Persona 4 Golden Review

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Ive been on a serious PlayStation Vita kick the last month or so. Ive had Persona 4 Golden for a few years now and have been meaning to sit down and give it a serious go one of these days but it just kept getting pushed back. I find I don’t have the time I once use to when it comes to smashing hours into a game. Even when that game is portable. But this time around I made a serious conscious effort to finally play through Persona 4 Golden. I consider Persona 3 to be one of the best JRPs I have ever played. Im not sure how well it still holds up now but from my memory of playing through it in high school it was one of the most genuine JRPG experiences I ever had. Who would have thought mixing dating sims, Pokemon and a collectible card game with a traditional dungeon crawler would yield such results.

Persona 4 Golden is no exception. It is a further refined version of the play style and systems made popular in Persona 3. I haven’t played Persona 5 yet but due to how well that games doing I would suspect its been refined even further there. Persona 4 Golden starts off with your voiceless, nameless (Yu Narukami the in game story name if you want to use it) character moving to Inaba a small country side town of Japan. You live with your uncle Dojima and little cousin Nanako. Soon after arriving you find yourself intertwined with a world inside the TVs and a series of murders you and your high school Investigation team have to solve. The characters are all so dynamic and genuine. You can’t help but feel a friendship grow between them. During my first play through I would think on certain days oh I haven’t seen so and so in a while I should go hangout with them, not because of some advantage I might gain later but because I like the character and want to see what they are up to.

As the game progresses you will build “social links” with others who inhabit the town. These social links are directly connected to a persona type. I look at it like types of Pokemon. You have Fire, Dragon, Psychic and so on in Pokemon and in Persona you have types like Magician, Justice, Chariot. A lot of which are based off tarot cards. The more you use these persona in battle the more they will level, again like Pokemon. The stronger your social links are with the corresponding person that represents that personas type the stronger your persona will be and the more powerful the personas you make of that corresponding type in the future will be. It’s safe to say the out of combat social link aspects are the most important part of the game overall. It’s also the most interesting part for me personally. I genuinely feel connected to the characters I formed strong bonds with through the game. When I finished my first play through I felt a sinking feeling in my chest thinking about how its over and I won’t see them again from my perspective.

Which is partly why I’m playing through it again on New Game Plus (NG+). Got to catch all those Pokemon right, I mean Personas. NG+ is an option you unlock after your first play through. On your first play through you will encounter options you wont be able to use due to insufficient Courage or Knowledge and such. These are things you will raise through the game as you do certain things. They can be maxed out and it would be best to max them out before the end of your first play through. Which you can do very easily on your first play through by simply keeping an eye on it and doing the corresponding tasks to raise them. Another thing that carries over with NG+ is your Persona Compendium which is basically your list of Persona you have created or found over your first play through. Some other things also carry over but I would say these are the most important and standout aspects you get to take with you. Also something very useful with NG+ is the option to change your difficulty in game. On your first play through you will be locked into the difficulty you choose when you start the game so choose wisely. I went with Normal and found it fairly challenging myself. Im now replaying it on Very Easy and well its very easy. This is meant to be a Trophy run for me so I’m ok with that but I think the best middle ground for me would have been “Easy”. If I were to pick it up again just for fun in like 10 years that’s the difficulty I would pick.

Speaking of trophies. You cannot get all the trophies in your first play though. You can get a lot of them but you will be missing some that are ment for a following play through. Which is partly why NG+ exists. Its a genuinely great feature for a game like this. I don’t have many cons for this game but one I will bring up is when it came to the overall investigation of the murders I found every person I was suspicious of ended up being a key part of story. Best way I can put it without spoiling anything is I called it every step of the way and I’m talking about the True Ending here where there’s a lot going on. In the games defense I am a big fan of mystery in general. Sherlock Holmes is one of my heroes so naturally when dealing with a murder investigation in a game I’m trying to break it down very aggressively. Also a bit of a humble brag here but I am also a licensed private investigator here in Canada so I’m a bit more suspicious than most people would be simply playing through this game. It’s also why I love Naoto Shirogane so much. So thats one issue with the game which again is more an issue with me than the game itself.

Another small issue I have is after you max out a social link you really loose the incentive to see that person again. It feels a lot like I got what I needed from you now buzz off. Which feels really bad from the standpoint of someone you got to know well enough to max out their social link. Even something as simple as experience points following a maxed out social link to the corresponding persona type would have been a good enough incentive. I wonder if they made a change to this in Persona 5.

Persona 4 Golden is a 10/10 all day every day. This game is a reason to buy a PlayStation Vita if you haven’t got one already. If this is the only game you ever get for the Vita than it would be money well spent. I cant seem to get myself to put it down. Ive even gone as far as having a 2 different dreams about the game. Im already planing out my fall schedule so I can finally play Persona 5. Keep an eye out for that review.

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Final Space Season 1 Review

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Its rare for a show to make it to my top 10 tv shows list and my top 10 animated tv series list at the same time. The last time I think this has happened is The Last Avatar, not to be confused with The Legend of Korra which was dog trash and a disgrace to the masterpiece that is The Last Avatar.

Final Space has done it though. It merges the line between funny and serious in a way rarely seen or at least done right. The best example I can think of is Deadpool 1 and 2. They keep it epic, beautiful and most importantly funny the whole time.

At first, I thought it kind of had Futurama meets Rick and Morty vibe but Final Space is really its own thing. I find it to be much more beautiful than either of those shows though. Shot after shot and scene after scene I find myself thinking “Oh this would make an awesome wallpaper”. The main characters comedy might not be for everyone but I love it. Its just constant and random but still feels grounded in the character.

Which I exacted from Olan Rogers who I have been a fan of since the Lions Blaze. (Linked down below) I have not been following his work the past few years so I was surprised out of my mind when I could have sworn I recognized the voice of Gary. Then I see Olan Rogers name come up and I lost it. To see how far he’s come from a fun YouTuber to working with Conan O’Brien. I’m just super proud of the guy.

Final Space is quality all around and any Olan Rogers fan can see and hear his comedy resonate through every part of this show. I can’t say more good things about it. 10/10, do yourself a favor and watch it. Season 2 can’t come sooner.

 

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Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

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When I finished watching Antman and the Wasp I have to say my feelings were indifferent. I didn’t dislike the movie but I didn’t like it either. I found it hard to watch a Marvel movie after Infinity War. Everything comes off as being small in comparison. Pun intended. I didn’t like what they did with Ghost at all. I’m really getting tired of this every character needs to be either not white or a woman regardless of the source material. If you want to add in more people of color or woman into your media make new interesting characters for them. Don’t take characters we know and love and change them for your agenda. I’m looking you Starfire.

I also didn’t care about wasps mother one bit. Sure she might help kick off things with Thanos in the future but I don’t think she was overall needed for that. I’m sure they could have easily tweaked things here and there to get the same results. Other than that which is quite a bit really I liked the movie. I think Paul Rudd was hilarious and lovable again as Ant-man. I love the dynamic he has with his agent caretaker. They sold me on the relationship they had from the moment they were on the screen together. I really want to see more of this agent in the future.

Michael Pena as Luis is also back and he’s got a good bit of screen time. I think Luis is one of my favorite characters in the MCU. I wouldn’t mind a show or movies about Luis going around getting himself into trouble. I would love to see that. Overall I think the movie was a fun watch and worth seeing if you are a Marvel fan or an Ant-man fan. If you’re not one of these 2 groups you aren’t missing anything by skipping this movie.

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters Trailer

I’ve low key been a big Godzilla fan for a while now. I thoroughly enjoyed the last film in this series and I really like what they are doing with the Godzillaverse. They also said there’s going to be a lot more Godzilla in this movie which based on the trailer looks like the case. This is one of my more anticipated movies coming out. Can’t wait to see it.

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SHAZAM! – Official Teaser Trailer

I love Shazam as a character. As a kid, I liked him more than most Super Heros. It was exactly what any kid would want. Being able to be a kid with Super Powers but at the same time, grown-ups will take you seriously. I wasn’t too sure about this movie leading up to the trailer and I’m still not but it has for sure swayed me to be more hopeful.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

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I went into Jurassic world: Fallen Kingdom expecting a B tier monster movie with Chris Pratt and that’s exactly what I got. The Jurassic Park movies have always been monster movies in the same vein as Godzilla and King Kong. They just broke into mainstream much better than any other monster movie and we just accepted a questionable belief in the accuracy of the science and palaeontology presented in the first movie. The dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park movies are not accurate. Actually they are so inaccurate to actual dinosaurs that a mutation like Godzilla or King. Kong is genuinely more scientifically plausible than the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park films. Growing up as a kid the first Jurassic Park movie was one of my favorite movies of all time. Still is. I watched it so many times that my tape copy stopped working. Those things can only take so many plays and rewinds. I also took the movie seriously at the time just like everyone else did when it came to the science. The internet was nothing like it is today and I didn’t get my first computer for another 7 years or so. Besides I was using that computer to look at much more “extravagant things” than dinosaurs when I got it. I was a dirty little boy and now I’m a big dirty man. But this big dirty man now has the internet and knows better than to expect any sense of realism or accurate science from any movie let alone a series as fantastical as Jurassic Park. They themselves in the films have admitted to the questionable science of the dinosaurs presented. The Indominus Rex was literally a Frankenstein creation. The Indominus Rex and the Indoraptor are just as much an actual dinosaur as I am. Yes, I’m upset I’m not a dinosaur too.

Accepting all that, was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom good? No not really, but how many monster movies other than the first Jurassic park are actually good movies? This isn’t trying to be the next God Father or Inception. Again taking it back to the beginning of this review, “B tier monster movie with Chris Pratt”. That’s exactly what I got and I didn’t mind. I think the Indo Raptor was cool even though it didn’t really do anything. I think its kind of funny that they redesigned the park just to make it easier for these dinosaurs to escape. Its also kind of funny how their tech is absolute trash. Why do they need to be on the ground to close a gate wirelessly? Also, why is said wireless connection terminated if the tablet that started the closing sequence breaks? I don’t know, It doesn’t make sense but neither does Godzillas atomic breath and Frankenstein coming back to life using electricity from a storm. In Godzillas defence, they at least try to explain it and it only adds onto the interesting lore of the king of monster. Where as here with Jurassic World it feels more like they think everyone watching is an idiot. Which honestly is kind of a safe assumption since a lot of the people going to watch these movies think its scientifically accurate in some way or they have this inner hate towards dinosaurs with feathers. Which I just call dinosaurs. They had feather, get over it. I personally find that to be really cool but that’s just me.

Overall was Chris Pratt a handsome boy and the movie a fun enough viewing? Yes and yes. Is it a good movie? Not at all but I don’t mind. I don’t think most monster movies are classically good movies but I still like a lot of them. Would I watch it again? Yes. It would be a fun film to watch for a Jurassic Park or Monster Movie marathon with friends. I just don’t see myself watching it again sober unironically. Which is kind of a good tip going into this movies if you haven’t seen it already. Have a few drinks before or sneak a few into the theatre with you. It will make the movie better and if it doesn’t at least you will be drunk.

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Fujifilm X100F Review

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I have been playing with my copy of the Fuji X100F since its release on Feb,23,2017. This is the first Fuji camera I’ve owned but not the first one I’ve tried. Fujifilm’s philosophy is something I appreciate and can get behind. Good well-honed products with vintage style and old-school sense. Clean and well thought out with improvements with each new version. Now all that being said these improvements will cost you a really pretty penny. Maybe even 2. I need to say this first, I like the X100F. It’s my daily driver and my go-to camera for my Instagram accounts. I’m going to keep it and I would probably even upgrade to the next model whenever that comes out if the competition doesn’t do anything better. Which I doubt they will since Fuji has this part of the market locked down.

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I just want to get that all out of the way before I say I think it costs too much for most people. I consistently use 3 systems at the moment. Sony a6000, Olympus EM5MKII, and the new Fuji X100F. With all these, I think the X100F is debatably the worst camera in many ways. I would recommend the Sony and the Olympus here over the Fuji with ease. Is the Fuji the most expensive camera here? Yes. It’s as expensive as the Olympus with a 35mm equivalent lens. Maybe even a bit more expensive and it’s easily 2 times the price of the Sony. When it comes to specs and features the Sony clearly loses but hell its half the price. Besides the a6000’s big brothers the a6300 and a6500 are both feature rich and they come in competitively priced vs the X100F. The X100F isn’t even that much more compact than the Olympus and it’s both larger and heavier than the Sony.

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So why? Why would anyone go with the Fuji X100F? For me, it’s not about the specs. I understand how light works, I know how to shoot and I know how to edit in post. If I could get away with it I could do a quality shot on my iPhone. What I’m trying to say is on paper it can be clear what going this way and that. The thing I like about the X100F is its character. It’s spunk. It’s got a little jazz in its soul and a hint of swing in its step. I would say that’s all the stuff you can’t put a price on but Fuji clearly did. Everything on its own with the X100F doesn’t sell it for me. It’s all of it together and in my hands that does it. The X100F can party, I can hang out with the X100F any day and have a good time. A lot of the other cameras now days are just a bit standoffish. It’s all kind of skin deep, no personality. The X100F’s all personality. For work, there’s an endless list of cameras I can name which are better. For play and everything else, my X100F is at the top followed closely behind by my EM5MKII.

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So do I like the Fuji X100F? No, I love it. Do I recommend the Fuji X100F? Well…no, not to most people. You really need to know what you want and know what you’re investing in here. All that “character” can be a little much for a lot of people. There are other very comparable cameras with a good bit of character who will get the job done. If regardless of this you still insist on the Fuji X100F you are going to have a good time. If you are a traveler or street photographer you are going to have an even better time.

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I hope everyone enjoyed my review on the X100F. I know it’s not your standard review but there’s an endless amount of those all saying the same things. I thought I should just be straight with you all and not do the go to upright stern voice review. If you liked this please follow the links down below for more.

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