Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Let’s Talk About Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC! June 13, 2019

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 4:02 am

Super-Smash-Bros-Ultimate-logo

So the last post I made about the game was actually in the last Smash Direct they did before the game (the one that announced Ken, Incineroar, and Piranha Plant).  Though we’re halfway through 2019 and we’ve gotten quite a bit in Smash updates since the game’s release so we should talk about that eh?

Piranha Plant

Piranha Plant

So since the last post we’ve actually gotten the first 2 of 6 DLC characters playable (since the other two were just announced yesterday).  About Piranha Plant, yeah it’s not part of the Fighters Pass since it didn’t get new music or a stage, but it was kind of a nice gift regardless.  P. Plant is a pretty tricky character to play as since a lot of its special moves has a lot of quirky things going on about it, so it takes time for this one.  Though, what a surprise Sakurai would include a regular baddie to the roster (as in like a minion and not a hero or main antagonist).

Joker

Joker2

So in December at the Video Game Awards, we actually got a huge bomb dropped when they snuck in a reveal trailer for Joker from Persona 5 joining the Smash Bros. cast (although it was in mystery with no in-game footage).  April was when we’d get the in-game stuffs for him (on top of new Spirits and Stage Builder (with VR added in May).  So this was a pretty big release to say the least.

Joker himself focuses a lot on kind of odd setups and managing his bar to summon his Persona, Arsene, but boosted attacks and a change in his Up+B.  I thought he’s a little more difficult to master up, but he’s quite fun to play as too…  Even his winning animation quirks is AWESOMES~.

Though let’s be honest his stage, Mementos was the more memorable part from Joker.  It’s such a vivid stage and I love the fact that it changes colors depending on the song from which game (Blue for Persona 3, Yellow for 4, and Red for 5).  Could’ve used more songs, but I’ll live.

Hero

Luminary

So on Nintendo Direct yesterday, we got two reveals the first was kind of no surprise because codenames of the DLC Characters were leaked for Piranha Plant & Joker and Hero’s was “Brave”, but most people were predicting it was specifically Erdrick.  Though as it turns out that the default is Luminary from Dragon Quest XI (the main protagonists usually don’t have names as you can name them yourselves with the exception of Erdrick (from III) and Solo (from IV) who are ironically 2 of the alternate costumes alongside the protagonist from DQ8 (who fans call Eight)).

From what was shown off Hero’s gimmick is an MP bar and a menu where you can use different Magic skills, though not much was talked about (well not at all really), Hero is a bit like Robin with the mix of swordplay and magic so that’s cool.

As for the stage, not much is known about it besides it floating around Erdrea (the main setting for DQXI) and the flying whale Cetacea somehow flying about.  Very little was shown sadly and it kind of reminds me of Skyloft to be quite honest, we’ll prolly learn more in the coming weeks about it.

Banjo-Kazooie

Banjo

Let’s be honest though the HUGE news was towards the end of the direct where we kind of got a similar trailer to when King K. Rool was announced but instead were we trolled again by Duck Hunt before the REAL reveal popped up and its Banjo & Kazooie!  Many fans have been hoping for this addition for MANY MANY games and we’re finally here with this duo!  Grateful to Microsoft/Rare for letting this dream happen!

From the reveal trailer, a LOT of moves from the 2 N64 games seem to be translated into the moveset, though there is a move they do (the charge and it depletes a feather…wonder if there’s a limit and what happens when it’s all gone.).

As for the stage, it was no surprise it would be Spiral Mountain, but it makes me wonder how it’ll work…there’s the bridge that goes into Gruntilda’s Lair…but there’s a scene where it looks like the stage is spiraling up (items are moving across the grass to the fore/background as if the stage is moving them).  I’m curious to see where it leads.

 

 

So now that’s all done we have only TWO more DLC characters to release (one prolly set for Winter & one for February…I’m pretty curious since it’s open season since there hasn’t been many hints to anything since a lot of it was for Erdrick and Banjo so I’m very curious to how this Fighters’ Pass ends!!!

 

Let’s Talk About Pokemon Gen 8!: The beginning of Generation 8! June 6, 2019

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 4:18 am

Wow, after the Pokémon event last week, I was more excited to see the first actual talks about the upcoming dual games, Pokémon Sword & Shield.

Lets talk about the big things!

  • The main thing was the new way to battle with the mechanic, Dynamax which feels like a comination of Gen 6’s Mega Evolution and the Z-moves from Gen 7.  Essentially the Pokemon grows into gargatuan size to be able to damage harder (and use a unique move for each type) but the drawback is that they can only sustain this Dynamax form for 3 turns.
  • We also meet the Galar region’s Champion, Leon and his brother Hop (he’s your rival) on top of two Professors (Magnolia and her granddaughter/assistant Sonia).
  • The return of Gym Leaders for sure with the first shown off being Milo!  (a Grass-type Gym Leader).
  • Of course there’s going to be some online stuff that’s new, especially the Max Raid Battles which seems to be in the Wild Area which is a massive landscape where many Pokemon can be found!

But let’s get to why we’re really here!  Some new Pokémon!!!

Wooloo

wooloo

So the first shown off is this Normal-type Sheep, Wooloo!  From what was shown from the direct, I get the feeling that this might be an early Pokémon (dunno if it takes a certain category like the Region rat, bird, and bugs but it just feels like an early catch).  Though I am curious to see if it evolves because it seems like it has potential (though it does have Fluffy & Run Away as its abilities).  We shall see!

Gossifleur, Eldegoss

gossifleureldegoss

So I was pretty surprised to see our first new evolution line in this Direct so early on!  As our 2nd & 3rd Grass-type Pokémon shown off (Gossifleur & Eldegoss), I was more surprised to see that Eldegoss is the Pokémon Milo uses in his Gym Battle (which seems to be based around Dynamax).  It’s pretty cute and noteworthy also in having the first new Galar ability, Cotton Down (to which we don’t know what it does yet) and Regenerator).  I also think Eldegoss reminds me a lot of both Petilil and Whimsicott lol

Drednaw

drednaw

I think the one I’m pretty much still rather confused about is Drednaw which is kind of dropped on us hahah.  This Water/Rock Pokémon does kind of have me curious (looks less scary than Barbaracle, Omastar, and Kabutops).  Though it does also look like it has potential as its abilities Strong Jaw / Shell Armor makes it seem strong especially if its Attack is high!

Corviknight

corviknight

Wow, I definitely didn’t realize we never had a Raven Pokémon but it seems things have come to fruition with this edgy bird!  Though considering it kind of replaces the HM Fly (makes me wonder what is going to happen with HMs altogether since Corviknight takes you to places you’ve been to and you can ride your bike in the water, I mean it’s pretty curious).  Also, I was expecting Dark/Flying (like the Honchkrow and Mandibuzz line) but instead it’s a Flying/Steel type (like Skarmory), makes me wonder how powerful it will be especially with the abilities Pressure & Unnerve…this might be a late-game catch perhaps (or even there could be a pre-evolution too!

Zacian, Zamazenta

zacianzamazenta

Before the direct ended, Masuda surprised us with one more short trailer introducing the games legendaries, Zacian & Zamazenta.  Honestly, I’m surprised with how similar they look to one another minus the fact Zacian has the sword and Zamazenta wears the shield.  Though not much else is known currently (not even they types, but I’m guessing one of the types will be Steel).  Though it definitely pushed me to getting Sword now so I’m pretty excited!

squirrel2

Though there was a hint of a new Pokémon during the Gym Battle scene where this kid wore a sweater with this mysterious Chipmunk Pokémon (though another LQ picture shows said Pokémon in the crowd with a Munchlax, Riolu, Vulpix, and Pikachu).  Curious to see what becomes of this…and of the current big rumor going around of that there’s 2 Squirrel/Chipmunk PKMN.

Of course they also showed Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble off, but nothing really new information-wise about them and nothing on Meltan and Melmetal so…  Still a lot of older Pokémon return too!

I guess I should mention that importantly, Pokémon Bank is going to be now Pokémon Home which be the place to store PKMN (although this will be coming in 2020 so that’s kind of a bummer, though it may not since Sword & Shield releases on 11/15

 

RUMOR: Shortly after people have found a 4chan post by someone Anonymous that leaked some information, normally 4chan posts get ignore but this one (posted last week on the 23rd), so let’s break it down!

Things that were leaked correctly!

  • Rival is Hop
  • Dynamaxing
  • Name dropping Sonia & Leon and the mention of her Grandmother as the professor
  • Name dropping Milo as a Gym Leader
  • The Wild Zone being an expansive biome that has weather changes and battles against Dynamaxed Pokemon in 4-people battles (Max Raid Battles).
  • Legendary is a wolf that either holds a shield or sword (Zacian & Zamazenta)
  • Wooloo was talked about by name

There’s a lot that wasn’t talked about that was in this leak

 

Though with E3 & Corocoro coming up we might get one or two more new Pokémon, so I will see you next week!

 

Morning Musume ’19 – Jinsei Blues/Seishun Night June 2, 2019

Filed under: Morning Musume — solarblade @ 8:14 pm

Jinseiblues

Track Listing

  1. Jinsei Blues
  2. Seishun Night
  3. Jinsei Blues (Instrumental)
  4. Seishun Night (Instrumental)

1. Jinsei Blues

As the main A-side, Jinsei Blues is an interesting take on EDM by having a little more swing to it, but right once the vocals come in, it does become pretty much a straight shot of things they’ve done before.  Also surprised there’s like no solos to be had here for the most part (if there is, it’s just small lines).  I will say the best part is the bridge with the synth melody and bop.  Still, I think it’s just OK for the most part to me.

2. Seishun Night

Which follows suit with Seishun Night which unlike the EDM-centric vibes out of “Jinsei Blues” has a bit more focus on the funky disco stylings like in “Utakata Saturday Night!” and “Sukatto My Heart”.  At least there’s a little more oomph to it like solos and pretty hefty rap line from the main singers (Sakura, Fukuchan, Ayumi, and Maachan).  Though Miki gets some push here too.  Overall not bad here.

 

 

Momusu first single in the Reiwa era and I’m just kind of like meh about it.  Neither track really popped out me as both styles have been done before (and to dry sense at this point),  I feel like whatever they did in their last single, they should follow and separate themselves away from the EDM / Disco rut they’ve got locked in.  Hopefully since the new 15th Generation is coming soon, hopefully that’ll bring some changes.

 

R – RISE

Filed under: Rina Aiuchi — solarblade @ 7:56 pm

rise

Track Listing

  1. RISE
  2. RISE (instrumental)
  3. WARM PRAYER Live Ver. (181116@Shinjuku BLAZE)
  4. NO FADE OUT Live Ver. (190120@Toyosu PIT)

1. RISE

As the leading track, RISE I thought would’ve been much more of a ballad since this is Rina’s return to the music.  I do like the acoustic guitar with the synths in the background, but I really wasn’t expecting the song to have a powerful chorus with a heavy rockin’ sound to come with but I definitely enjoy this surprise a lot!  Yeah this is definitely a strong for Rina that’s for sure!

3. WARM PRAYER Live Ver. (181116@Shinjuku BLAZE)

So technically Rina announced her return last year, but she released these two tracks digitally, but these are live versions of those songs.  WARM PRAYER to be honest didn’t sound like it was live, but maybe it’s just how good the recording was.  As the ballad of the single, WARM PRAYER isn’t quite too memorable at first, saving a lot of the interesting stuff towards the end with added instrumentation.  Not bad though.

4. NO FADE OUT Live Ver. (190120@Toyosu PIT)

Now this sounds a bit more like it was performed live.  This one felt a bit more like stuff she released in the past like “Bara ga Saku Bara ga Chiru” and “Sugao no Mama” being a bit of a mix of rock and synth with a little splash of anison and I’ve missed this a lot from Rina (especially how her last works were super light pop tunes).  NO FADE OUT does offer a really powerful performance out of Rina and I am really happy about that!

 

 

Wow, its been essentially 9 years since Rina’s last physical release, “LAST SCENE” but she’s come out of her retirement/hiatus with a bang!  I wasn’t expecting to really enjoy both RISE and NO FADE OUT, but these are the most exciting songs she’s had at least since her “THANX” album which is good!  WARM PRAYER has to grow on me, but I do like the 2nd half of the track.  Still, what a great way to return to the music scene!  Although I’m not sure why she’s going by “R”…just seems weird considering how big her discography prior is XD.

 

Rina Aiuchi – TRIP

Filed under: Rina Aiuchi — solarblade @ 6:16 am

trip

Track Listing

  1. TRIP
  2. Harmony
  3. I believe you ~Ai no Hana~
  4. Mint
  5. PARTY TIME PARTY UP
  6. Creamy day
  7. Sakurairo
  8. Bara ga Saku Bara ga Chiru
  9. Silent Motion
  10. Marguerite
  11. Secret Jasmine
  12. Nemurenu You ni
  13. A DAY TRIP

1. TRIP

Opening the album up with the title track, I was curious to see where TRIP’s new songs will land since most of the album is new songs and whatnot.  It starts off with a bang and a slappin’ bass before we’re introduced to the song fully which does remind me of “Harmony” of her last single.  I do like the beat of the song and Rina sounds awake and the song turned out pretty well.  Decent way to start the album.

2. Harmony

I kind of wonder if this track was connected to the “Harmony” from “I believe you ~Ai no Hana~” but maybe it doesn’t because none if sounds like that track.  This one sounds a bit more dance/pop-like with a decent beat and a lot of synths backing it.  I’m not sure why, but I feel like this song has a B-side kind of feel or maybe something from her previous album, “DELIGHT”.  Not a strong song here and kind of boring in a way (but it does give me a dream-like feel).

3. I believe you ~Ai no Hana~

Moving onto some A-sides released, we have the 4th and last A-side released and I’m still not quite the biggest fan of this track.  I mean the fact it’s the first ballad of the album should be OK, but this one just didn’t do anything for me.  Rina’s voice is light and nice and I still like the chorus the most, but like everything else just felt plain to me.

4. Mint

Then we jump back to the 2nd A-side released and Mint was a surprising change of pace for Rina as she jumped away from the upbeat, anime music to a surprisingly bubblegum pop-like track with Mint.  It also sticks out because this is when I first came into J-pop and Rina had just released Mint back in the day (despite that I was used to older songs of hers).  There’s just something nostalgic for me listening to Mint and Rina sounds happy and upbeat.  Nice and breezy song!

5. PARTY TIME PARTY UP

Then we move into one of the A-sides from her 3rd single for the album and PARTY TIME PARTY UP also doesn’t quite interest me too much despite being an upbeat song as well.  I don’t know why but I don’t think Rina’s vocals work here especially in the chorus.  Not quite the best song on the album.

6. Creamy day

Back into some new tracks, Creamy day seems to follow alongside the same veins that “TRIP” did with the kind of synthy funk/disco vibes here and honestly if it wasn’t for the more bass involved in the track, I would’ve said they’re way too similar.  However, it suffers a little bit like “Harmony” did because it doesn’t feel like it moves around in arrangement much.  Still it is at least passable with its interesting sound.

7. Sakurairo

Coming up next is another ballad with Sakurairo but unlike “I believe you”, this one has a bit more levels with piano, strings, and acoustic guitar in its arrangement.  It does give me old ballad vibes though and while Rina’s vocals pop out surprisingly a lot from the song, I wasn’t sure where it would land.  Then the chorus comes in with electric guitar added in and it’s brazen but fitting?  Maybe it’d work as an ending theme?  Either way, good song overall.

8. Bara ga Saku Bara ga Chiru

As the first single to be released for “TRIP, Bara ga Saku Bara ga Chiru definitely has that anime feel to it that a lot of “DELIGHT” had.  This also has the most oomph the album has with the aggressive electric guitars and powerful chorus!  There was just something about this song that really kicked ass and makes me wonder how it’d fit on the album since a lot of it has been more toned down.

9. Silent Motion

I guess I’m fine with that since I would say Silent Motion is a close 2nd with the most aggressive track with the buzzy synths and pounding beat that fills this pop track.  Another track that makes me think of “DELIGHT” in a way.  I actually kind of enjoyed the heavier sound of this song and it gives me good early to late 2000s EDM.

10. Marguerite

It seems like these songs were paired together as the dance-like area of the album, but honestly Marguerite maybe could’ve been closer to “Mint” since this is kind of girly pop that they both kind of share.  Though I’m a little bit bummed because the chorus doesn’t really hit hard for me and doesn’t push the song further than the verses.  Not a very strong song, but I think it suits the album well enough.

11. Secret Jasmine

Starting immediately with Rina’s vocals, Secret Jasmine starts off with a buildup to me but it really doesn’t quite reach a high point because it remains at this mid-tempo R&B style until Rina starts on the verses where it’s just piano & strings.  It does feel like a song that would’ve fit more as a BoA song than a Rina Aiuchi song.  Not bad, but not great either.

12. Nemurenu You ni

Then we have the last of the A-sides with this ballad and I think of them all this one was handled the best.  There’s just something pure and innocent here and I really enjoyed the light and fluffiness of the song.  Does give me some slight nods to “Sakurairo”, but this is pretty much a good ballad for Rina so yay!

13. A DAY TRIP

Then we finally enter our last track on the album and would this count as another title track?  Well, no surprise that it’s another ballad and unlike “Nemurenu You ni”, it just kind of misses the mark for me.  If anything, it reminds me of “I believe you ~Ai no Hana~” which was already a song I wasn’t too phased by.  Kind of a dull way to end things off with.

Tracks Recommended

  • Bara ga Saku Bara ga Chiru
  • Mint
  • Silent Motion
  • TRIP
  • Nemurenu You ni

Song of Avoidance

  • A DAY TRIP

Yay!  Another discography completed xD.  Anyways Rina’s TRIP album maybe be kind of an average album to me.  It doesn’t feel like she took too many risks on this album and majority of the album felt a bit lighter and for that slightly forgettable minus the good hitters she brought (which is most of the A-sides and B-sides she released).  Overall not bad, but she’s had better albums!….

Wait she returned?….ohhhh!

 

Rina Aiuchi – I believe you ~Ai no Hana~ June 1, 2019

Filed under: Rina Aiuchi — solarblade @ 8:45 pm

ibelieveyou

Track Listing

  1. I believe you ~Ai no Hana~
  2. HEY!
  3. Harmony -DTS MIX- Performed by INTER-D (Limited only)
  4. I believe you ~Ai no Hana~ -Bouquet of Love version- (Limited only)
  5. I believe you ~Ai no Hana~ -instrumental-
  6. HEY! -instrumental-

1. I believe you ~Ai no Hana~

It seems like with “Nemurenu You ni”, I believe you comes in as a similar ballad but with more piano and some sparkly feelings throughout.  Unlike the aforementioned song, this song feels a bit like a typical ballad to me, but it does have some interesting parts, mostly the chorus which is pretty loud and pretty good in comparison to the rest of the track!

2. HEY!

As the B-side of the single, HEY! to me definitely screams summer song with how upbeat and pop/rock it is and Rina just has this bright style that also adds to the feeling.  For a B-side, I thought this turned out pretty well with how free-spirited it came off and Rina has another worthy coupling in her collection!

3. Harmony -DTS MIX- (Performed by INTER-D)

Then we get into the limited exclusives starting with this which started this line of INTER-D collaborations (which I still don’t know what that was all about).  I just wasn’t exactly expecting Rina to step off from the previous tracks in the era and give us this funky disco track.  Though I was pretty happy with how Rina sounded (not as squeaky as normal).  Definitely the strongest of the 3 songs on the single that’s for sure.

4. I believe you ~Ai no Hana~ -Bouquet of Love version-

The single rounds out with a different version of the A-side and this one feels a bit more simplistic with the added orchestration and overall lighter feel of this take, but I’m still not the biggest fan of the vocal melody and because of how much lighter it is, it kind of bores me a bit!

 

 

Rounding out the “TRIP” era, I believe you ~Ai no Hana~ ended up being my least favorite between the 4 singles that were released.  The leading song doesn’t quite capture my interests like the previous ones had, but HEY! and Harmony saved it from being too mediocre.  Can only wonder what the album will bring!

 

Rina Aiuchi – Nemurenu You ni/PARTY TIME PARTY UP

Filed under: Rina Aiuchi — solarblade @ 8:13 pm

nemurenuyouni

Track Listing

  1. Nemurenu You ni
  2. PARTY TIME PARTY UP
  3. Nemurenu You ni -lifeblood mix- (Nemurenu You ni edition only)
  4. PARTY TIME PARTY UP -command+s mix- (PARTY TIME PARTY UP edition only)
  5. Nemurenu You ni -instrumental-
  6. PARTY TIME PARTY UP -instrumental-

1. Nemurenu You ni

As the leading A-side, Nemurenu You ni was of course the quieter of the two tracks being a slow ballad with some nice acoustic guitar and light synths.  Rina’s vocals are really light and delicate and just kind of gives this song a lullaby-like setting.  I have to say that of the many ballads in her discography, this one was nice and I enjoyed listening to the atmosphere of the song!

2. PARTY TIME PARTY UP

So it makes sense that the other A-side of the single is more of an upbeat offering, but it doesn’t quite strike the previous A-sides, “Bara ga Saku Bara ga Chiru” and “Mint” in the same way.  I do like the verses, but the chorus is quite weak to me and doesn’t hit punch me in a way.  I don’t know, but the song is alright, just nothing special to me.

3. Nemurenu You ni -lifeblood mix-

So the single was released in separate editions depending on which A-side is placed first but they do come with an exclusive remix.  Changing the ballad into a chilled out remix was an interesting move.  Sadly, the arrangement really doesn’t grow or add much, but I suppose it works with the melody and Rina still makes it sound nice.  I suppose this is an OK remix, but it could’ve been better.

4. PARTY TIME PARTY UP -command+s mix-

As for the remix for PARTY TIME PARTY UP it was given a bit more of a dancing beat rather than the original’s cut.  Like with the previous remix, I was happier that it suited the new arrangement, but is it funny that I think it has a little bit more oomph and it really works better since it didn’t feel quite as lifeless and the beats and synths sound much better.  Maybe this should’ve been the one used and the original mix be the remix xD.

 

 

As the 3rd single for the “TRIP” era, this single is pretty good to say the least, but also not quite the best Rina has done.  Nemurenu You ni was pretty light, yet delicate and pretty to listen to though PARTY TIME PARTY UP wasn’t too memorable for an upbeat track.  Though the reverse effect happened with the remixes.  I guess it’s a half & half situation.