tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

Archive for the 'Anime' Category

I’m watching anime again

Which anime, you ask? Well…

poses

Fabulous.

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Shurikens and Lightning

I’ve been putting a fair amount of effort into tackling my gaming backlog recently, with the end goal of putting myself into a position where I can play something that came out within the last few months. Unfortunately, surprise sales by PC game download stores do not help in this regard. Since my last update I’ve added Call of Duty 4 ($15 on Steam at the time) and Painkiller ($6 from GoG.com) to my backlog. Fortunately I’ve also beaten one and the majority of the other in that time, so I can talk a bit about their differing approaches to FPS design.

One shot, one kill...ideally

CoD4 is of course more popular than Jesus (or so I’m told), and there’s still a significant contingent of people playing it on the PC (the less said about MW2 the better). CoD4 is very much made in the mould of the more recent generation of first-person shooters – regenerating health and all. That said, it’s not a pushover – great importance is placed on avoiding damage through taking cover or killing enemies before they have a chance to shoot you, since on Hardened and above you die in very few hits. Because of this there’s also a strong emphasis on being highly accurate with your shots, much like in, say, Counter-Strike. I’m not a huge fan of this type of FPS since my skill at getting consistent headshots is non-existent (spec me when I’m playing Sniper in TF2 and you’ll see what I mean), but I don’t mind it. That said it took some time for me to get used to since I don’t typically play games with tons of hitscan weapons and low player HP.

I haven’t tried the game online yet, but I might at some point. I don’t expect to do too well, though.

The first boss you fight in the game. Yes, that is his actual size.

On the other side of the coin, we have Painkiller, a game from a much older tradition – namely, the original Quake. There is no cover system, no headshot mechanic, and no realistic weapon damage. What there is are five well-crafted weapons, each with a unique primary and secondary fire mode (so it’s really more like ten weapons), a few million guys to kill and some gorgeous-looking levels to kill them in. That said, this isn’t Serious Sam where they just let you loose in a giant open field and throw enemies at you – the enemies are very well-designed, and taking them down while minimizing damage to yourself can often be rather challenging. To give an example there’s one level where you need to fight off tons of shotgun/bayonet wielding soldiers. There are literally tons of these guys, and they can actually outrun you, even if you bunnyhop. At the same time, though, there are bigger guys who have miniguns and are shooting at you from further away. And if you try to get into the fray and take out the little guys with your shotgun, look out for the giant guys with the flamethrowers. As a result, beating the level comes down to a frantic game of moving quickly and efficiently while firing shots and switching weapons like mad to thin the horde that’s bearing down on you and chipping away at your health. It really feels like a single-player version of Quake III Arena, which is why I’m loving the hell out of it. After you clear an entire horde by the skin of your teeth, the sense of accomplishment is palpable.

Also, there’s a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning.

Overall I’d say I prefer Painkiller over CoD4, although that’s largely a function of my time spent playing games like Doom and Quake while growing up. Your mileage will probably vary.

In other news, with Gintama finally being off the air I’m casting around for other shows to watch. I’m currently enjoying Crunchyroll’s simulcast of Durarara!!, and I’ve started pulling up older shows on Hulu, like Baccano! and Darker than Black. If you have any recommendations for stuff that I might be interested in (preferably over a streaming service of some kind), do let me know in the comments.

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Help me spend money

I’ll skip my usual preamble. :P

I just traded in a bunch of old games (KOF XII, Castlevania DoS, Elite Beat Agents, Worms Open Warfare 2, Pokemon Pearl and Ninja Gaiden DS, if you’re curious) for a total of about $30 in Amazon gift card credit, and I’m wondering what I should get with it. These are the options I’m looking at (based on my Amazon wishlist):

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
  • Assassin’s Creed II (PS3)
  • Yakuza 3 (PS3) – although I’m thinking of springing for the import since the US version has cuts
  • Baccano! DVD box set
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie DVD box set

Alternatively if you have any other suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them…

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Incoherent rambling

About time for one of these posts, I think.

I’ve found a new place in downtown Seattle that I’ll be moving to next month. My current complex is honestly not that bad except for two problems:

  1. The ISP choices are terrible (I currently have 1.5Mbps DSL, which is the highest speed available)
  2. There isn’t really much of anything within reasonable walking distance

The new place has a supermarket on the ground floor (yay) and a few restaurants within walking distance. The ISP is Comcast, which may be dubious to some but I’m willing to go through the annoying setup process if it means I get a download rate from this century. The only downside is that I’ll either need to take a bus or a company shuttle to work, but eh, I need to start getting up earlier anyway. Getting all my stuff moved over is going to be a pain though…the number of my possessions has increased considerably since I moved to Seattle.

Speaking of Internet, I braved uTorrent a while back to watch some fansubbed anime, namely the first two episodes of K-On! I like it, but I probably won’t be able to watch the rest of it since BitTorrent basically nukes my connection (for reasons I haven’t figured out yet).

Still waiting for Sony to patch in PS2 support for the Madcatz SF4 sticks…I figure if it doesn’t come within another few patches I may just sell this to buy a HRAP3 (which does work for PS2 games). As it stands I need to use my old Tekken 5 stick over an adapter, and going from the awesome Sanwa joystick + buttons to the decent-ish Hori stick and buttons is…well, it’s like owning a Ferrari and driving a Honda instead, if you get my drift.

Installed iPhone OS 3.0 last week. My phone seems to be a lot more responsive now, so it’s obvious they’ve put some work into performance. I don’t use copy/paste much, but the push notifications have been very handy – I finally installed an IM client (Beejive) on my phone thanks to this new feature. Of course, if the damn thing supported background tasks in the first place this wouldn’t be an issue…

That said, I kind of wish AT&T didn’t want $400 from me for the 3GS. That new camera and faster CPU are really enticing.

I took out my guitar for the first time in months today, and all I can say for now is ‘wtf I suck.’ Hopefully this will change.

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Niconicodouga just discovered Daler Mehndi, apparently

I fear for the future.

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I’m watching anime again

I stopped watching new shows for the last year or so, because my DSL connection has so little bandwidth that using BitTorrent ties it up completely. However, one thing I have been able to do is watch streams (not necessarily HD streams, but they’ll do for watching older stuff), and sites like Crunchyroll have proven to be useful in this regard.

So what am I watching over these streams? K-On? Guin Saga? Senjou no Valkyria?

Actually, it’s something a bit older.

hnk07

Yeah, it’s Hokuto no Ken. The original ‘80s TV series, not the OVAs (yet) or the hilariously bad Hollywood movie. I’m about 50 episodes in (right up to Kenshiro’s first fight against Raoh), and honestly, in spite of the inconsistent animation (it IS an ‘80s show after all), it’s great. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to watching it, but I’m glad I did. Great fights, great characters, and overall just really damn fun to watch. Watching Kenshiro explode body parts like they were nothing never stops being entertaining.

(Or watching Rei slice people into bite-sized chunks, for that matter. Damn he’s awesome)

I’m pretty sure I’m going to run up against the wall of filler that tends to infest just about all shounen adaptations at some point, but until then I’m going to keep enjoying the ride.

Quick question to anyone who’s seen the whole series – is Hokuto no Ken 2 (aka the post-Raoh stuff) worth watching at all? From scattered impressions and such I get the impression that it isn’t. That, and the artwork seems to take a turn for the worse…

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I don’t feel like writing anything today

So here’s a random screencap from Gintama:

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Stretching is good

As you’ve probably noticed by now I’ve made the layout a bit wider, mainly so that the comment threads don’t get squashed smaller and smaller as more people reply. They still get compressed, but now it’s not nearly as much of a problem.

I’ve also added a new banner, which if anything emphasises my lack of creativity in coming up with something that actually matches my blog’s colour scheme.

And er, that’s all I have to say, so in the meantime have my favourite ending theme from the ARIA series.

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にょろ~ん

So it was looking like while Kyoto Animation will be working on Tonari no 801-chan after Clannad: After Story wraps up, the fans of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu were going to be left out in the cold yet again.

Well, according to Zepy, it looks like we might get a lifeline! Of sorts.

Haruhi-chan and Churuya-san manga to be released in animated form on Youtube

This…wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for a new Haruhi series. But hey, anything related to Churuya-san gets my seal of approval.

Also, if they’re going to be animating fanmade spinoffs, I hereby cast my vote for an animated version of Kyonko!

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One small step for Aria shachou

NASA officially declares that it has found water on Mars.

Now all we need is some gondolas, blue-eyed Martian cats and a few hundred years of terraforming and I think I’ll be ready to move there! :D

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