness? Yes please! From what I can tell from research, the idea of the game is that during WWII, something terrible happened between the British army and the Germans. In an effort to forget this event, a drug, aptly named Joy, was invented by the British. It causes one to be in a state of perpetual happiness, literally unable to see the bad things in the world, and causes one to forget everything bad that has happened. It has now become a requirement for all people to take Joy, or else be beaten to death by a happy mob. You play as a downer (someone who has deliberately stopped taking Joy) named Arthur Hastings, who is trying to escape from the drugged out town of Wellington Wells. Along the way of course, you uncover more and more secrets concerning what exactly happened during WWII. This whole idea and story had me sold. I love history, I love English culture, I love conspiracies, and I can't wait for the full game to come out. Who knows, I may actually buy it and play it myself for once. We Happy Few is an indie game by Compulsion Games, and you can check out their Kickstarter page here.

To The Moon
Another game! Another RPG game! But not a horror game. No, this is the first game that I legitimately cried at while watching Markiplier play it. Hey, he was tearing up too! But seriously, I was close to sobbing by the end of it. The gameplay isn't something the laud, but it isn't the gameplay that makes this game. It's the story. You play as Dr. Eva Rosaline and Dr. Neil Watts, who work for Sigmund Corp., a corperation that helps people on their deathbeds achieve their dying dream/wish. By using futuristic technology, the doctors go through the client's memories until they get to their childhood, where they plant an irrepressible urge to achieve their dream, thus altering their entire lifetime of memories. Eva and Neil's client in the game is an old man named Johnny, who's dying wish is to go to the moon. The story in this is just too good, and I just can't spoil the ending here. You grow to love characters, especially Johnny and his deceased wife River. Dr. Rosaline and Dr. Watts are also quite the fun characters, and there seems to be a hidden story for the kinda jerky, always nerdy referencing Dr. Neil Watts that may or may not be uncovered in a sequel. Yes, Freebird Games has confirmed that they are making a sequel, which will be released late 2016 or early 2017. I hope that the story is just as impactful as this one.

Hetalia [a faint "noooo…" can be heard in the background]
I am not an anime person. I have nothing against anime or anime lovers, but it's just not something I care to get into. Unlike my sister, who gushed about this particular anime. After months of denial and claims that I WOULD NOT get into this anime, I grudgingly admitted that I was into this anime. 'This anime' is of course Hetalia, and yes, my sister is freakin' proud of herself. About my state as a Hetalia fan: I do not actively read the manga, I've only ever seen the English dub, and I DO NOT ship 99.9% of the ships - popular or unpopular/obscure - rampant in this fandom. That said… gosh dang, I love this anime. I mean, countries personified as an entertaining bunch of stereotypes and watching them truck through the insanity that is world history? Awesome! This show creates some really enjoyable characters, from enthusiastically oblivious America, to stuffy composer Austria, to the romantic and admittedly perverted France, these characters are so fun to watch. The anime serves to paint history in an interesting and fun way - like France and England fighting over who gets to be the big brother of a little colony named America - comment on the strange events that have happened in history - like the overpopulation of baby sea turtles in Spain around the 2000s - as well as make fun of the cultural differences between countries - like the different styles of horror movies, or the extreme difference in meal sizes between Japan and America. As an American citizen who grew up in Asia, I can declare the previously mentioned stereotype as true. While the show does sometimes show the sadder aspects of history - the American Revolutionary War is the first thing that comes to mind - it's generally lighthearted, if PG-13. It's an anime, what do you expect? In spite of this, I usually enjoy the humor in this anime, and I commend it for having the best English dub I have ever heard - seriously, the accents, the enthusiasm of the voice actors, it's all brilliant - for rejuvenating my childhood love of history, and for making me proud to be an America citizen. I am not kidding about that last one. Overall, even if I often feel discouraged as one of the only platonic shippers in the fandom, I really enjoy this anime. Check it out if you love history and don't mind some dirty jokes.

Generator Rex
This is another rather interesting one. Like Invader Zim, I really wanted to get into this but never felt the urge to. Finally though, I up and started watched it. And I LOVED it. I don't usually watch action cartoons outside of super hero cartoons and Transformers, but this one is absolutely prime. The premis is really interesting - microscopic bots called nanites are spread throughout the earth into the air due to an explosion of nuclear proportions. While the nanites are typically dormant and this harmless, when they activate inside a person, plant, or animal, they deform said person plant or animal into a freak of nature that is usually animalistically violent. These are called EVOs. The main character, Rex, is one of the few people in the world who remains relatively unchanged by his active EVOs, able to control and make awesome weapons out of them. He works for an agency called Providence, which works to stifle EVO threats. Aside from being able to fight EVOs with his nanite weapons, Rex also has the unique ability to cure EVOs, turning them back into whatever they were before. The characters in this cartoon are super cool, from Agent Six - a former mercenary Providence agent and Rex's default caretaker - to the villainous Van Kliess - an EVO man who can control nanites. Rex is also an interesting character, having amnesia and unable to remember anything before the nanite explosion (several years before the cartoon starts), he has a vague backstory that we don't find too much of. He has a personality that goes beyond the rebellious punk he instantly asserts himself as, and I don't know why, but the fact that he's Hispanic makes me super happy. The fact that he enjoys Spanish soap operas is hilarious as well. I could gush about this cartoon for a long time, but of course I have to crash it with this: the show was CANCLED… WHY ARE ALL THE AWESOME CARTOONS CANCLED!?

I mentioned Coraline in my Ib section, and I would not have mentioned this movie if I hadn't watched it. When Coraline was first advertised and I saw the posters, my only thought was, "Aw, HECK no." Creepy people with button eyes? There was no way I was gonna touch that. That is until a few years later, when I started to really get into stop-motion movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Paranorman. I reconsidered my position when I saw some amazing clips from Coraline, and finally decided to check it out. And I LOVED it. It was very charming in its characters and ESPECIALLY in its visuals, which is the thing that made me decide to check it out in the first place. The story was engaging, interesting, and sometimes fairly disturbing. The stop motion animation was amazingly well done, as was the voice acting. Was the movie creepy? Yes, kind of. But the creepiness was just a part of what made this movie so good. Yeah, it may be a little intense for some little kids, but I would definitely recommend it to most everyone else if only for the amazing visuals and animation.

The last minute addition to my 2015 interests list, one that was introduced to me via babycharmanderkeckleon on tumblr. I first watched Undertale through Markiplier, and went through the entire series thanks to Jacksepticeye and his entire playthrough. If you're a gamer, then I'm not sure what I can say about this game that hasn't been said already. The music is amazing and tons of fun, the world is interesting, and the CHARACTERS - holy crap, the characters are awesome. And of course, the story. It's hard to explain how great the story is without spoiling the whole thing, and honestly, I'm just way too tired to start typing everything I care to talk about when it comes to Undertale. The game is great, the music is great, the characters are great, the story is great, and this Recent Interests list is long, long overdue.

Other Things I Became Interested in Last Year, But Won't Talk About Because GOOD GOSH This List is WAY Overdue
Invader Zim
Batman Beyond
The Flash

How do I wrap this up smoothly? By again saying that an unnecessary amount of time was put into getting all those gifs I suppose. Have a lovely day.

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