2012 Beatofest! Rarutos and Noxie Duel Again?!

Hello everyone. Raru CROSS Nox ended with Raru’s victory because of Xenoblade, and laziness. Although that competition was small, there was very little motivation to do it. This is why we’re going back to our yearly format with a more refined (and hopefully better) point system! We have discovered that games like Xenoblade can definitely put the other duelist at a disadvantage quite easily, so we believe that simplifying the points system may help over all. Also, this year, we’re going to implement a new rule that will subtract points to discourage constant adding of new games to our backlogs. Gifts will not count. Though to make it fair to a certain contestant, it will not be as harsh as it sounds.

RULES:

  • 1 point for every beaten game
  • 1 more point if it’s generally agreed that the game is lengthy (~50+ hours to credits)
  • Additional point for 100% completion.
  • Games where beat = complete do not get an additional point.
  • -1 point for every 5 new games, not counting gifts or games that are added as null.
  • Games that can be beaten quickly and easily (such as fighting games) will not get a point until 100% completion status. (Less than ~10 hours)
  • Competitors will get an extra point (up to 15) for beating a game on their Recommendation Station. Rarutos’ List | Noxie’s List (in her page note) Continue reading
Posted in Backloggery Shenanigans | Leave a comment

Raru CROSS Nox: Battle of RPGs

This is a competition to motivate the titular players of RPGs into beating more RPGs (specifically for the sake of clearing our backlogs as shown on the Backloggery)! Credits in RPGs gets points! For every 20 hours average certain RPGs take to get to the credits, according to http://howlongtobeat.com/ (Unless it is obviously inaccurate or nonexistent on the site, then we will probably just work on general consensus or decide between ourselves), we get one point! For example:

Final Fantasy XIII’s average main story completion time is about 47 hours, so it’d be 3 points! So games less than 40 hours would be 2, and games under 20 hours would be 1.

However, even if one takes over 80 hours to beat Final Fantasy XIII, they will still only get the 3 points, just to be fair. Games that are completed after being beaten during the time frame from the start date to the end date will automatically double the points that was received with beation the game!

Start date is August 27, 2011. The deadline will be December 31, 2011! Continue reading

Posted in Backloggery Shenanigans

Who says 13 is an unlucky number? (And other FE thoughts)

As you may know, the recent remake of Fire Emblem 3 was released in Japan the better part of a year ago, and there has been no announcement of localization for it as of yet. At this point, I’m willing to write it off as something that we in the US are not going to be getting. And you know what? That’s okay. Now you may be asking, “But David! Why would it be okay for them to stop localizing Fire Emblem? It’s such a great series!” And you would be correct. It IS a great series. But here’s the thing, Fire Emblem has (in my opinion) been going down the wrong track with the remakes. Some of this is understandable and unavoidable, some of it needs to be dealt with in the development of Fire Emblem 13. So what falls into what and what else needs to be added in a new FE? More beyond the jump.

Continue reading

Posted in Lumenaire, Video Games | 4 Comments

Purple Haired N and Blue Haired Spada

Rota Gunnr by Starry-chanOkay, I knew my DS was bad, but not that bad.

I first discovered something was wrong when I tried playing Innocence. The top screen of my DS had lines over it through the whole gameplay. While it was a bit annoying, I didn’t care much–I could still tell what was going on easily. It was the same for Pokemon HeartGold.

Now, I’m playing Pokemon White. There are still a ton of lines, which made it a bit hard to read at first, but a day or two later, the lines seemed to be gone, and it’s actually easy to look at now. Everything was going well, I was actually grinding before challenging the second gym… I must thank Audino for that. For those who don’t know, it’s this healing-type-Pokemon that’s… well, I thought was white and light green.

But, I looked on Serebii.net for information on Audino… only to find that it’s dark pink. That’s when it occurred to me that there’s something terribly wrong with the top screen of my DS.

Then, I went to the gym… and this conversation happened:

Ayame says:
o.o’ Hi N
Valour says:
xD
Ayame says:
…Your hair looks purple today. Probably because of my screen.
Valour says:
;__; Oh my god
Valour says:
That is really bad
Ayame says:
:D’ What hair color should he have?
Valour says:
…XD
Valour says:
Take a guess
Ayame says:
:D’ Red?
Valour says:
…XD Not even close…
Ayame says:
XD Ummm…
Ayame says:
(It looked reddish the other day >.>’)
Valour says:
Okay, my hints: it’s not red or purple
Valour says:
8D
Ayame says:
XD’ Thanks
Ayame says:
Green? :D’
Valour says:
BINGO!
Ayame says:
XDDD

Yes. My screen is that bad.

So, for the lols, I decided to boot up Innocence again and see how the colors look on that now.

Here are some pictures I took with my phone. I apologize for the blurriness:

Blue Haired Spada--Status Picture

…Yeah. My DS is that bad.

Posted in Ayame, Games | 2 Comments

Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)

Blogging on my third Japanese drama. This time, it’s Hana Yori Dango. Literally, it means ‘dumplings over flowers’, or the practical over the pretty… However! It’s a pun on words, since they use the kanji for ‘boys’ for ‘dango’–thus, the translation of the title is Boys Over Flowers.

This one is a high school love story, based off an anime/manga by the same name. The drama is two seasons long, with the seasons set about a year apart from each other. There’s also a movie that I have yet to watch, so this review is purely on the drama.

The summary:

Makino Tsukushi is a normal Japanese girl. However, she’s made it into a prestigious high school, full of rich kids that usually come to school in limos. Leading the school are the four richest of them all–four boys known as the Flower 4, or F4: Domyouji Tsukasa, Hanazawa Rui, Nishikado Sojirou, and Mimasaka Akira. If anyone does something to upset them, then they get a red notice placed in their locker. The red notice basically tells everyone to bully the victim until they leave.

Tsukushi wants to have a normal high school life… to get by without any problems. But when her new friend, Sakurako, gets in trouble with the F4, Tsukushi stands up for her… and finds the red notice in her locker. Whether she likes it or not, she finds herself wrapped up in their world–which only expands when she starts to form a crush on Rui.

Important Characters:

Makino Tsukushi. She’s the main character, and she comes from a very poor family. She’s a hard worker and prefers things that are practical. She can’t stand watching people get hurt, and she’ll stand up for her friends. She’s a pretty strong heroine and isn’t afraid to punch idiots in the face.

Domyouji Tsukasa. He’s the leader of the F4, and the biggest jerk of them all. He’s not very bright, and he absolutely sucks at Japanese–it’s a running joke that he messes up on words or kanji. He’s not very good with people, especially not girls, and he tends to be a little forceful.

The next have quotes from the last episode on what someone said about each of them.

Hanazawa Rui. “You were always there for me, and you understood me the best. I truly, truly can’t say ‘thank you’ enough times.” He’s the cool, mysterious member of F4. He enjoys reading, and even in the group, he’ll usually be seen sitting off to the side (or blowing bubbles). Rui is made of epic win, and he always knows just how to help. Sometimes, I wonder if some things he does are just part of some plan.

Nishikado Sojirou. “You’re the biggest playboy among the F4, but you’re actually a very genuine person. You always gave me that push in the back and encouraged me to live my own life.” As the quote says, he’s a playboy. He loves tea, and interested in the tea ceremony. He’s usually quiet and off to the side, but he’s surprised me when he takes a leading role, usually supporting the characters with wise words.

Mimasaka Akira. “You’re perhaps the kindest and most mature member of F4.” He’s also a playboy, but he prefers woman that are older and more mature. He hates conflict and is usually the first to try and calm the other guys down. Ironically, his family’s powerful in the Japanese underground–because of that, he tends to use cash.

Matsuoka Yuki. She’s Tsukushi’s best friend, and they’ve been together since they were kids. She’s very supportive of Tsukushi’s true feelings, and is always there to help. She and Tsukushi work at a dango shop.

There are many other important characters, but… I’ll spend this whole space talking about characters if I go on. So, time for the review!

I really enjoyed Hana Yori Dango. It’s probably my second favorite out of the three JDramas I’ve watched thus far, as it stays light hearted and shows an interesting love story. It doesn’t have anything particularly meaningful like the other two, but the characters are interesting and engaging, each with their own complex past.

It’s interesting to see how situations develop, and it deals with the confusing truths of love. It does an amazing job portraying an evolving love between two very different people, along with showing the complications of feelings surrounding them and the people around them. When I first started watching, I didn’t think anything would make me cheer for the canon couple–it’s a bit cliche, and plus, the original guy I was rooting for is far cooler. Yet, before long, they made me absolutely love the canon couple. The balance between love and hate is absolutely perfect, as is the painful confusion of love.

It is a bit cliche, but it’s well worth it, as the story stays interesting and engaging. Sometimes, you want to hit the characters for how stupid they’re being, but those same mistakes and misunderstandings happen all the time in real life. I’d much prefer that it stay true to the characters, like it does, than for everything to work out perfectly the first time around–it’s far more interesting that way.

The acting was amazing. Usually I don’t think much about acting, but all I could think of for this one was how perfect they always are at the roles (and how fun it must’ve been to film it!).

The soundtrack is also lovely. Anyone who knows me also knows that I’m usually not good at paying attention to the background music. However, I absolutely loved the background tracks they used for sweet parts in both the first and second seasons. It was always perfectly timed, and sometimes I like setting it as a background to what I’m doing. XD

(Slight spoilers in that second video–I could only find a music video.)

For anyone interested, you can find Hana Yori Dango here.

And, to end, a quote from Sojirou, which I believe sums up one of the points about love that the show makes quite nicely:

“There is no logic in love. Falling in love is an irrational thing. Even just by falling in love with someone, you’ll hurt people, and you’ll get hurt yourself. To be truly in love with someone, you have to be ready to put your life at risk.”

Posted in Ayame, Live Action Shows | 2 Comments

Raru’s Recommendation Station

Place holder for my Recommendation Station. Apologies for the clutter.

Raru’s Recommendation Station
Following Blink’s successful example, and mimicking Noxie, I’ll take a recommendation from anyone willing! Hopefully it’ll give me more motivation to play certain games I wouldn’t otherwise. Only one :U: game recommendation per person please!

:U:s only please! My Backlog is much too big to be focusing on :C:s right now.

01) :U: Baten Kaitos – Noxie
02) :U: Dead Rising – Seijika
03) :U: Ys: Oath in Felghana – Brojira
04) :U: Ōkami – Yami
05) :U: DeathSmiles – Cephi
06) :U: Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Yokkybear
07) :U: Digital Devil Saga – Norbi
08) :B: Chrono Trigger – Blink
09) :U: Vanquish – Sakurazaki
10) :U: Resident Evil 4 – Endaso
11) :U: Shadow Hearts – Wan
12) :U: Super Mario Bros. – Sobou
13) :U: Digimon World 2 – Kari
14) :U: Alan Wake – Riss
15) :U: La Pucelle – Thunder
16 ):B: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin – Digiki
17) :U: Half-Minute Hero – EeveeFanBoy
18) :U: Mass Effect – MartMart
19) :U: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne – Ninten
20) :B: Street Fighter III: The 3rd Strike – Hojo
21) :U: Devil May Cry – Destrono
22) :U: Lost Odyssey – Nodaichi
23) :U: Unlimited Saga – Moffie
24) :U: inFamous – Ivy
25) :U: Final Fantasy VI – Linkmaster
26) :U: Pikmin – Cyfenwadau
27) :U: Nier – TheCleaningGuy
28) :U: Sengoku Basara – Tweeter
29) :U: Radiant Historia – Valor
30) :U: No More Heroes – Paper
31) :U: .hack//INFECTION – Wude
32) :U: Resonance of Fate – Orpheon
33) :U: Devil Survivor Overclocked – Wool
34) :U: Sin & Punishment – Naikou
35) :U: Tales of Graces ƒ – AyaAya
36) :U: Costume Quest – Inkontrol
37) :U: Xenosaga – Ayai
38) :U: Super Mario Advance 4 – Nionel
39) :U: Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Corvak
40) :U: Tales of Rebirth – Illu
41) :U: Skies of Arcadia – Arcadia
42) :U: Spyro the Dragon – Kohaku
43) :U: Zelda: Majora’s Mask – Celab
44) :U: Blue Dragon – Boyce
45) :B: Final Fantasy V – DuskShark
46) :U: Mass Effect 2 – David
47) :U: Trine – Yoomi
48) :U: Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Brain_cleanser
49) :U: Dragon Quest VIII – Kamiwoo

Posted in Backloggery Shenanigans, Rarutos | 2 Comments

Jyoou no Kyoushitsu (The Queen’s Classroom)

I watched another Japanese drama. This time, it was Jyoou no Kyoushitsu, or The Queen’s Classroom (I tend to refer to it by the English name, so let’s go with that). It’s eleven episodes long, with two specials.

Those who read my post on Densha Otoko will know that I really loved that one. The Queen’s Classroom is even better.

So to start, the summary:

Kanda Kazumi is a 12-year-old girl entering 6th grade (which, in Japan, is the last year of elementary school). She and her long-time friend Erika happen to be in the same class, with a teacher that’s been away from teaching for two years. When the teacher, Akutsu Maya, enters, she tells the students that things will be different in her class. Every Monday, she’ll pass out a test. The two students with the highest scores will be given special privileges, including free use of the two lockers in the classroom. The two students with the lowest scores will become class representatives, who have to do everything from cleaning the bathrooms to serving lunch. She then gives them a lecture on how only 6% of all people can achieve happiness. That they’d be glad to make everyone else work below them work so they can get things for free. On top of that, she’s extremely strict, not allowing the children to go to the restroom during lunch and giving out harsh punishments for disobeying her.

When her last pencil breaks on the first day, Kazumi isn’t able to complete the test, and becomes a class representative along with the class clown, Yusuke. She suffers through the first week, deciding that she’s not going to let herself fail the next test.

Over the course of the year, the students experience many hardships. When Maya talks to each parent in turn, she easily plays up to their interests, leaving the children alone in their struggle against her.

Important characters that I feel need to be mentioned:

Kazumi, the main character. She’s an idealistic young girl who believes that everyone ended up in the class together for a reason. Because of that, she wants to create happy memories with them. However, that becomes much harder than she ever thought, especially after she becomes the representative.

Maya, the teacher. Akutsu Maya, really, but I’m used to calling her Maya. She’s extremely strict and always has a hard look on her face. She has a tendency to know things she shouldn’t know and show up when not expected. She’s extremely intimidating, and everything she says is correct, even if harsh and pessimistic. Not even the teachers can argue with her, as she’s good at pointing out the flaws in their ways.

Yusuke, the class clown. He’s laid back and doesn’t take class seriously. Despite all his joking, he has a good heart and often helps Kazumi out.

Hikaru, the smartest girl in class. She’s kind, but indifferent about everything regarding herself. She doesn’t mind being punished. She’s also very insightful and is the first to understand the reasons people do things.

Baba, a girl with low grades. The only thing keeping her from being a class representative is the fact that Kazumi and Yusuke are. She’s not good in school or sports, but she enjoys drawing and hopes to be a manga-ka one day.

Yu, Kazumi’s older sister. She’s a really kind and supportive older sister. She’s always there for Kazumi and listens to the troubles Kazumi has in class.

The review:

As I said already, I enjoyed The Queen’s Classroom even more than Densha Otoko. It was so much more meaningful, delving into many questions about the importance of life, learning, and the future. It managed to be both pessimistic and optimistic at the same time, both realistic and idealistic. It showed many difficulties of life, flawlessly relating the troubles the children experienced to the real, adult world.

The students also each had their own problems to overcome. There were 24 students, each with their own personality and dreams. Naturally, there wasn’t enough room to delve into most of them, and some blended into the background easier than others. But the more time went on and the more you learned, the more important everyone became, whether as part of the class or for something a bit more complicated.

This drama, especially the special, has also been highly useful in studying some information I’ll need for my story. It shows many of the troubles that many children in a public school system have to deal with, troubles that I didn’t have in my own experience.

The actors were also amazing. The actress who plays Maya is both lovely and really talented (which is easier to tell in the specials). Each of the important children are also played well, with Kazumi and Yusuke being my two favorites. The casting for both of them was perfect, and they played off each other really well to show a special friendship (and blooming love).

The last few episodes were extremely touching, and watching a recap of them in the second special almost made me cry again (I only didn’t because my parents were in the room). I highly recommend The Queen’s Classroom to anyone that enjoys dramas. It’s one of the most meaningful stories I’ve ever seen and really makes you think about teaching, learning, and life.

For anyone interested, you can find The Queen’s Classroom here.

(The ending is also extremely catchy)

Again, I’ll leave off with a quote. This speech was absolutely lovely and extremely well-written. The whole scene was beautifully executed.

“Open your eyes. Of course there are going to be worries in life. The important things are not losing confidence, not paying attention to rumors, and not hurting others. For example, nobody knows what happens when people die. There are people who say that you will go to heaven if you listen to what they say and go to hell if you don’t. That’s just nonsense. Nobody has been there, so how do they know? There’s no point in pretending you know something and then trying to persuade other people. Instead… think more about the present. Can you picture it? We’re surrounded by many beautiful things. Millions of stars shine in the night sky. A small butterfly might eagerly fly by your side. If you go into the street, your ears might become filled with the sound of a new song… You might meet a wonderful person… As you gaze at ordinary scenery, there will be many sudden surprises as time flows. Open your eyes and gaze at these important things. Clear your ears and listen. Feel it with your entire body. That’s what it means to be alive.

“If you don’t have a solid goal in mind yet, then just study. Do things you can only do when you’re twelve. And, go to junior high school. Even if you go to junior high school… Even if you go to high school… There still remains tons of things in the present. Stop doting on the future and neglecting those things. If you don’t, then you will never realize anything, no matter how much time passes.”

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