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Ultraviolet-Level Update [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
S. F.

[ website | Kuroko Project ]
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shameless self-advertising [Mar. 14th, 2009|11:29 pm]
S. F.
[Tags|, ]
[mood |tiredtired]

so I'm sleeping in this weekend because I was up late this week writing a somewhat passioned defense of the use of Twin Sticks in Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram, in time for the upcoming XBLA port of VOOT.
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the etymology of this title will self-destruct in thirty seconds [Feb. 25th, 2009|10:15 pm]
S. F.
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I've been listening to Anime World Order because I am a HUGE NERD that needs to alternately laugh and weep in shame for remembrance of days gone by.
Lately they took a look back at the original(and only, SHUT UP) Bubblegum Crisis, which was the first subtitled and un-cut show that started me on the path to the HUGE NERD I am today. How did those Vocal Collections end up buried in my CD boxes? IT'S A MYSTERY

One thing that belatedly struck home was that it really wasn't made to make sense. It was made to look cool, and incidentally serve as a training ground for future AIC/Artmic directors after the first episode turned out to be a hit. Clarissa compared it to an "accidental" Animatrix project, which makes complete sense in retrospect.

And as AWO noted: no matter how much people on Usenet bent over backwards to try to come up with logical explanations for the story("Mason really got himself killed so that he could turn into LARGO, but it all went wrong!") or mechanical designs("High heels on powered-armor actually make sense, if you think about the mechanical complexity!"), it just doesn't work. Because it was never meant to work in the first place.

But of course, back in 1993 or so, I didn't know that. Incomprehensibility and giant contrived Usenet explanations just seemed like par for the course at the time. After reading a few works by Masamune Shirow", another manga author who is a great idea man and artist, but really can't write for shit, I can distinctly remember something went "ping" in my brain for demanding "sense" in what I watched. Saving the galaxy via rocking out in your transformable fighter jet, after filling your enemies full of speaker-bullets? No problem! Shit, that's easy compared to trying to read Orion with a straight face.

If anything, it seems like the lack of demanding sense is what keeps me away from most anime these days. No, I don't want another school romance WITH A TWIST or another xeroxed giant-robot where everyone usese the emo tag on Myspace and where Exposition Man keeps us up to date on who's dropping colonies on who. I'd rather watch a show that's obsessed with drills, and gives the entire body of physics(plus a separate universe, and entire super-technological race for good measure) the finger without explaining how.

Don't explain the magic trick, don't race to the bottom with how much technobabble or plot twists you can fit in, and be shameless!
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movie capsules: dec. 08 [Dec. 27th, 2008|04:52 pm]
S. F.

Valkyrie: Excellent WW2 thriller, but no matter how much German comes out of Tom Cruise's mouth, he just seems out of place(albeit not for lack of trying).

The Spirit: I'm uncertain to put it down as Frank Miller's perfection of his comic-book visual production style, or a giant All-You-Can-Eat scenery buffet for all actors involved. Sam! Save some for the rest of the cast!
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SNOWPOCALYPSE 2: CIRNO BOOGALOO [Dec. 21st, 2008|07:54 pm]
S. F.
[Tags|, ]

Not much to report, though. Due to being ASS-COLD(and the first major snowfall in Yakima starting), I've had zero motivation to do anything.
Random bits:
This is why I've never driven in the winter in Seattle for the past 10 years.
• Metroid Prime 3 endgame: decent. MP3 last boss: total weaksauce.
• Traveling back to Redmond for the holidays on Tuesday. Refusing to think about bus getting stuck in Snoqualmie pass.

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and the world gets smaller [Oct. 23rd, 2008|11:50 pm]
S. F.
So, this new animated show Shikabane Hime Aka came out a week or two ago. Undead girl, fighting zombies for a livin', dual-wielding machine-pistols, and a wacky everyman (OR IS HE) to round it out. Like Jason points out, we've seen it all before.

I'm mildly interested for two reasons. One is that it's by Gainax, which indicates that they're in their "slumming" phase to make a buck for their next big project(which in turn means this could continue boringly generic, have an awesome trainwreck derail, or turn into a decent action series. I'm hoping for 2) or 3). )

The second, more interesting reason, is that I watched it via Hulu, complete with decent subtitles. Much like Tower of Druaga, it's satisfying to see that US distributors are starting to get it--I'll gladly watch interstitial ads if I can watch an SDTV-quality release within a week or two of the initial broadcast. Animators and companies get paid and I don't have to worry about the increasing supply of "HD quality" fansubs that choke out my five-year-old computer, nor the speedsubbers trying to demand respect for their Babelfish skillz.

Due to being too-late-too-early to the Tivo party, I've got a settop box that can't really play any of my digital media, nor support the Flash level required for Hulu. When I move, I'm strongly thinking about finding a Mac Mini to check out this new "Boxee" thing.
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in honor of comrade petrov [Sep. 26th, 2008|09:56 pm]
S. F.
As Charlie Stross has noted Stanislav Petrov bent the rules and prevented a nuclear exchange at the nadir of the Cold War 25 years ago today. He ended up losing his job and pension over it, and still doesn't consider himself a hero.

Two years ago, I was eagerly awaiting DEFCON to have fun destroying the world with other people online. After viewing a gameplay sample on YouTube, I idly clicked on a related-video, which happened to be the attack scene from Threads. I followed that up with a chaser of a music video using a Yo La Tengo cover of Sun Ra's "Nuclear War".

I got maybe three hours of sleep that night, and had shivering nightmares during all three of them. I haven't played DEFCON or even looked at it since.

I've never been sure if it was revulsion over what it would actually be like, or repressed childhood memories from listening to adults in the early eighties. But along with Charlie and the rest, I'm raising a glass to Comrade Petrov. How about you?
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a huge pub crawl is approaching fast..? [Sep. 12th, 2008|01:40 am]
S. F.
[Tags|, , ]

Oh hey.

Arriving in Seattle Friday afternoon to spend the weekend for the "drinking and social" part of the Francis Birthdaystravaganza #30.


Jesus. No, not in fear of the actual age, it's the fear of the family members that will descend upon me like harpies over the ill-advised throwaway sentence in a high-school era letter somewhere. Specifically the one stating "when I get older, around 35"[1]. My parents didn't let me hear the end of it for an entire week.

I would normally blame my anime-watching habits for instilling this subtle ageism in me, but at that point I had a few OAV rentals to my credit, so poop.

Anyways. Carousing. Drinks. Etc. Woot.

[1] Or worse, they'll open with "30 is the new 20!". I've already gotten this from at least one separate uncle and aunt.
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map notes on the b-button run [Jul. 9th, 2008|10:32 pm]
S. F.
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  • If WALL-E does not GRAB YOUR CUTENESS PARTS by their short-and-curlies, you have no soul. This has been scientifically proven.

  • If someone ever gives Kurt Wimmer a budget again(and oh god wikipedia claims he's directing a Metal Gear Solid movie), can someone stipulate that only a fraction of a percent go towards CG? Seriously, I had problems seeing parts of Ultraviolet the other day through the lensflares and water effects, and the other parts resembled a 13-year old on a sugar rush trying to remake the Matrix as seen through Image Comics circa 1995.

  • Finally, this is totally out of nowhere, and is completely awesome.

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quick video game notes [May. 24th, 2008|12:52 am]
S. F.
[Tags|, ]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

[Edit 06/07/2008: this is where I remind myself not to post unconnected thoughts at 1 in the morning.]

Metroid Prime 3. Much like the previous two Primes, I tend to drop any other game I'm playing until I compulsively finish the Prime I'm working on. The Wii controls take an hour to get used to, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. Gestures for the visors is a nice touch, and pushing buttons in the gunship never gets old, but the other tacked-on Wii-gestures do get irritating(or in the case of re-priming pumps, a prime opportunity for the jerk-off motion). Continuing from Prime 2 is Nintendo's inexplicable zeal to add conversations and "go here to talk to someone" missions, including real! live! humans! for the first time I've seen. Thankfully this seems to be only for the first half-hour, after which it's limited to "mission updates". I'm also impressed with the X-Ray visor; it has some stylistic touches reminiscent to the first Prime's Thermal Visor, while still having lots of neat-looking bits and bobs for checking out the environment.

Zelda: Twilight Princess. A friend lent me this because "you really need to play it", apparently forgetting the two nights at his house getting him through a dungeon or something six months ago. I haven't played a Zelda game since that earlier session and Link to the Past(although I've seen Wind Waker in action), and having to spend the better part of an hour going through training missions "cunningly" disguised as Link's off day did not really appeal to me to keep playing.
Also, while playing through the first "wolf" section, pensandfeathers noted that it was suspiciously similar to another certain adventure game. Others have noticed.
However, Z:TP has spoiled me with the ability to save anywhere, still missing in Prime 3(even if the in-field save simply takes you back to an entrance). I realize location's a big part of the Prime series, but if I'm in the middle of a plot-coupon loop(hello SkyTown!) and I need to give up the TV, I want to be able to skip out without having to slog back to a previous one or taking a chance on the next corner.
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*guitar riff* [May. 10th, 2008|03:07 pm]
S. F.
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So yeah, echoing everyone else, the Iron Man film is awesome.

Especially being a gearhead, I was having more fun watch Stark/Downey building and testing the armors, rather than the Big Fight at the end. Now I have a sudden craving to put a lab-bench in the basement and cackle wildly rebuilding home-electronics.
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