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 🙂 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 120½ 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.

Happy New Year – 2013 edition (with artwork)

Click me!

Click me!

Yeah, can’t really draw aircraft well. But then again, I hardly practice so why am I even complaining?
Enough of that!

I said the same thing over at DA but, sorry for pretty much just disappearing for a while there.
Life’s been keeping me busy and I haven’t really had much motivation left for anything, I guess…

So what have I been up to lately?
Well, first off, I’ve got a SoundCloud-account now so I can easier torment friends & family with some home-made “musical pleasure” from yours truly. Also bought a cheap MIDI-keyboard, so that helps.
I also bough myself a new laptop…errr laptop hybrid – A Surface Pro to be more precise. I should probably write about that sometime but I quite like it overall. It’s a bit of a compromise…okay, it’s a compromise in many areas but all my other laptops are far too slow for most things nowadays, and I can draw on the Surface so there’s that.

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Windows 8.1 is pretty okay actually, and it makes sense on something like this. Sticking with 7 Ultimate on my desktop machine, however.

I’m also finally a part of the smartphone crowd. Took me long enough! Ended up with a Sony Xperia SP, while not perfect, serves me pretty well. Couldn’t replace a dedicated proper portable device though, hence the Surface Pro.

As for loot and stuff, well, I’m always buying stuff but just didn’t get around to post about it. Did go a christmas spending spree however so when those things show up I could post about it. And lastly, I’ve found myself getting more into the world of Hi-Fi and often find myself at sites such as Head-Fi.

I did actually buy a new pair of headphones recently, the JVC HA-S500. There’s a thread about them on Head-Fi and I quite like them. I already have the S400 but found it lacking in “punch” sometimes, especially when worn outside. The S500 is not perfect however but worst of all, I’m afraid it’s a pretty effective gateway drug into more expensive gear. Not sure my wallet could take more abuse…hm hm.

With that said,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And here’s to hoping 2014 will be a good (and active) year 🙂

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…

Last minute tip: The BGC Blu-ray kickstarter

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It’s a bit late now, only 12 days to go but I just thought I’d mention this really swell kickstarter that aims to release the classic Bubblegum Crisis OVAs on Blu-Ray.

Here’s the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/madoverlord/bubblegum-crisis-ultimate-edition-blu-ray-set

Japan already got a BD release (and this one’s based on that one), but as expected it’s rather expensive to import – and, well, there’s probably not any subs or anything on there. Now, I love BGC enough to get it on LaserDisc, so obviously I had to get in on this. But for those of you who yet haven’t and are interested – well, here’s your chance : )

New MiniDisc additions

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My little MiniDisc family has grown with another two members. Joining the collection is two popular Sony recorders.

Presenting the MZ-R50 and the MZ-R900:

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The R900 was, at the time, the player of choice for a friend of mine and the R50, in orange, was one of the very first units that really caught my eye when going to the list in the minidisc.org link he provided.

The MZ-R900 is pretty nice – I like the way I can set the bass. The menu also works well and I prefer the design of this remote to the newer one that came with my MZ-N10. It sounds great, but I haven’t done any serious comparisons with my other units. It came with a battery, but it lacks the charger so I’m running it with the battery cradle attached.

The R50 was bought untested but turned out to be working fine. Also came with a bunch of extras like a dozens of minidiscs and a bag, which alone would be worth the (great) price I paid. My only regret is that it’s the silver version and not the orange one. Nothing wrong with silver, but all my MD portables just happen to be silver units and a bit of color would look great there. And the R50 just looks so stunning in orange. Oh well.

The build quality feels pretty amazing, by the way. People have said it’s built like tank and I can only nod in agreement. Sure, for a portable, it’s a bit heavy (and large) but it sure feels good to touch.

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Speaking of robust MD recorders, sadly, the old MT832 I picked up in April last year just stopped reading the Table of Contents on discs the other day, giving an error message. Strange, as it felt just as sturdily built as the R50.

Luckily, the Sharp MD-DR77 I picked up from Yahoo Japan back in March is still working.
I’d say with this, my thirst for new MD units have been pretty much quenched. Although there are a couple of units out there I still want to play around with.

Oh, and as you can see I also picked up the classic KOSS PortaPro…cheap (well, sort of) and for the price well sounding.

Let’s end this post with just a bit more eye candy : )

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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 🙂

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 🙂

Got me a new display: AOC i2757Fm

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Whoozah! Going bigger is the trend, aye? Actually, I have been eyeing this particular monitor for a couple of months now while I’ve been saving up. It’s a (relatively) low cost 27″ LED IPS monitor, based on one of LG’s offerings. Cutting quickly to the chase, is it any good? Yes. Yes, it is. It doesn’t feel overly plasticy (only slightly – but I’ve had worse), got a fair amount of connections (however no DVI, sadly) and I really like the aesthetics. Stand maybe is a bit wobbly, but it works. You can place it right on the table without the stand if you wish.

If I had to nitpick, which I will do, it’s that I can’t seem to get the colors to look as good….or rather, as “deep” as they look on my Eizo Foris F2332, which also is a LED IPS display, although smaller with “only” 23 inches. I’ve been using that as my main display since probably last summer and I’ve really been rather fond of it, so naturally, I can’t help but to compare the two.

Especially when gaming or watching movies have I seen the Eizo come out slightly on top with a more detailed image, and with a white balance that somehow feels more white, more neutral, while the AOC, with my current settings at least, have this ever so slightly warm tint. Now, if I didn’t have the Eizo to compare to I would be perfectly satisfied. But I’m no expert, and I don’t have any of that fancy calibration equipment, so I don’t know if my Eizo displays the most “correct” colors, only that I slightly prefer it. It’s also worth mentioning that it lacks VESA mounting features, which may be a deal breaker to some.

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Also please note that this is a 1080p display, and does not, like some of the other 27″ offerings out there, go up to WQHD resolutions (2560 x 1440). This can be both a blessing and a curse. Since I have my Xbox 360 and PS3 living in the PC corner, having a 1080p monitor is perfect. And I think 1080p is totally a-OK for computing as well. For now, at least.

Now that both my PC monitors works in 1080p, I can game on whichever one I want and doing something else on the other – thanks to a cheap HDMI switcher and HDMI splitter solution like this:

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Enjoying some blue skies in Just Cause 2

Oh and please ignore the mess which is my cabling. I’ll get to it…

…eventually.