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I started Scribblenauts tonight and beat Space Bust-A-Move days earlier (I'm just working off the mini-games now).

Currently (Still) Playing:

1) Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor - This summer, I ended up getting my high school aged brother, along w/ the grade-school kids at my mom's tutoring center hooked on it, but I wasn't impressed for long. Hopefully, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey will be a better follow-up for the DS.

2) Super Robot Wars OG: Endless Frontier - KOS-MOS is a playable character, what other justification do I need? (Just to note, the final issue of Anime Insider had a 2-page feature of this game by a very thorough and balanced reviewer; I wish I remembered her name.)
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Coming from Kris, it almost feel like something not worth asking. Because there's so damn few left, compared to knowing how many there used to be.

But, far as actual arcades go, I only know of Chinatown Fair and Smiles Entertainment.

Expand the list to any place w/ a dedicated collection of machines and you get stuff like D&B's, Chuck E. Cheese, Barcade and select movie theaters.

But the coin-op disapora is such that folks like me are better off listing places that host individual machines. I'd gravitate towards anything that's DDR, puzzler, or light-gun shooter.
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Last night, went w/ Yis & Cassandra to his grandma's place in Kew Gardens. Things are getting divvied up there and he wanted my input on what furniture we should take.

Dinner was at Austin's Steak And Ale House, where I spent the evening feeding dollars into the Big Buck Hunter Pro cabinet in front of the bar. From the minute I walked in, I *wanted* it. I wanted it so effin' bad. Due to the craziness of yesterday's errands, I had been up for over 24 hrs. and hadn't eaten yet, but oooh, *big, shiny plastic guns*! I didn't know what it was or if it'd suck, but if it'd let me shoot shit, I was going to pay whatever it wanted. Then I found out it was a dollar per credit and I wasn't leaving that baby till *all my ones were gone*.

To no surprise, Chinatown Fair has been overtaken by the fighting games crowd, and while I admit the row of SFIV flatscreen monitors were *eye-meltingly gorgeous* (opening credits had Chun-Li rendered in washy watercolors), I don't like what it's edged out. The only shooter there now is Time Crisis 4 and they're charging $1.50 per credit!

Anyway, I promptly lost the first game in The Round With The Moose, which infuriatingly, only had 3 moose per round. So I moved onto the bonus gallery, which had *14* categories whose differences weren't simple aesthetics either.
  • Mars Needs Cattle was the most outrageous one, where you shoot plump saucers that make the Most Satisfying *TWONK* as your bullets careen them into orbit, and the animation brings out a decent depth of field.
  • Cow Pie, I loved *not* because you're shooting cow manure, but because the cow dung physics mimics flying clay plates where after the object has hit its apex, it enters a moment of deceleration... meaning, I can 'juggle' my choice of targets.
  • Clockwork has you targeting bullseyes as gears spun around to obscure them. It *looks* hard, then easy, then hard again. Because you're hitting stationary targets, but there's a timer to be mindful of. To top it off, your weapon is a pump-action shotgun, and each pump only reloads *one* bullet at a time.
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Next up, I started checking out Japanese games on my DS. I used to play plenty of Sailor Moon puzzlers on an SNES emulator w/ no issues, so I went looking for other anime-based titles of the same. Turns out, Code Geass R2 does have a mini-game compilation called コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ.

It's more language-intensive than I thought, but not impossible. And I was really surprised by the inclusion of *actual* character voices. It also seems to be the source of the chibified art of the cast that I've seen. I'm tempted to make an English FAQ site for it. This game will probably never see release in the states anyway.
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Followed the ECA newsletter in my inbox to this Destructoid article on a new "sandbox game" coming out called Ride to Hell. The novelty is that it's set in the 60s and your protagonist is a Vietnam vet who's settled down w/ a biker gang in West California.

Not *that* interesting to my ears, even if the idea of a company, in this case "Deep Silver" (comprised of ex-Rockstar Vienna folks), choosing *not* to do another WW2 game comes as a breath of fresh air.

What personally tickled me is that the Destructoid interviewer had to trek out to Joshua Tree to get the interview. I gobbled every sentence he dropped of his trip. He took the ATV tour package.

As much as I hated the sun out there, I wouldn't mind going back to those rocks.
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And now, last gaming thought to get out the way...

...so, Valkyria Chronicles bombed in sales, and though I was pleased w/ the ambitious nature of the project, I was more interested in the story than the gameplay, which just appeared to be real-time skirmishes, nestled within larger turn-based tactics battles, all within a larger war. There's nothing bad about that, if I can see it as another layer of strategy instead of an unnecessary, extra hurdle. But then, I just don't know how integrated the two methods are or if they're just slapped one after the other.

As much as I loved Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin, it took me weeks to win it, and to think that I'd have to navigate and secure each virtual square-acre of dirt, is... 'reality' of a sort, but also, a sobering matter of grind and time.

Y'know, if any game deserved a tactical RPG that'll guarantee itself monies in Japan, it'd had been Code Geass.
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To further contribute to the schizophrenic nature of the internet: Major Nelson was spotted w/ Levar Burton at the recent CES. Though the cutest and most groan-inducing part of this meetup were the tweets they sent each other.

Burton is easy enough to guess, but the only reason I know of Major Nelson is that I had to gank the Xbox Live sales #s directly from his blog for Gameloft's reports.
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Whenever a villain in this game runs out of arguments (which can get pretty long), they lambast the hero as "self-righteous". (See here for an earlier example.) I guess it's a step up from "goody two-shoes".

But I really have no idea what the word means anymore. It's one of those besides-the-point accusations. I suppose the villains see a hypocrisy in the heroes' behavior that the heroes' are blind to. But if that were the case, there'd be something to point out, and the villains always fail to do so.

So they tend to go like this...
A: Evil mass murderer!
B: Hypocritical, self-righteous prick!
A: Hypocrite? How?
B: Well, everyone is. So you probably are too.
A: What kind of argument is that?!
B: A true one.
A: WTF?
B: Believe what you want, but I'm completely serious here.
A: You hurt people! You killed my friends! You're the aggressor! WHY?!
B: Nah, they hurt themselves by being self-righteous pricks like you who can't leave well enough alone.
A: ::burning, inconsolable shounen rage rising:: You *inhuman* monster!
B: Well, like it or not, we're *all* human here. Let's just agree to disagree by *killing each other*, you self-righteous, self-righteous, self-righteous prick.
A: ::grimly:: Right. Let's.

This is still a vast improvement to what the franchise had.

Opening conversation between WILL and CAULDER in CAMPAIGN 26: "Sunrise": Day 1: CAULDER's better than GREYFIELD, at least. )
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I haven't obsessed over a side-scrolling shooter since 1943 on the NES.

And I'm not going to count my throwaway fun time at the arcades. Cause aside from DDR, puzzlers, and light-gun shooters, I never hit the same levels of giddiness.

But for the lucky bastards w/ an iPhone, and who liked R-Type, go grab Space Deadbeef at the App Store (it's free)!
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Gameloft holiday party at the Slate next Fri. from 7p-10p.

Fun w/ a bunch of strangers is scary. I only feel comfortable talking to my direct supervisor, because I been useful to him, nyo.

But there's free food, so yay!
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Aside from character pin-ups and in-game screencaps, I've been unable to find any official Advance Wars: Days of Ruin artwork. And there's been no fanart either. This makes me sad. (I'd draw some too, but it's out of my league.)

But a lack of fanworks isn't surprising since all past installments of AW were strictly lauded as decent TBS titles. Even though there was more to it, such as cornball character designs and endless screens of hokey, mind-numbing dialogue. Like most people, my relationship to those games boiled down to "JUST SHUT UP AND LET ME FUCK PLAY YOU!"

But AW:DoR has raised the bar for itself. While still hokey, now I can't get enough of its dialogue, which just hits these *moments of complete earnestness*. Or its dual-screen 'cut scenes', which are just scrolling, static images like the ones you get in visual novels. Nevertheless, these images manage to be as dramatically rewarding as earning an FMV.

I must admit though, that the various heroes are simply a run-of-the-mill assortment of the various viewpoints and personalities you'd find in cliched war stories. The villains are much worst, mostly staffed by evil for evil's sake types. These are balanced out by the presence of an Opportunist, then spiced by a trio of Psychopathic 'teehee' Gothlolis.

But yeah, I've been successfully tearjerked by everything the good guys say. I want my characters alive because I want to hear them talk more. And I want some of the characters dead for being all too believable self-serving assholes. But yes, the talking!

CAMPAIGN 20: Waylon Flies Again: Day 2: I typed it all; good parts are in bold. )

And I'm gonna follow up on this w/ a screenshot sample w/ Lin in it. (It's abridged. I ganked it by capping a video clip from the official site.) Because Lin is essentially the Methos to Brenner's Duncan MacLeod. Which makes Lin my favorite. )

...now I'm somewhat happy and surprised that both of these examples comment on the moral legitimacy of self-interest.
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haven't been riveted by the emotional turmoil in a game since Chrono Trigger news: ...Advance Wars: Days of Ruin for the DS Lite. Its character designs, dialogue, pacing, and plot completely outshines the past 2 incarnations I've played (i.e. - Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising [GBA] & Advance Wars: Dual Strike [DS]).

And when you think about it, it really is no different from types like Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance; the latter of which, had me till 3AM most nights, going, "MUST. UNLOCK. ALL. JOB. CLASSES."

But Days of Ruin, it makes me want to... GO AFTER THE DISHONORABLE BASTARD(S) THAT MURDERED MY BATTALION CO ::sniffles:: AND LEFT A TRAIL OF DESPAIR AND MISERY AND DEATH! ::GRRRR::
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Came across an Adult Swim "High Scores of the Week" commercial. I culled it from the system, cause it's not what we 'take' here. But one of the games shown was "Bible Fight".

Now, *THIS* is the sort of Christian-themed game we need more of!

Here's some nice screenshots to enjoy, just ignore the silly protestations of the miffed Christian blogger.
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Been playing human mobile gaming news aggregator for the past 3.5 hrs. Now waiting for my supervisor to review my work so I could leave. (But this place is very comfy and cozy and full of familiar things even though I'm new.)

Monday was...

Mike: "Chris is out sick today. Sorry about that. But here's some stuff the company's working on. I want you to get a feel for what we do." ::plops a DS Lite (plus small stack of cartridges), a Sony Ericsson, and an Ipod onto my desk:: "This should keep you busy. Have fun now!" ::Mike walks off:: Me: "...I'm being ordered to play video games. Wow." O_o;;