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5521  The Rest / General Discussions / So what do you do offline? on: January 25, 2008, 07:48:58 AM
I'm Neal.  I'm 29.  When I'm not being The Master of Mistakes at RPGfan, I engage in that nebulous form of nebulosity known as "real life."  

I'm a school counselor in training.  I started my internship this week (I have to intern for 700 hours before I can be certified; my mentor is awesome) and I'm also finishing up my coursework.  I've followed a bunch of paths in the education field over the past few years, and school counselor is what I really want to be when I grow up.  I actually left a PhD program in Educational Psychology in order to pursue school counseling and I couldn't be happier with my life choice.

Playing bass is my primary hobby.  I mostly just jam with other people for fun since between my internship, classes, and a part time job with a tutoring program I don't have the time for a real band.  Whenever I'm waiting for a bus or something, I "air bass" songs or drills I'm working on.  I spent a 2 year period of time not playing bass at all, and I never want to stop playing.  

I've been in a few local bands in the past and have accumulated some Spinal Tap moments (Spinal Tap is my all time favorite movie) and I earned my rock star nickname "Dust Rag" due to my stage antics at a gig.  It was bestowed on me during the band's first paid gig by the best soundguy I'd ever worked with.  There's just nothing in the world quite like playing live.  The only rush that even compares is skydiving (I went skydiving once when I was 18).  

I'm into local music scenes, so I like to go to local shows, particularly basement shows.  I love seeing live music, it's my most ideal way to spend a night out, and I love the smaller more intimate settings of local shows as well as the heart of local bands.  My ideal Friday or Saturday night involves going to a show with some friends then hitting up a diner afterwards.  All good nights in NJ end up at a diner.  

http://www.myspace.com/sullendoor is Sullen Door: a band I used to play with.  I was with them for about a year and it was with them that I earned the Dust Rag moniker.  "Old Friends" and "I Need Hope" are songs I played on.  The band broke up in '06.  

My one talent I feel I have earned the bragging rights for is my ability to do voices.  I can imitate 60+ voices.  The one I'm most requested to do is Spongebob and my Fran Drescher freaks everyone out.  I want to get into a studio, create an audition CD, and see if I can get a bit part as a cartoon, radio commercial, or webtoon.

I also like to cook and wish I had more time to do so.  I love making pizzas.  I obviously like anime and video games, otherwise I wouldn't be an editor here, but gaming's really an ancillary part of my identity.
5522  The Rest / General Discussions / Smash Bros. Brawl actually developed by GameArts... on: January 23, 2008, 07:06:55 PM
Quote from: "Prime Mover"
but it would be out of place, since NONE of the Grandia games have ever been on a Nintendo system.


Actually, Grandia Parallel Trippers was on the Game Boy Color, but that was a peripheral Grandia title.
5523  The Rest / General Discussions / Physical copy or DL copy? on: January 23, 2008, 07:03:49 PM
I can only speak for music on this.  I like digital downloads because my apartment is tiny and having just my iPod and a docking port as my sound system is a great space saver.  Storing and moving a giant CD collection is a hassle.  

But there is something to be said for physical copies of CDs and better yet LP records (many punk bands are releasing stuff on vinyl these days), especially when there's really great artwork and sleeves.  That's one thing I loved about White Zombie's Astro Creep 2000 album- the booklet had tons of pages of Rob Zombie's artwork and I adore his artwork.  

And since I'm really into local music scenes and if I really like a band I want immediate gratification in the form of a demo, so in that regard I want an actual CD than some code number for a digital download.
5524  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Mana Khemia: Preorder Special on: January 23, 2008, 06:47:56 PM
If I recall the news snippets and other stuff about the game, Mana Khemia's set in a magical school, right?  And isn't the gameplay supposed to be part RPG and part school-sim?  If that's how it is, I want it since I'm a complete sucker for stories set in schools.
5525  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: January 23, 2008, 06:45:47 PM
Gitaroo Man Lives- I'm at that cathedral stage with that creepy bishounen guy who's obsessed about his mommy.  

Ontamarama- I'm at the final stage in normal and it's making me dizzy.  I have 2700 ontamarama points and though I could buy 'cheats' with them, I'm saving them for a 3000 point bonus song.  The music totally saves this game.
5526  The Rest / General Discussions / EA pushes ad-backed video games on: January 22, 2008, 05:58:02 PM
Quote from: "Losfer"
Remember the ads for Tekken in Xenosaga?



Namco was never above doing that.  In Tales of Destiny when Stahn looks at a sign in a particular town it says some stuff about Tekken 3 then says "this is a shameless plug."  

And there are more covert forms of money milking in RPGs.  Many Playstation One era RPGs had secrets so obscure that they were present solely for the purpose of selling strategy guides.  

Personally, I don't want my RPGs slathered with ads.  To me, it'd feel like reading a novel and then having an ad thrust into my face each time I got to a new chapter.  Ads are fine in magazines, but not in novels.  Magazines are, by nature, disjointed anyway so an add will not disrupt the flow.  In a novel, reading 100 pages then turning the page to find an ad would disrupt the flow for me.  

I don't mind ads in sports games.  I mean stadiums as a whole are walking billboards and having ads emblazoned on them adds to the realism.  I don't mind ads in racing games, especially in the story/single player modes when you have to court endorsement deals.
5527  Media / The Soundroom / Instruments you own on: January 22, 2008, 05:45:00 PM
DR, I still remember you saying one time that you actually had a babysitting job to buy that SG.  I cannot for the life of me imagine you with kids, but it sure makes a good story.  That's part of the reason I love my bass- it has a story.  The previous owner had a good story with it and was heartbroken to sell it (but had to due to getting an endorsement deal with another company).
5528  Media / Single-Player RPGs / PSP RPG Reccomendation on: January 22, 2008, 08:14:20 AM
You may enjoy PoPoLoCrois as well.  I wasn't thrilled by it, but it's a fun and cute JRPG.  I probably wouldn't have paid full price for it, but for the 9 bucks I paid for it in the bargain bin, it was a good value.  

One turn based PSP RPG I would avoid like the plague is Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner.  My review says why and most gaming outlets didn't like it either, http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages4/929838.asp

EDIT: And in the coming months and years, the RPG libraries of the PSP and DS will improve.
5529  Media / The Soundroom / Instruments you own on: January 22, 2008, 07:55:38 AM
http://www.geocities.com/nc6566 has all my musical gear.  

Long and short of it:  
1) 1997 Warwick Corvette Standard 4-string bass modified with Seymour Duncan pickups and passive electronics (I didn't like the stock MEC electronics and am not a fan of active electronics.)  Her name is Artemis Moon.  I don't have any pics of her with the Duncans yet.  

2) 1990 Tama Rockstar drumkit with AA Meinl MC5 cymbals.  

Whole bunch of amps and a PA system.
5530  Media / Single-Player RPGs / PSP RPG Reccomendation on: January 21, 2008, 06:14:38 PM
What kind of RPG?  Turn based?  Action?  Strategy?  Because if the PSP library and our reviews section are any indication, there is a workable RPG selection for PSP in all those subgenres.  

Brave Story is not an RPG that will revolutionize the way you look at RPGs or anything like that, but it's probably one of the strongest RPGs on the PSP right now that's not a remake or port.  If you missed Valkyrie Profile on the PSone, then definitely pick up Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth on PSP.  That's one port that was actually done relatively well.  Other remakes and ports have not fared so well (i.e. Ys: Ark of Napishtim with its frequent and lengthy load times between screens.)    

The one game I recommend above all others for PSP is Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles.  Rondo of Blood in the US and a reworked Symphony of the Night in one package is pretty good.
5531  The Rest / General Discussions / Opinions on the PSP on: January 21, 2008, 04:32:56 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I think if you want a distinct color or art theme on your iPod, DS, or PSP, you can just get a decal skin.  I got skins at decalgirl.com for my DS and iPod and I have yet to see anyone else with an iPod that looks like mine:P (and I think the designs I got have been discontinued.)  Plus, I think the decal skins look more interesting than any stock color.  Though I must say, I love how my silver PSP looks, so I'll leave it unadorned.  I'll probably just put a sticker on the back so that I know it's mine.  

In any case, the Star Wars PSP bundle is a rip off.  The Daxter bundle gives you a LOT more goodies for the cash, plus Daxter itself is a pretty good game.
5532  The Rest / General Discussions / Opinions on the PSP on: January 21, 2008, 02:12:50 PM
Sorry for the inarticulateness of my post.  I was talking about movies.  Yeah, PSPs don't have hardware region lock for games, but they do have hardware region lock for movies.  In other words, you can't watch a Japanese porno flick on a US PSP.  

Regardless, there are definitely more reasons nowadays to grab a PSP than to avoid one.
5533  The Rest / General Discussions / Opinions on the PSP on: January 21, 2008, 11:09:46 AM
Which then begs the question, is a designer color worth the extra hundred bucks in import fees?  For some people it is, for me it isn't since there's no regional lockout on the PSP hardware for games.  But I believe US PSPs have regional lockout for UMD EDIT: movies so you can't play a Japanese UMD EDIT: movie on a US PSP.  So I guess if someone is an avid watcher of Japanese movies on UMD, then the extra money spent on an import PSP may be worth it.
5534  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: January 21, 2008, 07:43:57 AM
And I know FF12 Revenant Wings brings the focus back to Vaan and Penelo who were quite peripheral to the general storyline in FF12.  I wasn't really into FF12's combat and there were too many draggy lulls between the good stuff, but Rabanastre's an amazing RPG town and for the time I played it, Basch was my favorite character.  I, of course, liked Balthier and Fran too.    

My gaming?  Still rocking some Ontamarama and Gitaroo Man Lives!
5535  The Rest / General Discussions / Opinions on the PSP on: January 21, 2008, 07:37:43 AM
Why import a PSP?  As far as I'm aware, the PSP doesn't have regional lockout to restrict the play of imports.
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