No Guns Life Season 2: Anime Review

At the start of this year, I reviewed the first season of No Guns Life, an hard boiled cyberpunk detective anime that brings the more noir elements of the cyberpunk genre to the fore, while still retaining some shonen action. The first season put a lot of focus on Juzo, the protagonist, working on a variety of cases that built out the world of the setting, but not necessarily the backstory. Season 2 instead shifts the focus back to Juzo, along with some of the supporting cast and their connections to him.

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Sakura Wars: So Long My Love Video Game Review

The Sakura Wars franchise is one which US audiences have, for most of the series run, been generally inaccessible for English speaking players. Yeah, we’ve had the anime adaptations of some of the games as TV shows, OVAs, and occasionally movies, but that’s pretty much been it. Finally, in 2001, the US received its first Sakura Wars game, Sakura Wars: So Long My Love, which was the first new game in the series on the PS2, and which also introduced a new group of characters working out of New York City.

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Video Game Review: Shadowrun Dragonfall

When I beat Shadowrun Returns: Dead Man’s Switch, I enjoyed the game but found it lacking in a lot of respects. While Dead Man’s Switch was an RPG that captured a bunch of the feel of the world of Shadowrun and invoked one of the classic adventures from the game, it was missing some of the dynamism of the RPG that other PC RPGs brought to the table. Shadowrun Dragonfall addresses these concerns and creates an RPG that is a more marked improvement over its predecessors.

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Comic Review: Detective Comics (Rebirth) Vol. 2 – The Victim Syndicate

One of the ongoing criticisms of Batman as a character is he’s a superhero whose stories solely consist of “punching brown/poor people and the mentally ill,” and at no point does he use his money to address the social ills that affect Gotham. It’s a criticism that frustrates me because, all the way back in the ’70s, you had writers like Denny O’Neill addressing this – with Bruce Wayne using his funds to address the underlying issues affecting Gotham, while Batman contents with those who would exploit those issues for their own gain.

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Comic Review: Batman – Night of the Monster Men

Batman: Night of the Monster Men is the first post-Rebirth Bat-Line crossover, with all three of the main Bat-Books (Nightwing, Detective Comics, and Batman) crossing over to deal with the larger threat of a series of, for lack of a better term, Kaiju attacking Gotham City at the same time that a major hurricane hits the city, with the Bat-Family having to contain the monsters while investigating their source.

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Comic Review: Detective Comics (Rebirth) Vol. 1: Rise of the Batmen

Rise of the Batmen is something of a launch for a new status quo for Detective Comics in the post Rebirth DCU. Someone is putting together a literal army of Batmen – a black-ops team with skills comparable to members of the Bat-Family, except they’re willing to use deadly force. So, Batman puts together his own team to stop them. Continue reading “Comic Review: Detective Comics (Rebirth) Vol. 1: Rise of the Batmen”

Comic Review: Batman (Rebirth) Vol. 1 – I Am Gotham

I’m adding the “Rebirth” tag to the title of this comic to distinguish it from the initial post Flashpoint relaunch. of the Batman books. Tonally, the book is interesting, in terms of how the book openly embraces the concept of the Bat Family (by contrast with the last Batman graphic novel I reviewed), while also escalating the power level of superheroism in Gotham City.

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Comic Review: Generation X (2017-18)

While Marvel’s X-Line has generally revolved around some iteration of the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning and the various Mutant super-teams based out of it, what it normally hasn’t done is spent some time on the actual students attending the school, with some exceptions (like with part of Grant Morrison’s run back in the 2000s). Generation X by Christina Strain puts the focus back on the school side of things, instead of the adventuring super-team side of things – but without going into “Saved By The Bell” with superpowers. Continue reading “Comic Review: Generation X (2017-18)”

Comic Review: Iceman (2017-18)

One of the plot elements to come out of Brian Michael Bendis’ last X-Men run was the revelation that Bobby “Iceman” Drake was gay, and firmly in the closet – this revelation coming in connection with the time-displaced Original 5 X-Men coming into the present. This lead to plenty of story opportunities with Bobby The Younger adjusting to the present day, when being gay is (relatively) more socially acceptable than it was in the past he came from. The older Iceman, on the other hand, by all accounts didn’t have that much time to get into that aspect of the story – especially with the major crossover events that came after, leading up to the death of Cyclops. Continue reading “Comic Review: Iceman (2017-18)”

Anime (Video) Review: Carnival Phantasm

This week I’m taking a look at one of the few Type Moon anime *not* to come to the US. Tokyo Otaku Mode’s Fate section is here: https://otakumode.com/shop/label/Fate%20Series Please support my Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/countzeroor Buy me a coffee at Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/countzero Member of The Console Xplosion Network: http://www.theconsolexplosion.com/ Watch my Live-Streams on http://twitch.tv/countzeroor/ Continue reading Anime (Video) Review: Carnival Phantasm

Film Review – His Girl Friday

His Girl Friday has aged poorly.

Let’s start off with the fundamental premise – Newspaperman Walter Burns (Cary Grant) has divorced from his reporter wife Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) at some point prior to the beginning of the film. She’s stopped by the newspaper to announce that she’s remarrying, to insurance salesman Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), and is going to leave reporting – having been burned out by the cynicism. However, this happens on the eve of the execution of a man named Earl Williams (John Qualen) for murder. Continue reading “Film Review – His Girl Friday”

TV Special Review: Jesus Christ Superstar, Live

I’m not the biggest fan of musicals. I’ve liked some of them, but I don’t really get into the genre as a whole. One of the Musicals that has always worked for me is Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice – with the musical probably being one of the two’s best collaborations. The musical recently got a new stage adaptation, performed live on NBC, and I watched the archive of the show on Hulu. Continue reading “TV Special Review: Jesus Christ Superstar, Live”

Adventure Review: D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth

The Against the Giants series (the first adventure reviewed here, and the other two here) wraps with a hook for further adventures within the Underdark, based on the premise that the Giants were backed by the Drow. This leads to the party heading into the Underdark to do battle against the Drow. Continue reading “Adventure Review: D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth”

Video Game Review: Binary Domain

Now that I’ve beaten Binary Domain, now is as good a time as any to give my thoughts on the game. Binary Domain, at the time of its release, felt like a game that was deliberately designed to be a Japanese response to cover-based shooters like Gears of War, to show that Japanese game developers could compete with Western Triple-A developers on their own turf. … Continue reading Video Game Review: Binary Domain

RPG Book Review: World of Greyhawk Boxed Set

AD&D 1st edition and Original D&D started out without much in terms of first party setting support, with the first setting that was commercially published for the games being from a third party – the Judges’ Guild’s City State of the Invincible Overlord. Eventually, TSR got around to putting out their own first campaign setting, the World of Greyhawk, as an official setting – first as … Continue reading RPG Book Review: World of Greyhawk Boxed Set

DVD Review: Power of the Daleks

Power of the Daleks is one of the Doctor Who stories that has been lost. The BBC had destroyed all copies of the episode due to royalty issues and in order to re-use the video tapes, and none of the copies that were shipped overseas were found. Thus, the story only lived on through bootleg recordings made by fans off of over-the-air broadcasts, which in turn were made available to the BBC, who had re-released the story with cleaned-up versions of the audio recordings paired with tele-snaps and continuity photos of the show, with bridging narration by Tom Baker.

This past year, the BBC released an animated reconstruction of the story, giving viewers their first opportunity to see this in motion, and I’ve seen it. Continue reading “DVD Review: Power of the Daleks”

Video Game Review: Mass Effect 3

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a Let’s Play of Mass Effect 3. I felt this was the best time to do that Let’s Play, with the impending release of Mass Effect Andromeda. We also have some time and distance from the initial controversy over Mass Effect 3’s ending, and the second wave of controversy over the “Director’s Cut”, which meant that I could approach the game fresh, without any of that baggage. So, how does Shepard’s final outing fare? Continue reading “Video Game Review: Mass Effect 3”

Video Game Review: Shovel Knight (3DS)

Having reviewed the Duck Tales games on episodes of the Nintendo Power Retrospectives, I’ve come to really dig (no pun intended) the pogo mechanic from that game. When Shovel Knight was released back in 2014, that game caught my interest, and seeing it at various Games Done Quick events just heightened my interest.

However, my finances were never quite enough for me to pick up the game, even when it was available on sale – and then the game got a physical release for the Nintendo 3DS, which was carried by GameFly, so now I had no excuse. Continue reading “Video Game Review: Shovel Knight (3DS)”

Anime Review: Slayers Season 4 (Revolution/Evolution-R)

2015’s revival of Ushio and Tora by Studio MAPPA is not the first revival of an older anime and manga series in the 21st century. In 2008, JC Staff revived the classic fantasy anime series Slayers, with a fourth season after an almost decade gap. The series was was released as a split-cour show, with the first 12-episode cour being subtitled “Revolution”, and the second “Evolution-R”. When the show originally was announced, the big question that fans had was would this show come back with a Dragon Slave sized blast, or would it fizzle like a wet firework? Continue reading “Anime Review: Slayers Season 4 (Revolution/Evolution-R)”

Video Game Review: Aquapazza Dream Match

Among the fighting games released last year, one that crept under the radar, but drew the attention of some of those in the fighting game scene was Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel. This was the latest of a number of various fighting games based on dating sims and visual novels, starting from Melty Blood in 2002 (based on Tsukihime), and moving on through Fate/Unlimited Codes in 2008 (based on Fate/Stay Night – the anime series of which I’ve previously reviewed). In 2013, we got Aquapazza Dream Match, a fighting game based on the various visual novels created by development studio Aquaplus. Now, while Melty Blood and Fate were based on visual novels with their share of action, Aquaplus’ bibliography (for lack of a better term), was built around less action focused work, such as Comic Party (which I’ve discussed in issue #10 of my Fanzine). So, the question becomes, how well do dating sims adapt to fighting games? Continue reading “Video Game Review: Aquapazza Dream Match”

Manga Review – King of Thorn, Volume 2.

(Originally Published on Goodreads)

King of Thorn, Volume 2King of Thorn, Volume 2 by Yuji Iwahara

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This volume is causing the series to risk becoming cluttered, from a plot standpoint. Coming into this volume, the plot had the main driving conflict of “How do these characters, which are almost all infected with a disease that could kill them, survive in this post-apocalyptic world with massive thorny plants that have consumed everything, and freaking dinosaurs?” Continue reading “Manga Review – King of Thorn, Volume 2.”