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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Can't Touch This

Yeah, another shameless plug. I finished beating down Zelda: Ocarina of Time's bosses today so the playlist for their videos is up on YouTube now. Chances are you'll learn a few new tricks by watching them. My method of beating Dark Link, in particular, is original as far as I know since I've never heard of anyone else using it.

Time to start pondering which game to pwn next.

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Monday, July 2, 2007

On the Inside

Exciting times over at OtakuBoards. We updated our vBulletin software recently (from 3.0.3 to 3.6.7quite a jump, skipping a couple versions since we hadn't updated in so long) and, since OB's layout is customized a fair bit, that meant a bunch of our customized page templates suddenly became outdated. Outdated templates means broken features, and broken features won't do.

That's where Alan (aka DeadSeraphim) and I come in. We've been working on updating the templates, fixing bugs, and integrating new features into the custom layout. vB's templates are a huge pain to update like this if you're not familiar with them and it was really slow going at first. I've learned quite a bit about how they work and fit together, though, so it's been getting easier as I go. It's been frustrating at times but overall I'm glad to be working on this since the technical side of running a vB forum has interested me for a while. It also doesn't hurt that James is paying me for it, same as he is for Alan working on OB Evolution; there's nothing like money to provide motivation.

I'm really happy that we've finally upgraded the software though, even if it has caused some trouble and extra work. There's a lot of new features in 3.6 that I'm happy to have and, what's more, we can finally get modifications for the site! We couldn't get any mods before this because support for 3.0 has been completely dropped, and there were a few for 3.6 that I was really wishing we could install. Now we'll finally be able to install them after we get the templates and everything fixed up.

Oh, and in regards to my last post, I fired up F-Zero GX again a couple days ago and played for a while with the instrumental version of Motteke! Sailor Fuku playing through my headphones. As I thought, it fit like a gloveas clich as that expression is. For the record, I was able to place 1st in all five races of the emerald cup on expert difficulty even after not having played the game for about a year. That felt good.

P.S. Dagger finally posted pics of herself on OB. Gogogogo!

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Motteke! Sailor Fuku

I got this single just now, the opening theme to the Lucky Star anime. It's a little hyper-active ball of happiness the same as the TV size version of the song, as expected. But something surprised me about the instrumental version. As I was listening to it I realized that it sounded like it belonged in F-Zero GX. It's got that almost-techno sound which is prevalent in F-Zero GX and some bits just sound very similar to the GX soundtrack. It makes me want to play the Big Blue: Ordeal track while listening to it.

The other song on the single, Kaeshite! Knee Socks, isn't bad either. It's not as bubbly as Motteke! Sailor Fuku but it's a fun song. I still need to find an English translation of the lyrics though.

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Friday, June 1, 2007

The Ownage Is Complete

I finally finished my Zelda: A Link to the Past boss recordings. Ganon wasn't actually as hard to beat without getting hit as I expected. Though I think that's partly because for Kholdstare and on I was able to use a real SNES controller. (My gamepad adapters arrived, yay! Best birthday present ever -- even if it's four months late.) Blind was a lot harder than he should have been because of my old gamepad's crappy control cross.

With all of the videos uploaded, then, I made a playlist for them. Watch and witness the fruits of playing the game thirteen times.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Yet Another Zelda Boss Rant

It's things like the fight with Blind, boss of Level 4: Thieves' Town, that make me love A Link to the Past more than other Zelda games. Ocarina of Time was a great game to be sure, and Twilight Princess topped even that. The oft-overlooked Four Swords Adventures is a blast for both single and multiplayer. But A Link to the Past's bosses are truly amazing. You just don't get fights like this in newer Zelda games:

Blind has stood out as one of my favorite bosses in LttP for a long time. While it's not nearly the hardest in the game, simply because Blind doesn't do as much damage as later bosses, it's definitely the most frantic. In no other boss fight, not even Mothula (which I also have a recording of up on YouTube), is there as much stuff flying around the room as during the fight with Blind. It pushes your evasion skills to their limit, kills you a couple times, then pushes them farther until you can beat him.

As I said, you just don't see bosses like this in Zelda games anymore. Bosses that are straight up tests of your reflexes, skill at evading, and ability to find openings during which to attack. I harp on this a lot, I know, but it really does annoy me that most Zelda bosses have degenerated into the same old "stun with secondary item, damage with sword" pattern. Playing LttP again and making these recordings brought out that annoyance once more.

If there's one boss fight that sticks out as being especially guity of this, it's Fyrus, boss of the Goron Mines in Twilight Princess. This fight had so much potential for awesomeness, and I remember being incredibly excited seeing it in the trailers, yet it turned out to be the most boring fight in the entire game. Here's the setup: You've got a giant, fiery ogre-like thing with chains that it can swing around, it can emit flames from its body at you, and there are pillars around the room that would make for some delicious flying debris when destroyed. Sounds awesome, right? Wrong. Fyrus is incredibly slow, hardly ever attacks unless you're directly in front of it, and there's no flying debris from the pillars. And did I mention you can stun it from across the room, where you're entirely out of its range, using the bow? I know it's only the second boss in the game, but seriously, WTF?

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Almost Too Quiet

It feels a bit like the calm before the storm. There hasn't really been much happening on OtakuBoards lately, but from what I've been hearing it sounds like we're close to starting testing on OB Evolution. It makes me a bit restless, you know?

That's partly what prompted me to clean up the avatars directory a couple days ago. I'd been planning on doing that for, like, months and never got around to it. It wasn't exactly urgent, just something annoying to deal with while uploading avatars. But low priority tasks tend to float to the top when you've got nothing better to do.

And yes, I'm all finished with it now; thanks for the hugs everyone, it's always nice to be appreciated for otherwise thankless work. So, all the avatar file names now follow a consistant, future-proof scheme that makes it easy to name new avatars and create new categories for sets that outgrow the generic categories (Movies, Video Games, etc.). Well, it's future-proof up to the point of having 99 avatars of the same thing. If we want more than that we're just screwed.

Oh, and Beth, I would totally give you my address if you were to actually send me cookies. ^_^

I've found a new little hobby-within-a-hobby. Everyone already knows I'm an avid gamer, and a gamer who likes to get good at the games he plays, and this ties into that. I've taken to making recordings of myself while playing old SNES games and doing crazy or impressive stunts.

Right now I only have videos from Mega Man X but once my new PS1/PS2/GCN/Xbox USB controller adapter arrives I'm planning on doing some Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid videos. The gamepad I had been using half died in that my PC will no longer recognize it as anything other than a four-button gamepad, which is pretty useless for SNES games. So you can look forward to seeing me own Ganon without getting hit.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

They can never resist the puppy eyes.

I spent about eight hours on OtakuBoards today doing boring and menial data entry work to clean up the huge mess that was the site's avatars directory. Can I have a hug now?

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Just say no...

...to Internet Explorer. I swear, every time I use that piece of crap browser for anything I get assaulted by spyware. It took me pretty much the entire day to dig it all out of my system. But it's not just me, 2k-tan also shares my opinion: Internet Explorer is bad for you!

But yeah, that was basically my day. All afternoon, in between baking cakes for my mom's birthday yesterday, I was running spyware scans, looking up information, and downloading removal programs. During dinner I was running a spyware scan. After dinner I was running more removal programs. There was much rebooting back and forth between normal and safe mode. Surprisingly, there wasn't much swearing at the PC happening. I think I may be getting better about that.

The cake was delicious, by the way, and everyone complimented me on it as always.

OS-tan. I'd known about this phenomenon for quite a while but never really looked into it before a friend happened upon a mention of it on Wired.com and e-mailed me with a link. I read through the Wikipedia article and my interest was piqued -- it's one of those weird little things that I can't help but love.

I looked through the article's references and found the Troubled Windows flash animation and a fansub of it as well. It's a fan-made opening animation for a non-existent OS-tan anime, set to KOTOKO's Sakuranbo Kiss with modified lyrics as subtitles. The line, "Your little CPU is fluttering," always makes me smile.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Did you know "twilit" is a real word?

I played Zelda: Twilight Princess for a while yesterday. Seeing my brother beat the game on Sunday, as well as seeing this video linked to on Ginny's blog, made me want to play it again. I hadn't played it for probably a month at the least, so I figured I'd be a bit rusty when I went out to the big field north of Kakariko Village to fight the boar-riding Bulbins while on foot. Yeah, on foot; it's too easy if I'm riding Epona. And I was right, I was a bit rusty, 'cause they actually did half a heart of damage before I finished them off.

Blatent bragging about one's skill aside, I was doing that to kill time while waiting for night to fall. I still haven't found all of the Poes yet so, since they only appear at night on the overworld, that's why I was waiting around. I ended up finding three more, bringing my total up to fifty-four. I've still got six left, then, and I'm thinking they must be in caves or that I missed some in dungeons somewhere because I've scoured the overworld pretty thoroughly.

I also completed the rest of the roll goal courses and got the frog lure. I have to say, the physics in that minigame are complete BS. I'd hold the remote level and it would tilt the board backwards a bit. To get the board level I'd actually have to tilt the remote forward a bit, which made getting past the slopes in the later courses a pain in the ass. Why? Because it's pretty intuitive to tilt the remote forward to roll the ball through the slope, then return it to level just as it clears the slope to stop it. It is not intuitive to start with the remote tilted downward, tilt it even farther to get the ball to start rolling, and then try to bring it back to tilted just barely forward without actually getting it level. And I know it's not my remote, because it worked fine when my friend brought over WarioWare and we played that. Methinks they should've done more testing with the stupid minigame.

Having procured the frog lure I set out to catch myself a Hylian Loach. I finally managed it after figuring out the timing for setting the hook with the frog lure. As near as I can tell, you have to wait approximately three seconds from the time the fish bites to when you pull back on the remote. During that time you get to pray the fish doesn't just lose interest and swim away. Which happened a few times.

Reeling the fish in is great fun in the Wii version of the game. Moving the nunchuk like a fishing reel is a great idea but, seriously, you shouldn't have to shake the thing like a madman just to keep it reeling in constantly. It's not even possible to crank a real fishing reel around that fast while fighting a fish. . . .

I hope the GameCube version gets the player's choice treatment soon so I can pick it up for only $20. I'm getting the urge to play through the game from the beginning again but I want to play the GCN version so I can compare it to the Wii version. Motion and pointer control for stuff is awesome and all but I also miss having a free-moving camera.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

What Dreams Are Made Of

I had a dream last night. I dreamt I was playing Super Smash Bros. with Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma. The character select screen looked like SSBM and I selected the white outfit Marth -- my best character -- while the other two selected Kirby and Ness. But then we were playing on the old Brinstar level from the first SSB, and Kirby and Ness had their SSB movesets. Even in my dream, the level appeared exactly like it does in the game, down to the slopes of the terrain and the floating platform over on the right. I took care not to let Kirby use his airborn down+A to knock me straight down into the lava while fighting on said platform. It was a great fight and we were all evenly matched. I was sad when it ended (I don't remember who won) and I woke up.

I haven't even played SSBM for a few weeks, let alone the original SSB. Yet I can have a dream where things appear exactly as in the game, and the game's physics even act the same. It kind of makes me think I've played the games too much. Like, way too much.

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