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!

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