Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Return of the Return of Fortress Iserlohn

Well anyway I'm still alive and decided to start blogging again.

I plan to restart my LOGH ship collection, and in celebration some pictures. The Battle of Amlitzer is still a treasure trove even after I hit once.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Breaking News: A journalist shills for Obama and my thoughts at the moment

Well its not that surprising is it. But anyway I couldn't helped to be somewhat irked while reading the latest breathless vapid Washington Diary post of Matt Frei's. While its not in the category of Chris Mathews declaration of love for our new presidential Messiah, its a piece that ignores anything outside of what the Frei wants to believe in.

Its uncritical of Obama's promise to generate 2.5 million jobs as if the President has a magical device that will do so, if there was, surely nobody ever told Bush about it. Then it goes on the usual tradition of comparing the Bush Administration as being incompetent and stupid and the two go hand and hand. Now incompetent I will give you, but stupid? Condi Rice is probably far more intelligent a person the anybody in the Obama probably including our erstwhile President-Elect himself.

Now his point was that McCain and Palin were trying to run a I guess an anti-intellectual campaign of which there are parts of people that think its a valid argument to make, but I would caution that just because one has a world class education and some governmental experience doesn't mean he can run a country well or not. Woodrow Wilson was a Professor for crying out loud and if Bush had tried half the stuff he did, Bush would've of been impeached. Lincoln was seen as a backwoods person who was self taught and had a somewhat folksy way of speaking, but he was a keen enough politician to keep the country together.

Then for competency on Obama's part, I would like to point out there isn't exactly an great deal of him getting thing accomplished outside of the fact that he can seeming win elections with the winds in his sail. But in terms of actual governance, I don't see anything from his time in Springfield or even in the Senate actually getting anything of importance done. By default I look towards how his fellow Illinois Democrats run things and see a poorly run state, so I'm not that enthused about the prospects.

Frei then starts to wax poetic about the missed opportunities of the Clinton administration blaming them on the "multiple distractions" which judging from context of the sentence (and I might be wrong but I doubt it) is code for mainly the events of 98-99. Which is a somewhat provocative thing to say as it seems to ignore the other 6 years of Clinton's administration which seemed to very active in domestic policy fights and I suppose one could argue that it might be due to the incompetence of his first years that cost him the House and the Senate and having to you know actually deal with the opposition as something other then devils to blame your ills on might be a distraction.

And then of course there is the usual blathering about how Obama has to fix the last eight years of Bush, which completely ignores the fact that Obama nor the Democrats actually attempted to do so during the last two years of holding Congress. Say what you want about Newt, he seemed to be a far better Speaker of the House in terms of setting the agenda then Nancy Pelosi has been.

Now for fairness sake after I vented my spleen, I will admit I have been pleasantly surprised by some of his actions and continual promise for nuclear energy. If wasting a bunch of money in putting a legion of bird killing machines in West Texas and such is part of the cost for some real improvements in our energy production infrastructure, so be it, its a small price to pay and besides it won't bother me.

So perhaps with the latest rounds of moderate/centrists actions and promises he will be a good president as Chris Buckley believes because of his great and towering intellect, or perhaps not. Obama is a great politician in the sense that he can slip out whatever he promises with little notice or attacks in the fact when he blatantly breaks a promise be it promising to use public finances, to bringing new faces to DC as opposed to the current retreat of veteran DC hands.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I have returned.

Its been a while hasn't it blog. Anyway I have returned battered and bruised from being super busy.

Anyway, during my downtime, I'ved watched several anime series.

The last one Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula I just finnished yesterday. Its a simple story really, giant god heads in the shape of the twelve Greek ones appear and basically conjule humanity to build them giant robot bodies and pilots so that they can fight each other. When humans first ignore this, the planet's envrioment gets screwd up by giant EM clouds. So the humans get together and basically say, ok the 12 major countries in the world get a head and there will be a battle royale and whoever wins gets to rule the planet.

Anyway the plot has two directions, the first of course is the one that deals with Japan's team of the pilot and the person who commincates the will of the god. Which is intresting sort of love story set in backdrop of this odd world war and conspiracy.

The secondary plot thread deals with the pilots of the other nations machines, and they get pretty decent backstory and characther development to make the viewer actually care about the fates of them. Which is pretty remarkable because you learn about their story while they are fighting in back and forth flashback.

Now of course the final boss of these fights is America robot which is powered by Zeus. Jupiter II. If the Jupiter II wasn't enough of an homage, it has the head of Optimus Prime. The ending is so so, its not completly out of left feild, but it does sort of contrast jarring with the rest of the show.

But by far the most enjoyable show I watched inbetween blog postings was Starship Girl Yammato Yokho. Its just plainly a good solid science fiction yarn with solid likelable characters and a plot that slowly unviels leading to a somewhat open but sastifying ending. Probably one of the more unique things about the show is the atmosphere it has, its a very dark show in terms of just pure lighting which I am not sure if it helps ors hinders.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Oh yeah

I now serve two masters. Or aka, I been accepted by the UIC History's department as a grad student. Seriously, by the time I leave UIC, I'm just going to a little train of letters behind my name, which isn't a bad thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lets play! Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 1

Given that there is a new meme for games of playing a game and taking screen shots, I figured I would slowy work on the two Super Robot Wars games that have been translated into English by the fine company of Atlus.

Anyway Super Robot Wars originally was a Japanese crossover game of various mecha anime in a tactical RPG system. Its one of the better selling games over there, and its still going strong with recent production of an anime tv series and a OVA. The writers are quite good, and they in the various games managed to do a good job of tying all the plots together and often made original characters to help better tie things. Eventually they created so many original characters that they could make up their own universe and this what they did with the OG timeline. And the OG games are probably going to be the only ones released in the US due to various copyright issuses that Japanese don't quite have to deal with.

Anyway for this game it follows the current standard SRW tropes of having super deformed mechs. It confronts you straight up with the most important choice you can make of determine who your main character should be. The choices are Kyosuke of the ATX team, or Ryusei of the SRX team. Both picks have their plus and minuses (the main plot difference is that the ATX team is fighting in space against the UCC while the SRX team fights the DC on the Earth), and to be told the first game is more of the SRX team story then it is of the ATX team, as the second game is heavily ATX focused.

But I like Kyosuke better, so I'm going to play him.

Thus without further ado.

Space! The final frontier. Men have finnaly built a spaceship to propel them to the outer edge of the system.

That doesn't look good ;(

Captain Daitetsu, he's the platonic idea of a anime space captain. He's pretty cool and ends up captaining the Hagane, which of course awesome looking sort of retro spacebattleship.

Sean Webbly, his XO, he's an ladies man.

Gigansucdo is the other blue object on the screen. Its a Super Robot, Earth's first actually, designed to be an anti-battleship unit.

By mid-game the enemies on the screen would be chaff for your weaker pilots, so yes we make them pay.

Pay attection to that, its important plot expostion, and Bian Zoldark is arugably the most important NPC of the game

Anyway the first mission premission plot appears. I had some screenshots but things got messed up so lets just cut here to Kyosuke talking with his current boss, Lt Colonel Hans.... Viper. Yes he is a villian.

Kyosuke: A test pilot who has experince in crashlandings and the devil's own luck is understandable wary of piloting a machine that is infamous for crashing. Of course this makes Col Hans angry.

Its not quite clear why he does this. Or what he thinks he is going to get from trying to mess around with Mao Inc.

Irm. He's a quasi-miltary test pilot, son of a the main weapon designers at the very important resarch lab that makes the mecha, and sort of a Mao industries guy.

Haha, you're so predictably evil Hans
Here is a bit of a disjointed battle sequence due to the screen shot, but this shows the beginning menu. Notice the improbabilities of hitting? Attacking is simple, you fire your weapon and hope you don't get shot when they fire back at you. Defending is more complicated, you can counter attack, you can defend to mitigate damage that hits you, or you can attempt to dodge and lower the probability of getting hit.

Notice the tile map? Friendly units blue, and you can move around on it, various features give bonsus to hit rates, repair HP and energy.

Anyway when you do a high powered attack, often the pilot's face will appear followed by the attack.

An powerfu beam attack hits. Notice the bars up on the top? The top bar is HP, and bottom is energy. Energy is used for onboard energy weapon systems, flying, and shields. Important bosses often have shields, so you have to drain their energy before you can start hurting them.

After you defeat an enemy, you get money and XP. Pilot points are used to improve your pilot, money is used to buy upgrades or repairs to your units, and XP increases the pilot lvl automatically improving your pilot.

Here is the spirit command screen. As you gain in level you get to unlock more spirit commands, which help you. There SP bar is like MP, and probably the most oft used command is focus and flash. Focus decreases the enemy hit rate while increasing your own, and flash gives you an single perfect dodge on the next attack. You can only do spirit commands when its your turn to move the unit.

I used focused in this battle, and notice how the probabty of hitting is different then from before?

Battle Mastery's are important, basically they are bonus goals. If you achieve several of them you can unlock hidden units, items, as well as make the game more difficult.

Who didn't see this coming? The unstable robot plane crashing?!

Ring Mao is Irm's former girlfriend, and CEO of Mao. This is why Irm gets so pissed off.

And when you do a mission you are brought to this screen. Here you can upgrade the base unit, the weapons on the unit, change pilots of different units or upgrade them, save your game and then move on to the next level.

Whew. This was alot of work for a comparatively short mission, but admittedly the main holdup was not playing through, but the uploading of the pictures.

Anyway if anybody has suggestions of how to go, let me know. Also as a warning I'm not that good at this game, so I might give myself a bit of advantage if I get stuck.