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.
Encouraging other people to do the same!
Obama - 51%
Romney - 47%
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 ), 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.
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!
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 ). 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 (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 . Still, this is an excellent series that I strongly recommend.
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?
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 ).
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.
I will never understand why RPG purists will dislike a game that they admit has good gameplay, a good story, and good characters because they feel it lacks "RPG elements."
P.S. And just to let you know, this is not a response to nocoolnamejim's recent blog, nor is it directed at him.
Well, with the addition of Of Dreams Forgotten and Fables Untold, by The Moon and the Nightspirit, and Eternity Rites, by Dagaard, I've now reached 200 artists on my iTouch, and have 700mb of free space left on my 32gb iTouch. What I'm going to do when that's used up, I don't know.
Just for fun, I thought I'd do a breakdown of musical genre stats, feel free to criticize/insult/whatever :
Alternative - 1 artist, 1 album
Ambient - 1 artist, 1 album
Black Metal - 39 artists, 63 albums
Blues - 1 artist, 1 album
CIassical - 9 composers, 29 albums (symphonies)
Dark Ambient - 2 artists, 2 albums
Death Metal - 31 artists, 51 albums
Doom Metal - 4 artists, 4 albums (lacking, I know )
Folk - 6 artists, 6 albums
Folk Metal - 8 artists, 12 albums
Gothic Metal - 5 albums, 9 albums
Hard Rock - 4 artists, 12 albums
Heavy Metal - 10 artists, 29 albums
Melodic Death Metal - 5 artists, 13 albums
Pirate Metal - 1 artist, 1 album (Alestorm lol)
Power Metal - 8 artists, 9 albums
Progressive Metal - 5 artists, 9 albums
Progressive Rock - 1 artist, 1 album
Rock - 6 artists, 13 albums
Symphonic Metal - 9 artists, 13 albums
Technical Death Metal - 14 artists, 18 albums
Thrash Metal - 28 artists, 38 albums
/it's possible I miscounted a couple places and it doesn't add up perfectly, sorry.
In any case I'm happy with how my collection is progressing. Looking forward to adding even more!
Thank you, Steam sale combined with money/games I got for Christmas + birthday causing me to buy a ridiculous number of games. I now have a ridiculous gaming backlog.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
The Last Remnant
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (on hold until I get back to college where my save file is)
ARMA II (/Operation Arrowhead)
Deus Ex: Invisible Warfare
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Just Cause 2
Mount and Blade (/Warband)
Neverwinter Nights 2
Tomb Raider: Legend
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
Regardless of your religion (or lack thereof), just wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! For those of you who celebrate it, hope you got some good stuff! For those of you who don't, enjoy the post-Christmas sales!
Holy s*** I think I've died and gone to Heaven.
And anyone who doesn't have it, you'd best get over to Steam now and buy the Valve Complete pack for $25.
EDIT: It appears that Steam has increased the price to $50. Still a fantastic deal though!
Counter Strike/Condition Zero/Source
Day of Defeat/Source
Half Life/Blue Shift/Opposing Force
Half Life 2 + episodes
Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress ****c
Value when not on sale: $180.82
Mass Effect 3 - TBA (late) 2011
Uncharted 3 - Nov. 1, 2011
Crysis 2 - March 21, 2011
F.3.A.R. (Fear 3) - March 22, 2011
Dead Space 2 - Jan. 25, 2011
Dragon Age II - March 8, 2011
Elder Scrolls V - Nov 11, 2011
...and more I'm forgetting.
Damn I can't wait.
Why do you give me such tempting Black Friday sales? I've already got several games I've bought and haven't played yet and now you make me want more!
*goes and buys Deus Ex Collection ($4.99) and Borderlands ($9.99) anyway*
*also bought ARMA II Complete ($22.99)*
*will update this blog with other games I spend money on *is torn over this**
Figured I might as well do one of these just for kicks. Since I don't know much about the majority of governor/house races, I'm not going to do anything there, but here are my predictions (and some comments) for Senate! They're not very in depth and very similar to Nate Silver's projections, but I'll put them up anyway.
Most Senate races actually aren't that interesting. For the races in Indiana, North Dakota, Arkansas, North Carolina, Missouri, Louisiana, Utah, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Arizona, Oregon, Maryland, Delaware, Georgia, Connecticutt, South Carolina, New York (both), Vermont, South Dakota, Ohio, Iowa, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Kansas, I'll simply refer you to the 538 projections. None of these races are particularly interesting or close, so I won't spend any time on them.
Now for the (relatively) more interesting ones.
Wisconsin - It's tough to see Russ Feingold winning this, which is a shame because he's a great Senator. Although I agree that there's a small chance for victory, I'm calling this one for Johnson (R).
Pennsylvania - This is a little more interesting as some recent polls have suggested Sestak making a comeback. If it were a week left until election day I'd say he'd have a chance at closing the gap to win, but right now unless the polls are a little off it looks like it'll go to Toomey (R).
Nevada - Here's the first race where I'll disagree with Nate Silver on. Reid has polled a little behind in most recent polls, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say he'll grasp victory, in part because Angle is a fairly weak candidate while Reid is a very powerful Senator (i.e. he has influence in terms of getting money for Nevada programs/projects). It won't be by much, maybe even less than 1%, but I'll predict Reid (D).
Colorado - Another interesting one, again where polls have recently shown Bennet closing on Buck (and leading him by a statistically negligible margin in at least one poll). This one's the hardest for me to predict because I also don't know much about the Colorado political scene, so I'll go for the optimistic pick and pick Bennet (D).
Illinois - An interesting race since it's a fairly blue state, but neither side fielded a particularly good candidate. Kirk is a slight favorite probably from the polls, but with a decent number of undecided voters in a fairly blue state I'm going to predict this one for Gianoullias (D).
West Virginia - Polls have shown Manchin ahead by several percent, and he's a very popular governor who's managed to distance himself from Obama. I can't really see him losing this. Manchin (D).
Washington - Polls show Murray ahead with very few undecided voters, and in a couple of places Murray breaks the 50% margin. Unlikely that Murray will lose this one. Murray (D).
Florida - It's really a shame here that Meek didn't drop out as Crist would have been a much better senator than Rubio, and without Meek in the race Crist would have likely won. As is I can't see Rubio losing. Rubio (R).
Alaska - In my opinion, this race has the greatest variance in possible outcomes. I can see any of the candidates winning, including McAdams, the democrat. If Murkowski were appearing on the ballot rather than as a write-in I'd probably call it for her, but as such I'll have to call it for Miller (R). I won't be surprised if Murkowski or McAdams wins, though (and a recent poll suggests it could happen).
California - The last race of any real interest, but it looks like Boxer is safe. She's around the 50% margin in most recent polls without many undecided voters, and Fiorina isn't a strong candidate to begin with, so I feel fairly confident in calling this one for Boxer (D).
This all would give the Democrats 54 (or 55, not sure if I counted correctly ) Senate seats, counting Lieberman and Sanders. Probably a little on the optimistic side, but hopefully it'll work out for the Dems.
Honestly it's just more convenient. Makes reinstalling easier, makes it so you don't have to store/keep track of all the discs, means you don't have to deal with SecuRom. Yeah I kind of like having the physical copy of the game but in all honesty it's not worth it.
Now if only Steam let me upload my CD games there, so that I could just redownload them from steam rather than from the CDs. Oh well.
In other news, I'm back in college taking 3 econ classes (International economics, time series econometrics, public finance (aka public sector economics)), all three are pretty cool, and in we finally get to start actual modeling in metrics (most recently, a simple linear ARMA predictive model for inflation). Was taking a math class as well but it was really boring so I dropped. And dropped math too late to add another class so I'm stuck with just three courses (not the end of the world because it's the quarter system). >_>
Other than that been hanging out with friends, gaming, reading manga (moving along quickly through Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, which I love ), watching anime (currently Kurokami, Fairy Tail, and Shakugan no Shana II), etc. Not very eventful but what do you expect from a college student.
Hope you didn't just waste your time reading this blog expecting anything worthwhile to read.