02 January, 2007

DS versus PSP

Over at slashdot they had an article on the upcoming year the DS and PSP will have. Being an RPG fan living in Australia, I have very specific tastes on games and so whether or not 2007 is a good year for either handheld for me is another story.

For the PSP I get to look forward to:
* Crisis Core - I'm a FFVII fan from when it was first released. How could I not be interested? Well easy, it looks like they did away with turn based/ATB/anything not too action oriented battles.
* Jeanne d'Arc - A strange enough idea I'm willing to take a closer look at reviews when it comes out.
* Tales of Destiny 2 - The PS2 version wasn't released in America, I don't see why the PSP version will be.
* Tales of Phantasia - Another remake, but this one seems worth it. I also don't have the GBA version yet.
* Tales of the World - I would be interested if its released in Australia.
* Valhalla Knights - Despite its combat system, I'm interested. If its released in Australia.
* Wild Arms XF - I'm interested if its released in my country.

So yeah, not exactly the best line-up so far considering only one of them is guaranteed for Australia, the one I don't want.

The DS on the other hand has no region coding and so any American game is one I can play. For it I can look forward to:
* Dragon Quest IX - I'd like to find out more. However current info points to an action type combat system which is one I dislike. So while I do want more info, my hopes aren't too high.
* Final Fantasy III - Australia hasn't got this yet, but will next year. So I'm looking forward to it.
* Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - I was quite surprised to see this when looking at 2007's line-up for this post. But I'm definitely interested.
* Pokemon Diamond and Pearl - This is the big draw for the DS for me. And given it has online functionality I'll be able to trade. As a 22 year old pokemon fan, I don't know anyone in person who is a fan.
* Vandal Hearts - Vandal Hearts was the first game I ever played on the PSX, so I'm a fan.
* Archaic Sealed Heart - Sounds interesting, if its released in America.
* Heroes of Mana - I've never gotten interested in the Mana series, but I'd like to check this out as I enjoy good strategy RPGs. However the story will be the final determining factor. That and if its released in America
* Final Fantasy Tactics Advance2 - a Sequel? I'm there.

So the DS has a much better line up due to the fact I can import American games. However is 4 games enough to make me fork over $200? Probably not. However 6 is. So which get released in America and which get developed in the future will determine if I get a DS. The PSP on the other hand is a system my brother owns so the cost of entry is $0. But while I will get one or two games for it, I don't see myself getting more then 1 or 2.

01 November, 2006

Something Positive on Hell Houses

I don't think this webcomic is too appropriate to post here (considering I'm getting linked to from Myst Blogs which AFAIK tends to aim towards being family friendly) so you may wish to skip this post. However I found the storyline starting on this page and continuing for 8 pages to deal with a touchy topic in a very thought provoking manner (although it's got the requisite tasteless jokes so be warned ;)).

What it deals with is a phenomenon called a Hell House where (typically evangelical) Christians create a haunted house showing the horrors of sinning with the hopes of convincing people to convert. I'd like to think that such attractions can be done tastefully and in an enjoyable manner, but if they are the Something Positive storyline doesn't feature one of those. Instead it shows how people who have the best of intentions (and the strip does show them as having good intentions. It would have been easier to villify the people running the hell house) can be misguided.

I felt that the strip showed why it's important to have compassion and patience with people who have differing beliefs (even if those beliefs would force you to convert if they were made law ;)). What I liked best though was one of the "victims" of the hell house was a Christian themself. But although he was Christian he disagreed with pretty much every single belief held by those running the hell house. I also felt the last strip was very good. It shows that not all Christians have the same beliefs, and they'll go about their beliefs in completely different ways.

Although one point I didn't necessarily agree with was in the final strip someone comments on how Christians don't typically admit to being a Christian unless they're also saying how much better they are then non-believers. As a non-Christian I haven't found that to be the case, although it is a common portrayal of Christians in recent times. However even with that page having that point, I'd say the final panel made that page the most enjoyable for me. I don't think the character in the final panel is praying in the hopes that all Christians would stop behaving in such a manner. But instead praying that the minority of Christians that do, will "see the light" and instead go towards a closer version of Christianity that the character believes in. Or at the very least that the misconception that Christians are typically people that always go around saying how much better they are then others will be replaced with something that's closer to the truth. And given the comment by the creator of Something Positive's on the main page, I'd say that interpretation is correct (although I don't agree with the tone of the comment he made. It's fairly standard fare for Something Positive ;)).

30 October, 2006

This is so my mother

This is so my mother. Not that I've proposed to anyone. But this is my mother when it comes to ANYTHING good happening to me. For instance I do well in the HSC (the final test in high school that determines what university you're eligible to enter) and her response is "Is it a mistake" followed by "Did you cheat?"

I use to play soccer, and when I once got an award her response was "Now how did that happen." Recently I did well in an assignment, her response was "Wow, the people that failed must have done poorly."

So yes, that is so my mother. Right down to the thinking I'm gay in the previous strip.

21 September, 2006

Journal Entry #3: I gotta jump where?

The rope bridge isn't on the way to the Library, however I was right in that the way to the library is the right direction. In fact, it's in the Library Courtyard, over the cliff. At first I thought I had to jump off the cliff, but instead you just have to get really close to the edge. When I jumped off, I was unable to get a steady line-of-sight because I was shaking too much. Thankfully I linked out without any harm.

Now I head to the Great Zero courtyard to return my KI marker. Although I will never understand what sort of XYZ system these KIs use. I understand Z (being evelation). However the XY are still a mystery to me.

So I turn on the Great Zero, and it is an impressive sight. Everything's spinning and turning and flashing. But what now?

I headed to the Great Zero Observation Room and the book there doesn't help any... Hmm....
OH! I got it. What were those co-ordinates from Zandi? I'll head there.

So I head to the Ferry, figuring it's near there. I start heading to behind at the docks, but realise while it is the correct direction, my evelation is way too low. So I head to the pub and I'm right, but I need to walk through the wall a bit more, which obviously means, Tokotah Alley. So I head there, and when the Great Zero light passes me some lights appear. But I'm one digit off in my evelation. I'm at -82, I need to be at -81. I jump off when it passes me, however as I fall and link away, I realise my error. I didn't need to go down, I needed to go up. So I return.

I tried once, but I move out of alignment every jump, and I had made a few practice jumps so I was out of alignment.

Jumping up didn't get me high enough, I had to do a running jump through the light. The light that drew a symbol that I thought was associated with the Path of the Shell. Have I already begun my journey in Yeesha's Path of the Shell?

I linked to an area by jumping through the symbol into what I thought was a new Age, as the Great Zero co-ordinates do not work. But a link has appeared in my D'ni book in Relto, so perhaps I'm merely out of range.

20 September, 2006

Journal Entry #2: Starting on the Great Zero Markers

I have my KI and I have entered D'ni since my last entry. I made some goofs with using my KI but the few people there were patient. It's very quiet at the moment. Almost dead. I have completed Teledahn and I was favoured with a sighting of Shroomie. Only a far off one though. I tried taking a KI shot but you can't make it out. I haven't finished Yeesha's original journey, don't have much interest in doing so.

I have entered Phil's Relto, and read Sharper's latest journal. I know, terrible me invading their privacy. And yet, I don't really feel that guilty. I'm starting the Great Zero marker mission.

60143, 1001, -70 is for the balcony in the Bevin Hood overlooking the classroom courtyard.

57325, 110, -79 I suspect is near Tokotah Alley. The third number does refer to evelation as I suspected. As I went up the stairs at Tokotah Alley, it decreased so the Great Zero must be above me. I suspect I need to go up another flight of stairs. The numbers decreased as I went through the courtyard until they suddenly changed to be in the 60,000s as I neared the King's circle thing.. I'm thinking by the time I reach the rope bridge the co-ordinates should be pretty close to what I need. But for now, I'm returning to Relto for a break.

12 September, 2006

Journal Entry #1: I return

It was over two years ago that the DRC disbanded, and I was understandably upset. So much so that I returned home and left D'ni, never to return. Until today.

I had given away my Relto linking book when the DRC disbanded, to someone who was just entering D'ni. I thought to myself, why not? It was uplifting to think that something good was coming from me leaving D'ni. But that meant I haven't been able to journey to D'ni whenever I felt like it.

So a few months ago I finally decided to get ready and to take Yeesha's journey once more. The DRC have returned to D'ni, with plans on track once more to get explorers down into the caverns. I finally left my plane today in New Mexico and hired a taxi to Zandi's land (the taxi driver said to me when I gave him Zandi's address, "huh. Normally people just call that place the Cleft. Never have been able to get a straight answer from any of them though. Y'all a bunch of kooks if you ask me" which brought a grin to my face).

When I rocked up to Zandi's land I climbed over his fence (and missing the journey cloth there) and ran to him. Said a few words to him, he didn't remember me of course. Although he was still listening to that terrible Peter Gabriel song. Yeuch. Perhaps next time I'll bring a CD for him, try to get him to broaden his taste a bit.

It was amazing to walk through the Cleft, where Ti'ana and Atrus grew up. I was able to get Yeesha's message playing easy enough (remembering most of the procedure from last time), I was also able to find all of the journey cloths (although I do worry about the skeleton and telescope being there, outside all the time). I missed all but the one near the fence. I needed Zandi to remind me of that one.

I headed into the tree, looked at the Bahro glyphs (and wondered once more, what the imagers symbols mean. Are they a bahro language?). I got my Relto book and linked to another universe once more. I'll never get over what an amazing rush it is.

I opened up one of the pedestals, which just happened to be the Teledahn one, and headed there straight away. I walked around for a quick bit, although you'll have to remember I just flew in from Australia so I'm pretty tired from jet lag at the moment. It looks very much the same, dangerous in some parts, and yet, the DRC has said this Age is open to the public. I wonder if there are barriers that weren't there today (because some explorer took them for fun or a restoration engineer removed it because he was working on the Age). I should remember to ask one of the DRC if I see them around.

I'm pretty tired after running around the Cleft (I really hate those bridges though. I do not have a head for heights) and the plane trip, so I'm going to get some sleep now. But I couldn't return to D'ni (even though I've yet to reach the cavern) without making a post. I'll try to remember to use this blog to post my journal entries, I'm not using it for anything else after all.