Best JRPGs for Xbox 360

If you are interested in playing a lot of Japanese role-playing games, it is better to buy a PlayStation. However, there are a couple of great games exclusive to the Xbox 360.

***AMAZING***

Lost Odyssey (2007) – Xbox 360 exclusive

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This is my favourite game. I didn’t buy this game at first because I thought I wouldn’t like the mature looking graphics but I was completely wrong. This traditional turn-based game is a gem.

The game touches on the theme of eternal life. Small spoiler, but the main protagonist is immortal. It’s interesting because immortal players will automatically revive after a few turns. Nonetheless, you’ll still die if all your players are dead. Within the game are short stories on the protagonist’s memories, and they are treasures themselves. If I could buy a physical book containing the short stories, I would do it in a heartbeat. I feel like I’ve learned something about life through reading these stories because it makes you contemplate life… The music is very beautiful.

Blue Dragon (2006) – Xbox 360 exclusive

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This is a great game for the JRPG beginner. This was my first game and it’s a traditional turn-based game. They made a manga and anime adaptation based on this game series because of its good reception. The game is definitely better than the manga and anime.

Tales of Vesperia (2008) – Xbox 360 Exclusive (not including Japan), but will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows later this year.

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My biggest complaint is that you can’t skip cut scenes. If you die while fighting a boss, you’ll have to skip over all the text which is annoying sometimes, especially when you just want to kill the damn monster.

Regardless, this is an amazing game. It’s not turn-based, so it requires button smashing LOL. However there is still strategy involved in the game which makes it fun. The characters are quite likeable. I’ve laughed at several parts of the game because of Yuri’s sassiness.

Since it’s getting the Definitive Edition this year (meaning it will be available on other platforms), do buy the game because it’s so much fun.

***OKAY***

  • Enchanted Arms (2006) – Recommend, but not the best
  • Final Fantasy XIII (2010) – Breathtaking visuals, but I couldn’t get into it
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009) – Couldn’t get into it, but the reviews are pretty good.

***POOR***

  • The Last Remnant (2008) – Don’t do it.
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If You Like… You Might Like…

In this post I compare similar anime/manga/Asian dramas/games!

1. If you like Detective Conan, you might like Ace Attorney (and vise versa)

Both have showed me that people lie all the time and that people will commit murder for silly reasons. Everyone is a suspect!

Detective Conan (also known as Case Closed) is a manga and anime while Ace Attorney is a Nintendo DS game series. Obviously Ace Attorney involves more active participation because you are doing everything. Detective Conan is similar because I always try to figure out who the culprit is before the end of the episode. The culprit is always a character we’ve seen before. This applies to Ace Attorney as well.

2. If you like Liar Game, you might like Kakegurui (and vise versa)

Liar Game is a manga and Japanese drama series. Kakegurui is a manga, anime and Japanese drama. The live-action for Kakegurui is very good. There are very exaggerated moments, but it resembles the anime in that sense. You have to understand that the exaggerated moments are deliberate. This is my order for Kakegurui: manga > live-action drama > anime.

It is similar to Liar Game because the characters are placed into situations in which they have to play games against other players. The winner will win money and the loser will go into debt (we’re talking big amounts of money, like millions of dollars). These series have showed me that people cheat all the time.

3. If you like Your Lie in April, you might like Our Times (and vise versa)

Your Lie in April is an anime that will probably make you cry and Our Times is a Taiwanese movie that will make probably you cry. You might have heard of YLIA but Our Times is very popular as well. It was a highly successful movie in Asia and it’s my favourite movie of all time. I give it 10/10.

Both are similar because a main character tells the other character a lie that is crucial to the plot.

4. If you like Naruto SD: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, you might like Attack on Titan: Junior High (and vise versa)

Both are gag series and the characters are drawn in chibi-style. I enjoyed both, but I liked Attack on Titan: Junior High more. These are pretty funny and they are done by different creators (so not the original Naruto and Attack on Titan creators).

There is also the Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharigan Legend manga if you’re interested. I personally couldn’t get into it.

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5. If you like Fushigi Yugi, you might like Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time. You might also like Scarlet Heart Ryeo

In all three, the female protagonists travel back in time into a feudal period. They are met with a lot of attractive boys.

Fushigi Yugi and Haruka (manga and anime, Haruka is also an otome game) are more similar because the girls are entrusted with a mission that involves travelling with the boys. Scarlet Heart Ryeo (Korean drama) is less similar because the female protagonist stays within the palace grounds.

Now for the ones you probably know already…

6. If you like Death Note, you might like Code Geass (and vise versa)

You probably know this already because both are very popular anime. Both involve intelligent protagonists with huge goals. Light in Death Note wants to become the god of the world and Lelouch in Code Geass wants to rule the world. Both gain supernatural powers that allow them to do things that normal people cannot do.

7. If you like Naruto, you might like My Hero Academia

This is an obvious one. When I watched The Battle Tournament in the U.A Sports Festival Arc in MHA, I was reminded of the Chunin Exams in Naruto. Naruto is the “weakling” who becomes strong, similar to Midoriya. Both are extremely popular shonen shows.

Study Tips & Uni Advice

I’m graduating this month! Sometimes younger readers ask me questions about university so I decided to write a post about study tips. Hopefully this post will help some of you!

1. If you fail an exam, forgive yourself. 

I actually did very poorly on a paper this term (barely passed) because I misunderstood the purpose of the paper. There was the initial shock when I checked my grade, but within ten minutes I was back to normal. I’m not going to let a bad mark define who I am as a person. I know my own worth. This is something I love about myself because I am able to forgive myself immediately. I am not working against myself, but with myself.

For my next paper, I got an A. Before I wrote it, I emailed the Teaching Assistant a lot of questions. I knew that I wasn’t dumb – I just didn’t understand the purpose of the first paper. For my final exam, I got an A and my final grade was an A-.

2. When choosing electives, pick courses you are interested in.

I’ve taken German cinema and Japanese cinema as two of my electives. No surprise, but I got a higher grade in Japanese cinema. The class average for Japanese cinema was lower than German, but I still did better. My final grade was 12% higher than the class average. I firmly believe it’s because I am more interested in Japanese culture and cinema. I know almost nothing about Germany!

3. Do not enrol in a class just because your friends are in it. 

This is something a few of my friends can agree with. Make sure you’re interested in the course too! I didn’t take a Psychology course because a couple of my closest friends were taking a different class. To this day, I still don’t think I learned anything in that class. I wasn’t interested in it at all and similar to #2, your interest in the course will probably affect your final grade.

4. Make flashcards. 

I did better on exams when I used flashcards. I use Quizlet.com because 1) it’s better to use less paper for the sake of the planet, 2) it’s more convenient because you don’t have to carry a stack of cards, 3) it’s easier in the long-term because if the final exam is cumulative, the flashcards are in one convenient location. You don’t have to worry about misplacing them.

5. It’s okay to say “no” to a social event because you have to study. 

In my second year of university, I went to a birthday party during the weekend and my exam was on the Monday. I did horribly… In my third year of university, I didn’t go to the birthday party and I got something like a 97% on the exam. When I told my friend, she was happy for me. I know that birthday parties are important, especially if the other person is a close friend, but sometimes you have to put your grades first. Make sure you actually study during that time!

6. You can still do your hobbies.

I only recently started to watch anime again during the school term. Prior to this year, I used to go cold turkey on my hobbies like watching anime. I do not recommend doing this because I felt miserable, like I was missing a crucial part of my life. Anime makes up part of my identity. Of course, you still have to study. This is not an excuse to not study or not do your assignments. Hobbies are healthy to do, but you still have to do work. My grades improved after I watched some anime. It’s not the sole cause, but it probably contributed to my wellbeing and overall happiness.

7. Treat yourself. 

If you feel proud about an academic or non-academic accomplishment, treat yourself! Buy yourself that ice cream cone or thing you really want. You deserve it! You worked so hard and it’s time to thank yourself because you are important and you matter.

8. Try taking power naps. 

I like to take 10-15 minute naps when I have to study for long periods of time. I don’t know about you, but I can fall asleep very quickly so I always feel refreshed after I wake up from a nap. I use an alarm on my phone.

Top 4 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Song Arrangements

Some of these are from the Chinese TV show, 天籁之战 The Next. Hua Chenyu was a contestant in Season 2 (2016). Each contestant has to arrange a song in only 24 hours and their opponent chooses the song for them. These are my favourite arrangements.

 

1. 我的滑板鞋2016 (My Skateboard Shoes 2016)

This is from The Next. This is Hua Hua’s most watched video on YouTube. The reason is probably because the original is… uh-

Hua Hua

Original

That’s a big difference, right? Hua Hua kept the lyrics the same but changed everything else. He doesn’t sleep when he arranges songs because he is committed to his work. This arrangement is the song that introduced me to Hua Hua!

 

2. 齐天大圣 (Journey to the West 1986 opening)

This is from The Next. Hua Hua’s opponent chose the Journey to the West opening and it’s an old song from 1986. There are actually no lyrics so Hua Hua changed the song completely with rap.

Journey to the West (also known as Monkey King or Monkey) dates back to 1592! It inspired Dragonball and a lot of other early anime titles. I think Hua Hua’s version is a great way to get younger audiences interested in these older stories.

 Hua Hua

Original

 

3. 爸,我回來了 (Dad, I’m Home)

This is from the Next and I chose this video with English subtitles (instead of the original channel) because Hua Hua takes the song and tells a story with it. Jay Chou raps and sings in the original, but Hua Hua does something different here. It’s extremely emotional. Hua Hua’s relationship with his father is good, but this is the song that his opponent chose for him.

Hua Hua

Original

 

4. 双节棍 (Nunchucks)

This is from Singer 2018 and I blogged about this song before. The original singer is Jay Chou but I like Hua Hua’s version better. He adds Chinese opera and makes a lot of changes to the song.

Hua Hua

Original


I chose these arrangements because they are very different from the original songs. I love all of Hua Hua’s arrangements and if you compare his versions with the originals, I’m sure you will agree that he is talented at everything he does. 24 hours is a very short time to arrange a song! Don’t you agree?

Catherine – HIGHLY Recommend this Game!

Don’t let the cover fool you, hahaha! I would say that the M rating is because of some blood, not so much because of nudity. I played this game in front of my parents. No big deal.

When the cutscenes are put together, it is exactly like an anime movie. They have all the cutscenes on YouTube in a couple of long videos so if you don’t plan on playing the game, I really encourage you to watch them!

The cutscenes/story of the game mean a lot to me. Vincent, the main character, is placed into a complicated life situation and he needs to resolve his problems. Whenever I am in a very low mood, I watch the cutscenes and I feel better afterwards. Why? One, my problems are not as bad as his. Two, he is a relatable and normal guy (and in the game, you are playing him). Vincent definitely has flaws, but he’s very likeable because he feels real. Three, he gets out of the mess. Every time I watch the cutscenes and play the game, I learn something about myself and about life.

I love how Vincent gets together with his friend group all the time after work. They meet at the regular bar and it’s a normal part of his day. In the bar you can order drinks, send text messages, play at the arcade, watch the news and talk to the other customers.

Now to the actual gameplay. You have to climb blocks. Sounds simple, right? Each night gets harder and you will be chased by something. My favourite monster was probably the giant baby with a chainsaw. That’s where the blood comes in! Initially, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy climbing blocks but it is actually a lot of fun!!! You have to constantly think of strategies while climbing.

It is challenging but you learn that in order to survive, you must continuously adapt to the situation. I think this is very important in real life too. A lot of the time, things don’t go our way but what we do have control over is our reaction to the situation. Plus, being chased by a monster that wants to kill you is quite thrilling. 😀

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Completing a stage (especially if you win a Gold Prize) is IMMENSELY satisfying. I feel more happy about completing a stage than acing an exam LOL. Every time I complete a stage, I feel more confident about overcoming my own life situation and this will sound corny but completing a stage in the game is like practice for real life…

The soundtrack is AMAZING. Lamb Game between ♂ and ♀ is my favourite, but I love all the songs.

I’ve been in a happy mood for a long time now but if I am in a bad mood, I know that this game is there for me. I finished this game in about two weeks and I’ll play it on a harder level of difficulty next time! As you can see, I can’t stop raving about this game so yeah, play it. Or at least watch the cutscenes and enjoy the music. 😉

华晨宇 Hua Chenyu, the Anime Fan!

My posts about Hua Hua are getting views so I figured that many people around the world are interested in learning more about him.

This is one of my favourite videos of him because he is talking about anime in these scenes. There are English subtitles. ^^ His favourite anime is One Piece. MY FAVOURITE ANIME IS ONE PIECE-

*calms down*

Some of the other anime he likes are Assassination Classroom, Tokyo Ghoul, Naruto, Dragonball, One Punch Man, Attack on Titan, Gintama, and Pokemon. His favourite character in Naruto is Orochimaru. He has a lot of figurines at home and really likes Kaneki. He also has a Chopper plush, Chopper hat, Kaneki’s mask, Dragonball pouch and other things!

When asked if he would rather be King of the Pirates or hokage, he answered King of the Pirates. He explains in the video that pirates have more freedom, while the hokage has responsibilities of taking care of the village. This reminded me of Luffy’s quote when he was talking about being a pirate versus being a hero.

Hero? No! We’re pirates! I love heroes, but I don’t wanna be one! Do you know what heroes are? Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it, but heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!”

– Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)

Related posts:

Superstar Spotlight: Hua Chenyu

Singer 2018 – 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Reactions

Singer 2018 – 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Reactions

Singer 2018 is an incredibly popular show in China. It is always ranked in first or second place on TV in China and it’s watched worldwide. It is a singing competition and the competitors are well-established, famous singers. Obviously I am rooting for Hua Hua (as you can tell by the title and nature of this post). A competitor you may be familiar with is Jessie J from the UK.

I blogged about Hua Chenyu (everyone calls him Hua Hua). You can read it here. I wrote that post in 2017. He gained a lot of fans because of Singer 2018. ^^ He is my number one favourite singer for multiple reasons. I talked about that in that blog post. Hua Hua is truly so talented. These are his performances in each episode, starting from episode 4 (he did not sing in the first three episodes). The show is not done airing and Hua Hua has reached the finals. ^^

Episode 4 – 齐天 Qi Tian

  • This is Hua Hua’s song, not a cover. It’s the theme song for the film, 悟空传 Wu Kong (Remember I wanted to read a novel called Monkey? Wu Kong is the name of that monkey)
  • He won first place
  • He’s amazing at holding long notes
  • He raps in the middle
  • After I watched this video a few weeks ago, I wore all black clothes and pink eyeshadow that day LOL

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Episode 5 – 孩子 Child

  • The original singer of the song is 西樓
  • He’s wearing white clothes and sings at a slower pace. It contrasts from the previous episode
  • This is not one of my favourite performances of his

Episode 6 – 双节棍 Nunchucks

  • The original singer is one of my favourite singers, 周杰伦 Jay Chou
  • Hua Hua made huge changes to the song. I actually prefer this a lot more than the original (I didn’t like Jay Chou’s Nunchucks)
  • It’s rap heavy
  • Hua Hua incorporated Chinese opera – This made the performance one of my favourites from this season 
  • Hua Hua’s stage presence is phenomenal. When he is not performing, he is a little shy and introverted (but so adorable). When he is performing, he is full of confidence. It’s a big change. I love how dynamic he is
  • He came in first place

Episode 7 – 我管你 I Don’t Care

  • This is one of Hua Hua’s songs. Everyone in the audience knows this, which is why he invites them to join him in some parts
  • It’s one of my favourite songs of his because of the lyrics. It’s about being true to yourself, embracing your uniqueness, and not giving a f*k about others’ opinions. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I value being true to myself, even if it means being a little different. If I cared so much about fitting in, then I would not be wearing fruit hair ties or cosplaying as male characters. ^^

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  • Back to Hua Hua – It’s clear that he stands by his own lyrics
  • He placed in first place

Episode 8 – 易燃易爆炸 Super Explosive

  • He is dressed in black because the lyric composer suddenly passed away. He was going to sing a different song but changed it to this at the last minute. It’s his way of mourning her death

Episode 9 – 山海 Mountain and Sea

  • The original is by 草東沒有派對 No Party For Cao Dong
  • The lyrics are quite deep and sad
  • He ranked in fifth place, but I think the performance was wonderful. Up to now, he has always placed in the top three

Episode 10 – 假行僧 Fake Monk

  • This performance is absolutely HAUNTING! It’s one of my favourites 
  • He does a crazy/creepy laugh and I love it!
  • We get to see how versatile he is as a singer. For example, he can sing really high-pitched and we see that here
  • It is a little different, but that makes him unique, special, and it makes him stand out. I understand that some people are not able to get used to this sort of performance

Episode 11 – 平凡之路 Ordinary Path

  • The original is sung by Lion
  • He re-arranged the song. When he arranges music, he does not eat or sleep for two days. It is concerning, but Hua Hua says that he feels joy in doing this. This shows how dedicated he is to his work, and how important music is to him. It’s no wonder that he never fails to deliver amazing performances

Episode 12 – 我 I Am What I Am

  • The original is by 张国荣 Leslie Cheung
  • This is one of my favourite performances of his
  • He came in first place
  • I love the lyrics. “I am what I am… I like who I am…” – This is a theme in so many of Hua Hua’s songs. Common themes he sings about are enjoying loneliness, being true to yourself, and liking yourself. My values line up with his values very well
  • The first thing I noticed was his clothing choice. It looks like he is wearing a bathrobe but I think this choice of fashion goes well with the song’s meaning about being yourself and liking who you are
  • After watching the performance, it is clear that he has experienced a lot of pain. Hua Hua opens up to us through his music. In his childhood, he spent a lot of time alone because his father was always working. Music was what he turned to, similar to what anime did for me
  • It’s a very emotional song. He is almost in tears and the audience is in tears. I almost cried too LOL
  • I almost cried because I was lonely when I was a kid too. I didn’t fit in with the other children at school but I never tried to change myself. At a young age I valued being true to myself. It’s not that I didn’t want friends – I wanted friends who would accept me for who I was. To add onto this – just knowing that he felt pain and loneliness is very sad for me because he is my favourite singer

Final thoughts: The song choices were very deliberately chosen. I know that a lot of non-Chinese listeners like his vocals, but I think it would be great if you could also read English translations of the song lyrics. Then the gaps in understanding will be filled and we can fully appreciate everything he does.

I hope he wins the competition! ^^