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Video games and other things.

Posts Tagged ‘miscellany’

Special Stage Extra: The Hobbits, The Hobbits…

There were a lot of little things I had forgotten to mention in my PAX posts, like the donut people roaming the queue the second morning, Ubisoft’s redefinition of the term “Flash Mob” in their promotion of Just Dance that same day, the fact that the show directories were called the “World Map”, and the Hitler meme covered in Alex Leavitt’s talk which I hadn’t been aware of until then. Most memorably, there was a certain video which was voted on while in the queue, which we hadn’t seen in ages before PAX East, but whose tune has gotten stuck in our heads many times since then. All together: “They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard!”

A certain <i>DMC</i> arachnid gets a little lost.

A certain DMC arachnid gets a little lost.

Speaking of Penny Arcade, a few weeks ago, I started reading the entire archive from the beginning, something I’d never done before. I can’t remember exactly when it was that I started reading PA, but I believe it was sometime after the current style and format had been established, so it was interesting to go back and see the oldest of the old strips. So far, I’ve happened upon Gabe’s marriage proposal, the introduction of names, the first appearance of DivX, the first mention of the Fruit Fucker, Chuck’s transformation into Charles, and much more. There is technobabble, Dreamcast love, and some where the strip is funny, but the lack of historical context is a little infuriating (Cyrus believes this is from around the time of the World of WarCraft announcement). However, for games that I have played and remember well (like, say, Devil May Cry), seeing them made fun of in old Penny Arcade strips is an enjoyable way to indulge in nostalgia.

Elsewhere on the interwebs, thanks to fadedjae on LJ for reccing the Escapist article Phoenix Wright‘s Objection!”, which shows just how closely the Gyakuten/Ace Attorney series mirrors (and pokes fun at) the Japanese legal system. Some of the information wasn’t new to me—mainly Japan’s high confession and conviction rates—but much of it was, and it was certainly an eye-opener.

Finally, in case you’re looking for good deals on video game soundtracks—or have one to share—I’ve started a thread on the Cheap Ass Gamer forums with comprehensive information on anything related to buying OSTs: store listings, tips, deals, sales, you name it. Please note that you must be a registered member of the CAG community in order to view this or any of the other threads in the Video Game Deals forum.


How to Fix a DS Lite

As I mentioned in my previous post, I repaired my DS Lite yesterday. I had first noticed problems with the d-pad’s down button while playing Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer; just a regular press and hold wasn’t working, and I would find myself having to apply more pressure in order to get Shiren to walk southward for awhile. Once I encountered this same problem not long after starting Pokemon Platinum, I decided right then and there that I would be taking apart my DS sometime soon to rectify this situation.

Though the prospect of doing DIY repair on a home console is one I dread (case in point: I sold my busted phat PS2 instead of attempting to fix its disk reading problem), taking apart handhelds is something I’ve been doing for a long time now. Back in the day, it was a Tiger LCD game that would give me trouble. Fortunately, all it took was a clean work surface and a small enough screwdriver to take the thing apart and correct the problem, which typically involved inverted rubbery plastic nubs, the ones which serve as the liaison between the game’s buttons and the motherboard.

I have seen the innards of both these puppies.I was facing a similar issue with my DS, and one I thought would be relatively easy to fix. This would be the second Nintendo handheld I would ever open up. The first was the used Game Boy Advance I bought last year. After a bit of bad luck with an earlier seller, the Arctic White GBA I wound up with arrived in excellent condition and worked fine. There was, however, one little problem in the form of a big spot of dust in the space between the clear top layer and the screen itself. I borrowed a triwing screwdriver, brought out a can of compressed air, and got to work. This bit of minor electronic surgery ended up being successful.

I was a bit more nervous about repairing the DS Lite, though. When the touchscreen on my Phat went all wonky, I unloaded it on eBay, seeing my misfortune as a perfect excuse to upgrade. However, I am more attached to my lovely Ice Blue Lite. It’s a Japanese model that cost me more than any of the North American ones would have, and therefore would be expensive to replace if something went wrong. I thought about sending it to Nintendo of America for repairs if something really went wrong, but again, it’s a Japanese Lite and I’m not sure if they would fix something like that, one reason being the button action on the thing is very different from that on my husband’s, which is a North American model.

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PAX East 2010, Part One: Of Panels and Pokewalkers

One quick note before I begin: I’m looking for PAX East cosplay pics on deviantART. If you see (or have added) any over there, please post a reply with a link or links; thanks.

Now, on with the post, which is rather long, even though it’s just the first part. Co-starring my partner in crime; some of you may know him by his old FFVII Citadel handle, Cyrus Dogstar.

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Turnabout Headphones

I started Devil May Cry 4 last night. One of the main things that stuck out at me during the opening cutscenes was not the camera work, nor the music, though those were nice. Rather, it was the fact that here we were, in a vaguely Old World European setting—set in the current day, sure, but there were monks and such everywhere, and not a single bit of modern architecture in sight—and one of the main characters, Nero, walks in, wearing not just the requisite long coat with zippers and red and black trimmings, but headphones.

Headphones. Big stereo headphones, too.

They just seemed out of place to me, though pretty run of the mill for the DMC universe.

Nero, what's with your hand? And where's your headphones?!

Nero, what's with your hand? And where's your headphones?!

They also reminded me of this illustration book, which I saw late last year in NYC’s Kinokuniya. It’s sort of a collection of headphones moe, if you define moe as having to do with idealization, or a particular fetish. The other major definition of moe is more specific, and refers to a certain type of feminine innocence.

As such, there isn’t much discussion of “male moe”, though it exists. Certainly, there are characteristics among bishonen that pop up again and again in Japanese comics, animation, and video games. Nero and his DMC4 co-star (oh, that’s gotta hurt) Dante have such “moe points” in spades, from the aforementioned coats, to their huge (*cough*) swords, to the stylings and very color of their hair.

White and grey-haired males have long been popular among gamer girls, especially villains. Yet another Devil May Cry character, Dante’s twin brother Vergil, is a fine example, as is FFVII’s Sephiroth, not to mention the star of the other Capcom game I started yesterday, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. Though not the only pale-haired prosecutor in the series, Edgeworth—defense lawyer Phoenix Wright’s friend and rival—has been a particular favorite amongst Ace Attorney fans since the first installment. This new game, in which he is the main character, has been long awaited by many of us. Given Edgeworth’s role in the series, it is also different from the other games in that it focuses on the investigations and avoids court scenes altogether. I’m currently in the midst of the game’s second episode; although the writing isn’t as good as it could be at times, I’m enjoying my time with Edgey. The Ace Attorney flavor is there, and that’s what’s important.

As for Devil May Cry 4, I haven’t gotten far enough into it to form a strong opinion yet, but I will say that it seems a little clunky and old-fashioned in the way that it does things, albeit with shiny graphics. We’ll see how the game shapes up once things really get rolling.


Christmas, Chrono, and the Undying Backlog

I apologize for the lack of posts lately; it’s been a busy holiday season. Since I last wrote here, I’ve beaten Radiata Stories, read most of the holiday issue of Edge (purchased in large part because I wanted to see why they gave Bayonetta a 10[!!!]), did the Christmas thing (Ratchet & Clank was my sole game gift, but just everything else I got was great), played a lot of Planet Puzzle League, started playing the DS port of Chrono Trigger (which is excellent), played with pets, did the New Year’s thing, bought my first game of 2010 (Forza Motorsport 2, Platinum Hits version), came back home, ordered pizza, put stuff away, and now… here I am again. Oh, and I played the Torchlight demo this afternoon; good stuff, but I have a tendency to drop Diablo-style games after awhile, so I won’t be getting this one, at least not right now, even though Steam’s $5 sale price expires after today.

D:

D:

There’s a lot I want to write about, and plan on doing so throughout the month. For now, though, a backlog update. I usually do these things in the spring, but I figured that it would make more sense to move these posts to the beginning of the year, which is when I’m setting my gaming goals and starting the year’s Beaten Games Tab anyway. So, yes, I have a lot of games to play. Again. And I think Rogue Galaxy is now in its fourth or fifth year of having gone unplayed.

With that said, here’s my must-play games for 2010:
Rogue Galaxy – For obvious reasons.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story – The other DS RPG I brought with me to play over Christmas/New Year’s. Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to starting it yet.
Chrono Cross – Sometime before March, or PAX East, at least.
SMT: Nocturne and SMT: Persona 3 FES
Tales of the Abyss
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer
Halo – I’ve had this in my PC stack of shame for years. Figure it’s about time I pop it in and see what all the fuss is about.

Out of my twelve 2009 must-plays, I managed to beat eight of them, gave up on one due to annoyance (Billy Hatcher), and never touched the final three (the non-Digital Devil Saga MegaTen games). Not too shabby, methinks. And while I’m at it, here are all of the games I beat in 2009. If all goes well, the 2010 Beaten Games Tab will be posted on my LJ account tomorrow.

More later, including my annual Roundup. Stay tuned…