It’s the end of another month which means it’s time for another Monthly Summary! I don’t feel like I’ve achieved a great deal on the gaming front this month, but I have started a handful of larger games all around the same sort of time which is incredibly unusual for me. I did dedicate a whole weekend to playing Steam Next Fest demos though so that’s taken up quite a lot of my gaming time anyway. Aside from that, I’ve mainly been catching up on anime, practicing my Japanese reading and working on a lot of blog content for March, as well preparing for my blog’s anniversary next week. Actually, now I’ve summed it all up, it’s been a busier month than I thought…
So, let’s take a look at what I got up to during February:
I only finished one short game this month due to spending a lot of time either starting large games or playing Steam Next Fest demos. Billionaire Lovers was an interesting little game with a valuable lesson to be learned within its story, but I couldn’t help feel like it was a little thin for such an intricate plot. I would’ve personally liked a bit more time with each character before revealing the main plot focus as it would’ve added much more depth and made much more of an impact. With a price tag of only £2.09, I can’t grumble too much and the quality was pretty great for such a cheap game, but it really could have been much more enjoyable with a little more work.
Ace Attorney Trilogy
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei
I’ve been finding it really difficult to stick with games recently which has lead me to start way more at once than I probably ever have before. I started the Ace Attorney Trilogy last month and I’ve only managed to make it as far as finishing chapter 3. If I’m honest, I’m finding this a real slog and not really enjoying the mysteries as much as I expected. I know it’s meant to be a comedy, but I find the whole thing pretty ridiculous and the way people keep changing their statements when you catch them out is just beyond annoying. I’m going to play the next couple of chapters for finish the first game, but if my mind hadn’t been changed by then, then I’m afraid I’m going to drop this one for now. I also made quite a decent progress in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night last weekend. Again, it’s a game I struggled to get into, but I feel like I’ve broken through that now. Although I’m still not loving it, I would really like to finish this one and check it off the list – I’m not in a rush. I finally started Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei and I’ve just started Noritsune’s route. I think I’ve just about reached the stage where I’m invested now which means it won’t be long before I get completely hooked! I enjoy historical otome games at the best of time, but I’m loving the art style and plot so far, not to mention this game has some of the best side characters I’ve ever met (looking at the Sato brothers and Amatsuki’s character, Takatsuna Sasaki)! The last game I started this month was NieR:Automata which won my poll on Twitter. I became super frustrated after I had to start the game from scratch after dying to the first boss, but a few days later I persevered and pushed through to the next stage of the game. I’m still only a few hours in and I don’t have much of an opinion yet, but I will certainly be playing more of this next month.
Grim Guardians: Demon Purge
Just the one purchase this month! I played the demo for Grim Guardians: Demon Purge during Steam Next Fest with WesleyWhale and we had so much fun that we decided to go for it and buy the game straight away! It’s super rare to come across a Medroidvania style game (it’s not actually a Metroidvania) that has co-op play and we also loved that it’s taken inspiration from Castlevania. The demo showed us the first couple of levels, but we’re both eager to play more so I think we’ll be getting stuck into this as soon as I finish Castlevania: Symphony of the Night!
Valentine’s Day: Otome Challenge 2023
#LoveYourBacklog Month: February 2023
I published four posts this month and it feels good to be writing again! I’m slowly catching up with blog content that I’ve had in the works for a while, and although this probably won’t show much until next month, I’m making progress and that’s what matters to me most. The first post I published was the Valentine’s Day: Otome Challenge 2023 post for, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day. I always enjoy talking about otome and it’s something I don’t do enough of, so this was the perfect opportunity to talk about one of my favourite genres! Next was my entry to Later Levels‘ #LoveYourBacklog Month event which was so much fun to write as I’m trying to focus on my backlog this year – it’s also been fun reading other people’s entries too. Next was the very late release of my Top 11 Games of 2022 post which has been in the works for months… I wanted to get this out about 6 weeks ago, but I found it extremely challenging to get it to where I wanted it to be and I can now finally say I’m satisfied with how it turned out. The last post was coverage on the latest Steam Next Fest where I wrote about 10 demos I played during the event with WesleyWhale. We missed the last festival, so it was nice to be able to do this again.
I spent most of my time catching up with anime this month. I’m already on my 8th series of the month, but the main ones that have stood out for me are Nana and Bocchi the Rock!, of course both anime series that are associated with music. I’m currently waiting for this season’s anime to end so I can binge watch everything as there’s been so many anime I’m interested in seeing this time! When I haven’t been watching anime or gaming, I’ve been studying Japanese. I recently bought my first ever app subscription to Migii JLPT which specialises in practice exam questions. I took my first ever practice exam yesterday and passed N5 which I’m super happy about and I now feel more motivated to study. I’ve been reading a short story every day for the past week now as well as continuing with the Sasaki and Miyano (佐々木と宮野) manga, and I can already feel an improvement in my reading! With studying on topic, I’m super excited for the Japanese releases of the otome games Hakuoki SSL (Switch port) and 9 R.I.P. set for release in June! I’m so tempted to preorder these, however, I’m not sure my Japanese will be good enough by then. It’s certainly spurred me on though! As for albums, I haven’t bought anything new this month, but I’m still playing the same 4 on repeat: ユーモア (Humour) by back number, スクラップファーム (Scrap Farm) by 柊キライ (Hiragi Kirai), 朝昼晩 (Morning, Afternoon, Evening) by Mr.FanTastiC and 三千世界 (Universe) by 伊東歌詞太郎 (Itou Kashitarou). They’re all just so good that I can’t stop listening to them!
First up this month is Bitter by ロス (Roce). I first found out about Roce after watching the J-Drama, 美しい彼 (My Beautiful Man), last year when the song Follow was used as the ED. I fell in love with song instantly and I’ve looked forward to Roce‘s other songs since. To my surprise, this song was then announced to be the OP for 美しい彼（シーズン2) (My Beautiful Man S2)! I’ve not been able to watch the new season yet, but I’m so excited to see it and I’m sure I’ll be listening to this song plenty before then.
Next up is my favourite vocaloid song of the month from a vocaloid producer I don’t think I’ve talked about before. The latest song from RuLu , 天命 (Karma) feat. flower is super catchy and I love the instrumentation. RuLu also posted a version featuring vocalist つぐ (tsugu) which is also great, but I seem to be drawn more towards vocaloid versions at the moment, especially when featuring flower!
This is definitely my favourite song of the month, if not the entire year so far. Just a few days ago, １０数年前の僕たちへ (To Us 10 Years Ago) by After the Rain a.k.a. そらる×まふまふ (Soraru and Mafumafu) was uploaded and I honestly can’t tell you how happy this made me! Not only is the song one of the best AtR songs I’ve heard in ages, but this means Mafumafu is also returning after his long hiatus! Also, without going into detail, I’ve had a truly awful week and this song has really lifted my spirits. I’m so happy AtR are back!
That’s all for February! I feel like I’ve had quite a productive month despite having a lot of other things going on. I plan to continue catching up with blog posts and try to focus on the games I’ve got ongoing before starting any more, but no promises…