This thread is for recommending things.
Books, shows, movies, comics, fanfics, WHATEVER!
Just recommend some stuff!
You are not logged in. Please login or register.
Devel Note: A migration to a better server backend is on hold until I can dedicate enough test time for it. Volunteers would be welcome, actually. --V.S.
This thread is for recommending things.
Books, shows, movies, comics, fanfics, WHATEVER!
Just recommend some stuff!
Since I feel like I have to recommend it again...
Heroes of Might and Magic III
Really, I could recommend anything in this series, but Heroes III stands out as its crown jewel.
This is a turn-based strategy game with a lot of content and an addictive playstyle. The titular heroes are leaders who raise their armies and go into battle against each other. While the heroes don't fight directly, they still have a number of different skills, artifacts, and spells to influence the battles with.
There's also city building and exploration, which take place on a larger scale. Each turn on this scale is one day in game time, and you receive new units every week depending on which structures you have built in your towns. You also have seven different resources to manage.
And there are a lot of different units. With nine factions that have seven unit types each (each also having an upgraded form), there are hundreds of ways to kill.
While old, the game has actually aged very well and I still find myself going back for just one more turn. It's not available on Steam for whatever bizarre reason, but you can pick it up on gog.com.
Gah, I have so many things to recommend, where do I—
I absolutely love this game. So this is probably going to be more me trying to gush about the game while not spoiling anything than it will be a genuine review-y thing. Oh, well.
Oh, by the way. There are a couple of early-on spoilers that will be impossible to avoid mentioning when I start talking about the general idea of the plot. So I'll spoiler tag those when I get there.
Well, anyway, Xenoblade is a JRPG for Wii, directed by Tetsuya Takahashi. That's probably irrelevant; I'm not sure if anyone here is familiar with Xenogears and/or Xenosaga. (And I'm I'm fairly certain no one else has played Soma Bringer.) Compared to the previous Xeno games, Xenoblade is a fair bit lighter and quite a bit more idealistic. It's also far more gameplay-focused than story-focused.
That said, I absolutely love the story. Here's a link to the opening cutscene. It'll probably explain a couple of things about the world better than I can:
And then you're dropped into a battle tutorial. I'll go into detail on the gameplay in a bit, I'd like to say one thing about the story, first.
This game is filled with Wham Episodes. They happen all the time. I'll cite the earliest example, as it's one of the first things that got me to love the game. (It'll be in a spoiler tag. I'd recommend not reading it if you haven't played the game, as the impact is more fun when you don't know about it in advance. Oh, and any pictures I use should be spoiler-free.)
[spoiler]The game starts by setting up this trio of main characters: Shulk, Fiora, and Reyn. After a bit, their hometown, Colony 9, is attacked, and Fiora is killed.
The following also contains some early-game spoilers, but nothing particularly Wham-y, and mostly things that can be reasonably inferred before playing. That said, it's probably better to go into the game knowing nothing at all about the plot. Or maybe I'm overreacting. But still! I'm spoiler-tagging the next paragraph! The spoilers are pretty minor, though!
[spoiler]Shortly before the Wham Episode listed above, Shulk gets the Monado, the AWESOME sword shown in the title screen above. With it, he can see the future. So throughout the game, you've always got kind of an idea of what's going to happen, but at the same time you have no idea. I love it. The future visions are hard to describe, I suppose. This early cutscene (link) contains an example at about 2:30. So they really don't tell you a whole lot all the time. But the things they foreshadow... On replays, those cutscenes are so fun. By the way, even the opening cutscene I linked to earlier contained a fair bit of foreshadowing! The foreshadowing in this game gets ridiculous at times, but it's all so subtle you don't notice it the first time through. Yet it's visible enough that you do notice it on replays.
Actually, I'm probably going to go into detail on the gameplay sometime in the future. I can't really do it justice in a few minutes of writing.
Well, I didn't exactly do the story justice either. BUT STILL! Er... This is a thing. Someone else probably could and should write a better recommendation for this game.
I dunno, I just love it.
Hm... so many people have recommended games, what sort of anime could I-
Dai-Guard is your standard Humungous Mecha story.
If your main mech was owned by a private defense contractor, piloted by a trio of public relations paper pushers, and the monsters were literally the things from Pacific Rim minus the terrible story twist and Godzilla-esque designs.
There's shockingly little angst, for it being a mech series - minus for a few conflicts amongst pilots that last a single episode, tops. Most of the conflict is between the pilots, their bosses, the military, and the giant Neon Genesis Evangelion-esque monsters. Or some combination thereof.
It keeps a mostly light-hearted tone, and it ends on a very high note. This is both astounding for a mech series, and a refreshing change from usual Downer Ending mech series, like Zeta Gundam and Mazinger Z.
Another surprise is how the series LOOKS like a Super Robot series, but actually isn't. Allow me to explain.
THIS is a Super Robot:
Now, looks very similar to Dai-Guard, correct? Well, Mazinger (pictured above) is made of mysterious metals by a reclusive scientist in a bid to save the world by having his grandson pilot it after his inevitable death. It can shoot death beams from it's chest, fire rocket fists, and CAN FLY.
Dai-Guard was made using (relatively) realistic technology, has to be reassembled using complex logistics wherever it's deployed, has extreme upkeep costs, is managed by bureaucrats, and needs to literally detach it's forearms and THROW THEM as it has no means of ranged attack.
About the only things they have similar are paint jobs and the fact that one crazy scientist is the creator of all the robot's toys. And while Mazinger's scientist is a postmortem old man, Dai-Guard's scientist is Hikari.
In conclusion, I freaking love this series, and it's fully localized in English. The voice acting is above-par, and most of the jokes translate pretty darn well.
Definitely my favorite Mecha series, EVAR.
Gah, I should recommend some anime, too...
I have too many things to recommend.
No one in their right mind would actually watch/play/read/whatever all of them if I ever do list everything I want to.
There are far too many things!
Hmmm, I wonder what I could recommend without heavy cavea-
OK, where to start...
Bone basically is described as combining the humor of the glory days of newspaper comic strips back when they were actually funny with the sweeping scope of a fantasy novel, and they are damn right on the money.
The plot revolves around three cartoony creatures - Ditzy Smiley Bone, greedy Phoney Bone, and Only Sane Man Phone Bone. They are run out of town when one of Phoney's schemes goes wrong, but they are separated by a swarm of locusts and wind up in a massive valley stuck in medieval times.
They quickly make friends (or enemies in Phoney's case) with the locals, but all is not well. Rat-creatures are gathering under their king Kingdok and a mysterious hooded figure, and all the while the Lord Of The Locusts is watching...
Now, this story does have its flaws. Some plot points sound cliche out of context, human facial expressions can get weird in early chapters, and there are some eyebrow-raising Powers As The Plot Demands moments.
The execution is so well-done, so awesome, such a tribute to fantasy tales of old that what would seem to be cliche totally makes sense in context. And THE CHARACTERS! They're so detailed and funny and awesome and I love them all so much!
But what I love most is that while the story can get very dark and very epic in later chapters it never totally loses its (damn good) sense of humor. One major plot point is even the result of a Brick Joke.
So, in conclusion, I cannot recommend this series enough. A one-volume edition is available in most bookstores/Amazon, but if you're really short on money it's probably available on some shady website. So enjoy.
I'm going to go ahead and recommend a game, because it's reasonably obscure and chances are at least some of you haven't played it. It's actually an entire series called Puyo Puyo (Sometimes Puyo Pop)
BASICALLY? Take Tetris, add a truckload of depth to the game mechanics so that it's not only highly competitive but also fast-paced and multi-player, shove in a ton of cute characters (ranging wildly from magical girls to onion fairies to Satan in a hawaiin T-shirt) with cute little stories and dialogue between battles and you've got yourself something like Puyo Puyo.
It's a puzzle game with a single player story mode, though I'll admit that the story or more there for decoration and being cute than anything else. It's not all that deep, though the characters somehow manage to be likable despite only having a few lines per battle.
It's extremely popular in Japan... but not so much outside, so a lot of Puyo games have simply never been released in the USA. There is however an entire community dedicated to translating them, and they do a damn good job. http://puyonexus.net/
The characters are endearing and the gameplay is pretty damn fun for a puzzle game if you ask me. As a bonus, you'll also understand some of the references I make in the chat if you give Puyo a try. I occasionally reference the quirks and personalities of the characters from this game.
Right now I'd recommend Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary or Puyo Puyo 7 as my favorite game in the series. Both require translation patches because never released, but they're also the most up-to-date games with patches. (Puyo Puyo 20th anniversary, 25th anniversary and Puyo Puyo 8 exist, but I don't believe there are translated versions available.)
Unfortunately most of the games do not exist in English format. If you cannot / do not want to be bothered with patching I'd recommend "Puyo Pop" for the Gameboy Advance.
Here's a video of me facing the hardest boss in Puyo Puyo 15th. In this particular battle your ability to slow down is completely removed so I'm like, in a constant state of sensory overload personally. Normally I play better and normally the gameplay is a little bit more complicated and less rushed.
Do you have a smart phone? Do you enjoy D&D, other tabletop RPGs, or just fantasy-type RPGs in general? If not... I guess you can just skip this recommendation. But if you do, there is a wonderful app out there for you: Knights of Pen and Paper!
This is a game where you play people playing D&D. You build a party, then go around doing quests and beating stuff up for fun and profit. At the beginning of the game, who choose the people and classes you want in your party; each person has their own passive ability, such as bonus exp., stat boosts, cost deductions, etc. You can match any person to any class you want, and there are a whole bunch of classes. Not all classes are available at the start, but you can unlock them by doing side quests in the game. These classes will then be available at the start for new games (did I mention you can have more than one save file at a time?) By buying an item called the Holy Grail from the store on the home menu (using in-game gold you earn from quests and such), you can increase your party size to five. You can rearrange, take away, and add members to your party at the taverns in town during the game.
The large number of classes (I haven't even beaten it, and I've made two full teams with no overlap and classes left over) gives you a huge variety of strategies to use during the game. Which leads me to the next awesome thing about this game: the gameplay. Each location in the game has a set of enemies that you can fight while there, many of them unique to their areas. You can customize each fight outside of plot-mandated and random ones, selecting up to five (seven if you buy a certain item) enemies from any of the possible ones to fight.
Each class gets four abilities to use. Some might be passive (for example, the Rogue has one that adds a point of damage to each attack for every level you put into it), some might be status moves, support moves to buff your team or debuff the enemy, healing moves, or various attacks. You can customize your character by putting skill points into your favorite abilities; each time your character levels up, they can level up one ability. As an ability levels up, it improves, but active abilities also cost more MP. MP is pretty standard mana; you have a certain amount of it, and using abilities uses it up. It can be replenished via certain abilities or items that improve regen. When you have five characters with all of these abilities, you can have a lot of fun designing strategies that play them off each other well.
For example: in my first party, I had three characters that could incapacitate an enemy. So in group battles, I would have two of them flinch enemies that would go after them, and the other would put one enemy asleep a turn so the party could focus fire on one enemy at a time. In my second party, this strategy wouldn't work because none of my characters could incapacitate. So my strategy changed in accordance; generally into either "heap as much passive damage as possible onto single enemies" or "buff the everloving crap out of the Hunter" (his critical is 65% and can be buffed by 17% by another character seriously it's ridiculous). These are remarkably different strategies, as you can see, both very specifically geared towards the classes in my party. Strategies can even change battle to battle; how does my first party respond to enemies that are flinch/sleep immune? By losing, mostly. It's a lot of fun to figure out how best to beat the enemy you're currently facing.
Besides the four abilities, the characters have fairly basic stats: health, MP, attack, and then threat, initiative, and critical. A higher threat means enemies target that character more, a higher initiative means that character's turn is closer to the beginning of a battle, and critical is the chance your character's hits will be a critical hit for massive damage.
You know what else is a lot of fun about this game? The story. Yes, it has a story. It mostly consists of "go here, fight these monsters, ???, profit" but there are a lot of fun, climactic fights. It even gets decently dramatic towards the end! But the best thing about it is the humor. This game has a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek humor full of obvious pop culture references with lots of lamp shading and much poking of fun at itself. The locations are pretty neat, too. Such as the pyramid made of dice, or the haunted castle. And for an 8-bit game, it looks pretty damn good. Depending on the direction you hold your phone (vertically or horizontally), you can see more or less of the scenery, and while I usually hold it vertically so the buttons aren't teeny, it's often worth swapping when you reach a new area to give it a look.
Aside from areas like towns, deserts, swamps, forests and the like, there are also dungeons. Dungeons work somewhat differently; there are a number of rooms that you go in to, and in each one a dice is rolled. Depending on the number rolled, you either walk into a trap, battle something, get healed, or find treasure. The goal is to clear all of the rooms and then fight the dungeon boss. You can't camp while in a dungeon, so you can only heal by using items like food or potions or rolling for a heal (which is not a high chance). However, you can exit a dungeon at any time, so if some of your party members die you can leave, resurrect them, and then camp or sleep at an inn to heal up.
Aside from dungeons, there are distinctions between areas like towns and more wild areas mostly in what you can do there. You can get quests and fight in all of them, but in towns you can stay in inns (no chance of being attacked while healing), and buy and sell items. There's also the blacksmith. And this is one of the most frustrating aspects of the game. The blacksmith gives you better equipment, but it's expensive. You also have to roll every time you buy it, and the chances of success go up the more you level up the blacksmith (which you do either by buying grindstones in town or successfully completing items). This can easily result in wasting hundreds of gold (which is admittedly very easy to earn) on botched rolls. Nevertheless, the better equipment can be remarkably helpful.
So I don't what else to say about this game other than it is so much fun and I highly recommend (er, duh) it to everyone. It's a ton of fun, and you can play it anywhere thanks to its portability. When I downloaded it last summer, it was free for the Android; I'm afraid I don't know if that's changed at all since then, but it's still an app so it's cheaper than practically any game that you'd get for a console or handheld. I think there might even be a PC version, but don't quote me on that. At any rate, it's definitely worth your time.
... Now I have to go beat up gorillas in a school hallway, excuse me.
I feel like I must recommend this anime:
This is a Slice of Life anime focused on the life of resident shut-in Shintaro Kisaragi (boy painted in red), who spent two entire years without leaving his house once and spending all of those days on the computer. He's soon forced to leave when the cyber-girl and resident troll living in his computer, Ene (girl painted in blue), causes him to destroy his keyboard. Upon going to a department store to buy a new keyboard, Shintaro finds himself getting involved with a lot of things he'd never expect, including the supernatural
Mekakucity Actors is interesting because it doesn't give you the whole picture, just fragments of it piece by piece that eventually form a very complex story. The mystery behind the characters and what happens around them are enough to both leave you very, very confused and at the same time making theories as to why and/or what is going on and then see in the next episode or two if you were correct or not.
The characters in the anime are all very distinct from each other and colorful (literally as each of them is associated with a color). They have fun conversations with each other that makes all of them very endearing, especially after you slowly start to know more about them. However admittedly the conversations can be a bit boring when there's just two characters talking to each other, but once a group is together the experience is a lot more enjoyable.
The soundtrack is very catchy, the anime being based on a song series, each episode is named after a song and for the most part you can expect the song the title comes from to pop up at some point, with some exceptions of course. They don't break the flow and in fact most of the time it helps you understand more about the character the song is related to, of course, some of the themes are just there to sound cool, which is something done very well.
The animation is pretty good, though sometimes it might look a bit over-the-top and in some cases it may be a bit too simplistic, however at the same time it makes the anime more unique and gives it a little more charm, depending on your views. As the above image shows, they also do some neat visual tweaks from time to time that can actually be quite refreshing to see once in a while
Concluding, this anime is very intriguing and complex and makes you really think about what's going to happen in the next episode and always bring some new surprise to the table. If you want a good mystery story mixed with a good deal of Slice of Life, this is a good anime to watch. It's better to watch the first three episodes before deciding if you're interested enough to watch the rest.
Probably one of my favorite animes, maybe losing only to Fullmetal Alchemist.
It's been recommended over and over in the chat, but at long last, here's an official (and probably rather lengthy) recommendation for one of my all-time favorite shows:
Oh HELLZ yeah. It's Generator Rex time!
At it's core, Generator Rex (hereafter referred to as 'GR') is a superhero show. However, it is unlike any other superhero show I have ever come across; it's closest relative would probably be Ben 10, incidentally from the same creators. In fact, there's a crossover with one of the Ben 10 sequels that's a lot of fun.
Five years before the start of the show, an accident called the Nanite Event unleashed trillions of nanites (little nanomachines) into the atmosphere. The nanites infected every living thing on the planet, and while usually they're harmless, they are prone to mutate their host, completely without warning, into a monster known as an EVO. While some EVOs retain their humanity, their sanity, or (very rarely) both, many others become mindless monsters that kill people and destroy cities, and that's not even mentioning the EVOs that were plants or animals before being mutated. In retaliation against the EVO threat, a privately funded military operation known as Providence sprung up, led by a guy called the White Knight.
Our main character is a 15 year old Latino boy named Rex. Rex is also an EVO, but he is unique in that he can control his nanites. Thanks to this, he is not only in control of his powers (he builds machines out of his body, like a giant sword, huge fists, a jet pack, etc., and develops more as the series progresses), but he is also a technopath, and, perhaps most importantly, he can cure EVOs by extracting the active nanites from them. Due to this ability, Rex is considered Providence's "secret weapon", and White Knight in particular treats him more like an object than a person. He also happens to have amnesia, and can't remember anything before being brought to Providence; this is, essentially, their hold on him: outside of his natural inclination to help people, Providence promised to help him find out about who he is/who he was. One of the most interesting parts of the show is slowly discovering more about Rex's past and why he's different from other EVOs.
Aside from Rex, there is the core cast of Providence agents, as well as many secondary characters. The core cast of the show consists of:
Agent Six, Rex's handler/partner/nanny, a MIB-type ninja guy with swords that he keeps in hammerspace up his sleeves. His name comes from the fact that he is the sixth most dangerous man in the world (and yes, we meet 1-5). Six is The Stoic, and a good deal of humor comes off of his complete deadpan expressions and responses to wacky hijinks (or not-so-wacky hijinks). Six is Rex's mentor, and over the course of the show the two develop a much closer relationship akin to father and son. Thanks to this, Six is as much a source of heartwarming moments as he is funny and awesome ones.
Dr. Holiday, a scientist working for Providence. She is a mother-figure for Rex, and, at least at the beginning, the only one who's really concerned for his well-being as a person. Even as the Smart Guy and Team Mom, Holiday is badass in the field, when she isn't being Mission Control; but let's face it, everyone is badass in this show. Holiday gets an interesting subplot regarding her sister, Beverly, but otherwise isn't focused on quite as much as the others in the sense that she doesn't get many episodes centering specifically on her.
White Knight, the leader of Providence. White Knight is the only living thing on Earth that is not infected with nanites, making him the perfect person to lead--he can never turn EVO. WK is cold and pragmatic, willing to make huge sacrifices in the war on EVOs. He views and treats Rex like a weapon rather than a person, and the two in general clash every time they're on screen, at least initially. WK definitely gets the most character development over the course of the show, as he comes to respect Rex and the others more.
Noah is the Muggle Best Friend who also happens to be able to fight like a Providence agent. That said, he is easily the least badass character on the show (his girlfriend is more badass than he is). Noah is also something of a Butt Monkey. He is the first person to befriend Rex when the latter goes off on one of his many runaway trips away from Providence. Noah is generally around to provide normalcy and moral support for Rex. He is also behind the plot of the two funniest episodes in the series.
Bobo Haha is Rex's other best friend and easily my least favorite part of the show. He's an EVO chimpanzee who wears a fez and an eye path and shoots laser gun thingies. Every so often he has his moments, but I personally mostly just find him annoying.
Aside from this main cast, there are plenty of good and neutral characters, both EVOs and normal humans, that Rex meets and befriends over the course of the series. Many of them end up being significant later on, and several reveal more about what the Nanite Project really was, how the Nanite Event happened, as well as truths about Rex and his family.
The first villain you meet is Van Kleiss. You should be hearing this song right about now. Van Kleiss is, essentially, a nanite vampire. He drains the nanites of others to sustain himself. Aside from this, he is the leader of a country called Abysus--incidentally where the Nanite Project was located. VK heads a group of EVOs known as the Pack, containing such characters as Ensemble Darkhorse Breach and really-coolly-designed Biowulf. VK has as cliche a motivation as anyone, to take control/gain ultimate power and whatnot, but what he lacks for in originality he makes up for in menace and intrigue. Van Kleiss repeatedly tries to convince Rex to join him and the Pack, for reasons that aren't fully explained until much later in the series. He is the first character introduced that knows about Rex's past, and plays that card every chance he gets.
Van Kleiss is ultimately replaced with another main villain, but that's quite the spoiler, so I won't go into it. There are, however, a whole cast of great villains. There's Hunter Cain, the racist vigilante who starts his own private army and sets out to kill all EVOs, including and especially Rex, Quarry, the living rock mob boss from Hong Kong who also knows about Rex's past, ZAG-RS, an AI that wants to destroy all nanites (and has a surprising connection to someone close to Rex), Gatlocke, the Ensemble Darkhorse Crazy Awesome cyborg pirate living in the desert, No-Face, the insane EVO who comes close to killing Rex every time they cross paths, as well as a handful of other short-lived villains.
Special mention goes to Circe, Rex's primary love interest, who spends a good portion of it as an Anti-Villain. She's an EVO that just wants to be normal and find a place where she is accepted for who she is.
The plot mostly revolves around the various missions Rex is sent on for Providence, and of course, much like many superhero shows, foiling the evil plots of the villains. Of course, as the world is full of EVOs, there are also plenty of Monsters of the Week to fight, though recurring villains are used more frequently than random ones. However, aside from stopping whatever Van Kleiss's plan at the time is, much of the show revolves around Rex's efforts to learn about his past. As the show progresses and gets more complex, we learn about not only Rex's past and why he's different, but also about the origins of the Nanite Project and the circumstances behind the Nanite Event itself--including who's responsible.
Generator Rex is a really, really good show. It has good characters, great villains, some really cool locations--like the super atmospheric Hong Kong or the post-apocalyptic Bug Jar--and a fascinating story. Not to mention that as it progresses, it sticks to the status quo less and less. There are dramatic changes made to the cast, characters, and locations of the show, and the Reset Button is practically unheard of.
This is not to say it's without its problems; in particular, season 2 has glaring pacing problems, and the filler tends to be Mood Whiplash between the darker main story. The tone tends to shift around from goofy to very dark and serious, though season 3 is consistently darker than the rest of the show. But when this show is good, it's great, and even its lesser episodes are still worth a look. In general, even if part of an episode bugs you, there will probably be another part coming up that'll hook you back in again. Also, it has pretty art and good music (unless you really have a burning passion for the main theme. Then you'll only like some of the music). In my personal opinion I'd say it really hits its stride somewhere around episodes 6 or 7, but by the second or third episode you should have some idea of whether or not you hate the show.
If you like action shows, superhero shows, adventure shows, all of the above, or cartoons in general, I very highly recommend checking out GR. It's a great show that's well worth a watch. Oh, and the show in its entirety is on Netflix now. So go watch it. Now. Go.
This generally works as a way to get out the fangirl energy, so...
(spoilers ahead are marked, because some are hard to avoid)
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A REALLY FANTASTIC TV SHOW.
I already talked a little bit about it in Discussion, but here's a more in-depth explanation about why I love The 100 so much.
97 years after a nuclear apocalypse, the remnants of humanity live aboard a space station called the Ark, where all crimes are punishable by death, unless the infractor is under 18. They were given 100 years before the Earth would be safe to live on again, but the Ark is dying, and they only have a few months of life support left before they all die. To give themselves more time to try to fix life support, as well as to see if the Earth is habitable, the leaders aboard the Ark send the 100 prisoners they have down to Earth, along with one guard... who turns out to not actually be a guard.
The narrative then splits. One part is the 100 and their struggle to survive, as well as the power struggles that evolve from conflicting philosophies and motivations... [spoiler]they also learn quickly that they are not alone on the ground, and much of the first season involves dealing with the possibility of a war with the so-called Grounders. The other part follows the adults aboard the Ark, specifically three main ones, as they are faced with hard decisions to save the Ark and the people on board when they start to lose faith in the 100 (as they are referred to even after people start dying and there are no longer 100 of them).
The characters are the heart of the show. These characters are in some really screwed-up situations, and they have to make some messed-up decisions in order to survive (Bellamy sums it up well when he says "Who we are, and who we have to be to survive, are two very different things."), and then they have to face the consequences of those decisions.
(Note that there are a lot of secondary and tertiary characters, and the core cast contains, like, 12 people. It's a big cast.)
Clarke Griffin is the primary protagonist of the show. She is generally the most level-headed of the characters (it's something of a fandom running joke that she has a no-fun policy on missions) and acts as the 100's medic. She starts off as one of the most staunchly moral characters, though as the shows progresses she becomes somewhat more pragmatic. She is pretty super badass and winds up as one of the leaders of the 100.
Wells Jaha is Clarke's former best friend, who got himself arrested when he heard the 100 were being sent to the ground so he could go look after her... even though she hates him for getting her father executed (it's complicated). Wells is the son of Chancellor Jaha, the leader onboard the Ark, and the one responsible for the 100 being locked up (and a bunch of them had their parents executed by him). This makes him something of a pariah among most of the 100, but despite this he is one of the most outspoken opponents to Bellamy's dictatorship/enforced anarchy.
Finn Collins is Clarke's primary love interest at first (not that romance is anywhere near the main focus), though that situation gets complicated pretty quick. He's one of the most nonviolent and idealistic characters, and is one of the few to stick up for Wells. And he violates Clarkes no-fun policy all the time.
Jasper Jordan is an Adorkable nerd who (occasionally) wears meaningless goggles. He's the primary form of comic relief, but unless unfortunately prone to having terrible things happen to him. Over time he becomes more of a fighter, as most of them do. He and Monty are in love with each other and nobody can convince me otherwise.
Monty Green is another nerd, Jasper's best friend, and quite possibly the fandom's single favorite character, because he is wonderful. Monty is one of the few that is generally unsoiled by the whole apocalypse thing going on; he is one of the most consistently good and heroic characters of the bunch. As both an engineer and someone raised by the people growing medicinal herbs on the Ark, he is also basically the Smart Guy of the group.
Bellamy Blake is technically not one of the 100; he stole a guard's uniform and stowed away on the drop ship so he could come to Earth in order to protect his younger sister. Now, this guy has probably the single best character development on the show. Bellamy begins the series as the primary antagonist on the ground; he architects the anarchy among the 100 and morphs it into something of a dictatorship... not because that's what he believes in, but because he knows that if the people on the Ark come to Earth, they'll execute him for what he did to get on the drop ship. This causes him to try to sabotage the wristbands that transmit their vital signs to the Ark and any attempts at making a radio to contact them. Over time, he grows into a more responsible leader for the 100 and accepts Clarke as a partner.
(John Murphy bears being added as a side note to Bellamy; he's one of his original thugs/lieutenants, alongside some dude named Atom. He is a real douchecanoe, let me tell you. He and Atom are pushed to the side once Bellamy starts being less of an asshole, and replaced with Nathan Miller, who is occasionally sassy but otherwise cool. I wouldn't even mention him, but he becomes far more relevant in season 2.)
Octavia Blake is Bellamy's younger sister. Second children are forbidden on the Ark, so she was raised under the floor for 16 years and imprisoned once she was discovered. She joins Team Clarke pretty quick partially because she's not down with Bellamy being overprotective, and partly because she just makes friends with them. She is also one of the most badass characters on the show as well as being one of the foremost advocates for [spoiler]peace with the Grounders.
Raven Reyes is also not one of the 100, but she joins them after some stuff happens. She is a genius mechanic and responsible for basically all of the working technology the 100 have. She's also just generally badass and awesome. If Monty isn't the fandom's favorite, then Raven definitely is.
Abby Griffin is Clarke's mom and the head doctor on the Ark (which is where Clarke gets her medical knowledge from). She's also in charge of monitoring the 100, and is one of the few people that maintains hope in the 100 once the wristbands start saying they're dying thanks to Bellamy's meddling. Abby is another of the more idealistic characters, which brings her into clashes with the more cynical Kane.
Marcus Kane is... you know, I really have no idea what the hell Kane's position actually is. But he's some sort of high-level politician, and he becomes Chancellor if Jaha dies, so I guess it doesn't really matter. Anyways, he is completely committed to saving the human race at any cost. He pretty quickly loses faith in the 100 and instead becomes an advocate of... more desperate measures, because he believes it to be the only option. He also goes through massive development, from being the primary antagonist of the Ark plots to being one of the heroes.
Thelonious Jaha is the elected chancellor of the Ark, and Wells's father. Jaha is Abby's friend, and is generally torn between Abby's "we have to have hope" thing and Kane's "she's crazy and we have to save the human race" thing. He struggles a lot with the responsibility of being Chancellor and with the morality of what it takes to keep humanity alive, especially in regards to not only executing people but sending the 100 to the ground, presumably to die. He is also one of the most self-sacrificial people ever, like geez.
(the following characters are all important but also spoilers, so feel free to not read on if you want to discover them on your own)
[spoiler]Lincoln is a Grounder that Octavia meets and bonds with. He tries to broker peace between his people and the 100, and saves their lives more than once.
[spoiler]Anya is the leader of the Grounders. She hates the 100 for, as she sees it, invading their home and attacking them. She is badass and not in the mood to deal with these silly children ever.
Yeah. As you can see... there are a hell of a lot of characters, and pretty much all of them go through some serious development. This show also has a great amount of diversity in its characters, both gender- and ethnicity-wise. The female characters are all very distinct and awesome in different ways (Clarke's a leader, Raven's a genius, Octavia's a warrior, Abby's a doctor...). And of the main characters, Wells and Jaha (and Miller) are black, Bellamy is half-Filipino (Octavia could also be, though apparently there is some debate over whether she and Bellamy have the same father, and her actress is not of the same ethnicity as Bellamy's), Monty is Korean, and Raven is Latina. [spoiler]Pretty much all of the Grounders are non-white, and both groups of Grounders met on the show are led by women.
One thing that's important to realize when getting into this show is that it takes no prisoners. The plot moves along at light speed (there's nothing that could really be called filler), and the stakes are continually climbing. These characters are not all good or all bad; some are more pragmatic than others, some are kinder than others (and some are real jerks), but they all have real motivations that make sense for their actions, and they are all changed by their situation and the choices they have to make.
It's also fairly important to understand that this show is violent. The 100 have a tendency to get into the unfortunate scenario of fighting for their lives, and a good number of them die/are killed. The show doesn't really shy away from showing blood when someone's cut or stabbed, and pretty consistently averts Beauty Is Never Tarnished; they all get pretty dirty and have cuts on their faces and whatnot (especially in season 2, when for like four episodes everybody's faces were covered in a mixture of dirt and blood). So if you're not okay with blood and violence, this show probably isn't for you. It's not the primary focus of the show (that would be more the characters and morality), but it is a good portion of it. There are also some fairly intense scenes (two in particular that I'm thinking of) that have to do with the whole "what can we morally do in the name of survival" thing that I found a little tough to watch. None of it is glossed over or gratuitous, though; it is very much considered a necessary evil by the characters responsible, and more than one are advocates against it.
Also, if you're getting into it, be aware that the first two episodes are the weakest. I, for one, didn't really start to like the show until the third episode, and it wasn't until the fourth or fifth that I was in it to win it. Then in episode 8 I hopped aboard the Bellarke train and there was no going back because this ship will ruin me.
The first season is on Netflix now; the second is currently airing. It really is worth a shot.
So my friends have gotten me addicted to a certain mobile game... Puzzle and Dragons.
It's pretty much Pokemon plus bejeweled.
The premise is pretty simple, you collect monsters to fight other monsters. Match orbs to perform an attack of that type, or heal yourself. Just like Pokemon, there's a type chart(nowhere near as many types as Pokemon though) and a 6 monster limit, although the sixth monster will be a helper monster from one of your friends. The type chart is pretty much the starter triangle, plus light and dark, which are both weak and strong against the other.
Monsters have 4 different values to them, ATK(attack), RCV(recovery points, the total RCV of your party is how much HP you recover when lining up 3 heart orbs), level(self explanatory), and cost(how much it takes to use this monster). Each monster also has a class, such as Dragon or God. There's also one or two skills every monster has; active skills are activated after a certain number of turns and leader skills are in effect throughout the dungeon. Your helper monster and leader are the only monsters whose leader skills activate.
You progress through the game by completing dungeons, each with different amounts of floors, with each one having a boss. The dungeons get progressively more difficult, and there are also special dungeons that appear daily, hourly, or only during special events. Some dungeons are collab dungeons, which feature monsters based off of other media, such as DC Comics, Evangelion, Dragonball Z, Angry Birds, etc. If there is ever a Pokemon collab, I'm pretty sure everyone would go insane.
Each monster can be powered up by fusing other monsters into it. They can also be evolved by doing this, though you need specific monsters. These are labeled as Evolution Material. Those labeled as Enhance Material are used to give massive amounts of exp to your other monsters or level up their active skill, so long as they are the same.
Now, you may be wondering, what do these monsters even look like? Well...
Superheroes and supervillains
Robots (yes that is the android logo as a monster)
A BOWL OF UDON
And some of the best monsters, the gods and goddesses
So yeah, lots of variety. IIRC, there's over 1000 monsters, though some are within the same evolution line. It includes a ton of monsters from Greco-Roman, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Norse, etc. mythology as well. There's a monster for every interest, really. Although, for some reason Noah from the Bible is a girl. Nobody knows why.
The tutorial for the game is fairly easy to understand, so I'll let that do more explaining of the deeper concepts. The game is free on both iOS and Android, though you do need an internet connection to play. There are IAP, but they're not necessary to enjoy the game. Right now, there's a special event going on for the holidays, so there's a good chance you'll get something good while it's active.
If you want to look up my account in the game to add me, search for this ID: 390,331,380
@Zeal: I'm itching to try Xenoblade now, thanks. If I ever finish off the games in my current backlog.
Anyway, here I should recommend some stuff too.
Gatiss and Mofatt, of Agatha Christie, Game of Thrones and Doctor Who fame, bring us "Sherlock" a TV series modernized adaptation of the tales of Sherlock Holmes using the British procedural TV series format, with three (so far) seasons of three or four episodes each, with a duration of ~80 minutes per episode.
What's it about:
This series is set in modern times (2010-or-so) London. Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug) and Martin Freeman (Bilbo) take on the roles of Sherlock Holmes a self-appointed "consulting detective" with a big ego and incredible deductive powers, and John Wattson, his half-unwilling, retired Royal Army Medical Corps flatmate, on their adventures to solve crime across glorious England and thus save the ass of Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade from the inefficacy of police at the face of various high-value threats. Little do they know that all these cases are deeply linked, however, as the criminal world is modernizing fast, by turning to the advice of a "consulting criminal" known only as "Moriarty".
The very good:
The characters period. No effort goes wasted even on the minor, sideline characters or on the Villain of the Day. Wattson in particular as former RAMC is top-notch, including having the Afghanistan War as background, and the various characters's tics, flaws and strengths are for the most part very well explained and used. The character position of Lestrade, while not used much, puts his weight where it matters and pretty much defines how Sherlock and John are able to work their cases in the city.
What to expect:
Each character has pieces of interpersonal drama, mostly set in the form of having Sherlock (a self-described "high functioning sociopath") screwing up his relationships with other people and having to slowly learn how to emote and how to rebuild those relationships.
Each case is based off of one of the various Sherlock Holmes books, and presented with a small prologue of events not directly related to the main characters and that usually only reach them via roundabout means (I recommend paying special attention to episode 2x01, that is if you can keep your eyes off Irene Adler), evolves to identify a villain who is usually not introduced until later in the episode, and works towards a resolution with the modus operandi of Sherlock putting the pieces together and nullifying the threat while Wattson tries to keep both of them alive (or at least our of jail)
The second episode of each season is usually a "standalone" case, in that ir presents a threat that functions by itself and only uses the Main villain of the season as a sort of support, if even. Still, it doesn't mean that those episodes are skippable, at all - those episodes are key to understand how the characters introduced each season are tied to the overall scheme of things, willingly or not.
What to pay attention to:
I highly recommend that the series is watched on 720p or above and on pausable / replayable medium, since the show uses HUD-style visual cues to present us with Sherlock's deductive powers and sensory perception, and these cues can move and hint across the screen. And of course, making about one and a half hour of time in the day to watch each ep, though if you don't feel like having to, the first act breaks off fairly well and in an identifiable manner at about the 12-15 minutes mark of each ep except for the second season finale.
0ad is a sort of mixture between Age of Empires and Civilization. By mentioning that you might already get an idea of what to expect: you take the lead of an ancient civilization, and macro-micro-manage them to gather resources to evolve from a bunch of nobodies to a civilization capable of conquering your enemies across the land.
If, like me, you have Linux and are fearful of installing Age of Empires in it (it does run acceptably under WINE, the problem is that it seems to do... nasty unpleasant things to the game AI) or if you just want something like a big, What-If crossover Dissidia-like game only with civilizations to see who can become the very best™, then 0ad might be worth a try.
Seriously people. Just try it if you can.
Just ask your locally housed cat overlord for details.
I have these three nifty vidya-related desktop wallpapers that I have been using for a while:
Hope you people enjoy!
This one is for the Sonic fans here.
This was reportedly originally developed as a Sonic fangame before branching out into its own property. It stars a trio of female characters: Lilac the dragon, Carol the wildcat, and Milla the hound.
The Sonic influence in the level and character design is quite obvious, yet it manages to create a unique identity for itself.
It also has a surprisingly involved story. It's a pretty simple premise: the alien warlord Brevon has stolen an ancient artifact called the Kingdom Stone, and you need to get it back from him. It still manages to stay interesting regardless. Cutscenes can drag on a bit, but there's also an option to play without any if you prefer.
The setting of Planet Avalice has a very Chinese flavor to it, which can be seen both in cutscenes and in the levels themselves.
Gameplay wise, the three playable characters are all quite different from each other. Lilac can run fast and perform a midair dash, but unfortunately said dash can be difficult to control.
Meanwhile, Carol is better at combat and can also perform wall jumps. In some places she gains use of a motorcycle which improves all of her abilities.
Milla is the most defensive character, who is capable of using shields to block incoming projectiles and summoning phantom blocks to attack from a distance. Her health is lower to offset this, which can make her difficult to play in many cases.
This game also has some very nice boss fights. Unfortunately, they are also very hard, so be prepared to die a lot.
Overall, it's better than any 2D Sonic game in recent memory and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes Sonic, Genesis-era games, or 2D platformers in general. It can be bought on Steam or gog.com.
Also, its music isn't half bad either.
The Steam Summer Sale is upon us, which means it's a perfect time to recommend some games. With that in mind, I am proud to present...
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
One of the creepiest first-person horror games out there. A tale of a man who's lost his memory in a creepy old castle, and must venture through its depths to find his fate.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
A sequel to the above. Features a different protagonist, more story-focused gameplay mechanics, and industrial-themed horror as you investigate a meat packing plant that is more than a little implied to process human meat.
A surreal adventure through the mind of a boy named Young. Essentially Zelda meets Yume Nikki.
A first-person puzzle game that messes with your preconceptions at every turn. Nothing is ever the way it seems here, and there are lots of impossible geometries around.
Audiosurf & Audiosurf 2
Ride your music! A high speed puzzle game that generates tracks based on what songs you use. Audiosurf 2 adds modding capability and a new game mode based around leaping off waves.
A game that takes the standard DotA formula of MOBA games and applies it to a 2D platformer setting. Also has cheesy character designs and a great soundtrack.
A beautifully hand-painted top down action-RPG about discovering the secrets of the Calamity that ended the world. Features a lovely narrator voice.
A short 8-bit platformer about a girl who wants to become the greatest of all heroes. Features lots of running and gunning, and slow time action.
An artsy platformer about time control, which also has a very confusing and ambiguous story. Has some quite devious puzzles too.
If M.C. Escher ever designed a game, this is what he would make. A puzzle-platformer that is much more puzzle than platforming, where you have the power to change the direction of gravity.
A puzzle-platformer about light and darkness. Only what you can see exists, so you need to manipulate light in various ways to create a path you can walk along. Also has a free version on Newgrounds.
Chuck's Challenge 3D
A spiritual successor to the classic puzzle game Chip's Challenge, by the same designer. Has a different look, but pretty much all of the mechanics from the original game are still there.
Cthulhu Saves the World & Breath of Death VII
A pair of parody RPGs sold together as a bundle for super cheap. Neither has your average RPG-style party: the protagonists of Breath of Death are all undead, while Cthulhu Saves the World is about, well, look at that title. Despite being parodies, they have quite strategic and involved combat systems.
A satirical game about DLC. Run around and collect coins, but make sure to buy the DLC that allows you to jump, pause, and move left!
Dust: An Elysian Tail
A beautifully animated 2D action-RPG about a mysterious warrior named Dust, searching for his true identity.
An experimental game about elements, where you move through the world by transforming into fire, air, water, and earth forms.
A game that seems cheerful and simple at first, but is actually totally loaded with traps and seems dedicated to trolling you to death. The levels will betray you at every turn, and everything is trying to kill you. It actually isn't that hard compared to some similar games, but just loves tripping the player up with unexpected traps. Based on a Mario hack called Syobon Action, I believe.
I could tell you that this is a cheerful adorable game about a flower and a princess... then again, I could also tell you that it's what Eternal Darkness would be on the NES. Both are apt descriptions. Every and I did a short miniarc based on this game in Unova-2. Also has a free version on the developer's website.
A journey through RPG history featuring many shifting gameplay styles and references to Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Diablo among others. Can be a bit buggy, though.
A Sonic-esque platformer that... you know what, just go look at my previous recommendation post. A Wii U version is also in development.
The most beautiful, realistic, and detailed goat simulation game you will ever play.
A first-person adventure game that looks horror-themed at first, but actually has a touching story.
Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy
Save the world in 30 seconds! Condenses the entire experience of an RPG into a very short timeframe making this the fastest-paced game ever. Time is money!
Semi-sequel to the freeware games Knytt and Knytt Stories, this game features a lot of exploration-based platforming. Unlike those two, it has a distinct storyline. Humanity has been wiped out years ago, and the underground realm is inhabited by fairies, sprites, pixies, and other creatures, collectively known as "knytt". The story focuses on a mute sprite named Mi, who is tasked with ringing the Six Bells of Fate to save the world. Also on Wii U.
A "first-person spellcaster" with dozens of different magic combinations and a strong spellcrafting system. Plays similarly to an FPS, but more tactical, with a strong emphasis on comboing different spells together.
A mysterious black-and-white game about a boy lost in limbo. It's easy to die in, and can be quite grim.
Magicka & Magicka: Wizard Wars
A silly game about wizards. Combine elements to craft spells and blow stuff up! If you don't blow yourself or your teammates up first, that is. Wizard Wars is an MOBA spinoff that uses the same base gameplay but focuses more on player vs. player battles. Magicka 2 was recently released, but I haven't played it yet so I can't give an opinion.
Mark of the Ninja
A 2D stealth game all about being a ninja. Hide in the shadows and kill enemies silently while also using a variety of ninja tools and techniques.
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
Okay, this isn't really "indie" per se but I wanted to pad this list to 50 games, and I did want to recommend this anyway. This is a puzzle-based spinoff of the Heroes of Might and Magic series, and features a mix of puzzle and strategy gameplay. It also exists on DS, though I've no clue how easy it is to find. I should warn you, unlike many other puzzle games it has no accommodations for color blindness.
A very relaxing game based around rolling a ball through various environments. Has some physics-based puzzles. Also available on 3DS.
A puzzle-platformer about nihilism and darkness. Tells the tale of a being born from the void, and its experiences as it ventures out into the world. But the Void is always chasing it... Also on Wii U and iOS.
A game loosely based around the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Will you stay on the path, or will you find yourself lost in the forest? Not exactly a horror game, but definitely darker than a standard Red Riding Hood story.
A relaxing game about exploring an island. Has kind of a Minecraft-ish art style and is easy to get lost in. The islands are randomly generated each time you play. Also has a dynamic soundtrack based on the things you encounter.
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
A game about managing an item shop you'd see in an RPG. Buy low and sell high, and be sure to provide the items your customers are in need of. Also has an RPG portion, where you follow an adventurer out into randomly-generated dungeons.
Made by the creator of the Knytt series, this game has similar gameplay mechanics along with a story of a photographer who becomes lost in space after a teleportation accident. I have to recommend Knytt Underground over this, since it does pretty much everything better. However, this one's free.
A game about a knight with a shovel. Based on many NES classics, including DuckTales, Mega Man, and Castlevania. Our hero Shovel Knight is up against the Enchantress and the Order of No Quarter. For shovelry!
The Stanley Parable
This is the story of a man named Stanley. Or perhaps it is not about Stanley. Maybe it's about choices. Or the illusion of choice. Whatever it is, it's confusing and leads you in many different directions.
A puzzle game about weather, using rain, wind, and lightning to guide a seed to fertile soil where it can become a tree. Has levels based on seasons.
Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory
A platformer about a sugar cube trying to escape a factory before it can be turned into a cookie. By moving around you flip tiles in the background, changing the world around you. This is the key to solving the many puzzles in this game.
Super Amazing Wagon Adventure
A very weird shmup/Oregon Trail parody which is ruled by complete randomness, both literally and figuratively.
Just... go look at the trailer. It explains it better than I ever could.
Super Meat Boy
A punishingly difficult platformer about Meat Boy's attempt to rescue his girlfriend Bandage Girl from the evil Dr. Fetus. I don't really care for the aesthetic, but the gameplay is pretty fun.
Another music player game, this one based on a shoot 'em up. Blast enemies to your own music, and free it from a mysterious entity and its demons.
They Bleed Pixels
A Lovecraftian platformer starring a girl who changes into a clawed monstrosity in her dreams. Highly difficult, and also features a lot of pixelated blood and gore.
Thomas Was Alone
A puzzle-platform game about rectangles that are also sentient AIs. Or something. Has lots of puzzles based on getting groups of blocks through obstacles.
To the Moon
A story-driven game about a dying man and two scientists who help him to live out his greatest dream: flying to the moon.
A cyberpunk game by the creators of Bastion. A singer named Red loses her voice after an attack by a cabal known as the Camerata, and she teams up with the entity inside the mysterious Transistor to take revenge on them. Psyche did a miniarc based on this game during early Hoenn-2.
Trine & Trine 2
A series of physics-based puzzle-platformers starring a fighter, mage, and thief bound together by the mysterious Trine. Switching between the three characters is essential to completion. Also features some gorgeous environments.
A platformer where you don't jump. Instead, you flip between floor and ceiling. Very difficult, and there are spikes around everywhere.
A Walk in the Dark
A platformer where you play as a cat and a girl who become separated from one another. The cat's levels play like Super Meat Boy, while the girl's levels play like VVVVVV, and the aesthetic is similar to Limbo.
Hey you! Yeah, you! Do you like games about lasers, explosions, sparkles, and cats? If so, then you might be interested in...
Yes, I know. I'm recommending an indie PC game again after flooding this thread with them. But what can I say, I'm fangirling hard over this thing and I feel like I need to shill for it because seriously, it's great.
Boki Lamira is a catgirl with the ability to copy the powers of her enemies. With the help of her uncle Savant, she's put into a VR simulation to help her develop her powers and train to become a superhero.
Now if this sounds like Kirby with a cat, well, you're not wrong. But it's not exactly a Kirby clone, and there's a lot of Mega Man influence in the gameplay too. Hey, remember the power combining from Kirby 64? Well, this game kicks it up a notch by allowing you to combine up to 3 basic weapons into one superweapon.
With that sort of complexity, you have hundreds of available combinations at your fingertips. And you'll need it, since the name of the game is blowing stuff up in lots of delightful ways. Since the game is essentially one long VR mission, it kinda sticks to the cyberspace theme throughout, but even then there are still some different environments.
The art style can best be described as "sensory overload", with a lot of colorful effects and explosions all around, and this is basically what the gameplay is like too. It's backed by a soundtrack full of peppy, intense music to keep the energy flowing. The enemies tend to swarm around a lot and flood the screen with projectiles, but then again, so can you. Keep a clear head through all the chaos, and you can pull off some really impressive feats.
The story mode is pretty long, with over 100 levels and plenty of challenging boss fights. If that's not enough for you, there's also a level editor available, a hard mode that's much more than just a numbers increase, and an endless mode where you can fight off waves of random enemies to your heart's content.
And I haven't even mentioned the second playable character yet, who uses gameplay mechanics completely different from Boki's.
The story is kind of light in the main game, but there's actually a whole bunch of worldbuilding built around it, some of which you can find in an extensive ingame database.