Advertisements

Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Archive for August, 2014

Top 10 inanimate objects in gaming

Top10 Banner

As we play through some games, we notice that we get distracted by things that probably shouldn’t distract us. I mean let’s face it; how many times have you been playing a game when suddenly you see a stick and you can’t help but wonder what you can do with said stick?

Or how about that really useless medallion that you are sure has a use in the game? How about a game within a game!? Inanimate objects within gaming can make us feel more emotions than we might think. So buckle up as we explore some of our favourite inanimate objects in gaming.

 


 

Top 10

10) Top Hat – Monopoly

 

“I want to be the thimble”. “I want to be the iron”. “I want to be the top hat, because I’m classy”. Yes, I think we all argued when playing a game of Monopoly as to who gets to play as what piece. The dog or the top hat were always my choices because who on earth would want to be a Thimble or an Iron!?

I don’t know, but some people really liked those pieces. Some people even argued that the Thimble was actually practical in the real world, but hey: That top hat is too. It could be the tiniest real life top hat to wear out and about to show how classy you are!

 

9) Camera Monitoring Device – Five Nights at Freddy’s

 

An all around terrifying experience, Five Nights at Freddy’s pits you in this place (called Freddy’s) where you have to survive for five nights. Huh, fancy that. However one thing really made this game stand out for me.

It’s a horror game where you are stuck to your security control room and all you have to see what’s going on is this camera device and some doors. The camera device are your eyes and ears for what’s going on around you – and yes, it truly is a harrowing experience.

 

8) Attorneys Badge – Phoenix Wright

 

“This is my attorneys badge”, Phoenix reminds himself and everyone around him regularly that he is actually an attorney and he’s not just some crazy man who’s asking them some crazy questions whenever he can.

Phoenix Wright is a defense attorney, but sometimes it’s impossible to tell people that without solid proof. Some people actually need to see your badge in order to help you out, whereas others think you’re a bit wacky for showing it to them. Either way, Phoenix is always wacky to me!

 

7) The trap – Mousetrap

 

When you were a kid, how often did you get to play Mousetrap? If you did, you’d have had hours of fun building this crazy mouse trap made up of many different inanimate objects. From a ball, a diver, some planks, a crank, a marble, a boot and even the cage itself, playing this game was hours of amusement.

Heck, it was even better when you set everything up, a mouse lands on the “Trap” square and then bang – The trap itself fails. Why? Oh you could mock the person who messed up but in all honestly, that only ever happened once and I think that’s a good way to lose friends.

… Don’t mock Mousetrap players.

 

6) Consoles – Pokemon

This is an odd choice of inanimate objects but I always remembered these in every Pokemon game. I think everyone who has played several iterations of Pokemon games have interacted with these in-game consoles just for a line of dialogue that might read like: “AshKetchum played with the SNES. Well that was fun, time to get going.”

I mean, these are clear product placements – But you can’t help but love Nintendo and indeed the Pokemon Company for it. It’s a little reference to the real world which helps to compel you to the idea that Pokemon are real damn it and they need us, their trainers, to look after them and to train them. After all, there are a lot of Pokemon out there in the world to be caught. Gotta catch ’em all, after I 420NOSCOPE you on Call of Duty first.

 

5) The Rock – Rock of Ages

The smiling rolling stone of doom and gate-smashing. Rock of Ages is a fantastic blend of tower-defence and tower smasher, but the over-the-[lack of]-shoulder camera perspective turns your primary weapon into a bizarre protagonist more memorable than whozits that you’re actually supposed to be playing.

As the rock rolls you have limited control over its’ movement, but you can add skins and upgrades to the Rock that make it uniquely yours. Slap on a troll face, set it’s grin ablaze then get rolling!

 

4) The Ball – The Ball

A ball and a man’s journey through life with his ball. No really, that’s basically The Ball which is a fantastic indie puzzler adventure game made by the same guys who make my all time favourite horror game, Killing Floor.

Tripwire Entertainment made you feel connected to that ball in a way you couldn’t think possible – But it’s simply because it’s a ball. You want to move it, you want to play with it and most of all you want it to help you out of some tight spots. Nice work, ball!

 

3) Can – Half life 2

“Hey you…”

An innocuous little “teaching moment” at the start of Half life 2 underscored the totalitarian and militaristic world of Valve’s creation. A faceless Combine soldier demands that you pick up a drinks can and throw it in the bin nearby, a simple task that he created for us by kindly knocking it to the floor for you. This small incident has become one of the game’s most iconic moments.

If any one of you says that you did not throw it at the Combine’s stupid head then you are a liar with stun-stick burns, we all did it, and we all heard that arrogant little chuckle as he walks away, satisfied with a power-trip well done.

2) Ten Foot Pole – Dungeons & Dragons

We need this. That’s why it comes as standard in the adventurers kit, along with food, a water skin, a bed roll, rope, flint and tinder. The ten-foot-pole is one of the most improbably practical objects that everyone carries everywhere they go, without questioning how they’re going around with this thing that mysteriously fits through every tight corner, low ceilinged chamber, and how you can hide behind a four foot crate with a ten foot pole on your back.

The trap finder! The thing poker! The impromptu bridge, tent pole and occasional weapon. Ten feet of wood was never so handy…. no shut up, it’s not a euphemism! We need this! For reasons!

 

1) Weighted Companion Cube – Portal

No inanimate object has ever been more iconic than your loving companion who definitely will not stab you in your sleep, the weighted companion cube. A standard Aperture-Science storage cube with a heart replacing the Aperture logo features heavily in the artwork and poetry of former test-subjects, scrawled upon the walls in every corner where GLaDOS cannot cast her endless eyes.

The source of countless memes and fan projects, the companion cube became the most beloved block to take wing on the internet. And it’s not dead. Never forget it. The cube lives!

 


Honorary Mentions

Once again in our honorary mentions section, we’ve accidentally got two things from two different games which are basically exactly the same thing. Kind of. We have even named them the same. At least it’s not “Everything” this time… Oh good grief wait a minute…

Stuff – Katamari

So if you’ve never heard of Katamari or played the game, then basically the premise is this: You are a little guy who’s rolling around a little ball. Things get stuck to your little ball and you will slowly but surely get a bigger ball because of this.

Everything builds up and makes that ball bigger and bigger until it spirals out of control and oh my gosh now you’ve got a ball the size of a city! You just gotta keep on rolling to win in this game and yes: Size truly does matter! Everything sticks to this ball eventually. If only you could get the whole map itself stuck to the ball, now that would make me laugh!

 

Stuff – Little Inferno

First Catalogue

Yes, everything you buy in Little Inferno is actually for use in the game as something to be thrown into a fireplace. Whilst that’s not the best use of your money, it certainly did keep us entertained when we played through Little Inferno.

I especially loved popcorn. Incidentally if any popcorn companies are looking at this, please do sponsor us with popcorn. We’d love that.

 


 

 

Sometimes once we’ve played a game, we remember more than just the characters. Those inanimate objects that we’ve mentioned above have sure shown us that. Sure, some of them might be a bit more obscure, but heck – We loved them and we wanted to share them with you all.

Do you remember any inanimate objects in gaming that really made you go “that’s cool”? What do you think of our list above, would you add or change anything within the list? As always, please do comment and give us a like if you liked this post! Until our next Top 10 article, take it easy!

Advertisements

What I did on my holidays

At the age of 25 I am already sick to death of my birthdays. I managed to mitigate the annoyance this year by taking myself off to spend the weekend with a couple of friends from university near Liverpool. There was still cake, a nice meal at Nandos that I didn’t have to pay for, and they even sang happy-birthday to/at me before I left, all in all I think I got off lightly.

Liverpool being a city, it has a couple of decent nerd-shops, a Forbidden Planet, and a cool comic-book shop called Worlds Apart being the main ones within easy reach of the train station. My friends are both in the computer games industry (read Beki’s Gamer-Highlight interview here) and have recently jumped both-feet-first into board gaming, so suffice to say, I was in for a nerdy holiday.

(more…)


GeekOut Meetup 15/08/2014 – Photos

The Blogversation is on hold for this week, as next week we touch on a new topic within our Blogversation on the “Merits of gaming”.

However, just yesterday we had a Big Geek Meet here in lovely ol’ Bristol and as such, I thought I’d share with you all: Some pictures of our meet.

We started the game with a Geek Quiz which I will include at the bottom of this. If you know the answers great, answer in the comments section. Try not to use Google please ;)! I’ll give the answers to the quiz next Saturday.

 

So go ahead and have a gander through. Come join in the fun, here’s our quiz questions – Answer them as best you can and next Saturday, the answers will be here. Our next GeekOut meet is now set for Friday 12th September – The Friday after Alcon!

Geek quiz

Book time

1) How many Game of Thrones books are currently released?
2) In Discworld, how many books feature the character Rincewind in some way?
3) What book was written in 1965 by Frank Herbert?
4) Marvin, the Manically Depressed Robot is from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, but he also has been known by another name – What was it?
5) How many Harry Potter books are there in all?

Otaku time

1) You can find the characters “Chiaotzu”, “Dende” and “Trunks” in what anime?
2) Who am I dressed up “like” today? (N.B: The truly astute among you will notice there’s lots of things wrong with my costume, yes, thank you, I get it.)
3) How many Pokemon were featured in the original Pokemon games?
4) What does the character Hatsune Miku originate from?
5) What’s the name of the band of all female teenage Japanese singers and dancers who perform a mix of Metal and Idol music? Their songs include “Gimme Chocolate” and “Headbanger”.

Gaming time

1) What is the video game genre characterised by level randomisation, tile-based graphics and permanent death?
2) Guybrush Threepwood is a mighty pirate, but what video game series is he from?
3) The Software Distribution platform “Steam” was developed by who?
4) What was the horror board game where you played either a VHS Tape or a DVD in the background to act as a timer and the “host” of the game you had to beat?
5) Trafalgar Square is a card and property in Monopoly. What colour set is it from?

Tech time

1) What programming language was the game Minecraft written in?
2) How many Operating Systems are made under the “Windows” name? N.B If you know the exact answer, WHAT THE HECK!? But, I will accept a rounded number to the nearest 10s.
3) What is the Virtual Reality headset that was backed on Kickstarter which has people like John Carmack (Of Id Software(Doom) fame) working on it?
4) Who initially developed Structured Query Language?
5) Who sold the Amiga personal computers in the 1980s and 1990s?

Comic time

1) What superhero was recently recast as a female.
2) Which comic is the character “Gambit” from?
3) Who is “The Merc With a Mouth”?
4) “Dr. Alec Holland had all the answers… he was an intelligent man… but Alec Holland is dead… and in his place stands only a… “ what?
5) “The Weird” is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe or the DC Comics universe?

Geek time

1) What is the hypothetical device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules? This has been used to simulate the logic of computer algorithms.
2) What is the “Party game for Horrible People” called? (Yes, this is shameless advertising.)
3) What is the most popular series on YouTube? (N.B: My clue to this is simply that it’s not PewDiePie.)
4) When was the movie “The Dark Knight” released?
5) Who lit lamps wirelessly in two separate locations, proving the power of wireless transmission in 1891? We need the first and last name please.

Picture time

Check out the PDF for the cropped pictures. You don’t need to give us specifics.

Quizpics

So okay, it was all a little cheeky and cheesy, but it got people talking and teams of 3s were formed. Although we had one team end up a team of 5… But the winning team was called A Really Bad Stripper. Hoo boy, that’s probably not PG.

Come forward, answer the quiz questions and tell us how beautiful we all look. We know it’s true. I’ve got some really unflattering pictures as I was having beard troubles that day. I literally had a full beard earlier that day and it wasn’t shaving off properly. Great, isn’t it?


Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Last week we had a look at the original Fullmetal Alchemist series which aired between 2003 to 2004. Today, let’s look at Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and let’s get down to what actually makes the difference between the two as well as why you would watch one over the other.

WARNING: This article potentially has spoilers. Actually; it definitely has a few spoilers but nothing too spoil-y.

Story

So the story of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is more in line with the manga. Actually, it’s basically taken direct from the manga – It’s really quite spot on. Of course there are a few liberties taken as you’d expect but there’s nothing major. Basically the whole story from the manga is in Brotherhood.

If you’ve already read the story of Fullmetal Alchemist and want to decide which to start on, then it really depends. Do you want to see the real story in anime form or do you want to see a different story in the same universe? That’s where you draw the line between the two. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is beautifully along the actual story and as such, the story is that much better. Whilst the story in the 2003 series was good, there were a few elements which didn’t feel quite right: Namely characters like Wrath.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood has a much more “serious” Wrath than the original.

You might recall in my previous article on Fullmetal Alchemist, I brought up Wrath as a character. Well, the above picture is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood’s Wrath – Yeah, he’s quite different isn’t he? In the 2003 series, Wrath was a youngen who was created by Izumi, Ed and Al’s “sensei”. In this one, he’s a fair bit older and he’s a lot more wrathful – The 2003 Wrath was more “angry at the world” than wrathful. It was a peculiar difference but not too surprising, considering the story of the 2003 series was completed before the story itself was completed.

Visuals

this isn’t fair in all honesty. Yes, the artwork and animation in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is better – But that’s simply because this was made many years later than the 2003 series! Technology has improved and so have peoples techniques. Plus, Fullmetal Alchemist became a very popular anime and manga, thus they really could afford whatever the heck they want. With that in mind, here’s some stunning artwork promoting Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

Beautiful!

Sure thing, that’s not really directly from the series, but honestly the artwork in Brotherhood is so much more crisp from its 2003 counterpart that it’s not really unfair to provide promo artwork. Animations also feel way more fluid too, so it’s easier on the eyes in general.

Character development

I’m not going to delve into this one too much, however Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood does have better character development in general.

As the comments in my last article said; Ed cries a lot more in the original series – This is true. However I actually believe in the given situations he was in, a boy of his age would have reacted in similar vain. With the exception of that bit of character development, however – In almost every way characters are developed better in Brotherhood. This is simply because the story has been made, the story is predetermined and it was a story that developed over time – Not rushed through to get a weekly episode out.

Music and voices

The one point of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that doesn’t quite stand to its predecessor is the music!

The music is fine but sadly it’s just that: Fine. It sets moods, it gets you hyped for the show but the original series did music so much better, it’s shocking. You felt like you were going into an adventure with the original series and with Brotherhood – Well it feels like a very well written opening in the above clips case, but it’s not exactly a very “big and adventurous” feeling. At least for me, it wasn’t – I’d welcome your comments on the opening and closing songs for Brotherhood in the comments section – I’m interested if you think the music is as good as the originals.

There’s a change in voice with Alphonse which is noticeable but it’s nothing bad. It works rather well – That’s all you need to know, I guess. Edward’s still Vic Mignogna so if you didn’t want a different voice for Edward, then you won’t be upset! To his credit, Vic does hold the voice for Ed quite well and for some reason I feel as if he sounds better in this series. I’m not sure why I think that, it could just be memory playing odd tricks on me.

Overall

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is an anime you can’t miss if you want to be a full fledged Otaku. Not only is it ridiculously popular, it’s a bloody good watch. It’s closer to the manga by a long way and on top of that, a lot of elements is vastly improved upon the original.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: 5/5 stars. Well done!

For the record, although I’ve given Brotherhood the full fledged 5 stars, the original series is really as good – For entirely different reasons. If I had to tell you to watch one however, Brotherhood tips that scale just a bit more as it’s more true to the story.

What did you think? Have I covered most of the major differences as to why Brotherhood is considered the “superior” anime? For the record, I don’t think it is superior – It’s a more accurate take on the manga, that’s all there is to it. I just love the story of Fullmetal Alchemist. As always, I’d love your comments on this!


Gamer Highlight – Beki, the Feature Tester

In gamer highlight I’ve been interviewing gamers from differing fields of experience, from the table, to the field, the computer.

This week, I finally got round to talking to someone in the computer games industry! Beki works for Evolution Studios, producers of the World Rally Championship and Motorstorm series. She’s a long-time gamer, and also writes an excellent games design blog, The Universe Illusion. (more…)


Kickstarter Highlight – HP Lovecraft Versus Aleister Crowley

Kickstarter Highlight

Do you like HP Lovecraft?

Do you like Aleister Crowley?

Do you like awesome mash-ups in comic form?

We’re back once again folks for another awesome Kickstarter Highlight. Now put on your boxing gloves and let’s duke it out! *Ding, ding, ding!*

 

HP Lovecraft VS Aleister Crowley

What is it?

I read the title of this campaign and I simply couldn’t stop myself from clicking on it. First of all, who doesn’t love Lovecraft and secondly, who doesn’t want to see Aleister Crowley get his comeuppance? If that is indeed what happens, I dunno. I’ve not read the comics yet, damn it.

“self-confident, brash, eccentric, egotistic, highly intelligent, arrogant, witty, wealthy, and, when it suited him, cruel.” – Martin Booth on Aleister Crowley

If someone is unaware as to who these individuals are, although I am a little bit shocked by this revelation, I will quickly attempt to explain who these two men were.

HP Lovecraft is the well known horror writer who created the C’thulu Mythos. Without him, we’d not have stories which feature the Necronomicon. We’d not have C’thulu, you know that really lovable giant tentacled monolithic beast? He’s so adorable, really. If you’ve not read anything to do with C’thulu, do it now please. A staple of the horror genre.

Aleister Crowley was an interesting man, shall we say? He was an occultist primarily but he had a lot of strange influences over the world. Heck, even the Wikipedia picture below calls him “The Wickedest Man In The World”, which is quite the achievement. Very odd-balled, very unique. To his credit though, he looks pretty photogenic.

Mister Crowley, won’t you ride my white horse?

So what is this comic about then?

Set in a world where the works of Lovecraft are real, this is a bizarre tale where we take Aleister Crowley at his word. The story is simply that these two influential figures are powerful sorcerers, where Lovecraft is trying to solve the riddle of the most difficult spell and Aleister Crowley doesn’t want this to happen.

It’s a great premise for a comic with reference to two highly influential figures. A proper nod to their works, that’s for sure.

How much do they need?

The campaign being run by Montgomery Borror is asking for a mere $2,000. Already at the time of writing, it’s at $1,696 but there are only 6 days to go to get this comic done.

Basically, jump on it now and let’s help this comic out. I’m excited by it and I’m hoping to read these comics!

 

What are the rewards?

 

  • Pledge $1 or more

    You’ve got a PDF of Book One, congrats!

    Estimated delivery: Sep 2014
    Pledge $5 or more

    The Entire Series. A PDF of the entire H.P. Lovecraft versus Aleister Crowley series.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2014
    Pledge $10 or more

    Producer Credit. Your name will appear in the PDF of book one as a producer. You also get the PDF of issue one.

    Estimated delivery: Sep 2014
    Pledge $15 or more

    Sketch Card! You name it. I’ll draw a sketch card of it. This is the same size as a standard trading card: 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

    Estimated delivery: Oct 2014
    Ships within the US only
    Pledge $25 or more

    The poster (Cover image) drop shipped conveniently to your home. You also get the PDF of book 1

    Estimated delivery: Sep 2014
    Ships within the US only

I find it a shame that this only has 6 days left in fairness. I really hope this project can make it there, but if it can’t then I urge the creator to carry on, as hard as it will be. People will buy it, but it needs to find that niche!

Until next time everyone, this has been your Kickstarter Highlight of the week! Tell us what you thought of it, if it’s something you’d buy yourself. For $5 you can get all of the comics in PDF format. The artwork looks great and the premise of the story is brilliant to me. Let’s just see how this pans out.


GeekOut South-West Meetup 15-08-14

This is a half-reblog and half-rewrite of a previous post, so I do apologise if you’ve seen some of this content before; however it’s worth noting that the next GeekOut South-West social group in The King William Ale House is this Friday!! Woot!

Come join in the fun and festivities!!

 

GeekOut Sam

GeekOut South-West Meetup – 15/08/2014

Friday 15th August 2014
7pm start time
Upstairs @ The King William Ale House

 

We have a lot of events planned for this meetup, such as:

Geek quiz from 7:30pm-8:15pm (results no later 8:30pm)
The quiz covers all aspects of geekdom, if you manage to get 100%, I will personally crown you the king or queen of geeks.

Magic: the Gathering “Testing the Waters Tournament”I call this a “Testing the Waters Tournament” as we don’t know how good all of our decks are and what sets are being used. As such, anything goes. Let’s see how this pans out! ProTip: There are prizes for the winners of the M:tG tourney!

Cards Against Humanity (10pm+)
Yes, the horrible game for horrible people makes its return at the next GeekOut meetup.

Cosplaying?!
At the last GeekOut session, I accidentally promised I would be in costume for this one. We have potentially a few others who might come in costume too. So, um… If you’re joining us for this event, please come in costume too so I don’t feel too odd? It’s going to just be me, isn’t it?

We’re looking to make geekdom a very visual spectacle for all to enjoy. Those who aren’t into geek-culture should still be able to look and see what we’re up to: After all – How did you get into your geek cultures, unless something was shown to you?

 

As a general note, I’ve now got the quiz done!

I’ve actually been working on a CROWN for the King or Queen of geeks! I’m going to ease off the 100% thing a bit and just let 1st place get to wear the crown. With this being said: There is actually an extra prize for getting 100% associated with the crown, so good luck folks!

The Cards Against Humanity session might need to take place in a pub that stays open later. I’ll be keeping people informed on Twitter, Facebook, Anime League and Meetup.

Speaking of which, today might be the day for you all to jump onto all of our social media platforms and come join in the conversation!


Blogversation – Atmosphere 4

Blog-versation logo

Games as art is a rising fascination in the platform, and many of the greatest artistic games have become so because they focussed so strongly on the atmosphere. As I’ve mentioned before, strongly atmospheric gameplay and worlds can be highly emotionally evocative, which is an essential element for medium wanting to be considered as an art form.

Limbo presents us with a monochrome world of terror, in which a young boy is lost and alone, desperately seeking his sister in a forest filled with deathly silhouettes. The game is near-silent, save for the rustle of leaves and the occasional rumble as something nearby shifts, a rolling rock, a swinging chain, a gigantic spider. Your character is restricted to only a few simple actions, move, and grab, and as a small boy, your pace is understandably quite slow by what you might refer to as “normal” in a game, sidescrollers especially.

(more…)


Fullmetal Alchemist – 2003-2004 series

Regulars of this website might have noticed I am a fan of cosplaying a certain undersized, midget whelp of a man called Edward Elric. It’s okay, he’s not here to defend himself right now. So what about the series he came from?

Plot

Without ruining too much, I’ll explain the premise of the start of the series:

Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse Elric are two gifted alchemists from a very young age. They lost their mother and wanted to bring her back to life, as two loving sons would want. They studied night and day to learn the forbidden alchemy – Human transmutation. The ability to bring the dead back to life, for one.

Upon activating the ritual, things weren’t quite what they seemed. They had gathered the ingredients which make up a human, sure – But they forgot about one important element: A life for a life. Alchemy is the science of equivalent exchange, what you give must be of equal value to what you get back. The ritual tried to take the younger Elrics (Alphonse’s) life, Edwards right arm and left leg are taken in the process. Edward using his own blood created a seal to bind his brothers soul to a suit of armour before it was too late.

Years later and the two had been taken in by the military, they became known as the Elric brothers; Edward being named “Fullmetal”, due to his newly made Automail arm and leg. They go in search of the philosophers stone and the secrets behind it; but what dark secrets await them?

Who’da thought this smiling kiddo would be a wrathful fellow?

Although well documented, it’s worth noting that this series doesn’t follow the manga story that well. This is because this series was being aired around the same time as the manga. Inevitably, this series started to speed past the manga, so they had to use a bit of creative freedom to guess what was going to happen. So we had characters unseen in the manga, such as this version of Wrath appear. For the record, I really liked this version of Wrath – It didn’t work as well story wise as the mangas version, but to give them credit, they clearly had a good vision for this character from the get go.

Art

The art of the series is beautiful with cleverly designed characters. From Fullmetal himself to his brother Alphonse and from characters such as Gluttony to Envy; there is a huge variety in the characters presentation.

There are the people from central who don their military attire, then there are the Homunculi. Not forgetting the Ishbal (Or Ishval) people such as Scar, another important character throughout, you see plenty of variety in the depiction of humans and the “creations”.

Scar. Named so for the scar on his head. See? Clever.

The art in this series isn’t quite as good as the art in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, but that’s a story for another day.

The backdrops in this series are some of my favourite in any anime ever made. Everything is so clean and so easy to follow, it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of anime or not: This series sets itself apart thanks to its appearance and amazing special effects. It’s no wonder then that this was rated so damn highly on “top animated shows” lists, time and time again.

Music and voices

So as always, we’ll talk quickly about the opening theme tune of the original series.

This opening made the series feel like it was going to be a lot more than just a cartoon. The theme made you feel like you were watching an adventure which had deep meaning, an adventure of discovery and glory abound. Okay, perhaps not glory – but certainly an adventure of discovery.

The dramatic music within Fullmetal Alchemist always made me feel more tense and is one of my favourite mood shifters of any series I’ve seen.

As for the voices, they were cast well. With Vic Mignogna voicing Edward Elric in the English version, he made a good choice to play Edward. He certainly has one of the best “Young guy screams” in the industry.

From the chaotic sounding Envy, to the rather sexy voice of Gluttony Lust, you can tell each person was cast after a good selection period. I could be wrong, but it sounds like they put a lot of thought into their voice casting process.

 

Overall

With a brilliant contrast of funny and very serious moments, this series can appeal to just about anyone. It has plenty of action for those who want a good combat centric anime, yet there’s plenty of discussions such as religion, the lengths man will go for power and even the human condition. This makes it more heavy watching than a series such as Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo, which has no heavy-value at all, but the humour separates this series from other series that fill the action-hole.

Fullmetal Alchemist remains one of my favourite series of all time. I’d argue that for me, this was the anime that sealed my love for the art… However, there is a one up to this series. Many years later, they released another series of Fullmetal Alchemist which follows the manga way more to the book.

All in all then, Fullmetal Alchemist gets a whopping 4.5/5 from me… So what does the “follow-up”/”Reboot” get for its troubles? Join us again next time when we review Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Have you seen Fullmetal Alchemist? What did you think of it? Was the story too dark, too light, or just right? It gets pretty graphic at times, but there are also way worse anime for being graphic, such as Berserk… But for the type of series it was; do you think it was “just right”?

Would you change anything about this original series? What would it be?


Gamer Highlight – Ed, the experienced DM

In this series of interviews I have been talking to gamers of all types and experiences, trying to get a new perspective on our favourite hobby.

Ok, so I admit it’s mostly been tabletop gaming, there’s computer gamers coming soon, I promise! But I know a lot of interesting tabletop gamers.

Today’s interview is from a man who I deeply respect as a DM, and from whom I take most of my advice and inspiration. For being nearly a year younger than me, he has 5 more years in the big chair than I do, and his storytelling techniques leave mine in the dust.

(more…)