Somewhat alive

April 14, 2010

Well I managed to cap my internet connection after 2 weeks since I uploaded 16gb out of my monthly 40gb bandwidth limit, hence my absence. There has been so much I wanted to download but was not able so I splurged a little when the month reset just today!

I have been craving a decent internet connection for a while now, and have been watching the current season’s anime which is very interesting indeed. Also am currently addicted to Angela Aki, a wonderful Japanese singer with one of the best voices ever! Suggest everybody to listen and admire her wonderful voice!

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Self sufficiency

March 22, 2010

It has been 2 weeks since I have moved out. So far so good, I have migrated pretty much all my things across and am being fairly  self sufficient. Cooking for 1 is quite hard actually, since the volume of food I need to buy does not tend to come in single serves, usually in multiple serves of 2-4. That usually means I cook a large amount and have leftovers for the day after. Well buying food for one isn’t too hard but the cost is much higher than buying for 2 so the economies of scale just declines.

I had some troubles setting up my wireless to work but now it is all good; my wireless dongle decided to shit itself after 4 days of use so I had to go and buy a network card to ensure I won’t get dropouts and dodgy connections. Playing online games is terrible on a wireless connection and I am definitely having issues with packet loss which is causing me to rubberband a lot in Bad Company 2. This is especially tragic since I want to play this game competitively and it is a no-go with the sudden spikes and delays I get.

I have also started studying for my CCNA and hopefully plan to sit the exam before the year’s end; preferably before I move back in with my parents. However that is going quite slowly since I was never one for studying, let alone self motivated study.

More news later if I can manage to pull myself from all the other things I am doing.

Moved out

March 10, 2010

I have recently moved out of home for around 6 months as a trial period to see how well I fare. Very interesting so far, but it is early days and I have yet to get used to it. Right now there is no internet at the place so I am writing this from my parents place. It’s also pretty weird not having any internet since I don’t know what to do with myself when I get home. Hopefully I will have access by Friday when my ISP said they will send someone to install the connection.

I am also missing my music since I only brought my laptop over since there is not much point bringing my desktop when there’s no net access. At least I have an x360 to play around with until Friday when I finally have internet. I also received my set of CCNA textbooks in the mail but they got wet since whichever genius delivered it left it outdoors in the rain. At least drop it off at the post office if nobody is able to collect the bloody thing.

Anyways I will update when there is more news.

FFXIII x360 prelaunch

March 3, 2010

I had the chance to go to the prelaunch tonight and it was quite fun getting to see the local retail version of the game in action! The graphics were quite amazing and I couldn’t tell that the cutscenes were rendered in 578p. People say that the PS3 version is miles above the x360 but I just don’t really see it, maybe a slight improvement at best but nothing groundbreaking really.

The event started off with the promo video in IMAX which I found to be spectacularly choreographed- too bad I was sitting near the front for some mysterious reason and was about to get whiplash from turning my head around so much. Then the organizers took us through a couple of prepared battles which showed the battle system which is unlike anything else on the market; it is even more streamlined than FFXII! The battles uses the ATB system and it is very very quick, it is pretty much real time battle where you can queue up actions to attack.

The localization is alright as well, the voice overs weren’t too bad at all and are probably one of the best works in a long time. The one issue I have is the facial expressions of the characters, they are sometimes a bit too subdued or too emotional compared to the VO’s. Probably since the script was written in Japanese and some sections are just more pronounced at different times compared to the English VO. I suppose there will always be issues like this, especially in plot and story heavy games with different language tracks. I really wish they kept the ability to listen to the original Japanese audio, the theme song is way better and much more appropriate than Leona Lewis’ song since it was written for the game.

Perhaps my thoughts are a little late considering the Japanese version came out last December and some people have already imported it and finished it, but I reckon it is probably more appropriate talking about the localized release since it is what most people are gonna get.

Something that I am not overly familiar with is the process of saving money; I set a certain amount as savings each week but that is really as much as I do. Though I am proud to say that I shopped around and managed to score FFXIII and BF:BC2 for a grand total of $130 (from cdwow) which I am very happy with! Considering everybody is charging $100 for FFXIII alone, I would say that is a fair bargain, the only issue is that I might have to wait for delays in shipping but if it saves me $50 off both items then I am willing to wait, especially when I have a bunch of games in need of completing!

I also realized today that I have never bought an FF game despite my proclaimed love of the series. I remember playing FF7 first, I think that was the first game I had ever finished because the story was so compelling. Then I went backwards and played FF6 which had an even more epic story and I reckon even better gameplay. It wasn’t long until I backtracked the entire FF series to FF4, where I stopped since the original 3 didn’t seem to have the same depth and gameplay. I was even tempted to buy the collectors edition but for $130 you don’t get a lot besides a music CD and some random prints which I would probably never look at save the moment I open the box. Saved once again by frugality, yay.

My friends preordered BF:BC2 for $80 each whilst I got it online for $55, so that is yet another bargain I managed to snap up. Hopefully I will gather enough people to form a casual clan, that way we can get some organized fun going on! The likes of which I haven’t seen since my BF2 days.

I also found out that the HDX-BD1 was recently released and is only $30 more than the HDX1000. Just a FYI, this is a media player where you shove in a hard drive and it will play whatever is on it, very convenient for me since I have a 1TB disk lying around my desk with nothing to put it in and I am also quickly running out of disk space due to my movies and anime, mostly anime. What I have gleaned so far is that the BD1 is fairly glitchy since it is a new product and people have not managed to get a lot of advanced features working properly. Though to be perfectly honest with you, I would be happy if it manages to play all my anime and my music too. Later I could tack on a BD drive since the unit is supposedly compatible with bluray playback. However I might wait until the features are more mature before splurging on this.

If you may have noticed I have been going from a scale of tightass to self indulgent and the most expensive thing I plan to do is to move out, which will happen in the next week or so. I need to prepare myself for the move and I have not planned anything as of yet so it will be very interesting. If anyone has any advice on a first move now is a good time to tell me!

Game watch

February 24, 2010

I have been sidetracked from Bayonetta by playing Mass Effect 2. It is a much better game than the original in my opinion, it is a lot more well rounded, there are fewer sections to frustrate you esp the planetary exploration crap. The pacing is also a lot better, made me actually want to finish the game. I never did get through all of the original because I got to a point where I just didn’t care anymore, namely towards the end where there was no motivation to finish the game since the story has already been told.

ME2 has better story and the world is explained more clearly which I liked. The characters were also much more interesting and had more background which made me care more. Battles were fun but there really is only a number of combinations you can use your biotics; singularity/pull + warp/push. You either make your enemies explode or send them flying into space.

I played as an adept and found that singularity was the best skill to use against charging husks since you don’t even have to shoot them to kill them, set a singularity into the AI pathing and they all walk into it and die. I love abusing games to make it easier. The cooldowns really kill it for me though, since adept weapons suck and are inaccurate so I have to rely on biotics, really bad when I am being rushed. I do like how they now curve around objects now, helps a lot with drawing enemies out of cover and then pushing them into space.

With March coming around, I am gearing myself up for Bad company 2 and FF13 which will be quite epic.

I had a poem in my mind when I was driving today, but unfortunately lost the idea by the time i got home. Shame because I swear I would remember it if I heard the song that inspired me but I have been going through my playlist for a good half hour and couldn’t for the life of me find the damn thing. Maybe this Friday it will come back to me.

Guilty pleasure Bayonetta

February 17, 2010

You know that piece of chocolate in the box which looks damn strange but you can’t get enough of? That sums up Bayonetta very well. This game is strange and bloody hilarious and over the top with its fight sequences but holy shit is this a bucket of fun or is it just raining awesome? I have to admit I have never played Devil may cry and have no comparison to base my thoughts on, but this game cracks me up with its insanity.

I have played for about 3 hours but several words come to the top of my mind when I played this game, such as “holy shit I can’t believe she said that” and “oh my gawd there is a move called breakdance”. I can honestly say that I played through the first hour with my mouth open or laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing was. But I LOVED it. Even though I am quite horrible at this game since I have never played anything like it, dying only reduces my score so I can keep retrying the same level until I finish it, then replay the stage for a high score.

There is almost endless replay value to this game because it is semi-mindless fun, even though I spent most of my play time button bashing I realized that there are certain combos that fit for certain situations and that some combos can be canceled into others for an infinite chain. But really I am just having too much fun playing to concentrate on small things like that, I am just enjoying monsters blowing up and being crushed by hair.

Monday mayhem

February 15, 2010

Spent the night in Wollongong so that I could work today. Not really what I wished for since it is such a pain to get there and even worse to get back since there is no quick way of driving 90km out of Sydney. The only good thing out of this is that I wasn’t dead tired before I even began work, and that I had energy to do my job instead of starting tired.

I had to pick up my car (again) from the panel beater today too, coming back into Sydney took a while so I didn’t get the car until around 5pm today. I am just glad that everything is back to normal again, even if I am out of pocket by $1500. It was a bit funny driving my own car again since I had forgotten how different the driving position was compared to your standard family sedan or hatch ie LOW.

I had also finished dragon age on the weekend and the ending battle was quite epic and took me a bloody long time. I found on the 2nd attempt at the final battle that if you avoid fighting the goons you are pretty free to fight the archdemon which makes things a lot easier. By that time most enemies fall in 1 hit and I wasn’t sure if this was the scaling of the game or if it was designed like that anymore. Though I do believe that it was designed to be easy so that it would have a more epic feel to it. I am tempted to go through a 2nd playthrough, but I have a ton of games incoming and will not have the time to revisit for at least another few months.

FF13 is coming out, I am getting bayonetta hopefully this week, and battlefield bad company 2 will be on my to-buy list since I want to start a social clan. Not to mention I still haven’t finished Darksiders. Dragon Age really took a massive chunk of time out of me to be honest, I logged 50+ ingame hours, not to mention the amount of times I reloaded after I died and game load times.

If anybody is interested in a social clan for bf:bc2 with possible ladder comps let me know and I will see if it goes ahead.

Haven’t done one of these in a while, nothing special though just playing with some spoken word.

I managed to find a new single from supercell with nagi/gazelle as the lead singer and I am quite hooked! Her first official song was awesome too and this just makes me love her even more as her voice is perfectly suited for this type of powerpop. She sings another song in the single which sounds greatly inspired from ryo’s hatsune miku days and that definitely sounded very different.

So I can speak my mind
with somewhat (not so) fancy words,
too bad I forgot that this diction
of mine is a victim of circumstance-

A poor excuse for lack of social grace
and situational self abuse;
they do act nicely as a shield
made of broken parts.

I talk from other’s experience
as I wield few of my own;
it’s too hard to start living life halfway
when I needed the whim yesterday.

You reveal too much of me and I cannot hide
in broad daylight anymore,
I am jealous to be honest and as such
feel the fleeting embarrassment you bestow on me.

You destroy my words because you
are more real than any fabrication
that I call true-
I only toy with words and meaning
and you with me.

Anime watch February

February 10, 2010

Really loving Katanagatari at the moment. Makes me wish I understood more japanese so I can understand the wittiness of the conversation better. I really love the way Nisio Ishin writes his stories, they focus more on the relationships between characters than the actions and the wordplay is very interesting.

The problem with the series is that it unfortunately seems that the animation quality has dropped or has become less consistent. I find that this is a rather common problem with a lot of hyped up anime, make a big impact with the first episode and slack off a bit in the hope that viewers don’t notice. Well they do notice and they do talk about it, but I suppose it gives the studios something to sell on dvd or blu-ray.

Darker than black gaiden has come out and I really enjoyed that too! Yin’s character really developed in the 1st series and it is extended into the OVA. Lolicon Hei is also pretty funny and sweet whilst his bk201 side is just as awesome and sober as ever. The 2nd series of DTB was a bit disappointing in my opinion, it didn’t give enough background into why Hei acted as he did and we have no explanation of Yin’s powers which is what the gaiden is supposed to provide. Somewhat backwards working and annoying for viewers but once again, the studios win.

Nodame Finale is coming along quite nicely, I am looking forward to seeing the ending, and hopefully it provides a nice conclusion for the NodamexChiaki relationship. At the moment it is building on the side character stories which is good and fine, but it inevitably must lead back to the star couple.

Gurren Lagaan movies are sitting on my computer and I need to watch them since they are apparently epic.

Dance in the vampire bund is not as interesting as I would have hoped. The manga is only up to about 30-40 chapters and reveals nothing of the main story arc so far so the anime will not be great, I might even stop watching it since I know there isn’t much to look forward to.

Also running out of japanese music, but I am waiting on a few singles to be released and look forward to tasting those.