Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bloodrayne: Betrayal First Impressions

I tried to think of several ways to tweet how I feel about this game, but 140 characters just doesn't cut it. That, and I haven't actually blogged in awhile so I figure I'm doing myself a good service here. To save you some time, this game is fucking awesome. If you'd like to know more of why I feel this way - then by all means, keep reading.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spongebob Shepard?

Are you ready, crew?
Aye aye, Shepard!
I can't heeeeaaaarrr youuuuuu...

Who lives in ship out in the Traverse?
Great with machinery and gadgets diverse!
When your omni-tool fails and leaves you distressed...
Head to Floatilla and ask for the best!

TALI.... 'ZORAH!!! Hahaha!

Being completely unable to focus on work today, I started to let my mind wander. A kid came through at one point who was singing the Spongebob theme song. The tune got stuck in my head and my thoughts randomly drifted off to Mass Effect. Then I tried to think of lyrics that would fit to the tune. I suck at rhyming. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

ブレイク ブレイド (Broken Blade)

I can just imagine all the weird hits this entry is going to get for that title, oh well.

This is a smallish review of the anime movie series, Broken Blade. I find it kinda funny though, because the katakana used in each episode reads as BREAK BLADE, with Broken Blade in English right below it. That's just my little Japanese nerdery poking out there.

If you want the tl;dr, watch this series in 1080 if you can. If you want more than that, keep reading.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Too Many Books ¬_¬

This was originally gonna be G+ post, but after the first paragraph I figured I should just make a new blog post. That's what this thing is for eh? Warning: this is a rant post where I bitch and whine. #firstworldproblems

Yeah, I totally just used a hash tag in a blog post, wanna fight about it?

I think I have too many books. Normally this isn't a problem; I love books. I hate not having anywhere to put them. It's also getting to the point where when I want to revisit a book, I have to look through Pile A or Pile B to find it rather than this shelf or that shelf. This isn't something I can solve with a few cinderblocks either, I thought about using that approach, but with the way I have the place set up right now it'd only result in stubbed toes on a weekly basis. There's also the idea of getting rid of some extra books that I no longer read. Needless to say, this is not an option.

Well no, I take that back. I'd be willing to part with the Goosebumps books. God knows why I still have them though. Either way, it wouldn't make enough room for everything I have. Ugh, I just remembered that I still have my Harry Potter box set to find a home for. The need isn't too dire at the moment though. I still need to coerce my sister into actually finishing the series. After that she wants to read the rest of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Speaking of books, I recently picked up a new manga series. Well, I say new but the first volume was published a few years ago. Monster Hunter Orage was recently and finally localized and I got volume 1. It's silly and the style is vaguely like One Piece. For the One Piece fans out there I apologize, but One Piece is fucking dumb. The style in Orage is different enough to be forgivable and there's the monsters I know and love from the game series. I'm very much looking forward to the rest of them as they come out. *adds to list*

Oh! one more thing I want to mention! This also has to do with Monster Hunter and translation things. One of the MH art books I've had my eye on has been translated and is going to be released next month! Monster Hunter Illustrations has a bunch of work for the games including monsters, scenery, weapons, and armor both in the game and ideas that were eventually scrapped. One of my favorite parts of the game is collecting armor sets. Before you ask, yes my hunter is female. I am fully aware that collecting different armor is akin to pretty dress up time with giant monsters. Shut up. Anyway yeah, armor. I enjoy seeing the different designs that they came up with. I'm going to wait awhile till I get the book though. Amazon has a good price on it, but they might offer con prices for it at PAX. Then again con pricing might be higher... arg.

Right. I think I'm done for today. I'll spare you from enduring my scatterbrain thought process any further. Tomorrow I'm going back to work. I had to call in sick today because it's not good to be sick and working; it's just not worth it. That, and well... I work with food. Your welcome, Bellevue.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Epyon Has Arrived!

Ok that's kind of a lie, I've had this kit in my possession for a few days now, but I only just now started working on it. So, technicalities aside let's proceed into building the OZ-13MS Epyon.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Shenanigans

So this is just a quick little update for all the summer fun (lol) that I'm having.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Star Wars Galaxies - Order 66

By now most have probably heard through one way or another that Star Wars Galaxies will be shutting down. According to the article over at IGN, the servers will be shutting down this December. For me, this means that the very first MMO I ever played, or rather had my own subscription, will be ending. It's funny, because there's older games than SWG that are -still- up and running like FFXI and EQ1.

When I really think about it, it kinda makes me sad. I played back before they fucked up the game with their combat revamp and before they WoW-ified the game. I remember my house on Dantooine off in the North Western portion of the map. On days when I needed to go shopping for whatever reason, I recall scouring different player cities on Corellia or Naboo to find the best prices on the best quality goods. That was one of the best things I liked about SWG; resource quality shifts resulting in different quality gear, buffs, weapons, etc. If you wanted an awesome weapon, you looked for a crafter who had access to premium resources. Likewise, if you could gather some of the good stuff, you could sell it to the highest bidder.

Silly me, I used to be a Rebel. I converted when Jump to Lightspeed came out though; that was fun. I was one of the first Aces on the server, and I remember getting help with the 'vette mission from two others who made Ace before me. I didn't really play JtL as much as I could have though. I don't think the FFA PvP sector was open before I quit, or it was buggy or something. I do remember flying around overt and downing some pompous rebel in a Y-Wing and then we ended up hanging out at some cantina later that day.

If there's one thing I won't miss, it's Dathomir. Fuck that planet, seriously. It was fun going rancor and night sister hunting but that spider cave can go to hell.

Despite Dathomir, I'm gonna miss SWG. Sure, the SWG today isn't the same SWG I played, but it's the thought that counts. I want to give Old Republic a try at least (still waiting on that beta email), but I don't like the idea of ToR being the only Star Wars MMO available once it releases. That's a really dirty way to earn subscribers. Bad form, Lucas, bad form. I say Lucas, but there's something seedy at work here that makes me want to put at least some of the blame on EA.

An era is coming to an end, I just hope what comes to replace it is worthwhile.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Silver-Eyed Witches

Yeah, I had intended to update this at least once a week.

So much for that.

Recently I've gotten back into reading the Claymore manga. I typically opt for the volumes that Viz releases under their Shonen Jump Advanced series. That being because... you know... I don't wanna buy Jump Square JUST for Claymore and the whole not being able to read Japanese as easily (yet).

Claymore is one of those series that starts out very straight forward and just kind of branches out unto it's own. You can definitely tell that Horihiro kind of had a plan at first, but now he's kinda making it up as he goes. I'm not complaining with that, but it's one of those things where you can tell some portions weren't really thought out all the way and you go back and go wait... but she was... hokay. Nitpicky little inconsistencies aside, I hope that whenever and however this story ends will be complete in itself without any tricks pulled out of left field. I could go on about why I like the series but I'm tired and I have to be up at absurd-o-clock tomorrow for work. Oh well, I think I'll read another volume before bed because I do love me some violence after all.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Printer Guardians

These are The Three.

These Three remain ever watchful as they protect and safeguard my printer. Here they stand united and dedicated to their cause, ready to do battle at a moment's notice.

Except for Zaku, that guy just likes to steal the show.

Moving on...

I have three MG kits completed, the Shin Musha over there on the left being the most recent. After building the Zaku II I became addicted, and at the same time, spoiled by Zaku's amazing articulation. I feel the time has come to stop putting off the important step of making these kits really shine and give them their much deserved paint job. I just don't know which one to do first :X

I want to make Shin Musha's red a darker red.
I want to make Zaku's paint job faithful to the original.
I want to make Hi-Nu's color scheme match the new 1/144 GPB version.

Or... I could do something entirely different. I just can't decide! Aaaarrrgghhh!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I've decided.

I want to take the JLPT, and I want to pass. I looked it up and they have a testing site right here at UW. Sure, it would have been nice to find an excuse to visit Japan to take the test, but it's probably for the best that it's local. It turns out that this summer's test is canceled. They normally have it on the first Sunday of June and December so that leaves December for me. I figure with my previous years behind me and doing some refreshers I can catch up to speed and at least take the intermediate level 3 exam.

I'm not gonna slap a headband on and spend all my time at the library or anything, but starting tomorrow I want to get a head start on re-making kanji flashcards. I'm also planning on hitting Kinokuniya to pick up the Genki I workbook. I really, really like the Genki textbooks because they use an excellent method of pulling you deeper into the complexities of the language.

I can't seem to find my textbooks or my kanji study book though, so I'll have to dig around in the morning for them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"(I Always Kill) The Things I Love"

The title of this post is one of the main songs for the new game, L.A. Noire. I just finished the main storyline and while I have yet to really finish up all the side quests, or street crimes as they're known as in this game, I still wanna put down what I think while it's still fresh in my head. This game literally just came out a few days ago so I know there's still a lot of people who haven't finished it. This is a review post but I'm gonna try to avoid spoilers where I can.

One more disclaimer before I get to it: my brain skips around a lot, get used to it.

I'm typing this out as I have the soundtrack going in the background, like a boss. Before I get to the game itself, I want to praise the music. I'm not a huge jazz buff, but I'm not against it either. The music team for this game is great. While I'm not sure if car radios were even around in the late 40's, I'm not complaining with having period music play while I drive around the city of "angels". The aforementioned song in the title is probably my favorite track. It's a newly written and performed song just for this game and you should listen to it or just buy the soundtrack. Anyway, onto the game.

This information is anywhere, but in the game you play as WWII hero, Cole Phelps. He's one of LAPD's few "honest cops". Right from the get-go you learn pretty fast that Cole is a stickler for the rules and likes doing things by the book. I don't hold that against him by any means; it's nice having a protagonist that's a straight arrow once and awhile. Lately in games we see a lot of anti-heroes and damaged goods. Ok well, without going into details Cole isn't 100% pure, but hey he's human. There's also other characters in the game... a lot of other characters. They range from your partners, bosses, victims, suspects, witnesses, etc. All of them were face captured and all of them have the amazing facial animation from the trailers. 

It's not often a game comes around waving around a new technology card without it feeling too much like a gimmick. Shooters tend to do this a lot, promising something ground-breaking but in the end it's still just a shooter. In this game, when you're interviewing people you have to read their faces. Yes, these people are paid actors who are probably told to accentuate certain movements like shifty eyes but it's still amazing tech that doesn't involve me dancing in front of my TV. The tech is so good, and these performances are so real that sometimes the immersion gets to you.

I could go on for a long time about why I enjoy this game but I don't really have enough time for that as I have work in the morning and would rather not be in zombie mode all day. For now, I'll cover a few issues I want to point out.

This is not Grand Theft Auto. On some levels, it feels like it because here you have a very large recreation of 1940's Los Angeles but by following the story, you only ever see a small portion of notable landmarks. The way the game is doesn't lend itself well to exploration. You can go hunt down all the film reels and hidden cars but so what? You get some shiny trophy unlocks and build up the car library. Police vehicles are the only ones you have access to a police radio and the siren. Other cars may go faster, but driving like a dumbass can severely affect your rating at the end of each case if you run over a lot of people or smash into other cars repeatedly. On the other hand though, the city is very well done. It's not as impressive as Liberty City in GTA4 but then again, L.A. in 1947 wasn't that impressive. It's a great recreation of a city after the war booming with growth.

Another thing I want to point out is the repetitive gameplay. A typical case begins with going to a crime scene, looking for clues, and talking to people. After that, you go talk to some more people, look for some more clues and hopefully by the end of the investigation, someone gets arrested or shot. This happens over a dozen times across five desks in the LAPD. There's some action in this game in the form of pursuing fleeing suspects and car chases but the point I'm trying to bring up is that the draw of this game isn't the visceral action. (On that note, I hate it when people describe a game as being visceral.) The game is fun when you're piecing together all the little parts of a puzzle and getting that vital tidbit of information from the person you're putting the squeeze on. It's that excitement of trying to figure out who the culprit is that really gets me. Pair that up with the facial tech I mentioned and you got a cocktail for awesome.

Speaking of awesome, I'd like to touch on my favorite desk: homicide. I know I said I'd avoid spoilers, but for this I can't really avoid it. Why do I like tackling cases about dead people? Well, that's because there's a lot of cases that relate to Betty Short. Right now I'm taking a class focused on film noir and we had recently finished reading The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (which by the way is a great read) and watching the '06 film of the same name. As fun as it is unraveling Rockstar's plot, there's just something a little more fun about dealing with murders based on a murder that remains unsovled to this day. Frequent references are made to the Dahlia case and I remember one part where you hear some reporter who asks the cops on scene, "Any news about the Dahlia?", it kinda made me grin.

One final thing I want to mention is that the game doesn't really play out that quickly so I foresee a lot of people turning their nose up and walking away. I can definitely see that this is not a game for everyone. The last few Rockstar games have really played themselves up as mainstream triple-A titles. Part of that is because they deserve some of the praise, the rest of that is the almighty hype machine. This game however, doesn't feel like a mainstream title that everyone universally loves and adores. It certainly feels more like a niche game. For me at least, it's a jazzy adventure filled with murder, corruption, and an overarching conspiracy I'll not soon forget.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This.. is... CHESYRE!

If you've never heard of the Madness Combat movies, I suggest you check them out now. Along with being progressively spiffy and cool with each episode the music is awesome. Most of the tracks of the series are done by a guy named Sean Hodges aka Cheshyre. I'm a little slowpoke on this one, but recently Cheshyre put out his first album which is essentially a collab of all of his tracks he's done for MC and then some. I highly recommend it but watch out, I don't think the levels were encoded as neatly as they could have been. At excessive volumes you get a little feedback, even with the FLAC files.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Birthday Fun in the Sun

Welp, today I turned 26. Specifically, at about 6:05 pm according to my mom.

Today to celebrate I went down to downtown Seattle with a few friends to partake in cheesy goodness at the Seattle Cheese Festival. I wish I had taken my camera with me. >_< I think one of my favorite cheeses is the cave-aged cheddar. It's essentially a sharp cheddar but it's just soooooooo gooooooood. We also hit the wine/beer sampling tent which was neat. I do love me some reds.

After that, we wandered over to Japonssea. I had never eaten there before but it was a neat place. I forget the name of the roll I ordered and it's not on the menu on their website but it was called something like, Diabla something. They use red chili icons on the menu to mark the spicy dishes, and this roll had three of them while the other spicy ones had a single chili mark. Needless to say, it was pretty god damn spicy. It was spicy tuna, salmon, and habanero. Lots of it. I tried it with some wasabi on it and it was amazing. I would definitely label it as, "Burns so good!"

After that me and the guys parted ways but not before we went to Uwajimaya and they bought me some choice nama genshu sake along with a tokkuri and two matching ochoko. Now whenever I have sake I can go full weeaboo, yay!

When all was said and done, I went over to chill at Anime Raku and talk gunpla with the owner and his gf. They coaxed me (didn't take much) to get the Shin Musha Gundam, so I have that to look forward to building. Sad though, I have a lot under the workbench, so to speak, that I may not get to it anytime soon.

I finally got home about 20 minutes ago after it started raining, ending an otherwise wonderfully rare and sunny day in Seattle. Not too shabby for 26 years if I do say so myself. Now for drinking and maybe a movie.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shoot, Bang, & Frag

It's that time again, a new FPS is arriving in the form of Brink. Most gamers associate Bethesda with Open-World RPGs like Elder Scrolls and Fallout - and for good reason. These are arguably some of the best damn games ever made. Now, like a shot out of the dark, comes this new team-based shooter which is as what a Youtube member described as, "If CoD and TF2 had a kid, and then Borderlands and Mirror's Edge had a kid, then those kids got married and had a kid of their own, this game is what you would get."

Now, I know it's too early to pass judgement on a game that isn't out yet, but I have high hopes and I'll be playing it all day tomorrow more than likely. Find me on Steam under my usual name for -everything- MoogleDee.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Macross Frontier

For the record, any 'animu' post that also has the 'review' tag can be expected to have spoilers. You have been warned.

Tonight I finished up watching Macross Frontier. I finished it up faster than I intended to, but I think it was worth it. Like I said before, I started watching it because I had a mecha itch that I needed to scratch. I figured, "Hey, Macross is hailed as a mecha series", so I gave it a chance.

Silly me for thinking that it was just blowing stuff up.

Of course, that's how most of these things start out, but MF places an even greater emphasis on it's characters and their relationships than some other series. *COUGH GUNDAM POWER CREEP* Sorry, I'm getting over the sniffles. Power creep and technology races aren't always a bad thing, mind you, I just enjoyed MF keeping their level of technology consistent. One thing that kinda irked me though, and it's a problem with Macross in general, is GERWALK mode. I understand it's purpose is to grant the fighter greater altitude control, but it looks silly. It's one thing I still can't get over.

Back to why I actually liked the series though: Sheryl. Okay, not just her, but the relationship triangle between her, Alto, and Ranka. On one hand, I enjoyed watching the train-wreck plot. On the other, I kept hoping that Ranka would like, sacrifice herself or something so Sheryl could be happy. Of course, in the interest of keeping more fans they opted not only for two viable options for Alto, but they kept the question hanging in the air at the very end. That kinda bugged me.

I'm going to go a little further into Sheryl.

No, not like that. >_>

I enjoy her character very much. Explaining why I enjoy the character would require referencing to a similar train-wreck-love plot, Toradora. Sheryl is a lot like Ami, (note: I initially typed that out as 'my Ami' heh), who was my favorite character from that series as well. Both of them are strong-willed and go after what they want. Sadly, the two characters are also similar in such a way how they get shafted. In the case of Sheryl though, she gets 'saved' of her fatal disease in the end which is great but also made for a somewhat weaker story. Is it weird that I long for tragic endings? *cough Mai-Hime*

An engaging storyline and nice mecha eye-candy make for a good watch. I'll give it an 8/10. The story bugged me in some respects, but I can still appreciate it for what it is and understand that I can't hate something just because I can't change it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Late Night Anime

Well, it wasn't a true marathon per se, I didn't finish the series. I do have to be up and at work in about... 7 hours. T'was worth it though. I started watching Macross Frontier and after 7 episodes, I'm digging it.

I had kind of a mecha urge after doing some reading and I didn't really feel like getting everything out to work on gunpla. True, I have kits that I need to finish like the Civvie Astray and the Avalanche Exia but meh... they can wait. Anyway. I did a bit of poking around and looked a bit at Another Century's Episode R and had a very brief desire to import it. It'll have to wait for when I have some extra funds, (read: never), till I can check it out. With my mecha urge left unsatisfied I remembered that I picked up Macross Frontier to watch. I initially only planned to watch a few episodes, but I got drawn in. I'll likely slow my pace down and limit myself to two episodes per night for the rest of the week until I finish it up.

More on animu, my list can be found here. I try to keep it updated, but it's getting a little hectic this season with so many series that I'm trying to keep up on. Usually I kick back and wait until I can get some good recommendations but lately I've found myself in a position among my friends where I'm the one who has to tell them what to watch, and they're catching up with my backlog of series that I recommended. I can't really complain I guess, it's kinda nice being the anime otaku in the clique.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

MG Hi-Nu Construction Complete!

Let this be the first (new) post of a blog that I will keep updated! Rather than starting a brand new one I decided to scrap the other useless posts and change the title. O ho ho I'm so crafty ◕ ‿‿ ◕

Anyway, on to the Hi-Nu.

Ok, well. I don't have any pictures, but I will snap some shots off tomorrow after work.