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The (still) early 2014 loot post

Err. Yeah.

A bit late as usual but here we are. Literary TONS of stuff to go through! Important to note is that, all this isn’t bought at the same time but rather, all the collected loot since last time I posted (and maybe even before that, in case of pre-orders and the like).
Where to start? Maybe with this PC-FX that finally made it’s way to me late november last year?

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A bit yellowed but seems to work well πŸ™‚ That is my complete, measly library of games for the thing on the left there. Team Innocent has seen the most action among those games (completed it).
Next up is what arrived after I went a bit nuts after the holidays:

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Decided to expand my meagre collection of import manga. I’m really liking Mikiyo Tsuda’s work so I picked up Day of the Revolution and the first volume of Princess Princess. I really want to get my hands on the english language release as well. Great stuff!
Also picked up another volume of the excellent Family Compo. And some other stuff, including an interesting assortment of music CDs & soundtracks. T-Square is always nice (fab Jazz Fusion) and I discovered Frankie Goes to Hollywood thanks to youtube.

Also got me the soundtrack for Under Siege which is simple, but atmospheric, another entry in the ever growing pile of all things Bubblegum Crisis, the soundtrack to the first Idol Defense Force Hummingbird OVA and some delightfully cheesy dance tracks with the MAKAI*STARs album. Also found a nice 1981-1987 collection CD from Japanese artist Toshiki Kadomatsu, whose stuff I’ve really gotten into as of late. It’s basically more delightful cheese.
THE GOOD STUFF!

Lastly I bought a copy of Manga Studio 5 – however I was stupid and imported it (and got hit by extra charges) when I could’ve saved money and bought it -with free shipping- from Amazon UK instead. >_<;
Aaaanyway, some welcome additions to the LD library also showed up. Good stuff too, maybe especially Gundam 0083.

Then began my latest collection craze – physical anime releases. It’s a bit embarrassing this but, I’ve always been more of a fansub guy. I did buy some anime DVDs but those were so crappy I grew very, very wary of official releases however stupid that may sound. But recently I’ve seen so many things I want to own on DVD/Blu-ray pop up for very decent prices so I basically just caved in.

I’ve actually always wanted to support the industry by buying physical anime releases but the box-sets I’ve seen have been a bit pricey and I’ve always been strapped for cash – not to mention me not really trusting the companies to do a decent job. But that’s a topic for another day!

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Pre-ordering that Hidamari Sketch blu-ray literary blew open the floodgates. More cool deals showed up, such as the sweet Doujin Work DVD/Manga combo by RightStuf (which is probably just the right amount of Hiroyuki) and being the self-declared fan of the original AIKa I am, how could I pass up AIKa R-16 for a super low price? I can hear your facepalm from where I sit but I don’t hate AIKa R-16. Now, AIKa Zero on the other hand….*shakes fist*

Keeping in line with the fan service, I also picked up Highschool DxD and it’s been surprisingly decent. Also picked up Summer Wars as well as the ever excellent Cowboy Bebop. I forgot to mention I had to secure two blu-ray players (region A & B) in order to enjoy all this, by the way. A great book store in Stockholm also had a sale where I picked up some neat things.
Thankfully, all this craziness is coming to an end. The last pile of things to look at is this:

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Last but not least, as they say. With this, another milestone has been achieved as my Bubblegum Crisis LaserDisc collection is now complete.
Then some cheap bishoujo-games for the Saturn showed up, along with Asuka 120Β½ Burning Fest. Limited and Langrisser for PC Engine. Also thrown in there is ToHeart 2 DX Plus for the PS3 which is, as far as I can tell, pretty much the perfect version of this game to own. Sure, the extra scenes from the X-rated PC release will most likely not be included, but those aren’t really important anyway.

And that’s it. Geeez, talk about hoarding.

And while we’re at it….

might just as well post this here kickstarter too:

The “SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works – The ultimate retrospective of the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis. A documentary art book by Read-Only Memory.”
Sounds really cool to my ears. Actually, there’s been a lot of cool kickstarters recently. I joined kickstarted in order to back Mighty no.9 but with this, the BGC blu-rays and some other fun stuff, I’m quite happy I did. Of course, none of the things I’ve back so far has been made yet – but I’m fairly sure they will. One way or the other…

IM@S 2 is a proper time vampire

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A week in-game can go pretty fast depending on your schedule, dialogue can be breezed through quickly and entire stage performances can be skipped if you don’t feel like watching.

Even so, The IDOLM@STER 2 can be real time sink if you let it.

Case in point? Somehow, memories of last Saturday and Sunday are hazy but I remember idol performance statistics and surprisingly good music.
I’m not sure if the PSP IDOLM@STER games give a good example what the first arcade/360 games was like, but while the PSP games didn’t do all that much for me and I found the anime mildly annoying, IM@S 2 is an engrossing game.

It’s not perfect however. A guide or wiki is handy to have, especially since the most difficult moment in the game isn’t the music performances, which by the way plays out like a basic rhythm game, but the odd jobs & promotions.

By letting your idols successfully work at different events, act in movies/radio or produce PVs you gain “appeal levels”, as represented by a heart icon. Once a heart is filled you gain one more “memory appeal”, which is a points boost – basically – something very useful to have whether you’re participating in an Audition, Live or Festival – where you go up against other idols in a duel.

The difficulty is to make it through such work while earning “perfect communication” with your idol of choice, which gives the biggest boost to the appeal-meter.
It starts out tricky for us westerners, as you must (often while a timer counting down) find the prefecture you are currently visiting on a map of Japan. Thankfully you can pause the game pretty much whenever to get some breathing room. So, a map with all the prefectures written out is a good thing to have for sure.

It gets hairier during the actual work-part where you have to make sure your idol does a good job of whatever she’s supposed to be doing. The situations these girls get themselves in, I swear. Sometimes you have to pick one out of three options which would help the situation at hand the most. However, these are not always very straight forward and even a “correct” answer (in my head) can yield surprising and ultimately disappointing results. Even more difficult is when you’re asked to physically interact with your idol, or point out things using using the body as an example. (For “use your head”, click on their head etc).

I found it really hard to know what the game expects you to do and you just don’t know what’s going to happen sometimes.
Still, figuring these sections out is fun in itself.

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But I must be going.
Only a few weeks left until the fate of my idol unit “HiMiAmi@<” will be decided.
(With Hibiki as the leader, Miki & Mami as supports, currently level 15)

I need to reach one more memory level before that…

The Late Summer Video l00t Special

Here it is! The long awaited, much anticipate-…..err, look…if you can watch these with a straight face, good for you.

I can’t.
Even though I’m decidedly handsome.

I had lots of cool stuff piling up and I lucked out on some pretty fantastic artbooks. I thought that using my camera to film the stuff would be a fun idea, after all, I’ve been really wanting to try out this youtube channel-thing on my own after watching some really cool cats do their thing. Then comes that moment when reality sets in and you realize that, yes, that muffled, lisping banter is actually your own voice.

On 4 different occasions I’ve tried to film this only to end up disappointed with the result so this last time, I just said “f*ck it!” and threw it all into Adobe Premier for some basic editing.
However, Faginrs500’s video about stammering is still pretty encouraging, so hopefully things can improve if I just keep on doing it. We’ll see. I still want to get some proper game capture hardware, as well as a tripod.

Anyway, I shall not delay it any further, ta-da~~!

(I can totally see why people complain about youtube’s compression)
So, like I said, now that I have a channel I would really like to add some more proper content at some point. If I get ’round doing that, I’ll update here as well πŸ™‚

See you, people!

Recent pickups 15/6 2013

Just shoving my face in here for a quick loot post.

Picked up more video processing hardware from a user on the System11 SHMUPS forums: a Vigatec Dune-F.

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In terms of 240p performance, it seems to be essentially the same as my Vigatec FX2+, but I have yet to see it act up like the FX2+ could do when games change resolution mid-game. It looses sync and the image starts jumping. A quick reset fixes that but it’s hardly ideal. So if this works out well, I’ll be mighty pleased just by that. It also seems like it’s quite competent in other areas as well, but I’ve yet to try any new systems with it since I haven’t got the adapter I need yet (and I picked up this thing just yesterday).

Also, some games have made their way into my post box.

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All nice ones. I may already have Ridge Racer 7 but it really feels more right playing RR6 using the 360 controller. Those triggers are great for racing games. The music’s also pretty great, well, some tracks are. Happy to own Gyakuten Saiban on DS, or as we know it, Ace Attorney. I have played most of the games in the series, but through less legal means (sadly) so to get a proper version feels great. I have made it through the Japanese version once before, it shall be interesting to see if I can do it again.

Speaking of JP versions, getting Rockman EXE 3/Mega Man Battle Network 3 has got me absolutely stoked. I have a bit of history with the first three MMBN games and anime series it spawned, so this was a very nice thing to pick up and I’ll be sure to give it a whirl. I actually picked up the second game last year, and I beat it (well, the story mode anyway) so hopefully I’ll be able to repeat that feat. I’m only used to play these games using an emulator, after all.

Snatcher for the PC Engine is another one that I look forward to getting into. I already own the Saturn version, but after comparing the two, I really wanted to play the PCE version instead. Stoked about that one as well, even though the case has got a few blemishes.
Wing Arms for the Saturn I haven’t tried yet but I’ve watched a bit of gameplay and it seemed like fun. Borderlands 2 I picked up to play through with a friend.

And that’s all I got for now. I am waiting for a big package to arrive but it’s going surface post so maybe just not yet.

A light gun oppurtunity

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Home alone – no one minds if I hog the ol’ CRT in the upstairs living room for a bit of weekend light gun goodness.
Yeah, we still have a nice 4:3 CRT in use. Not always the best for watching TV because of all the 16:9 content nowadays but the actual image quality is very nice on this Philips set. Sound’s not bad either.

But anyway, just grabbed my PS2 slim for a quick and dirty light gun setup. Shame they don’t work on HD TVs – if I had the space, I would like to have a dedicated light gun setup, CRT and all. But I don’t : (

I could really do with some more light gun games as well (not that there aren’t that many) but considering I don’t play them that often at all (thanks to lack of space & access to equipment) they’d mostly just collect dust on a shelf most of the time. Sadly 😦

Can’t say I hear people talk very much about light gun games…shmups? Yeah, totally. Fighters & brawlers? Yes, all the time. Driving games? Same. But light gun games? Not really.
It could do with a bit of revival, I say. I might suck at the actual games, gun in my hand or not, but few types of games brings the arcade experience home in such a way that light gun games does.

“RELOAD!”

“RELOAD!”
etc πŸ™‚

The bishoujo* confusion

* Translators note: “bishoujo” means pretty girl.

So, I just had a little commenting back and forth going on with Walter, a guy who takes his Fire Emblem very seriously. If you do have even a passing interest in the series, his blog seems like a good place to stop by.

Right, so, what activated this discussion was that Walter addressed Tokimeki Memorial as a visual novel. And I reacted to that –Β  thought that didn’t feel quite right. But, you know, during this short comment box conversation it struck me that the different genres in which all these pretty girl games belong to, they sort of blur together. Genres are mixed with each other, and because these games are primarily still in Japanese, and really only can be looked on as a niche interest for some of us, there’s probably a fair bit of confusion going on.

So basically, instead of derailing that comment field even further, I thought I’d just try and get my thoughts out thereΒ  and how to tell genres apart…etc!
This might turn into another long post, so be prepared going in πŸ™‚

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Let me just start off by dropping some words:
Galge, bishoujo game, visual novel, (adult) adventure game, dating simulation, digital comic and eroge.

(This will work wonders on my search statistics! πŸ˜€ )

These are the genres I could think if from the top of my head. Clearly, that’s a fair number. The problem with these are that, these genres manifest themselves not so much visually, as they do through actual gameplay – or lack thereof. So when just having a quick look at games from these different genres, they will probably look pretty samey. They do use the same kind of visual cues, using a similar interface and just generally have a nearly identical presentation.

To see how the games differs, one must observe the actual mechanics of play used in these different genres.
And before I begin, please note that I’m not an expert either – just have a very strong idea of what I think is right here so feel free to call me out πŸ™‚

Visual Novel
I want to start with separating the visual novel from the rest of the bunch, as it’s both popular right now and I think it’s possible people might use it as an umbrella term for all the others.
Visual novels, or “VNs” seem to have gained a fair bit of following in the west – Katawa Shoujo, anyone? Also, games from developer KEY comes to mind (Air, Clannad, Kanon) as they have received popular anime adaptions courtesy of studio Kyoto Animation, and thus been able to reach out more than most VNs that just stay in Japan.

To me, a visual novel is just that. It’s a branching novel being told through the use of text and visual imagery. A fancy, digital create-your-own-adventure kind of thing.
Usually, or the ones that I’ve played, these games do not offer very much in the form interaction or exploration – instead they’re all about delivering a story. You play this game to experience the story, the characters in it and what they experience throughout their respective story routes.

By making choices when prompted you dictate which way the story will develop. Some choices are obvious, some less so. Playing a visual novel game is about finding the route you seek, learning what choices to avoid and generally just getting lost in the world painted up – getting immersed. In terms of pacing, most VNs I’ve played takes you through a single day at a time, so you can immerse yourself in the life of…whoever you’re supposed to be.

Typical VN presentation

Typical VN presentation

A so called "Event CG"

A so called “Event CG”

Examples: Fortune Arterial, every game from Key, Gift, ToHeart 2, Katawa Shoujo, and many many more.

Adventure & Digital comics
This is such a broad term. And it’s not to be confused with old Lucas Arts games either πŸ˜›
The “adventure” game might look like a visual novel, and it too might have a pretty heavy emphasis on storytelling. The difference is how they go about delivering this to you.
Contrary to the visual novel, where the idea is immersion through following a story and then dictate where it goes, adventure is about immersion through the interaction and exploring of the game world. The story will proceed once the player has met certain criteria or taken certain actions.
How this goes about is that, as you’d expect, you have choice of where to go, who to talk about and about what. What item you want to use to solve a problem etc.

To my understanding, adventure games and dating sims, which are similar but still different, were more common a number of years back and today seem to have been almost completely replaced by visual novels. Are they just easier to make, or what? πŸ˜›

Example of actions

Example of actions

Examples: EVE-series, Snatcher, Policenauts, Doukyuusei.

Now, similar to adventure games, but much more straight forward, are the digital comics. They can be a lot more linear and as a result easier to go through. Think of them as a light adventure game.

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Examples: Galaxy Fraulein Yuna, Urusei Yatsura * Stay with you, RANMA 1/2 Toraware no Hanayome.

Simulation
This is an interesting one. It might still contain traces of both the visual novel and adventure game, but the focus seems to be on managing. Managing what? Parameters, most often.
Exactly what you’ll be doing can differ though. Sometimes you’re just managing your daily day to day life, other times you’re tasked with managing a group of people – there are a number of different “sims” out there. Dating sims and raising sims, to name two popular ones.

For example, a dating simulation would be about getting to know girls, then date them with the goal of entering a relationship. These girls might be attracted to different attributes which you can improve as the game progresses. A raising sim on the other hand, is about managing another person. For example, the Graduation games are about helping a number of students with different personalities and strengths/weaknesses graduate.
In another game you’re handed with the task overseeing a group of idols and making sure they get popular. Or maybe train a fighter. There are lots of variations on this.

Interestingly enough, even though the focus is on gameplay rather than storytelling – some of these aren’t so empty on story as one would think.

Comic Party

Selling doujinshi in Comic Party

Work as a waiter in Pia Carrot 3

Work as a waiter in Pia Carrot 3

Train idols in The IDOLM@STER

Train idols in The IDOLM@STER

All your stats in TokiMemo

All your stats in TokiMemo

Examples: Tokimeki Memorial, Graduation, The IDOLM@STER, Princess Maker, Pia Carrot, Comic Party.

The others
There are other genres too of course, such as strategy RPGs and simulation RPGs and so on, which borrow the same visual presentation as these do. In fact, the visual novel way of story telling is a very easy and effective way of both introducing characters and progressing a story with limited resources have therefore seen widespread use.

Gadget Trial

Gadget Trial

For example, a tactical strategy game could contain visual novel-style story telling and let units gain experience points in an RPG like fashion. They could also feature different amount of adult content and thus complicate things further. Which brings me to…!

Adult content
What about galge & eroge? Galge is short for “gal game” and I lump that together with the bishoujo game (pretty girl game) genre. I suppose as long as a game contains pretty girls as it’s main theme it can be considered a galge/bishoujo game. It’s like a very broad generalisation of all games discussed here.
Eroge, erotic game, means that the game features erotic content as a major theme – and to my knowledge doesn’t say anything exactly about actual gameplay mechanics, just that it will feature such content. In essence, there’s an important difference between an eroge and a game which features erotic scenes in it’s narrative context. Anyone that has ever tried to play a visual novel for it’s adult content probably knows what I mean – it can take AGES before you get to see anything πŸ˜€

Actually, on the topic of adult content, there seems to be common notion on the internet that most, if not all, galge/pretty girl games are porn. Well, they are not and the easiest way to tell if a game has adult content or not, is to see for which platform or system was this game released.

Generally, console releases are free from or feature very little in the case of such material. Some games are more risquΓ© than others (i.e. fanservice) but you should not be seeing any direct, full on pr0n in any major console release. Except for the NEC PC-FX library which totally got that going on. But the PC-FX wanted to be like a PC, and that’s where you’ll find it. If a game has a PC release, it’s pretty safe to assume – even if a console version of the same title exists and doesn’t – that it will have adult content.

What usually happens is a game is released on the PC and it features adult scenes and material. Later said game gets ported to a popular game console and, in line with the restrictions or wishes from the company behind the console, the potentially “offensive material” is removed. Often a new character or route is added to make this version seem interesting still.

This is what normally happens with popular PC titles when ported to consoles. For example, Comic Party was first released for PC and it featured adult scenes with the heroine of your choice at the end of her story progression. Comic Party was then ported to the Dreamcast, dubbed Comic Party DCE or “Dreamcast edition”. Now, the endings were changed and the porn removed. A new character, Subaru, was also added. Later on, this version, Comic Party DCE was brought back to the PC, again sans porn.

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However, sometimes, things happens the other way around. Popular visual novel ToHeart 2 was released to much acclaim on the Playstation 2. When it later got a PC port, however, they added erotic content to the endings of each character and dubbed it “ToHeart 2 X-Rated”. On top of this, a new character & route was also added.
So it can go both ways, really. The most important thing about this however is that I wouldn’t call ToHeart 2 a straight up eroge – because the porn is not the reoccurring theme – it’s not the point, it’s more of a “reward” because it’s at the utmost end of a characters route. Like, “here’s something for your hard work!”. A carrot, if you will. Now whether this is content you wish to see or not is another question.

So, if a game is all about meeting cute girls in order to proceed on with the mating, it’s an eroge, if it’s a visual novel with some porn in the end, it’s more of like an adult visual novel. See what I’m getting at?

Conclusion

It’s really easy to see why things tend to get confusing after a while – without seeing the game in action long enough to determine just what kind of game it is, it can sometimes be almost impossible to tell them apart πŸ˜€

And if you want a modern, popular example of a game which at first can be hard to categorize, what about the Ace Attorney-games? It’s a lawyer simulation with a slight arcade feel, featuring both visual novel style story telling and adventure segments where you look for cues. And if we stretch this quite a bit further…what about James Bond movies? All that I’ve seen (not that many actually) has featured Mr.Bond in bed with at least one lady at some point in time, but the Bond movies are not sold together with the smut on the 18+ shelves. It might feature adult scenes, but it’s not actually about them. It’s like the reverse of why you don’t watch smut for “the plot”.

Anyway, I’ve ranted on long enough – need some breakfast! πŸ™‚

TokiMemo hidden musings

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Hello there, long time no see!

I was going to some loot posts but I didn’t, because of 100% pure lazyness and procrastination. In the end, all purchases sort of blurred together and I couldn’t be bothered, considering the amont of loot posts lately I felt like another one wasn’t really necessary right now…perhaps?

Anyway, today I want to talk games. Hidden gems, in fact, with hidden being the operative word here.
You see, sometime in late December last year I picked up Tokimeki Memorial for PC Engine – yup, the original. I really prefer the later Saturn version of this one but:
1) it is cheap.
2) it contains a PCE only unlockable.

Actually, to be fair, all different versions of TokiMemo seems to have some unlockables that aren’t available elsewhere, but I digress.

After putting it off for some months I sat down and gave it a spin. And, whelp, it feels decidedly more spartan than the Saturn version, or what I remember from it. Character sprites, while good and sharp, have some odd colors here and there (might be caused by the composite signal). Backdrops have certain digitized photo look to them which I’m not very fond off, and the “painted on detail” is…actually not detailed enough. πŸ˜›
And music? Music is…okay. I like the PCE sound but the game’s soundtrack isn’t all that to be honest. It’s fun hearing familiar tunes played back as they once were intended but really, later versions does it much better.
Lastly, I just can’t help but feel I’m having no real way of planning out the weeks in the game. It was a while since I last touched the Saturn version but I want to remember it being much better at visually indicating if a test was coming up or if I had a date on one day…or just showing anything really.

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But don’t get me wrong – the PCE version is still very much playable. And it’s still fun. In the beginning anyway, as TokiMemo can get pretty dreary after a while when you do the same thing all over again. But it mixes things up enough for it to keep it interesting. And it’s easy to forget just how much content there is in TokiMemo.

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My mission was simple. Unlock a specific mini game by being active in the computer club and playing close to three full years.
Okay…well…simple maybe isn’t the right word but it doesn’t sound that hard either. You just have to man up and play the game (almost) to completion.

However, I was off to a bad start as I wasn’t entirely sure about what I needed to do at first. Maybe it didn’t help I opted to continue from where I left off after my little test run instead of starting a new game either.

Anyway, after doing a double check in the instructions I quickly joined the computer club and began to slowly but surely raise those stats.
Speaking of which, this is a good time to try and win the heart of Yuina Himoo, the mad scentist girl, since you’ll be in the same club and all.

And, maybe you’re wondering, what is this PC Engine only little secret? It’s a mini game – “Force Gear“, a caravan styled horizontal shooter with some heavy vibes from other Konami titles. It’s not very long, the controls are a bit clunky, the end boss is hard but it’s quite fun and the music is nice. It’s quite charming actually, and it’s obvious that more work has gone into this game than you’d expect. HG101 wrote a little piece about it here.

So is it worth picking up TokiMemo just in order to play Force Gear? I’d say that depends on how much you like Tokimeki Memorial. There are alternative options for those not wanting
to do a full run through an old dating sim presented in moon runes – these options are either finding an ISO with Force Gear already unlocked or unlocking it with some kind of cheat device.

Well in the game, on the first culture festival I demonstrated some kind of love compatibility computer software. Compatibility with our blue haired genius is deemed to be “normal”.
MISSION STATUS: Could go better.

I spend the year trying to get her on a few dates, as well as raising more stats…and taking care of (read: dating) the girls that approached me because of said raised stats.
Christmas was spent alone as I wasn’t allowed entry to pretty boy Ijuin’s mansion. Appearance stats probably too low. How sad.

Second culture festival: Twinbee Returns unlocked. Shame it’s not a very great looking game. Also, I’m terrible at it. But it’s something at least. Situation with Himoo is good. She secretly has the hots for me. I think. Though she called the game I made stupid.
MISSION STATUS: Making progress.

Even after raising the good look-stats a bit, christmas was alone. Again. Ouch.

And then finally, the third culture festival! Will this be it? Will I unlock what I’ve been seeking?
No. Himoo performed a live hacking demonstration and took over a military satellite instead. I guess that’s something. Oh and she totally has the hots for me now.
Sometime here, the me in the game also said something about sending a game in for a competition. Huh. Oh well.
MISSION STATUS: Failed?

Decided to keep playing, with this being the last year and all.
And then, after the new years eve – the results for that earlier mentioned game competition is in. 3rd place? Can’t remember but surprise, surprise – screen goes black and Force Gear starts!
MISSION STATUS: COMPLETE. Almost.

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As you can see, it’s a bit of work to unlock this “hidden” feature. The only thing that remains at this point is to finish the game so that Force Gear will be playable straight from the omake menu in options.

And I did – even if a “bomb” did go off and lowered the relation level with the girls. BUT HOW DID IT EEENNNND?

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YEAH.

This felt quite good actually. Regardless how much I suck at Force Gear, I have been wanting to at least try it for quite some time. And, I mean, it’s a transforming mech sidescrolling shooting game with Gradius vibes in an overly fluffy pretty girl game…does it get any cooler than that? πŸ˜€

The early “2013 belated loot & pickup” post

Hi everyone.

Haven’t been much activity around, for which I apologize but…I bet all three of you are used to that by now.
I have been picking things up left to right this past month(s) but maybe one of the most important things I just got must be this:

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The Sony NEX-C3, which will be replacing my ageing Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 as preferred camera of choice from here on out. The NEX-C3 can also film in 720p so maybe, just maybe, we will get some use out of that for youtube or something. I would very much like to, but I have the refined speech capabilities of a submerged otter.

Now for the rest of the loot.

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There’s a lot of fun stuff in here, but since I’m short on time, let me just highlight the really cool things. First off, new Minidisc player/recorder. It’s one that I’ve been wanting for quite some time. It’s very cool. It would be even cooler if I had some proper 4-pole headphones to make full use of the good sound tho’.
The other, for me, big pickup in there is Bulk Slash for the Saturn. Been wanting this game almost as long as I’ve had the system itself. Properly hyped to give that a spin later.
Moving on, Patlabor OVA LD box. MMmm….what can I say. Patlabor is a really cool show, you ought to check that out if you haven’t. I actually bought another version of this (called the Early Days box) on eBay in summer but it never turned up, sadly. So I was able to pick up another one through Yahoo Auctions. Very classy stuff.

While on the subject of anime, you maybe also noticed the Aika artbook to the left there…yes. Hrm…I still think AIKa is pretty bloody good, for a fanservice show. 99% of the known internet WILL disagree with me but to be honest, there is tons of fanservice shows that are so, so, so much worse. AIKa actually sports some really decent animation values not to mention good character & mechanical design – which is why it’s fun to have the artbooks. This is the second artbook, as I picked up the first one in what might be one of my first posts on this very blog.

Before I have to run, I’d just also like to mention the Dexule ARIEL soundtrack which, not only have the music on a disc, but also comes with a mini novel of sorts and a mini artbook. Very nice stuff. I got the LDs a while back and the soundstrack’s really nice and…not very common on eBay, so another Yahoo find then.

And now I own 3 PC-FX games without owning a console to play them on. Hmm.

And that’s it!
Actually it isn’t. But that’s most of it. There’s a few other bits & bobs that I maybe will make a separate post for, but this will be all for now.

The SHMJ sweet l00t post

OR “How I destroyed my wallet”.

Well. It’s here. After being stuck in some kind of weird shipping limbo, the last package and missing piece has now arrived.
I believe I’ve learned a very important lesson through this whole ordeal, and I will talk about this shortly however, showing off the l00t first might be a good idea.

This is a long a long one, so lean back & get comfortable.
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A box appears! I wonder what’s inside….?

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Ta-daah! Actually, there’s a hint of things to come somewhere in there…

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Taking a closer look at the stuff:

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There’s some really cool stuff in there, especially among the books & LDs. Being able to own both the Ten Little Gall Force OVA as well as Scramble Wars is maybe can be considered a personal milestone for my LD collection. Not sure if they’re actually rare or anything but, it’s something I don’t see very often that I’ve felt would be very cool to actually own, instead of just having them downloaded. Ten Little Gall Force is a sort of bonus episode thing for the original Gall Force OVA-series, in which the now super deformed cast play out some key events from the show as actors were it a live action production. Scramble Wars is a sort of Wacky Racers styled romp which features a lot of characters from popular older shows at the time. The main focus lies on the Gall Force & Bubblegum Crisis cast however.
Getting Burn Up! is cool as well. Not because it’s all that great, but it’s one of the things I watched when I was getting into “oldschool” anime. So, yeah, it’s more of a personal thing.
And last but not least, the Macross-movie. I need to find some time to sit down and watch this sucker again. Absolutely stoked to own it tho’. It’s a beautiful box.

Also picked up some very nice artbooks. Being a big fan of Kenichi Sonoda’s older artworks, I find this “Gallant” artbook to be very cool. Aside from a few original illustrations, it’s mostly Gall Force stuff in here to, both character artwork and mechanical designs – very cool. Also very happy with the Dirty Pair Flash artbook and that book by artist Akitaka Mika, from Galaxy Angel fame, which is filled to the brim with so called “MS Girls”-illustrations. That is to say, illustrations of different Gundam robots depicted as girls, all this done in a very 80s style. Been wanting a real copy of this for some time.

I could talk about the games & music CDs as well but let’s move on to package nr. 2…

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WHAT IS IIIIT?

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BAM!

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Sharp X68000 Ace HD. Pure pr0n. This sucker’s big & heavy, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of the coolest looking computers of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Came with a SCSI card installed, which is…cool, I guess? πŸ˜€ I really have no clue about these things.
At this point, I should probably also mention that this unit was sold as mostly untested, except that it powered on, and I have no real idea how well it actually works. After confirming that yes, it does indeed power on, I tempted fate by inserting those “Detana!! Twinbee” floppies and it shut down, refusing to power on again.
Disk 1 is still in there ;_;

Ah, well, actually, the power supply is notorious for failing on these units, at least on the twin tower models, so I was sort of expecting that to happen at some point anyway. I spent a bit of yesterday to open this sucker up (it’s only 3 screws per side, but those side panels are some truly tricky bastards). So in less than 24 hours of me receiving it, it ended up like this:

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^ Removed the power supply ^

Ah…well, I’ll look at this like a project of sorts and hopefully will be able to get this bad boy up and running again. Or at least just enough to spit out that Twinbee floppy. πŸ˜›
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And now for the serious bit:
I paid through the nose for this. For the items and for the shipping.
So here’s a little piece of advice for anyone wanting to go wild on Yahoo Auctions using Shopping Mall Japan or similar proxy services. Get what you need and get out.
Don’t buy a lot of stuff just because it’s “cheap” – because it isn’t going to be, in the end. Sure, it may just cost 500yen but then it will have to get shipped twice and usually putting down a bid costs a little bit in itself. SMJ takes about $6 if I remember correctly.

In short: it all adds up, and then, if you’re impatient like me and don’t want to wait 3 months or risk shipping all that cool stuff without insurance the shipping charges will hit you like a fist.
Not saying there’s anything wrong with SMJ and the like, but…one should be careful and think things through.

However, the most devastating realization is probably this. I bought a lot of stuff that isn’t especially rare at all – they just happened to be sooo much cheaper then I’ve seen them for on eBay it was almost hilarious. Like, I couldn’t let these awesome deals pass me by, right? Turns out, I probably didn’t save anything at all. Actually it might’ve been cheaper to just get them off eBay.

So…uh, there we have it. I’ll be more careful next time.
Aaand, this might sound stupid after all this but I actually have another piece of hardware coming in, unrelated to this purchase, so that’ll hopefully show up in the coming weeks. See you when that happens. πŸ˜€