Weekly Recommendations – Entry Level

Interested in getting your feet wet in the many worlds of anime? Looking for a game that won’t put too much pressure on you if you’re not familiar with gaming? Looking for that book that’ll get you hooked on reading forever? Well, that’s our theme this week – today I’ll be offering you some games, anime, and books that will be great either if you’re interested in seeing what the fuss is, or if you have a friend and you want the right introduction that won’t scare them off…

Little Big Planet (Game)

The Little Big Planet series is probably the best intro to gaming you could find. Since the games are not story-laden sequels, you can pick up any of them and not be missing anything. Little Big Planet games are half platformer and half creation game. You go through platforming stages to collect costumes, stage parts, and other random collectibles that you can use to customize your adorable avatar, create custom stages to share with others, or just have fun…. it’s simple to play, requires very little commitment, and just offers a great experience both for new gamers and veterans alike.

Nanana’s Buried Treasure (Anime)

If you’re not really into anime… then a lot of the common anime tropes, character archetypes, and otherwise won’t really make resonate. But Nanana’s Buried Treasure is an anime that uses them, but doesn’t rely on them. It creates a fun and happy show based around adventure and discovery… and because of its character driven and lighthearted focus it should never go over anyone’s head.

By the Sword (Book)

We deliberated for a while over which book we should recommend for this… and the one we came to was Mercedes Lackey’s By The Sword. It’s a part of the long-running Valdemar series, but it’s an almost completely self-contained book that does a very good job of providing a great introduction to the world through the tale of Kerowyn. It’s a great entry point into the world, and into fantasy reading in general… and it’s just a really solid book, one of my favourites.

The World is Still Beautiful (Anime)

The World is Still Beautiful was an anime that fast became a favourite of mine… and it’s a great counterpart to Nanana’s Buried Treasure. While Nanana will appeal to people who are looking for something a bit action oriented – a nice lighthearted romp – The World is Still Beautiful will give people who are more interested in story and romance a nice entry. One thing that I’ve noticed a lot lately are shows with a slow burn… it takes a lot of commitment before you get into the interesting content, which would likely scare off people who aren’t interested in anime. The World is Still Beautiful hooks you by the end of the second episode. The second episode really brings the entire show into perspective and makes it all worthwhile.

Eufloria (Game)

Our final recommendation this week goes to a game that doesn’t get nearly enough recognition. Eufloria is one of only a handful of console strategy games to actually work seamlessly. And yes, I am recommending a strategy game as a ‘entry level game’ because of how simplistic they made this game, without sacrificing much in the long run… they’ve removed most of the really mechanically intensive elements of real-time strategy games. And what’s left is a simple fun game that they’ve transposed on a rather charming pastel colour palette to create a fantastic introduction to gaming.

 

Sorry about how late these are coming out – had some complications today that got in the way of getting this finished. But I hope you enjoy these recommendations, whether you’re new to the mediums or not!