Wednesday, December 26, 2007

WTF?!

I recently watched this movie:


That's a bit of a lie, since I only watched about 30 minutes of it, because I simply couldn't stand it any more. I thought it was one of those typically bullshitty movies with special effects and crappy plot lines. I came to realise it's one of those few movies with special effects and no plot lines whatsoever. Besides all too much Korean with no subtitles, it includes the wonderful following:
- flashback within a story within a flashback;
- clichés, but not from other movies, but what you've seen in this very same movie;
- dinosaurs equipped with missile launchers assaulting 16th century Korea;
- probably many other things I didn't have the nerves to watch...

I absolutely think this movie is a waste of time. In case you have spare time and want to do something just for the sake of doing it, I still wouldn't recommend it.

I'm pretty sure they shot this movie during the Writer's Guild strike, otherwise I can't explain the sheer non-sense of it all.

Overall Rating: Shit-filled

Monday, November 05, 2007

Match the Captions to the Appropriate Characters

A few days ago I was cleaning my room and came across a very peculiar thing. Remember those funny moments when they present a product, but you know very well that in fact what they are holding in their hands is a completely different product? Or when they talk about a certain scientific law, but in fact the formula is for a completely different law? Of course you do! And since you do, you deserve to see this wonderful poster I found (while cleaning my room, I might add) of Rambo.


Something wrong? Of course something's bloody wrong! Anyone who saw either movie (Either, what do you mean either?) knows very well that the person in the poster is not Rambo (Isn't he?). Of course he isn't! (But he's Sylvester Stallone!) Contrary to popular belief, he starred in more than just the Rambo Trilogy (I say 'trilogy' because I deny the existence of a fourth movie). This poster, in fact, depicts Sylvester Stallone (who also played Rocky, by the way) in his role in Cobra.

Why would someone put the wrong caption on such a famous role? Like I said before, those who saw either movie can tell the difference from Pluto (Planet Pluto, I might add). More than that, even people who haven't seen any of the movies can tell from, let's say, Mars (or maybe even the Asteroid Belt). For example, Rambo is a well-known Vietnam veteran who kicks the asses of Soviets and Americans (USians actually) who treat veterans badly, who are just as bad as Soviets. He is also a friend of the Afghani people, which is probably why they made this so called fourth movie, since they couldn't leave him in that light after 9/11. Cobra is part of a good cop, bad cop duo that's missing a member (I'm sure you can guess which one). He has nothing to do with Soviets, more with KKK-type idiots. Also, is Rambo Famous for his sunglasses and SMG? No, that's Cobra. Rambo is famous for his headband, his knife, his bow, his helicopter/tank maybe, but not sunglasses.

Anyway, here are the original posters of the two movies.


So, the question remains, why would someone put the wrong caption on that poster? My guess is, that the caption isn't incorrectly put out of mistake, but intentionally. The truth is, the captions were probably switched. I don't remember where I have that poster from, but probably there are more posters where that came from, all with mixed up characters and captions. The fun part is probably cutting out the captions and matching it with the right character, then sticking them into some album or something. I have to get my hands on the rest of them! (Gotta catch'em all!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"The Undreaming is unchained."

Hello, everyone. Long time no see. I was busy, school and all. Besides, I bought myself a new graphics card (Leadtek WinFast A7600 GT TDH) and am now playing tonnes of new games. One of them is Dreamfall, about which I'm going to talk now (not that it requires a very powerful graphics card, but it uses Pixel Shader v1.0, which is not present on the GeForce 6 series).

Dreamfall is the sequel to the highly acclaimed adventure game The Longest Journey. I'm quite certain that playing this game will give little delight to those who haven't played the first game of the trilogy. Did I say trilogy? of course I did. These two games are part of a trilogy, the upcoming sequel, Dreamfall Chapters, being in production as we speak.

I'd like to talk about this a bit. Sadly, Dreamfall suffers from the "Jump to Trilogy Syndrome", also known as "Buy One Get One Free: Sequels" (NOTE: These names are purely fictional). Much like the dreaded "Dragonball Effect", this audio-visual item production trend is devastating to the content (and value) of the final product and consists in the following: The producers create a game/movie/whatever without any intention of making a sequel; when the game/movie/whatever becomes a great success, they decide to make not one, but instantly two sequels. Of course, the original material had a stand-alone ending, as no sequel was intended at that point. Because of this, the sequel features plot hooks that appear artificial, to override the ending of the first part. Also, the first sequel ends with a huge cliffhanger, to make room for the second sequel. You can observe this phenomenon at games such as God of War and movies such as the first Star Wars trilogy.

Having made this scarce general presentation, I'll proceed with the review through the comparison of Dreamfall toThe Longest Journey. First off, the game is no longer a point-and-click adventure game, instead it is an action adventure game. You now take control of your character from a third person point of view, make full use of the keyboard and also take part in scenes where talking isn't enough to get you past, but rather you require to employ force and go into combat mode or sneak past the guards that are simply just too tough to fight. This is the biggest change and can be felt throughout the game. As a downside, you can no longer experience the majestic sceneries you did in the first game. As a plus point, it creates a different approach to the game and the pacing of the three different elements (dialogue, stealth and combat) was just perfect for my taste. The controls are a bit difficult at the beginning, but you get used to them fast, however, due to a lack of a full explanation of the controls, you tend to get in situations where you know what to do, but you don't know how to do it (HINT: To throw things, you have to use the focus field, pressing the right mouse button, and then select what you want to throw from your inventory, pressing the middle mouse button).

The story of the game seems a bit far fetched at the beginning (due to the "Jump to Trilogy Syndrome"), but you get accustomed to it easily and it becomes really engaging, just like in the first game. However, if in the first game you saw the whole world through the eyes of April Ryan, the story being focused around her for most of its part, in the sequel you will alternatively control three characters, thus giving you a wider perspective of the world(s), and less focus on a single person. Also, the dialogues have changed, giving you the option of taking different attitudes towards the characters you interact with. For example, when you wish to board a ship, you may convince the captain by explaining, pleading, bribing or threatening him.

The overall feel of the game is a much more serious one. Humour and puns either come from characters of the first game, who retain they're jokes of old, or from funny reference to the original game. The sequel has few comical elements on it's own. I truly miss dialogues such as those with the guard at the crash site or the detective. Warning! This section contains spoilers. That having been said, I missed the cryptic remarks of Cortez, but were glad to see the comeback of characters such as Crow, Roper Klacks, Brian Westhouse, the Dark People, Gordon Halloway and the White of the Draic Kin. New comic faces include Theoretically Blind Bob and the Chinese Salesman. Spoilers end here.

The game seems a lot shorter than the first part. Also, I have to admit that I looked into a walkthrough at one point (in The Longest Journey I did that twice). Otherwise, the puzzles are not that difficult and quite self-explanatory. I think the highest number of items in my inventory at any given point was five.

Conclusion: for those who played the first game, this is certainly a must. You will definitely love it (and excitingly wait for the concluding part of the trilogy). To those who haven't played the first one, I recommend you skip this one and instead play that one beforehand.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

From the Forest Where Cicadas Cry, There Is No Return

The title, of course, is a line from the opening of, you've guessed it, When Cicadas Cry (japanese title Higurashi no Naku Koro ni). I've just finished watching this anime, and couldn't go without telling you all about it.

I came to find out about this anime from Szilard. He isked me if I had seen Elfen Lied and whether I had liked it. Since the answer for both questions was affirmative, he kindly recommended that I watch this particular anime. Thank you, Szilard.

The story takes place in June, 1983, in the little village of Hinamigawa, where Maebara Keiichi-kun just moved a month ago. He soon makes friends at school with Rena, Mion, Rika and Satoko. Life seems happy and carefree until the coming of the annual Watanagashi Festival, on the night of which, four years in a row, one person died and another went missing. The same is true for this year, and Keiichi gets involved in solving the mistery.

It doesn't seem like anything special, at first, but I have to say this, it's one freaky anime. This one is certainly not for the light-hearted. If Hello Kitty was your favourite anime, skip this one. This one should only be watched at night, in complete darkness and, hopefully, alone! Those who played Clive Barker's Undying under these conditions understand the feeling.

Simply put, it is shocking! Scenes of intense trepidation sometimes spring up unexpectedly, while at other times are forewarned and last an extended amount of time. I won't hide it, blood isn't spared at all during such scenes. The opening itself chills you to the bone. (For those interested, I've added the first scene of the first episode, followed by the opening, at the end of my post. No spoilers there.)

Warning: Some might consider the following paragraph to contain spoilers.
But the emotional roller-coaster is not everything. I was surprised to find the story end after the fourth episode, only to start from the beginning in the fifth. It immediately occurred to me that the anime had been adapted after a visual novel type game. I compared it with in my head to Critical Point, where, according to your actions, the villain turned out to be the captain of the ship, the enemy shapeshifting robot, the lesbian lieutenant and so on. Another way to look at it (though this only occurred to me after seeing the last episode) is in comparison to the PS2 game Grim Grimoire. For those who played it, think about playing throw that game, but from a perspective different than that of Lillet Blan (if you haven't played the game, I recommend it).
Eventual spoilers end here.

For those of you who liked Elfen Lied or enjoyed the first few Nightmare on Elm Street movies, I recommend this with a warm heart. I have to say, it's exactly as heartbreaking as Air... but in a completely different way. Enjoy!

PS: The story doesn't end in the first series. Be prepared for that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Missle Game 3D

Famous Logos

Have you noticed that famous logos sell well? It doesn't matter what the item is, if it has the famous logo on, it sells well. Furthermore, some fame-ridden logos also sell well, as long as they look cool. A third category would be the famous logo (or in our case, catchphrase) rip-offs. These it seems, also sell well, or at least the owner of this shoe store thought so...

Intel(R) had a huge impact on the IT market, but I think they'd never imagined they'd give tips for shoesalesmen... But if you steal the catchphrase, why not steal the logo as well? Wouldn't it have sold better that way?

Just imagine...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Minesweeper The Movie

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

D.M.C. - Dumb Mindless Crud

This morning I finished watching Devil May Cry. An anime based on the video game series with the same name. The story follows Dante, a half-demon half-human sword-wielding gunman who hunts devils for a living (talking about an original plot, ey?).

The video games received generally positive reviews, mostly due to their increased difficulty, which provided gamers with a challenge. Considering other aspects of the game, I think they were pretty shitty (though I played only Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition). I thought I would get something out of the highly praised action of the game, but quite frankly, it doesn't even reach the starting line in a race with God of War. I'd also rather not talk about the plot, I think they would have been better of completely without it, I'm surprised people were paid for that kind of stupid ideas. The only thing that surpasses the dumbness of the story is the voice-acting. Dante's personality, and the perfectly matching self-centred Hollywoodian macho voice, is so bad, that it passes the "humorously bad" barrier (unlike the voice-over in the movie 300), and it simply makes you want to cry.

So... what is the anime like? Exactly like the video game, just take away even that little interactivity which it had. Why would anyone want to watch it? Why did I watch it? Maybe I felt the need to warn people about it, but would have felt guilty to criticize without having seen it. Indeed, why would you want to see a guy fighting devils (and not even in a cool way) as if they were everyday hooligans and not breaking a sweat? And I mean not breaking a single sweat! Not even in the very last fight! Even Superman is vulnerable to kryptonite... What's the deal with this guy?

If you liked the games (other than the gameplay, that is, only the story, the attitude, the dialogues, and only if you really really liked them), you will probably like the anime too, though this might not necessarily be true. Otherwise, I advise you to stay away. If you have that much spare time, watch 300 instead, it will at least make you laugh.

Monday, September 17, 2007

17-09-2007 Post 3: It Is All Around Us...

Today, 17 September 2007, I decided to write 3 posts. The events within these posts are not chronological. But if they're not chronological, what do you call it? Of course, if the events are completely in the opposite order, you call it reversed chronological order. But what if they are simply jiggled around? Do you call it inchronological or unchronological? Or perhaps chronoillogical (that makes sense)? Anyway, they're just random.


"Nothing interesting ever happens to me," is a signature phrase of Mitsue Shijou (Kamichu!). Have you ever thought those same words? Well, you're wrong! ("Moses, you're lying!") All you have to do is open your eyes to the world around you. You are surrounded by weirdness and the supernatural. As an example, today, when I was coming home from the School Year Opening Ceremony, I saw this:


Apparently, it's just some graffiti in the park next to my apartment. However, I saw right through into the beyond. For most people, this is a simple spiral, while for the trained eye, this resembles two arcane symbols...


The Symbol of Bethrezen & The SOS Brigade Logo

Of course, some difference applies, but when dealing with mystic powers, you have to be flexible. When such grandeur surrounds us, how can anyone say "Nothing interesting ever happens to me"? The fact is, people blind themselves from the truth. After all "There are more things in heaven and earth,[...] Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Hamlet, from Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene V)

17-09-2007 Post 2: "Forward, GO!"

Today, 17 September 2007, I decided to write 3 posts. The events within these posts are not chronological. But if they're not chronological, what do you call it? Of course, if the events are completely in the opposite order, you call it reversed chronological order. But what if they are simply jiggled around? Do you call it inchronological or unchronological? Or perhaps chronoillogical (that makes sense)? Anyway, they're just random.

Yesterday, after doing some farming, err, I mean adventuring, in FFXII, I wanted to sit down and watch something nice. I wanted a light comedy that doesn't rely on slapstick or overboard weirdness humour. I decided to watch Manabi Straight! I hit the nail on the head.

Manabi Straight! (Japanese title: Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!) takes place in the near future (2035), where due to a severe drop in birth rate, very few people attend school, most of them taking a decision to become part of the basic (and essential) workforce of the nation. In this setting, Seioh (All Girls) High School has a one-member student board which doesn't really do anything, but has survived through time, mostly ignored by the students. Everything changes the day Amamiya Manami transfers to Seioh and decides to become Student Council President with the intentions of doing something "wonderful and exciting".

The anime has a warm atmosphere around it, implemented very well through animation, sound and music. Everything is a bit futuristic, but cosy in the same time. The characters, although in high-school, are drawn middle-school like (you'll see in teh wallpapers at the end of the post). The series is very well paced and makes you want to not let go of it till you finished watching (I realised that at 7 am this morning, when I finished it...).

The whole atmosphere is centered around 5 girls who make up the student council. And just to give you a taste of why it's so cool, I'll say some about each one of them:

Amamiya Manami, aka Manabi-chan (voice: Yui Horie) is the Student Council President. She is hyperactive and weird. "My brain doesn't work, if I sit in one place", she declares herself in the series. As energetic as Tomo-chan (Azumanga Daioh!) with a heart as big as Ai Tanabe (Planetes).

Inamori Mika, aka Mikan (voice: Ai Nonaka) is the original member of the student council and fills in the position of Secretary. When I watched the anime, I tried to think who she reminds me of, and Tokino Akiyama (Kujibiki Unbalance) came to mind. I was later surprised to find out that the seiyuu for the two characters is one and the same. She is timid and naive, also reminding of Akari Mizunashi (Aria the Animation).

Uehara Mutsuki, aka Mu-chi (voice: Marina Inoue) is the athlete of the team. She is very fit and fills in the role of Student Council Assistant. She highly reminds me of Kagura (Azuamga Daioh!), due to her athletic nature, interest in manly stuff, constant appetite, but also a kind and helping heart of gold.

Etoh Mei (voice: Aya Hirano) is an amalgam of characters. A composure like that of Sakaki-san (Azumanga Daioh!), an intellect like that of Chiyo-chan (Azumanga Daioh!) and determination (and "boss around"-iness) like that of Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya). She is the Student Council Treasurer and is many times involved in administratively taking lead of the group. I guarantee, she's a character you'll love.

Momoha Odori, aka Momo (voice: Saki Fujita) will probably be my brother's favourite character from the series. She is strange and absent-minded, talks very little, but is highly sarcastic and scheming on the inside. She mostly reminded me of Mamimi Samejima (FLCL).

Imagine what these girls can do together? I recommend this anime to anyone who liked Azumanga Daioh! and the sort. I just can't get enough of it, so here are some wallpapers.




17-09-2007 Post 1: Decreased Natality or Increased Mortality?

Today, 17 September 2007, I decided to write 3 posts. The events within these posts are not chronological. But if they're not chronological, what do you call it? Of course, if the events are completely in the opposite order, you call it reversed chronological order. But what if they are simply jiggled around? Do you call it inchronological or unchronological? Or perhaps chronoillogical (that makes sense)? Anyway, they're just random.

Today, 17 September 2007, school started in Romania. Usually the school year starts on 15 September, but since that was a Saturday (and there is no school on Saturday), they moved it 2 days farther. People usually say that school starts on 15 September, but this is not a rule. In fact, by rule, it starts on the first working day after 14 September, but I guess that would be too long for people in today's fast-moving society to utter every time they refer to the beginning of the school year.

Anyway, our former class decided to visit some teachers with this occasion. I was really happy to meet some of them, since I didn't go last year (shame on me). It was quite a nostalgic moment (ah, those boring speeches... actually, we have those in university too...).

So what does the title have to do with it? It's a subtle hint to the second post I'm going to make about an anime that takes place in the near future, Japan facing a population problem due to decreased natality (or birth rate, if you will). Where's the connection? Well, out of the proud class of thirty (30) that graduated two (2) years ago, only seven (7) showed up (I'm putting the numbers in brackets to highlight the big changes). Our problem is not with natality, but mortality (or death rate, if you will). At this rate, how many people are going to show up at the 10-year anniversary? I think Romania is facing a crisis that it is not aware of...

Note: This post is supposed to be funny. I know that this event was quite meaningless compared to the 10-year anniversary, which will have a whole-class attendance (at least I hope). I do, however, feel a bit sad that this few people showed up. I apologize to those who could not make it due to serious circumstances, like being on a different continent (this means you, Anca, I hope you're still reading this blog...).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Evening of 12 September 2007


Shana Tova!


Ramadan Mubarak!

(sorry, I didn't have a photo to match the greeting)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Journey Photo Log, Interlude

I'll be leaving for a week to Borsec. This is a recreational camp (which means no Internet connection), so I'll have to leave the log a bit suspended. However, I leave you with two movies that we made in camp. Enjoy:



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Journey Photo Log, Part 2

Here you go, everyone! Part 2!

Cristian: (before camp)

Well, as soon as I got to Cristian, I met the people I was going to work with. Some of them had already been there for the previous camps and those of them were really glad to see reinforcements coming. Of course, I had known them from before, the correct way to say it would have been "I met up with". Whatever.

The day before camp, we went to Busteni to see Babele and Sfinxul. For those of you who don't know, these are two famous rock formations which respectively resemble old women and a human face. Here are two photos, one with me and Babele in the background (I never understood where the old women were in those stones; personally I think they look like nuclear explosion mushrooms, but in school books they claim they look like old women, so who am I to argue?), and one with the whole group (not everyone here is an instructor, some are participants from the previous camp who stayed for the next one too).

The interesting part of the journey was the journey itself, not really the rock formations. Besides waiting in line 3 hours, I got an insight on cool/stupid Romanian signs. Check these out:

What's the word for "velocity" in Romanian?

"Viteza", you say? Check again:


I've been to other countries, but I've never seen a "stationing table" before:

Let's suppose I'm looking for a coffin...

Found the best place! Open 24/7:

Where do I park? On the right? Gotcha...

Houston, we have a problem...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Journey Photo Log, Part 1

Well, most of you know, I've been on quite a trip these past weeks. First of all, I went to Bucharest to see my girlfriend, then to camp in Cristian and after that to Szarvas. I got home 3 days ago, but i needed the time to rest. Now the time has come to talk about my journeys.

Thanks to my brother's benevolence, I got a digital camera for my birthday (Thank you, Tibi!). Using this camera, I took a lot of photos during my travels, which I'm going to share with you through the following days, as I review the past weeks.


Bucharest:

I'll start my log by telling about what it was like in Bucharest. I got my camera here, 2 days before leaving, so sadly I have not enough photos. I especially regret not having taken pictures of TNT Games, the official retailer of NCSoft games in Romania. It was such a cool workplace. What was I doing there? Well, I went to buy a PS1 memory card in order to be able to save my FFIX games. Yes, we all know that Sony are bitches, not letting you save PS1 games on a PS2 memory card. Anyway, this place was really cool and I got to play the Wii here, too! Yay!

Anyway, the purpose of my visit to Bucharest was seeing my girlfriend, Ioana! And here she is!
(by the way, this is the very first photo taken with my new camera)

Ok, let's have some more photos with her, cause she deserves it. Beautiful, isn't she?... (sigh)




Another event was Mariuca's birthday. Who is Mariuca? She's Ioana's older sister. Here's a photo. Happy Birthday! It was a really cool birthday. The whole family got together. It was a ball!



Overall, it was a heavenly time (mostly thanks to Ioana). I can't wait to meet you again...
I'll end here, and resume my stories tomorrow, with events from Cristian, from before the camp.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Kiddy Grade 2 (the waiting's simply killing me)

I don't know about most of you, but among my favourite anime I count Gonzo's 24-episode science fiction TV series about girls with super powers, an organization bearing the name of God, fanservice and even some unexpected (even outrageous to some) plot twists. Yes, I'm talking about Kiddy Grade.


Views and critics about Kiddy Grade vary wildly. I personally like it. I like the pacing, the visuals, the music, the characters, the setting, the plot, even the fanservice... And just when it was about to get interesting, you suddenly notice that you've just finished watching episode 24 and there are no more... You then re-watch it (well, that's what I did) and enjoy it at a different level, knowing all the subtleties that you've learnt throughout the series. But then, it ends again...

Well, it doesn't have to end there. There will be 3 digest movies coming out, retelling the story of the series, and as far as I know, it will contain new material as well. But what's really exciting, is the fact that they've announced (yes, I know that this happened in October 2006) a sequel. The preview (which I would more accurately call a teaser) was released 2 months ago and I've finally gotten my hands on it. I've watched it and re-watched it as much as the series. I just can't wait...


Well, if all of this is going to be in Kiddy Grade 2, then I guess it's worth waiting. The space battle seems a lot more dynamic, since the battle with Deucalion was a bit dull. The two new main characters seem pretty cool. If in the first series Eclair was the brawn and Lumiere was the brains, I don't see that clear dissociation in these two. Also, if they're taking out Eclair, they will probably have less fanservice. At the very end, did you notice that the sign is different? It doesn't say GOTT, it says GTO! All these little details make me tingle. Help me someone... I'm dying!

New Gadget

Well, everyone, as you can see on the right hand side of the blog, where you have all the goodies (those cool comics and the archive, which is of absolutely no use to you, I guess), a new gadget has just appeared. "Is that a map?" you might ponder. Indeed it is. But it isn't just any kind of map. It's a ClustrMap. This cool gizmo I took from my brother's blog and it shows how many hits my blog gets and, the cool part, where I get them from. I have high hopes of world domination with it. Who knows...

Anyway, if you want to decorate your own blog with it, check out:
http://www.clustrmaps.com/

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Let's Put Our Sins to Good Use... Amusement!

As I was browsing through the forum of my Guild Wars guild, some of my guildies posted interesting Quizes, Tests and the like. No, these are not psychologically approved personality tests or such. They are for mere fun!

I personally liked two of the tests, namely:

1. Dante's Inferno Test - http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv
2. Seven Deadly Sins Quiz - http://www.4degreez.com/misc/seven_deadly_sins.html?g=m

Enjoy!


On the first one I scored Purgatory:
LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

On the Second I scored Sloth:
Greed:Medium

Gluttony:Medium

Wrath:Low

Sloth:High

Envy:Low

Lust:Medium

Pride:Very Low

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hell! It's about time...

No, this post is not about Starcraft 2 (I guess that's old news now, but if you haven't heard about it, visit http://www.starcraft2.com). No, this post is about another great game that's about to come out. It's probably erroneous to call something 'great' if it's still more than a year away, but when we (or at least I) say "A great game is coming out", we mean that it's a game we have great expectations of, knowing the producer, past releases, trailers and various other bits of information.

Indeed, the game I'm talking about now is an RPG, is just as old as Starcraft (in fact it's older), had a sequel, a tactics spin-off with an add-on and even a table-top game. We've been waiting for the second sequel for a long time now, but the company went bankrupt and nothing became of it. Another company has bought the rights and is now making the long-awaited sequel.

Have you guessed the game yet?



Beautiful, isn't it? (For a higher quality teaser, check http://fallout.bethsoft.com/teaser.html) The first impression it gives me is that the game seems to retain the whole feel of the Fallout universe, which, of course, is the most captivating thing in the game. I am glad that it's Bethesda who's working on Fallout 3 (not some stupid commercial company, like EA). I just hope they will keep the style of the game as well. I really wouldn't like to see a simple Elder Scrolls set in the Fallout universe, but a game that retains its tradition. It will most likely be 3D, we can't help that nowadays, I just hope they don't screw it up.

Like I said before, I think this will be a great game (as in I have high hopes and expectations, as from Starcraft 2, by the way). However, I have a fear for both of these games. Will they run on a low-end PC? Both Starcraft and Fallout (as well as Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics) ran on minimal system requirements. Will they be able to do the same for Starcraft 2 and Fallout 3? A more appropriate question would be: Is this even among their priorities? We'll have to wait and see... (unless humanity destroys itself till then, in which case we'll be playing these games on the Vault's computer)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Psychedelic ecstasy!


WATCH THE TRAILER FIRST, THEN READ!




Yesterday (actually 2 days ago, since it's past midnight) me and the boys went out to see a movie! Within TIFF (Transylvanian International Film Festival) there is always one anime screening. Last year, it was Howl's Moving Castle (which I sadly couldn't attend, since I was still in Oradea back then), this year, it was Paprika. This is the movie we went to see.

As Serban observed, this was the first anime he'd seen in a cinema in Romania. It was the same for me, though the first anime I'd seen in a cinema was in Hungary, at Szarvas, when I went to see
Spirited Away. I had expected to see very few people in the room, yet it was full, to my utmost surprise and joy.

Anyway, onto the anime! I'm not sure I can describe it in any one word. I would like to search www.dictionary.com for synonyms of the word GREAT and put them in a list here... Come to think of it, I'll do that:

The anime
Paprika was able, absolute, aces, adept, admirable, adroit, bad, best, brutal, cold, complete, consummate, crack, downright, dynamite, exceptional, expert, fab, fantastic, fine, first-rate, good, heavy, hellacious, marvelous, masterly, mostest, number one, out-and-out, perfect, positive, proficient, skilled, skillful, super dupe, surpassing, terrific, total, tough, transcendent, tremendous, unmitigated, unqualified, utter, wonderful, zero cool!

Having said that, lets get into details. The anime is the well-known style of Satoshi Kon. As I saw Paprika prancing around during the opening credits, it kind of reminds me of the 'evil' Mima from
Perfect Blue. The camera movement and impact of the two movies are so much alike. Paprika, however is less scary and more confusing. It's not because of the plot though, I believe he could have easily made it scarier had he wanted to. Dreams can be really scary (just listen to Iron Maiden's Dream of Mirrors and you'll understand what I mean.), but I think he wanted something different. The metaplot, I believe, resembles Serial Experiments Lain the most. In what way? Well, go watch them both and you'll understand. :P

As for the technical aspects, well, what can I say? Animation and production were done by Madhouse Studios. Do a search on that at Anime News Network and you'll soon find some attractive titles and understand what this means. The visuals are just stunning. The carnival scenes are most impressive. It kind of grabs you and folds around you, really taking you into the action. The audio is likewise amazing. The theme song is just wonderful (I got hooked on it from the very beginning). Also, as a personal delight, the main character is voiced by Megumi Hayashibara. I think it is a most befitting role for both her Lina Inverse and Rei Ayanami attitudes.




Say hello to Paprika and Dr. Atsuko Chiba!

This anime is a must-see! Don't expect something light though. It is a typical Satoshi Kon movie, in which you don't know where reality ends and dreams begin.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's that day...

Well, today is 31 May. Which means... we have a birthday today! Wait? I'm wrong? What do you mean I'm wrong? Aaaaaaa! You mean there's not just one birthday, but two birthdays today?! Well then, let's have the lucky winners step up on the podium please:



First up is Ioana! (to those of you who don't know, Ioana is my girlfriend) Let's all put our hands together for Ioana who is turning 18 today. That means drinking, driving and sex are now legal for you! Cool!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, IOANA!!!







Second up is myBlog! Everyone cheer for the blog we all know and love. myBlog becomes one-year-old today. I was hoping I'd hit 100 posts before this day is over, but hopefully that will happen before next year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MYBLOG!!!







For those of you who are wondering about this coincidence, check out the very first post. (NOTE: Back then, Ioana and I were not together... who would have thought we'd come all this way...)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Inspiration

It is amazing where one can find inspiration nowadays. Wherever you look, you may find something of great interest. There exist only 2 conditions:
- You have to keep your eyes open;
- You have to have something to use the inspiration for.
Now, these conditions can be dealt with in an extremely hasty manner.

First, if the source of inspiration is shocking, you don't need to keep your eyes open. However, it has to be really shocking. You know, the kind that hits you and leaves you traumatized for weeks without end. The kind that makes you go "You are shock!" (the source of inspiration I'm talking about did this to me)

Second, you need to have something to direct valuable inspiration towards. And what is the best place the a blog? You can throw anything here, whether it is interesting or boring, cute or disgusting, violent or pornographic, everything goes. What? There is more worthy a target for inspiration? Yes, there is! I'm talking about motivational posters.

For those of you who don't know, motivational posters are little framed photos with a title and tagline that "Inspire! Motivate! Mock!" They are the perfect things. You will see an example below (I hope it inspires you to make more).

Yes, 'motivational poster' was the first thing that popped into my mind as soon as I saw my room mate's rice and chicken. What's so inspiring about rice and chicken? Nothing much, usually. But after keeping it in the fridge a few weeks, it becomes really shocking. Remember, 'shocking' was the first condition for a successful source of inspiration? I've always thought mould to be green, but there are many other colours of mould: blue, white, brown, black, yellow, grey... The photo is not high quality, since it was taken with a mobile phone, I hope you enjoy it though. So without further a due:




If you want to make your own motivational poster, visit:
http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/motivator.php

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Eurovision 2007

For those of you who are not up to date, the 52nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest ended this weekend with Serbia's Marija Sherifovich claiming a 268 point victory (with the song Molitva, meaning 'Prayer').

I personally didn't like the songs that much. My favourites were the opening and in-between songs, namely Lordi's Hard Rock Hallelujah (last year's winner with a record-breaking score of 292 points) and Apocalyptica (though I don't know what song). I have to admit, Finnish music is very good. However, despite being the host, they didn't do too well, obtaining only 53 points, landing them on the 17th place (behind Romania's bullshit song... which scored 13th with 84 points). They should have participated with Loituma's Leva's Polka, I'm sure that would have gotten them many more votes.

One of the most interesting things was the distribution of the points. It was notable that most countries voted for their neighbours, which is understandable (except for the United Kingdom, which is even more understandable). Romania enjoyed two 12-point votes (this being the maximum), from Moldova, which is unexpected, yet somewhat understandable and mostly pleasant, and from Spain, which is extremely understandable and equally hilarious (prietenii ştiu de ce!).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Kana -Little Sister-

Yesterday, I played Kana -Little Sister-...

... it changed me

Sunday, January 07, 2007

First Post of the Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Well, everyone, we're looking forward to a new year full of happiness and fulfilments, right? And let's not forget: great, enriching, entertaining posts.

Thankfully, I got a great idea for my first post this year. It occurred to me that Mom was watching Starship Troopers on TV last night. We all know and love this movie, right? Remember the part when Private Ace (or whatever his name is) misthrows the knife and says: "Sir, why do we have to learn how to throw a knife when all you need to do is press a button... Sir." And then the Sergeant makes him put his hand on the wall and sticks it to it with the knife saying: "The enemy can't press the button if you disable his hand." And then comes the scene with the showers... So why did they cut the part with the knife and suddenly shifted to the shower room straight after Ace's comments? And what's this, they cut out the part with the arachnids tearing the guy apart? What the Hell?!?!?!

I really don't understand TV. I mean, they had this sign in the lower right corner:
So then why cut out the bloody scenes of the movie? I mean, those are the coolest parts. It's the same with Romanian TV. They keep from translating curse words even during the night-time movies. People lacking English knowledge still think that "fuck you!" means "du-te dracului!" I think this is plain stupid. If you rate it 'R'... then dammit, put in some 'R' content into it, don't leave out all the juice...