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5821  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: December 27, 2006, 11:40:45 AM
I started Yo-Jin-Bo, a Hirameki digital novel that came out in October but I'm just getting around to now for review.  

So far, I'm liking it.
5822  The Rest / General Discussions / James Brown has left the building. on: December 25, 2006, 04:25:38 PM
James Brown is a musical legend.  So what if he did a lot of bad/disagreeable shit in his personal life?  Most legends have.  Name one legend who hasn't done bad shit in their lives.  

Remember, greatness never came to those who followed the rules.  

He was a visionary who revolutionized music.  He was an absolute perfectionist who put some of the strictest demands known to man on his bassists (I read an article in Bass Player magazine earlier this year about all of James Brown's bassists.)  

I'll bet Bootsy Collins is crying right now.  He was one of Brown's bassists and has become a legend in his own right.  

I have the utmost respect of the contributions James Brown has made to music.
5823  The Rest / General Discussions / Swag thread on: December 25, 2006, 04:19:52 PM
Quote from: "KeeperX"
Quote from: "Dincrest"
Rotosound strings for my bass


Roundwound or Flatwound?


Rounds.  They're the RS66 Nickels (not the steels.  I don't like steels.  Steels are too harsh on my fingers and frets.)  

I'm not a big fan of flats because they're high tension and really stiff.  I want to try Thomasik-Infeld Jazz flats since those flats are said to be low tension, but they're so damn expensive.  I refuse to pay $50 for a set of strings.    

I like using SIT Silencers pressurewounds (great compromise between round and flat) but I'm trying to get a more raw sound from my Warwick.  I've never tried Rotos before, and Rotos are that one string everyone has to try.
5824  The Rest / General Discussions / Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas on: December 25, 2006, 11:18:49 AM
I use Happy Holidays because to me it's convenient.  It's a catch all for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, Posada, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and whatever else people decide to celebrate in December, regardless of what I think about it.    

I'm all about convenience, ease of use, stuff that makes my life easier/less complicated... I'm a lazy son of a submariner.  

But if someone says Merry Christmas or whatever else to me, I'm not going to bite their heads off or anything.  I'll just be happy that someone smiled and wished me well.
5825  The Rest / General Discussions / Swag thread on: December 25, 2006, 11:13:18 AM
Me am gotted:

The best present of all from Santa: a B in my multivariate regression course.  That class was evil.  The other best present I got was that my family is supportive of my choice to leave the PhD program in Ed Psych in favor of following my heart and going for an EdM with certification in school counseling.  I'm so excited about being a guidance counselor when I grow up.  

Santa rocks!

Material swag:
Sony CyberShot 7.2 megapixel digital camera
$100 Amex gift card
$150 cash
Perry Ellis sleepwear
Joseph Abboud shirt (for formal wear)
Rotosound strings for my bass
5826  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Dawn of Mana Impressions on: December 23, 2006, 06:01:55 PM
The ragdoll physics and ricocheting enemies and player sound a lot like combat in Children of Mana.
5827  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Dawn of Mana: Might not be an RPG? on: December 22, 2006, 07:20:40 PM
Quote from: "Professor Gast"
but at least you can't accuse the guy of not trying to be creative :P.


No doubt, but creativity isn't always the best thing in terms of public interest and business.  

Look at auto makers.  Chrysler is one of the more creative US marques, but they reinvent their vehicles too often.  Reinventing too much does not allow the consumers time to become familiar with the product.  On the other hand, GM almost never redesigns and their stuff always looks dated.  

Of course when you look at the human factor, creative individuals always want to try new things.  Like when popular bands play shows, the fans want to hear all the "old" stuff they're familiar with while the band is probably sick of playing that stuff after playing it at 100+ shows in a row and wants to play some fresher stuff... then the fans boo and hiss loudly because they're not hearing what they want to hear.  

In other words, it's important to look at things from the perspective of an artist AND a consumer.  And I'll be honest, I could care less about the artists' whims in the Mana series.  The games have all sucked since SD3.  I'm ranting purely as a consumer because I'm not getting what I want out of the commodity.

So normally, I'd just say "fuck it" and look for a new commodity to suit my whims.  But in this case, I had to revisit Mana since I volunteered to review Children of Mana for the website so some old disgruntledness reopened:P
5828  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: December 22, 2006, 07:09:22 PM
12 hours into Children of Mana.  I'll hopefully be done with this soon so I can do the writeup for the site and start playing those Hirameki games I really want to play.
5829  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Dawn of Mana: Might not be an RPG? on: December 20, 2006, 11:08:04 PM
Quote from: "Fadedsun"
Can't square just stop trying to change the Mana series around so much?

They know what the fans want, just give it to us already!

They should just put a port of Secret of Mana on the DS with global wi fi. Everyone would love that.


I have to agree.  The Mana series has IMO gone to shit ever since Seiken Densetsu 3.  2 and 3 were amazing.  The team behind the Mana series really need to ponder the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it."  Because they've been repeatedly fixing something that was never broken.  

I'll one up you and wishful think for not only a DS port of Secret of Mana (no 3D remake; keep it 2D) and bring Seiken Densetsu 3 to the US (again, in 2D.)  It's wishful thinking, but whatever.  

Legend of Mana was either innovative or clunky depending on your perspective.  I fall in the clunky camp.  

Sword of Mana was pretty and I liked that you could play the girl's storyline.  But the gameplay was clunky.  Good ending, though. (I watched the ending on YouTube.)    

Children of Mana?  Repetitive dungeon crawler with worse sprites than Sword of Mana... and it's on superior hardware!  The game's fun in the way that PSO was fun, but like PSO it doesn't live up to its namesake series.  In addition, the lack of full wi-fi support really hurts Children of Mana, since that game screams multiplayer.  

And now hearing that Dawn of Mana takes a page from Time Stalkers (one of the most reviled RPGs out there) and resets all your stats back to zero and takes away your weapon skills after each chapter?  No thanks.  If I earn something, I want to keep it.  

I have no idea what Square-Enix is trying to pull with this series.  It keeps badly reinventing itself into bigger and bigger piles of doo doo.  

The majesty of Seiken Densetsu 2 and 3 has been lost for years.  And it seems like Dawn of Mana may not be the beacon of hope Mana fans were hoping for.

I'm sure it will be a fun game for what it is, but it won't "be Mana."  To me, Seiken Densetsu 1-3 are butter and everything else in the Mana series is margarine.
5830  Media / The Soundroom / Favourite Albums of 2006 on: December 20, 2006, 04:28:27 PM
Some of my toppers for 2006

Mark Egan "As We Speak."  This is a jazz trio effort (guitar, bass, drums) with some of the most fluid, expressive, and amazing fretless bass playing from Mark.  Amazing album.  

Manticora "The Black Circus Part 1- Letters."  Why more people are not aware of this band, I will not understand.  It's power/prog metal at its finest.  It's dark, exciting, conceptual, and the guitar work is amazing.  No falsettoing or the cheeseballitude of Euro power (flower) metal.  This is good stuff.  My friend described them as Dream Theater, only harsh and exciting with Nevermore style vocals.  

Age of Nemesis "Psychogeist."  Also an amazing prog album.  The first half is very conceptual with a very intriguing story and the second half has some very solid songs.  And what's really cool is that the singer of this Hungarian band enunciates English better than most European power/prog singers.  

Seventh Wonder "Waiting in the Wings."  This Swedish prog metal band has such great songwriting.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but the album just blew me away and made me go "WHOA!!!!!"  

Dragonforce "Inhuman Rampage."  Granted, this album does NOT really break any new ground for the band, in my opinion, it IS the album that made more mainstream US audiences stand up and take notice of the sheer and utter awesomeness that is Dragonforce.  This is a metal band that has the awesomenessitude to take over the world, and Inhuman Rampage is a good step in their conquest of world domination.  

Honorable mentions:
Devin Townsend "Synchestra."  I'm not big on Strapping Young Lad, but I LOVE Devin's solo stuff.  I couldn't get into Synchestra like I could with his other albums, but Devy's ability to reinvent himself yet always sound like himself is amazing.  He's a mad scientist genius.  

Pyramaze "Legend of the Bone Carver."  Their previous album had all the elements to be good, but lacked soul.  This album is much improved over their last one and actually has soul to it.  It's good, but I didn't listen to it as much as other albums released this year.  

Dysrhythmia "Barriers and Passages."  A solid effort by one of the most interesting bands I've ever heard.  The songwriting is still typical Dysrhythmia and new bassist Colin Marston is a worthy addition.  I don't listen to this one quite as much as "No Interference" or "Contradiction" but it is damn good.  I love Dysrhythmia and they still can do no wrong in my book.  

Les Claypool "Of Wales and Woe."  I love this album, personally.  It's Les Claypool stripped down.  If you love Les Claypool, you'll love this album.  If you loathe him, this won't change your mind.  I love Claypool and this is a damn good Claypool album.  

-----------------
And the converse:  Biggest disappointment of 2006

Psycroptic "Symbol of Failure."  New vocalist Jason Peppiatt is solid, but the band sounds pretty monotonous on their latest album.  Nothing like the old Psycroptic.  One thing I always liked about the band was that they were always very dynamic and never monotonous, but this new effort is a huge step backward for what I thought was one of the more exciting brutal-death bands to come out in recent years.  Still love the Matt Chalk Psycroptic albums, though.

Thom Yorke "The Eraser."  Radiohead are an incredible band even if I'm not fond of some of their stuff.  I love OK Computer and Kid A, but the other stuff is really hit or miss for me.  But, man, this Thom Yorke album was horrid.  Complete shit that album was.  Boring, pretentious drivel.
5831  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment on: December 18, 2006, 12:35:05 PM
Quote from: "Valthrudnir"
Dincrest, your posts in this thread are quality. High five!

NP: Sol Invictus - Kneel to the Cross


Thanks pal.  It's always nice to know that others appreciate my enthusiasm for music and even give a chance to the stuff I find myself enjoying.  

No new song of the moment yet.
5832  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: December 16, 2006, 09:50:26 PM
Who'd have thunk it?  I'm about 6 hours into Children of Mana and given what everyone else said about the game I was expecting a complete piss-poor atrocity... but the game's not that bad.  It ain't Seiken Densetsu 2 or 3, but it certainly ain't Tecmo: Secret of the Stars either.  

Way more fun than Contact, that's for damn sure.  Now THAT game was a boring, plodding, monotonous, completely un-fun dungeon crawler.
5833  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment on: December 16, 2006, 12:45:13 PM
http://www.pagansmind.com/media_sub/media_mp3.htm

My song of the moment is "Through Osiris' Eyes" by Pagan's Mind for no other reason than it's a totally awesome song that totally soars and is very dynamic, but smoothly so.  Excellent prog metal.  I gotta get the Celestial Entrance album.  

Definitely give that song a listen.  I've been on a Pagan's Mind and Seventh Wonder kick of late.  Two excellent prog-metal bands.  

The reign of a complex mind
They arrived again
A curse on this vast promised land
Have foreseen the time

[Bridge:]
My pace is slowly dying
Foreseen, the priestess crying
A curse, arriving
Fiend mind, infernal quest
Onward! (Osiris)

[Chorus:]
Eyes of Heaven's reign
Rise of the pageant
Sense the mortal truth
Reach eternal life, through Osiris' eyes

Immortal empire of this land
Deceived by own men's hands
Gods of supremacy race
Claimed the throne again

[Bridge:]
My pace is slowly dying
Foreseen, the priestess crying
A curse, come forth! [x2]
Arriving, onward!

[Chorus:]
Eyes of Heaven's reign
Rise of the pageant
Sense the mortal truth
Reach eternal life, through Osiris' eyes

"The curse has been lifted!"
Empowered through thousands of years
The gods of high sphere
Constructed by allegiances of far
carved their name in stone

[Bridge:]
My pace is slowly dying
Foreseen, the priestess crying
A curse, arriving
Fiend mind, infernal quest
Onward! (Osiris)

[Chorus:]
Eyes of Heaven's reign
Rise of the pageant
Sense the mortal truth
Reach eternal life, through Osiris' eyes
5834  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: December 16, 2006, 11:37:39 AM
What can I say, Dade?  I've been a glutton for punishment all year this year.  Look at the 2006 games I played/reviewed:

MS Saga for PlayStation 2- not very good

Contact for DS- absolute biggest disappointment of the year.  

Touch Detective for DS- I liked it, but it wasn't as good as it could've been

Exodus Guilty 2 for PC- Only one measly puzzle and a pretty average story until the sucker-punch twist at the end.  I like the series, though.

(The one truly good game I reviewed in '06 was Trace Memory, but that's retro.)  

And the site needs a review of Children of Mana, so I decided to do it since I got the game dirt cheap.  Don't worry, I'll make up for it with Hotel Dusk (I have high espectations for that one) and some fresh and sexy Hirameki stuff in '07.
5835  The Rest / General Discussions / 4# lanruoJ emaG on: December 16, 2006, 11:24:32 AM
I'm an hour or so into Children of Mana.  I'm playing this through to review it for the site.
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