Monday, 21 December 2009

Unreal Tournament 3

I bought Unreal Tournament 3 at Fry's Electronics while I was in Vegas last week.  I had been wanting to get it for like ever, but I was waiting for the Mac OS X version, which will probably never come out.  But it was $20 at Fry's so I decided why not?

Overall, glad I got it, had fun, but its not what I was expecting.  Too Gears of War-ish to me.  Didn't really feel Unreal Tournament to me.  Its hard to explain.

There are two different modes to it.  Campaign, and Instant Action.  Instant Action is just regular old Unreal Tournament.  Campaign is different.  Campaign tells a story.  While the story is decent enough, the gameplay kind of kills the story.  I dunno, trying to explain Respawners is kind of dumb.  Basically, in war times, Respawners mean people won't die, they just respawn.  But fragging enough players will eventually wear the respawners out.  That explains the deathmatches.  Now Capture the Flag was even worse.  FLaGs, or "Field Lattice Generators," are basically items that generate power to the respawners.  Somehow getting the flag to your base weakens the respawners?  I dunno.  It didn't make sense.  The only maps that made sense to me were the Warfare maps which are supposed to be a cross between Assaults and Onslaughts.  To me, I didn't see much resemblance to Assaults.

Respawning and Capture the Flag are just FPS conventions and should never have to be explained.

Fortunately the weapons are all the classic weapons.  I actually found the BioRifle useful.  But the best weapon in the game in my opinion is the Rocket Launcher.  With the Flak Cannon as the Runner up.  With the Rocket Launcher, its an instant kill if you hit them in the crotch.  Its not entirely hard to do, but if you hit the feet they'll live and same if you hit them in the chest, arms, or head.  

Flak Cannon is still the instant kill in close quarters, but is kind of useless in long range.  Alternate fire on the Flak takes a bit to get used to.  It arcs too high to me. 

The Shock Rifle is still as useless as ever in my opinion.  I always loved the idea of the shock rifle, but I could never figure out how to use it right.

They brought back the impact hammer/piston.  It looks completely different, and I found myself accidentally using it a lot because it looks quite similar to the Flak.  A nice touch, when you killed someone with the Impact Hammer, bloods splashes on your field of vision.   

The enforcers were brought back, but they were changed, and in my opinion, not for the better.  Alternate fire isn't Gangster Style, but rather a burst of 3 shot quickly in succession.  When you pick up two, theres a reference to the Gangster Style, but I'm not sure if you shoot them like that or not.

The Sniper Rifle is pretty cool.  And a lot easier to Head Shot with than UT2k4's.  Unfortunately, its made useless for actual sniping, since the bullet trail is highly visible to anyone in the game.  Fortunately there is no smoke in your face after a shot.

The Link gun is the Link gun.  I didn't notice much change, if any.

Minigun Stinger is decent.  Not as useful as previous games though.

Now, as much as I like the series, I absolutely suck at it online, so I play single player only.  And thats where UT3 loses a lot of points.  Single player is hardly customizable at all.  One of the things I loved so much about UT99 and 2k4 were the customizable bots.  You can set the bots' teams and everything in previous games.  In UT3 you can set which bots are in the game, but not which team the bots are on, so they're always on different teams.  

And then the absence of Brock and Xan is sad.  Both of them are Unreal Tournament Staples.  Whats more is the presence of Lauren.  Why have Lauren without Brock.  They're supposed to be lovers.  Its just stupid.  Hell, Facing Worlds wasn't even available on release!  Granted it was released with the Bonus Pack, but its fucking Face!  It should be the first map made!  At least Deck 16 was available on release.  All-in-all there aren't enough classic maps.  I mean, yeah, I know its a different game, there should be new maps.  I understand that, but there should be more than just three classic maps.

Apparently the people behind ChaosUT didn't think the game worthy of having a Chaos Patch.  Which is sad, because ChaosUT is fun as hell.

In the end, I'm glad I got the game.  I had a lot of fun playing it.  But the game tries so hard to be different from the previous entries and suffers from it in my opinion.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Dominion Tank Police

I had read the manga awhile back, which wasn't anything particularly awesome, but as it was by Shirow Masamune, I had to give it a try.  I thought it was pretty good.  So I decided to watch the anime too.  I haven't finished it, only on episode 3.  Its fairly good.  I don't particularly remember the manga too much, but the anime seems more linear than I remember the manga being.  I laughed out loud in a few scenes.

If anything, its entertaining.  And its not a long series, so I'll find out how it turns out in a bit.

Friday, 24 July 2009

AIKa R-16: Virgin Mission

Watched the last episode of Virgin Mission last night.  Virgin Mission is the prequel to Agent Aika.  I have to say that Virgin Mission is like ten times better than Agent Aika.

The story is set 10 years before the events of Agent Aika.  Aika is a high school student who just recently passed her salvager license test.  She is then contacted by the class president, Eri, to join the Treasure Hunter Club as their pilot.  Aika meets Karen who has a tattoo on her breast of a butterfly, but upon closer examination, the tattoo is actually comprised of numbers that translates to "the gate of the truth will be opened by the sleeping butterfly" and a set of coordinates.  The three of them set out to go to the coordinates as the first outing of the Treasure Hunting Club.

The series still has the expected fanservice as the original.  I believe there is also more nudity in this series vs. Agent Aika.  Again the story isn't exactly good, but its not bad either.  The story in my opinion is better than Agent Aika.  Again the fanservice is still the main focus of the series.  The ending is equally as lame as Agent Aika's.  

Of the two series, I actually wouldn't mind watching this series over again.  Agent Aika on the other hand...  Same recommendation as Agent Aika.  If you're looking for a deep story, steer clear, but if you want a fanservice anime, this'll be for you.  At three episodes long, you can watch the whole thing in one sitting.

Agent Aika

Finally got around to finished Agent Aika.  It was alright.  It wasn't good, but it wasn't entirely bad either.  I think the series relied too much on the fanservice and could have actually made a decent series if they focused more on the story.  Most of the characters were pretty memorable, especially Gozo, Michikusa and Gusto.  The second half of the series was quite repetitive:  the Delmo corp tries to kill Aika, in every episode.  I won't spoil the ending, though it was kind of lame too.

Good thing about the series is that it was rather short at only 7 episodes.  Overall I wouldn't recommend this anime to people looking for a story.  If you want fanservice, this might be a series you'd be interested in.  As Wikipedia states, there's about one panty shot every 20 seconds.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Japanese Barbie Stop Animation

Pretty entertaining videos I found while reading some of the blogs I follow.  There are two videos, both made in the 80s.  The first one is kind of funny in a cheesy way.  It picks up in the second half.  The first part involve a doll riding a toy motorcycle through the streets of Japan.  Half way in it changes to I guess a parody of action movies in general.  The doll is the heroine of a spy movie, with live action villains.

The second video is longer, but in my opinion better.  Its like a stop animation magical-girl/gundam.  The heroine's friend gets kidnapped by foreigners.  The foreigners take her on board their flying crab ship.  The heroine then calls for her paper airplane ship which can apparently turn into different origami creatures.

Click the post title to go to the videos.

Saturday, 27 June 2009


I have been horribly, horribly addicted to the Geneforge series by Spiderweb Software.  Horribly.  I've been pretty much playing them non-stop.  The only break I really took was when I went to MetroCon the other weekend (which I'll eventually get around to posting about).  

Spiderweb Software is an independent game company that pretty much consists of a single programmer.  Most of Spiderweb's games feature elaborate storyline with minimal graphics.

Anyways, there's nothing phenomenal about Geneforge, but for some reason I can't stop playing the games.  I'm on the 4th game of the series now.  There's only five games, so I dunno what I'll do when I finish the fifth.  Its an isometric turn based RPG.  The gameplay isn't what makes the game really.  Its the story and the paths you can take.

In most of the games your character is a Shaper, which in the Geneforge world is pretty much a wizard.  Shapers come in three flavors: Guardian, Agent and Shaper.  Guardian is the melee class, Agent is I guess the Stealth/Magic-based class, and Shaper is the Summoner/Wizard class.  Each class can summon creatures to help them in battle.  

In the world of Geneforge, Shapers are the law.  Shapers are respected as well as feared.  Shapers can create lifeforms and easily snuff them out as well.  Shapers commonly create Servile as basically slaves.  They are made intelligent enough to do work on their own, but dumb enough to follow orders without question.  Other creations, such as Drayks are so powerful and intelligent that Shapers decreed the creation of Drayks banned.  

In the first Geneforge, you are a Shaper novice, sent off to an island to finish your training, but your ship (which is actually a living creature) is attacked, forcing you to abandon it and swim for the nearest shore:  Sucia Island.  Sucia Island is a barred island, with the penalty of death for all trespassers.  As you travel the island you unravel the story of why the island was barred.  You also find that the Shapers planned to return to the island.  The Serviles still remain on the island, and have formed tribes (which was thought impossible by the Shapers).  The three tribes are the Obeyers, who remain loyal to the Shapers, the Takers, fanatical Serviles who wish to destroy Shapers, and the Awaken, Serviles who believe Shapers and Serviles can live together as equals.  You can ally yourself with any of the three sects, or none at all.  There is a fourth force at work on the island as well.  The Sholai, a race of people from beyond the ocean.  A rebel Sholai discovers the secret of why the island was barred, the Geneforge.  Depending on your choices you can help the rebel Sholai, or destroy the Geneforge.

The series is mostly rinse and repeat with variations.  Each game reveals more information about the Shapers, and the Geneforge itself.  In Geneforge 4 you begin as an anti-Shaper rebel and use a Geneforge to gain your powers.  You can also play as a Servile, which I thought was kind of interesting (even though I didn't choose to play as it).

You can have up to five creations in the games, although I typically just stuck to one or two.  Each creation has its strengths and weaknesses.  Summoning creatures costs a base amount of Essence.  When creating a monster, you can modify its stats, which increases the amount of Essence required for it.  Essence can only be given back if the creature dies.  You gain Essence by leveling up, and you gain even more by increasing you INT.  

There are many stats in the game you can increase with levels.  So many that its hard to decide what to do with.  Along with the standard Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Endurance, there are different schools of Magic and Shaping, multitude of different combat specialties, as well as skills used for thievery and deception.  You only get five skill points per level, so you have to decide wisely, as each skill costs a different amount of skill points to level up.

While the game is not for everyone, especially those all for graphics, the series' story is where the game really shines.  I can't recommend this for everyone, but if you like classic-style old-school games, this is something you may want to look into.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bahamut Lagoon


Bahamut Lagoon is probably one of Squaresoft's last entries on the SNES.  Its a mix of strategy and role playing games.  You can control up to six units which consist of four characters each and a dragon.  The dragons are not exactly part of the unit, they move and act on their own.  On the battlefield the game shows its strategy roots.  However when your units engage the enemy, it turns into a typical RPG type system.  But instead of fighting until the enemy unit is dead, each character only gets one turn.  Back on the battlefield, you don't necessarily have to engage in melee on the enemy.  You can instead use special skills that the unit might have, like for instance magic.  Skills you can use on the battlefield are Field skills.  Field skills depend on the characters in the unit.  So if you don't have a Wizard in the unit, you can't use magic.  In addition, if you have more than one Wizard in the unit, the magic power is enhanced.  However, having a unit with just Wizards is not exactly a good idea, as if they were to be attacked in melee they would have no chance.  There are advantages and disadvantages to using Field skills as well as melee attacks.  You get more money in melee, but the enemy can counterattack.  Using Field skills you get a free attack on the enemy, however, the damage will be less than if you did a melee.

The dragon's determine what elemental attacks your units have, and how strong said attacks are.  The dragon's have five elements: Fire, Lightning, Ice, Life and Poison.  Each parameter goes up to 100, and every time points increases the elements level.  So at 20 points, you have level 2 of that element.  In addition to giving skills to units, the Dragon's can also attack in battle.  Sometimes if you attack melee, the dragon will attack before your characters turns, doing additional damage.  The dragons all have elemental breath attacks, which attack all enemy character in close combat, or they can attack multiple units on the battlefield.

Between battles you can feed the dragons to enhance their parameters.  Weapons give plus to strength, armor to vitality.  If the weapon/armor is elemental, they get pluses the corresponding element.  The dragons can also evolve into more powerful forms as well.  Unfortunately they sometimes devolve into useless dragons.  If this happens, feed them a Matelite Axe, and they'll be back to normal.  

All the characters have personality, and  are very likable, with the exception of the princess and maybe Palpaleos.  You are Byuu, the silent protagonist, and captain of the Dragon Squad.  Byuu's default unit consists of his knight friends, Rush, Truce and Bikkebakke.  Rush acts before he thinks, and doesn't get along with superiors, even so far as sort of mini-rebelling against Matelite.  Truce is more quiet and level headed, but gets dragged into the mini-rebellion as well.  Bikkebakke wishes after the war to live with his best friends Rush and Truce peacefully, and begins selling mushrooms in hope to afford a house.  Sadly, Byuu is actually a pretty horrible character, battle wise.  Using Field skills he is somewhat alright, but in close combat, Rush, Truce and Bikkebakke outshine him hands down, even when Byuu has better equipment than the others.  The Knights get elemental attacks, but can only be used in melee.  Byuu's Sword Tech can be used in and out of battlle, but its not exactly that great either way.

Matelite is a class of his own.  He's the crazy Royal Guard of Kahna.  He takes command of everything, and is completely dedicated to Kahna.  Its really hard to explain his character.  He probably one of my favorite characters.  His unit defaults with three Heavy Armors, Taicho who is a general of Mahal, before it was taken by the empire, Gunso, Taicho's right hand man (who is creepy, he scratches himself all the time, and you get Gunso's ??? from him occasionally, which I don't even want to know what that is), and Barclay, he doesn't have much character, basically he falls in love with one of the Wizards.  Matelite has Inspire, a lightning field skill that can destroy buildings, it can also be used in close combat as a powerful lightning skill.  He can't get any other elements however.  The Heavy Armors all move very slow, but the damage they deal more than makes up for it.  They can get all the elements, but their attacks can only be used in melee.

I don't remember the rest of the default units, so I'll just list by class now.

Light Armors:  Lukia and Jeanne.  Lukia at the beginning seems to be an important character, as she always shows up in cut scenes, but later she is pretty much forgotten.  She's a cool and level headed person.  Jeanne has almost no character.  Both Jeanne and Lukia apparently have had a past fling with Donfan.  Light Armors don't have field skills, but their elemental attacks in close combat hit all enemies for moderate damage.  Their physical attack is limited.  What makes them invaluable, however, is there ability to increase the speed of units on the field.  I highly recommend putting one in with Heavy Armors.  There is a third Light Armor secret character but I didn't get her, so I dunno anything about her.

Wizards:  None of the Wizards really have any character.  Melodia is an annoying little girl that likes minidevils, Ectarina has a crush on Hornet (the ships captain), Nelbo is friends with Joy and torments Donfan, and Anastasia who is described in game as stuck up, but doesn't actually show up in game.   Wizards are wizards....  There's nothing to describe really.  Magic can be used as Field Skills and well as in melee.

Priests:  Frederica is my favorite priest.  She's funny.  She is physically weak and collapses after battle, and takes medicine regularly.  She wants to open a pharmacy after the war.  Zora is kind of funny too, she tells it like it is, and has no qualms about slapping the princess when she's be hard to deal with.  Her son is Zora's Son.  I'm not kidding.  Thats his name.  Joy is friends with Nelbo and torments Donfan with her.  Diana is the ship's gossiper.  She'll tell you the interesting things happening on the ship.  Like wizards, Priests are priests.  They're magic can be used on the field or in melee.

Lancers:  Reeve and Frenze were close friends at the beginning, but at one point Frenze gets homesick and Reeve get annoyed at him for not being enthusiastic about being a lancer.  Their friendship ends, and Frenze is constantly getting back at Reeve for ending it.  Donfan believes he is the man for all the ladies.  As soon as a girl talks to him he breaks in and tries to woe her.  He always fails.  At one point he goes to the girl's dorm and is caught by Nelbo and Joy who torment him.  Zora's Son attempted to make a Dragon Squad in Mahal, but doesn't know how to take care of the dragon.  He pretty much a failure at life, but does a good job cleaning up the place (catch that reference).  His real name is Orelus, also the name of the games' world.  He doesn't really live up to it.  Lancers are pretty cool.  Their field skills are pretty damned good if you have all of them in one army.  However in melee they are pretty crappy.  Their Lance skills do moderate damage, but they are physically kind of weak, and if you attack without using the lance skills, they can't do much damage at all.  Fortunately, most lance skills take 1 SP to use, and they have quite a bit of SP, so you shouldn't have to worry about running out.

Summoners:  Princess Yoyo and Sendak.  the Princess is probably the most annoying character in game.  At the beginning it seemed like Byuu and the Princess were to get together, even so far as promising to go to the Church of Memories when they get older.  However, all this breaks apart when she falls in love with Palpaleos when she was taken by the empire.  Then its all "Palpaleos, Palpaleos, Palpaleos."  Its sickening.  Sendak is a creepy old man.  He might be gay.  Sexuality aside, he's pretty funny, and an important asset to the party.  The the summoners get two different skill sets.  The first one is Red Magic, which pretty much sucks.  Its like 3 skills, Fire magic, Heal magic, and Status Recovery magic.  I don't think they even get Raise Dead.  At first they start as Red Mages, but become Sumoners as the game progresses.  Summons break the game.  They are way too powerful.  On the field they can do extreme damage to a wide area of enemies.  Summons do take a LOT of mana though.  

Assassin and Minidevils:  They are useless in my opinion. They're field skills suck, and in melee the Assassin are about as good as Light Armors.  The minidevils suck in melee as well as in the field.

The story revolves around the infamous rebel force struggling against and eventually overthrowing the evil Empire.  Only the empire isn't necessarily evil.  In fact the Emperor is actually quite noble and honorable, even though he aims to take over the world.  Emperor Sauzer wishes to awaken all the Holy Dragon's in order to make way for the new Era.  However to do this, he needs the help of a Dragnar, some one who can speak to the Holy Dragons.  Princess Yoyo of Kahna is a Dragnar, so he kidnaps her when he takes over Kahna.  Once the Rebels rescue Princess Yoyo,they decide that the only way to defeat the empire is to gain the powers of the Holy Dragons.  There is more to the story, but I won't spoil it entirely.

There is a Plus Game when you finish it, but ultimately I think its kind of worthless.  The characters and Dragons all stay the same level as when you beat the game, with the addition that Sendak can use Summons right from the start, however you only have one dragon to summon.  Apparently if you missed getting Princess ???s you can do the Plus Game to get them.  If you feed 5 of those to a dragon you can make a Behemoth class dragon, which apparently is awesome?  I honestly didn't care enough to find out.  I'm a casual gamers, so doing EVERYTHING in the game is not something I strive to do.  Also, the game wasn't too hard the first time around, so honestly its kind of stupid to play it again with high level characters.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

2001 Nights

Just finished reading the manga 2001 Nights, by Yukinobu Hoshino.  It was really good, although I don't completely know what happened in it.  The series is a combination of short stories all happening within a timeline of a few hundred years.  The stories are sometimes related to each other, but there are a few one shots in it as well.

Its a sci-fi manga, telling the exploits of humanity in the Space Age.  Many of the stories revolve around colonizing other planets, often with catastrophic problems.  There are a lot lot weird concepts that are kind of hard to grasp, such as anti-matter planets, warp drives powered by black holes, and even a living planet.  Some of the stories really make you think about what could be out there.  

One thing to note:  while there were life on some of the planets, there weren't any extraterrestrial intelligent life.  There were mostly just different types of plants (some carnivorous) and primitive life forms like lizards, fish and birds.  Though also important to know, man was not able to explore beyond the Milky Way in the course of the manga.

Its kind of hard to write a review on it, since its not just one story.  All I can really say is that I really can't recommend this for everyone, but if you are a sci-fi buff, this will probably be right up your alley.  

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Suikoden Tactics

Warning:  This entry may have spoilers.  Read at your own risk.

I bought Suikoden Tactics quite awhile ago.  I'm not a big console game player, so it can take me awhile to get to a game or to finish a game.  Also since I never played any of the Suikoden games I was a little leery about playing it, in case it does follow the series plot.  I'm not sure if it does, but I wanted to play a tactical game so I popped it in the PS2.  

I must admit, I was about to turn the game right off.  It seemed that from the first battle the main character was an annoying little kid.  Fortunately I decided that maybe this was a "prologue" and the kid would grow up or something.  Well that was not too far from the truth.  As soon as the first "battle" is over, a group of characters come on, and another battle begins, and the story follows these new characters, and then the "few years later" comes up.  And the stupid annoying kid is completely forgotten thus far.

The gameplay is more or less what you expect from a tactical RPG, albeit a few odd features.  For one, the elemental spirits that travel around.  They are technically enemies and you can kill them.  But if you leave them alone, they will float around the battle field and anywhere they float over will have its element changed to the element of the spirit.  Now elemental terrain is a bit weird and I haven't completely figured it out yet.  But basically, each character has a innate element.  If you stand on a spot that is your element, you will get healed, and your defense/attack increases.  However if you stand in the opposite element, you will get hurt, and your defense/attack probably decreases (not sure about that, I tend to make sure I don't stand in the opposite elements). 

There are also team attacks.  In order to learn a team attack the characters have to have "Good Will" towards each other.  Sometimes in battle if you have two character next to each other, there will be a Talk command.  Using Talk will take the characters turn, but it will increase their Good Will and perhaps teach a team attack.  Team attacks are incredibly powerful and can take out the strongest of enemies.  It also splits any experience gained.

I personally like the characters so far, although Kyril, the protagonist, is a bit gullible, and too trusting.  For instance:  after a battle we go back to town and a pirate is yelling at us to hand over the rune cannon.  It just so happens that this pirate was one of the pirates that helped Kyril's father 3 years earlier.  Not to mention the fact that the pirate were not particularly helping so much as fighting the same enemy.  But anyways, once Kyril recognizes the pirate, the pirates says he remembers Kyril as well, and says lets go to the pirate hideout.  Kyril agrees.  Well it does so happen that the pirates are in fact good guys, but the way it all happened wasn't all that convincing.  Its like "Hey since we're sort of acquaintances, lets go to our pirate hideout, even though I was aggressively yelling at you a few seconds ago!"

Another instance was upon taking a job from a "rune cannon expert."  First off he's a pretty boy, so in my book, he's not to be trusted.  And his job involves going into an abandoned house and into the basement which leads to a cave.  Now that doesn't sound suspicious to me at all.  Thankfully another character feels the same way.  The job was not a trick or anything, but Kyril's all "sure we'll do it!" 

The other character are cool though.  And so far of the characters I've used, I haven't found a crappy character, everyone kicks ass.  

So far, minus Kyril's ever-trustingness, the only down side is permanent death.  Fortunately, permanent death only happens on certain characters.  If the character is crucial to the plot of the game, if they "die" they just "withdraw" from battle.  Unfortunately, one of my best fighters is a non-story character.  She also has pretty crappy magic defense and gets horribly maimed if magic is casted on her.  Thankfully you can restart battles in the middle of the battle.  

Rita is one of the character that can permanently die.  She starts at level one.  The first battle I put her in, she dies instantly.  Instead of the text "Rita has withdrawn" I read "Rita has died" which kind of freaked me out a bit.  I finished the battle without any problems, and go to the character screen and see she is missing from the party.  Well, that sucks.  Reload.  At that point of the game there are no random battles, so there's really no way to level Rita up.  So I bring her into the battle and leave her on the sidelines away from enemies.  When there's only one enemy left I make her attack my own party to get exp.  Now that Rita has caught up with the other characters she's one of the best fighters I have so far.  

So far I'm really enjoying the game.  The story is somewhat lacking, but I never really played tactical games for the plot.  I'm looking forward to finishing this game, but I'm trying to savor it as well.  Lets hope it stays as fun as it is now.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Review: Rule Number 1

Eh, not an anime or videogame, but its an Asian film, so I guess it'll work.  

Rule Number 1 was the film of the day at so I decided to give it a try.  I was quite happy with the results.  Despite being on, the movie would fall better into the genre of thriller.  And the movie keeps you on your toes, well, once you figure out whats going on.  

Lee Kwok-keung is a small time cop.  He apparently works at a parking garage security guard.  One night a car pulls up, and the driver has no seatbelt on, and has very flimsy excuses.  As he was about to let the driver go with a just a warning, he notices the tail lights are out, and asks if the driver has a screwdriver in the car so they Can fix it.  Lee taps on the trunk of the car and he notices blood coming out from it.  The driver is busy looking for a screwdriver, and Lee forces the trunk open to reveal a dead body.  The driver notices that Lee opened the trunk and pulls a gun and shoots Lee a few times.  Due to a distraction, Lee is able to dispatch the driver.  After Lee recovers from the wounds, Lee is transferred to the Miscellaneous Affairs Office of the police, which deals with basically paranormal activity.  

Thats about all I'm gonna say about the plot.  The plot can be kind of confusing in the beginning, spawning more questions that answers, but once you get answers it all falls together.  Thats not to say the plot doesn't have its twists, far from it.

I think one of the major points of why I like Asian films is because of the sound/music.  Hollywood movies tend to have extravagant soundtracks, but this Asian films don't always have that.  Rule Number 1 for instance has almost no music, but the dreaded ambient music in the most chilling scenes.  Makes it more enjoyable and thrilling in my opinion.

The characters are likable, especially Inspector Wong.  I liked the characters so much I wish they hadn't had to go through with what was happening to them, but a movie isn't made that way. 

I enjoyed this movie.  The subtitles on the version I watched were horrible, but I was able to watch it despite that.  I recommend this to anyone who likes a good thriller.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Fujin from Final Fantasy VIII

Fanart of Fujin.

First in a series of fanart depicting lesser known characters, or characters that don't get enough fanart.

Not much to say that wasn't already posted on DeviantArt.

Agent Aika

I started watching Agent Aika.  OMG the pantyshots...  I thought Ikkitousen was bad, its got nothing on Agent Aika.  And I've only watched the first episode...

As I've only watched the first episode, I can't say too much about it thus far.  I can say the animation quality is really nice.  The subs could use a little work, as they often overlap each other, but its only for a second.  I know thats nitpicking, but its enough to notice.  First episode and theres already action, pantyshots and nudity.  Oh and sexual innuendo.  The innuendo was right after the opening too...  

Thursday, 12 February 2009


My definition of a vector is probably different from the majority, but thats cause I'm ignorant.  Any ways, I learned how to make vectors in Photoshop, so obviously I had to play around and I decided to make a Wild ARMs 3 fanart of Virginia into a vector.  I think it turned out decent.  


Heh, by linking this, now everyone knows my other alias.  Oh well, its not like I was trying to hide it really.  I'd rather have people that know me as Talentless Troll know that I'm Rogutaan than the other way around.  Talentless Troll is my 4chan name, whereas Rogutaan is my more innocent side.

Anyways, got a deviant watch from a big Wild ARMs fan, which is pretty cool.  Its more or less motivated me to finish a fanart I began ages ago when I first finished WA3.  My art style's changed, re: I've gotten better at drawing, since when I started it, so hopefully the styles won't clash.  

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Review - Dawn of Mana

I just finished Dawn of Mana for the PS2 the other day.  It was a fun game, but not without its shortcomings.

Gameplay wise its quite different from the previous games in the series.  Instead of an overhead view of the world, its now a 3d platformer type game, not unlike Zelda Ocarina of Time.  I've read reviews on the game that seem to give the game bad marks just because of problems with the camera angles.  While there are indeed instances where I didn't know what the heck was going on because the camera screws up, I actually laughed hysterically because of it.  While yes this could be a hindrance on bosses, fortunately it never happened to me during a boss.  The camera angles made jump quests especially hard, fortunately there aren't that many jump quests though.   So yeah, the camera could have used some work, but I don't think thats why the game should have gotten 4.5/10 on some of the reviews I read that basically just said the camera was the worst point.  Also, the camera in any game will have issues, especially in games such as this.  

Dawn of Mana does have a learning curve.  They actually tell you just about everything you need to know in the prologue, but they really don't tell you how to execute this knowledge.  I learned stuff at the end of the game, that I should have been doing the entire game.  For instance, in the beginning I would use Keldy's whip thing and grab an item/enemy, and then release it by flinging it at an enemy.  I didn't realize until the end that I could have just used the square button to fling it, but keep it attached to the whip and pummel enemies with it over and over until one dies.  Would have made the game a lot easier.

Now would be a good time to point out the battle system.  Its quite different from any game I've ever played.  Enemies have a "Panic" meter, which basically means if they get hit by something, or something comes very close to hitting them, they freak out and are either stunned, or they start running away.  When they are stunned they will drop Medals when you hit them, which are basically how you level up.  Some medals increase HP, some SP, and some Max Attack.  Depending on what hit the enemy, and how many time the enemy was hit by something, the Panic meter has a higher countdown.  

The bosses overall weren't extremely hard.  The battles can however take quite  bit of time to do.  I died a few times on quite a few, but thats only because I couldn't figure out what to do to harm it. Once I figured out how to stun the boss, it was pretty easy.  

Graphically the game is beautiful.  This is definitely where the Dawn of Mana shines.  The Mana series has always been known for lush environments, and Dawn of Mana is no exception.  I had a lot of fun just wandering around looking at the world.  Its also really fun to look at 3D renderings of my favorite Mana series monsters, such as Rabites and Mushbooms.  I just wish they made more monsters from the series, like Sahagins and those ducks with the helmets.

Being a Mana game, the story reflects that.  Mana Tree is being destroyed, Mana Tree is destroyed, Mana Tree is reborn.  All in a tragic story revolving around Keldy and his friend Ritzia.  There are a few twists, though kind of predictable.  The game is quite short, which does make character development nearly non-existent, yet somehow you still feel for the characters.  My only complaint is that the story is very linear, so there really isn't too much replay value, apart from collecting all the ribbons.  A ribbon is a reward that boosts your abilities, you can only equip so many at a time at the beginning of a chapter.  I've never been one that must have 100% in a game, so I can't be bothered to get all the ribbons.

The music is also another shining point for Dawn of Mana.  Again the Mana series is known for good music.  All the music fits seamlessly to what is happening in the game.  Fierce boss battle music, calm tranquil ambient music, and emotional music in tragic scenes.  The music in the very end nearly made me shed tears.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the game.  I personally hate numbering systems for reviews so I won't put one.  Although quite different from the previous installments, this is not a detractor.  The game is still as fun as the rest and I definitely recommend playing it.  Dawn of Mana is not for the casual gamer however, so if you do get it and play it, save points can be few and far between, so be warned.  Despite its lack of replay value, the gameplay itself might make it worth playing again.

Talentless Troll has spoken!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Review - MØUSE

So first anime mini-review:  MØUSE

First off, this is a fanservice anime.  I'm quite ashamed at how much I enjoyed the series.  By enjoy I don't mean it was really good, just that I had fun watching it.  Its far from being good.

Sorata Muon, has a secret identity: Mouse.  Mouse is a master thief, he can steal anything, even his motto is "There isn't anything Mouse can't steal."  Mouse has three buxom sidekicks, Mei, Hazuki and Yayoi.  Each one is in love with Mouse and always try to seduce him whenever given the chance.  In the beginning I really believed Mouse was gay by his reactions to the girls.  Mouse and the three girls all work as professors at college which also acts as Mouse's hideout.  Also present are three students which are in Mouse's class, and all seem to have a crush on Mouse, especially Michiko who actually has a few dates with Mouse, always on a day Mouse has announced he'll steal something.

The episodes are 15 minutes long, but really every two episodes should be condensed into one complete episode.  Each episode tells half a story arc.  For instance, in the first episode the chief inspector challenges Mouse to steal the newly constructed Odaiba Tower.  The second episode is when he actually steals it.  Then the third episode he declares the next item he'll steal, and the next episode he steals it, and so forth.  No actual plot comes in until the very end when Mouse's rival Woof comes in.  The resolution is quite anticlimactic.  

I watched the series dubbed.  The voices weren't atrocious, but there were some bad voice overs, especially Michiko.  Her voice was kind of graining.  Other voices are the standard issue anime dub voices.  I apparently missed out in the Japanese voices, since in the final episode an Idol was the voice actress of one of the characters.  Oh well.

Really the most memorable parts were the times Mouse's subordinates try to seduce him.  They were just there for fanservice and quick laughs, but the story really wasn't that awesome.  The series probably could have been better if there was more plot.  I mean, technically the series only had 6 episodes.  I know there are quite a few series that have that many episodes that have complete stories, but I just feel there should be more episodes to finish this series.  The series was based off a manga, so maybe the manga goes deeper?  Unfortunately the series has just started being scanlated into English so I can't compare the two, however I am currently downloading the chapters that have been translated.  I'll make another post when/if the series gets finished scanlated.

Overall, the fanservice really made the series, as the plot is nearly nonexistent and anticlimactic.  Despite that I did enjoy the series, it just feels like its missing something.  I wouldn't put it in my top list, but it wasn't really that bad either.   Decent enough, but not great.  If you get a chance to watch, and have nothing better to do it'll waste a few hours.  Don't go out of your way to see it though.

Talentless Troll has spoken!


Hmm, now that I figured out my email problem, that was a pain in the butt...  Apparently I didn't use my standard issue password at the time when I created my account so it kept saying I typed in the wrong password.  Well actually I didn't even realize I had a created a gmail account a while back, so I tried signing up and it said my desired username was already taken, and since I highly doubted that someone had already taken my name, I decided to try and log in.  I used every variation of my usual passwords, even thinking maybe I typed it in wrong so I purposefully misspelled the password hoping it would find it.  After I tried everything I used the "I forgot my password" button, and was able to reset the password, only I was stupid and wasn't paying attention to what I typed, so as I tried to sign in, I had the same problem.  And since I had already changed the password it wouldn't let me reset it again until 5 days later.  Well,  found the password finally, it was a misspelling because my MacBook Pro's keyboard usually misses the first letter when you start typing.  Its weird like that.  Anyways, I changed the password to what it *SHOULD* be.  And here I am.  

Alright down to business.  I am Talentless Troll.  This is one of my Blogs.  Well, its the first blog.  It's mainly gonna be about videogames and anime.  I want to point out right off the bat that I am *NOT* an Otaku.  I just like Anime and Videogames, and I sometimes go to the occasional convention.  I'll write a few reviews, but they won't really go in depth, just kind of how I felt about the anime/game.  There may be spoilers, though I will warn ahead of time if that post has spoilers.  Just read at your own risk.  Mainly I'll just post what I'm watching/playing and my feelings towards it.   I hate how blogs update backwards though, with the newest post on top so no one is gonna read this post once I have many posts made.  Oh well, such is the way...

Talentless Troll signing out.