Beeda: Haruhi

AnimeMusicVideos.org Viewer's Choice Awards

For those of you who like AMVs, the AnimeMusicVideos.org Viewer's Choice Awards are currently going on.

http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/amvvca/2016/nom_round_2.php

They're currently in the semifinal stage, which runs through March 12th. After that the Finals will run from March 13th to March 23rd.

There are 28 categories, 4 for editors and 24 for videos, and for the semifinals there can be up to 20 nominees per category. That means a maximum potential of 480 videos, which is quite a lot. Thankfully(?) there are a lot of videos that are nominated multiple times in different categories, so this year there are "only" 196 total videos. Which is actually still a lot.

In the Finals stage it will be narrowed down to approximately 5 videos per category. Which means a maximum of about 120 distinct videos. Last year there were about 70 videos that made it to the Finals, and it will probably be similar this year.

So if you're lazy wait till the Finals to take a look, and if you're _really_ lazy just wait a couple weeks and i'll tell you what to like ;)

But i think it's definitely worth taking a look at a favorite category or two during the semifinals to see what all is there. In past years a number of my favorite videos didn't make it out of the semifinals round.

(And for those who don't have an AMV.org account it's free to create one, with which you should be able to view the nominees but won't actually be able to vote this year.)

Oh, and if anyone just wants to look at a giant list of all the nominees, i put a spreadsheet together :)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EYBjfA4GEsx9GNMpnnj2c6s5TOcNID--XxXJs1ggL18/edit?usp=sharing
Dragon Balls

State of the Shows

What we've been watching over the last couple months

Dragon Ball Z:

We finished it! After starting on episode 1 of Dragon Ball, near the end of 2014 i believe, we've gotten through all 153 episodes of Dragon Ball and all 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z! That's over 9000 minutes of Dragon Ball in total! (Though maybe not if you discount the episode openings, and endings, and "last time on"s, and "next episode"s, and flashbacks, and...)

I'd actually only seen about 125 episodes of Dragon Ball Z and no Dragon Ball at all when we started this, so it was a pretty epic undertaking for me as well! And now that we're done it seems that Avalyn love-hates it in pretty much the same way as i do :)

(We're probably not going to watch GT. Will probably get around to watching the new series at some point.)

Baccano:

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New X-Files:

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Castle:

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But yeah, individual episodes that don't focus on the conspiracy stuff are still good.

Legends of Tomorrow:

This show is fun, but also dumb. It's dumber than dumb. It is probably the most stereotypically comic book-y live action TV show i have ever seen.

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Despite that we're still watching it, so that says something i guess?

The Flash:

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Speaking of, still watching this, still enjoying it. Even if Barry Allen is sometimes an idiot. At least when they do dumb stuff it's a bit more understandable. (Except maybe for casually hanging out next to a chaotic wormhole in the process of undergoing collapse. Why would you do that? Move away from the unstable portion of the time-space continuum!)

(But seriously Barry, that big thing last episode that you were saying was all your fault, and your dad tries to console you by saying it wasn't? He's just trying to make you feel better. It really was all your fault. Sorry.)

Sleepy Hollow:

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Galavant:

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The Expanse:

Last and very far from least, i insisted we jump on this one right away, since i'm a fan of the books by "James SA Corey" (not a real person, actually the pseudonym for two co-authors.)

It's set in the moderately near future, a couple hundred years off. Humanity has discovered an efficient fusion drive that has allowed them to settle throughout the solar system (mainly Mars, the asteroid belt, and the outer moons) but no significant progress has been made in regards to interstellar exploration/settlement.

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Hmm, if i had to sum up the series (since a lot of people probably haven't seen it, and they ought to) i guess i'd say it has a setting similar to Firefly (just set in our own system instead of an alien one) crossed with the characterization and socio-political scale of Babylon 5. (And the moral ambiguity of both.) Plus a little bit of horror tossed in for good measure. But i'm bad at describing things so take that with a grain of salt.
OmgPonies!

Final Fantasy Friday Fun Stuff

Have i mentioned that i'm easily distracted by top 10 lists? (Yeah, me and the entire rest of the internet, i know.)

So here are some JRPG focused lists, with an emphasis on Final Fantasy.

Top 10 Final Fantasy Video Games
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh9h_csOV3g

Top 10 JRPGs of All Time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0BllUA96bI

Top Ten JRPGs (NOT From Square Enix)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w1v4p-Z4vE

Top 5 JRPG Battle Systems
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okKhTmdOvoE

Top 10 Worst Final Fantasy Games
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEmLaGA94fY

Top 10 Final Fantasy Characters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w84KpC7Wv5Y

Top 10 Final Fantasy Jobs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40_DnphdgaQ

5 Final Fantasy Fan Theories That Change Everything
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e186STu9IW8

And to break away from the Top X part of the theme:

Final Fantasy VII Honest Game Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0hVwfD_s-g

And now for something completely different! A cute video staring Lindsey Stirling as Link :)

Legend of Zelda: Pot Smasher
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXmMQJMFL_I

So there you go, ten videos of (mostly) top 10 lists about (mostly) JRPGs made (mostly) by Squenix.
Games: Master of Orion

New Master of Orion

So in much more recent news, there's a new Master of Orion game coming out! It will be available for Early Access tomorrow! Some special lucky reviewers/Let's Players already have review copies!

quill18's Let's Play:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3-YLyZBkjs
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjzX42xKHk8
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzjk2Dvym0c
Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC0waD10S1g

(Part 3 and 4 came out this morning, so i haven't seen them yet and won't until i get home)

So far it seems like a very well done "reboot" of Master of Orion... 2.

Which makes me a little sad, since as you might have guessed from the last post what i really want is an updated Master of Orion 1. But hey, at least it's not another Master of Orion 3?

But i'll almost certainly still pick it up anyways, probably even the Early Access version, maybe even tomorrow. After all i _did_ like Master of Orion 2, even if not as much as 1. And it's not MoO 3!

(The one and only benefit of having been foolish enough to pre-order Master of Orion 3 back in the day was that it provided me with the ultimate low bar of disappointed expectations, not only for the Master of Orion series or the 4x genre, but for the entire video game industry as a whole.)
TV: Red Dwarf

Old Master of Orion

This is posted mainly for my own amusement. You really don't want to read it. (Unless you're even more of a MoO nerd than i am i guess.)

So after struggling with Beyond Earth i decided to turn to the original Master of Orion. One of the very few games that i actually _like_ playing on the hardest difficulty setting. The basic gameplay is simple enough not to overload you with details, but the limited range and environment types you can settle at the beginning always makes the opening an interesting puzzle, and the randomized Tech Grass (like a Tech Tree, but there's multiple starting points and no branching) sometimes presents unexpected challenges to overcome.

But anyways i started this game as the Klackons, one of the two easiest races in the game. So even though it was on Impossible difficulty it shouldn't have been _that_ bad.

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History

Starships & Beyond Earth

So i mentioned a couple weeks ago that i was trying out Sid Meier's Starships and Beyond Earth.

Good news, i was eventually able to work my way around the bottleneck and win my first game!

More good news, in my second game i was able to win a One City Challenge on Easy... eventually. And it wasn't as easy as that difficulty setting makes it sound!

In less good news, The My2K connection between Beyond Earth and Starships has been totally busted ever since the launch of XCOM 2 =P

Totally random news: That prompted me to do some Master of Orion, at which i got my ass kicked!

So shortly after my last post about Beyond Earth i got back to the game and eventually, through a long hard slog, i managed to push past the isthmus corked by a settlement and get my troops out into the rest of the continent.

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So after all that i discovered that unlocking the tie-ins between Starships and BE doesn't just require having both games installed on the same machine, you have to create a My2K account and log into it with both games.

So i went ahead and did that, and then discovered that you need to actually accomplish the relevant achievement while the My2K connection is active. Luckily as usual i have a pretty extensive set of saves, so it wasn't too hard to go back to the necessary points and redo the relevant actions to get the achievements.

But while i was redoing all those achievements i discovered some additional achievements that i wanted to unlock so i started a new game.

This time i was still going to be on Easy, but i was going to be a different faction and aim for a One City Challenge victory right from the start.

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So in short if you're doing a One City Challenge, you don't have the trade routes you need to get the resources you need to build and research things quickly, and even if you _did_ have the resources there are more techs available than you could possible research in a single game anyways, and you won't have the strategic resources to build all the Wonders and buildings even if you could research all the techs required.

I understand that playing with just one city was never the original intended design of the genre (though there _have_ been achievements included for that in some games) and there's an argument that those choices by the developer may increase the strategic depth of the game (well, maybe not the trade routes, but aside from that) but i'm still sad that i can't easily play Beyond Earth in the simple and silly way that i've played so many of the previous games in the genre.
Vorkosigan

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

I picked up Lois McMaster Bujold's latest book as soon as it was available on Audible and listened to it right away.

Short version, i liked it, but it is _very_ different from all the other Vorkosigan novels.

Slight spoilers as to the nature of the book. Explicit spoilers about the history/back stories of character relationships. (Er... not THAT kind of explicit!) And also blatant spoilers for events in earlier books, duh.

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So anyways, TL;DR (Or just avoiding spoilers):

It's a good book, but you may have an easier time enjoying it if you don't go into it expecting any action or intrigue. It consists entirely of a (well done) exploration and development of some of the characters and their relationships with each other.

And if you start reading the book and are bothered by the apparent out-of-the-blueness of the big "retcon", go read this, it might help:
http://dsudis.tumblr.com/post/115697353364/i-was-right-ask-me-how
Heroes

Legends of Tomorrow (Rant)

We've been watching Legends of Tomorrow, the spin-off of The Flash that is a spin-off of Arrow.

(We also watch The Flash. Avalyn also watches Arrow.)

Like a lot of superhero shows/movies these days it doesn't take itself very seriously and is kind of dumb at points. And just like Mr. "oh my god if he actually did any of that stuff it would break ALL THE THINGS" Flash, if you can turn your brain mostly off it's a fun show.

But there is one little thing that is making that "turn your brain off" bit VERY hard for me.

Major spoilers up through last week's episode of Legends of Tomorrow!

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*pant, pant, sigh*

Okay, done ranting now
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated and ranty
happy

Why my showers take so long

The somewhat abridged and paraphrased thoughts that went through my mind this morning while showering

*starts humming random song from the day before*

...I don't really want to be humming that. Let's hum something from Rush instead.

*makes a couple false starts, before finally settling on Limelight*

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Hmm, the "small group of people trying to get the signal out about some secretive thing" is suddenly reminding me of Leviathan Wakes. I wonder if there was any inspiration there? And...

DAMN IT! WHY AM I STILL IN THE SHOWER?
  • Current Music
    Rush - Limelight
Coulton - Skullcrusher Mountain

JoCo Cruise - 2017 Edition

Also for people who aren't on twitter, tickets for the 2017 JoCo Cruise went on sale a couple weeks ago.

https://jococruise.com/

Since the ship is sailing out of San Diego next year instead of Florida (as it has been doing since the whole thing started i believe) Avalyn and i finally decided to get in on the action :)

For those unaware (and who don't want to go look at the FAQ on the page) the JoCo cruise is basically a week long SF convention on a boat. It was original started by Jonathan Coulton (hence the name) and thus has more of a bias towards music and other performances than the average con. However there's still going to be authors and boardgaming and the other usual conventiony stuff. Or at least that's the impression i've had as someone who has watched from afar but never attended before this.

The cruise usually happens in February (in fact i think this year's cruise is leaving Real Soon Now?) but in addition to switching ports, and more importantly coasts, the 2017 one is scheduled for the first full week of March. And in addition the event has grown enough that this time they were able to buy out the entire ship. Meaning that everyone on board will either be part of the crew or a fellow geek.

Needless to say, when you add the cost of a convention on top of a one week cruise it doesn't come out cheap. At this point if you wanted to go by yourself it would be about $3000 at the cheapest. If you have someone to share a room with you can still get in for as little as about $1800 each. If you go 3 or 4 people to a room you can get it down to about $1500 each. (And i think there are some people/groups who have bought more space than they need and are looking for people to bunk with, possibly for cheaper than the above prices.)

chalgaryn and steuard were definitely pretty instrumental in convincing us to go. And we in turn were able to convince coraa and jmpava to sign up. However while everyone else decided to go for the cheaper accommodations, Avalyn and i decided to splurge on a room with a balcony, which came out to about $2500 each. Of course when you consider the fact that we don't have to pay for plane tickets to get to the port the price differential isn't _quite_ as extreme.

So anyways, if anyone else i know is interested, you've got the link now.
  • Current Music
    Jonathan Coulton - Still Alive
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