Don’t look so frightened, this is just a passing phase

APOC1 – Book 2 – Entry XX – Culled from the apocrypha left by one of the early splinter cults which practiced a debased version of the widespread worship of “Mick”. Recovered from the outlands of Gundalk, one of the areas worst hit by the Fall in 07. The widely meandering and rapidly changing subject and tone is clear evidence of their mental degeneration – within a few (unwieldy) paragraphs it examines the supposed life of Mick, his feelings of existential angst, plans for the future, spirituality and questionable emotional stability. It then veers wildly into a strange discussion of “cosplay” before petering out in a tedious history of his infatuation with fighting games and an alleged round up of the various media products this fabled “Mick” engaged with – barely worth reading as anything other than a historical curiosity

I wonder would it be possible to write an entire blog just in quotes? I can’t imagine it would be any less coherent than the usual fare. So here we are again, brought together through the wonders of telecommunications and the random chance that causes people to stumble across one another. If existence depended on others acceptance of it then the internet would certainly prove quite useful.

Not much point to this really, just a bird’s eye view of the current state of Mick and obviously the stubbornness to refuse to sum it up with the single word “unchanged”. Though I suppose we’re seldom unchanged from one day to the next, the very act of existing changes us, and of course physically we’ve inched ourselves closer to death. But when you feel like your life is just a holding pattern then it can be hard to appreciate anything other than major changes on a day to day basis.

In “realistic” terms little has changed, I have so far failed to find gainful employment beyond part time in Vodafone, I have also failed to realise any of the various projects I set for myself (and thanks to the evils of easter egg’s my diet has taken something of a hit).

Mentally and emotionally I think there have been changes, nothing major and nothing that could be labelled as progress. More of a consolidation I suppose. As an aside, sometimes I feel terribly self indulgent for whining about my life, I’m certainly not unaware that there are multitudes that live in much worse circumstances than I. But I suppose it’s an intrinsic part of the human condition that those things which directly affect us take precedence over those things happening far away or to an abstract someone else. It’s certainly not one of the finer points of humanity, well that’s if you care to accept standard moral viewpoints.

But to drag myself vaguely back on topic, I think the reason I can’t find a job or get going with anything is that in my goal to find some sense of fulfilment I have spread myself to thin. Because I seem to lack a dream I have been investing myself in any passing interest that comes along, so much so, that both my drive and dream have become diluted to the point of non-existence. When I was a child I really wanted to be an archaeologist, I wonder when dinosaurs ceased being cool? One of my more pervasive or recurrent (are dreams like malaria?) goals/dreams was to become a writer. But I no longer feel, I’m not sure, “worthy” doesn’t really fit the feeling, but its close enough I suppose. Along to way to where I am now (sitting at my computer in my underwear, avoiding cleaning the shed) there have been other goals, other avenues of personal growth explored, other dreams chased and given up on. Web designer, graphic artist, film maker, 3d animator, teacher, lecturer, enigmatic international playboy, etc. But they’ve all lead to here and now, and looking back I don’t think that’s an improvement.

I wonder did losing religion or perhaps more importantly losing faith (in the various things I’ve chosen to believe in) have anything to do with this strange feeling of loss? I think I’ve become much too cynical for my own good, I can’t accept anything now without trying to tear it apart (Super Post-Modern Deconstructionist Mick LAUNCH !!) or subvert it. For reasons which have become lost to me now. Or perhaps I invested too much importance into the idea of being in a relationship and now that I’m (terminally) single I can’t re-orient my creative drive to produce without the saucy mixture of joy, frustration and depression that relationships seem to generate? Or perhaps after five years of doing two joke courses in college I’m just too fucking lazy to do anything constructive under my own steam? Perhaps I have become too obsessed with asking questions and refuse to find or manufacture answers. “Mr soft turn around and force the world to watch the things you are going through.” Jesus, when most of the lyrics from Mr fucking Soft apply to your life it may be time to do something about it (curse you random play list).

I love going to bed at twelve in the afternoon, when you’re just hitting the hay while most other people are eating their lunch it gives one a certain sense of accomplishment. No, that’s a lie, it just drives home what a sham your time is (though as an aside I dislike the phrase “wasting time” for reasons which I may expound upon at some stage). Unless of course you’ve been up to something exciting all night. But I feel that a twelve noon bedtime is more the special preserve of the terminally unemployed and insomniac than the saucy jetsetter’s.

Anyhow where was I (“If there’s a problem yo I’ll solve it, check out the hook while my DJ revolves it”), yeah well I’m afraid Ice T’s lyrical genius entirely derailed my train of thought and so for the third day (only in the sense its occurring in the last 24 hour period out of a 72 hour set) in a row I’ll try and wrap this up….nope not happening. And as its in the wee hours of the am and I have to enter work in the tragically not much larger hours of the am I shall now proceed to bed and leave the end of this till tomorrow.

Well tragically for all my adoring fans I didn’t get around to finishing this off on Saturday as planned, and yet again I only get around to it far too early in the morning to even grasp the edges of what I generously call lucidity. But I’m sick of this text file sitting on my desktop, staring at me with its accusing eyes. So tomorrow something shall be done.

Well its Sunday (a whopping ten minutes after the last paragraph, fear my early morning ranting), a day of rest for the hard working and a day of slow and guilty masturbation for the terminally unemployed (I’ve been too occupied with searching for an elusive white box in the depths of my shed to take care of my usual Sunday worship). So anyhow, as I was sitting around listening to the worlds most annoying dawn chorus (the birds outside my bedroom do not chirp or sing, the simply expel offensively atonal sounds, its like the little pricks are vomiting noise) and waiting for an auction to finish on eBay, I thought I’d see what the internet had to offer and see if my request for some hi-res Melty Blood pic’s on the Shoryuken forums had gathered any response. It was then that I stumbled across this thread – “Post Hot Cosplay Girls!”.

Now I’m never really quite sure what the fuck to make of cosplay. It’s certainly not something I will ever engage in (fuck, I find it a chore just to get normally dressed; I’m not going to go to the effort of dressing up as Power Prince Y of Dimension Zex). But at the same time one has to admit that some of the costumes really do look fucking sweet – likely not the ones you just assumed I’m talking about. When I mention sweet cosplay costumes I’m talking about stuff like this or this – not about skinny Japanese girls in latex. Which brings me on to the thread in question and the general issue of “sexy” cosplay.

To be honest it just doesn’t do it for me, yeah, shocking isn’t it? I’m sure I’ve lost some kind of “otaku cred” with that statement. But it is, almost without exception, true. I think to be honest it has to do with the inherent and more or less explicit “sadness” in getting your rocks off because some chick is dressed up as Sailor Zebulon or Catgirl Theta or whatever. I have no problem with finding good looking women attractive (ooh the terror of the new man dichotomy, more on this below if I’m arsed). I have no problem with finding good looking women in sexy costumes attractive. What I do take issue with is finding said attractive woman sexy because her sexy outfit makers her look Game/Anime character A – just doesn’t work for me I’m afraid (perhaps it was all that porno I watched during my formative years, I sometimes fear I have a warped view of such things). I think the inherent sadness of the entire thing would preclude any kind of hanky panky (of course by this point we have reached a three tiered level of theoretical Mick love that its on the same level of abstractness as the nature of the soul – yes, shockingly dear reader I am not inundated with requests for hanky panky from hot cosplayers – which ironically I just said I would refuse, oh the humanity).

That being said there were a few interesting things in the thread, the only one I found to be of particular note was this young lady’s Morrigan, which was one of the few anatomically accurate renditions of the character I’ve seen (oh and here’s her livejournal if you want to get your creepy stalker on). Apart from that I think the most impressive thing was the level of detail and the obvious quality of a lot of the costumes being used. Perhaps I spoke too soon, some more “gems” – the second picture in this is illustrative of something, I’m just not sure what (I’m pretty sure its nothing good) – these two cat chicks are packing heat – I love the mental size of this sword. While most of the girl’s featured were clearly good looking I might as well have been looking at pictures of blokes or vases (with possibly two exceptions, but you’ll never know which ones!! Yeah, I’d say not knowing is killing you).

Now, with a segue as smooth as a slap in the face, anti-rape condoms. Friday evening in work someone felt the terrible need to unburden themselves about these anti-rape condoms he had read about in the Sun. As soon as I heard the phrase “in the Sun” whatever slim attention I was paying to him evaporated. However, it would appear that such things do exist. But to be honest I don’t think they’re a very good idea at all. If you’re worried about being raped then carry a knife or something else for self defence, don’t stick something inside yourself that’s going to incite your attacker to further violence. Because lets be honest there isn’t a huge leap between raping someone and beating them to death and I imagine that it’s a line that a few hooks in the cock would push someone across.

So as usual, I’ve been distracting myself with whatever the wide, wide world of the internet has to offer. And as a service to all you people with real jobs and lives I shall dispense the wonder that is my opinion below so that you may avoid those things which I (and therefore objective reality) have deemed to be crap. No thanks are necessary (though if you want to send my saucy shots of yourself in the post I wont object, well I might, it depends I suppose – just like nature and falling toast I am fickle).

Tunes (I’m so fucking hip)

The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America – ***

As I said to reg, “After giving boys and girls of america a bit of “heavy rotation” I’d have to say that while I largely like the music, the lyrics (apart from one or two inspired bits) leave me cold, the seeming fixation on substance abuse pales after the fifth or sixth song.” However, I’ve found the first track on the album “Stuck between stations” to be freakishly addictive, I’ve listened to it several times a day for the last month or so and I still haven’t killed it. So yeah I’d say the album is worth a listen.

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible – ***

I’ll once more quote myself “I found it to be just average, its ok to listen to but very little stands out. In a weird way it’s as if they were trying to cover themselves and failed.” After giving it a few more listens these comments are more or less unchanged.

The Blood Brothers – Young Machetes – *

This got great reviews. But I found it a chore to listen to, it took several sittings before I managed to listen to the entire thing and even now I’m not sure if I heard every song. I found the lead vocalists voice to have a nebulous quality reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard and the music never seemed to manage to crawl above mediocre.

The Hours – Narcissus Road – *

Rubbish, it was an effort to even listen to the entire thing. Just another one of the “THE bands” that I cant tell apart on the radio in work.

Idlewild – Make Another World – **

I was quite disappointed with this, its not that its bad, its just that it feels so mediocre. Nothing on the album really stands out at all. If I was going to listen to Idlewild I cant think of any reason why I’d be putting this on instead of The Remote Part of 100 Broken Windows.

Godhand OST – ***

Ah GodHand, either a tragically misunderstood masterpiece or a piece of shit. After playing it I would lean more towards the former than the latter. Though no matter which one is true it is unargueably odd (and hard as fuck). Unfortunately Clover Studios, the makers of GodHand have been dissolved by their parent company and thus their website is down, however thanks to the (questionable) wonders of YouTube one of the greatest pieces of game advertisement remains – here.

The soundtrack is worth it for the main game theme (“Gene’s Rock-a-by” a weird variation of the Hawaii Five-O theme) – heard in part on the linked video) and the weird mexican/elvis mix for the first boss (“Smoking Roll”).

Katamari Damacy OST – ***

Ive been listening to a lot of OST’s recently, primarily because they make good background music (after all theyre more or less designed for it ;) ). I downloaded the Katamari Damacy OST for two reasons – the first is that the music for Katamari Damacy is some of most addictive gaming music made in recent memory – the second is that I realised that in the 50+ gigs of mp3’s I have on ye olde computay that I have about two albums that arent depressing. The former reason is the primary one but sometimes its handy to be able to throw on some “feelgood” tunes.

The National – Boxer – ***

If The National arent my favourite band they are almost unargueably my most listened to. So its fair to say that I was really looking forward to this album and I’ve found that looking forward to an album can be a recipe for disappointment. If the album doesnt have (or in some cases isnt packed with) any really good hook’s then on first listen it can be a let-down. However, a lot of albums only really show their quality after you make the effort to get into them. When I first heard Boxer I wasnt overly impressed, but after sitting down and giving it a good listen I have to say I like it. It feels a lot like Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, perhaps too much so as it seems to lack any of the more energetic stuff from Alligator. My current impression of it is that while nearly all the tracks are good none of them are as good as the better tracks from Alligator and Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers.

Explosions In The Sky – All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone – ***

Great name for an album and the album really does sound great. The only problem is that I find I have to be in the right frame of mind to sit down and listen to purely instrumental stuff or else it just sort of fades into the background.

Animetal – Animetal Marathon I – ***

It’s a Japanese heavy metal band who specialise in heavy metal covers of classic seventies giant robot anime and tokusatsu theme tunes. Quality stuff. Though admittedly fairly niche appeal (though if you don’t like a) Giant robo anime theme tunes and b) heavy metal covers of same then there is clearly something wrong with you, I bet you smell like pork don’t you?). This is the only album I’ve given anything like a serious listen to, but from a casual “flick through” of the other albums the live albums sound fucking metal. I’d love to see their audience.

Vids (wonder what happened to the presenters?)

As a brief general note, I would suggest that while AnimeNewsNetwork is an excellent site for getting accurate and detailed information on the technical details of a series its reviews should be avoided as they all appear to written with a staggering bias and from a lofty pedestal which looks with scorn upon anything which doesn’t directly appeal to it. The anime reviews on AnimeonDVD are pretty reliable and balanced. So now you’ve been warned so don’t come crying to me when you read some smarmy review at three in the morning and are filled with a terrible rage that drives you to create a device for killing anonymous arseholes across the internet.

300 – *****

Went to see this with Patrick and Dave, one of the few recent films I’ve gone to see in the cinema. I believe the last one was X3 and before that Sin City. Can’t believe it’s the guts of twenty quid to go to the cinema. But in this instance it was certainly worth it. This film is fucking great. It’s just “(Sass, Shouting, Ass Kicking)-Repeat” for an hour and a half or so, great stuff. Can’t imagine why it caused any controversy, it’s clearly meant to be as historically accurate as Star Wars. In many ways it’s the spiritual successor to Predator but with the shite bits (Billy screaming) removed. In fact myself and Patrick added it to the action movie trinity consisting of this, Predator and an as yet undecided third film (any suggestions welcome). So yeah, in the unlikely event you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of it, go out and see it.

Amaenaideyo!! & Amaenaideyo!! Katsu!! – *****

I love the basic premise for this show. The main character is a monk with tremendous spiritual power which can only be awakened when he gets horny/exposed to girl meat. I’d love to shake the hand of the man who came up with that idea. Anyhow, my love for the idea aside. I though this show was great, it was funny yet managed to deliver some nice moments of emotion and the love story, such as it is, was handled quite well. There’s also a nice dose of action and I particularly like the bits with the main monk in his “super” form.

Unlike some harem styled romantic comedy’s there is a nice undertone of serious commentary to the show that could be easily used to support quite a lot of fairly complex interpretations of what the creators are trying to say (or perhaps not, all my media studies is starting to show up unsummoned, the horror!)

The Host – ***

Korean horror film which I found to be very enjoyable. I especially liked the way that the family unit and how it suffers/functions/etc. through their interaction with the horrific. I felt the ending somewhat sold out the rest of the film. The special effects are nice and even if you don’t want to watch it it’s probably worth watching the first five minutes for the hilarious way in which the monsters first victim dies. Upon reflection this feel’s a lot like a Korean version of the Relic for some reason. Oh, it also has one of the most amusingly B-movie esque monster origin reasons I’ve seen in a while

Busou Renkin – ****

From the creator of Ruroini Kenshin, one of my favourite manga (and anime) series. And probably the one I’ve spent the most money on (long series and four episodes per DVD are not kind to the wallet). Anyhow Busou Renkin is quite reminiscent of Kenshin in some says, primarily the fact that every character who engages in combat has their own unique weapon and special attacks. Which is something I do like, even if it’s purely for the cheese.

However I think the most appealing thing about Busou Renkin is the quality with which the story is told, the near seamless intertwining of comedy, action and some real pathos makes this a joy to watch. The lovely looking animation (though these days nearly all new series seem to look amazing) and the excellent action certainly adds to the enjoyment. I also have to say I’m something of a sucker for stuff based on alchemy; it also appears to have woven some of alchemy’s major components into the narrative in a way which seems to have eluded most reviewers. So if your a pretentious prick (like me obviously) then you can feel all superior when you recognise these little titbits.

Da Capo – **

Well if you haven’t read my previous blog go and do so and then you will know all you will wish to (and probably more) about my opinion of Da Capo. And I was really looking forward to watching it as well.

Detective Academy Q Seasons 1&2 – ****

I put off watching Detective academy Q for a while because I fell prey to a fallacy that I’m all too aware off. But when I did get around to watching it I was very glad I did. My only real problem with it now is that there isn’t any more of it and the manga it’s based on has been neither licenses nor scanlated.

The series is very enjoyable and the mysteries are quite engaging, the format however may not lend itself overly well to “high intensity” viewing, but then again I don’t think too many people are going to sit down and watch 45 episodes (I was devastated when I realised there were only 45 not 49 as I had originally thought) back to back.

It certainly served to pique my interest in the detective anime genre but unfortunately it would seem to be a genre that doesn’t get much love for fan translations. So the only two shows I can find are this (which I would recommend if you were/are a fan of holmesian deduction) and Detective Conan (which I really don’t like the animation style of). The other big mystery series seems to be Kindaichi Case Files

Fruits Basket – *****

My key problem with Fruits Basket is that there isn’t a second season. And while the first season does wrap up the core narrative conflict it leaves a large number of questions unanswered and issues not addressed. But don’t let that dissuade you from watching it (and then if your like me getting your hands on the manga to find out the rest of the story). Fruits Basket is one of the more emotionally moving anime’s I’ve seen (as an aside this may be because I’ve turned into a big girls blouse with the emotional fortitude of a wet tissue – its probably all this shojo anime I’m subjecting myself to, yes that’s a good excuse, Ill run with that). Its characters are quite interesting and draw the viewer in without resorting to classic shojo cliché’s (which tend to put me off).

Galaxy Angel Series 1-4 – ****

I watched this a month or so ago when I was stuck in bed with some kind of filthy bug. And the reason I did so is because it requires no mental effort whatsoever. It is however pretty amusing to watch, which being a comedy anime is all it really requires.

Ghost Hunt – *****

It’s hard to quantify what exactly it is about ghost hunt that makes it so enjoyable. Like the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi or xxxHolic it possesses a strangely indefinable quality which moves it beyond the sum of its parts. While it may not be as “objectively” great as those shows, in terms of an enjoyable and engrossing (after watching the first episode I sat and watched the entire series) viewing this is hard to beat. I wonder does being adapted from light novels vs. manga have anything to do with the quality of the anime output? This, the melancholy of suzumiya haruhi, Full Metal Panic and Shakugan no Shana (to name a few) are all adapted from light novels and all are among the most enjoyable anime viewing I’ve had.

In some situations when I’m writing down a few lines on what I’ve watched or read or what have you it can feel somewhat pointless. Because if, for example, over the past month I’ve watched two or three really great shows then how interesting is it to write “This is really good” three times? And at the same time writing “This is really good” both fails to capture the experience and is possibly disingenuous. Because, while everything I write and say is implicitly prefaced with “In my opinion” when it comes to delivering value judgements on or relating your experiences with things like media output there is an implicit aura of objectivity which surrounds it (probably caused in part by our societal familiarity with the review process). And obviously this leads to a clash between the subjective ness of ones own thoughts and emotions versus the culturally expected objectivity of a review. Which sometimes leads to me feeling guilty when I recommend someone should view something, because I’m aware that would appeals to me might not appeal to you. So if I say x is good and provided an emotionally charged experience for me, you might find x to be twee, boring and overly formulaic because the emotions which it is focusing on and the way in which it delivers them doesn’t resonate with your own emotional values. I suppose all this is, at the end of the say, quite obvious, but for some reason I though it needed highlighting. Anyhow, back to normal programming, all my opinions are better than yours, my judgements are objective truth on the same level as the word of god himself and if you disagree with anything I say then you’re a sub-human deviant who rails against the light of my truth to hide the terrible blackness of your soul.

Goukujou Seitokai – *****

Quite liked this. I find school based comedy anime to be very entertaining and this one has lots of comedy with some nice emotional moments as well. As I mention in one or two other places, it’s easier to write things about stuff one doesn’t like than stuff one does like. I mean I watched this and thought it was great, but beyond giving a brief summary (which I don’t bother with as I link to a short summary in the title) I’m not really sure how to pad out the statement “I really enjoyed this”.

Great Teacher Onizuka – *****

Even though I watched this a week or two before Ghost Hunt I happened to hammer out my opinion of ghost hunt first and so shall steal my own words, how cunning (and lazy) I am! Anyhow, GTO is another show which transcends its core components to deliver something that you really should watch. I don’t know why but I found GTO to be one of the most emotionally resonant things I’ve watched recently.

.hack//Legend of the Twilight – ***

I bought .hack//Infection ages ago, more or less just after its initial English release. I then promptly lost it and because I had bough Suikoden III at the same time I didn’t really notice the loss until much later. A week or so ago while cleaning my room I found it and thought, “Hey I might give this a go”. Then I remembered that in the (massive) .hack chronology this anime comes first. So when I sat down to watch this I felt a little bit forced I think, which made the first few episodes something of a chore. However, I think the thing that really made the first few episodes a chore was the fact that the main character is immensely fucking annoying.

He becomes somewhat less annoying as the series goes on, but he’s always at least mildly irritating. There’s also the fact that the story makes little pretence at being anything other than the opening of a much longer and more complex meta-story. While the main characters main dilemma as such is wrapped up at the end of the anime series the story as whole is most certainly not.

The animation quality is quite nice, though I found a number of the character designs to be a bit shit. As an introduction to the .hack continuum it certainly did leave me wanting more, so it served its purpose.

Kage Kara Mamoru – *****

I really liked this, you should watch it. That’s about it really. This is also more evidence for my light novel adaptation = great anime theory.

Onmyou Taisenki – ***

The reason I downloaded this is because I figured that it would be chock full of Onmyōdō goodness. I was largely mistaken in this. That’s not to say it was bad, it just wasn’t really what I was looking for. It feels very reminiscent of Digimon but with a slightly more adult storyline and the “digital” aspects replaced by spiritual ones. The monsters (shikigami in this case) and their special attacks are pretty entertaining (which is what these shows are largely all about) and if it wasn’t for the drives that the toujinshi use then I wouldn’t really have had any issues with the show. It’s certainly a step above in terms on animation and story then most of these shows and so if you’re looking for something along these lines I’d certainly recommend it (though you should see Dragon Drive before this).

Mahoraba – **

Meh, is my overall opinion of this. While there were some pretty good moments it just generally radiated a feeling of “average”, a by the numbers effort that’s very mediocre. Which is a pity because a lot of the characters are interesting and it could have been great but it just never really comes together. They also should have got the more “serious” plotlines out of the way in the first 13 episode arc and left the remaining episodes to concentrate on the characters and give more air time to the supporting cast and fully develop all the main characters.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha – ***

I found this show to be generally boring (then again I’m probably not the target audience). As I mentioned somewhere before I’m not the worlds biggest fan of the whole magical girl genre, I suppose I’m just not “otaku” enough to have a properly developed loli-con. However lyrical nanoha isn’t too bad as magical girl shows go and I found it to be engaging enough purely because it looked so nice, the various special attacks and character designs made it worth the watch. (I was hoping it would have more back story about the characters from Triangle Heart but it seems to be set in an alternate continuity).

Steel Angel Kurumi Series 1,OVA & Series 2 – ***

Hmm, not really sure how I feel about this one. It was ok when I was watching it but looking back it seemed to be just mediocre with occasional spikes into greatness.

Project ARMS Chapter 1 & 2 – ****

I’ve had project arms for ages now, but always put off watching it because I had got the idea from somewhere that it was dark and depressing. Which when I finally got round to it was proved largely untrue. Well, perhaps not, in the course of the story there are certainly a large number of unpleasant events, but unlike say, Jigoku Shoujo, most of them don’t seem intended to arouse pathos with the viewer and serve more as spurs for the plot. Which is a nice sci-fi/biopunk love story at its core. Actually the plot (and character/monster design) is what lifts this above your average shonen series. The animation quality is also quite good even if the show is a few years old.

The only low point for me was the ending (which I’m just after viewing after spending most of the last two days watching it, that was some time of work well spent) which deserves praise for not reducing it purely to a climatic battle, but instead focusing on the shows core emotional conflicts, however at the same time it felt somewhat rushed. What makes that feeling even more aggravating is that episode 52, the last episode, is a “clip” episode with literally ten seconds of new footage (the series essentially ends with episode 51). So its not as if they didn’t have space, this weird tact with the last episode also, to me, cheapened somewhat one of the big sacrifices seen at the end of the series.

Also its one of the few series I’ve seen where the main characters parents are often cooler than he is.

Otome wa Onee-sama ni Koi Shiteru – *****

A very odd premise delivers an enjoyable little romantic comedy. While I found this to be really enjoyable it does fall somewhat into the realm of “mental chewing gum” (as the ineffable Mr Hall would say). While you’re watching it its fun but afterwards I’m not sure how much of it will stick with you (it’s been about two weeks since I watched it and I don’t recall any really standout moments – though paradoxically I do recall the show being very good). However, that’s an accusation that can probably be levelled at quite a large percentage of the romantic comedy genre.

Change!! Shin Getter Robo – Sekai Saishuu no Hi – *****

There is a slight history to this show, which I shall now relate to you as you sit there glued to the screen by your terrible anticipation, by your need to know what my words will reveal, you needy bastard. Anyhow, when I was younger my father owned quite a number of video stores scattered around the country and so I had easy and regular access to an extremely broad range of viewing material. In particular there were a range of american imports that featured a group of three heroes who formed together into a giant robot to fight evil alien invaders. I really did love that show. However as I grew older I largely forgot about it. However in my search for giant robot shows I came across one of the first giant robot shows, Getter Robo, and thinking it looked very familiar I downloaded an episode, which reminded me of all those videos I’d watched as a kid. In the end it turned out I’d been watching an American repackaging of Getter Robo G.

Anyhow Shin Getter Robo is a retro ova made in 1998 which continues the story of Getter Robo and Getter Robo G. Its animated in a retro style (thick sketchy line, big hair, etc.) similar to that seen in other retro OVA’s such as Mazinkaiser. It’s a style I quite like and it works quite well. Unlike new series of Transformers or the chippendale remake of He-Man Shin Getter Robo didn’t take my childhood memories and bend them over a table (fuck you Transformers Energon!). This show is packed to the fucking gills with quality giant robot cheese and I would certainly recommend it. I mean what’s not to like about fifty feet robots riding into space on the back of a mecha dragon the size of an island while wielding a double bladed axe twice the height of them? I also love the character design, in particular I love the design of Ryouma Nagare (the guy with the red scarf in the intro – giant red scarves are fucking cool). In fact just watch the intro, that will let you know whether you should watch it or not.

As another, brief, aside (and in tandem with my tangent in Ghost Hunt above), I think sometimes that people fail to grasp that the appeal of giant robot shows is not purely in the (inherent and unarguable) coolness of the giant robots themselves but is also due to the strong emotional and moral messages that a lot of these shows have. Because sometimes it’s refreshing and uplifting to allow yourself to resonate with “simpler” moral and emotional messages which don’t allow themselves to be sullied by the inevitable complexities, compromises and concessions that seem so much a part and parcel of modern living. (There’s also an easy argument to be made here of the giant robots as metaphors, but that’s somewhat beyond the scope of what I wish to say).

Tactical Roar – **

I mentioned tactical roar briefly in my previous blog so I won’t go over the weird incestuous love side-story any further here. My main issue with Tactical Roar is that it felt too short, it felt as if it had been roughly forced into thirteen episodes when a full length series would have given it to the space to live up to its full potential. As it was the first few episodes were a bit uninspiring and seemed to be just a random collection of standard anime cliché’s, the plot does tie itself together quite nicely and the ending is satisfactory. I found it interesting that the main male character remained more or less entirely ineffective throughout the series and didn’t reveal his true grit as many harem styled male protagonists are wont to do. I also thought the setting was pretty cool. I don’t really have a hard on for boats though and the cg wasn’t entirely to my liking, I did like the combat systems the boats employed though. So in summation, tactical roar just felt like a missed opportunity.

UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie Series 1,2,3 & Specials – ****

Ok, first things first, there are 8 princesses/ultramaidens. One being the eponymous Valkyrie, then there’s Hydra who is one of the supporting cast in the first season. Then there’s Raine and Chorus who are just bit parts but becoming supporting cast as the series goes on, as does Pharm. Of the remaining three princesses two of them get a two or three episodes each. But the last princess, do you know how many episodes she gets to herself? Yes, you’re correct, none. She barely gets fifteen minutes over the course of the entire thing. As you’ve probably surmised from my ranting, she was my favourite of the lot (well possibly my favourite after Valkyrie), to dip into the gutter slang of the average forum dwelling reprobate “hawt space pirate chickz ftw!1!”. Its odd, not a huge amount of space pirates in stuff these days.

Anyhow UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie, I have to say I decided to watch it based almost entirely on the name. I found it to be quite different than what I was expecting, I was expecting some typical magical girl stuff, but it’s really a quite amusing romantic comedy interspersed with some enjoyable action. The humour has a nice range from slapstick to satire and the only magical girl trappings are the transformation sequences, which are clearly spoofed and not common enough to be irritating. All in all this is just an enjoyable watch, nothing too taxing but enough to keep one interested and amused (some nice pathos in some of the episodes as well).

Yu Yu Hakusho – *****

I’ve begun to watch slightly older anime that I missed the first time around. The only real difference between older and newer anime is to be found in the quality of the animation and in some of the character designs (depending on how far back you go). Anyhow that aside I have to say that I really enjoyed Yu Yu Hakusho. In many ways it’s the quintessential shonen anime series. The main protagonist has a special power which grows through conflict and he gains new abilities or variations on his powers when the chips are down, through in a bunch of similarly functioning allies, a love interest and some bad guys (preferably in a big bad guy and his team of elite henchmen format) and have at it. Some more modern anime’s try and dress this formula up a bit, but at its core (just like the “monster of the week” format) it’s an enjoyable format that delivers, without pretence, what it sets out to. I always find it strange when people criticise things for being what they are, but that’s another argument.

Anyhow Yu Yu Hakusho dispenses with any illusion of plot wankery and the storyline can be summed up as Character Intro – Tournament 1 – Tournament 2 – Tournament 3 – Epilogue. While the plot is simple it does serve to deliver some nice twists and some real emotion, as well as some very enjoyable action. If you liked Bleach, Naruto, DBZ, etc. then this is certainly worth a watch.

Played (insert witty comment here)

Well I suppose some slight explanation should be provided for the obscene amount of fighting games listed below. Well maybe one shouldn’t but I’m going to provide you with one anyway, cause that’s just the kind of guy I am. Back in the far gone days of my youth a game was released, a little game called Street Fighter II. Which I was more than a little impressed with, every day after school I’d walk into town and spend all day playing it in the arcade’s before getting the late bus home. A year or two later I almost got into a less than exciting knife fight with some guys in the arcade which resulted in me running from the centre of town all the way out to the customs buildings on the outskirts of town – good times. After that I sort of lost interest in frequenting said arcade (and by then SF2 had come out on consoles and I had managed to secure a console).

But that’s somewhat beside the point, the point being that Street Fighter II came out and more or less single handedly invented/re-invented the fighting game genre (in much the same way a few years later Doom would do the same thing with first person shooters). It was a phenomenon and like all such things if you weren’t involved or drawn into it then it may be hard to understand the attraction. After Street Fighter II more and more fighting games came out and while lack of competition or access to an arcade did somewhat dull the attraction it was always a genre of games that I kept myself at least tangentially immersed in. Then when the Playstation first came out the transition to 3d was make with Tekken (the tekken games have always been first for me, Tekken 1 was the first game I played on the PSX, Tekken Tag Tournament the first game I played on the PS2 and Tekken 5:Dark Resurrection the first game I played on PSP and PS3). And I certainly got a considerable amount of play out of nearly every 3d fighter released from Tekken 1 onwards.

But unfortunately what one really needs to get the most out of these games and due to the wonders of changing circumstance all the competition more or less dried up or disappeared and my interest in these games waned slightly. However a year or two ago with the release of the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection my interest in the genre was strongly rekindled. However, again lack of competition and various “real world factors (TM)” killed the interest. But a few weeks ago, for no particular reason at all, I felt a sudden burning urge to get back into fighting games in a big way, in particular to give 2d fighting games some serious time once more. So I began amassing any fighting game that wasn’t complete ass, hence the rather list of fighting games below.

Well that was rather tedious, so in other news, Capcom have announced Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (jesus christ that’s a long name) for both Live and the PS Network. Which seems to have got plenty of peoples panties in a bunch, tragically I’d abandoned going to arcades (for fear of forcibly losing my anal virginity, they were in Dundalk after all) whenever this came out so I’m not privy to its wonder. However, then I found out that all the artwork was being redone by Udon and I have to say that’s pretty cool. There’s very little stuff that Udon puts out that I don’t like the look of and I think their Street Fighter stuff in particular looks fucking great (I have nearly all their SF posters and all the issues of the comic that were released). Also saw this comparison shot which makes it seem that the game will look sexy. Though it also seems that no new animation frames are being added so the action may still look somewhat “jerky”. Now I just want to see the same thing done for Guilty Gear, though Guilty Gears house artists are easily as good as Udon so all I want is HD Guilty Gear not updated sprites.

Playstation 3

I think I may have been less excited about the Xbox 360 launch but certainly not by a huge amount. For much the same reason if I recall, that is, the launch titles were more or less entirely balls. However, I had more or less forgotten that about half a year ago I had pre-ordered a PS3 thinking that there would be the same shortages the other consoles experienced on launch. Foolish me. Still hindsight is 20/20, etc., etc. Anyhow a day or two after the official launch my PS3 arrived in the post, and I have to say after unpacking it I was a bit excited, new toys are always nice and while it may look a bit like a futuristic breadbin it is all black and shiny and touch buttony and high tech.

I also have to say that I found it to be much more user friendly upon initial boot than the 360 was (which is a good thing as inexplicably none of the literature that came with it was in English). If you’ve used a psp the ps3 dashboard is more or less identical (though it currently lacks the customisation options of the psp’s dashboard), it’s a nice unobtrusive design, so no complaints there. The first thing I did was set up a Playstation Network account and began downloading Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection (hi res tekken for a tenner, yes, yes). I found the online experience to be sparse yet utilitarian. I preferred it to Xbox live, but that’s probably because I harbour an irrational hatred of Xbox live.

While Tekken 5:DR was downloading I fiddled around with the various menu options, set GT HD to download and of course rang Patrick to mock him about my new acquisition. Then as usual my plan to not buy any launch games crumbled (if willpower was like electricity I’d be livin in darkness) and I had the old one convey me to town where I wandered around Gamestop in indecision before finally purchasing Enchanted Arms (more on this below). When I got home everything I had queued had downloaded so I played a bit of T5:DR and then tried out GT:HD – but remembering I sucked balls at it I moved on to Enchanted Arms. I played that for a few hours until Patrick arrived out to the house, whereupon I “oWnzed” him (ha, he’s now only one perfect ahead, only one). Since then I’ve largely only played T5:DR on it, but that’s more to do with my current infatuation with fighting game than anything else. I also have a Xubuntu Linux distro ready to install on it, but want to refresh myself on the (questionable) wonders of Linux before installing it (though the ability to play back x&h264 is quite tempting). I also finally managed to pick up Virtua Fighter 5 for it on eBay (though as I haven’t liked previous VF’s I don’t know why).

Taking the system as a whole I don’t think I’d be in any rush to run out and buy one. It’s a good system and there’s plenty of great stuff coming out for it, but I’d probably be tempted to just wait until a game I wanted came out on it and buy it then. Of course I lack a HDTV and as such can’t make use of the blu-ray player (ironically the most expensive part of it), so if you’re looking for a next gen console and you want to view HD media then that would certainly make it more attractive. In terms of price it’s about equal to the 360 (assuming you buy the HD add-on for the 360). In terms of games the 360 has the lead, but after been out over a year longer the lead is somewhat pathetic. The amount of games worth owning on the 360 is depressingly small and most of the games coming out for it aren’t system exclusive so I’ll probably end up getting them for the PS3 instead. I think the worst thing about the whole 360 vs. PS3 is the amount of cunts slinging the phrase “fanboi/y” about. As it’s a phrase which I find strangely annoying.

Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection – *****

It’s a nicer balanced version of Tekken 5 with two extra characters. As Tekken 5 was my favourite incarnation of one of my favourite game franchises it is not a huge surprise that I really like this game. The fact that it was only a tenner certainly didn’t do anything to hurt that. The only negative thing I would have to say about it is that because I’ve become used to the huge amount of extras Namco always back into their console ports its a little strange to play such a bare bones arcade port. But as it was only ever meant to be an arcade port there’s little use in complaining about that.

Enchanted Arms – ****

Even though every time I buy a new console I swear I won’t just go out and buy I release game I inevitably break and go out and do just that. So when I purchased the PS3 it was no different and despite my original intentions I dragged myself into town to GAME. Then I saw that PS3 games were 75 euro a pop and I almost dragged myself straight back out of the shop. But I had some old games to trade in which brought the price down to an “acceptable” sixty euro. After spending about five minutes trying to decide between Resistance and this I went with this, as to be honest my interest in FPS is more or less non-existent these days (yes, that’s right, still your gasps of incredulity – but don’t worry I’ve maintained my gamer cred by becoming even more anal about fighters – see below). So anyhow, enchanted arms in tow I returned home. Where I found T5:DR had downloaded from the PS Store, so I spent a little while playing that. But eventually my brothers whining broke me and I threw on Enchanted Arms.

I warn you now, the first thing you should do is change the voice acting from English to Japanese. The english voice acting is laughably poor. However, I found the inclusion of the japanese voice acting to be an extremely welcome addition, it’s something I commonly complain about when I buy a JRPG and only the english voice acting is included. Now that the games are on blue ray there’s really no excuse not to include no-effort “extras” like the original voice acting.

I found the first few hours of the game to be extremely enjoyable and very reminiscent of an interactive high-school anime, which based on my recent anime viewing (see above) was obviously much to my liking. The graphics are good, but not stunning – though the CG sequences are very nice looking indeed. I also really like the battle system which is very reminiscent of SRPG’s. Unfortunately the game fell foul of my recent obsession with fighting games so I haven’t got back to it in a while and as such have yet to complete it. My only major issue with the game is the fact that they removed the ability to battle against other players online with your army of golems (which was in the 360 version), which I have to say pissed me right off.

I also don’t know why the game received such generally poor reviews, the comments from Penny Arcade mentioned in the linked article above pretty much sum up my feelings on the matter.

The Battle of Yu Yu Hakushou Shitou Ankoku Bujutsukai 120 – ?

Fighting game based on Yu Yu Hakushou. Has one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in a character selection screen (when you move over a character selected highlights of that character kicking ass in the anime play in the background, all anime based fighters should have something like this). I haven’t given this much more than a cursory play through as when I first got it I didn’t want to ruin the story of Yu Yu Hakusho for myself and so held of playing it, now the people I could play it against are watching Yu Yu Hakusho and don’t want to ruin the story for themselves, selfish bastards.

Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi – ?

A very nice looking cel shaded fighter based on Historys Strongest Disciple Kenichi. There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of depth to this and the inability to jump takes a little getting used to. I haven’t really played this much yet as I’m waiting to watch/read Kenichi and don’t wish to spoil the story for myself.

Battle Stadium DON – ***

This game is essentially Super Smash Brothers Melee but with the cast of Nintendo franchises exchanged for the cast of Dragonball Z, One Piece and Naruto (hence the D.O.N., cunning eh?). And its fun in the same way that super smash bros. is fun, well actually that’s a somewhat unfounded theory on my part. I dislike Super smash. bros but I found this to be quite enjoyable, however the gameplay seems to be fairly identical. Perhaps I have some kind of deep seated sub-conscious hatred of Nintendo (maybe I was felt up by a fat, italian plumber?) that causes me to dislike super smash? Who can say. Anyway like super smash though there isn’t a huge appeal in playing this by yourself. Even more so than most fighting games this requires human opponents, preferably four of them for some multi tap action. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet but I imagine this game goes well with beer.

Full Metal Alchemist: Dream Carnival – **

This plays almost identically to the Naruto “Narutimate Hero” series of games. But for some reason it just seems to work so much better with Naruto than with FMA. This game just doesn’t “feel” right, there’s nothing specific I can point to, but while they’re very similar in nature playing Narutimate Hero 3 is a fun, hectic experience whereas playing this just feels like something of a chore. Not sure why really, but there you go.

God of War II – ****

This feels very much the spiritual successor the 300. But obviously it’s a successor to God of War, and like the original game and the film 300 this is very much balls to the wall, half naked hard men kicking ass action. Gameplay wise its very similar to the first game, but with loads of nice little touches and all the annoying bits filed off. However, the game feels very “choppy” from a story point of view. I often end up doing things in levels or listening to dialog and getting the feeling that I’ve missed something (in the case of level goals, why the fuck I’m doing it? and in the case of dialog, backstory). At first I thought this was just me and that I’d missed some stuff or accidentally skipped some cut scenes. But no, it would appear after speaking with others who have been playing the game that the story is in fact weirdly choppy. It’s an issue that I find more and more annoying the further I progress into the game. This is most likely due to the fact that while the gameplay is excellent and so to is the presentation it was really the story that hooked me in the first game. And I was looking forward to its continuation in the second. There’s also the fact that they seem to have increased Kratos’ knobbery to godlike (pun intended) levels, I now have this weird feeling when playing the game where I’m both annoyed (because one should be) when I cock up and he dies, but also strangely gratified (because he’s a dick). I think if I were speaking to someone who hadn’t played either game then I would probably recommend the first.

Hmm. Just finished God of War 2, can’t say I’m very fucking pleased. It’s Halo fucking 2 all over again. Yes continuing stories are nice and I know that you poor game developers on your meagre little salaries need something to hook us into the next purchase. But stopping the fucking story in the middle or on a cliff-hanger doesn’t fucking endear you to your fans when they have to wait a few years to get the fucking follow-up to it. Bastards. And the fish costume you unlock isn’t even funny. From a gameplay point of view I also found the last two or three bosses to be embarrassingly easy compared to the complete bastard of a last boss in God of War.

Hokuto no Ken : Sinpan no Sousousei Kengo Retsuden – ****

A Fist of the North Star 2d fighting game. You can use the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken. That should be all you need to know. If you really must know more then go to youtube and have a look at some of the combo videos for it.

King Of Fighters XI – ?

I’m not going to give this a rating because I’ve never liked a single KoF game nor any of their predecessors. I blame it on a holiday to Trabolgan where the only fighting game in the machine was Fatal Fury 2, god I fucking sucked at that game and got beaten routinely by this annoying little kid with a stupid fucking baseball cap (I also dislike baseball caps). Ever since then I’ve avoided the franchise and its off-shoots. But not that I’m all mature and shit I thought I should give them a go and I played a match or two, but the characters are all just so boring to look at and I just couldn’t really get into it. So I’m withholding my opinion on it until such a time as I can give it a fair try.

Melty Blood – Act Cadenza – ****

For some reason Simon (my youngest brother) finds the name of this game hilarious, well the name and the intro. Admittedly the intro is amusing and the name somewhat nonsensical but I didn’t think it was that bad. Anyhow, Melty Blood is a “2d doujin fighter” and a very enjoyable one at that. It was originally released on the pc and has gone through a few iterations so the PS2 port is the best balanced of the lot (and was in fact ported back into the arcades).

It’s set in the same world as Type-Moon’s Tsukihime franchise (and its various spinoff’s), which I mention below. In terms of game engine it’s quite similar to more modern chain-heavy 2d fighters such as Guilty Gear or Hokuto no Ken as opposed to the more “solid” game engines of stuff like Street Fighter or King of Fighters. While opinions on whether this is a good thing or not vary wildly I have to say that its much more interesting to watch a MBAC (Melty Blood: Act Cadenza) or Guilty Gear match where people are firing off huge multi-hit combo’s and cool special effects than it is to watch a high level Street Fighter match (which may be, arguably, more cerebral but its more exciting to watch mud wrestling than chess).

Garouden : Breakblow – Fist or Twist – *

Didn’t like this game at all, in fact I’d go so far as to say that its utter balls. Perhaps if I was familiar with the source material it would be better, but I really don’t think so. It plays like the fighters are wading through molasses and the unique character design turned me off the game entirely (a more deformed version of the Grappler Baki school of character design).

Guilty Gear XX /: The Midnight Carnival – ****

Another instalment of the Guilty Gear XX franchise. Quite a large number of changes in the way most of the characters play which caused a fairly big change in the tiers from #R to this. I suppose the most noticeable changes are the addition of two new character’s – A.B.A. and (my favourite) Holy-Order Sol, a historical version of my favourite Guilty Gear character Sol Badguy. The games more balanced overall and while the top-tier character (Ky) is quite powerful he doesn’t feel as dominant as the top tier characters from #R were.

The PS2 port of the latest Guilty Gear (Guilty Gear XX Accent Core) is out at the end of May so I’m not sure if I should really dedicate a huge amount of time to Slash. However, that being said the differences between the two are not major and Guilty Gear is the game I intend to make my “main” 2d fighter. My only issue now is to try and rope in people to play against (well that and trying to time fucking FRC’s).

Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix Max – ***

If your old like me than you may remember “M.U.S.C.L.E. Men”, I loved those little bastards. Well, anyway, like a lot of the more enduring childhood 80’s meme’s these bad boys originated in Japan, from the Kinnikuman series to be precise. If your not as old as me but happened to have been watching Toonami then you may have seen Ultimate Muscle, which is a sequel to the original Kinnikuman series (and as an aside fucking impossible to find for download). If you’re not familiar with either of these sources then my paltry words cannot convey the general oddness of the “competitors”. From a barebones point of view the game is a (very) nice looking wrestler, as such the controls are relatively simple, but it’s really the characters that make it. Unlike a lot of the other japanese games mentioned here the menus for KMGPXM are very japanese heavy, but a bit of trial and error (or trip to gamefaqs) will soon let you know what’s what.

Shin Gouketuji Ichizoku Bonnou Kaihou a.k.a. Power Instinct Matrimelee: Liberation of Lusts – ****

If you’re expecting this game to be about buxom beauties beating one another ala Dead or Alive then I’m afraid you will find the title to be tragically misleading. If you were instead looking to see old japanese women launch giant projectile false teeth fireballs at an old man wearing a loin cloth who attacks by flashing while a spoof jap-pop band play in the background then you’re in luck. PIM:LL is probably one of the oddest fighters I own, actually it’s probably the oddest fighter I own (Kinnikuman Muscle GP is up there as well). But it’s odd in quite an endearing way.

Romance Of The 3 Kingdoms XI – ?

I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games since Rot3K VIII came out on the PS2, but I never seemed able to find any and eventually lost interest. However a while ago I stumbled across a review of this game on the net which said that the game was so complex that it took over three hours just to complete the tutorial and that the reviewer himself hadn’t completed the first scenario. So for much the same reasons I picked up Gun Valkyrie, Shinobi etc. (in short because I’m a) pretentious and b) a videogame masochist) I decided to get a hold of this.

Unfortunately I haven’t had three hours to set aside yet to make it through the tutorial and it’s not the kind of game where one can just jump right in. So at the moment I have no idea how it plays (but the intro’s really nice ;) ). However, considering how long I’ve been faffing around trying to finish off this blog I will no doubt have got around to at least playing it by the time I post this.

Update: Well it’s about a week later and I still haven’t got around to this. I feel that RoT3K XI will be appearing again and again in the months to come.

Samurai Showdown VI – ***

The first time I played a Samurai Showdown game was in the arcade on Patrick’s street in Newry beside savages newsagents while I waited for my mother to finish buying magazines. I got smoked like a bitch but found the character designs and copious amount of gore to be quite engaging. Never really played it again though, my next encounter with it was just after the diamond mine opened in Dundalk (and before it filled with scum). I again got my ass kicked (and how).

Then a few weeks ago I got this which contains every character from all the SamSho games (yay!) but the blood has been replaced by green flashes (boo!). When I played the computer I got my ass kicked.

I’m seeing a pattern here.

I’d like to get good at this game, the characters are cool and some of the unique fighting engine mechanics are pretty appealing. But I’m not sure if I have the time (stop laughing you bastards) or the competition to get even average with it. Ah the tragedy.

Neo-Geo Battle Coliseum – ?

This game takes characters from across SNK’s various franchise’s (King of Fighters, Metal Slug, etc.) and throws them all into a 2d fighting game. This is one of the few SNK serviced fighting games that hasn’t turned me off as soon as I turned it on. It feels like it could be a really fun game, and some of the youtube videos certainly back this up, but unfortunately I can’t ever see me really getting into it.

Tsukihime – ****

A bit of a departure from the other games I’ve been playing recently, in fact it’s somewhat arguable that this is a game at all. It’s more an interactive novel (and not hugely interactive at that) and by more an interactive novel I mean it’s a visual novel (which is a fancy term for interactive novel ;) ). It’s of japanese origin but was fan translated into english. The translation is quite well done and and the language flows well.

The story itself is very interesting and the characters (and setting) are pretty cool, the only downside to the entire thing is that there are occasional “H Scenes” (that’s hentai scenes, aka porn) which so far have been little more than irritating distractions from the main storyline. Its odd how due to the quality of their stories the company (Type-Moon) went from an obscure company producing eroge visual novels to a mainstream company producing major licences such as Fate/Stay Night (the anime of which is extremely good and the translation of the original game to english is in beta testing, if I was giving to such things a “yay” might be in order).

I suppose one of the handy things about visual novels is that they are not system intensive in the least, nor do they take up much space so its easy to run them from memory sticks on any old piece of shit computer at all (as this thought just hit me I now know what I shall be doing in work this week).

The Rumble Fish – ****

Not the shit movie (I bet everyone who ever writes about this game makes that joke). One of the newer 2d fighters out there, and almost certainly the nicest looking of the bunch (well until all these new HD versions of old fighters come out). It’s probably worth getting just for how nice it looks (in terms of 2d fighters). It plays quite well and if you ban the unlockable characters it’s very balanced. Though on the downside of all this niceness it would appear that it’s not that easy to do so the roster of characters is very small for a 2d fighting game (or most fighting games really) weighing in at 10 if I recall correctly.

Finishing myself off

Well as I predicted (with my amazingly uncanny accuracy, oooh spooky) I did indeed get distracted/forget/wasn’t arsed to finish this off on time and so it has languished unloved and unattended on my desktop for the last week. However, I must finish it in order to make way for my next amazing missive to the masses. So I’ve decided to just throw together a list (fun fact – short sentences easier than long ones) of things I feel should be included.

Ha, another few days have gone by and I still haven’t finished this; I also have discarded my amazing list idea. I had a strange dream this morning which I haven’t been able to shake, this along with the bastard flu that my sickly family has infected me with has left me less than my usual sunny self and so to teach myself a lesson I’m going to get this thing off my desktop to make way for my next amazing blog where I will outline my plans for the future and wax lyrical on my feelings about love, I bet your underwear’s heavy with excitement.

Well a headache and my amazing apathy delayed my posting of this, but weep no longer my loyal fans for I have now provided you with more mana from the mighty heaven of my mind.

Listening to: The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drums

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