August 27, 2012

August productivity not quite the same this year

Posted in life, video games tagged , , , , at 1:13 pm by riulyn

I’m sure no one pays as much attention to when I update my sheet music website as I do, but it you were one of those few who do, then you know the past two Augusts have been very update-filled. This year it’s going to be different, as I have yet to update for August and will probably only post one song once I get off my game-playing ass and type it up.

Yep, this August has been good for catching up on gaming. After all, I had the balance of hours spent playing RPGs to hours working on RPG sheet music incredibly skewed towards working on sheet music these past few years. But starting in April, after going to Sakuracon and realizing it’s a lot easier to talk nerd about JRPGs than music from JRPGs that you haven’t even played. Since April I have beaten 4 games (Lost Odyssey this past Saturday) and I may soon beat Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. When was the last time I finished 2 games in a month? Probably high school.

Ah, high school. Over the summer I could beat a game a week if I really tried. I sometimes did…I’m sure I beat the first Suikoden in a week or less. FFVIII was beaten pretty quickly too. If it was during the school year, I could probably get a game done in 1 or 2 months, with religious after-school playing for 2 hours. I would work on sheet music mostly on weekends for a few hours a day, and maybe a bit during the week. I never had a lot of homework or school activities except when I was doing track, and that was only in the beginning. I was still even reading more than I do now! What the hell do I do now…oh, the internet… 🙂

Anyway this new balance will probably be tweaked a bit as I will get a bit tired of gaming weekends and cool the gaming hours a bit. I was playing lots of Lost Odyssey but had to take most of the week off just to cool off and I watched some anime (unless you are into shonen-ai, probably wouldn’t recommend Sekaiichi Hatsukoi…). I also found some motivation to do more labwork/day as I’m working on analyzing a new experiment. Every year I think I’m going to actually understand how my motivation works and plan accordingly, but things always change because of one stimulus or another. I can’t even predict what I’ll do in my spare time next week. Especially with PAX coming up, who knows what will become my main driving force after that?

August 19, 2012

More Top 5 – My Top 5 JRPG Main Characters

Posted in video games tagged , , at 7:35 am by riulyn

A bland main character doesn’t turn me off a game per say but a great main character can really make up for other shortcomings, whether it is other party members, the overall plot, or gameplay mechanics. This list is pretty biased towards things I like in characters more than actual well-developed characters, so don’t be offended if your favorite character isn’t here. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve only beaten 50 JRPGs and played maybe 80?

Also, I am not listing the five in ranked order, because I just don’t have a hierarchy yet.

  • Freyjadour (Suikoden V). Yes he’s a silent protagonist, but he has so many facial expressions. And he has such a lovely relationship with his family and the Knights. Even though you can “choose” to say certain things to certain people, it’s hard to see him as someone who’s not forgiving, warm-hearted, smiling brightly when he’s happy.
  • Kaim Argonar (Lost Odyssey). The Thousand Years of Dreams that relate to him have endeared him to me more than anything in the actual plot, with the huge mix of life wisdom, loneliness, willing to ask the hard questions, sticking to his core beliefs, not exactly afraid of contradictions and hypocrisy… I wish he existed in real life so I could talk to him, seriously.
  • Lenneth (Valkyrie Profile). She made Valkyrie Profile for me.
  • Terra (FFVI). Well, it’s hard to say if she’s exactly the main character as she becomes optional in the second half of the game, but I think she still counts as she is the main force of the first part. Terra was the MC of the first JRPG I played so there is some nostalgia factor, but I guess I love her self-identity quest.
  • Yuri Lowell (Tales of Vesperia). A main character who is willing to sacrifice his honor in order to save others from suffering. A main character with hella snark capabilities. A kind heart, a strong heart, a brave heart. My favorite Tales protagonist by far.

Honorable mentions – Kalas (Baiten Kaitos), Sieg (MC of Suikoden Tierkreis, with the added bonus of a crazy fast voice), Stocke (from what I’ve seen of Radiant Historia)

August 15, 2012

My 5 Favorite JRPGs – Plot-heavy for sure

Posted in video games tagged , , , , , , , at 10:03 pm by riulyn

I’ve only beaten about 50 JRPGs, so I’m going to be using the number 5. Since plot and characters are much more important to me than gameplay (unless gameplay hurts so bad), this may also be considered “5 Favorite JRPG Plots”.

  1. Suikoden II. This game has little downtime and really pulls at your heartstrings with what happens in the game. Probably the most emotionally powerful plot of all the Suikoden games, though the most heartbreaking moment in the series actually occurs in the first game.
  2. Xenogears. Even if I don’t remember exactly what happened in the game and in what order, there were lots of interesting things going on, a lot of “holy crap”, a lot of very emotional scenes. I finally got a copy of the game for myself, so soon I will replay this game for its epicness, if nothing else.
  3. Xenosaga 3. This game takes little time to build up because it is the third entry in a trilogy that needed major speed-up. And with that, the emotion has been cranked up to 11. Shion finally feels like the true main character, everyone else also joins in the fun. And when the game ends you may still be confused by how everything exactly works, but the big picture is actually pretty clear.
  4. Suikoden V. Actually has a lot of similarities to Suikoden II but longer, with the best silent protagonist I’ve encountered so far, and a bit more strategy involved, even if Lucretia is a bit too smart for this game.
  5. Valkyrie Profile. The characters you recruit come with such depressing but emotionally-packed stories, and then there’s the development of Lenneth herself. The best ending is truly worth going for. Ready to play the PSP version on hard when I have time, so I can see those characters I missed my first few times.

Honorable mentions include: FF6 (the first FF game I played and it was very impressionable), Baten Kaitos (too bad I only played this once and I don’t have the means to play it again), Lunar Eternal Blue Complete.

Games that will possibly fight for spots once I play and beat them: Xenoblade, Radiant Historia

August 6, 2012

Nervous about PAX

Posted in video games tagged , , at 9:00 pm by riulyn

I went to my first convention ever last April, which happened to be Sakuracon. I went with a friend who was on top of things; she knew what she wanted to see and wanted to do. Of course we did more than just hop from panel to panel…we ended up finding the Anime Music Video contest super interesting. Sakuracon was great because I was worried that cons would be supercrowded but despite the numbers it was pretty chill, pretty easy to get to bathrooms and get water, and lines weren’t insane. Also we had 3-day passes which was great. Even though I actually haven’t watched that much anime in comparison to most people who attend Sakuracon, I had watched the relatively recent anime Durarara and I know of the big ones – Naruto, Bleach, One Piece – even if I needed my friend’s help to figure who was who. I was pretty at home with recognizing the FF, Kingdom Hearts (even though at that time I hadn’t played Kingdom Hearts yet), Zelda, Pokemon, and even some Mass Effect. There were enough JRPG-related stuff to make me feel welcome enough?

I’m not sure. PAX seems geared more towards actual gaming and not the fan culture. There seems to be a lot more tournaments and expos. I have yet to get into western RPGs since I haven’t done PC gaming or card gaming. I don’t play fighters or shooters or platformers or horror games. I know of a lot of franchises but even Zelda happened a long time ago for me, and it was probably A Link to the Past. I actually don’t remember which Zelda game I have tried to play; that’s how long ago it was and how little I remember of it.

I also don’t have the latest portable systems and I rarely play multiplayer. I live on my own and the three people I have played games with are all thousands of miles away. And the most recent game I’ve played, aka the game that was published most recently of the bunch I have beaten, was Ys Seven. I think that’s from 2010. I’m trying to catch up on old JRPGs like Kingdom Hearts 2; I just keep putting off Mass Effect which has a battle system that I just completely suck at for things I’m used to like menus and press A to attack games. And I’m not even good at action RPGs.

Anyway I’m mostly nervous about PAX because I just don’t feel like a “gamer” in comparison to the rest of the people who’ll be there, and I’m not a social gamer. People on the PAX forums say everyone is really nice and one person on twitter told me to bring my 3DS. Things I clearly don’t have. And did I mention that I’m still working on Kingdom Hearts 2?