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sakirants [userpic]

(no subject)

March 24th, 2010 (05:19 pm)

For the few people watching this LJ account, I wanted to make a post mentioning that all of the silly ranting I do here will be posted on sakicons in the future. That's because I recently realized that it's kind of ridiculous to be bothering with three accounts - one for IRL friends, one for icons/fanart/whatnot, and one for whatever this LJ account is supposed to be. Thus, sakirants and sakicons are being combined.

sakirants [userpic]

Busou Shinki: Partio Review

December 17th, 2009 (10:40 pm)

Today, I've got a review of my first Busou Shinki figure, Partio, who is described as "Ferret Type," even though she's clearly a catgirl. Read the review after the cut, but be aware that it's image heavy.
Partio reviewCollapse )

sakirants [userpic]


September 13th, 2009 (12:43 pm)

I freely admit that I worship Hayao Miyazaki, and as far as I'm concerned, he can do no wrong. This may or may not make my opinion on his movies biased.

You probably won't be surprised when I tell you I loved this movie. Miyazaki's characters are always so real and human, and I inevitably end up adoring every one of them. I was touched by Sosuke's solemnity and his determination to protect Ponyo both as a fish and a little girl, mirrored by his mother's drive to protect everyone and Fujimoto's inability to protect Ponyo. Unfortunately, I found the titular character herself a bit irritating as a result of her voice actress, because America cannot do cute the way Japan does.

As expected from Miyazaki, the film is visually stunning. Certain images stood out to me, like Ponyo gleefully running on top of the waves, completely unaware of the destruction she's causing, while a Ride of the Valkyries-esque song plays in the background. Another was the scene in which Ponyo's mother is introduced, and Fujimoto - who has been panicking throughout the entire movie - is immediately soothed as soon as Gran Mamare places a hand on him. The smaller, less epic scenes are equally charming, such as Sosuke's sudden nervousness at bringing Ponyo to school and his mother's frustration with her husband being away for so long.

The only complaint I have is the plot, of which there was little. The easiest way of describing the story is to say that it's a Japanese version of The Little Mermaid, which is surprisingly accurate, it being about a red-haired girl loving a human boy and her father's attempts to keep them apart. Still, you could never call Miyazaki uncreative, and those are really the only comparisons that can be drawn. But that is the majority of the story, and the ending is the definition of anticlimactic.

Actually, I do have one other complaint: God damn it, America. This song is not actually in the movie, but it is in the credits, and it's inescapable.

My final verdict on Ponyo is the same I'd give for any other Miyazaki movie: Just go see it. After writing this, that's all I want to do.

sakirants [userpic]

Star Ocean: The Last Hope Rant, Part 2

July 26th, 2009 (06:33 pm)

STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE!!! "Humanity's second chance may be it's last" - except that this is a prequel to the other games, so we know that's not true.

In all seriousness, though, the game's a lot more fun once it actually gets started. I mean, it's still ugly and cliched, but the battle system is entertaining, and I'm a sucker for item creation. Still, there are things that bother me, like...

Androgynous Elf/Alien: Hey, you want a ride back to your spaceship in my handy-dandy flying machine?
Shonen Hero: No, I think I'd rather walk back through the giant maze-like forest and the cave so I can fight a million bug monsters.
Me: Wait, what?
Androgynous Elf/Alien: :D?
Shonen Hero: :D
Me: D:

Everyone's acting pretty nonchalant about seeing aliens for the first time, too. They're just kind of, "So, you're an elf, huh? That's cool. I think I'm just gonna awkwardly avoid asking about your magic powers. Hey, I'll talk to you later, I've gotta go tell my captain that an entire spaceship's crew is dead."

Why do the aliens have to be elves, anyway? This is a sci-fi game. Couldn't someone come up with something more creative? No, of course not. For a second there, I forgot that the sci-fi RPG thing is all about making superficial changes to the genre, like "In this game they fly in spaceships, not airships!" while making sure not to try anything potentially innovative or risky. That's why we've still got elves, swords, bows, giant spider monsters, slimes, and forests, never mind that they're alien elves, space-age-looking swords and bows, alien giant spider monsters and slimes, and forests on an alien planet.

And while I'm complaining, would the camera please stop giving me close-ups of moe girl's ass? I know she inexplicably decides to keep her bow there, but that doesn't mean you need to zoom in there after every battle.

...You can keep doing the elf boy closeups, though.*

As long as you don't make me look at his crazy MC Hammer-esque pants.


sakirants [userpic]

Star Ocean: The Last Hope Rant

July 23rd, 2009 (05:53 pm)

Forty-five minutes. Forty-fucking-five minutes of cutscenes and tutorials before I had the chance to do anything at all. I was optimistically open-minded for the first five minutes or so, but after that I started to want to kill something. The Unskippable video for this game could have been a lot longer than it was, because that video stops as soon as you're able to move around, but you only get to walk down a hallway before the cutscenes start up again.

The characters that have been introduced look like they'll fit right into perfect cookie cutter cliches. Edge is the rash young shonen hero looking to prove himself. Reimi is the moe childhood friend who won't stop worrying about Edge and Crowe. Crowe is the other childhood friend/rival. And that Welch...I'm just gonna go ahead and pretend she doesn't exist.

Another thing I noticed - couldn't avoid noticing, really - is that this game is so damn bright and shiny. Holy hell, I think I'm going to go blind looking at it. Whose idea was it that the best use of CGI technology is to decorate every single possible surface? The designs are so incredibly cluttered and busy that I honestly can't stand looking at them. This goes for the character designs, too; who the hell would wear the shit they've got on? I mean, granted, it's a futuristic JRPG, so they're inevitably going to look a bit insane, but this is going too far. Just for one example, look at the hero.

What is he wearing?!Collapse )

To be honest, the only reason I'm still playing is because of happy memories of TTEOT, which may have been deeply flawed in its own ways, but was still insanely addictive and tons of fun. Maybe I'll have better luck with it tomorrow.

sakirants [userpic]

Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds Concert

July 12th, 2009 (07:05 pm)

On July 9, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert, a symphony of Nobuo Uematsu’s fantastic compositions with Arnie Roth as conductor and Uematsu himself in attendance. I was sitting in the very front row, which, if you’ve never been to a symphony, means I was in the cheap seats. There was a screen on which videos from the games where projected, and I could see two small strips of it to either side of the violinist with the ZZ Top beard that was in front of me.

Not that I’m complaining. I had come for the music, and I was not disappointed.

I must admit that, when Nobuo Uematsu stepped out onto the stage before the concert began, a little bubble of fangirl glee rose up in my throat and threatened to make me do something highly undignified, like screaming “OMFG UEMATSU-SAMAAA!” I managed to quell the urge.

(Seriously, though, he was right there. I could have reached out and poked him. Well, if I’d had a stick, maybe.)

Ahem. Anyway. Let me put the digression aside and give you the lineup.


Playlist and reviewCollapse )

sakirants [userpic]

Prince of Persia

June 28th, 2009 (04:51 pm)

Holy crap, the Prince and Elika are so fucking cute together I can't even describe it. Well, I guess I can try.

Prince:   Wanna play a game?
Elika:      : |
Prince:   :D
Elika:      : |
Prince:   :D
Elika:      ...Okay.

They've made me laugh so many, many times while I played this game, and genuinely funny games are, unfortunately, few and far between. Their conflicting ideologies also make for some very interesting conversations (I tried to find some video evidence for this and failed). For example, the Prince is highly individualistic and says that he intends to spend his life following his own dreams, while Elika is primarily concerned with fulfilling her duty to her people Re: Saving the world and rebuilding the city.

The gameplay has some areas that could be improved upon, but is very good overall. You have plenty of gorgeous locations to explore in whatever order you prefer, although you'll have a much more leisurely time of it once you've healed the land and cleared it of baddies. For roughly two thirds of the game, you're required to collect light seeds to unlock new areas, but at a certain point they become obsolete. It's a bit odd, then, that there are still lots of big shiny things hanging around to attract your attention that really mean nothing.

Elika has a handy-dandy deus ex machina skill that allows her to pluck you out of thin air if you happen to screw up, which works very well for exploring, but doesn't translate quite as well into combat. What ends up happening is, you'll be fighting a boss, maybe just about to beat it, and then suddenly you hit one wrong button and Elika saves your ass, while your penalty is the boss restoring health. And I mean a lot of health. That means it's suddenly necessary to fight the entire battle over again.

The combat system itself works well enough; you're basically just stringing together as many combos as possible, which occasionally involves chucking Elika at enemies. Occasionally your enemies will change form, so that only one kind of attack (sword, gauntlet, or Elika's magic) will deal damage. The strange part of that is, the form that you need Elika to attack is indicated by tons of waving black tentacles sprouting from your enemy. Thus, when you see tentacles, it's time to throw the girl at it. Interesting.

The game's graphics are nothing short of gorgeous, although I suspect they may have looked nicer on the PS3 as opposed to the Xbox 360 version, which is what I played. The landscapes are particularly noteworthy; as soon as I finish writing this, I'm going searching for some of the concept art. The character animations manage to convey a lot that the dialogue doesn't. For example... The little head tilt in that clip, I feel, speaks volumes.

As for the game's ending...suffice to say I was very impressed. GOD THEY ARE SO SWEET I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO DO THAT

sakirants [userpic]

Super Mario World

June 12th, 2009 (08:46 pm)

I recently started playing Super Mario World for the first time in years, and let me just say it is glorious. However, I must point this out: The point of this game is saving the variously colored incarnations of Yoshi, right? Peach is not nearly as important. So how do you justify the enormous number of Yoshis I'm throwing off cliffs and into pits of lava? Are all these Yoshis happy to give their lives for the sake of their reptilian brethren? Do they believe that they'll all meet their recently deceased family in Yoshi Heaven?

As evidenced by Yoshi's Island, in addition to the fact that (as far as I know) there is only one name for all the numerous Yoshis, Mario has been abusing the Yoshi family's goodwill for far too long. They should have thrown that squealing baby that my mom hated to listen to when I was little into a Piranha Plant when they had a chance.

I know, I hear you saying that, if they had, there wouldn't have been anyone to rescue Princess Peach five hundred million times, but come on. Don't you see that Bowser was only kidnapping the princess so that he could see that rotund plumber again? I don't care what Hyadain thinks; I defy his logic.


Also, being killed by gophers is so not good for my self esteem, tyvm.

sakirants [userpic]

(no subject)

June 4th, 2009 (05:36 pm)

This is the first real entry on this LJ, by which I mean that every earlier entry has appeared elsewhere. It used to be that I put all of these rants, reviews, and so forth on my crappy little Geocities website, Obsession, which had obnoxious ads, poor design, and a misspelled URL. I slowly came to the realization that everything I enjoyed about that website would work just as well if not better in the format of a blog. Thus, after a great deal of procrastination, I decided to put together this LJ so that I could continue my largely pointless ranting without bothering with all the bells and whistles that website creation necessitates.

sakirants [userpic]

Princess Tutu, Part 3

May 19th, 2008 (12:00 pm)

I may die. I have never known an anime to make me so happy and so miserable at once. Ahiru’s a duck forever and ever and sad but Fakir still loves her anyway and Fakir makes the end of the story good and not fucking depressing like Drosselmeyer would’ve had it. And Mytho loves Rue and Rue loves Mytho and they’re going to be happy together, which means I was wrong about the whole Mytho-never-loving-Rue thing but I don’t care. Palindrome boy can just fuck off. He’s always got the library, where I’m sure he’ll continue to yell at loud people.

And cat teacher finally got a girlfriend! And babies. So that’s good, I suppose. He won’t be dispensing wisdom to his students anymore, but then he also won’t be making pedophilic proposals either, so that evens out. Pique and Lilie have lost their little torture toy Ahiru, but they’ve got each other to make miserable, so they’ll be fine.

It’s kind of weird, though, to see a shoujo series where the main character arguably has the least happy ending. Mytho and Rue flew off to be happy together. Fakir has his stories to write. Cat teacher got his girlfriend. Generic best friends got...toe shoes? I guess they’re mostly in the same place they were before. But Ahiru, the main character who did most of the work throughout the show, has to make herself happy with a small portion of the tragedy she was promised at the beginning. She was turned back into a duck, and the guy she was in love with for the majority of the series loves somebody else. Granted, she still has Fakir, and that’s the pairing I was rooting for anyway, but the fact remains that she’s a duck. It’s not like they’ll grow up and get married someday, because she’s still a duck.

Also, although I find Drosselmeyer a bit irritating, I loved his “Could I be in someone else’s story as well?” epiphany at the end. Yes, you are! Congratulations! Your prize is...a walk into an undefined background with a cute little puppet. How about that.

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