Music of the Month; Give it a Shot


Funny that, this is the best song on the album. Otherwise it’s extremely disappointing

Generally speaking, I don’t do music album reviews, but for this once I’ll do a short exception; Rockman X Anniversary Collection Soundtrack is not worth the price. Outside the two versions of Give it a Shot and RE;FUTURE, the album’s pretty bland. Spending track space and time to remix six first games’ Boss Battle themes. These were clearly chosen because they could been easily selected over stage themes. If we’re completely frank, the Boss Battle themes are not the best parts of Mega Man series’ soundtracks. Most of these songs simply end up being grey background noise. This is a far cry from previous releases’ quality, like Chiptuned Rockman.

Speaking of reviews, you got two last month. I’m not exactly happy how either of them turned out (though I never am with my posts) and I know the end result of the Muv-Luv Kickstarter goods did give rather negative view. However, that’s mostly due to how high standards I tend to use in my reviews. If there’s something I see that could or should have been included or improved, I aim to mention it. If there’s a point of comparison to be made for improvements, I always aim to make that comparison. In that, the aim often is to give constructive criticism, the kind of I’d want to have. It’s no use calling things shit or terrible, it ultimately ends up meaningless jabber. While improvement suggestions are always welcome, those should never be expected unless separately requested. This may sound harsh, but the reasons why something may be lacking don’t matter, as this can lead into further questions. Too many times I’ve seen and experienced people pointing the lack of experience for a reason why something is lacking in design, which always follows with questions like Why didn’t you hire a professional then? or Why didn’t you find professional to help? The reasons, ultimately, don’t matter. They can make interesting trivia though.

The JoyCon review was approached the same way. However, a controller review has to take into account ergonomics, and this breaks the whole Why isn’t necessary question thing into the air. There I tend to look for why certain shapes were made in the form they are, and often the answer is to conform to the general shapes of hands. It’s not exactly the same question or reason, but close enough for some people to bring the point up.

Pachislot Rockman got announced and we’ve got our first look at some the characters somewhat recently. I’ll be doing a comparative review of Mega Man’s redesign, just like how I did one on the Man of Action cartoon design. While we don’t have multiple angles to use, the one in the linked page is more or less enough to get a good feeling what elements were incorporated across the franchise. Pachislot and pachinko machines tend to redesign characters, sometimes to very large extents, but often do keep the core aspects intact. To use an example, CR Cutie Honey has designs that combine some previous series’ entries into one with healthy dose of detailing. People who handled this knew what they were doing as well, as the bunny girl form is named Cutie Bunny.

As for the rest of the month, I’m planning a short overview on what are Lunatic Dawn and Exogularity booklets âge is self-publishing at Comiket. I should not be surprised that the fandom seems to have taken Exogularity as the title for some story or setting, when in reality Exogularity is rebranded Lunatic Dawn. Well, I guess that’s it, they’re both source books with different names. The actual post will have examples, of course, but that’s the gist of it.

You’ve probably noticed how weekend posts have been appearing on Sundays recently rather than on Fridays. This is me moving towards the new schedule I mentioned a month ago or so. I’ll take this chance to also mention that there’s no post next weekend, as I’ll be away. Truth to be told, I intended to write this post for Friday, but thanks to rain I fell ill. My fever’s not going down, and I’m actually writing this on a phone. You can see the irony here, as I’m giving you a Why despite my arguments above stating the contradictory. Well, I do think there’s a wide gap between a KS and this blog.

Remember to sharpen and oil your kitchen knives and such. Cooking will be much safer and enjoyable afterwards.

 

Music of the Month; Metal Squad

You should go play some Thunderforce

If you’ve noticed the weird scheduling with these post as of late, it’s because I’ve been ill for the last few weeks, trying to push through work and other stuff all the while trying to keep myself on time with writing and all. Not that really matters in the end, though that did keep me from doing anything any reviews or robot related stuff this month, outside the Asimov Mega Man post.

Speaking of health, the game industry might be having yet another moral panic in its hands in the future, as the World Health Organisation has now officially released a diagnosis for what they call “gaming disorder.” I’ve discussed the ICD-11 previously, and the points still hold water. As Chris Ferguson says in his The Hill article, this is the first time WHO has marked a hobby as a disease. The most largest problem with the diagnosis is that it lacks clinical values and research itself was in poor science. When you have a diagnosis with no basis to it, you risk everyone’s health. Gaming addiction is a symptom of underlying problems, but it’s always easier to remove the tools rather than the root cause. A diagnosis like this will cause harm, especially to people who have found games as a hobby to cope with their mental issues. Sometimes, a good hobby is all it takes to keep a man straight.

As Ferguson mentions that WHO has been under pressure from Asian countries to solidify this diagnosis. Even without Ferguson’s examples, we can make an educated guess how China and South-Korea have been the spearheads in this.

While this isn’t the first time a medical diagnosis has been made public based on quackery and politics, it hurts three different fields at the same time. First, it makes WHO a laughable organisation that can’t keep with proper science or standards. They’re discrediting themselves and what they stand for with this. Secondly, it reduces the further confidence in psychology overall. Psychology has always been under fire about its science. It’s not rare to see people argue that psychology is not a science, outside the hard evidence biological psychology can yield. With this, psychology as a field can be ridiculed even further and puts mental illness classifications under question even more. Thirdly, WHO has damaged a hobby and has opened the door for further quacks to prey on patients, not to mention how hobbyists can now be treated as mentally addicted.

This is absolutely pathetic from WHO, and really puts them in a bad light. The topic really requires more writing on the subject, so we may return to video game addiction at a later date. May is a strong word here.

E3 also came and went earlier, and outside few interesting bits and bobs it was the usual show of ads for the audience. Devil May Cry 5 was probably the jawdropper of the show in overall terms. While expected, seeing it on the stage itself was bliss to the fans. However, like with any event like this, it’s good to remind ourselves that E3 is ultimately just a huge advertisement showcase. All the companies involved there are not for the benefit of the audience, but for the PR and fame. Self-evident for sure, maybe even a bit cynical, but it has become a sort of cornerstone in game marketing, where the biggest and best titles are revealed for the most effect possible. You can’t beat the PR you get from a stage show millions of people are watching at the same time around the globe, unhindered.

The relationship between the providers and consumers is pretty weird compared to other industries, as the general view seems to be that the developers and publishers are doing games for the consumer as some sort of favour, sacrificing themselves for the good of the game, when in reality it’s about the profit. Certainly, some developers have put themselves on a pedestal over things and do consider themselves as some sort of gift to the industry. I guess that’s human nature for you.

Human nature is also to be stupid, as EU is being with the upcoming Internet legislation. If you’re living inside the European Union, is do strongly hope you’ll check this site with some time and scribble an email for your MEPs to prevent widespread censorship. Hell, even this blog would go down if the legislation passes, and I like doing this shit.

Music of the Month: Rydeen EMX-1 Style

There is no real theme for this month, so I’m effectively warming an old piece for now.

There’s been few changes simmering in the background for a while now, one of which the sharped eyed readers noticed earlier this week. I’ve decided to drop doing monthly reviews, and do reviews whenever it is applicable. This does not mean reviews are gone, but it does mean there won’t be any personal pressures to keep up with schedules. I’ve also listed all reviews I’ve put up thus far into their own Page, which you can access at the top of the page alongside Robot stuff and others. I must say I was surprised the amount of game reviews I’ve done on this blog, despite wanting to concentrate more on related devices and such.

While I said I’d give the Guilty Gear design stuff priority for the time being, that clearly has not been the case. In fact, there has been no priority regarding the blog whatsoever and I’ve returned to my older way of touching upon news and events. While this used to be the main thing I did on the blog, on the long run I wanted to create content that’s more from me to you, rather than outside the box. Hence why we had that Monthly Three experiment and TSF stuff. However, I must admit that I truly have to take a step forwards and two back with this. If I must do news/events commenting, I’ll try to keep it once per week or less.

This brings out the question of time management, which requires me to change the dates I post materials on. While I hate to move stuff away from Friday, as most people seem to enjoy that date the most when it comes to reading, the Friday posts will move to either Saturday or Sunday, depending on the size of the post. This’ll be the Weekend post, while the early week post will be moved to Wednesday. You still get two posts per week, hopefully nothing recycled from now on.

As for âge stuff, the Kickstarter goodies are being send in August, so expect a review of those in the future. It’ll be an interesting bunch, as I’ll be covering the Codex, the stuffie plushie and the rest. I won’t touch much on the Kickstarter itself, though few comments from an outsider’s perspective who wanted to say a thing or two about it will get quoted. After all, I too was one of the backers, and I need to step outside my own view of things for a moment to take it all in properly.

And mecha related stuff? Honestly, I’ve got no clue. All the big things I wanted to do on the long run have been appeased, more or less. The original post for three approaches needs a complete revision, which I should get around doing, maybe as soon as next week. It’s pretty terrible post, to be completely honest, completely out of tone and people took it completely seriously rather than tongue in cheek jokingly. Then again, everybody takes everything on the Internet like they’re on gunpoint when it comes to seriousness, the ability to read text’s tone has been watered down. Now, jokes and such are made clear with the use of emoticons and such. Granted, the tone of this blog has changed few times over before setting into this dry, wry thing I try to pass off as weak humour, and as such the older posts can come across as rather schizophrenic at times.

Now that I try to recall things a bit, I had planned more design posts to come out after I bought some books for the material I needed, but I never got around getting those books. What’d I picked up instead? Games, booze and drugs, probably.

Music of the Month; Daddy Mulk


What an unfortunate name for a Zuntata song. From 1990 live show. The MaiMai+ has an excellent groove remix of this same song

This’ll probably be a short post, I’ve got only one or two planned posts for the month. Those who follow the blog for the Guilty Gear character design comparisons, I’ll be aiming to do one per month from now on, including the ones I did as a bunch prior to release of Xrd. With the models in the game being available to us, I can do a much more throughout view on what’s been changed. Someone like Sol probably will run short while someone like Potemkin will end up a catch-this-detail-here kind of post. Not the best kind of design comparison. Jam and Dizzy really had the benefit that they were upgrades from the previous designs. Someone like Millia at first appears to have completely and drastic redesign, but in reality the silhouette has stayed largely the same. You’d be surprised how much time I can sink into stupidly simple posts like that, but I guess that means I put either put too much effort in them for no reason or there’s just so much things to go through.

The second planned post is hardware related. While the most popular mod for the original Game Boy Advance is the backlit screen installation, there are surprisingly sparse amount of guides with photos. Sure, there’s a semi-official PDF that shows how its done with pretty graphics, but nothing beats good ol’ photo. Consider it a review to boot, considering the mod has become popular again with the reproduction screens becoming more and more available. I already have one modded GBA, which was more or less a test run, but I forgot to take pictures. The main problem I encountered with the mod was the new shell/housing I ordered with it. Being a third party product, the producers probably didn’t take shrinkage into account, or at least not fully. When plastic sets in after casting, it shrinks from its original volume a little bit, usually just few percents, which can cause problems if your product’s mould is taken from an actual shell. However, there are some sellers on the ‘net who seem to have access to some versions of the original moulds, though why Nintendo didn’t order them back or be junked is beyond me. Then again, what do they care, they’re not making any money on a product almost two decades old anymore.

As for robot posts, I got pretty burned early in the year with the Virtual-On posts. I did intend to follow up soon with TSF related stuff, but things just didn’t go as intended. Looking at the folders, I’ve got a MiG-29 and Tornado lined up, but whether or not I can find any proper illustrations on either is bit up in the air. MiG-29 has B/W lineart, so that’ll probably have to do, alongside possible photos from toys and such. However, the MiG-29 is pretty close to MiG-29OVT, with the only real difference being thrusters on the shoulders. Hence, why Tornado is the more probable option, depending on what sources I can find for it. I could always go with the in-game CGs, but I still want to avoid that.

As for âge stuff, there still isn’t particular I’d like to touch upon. While the updates from the Kickstarter are sparse, things are rolling slowly, but surely. Perhaps I’d need to write more about stuff from Exogularity 01 for the kicks of it.

I’ve mentioned before that I may need to drop blog to one post per week. That is closely becoming a reality, though not by my own volition. It’s all about simple physical fatigue and mind being elsewhere on work. That said, I’ll probably coerce certain someone to do a design historical on certain wolf monster.

And oh, happy May Day.

 

Music of the Month; Rydeen


Rydeen was also used as the battle them in  Ginga no Sannin on the Famicom

This month will be completely freefalled. Due to my physical health having a momentary glitch in the system and nothing all that neat being coming across, there are no plans for a review. Well, not entirely true, but I’m not sure how would one go with reviewing whisky glasses. We’ll cross that bridge if/when we get there.

I missed my last month’s goal to make a Guilty Gear design comparison post. Mostly because I had forgotten all about it and partially because lack of time. I resorted to combine some of the previous series of posts twice over already. If its any consolation, the GG gets priority, even if it means missing a post or two here and there. I’ll try to coerce A9 to do few more guest posts about Digimon, even when he enjoys being a consumer over being a provider.

There’s a new Cutie Honey show hitting the airwaves this month with a subtitle of Universe. There was some interesting in seeing a contrast and comparison of her outfit throughout the years. Considering the franchise debuted in 1973, there is quite the load of small variations here and there. I would have to limit myself to the largest entries, consisting the original comic versions, the few OVAs we’ve got and the live-action entries we’ve gotten during this new millennia.

I may have a bias with Cutie Honey though, considering I like the concepts and author more than most of the stories we’ve seen come from it. An android girls with the power to fabricate a new identity on command on a road to avenge his father’s death is a strong point to start with, but often the end results have been less than impressive. The original cartoon’s solid though, and so is some of the subsequent comics and series.

That’s the kind of duality you come across with this blog, I guess. It’s something that stems from the usual author/individual mindset, at least most of the time. On one hand, the author doesn’t matter on any level. The work must stand on its own merits. However, author’s intent should be something to be taken into consideration, what’s being said, how and why.  It would be so easy simply to analyse everything as one would wish and have a merry day with it, which makes it moot when we can make anything out of any other thing. No matter literary training and education will be enough to carry you, when the author’s word goes against your interpretation.

This sounds like that the authors matters, despite the original claim. It would be more accurate to say that the intention and word of the author matters over his physical presence, and anything that might come with it. However, the nature of man doesn’t allow this sort of clean separation. We’re social creatures, after all. We tend to feel like we know the people through their works. For example, if we watch someone on Youtube talking about a subject for an extended period of time, and may get an interaction or two. We begin to feel like we’re talked to directly, or that something has been prepared directly for us through the author’s work, and we grow this faux-sort of familiarity with them. The more time passes as we spend time with the work, the more the author in our heads begin to matter.

The Internet has changed things significantly, as we can get into touch with pretty much anyone with even the slightest presence if we want to. It just might take some work, but it’s always an option. If we have a positive disposition towards the author through his works, reality might slap us in the face, or we might be end up used a promotional vessel. It’d be a probably net positive for everyone of us, if we’d just keep a natural distance to authors outside the usual events and such.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but hey, Monthly Musics are not exactly highly demanded, nobody really reads these. Well, that maybe that extends elsewhere as well, but let’s not begin to depress this hobby any further.

Music of the Month: The Scheme

These two months have been filled to brim with Virtual-On to me. It may not seem like it, but in order to make the retrospective posts on the series I had to replay all the games for numerous times (had to obtain FORCE in the first place) and go through stupid amount of sources and books. Yet, so very little was transferred from these to the posts, which just means I’ll probably end up expanding them a little bit. Things like how Virtual-On‘s project name was Virtuaroids and more about the stupidly serious and in-depth lore the developers have written up. I mention some of the side-materials, mainly the popular One-Man Rescue, but never go in-depth into them because the sheer wall of text they’d require to describe and go over.

Needless to say, I’m not satisfied how the retrospective ended up being, slight too much hyperbole used in the last sections of A Certain Magical Virtual-On. A smart reader noticed I changed the title halfway through the series too, from historical to retrospective. I also had planned to add an extra post, which would have covered some Virtual-On inspired titles or their appearances in Super Robot Wars. I ended up scrapping this due to knowing I was burning my interests out too fast, and tacked the SRW entries at the end of MARZ‘s. I just mentioned Clash of the Elementalists, a game that’s directly uses Virtual-On‘s gameplay on the DSi, elsewhere just for the record. It’s a fun little title that plays similarly to Oratorio Tangram, but not quite.

With that, I’ll aim to cover a new Guilty Gear character entry this month. I also need make a new TSF comparison entry. Both of these have been on the backburner too long. The initial entries for some of the Guilty Gear characters are lacking compared what the entries ultimately became, with the expanded detailed information, so going back and covering them again is a valid option. At least for now.

As for the TSF comparison, I still have F-18E, MiG-29 and Tornado on the list from the original imageboard variants, so it’s one of those three. However, if I manage to get ahold of some other TSF materials, you never know what I’ll throw out in the end.

That’s pretty much all I’m going muse myself this time around. Enjoy the music and the upcoming weekend.

Music of the Month: 8-Bit Brave

Ah, what a month has it been. If you’ve noticed that the writing has been all over the place for during January, that’s because I’ve had much less time to given any emphasize toward quality (or whatever quality goes into making this blog) and just getting something out. Let’s stretch a bit, as usual for these posts.

We basically skipped the usual robot related design and a review post. The Virtual-On historicals have taken their slot, as they require comparatively a bit more research than what I have time now, especially considering I still need to play the games to give them a proper assessment rather than just going with the flow. I’m also planning an additional post about where VO has appeared outside of its own games, mostly mentioning Valgern-On and MARZ‘s Super Robot Wars entries. There’s quite a lot of to do with these upcoming three, and I can’t even begin to write properly about A Certain Magical Virtual-On as of now. I’ve also added the VO entries into Robot Related Materials you can access in the menu on the top of this page.

With VO posts doing relatively well for a niche topic, I’m considering of doing more of post of their sort. Not necessarily historical entries per se, but more series or franchise comprehensive series. Still, Muv-Luv and Guilty Gear related stuff still reign at the top of most hits, with few mecha and that NES region free post in the mix.

With my new work contract that I’ve gained via career change, I’ll be working a full day-job in five shifts. Whether or not I have time, or simple energy, to write something of worth nothing twice a week may become rather challenging. I’ve decided not to push myself with this, and will allow myself to pass on one of the posts, if deemed necessary. I’ll try to drag A9Doc, who did the neat Digimon post recently to cover my sorry ass, if he manages to come up with a neat topic. You may see more Digimon related posts than usual because of this, but all of them should touch on character designs or the like first and foremost to keep it according to the blog’s theme.

This also means I’ll be breaking the thousand word limit I’ve had for years now. This is to ensure that I can include all the things I’ve wanted to mention rather than splitting some topics. In some cases, I’ll forgive myself if I got well under that golden standard I’ve been living up to. If somebody is wondering why I had such a limit, it was because early on I got some feedback that I tended to write posts that were too long to read. Thus, cutting back and making them more palatable was the goal back then, but that was then.

To help with things overall, I will take last year’s Monthly Threes and combine them into one larger post per topic. Is this cheating, I hear someone ask. It partially is, but these posts have some of the best stuff I’ve done. With some encouragement from a certain Casp O’saurus, I’ll be picking some of my better posts and try to spread them around a bit more.

As for the ixtl/âge stuff, there hasn’t been much I’ve wanted to comment on. I never made any posts about Avex picture’s acquisition, because I never got a good picture what sort of company they are, in the end. There are less good sources to go through, and things being more or less standard Japanese corporate politics says things can go either ways. Either ixtl will stay as they are and be milked to the end, until they’re absorbed fully into avex as a whole, or they’ll manage to do some seriously impressive stuff that will make money. Knowing ixtl’s track record, despite the Kickstarter, things can go either way. At least the translation team has now moved to ixtl’s stables. We’ll just have to sit back and see when everything has been cleared out, as they’ll have to relaunch Muv-Luv on Steam under a new publisher now that Degica is no longer involved.

TSF comparison entries are still planned, but just as with the Guilty Gear comparisons, time is a commodity  that I don’t have too much. I’ll plan one of each for March, as February is still Virtual-On country.

I once said that I’d follow Yo-kai Watch‘s success in the West, but seeing its success was less than expected, it really did drop from my radar. I picked up the first game from sales recently, and I have to admit that I’m liking its semi-automatic battle system. I’ll have to play it a bit more to get a proper feeling, but all things all, I can understand well why the series got such a loud applaud in Japan. Maybe a review is coming out on it at some point, but not anytime soon. I’ll be giving some of the sequels a look too, and how they’re managed to change the formula.

And oh, the reason why Yuusha Oh Tanjou! got the spot this time around is that The King of Braves GaoGaiGar‘s final episode’s 20th anniversary was on the 31st of January.