Sometimes I hate the internet. Here's one reason why.

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Insert "watching it for the plot" joke here

Its another one of my Gamespot blogs that has nothing to do with games! Yaaaay!

I'm actually quite hesitant to post this. Its really long, somewhat harsh, and it'll probably ruffle some feathers or get me some unfollows. Oh well. If you can't stand the heat then get out the kitchen. Press the back button.

Today I want to talk about a little anime called Free. Well that and the completely offensive yet unsurprising reactions that have sprouted about as a result. But first let me tell you a little about it and my opinion on it.

Free is by Kyoto Animation, the same people who brought us K-ON, Tamako Market, Clannad, and Chunibyo demo koi ga shitai. Free bears many similarities to KyoAni's previous works. Except this anime stars all male protagonists and contains a hefty amount of fanservice aimed at the ladies. Its over the top, silly, and ridiculous. Its basically a bunch of high school boys in a swimming club. They aim to compete in the championships against a rival who goes to another school. Said rival used to be a close friend of said high school boys.

I don't consider it good. It features the male equivalent of jiggling H cup breasts and panty shots to carry the show. It is airing now and I am 6 episodes in (halfway through) and there has been little to no character development. I've heard people describe it as "K-ON with guys and swimming." But trust me, its not. What made K-on so great was its fun, loveable characters and their amazing chemistry and interactions. Free is almost devoid of that. Sure its characters are likeable enough, but they feel empty. In a slice of life anime, characters are everything. So the fact that Free's characters are so weak makes the entire anime suffer as well.

Despite that, Im kind of enjoying it, though Im severely disappointed in it. I really expected K-on with guys and swimming. But it doesnt have K-on's spark, it doesnt have its chemistry, its missing k-on's special something. Free is simply one of the few ecchi anime, along with High School of the Dead, Mnemosyne, and Ikkitousen, that I enjoy simply as guilty pleasures, but acknowledge that in terms of character and story, they just arent that good and will probably be forgotten in favor of the next ecchi anime that will push the envelope even further over the coming decade.

The critiques of Free that I've been seeing are nothing like mine though. This is what I've been hearing in reaction to this anime:

"GHEI GHEI GHEI GHEI GHEI GHEI!!!"

"Only gay guys and horny old women like this!"

"Maybe now the feminists can STFU about anime being sexist!"

Well that last one is really laughable, seeing as I can count on one hand the times Ive come across anime fans complaining about an anime being sexist. But I digress. You see, Free's biggest offense doesnt seem to be its vapid and lifeless characters, its uninteresting story, its attempt to give us the same old package in some new wrapping paper, or its lack of actual swimming despite it being a sports anime.

No dear, in the eyes of these certain anime fans, Free's biggest offense is that it caters to women, its gay, and it needs to die in a fire.

Free: bad. This: fine and dandy

I wonder if these same people kicked up a storm over Ryofu and Chinkyuu's sex scene in the first season of Ikkitousen. Or the multiple lesbian sex scenes in Mnemosyne. Or the useless bath episode in High School of the Dead that had all the female characters and their G cup glory prancing around naked and feeling each other up. Or Hitagi Senjogahara in the most recent season of the Monogatari series telling Tsubasa Hanekawa that she really wants to take a bath with her so she can see her breasts. Did they treat these anime like they treated Free? I doubt it.

This is not even limited to the world of anime. According to some very trustworthy (sarcasm) netizens, the male stripper movie Magic Mike is also gay. So are bronies. So is Justin Beiber, One Direction, and every other boy band/male teen pop star ever. So is showing any kind of affection for your male friends. Purses sure as hell aren't manly, thats why you have murses or manbags. Emotions and crying are also gay. So is pink and dancing and god knows what else.

When it comes to things like Magic Mike and Free, I frequently encountered straight men who ask people "Is it ok for me to watch this?" If they make it past that stage and just watch the darn thing, then they'll frequently remind us that they are super straight or that they only went to see it with their girlfriend. Dont get me wrong, not all straight men are like this. Many straight men can watch stuff like Free or Magic Mike and not need to say every 7 seconds "But Im not gay!"

Personally I find it annoying. I can't speak for all women, but I personally don't feel the need to let everybody know of my heterosexuality while watching some ecchi anime or something thats obviously meant to turn on men. Hell, at a friends birthday party, I put on High School of the Dead and watched it with a group of guys and girls. But none of the girls in the room felt the need to shout out "ITS GAY" nor did I feel the need to turn over to everyone every 5 seconds and remind them that I am indeed straight. I like Hyperdimension Neptunia and have expressed interest in playing Senran Kagura. But I feel no need to remind everyone that I'm not gay when I mention these games.

Some (once again, this is the key word here) men seem to think they need to bash anything they deem not manly to reaffirm their masculinity and let everyone know that they are manly men and not pansies. And stuff that appeals to women and gay men tend to fall under that category. Cuz what guy wants to be a woman? Women arent manly! Also, why do you think the phrase no homo exists? To let people know that you aren't gay despite that thing you just said that could totally be constructed as gay! Because In the eyes of the manly menz, gay men arent manly.

Oh please shutup you goddamn troglodytes. Im sick of this shit. I would like to say that no one gives a shit if you're a straight man and want to watch stuff like Magic Mike or Free, but apparently the no homo police make it hard for reasonable people to do so. They need to remind everyone that if its not manly like sports, beer pong, porn (but not gay porn, unless its lesbians!), or whatever, it is awful and should not exist. It should be bashed into the ground and burned alive. You, a manly man, should not like it! If it aint manly it aint worth doing.

Now I know one of two things are going to happen:

1.)    Someone is going to tell me Im overreacting

2.)    Someone is going to take this as an attack on masculinity and men (even though its not) and call me a raging feminazi (which I am not)

I dont really think Im overreacting. This is also not an attack on all men and masculinity. I take no issue with men. I take issue with men and women who reinforce this harmful and innacurate definition of what masculinity is and what it should be at all costs.

For example, I take issue with people who call bronies gay, and weird just for liking My Little Pony, and tell them to go watch manlier cartoons like Adventure Time and Regular Show. Let those guys like My Little Pony! Its not hurting you. I take issue with the people who feel that calling Justin Beiber a woman and gay every 10 seconds is somehow cool and people will see them as super manly. I take issue with those who tell a guy who needs help to "man up" when what that guy really needs is an ear and a shoulder to lean on. I take issue with stupid dudebros who think acting like misogynistic man children is cool and manly all the while forcing this idea on other men through ridicule and even violence. The women who reinforce this are even worse in my opinion. I also really take issue with those who treat women and homosexual men poorly as a result of this.

Goddamn, stop that, please, you immature, insecure, children. For the men who do that, if you were really secure with your sexuality and masculinity, or maybe if you were even a decent human being, you wouldnt be saying things like that. For the women who do that, have fun never finding your nice guy and only going after guys who will subsequently treat you like shit and turn you into another one of those women who go "where are all the good menz!?"

And to swing it back to my original point, yes, I take issue with people who mock Free simply because they think its gay.

Now I know I can be pretty hard on ecchi anime too. But Im sure I've never denounced an anime, or anything for that matter, simply for having lesbians or yuri undertones. I critique story, characters, art, sound, pacing, execution, etc (most of this tends to be awful in many ecchi anime). And that may involve critiquing an anime's reliance on fanservice to carry the show. But I'm not so insecure with my sexuality that I need to constantly pick on say, Ikkitousen, and bash it simply for having lesbians. Thats far from the reason why that anime is so poor.

In fact, I think Free is somewhat poor too, despite the fact that its catered exclusively towards me. But Im not about to hop on to MyAnimeList.com and make a review for it that says this:

HAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAX E SUPERGAYHAXSome asshole

Yes that is an actual review on the site. Yes its been reported. No it has not been taken down since it was uploaded on August 3rd. Yes, 49 of 182 people marked that garbage as helpful

Thats more or less what negative reviews of Free consist of. Then again, a lot of the people on MAL who post reviews before a show is even done airing tend to not be that bright anyway. But still, this is appalling.

So in conclusion, stop reinforcing your warped and ignorant definition of what a man is and forcing it on other people. Also get off of youtube and other social sites going around trying to win manly points by calling everything you deem not manly as gay or for women and little boys (which is insulting to all 3 of those groups). Those of us who are comfortable with our sexuality and masculinity or femininity hate you, your face, and your guts.

Also, bash Free if you hate it. Do it. Why? Because it really is blatant pandering at its finest. It doesn't get excused for using guys instead of girls. Bash its reliance on fanservice over substance. Bash the terrible dubstep song they used in the first episode. Critique its lack of character development and hollow characters. Critique its poor execution, lack of actual swimming and competing, and story.

But dont just say Free is bad because "its for women and its sooooo gay!"

Because I will punch you in the clavicle.

/endrant

Just Another Anniversery Blog

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Cheeers to two years. Now let's celebrate with some cake and MUTHAF*CKIN TEA!

This actually should have been posted 2 days ago, on July 4, seeing as that's when my actual anniversary was. But better late than never. I've been a registered member of Gamespot for two years. But I was hardly even active until about a year ago.

I just vaguely remember posting in the some of the Final Fantasy boards (notably XIII, Versus, Agito, and XII) before GS split from Gamefaqs. But apparently those posts weren't recorded in my posting history. Once they split, I left for a while and then came back. Apparently this is my first recorded post, from June 29, 2012, in a thread called "The best stories"

I've got to recommend Catherine. Its probably gonna go down as one of my favorite PS3 games.

By the cover it may look as if its a generic anime game that rides on its fanservice but its not. Despite its horror/fantasy elements it deals heavily with the issues of marriage, responsibility, commitment, relationships, maturity, and love, etc. You should definetley give this game a go. I highly recommend it. Compared to the other games I've played, especially the other Japanese games, this game deals with some heavy and mature issues, and actually pulls it off well.Lucky_Krystal

Everything about this post, especially the wording and the somewhat backhanded comment to Japanese games (that wasn't intentional) makes me cringe.

I would link to the first thread I ever made too, if it didn't directly conflict with many of the things I now think and believe. Reading that thread over now, my ignorance was definitely blasting full force in that thread, and I ironically end up spouting some of the things I openly combat right now.

Well, well, the more you know, and all that. I'm sure you've all figured this out by now, but I'm actually quite young. And at my age, a year is a big difference in maturity and knowledge. Reading back some of my old posts, I was quite gullible and maybe a bit ignorant. But I must say, I think I've gotten a little better. A lot better in some ways. But its clear that I still have a long way to go. I hope I continue to learn and grow wiser. And I hope I can stay here for more years to come with the awesome gamespot community.

You know I think its been a little too long since I've written a serious blog. Well, here's the story. I've written about 4 or 5. Then I looked at them (sometimes partway) and thought, "wow, I'm not posting that" and never posted it. My next serious blog will come...someday...

Search engines are silly

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Everyone seems to be buzzing about the E3 conferences. I don't think I need to do a blog post on it, as everyone else has pretty much said everything I've already wanted to say (with some hilarious and fitting gifs as well).

So Its 3:13 am where I live now, perfect time to tell a story like I always do. Internet search engines give me headaches. They really do. Quite frequently I can't find what I'm looking for, especially when I'm searching for something very specific. In this case, I wanted to spruce up my MAL profile because...its summer and I have far too much time on my hands. So I wanted to make the images I planned to add take up the entire width of the about me section. But I didn't know how long it had to be to do that so I decided to look it up (the magic number is 690px if anyone is curious). I typed in "how long is about me section on myanimelist" on bing.

Get a load of that gem at the bottom.

I've had a few amusing and not-so-amusing run ins with bizarre search engine results.

One day I was randomly thinking about a character from Cowboy Bebop. I couldn't remember her name, but I remember her being a black woman with an afro. So to figure her name out I searched up "black chick from Cowboy Bebop." For some reason I got a number of unrelated pornographic results.

I also like to look up extra art from certain games or anime. Usually I find some good scans from artbooks or see images the artist put up only on their personal website. But I sometimes end up encountering some REALLY raunchy pictures. And its just plain weird when its from a game that contains anthropomorphic animals.

Even the search suggestions are usually pretty crazy. I was once searching for "Is it ok to take Pepto Bismol and Acetaminophen together." I had typed in "is it ok" and the suggestion "is it ok to masturbate with a friend" came up. What...the hell....

Oh internet, you will never cease to amuse and disturb me, sometimes all in the same hour. Shine the f*ck on...

12 anime for anyone who thinks that modern anime sucks

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Do you reminisce of better days when anime was good (-cough-inyouropinion-cough-)? Do you hate modern anime? Do you seethe with rage when anyone so much as mentions Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, or K-ON? Then boy do I have the list for you!! I've compiled a list of 12 anime from 2010 and later (except for Bakemonogatari, which is 2009) that don't suck. Its only the tip of the iceberg but I think they help to prove my point. I hope those of you who have never seen most of the anime on this list will seek them out and enjoy them. Also, they are in no specific order.

1. Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop)

Year: 2011

Personal Rating: 9/10

Usagi Drop is the rather heartwarming tale of a 30 year old bachelor named Daikichi who takes in the illegitimate child of his now dead grandfather. Poor little Rin was a silent and distant girl born from an old man with an unknown mother, so the other family members avoided taking her in out of embarrassment. Through the anime, Daikichi makes certain sacrifices to balance taking care of Rin, work, and his personal life.

They grow closer and closer, opening up to each other and eventually growing to love each other. Usagi Drop is an adorable, sugary sweet slice of life show that examines just what it means to be a parent. Its no detailed examination but its still a fine show because of it. My only real complaint about this show is that its so short. Its only 11 episodes, a very quick watch. It covers only a short fraction of the manga. I'm hoping that one day this can get a second season.

2. Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son)

Year: 2011

Personal rating: 8/10

Wandering Son follows Shuichi Nitori and Takatsuki Yoshino's interactions with the world and the people around them due to their gender identity. You see, Nitori is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. Wandering Son is the first anime I've ever come across to revolve around and seriously focus on issues of transsexuality. Wandering Son also focus on issues surrounding puberty and gender identity.

Its a show that's very sweet, yet very heartbreaking at times. Yoshino comes across her own problems wanting to be a boy, but the anime really focuses more on Nitori. Nitori is an innocent and adorable young boy who also likes to dress up in cute girls clothes. He doesn't understand what's so wrong with wanting to wear the clothes he wants to wear. But he gets quite a bit of flak for doing it, bullied by his sister and those at school after he comes to school wearing a girl's school uniform and a wig.

This show is far from perfect. Its also short, only 11 episodes. This anime would have benefited from more episodes, as its amazing characters could have been even more fleshed out. It also takes a very subtle approach to its delicate subject. The execution also isn't perfect, as they could have given equal focus to Yoshino and Nitori. However, in a medium where transgender individuals and gender identity are usually treated as the butt of sometimes offensive jokes, this show is very refreshing.

3. The Monogatari series (Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Nekomonogatari, Kizumonogatari, 2nd season)

Year: 2009-ongoing

Personal Rating: 8/10, 7.5/10, 6.5/10, n/a, n/a

The monogatari series is a quirky and amusing little series full of rapid fire dialogue, humor, fanservice, and trippy animation. No doubt, this show will bore the crap out of some people, because it involves talking, talking, talking for the most part. But the interesting characters and their amusing interactions with each other make it very interesting dialogue. The show does have some instances of action, but its so over the top and comical that it will probably induce laughter.

The story involves our hero Koyomi Araragi, a high school student who recently survived a vampire attack, dealing with a bunch of different girls and their supernatural problems. The monogatari series is hard to describe. The way most people describe it makes it sound incredibly boring, and the first time you watch it you may not like it. But its a unique experience and a very fun show that definitely has charm.

The only thing I don't like about the Monogatari series is its use of sometimes awkward fanservice and its occasional reliance on tired anime clichés.

4. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (The Tatami Galaxy)

Year: 2010

Personal Rating: 9/10

The anime doesn't get the attention it deserves, I swear. The Tatami Galaxy is an unusual and very humorous tale of a college student who comes across a self-proclaimed "god of matrimony." Simply referred to as "Watashi," the main character is thrown into a time loop of his college days being repeated over and over again due to the mystical tatami mat that resets after every episode.

No matter which timeline he's in, his goal to live a perfect rose colored campus life is always thwarted by his troublesome and devilish friend Ozu. I always like to refer to this show as a "classier version of Bakemonogatari." Its perfect for those who liked the dialogue heavy, character focused nature of Bakemonogatari, but not the fanservice and clichés.

The Tatami galaxy sports a lovable cast of fun characters, rapid fire dialogue, hilarious humor, and a strange yet oddly attractive cartoony art style. Give this underrated gem a watch.

5. Shinsekai Yori (From the New World)

Year: 2012

Personal Rating: 9.5/10

Shinsekai Yori is a striking and unsettling anime. It takes place in a utopian society a millennium in the future.  It establishes this seemingly peaceful world that is perfect by all accounts. Through the main characters' eyes, we see its perfect layers peeled away, and are left with the horrific reality of their society.

Shin Sekai Yori is an excellent anime. Its a chilling tale that will leave you impressed long after you've finished it. Its slow paced and subtle story actually ends up working in the animes favor. Its detailed and intricate story as well as its themes will leave the viewer immensely satisfied in the end. Some of the best kinds of stories are the one that make you feel emotion, and boy will this anime invoke plenty of that. Its a spectacular show that shouldn't be missed by anyone.

6. Mahou Shojo Madoka Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

Year: 2011

Personal rating: 8/10

Don't you dare be deceived by the cute art style! Madoka Magica is a very dark magical girl anime that intentionally sets itself up in the beginning to look like a cute, heartwarming show. The first two episodes are light hearted and fun for the most part and then BAM! Tragedy strikes. Madoka Magica is a great deconstruction of the magical girl genre. Normally in magical girl anime, the girls are upbeat and cute and can overcome anything with the power of love and friendship. Its far more complex than that in Madoka Magica.

A positive personality and strong friendship does not exempt these characters from their fate as magical witches. Being a magical witch is stressed as being one of sacrifice and great danger. There are a lot of twists and turns in the story that will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way until the bittersweet end. Madoka Magica is by no means perfect. It does rely on a good amount of shock factor and violence to strike emotion within the audience, a technique I can't say I really cared for.

But its superb story, art, animation, and characters are a treat to behold.

7. Shiki

 

Year: 2010

Personal Rating: 7.5/10

Shiki is a mystery/horror/thriller that details the exploits of a group of vampires ravaging a small peaceful village during one raging hot summer. You will see no sparkling and silly teen romances here. Shiki makes no effort to romanticize its vampires. Its clear that these vampires are out for blood. Tragically, they aren't doing it for kicks. These vampires need to eat, or they'll die or be overcome with a raging hunger that will cause them to feast anyway. Some of their victims die, and others become vampires themselves.

What I like about Shiki is that its not simply black and white, good and evil. Its very gray at times. The vampires must feast to survive, much like humans must kill other animals to sustain themselves. You will see a few of the vampires struggle not to attack their friends and family, brought to tears over the fact that either they have to kill their fellow townsfolk to live or that the humans are out for their lives simply because of a deadly hunger they cannot fight.

I must warn you though; the ending is very very gruesome, and quite a bit unsatisfying.

8. Steins;Gate

Year: 2011

Personal Rating: 8.5/10

Steins;Gate wins the award for having the dumbest sounding description yet somehow drawing me in anyway. This show was described to me as a show about a group of friends who customize their microwave to send text messages into the past. That was it.

But Steins;Gate is so much more than that. Its a tale of time travel that starts out as harmful fun but turns pretty dark for the main characters later. Conspiracies, death, evil organizations; but that doesn't even scratch the surface. The series is mostly light hearted for the first part, until EPISODE. FREAKING. TWELVE. That is all I will say. Steins;Gate also boasts a cast of very charming and humorous characters, as well as a number of geeky internet jokes.

9. Psycho Pass

Year: 2012

Personal Rating: 7.5/10

Psycho Pass follows the exploits of a team of police officers in a futuristic world. This world is ruled by the Sibyl system, an omnipotent being that can instantly measure a person's mind and personality. It can then measure the person's criminal tendency. The police are armed with a gun that utilizes the Sibyl System in order to handle latent criminals. Right from the very beginning, its made apparent just how flawed this system really is.

The first few episodes are largely episodic, but later on a cunning villain catches the attention of the police force. They must fight to stop him, all the while questioning their society and the Sibyl System as a whole. Psycho Pass does present some troubling moral dilemmas and themes. However what I didn't like about this show was that it introduced these themes yet didn't really flesh them out or explore them well.

Its still a great show though, and definitely worth a watch.

10. Fate/Zero

Year: 2011-2012

Personal Rating: 8.5/10

Fate/Zero is a superb action anime that takes place 10 years before the events of Fate/stay night. The story focuses on a war between seven summoners and their servants. The winner attains the "Holy Grail" which has the power to grant a miracle.

Fate/Zero thrives on the "rule of cool." It sports amazing action and animation, with a splendid score by Yuki Kajiura. The story involves a surprisingly intuitive use of both tactics and alliances. The characters are splendid characters not so much for the minimal development they get throughout the series. These characters all boast unique appearances, powers, and personalities. Their personalities practically command attention, making them memorable simply for their overpowering presence.

Definitely a must watch for action fans.

11. Panty and Stocking with Garter belt

Year: 2010

Personal Rating: 8.5/10

This is a very love it or hate it show. Some will find this show hilarious; others will find it offensive and gross.

To put it bluntly, Panty and Stocking is probably the best ecchi anime I've ever seen. Its also one of the very few comedy anime to actually make me burst out in audible laughter, not roll my eyes or simply smile. Panty and Stocking is raunchy, funny, over the top, and ridiculous. It goes where no ecchi anime has ever gone, and it actually succeeds. Its an ecchi, but no it does not involve half naked underage girls flashing their panties and slapping the herbivore male lead just for walking in on her naked.

Panty and Stocking are two foul mouth angels that were kicked out of heaven to Daten city. They must fight ghost and collect heaven coins to gain access to heaven again. Of course, that is when Stocking isnt stuffing her face or Panty isnt banging anything that moves.

This show also sports a cartoony style reminiscent of the Powerpuff Girls and other American cartoons. Its also got a pretty sweet soundtrack. The jokes can be disgusting sometimes, consisting of humor that involves shit, piss, and semen. But for the most part, this series is hilarious.

12. Lupin the third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

Year: 2012

Personal Rating: 5.5/10

This is a prequel to the old school anime Lupin the Third, focusing mostly on the sexy bombshell Fujiko Mine.

You might be perplexed as to why I put this on the list even though I rated it so poorly. The only reason I rated it so poorly was because the show fell apart halfway through. They tried to make it all dark and twisty and give Fujiko some tragic backstory. It was nonsensical and unneeded.

But this is still a pretty unique and out of the ordinary anime. The first part was great; it was largely episodic and had a likeable cast of characters. My feelings of the show are mixed, but Id still recommend it for its willingness to do something different, its great moments, and its superb production values. Its also one of the few ecchi anime that I can actually stomach.

Despite what people say, I still think anime is a varied and highly entertaining medium that still has the potential to produce something great. But I'll let you guys in on a secret. Its a secret that goes for any entertainment medium, including gaming.

Most of the stuff you'll run into will range from Ok to absolute shit. Its normal to not be amazed by every single little thing you come across. Its normal for anime seasons to be full of generic tripe and mediocre anime along with about two or three rare gems hidden in the mist. The good anime is still out there. You just have to find it. The Tatami Galaxy, Wandering Son, Usagi Drop, Shiki, Shinsekai Yori, and the Woman Called Fujiko Mine all got 1/1000000000 of the hype that more popular shows like Naruto, Angel Beats, and Sword Art Online got. I had to squint to find these. The gems are out there. But you have to make the effort to actually LOOK for it.

Also, stop comparing the best of the past to the worst of today and then patting yourself on the back for it for thinking you made some grand realization and moved on to some higher plane of being. That is irksome.

My god this took up 7 pages in a word document. Is anyone even still reading this? Tell me your thoughts on the whole modern anime vs. old anime thing, or your personal choices for awesome modern anime.

A tale of dumb luck, little Rugrats, and Legacy games

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ohhhh what is this!?

It's five in the morning where I live. And I have no idea why I'm up.

Perfect time to tell a story. At times, I get struck with random moments of dumb luck. You know, the kind of luck where you think "Oh God, that shouldn't have happened, I probably don't deserve that, but it happened." Or, "Oh crap, I am saved." Examples include: Homework is not done. Teacher doesn't collect it. Didn't study for a test. Gets a C. Your gift card is declined while you're at a delicious take-out sushi restaurant. Luckily you had backup money and didn't just leave hungry and sad. Yeah, stuff like that. And before anybody asks, no that's not the reason for my username.

So...funny story. I commonly get gift cards for Christmas and my birthday from my relatives who live across 'Murica. They are those pre-paid Visa gift cards. So I never keep track of how much money I have left on those. I'll use like, $36.87 of $50 and then not remember how much I have left on the card. Which is idiotic, I know. So a few days ago, I went onto the website on the back of the card to see how much money I had left on them. I gathered up all the ones I could find and plugged them into the site. Most of them were empty. But one had about $12 on it. Another had $8. One had only $2. But guess what? One had the full $50 on it. It must of gotten mixed up with the used ones.

Guess when the expiration date for that card was? June 2013, the end of this week. I mean sure, the site said I could call in and get a free replacement even if the card expired. But man, that seemed like it would have been a hassle. So I decided, why not buy some old legacy games off of Amazon? These are the games I ordered:

Until a few months ago, I had never heard of this game. Someone just happened to mention it on my old blog responding to Carolyn's Persona 4 article. I was intrigued by the gameplay and the story, so I went and bought it. One vendor was selling this game for $0.01. Can you believe that? I mean sure the total would have been $4 with shipping and handling. But...it seemed like a trap...I bought from another vendor with more positive reviews, who also had the game in better condition. It was still very cheap though.

So hardcore right? A long time ago, when I was just 4 years old, I had a ps1 demo with this game on it. I always wanted to play the full game but never ended up buying it. Until nooooow! Look, don't judge me. I had to find something really cheap for the card that had $8 on it.

Another game I've been wanting to play for years. I remember seeing it advertised on the back of my Final Fantasy X-2 game's manual. I've been wanting to give the Star Ocean games a go for a while. I figured this was a safer bet than The Last Hope though...

Ah...yes. Xenogears. The game I'm anticipating the most. Its also another game I've been wanting to play for years. Its spiritual successor, Xenosaga, is one of my all time favorite games, and I always praise it as one of the best games I've ever played. It turned me into an instant fan of Monolith Soft. Unfortunately, I never got the privilege of playing Xenoblade. But at least now I can finally experience Xenogears. Of the four games, this was the priciest, but I know it'll be well worth it. Yes yes, I know I could have gotten it for $9.99 on PSN. But I wanted a physical copy because I'm weird like that.

On another note, yesterday at 4:00 am (man my sleeping pattern is so out of wack) I got the urge to play this old Rugrats game. I had 3 of them, but I really wanted to play Search for Reptar. I dug 2 of the 3 games (who knows where the other is) out of a drawer and played SFR for a while. Get this: the game was SO scratched up that it froze when I first tried to play it. But I reset the game and it was smooth sailing from there. Ah...yes. It brought back memories. Haha...I used to think this was the best game ever back when I was 4 years old.

I added some old, borrowed, and lost games to my backloggery that I had forgotten all about too. And I made it more pretty. And added ratings. Man, that site is addictive. Add me if you feel like it.

Hm...maybe I should go to sleep now. Meanwhile I would like you, my sexy followers, to tell me your random instances of dumb luck. And/or make fun of or approve of the games I just bought.

Been writing and re-writing some reviews + STFU about my banner

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My reaction to the comments in my last blog

 

Heya fellow Gamespotters.

I deleted some of my old reviews a while ago because they were atrocious. I ended up rewriting my review for Catherine (I am allowed to do that right?) and I think its much better. I also wrote a brand new review for Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, which I finished a while ago. If you feel like it, give 'em a read.

Catherine

Neptunia V

Any kind of feedback or constructive criticism would be appreciated. When I'm done with them, I'll be writing reviews for Tales of the Abyss and Disgaea 4 as well. 

Also, did you notice I changed my banner? I really liked my old Neptune banner. But I was tired of people commenting on her chest size. Okay, maybe it was only two people plus the one person that liked the comment. But its still annoying as hell. They acted like my banner negated whatever I was talking about in my blog. Her chest was the very last thing I was focused on. I thought the picture was pretty and it'd be cool to put "Lucky's Blog" between her hands and use it as a banner (the original image looked like this by the way).

Oh well. I like this new one too. Its Katherine from Catherine. I snagged the image from the wiki then added the "cartoon" filter on Gimp. Then I slapped text on it and put it up there. One day I hope to create something fancier. But for now, this is all I can really do. What do you guys think of it?

Anywaaaaay, I'm off to fold clothes and take a shower. Next blog will either be a serious editorial concerning a comment I read in the forum about kids and M rated games or one about dating T-rexs.

......................

Please don't ask.......

Why is it always about the breasts?

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Yes that was a serious question. Why is it?

Last week, Jason Schrier from Kotaku published an article where he likened the artist of Vanillaware games, George Kamitani, to a fourteen year old boy. Why? Because of the character pictured above. Kamitani humorously fired back by posting a picture on his personal Facebook of the Dwarf characters from the same game shirtless, winking, and affectionately embracing. The caption under the picture read "It seems that Mr. Jason Schreier of Kotaku is pleased also with neither sorceress nor amazon. The art of the direction which he likes was prepared." Some took it lightly; some took it as an offensive crack at Schrier's sexuality.

Schrier later apologized and explained his reasoning for attacking Kamitani's designs. He said "...its embarrassing. Because I love Japanese games and Japanese RPGs and I don't want them to perpetuate the ugly 'boys' club' mentality that has pervaded gaming for almost three decades now." A lot of apologizing from both sides was made. In an e-mail to Kotaku, Kamitani explained that he found the art in works such as Dungeons and Dragons and in JRR Tolkiens works appealing. However, he decided that the initial character designs wouldn't stand out amongst the flurry of fantasy designs already parading in not just games, but books, movies, and other media as well. So he exaggerated his character designs in a cartoonish fashion. All of the designs are exaggerated, not just the busty sorceress. Kamitani's intent wasn't to be a sexist pig or alienate female gamers. It was just a simple artistic choice. Despite that, today, Gearbox's environmental artist has also put in her (very nasty) two cents about the art and Kamitani.

I am very disappointed by all this. We are nowhere near closer to a more accepting and inclusive gaming industry or community. All that's been done here is the shaming and ridiculing of a very talented artist. I mean, Kamitani has been likened to a teenage boy, a homophobe, a terrible artist, and a sexual deviant. That is completely ridiculous, rude, and uncalled for. People took one character design out of context and then decided to turn it and Dragon's crown into the poster child for what's wrong with the gaming industry.

Never mind the gorgeous trailers that display a wide variety of beautiful and detailed locations. Never mind the interesting beat 'em up style gameplay. Never mind the detailed and gorgeous 2D graphics. Never mind that Atlus finally announced a release date and promised future updates for the game after a long stretch of silence. Once again, never mind the fact that all the character designs, male and female, are exaggerated and cartoonish.

Now, I'm not one of those people that gets offended over people being offended. I know whenever stuff like this happens, multiple tirades against political correctness and people being too sensitive come up. But I believe that everyone has the right to be offended over whatever the heck they want. What's nothing to me might be offensive to someone else. I take no issue with that. Here's what I do take issue with though:

1.) Being offended over something and then trying to get it banned and out of the hands of everyone else who doesn't share your values or sentiments.

 2.) Getting offended and then relentlessly and maliciously shaming someone or something when its not even warranted.

The latter is surely what happened here. George Kamitani is a talented man, and his artwork is absolutely gorgeous. Another article on Kotaku celebrated his designs after Schreir decided to mock him. The artist of Skullgirls, Alex Ahad, stated that he was inspired by Kamitani's work. He spoke highly of Kamitani's designs and Vanillaware in general, stating that he has the utmost respect for them. I don't think anyone can deny his talent. His art is celebrated and marveled at on a number of different sites by fans and critics alike. But what happens as soon as he draws one of his character's breasts too big?

"BURN THE WITCH!"

All this, while infuriating, isn't what bothers me the most though. People like Schreir say their justification for screaming "sexism" is to make the industry more inclusive and get it away from this boy's club mentality. That is an admirable goal and I can get behind that. However, I can't get behind spewing vicious insults at a talented artist for one character design, nor do I get behind people who throw around the word sexism at the drop of a hat.

I wrote about this many many moons ago in a blog about sexism. The issue of sexism in the industry is something I take very seriously. But at the same time, I can't help but shake my head at attempts like this to stomp out sexism. Its just not effective and its extremely misguided. Situations like these that get severely blown out of proportion are not helping the problem. Silly things like this usually end up desensitizing people to the real issue.

What about the real world? What about real issues like the pay gap in the gaming industry or online harassment? What about malicious sexism directed at living, breathing, human beings? What is shaming Kamitani going to do for these women in the long run? How is calling Kamitani an immature and creepy sexual deviant making the industry and community more inclusive?

Also, what about the people who are actually making conscious efforts to make the industry and the community more inclusive? A few weeks ago on April 22nd, the #1reasontobe panel was held at the Game Developers Conference. Inspired by the #1reasonwhy hashtag that blew up over twitter late last year, a number of women from the industry spoke about their experiences in the gaming industry. They talked about both the good and the bad of working in the industry, and what could be done to change the industry and make it better and more inclusive for future game developers. I watched it online; though I'm sure it must have been a completely different experience actually being there.

It was a very emotional and moving panel. Afterword, people thanked and praised the women leading the panel, noting that their words and actions today were inspiring to future female game developers.

To me, this is far more productive. Its far more productive when, in response to some guy with his foot in his mouth saying sexual harassment is normal and part of  the fighting game culture, a number of players come out and say, thats not true and its not tolerated. I also think Kim Swift's sound and fair advice is far more helpful. I think both Meagan Marie's game industry advice on her website and her encouragement of people to not be afraid to call someone out on their inappropriate behavior and speak up for yourself are far more helpful. I'd like to see more of all of this and less "LOL who hired the teenage boy to do this crappy design."

Now, I don't see anything wrong with a polite, calm, and logical discussion on how women or any other groups are portrayed in games. But while its better and far more polite than what Schreir did, I still think focusing on changing the industry from the inside is more productive. After all, once something is out there its out there. The way I see it, a more inclusive and diverse industry that is willing to take creative risks would definitely make the problem of negative or sparse portrayals of women and minorities in games much better. Mocking George Kamitani will not.

So lets veer our eyes away from the sorceress' chest and focus on the real issues here.

Gaming Update #1: Victory is Mine!! (+CSS woes)

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A few weeks ago, I purchased Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory. -Sigh- there I go again. I'm beginning to think there's no use putting up that personal game buying embargo, seeing as I still just buy games anyway. Oh well, when I'm done I WILL go back to my backlog. But right now I'm having tons of fun with this game. I'm in chapter 7, with about 30 or so hours clocked in. The party had just gotten their behinds handed to them by Yellow Heart. This was of course in a cutscene AFTER I completley overwhelm her in battle. Don't you just love RPGs and their disrepancies between battle and story? It's similar to when one boss takes you on and claims that they're going to destroy you, despite the fact that you clearly outnumber them. For example, when Takaya and Jin attack you in Persona 3. Gameplay wise its 2 against 4. Storywise its 2 against 9. What made them think they could win? I mean really!

Anyway, the third game is a definite improvement over mk2. Mk2 was already a huge overhaul of the first game, and Victory adds even more onto that. Also, the music is awesome. They do recycle a few tracks (Booo Compile Heart, you cheap asses!) but most of the tracks are new. Apparently the music was done by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu and his band the Earthbound Papas. Keiji Inafune, the creator of Megaman also makes an appearance as a summon once again. Oh and a...rocket...I also spotted a Bakemonogatari reference. And according to the wiki, Kyuubey from Madoka Magica makes a cameo in the game. I'm assuming they're referring to a certain type of monster I've come across in the game. I wonder how they can afford to have all these big names and cameos in the game. I thought Neptunia was a little niche game. Gosh Compile heart, if you can afford Uematsu and Inafune, how about a stable frame rate and some anime cutscenes huh!?

Anyway, I'm aiming for the platinum trophy. Just like mk2, this looks like an easy platinum. Then I'll get back to playing Disgaea 4. I'm almost to the end of that game. I also have the urge to play Portal 2 again. So that's next!

I also did a little messing around with the CSS editor on my anime list. Now it looks like this. Yes, I've Nepped up my anime list, and dabbled in some Steins;gate, Shin Sekai Yori, Ghost in the Shell, and Mushishi (all great anime by the way). AGH! Lemme tell you how much hell I had to go through just to get it to look like that.

I don't know a lick of CSS so I had to get the help of others who had tutorials in their MAL blogs. I had to go to a few different people because the initial blog I used as a reference had some sketchy information. I also had to condense the pictures I used in GIMP and stick text on 'em. Then I had to mess with the programming and...ugh. I started at 12:30 am. Before I knew it, it was 3 am. Luckily, I do have a small sliver of programming knowledge from a class I took my senior year of high school. Although that was C++ and not CSS.  My inhumane patience for electronics not doing what I tell them to was also tested daily in that class. The list doesn't look perfect (Maybe if I don't point out the mistakes, no one will notice!!)...I mean, I've seen others with far prettier lists. I will try fixing mine up again when I recover from the trauma I endured last night trying to get that thing to work.

Tell me what you think of it. And if you have an anime list as well, feel free to add me if you like. Well, that's about it....I have no witty closing statement so here's a gif of a bratty girl abusing her sweet brother.

It's not just women that are part of the "new core"

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"YOU ARE GOING TO PUT ELLIE ON THAT DAMN COVER!"

Well here we go with this topic again. A narrative designer by the name of Tom Abernathy has made a bold declaration: Women are the new core audience in gaming. Shortly after, Gamespots own Carolyn Petit posted an article backing the guy up and adding her own two cents. They both make a very good point, and there is a lot of truth in their words. But there's one thing I think they're both missing here. Or to be fair, one thing they don't emphasize as much as "Women are the new core"

Abernathy claims that women are the new core and that we should be making a more diverse range of games that appeal to this new core. But women are just one part of that new core. Thinking ONLY about women ignores the wide variety of other groups that are also a part of gaming, yet are seen as equally unimportant or even nonexistent. The groups hardly get any games that specifically speak to them because those types of games "aren't profitable." These groups are a wide variety of races, backgrounds, ages, and can be of either gender. They also have a wide variety of things they want more of in gaming, including but not limited to: more complex and diverse gameplay, more interesting tones and worlds, and richer narratives.

Now, there are two reasons why this subject gets people angry and up in arms. One: they think this is secretly a "men vs. women," or "whites vs. minorities issue." Two: They think anyone who dares to suggest that maybe games can be a little better is a nut who wants to get rid of wildly popular games like Call of Duty and God of War. Because "Ew David Cage, I dont want all games to be interactive movies" or "Ew female game designer, I don't want to play girly games." The point of this blog is to debunk both of those beliefs. That, and point to what the real issue is here. And the real issue has nothing to do with race or gender. And the real solution doesn't mean the death of AAA games aimed at teenage boys and young adult men.

It's no secret that games are primarily geared toward 15-25 year old males. Or at least, that's mainly how publishers see it when deciding which kind of games they want to throw their money at. And these publishers are intent on catering to this crowd in the most stereotypical way possible: with big guns, extreme violence, blood, and carnage, all done by the big burly male main character. Oh and breasts. Can't forget the breasts.

The problem isn't that these games exist. After all, movies and literature that contain the exact same content exist. And people love it. They eat it up. But movies and TV shows allow for more than just adrenaline pumping action flicks. They cover a wider variety of themes and genres. That's not to say that video games don't have variety. They do. But no matter how you paint it, the variety in gaming is quite limited when compared to movies, television shows, and literature. Those other mediums cater to wider variety of people of all demographics. And they're rolling in money while doing it.  

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not out to demonize men and make it seem like games are idiotic and childish because of them. As I stated above, people tend to get all heated about this subject due to gender factoring into the discussions. But here's what I think is the real problem here. And guess what?  It has nothing to do with this whole Men vs. Women gender debate:

By pandering to one demographic, you're severely limiting the variety of entertainment that you can put out there. You're stifling potentially creative and innovative new ideas by rejecting anything that doesn't cater to that demographic. You're alienating large groups of people and their piles of cash. This isn't really worrisome if its just a few games. After all, not every game needs to appeal to everyone. But its a problem when it spans across most of an industry. So you see the problem isn't gender. I'd still be making this blog even if I was in a parallel universe where video games catered to mostly 15-25 year old women, or mostly 65 year old grandparents, or mostly 10 year old kids.

Creativity cannot flourish and new ideas cannot spring about when developers are told that they cannot do something that doesn't please this one group of people. Nor can it flourish when they are expected to resort to stereotypes and common tropes to please said group of people. They cannot even gain confidence in their ideas if publishers are going to laugh in their face and say that "You can't do that! No dude wants to see that!"

Also, a lot of people tend to get all bent out of shape when this subject arises because they think people want to get rid of any game that caters to the 15-25 year old male demographic. But really the solution is not to get rid of AAA games like Call of Duty, God of War, Gears of War, or Assassins Creed. And anyone who says that that is the solution is delusional. New and creative games that don't cater to the same demographic can coexist peacefully alongside these games. Why should we need to compromise either? There is room for both. "Variety is the spice of life" after all.

Its just a matter of convincing publishers of this fact. Crap like this should not be happening. Creative new IPs should not be refused just because they don't cater to the same demographic that a million other games are. Creative new games should not be given less advertising than generic and formulaic games that don't do anything new. Of course, businesses are businesses after all. Its hard to ignore that fact.

Even still, it feels as if theres a shift in attitudes coming along in gaming. Sure there are some companies, publishers, and developers intent on churning out the same old boring tripe. But some others are speaking out. They're saying that maybe, just maybe, games could be much more than they are. They're going against the archaic attitudes of the publishers. Which is why when articles like this or this pop up, I feel like the developers aren't even saying that to us gamers (since the collective "DURRR" that always ends up in the comments implies that gamers already know that). I feel like they're saying it to the publishers who rejected them and told them to "take the lady off the cover."

And thankfully, when they decide to branch out to bigger and better things, they have alternatives like steam/psn/xbl and kickstarter to back them up when no publisher wants to. For all peoples talk of nothing new happening in the coming gen, I'm seeing a lot of potential for change. It seems we're witnessing a complete shift in attitudes that's in its very early stages.

Look at this issue from another perspective as well. How long are we going to stereotype every single male as someone who will automatically drool with pleasure over anything that has violence, blood, and breasts? Who's to say that male gamers don't want more variety too? What if a 40 year old male gamer, who's been gaming since he was at the wee age of 10, is also getting just a little bit tired of the same old story of an emotionless man with a gun, devoid of any personality, who's only goal is to mow down aliens or other people? What if there are several male gamers who are about 30 and up and want a game that doesn't have juvenile humor and dialogue that sounds like it was written by someone half his age?

Anyway, that's really what it boils down too. This isn't about sexism, racism, gender roles, or being politically correct, even though people try to make it out to be like it is. Its about a medium we all love growing and maturing into something bigger and better. A medium that expands beyond pandering to the stereotypes of only one demographic. A medium that can satisfy the wide variety of people it attracts. Women aren't the only new core. It's also the wide range of both men and women who don't fall into the "15-25 year old male who won't touch anything that has no explosions, violence, and guns" demographic. They're the ones who want something more from the medium than only blood, violence, gratuitous profanity, and inappropriately placed sex scenes. We are all the new core.

And it'll be interesting to see what kind of games we'll get once this realization finally takes root in all of the industry.

5 Hilariously sad ways I've lost games

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This gif is so irrelevant to the topic at hand

Here's a lighthearted topic to offset all that seriousness and brain munching critical thinking required in my last blog.

I was looking at my games on backloggerry and realized that I've owned much more than 86 games. Some of them are just lost forever, case and all. And it got me to thinking about the ways I've lost many of my video games. 5 cases in particular are just REALLY sad (and somewhat funny). I hope sharing my experiences would get you (yes you, my lovely followers) to share yours too. Or maybe you just came to laugh at my pain.

5.) Sharing is caring

I lent my Disgaea 2 to a friend back in high school. She was two years ahead of me and we were good friends at the time so I thought "Why not?" She ended up keeping it for a while. Around the time she was about to graduate, her brother  asked "Oh, do you want your game back? Have we kept it too long?" I said "No its ok, go ahead and keep it for a little while longer! Disgaea is meant to be enjoyed the most once you get to the post game!" Since he was in the same grade as me, I knew I could ask him for it back after she graduated.

All 3 of us have since graduated. Ha...they live near me too. I could go walk to their house and ask for it back. But that'd be weird. Oh well. Even if I got it back I probably wouldn't play it. I've clocked in well over 200 hours in that game.

4.) Final Fantasy X-2 vs My kid sister (or was it my PlayStation?)

Here's a fun fact: I've purchased the game Final Fantasy X-2 three times. One was for my friend's birthday. One was when I first bought it for myself. The last was because my little sister broke it. Or...perhaps it was my PlayStation 2's laser malfunctioning. I believe this was back when I had my first PS2 that ended up breaking. I honestly can't remember. Perhaps it was both, and I ended up buying Final Fantasy X-2 four times. My memory of that is extremely sketchy. Still, I never knew why I didn't just hide my games when I was younger. That wasn't the only game my little sister broke...

3.) The Walking Final Fantasy XII

My first Final Fantasy XII game disappeared out of the blue one day. It was gone for a really long time, and I looked far and wide for it. Under the bed. In the game cases of every single game I owned. In all the anime DVD cases I had in my room. Behind the bed. EVERYWHERE man! Eventually my itch to play Final Fantasy XII got so unbearable that I just bought a new one. Several weeks after repurchasing the game, while looking for something in my older sister's closet, I found the previous game in one of her movie cases. She does not play video games, other than The Sims. And I would have NEVER put it there so I have no flipping idea how it got there. It was this movie by the way..

The last place a final fantasy game should ever be

Luckily I only paid $12 for it the first time and then $10 the second time. Otherwise I'd have been even more pissed off than I already was...

2.) Vacuum crossing

A friend of mine in 5th grade once bought me animal crossing for my birthday. I played it a little and liked it. Too bad it got lost before I could beat it. Sometimes I would go in my mom's room and sleep on the floor near her bed. Once, I took Animal Crossing out of my DS to play Pokemon mystery Dungeon. Instead of putting it in its case where it should have been, I put it on the floor under the bed. I never saw the game after that. I looked all over her room and couldn't find it. She did vacuum around that time, so I suspected that she probably vacuumed up the game by accident. Those DS cartridges are so tiny. This whole thing was just

I felt like such a douche when my friend would ask me if I was enjoying the game and I would lie and say "Yeah its great."

1.) Gotta eat 'em all

I had a fun little game called Pokemon Sapphire Version for the gameboy advance SP when I was a kid. I loved it dearly. I also had this cousin who my family would watch over after school while his parents were at work. So we would always play pokemon together on our gameboys. He had ruby version, but for some odd reason, he took my sapphire home with him one day. The next day they came and told me that their dog ATE HIS GAMEBOY AND MY GAME. They said they were sorry and that they would buy me a new one. Instead of getting mad I tried to figure out how that was even possible. How did that dog get that thing into his mouth? How is their dog not dead?

Apparently the dog didn't swallow it, he spit up the gaming console. I also recall my cousin having a gameboy micro as well as an SP, so maybe the dog ate the micro (those things were tiny). Anyway they never ended up getting me a new sapphire, so I took his ruby version and never gave it back. Hm...ruby version isn't on my backloggery. Too bad I can only mark it as "formerly owned" and not the much more sophisticated and comical (in the saddest way possible) "eaten by my cousin's dog."

 


 

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