11 May 2004 5:04 pm

First up comes news of the official unveiling of the Nintendo DS, courtesy of Matthew.

Nintendo DS Mockup, courtesy of GizmodoActual Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS: mockup and actual

Rumours have been flying about this new handheld since its announcement, and I’m not sure what to think about the actual device, now that I’ve seen it. However, Square-Enix is coming out with a release game for the DS, so my RPG heart is all a-flutter (inventory management on the second screen! automapping! who knows, it’s all so exciting). I’m not sure I’ll buy the first generation DS, though; like the GBA, there may yet be a better form-factor DS SP in the future… and I can wait.

Still, with its specs (more power than a Nintendo 64) and generous price point ($150 USD, and sure to drop quickly, compared to the ridiculously overpriced PSP), I can see early adopters being happy. While I’m waiting for a new form-factor, price drop, I’m sure many viable “extenders” (cough, flash carts, cough) and emulators will surface, so it’s a winning situation all ’round.

The other piece of news comes courtesy of Dave (B, damn, I know a lot of Dave’s…), who’s pointed out that there’s a news of a realistic-looking Zelda for the Gamecube. Oh, and check out the next-gen Zelda trailer, too (where I got my shots from, thank you Quicktime). I’ll let the following pics speak for themselves:

Link acrobatic flippage
Link readies his sowrd and shield

Next-gen Zelda gorgeousness

10 May 2004 5:00 pm

Was cruising Electrolite’s blog links, and found this lovely piece of political allegory from Spacecrab. Basically, it discusses Nader’s role as a spoiler in the overall scheme of the upcoming American presidential electrons, in terms of The Lord of the Rings:

“The One Ring had to be destroyed. In my opinion, Samwise was the one who actually got the job done — not Frodo.”

“So, I said, “I think this is actually contrary to the spirit of the book — but suppose we’re there at the Council of Elrond; and it’s deadlocked 50-50 between choosing Frodo or Boromir to get the job done. Now, someone puts Sam up as the “level-headed” worker’s candidate. Samwise: loyal, sensible, agrarian, won’t buy an inch of Gollum’s BS.

“The votes of the hobbit fans among the Wise are split; and the ring goes to Boromir. Boromir brings it to Denethor, who keeps it for 10 minutes before Sauron sends him to Hell. Everyone in Middle Earth winds up working minimum wage for the S&S corporation; and the Shire is converted into an Orc football stadium.

“What do your agrarian, populist politics get you then?”

“Sam was a better ringbearer,” my roommate said. I went to bed on that note.

Man, I wish I kept up as much on Philippine politics as I did on American politics, but it’s looking like a three-ring circus down there, what with the entire lawsuit between two presidential candidates between the rights to use a nickname.

10 May 2004 3:12 pm

Other people (notably David and BluWacky) are covering Kenran Butoh Sai – The Mars Daybreak, and I find myself generally ambivalent about the series. It’s on my weekly watch list, after all, but it doesn’t have the “Dear God, I need my next fix of this NOW” pull that Twin Spica or Fruits Basket or RahXephon had on me (to name the last three series I’ve been watching regularly). I’m not quite sure why this is; maybe because, for all the cool details, the show just feels dated, like it’s not saying anything new or interesting. The mecha combat is actually mildly boring, pretty as it is — I’d rather see more first season Full Metal Panic! to watch the hot mecha-on-mecha action between Sagara and Gauron (Gaul? Damned romanizations).

But, getting back to Kenran Butoh Sai, when the show absolutely has no mecha action is when it’s at its best. Episodes 4 (where Vess and Gram meet again) and the recently released Episode 6 (when the President’s granddaughter joins the Aurora) are true of this trend (hah — bad science at work, using only two points to indicate a trend, woe). I recall Jascii stating that the Kenran Butoh Sai world is loosely connected to the Gunparade March universe; in that case, it only makes sense that the mecha combat takes a back seat to the socio-political / character drama (which is a revelation that comes early to Gunparade March viewers, sometime after the death of an important character and the rehersal for the school play).

On a purely technical note, does anyone know who the seiyuu are for this show? AnimeNFO’s been slow updating data for the spring and summer season of anime (almost none of the new shows like BakuTen or TenTen or Kenran are listed). Further, does anyone know what the a.f.k stands for in a.f.k anime? Just curious about my fansubbing groups, is all.

09 May 2004 11:02 pm

Well, it looks like a good start to the summer for console RPG’s. First up is La Pucelle, which is Disgaea’s sequel prequel 1. David brought up the subject of La Pucelle on his blog, and I’m leery about starting a game that may have the capacity to devour my very soul. La Pucelle looks really good (hell, an endorsement from Gabe does wonders), and is currently available at my local EB (where, sadly, they know my name all too well).

Priere attack mode

Priere: Divine Storm!

I say this as a Disgaea veteran; my last save file says that I’ve spent over 250 hours playing the game. Sounds about right (insert wracking sobs here). Actually, the last save file says 252 hours, but that’s the “goddammit, I’m not spending untold hours levelling in Cave of Ordeals 3 or the deep Item Worlds just to reach level 9999 — where’s my frickin’ Gameshark?” save file. Lemme tell you, beating Baal with Laharl alone is a treat (2 million damage per blow!). But I still haven’t done any true Item World delving to find the Ultimate Weapons for my major characters.

And with La Pucelle having the look and feel of Disgaea, I really hope Mastiff did well with their localization of the game. Most of the fun came from the awesome voice work of the actors and the snappy dialogue. I’m really looking forward to playing as Priere, though (seeing as she was a hidden “bonus” character in Disgaea — just like Etna, Flonne and Laharl will be hidden bonus characters in Phantom Brave, Disgaea’s sequel).

The other cool news comes courtesy of Matthew, who mentioned that a sort of doujinshi 3D remake of Chrono Trigger was being developed. Chrono Trigger Resurrection, I believe it’s called. I actually saw the first inkling of this on 4chan, with a screencap; I know it won’t be the full game, and I’ve not entirely made up my mind if the 3D port would be a hindrance or a boon to the game — seeing as it was the ridiculously convoluted plot (time travel! whee!) and the cool battle sequences that made the SNES version so special.

Chrono's hometown

Chrono’s home town

Still, Resurrection comes at a good time, as I’ve been looking at trying my hand at Chrono Trigger: Radical Dreamers (the text-adventure true sequel to CT), before going on to Chrono Cross (lent to me by the ever-generous Andy). And I sincerely hope that, in the spirit of FF I and II being re-released for the GBA, that Square will get off its ass and do a similar port for Chrono Trigger. Because, hey, who needs sleep when you have kick-ass games?

1 Damn, I hate being up too late and missing “piddling” details, like, say, time-relevance. To be perfectly accurate, Phantom Brave is the sequel (and coming out in the fall! yay!) and La Pucelle is the prequel. My bad.

08 May 2004 1:24 pm

So you want to sample the bounty that this great union of connected computing has to offer? Okay then, this is how this breaks down:

  • Kazaa (or better, K++ / Kazaa Lite — which may now be missing, or assimilated by Sharman) is for Top 40 stuff
  • WinMX is for more obscure music, like, say Tommy February6 or L’Arc-en-Ciel, or Deltron 3030.
  • Bittorrent, baby, is for TV shows and anime. Yeah, you could try using it for warezing, but don’t forget that the protocol is transparent, and your IP gets broadcast all across the goddamn stream. If you’re using Azureus, use Safepeer, at least.
  • DC++ is like the modern, evolved form of Hotline (ah, Hotline, before it got bought out and sucked). Huge barriers to entry, though; generally, minimum share size is in the 5 GB range, and the hub operators usually want to to limit the maximum number of connected hubs to less than 10.

I can’t speak about Overnet much (or its clients, like eDonkey), because the above four generally meet my needs in toto.

Just sayin’, is all. Remember kids, if you find an album with three or more songs you actually like, then go and buy the damn album (unless you’re one of the lucky bastards who can use the iTunes Music Store).

Roughly the same could be said for anime, though substitute “episodes” for “songs” and “series” for “album”.