Thursday, December 30, 2004 @ 04:55 (Japan Standard Time)

A hobbyist video gamer in the middle of Japan's gaming zone. Comments on console, PC, handheld and arcade games.
On this page

2004-12-30 Thu

The newbie rush (CM67 Day 2)

2004-12-29 Wed

in the snow, uphill both ways (CM67 Day 1 T+17Min)

Ah! Akihabara (CM67 Day 0)

2004-12-28 Tue

Start the winter vacation with red eyes

2004-12-26 Sun

You can count hexidecimal?

No more Kotaku?

Shmuppin' gleam in my eye.

2004-12-25 Sat

They have it!

2004-12-23 Thu

Trying to find a reason.

Step away from the TV.

PSP envy, finally

Step away from the joystick.

Ever love those replays?

Get your fix later.

2004-12-21 Tue

Judge a book by its cover.

Forgetful in my old age.

Picture time

2004-12-20 Mon

None at all.

2004-12-19 Sun

The new phonebooks are here!

2004-12-17 Fri

Shmupping against the storm

2004-12-16 Thu

Still playing Mushihime-sama

2004-12-14 Tue

Pics of my backyard

2004-12-13 Mon

Passing the time

Making it a habit.

Outline of things to talk about

2004-12-11 Sat

System launches are to be ignored.

2004-12-10 Fri

Linkies for the bishojo in you.

Time to return to shmups?

2004-12-09 Thu

Comic market make me go

The game machine I never suspected.

2004-12-03 Fri

A rolling sticky of over-technology

  November 2004  
  December 2004  
  January 2005  

Newest entries
<< Previous month | Next month >>
Back to archive top

The newbie rush (CM67 Day 2)

I just realized I could be at Comic Market at 6:00 in the morning, if I leave (now left) my hotel at 5:15. No boast-y updates in the time span I got. I could bore you to death with the anime and manga I got on the first day and the other audio CDs and DVD deals I unearthed in Akihabara, but like I said I'm pressed for time. Let me just say the overriding theme was Rozen Maiden and telephone cards. Hahaha.

There is one thing I want to share with you, and that's the Shikigami no Shiro II soundtrack arcade Naomi version. I got a "special" plastic bag to go with it too. It was 500 yen selling at the kigyou (commercial) booths.

Shikigami no Shiro II soundtrack arcade Naomi version

And then I almost forgot the reason I went the first day. High on my gaming list was going to the doujin group Kaiten Mokugyou, who seems like a one person operation. Ms. "Riddle" has released another Ikaruga-themed soundtrack, but it's only two songs. I guess it's hard to beat a 3 (2?) year old dead horse and find inspiration. She recognized me as the tsuuhan (mail-order) guy and she said bring your friends. I mumbled some excuse about having only like-minded friends on message boards like Ha ha. I bought 3 @ 200 yen each. I should have bought more, though. I thanked her again for making the soundtrack and received a thankful bow before turning my attention to the next target.

Ack! I thought I took a picture of the soundtrack CD but my camera wasn't working. I'll do it later! (Edit 2005/01/01 14:15: Okay I gots the picture now. Good things always come in threes, heh heh heh.)

Ikaruga Arrange 2 by Kaiten Mokugyo - Ridell

At least this doujin group was stuck with the other shmup themed stuff. There was another young lady who makes stories related to shmups. She was calling attention to the passerbys with "Kono sakuhin wa shooting no koto desu!" (This stuff is about shooting!) in a dramatic, almost overly James T. Kirk voice mannerism. Well duh, I bought stuff from you last CM and I haven't read it yet. Oh well. I saw the Cave fan stuff but it was story stuff (no pictures) and who plays these games for the story?

in the snow, uphill both ways (CM67 Day 1 T+17Min)

Normally I would only clean up the editing mistakes on my Clie-created entries and post them here, but I was shivering cold and wet trying to write this. Picture me holding the umbrella and Clie in my left hand while trying to write something with my numb right hand, while my right shoulder is desperately trying to hold onto the empty shoulder bag. Yes the fanboi does great efforts! Oh yeah, this is about standing in line for Comic Market 67. Yes it starts at 1000 but the line is long. Really long. Usually I have half a morning to sit and vegitate, but this time it was raining and snowing the whole day!

Make a to do list and a list of useless facts.

Maybe useless for those who grew up knowing winter, but I grew up in always sunny San Diego, so I have to remind myself that its colder than t-shirt weather.

Wear clothes in layers. Yes you may be out in the freezing rain for hours in the early morning, then be active for an hour inside with ten thousand other people. If its raining, try to stay in the middle (usually the line is six people wide). It's counter-intuitive, but the other people block out the wind. Of course they could also douse you with rain spill. Right now I am writing this on my clie and everything is getting wet. Remember your health is everything.

Its 160 yen from Akihabara to Shin - Kiba but 260 yen for the last leg.

Boy was I lucky I was wearing those leg thermals and 4 layers of clothes. I wouldn't want to spend my CM just shivering. I did feel apprehensive about waiting in the line for the commercial booths, and those lines tossed you back into the thick of snow. Ugh, dreary snowy Tokyo. It's white on dirty gray.

(Edited 2005/01/01 12:40)

Ah! Akihabara (CM67 Day 0)

I ditched work with the quickness. I took a 3 hour ride from Shin-Kobe to Tokyo by shinkansen "bullet train". Ah Tokyo.

I proceeded to Shinbashi to get some telephone cards of Rozen Maiden from the station office. I embarassed myself by going to the wrong store and asking for telephone cards. The ladies behind the desk were just about to jump to English mode but I held them off with my anime talking. It's not gaming, but well you know, I'm an anime fan.

Then I checked into my hotel which just a stone's throw away from Akihabara. I checked for other suitable hotels but this one has good location and access to trains. It also has LAN connection but I had to take a smoking room. I hate smoking and cigarette smoke. But I don't smell it.

Okay! So let's get to the buying shall we?

First I checked the Trader that's closest to the station. Trader is interesting because they do some import games and even some used import games. I saw Robotech (the first one) for the GC with a special pack-in DVD of the anime. I actually have the anime on DVD, so I was debating whether to buy it at 5000 yen. I left it.

Then I went to Akibang, famous for selling the Ikaruga Appreciate DVD. They still have it in stock, now with the mind-boggling comment: "Great for young kids!" Hm. Maybe I'm mis-remembering. In any case, there was a new doujin shmup there so I bought it. (picture, left)

A newer shmup.

Getting to Mess Sanoh Chaos was inevitable. I was going there. I spent probably 40 minutes debating whether I really wanted to buy Unreal Championship and Legend of Zelda. In the end, I succumbed. Actually I saw the Korean version of Rumble Roses (ooh) and another Robotech game, Robotech: Invasion based on the "3rd generation" or as Japanese anime fans would recognize as Mospeada. Cool! But it was NTSC only and not the magic NTSC-J. Gah, I gotta wait. Colin McRae 2005 (?) was looking pretty rippin'. Jeez I can see the good Xbox games once I take my blinders (and biases) off.

Making the Xbox relevant

I took a longer look around in other shops like Tora no ana for the doujin software. But nothing really caught my eye, except Zun arrange music. The music packages are getting more elaborate every time:

Front side

Yes, the bottom is the case of one Zun arrange album. The above 3 are regular CD cases. Here's the inside:


Sweet, huh? Well I didn't bring a CD player so I can't listen to my spoils just yet. Oh well, aren't they all the same? Blood-pumping remixes of the same Zun shmup music. I swear these remixes don't add anything to the Zun phenomenon, they're just exploiting a cash cow.

After 9 PM, I visited Hirose Entertainment Yard (HEY), and while there was no Ibara to look at (darn), there were plenty of shmup gods around to just watch and stare. It looks like HEY added a couple of new games. Mushihime-sama is getting the top demo spot. But there's a new screen right next to the counter that shows the current player. Very nice. I also saw some Ikaruga playing by this girl or boy with long hair. He/she/it kept shaking her/his head in frustration. Come on, I can only dream of playing like that, so stop shaking your head! The room was dark because there was a new light-gun shooter called Ghost Squad. Interesting because it's not just the same weapon throughout the whole game but there are wierd side missions, like blocking knife fighting and disabling land mines. The gun controller seems to have two triggers. And that guy who I was talking about Wartran Troopers was here doing his magic as well. Magic, heh. This guy is a gaming genius. I want to call him Max Sterling, because he wears corrective lenses.

I really should be double checking my schedule but heck I already printed the list of places I want to go to. Perhaps I'll do this manually while waiting in line.

Start the winter vacation with red eyes

For better or worse I'm pulling an all nighter preparing for Comic Market 67. Well, actually it's not a big affair to prepare, it's just that I've been bombarded with massive amounts of procrastination radiation. I'll need a level 1 diagnostic just to figure out my optimal path around CM. In case you haven't noticed, there's too much interference coming from Star Trek: Voyager. I've just watched 5 episodes, including "The Year of Hell, parts 1 and 2". What a bunch of fluff, though I like it anyway. I can't wait to watch the next one. I'm rotating my schedule to compensate for the elevated interest. In any case, I'm disengaging the Trek speech subroutine and re-routing primary energies to packing. And not a moment too soon, I think I may have ruptured an EPS power relay and triggered a cascade Comic-book guy core breach.

Groan. ^_^;

Okay, so I've explored the offerings in the Comic Market CD-ROM catalog. This helps my searching really good. But frankly there's just a handful of groups I want to see. I blame this on my lack of preparation, which includes not documenting what I actually bought last CM and the one before that. This doesn't bode well. I will be experiencing the final "test" at CM, meaning I may fail and start buying stuff that I already have. Well I still have 3 hours to prep, maybe.

You will hear from me soon, perhaps in 3 days. Until then, keep safe, season's greetz to all y'all, and don't let anyone develop Trek potty mouth.

"Let's see what's out there." "Engage."

You can count hexidecimal?

Aba games has a new one: 0xEDB0. You are number blasting other number. Java Applet game. I give it a miss.

No more Kotaku?

Back when I first started to get into RSS feeds and BlogLines, I added Kotaku to my BlogLines because they posted lots of stuff. Then I got into Joystiq, which seemed to be the same thing. In fact, both of them seemed to be covering pretty much the same area of mainstream gaming. Joystiq wins in my mind, though, with photos inside the RSS feed.

But it seems that Kotaku is down now. Why? Was it because I was trying to access the article "The Guy Game is child pornography?" (17 year old initially featured in it for baring her breasts gets religion or something) or "Man spends more than half of life playing same game" which is an article about a person's shmuppity obsession with Galaga. You know, that 20 year old game. I really want to know about that Galaga dude. I might have to become him if I want to set goals for Ikaruga.

Ah well, Kotaku we missed you. Not really. I despised their use of "otaku" in their name because personally I hate it when Japanese people call me that.

Shmuppin' gleam in my eye.

Cave Cave Cave, will I ever love a shooter from you guys? I like Mushihime-sama enough to play it once a day, maybe they are getting to me.

It seems that Cave is play-testing their new shmup game, Ibara, at Hirose Entertainment Yard (Thanks as always to Insert Credit, they just get more alternative every time I go there). I always stop by here and pass the time for a couple of hours before prepping for the next day at Comic Market.

They have it!

Burnout 3 for Xbox-Asia @ Messe Sanoh Chaos. Woot. English english. I know what I'm going to get when I get to Akihabara.

Other than that, my list is looking like this at Messe Sanoh Chaos:

  • Robotech: Battlecry (GC-us, 2800 yen, freeloader OK)
  • Battle Engine Aquila (Xbox-Asia, 3980 yen)
  • Gekido (GBA-eu, 3900 yen)
  • Unreal Championship (Xbox-Asia 1980 yen)
  • Legend of Zelda: Collectors Edition (GC-us 4800 yen, freeloader OK)

I'm not sure I want to get all the games, but I singled out the ones at the shop that I want.

Robotech is here because I grew up on it. I actually have most of the novels, too. Ah the memories of begging for money to buy these books. I'm trying to track down #19 Zentraedi Rebellion, #20 The Masters Gambit, and #21 Before the Invid Storm. It looks like their easy to find around the resell sites like Alibris (not an endorsement, but just for my convenience). Actually I am reading the online rip of the novels on my Clie and it's brought back memories. You can get your hands on it too, maybe. Well actually, the novelization isn't so great, and of course, Robotech is an epic story full of plot holes, but I like it anyway. It's like a first love. Once a fanboi always a fanboi.

Halo on the Xbox turned me on to FPS on the console. I'm going to give Battle Engine Aquila a try. I like mecha, somewhat. No, I'm not a Gundam fan.

I also like side scrolling fighters. I grew up on Final Fight, which prepared me for my Street Fighter II habit. Gekido seems to be a game in the same genre, not too good, but not too bad. What the hell, let's give it a try. Besides, I've got some more of the hard-to-find side scroll fighters on the GBA.

Other than that, I guess I'll get that close out on the Unreal Championship because I'm a UT fan and Legend of Zelda for the GC. I bought the Adventure of Link Japanese version and it didn't feel the same as how I remembered it. Maybe the polished it up for the U.S. release?

Yeah, import gaming rocks! Hahahaaha. And yes, this is how to prepare to go to Akihabara.

Trying to find a reason.

I mentioned in passing, I am planning to go to the Comic Market 67. I'm not feeling as motivated as of yet. I can deal with the crowds, but I need a true reason to go. Like limited edition goods, or A Little Snow Fairy Sugar memorabilia (which way unlikely), or more shmups.

At least Zun has something new out, a soundtrack: Yumetagae Kagaku Seiki (ȊwI)@"Changeability of Strange Dream" OMG, Zun actually has furigana for one of his titles?!? What is the world coming to?! There are 3 original songs (yeah!) and the rest are from his other recent works. Except for track 10, which is from Shuusou-gyoku (H), the collaboration with the former Amusement Makers group now calling themselves "Shunsatsu saredou" (uET). Do I tire of the Zun music? A little bit, but his music always gets the blood pumping.

And then Zun's collaboration with that Tasogare group finally seems to be yielding fruit: Touhou Suimusou (–z) "Immaterial and Missing Power" looks like it's reaching 1.0 status. I like the pictures of the characters. Very cute.

Maybe this time I will be able to get that Sister Princess Gauntlet. Heh heh heh.

Actually I'm more into going for the possible anime memorabilia. I've been getting into Rozen Maiden, and I'm becoming a Yuiko Tokumi (ČBq) fanboy. She created Binzume Yousei "Bottle Fairy" (rld) and O-Tasuke Tama-chan, the later-era mascot of that Magical Cute Premium magazine. Yup, hit the anime/manga spots in Akihabara, hopefully there will be some close out bargains, yeah that's how I'll pass the time.

Oh yeah, I still wanna get Burnout 3. But for the Xbox, Asia version. Hm, this is going to be hard. Maybe Messe Sanoh "Chaos" will have it in stock. I doubt it, though.

Are these enough reasons? Not yet. I did reserve the hotel. Now all I have to do is get some shinkansen tickets and I'm set.

Step away from the TV.

I totally forgot to post this. I purchased the X2VGA Xbox up-scan converter a couple of weeks back. Great visuals. Unfortunately it has some limitations with 480i but I give it A for effort because it has the EasyView feature. Now all my games have the jaggies and there's no going back, pardner.

How many up-scan converters do I got? 2, Xbox and PS2-jp. For the Gamecube, I have that true VGA out cable, and of course for the Dreamcast, I've got two. A PC gamer just loving the monitor long time.

PSP envy, finally

This is about the only game on the PSP coming around now that I want: WipeOut Pure. Why is it called pure? Ever since Wipeout for the PS2 didn't reach the shores of Japan, I've forgotten about this racer. Here's to hoping it will come around.

Step away from the joystick.

This was in the news a couple of days ago. "Step Away from the Joystick" Why can't the inmates get some shmup games? Or give them some Katamari Damashi. Non-violence is good!

Ever love those replays?

I am probably the only subscriber to the Internet Archive: Game Replays. This time I got the notice that inZaNe or however you capitalize it posted Unreal Tournament videos. Crazy clan videos. I quickly put my reviews up. This is cool, all the fun I had playing UT back in the day (2000-2002 era?) is distilled here.

Get your fix later.

Yesterday I had to go back work at night, so I thought I would miss an opportunity to play Mushihime-sama. But as luck would have it, I wasn't needed at that moment so I returned home. On the way I stopped by the arcade for a few rounds. But the shop was closing! Something about the emperor's holiday tomorrow. I felt pretty bad being rejected by the arcade operator, ha ha. "Bring your sorry ass around again when we can accomodate you."

Judge a book by its cover.

I looked at the covers of the Comic Market 67 CD-ROM and paper edition. They're not the same! I told my friend they were. I was lying!

Forgetful in my old age.

Oh my gosh! I forgot to put the picture of my Battle Garegga Insanity Video on here. Oh well, maybe next time I have a camera.

Oh yeah, and that pro-wrestling was totally tasteful. Japan and their quirky culture. At least Beautiful Jo (notice there was no "e") was there to hand me personally a special edition demo of Viewtiful Joe 2. I told my Japanese teacher over and over that this may wipe the memory of any memory card inserted or not even inserted. She laughed at my efforts at being the otaku. Go back to whence you came from, bei-jin otaku yarou, omae.

And if you're wondering about the Insanity Video, there's going to be another one this coming January. Raiden Fighters, anyone?

Picture time

Recently playing:
  • Halo 2 (PS2-jp, Ever see two-fisted fish action?)
  • Bejeweled 2 (PalmOS, This elevator stops at 4.)
  • Mushihime-sama (Arcade, Let's not play before a maniac player.)

Okay, here's a picture of my shmuppity shmups from this month and last. I mentioned Psyvariar 2, Kidou yousei Valstar, the Sengoku Ace and Blade, Chaos Field. And while I am at it, I have that unopened Gradius V soundtrack sitting pretty. The Sengoku Ace and Blade came with that paper holder in the center, ooh yeah.

Shmups from the 2004/12

Also Halo 2 with some kanji that says "Last Battle 2" (ŌQ), if you read it the Japanese-way. (Ugh, was I going to compare it in name to Last Bronx?! No!!!!) But it's Chinese so it probably is phonetically "Halo 2". That would seriously rock! Wait a minute, I cut off Master Chief's head. Well he'd be perfectly find in those gal-get games where you can't the eyes of the guys.

None at all.

I gots the Chaos Field but there was no omake. Hm. Oh well.

The new phonebooks are here!

Never for me to consider a silver-haired comedian that is actually funny.

But I spent a good deal of time waiting for the postman to come over to my place and deliver my asian version of Halo 2. I snatched that package from the guys hands, ripped off the cardboard and plastic, threw away that Simpsons Hit and Run, and proceeded with the carnage.

How does it feel to play Half-Life 2 first before Halo 2? In a way, HL2 makes this year's other games like runner-ups in the freshness catagory. Halo 2 has movable crates, woopie do. Still Halo 2 feels very frantic and very fun. This time I'm playing on "Advanced", and it feels plenty fine.

Before that, lets catch up on gaming. Actually I pulled an all-nighter Friday night at work, and I didn't feel very good at all. That means I missed out on Mushihime-sama. Here in Kobe the Luminarie is lively and I struggled my way home past the bustling people. I saw the Chaos Field in low quantities at Kobe but I am going to Nipponbashi anyway, so I'm going to buy it Sofmap Zaurus.

I saw on the net that Astraware is selling games at a discount, and lucky for me they had Majjong for USD 5.00. Does it feel funny pulling out the credit card at work? You bettcha!

Today I'm going to see some pro-wrestling. Not real pros. But people in costumes and face mask. You know if it was more like Rumble Roses it would "Great!" (DoA announcer voice.)

Shmupping against the storm

I really shouldn't be playing games since work is so busy. Hehehe. But I'm still getting off of work at 9:30 PM and I am able  to get some Mushihime-sama in. One credit a day is a good habit, no? I still can't figure out what the excellent combo system is. Is it just the the shot/hold button? In any case, yesterday I beat my fluke first time score, for the first time. I choked though. Now approaching 3 mil, maybe.

Chaos Field, the arcade shmup port to the DC (is this the last non-gal get DC game?) should already be in shops now, I'm going to Nipponbashi to retrieve it. Hopefully there's some omake or something. I really don't expect it, though, but it's enough for me to leave Kobe to just check.

In any case, because of that Osaka retro-gaming post with pictures, I have another shop I wanna visit. Seems like there are some games for cheep. Radiant Silvergun "mint" for 3000 yen. Heh.

On my early to leave Wednesday, I bought doujin shmup, Kidou yousei Valstar. Well, fairies again, metallic fairies in side scrolling, Border Down-like action. The foreground doesn't look so great, but it looks promising.

Still playing Mushihime-sama

Although I still haven't got the hang of the slow button. The third time I played the game, I got almost 3 mil or end of stage 3. Why can't I get close to that again? Is it because I don't know how to use the bomb? Or my bullet weaving is not so great. I only had one memorable input error, but there are plenty of times when I'm waggling the joystick in a panic. Still my beating heart and quivering hand, as it were. 3 days in a row I can probably play till the end of the week. I'm trying my best to document my own progress and work. I'm also trying not to feel frustrated with the bullets.

Pics of my backyard

Finally, pics of my backyard, Nipponbashi.

Somebody did a write up on the retro-ness of Osaka's Denden town. Personally I like to call it Nipponbashi. In any case, the focus was on retro gaming and how there is a better selection of retro gaming than Akihabara.

Then there were forum posts by some Osaka regulars. Shoot I would like to join the group if only to furthur my knowledge of the Osaka.

Passing the time

I am playing the Bejeweled 2 action game for a change of pace. I think I figured out how to make the high scores. Don't level up, basically stay at level 3 forever, because the speed at that stage is perfect. Maybe just for me. I did better by letting the timer run down half way and then building up again that just going all out. This must be the system.

Making it a habit.

Recently playing:
  • Bejeweled 2 (PalmOS, I can't stand it any more... But let's just keep plugging away at Endless)
  • The Simpson Hit and Run (XBox-jp, I no longer cringe when I hit people.)
  • Mushihime-sama (Arcade, 2P side is where I play)

Sexy Shrine Maidens from Sengoku BladeI stopped by my bus stop arcade center today to play another round of Mushihime-sama. I was expecting the sexy character graphics that we all have seen on the web in lieu of the real game screen shots, but when actually playing the game we don't get the blatant sexiness. At least, not at the earlier stages, and surely not like Sengoku Blade. (Miko miko shrine maidens are hot especially when they can fly horizontally and throw bullets but that's for another post.)

So, I've only played the game 3 times but I got almost to the end of the third boss. Of course I'm playing normal because I'm a crusty old wannabe shmupmeister. But it's fun to play. I get the same feeling as I do when I play Espgaluda. It seems a little like Gradius with the "Trace" or "Formation" wingmen. And get this, the bullets are in a lovely purple color this time! Well, Cave Purple (TM). Maybe I'm not playing right but I haven't seen any other colors of death. Is there some hidden game technique like Ikaruga or Espgaluda (when am I going to spell this game's name right?)? In any case, I seem to have found an addictive arcade game to play for now.

I figured out a habit that will make me play it on the way home. First, play Mushihime-sama. When I die, because I know I will, I will not get depressed. I will pat myself on the back for wasting 100 yen on 2-3 minutes of play. Then I will saunter over to the Time Crisis 3 and play for 15 minutes, which makes me feel like a winner. Yey me.

Maybe when I go to Comic Market end of December I can check out the real players and get a feel for the greatness that is Mushihime-sama.

Outline of things to talk about

This is a reflection of how much time I have in the morning commute to comment on my Palm:

Restarting Simpsons and pictures of the latest shmups?

I restarted Simpsons and it's a blast.

I bought Sengoku Ace/Blade and the typical Sofmap add-in was the paper sleeve.

Picture of Battle Garggera.

Playing Mushihime-sama.

Actually, not really, I have more time, but I was playing Bejeweled 2!

System launches are to be ignored.

Recently playing:
  • Bejeweled 2 (PalmOS, Follow the disappearing gems)
Now stacking:
  • Psikyo Collection 2: Sengoku Ace and Sengoku Blade (PS2-jp, Another sequel that ruins the original: Tate to yoko.)
Let's see, this is the eve of the PSP launch and I could see that everyone was talking about it in the stores. Some stores in Nipponbashi had posters proclaiming sales starting at 6:00 AM. I wouldn't want to be in Akihabara on Sunday morning, it will probably be a brawl down there.

Linkies for the bishojo in you.

Looks like Grumpy Gamer figured out the meaning of "stacked games" or "tsumigame". But he calls it rebelling against "the man" because he thinks he fell for the hype machine. Didn't we all?

"Stacked" is defined in this Wikipedia article, Bishojo game. (Thanks Insert Credit, we'll be expecting more bishojo game reviewing from you from now on.) This topic is really dear to my heart, as you can tell from the flavor of my gaming log.

I'm trying to clear my tabs of open Mozilla and Sleipnir windows for your linking pleasure. Forgive me if this seems old or outdated to you.

Here's something else: The spanish localization of Halo 2. This reminds me that the first thing I did when playing Jak 2 was switching back to English from the Japanese. I actually prefer the English acting, and I'm not some subtitled-or-die anime freak, yo.

I don't remember how I heard it, but I bit-torrent downloaded the Half-Life 2 Done Quick movie and I am impressed at the speed. I'm even more impressed at the way Alex moves around. (The joke, gentle reader, is that Alex seems to lack walk animation in the movie.) I watched the movie up to the point where I last saved my game, which seems to be at 1:24 in this 3 hour movie. How about the Doom 2 Done Quick movie. That is some skills demo. I love these things!

How 'bout a thinking article from about (general) stimulation in gaming? "Getting a Rise out of Yerkes-Dodson" Personally I like the higher-level arousal levels, especially in those collector games.

Is JFK Reloaded a game? Personally I don't find shooting people in realistic simulation very enjoyable. But Water Cooler Games digs for more meat in their article, "My first thoughts on JFK Reloaded".

Lately I've been reading people who critique game reviews. Here's one I found that chooses to revise the accepted scoring system, called "Owen's Six Questions" (thanks to Kotaku). The gist of the article is to forgo the graphics, gameplay, sound catagories, the score scales from 1 to 10, and start reviewing with these questions in mind:

  • FUNDAMENTALS (answers x3)
    • Would I play this game?
    • Would I buy this game?
  • VALUE ADDED: (answers x1)
    • Would I stop playing another game to start playing this game?
    • Would I play this game after completing it?
  • WILD CARDS (yes and no only)
    • Would I buy a console just to play this game?
    • Would I sell this game?

I should start scoring the games I play, with this rating system. Even someone like me, hobbyist gamer, can answer these questions. But then again, I buy all my games (duh) so I'm not sure I could do well on the fundamentals, because I obviously would like to play an arbitrary game, so I buy it.

Well that's about it from the open browser windows. Reading the blogs is sometimes a chore. Too much good stuff to read.

Time to return to shmups?

Recently playing:
  • Bejeweled 2 (PalmOS, Endless mode barely keeps me interested.)
Now stacking:
  • Psyvariar 2 (PS2-jp, Fuzzier graphics that the Xbox)

What can I say. I bought the Psyvariar 2 for the PS2. You PS2 owners (as if I'm not one) get all the good stuff. This game comes with a special DVD with insane replays, a remix of the in-game tunes, and concept art. Ah, the graphics on the DVD are piss-poor, though, just like the Ikaruga Appreciate DVD. This time I didn't buy two of the same game, heh.

Oh and that Battle Garegga DVD is finally coming around to my apartment, COD (cash on delivery). I love ordering stuff and forgetting about it. Now I have to make a date with the delivery guy, and I hate reserving the whole weekend morning for him.

There was another game on my to-buy list, that Psikyo Shooting Collection Vol. 2: Sengoku Ace + Sengoku Blade (PS2-jp) but I didn't see it on the shelves. It's already been a week. At least this port to the PS2 allows you to save to your memory card. That last Strikers Collection for the PS2 didn't, which was the deal-breaker for me.

Does this mean I'm getting back into shmups? No, I'm going for another round of Bejeweled 2. Stylus gaming is too cool, or didn't you notice the Nintendo DS release?

Comic market make me go

I really don't feel like going to Comic Market this time.

There I said it. I'll leave the explaning later.

The game machine I never suspected.

Recently playing:
Now stacking:

So far I am done with Katamari Damashi. It's getting really cold in my apartment, so I don't feel like sitting in front of the TV. Actually, I've been thinking of programming my Palm/Clie device. Palm the company, I don't know what their name is anymore, finally offers a free compiler/IDE environment using that Eclipse tool. I also tried out the Clie Emulator and I have a way to debugging. Now that everything is point and click install, I can try out creating that hack/system tool I've always wanted.

But I got sidetracked at looking at the state of Palm games. Reading that PalmAddicts site led me to Bejeweled 2 the flash game. The game play looked and played addictive. It's much more interesting to do instead of trying to type on the bus, so I bought the Palm version. I bought it on the first day it came out (2004/12/06), a real rarity for me and Palm software.

Hm. fun. I'm not very fast at recognizing the patterns, though. I first started on classic to acquaint myself on the game play and I can still only get to level 5. Then I started the puzzle game. Some puzzles are two simplistic and others are just too hard. It reminds me of that Columns GB Tezuka Osamu Characters (GBC-jp, pics here) that I had a hard time solving. Then I went on to the time attack mode and I felt my slowness. Finally I ran the endless mode and since the computer gives you the gems you need, this game is really endless. I am almost bored to tears because this mode is riskless.

Actually on the gaming scale, this is not the best game, nor the best puzzle game I've ever played. Yes, I try not to believe the hype of the PalmAddicts. The game play feels similar to Columns and Same Game, but the graphics are better. Unfortunately for me I don't have sound output so I have to rely on the visuals alone.

Well this has only fanned the flames on my Palm gaming habit. I am now looking at the solitare card games and mahjongg games. Actually for the last week I've been playing FreeJongg (PalmOS) which is actually pretty good, but I want to get that Gamebox Asia (PalmOS) which allows you to customize the tile layout and offers three new games. I tried a demo of a card game, GameBox Solitaire (PalmOS), the same company, and though it's for the Palm, it has options for antialiasing, shadows, card animation and rotation. This makes Klondike (sol.exe for you windows users out there) much more polished and "exciting". At least eye-candy terrific. The only problem with these games is that the pictures are too small.

I want sound and more memory (when was the last time you worried about having 2MB of RAM free on your gaming device?) so maybe I should look into getting the Sony Clie TJ-37. They don't sell those U.S. Palms here so I have to be the Sony fanboi. Their products don't suck, as I've been using this TJ-25 for over a year now. But I don't want to get rid of this Palm. I'm attached to "flaming flamenco pink".

I really didn't want to turn my Palm into a game machine though.

A rolling sticky of over-technology

Recently playing:
  • Katamari Damashi (PS2-jp, Over-zealous to the point of black hole creation)

Katamari Damashi is occupying my time these days. I was playing Half-Life 2 when I just had to play it. It was probably the Tim article that broke the camel's back, but there were similiar stories before that. I haven't bothered to get back to Half-Life 2 ever since.

And what a roll it has been. I grew addicted to the simple graphics and action. The first time I put in the disc, I played for 3 or 4 hours. Hm, this game is sure onto something. The control scheme is still something I'm not totally used to, as I'm sure I haven't played a two stick tank-control like game since, well Battlezone. I think I breezed to the real ending on the third day, and I wanted more. Moreover, I wondered where the cartharsis at the end what Tim was alluding to. I felt the over-encompassing void at the end stage, but it just wasn't defeating. I hit the quit sequence, got my reward and turned off the machine.

But that wasn't enough for me. I looked for more information on the net, GameFaqs as always, had more info. Then I realized KD was a collection game with a lot of interesting statistics. There were rewards for speed. I turned the PS2 back on and I've been trying to collect and speed my way through ever since. I believe that I haven't felt enamoured to play a game like this since Jak 2 or Pikmin 2. I think the point here is that I must really like these games that turn into collection games but start out as something different.

I feel assured that Namco is making another KD, perhaps a sequel. They really do have a winner of game play here.

Recent entries
Previous month (200411) | Next month (200501)
Back to archive top