Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

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

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!

Feels new yet old pt 3

Hello everyone. Missed me?

I managed to get that Kanji dictionary that I was talking about buying a couple of entries ago. The good thing is that while I was expecting the price to come to around 100 dollars, it actually only cost me about 40, so that was a little piece of good luck. The dictionary is very good in any case, and it’s really been helping me in learning more Kanji, in particular the readings. I’m going to try to do what I used to do when I was a kid, and just read the dictionary for fun. When I was kid I used to try to find the word that sounded the craziest, and memorize it and use it in real life. It helped my vocabulary greatly, so with my kanji it might help in the same way. Another thing that I appreciate is that the dictionary also shows how to write the kanji with the proper stroke order. Writing the kanji with the proper stroke order as opposed to taking shortcuts and just winging it is something a lot of people have problems with. Kanji isn’t like the English alphabet, which is flexible enough that a lot of people have different ways of writing each letter. With Kanji, you must write each kanji in the exact stroke order they teach you, otherwise, you will be called out on it by a native Japanese. Learning the correct way of writing each character is essential. So anyway, I’ve been using the dictionary to memorize different Kanji.

In games, I also bought a game that I have been looking forward to for a long time: Blazblue Continuum Shift. If you don’t want to hear spoilers, you are warned now that I am going to spoil the story as far as I am. Yeah, I loved the first game, so I couldn’t wait for this. Don’t really like how bad they nerfed Noel in this entry though. I blame all the drive spammers from the first game. Anyway, I actually might be switching mains in this game to Tsubaki, because Noel plays so differently from how she used to play. I also really like Tsubaki because of her play style. She has a lot of options and moves to work with, including a DP, a charge, two air moves that can be TK’d, a power charge, an uppercut that doesn’t take her off the floor, numerous cancels, super-powered versions of her regular moves that use her power charge, I mean she just has so much that she is capable of doing with all those moves that I could see me playing her for a very long time and never ever get bored. Her only real problem is that she lacks a lot of strength unless she’s charged. I might also start playing Makoto and Valkenhein when they finally get released. I still consider it bull that I have to buy them even though I already bought the game, but oh well. At least the game was budget priced. I’ll still play Noel from time to time, but until I get used to her changes and learn more shit with her, she’s going to be strictly in the lab. I also really like the story mode of the game. As is routinuely said, Blazblue has just about the best story ever given to a fighting game, a genre where typically every character enters a tournament for some dumb-ass reason. Here the characters actually have relationships, goals, desires, personality, and backgrounds which actually explain why they are the way they are. Even though the game revealed that Tsubaki’s entire family resorted to incest in-breeding in order to keep the purity of their blood. My response: Eww. It was also really surprising to see that Jin is actually becoming a good guy. He’s always being portrayed as being a supreme jack-ass in the rest of the story, that it’s surprising to see that he still cares about Tusbaki, even going so far as to try to convince her to abandon using her Nox Nyctores, Izayoi. Turns out that since Izayoi’s special ability is to steal light, it will eventually steal her light and cause her to go blind. Why does bad shit happen to all my favorite characters? Same thing with Noel, now she’s become the ultimate weapon of the series. Jin is also becoming one of my favorite characters, now that he’s slowly becoming less of a douche. Even back when I did hate him, I always liked his voice actor, simply because he has such a wide-range in his vocal capabilities, going from arrogant and condescending to everyone, bat-shit insane to Ragna, and psycho-angry to Noel and Nu. I’ll never get used to his “Nii-san” though. Way too creepy. Tsubaki’s “Jin-nii-sama” is awesomely cute though. She gets completely moe whenever she’s around Jin. I guess she’s been taking moe lessons from her friend Noel. Next thing you know the both of them are going to join the K-on club, singing backup vocals lol. I’ve also noticed that Hazama is becoming very famous online, I guess because of the Smooth Criminal video someone made of him. A lot of people also like his sense of style, what with the suit and hat and all that. He’s too cool to ignore, even though in the story he’s a super asshole. I find him rather hard to play though. His combos seem to involve standard jump-cancel air combos, then grabbing his opponent with Ouroboros, and continuing the combo. Maybe if I watch vids of people playing him and get something like a character guide for him, I’ll understand him better. I also highly suggest that people go through all the tutorial mode of the game, just for basic mechanics and also for the character they are looking to main. The basic mechanics portion of the tutorial are not that important unless this is your first fighting game, but what’s good is that it also teaches basic fighting game fundamentals, like mix-ups, zoning, spacing, and footsies. I’m glad Blazblue is actually stepping up and teaching people such important things, as it will definetly help to alleviate the problem of noobs coming into the game spamming drives, and also help those looking to enter the hugely growing fighting game community. Then the characters portion teaches you not only how to properly play the character with their correct strategy, but also teaches you some of their basics. Then the game’s included challenge mode also runs the gamut of teaching you the characters movelist and their basic bnb’s, going harder the farther you progress in a manner very similar to SSF4’s Trial mode. Now no one has any excuse as to why they can’t learn a certain character. Hell, all they needed left to do was provide a direct link to dustloop.com and it would be like Blazblue for beginners. At this rate I might try to learn the basics with all the characters; I no longer have any excuse.

I’m also wondering if they are going to include the other modes for the downloadable characters. They would need to include the character, their story mode, their challenge mode, their tutorial mode, the ability to play them in Legion mode, plus other things. I know that’s a lot, but hell, if you’re going to make us pay. My theory is that the above content is on the disc somewhere, but you won’t be able to access it unless you buy the character, similarly to the demo unlock code needed with Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I laugh whenever people complain about having to replay certain parts in order to get the next ending in story mode. These people have obviously never played a full Visual Novel. Anyway, the game is very entertaining so far, and it’s going to be a lot better once I can start playing with everyone at CF. Hopefully the community will revive now that the game is out. I remember back when Blazblue: CT was at its hay-day, it was hard to even get a chance at the machine. Then all of a sudden, the game just became a bag holder for everyone playing Tekken 6. Now the problem is that everyone I see playing the game is using either Litchi or Tager, probably since they’re both the top-tier characters right now. I’ve heard that the reason the community was so thoroughly destroyed was due to a Blazblue tournament that was being held where 70 players signed up and absolutely no one showed up. Still, would something like that really cause an entire community to just dry up like that? My personal theory is that it was a combined effort of Arakune, Rachel, and Nu being overly top-tier, and the driver spammers online. However, I believe the latter was less to blame then the former, simply because if that could kill a community, MVC2 would have been dead long time ago. Not to mention a couple of over-powered, but still balanced characters are nothing once you learn the match-up correctly. Heartnana proved that by whooping Nu players with Noel, who isn’t nowhere near top-tier. I think people just got tired of trying. If you want proof that god-tier characters can be taken down by normal or low-tier characters, check out Marvel player. He takes out characters like Storm, Cyclops and Magneto with his feared team of Ken, Colossus and Rouge like nobody’s business. It’s all about not leaving any openings, learning the matchup, and picking your execution up to the next level. You gots to believe, man! lol

Anyway, I’m also really hyped up for the console release of Arcana Heart 3. To think people were saying for years that it would never happen. Like I said, you got to believe and keep the faith people. This year is going to be another great year for fighting games, and next year looks even better. Street Figher x Tekken, KOF13, MVC3, AH3, MK9. Now all I need to hear is that CVS3 is finally going to see the light of day. So many fighting games to play, so little time to play them all. I’m going to have to choose which ones I’m going to be serious about and which ones I’m going to have to be casual.

I also bought DJMAX Hot Tunes like I knew I would. The game has a great mix of selected tracks, including the new rock rendition of Oblivion. But hot damn, this game got about ten times harder. I guess since now you have to press the right button and you don’t have the saver in which the game won’t allow you to miss if you didn’t press a button, the game has become much harder than before. Not to mention I haven’t played the game in quite a while. Guess I’m going to have to practice all over again.

Also bought Hatsune Miku: Project Diva, a rhythm game based around the popular vocaloid Hatsune Miku and various songs made using her Vocaloid program. The games basically a giant love letter to Miku and all her fans. It even includes fanart drawn by the fans. The game involves pressing the face buttons in time to the symbols that show across the screen; your standard rhythm game. What makes it unique is the different gamut the game runs across it’s song list, from ballads to punk to pop to anime opening sounding songs. All while Miku dances, poses and moes up your psp. The only problem with the game is that the combo meter, and what the game constitutes as a combo or combo breaker seems to change whenever the game feels like it. Sometimes it seems like the game decides for itself whether or not you comboed, despite you feeling you clearly hit it. Songs also unlock on a pretty steady clip; just about everytime you complete a song, another one unlocks for you, which feels very rewarding compared to the slower unlocks featured in the DJMAX series, and encourages you to continue for hours on end. I’m also interested in the downloadable add-on for the game, which allows you to play the game on your ps3, complete with HD graphics. Unfortunately, it is only available in Japan, and you must have a JPN ps3 account to access the JPN PSN Store. You can do it on an American ps3, but it involves so many different steps (not to mention you have to pay for the add-on) that I don’t feel like doing. Mendokusaishi.

Lastly, I also bought Mushihime-sama: Futari. I heard so much about the game from shmup fans all over, and after playing DeathSmiles, I felt the game deserved a shot. I love the game, but it has one problem: Omigod, this game is so fucking hard. Like wow. If I practiced, I could get through Deathsmiles easy mode without dieing until I get to the final stage. When I played Futari for the first time on easy, I must’ve continued more than 30 times! The game mind-boggles me with its difficulty, especially in the last stage. Also, Cave needs to improve their voice-acting in game. The two main characters in Futari have the worst voices I’ve ever heard in my life. Especially when they die, it just gets to sound like nails on a chalkboard, especially when you hear it time and time again. Maybe it’s an incentive to not die? Lol, one could imagine. The voice acting in DeathSmiles is also pretty atrocious, but it’s not nearly as bad as it is here in Futari. Oh well, one doesn’t play a game like this for voice-acting right? The point of the game is in its hot shooting action, which it provides in spades. The enemies are varied and interesting, and the shooting patterns are crazy to the point where you truly think there’s no possible way to beat this without bombing or getting hit; and sometimes, you’re even right.

Also seeing as how I’m planning on getting some more fighting games for my 360 and seeing as how I like playing shmups with my arcade stick, I decided I wanted to get an arcade stick for my 360. Hearing that, Joe decided to sell me his Tekken 6 arcade stick for a mere $40. A steal considering that not only is the stick in near-mint condition, but he also threw in the artbook and original box at the same price. Even if the entire box was already open and not in mint condition, I think he would’ve gotten at least $75 for the set. Yeah I feel bad that I took advantage but I do live in New York after all. Plus, knowing Joe he would not care because he still got enough money to eat. Anyway, the stick is in near-mint condition because Joseph rarely ever used it. He had bought the stick mainly because he wanted to try using an arcade stick to get familiar with it, since whenever he would go to the Brooklyn sessions last year, he would lose because he never learned to use an arcade stick, and the sessions were pretty much arcade stick only. When he found out that the Limited Edition version of Tekken 6 would come with a Tekken 6 arcade stick, he decided he would get that version in order to get used to how it worked. I think he stood with that for about….4 months before breaking down and giving up. I tried to tell him that he needed to stick with it, that getting used to stick is going to take a while but will be ultimately worth it. Joe never listens to me though, so whatever. His loss is my gain. For anyone who’s looking to buy the T6 arcade stick since it’s a relatively cheap stick…I advise you to just buy a Mayflash and mod it. Will cost you slightly more but it’s worth it. Here’s the cons of the T6 arcade stick:

1) Opening the arcade stick at all requires a hex-key screwdriver, similar to the original SF4 tourney stick.

2) Buttons and stick are standard Hori as opposed to the fan-favorite Sanwa (obvious since Hori made the arcade stick).

3) The buttons are hot-wired to the circuit board, meaning no quick-disconnects and meaning that it would be an absolute pain to mod, if you can mod at all.

4) The 360 version that I bought connects to the system wirelessly, meaning that since there’s no midway connecter to the system like the ps3 version or SSF4 tourney sticks, this stick is absolutely incapable of using any kind of converter to work for any other kind of system, and can only be used on a 360.

5) The button placement, in terms of standard notation and not finger placement, is all-over the place and doesn’t use the standard layout.

6) Needs two double AA batteries.

7) Once the stick has been registered with a 360, if you want to change it to the 1P controller or 2P controller, you have to reset the 360. No matter what you do with the stick, if you register it as the 2P controller, it will stay as the 2P controller until you reset the system.

The pro’s:

1) Hori parts, while not being the Sanwa style that I prefer, are still high quality and still work well for me.

2) The stick is extremely light weight since the casing is plastic and doesn’t use the metal or wood that’s so common.

3) Wireless

4) The artwork on it is ok.

Overall, I do like the stick, but I would not use this as my main stick. I will use it for now until I can get a modded arcade stick for my 360. Most likely I will get a custom stick from SRK member Dstyles, who I just met and realized lives in Bed-stuy, about a half-hour walk from me. I’ve seen some of his previous work and have come to like his style. Seeing as it’s my main game right now, I will try to get some Blazblue themed artwork, most likely one with Tsubaki and Noel on it, along with some clear blue buttons and a blue balltop, everything Sanwa of course. Speaking of Dstyles, he will be hosting a SSF4 tourney on the 8/14, along with a possible tekken 6 tourney the week before. I’m going to make it for the SSF4 tourney, and will try to make it for the Tekken 6 tourney. As for the SSF4 tourney I will also be donating my 360, ps3, arcade stick’s and possibly a TV, that is if Dstyles can get someone to drive me to his house. Otherwise he’s only getting the console’s.

Now that I think about it, Joe makes me laugh. During the past week, Joe and I played each other some in Blazblue. I ended up damn near raping him with Tsubaki, while he was using Lambda-11 and Hakumen. The thing about Joe is that he always tells me that he can’t do Lambda’s challenge mode combos, which is why he loses against me a lot. He says that no matter how hard he tries, he can never get any sort of combos to work. I ask him how long did he try the combo. He tells me about ten, fifteen times. Makes me laugh my ass off. I keep telling him how he needs to practice the combo more and more, but Joe lacks a lot of patience and just decides he will “stick with his own combos”. Two hit combos mind you. Then he wonders why in the hell he’s losing. He just says he “can’t do combos”, in just about every fighting game we play. From Street Fighter to Tekken, to Arcana Heart to even DOA, his favorite fighting game. Two years ago, I couldn’t do any combos in any fighting game I played. After two years of practicing hardcore, and even converting to stick from pad, now I can at least do certain combos, and even bnb’s. No one can do combos right away, but you practice and learn and practice and learn. When I learn my first combo in any fighting game, it can take me an entire day to properly learn it, to the point to where I can do it in a match, or even otherwise, but still I put in the practice. Joe though, doesn’t put in the practice and just gives up. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you can win without knowing combos; no matter how many combos you know or how damaging they are, fundamentals will help you out way more. But Joe’s fundamentals are almost non-existent, similar to mine. Thing is, I still try to use fundamentals like spacing and zoning, where as Joe just tries to attack me. Also, I, at the very least, have combos to make up for my weakness. Joe does not have this. Joe pretty much needs to try to hit me and hope for the best. I try to help him out by teaching him some things, but he pretty much doesn’t use what I teach him. Oh well.

I have also been playing Agarest War more, since I haven’t played it in a while. I’m still pretty much in the beginning of the first generation since I haven’t played much, but the game is still a lot of fun. The first available love interest in the game, the blue-haired elfin girl, has joined my party, as well as her brother. Now I have to go on some fetch-quest in which we have to try to kill some creature in a cave in order to get the king of some other kingdom to help us stop Leonhart’s kingdom from taking over the rest of the land. The main problem I have with the game, however, is the translation; quite frankly, it’s horrible. Thankfully there’s no English voice acting, but the script translation is the problem. The characters all speak as though they from Middle-Earth when the Japanese voice acting has them speaking pretty much regular Japanese, except for Vira-Loor, who speaks old man-japanese. From what I see, Arksys has a pretty big problem when it comes to translations. Deathsmiles has the same problem, and hell, even Blazblue has its fair share of mistranslations. In particular I’m speaking about the cutscene from when Tsubaki and Jin first met when they were children. Not properly translating the conversation or Tsubaki’s “Jin-Nii-sama” caused the entire cutscene to lose all of its sentimental meaning, which is important since it’s an important part of the story for Jin and Tsubaki. Instead it now just sounds stupid. Not to mention they translated “Yubi-kiri” for “Cross my Heart”, which is similar but still different enough to irk. I especially don’t know why they couldn’t leave the honorifics; Persona did it all the time, and the fans love it for that. Hell, that’s the first thing that grabbed me about Persona 3, because I had grown so tired of translations, and for the first time here was a good one. But anyway, back to Agarest. The game offers nearly unlimited options to level-grind, since you can go back to any stage where you fought enemies before and fight there again and again for an unlimited amount of times. Thing is that the game is very slow when you level up. You need to a ton of experience to level up anywhere and enemies give shit experience. It’s especially long considering Tales doesn’t feel anywhere near this long. The story also moves at a pretty slow pace considering how much fighting you have to do, but it’s still fun so whatever.

I’ve also been practicing some more in DeathSmiles. I want to try to be able to 1cc this game, but I don’t know how I’m going to be able to when the final level always causes me to die. I’m seriously starting to think it’s impossible to defeat TyrannoSatan without dying at least once. Hell, sometimes I think it’s impossible to beat Jitterbug without dying at least once. In order to help fix that, I’m going to try to start watching some replay vids and youtube runs to try to find the holes in his patterns. Thing is, everyone plays the stage levels at level 3, which is way too hard for me considering I’m having difficulty with level 1. I’m still trying to get better though. I think part of the problem with getting better at shmups is just the fact that almost all the motivation to improve has to come from yourself. With fighting games, your motivation can be completely outward. You have great players, tourneys, combo vids, match vids, and other such things to help motivate you, and the inward motivation is primarily the satisfaction you get from truly beating someone down or the gratification from seeing yourself become btt. With shmups though, your primary motivation is going to be beating someone’s high score or 1cc’ing the game. Not to mention leaderboards. Unlike fighting games, there’s no true multiplayer aspect to shmups like there is with fighting games. Thus, if you yourself don’t want to improve, there’s little else to stop you from simply bombing through every difficult pattern in the game and continuing every time you die. Truth be told, no matter what kind of motivation you try to have, inner motivation is the best in any situation, whether it be video games or real life.

I’ve also begun taking up the challenge of learning to use the nunchaku. I bought a pair of practice one’s at a store I know in Chinatown, and am happy to see that not only are they the right practice size, but they work like a charm. I’ve managed to learn some of the correct stances and hand switching. I would just like to say I’m learning them seriously; not like you see kids on youtube try, get hit in the nether regions, then just give up. Where did I get the motivation for this? Pretty much from watching Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto using nunchaku. I think it’s no stretch from the truth that Bruce Lee and Inosanto were complete masters of the nunchaku in every degree of their possible use, being fully capable of using them in complete real life situations.

The thing that strikes me about Bruce Lee when I think of him, is that how different would the world of martial arts be had Bruce Lee still been alive today? It crosses just about every Bruce Lee fans mind when they watch one of his movies. Lee was one of the very first martial artists to train for real-life situations against thugs on the street, and one of the very first to think about mixing different martial skills into one cohesive unit. This is exemplified in his martial art, Jeet Kune Do. In this martial art, Lee took the shuffling, dodging footwork of western boxing, the un-telegraphed, quick strikes of western fencing, the always stance ready, calculated footwork of Kenjustsu, the explosive sudden power of BajiQuan style Kung Fu, the inner-ki controlling energies of Wing-Chun style Kung Fu, and combined them with his unmatched speed, power and superior mind. Bruce Lee had an amazing mind for fighting. He could pick up on just about every little pattern his opponent had, and had an uncanny speed in sensing when his opponent was planning on attacking and where, not to mention the amazing ability to take advantage of every single opening his opponent left. He would do this by training himself in order to react to any little movement his opponent made, which can easily be seen in many of his movies. Another reason as to why Bruce Lee was such an amazing martial artist was his absolutely unwavering dedication to his training. Bruce Lee was undeniably one of the most fit men that has ever set foot on this planet. His doctors have said time and time again after his death that Lee had the body of an 18 year old at his late twenties, and that he had not a pinch of fat on his entire body. His workout plans as laid out by Linda Lee herself has surprised champion bodybuilders with its intensity and length. Lee would spend almost half his day alone exercising, and the rest practicing his moves and sparring. One wouldn’t be able to keep up with that kind of regimen unless one had the dedication and passion for his physical health like Lee had. I can say myself that I don’t think I would be able to keep up with his regimen for even a week. Bruce Lee was a specimen of peak physical fitness at an almost legendary scale. His mark on the martial arts could never be denied. So it still makes you think: for the small amount of time that Bruce Lee was on this earth, he made a huge impact on the world of martial arts. Imagine if he was still alive today, and continued his study of martial arts and continued to grow his martial art of Jeet Kune Do. Imagine how much more powerful Jeet Kune Do would be today if Lee could still add to it? Thankfully Inosanto is still teaching and adding to the art by studying numerous other arts to use with his other styles and JKD. But you can’t help but imagine how much bigger the art would be had Lee still been around to teach and grow.

Omigod, I just turned this blog into a Bruce Lee tribute lol. Let me talk about something else.

Anyway, in anime I’ve pretty much just been watching K-on!! Thankfully it’s getting better, but is still pretty moe to me. Got to say though, episode 16, in which Azusa basically spends some time with each of her sempai, was pretty funny. It isn’t everyday where we get to see Azusa interact with each of the other girls, so this was a nice change of pace. I also liked episode 13, where Ritsu and Mugi basically went on a date. Even my sister agrees, those two make a very cute couple. Next they need to do an episode where Mio and Yui are together by themselves. Not so much for my pleasure, but I just want to see the fans heads explode from the sheer moe-ness of the entire idea lol. I also like that the company is listening a little more to the fanbase by giving Mugi more screen time. In the first season she was almost background until someone needed tea or they used her villa. Either way, we still have an entire season more of K-on to look forward to, so at least that’s still coming.

Other than that, my sister’s computer’s down because she didn’t take very good care of her plug, so now I have to buy her a new one. Then because her laptop is the only capable of getting our internet signal at the moment, I haven’t been able to get any anime at all. So now I’m going to have to buy her another laptop adapter so that we can use her laptop again. Great. More money out of my pocket.

Feels new yet old pt 2

Woo, I’m tired as all hell but I don’t care! Time for the new blog entry.

I finally managed to get a game that I had been wanting for quite a while: Ikki Tousen Cross Impact for the PSP. Yeah, when I heard another Ikki Tousen PSP game was coming out along with the debut of the new anime, I was pretty psyched. When I found out the game was actually miles ahead of the first PSP game, Eloquent Fist, I was stoked. When I found out J and L had the special collectors box edition, I thought, Oh man, I have got to get that! Got it I did, and I really like it surprisingly. I never decided to buy Eloquent Fist mostly because I had heard about just how bad it was, and because I had seen the gameplay footage. It looked like one of those bad Flash games you can download off of a company website. I heard this one was miles better than the first one, and that had encouraged me to buy it.

First of all, the collectors package. It comes in a big, pretty box that comes with artwork from the series. Unfortunately its one of those boxes that bends very easily, so when you pull open the tab to get at everything, the tab gets bended. They really need to stop making boxes out of this material, because it just makes it impossible to retain the collectors’ value without saving the game for years. I’m sorry but I’m not going to keep my games fresh in their plastic just for collectors’ value. I consider myself a collector, but I do want to play my games, guys. Anyway, the box comes with the game (of course), a special chibi Kanu figure that can change between her school swimsuit and school uniform outfit, an Ofuro poster with new character Ako on it, little pucks with character art on them, and a drama cd inside a dvd case with custom art. Overall, a pretty nice package. I listened to the drama cd for a while, and was very happy to see that for the most part I was completely able to keep up with what the characters were saying. Gives everything a whole new life for me. Too bad the cd was trash. It’s just Kanu, Ryuubi and Chouhi exercising with Seikyou-sensei, with them making over-exaggerated groans, moans and screams for perverts. I guess it was funny though, so it wasn’t too bad.

On to the game. The game itself includes a story mode, arcade mode, challenge mode, ad-hoc mode, and gallery mode. Story mode plays through a story in which new character Ako initiates a tournament battle between all three schools. You play through the story mode with all three schools, and this is the only way to play the other modes with Hakufu, Sousou, and Ryuubi. Also, Ako seems able to resurrect Ryoufu, Chinkyuu and Shiba-I, but then again, who doesn’t nowadays. Everyone seems capable of doing that. It’s an anime rule, sure, but it particularly happens a lot in Ikki Tousen: Characters who die only stay dead until they are resurrected for a new plot device, or until they’re needed to provide character development for another character. Either way the game is pure beat-em up throughout, with an RPG-like skill system. Basically you earn points from doing long combos and beating large amounts of enemies, which you can then use at the end of a stage to have your characters learn new skills, like increased damage and stamina, adding another hit to their combo, and adding air combos. The problem is that it can take forever for you to save enough points for you to be able to afford anything in the skill tree. Another problem is that the game still kinda looks like ass. The entire game still looks like a Flash game, and the controls are iffy. There are odd times where you are right next to your opponent, attack, and the hit detection doesn’t go on because you’re on a different plain. I blame bad programming, but the game still plays very well so I’ll just ignore it. Since it’s a beat ‘em up, the game doesn’t really take up much of your brain to play; you can just go automatic in the whole thing, or at least until you fight another one of the main characters, who will beat your ass if you’re not careful. I also find it really funny that there are some stupid infinites in the game; you can just get almost any enemy on the wall, and jump attack for an infinite. Most characters can do it with just jumping strong, but some characters can maintain the infinite longer; Ten’I and Bashoku come to mind. Also, while it was nice to include her, Saji Genpou was just not good for the game. You put a long-range wizard in a beat ‘em up. That’s never a good decision. Just look at Gauntlet. A definite negative aspect of the game though is just that the stages last for so damn long. I mean really, really long. Like stupid long. I think if the developers were going to make a beat ‘em up, they should have done some research on the two of the kings of the genre: Final Fight and Streets of Rage. Both games are wonderfully paced in that the stages are filled with enemies, but they are just right in how long they are; not too long in that you wonder about when it’s going to end, and not too short in that you think that was too fast. I think you can take one stage of this game and it would equal about the same time as two or maybe even two and a half stages of FF or SoR. I guess they figured it was okay since you have two characters in one stage as opposed to just you solo, but that’s sacrificing interest for challenge. Though it may sound like I’m dissing the game, I’m really not; it’s just that I’m a bit of a critic and always point a game’s flaws even if I really like the game. If you’re a fan of Ikki Tousen I highly recommend the game, but if you just want to play a beat ‘em up then I think you would be wise to either just rent or try to get the game cheap. Hell, you can always just download MAME and Final Fight. That’s what most people do nowadays. Might as well get the very best in the genre for nothing right?

Another game I got for the PSP is Disgaea Infinite. I heard about this game through gamefaqs and thought it was another version of Disgaea 1 for the PSP. I then looked into it and found out it was a side-story sequel to Disgaea 1 that was a visual novel. I highly doubt anyone reading this blog doesn’t know what a visual novel is, but for those who don’t I’ll explain. Basically, a visual novel is a game with sometimes moving pictures in which the players read a story that shows up on screen and interact with characters through story changing decisions that are sprinkled through the game. A big part of most VN’s are Galge’s, or Dating Sims in English. These are games in which you try to make the correct decisions in order to get one of the main female leads as you’re girlfriend. These more often than not involve hentai scenes in them. Classic examples of Galge are:

Bible Black

Minna de Nyan-nyan

X-Change

Kanon

Clannad (Doesn’t feature hentai itself, but it’s sequel, Tomoyo, it’s a wonderful life, does.)

In fact, one of my most favorite games of all time, Fate/Stay Night, happens to be a Visual Novel. So of course when I heard that there was going to be a VN based on Disgaea 1 with Laharl, Etna and Flonne, I of course had to jump on it. Best of all the game is only $20. A VN game with great characters for a seriously budget price? I’m sold. Anyway, you take control of a Prinny, one of the exploding penguin mascot characters, who needs to find out who tried to assassinate Laharl. If not, Laharl is going to cut the Prinny’s pay to the point where they will be working for him for eternity. The Prinny must solve the mystery with the help of a mysterious watch with a cute voice that can reverse time, as well as allow the Prinny to possess the other characters in the series. The game definitely retains the infamous Disgaea humor, and also apparently has Mao and Raspberyl from Disgaea 3 in it, which is a nice treat since I’m still playing through that game. Other than that there’s really nothing to talk about with the game, so I’ll just leave it at that. Really like the game, will continue playing probably to the end.

I’ve been continuing Demon Souls lately, and was surprised to find that I had been missing out on a whole section of game mechanics. I had been having a lot of problems getting anywhere in this game with my character, so I decided to restart the game with a new one. I ended up choosing a male knight, the one that’s shown in the opening movie, and replayed through the first level. Just to point out to everyone, I have the Japanese version of the game, and this game has way too many Kanji that I don’t know. Playing through the tutorial portion of the game again, I discovered something written in big Japanese kana. “R2- Paari”. “Paari?…Parry? You can parry?” So I tried it out on a rushing blue-eyed knight that was coming to take my head off. Lo and behold that moment when I faced that terrifying behemoth and I turned his sword strike away with my shield, charged forward and drove my sword right through his stomach and down to the floor…oh man, that moment was pure ecstasy. So now that I’ve discovered there’s a parry system, I’ve actually been able to get through some of the first level that I haven’t been able to go through. I’ve also managed to get the Cling ring, which lets you keep your health at the same level when you die and you won’t take the health penalty. I still haven’t gotten to the stage boss though, but that’s only because I’m kind of stocking up on souls. It still really feels good to be able to kill the blue knights in one hit, just as long as you can hit the parry correctly. Now I’m really trying to practice and get parries done consistently. Hopefully the game becomes doable now. I’m just waiting to fight the stage boss, the Phalanx. I saw a tutorial video on how to beat him, but it’s going to be hard to get the oil out to set my sword ablaze when I can’t read the Japanese very well. Hope it just says “Oiru” or something in kana. Also decided to get a printout of the game’s controls. The game came with the booklet obviously, but, once again, Japanese.

I’m also seriously considering buying the new DJMAX game, DJ Max Hot Tunes. J and L managed to a copy in and quite frankly, I really wanted it. The only reason I didn’t buy it right then and there was because I decided to buy Xross Impact instead. From what I have heard, the game is basically DJ MAX Fever though, but with some of the songs from the earlier psp titles. Either way, I’m definitely considering buying the game, and if I can, the collector’s edition, because I would love to hear the game’s soundtrack on my mp3 player. Plus the posters for the game look really awesome and I love the mahogany casing. The whole thing makes it look like if the game was some kind of platinum album encased in a museum for the whole world to see.

Lastly in games, I’ve also managed to beat Batman: Arkhum Asylum. I thought the game would go on for longer than it really did. When I got to the Poison Ivy battle, I had no idea that this battle was the last one before you fight Joker, but it turned out it was. Got to say, though, the ending was awesome. It could pretty much be described as “SUPER EXPLOSIVE FALCON PUCNH!!”. Yeah, the game was awesome, though I found it weird that the Joker decided to inject himself with the titan strain. Figured he would’ve shot it into as many of his goons as possible. Anyway, I sadly don’t think I’m going to keep playing the game for the Riddler trophies and riddles. These don’t give me much of an incentive to continue playing through the game without a story to play around with or enemies to fight. I might decide to play through the game on a harder setting though, maybe for my commitment to hard games, but I don’t think B:AA was that hard to begin with to even count for that. Oh well. I think the only times I ever died throughout the entire game was during the Scarecrow stages. I’ll definitely play through the sequel when that comes out. I just hope that my theory holds out, and that since Batman has to go through all of Gotham City, that Nightwing can help him out. Though I have always said one thing about the game: If Batman sees that not only could the Joker’s plot destroy Gotham, but the whole world, why doesn’t he call for help from the Justice League? Superman would probably have been able to take care of the whole problem. Here’s Joe’s response: Because if Batman did that, there would be no game at all, and this is a Batman game, not a Justice League game. Both valid points I suppose.

I’m trying to practice my kanji. I’ve been playing a lot of imports lately and not being able to understand the text is really, really killing me here. I only know some of the kanji they teach you in first grade in Japan, and the majority of the games that I play are meant for high school age kids. Not to mention being able to speak, read and write Japanese always looks good on a resume. I’m going to try to hold the games as rewards. Like once I put the effort and learn these kanji, I’ll be able to play through these games completely. Still that’s going to be a hell of a lot of work to go through. Near six thousand kanji total, two thousand kanji to be literate, six hundred to be able to read a newspaper. I feel sorry for the Japanese kids who have to learn this stuff through their school lives. The Japanese school system thinks that the reason kids these days aren’t literate is because they aren’t being taught well enough. It’s because they have to learn so much in such a short amount of time. Try lowering the amount of Kanji, guys, for Pete’s sake. There’s close to eight thousand kanji when you pretty much need only two thousand to get by nowadays. The Japanese themselves admit this. Why have so much?

To help me in improving my Japanese, I’m going to try playing my old buddy, My Japanese Coach. It’s one of the educational games for the Nintendo DS that helps you to learn the various aspects of Japanese, from pronunciation, comprehension, writing, and the culture. I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to learn how to write Kanji however. The game is very lenient as to what it considers correct and not correct. I’ve fumbled a lot on writing only for the game to say that I was right. Still, since I prioritize reading comprehension over writing ability, the game has helped me out a lot since I first started using it. It’s thanks to this game that I can read the kanji that I can read. Many people are surprised by the fact that I even remotely know Japanese in the first place near where I live. I think that’s simply because of two things:

1) My area is Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and sadly I think the only contact most people have in this neighborhood with Asians is at the Chinese restaurant.

2) Because of reason 1, I’m assuming, whenever I tell people that I can speak Japanese, they hear Chinese. Go figure.

I even tell people, I’m still learning, I’m nowhere near fluent, but I can hold a conversation. All they hear is, Yeah, I can speak that ching, chang, chong talk. I speak it like Spanish man. Haha, well, being a trilingual helps in a lot of things so I’m not complaining. Once I finish learning Japanese, I do plan on learning Chinese. In fact, here are all the languages I want to learn in my lifetime:

1) Japanese

2) Chinese

3) Korean

4) German

5) Latin

6) Hebrew

7) Thai

8) Spanish (Better than I can now anyway)

9) Italian

I’m a pretty ambitious person aren’t I? Ever since I heard that there are people who work at the U.N who can speak more than 10 languages, I decided to learn as many languages as I can. True story, I once went on a school field trip to the U.N, and one of the translators gave us a little test for our linguistic skills. Upon seeing my results, he told me mine’s were very good for a thirteen year old. He honestly even told me some languages to learn and ways to practice in case I genuinely wanted to pursue it as a career. Got to say I really appreciated that. Not many people would just randomly give career advice to a thirteen year old, at that serious career advice in a field he specialized in. Maybe if more people were like him, we wouldn’t have so many problems with unemployment and disgruntled kids. As to the kanji, I’m going to try to buy a Kanji dictionary at Kinokuniya or something. If I remember correctly I can buy one there for like a little over a hundred dollars. Don’t know the exact price, but if I remember correctly, it’s no more than two hundred dollars. Ugh. There’s always so much that I want, but I need to start saving money a little more, just because I think my rent is going to go back up. At least I still have money in the bank, so I can sleep a little easier.

Let’s see how much I have on my plate at the moment. Things that I have to do on any given day:

1) Practice rhythm games (DJ Hero, DJMAX, DDR)

2) Practice fighting games (T6, SSF4, BB, GG, plus a shitload of others)

3) Practice Shmups (Blazestar and Galuga, might get others)

4) Practice hard games (NGS2, DS, Izuna)

5) Play my psp games I haven’t beaten yet (more than 20)

6) Play my ps3 games I haven’t beaten yet (more than 20)

7) Play my ps2 games I haven’t beaten yet (more than 100 lolz)

8) Play my DS games I haven’t beaten yet (more than 20)

9) Hell, play my ps1 games I haven’t beaten yet (almost 20)

10) Continue practicing Japanese

11) Practice martial arts & work out

12) Practice parkour like I always said I would

13) Take up Tricking like I said I would

14) Take care of my sister and the house

15) Work lolz

ZOMG no time for anything lol. I can’t help but lol each time I look at this. I’ve got so much on my plate that I wonder how am I going to have time for all this? There’s no time for all this omg. I’m going to stop talking about this before I burst out laughing at work. OMG hahahahaha!!!!!