March 11, 2020

cultivation & cyberpunk

I talk about FFXIV a lot, but actually I’m super casual. I log on twice a week: (1) after the weekly reset to do Eden normals, and (2) on weekends to raid with team.

Last night was reset night, but HGR was otherwise occupied: he was reading a Chinese novel. (It’s a cultivation novel with an EVIL protagonist. It’s not MDZS.) He’s the kind of guy who can only do one thing at once, and right now, it’s reading a Chinese novel. So he wasn’t on FFXIV. I still could’ve done my normals if I wanted; even a solo dps shouldn’t have trouble queueing for Eden on a Tuesday night. But I didn’t trust myself not to embarrass myself without HGR’s expert shotcalling. And I just didn’t feel like it. So instead I played Baldr Sky.

Baldr Sky was the most hyped game of 2019, thanks to our resident hype machine, meisnewbie. He’s been talking about this game for years. If I recall, he purchased a copy for Silver and offered to also purchase copies for Dante and numbers. Gotta support the developers and the industry.

But it’s honestly kind of mediocre. I’m currently on Aki’s route (the fourth route out of six), so I feel qualified to give opinions, even though I suspect a lot of the payoff is in the final route.

 

The good: It’s a cyberpunk dystopia featuring lots of AI and cybernetic mech battles. Aesthetically, this is right up my alley. It’s hard to think of something more up my alley.

 

The bad: The characters, mostly.

  1. The main character is a generic boring lump.
  2. Which makes it wildly implausible that every single girl has a crush on him. Normally, when I read teen romance, I can at least see the appeal even if it’s not my thing. (see: Cardan, Will Herondale, the Darkling) But seriously, Kou Kadokura?? What is wrong with you guys??
  3. Of the girls, ‘Nano’ha and Makoto are terrible, and Aki is bad.
  4. Rain is decent on every route but her own. On other routes, she’s cool, competent, and aloof. On her own route she’s neurotic, needy, and desperate for the main’s affection. Since Rain’s route comes first, it means there was never a time when I liked Rain.
  5. Chinatsu is cool! I like her personality and design, and I also like her character arc in Reminiscence. But her route was disappointing because she isn’t given any narrative agency. Either Kou comes to save her from the big bad GOAT, or he doesn’t; either way, Chinatsu is an entirely passive entity.
  6. Finally, Sora is great; she’s hilarious in Reminiscence (best/worst wingman).

So that means I like two out of the six girls, which is not a great ratio, and worse if you add in Kou. Also there’s a lot of repetition between routes, which makes sense story-wise but is a slog to get through. Did you know [redacted] is in league with Dominion? *hits snooze button*

 

I’ve gotten far enough that I might as well continue for the presumed final-route payoff (and besides, newbie and HGR want to know my THOUGHTS), but yeah, not the best story so far.

Written by Achaius

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