Sunday, May 23, 2010

Obsession(s) of the Week: 3/27/2010 - 4/23/2010

Final Fantasy XIII. 

In beauty, this is undoubtedly a Square FF game. So far, I'm enjoying the story. No one character annoys me except maybe Snow and there's no villain for me to love. At least, no physical, human-like looking villain for me to love. Musically, it's pretty good but not one of my favourite FF soundtracks to date. The battle system is fast-paced  but I'm used it by now. It's not a bad system of 'leveling' either and very similar to Final Fantasy X. Weapons and the lack of gil though is driving me nuts! I'm only 20 hours in though, so we will see how this goes...

Update on 5/23/2010:

My PS3 has been kaput for about a month now.  At almost 40 hours in or whatever it was, I was almost done with the game with two remaining chapters.  It was going well but I could safely say not my favourite FF of the series, and not in the Top 3 thus far.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

For The Love of Swag

The current Nerdom Cycle I am going through is the one involving playing video games.

I wonder why it is most people are obsessed with 'free' when nothing in life truly is.

I joined Club Nintendo more than two years ago and have for the past two years attained Platinum Elite Status.  What that means, is that I have probably spent way too much money on buying video games and/or consoles or hand-helds.

It also means that for every purchase I make of a game published by Nintendo, I earn Mario Coins to collect things I do not need, from an exclusive club that has a bunch of sometimes crappy things made exclusively for fans.

I know it's not really free, but it is kinda cute to get rewards for money I would probably spend anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, for my dedication to the Club and my 2 years of total non-fan boy behaviour (Beetchie, I am not a fan boy!), I received an invitation to RSVP for an exclusive event.

Some errors later, my name was on the RSVP list and H1 and I attended the pre-release party for the launch of Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Where in the World are the HOchieS? And what the heck is that?

No need to scream.  It's just Mario.  
It's not as though it's Luigi or anything.  
Please keep the excitement to a minimum.

I didn't take my picture with him.  
He disappeared before I could.  
So sad...Mario and Mari-Ho in the same picture? 
The world may have imploded.

I think everyone went upstairs to preview the game...

What the heck...?

H1 was super-impressed that there was food.

Hey, nerds need to eat too, you know.  
Apparently nerds eat high-class like.

So truth be told, I attended the event for the swag.  Nintendo, from past experience, gives pretty good stuff.  At the very least, I could expect a t-shirt.  Well I got my t-shirt and a bit more! My guest also got swag.  I paid a lot in the past two years to get swag, damn it so you best be sure my guest will benefit too!



A bag.  
Boo-Head has already been wearing his.

Space food.  How...clever.


Tang.  Oooo.

Tang, mixed.  Uh...ooohh..?

 A poster which I did not get signed by the voice actor of Mario.  
I suck.

H1's shirt.  Awww.

The logo on the back.  Awww.

And my T-shirt design.  Dash Pepper! I can't wait to play.

We did not stay for the majority of the event because as I said, I really only went for the swag.  We did not partake in the trivia games or test the game itself.  I can play that later this week when it is released and shipped to me.

So, that's done.
It was both fun and lame but I'm really glad I went.

Hopefully there will be some sort of event I can attend for the next Legend of Zelda.

P.S. I am still not a Nintendo Fan Boy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Happy Birthday to X and Luuuuuiiiiissssss.

As I was thinking about it yesterday, you two are one of three pair sets of frenemies that have birthdays on the same day.

Clee and Beetchie share a day.

Bughie J. and TD5 also share a day.

It's a bit of trivia I'm sure you didn't really care to know but now you do!

X, I went to McD's yesterday to buy you a donkayh but they rotated the toys already.  =(  Sorry...I'll search somewhere else.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another Tuesday, Another 4 AM Stint

Last time I did this it was actually a Wednesday, it seems - so states the blog.  And the blog never tells anything but the truth.

Whatever the case, I'd just like to say that the whole world Time Zones thing is messed up.

Curse you BST with your 9 AM shenanigans and curse you EDT with your lack of EST'ness.  Who knew we were currently in EDT here in NYC?! I'm sure lots but the fact is, I didn't!

Well, that's not true either...I did know but forgot that's the proper term.

While I'm at it, curse my various systems with their various Time Zones and asking me to set clocks (I'm looking angrily at you PSP).

And curse the UK for being 2 minutes ahead of NY.

Okay, that last bit...was just a computer clock error on my part.

Rambling much?

Yes, yes I am!

Maybe I should go to bed...

With dreams of Gorillaz in my head.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Because I Love You

Hey Frass,

Remember that song? Of course you do.  I'm sure you are a huge Stevie W. fan.

Well, I dedicate that song to you.  Or at least that one line. 

Why?

Because I loved you enough today to eat a Happy Meal and buy you a prezzie -


And you always thought I was the Evil HOchie.

You were incorrect!

If you wanted to find evil though, look no further than H1...

With Lots of Love today (and it's not even your birthday but that does remind me that X's is coming up),

Or 2.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My VG Follies

Rejoice.

So as to no longer torture my sensitive eyes and yours, I have decided to create a new post removing the current Batman's Ass as the thing you see on BloggieBoo first.

In its stead, let us enjoy the many hilarious and embarrassing VG related stories I have to share.

This year and last, I reconnected with the nerd bit of my self that loves video games.

I have been a 'serious gamer' for 13 years now with Final Fantasy VII being my first major foray into the RPG genre of games.

As a side note, H1 credits Sephiroth as the thing that started it all for me - obsessions with anime, toys, and white or silver-haired characters I enjoy among other things.

I am not writing to gush about FFVII though or my short life story as a nut.

I am writing to disclose the many (major) VG follies I have had.  This is an exercise in what I can only name as my desire to be persecuted and judged.

These are some of my funnier, deep and dark video game secrets I have that only a few know.

1.  Final Fantasy VI

For my FFVI obsessed fan, Beetchie - this one's for you.  You know at some point in FFVI, you run along with Locke in your party and go off to the Opera to save Terra?

There's the whole roof sequence where you walk across the beams filled with angry rats who will try to kill your ass.  This is followed by the actual on stage Opera fight with the Octopus looking thing, I think...

Well, I literally ran off to the fight with Locke.

Locke and no one else in my party.

I was under the impression that I could only take him and therefore went alone.

I won the entire segment with just my THIEF Locke but as you can well imagine, it was pretty freakin' hard.

2. Dew Prism 

There I was, the proud defender of the universe with Rue.  I finished that one side to the story then started up Mint's Story.  I fought my way through many an enemy but when I got to the end, I could not defeat the final boss.  It was downright impossible to do so and no amount of leveling up or whatever it is I had to do would help.

Tortured and confused, I read the manual.

"Magic?", I questioned.

What is this combination of mixed magic the manual was talking about, I wonder.

"I can combine magic? Since when?"

Since the beginning of the game, apparently.

I went through the ENTIRE game not using the benefits of magic combining bestowed upon me because I had no idea.

And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for that pesky Final Boss.

To this day, I still do not read manuals.

I never learn.

3. Final Fantasy Tactics

I wasn't always such a Rock Star when it came to VG skill, you know being able to finish incredible feats of glory with one player and a gross lack of proper knowledge to finish said feats.   

Final Fantasy Tactics bested me.  Twice.

In 1998 when Tactics came out, I was still in awe of the amazing Square Soft.  FFVII came out in 1997 meaning I had only probably just finished that game and was on to my next adventure.

I rented FFT and did not renew it after the week was up because I could not get past the first board.

It's any wonder I even wanted to touch a game after that.  I had hurt feelings and a sore lack of confidence.

12 years later, I finally defeat FFT and it really was one of the best games I am finally happy to have known.

Having finished that and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, I figured that I could task any Strategy RPG.  My confidence was quickly shot down again as I am still struggling with Disgaea DS.

Thanks, Tactics.  Thanks.

4. Final Fantasy VII

My days of gaming have often been lonely.  Most times I finish all my games by my lonesome with no one to really share the memories with.  Poor Bughie J. and H1 often have to hear of my crazy tales and rants of nothingness.  And now that I have the blog, everyone can gloss over at will.

Once in a while, I have Papa HOchie.

From memory, he probably has watched me play something maybe 3 times and parts of FFVII was one of them.

I was on the roof of a speeding train, fighting my way through wave of wave of monsters except I kept dying and dying...

And Papa HOchie made sure to rub salt in the wound.

"Died AGAIN?!", he would say.

I rather enjoy my days of lonely gaming.

5. Jak II

It was either Jak II or Jak III...whichever the one where Daxter was separated from Jak and found himself caught in spiders' nests.  I was frantically running away from this giant Spider beast who was coming after me, found myself tangled in a web and having to redo the scene from a game over fall.

Over and over again I was running, and then it occurred to me that I was hearing something that was making my blood angry.

I turned and there was H1, unwittingly and out of sheer coincidence singing Coldplay's "Trouble".

"...a spider web is tangled up with me..."

H1 was always an ass even back then and even if she didn't intend to be one.

6. Resident Evil Series

Other than some Licker massacre and fumbling with knives to cut industrial strength pad locks, Bunji used to hand me the controller, walk away and tell me to "get him back to the save point without wasting my ammo".  I have not played RE1 to really see if I could do it but thinking on it now, the zombies were awfully slow.  Why couldn't I just run past them again without ease?

Oh that's right, it's called fear.

I am much more afraid of those fast-moving Rage (28 Days Later) zombies in later installments but back in the day, RE's setting was just built to scare and scare me it did.

I know I mentioned it before but it's worth mentioning again.

One night, as H1 witnessed, Bunji and I were playing RE2, I think it was.  A dog jumped through a double glass interrogation room police window unexpectedly.  We both jumped.

Later on, Bunji's character got killed and he restarted.

The same scene, the same dog jumping out at us and we jumped again.

I think H1 must have laughed her ass off a lot.

Bunji's trying to play it as though it were a licker, but it wasn't.  It was a zombie dog but there's nothing to be ashamed about.  It was really scary at the time.

7. Dynasty Warriors 2

Two players, one split screen and a fun afternoon in college battling Asian armies for the glory of a new Empire.

One player did not hear the heed of the other to mind the oncoming rampaging elephant fast approaching.

Said player went flying being not able to see the rather large elephant.

Forever taunted that player will be.

Honourable Mention:

1. Katamari Damacy

I've spoken at length about this before so I won't go into the details.  Just know that whenever I see a picture of a Katamari, I feel slightly ill.  I wouldn't really call this a folly but it certainly was my worst memory of a VG.

Currently listening to: "I'd Be Lying To You" by The Rascals.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Too Defined

I came across some pictures from the Jlist website of a Revoltech figure of Batman the other day.  This figure is set for release at some point this year.

To me, this particular figure is not very appealing.  The suit does not look good and almost seems too dull in colour, plain and downright ugly.  I am also confused by the golden gun/utility belt and I am fairly certain this is M. Keaton's Batman.



There's nothing wrong with M. Keaton's portrayal of Batman.  I would like to state right now that we should all agree that Kevin Conroy is the best Batman in the history of Batmen.

The thing that made me incredibly frightened by this figure was...

::here's your chance to avert your eyes to spare from burning and saving a weak heart if you have one::

his ass.

His backside is um... not right.

And now that I have drawn your attention to his ass, let me traumatize you further by drawing attention to that bit hanging down in the middle.

Will you also be having nightmares tonight?

If Only I Had My Camera

I saw the funniest thing this morning. 

I witnessed a raccoon bust open my garbage.  He then gave me angry eyes when I tried to get his attention and finally decided he'd leave after I harassed him enough times.

If only I could have the picture proof to show you that the blasted raccoon was so fat that he could not fit between the hedge to go from my yard to the neighbour's.

What makes him a bafoon is that he tried many times to squeeze in the same spot but got stuck every time.  Then he tried to go under the gate but that wouldn't work.  Finally he climbed the fence and went on a jaunt through H1's yard, paraded near the strange tree and then across the street.

He was so cute in the face, that raccoon.

But what a bastard for throwing down my effin' garbage!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cart Life

Whether it be street meats, street eats, hole in the wall finds or off the beaten path foodie places; there's just something awesome about the offerings one may find outside of a 'restaurant'.

Life is so much more interesting when food comes from a cart.

Not every cart is made equal or rather, not all food from a cart is great obviously.

But there's one thing you cannot deny: variety and NYC's great for that.

Joining a list of carts or trucks we frequent or have tried, we are adding the newly opened Korean Noodle Cart on 49th between 6th and 7th to the list.

 Wha'? An Asian in the line?

Like any good Korean or Asian eatery, the cart is made of up pure shade.

It's not the sort of shade that shields you from the sun, no.

It serves ramen, udon and soba noodles.

The ramen is what makes it shady.

For about $1.29 not including the money it costs to go to the Asian supermarket, I could buy a pack of ramen and cook it at home.

For $7 and up, I can have this Korean purveyor of the cart cook it for me, and add something like a dumpling if I wanted it.

Literally.

It's not hand-pulled ramen made with love.

It's factory-made ramen that I've been buying for the past 10 plus years.

 Look on top! Familiar red packets of noodles...
you also can't see it here but he's got a stove set up
and little pots in which to cook the ramen.
It's the equivalent to eating at home 
but I'm in the sun, and someone else is making it for me.

I can tell you that I am appalled and intrigued at the same time by this cart.

Luckily I had enough sense to not give in to my constant ramen cravings and went with something a little bit different: the ja jangmyeon.

I am a person who sees something with Asian black beans in it and gets a little bit carried away.

The ja jangmyeon description involved a black bean sauce over noodles.  I was delighted to see that the noodles came from your generic supermarket packed cold noodles, which were then boiled.  Over the noodles went the Jajangmyeon.

It was not until I got back to my desk that I discovered the awful truth having not ordered this for myself before, or being only familiar with its pre-made and pre-packaged ramen-flavoured counterpart..


Onions.

Billions of onions.

I can say that the noodle dish smelt really good, and that the taste was not bad.  I would not eat the onions though.  They seemed too 'raw' for me to consume.


Well, that's my experience with my one dish I tried.  Chances are I won't be back here anytime soon but the Ramen Force is strong.  It keeps calling me!

What I have not yet addressed is my experience at the Cart.  Other than being in the hot sun, I was surrounded by nerds.  Not the good kind of nerd as yours truly but the kind of nerd that fancies himself/herself privileged and is owed the world, and a know-it-all.  The kind of nerd that is awkward and has no social behaviour.  It's the kind of nerd that's somewhat hipster like in behaviour and downright annoying.

Come now, you know the kind! They went to your college with you and thought they knew everything about Japanese culture (and that Japanese culture was the ONLY Asian culture around or worth knowing), whined that they were the outcasts of college but then judged you and made YOU an outcast because you didn't do role-playing gaming.

Sadly that's the kind of crowd I expect at the cart which upsets me.  I did see that one Asian in the line and I was confused.

I suspect she was like me - you hear noodles and you just have to go to scope out the situation.

The other thing I'd like to point out, although I did not get a comparison picture, is that the cart itself was miniature.

It was not the same height as the carts next to it but it just looked odd.  It cracked me up.



Currently listening to: "The Lonely Shepherd" by Zamfir, from The Kill Bill Original Soundtrack.  I wish we still had our Zamfir collection...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Just For You: A Message For CLee

Dearest CLee,

I've been thinking of you much these days.

Maybe it's due to the fact that I have not called you in some months now?

Whatever it is, I miss you plenty.  But then again, I always do.

I am writing to let you know that I got you...a preeessseeennnnttt.

It's nothing grand but along with your Blog-Away Prize, remind me to give it to you when I see you soon.

I wonder what it could be...hmmm.

Lots of love,

Or 2.

Currently listening to: "Oni Island" by Masami Ueda, from the Okami Original Soundtrack.  Great game.  Can't wait for Okamiden.

Sunday Lunch...now with Cupcakes and Pennacools: May 2, 2010

I have decided to do a new feature here on the BloggieBoo.  It's not that I necessarily want to torture MC (especially this week, there's no torture AT ALL for him) but H1 and I have decided to chronicle our meals on Sunday.

Truthfully, The HOchieS rarely do "Sunday Lunch".  We do more of a Sunday Dinner but isn't the idea of "Sunday Lunch" the thing's that most sacred?

I would kindly ask that no one point out that we have not had a true Trini Sunday Lunch in some years now, thereby bastardizing anything sacred.

At my suggestion (because I am always so full of great ideas), we feasted on pesto spaghetti with shrimp.

H1 threw in a salad and garlic toast, and Luuuuiiiiiisssss bought whole wheat linguine instead of spaghetti.

I know, I'm not sure why it is people mess with brilliance and add their own things either.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. Hare, Hare, Hare.

May totally snuck up on me and brought some awfully hot weather to this part of the world.

I'm beginning to think maybe I don't like May...

Anyway, good luck to all! Here's hoping for a lucky month.
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