Tuesday, November 17. 2015 | Comment (1)
OK, I think it's time to admit I'm not going to return to Morrowind. Again. On my 5th attempt, I made it to somewhere around level 12 and played for around 20 hours. I was bored stiff and had no interest in the game world or the story. Then, of course, there's the fact that the game controls suck and it's no fun to play. And this was with the 2 Gig mod package that updated the graphics of everything, added tons of features to the game engine, and fixed a lot of known bugs.
Time to try Dragon Age: Origins for the third time.
Sunday, November 15. 2015 | Comments (6)
I was showing one of my daughters Tonari no Seki-kun the other day, and decided to go fishing for some wallpaper. There's not a lot, but I did find this image. It doesn't really need the fanservice, but I wouldn't say I'm bothered by it or anything.
Friday, November 13. 2015 | Comments (3)
I'm not any particular kind of fan of the Touhou Project universe. Don't have anything against it, it's just not my kind of game. And even if it was, at this point the incredible amount of story and character development that has occurred in this long-running series frankly scares the heck out of me.
However, one little corner of the fandom has me hooked. And it's Brickmuppet's fault.
Back in August posted the two videos linked above. The second video is an MMD-based video set in the Touhou Project universe, using Touhou characters. The protagonist is the maid Sakuya Izayoi. Both of them; read the wiki entry to understand why. By all accounts, Sakuya is really a minor character in the game world but seems to occupy an outsized position of glory with the fandom.
She is the star of an apparently connected series of MMD videos:
There are a few others I've found that look like riffs on the same type of humor and structure as these videos, but mostly they don't capture the spot-on timing found here. But here's another video by, I think, the same person:
And just for fun, here's Sakuya dancing to Taylor Swift:
Sunday, November 8. 2015 | Comments (0)
Tuesday, November 3. 2015 | Comments (3)
I'm not 100% sure there's anything new in this, but it's fun:
Sunday, November 1. 2015 | Comments (2)
I just finished watching a couple of "classic" Disney movies from my childhood, Condorman and The Black Hole. The Black Hole has long been a cult classic with a large following, and has received a lovely digital remaster and 1080p transfer. Condorman has long been a very, very minor cult classic and is available pan-n-scanned for $10.00. Both are worthy of comment.
I watched TBH with my oldest daughter. She found the movie entertaining, but noted some of the obvious problems. The tone is bi-polar, crashing from serious sci-fi to goofy kid action movie. It features scenes of a psychotic, homicidal robot drilling a hole through Anthony Perkins, and scene where the serious, scientific helper-bot beats an all-black sentry-bot at a shooting gallery game and does funny tricks. TBH is literally two movies in one: someone at Disney said they needed grim-dark anti-heroes to get money from the adults, while someone else pointed out that the kids needed something to laugh at before they sit through the psychedelic black-hole journey that ends with a literal depiction of HELL.
Of interest is how hard Disney tried, at least at times, to make the film more scientifically accurate than the typical space adventure. Hard sci-fi had one major film champion in the West; 2001. TBH tried to depict microgravity and freefall rather than just hand-wave artificial gravity. The film also mostly accurately depicted how rockets are utilized to maneuver spaceships in space, only to fail spectacularly in depicting the correctly oriented, slowly approaching Palomino firing rockets all the way down until docked with Cygnus, as if the ship was fighting gravity all the way.
The most spectacular scene, the asteroid (mistakenly called a meteorite) crashing along the center longitudinal axis of the ship, genuinely impressed my daughter, and still impresses me. But in the end, she was aghast when I explained after the movie that Disney had marketed the film to kids. They did. I had a coloring book. In fact, I had the coloring book long before I ever saw the movie. I thought Maximillian was the coolest robot in the world. Until I discovered he was a murdering psychopath and a literal depiction of Satan. Good job, Disney.
Next up was Condorman, a seemingly-low-budget Michael Crawford?!? vehicle shot on location in Paris, Monte Carlo and Zermatt. I hadn't seen this movie since I was in single-digit years. My memories where of the Car, the Boat, the Other Boat, and the Suit. I conveniently forgot about all the boring story.
It's incredible to see what Disney put money into and what they didn't. The story is bad, but it doesn't have to be good. The idea is that an American comic book artist and writer, the creator of Condorman, is tapped by his mid-level CIA friend to be a civilian placeholder in an inconsequential paperwork exchange. The artist, Woody, comicly plays up his importance to the Soviet spy, who subsequently requests escort and assistance by code-name Condorman when she wants to defect. The rest of the movie is set-piece action scenes as Woody and Natalia race across Europe to get her back to America. As I said, the story doesn't have to be good, but it's lazy. Some scenes stretch out needlessly, some things are glossed over. Some things are explained that have no bearing on the movie, other things are jumped into. Of course, this could be the result of editing, a problem many Disney movies faced in the 70's and 80's.
Other areas that are problematic are the mix of quality FX with, again, lack of effort. A rocket-powered zip-line rig has a well-animated rocket flame, and then the rigs are shown travelling down the line at what is clearly the normal speed of the ski-lift line. They could have at least sped up the film. The laser guns used in a couple of scenes are Star Wars quality or better; the dummies used in multiple stunts appear to be wooden cutouts. As is the piggy-backed figure of Natalia riding the Condorman glider at the end of the movie. I mean, you can SEE it. It's right there on the screen. They couldn't even use a blow-up doll.
The single biggest issue is that the movie is boring. The interesting bits are the car chase, the boat fight, and the Condorman suit. No wonder that's all that stuck with me. Of course, as an adult, Barbara Carrera was quite interesting as well.
Michael Crawford doesn't think Condorman is the worst movie he ever made. He thinks it's the second-worst movie he ever made. But kudos to Crawford; he puts a ton of misplaced energy into the mismanaged project.
Sunday, November 1. 2015 | Comments (0)
Sincere apologies for the delay in getting this episode out. We're already almost four episodes into the next series and I still have one more episode of Overlord to write up. I was running a few weeks behind anyway, because I wanted to try to allow for changes between the novels and the anime to have a chance to resolve in some way, but I never intended to be a full month behind.
Anyway, episodes twelve and thirteen are the fight against Shalltear, parts one and two. There's plenty of other stuff, though...so I'm not going to do the episodes as one long write-up.
Episode twelve begins with Ainz porting to the forest where Shalltear has remained stationary, along with Aura and Mare. Both of the dark elves are equipped with world items to make them immune to whatever mind-control can take command of a level 100 NPC. Also, the two are to monitor the area and take note of any enemies that may approach, at which point they are to take the portal directly back to Nazarick. Depending on the situation, the world items they carry may be more important than their lives.
Back at Nazarick, Albedo and Cocytus are remote-viewing the fight. Demiurge arrives, having been called back from his assignments like all of the other guardians (except Sebas and Solution, as explained previously). Once he realizes what Ainz-sama intends to do, he flies into a rage:
He starts to leave in order to command his own minions to support Ainz-sama immediately, but is blocked by Cocytus. Albedo explains that her decision to not protest this action was based on her own emotions and instinct, which Demiurge finds completely irrelevant. He demands that she relinquish her role as head of the guardians if Ainz is lost. Cocytus challenges his blasphemy, but Albedo accedes to the demand. "Have faith in your master. This is also a duty of the guardians," Albedo chides. With Demiurge calmed for the moment, she asks Cocytus what his calculation of the odds of the fight are:
Continue reading "Overlord episode 12"
Sunday, November 1. 2015 | Comments (2)
KyoAni announced today they will produce a second season of Hibike! Euphonium.
That's tremendous news.
The reason the title for this post wasn't nonsensical gibberish or "Squeeeeee!" is because, like everything else these days, the name of the second season isn't "Hibike! Euphonium Series 2" or "Hibike! Euphonium 2" or "Hibike! Euphonium: More of the Same!"
It's "Hibike!! Euphonium"
I am getting sick and tired of denoting second series with punctuation.
Monday, October 26. 2015 | Comments (0)
As I pointed out in the cBox comments to the right, I've been having some internet problems. The symptoms are the connection running at 1/10th speed down and frequent drop outs. It was better late Saturday, but started messing up again Sunday and has frequently dropped today.
The connection is DSL over land-line, and the phone company confirmed this morning that there is a problem with the line. I suspect it might be in the line between the junction box across the road and the house, as the phone company marked that line for replacement last spring but hasn't done it yet.
That's why I didn't get the writeup of Overlord done this weekend, and why I probably won't be updating much of anything except the cBox until the internet is fixed.
Monday, October 12. 2015 | Comments (0)
Episode 10 - Non-story, Cake Viking shop; Akemi loses her glasses, glasses mistakenly confess while being worn by Aizawa. Shocks everyone.
Episode 11 - Shiragami finally arranges a date between Aizawa and Asahi at the summer festival. Hilarity ensues leaving Aizawa really torn between losing her friendship with Shiragami and Asahi and wanting to confess to Asahi. This is followed by Akane using her illusion powers to torment Shiragami over how she feels about Asahi.
Episode 12 - Much confusion about feelings while certain gags are repeated. Aizawa finally decides that she must stop Asahi confessing to Shiragami or vice - versa. Asahi finally reaches Shiragami on the roof of the school, only to see her getting carried away by a giant vampire bat.
Episode 13 - Bastardization of the camping story. All of the characters go to Shiragami's family home to get her back. Bizarrely, they decide to break in following Aizawa's lead, despite half the characters knowing Shiragami's family personally. Hilarity ensues in the giant house. Shiragami almost confesses when Asahi volunteers to hit himself with Aizawa's hammer so that Shiragami can stay in school. And yet, in the final scene she bizarrely acts legitimately confused when Aizawa brings up the moment, leaving the viewer with an open ending for a sequel.