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14 December 2011 @ 06:17 pm
So another year is ending and I'm still playing old games. I have several that I'm going through at the moment, some more seriously than others.

First up is Armored Core 3, which is about assembling your very own mech and then using it to blow other mechs to pieces. I'm not very good at it and I'm stalled about halfway(?) through. I swear I'll get back to it some day and find a way to defeat that bastard who's #2 in the Arena.

Next, Infinite Space. It's an interesting RPG that I think I've posted about before. Gameplay takes a bit getting used to, but it's fun to build your own ships and fight space pirates or whatever. This will be my fourth or fifth time through and I'm trying to get that one last damn entry in the ship database. I just might smash the cartridge if I'm actually missing another one. I'll also be trying to use different ships this time instead of relying on the same six or seven I use every time I play.

I'm on the last battle of Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden and I'll be wrapping that up any day now. Just as soon as I restart it to shuffle some parts and upgrades. And probably use a different team since two or three of my favourite characters/mechs aren't all that useful in this fight. I'm also grinding forwards on SRW: Original Generation 1; literally since the enemies on the last few maps have so many friggin' HP. I got just about all of the secret items this time through and I'm on course for the true final boss. New Game Plus with 3 million extra credits and ~200 Pilot Points on all characters really helps.

And finally, I picked up a copy of MS Saga: A New Dawn the other day. I've been meaning to play this ever since I read the Let's Play a couple years back. I didn't believe the GameStop website when it said the store down the street from me had a copy until I looked up another obscurish game and it said the nearest copy was halfway across the state. The guy at the store said they'd had it since summer, but it's hard to find stuff in the bargain bin and I feel kinda sorry for making them dig it up.

MS Saga is basically Xenogears with mechs from Gundam, mostly UC Gundam with a few Gundam Wing and G Gundam units thrown in. Your starting mech is a GM and your useless best friend gets a Zaku I, which is even worse. There's the obligatory Char Clone named Hal Vizard, who looks a bit like Akio from Utena once he takes off the mask. And Major Rezner, who's a dead ringer for Matilda from the original Gundam. And a sky pirate with dreadlocks who has a Jamaican accent for no reason. There's a lot of customization for your mechs and money's always tight at the beginning. Good game if you like fiddly RPGs and don't mind tough battles and bad voice acting.

Edit: Another silly plot bunny that'll never go anywhere.
Venus is the morning star and it's sometimes referred to as Lucifer. Therefore, Sailor Venus must be the Antichrist or something similar. Only thing is, I can't really see her really doing that.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: TROMBE! from SRW
07 August 2011 @ 12:21 am
I rented Ingmar Bergman's version of The Magic Flute the other day. It incorporates the audience and backstage action into the opera in an interesting way and there's some funny business with subtitle cards. These days opera productions might have the lines translated on a screen above the stage or something; Bergman used giant cards that the actors can interact with a bit. Oh, and it's in Swedish instead of German but the words seem to fit the music just fine.

Then I got to thinking that the story of The Magic Flute could make a good anime: deception, a beautiful princess and a ridiculous clown, melodrama, weird symbolism piled everywhere. And then I realized that I'd probably bitch about everything they changed and whine that they cut out the good songs. I have the P. Craig Russel comic version around here somewhere and it's trippy enough to be a good starting point for an animated version.

So Borders is going under and that leaves B&N as the only big bookstore in town and it's in a pretty bad location for me to get to. There are some smaller bookstores, but most of them do college textbooks, not normal stuff and I feel bad about yoinking interesting books that someone else might need for class. Also, one of the strip clubs in town went tits up a few weeks ago. I've been meaning to say that to someone, but haven't had a chance. Yeah, I don't get out much.

I've been playing Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 lately. It's heavy on UC suits and characters and I really wish they'd included some non-UC mook suits so I could chop up Leos and Tauruses. Also, I can't stand the G Gundam guys. Personality conflict or something.

Finally, I'm rewatching Utena
and there's a lot of stuff you notice the second time through. But Touga punching out a kangaroo will always be the highlight of the first arc to me. And Miki should probably clean that piano more often if Kozue uses the room.
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Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: The Queen of the Night's Aria
23 June 2011 @ 08:01 pm
I mentioned that I've been watching some old series at Crunchyroll lately and I've gotten a couple ideas for fics that probably won't go anywhere.

The first one is probably a drabble at best, based on Galaxy Express 999: What if the Conductor of the 999 was a Black Mage? Just change his hat and he could be slinging fireballs and lightning bolts at stowaways or whatever. Yeah, this doesn't really have any  potential. Perhaps writing a crossover with Sailor Moon would be more interesting, doing something with Pluto.

The second is a Gundam Wing idea that refuses to go away: A freak accident turns Zechs into a woman. Noin turns up to teach him about living as a woman because Relena's pretty much the only other woman likely to try it. Well, Dorothy might be willing, but I don't think her style would suit Zechs. Noin is pretty much the opposite of the frilly girly-girl type that almost always turns up in gender-bending stories and I want to play with that. Naturally, her first lesson is how to deal with guys with wandering hands.

Finally, a Sailor Moon- Gundam Wing crossover with Relena as Sailor Moon. Because making the Gundam pilots do it is probably overdone. The main problem with this idea is the fact that you can count the major female characters of Gundam Wing on one hand and Relena (probably) hates two of them. And three of them are a bit older than most characters who get regularly stuffed into sailor fuku. But don't tell them that because they're very handy with guns and giant mechs.

* ETA: Forgot about Catherine for a minute there. But that's fine because it is it is possible to count to six on one hand.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Gundam Wing opening Just Communication
30 May 2011 @ 11:20 am
I dug up an old bookmark the other day and it looks like I still have a membership at Crunchyroll from back when it still had fansubs randomly uploaded. I never did finish watching Onisama E, depressing series that it is. I got through the original Gundam (dubbed, but not horribly) in a few weeks and now I'm going back through Gundam Wing.  I've also started on Galaxy Express 999, but that's 112 episodes.

The Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation: The Inspector anime is also there (and the reason I dusted off the membership... not that I really needed to), but it's kinda crappy compared to the game. The voices don't really match how I saw the characters and the fights are confusing, but, hey, boobs! It has tons of fanservice, probably more than it needs, but that's SRW for you. Even SRW 3 on the SNES had a segment where a bunch of female characters hit the beach in early 16-bit headshot form.

I beat SRW: OG2 a few days ago and I've started a second run to take all the branches I didn't take the first time. It's a good bit harder than OG1, but still good. Much better than the Inspector anime. If anyone reading this gets the urge to play this, I recommend the SP Regenerate skill for all pilots since SP is probably the most limited resource in the game and long battles (or just bosses) will deplete it very quickly. Its expensive, but it makes everything much easier once you have it.

I've also gotten my hands on SRW3 and SRW Alpha Gaiden. PSX emulation is a bit of a pain, but SRW: AG has a good array of mechs from all over, including Gundam Wing (Endless Waltz versions) and Macross. I'll admit to trying it for those two since I'm not really a fan of super robot anime. But the Wing mechs kinda suck. Each one only has a couple weapons except for Heavy Arms and Tallgeese III. Noin is playable, which I really like, even if her stats are mediocre, but her Taurus is, well, a Taurus with a beam rifle and nothing else, and she can only use other GW mechs. I'll probably punt Trowa out of the Heavyarms for her if nothing more suitable turns up.

Macross mechs are very agile but fragile and Max and Milia rock. Unfortunately, the game takes a weird turn after chapter 9 that warps you into a world of crude steam-punkish mechs that I find atrociously ugly piloted by characters I can't stand.

SRW3 is an early generation SNES title from '92 or '93 and it shows in the graphics and sound. Gameplay is also pretty crude and frustrating. Your weapons are underpowered, your mechs are all made of cardboard, and counterattacking/dodging/defending is left up to the AI. A very stupid AI that I usually just order to dodge/defend everything and it even screws that up, trying to dodge when it should defend.
Current Mood: geekygeeky
Current Music: Men of Destiny
25 April 2011 @ 11:32 pm
Still not dead. It feels like I've only been doing game posts lately. I feel like I should knock together something about the power of clothes, conformity, and so on. I read Virginia Woolf's  Orlando: A Biography a little while back and I have a few thoughts are floating around my head with bits of Discworld (Jingo and Monstrous Regiment, for the curious) and a passage from Swift's A Tale of a Tub. I would describe Orlando as one of the few pieces of gender-bending fiction I've read that's not written by a wanker with a thing for clothes. Mostly because it's by Virginia Woolf and not some random person on the Internet.

I got my paws on Super Robot Wars Original Generation for the GBA a couple weeks ago and I've been playing it on my DS. I'll probably start the sequel once I've finished both storylines (I'm just a couple stages away from that). I kind of regret not buying the games when they came out in '06 (according to GameFAQs). According to TVTropes, the SRW series started almost two decades ago on the original GameBoy and these are the only two games that have come over to the US (except for the Endless Frontier spinoff). Most SRW games use mecha and characters from a ton of anime series, so they tend to be licensing nightmares.

Anywho, the plot of SRW: OG is best described as a little Macross and a little Gundam wrapped up in a layer of The Last Starfighter.  The gameplay is a lot like Fire Emblem, and I suppose that really affects my playstyle: I try to minimize casualties instead of achieving objectives quickly. I'm defensive and shooty, which means I tend to form big blocks centered on my carrier to take advantage of the Command bonus and let the enemy come to me while I shoot them full of holes. Ideally, this is done on top of favourable terrain, but that's scarce on some maps. It's also a slow style that misses about two thirds of the "Skill Points" that don't really do much besides determine the difficulty level. I really wish strategy RPGs didn't favour speed players over turtle types quite so much.

SRW: OG is a solid game, if a bit hard to track down. Characters are interesting, the music is good, and the robot designs are pretty cool if you're into that sort of thing. Most of them look a lot like robots from anime, but that's part of the charm, along with blasting enemies into little pieces.
Current Mood: determineddetermined
Current Music: TROMBE
"Jim, how the hell did you catch Arcturan Mega-Clap? It only affects-"

"It's not what you think! That Andorian girl told me she worked in a rodeo!"

McCoy folded up his tricorder with a sigh. "What were her exact words?"

Kirk looked away. "Arcturan Mega-Donkey show."

"You're lucky there's a cure. Take these pills-- all of 'em, we don't want this thing to develop resistance-- and you're staying on Enterprise for the next two weeks."

"Bones, I can't swallow this." The pills were about the size of Kirk's thumb.

"You're not supposed to: it's a suppository. Now get out of here."
Current Mood: amusedamused
01 February 2011 @ 07:51 pm
I finally got a look at the new set of sun signs with Ophiucus the Serpent-Bearer in it today. All I'm going to say is that I act absolutely nothing like a Libra.

Cold and damp here, but it sounds like Georgia's still better off than at least half the country. Hope you guys up north come through ok.

Silly question for anyone passing by: What kind of drink would you think a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is?

I'm thinking something screwball and fruity with absolutely no trace of whiskey. And no vodka, either, that's the only rule. Just something that provokes the reaction Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! when described or drunk.

Perhaps passion fruit (as in fruit, probably pulped), Midori, and lemocello?
Current Mood: coldcold
10 January 2011 @ 09:10 pm
Ok, I exaggerate. It's not that bad, but we got three or four inches (newspaper website says "up to five") of snow last night and then it got topped off with a bit of freezing rain to form this nice crunchy shiny glazed stuff that's probably quite unpleasant to drive on for people who know nothing about driving on snow/ice.

And the forecast isn't getting much above freezing until Saturday, so this week looks like it's going to suck. At least the start of classes has been delayed until Wednesday or later. And there might be a bit more sleet and freezing rain on the way tonight. Lovely start to the year.
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Current Mood: coldcold
09 January 2011 @ 09:42 pm
And by winter storm, the guys at the local TV stations mean mostly sleet and freezing rain with maybe a couple inches of snow. So no school tomorrow (not sure I would've gone in anyway since I have no Monday classes and the predicted high was in the low 30s). Damn it, we just had snow around Christmas. This better be the last of it until March. Better yet, May.

I bet some idiot in the area is posting right now that this proves global warming is a hoax.

Here's hoping I have power in the morning.

ETA: ~10:30: Wow. Really coming down now. This is going to suck in the morning.
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Current Music: Waltz of the Flowers, as animated in Fantasia
27 December 2010 @ 11:08 pm
Grabbed from artistbettyanne :

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

As it happens, I keep two stacks of books on my desk flanking my computer. Most of them might be considered "cool' or "intellectual," or at least "nerdy" and long. I'll take one from each stack since they're about equidistant from me. So taking from the top of the stack to my left, I have the Poetic Edda. On page 123 is the beginning of the Poem of Helgi Hiorvardsson and the fifth sentence is the end of the translator's introduction and we don't get to the poem proper for a couple paragraphs:

The flyting between Atli and Hrimgerd have no relevance to the plot and the vow of Hedin has no tragic consequences-- he simply acquires his half-brother's bride after his death.

About Hiorvard and Sigrlinn: Hiorvard was the name of a king. He had four wives. One was named Alfhild, their son was Hedin; the second was called Saereid, their son was called Humlung; the third was called Sinriod, their son was Hymling.

To my right, I have Geoffrey of Monmouth's "The History of the Kings of Britain." On page 123, we've gotten to about the time of Claudius's reign as Roman Emperor or a little later and the fifth sentence is a description of some king or other named Marius, son of Arvirargus.:

He was a man of great prudence and wisdom. A little later on in his reign a certain King of the Picts named Sodric camed from Scythia with a large fleet and landed in the northern part of Britain which is called Albany. He began to ravage Marius' lands. Marius thereupon collected his men together and marched to meet Sodric.

I'm not reading either of these books at the moment. I just keep them there, along with "The Count of Monte Cristo," the Gormenghast trilogy (which I will finish some day), Ovid's Metamorphoses, "Moby Dick," and several others. I ran out of bookshelf space a while back.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful