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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November 21, 2012

Being Thankful

Posted in life tagged , , at 5:15 pm by riulyn

It’s Thanksgiving week in the U.S. and unlike the past few years, I have taken time off to fly back home to see my parents. Our family has not been together (all 5 of us) for a few years. It’s been nice so far. Tomorrow we are off to see some other relatives that I haven’t seen in over 5 years. Time flies.

There are plenty of things to be thankful about, and since this is my video game blog, of course I’ll be thankful to have video games to play and enjoy. There’s something you can do with RPG-type video games that you can’t do with books or movies. While I enjoy books and movies (books a lot more than movies; I love reading), there’s something about that video game that stays with me longer than any book. Maybe it’s the length, the interaction, the quirkiness, the music…

Maybe I could have found a book community to emerge onto the internet with. Maybe I would have worked more on fanfiction. But the way my life turned out, it happened to be Japanese RPGs. I happen to have Mankow to gift me consoles and games to borrow and for RPG discussion every once in a while. My best friend is starting to get into video games too. RPG music transcription gives me something to do. I can still write fanfiction if I stop being lazy 🙂 I can even practice Japanese with my copy of Suikoden I & II for PSP. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to choose.

A few months ago I was worried about my parents’ reaction to me still playing video games but they could have cared less. They treated me like the kid I needed them to treat me as. I recently turned 25 and every year that I get older I’m “supposed to” be an adult, a female who wants to act female, but I continue to refuse (on the inside, at least). So I’m thankful every day that I can be me and not get bullied.

I hope all of you guys can be thankful for something. If you can’t be right now, I hope you can be in the future.

September 20, 2012

My Parents and Gaming

Posted in life tagged , , at 1:50 pm by riulyn

My parents are coming to visit me Saturday and we are going on vacation for a week, so I won’t be here updating my blog regularly like I have been these past few weeks. I’m glad that I’m doing regular updates; it seems that when I start regularly engaging in an activity, whether it is playing games or watching sports or whatever, I need to regularly visit forums and/or blog about it. I guess those things substitute for friends?

Anyway, there’s little chance that I’ll be playing close to the 20 hours or so that I’ve been averaging weekly. I’m only bringing the PSP so it will be Persona 3 Portable and maybe Jeanne D’Arc. It’s not that my parents necessarily disapprove of me playing videogames, but more like they rather not watch.

It’s their attitude towards anything they see as not “helpful” for me as a person. If I’m reading a book, no matter what type, it’s okay if I’m reading for hours. I could probably knit for hours in front of them though usually I’m also watching TV or talking to them. If I was doing work on my computer that would be fine. They enjoy listening to me practice the piano or whatever. But more than 2 hours in front of the TV and they are like “why are you watching so much TV?” I was really into watching tennis at that point and I hadn’t even finished watching one match! Videogames are the same way. But if I was livestreaming tennis on my laptop in my bedroom instead of watching on the big TV in the family room, they don’t know/care. I also used to spend weekend afternoons in the basement playing games on the PSX, SNES emulator, or Gamecube. But I never dared to do that with the family room TV. What if my parents needed that TV to watch some cooking show? Who knows for sure.

My parents definitely knew my siblings and I were playing games. They bought us a PS2 for Christmas, and they saw all the game cases sooner or later. They knew about me transcribing sheet music for videogames and even tried to tell a classmate of my age who was visiting our house about it.   They got us tickets to the “Dear Friends” concert.

But it’s been a while since I’ve gamed in their presence. It’s really only recently that I have gotten into handhelds and the PSP, so now I have the means to game anywhere. But if they truly knew how much time I was gaming… They’d be disappointed for sure. After all, they wanted me done with this Ph.D. already and anything that I’m doing that appears to be holding me back would be a big disappointment to them. I’m sorry that I don’t have many career aspirations. I’m sorry that I’m happy being a grad student. I’m sorry that I’m not trying to socialize instead of playing games.

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?

May 7, 2012

General Life Update

Posted in life, video games tagged , , , , , at 9:12 pm by riulyn

Most original title ever. Yeah…

So I figured instead of filling up the twitter timeline I would make a longer post here. I’m sure very few people care about my life, but this is my blog and it serves me. It’s not like I would spend the minutes writing here on transcribing music.

First off, I’ve started gaming regularly again. If you can tell by my last series of posts, gaming has been on my mind and on my schedule. I started up and got most of the way through Kingdom Hearts, got wanderlust and started up Radiata Stories again and FFVII Crisis Core. On the DS I’ve wandered away from Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (got stuck and tactics games aren’t really my thing) and started up the Lufia 2 remake only to be surprised at the major changes in the battle system and world layout. I did start up Mass Effect but got frustrated trying to navigate around. Also I did a little test of my Japanese knowledge by starting up the Japanese PSP version of Suikoden 1 and I am still pretty unknowledgeable.

Of course I am casually studying Japanese almost everyday, mostly through JLPT flashcards and reading over beginner podcast dialogues. My goal is to read Japanese, not necessarily speak it. I’ve also been watching One Piece episodes with subtitles. This is from the very beginning. Just started season 2. Other languages I’m studying right now are German and Russian. I was going to start watching a German LP of Xenoblade Chronicles but then bought the game. Now I just need a machine that can play the game. Think I’ll wait for the Wii U.

I’ve also been following H.C. Bailly’s LP of Final Fantasy IV – the Complete Collection. I’m really interested in the After Years content. It’s a game I’m thinking of buying if the After Years is interesting. Yes, I’ll know the entire plot via the LP but that didn’t prevent me from buying Radiant Historia.

I still knit. Also I’ve done a little bit of reading outside of stuff online and for lab. I finished the first book of the Warchild series by Karin Lowachee and I also finished a book on Medieval Russia which I mostly read at lunch on work days. That took me at least 6 months but stuff like history seems to work well that way. Started a political essay-type book discussing the rise of Lenin and Stalin, which is interesting but I kind of need the history after Ivan IV…

I just saw the Avengers film this past weekend. That was good.

That’s a pretty good summary of what’s been happening lately. Way too many things that take away from transcribing sheet music 🙂 I’m actually surprised at how productive I’ve been since coming back from hiatus. I haven’t worked on anything recently despite listening to videogame music almost all the time. I’m just waiting for the itch to come back, though I also think it would be awesome to surpass the 300 sheets created line sooner than later. I’m sure it’ll happen before the end of the year. And then I remember that someone like Sakuraba probably writes 300 songs in a week…

August 4, 2011

A Bit More Creativity Needed Here

Posted in life, music, video games tagged , , , , , at 2:21 pm by riulyn

So the vacation to China was overall a good thing despite some bad luck with planes (at least no canceled flights, but lots of delays). It’s kind of interesting to go on a vacation without most of the things that tie you down to your everyday life. I didn’t have my laptop and my music files, my videogames or free access to the Internet, etc. I always feel like vacations like these always reset my mind, in some way.

Upon returning to my rather uneventful life, I wandered over to OCRemix and since I’m such a big Suikoden series fan to see if any new Suikoden remixes had been posted there since I last checked. Unfortunately there hasn’t been anything. I know the site is very selective and such, but when a cult game like Xenogears is continuing to get stuff (then again, the music for that game is a lot better for the casual fan than Suikoden stuff), I was just a bit sad. And now with the recent news that the Suikoden team has indeed been disbanded and 5 years since the last main storyline game, the series is pretty much dead.

Anyway, since I’ve had Suikoden music and randomly Cosmo Canyon from FFVII stuck in my head, particularly “An Old Irish Song” from Suikoden I which I have already made a simple arrangement of, I have been trying to create a fancier, awesomer arrangement of that song. I really am not a good composer myself and really should brush up on music theory, etc., before I get something to type up. And I really should stick to what I do best, which is transcribing stuff. My ability to identify pitches is probably my only actual musical skill, especially since I’ve started making arrangements that I can’t even play myself…

So yeah, in summary, I want to do more with my arrangements but I probably won’t. I’m also in a Suikoden mood so when I get back to working on those “simple” arrangements, I’ll probably do some Suikoden stuff. I just started replaying Suikoden Tactics on a whim and should try to arrange one of those songs, maybe.

April 27, 2011

Suikoden 2 – I Cannot Quit You

Posted in music, video games tagged , , , , at 1:06 pm by riulyn

Recently I bought the Suikoden 2 soundtrack as I am slowly collecting legitimate soundtracks on my computer (instead of finding mp3s, listening to them as I do requests, and deleting them). Listening to the soundtrack, I realize how many songs I remember so well. There is such a Suikoden flair to it but it is more distinctive than the later games. I played Suikoden IV twice and I don’t think I could pick out any of the songs. I also got the Suikoden V soundtrack a few months ago and I am slowly beginning to connect songs with the game. Speaking of Suikoden V, a replay is going to happen at some point…

Anyway, I have not only been listening to the music, but I have been humming and whistling the tunes as I walk down the street, though not too loudly since I am not really an exhibitionist. Just thinking of the songs makes me want to transcribe them, which isn’t ideal since my request list is growing longer and longer. The Italian lyrics remind me that I want to learn Italian at some point. I think I might go look up the lyrics so I can sing along to “La Mia Tristeza” and the like 🙂

I think Suikoden 2 is the one traditional RPG that I could play over and over again. I lost my old Suikoden 1 save state so I’m trying to replay that game because having Tir McDohl in Suikoden 2 is absolutely necessary in my mind, but Suikoden 1 just isn’t as inspiring. Maybe because it doesn’t start off with dramatic cliff jumping and Viktor and Flik aren’t as cool yet. I also have an XBOX 360 and Star Ocean 4 to play, which has been slow going because something seems kind of awkward about it. Maybe the dialogue or how it is said?

My life should settle down a bit and I’m going to be cutting back on some other things to get back to transcribing music. I set goals for 2011 and I still think I can make some of them. Even though I have failed at other parts of my life, I am usually an optimist. So I’ll stop typing here and start typing up some music.

December 15, 2010

Who’s a new Ph.D. Candidate?

Posted in life, video games tagged , , at 10:51 pm by riulyn

Yep, that’s me. Too bad it isn’t in music theory or composition or in playing videogames (wouldn’t that be awesome). I now have a bit of sanity left.

I started playing Radiata Stories today and the music seems pretty boring so far. The game feels like a parody and I kind of want to murder the stupid characters and I thought Ridley was promising but she’s starting to annoy me too… I also really suck at parrying; I haven’t figured out the timing.

But yes, music will be transcribed. I used to use Finale but I might switch to this other program that looks promising… Either way, I plan to have some stuff up around Christmas. Late December is a good time for me in terms of music transcription.

December 8, 2010

A bit of procrastination…

Posted in life, video games tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:19 pm by riulyn

I have a week before I have my exam. For those of you who are curious, I am presenting my proposed thesis/dissertation research. When I was working on this proposal, I realized that I have a lot of goals for this project. I am either going to be in grad school for a very long time or fall short of the lofty goals. It’ll probably be the former. Oh well. I’m getting a stipend and I have time to work on things like sheet music and play videogames as long as I get a decent amount of work done at the bench. I hope I didn’t just fling a ton of jargon at you all. Anyway, I learned recently that, since I did relatively well on the written portion of it in June, that I’ll probably have less questions to answer next Wednesday. I’m just ready to have that done so I can start working on sheet music transcriptions again. I just checked the guestbook so I know someone is waiting for Revival from Tales of Symphonia… (I have to say my memory of that game is hazy, but the soundtrack is fun, I guess…)

So I’m posting because I don’t want to read my paper and I guess I feel less guilty if I spend a few minutes typing here. Plus, I somehow lost the .exe of the sheet music program I was using before and so I can’t open up my old files. I’m trying to figure out still how much I want to splurge on a sheet music program and if I want to use a different one. Finale has some limitations, though it is what I am used to.

While studying these past few months I’ve put on videogame soundtracks and realized that I want to replay Final Fantasy IX. I’m guessing because I listened to so much FFIX music that the game got stuck in my head, but the music isn’t that good. It is relatively simple (I came to this realization that Nobuo Uematsu’s music is usually better when it’s “simple” thus FFVI music being awesome) and I keep thinking that I’ll do more of it because it’s nice to have some quick gratification instead of hours laboring over one song. Then I remind myself that it’s the lazy bum’s route and while I am a lazy bum, I shouldn’t always be one. I might do a few to get my ears warmed back up again after such a long layoff from transcription by ear. You’ll see, hopefully in January 🙂

I’ve also majorly distracted myself at times by livestreaming college volleyball and soccer. It’s tournament time for these two sports so I have the livestream rolling while I pretend to study figures. I wonder if I learn anything during those times. Whatever 🙂

I’ve also gotten back into a side project, which is replaying the Suikoden games and typing up interesting lines. I am playing Suikoden 1 right now and the dialogue feels a bit weird. Back then, videogame characters sure talked strangely at least in the US versions of games. It was probably a combination of bad translations and not quite as much emphasis put on polishing up the speech. I’m glad the translation issue has been mostly resolved, since I still play mostly JRPGs. I have such a laundry list of languages I want to learn, so Japanese keeps being pushed further and further down the list…

February 18, 2010

I’m Back

Posted in life tagged , at 7:49 pm by riulyn

Hello everyone! I am starting this blog somewhat on a whim, but I also used to rant about my life on the “About Me” section and it’s better that it’s not there anymore. I’m one of those people who like to blog on and off, just like I do a lot of other things. There was a time, from about early 2006 to late 2009, when I wasn’t doing anything related to videogame sheet music. I wasn’t even playing many videogames either. I was just swept up in the whole college (undergraduate) experience. I certainly had time to write sheet music, but I was spending my time in other ways. I suddenly developed a great interest in watching soccer and volleyball, regained my love of track and field, and found that I could watch a lot of tennis on TV. First living with a roommate and then spending more time than usual hanging out with other people just took up time I used to spend working on sheet music.

I don’t regret it at all. I’ve always been an introvert and a big loner, though not always because I didn’t like to interact with people. You can see here just how much I like to ramble 🙂 Anyway, I finally experienced what it was like to have people seek you out to hang out with them on a regular basis. Now that I live on my own and far from most people I know, I’ve regressed somewhat to my old solitary ways, but I’ve maintained my love of sports. Currently I’ve been watching a lot of the Winter Olympics 🙂 I think it’s better this way. I’m never going to recover the time dedication I had when I was in high school, where the bulk of the sheet music is from (2002-2005) but I think I’m going to keep contributing in small ways and I won’t burn out. After all, I’m old enough to understand that I’m not arranging songs for other people to like me, but for my own joy of creating something. I have graduate school right now that supposed to lead me towards an actual career and actual money, while arranging sheet music is unpaid. Which is fine for me since I don’t rate my skills very highly…

When I decided to start arranging music again, I was surprised to see, after a four year hiatus, that there hasn’t really been too many other people picking up the slack. Then again, I always had some fondness for some of the rarer RPGs (aka Lufia or Suikoden games) which tend to get little love from the other RPG music arrangers. I started to arrange music for games I didn’t play yet late in high school so I’m not going to stop now, but it’s easier for me to be inspired to write for a game I’ve actually played, since there are actual memories of the song and how it fits in the game. In reality, there’s a lot more games than I can ever play, and a lot of good RPG music that I won’t ever arrange, but something is better than nothing. And really, I’m doing all of this for fun, so if people like my stuff or hate my stuff, it really doesn’t matter.

Anyway I guess I want this blog to be somewhat of an online diary, online rant area, and online discussion place for things related to life, videogames, and videogame music. I’m not sure what actually is going to happen here. I have a lot of interests but I won’t blog all about them here because I rather not have it be all over the place (though my writing within the posts is like that) and I would like somewhat of a music focus because this is intended to be an extension of my website, in some ways.

Well, nice to be back. I wonder when I’ll update next.