Gotta Hunt them all!

So it’s been a while since I posted on the blog, and by that I mean it’s been about 6 months or so. To be honest, I have written a few articles during my long absence, but I never really posted them, mostly due to me thinking my work is not up to par. Regardless, it’s a habit that I’ll be getting past, and the best way to do that would be to obviously spend more time posting.

Another thing I will admit is that part of my silence can be attributed to me spending hours upon hours playing Pokémon White 2. To talk briefly about it and share my thoughts, I found the game to be fairly entertaining. The story has greatly improved from the previous games of the series, and as a writer, part of the reason I play games is for the story. More importantly though, the main reason I enjoy Pokémon is because I get to raise a team of Pokémon and play competitively with other people. If not on the Nintendo DS, but on programs such as Pokémon Online and Pokémon showdown, both Pokémon battle simulators, which one is a downloadable program and the other is a website, respectively.

So from one monster series to another, I bring up my current addiction: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the 3DS. For those unfamiliar with the series, Monster hunter is a series of games, where you play as a hunter who hunts large monsters, and then carves up said monsters for resources, which are used for armor and weapons. However, similar to Vindictus, to fight certain monsters you have to take on quests. In some cases you’ll be fighting more than one monster at a time. Or possibly take on a really large monster which is similar to a raid boss. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (to save time i’ll simply say MH3U) came out last week. Since then, I have played for a good enough amount of time to offer my thoughts of the game.

Continue reading “Gotta Hunt them all!”

Gotta Hunt them all!

Euro Truck Simulator 2. Yes, really.

euro_brucks

It’s been out for a while. But I didn’t notice this game until it popped up on the Steam store front. Euro Truck Simulator 2? I almost rudely scoffed at it, but then I also realized, “Hang on. This is a sequel.” I was dumbfounded. I was curious enough to seek out the demo and try it out. It ain’t so bad. It’s surprisingly solid as a simulator. Come on, how often do you get to manage a fleet of trucks? (To answer that question directly, people have been able to do so since the first game, released in 2008.) I know that trucks are the lifeblood of the USA, if not for others as well. If it weren’t for these vehicles, we wouldn’t have be able to distribute the massive amounts of products that are purchased everyday. Such logistics allow for the amount of infrastructure that current society operates at.

Admittedly, most of the gameplay is driving these multi-ton vehicles. Which is nowhere near having the same type of action a racing game does. That is decidedly a handicap in the current casual and mainstream gamer market. It’s not helping that the preferred input controller is a driver wheel with a clutch and pedals. On the opposite end, enthusiasts will appreciate the depth of the game. There’s even several people on Youtube posting Let’s Plays of the game. With people enjoying them. It’s a small group of people, but hey, they’re enjoying themselves.

There is a particular reason I’ve decided to mention this game, despite the current leaning of this site being heavily populated with anime entries.

Remember that show Aria the Animation? It was a slow, slice-of-life show about a female gondolier living in Neo Venezia. There was a focus on the aspect of being a citizen of a city, and providing a valuable service to others and striving to keep the gondola experience as pleasant as possible. While Euro Truck Simulator 2 does not have the same focus, you’re still a — initially contracted, potentially independent — truck driver. You’re still hauling around cargo, such as heavy industrial equipment, food, and dangerous materials, such as pure oxygen or chlorine gas. Stuff that needs to be moved.

The amount of expertise needed for being a professional truck driver or professional gondolier is an admirable thing, in my opinion. Heck, anyone who takes their job seriously and takes the time to perfect any techniques or continually expand the knowledge used within their profession are people who I admire.

It’s the biggest reason for my current career path. Who knew that video games and anime would give me the motivation needed to change my life?

And there you have it. I’ve found a topical link between a truck driving simulator and an anime. Not too much of a stretch to associate Euro Truck Simulator 2 with Aria the Animation since the anime takes place in, what amounts to, a European setting.

Euro Truck Simulator 2. Yes, really.

My debut as a blogger and PSO2

Hey everyone,

The name is Kaichou, and as stated above this is going to be my first ever blog in regards to anything. I’ve appeared on a few podcast on the site already (I tend to say um or uh way more often than I probably should). Poor speaking skills (both public and recordings) aside, I hope to write some pretty decent blogs and overall contribute to the site.

Enough about me though. For my first post on the site, I figured I’d start with something I’ve been into for a while now. Not too long ago, there was an announcement regarding the development of a sequel to a game that wasted a good portion of my life (total hours was around to 1000+ hours, between 3 characters for Dreamcast, and another 500+ for Game Cube). I’m sure many people can relate, as I’ve seen segments on the old Tech TV channel (not G4), where a few people mentioned it being one of the greatest games of all time…that also took vast amounts of precious time as well.

For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Phantasy Star originally started off as a general RPG. There are random enemy encounters, traveling on a map from town to town, exploring dungeons, finding cool items, and saving the world. When PSO came out, it gave quite a spin on the series, as it was reintroduced as an ORPG (Online Role Playing Game). The series was turned into a hack and slash game where you equip a wide variety of weapons as you run around dungeons and fields and kill things. The time spent not grinding for exp was generally used to hunt for the numerous rare items that could be dropped from monsters — among my favorites include a guitar, broken monster parts, and even a wok. The game had 3 classes: Hunter (Using melee and close range combat), Rangers (Ranged attacks), and Force (Magic). The game’s character creation was somewhat limited in comparison with today’s MMOs. Depending on your job and race, which was divided into humans, casts (robots), and newmans (space elf), determined what kind of stats your character had.

Skipping a head past the various reboots to the series (Phantasy Star Universe, Portable, and Zero), the announcement for a sequel was something that revived my love for the series. Mind you, the aforementioned games were pretty fun, but to have a new online game I can waste precious hours on made me happy.

I’m lucky enough to know a good amount of Japanese to navigate through the site, download the beta (still open and free to play), and tinker around with the game. In addition, I’m especially happy with the fact that I can run the game, albeit on the lowest settings, fairly well. My video card, and my laptop in general are pretty outdated and I find it difficult in playing the games I would like (Such as Vindictus and even worse FFXIV). Right now, I’m playing as a Force, that I spent a good amount of time creating. The gameplay is pretty fun, and I’d love to go into detail everything they added since PSO, but I’d be typing way more than I want to.

So if you enjoy games of this genre, and can read Japanese, give it a try. Otherwise, the English release isn’t until next year.

My debut as a blogger and PSO2

Skyrim and Haganai

These things share two things in common. I can’t get enough of either of them, and there’s people who complain about how it looks.

Skyrim is getting a glut of informational write-ups on how to make the game look “better”. Admittedly, there’s a couple of instances of wishing the visual fidelity was questionable. I don’t always have a problem with how it looks. It would be extremely nitpicky of me to squish my character’s face against a rock slab and declare, “This kind of texture resolution is unacceptable!”. Quite frankly, I’m happy that it already feels less buggy than I anticipated. Some faggots think it’s incredibly buggy and broken with no recourse available to salvage what’s left of the game. Lucky for us they’re a relatively small minority (but still louder than ever).  I think it’s a great game and it’d be a huge disservice to the game if your only reason not to play it was because someone else told you it was buggy. Besides, the game does eventually get fixed via official patches or through fan created fixes.

Haganai, otherwise known as Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, has our male protagonist luckily not in Nordic skivvies. In fact, he looks rather dashing if you look at the top image. That is if you know nothing about Japanese culture and their silly nomenclature for guys who have lived 30 years and not experienced the warmth of a lover.

Actually, I’m not sure if there are people who complain about Haganai’s look. The show has taken a few dips in the art, but nothing nearly as notorious as some parts in the second season of Minami-ke. Oddly enough, there was one episode that had an entire segment that was decidedly animated by a highly skilled someone, and now the name escapes me. Perhaps I’ll rewatch that season to provide screencaps of the horrendous and the beautiful.

I’m personally rather happy to hear Misato Fukuen voicing Rika. Her role as Miyafuji Yoshika in Strike Witches was great, and puts her voice to great effect in Rika’s debut episode. Rika screaming “UNIVERSE!!!” was hilarious, and somehow arousing. I can gush about Marina Inoue and Kanae Itou too, but that’ll take up another entry.

Almost approaching 400 words, so I’ll shut up and save it for later.

yayskyrimohwhatit’salreadyfinalsohno.

Skyrim and Haganai

Cheap Games: Resonance of Fate

I decided to go JRPG hunting after gorging myself on Vindictus and other PC games, when I remembered a game from last year that competed with Final Fantasy 13 for sales — in the same month. Nearly a death sentence in this era of gaming, compounded by the fact that it was a game that experimented. Experimental games can always backfire in the gaming industry. Either the sales are inadequate, breaks even, or is a complete blockbuster.

But you didn’t come to read something about the gaming industry from an outsider’s view point. There’s a cheap game, and it’s Resonance of Fate. It’s currently on amazon.com for 17.03USD, a mighty fine price for a rather hefty amount of gaming. No point in convincing anyone to buy it because anyone who’s wanted to play it might have been waiting for it to become this cheap. I wouldn’t wait too long. Feels like they’d run out of copies at some point.

I bought my own copy just 10 minutes ago. You should too.

Cheap Games: Resonance of Fate