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Everything posted by HalcyonSpirit

  1. Beatdrop? Jivemaster? What is this, 2005?! Congrats to everyone! I'll get a celebratory cake in your honor. None of you are near me so you can't have any, but I'll make sure to eat enough for you all!
  2. "What? I'm pretty sure people are saying he doesn't... oooooooh. Right." Took a moment for it to register. Out of the demo characters, I'm finding I like Link and Mega Man the best. I'm bad with them, but I like the way they feel so far. Pikachu's in third, mostly because I haven't quite gotten used to controlling its agility with the 3DS controls. I'm not liking Villager so much, but we'll see if that changes as I get used to the controls (and later have the ability to actually customize them).
  3. Yeah, that's exactly my main issue. In Melee, L is for roll and shield. One hand for the defensive options. And then my right hand handles offensive, including grab on Z. So with it swapped in the demo... GAH. So many botched moves. Also, 60fps is great. The characters are at 60fps but everything else like the assist trophies and the pokemon are rendered at 30fps. The difference is so clear when you watch both side by side. This game is probably the best way you can point out the difference to people.
  4. I'm enjoying the demo so far. The controls are throwing me off though, and I haven't found a way to change them in the demo. There's no muscle memory I can rely on with this version, which means right now I'm still only evenly matched with a single Lvl.9 CPU. That's just not right. I'm too used to obliterating them in packs.
  5. Unfortunately, I think Nintendo would have to negotiate with Square Enix in order to use them for anything, since Square is the one that made the game (and thus, them). I don't know how receptive they'd be, even if Nintendo was interested. Still, doesn't mean we can't hope!
  6. Went ahead and added myself despite not showing my face around here that much recently. Would love to get to another meetup, but it looks like I'm hours away from anyone else, still.
  7. Yeah, I picked it up a while back, but I didn't stick with it long. I need more content in my games to be satisfied, and as much as I like Mechwarrior, this one just doesn't have enough to justify the time investment. I'm hoping it eventually gets to the point where I can be happy playing it, but for now, I'm content with just waiting on the sidelines.
  8. Yesssssssss Fully agree. Bubblegum Crisis is a damn good anime. It deserves the BD treatment.
  9. Allow me to break that combo, then. First thing first: if you weren't already aware, the third Madoka Magica movie is coming to North America in early December, and tickets are on sale in most of the theaters showing it! http://madokamagicausa.com/rebellion/ I've already bought my tickets. Have you? ----- In other news, it's likely that the AIR visual novel will very soon have a proper English translation! Apparently this guy has been working on it for a while, and his goal is a "late October" patch release. Which means... maybe any day now, if he's keeping to it. I've been waiting for this ever since I finished Planetarian. Very exciting. ----- I've recently started watching currently airing anime, instead of exclusively anime that's already finished. This season, I can definitely recommend you check out Kyoukai no Kanata. It's your typical KyoAni goodness. So far the story and characters seem to be developing pretty well. Also on my list this season is Coppelion and Nagi no Asukara. Coppelion has lots of potential but hasn't hit its stride yet. We'll see about that one. As for Nagi no Asukara... goddamn beautiful. Even if it had nothing else going for it, the animation is still goddamn beautiful, but it does have other things going for it! Compelling conflicts, strong characters that, particularly with the main character, are quickly evolving with time... Good stuff for a drama so far. I'm really wondering where they're going to drive the story, though, since it's a two-cour show. I have a few others on my list, but no real thoughts on them so far beyond Kill la Kill just being completely over-the-top crazy. ----- If you haven't noticed already, I've stopped with my reviews as of late. I don't know if I'm going to continue them, since it's a bit pointless if no one cares to read them. If you want more, let me know. If you don't... well, I guess you don't need to do anything! Lucky you. If there's interest, I'll continue, otherwise, I may just give little quick shoutouts here and there for shows and such that I'm enjoying.
  10. Well, damn. That took longer to write than I thought it would. Note to self: write your reviews sometime sooner than 7 months after you've finished the material in question. Visual novel this time around. Perhaps a bit shorter than usual for this review, or maybe at least not as focused, but like I said above... it's been a while since I read it. Figured I should write this before I completely forget everything. By the way, the PC version of this visual novel is completely free. Legitimately, I mean. You can download it here. ---------- True Remembrance Year: 2006 Developer: Shiba Satomi Genre: Drama, Romance Synopsis Some time in the future, a pandemic of depression has struck the world. Known as the Dolar, its only known treatment is memory erasure. Enter the Mnemonicides, highly-specialized doctors with powers capable of eliminating memories from a person. One such Mnemonicide, who goes by the alias 'Blackiris', has just been tasked with treating the Dolar in a young woman who is simply named La. As he gets to know La in order to properly provide treatment, it seems odd to him how little she speaks to him about getting cured. Writeup As True Remembrance opens, we’re immediately greeted with the rather cynical narration of one of the main characters, Blackiris. Not too strange an opening for a story, and neither is the fact that he very quickly comes upon the second main character of this story, La. Coupled with the tone of the opening movie that plays immediately after, we’re given a sense that this story is going to be quite a romance drama. We’d be wrong. It is a drama, for sure, and there is romance, but to call it a romance drama is selling it a bit short. And a bit wrong. For the most part, the story follows the perspective of these two characters as they go about their lives together as Guide and Guest – doctor and patient, in other words. There’s a lot of really simple, day-to-day action that’s described along the way, giving it a slight feel of slice-of-life. Little details, from braiding hair to just grinding coffee, are given attention enough to bring out the personalities of the people doing them, even if they’re only mentioned in passing. This is character-driven story by any measure, and it’s these details that really stick out and tell us the stories behind the plot. The plot itself isn't slacking any, either. It doesn't really come into full force until a fair bit into the story, though; the beginning chapters are focused instead on providing insight into the workings of Mnemonicides alongside the character development. It’s this insight, though, that gives the plot its impact when it finally does drop on the reader. The shift in tone is well-executed, as are the big turns in the story. We’re given just enough information to provide tension as the hidden sides of the characters are driven into the open. And as far as the romance subplot goes, it comes to a head in the best way possible, tying itself together with a big plot point for a wonderful reveal. Of course, the romance subplot is exactly that: a subplot. It’s not focused on much over most of the story, and if you took that away, very little would have to be changed to maintain the story’s effectiveness. While there were always little hints of romance from the beginning, it’s not hard to see the connection between the main characters as more platonic. It’s left ambiguous for quite a while so as to not distract from the real story. In that, it does very well. It wouldn't do to ignore the shortcomings of True Remembrance, though. These mostly don’t come in the form of character or plot issues. It’s the artwork that, if you’re accustomed to the production values of a bigger visual novel company, might put you off. True Remembrance is a doujin visual novel, and while the artwork isn't really bad, it isn't really good, either. It does detract from the mood a little at times, but it thankfully doesn't get in the way most other times. This is for the original PC version, mind you; there is a Nintendo 3DS remake with much-improved artwork, if you so desire it. That all said, there’s something to be said for the original’s art: it has a very mellow feel to it, and that is what the tone of the story itself goes for. The remake’s art is much brighter and perhaps more generic, and having experienced the original art, it’s hard to imagine the brighter colors and new character designs working nearly as well. Speaking of mellow, the soundtrack is excellent in that regard. Much of it is composed with a very music box flavor. It manages to evoke strong emotions where they’re needed, and a very laid back calmness elsewhere. Through the music, we’re able to connect to the characters even more. The few tracks that deviate from this trend are either quite bouncy or, in one specific case, threatening. Overall, this short soundtrack works exceptionally well at capturing the heart of this visual novel. This heart, the essence of the story, touches upon some dark musings and conclusions. Its writing conveys feeling and information in what is sometimes a very subtle manner. Something that looks otherwise innocent can carry a fair bit of meaning behind it. Taken together, these bring out a not-insignificant feeling of warm familiarity with the sense of a shadow lurking just out of sight. It’s a somewhat unique feeling that doesn't come up too often in visual novels. It’s worth experiencing. As far as visual novels go, True Remembrance is one of those that doesn't get a lot of attention. Whether this is due to its status as a doujin work or its lack of a truly pronounced story or audio-visual element that could set it apart, the fact remains that there’s a very good tale to be told here. It’s one of those visual novels that sticks with you. It’s not filled with action and it’s not a soppy drama. It’s simply a solid story of two individuals finding the strength to continue onward. Ratings Story – 8.2 Characters – 8.7 Writing – 8.5 Artwork – 5.5 Sound – 8.3 Overall – 8.0
  11. Probably because of issues regarding the updates to the mods that the server needs. No point in updating if it breaks all your essential mods for running the server. (That said, perhaps it's time to consider switching to a new modset? I haven't been on the server lately and haven't been watching the modding scene very much because of my severe lack of time, but from what I have seen, there are newer mod foundations that keep to a more regular update schedule. Bukkit, from what I understand, has been lagging behind a lot lately. Any thoughts on that, Abadoss?)
  12. The next review will go up just as soon as I have a chance to write it. In the meantime... PSA: If you aren't already watching the currently-airing Shingeki no Kyojin... well, why the hell not? Shingeki is seriously gunning for the title Best New Anime 2013, and not only have we not yet gotten halfway through the year, but the show's only on its fifth episode. As long as it doesn't drop the ball, it looks to be one hell of a ride all the way through.
  13. Have I ever told you how much I love you and your music. Because I do.
  14. I... should add that to my impressions. I completely forgot how great those punches are. Noted. I haven't seen Railgun yet, so I don't know how that spinoff is compared to Index. But considering it's (apparently) focusing on one of the more interesting side characters from Index, there's some hope in my mind.
  15. ... Thought I was gone, did you? I quickly threw this impressions writeup together today to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully it's up to snuff. In addition, I'm putting together lists on MAL and VNDB to keep track of the anime and visual novels I've watched/read and plan to watch/read. I'll put them up when I finish. If you see something on there you want to see reviewed, regardless of whether or not I've completed it already, say so and I'll see if I can do it. --------------- A Certain Magical Index とある魔術の禁書目録 ; Toaru Majutsu no Indekkusu Year: 2008, 2010 Studio: J.C.Staff Genre: Comedy, Action, Drama, Science Fantasy Synopsis Academy City: the city of science. Scientifically-enhanced students capable of superhuman abilities, known as espers, live in this city. Kamijou Touma, an esper whose right hand can negate any superhuman abilities, one day finds a young girl hanging on his balcony railing. She is a nun from Necessarius, the secret magical branch of the Church of England, and in her mind are 103,000 forbidden magical books of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Their meeting pulls Touma into the conflicts between the worlds of magic and science, and between the many churches seeking the power contained within the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Writeup 「不幸だ!」 - or in English, something akin to "Such misfortune!" Get used to hearing that phrase, because that's how Kamijou Touma sees his life. The story of A Certain Magical Index revolves largely around him constantly being dragged into conflicts, petty or otherwise. This is more or less the standard ‘call to action’ for the hero in most stories, but in Index, it happens with every arc. There’s a vague overarching plot, but every time Touma gets involved it’s only because the fighting has somehow involved something he cares about; once the immediate threat is neutralized, Touma goes back to day-to-day life. Until, of course, the next time the outside world’s problems comes knocking again. The stories that result from these battles are often rather interesting. Things are never quite so simple as just having a clear antagonist to defeat in Index. The writing always involves some kind of twist, and the writers do a good job of concealing exactly what that twist is right up until its reveal. However, the writers aren’t so good at keeping things fresh; every story arc comes down to the problem-fight-twist-solution formula. Every. Single. One. It’s repetitive, and so the audience knows going in that they’re missing something and start looking for it immediately. The unfortunate part is that there’s usually little to find. The writers don’t give many, if any, clues before the each reveal, so there’s no tension being built even when we know something is coming. In this way, Index feels much more like an episodic series than a story with an advancing plot. All the story advances are going on in the background and it all feels somewhat irrelevant to the immediate happenings of the focal characters. Each arc only lasts three or four episodes on average, so we’re given plenty of different foes to face, but no real sense of coherency or building of tension. That is, perhaps, the most disappointing aspect of the series. At the beginning and through the first arc, we’re given the sense of getting into a much bigger story, but then it fails to deliver on that in a meaningful way. All the great plot threads feel like they’re just beneath the surface, waiting to be used. The stories are great in themselves; if they could’ve been tied together somehow and made more relevant to the overarching themes and plot, it could have the potential be a fantastic story. The other mixed bag in Index is the character lineup. Once again, we’re presented with the potential for great development, but given little of it. The main character, Touma, is about as easy to understand as a rock. He’s about as dense as one, too, sometimes, and stupidly stubborn to boot. Very typical of a shounen protagonist, and unfortunately, we don’t get to see much development of his character. Nor do we get to see much development of the titular character, Index. In fact, despite being in the title and showing up first-thing in the series, she barely qualifies as a side character through most of it. Most of the actual side characters are far more interesting that either of these two. The backstories of two, the electromaster Misaka Mikoto and the one known as ‘Accelerator’, are just two examples of much better characterization and potential for exploration. Both get an arc or two dedicated to them, but are otherwise relegated to the background until called for. The potential in many other characters are similarly squandered. Instead, we’re mostly offered up cliché, archetypal character situations that give us a sense of the depth that could be there but are never really explored. Still, it’s not all bad news for Index. The structure of the series and the constant influx of new threats means the series still manages to serve as the equivalent to a popcorn flick. For what it does with the story and characters, it tends to do well. The characters, despite the lack of development, will still carry some weight in the viewers’ minds. Dialogue and reactions are drawn out very well and carry a decent amount of impact. Sometimes it takes a while to get to these points, but if you can stand several minutes of them standing around explaining exactly what’s going on and why it’s important, then you’ll probably enjoy the outcome that follows. The previously mentioned twists are also fun to watch play out. Essentially, the writing is strong enough that, even with series’ problems, you’ll be drawn into the world itself enough that seeing what happens next, seeing what other secrets are kept in this story, is plenty to keep you watching. The enjoyment coming from the setting is at times so much greater than the story and characters themselves. One of the other main draws to this series, of course, are the fight scenes. The animation and fight choreography for these scenes are all well-planned and well-executed. They’re fluid and, for action arriving just at the climax, builds the kind of tension required to actually care about these people and the world they live in – something the characters themselves oftentimes couldn’t do themselves. And then witnessing the inevitable final punch from Touma – seriously, his punches seem to solve everything – makes it all the more sweet to watch; those wallops are framed so well you can practically feel them yourself. At the same time, the soundscape is great; the mix of typically electronic-themed music and more mellow classical themes work quite well to build mood. Sound effects are neither too generic nor too outlandish and distracting. In those pivotal scenes, the animation and sound work together to great effect. Outside those scenes, however, the animation sometimes suffers, and we’re treated to low-framerate animation or just little animation at all in the aforementioned exposition scenes. A Certain Magical Index is one of those series that could have been great but is cut down by a number of faults and left to occupy the seat of mediocrity. Its potential great strengths are downplayed too much in favor of adhering to flavor-of-the-week character and situation writing. Even so, Index manages to do well enough to entertain. It’s a series that will do the best for those looking for a series they can use to kill time with on a slow day. Ratings Story – 7.5 Characters – 7.0 Writing – 7.9 Animation – 8 Sound – 8 Overall – 7.7
  16. Well, considering I just had my car get its rear bumper torn off today, I think I may need to hold off for the moment purely for financial reasons. I'll keep it in mind for when things settle again, though. Thanks!
  17. Hm... I got my computer here in 2009 (thanks, prophetik!). It's now 2013, and I have yet to make any upgrades to it. Probably should upgrade my RAM, at least. Maybe get a newer graphics card. Any suggestions for those? I don't need top-of-the-line stuff. I mean, I've gotten this far with just 4GB of RAM and an EVGA 9800GTX+, so I'm not exactly in need of extreme power. Though maybe I should also OC my CPU a bit, if I can figure out how to do so safely.
  18. I may or may not join in, as I'm still catching up on the official games, but if I do, you'll see me on as HalcyonSpirit (surprise, surprise).
  19. Ha, I should probably hop on when you guys are on. Abadoss always seems to come online when I do.
  20. /spawn brings you to the spawnpoint inside the rail station at spawntown.
  21. This game has a lot to prove before it'll get my approval. Glassbox is nice and all, but if what the developers say about the computational requirements of Glassbox limiting the scale of cities is true, then I'd take larger scale over Glassbox any day. I don't like the fact that development can't be extended past one city's borders, either, like in SC4. From what I've seen, cities can't be next to each other visually to form a single metropolis. And no farms or subways or things like that, so I really can't make a city to my liking. I'll give it a shot if I have the chance or if they make some significant changes, but right now it's looking to be outside my realm of entertainment. Which is sad, because I've LOVED SimCity games since I first played SC2000 and have been dying for a true successor to SimCity 4 for quite a while. This game doesn't seem to be it. SimCity4-4-Life, yo.
  22. I've been contemplating getting the first Etrian Odyessey for a while... does anyone have any thoughts on the series? What's good and bad about it?
  23. I don't bother with all that hidden stuff. Unless I end up trying to do battles against other people and have it made clear that I can't compete without it, it's just too much effort for me to learn. I just play to have fun. Heck, in my current game (Platinum), I went with a team that I just liked the look of. That's all the reasoning I need.
  24. Remind me to not have to have my appendix removed, with all the associated costs involved, at the same time as the next one of these bills that need to be paid. Would've been happy to donate 20 or 30, despite not being on so much recently, but when you suddenly have to pay for surgery and post-care... Yeah. Sorry. :\
  25. Really? That's... disappointing. Oh well. I understand how difficult it'd be to develop a game like this that truly branches out. The amount of extra work required grows exponentially with each decision point if truly independent paths were made. Still, for what it is, I really enjoyed it. Felt like a different kind of visual novel in many respects, and you know how much I like those.
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