Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons
Black Magic shall rule over all

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Demi Gods, Dog Gods and the Undead

Just received some of the items that I bought from E-bay.
One of them was the Wonder Woman animated movie that came out some time around last year that completely escaped my notice. Then again, like I said, comic book break.
The movie is quite obviously what you would expect of Wonder Woman’s first animated movie; it’s an origin story. We get to see the birth of Wonder Woman from an excited teenager who wants to see the outside world, to the superhero we all know and love, as she takes on the God of War Ares and his minions. If there is anything about the movie that I could seriously complain about, its that they add some random airplane pilot into the mix, who introduces Wonder Woman to the outside world, is the very first man she’s ever met. As the story goes on, they seem to fall in love, and at the end, it seems they are at least living together.
Edit: I’m an ass. I just found out that that guy has been there from her earliest beginnings. My mind is blown.
Personally, I am against this for one specific reason: Wonder Woman, in my eyes, will never be tied down. Especially not to someone who is completely human. I actually don’t agree with Wonder Woman falling in love with anyone; to me, she should always stay a virgin. To me, that’s just part of her mythos. Still a good thing movie though; I would recommend to any fans of Wonder Woman or anyone with a passing interest in the character.
Another purchase was the first two movies in the Evil Dead series, Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. I didn’t buy Army of Darkness because I already have that movie on VHS. I’ve been a fan of the series for quite a while now, so getting to watch the first two movies in the series is really cool. So far, the only one I’ve seen though is the first movie. I was actually genuinely surprised by how violent the movie was; Army of Darkness was never anywhere near this violent when I first watched it. This one has people getting stabbed, mutilated, and there’s even a instance where a woman is raped by tree vines! It’s like the director Sam Reimi was a fan of La Blue Girl before he made this movie. The violence isn’t anything large by today’s standards, but it was enough to make me a little wary. I don’t have much of a stomach for gore sadly. Big reason why I have yet to see Ichi the Killer. Still, it was a very entertaining movie, and it was very interesting to see main character Ash as a bit of a coward rather than the badass he is portrayed as in every other Evil Dead movie. At least the vine rape scene wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it wasn’t very graphic at all, nothing like the aforementioned hentai. I also liked the movie’s visuals considering just how old the movie was and the small budget that it was shot with. It’s obvious why fans were so interested in the movie. Highly recommended. I have yet to see the second movie, but I will most likely post about it once I actually get around to watching it.
Also bought about three Poke’mon TCG theme decks, one being one of the World’s champion decks. I’m genuinely surprised by how much the card game has changed from when I was a kid. Namely, most of the poke’mon from the original sets would get their asses killed going into battle with some of the newer ones. Its crazy. Everything from damage to hit points has been severely upgraded. The decks have proven a lot of fun, and my sister and I got them mainly just so we could catch up on the current events of the card game.
Also decided to buy Trinity Universe, the PS3 game made by the kings of mediocre JRPG’s, Idea Factory and Critical Heart. These are the same people that made Cross Edge, Record of Agarest War, and upcoming in America, Hyperdimension Neptunia. A lot of people generally hate the company due to their legacy of making substandard JRPG’s. I  have actually come to like their games; maybe it’s the otaku in me, or maybe it’s just a general thing for shitty games, but something about them attracts me. Anyway, the story of Trinity Universe is very simple: a dog god named Kanata is trying to find out how he can save the universe without being turned into a gem, a play on the kanji making his Japanese name, InuMaou, or Demon Dog King. By taking one part of his Kanji and adding it to another as shown in the opening video, this name becomes Demon God Gem. He thus needs to be turned into a gem like his ancestors in a ritual so that he can protect the capital of the NetherUniverse from being destroyed. However, doing so means his life will end without going on an adventure, and he thus brakes out of jail with his loyal vassal Tsubaki so that he can find a way to cure his lust for adventure, and save the capital at the same time without being turned into a gem. The game, like most crossover RPG’s, is absolutely hysterical. It was localized by NIS America, the same people who localized the Disgaea series. While their localizations are not always accurate, they have a real knack for injecting the series with huge amounts of humor, which really shines in this game since the Disgaea characters make an appearance. The interesting thing about this game is that, unlike Idea Factory’s other games that I’ve played, the character’s are rendered in 3D as opposed to 2D. While the graphics for the 3D portion are mostly middling, the 2D graphics are amazing, with the characters moving and talking as the speech comes. It looks really amazing, particularly on a HD TV. The battle system is something like Xenosaga ep1, where you press three buttons to attack, basically weak, strong, and magical, all of which will drain your AP as you attack. Certain enemies are weaker to certain types of attacks, and certain attack combos lead to special attacks which hit for big damage.
Another thing that sets this game apart from the rest is that this game features two different playable protagonists; the aforementioned Kanata, and the Valkyrie Rizelia. While I haven’t played as Rizelia yet, her gameplay is supposed to be harder than Kanata’s, and her story features more Gust characters while Kanata’s features more Disgaea characters. The game so far has been highly enjoyable, and in particular I have really come to like Tsubaki, the Yamato Nadeshiko with an evil streak. She happens to be voiced by Ayana Taketatsu-kun, the voice actor for Azusa in K-on. Hearing Ayana-kun talk in a delinquent voice when she gets angry is ridiculously hysterical, especially coming from her. Definitely will keep playing this. I’ll post about Rizelia’s gameplay after I beat the game with Kanata.

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Blog design

Yes, for the first time in this blog's history, I have updated my blog's design to reflect my current tastes/obsessions ^_^;
Let me know how you like/dislike the new design as a comment!

Also, new blog update coming soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I tried out Pokemon Black and White during the week, and was pleasantly surprised with how the game is. Nintendo has really tried to revamp the game with what they did in Black and White. The graphics have been changed to really take advantage of the DS graphics capabilities by displaying the game in almost true 3D. Plus I really like that the MC’s are teenagers rather than the same 10 year olds we’ve been playing as since Red and Blue. It’s really a nice step in the right direction for the series, since people have been getting slightly tired of the same shit every single time. I personally was getting tired of playing as 10 year old kids considering I’m 21. I also really love the new interface of the game, as it just seems much more cooler. My only complaint would really be the new Poke’mon. Some of them just seem like really dumb ideas, or rehashes of older ideas. I personally believe the same thing everyone else believes: Nintendo is running out of ideas for new Poke’mon. It was something we all knew would eventually happen, but all considering it happened pretty fast. This is only Generation Five after all. I’m not planning on playing the game very much though. I’m not having any problem at all even if it is in Japanese. I just don’t want to play the game much because once it’s localized and hits the states, I’m going to have to beat this game all over again, as well as start my Poke’mon collection all over, something I really don’t want to do. In the meantime I’m just going to fool around with the game and see what kind of new Poke’mon are in it. I do like Mijumaru though. Along with playing the game, I have also been watching the JP version of the anime, Poke’mon Best Wishes, and Mijumaru is turning out to be a popular character. He’s ugly as all hell, but the little guy has a ton of personality. So do Tsutarja and Pokabu. Let’s just see how the English anime decides to butcher them with changed names. I admit though, I wouldn’t mind if they named Tsutarja with his fan name, Smugleaf. To me, that’s a perfect name for him. He’s grass, and he’s smug. So why not lol?

In anime, I’ve been watching some of the new fall anime, and I’m surprised. I like it a lot.

The first anime I’m going to talk about is Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls. What is this anime? I’ll tell you in simplest terms: It’s Ikki Tousen with the Japanese Sengoku period rather than the Three Kingdoms era. Quite frankly, I love this anime so far. It’s everything I ever could have wanted: Japanese history with Ikki Tousen style girls and fighting. What’s there to hate? I’ve only seen the first episode so far, so I’m not going to talk about it much, but seriously this anime looks awesome.

Another anime that I’ve been watching is Kami Nomi zo Shiru no Sekai, or The World only God Knows. The story is about a high school boy named Katsuragi Keima, who is known as the “Capturing God”, famous for capturing bishoujo female characters in bishoujo games. Supposedly there has never been any dating sim that he has never beaten. One day he gets a request to capture a select group of girls through an anonymous email. After accepting the challenge, a girl comes from the sky named Elsie and reveals that she is actually a demon, and that other demos have been leaking into local human girls, threatening to take over their souls. The only way to save these girls is to fill their hearts with love by having them fall in love the main character. Problem is, the main character may be godlike in dating sims, but in real life, he is a complete otaku who has never even held a girls hand before, and the entire school regards him as an otaku that’s best left unknown. What to do…

The anime is actually really funny and obviously pokes fun at a lot of typical anime and bishoujo game conventions. Plus I have to like any anime featuring an otaku character. Knowing me, I’ll be watching this anime all the way until it’s through.

The next anime will be Yosuga no Sora. This anime is about a twin pair, the older twin brother, Kasugano Haruka, and the younger twin sister, Kasugano Sora. Both of their parents were killed in a violent car crash, and they have decided to move back to their old country town so that the two of them can simply live together. There, they reconnect with their old friends and possible love interests as they try to live a normal life. Now just by hearing my short-ass description of the story, would you be able to gather that this story was actually extremely ecchi? You wouldn’t, would you? Well, believe it or not, it actually happens to be one of the more ecchi stories I’ve seen in quite a while. The funny thing is that the ecchi isn’t all up in your face, like Ikki Tousen, Hyakku Ryouran, or even Eiken. Yet at the same time, the story happens to top all three in sheer ecchi factor. How? Not only with implied twincest between Haru and Sora, but with one character actually masturbating on screen, an actually shown lesbian sex scene, and a just about fully shown sex scene in which the only thing missing, was both characters genitalia. Hell, it even showed penetration!!! It mind-fucks you at how such an anime can be shown on non-late night television programming when even the breasts are shown. The only time there was ever any censoring at all was when Haru was playing with his girlfriend! It literally ends up being more ecchi than any other anime I have ever seen that wasn’t a hentai. I just don’t know how they get away with this shit. I’m having a hard time even talking about it just because I’m still kind of in shock from what was in this. Yeesh. I would definitely say that this anime is 18 and over. I wouldn’t particularly call it a good story though. At many times it’s supposed to be similar to Key anime, with lots of touching and sad moments. But the problem is that this anime doesn’t give me enough reasons to actually care about the characters in it. Its not like I hate all the characters in here, like I did with Higurashi, but there’s only about two characters I like, while everyone else in there I just….do demo iin da. I just plain don’t care. They’re not interesting. At all. They do nothing to make me like them. At all. But I have to keep watching this anime just to find out where they go from the sex scene. It’s like watching a train wreck: you just have to see what happens next despite the journey to it isn’t all that exciting. If you like to see some crazy snippets of hentai, then this anime might just be for you. If you want an interesting story that will keep you in, then you might want to watch something else.

I’ve also been watching the other anime that happens to be based off of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms that features hot anime girls: Shin Koihime Musou. The story is basically a retelling of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms storyline with almost all the legendary warriors being attractive females. It’s differences from Ikki Tousen include the story: as opposed to these girls being the fighters resurrected in modern day Japan, these girls actually are the original fighters in China. Another difference lies in the fighting: As opposed to the realistic or spectacular fighting shown in Ikki Tousen, the fighting, from what I’ve seen, is more in line with how you would have expected the characters to fight; amazing for their universe, but these girls aren’t jumping fifty feet in the air or doing 100 hundred sword slashes in the span of 2 seconds. Also, the characters are really pretty likable from what I’ve seen so far. I don’t know exactly which Koihime series this is, as they are multiple, but once I get the name I’ll post it here.

Other anime I’ve been watching is Sora no Otoshimono. No, not the second season. The first. I know, I’m behind. Anyway, this anime I highly recommend; it’s a fucking riot. The story is about a normal everyday high school boy (what anime isn’t? >_>) who one day meets a being named Icarus, who calls herself an angel sent simply to make him happy. The story is a one hundred percent complete comedy as you could imagine what would happen when an angel that literally makes anything and everything possible lands for your average Japanese teenage boy. Best part is that the Angel is na├»ve and provides a huge amount of deadpan humor. There’s also the main character, who’s a complete pervert but is otherwise normal, his childhood friend who happens to have a crush on him, and his older sempai, which consist of an extremely serious young man who truly believes in conspiracies and other worlds, and the student council president who happens to be the heirest of the local town Yakuza. It’s exactly the type of story I love: Randomness at its best. Once I finish this I’ll just start watching the second season.

Let’s see…another series that I’m watching is the second season of Strike Witches, a series a practically fell in love with two years ago. The series is takes place in an alternate timeline where WW2 never happened. Instead, the human race was attacked by a sentient alien race known as the Neuroi, and all of the world’s armies have had to unite to fight off the alien invaders. The only one’s capable of fighting off the Neuroi are girls with magical power known as Witches, who all use special jet boosters on their legs in order to concentrate all of their available magical power, and so that they can fly and lift heavy weapons. Since the Neuroi typically take the form of and fight as jet planes, the Witches then take to the skies in order to fight the Neuroi. The first season ended with the main cast of Witches apparently having ended the war by taking out the huge Neuroi hive above England, freeing most of Europe from Neuroi control and apparently having ended the war peacefully by opening communications with friendly Neuroi.

The second season opens by having a different squadron of Witches talk to the friendly Neuroi that main character Yoshika found during the course of season one. However, before they have the chance to speak, A humoungous Neuroid hive opens up behind the already huge hive the friendly Neuroi came out of, and completely destroys not only the friendly Neuroi hive, but most of England with it. Main character Yoshika and her squadron of Witches are then called back to duty, as now all Witches must come back on deck in case the war escalates again. The second season is much like the first; very entertaining with quite the spattering of fanservice, and I will continue watching the anime, as I was a very big fan of the first season.

I also got to see a movie I’ve been wanting to see for quite a long time: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. I really wanted to see it after seeing the trailer for it in Batman: Mask under the Red Hood. The story is basically a retelling of Supergirl’s origin story, the one where she is the other survivor of Krypton. In my opinion, it’s a really well told story with everything that makes a comic great; great fight scenes, great story and great story. As a one-sentence synopsis of the storyline, it’s Kara Zor-L story as she lands on Earth, learns how to be an Earth girl, control her powers, and eventually gets kidnapped by Darkseid, and Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman must travel to Apocalypse to rescue her. Maybe it’s simply that I have general interest in Supergirl and her future counterpart, Power Girl, but I enjoyed the story. I know among comic book fans its apparently a subject of mixed reviews, as some people think the movie is one of the worst movies DC has ever made. I think it’s actually rather good, I don’t know. A lot of people just hatred the movie for no real reason.

On that note though, while I am very happy that Power Girl is getting her own series, I would like to see her receive something of a movie. The only time she has ever been on screen in a DC movie was in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, where she was the only super hero who continued to side with Superman and Batman after they were framed by President Lex Luthor. I understand that she is the butt of pretty much every joke considering she has the largest breasts of any character in the DC universe, but that doesn’t mean that she has to constantly get joked on. She has proven time and time again that she is extremely capable, and even owns a large company dedicated to helping people and the Earth. So why does she get no respect? She’s the Rodney Dangerfield of the DC universe. Oh well. Hopefully DC does something with her.

I also decided to get back into Comic books after my little hiatus from them months ago. I got back into them back in Feburary by buying the Witchblade Omnibus Vol. 1. Witchblade has always been one of my favorite comics, along with its sister series, The Darkness. The art more than anything appealed to me. While a lot of comics have middling artwork, this series has consistently had amazing artwork. Plus, getting to stare at main character Sara Pezzeni in various states of nudity always helps. I also primarily got into The Darkness after playing the amazing video game based on it for the PS3, as it was one of the first games that I got for the system. I bought the Omnibus because I wanted to read the characters story from the beginning. I just want to point this out now: I am primarily a comic book reader, not a collector. I don’t have nearly the paycheck to cover that kind of a hobby. I buy comic books so that I can read the story, not so that I can sell them off at auction. This reason is why I usually buy compilation graphic novels rather than the single issues. If you can get the single issues right from the beginning as soon as the series starts then fine. But once the series has gone pretty far, a bunch of the issues are going to become collector’s items, and then you’re going to be paying huge amounts for the one comic. Lord help you if you if it’s a popular character like Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Spider-man, the X-men or the Incredible Hulk, because you can easily wind up paying way more than $100 for the single issue comic, particularly if the character goes back into the Silver Age, or god-forbid, the Golden Age of comics. What also makes a comic’s value go up is if it was a significant portion of the characters history, like Wonder Woman’s recent redesign, or the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin. If the comic specifically wants to get read by a quite the amount of people, you can usually expect the price to go up. In case you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a pretty much a DC reader. Their comics just appeal to me slightly more than Marvel. Maybe years of getting pawned in MVC2 has made me come to hate Marvel lol. Though if there’s any character in Marvel that I am interested in reading, it would probably be X-23. Probably because she’s going to be one of my mains in MVC3. From what I understand, she’s gotten her own series, so I’ll try to check that out. I just don’t like how everyone is blowing her off because she’s a clone of Wolverine, both literally and figuratively. People didn’t blow off Akuma, and he’s basically a Ryu clone. Hell, at least X-23 has a different moveset from Wolverine, which is hard to say for Akuma. Though I will admit, the fact that she looks like a character from Twilight doesn’t exactly help matters. I do like how they incorporated her foot claws into her moveset, because unlike Wolverine, who just does repeated slashes, she does whole circles, so her moves look similar to Juri’s pinwheels.

The other character I’m looking forward to playing is Trish and Dante from the Devil May Cry series. While I would have preferred DMC4 Dante, 3 Dante wasn’t so bad, so I have no problem with it. He does look like a beast though, sort of how Zero looked in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Trish looks like she is going to be beasty keep-a-way with her lasers, her sword mode looks badass, and she can fly. Can’t wait to play her.

That’s actually the funny thing about this game. I’m actually excited for this games release. There’s a ton of characters in here that I am actually interested in playing: Trish, Dante, X-23, Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Morrigan, Hulk, Deadpool, Tronne Bonne, there’s just so many I might have like three teams when the game hits, just because there’s so many characters I’m interested in playing with. First time I’ve been excited to play Marvel in a while. Once I get my items, I’ll post again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Made some new purchases for my PSP.

They are four games that I have been dying to play as of late: Star Ocean: the First Departure and the Second Evolution, as well as Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth and Y’s Seven.

It’s kind of funny that I went and bought the first two Star Oceans when I still need to beat 3 and 4, lol. 3 I’ve actually been right at the end of Star Ocean 3 for quite a while (since last year), but never had the desire to finish; something I really have to do sometime. 4 as I’ve said I am still near the beginning, and I’m continuing to play that as well.

Seeing as it’s the only one that I’ve played so far, I’ll talk a little about Star Ocean: the Second Evolution. The second game in the Star Ocean saga and the first in the series to reach the United States, Star Ocean the Second Story was one of the biggest selling, and highly regarded RPG’s to reach the Playstation during the 1990’s. Unfortunately overshadowed at the time by the Final Fantasy series, the Second Story was a marvel as to exactly how big an RPG can get, offering hours upon hours of game play, along with 80 different endings that took in account everything from what you did and didn’t do over the course of the game, to how well you got along with the other characters. Star Ocean the Second Evolution rebuilds on the original by using improved graphics, an improved engine, voice acting, and a redone translation, all for the Sony PSP. I’m still in the beginning of the game, but if there’s any one complaint that I can bring up now, it’s way the voice acting is done. It’s not particularly bad; I’ve heard way worse voice acting before. It’s more that when the voiced part kicks in, there’s no way to skip it. You have to wait until the voice acting is done before you can advance to the next part. This is all well and good except that it slows the game down tremendously when you have to wait for everything to finish before you can go on with the game. And when the characters are just having inane, dumb conversations, it’s enough to make you want to throw your PSP through a window.

Another complaint that I have with the game is that this is one of those rpg’s that let you name the main character. Now, I don’t have a problem with this, that’s all well and good. The problem doesn’t lie in that. See, when I play a game that lets me name my main character, I typically name my male characters Tatsuya or Tetsuo, and my female characters Kokoro and Yoriko. In this particular game, I named the main character, Claude, as Tetsuo. So I’m just playing through the opening intro of the game, cursing the game for it’s lack of Japanese voice acting as the (self-admittedly decent so far) English voice acting continued to play. Then the characters father says “come on Claude. The text says Tetsuo, but the voice actors calls him Claude. What? Why? Why would Square Enix do this? Why give me the damn choice to change the main characters name when the voice acting is going to call him Claude anyway? Any RPG in which you can name the main character never mentions his name. As an example, this happens in the entire Persona series, in which the main character is never named, it happens in Final Fantasy X, and even in Dragon Quest. Why would you have the voice actors say the main characters name when you can change his default name?!?!?! The worst part is that Square Enix made this blunder when they obviously have done this before, with Final Fantasy X! So why would you guys do something that you know is a mistake?! Yeah, it’s a small mistake, but its big enough for me to notice. Its horrible when the text says “Let’s go, Tetsuo!” and they say “Let’s go, Claude!”. Grates on the nerves.

I’m still at the beginning of the game, but the game is still a lot of fun so far. It’s like every other Star Ocean game you’ve ever played, but the battle system happens to be in 2D rather than the 3D used in Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. I’m planning on playing the First Departure after I’ve gotten a little more play time with Second Evolution.

Lately all of my time has been spent playing Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and Pokemon Platinum. I’ve finally managed to beat my main nemesis, the damn Giadrome. It was a long fought battle, but I finally managed to do it. It got to the point where now I can kill his Giaprey cronies without breaking a sweat, and I just need to focus a lot more when I fight Giadrome. I’m so ridiculously happy that I stuck with the game; it’s so much fun once you get past your wall and can dig into the meat of the game. I’m just dreading the day that I have to fight the damn Tigrex. Ugh. I haven’t had this much fun with a game since Demon Souls!

In Pokemon Platinum, I’m actually pretty sad right now. My sister, after all the years of trying to convince her, has finally picked up the series after I bought her a copy of Pokemon Pearl. The best part about it was that she fell in love with it instantly. She’s even watching the anime and the movies with me now, and wants to see my old tapes with the first season. She’s even asking me to battle with her. Bad thing is, I’ve had Platinum since March of this year, but I was so busy playing other games (namely Castlevania at the time) that I didn’t have much time to get into it more. Long story short, my sister has logged 130 hours in pearl, and is at the Elite Four, while I only have three badges and am getting ready to fight the fourth. I tell you my ten-year old self would have been crying about how lame I got. It’s not even like I’m having a hard time with the game; I just have a ton of other games I need to play, and I’m busy with other responsibilities, like cooking, cleaning and work. My sister, on the other hand, had nothing to do almost all summer, so she had all the time in the world to go at the game hard body. Then I got her Soul Silver since she wanted to play the other Pokemon games, and she’s now got 7 badges and on her way for the eight Johto badge. I tell you, I am so sad right now. My own little sister can whoop my ass in Pokemon, what the fuck. I think one of the problems that came from playing this game is that the game is so fucking slow. Since I haven’t played a Pokemon game in a while and since I’ve been playing a lot of noticeably faster games (Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi, Monster Hunter) the game just feels like it’s going at a snail’s pace. Still, I don’t think Nintendo could ever create a Poke’mon game that’s not fun. No matter how you look at it the Poke’mon games have always been nothing but non-stop fun from beginning to end, so I could totally see the series continuing for a huge amount of time.

In the game my main team consists of my Empoleon (who just evolved J), a Staravia, and a Eevee, which is I still don’t want I’m going to evolve it too. My sister also traded me her Alakazam so that I could use it against some gym leaders and so that I could level it up for her. What makes me laugh is that in pearl she has 130 hours logged in and hasn’t faced the elite four yet, whereas I now have 5 badges (got two last night J) and only have 10 hours in. At this rate I’m gonna beat the game in maybe 15 hours. Yeah for speedrunning lol. Once I beat the elite four I’m going to about building my official team. For Eevee, I’m considering evolving him into either a Jolteon or a Flareon, since I primarily like to use Electric and Fire types. I could then try transferring my Electrode from Sapphire into Platinum, for another strong electric type. Then again, can I even do that? I’m also planning on getting a Magneton, as he was one of my favorite electric pokemon. The dude used to learn just about every Electric attack in Red/Blue, but I don’t know how he is in the newer entries. I might also try to get his evolved form, Magnezone, as he also seems really powerful. I don’t like the new evolution for Electabuzz, Electavire, so I might not try to use him. Though it depends on how good some of the moves he learns are. If he turns out to be a decent Electric type then I’ll just try to give him a shot. I often sometimes choose my Poke’mon based on how strong or how cute they are, quite frankly, so if he doesn’t have some good things going for him then I’m pretty much going to drop him. From what I heard though, Thunder and Zap Cannon are not the strongest electric-attacks in the game anymore too, which is sad, since they were some of my favorites. A lot has changed since the good old days of Red/Blue, and many of the things that were once concrete knowledge in my mind no longer apply. Oh well; it all feels like a whole new game now, so that just adds to the fun of the whole thing.

The funny thing is that now all players, whenever they complete seriously in something like a Poke’mon League, they all tend to mix up the types of their Poke’mon so that they can all cover each others weaknesses. An obviously sound strategy, but I miss the days when everyone used to only use one type, like actual gym leaders. Increases the challenge anyway so whatever.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Received most of my purchases from Ebay in the past week.

The Monster Hunter Doujinshi turned out to be a giant compilation volume featuring the first five doujinshi in the series. It really is very nice; it’s great to be able to read this in my hands rather than through my computer screen. Very glad I made the purchase as the quality is very nice. For anyone interested, get these, even if you’re not a fan of Monster Hunter; the art is amazing.

Also received the Arcana Heart manga series. I haven’t really finished reading the second volume because I’ve been playing Dissidia and Poke’mon Platinum almost all weekend as well as doing some cleaning, but I’ll talk about it more once I get the chance to read it.

I also received the set of 20 screws for my psp. I have an older psp-1000 that broke, but I’ve been purchasing some parts to fix it. Basically, one day when I had noticed that there was dust trapped underneath the screen, I decided to open it up to clean. Funny thing is, that if I was smart I would’ve purchased a plastic casing and screen protector for it and wouldn’t have had to deal with the shit in the first place. Funny hindsight. Anyway, I had no real idea at the time of how to open it, so I basically just took the smallest screwdrivers that I had at the time and started unscrewing everything. Thing is, I didn’t know that there were two screws in the battery case that you must remove to remove the casing. I did not want to do this at the time because doing so cancels out the warranty. Long story short, the casing cracked a little, I couldn’t clean anything, and since I didn’t screw everything in all the way, two of the screws fell out. This thus means that you could literally open up the PSP with your hands. Then since there was not enough pressure on the analog nub, the analog nub was stuck reading as up/left if you did nothing with it, and if you press down the PSP itself, you could move it around but going up was very slow. After talking with my high school friend Neo, he diagnosed it as a pressure problem caused by the screws not being screwed in. Analog nubs go specifically by pressure, so if there’s a lack of it, it will not read correctly. Since I had a defective PSP at a time where I wasn’t going to be able to fix it easily, I decided to just say fuck it, and buy a brand new PSP so that I could play some of the new games on it. Didn’t regret it at all. However, now that I have an Ebay account and can purchase the necessary items, I’ve decided to fix it myself and get some custom firmware on it, with a little help from Neo, since he has a Pandora battery. Now that I received the screws, all I’m waiting on is the new white faceplate to replace the broken one. I’ll let you guys know when everything is done. And I am definitely getting a screen protector and case for this one. I am not letting this one die on me too.

Edit: Will post pics of the Ebay items when I get the chance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things keep on rollin', rollin', rollin'...

In games I haven’t really been playing anything because like I said, I’ve been trying to save money due to bills, plus I have a large amount of games that need to get played.

In these games I’ve basically been playing a lot of Raiden 4, and Persona 3 portable, which is still a great psp game.

In anime, I’ve managed to completely catch up with the releases of High School of the Dead. The first two episodes of the series really didn’t leave their mark on me at all, mostly because I grew to hate some of the characters. Like I’ve said before, if I start to hate the characters in an anime, the anime itself won’t leave much of an effect on me. However, I’m glad I decided to stay with the anime. The next few episodes got about ten times better than what the first few episodes were showing. The series has come to be another one of the anime that everyone who watches anime will be watching, but at the very least this one seems to be worthy of all the attention and hype.

One of the funniest things about this anime is the quality of the voice actors in this series. Komuro’s voice actor, Suwabe Jun’Ichi, also happens to do the voices for Claw in Street Fighter 4, Grimmjow in Bleach, Relius Clover in Blazblue, Lars Alexanderson in Tekken 6, and finally Archer in Fate/Stay Night, not to mention Seymour Guado in Final Fantasy X. The voice actor for Saeko, Sawashiro Miyuki, also did the voice acting for Cammy in Street Fighter 4, Carl Clover in Blazblue, Elizabeth and Chidori in Persona 3, Weiss in Arcana Hearts 3, Momohime in Muramasa, Velvet in Odin Sphere, and Perrine in Strike Witches. She also happens to be one of the few voice actors who voiced a character in their Japanese and English adaptions, because Sawashiro-kun also happens to speak fluent English. Rei’s voice actor, Inoue Marina, also happens to have voiced Chiri Kitsu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Tsukiumi in Sekirei, the Female Protagonist in Persona 3, Petra in Arcana Heart 2, and Kohaku Hearts in Tales of Hearts, as well as Alicia in Valkria Chronicles. Then you have Kohta’s voice actor, Hiyama Nobuyuki, considered to be one of the most prolific voice actors in the history of anime. He’s done voices for Hiei in YuYuHakusho, Marik Ishtar in Yu-Gi-Oh!, Joe Higashi in various SNK games, Batsu in Justice Gakuen, Demitri Maximoff in almost every game the character has been in, Nightmare/Siegfried in the Soul Calibur series, Wilhelm in Xenosaga, and even Angel Salazar in the Japanese dub of Scarface. As though that wasn’t enough, you then have Kitamura Eri, the voice actor for Saya, who also did voices for Saya in Blood+, Kokonoe Rin in Kodomo no Jikan, Kakoen Myousai in Ikki Tousen, Rimi in Chaos Head, Kureha in Sora no Wato, Kawashima Ami in Toradora, and Juri in Street Fighter 4. Then of course, you have the voice actor for adorable little Maresato-chan, who was voiced by Taketatsu Ayana, who voiced our equally adorable Azunyan. I mean, seriously, the voice actors in this anime are some top-notch talent considering this anime had very little hype and the manga wasn’t all that popular outside of the US (at least to my reckoning). Not to mention that the art for the series is amazingly great. You can tell the creators really put a lot of feeling and money into making the anime as great as they possibly could.

One thing Joe was speaking to me about is what the series is going to do once the first season concludes. The manga of the series is at this point on yet another hiatus. The manga was put on hold for almost the whole of last year because the creator decided to take a break. My theory is that it was a combination of the creator not being used to writing a serial publication (he’s only done doujins in the past, and this is his first) and working on the anime, which was probably kept hush-hush to surprise everyone. At this point though, I don’t think the creator is going to have any time to continue writing the manga now that he has the anime to finish. This means either two things. One: the anime will end with season 1 and will continue in about a year or two while the creator continues or finishes the manga. Or two: they will continue the anime with a second season and will create filler while the manga catches up, going on their completely own story arc. Joe is banking on the second option, because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care; he just wants the anime to continue so he can keep watching it. I actually hope that they use the first option. I have seen way too many animes get butchered when they try the same option, like Naruto, Bleach, Ikki Tousen.

On top of that, I’ve also been watching the Japanese versions of Sailormoon. Like many of the people who grew up in my generation, Sailormoon was one of the animes that got me into anime in the first place. I remember back when I was around 8 years old, I would wake up at around 6 in the morning (normal for me now, as early as pitch-black night for me back then) just so that I could watch Sailormoon and DragonBall Z before I had to go to school. Both animes were unlike anything I had ever seen before, in that they were cartoons with storylines, personalities, agendas. In other words, a cartoon that wasn’t just dumb jokes over and over, made to hold the attention of little kids. Here was something I could really watch all the time. I remember back then I used to cry if I overslept and missed even one episode. I’m not even going to bother talking about the plot of the anime, because if you don’t know the plot of this anime or have never seen it before, you need to give up your anime nerd license right then and now. I will say though, that if you can, you should try to watch the anime in its original Japanese rather than the English dub. Like most people know, the English dub of the anime is extremely horrible, as was most anime translations from back then. Now I just need to try to get the third, fourth, and fifth animes to complete the series. Hopefully shouldn’t be too hard, considering how many people try to get this anime. If anything I can always buy the dvd’s off of Ebay.

Aside from those animes, I of course have been watching the newest episodes of K-on. Also, as I know people are addressing, the fact that episode 20 feels like the last episode of the series, continuity-wise. I got to say, that episode was sad. I gave the anime a huge amount of shit during the course of this blog. The second season itself started around the same time that I started writing this blog, so it feels like this entire I always talked about how bad it was yet I just couldn’t stop watching. Now that the series is actually over after all this time, I feel so sad that it’s ending. It’s almost like I didn’t know what I had until it was gone. More than anything, what made me depressed was the ending. Just seeing them all crying when the realization that high school was almost over hit them, made me remember when my high school days were over. I really think I was the only one in my entire year who nearly cried from thinking that high school was over. High school was really one of the best times of my life, because it was there I had found my best friends, friends that I still hang out with to this day. I guess I almost cried because I was a little scared at the thought I wouldn’t be able to see them every day like before. That time of your life is when you truly realize you’re not a child anymore; you’re an adult who’s going to have to make their own choices about what goes on with your life, and no one is going to take the blame but yourself. That whole realization just comes out as nothing short of depressing for anyone who’s just not that ready to go through that. It made it obvious just how much the girls really care for each other, breaking down when they thought that they weren’t going to be together anymore. At least now in episode 22 they passed their tests and are going to go to the same college. Got to admit, I would like to see a third season of the series. It’s going be very sad to think I’m not going to be able to keep watching the series, and that I’m not going to have a new episode of K-on to look forward to every week. All well, I’ll get over it; same way I got over Fate, Mai-Hime/Mai-Otome, Azumanga and GTO Live Action being over, I’ll get over this anime. I think personally if I could get over Lucky Star being done after all this time, I think I could get over anything.

Also planning on buying that new Hard Drive I talked about a while ago. At the moment between High School of the Dead, Sailor Moon and K-on, my current hard drive is getting to the point where I’m not going to be able to put any more things on it. Thinking about buying a Western Digitals My Book Essentials 1 Terabyte Hard Drive that I saw being sold locally. With a Hard Drive of that much space, I shouldn’t fill the drive up for quite a while. If I could find a cheap one somewhere, I would buy a 2 Terabyte drive, but those are still being sold for quite a large amount of money, and I don’t want this to drive to brake me in the bank department. If I made my 640 Gig Hard Drive last as long as it has, I think a Terabyte is going to run me just fine. What pisses me off is that I wouldn’t even need to do this if it wasn’t for my other drive breaking. I had another 640 gig hard drive that I was using, but one day the electric plug I had it connected to fell and pulled the hard drive down with it, sending it crashing on the floor. Judging by how it was performing and the noises it was making in the drive, my diagnosis is that the pin which reads off of the hard drive broke and fell off, making the hard drive unreadable. Worst part is that I still had about 500 gigs left on it. I’m pretty sure the drive is going to be useless at this point, but a friend of mine is trying to fix it for me. I’m going to buy this new one in the meanwhile because I need it, but if he gets it working, I’m going to look into seeing if I would be able to use it for my ps3. I bought the 120 gig ps3 slim, and the hard drive on that went extremely fast. I have like only 30 games plus some movies and music installed on it, but I’m down to about 30 gigs left. Installing games onto the drive takes off whole chunks of it. I don’t how people with 30 gig ps3’s survive on just that. I don’t mean people who buy the 30 gig then upgrade the drive btw; I mean people who don’t switch the drive out. I don’t think I would be able to do that myself personally. The way I see it, with installing games, the price, and switching between them, I think the PS3 limits what you can do with your game collection. It’s almost necessary to upgrade your HD from the default one Sony gives, because installing games, unlike with the Xbox 360, is just about necessary for every game Sony releases. This means that if you run out of drive space, you’re going to need to spend a couple hundred dollars to replace your HD, then transfer all your data. This also means you’re going to need to carry another HD just to back up your data for when you do the transfer. That’s a lot of stuff for me to have to get. Oh well, a local shop does this for a fee, so I might have them do it for me instead.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My feelings on Street Fighter X Tekken.

The funny thing about this game was that the first time I ever heard of it, it was a rumor thread on SRK. Someone said that someone he knew told him Capcom was in talks to make a fighting game crossover between Street Fighter and Tekken. Of course everyone thought they were talking about Namco X Capcom 2. This was then defunked because the title of the game was Street Fighter X Tekken. This alone means it will strictly be Street Fighter versus Tekken characters. When first heard of the idea and the rumor mills got started, my first immediate thought was that this was some bullshit that someone had thought would be cool. A lot of the rumors started on SRK do turn out to be true, in fact a lot of the time, but like with any site any rumors you read or hear about need to be taken with a grain of salt. I also thought it was a terrible idea simply because of how different the fighting games are. Tekken relies almost strictly on mixups, poking, superior movement and juggles, and lots of knowledge on the frame data of each of the characters. Street Fighter relies on poking, mixups, zoning, spacing, footsies, and just general fighting game expertise. The more you know about the game, the better you’ll be. Not to mention one is a 2D game and the other is a 3D game. How in the world would they be able to do it?

Then I check again and boom, the game was announced. Like any fighting game fan, I viewed it with a mixture of hype and speculation. It just didn’t seem like a viable game to me simply because it just sounded like a bad idea. But at the same time, the idea opened up a lot of dream matches. Sakura vs. Asuka, Lily vs. Karin, Ryu vs. Kazuya, Ken vs. Jin, Bison vs. Heihachi, Cody vs. Bryan, Adon vs. Bruce Irvin, Balrog vs. Steve Fox, Juri vs. Zafina. It’s almost to many to believe, though it all depends on how many characters they are planning on including in the game. It’s kind of a dumb, yet brilliant idea. It’s one of those ideas in which they could go either way, and its success and failure totally depends on how Capcom handles it. To me, they would need to include at least 40 characters. Both series have numerous characters that they could include, and both series usually feature from 20 to 40 characters in each entry. This may or may not come to fruition because they are using new character designs for the Tekken characters. The Tekken designs seem to be primarily based off of the Tekken 6 designs, and the Street Fighters are obviously based off the SF4 designs. In my opinion, this means that Capcom is going to include only characters from SF4, and not other characters from other games, since Capcom has already shown that they are reluctant to make new characters with the engine because it’s a long process that costs them money, similar to SNK with the new King of Fighters. Plus it would mean less time creating graphics and more time fine-tuning the game play. Truth be told, I’m wondering how they are going to balance the game play, because I know the Fighting game community is going to be taking this game very seriously. Capcom thus better make the game some how better than SSF4 in my opinion. SSF4 is cool and everything, but as a fighting game, it kind of feels like ass. It’s certainly fun, of course. I don’t think Capcom is capable of making a non-fun SF. People talk about how SSF4 is very hype, but keep in mind that’s every fighting game. Any fighting game will get hype around a large group of people. Some more than others, i.e. Marvel and Melty. That’s pretty much the nature of the beast; nothing gets men more excited than the thought of battle. Except maybe breasts lol. Just because SSF4 gets hype does not mean that it is a good game. I’ve already talked about how SSF4 can destroy your execution if you allow it to, but it also creates bad habits for players. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen 4 players try to do wakeup Shoryuken in third strike, and fuck up the timing. Do to the brokenness of the move in 4, a lot of players seriously try to catch their opponent with it every single time. Truth be told, even I’ve been guilty of it. I cut it out though once I start playing third strike or turbo. Online, moving close to the opponent on knockdown, backdashing, then punishing their whiffed move on their way down is a completely reliable way to beat many opponents. This however creates bad habits for both players, because how many times have you ever seen a whiffed srk at Evo? This is also why I don’t think playing online is a good way to practice for serious competition. Is it viable? Certainly, if you have a godlike internet connection and have a knack for only finding good opponents who know what they are doing. Is it the best option? No way. Maybe I’m spoiled since I actually have an arcade, the legendary Chinatown Fair, near my home, as well as a pretty large fighting game community here in NY. But even if I do have to pay $1.00 every time I play Street Fighter there, at the very least I’m facing some of the best competition in my state. This is much better than facing random scrubs online before finally facing someone who knows what they are doing. Scrubs don’t care because all they see is that it’s more money that they have to pay. And this isn’t to say I’m cocky. I’m really not. I actually suck at Street Fighter. Tekken, I’m ok; Blazblue; I’m ok. Street Fighter I’m almost free. To the point that with my local comp, that’s my nickname. I wouldn’t say I’m free, necessarily, I’m just still learning, whereas I’m playing people that are seriously good. I’m still learning most of the concept of footsies, zoning and spacing, whereas everyone has these fundamentals down already. That alone means I’m at a disadvantage. However, many of my local players have told me “you’re not very good, but everyone now and then you just change and get surprising. Like all of a sudden you get good for no reason. Then you become shit again. You’re not good at all, but an opponent can’t sleep on you”. Certainly the best compliment I’ve ever received, besides a CF Tekken player telling me “you’re Lili makes me want to learn how to low parry consistently”. That one was very funny. Not to mention how mad some players get when I use Asuka and her Standing 1+2. That’s always fun.

Woah, I got distracted, back to the topic. Anyway, if Street Fighter X Tekken is going to be taken seriously, I believe they need to make the gamer much tighter than SSF4. SSF4 sometimes seems to reward the scrubby player more than the professional at times. I would like to see this game be much tighter in controls and allow the better player to win more often; they especially need to get rid of the games easy inputs. I don’t think that will fly very well with the Tekken players, because the majority of Tekken players prefer their game to be extremely tight. Hence the reason why so many of them use Korean sticks or else pads. They are going to be the very first ones to complain if Capcom gives Tekken the easy inputs.

Another decision with the game that I am intrigued by is that there will be two different version of the game being released: A 2d game using the Street Fighter engine, and a 3d game using the Tekken engine. The main question that everyone has at this point is the pricing, and how Capcom is going to release the games. Will both be separate, but budget priced at $40? Will they release both together for the limited edition price of $80? Or will they be assholes and release both separately at the full price? I personally am banking on the first, because Capcom has already shown they are more than willing to release games on budget-prices (SSF4) and because I don’t think Capcom and Namco would be that dicky about it. Though I do have a strong distrust of Namco because of their utter assery and fail to us Tales fans, but that’s a whole different story. If they were to be assholes and went with the third choice, everyone will either not buy the game or buy only one version. Hell, people would probably wait to buy the games used and Gamestop would make more money than either company. I bet Capcom didn’t exactly think of that. Either way, I think that $60 would be way too much for the game. Now if they released them both together in some collector’s edition set for about $80, then I wouldn’t mind. It’s not like both companies are losing money. They more than make up the money they lose just from SSF4 and T6 in Japan and Korea. But then again, what do I know? They want more money anyway.

I am definetly interested in exactly how the two games are supposed to gel. How are the Tekken characters going to get past fireballs? What are the Street Fighters juggles going to look like? Will the Street Fighters keep their special moves? Will the Tekken fighters get special moves added, and if so what kinds? What is the story of this damn game going to be like? Which characters will be featured? What is and isn’t going to make the cut? How will the fighting system turn out? Will the characters incorporate Chain Combos and Bounds? There’re so many questions about the game and just not enough answers!

In the trailer in which we saw Ryu/Chun-Li vs Kazuya/Nina, I have to say I didn’t see it, but numerous other people did: apparently Kazuya can dash under fireballs. I hope it’s only him. That’s going to be very stupid if they do decide that the Tekken characters will all be able to just dash under fireballs. I say stupid because there’s no skill involved in dashing under them. It will completely nullify any kind of zoning game for Ryu and any other fireballer. The same thing happened in Third Strike; the addition of the parry completely took away from half of Ryu’s zoning game. Which isn’t to say you can’t zone with him in Third Strike; Its just much harder since you can’t spam fireball all day. Still, parries completely neutralized the utter usefulness of the fireball, but at the very least it requires skill to consistently parry fireballs. I can’t see dashing under fireballs as requiring much skill. I was hoping that they were going to come up with some unique addition to the system that would stop people from zoning the Tekken fighters. Hopefully, the window for dashing under the Hadoken will be very tight and require precise timing, or else Kazuya will be the only character that’s capable of it. Another thing to wonder is how exactly the Tekken character’s play styles will mesh with the street fighters. Steve will be able to mix up and overhead Balrog to death once he’s able to get close enough; Ryu and Kazuya will be a deadly zoning game. Nina vs Chun-li will be a basic frame advantage battle between Chun-Li’s FA (if they keep it) and Nina’s 1,2 jabs. How are the charge characters going to play also? You’re not going to be able to sit back and charge while a Tekken fighters just walks up and overhead/juggles you to death, which means characters like Boxer, Dictator, Chun and Guile are going to get owned. I’m 90% sure also that all of the new characters in SSF4 (Viper, Fuerte, Rufus, Juri, and Hakan) are all going to be in the game since they are the Street Fighters with the least screen time. Plus, certain fights would make more sense with them. Shouldn’t Nina fight Viper since they’re both secret agent/ assassin types? Couldn’t the same be said for Anna/ Cammy or Juri? Paul and Abel are both practioners of Judo; the only difference is that Abel relies more on grapples where-as Paul relies more on strikes. What about Hakan vs Ganryu? Hakan is already friends with Honda, maybe he knows another Sumo, or maybe Honda trained Ganryu in the past and wants to fight his sensei’s rival. Hell, maybe Ganryu wants to fight one of the best wrestlers in general out there. Rufus and Bob would be an obvious fight waiting to happen. Knowing Rufus’s low level of intelligence, maybe he thinks Bob is Ken. I’ve always said that Bob is basically Ken if Ken put on 300 pounds. El Fuerte could take up a match with King or Armor King for who is truly the best at Lucha Libre. They’re so many different ways they can take the story that it is ridiculous. Being from how we saw Kazuya in the trailer, I’m guessing this means we’ll be seeing Devil popping up. But yeah needless to say, I can’t wait for this new fighting game.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Feels new yet old pt 4

Hello, everyone.

I bought four new games recently. Here I was last entry talking about how I need to slow down my game buying, and I go and buy four games. Thing is, these games were a true sale. Gamestop was having a large 50 percent off on a lot of their used games, so for some games that I wanted that would have cost me 80 total instead went down to 40 total. I’m also glad that I waited to buy them until now, because I had a feeling they would go down soon enough. Yeah to listening to your instincts.

The first one I’ll talk about is Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. Finally after all these years I have the chance to play this awesome game. I was a pretty big fan of the first game for the original x-box, and still play the psp entry, Paradise, a lot as well. Funny thing is that as big a fan of it as I am, my sister is an even bigger fan. She’s put more than 90 hours into the first game, and I imagine she’ll easily put that much time into this entry. The pro’s about this game:

1) The graphics have been notably improved.

2) There’s way more activities than in the first game. While the first game had really about two activities (not including the casino), this one was around five or six.

3) There’s a lot more stuff to collect for completionists and achievement hogs.

4) Amazing graphics, with picturesque environments and girls.

5) The ability to take pictures during the gravure scenes.

6) Come on, it’s the DOA girls posing in revealing bathing suits for your enjoyment. What’s not to like?

The cons:

1) They still haven’t fixed the problem they’ve had with rendering hair, the same problem from DOA4. It looks as though their hair is made of streamers.

2) The skin problem. The girls skin looks like plastic and not realistic at all. Once again, another carry-on problem from DOA4 and probably a problem with the graphics engine.

3) The independent breast physics. One breast simply goes up to the sky while the other plunges to the ground, as opposed to looking like a sophisticated physics engine. Also sometimes breasts will move for any tiny movement, and sometimes they will move for way too long, or will just stop while girls are moving. It makes it look like their breasts are made of jello. Its completely ridiculous and ruins part of the experience. Easily the biggest and most well known problem.

Pretty much this game speaks to the adolescent gamers in all of us, from back when we could get a boner from almost anything. Those who are past puberty (or who like to act like they are) will past this by calling it a perverts game, while those of us without such fickle tastes will keep coming back for more. Will definetly keep playing this, if my sister gives me a chance lol. Btw, before assholes leave comments on my blog, she plays for the volleyball.

Another game that I got is Ninja Gaiden 2 for the 360. I had been wanting to experience the original version since I’ve been playing Sigma 2 for my hard games commitment, and since I could get the game for basically around 8 bucks, I thought why not. Pros:

1) Maybe it’s because I haven’t played a Ninja Gaiden game in a while, but this one feels much harder than Sigma. I’m playing on normal, and enemies are killing my ass. It’s probably because I haven’t played in a while.

2) The graphics are still really high quality; despite the hardware switch, the game looks really good for 360.

3) The fighting is still fast and furious.

The cons:

1) The included blood and gore in the game slows the game down a lot. A LOT. I had the game installed on my 360 and it still slowed down. A big change since with the replacement of the blood and gore on the ps3 version with purple mist, there was no slowdown at all. Slowdown is also really bad in a game like this because action games like Ninja Gaiden, and Ninja Gaiden in particular, thrive on creating that sense of speed and urgency, which is marred by the game suddenly chugging during a tense moment.

2) The camera is a spastic, chaotic mess. Numerous times the camera will swing 180, go under and above you, and do anything and everything to be a bothersome pest while you get hit by ninja’s that aren’t even on screen. It gets especially spastic when you perform your jumping forward Strong attack (whose name I forget). Maybe you’re enemies are doing it with some meta-ninjutsu?

3) I guess primarily because the game is old, it just feels dated compared to the ps3 version.

For anyone looking to get this, based on my first impressions, I would say it’s best to stick with the ps3 version. Please keep in mind that I have only played some of the first level so far, but this is how I honestly feel when I compare it to my experience with Sigma, as Sigma feels like a more complete and fleshed out version.

The third game I got was for my Shmup practice, Raiden 4. When I saw Raiden 4 on the shelf, I had to buy it just because that game is really hard to find nowadays. I tried to see if they also had Raiden Fighters Aces, but sadly that was a no go. The game plays very well, especially now that I have an arcade stick to play it on. The graphics also really shoot out at you, because they seem like they’re Dreamcast graphics, but they show with a real vibrance when on the 360. The enemies are also very varied in their designs, despite looking like the same tanks and ships we’ve been blowing up since Galaga in the eighties. The only thing I don’t like about this game is that while you can play as three different ships, the game only comes with one; the other two need to be bought through Xbox Live. As a general rule, I generally hate on DLC where it seems the content should have been on the disc from the damn beginning. At that it seems as though they are trying to exploit the fanbase by charging for shit they should not have the right to be charging for. Do to that, I will not buy the DLC for this game, as I find it ridiculous. Besides that unfortunate setback, I’ll definetly keep playing this, as I find it a very interesting shmup. Recommend it to anyone who wants to try shmups out.

The last of the four games that I got was Lost Odyssey. I kind of wanted this game back when it was first released since it was made by the amazing Hironobu Sakaguchi. What turned me off about it though was the graphics: I prefer anime style graphics in my RPG’s rather than attempts at making realistic characters. Still the story is very interesting, as it tells the tales of special beings known as immortals; for some strange reason these beings have been given the gift of immortality, and many of them have lived for more than a thousand years, in particular our main character Kaim. There’s not many RPG’s out there in which you can play as immortals. I only played the game for a few minutes, sadly, as after a while I just got too bored to keep playing. The very beginning of the game didn’t keep me entranced as much as I hoped, so I just saved and quit. Plus at the time I got a serious urge to play Disgaea Infinite. I’ll come back to this and give it more of a chance, seeing as how I’ve kind of short-changed the game by only playing it for about a half hour. It’s not my fault that the game didn’t really grab me with the prologue, though. Any good game should be able to grab you from the get-go, otherwise, it’s not a good game the majority of the time.

I also managed to get the updated soundtrack for Blazblue, which includes the new music found in Continuum Shift. Just like with the first game’s soundtrack, the new song’s are sex to my ears. I especially love “Nightmare Fiction, Ragna vs Hazama”, “Gluttony Fang, Hazama’s theme”, “Howling Moon, Valkenhein’s theme”, and “Alexandrite, Makoto’s theme”. Another one of note that I’ve been listening to lately is the vocal version of Tsubaki’s theme. Tsubaki’s voice actor seriously has a set of pipes, because her singing in that song was top-notch.

Speaking of Continuum Shift, I managed to get the True Ending. If you don’t want to hear spoilers, then don’t read any further.

I got to say, I was slightly disappointed in the fact that Ragna defeated Mu-12 so easily. He basically just punched her armor off and that was it. I think Noel crying when Ragna was near death pretty much solidified which pairing the creators are shipping if it wasn’t already obvious from the first game and this one. Not to mention now they’re shipping Jin and Tsubaki. Then, when you think about it they are also shipping Ragna and Rachel. Also I find it pretty funny that storywise Jin loses every single fight he is in, including Mu. Nigga can’t get a brake huh? By the way, what in the hell was up with Lambda sacrificing herself to save Ragna (which makes sense), Ragna being slightly saddened that she died (uh, I thought you hated her?), and then her turning into dust (?) only for Ragna to absorb her particles and engine so that he could combine the powers of their shared fake Azure Grimoire as well as her Murakumo engine in order to be able to beat Hazama (wait what?!). Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a clearer moment of Deus Ex Machina in my entire life. The only thing that would be worse would be if God himself shot a bolt of lightning at Hazama that killed him. I mean it would make more sense if Nu was the one that fused with him, since they are originally supposed to storywise. Except it also doesn’t make sense since if they did fuse, they would become the Black Beast and destroy everything. Lambda just has Nu’s soul; that doesn’t mean anything for them fusion wise since it’s not the same body. I could understand Lambda sacrificing herself to save him. That’s understandable. But fusing with him, and powering him up to the point where he can defeat Hazama? Come on, guys, that’s like Ichigo gaining the powers of a Quincy so that he can take on Aizen in Bleach. Then after he finally has Hazama on the ropes, he leaves to stop Noel from killing Jin, Hakumen and Rachel. So you mean to tell me, Ragna, that you’ve been spending the entire game trying to kill this guy, yelling about how badly you’re going to kill him, then when you finally have him on the ropes, ready to die, you leave. Yeah, smart Ragna, real smart. No wonder you’re the main character. So anyway, no one dies but there’s an even bigger surprise. Not only is Saya, Ragna and Jin’s sister, alive, she is the head of the Librarium. Holy shit. That was a real genuine shocker. Not to mention that Jin actually knew, and just never felt like sharing. According to him, Saya was the one that gave Jin Yukianesa. Not to mention that for some reason unbeknownst to us all, Saya is working with Relius Clover and Hazama. Also, Tsubaki and Litchi are now working for Hazama. Litchi is working for him because he promised her a cure for Arakune (which is so not a lie >_>) and Tsubaki because of her unwavering loyalty to the Librarium. Tsubaki’s reason I could understand, since she’s been taught from an early age that serving the Library’s head is the meaning of her existence, but Litchi’s seems like she’s just grasping at straws here. Like, damn girl, is that big black blob really that important to you? He’s gone past the point of no return, just give it up. It seemed like the developers were simply trying to find a reason to keep her in the story without her being background, which is sadly what was happening. More importantly, what the hell is it that Saya is trying to do by working with Hazama and Relius in what looks like a plot to destroy the world? What the hell is the point? At the end, Jin has apparently left to train with Jubei to control Yukianesa, Noel has left somewhere with Makoto (I presume to try to find Tsubaki, could be wrong), and Ragna and Tao are journeying to Ikaruga together “because Ragna has something he needs to do there”. What that is, we probably won’t know until the next game in the series is released. I’m just glad that the story is still really interesting and good, unlike most fighting game storylines. So far, I’ve completed Ragna, Jin, Noel, Rachel, Hakumen, Hazama and Taokaka’s storyline. I was in a bit of a rush to get the True Ending. All I need to do is unlock the rest of the character’s storylines and complete the rest of the one’s I have already. Thing is I haven’t really been playing storymode because I’ve been playing training, challenge and versus more. I’ve been getting pretty serious about learning Tsubaki to a competent level, because I really want to challenge people with her at CF. She’s so much fun to play that I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of her no matter how much I use her. I’m also trying to learn how to properly mix-up with her because sometimes I repeat the same combo. I also discovered that if your opponent sucks, you can do:

5BB, 2BB, 5CC, 236A, 214A, 22D, 6CC, hjcC, jcCC, 236A, 214C, for a decent amount of damage, though it doesn’t work on everybody. The reason why I say “if your opponent sucks”, is because when your opponent bounces off the wall, they can tech out of the second C in 6CC. I could see a lot of mixup opportunity with this though, so I’ve been in training trying to figure out what possible mixups I can do from there for the maximum damage opportunity. I might need to rapid cancel the hits though, to make it safe. I’m also trying to not to look up too much info about the game, because if I am going to be serious about this, then I don’t want to be an X-copy, and want the shit I know with her to be unique, not something you can find on Dustloop or another site. The good thing about the combo I listed is that if my opponent sucks and doesn’t know he can tech out at that junction, I can just continue the combo for some good damage. My main problem with Tsubaki is that in order to get any kind of sufficient damage with Tsubaki, you need to charge with her drive. Problem is, I can never find any reasonable opportunity to get the charge, even with her 22C combo ender. A lot of characters get up and rush once they see me charging, thus I need to abandon the charge before I can get even get anything from it. Then the thing is I can do the crouching charge, which has less recovery, but it charges much slower. By the time I can get any decent charge, the rounds almost over. I end up either just trying to use her charge special, which gives her full five charges for 50 heat that will slowly go down after a while (wtf?), or abandon the charge all together and just focus on mixing up my opponent. I’m also trying to learn the Tsubaki-Ragna matchup, because from my understanding that’s Tsubaki’s worst matchup. The reason this is a bad matchup for her is because while both characters are rush-down, Ragna doesn’t need to charge anything for his rushdown & gets crazy damage from it, while Tsubaki needs to charge all the time to get any good damage at all. I’m planning on going into training mode to find out what can beat his 5A, 2A and 5B, which are some of his best moves and main combo starters. I’m also trying to practice getting Tsubaki’s TKqcb attack down, and learn to do it as close to the ground as possible. I’m sure that move can be used for some good use. I’m going to test whether or not it can be used as an overhead. Her TK qcf might be used for the same purpose as well. Tsubaki desperately needs an overhead, as she only has one that’s very slow and easy to counter, thus making it not even worth it. A surprise I found in her challenge mode also is that she can combo after her dp with 2CC and air combo. Problem is the timing on that is really strict; do it too early and the second C whiffs, do it too late and the opponent can tech out. Practicing that as well because I can see it becoming legitimately useful. I really hope that for the third installment, they either raise her damage, or increase how fast she charges, because I believe this is the main reason why she’s so low-tier right now.

Anyway, in anime nothing much has changed; my sister’s laptop is still down. I am planning, however, on trying to get the three seasons of “Avatar, the Last Airbender” on dvd. I used to really hate on this show, mostly because I took it as another American TV show that was blatantly trying to rip off of anime. However, one day when Nickelodeon was doing an Airbender marathon and I had nothing else to do, or watch, or play lol, I decided I might as well watch this. Surprised as I was that day, it was actually really good. And I mean really good. A total shock for me, since I had been talking trash about the series for a while. The characters are really likeable, the fighting is great, and the story has a lot of drama and dark themes for a kids show. I even heard the anime was partially done by a Korean anime studio, which is why it’s so anime-ish. Unfortuanately the marathon showed the end of the series, but I was still familiar enough with the series to know what was going on. Still, it sucks to have the series spoiled right off the bat. Anyway, I’ll be looking as to where I can pick that up; probably I can get it from one of the DVD stores in the city. Or I can get a friend or someone to lend it to me and save the money, I don’t know.

I’ve also begun rewatching the GTO Live Action. This Live Action was the very first one I had ever seen, and to this day it is still one of my favorites. It’s basically the same premise as the GTO anime and manga. For the two people left in this world who still haven’t heard of this series, I’ll give you a brief synopsis: Onizuka Keichi, a former biker gang leader/virgin with a degree from a shitty college that took him seven years to graduate, a penchant for perversion and violence, and all around delinquent, wants to become a teacher at a private boarding school. After the principal decides to give him a shot, he becomes the teacher for class 4, year 2, widely considered to be the worst class in the entire school. Of the three home teachers they’ve had, one had a nervous breakdown, one had committed suicide, and the other has been missing for the past year, and all three are blamed on the students by the teachers, though there’s no proof to their involvement. The teachers of the school, who already don’t like the fact that such a delinquent can become a teacher, give him this class in hopes that he will eventually quit. It is not too long after that Onizuka proves that, unlike the other teachers who only care about how they and the school look and couldn’t give a damn about the students, he genuinely cares about each and every student left in his care. It is not uncommon that Onizuka puts his job (and his life) on the line in order to protect his students without a single second thought. Each episode focuses on about one or two students in his class as he helps them with their personal problems, avoids getting fired, and gets closer and closer to discovering why is it that each of the kids in his class hate all teachers. The series is very touching and heartwarming, especially for me, because I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. It is isn’t every single day that you find a teacher who is willing to risk the job he’s been trying to get for so long, just to help one of his students. A lot of teachers these days couldn’t care less about any of the students he’s had, let alone be considered one of their friends. I used to have a history teacher like that. He happened to be seriously into anime and manga, just as much as Joe and I were. So when he found that enough of his students were into anime and manga, he finally did what he had been waiting to do for so long, and started an anime and manga club with most of our friends. It never got to be too big, and never got very popular, and all we ever really did was watch anime and talk about anime together, but it was still a precious memory. It was part of the reason why I never really considered that history teacher a teacher first and foremost, but I considered him a friend instead. In fact, I got along with almost every single one of my teachers, because I had always admired the teacher profession. There’s something about giving every day of your life to your students so that they can have guidance and purpose in their lives, that I just find so appealing. If there’s ever been a job in life that truly means something, I think it would be teaching. Hell, I would deal with the stress and the kids if it meant I would have the opportunity to change one kids life for the better like Onizuka did. Too many teachers just give up on their students and would prefer they just graduate and get the hell out of the school. Sadly enough that goes double for the delinquents, who need the teachers help most of all. I know about this a lot because I used to go to Public School, where a lot of teachers just don’t give a shit about their students. It’s very sad actually.

I also saw the new episode of K-on, 17. I was actually rather sad about this episode, because just when it seemed the series was taking a turn for the better, this shitty episode comes out. This episode was really pretty bad. It wasn’t the worst, but it was a poor follow up to the good episodes we were having. You figured that them not being able to use the clubroom would be slightly funnier, but sadly it wasn’t. Not to mention the lyrics they all came up with were complete trash. Why in the holy mother of God would you write a song about Ton, Azusa? I think the worst part about it was that she made the song sound like she was going to give her virginity to him. That would be an interesting idea…no, no it wouldn’t. No wonder she didn’t have “very much confidence in it”. Not to mention that the clubroom got fixed before the episode even finished. Guess the creators ran out of ideas on what they could do before the deadline. Oh well. In any case, let’s just hope the next episode turns out to be better.

Hopefully something bigger will happen next post and I’ll have more to talk about. Laterz!