9/22/05 09:29 pm - Things That'll Probably Never Change
9/13/05 09:59 pm - Look! Look! I'm posting!
Just a quick update as I have a few projects underway (including new articles! Hooray!). I'm...torn...on this image. I'm not sure if I like it or not but what I can say I like is that I broke out of my usual style of coloring and tried something different.
8/29/05 11:51 am - You are not Captain N
If you’re young enough to wear one of those 8-bit Nintendo controller belt buckles and not think you look like a total idiot you’re not old enough to remember actually playing the freaking system.
It’s like that stupid “Roots” t-shirt with the NES pad. I’m pretty sure roots ends with a z, too. Since when did playing on a Nintendo make anybody cool? I don’t recall being a gamer making me any cooler, especially after elementary school.
Somebody should make a shirt using the 3DO logo with the word Trippin’ beneath it. Come on, that’s video game humor and rebellion at it’s finest!
8/26/05 09:30 am - Burning Bridges?
I caught an article this morning about Midway “dropping” the NFL license of their Blitz games so they can be more extreme. There’s a joke or two in that first sentence somewhere. Anyhow, the article itself was stupid because Midway has no choice but to drop the NFL license since EA now owns the exclusive rights. It’s also an article about Midway and Blitz which automatically makes it an uninteresting read.
What was interesting, however, were the comments being made. In particular those between Midway and EA employees. Both parties were under the delusional impression that they make original and fun games but we’ll overlook that for now so we can focus on the even more insane rabble coming from Mister EA. According to the corporate tool EA was god of everything ever because, and I swear I’m not making this up, they get free snacks and sometimes free beer and games.
The ironic thing is that the guy digging EA’s grave works for Tiberon (EA Orlando)…the very same Tiberon that I’m going to attempt to get a job with. Will I be working with idiots like these?
8/25/05 08:23 am - "I'm looking for Sailors. Have you seen any sailors?"
I pray that this isn’t some sort of hoax or poorly reported wishful thinking. I question the article, reporting that Shenmue will receive it’s final chapter on a next generation system, because of a few reasons. For starters I’ve never heard of the site the news comes from and all of their sources are “unnamed people close to Sega” which isn’t exactly reassuring as this could refer to the guy who walks by the Sega office every morning on his way to work at the Boring Institute of Inane Research of Crap No One Cares About.
Secondly, it’s Shenmue. I love Shenmue, almost disturbingly so. It’s one of those games that you can lose yourself in. The facts that it didn’t end, that it wasn’t well received, and that Yu Suzuki seemed to have burnt himself out producing this massive project pretty much meant we’d never ever see the game’s story completed. Not to mention the ill-fated Shenmue On-line which was canceled not too long ago (thankfully).
According to the article Shenmue 3 is practically completed and just requires porting. Shenmue 3 will also contain the previous two games which would be incredible but seems like an awfully fanboyish dream to me.
If it is true, though, it will actually give me my first reason to be slightly interested in the next generation systems.
8/19/05 10:48 am - Everything and Nothing
Much to your relief it’s been a while since I last rambled on about anything and everything however there’s a lot of random crap out there that I simply must rant about. Let’s start with the Xbox 360 and it’s hilarious, mid-90’s pricing.
Speaking of the Xbox I’m oh so tempted to mod mine. I haven’t, of course, because I wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to even begin. Thing is you can do some pretty slick things with the hard drive such as fully installing Xbox games which is good considering the majority Xbox units owned by people I know have rapidly dying CD drives (which stirs memories of the Playstation except flipping over the Xbox, hilarious as it might be, would probably destroy your disc). So, anyone know how to mod this thing?
Moving right along we have the Nintendo DS which if I wasn’t so close to moving I’d buy right now or at the very least contemplate and attempt to justify buying right now. It is a Gameboy Advanced, has no territorial lock out (Urusei Yatsura will be mine), a pretty happenin’ emulation scene (nowhere near the potential of the PSP, however), and…and…Nintendogs.
Finally we have World of Warcraft, a lovely game that is in dire need of more friends. *points accusingly at YOU* Patch 1.7 will have a new dressing room option which sounds really quite silly and stupid but believe me it’s something that will save the fashionably conscience a ton of gold. Essentially the window will let you preview items you click on from vendors, quest givers, and the auction house. My characters will be the coolest looking heroes in all of Azeroth.
God I’m so sad.
8/17/05 06:45 pm - Ota-KING!
For those of you fortunate enough to go to Otakon this year be sure and keep an eye out for the following flyers. Why? So you can tell the people who are passing them out how wonderful they look and how they really should have paid the poor, struggling artist who created them. Since you're already doing my bidding how about hunting down a Viz representative and punch them until they agree to bring the Urusei Yatsura and Area 88 manga back!
Oh yeah, there should be a third flyer, too...but it sucks. More on that later. You know, when we're alone.
8/10/05 03:56 pm - Crap, now I have to get one...
Someone’s making an Urusei Yatsura game for the Nintendo DS. All I know so far is that it’s probably an adventure game and Koda Kumi will be doing the theme song. Not being familiar with the artist I visited her site where I learned two very important things. For starters you can purchase an official and very pink Koda Kumi t-shirt with the slogan “Who’s hung like a bull?” on it which I swear to god is true. Secondly she’s the vocalist for Final Fantasy X-2’s Real Emotion.
I’m not quite sure what to make of all that but I suppose being the first UY game in over ten years I can’t really complain. I mean, it could be a UY screen saver for all I care, I will own it.
If I’m not mistaken the DS does not have any sort of territorial lock out. Plus someone ported the ScummVM emulator to it which let’s you play all of the old Lucas Arts adventure games like Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle (minus voices, I would assume).
7/25/05 04:42 pm - An Apple-filled World of Pain
I just got done eating one of those once-baked apple pie things that cruelly come packaged in a wax wrapper that instantly adheres itself to the supposed delicacy the moment it leaves the store. I’m not entirely sure why I insist on eating these things because they always make me want to swear off food forever afterwards. Part of it, I suppose, is that my hunger is in love with the pie’s concept. Juicy apple hidden by a thick, dry crust that’s lightly glazed with a mild sweetener? Sounds delicious! Yeah, well, it isn’t and you should go straight to hell for thinking it!
7/21/05 11:17 am - Sex & violence are not equal unless you happen to be a Klingon
I’ve never really gotten into the Grand Theft Auto 3 series of games. In fact it’s safe to say I’ve played GTA2 as much as I have GTA3. I could sit here and berate the game for hours but it’s really not worth my time or yours.
I won’t get into a debate regarding why extreme violence is okay but poorly portrayed sex scenes are not because it’s just not that simple. Let’s just say that if you want to have sex or nudity in your game try making it tasteful, at least at first. Once American society is used to seeing it on a regular basis they’ll grow immune to it and then you can start to intensify their depictions much the same way violence has evolved in games over the years.
Again, I could be giving them too much credit here. For all I know Rockstar is composed of nothing more than a gaggle of middle-aged men with goatees and fourteen year-old minds giggling at penis innuendo and generally living up to the ridiculous basement-dwelling gaming nerd stereotype.
7/18/05 02:47 pm - Victoly!
Listening to the soothingly random melodies of Hayama Harbor’s Beat FM and attempting to avoid doing other people’s work I find myself thinking, “Jason, who are your favorite fighting game characters?”
7/15/05 01:02 pm - This is heaven...
To mix things up a bit I loaded a Japanese television station this morning while I took to my monotonous and demeaning tasks. I’ve tried this before but apparently every channel features the same programming all of which doesn’t go past midnight. Apparently the Japanese haven’t discovered the wonders of infomercials or M*A*S*H yet.
7/11/05 02:30 pm - Respect and the Female Gamer
Rachel and I have been talking a lot lately about a particular personality making her rounds in the trendy side of the gaming community. Essentially it’s a woman in what seems to be a fairly early mid-life crisis exploiting the hell out of her looks and friends with photography experience claiming that she is an extreme gamer, if not the ultimate female gamer.
Of course when you read anything by her or, god forbid, are unfortunate enough to catch an interview you’ll quickly realize that she has no authority to back up her claims and is just using generally accepted ill-informed opinions as a crutch to support and promote herself.
She’s either fairly clever or truly an egotistical moron but the point is, partly thanks to gaming fansite IGN, she’s become somewhat of a celebrity and her opinions and god awful stereotypes are being heard.
Far be it from me to deny someone the right to speak their opinion but right now it just seems harmful as her message is clear that female gamers are just like her (over sexed and with a mind rivaling a 13 year-old boy) or at least should be. The message is, of course, going out to all of those people too young or simply dumb enough to believe it.
She’ll fade out, ourse, but the whole deal has made me think about how ridiculous some of these supposed game journalism sites are. I recently came across an ad for a site looking to build a female gaming team supposedly for journalistic purposes. Here are the requirements:
-Your real name
Aside from the fact that there is nothing listed about having any sort of writing ability (after all, they’re just girls) they want a picture. Why? Do they ask for pictures of their male writers?
7/8/05 10:00 am - Thanks, I get that alot...
Throughout the day I check in on the Hayama Marina (where their webcam is pointed) to make sure everything’s okay. Sadly the great glowing tri-force has lost it’s power and a boat has been gone since yesterday but I’m confident it’ll be back. Oh god I hope it comes back.
7/5/05 02:37 pm - Beach FM
From over a day in the past I sit here listening to the future; some tomorrow, 3:15 am. I realize I’ve probably just screwed up the space-time continuum but oh well, things happen.
My CD drive at work has died which had forced me to seek alternative methods of keeping sane. A long time ago when the World Wide Web was still new and fresh and I was very much a virgin in the ways of the internet for animated GIFs would fill me with glee I did a search for Japanese radio stations. I found one, Beach FM. It was a jazz station complete with web cam out of somewhere in Japan.
Being years ago I figured maybe if I looked today I could find a million different stations with all of the latest, wacky Jpop. I found Beach FM.
That’s not entirely true. I did find one channel that claimed to be “adult contemporary” but was looping a single song from what I swear had to be an early-90’s CD-based video game. I also found a multitude of Japanese news and talk stations that are, for some reason, in Japanese so these weren’t all that.
So Beach FM at 3 am (Japan time) it is. No commercials, no DJs, just lots of old, OLD smooth, easy-listenin’ AMERICAN songs. The web cam is still active and even producing much better footage than I remember. Granted, it’s 3 am so all I see is a giant, green-tinted spotlight, or possibly the triforce, and its reflection on what I can only assume is the ocean. Everything is black. Again I am reminded of early CD-based games.
The funny thing is it’s actually pretty relaxing despite being the type of music you’d expect to here in the background of a movie supposedly set in the 40s.
Here’s to you, Beach FM. When I finally make it to Japan I’ll be sure to stop by to let you know that I’ve listened to you a couple times within at least a period of ten years and both times I was amused.
6/30/05 10:13 am - Rachel
A little over three years ago I met this hauntingly cute girl named Rachel. We would become good friends almost immediately and hints of something more would present themselves over the following few months.
Of course, at the time I was rather oblivious to all of this. My senses and emotions had been sterilized by a downward spiraling relationship that I had put myself in for years prior. The small group of friends that I became close to (the Collective, we called ourselves) had helped me tremendously through this difficult period of my life and I will always be thankful though we all have now gone our separate ways since college. Well, almost all.
Rachel and I had become very close without me even realizing it. My heart was feeling love, true love, for the first time ever but my mind would either try to ignore it or simply just not understand.
Then one night she told me something that I have never forgotten. She told me that she liked me for who I was, that there was nothing she would want changed because then I wouldn’t be myself. That’s when my mind finally understood or possibly even let me understand what my heart had been feeling for quite sometime: I loved Rachel and she truly loved me.
There are many definitions for love depending upon who it is in relation to. The love I feel with Rachel is incredible. It’s about trust, honesty, respect, and genuine concern for one another. It’s about sharing feelings, having fun, and unconsciously bringing smiles to our faces when we think of one another.
Sometimes I feel bad and even a little guilty when friends tell me about problems they are having with their significant others. Rachel and I have had misunderstandings but I honestly don’t remember a time when we ever fought aside from who gets to buy the other dinner. Being a giant nerd I was going to bring up a World of Warcraft example but even there we’re amicable (and we’ve found some really nice items while questing together, too).
All of the above and more of my personal feelings that are none of your business, thank you very much, contributed to this decision: Rachel is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. Honestly I think we both have felt the same way for each other for quite some time but I wanted to make these feelings a more vocal, permanent promise.
After months of planning and waiting the day came. We were visiting Disney World for the second time together. The first time, over a year ago, was amazing. Toward the end of an exhausting day we were on our way to reserve a spot in some ride’s line when we were ambushed by a fantastic display of fireworks. We were away from the center of the park so we were essentially alone marveling at this spectacular display. We held each other the entire time. I don’t remember if we said anything or not as we were both so unprepared for the display and the mood. It was simply wonderful.
I wanted that moment to be just as or even more special than last time. All day I fought a nervousness in my stomach waiting for the evening to come so that the display would start and I could ask for my love’s hand in marriage.
We rushed to our spot and began watching the fireworks. The little cricket was going on about wishes which I had forgotten about but found ironic considering what I was about to do. I told Rachel how much I loved her and asked if she really wouldn’t mind spending the rest of her life with me. This is something we always ask one another which probably drives the single people crazy but whatever…my point is she wasn’t surprised. I asked her if she wanted to make that a promise. I think that’s when the surprise started to sink in.
Dropping to one knee I presented a ring to Rachel as she backed up, tears already coming out of her eyes. I asked if she would marry me and she replied by tackling me on the ground and saying yes many, many times. Being June there were quite a few more people than the last presentation so we inadvertently had an audience who was vocally touched by the moment; I hadn’t even considered that there would be people around when I did this.
So, yeah, I’m engaged. I’m engaged to the most wonderful woman in the world. The nice side of me wishes that all of you find someone just as special but the mean, mocking side of me knows you won’t because I already have. Ha-hah, suckers!
6/29/05 08:43 pm - Cancer
I like to think I have a pretty good, if not bizarre, sense of humor. I also, reluctantly, accept the fact that I am a big nerd justified by the fact that I owned Radiant Silvergun well before people decided it was the greatest shooter ever.
I state the above because after watching the Leroy Jenkins World of Warcraft fan movie I feel like an unknown force just punched me in the stomach. I feel like I have to take a shower in napalm, that’s how mind numbingly unfunny it is. But people find it hilarious. Perhaps because his battle cry was his name or, even simpler, people are really, really stupid. To our species’ credit when I say “people” I really mean “people who post on the World of Warcraft forums” which I suppose speaks volumes.
People find dumb stuff funny. I accept this. I’m guilty of this. This wasn’t dumb or funny. It wasn’t even funny because it wasn’t funny, like a really bad movie. It was just kind of there, like watching a video of the server going down or of the login screen. I promise you the game is way better than this and the video is certainly not a general representation of the population. At least, I hope not.
6/17/05 01:25 pm - The Fear of Fan Service (or “How the Mainstream killed Manga”); Part 1
I remember thinking how manga could save the comic industry here in the states. Not that the industry needs particular saving, really, but perhaps a revitalization. A sequential art form that can show this country that comics can be so much more than the stereotype they’ve turned themselves into. Comics can be about anything and read by anyone.
6/14/05 10:00 am - Jason; Friend of Turtles Everywhere (Except the Virtual Ones)
This morning I chose to wake up later than I usually do but earlier than I usually do when I choose to wake up later. I also chose to skip a shower as I was curiously awake (and I smelled fairly fresh). This all made it possible to leave simultaneously with Rachel which is pretty rare but really, really great.
6/1/05 03:11 pm - The Legend of Lawsuits
I said a while ago that South Korea would eventually be a powerhouse for game development. I still stand by that as their ability to emulate and improve never ceases to amaze me. Check out Wiki, a MMORPG that looks exactly like Zelda: Windwaker. It’s not trying to look like it…it is Zelda. It’s not, of course, but it is. Confused?
How could you possibly resist creating a character in a universe that looks like Windwaker? It’s so painfully cute! I don’t know if they’re using the neat smoke and water affects but I would bet money that yeah, it’ll be there only somehow better.
Check out some of the other games while you’re there. Sun, for example, looks incredible. It puts the supposed “realistic” MMORPGs to shame. It’s not terribly original but good lord does it look a whole lot nicer than anything coming out. I would guess, however, that it would probably play a lot like Guild Wars in the sense that it’s not quite massively multiplayer.
If I only had the slightest interest in living in South Korea I might start trying to send portfolios there. That’s not true…I know nothing about South Korea; living standards, the language, the economy, the possibility of being invaded or blown up by North Korea…all I know is that their gaming industry is really starting to rock. That and most animation companies farm their stuff out to there.
5/21/05 04:10 pm - Revenge of the Freaking Sith
I never thought I’d feel myself emotionally drained by Star Wars. I mean, it’s Star Wars. It’s the type of movie that you can forgive the bits of bad acting and silly lines because it’s just a whole lot of fun to watch.
5/19/05 01:43 pm - ACME
I swear with all the crap coming out of E3 if Capcom doesn’t release this stateside I’ll be one cranky old fart. Well, crankier than I already am, that is. I’d buy it simply based on the box art alone. I’d probably have to import the beauty that is this Saturn control pad for the PS2. If anything it’s further proof that the Saturn pad was the greatest game pad ever…at least when it came to 2D fighters.
5/17/05 03:48 pm - The Era of HD has begun!
I’m currently watching the Microsoft E3 press conference. I’ll give you a live write up because there’s not much else to do except sit here and look miserable. It’s pretty hilarious (the conference, not work). Kim just appeared and is telling us that she’s going to show us the future of gaming which involves her controlling not only her games but also her friends. Kim sounds like a great person.
I’m skipping ahead…it’s getting worse. Currently a guy with no chin is telling us, surprise, that now he’s going to show us the future of gaming.
Peter Moore looks like a con artist or a loan shark. Definitely a greasy bad guy of some sort.
Xbox 360. Still a stupid name. Xbox 360 will define how people play. Games. And have fun. That’s exactly what Chinless said. Not the stupid name part. That was me. He’s now touting Halo 2’s prowess which I can’t argue. I just wish the game was better.
Xbox is setting new standards with new games such as…Dead or Alive? New? It was a Model 2 game back in, what, 1995?
Ah, finally, looking at new games. New games for the Xbox, that is. Half-Life 2. A bunch of sports games. A lot of Dynasty Warrior-type fighters. It’s funny, you can tell which games are Xbox exclusive because no matter how lame they might be at least they look really nice. And a bunch of first person shooters.
"What a fantastic line-up of games,” Chinless says. Idiot.
Ah, there, he said it. Xbox 360 will be backwards compatible with the top selling Xbox games. Madden fans need not worry! Jet Set Radio Future fans are pretty screwed…but I guess that was a given, really.
Crap. The more I think about it the more I want a new Jet Set Radio. That’d be wonderful.
Xbox 360 will be out this year in the US, Europe, and some country called Japan. The Xbox 360 was built with a dream, says he. The dream was pretty crappy. Something about converting thought into market leadership. I don’t know, it didn’t sound all that great of dream. Certainly nowhere close to, say, Martin Luther King’s dream. Ooh, Dead or Alive 4.
Dead or Alive 4 looks very, very pretty. The screenshots that have been floating around really don’t do it much justice because, being screenshots, they’re very static. For the most part there is a lot of movement in the game…something is always happening.
The new female wrestler is, by far, my new favorite character. She bounces. Well, everyone bounces, but I mean she’s constantly hopping and dancing around…kind of like Elena from Street Fighter 3: Third Strike.
Bass just got hit by a car. That was pretty amusing. Are they still using CG? What a waste! You’d think as pompous and arrogant as Itagaki is he’d stop using the lame CG cinemas. Even DOA2 was gorgeous enough to justify real-time.
The sad thing is now they’re showing these wacky, action-platformer CG cinematics about Ryu casting fireballs at giant robots or something and Hayate slicing through a dozen armed guards and dodging lasers. That’s not in the game so why are you showing it? This goes against a statement Itagaki made about fighting games trying to be too much (see: Tekken and it’s Force mode).
Oh well, enough of that. Now a bald guy, J Allard, I believe is his name, is telling us that there will be between 45 and a million games released by the end of the year for the Xbox 360. I am, of course, exaggerating but I do this because never in the history of gaming has any company ever been even close to right on this particular statistic. I could be wrong, but I don’t feel like checking my facts right now.
Whoa. Things just got weird.
Okay, Alucard here is explaining that 30 years ago 2D games were born and families gathered ‘round TVs to play. The number of people were in the tens of millions. Then came 3D games and suddenly we’re in the hundreds of millions. Going to 3D, says Alucard, narrowed the audience (going from 10 million to 100 million doesn’t really count as narrowing but whatever, baldy). Now, in order for apparent world domination, we’re going into the HD era.
There’s the second dimension, the third dimension, and the…high dimension? Talk about narrowing your audience. Let’s see what else he as to say.
The HD era is about connecting to your community and personalizing your experience. It’s about unleashing the creative power of human energy.
I’d like to make an aside and mention that both 2D and 3D do the above but HD does it shinier. There, my speech is WAY better than the son of Dracula’s here.
One BILLION people. That’s the goal of the HD era.
Light, unemotional applause.
The 18-34 year-old male is the backbone of the industry. I can’t argue this but I really, really want to. How damning is that statistic? This is why games like Grand Theft Auto are popular, people.
Xbox 360 will push gaming back into the mainstream. Push BACK? Where has it been these past eight years? I should pay attention more.