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16  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New NIS announcements - Battle Princess Arcadia and Fencer Fairy F for NA on: October 05, 2014, 06:43:39 PM
Yeah.  I also grinded a lot for weapon points so I could get more combo attack options.  Plus, I naturally take longer than most people to finish RPGs anyway. 
17  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 05, 2014, 06:36:37 PM
So, I did my Parkinson's Bike-a-thon today and man, it was an epic adventure on par with your favorite RPG.  

I got lost driving to the starting line, but made it with time to spare, so that might have been an omen for things to come.

The ride itself was really small (only 150 riders total, only a fraction thereof were on the 100km/62 miler).

So after a chilly launch off the starting line, I kept pace with the group over some steep climbs, we ended up getting lost and ended up adding .3 miles to our distance. We passed a walkathon during a twisty climb to the first rest stop, where I shed a bunch of my cold-weather layers.

I launched off the second leg with a couple of riders who let me tag along with them. I kept pace decently, but over a series of climbs with confusing turns, I got completely lost, was riding alone for a while, eventually found the right roads, but made a right instead of a left at Albuquerque (like Bugs Bunny) and had to do those confusing-turn hills AGAIN! So that's another 3.1 miles added to my total. I made it to the second rest stop, but few people were there and any who were, launched off while I was taking a leak.

So on my own again, I followed my cue sheet to a road where I was supposed to turn off after 1.4 miles. I completely missed the turn and when I realized it, I was at a T-junction with a road that was a little further along my cue sheet. So I took it. Had I followed the cue sheet, I'd have only been on that road for .2 miles, but I was on it for pretty much a full mile and the first leg of that road was a short-ish climb that was probably the steepest I encountered. So, an estimated .6 mile gain thanks to my impromptu detour. Further along, I caught up to another rider I recognized from the starting line and we decided to ride together for a while. We got to a confusing turn and his dad was there riding in circles trying to figure out where to go. So I took out my cue sheet, decidedly took the leader role and successfully led them to the third rest stop, where the three of us decided to form a 3-man team for the last leg (which had the most monstrous climb).

The fourth leg... 49.4 miles into the ride, we hit Harmony Hill. We're talking a good 1.5 miles of climbing with some grades I'm guessing to be 13-16%. Compare that to the Manayunk Wall, which is only about a half mile with a 17% grade at its steepest point. Harmony Hill is where I took over pulling duties for our group, because I was the strongest climber. We even picked up a couple more riders into our pack of misfits during Harmony Hill. From Harmony Hill to the end, I pretty much pulled the group and my navigation led us to the finish line without getting lost! I always thought of myself more as a domestique/assist/support type rider, but it felt good that when called upon to lead, I led, pulled the pack well over 10 miles, and stayed cheerful and positive the whole time.

And, yes, during that fourth leg, I was either whistling, singing, humming, or "la la la"-ing the Hime Hime song from Yowamushi Pedal and grinning at every grueling climb. I'm sure the riders behind me kept thinking "This guy's nuts" but I'm sure my energy was infections, because we caught our second wind about 5 miles from the finish line.

The mountain gods must have heard me constantly saying how much I love hills and climbs and tested me by having me get lost repeatedly and having to do extra hills (including an impromptu one that I may detour on again next year). But I proved to the mountain gods that even though I was born in the year of the Horse, I'm a capable Goat on the climbs....with a heavy hybrid bicycle. And since 2015 is the year of the Goat, I see that as a sign.

And when all is said and done, with all my detours et al. my 62 mile ride turned into a 66 mile ride. And crazily enough, my legs are not as destroyed as they were when I did the cancer ride this summer... and this was a MUCH more grueling ride. I think all my training's paying off, and my 2015 New Year's Resolution is to become an A-class rider (a rider who averages 21+ mph on a bicycle).
18  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New NIS announcements - Battle Princess Arcadia and Fencer Fairy F for NA on: October 04, 2014, 07:53:39 PM
Not quite Agarest 2 darkness, but  remember that Agarest is by Idea Factory and Compile Heart is a different division of the IF parent company.  Compile Heart has never really gone "grimdark" in their games and FFF is noticeably darker than, say, Hyperdimension Neptunia or Mugen Souls. 
19  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: New NIS announcements - Battle Princess Arcadia and Fencer Fairy F for NA on: October 04, 2014, 05:09:43 PM
Well, my review is up.  Bottom line is that I thought it was alright.  It wasn't as grindy or needlessly convoluted as other Compile Heart games, didn't overuse the fanservice, and had good music, but it got repetitive for me and the environments were kinda boring to look at. 

Comparing this and Mugen Souls Z (which I played earlier this year), I would say that objectively FFF is the better game, but Mugen Souls Z was more memorable. 
20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: October 04, 2014, 12:58:32 PM
So, to anyone playing Love! Live! School Idol Festival, we've talked favorite idols, but what songs do you guys dig?

So far, my favorites are Natsuiro Egao de 1, 2, Jump!, Mermaid Festa Vol. 1, and Aishiteru Banzai
21  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The one (rather popular) RPG series i havent tried.... on: October 04, 2014, 09:14:45 AM
The break zones (only ONE best way to skin a cat), stocking, characters doing the most paltry of damage, battles taking WAY too long... I do not feel guilty at all for Gamesharking the hell out of that game when I played it.  I'm glad I played it, though, since the story was good.  It's different to experience the story firsthand than as a passive recap in Xeno 3, especially since I liked the story in Xenosaga 2 the best of the trilogy. 

What hurt Xeno 3 was that the events that happened between Xeno 2 and 3 had to be read in the compendium, so that progression felt disjointed.  I also felt that Xenosaga 3, while having the best gameplay, had the least interesting story. 

And I gotta comment on the voices. 
Xenosaga 2 and 3's chaos was better than Xenosaga 1's chaos.  Josh Seth, the guy who voices chaos in 2 and 3 is also a hypnotist so his hypnotic voice worked well with chaos.
I found Shion's voice less grating on the ears in Xenosaga 2 than in 1 and 3.
MOMO's voice was adorable in Xeno 1, less so in Xeno 2, but Xeno 2's VA improved a lot in 3. 

I recall blustering on and on about my progression through Xenosaga in one of the old Game Journal threads, kinda like how Dice and Maxx are doing in FF7 and 13. 
22  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Do You Ever Look Through Your Old Posts? on: October 03, 2014, 08:59:57 PM
I work at a high school, so that perception isn't lost on me. 
23  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: October 03, 2014, 06:04:46 PM
The first 16 seconds of "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" by The Hollies is the best part of the song.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP94PlEtsEQ
24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Do You Ever Look Through Your Old Posts? on: October 03, 2014, 06:01:18 PM
Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I've been posting in the RPGFan community since October 1999 (15 years) and have been on staff since November 2004 (almost 10 years).  I was a fresh-faced 21 year-old when I first posted at the 'Fan and *I* was one of the old guys so I was more self-conscious about being a mature adult.  And now, most of us are all in the same nebulous age bracket. 
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Do You Ever Look Through Your Old Posts? on: October 02, 2014, 07:45:02 PM
I still like to bring up and read this unfinished gem every once in a while: http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=8002.0
I had WAAAAAY too much fun writing Taressa.  Just like the story evolved from something stupid into something really good, Taressa evolved from merely being sexy fanservice to being a really cool and badass character.  

Oh man, I had forgotten about that thread.  That was awesome stuff.

Now that this is brought up again, I'm almost tempted to try and tack on another chapter. 
26  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dice plays FF7 (Sponsored by Maxx) on: October 01, 2014, 09:15:10 PM
In FF7, I made a sad face when
Code:
Jessie died.
  She was a sweetie-pumpkin.  Mourn forever. 
27  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Do You Ever Look Through Your Old Posts? on: October 01, 2014, 07:47:20 PM
Sometimes when I click "Who's Online" for giggles, I see some guest perusing an old topic and I see how old it is, if I posted in it, and how I responded.  

I seem to have been more verbose, intellectual, and kinda pedantic in my 20s and now in my 30s I'm less mature, less verbose, more mellow, and now laugh with the peanut gallery instead of trying to shut them down.  

I also sometimes look through my old reviews.  I look back and think, "Whoa, I rated that game this highly?  I know I was a forgiving grader back then, but still..."  It's kinda like how the first year teacher who's apprehensive about giving bad grades because of the backlash and tends to be more forgiving, to the more jaded teacher who grades harshly, but fairly, and doesn't give an inch. 

I still like to bring up and read this unfinished gem every once in a while: http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=8002.0
I had WAAAAAY too much fun writing Taressa.  Just like the story evolved from something stupid into something really good, Taressa evolved from merely being sexy fanservice to being a really cool and badass character.  
28  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 01, 2014, 07:27:15 PM
Sounds like a discussion: what tunes do you play (either on a device or in your head) when you work out?  

For me, it's either cheesy Japanese music like the aforementioned Love Hime theme or something heavy and fast like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aadmG5-k3w or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYr-M5YcFg8 or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lXYHwyC9GM

Returning to the straight-edge lifestyle back in June was one of the best decisions I've made, and good straight-edge hardcore just amps me up all the more to conquer things.  
29  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: October 01, 2014, 05:53:02 PM
Routine training ride was surprisingly eventful today.  

1) When going up my massive climb, a female motorist on the way down slowed down to check me out.  I didn't respond beyond a cursory head-nod, because I'm in the zone when I'm climbing and I can't let up on a serious slope.  

2) A few minutes later, I saw another rider who was younger than me and looked to be in good shape walking his bike up a hill I would consider a "bunny slope."  I roared past him.  

3) Not long after that, "tag, you're it!" struck again.  Car with a couple cute girls whooped at me as they drove by, so I sprinted to the stoplight, caught up to their car, said, "Tag, you're it!" and they were like, "Ooh, you're fast!"  Sadly, I didn't get their Facebooks or anything, because the light changed rather quickly before the dialogue got anywhere.  Looks like I need to work on making my pick-ups faster, since I'm most confident on the roll.  
30  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: September 30, 2014, 05:03:04 PM
I finally made my aforementioned big life decision.  I've decided that 2014 will be my final year playing with the band.  I love music and it's been a great ride (both with this band and my prior bands), but hot damn that whole "touring band" lifestyle's REALLY taken its toll on me and I look forward to closing that chapter of my life.  I have other priorities in my life that demand my time, energy, and attention.  

So, yeah, Dincrest will be hanging up his "rock star" spurs.  This was a super difficult decision and one I've been twisting myself in knots over for months now.  I'm not the type to make snap decisions, I always think them through often to the point of overthinking.  

The band is obviously not happy about this development.  It's like a painful breakup with a significant other (or in this case, four significant others).  But I gotta follow my heart and know when to say "enough is enough."  I think they'll be alright, though.  They existed for years before me and will thrive after me.  

EDIT: And Mesh, yes.  I naturally do walk fast and with a wide stride.  The only times I don't walk fast are if I have the flu, if my legs are destroyed from a massive bike ride, or if foot traffic's packed like sardines (though I do look for openings to slip through.)  

Looking for a post of mine I missed this bombshell.

Damn.  I'm sorry, I know over the YEARS this has been a big thing in your life and you've shared a lot of it here on the 'Fan as well.  I'ts for good reasons I assume, but I hope you still enjoy some wicked jam sessions with them or get into some new musical project.  You're a talent!

Meanwhile, I've loved all the bike-a-thon posts.  It's great you can do something for good health and for a damn fine (albeit tragic) cause.  You're giving hope to people; all charities do, I'm sure.  I have channeled "DIN" on my gym runs...  I still have little vitality, but it helps the fight to keep it going.


Believe me Dice, this was NOT an easy decision, but I firmly believe it is the right decision for me.  And I'm glad I'm an inspiration for your workouts.  I've had a lot of people tell me that lately.  I take it as a sign that the direction I'm steering my life into is a good one.  And, not gonna lie, I do use this song to help me pedal stronger and faster up hills like Onoda in YowaPeda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrshPMtH0CY

As for Freudian psychoanalysis, yeah much of it is bupkis nowadays but if it weren't for Freud's (and later on Jung's) bizarre theories, psychology as we know it would not exist.  The fact that the human mind and imagination can veer off into such twists is pretty damn fascinating.  I was a psych major in college so I do respect Freud's contribution to the field. 
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