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.


Merchandise Display


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.

Sapporo Food Autumn Festival and KOTOKO concert next.

Posted by Paranda at 8:31 PM | Comments (4)

December 23, 2007

Well I finally bought an Xbox 360

xbox Box lol

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?

Currently owned:
Mass Effect, Bioshock, Beautiful Katamari, Marvel/Forza bundle pack

Posted by Paranda at 9:04 AM | Comments (4)

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.

Posted by Paranda at 6:54 AM | Comments (3)

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.

edit: Finished.

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

Posted by Paranda at 8:06 AM | Comments (0)

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).

Nintendo World
Nintendo World
Nintendo World
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.

Nintendo World
Nintendo World
Nintendo World
Nintendo World
Nintendo World

Posted by Paranda at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2006

Phoenix Wright 2 retains all the charm of the first

I just played through the first case and am now on the second. This game is as good as the first, and the ability to present profiles is a good addition too. I'm still missing the old objection music but I'm sure this will grow on me too. Ugh I'm going to be up all night...
Gyakuten 2 screenshot

Update: Holy Hell this game is hard. Only the first case was tutorialish, but immediately in case 2 they jumped into Von-karma territory. I'd wager the difficulty level is par with Case 4 in the first game. I've been at it for 5 hours already. Even though there's no new bonus cases for this release, if the existing ones are all long and challenging like this, you'll definitely get your money's worth.

Posted by Paranda at 12:18 AM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2006

DS Flashing and Momoi Moonshell

Supercard and Superkey
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.

Sam and Max on ScummVM
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.

Moonshell with Momoi wallpaper
I also took the opportunity to install Moonshell, and gave it the necessary background.

Koi no Milkyway video on DS screen
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.

Posted by Paranda at 3:34 AM | Comments (1)

June 3, 2006

Great War begins

A quick account of what's been going on in the Utop world lately:

First war of the age began hours ago, only 2 days OOP. It seems luck has shined on me and placed me in a decent KD with nice activity and a competent monarch. 21 attacks in 9 hours since war start! I haven't deluded myself into thinking we can WIN the whole game since our IRC chan is basically barren, but definitely we will make it 3 to 4 rounds with this kind of activity. Keep in mind absolutely nobody knew war was going to start on the 15th.

June 15th, YR0 A war has started with II The BloodPack II (##:##)!
June 15th, YR0 Cyrax (##:##) captured 145 acres of land from Euthean (##:##).
June 16th, YR0 DarkDeathFromBelow (##:##) invaded Chipicy (##:##) and captured 124 acres of land.
June 16th, YR0 Our kingdom has begun a dragon project targetted at II The BloodPack II (##:##).
June 16th, YR0 Chipicy (##:##) captured 135 acres of land from DarkDeathFromBelow (##:##).
June 16th, YR0 Chipicy (##:##) attempted an invasion of DarkDeathFromBelow (##:##), but was repelled.
June 16th, YR0 I am B (##:##) captured 145 acres of land from Lazy Undead (##:##).
June 16th, YR0 I am B (##:##) captured 100 acres of land from Lazy Undead (##:##).
June 16th, YR0 Our dragon has set flight to ravage II The BloodPack II (##:##)!
June 17th, YR0 Death and Texas (##:##) captured 134 acres of land from Skara Brae (##:##).
June 17th, YR0 Death and Texas (##:##) captured 168 acres of land from Karakura Town (##:##).
June 17th, YR0 Amaretto Red Army (##:##) captured 148 acres of land from Kydoimos (##:##).
June 17th, YR0 Castelgarde (##:##) captured 94 acres of land from Replacable Parts (##:##).
June 17th, YR0 Our kingdom has begun a dragon project targetted at II The BloodPack II (##:##).
June 17th, YR0 Requiem of Souls (##:##) invaded LORAS (##:##) and captured 132 acres of land.
June 17th, YR0 archanland (##:##) invaded Chipicy (##:##) and captured 53 acres of land.
June 18th, YR0 LORAS (##:##) captured 148 acres of land from Dead Body Man (##:##).
June 18th, YR0 LORAS (##:##) captured 148 acres of land from The Castle Defender (##:##).
June 18th, YR0 Smeagol (##:##) captured 182 acres of land from otse anaali sulle (##:##).
June 18th, YR0 Smeagol (##:##) captured 88 acres of land from archanland (##:##).
June 19th, YR0 Cute Things are Evil (##:##) invaded Smeagol (##:##) and captured 157 acres of land.
June 19th, YR0 prydwen (##:##) invaded I am B (##:##) and captured 137 acres of land.
June 20th, YR0 IWasOnceAlive (##:##) captured 116 acres of land from Karakura Town (##:##).
June 20th, YR0 Lazy Undead (##:##) invaded Ormkerr (##:##) and captured 119 acres of land.
June 20th, YR0 IWasOnceAlive (##:##) captured 150 acres of land from TheWiseOne (##:##).
June 20th, YR0 Chainsaur (##:##) captured 150 acres of land from prydwen (##:##).
June 20th, YR0 Chainsaur (##:##) captured 105 acres of land from prydwen (##:##).
June 20th, YR0 Dead Body Man (##:##) invaded Deltaria (##:##) and captured 137 acres of land.
June 20th, YR0 Dead Body Man (##:##) invaded Ricempire (##:##) and captured 132 acres of land.
June 20th, YR0 Fightin Naked (##:##) captured 150 acres of land from Cute Things are Evil (##:##).
June 20th, YR0 Skara Brae (##:##) invaded Ricempire (##:##) and captured 110 acres of land.
June 21st, YR0 Fightin Naked (##:##) captured 70 acres of land from archanland (##:##).
June 21st, YR0 Skara Brae (##:##) invaded Deltaria (##:##) and captured 111 acres of land.
June 21st, YR0 TheWiseOne (##:##) invaded IWasOnceAlive (##:##) and captured 121 acres of land.
June 21st, YR0 TheWiseOne (##:##) invaded MyWifeCanBashYouUP (##:##) and captured 146 acres of land.
June 21st, YR0 The Castle Defender (##:##) invaded LORAS (##:##) and captured 120 acres of land.
June 21st, YR0 The Castle Defender (##:##) invaded MyWifeCanBashYouUP (##:##) and captured 67 acres of land.
June 21st, YR0 Kydoimos (##:##) invaded Smeagol (##:##) and captured 98 acres of land.
June 22nd, YR0 DarkDeathFromBelow (##:##) invaded Chipicy (##:##) and captured 97 acres of land.
June 22nd, YR0 A Dragon from II The BloodPack II (##:##) has begun ravaging our lands!
June 23rd, YR0 Chubay Bin Sio MansO (##:##) invaded Death and Texas (##:##) and captured 60 acres of land.
June 23rd, YR0 Chubay Bin Sio MansO (##:##) invaded Death and Texas (##:##) and captured 61 acres of land.
June 24th, YR0 USO DA (##:##) captured 112 acres of land from DarkDeathFromBelow (##:##).
June 24th, YR0 USO DA (##:##) captured 49 acres of land from archanland (##:##).

Yes, I've named myself USO DA after Rena's warcry. Now opposing provinces can tremble at my massive WS fueled TMs.

So as you can see I've been updating here sparsely now, since between work, managing my Utopia province, and beating Resident Evil 4, I basically have no time to do other things. Yes, suddenly I am 100% back into the serious Utopia habit (you know the one where you set alarms to wake up to make a hit). Why?

Because now I'm also in a GOOD Worlds KD too, so now I'm watching more than one account at a time, and very often. Much thanks to a good friend who managed to get a spot for me. It's much more organized than my last one, which I abandoned since I was so fed up with the activity there. New KD is in the top 30 in Worlds (we were top 20, got knocked out after being waved by ABS KDs), and so I had to STEP UP my playing up to SuperKD level. I haven't seen a good kingdom since Spawn, which was at least 5 or 6 ages ago and it's pretty exciting seeing that the glory days are back again. Actually Spawn has nothing on this..our old record was 10 mil I think, but we're already 7 mil now about halfway in the game. Ozmaj and Smubeht, teammates I've been playing with since 4 years ago, also have positions in there so we'll be slowly orchestrating even more improvements between the three of us.

And of course, currently we are ALSO in war on Worlds so there is yet another reason to keep me busy as hell instead of just growing slowly at a leisurely pace. In fact we're getting the shit beaten out of us so I've had to invest the majority of my time home and at work preparing provinces and sending out aid. There is a dire lack of attackers and we're down 2000 acres, but Faes are doing their work very well so we may yet pull it off if we keep the pressure on: I've got over 100 thief ops logged since the start. There has been some talk on the chans about changing our faes to attacker. I understand we have a shortage of attackers, but the inefficiency of converting fae rogue T/M to attacker/thief makes me cry. Definitely will NOT convert with ZOMG, especially not after I sci pumped him with purely for T/M strats.

Still keeping my T/M build going..doing ops until I get to Lord (I'm so close! 1430!!!). Percentages for success! Fae Rogue at 4tpa, 24% TD, 55% thief sci means Orcs and UD die, hard >:D! Did I mention that despite all this, I am still maintaining a 75 DPA, a decent PPA, and 105 BE? Bwaha!

Oh yeah, Res Evil 4 is so much fun. Get it if you like shooters. It doesn't have any of the things that made the old RE's suck, so I recommend it even for those who hated the previous games.

Posted by Paranda at 2:42 AM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2006

Wiiiiiiii

Just came back from NYC after visiting Nintendo World Store for their 1 year anniversary and to see the E3 live feed. It certainly got me excited about the new console, and also broke in the name for me through repeated usage. Now I can say Wii without giggling. While I'm not a huge Zelda fan (I have played the games btw), I am looking forward to some of their other games: Wii Sports, Red Steel, Excite Truck, Project Hammer, and of course the new Mario. Excite Truck will be an interesting play just for the new steering system, and Project Hammer is especially hilarious considering the concept of the game is to just walk around smashing things with a huge hammer. This system will be great.

DS is also getting StarFox which, if anything like the N64 version, will be the bestest game ever. These will all be released before the year's end, along with the new DS Lite. I start work Friday. It is time to start saving!

Some goodies from the event: Nintendo Wii pin, a very nice Nintendo pen, a Gamecube paper pad, Dogs playing NIntendogs poster, Nintendo DS keychain and strap, and a custom etching/engraving on my DS which I will be picking up later.

Posted by Paranda at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2006

My brain is 53 years old

According to Brain Age which I got today. However, I blame it on going through the age testing before learning how to do the exercises. My result was heavily skewed due to the color test:

Red
Black
Yellow
Blue
Blue
Blue
Blue!
Blue?
BLUE!!
BLUE!!
BLUEEEE!
BALOOO!
BLUUUUU!!
BOOOOOOO!!
BRUUUUUUEEEE!!!!
I FUCKING SAID BLUE!!!
BLUEBLUEBLUEBLUEBLUEBLUEBLUE!
ARGHRLKJSDGGGGH!
(whisper) blue - DS finally accepts answer

Posted by Paranda at 8:23 PM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2006

March is a good month for WiFi

Metris
My schedule is packed again, now that spring break is over. Not because of class, but because Metroid and Tetris have both been released this week for DS. Both games offer wifi play and are highly addicting. Metroid especially amazes me with how good it looks on this tiny screen. If you want an easy match against someone who has historically sucked at every FPS, I'm always up for a game: 1632 7633 7039.

My only complaint is Metroid's playing style with the stylus can get VERY uncomfortable, causing great pain to the hand after what can only be considered short playing sessions. I mean just take a look at these before and after images of the damage from 10 seconds of play:

beforeafter

Posted by Paranda at 7:20 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Lost in BlueIn 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.

Posted by Paranda at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2005

BUY A DS!

Ok, the ski trip was cool and all that and I have a couple of bruises here and there to show for my incredibly fun and competitive crashing (my amazing ability fo hit trees is literally stunning)...but that's not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is what it was like in those 8+ hours crammed in a car driving to and from our vacation spot. Should be boring right? NO! Because I was playing my NINTENDO DS!

Now the fastest selling handheld ever in Japan, the DS is hands-down the best value I have gotten for any game system ever. Here's why: Phoenix Wright, Mario Kart, Trauma Center.

While most companies enjoy ripping you off with $50 titles, these three games are 29.99 each yet they provide a handheld gaming experience that may top even that provided by the latest consoles. Initially I bought these to give me something to do on my long commutes to NYC every week..to play on the bus; instead I find myself playing my DS more than my PS2 even at home. That's because it's INNOVATIVE. What about PSP? Sure I love playing ported PS1 and PS2 games that I probably already own... Xbox 360 oh ok so I'm just playing regular XBox games with better graphics. But with a DS, you actually use a stylus to invoke a new dimension of interactive gaming. That sounds suspiciously like a line from Nintendo's marketing, but amazingly this time, marketing's "outrageous" claims hold water. Dual screen is not a gimmick system, and the touch-screen adds true value.

Posted by Paranda at 1:42 AM | Comments (0)

December 5, 2005

Red DS

Red DS Bundle Pack
I finally went out and got an Nintendo DS, taking advantage of the extremely hot bundle package released last week. The red DS looks so awesome, and they give you little decals you can stick on.
Red DS shut
I briefly considered throwing some of my UNDER17 stickers on there, but decided I was going to be conservative with such rare items. With the amount of play this will get, the decals will probably wear away in months anyway. But for now, it looks good.
Red DS open
Mario Kart has been a lot of fun for the past two days, and I almost feel like I have gained back enough of my skill to play competitively online. If you'd like to have a match, my friend code is: 090254 925654
For now, I can only play during weekdays though, since I have to jack a public connection on campus until I recover more funds to buy my own wifi adapter.

Posted by Paranda at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 2, 2005

A wise man once said

"w00t"
1000 cranes
1000 cranes
4 hours of work right there. Thumbs sore. Taking it easy.

Posted by Paranda at 2:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2005

We Love Katamari

Front of box
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.

Back of boxAnyway, 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.

Posted by Paranda at 9:27 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2005

Update: Civilization III Rant

We were fine until you HAD to capture my city that was doing so fine.Thanks to Civilization III, I am now a horrible racist with a burning hatred for the Zulu people. Surprise war and attack my base with your swordsmen while my army is out helping Persia in their mutual war against England (which they instigated again by the way)? And you razed it so I couldn't even capture it back! I had like 10000 culture points on that city. And you burned it! There was no land pressure. You were on the east side. If anyone should have invaded me, it was Babylonia which I had been "culture invading" the whole game. YOU!! WHY??? YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE A PROTECTION PACT WITH ENGLAND!! WHY? What did I ever do to you? We traded techs together. I thought we were buds. Now you had to ruin it. I hate you Zulu. You messed with the wrong country. When my mechs get in there, you are going to die. I am going to make sure of this. Capturing is too good for you. RAZE! I will have you beg for my mercy. And you shall receive none.

Posted by Paranda at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

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.

Posted by Paranda at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2005

Monarchy Woes

So about a week ago, my kingdom declares the Smurfs and it goes to war. Things were looking good during hostile hours with our provinces hitting hard and barely getting a retal, but the instant it went to war, we were surprised by insanely active TM/Attacker elves (I'm impressed they had enough patience to pull a stunt like this) who completely destroyed us in the first day. Thinking we had just screwed ourselves, I immediately started planning our escape. Considering our kingdom has a lot of pride and a history of war wins, I knew if I surrender, it would be a pretty hard blow to us. So, I immediately began preparations for Mutual Peace, by sweet-talking the Smurf's monarch and a bunch of diplomatic mumbo-jumbo. Hopefully, they'd let us slide with an MP if I could impress them enough with my "politeness" (usually we on Utopia prefer to trashtalk like it's an artform).

By the end of the second day, I had negotiated a Mutual Peace and Ceasefire. However, to my horror after logging in, I noticed we pulled a 180 and now "WE WERE WINNING!" Somehow...either the Smurfs were intimidated by Attack Team A's razes, or they ran out of runes and mana. We were now about to throw away a war win. Of course, just as easily as we could turn the tables, they could turn it back...so I decided to wait. I noticed at least, that all thievery and magic ops on me had stopped and this calm time provided me a chance to grow into my barren acres. So we waited.

3 hours later, my absolute best, strongest, most active province, Buu, messages me saying he is getting screwed up the ass by 8 different TMs (landlusted for over 2000 acres and over 30,000 troops killed from meteors and nightstrike). I couldn't understand it. Why did they target him? He was around the same size as me and we had the same wpa. It should have been me. Traditionally, the leader is the one who is supposed to take TM hits for the kingdom since his bonus makes him most resistant to attacks, yet the Smurfs had decided to concentrate their full power on Buu. I realized why we started winning: the TMs switched strategies and focused all their firepower onto one guy, which allowed every one of our provinces to recover and start hitting for land.

Now we could win, but to do it was going to cost my best province an arm, and a leg, and perhaps another arm. I needed to give him time to recover, but I couldn't throw away the chance we had to win. The only solution was to accept the cease-fire, but backstab the smurfs on the MP and just continue hitting them full power after the cease-fire period was over. But this is like...the lowest most dishonorable thing ever especially since they let us go with an CF/MP when they were winning two days ago, so I was unsure whether to go through with it, or uphold my morals and screw the rest of our kingdom out of a war win. I decided to stall and wait for the CF. It would give me enough time to think about what to do.

During the CF, a couple of things happened. First, there was a miscommunication about start time. One of my provinces was unaware of the CF start date (he didn't read the forums and my HUGE MESSAGE THAT I POSTED IN EVERYONE'S LOG IN SCREEN), and attacked into Smurf after the CF started. I sent them a message apologizing on behalf of this province, and said they could make one retaliation. They took advantage of this, but instead of attacking the offending province, they targeted Rovenhagen, who was one of our highest honor TMs and stole a huge amount from him. This pissed me and the rest of our kingdom off, as we did not agree to retal by proxy. Satan Protege gets pissed that the gains were uneven and retals again. So begins a chain reaction until the CF turned into a complete mess and was dissolved.

We are now back in full scale war, but Buu has managed to recover somewhat. We now have an unfair advantage of recovering with more land (due to our war win) and I have their monarch asking me to uphold my initial agreement of MP. I used the excuse of this CF mess and blamed it on them for ruining the CeaseFire with their dirty tactics. Right now, it gives me a reason to cancel the MP agreement and press them for surrender, but I think we have already gained a lot of land and honor from them. Now Degar wants to start a dragon project, which I think is overkill for a kingdom that we are about to screw over anyway. I have decided to go through with the war plan and kill them, but I will not feel good about this win.

I'm not sure why it bothers me, since I have been much more ruthless in the past (bwahahahahaa razing Old School was the best thing ever), but I think it's because I am just getting tired of these game politics and diplomacy. It's been a good 4 ages since I've been King and it's about time I stepped down. Still, I can only trust Buu to be the one to take over my throne, but he also has past experience with monarchy and hates the politics. He just wants to play the game without worrying about plans and teams and organization. Satan Protege wants a chance to take a stab at king but based on the way he handled this CF and his quick temper, it would probably bring the downfall of our kingdom. Nobody wants to follow him either...sometimes, you do a job too well and now the entire kingdom has an irrational loyalty to you (uh it's just a game). I want to resign, but no one can take my place. Thus, I am stuck being Monarch once again. Maybe next age.

Posted by Paranda at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

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.

Posted by Paranda at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2005

Peaceblock can't save you now.

The more I complain about things in Utopia that piss me off, the more I love the game. I love dishonorable players that just give you an excuse to raze them to the ground. Today, I log on and see this bit in my paper.
cheap attack

Hmm, an attack by the monarch followed directly by peaceblock. Doesn't want to war us but he wants to squeeze in nice land grab. He knows he's too small for me and my raze crew, but just big enough to stay safe behind the peace cover for the rest of my attackers. Later today I see him bottomfeeding our guys again, trying to inch the meter for his own gain and then run away. He knows our kingdom would demolish his, yet he keeps hitting for his personal gain risking the war meter. Why peaceblock at all then? Monarchs that pull this kind of crap deserve everything coming to them. Just because of that, we are sticking with the hostile for as long as it takes. He won't escape us with more than 500 acres once war starts. I can't stand abuse of power.

Posted by Paranda at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)