It's that time of the year again. Not sure if it's just me or that this year had gone by really quickly. Lots of things seemed to have happened yet somehow my memory of them are a bit fuzzy at the same time.
When it comes to the end of a year, instead of the festive mood that's in the air I'm usually feeling a bit down. I'll look back at the year and think how little I've done in the past 365 days and ponder how I'll waste the upcoming 365 new days. This feeling had been lessened gradually every since I've moved to Japan because I felt that I'm fullfilling small goals in both my private and career life, even if they are very very small goals and were just tiny tiny steps forward. This year is especially different and this time I think I can safely say it's the first time which I actually look back and be glad of how much I've done, and that I'm even looking forward to the new year.
Where I progressed the most this past year was in my career life. I've gotten two raises and a promotion, learnt some new things and skills along the way. Like one of my friend would say, it seems like in 1 year, 2 years worth of time had passed in the place I am working now. It's true that it hasn't been all good (in fact, the negative probably far outweighs the positive), but the experience was invaluable. I'm glad that even though I started late in my career life, the past year or so had given me a shortcut which more than makes up for the time I've lost, and have now placed me in a position where I simply cannot picture myself to be in several years ago.
The year of 2006 had given me a direction, a direction of such clarity which I've never had before. I've never made any resolutions in the past and my past years had been fairly aimless, but for this coming new year I'll make one and only one resolution, of which I fully intend to make it happen in 2007. It's exciting and frightening at the same time, but I think I can already say that I don't have any regrets going down this path because it is something I chosed to do.
While not being a particularly emotionally fulfilling year, 2006 had been a very fruitful year in other ways. Here's hoping that 2007 will better it.
It was a bit painful staying up all night to get the Wii (although no camping was need as Yodobashi Shinjuku was smart enough to give tickets), but both sent and I have bought ourselves a Wii each. It may as well because with how much we both play the thing sharing one just isn't going to work. (We are getting another 360 soon, need multiplayer action for all those FPS games XP). I got myself 5 games - Zelda, SD Gundam Scad Hammer, Red Steel, Trauma Centre and Necro Nesia.
The Wii is really *fun*, it remind me of the DS when it launched - some of the games are not polished yet but it's fun and shows a lot of promise. It would be nice if the machine would do HD but that would just be icing, because currently as is it's very fun already, and that's what matters.
Playing the Wii isn't as tiring as it seems. I was playing SD Gundam Scad Hammer all night on Saturday - a game where the hit damage depends on how hard/fast you swing the Wiimote (and no, no Wiimotes flying action either), and each stage has me killing a 2 to 3 hundred enemies at a time with 3-4 hits for each enemy not including bosses, and it doesn't even feel so much as a couple of hours of tennis, so all the fears should be rested. I think the reason is that the Wiimote is still quite light for what it is, and the second reason is that unlike real sports there is no counter force thus the exercise rate is really not that bad. And if you really want, you can just sit relaxed and do the minimum flick of a wrist for some games and you hardly look any different than playing on a traditional console, games like Zelda and even Trauma Centre falls in this category.
The Wii could very well be the DS of the home consoles this generation.
Wed, Oct. 25th, 2006, 02:43 am
Most of us importers have probably used Lik-Sang in their life, I relied on them for many Dreamcast games back then. Heck me and sent just recently got some 360 games from them which we would otherwise be very hard press to get our hands on, it's a sad day for the import playing gamers. And I especially feel for those in Australia and the states.
I've been telling people forever that Sony is bad, but even I'm totally baffled by this move. Now would people please just stop buying crappy Sony products and give them money to pull shit like this?
EDIT: Oh it gets even lower, who would've thought?
Thu, Sep. 28th, 2006, 11:51 am
My gaming run had been going on strong lately (which also led to much less sleep XP). Here are the list of games which I've finished:
* Gyakuten Saiban 2 (GBA)
* Gyakuten Saiban 3 (GBA)
* Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap (GBA)
* Dead Rising (Xbox 360)
* Saints Row (Xbox 360)
* Max Payne 2 (PC)
The two GS games and Saints Row is the worst offender when it comes to depriving me of sleep. Currently the house has a bit of GS craze going on and both sent and I are looking forward to getting the second DS port.
Currently started on the Tingle game for the DS, and still wanting to go back to Bullet Bitch (the game is bitching hard and frustrating in areas, but somehow still manages to get me to play once in a while).
Since I'm on the topic of games, you all know that TGS was on last weekend. I really don't like these trade shows in Japan because you really spend more time waiting inline than actually doing anything, even on the much less crowded business days. Though I have to say that there were more interesting games this year compared to last year and dispite the lack of Nintendo presences and that only 4 3rd party titles were present, the Wii still gets my vote for the most interesting and fun looking games. Sonic on Wii looks fun and the control is completely free of button presses which is impressive implementation of the Wiimote IMO, and Bleach actually looks like it won't be a sucky anime game and may actually be a Bleach version of Soul Calibur, which I think all would agree would be awesome (even though I don't particularly like Bleach).
On the Xbox360 side, Lost Planet still looks as awesome as ever, Trusty Bell seems to be a sleeper hit, and the Gundam game is actually half-decent. So it seems that we would have a lot of games to get just within the next few months. Less sleep looks to continue.
Okay so I broke down. The fan noise was just too annoying so I bought a Zalman V900-Cu GPU cooler to replace the stock fan. That was another 5000yen but it was so worth it, now Yukarin TT is back to whispering quiet again. Yippie!
On the software side, the newest Vista build after the public Beta (build 5472) is proving to be more useable than the previous release. Most of the programs which I run on a regular basis now works on this build (I really need my Cantonese pingyam input, which Windows does not offer in any incarnation XD), so I've decided to try to use it as my main OS. So far besides some driver issues it's fairly painless, and some functionality over XP is definitely welcome eg search is quite powerful, live preview (only in Aero it seems) is very handy. While on the surface many people just bashes it for UI tweaks but really there are quite a lot of little changes which I came to appreciate, though it's probably a little too friendly now which makes getting under the hood in some places a lot more complex with more button clicks away than it use to be, so most all the IT guys (either as a profession or just the family IT guy XD) will have to re-adjust themselves in some place. It's also worth noting that the minimum spec is really not as bad as people make it out to be, as I've managed to install it on my notebook (1.6Ghz Centrino, 512Mb RAM and a nVidia 6600 Go) and running it without Aero (Aero requires 1G RAM apparently) it is almost as good as XP. But of course if you can run it in Aero then you should. ;)
Anyway that's enough computer geekage for now. Hopefully I won't have to write anymore computer geekage stuff for a while. XP
To my surprise recently I've gotten a lot of gaming done in my free time. In the last two or so weeks I've finished Phoneix Wright on the DS, Halo on XBox (yeah I'm very late to the game, but I didn't own an XBox back home), Quake 4 and F.E.A.R. on my PC (two PC FPSs finished within a week of the rebirth of Yukarin TT, amazing). I'm also glad to say that these games were all enjoyable, but the two that stood out the most were definitely Phoneix Wright and F.E.A.R.
I've always been a fan of adventure games since high school, so I really loved the courtroom spin done with Phoneix Wright. I'm really tempted to try to play the sequels but for some reason I've gotten quite used to playing this game in English. Let's hope they will port the rest over.
F.E.A.R. was a great thrilling ride from start to finish. It's not a very run&gun friendly FPS which took a little getting used to after Halo and Quake 4. But once settled into the game it was a lot of fun to play. The story and the atmosphere is what really made this game great though. While the story is not as broad as say the Half-Life series, there were quite a few twists in there to keep me interested in actually hunting down the phone logs and laptop data which were not essential to actual game progresses. The atmosphere was also done very well, while the game uses the DOOM 3 engine which ensures lots of dark corners and unlit corridors to keep the player on the toe, it didn't get annoying dark like DOOM 3 did and rarely does the game use those dark spots to make enemies jump out at you. In a sense F.E.A.R. was kind of like the Japanese horror films like Ring, where it scares you with the eery atmosphere of the surrounding rather than trying to make you jump by throwing disgusting stuff at your face.
Gotten a few more DS titles and have Bullet Witch for the 360 to look forward to this week. Gaming is getting back on! ^_^
BTW got a DS Lite as well. But hey I got my raise so all is well. XD
Yukarin (my desktop computer) is currently suffering from a HDD failure. Just the weekend when I got back from my little business trip the primary harddisk with which the XP partition was installed decides to give up and the MFT went corrupt, thus booting was no go. Spent a lot of time recovering the files (not painful, but still quite time consuming) and did a fresh install the last few days, but yesterday night the HDD failed again and now I get a "missing operating system" error, so my guess is that the boot sector's gone this time around. This leads me to believe that something is physically wrong with the HDD (bad sectors), most probably at the beginning of the disk. My plan now is to swap the secondary HDD (which was running Vista beta) and reformat that into my primary XP partition.
I'm not having much time to do the rebuild this next few weeks, quite frastrating as I just took the opportunity of the first failure to upgrade my machine and it was running so nicely too.....
Mon, Mar. 13th, 2006, 11:48 pm
This stuff is evil(tm).
It does not heal you, instead it poisons you from the deepest of your body.
Do not drink it for your own sake nor share it with loved ones, instead give it to your enemies.
5 people in the guild, myself include, had already fell victum to this foul substance disguised and sold as Potion.
Tue, Mar. 7th, 2006, 01:56 am
I so freaked out when I got back to work this morning.
There was a mountain formed from packages on my desk and I can't even find my laptop and had to literally dig it out from under the packages.
So much for the holiday (which wasn't much of a holiday really.....)