Cyberphile

the love of all things electronic.

What’cha Doin’? 1/24/16 — January 24, 2017

What’cha Doin’? 1/24/16

Yesterday was extremely busy for me between work and school. As a result, I didn’t get to play or watch much of anything. I imagine today will also be pretty busy; I have quite a bit of studying to do to catch up for the lack of being able to do so yesterday. I do want to pitch my latest video on YouTube, however, it’s a sort of review on Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Check it out if you haven’t.

I’ve also started recording some Let’s Plays last week, but I’m waiting for opportune times to post them… Plus I still need to edit some of them. More on that later.

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What’cha Watchin’? 1/18/17 – Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man — January 18, 2017

What’cha Watchin’? 1/18/17 – Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man

Well, I watched Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – The Laughing Man last night. It’s quite a trek; 2 hours and 40 minutes of a giant recap episode of the first season of GitS: SAC. And that’s all it really is. There are no new scenes or dialogue, and to add to the disappointment, all of the (English) voice actors are different from the actual SAC series. So essentially, they sum up the Laughing Man plot from the first season of SAC. Ultimately, I would advise against watching this movie unless you’ve already seen the series and just need a refresher on the Laughing Man case. Because, honestly, a lot of the Stand Alone episodes, which are self contained, one-off stories, are really good in SAC, and missing those is a huge part of SAC. Even though I know the movie Individual Eleven will probably just be the same thing, I’ll probably just end up watching that anyway. I was hoping there would be some extra scenes or content kind of like they did with the DeathNote recap movies, but… No dice. If you want to see SAC again, just watch the whole series. If you just want a refresher on the Laughing Man, though, I guess this is okay.

What’cha Watchin’? – 1/17/17 – Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence — January 17, 2017

What’cha Watchin’? – 1/17/17 – Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

I had a little bit of time yesterday (as you may be able to tell from my lengthy review of Majora’s Mask… I still feel like there’s more to say about it though… Maybe in a video, hmm?) so I watched the next thing on my list of things to watch that are Ghost in the Shell: Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is kind of unique in that it takes place after the events of the first Ghost in the Shell movie, but revolves loosely around chapter 6 in the original manga: Robot Rondo. This is kind of weird, because the last part of the first movie is actually what happens at he end of the first manga, so… They had to move some characters and events around. Batou takes the spotlight this time around, and most members of Section 9 don’t even get any screentime. Batou plays the brooding hero this time around instead of the overtly goofy Batou that is in the manga (and sometimes we see in Stand Alone Complex). Togusa and Ishikawa play a decent role too, but the movie is mainly revolving around Batou. The story revolves around gynoids, sex doll robots, suddenly malfunctioning and killing their owners and even attempting self termination. It could be a act of terrorism, so Section 9 is called in to investigate. It’s a pretty solid story (I mean, what else do you expect from Ghost in the Shell?), but what I really want to talk about is the presentation.

MAN this movie looks great. It’s clear that the same artist didn’t draw the characters, as the characters are pretty realistic, especially the gynoids, which gives them this creepy feel, like they’re constantly watching. I almost didn’t even recognize Ishikawa at first. But what they really wanted to show off is the 3D effects. Almost every background is done in CG, as well as many effects, and the animation, especially for the action scenes, are amazing. Ghost in the Shell, at least in anime and movies tends to be a bit whimsical, very black, blue, and neon, but GitS 2: Innocence decides to go with that gritty theme with a lot of browns and rust colors. Innocence depicts a dark and dingy world, that almost seems out of character if you’ve watched other GitS content, but it actually fits and works really well. I would love to see more of this kind of GitS.

Another interesting design choice that I think is fantastic is that a number of events in the movie seem like they could be out of a horror movie, with strange phenomenon, scenes that happen more than once in a strange way, and the way the shots are set up and played out. Even the way the characters sometimes react make them seem like they belong in a horror movie. There’s even a minor jump scare, but not enough to make you shoot out of your seat. I really loved these creepy elements, and again, they really seemed to fit with the story and setting.

Unfortunately, if you’re not familiar with the GitS universe, this movie is probably not the best starting point. You kind of need to know the cast and setting already, and without that, you might feel a little lost. That said, if you’re a GitS fan, or at least know a bit about it, I’d highly recommend this movie. Even if you’re not a GitS fan and just want a flashy, thought-provoking flick, check it out anyway, just don’t expect to catch everything. At any rate, I highly recommend it. Really good movie. Check it out!

What’cha Doin’? 1/10/17 — January 10, 2017

What’cha Doin’? 1/10/17

I got my new 2TB hard drive in the mail today to upgrade from my default 500 gig for my PS4, so I’ve been backing up my stuff pretty much all day… The backup process itself takes about 5 or 6 hours! Luckily the recovery is only about half as long. At any rate, with the new space available for video capture, I may finally be able to do some Let’s Plays for Cyberphile’s YouTube Channel! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’ve been able to read a couple chapters of the Ghost in the Shell manga. I’m a big fan, and it’s neat to see which parts they’ve taken and put to the screen in the various anime adaptations, especially the bits a pieces taken for 2nd Gig. Interestingly though, the main character, “Major” Motoko Kusanagi is almost a completely different character in the manga. In the anime, she’s this cool, collected, strong-willed commander, but in the manga, not only does she start out as a mercenary, but one that is somewhat disrespectful and reminiscent of going through her “teenage rebellion” phase. She can be childish and gets flustered like your typical Tsundere character, not at all like she is in the anime adaptations. Additionally, the members of Section 9 seem to have a sort of disdain for Chief Aramaki instead of the silent respect I’m familiar with in the anime.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – PS2 Review — December 21, 2016

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – PS2 Review

My Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex review is now live! You can read the full review from the Review page, or by clicking here.

Check the About page for links to Cyberphile accounts on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube!

Here’s the bottom line if you don’t have time to read the full review:

Pros

  • Fun 3PS gameplay with a few twists to keep it fresh.
  • Varied, fun levels that never get stale.
  • Well written story that seamlessly ties into the anime.
  • Great voice acting by all the characters you’d hope were there.

Cons

  • Pretty short.
  • Sometimes unbalanced baddies.
  • Batou levels just aren’t as fun as Motoko levels.

Final Score: 9.5/10

If you’re a fan of Ghost in the Shell in any way, you need to play this game. It’s a great supplement to the anime. If you just want to play a fun, futuristic, fresh 3PS, you’re in good hands with this one. I highly recommend it.

What’cha Watchin’? 12/13/16 — December 13, 2016

What’cha Watchin’? 12/13/16

There was a lot to talk about yesterday, so I skipped over the fact that I finished my rewatch of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex this weekend. I’ve been on a bit of a Ghost in the Shell kick, readying myself for the hopefully not bad Hollywood movie coming out. At any rate, I also started watching 2nd Gig, because I’ve never seen it before.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of my favorite anime of all time. The year is 2030, and nearly everyone is cyberized in some way, whether it be prosthetics, or cyberbrains. The world of Ghost in the Shell is dark and dirty cyberpunk at its finest. You follow Public Security Section 9, a sort of task squad specializing in covert, stealthy, and hacking operations. They’ll also do jobs that the police force can’t handle. Each character in GITS:SAC is unique, not only among each other, but when compared to other anime as well. Very few tropes exist in GITS:SAC, and those that do are often thrown on their heads, like the cutesy Tachikoma Think Tanks. The world and characters come together to build a memorable setting for a very interesting story.

Episodes are broken up into two types: Stand Alone episodes and Complex episodes. Stand Alone episodes are one-off, self contained stories, while the Complex episodes cover the large overarching story of the mysterious Laughing Man case that occurred 6 years ago involving kidnapping and cyber terrorism. The Complex episodes are the meat of the story, but the Stand Alone episodes are also stellar. This set-up ensures that there’s a little something for everyone. The conflicts throughout the episodes vary pretty dramatically, but the main overarching theme is human’s advancement in technology and the existence of a soul, or as they say in GITS: a Ghost. It’s all very interesting and through provoking, and when it’s not, it’s action-packed and exciting to watch. The last few episodes are absolutely heart-wrenching and hard to put down (one more episode, just one more!), but it wraps up very nicely. If you’ve never touched the Ghost in the Shell series, Stand Alone Complex is a great place to start.

Did you know that Cyberphile has a Facebook page? Feel free to swing by and get our new posts in your newsfeed.

These “What’cha Doin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

What’cha Playin’? 12/8/16 — December 8, 2016

What’cha Playin’? 12/8/16

Didn’t have too much time for games yesterday, was pretty busy with work and school, and am currently running on 4-5 hours of sleep, but I had a good streak of matches in Garou: Mark of the Wolves with some guy. I won some, he won some; I genuinely had a good time. Ggs, friend.

I’ve also been slowly rewatching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and I’m on the last 4 episodes now. Really solid series with great characters. More on that once I finish it.

Though I didn’t get a chance to try it out, Rocket League got an update with new arena/s, so check that out if it interests you.

Did you know that Cyberphile has a Facebook page? Feel free to swing by and get our new posts in your newsfeed.

These “What’cha Doin’?” posts are designed to spark discussion, so feel free to post in the comments what you’ve been playin’, watchin’, or listenin’ to lately.

What’cha Doin’? 10/27/16 — October 27, 2016

What’cha Doin’? 10/27/16

I’ve made a little bit of progress in Demon’s Souls; 2 more bosses defeated. I’m feeling pretty good about my adventure in it. I’m not having too much trouble, but I did lose 11,000 souls by falling to my death… Twice in a row… Ah well. I haven’t actually seen any content that is new to me yet; I’ve gotten this far in the past. So I’m as far as I can go in the first arch stone, I need to beat an Archdemon to continue, so I’m working on the second area now: the mines. I think I’m at 2-2.

I’ve also started rewatching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. It’s one of my favorites and I plan on watching all of the Ghost in the Shell stuff, so it’s the next logical step. I have to say, episode 2 is fantastic, with the runaway tank. Seriously. A lot of the episodes are stand alone so you can watch them in more or less any order. I’m looking forward to watching more soon.

Ghost in the Shell – PS1 Review — October 24, 2016

Ghost in the Shell – PS1 Review

My Ghost in the Shell review is now live. You can read the full review from the Review page, or by clicking here.

Also, did you know that Cyberphile has a Facebook page? Feel free to swing by and get our new posts in your newsfeed.

Here’s the bottom line if you don’t have time to read the full review:

Pros

  • Fast paced, fun action.
  • Impressive cutscenes and presentation (for the time).
  • Soundtrack.
  • Varied levels and missions, especially the final battle with the last boss.

Cons

  • Over way too quickly.
  • Not very challenging.
  • Repetitive boss battles.

Final Score: 8/10

If you’re a Ghost in the Shell fan, definitely give this one a go; you’ll appreciate seeing and hearing Section 9 in action, plus get a great dose of fast paced and varied action. You’ll just be wishing that there was a little bit more of it in general.

What’cha Watchin’? – Ghost in the Shell — October 19, 2016

What’cha Watchin’? – Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of my favorite series. So yesterday, I decided to watch the original movie from 1995 for the first time.

The ideas presented in the original movie definitely wanted to make you see more, and the Major has a much more Serial Experiments Lain (one of my favorites, by the way) vibe than her trademark cool and sarcastic air she gives off in Stand Alone Complex. It raises some really cool questions like what makes someone human and what if AI could create or otherwise develop their own soul/consciousness? Aside from the question raised, those Ghost in the Shell trademark ideas like thermoptic camouflage, spider tanks, cybernetically enhanced brains and bodies, and cyberbrain hacking remain fully intact. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the character designs as Stand Alone Complex (but remember, SAC came 7 years after the movie), but the animation is spot on. There are a couple of gory yet awesome head explosions, and an amazing scene of the Major tearing her own arms off, synthetic skin and ligaments popping everywhere; really cool, and one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie. If you’re a fan of anything future or cyberpunk and you haven’t watched the original Ghost in the Shell, give it a shot. Just one note: There is quite a bit of nudity, mainly upper body nakedness, so just be aware of that going into it. At any rate, it makes me excited to rewatch Stand Alone Complex.