This week’s recommendations are going to be for some anime, games and books that are good entertainment if you’re looking for something to fill some short spurts of downtimes. Whether it’s just one of those days where you’ve got an hour here or there to fill… or whether it’s simply you wanting something with a bit less of a commitment, these suggestions are for you.
Rayman: Origins (Game)
Platformers are typically great choices for low-commitment games because they tend to be fairly segmented. Levels, worlds, planets, or whatever – depending on the game – break it up into manageable pieces, if you can bring yourself to quit that is. Rayman: Origins was one where the levels were all very reasonably sized, but it was so good that I found myself having trouble tearing myself away without a reason.
It has incredibly tight mechanics, a great colour palette, a fun and lively soundtrack, and optional crazy challenges – if you’re into that sort of thing. I can’t think of a better game to sit down with if I just need to let a bit of time pass.
Sabagebu: Survival Game Club (Anime)
Now I know this anime is still airing right now, but it is just too perfect for this list for me to possibly pass up mentioning. Not only is each episode an individual and relatively complete story on its own, but there’s actually three shorts in most episodes. These shorts are largely self-sustaining, although they rely on some previous character knowledge so I do recommend watching them in order, and they’re absolutely hilarious. This is one of the shows I virtually never pass up the opportunity to watch as soon after it comes out as I can, but for those of you just catching up – it’d be great as a title to watch in your downtime.
Final Fantasy Dissidia Duodecim (Game)
Final Fantasy Dissidia, and Duodecim, were PSP 3D fighting games based off the Final Fantasy series. Their goal, when the game was made, was to recreate the excitement of Advent Children’s fight sequences in a game. Now, I wouldn’t say they quite live up to that goal, but it’s certainly close and it’s one of the few fighting games I’ve ever played that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.
With fights only taking a few minutes, and with the Vita and PSP both featuring absurdly efficient sleep modes… Dissidia and it’s prequel Duodecim are both amazing choices for those brief bits of downtime. And, if you’ve ever wanted to see Sephiroth win or get to see how Cloud stands up against Lightning… well here’s your chance.
Starcraft: Liberty’s Crusade (Book)
Liberty’s Crusade is a fairly short book retelling the events of the Terran campaign of the original Starcraft game. Don’t let that scare you off though, it’s told from the perspective of a civilian – a reporter – in the Starcraft universe and it does a great job of explaining the basic concepts and giving you an introduction to bring you deeper in.
I can speak from experience that you do not need a background in Starcraft lore to appreciate this book – in fact, I firmly believe it is the best starting point if you want to get into Starcraft. It’s an amazingly detailed retelling of a story that, while interesting, initially lacked much depth and it is short enough that it is a great first taste… but also a great book to go back and reread if you love the Starcraft universe as much as I do.
Have a great week and I hope these recommendations help to fill any gaps in your schedule! As always, if you have any suggestions of your own, or if you want to share your opinion on any of the above… feel free to comment!