Saturday, July 5, 2014

Always Burning Brightly


Finally, I could set my sword down, could rest my weary bones and know relaxation in this damnable world.  Scant as it was, it was my only reprieve these days and I dare not go a moment without cherishing it, holding it dearly as it deserves.  This bonfire - these bonfires, I should say, as they're scattered about the lands - was simple in appearance, but were vital little structures and I cannot recall just how many times I had silently hoped and prayed to witness one while exiting the throes of one battle and staggering blindly to the next.  Though, to call some of the encounters I had been in a 'battle' would be rather charitable to me, and I'm not sure I deserve such a kindness.

Looking across the flickering flames surrounding the buried sword, I was nearly startled to see the form of another man, but quickly contained myself.  It happened sometimes, seeing these figures that I had been told were 'shadows' of other worlds similar to this one, but it never ceased to raise the hairs on the back of my neck at the very least.  I knew I had fled from the first one, thinking it was yet another opponent set to kill me in this land that was filled with creatures of a similar interest, but returned when I saw him settle before the fire and fade.  Who knew where he was now - his armor was fairly impressive and heavy and I guessed that his survival was not in question, but it was a more existential query than that.  I wondered where he was now, for I had no idea just where I was going myself.

Details had been offered to me piecemeal, little bits here and there from the few 'friendly' faces that I could hope to see, yet it pained me to even call them that.  Too many times had I looked into the eyes of a human while they desperately sought to hold onto their sanity, only to look into those same eyes as they died by my blade because they'd lost it.  Logan, his shy eyes beneath his titular big hat, Rhea, her pure gaze amidst the white garbs that framed her face, and the sad, sad man whose name I never was entrusted with, only knowing him as the debased warrior who mocked me in my initial pursuit in this world.  Their killings, on the back of so many that I had performed, were the ones that stuck with me, that still found a way to disturb me in these quiet moments that were supposed to be peaceful.

'Disturbing' was a good word for yet another of the few that I knew, however.  Not a man or a woman, but rather a.....beast who called himself a Primordial Serpent.  "Kingseeker Frampt", or simply Frampt as I had come to know him.  He stretched on for what I believed to be miles, as I never had the chance to see his tail, only knowing that he poked his disgusting head out of a pit that looked bottomless.

"Chosen Undead," he had said as I wandered into his realm for the first time, "Chosen Undead, who has rung the Bell of Awakening; I wish to elucidate your fate.  Do you seek such enlightenment?"  'Yes,' I had cried, 'Yes, tell me, tell me everything, make me understand just what has transpired, who I am, what I am!'  I was desperate, eager to finally know that which kept me bound to this world that I had no knowledge of, to finally know just what this world actually was.  I would have settled for simply walking away from the encounter knowing anything more than I had that would assist in making things clearer.

Frampt only left me with more questions.

"Very well.  Then I am pleased to share."  Frampt's maw had contorted into something that I instinctively knew was meant to be a smile, but it was very far from.  "Chosen Undead, your fate succeed the Great Lord Gwyn, so that you may link the Fire, cast away the Dark and undo the curse of the Undead."  Who was the Great Lord Gwyn that Frampt was so pleased to mention, yet never describe?  What was the Dark?  And what of the Undead?  He spoke as if I were one of these, though right now in my human form, I felt air in my lungs, I felt blood pump through my veins and, at times, out of them when I suffered a wound and I knew the warmth of fire in all its forms as well as the biting cold which was rare and not something that permeated my form often.  I knew life, yet I was dead in his eyes.  He did not know of my confusion, or did not mind it, as he simply moved on with his speech.

"To this end, you must visit Anor Londo and acquire the Lordvessel."

"Of course," I had said bitterly.  My grip on the sword in my hand tightened and I looked down to its long, darkened blade.  I had retrieved this from a fearsome enemy, a Knight wearing charred-black armor, a being that should have been dead, immolated, yet walked and fought on.  The sword of this Black Knight had been particularly effective and proved to be my saving grace on more than one occasion.  And though I gathered more and more weapons, not a one hoped to match the power that this blade offered.  With it, I could fell enemies in a slice or two and my strikes that rang true more often than not spelled an instantaneous death for those who found themselves gutted by it.  That should have gone without saying, but I had seen creatures lose limbs and not know the difference even a second later, so I had little doubt that 'death' was malleable to them in how it was delivered.

I could kill him with it, surely.  I could end his life with a single swipe, removing his head from his serpentine body.  I could cut a bloody swath through any that stood in my path here in the place known as Firelink Shrine.  I had considered it, even, but never acted on it.  There was no need to, though.  While I did not consider those that remained close or dear to me, I also harbored no ill will towards them....or at least most of them.  I had never liked the look the supposed Cleric, Petrus, had given Rhea while she nor her bodyguards watched and when I told her that she was dead after she'd gone hollow and attacked me, the first look he gave me seemed to be that of unguarded resentment, as if I had yanked away a trophy that was only moments from his own grip.  He feigned it as a sour look of loss that a grieving man would have for the person who brought news of a fallen companion but I knew better in my heart.  It was the only genuine moment that I had seen from the man and it still chilled me to think of it.

A sigh emerged from my cracked lips and I shook my head in slight revulsion.  I hated this part of relaxation, finding that my mind always wandered to the mystery that I lived in.  I was currently living another one of those things that I could not understand, for beneath the grey armor that wrapped about me, I was little more than literal skin and bones.  I was Hollow thanks to a careless mistake that resulted in a painful death and took me to another bonfire in the world.  I always found myself awaking at a bonfire, glancing into the merrily dancing flames with a new coldness radiating from my core.  Even in this form, I was alive, but I was closer to 'Undead' than I cared to be.  Still, I found that sometimes I preferred this form, because dying when you're almost dead anyway hurt a lot less than when you were a human.  And I had died a lot.  I knew the true pain as everyone else did.  I understood their struggles with madness, for sometimes I didn't know if I had lost my own.  For death to be a repeatable act....well, it was not originally meant for beings so fragile of mind as we.

Perhaps that is why I chuckled at the strange idea that I had.  My memories always arose in these situations, so perhaps it was time to make use of it.  In my head, I saw the man who had been a mere shadow across from me, sitting just as I was.  And I saw more, others, sharing this bonfire with me.  We all sat, we all stared into the fire as it burned and offered comfort and we all knew of the others presence.  I could see them, and perhaps they could see me.  Perhaps if I wished it, they could hear me as well.

"Friends," I croaked and coughed, shaking my head.  This form would not do for what I had planned.  So leaning forward, I offered a little of myself to the flames and felt the muscles and definition return to my frame, felt the mass of blonde hair that hung to the sides of my head untangle and regain its volume from the stringy wisps it had been reduced to.  I could moisten my lips again and so I did, looking from the fire to the eyes of the many gathered here in my head.

"Friends, I don't know you and you don't know me, but we share this hell in a sense.  That makes us comrades in arms.  So let me ease your minds a little with a tale.

Let me tell you my story."

Monday, May 26, 2014

So I'm a Little Obsessed

The 109 items pictured include the NieR remix album and the REVENGEANCE OST so it's not all K-Pop

47 Songs.

I have 47 K-Pop songs.

Am I overreacting to this fact?  Maybe a little.  In truth, it doesn't even really matter, it's just another style of music and we all dig what we dig, and pigeon-holing people for liking a certain style of music is pretty dumb.  On the other hand, I'm not even done collecting the K-Pop songs I want, and truthfully need to purchase at least 21 more, plus iTunes doesn't even have all of the songs that I want that are not included in that count.  Have you ever outwitted iTunes?  It's not as satisfying as you might think.

I spent the entirety of a night going through iTunes and listening to samples of songs to ensure they were the right versions of them (since a lot of Korean groups do Japanese versions of their songs and yes, I know that and yes there was a Japanese version of a song that I didn't want because it was the Japanese version and yes, I knew immediately that it was in Japanese) so that I could purchase them and download them and then upload them to the Amazon Cloud where I could then download them again on my Kindle because all of this makes sense and is in no way overly complicated and dumb.  It was not a night I particularly enjoyed, but it was a necessary one for the music that I will now be able to consume on a regular basis as I go out and about or even just play games and don't want to run an Internet Radio thing because, I mean, I pretty much only use those -for- this anyway.

I suppose this -shouldn't- be a surprise given that I use K-Pop as a sort of bridge whenever I had nights where there just was nothing to talk about but I wanted to give it the old try anyway, and I'm pretty sure I never really re-used a song, while I am also pretty sure I had more than a few of those nights and posts.  And especially given that my catalog of songs that I listened to just kept growing and growing as I kept it up.  It's just really weird to actually put a number to it, especially when you can look at all the other things that run similar.  Like, I have more K-Pop songs than were on the NieR soundtrack, for instance.  With the NieR Remix Album and the REVENGEANCE OST I bought, it only -slightly- outnumbers the K-Pop songs I have bought and will be eclipsed when I finish buying them.

By the way, I keep saying when I finish buying them.  That's because I ran out of money.  I bought a $50 iTunes card going "oh that'll be plenty" and I ran out.  (Well, I can get one or two more songs, but my point stands)  If a lot of the songs weren't $1.29 instead of $0.99 though, for some reason, it would have been less of an issue, but such is life.

Anyway, yes, I spent an entire night doing that, and I just wanted to share that fact with you.  Because I dunno, I just sort of find the situation funny in a sense.  And I like talking about funny things!  They're usually....actually funny, though.  Oh well.

I saved Girls' Generation for last and this proved to be a very big mistake since I want the most songs from them out of anyone, and that in itself is kind of worrying

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Mojang has finally confirmed the Release Date Month for Minecraft on the Vita, which will be August, the same month that the XBone and PS4 editions will be released on their respective platforms.  It's actually kind of a big deal because of the way that it all works out.  The details of it are as such:

  • Minecraft: Playstation 3 + Vita Edition will be available on the PSN in August.
  • It will include all the features from the most recent Playstation 3 version, including online play on Vita.
  • This means everyone who has bought Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition from PSN will get it on Vita for free. Those fluent in Sony-speak might refer to the deal as “Cross-buy.”
  • We are working closely with Sony Computer Entertainment to look into ways to enable upgrade from the Blu-ray disc version of Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition to Minecraft: Playstation 3 and Vita. We’ll have more info on this closer to release.
  • Minecraft: Playstation 3 + Vita Edition will cost $19.99.
  • It doesn’t matter if you buy for PS3 or Vita first, you own the game for both platforms.
  • Saves are transferrable between the Playstation 3 and Vita versions of Minecraft. You will be able to craft at home on your Playstation 3, then continue on the bus/toilet with your Playstation Vita.
  • All of the DLC you’ve purchased for Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition will work on Playstation 3 + Vita Edition.
So, basically, the Vita version of Minecraft is the PS3 version, except on the Vita.  I personally think they could have based the game on the PS4 version as, yes, I know it's a very technical game technically, but I don't think it's so much that the Vita could not handle the PS4 version.  However, I suppose the PS3+Vita deal is the sweeter end of it, because of the way the PS4 version is set up.
  • Minecraft: Playstation 4 Edition will be released on the PSN in August. It brings significantly bigger worlds and a greater draw distance than Playstation 3 + Vita Edition.
  • It will include all the features from the most recent Playstation 3 version.
  • Minecraft: Playstation 4 Edition will cost $19.99.
  • If you’ve bought Playstation 3 Edition from the Playstation Network you will be able to upgrade for $4.99.
  • You will be able to upgrade for a minimum of a year after the release date.
  • We are working closely with Sony Computer Entertainment to look into ways to enable upgrade from the Blu-ray disc version of Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition to Minecraft: Playstation 4 Edition. We’ll have more info on this closer to release.
  • Players with Playstation 3 Edition or Playstation 3 + Vita Edition saves will be able to import their worlds to Playstation 4. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to transfer your saves from Playstation 4 to Playstation 3/Vita. There are technical reasons for this; we can make worlds bigger without too much stress, but shrinking them causes all kinds of problems.
  • Cross-platform play will not be possible between Playstation 3 + Vita Edition and Playstation 4 Edition.
  • Many, but not all, of the DLC skins and texture packs you’ve purchased for Playstation 3 Edition will be available for use in Playstation 4 Edition. We’d like to say all your DLC would transfer but some of the items are trapped in licensing deals that are too boring to get into here. We’ll have more on this soon.
So if you buy the PS4 version as an upgrade, you can pull your files over to it, but then they are locked to your PS4 copy of the game since you can't send them back.  Again, I think the Vita version could have been the PS4 version, but then you miss out on the cross-play/Cross-buy with the millions of people (yeah, millions) who have already bought it on PS3.  I'm personally trying to remember if Minecraft has ever been on sale, because if it has and I didn't buy it because I was waiting for the Vita version, I will be momentarily upset with myself, but then recall that "who the hell thought it would be Cross-Buy" was my thinking, and justifiably so.  It's a pretty great move regardless.

In any case, it's goddamn Minecraft on my Vita.  I have literally been waiting for this for years, and it's finally becoming a reality in a scant few months.  I'll finally be able to build shit whenever I want to and enjoy the Lego Box that is the game, when I have completely and totally lacked the ability to do so until now.

Now, here's just hoping that the PS3 version of the game isn't stuck on, like....the Adventure Update.

good lord, that update was a while ago and there's so much more stuff in it and hnnng this is why I'll never be satisfied

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So, Whoops

That I didn't manage to pull myself away from Drakengard 3 last night to post is pretty much a solid indicator of just how happy I am with the game.  That I can barely even do anything -tonight- is just all the more of that, and I think what we should take away from all of this is that when I can finally talk about Drakengard 3, I will be very, very enthusiastic about it.  Until then, you will have to settle with this one quote from me:
It's fucking awesome.
-Me, in Regards to Drakengard 3
Someone can print that.

Anyway, if you'll allow me one more sojourn into the vast pleasures of the game, to fully savor what it has to offer me, I swear to you that I will eventually condense my enjoyment into text on this screen for you to imbibe, that you might live even a little bit vicariously through it.  In the meantime, I will share with you possibly my favorite song from the game thus far, which I have linked above.  It's called "Prevolt/Amaros" just in case the video gets taken down (or rather, -when- it does) so you'll be able to search it for yourself.  It's a really fast-paced, action-oriented song, which is fair because it's a boss theme, and I just really, really love it.  It gets me pumped and not since, well, probably REVENGEANCE's soundtrack has that happened, and NieR's before it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, once more I go into the beyond!

can you tell I'm excited?  Because I am, because the game is just so good you guys

Monday, May 19, 2014

You guys, You guys!

So, this showed up today.  I'll do impressions and such tomorrow night, but tonight has been and will continue to be celebrating the release of Drakengard 3.  I chalk it up to fate and the universe owing me more than a little bit for me receiving my Collector's Edition a day early.

Take care of yourselves and goodnight!

okay seriously?  Zero's VA is so good

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Back Home

We all have those games that we just find ourselves coming back to one way or another, whether it be playing it long after you're -done- with it, or whether you just find yourself mentally comparing it to other games when you start playing it, or however it's done.  For Chance, it's Dragon's Crown.  For plenty of others out there, I'm sure it's Persona 4: The Golden.  Or perhaps it's Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Great Curry God, Ys: Memories of Celceta, Ragnarok Odyssey (perhaps the Ace version), Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars, Demon Gaze, Atelier Meruru or Totori Plus, Toukiden: The Age of Demons or any other number of games that offer long, engrossing experiences on the Vita.

For me, it's always been Soul Sacrifice.

With the introduction of Soul Sacrifice Delta to the Playstation Store (it's digital-only, it seems) and the stars aligning to deliver unto me my 64 gig memory card for my Vita far before the May 30th - June 20th window I was offered (likely because who knows with Customs), it was time.  Time to go back to the game I've said a hundred times that I'd rather be playing, or that I just -want- to be playing it.  So as I've been filling up my 64 Gig stick with games, I've turned to it and have been playing it again.

I'm not sure just what it is about the game that I love, but I'm inexorably drawn to it.  I want to conquer all that it has to offer (except the Forgotten Pacts, fuuuuuck thaaaaaaat) and then do it all over again in Delta, which, from what I've heard, greatly expands the universe and the setting of the game, which is exactly what I wanted.  It's not quite a world I can explore just yet, but it's bigger thematically and that counts for something.  I'm not going to know just by how much until I start it, and I've still got a grip of content to wrangle with on the vanilla game, but it's definitely something to look forward to.

In all honesty, though, I wish I could have people enjoy the game as I do.  I wish I could quantify just what about it makes me grin, what gets me pumped up and excited, what makes me feel like I'm bending the game over my knee without cheesing or breaking it.  I say it's dodge-rolling out of the way of a charge attack, turning around and unloading three volleys of arrows into my foe before he gets up.  I say it's sitting back and launching an egg bomb right in the cursed part of an archfiend and breaking it to expose it to some massive damage for the next five or so seconds.  I say it's throwing on armor and not even getting hit while I mercilessly slaughter a tier of monster that, at one point, was nigh-impossible for me to kill.  I say all of these things and I just get blank stares or "Well, it's good that you liked it" or something of that sort.

I wish everyone else played the same game that I did, I guess, because the lack of love for the series really, really bums me out.  Not that it's reviled, but rather that I think it's -big-, that it's a big deal game, a fantastic experience and it's something that I would suggest to anyone with a Vita.  This is not universally agreed upon like Gravity Rush or Uncharted: Golden Abyss (for the most part) or Persona 4 Golden are.  To me, it should be, because I've gotten so much fun out of this goddamn game, it's incredible.

But, well, that's just how it goes, I suppose.

also bastardizing Metal Gear Solid "You live on....THROUGH THIS ARM!" makes me giggle and okay, I'm sorry

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sharing is Caring - inFamous: Second Son

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One of the core tenants of the PS4 when it was shown off in-depth was the Share button, to be utilized by we the players to, well, share screenshots and videos from our game playing.  Not only was this a godsend to people like me who -want- to use our own screenshots for things like a blog or what have you (at least in theory), but it's just plain -cool- for the opportunities that it opens up.  I can't tell you how many times I've been playing a PS3 game and went "Goddamnit, I wish I could screenshot that" because there's just so much cool shit that happens to everyone while they play a game, and it's usually only when you're playing with buddies present that you can point and go "Holy shit, look at that" when something awesome is happening.  Now, with the Share button, you're closer to being able to replicate that to your friends who might not actually be sitting right there on your couch or whatever with you.

inFamous: Second Son takes this a step further, in that they added a Photo Mode to the game in the latest patch that released sometime last month.  This allows you to pause the game, adjust the screen for your perfect screenshot by controlling the camera (to a degree), adding color filters and adjusting the focus of it before hitting that Share button to actually do the deed.

It works.  It works pretty nicely.  Being that I didn't really have a lot to talk about today, I figured I could show off some of the screenshots I took of the game.  Of course, then I realized that I hadn't taken too many because I'm just not used to it yet, so then I went and -made- some, and I gotta say, I think they turned out well.

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It's not perfect - I would prefer a Flickr app like what's on Vita, even over USB transfer (because I can't find my goddamn flash drive and I spent about an hour looking for the damn thing) but you take what you can get, I suppose.  For now, it's plenty serviceable and the pictures still look damn nice even though the quality isn't -exactly- on par with how they are on the PS4 itself.

It's still much, -much- better than not having the option at all.

Evil Delsin just seems so much more photogenic than Good Delsin, because the red is much more striking, also red is awesome