Haha, oops, I forgot to post this.
I made this. My sister did the soundtrack. It’s voiced by the same cast as last time + ProZD and Udelle. Check ‘em out!
Haha, oops, I forgot to post this.
I made this. My sister did the soundtrack. It’s voiced by the same cast as last time + ProZD and Udelle. Check ‘em out!
Chapter 2 & Chapter 3
Mild Spoiler Warning
RECAP: Layton and Luke received a letter from the professor’s old mentor Dr. Andrew Schrader. Schrader had apparently come into the possession of a supposedly-cursed artifact known as the Elysian Box. It’s said that opening the box will kill you, so the doctor decided to open it immediately. It killed him. Inspector Chelmey (the real one this time) investigates the murder, but he doesn’t do a very good job so Layton and Luke decide to investigate on their own. They find a mysterious train ticket for the Molentary Express with no destination on it and decide to take the train, where they once again run into Chelmey and Flora, who stowed away to follow them. The train makes a quick stop in the small village of Dropstone…
– Dropstone –
LAUREL: Hello, gentlemen! I see you’re asking some dangerous questions over here. How about I give you this tea-making set and you forget this ever happened before we hack you up and feed you to the pigs.
CHELMEY: (Interrogating) Listen here, you! You’re going to tell me everything you know about the Elysian Box and you’re going to tell me now! Now are we going to do this the easy way… or the hard way?
LAUREL: My pleasure.
Prologue & Chapter 1
Mild Spoiler Warning
This is a sequel to So This is Basically: Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and makes references to my previous writing. It’s not necessary to have read it to understand this parody, but it is recommended if you want to get all the jokes and better understand the continuity.
LUKE VIA LETTER: To my dear friend, whose name I am still having trouble remembering. I hope these letters are finding you well, assuming they’re finding you at all considering I don’t know the name of the addressee. If you thought our last adventure was ridiculous, you won’t even believe this one!
There were rumors about a box that killed any who dared to open it. At first, the professor and I didn’t believe it either. But that all changed when we received a very mysterious letter…
– The Professor’s Office, London –
SCHRADER: Dear Hershel, as you are an esteemed archeologist I assume you’ve already heard tell of the legendary Elysian Box and its supposed deadly curse. I recently stumbled upon the old legend again, and it’s piqued my curiosity. You know me, when I find something interesting I just can’t get my mind off of it. And now, here I am, three months and five incarcerations later holding the Elysian Box in my own two hands. I’m currently writing this letter with my foot.
SCHRADER: I believe I’m on the verge of solving a great mystery with this box. I was going to open it after I’d done a little more research, but I’m just too excited! I’ve decided to open this box the moment after I mail this letter to you. Here goes!
Have you ever wanted to see a film where a poor Leonardo DiCaprio has completely unrealistic expectations for a relationship he’s having with an attractive rich girl where he dies in the end, but you can’t stand Titanic? Then The Great Gatsby is just the film for you!
In case you never passed your sophomore year English class, The Great Gatsby was a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald about Nick Carraway, a young nobody from the midwest trying to make a name for himself in the stock markets of Wall Street. In his time in 1920s New York he becomes disgusted with humanity and life in general, save for one man- Jay Gatsby, his mysterious and ever-hopeful neighbor who has spent his entire life getting rich so he can win back the affections of Daisy, Nick’s rich already-married cousin, and live his live with her like he’s always dreamed.
After watching the trailers, I thought The Great Gatsby would be a miserable, hilarious flop. They seemed to miss the point of the book entirely, which presented New York as a fake and dingy gross-ass town. The trailers made Gatsby look like a high-energy musical filled with bright colors and fun, which is exactly the opposite of what it should be. Luckily, the trailers were misleading. It’s not miserable.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to win anything prizes, but it’s not miserable.
Gatsby opens up with Nick Carraway, now an institutionalized alcoholic (?) describing his misadventures in New York city to a doctor who cannot act. He has trouble expressing himself, so the actor playing the doctor tells him to try writing down his thoughts. Nick does, and so the rest of the story is told as a retrospective through fades and clumsy typewritten words flashing onscreen, which looks horrible and breaks several rules of cinematography.
Speaking of looking horrible, Gatsby’s visual style is a kaleidoscopic fever dream of colors, sparkles and sounds driven by sex and alcohol. The camera whirls, spins and fades through make-out sessions and confetti while Jay Z blasts his anachronistic beats in the background. That is not a joke. The director has made the interesting and eyebrow-raising choice of spending millions on the settings and costumes of a period piece and then throwing all that money out the window and peeing on it be playing dubstep and other hits from today’s Top 40s over the party scenes.
It’s clear that the director was trying to convey the feeling of these parties to today’s kids, but it’s also clear that it didn’t work. The music only serves to break immersion for regular moviegoers and make the confused tweenage girls on their cell phones giggle for a second before texting their bff about how great the movie they aren’t watching is.
And there WILL be tweenage girls, and they WILL be talking. The theater I was in was filled to the brim with tweenage girls and their bright, floating blue phone lights at the front of the theater made me wish I was set up in the projector booth with a sniper rifle. Can that be a thing? Can that be a position in every theater? Someone who snipes phones? That’d be fun. If I’m ever president that’ll be a job I’ll create to stimulate the economy.
Anyways, the movie’s alright. You don’t need to see it if you’ve already read the Great Gatsby, and even if you haven’t it’s not an amazing love story by any means. I always like seeing how movie adaptations of films handle the subtle nuances of symbolism and metaphor that famous novels seem to convey. The Great Gatsby film portrays the novel’s famous symbols with all the tact and nuance of a disgruntled mutant horse bashing you over the head with a brick.
Gatsby lives in a mansion across the bay from Daisy. The end of Daisy’s dock has a green light on it. The light represents Gatsby’s desires and how he can’t quite reach them, etc etc. It’s one of the most famous symbols of all time. The film, in addition to showing the green light in the first and near-last shots of the movie, makes appearences about every 15 minutes and has Nick literally tell the audience what it means and how it’s significance changes throughout the story several times.
They do something similar for the eyes of T. J. Eckleburg, another famous symbol, but it’s not nearly as bad as the green light.
I’m accentuating the negative of course, but still. The movie is fairly mediocre and it’ll fade from the public’s memory until they decide to make another adaptation of Gatsby in forty years. I must say, the movie did make me laugh more than I expected it to. It had a lot of fun awkward silences and Leo making weird, angry faces while staring off into the distance.
The actors that aren’t the doctor are pretty good, but Tom and Jordan’s actors completely steal the show and play their characters perfectly. Nick’s actor is good and Leo DiCaprio is fine in the role, but it’s sure not going to net him that Oscar he still hasn’t won.
Not to mention, whenever he says “Old Sport,” which is a lot, he says it in a British accent, so it comes out “Old Spor’.” It bothered me every single time.
In short, it’s not the worst movie, but you’re not missing out on anything if you don’t see it. In fact, spend those two and a half hours playing The Great Gatsby video game instead.
I give The Great Gatsby 6 “‘ELLO OL’ SPOR’, ‘OW’RE YOU THIS FOINE DAY?”s out of 10
If you’ve never played a Fire Emblem game before, then this is your wake-up call. (HAH!)
Fire Emblem: Awakening is the latest installment in the Fire Emblem series, and currently the only legitimate reason to buy a 3DS. Seriously. There is no other reason. After the massive disappointment that was Paper Mario Sticker Star, I figured Intelligent Systems would have to do something fantastic to clean up their mess, and I was not wrong. Fire Emblem is my favorite gaming franchise ever, and this is a more-than-worthy entry into the series.
FE:A introduces many new features, most notably the option to pick between Classic Mode and Casual Mode. In classic mode, as in all other FE games, once a unit dies they’re gone for good. Casual Mode is for new players and people who don’t like to restart over and over again to avoid losing your mages to that same damn sniper equipped with Astra how did he even get Astra, Snipers can’t even learn Astra aaaaAAAAAAHHH-
*ahem* But I digress.
The other big feature is the emphasis on pairing up in battle and forming bonds! Support conversations make a triumphant return in this game after they were horribly muddled in Radiant Dawn and absent altogether in the mediocre Shadow Dragon. Now most units can form bonds with anybody and have hilarious support conversations with all their friends and rivals! Supports give units stat bonuses, and once they reach the S Rank, they even get married!
Forming bonds is a big part of the story and the game’s main gimmick, though it doesn’t feel gimmicky at all. Two units can use the Pair Up function to move as one, give each other bonuses and attack one enemy at the same time. The friendlier your units are, the better the bonuses and the higher the chance of a Dual Strike. I ended up having each of my units paired off at all times throughout most of the game.
FE:A features the return of the My Unit system from some Japanese Fire Emblem title we never got over here in the states. You can customize your own unit and they’ll be poorly shoehorned into the storyline! Speaking of the storyline, it’s not very good, and Chrom, the main character, has about as much personality as a cardboard box with a smiley face drawn on it. The storyline isn’t awful, per say, but compared to the masterful storytelling of Fire Emblem: Tellius (Path of Radiance + Radiant Dawn) it just falls flat. Though that’s hardly a fair comparison as I would vote Fire Emblem: Tellius as the best-scripted Nintendo game of all time.
There are a few aesthetic changes in FE:A that I think greatly improve the game. For one thing, it’s voice acted now, and I don’t mean that mumbling drivel that called itself “voice acting” in PoR and RD. I mean professional voice acting. Each unit has a set of unique voice clips that plays when they attack, defend, defeat an enemy, receive assistance from another unit in battle, and land a critical hit. Hell, I ended up using some units just because I liked their voice actors so much and liked hearing them attack other enemies, such as dragon stripper up there.
The game’s artstyle has changed dramatically, and I really like it. The characters have a sharper, more streamlined look and it’s getting hard to look back on FE‘s previous art styles and not cringe. FE:A has about a dozen or so full motion video cutscenes, and they look gorgeous, especially on a system as small as the 3DS.
Enough about aesthetics. How’s the actual gameplay? Well, for one thing, it’s horribly addictive. I currently have about 70 hours logged on my file. I’m pretty sure that’s approaching Skyrim levels of gaming addiction. The battles are fun and it’s fun to level up. However, there are two big issues at the core of the game, and one of them is a tad spoilery so I’ll save that for later.
The first is that the player can- at any time during gameplay- summon the “phantoms of fighters” from other Fire Emblem games and beat them up for extra experience points. This is one of the few times you can actually grind in a Fire Emblem game, and it’s kind of a double edged sword. In some instances, for whatever reason, you may actually need to grind. Maybe one of the bosses is kicking your ass or you just lost a lot of units recently because you weren’t paying attention. However, some people might find this grinding feature makes the game a bit too easy. It’s simple enough to make nigh-invunerabley broken units in this game as it is, they hardly need the help of all your least favorite FE units from years gone by to push themselves along.
Not to mention, the fights are kind of boring after a while. You can only slaughter Mist and Edward as revenge for them dying on you so many times before it gets old. Of course, some of the levels are always pretty difficult, especially the final bosses and heroes from each game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they did this. It’s awesome, both for replayability and making hardcore FE fans cream their pants from all of the references. It just makes the game a tad easy is all. Especially because you can use Second Seals to keep de-leveling your units so you can level them up forever until all their stats are capped and they have every ability you could possible want.
Now, this next bit is technically a spoiler, so if you want to go into the game totally blind I’d skip to the bolded “end spoilers” line below and read on from there. Personally, I think that knowing this beforehand helps you out later in the game, but it’s your call.
As it turns out, half the recruitable characters in this game are your children from the future. When a pair of units gets married a new level will be unlocked and you will be able to recruit the child unit in that stage. Each female unit has one child, dragon stripper included, which means one of your characters canonically has sex with her. The child’s stats are determined by both of their parents and they take one Skill from each parent (whichever is last on their skill roster at the time.) Also the father determines the child’s hair color. I married my unit, a Mage-type person, off with this Trickster girl.
My unit passed down Rally All, which powers up all stats of surrounding units, and Anna here passed down Acrobat, which allows a unit to pass any kind of terrain that would normally slow them down.
Because the kids each get a stat boost from both of their parents, they’re just flat-out better than all the units you spend the first half of the game fighting with, so you will probably spend the endgame with most of your core group consisting of buffed up future children, like I did.
Not to mention, there becomes a bit of a desire to create the perfect unit out of the kids because you can manipulate their stats, class, and hair and some people will marry units off just for this purpose. It’s weird, and it reminds me of those crazy people who play Pokemon using EV training and natures to get THE MOST PERFECT POKEMON OF ALL. I’m not a fan of weird metagames like that.
Normally I don’t mind having awesome units in my party, but the problem with the kids is that… well, they’re just not as interesting as their parents! I don’t like them as much and, as weird as it sounds, I grew a connection to the parent units from the first half of the game. I cared when they took damage and when they died I wanted to reset the game so I could save my favorite candy-sucking thief. The kids are just… featureless powerhouses. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not as bad as Chrom. He’s zero-dimensional while the kids are all just one-dimensional. Their personalities tend to be one-note, and it’s usually not a very good note. Examples include Bitch, Letch, Coward, and- in the case of my own daughter- completely insane.
This causes the same problem that Shadow Dragon had. I didn’t care about my units, and if you don’t care about your units the game just won’t be as much fun.
The game has some other, minor flaws. On Hard Mode (normal mode, actually, they call it Hard mode though) enemy reinforcements appear and attack on the same turn, which is pretty darn unfair. Also a lot of battle outcomes are determined by the random number generator’s likelihood of Dual Strikes. These are all fairly minor flaws, though. The game is outstanding, and while it has a few significant differences that might throw hardcore FE fans off at first, it’s definitely worth buying. I haven’t played Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon yet, but until I do I’m convinced that this is the only great game for the 3DS that isn’t a remake of something overrated from the N64.
If you’ve got extra money laying around after your purchase, then you’re in luck! You can by a chock ton of DLC maps, none of which I’ve played because I’m frugal! But I’ve heard it’s good! Not to mention, players can send out their MyUnit along with 9 of their best fighters for other players to fight, so you can prove you’re the best!
Also it’s music is awesome. Did you know the same woman composes all the music for Fire Emblem and the Paper Mario games? Well, besides Sticker Star. But that’s not really a game anyway.
I give Fire Emblem: Awakening 9 “DON’T MESS WITH A BUNNY!”s out of 10.
And I haven’t even mentioned all of the classy merchandise yet.
Check it out, we finally finished this thing! It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but here’s the first 44 pages of Cucumber Quest dubbed with a very nice soundtrack to boot! Hope you enjoy.
The second half of the Prologue is, for the most part, already recorded, but mixing and composing won’t start for at least three weeks because I need to finish up a semester of art homework. At absolute best the next video will be out in a month and a half. After that I’ll probably finish up the barely-awaited Baccano! Abridged! 5, which is also mostly recorded at this point.