GreenRanger added a blog entry in RevDrFunk's Either Way EastPokemon X ReviewGorgeous.
This is the main word to use when describing Pokemon X for me. The graphical style takes center stage in this sixth generation of Pokemon games, and there’s no lie there. It’s clear that Game Freak put their heart and soul into the look of this game, and it pays off. The style is colorful and smooth, designed to look good no matter what frame you’re in. It marks the perfect transition from 2D to 3D for the series, evolving the look but still leaving in enough visual cues to give the player a familiar experience. Despite the ability to move diagonal, the world is still based on tiles and simple architecture for the most part, and covers up the tilework to create nice changes in scenery. It’s one of the best looking games on the 3DS thanks to the well-chosen style.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the only real evolution in this generation, though. Okay, besides the obvious mega evolutions. While there are plenty of little tweaks to the formula, X and Y plays things rather safe, in fact. The story has gone back to simpler routes that fit right into the formula set in all previous generations but the 5th. No longer does the bad team control the plot and hound you at every turn. No longer do the gym leaders become plot relevant. In this story, it’s largely just you and your “friends.” These friends just didn’t strike me like the ones in Black and White did, and Team Flare didn’t bring out their characters like Team Plasma did for Cheren and Hugh. Maybe that’s just me. I think the best interaction between the player and Serena/Calum. I laughed out loud a few times at the end of rival battles because of the way Serena looked despondent and I looked just happy to be alive. There’s got to be some kind of UST there.
If it isn’t clear already, this game hasn’t torn White from its spot as my favorite game. My theory as to why it didn’t work is pretty simple. With Pokemon Black and White, they were creating a new generation on old hardware, and this forced them to innovate. They had to give the Pokemon personality through animations, pushing the 2D sprites to their limits, and they had to create something visually dynamic. They could do this because they now had a mastery over the DS technology, and thus made a game that soared on things the series hadn’t seen yet. X and Y simply focused on its visual style. Moving to 3D was a big deal, and X and Y plays on that very well, it just sacrificed a lot of the last generation’s awesome additions in the process.
I’m surprisingly not as bitter about the inclusion of older Pokemon as I thought I’d be. The new visuals and Mega Evolution mechanic help to make old Pokemon feel new. I personally stuck to new Pokemon aside from Venusaur and Scrafty, but it was cool to see some old favorites given new life. The Mega Evolution mechanic is pretty cool. Some look better than others, and it’s pretty fun to hit that button and watch the sparks fly. Considering they give you a generation one starter that will have this ability, there’s not a whole lot of room to play around with it during the main story, but it’s a fun option to have and explore.
Kalos as a region didn’t strike me as overly fantastic. Again, the strength here largely comes from the visual style, though there are plenty of fun twists on getting around. As nice and large as Kalos is, it does suffer from some pacing issues. Routes feel very, very short somehow, maybe due to the new perspective. Yet I remember it being four hours between my first and second badges. I felt like I’d traveled halfway across the world, and there was no plot going on to keep it interesting or tell me I was headed in the right direction. This was especially jarring when I found out the other gyms came and went super fast. Perhaps due to the nature of this generation’s EXP Share, my team leveled up incredibly fast. By the end of the game, my team had higher levels than some of my Pokemon from older games do after many hours of post-game content. Yet my opponents didn’t reach levels higher than they did in Red/Blue. Higher than most games yes, but still enough for me to wipe the floor with most enemies just with experience gained by searching routes for all the Pokemon in them and battling all the trainers I could find. Very little grinding involved. For the first time, I challenged gyms with no clear advantage…and I still came out victorious every time.
I didn’t have too many problems with the game, per se, just that certain parts of it weren’t that great. In Black and White there was an interesting plot driving you forward all the time and a world full of unfamiliar creatures. It felt like a real adventure. X and Y always felt like a safe world (even though in some ways it was the least safe world yet). Sure, it was a beautiful world, but not consummately.
Okay, spoiler time.
In all, Pokemon X was a good experience. I loved marveling at the world Game Freak built this time around, but I couldn’t shake that feeling that these visuals weren’t accompanied by equally compelling gameplay. The story was largely weaker this time, and the pacing was quite wobbly, especially when it came to leveling. The world felt a bit smaller than usual (again, perhaps thanks to perspective) and yet more leveling up happened in it. It felt incongruous. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed my time with the game, and I do appreciate features like Pokemon Amie (tedious though it seems) and Super Training (which still has a bit much science to it to be fully enjoyable and beneficial at the same time). The soundtrack here is also pretty good, though some of the more intense battle themes rely on too much ambience (though the Xerneas/Yveltal theme is very badass). If nothing else, Pokémon X gets me excited for what we will see in the future on the 3DS. This feels like just a taste of the raw potential of Pokémon on the system, and I'd love more.
Edit: I forgot to mention trainer customization. It's about damn time! I'm glad to see it in, but after playing Animal Crossing all summer I was very very underwhelmed by it. Yes, I can dress myself pretty much exactly like I do in real life (sans glasses), but I was kind of hoping for some really exciting costumes and combinations and whatnot. Also, why can't I take off my hat? The hatless model exists in the game for when you get your hair cut...so why cant I just take it off? This is another thing I'm looking forward to being expanded.
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GreenRanger added a blog entry in RevDrFunk's Either Way EastSome Girl's CouchI never fucking thought I would like this stupid Starfucker song so much.
It's raining in Ocean City, but dry as a kite back here. I'm here, and my parents are in Ocean City. It's just me and the hookers. And by that I mean my cats.
...Okay scratch that it is raining here. Thank you for proving me wrong, Poseidon!
It doesn't matter. No rain could rain on my parade today unless I drowned in it. It's one of those days. A day where I'm simply to happen to listen to Pinkerton even though I want to. Not just happy, but interesting, and y'all know how much I love me some good ol' fashion intrigue.
Today was my university's annual anime convention as put on by the anime club. Now, you know something is going to be awesome when you spend the night before making ball jokes due to trying to make a cosplay out of your character in Pokémon X, which you can almost do because they have converses in the game. So this morning I gathered my things, told my parents and sister to have fun at the ocean, and took off for school. Just going to school and not hitting traffic is enough to make a day pretty fantastic.
You know what else makes a day pretty fantastic? Getting like 50 streetpasses. After weeks and weeks of getting doubles in Puzzle Swap, adding a plethora of new pink pieces felt so good. It's the little things I swear.
The non-little things? Being with people I like. I got to spend time with a friend I really don't get to hang out with as often as I'd like, sometimes due to illness and sometimes due to...I wanna say ignorance, but I don't feel like that's fair. At any rate it was good seeing her. She's one of those people I can really be myself around, and to speak my mind in any way I want to is kind of refreshing. It's nice to know that who I am in the digital world is indeed actually apart of who I am in the real world.
So then I met up with another friend whom I know from Japanese class. I was really smart this year and brought a folder with drawings of two of my biggest characters (Saith and MageBoy) and commissioned drawings of them. Seeing my characters depicted in higher quality and in a style different from my own is really cool. So if I have two pictures of two characters that are both based on myself and I can't stop looking at them, does that make me vain? Probably. This picture of MageBoy is pretty sexy. So that was an experience in and of itself, and something I'm probably going to do plenty more of in the future.
Then I actually went to the aforementioned friend's apartment and chilled with her. This was me sitting on some girl's couch eating Chinese. ...and the whole audience going "MAKE A MOVE, YOU CODPIECE!" Oh, except it'd be really hard not to, so I plan on it. I mean, she gave me a Mix CD. That's some special shit right there. Heck, for a guy like me, sitting on a bench with someone is kinda special. Speaking of that bench, a girl that kinda has a crush on me came up and talked to me today too. I haven't seen her since like May because she's a stupendously busy person. I always feel kind of bad when I see her because she's quite attracted to me and I know it probably couldn't work out with her because I'm quite clingy and need to be spoken too more than once every few months. I root for her though, from the bottom of my heart. She's one of those people with a good heart and soul. I've never caught her complaining about anything despite the amount of stuff she does. I can't help but root for her...which I suppose is only fair since she's probably rooting for me.
So that was today, eh? A day of stories that intertwine, real and fantasy, and in a good way. You don't get days like this too often...but hey, maybe there's more on the horizon.
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GreenRanger added a blog entry in RevDrFunk's Either Way EastI'm Everyone But MeThis afternoon I looked in the mirror and saw a suave young man with stone jaw, dressed in a tweed suit jacket and a bowtie. Brunette. What I saw was this:
...Okay, I've lied a bit. I haven't actually looked in a mirror today.
But I have seen myself as played by Matt Smith, looking up University Drive, driving my car, and explaining something very important to a friend I haven't seen in a while. The theme song played in my head, and throughout the day, when I tried to picture myself from someone else's view, I pictured Matt Smith, not me. And I'd say over 70% of my speech today came out of my mouth in some European accent. That's something someone else noticed actually.
And this isn't the first time it's happened, oh no. Sometimes I look like this:
Or maybe this:
(Is my sig/ava starting to make more sense now? Well, my current ava's a whole different can of fish.)
Truth is, I hardly ever see me as me. When I do look in a mirror, or look at a recently-taken photo, I'm always a little bit surprised. Mind you, I have to actually look for a few seconds because even when I look in a mirror I'm picturing someone else. It's just weird. I always see myself as what I'm watching or playing at the time. Even when I'm interested in something for which I've made my own character, I'll always see myself as that character walking around...even if said character was drawn shoddily or done solely in an anime style. It's like I'm always in-character, but all those characters are me in a way. It's a little hard to describe.
In some ways, it's frightening. I can't seriously go around thinking I'm The Doctor or a pirate or a Jedi or whatever. I do have to be me...yet who "me" is at any given time is always affected by what I've been taking in. Maybe one of the reasons I'm so quiet is because the character I am that day doesn't have a place in the society I'm in on that day. Certainly none of the above characters (except possibly Mr. H) could sit in class silently for two or three hours, and even if they could I'm sure some shenanigans might go down in between. Then, at the end of the day, being them has been pointless. So why the heck do I do the in-character thing to begin with?
It's probably some sort of coping mechanism. If something bad happens, I think more about how the character I'm into at the time would react more than how I'd react. I think about what kind of conflict this would translate into in their world. Being caught in traffic would mean parting them comically as Saith, travelling in the TARDIS as the Doctor, and flying a speeder as Obi-Wan Kenobi. A test is a boss battle to me, and I always imagine how beat down I might be after one goes poorly. If someone's shunned me or ignored me in a day, well then that might make Saith dislike humanity even more and cause him to do something villainous in Bladetown, or it might make MageBoy walk a little further on his own.
This is actually how MageBoy is written, in a way. Many of the social events that occur between characters in MageBoy IV are based off of real life events and interactions that I had with real people. One conversation was done almost point for point from a conversation I had online once. The first MageBoy back in 2004 had a great amount of its drama from things that were actually going on at the time. Part of the magic of those stories is that they come from real-life modern day experiences, but they're cloaked in this fantasy story. Even back then, it was a way of dealing with my problems. If some girl hated me, it became a point in a story. If I liked someone, they became a character. MageBoy IV could easily be likened to a story about a boy battling his way through high school.
I'm starting to believe more firmly than ever that my lack of socialization and drama is what's stagnated my writing so horribly. Everyone knows lyricists and poets write better when they're sad or when bad things happened. There was certainly a lot to write about back in high school, and I did a lot more writing by comparison back then. Back then there were dragons to slay and maidens to swoon over. Since I've started college, there's not much of that. I go in, listen, and leave. Very few characters in my life are consistent anymore and I never seem to be able to spend enough time with them for their characters to develop at all. I've noticed I don't feel like I did before. I used to fall in love all the time and be a hopeless romantic...but now it's also logical and defensive after years of going unrequited or being rejected. It's rather boring. And the frustrating thing? I'm waiting on other people. I'm already to explore the depths of these fascinating creatures I've met, but they can never seem to find the time themselves.
If only they knew what "hanging out" actually meant to me...that every day is a potential adventure waiting to happen...that car rides are travels through hyperspace towards planets unknown and intense conversations become heated debates with a life-or-death battle on the horizon. If only they knew when to play along, I could take them right out of their world when they need it and bring them into mine. If only they knew I was the Doctor, they could just as easily be my companion...or in a twist of fate, some other Doctor. And then...maybe after all of that, they can look at me and tell me who or what they see. And their answers will tell me who I truly am...
...and there's the hopeless romantic in me talking.
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GreenRanger added a blog entry in RevDrFunk's Either Way EastRevDrZombieSo Im sat here listening to Fear, because for some reason this kind of punk rock is appealing to the least punk rock person on the planet. That's be me. There I was, a young man of 21, dressed in a shitty old white undershirt and pajama shorts with treefrogs on them. I'd spent most of my day playing Pokémon games and reading Scott Pilgrim. I did spend a fair amount of time planning what I was going to do with the rest of my ample hours of weekend...the count of which is now down to about two.
I spent a lot of time this weekend being kind of depressed and frustrated. Not because this was the first weekend that would last only two days, as my first full week of school starts tomorrow, but because I'd been left hanging by a friend yet again on something in which I was really interested. I'm trying to think of a way to nicely tell her to stop doing that because it really manages to bring me down somehow. Then again, every time I think about this, I realize that it's been something like two years and the friendship hasn't gone anywhere. No friendship seems to these days. It's not like in Persona, where every time you hang out with someone, some new event happens that deepens your relationship with them. And I'm sure not able to make more powerful Personas either.
But fuck it, I'm not here to wangst. I never am. If you really want to hear me wangst, you can PM me and I'll be happy to emo your face off with my petty issues. There's just a missing link somewhere in my life...something that's not letting me unleash the awesome that I know is inside me. I know it's there, man! It shows itself every so often, and impresses me and only me. But this is going to go back into wangst territory if I elaborate.
The issue is, that's what's on my mind right now, so if I don't talk about it, I really don't have much to say. I'm not thinking about anything really deep or profound except starting a stupid punk rock band called "Charlot Harlot." We would play songs like "Let the Men Wear Dresses," "I Just Wanna Make Money," "Gonna Shit My Pants," and "Edgy Ass Song," that are all really stupid sounding but are actually about profound or homely experiences. Also I would probably always go on stage in a cosplay of the girl in my avatar. I'm kind of upset no one wants to start a punk rock band with me because it'd be awesome. You can't say it wouldn't because it would...though chances are you wouldn't say anything either way.
So I've been gone from the blog scene for like two weeks...what's been up? I went back to school for one, and felt like shit the first week again, though I seem to be somewhat better now. I don't know what's up with that shit, so I'm not thinking about it either. School seems alright, other than it has me waking up early five days a week. My classes seem straightforward enough, and that's fine by me. Oh, except everyone in Japanese class is like way better than me now, so I need to get better. And yet here I am typing random shit in English, eh? And sadly this is like the best thing I've done all day.
As it's clear I have nothing profound to say, let's move on, shall we? We're like WAY behind on The Last Story, but the good news is that I had about six episodes of side story and a week off while I've been gone, so we're going to be going through my three most recent videos.
In Episode 29, we begin an infiltration of a Gurak base. Into the lion's den! And onward to blatantly blowing off stealth and subtlety! Punk rock!
And in Episode 30, our assault continues, and naturally, things go south. Way south...until Zael and Calista decide to show off some very plot-convenient powers of course...and yet I only notice the mundane utility of it all.
And finally, in the fresh Episode 31, we form an epic team with General Awesome and Sir Serious, and crash our way through the Gurak forces like the Fellowship on snake Saturday. Also, like comment and subscribe for the Green Day title?
Also...this entry pretty much exemplifies why blogs need to allow creativity, eh?
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GreenRanger added a blog entry in RevDrFunk's Either Way EastDigital: A Love StoryAnd just like that, I have some incredible to talk about.
It's 2AM, the once delightfully active internet has gone quiet, and, as this was the last time I was going to be staying up obscenely late due to the impending start of school, I was quite disappointed by it. Then in comes Lucahjin with another one of her spontaneous 2AM (or rather, 10PM) streams. Not really what I was looking for, but hey, it's background noise. The game she's streaming? Digital: A Love Story
Digital: A Love Story is a fascinating piece of literature. In it you've just received an Amie...that is, a computer. You're given a BBS number and bam, you're off to the wonderful world of the internet...circa 1988. The world you enter is really, really intriguing, and I think everyone on GDC would be absolutely enthralled by this interface. The game takes place on essentially ancient message boards, accessed by dial-up internet (sounds and all). As Lucahin, who's older than most of us, points out, the game is a very accurate representation of what the fledgling internet was like. It's an interactive modern history lesson, but it's fun.
Let me just say that I highly, HIGHLY recommend playing this game. It's absolutely free and you can run through it in about two hours. There's no "gameplay" to be afraid of or "Game Overs" to be had. If you're on GDC, the gameplay will hardly be lost on you, and the majority of the story is done in a very linear, obvious fashion. If you are a computer/tech/programming buff, you will love the living shit out of this thing. As forum users, who use the internet to find comfort and make friends throughout the world, however, you owe it to yourself to go through this game. Yes, it starts to get into fictional, kind of science-fiction-y stuff, but the gameplay never strays from those blue and white computer interfaces.
And the story is fantastic. The writing is realistic and nicely done, making us realize that some of our internet culture is older than we think, and even when you get into the thick of the story things keep up at a high quality. It has a pretty remarkable ability to hook you into something that can easily come across as very corny. Though it's completely grounded in things we could use to replicate the plot, it piques the imagination. Some bits will have you wondering if elements of the game are real or not, and even those who stanchly believe in the fiction will be forced to imagine the what-ifs the story provides. And it hits very close to home for people like us, who have formed friendships and romances across the internet. It's humbling to know that this is not a new phenomenon.
As a game, Digital is pretty damn good. Yeah, it's a visual novel so there's not a whole lot going on, but it keeps you entertained and fascinated and that's what counts. The music is pretty damn wonderful, and you get the whole soundtrack as part of the game's files so you can listen time and time again. And man, they're pretty evocative 8-bit tunes, including one that will haunt your dreams and another that will hit you with a wave of emotion. Plus it's nice that the game doesn't overstay its welcome, though an in-game clock would have been kind of cool to tell you how many days had gone by, since the plot of this game in real life would take at least several months rather than two hours. But hey, it makes those two hours well worth your time, believe me.
That's all I can say about the game without spoiling it. So now I'd like you to take some time out and play the game, and then I can discuss the plot. Go on...do it! Again, there's no reason not to really. Oh and don't spoil this for yourself.
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GreenRanger added a blog entry in RevDrFunk's Either Way EastFor Those Nights When You Wish You Had Something More Important To SayAnd then you capitalize all the letters in the title. Yeah, cool.
But seriously, my mind is so very fickle sometimes. I've had a few perfect ideas for meaningful blog entries today, and yet none of them came to fruition. It's like my mind hates good ideas. I don't know why, since I'm struggling to come up with them and do stuff with them. I've been really really stuck recently. I'm not sure when the last time I did something solidly creative. Like, Let's Plays are fine...but the last time I wrote a short story or even worked on MageBoy?
It's seriously frustrating. I know I have that whole "who's going to see it, so why do it?" thing going on, but it couldn't be THAT bad, could it? I just don't know why I can't get into something useful. It's like when I can go in and write something, I just end up watching YouTube reruns. Why? Why even? I know the sweet smell of successfully finishing something. It feels good. It's nice to add something to the repertoire even if no one's going to see it. And you get to go to bed knowing you did something today. So why don't I actively seek that out? This is something I truly cannot comprehend.
I'm frustrated right now...but I also love hearing PeanutButterGamer's voice. ...So I'm gonna go. But seriously tell me to write cool things please. Because school starts soon and you goddamn know it's going to make my brain say even more stupid things.
Oh and hey I have more The Last Story! Yaaaay?
In this episode...COCK JOKES. That is all.
And in this episode, we make it to the captain's...throne room? Why does a captain have a throne room? Probably so- Oh, that's a spoiler.
The first few minutes of this episode are amazing. I did well, which is good because I managed to spend eighteen minutes kind of just running around our boat...but you'd do the same thing if you just got a boat.
But wait...there's more! We have a special SATURDAY episode of The Last Story! And I get my ass handed to me! But do I hand it back? you decide!
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