Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

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

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.