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Messages - ironmage

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I was clearing up some space on my PVR.

Annie Hall (1977):  This critically acclaimed romantic comedy won four Academy Awards (including beating Star Wars for Best Picture).  I think these accolades undeserved.  The characters were unlikeable, the relationship uninteresting, and the plot practically nonexistent.
The overall effect was that of a badly-paced, overlength Seinfeld episode, with most of the comedy edited out.  Allen's one-liners consistently failed to amuse; although he tries to present himself as an intellectual, he comes across as more pretentious than anything else.  (There's more insight into the human condition in the opening narration of a certain Monogatari episode than in this whole movie).
Perhaps if I stretch it, I could try to appreciate this as some sort of self-parody (a movie that mocks pretentiousness).  But given how tedious it was as a whole, I think that would be giving it too much credit.
The breaking of the fourth wall was an interesting device, and admittedly done effectively here...and perhaps if I wasn't so horribly bored I might have appreciated it better.

The H-Man (1958): This is a Japanese monster film by the same production team as Godzilla.  H-bomb testing creates a liquid monster which consumes people, leaving nothing behind but their clothes  (it occasionally assumes vaguely humanoid form, hence the "-Man").  Although there are some creepy moments, this isn't at the same level as Godzilla, and doesn't offer enough to make it recommendable.  However, it easily outclasses Annie Hall for entertainment value.

The Soundroom / Re: Random VGM
« on: December 03, 2017, 07:10:25 PM »
Some favorites from VC3.  (Composer: Sakimoto).

With Pride in the Heart
Are the Customers Simply Money?  This plays in the equipment shop.  I like the violin around 0:42.
Calamity Raven
A Momentary Rest.  The use of flutes and woodwinds here reminds me of the Cerobi Steppe.
OPEN FIRE!  This music plays while Imca blows everything up ^_^.
Signs of Unrest.  The FFT vibe is strong with this one.

Or maybe you could just listen to the whole playlist.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: December 03, 2017, 06:24:49 PM »
Valkyria Chronicles 3:  And I'm done.

This was a satisfactory sequel to VC1; slightly anime-tropey, but dark enough to take seriously, and twisty enough to be interesting.  This is the game I wanted instead of VC2.

The squad members were distinctive enough to be memorable, and I liked enough of them to have a fairly large roster of elites by the end.  Some favorites were Annika (cheerful, reckless), and Carisa (pragmatic, mercenary).  But for pure destructive capacity, Imca was the clear winner, with over 250 kills by the end.  (I basically ignored the guy with "Darcsen Hater" in his potential list).

The difficulty level (although inconsistent) was high enough to force me to experiment with some classes I had largely ignored in VC2 (the armored tech and the fencer).  However, I don't think I want to see these classes reappear in VC4.  The short-range assaults the fencer excels at seem to be tuned for the small, interconnected maps on the PSP, and I don't care for the idea of armored infantry in general.  I'd rather have another tank.  Or three.

The fan translation....well, there were technical problems, but at least they didn't try to introduce a Working Designs-style localization.

Sakimoto wrote the soundtrack.  I think I like his VC music better than his FF12 work...but maybe not as much as FFT.  I guess I'll post a couple favorites over in the VGM thread in a bit.

TL,DR: I officially endorse this product, and am provisionally hyped for VC4.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: December 03, 2017, 03:57:50 PM »
I have squirrels in my attic, too, but they're metaphorical.  Sometimes they tell me to do things.  Like buy chocolate covered almonds.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: November 30, 2017, 07:39:19 PM »
Coyote Ragtime Show (finished):  Jailbreaks, bank heists, and combat androids in maid uniforms?  What's not to like?  This was a lot of fun to watch, although it sometimes pushed the limits of credibility a bit (I don't really think the space mafia would be able to hold their own against the military).  This is easy to recommend if you're looking for light entertainment; if you want some serious space opera, not so much.

Tatami Galaxy (finished):  I liked the style and setting of this.  It centers on a college student who joins a club at the beginning of his enrollment;  in each episode, he resets to the beginning, and joins a different club (with little or no memory of previous iterations).  Although this is an interesting idea, the characterization and individual storylines fell a bit flat.  This was a 9/10 trapped in the body of a 7/10.

Sunday without God (finished):  God has given up on the world, and the afterlife is now closed to new arrivals.  Even after death, people continue to inhabit the world (fatal wounds and all), like still-sentient zombies.  Despite being one cour long, this is actually four semi-separable short stories.  The first two were fairly good, although somewhat marred by a cliche main character.  However, the last two largely ignored the main premise, and felt tacked on.

Blend-S (6-episode drop):  I got through an episode without laughing.

...if you ever had an inkling of love for Dragon Ball, you really should check Super.
I approve of this statement.

Meditate on this idea, for a moment:  "Starcraft RPG final boss battle".
Now, click on the link.

Infected Mushroom - Herbert the Pervert.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: November 26, 2017, 12:41:56 PM »
The font is definitely bigger for me.  I mostly use Chromium, but the size change is present on Firefox too.  Zooming out to 80% restores readability.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: November 25, 2017, 08:41:17 AM »
Valkyria Chronicles 3:  I'm up to chapter 17.

The end of chapter 15 was frustrating.  I didn't mind the supertank that sprays everything in range with bullets, attacks my tank with multiple shells per round, or kills all infantry not under cover every other turn.  What I hated was that armored infantry reinforcements kept teleporting behind my lines.  (They're the mook version of VC1's Ghirlandaio Selveria, but with slightly less attack, slightly less defense, lots of mobility, and no boobs).  If they showed up at the edge of the map, or were hiding in grass, it would be different, but appearing out of nowhere?  That's cheap.  And painful.

Tried looking up hints, but found nothing useful; one wiki implied a sniper could kill those mooks in one hit, and a youtube video showed a Kurt with a lot of HP somehow surviving a short range attack from said mooks.  I can only guess that there was a large level gap between me and them, and a brief dalliance with grinding showed I wasn't going to close that gap quickly...and I prefer to avoid grinding anyway.

Eventually I threw out my usual methodical approach, and just blitzed it.  Forget about conserving that precious SP point; Imca's SP attack turned out to be enough to almost wipe out the supertank's main guns, even from halfway across the map, which left just the teleporting mooks.

Although I lost Imca and Clarissa (my engineer) in the process, I managed to get Kurt (with anti-armor rifle) and Carisa tank girl in flanking positions, and then it was just blasting at the tank's radiators, abusing the Resupply command, and hoping that mook that just teleported in doesn't one-shot Kurt.

"Frustrating" battles are pretty rewarding when you finally beat them.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Valkyria Chronicles 4 - PS4, Xbox, Switch
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:15:15 PM »
I'm likely to pick this up at release.  I enjoy the VC battle system enough that, even if the execution is less than stellar, there should be something there for me to like.

And even if they botch it utterly...well, I guess I have to play a bad game every once in a while so that I can appreciate the good ones.  At least I'll get a Sakimoto soundtrack out of it.

please be good   please be good   please be good

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: November 19, 2017, 01:03:18 PM »
Looks like Kevadu ninja'ed some of the points I wanted to make.  Anyway:
When I was taking theoretical math classes in high school, my question was always, "When the hell am I ever going to use this in life?"
Math was always my poorest subject.  I tended to get Cs and Ds in math despite working twice as hard as the other kids (I may have had an undiagnosed learning disability) whereas I could get As in Language Arts and World Language like it was nothing.
I would claim that mental exercise is useful in its own right, and if your math classes made you work hard, they served a purpose.  I find it odd that people think nothing of stepping on a treadmill or pumping iron, but somehow resent the mental equivalent.  I mean, bench-pressing a barbell or doing pushups are pretty useless skills in isolation, but I don't think anyone would claim that good health and physical strength are useless in the real world.

But I ate math classes like candy, and it's easy for someone who likes weight-lifting to preach the benefits of exercise.

Business/Consumer Math is considered a special-ed math course, yet it's something I think all students would benefit from. 


I'm not a big fan of the blanket "one size fits all" curricula.  To say that "ALL children will learn geometry" like many of these blanket initiatives proclaim is ludicrous.
I think those viewpoints are inconsistent.  You can't object to the "one size fits all" approach, and then say that everyone would benefit from a remedial class.  Some students may need special education in certain topics, but it does not follow that it should be provided to everyone.  I maintain that most students should learn enough mathematics to handle personal finances through basic coursework.  Balancing a chequebook (does anyone still need to do that?) should be manageable by anyone who passed fourth grade arithmetic.

But I'm inherently prejudiced against this sort of thing.  In my third year of electrical engineering, there was a mandatory "Economics for Engineers" class.  It was generally considered to be a joke.  When you're eating Z-transforms for breakfast and linear algebra for lunch, having someone from the College of Commerce spend a whole week explaining compound interest is just... embarrassing.  I'm sure someone thought it was going to be useful, but it mostly just wasted everyone's time.

On the other hand, the elective I took in contract law was pretty interesting (not to mention practically applicable).  Adding something like that to the highschool curriculum would be reasonable.  I mean, you're entering into a contract every time you buy a doughnut...
So having one yearlong business/consumer math class isn't going to hurt anything.  It will actually help. 
How much time does it take to teach a normal student "don't spend more than you earn", and "don't borrow what you can't pay off?"  A couple days?  A week?  I don't understand how you can make up a whole course out of that.  Once you've covered the future value of money, aren't you basically done?

If you made me take a whole class in "consumer math", instead of letting me take calculus, it would absolutely have put me at a disadvantage.

I'm not convinced that education will solve what is fundamentally a cultural problem.  Someone who can see their credit card balance rising month after month must know what that means.  If there's no stigma against personal debt, but people want to buy "the new shiny" to keep up with their peers, then of course they're going to ramp up their bills.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: November 18, 2017, 09:46:19 PM »
If I knew that I would need programming skills in the future for writing games or getting any kind of job utilizing computers other than blogging I would have obviously payed more attention or showed more interest in math. But children aren't really interested in numbers and equations that donít do anything. Itís just working your brain but not utilizing the purpose of knowledge witch is to implement it in a meaningful way. And the same goes for engineering. Kids should be supplied with raspberry pie kits or some form of hands on learning material at an early age to better introduce them to the purposes of the applied math. If you show me that I can make Mario or Zelda I'm easily hooked. No need for begging me to do my homework. If you just ask me to do math homework with no foreseeable payoff, stimulation, or reward I'm just going to play JRPG's all day.

I think we have a cultural gap here.  The kind of people who are successful in technical fields generally either like math in its own right, or have the motivation and self-discipline to buckle down and study.  Even if a subject doesn't have any foreseeable application to your future career, bad marks are unpleasant enough.

You didn't know that you needed programming skills to get involved in writing games?  Well, you know now.  You have access to the internet, which has more than enough resources to let you teach yourself programming.  The only thing limiting you is your desire.

I taught myself to program when I was eight.  Not because I wanted to write games, but because as a geekish child I was naturally attracted to electronics.  There was no internet back then to help.  The computer was older than I was, had 16KB* of RAM, and locked up randomly.  Barefoot, in the snow.  Uphill.  Both ways.

*Not a typo.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: November 18, 2017, 10:43:30 AM »
The kicker is that "Business and Consumer Math" and other living-skills type math classes are reserved for students with some sort of special needs IEP or something.  I think a Business and Consumer Math class should be mandatory over more theoretical math courses.  Pythagorean Theorems don't do you much good when you're trying to navigate getting a mortgage for your first home or something.

If a student can't apply the Pythagorean theorem, I doubt they're going to be able to handle compound interest.  Nothing in day-to-day finances requires anything more than basic algebra, and most of it should be covered by fourth-grade arithmetic.

The point of teaching "theoretical" math classes is to develop mental muscle, and the capability to solve general problems.  If your students are getting out of grade 9 unable to figure out how to sum up their expenses, then your system is broken; adding a special class on the subject isn't going to help.

By analogy, it's like suggesting that because students are going to spend vastly more time walking than playing basketball, the P.E. curriculum should focus on walking.  Now, maybe proper walking technique should be taught in P.E., but, as with household finances, I really can't imagine there being more than one or two classes worth of material to cover.

Ive always preached that code/programming, engineering, credit and finances should be mandatory classes in schools. Tech me how to do any of these things over History, or some unorthodox math class and you will most likely have increased my chances off success.

Introductory engineering is basically calculus and physics.  Programming is sequential application of algebra.  Pretty much any math class that employs symbolic reasoning will serve as a good start for those fields, even if the practical application for that particular type of math isn't immediately apparent.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: November 13, 2017, 06:24:38 PM »
Valkyria Chronicles 3:  I'm partway into Chapter 11.  All hell is breaking loose, the squad has been betrayed on almost every level, and the main cast members are beginning to break under the stress.  I love this game.

Some of my characters have reached Elite rank in their main class, so I'm starting to switch their classes up so they can unlock more potentials.  It feels wrong to reassign Imca, though...she's unbelievably effective as a Lancer.  (Especially when you consider her special ability, which allows her to do massive damage to everything in line-of-sight).

No, it's not perfect.  The difficulty level is inconsistent; it seems I either get S-rank without breaking a sweat, or have to struggle just to survive (I hate those armored infantry guys).  But even with the rampant level reuse and PSP-graphics, this has the stuff I want in a VC game.

One of the only things I feel like I am missing is a ribbon, oddly.  Just haven't stumbled across a single one.

You can farm ribbons on floor 49 of the trial mode, and bring them back to the main game.  It's pretty time consuming, but you can ameliorate the poor drop rate by abusing the auto-save.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: November 09, 2017, 06:25:06 PM »
Juuni Taisen is beginning to irritate me.  I mean, it was clear from the start that most of the cast was going to be killed, but we're only halfway in, and everybody I liked is already dead.  I've got nobody left to cheer for.

I'm also not happy that basically everyone so far has died because they underestimated their opponent, or made a stupid mistake.  I don't watch shounen series for cheap kills, I want to see characters pushing their limits.

General Discussions / Re: Youtube
« on: November 06, 2017, 05:25:10 PM »
Here's a video that shows a side-by-side comparison of real-life Shibuya, and Persona 5 Shibuya.  It's a pretty good match in some areas.

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