Having run out of Doctor Who, and with Blake's 7 being too serious/depression/bleak for either of us when we get home from work, we've been looking for a new show. So I Netflix'ed Avatar, on the grounds that the fandom zeitgeist was that it had depth beyond a kid's show, but as it *is* a kids/family show, it wouldn't be ringing the bell on the Depress-O-Meter.
First thoughts (on the first two eps): Eh, not sure. The exposition and pacing are *very* kids-show -- give us more than five minutes of childish banter before a character is contemplating major life changes because their new friend is going away. Also, the fourth-wall-bending (no pun intended) in the snark (i.e. Sokka's monologues) is a little off-putting. But we'll try a few more, although not today, as the disc glitched out on eps 3&4 and I have to send it back to Netflix.
Also, I requested the first few volumes of Monster from the library because wariena's Lunge is fascinating, and the art in her icons of him was gorgeous. Plus chat and soodonim seemed to really like it. So despite the storyline looking like not my thing at all, I figured it couldn't hurt.
First thoughts, still in vol 1 (see review #3): The initial series of story developments have all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the metacarpals, but it's just setup. If we don't get more nuance when the main plot starts, I'll be very disappointed. The art is, as promised, freaking gorgeous and I can tell the characters apart. Inspector Lunge, however, in full-body shots as opposed to icons, looks eerily like Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. The mental image of an amnesiac Ninth Doc (hey, the Eighth had amnesia at the drop of a silk-lined hat -- it could happen) running around as a police inspector is kind of amusing, though. But that also means the story isn't sucking me in hard enough not to be flittering around making silly comparisons and not paying attention. We'll see -- it's certainly quick to read, assuming I can put down item number three below for long enough to do so.
Finally, the thing that's been timesucking anything else I'd read on the bus: SMT: Devil Survivor
I'm almost done with the last ending, which is about two more playthroughs than it really held my interest for, but I saved the one I wanted to see most for last. Atlus did a bunch of really nice touches on the interface -- the fact that dialogue choices start with NONE SELECTED so that you can be speed-buttoning through the chit-chat (just a-button, not L+R skipping) and not accidentally pick something is a really nice little detail -- why it's an innovation *now* I don't know because this is endemic to games with a lot of text, but it needs to catch on yesterday. The branching endings, however, are both nice and irritating. Nice, because it gives some replay value and makes a first playthrough massively non-linear. Irritating, since a bunch feel out-of-character for the rest of the storyline, and I only got two options my first playthrough, neither of which felt IC. But it's the best new game I've picked up for the DS in a long time -- and I'm milking out all of it because I don't have anything really exciting to play next. (On the DS. My PS2 game backlog is staggering, but I cannot play it on the bus/train/subway.)
Battle system is a nice tactics-plus-demon-summoning, and the fusion system is much nicer than P3. A respite from teenaged drama might be nice, though -- c'mon, Atlus, more stories about grown-ups that aren't action-RPGs (the battle system in Raidou Kuzunoha was deeply irritating, though maybe someday I'll go back and finish the game).