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Stumpy lolis, killer lolis, and manwhores

It's been a while...I've been playing more VNs than just Umineko lately, so I figured I'd post about them.

Katawa ShoujoCollapse )

Full CircleCollapse )

Higurashi no Naku Koro niCollapse )

Future VN goals: catch up on aUmineko (I'm currently in arc 3), finish Higurashi, and play a few others that I've downloaded (Fate/stay night and Narcissu, among others).


Okay, so I may have squealed like a little girl (literally) when I read last night that Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is being remade for the PSP and brought to North America. Since LUCT is still one of my favorite games of all time, ever, this is amazingly good news for me. They're adding a new character, rebalancing the gameplay (you can now have up to 12 characters in battle, and enemies can have up to 18), giving it a graphical overhaul while still keeping it looking like the original (the battlefields are now in 3D and you can rotate them! Sprites are still squat little SD guys though).

Now, the bad: as you can see from the website, the translation is giving off distinct signs of that Ivalician lisp I remember so well from War of the Lions. While some of the new names are closer to the original Japanese (Dorgalua over Dolgare), others have gratuitous y's, bizarre consonantal shifts and a buttload of consonantal diphthongs (Overis to Oberyth, Zeteginea to Xyteginia [WHAT], Walsta to Walister). Other changes that I'm undecided about: Vice is now "Vyce," Kachua is now "Catiua" (which I really like, actually), and Bacrum and Gargastan are now Bakram and Galgastan.

Honestly, I just don't want them to change the fact that 90% of the characters are named after Goetic demons. If I start seeing "Barbath" and "Andrath" and "Folcath," I am gonna have to cut a bitch.

Edit: More info can be found on the main English Tactics Ogre fansite discussion forum, and here's clear versions of the various Famitsu screenshots (thanks to tastystirfry).

Edit 2: Comparisons of the original with the update, graphically speaking.

Time to get big pimpin'

Partway through chapter 3 of Umineko no Naku Koro ni (just found out about Kuwadorian), and is it wrong that spoilers for Battler's romantic prospectsCollapse )

Anyway, since I didn't really pimp it in my last post, I would definitely recommend Umineko to a lot of you on the flist who may be unfamiliar with it (especially with the less weeaboo of you).

Essentially it's a visual novel of the family drama-slash-murder mystery-slash-logic game (with possibly paranormal elements?) genre with hilarious characters and awesome music. Basically, as it's a visual novel your interaction is limited and primarily mental - your physical interaction mostly consists of clicking to advance the text - so it's not really a video game per se. However, it's still pretty gripping.

Umineko no Naku Koro ni ("When the Seagulls Cry") follows a hotheaded, boob-loving 18-year-old guy named Battler, who's returning to the island owned by his wealthy family, the Ushiromiyas - the island of Rokkenjima - for the first time in six years. While there with his father and stepmother, he is reunited with family members he hasn't seen in years - his cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandfather - and family servants. When a legend that the family received its wealth from the Golden Witch Beatrice in his grandfather's day resurfaces during the family meeting, stirring up discontent among relatives fighting over grandpa's inheritance, things get bad. When a typhoon closes the island off from the outside world for two days, things get worse. When people start dying, the shit really hits the fan, and no one knows who will survive - or whether anyone will - until the typhoon ends and the seagulls once again begin to cry.

The game is divided into "chapters," each of which tells the story of these two days slightly differently. The series revolves around the "for want of a nail" trope; the appearance of an extra person on the island before the meeting begins, for example, or the choice of a character to go to the guest house instead of the main house means that events change, and different people die at different times (or even survive). After the first chapter a framework arises into which all the later chapters fall - a contest of logic, how that logic can be twisted, and of whether the story is a mystery or a fantasy.

Or, to sum it up: It's like Phoenix Wright: Ace Logician with Adell and Rozalin of Disgaea 2, but from the makers of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (so, set in a Groundhog Day loop with frequent violent, horrible death). Alternately heartwarming and gruesome. There's an anime and a manga of it, too - as with Higurashi - but I've heard mixed things about the anime. I can definitely vouch for the game, though!

For those of you who would like to try it out, and don't mind resorting to somewhat illegal methods to do so*, you can find the game available to download here. (Or at least the first four chapters - the "question" arcs - which introduce you to the world and give you all the clues you truly need to solve it, though it won't make it easy. The "answer" arcs are still being released - two have come out so far, with two yet to come out - which will resolve most if not all of the questions raised in the question arcs and give us the solution, as well as presumably an ending for our characters that doesn't involve most/all of them dying horribly.)

The translation can be found here (protip: if you use non-Japanese Windows or Mac, use the translation program to install the game from the CD image).

* If you do object, the translation site has a link to the free demo from the creators' website, which contains the first chapter only.

...Now, I probably need to get back to that paper draft which needs to be sent out tonight...curse my work and its insistence on getting in the way of my fun time!

Turning the board around


Anyway, just finished episode 2 of Umineko, and holy crap but Beato truly is an epic troll, isn't she?

And man but this series truly has some high-octane nightmare fuel, doesn't it?



I'm currently playing reading the Umineko no Naku Koro ni visual novel, which is actually pretty awesome so far - except I really like a lot of the characters, especially Battler, Jessica and George, and I'm worrying because it's becoming pretty clear that, in true When They Cry fashion, the story is heading towards grisly end(s) for most of the characters. D: D: D:

For some reason I've really been into visual novels lately - I've played through Katawa Shoujo a few times, which is surprisingly sweet and sensitive for something engendered in the hellish pit that is 4chan, and am hoping to work my way through Fate/stay night once I finish Umineko. And I want to get the official release of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni once I finish those, because I really liked the anime and want to play the games that inspired it. (Even if the artist for both Higurashi and Umineko can't draw hands to save his life.)

Edit: Also, forgot to mention this before, but enkiae, you seriously need to play this; it's like Higurashi but with the killer-loli and scheming-frosty-ojousama ratio reversed! (And one of the two lolis has an encyclopedic knowledge of Western black magic, so...)
Something all you Doctor Who fans on my friendslist should loveCollapse )

In other Who news, a (reconstructed) AIM conversation between me and jokersama (aka Puu):

The saga of MiffyCollapse )

Now time for a review of the latest episode...spoilers ahoy, natch.

Doctor Who 05x04, The Time of AngelsCollapse )

Where it began, I can't begin to know

Finally sent off the prospectus for my dissertation to my committee, and will be going in later today to photocopy a hard copy for them. WOOHOO! It took a year to come to fruition, but it's finally here!

Now here's hoping that in that same amount of time that it took to conceive and write these 7 pages (plus bibliography), that I can manage...about 250 pages of actual dissertation. orz

IN OTHER NEWS my digital letterpress class is going swimmingly; I'm currently in the process of making photopolymer printing plates for my first (of two) multi-page book project, which is a short booklet about the Tamam Shud case. Creepy AND informative...the best of both worlds! Anyway, I spent about 3 hours yesterday evening making polymer plates, and I'll probably spend the same amount of time or a bit more today doing the same thing. Here's hoping the end result is awesome enough to justify all this work?

And in OTHER OTHER NEWS I am elated about the return of Glee (Madonna episode tonight, HELL YEAH, BITCHES...and I'm not even a Madonna fan, I just loved Sue Sylvester's Vogue video). Other newly discovered televisual enjoyments have included Spartacus: Blood and Sand (bloody as fuck, but totally awesome), 6teen (from the creators of the Total Drama series, conceived as a teen version of Friends set in a shopping mall SHUT UP I KNOW I'M LAME BUT IT'S KINDA AWESOME), and Ugly Americans (which is wrong but totally awesome, especially zombie roommate Randall; as I was telling jokersama, it's reminiscent to me of that bizarrely awesome mid-'90's MTV show The Head). And of course there is Doctor Who, which is delightful to have back on regularly (even if "The Merchandising Victory of the Daleks" was a bit lightweight and plot-holey, especially given the awesome premise of Daleks fighting for Britain in World War II).

Finally, I am currently teaching a Rambo novel to my students to round out the semester...how awesome is that? (Clearly we will have to end our discussion of it by viewing clips of all four Rambo films, natch.) Sometimes I love teaching.


Just finished the newest Harry Dresden book by Jim Butcher, Changes...and it was totally awesome, as expected, but wow the author REALLY wasn't lying when he said this was the book that changes everything (as per the title). Also HOLY CLIFFHANGER ENDING BATMAN WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Also why is no one else I know reading these books, sob

Also I have been watching the new Doctor Who! I am greatly enjoying Smiffy as the Eleventh Doctor, and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond is adorable and awesome.

Highlights, lowlight and nattering about previews for next few weeksCollapse )

In other news, I sent off a prospectus draft this past week, and hope to send out the final draft next week. All things going well, I should have it approved and starting the dissertation should be go by the end of the month!

Writer's Block: Bombshell alert!

If you find out that a celebrity you admire has been cheated on by her/his partner, do you typically root for them to reconcile or split up? If they have kids together, how does that affect your opinion?

I'd tend to favor whatever the wronged party wants, though I'd lean towards a split-up; certainly in the most recent case (Sandra Bullock and Jesse James) I kinda think she should dump his ass, as from all accounts she is super-nice and is adorable. But if she wants to stick it out, good for her...though if I were her, I would not take kindly to having my post-Oscar mellow harshed by infidelity rising to the surface, and would kick his ass to the curb. But I generally feel that Sandra Bullock is the kind of person you don't cheat on (ditto with, say, Kate Winslet - not that I think she's splitting with Sam Mendes because there was cheating, but similarly she's the kind of star whom pretty much everyone likes, and if you cheat on her you'll piss off a lot of people).

Anyway, I am finally getting around to doing the three fandoms meme nemissa gave me:

MegatenCollapse )

SuikodenCollapse )

JoJoCollapse )

I love the 90s

So today I was surfing TVTropes (specifically the entry on the Award Bait Song) and followed a link to the YouTube music video of what is one of the greatest example of such songs, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". And not only was it rather jarring and sad to see Whit-Whit back before her crack habit took its toll, but just the sheer and utter 90s-ness of it made me feel nostalgic with an almost physical longing.

All kinds of indelible memories from that period suddenly came rushing into my mind, from hanging out with my best friends in grade school to watching MTV back when they played music videos to buying comics every week with my dad and stepbrother. And while I tend not to be one of those people who believes that the past was always better than the present - and I certainly don't believe that the world then or my life then were better than they are now - I just found that I really miss that period of my life.

While there are many things I love about my life now and wouldn't trade, things certainly did seem simpler then (even if they weren't, actually) and I miss that - back when all I had to worry about was showing up at school and deciding what videogame to save up for. I've still got classes (both teaching and taking) and videogames (Final Fantasy XIII and Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening are my projected purchases this month), and I'm certainly not complaining that I don't have to deal with memorizing times tables or save up my allowance at $5/week anymore, but somehow it feels very different.

I don't know whether it's that I'm dissatisfied with my life (though I'm taking steps to change the parts of my life I am dissatisfied with, which I'll probably talk about in a later entry) or whether I just miss the lack of responsibility that went with being a kid, and I don't know why it's this particular period of the early- to mid-90s that I'm feeling nostalgic for. Still, I think a rewatch of The Bodyguard on Netflix may be in order.

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December 2012



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