A new month, a new theme! Point and click adventure games weren’t a particularly requested genre, but I thought they’ve been overlooked enough in recent years that they’d make a great theme for a slow release month. Bonus: it’s a genre I’m not really familiar with at all, so it’s all new territory for me!
In the first official episode in the new season 2 format, we reveal our first Manga Book Club pick, discuss the first two episodes of the summer anime we’re watching, and swoon over the new Odin Sphere HD remake (note: English version was confirmed after we recorded). The Death Note drama gets what might be its final update on the show, and Anne implores everyone with a Crunchyroll subscription to read the Princess Jellyfish manga. We even unveil a brand new segment, App Attack, where we gush over the adorable smartphone game Alphabear. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated! Send it on over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening ♫ – “Kakusinteki☆Metamaruphooose!” by Aimi Tanaka
Closing ♫ – “WHITE ASH” by Insight
Nier is one of those titles that nearly everyone I know has recommended to me, yet somehow I’ve never managed to ever play it for more than a few minutes since it came out five years ago. With the double-whammy of Nier 2 getting announced at E3 and this month being JRPGJuly, it turns out now couldn’t be a better time for me to finally pick it up!
I joking mentioned on Twitter before I started playing that I preferred the young bishōnen protagonist Japan received in the Nier Replicant version, which unsurprisingly received more than a couple responses saying I would change my mind when I started the game. While I still think Replicant Nier has a more appealing character design, I have been finding the more haggard version of Nier in Nier Gestalt (which was the only version localized) equally appealing.
Both games are virtually the same except for the protagonists and their relationship to the sickly girl Yonah they are trying to save, but this relationship is quite central to the game, so I imagine it changes the tone somewhat. Replicant Nier is often just referred to as “Brother Nier” due to the fact that he’s Yonah’s brother, while “Papa Nier” is, as the nickname would suggest, Yonah’s father. Grouchy Papa Nier and his relationships with the various characters in the game have really stood out to me so far, and I’m really impressed with the snappy, sassy dialogue.
As of this post, I’m about 7 hours in and have just received my first party member, though as far as I can tell they can’t be customized in any way and are fully managed by the game’s AI and thus don’t really count as a “party” in the traditional sense. I’ve also been getting a lot of tutorial texts and am experiencing an overwhelming feeling of “maybe I should open the menu and read those,” but there’s nothing I enjoy less than reading through tutorials! I suppose I might take a look at them if I start experiencing difficulties with the combat…
Speaking of which, I haven’t actually read any of the negative reviews of the game (I’ve heard it received many when it first came out), but my overwhelming impression before I started Nier was that the gameplay was supposed to be pretty rough. It’s certainly nothing to write home about, I’ve found it to be pretty fun so far, and am particularly enjoying the different magical powers Nier learns with the help of Grimoire Weiss. That whole first fishing quest can bite me, though.
I don’t believe it’s too much of a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t played to mention that the game is notable for requiring players to go through the game multiple times. From what I understand, I’m nearing the “point of no return” where the game is later replayed from after it’s been completed once… But in the interest of experiencing the game as it happens, I haven’t really read into it beyond that. What I can say is, I’m really digging the game so far, and I fully intend to actually complete a JRPG for once!
Be sure to check back next Monday for Nier Diary no. 2 and see if I’ve made it past the halfway point!
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Chic Pixel Plus is officially 25 episodes young, and that can only mean one thing… Onward to season 2! Anne is joined by her brand new co-host Sarah O’Donnell of For Fox Sake to give you all the details on the new show layout. We really hope you like what we have in store!
Topics this week include coffee, Final Fantasy IX‘s 15th birthday, the Death Note drama, Show By Rock, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, and what anime we plan on watching this season. Be sure to listen to the whole episode for details to win one of three Crunchyroll 48 hour all-access passes we have to give away!
Opening & Closing ♫ – ???
Who doesn’t love visual novels? It seems like everyone is hot on the genre these days, with more and more titles being localized into English and events such as the International Love Ultimatum Jam making visual novels, particularly those of the romance variety, increasingly visible. There are even some folks who would like to take that love for visual novels one step further to make their own, which is where the recently-released engine TyranoBuilder comes in. Touting an easy to use interface, the engine has large shoes to fill considering its competition, Ren’Py, is available for free and has been the go-to engine for western visual novel developers for years. Does TyranoBuilder bring enough to the table to make it worth the $14.99 price tag, or does the sweet price of free reign supreme?
In this brand-spanking new episode of Chic Pixel Plus, Sarah and Roy of My Fair Hunter (and many other lovely things!) join me to discuss their recent move to Tokyo. Roy divulges what it’s like working at the localization company 8-4 Ltd., Sarah shares her webcomic process, and we all gush a little bit too much about kotatsu. Japanese grocery coupons, freelance lifestyle, bringing cats overseas… If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to move across the world or work for a localization company in Japan, this is the show for you!
Opening ♫ – Mr. Roboto – Styx
Closing ♫ – Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy – Teruko Akatsuki
If you’ve been following Chic Pixel for a while, you might remember that I did a JRPG-themed Community Game-Along last July. It turns out that was by far my most successful Game-Along of the year! Tons of people used the hashtag on Twitter to talk about the games they were playing, and there were even a few long form submissions, too. Since it was such a big hit, it only makes sense to do it again this year!
As always, all you need to do to participate is play a JRPG during the month of July. If you’re so inclined, use #JRPGJuly to talk about your experiences or share game recommendations with others on your social media platform of choice. Livestreams, blog posts, podcasts, or any other form of media where you play/discuss JRPGs is highly encouraged, as well! And if you’re looking for a way to stand out, it’s always great to see some lesser-known titles get some love.
I’m sure you’re all wondering what I’m going to be playing… Well, I’m excited to announce that Nier was the winner of my recent Twitter poll to decide the JRPG I’ll tackle this month! Earthbound was a close second, with poor Fire Emblem Awakening taking up the rear. To keep myself accountable, I will be posting weekly updates on my progress every Sunday for the month of July, so keep an eye out for that!
Though I usually end with a list of game suggestions that fit the month’s theme, I’m sure there will be no shortages of JRPGs at your disposal. However, I’ll leave you with a question: If there is one overlooked/under-appreciated JRPG you would like to see someone play this month, what would it be? Maybe someone will take on your request!