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chessmaster1989 Blog

2012 Presidential Race Forecast

Figured I might as well post my projection now that it's about a month before the election. I'm not going to update this, so what I've got now is what I'm keeping as my projection (just for kicks). You're all welcome to make fun of me if I end up missing it horribly. :P

Encouraging other people to do the same!

Popular Vote:
Obama - 51%
Romney - 47%

Electoral College:

Dear Square Enix...

Please release FF10 HD already so that I can give you my money.

On a related note, I've been blazing through FF10 and it's one of my all-time favorite games.

A Gaming Update (cover based shooters... meh)

Well I had a period lasting a good amount of the previous school year where I didn't play all that many single player games (instead, I played a lot of League of Legends with my college friends since a lot of us play it), but over the summer I've started getting back into single player games. I started Final Fantasy XII towards the beginning of the summer (shortly after finally beating FF13), have logged about 45 hours so far and am really loving it.

Also discovered an indie game the other day on Steam called Chantelise. Basically, it's an action-rpg (with most of the action being hack-and-slash, and rpg in a fairly loose sense) that, despite having incredibly dated graphics, manages to still be incredibly fun. It's got pretty good level design, really fun combat, and a good item/upgrade system. Feels like it won't be a long game, but for the $9 I spent on it it's well worth it.

Less impessive than FF12 and Chantelise, unfortunately, is F.3.A.R. (Fear 3), which I just started today. It also brings me to another rant about cover based shooters, but I'll get to that in a minute. Now it could be that I'm only an hour into it, but whereas F.E.A.R. had a fantastic (and suspenseful/scary) atmosphere, and even the one in F.E.A.R. 2 wasn't bad, F.3.A.R. just isn't really scary or suspensful at all. That aside, I'm also disappointed with the direction they've taken the combat. Not only have they added a cover-based system (which may have been in F.E.A.R. 2 but I've forgotten), but they've also replaced heal and armor bars with automatic health regeneration. Now look, auto health regen is fine in a game like Call of Duty where you need it, but in a game like F.3.A.R. (where you can trigger slo-mo at any time) it just breaks the game. The first F.E.A.R. especially was interesting because any enemy could evaporate your health bar if you weren't careful. Here, there's basically no risk to charging forward with a shotgun, then ducking behind cover when you get low on life. It's just not as fun. I have made a point of not even using the cover based shooter system (instead using the cIassic crouch), which has improved the game some, but so far I'm disappointed. Combat's still fun at least even if it is too easy.

But honestly, I don't know what's with the obsession with cover based shooters these days. Mostly it's just synonymous with "sit behind cover and slowly snipe your enemies to death." Really, the only games where I actually enjoyed the system was Mass Effect 1/2, which was largely due to the addition of Bionics and the fact that the enemies would actually try to flank you (what a novel concept that most game developers don't seem to think of... >_>). But honestly, I wish cover based shooting would slowly die out in the fps/tps industry.

UPDATE: After going through a section of F.3.A.R. that was basically a worse version of Call of Duty, I'm now killing zombies in the game. lulz

UPDATE2: So I'm on chapter 5 (apparently of 8) in about 3-3.5 hours. Oh joy, a 5-7 hour decent-but-nothing-special game for $50. Story is pretty lame, but at least the gameplay is still fun. I also haven't bothered with the cover system at all since the first chapter. Also, this game isn't scary... at all.

UPDATE3: Beat the game (after shredding through most of the Blue Man Group apparently :P), took overall less than 6 hours. Gameplay was overall fun, although the final boss was an absolute joke. The "plot" was pretty bad (and doesn't really answer a lot of questions I still had), and the game lost any of the suspense/horror that it had managed to preserve in the second one (which is a shame, since the first one was a legitimately great horror shooter). Gameplay makes it worth playing but not for $50. Wait until the price drops, then play it, but don't expect anything great. I'd probably give it a 7/10, maybe a 6.5.

OT debates can be a pain

Especially when another user just keeps repeating the same thing over and over, ignores your posts, then accuses you of being closed-minded and unwilling to listen to their argument.

I love it.

Anyone want a free Mass Effect 2 download code? (given away now sorry!)

Got this a couple months back with the promotion for Dragon Age 2, but I already owned it so I had no use for it. Not sure if it still works or not but figured if it does I might as well give it to someone else. You should be able to use it through the EA download manager.

PM me for the code, first come first serve sorry. I posted this to my profile so that people on my friend's list will be the first to see it.

EDIT: Code has been given away, sorry!

Favorite anime blog series discontinued

Unfortunately due to some anime I have watched and re-watched since starting this blog series, the list I'd originally planned has become somewhat outdated (I know that was fast :lol: ). So I'm discontinuing the blog series.

But you can still see my favorite anime on My Anime List, so feel free to check them out there.

But if anyone was wondering, the remaining entries originally were going to be (not really in order) Hayate no Gotoku!, Rurouni Kenshin, Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yu Yu Hakusho, Busou Renkin, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Canaan. If I were to update the list now, OreImo would be higher up than I originally intended it to be (probably around 3), and I would be including Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (and Kai) and Shigofumi on the top ten list.

Top Anime #9: Seikai no Monshou/Senki

Top Anime #9: Seikai no Monshou (and no Senki 1/2/3)

This is an anime that really grows on you. By the end of the first season (Seikai no Monshou) I was really enjoying it, and by the end of the series (finishing with Seikai no Senki III), I was in love with the anime and (despite a very satisfying conclusion) was really wishing for more. But I guess all good things must end.

Seikai no Monshou/Senki is a space opera (for lack of a better description) that focuses in part on the conflict between the Abh Empire and The United Mankind, two interstellar empires whose tension eventually leads to war, and more directly on the growing relationship between Lafiel, and Abh princess, and Jinto, a newly made count of the Abh Empire after his father surrendered his home planet to the empire. The result is a combination of politics, action, and a developing romance and relationship between Lafiel and Jinto; and while the interstellar conflict is very well done and interesting, the "smaller" story of Lafiel and Jinto actually proves the more compelling. This shows especially in the fact that Senki I, which focuses mainly on the interstellar conflict, is also the weakest of the series, while the other three are all very strong. Monshou provides a strong introduction to the characters and the conflict, along with a solid storyline. If (as I was) you're a little let down by Senki I, don't worry, Senki II is much better and (in my opinion) the best of the series, while Senki III provides a satisfying conclusion to the series and to the relationship between Lafiel and Jinto.

Yeah, you've probably realized by now I'm not very good at writing these blogs :lol:. Still, this is an excellent series that I strongly recommend.

Top Anime #10: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun

Top Anime #10: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun)

An anime I only finished in the last couple of weeks, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun quickly became one of my personal favorites. It's a spin-off of Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index), and is one of the rare cases where a spin-off is much better than the origianl. The main reason, of course, being that it features by far the best character from Index (and one of my all-time favorite anime characters): Misaka Mikoto (video included for sheer badassness). But it's also got a great cast aside from that, with Kuroko providing constant comic entertainment; Saten and Uiharu are also fine characters if nothing particularly special, but they do help to keep the series as good as it is.

Although there's an overarching plot for the first 12 episodes (and a good one at that), particularly after that this show is largely a collection of mini-arcs. Based on the first 12 episodes this would have been one of my top 5 anime, unfortunately it goes a little downhill after that with some (what I assume are) filler episodes. It's fun, it's lighthearted, the first half has a solid plot, it's got comedy, and it's got some really badass moments and action. What more could you want from an anime?

chessmaster's Top 10 Anime: Honorable Mentions

It's been a while since I made a blog series, and since I've watched a lot of anime over the last 18 months or so I figured I could safely make this series now. Basically these are my top 10 anime. I've combined series into one entry in almost all cases to allow for more entries (for example, Hayate no Gotoku! and Hayate no Gotoku!! will not be listed as separate entries, I figured that wouldn't be much of a spoiler to the list since anyone who pays attention at all to what anime I like knows about those :P).

Please keep in mind that these are my choices, so while you're free to comment on them, please don't leave comments like "Why don't you have [insert anime here] on your list?" The answer in every case will be that either I haven't watched the anime or that it wasn't one of my favorites. But, that said, I'm more than happy for you to give me recommendations!

I figured I'd start out with a couple of honorable mentions (in no particular order) that barely didn't make it onto the top 10 list. Wish I could have 12 spots out of 10 so I could include them, but unfortunately mathematics won't allow it. Curse you, mathematics!

Honorable Mention #1: Top wo Nerae! (Gunbuster)

There were a lot of things I loved about this anime. The characters: Noriko and Amano are a great duo of main characters, while other side characters like Coach and Jung. The action: while the animation is old, the action is still done well and is fun to watch. There's a good level of comedy mixed in with the drama, but the show never gets too lighthearted as to lose focus. This show also does the best job of any show I've seen at exploring the idea of people aging differently (in this case, because of light-speed travel), and watching Noriko remain young while her friends grow old and live their own lives is both interesting and, in a way, depressing. And, most of all, to cap of a great series, there is my favorite ending in all of anime (that I've seen at least). It's in a lot of ways a happy ending, but upon reflection it's also mildly depressing. And, well, it's also just unbelievably epic. I don't want to spoil it though, so that's all that I'll say about it.

Honorable Mention #2: Kara no Kyoukai

(image related to the third movie, my personal favorite of them)

I haven't quite finished this series yet (I've watched movies 1-6), but each of those movies has been excellent. The movies are typically a fantastic combination of action, the supernatural, mystery, and an oddly developing romance between Shiki and Kokutou, and while some of the movies I liked better than others (my favorites being 3 and 5), each one is very much worth watching. The series throws you right in without much explanation in the first movie, and I nearly dropped it after that one because there was a lot unexplained in it. But the explanations come (along with new mysteries) quickly throughout the next few movies, so I recommend watching at least the second movie even if you're put off by the first.

Well, that's it for now, tune in tomorrow for #10. I'll be posting these basically once a day.