10 December 2014

'Mass Effect 3': Part I

Time to finally wrap up the Mass Effect trilogy before Mass Effect 4 comes out ten years from now!

Joking aside, if you gathered from my final verdicts of ME1 and ME2, this is my favorite game in the trilogy. Mass Effect 3 has most of the features I liked about the previous titles and improved on them. The story is an intense roller coaster ride after the forty to fifty hours I poured into the first two games. Heck, even the overall difficulty was amped up a bit to keep me on edge. Not many sequels I've played tend to like to do that.

YES, I'm looking at you, that one game I kept bashing for over a year.

Anywho, back to Mass Effect 3, my favorite game in the trilogy. And the review begins -

Hold your horses, people. I ain't going there yet. Let me say what I like LONG before touching that can of worms.

Possible spoilers ahoy.

02 December 2014

Q and Ultimax: Two Demons of Procrastination Obtained! ... Wait...

For the first time in months I could finally sleep peacefully and wake up feeling refreshed. Although classes are around again and I still have too much work to complete, I'm feeling less stressed than before. If that is the purpose of having a break, consider my Thanksgiving very well spent. Be it doubly so because Amazon kindly gave me my most anticipated game of 2014 just in time before I went back to the doldrums of fall-semester-marathon-of-exams-and-last-minute-assignments.

Considering how Persona and SMT has dominated my blog for nearly two years, I'll take time to play Persona Q inside and out multiple times before taking a good stab at writing extensively on it. Besides, I already promised myself too many times to get the Mass Effect 3 review started before I kick the bucket on my 21st birthday from good ol' alcohol poisoning. (Which won't happen, even if certain friends I have will be disappointed.)

So until I go crazy enough to squee or rage over a stupid video game, I'll at least make several points of observation regarding Persona Q and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. I won't spoil anything though, as tempting as it is in the case for Ultimax. Maybe in the future I can make a rant on the spoilers because I sincerely doubt I'll ever "formally" review a fighting game. Sorry.

25 November 2014

Aches and Pains: Thanksgiving 2014 Update

Papers, papers, papers, binders, papers, papers, all-nighters, papers, presentations, journals, binders, powerpoints, carpal tunnel in both wrists, dead iPod every other day, papers, essays and more papers and papers. I hardly slipped online to edit posts because of all the last-minute semester scrambling, stressing, and hair-pulling. Analyzing my research data is time-consuming; it's not easy going through over 700 responses, especially the ones who stuck around for my survey and filled in the open-ended questions. I'll be needing a ton of caffeine-loaded soda to get all my stuff done. But the light from my laptop is starting to strain my eyes, and sitting is making my bum sore.

In other news, I'll be relaxing for Thanksgiving and play some Persona 4 Ultimax. I'm convinced Persona Q won't arrive until next week, much to my profound chagrin. Apparently my preorder will fall on my doorstep this week, so I'll cry if that doesn't happen. When I'm sick of MegaTen-related stuff (which might not happen b/c Ultimax and hopefully Q), I might play around with Mass Effect 3 to take some more last-second notes I may have forgotten about. Any other game I play will be a luxury.

Once winter break happens, I'll try to pump out a few posts to wrap up the year. I haven't done a music-related post in a while...

Eh... why the hell not? I haven't had the chance to talk about them anyway. Might have to pick up This Is War too for more context...

Anywho, everyone have a good week. Enjoy whatever you do to relax and be happy for a few days. If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I still wish you a healthy sanity. We all need it to function, y'know.

And may the people of Ferguson have peace. They need all the positive energy they can get so these tragedies are finally taken seriously and stopped for good.

Seriously, this is getting beyond obscene and lands dead in the territory of inexcusable. Whether you have a badge or not, whether you're an adult or kid, stop shooting everyone, America. You're making our whole country, even the sensible and responsible gun owners and collectors, look like incompetent trigger-happy vigilantes belonging perfectly in the twisted, despicable worlds of The Walking Dead or The Last of Us. PLEASE STOP SOLVING CONFUSING CONFRONTATIONS WITH PUTTING A BULLET IN SOMEONE. There is ALWAYS a third option. ALWAYS.

04 November 2014

A Miserables Cup of Tea Isn't for Me

Joyful day.

I don't have a fond opinion of Les Miserables, but it hardly bothers me enough to get me worked up for the rest of my life about it. It's not the kind of fiction I've experienced that scarred me permanently. Yet this story has tried four times to stir a response from me, and I had a different reaction each time.

The musical version by far has the most inconsistent yet paradoxically consistent track record: it has always been a profoundly disappointing experience short of such infamous torture sessions as Gladiator and The Dark Knight. My high school's version of Les Miserables put me to sleep thanks to the lousy and chaotic sound production; the 25th anniversary had me mock a Jonas brother through the entire second act; and the 2012 film adaptation made me take out my iPod to play sudoku and alleviate my torment.

Just as I was ready to throw the towel and forever give up on Les Miserables, I found another film version to take a stab at on Netflix: the 1992 one with Liam Neeson. I was happy with the glorious absence of singing, and enjoyed it for being a decent movie. Unfortunately by November 1st, the movie is possibly gone forever for streaming. For shame.

Anywho. As a whole I can conclude from my experiences - as I presumed back in 2012 - that for me Les Miserables the musical has a competent source material that fails as a story adaptation.

I love you too. Spoilers ahoy.

31 October 2014

Halloween 2014 Update

Hiya, guys! The worst month I've ever lived through is finally over. All I have is one exam today and I am free from the clutches of stress... for the most part.

Even though it's Halloween, I'm not really going to dress up today. Too much stuff going on and I'd probably prefer spending the evening sleeping or writing. Feels like I hardly get any sleep anymore... and I want to keep hacking at my fanfic.

I wanted to let you guys know that I'm working on a few posts that I want to get out as soon as possible. One is greatly overdue and another is something that I'm in the mood to rant about. Hopefully I can pump out something soon, as I'm tired of having chronic writer's block over silly things. One of the things I'm working on would theoretically recommend me to go home and test out a few things; then I realized I played the game so many times that there is no reason for me to hyper analyze it and take too many excessively pointless notes.

Speaking of games, earlier this month (on that one awful day in fact) I finally beat Persona 2 Innocent Sin. I'm halfway through the most overrated MegaTen series! It's likely I might have to play the game over again or watch a walkthrough before I can judge it properly. I will say, however, that the gameplay is so obnoxious and tedious I really see why the fanbase is divided the way it is. In spite of my complaints about a ton if things, the characters and story were far better than - ... yeah, I'm not bothering to finish that. You guys know me too well by this point.

Someday I'll finish Eternal Punishment, but for now, I might move onto Soul Hackers. I haven't felt so good about a game so quickly in a really long time. If it keeps up, it may end up being one of my favorites.

Anywho, I hope you guys enjoy trick-or-treating or throwing parties or stealing candy from kids b/c no one has money for anything anymore. Be sure to enjoy some scary movies too. Hmm... I might want to watch Carrie again...

Happy Halloween!

23 October 2014

My Research Idea Revealed! Ethnography of MegaTen Fans

NOTE: as of November 12, I have closed my survey. Thanks to the 700+ participants who helped me with this project! :)

In my last post I mentioned that I am currently taking a research class, where I learn about methods in conducting research and where I start a project on my own. Because October was such a busy, nerve-wrecking month, I admittedly have fallen behind in gathering data. So to catch up, I'll just say it.

I'm doing online ethnographic research on the Megami Tensei fanbase. In plain man's speak, I'm studying the people who play games in the MegaTen franchise. What games do they generally enjoy playing? What do they enjoy about MegaTen? How did they get introduced to the franchise? Why is MegaTen's popularity growing outside of Japan? What games helped to spread MegaTen love and why?

If you say Persona 4 Dancing All Night as an answer to every single question, I'm gonna smack you.

15 October 2014

Midterms, 'Silent Hills', and Research, "Oh my!": October 2014 Update

Maybe a cat will help, even if he/she isn't my own.
This is probably the most stressful semester I have ever had. Welcome to the adult world, Fangirl. It's only going to get busier and more hectic and more insane. Such is the beauty of life.

Anywho, hello and hiya, readers! If I somehow do not have carpal tunnel or a hunched back by the time I'm 30, it'll be a miracle. It'd be oddly amusing to finally relate to the hero of my favorite Disney movie ever, but I prefer not getting assaulted by a sea of flying tomatoes. Not until I get it on Blu-ray and set it next to my copies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Hobbit, season 6 of HouseSucker Punch, and Daybreakers. One must be picky when investing in Blu-ray, y'know. That stuff is still pretty expensive for a college student. Plus, I gotta make my Playstation 3 live as long as my baby Gamecube.

Seriously though, I'm alright. Doing what I can, from digressive rants to snarky comments, to maintain sanity and stress so my brain doesn't implode. Midterms, paperwork, scheduling, meetings, fundraising, mentoring, and studying. And occasionally tweeting.

But to be in the spirit of the month, I guess I should mention that I watched people playing P.T. the other day. I'm still not getting a PS4 for a LONG time. But that Silent Hills playable trailer was really damn creepy, disturbing, and messed up (i.e. "I said look behind you!")

30 September 2014

So Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Is Out Today...

God that title is so stupidly hysterical.

...A pity I won't be able to play it for a while. My PS3 is still many hours and gallons of gas away from me. Even though I preordered it over the summer, I will have to wait for at least another month or so before I can possibly pop the baby in and play it to my hearts content. I remember Persona 4 Arena was rather entertaining and fun. Fighting games were never my forte or preference, but P4A was friendly enough for me to complete the story campaign, which was shockingly decent, without resorting to seppuku. Usual moi, I avoided multiplayer because online people will serve me my own ass.

Since I have no proper ability to judge a fighting game on any merits, I don't think I'll ever formally review the Arena games. Likely I'll judge them as legitimate sequels to the Persona 3 and Persona 4 canon. One of my friends laughed at the notion, as fighting games aren't meant to have good stories anyway. Considering both Arena games are indeed canon AND legitimate sequels to P3 and P4, some kind of storytelling standards cannot be outright ignored by a relatively flimsy excuse. Will it plummet the game's quality down the toilet? No, it shouldn't. But a bad story can make what is otherwise a beautiful, flawlessly technical game earn an "okay" or "good" score, no matter how avoidable the unpleasant features are.

Which is why I'm glad I'm not playing Ultimax yet.

I'm worried. Deathly worried.



I may need to amend my review score for Persona 4. I'm sorry. I didn't know, guys. I didn't know things would get this stupid... Reading the spoilers thus far made me realize Empty Spiral, my sleazy excuse of Persona 3 fanfiction for shipping fanservice, is probably better written than Ultimax. Shadow the Hedgehog is a classic Shakespearian character next to Sho Minazuki.

So much potential... obliterated before my eyes.

... Please let this just be a false knee-jerk reaction. Please let this just be Fangirl's overblown knee-jerk reaction. PLEASE.

07 September 2014

Back to the Books... Again: September 2014 Update

Thankfully the first two weeks of classes ended unceremoniously. The workload is gonna be heavy though because I picked up a research methods class. Hopefully that skill will help me get a job somewhere. But then again, no one seems to know what will guarantee you getting a job anymore, which is disheartening.

That's pretty much me atm.
The incident from the end of the summer is in the past. Simply put, it made me realize how much I underestimate my talent in critical observation of others. It's good that I don't trust some people very easily, and it's something I got to stick with.

In lighter news, I haven't changed all that much. My blog has been leaning heavily towards video games for two years now, and I'm sure I have scared people off. There may be some of you who stick around since I ramble a lot about nerdy stuff. I talk about stuff that makes me happy at this point in my life and I hope some people can at least get a laugh or two at my being opinionated. So MegaTen might still be on my blog for a while, at least until I run into something else I want to talk about. Fangirl will still be a fangirl.

Meanwhile, my rooming arrangement is different this year and I got more posters and crap laying around. And, 对不起, crappy image quality is crappy. :P

I managed to plow through the majority of the show this summer. Sadly I stopped on the episode of all episodes, codenamed "The Purple Wedding", and I was never happier in my life. (Minus the HIM concert four years ago. So I lied.) Of course I will go back into the show and finish season three, since I'm hooked. Not as much as my mom though, who devoured the books and the episodes VERY quickly and is still detoxing. Season four can't come soon enough for her.

I did not buy A Link Between Worlds, but I have played a demo. Once I get money again, it might be in my library collection. Supposedly it's good, but my rant on Nintendo from a while back still weighs heavily on my mind.

But How to Train Your Dragon 2? I started to have faith in children's films again when the first film came out. Now it's really damn strong thanks to this. Damn it, if I ever have children, boys or girls, I'll show them these movies along with The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So many hedgehogs... I got the two in the middle for a really cheap price on sale around Christmas. They were lonely and I couldn't help but take them home. Then I realized I had two scarves I never use much, slipped them on the duo and named them Pollux and Castor. Heh, heh, heh. To make it better, Pollux's left ear sits funny as does Castor's right ear. Heh, heh.

Ok, I'm done. Don't smack me. XD

What kind of young adult would I be without a messy desk? Moonlight, Soul Hackers, The Sims 3, HIM, my PS Vita, and a Zelda lanyard. Sometimes I question how feminine I am.

And I already posted this on Twitter a while back, but I took a pic of my copy of Quantum Devil Saga. Yes, I do exist in the real world.

Funnily enough, I'm taking a general history class on Asian Civilizations pre-1500 CE and we briefly touched on Hinduism. Let's say that a billion lightbulbs flashed in my mind as I was hearing so many terms that I recognize from playing Digital Devil Saga and just MegaTen in general (like atma, samsara, soma, etc). It's a beautiful feeling to know how video games can still enrich one's life beyond simple entertainmant.

Anyway, I'm back to studying, writing, and stuff. My fanfic is about 75% done at this point, but I might have to do another draft to organize stuff better. Thank god I'm not an author, because I think I understand a little bit why George R.R. Martin takes forever on A Song of Ice and Fire.


12 August 2014

'Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, Vol. 1'

There have been numerous reasons my blog hasn't been updated lately, and this is one of them. For the past several months, I have been really, really excited for this book. I sat on pins and needles, watched a few interviews with the translator Kevin Frane, helped hold a small contest to promote the book, and pre-ordered this as soon as I could. Now that I finished it in just a day a week ago, I have no regrets.

Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner is a five-volume novelization of a story Yu Godai created when approached to create a scenario for Digital Devil Saga. Though she didn't work with Atlus long enough to finish her work for the RPG (although she is still credited), she planned to write her own version of the story, as it was her original idea. The fact Quantum exists has fans of the Megami Tensei franchise who adored Digital Devil Saga squeezing with delight.

And it's translated into English. Well, volume one at least, thanks to translator Kevin Frane and Bento Books. Since I want the other four volumes released outside of Japan as soon as possible, I owe it to myself to stand on my podium and rant away on this tiny little blog.

Spoiler: I really, really, REALLY love this book. And some spoilers are here, sort of.

24 July 2014

Real Life "Fun": July 2014 Update

Unlike past times when I've been inactive due to laziness, I've been... upset lately. To put it simply, I made a mistake that I had to experience sometime in my life as "practice" for similar, more serious cases in the future. "Practice" is the wrong word in a way, but that's how I'm viewing this. It's a lesson I'm learning so I might not make the same mistake again, especially if I'm in another country or am stuck with people speaking another language other than my own.

It's still too soon to say whether or not this issue has been resolved. I'm still uncomfortable about it. And I'm replaying a ton of Mass Effect just to make me smile and laugh. And my friends on Skype have been supportive emotionally with advice or a long night of chatting.

Speaking of which...

A few more light-hearted reason why I've been busy. I'm getting the word out about the contest to win a free signed copy of Quantum Devil Saga on DDS-Net on Twitter so there are more submissions. And a few friends and I have hung out together as Rasen streams Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. It has it's own wiki entry. And it's on TV Tropes. Just... wow. O_o

If anyone is interested in hearing me, Fangirl aka Mel, and my lovely voice, here are links to the longer parts (if you have no life whatsoever). And some videos.

From Part 3:

From Part 7:

It's ok. I understand if this is too much insanity to take. XD

16 July 2014


Missing out on films is common for me lately. Frozen came out when I had no money or nearby friend who wanted to see it. Then when it showed on campus, I was busy with exams. But thankfully babysitting fixed this problem in no time.

Now for my typically cynical few cents.

To put it simply, this is one of the best Disney movies I've enjoyed in years. With the exceptions of WALL-E, Toy Story 3, and Wreck-It Ralph (my #1 fav recent Disney movie), I have lost interest in the majority of Disney's works since the turn of the century. Not that their other movies were bad, but I just found them passable and mediocre. If it were anyone but Disney, that'd be a compliment. And I can agree with some critics who say the Princess line-up past Mulan has been especially unimpressive. The Princess and the Frog was forgettable in the long-term and New Orleans does not interest me at all as a setting. Tangled's trailers did not impress and I still feel no obligation to see it. Brave was a committee-intrusive mess with horribly misleading marketing.

So for now it seems Frozen is tapping into something that Disney has been missing in a long while that I'm not sure I can convey reliably. The music is far more memorable and the comedy is as quirky and fun as ever (from the view of a 20-year-old anyhow). I usually hate comic relief gimmicks like Olaf, but his obliviousness to the fact that snow + sun = water is reality is hilarious. The animation is colorful, expressive, and gorgeous, especially the spiraling snow and ice during the "Let It Go" sequence, etc. It's Disney, people. But for some reason, something about the entire film, from the music to the story themes to the comedy and the art somehow struck gold with me. I haven't felt so happy to watch a children's film about princesses in years.

Ok. Between this and gorillas riding horses and wielding two
machine guns, I dunno which one is stupider-looking.
What especially helps is the self-aware commentary and trope discussion throughout. By this point I will admit that is definitely one of my weak-points when it comes to humor. As fun as it was watching Elsa shoot down Anna and Hans' plans for marriage based on love at first sight, it does seem a bit awkward, given the numerous arguments about how "progressive" and "feminist" this movie is. I appreciate Disney taking a stab at shallow attraction, but declaring this to be a triumph of strong independent female characters is ludicrous. This is a whole other rant for when I need to explode, but for now let me say this. A "strong" female character should be a good character in the same way a "strong" male character should be. They must have a compelling, understandable, or relatable arc that the audience can recognize. I believe Anna and Elsa succeed in this regard... for the most part.

Anna is an energetic redhead who is narrow-sighted thanks in part of being isolated from others and especially her sister. She cannot relate to her at all, but she sure as hell wants to try anyway. That is something I admire. Yet, she lacks common sense (like forgetting to bring a coat or dress in pants on a hike in the mountains) and trusts so easily she cannot plan at all (to the point that all she choses for herself is finding Elsa and marrying Hans). She's sweet and kind, but she adorns a majority of traits seen as belonging to a Mary Sue: clumsiness, socially awkward, adorable, sleepy-headed, stubborn, etc.

Guess she is not titanium, huh?
Meanwhile Elsa is a psychologist's worst nightmare due in part to the trolls and her parents being absolutely horrible and scaring the poor girl to death. Her running from her problems is what jumpstarts the entire plot and I believe that this is one of the best things about the film. But of course, Elsa's story is only truly interesting because of her sister and how they need each other to bring peace of mind for both their sanities. I may be an only child, so I have little basis for my commentary, but the theme of sisterly love was a great story for Disney to focus on.

But when you start to think more about the movie and bring in all sorts of social commentary, Frozen becomes a mess. (BTW, anyone who says "Let It Go" is a metaphor for coming out of the closet is - to be frank - an idiot grasping at straws that are nonexistent. In the context of everything that happens in Frozen that theme makes no damn sense.) Though I can say I like Anna and Elsa, I know they are very flawed and broken girls, absolutely terrified and trapped in their own little worlds their parents forced them into (with good intentions, mind you). They are not "strong" and "independent" as feminists keep toting. Yes, Anna is a female lead and Elsa a female antagonist, but they are not exactly bad characters. They are deeply troubled. I thank Disney for keeping mind of this fact, especially when either girl does something stupid for the plot, which is very, very often.

Somehow, like Persona 4's Teddie, I end up liking the most
annoying character in theory and practice.
As for the other characters, Kristoff was alright. He was by far the smartest character due to him having the most common sense of the bunch. Hans' character turn-around by the end came out from left-field, but upon a second watch, the build-up may be more noticeable. Still, the subtlety was a bit too subtle. And Olaf grew on me for better or worse. The trolls who cared for Kristoff were insufferable at best and offensive at worst.

Meanwhile, the rest of the movie was pretty solid. There were two or three too many songs that add nothing to the story and act as filibusters to keep children entertained just because. ADHD continues to be a concern we must accommodate for apparently. I didn't mind Olaf's silly song as it gave him some character, but the trolls' short period of time in the spotlight was the worst part of the movie, period. It was so bad, I felt my blood boil in rage. I was very much offended, only for me to slap myself and remember that this is just a movie... with a moment with a shitty message for engaged ladies, regardless of what kind of man she is supposed to marry.

Perhaps my biggest complaint of all is that this movie should have been its own thing, and not a loose "adaptation" or "inspiration" of The Snow Queen. It only seems faithful to the concept and trope of "defrosting the ice queen", which can be key in any kind of story. What could have been an intriguing, magical, and fantastic concept has been stripped to a personal story with limited external involvement or consequence. And almost no sensical magic. I know, it's Disney. They simplify everything. But whatever themes were present (mainly and only the "snow queen") in the original narrative only seem to be superficially referenced here. I know little of the original tale, unfortunately, but I'm sad that there's not even a possible reference to the corrupted glass that blinds the hearts and minds of mankind. The lack of fantasy and an explanation for the origin of Elsa's powers make this movie fall short when you start thinking about plot points, actions, and motivations seriously.

That being said, there is a lot I can rant about, but I still enjoyed Frozen. For once in over a decade I finally cared about a story about a Disney princess (or two this time). I can't say this will be a classic, but it's a step in the right direction. "Let It Go" may annoy some, but honestly, it's one of the most memorable earworms from Disney in a long time.

And yes, I like both Idina Menzel's and Demi Lovato's versions. Don't harass me about this.

3.3 out of 5

For a more qualified and critical look at how this movie is somewhat overstated in its "pro-feminism", read this excellent article.

28 June 2014

My Love-Hate Relationship with Nintendo

The internet was full of talks about E3... three weeks ago. Rather than add to it, I'd rather talk about something that has bothered me for the past year or so. Or perhaps it's always bugged me and I had no idea how to articulate my thoughts on the topic. I try not to piss people off, but often I fail miserably. Thus, I will apologize if I hurt anyone's feelings, but I am not sorry for yelling at the company that made the first gaming console I ever owned.

04 June 2014

'Shin Megami Tensei IV', Part II

This review ended up being pretty short, considering how long-winded I can get over the silliest things. Perhaps I need to beat more Shin Megami Tensei games before I can go on for seven parts. Maybe then I can overanalyze every fault in characters, gameplay, plot, and theme that I come across.

I do like this game, but I don't feel the desire to deconstruct and reconstruct the game's basic elements from start to finish. Not yet at least. There is an unfortunate reason for that.

Superior being[s], I fricking hate that one picture so much. So, so, so, so very much.

So let me get the gigantic, stubborn elephant out of the room briefly before I continue onward. Oh, and possible spoilers.

30 May 2014

'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

Been forever since my last movie review. Oh well, this one makes me a bit chatty, so why not?

As a disclaimer, I have not seen any other X-Men movie that was ever released. I never saw the Wolverine movies either. I never even read the comics. To put it bluntly, I never had any interest in them ever. Though I took a graphic novel class last semester, I could respect the medium of comics, but I don't love them. I still prefer Japanese manga over Western comics. And I especially don't give a crap about superhero stories. The Amazing Spiderman, Thor, and The Avengers are exceptions, but even they did not overhaul my apathy for the genre.

So I went to this film completely blind with my cousin's son just for the sake of passing time. And in the end, it still did not convince me that comic books and comic book films are worth getting into. That being said, it does get a few points for supposedly being one of the least awful X-Men-universe films. Better to start with the best than the worst, I guess.

Some spoilers.

26 May 2014

Mel, Matador, and Miscellaneous Things: Another May Update

Once the semester ended, I nose-dived into playing games I promised myself for ages I would beat. Eight Megami Tensei games and several others have demanded me to complete them, and I had to light a fire under my bum to get them done. I could list all the games that have been demanding my attention, but I'll be here all day.

But let me announce that I beat the most infamous and insidious wake-up call boss in the history of gaming ever in my first try.

Not on my grave, buddy!
I won't be fully cured from my status of being "that one delusional Shinji fangirl and 10/4 denier who plays video games on EASY MODO", but some were still impressed. Kind of. The battle took over thirty minutes of poor me weeping, screaming, and shaking in utter terror. The feelings that consumed me afterwards were the very similar to when I went to my favorite band's concert four years ago. My throat was sore for twelve hours.

Ignoring the fact I'm scaring readers, I did not have the best preparations for the fight. My level was fine; I had the right bare minimum skills. Yet my party wasn't that great. High Pixie had the weakest healing spell and consumed all the Medicine and Chakra Drops I earned through hard work and grinding. Hua Po is my new best friend thanks to boosting my party's defense. And Jack Frost... kept missing every single punch I ordered him to serve. My demons could have been better.


Yeah. My backlog is kinda big...
Playing console games is now a higher priority until I go back to school in the fall. Pretty much all my handheld games are on hold or on the back burner. It's kinda a shame, especially when I am almost done Gravity Rush and Etrian Odyssey Untold. Add in me being halfway done Corpse Party and Persona 2: Innocent Sin, being early in Persona 1 and Strange Journey, and not even starting Shin Megami Tensei 1 and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment... I am very busy, and my wish list keeps growing (Persona Q is coming in a few months and Devil Survivor 2: Break Record might still be a thing). Console games are just as bad (Persona 4 Arena, Catherine, Valkyria Chronicles, Saints Row IV, and Sonic Generations expect me to pour more hours in sometime soon before I die).

And I have a life outside of video games I have to remind myself of. Having a time turner would be nice to amend this problem.

The good news is that my chronic apathy/disenchantment for anime has not plagued my enjoyment of video games much. The last thing that made me rage at levels rivaling Madoka Magicka was Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. While Madoka Magicka had good intentions and ideas that fell flat on its face due to the ludicrous stupidity of every character except Madoka, Danganronpa embodied lots of issues I have about anime and video games. Then drew dicks on itself with sharpies, set itself on fire, leapt off the top of the Empire State building, and landed in a pool of liquefied lizard intestines.

I don't give a damn if this is a spoiler.
To preserve my health and sanity, I dropped Danganronpa after Chapter 2.

Meanwhile my review of Shin Megami Tensei IV is still in the drafts. The greatest issue I'm running into is finding decent videos and images to help make the post look nice. Sadly, Nintendo and its 3DS seem to like making life a bit difficult for some people. Either the company adopted a hobby in swinging ban hammers, capturing images and video are even harder than for the PSVita, or both. There's not much diversity in what kinds of images are shown for SMT4. Most videos tend to be of boss fights or let's plays (with annoying commentary). Sadly, I can barely back up some of my statements without the risk of spoiling certain places, times, and characters. I will do my best with the few resources laying around.

Furthermore I have taken the extra time to word two sections in Part 2 carefully. Playing other Megami Tensei games have helped me with one topic. The other may have more traces of ignorance sprinkled in. I've chatted with some other fans to double-confirm my knowledge. And finding the pictures and videos will be... fun.

I just wanted you guys to know what I've been up to. It's been kinda quiet because of my focusing on other things. If any drama started anywhere, I may be aware of it. If so, I don't wish to get involved. Adding fuel to the fire is unnecessary and one more voice will just drown out intelligent, clear conversation. This is the internet; this has never been a safe haven for composed, respectful debates.

Besides I have more productive things to do... like overcome my seventh plague of writer's block on my fan fiction. It's longer than four or five Harry Potter books. Superior being(s) help us all.

Now, back to Nocturne. 20 hours down, 50 to 60 left to go at this rate. I'm really enjoying it so far. It's a nice break from other games I played lately that left me unhappy, stressed, or inconsolably depressed.

And thus the Grant George curse continues... I hate my -


*slaps self*


I'm eternally thankful Nocturne has no voice acting.

02 May 2014

May 2014 Update

My computer has been replaced!

So I am back to working on my drafts without fear of my battery dropping 25% charge per hour. No more toying with the charger either - which also happened to decide to die on me. Fangirl was pretty desperate these past two weeks. Somehow I managed staying online when I could for the short-term things.

But now I'm back and I'll finish up my Shin Megami Tensei IV review. Look forward to it!


"Did you hear about the Persona 4 Golden anime that was announced today?"


RE: Fangirl's 'Persona 4' Review

They're making a Persona 4 Golden anime adaptation.

25 April 2014

My Life is a Mess: April 2014 Update

It's time to say goodbye to my baby. My four-year-old Macbook is dead. The battery refuses to charge reliably. The bottom cover - once sealed with duck tape by yours truly - has pealed off. The hard drive has been replaced and the memory has been upgraded. This monster has been fixed up so many times in the past two years, it's ready to go.

The timing is a bit funny too. The semester is ending in two weeks and I'll get a new computer before I head home. Too bad while I'm studying for finals and finishing up my project for my graphic novels class, I have to back up my data before my computer falls into a permanent coma. Forever.

So that pretty much means my fanfic will be on hold. I need to use my computer for school work more than anything else. In my free time I'll just work on beating Etrian Odyssey Untold and Strange Journey. I apologize, but even my Shin Megami Tensei IV review may be on hold for a few weeks until I get my stuff back together.

This update is shorter than normal. I have to be a bit more conservative with my electronics before I get back into my usual groove. Consisting of laziness. Huh. Nothing new considering my track record, lol.

20 April 2014

'Shin Megami Tensei IV' Part I

It feels great having beaten a mainline Shin Megami Tensei game. This may not be the hardest game in the entire franchise - spin-offs included - but the fourth installment is still pretty difficult. It's a fact by this point that Atlus likes torturing gamers as frequently as possible. Beating it means I feel less like casual filth and demon chow and feel more... mediocre. Or a masochist. Or both.


I'll accept this registered quest.


Before I begin, just as a very brief note, I will refer to the protagonist as Flynn. You can create a name for him, but I want to simplify this and minimize confusion.

And uh, I hinted at if not outright discussed spoilers in this part. I tried keeping it to a minimum. I apologize in advance.

23 March 2014

March 2014 Update: Me and Video Game Difficulty

Exams and homework and Spring Break and DDS-Net and Skype stole my attention from this blog. ...My bad. ^_^'

By this point, just assume there will be a month or two per year when I suddenly vanish or provide no content. It doesn't help if I have writer's block. Like I do now. It's not just Rants From a Fangirl; my fanfic hasn't grown much in terms of length. Maybe I'm still burned out from the October 4th subplot ordeal or maybe I'm pretty close to the worst part of the original game: the horrible November-December angst festival of awful pacing.


To combat my everyday laziness and persistent afflictions of writer's block, I've made tons of progress in Shin Megami Tensei IV. My play hours sat at 15 for so many months, but now I've added another 17 or so in the span of a week. It's not a bad game, but the first several hours were just... frustrating to put it mildly.

Either Medusa - or Minotaur depending on your luck - can be a lot harder to fight than this video makes it look. I was not lucky enough to have as many useful skills for my demons. (Plus, my Flynn is more oriented to physical rather than magic attacks.) Then add my unfortunate luck in recruiting and negotiating with demons, often to the point I would run out of items, macca, HP, MP, or all of the above. I died... many times. I lost count. But if I can make a humiliating estimate, I died at least twice per hour. For twenty hours straight.

This game is the reason I can never go back to Persona 4 Golden. This game destroyed whatever faith I had in my already minuscule abilities and skills as a gamer. Shin Megami Tensei IV made me commit to forever starting off at the lowest or second-lowest difficulty setting in a video game. No exceptions.

Whenever I pick up a new game, I used to sometimes start on the easiest difficulty. Now, it will be a mandatory standard.

Feel free to call me a wimp, a weakling, a little girl, and a child crying over a video game that a manly man can handle but I can't. Considering this is how the video game culture can be at times, I'm not shocked anymore. I am well aware that I'm not the most competitive, the strongest, or the brightest tool in the shed, but for me, entertainment and immersion is my preference. If getting get used to a game's mechanics involves asking for help, consulting a guide, or lowering the difficulty, I'm not ashamed to do so. Besides, the guys on DDS-Net have scolded me for my newly cemented approach.

Now that I'm more interested in playing MegaTen games, I've started to notice that many fans in the fanbase have admitted to going online or asking friends for help on boss battles, negotiation techniques, and demon fusion. Sure, there is still some mocking and teasing going about to separate the chosen elitists from the demon chow, but I have not met one MegaTen fan who said, "Oh, yeah! I totally beat the demi-fiend in Digital Devil Saga in one try without any guides!" or "You can't beat Persona 2 Innocent Sin without a guide for persona fusions? You really suck!" If you are such a person, most people would assume you are lying through your teeth.

I once suggested on Skype for someone to play Nocturne on Hard Mode without dying once. One person - who first played Nocturne as a child - nearly started crying. Another told me to stop taking so many crazy pills. The rest said to leave that idea by the curb, run VERY far way, and never look back. Because... need I say anything more than check TV Tropes for the short answer?

Torturously stupid ideas aside, once I scaled down the difficulty of SMTIV, I enjoyed the game so much more. I went through normal mode for twenty hours before finally giving up my masochistic crusade. I sacrificed my pride and vowed to beat the game, even if everyone mocks me over "EASY MODO". So, believe it or not, I may review the game not long after I complete it! From what some friends told me, I'm at the halfway point and coming closer to the alignment lock. Whether I will be Lawful, Chaotic, or Neutral will be revealed soon.

My overall feelings of the game will be saved for once I review it. I don't want to cause a big stink like I did for Persona 4. But I will say that I'm enjoying SMTIV FAR BETTER than P4 overall.

Call me an elitist all you want, but I have more experience in school kids saving the world. Fighting through the demon apocalypse is still pretty new for me. I ain't a full fledged member who's committed to either side of the fence.

Once I'm done this game - and either Strange Journey or SMTI - I may have my answer.

Now excuse me, but I just ran into my archnemesis while wandering around Tokyo. And I'm at level 44.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...