Archive for 2007

A Lucky day after a lacking one

So at some point I decided it was a good idea to go to GenCon Indy.  Having little warning (I only found out it was coming two weeks before), I had to get a badge the old-fashioned way.  The night before it started (but alas, too late to register), I found out there was a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament.  Seeing as I did decently well in the tournaments at Rose, I wanted to sign up but it was halfway full already.

So I did what any self-respecting Smash fan would; I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and drove down to GenCon on Thursday.   I waited in line for about 2 hours total to get my badge and register for the tournament.   I arrived at work 45 minutes late, when I had hoped to be a bit early.  When I got home from work, the final pieces of my new desktop had arrived.  I spent about 2 hours putting everything together, and then spent about 3 trying to figure out why it wasn’t booting up.  I gave up at 11 and went to bed.

This morning, I woke up, went to work for half a day, then went to GenCon.   Though I had huge troubles parking (every single lot I found was full, except I finally found a shady valet parking place), I made it to GenCon with about half an hour to spare before the Smash tournament qualifiers.

The qualifying round was a joke, honestly.  4 player free-for-all, random *all* stages, no items (thank god),  only the victor proceeds.  Nearly everyone there wasn’t a serious player; there were 3 who were serious enough to “know” wavedashing, and one that used it to great effect.  None were in my round.

So, for the qualifying round, I played Peach.  I’m most used to her playstyle, she’s easy to play cautious, and I hadn’t played in more than 2 weeks (not seriously in probably 3 months).   I won with 2 lives to spare (in a 3-stock game).

Honestly, I was the best person at dodge-work there.  In a 2v2 played for fun afterwards , I finished the first 3 rounds without dying.  It helped that I had the best player there as my teammate, but I attribute my dodging skills to the wonder-works of my roommates.  One played Sheik and was deadly accurate; the other played Jigglypuff, and if you didn’t dodge you were dead.  My strategy was and still is mostly defensive.  Harass with turnips, block attacks, throw if possible, pursue opponent if necessary.  Tomorrow’s tournament is 1-on-1, and I’ll be happy if I make 3rd place.  One of the guys there is really good, and I think another would beat me in a 1-on-1 if I’m not lucky.

GenCon itself is somewhat lackluster to me; I have little more than a passing interest in RPGs, though I played a couple in middle school.  Magic, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh have no appeal to me anymore (though a friend is currently in the Magic Legacy pre-Championship)… the only major thing there that appeals to me is the electronic gaming, and the Smash tourney was 40 people – we had ones twice that size at Rose, and they were better organized.  There’s a Starcraft 2 section there, with playable demos – may get in on that later – but beyond that, a few companies are showing off MMOGs… that’s about it, really.

There is a really cool manga shop booth there; it’s all Japanese.  I wasn’t able to find either Three Kingdoms or “Wolf Dragon Legend” (Kouryuuden), which were the two manga I’d enjoyed the most, but they did have the Wild Arms ACF Artbook (quite nice, but I already have it) and the Valkyrie Profile artbook (may consider it), as well as the “Legend of Langrisser” artbook (nice, but no thanks – I know Urushihara’s other job).  They did have the Tales of Symphonia manga… but sadly, everything’s new – which means high prices.  I really loved the manga stores in Japan – I got great manga for $3, and most for $1 or less (I think I got a Lunar 2 one for 50 cents).  Here, it’s more like $6 or $7 for one volume.  I may look into that place more tomorrow after the tournament.

After GenCon today, I stopped by the nicer GameStop.  That is to say, the one that was an EBGames until two weeks ago.  Believe it or not, they had Persona 3, so I’ve played an hour of it so far.  I love the atmosphere; that’s one thing the Persona games pull off really, really well.  The artbook is good, but not really great; its main appeal stems from the fact that it’s both free and hardbound.  Haven’t listened to the soundtrack included yet, but I’m guessing it’s the better part of the bonus package.

After GameStop, I went home and gave the desktop another try.  After a small but vital piece of advice from a friend, I got it up and running.  And thus it stands; the best day in weeks after one of the worst.  Life has its downs, but maybe without them we wouldn’t recognize the ups.


Wild and Paper things, Odysseys and Necromancers

Now that I have free time, and am no longer stressed out by various things, I can go back to enjoying video games.  Yay.

I am continuing Wild Arms, though I have not gotten a whole lot further (just to the Outer Ocean now).  I didn’t recall how hard the game can be – Boomerang and Luceid nearly killed my party off.  Nonetheless, it continues to be fun.

I have also obtained a Wii.  As there’s nothing for Wii I want to get at the moment (Brawl coming out in 4 months), I am content to browse their Virtual Console selection.  I obtained the first star in Paper Mario a couple days ago.   Their VC selection is actually quite good – I plan to get a few more games, including Shining Force, Dynamite Headdy (never tried, but it’s a Treasure game), and Actraiser.

Yesterday, I got my hands on Etrian Odyssey (sorry, Jay!), a game that manages to be rare despite having been released only a couple months ago.  It looks to be a happy mix of dungeon-crawling (a la Azure Dreams, there is only a single humongous “dungeon” to explore), Turn-based RPG, and Diablo (you get a skill point each level).  You create your own party from scratch, sort of like the first two Final Fantasy Legends or Dragon Warrior/Quest 3.  My party is entirely unique due to three of its members:

  • My Landsnknecht (Fighter-esque), Corwin, is from Zelazny’s Amber series.  Corwin is one of my favorite characters from any book – despite the fact that he is powerful, skilled, and intelligent, he is also painfully reminded several times he is mortal.  Throughout the series, he grows from having a blind ambition to overthrow his brother Eric to setting aside the throne to pursue more important things.
  • My Alchemist (Mage), Zhongda, is Sima Yi from Three Kingdoms.  Though I would’ve preferred Kongming, Alchemists are inherently darker figures in EO, so Sima Yi is much more fitting.
  • My Medic, Cecilia, is from Wild Arms.  Her personality lends itself more to healing than to fighting to my mind.

If you managed to understand all three references, congratulations, you’re as weird as me 🙂

I’ve been trying to keep myself from getting too involved in EO.  The reason I got it is that I’ve played through all of my DS games already, so I needed something to play during my occasional plane trips.  It’s rather tempting to dive straight in, though.  One thing I do know is – it’s tough.  In the first quest, where you have to map the first floor of the dungeon (mapping is done using the stylus and isn’t as annoying as you’d think), my Protector (tank, essentially) and Corwin each died once and I had to return to town each time.  One time, my Protector was killed in one hit (!).

Finally, I’m still playing Diablo 2.  I now have 3 necromancers (bone, poison, and summoner) and 2 other party members.  D2 is mostly what’s keeping me from making progress in the above games, because it’s easy to get into and easy to “let go” of.



このポストで、辞書を使わないで、日本語だけで 書くつもりです。

だから、これはみじかいでしょ。 私は漢字を覚えないんですし、まだ日本語が下手なんです。

でも、 まだ書いてみてたいんだ。 どうしてですか? 自分も分からない。




I’ve still got some of it, but it’s like running molasses through a colander.  I need to practice far more often.  I could’ve done most of this better three years ago 🙁


True Goddess Rebirth: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. Really long game names

Now that I have the time to enjoy them again, games are creeping back into my free time.

Tuesday, I went to a bunch of game stores, mostly to find the Diablo 2 expansion (more later).   As I was browsing through one Gamestop (I think the closest non-Gamestop game store is ~10 miles away from me), I found a copy of Shin Megami Tensei: Raidou Kuzunoha vs the Soulless Army.

Despite its long name, you might recognize Shin Megami Tensei from, say, Shin Megami Tensei or its spinoffs (Revelations: Persona being the only one I’ve played much).  It’s generally dark, gritty, but occasionally light-hearted modern stuff.  Think pulp sci-fi mixed with mythology and a touch of horror and that’s about what it is.  The Megami Tensei games were all inspired by a book, which a really cool guy translated and posted up here.

Anyway, one of the coolest aspects of the series is that it’s not afraid to be a bit cheesy even if it loses a bit of realism.  The main character in SMT: RKvtSA uses both sword and gun in battle – much like the heroes in Persona.  This yields a friendly, fuzzy feeling similar to that of the Final Fantasy Legend (aka Sa-Ga) games on Gameboy – anything’s a weapon, so long as it does damage to the enemy.  This game, however, is set in early 1930’s Japan.  Against demons, the pistol generally just serves to stun them or can be used as a low-intensity elemental attack – but it’s still pretty darn cool.

Kuzunoha may have a single demon summoned in battle at once,  and each demon has elemental affinities – so there’s a nice little strategic element.  Battles occur more frequently than I’d like, and tend to yield less rewards than most games.  This is in keeping with the series’ reputation of being tough as nails (Persona 2, the aptly-named Eternal Punishment, is the hardest RPG I’ve played – Persona 1 was tough despite having its difficulty toned down a bunch in the US release).  No obstacle so far (in 3 hours) has proved insurmountable – I haven’t died yet, I’ve just gotten really close.

I am also playing through Wild ARMs, and despite my new copy being pristine, I still got a freeze earlier.  I now suspect it is more likely my PS2 that is dying than anything else… but I’ll probably pick it up again tomorrow and see how it goes.

Like I mentioned earlier – I was looking for the D2 expansion pack, and found it at the fourth store (I was bored).  One of my friends back home tempted me into playing it again, and I’ve gotten my editor from vl started as well – anyone care to join in our little addiction?  We’re on USEast, if it makes any difference.

Comments (1)

Exit Wild ARMs, stage right. Enter Wild ARMs, stage left.

Well, I tried.  My copy of Wild ARMs died about an hour in, and I don’t have the patience to keep trying after a game freezes.

I ordered another copy.  I mean, what’s the use of working so much overtime if you can’t spend the money (plus, the game is… what, maybe an hour of overtime pay?)?

I also started playing Alter Code: F.  It’s a good game, don’t get me wrong – but it still lacks some of the charm of the original.  The music in ACF is good, but too many tracks were polished unnecessarily.  The extra plot and exposition is great – Jack’s background and some extra stuff with Rody’s plot in the end are particulary satisfying.  Unfortunately, the translation is the worst part of the game.  It’s not all bad, but it is unnecessarily literal and feels stilted – overly formal in places where it shouldn’t be, for example.  Then there are plural/gender mix-ups…

I had to give up on ACF.  No reason to play through it if I’m just going to play through the original.  Thankfully, said ordered extra copy arrived today and is wonderfully spotless.  Unthankfully, I worked from 9 to 8 today and will probably be working over the weekend too.  Our project is wrapping up and (oh no) we stand a chance of making our unrealistic deadline.

Oh well, I should be able to afford a Wii soon.

In site-related news, apparently I am popular enough to merit spambots posting comments.  2 a day.  And, for some reason, they all comment on Life is a Dream.  I’m really curious as to why.  Maybe bots like armchair philosophy.  Now if only I had an easy chair, monocle, and pipe to smoke, I could attract more bots.  Just what I’ve always wanted.

Oh well, I suppose I should consider myself lucky.  vl gets about 200 a day now.