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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

OtakuFiles: Archive Project

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I've got a new baby! Er, a new web site, that is. ... It's a project I've been thinking about doing for quite a while now, but just never got around to. (I basically just do web design whenever I feel like it, when I'm not doing it for someone else, so projects can end up sitting idle for a good while. And yes, that applies to Rupee Shards, which was also hindered before by a lack of knowing exactly what I wanted with it, but I'm still thinking about it.) Wow, that's a lot in parenthesis. ... Moving along, this new site is sort of an evolution of my old OB Picture Archive site. Except that no member pictures will be featured on it -- I'm leaving that to Queen Asuka's OB Picture Archive.

What will be on OtakuFiles then? Well, you could click that link and see for yourself the sections I have planned for it, but I'm betting half the people that are reading this are too lazy to do so. You'll be missing out, though, because besides just the layout being up for viewing, I also got both the Liquid and Geisha skins working. Yeah, that's right: I've got alternate color schemes for the site, to match OB's two skins. It's awesome -- go try it out, and tell me if you have any problems with it. I've encountered one little bug with it in IE, but it hasn't happened at all regularly, so I don't know if it's actually an error in the code or just IE's normal screwiness.

So far, the site's been a lot of fun to work on. I intentionally went with a simple (read: single column) layout so that design work wouldn't take nearly as much time as it did with Rupee Shards, letting me focus more time in the actual workings of the site, like the alternate skins, and putting up content. And thanks again to Alan for helping me out with the PHP. I learn best by example, so it's nice to have someone around that knows what they're doing, heh.

Alan made me do it:

1. Jonathon
2. Desbreko
3. Monkey Boy (not by choice, mind you)

1. jcgoudy
2. Desbreko
3. Never had cause to switch from Desbreko.

1. My laid-back personality.
2. My proficiency with a controller.
3. My appearance. (OMGWTF, no angst?!?!!!?!!111!111one!!one!11one)

1. My pessimistic outlook on life.
2. Never knowing what to say in way too many situations.
3. The way I found three things I dislike about myself way easier than three things I like about myself.

1. Never really looked into this.

1. Things that have the potential to kill/maim me rather easily.
2. The above answer kinds of sums things up.
3. Whee, filler.

1. O2
2. Video games
3. Internet access

1. Boxers
2. T-shirt
3. Robe (It's morning, okay?)

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS (or artists at the moment):
1. Koji Kondo
2. Nobuo Uematsu
3. Yasunori Mitsuda (these don't change much, and yes, they'll all video game music composers.)

1. (I Just) Died in Your Arms, by Cutting Crew
2. Brinstar, from Super Smash Bros. Melee
3. The Dark Cloud theme, from Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

1. The new GCN Legend of Zelda. (I'm so hoping it'll make a 2005 release.)
2. The PSP. (The DS is a given, but I still want to try the PSP.)
3. Getting out of highschool.

1. Trust
2. Stability
3. Understanding

1. I've spent way too much time on this question.
2. Number 3 is a lie.
3. Number 1 is not a lie.

1. Long hair
2. Pretty eyes/smile
3. A deceivingly harmless appearance

1. Answer this question.

1. Video games
2. Writing
3. Web design

1. Finish this quiz.
2. Cook some instant ramen.
3. Mmm...coffee and instant ramen.

1. Journalist
2. Video game counselor or playtester.
3. Professional forum moderator ^_~

1. I don't much like traveling, so I haven't thought about it.

1. Marin
2. Medli
3. (Haven't come up with a good third one. And yes, I'm that obsessed. ... I wonder if my wife will go for it if I end up having a daughter.)

1. Stuff? *shrugs*

1. I wouldn't wish this thing on anyone. Least. Enjoyable. Quiz. Ever.

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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Now Playing #70

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Game: Super Mario Sunshine
Track: Secret Zone
Time: 1:29
Size: 27.0 KB

There's something about this rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme. On one hand, it's extremely catchy and instantly likeable. But on the other hand, screaming "Nooooo, I've fallen again!" at the TV while this song is playing in the background -- and I'm sure anyone who's played Super Mario Sunshine knows what I'm talking about -- and remembering those times whenever I hear the song. ... Well, that part isn't so likeable.

Though when it comes down to it, I think this has got to be my favorite song from Super Mario Sunshine. (You can't go wrong with the original SMB theme, after all.) Like I said, it's extremely catchy, and besides the Delfino Plaza theme, it's the only track that I still remember so clearly after so long. Listening to it, it kind of makes me want to go back and play through the game again.

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Sunday, December 5, 2004

Now Playing #69

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Game: Zelda: Oracle of Ages
Track: The Black Tower
Time: 1:55
Size: 11.7 KB

Yay, I've finally got good midis for both of the oracle games. Now, there just needs to be something done about the seeming lack of Four Swords midis on the internet. The original FS, though you don't really notice while playing, has some pretty catchy tunes. (I'd like to get a good midi of the Sea of Trees theme.) Though most of FSA's music is remixes of older themes (not that I'm complaining -- they're all awesome), and I'm debating whether or not I want to wait for a midi of one of the game's original themes. I already have a good midi of the theme from Level 8.2: The Dark Cloud, which is one of my favorite remixes in the game.

Also in regard to music, the VS. Hive Totem theme from Metroid Prime is freaking awesome. I have a feeling it's a pretty overlooked theme in the game, since it's only played during the Hive Totem and Incinerator Drone battles, but it's by far my favorite battle theme in the game.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2004


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I know, a real post; it's shocking, isn't it? Kind of took me by suprise, too, considering I just sat down and decided to write a post without having any idea what to put in it. Well ... I think there might have been some vague thought of talking about coffee, since I got up just now and there was actually coffee left in the pot. Amazing, I tell you -- that doesn't happen very often around here, when I get up in the afternoon. Overall, though, it looks like you're in for another one of my completely aimless and random posts. (I wonder how many people are going to stop reading it at this point.)

With Thanksgiving weekend over, and the visiting relatives gone, I've been back at PlanetSide and Metroid Prime 2 Echoes. One thing I'm finding with MP2, though, is that it hasn't drawn me in near as much as the first game did. It's a fun game, and I enjoy it quite a bit when I play, it's just ... I don't have that same urge to play for hours on end. I'm still really early on in the game just because when I do play, it's usually not for more than an hour at a time, and like with every Metroid game on my first play-through, I'm taking things slow. (I just got the Light Beam and the second Dark Agon Temple key, if anyone's wondering.) So it's a great game, I'm just having a hard time getting into it, I guess.

Part of my trouble, I think, is the fact that the dark world's atmosphere hurts you whenever you're not inside a light crystal's protective sphere. (You know, I keep thinking of FF Crystal Chronicles whenever I talk about the dark world's atmosphere and the light crystals. Funny how similar the two games are in that regard, considering how different they are in every other way.) It's a neat gameplay mechanic, to make you have to watch where you're going and to conserve energy in the dark world, but it seems way too limiting for me. I like to explore anywhere and everywhere, but I can't do that in the dark world without dying, which is really annoying. Also, when you're forced to spend any decent length of time running from one crystal to another, you have to sit and wait for your energy to recharge at one point per second while you're in the protective sphere. That, too, annoys me quite a bit, since if you don't sit and wait to regain energy, you're going to die all too quickly if you happen to run into a nasty enemy. I really can't wait to get the Dark Suit, and later the Light Suit, so I won't have to care so much about venturing outside the crystals' spheres in the dark world; I think that will really help me get into the game more, because I'll be able to more fully explore both the light and dark worlds without death constantly hanging over my shoulder.

Oh, yeah, a funny thing about MP2: You know those MP2 demo discs that Nintendo was sending out before the game's release, that you could get if you registered five games on Nintendo.com? Well, apparently they still have copies of the disc, because they sent me one when I registered my copy of MP2, which was my fifth registered game. So now that I own the game, I can finally play the demo. ... Though I suppose the Metroid Chronicle timeline thing and the art gallery on the disc is still worthwhile. I really wish I had my PC set up with a video-in line so I could take screen shots of some of that art.

Shifting games here, I'm tempted to start playing Super Smash Bros. Melee again, after talking with Sciros over AIM last night. I'd really love to polish my skills with L-canceling and actually learn to effectively use wavedashing, except that there's not really much motivation to do it since I play against CPUs 95% of the time. And when I do get to play against another human, I can usually already beat them as is. Right now, I think the only motivation to really practice would be so that when I would get to play other people I could show off and beat them by a little more.

It's over!

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Now Playing #68

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Game: Tetris Attack
Track: Gargantua Blargg
Time: 3:57
Size: 37.5 KB

I'm not much one for puzzle games (except for the original Tetris), but I did enjoy Tetris Attack's puzzle mode. The main game didn't really interest me, but I do remember watching my brother play through the story mode, and this song has stuck with me ever since. I don't know what it is about it, but it's really catchy. And now I feel the need to get it stuck in everyone else's head, too. (Ha ha.)

Oh, and I've changed the name of the Yoshi's Island midi in the archive, to reflect the track's name on the OST. (Which I got last week.) It's now called Above Ground, but I'll still always remember it as the music from the Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy level. Whee for Fuzzies and their drug-like effects.

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Sunday, November 21, 2004

Now Playing #67

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Game: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
Track: Tarm Ruins
Time: 4:43
Size: 40.9 KB

A whole week in between updates. ... And also a whole week of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and PlanetSide. Really, I've just sort of stopped caring about writing updates for myOtaku, when I could be playing one of those two instead. And my semi-regular pattern of updating probably won't resume until I beat MP2 -- or at least not until I stop spending nearly all my free time on it and PlanetSide. But who knows when that could be.

About the new midi, though. ... I've sort of been trying to think of a tune from each of the oracle games in the Zelda series to put up, since besides those, I had a midi from each game besides the two Four Swords ones. And finally I remembered the Tarm Ruins theme from Oracle of Seasons, which I really like, and I was able to find a good midi for it, so up it goes.

Oracle of Seasons has always been my favorite of the two oracle games. I think it's because OOS is the one focused more on combat and less on puzzle solving. ... Though I also think that's just because some of the puzzles in Oracle of Ages were really aggravating. Some were really simple for figuring out what you needed to do, but figuring out how to do it required a lot of trial and error. Such as those stupid floor tile rooms, where you have to step on every tile without crossing over any that you've already stepped on. In the end, I just found most of OOA's dungeons kind of boring in comparison to OOS's.

And in PlanetSide news, I killed me a BFR (BattleFrame Robot, i.e. a giant mech) last night. The thing came into our base's courtyard by itself, so a bunch of people on foot rat packed it and took out its shield generator (small arms fire pierces their shields, and they have a hard time aiming down at people right next to them) while I shot anti-vehicular Phoenix missiles at it from the base's roof. Got 900 experience for killing the bugger, and finally managing to take one out made my day; I've damaged BFRs before, but I had never landed the killing blow.

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Sunday, November 14, 2004

Now Playing #66

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Game: Final Fantast V
Track: Battle with Gilgamesh
Time: 3:12
Size: 34.6 KB

This is the track that was renamed Battle on the Big Bridge for the Black Mages album, which is my favorite track on the CD, and the original song is also my favorite track on the Final Fantast V OST. Overall, though, I found the FFV OST kind of disappointing; there's not nearly as many tracks on it that I really like as there are with most of FF soundtracks.

After having heard both the FFIV and FFVI soundtracks before this one, though, I can kind of see the transition between the themes of FFIV and FFVI; FFV's themes are similar to FFIV's, but they also feature other sounds that FFVI borrowed from, making FFV's soundtrack seem almost like a cross between the two. You can also see the progression of the sound quality as Square got better with the SNES's sound capabilities over the years; if you listen to the OSTs for FFIV, then FFV, then FFVI, and finally Chrono Trigger, you can really notice the improvement from game to game.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anyway, I guess I'll also use this post for a quick update on what I've been doing lately, since I haven't posted anything else for a while. Basically, I've been playing PlanetSide ... and not doing much else. My brother finally agreed to pay half of the monthly fee, so I went out and bought it a few days ago; $6.50 each per month isn't bad, and we're getting the first month free.

I still can't wait for Metroid Prime 2 Echoes to be released on the 17th, though. And then I'll be getting together with a friend on the 19th, so I'll also get to try out multiplayer almost right away. But then I'll have both MP2 and PlanetSide vying for my free time, so don't expect to see me online much for a while, heh. I still check up on my section of OB, however, so if you really need to contact me, PM me or use e-mail, which I also still check nearly every day; just don't expect to catch me on AIM very much.

Though speaking of free time, I'm fast running out of it at the moment. I've put off a writing assignment for school till today, my last day to work on it, so I guess I'd better do it. Whee for procrastination and the distracting powers of PlanetSide.

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Monday, November 8, 2004


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Anyone who's beaten FFIV (the SNES version, anyway) should know what's up with the title.

But anyway, I went through the end dungeon and beat Final Fantasy IV yesterday. I missed a couple things (the Crystal armor -- not that I need it anymore, since I got some Adamant armor -- and the Murasame), however, so I'll most likely be scouring the place again after I write this post. I'll also be trying to steal some cool armor from various enemies down there, since I was mainly just trying to get through the place last time and didn't bother trying to steal much.

You know something I really like about FFIV, though? When I'm in dungeons -- at least the first time going through dungeons -- it always feels like I'm really having to fight for survival. Especially late in the game, where I'm constantly having to watch Rosa and Rydia's MP; use too much magic, and you can run out of MP all too easily, but if you don't use enough, you could easily die. You have to kind of strike a balance, and choose carefully when to use your powerful spells in battle so that they'll be most effective. That's something I really haven't felt in many other RPGs; the feeling that death is right around the corner if you're not careful; that you'd better conserve your magic if you don't want to have to throw down a ton of Ethers in order to make it to the next save point. And every time I play FFIV, I realize just how much I miss that feeling in other RPGs.

Why would I miss a feeling of impending doom, you ask? Because it makes dungeons feel like they're actually real. They're not some stroll through the park where you can cut down the baddies with ease, like it feels in some other games, they're places with nasty monsters that can and will tear you apart if you're not on your guard at all times. That feeling of not quite being sure whether or not you're going to make it out alive adds to the atmosphere of the game, and it's something I love. It keeps me on the edge of my seat while playing and makes random battles so much more interesting.

So yay for decent levels of difficulty in RPGs. And considering the SNES version is the easy version of FFIV, I find it funny (and kind of sad) that the later games in the FF series aren't even as hard as it is. I mean, seriously, I can count on a single hand the number of battles from FFVII, FFIX, and FFX that actually gave me as much trouble as I regularly get in FFIV. (Those would be Ruby WEAPON, Necron, the Spectral Keeper, and Yunalesca, if you're wondering.) Here's to hoping Square Enix steps up the difficulty for FFXII.

Probably the hardest fight for me this time through FFIV was when I had to fight all four elemental fiends in a row in the Giant of Bab-il. (I was lower level than I should have been, since I didn't bother with a couple areas in the underworld until later.) They actually killed me once, until I got my strategy down. I managed to beat the first three and get to Valvalis, but then she cast Weak on my whole party; bam, everyone suddenly had under 10 HP, and I was desperately scrambing to heal myself. But every time I'd try to use an item or cast a cure spell, she'd smack that character and they'd die. Repeat five times, and it was Game Over for Dessy. How can you avoid something like that? Kill her before she can cast Weak on everyone.

And that's exactly what I did on my second try. I made better use of FuSoYa's level three elemental spells (Rydia only knew Lit-3 at the time) while timing my healing better with Rosa, and it really showed. I managed to kill each fiend in about two or three rounds, before they could really lay waste to my party, and I managed to keep everyone alive for the entire battle because of it. It's definitely a fight that requires well planned actions.

The end boss fight was also a lot of fun. Its Big Bang attack could kill off everyone but Cecil in a single hit if they weren't really close to full HP, so the whole time I had to scramble to keep myself healed while also dishing out the damage. (Coordinating healing spells and Kain's jumping can be a real pain sometimes, but if you can have Kain in the air during a Big Bang, he avoids the damage.) And it's this fight that makes me especially thankful for Rydia's Asura summon; if it weren't for Asura, which heals the whole party for more than even a Cure4 spell, I would've died for sure one time. You have to be extremely careful with your healing during the fight, or else the boss will kill you with two Big Bang attacks before you can get off another healing spell.

Oh yes, and one thing I've always wondered about FFIV: Where the heck is the Tower of Zot? You never actually see where it is, and when you follow the enemy airship to it, it just shows the two airships ascending straight up and it fades to black before fading back in with you inside the tower. Isn't that just a little odd?

And now I leave you with this bit of IM conversation between me and Alan. I was playing FFIV at the time, just before fighting the end boss, and it was really late.

[03:22:58] Desbreko145: FuSoYa: "Do the Meteo now!" ... *Cecil and company start dancing* :-P
[03:23:17] Desbreko145: Zemus: "Silly!"
[03:23:19] ImmortalyFragile: WTF? lol
[03:23:51] Desbreko145: *Golbez slaps Zemus* "STFU N00B!"
[03:24:09] ImmortalyFragile: *lost*
[03:24:27] Desbreko145: *Golbez and FuSoYa cast W. Meteo*
[03:25:33] Desbreko145: Zemus: "This is just the beginning..." *Zemus pisses on everyone and they die* Game Over? WTF?
[03:25:43] ImmortalyFragile: Dude
[03:25:47] ImmortalyFragile: You have problems
[03:25:48] ImmortalyFragile: Lol.
[03:25:51] Desbreko145: Yeah.
[03:25:55] Desbreko145: I do.
[03:26:30] ImmortalyFragile: I can't talk though
[03:26:34] Desbreko145: ... But wait! Zemus falls over dead from dehydration! Now everyone is dead!
[03:27:19] ImmortalyFragile: Lol.
[03:28:20] Desbreko145: *everyone's corpses fall into the core of the moon and it explodes, destroying earth*
[03:28:33] ImmortalyFragile: Sounds like fun. =P
[03:28:56] Desbreko145: Yeah. It really is the Final Fantasy. Not like those other pansy-ass games in the series.

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Sunday, November 7, 2004

Now Playing #65

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Game: Dr. Mario
Track: Fever
Time: 2:10
Size: 54.2 KB

Though the game itself has never really interested me -- I'm not big on puzzle games -- I've always liked this song from Dr. Mario. It's insanely catchy, and the sort of thing that can float around in your mind for years. (I speak from experience, here.) Almost like it ... infects you.

And because I'm insanely tired from -- what else? -- lack of sleep, that's all I'm going to say right now. However, more thoughts on FFIV will be forthcoming either later today or tomorrow, depending on when and how long I sleep.

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Friday, November 5, 2004

Des Does Anime ''That's a fact, Jack!''

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It's true, my interest in anime/manga has been growing lately ... but what catches my interest? Specifically, what makes me actually sit down and start watching a series? That's pretty much what Mimmi asked in the comments of my last post, and I thought it was as good a subject as any for my next post, so here we go.

First off, I've got Ranma and Ah! My Goddess listed as my two favorite anime (over on the sidebar), and I'll admit, I'm a sucker for the romantic comedy type genre. Besides those two, Love Hina and Chobits are two more of my favorites. But that's not all I watch; it's just my favorite genre. I'm pretty open when it comes to genre, as long as the anime interests me in some way. Two other series that I really enjoyed were Trigun (the first series I ever saw) and Cowboy Bebop.

Probably the biggest thing that gets me interested in an anime, though, would be characters. If the characters are interesting and make me want to know more about them from whatever I've seen/heard floating around on the internet, I'll be inclined to watch the anime. Also, the story can act in the same way, as it did in the case of .hack//SIGN; I knew nothing about the characters, but what I knew of the story interested me, so I watched the series. (Really, what gamer wouldn't be interested in an anime based around a virtual reality MMORPG?)

Sometimes, though, I'll watch a series just off a recommendation from someone, or just to see if it lives up to all the hype I've heard about it. I watched Neon Genesis Evangelion because of the latter, and even though I didn't enjoy it all that much (too much focus on the angsty drama, too many unanswered questions about the story), I can now at least make fun of my brother for using tons of EVA wallpapers when he hasn't even seen the series.

I guess when it comes down to it, I'm not all that descriminating when it comes to choosing a series to watch (though mainly because my brother has a huge collection and I'm not having to buy it), and I just sort of pick up whatever interests me at the time. I rarely set out with a specific series in mind when I feel like watching some anime. The thought process usually goes something like, "I feel like watching some anime. But what should I watch? ... Hmm, this one sounded interesting; I'll go with it."

So there it is. ... Probably not the best process for finding good anime, but it's not like I'm a huge fan, so it's good enough for now. Between school, gaming, anime, and my various activities on my computer, anime tends to get the short end of the stick since it's still a growing hobby.

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