Thursday, September 30, 2004 @ 08:44 (Japan Standard Time)
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A hobbyist video gamer in the middle of Japan's gaming zone. Comments on console, PC, handheld and arcade games.
On this page

2004-09-30 Thu

Rumors of PSP prices

2004-09-29 Wed

Cradle and pop goes the music

Swappin' boards.

Bite-sized comment.

Hard drive down. Hard drive controller down.

playing it... Easy

2004-09-25 Sat

Note to self: Disgaea, UT2004: ECE, System Shock 2

Graphically Missing Blue

Utada Hikaru vs Mario

2004-09-24 Fri

Slim PS2, the "PStwo"?

Princess Maker 4 official site open

2004-09-23 Thu

Points wasted, colorful stars, real live miko

2004-09-20 Mon

Incompatible, missed opportunities

Unreal Tournament still takes multiple steps to install

Chara-fes and Sega Saturn USB controller

2004-09-14 Tue

Princess Maker 4 pictures revealed

Shmup trinkets in effect

Only 10 minutes.

2004-09-10 Fri

Princess... Sister? No, Maker!

Upscan converter reveals secrets!

2004-09-07 Tue

Tired of Super Mario Pinball

Still playing gun games

Returning the xbox

2004-09-06 Mon

Ikaruga emulation

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Rumors of PSP prices

Video-fenky posts about the Playstation Portable (PSP) price, or rumors thereof. I posted this comment:
I heard the rumored price of 30000 yen from a friend who doesn't play console games and I immediately thought that Sony had just lost. He also told me the rumor that the battery lasts only an hour, although I'm going to wait for more concrete evidence about this. I consider myself more than a casual gamer and a gadget freak, but I don't see the point in buying this toy. (I'm not getting a Nintendo DS either, but for different reasons).
Damn shame. But then again, to me there's no need to rush for progress in the portable gaming field. My GBA seems to be adequate enough.

Cradle and pop goes the music

I've been listening to the Cradle (東方幻樂祀典). It's a re-arrangement of Team Shanghai Alice/Zun's music. The Acoustic side, which is the first CD, sounds so good. My favorite song is Yuurei Rakudan (幽霊楽団) - Phantom Ensemble by the artist (group?) ESTi. The song is from Touhou Youyoumu (東方妖々夢)- Perfect Cherry Blossom. The intro is quiet, subdued, but ever rising. Another notable song is Natsukashi ki touhou no chi (懐かしき東方の血) - Old World (demo). You can hear the rest of the samples from their download page.

Team Shanghai Alice/Zun's Music CD Ghostly Field Club
(the picture above is the music CD from Zun, not Cradle.)

Aaah. To get the quote right, I turn to web search and I find this quote from William Congreve: "Music hath charms to sooth the savage beast, soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." Well, music in my case helps me deal with danmaku bullets!

While I'm at it, this is not game related but I am listening to music in languages I cannot understand. For example, Lee Soo Young sings beautiful Korean pop. And yeah, I listen to the pop duo from Spain, Andy and Lucas. (Watch out this one has wicked pop-ups!) The song that made me ask the hotel gal "who?!" is Tanto La Queria. I guess that means the song lyrics don't mean squat to me, as long as it is pop. hehe.

Swappin' boards.

So I went to the local Sofmap and I found a gangload of Promise Ultra100 TX2 for 2500 yen, new. I popped that sucker in there and everything is dandy. Obviously because I can write to this gamelog. Yeah me! No data lost. But why did the PCI card die? It doesn't have any moving parts, so why should it wear down? Okay who cares. Back to gaming.

Bite-sized comment.

I'm not doing any other gaming right now, I've been busy at work. I don't think work is going to let up any time soon, so I guess just some bite-sized shmup gaming is in.

Hard drive down. Hard drive controller down.

My older computer Project Asobi can't boot. I traced it to my Parallel ATA PCI card. It just doesn't want to get past the BIOS PCI check screen. The PCI card doesn't look like it has any physical defects, but removing the card from the system seems to clear up the BIOS PCI check problem. What this means is that I can't update my website right now. Hahah.

Of course, that Parallel ATA PCI card connects my boot hard drive. I forget why , but the motherboard which is a Asus P2B-LS doesn't support the large hard drive I have. It's not the 137 GB limit, I don't think. In any case, I'm worried about the boot hard drive and the RAID-1 on Project Asobi.

I think the best course of action right now is to get a new parallel ATA card, same make and same model. PCI cards, how could they fail? Or maybe it's the BIOS and other parts of the system, and the card is just the last straw? In either case I'm distraught. I may have lost countless downloads from the net! Heheheh.

playing it... Easy

Recently playing:
  • Touhou Eiyashou - Imperishable Night (WinPC-jp, lovely stars)
I've been really getting into Touhou Eiyashou - Imperishable Night. This game has the music and the style that makes the Shanghai Alice/Zun games irrepressibly fun. I had some controller challenges, like sometimes the pad lags from the USB. I swear it's the pad. In any case I disabled DirectX for controlling the controller and it sure plays smoother. I turned on all 32 bit color options and this game is looking sweet sweet, especially the Stage 4B boss, Marisa and her star patterns.

I am frustrated though with the difficulty level. There are just limits to what I can learn about a game's puzzles, and after that it's all just a matter of skill and reflexes. I lack those. I can't handle Normal. But I did 1 credit clear Easy. It isn't really easy, because I tried to clear it again even with the same character and I can't do it. Once you clear the game, it opens up the 6B stage and the extra stage, where one mistake costs you a "Game Over". But more importantly it opens the Spell Practice mode, which essentially Boss fights in bite size morsels. This mode is the best because if you make a mistake you can restart at the beginning of that fight, not the stage. Concentrated danmaku goodness, and you can get to the action faster.

I completed one "Last Word" battle, and it's been a long time I've counted pixels to move around. You really don't have any space to move at all.

I'll post my easy clear replay data here. The score is 676863910.

Note to self: Disgaea, UT2004: ECE, System Shock 2

Web surfing on a lazy Saturday morning is fun. Kinda like watching Saturday afternoon movies on the TV. You know you should be doing something else and you feel guilty just the same.

Well, I came across some things I wanted to get. I read the I Hate This Game review about Disgaea and I fear for my free time. A choice quote: "#1 reason why I hate this game: Gaining levels between 120 to 9000 is probably the most repetitive thing I have ever done." I remember Zepy showed a screenshot about gaining up to level 9999 on one of his characters. Heh. BTW, when you review games, think about the system they use: impressions of the game at 1 hour, 3 hours, 1 day, 1 week, 3 weeks, 3 months, etc. Purchasing even the regular version, used even, will set me 5000 yen. Wow. Okay, maybe after I run Final Fantasy X-2.

Unreal Tournament 2004: Editor's Choice Edition is now available for purchase at my favorite online importer. Comes on DVD-ROM with all the patches, user mods. Will it be easy to install? What will I do with my other license key?

Oh yeah, there are boxes of Doom 3 just sitting around in all the shops I go to. Heh, die die die Doom 3! UT! UT! UT! Speaking of which, I hear that System Shock 2 is the game that Doom 3 wants to be. I have no idea if it ever came out in Japan and my web searching skills in Japanese are pretty wack. Oh well. Remember System Shock 2 is not abandonware!

Okay! No more web surfing!

Graphically Missing Blue

I was doing a web search for that "game" "collection" "songs" for "Tonkinhouse" album "3", but I couldn't find what I was looking for. Guess I have to go the Animate shop again. But I did find this, a time capsule for Missing Blue goods. Heh, 7 maxi singles that include vocal songs from each of the major characters. Oooh. But who is this Momotaro guy in the 5th single? He's not in the main story? And why is he coming before "Miko-p" sensei? Hahahah.

Missing Blue strategy guide book coverEdit: Doing more searching, I came across some interesting sites for Missing Blue, such as this opinion site, a person's progress report page, an official problem report about completing the game, and an effortless strategy guide. Well, I had my browser on these pages for the last month, I might as well bookmark them here.

Utada Hikaru vs Mario

Video-Fenky writes about not touching the Nintendo DS. Frankly I won't become excited about this new system until they come out with Ikaruga for it. Okay, maybe Advance Ikaruga? Or Ikaruga DS? Use your stylus to absorb bullets. Well I can dream can't I?

Oh yeah, I visited the official Nintendo DS flash site and I am excited to see Hikaru Utada (宇多田ヒカル) in a red dress. She's asking, "Can You Keep A Secret", but the ad is asking you to keep your "Distance", just "Wait and See"! This system is best for "Travelling" and I like playing it "In My Room", but I need Nintendo and Utada to "Give Me A Reason" to buy it. "Time Will Tell" if this is just like my "First (console) Love", but I gave Nintendo "Another Chance" with the Game Boy Advance and just had to say I'm "Movin' On Without You". Sony, I'm "Addicted to You"!!!

Groan. Well thank you, I knew iTunes was good for something.

Slim PS2, the "PStwo"?

Well the news has been out for 3 days, but still I find myself thinking about it. The PS2 just got a whole lot slimmer. Will it be called the PStwo?

Why get another PS2? Now I can just play around PS2 Linux without impacting my Missing Blue schedule!

Princess Maker 4 official site open

Well, Princess Maker 4 has a official site open now. Linkie linkie.

Points wasted, colorful stars, real live miko

Recently playing:
  • Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA-jp, Hard to read the font)
  • Touhou Eiyashou - Imperishable Night (WinPC-jp, I only like one colorful boss battle: 4B )

Well Club Nintendo no longer has a stock of the Legend of Zelda Collection. Hm, what am I going to use my points on now?

Got me that Advance Guardian Heroes and I must say I am intrigued with the "reflect block". Very intrigued. The concept reminds me of Street Fighter III: Fight for the Future tap blocking. I was going to buy this anyway, but I was surprised that Famitsu gave it a low score. Ugh, the fonts are hard to read. Ugh. Am I the only one out there who doesn't already have a Game Boy Player?

And I just started Touhou Eiyashou - Imperishable Night. It turns out that the Tora no ana in Kobe had a bunch in stock left over. Sometimes it pays to live in a smaller city. And the only practice level for me now is 4B with the colorful stars.

This is not really gaming related but I'm typing it anyway: I attended the Nishinomiya Matsuri where I helped carry the o-mikoshi, or portable shrine. Damn thing is too heavy and we had to tag-team the load. One thing different about this carrying is that we get to ride out into the bay on boats as part of the festival. I heard the reason is that to pray to gods for fishing prosperity. They throw special paper, salt and thread out into the sea. In any case, I got to see some miko and it reminded me of those gal-get games where one of your heroines is a miko. Wait, I feel reality calling. I quickly smacked myself up the head (well, mentally).

Incompatible, missed opportunities

What is incompatible? My Project Sugar PC and Street Fighter Zero, that's what. I bought this game and the Street Fighter Zero 2 as a combo set for about 1000 yen. Score two for consumer! I had install problems. "2" didn't want to run because it couldn't find a VGA compatible video card. Ha. I just copied the program files onto my hard disk and was done with it. It plays at a pretty good clip, and with that Sega controller (which has 6 face buttons, yee!) it feels about right. Actually it feels disconcerting because there is some input lag. Ah well, maybe it's nostalgia getting in the way. So I tried playing with Street Fighter Zero but the game would not render steadily. It was herky and jerky. What was the problem? I had the same game on PC in the 2000 and it played perfectly fine.

That is the deal with PC games, you just can't expect compatibility for years on end, because your computer system is a moving target. I guess I'll just have to get out the old Pentium 3 500Mhz.

And what opportunities did I miss? Well, I did miss To Heart 2, recently. But also I missed the Kasumi Blue version of the Xbox. No, I didn't want it for the Kasumi cushion. Dead or Alive Ultimate comes with this special edition of the Xbox hardware, and pretty much that's the only game that motivates me to get an Xbox. But there was no place to reserve it, because it's all reserved out. 6000 units for the whole of Japan. Hm. Pain.

Another missed opportunity is that latest Zun/Shanghai Alice game, Touhou Eiyako - Imperishable Night. It seems that Tora no ana got a shipment and I missed it. Instead I stared at screens of Maidlien, a Star Soldier clone and I stared at people staring at Danmaku Shimai: La soeur de barrage. Yeah. Finally this game is getting recognition.

Ah well, missing things really isn't a problem. The essence of the experience remains, even if I am late to get them.

Unreal Tournament still takes multiple steps to install

Just after going to Chara-fes, I went to Nipponbashi for more gaming goodness. My intent was to get Unreal Tournament: Game of The Year edition, since I hate installing games that take multiple steps. It turns out only one place had it, and they were selling the re-print version for cheap. Yea, score one for the consumer. When I installed it on computer it turns out it's the same number of steps. I might as well list it here.
  1. Install main game.
  2. Install extras (Rocket Arena, ChaosUT, high textures)
  3. Install official patch 436.
  4. Install unofficial patch 451b.
  5. Textually merge my key config from my old User.ini file to the new one. (Use Emacs ediff mode!)
  6. Play the game and figure out that the mouse movement tracks at the wrong speed and that the "V" key is still bound to the talk menu. Fix.
Oh well, Unreal Tournament is the bomb, live with it.

Chara-fes and Sega Saturn USB controller

Recently playing:
  • Missing Blue (PS2-jp, Reverting to the last save)
  • Gradius V (PS2-jp, One more time just for old times sake)
  • Banshiryu (WinPC-jp, I can't win)
  • Kioh-Gyoku (WinPC-jp, Ah scratchy memories, but they feel so slow.)
  • Unreal Tournament Game of the Year Edition (WinPC-us, Not the all-in-one installer I expected, but Rocket Arena is cool)
  • Duel Savior Demo Tournament Edition (WinPC-jp, Somebody crossed Viewtiful Joe, Party's Breaker, and Sister Princess!)
Now stacking:
  • Street Fighter Zero 1 (WinPC-jp, "Hitotsu!")
  • Street Fighter Zero 2 (WinPC-jp, Zero blocking is the bomb.)
Well I haven't written in 6 days, so the above is pretty long. Many interesting things are coming out soon and I haven't written them all down.

Chara-fes in Osaka 2004 AutumnYesterday I went to Chara-fes, short for "character festival". Officially it's called the (Windows) PC Cute Girl Charater Consolidated Event. (my translation). There's gal-get games, ecchi games, card games and cos-play, as well as hype for upcoming anime and gal-get games. There was no doujinshi or anything amateur. Think of it as the commercial booths in Comic Market rolled up and parceled to Osaka. I was able to see Hiroko Kasahara (笠原弘子) and Naomi Tanizaki (谷崎奈緒美), two anime/game singers. Kasahara is pretty famous, and she's been in the industry since the early 1990's. She did a live rendition of the opening song "Feel on the wind" from the anime Wind -a breath of heart-. Tanizaki is someone I don't know and she maybe a newcomer, but she sings the opening song "Daisuki da yo (into your heart)" from the upcoming anime To Heart Remember my memories (you could also call it, beat the dead horse for more money!). I'm pretty much set on buying her single when it comes out, the song is pretty.

May as well stick on topic. I can make many more posts, right?

Duel Savior in-game actionThere was a Duel Savior demo/competition on a projection screen. This game could be called Viewtiful Joe meets Party's Breaker, with the cuteness of Sister Princess. It's a Windows game. You control an eyeless no-name "guy" who fights the undead and the unsavory for various magic users who all happen to be girls. Well, that's the story of the product. The real fun is fighting, because it's a descendant of Final Fight or Samurai Spirits or Viewtiful Joe. Perhaps I'm getting it wrong with the genres, but the action is flashy, frantic and downright cool. Your character can punch, kick, slash, bomb and block at an eye-flash, and the screen zooms onto your character dramatically. As with these fighting games, the combo is the key and you can rack up hits in the hundreds on multiple enemies. Here, download the demo game (62MB) and tell me you can beat my overall score of 470 points.

Of course at the competition of this demo game, there were way better people than me. I saw a guy get a 400+ hit combo and his overall score was 700+. Take a look at the sample combo movies (12MB).

It's too bad that the real product is an ecchi, 18 and over PC game. In other words, animated porn. But the game play itself is pretty fresh, and the demo itself has nothing erotic about it. It's all action and all game, so go ahead and give the demo a try.

Nanashi from Duel SaviorJust as an aside, this game has the cutest zombie I have ever seen. Imagine a Rabi en Rose (from Diji Charat) lookalike with the voice tone of Hinako and mannerisms of "desuno!" Shirayuki (both from Sister Princess), and you have happy-go-lucky Nanashi. Very very cute. Her name is a play on the words "no name" which is fitting (?) for a undead character. Of course, her head is often times rolling around without her body, which is disconcerting, to say the least. koro koro koro, zenryaku ni tettai desuno!

Control Pad for Macintosh USBSo since I was set on playing this demo at home I thought I had to get a new fighting controller. So I got me the Sega Saturn re-release USB controller. The all white one for Macs. I'm not one of those who thinks the Sega Saturn-style controller is the best one ever made, but it sure feels comfortable. This is the type of controller I'll reach for when I play them shmups and beat-'em-ups, because the D-pad allows diagonal input without any resistance. (What is it with me recently anyway, buying lots of stuff in white (iPod, flash memory, headphones, shoes). Hm.) It's too bad this is USB only, I would have liked to use it on my Gamecube and Playstation.

Princess Maker 4 pictures revealed

No I'm not doing the revealing but Weekly Famitsu is: article about Princess Maker 4 with pictures. Wow!

Shmup trinkets in effect

I got from a friend a couple of weeks ago two little trinkets that look like cheep jobbies. One is a Radiant Silvergun dog tag and another is a Psyvariar key chain. He gave them to me for free. I was flabbergasted. Well the dog tag is all scratched up. And the key chain looks like anyone can make it. Oh well, they could be fake. Once I have my camera I'll post the picture. Talking about trinkets, remember I had a Vic Viper screen wipe trinket from last year's Tokyo Game Show?

Vic Viper and Cotton Screen Wiping Trinkets

I saw in the Retro Gaming Revival store in Nipponbashi two things of interest. One was a demo movie / replay for Super Smash Brothers DX. Now I've been wanted to buy this game for my Gamecube, but I just haven't gotten around to doing it. It still is about 5000 yen used. Ugh. I couldn't tell what this movie / replay thing was but it came in a white box and was a prize for winning some competition. It was 3000 yen. The other thing that was interesting was a Radiant Silvergun CD set meaning the soundtrack and the 8cm single. 15000 yen. I wanted to buy it so bad but I'm working on a friend to sell me his copies.

I bought a doujin music CD titled Shooting Battle 3rd Attack by the Clever Dynamos Records. It's all arrangements of recent shmups. This CD was out at Comic Market 66 but well I missed it. There was a track for the Ikaruga Boss 1 but it didn't sound better than the original. Too disappointed.

Only 10 minutes.

Recently playing:
  • Missing Blue (PS2-jp, What is this world, but a point between death and life?)
  • Time Crisis 3 (Arcade-jp, "I was just following you." "What?")
  • Banshiryu (WinPC-jp, Impossible patterns)
  • Warning Forever 1.04 (WinPC-jp, I'm crushing you!)

Well I found another Wartran Troopers machine in Kobe. In fact, it's in a bowling alley amusement center. I didn't fare very well. I was actually looking for Time Crisis 3 but they unfortunately didn't have it.

I went on a memorabilia binge last weekend. If you're into telephone cards, one substitute can be those shitajiki or pencil cards which are hard plastic, B3 sized underlays. While telephone cards rarely dip below 840 yen, like the scratched Missing Blue one, these shitajiki can be had for around 300 yen or less.

While shopping around I saw that the Gradius V soundtrack was released so I had to buy it.

And I finally am listing the games I am playing at work. 10 minutes isn't enough to get to the stage I want to play.

Princess... Sister? No, Maker!

Opened up the latest Weekly Famitsu magazine and the first thing that hooked me for more than 20 seconds was the 2 page spread for Princess Maker 4. Now I've never played the other Princess Maker games and I never desired to. But this time the character artist is Naoto Tenhiro ((天広直人)). He's most famous for the artwork for Sister Princess. Yeah, that same Sister Princess where I have all 4 games and 16 DVDs:

Sister Princess 2 CoverSister Princess 2 Premium Fan Disk

If you ever check out Magi-kyu Magazine, you can see Tenhiro at the height of his prowess with his newer series, World's End. OMG. Ceres (the third character down with light purple hair). Beautiful. And it's even coming out for the PS2!? Ha ha.

Now the main artist for the Princess Maker series is (was) Takami Akai ((赤井孝美)). Her graphic style doesn't pull me like Tenhiro's drawings, though. It's retro, is the first thought that comes to mind. Retro leads to stale, unfortunately. Kinda like how I can't get into '70s anime.

So how does a new graphic artist improve a game that is mainly about statistics and parenting (?)? Well, you ever heard of the phrase, "You can't polish a turd"? In other words, not much except for a fresh feel. If anything, Tenhiro's drawing style is really fresh. Clean. Pure.

If you don't buy the scenario where you play a single father raising a single female child from 10 to 18 years old, then there really isn't any sense of looking for more from this series, though. And admittedly, this is less about parenting and more about making decisions for someone really kawaii. Can you turn your little girl into a "princess" or something "beautiful"? Put simply, it's escapism devoid of parental responsibility. I don't think we need to worry about a "Papa don't preach" scenario here.

While I'm talking more about graphics artists can I squeezing in something about Aoi Nishimata ((西又葵))? She (I was under the mistaken impression that she was a he for the longest time) is someone who can really draw warm yet soft eyes. Take a look at her Lovely Idol series, also coming out for the PS2. She's also had her hand in PC gal-get games. Final Approach seems to be an attempt at mainstream-only console gaming from her.

Final Approach Limited Edition Cover Final Approach Regular Cover

Well after giving up on ToHeart 2, I do have other gal-get games to fall back on, like the above shown. One more (last one I promise!) that I want is Suigetsu Mayoi-Gokoro, another PC game conversion to console. Still CERO 18, though. This time though, the attraction is Miwa Kouduki ((倖月美和)), who voices the main character. She's right now in the spotlight with another PC/console gal-get game turned anime, Wind: A Breath of Heart. Ahahahah. Her voice is perfect, however it sounds more mature (sample) in Suigetsu.

So much for just a small comment on Princess Maker 4. Heh.

Upscan converter reveals secrets!

Recently playing:
  • Missing Blue (PS2-jp, Do you want to wake up?)
  • Time Crisis 3 (PS2-jp, Shooting till you don't wanna point your hands at the screen no more.)
  • Wartran Troopers (PS2-jp, Bought a memory card)
  • Strider Hiryu (PS1-jp, "He'll never leave Eurasia alive!")

I bought an PS2 (and XBox) specific up-scan converter called the UpScan Converter 2 by Hori. It was the one that was shown in the last Famitsu issue. Not that I really need it or anything, since my LCD TV/monitor has its own upscan converter inside. I was just pissed off at the (lack of) quality. So do my games look better? Hm, not really. Yup it's my LCD TV/monitor that sucks.

One game I used to test it is Strider Hiryu. Wow does bring back memories. How cool it is to be able to swing a sword so fast that all you see is a streak of light. And no I'm not talking about Soul Calibur. Or when you die and the sound effect isn't some wimpy scream, nor the graphical effect isn't some blood spurting death slump. This game is the original Capcom Viewtiful side scrolling screen adventure. But you can never go back home again. PS1 load times. Dated non-parallax scrolling backgrounds. Dated enemy themes (The Cold War). Well at least the up-scan converter was working fine.

Other than that Missing Blue is looking pretty shabby on this LCD TV/monitor. I didn't notice it before but the girls' faces have a slight blue shadow. I spent a half hour trying to make them look more natural. Hahahah.

Time Crisis 3 is totally fun. Totally. My arms are lasting longer too. What is it about my weak flabby arms? I get tired at Stage 2 Area 2 submarines. Ouch. I get so tired that I pull away even though there's some enemies remaining. Well now I can last a couple of minutes on the game. I don't feel bad about continuing, either. I just don't care.

Tired of Super Mario Pinball

With pinball adventure games there is a certain step where you just have to give up on the game. With both Pokemon Pinball and Super Mario Pinball, I never got to see the "ending" or the credits screen, but I had my fill of the experiences and I put them aside. I really didn't feel like I was making progress after a point and to me that is the important part of playing games. There has to be an end point and this time I decided it.

Still playing gun games

Kobe from the second story of Harborland MosaicI am frequenting the arcade more. On the weekend I went to Harborland Mosaic in Kobe. I remembered correctly that they had an arcade near their movie theatre. They had the non-reflection projection gun games that I was in to like Time Crisis 3, Wartran Troopers, and Virtua Cop 3. Too bad they were at 200 yen per entry.

I really like to play Wartran Troopers, but only on the big screen. I'm still trying to figure out my best stance for it though. Still selecting 3p and I haven't bought a card for it. One thing I don't like when playing the game is that my left eye contact pops out of position. It's still stuck in my eye but any position other than the normal one is painful. Ugh. As far as my performance in the game is concerned, I get knived in the 3rd mission. Always.

I played Time Crisis 3 there and it wasn't much different than the smaller screen. Well the difficulty level was cranked up. And the price was 200 yen. And I only got 3 lives instead of 5. I am getting a better deal at the other arcade near my bus stop.

I wanted to play Virtua Cop 3. I must have been out of the loop because the copyright said it was 2003. Where have I been?!?! The graphics were way way cool, but still had the trademark Virtua Cop screen panning. I only watched the attract screens and one guy playing. I didn't feel like ponying up the 200 yen. One cool thing was the evade function which is activated by a foot pedal slows down the bullets ala Matrix style. Or is it Max Payne style? I don't know why but dodging slow bullets are cool. Hey it works in movies and gun games, maybe it could work in a shooter.

I'm just going to retreat to my bus stop's arcade. I get a better value playing the Time Crisis 3 there. I finally can get to Stage 2 without a continue.

Returning the xbox

You know the emotional dynamics of renting a video right? I saw it in a comic strip once.

  • When you check out a video, you want it real bad.
  • When you're watching it, you realize it's as good as watching the Sunday afternoon TV movies.
  • When you're returning it, you really really want to keep it.
  • And when it is finally out of your hands, you forget all about it.

That sums up my Xbox borrowing experience right there. You know I like the Xbox, well at least the games. Its just that I wasn't playing it for perhaps 80% of the time I had it. Let's see the last entry about it was about 2 month ago. Hm. Crazy Taxi 3.

Well the d00d who lent it to me wants to try out some new Xbox game with his friends online. I don't recall which game it is, but it's the trial version you get when you buy the Famitsu Xbox magazine.

I did copy the game saves to a memory card I bought. Dead or Alive 3 refused to be copied. Ugh. It had my 44 survival wins record on there. Now I have no record of it. Ah well, when I buy an Xbox will be the day that there will be a new Dead or Alive game.

Ikaruga emulation

Recently playing:
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 (WinPC-us, Same old maps, different node configs)
  • Missing Blue (PS2-jp, Non-linear play)
  • Time Crisis 3 (Arcade-jp, Almost a daily habit)
  • Wartran Troopers (Arcade-jp, Now if only I had a unit at home.)

I'm sure everyone out there who has access to a CD burner and/or the Internet has thought of ripping games. I had my share of ripping games from the rental video store. Now I buy all my games, although most of them used. So it was with a bit on nostagia that I tried some emulation software. This time my friend introduced me to a Dreamcast emulator.

(Aside: I thought about writing the name of the emulator but then that would endorsing it. If you want the emulator you can go do an Internet search yourself.)

Ikaruga emulator screenshot - Missing Bullets

He also gave me an Ikaruga rip. I could rip my own, since I luckily have a Broadband adapter (HIT-400) and 2 copies of the DC version, as well as the arcade version. So how does it play on a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz "Prescott" and Radeon 9600 XT? Actually pretty good 50 percent of the time. The other times it's slow and choppy. I never thought I would be using my Playstation controller for Ikaruga, heh. I bet in a couple of years this emulator will be robust, but for now it's just good for getting screenshots. Notice in the screen shot that there are no bullets showing.

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