Friday, July 31, 2009

Some ranting, ramblings and impressions.

Its my friends birthday today and instead of a party or anything, he wanted people do him some graffiti on facebook. For those not on the ever increasingly popular social networking site, this is just like a whiteboard art kind of thing where you can draw or write things for other people or yourself. So I thought, hmm that sounds cool I'll do him one when I get a chance. Took a good hour or so working on one, finally got it the way I wanted and then tried to submit it only for it to stop loading when I tried to send it. I refreshed the page and tried a half dozen times or so. Still nothing. So, that was pretty frustrating and spirit-crushing...Eventually I tried to do another one and intended to include a note with it saying my initial piece didnt work. I put a bit less time into this one but was still happy with it and went to send it. Yep, you've probably guessed what happened with this one. Same thing, it didn't send. Maybe its just life trying to crush me even more, maybe I bring out the worst in computers and websites or maybe its just a compatibility problem with Opera browser and the plugins and whatnot on Facebook, whatever it is, it didnt exactly make me the happiest person in the world. Yeah, Facebook won't be getting signed back on to any time soon.

Also, I tried to sign into my inbox tray for Edinburgh Uni today to check up on and sort out anything I need to do before starting up in September for my first year. The mailbox I had before and could check before was nowhere to be seen. It used to be on the page I was on only now it has apparantely dissapeared in the last few months. Perhaps its me being stupid and not noticing it (which I doubt, cos I combed the whole place), perhaps its just that they have moved it and told noone or maybe they just got rid of the whole system and didn't replace it ( they did say it was experimental and a test, but that seems just retarded.) All I know, is the site and the organisation seems pretty crap. For a university, you'd think they have well orgamanised and easy to use shiz. Obviously not.

My speakers have also been making a crackling, popping and screeching noise recently..kind of annoying to be honest. I hope they aren't on the way to destruction

Given the laptop's and internet's hate of me recently..This T-Shirt would be fitting. Tis pretty cool

To cool off and keep the encroaching boredom away, I played some more of the games I'm working on. I played a little bit of Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, but there seems to be a small but ever-present chance that even random enemies are going to wipe the floor with you and make you their bitches. So after losing a good 20 mins or so of progress, I turned it off. That game is good, but at times its too hard. I mean, I come up against a party of 3 Mothman enemies in the Samsara tunnels about 24 hrs in (for me at least,) These guys are not usually hard, they don't look particulary dangerous from their appearance or abilities. When you come up against 2 of them, they are pretty easy in fact, but something seems to be written in there for a party of 3 of them or maybe its just me being unlucky, I don't know. They keep using abilities like Mazionga and similar stuff, which when it hits all my guys, including the exploit of Argilla's weakness, its pretty damaging and they get an extra half turn counter, so the next one does it, or the one that targets one character and usually hits Argilla, so another turn counter gets added, etc etc, they get a couple extra actions per turn. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when they get lucky, they can wipe me out pretty easy. Screw that....I will beat the game some day though...even if I do have to deal with the unpredictable difficulty and battle system which I am beginning to like less and less. . . Anyway, enough nonsensical ramblings on DDS. Chances are you guys didn't understand half of that wall of text.

So for something a bit easier, I put on Star Ocean: Second Evolution on the PSP. I liked the first one and am about 12 or so hours through the 2nd. So far I'd say the voice acting is pretty weak, even laughable in places (ie. Ashton's dragons) I'm enjoying the game even if the pacing seems a bit strange, I'm kind of able to rush through the game quite fast, gaining levels and skills pretty quickly. The initial small difficulty spikes as you go to a new area are one thing that at times frustrates me and aside from boss battles, thats really the only thing that will lead to a game over as far as I can tell. A lot of the stuff in this game is cliched and it isn't the best game in the world, however its definitely better than a lot of other games out there, especially when you consider the fact that this is PSX-era ported RPG. Saying that, it isn't very polished or improved and feels a bit dated.

There is a lot in the game I like, the character design-the new portraits and anime cutscenes by Production I.G. look for the most part very nice. The character interaction and dialogue that you can get is one thing I appreciate as its not really done the same in most other rpgs. I'm trying to make more of the private actions you can do in this one. These basically involve you pressing square outside a town in order for you to split up your party in the town. You can then talk to townspeople and your party members with your main character, opening up new dialogue options, flashbacks which give a bit of depth to some of the playable characters, you can find other characters joining your party and branching stories which affect the way your characters like each other and ultimately, the game's ending. Kind of similar to the party interaction in Tales of Symphonia and Baldur's Gate. For some parts to remind me of BGII is a great feat, because its still one of my favourite games of all time. Its just something about the detailed world with the pre-rendered backgrounds and the characters in your party talking amongst each other, responding to the actions and choices you take. For example, say you ask someone to join your party, other people you had in your party might not necessarily agree with Claude (one of 2 protagonist's) choice and later down the line, from what I can tell, other party members will not be available to join you. For me, that is kind of dissapointing as I love getting different characters to join and ideally would have them all available on my team. However it does add some weight to your choices, making them feel that bit more real I guess. Also it could potentially add to the replayability factor of the game, but I'll see what I think of the game as I get further in. 

Those are some impressions and ramblings on whatnot, think I said enough. 'Til next time =p

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