Music of the Month; Emergency Order

Originally I was supposed to have Kohmi Hirose’s Mou Icho Mou Ichido here, but then thing went to shit with basically everything, so after spending another unhealthy time with Dariusburst CS, decided to throw this up instead.

Anyway, that time of the month, incoherent rambling and empty planning ahead.

With E3 coming up, I’ll try to return to form and comment more on events in video game industry as I used to. I lowered the amount of comment on news and such because they began to become pretty damn repetitive, but seeing that was the initial foray to stuff, I think I must do at least an effort to add something different to the whole deal.

The monthly trinity is still undecided, but I’ll most likely start one next week. They’ve become increasingly difficult in this very, very short time I’ve been doing them. The Breakout one is still the best out of them. I also need to think a name for this series, something about Theme three or the like. I just may be that lazy and use that, and edit that in for easier access via Tags.

Now that I think of it, I may have a good idea for a topic; Mega Man, Mega Man Legends and Mega Man Battle Network. These three depict the three different major gameplay styles that the franchise has seen, and perhaps taking a step back and looking at them in the context of their era might be a good one. Maybe I should do further Mega Man posts in the wake of the upcoming cartoon, of which I’ve discussed whenever something new has popped up.

You’ve may also noticed that I’ve started to put titles in italics. I’m not sure why I’m doing so, but I’m telling myself it helps to differentiate when I’m talking about a franchise, series or just characters. For example, when talking about the Deadpool movie, it’s in italics. When I’m talking about Deadpool the character, I’m leaving it as is. If that bothers you, tough luck.

This month’s review is still open, but seeing my camera died just before I had a photographer’s gig, I had to get the one that fit my then-current budget. You’ll most likely see a review for a Nikon D3300 by the end of the month, unless I decide to do the easy way and review a video game. Haven’t done that in a while.

Speaking of reviews, I am incredibly uncertain how the previous two came together. I am not pleased in them at all, especially not at the keyboard one. They feel empty and a lot of hot air, not brining anything to the table, and worst of all, being more or less subjective from the get go. I may have a need to review something that’s more in my field, like a whetstone, a set of markers or the like. Maybe I’ll finally tackle video game console design reviews, because those are generally speaking rare. You have descriptions yes, but nobody really wants to talk if a console has an eye pleasing design, unless it’s something that stands out. Like the US Super Nintendo that looks like a rat’s ass when compared to the candy bright JPN and PAL region design.

I’m also seriously considering doing a lengthy post about Tom Rothman and the massive amounts of franchise crippling decisions he did with FOX until he was moved to SONY… where he first slashed the budget of the reboot Ghostbusters, effectively screwing its visuals to hell. Just as some small tidbits I recall from the top of my head, he was against both Titanic and Avatar, said not to Alien 5 because of Aliens vs Predator movies, has slashed budget of numerous genre movies, opposed Deadpool as long as he could and said no to Independence Day sequel despite it making shittons of money. He also greenlit the 2015 Fantastic Four. Rothman’s reign at FOX was a very tight one, and FOX didn’t really see any losses because they didn’t really spend any money either. Midnight’s Edge has a lot of videos about behind the scenes events concerning Rothman, and these bits are worth your time, if you want to know more than you’re intended to. I recommend checking their Trankgate series first and foremost.

From the Muv-Luv front, there’s nothing much to say. We had another podcast episode with Alternative Projects staff, this time live on Youtube. It’s uh… what it is. Seems like people preferred this live format, and if you’ve interested in them, we’ll most likely use this as the standard from now on, whenever we get to it. I need to figure out how to use the whole Google Hangout better and start to announce times for th podcast earlier, but that’s neither here or there now. You’ll find me rambling on things more often on Twitter, to which I’ll most likely drop the announcements. Or via AltPro, I’m not sure. Things are still completely open. Things are going well enough with the whole translation project from what I’ve seen, but I’m more comfortable talking about that on the podcast, because there I can speak more freely in comparison and not feel like I’m leaking info out. Not that Degica or âge/ixtl have me in their pocket, I’m free to do whatever the hell I please, but I’m not one for burning bridges with friends.

I’ve got no idea if I will do a TSF comparison this month, neither do I know what the Mecha design post will be about. Most likely panel lines and why they exist in probably in-universe production.

Music of the Month; Flower Girl

I was supposed to leave this month’s music until next week, but things never go as I planned. Nevertheless it’s that time again, let’s discuss some things that may or may not solidify this month and then some.

I’ve yet to have an idea what this month’s theme will be with the three sequential posts. Remakes seems to be a logical continuation from last month’s Franchises-that-tried-kids-stuff. That, or turn it around, and check children’s franchises that dabbled into adult territory, but that might just end up being discussion about modern state of comics. That is a discussion for someone else.

TSF comparison will be F-15 Eagle. F-15E Strike Eagle, will serve as the base image for the TSF, as there is no changes to the design between the base F-15 variants on the outside, par paintjobs and markings. Starting from F-15 ACTV things start to change, and I’d consider that a separate comparisons entry altogether.

Adding to the Muv-Luv matters, we had a podcast with the BETA as the subject. You can check that and the rest of what we’ve had thus far here. Sacchi was a roll on this one. Whenever the next one is up is up to a question, and subject is still open.

No idea what the review topic will be, I admit halfassing last month’s, but I guess it would be about time I fulfil my promise to review G710+ keyboard. I’m still hesitant on doing game reviews, as I don’t see them adding much to the pool, unless something exceptionally good or bad comes to my way. That, and people seem to enjoy video reviews more than text. Doesn’t that for all reviews though?

There has been a lot of discussion about Nintendo and SONY, especially about the NX and its release date, and how much SONY is making on PSN alone based on the news bit they released just recently. I haven’t had the time to go through all that yet due to being away for the last few days, but I’ll have to give it a more throughout look whenever I have the chance. Or rather, if I have.

I had planned another post before the week was out, but as said, things got in my way, so I’ll just condense it all here.

Remember how bold Nintendo was ten years ago with the Wii, and even more so with the DS? Now Nintendo is silent, not saying a thing about the NX or its games outside delaying whatever Zelda was supposed to come out. Nintendo has a history of standing tall with their products prior the release. Now we basically have just conjectures and other random tidbits of information spread around, from both Nintendo and other sources, but we’ve yet to have any solid on the NX itself, just some of its services.

Any company with such history in an industry should be afraid of that very history. Until Virtual Boy, Nintendo had no real failures on the larger hardware department. N64 and GameCube were less successful, and that came down to lack of games. The DS had a rough start when it came to software, as they were treating it like a portable N64, but that changed when Nintendo began to treat it as portable SNES. However, the 3DS has always been treated like a portable GameCube, and has suffered from it. The Wii was like a NES 2.0, but Wii U was more along the lines if GameCube 2.0 instead of NES 3.0. Nintendo could’ve changed the direction the Wii U was going for, like they did with the DS, but that wasn’t to be.

Nintendo showed with the Wii U that they have troubles conveying what they mean to the audience. I have criticised their decision to have a Japanese man speaking in broken English to the audience in their streams. They should do away with that, and have Reggie talking in straight, plain English that is easy to understand. The initial Wii U showcase is an example if Nintendo fucking this up, as people thought the pad controller was an add-on to the Wii. They don’t want to repeat that, or the lousy marketing they did with the Wii U in general.

If the NX is as different as the rumours say it is, and that Nintendo wants to properly show what sort of machine it is and how it functions, they need to consider two things; who they will replace Japanese businessmen as the spokesperson, and whether or not it is worth to have NX as complex service system as it is built to be?

I’m not surprised that the PS4 is the market leader at this time. The Wii U has no games that attract consumers and neither does the Xbox ONE. I sound like a broken clock with this one, but the hardware doesn’t matter, only the software. The one console that always wins its generation has been the one with most games. It’s the library that counts, and the more you have to choose from, the more consumers will pick the console up.  As much as the industry and the core audience hates to admit to this, companies are in to make money, and competing in a dwindling environment requires expanding the market. I have been called out as someone who hates small niche audiences, but that’s often the opposite. A niche crowd hit, a cult hit, is the best way to launch any product or brand to fame. Often it starts small, and when done well, it can become massive, if handled right.

ARG Podcast #1; Muv-Luv Kickstarter interview with Degica

Here it is, the promised second interview with Degica on the Muv-Luv Kickstarter.

Without further adieu, tune in;

It’s always a pleasure to talk with Mitch and Jason. They’re always aiming to answer whatever question we have for them, and this time I have to admit that I went bonkers with them. The questions were way too big in size, several lines on paper instead of focusing on making point-hitting inquiries. That’s on me, but in my defence each question tried to combine things that the fan community has been discussing for some time now.

This interview is about as long as the last one we did during test ‘cast, and these really can’t go much longer due to the schedule Degica’s Muv-Luv team is running under. You do get answers about the Kickstarter itself, how the project is being handled and some  behind-the-scenes info.

On my end, we’re not going to see much more podcasts in this blog, as we’ve come to a conclusion that keeping it related to Muv-Luv works the best for people who already follow Alternative Projects’ blog. Some special episodes excluded.

ARG Test Cast #T05; TV Vulture

The fifth test podacst is up and ready to be listened to. The topic we cover is television culture and the differences between nations. We got few first here too, as Kevin from the Alternative Projects joins us and we have a guest to fulfil an empty spot. We also start with a newsbit about the Muv-Luv stuff that has been going on.

The song at the end is the intro for the TV show MacGyver.

This being the fifth one, we’re going to go on a hiatus and see what works and what doesn’t. Feedback would be appreciated, overall speaking. Otherwise we’d be on an empty base. I’m not sure if we should concentrate on one theme only, like Muv-Luv, as that would be a subject that would be burnt through relatively fast. You’ve most likely also noticed that we’ve yet another provider change, hopefully our last.

There’s not much to add. We will most likely do a celebratory podast or a live stream on Youtube when the Muv-Luv Kickstarter begins, but depending how things go, the podcast may not be seen as updates in the future, but turned into a widget. That might work for the best, but you never know.

ARG TEST CAST #T04 Remembering games

With the whole international cast thing we have going on, I expect us to have rather different backgrounds when it comes to games. To my surprise, there are a lot more common games and stories across with each other. I can see this reflecting the more global nature games have.

Still, we do touch upon the cultural scene from our perspectives, and this paints different kind of scenes. The podcast does not just stay in the past, as we give the modern scene a quick glance what’s how and where.

This week’s cast; Sachibelle, Gabgrave, Evan and a surprise guest.

The announcer at the beginning is @A9DOC. The ending song is Midnight Chaser from an indie NEC PC-9801 game Flame Zapper Kotsujin.

For now, Podomatic will be our choice for now, as it allows certain amount of space that can be cleared for new entries. All the previous podcasts can be found at a MediaFire folder for your pleasure as well. Whenever we’re going to run out of space on Podomatic, the oldest one will be rolled out. The change from Souncloud to Podomatic is due to Soundcloud allowing you to upload over your time on Free model slightly screwing you over with lacking information, so I’m weighing my options how to proceed in the future. Youtube is an option, of course, but that’s something I’d rather try to avoid it for now.

ARG Test Cast #T03 – Translators’ Show

One thing I’ve learned in these three weeks that subjects are still hard thing to come by. I’ve seen someone say that podcasts come and go by the dozen and many die out before they even make it to two digits because of the people putting them up just don’t have material to put out. Quality is always an issue, but you can’t be good if you give up. You’re never going to become good at it if you just leave it in the gutter. The same thing with blogging, and I think I found the tone I want to go with just by keeping it up, even if the content can be a bit strange at times. At least this time we’re not talking about Muv-Luv in itself.

With this third podcast we’ve branching out. The topic is not translations in itself, but rather how Alternative Projects works with their translations. These topic was chosen because most people don’t really have the grasp how much works it all involves, especially for a high quality translation. These guys have all the time they need, whereas professional translations need to work with tight schedules and under serious pressures. They don’t get paid enough, and high quality translation is something that will take time and effort to get just right.

We’re not going to touch on the philosophy or approaches of translations, as that will fill a show for later date when I get a professional translator on board. Give it a go and enjoy our probably-standard opening that Evan cobbled up for us.

Music at the end is from Kimi ga Nozomu Eien – Melody of Stars doujin CD by HARUKA Project, track 04 “Amagumo.” Original author is âge, arrange is by OdiakeS from http://odiakes.net/sjv/
The opening uses a section of Rumbling Hearts by Minami Kuribayashi.

Alternative Projects + Aalt presents: ARG Podcast #2 – Interview with Degica + winners for the Giveaway

Three or four weeks ago, I’m not entirely sure, I contacted Degica’s community manager via Twitter if he would be interested in an interview on a podcast that didn’t exist at the time. I didn’t have much faith, we are talking about a singular fan contacting a company for information nobody else had access to.

But ‘lo and behold, things went on an overdrive. Not only did the community manager was aboard the ship, but he also got Degica’s Global Manager/ Project Leader aboard. I got a bit too greedy, and I scrambled to put up a test show. You heard it last week. Last Saturday I sat down with the representatives and Gabgrave of Alternative Projects to discuss some of the matters that people have been guessing around the Internet. Basically everything was set up in three weeks, and that’s not a whole lot time to get used to podcasting or practice it.

Now, this wasn’t just related to the Kickstarter as I wanted to approach them with questions that also relate to the main content of the blog, and as such I split the question in the middle with Gabgrave, where he handled the more Muv-Luv Kickstarter related questions.

There are some bits and pieces that I think fans of the series will love to hear, especially that little story from Anime Expo. The winners of the Giveway they were running at their site are announced here as well, and a new contest is launched a well, so keep listening to the very end.

This episode is around thirty minutes long, half of the previous one. The reason for this is because, as mentioned multiple times, things are changing and some information isn’t available. It could be said that I jumped the gun by asking for an interview too early.

Without any further intermission, let’s roll with this.

Rules for the trivia competition; Tweet your answer to @muvluvseries on Twitter in order to enter the contest. The duration of the competition is until Sunday 26th. Good luck to all the contestants.

The song at the end is Arranged version of Storm Vanguard.

Correction; In my quick mouthing I managed to misstate the website. It’s degigames.com, not degicagames.com.

For further transparency, there has been no monetary transactions whatsoever. This is a fan reaching out to a company for a contact, and them responding in a positive tone. The interview went through ixtl as well, but it went through in its initial cut. I’m sure I have a conflict of interest too by being a fan and having a bias.

Alternative Projects + Aalt presents; ARG Test Cast #1

Test podcast. I guess that’s what I’m calling this. I threw an idea to Gabgrave of Alternative Projects to discuss about, well, whatever the subject may be. The podcast is shared between them, and will appear at their blog as well. If you’re interested in âge product’s fantranslations, I recommended to give them a look.

This time we are discussing the Muv-Luv Kickstarter in order to break the ice. There are some awkward moments all around from yours truly, but I hope that I manage to iron out my voice and act with future ‘casts.

These podcasts won’t become the main bulk of the blog, and at least initially the subjects most likely will surround âge overall. The original intention would be to do these once every two weeks or so. I can tell you that Alternative Projects’ staff is eager to do these.

As such, the nature of these podcasts will be different from the main blog. With these my aim would be to encourage discussion and allow the participants to go on slight tangents on the subject, while still holding somewhat tight leash where the discussion goes. As such, it is more personal and there is less blog persona I employ when I write.

The cast is, without a doubt, wholly international. We have participants from far Eastern Orient all the way to wild western coast of USA. We all have our accents and it shows. Despite this, we all manage to discuss the subject matter just fine.

Despite the subject, there are numerous points that has been echoed in this blog before, and as such it’s all good. As Evan’s opening says, we hope to get better with time. Please, be gentle.

The song at the end is Evildoer from Nihon Falcom’s Xanadu Next.

Correction; When discussing the Kickstarter stretch goals, it sounds like we are taking them as official things. At this point, nothing is official, only the fact that we’re getting a Kickstarter is.