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1  The Rest / General Discussions / Russia is collapsing in on itself. on: November 03, 2007, 06:00:37 PM
Is it me or do those pictures look rather fake? I'm not sure what this is all about, but it looks like that massive comet that hit what I believe was Siberia in the early 20th century. It probably is not some extraplanetary attack or anything, but who knows except the lucky ones who can read the article. There has been all sorts of crazy stuff that happened in Russia; the Breslan school shooting, the anthrax leak in Sverlovsk(now Ekaterinburg), and of course Chernobyll. Even stranger still was all those pictures floating around showing a bare chested Putin and the adoring women who drooled over their masculine bear-leader. I somehow can't picture a topless Bush getting the same ga-ga oggling. A topless Bush and a bottomless Cheney...now we're talking public frenzy. ;)
2  Media / Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued on: October 22, 2007, 10:20:30 PM
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Eusis Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:46 pm    Post subject:  

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I got Cryptonomicon for my Birthday, and I picked up the first volume of Scott Pilgrim at Borders today. May not read the former for awhile, but I've read through some of the latter.
 


This is truly a book of epic proportions, literally and figuratively. If you have any interest in military history combined with exhausting detail of mathematics and operating systems technical info, you'll enjoy this one immensely. The amazing thing is how Stephen ties the characters together, it is something he must have had in mind for decades. It never feels forced either, like he is trying to impress anyone, nor does it ever get boring, since the epic feel keeps you going through even the most intricate of minutea. I actually started it around a decade ago and never finished, but picked it up again from the start last fall and read till the very end.

To get back to the topic, I am currently reading(along with my textbooks on phonology, ergonomics, and Indo-European languages~not as fancy as they sound), a great collection of horror stories called "Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural." I am and always will be a major horror fan, and this has some great stuff. "Graveyard Shift" by Matheson, "The Music of Erich Zann" by Lovecraft, "Carmilla" by Sheridan Lefanu, and one of the most disturbing stories I've read in a long time, "Euminedes in the Fourth Floor Lavatory" by Orson Scott Card(ever hear of him?^-^). Tons of other great stuff, too much to mention.

I have also been recently reading "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader" about the life of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. Never in the history of communism has any leader had such control over their population as they have since around 1967(though the parallels between them and Pol Pot are noteworthy, if lesser in extremity).

I really do need to start reading more fantasy novels if the opinions of my rpger's are worth any gil too! Any suggestions where I should start?
3  Site Related & More / RPGFan: The Site / Why the absence of fan fiction? on: October 21, 2007, 04:50:51 PM
I much appreciate the hearty reply Dincrest. I figured it was a case of that cute little puppy at the pound that seems so cute, and you want to take it home, only to have it poop on the couch and bite little sister when it gets bigger. Yes, it was a great idea for the spectators, and not the editors needed to keep it going. Not to worry though, this site has more than enough meat for me to digest. It's just that sometimes I long for a little more imagination than even the most inspired review can conjure.
4  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Rumor: Skies of Arcadia sequel in the works. on: October 21, 2007, 04:41:49 PM
I stand somewhere near Dincrest; I was not blown away with this game, and much prefer Grandia II. The battle system in the latter was at least good as the first game(still one of the greatest battle systems around), and the story was much more intriguing, and the soundtrack more refined. The character expression and graphics in Skies was nice, but I never did manage to finish it. I'll be sure to borrow it from the person I sold it to and finish it someday, so who knows, maybe It'll be like getting skies branded on my brain for the rest of my life. But somehow I doubt it.

That's not to say I don't welcome a sequel. As long as it makes plenty of my RPGfellowers happy, it doesn't harm me in the least.
5  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Favorite Anime on: October 20, 2007, 01:15:44 PM
I forgot to add Haibane Renmei, a nicely done melodrama, that my even my non-anime-fan mom and sisters adored immensely.
6  Site Related & More / RPGFan: The Site / Why the absence of fan fiction? on: October 20, 2007, 01:13:25 PM
After my 6 month hiatus or so from this site, I noticed that the adored(by myself at least) fan fiction was nowhere to be found! I realize that much of it can be found on the message boards, but for some reason, this seems to promote rambling and a lackadaisical attitude towards proofreading. Is there a reason for its ommission? I sure enjoyed having it around, and besides who else wouldn't want to read or write a little more about their favorite game? A melding of phantasy star/FF universes is just the beginning of possibilities! Whaddaya say, couldja, couldja!?
(No hard feeling if you say no RPGF Staff *__*).
7  Site Related & More / RPGFan: The Site / Holy Shit.....TEN YEARS!? on: October 20, 2007, 01:04:49 PM
I have only recently joined the boards here, but I have long enjoyed reading the wonderful news, previews, and checking out music reviews. Truly a haven for the rpg-inclined, the board crew seems to be a rather lovable bunch as well. It's not a ten year anniversary-it's a warm up towards a centennial celebration!(Bummer most of us won't be around to see it).
8  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Favorite Anime on: October 18, 2007, 06:53:33 PM
It is unfortunate that a 'Best of' anime list is dictated not by what I've seen but more likely what I haven't, but I still have a lot of ground to cover, what can I say.

Serial Experiments/Boogiepop Phantom-Both are favorites of mine, having seen lain at least 5x already. I could give you a synopsis of each, with the requirement you don't ask a single question or try to unravel my summary in any way.

Escaflowne-Starts off kinda cheesy, but once the story gets going it is hard to stop. Van is one of my favorite anime characters, and the relationship with this brother adds a nice shroud of mystery(as does the spiteful behavior of that crazy man/woman, forgive me for not knowing her name).

Neon Genesis-Still have to mention it, Shinji is one of the most empathetic characters in anime history(or pathetic if you'd rather). Don't care much for the OVA's, but a nice relic.

Blue Seed-Ok, not so easy to justify, but I really enjoy the design of it, especially of the aragami.

Other shows I really enjoy are Niea Under 7, Urasei Yatsura, El Hazard, Wolfs Rain, anything studio Ghibli, Akira, and pretty much any other anime out there I've seen. Not much I haven't enjoyed, knock on wood.
9  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Jesus Camp on: October 15, 2007, 10:02:25 PM
I will say that the youtube video is clearly skewed towards showing the camp in a negative light; even though many will say it does that well enough on its own. I consider myself a devout christian, but I would never send my child to a camp that was extreme, and any type of christian camp is risky. The way I see it, if there are things in the camp that are contradictory or overly extreme in the camp, it would have the opposite desired effect on a child, at least in the long run. That woman who made the statement "Harry Potter would be put to death" is a perfect example. By letting her emotions get the best of her(if the gentlemans reply is to be believed) she has innocuosly given Christianity an even worse rap than it already has.

Regardless of anyone's religious belief, it can never be emphasized enough that your words and actions will be taken in many cases as representative of the religion in question. Which is precisely why hypocrisy and religion are such a volatile combination.
10  Media / The Soundroom / Favorite Books on: October 10, 2007, 09:10:34 PM
Thank goodness this is not for a singular item in question, or else this would be too cruel. For starters:

-In Silent Graves-To anyone who likes dark and broody fiction, Gary Braunbeck's tale of a man who loses everything is gripping from start to finish. Certainly not for the emotionally impaired, this will really put you through the ringer.

-Once an Eagle-The most gripping war story I've come across, and absolutely vivid, from the battle scenes to the everyday struggles the protaganist goes through. Spanning the beginning of the First World War until the brunt end of Vietnam, you'll be inspired by Matt's desire to be a good person before a good soldier even if you have no interest in war history whatsoever. Incredible.

-Sea of Fertilitiy tetralogy-Yukio Mishima had to be mentioned, and I would choose his ambitious foray into moral precepts, buddhism, and even homosexuality as the clincher. The first book, Spring Snow, remains entrenched in my memory with its elegiac look at innocence.

-The Girl Next Door-Another heavy hitter, Jack Ketchum builds up the sweetest scent of humanity, only to drop a festering carcass of putrescence upon it. I read this in a single day, one sitting really, disgusted and moved by the evil a single person can perpetrate, and the "herd effect" it has on others.

I don't expect anyone here to go pounding on the door of their nearest church demanding a copy(I'm hoping no pounding on the keyboard in furious reply either!), but I would have to mention the bible since this is a topic of "favorite books", not solely a list of reccommendations. And even if you ignore that last one, the others are not even remotely related, so do check them out if you haven't done so already.
11  Media / The Soundroom / Peter Lindgren leaves Opeth on: October 10, 2007, 08:50:47 PM
This is truly sad, but at least it's sad for the right reasons, if that makes any sense. Peter Lindgren is as much "Opeth" as Mikael Akerfeldt, since they are both the only founding members that were still with the band, until now. Martin Mendez and Martin Lopez are still great musicians and have really helped the band alter their sound, albeit not always to my liking(the halcyon days of "Still Life" and "My arms, your Hears" are in a class by themselves). I still look forward to hearing anything from the band, and imagine I always will, but it seems that at least the possiblility of developing a more mainstream sound is now in the works, which is not something I want to see happen. No matter what though, nothing can take away from their previous albums!
12  The Rest / General Discussions / The video game difficulty discussion on: October 09, 2007, 06:16:23 PM
Yes sir, I figured somebody would get the connection, but not within a week of me using these boards! Certainly at the top of my list of favorite bands, Porcupine Tree is just too good for words.
13  The Rest / General Discussions / The video game difficulty discussion on: October 06, 2007, 11:17:19 PM
If the hardcore level of a gamer is gauged on their choice of difficulty level, call me uh, buttercore or something because I've never been one for harder difficulty levels. Not just because I can't deal with the frustration factor(although that is a component), but because I find I'm usually not good enough to beat a game on anything harder than normal, if even that(for the record, the only game I've ever beaten on the hardest difficulty level is Cotton Boomerang for the SS).

Life is short. Games are long and plentiful. I don't feel like playing video games is a waste of time...unless they are either a)taking over my life, or b)making me spend hour after hour without seeing any progress(the flaming lion boss from Viewtiful Joe keeps popping into my head now). Even for games where I don't mind a harder difficulty level, like RPG's, I can't imagine going back and playing Albert Odyssey with its insane frequency rate without the awesome Gameshark codes that give 20 levels in the first battle.

I think the best games are those, like DMC and Rygar, where you can choose a harder difficulty level once you beat them. We are gamers, some like it hard, some like it soft, but we all get our jollies off in the end. I haven't gotten into the next generation of systems just yet, but from my vantage point in the DS/PS2 neighborhood, gaming is in a wonderful state and able to cater to every skill level and preference.
14  The Rest / General Discussions / Miracle saves teen's eye. (Definite miracle) on: October 06, 2007, 10:09:07 PM
Pretty amazing. Almost as disturbing as that picture of a guy in a motorcycle accident that literally lost half his face.
15  Media / Single-Player RPGs / So many games... So little time on: October 06, 2007, 09:17:08 PM
I used to have an only one-game-at-a-time policy, just like I used to have an only one-book-at-a-time policy, but I've since reneged on that. It is more exciting to switch back and forth between rpg's, but the drawback is you don't digest the stories the same way as If you play them in a linear fashion, not too mention it gets confusing as heck.
I do always try to finish my rpg's but sometimes, it takes my a year, or even years. I took over a year to beat Chrono Trigger and Xenosaga episode I simply because I got sidetracked with other things. Other rpg's like Tengai Makyo IV and Tales of Phantasia I've spent years on but haven't gotten around to beating yet(the former because I couldn't load the second disc w/my american saturn and the second because it can be frustratingly difficult)

Now I've been switching back and forth between FF IV, Phantasy Star IV, Earthbound, and some game gear rpg's like Sylvan Tale and Shining Force. As long as you're the type of person who can come back to a game months or even years after dropping it, I think it's the best way to get your feet wet in as many games as possible.
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