Wild Moon Swings

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Valentine for You

So yesterday I solved Dirge of Cerberus. I don't know if the cheese could have been avoided, but all in all - THIS WAS AN INCREDIBLE GAME!

I had never played a first person shooter before, and actually, I don't think I would have enjoyed it if it hadn't been Vincent (007 wouldn't have been able to do a thing for me). They really take the time to do the fanservice PROPERLY because before almost every fight and immediately after almost every fight they really take the time to make sure that Vincent looks cool. I can just imagine two techy type guys standing in a cold and damp computer lab with their morning coffee searching for the coolest poses. Not that that's what happened. They probably had to hire dance instructors or something to come up with some of his moves. Lots of them were almost too good. Except, I have to admit that the spell is broken somewhat whenever Vincent talks. I didn't have any specific gripes about the English voice actor (even though he sounded 2,000,000,000,000 times hotter in Japanese) , but Vincent just doesn't strike me as the type to speak. I still think I liked video games better before they got voice actors. Text is just fine for me, except that they've made so many advances with graphics that one would think that the audio would have to equal it. The sound track was THE BEST! I'd buy it and listen to it for fun.

Actually, one time I was walking around in the city and I heard some familiar music coming from an apartment window and I'd be danged if I was going to keep walking before I figured out what it was from. I'm dead serious. I just stood there until I figured out that whoever was in the apartment was playing Final Fantasy VIII.

Anyway - promotions for everyone! Everyone who reads this and owns a PS2 - go buy this game immediately and make it part of your collection. And everyone who doesn't have a PS2 - go buy one immediately - they scarcely cost more than a game now anyway. So, buy them both, get some pizza and join your man for what will surely be ... an excellent evening on the couch.


Monday, September 18, 2006

We could always use 'THAT'

This post is about the recent release Xenosaga III for the Playstation 2.

Now normally, it takes between 30 and 60 hours to play one of those charming turn-based RPG style games that I like to play. If it takes me less than 30 hours to solve it than I feel like it wasn't really worth the money. But at the end of those precious 30 to 60 hours, I expect two things. One is a kickin' end fight that leaves me jumping on the carpet (because it was SO not easy) and the second thing I demand is a good satisfying ending. Now, because this is a trilogy, I did not expect a good ending for the first two. I knew they were going to keep going, so I held off on deciding whether or not Xenosaga was worth my trouble to play until the very end of the THIRD video games (that means 30 to 60 hours THREE times - that's a lot of time to spend with one story line ... 180 hours of one story). So, here is my verdict.


I had such high hopes for chaos (my favourite character) and once all the aspects of the plot were revealed ... he turned out so lame. I was expecting a plot twist equal to Xellos in Slayers, and instead I got a sissy little boy who never turned out to be anything more than that. Well, to be fair, there were a few plot twists in the game that were worth while, but there was also a large amount of cheese. Just when I thought something had been cleverly executed they turned around and did something stupid - so unbelieveably stupid that I couldn't even take the intense moments seriously.

There's this one part near the end when the one of the characters says, "We could always use THAT'. Well, once they use it - it is perfectly clear why they would hesitate to use THAT - even in an emergency. I'd die before I'd show THAT to anyone. EW! Seriously - totally ruined any feelings I might have had for the game.

So, there were lots of different endings because there were so many different plotlines. I'll break it down by character to say how satisfying they were.

Shion - Completely satisfied. I wasn't much of a Shion fan, but I thought she really improved in the third game (she was really cool in the first and crappy in the second, so I was expecting even crappier in the third), but she surprised me and pulled through. Good for her!
chaos - Completely dissatisfied. Since Dirge of Cerberus came out there is hope for this. Maybe he'll turn out to be such a good character that Namco will have to make an entire game just to salute him, since they totally dropped the ball in Xenosaga.
Kos Mos - Completely dissatisfied. Three words - and they don't even begin to describe my confusion - WTF?
Momo - Satisfied. I wasn't really expecting much, but it was pretty good. Her plot line gets really undeniably corny in the second installment. I think I took a break during her plot line.
Ziggy - A little weirded out. I was so charged about Ziggy when they introduced him in the first game. I was totally jazzed to play him and when I saw how he looked for episode two - he nearly stopped my heart. I love Ziggy. But I felt that the ending was so HUMAN - and weird - like if Robocop had had an ending where he got to go home and live with his wife. Maybe that's what they intended, but it was still weird.
Rubedo - Completely satisfied. Actually, I felt like the creators really took this one to the hoop. Good work!
Jin - Bored that they made me watch it. I never liked Jin, and I almost choked on the cheese he left behind. So cheesy. So very very cheesy.

Okay, so I'm not going to write up any more characters.

Some of the game was good. A lot of it was confusing. I kept on asking Jak if he knew what the heck they were talking about and he didn't. It seemed sort of like Evangelion. As in, you'd have to watch it 50 times and make it part of your daily routine, like eating breakfast, in order to truly digest the plot. However, I have sore digits from typing and I can't play a game over and over again like that. My hands can't take the stress. I can only play stuff once, so it better be good and understandable on the first play. That might make me a 'casual gamer' and if so - so be it. I'll be a casual gamer then.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Most Popular Guys

So, lately it has come to my attention (from my observations) that the three most popular names for men are Jin, Van and Zel. Seriously! I can't believe how many times I see guys with these names. Let me show you!


1. Jin from Samurai Champloo.
2. Jin from Innocent Venus.
3. Jin from Milk Crown.
4. Jin from BXB Brothers.
5. Jin from Xenosaga.

This is the name of countless manga boys. If I even tried to make a list - I'd die. I'm not kidding. Usually, I can't remember the names of the characters in manga after I finish reading them and so I'd have to go back and check all of them and that means I would die researching this subject, so please just take my word for it. There are a LOT!


1. Van from A Vision of Escaflowne.
2. Van from Gun...something. Sorry I thought this was a really boring anime and so I stopped watching it, but I remember that his name was Van and I was like, "Who the heck do you think you are?" He might as well have been named Vash for how cheesed I was.
3. Van from Blood+.
4. Vaan from Final Fantasy XII.

This is also a hugely popular for last names when the anime character is supposed to be european. Everyone is always 'Van ... something or other'. So, it gets used all over the place. Once again - if I tried to make a list, I'd die.


1. Zelgadis from Slayers.
2. Xellos from Slayers.
3. Zel from Final Fantasy VIII.
4. Azel from Magna Carta: Tears of Blood.

Okay, so this one is more of a stretch. I just love Zels, so I'm on the lookout for them~_^!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Me and My Manga

This is my desktop that I use to inspire me for 'Mark of a Goddess'. I wondered where the artist got this image of Van. Eventually, I decided that it was a fanart pic done up to the nines. However, this isn't true. It's a pic from the manga. It's the first pic of Van ever shown. Needless to say, this post will be about the Escaflowne manga - which I recently got my hands on.

I have something to admit here and it's really bad. I would never have gotten further than the first chapter of the Escaflowne, because it ... was non-fun. It would never have maintained my interest. It's ... weird. Hitomi doesn't even look the same. She's got long hair and she's not an athlete and she goes to AN ALL GIRLS SCHOOL! So, Amano wasn't introduced.

Now one of my favourite things about the anime is at the beginning when Hitomi turns over the Ace of Serpents (foreshadowing about Van), but in the manga she doesn't turn over the Ace of Serpents!! She sees two cards: one is the tower (like the anime) and the other one is the Knight of Swords!! So, you see Allen comes and slays the dragon that attacks Hitomi's school instead of Van. I was so bleeding tanked I can't even describe. Also, just the way Allen and Van were drawn was so ... painful. Van LOOKS like a bratty kid and Allen looks like a man-whore straight out of ... the man-whore store.

Seriously, I don't think I can read it even though I was excited. I can't stand for Van to be outdone by Allen when it comes to the stupid dragon. I didn't get further than Allen's entrance because I was so vexed that I couldn't stand to go on.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

One Hundred of Me!

I looked long and hard online for a picture that I felt summed up the essence of me, and this was the best I could come up with.

This is my 100th post here on Wild Moon Swings. I know it doesn't really matter, but I really feel a sense of accomplishment that I was able to write so much here, so for your entertainment, I will tell you a true story about me! I've been trying to think of what my absolute best story is ... and it's horrible >.< so, I'll simply tell a series of short stories that have no point. Like the one where I had an onion tied to my belt ... hey! It was the style at the time!

A couple years ago I was asked to go to a young woman's camp as a leader. I thought this was okay, but a little weird since I was barely out of the system myself and as it was I was mistaken for one of the campers instead of one of the leaders so many times it was almost painful (that's what I get for not wearing a big shirt that says 'hey, I'm an adult. Call me 'missy' again and I'll put out your teeth' ... or something like that). So, I was sitting with my girls and for one of the activities they asked us to do a personality test. There were four categories; orange - athletic, blue - creative, gold - responsible, and green - knowledgeable. I guess there were about forty people there and they made all of us (leaders included) go into groups depending on what colour we were. I was the only person there who made it into the green group. So, I sat alone at the table assigned to green whilst the other tables overflowed. I'm sitting there with my cheek in my palm thinking 'I knew I was different before - you don't have to mush it in my face'.

Out of all the classes I took in school the only course that I came dangerously close to failing was Home Ec. Can you believe that? Seriously, I got such poor marks on the sewing that my friends teased me relentlessly about how I would never make anyone a suitable wife ... ugh! But, when I was at work one day (as an adult) I found out that one of the people I was assisting had missed doing something really important. She had forgotten to buy a zillion meters of white cloth for an event that was happening the next week, so I had to go out and buy it for her. I went and snagged one of the credit card bearing executives (a guy) and took him to a fabric store, where we stood and cut fabric for the event on those massive tables. Three people came up to us and asked us for help, and I nearly got my head bitten off by a customer who didn't care that I didn't work there - she wanted MY help. Before we left the store, both I and my executive were both offered jobs. Hehehehehe! I know it's stupid and I shouldn't care, but I felt so satisfied. Who wouldn't make a suitable wife? I can be all homey too when I wanna be. In your FACE!

Hmmm ... do I have room for another one? Nope! But I'm happy that I was able to post 100 posts here! Hopefully, I'll be able to do 200 and I have a great plan for the story that I would tell. ~_^!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bless those Little Girls

A long time ago, I was searching for pictures of Vincent Valentine. I think you all know who he is, but if you don't know you need to play more video games. He's a character from 'Final Fantasy VII'. He's an optional character that you don't have to get if you don't want to, but who could resist? You find him sleeping in a coffin in the bottom of the Shinra mansion, and even though you're Cloud (at least you're pretending to be a Cloud (a guy)), Vincent is so beautiful that you simply can't leave him alone ... or resist using him as one of your main fighters for the rest of the game. Far too beautiful to leave in that dusty old basement. His overly sexiful character (for lack of a more fitting word), even though he was a recluse that you find in a coffin, was an incredibly popular character for little girls to build shrines for. Seriously, there were so many Vincent Valentine shrines built by little girls all screaming their little heads off for a character that has a total of maybe 30 lines and most of them are so non-committal that you wonder why he's hanging out in the game at all. He had no real part in the plot and basically only has a point if you think he's gorgeous. He's completely optional.

Actually, the first time I played I went for hours with the only character living being Vincent. Cloud and Tifa died in an extremely important fight and I had such a hard time beating it that it didn't matter to me that Vincent was the only one who lived. Anyway, I thought I'd find some Pheonix Downs soon, but I was wrong and ended up battling alone with Vincent for hours and hours. Luckily, I had sort of made him the healer in my party, so he could take care of himself, and after this incredibly long stretch of time - I felt like we bonded. Ya know? Unless you're a gamer, than 'no' you don't know. But let me tell you, after you've spent 50+ hours playing a game - you do feel more emotionally attached to the characters than even after an anime series. I don't know why, but even still, I just hear the name 'Cloud' and I get shivers of excitement. It'll probably go away after I turn twenty five.

Anyway, I had been dying for 'Dirge of Cerberus' to come out. It's a new PS2 game where Vincent is the main character. I didn't do much research on it before I bought it because I thought it would just be your typical turn-based RPG. Today I went and bought it and let me tell you - I was wrong. It's a FPS. That translates into 'first person shooter'. Not at all what I expected, but at the same time - it's kick @$$ for a FPS. I thought it would have no plot and disappoint me as much as FFX-2 (that was like a girl's slumber party). At least this way I get to be an angst-ridden guy who unloads clips of bullets at anything that moves. YES!

So, in conclusion. I don't believe this would have been possible if it weren't for all those little girls and the shrines they made to honour their favourite character. Bless those little girls!

P.S. The cut scenes are so beautious. Not quite as good as FFVII Advent Children, but stunning nonetheless. Bless those little girls!

Complicated Girls

I'll be honest and say that I got the idea for this post from Chocolatelova's blog/story posted most recently there. She wrote a really interesting/thought provoking post, so go check it out if you're interested. The address is: http://krazydoc.blogspot.com

So, I thought I'd talk about young girls and why they think they're complicated. I remember having this discussion with more than one of my teenage-girl friends when I was in high school and I was just like them - I thought I was complicated. So complicated that no one could ever get to know me or understand me. I thought about this so much back then that I almost became obsessed with the concept. Then one day I was talking one of my older brothers who is quite a bit older than me. I told him my theory and he laughed at me. Yep, my big (extremely educated) brother laughed at me and told me that all young girls think that. After that I sort of abandoned the concept, because I felt like I had been seen through (not a pleasant sensation for someone who believes that they're complicated), even though my friends still liked to talk about it from time to time.

Well, now that I'm older, I don't feel like I'm complicated anymore. I know myself a lot better now than I did then. I think it comes from a series of things that start to happen when you get older.

The first thing is that when you're young, you dream a lot - at least I did. For one thing, now that I'm older, I no longer dream about the sort of person I'm going to marry. I've already married him and he's wonderful. I no longer dream about the sort of child I'm going to have, I've already had her. I don't dream about what sort of career I'm going to have in my early adulthood, because I've already had it.

Not only that, but I've seen myself react in lots of different situations and so there's no longer the question 'How would I behave if someone rear-ended me?' Would I get out of the car and yell? What would I do? I know how I'd react because it already happened. I got out of the car and hugged the guy who hit me and cried my eyes out. He was a complete stranger. Weird eh? I never would have guessed it. So, as we see ourselves act and react in different situations the confusion as to what sort of person we are vanishes. Over the years, it becomes really clear what sort of person you really are.

Then there's the idea of how well someone can get to know you if you think you're complicated.
I got married pretty young and I used to scream at him (when I was younger) that he didn't know who I was, because I happened to marry someone with a really bad memory. He couldn't remember anything about me. I'm not saying that everyone will have the conclusion I have had, but I learned that love and knowledge are not the same thing. I used to say that all the time "How can love me if they don't even know me?" Well, unconditional love means that it doesn't matter know much they know about you (your ugly side, your good side), they love the entire package without reservation. I want to be this kind of person.

But anyway, I don't think I'm a complicated person anymore. I like writing. It's amazing how well those three little words sum me up.