March 6th, 2008

Bishoujo squad!

Finished series: Maria-sama ga Miteru OVA

We've finished watching Maria-sama ga Miteru OVA. My first-episode review is here. If you haven't ever seen any Mari-Mite before, you better start with the first one, by the way.

Every 'episode' of this is fifty minutes -- twice as long as a 'normal' TV episode, so there is more room for plot development. That is sorely needed, because every episode/OVA is sort-of standalone. There are only five episodes at that.

Most of these episodes take place away from the school, which allows a fresh perspective on the relationship between Yumi and Sachiko. And while they are similar at school, outside there are quite a few differences between them -- and this series does a good job of showing us what that means for the two of them.
The first episode is about Yumi visiting Sachiko's summer house, and getting embroiled in the intrigues between rich families -- she is completely out of her depth, but her honest character wins the day. There is an episode where the girls try to help Sachiko over her intense dislike for boys, with limited success. The last episode is about the school trip to Italy. This all serves to deepen our understanding of the characters of the girls, their differences but also their similarities.

There's not much more to say about it. It's a must for the Mari-Mite enthusiast, but it won't win anyone over.

Good points:
- As usual, good quality;
- A new look at the situation.
Bad points:
- More of the same, despite the change of scenery.

All in all, a 7.5.

Finished it!

I played through Serenity, a set of Doom levels co-created by xaviar_nl.

Great fun -- these are my kind of levels, where a lot of thought has gone into the layout, and there are lots of things to tinker with. The monsters are kind-of low-key (most are possessed marines or sergeants), which I like a lot. The shotgun saw the most action. The levels are not hard (at the level I played it at), the challenge is in solving the puzzles to get to the end.

I liked the first episode of Doom best -- the later episodes have too large levels, that sprawl all over the place, with lots of tough monsters behind every corner. I'd rather not run around with both guns blazing, but explore the level and think about where to go next. The Serenity levels certainly allow you to do that.

At each level, a letter is part of the map. At the first level it's an 'S', the second level has an 'E', etcetera -- all the way to spell 'SERENITY'. That's a neat little detail, and these levels are full of neat little details -- but there's not much serene about 'em, so it's a total misnomer. ;)
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