[Game] Tales of Berseria

Tales of Berseria

Game

Tales of Berseria has probably the strongest start of any game in the series and its cast of antiheroes and outcasts is a much needed gust of fresh air to the usual formula, but it’s also marred down by a lackluster dungeon design,  a dull world, and an exceedingly boring middle where the story pretty much stops for twenty hours as you busy yourself with a giant fetch quest.

That said, although not perfect, it’s still the best Tales game I played since Vesperia (mainly because of the amazing cast of characters). It’s funny how they had to hit rock bottom with Zestiria to finally get their act together.

Positive:
Negative:
Attractive, cool character designs
Environment is boring and lacks detail
Great background music
Boring dungeons
Great voice-acting
Boring, small world doesn’t give the sense of adventure
Possibly the best and funniest party in Tales series
Villains, or rather, the good guys in this case, don’t have enough screentime
It’s great to play as what you’d normally consider villains for a change
The plot pretty much stops for twenty hours in the middle
Enthralling plot, except for the middle partI
Predictable conclusion that doesn’t stick in memory much
A solid story, though it feels a bit like a watered down version of Tales of Abyss
Challenging but fair and responsive battle system
A very convenient map, with side-quests and everything else you’d need (more games should do this)
High quality localization

[Novel] The Sympathizer (Viet Thanh Nguyen)

The Sympathizer

Book

A novel about Vietnam War and American culture from the eyes of a Vietnamese communist spy.

Positive:
Negative:
Sarcastic, flowing prose
Profound, likable, interesting characters
Enthralling plot
Solid, profound story
Enlightening on Vietnam War
Enlightening on American and Vietnamese culture
Thought-provoking on human nature and how it’s incompatible with communism

[Novel] A Song for Arbonne (Guy Gavriel Kay)

A Song for Arbonne

Book

While not among the most original or ambitious, A Song for Arbonne is a realistic medieval fantasy novel inspired by actual history that delivers a believable no-bullshit setting and solid story.

Positive:
Negative:
Good, high-level prose, especially for a fantasy work
Doesn’t stand out from the rest of similar books that much
Believable, realistic, gritty setting
A lot of semi-important characters make the plot hard to follow sometimes
Characters fulfill their roles adequately
A bit slow on the pace
Solid medieval story

[Game] Sam & Max: Save the World

Sam & Max - Sace the World

Game

Although it lacks in punch compared to the original, Sam & Max are as funny as they ever were in this slightly repetitive adventure.

Positive:
Negative:
Good writing
Loses some of its charm by shifting to 3D
Likable characters
The episodic nature starts feeling a bit repetitive as you keep going through the same characters and locations
Genuinely funny humor
Lacks the sense of genuine adventure the original had