September 19, 2010
Tokyo Game Show day
Tokyo Game Show takes place in Makuhari Messe, which is about half hour away from Tokyo Station. When I got there at 8AM, the line was already stretching around the convention center and 20 people wide at the thickest parts. The line wasn't the problem as much as the weather - it was incredibly hot. People who brought umbrellas to block the sun had the right idea. Surprisingly, the line moved pretty fast once doors opened at 10AM and I got in within the hour.
Once you enter, you are given an opportunity to queue up for special event tickets. Unfortunately, you are forced to choose between diverging lines, so I had to rule out attending Idolmaster as I made a direct route for the Milky Holmes agent. Despite coming in so late, I got a ticket # of 252. Guess they aren't too popular. Fine, it means closer seat to the stage for me!
I don't really play too many games, except the occasional bit of StarCraft I/II and the Bethesda/Bioware western RPGs that get mega hype every few years. So, I didn't really know where to go, and relied on suggestions from @tentontim and @cowboybibimbop. Headed over to the SEGA booth to try out Valkyria Chronicles 3 and grab some goods. I never tried any of the VC games, but it interesting. Seems sort of like a mix of tactics RPG, but with 3rd person shooter element to it. Rolling up to a footsoldier in a tank and then blasting him point-blank with a cannon was stupidly fun. My own infantry girls died though because I couldn't figure out how to crouch behind cover.
Official Valkyria cosplayers
There's about a 20 to 40 minute wait to try each game, so by this time, it was already noon and most people had gotten into the convention center. This meant an incredible crowd, on an entirely different level than any US convention I've ever been to. There were so many people that you had to squeeze into streams of traffic and ride it like a conveyer belt until you got where you wanted to be. It was literally impossible to turn around. Since it was so hard, I only had the patience to try one more game called Dance Evolution. I didn't know the song being played, so it put my furicopy abilities to the test. Clearly, they need to release an otaku version of this game with fan favorite songs and cranked up difficulty levels.
Once I slipped out of the exhibit halls, I met up with @chibtech outside in the cosplayer alley. He's doing well these days and moving high up in his game company, but since it took us so long to find each other we were only able to hang out for a little bit before I had to line up for Milky Holmes. The waiting pen was directly outside the live stage, and we could hear all the imas stuff going on right next to us, but they put up temporary dividers to prevent you from looking inside. I was kind of jealous as everyone posted about the live show while I was THERE and unable to see it, but I had clear priorities for Milky Holmes.
Huge 12 ft tall Milky Holmes wall mural
The first time I ever saw them was watching the live broadcast during this year's Anisama 2010, but I instantly liked them for their outfits and cute catchy performance so I decided I must see at least one live. Managed to snag a sixth row seat center stage. Coordinated cheering for Ame Agari no Mirai was great. Since MH is such a new act, they barely had any songs so they needed to bring in guests otherwise the concert would be over as soon as it started. So, we got Faylan who performed, and Nanjo Yoshino to help during MC. During Yoshino's MC, they asked if there were any overseas attendees so I threw up my UO. Nanjo's first response to me was like this skeptical "Eh? Really?" Damn, I wish I looked more foreign lol.
Also met jouttex here for the first time, who I have a lot of good things to say about (later). After, I ran over to SEGA for Miku but it was a total disappointment and I left to check out other parts of the exhibition hall.
New Castlevania PV at the Xbox booth
SEGA hired lots of cosplayers for every corner of their booth
While walking around, I accidentally stumbled on a surprise Tanaka Rie appearance at the Capcom stage, and then caught an Iida Mai performance over by the iREM stage to close out the day.
After TGS, I decided to stay in Akiba and kill time until Anisong Index started at MOGRA. Revisited Yukari *the restaurant* in UDX again for their seafood okonomiyaki (seems like overseas Momoists always like to go to this one eh?). When prepared, the okonomiyaki was huge and two of us could barely finish one. I remember finishing one off by myself in 2008, but this time I had been subsisting on sugar from vending machine drinks for the past 2 days and my stomach probably wasn't prepared. Two guys at a table next to us were eating 3 of them!
Originally since I had no plans, I was gonna go line up for MOGRA in order to get to the front and wave to the ustream crew on camera, but since it was so early and jouttex was also there we ended up visiting some stores and then going to a karaoke place. Did a bunch of Yukarin songs, including You and Me (eh why am I doing the Yukarin parts?), FBD, Koiseyo, Honey Moon. Couldn't find Meron theme unfortuantely. Then transitioned into Momoi and Nana songs respectively (easy to predict the direction this was going). MOGRA event started at 11PM, but by that time the consensus was just "fuck it, another hour please!" to get through more songs we wanted to do, including a horrible rendition of fripside (what the fuck only my railgun is sooo hard). Major props to jouttex for hanging out even though she didn't sleep the night before. She's a fun person with insane stamina.
By 1AM, Akihabara was getting kind of barren as everyone went to catch the last train. I remembered @mandimandi's warning that MOGRA was incredibly hard to find so I relied on my freshly charged phone GPS to find it. Walked a good 10 minutes and had to turn into some dark alleys to find the place, which is basically a door advertised with a single tiny picture of their logo. The place was totally packed and there was absolutely NO WAY to make it up to the front at all. I talked with the bouncer who spoke a tiny bit of english. He says the event nights are usually like this. I got some coffees, but I was really tired needed to crash, so I left after 2 hours before making my way for emergency sleep a capsule hotel in Kanda. Unexpectedly, it was full.
Thinking I may have just fucked myself, I wandered around Kanda to find a 24 hour net cafe as an alternative. Oh god the area near Kanda station after midnight is shady as hell...there were drunk guys stumbling all over the place, streetwalkers who followed you around, and generally crazy dudes who yelled unintelligible stuff. Luckily, I spotted a manga kissa called Manboo and beelined for it. I stayed there just drinking coffee after coffee until the sun peeked out. On my way back to Akiba, I saw a ton of people who had missed the train just sleeping out in the street - like 20 to 30 people just grouped together with their luggage to one side. Brave? Or just supremely confident in Tokyo's public safety. By 6AM, I was in Haneda Airport and ready to board the morning's 1st flight to Sapporo.
Goods for the day
Milky Holmes brochures, postcards, and wristbands
TGS pamphlets. I have no use for these, so if you want it it's free. SEGA book and Valkyria case file already claimed by someone.
Food Autumn Festival and KOTOKO concert next.
December 23, 2007
Well I finally bought an Xbox 360
Now to somehow get Xbox Live to work with this damn wireless adapter since there is no way I am running 30 meters of cable from my modem to my living room. Routers are a huge pain in the butt. When you fail the Live test despite passing every single test leading up to it and have all your ports forwarded, "More Info" should actually display, you know, MORE INFO, instead of just being blank. Right now, my strategy has been reduced to router configuration settings roulette and praying it works on reboot.
Mass Effect is really fun though. I've only played it for about 5 hours so far, but I am getting the same giddy feeling as when I played RE4 two years ago. Thanks InsaneLampShade.
Now the question is...what other games should I get?
Mass Effect, Bioshock, Beautiful Katamari, Marvel/Forza bundle pack
May 8, 2007
I swear this has happened like five times this month
"DON'T YOU DARE CRITICAL ON ME!"
*hits critical on shiny*
On a frigging rock smash no less.
April 1, 2007
Ar Tonelico, 18 hours and counting
After killing myself for two weeks with a MASSIVE amount of work, I've finally had time to take a break. Reviewing Haruko UP DATE 2 is temporarily on hold as I spend this precious weekend mass playing Ar Tonelico before I return to another week of midterms and papers. Luckily, the game is short enough that I can probably beat it by today.
Ar Tonelico is a 2D RPG game with zero grind, a light hearted story, plenty of distractions to break up the crawl, cute character designs, heavily disguised (and sometimes not-so-well-disguised) sexual dialogue, and plenty of moe dating game elements. I've gotten pretty tired of the sheer amount of boring tasks required to complete games for RPG perfectionists, especially after sinking some 90 hours into FF12 in nothing but dark dungeons. Ar Tonelico, with its short zero tension romp through bright forests and villages, was the game I needed to cleanse my mind from FF12's dirty aftertaste. But how can it get better? Ar Tonelico's three main characters are voiced by none other than the RAMS power cast.
There's RAMS's flagship female, ultra veteran Nogawa Sakura as Misha, the childhood friend. Representing Clover, the high pitched "gyaorurururuu" Miyazaki Ui plays Aurica, the traumatized girl with no confidence. And, my favorite rookie superstar Sakai Kanako stars as Shurelia, the heavily armed oneesama.
The no "new game+" is bullshit though. I should have saved more at critical plot points. I had to betray the Aurica storyline I was running throughout the entire game because Sakai Kanako seduced me with her voice at the last second :D
November 5, 2006
Wii at Nintendo World
Pictures from yesterday's visit to Nintendo World. Initial impressions are okay, although not as good as they used to be. There were a lot of forced controller gimmicks such as where waving the controller actually made things harder (Rampage), some that made the game more interesting (Excite Truck), and others that we couldn't judge properly because there were 1000 people in the line and the attendant as well as everyone else got really anal if you tried to take more time to get used to the controller (Zelda).
We got in at 11 so the line was still relatively short. By the time we left at 5 there were four separate lines stretching a block, full of crazy people in the cold.
July 29, 2006
DS Flashing and Momoi Moonshell
Today I received all the materials I needed to start messing around with some DS Homebrew. With the bulky DS's resell value destroyed (and also my own intentions to buy a DS Lite anyway when better colors come around), I had nothing to lose voiding my warrany and flashing the firmware on my system. And yes, I did get the Supercard MiniSD over the brand new slimmer cards because I just love the completely random Boba Fett image on the front of the card.
Here is my favorite LucasArts adventure game of all time, Sam and Max, running on ScummVM for DS. I pulled this directly from my Sam and Max CD, with full audio.
I also took the opportunity to install Moonshell, and gave it the necessary background.
A quick video test with the Koi no Milkyway PV proved to be successful.
So far I've only used up about 300mb of space on my 1GB card. I'll see what else I can put on this tomorrow.
January 25, 2006
Lost in Blue is too hard for a kids' game.
So I bought Animal Crossing and Lost in Blue yesterday because it's that time of month when I give in to temptation regardless of cash and expand my game collection. I started out with LiB first because I figured an adventure game would be a bit shorter, especially since I am way beyond their target age; I also know Animal Crossing is one of those games that you can sink in zillions of hours without realizing. 17 hours later, I am now on day 30 of Lost in Blue. Turns out the game is *&$&*&@^# HARD!
In the game, you are Keith, a young guy who gets shipwrecked and stranded on an island. You must then use various skills (such as pressing L and R alternatingly, or blowing into the microphone) to ensure your and a fellow strandee's survival! Following my time honored gaming tradition of "not reading the manual and letting the game tutorial teach me" I discovered there was no tutorial - no easy mode to get out of before going into the real thing. I died before even reaching the second day. Soon after, the gameplay was a mad rush of attempting to stay alive. I didn't even have time to advance any story, because I was timing and plotting my movements so exactly as to prevent death. Exploring was pretty much suicide as it wasted too much time, and I spent my precious daylight hours collecting coconuts. Eventually, I was doing pretty well with a backpack full of coconuts, a cave to sleep in, and fairly stable vitals. Then the game throws your accomplishments out the window by forcing you to make long journeys away from the safety of your cave. One day of exploring goes through a backpack full of coconuts like it was nothing, and when you come back you don't have any food to eat. So, the day went: wake, collect coconuts, eat coconuts, sleep. It took a VERY long time to get out of this cycle.
Now on day 20, I have bows, arrows, spears, fishing poles, makeshift beds, shelves, and other things. I've become too good for coconuts, and now I eat fish and deer meat. Surviving has gotten much easier, somewhat like real life - you get stranded and in horrible condition, but if you can make it past the torture days, over time you can adapt. Still there is very little time allowed to explore own, as you are CONSTANTLY occupied with basic necessities. My next task is to collect enough logs to build a raft across some lake I discovered, and let me tell you..if you're an obsessive collector or you tend to overlevel your guys in RPGs, this game will be hell for you..and if you're not? Then you can't beat the game. I absolutely refused to make progress unless all my shelves were stocked with the highest quality fish, my weapons were the highest quality material, and my health vitals were all 100% - I figured I was going the extra mile..a power gamer compared to the younger kids who would be playing this game. Even with that attitude, I still only barely managed to succeed in my earliest tasks.
And yet..it's fun as hell for some reason I can' t understand. As a Civiliation and Sim City player, as well as mudder, I suppose I've become used to super-repetitive tasks in games that build on abilities and camps. Every time I add something to my cave, the feeling of success is just so good. But as far as my expectations go, this went the other direction. I wanted a "stress-free kids game" that I could just breeze through for a bit of fun and a story. This was an incredibly slow game. It may not be "hard" in the traditional sense, but the sheer amount of time and patience and repetition required can wear down anyone. I can definitely see how this game could suck with a slightly different mindset. Don't buy this unless you equate frustration with fun. Like me :)
Heh, I don't even know when I'm going to get started on Animal Crossing.
October 2, 2005
A wise man once said
4 hours of work right there. Thumbs sore. Taking it easy.
September 21, 2005
We Love Katamari
Oh yes, yes...yes!!! I dropped by the GameStop today to grab my copy, and I can't wait until I actually have some time tomorrow to start working on fantastic star building. It should have come out yesterday, but my local store didn't stock until 3PM today. The GameStop guys are kind of huge jerks if you ask me, because when I asked earlier that morning if they stocked "Katamari" yet, the tattooed man behind the register looked like he wanted to gut me and feed my decaying carcass to the pigeons. What the hell? I don't know, maybe it's because he is getting asked that a lot, but you shouldn't take it out on a customer. Especially when it's your own damn fault you didn't get the game shipped on the day it was supposed to be out.
Anyway, We Love Katamari is the sequel to Katamari Damacy which came out a while ago. I have included pics of my copy to make you jealous in case you tried to buy it and found that it was sold out (I was lucky. Grabbed 1 of the 2 remaining). For those who are unfamiliar with the series, the general concept of the games is to roll a little ball around until it becomes a huge ball..a really huge ball. The controls are so simplistic: you just point the analog sticks in the right direction and that's it. The game's story mode also features weird art and fun characters that make it a blast. Oh, did I mention it is cheap? The first one sells for 19.99, and this second one which is only going for 29.99 when it is easily worth 40+. That's so low you should probably buy both if you haven't tried the Katamari franchise before. Since I have not actually tested it out the sequel myself yet, I will refrain from writing more comments. Visit the site: http://katamari.namco.com/
P.S. I like namco. They make lots of fun games...though I was surprised to see that hey are also responsible for the Yumeria PS2 game. I guess that's sort of a good thing because Yumeria is cute.
July 25, 2005
Civilization III: Where the hell did my time go?
If I'm on your buddy list, you'll probably notice I've been offline for quite some time. This is because I saw a copy of Civilization III in the bargain bin for 9 bux last Wednesday, so I decided to pick it up. Huge mistake. Today, I am reporting in after 5 days of straight play during every second of free time I had. I didn't beat the campaign, because I am still IN THE INDUSTRIAL AGE.
Why? Oh I wish someone had told me this was a LONG game. Now normally, I don't mind long games. Hey I've played all the Final Fantasies; I've clocked in 90 hours on my Pokemon Silver; I still have a character on the Discworld that's 42+ real days old. But Civilization, no this isn't that kind of long. It isn't "fun" long. It's "take 50 minutes watching fucking India and China move their entire army across the terrain one square at a time for each turn that they are within your range of vision, and you can't skip it even though you turned off friendly and enemy animations..oh and watch all your workers do automated tasks such as building redundant roads across 40 towns" long.
Wars are also the most tedious things ever. There needs to be a way to build blockades, because I am not going to spend all my gold to build a human wall of troops just so one tiny conscript swordsman doesn't sneak in and steal my worker, destroy my improvement, and set me back another 5 turns (which means another 5x50 minutes of waiting, because of course the game decides you NEED to see everything that goes on in the game with no option to skip).
I hate Civilization III. It's the worst game I've played that I can't put down. Seriously, once I get mech infantry and destroy India for sweet sweet revenge (oh, trade me techs then backstab me the next turn huh?), I will toss this game.
May 28, 2005
Getting back into Discworld
For the first time in a long time, the Discworld MUD is actually fun again. I figured I had burned out on that game, and it was difficult coming back every time I tried, since many people that I remembered had either left or had continued playing the whole time and had grown so ridiculously beyond my level that I was no longer able to hunt with them. Recently though, Rizzo on SA started a goons club. After joining up with the rest of the goons with my semi-veteran wizard, Discworld became interesting.
It's great playing with familiar faces on the forums, grouping with a huge variety of players, new and old, and generally having something to talk about over the club channel. 'Wizards' is pathetically quiet anyway.
Who knew some of my forum favorites like Hildgrim and Foggy had started playing this thing? The Games goons are also great players with good attitudes too. Cize is an incredibly strong feef, and I basically relearned how to group lead after following him for a while. Xaos is such a friendly witch, thanks for the free tea. Now if I can just get Jerjac sucked back into this game, we'll be all set.
Thanks all, see you on the Disc.