After such a terrible school year where everyone was trapped in the confines of their homes and could rarely — if ever — leave them, it’s good to remember that things are still being made, and people are still working hard to make sure that they are coming this year. Instead of talking about the awful things that happen in the entertainment industry, instead of talking about crunch or other similar atrocities in the business, this piece will be about media that have been or soon will be released that could pique your interest.
A game that is supposed to come out this year, a beat ‘em up about the adventure of a knight that, instead of using weapons, decides to use his fists. Inspired by the combat of “Punch Out!” and “Godhand,” the team has created a game that offers tight combat and a cute little world as you ascend a tower to refine your skills and face bigger challenges. With a very fascinating artstyle, the game looks old fashioned despite its unique gameplay. If you’re interested in giving it a try, there’s a demo on their kickstarter page where the game still gets updated.
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
The final expansion is here, offering one final splurge of content in a game already filled to the brim with such. Play this game to understand what inspired all the other roguelikes that have come after it. Those other games stood on the shoulders of giants, and one of the giant’s names is “The Binding of Isaac.” A ten-year-long love story for a game that has survived the test of time. With nearly ceaseless replay value and now with even more content, “The Binding of Isaac”’s greatest challenge is 100% completing the near dynasty of a game this is.
Going into manga, we have “Monster #8.” A very fascinating story about a man past his prime given another chance at his dream through the strength given to him by a mysterious monster, that dream being a monster hunter and finally joining his childhood friend to fight side by side. I would recommend this a bit more, but due to odd pacing and tonal whiplash, consider this a more niche title. Despite this being a nice story, it moves way too quickly, and frankly, if this ever became an anime, the filler might actually make for better pacing in this case. Regardless, a good idea and some great art.
From action to horror we reach “Mieruko-chan.” Given the ability to see the dead, we get a glimpse into her life as the horrors of the world bargain, threaten and harm her because of her ability to see the dead. While the manga started as a compilation of stories regarding her traumatic life, with comedy being the front and an awful ghostly horror being the punchline, there are now cohesive plotlines and a compelling, active character willing to risk her life for her friends. A good read and strongly recommended.
To Your Eternity
Now to anime. From the writer of “A Silent Voice” (one of the best manga and anime I’ve ever seen) comes “To Your Eternity.” A long-running manga now anime that shows the story of an immortal being as it experiences the history of the world up until this point with the power given to it by a mysterious hooded figure. Through him, you understand the many plights and struggles of living forever as well as the many people he encounters along the way. While not as moving or emotional as “A Silent Voice,” this story is certainly epic in scale spanning a ridiculous amount of time and space.
So I’m a Spider, So What?
Anime and manga are often known for their weird pitches and ideas. This would be one of them. Following the story of a young girl transported to another world as a spider, we watch as she adapts to her new environment and shifts her attitude of survival to comfortable living. Probably the weirdest thing that I’ll recommend here, but the manga was a light taste of rpg fantasy with the twist of both the main character as well as the tone of the whole story. Honestly, it’s quite lighthearted despite the circumstances, and I hope the anime is the same.
Have you ever wondered what Satoru Iwata thought when certain improvements occurred within his industry? How about when he first took the mantle as the CEO of Nintendo? This book is a compilation of Satoru Iwata, former CEO of Nintendo who had unfortunately passed away, and his history in the videogame space. How did he get HAL Laboratory, his previous CEO position, out of debt when he entered the position? How did he manage his people when he was on the job? What were his thoughts on innovation in the game’s industry sphere? All of that and more is answered in this book.
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
By the man who wrote fucking “Eragon” comes his venture into sci fi with “To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.” It’s a rather fascinating book and, with his writing style, proves itself to be a living breathing world with dozens of little secrets and historical bites. I wouldn’t want to spoil this book at all, but it is definitely a strong recommendation for anyone who was intrigued by the fantastic writing in “Eragon.”
All of these forms of media are worth looking into. As my last article of the year, I thought it’d be best if I gave some recommendations as people settle down in the summer and could be exposed to more interesting media through this post. Eventually, I hope you try them all.
Edward Park is a third year student with a BsED writings track. EP909767@wcupa.edu