terabient: Makoto Yuuki listening to his MP3 player (P3M: Makoto Yuuki)
2017-04-23 05:42 pm

huh

it's been awhile. it's nice to see dreamwidth becoming more active as of late, although the fact that it's due to livejournal fucking up again is...less nice.

i'm not actually sure what else to put here. this is mostly a 'hey flist, i'm still around' post, i guess.
terabient: Sazh cheering up Vanille (FFXIII: Vanille & Sazh)
2016-09-06 12:06 am
Entry tags:

just the thing you needed: another social media platform

i've mentioned this on twitter and tumblr, but for those who don't follow me there, i have an imzy account now. i'm @janejana over there. i have a few invites left if anyone wants one--just PM an email address i can send it to so i can get a free t-shirt. :)

a few places i've been lurking in:

reads: generally, nonfiction articles that aren't designed to be simple clickbait. i have already lost a few evenings perusing this comm, though there's little in the way of discussion at this point. :c

100 words: a straightforward drabble prompt community. Accepts both original and fanfic material.

The Cookbook: Comm for recipe sharing and general cooking questions

that's about all i can recommend so far. i've searched for some fandom-oriented communities and while plenty pop up most of them appear to be placeholders--understandable, but i do wonder if/when fandom activity will pick up. the lack of a traditional profile/personal blogging space makes me kind of nervous about posting stuff over there.

if you're on imzy let me know what you think of it so far! i'm...cautiously optimistic. ^^
terabient: A dog is on your head. You are about to get married. (PQ: Koromaru is very excited...)
2016-08-11 12:10 am

indecision 2kforever

For the first time in months, I do not have anything pressing to do on my day off. Which means I am now paralyzed with indecision with a WHOLE DAY OF NO OBLIGATIONS. Do I take an hour-long drive over to an arcade to play a bunch of rhythm games during off-peak hours? Do I go to the beach and walk my dog along the boardwalk because the state doesn't allow pets on the beach proper and Momo doesn't particularly like getting wet anyway? Do I just sit around and enjoy the innumerable video games and anime series that I haven't had a chance to touch yet? The possibilities are not endless, but numerous enough to make a course of action difficult.

which means I'll probably sit around at home with a mild sense of unease due to 'wasting the day away.' On the plus side, the temperature is supposed to get real high tomorrow--the reports are saying into the triple digits--and the house has air conditioning, so lounging about sounds like a pretty good idea.
terabient: Yu Narukami...uh...dressed as his uncle (P4: Narukami)
2016-06-27 09:50 pm
Entry tags:

has my lurker status hit legendary yet?

these unplanned hiatuses from DW are getting longer and longer, aren't they?

naturally the thing that has caused me to rise to the surface of the internet like a dying fish is the advent of the Steam summer sale. help me discover the most efficient way to throw my money into Valve's bottomless pit of digital goods, flist! or do the opposite and encourage fiscal responsibility or...something.

My only definite buys are Sunless Sea and RefRain. I'm looking for opinions on the following:

Kindred Spirits on the Roof
Pros:
-lesbian visual novel/dating sim
-GHOST lesbian visual novel/dating sim
-The lesbians actually have sex!

Cons:
-it's a bit pricey for a visual novel, even with the sale discount
-no idea if the sex scene illustrations are aesthetically and/or narratively satisfying

Akiba's Trip
Pros:
-Apparently a scathing satire of Japanese otaku culture by people who are actually a part of it

Cons:
-The reviews saying it's a "scathing satire" tend to be white dude weeaboo types. I'm not going to say they're lying, but i am going to suggest that they are maybe not great at properly applying the phrase "scathing satire" especially when it comes to video games--particularly when the examples they offer as 'satire' are mostly...not? or are very obvious, very easy to make jokes.
-Even the positive reviews say the actual gameplay is mediocre.

Sublevel Zero
Pros:
-3D, full range of motion shoot-em-up! :o
-Sweet soundtrack

Cons:
-Roguelike (eh)
-Crafting (UGH)
-CRAFTING in a ROGUELIKE SHMUP UUUUGGGGHHHHHHH like okay i guess collecting random junk in procedurally generated dungeons so you can smash it together and make better guns is just ~the trend~ these days but i cannot think of anything LESS fun. Maybe flying into a wall forever, idk.

SOMA
Pros:
-Made by the group behind Amnesia: Dark Descent...which I've never played, actually, but I have heard good things about it!
-It's a horror game under the sea, which is definitely the most horrifying environment on Earth, even a fictional, future Earth.
-There are R O B O T S

Cons:
-you can't fight anything so it's either die or puzzle your way past monsters. i'm bad at puzzles :(
-i like horror games in theory but in reality i am a total wimp and usually give up on them b/c they're 2spooky4me. :((

---

i'm not really looking at much else, but i'm down for any recs you're willing to share. :)
terabient: Lúcio waving and smiling (Default)
2015-12-23 05:57 pm
Entry tags:

it's the season of bloating your gaming backlog

SoooOOOOOoooo the Steam Winter Sale is live, and a lot of other digital game storefronts are also having winter sales because if something proves to be popular it must be copied relentlessly. Thanks, capitalism.

I didn't buy anything during the autumn sale so my wishlist has had some time to lengthen, although there are quite a few games there that are perpetual 'maybe' purchases. Not in a rush to make decisions this time since daily and flash deals aren't happening...I admit there's a lot less excitement around the sale because of that, although I was really frustrated with the limited time deals because I usually missed them. :P Still, they definitely gave me a reason to check Steam every time I had a chance. Now, it's just a matter of determining what's worth buying and what isn't.

On the "almost certainly will buy" list:

-Resident Evil 4 HD
-Undertale - well, I think I'm actually the last gamer I know to play this, so I probably shouldn't give a summary? lol
-Why Am I Dead At Sea Got recommended over at NeoGAF, apparently you're a ghost trying to figure out what killed you while heading off some potential tragedy threatening the ship? Also described as Earthbound-like, which may be becoming its own subgenre of indie gaming.
-Sunless Sea The trailer and reviews sound amazing, and a few friends have it on their rec lists as well. A Lovecraftian RPG taking place in an underground sea sounds fascinating. I've passed on it a few times but 50% off is the biggest discount I've seen so I might as well take the plunge.
-Suguri/Acceleration of Suguri - doujin horizontal shmup that I've been meaning to get for a long time but have yet to pick up. They're going for $2 and the sequel is coming out in January, so that's probably a sign to get it.
-Eschatos/Judgment Silver Sword/Cardinal Sins - I uh, already have this game on my 360 but I've become one of those people who is slowly digitizing her physical game collection. It's a shmup collection with Judgement Silver Sword and Cardinal Sins being from the Wonderswan handheld, and Eschatos a 360 release. Eschatos has a really neat chaining/multiplier mechanic that's significantly less stringent than DoDonPachi's, and a timed mode that's fun as well--you have a very short amount of time to complete a stage (less time than you need) but time is added on depending on how well you perform. Cardnial Sins is really neat--each stage is loosely based on one of the seven deadly sins, with different scoring mechanics and enemies; you have to figure out what you're required to do to pass to the next stage. It's kind of like Wario Ware, but...a shmup. And uh, I honestly can't remember what JSS is like, but it's included in the bundle so I'll find out eventually.

My full wishlist is here, if anyone is interested in offering opinions on what else to buy. If you have your own wishlists feel free to link to them in the comments so I can bug you about what you should/shouldn't get too!

I'd offer to do some gifting but I heard international gifting isn't possible anymore on Steam, which is super lame and bleeeeehhhh. I'll see if there's some kind of work around but if not, boo. BOOOOOO. :(
terabient: A smiling sun (:D)
2015-11-30 08:00 pm

Someone said "Your fault is to put anything off !"

Hello, Dreamwidth! It is the end of November and thus, the end of National Blog Posting Month--for me, at least. While I wasn't able to write much of what I planned beforehand, I'm glad I didn't miss a day, especially given that this month was busier and more stressful than I had anticipated. And my little sidebar calendar is all filled out!

I...don't really have much to discuss today. I have to go to sleep pretty early for work tomorrow, and I need to figure out what's up with the NAT settings on my router before I go to bed, so I'll just leave a few links to things that have amused me recently:

Kickstarter Nonstarters: petsu.it: Here is a video of two guys commenting on a Lovecraft-inspired pet site Kickstarter. Yes. Kickstarter is truly the place where dreams come true, nightmares become reality, and two or more tastes of varying greatness are inexpertly mashed together.

Baron Vaughn on insects: A stand-up routine that has the truest depiction of crickets and bees that has ever existed. I didn't know about Baron Vaughn until I heard this bit on Bullseye yesterday, and...I wish I had heard his stuff earlier. Well, now there's another show to add to my Netflix queue.

Chocolate Philosophy (Long version) from Pop'n Music: This is an adorable song from Konami's Pop'n Music series; it's described as a 'swing waltz', which I think means a swing-inspired song in 3/4 time? Anyway, if you like acoustic guitars and piano with and a breathy female voice singing some truly incomprehensible, allegedly English lyrics, please listen. Even with a transcription, I can't figure out what the song's supposed to be about; I think it's about a girl who everyone thinks is lazy, but she insists that's not true--she just loves everyone (or 'you') so much that it takes everything she has to deal with it, so how can anyone expect her to keep her room in order? That's a super cute sentiment, although I'm only 50% sure that's what the intention is. If you do happen to listen, let me know what you think is going on. :P
terabient: Lúcio waving and smiling (Default)
2015-11-29 10:35 pm
Entry tags:

Phantasy Star Online: Bungie remake

Played some more Destiny today. I only have a vague idea of how everything works, but it hasn't been too hard to grasp the basics of character progression and how to advance the game. When Destiny was first released, people described it as Phantasy Star Online with Halo mechanics, a comparison that my sister agreed with and that seems apt from what I've played so far. There's the 3 races/3 classes setup, the Guardians are functionally the same as the Hunter's Guild in PSO, The Last City is Pioneer 2 and plot of both games is basically 'discover what destroyed the civilization here, uh oh wait looks like our activity has awakened something DARK and TERRIBLE.' Destiny's Hive even has the same 'sentient infection' vibe that PSO's Dark Force had. The way the social hubs and actual gameplay areas work seem identical to the way PSO2 is set up as well...I wonder if Destiny will add in 'My Room' personal spaces and player shops in the future? Haha, I wouldn't mind if they did.

The gameplay has been pretty enjoyable so far. Controlling your character is intuitive and tight--going from walk -> run -> jump -> double jump -> run -> slide is remarkably fluid and natural, and it's easy to traverse the landscape and position yourself in firefights. Enemies haven't been challenging but it's not like the beginning of the game is supposed to be tough anyway; I'm just glad the enemy AI isn't as limited as Borderlands, where it became painfully easy to predict what each enemy type would do because they had like...2 behaviors total. The weaponry, is already quite varied and easy to use with quality feedback--I can feel the difference between a successful shotgun blast and when I've missed the mark, not just discern it from the damage numbers that pop up on screen. I suppose its a bit strange to praise the basics of game mechanics like this, but it's something that Destiny does really well; it's hard to describe how comfortable it feels to play.

The environments (all two that I've seen) are gorgeous. The skies are particularly beautiful. I've spent a fair amount of time just watching the day/night progress so I can enjoy the different lighting effects and scenery.

As far as things that annoy me, WELL. As one might think from a game titled 'Destiny' the story and worldbuilding is not exactly brimming with originality. From what I've experienced in game: in the distant past, humanity traveled through space and inadvertently awoke some awful thing that tried to destroy everything; it didn't succeed but it wasn't exactly defeated, either, and now 'The Guardians' are protecting what's left of humanity/keeping the evil at bay. The plot has Guardians utilizing light energy for weaponry so when NPCs talking about 'driving back the darkness with your light!' they are talking metaphorically and literally which makes me laugh and laugh and laugh with how over the top it is. I also had to suffer through a cutscene in which an NPC who was clearly in the know about all of Destiny's backstory blathered on about how he could tell me all about the history everyone keeps alluding to vaguely...but then he didn't because of course those times are coming again so I will get to experience them first hand! I mean, why even bother including a 'story' cutscene like that, Bungie. It is a literal waste of time.

The other thing is that while the world is beautiful you mostly just look at it. It's a problem that plagues a lot of open-world games as of late; the game has meticulously rendered and detailed environments but you don't interact with them in any meaningful way. There are quests which send you here and there across the landscape, but you don't explore as much as you follow markers on your radar until you see a glowy thing and press a button to get a checkmark next to some meaningless task. It's pretty telling that about 5 hours into this game, I was being 'led' to new areas but instead of gawking at them my eyes were focused on the radar in the corner so I could finish a side quest. Oh well.
terabient: A robot posing in front of a disco ball that shoots lasers (Borderlands: Claptrap - LASER INFERNO)
2015-11-28 08:50 pm
Entry tags:

i'm a robot

LOOOOoooong day at work. I mean, it's always long because it's eleven hours, but also it was...a very eventful day, and a forty minute drive each way that happened to take place in the rain and darkness. HOORAY FOR THE ONSET OF WINTER AND DENTIST VISITS...?

Played roughly 15 minutes of Destiny last night. I wasn't even able to finish the tutorial because I was so tired, but I did create a violet-colored robot girl and I think I picked the tank class for her? (She's a Titan.) I'm glad that the robot girl faces aren't particularly feminized, although having them be smaller/slimmer than the male faces is a tiresome stereotype. Can't dismantle the gender binary all at once, I suppose.

The other game I played was the Xbox One dashboard, which I DO NOT recommend in its current state. It crashed like, 3 times last night! Once it was while I was trying to select an icon for my profile. The other times it just got hung up on menus for no discernible reason. Is that what I can expect if I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10? Whatever, the point is that the Xbox One dashboard sucks and a huge downgrade from literally every single Xbox 360 dashboard that ever existed over the years. boooooooooo

I'm going to go back to the Destinylands for the evening, and will exhaust you with my thoughts about it tomorrow. Have fun, everyone~
terabient: A girl dressed in a ~sexy~ Santa dress (Resonance of Fate - Santa Leanne)
2015-11-27 09:23 pm

consumerism so invasive you don't even have to shop to shop

ahAHAHAHA i was making such a big deal over whether or not to get a next-gen console (well, I guess current gen by now...) last night, and then today...my parents went out Black Friday shopping, and around 10am my mom called me and said: "JANE. THERE IS AN XBOX THING HERE IT'S $300 AND HAS [asks salesperson a question]...GEARS OF WAR? DO YOU HAVE THIS XBOX. DO YOU WANT IT IF YOU DON'T???"

I waffled for a minute but then said, I did want this Xbox. So...now I have an Xbox. Which I've yet to play, because I've spent literal hours waiting for Destiny to download/install updates (SEVENTEEN POINT THREE GIGABYTES OF UPDATES, FFS BUNGEE). It literally has just finished installing so I am going to check it out for like, ten minutes before I go to bed for my 11 hour shift tomorrow.

Some other things I have been excited about:

★ I have two days off a week instead of one going into December. HOORAY \o/

★ My Persona OTP is MAKING A SNOWMAN even though one of them is pretty dead:



It's just (just?! screams my not-very-inner fangirl) an advertisement for a Persona event at a ski resort (where you can rent/buy Izanagi snowboards and Thanatos skis, from what I've gathered from Twitter) so, you know, promo image, but look, sometimes you get excited over fictional characters hanging out in art.
terabient: Thor eats ALL THE FOOD (Marvel: Thor omnomnom)
2015-11-26 09:55 pm
Entry tags:

and now, the mad season begins

To all my US friends: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! \o/

To all my international friends: HAPPY LAST THURSDAY OF NOVEMBER! \o/

I hope you all had a wonderful day. Mine went pretty well; I had to get up at 5:00 am to get my ass to work, but that went well and the client was in pretty good spirits after breakfast. I managed to get to my aunt's house about an hour before dinner was served, which gave me plenty of time to catch up with family. Unbeknownst to me, some of my cousins are going to PAX East next year, and so am I...but on different days. :c They are going on Friday and I'm going on Sunday, as those were the only badges left for the weekend by the time I was able to buy one.

Food was good as always...except for the turkey, which turned out a bit dry. Apparently, I am also the only person left among my cousins who prefers dark meat to white meat. This morning NPR ran a bit on how white meat is far more popular than dark meat in the US, which surprised me, for some reason. I guess I never considered that other people have different food preferences...? Haha, but honestly this fact has been bugging me all day. I just assumed everyone preferred dark meat but refrained from eating it because of health reasons or something. :P

This weekend I'm working going to decide what next-gen console to buy. Actually, I'm not certain if I'll get one at all--my sister and brother-in-law have an Xbox One and I wouldn't mind playing stuff like Destiny, the Gears remake, or Titanfall with them, and I have a fair amount of old 360 pals who have made the jump to X1...but there's not much else that appeals to me. The Playstation 4 has...I don't know? I'm still getting acquainted with the PS3's library, stuff like Uncharted and Bloodborne are just these big question marks for me. :c I'm most interested in the stuff on the Wii U, but I haven't used my Wii for anything in years and even though I would like to play a lot of the games on the U I think it would end up collecting dust simply because I don't have much time for gaming these days. I feel like my taste is narrowing too--sinking time into puzzle or strategy heavy games doesn't appeal to me anymore, and I don't know if I'll ever get back into certain genres again.

All this waffling is probably an indication that I should just waste $50 in the Steam Autumn Sale on games I like in theory and will never play, instead of wasting $350+ on a console I like in theory but will never play. :P
terabient: A dancing sandwich (sandwich)
2015-11-25 09:51 pm

first they came for the jiggle physics, and i said nothing

Today's post is once again about (mostly) men crying about something that doesn't matter: Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 isn't going to be released in Western territories, apparently because the criticism of the game's overt sexism (which, lbr, is what Dead or Alive is most known for) is scary and they don't want to deal with it. I think the underlying concern for Koei-Tecmo is that DOAX3 is going to sell abysmally no matter what they do (DOA5 has only sold 1.5 million copies worldwide over 4 multiplatform releases, and the DOAX games have always sold significantly worse than the main series) but they don't want to admit it, so it's easier to blame a vague, non-specific target.

Anyway, OF COURSE if you are in certain Gamer-Gatey circles this is UNEQUIVOCAL CENSORSHIP and a sign of how 'the SJWs' and their shadowy agenda of criticizing things will lead us to a world without fun. This USGamer article has a pretty excellent run-down of why KT's position seems to make no sense in light of DOA's long history of being called sexist and super embarrassing ever since it was released.

As for the cries of 'censorship': GG, you need a refresher course on what words mean and possibly on how the free market works! Censorship occurs when a group in a position of power edits or bans something from being distributed due to content it deems objectionable. People who criticize something as sexist (or as objectionable for any other reason) and thus refuse to purchase or support that thing are not censoring it; they're simply exercising their right to free speech and action.

Things get a little dicey when it comes to companies not releasing or altering product due to consumer backlash, real or perceived. Sometimes a company chooses to self-censorship because, after encountering criticism, they decide they don't want to be a company that supports whatever objectionable behavior they're accused of. More often, it's a financially-driven decision: the company determines that the negative attention and/or loss of sales from the people who criticize them is not worth the support from those who don't care or want the objectionable content. So in KT's case, they either

1. Don't want to be perceived by Western audiences as a company that releases softcore porn video games, or at least not as a company that releases softcore porn video games that have no other entertainment value;
2. Have no faith in the product in the first place and are trying to minimize costs and consolidate (pad, really...) sales numbers in a few regions, which would look much better on paper than abysmal numbers in many regions. :P

Given the state of DOA5: Last Round and their releases from the past few years, Option 1 seems unlikely. Option 2 is VERY possible, for a variety of reasons that...well, I planned to get into them in this post, but I have to work early tomorrow so I'll have to save that portion for later.

Anyway, regardless of what the reasons are for not releasing DOAX3 in the west, I think it's important to focus on what we, as an audience are missing: a shitty mini-game collection and polygon boobs bouncing in hilarious ways for the low, low price point of $90. Truly, a great work of art has been denied us.
terabient: P4 Hero majestically riding a penis demon (P4: Mara)
2015-11-24 09:29 pm
Entry tags:

cry harder, baby

So, the World Fantasy Award will no longer issue H.P. Lovecraft busts as an award and naturally, people are salty about this! Apparently it's the worst kind of political correctness to reconsider giving out a statue of an actual, avowed racist. This is because certain people get very upset and nervous when a dead person's fame and influence is no longer considered a 'trump' to their racism, even when that racism is explicitly expressed through their literature, as it is in the case of Lovecraft's work.

If anything, anyone who considers themselves a mindful literary critic should question why fame/genre influence trumps all other flaws in an author's writing. The objection to no longer rewarding fantasy writers with Lovecraft heads seems to boil down to "He wrote a bunch of stories about this specific idea, some were pretty good, and lots of people over the course of a long period of time liked that idea or his stories and it influenced their writing. Yes, he was a racist, and some of his passages are extremely difficult if not impossible to read if you accept on a basic level that all humans are created equal, but that doesn't mean he's an unacceptable figurehead for a general fantasy award. Have you SEEN all the Cthulhu professional fanfiction out there?"

There's a persistent idea in professional literary criticism that social issues like racism and sexism* ought not be considered when deciding the worthiness of reading or not reading an author. People who say they do not want to read authors whose works express racism or sexism are told 'but the themes/plotting/prose are so great that you should just ignore the ugly parts and take away the good!' And yet it never occurs to these critics that their thesis may be flawed, that racism in a work goes much deeper than the use of racial slurs, mocking descriptions of people of color's appearances, and calling other cultures 'savage' or 'barbaric'; that relatable themes, complex or tight plots, and beautiful or economic turns of phrase do not supercede or 'cancel out' the existence of racism/sexism. It should be acceptable to reject an author, as an award figure or as a person worth reading, based on how they portray (or refuse to portray) people of difference races or sexes--just as it's acceptable to reject them because of their prose or their plots or their themes. But no. Critics gonna cry, because not everyone loves the authors they spent their careers fellating.

Such is the horror of Political Correctness: it cares not for your prolific body of work, your level of fame nor the countless adorers of your tales--it takes all your poorly designed caricature busts away, and lays waste to your reputation! Truly it is the cruelest of the Elder Gods.
terabient: Mami looking at her reflection in her teacup (Puella Magi: Mami Tea)
2015-11-23 10:53 pm

dinner is serious business

It was my sister's birthday today, and she stopped over at the house before I left for work this morning. She brought her dog Byson, who is a a Cane Corso breed and kind of takes over any house he is in through sheer size and enthusiasm. He's well-behaved and so is Momo, but she gets rather upset when people coo over Byson instead of her. She spent the morning yipping and wriggling her way in between Byson and whoever was petting him, then hopping on the person's lap to...show Byson who the boss was, I suppose.

Sister liked the pajama set, but tonight when we went out for dinner she said the cloth eyemask that came with it had shrunk to the point of uselessness when she washed it. I guess we should have expected it, given that the eyemask looked like scrap fabrics stitched together.

On the subject of dinner, it was kind of disappointing. Sister wanted sushi, so we went to the closest sushi-serving restaurant, a Hibachi grill/modern 'Asian fusion' place that appears to be staffed primarily by white people. This was not especially weird since we happen to live in a place where 98% of the population is white (there are more confirmed opioid addicts than people of color here) but given that this restaurant advertised its authentic Japanese cuisine it was a bit odd. But it was also ~~modern~~ and ~~fusion~~ and ~~inspired~~ so we figured the food would be really good and unique, or...a trainwreck. In the end, it was neither of these things, although it was decidedly leaning towards 'trainwreck' and not unique. The beef negimaki was waaaaay overcooked, but the peanut sauce chicken wings were good; the sushi rolls looked like they had waaaaaaaaay too much going on but the one we ended up ordering turned out to be pretty nice, even though I couldn't tell you what was in it besides tuna, avocado, and tempura flakes. I only remember there were like, 3 different sauces and at least two other fish, and cucumber might have been in there??? Anyway, like I said, a lot going on. But it tasted alright. The entrees were literally forgettable, as in, my server packed up whatever I ordered and I didn't remember to take it with me and didn't realize it until I was halfway home. I didn't go back to pick it up; IIRC it was ginger orange duck? The duck was overcooked just like the negimaki, and the orange sauce was okay but there was way too much of it.

The pumpkin pie cocktail was pretty good though. I wasn't aware that pumpkin flavored vodka was a thing yet, but it is. Next year, I expect everything edible in America will be pumpkin infused from September to December.

and that's how the day went.
terabient: A dancing sandwich (sandwich)
2015-11-22 11:50 pm

and he actually uttered the words "My songbird has stopped singing"

I did a fair amount today:

★ Worked until noon

★ Got my sister's pajama set, which was way more than I was expecting, $56...! They came with free slippers which are supposedly ~$26 in value~ which I doubt, but they do look cozy, at least.

★ Made my way to the arcade and played some rhythm games for the first time this month. I am getting better at Pop'n Music after years of hovering around the same level, EXCITING. And I tried jubeat on an arcade machine for the first time. (I've played the iOS release) I was a bit surprised to see that the arcade machine doesn't utilize a touchscreen, it's just clear plastic buttons in a grid...it does make tapping the right beats feel a bit more satisfying, but hitting multiple notes or 'following' a fast beat as it moves across the grid is harder.

★ Did some grocery shopping and made...way too much stuffing dressing for 3 people. I had a mild moment of panic when I discovered that we were way lower on rosemary and parsley than I thought, and I forgot to put in craisins, but the stuffing ended up tasting fine, which is the important thing.

★ Watched 90 Day Fiance with my mom, which has become our guilty pleasure watch. We both hope the Filipina girl who might possibly marry a man who is old enough to be her grandfather decides to go home instead. In some kind of reverse miracle, the guy's advanced age is the least creepy thing in their, um, relationship: he talks constantly about his ex-wife (who was also Filipina) to the point where he buys his bride-to-(maybe)-be the exact same car and compares their behavior constantly. Also his house is trapped in the 80s and he gets really upset when someone tries to change it, has an alarming amount of books about divorce with titles that sound suspiciously wife-blamey, and just...good lord. Absolutely no woman of any age should marry this guy, he is the sort of person who will passive-aggressively comment a woman into misery then blame her for the inevitable divorce.
terabient: Super-deformed Noel is shocked (Blazblue: Noel - OH NO)
2015-11-21 10:57 pm

this 'daily goal' thing isn't working out

I spent the last two hours writing an entry on my ~~feels~~ about Cave's DoDonPachi series. I have finished about...one quarter of it. I have to get up for work by 7, so I should go to bed in fifteen minutes.

what I'm saying is: for tonight, I have to take a break. ^_^;; man, i haven't used this super-weeaboo smiley in ages look everyone it's the internet in the early 2000s This is essentially a placeholder so that the little DW calendar has all the days for November filled in.

SORRY, OBLIGATIONS. I can only meet you in a half-assed manner.

terabient: A girl dressed in a ~sexy~ Santa dress (Resonance of Fate - Santa Leanne)
2015-11-20 08:02 pm

black friday season

Today was my day off and I spent the morning SLEEPING IN MY GLORIOUSLY COMFORTABLE BED~ Then I was out with my mother and sister doing what my sister called 'Christmas window shopping' which mostly consisted of us walking around shops, unsuccessfully trying to remember what friends and family already had or what they might like. I also tried to discreetly figure out what my sister would like for her birthday, and I think it's pajama sets and sweaters with Christmas/winter themed motifs of questionable taste. :P I'm not terribly surprised, as pajama sets and sweaters that straddle the line between charmingly festive and horrifyingly festive is also my aesthetic. That comfy, cheap pajama sets are in abundance this time of year is a nice bonus. I just have to decide between the poorly-drawn snowman set or the poorly-drawn reindeer set...

I also spotted this completely unnecessary, but utterly adorable jingle-bell collar and paw cuffs set and...I'm aware that dressing up a dog is a self-indulgent activity that has no benefits for the dog, (unless they've got an insufficient winter coat) but I keep thinking about Momo prancing around the house with jingle bells on and I can't stop giggling about it. Not that she needs MORE costume-y things to look ridiculously cute in--Mom bought her a reindeer costume about a month ago and Momo already has a jingle bell collar. (But imagine the little jingle bell cuffs, around her little doggie paws...!)


Shetland Reindog


I don't know if Momo likes dressing up or not. From how she acts, she tolerates it because she is a very well-behaved and thoughtful dog, and warms up to it because everyone starts cooing and awwing over her. She likes being the center of attention, as long as she knows the people around her. ♥

***


In ten days, November will be over...I'm pleased that so far, I've kept up with my commitment to post daily, even if I'm not wholly satisfied with the quality or content of my posts. At the very least, I know for certain that a daily schedule is a bit too fast-paced for me if I want to write more opinionated posts.

Two things I've been thinking about doing, once December rolls around: hosting another gaming-centric friending meme, and/or having weekly 'gaming progress posts' where people can comment about, uh...their weekly gaming progress. I've whined a lot about the lack of laid-back, small discussion communities in this internet day and age...I might as well do something about it :P

And since it's November 20th, of course I must mark the date by linking to dj Nagureo's (of Beatmania fame) catchy, self-composed birthday tune: 20, November!
terabient: Madoka is embarrassed while Homura side-eyes her (Puella Magi: Madoka and Homura)
2015-11-19 11:37 pm
Entry tags:

continuing adventures in bullet hell

I've been playing Mushihimesama for about an hour each evening. So far, I've cleared Novice Original and Novice Maniac without using a continue, gotten up to stage 5 in Novice Ultra before having to continue, and I credit fed my way through Arrange mode from Stage 4 onwards. I'm mostly pleased with my progress; it took me roughly a year to clear Deathsmiles--the first bullet hell I sunk significant time into--without continuing. Granted, I've only done so on the easiest difficulties so far, but progress is progress.

Anyway, rather than tackling Ultra or Arrange mode, I decided to learn how the scoring system works in Maniac mode and see if I could beat my high score--on the Steam leader boards, I'm...57, I think? Since that was from my first one-credit clear, I figured with some practice I would be able to beat that score quickly. The reality: I haven't come close to beating my original score. :( Part of me wants to keep practicing until I put together a really good run in Mushihimesama; part of me wants to change things up and work on some other Cave-developed shooter. Or maybe any shooter that isn't Mushihimesama. Or maybe...not play a shooter at all for a few days. Haha, this might be why my bullet hell skills are still solidly average after fairly frequent playing since 2010.

I didn't intend for NaBloPoMo to turn into 'exhaustive updates on personal progress in bullet hell games' month, but hey, here we are! I suppose I find the relative straightforward quality of the games to be intriguing; every game boils down to two goals: "shoot baddies,dodge bullets" and "get the highest score" --and yet, even within the strict confines of the design there is a remarkable amount of creativity and diversity within the genre.

...I really should start writing these entries sooner, before I'm ready to collapse into bed. There are a lot of things I've been mulling about wrt bullet hell game design, but right now I'm too tired to articulate them clearly. I imagine it can't be very intersting to read. Guess I'll try again tomorrow.
terabient: A dog is on your head. You are about to get married. (PQ: Koromaru is very excited...)
2015-11-18 06:57 pm

scattershot

work update )

I don't know what else to do for today's entry, so...time to work on the Borderlands meme.

Day 5: Did the Sheriff of Lynchwood deserve her own introduction?

AAAAHHHHAHAHAHAHA what an oddly specific question. I DO remember back in the day when the Gearbox forums and tumblr tags were obsessed with this particular issue, though, so not only does this date the meme as 'a few months after BL2's release' I'm also familiar with the internets scuffle it refers to.

IIRC, the problem was something like this: given that very minor mini-bosses like the Badass Nomad 'guarding' the Bloodshot Stronghold get a name and a title card, why didn't the Sheriff of Lynchwood--the boss at the end of an extensive (by Borderlands standards) questline, and a character who had direct ties to Handsome Jack--get the same treatment? Some people suggested it was due to sexism, but the truth is almost certainly less nefarious: Lynchwood and the Sheriff's questline are entirely optional, and none of the optional sidequest bosses got formal introductions, even though many of them were more memorable and influenced the main plot more than a lot of the mini-bosses in the main quest.

Going by that reasoning: no, the Sheriff didn't deserve her own introduction.

Besides, Nisha became a playable character in the Pre-sequel and is possibly the most overpowered one, to boot; clearly she's moved on from this cruel oversight. :P
terabient: Lúcio waving and smiling (Default)
2015-11-17 08:29 pm

work drama

Yesterday, I got a notification from my office about new shifts opening up for those still looking for work. Thing is, they're for a client and a shift that I'm currently working, so...basically, they're looking to replace me. That's happened before, and the case managers have always explained why a change was requested. But they didn't this time, and I'm also still scheduled with this client for the foreseeable future, so I don't know what's happening. Naturally this has been eating at me since I received the email. In absence of any direct information, I suspect there are two possible explanations for this oddity:

-I am mistaken. When the office sends out these work notifications, they're absent of most personal information; all that's given is the shift time, town/city, whether the client lives with family or not, and a general overview of the type of assistance required. (e.g., safety supervision, help with ADLs, PT assistance, transportation) So it's possible the email wasn't about my current client, just one in the same town with the same needs and the same living situation with my exact shift times. Possible, but I find it...rather unlikely.

-The family has requested a change, but my office can't find anyone suitable. This seems obvious, but again...it's not the first time I've worked with someone and they've requested a replacement, just the first time I've never been told about it! The office has always been very good at not only informing me promptly about these changes, but why they happen, whether it's something I can improve (like hesitating too often) or not (I'm too young-looking and the client can't get over it, haha). I've never been in this situation, where the office is looking for a replacement but not taking me off the case, nor informing me that this is occurring.

So I'm left speculating at what the problem is, if there's something should (or can) do to help mitigate it, and if I'm not replaced, how I'm going to handle this week's visits...I'm thinking that the office isn't enthused about looking for a replacement, I'm under the impression that this family has been through quite a few caregivers. Of course, whether the office is fed up with the family or not is beside the point. I know I should contact the office and ask them directly, but I'm a bit miffed that they haven't told me anything at all and I only know about it because of a mass email. And--well, working with this client/family has been pretty stressful even without this complication; I'm not looking forward to working with them for an extended period with this simmering in the background. Is it unprofessional of me to say that I'm mostly grateful that I might not have to work with them again, ever? It probably is.

Well, I'm off to die in Mushihimesama before I melt into the bed for the night.
terabient: Madoka in profile, her hair waving in the wind (Puella Magi: Madoka)
2015-11-16 09:33 pm

it's not always about Western literature

Something that annoys me about a lot of Puella Magi Madoka Magica analysis: theorizing the whole story (or at least the original series) is one big Faust allegory--specifically, Goethe's adaptation of Faust.

This idea is so prevalent in the PMMM community; it's littered all over the Puella Magi wiki, the annual Anime Boston PMMM panel devotes like, half of the running time to an extensive Homura-as-Faust theory, and...I just don't see it? I admit that 99% of my knowledge of Faust comes from Wikipedia and 1% comes from cultural osmosis and references in other literature, so I'm not exactly the most qualified person when it comes to what is and what isn't a Faust allegory. But one of the most common descriptions about the plot of PMMM is 'Be careful what you wish for/the characters make Faustian bargains' and like...no, that doesn't happen at all??? I'm pretty sure the concept behind a Faustian bargain is that the person making the wish knows the consequences of their wish, but their desire for worldly power is so great they decide to go through with it anyway. The exact opposite happens in PMMM--with the exception of Madoka at the end of the series, none of the girls are aware of what their contracts entail, and their wishes are all made on behalf of others. I suppose Mami is an exception, in that she wishes to survive a fatal car crash, but that wish doesn't display the power-hungry desire that a traditional Faustian wish does.

"There are literally quotes from Goethe's Faust in the backgrounds of some episodes, and there's a witch named Gretchen!" Fair enough, but let's not forget that back in the 90s everyone thought that Neon Genesis Evangelion was heavily based on apocryphal biblical texts, because crosses and Christian names were everywhere. Then Gainax said 'lol we just thought it'd be cool and different.' I suspect that the references to Goethe's Faust in PMMM are quite similar, added for visual flair but nothing deeper than that.

"But isn't Madoka an example of the Eternal Feminine?" It is pretty clear that Madoka's final form/Godoka/the Law of the Cycle is an avatar of mercy, 'pure' (i.e. chaste) love, and hope, concepts that are typically coded as feminine. But that coding is as common in Asian culture as it is in Western culture. Not only that, but the magical girl genre in particular often climaxes with the main character turning--if briefly--into a being whose power comes from hope, mercy, or from the love of their friends; Madoka may fit the idea of the Eternal Feminine but it's through coincidence, not because she's a stand-in for the role of a female character in an influential piece of Western literature.

Finally, given the sheer amount of interviews with the creative team of PMMM--many of which directly ask what influences were baked into the plot of the show--if Faust played anything more than a superficial role, you'd think someone would've said so by now. But Faust never comes up in these interviews. Lovecraft does, various magical girl shows do, but I honestly can't find a direct mention of Faust by any of the Magica Quartet members. And believe me, I have looked. If it's ever come up, it's from something that's never been translated into English.

In short:

-Kyubey's contracts are like the polar opposite of a Faustian bargain
-Quotes from Faust are like Christian crosses in NGE: meaningless
-A Japanese show by Japanese creators for a Japanese audience is more likely to draw from Japanese sources before European ones
-Look, SOMEONE would have said something about it by now

I've never been a big fan of analysis that essentially boils down to 'The characters and plot of this show are stand-ins for the characters and plot of this cultural myth/piece of literature' and in the case of Puella Magi-as-Faust I feel it's particularly strained and ill-fitting. It's a little frustrating that's it's so widespread.