Kurayami Monogatari

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Nami Tamaki – NT GUNDAM COVER June 26, 2014

Filed under: Nami Tamaki — solarblade @ 4:45 am

ntgundamcover

Track Listing

  1. Meguriai
  2. Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite
  3. MEN OF DESTINY
  4. Z Toki wo Koete
  5. Silent Voice
  6. ETERNAL WIND ~Hohoemi wa Hikaru Kaze no Naka~
  7. Umi Yori mo Fukaku
  8. JUST COMMUNICATION
  9. DREAMS
  10. Akatsuki no Kuruma
  11. Believe -NT GUNDAM COVER ver.-

1. Meguirai

Opening Nami’s cover album, Meguriai is a song that I’m familiar with because GACKT had covered a couple years ago.  I was wondering what Nami’s sound would be like and it seem she stuck with synths and guitars and Meguriai is a rather powerful track to showcase her vocals.  I’m also noticing she’s pronouncing things in English better than she has before so that was a nice treat!  It’s a heavy track though so prepare your ears with the amount of heavy guitar riffs…Great way to kick this album off!

2. Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite

Another song I’m familiar with (being covered by Shokotan).  Moving into this song, this had a little of that old sound that Nami fans would LOVE to hear once again, except there’s some more guitar-influence but honestly…this is giving me some nostalgic awesomeness.  Nami’s voice even sounds like how it did back then and I’m loving this a lot!  Very classic and Nami’s rendition is pretty awesome too!

3. MEN OF DESTINY

Moving on, MEN OF DESTINY is a song I’m not too familar with so I can’t make base to its original take.  There’s something about this song that doesn’t seem right to me.  Like the arrangement does include some interesting things, but most of it doesn’t really connect with me.  I will say Nami’s voice is pretty powerful to make up for the arrangement falling a bit flat.  Eh, it’s OK but nothing I’d come back to for now.

4. Z Toki wo Koete

I know I’ve heard this song somewhere, maybe it was the original GUNDAM theme perhaps or a cover?  Anyways, Z Toki wo Koete kind of rids of the synths and unleashed a full-on rock song and once again, her voice really suits this style and her voice just adds this unprecedented sense of edge and fell in love with it!  Great cover overall!~

5. Silent Voice

After that, she brings back the synths and honestly I’m also quickly loving the arrangement of the song and Nami also uses her deeper tone here and I somehow just found this track just increasingly catchy and fast and full of energy.  Where did this come from…it reminds me of well “STORM” turned out from long ago.  Powerful and awesome…another winner here!

6. ETERNAL WIND ~Hohoemi wa Hikaru Kaze no Naka~

Another song I’m not too familiar with, ETERNAL WIND acts as the ballad Nami gets to cover.  I feel like Nami tried her best here and well for the most part, she did alright if a little off because her voice doesn’t seem to fit the arrangement much and she’s using her chest voice for majority of the song.  At least when the extra instruments are added, Nami starts to feel more comfortable singing along this track.  Might not be as engaging as “Meguriai” and “Silent Voice” but it’s a pretty nice song.

7. Umi Yori mo Fukaku

Wow they’re picking random songs that I just have never heard huh?  This one sounds a lot more pop-centric than the other songs which is nice and the chorus is pretty nice to listen to.  It reminds me of today’s anison songs but with a little more oomph.  Nami of course gives a strong vocal performance even if the arrangement doesn’t sound together much.  Not bad.

8. JUST COMMUNICATION

Hey, we finally have a song I actually love!  JUST COMMUNICATION was TWO-MIX’s breakout hit and Nami covering was just exciting (although “RHYTHM EMOTION” would’ve been such a stronger choice).  Of course with its arrangement being updated, I thought it was going to hit harder, but it kind of takes the route of having slower verses and building it up to the chorus.  However, I think this is one of the weaker covers…I mean I love the guitars, but the song feels too slow.  Damn…

9. DREAMS

Hey didn’t HIMEKA cover this long ago?  I guess Nami gets to cover now.  I like that this song has more of a synth-driven arrangement mixed with the guitars.  It feels like there’s some effort here actually because there’s some layering found here which always works because Nami sounds great here, plus her voice makes the song work a lot!  A pretty awesome song!

10. Akatsuki no Kuruma

Really?  A FictionJunction YUUKA cover?  Sounds weird because YUUKA and Nami are totally different voices which really could’ve been a tragedy.  I will say, that what I said in “ETERNAL WIND” about Nami’s voice doesn’t seem to fit much with the arrangement also applies here and when the arrangement opens up more, she fits in better and the song gets edgier as time goes on..it’s really neat and the guitarwork in the later half is amazing!  It’s an interesting cover overall and kind of nice overall, but the beginning takes some time to get used to.

11. Believe -NT GUNDAM COVER ver.-

Wait another version of Believe?  We just got an update last year from “REAL” and now we’re getting another one???  Well it seems like this version is a more energized rock version of Nami’s debut song which was a pretty big deal back in the days.  Nami also resung this as well and she sounds less deep than she did in the 2013 revision.  I do love the sound of this version for sure and energy is wild here.  Awesome way to close out this album!

Tracks Recommended

  • Silent Voice
  • Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite
  • Believe -NT GUNDAM COVER ver.-
  • DREAMS
  • Z Toki wo Koete

Song of Avoidance

  • JUST COMMUNICATION

When I heard that Nami was going to do a cover album of GUNDAM themes, I was downright excited because GUNDAM is very special to Nami…it’s where she got her claim to fame!  I also had wondered since she left SONY her sound would be strange to do SONY-owned themes.  Luckily, NT GUNDAM COVER was a very powerful album with blazing arrangement and strong vocals!  I still can’t wait for Nami’s first album under Teichiku though…I just wonder how this will fare with the fans…this’ll be interestin, but this was a cool album *RECOMMENDED*

 

9nine – MAGI9 PLAYLAND

Filed under: 9nine — solarblade @ 3:20 am

magi9playland

Track Listing

  1. Re:
  2. Forget-U-not
  3. With You / With Me
  4. THE MAGI9AL FES.
  5. out of the blue
  6. 9uestions
  7. ATASHI≒WATASHI
  8. NeXT to FUTURE
  9. LOVE VAMPIRE
  10. To be continued…
  11. 【fu:】
  12. D.N.A.
  13. Evolution No.9
  14. ALGORHITHM + LOVE
  15. Prism Drops & Falls
  16. With You / With Me (Album Ver.) (bonus track)

1. Re:

Interesting that group actually would open the album with the 2nd A-side to represent.  It’s a pretty good choice despite being the weakest between the three leading songs.  I enjoy the electronic influences found throughout the track and the energy is already at a nice level too!  Like I said, it does remind me of “Shoujo Traveler” in some ways and that’s a very good sign!  Overall good way to kick things off.

2. Forget-U-not

Onto our first new track, Forget-U-not is actually what I was expecting to come from the album.  Love the synths and beats that came along with this one.  The chorus does take things to a better place, but the melodies are a bit messy here and there, but I can handle that.  Actually it almost reminds me of AKB48?  I don’t know but it was OK overall.

3. With You / With Me

Then we move back to the 3rd A-side 9nine released and it’s still the era’s best track.  It starts out slow and ballad-like before gaining some background beats and synths that turn out to be electronic overall which is how the group made the song so impeccable.  It’s a cool track from them and I’m happy to have it early on in the album to kind of prepare me for the rest of the album.

4. THE MAGI9AL FES.

That said, 9 brand new songs in a row?  We must’ve been really good to get this.  Starting with THE MAGI9AL FES., I wasn’t expecting some happycore idol track to come after the previous tune.  Listening to the song, it does seem like we could’ve had a faster tempo thrown in since the song is so focused on beats and such.  I mean there’s a lot of potential with this song, but I don’t know it could’ve been faster IMHO, though we did have that mid8 section which answered that completely…but still I wish it was the whole song.

5. out of the blue

With my disappointment of the last track, out of the blue was something I quite needed.  The beat is more aggressive and catchy and the group sounds a little more full of life and energy.  Also, the chorus is pretty catchy as all hell and made me wanna fist pump along with the beat!  The group does sound pinchy whenever they do sing the chorus but I though the rest of the song was pretty neat!

6. 9uestions

Oh hey more synths!  Unlike how forward “out of the blue” was, 9uestions takes a more subdued approach by having more a chilled out arrangement and slower lyrics as well.  Without the beats, I would’ve expected this to be a ballad.  Amongst most of the other songs from the album, it’s a bit weak for me…but I don’t dislike it either…it’s a strange thing for me.

7. ATASHI≒WATASHI

Oh boy, more symbols to deal with huh?  Man, 9nine are really just infusing every song on this album with EDM huh?  ATASHI≒WATASHI picks up the energy after the last track and infuses it with idol-pop to kind of give this sort of Kus Kus-esque track IMO.  Like, I really do love the synthplay of this song and the melodies are quite nice to listening to, but there’s something missing here…maybe it’s some attitude or something to make this tune pop?  I don’t know, but I do know this song will grow on me with more listens at least.

8. NeXT to FUTURE

Whoa, way to wake me up 9nine!  NeXT to FUTURE amps the energy even more with a more futuristic drive and funny enough, they actually filled in the spaces and the group really came together for this one.  There’s times where I felt dubstep was going to be thrown in (like in “Re:”), but doesn’t go there until the mid8 section…like the aforementioned track.  It’s a pretty catchy song and the group while a bit off vocally, pretty much sold me here.

9. LOVE VAMPIRE

With a track like this, I thought for a second we might have a reprieval from the EDM, but nope.  The song doesn’t even sound all vampiric which throws me off entirely.  Sadly, it does sound a bit generic here with not a lot of give out and on top of that, the vocals from the group are kind of grating (maybe not so much in the verses) but the chorus is annoying to me.  Meh song.

10. To be continued…

Moving on, I kind of got this weird 80’s/chiptune vibe here which kind of abandons the EDM a little bit before the verses brings them in afterwards.  I like how it tries to spread itself out away from the other new songs on the album which is something at this point, I can appreciate.  The vocals are as high-pitched either which is something that adds a bit more style with this tune.  It’s definitely a song I could back to again and again.

11. 【fu:】

Ugh, more symbols XD.  After the unique feel of “To be continued…” we get another interesting arranged song that takes some like Disney-esque forest theme and throws acoustic guitar and EDM.  It has some weird things going on that I like and some things I kind of don’t agree with (mostly the vocals, once again).  Plus some dubstep moments here too…with some of that theremin fill the arrangement…I mean it’s different so I kind of dug it.

12. D.N.A.

After those two tunes, we get back into some straight EDM with D.N.A. had it kind of reminds me of how I felt with “THE MAGI9AL FES.” in which it could’ve been better if the tempo was raised.  There are some odd time signature changes that make the song go in different directions so sometimes it’s slightly hard to follow, but this song kind of just here and there for me, at least the arrangement was cool.

13. Evolution No.9

Funny how the first A-side is all the way in the back of the album away from the other leading songs.  Evolution No.9 is such an odd song to come along on the album because it doesn’t focus on the EDM arrangements but has a more guitar-fronted arrangement which to me is a breath of fresh air for this album.  I do still kind of get confused with the mid8 section where it gets all chorale-fronted then back to the original arrangement with disc-scratching…I was like huhhhh?  Still overall, it’s a pretty good song!

14. ALGORITHIM + LOVE

As we move on our final stretch, we get ALGORITHIM + LOVE and I’m already loving the beat and arrangement mixed in with the vocals kind of going back and fourth (you can REALLY hear it if you’re wearing headphones).  It kind of reminds me of a Up Up Girls song for some reason, but hey the beat is kickin’ and the whole club-friendly sound altogether is nice to hear then the song goes up in keys a couple times before just ending it out with no cool down…that surprised me a lot…Pretty neat song!

15. Prism Falls & Drops

So dramatic of an opening there 9nine!  After the fun experience I had with the previous track, I was happy to see that Prism Falls & Drops is kind of going back to where the beginning of the album sort of sounded.  For a mid-tempo track, this song actually sounds nice to come to but without the lack of feelings they had earlier.  Good song!

16. With You / With Me (Album Ver.)

I’m surprised they featured the original version and then tacked on a new version as the album’s final song.  It’s strange still since I didn’t think it needed a new version especially since it only adds more emphasis on beats and synths that kind of makes the original seem more strong.  I will say the arrangement is cool and fitting to the arrangement and well the girls didn’t resing it either.

Tracks Recommended

  • With You / With Me
  • out of the blue
  • ALGORITHIM + LOVE
  • Evolution No.9
  • NeXT to FUTURE

Song of Avoidance

  • LOVE VAMPIRE

As the group’s 3rd major album, MAGI9 PLAYLAND is a MUCH better turnout than I expected after “CUE” for sure.  I mean there still was a lot of problems, but at least they tried to pull away from the stale and generic slate they had with the last album.  16 songs with the mofif of being EDM/Idol music is going to throw some people off (especially fans of 9nine) but this album was a much needed change.  My only problem was was that the group should focus on vocals a tad more and try not to half-ass some of their songs like they did here but overall I liked what they put out here.!

 

Ayumi Hamasaki – Colours June 23, 2014

Filed under: Ayumi Hamasaki — solarblade @ 8:51 am

colours

Track Listing

  1. Feel the love
  2. XOXO
  3. What is forever love
  4. Hello new me
  5. Pray
  6. Terminal
  7. Angel
  8. Merry-go-round
  9. Lelio
  10. NOW & 4EVA

1. Feel the love

Wow, Ayu opens her newest album with the leading A-side from the only single released for this album.  It’s funny because it does light up the rest of the album with a dance track and I’m quite all right with that.  The song is still great to listen to and Ayu gives a great performance even if the PV was a bit shady.  A fun summer song and an awesome way to kick this album off.

2. XOXO

Yes, I know Ayu released three special singles before the album, but I didn’t review them so that’s why I didn’t bother to bold them because they were that close to the release date (well actually not really because the album is actually dropping in July >.>)  and those 3 singles would render the album to be entirely be in bold.  To XOXO, when I saw the producers being mostly dance producers, I was excited to hear the lot of em. I do get a certain “Party queen” sound out of this one with the more hip style and emphasis on beats.  Ayu’s voice is still kind of changing a bit which does throw me, but I can dig it.  It’s a good song to just dance with overall.

3. What is forever love

Moving on, we get out next new track What is forever love is another good dance track and I believe this is the one produced by DAISHI DANCE who we all should be familiar with if we’re fans of Mika Nakashima.  So the similarities in style is very obvious from the start.  What we weren’t told was that this is actually a duet between Ayu and Naoya Urata from AAA.  I was quite surprised and well at the same was like figures the two would work together again.  The song is pleasant enough and the dance beats do make it nice that it isn’t a full ballad at least…relatively saying, it’s a good track.

4. Hello new me

While I didn’t bold the special singles, I did bold the actual digital singles and there was two!  This one was the 2nd, released in May and well for being a dance-centric album, I wasn’t expecting a ballad to make an appearance (shows that I didn’t listen to either digital track).  I guess it was nice that “What is forever love” managed to slow things down before we took on this song.  It’s kind of like a more mellow “Life” which was already forgetful to me as it is, but this kind of felt out of place and overly forgetful.  Oh well…

5. Pray

Then we move to another ballad which was also the other digital single she released.  The thing with this track is that it also doesn’t seem to fit this album real well, almost sounds like it belongs on “FIVE” more than anything else.  Add on that it’s the longest track at over 6 minutes and well…in a way is good, but not in the way that it’d work on this album.  I like this song by itself though which at least means something.

6. Terminal

After that rather abrupt slowdown, we move back to dance tracks into the second half of the album starting with Terminal and really when you have a producer like Armin van Buuren, you know you’re getting a trance track and that’s what Terminal is.  Very synth-heavy, but it has its moments of calm with those areas with piano and Ayu singing lyrics.  It’s been a while since we’ve had an original song done like this by a trance producer (that wasn’t part of the a-yu-mix crowd, maybe “Connected”?).  Still if you want that heavy pulsating beat, this is the song to come to and I loved it!

7. Angel

After the two longest songs on the album, we cut to some shorter songs.  Angel starts off slow but nicely with Ayu but the song takes a dramatic turn when it turns into a kind of sluggish ballad but not really because it has other things going on.  Actually…I hate to be that guy, but the feel of the song reminds me of frickin’ Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”…I don’t know why, but that slow beat and power vocals in the chorus just really scream it…I don’t know, it’s OK, but sure does sound unoriginal to me…

8. Merry-go-round

Fitting that she’d include the secondary A-side from the single to be on the album.  When I reviewed it initially, Merry-go-round was a good song despite the fact that VERBAL kind of made things icky.  Coming back to it now, not much has changed on my opinion, still a pretty catchy song and I still don’t like VERBAL in the song but, hey whatcha gonna do.  At least it made the album and picks things up after “Angel”.

9. Lelio

There was a couple promotional PVs but the only one I saw was this one and well, Lelio was something else.  It suited the whole dance-centric aspect nicely but a lot of the time, I thought this song was a Koda Kumi track XD.  That being said, Lelio is a pretty cool song.  I enjoy the dance beats and Ayu’s energy with this song quite a bit XD.  Probably one of the standout songs off the album.

10. NOW & 4EVA

Seems strange that this is the final track.  NOW & 4EVA is well, a softer song and suitable song to be the closing track.  I mean like “Hello new me” it doesn’t do anything different than ideas she’s done in the past so this kind of flies by my head, but I can say I enjoyed Ayu’s vocals.  Still it’s fitting as the last track, but by itself I think I’ll end up not remembering it much.

Tracks Recommended

  • Feel the love
  • Lelio
  • Terminal
  • XOXO

Song of Avoidance

  • Hello new me

Coming into Ayu’s newest album, Colours…it really felt like monochrome to me.  I think it’s for the fact that really avex kind of blew it with the marketing by having all of the songs released seperately before the album dropped (which even then the physical release is a couple weeks away as it is).  Though it seems that more effort was put into her dance tracks than her non-ones…Honestly all 4 mid-tempo tracks are just ultimately forgettable to me here…like they didn’t belong (especially the two digital singles).  Besides that chunk, the rest of the album is really good, she should’ve fully stuck to that and probably not let the current marketing strategy continue on TBH…

 

ayaka – Nijiiro

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 5:56 am

nijiiro

Track Listing

  1. Nijiiro
  2. Gensoukyoku
  3. Nijiiro (Piano Live ver. from Room Ayaka Room Vol. 2) (Music Postcards only)
  4. Nijiiro (Instrumental)
  5. Gensoukyoku (Instrumental)

1. Nijiiro

Well, when it comes to Nijiiro, it safe to say that ayaka took a more laidback and feelgood route with this tune.  It’s a simple track from her including some strings and acoustic guitar and some other instruments to fill out the spaces.  ayaka’s voice is always good to listen to, so there never really is any problem here.  The song isn’t anything too noteworthy, but it’s of quality so it’s not a terrible song.

2. Gensoukyoku

As for the B-side, I wasn’t expecting a ballad to come out of it, but honestly I actually prefer it way more than “Nijiiro”.  It’s interesting because her great songs she’s been releasing since going indies has been golden.  Gensoukyoku after a while adds some kind of underlying beat to make it a little more special and I quite enjoyed how it all came together for the final product.

 

 

*will review that live track if it leaks*.  ayaka’s 3rd single and Nijiiro might be her weakest A-side, but at the same time isn’t exactly that bad.  If you’ve been a fan of hers since her debut then there’s really nothing all that bad to have here but honestly, Gensoukyoku was the better song with a more subtle sound and more focus on ayaka’s wonderful vocals.  I wonder if it means an album might be announced soon.

 

Let’s Talk about Smash Bros.! Direct & Pre-E3 hype! June 20, 2014

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 1:36 am

640px-Logo_EN_-_Super_Smash_Bros__Wii_U_3DS

Well only a couple of days until E3 and there’s been a LOT of stuff that was talked about and released between the last post I did and now.  Mostly stuff that came from the Nintendo Direct that happened back in April and then press kit release shortly after with some tidbits from the official site….So I’m going to just run it down!

Release Dates!

So Sakurai introduced himself at the beginning and said he’s at Namco-Bandai’s HQ and doing the work for the games.  Then he just whisked off and announced the time fields of the games  The 3DS version would be out in the Summer of ’14 and the Wii U version in the Winter.  Now I’m happy we’ll get the 3DS version but Sakurai also went off the note to say, the games will have the same characters which might disappoint a few but at the same time, the games will have differences and there’ll be some kind of connectivity that we people don’t know quite yet.  Also the 3DS version will be running at a smooth 60 of a framerate while ATs and Pokeball Pokemon are running at a decent 30.

Question becomes if Nintendo will use these figurines they announced a couple weeks ago to be this “connectivity” which is cash cowing it IMO, but business is needed especially with the Wii U’s frail sales (although, Mario Kart 8 is really helping the system out).

Characters

So the we got a LOT of differences that happened with the characters and got 5 returning veterens and a new one!  So let’s break it down.

First and foremost, to me the biggest news breaker is the fact that custom movesets are possible like changing Mario’s fireballs or giving super armor to Donkey Kong’s side special.  It gives a whole lot of possibilities, even though I’m sure it’ll be banned AND it’s only usable in the For Fun settings, online.

Blue = New

  • Mario – Besides the above statement, Mario didn’t seem to show much of a difference.
  • Donkey Kong – DK actually got a new roll attack, whether it’s his dash attack remains to be seen.
  • Link – Also has a new dash attack
  • Fox – Nothing to be heard
  • Kirby – His Side B is now chargeable, new Final Smash, Ultra Sword ^^
  • Pikachu – There’s some new mechanics in his Down B, otherwise nothing really changed
  • Samus Aran – Well, Sakurai went to note that characters that change forms mid-game do not to that anymore (I assume limitations of the 3DS is the main reasoning) so Samus’ Zero Laser FS does not make her become Zero Suit Samus
  • Yoshi – Yup, announced in the Direct, Yoshi finally returns!  Though it baffles me why he was held off just for the fact he stands up right….>.>
  • Luigi – Nothing new to note and still no explaination of the Poltergust
  • Bowser – Nothing to note really
  • Peach – Same, her Up Attack is different, but otherwise nothing
  • Zelda – Like with Samus, she does not turn into Sheik, so her Down B is now the Phantom Slash (as we saw in a daily pic from the official site.
  • SheikThat being said, I wasn’t expecting to see Sheik make the cut with Sakurai cutting transforming characters.  I am exstatic though since I love Sheik and she/he gained two new attacks.  One is the Burst Grenade (kind of like Snake’s but a little different) and the Bouncing Fish (Kind of like ZSS’ Down B in Brawl).  It’ll be interesting to see how Sheik will work!
  • Marth – Nothing really seemed to change for our swordsman, hmmm.
  • Pit – To me, I think Pit had the most changes.  First, gliding was cut from the game, his Side, Up, and Down B are all different which is honestly surprising and his Final Smash is now the Three Sacred Treasures!
  • Diddy Kong – Not much to really talk about here
  • King Dedede – Seems like Dedede’s new thing is that his Side B only throws out Gordos (why this is, might be once again 3DS limitations, but Waddle Dees/Doos are in Smash Run so…who knows
  • Pikmin & Olimar – The new changes for Olimar is quite big for his playstyle.  He can now only pluck 3 Pikmin out at a time and they are in a fixed order.  Also, his Up B is now the flying Pikmin and if you have Pikmin on you, you can’t go far unlike when you don’t have any on you.
  • Lucario – Lucario’s moveset was explained a little further, the higher Aura power means he’s stronger and can do more things, but moves like his Up B can really screw you over if you’re not careful.  Also, Mega Lucario is assumed as his new Final Smash.
  • Toon Link – Nothing really important was discussed.
  • Sonic – Looks more able and he can be a combo fiend it seems!
  • Charizard – I think after Pit, Charizard had the next biggest changes.  First with the no transforming rule, it was split away from Pokemon Trainer.  Gliding was taken out like I said before as well.  Moveset was changed a bit.  Side B is Flare Blitz (and it injures himself) and Rock Smash became his Down B.  Oh, and Mega Charizard X is the Final Smash!
  • Ike – Ike returns as well (and was the only character released in between the Direct and E3.  His visual look makes him look way beefier than normal which is awesome, but seems he retains most of his style from Brawl.
  • Zero Suit Samus – I was surprised with her return (and the way Sakurai trolled everyone XD).  With this new split, ZSS has new jet boots that strengthen her physcial abiity.  Seemed to get new moves with this as well, but hasn’t really been specified.

Also some of the characters’ got their Tether Recoveries back!

New Characters!

We got more info on the new additions (actually quite a lot).

  • Villager – We got to see his specials!  B is called Pocket and it’s basically Mr. Game and Watch’s without the needing of the 3 sectioned build-up.  Side B is the Gyroid Rocket in which you can fire it off or ride it (a means to return to the stage).  Up B, the Balloon Fighter nod, pops after three hits.  Finally, the Down B is the Villager cutting down a tree (but with the way it works, it seems quite tricky since it takes a while to get it going).  Also his final smash has the Resetti’s building the house and it explodes.  After the direct, we learn that the Villager has a female alt….awesome!
  • Mega Man – Well we say basically all his moves and even his Final Smash which is a total nerdgasm to the series with having EXE., StarForce, Volnutt, X, and of course the Classic that you play as.  I was just in love with this happening and really shows that Nintendo cares more than Capcom does 😄
  • Wii Fit Trainer(s) – We got a little more moveset from WFT like B special is a Sunlight projectile, and Down B augments her power a little (unique).  The hula hoops is definitely the Up B.  IMO, I think, she had the least amount of presence in the Direct.
  • Rosalina & Luma – A little more was talked about with her moves, but we’ve seen them through her introduction video and in daily pics.  Mostly, we got to see more of how Luma works away from Rosalina but still nifty.  Her Final Smash is the Power Star and it works like N64’s Meowth…kind of boring and doesn’t seem to work like other FS’.
  • Little Mac – His moveset was filled out, he has a counter, and a lot of strong punches, but once again dug down that he sucks in the air…also has a Wireframe costume as an alt.  Sweet Deal!

greninja

Then we got news of a NEW character, once again Sakurai trolls us because everyone thought Mewtwo was doing some crazy moves, but it turns out it’s one of the Kalos starters.  Greninja, now it does for me mean that Squirtle’s chances are really slim (especially with Charizard returning without him and Ivysaur) and being the popular one, Greninja had strangely enough never crossed my mind to include.  I’m super happy though and his ninja-esque moveset is exciting to see.

Items

So we got a LOT of items announced here (mostly old ones because of the Press Kit).  So I’ll mention em all!

Returning Items

  • Beam Sword – New gradiant look
  • Smart Bomb
  • Assist Trophies – New Look
  • Bunny Hood
  • Unira
  • Soccer Balls
  • Barrels
  • Screw Attack
  • Franklin Badge
  • Lightning
  • Timer
  • Super / Poison Mushrooms
  • Warp Star
  • Food
  • Heart Container – New Look
  • Super Scope
  • Blast Box
  • Hammer / Golden Hammer
  • Star Rod
  • Lip’s Stick
  • Pitfall
  • Smoke Ball
  • Spring
  • Team Healer
  • Deku Nut
  • Mr. Saturn
  • Freezie
  • Bob-omb
  • Sandbag
  • Metal Box
  • Superspicy Curry
  • Maxim Tomato
  • Starman
  • Dragoon – New crosshairs

New Items

I’ve mentioned a couple of them on my last post so I’ll probably skip them….here’s the link to the previous post.

  • Spiny Shell (Mario Kart) – While not mentioned by Sakurai yet, the Spiny Shell was seen in the Direct (have to focus).  I think it works just like in the Mario Kart series where it attacks the leader.  Just my guess though.
  • Rocket Belt (Pilotwings) – From what I can guess, the Rocket Belt helps characters fly up to places.  Odd item, but hey I’m sure Little Mac will enjoy it!
  • POW Block (Mario) – Like its uses within the Mario series, you can use it up to 3 times to basically knock your opponents into the air.  Interesting item after being a stage hazard in 2 of the previous Smashs.
  • Fire Bar (Mario) – The infamous obstacle in the Mario series, the Fire Bar is actually a battering item here.  Though its downside is that every hit makes it weaker and its length shorter.
  • Back Shield (Kid Icarus) – Like how its titled, this Kid Icarus item protects your back from projectiles (maybe physical attacks).
  • Bombchu (Legend of Zelda) – Basically a Bob-omb that can climb walls like the Hotspot from Brawl.  I’m surprised it took them this long to include this iconic LoZ item.
  • Super Leaf (Mario) – Another Mario item, the Super Leaf helps you glide down (explains the taking out of gliding mechanics in character’s moves).  Though it is hinted you can attack with the tail perhaps.  It’ll be an interesting item for sure~
  • Master Ball (Pokemon) – Wow a new Pokemon item (makes me wish Sakurai would make more items from the series).  Anyways, the Master Ball releases rare and legendary types.  Weird because in the direct, Palkia can come out of a Pokeball (so I guess the percentages are higher?).
  • Treasure Chest (???) – Well, it’s there…but really nothing is known?
  • Bullet Bill (Mario Kart) – Another Mario Kart item?  Yes, I’m saying that it’s that because it’s not the actual enemy, but you turn into one and zoom around hitting characters.
  • Beehive (Animal Crossing) – Weird, another Animal Crossing item huh?  Not sure how it works, but I’m sure the bees will attack you at the end of it all.
  • Drill Arm (Kid Icarus) – A Kid Icarus item, it looks like the Drill Arm shoots out a drill and it does connecting damage…like Jill from Brawl maybe?
  • Killer Eye (Kid Icarus) – Another KI:U item, the Killer Eye looks like it shoots like the Ray Gun…and it moves.  I’m not sure what else could be said, but it looks cool.
  • Boomerang (Mario) – Oi, this item has been getting some attention in the Mario series.  From the daily pic, it says it gets stronger with each throw but…is there a limit?, well you have to manually catch it, but is there like a number of uses like 3 (like in Mario Kart 8?).  Still a neat item, although Link is prolly jealous XD.
  • Special Flag & Galaga ships (Rally-X / Galaga) – The last item really took me by surprise.  I mean I wasn’t expecting either of these things pop up.  The Special Flags are from NAMCO’s Rally-X game and it’s just a great throwback.  Of course the Galaga ships are from said game.  Now this might not seem much, but it does confirm that Namco has something in the game in the form of a character at the least (Pac-man more than likely).

Assist Trophies

  • Skull Kid – Basically he inverts the screen, so it’s upside down…hmmmm
  • Ashley – From what was shown, she seems to have taken Luigi’s former Final Smash.  It just seems like a good idea to have done, but still cool.
  • Isabelle – I thought she’d have more to do, but she throws fruit to heal, but it looks like she can dodge enemies too.
  • Samurai Goroh – Basically everyone down to Dr. Wright retain the same attacks they did in Brawl
  • Devil
  • Knuckle Joe
  • Saki Amamiya
  • Lyn
  • Dr. Wright
  • Midna (Legend of Zelda) – From what we got it seems like Midna just grabs opponents and tosses them.
  • Dark Samus (Metroid) – So the Phazon clone XD, Dark Samus comes in and shoots ya or slams the ground and tenticles come up (oh Japan…)
  • Chain Chomp (Mario) – What I’m guessing from the Direct, is that it bounces and then slams into you, like it does normally within its series.
  • Elec-Man (Mega Man) – Wow, it’s great to see some more 3rd party ATs.  Elec-Man comes out and just starts shooting electricity or pounding the ground and hitting your opponent.
  • Color TV-Game 15 – Wow Nintendo, reaching back far huh, basically it’s NTN’s take on Pong and it was a thing back in the the day.  Anywho, it smacks the ball back and forth across the screen.
  • Dillon – The only AT that was shown post-direct was Dillon (from his own series).  It seems he rolls around to attack (as an armadillo, kind of reminds me of Sonic).

Pokemon

  • Palkia – So we learned what Spacial Rend does and it seems like the slash and then the stage flips (like Skull Kid)
  • Xerneas – It uses its signature move, Geomancy, but it’s still unknown what it does (though knowing that the move in X&Y is a stat-boosting move…wonder if it powers its releaser).
  • Dedenne – Well, nothing new was learned, nor was it shown >.>
  • Meowth – From Meowth to Mew, they retain their moves from the last Smash
  • Electrode
  • Staryu
  • Metagross
  • Entei
  • Deoxys
  • Bellossom
  • Snorlax
  • Goldeen
  • Mew
  • Arceus – It uses it’s signature move, Judgement and if the opponent is in the air, it’s an automatic Meteor smash.  Scary powerful!
  • Eevee – Uses Tackle…though makes me wonder if the Eevolutions will be around
  • Fennekin – Uses what I think is Ember, though it looks kind of like how Ness’ PK Fire works
  • Meloetta – Could be using Relic Song?  Dunno, shoots music notes and they wander and hits characters that’s in the way.
  • Gogoat – Dunno its attack, but you can stand on it and ride it while it runs around, a nod to it’s status within PKMN X / Y.
  • Kyurem – I think it’s using Glaciate to freeze anyone around it
  • Victini – Not sure, but being the cutesy legendary…might drop something?
  • Keldeo – Uses Secret Sword I think and well slashes you with his horn.
  • Chespin – These 3, seen in screenshots, but unknown to what they do.
  • Spewpa
  • Darkrai

There’s quite more that were shown in Greninja’s reveal trailer, but who knows if they’re in or what they do.

Stages (3DS)

  • Battlefield – Nothing new to note here
  • Gerudo Valley – Well finally find out that Koume and Kotake are stage hazards here, otherwise nothing much else.
  • Spirit Train – Well it seems the stage is bigger and different train carts connect and gives different platforms.
  • Arena Ferox – The stage’s platforms changes within the battle (Kind of like Pokemon Stadium 1/2).  Still cool though.
  • 3D Land – Not much info given, besides the stuff I mentioned in the last Smash Bros. post.
  • Living Room – The Nintendog stage, Living Room changes it’s platforms within the match as well, also there’s been cats spotted instead of the dog in the background.  It’s an interesting stage, but I still wonder if the dogs/cats will play a bigger role or not.
  • Reset Bomb Forest – The Kid Icarus stage that looks like Castle Siege, RBF starts off on the castle area before Viridi sends the bomb out and the stage transforms into this kind of freaky pink stage that I think auto-scrolls.  It’s an interesting stage overall.
  • Find Mii – As the first Mii stage, Find Mii is the one that includes the Dark Emperor as a boss.  Setting is on a cliff and occasionally there’s a Mii found in a cage…I wonder if that’ll be important.
  • Rainbow Road – Yup, it’s definitely like Mute City from Melee where we follow the track design (MK7’s Rainbow Road).  Nothing else new was really reported though.
  • Boxing Ring – Yep we get the Punch-out/SSB4 stage.  What is new is that you can knock the lights above the ring down (and use it as a platform) and the ropes add a bit more bounce to your jump.
  • Tortimer Island – No new news from it
  • Prism Tower – No news from it
  • Tomodachi Life stage – Really nothing ever since the first pic of it, still nothing >.>
  • Balloon Fight (NEW) – Wow a stage from Balloon Fight, despite the main character not being in it (Villager has his balloons), this stage is the first kind of retro looking stages by having all that 8-bit-ness.  Also the stage is walkable from the walls, Peach moves from one side of the stage to the other with no death…also the Fish that was from Brawl’s Summit stage is here too.
  • Golden Plains (NEW) – As one of the final pictures shown before E3 started, we get a new stage from New Super Mario Bros. 2.  The stage auto-scrolls which is a no brainer but it has a unique gimmick here.  Collect 100 coins throughout the stage and for a short while you’ll be clad in golden armor (basically Metal Box).  Neat, maybe a little broken, but it was playable at E3 too so we’ll talk about it more~
  • Jungle Japes (RETURNING) – So we also get official news that stages from Past games will be here, the first is Jungle Japes from Melee.  Weird because we’ve already seen it in Brawl (with the only new addition of the swimming technique).  We don’t know if it’s still there or taken out…but they could’ve added a different one I think.

Wii U

  • Battlefield – Nothing new to mention
  • Boxing Ring – The things I mentioned in the 3DS version apply here as well.
  • Skyloft – Not much new was really shown, a couple more areas during its flight path, but nothing remotely noteworthy
  • Town & City – Smashville 2 basically, so nothing major was changed around.
  • Wily Castle – I think the only relatively interesting thing to show is that there are moving platforms that either works or don’t and of course Yellow Devil where you have to destroy it by hitting its eye (however it comes back a lot)…
  • Wii Fit Studio – Not much to say here, some platforms here and there, but otherwise really nothing new.
  • Garden of Hope – Well, it’s not as busy as Brawl’s Pikmin stage, but it’s also wider than I would’ve thought.  Does look a bit simplified, but there might be more to it.
  • Pilot Wings – So basically this stage has you fighting on top of planes that flies over Wuhu Island that a stage from the original Pilotwings.  Also you get dropped off from planes…interesting concept!
  • Pyrosphere – Well there’s nothing too much besides Sakurai dropping hints about Ridley as a boss character, but…there’s something odd about him choosing to be sneaky about it and not straightforward.
  • Windy Hill – So the Sonic stage has got a little more shown like bumpers on the side (that rotate), and a giant windmill that only shows half because the other side is well…a KO.  It looks like a fun stage that’s for sure!
  • Mario Galaxy – Not much new was learned, but the gravity aspect was shown a bit more.
  • Palutena’s Temple – At least we got to learn more about this stage…JESUS CHRIST IS IT BIG.  It’s even bigger than Temple and New Pork City!  From the shot we get there’s literally 3 sections, one in the clouds, the temple-ish area, and the section on the right side.  I mean, Im sure it’ll be difficult to follow anything…I wonder what’ll be like competitively (if it’s not banned)
  • Kalos League stage (NEW) – Shown through Greninja’s trailer, we get a new Pokemon stage and it seems like it’s played in the areas that the Elite 4 are located…does make me think is a transforming stage because we see Dragna’s area and the main lobby.  I’m guessing we’ll see Siebold, Malva, Wikstrom, and even Diantha’s battlegrounds…there’s really little information (not even the website talked about it yet).
  • Mushroom Kingdom U (NEW) – Yup, we get ANOTHER Mario stage, this time from New Super Mario Bros. Wii U.  It’s a transformation stage according to Sakurai and Kamek rides by and switches things up.  We only got two different looks, but there’s is definitely more!
  • Coliseum (NEW) – Another last minute inclusion before E3, Fire Emblem got a new stage too..no one knew what went on besides looking horzontally flat…there was more shown in E3 (which I’ll talk about then).
  • Halberd (RETURNING) – As for the Wii U’s returning stage, we got Brawl’s Halberd which more or less is the same lol…maybe a slight graphical update.  Does it confirm Metaknight?  I have no clue XD…

Well this is the important stuff that had happened from April to early June….next I’ll be talking about the events of E3 and talking about some more things of course!~

 

UVERworld – Nanokame no Ketsui June 18, 2014

Filed under: UVERworld — solarblade @ 8:12 pm

nanokamenoketsui

Track Listing

  1. Nanokame no Ketsui
  2. Bessekai
  3. Nanokame no Ketsui (Instrumental)
  4. Nanokame no Ketsui (2013.11.9 Voice Memo)

1. Nanokame no Ketsui

I’ll be honest, it takes a good UVERworld mid-tempo to make me enjoy it and in recent times, the band has made good strides towards it.  However, when it comes to Nanokame no Ketsui…it’s way too long.  Being a 7 minute struggle, this song kind of just slightly bored me throughout.  Though the boom/clap beat with the acoustic guitar is an interesting touch and TAKUYA of course singing the way he always does sounds good, but after 3 minutes, it just killed me and I tuned out.  I thought the group would’ve celebrated the fact that their saxophone player, SEIKA had officially become a member of UVERworld…wasn’t expecting this in the least.

2. Bessekai

Then the B-sides happens and I felt like this song was to have SEIKA mesh into the band.  Funny enough this song is really the band having fun and utilizing all their styles into this kind of rock/dubstep rock session.  I’m loving the ideas but as a B-side that doesn’t have lyrical content, it makes this single feel bare.  Not bad though and an interesting listen.

4. Nanokame no Ketsui (2013.11.9 Voice Memo)

After the instrumental of the A-side, we get this 50 second track and I was curious to what this was all about.   It seems it’s just a short excerpt of the song performed of only TAKUYA and some acoustic guitar (wonder if he’s playing it…).  Despite the low quality of it, it’s a nice bonus I suppose lol.

 

 

As the 3rd and last single before their album, “Ø CHOIR”, Nanokame no Ketsui marks the first single with a new member in the band and I wasn’t expecting them to just slide by and release a 7 minute borefest.  It’s way too long for me and dragged a lot.  Bessekai is OK, nothing unique, but the jamming experimenting without lyrics.  Strange that it’ll be on the album though with no changes >.>.  Of course the little bonus track is nice, but eh…Hope the album will turn out great!

 

Yukino – VOCALIZE

Filed under: Yukino — solarblade @ 5:41 am

vocalize

Track Listing

  1. RanTiKi
  2. Leopard -PANTHER-
  3. Miserable Rain
  4. San-gatsu San-juuichi Nichi (Nichiyoubi)@Sakura Cafe♪
  5. Never Cry
  6. Maboroshi no Ai
  7. hand/s
  8. Gokusaishiki Twilight
  9. BABYDOLL
  10. Boy for me ~Uwagoto Mitai ni Suki to Itte~
  11. After the love has gone
  12. Magic hour

1. RanTiKi

I love how Yukino opens the album with the A-side that preceded VOCALIZE.  Like I said on the review, Yukino’s vocals are so impressive and adding the big band style and make it fast just impressed me all over.  This was just an amazing choice to open the album with because it really showcased what she’s all about and what more can you ask for?

2. Leopard -PANTHER-

It continues further onto our first new track on the album, but it’s got a nice rhythm going on that’s more towards funk.  I also can admire that she left off the energy from “RanTiKi” by giving a more soulful performance and it’s just as impressive if not more and Yukino’s English is getting better.  She just melts personality and it’s a REALLY classy song…impressed as all hell!

3. Miserable Rain

Interesting that we move away from that style to the B-side from “RanTiKi”, Miserable Rain which is the first ballad from the album.  Back when I first reviewed it, I thought of it as an average ballad with strings/piano and some band instruments.  What did stand out though was Yukino’s vocals as she breathed life on a what could’ve been bland song.

4. San-gatsu San-juuichi Nichi (Nichiyoubi)@Sakura Cafe♪

Weird title for a song right?  Also 4th song in and it’s actually a live song that’s only 2:30 in length?  For as short and simplistic, the song gives off a nice Mediterreanean feel with the accordion sliding about alongside acoustic guitar and bongos.  It’s a song that’s best reserved for background fodder…would’ve been nice as the final track, but its placement on VOCALIZE is a little more than odd to me.

5. Never Cry

After that side-stop, Never Cry brings us back into some bossa nova music and kind of stands in the middle between “RanTiKi” and “Leopard -PANTHER-” where it’s slower than the former but more slick like the latter.  Yukino’s vocals are once again on point throughout the song so I felt right at home with this song, a good pick-me-up after the last two tracks.

6. Maboroshi no Ai

Oh damn, I’m liking the sound of Maboroshi no Ai especially with the saxophone love throughout this one!  This one has a catchy sound to it and Yukino sounded more comfortable to shine brightly with her vocals.  She actually has amazing control and style just oozes out of her here…this was THE perfect song for her to showcase her abilities!

7. hand/s

Then we move into another ballad with hand/s which takes the form of very 90’s pop ballad (the best way I can describe it).  However, like “Miserable Rain”, if it wasn’t the simply beautiful vocal performance Yukino gave, this would’ve been a generic mess.  It actually isn’t all that bad, especially in the later half where she vocally just belts her heart and wow impressed!

8. Gokusaishiki Twilight

I don’t know what to expect with Gokusaishiki Twilight but it definitely brought the atmosphere up again with a jazzy punch.  The best thing is how playful Yukino is within the song since she sings a little more quietly and in a cuter tone while the instruments act as the more important element here.  The chorus does have a certain anison feel and that surprised me but didn’t turn me off.  Sly tune and I liked it!~

9. BABYDOLL

Hmmm, Yukino including synths to her music?  This could be quite interesting.  I enjoyed how catchy the tune is and it has an interesting tone (plus some filters thrown on her voice).  It’s a headbopper and one of the more unique offerings from this album.

10. Boy for me ~Uwagoto Mitai ni Suki to Itte~

When I heard the chords and claps, I figured the song would be kind of another R&B ditty which is something I am more than fine with.  After hearing Yukino in a higher register, it was great to hear she came down for Boy for me.  There’s a lot to the arrangement and the synths gave it more atmosphere and fullness and it worked!  Good song overall, a way to chill down in my opinion.

11. After the love has gone

With a title like that, I wasn’t shocked to hear that it was another ballad.  Though I wasn’t expecting Yukino to sing this entirely in English.  Her voice is surprisingly deep in comparison to any of the other songs on the album but she at least gets stronger and the song changes mood to something a bit more brighter (plus the harmonica added an element of happiness too even though the song is a little sullen).  Of the ballads, I was impressed the most with this one a LOT!

12. Magic hour

Yukino closes the album out with another chill track in Magic hour but the synths kind of gives this futuristic feel, plus the minor chords from the piano gives it an interesting sound…but the chorus cleans up and makes it sound kind of like how I felt with “Boy for me”.  Nice way to end things out…it’s just sad that it is the last track.

Tracks Recommended

  • Maboroshi no Ai
  • Leopard -PANTHER-
  • After the love has gone
  • Boy for me ~Uwagoto Mitai ni Suki to Itte~
  • Magic hour

Song of Avoidance

  • San-gatsu San-juuichi Nichi (Nichiyoubi)@Sakura Cafe♪

After hearing her debut, “You make me blue” and “RanTiKi” I knew Yukino had the potential to release something amazing!  What I didn’t expect that VOCALIZE would be near perfection, especially for an artist that hasn’t gotten the fire burning behind her in popularity…this is one of those gem albums that honestly fits next to Eri Nobuchika, this album had awesome songs and vocals which continue to impress me.  She did have 2-3 meh song (the worst was the oddly out of place 2:30 track) but overall this is *RECOMMENDED* to fans that read the blog!