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5791  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment on: February 07, 2007, 12:50:40 PM
"Screaming Head" by Jordan Rudess off the Rhythm of Time album.  It's my song of the moment simply because the middle of the song from 2:51- 3:31 is 40 seconds of pure awesome.  

Jordan IS the wizard.

You can hear the song at the Jordan Rudess tribute MySpace page.

5792  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: February 05, 2007, 09:58:50 PM
I'm partway through chapter 3 in Hotel Dusk.  

Do I need to say anything that hasn't already been said regarding the game?
5793  The Rest / General Discussions / Non-RPG interest. on: February 05, 2007, 07:21:36 PM
Aside from RPGs, visual novels, and graphic adventures...

I love fighting games.  That's the reason I still keep my Dreamcast and all my games.  IMO, that has been the best console in recent years for fighting games.  I *heart* Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Soul Calibur, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and a whole slew of other fighting games I have.  

I dig driving games too, though I haven't played one in a while.  Gran Turismo series, Sega GT, even more arcadey driving games like Crazy Taxi.  

Puzzle games rock.  I've spent more hours playing Tetris than all my other games combined.  

And I'm starting to get cravings for first-person shooters again.  I loved Doom, Heretic, and all those back in the olden days.  System Shock 2 is still awesome and scary as all get out.  I played some Gears of War at a friend's house and boy is that game killer.  I have high hopes for games like Hellgate: London and The Precursors.  

It's funny though that most people would think I'd be nuts about games like DDR or Guitar Hero, but I'm really not.  I'm more of a "if I can do the real thing, I don't really want to do it in a video game."  I'd rather go to a dance club or thump on my bass than play DDR or Guitar Hero at the arcade.  That's also part of the reason why I'm slightly on the fence about Ar tonelico.  I'm studying to be a school guidance counselor so I'm not sure if I want to be a counselor in a video game when I'll be spending my actual life doing counseling.  

Ironically, I dig love adventures, but more because they're so Japanese and it's a glimpse into the love/dating life of a different country/culture.  Though I would not want to play a love adventure starring people my age.  I date and interact with grown-ups all the time.  The whole school-ties aspect of high school set love adventures is appealing because I love stories set in schools.
5794  The Rest / General Discussions / Name A Forum, 2007 Edition on: February 05, 2007, 06:52:03 PM
The imagination sanctuary- where art and soul collide.
5795  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: February 03, 2007, 10:34:23 PM
I just finished playing the 45 minute demo of Hirameki's latest Piece of Wonder.  http://hirameki-int.com/appc/products/piece/index.html

I didn't get to play any of the battle segments so I don't know how the SRPG battle engine works, but the digital novels segments are fun, amusing, and give loads of choices.  It's reportedly like Sakura Taisen in that your relationship with one of the three main heroines can not only determine which ending you'll get, but possibly how well they'll perform in battle.  

I'm digging the story.  It's cutesy but it has depth too.  The opening segment was pretty weird, but it got me into it.  

I don't think Hirameki's going to let me down with this one.  I'm digging it.  So far, the only Hirameki game I've played that was a letdown was Ai Yori Aoshi.
5796  The Rest / General Discussions / The moon rules us all on: February 03, 2007, 03:57:45 PM
Azrael already pointed a link to a topic already talking about this.  

We don't need multiples.

Topic locked, have a nice day.
5797  The Rest / General Discussions / Stupid Customer stories...care to share? on: February 02, 2007, 10:19:33 PM
I don't have any (despite having worked many jobby jobs where I would encounter morons) but my friend who used to work as a security guard to pay for college has some doozies.  These are true stories, because you cannot make this stuff up and my friend has no reason to lie to me.  

On his first night on the job, a phone conversation went a little something like this.

"Security, how may I help you?"
"I need talk to security."
"Sir, this is security, how may I help you?"
"I need talk to security."
"Sir, you are talking to security.  How may I help you?"
"I need talk to security."
"Sir, I AM security.  How may I help you?"
"I need talk to security."
(an hour passes and this charade continues)
"Sir, you're a fucking idiot!" *click*

A couple of years later, while he was working at another site, a gentleman walked in...

"Welcome sir, how may I help you?"
"I need to speak to security."
"I am security.  How may I help you?"
"I need to speak to security."
"Sir, what does this badge say?"
"And what am I wearing?"
"A security guard uniform."
"So how may I help you?"
"I need to speak to security."
"Sir.  You're speaking to security.  I AM security.  How may I help you?"
"Nah, forget it.  You probably can't help me.  I need directions."
"Try me" (bear in mind, my friend reads road maps for fun.)
"Okay... how do I get to the George Washington Bridge?"
"Sir, look out the window.  See that bridge over there?  That's the George Washington bridge."
"Oh, uhhh... where am I?"
"Fort Lee, New Jersey, sir."
"Whoa, really?  I thought I was in Maryland."

My friend is no longer a security guard, obviously.  He works as a band director at a special ed school during the day and gives instrument lessons at a music store during the evenings.  I'll make the tasteless joke before anyone else.  Yes, the people my friend encountered as a security guard are 999,999,999 times more retarded than the kids at his school.
5798  Media / Miscellaneous Games / KID never even had a chance to pass puberty yet... on: February 02, 2007, 06:41:21 PM
Yay!  KID's back!  12Riven!!!!!!

I wonder if Hirameki can or even will work out a contract with Cyberfront to redistribute Ever17 and Ai Yori Aoshi in the US and/or possibly localize more KID games.
5799  The Rest / General Discussions / Boston bomb scare meets Aqua Teen Hunger Force on: February 02, 2007, 04:49:18 PM
I just love how folks throw around words like "responsibility" and "accountability" yet completely miss the boat.
5800  Media / The Soundroom / Final Harry Potter book release date announced on: February 02, 2007, 02:46:19 PM
I liked the 5th book.  Sure it was grating in the beginning when Harry was lashing out at everyone in Grimmaud and acting like a disillusioned and angsty teenager... but he WAS a disillusioned and angsty teenager.  He couldn't be a fresh-faced, wide-eyed, cute kid forever.  He had to grow up.  And, yeah, Umbitch had zero redeeming qualities and was a horribly loathsome character, but that really immersed me into the tale, allowed me to empathize with the kids more, and brought back feelings of the horrible teachers I had in school.  

The only Potter book I was "meh" about was the 2nd one.  The rest were really good.  My favorites were 3 and 4.  

My mom, on the other hand, liked them all except the 4th book because she wasn't into the whole "teen beat" stuff like the school dance and all, whereas I thought that kind of stuff was the best part.
5801  The Rest / General Discussions / interesting article on american vs japanese games. on: February 01, 2007, 11:07:27 PM
With this and other topics probing the whole idea of RPG conventions in US games (i.e. Elder Scrolls) , now I've gotten to thinking about some of the US game developers who attempt a more Japanese style with RPGs.  

Who remembers the PC RPGs Septerra Core or Anachronox?  (I've played Septerra Core but not Anachronox.)  

And there's always games like Aveyond (http://www.amaranthia.com), developed by indie developer Amaranth.  That game strikes a balance between linear and nonlinear that most console gamers can dig.  You have your main objectives for the main quest, but the meat of the story and the coolest aspects of the game's world are all in the other quests, which require tons of exploration.  

And obviously we see Japanese developers adopting more western style gameplay conventions.  For example, a game like Touch Detective utilizes the western gameplay mechanic of graphic adventures (i.e. interactive environments, logic puzzles involving item manipulation) rather than the more Japanese gameplay mechanic (which is the choose-your-own-adventure visual novel.)  

Lines are obviously blurring.  

But still, as I mentioned elsewhere on the forums, even among "western" RPGs, play mechanics differ wildly.  I mean, Neverwinter Nights is a completely different animal from System Shock 2.  Even though I don't enjoy clicky-clicky-clickfest combat like in Diablo, I love the FPS-oriented gameplay in System Shock 2.  

By the same token, Final Fantasy 4 is a completely different animal from Shin Megami Tensei.  That first-person perspective in SMT can be really disorienting.
5802  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment on: February 01, 2007, 09:56:11 PM
I decided to listen to Sun Caged (prog metal band from Holland) last night as my bedtime music and one of their songs just absolutely soared and made me go "whoa!" as I lay in my bed.  Granted, I think the band and their music are awesome (oftentimes like a more accessible Dysrhythmia but with keys and vocals) but this song just tickled my mojo.  

So my song of the moment is "Sedated" by Sun Caged

Space and time all fall behind
Strange machines to soothe my mind

Resting this sensory sleep keeps me confined
Recalling a memory undefined

Repressive sedative restraint
The image of myself erased

Distant voices redicate
Colored screenshots will sedate

Into this spiral descent, it is pulling me in
Lies on the other side
Whispering unfocused unaware memories
Stays with me
Singing its powerful sedative song to me

Silent witness set aside
Let all beauty pass me by

This solid liquid-live display
Surrounds me everywhere
Sedation keeping me at bay
Keeping me unaware...

Into this spiral descent, it is pulling me in
Lies on the other side
Whispering unfocused unaware memories
Stays with me
Singing its powerful sedative song to me

Space and time all fall behind
Strange machines to soothe my mind
5803  Media / The Soundroom / Final Harry Potter book release date announced on: February 01, 2007, 09:49:14 PM
5804  The Rest / General Discussions / Reggie Fils-Aime needs his Coffee. on: February 01, 2007, 07:17:07 PM
Being a personal assistant to a high-power executive, a celeb, high-profile talking head, or anyone in a high position has easily got to be the most stressful, demanding, and often demeaning job on the planet.  I mean, you have to be at that person's beck-&-call and mercy 24-7-365 and you're basically shit on by everyone and their great aunt Ida Mae who's even remotely involved with the person you're assisting.  

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd prefer a job where I can actually, you know, sleep at least 5 hours a night and get some vacation time.  Even when the person you're assisting takes a vacation, you're still working at LEAST 29 hours a day.  (that wasn't a typo.)    

I don't know how Hollywood personal assistants do it.  You have to be superhuman, an android, or Waylon Smithers to do the job of running a successful person's charmed life.  

If anything, I think the job description is surprisingly lenient for a personal assistant.

Anyone who thinks this will be a glamour gig is delusional.  Almost how everyone things the rock-&-roll lifestyle is all gigs, parties, groupies, trashing hotel rooms, glamour, fortune, and fame.  The music biz is filthy, dirty, ruthless, uncaring, duplicitous, sleazy, and just simply downright evil, and dealing with the kind of difficult personalities you need to deal with 24-7-365 is enough to make the average human suicidal.
5805  Media / The Soundroom / Final Harry Potter book release date announced on: February 01, 2007, 01:23:23 PM
Whoa, the publishing date's sooner than expected.  But, man, will this really be the final book.  I mean, in book 6
Harry said he'd take a year off from Hogwarts to track down and bring down Voldemort, so after that's done, wouldn't he still have to finish school?  Maybe it's just me, but I'm more interested in the school-ties aspects of the Potter series than the good vs. evil stuff, so the saga won't feel complete to me until Harry finishes school.
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