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SlowMotionKarma Blog

Revived My Old Weblog

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Lately I've been in a sharing mood. Add to that Skyrim's beautiful vistas and I decided to resurrect my old weblog. I'm "planning" on keeping up with it. Right now I have 2 new posts. They're both Skyrim Photo Journals. I plan to keep updating with more cool screenshots as my second life progresses.

I'm also starting to watch anime again. It's been WAY too long and I have a huge backlog of series to catch up with. Bright side is, I'm going to start reviewing series again. Then there are the game reviews, and my musings. Also, other things I deem worthy of talking about. If you have the time, check it out!

http://weblog-karma.blogspot.com/

Why Don't I Miss You A lot, Forever? or Kudos Nicholas Cage... Kudos.

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Fresh Content

It’s a little early for me to be posting again, but I have so much to tell you all! Gather ‘round children and listen to what I say…

Ha! You actually tried to listen. How can you “listen” to text? Foolish humans. Anyway, there is a lot of stuff I want to type/show you so I figured I’d go ahead and do it now before I forget half of what I want to include. That means this will be a media-intensive post. High fives all around.

Absolute Win

Those crazy Japanese people… They come up with the weirdest, most random… and yet awesome “things” I’ve ever seen. This video is no exception. It’s a Flash video made for a remix/mixed song with sound taken from a popular independent/underground/doujin “group” (with one member) Touhou’s game. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing one of his games, you’re missing a lot. There are 9 games so far, but only 5 you can get for Windows. They’re a top-down shooter genre game featuring insane levels of difficulty, awesome animation, and cool characters. I’ve played the 5 most recent games, and loved them. Today I found this post with links to flash videos and this was one of them.

Even if you know nothing about the games (which would help you understand this video a bit more) and even if you don’t know Japanese (which would help you understand what they are saying in this video a lot more), it’s awesomeness still shines through. It’s so full of WIN, if a loser happens to watch this video, he would actually be “cooler” afterwards. That’s how much win this video puts out.

Fast-paced techno/mix music, fluid animation, and a healthy helping of really bad En-gu-rish make this video my favorite of the week, and absolutely hilarious. Enjoy.

[video=J31llTXw5bkOvTXZ]

Multi-Core Future

For those “in” on the video game technology news ring, you’ll know VALVe’s Source Engine is about to get an overhaul with full support for multi-core processors. This will allow developers to keep the graphics at the same level and focus on adding more to the games, such as super-advanced AI and physics. These two videos showcase a tech company’s take on what can be done with multi-core processors. After watching them, I gained new hope for video games.

One of the biggest problems in games today is AI path finding. They can get from point A to point B fine, but put an AI character on a path that requires them to navigate tricky terrain, and you might as well go out for lunch. For instance, remember how annoying escorting NPC’s in Morrowind or Oblivion is? Those stupid people can’t walk around a rock, can’t swim in a straight line, and walk right into an epic battle they have no chance of winning. Annoying. But now, with multi-core support, the AI path finding can be calculated in real-time without any scripting or algorithms. All on the fly. How wonderful. So check out this video. Pay attention to the second half when you see the soldiers close-up. They are navigating through changing terrain, and finding paths that current AI technology wouldn’t even consider.

[video=Jn00w2Or5bkOvTTd]

This next video shows the remedy to another big problem in games, AI scaling. As it is now, only AI in your viewable area is “active”. Other characters far away, or behind you, or in a building isn’t active. So, (lets use a RPG setting for this example) you enter a tavern and talk to a few people and leave. After you leave the AI stops. When you re-enter, they are right back where they were. With multi-core enhancements, a whole town’s AI can be controlled with an extra core, completely unobtrusive to the main graphics/AI/gameplay processing. That means all of the other NPC’s are living their lives on their own. This opens up doors for vastly different ways to play and interact with a game’s characters. This video gives a few possible scenarios in an RPG-type game. Remember too, this is just a tech demo for the AI capabilities, so the graphics could look a lot better.

[video=JSQ1xjT55bkOvTTY]

Isn’t that amazing? I can’t wait to see what VALVe has in store for future games. Imagine the interactivity you can achieve with these kinds of AI systems with characters like Alyx and D0G and Eli. Wow. The future is gonna be great. Check out the AISeek site for more videos and their whitepaper. Very interesting stuff.

Kudos to…

Now introducing my “Kudos to…” section. This is where I give a personal “thumbs up” to people/places/ideas that I think are deserving of my praise. Without further delay, here we go!

-Kudos to… Nicholas Cage. Yeah, they said you’d suck as Superman, so what did you do? You jumped at the first chance you had to being a superhero. Now look at you… you’re Ghost Rider, in a movie that is sure to be a big hit…

-Kudos to… Fergie. You took “dirty” and made it fashionable. You took “nasty” and made it hip. Not only that, but you made chocolate seem disgusting after spreading it all over yourself in your Fergalicious video. I never would’ve thought someone could make the thought of chocolate make me want to puke. All hail the new queen of Nausea-ville!

-Kudos to… Fox TV. Not only have you replaced House with American Idol, but you put The OC up against the most popular show on TV, Grey’s Anatomy effectively killing The OC. I hope whoever came up with your schedule got some kind of promotion because that’s genius…

-Kudos to… President George Bush. Even with the lowest approval ratings in THE HISTORY OF MANKIND (ok, not really. But darn close.) you still won’t admit you seriously fudged up your term. Still you want to move more soldiers into Iraq. Still. You either have the tiniest brain or the biggest balls…

-Kudos to… humans. Even with the steadily increasing evidence, you refuse to believe in global warming. After all, Earth is only what you live on. Who cares if it’s falling apart? Not you!

And there you have it. Let’s have a big hand for those I mentioned.

And the Legend Lives On

I finally bit the bullet and finished Zelda. I failed to collect all the heart containers. The problem with that was, I didn’t keep track of the containers I already picked up, so I would’ve had to retrace my steps and check each spot to see if I had that one or not. I love the game, but 50 hours later and so close to the end? I’m not really into doing it all again, ya know? Everything else I finished though. The bug collection, weapon collection/upgrades, etc. I just couldn’t stomach doing the heart search…

It was a great game! The final battles were awesome! The story was awesome! A little sad… but great still. There’s still a lot of questions as to how this game matches up with Wind Waker, since that game comes next chronologically in the timeline… Meh. I guess the new Zelda game in-development for the Wii will fill in a few more blanks? Hopefully so. The Legend of Zelda is such a great series.

New Old Favorites

House returns next week! Supposedly it will air uninterrupted up to it’s season finale date. I can’t wait! Also, Fox is really playing up the “Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House” line. Every time the mention the series, you’ll hear something about “Golden Globe”, “winning”, and “House.” Not that I blame them; Hugh Laurie makes House what it is. He’s a great actor. Who would’ve thunk it? From Stuart Little 1/2/3 to House? Funny how things just work out sometimes, isn’t it?

In February, LOST returns to TV… finally. And this one I know will air without interruption until it’s season finale. The producers/writers have also hinted at the end for LOST. They say they want to end it while it’s still interesting and popular. And their expert opinion places the “ideal” ending at “about 100 episodes.” Isn’t that a coincidence? 100 is the number of episodes that a series is prime for syndication… hmm. Anyway, I’m confident they’ll do the series right. They haven’t let me down so far…

I’ve also been watching Angel every morning. I got into the series toward the end, so I’ve been blessed with the chance to catch up on all the episodes I missed. It’s not my favorite vampire story… thing… but I like it. Too bad it comes on at the ungodly hour of 5 and 6 am…

And then there’s the still-long list of anime I’m watching… man, I’m not even going to get into that.

Old New Endings

That’s about all for now. There are a few other things I would’ve liked to mention, but I’m sick of typing. Time for another House quote!

“Yeah, and you might want to add chicken soup. It’s just as useless… but it’s got chicken!”

Jack Frost Finally Gets Here or Media Mayhem

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Baby It’s Cold Outside It’s cold! Sunday night and Monday that arctic cold front came through here. Today I went outside to grab the paper and the grass beneath my feet crunched as I stepped on it. The leaves had about ¼ inch of ice on the top and the car was coated. I would’ve spent a bit more time outside, but it was cold! So I retreated back underneath my covers and watched the second episode of Angel.

The last time it was like that I think I was still in middle school. School was canceled (just like today) and I ventured out in my backyard and played around. Everything was encased in ice. It was a surreal experience; like the world was sealed away and I managed to avoid being caught in it myself. Everything was silent and cold. Clouds hung low in the sky, making you feel the world was a lot smaller. What light from the sun that managed to filter through the heavy clouds took on a blue-ish tinge. I didn’t hear birds, insects, people, machines… I didn’t hear anything. Those moments, they leave this odd feeling in the pit of your stomach. Fear and amazement at the same time? It was a superficial feeling; I knew it was just a weather phenomenon and the world wasn’t actually frozen but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

It’s just odd, seeing everything encased in ice. It’s like God was putting away his toys and didn’t want to get dust on them. Anyway, I tried one of the icicles that formed over the side of our patio ceiling. It didn’t taste that good… I guess the sediment (read: dirt) that collected over the years filtered down into the ice. It’s actually a miracle I didn’t get sick from that. Who knows what kind of bacteria I ingested. Guess I should be thankful I followed the “5 second rule” as I grew up.

How ‘bout I nip this tangent in the rear before it gets out of control? It’s cold outside. I love it! Sleeping is so much fun in the cold months. Lying underneath covers, bundled and warm, knowing that on the other side is the chill waiting to seep in… *sigh* wow.

Eclectic Journey Taking advantage of the weather, I popped in Kino’s Journey (which I got as a Christmas gift on DVD) and followed Kino on her journey. It fit my mood perfectly. This is probably one of the hardest anime to quantify. It doesn’t really have a “point” to it, but it feels important. There aren’t any direct or underlying meanings to the episodes, yet they seem meaningful. I like mysterious things like this. It keeps me coming back to them. I’ll have a full review out later.

It’s been a while since I’ve done an anime review here. I’ve seen a ton of anime, but I only review anime proper when I own it on DVD. So yeah, keep your eyes peeled for a review. I might be a while considering… well, you’ll see. Anyway, if you’re looking for an interesting anime, check out Kino’s Journey.

Leadership Abilities So, I’m the new leader of the HeadCrab Union. The previous leader, Sentinelrv retired and he chose me as his successor. So far it hasn’t been to hard. It’s been complicated. GameSpot needs to seriously update their unions system. Doing anything now is a pain in the rear. It takes way longer than it should and even then, the results are limited.

Complaints aside, I’m honored and happy to take up the position. I practically joined GS to join the HCU, so it’s no big stretch for me.

I’m still getting the hang of things, but I have most of it down now. So anyway, check it out!

Virtual Console Speaking of games, I got the WiFi USB connector to work a few weeks back so now my Wii is connected to the interweb! I downloaded Super Mario 64, Gunstar Heroes and Bomberman ’93 from the Virtual Console service with the Points cards I got for Christmas. Awesome!

I beat Mario 64 already. It brought back the memories. I haven’t played that game for years and back then (since I didn’t own a 64) I didn’t have the chance to collect all 120 stars. I was only missing the 100 coin stars and a few of the castle stars, but still! This time I got them all. Even now, that game is one of the best platformers ever. There are a few frustrating parts, but there are also a lot of fun parts.

Gunstar Heroes is one of my favorite games on the Genesis. It’s a side-scrolling shooter. You make your way “right” fighting a horde of endless enemies in 4 different levels. Your gun has two slots. Each one can hold a power. I prefer two flame power-ups. That gives you this long, steady stream of flame (think “flamethrower”). With that I can stand in the center of the screen and spin the flame around in a circle. It’s a shield and a weapon!

I remember playing with Phoenix. He had a long range weapon combination, so we can attack enemies outside of my flamethrower’s reach. We’ve always been a great team. One of the most memorable levels in that game is this board game level. You stand in front of this board game map and throw this oversized die. You move that number of spaces and fight the enemy in the space you land on. There are also a few “item” spaces that let you pick up power-ups or a heart sphere (increases your health, duh).

The enemies have crazy names. I can’t recall any of them, but believe me, they’re outrageous. In fact, the whole game has these funny nuances. I mean, you fight a curry monster, a transforming mecha (that transforms into a cat, a bird, a gun, and 4 other forms), a tiny but powerful soldier, and some crazy guy that can grab onto a spinning helicopter blade to attack you! You get to fight in space too. There’s even a rudimentary storyline, with love interest, comrade turned bad… then turned good again, a great evil power being unleashed that turns on it’s summoner… a great game.

And then there’s Bomberman ’93. Such a great game. Blowing up stuff is awesome! I’m not going to say much about this game because I’m sure everyone’s played it. If you haven’t… what’s wrong with you?!

Playing House Another Christmas present, or should I say “presents” is the House DVD box sets. I have both seasons and I’ve watched them all these past few weeks. Man, that show is great! It’s not every day that a show strikes a perfect balance between story, characters, drama and comedy. Hugh Laurie was born to play that role. He’s amazing, and in my opinion, the best actor on TV today.

One of my favorite aspects of the series is how he can deliver these sarcastic, funny lines during a very serious moment, and not ruin the tension. All of those “House-isms” are great too. I only wish the third season was available already. Having to wait two weeks for the next new episode isn’t fair! Stupid American Idol. Seriously, who other than the first winner has become famous? Sure the others have done “stuff” but nothing befitting “idol status”. *sigh* Oh well.

A funny feature in the second season’s bonus content are these “alternate takes” on a few scenes. Cuddy and Cameron act out two scenes from the series as valley girls. Wow, hilarious! Buy House! You won’t regret it, I guarantee it! (not really)

The Final Step: Acceptance I admitted I had a picture collecting problem. I was mad, sad, hopeless, hopeful, crazy, and calm. All the while I’ve been trying to catch up turning them into wallpapers, and failing miserably. Well, I’m happy to announce… hmm, is it “happy”? Whatever. I’m announcing I’ve reached the final step in this addiction, acceptance. No matter how hard I try to catch up, I’ll always be behind. I’ve been working hard on images lately and I got pretty close to finishing, but a few nights ago I came across a lot of new pics… back to square one.

It was about that time that I realized that I’d never be “caught up” with the pics. It’s a big load off my shoulders. I’ve accepted this fact and I now have a greater focus. I just pick the images I like the most and do those first. All the others I’ll get around to eventually. And I’m OK with that. It’s not like they disappear if I don’t use them after a certain amount of time. It’s a good feeling, acceptance. You all should try it. Got something you’re obsessed with? Just accept it. Accept it and move on. You’ll feel a lot better afterwards. In fact, it made me more productive. Constantly dwelling on “I have sooo many more to do!” only made me not want to work on them. Now I’m at a nice balance. Go me!

The last “real” wallpaper I made is for this awesome Yuki scan I found. She’s my favorite Haruhi character, and I love that loligoth style. Awesome pic. So here it is.

It’s a bit dark, but I think the scan fits well. Here’s another one I don’t remember if I posted here or not… meh, might as well. I’ve had it for a while now.

Another positive about this is the organization. Now that I’m not rushing about, I took the time to re-organize my wallpapers. A lot of the folders I used had hundreds of images in them, making it a pain to find what image I wanted. Now I’ve organized them in more detailed folders, so I can find the image by category. It’s a lot easier to find images now. Oh, the official count is 8,350 wallpapers. Total images? 27,411 images. And of course, that grows daily. I love me some images.

More Changes Here I’ve decided to alter my theme here more than I have been. I haven’t decided on the frequency yet, but it will probably follow the seasons and holidays. With all the images I have, I can afford to change things up more often. And just for future reference, all of my theme background images will be best viewed on PC’s with resolutions at or greater than 1024x768.

…And Everything Else I still haven’t finished Twilight Princess. I took a break to play Mario 64 and in-game I’m focusing on the heart pieces and bug collection quests. After that I’m just a few boss fights away from the end.

I saw Children of Men a while back. That is an amazing movie. From an artistic standpoint, everything comes together perfectly. The art design, direction, pacing, cuts, framing, color palate, costumes… perfect! The story is really interesting. I need to watch it again, though. This is one of those movies you need to watch a couple of times to fully “get”, but already I liked it. Highly recommended!

For those Ghostbusters fans (like me), you’ll be interested in the following video. It’s apparently from a work-in-progress game starring the Ghostbusters. Everything looks modernized, from the high-tech proton packs, to the customized Ghostbusters 300M wagon. Check it out! The first is in-game, the second is a look at the Ecto “2”, the third shows the Ecto 2 driving (badly…), and the last is a close-up of a digital Peter Venkman.

All Good Blogs Must Come to an End I’ve finally figured out how to end my entries! I’m going to include a quote. These can be from anything; books, movies, TV, magazines, President Bush. They can be comical, serious, deep, shallow, stupid, or completely random. Anything I like. So let’s start off the end!

This first one is from House (which I’d imagine you’ll see a lot of quotes from). A cookie to the person that can name the episode/scene this came from.

“Dear New England Journal of Medicine, I took this guy’s drug and still got a headache. Thus, scientifically proving that my arch enemy is an idiot.”

It's Christmas! or Worst Case Scenario.

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Season’s Greetings
Merry Christmas everyone! If it’s not Christmas there, or if you don’t celebrate Christmas Merry… day. There.

Since it’s Christmas time I’m not going to have a huge post. Just the “essentials”. Before I get ahead of myself, a little about this holiday season so far.

The theme of this year’s holiday season is “last minute”. Apparently I’m not alone with my last minute shopping; news reports are… reporting that the majority of Americans have waited until the last minute to do the bulk of their shopping this year. Interesting, no? No. More about me. I got my last gift for someone Saturday; needed my personal shopper to help out. Everything is wrapped nicely now. I finished about 20 minutes ago. Wrapping presents is awesome! There’s nothing quite like it.

I got some glittery wrapping paper last year. They have some kind of contemporary design and the outline of whatever is on it has gold glitter over it. It looks great when everything is said and done, but the act of wrapping a gift with that junk is utter torture! It. Gets. Everywhere. In fact, so much glitter attaches itself to my hands, when I get a piece of tape after touching the paper, it won’t stick because the glitter from my fingers transfers to the tape! Crazy messy. That feeling between my fingers, that grit feeling… *shudders* This will be the last year for that paper. It looks great, but it’s not worth it.


A Comical Look Into my Future
Quite a few years back, a school chum (not the shark bait) clipped a comic strip he found. It fit me perfectly and I displayed it proudly on the side of my PC… until I got my new one. It fell in with the rest of the stuff on my desk I needed to clear off and faded into oblivion. I thought it was lost. After going through the junk in our extra room a few weeks ago, I found it hidden amongst the other forgotten items. How can I store this so it will always be where I can find it? Simple. Scan the sucka! I did, and even gave it a touch up. I now present it to you, resurrected, “digitally restored” and with THX Certified Sound! (click for full-size)

Hmm, maybe a little back-story is needed. I love donut holes. There. More? Ever since I was born my parents and da fam went to this Christmas Party held at my grandfather’s Plumber’s Union Hall. It’s nothing spectacular, really. A bunch of chairs, a raffle, coffee and donuts, and a santa for the kiddies. For 21 years straight we attended the party, and (I’m guessing, since I can only remember back so far) ever since I could eat solid foods, I gorged myself on the donut holes they had there. The love of donut holes spread to my “normal life” rather quickly and it is still my favorite fried-dough-with-sugar-on-it food. There’s a bit more to the reason he gave it to me, but that’s between me and nobody. Tough chickens.


Worst Case Christmas
The good ‘ol holiday season has it’s fair share of danger and, being the thoughtful and compassionate person I am, have decided to list a few brief guides that can help out with some of the more perilous scenarios that you can encounter during the holidays. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when.”

The first scenario may not be “dangerous” per se, but it can spark a frustrated outburst and that can become dangerous. Christmas lights look great when they’re up, but getting them there is another challenge altogether.

The second hazard of the holidays is a very real and present danger during any of the busy shopping seasons. This guide can help you throughout the entire year. And believe me, this happens all the time.

A hazardous situation doesn’t have to endanger your life, it can cause irreparable damage to your ego and leave you an empty husk of a man (or woman). While most people have the cognitive ability to reason, and thus determine this isn’t a smart idea, there are those that may be looking to imitate certain movies, or to grasp for the “funny guy” crown and toss their better judgment aside. This is tailored specifically for that group.

Finally, like something you’d see in a Santa-themed action movie, the runaway sleigh. Most worry only about motor vehicles during the snowy season. And for them there are preventative measures available to help prevent loss of control. But did anyone think of the one-horse sleigh? Just because it’s not the newest transportation technology doesn’t mean you can disregard the passenger’s safety. Hopefully, my retro-transportation-safety activism will help usher in a new era of sleigh safety.

And there you have it. 4 holiday disasters adverted. Don’t say I never taught you anything.


To Be Added
Christmas is over! Here's what I got! Quite a haul if you ask me.
* USB WiFi Adapter for the hooking up of the Wii to the interweb.
* Nintendo Wii Classic Controller
* Nintendo Gamecube Wavebird Wireless Controller
* Some huge memory card for GC (Gamecube) games (for the playing of GC on the Wii)
* Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC for the Wii)
* Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC for the Wii)
* Nintendo Wii Points Card (Which I used to get Mario 64 and Gunstar Heroes)
* House Season 1
* Kino's Journey Box Set
* Two (Black one and Blue one) Nintendo Wii Wiimote Controller Sleeves
* Full Metal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala (got it from the contest, but it had two Disc 2's so I took it to Best Buy and got a new one!)
* The Gap scarf (dark and light-er blue stripes)


One Last Song
I’ve changed my blast song. Another Christmas classic, from my favorite holiday movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Watch it every year! I do. Tomorrow I’ll be putting up the last Christmas song of the season, and my favorite Christmas song evar! (yeah, that was intentional)


Well, pumpkin pie’s ready to eat and I gots ta get to bed early, so Santa won’t pass me by. Have a great Christmas everyone! I wish you all the best and hope you get everything on your list… or, you know enjoy giving and being nice and all that other junk. Merry Christmas!

(still haven’t figured out a closing line…)

My Belated Anniversary. or Now With Headers!

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New Additions and Small Changes
There are a few small changes that will be appearing in the coming weeks. First off, considering the length of my entries and the… reluctance *cough*laziness*cough* some may feel when facing text longer than a paragraph (people need to read more, but that’s a different entry…) I will be adding headers to each different paragraph or section of my entries so those readers can pick and choose what they wish to read, instead of having to scan through everything. Happy now?

Also, I’m working on a “winter design” for my 360 page. That will be popping up soon (hopefully by the middle of next week), along with a new avatar image or two.

I’m tired (and plum out of junk to put) of my ending sentence, so I’m in the marked for a new one. There are a few I’m mulling over, but suggestions are welcome. Leave a comment, and leave as many as you want. I’ll be sure to announce your involvement if I decide to go with one you choose.

My Shirt Design Won the Contest!
I frequent a website called Anime Yume. They’re a great site for anime torrents and wallpapers, two of my most favorite things to do online, and they held a contest a few months ago where members submitted designs (front and back) for a t-shirt the staff would wear when they went to conventions and such. One of my designs (we were allowed to submit 3) won! I won “something” which should be arriving by mail any day now. There were a lot of great designs, especially in the finals, so I wasn’t really expecting to win. I did though. My submissions are below. The top one won! Congrats to me! (click to enlarge)


T-Givs

I was planning on doing a whole entry about my T-Givs day but with other stuff going on, I haven’t had a chance. So, I’ll just post a quick summary…

I went over to my Tio Ric’s house and da fam all got together there. We ate a ton of food, played Cranium (I lost! *cries*), watched the musical version of A Christmas Carol (my favorite version), laughed a lot and enjoyed each other’s company. After it was all over I came home and noticed the Multi-Media Walkthrough was up. All in all, a great day!

My dad didn’t join us… or anyone… that was the only negative thing about it all. He was invited to 4 different T-Givs dinners but opted to stay home. *sigh* I’ll never understand that.

Oh, explaining the obvious… T-Givs = Thanksgiving. My cousin came up with it, so that’s our word for Thanksgiving, K? We have a million expressions and phrases accumulated over the years; all of ‘em gold! Maybe someday I’ll make a list here… I’ll have to talk it over with them first though. They’re kind of an inside joke between us, so yeah. Who knows?

Xenosaga III: The End of an Epic… or is It?
I beat Xeno III quite a while back. Another entry I missed, so another summary now.

If you look at the Xenosaga series specifically as an RPG, it’s not that great. The battle system changes from complicated and mostly needless, to over simplified, to decent; and the leveling system is seriously whacked out. But guess what? That’s not what Xenosaga is about.

The Xenosaga series is an interactive space opera. You watch hours of video and/or in-game cut scenes, play for 45 minutes, and watch more. Therefore, to grade Xenosaga on a RPG video game scale would be unfair. It is a wonderful sci-fi epic, and is my favorite “game” on the PS2 because of that. The story is complex, the characters are complex, the universe is huge (with the all-important details and history fully fleshed out) and the story is compelling.

The final game, 3, is the best gameplay-wise. They took the strengths of the first two and combined them. While it was missing the “cut the cake!”, I liked it best. This was the first game where I actually was compelled to, and did, use all characters. Of course I preferred some over others (Momo FTW!), each and every one of them found solid play time with me.

Like I said earlier, it’s not the best. The fights were lengthy, but pretty simple. I died once throughout my entire campaign and that I attribute to their intentional “boss battle back-to-back without saving” stance. It wasn’t even that difficult, it was just a long grueling (two) battle(s) and I lost my focus because of it (read: got bored).

Anyway, to put it simply: I LOVE XENOSAGA but I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for a “great RPG”; rather, someone looking for a great “sci-fi epic video game.” I’ll probably write more on this later.

Twilight Princess Wiins
I estimate I’m about ¾ done with Zelda: Twilight Princess and I can honestly say it is the best Zelda game ever. The story, the universe, the gameplay, the character design, the dungeon design, the secrets, the side quests… it’s all amazing.

The weakest part of the game is the music. While the composition is wonderful, the “N64” sound (synthesizers anyone?) makes it sound a little too cheesy. There are a few moments that sound great, but overall it’s pretty average. I would’ve loved to hear (and wonder why they didn’t do) a full (real) orchestra for the musical score. It doesn’t really affect the game, but you will stop and think “ouch, that sounds bad” once or twice.

Other than that, I only have praise for this game. I love, love, love, love Link’s character design! Finally, he looks like the young elfen (although people call him human…) hero I’ve envisioned all along. He even has this cool animation when he puts away his sword after boss battles (think how Trunks does it from DBZ… only cooler). I love the character. The gameplay is great classic Zelda, taken to the next level. The Wiimote is a huge benefit to the targeting system. I love taking out enemies, Legolas style, with the bow and arrow. Heck, you can take out a squad of enemies riding these boars before they can even get to you. Such a great “wow” moment!

The story is original, yet it retains classic Zelda mythos elements, so you feel comfortable with it. I love the addition of the wolf (Link turns into a wolf when in the Twilight Realm), partly because wolves are my favorite animal and partly because it offers up interesting gameplay elements (like using your senses to follow a scent trail!).

I’m not going to ruin it all (and I’ll save a full review for when I finish), so I’ll stop here.

Another Go at Last Exile
A few months ago, I came across scans of Range Murata’s artbooks. He’s an amazing artist BTW… Anyway, that sparked a desire to watch Last Exile again. I downloaded it (wondering why I haven’t bought it yet) and have only recently started watching it. Such a great series. I have a fascination with “living in the skies” universes, like this and Crimson Skies (Xbox game), Skies of Arcadia (Dreamcast game), and others.

The character designs are amazing, of course. The animation quality is outstanding (GONZO baby!), and the story is amazing. All of my other anime is on hold for now, until I finish watching this again. While I would like to catch up with everything I haven’t seen, I don’t regret giving this one another viewing.

PC?! BS!
Pardon my abbreviated French. Recently there have been a lot of news reports and discussions I’ve noticed regarding issues pertaining to political correctness.

The “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” deal, comedians making jokes and having to apologize because some stuck-up tightwad didn’t find it funny (try getting a sense of humor freak!), to name a few. This kind of stuff really gets me mad.

I live in the US. We have freedom of speech. If someone tells you “Merry Christmas” and you don’t celebrate Christmas, why the heck do you have to make a big deal out of it?! If someone tells me “Happy Hanukkah”, I don’t get all bent out of shape. Just thank the person and leave. Why do you care about words?! Seriously, in a year or month or week will you even remember that? NO!

People have tangled themselves in this issue so badly, you can hardly say anything anymore. If I make a joke among friends, I don’t want some humorless chump butting into my conversation to tell me he didn’t like it. But out, freak! I’m not being loud, or obnoxious, or rude to you. If you choose to listen in to a private conversation and take offense to a joke (we’re all laughing for Christ’s sake!), it’s not my problem.

Everyone should lighten up and keep their negativity to themselves. If someone comes up to you and insults you, fine. If a group of people are joking around amongst themselves, stay out of it. I really hate having to put up with people that assume I should stop joking around simply because they’re in my presence.

I’m courteous, well-mannered and “politically correct” when I’m addressing a stranger directly. I don’t joke loudly (which is just rude), and I don’t make fun of specific people. Everything else is simply YOUR PROBLEM!!! Deal with it or don’t; just leave me out of it.

Christmas Coming Up
This time of year is my favorite. The weather cools off, I can wear coats and stuff, people are in a general better mood, and everyone gets presents! Win!

NovaProspekt’s Next Top Models
I think it’s time I invest in a new figure for my room. There are three that caught my eye, but I highly doubt I’ll be able to secure. They’re all limited editions… oh well, there’s always hope.

The first is another version of my favorite girl-transforming-into-an-angel character: Jibril. This character design has a grip on me and it just won’t let go.
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The second is the Rei Ayanami Loligoth version.
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And finally, the Nagato Yuki special, super limited (and unpainted…) figure. This is the most rare as it’s on a severely limited run, just like the Haruhi before it.
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I’d like to have them all and it’s too hard for me to choose one out of these three, so I’ll leave it up to fate. Maybe if I put them on my Christmas list… yeah right.

Designer’s Block
My website, and this site have been giving me trouble lately. I can’t figure out what to do for this page’s winter theme and I can’t come up with the final finishing touches for my website; specifically the navigation bar images. This is a case of designer’s block.

This is the last Gundam, Gundam!

My First Wii or Vouching for a Friend

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It’s been a wild few weeks. Highs and lows and everything in between. This isn’t an entry about the bad though. I’m in a rather good mood so I’ll regale you with the tale of how I lucked out and got my hands on a Nintendo Wii.



Saturday, November 19, 2006. Mi Tia and I went to a new Best Buy (which is right next door to a Target). It has only been open for a few weeks, and most people I’m sure didn’t even know that. So yeah, we were there and I, even though it was painful, browsed over to the video game section and checked out the Wii stuff. They didn’t have the systems on display obviously, but a few games and the accessories were all lined up and ready for the next day. I picked up a newsletter that “informed me” (I knew everything in there already) of the launch, launch titles, accessories and everything else having to do with the Wii. As my heart was slowly breaking over my despair, not having a pre-order is painful yo, a friendly employee asked me if I needed any help. I responded with a jovial comment along the lines of, “only if you have a Wii you can sell me!” and to my surprise he told me a story that brought the light back into my darkened eyes.

This Best Buy (and maybe all of them) didn’t accept pre-orders for the Wii and they planned on having “quite a few” the next day. They were also going to open at 8 (an hour earlier) and guess what? No one has lined up (it was maybe 8:30 at night), which perplexed this jolly employee. “Hmm, I guess people don’t know we’re open. You’ll probably have a good chance to get one here tomorrow.” That’s all I needed to hear.

But wait, I wasn’t guaranteed one yet… The biggest problem would be getting back up there the next day. My dad had the car (working on Sunday? Blasphemy!) and I couldn’t wait at the curb for him to get off at noon. Woe was me. So close to a chance and yet so far away. I told Tia about it and she, being the awesomely nice and caring person she is, offered to take me up there if I had no other way. Well, I didn’t. I took a chance (took me a while to get crazy enough to ask because I didn’t want to draw her into this fanboy insanity… well, at first) and she said she’d take me! What time? Too early is, well, too early and too late would destroy my chances at getting one until the end of December. I picked 6 (two hours before the 8a.m. opening time) and prayed before grabbing a few hours of sleep.

I woke up at 5. Who can sleep when they are so close to getting one? Exactly. I started getting ready, all the while hoping I would be the lucky owner of a Wii by the end of the day. It’s one of those moments where one moment you’re higher than high, sure of your future accomplishment and dream come true, while the next you’re so worried you’re sick; almost ready to give up because you “know” you’re not lucky enough to get a break with something this important.

At 5:30 I gave Tia her wake up call and sat in my PC chair, legs vibrating from the anxiousness, while I waited for 6 to come. It felt like hours, but zero hour arrived and I hopped in her car as we sped off, racing against the dawn to Best Buy early Sunday morning. As we arrived, I noticed a line; a rather long line and I almost gave up. We parked anyway and headed to the line.

The line of hopefuls was just as colorful as you’d imagine. There were the two friends that looked like bums, torn pants and tangled mop-like hair included. The “big guy” that didn’t look like he’d be one to line up. That guy you knew a few years back that just happened to be the person in front of you in line: you have to talk to him, but you really don’t want to. His friend. The obligatory quiet black guy (not being racist you PC jerks, it’s always true) at the front of the line. And a few others that I don’t care to explain.

We took our place in line, made some small talk, asked how many they’d have and when we could get them. Big Guy said, “They told us first they’d have 30 but they just came out and said they only have 24.” Everyone started complaining, me included, cursing the employees for secretly taking the Wiis we rightfully lined up to purchase. “They should get in line if they want one. That’s a rip. Not cool, man!” This went on for a while and everyone quieted down. Tia went to Wataburger (burger joint in the same shopping center area) and came back with a breakfast taquito and some orange juice. We put down a few towels she always seems to conveniently have in the trunk of her car and had a seat against the wall to enjoy some warm breakfast. We ate, sat and waited. More people joined the line. Those directly behind us were the father and young son line stereotype. Tia and the father struck up a conversation about kids and raising them, etc.

I turned my attention to the ongoing conversation of the others ahead of me in line. The “old acquaintance” and another were talking about pirating XP and why Vista is going to suck… predictable. The Big Guy was still talking about the employees stealing his Wii. “I’ve been here since 11 last night!”, he kept saying. He had a super-coffee and a big can of energy drink. Also, he had to go to the bathroom. Too much information? Fret not, this will come in to play later on in my tale.

Anyway, it was about 7:15a.m. and one person in line said he was going over to Target to check out the line. He came back a few minutes later with a voucher. It gave a number (turned out to be 1-40) and stated something along the lines of “this voucher is good for one Wii. Come in before noon, pick up your games and accessories and hand this voucher to the attendant and you’ll get your Wii.” They were going to hold 40 Wiis for each voucher-holder until noon. So, you were guaranteed a Wii as long as you got there before noon. Keep that in mind. Tia stayed in line and I went over to Target and got a voucher. I was number 22. Great! Now, short of a catastrophe, I pretty much had a Wii. Playing it safe, we stayed in the Best Buy line.

By 8:15, the “old friend” had his Target Wii, the father and son went to the Target (quite a few of us had Target vouchers) and a few others; bum boys, the quiet black guy (who stayed in line for Zelda. His girlfriend scored a Wii earlier) had a Wii. Well, that moved me up to around 10 in line. Sweet. A new line guy showed up, and he is my favorite: the genuine dedicated fan.

The Genuine Dedicated Fan is not a fanboy, blindly following anything the company can throw at him. He is a fan of the brand, he’s honest and kind, and he has a genuine love for whatever it is (in this case, the Wii). His story is even more “touching” because he was in line at 11 the night before with Big Guy and the quiet black guy, but his “evil father” called him and forced him to go home. “You’re crazy if you think you’re going to wait in line for that thing!” his father said. So he stayed up all night, too anxious to sleep and got his mom to take him back. He got in line in front of me. I didn’t mind, I was 10th! We talked a bit, I caught him up on the situation and about this time the Best Buy employees came out.

They were going to pass out vouchers. They had 25. A “presentation” outside is on it’s way. And one last thing, once you got a voucher, you couldn’t leave the line. The reason for this was “if you leave, we won’t know if you were originally in line or not.” I guess those vouchers you can find anywhere… the real reason was they didn’t want to let people leave was because of Target’s 40 Wiis. Whatever, as long as I got my Wii; Or as we said, “Zelda, man. Zelda.” Or “it’s all for Zelda.” So Big Guy got a kick out of that. He had to wee but then he’d loose his Wii. HA! We had fun poking fun at the Best Buy and it’s crazy rules as we waited for the vouchers. They came out again, passed out the vouchers, a “packet” and this wiener employee began his presentation of the accessories.

The problem was, the wiener didn’t know squat about the Wii. I had to correct him on multiple occasions. He said the Wiimote was $19.99, when it was actually $39. He said the Nintendo brand SD card was the only SD card the Wii accepts, not true. That’s all I remember now, but there were a few other mistakes. The employees went back into the warmth of their store as we waited in line.

Mi Tia was about to get one; caught up in the moment. She decided against it though, which for them, was probably the better choice, and headed to shop at Target. That means I now held 3 Wii vouchers. Big Guy, Genuine Dedicated Fan, myself and a few nameless others circled around and talked about the awesomeness of the Wii, what games we’re getting, the accessories, etc. We even commented on how the PS3 people were robbing and killing and rioting, while the Wii people are gathered in a circle all peaceful-like. HA! So true, so true.

So it was 8:45 and some straggler came up to the line asking if there were any left. Quiet black guy offered his voucher (since he was only there for Zelda) for $50 bucks. The weasel came up with the cash, and paid. I told him after the fact that I would’ve sold one of mine for $45. The look on his face! Priceless, and I didn’t even need a MasterCard. Another came up asking the same, and I told him I’d sell mine for $45. He said, “pfft I’m not going to buy it” and started at me. “Fine, have fun at the back of the line,” I responded and he stood in disbelief as we started talking again. By now the line had at least 40 people in it. Chump.

Genuine Dedicated Fan said he knew a friend of his that wanted a Wii, but wasn’t able to find one. I told him to call her up and I’d sell her mine for $45. He called, and she answered. She had to wake up her mother to ask. It was really funny because he’d get quiet and have that “waiting” look. Later he told me he was listening to her say, “Mom… mom… mommie… mom… Can I get a Wii?... A Wii…. A video game system… Yeah… $250… It’s worth it… I want Zelda… What?... Zelda… a game… can I get it?” Funny stuff. Ultimately, she got the OK and headed to us. Genuine Dedicated Fan said she’d be about 45 minutes… I told him I didn’t want to wait too long. Just then, it was our turn to enter the store! I showed my voucher, returned the other Best Buy voucher and entered.

They had a table in front of the seatbelt lines (those expandable build-a-line dealys that have that seatbelt strip that clips into others) with the games and accessories. I picked up Zelda: Twilight Princess first and Trauma Center: Second Opinion second. To the lines!

Genuine Dedicated Fan was in front of me in that line and we looked at the stack of Wiis behind the counter, then at each other and started smiling. We laughed at that. We smiled because it finally was “real”. We were getting a Wii! When my turn came I headed to the line, handed over my voucher. The cashier got my Wii and set it in front of me. At that moment, time stood still. All that remained was me and my Wii. Angels came down from on high and celebrated with song. The purest of light beamed down onto the packaging… then I fainted, twice. OK, not really. I’m pretty sure I was drooling. Well, yeah. Purchased, bagged and in my arms. I left and waited outside for Genuine Dedicated Fan. We met up and he said he’d pay me the 45 so I could go on with my life. He did and I handed him the Target voucher. Two minutes later I re-entered the Best Buy (passing all the drooling Johnny-come-latelys on my way) and picked up a second Wiimote with my $45 “bonus”.

I met up with Tia, we headed home and I was giggling all the way. Immediately, just as I entered my room, I was opening the packaging and setting everything up. Awesome.

Great story, huh? I’m loving my Wii and Zelda and Trauma Center and even WiiSports. I’m also ready to play more, so that’s all for now.


Save Hyrule, Gundam!

All About My Week(s) or Currenting

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  Another “it’s been a while” post! After my last one I got stuck on fixing up my “website”. After that I buckled down on the Multimedia Walkthrough for Episode 1 at the HCU (www.hcunion.com). It’s been about a month and a half since we started and I want to get it done now. Luckily, that’s about to happen. I've also been promoted to an article writer there, so that’s been taking up more time. Not that I’m complaining; I volunteered for the position, I love it and I'm happy to be able to help out..
  Beyond that, the usual anime, pictures, and other standard web stuff are sprinkled throughout my week. I swear, if I ever catch up on the kabillion* anime I want to watch… well, it’ll be a miracle.

  Let’s see… what was I going to talk about last time? Ah, Oni-Con. This was my favorite convention so far. Why? I MET HILARY HAAG!!! For the last years I’ve been going to these conventions, I’ve never seen her. My favorite (English) voice actress, she lives in Houston but I’ve never even seen her here.
  This year though, I met her! She was either coming or going but I caught her. Awesomeness! Pretty hot too! Image Wow, I think that was my first smiley on this blog ever. Milestone.

  Other than meeting her, it was standard convention fare all around. It was a lot larger this year because it was at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The last conventions here were at a hotel. Big difference. I went with Blue and we saw a few of the screenings (although it was nothing new to me) and checked out all the merchandise, saw the band and talked with people. Fun stuff.
  We didn’t get to cosplay this year. With everything that happened lately we just didn’t have the time to get an awesome costume. But for Halloween, we made it up.

  The Friday before Halloween we went to a party we used to always go to. Well, “used to” may be a bit extreme. We didn’t go the last two years, that’s all. It was fun. I’m not too into candy so trick-or-treating is pretty much out of the question, but I can still dress up and enjoy that aspect. Didn’t win the costume contest this year, but we didn’t do anything too outrageous… I guess.
  You’ll always have that one costume that owns all others no matter what, and we’ve already had that one. That’s not to say I didn’t like this one, I did, I really did, but nothing can hold a candle to the vampire year.
  Anyway, I was Vincent Law and she was Re-L Mayer from Ergo Proxy. Awesome series (I’ve said that before, right?)  and we looked great. It was hard since I have long hair and he… doesn’t but it was a wig anyway. Most anime have better looking females than males, so I wasn’t expecting to win over her. We’ve been wanting to do a Witch Hunter Robin costume thing, but with her hair and the elaborate costumes it would take quite a while to get everything right. We keep putting it off until next year. We did Ergo Proxy to fill that void.

  Maybe I’m just being a spoiled sport because the person that won the contest was a pirate. How super original! *sigh* C’mon. Who wasn’t a pirate this year? He didn’t even dress up as Cap’n Jack Sparrow; just a standard, generic pirate, eye patch and all. Here we are completely original characters, I don’t think anyone else in Houston was Vincent and Re-L, and patchy won?! *louder sigh*

  Other than that obvious mistake in judgment we had a good time. An old rival of ours fell down the stairs, hilarious, the weather was clear and “cool” and it was fun mingling. Good times. I’d post pictures, but I don’t put me or people I know on the internet. Besides, I don’t have the camera.

  The reason I don’t have the camera is because I haven’t bought one. There are a few models I keep on my “wish list” but in all honesty I’m terrible at remembering to bring cameras along. Even if it’s sitting on my dresser next to my keys and wallet, I’ll still end up forgetting it at the worst moments and the $400 will go to waste. And I love photography? Yes.

  All of the Wii pre-orders everywhere have sold out. Guess I’m not getting one until after Christmas. The one console I really want, the only console I’ve wanted since the Dreamcast, and I’m not going to be able to get it for months. Super. That’s a big downer. I was really looking forward to it too. Oh well. C’est la vie.

  I’m half way through Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Awesome game! The combat is amazing! You really feel like you’re fighting. This game has the best melee combat in any FPS (and most real-time RPG) ever. Oblivion needs to take a page from this game and generate an update.

  The level design is a bit linear, but with the options they provide for combat it doesn’t really matter. The art design is amazing, as I’ve said before. The lackluster level design benefits from this as well. You get a lot of pretty to look at as you progress through the game. There are even these great cinematic scenes; like when you fight this demi-dragon. You’re in this huge interior room with a high ceiling (50 feet or something) and the floor rumbles… a small crack in the dome reveals the demi-dragon. The sun streams around it (volumetric lighting!) as it slams the ceiling, cracking it and forcing its way in. Beautiful!

  There were a few problems with the game at release, but most of that was fixed after you verified files on Steam. Just another benefit to using Steam! Yesterday they released a patch too, which fixes other bugs. I highly recommend it. A new era in RPG FPS it is not, but it’s well worth the money. You’ll be entertained the whole way through.

  Phoenix got the expansion for F.E.A.R., Extraction Point, and he said it was buggy. I really want to play it, but I’ll wait until a patch is released. Apparently that game suffers from bugs too. I saw a few plot points, which depressed me, but that game was never a big “upper” anyway. After reading the new plot points, it dawned on me that throughout the whole game (F.E.A.R) you never accomplished any of your goals. Every single goal you had, you failed at and every goal others had they failed too. Still, it was a fun ride. Creepy too. Kinda want to play it again, but I gots ta beat Dark Messiah first.

  Back to what I talked about before, I prettied up my webpage that’s linked from “my info” here on 360. It used to be just a simple list of anime I own, but with all the general questions and the length of my entries here, I decided to use it to give a summary of what was going on in my life, hobby/entertainment/activity wise. It’s not through because I’ve been so busy with the HCU lately, but I’m almost done with the navigation buttons and after that I’ll dedicate myself to currenting* the information.

  It’s simple, but it’s also my first go at a proper site and I’m not really into dedicating too many hours to the appearance. On top of that it’s a Tripod account, so you aren’t too free in how the layout goes. Even if I was, I have no idea how to code a webpage so it would end up being worse. I’m happy with it though.

  Well, that’s about all I can think of right now. A future post will deal with Xenosaga III which I beat a week or two ago. There’s a bit I’d like to say about it but I’m through typing tonight. Can’t wait for Thanksgiving!
  Oh, right! I put up a new song (finally). More Halcali goodness. They are such a quirky group with the most interesting sound. I just can’t get their songs out of my head!

I’m running out of things to say here, Gundam!

 *NovaProspekt’s Dictionary:
- cur*rent – v.: To bring something up to date; make current.
         I am currenting my webpage today.
        Please current him because he wasn’t here the last meeting.
        We currented the newsletter before it was sent off to print.
  Past tense: currented; Present Tense: currenting; Future Tense: will current.

- ka*bil*lion – n.: Expression used to represent “a lot”.
        There are a kabillion books in this library!
  Plural: kabillion

The Halloween Post Not About Halloween. or That's Dirty!

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  Wow, it’s been almost a month since I updated here?! I thought it was just a few weeks. I guess that survey really took it out of me. Regardless, I’m back here again with nothing to talk about. But if I’m good at one thing, it’s BS. So Let’s have at it, shall we?

  Wednesday the 4th my grandfather passed away. I was with him the day before and he was “completely fine”. He had his problems, but everyone does. Needless to say, it came a quite a shock to the family. I really haven’t felt like writing anything since then. I was working on a few “My Love For…” posts but those have been on hiatus since then. That’s the only reason you’re not reading one right now.
  The rosary was on Friday and the funeral was on Saturday. My relatives and I were talking about how odd it was to know where everything was at the funeral home. My grandmother passed a little over a year ago and she was at the same home. The employees would ask us where we were going or who we wanted to see and we already knew where to go.
  It was the same for the pallbearers. My cousin and I were Pallbearers for my grandmother and now grandfather. The people handling my grandfather’s transportation “assured us” they would let us know what we needed to do as a pallbearer, but we already knew before they told us. It’s really odd once you think about it.
  The service went well. Everything was arranged wonderfully. There was this one old lady that worked at the home that was a snot though. She was mean, well except to my aunt and uncle. The only reason she was nice to them is because they were organizing everything. That meant they were signing the checks. Everyone else she had an attitude with.
  My younger cousin and I were waiting for my aunt on Thursday so we could go to the back and view my grandfather. That lady came up to us and asked, “Who do you want to see?” in a very rude manner. Before I could answer she asked again, more forcefully. I answered and she said, “I can’t hear you!” like I was annoying her or something. I repeated myself and she was about to user us to the viewing room but I told her I was waiting on my aunt. “Well, have a seat and wait then,” she said, again as rudely as possible. She then briskly walked over to my uncle, who was already there, looking behind her as she walked. She looked like a little rat from those Disney cartoons shuffling off to tell their master some secret. Anyway, my uncle acknowledged us and she immediately became a sweet old lady.
  This happened many times with me and various relatives. I really would’ve loved to give her a piece of my mind, but considering the situation I bit my tongue and just shrugged it off. People like that aren’t worth my energy anyway. Beyond that, like I said, everything went well.

   In my free time I’ve almost exclusively been downloading anime. I have a list of about 45 series I’m “keeping up with”. Luckily most of them are already downloaded. All that’s left is to watch them. But there are maybe 15 that either are still coming out or haven’t started up yet that I need to keep an eye on. I’ve also been able to pick up a few series I’ve already seen but want to watch again. That’s a lot of anime! Some have asked what I’m watching, so here’s the list:
  Downloading, Downloaded, Watching, Haven’t Watched, Watching Again:
  Ah! My Goddess TV2, Glass no Kantai, Tonagura!, Makai Senki Disgaea, Inukami, Bokura ga Ita, Nana, Welcome to the NHK, Negima OVA, Kanon (the new one), Chocoto Sister, Soul Link, Aria The Natural, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, Mahoraba, Mai-Otome, Air TV, Amaenaideyo, Amaenaideyo Katsu, Binbou Shimai Monogatari, Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, Blood+, Canvas 2, Da Capo Second Season, Final Approach, High School Girls, Innocent Venus, Kage Kara Mamoru!, Rec, Shuffle, Simoun, Strawberry Panic!, To Heart 2, Utawarerumono, Zero no Tsukaima.
  Recently Airing, Soon to Air:
  Mukoh Hadan, Red Garden, Kujibiki Unbalance, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu, GothicMade, Shounen Onmyoji, Byosoku 5cm, Soko no Strain, Cresent Love, Tokimeki Memorial Only Love. There you go!
  One I have already seen I recently downloaded because it kept coming up in random conversations. Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan. It’s funny. Hyper violent comedy anyone? The main character is a cute angel from the future… with a giant spiked club. She kills people in the most gruesome ways, then says her magic words and brings them back to life. Funny stuff. Here’s the beginning of the first episode. If it doesn’t make you laugh, then I don’t know what will… WARNING! Violent!
  I finished Ergo Proxy Thursday night. The last four episodes I waited on so I could watch them all at once. Wow. That is the best series I’ve seen in a while. The series had everything in it, and then some. On top of that, looked beautiful. It was broadcast in HD I believe and that carried over to the fansubs. Even the “standard Definition” looked clear on my LCD. So once again, if you haven’t seen Ergo Proxy, watch it immediately! Another plus, Geneon picked it up and the first volume will be released next month. That means by this time next year I will have my own set of Ergo Proxy! Woo!
  I only wish these companies would release the complete set in Thin-Pak sets instead of those “limited edition” huge boxes. The art is pretty sure, but I already have wallpapers and other pics to look at. I need to maximize shelf space. I’m already running out. My issues of Newtype and Megami have started on a new “shelf” that I found buried beneath all this junk.
  I’m still waiting on new releases of Ah! My Goddess TV2. They stopped at 17 a few months ago. I hope they’re just lagging behind because I’d hate to have to wait until they come out in America. I’m buying them definitely; AMG is one of my favorite universes but I still don’t want to have to wait a year or two to find out what happens.
  Blood+ is finally over. I haven’t seen past episode 28 I believe, so I have a lot of catching up to do. That series is amazing anyway. I think having so much anime makes it harder to decide what to watch. I want to see everything at once! *sigh* At least that’s the kind of “problems” I have.

  Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is available for pre-purchase on Steam. I totally grabbed that one. I played the demo a few times already and each time the same level was completed a different way. It a sort of classic style fantasy FPS RPG. Think about Deus Ex, only in a swords and sorcery world. The game levels are linear, but how you complete them is quite flexible. The level design is gorgeous. Just the two levels you get in the demo dropped my jaw to the floor. I love design work like that. On top of that, the combat “feels” real. You see your whole body, you move more realistically, and your combat moves look cool. You really feel like you’re fighting, instead of just clicking buttons. I can’t wait to play the full game. I believe it’s out on the 24th. Here’s a video I found on YouTube showcasing a lot of the level and play style. If you like this, pick up the HD version either at GameSpot or on Steam to really get a good look at the beautiful levels. WARNING AGAIN! Violent Again!
  The Wii, still amazing. Crysis, still amazing. STALKER, still looking good. The holiday season means releases for all! Hopefully Sony will get what’s coming to them…

  I take part in NPD online research. It’s essentially a market research group. They send me surveys from time to time asking about various lifestyle habits and purchase history. This last survey had some funny questions/selections. Here’s a screen grab of the two:
  The first one. I always call places “dirty” if I don’t like them, or if they… well, seem dirty. This is the first time I’ve seen a “professional” group refer to a store as dirty though. It cracked me up! The bottom of the image shows just how far Paris Hilton has influenced the stupids. Having “that’s hot” on a professional survey? Do people really refer to things as “that’s hot”? I always joke about it, but I guess the reason people don’t laugh is because they think it’s normal. Scary thought indeed.

  Halloween is coming up soon. I’d like to dress up this year since I haven’t for the last two or three. On top of that the Houston anime convention is next weekend and Blue and I haven’t decided who to cosplay as. It’s getting tight. You can’t pull awesome costumes out of thin air you know. Maybe we’ll skip cosplaying and focus on Halloween… Who knows?
  I’ve made comments like this before, but it’s pretty sad lately. Hardly anyone dresses up for Halloween anymore. I remember when I was young, going over to my uncle’s house in the suburbs and spending hours moving from house to house dressed up. You just don’t see that anymore. Granted people are concerned about their children and with all the pedophiles out there I can’t blame them. But what’s the harm in going with them? At the very least drive your car on the road next to them if walking is too much for you. Halloween used to be an important holiday to me. It let me dress up as some character and play the part. Kids need to be able to use their imagination. I guess times are changing…
  That isn’t going to stop me from having fun this year though! I’m determined to do some kind of Halloween costume.
 
  The Nightmare Before Christmas is coming back to the theaters this year, and it’s in 3D! Gotta check it out. This is, in my opinion the best Halloween(esque) movie ever. I can’t wait to see it in the third dimension. It might be a little embarrassing to who I go with though. I’m pretty sure I’ll break out into song at some time during the movie. Of course, no one else will mind because my voice is completely amazing.
  I remember when I first saw the movie. Jurassic Park was out on video then and my parents told me they had a movie for me. I was so excited because I thought it was Jurassic Park, which I loved. Dinosaurs and Speilberg; two of my favorites. I opened the package and it was Nightmare… Noooo!  I thought, “why the heck do I want this stupid movie?! Where’s Jurassic Park?!” My parents told me to watch it so I did, reluctantly. By the time the opening song finished (the one on my blast) I loved it. To this day I watch Nightmare every year between Halloween and Christmas. Awesome Movie!

 
  Well, that’s about all for this entry. I still have those “My Love For…” entries to finish, and there’s a bit more on my mind but I’m tired of typing now.

  Happy Halloween, Gundam!

Xenophile for Wii Please or OFFCRd

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3K. That’s the new pic count. I haven’t had time this week, but hopefully this weekend I’ll have a few minutes to cut that back a bit. Now that that’s out of the way…


I finally beat Prey. *sigh* Like I said in a previous post, I wasn’t gaming a lot lately. That’s over now. I’m thoroughly addicted to Xenosaga III. So far I’m around 8 hours in, and finally it’s getting to the actual gameplay. Not that I mind the movies, but this one seems a little more “frustrating” since they require you to push the circle button after every line. Maybe you had to do that in the last two games; I can’t remember. Regardless, this one gets a bit annoying after an hour of pushing that circle button. Also, now that I’m leveling up nicely I can honestly say I like the fighting system. At first it’s boring. You only have one attack and maybe an extra “special” attack. After you level up a bit you get a couple tech attacks and some ether spells so you have much more choice in how you approach battle. I’m also using all of my characters now; something I really like. In the previous games I’d essentially pick the three I like best and use them most of the game (unless I had to use specific characters). The main reason for that was the transparency of the different characters, battle-wise. Everyone could learn everything essentially so they were all the same next to the way they carried out the commands.

This time around, each character is great at something, good at something, and bad at something. And while I miss playing with MOMO as a near-permanent character, the trade-off is worth it. I like the whole party participation and it gives them an “identity” in the battles. On top of that, it makes the battles more exciting with that extra facet of strategy. Move in healer character to heal and bolster defense/offense, move her out and attack with the strong characters, etc. I haven’t come up against Xenosaga’s infamous super-hard boss characters yet, but I know they’re going to pop up sometime. The Gamespot review said there was a boss character that could outright kill a character with one blow. Well, I found him. I’m not going to give away the details, but one E.S. (mecha in Xenosaga) battle took out 2 of my characters using one of those one-hit moves. It wasn’t too bad because I eliminated the threat shortly after, but I can see how things are and deduce it is only going to get harder.

Overall it’s a great game so far. I’ve even spent time reading the very large and detailed Xenosaga Database they provide in-game to help you understand the multiple, complex characters, organizations, events, terms, etc. in the game. I’m a detail-junkie so all of that crazy info is right up my alley.

Another game I’ve wanted to play is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. My save game was a few missions shy of 100% completion. I recently bought it for myself (I was borrowing it from Phoenix before) and it turns out the two “versions” (pre Hot Coffee and post) aren’t compatible so I’m going to have to completely start over. That is the suck. Guess I have something to keep me occupied though.

Anyway, back to the start of this all, I finally beat Prey. It turned out ok. I saw most of the “plot twists” that showed up in the latter parts of the game. Predictable, but it worked I suppose. They left it at a “cliffhanger” so to speak. The game’s story was wrapped up but there was an extra scene at the end of the credits requiring our hero to do… something and it said “Prey will continue”, loosely quoted. I wonder if they will actually continue it, and if so will it take the same amount of time to get out the door? Time will tell.

VALVe recently released 5 gameplay trailers for their upcoming Episode 2. All I can say is: Wow. Even without the awesome Alyx by your side, this one is looking to amazing. I love how VALVe constantly changes the play style. You start off in the streets, get on a hover boat, then on foot through a creepy town, cruising the coast on a buggy, through a heavily fortified prison, super-powered gravity gun in a citadel, fighting side by side with Alyx, and now in the wide-open spaces of the outlands with free-range fighting. They keep it fresh while keeping it real! Wow. That sounded dumb… TRAILERS!!!! There are two because for some reason the fifth video wanted to be a punk and crash WMM every time I tried importing it. Whatever. If you have Steam I highly suggest getting the high quality trailers (1280x720 FTW) because it looks beautiful and these tiny web videos really don’t do it justice.


Awesomeness. Now to the other part of my title; OFFCR’d. Two weeks ago I was promoted in the Crysis Union. Gladly I accepted because I love Crysis and I go to those boards every day. Well, last week at the HeadCrab Union I was promoted as well. I love the HCU too. That’s two promotions in two weeks. Hopefully I can keep up with it all. Of course I’ll do my best. Anyway, it’s nice having power. OFFCR = officer. So that’s why I put it that way. If anyone is a Gamespot member check them out. Best unions up there. And I’m not just saying that to kiss donkey. Who’d want to be an officer of a sucky union? Not me.

I’m also organizing a multi-media walkthrough at the HCU. If it actually gets off the ground it’s going to be great. Text, pictures and video together. There will even be a “how to pwn enemies” section. Sweet. Let’s get it on!


A new development here at 360. I recently realized I can put links in my blog! Duh! When I realized it, I just slapped myself. There have even been blogs that had links in them I read. I don’t know why I haven’t noticed that before. If you can include video, why not links? Silly me. So, as you can see I’m using links now. Makes things a lot simpler, info wise. I can just link to Wiki or whatever when it comes to new stuff.

I’m also working on two new “My Love For…” posts. I’m not sure which one I will post first, but one of them will make up my next post.


I’ve also been seriously thinking about getting a digital camera. There have been a lot of photo ops recently, and now that I’m committed to a blog, I have a way to force my crazy view of things on other people. HA! You can’t do anything about it because this is MY blog! Anyway, I’m not getting one anytime soon, but for the first time I’m actually looking into it. I’ll just have to glue it to my hand so I won’t forget it when I go places.

Driving from here to Austin these last few times to visit my cousin had so many interesting places along the way that I really want to capture and my “classic” film cameras aren’t really what I’m looking for in taking pictures anymore. I haven’t used my SLR for the longest… and besides I wouldn’t be able to get them on the PC unless I scanned them, and that never looks as good at the real thing. I’m looking into the Canons. Maybe I’ll be able to get one just before Christmas so I can capture some stuff around town with it, but with everything else I need to save for I just don’t know. The Wii is coming out, PC games are coming out, I’m going to get a X360 next year just after Lost Planet comes out. Not to mention all of the anime I want to buy… *sigh* So much to get. I need to win the lottery or something.


I was going to post this yesterday, but I remembered that the Wii Press Conferences were going to happen and the videos were going to be coming out, so I held off to be able to post them up here too. The official MSRP is $249.99. Not too bad. I’m definitely getting one when it launches on *deep breath* November 19. That’s right. It’s confirmed. You can watch it all in the video, but it’s about an hour long so I’ll leave a few highlights. Also, here’s a link to the Gamespot Wii Launch Center.
- MSRP is $249.99
- Official N. American release date is November 19.
- It will ship with the console, the WiiMote, a nunchaku attachment, all the cables, and the Nintendo Sports 5-in-1 game disc (including bowling, tennis, etc.)
- First Party games will be Region-Free.
- Confirmed launch titles include: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Call of Duty 3, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Elebits, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, Far Cry: Vengeance, Red Steel, and Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Full list here.

VIDEOS!!!! Follow the Wii launch Center Link to get the videos of the actual Press Conference. I'm not going to upload 250 MB worth of video, sorry. Here's a trailer from E3 '06 and one for Zelda: Twilight Princess showing you how you'll use the WiiMote.


Super huh? This console is the first console I’ve been excited about since the Dreamcast back in ’99. The PS2 is horrible in its quality to price ratio and other than Panzer Dragoon Orta there really wasn’t a game I had to have on the Xbox. So I waited until this next-gen was about to spring out and picked them both up for cheap (and with all the bugs worked out). Profiting on all those poor souls selling their systems to have enough to afford the new ones… Excellent! *Evil laugh* Anyway, I’m getting this one! And of course Twilight Princess is a must. If Red Steel indeed turns out to be a launch title, I’ll pick that one up too. Still waiting on Mario though. After that most of what I listed above I’m planning on getting. I have my PC for the hardcore stuff like Half-Life, Crysis, FEAR2, STALKER, etc.; you know, all the stuff that will be ported to the consoles. The Wii will be a cool system with an awesomely fun play-style. I like having variation in my toys.

I will get a 360 if Lost Planet turns out how I hope it will (like I’ve said many times), but I might even wait until the summer to get it. Again, don’t really care too much about the system itself. PS3? HA! Suck on my “I don’t care”, Sony! Zing. Seriously, $600? It makes me want to laugh.


The TV shows are kicking in again. Season premieres all around! House has already started. Watch or die! I don’t know how I missed that show, but it’s become my second favorite American show, just behind LOST. House is just cool. I was telling my aunt (who I got hooked on House) recently I was going to get a cane and start walking like him. I’m also working on the voice and dry humor. Yeah… not really. If I could choose a doctor, House would be it. Anyway, give it a try.

The beginning of October will host the LOST premiere. That’s the one I’m really waiting for. After what happened last season… I just don’t know. I have a few theories, but that’s for another post. In fact, everything else is for another post. I’m sick and tired of typing! Leave me alone! (not really)



Unravel the mysteries of the Zohar, Gundam!

"(Insert last post title here) Part II" or "Game Off"

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  After posting last night, I went back to downloading on Azu and quickly got bored. So I decided I’d make good use of my time and started on the pictures again. After last night I’m down to just under 8,000. It’s surprising how many “junk” pics I had. During that download-a-thon most of what I was downloading was in ZIP files, so I wasn’t able to go through each picture singularly to decide it’s worthiness to download. I suppose that was the saving factor in this hole I so willingly dug for myself.

  After these past two marathons I’m growing more and more confident that I can get all of these done. Another not-so-obvious lucky point is I can’t seem to find pics I don’t already have online. I’d love to be finding new pics, because I have an addiction to collecting them, but everything happens for a reason and I’m guessing life is giving me a chance to finish up what I have. I really hope I haven’t found all there is online. It’s the internet after all, and is supposed to be a source of infinite (insert something here) resources. Oh well, only 8,000 to go!


  I figure I should talk about something other than pictures or anime, so I’ll turn to my other love: movies. I’ve been looking around at the stuff coming down the pipe over the next few years, and I’m surprised (or maybe I’m not) at the sheer number of sequels being made. Want a list?

  Spider-Man 3, The Dark Knight (Batman prequel sequel no less), Jurassic Park IV, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Back to the Future IV, Daredevil 2, Harry Potter and the whatever, Indiana Jones 4, Die Hard 4, Rush Hour 3, Terminator 4, Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6), and that’s just the beginning…

  Spider-Man 3, Pirates 3, and Indy 4 I’m looking forward to.

  The others… not so much. Do we really need a new Rocky? Sylvester thinks so. He’s written, producing, directing and starring in it. I’ll give you 3 guesses why. Daredevil is a load of stink, so no. Die Hard? I’ve had enough of that. I like the first three. They’re fun movies. I don’t want another. Terminator 4 is a joke. What can possibly happen? The third one ended at the start of the robot wars, so Arnold would just be going back like 5 minutes in time to save John. All of the films in this paragraph are being pushed by old guys that haven’t had a hit movie in years and are trying to capitalize on their previous exploits. Not a good idea guys…

  There are also a lot of bad movie adaptations, including: Batman vs. Superman, Iron Man, Halo, Ghost Rider, Shazam!, Splinter Cell and Transformers. Is Hollywood running out of ideas? Seriously, who wants a live-action movie of Shazam? Come on!

  Guess I can’t stay away from anime… Hollywood is also pushing to make live action anime adaptations. I’m not current on the current projects, but one I know (and dread) is Evangelion. I don’t care what they do; it’s just not going to be the same. It’s going to be a lot worse. There are a few others, but I’m a firm believer in keeping anime anime.

  One movie I’m actually looking forward to coming out soon is The Black Dahlia. It’s helmed by the same guy that did L.A. Confidential, which I love. I’m not too sure about the horror overtones, but I’m assuming they’re going to keep the story the focus over the generic stupid-horror-movie tactics. It can go either way, but I have a few free movie tickets to pad the hit if it turns out horrible.

  I recently watched Little Miss Sunshine. That was a pretty good movie. I thought it was going to be some quasi-serious film, but after seeing it, I think it’s more of a full-out comedy. Funny stuff there. Another funny one was Snakes on a Plane. Hilarious. That movie is just a funny, fun movie. I love how they take such a stupid genre (crazy evil animal horde kills humans) and make light of it. Oh, and Samuel Jackson is just amazing. I swear, there isn’t a movie he can’t pull off. I think if anyone else was cast in his place, it would’ve sucked. Sam Jackson is amazing. Amazing. If you feel like watching a fun movie, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

 

  I haven’t talked about games in a while. One reason is I haven’t been playing them. With all the downloading, picture work, editing, converting and backing-up I’ve been doing, I just don’t have the time. Crysis is still my most anticipated game. It looks amazing! There have been a slew of new videos because of that convention in Germany or something. A lot of game companies have been releasing videos, interviews and screens. I love it; even though I don’t have time to download all the videos.

  Half-Life 2: Episode 2 has been delayed (duh) until ~February. Still, the new videos from the convention have been looking super-awesome. The new “cinematic physics” effects look spectacular. These games just keep getting better. I’ve put off my “Love For Half-Life” part 3 until all 3 episodes come out. Guess I’ll put up another My Love For post in a few days.

  Back to the “I haven’t been gaming”. I miss it. I still haven’t finished completely with Prey. There is a growing craving to play GTA: San Andreas again. Half-Life is always on the list. I’m no where near done with everything in Oblivion. The Eureka Seven game is coming out in September. And most importantly:

  Xenosaga III is coming out this week! The ultimate conclusion… with over 8 hours of FMV… But that’s what Xenosaga is; an interactive movie. I just hope they bring back “Cut the Cake!” with the new battle system. (Who am I kidding… they won’t…) Regardless, I’m excited to play it and see how everything turns out. Hopefully a main character (excluding Allen) won’t die. I just have this feeling that one of ‘em is going to do some kind of “ultimate sacrifice” or something. We’ll see… Here's a previews vid I foung on YouTube.  God, I wish we could play it with the original Japanese audio and English subtitles...

  Hmm, what else? Manga? The final chapter in the ROD: Read or Die series is coming out in a few days. I can’t wait. Even though I’ve read it all already, I still get excited when it’s released in America. Hopefully they’re on the ball and working on ROD: Read or Dream. And of course the ultimate dream would be the novels. They’re starting to do some of the novels. I know they have a FullMetal Alchemist novel and a few others, so maybe it’s possible I’ll see an English ROD novel.

  I’m about ready to bite the bullet and get all the Kenshin manga. They’re all out now. All I have to do is get ‘em. 28 X 8 = $224. That’s quite a bit, but it’s my favorite manga ever so it’s worth it.
  Other than that, there’s nothing on my radar in the manga category.


  Staying with the “book” medium; I just finished reading James Patterson’s new book Judge & Jury. It turned out to be one of my favorite of his. This one is a collaboration with some other author, but I felt his writing style was dominant throughout the book, so I’m just putting his name.

  I’m still waiting for the new John Grisham book. Is he even writing anymore? I like his books. His are the only legal dramas that I actually enjoy, and even though people give him grief over writing the same genre all the time I don’t mind because they are the only legal drama books that I read. I liked his side-projects too, but the legal ones are best.

  My new Megami Magazine should be getting here this week sometime. I love that magazine. I’d pay just for the posters, but you get a lot more! *giggles with glee* I cant’ wait to see what’s going to be in the new one. Getting stuff in the mail is great. It’s like getting little presents every week. Thank God for the internet. I hate ordering out of catalogues, and I don’t “do” that Shop-at-Home stuff. But online shopping? Fuhgetaboutit! I think I like shopping online more than shopping in stores. The main reason being I can shop in pajamas. Talk about being in control…

  Well, I’ve run out of junk to write about. Until that day… Oh! I put up the opening theme to Ergo Proxy in my Blast. Check it out!

  Whatever, Gundam!
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