Sunday, June 29, 2008

Castlevania: Judgment for the Wii

Look at the above picture. Look at it very, very carefully. Yes, you're seeing both Simon Belmont and Alucard in a screenshot taken from a new Castlevania game for the Wii. And yes, you're seeing them in a FIGHTING game titled Castlevania: Judgment.

The confirmed characters so far are Simon Belmont and Alucard (pictured above), Richter Belmont, Maria Renard, and Shanoa, that cool chick from the upcoming Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.

Konami manages to pull off a nice surprise buttsecks trick on the vampire-whipping franchise's fans, and so far Castlevania: Judgment for the Wii is getting a mixed reaction from the crowd. Some say that it's an act of heresy on Konami's part, while others are of the opinion that it's shameless fanservice.

Yes, Castlevania: Judgment IS utter fanservice and an act of heresy towards Castlevania's blue and pure history and identity as a platformer, but so what? We've been getting a lot of (good) rehashes lately, it won't hurt to get a Castlevania that's decidedly different from the rest.

That, and seeing Alucard go all Soul Calibur over Richter's ass will be pure awesome.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tartol Diary: New Digs

Seeing as how Squirtle is too cramped in his previous container I decided to give him new digs, and I shopped around earlier for the materials. This is what I came up with: a roomier container for Squirtle with a platform for him to bask on and just chill.

Left: his new house with the screening as cover; Right: Squirtle hiding underneath the basking platform created using a couple of lettering guides (lol) and aluminum tape.

I'm still using his old cage (the one pictured in the previous post) as his feeding container. Speaking of feeding I'm relieved that Squirtle's eating his food; I was worried about him refusing to eat due to stress brought about by getting a new home. I'm currently feeding him fish food that's been recommended by the pet shop employee I talked with.

In any case, this will be his home until he outgrows it (I hope it proves to be a long while before that). I'm thinking of adding other stuff to his crib, like putting those tiny bamboo plants inside and propping them up with rocks (mid-sized to large rocks, gravel is a no-go and may kill Squirt if he eats them). If I remember correctly, those bamboo plants thrive in water only...yes? Squirt can also feed off the leaves, I guess.

My parents were not too thrilled about the existence of Squirtle, however. I just told them that I got a new turtle as a pet, and my mom shrilled over the phone for me to return him to whoever gave him to me. Something about "bad luck." Meh. They'll have to put up Squirt's (almost imperceptible) presence; he's here, and I brought him here. And there's no "I'm your mom, and I have the right" shit, because I run this house and pay most of the bills here.

Someone took my highschool diary, read it, and made certain comments about its contents. I was deeply offended.

I threw the diary - along with my once precious memories in it - into the trash can.

Those memories aren't mine anymore.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tartol Diary: Squirtle goes home

I brought home a turtle today because I cried. The whole story won't make sense, so I'll just refrain from retelling it here.

The turtle's name is Squirtle, but I think the monicker "Tartol" will stick more, given time.

Also, he is not to be licked.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why do I feel like throwing up every time I see a picture of a lotus seed pod? I don't think I'm alone when it comes to this odd reaction - the shooped lotus breasts are proof enough that there are other people who consider the image of a lotus seed pod disgusting.

I feel sick, but I can't tear my eyes away from it too.

His explanation:
Well, you know. It's the image of extreme infection. The pods have the appearance of burst boils that have dried out and have a new boil underneath them.
Hmm. It is feasible, I'd give him that.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why does the wait have to take so long. T_T

I wants my pink pew pews.

*cue gnashing of teeth*

Sunday, June 22, 2008

1. Yes, the storm is definitely my friend. It's been known to give me some needed days off from during my less-than-favorable work stints in the past, and last night it temporarily yielded for the fireworks display.

The storm also caused him to stay over for the meantime, which led to him downloading Space Invaders Extreme, a game that could become another rare mainstay in my DS/PSP gaming roster. Gaaah. Can't get enough of the pew-pew-pew action. I'm loving Space Invaders so much right now, I immediately pre-ordered a Space Invaders shirt and headset from Play-Asia.

Pew-pew-pew-pew. My Space Invaders Extreme Friend Code: 004441-860116 (without dashes)

2. I just recently found out about what really happened with the "Help Needed" episode this blog experienced not too long ago (refer to the cbox). Since the whole shebang has already ended with me not knowing what it was all about until now, I'm going to refrain from saying anything - not too much, at least - concerning the incident.

I'm just a bit appalled that some people live to make other people's lives a living hell just to feel alive. Sure, I'm not a saint myself, but I'm not making a career out of it. Some people apparently do, however. For shame, girl. For sweet fucking shame.

3. Currently downloading Hakaba Kitaro, the latest anime based on the Ge Ge Ge Kitaro classic Japanese anime series. It shares the same visual style as Mononoke, and I might as well check it out and see if it's going to give me the same level of satisfaction as Kusuriuri-san's exploits. I tried picking up the second season of xxxHolic, only to be terribly disappointed. Maybe it was because I already own ten volumes of the manga, but I doubt it. I think I got fed up with Watanuki's tendency to be a whining idiot in the anime.
Space Invaders Extreme (Taito, Square Enix) Nintendo DS, Sony PSP

What is it: Everyone in their twenties or thirties who managed to grow up with arcade games will no doubt be familiar with Ye Olde Space Invaders. In this game, players try to destroy waves upon waves of pixel aliens bent on invading the Earth with the use of a laser cannon that can be moved horizontally and shoot tiny but potent rounds.

Created to commemorate the game's 30th anniversary, the revamped Space Invaders Extreme for both the DS and PSP is practically the same game as the 1970's original - shoot aliens, save the world - but the similarity ends to a certain degree. The aliens and the space cannon still look their pixellated best and the enemies are still animated with only two frames, but the gameplay has been improved immensely with the addition of bonus stages, new ammunition, and new roster of alien invaders.

Is it worth it: Space Invaders Extreme is indeed worth your time, effort, and money (if applicable), and we're really tempted to answer this question with a simple and succinct "Yes." If the all the nostalgia and mindless pew-pew-pew brand of fun isn't enough to pull you in, let's just say that all the new things in this Space Invaders remake is enough reason why you should give this game your attention.

Let's start from the very moment you boot up the game. You'll be greeted with the Square Enix logo if you play the US version of the game, but don't be alarmed; you won't see your favorite childhood game get raped by an unwelcome abundance of zippers, belts and emo kid pilots with gravity-defying hairstyles.

Once you jump into the meat of the game, you'll find that it's still the same Space Invaders we know and love - until you notice the new additions such as the new weapons, new aliens, and new gameplay rules. Shooting four identically-colored enemies in a row will net you a special weapon that corresponds to the color of the aliens you shoot down: blue enemies will get you a powerful laser beam, red will let you get your hands on bombs, green will broaden your shots while certain white enemies will grant you temporary shields.

You may remember the special UFOs that flit at the top of the screen from time to time in the original game. They're back, and instead of just giving bonus points these special ships either give you access to bonus stages that will let you go on a Fever Time if the stage's conditions are met or blast with lasers of their own, among others.

What could be the most noticeable of all is the trippy overall interface and sounds that manage to give Space Invaders its much-needed space-y look and feel beyond its basic premise of defeating space invaders. The in-game soundtrack will most certainly appeal to fans of electronica, and similar to Q Entertainment's Lumines, every sound effect (shooting, hitting enemies) contributes to the overall rhythm of the music.

Engrossing, addictive, pleasing to the eyes and ears, Space Invader Extreme gives justice to the original game's 30-year-old fanbase.

What makes it toilet-compatible: Space Invaders Extreme, like all good pick-up-and-play titles, can be played on a whim and immediately shut down without any major consequences. Each stage is short enough to be completed during your bonding with Mr. Toilet, but if you have to pause or turn off the game to clean up you don't have to worry about your game save, as Space Invaders Extreme performs an auto-save between stages.

Shooting down waves upon waves of twitching aliens is a very welcome activity while doing your duties on the throne, giving you an added air of importance as you realize that not only are you the momentary king of the toilet, you are also an accomplished pilot that dumps a variety of missiles both real and virtual.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


An image of you reflected in a mirror, all soft and vague and just a touch unreal; an entire world with a facsimile of yourself who appears to be blissfully unaware of your existence.

This reflection of you, mimicking your own movements...until the very moment that you turn your back. What does it do when you're not looking at it?

What does your mirror image do while you're sleeping, that one time when it doesn't have to fulfill its obligation to follow your every move? Will it yearn for the same things that you have, that it actually doesn't, yet act as if it does?

Would your shadow eventually be overcome with a very human sense of envy, that it will be forced to break the barrier separating your real world and its virtual own?

Would it want to become you?

What if you're the reflection?
1. I'm not sure if there's going to be a storm today in Manila, but I heard from my parents that there was a big one that hit Leyte yesterday. My father said that it will eventually pass my area, but eh, I hope it doesn't. Here's to hoping that the storm misses its flight.

I usually don't mind anyway - I consider the rain as my element - but we're supposed to go fireworks watching tomorrow, if they're still holding the weekly fireworks display. Still, when did they ever let storms go in the way of fireworks? I remember the first Pyro Olympics held in the country. Was it three years ago, when we all got drenched in the rain while waiting for a fireworks routine to start? I vaguely remember a Pepsi-branded tent scuttling across the grounds in the midst of the torrential rain.

The fireworks were still able to fly that night.

In any case, a storm or two is good to share with someone else.

2. I'm sorry for sleeping on you again last night. You do know how much of a sleepyhead I am, so. .__. But still, will you hold me again, as I get drowned in dreams?

3. I've been looping a certain video at work. This one's a sort-of guilty pleasure of mine, and I think I'm beginning to hate Taiko no Tatsujin for making me hooked to tunes of franchises I usually wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. But still, am happy, since it's not all the time that I find music that I somehow find...palatable.

The song in the video below, Agent Yoru wo Iku, is taken from the IDOLM@STER franchise. Yes, the very same IDOLM@STER that caters to rabid male otaku who probably rub themselves against love pillows of their favorite female anime characters at night. I think I'm hating myself right now, but I can't help but love the tune.

This video below is my favorite version so far, with the angelic Azusa Miura (the one with the long hair). Did I say that I like Azusa? I haven't yet? Well there, I like Azusa. Makoto's deep vocals serves as the perfect foil to her sweet voice, so...yeah. Just watch the video before I ramble on.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Haet. HAET.

I hate having to blow my top just to get things done. I don't like to do it - I'm not even supposed to do it in the first place - but if I have to snap in the middle of the workplace just so I can keep what's mine then so be it. It's just needless and stressful, however, and that's the last thing I need right now. Really.

Don't be a dick and assume that I have to cover for you. That just makes you an asshole on many counts:
  1. I'm not the only person in the office, so don't hound me.
  2. You're implying that I'm a pushover just because I'm the only female in our ranks - I think you now know otherwise.
  3. Who the fuck cares about your problems? I also have MY own problems, and guess what? Yours cannot supercede mine; your problem should not be MY priority. I'm a selfish bastard, what can I do.
  4. You using the guilt trip tactic earlier isn't only pathetic, it also doesn't work for me. I'm not Mother Teresa, go BAWWW somewhere else.
  5. Trying to pull strings within management also won't work, because I know my rights. That is just ten levels of, again, pathetic.
I expect you to man it up and eat your goddamn cake.

Now, have some 'pittan in the Turtly Tunes section to diffuse the haet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


If a small difference in sleep hours will kill you, then you can just shrivel up and die.

Don't use your petty "health problem" as leverage for me to give up my spot. BECAUSE I DON'T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT YOU.

I'll talk to you later.

I hope you know what's good for you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Update before I go out.

As you can I see I managed to pour buckets of virtual pink paint on my blog. I wanted a change, but I'm still partial to this layout so this is all I can do - until he manages to draw me a new banner, that is.

I also got rid of the auto-playing music thing and swapped it with a "Song of the Day/Week/Whatever" section that I added in the sidebar. It's better, I think, and I'll spare you guys from the pain of getting some weird music blaring through your speakers, thus earning you some odd stares from your family, co-workers, or whoever ("What the hell is that shit?").

The first Song of the Moment is something that I encountered in *drumroll* Taiko no Tatsujin DS 2, Sousei no Aquarion. I haven't watched the anime yet, and I don't think I'll ever will after I read bits and pieces about it. I read that it's a good show, but its premise just isn't my thing.

I'ma take another shower and go out now, bills bills bills to pay and other household stuff. Being the lady of the house sure does have its own non-perks.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Karma, gasha, milk tea, muscle ramen

1. One of the most important things that my father taught me is that the concept of "karma" as it is widely used in Filipino culture is mostly self-serving - mostly used as a brownie point system wherein people tend to do good deeds only to make sure that they receive good fortune in return; or as a concept of supernatural justice that punishes evil people who seem to be beyond the reach of human law ("makakarma din yan").

I agree with my father. Whatever happened to doing good deeds solely for the purpose of being good? I'm not going to elaborate on it further - I'm just going to do a tl;dr and say that do good because you want to, not because you want to accumulate good behavior brownie points that will win you a suite in heaven.

And if shit happens, shit happens and the person who did that shit to you will get away with it if he's good at being an evil bastard. Not unless you stop being a retard and quit wishing some cosmic force will do the job of bringing the perpetrator to justice for you; if you feel that something must be done and no one's doing it for you, you have to take the matter into your own hands and do it yourself. Remember the saying "Nasa diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa"? That's a good example. Otherwise, let it go. Don't keep saying that karma will do him in. He just happened to get away this time.

2. Despite my views on karma (as used in Filipino culture) and such...let me pose this question: is it possible that we're alloted a certain amount of luck every day? Apparently, that's what my significant other believes. We were supposed to meet in GH earlier, but I got struck with a short string of unfortunate events (got stuck in non-moving traffic, was forced to walk out into the strong rain and flood without umbrella) and we had to change our meeting venue to Robinsons, which was near the spot where my bus was stuck for more than an hour.

As soon as we met, he apologized profusely and told me something about him using all of my luck for the day. I didn't quite understand it first, until he presented to me the things that he was able to get for me: a KOS-MOS gashapon figure that I always drooled on whenever I passed one by, and a plastic Cinnamoroll watch with the bunny's :3 face plastered on the watch cover (it's cheap, yeah, but I always wanted it ever since I saw one displayed on the gasha machines). He told me that he managed to get both in the first try.

" It must really be my two lucky gasha hits that made it rain," he told me.

3. If your PC is connected to a speaker, you may have noticed a music clip playing in the background the moment you access my blog. If it becomes annoying just scroll down to the very bottom of the blog to turn it off. The track is titled "Milk Tea no Jikan" by my favorite shibuya-kei duo Capsule, in case you're wondering.

4. As I wrote on an earlier post, I was catching up with Kingdom of Paradise for the PSP. I did manage to reach the last part of the game, but guess what? The game hanged during a cutscene. I gave up. I ended up letting my beloved borrow the PSP for him to use during his office hours (yeah, he's now working again) so that I wouldn't have to bash it in utter frustration.

5. It's ramen time. If you need to use a good Ramen Timer to ensure good, firm ramen noodles in your bowl, then you'll need to use Work Time Fun for the PSP's Ramen Timer while waiting for your noodles to cook. How can the video below be used as a ramen timer? Simple: you watch it while your noodly appendages are a-cookin'.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Toycon 2008.

I'm usually lukewarm to the idea of going to anime conventions, unless I'm jaded enough to cosplay myself (won't happen anytime soon for now, though), but off I went to the last day of Toycon 2008, along with the rest of the GamerTotoy crew to cover the event.

All the reasons why I'm not so enthusiastic about cons are there, most of them setting off my rare bouts of agoraphobia. Too many people, too little space, a highly-skewed ratio between oxygen and carbon dioxide (in favor of CO2) - he had to pull me to a well-ventilated area because I was getting pale and becoming disoriented - and yes, there's the thing where you see your fandom fantasies getting crushed and maimed and destroyed every now and then.

But it was fun. I'll give it that.

One of our friends treated anime cons as a surefire venue where people could catch the otaku "disease" (that's his opinion, haha), but he ended up enjoying the whole thing; though I think he enjoyed how we covered the event more than the event itself.

As always, the best thing about Toycon this year is the merchandise. Compared to other local conventions that only have Comic Alley and other mainstream anime "specialty" stores selling rip-off merchandise, Toycon usually has a bunch of decent retailers peddling quality stuff. Here are the things that I managed to get from yesterday's raid:

First picture: Mudkip cap, Mt. Fuji plush keychain, Xenosaga Shion gashapon, Mamegoma plush with cup / Second Picture: Gothloli-style Major Arcana Tarot cards with holder

They also had other incredible stuff that I wasn't able to get, like the Cybaster model kit - I was about to get it, but when I finally decided to take the plunge and splurge for it, Cybaster wasn't there anymore. *sigh* They also had the Buddy Christ figure, too.

He's happy! He's scrappy! He's the Son of God!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

1. My partner and I have been maintaining another blog for sometime now, and we've been using it for our writing exercises, or for those occasional times when we're inspired to collaborate on writing projects, only to gradually lose interest in a few weeks' time. The writing's decent to say the least, but there's a good reason why we don't really plug it, and it's due to the fact that all posts there are of the NSFW persuasion.

Nothing special, however. There's no fandom involved, save for the use of certain names plucked from favorite fictional, okay, there IS some fandom involved, to some extent. And I'm babbling.


I've just written a long, unfinished draft for a new post. It's been a long time since I updated that blog, so I felt a little bit guilty and made sure that this certain post will be...well, lengthy. If that will help, which I doubt it would.

Here's a worksafe (and nonsensical, with sucky grammar) snippet taken from my draft:
Then she stopped. She removed her hands from underneath Kana's blouse, stood up, and straightened her skirt. "Let's go?" she said, looking sideways towards the disheveled and immensely confused girl.

"What?" Kana looked as if she was on the verge of tears.

Looks like I already have power over you, you poor thing. Giving her an immaculate smile, she pointed towards the nearby lake. "I think it's time for a swim."

"We don't have extra clothing," said Kana matter-of-factly, quickly recovering from the beginnings of a fit of depression.

"We go skinny dipping," said Ryogi, even more matter-of-factly.
Well, there's the snippet, for what it's worth. Using Japanese or Oriental names for original fiction - especially slice-of-life - isn't exactly to my taste, however, but like all good couples, there has to be compromise. He wanted to write about porn set in Japanese-style steampunk or maybe the zombie apocalypse (nope, he wasn't kidding); I said screw that, I just want good old PWP with schoolgirls and professors.

We settled for doing slice-of-life erotica with characters bearing oriental names. Not bad for a compromise.

2. I've been losing sleep recently because of Kingdom of Goddamn Paradise on the PSP...yeah, without the "Goddamn" bit. That game and I share a small bit of recent history - Kingdom of Paradise was my first decent game on my first PSP (fuck you, Metal Gear Acid, fuck you), and I invested a lot of free time (converted from work time or otherwise) into playing that game. I rushed through it, eager to see the story unfold, and eventually managed to reach the final stages of the game.

But I saved the game before the encounter with the final boss and got me some shut-eye. When I woke up, PSP, along with the Kingdom of Goddamn Paradise UMD, was gone. Stolen. Pooftie. *cue sad panda* This happened sometime in 2006, I think.

I've been making up for it, so I'm currently in zombie mode during work. Ah, well.

3. Sleep, here I cometh. *rollth rollth*

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sound tripping: Taiko no Tatsujin OST

Ever since I had my PSP flashed, two games became constant mainstays in my Memory Schtick: Taiko no Tatsujin Portable and Taiko no Tatsujin Portable 2. To those who haven't heard of them yet, the Taiko no Tatsujin series is one of the best rhythm games around, with the best music selection provided you're a fan of anime, j-pop and video game soundtracks, and remixed classical music.

The gameplay is so simple, any child who knows how to hold the PSP, DS, PS controllers or taiko sticks (depends on what machine you're using, really) correctly can play it. There are only two buttons - one to bang the taiko drum, and another to tap the edge of the taiko. Simplistic, yes, but the simplicity of the game ends when one dares to tackle the hard and Oni (demon) mode.

But I'm not here to give a game review - I'm too tired for that right now - but I'd just like to ask anyone who's knowledgeable about J-music about this particular song found in Taiko no Tatsujin Portable 2. I don't have any song info, and the only clue that I have about this track is that it's most probably a video game tune, because it's categorized as a "Namco Original." Here it is:

Any information about this song, which I'll use to search for its full version, is greatly appreciated. I'm so in love with this tune, I find myself playing through this song over and over again, and is just about the only tune that I cleared in hard and Oni mode.

In exchange, here's the crazy Wedding March Medley tune from Taiko no Tatsujin DS, which demonstrates through music just how a wedding reception can go wrong on so many levels (gotta love Chopin's Etude in E Major at the very end of the track).

Aaand I go off to bed nao.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

DS, down with the sickness, Pyro Olympics

1. I managed to get myself a new DS Lite unit, this time in Crimson/Black. Getting this thing is a tad crucial to me right now - I've realized, after months of playing with the PSP, that I'm pretty much a DS person, and that I miss my old DS terribly (I hope my brother is happy with my pink one). I've also been promoted somehow, given free rein over the DS side of things in my workplace.

For the record, my new DS Lite would be the second one that I purchased, and is the third one acquired by my household so far (the first one was stolen, and was my brother's). Just shows how much we're gay for Nintendo, ever since my granpappy, bless his soul, bought us a Famicom console.

2. I'm prone to sickness these days due to stress, and I oftentimes find myself reigning over the family house alone with no one to help me. It's sad; getting sick doesn't give me the dose of happy that it once did when I was in elementary or high school. Hey, it bought me a day off from school in those days, when I'd happily choose getting sick rather than suffer math.

I'm not alone this time around. He dropped by and stayed to take care of me, and even bought my meds. For once I was no longer stewing in my sickbed all alone, but contentedly basking in a day off from work, with him keeping me company. I was able to get well just in time for the last leg of the Pyro Olympics, thanks to his brand of TLC.

3. Ah yes, the Pyro Olympics. We weren't able to get our usual spot in Pier One (the place probably had the best deal with their 250 per head offer), but we managed to grab one of the last tables in the Jatujak area.

Yeah, that Jatujak with the epic Tom Yum soup. We didn't regret shelling out a bit more dough this time, since the food made our Pyro Olympics viewing not only a stunning visual experience, but a gastronomic one as well. A thousand pesos' worth of food is a bit too much for us to take in one go, and some of the awesome eats are sitting in my fridge right now. Leftovers have never been so wonderful.

While waiting for the fireworks to come out, I was busy filling out the first few pages of my new handwritten journal. The notebook that I got is quite nice - it had black pages, and I wrote on it with gold and silver pens. He also added a couple of page's worth of writing and scribbles; I think we're going to use it as a collaborative private journal between the both of us.

The fireworks eventually came out after a hour's worth of writing, talking, playing Taiko no Tatsujin and him fanboying over the Speed Racer DS game. I never bothered to check out which country sponsored the first round of fireworks. It was a tad lackluster and suffered from a weak finale compared to other entries; but this batch had its own share of unique dancing flames like the cross, and they had better-shaped hearts (but it may be a matter of angle and perspective because I watched from the upper floor last night).

The last batch, our country's own pyromusical exhibition, featured fireworks cavorting to themes from various films, such as Superman, Indiana Jones, James Bond, and other movies. And yes, there's also the oft whored-out O Fortuna. It's just too bad that this one also had a finale that lacked ooomph. It's quite sad, taking into account the fact that we usually had awesome fireworks with grandspanking finishing moves during the free fireworks display every Friday and Saturday.

4. ...and Mangaholix? What Mangaholix?