October 17, 2017

A life update

Posted in life tagged , , , , , at 8:53 pm by riulyn

I haven’t really talked about my non-gaming life, even though it is the majority of my life…oh well. But games are just more exciting!

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July 31, 2017

What I’m playing – Mana Khemia: Student Alliance + Tales of Destiny 2

Posted in life, video games tagged , , at 7:03 am by riulyn

PSP version being the crappier interface aside, Mana Khemia is quite fun. Definitely loving the synthesis in the game. The cast of characters is great too. They each have a very strong quirk, but it doesn’t feel like common tropes were just picked for diversity but some actual thought was put behind it. Of course I expect decent character development from Atelier-like games, as I don’t usually play them for a sweeping, dramatic, thrilling plot. The character interactions are pretty funny, some fourth walls are broken, and they are bringing me smiles in an otherwise stressful period.

(The screw it, my grant is going to suck because it has problems I cannot fix in 30 days phase has hit. But that’s not a post for here…)

Of course I like the main character, the rather chill but also push-over type character. Genuinely nice guy, but not extreme do-gooder. And not stupid. The intro dialogues/memories? for each chapter so far (I’m up to chapter 8) have been intriguing. The main character is an amnesiac…or is he? I better not say any more…

Otherwise, I’m playing a bit of Tales of Destiny 2. I’m happy about the appearance of a certain character, but Kyle’s life attitude makes me want to throttle him sometimes. I’m only 6 hours in, and I’d probably not be taking so long if I didn’t manage to get lost/backtrack so much. Older Tales games had actual dungeons…confusing, I know. Roni sometimes annoys me, but it’s just the general “Tales character who has to be the flirt” shenanigans. Only a few I end up liking even if they hit on people a lot (Zaveid); most I just go “ugh again”. Roni is not that bad, though, and I see it most in optional dialogue (talking to random townspeople) anyway.

But yeah, Tales of Destiny 2 is quite the contrast from Mana Khemia. I think the game will pick up sometime soon and I’ll hate on Kyle less, but I feel like I didn’t have such issues with Tales of Destiny. Stahn was just dumb, but not this “I’m a hero!!!!” way, as far as I can remember.

Oh yeah, the battle system is a little weird to me, but I’ll talk about ToD2 more another time.

March 20, 2017

Off to Germany soon!

Posted in life tagged , at 6:05 pm by riulyn

I’m about to head to Germany for approximately a week of vacation. The trip is not long enough, but I’m still going to try my best to enjoy as much as I can. When I get back, there will be Blue Reflection and Persona 5 to enjoy. I’m still confused as to why the PS4 version of Blue Reflection was only like $55 US on Amazon.co.jp, but I picked up that version because it was barely more expensive than the Vita version and it looks much better. I’ll just have to be glued to the PS4 for a long while…

Anyway, because of the upcoming trip, I was kind of curious about the German video gaming scene. Of course I am too lazy to look very deeply, but in general/surface impressions it appears that Germany heavily censors their games so many German gamers end up playing their games in English due to importing. Secondly, the preferred way to incorporate more German learning via gaming is to use the German language option in games like Dragon Age or Skyrim. I was playing Last Remnant in Spanish…maybe I should switch it to German? Though I need work on all the languages basically… Lastly for some reason when I think of Germans and gaming I think of the one guy in the video about Nier Automata’s reveal at E3 that went ballistic in joy. So at least some German gamers have good taste!

But yeah, in the end I don’t think I’m going to pick up any video games in Germany. I’m contemplating which games to bring with me. I might just bring Fire Emblem: New Mystery Emblem (or whatever it is called), which I think I’m about halfway though. I have Vita games but…hmm maybe I should put on Operation Abyss and finally finish it. I’m getting towards the end of Ao no kiseki but I try to only deal with optional quests if I play it outside of my apartment. I definitely have plans to finish that game in April and finally get to Alternative Saga and Cold Steel 1. I might actually catch up on the Kiseki series this year! I was even playing Nayuta earlier this year, so that might even count in my tally.

There is plenty of stuff for me to catch up on when I get back, but I don’t have anything preordered for the summer? I’m feeling a bit weird about this. Let me know if I forgot anything important or else I’ll maybe finally start catching up (slowly, very slowly) on the Western RPG scene…

October 30, 2016

Game-buying limits imposed!

Posted in life, video games tagged , , , at 5:38 pm by riulyn

I bought my last game of this year in September. It was Trails of Cold Steel 2, for a total count of 19 games this year. That’s what I’ve been telling myself as I just struggled to beat my 20th game of the year this morning. It didn’t help that a good part of this year was spent playing some games for a long while, one of which I’m 70 hours in and have still not finished with no end in sight (Xenoblade Chronicles X). The other part, of course, is that my gaming time is starting to decrease again due to work and travel.

I think for my future, 20 games/year is about all I’ll beat, especially if they are all RPGs. Thus I’m trying to set a new limit of 20 game purchases per year from here on out. That means putting off games and also front-loading my year with game purchases. The beginning of next year is already front-loaded for me with Atelier Shallie Plus, Yakuza 0, Tales of Berseria, and Persona 5 all coming out within a month in the U.S.

I put a pretty good amount of time into Japanese games this year because I spend quite a bit of time with each Kiseki game (I’ve been playing them all in Japanese, but will do the Cold Steel series in English). I haven’t bought a Japanese game since Sora no kiseki the 3rd Evolution, though, as I held off on Caligula and Ys VIII. I’m still wondering about Ys VIII, specifically what this PS4 version is supposed to look like. Caligula got announced for localization, and I’m still interested in the game, but not enough to play it soon. I might have missed some big news, but other than those 2, which were summer releases, there wasn’t anything that piqued my interest that released recently in Japan (well, besides Persona 5, but I’m getting that in English). It feels kind of weird when last year I was getting hyped on buying Japanese games in Japanese… Oh well. It’s not like I’ll run out of games to play in Japanese any time soon, if my PSP backlog is to go by.

Speaking of a game I got hyped on the end of last year, I finally finished Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna, or localized as I am Setsuna. In the end I think it was an enjoyable experience, and I got used to the load times on the Vita. The lag during battle animations would sometimes cause me to mis-time button presses and not get whatever bonus attack I was trying for (do not know the term for it used in the game). The game wasn’t too hard to follow and the characters were okay. I think the best part was testing out different magic/techs and finding different combo techs. Lots of customization and every character was useful. Overall I’d say I don’t regret the purchase, though ideally my money’s worth would be partly due to playing and completing it before the localization announcement, but other things in life took my fancy. It’s still better than never finishing it and of course, not enjoying any of it.

Anyway, as I just celebrated my 29th birthday, it was just another reminder that getting older and towards the “career” portion of my life means gaming and other things will need to be enjoyed but cut down a bit. I like my current job but it’s not a permanent one, and the next one will probably mean less time for games. I can’t wait to retire already, seriously, or if I could somehow make it less hours/week… Sadly with the cost of living and the way our society works, I don’t think I can do the ideal (in my mind) 25-30 hours/week independent lab research job…

March 22, 2016

Convention Time Again

Posted in life tagged , at 8:50 pm by riulyn

This weekend I’m going to Sakura-con again and taking a moment to really enjoy the anime side of my life. Though convention time is never totally absent of gaming (I’m happy to see more and more cosplay shoots of games like there’s going to be a Suikoden one again!), I usually only touch a 3DS to get streetpasses and collect puzzle pieces during the 3 days. Anime is not totally separate from gaming; I don’t think it ever has been. I feel like recently there has been a lot more overlap.

Not only is there the huge popularity of anime-based games like the One Piece games, but there’s also games becoming anime that is getting streamed overseas. Some companies like Atlus has started to make all of their Persona stuff more popular with anime, but this year I feel like seeing stuff like Samurai Warriors, Gods Eater, and Phantasy Star get adapted was pretty interesting (I didn’t end up watching much of any, though), and now there will finally be a Phoenix Wright anime adaptation (after all the other adaptations). A dream come true for me would be a Suikoden anime, but that’ll probably never happen…

Anyway, now that I have fallen into the Gust trap, I’ll be on the lookout for Ar tonelico and Atelier things that I recognize. I’d also love to find anything Ys-related. We’ll see if I can get lucky or not…

September 15, 2015

Japan Trip – Photos Time

Posted in life, music, video games tagged , , , at 3:51 pm by riulyn


This is the Lawson store that was decorated with Dragon Quest goods. I bought some slime candy which you’ll see in a later photo. Since I wanted to stop by Akiba anyway, it wasn’t a bad side trip.


21 games! I did not lie. Mandarakes and Book Offs are good places to check first for used games if they aren’t too rare. Akiba prices in general will be a bit marked up compared to other neighborhoods like Shibuya or Ikebukuro but there will be a bigger selection. The Mandarake in Akiba completely owned my wallet…


7 game-related soundtracks. Would have picked up Saki & Tyria’s hymmnos CD if it was also at the Akiba K books, but it was not meant to be (maybe I’ll splurge on it sometime next year…)


Game-related goodies! The top is a Ludger cup that I found at a small Tales of shop in Akiba. Too bad the selection wasn’t huge, but it had some goodies from the Tales of events that take place in Japan. Below the cup are two pins that I bought used at a Kbooks in Ikebukuro featuring Ludger and Milla (yes, obviously Ludger is my fave from Xillia 2 and Milla of the Xillia duo). To the right are gacha finds – there are very few gachas related to video games that aren’t also heavily-promoted animes (aka Pokemon, Persona 4, or recently God Eater) but I found a Chrono Cross one in gachatown in Akiba and got a small Kid keychain and the smaller Milla pin is from the Tales of gacha in the Tales of store. Below that are some dragon quest slime candies I have not tried yet and a magnet of the hero of Suikoden I that I found surprisingly at the animate in Ikebukuro. There were also magnets for a few other characters in Suikoden I & II. I’m not a fan of chibi really but it was Suikoden and not at a used games or doujin store, so I had to buy something. Finally the bottom is a notebook featuring the Pokemon Halloween-themed Pikachuu designs. Yes, Halloween advertising is a thing in Japan and has already started in many places.

I figured I spare the photos that would do no justice but I did also pick up a few more Suikoden doujinshi as well as some Tales of Xillia doujinshi. In the end this trip was pretty shopping-heavy, packed pretty much late morning to late night with something, whether it was shopping or sightseeing or karaoke, and I wish I could have had a bit of a more relaxed trip. But overall it was a great success. Here’s to hoping I can visit Japan again in a few years…

September 14, 2015

Japan Trip – The Game & Soundtrack Tally

Posted in life, music, video games tagged , , at 5:29 pm by riulyn

7 days in Tokyo is just too quick. A good portion was devoted to shopping, which was not kind to my wallet. I picked up some important stuff as well as some interesting stuff. Let’s start with the games.

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August 29, 2015

Heading to Japan in about a week!

Posted in life, video games tagged , , at 5:48 pm by riulyn

Let me brag a bit…? Yes, time to list all the gaming-things I’m hoping to do.

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March 25, 2015

Sakura-con 2015 (+ Suikoden Plans)

Posted in life, video games tagged , at 5:59 pm by riulyn

Once again I’m taking some time off to go to Sakura-con again. I’ve been a bit more proactive about bringing my fan to the con this year. I finished up a Suikoden elemental rune scarf after starting it in mid-December. Those of you who know me on Tumblr will have already seen my photos of the scarf. It’s not perfect but I love it and plan to show it off, so if any of you happen to be going to Sakura-con, you’ll find me wearing the scarf most if not all weekend.

I’m also trying to get a Suikoden meetup together at Sakura-con. The schedule isn’t set yet so I’m waiting before I start bugging people for preferred time/place, but at least I have a few people interested on Tumblr. I can’t believe this is Suikoden’s 20th anniversary. I didn’t get into Suikoden in 1995 but more like 1999, but it’s still crazy to think that the first game really is 20 years old.

Suikoden is the reason why I’m sill a gamer, why I’m catching up on games from the past and present instead of somewhere else entirely. Suikoden is why I started learning Japanese. Suikoden makes me want to be creative, whether via knitting, drawing, writing, or arranging music. The first game got me into the series, but ultimately it is the series as a whole that keeps me around. I’ve probably said all of the above here at some point, but I feel like I can never say it enough.

I just did a Suikoden marathon two years ago so I will probably wait on doing a full marathon (aka all of the Suikoden games I own marathon) until 2016 or Nov/Dec of this year, but I do have a game of Suikoden on my vita in progress. A full marathon is going to be quite an interesting time, though I don’t plan to play Suikoden I and II three times in the same year, even though I have 3 versions of both of those games. It’s high time I replay Suikoden Tactics (skipped it last marathon), plus I’m sure I’ll get a lot more out of Suikoden Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki the second time around.

Anyway, for anyone who wants to comment, here are some things you can answer.

1. What game(s) made you/make you a gamer?

2. Do you participate or stay updated in any game fandoms? If so, how do you participate?

3. What games can you never replay enough times?

4. If you were to ever make your own game, which game(s) would be the biggest inspirations?

January 22, 2015

Busy busy busy

Posted in life, video games tagged , , at 8:50 pm by riulyn

That’s what happens when you start volunteering in a lab but still work weekends. No real days off, though technically I took today off from going into the lab because I didn’t need to go in. It’s my own fault for wanting both to kick-off my postdoc while still earning some money to buy games with, since I’m not being paid yet. Hopefully everything works out, but for now it’s both fun and stressful to be doing both. Once the postdoc is in full-swing, I know I won’t have time to game test anymore, so I’m treating these next few months as the last months. Surprised they needed me over the entire 3-day weekend last weekend though…

Anyway, my personal gaming time has really shortened. It doesn’t help that I keep starting new games. I keep wanting to try games of series I haven’t touched before, so I recently got Blazblue Calamity Trigger & Continuum Shift and Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millenium Girl as a “back to work” present for myself, thinking that I’d be done with game purchases for the month, until more PSN sales started. I suppose if I keep downloading PSOne classics onto my Vita memory card that I’ll probably be okay? Anyway, I picked up Front Mission 3 and Riviera: The Promised Land today due to the sales. I guess that means I won’t be picking up Grandia anytime soon, as now I have a PSOne classics backlog! I guess it had to start at some point…

Since I last posted, I did finish my replay of Ys I, playing the Steam version this time. I tried keyboard controls and it was certainly interesting. Even though keyboards should afford more precision, it felt like the wrong hands were doing the wrong controls. I guess it’s hard for me to break out of the habit of my left hand controlling my character’s movement. I suppose that’s why I pretty much keep my Xbox360 controller connected to my computer.

Anyway, I’m going to try my best not to buy any games in February, though if PSN sales continue and land on PSP/Vita or PSOne Classics that I want, I’ll probably snatch them up. March releases are starting to look interesting. Not only is there Code Name STEAM, but Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters looks interesting too. There’s also Atelier Shallie… I need to get more Atelier too at some point, and I still haven’t decided whether to go PS3 or PS Vita with them… Also Story of Seasons will finally release. I don’t plan to buy it as I am forever behind Harvest Moon-like games, but I am interested to see how it sells.

At some point I’ll probably post more of my thoughts on Blazblue. I forget that fighters can have stranger stories than most RPGs. Of course I probably don’t have an actual good clue of what’s going on in Calamity Trigger, even though I got through the “true end”, but I look forward to getting more confused in Continuum Shift. Though I won’t be joining Blazblue fandom anytime soon, since I’m like 3+ story games behind. Like I always am…

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