October 22, 2012

Treading Water

Posted in life, video games tagged , , at 3:50 pm by riulyn

So I’ve been in a depressed mood for a while and I just realized how bad it was this past week. I am a pretty leaky-eyed person when I get emotional, whether it is upset or angry or happy or sad, but I seriously have been crying way more than usual these past few days. Hell, I cried when watching an episode of Ouran High School Host Club (which is a parody/comedy) because a sister and brother were able to finally spend some time together. And it was supposed to be a funny episode.

Anyway, I haven’t realized how bad a funk I was in because I have video games. NieR, despite how depressing that game was, was not the source of this funk; it was most definitely stuff in my actual life which will sound lame to actually type up. I mean, in actuality I have a great life; I can buy a bunch of videogames and soundtracks, I have enough food to eat, I have a pretty big apartment for a grad student. Of course I can’t buy everything, but I do have a brother who helps out and is giving me a pimped-out computer for my birthday (though I’ll get it in November). PC games here I come!!! (After Xenoblade, of course.)

I guess the problem right now is that I haven’t found a game or anything else that distracts me enough to keep me distracted well after I stop playing the game. There are only so many hours I can play games a day, and the other hours, especially work days, I do my work and just think about this funk. I think something unexpectedly good happening to me could possibly snap me out of this funk, but unfortunately videogames don’t bring unexpected happiness to me. Well, at least none of the games I’m playing right now are giving me more pleasure than I expected to get from them.

It’s probably the fact that I when I get in funks like this, I have cravings for things that are silly. But at the same time, things that are silly don’t quite reach deep enough in my heart to warm it up. I think I need something that would come from other humans, but I’m also so tired and I spent my money on videogames instead.  So I think I’ll just continue to tread water.

Oh, in other news, I think my NieR cravings have decreased slightly. I can’t wait to own the soundtrack and load it onto my mp3 player.

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October 19, 2012

Why I still buy JRPG Soundtracks

Posted in music tagged , , , at 10:49 am by riulyn

JRPG soundtracks are expensive in comparison to the games, at least for U.S. consumers. Typically they are at least $30 new even from some of the cheaper suppliers. Add in shipping and a currency conversion fee for another few bucks. So why are they worth buying, despite the ease of getting the tracks from the Internet for free? (I’m not endorsing this, just saying that it exists.)

Well, for me, I listen to video game music almost all the time. Right now I’ve been addicted to the NieR soundtrack and have played the entire soundtrack every day for a week. I listen to video game music not just because I run my sheet music website but because I genuinely enjoy listening to it. I work to it, I study to it, I browse the Internet to it, I read books to it, I even sometimes play the soundtrack I’m more into while I dungeon crawl in Persona 3 Portable. Compared to how much time I spend playing a game, I spend many more hours listening to the music.

Of course, I probably won’t go out there and buy soundtracks for every game that has one that I’ve played and even enjoyed. It does feel like a bit too much to buy a soundtrack that I don’t love. Sometimes for those games I might browse through the soundtracks on YouTube or other means when I want a fix. But soundtracks are more of what I like to collect instead of figurines and posters and artbooks, though those things are great too.

Unfortunately there are a few soundtracks I want which I may have to obtain the “wrong” way, just because they are so rare, such as the Suikoden III soundtrack. But right now I’m slowly trying to add soundtracks as well as games to my collection.

Today’s purchase was the amazing NieR soundtrack and the Radiant Historia soundtrack. I think you appreciate NieR’s soundtrack more if you’ve played the game, but the soundtrack by itself is very beautiful and worth a listen. “Emil – Karma” is my favorite track off that at the moment. As for Radiant Historia, it’s a little painful to spend $40-ish on 1 CD, but Yoko Shimomura really does great work here. The song “Where the Wind and Feathers Return” is really the only song I’ve listened to a lot, but from playing the game and watching a LP of it, I know I will listen to this soundtrack a lot. I just have to cut down on spending money on expensive chocolate, stuff like that 🙂

October 13, 2012

Backloggery

Posted in video games tagged at 9:29 pm by riulyn

Short post, but basically I’ve been slow to find out about backloggery.com and I’m there right now updating scores and adding comments to games I have completed. It’s pretty fun to make these lists and realize just how much time I’ve spent gaming and how many good memories I have. If you want to check on my progress, it’ll be updated much faster than it will be here.

October 11, 2012

5 of my favorite JRPG Females

Posted in video games tagged , at 2:19 pm by riulyn

I have to say 5 of them because if I really did my top 5, I think they may all come from the Suikoden series 🙂 Just kidding. In no particular order I present 5 of my favorite females, with the limit of one female character from each series.

Kainé (NieR). Have I not gone long enough about how much I love this game right now? And how she was one of the best aspects of it? She has such a presence that I even thought about cosplaying her for my first cosplay ever…until I realized that she doesn’t wear pants. Crap. But anyway she has some wicked blades and great magic, making her useful during the game, and her story which gets highlighted on the way towards Ending B, is very interesting. Also the way you first meet her; she’s no pushover. She’s hard and foul-mouthed because of her past, but it’s not all for the wrong reasons. A lot of depth and personality, she can be rough with you but if you become her friend, she’s a friend for life.

KOS-MOS (Xenosaga). It’s pretty much a spoiler to tell you why I consider KOS-MOS a female character, but anyway she is just so kickass. One of the reason I love the Xenosaga series to be honest. All the reasons why I love her are big spoilers, argh!

Lucia (Suikoden 2 & 3). It’s almost impossible to limit myself to one Suikoden character from a series with plentiful amazing females, but Lucia is everything I’d want to be if I ever grow up 🙂 Strong but kind, biting with the tongue and the whip, and confident. There’s not much else to say. She’s just that awesome.

Seth (Lost Odyssey). The limiting of characters per series allows me to squeeze her onto this list. Another badass mother, she is an action girl but not with the annoying “tsundere” factor of many younger action girls. She’ll give Jansen a good kick, but in a friendly manner, she’ll take charge if need be (though Kaim is a pretty capable man), she’s a freakin’ pirate in all ways.

Terra (FFVI). If you read my earlier post on my 5 favorite protagonists, you knew she would show up here. She was the first JRPG character I played as and my favorite in that game from first sight. I really enjoyed her self-discovery journey and her ability to kick ass was also very, very awesome. She is my favorite FF character overall.

So hard to write these types of posts without spoilers! Anyway let me know if there are some JRPGs with awesome females that I need to play (without spoiling me). I’m all for ass-kicking to come from people of all types.

October 6, 2012

Kingdom Hearts 2…I wish I liked it more.

Posted in video games tagged , , , at 9:56 pm by riulyn

I’m nearing the end of Kingdom Hearts 2, so I feel like I can start expressing my views on the game. Unless there is some major revelation at the end that really turns my opinion on the game, I have to say I liked the first game a lot better plot-wise. The sprawling plot just doesn’t do it for me this time, and I’m usually cool with plots that can be too big for its shell (hello Xenosaga). But in comparison to the first game and another action RPG I played recently, Ys 7, there is too much that feels like “required sidequests” rather than actual interesting plot. The “bad guys” get so little screen time, and while they appear to have personalities they only get 5 lines of dialogue to convey it in. Instead you get the same “take home” message like 10 times in a row; in each world you make someone realize that with your help, as his/her friend, everything can be worked out. There’s nothing wrong with helping out your friends and making an entire game like that, but Kingdom Hearts 2 is trying to present itself as more. You’re searching for answers and most of the time you don’t get any but “don’t worry, I know you’ll find him”. Yeah, thanks game. And meanwhile random stuff is happening to the world. It’s probably explained somewhere. Maybe I’ll hear it soon.

I also have issues with battling, but I think it’s my personal preference for buttons to have designated actions instead of reaction commands and the square button doing like 50 things. Also I miss dodge-rolling probably because I abuse it in every game it is in. I would use an actual defense, but for some reason when I try to defend Sora does a parry swing instead of a hold. Probably because like 20 actions are mapped to the square button…

I have to say that the music is great like always from Yoko Shimomura. It’s hard for me to think of favorite tracks, but I enjoy both the rehashed and the new stuff almost equally.

I think I may be done with Kingdom Hearts after this game. The series is all over the place. Sure, if someone gives me a Kingdom Hearts game for free, I’ll put it in my backlog. But I think I’ll get my action RPG fix with some more Ys series.