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Messages - Dincrest

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Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: July 31, 2018, 11:54:15 AM »
10 chapters into Songs of Insurrection and Prince Hardeep just became a heck of a lot cooler.  The way the book described a skirmish he got into was like the motions of kalaripayattu- a martial art originating from the southern Indian state of Kerala (where my mom is from).  Kalaripayattu is considered the oldest martial art in the world and has influenced kung fu, karate, jiu jitsu.  I had the honor of visiting a kalari (dojo) during my last visit to India and saw a demonstration, and I was totally visualizing that.  In general, the book does a great job in describing martial arts action scenes. 

EDIT: And if you're not reading the Mark Waid Archie reboot, do yourself a favor and read it.  I've read volumes 1 and 2 and they are phenomenal.  Now I'm thoroughly invested in buying volumes 3-6.  6 isn't out yet, but I'll put money aside for this series. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: July 30, 2018, 10:03:58 AM »
Mecha, magical girls, and kaiju, oh my!

As for haps... I overdid it with heavy bicep curls last week and have "golfer's elbow" in my right arm.  Ergo, I need to not be a tough-guy and modify parts of my gym workouts so I'm not tugging on the joint and making things worse, though in my mucked up mind "modify" often translates to "wimp-ify" because I'm always trying to be a tough guy.  At least I don't have to use my elbows with cycling, so no need to granny-gear or stay off the saddle.    Oddly enough, holding a book for a lengthy period of time seems to put the most pain/strain on my elbow joint since it's bent.  And considering how much I like to read, that feels like the insult to injury. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: July 29, 2018, 08:32:19 PM »
I finished The Three Musketeers earlier this month.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and talked about it at length in the Discord. 

So, thanks to a special Amazon Kindle sale, I managed to snag J.C. Kang's Dragon Songs Saga series, all four books, for a buck.  I had read a sample earlier this summer and was pretty sold on continuing.  I'm about 7 chapters into the first book (Songs of Insurrection), and I'm absolutely loving it. 

What I like about it is that the setting is based on ancient Asia rather than medieval Europe as most fantasy novels are.  This greatly appeals to me as someone of Indian descent.  What also appeals to me is characters like Prince Hardeep, whose homeland in this book's fantasy world is heavily inspired by ancient India.  Growing up in America, the only portrayals of Indian guys I saw (and currently see) on TV or movies show them as awkward, dork-nerd-geeky, socially inept (especially with the ladies), etc; like Apu on The Simpsons or Raj from Big Bang Theory.  So seeing Prince Hardeep as a suave, smooth, powerful, and heart-throbby guy with rock star charisma flat out rocks!  Finally, a south Asian guy who's cool!  I think Prince Hardeep will continue to be full of surprises as the story unfolds. 

Right now, he's an engaging foil for Princess Kaiya.  Kaiya is shackle-bound to her duty and beneath a glass ceiling (both due to the law of the land as well as her own insecurities), yet for the first time in her life she is gently being enticed to try and shatter it.  Will she be able to handle that internal push and pull, or will it be too much for her and cause her to shut down?

There are also a couple of spies named Tian and Jie, and I could easily see them (especially Jie) becoming audience favorite characters.  They have really great banter between the two of them, especially since both are very much opposites.  Jie is a very methodical planner whereas Tian tends to improvise on the fly and act on hunches. 

The biggest challenge is that several people have very similar names.  For example, Kai-Guo and Kai-Long.  The former is Kaiya's eldest brother and the latter is Kaiya's cousin, and both were in the same room with her.  So I had to double check that I was keeping them straight.  No biggie.  I like it when a book challenges me like that.

So far I'm really digging this Dragon Songs Saga series.  After the DNF disappointment that was Blackmark by Jean Lowe Carlson (despite positive reviews, I found that book amateurishly written), I'm glad to have stumbled upon a new fantasy series that's tickling my fancy.  I truly feel like I'm in a whole new world and the worldbuilding promises to be rich and heady.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: July 29, 2018, 03:08:38 PM »
It's kinda like how ninjas as we know them (with their full black outfits and hoods/masks) are a perpetuation of multimedia, namely old movies.  Actual ninjas in feudal Japan never dressed in black pajamas.  The key to stealth is in not being *noticed* which is different from not being *seen.*  So true ninjas basically hid in plain sight dressed up like everybody else.  But that wouldn't look cool in the movies, now would it?
Actually if I'm not mistaken, the full black outfit actually originates from an old style of Japanese theater (Kabuki maybe?) where the people who handled the props and background stuff wore all black in order to not stand out while the actors on stage were acting. Eventually the tradition became that ninjas depicted in that theater style would be dressed in all black to imply that they were seen as part of the background to the other actors. Over time that likely influences the perception of ninja in the Japanese public culture until they eventually made the transition to film where the look became synonymous across the world.

That stealthy stage hand thing being used in noh or Kabuki makes sense.  Still, it's "cool media perception" of ninja rather than what a ninja actually was, since I believe most stealth assassins were peasants and would more or less hide in plain sight. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: July 28, 2018, 11:22:29 AM »
Yeah, cavemen ate a wide variety of plants, seeds, and starchy tubers along with meat.  I think the whole "cavemen eat meat!" thing is a perpetuation of movies and other multimedia portraying them as human carnivores.  It's kinda like how ninjas as we know them (with their full black outfits and hoods/masks) are a perpetuation of multimedia, namely old movies.  Actual ninjas in feudal Japan never dressed in black pajamas.  The key to stealth is in not being *noticed* which is different from not being *seen.*  So true ninjas basically hid in plain sight dressed up like everybody else.  But that wouldn't look cool in the movies, now would it?

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: July 28, 2018, 08:38:44 AM »
Okay, so there is this new fad/trend diet making the rounds on the news called the "carnivory" diet, which consists of eating meat and only meat.  No veg, no starch.  Just meat.  The logic behind that is that "cavemen only ate meat, blah blah blah."

I have nothing against eating meat.  Depending on your blood type or genetic predisposition, there are many who would suffer the harmful effects of nutritional deficiency if meat were eliminated from their diets.  So, yeah, eating meat is all well and good.  But this "extreme" meat-only diet being touted as the latest fad/trend diet is codswallop to me. 

A) The caveman probably burned 2000 calories hunting its meal, 2000 more running away from other predators trying to scavenge his kill or make him a meal, so you can't compare a caveman's daily life of literally fighting for survival to your lard butt sitting on the couch.  Plus, it's been scientifically proven that cavemen also ate all kinds of plants and starchy tubers as well. 

B) The only way a diet like this would even have a shot of being truly beneficial nutritionally is if the meat is 100% grass/plant fed.  That way, you're indirectly getting the benefits of the plant nutrients.  But most of the meat we get is all corn/grain fed.  Heck, cows on feedlots are even fed ground up meal consisting of bones, hooves, and animal carrion mixed in with the corn and grain.  So any nutritional benefit associated with eating plants is mostly moot in today's consumer meat.  And even if a label says "grass fed" how do we know they didn't just put one blade of grass in a silo full of feed?   

Whatever happened to, you know, simply eating balanced meals (in terms of both nutrition and portion size) and getting plenty of exercise?  Maybe this happened:

I think the better children's cartoons out there are foreign productions.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, which is a French-Japanese production, is loads of fun. 

And Burka Avenger in Pakistan is pretty cool: (I particularly like Burka Avenger because she uses books and pencils as weapons to fight corrupt politicians who want to shut down girls' schools.  Plus, I love the fact that she wears her burqa like it's armor, really flipping the script.)

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: July 27, 2018, 10:07:03 AM »
There are days when I wonder how much of news is fear mongering and how much is, you know, actual news?  Because after all, people who are afraid are much easier to influence because the powers-that-be can play on those fears.  And it's embarrassing that foreign outlets like BBC often report on relevant American news better than America does.  Something's wrong with this picture. 

Still, your reasons for disconnecting echo a lot of why I disconnected myself from social media about 2 years ago and I am much happier for it.  I'll find better ways to stay informed.

As for haps, on Monday me, my cousin, and another cousin's husband took the "two nephews and their friend" to Franklin Institute for the Game Masters exhibit.  The kids had so much fun.  The museum was set up like an arcade with so many old school and more modern games to play.  All of us adults were nostalgia-fanboying over Parappa the Rapper.  My favorites of the day were this shooter called Child of Eden, this VR game called Smash Hit, and this arcade machine near the exit with 7 indie games on it, one of them being Indivisible 8-bit.  Indivisible 8-bit reminded me of Strider for NES, in terms of how it played.

In that exhibit, Nintendo and Atari were the most conspicuous because of their absence.  Perhaps the curators and whomever set up the exhibit weren't able to get licensing permissions from Nintendo and Atari.  But it's hard to imagine an exhibit about game design and not have Nintendo and Atari.

I also enjoyed being able to play a few games I'd wanted to try but never got to, like Psychonauts and ShenMue.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 17, 2018, 11:15:48 AM »
I think I can explain everything in song:

If that doesn't explain it all, I don't know what will.  (I'd say, "and don't say Clarissa" but I'm not sure if that reference is before your time.) 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 17, 2018, 06:37:50 AM »
Were it an earlier gaming era, then I would shout righteous indignation at Obscure-Japanese-Game-V getting denied or butchered because it's setting a bad precedent and could bode poorly for the future of games like Game-V.  But we're beyond that now.  The market is wide open and still growing.  I feel that we don't have to worry about such things as much because for every Omega Z that gets shafted, dozens more just like it (or even more "extreme" for lack of a better word) still get in/get made, have gotten in/gotten made, and will get in/get made.  So the consumer is never without options because creators are freer to give us more options.   

What you perceive as "who cares apathy" I see more like this analogy: I'm crushing on a girl.  I go to the school dance.  I ask her to dance.  She turns me down.  I'm not feeling so great.  What do I do?  Do I sorrowfully obsess over her turning me down? Or do I go wash my face, dust myself off and ask another girl to dance?   I choose the latter.  Yeah, it hurts that I was turned down, but I'm not worried because there are plenty of pretty girls out there for Dincrest. 

"Who cares apathy" would be me not even going to the school dance and sitting on the couch watching reruns because I convinced myself that school dances were pointless and girls were waste of time. 

I think now it's just going into circular arguments.  I'm laughing at myself because I went off the rails in a thread about a silly JRPG themed around big boobs. 

Is it safe to say "we slugged it out, now let's hug it out"?

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 16, 2018, 07:26:43 AM »
Back in bygone gaming eras, losing out on a particular game felt like a slap in the face, because how could I take my business elsewhere when elsewhere didn't exist?  The game industry, particularly the console industry, was more tightly controlled and smaller indie/art-house developers didn't have as many outlets (pretty much PC only.)  The idea of "how do you speak with your wallet if there's nothing to purchase" was absolutely true during earlier gaming generations, but nowadays it's a wide open market.  Or perhaps it's more difficult to speak with your wallet because there's too much out there available for purchase with more options emerging every day? 

I think this:
Why bother localising Zero/Ao no Kiseki? We already have plenty of JRPGS.
Why bother making that Anthem game? We already have plenty of shooters.
Remember PT? Don't worry about it friend: you know how many horror games there are?
(Heck, why even bother making any video games when there's so dang many that most people have a backlog of things that they will never get to?)
is a straw man argument.  Was there anything said about apathy towards localizing anything?  Nope.  No nihilism here.  Merely that just because one game didn't get localized doesn't mean ALL games in its cohort won't.  Several are already available and more are in the works, from companies of all shapes and sizes.  Just because one game got a hack job doesn't mean ALL games in its cohort will too.  There are plenty available now that are still in-tact and plenty more in-tact ones in the works from companies of all shapes and sizes. 

I still don't think Omega Z's denial by the censors amounts to much in the greater scheme of things, nowadays because the marketplace is so vast and wide open.  Tis nary a drop in the bucket.  Why cry over the cup of spilled skunky keg beer that is Omega Z when there is whiskey, vodka and other hard liquor flowing over yonder (in the form of dozens of unadulterated X-rated dungeon crawl JRPGs).  Or if spirits are too strong for you, there are/were/will be several beer, wine, etc. options in the cavalcade of titillating R-rated JRPGs (past, present, and future.)  Companies of all shapes and sizes proffer offerings aplenty to fill that empty cup.  Even if the more prominent companies don't have what you're hankering for, plenty of indie/art-house/doujin creators are/were/will be totally cooking up something to your liking.   

But, again, that's my mentality.  If A doesn't give me what I want the way I want it, then B, C, D, E, F, G, and H will be right there to proffer their competing wares that promise to give me what I want and/or more.  A doesn't get my business, F does (because F's offering is really good; the demo totally resonated with me so I bought it), I get my fix and live happily ever after.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 15, 2018, 07:26:43 PM »
But all the fan badgering doesn't do much good if we don't speak with our wallets at the end of the day.  Yeah, we could raise a big stink online about wanting certain kinds of games, but unless we buy them and show the companies there is money to be made then we won't see any more.  The gaming business is just that- a business. 

And I never said I'm happy in a box with only 3 channels to choose from.  I'm just saying that if the 3 channel box isn't giving me what I want, I'll look for my satisfaction somewhere else.  When I was a kid and they were showing reruns of cartoons we already saw, my friends and I would gather up our action figures and other toys and just let our imaginations run wild creating our own adventures, like some random object teleports Optimus Prime to Jabba the Hutt's palace in Tatooine and he fights the Star Wars Rancor.  (Hey, we were around 7 at the time!)

I'm also saying that the gaming biz is at a point where we're no longer in that 3 channel box.  The box has been blown to smithereens and we're now living free in a plentiful land of feast instead of a box of famine.  If one game doesn't make it, there are still dozens like it that will.  I don't have to put all my eggs in one basket.  This even goes for genres that are niche, because the industry knows that the niche markets are loyal buyers.  Plus, thanks to the evolution of the Internet, those niche markets are easier to get to and many smaller devs can bypass the middlemen and just sell direct to consumers.  That's wonderful, because then I can give more of my money to the creators.  I love that there are so many smaller developers out there creating neat stuff.  I've played and reviewed a ton of stuff that flies under the radar. 

With music, I think what mainstream radio and big record labels put out is drivel.  So, I would go to all kinds of local shows and trawl sites like Bandcamp to see what's out there.  I've discovered (and even befriended) some really killer bands by exploring the paths less traveled.  I also played in local bands and we created music we believed in; seeing our musical voice (including songs I had written) resonate with people was profound.  Competition was fierce, though.  We often competed with bands like ours to get gigs.  Sometimes we'd get them, sometimes we wouldn't, but we still kept making our music because we liked doing it.  And the gigs we did get, we played like our asses were on fire.  It's easy for someone to say all punk bands sound the same, but every punk fan has those that they resonate with more than others. 

I feel like there's a LOT being lost in translation in this conversation and everything's getting cloudy with tons of points and arguments that tangent off from the main point.  I kinda forgot what the main point was.  Are we talking about censorship?  Hentai games?  Creating games?  Niche game marketing?  The state of the industry? My overuse and/or inappropriate use of analogies and idioms to the point where they sometimes become malapropisms? 

I feel like I'm being made to sound like I'm anti-creativity or anti-competition or something.  I've said repeatedly that competition is healthy, because it makes developers strive to create quality products to gain market share.  I've also been saying that I value the mentality of "If I can't get what I want, I'll create it."  If the creator wants it, chances are someone else does too.  As a musician, I gladly encourage people to pick up a bass, form a band and write songs/create music.  I say do it, but do it with heart, passion, and sincerity.  I can't ignore the creator-driven trends that have shaped gaming.  Back in the day, companies were content to do bare-bones translations, but Working Designs carved out a niche for themselves by painstakingly crafting high quality localizations (including good voice acting) and players responded to WD's gambit by speaking with their wallets like crazy.  Lunar: SSSC for Playstation (an otherwise standard fare JRPG) made a huge enough splash with its Western release that other companies realized they had to step up their localization game to be relevant in the evolving JRPG consumer market (a very loyal consumer market of consistent buyers.)   And now even the worst localizations today are gold compared to what they were generations ago.  And even little indie games seek out legit voiceover talent rather than just having their drinking buddies read lines.  (I'm an aspiring voiceover artist myself, and the amount of unknown talent out there is staggering.)         

I think my main point, relevant to the thread, is that I don't think Omega Z being denied by the censors (or whatever) is going to hurt the gaming industry or that style of gaming it represents.  Anime porn dungeon crawling JRPGs are a very marketable thing, sites like MangaGamer and JastUSA have several English-language offerings (unadulterated to boot), and they will continue to hawk more of those kinds of games in the future, because there is a lucrative market out there.  I foresee more doujin (fan-made) games being hawked in the future.   

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 15, 2018, 06:23:15 PM »
But part of my point is that though Omega Z wasn't localized, plenty of its competitors were and/or will be.  And those competitors likely do the do way better.  Also, niche Japanese games are getting localized more and more these days.  It's not like the 8, 16 or 32-bit era when games were declined or "whitewashed" if they were too Japanese. 

I remember when I was lucky to get a scant handful of Japanese VNs a year, and they were usually poorly translated by indie publishers.  Nowadays, more mainstream companies are localizing more Japanese VNs and doing so really well.  Aksys and Spike Chunsoft have totally upped their game there.  Heck, Idea Factory's made a cottage industry through their Otomate-labeled otome games where you play as a girl experiencing storylines with dudes.  Otome is pretty niche as far as VNs go, and that niche is now being catered to outside of Japan.  That's a win in my book. 

Also, there are plenty of non-Japanese developers creating "Japanese niche" style games.  It's that mentality of, "If I can't buy this thing I want, I'll make it!" 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: July 15, 2018, 05:18:15 PM »
But for every door that closes, a new one opens.  So the girl I was crushing on turned me down when I asked her out because she's into someone else.  Yeah, I'll be heartbroken for a little bit, but I'll buck up and find new love.  There's a good chance the new love I find will be way better than the one I was crushing on. 

If some game I really really want doesn't get localized (and it has happened, particularly during the 1990s and 2000s), I cryass about it for a day or two, then shrug it off, move on, and seek out other games to tickle my fancy.  I pick and choose my battles.  I could bitch about the game I didn't get or enjoy the games I CAN get, especially if the stuff available to me is likely better.  The fool concerns himself with the 99 who say no.  The wise man had a great time with the one who says yes.  I'm blessed that I can do that with reckless abandon nowadays because we're living in an era of feast rather than famine; wholly unlike the 16-bit era when we were lucky to get a scant handful of JRPGs a year from, like, 1 or 2 developers.  Competition among games in most any genre is pretty ferocious so they all have to do something to garner someone's attention.  The gaming scene being so resplendent that there are MANY offerings from all kinds of developers big and small to cater to my desires.  So I don't need to put all my hopes on one pony.

And I'm also of the mentality that if I want my fix and my usual place to get that fix is unavailable, I sure as hell will find a way to get a fix because there are always several ways to get a fix that be better than what was.  I still think that one fanservicey JRPG not getting localized isn't going to hurt fanservicey JRPGs as a whole.  There are/were/and will be plenty out there because there is a market for it.  Omega Z may have been halted by the Decency Police, but the Criminal Girls games snuck by them (and the Criminal Girls are arguably even MORE offensive.)  With so many games out there plying that particular cringe-fanservice trade (and doing cringe-fanservice much better than Omega Z), the decency police can't keep up.     

No one likes being told "you can't have it."  Mom says, "you can't have X."  So instead of me trying to get X (because that's what Mom's so hyperfocused on me not getting and she's resolute about me not having it), I'll look for something like X that Mom doesn't know about.  That way, I win and get my "not X but just as good if not better," and Mom thinks she won because I succumbed to her demand and did not get X.  I guess I'm just a subversive snake.  Hey, The Great Wall of China did not keep out the Mongolians. 

At this point, though, I feel like I'm saturating any semblance of a decent point with gobbledygook and am willing to just "agree to disagree" and call it a night. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: July 15, 2018, 04:42:23 PM »
Work is bumming me out.
My car finally craped out so I got a newer used car. Thats bill every month that will make sure I stay at my crappy job for 3 years.
I always come home so tired I dont want to draw or play games.
Rash on my lower back! (It's an NSFW Adam Sandler song about a lemon.) 

Hope your new ride is reliable. 

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