Thursday, November 27, 2008

I should have done this on the 100th post.

Since a number of people reacted quite humorously over at YM to my new banner, I figured that I've had enough entertainment (okay, I'll say it: LULZ), though it's already getting old, and I'm tired of delivering the same punchline. And it's only been up for a few days.

Just a few words: Turtle anatomy.

You can lick a turtle on its belly all you want, but all you'll get are slivers of algae and enough salmonella to pound into your head the reason why you shouldn't lick turtles. Observe:

That's Gamera (on whom that awesome turtle in the banner is based), and as far as I know, it and other turtles/tortoises don't unzip their plastron from the waist down to get some unf-unf going. Doing that will only result in their innards spilling out, making it for an unconsummated guro fest. Trust me, it ain't pretty.

Don't tell me you thought of my image banner as *gasp* that? Oh, heaven forbid! *frantically makes a sign of the cross*


Kudos to that precious few who actually said "you're doing it the wrong way" upon seeing my banner, and proceeded to try and educate me about actual turtle reproduction. I love you guys.

But to those who acted all innocent-like and ready to go all fire and brimstone, here's a useful pro-tip: it helps to get your own minds out of the gutter first before taking that "YOU'RE DISGUSTING" stance to avoid any painful embarrassment. It's not my fault that you watched too much porn, and of the wrong kind too. Well, so much for me being a pervert.

Though all things considered it would be better if some people just stopped being holier-than-thou in the first place, so they'd avoid crapping all over themselves.

I herd you liek licking turtles.

Today is, indeed, a nice day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Castlevania: Arcade, and some comment MST3King.

[15:19] gespenstschatten: just reading the comments on gametrailers
[15:20] gespenstschatten: "Well it looks like once again Konami doesn't get what the Castlevania fans want. We just want 2D not 3D, 2 D castlevania games just like SOTN. This game looks like crap, first off it looks like they wanted to make a Wii game for the arcade but couldn't figure out how to make the controller work properly. Second it isn't even a Castlevania game, it looks like House of the Dead with a broken controller."
[15:20] gespenstschatten: well he sure isn't speaking for me. Unlike some people I'd want some variety with my vampire whippan thank you very much.
[15:21] Him: Myah D:
[15:22] gespenstschatten: I mean, really. The 2D games are good and all, that's what Castlevania is best at, but common D:
[15:22] Him: Yeah.
[15:23] gespenstschatten: and I hate how he throws around "Castlevania fans" like it's some kind of a hiveminded elite group. Though admittedly a lot of people have been saying the same thing over and over. 2D CASTLEVANIA PL0X.
[15:23] Him: But think about it. A Castlevania game the size of a console game.
[15:23] Him: That'd be huge. And epic.
[15:23] gespenstschatten: what do you mean?
[15:25] Him: It's like...hmm. Like a Castlevania for the DS, except on a console level. It's still 2D, but it fills an entire DVD. That means boatloads of content and dungeons and awesomeness.
[15:25] gespenstschatten: yeah, I'd want that too. I also know that fans have been asking for a current gen 2D Castlevania game for some time now.
[15:25] gespenstschatten: that'll be epic, but realistically speaking you won't see that happening - pure 2D action - unless the game is hosted on PSN/XBLA/WiiWare.
[15:26] gespenstschatten: I'd like something that's fuck huge, too.
[15:26] gespenstschatten: though I'm not sure why they diss every castlevania game that isn't 2D.
[15:27] Him: Blind fanboy rage.
[15:28] gespenstschatten: figuresHATEWAGON ALL ABOARD much?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Simple joys.

Simple joys can be found anywhere if you look hard enough. Even your car's tires may hold a nice surprise for you, despite the fact that it ran over a dog yesterday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


One of the things that I like about every holiday season is the abundance of bazaars held in World Trade Center (and now, Mall of Asia's SMX). I'm usually claustrophobic - I hate crowded, noisy places, even anime cons - but when it comes to places like Divisoria and the aforementioned holiday bazaars, there's no such thing as too crowded for me.

Not when the place is filled to the brim with free food tastes, as well as wonderful, unique, and hard-to-find items. Mostly items whose true worth can only be measured in terms of how much they weigh in the hearts of those who behold them. Items such as this one:

The Shokupan plushie opens into a book with soft cloth pages and a bookmark (right).

One of the booths in this weekend's Christmas Celebrity and Charity Bazaar in WTC primarily sold original products imported from Japan. One of those items is the Shokupan-kun plush from Sanrio's Pankunchi IP.

The small booth was crammed full with other ultra-cute things such as dolls, strange keychains and pencil toppers; as well as stationery and Sanrio-branded bags. The Shokupan-kun caught my eye immediately, however, and the booth's attendant must have noticed me because she said "it has such an inviting smile, doesn't it?"

I just smiled, and held Shokupan-kun as I browsed through the other merchandise. I've been always such a sucker for the Japanese brand of cute, especially when it comes to anthropomorphic representations of everyday items done the Japanese way, such as Tissue-san.

I decided in the end that apart from Shokupan-kun, everything else if of the usual fare for me - even the kigurumi octopus Hello Kitty pencil topper. The booth attendant gave Shokupan-kun for a mere pittance: 150 bucks.

She had a funny look to her face when she placed the plush book in a Hello Kitty plastic bag, and said something along the lines of: "you know, the only other Shokupan-kun that we have was already sold yesterday. I'm actually sad that we're going to sell this, too. I like this so much."

"Don't worry, I'm going to take good care of it," I said as she handed the toy to me, along with my change. I couldn't help but notice the way she handled the package so reverently; it was as if she entrusted her child to my care.

Thinking about it, I don't feel that Shokupan-kun is worth 150 pesos. The plush book - along with the booth attendant's affection towards it - is nothing short of priceless. I only hope that my fondness for this special item would do it justice.
Speaking of priceless collectibles, Ryan managed to get an awesome Tron Bonne (variant) from the SR Yujin Namco X Capcom set in SM North about a week ago. He told me that he got it for two tokens instead of the usual three (you can tell if it's priced at 300 yen), apparently because the set was getting ignored for quite some time now and SM decided to put it on sale.

Tron Bonne variant with a Kobun/Servbot as her chair instead of a bolt in the regular version. She holds a screwdriver, a detachable accessory (right).

Ignored? The Namco X Capcom set? I'm not really that surprised, since most of the characters are from PSX-era games such as Regina of Dino Crisis, Tron Bonne and Roll of Megaman Legends, as well as pre-MILF Sophitia of Soul Edge. Probably the only character instantly recognizable from this set is KOS-MOS. Shame, really.

Something to chew on before I go to sleep.

They BELIEVE in themselves because they can DO things THEMSELVES. It is difficult to look at yourself and say you don't exist.

- Anonymous

Being able to do so anyway is a great feat in itself.

New banner yay.

When I asked him to draw a new turtly banner for my blog, I didn't ask for anything NSFW. I should have known better than to ask something "edgy" from him. In any case, it still falls under the general theme of why people shouldn't lick turtles - rather, why people wouldn't want to lick turtles.

Because the above happens.

I know, I'm rambling incoherently. I should be blogging about the nice finds I got from the bazaar in World Trade Center earlier, but mind wants to ewijrkjfker. Thank you, Coke Zero guys, for flooding the entire building with Coke Zero earlier. I love Coke.

Okay I'll stop now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You know its a bad day when...

You walk out of your office, weary and tired after a day of utter boredom, to find that your building's lobby is fully decked out in holiday regalia and your friendly security guard is smiling and greeting you a good evening; the night outside bearing the promise of another wonderful Christmas season, heralded by the speakers blaring out little Michael's rendition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"... and all you could think of is

"Damn, no wonder the Jackson family was dysfunctional."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Resurrection

More or less a decade has passed since the release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. However, Michiru Yamane's haunting score still populates my Winamp playlist even now - a feat not matched by the decent but utterly trite Eyes on Me, One-Winged Angel, or most other video game music (with the exception of arranged King of Fighters tracks).

That's why I was only a hair breadth's away from utter rapture when I came across Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Resurrection. It's a compilation of remixed SotN tracks by various musicians - no Niconico artists here, so steer clear if you're a bit racist with your vidya game music and don't like Western remixers.

I'm in love with the compilation's medley track created by one Joshua Morse. Titled "Heart of Vlad," Morse tackles the music not usually covered by most other remixers, who seem to favor Tragic Prince and Dance of Pales.

One brilliant example is his rendition of the Catacomb stage's BGM, Rainbow Cemetery (3:33). While it sticks close to the source material, Morse's Rainbow Cemetery is arguably a bit more crisp than the original with liberal amounts of drum beats and accentuating guitar riffs.

I also enjoyed his jazzy version of my favorite SotN track, Crystal Teardrop (6:07). For those who couldn't recognize the notes, it's the tune used in the Underwater Vein Stage. Morse took away the bass that made Crystal Teardrop quite distinct from others, but his cool jazz treatment more than makes up for it.

One of the reasons why I immensely liked Morse's take on Yamane's opus is that he doesn't stray too far from the original and alienate the fans of the soundtrack. If you loved SotN's music and still remember each and every tune, better give Morse's version a shot. And oh, a few lines taken from the cheesy yet priceless voice acting in the game are inserted, making for a few lulzy moments.

Liked it so far? Just drop me a line at my YM if you want to get the entire compilation of the SotN remix.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Irritating little things.

  1. Finding out that I couldn't install programs on my new office laptop, not even Adobe Flash on my Firefox/Chrome (but IE's fine).
  2. Having to lug said laptop to and from work until they finally get me my own pedestal/mobile cabinet. Have to follow it up on Monday.
  3. Having to shell out some cash to get myself a laptop bag that doesn't scream HAY GUISE I GOTS A LAPTOP HERE.
  4. Finding out that my once exclusive online name is now being used by another guy in the nets. But hey, I don't have a patent on it, so I'll just let it go. It's just that I have a thing for names. Names are important to me. Feh.
  5. Waiting for someone for a good two hours only to be given some fare money and a slap on the fanny, then sent home.
  6. Trying to check the stagnating Friendster account only to find out that Friendster is, for some reason, blocked. In my home internets. 
  7. Having to write this list in the first place.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Three simple steps to do in order to enjoy Castlevania: Judgment

If you care even just a smidgen about the Wii's upcoming Castlevania: Judgment, then you've probably already heard the hatewagon making a racket from the far corners of the intarwebs, its frenzied passengers probably driven to jump in by the horrible sight of a ripped Simon Belmont in shorts, courtesy of Death Note artist Obata.

Let's forget, at least for the moment, about the fact that the game allows for full 3D movement (read: much of the time in-game will be spent running around playing tag), or the fact that the game still leaves much to be desired at this point - only mere days away from its November 18 release. I normally don't wish for a delayed release, but I'll do it only for this game. Only a pushed-back release date and a frantic redesign - both art and gameplay-wise - could save Judgment.

Instead, let's talk about how you, in a great, determined effort to stay loyal to the franchise, can try to genuinely like the game. As in *like* like, enough to even anticipate the game's release with a joyful glee in your face. That's not even forced. At all.

Three simple steps to do in order to enjoy Castlevania: Judgment

1. You must become a fan of the Death Note series.

For steps 2 and 3 to actually work, you have to at least know about the crazed phenomena that Obata is best known for: Death Note. Chances are that you already do, but you have to work up such enthusiasm until you start setting up fansites and shrines for any of your favorite DN characters. Once you find yourself trawling for DN smut or the dredges of Information Highway for Rule 34, then you're good to go.

2. Pretend that the characters are from Death Note.

This one's actually easy. Thanks to Obata, the character renditions in Castlevania: Judgment look like they're based on the Death Note cast, in what could be an ingenious attempt to shamelessly promote whore out his series.Taking into account the weird fashion sense prevalent in the game, just pretend that the Death Note cast got sucked into an alternate universe or plane of the Shinigami World (make sure you already accomplished number 1 so you know what I'm talking about), for instance, thus the weird duds.

For the sake of creating a convincing backstory, let's say all of the playable characters are fighting for a chance to become the Shinigami King. Or something to that effect. Feel free to come up with your own storyline for each character, the character backgrounds I've written below are just examples of what bullshit you can come up with from the top of your head. The more desperate you are, the better.

 Simon Belmont as Light Yagami

    This one's a no-brainer for everybody who've seen Death Note. Just trim Simon's hair a bit...voila, instant Light Yagami. He's even got the very same smoldering rapist's look, too. Of course, there's the problem with the Death Notebook not being in the scene, but you can pretend that Light/Simon's motive in joining the brawlfest is to recover the ownership of the notebook from the Shinigami King. And to get a decent replacement for his...shorts.

    Maria Renard as Misa Amane 

      Look at the sight of Obata's gothloli take of the pure, innocent Maria (circa Rondo of Blood) - Obata did not even bother to use the right kind of gothloli that fits Maria's timeline. What the hell, Maria already came from the gothic era but the artist still found a way to mess with her design...that's a lot of creativity there, indeed. What's up with the silly suspenders on her stockings, and the loose garters around her thighs?

      Judgment's Maria looks like a ditsy cosplayer who couldn't even do basic garment coordination (and since we're talking about gothloli here, this is saying much) and is clearly confused about animal rights - look at the poor owl she crammed into the end of her staff. She's just perfect for Misa Amane: model, cosplayer and ditz extraordinaire.

      We know that Maria has to keep an owl with her at all times, but she didn't have to use the owl as a living, breathing decoration for her staff. Good grief, imagine the amount poo the owl "accidentally" drops on her from time to time in protest. Yeah, he looks pretty pissed.

      Death as some random Shinigami

        Saying that Death would be a shoo-in for a Shinigami will make me game for grammar Nazis with a penchant for spotting redundancies. However, this is worth a mention as Obata's Death is one of the very few good things going for the game. A Death who gets down and dirty, takes off his cowl and cape to deliver some otherworldly asswhupping? I'm pretty much sold here.

        Alucard as adult!Near 

          Okay, this took a bit of stretching, but think of doing this as part of a sincere effort of making this game a little palatable.Cosmetic similarities aside, both Alucard and Near are socially inept to some extent, and both speak in a somewhat cryptic, clipped manner. Near's awful fond of his toys; you can just think of Alucard (as adult Near) roleplaying as a vampire bastard by swinging his toy sword around, wearing his vampire bastard costume.

          That aside, I can't believe that Obata deigned to remove Alucard's trademark ruffly cravat from his costume, something that was retained even in the anime redesign of Dawn of Sorrow. For shame, Obata; a non-fabulous Alucard is not an Alucard at all.

          Aeon as Teru Mikami

            Aeon is a new character exclusive to Judgment - and I hope it stays that way. I wouldn't want some batshit-insane character who lugs around a large watch like it's nobody's business. Obviously the pair of glasses that he wears isn't enough to let him read the time off a standard-sized pocket watch, and he's cuckoo enough not to resolve the issue by getting proper corrective lenses, but opts to upsize his clock instead.

            Batshit-insane is the operative phrase here, and no one fits Aeon's role better than the deranged obssesive-compulsive fanatic, Teru Mikami (he'd probably pull off the same "heck, I'll just get a bigger watch instead" stunt too, come to think of it). Just look at how they both look and - perhaps - act alike, save for the hair color.

            Shanoa as Naomi Misora

              Ah, sweet sexy Shanoa. She, and her game Order of Ecclesia, is probably the best thing to happen in Castlevania since pot roast. But of course, Obata still found a way to botch her almost fail-proof design by turning her into some sort of a MILF nun with babymaking hips (according to Ryan). I don't have a problem with it, though. She's still awful sexy, but is the headdress/wimple really necessary?

              Her closest counterpart in Death Note is Naomi Misora, as both have the same temperament and have similar motives in their respective stories. Order of Ecclesia agent Shanoa, bereft of her memories, searches for her ex-colleague in order to safeguard the fate of the world; while NBI agent Naomi, bereft of her husband, searches for her husband's killer in order do safeguard the fate of the world.

              Grant DaNasty as Rem

                Now this, this, is what I'm all up in arms about. See, in case you haven't played Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, Grant DaNasty is supposed to be a pirate - NOT a mummified humanoid. Last time I heard, pirates were all about yo-ho-ho and a bottle o' rum, kitschy bandannas, waving rapiers around or manufacturing deebeedees.

                I'm not even sure if Obata even took into account Grant being a pirate while coming up with this design; he probably only thought of a way of slipping a reference to Shinigami Rem into the game.

                Even an 8-bit game portrayed a pirate better than Obata:

                See that small hunched figure at the bottom of the screen? That looks more like a pirate than Grant in Judgment.

                3. Cover the first half of the title screen using a piece of paper with "Death Note" written on it.

                You still there? Good. Of course, all of your efforts will be for naught if you're greeted with a title screen that says "Castlevania: Judgment," sending you into another bout of depression as you realize that you're playing a Castlevania game with characters that don't even remotely look like they came from the franchise.

                The easiest way to deal with the problem is to have someone hold a piece of paper and cover the upper half of the title screen with it to replace "Castlevania" with "Death Note," like so:

                Have it covered as such until you exit the title screen. It's not too shabby; after all, "Death Note: Judgment" rings better than "Castlevania: Judgment." You know, the usual judgment upon death, the final reckoning, etc. etc.


                Or you can know, forget that the game even exists.

                Sunday, November 9, 2008

                Why I don't write more personal posts, passive-aggressiveness, etc.

                Someone asked me, in passing, why I don't write more personal posts. Why write only about animu and gaems?

                I actually do, in fact there are some of them just lurking about in my past entries. It is true, though, that I don't use this particular blog as a repository of private thoughts that much. Unlike most other bloggers, I don't consider a public blog as a good medium for a personal diary, not even my "friends-only" (sorta) Multiply account.

                I prefer to keep my private thoughts private in every sense of the word. I use handwritten diaries as personal journals - and I do mean it when I say personal. I had to throw away one of my diaries after someone managed to read it.

                Also, a blog for me isn't a medium for passive aggression. It's not my thing to write highly-opinionated posts - unless they're about current events, of course - while riding my moral high horse and wish that the person I'm writing about would read it and rub into his face my utter disdain and disapproval. And oh, how much of a better person I am, too.

                (Sometimes, I do write raging rants about certain individuals if I feel the need for release, but I make sure that they don't know about this blog's existence - if there's no way that they or persons closely affiliated with them would come across my written aggression, then its not passive-aggressive.)

                Which reminds me. Those who make YM status messages out of PA notes? Bleh. How hard is it to send off a YM private message saying, upfront, "I disapprove. You suck. I hate you"? Sending that doesn't take more than a few clicks and typing a few words. It shouldn't be that difficult.

                Not unless, of course, you don't have enough balls to tell them directly in person, so to sate your need to feel self-righteous you just have to create a YM/MSN status message out of a hostile PA note - directed at someone who's conveniently included in your YM/MSN list.

                To the people in my YM list who plan on doing that, do yourselves a favor: kindly remove me or others who don't tolerate any of that PA nonsense from your YM/MSN, or just set your handles to appear permanently offline on our end. You don't want to show people just how wimpy you are, I'm sure.

                Tl;dr before I go too off-tangent: I don't write too much about my personal affairs because I don't feel the need to whore them out am a private person.

                Yes, I'm being horribly passive-aggressive in this post. Irony is delicious, etc. etc.

                Yay more toys.

                My display cabinet now feels a little lonely (it needs tumbleweeds to complete the mood, though) after my mum hijacked most of my anime/vidya trading figures in my collection to put in her Christmas village.

                Ha, I now couldn't help but taste the irony every time my mom comments about my penchant for trading figures. Good thing, Ma, that you found affordable alternatives to the horrendously overpriced Lemax Christmas figurines.

                I guess it runs in the blood, after all.

                Feel free to play "spot the trading figure/gashapon" game.

                For every loss, there is a gain. I managed to get an awesome Kihel Heim/Dianna Soreil figure from the Gundam Heroines History Special Dress set, among other dressed-up beauties Lacus, Cagalli and Relena.

                With all of the girls looking good in their gowns, I really didn't care which Gundam girl I get. However, the packaging of the Gundam Heroine stocks at Toy Kingdom Mall of Asia and Robinson's Galleria were already opened for some reason, so I just went ahead and picked Kihel/Dianna from Turn A Gundam.

                Kihel/Dianna with and without the underskirt.

                I also got a mini legacy Gundam (that's what I call Ye Olde RX-78-2, or Amuro's first Gundam) that I got at random from the mini figure selection set. I wish I got the Tallgeese III instead, but hey, at least I didn't get a Zaku Tank. If I did I'll probably make Ryan reimburse me for the money spent on it (about 200 pesos) just to even things out. Haha.


                For such a small figure, this one is awfully detailed.