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Posted: May 14, 2011 (08:49 PM)
I was once staff at HonestGamers.com.

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Title: Back, I think.
Posted: May 26, 2008 (02:58 PM)
I can totally sympathize with EmP on his computer issues. A couple of weeks ago, mine died on me (again) and I had to take it in for repair (again). This time we're pretty sure the problem has been resolved - my original CD/DVD drive had died and was causing my whole system to crash. Since I've gotten it fixed it's been running smoothly, so that helps.

I also managed to hurt my back pretty bad two Fridays ago. I'm not sure HOW it happened, but it's basically kept me bed/couch-ridden (except for work) since then. I'm under treatment now, but still not 100%. Of course, this is better than last Monday, when I actually had to take a day off work because I couldn't walk - now I'm at least able for short stints of housework and computer stuff.

So what have I been doing during my downtime? Mostly, working on DS games since the hubby's been hogging the TV to play KOTOR II again. I finally finished Apollo Justice after months of nagging from certain quarters, and I'm working on a review for it. It's a little slower going than it would be because I can't stay at the computer too long in one sitting, but I'm hoping to have it done by Wednesday at the latest.

I picked up Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword as well, and I'm really enjoying it (surprisingly). Of course I'm at a point where I'm annoyed with it but not SO annoyed I'm ready to give up.

I have gotten to watch several movies during this long weekend, including Indy 4, Junebug, In the Name of the King (yes, the Uwe Boll film), and The Golden Compass. I enjoyed all of them in one way or another, with Indy being my favorite.

The final thing to eat up my time has been the novels of Tiger & Del, a series by Jennifer Roberson. I read a couple of short stories based around this fantasy series, and I found myself instantly hooked. Since last week I've gotten through three of six novels (I read the first one earlier in the month), and I've started on the fifth. It's really a neat series, and since it's all about swords, oaths and honor - three of my favorite topics - I'm really enjoying them.

I hope all is going well for everyone else - I think, at this point, I need to go put some ice on my back. :P Catch everyone later!
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Title: Bad form, Capcom, bad form.
Posted: May 01, 2008 (05:06 PM)
I absolutely loved Okami for the PS2 and had considered committing the ultimate gamer sin of getting the Wii version as well. Rumors of shaky controls made me decide (since funds are a little tight right now) to wait until I found it used or on a bargain rack somewhere.

Until today.

I think most people have heard about the Wii box art issue (which, as a graphic designer myself, I can tell you that IS the kind of shit that is not tolerated within the industry!). Today's news takes the absolute cake though.

Capcom completely removes Okami credits from Wii version.

Real link title is NSFW, but what it amounts to is that the Wii version of Okami has no ending credits or epilogue. Capcom is claiming that a legal issue prevented them from leaving the Clover logo at the end, so they just removed the full list of ending credits. This was confirmed both by one of the original creators (link to his translated post is at the Kotaku story) and several Youtube commenters.

The PS2 game had one of the most beautiful ending sequences I'd EVER seen, and the epilogue (while not much visually) tied up one last loose end by revealing the identity of the game's narrator.

So I'm torn. I think this was a horrible thing - unfair not just to the creators of the game and their original intent, but to the gamers who miss out on one of the most creative and artistic credit lists I've ever seen! (And a lovely song to boot.) The outraged part of me wants to boycott Capcom until they remove their collective heads from their anal orifices, but the logical part of me screams "Edgeworth spinoff! Tons of other games that I can't think of off the top of my head!"


One thing's for sure. I won't be picking up the Wii version. I am hoping that if enough gamers spread the word and express their displeasure with Capcom, they'll do something to make it right. I mean, the backlash over the box art earned purchasers replacements, so who knows..
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Title: Mana Khemia post-game replay.
Posted: April 28, 2008 (04:41 PM)
I finished Mana Khemia Friday. As with Ar tonelico, I whomped the final set of bosses so hard I quite literally looked at the hubby afterwards and said, "That was IT?"

Still, all in all, an enjoyable game. Everything I heard prior to playing the game was pretty much spot-on, but I'm still trying to figure out how best to word it.

I went for the Roxis ending, and then decided to check out other character endings on Youtube. Most of them were very clever and completely Gust: perverted, twisted and hysterically funny.

So, now I'm not sure what my next big console game will be. I guess I'll figure that out sometime tonight.
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Title: Busy and grumpy.
Posted: April 24, 2008 (11:36 PM)
Been awfully busy lately and it's kept me away from most things, unfortunately. Saturday was my five-year wedding anniversary, and we had a nice dinner, saw a decent movie and he got me Jeanne D'Arc for a gift. I haven't tried it yet though because I'm still trying to finish Mana Khemia. Damn my completionist's soul!

I've also been reading quite a bit. I'm 3/4 of the way through Dune, and I actually did pick up Grand Theft Childhood from my library. It's quite well-written and even though some of what they've written annoys me (not as a gamer, just as a person) it's refreshing to see this topic approached in a logical manner. And let's face it, the Jack Thompson bashing is amusing as well. :)

Work has not been pretty, for various reasons, and it's taking a lot out of me.

So here I am at 1:40 AM, when I should be sleeping, unable to sleep and planning on perhaps firing up MK again to take the edge off before bed. Blah.
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Title: *settles back in happily*
Posted: April 15, 2008 (03:46 PM)

The site is running fast. My computer is fixed. I'm on chapter 11 of Mana Khemia.

All is right with the world. :)
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Title: Good news!
Posted: March 27, 2008 (09:48 AM)
My computer is 99% fixed. Tech guy has to move over a few of my programs for me but other than that I will definitely have my computer back by the weekend.

*cries tears of happiness*

FINALLY. I can start being useful, and I have other things I need to catch up on as well. Plus, I saw a screenshot need that I can fill once I have my emulator access back...

In my computer-less exile, I've not managed to get much accomplished. I read an Agatha Christie book I borrowed from a friend 15 years ago because I liked the movie, and never got around to reading it until just now. (Yes, Jason, I blame your LJ commentary for the urge to read it.) Lovely book, the movie adaptation was pretty faithful from what I remember, but I liked all the little details. This summer I might have to see what else of hers I can find at Half Price Books.

Gaming has mostly been confined to Puzzle Quest on the DS, but I also got in some more Pokemon Snap (since it requires little brainpower) and Lords of Thunder. I'm really getting into that one; it's taking practice but I'm learning what items are good to buy, etc.

I plan on finishing Apollo Justice this weekend too, since I'll have access to a FAQ in case I get stuck. I don't intend on using it the whole way but if I'm going to play I don't want to shelve it for weeks because I'm pissed at it. I mean, Sash got it and beat it in three days, I think I need to catch up so he can quit complaining that he's holding back spoilers. :P

And.. almost weekend! Yay!
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Title: Just a couple more days..
Posted: March 24, 2008 (09:44 AM)
And I should have my computer back. Thank god. I managed to get the laptop from work to connect for 15 minutes Saturday afternoon, 3 minutes Saturday night, and not at all Sunday. It's really driving me mad; I have so much I want (and need) to do online now, plus since most of my good friends are an ocean away, the computer is key for communication.

Essentially, I'm waiting on my DVD burner, which I THINK will be here today (if not, it'll be here tomorrow), then I just have to reinstall a few things and voila, I will be back up and running!

It basically depends on when the burner gets here, and when our computers at WORK are repaired. Apparently the server crashed sometime over the weekend (surprisingly, they got the Internet running at least) and obviously my personal request can't come before a work request.

So the weekend consisted of Puzzle Quest on the DS, VC purchases and lots of movies.

We watched a couple of older movies, Spaceballs for one, but then we watched I Am Legend. (Shut up, Mart.)

It wasn't as horrible as I'd heard it would be, but it was a lot slower than I thought. I guess I expected a bit more from the "action" angle of it.

Puzzle Quest for the DS had me hooked, though I was slightly disappointed by the graphical downgrade. I mean, I KNEW it wouldn't have perfectly sharp character portraits, and it wouldn't be as pretty overall, but the DS is certainly capable of having the stones look like "jewels" instead of making them look flat with little detail.

The other issue is the green and the yellow are closer together color wise than the PC & PSP versions, so sometimes I have trouble telling which one it is on a quick glance.

Finally, the hit detection is off sometimes, or it'll deselect a gem I'd already selected with a light tap of the stylus, but selecting the correct one sometimes requires a harder, repetitive tap.

Other than that, the first time a companion's bonus triggered I nearly wept with joy.. well, okay, slight exaggeration, but it was a lovely improvement. The gameplay is just as addicting, and in general I'm very glad I got this version.

I'm already back to level 11 and I'm currently doing my quest for knighthood. And since I'm slightly more experienced now, beating the Young Knight and Thief (the tutorial battle and your first "real" opponent) was a snap.

I'm following the exact path I did in the PSP version, though I'm raising my stats a little differently, and we'll see if this works any better.

Anyway, I really need to get back to work here, I just wanted to check in with an update. Be back later!

Edited before anyone asks. VC purchases;

SMB2 (ahh, for the days when Mario didn't sound like a girl)
Breath of Fire II (one of my favorites, and I thought the GBA version was watered down)
Dragon Spirit
Eternal Champions
Neutopia (saw a friend of mine playing this and it looked interesting)
Pokemon Snap (recommended by a friend as a simple, casual game)
Kid Icarus
Lords of Thunder (a surprisingly fun shooter)

EC & Dragon Spirit were the hubby's choices and we both agreed on Lords of Thunder.
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Title: Figures.
Posted: March 20, 2008 (10:04 AM)
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I'd just finished sending the writing sample HG requested, and was preparing to head to bed.

Not ten minutes after I hit submit, as I mentioned yesterday, the power went out. No big deal; I figured that I'd come home Wednesday and turn on the computer and reset the clocks. Only.. the power outage apparently borked my computer. I turn it on, Windows starts to load.. and the Blue Screen of Death appears, warning me of hard drive corruption.


Luckily, the IT guy at my work is damn good at fixing computers (he fixed my computer after my husband managed to download the Virus from Hell and my removal measures got rid of the virus but trashed my Internet settings) and if I bring in my copy of XP tomorrow he'll finish fixing it. So I SHOULD be back up by the weekend.

Worse comes to worse I'll ask the boss if I can borrow the laptop until next week so I can still get online this weekend.

The GOOD thing is I can finally format my drive, while saving the important things, install XP.. and FINALLY play Gabriel Knight 3!!! Plus it'll clear off a lot of crap my hubby downloaded that slowed the computer up..
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Title: Well, this sucks.
Posted: March 19, 2008 (07:50 AM)
I am *not* happy. I discovered what I'm sure most of you already know - the PSP version of Puzzle Quest is glitchy. Now, I figured it had SOME glitches because my PSP has randomly reset itself twice while I was playing, but ONLY during that game.

But now I find out (via RPGamer) that the companions' effects don't trigger at all.

I've been searching for the DS version for a bit now and none of the used game stores have had it. So I went to Amazon... and THEY no longer carry it new. So I bought a copy off Ebay for a really good price, and I'm anxious to get it. I'll donate my PSP copy to my husband once I get far enough in the new one, and if the glitches annoy him too, we'll trade it in.

I also discovered that the backlight on a PSP can work as an emergency flashlight.

Last night, my power decided to go out. (Apparently a tree fell on a power line.) I do not do well in pitch blackness, and since we aren't done unpacking yet, I have NO clue where our emergency candles and matches/lighters are, let alone where my flashlight is. So I called a friend and used my PSP to navigate the house, get a chair, and drag it out to the back porch where there was marginally more light (despite it being 1AM). Puzzle Quest kept me entertained for an hour, at which point the power finally came back on and I headed in to bed.

I think I'm going to use this as another bargaining point in my quest to convince Sash to buy another game system this year. XD (See, it has many OTHER uses!! And it really does work better than a DS when used as a 'flashlight'; I've tried to use the DS before when the power went out and it barely lit up an inch in front of me.)

In moving news, I got the new pantry yesterday. It's huge and it's solid and I almost have all the canned goods and nonperishable food in there. I did get all my spices put away too and THAT took a full shelf and one of the cubbies. I have a lot of spices, apparently. :P
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Title: This is NOT right.
Posted: March 13, 2008 (01:22 PM)
I was surfing CNN and I caught an interesting headline out of the corner of my eye. "Feelings of depression? Nuke 'em!"

Well, as someone who's suffered from clinical depression most of her life, I was curious. I click over.. and I find this article.

The relevant part:

You think you may be suffering from depression and visit a psychiatrist to have your condition assessed.

Rather than being given a form to complete, or asked a series of probing questions about dreams and your relationship with your mother, you are instead kitted out with a rocket launcher, ray gun, jet-pack and night vision goggles and sent forth to do battle against marauding aliens, the level of skill you bring to your mission determining the severity of your illness.

It sounds like a slightly surreal, bad-taste comedy sketch. According to a team at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland, however, a video-game based on the above scenario could provide crucial clues not only in diagnosing depression, but also in gauging the severity of that depression.

The game in question is Duke Nukem, a hugely popular virtual reality adventure in which the eponymous Duke -- a muscular, crop-haired, womanizing macho-man in the Arnold Schwarzenegger mold -- defends the earth, and in particular its female inhabitants, against an unpleasant array of aliens, mutants and other physically malformed aggressors.

Under the accompanying photo, it stated: "The research is based on Duke Nukem, a popular video game."

Um. Yeah. I'd say that Duke Nukem is more likely to CAUSE depression, as people who actually care about the franchise are STILL waiting for Duke Nukem Forever.

Do I think the idea has merit? Potentially, as one of SEVERAL diagnostic tools. Do I think this was a good choice for the research? Not particularly. If they want to use a game to measure navigational ability and spacial perception, then see if there's a correlation between those factors and depression? I'm sure we can give them much better options.

(Note: The article calls DN a "virtual reality game" and calls it popular, the only thing I can think is maybe they have access to the DNF builds or something, because the last released game is over what, 15 years old now? Or maybe it was the last DN game released, I have no idea.)
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Title: Too many games, not enough time.
Posted: March 10, 2008 (09:21 AM)
This weekend we had one HELL of a snowstorm. Between Friday morning and Sunday at about 1AM we had a massive snowstorm (complete with thundersnow event at about 3AM Saturday. It dumped almost 2 feet of snow on us, and while the roads were clear(er) Sunday Andrew had to dig us out so we could go to the store.

Of course, that meant two things. 1) Most of the weekend, we were trapped in the house. 2) I couldn't go pick up my Brawl preorder.

The Brawl preorder I'll snag tonight after work. But the weekend was mostly handheld gaming and housework (trying to put what I can away until our pantry arrives).

I am COMPLETELY hooked on Puzzle Quest. I've got a level 21 Wizard, one city captured, and several captives. I'm trying to learn the "Eat Skulls" spell from my captured Zombie but I was having issues with it last night. I close my eyes and see 4-of-a-kind skull matches, and despite the fact that the damn PSP has taken to resetting (I wonder if it's because of something stuck in the inside of the game; it was used and there's something in there that I'm going to have to get out with condensed air) I could NOT stop playing it for most of the weekend.

As for Patapon.. well.. it's been "claimed". My husband made off with it, so I guess I'll have more on that when I'm allowed to have it back.

I decided to get cracking on Apollo Justice, and now that I've made some progress, I'm starting to get hooked. Of course, nothing says "Awesome game" like "hunting for an oversize female gangster's missing underwear", no?

Seriously though, now that I've gotten through the first part of the first investigation, I'm getting more interested in the game and the story. Hopefully this momentum keeps up, because I want to know what's going on!

Can't it just be 5:00 yet? I want to go get Brawl and go home. :) (Plus I have laundry in the dryer that needs folded.)
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Title: I'm baaack.
Posted: March 04, 2008 (08:58 PM)
Internet is back up, we're all moved into the new place, and I'm thoroughly hooked on Brave Story for PSP.

Sure, it's cliched in a lot of ways, but it gets me where it COUNTS.. turn-based RPG combat, anime catgirls (I have discovered that this is apparently based on a manga and/or potentially an anime, but whatever) that actually have a USE beyond looking cute.. and I just can't put the damn thing down.

Of course, with Patapon due to arrive tomorrow, progress on Professor Layton & Apollo Justice to resume, Super Smash Bros Brawl and Mana Khemia on order... I think I'm going to have WAY too much to do. :P That's not to mention all my "domesticated" stuff, as my mother puts it.

Of course, I really can't finish putting stuff away until I get my new pantry.. but meh.

(I guess fresh blueberry muffins with cream cheese icing are a hit with the whole family. :P)
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Title: It figures.
Posted: February 26, 2008 (07:35 AM)
I just spent $40 to pick up GrimGrimoire off Amazon. I'd heard it was rare, so finding it for below retail (it wasn't QUITE $40) made me happy. It arrived yesterday, but I wasn't able to try it yet because my PS2 memory cards are at the old apartment.

Then I went to Wal-Mart to exchange a shower caddy that broke when my husband tried to assemble it.

And they had two copies of GrimGrimoire for $20.


So I did what any responsible gamer would have done. Bought one of them for Sashanan, as it was on his wishlist and I owe him money. :P


I'll pick up my memory cards tonight - I really want to check it out!
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Title: Being sick = no time for updates.
Posted: February 21, 2008 (06:33 PM)
Two weekends ago, it was a "lovely" case of the flu that my co-worker shared with the office. Thursday afternoon, she went home because she couldn't stay out of the ladies' room... by 4AM Friday morning I was down for the count all weekend. Well, aside from a brief trip out that Sunday to sign a lease on our new place. (Story on that in a second.)

So.. here it is.. another week.. and now I've got the cold/bronchitis that was being passed around. I have been off work all week, and the boss wants me to stay home until Monday. Blargh.

On the plus side, we got our state tax refund checks, and while we didn't go out for long, mostly just to cash said checks and get some more Gatorade.. we made one teeny-tiny little side trip.

I wound up with Warioware: Smooth Moves, Elebits & Professor Layton & the Curious Village. Add to that my copy of Apollo Justice, which should be delivered to the new place tomorrow - where I will be doing laundry in preparation for the Big Move this weekend.. and I'm in heaven. :D

Haven't tried either of the new Wii games yet but Professor Layton looks like it's going to be quite interesting.

As for why we're moving - well, when you have to call the police because it sounds like your neighbor is beating the shit out of his girlfriend and their dog, and they come over immediately after the cops leave and threaten you.. that's the first thing. I'm not a pushover but my husband works midnights and I don't want to be alone near people like that. That's the main reason, though insanely loud music and screaming from the apartments beside and below us with no action from the complex manager just caps it.

The new place is a little smaller but quieter, on a dead-end street where if the dog is barking, you can bet it's not because it's being kicked. So yeah. I am just trying to pack up what I can - the furniture goes this weekend so the last week before March 1 will be bringing over little stuff we missed & cleaning the place before we turn the keys in.

Wish us luck!
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