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BranKetra Blog

October Update

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It is the tenth month of 2014 and I am well into my courses. With enough time to study, but not enough time to work, I have been doing well and I intend to transfer to a university next semester. My immediate goal is to pass my courses, but my second-most important goal is to get a car. I intend to get something that is reliable as the main trait of it. Given the opportunity, I am going to study on campus while living at a dorm, but a car is useful in that situation, too. Most likely, I am going to a school in-state. However, I may go to school out of state if I am accepted. My next semester is less than three semesters away. Depending on which school I attend, I am graduating in one to two years! I have lofty goals, so my academic career is not finishing with a Bachelor of Science (that is not to say all lofty goals go beyond a Bachelor's program). I am grateful to have a support network of friends with similar interests, family who believes in me, and acquaintances willing to help given mutually advantageous circumstances. Some have been kind enough to help without any demand for compensation.

In other news, I got a new console and several new games.

Console; PS4


  • Destiny
  • Wolfenstein: A New Order
  • Thief
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition

I also purchased some new films.

  • Captain: America: The Winter Soldier
  • Thor: A Dark World

Fall has been exciting so far and there is more to come.

Preparing for the PlayStation 4

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Another warm day in August is more of the same, lately. However, the days are chronologically progressing towards September the ninth. When that day finally occurs, Destiny will be released along with the White Destiny Edition PS4. Thankfully pre-ordered to day it was announced, it is almost paid for in full. On the day of its release, it will be played along with Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, and Battlefield 4 which were purchased last year during a free third game deal at Target. The PlayStation 3 is a wonderful console that has served well and come September it will become a secondary console. My PSN ID is BranKetra. See you on the Tower.

How the Internet Has Allowed me to Explore

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Throughout the majority of my life, the internet has been an essential tool in which I have been made aware of a myriad of perspectives perceiving the world at various levels. The eventual assimilation of such experiences which is my perpetual journey of knowledge is the fastest and least expensive way to gain insight into everything from my home to every continent and ocean. Other than what other people say and write on the world wide web, images and videos of geography; and architecture; and the organisms living within are available to learn about. Truly, the internet is a marvel of human innovation as well as a tool of exploration into billions of moments never to be lost to forgotten memory or the destruction of physical works. Without the internet, so much information would be unavailable to me or anyone for that matter that my perspective would likely be much different. In contrast, the great amount of education and fun which may be gained, and experienced that I feel like a pioneer in exploration in my own way. That is because there exists the possibility of gaining awareness of new ideas, events, and people on every continent and every ocean around the earth in less that one hour. Not long ago, that time frame simply was not possible for humanity which was before my life began.

Inside my home is a digital window to the world. From the Challenger Deep to satellite images of my world from the thermosphere and a long range imagery via the Voyager 1 spacecraft, I can see much of what this planet is. I have researched every kingdom of organisms both in academic settings and as a hobby that has been a great cause for my gradually increasing fascination by the life that exists all around me. Macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints all for a more holistic sympathetic awareness of plants, animals, and my own body. My exploration continues day by day and increases in kind.

Before I was on the internet, I had video games and thanks to the internet, I now possess the knowledge to enroll in a particular major and make them myself. From the Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System to modern games such as Battlefield 4 on the PlayStation 4 as well as other current generation hardware, video games were and continue to be a great source of entertainment. Also, they offer unique perspectives on religions, mythologies, and cultures. A goal of mine is to contribute to the lore the video game genre construes and the net is in part how I am going to accomplish that. Via official and third party websites, these stories are perusable of my volition thus my virtual adventures can continue even when I put my controller away and communicate using other channels. The extraordinary aspect of all this is that intercontinental conversations can occur through text, voice-only, and webcam feeds quickly. The enormous amount of things I have been exposed to through my initial interest in video games on the internet is astounding.

Although there are many parts of my world the availability of the internet has provided perspective upon, the one I wish to focus on now is something I realized is a very pressing issue due to the reality of increasingly international cultures. It is perhaps the most vital component that humanity needs to improve on as we do so. That one thing is: working together. Each individual who gets on the internet is capable of anonymity and because of that the inhibitions social settings usually keep maintained have not been as relevant as in face-to-face settings. In due time, we will be much more interconnected and reliant on this tool to the point that our behavior on it may need to be the same as away from it. Our status as the dominant species on earth is mainly due to our ability to work together. By increasing our unity, we will continue to push the limits of our knowledge, our abilities, and the quality of our lives in no small part due to the world wide web.

Thoughts on Dust: An Elysian Tail

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Of May, this game is the first out of two free video games for Xbox Live Gold members via Games With Gold . After the 16th, another game will be available with this program, so get it while you can and give it a chance. I say to do so because it is refreshingly good. This game has been on the Xbox Live Arcade since August 28, 2012 and I have seen the its name in forum conversations sometimes, but I always moved on to something else. Now that I have played it, I will remember it. My first playthrough is currently ongoing in chapter one. My thoughts on it so far are 1) it is a mildly complex game, 2) the dialogue is interesting, and 3) the gameplay is like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night mixed with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic which is a definite plus.

In any game, a story is one of the most influential parts of my evaluation of whether or not I enjoy it. For example, Batman Arkham City would have felt less immersive and probably would have received lower scores had it not featured such a good story. Likewise, Dust: An Elysian Tail has a story good enough to keep me interested in the next major event or simple conversation. I do not feel like I am a part of a mass audience who was marketed to in order to buy this game. Let me explain. Sometimes when I am learning about certain stories, I am given the impression that they are meant to be known by a select group that I happen to be a part of. From a business perspective, that is probably wrong considering that every storymaker probably would like as many people to play their game, read their book, or watch their film as possible. This game seems that way even still. That said, the story is growing in complexity as I progress through the main quest and side missions.

Within the details of the dialogue is the story and the voice acting for it is not bad. Every line is available to read and a character speaks each word. I think I was not expecting that because of the apparent overall simplicity of this game. Most of the indie games I have played with this presented level of simplicity are lacking in speech. Next, as a character, Dust is someone I would like to know more about. It is apparent that he makes a decision to say and do good deeds or bad ones; Player choice to continue the game after certain points tests my morality in a harmless manner, but they are tests all the same of a personal nature. I also like that he is in search of his identity and wears a gloomy outfit, but his attitude contrasts that along with the coloring (The latter of which I will get to later). Other characters in the world of Elysium are similarly charismatic. If you have already played this game, take from that what you will. Things started simple, but began to increase in complexity after a certain few points. Also worth mentioning are the many moments in which characters break the fourth wall. They are not awkward, but they do feel forced like this could have been a short story or a game and the latter was chosen. I am not saying that is what occurred, but I do slightly get that impression. Other times, they are comical.

Since the start of the Dust, the majority of gameplay has consisted of combat with the talking Blade of Ahrah and companion, Fidget. Being a side-scroller with stat-based combat, I am reminded of Castlevania: SotC. It is not nearly as complex since Dust has that one sword and side kick, Fidget, for high potential and low variety combos, yet the premise of that sword kind of makes battles cool. A small moveset limits me to a few combos and it has been really easy to get high-counting combos with Fidget's magic combined with Dust Storm. In addition, the aerial variant makes leveling up easy. Actually, anything from the aforementioned combat to completing quests and even making simple conversation with non-playable characters gives experience points. How meaningful the side quests are reminds me of KotoR in spirit, though absolutely not in setting which is fine. Exploration is obvious and almost guided with a basic map at the top-right part of the screen. Crafting items and mercantilism throughout the game are nice aspects of role-playing games which I am glad are in it. As a result of the overall light challenge Dust gives me as a player combined with the story slowly growing in complexity, I find it charming.

Besides those parts of Dust, the art is good and certainly worth talking about. It is supposed to have been all hand-painted which gives it a distinct look set apart from other games and especially side-scrollers I have played. Each area is vibrantly colorful and has obviously been made with care. Secondly, the Eastern and Western appearances of characters outfits and buildings contrast well. Also, without spoiling anything, from what I have seen thus far, that seems to have a point. Next, Dust's torn hat cloth and covered face is not a gloomy sight because the light shade of blue that most of his outfit is an uplifting color. Anthropomorphic beings which I would describe as human-like rabbits living in a societies are almost too cute, but the story keeps things mature. This game has already surprised me in many ways because I was considering not even downloading it based on the Xbox Live Arcade cover image, but now that I have, I intend to learn everything there is to know about Dust and Elysium.

What are your thoughts on this game?

GameStop inadequacy

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I went to GameStop last week and decided to finally purchase a copy of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the PlayStation 3. When I went to the cash register to buy the game, I let the sales associates I was talking with know that I would not buy a new game if it were unwrapped. They accepted and followed by explaining the wrapped new copies of that game were out of stock and they could order one online for me and have it shipped to my house with no additional charge. I accepted that offer. Today, I received that game and it was an unsealed copy. I am displeased with GameStop. I bought something specific and I was mailed something different instead. Now, I would be unable to receive a money-refund because GameStop's policy on unsealed new games is game replacement only. I will not be using that purchasing method again with GameStop until they acknowledge and address the inadequacy of selling a new game unsealed.

Blog Entry October 5, 2013

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GameSpot is changing and I got invited to the New GameSpot beta. Along with updated Terms of Service, I have reason to be more active in the forums. Hopefully, some of the unions will be brought to the new site because I am a member of a few of them and I would not like witnessing them being left behind, but that is the responsibility of union leaders. Since I am not one, I leave it to them.


Year: Toshi

Latest Events

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A few days ago, I began working at my new job. It is simple with efficiency being the most important factor in success with it. The other day, I went to GameStop with some change I had around my room to buy a low priced PlayStation 3 game and there was a sale going on offering some pre-owned video games fifty percent off normal prices with no additional stipulations for them. I am unaware of the sale's current status. Anyway, I got Dragon Age: Origins because it has a higher metacritic score than Alpha Protocol: The Espionage RPG which was also part of that same sale. Alpha Protocol is a video game I consider buying when I search for games because I remember the Game Informer feature preview article for it years ago. The concept was interesting to read about, but the reviews dampened that somewhat.


An Interesting Concept, but a Less-than-Stellar Work

I also recieved an email from GameStop telling me how many Power Up Reward points I have accumulated when I did not realize I was accumulating anything of the sort. I have enough to get some free stuff, so I am going to. That Adventure Time hat looks cool.


Mouth: Kuchi


Blog Entry 9/18/2013

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I wonder how many people read my blog. Hmm. A vistor counter would be good.


Today is my birthday which makes me twenty-four years old.


My new job starts tomorrow. Pray I do well, please.


That is really all for now. :P


Blog Entry 9/15/2013

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Today is Sunday. I managed to attend the afternoon church service and listen to my pastor preach. One of the things he said was you can choose to sin, but you cannot chose the consequences. I took that as a proclamation of agreement because I know some of what the Bible states about sin and I was hearing my pastor say that which I agree with, but he was the one saying it in his own words. Besides Christianity, I think that statement is true for Hinduism and Buddhism, too, because the cause and effect idea of karma is known, but not exactly what led to one's current state. Basically, every life contains thoughts, decisions, and actions. Every one of those accumulates into a spiritual record. At death, the souls of life forms lose their memories with their former bodies and start a new life with the past life's spiritual record determining the good and bad things life forms experience. The cycle then repeats itself. I heard that some Tibetan monks claim to know everything about their past lives, so their are exceptions to that belief system.

Besides religious meditation, I bought some headphones today. They are not fancy. When I get my new job, I will get save up and buy some professional headphones near Christmas if I have money left after getting gifts for others. I am considering getting some testosterone booster. I would like the lowest row of my abdominals to finally show and a manager at a local GNC said it helps. Using steroids would be going too far because they damage natural testosterone in the human body. I would really like to develop my muscles without unnatural testosterone sources, anyway.

I saw a copy of the PlayStation 3 version of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn at Walmart. I think this is noteworthy because I heard it is sold out everywhere. I did not get it because if I am going to play it, it will be on computer. It is just a decision I made a little while ago.


Japanese for the Day

Nichi youbi (Ne-chi yoobe): Sunday

Inu (e-nu): Dog