+menu -


  • I’m alive.

    I question sometimes why I bother to maintain this site at all. I go through phases of brief enthusiasm then I let it sit idle for months to years on end. This is the fourth iteration of this website and I told myself that this time, I’d update regularly and actually put things on it.

    What a riot.

    Speaking of phases, it’s all come back around to Seiken Densetsu 3 again. Last time my interest in the game flared up was 2009, and it lasted quite some time. It was quite fortuitous timing for me then as that was the time the fan sites for my favourite pairing had begun disappearing and I was able to sweep up what remained and make an archive of all that work.

    This is what dedication looks like, don't ye' doubt.
    This is what dedication looks like, don’t ye’ doubt.

    I went a bit mental with buying physical doujinshi then too, haha. But my oft obsessive love of shipping should be no surprise to anyone that knows me. I don’t regret a thing though, I had so much fun.

    I thought about writing a follow up to my work on A Blossom Burning Brightly, my short piece of fan fiction which I’m still quite proud of despite it still being (very) rough around the edges. However, between my work commitments, my love of video games, and my ever dwindling motivation it’s not looking good for my writing.

    I was able to pick up the new Lord of  Vermillion III card featuring Guren, I also had a quick look around Yahoo Auctions for any new GxA doujinshi, but I’ve been doing that periodically over the years as part of my fanart compilation.  There hasn’t been any in a long time now since I went mental and bought up absolutely everything I could find.

    The decline of the fansites still hits me hard, The GureAn union is all but gone. The founding site “LOVESICKNESS” remains but Mamiko has not updated her site since 2012, let alone added any GureAn works. I do see some works continue to pop up though. Every time one surfaces on Pixiv or Pipa it really brightens my day. It is however, a far too rare occurrence.

    Not much else to report at the moment. My trip to San Diego Comic-Con was worth every penny, and I had a great time. But then any time I spend on vacation with the woman I love is always amazing. I’m working hard toward our Japan trip this year! It’s something we’ve always wanted to do and I really want to make it a reality. There is still a long way to go though, so I must be diligent.

    That’s all for now. I may have thoughts to post about Bravely Default or Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds at a later date. Now that it’s Christmas the pressure is off for a little.

    And with that, a Merry Christmas to the two actual people and all the many spambots that visit my site!

    santaG

     


  • Mayor Tekka’s first day on the job!

    Tent

    On his first day as mayor of Aurela Town, Tekka picked out a lovely little spot next to a waterfall, overlooking the beach. He doesn’t have a house yet, so he’s currently living in a tent on his plot of land. Luckily, he made the down-payment on the construction work for his home, which will begin tonight.

    DPayment

    It was a relatively uneventful first day on the job, meeting his constituents and kidnapping local wildlife. So Tekka decided to take the rest of the day off, for a spot of fishing.

    Fishing

    It all went swimmingly. The shark was gutted, roasted, and served for dinner. Its head would make a fine trophy for the mayor’s office.


  • Evolving Cardboard Villains

    Do you know the Thalmor? They are Skyrim’s secondary antagonists, behind Alduin and its cohorts. The Thalmor have several things going for them; They’re high elves (always a good start), they have bitchin’ uniforms, and are a powerful and feared organization in the modern Elder Scrolls world, but they’re also thoroughly flat and predictable Saturday morning cartoon villains, with absolutely no depth to their character at all.

    My partner recently began a mod project that will include a group of Thalmor chasing an ancient weapon with frightening potential for unfettered destruction. As her appointed character writer, I’ve made it my mission to put a human face on the Thalmor, and evolve them beyond the level of depth more suited to Cobra Commander.

    It’s my aim to show that, even within the ranks of the xenophobic Thalmor, there are moderates as well as extremists; Thalmor who believe that the case for dominion over the provinces of Tamriel is not only ideal, but are able to articulate their beliefs as justifiably necessary, as well as acknowledging that the Thalmor organization, as it exists, is horribly broken and needs to change, by force if necessary.

    TESV_Banner_Thalmor


  • Why are classic games so difficult now that I’m older?

    Phelios Stage 4
    Old man Apollo, about to crash his 57th Pegasus into a flaming skull.

    It’s tough being old. When you’re young, you look forward to getting older and enjoying all the freedoms and power that adults seem to have, blissfully unaware you will never be more free than you are at that age. Another thing you never take into consideration is how the aging process will affect the things you know and love. Going back to playing Phelios after not touching it since my teens, I find it incredible that I ever managed to play this game at all.

    It takes a lot of repetition and memorization to make progress in this game, and even then; Things get so fast and chaotic that I have trouble avoiding even familiar situations. I had similar trouble with the original Mario after getting used to the more dynamic, responsive controls in the latest incarnations of the games. The original control scheme proved too much for my age addled brain, and even manoeuvring to land on a simple goomba was a grand undertaking.

    Now it seems the best I can hope for is that slowly but surely I will learn to cope with this game again, and with a little luck I can make it through to the end, even if I have to sacrifice a few thousand pegasi to do it.

    Oh, Artemis, will I ever save you again?

    Phelios Intermission


  • Farewell, Generation Five. We barely knew you…

    Pokémon_Black_and_White_logo
    A fortnight from now is the final Video Game Championships of Pokémon generation five. Generation five will come to a close three years after the generation began, and two years earlier than generation four.

    Although it’s had a shorter lifespan than its predecessor, that hasn’t made it any less fun. With two consecutive story lines packed into the games, it has already outstripped the previous generation in terms of content. While the Pokémon stories obviously aren’t very deep or involved, it’s nice to see something new in terms of story progression. In particular the characters who grow, learn, and change their roles according to what they learn in the first game. Namely, Cheren and Bianca, my two personal favourite characters of this generation.

    Cheren and BiancaWhile not particularly complicated, theirs is a sweet little story about growing up and learning the path you want to travel in life. Cheren with his pursuit of strength ultimately leading him to become a gym leader, and Bianca’s love for learning about, and discovering Pokémon driving her to become an assistant to the region’s professor.

    I know I tend to let my imagination run a little wild when it comes to characters like this, as evidenced by the image I’ve chosen on the left. It takes me to places the creators never intended, but that at least is the truth of their place in the story. Pokémon is never going to have the kind of romantic story that I crave, so the romance between childhood friends off on an adventure together will have to stay locked up with the rest of my crazy fanboy theories.

    On a more personal note, this is the third consecutive generation in which I’ve been able to keep and expand my collection of Pokémon.

    Gen V Team

    My personal team is never going to win any kind of award for competitive battling but there’s a decade of history there, with my oldest Pokémon, Aniel, being ten years old now. I suppose Evil and Blade would be older if they were their original incarnations, but since you cannot transfer from the second generation to the third, they’re not really the same.

    Ten years and sixty-six ribbons later I’ve done everything that’s possible to do in Pokémon, yet I’m still prepared for more. Come this October, that’s exactly what I’ll get.

    Pokémon X and Y

    Pokémon X and Y were announced at the beginning of the year by Satoru Iwata, (mostly) to the jubilation of Pokémon fans around the world. This marks a major change for the franchise which will see the games move away from the sprite based field and battles that have been a mainstay of the series since its inception, and into a fully 3D environment. Along with a new location, new characters, and a range of new Pokémon, as would be expected from a new generation.

    One particular feature that is especially noteworthy for me, is customization. This has been something I’ve wanted in the games for a long time, and at last I’ll be able to change the hair colour and the attire of my trainer to more suit my personal tastes. I’m sure you’ve noticed the custom trainer sprite on my banner and in the image above, and I’d absolutely love to be able to make that a reality. Let’s just hope they have plenty of long red coats and few top hats.

    My excitement is palpable, and every day that sees us receive new tid-bits of information only serves to keep me in ever increasing anticipation. Not only for the new features that the game has to offer, but for the continued adventures of the friends I’ve raised and cared for since 2003, and the new world and characters in which I can lose myself.

    X and Y


  • Fire Emblem: Awakening

    Fire Emblem Awakening

    I thought I’d start off my return to personal blogging with my thoughts on the latest incarnation of the Fire Emblem series, from Intelligent Systems.

    My first experience with Fire Emblem was with the English localization of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, on the Gameboy Advance, and while the visual overhaul has been quite significant over the years, the same basic formula remains. You will embark on a campaign to fell bands of brigands, powerful armies, evil sorcerers, and ancient dragons.

    HenryGraphically, the game is a superb mix of classic sprites, beautifully rendered maps, hand drawn character artwork, and 3D, fully animated combat. The high quality symphonic score is a joy to listen to, and particularly noteworthy is the rousing main theme of Fire Emblem, which never fails to spur me onward and bring a tear to my eye.

    There has been a significant increase in the number of pop culture references in the game’s character dialogue. The first instance that springs to mind is Frederick’s regurgitation of the classic Reggie Fils-Aime quote from E3 2007; “My body is ready.” Humour continues to be prevalent throughout the game, along with a significant serving of melodrama, as one would expect from light fantasy.

    Support

    Also returning is the support and marriage system, which has been adapted to serve as the backbone of the new pairing feature, which is used to to turn two characters into a single fighting unit with increased chance to hit and avoid, in addition to increased statistics. While this is an interesting new mechanic in the series, it does make combat significantly easier than previous incarnations of Fire Emblem, which may be disappointing for some of the series’ more experienced fans.

    The game also features the newly introduced “Casual” mode, which enables the player to retain all their units even if they fall in battle, this is provided alongside “Classic” mode, which provides the same set of rules Fire Emblem has employed for the past twenty years, whereby units that fall in battle are considered dead or injured and cannot be used again, encouraging players to employ more caution in their battle strategies.

    Another new feature of Awakening is the inclusion of both free and paid downloadable content, which provides a healthy mixture of expanded gameplay, featuring maps of increasing difficulty, extra characters, maps that centre around character dialogue and fan service, and maps that exist for the sole reason of empowering your units. While some of these maps may not be suitable for some, there is enough variety to provide new content to players of all abilities and tastes for enjoyment during and after the completion of the main campaign.

    Light CensorshipThere has been slight controversy for Fire Emblem fans in the west, who have had parts of the game undergo light censorship that has varied by region; The Harvest Scramble map in Europe, and the Summer Scramble map in the United States, both of which are paid content. While not game breaking in any way, it is of note that the censored content is the main selling point of the downloadable content in question.

    Overall the game is an absolute pleasure, and is thoroughly engaging. The story, characters, visuals, and music, never fail to invoke an emotional response, whether it be laughter, happiness, anger or sadness. The gameplay, while significantly easier than previous incarnations of Fire Emblem, does not disappoint and opens up the series to players of all ages and abilities in a way that no previous title has. I would heartily recommend it not only to those who have played and continue to play Fire Emblem, and those who want to play for the first time, but even to those who have played Fire Emblem in the past but felt that the series was not for them. You might be pleasantly surprised by the difference that time and small changes have made to a fantastic title.

    Olivia