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Everything posted by Kizyr

  1. Ok, so popping in for my annual visit! Both me and Jenner will be there at MAGFest this weekend. I'll try to hop onto Discord so I can chat there with folks. Also, I've updated the guide to the National Harbor again -- not a lot's changed (the MGM Grand hasn't really changed anything on the Gaylord side of the harbor. and there's 4 new restaurant options), but that's good to go here: See you all in a few days! KF
  2. All right! Popped in for my once-yearly update to this thread. A bunch of things have changed around the National Harbor area, but not much that affects MAGFest-goers. The MGM Grand Hotel/Casino was completed last year, but it's on the opposite end of the harbor from the Gaylord, so it's had pretty much no effect on that end (traffic, crowds, or otherwise). Otherwise, there's just one restaurant that is gone (Harrington's), and four new ones (Chipotle, Franks & Shakes [ugh], The Irish Whisper [pub food], and Brother Jimmy's BBQ [?]). Also since so many folks are in the overflow hotels instead of the Gaylord, check out if your hotel has a free breakfast (like Residence Inn). See you guys soon! KF
  3. Augh, I don't check the forums as often as I'd like, but yes, both me and Jenner are at MAGLabs this year! ...it'd be a bit odd not to go since we live like two miles away... No hotel this year though. KF
  4. Ok, so I updated the original post with two things. First, I added OA's review of Redstone (thanks!) to it. Second, I put together a couple of challenge modes that may be of use to some folks (vegetarian, vegan, and cheap). All that's in the original post, but to save the scrolling, here's the added info below: ________________________________________________________________ CHALLENGE MODES: ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Below is a specific strategy guide for some players who are looking for a challenge, whether out of necessity or... well, usually necessity. VEGETARIAN MODE: Fortunately the DC area is pretty friendly to vegetarians, so you have plenty of good options among most of the places I listed above. I'll list out the best places for vegetarians and strats to keep in mind at each. Nando's Peri-Peri: Has many vegetarian options -- the halloumi cheese wrap, roasted vegetable wrap, veggie burger, and all of the sides, are good for this. You're definitely not missing out by just going vegetarian here. Elevation Burger: Their vegetarian and vegan burgers are pretty good, and if you're fine with dairy then you can still get their shakes. Rosa Mexicano: They have a specific vegetarian menu. When you sit down, ask for that -- it'll give you more options than you may see on the normal menu. Succotash: There are fewer vegetarian options here, but still enough, and they clearly label which items are vegetarian or vegan on the lunch and dinner menus. Fiorella: There are several vegetarian options as long as you're fine with cheese. Subway: Well, if you're running out of options, you can always get the veggie sandwich at Subway. I'm always suspicious of their veggie patties though. VEGAN MODE: The DC area is also relatively friendly to vegans, though understandably your options will be more limited than vegetarians. But! You'll still have plenty of options here. Nando's Peri-Peri: The only good vegan options are the roasted vegetable wrap and butternut squash salad, plus most of the sides. Mind you, those are all still really good, so you're not missing out by joining us for a Nando's run. Elevation Burger: Their vegan burger is good. However, make sure you are specific that you don't want any cheese on it (I've actually had this problem at other Elevation Burgers). Rosa Mexicano: Similar as the vegetarian mode, ask for a vegetarian menu when you sit down -- you'll have way more options. Many (though not all) of the items on there can also be made without cheese upon request. Succotash: There aren't many vegan main dishes, but most of the side dishes (which have generous portions) are vegan. The menu clearly specifies what is vegetarian or vegan, too. Fiorella: There are fewer options here -- mostly just pasta and sauce, or some custom orders without cheese, but I haven't tried either so I can't vouch for quality there. Subway: ...and when in doubt, there's still Subway. CHEAPSKATE MODE: So you want to get through spending as little on food as possible? Well, that involves a little bit of a different strategy. The short version is that you should make a grocery run before you get to MAGFest, and just store what you need in the mini-fridge for breakfast and lunch, and eat out for dinner. Prioritize fruits, ditch the junk food, and drink plenty of water. So here are some specifics: (1) Breakfast: Pack some cereal, milk, and disposable bowls/spoons; OR some granola bars (...not the kind that are no better than candy); OR some fruit like bananas and apples. Don't skip breakfast -- you just end up hungrier and more tired. (2) Lunch: A bit more of a challenge, but you can tide yourself over with other things you've packed or stocked up on beforehand. Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, etc.), peanut butter crackers, granola bars, yogurt, etc., can help you last until dinner. And drink lots of water. (3) Dinner: Unless you plan on bringing like a portable hotplate (...honestly this is a bad idea unless you have a lot of room, like in the suites, and even then really know what you're doing), allow yourself to eat out for dinner. The best low-cost options are Nando's, Potbelly, Subway, and Potomac Gourmet. (4) Other: Drink lots of water. Yes I know I keep repeating this, but it keeps you from getting too hungry, and makes it less likely you'll get sick. Also, if you run low on anything, CVS and Potomac Gourmet should have what you need to restock. HEALTHY MODE: ...um... ...I'm not good at this one... OA would give better advice here.
  5. All right, so I've updated my annual MAGFest Guide to the National Harbor: Thank you! I just added myself to the group. This is my first time using GroupMe, so hopefully this'll be a little more convenient than scattered Facebook Messengers. KF
  6. All right, so I've finally updated the list for MAGFest 2016! Not much has changed about the area since last time -- main thing is just two new restaurants (Granite City and Succotash, both of which are good). However, I went through and added some more details about parking, and a few subjective ratings. Your tastes may vary of course. And, I'm still open to other comments and suggestions. See you all at MAG! KF
  7. The 2006 French film Renaissance might be interesting to you: The animation style is different (all B&W, and, well, it's the only French one on this list I think), and it has its detractors. But I thought it was pretty engaging. Any other recommendations I'd have were already mentioned earlier (Jin-Roh, Ghost in the Shell, Animatrix, etc.). KF
  8. Oh sweet, this is going to be great! (Honestly MAGProm was a bit of a disappointment last year, so I'm looking forward to this again.) KF
  9. Kizyr


    Undertale is such an incredible game. In the last month, I've lost track of how many times I've played through the entire story (at least 6). On the surface, it doesn't present itself as a straightforward RPG (right from the tagline "it's a game where nobody has to die"), but the more you play it, the more you understand just how much depth and complexity there is to this game. This says nothing of all the other elements that make it so amazing. The music, the variability, the use of different game mechanics to tell the story, everything... Anyway, I'll try to summarize my experience here. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm going to use language that's generic enough, but would carry more meaning to those who've played the game once or twice already: My first time, I figured I'd spare all the main characters to see the story unfold, and level up on the random encounters. Now I regret that. My second time, I didn't lay a hand on anyone, and why do I still feel remorse over the first time I played through?! My third time, ok, I'll be perfect and pretend like the other times never happened. Yay! Everyone's happy! ...I hope? ...ok let me reload and try that again. My fifth time, I'm now curious... what happens if you spare no one? ...I had a bad time. ...ok let me erase everything and pretend like that never happened. My seventh time, ok, I'll be perfect again and pretend like the other times never happened. Yay! Everyone's--WTF.... ...I can't bring myself to hurt anyone in the game anymore. ...I'm going to take a break. (*@$^*(@ ANNOYING DOGS Just to be clear... The above includes a neutral run (without befriending Undyne), a pacifist run, a genocide run (including beating sans), and a few more pacifist runs for good measure. KF
  10. Oh I remember that! And the same thing almost happened to me my first game. I've grown up with Civ-like games (well, I've been playing Civilization ever since the very first one, and still have my copies of everything from Civ2 onwards), so for the first, oh, 80% of the game I was still in my "every castle must have at least two defenders" mode before finally giving that up and massing my generals towards the front -- just before that event happened (if I recall, I think I held them off with a few weaker generals to buy enough time for one of my larger forces to get back). In later games, since you know when it'll occur, you can more easily prepare for it. With DF2, same deal except I didn't know exactly when and where those surprises would come from, so I just adopted more of a cautious strategy. Yeah, Dragon Force does throw you a few yorkers to keep things interesting... KF
  11. I still need to listen a few more times through to give my full opinion, but so far I must say most of the tracks are just amazing. It's really what I hoped for. One thing specific though: Ok seriously all of Poolside's songs do that to me, too. I was singing "Shine Tonight" in the shower for weeks after that was posted. KF
  12. At MAGClassic, DJP mentioned something about there being one track in the torrent that turned out not to be the final version (though it's fine on both the OCR and album site itself, I think), and suggested re-downloading that. Is that still the case? And, if so, which track is it? KF
  13. So, I really should've asked this before the con, but just for future reference... (a) any prior experience with yoga expected at these, and ( what kind of attire is appropriate (since, well, I'm usually in either jeans or slacks, and I imagine it's not exactly easy to stretch in jeans...)? Also... I know I mentioned this to y'all, like, thrice over the weekend, but Discocactus was incredible. Like, mind-blowing, completely speechless, I never knew those instruments could be played that well, sort of incredible. I really hope y'all continue to be invited back to more MAGFests, classic or otherwise. That was easily the highlight of the entire weekend. I'm looking forward to an EP or LP one of these days too, if that's in the cards {^^}. Can't wait to see everyone at the main event next February! KF
  14. Oh wow, I can't believe I forgot to mention this one. I played a ton of this after it was released -- even though I just went through once with each of the 8 rulers. It does have a fair amount of replay value, since each ruler has a different storyline and conquest progression, although once you stumble upon a few winning strategies and learn which enemy types are strong/weak to each other, it becomes a bit easy to totally steamroll the AI. I've also played some of Dragon Force 2, but just with one leader. The sequel never got a US release I think, so it's Japanese-only. The strategy is a bit expanded (you can have two enemy types in the same army -- e.g., harpies and archers are a great combination -- there are more types in the first place, and the general types matter more). However, the feel of the game is pretty similar to the first, and it is easy to steamroll the AI after about the midpoint of the game. KF
  15. I'll be there, and looking forward to seeing all y'all who I don't already see often enough. KF
  16. When I think Tactical RPG, I think more along the lines of Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem. Assuming that's what you have in mind, the main series that stands out for me is Shining Force. Shining Force I & II are both Genesis games. They're fun, but admittedly there is a bit of level-grinding around the middle (though nowhere near as bad as FF Tactics). If I didn't play them emulated with the ability to speed up things, it probably would've been a little more irritating. Nevertheless, the strategy is good, and the fact that nearly all battles are story-related (i.e., very few random encounters) helps to keep it from feeling repetitive. Shining Force III is one of my favorites. It contains a very epic story that spans across three episodes. That is, there are three separate games, each of which is from a different character's perspective, and they're interrelated such that certain events in one game affect certain events in the next. The strategy is challenging, and while it doesn't require leveling up per se, I did find it really difficult without a bit of grinding. Unfortunately, there are two major down-side: it's only for Saturn, and only the first episode was ever translated. (...I have a Japanese Saturn and all three episodes, so this wasn't a problem in my case, but the rarity might make it prohibitively expensive.) So, well, if it's not apparent from my signature and name I can elaborate a bit on this {^^}. To give a few 10-second reviews of the games (not counting imports)... - Lunar: Silver Star Story (PS1): Major overhaul of the first Lunar game (The Silver Star for SCD). Feels like a classic JRPG though with a richer backstory and mythology. It's not my favorite of the series, but it sets up the universe and is relatively the easiest one to find. I didn't find it terribly difficult, but I've heard varying opinions on the challenge level. - Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete (PS1): Remake of the second Lunar game (Eternal Blue for SCD). This is a more epic and longer JRPG and goes deeper into the background of the world. This is my favorite of the series, though it's better to have played SSS first. This is also one of the more challenging games of the series, though not as difficult as the original SCD version. - Lunar: The Silver Star (SCD): The original and first Lunar game. This was ahead of its time in terms of the music (which is fantastic), voice acting (...perhaps only so-so by today's standards), and depth of the world. I also like the original more than the remake. The challenge level here isn't too high, though, especially if you're used to more recent RPGs. - Lunar: Eternal Blue (SCD): The original sequel. This and EBC (the remake) are very similar, and (unlike TSS/SSS) the remake added a lot and only removed a few things. This is also possibly the most challenging game of the series, and requires you to consider position, turn order, and a few other factors well beyond "which one's stronger" in battles (unless you toss up your hands and just level-grind). - Lunar: Legend (GBA): Very toned down version of The Silver Star / Silver Star Story. Not worth playing and the challenge level is a complete cakewalk. - Lunar: Dragon Song (DS): THIS GAME DOESN'T EXIST MOVE ALONG NOW - Lunar: Silver Star Harmony (PSP): Toned down version of Silver Star Story with a few added plot points. It's... all right, and gives you the same story, so it's worth it if you can't find Silver Star Story. It's much easier by comparison, though. I admit my own bias here, considering these games formed a core part of my life. So, I won't go into talking up the games (and don't feel bad if you find them a bit meh). KF
  17. Looking forward to it! I don't recognize most of the bands on the roster this time, so I'm glad you mentioned Discocactus. I'll plan to be there {^^}. KF
  18. Best announcement all month {^^}. FF9 is my favorite Final Fantasy, and also my favorite soundtrack of the entire series. I've been waiting for this one since it was first conceptualized, so I can't wait to have a listen. KF
  19. OK, so I went ahead and booked a room at the Marriott Residence Inn across the street. Maybe we should set up an unofficial OCRverflow block? KF
  20. Whoa... rooms are sold out *already*? This isn't a misprint or anything (like, they're not withholding rooms or something)? ...damn. I registered still, but now I'm wondering if I should wait and see if Gaylord rooms will open up, or if I should go ahead and book one of the other rooms at the Residence Inn or Hampton Inn across the street. How is the OCR block gonna work out with this? KF
  21. Ok you know I'll be there, and (barring unforeseen circumstances) Jenner will also be there. I'd better go ahead and get the room/reg taken care of tomorrow, now that that's open. (Oh snap, I'm posting again!) KF
  22. I'd meant to get to this earlier, but I've finally updated the guide for MAG XIII / 2015. Unfortunately, the news isn't that good. There's a distinct trend of pushing out cheaper places to eat (even good cheaper places) in favor of more expensive places or... uh... empty retail space. Here's the gist of it. Here are a few of the good places that are gone: - Nature's Table - Baja Fresh - Freshii And here are some of the places that are added: - Redstone - Crab Cake Cafe In all, six places are gone, three places are new. At the very least, be thankful that Nando's, SPAGnVOLA, and Elevation Burger are still around. Especially Nando's. ...see you all this weekend!!! KF
  23. Huh, I could've sworn I already posted my resolutions here. Anyway... I already have more official objectives/goals in my professional life, and that's crazy boring to put here, so I'll stick to the more enjoyable things. So, here are my resolutions for 2015: (1) Eliminate the rest of my gaming backlog, not counting anything new I pick up this year. (This is down to <10 games now.) (2) Find new venue to improve speaking/writing abilities in Japanese. (Reading/listening are less of an issue right now. I may have to seek help from the Japanese Embassy and see if they have any programs.) (3) Post regularly on message boards -- both OCR and LunarNET. (Failed at this last year... let's try this one again...) (4) Revise non-game sections of LunarNET. (Also failed this one last year...) (5) Tackle the unanswered emails in my inbox... all of them. (6) Find a way to work less. ...this one is a long-shot As the year goes on, I might add some different goals. Especially if I can actually accomplish #6. KF
  24. I actually added a few on a separate forum after this. But I'll stick to how I did on these resolutions... Well I reviewed all the material I'd meant to by the end of the year, and took the JLPT N1 in December. I'm really not confident about having passed it, though... I'll find out in February, but I'm planning already on taking it again this year. I'll give this a 75%. Welp, this did not happen at all. This gets a 0%. And neither did this. Man, I forgot I even made that resolution. This gets another 0% (or -25% for plumb forgetting). I cut down my backlog by more than half, including 2-3 games that I did get this year. I only have <10 games left, so I'm going to give this a 100%. And I failed at regularly posting on the OCR forums... but I did pick back up involvement in other forums. ...I'll give me a 50% here, too. Hey 2½/5 ain't bad! KF
  25. Huh, I could've sworn I dropped a pin for me and Jenner when this was still generally edit-able. Oh well. Drop a pin for the two of us in 22202 (Arlington, VA). KF
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