terra battle

terrabattle

So Terra Battle came out a few days ago on the 9th, a mobile game by Mistwalker. Sakaguchi Hironobu had a few interviews about this decision to pursue a mobile game instead of a console game, and I found it all rather interesting. It’s also pretty neat that Terra Battle had a worldwide release, since I’m used to Japanese games taking months/years to reach Western shores :P

Anyway, Terra Battle is a digital strategy board game played with a party of units that level up and have stats. The closest game for comparison is Puzzle & Dragons, the gameplay itself shares the use of dragging and displacing that PAD has, but otherwise it’s very different. Your objective is to bookend enemy units with your own units, which does damage to all enemies bookended. Think Othello/Reversi/Connect 4. Aside from this simple concept, units also can have one of 4 different types: Sword, Bow, Spear, Staff. Sword-Bow-Spear have a rock-paper-scissors arrangement, where Sword units deal more damage to and take less damage from Bow units, etc. down the chain. Staff units are weak to all weapon types, but they have the ability to cast spells that supplement your offense or provide healing and support.

It’s such a simple concept, but throw in various skills and spectacular artwork and music and you’ve got something both enthralling and fascinating. One thing in particular that I like about the game design is that it takes 5 minutes to regenerate 1 stamina, twice as fast as PAD. Combined with the one thing I dislike about the game, that each stage takes way too much time and effort to complete (or maybe I’m just being really anal about it), and I find that, unlike other similar mobile games I’ve played, I never feel like I need “maximize” my stamina use and always have it on cooldown. Since it regenerates so fast and it’s hard to spend all at once, I don’t feel bad that I let my game “waste” stamina regen. I don’t think this was intentional design, but it works for me since I feel a lot less pressure to have to be playing the game.

I’m currently on chapter 9, which is not too far considering I could probably be done with the main story by now, but it’s been a lot of fun, and challenging to boot. Looking forward to more content being added!

fall 2014 anime

I don’t think I’ve done a predictive anime post before, so here it is! This is what I posted on the NISA forums a while back, so mostly copying that. The season has already started, so I can already offer a bit more information.

Archer vs. Lancer

Complete Watch List – shows I’ll probably watch based on the charts; doesn’t mean I won’t pick up more shows
Amagi Brilliant Park
Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo
Denki-Gai no Honya-san – was pretty cute, but not sure if it’s interesting enough for me to keep watching
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – first episode was AWESOME I WANT MORE!!!
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin
Grisaia no Kajitsu
Hitsugi no Chaika 2
Inou-Battle
Karen Senki – I’ve already dropped this
Log Horizon 2 – Not terribly impressed with the pilot, but don’t foresee it getting so bad I drop it
Madan no Ou to Vanadis – I really liked the first episode, looking forward to where it goes
Nanatsu Taizai
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
SHIROBAKOU
Sora no Method
Trinity Seven
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

My top 5 and predicted drop list after the jump!

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i appear to still be good at magic

Went to a draft yesterday at a store I hadn’t been to before. They do $10 drafts, but you play outside pods and rounds are played until there is only a single undefeated player left. So we had around 25-26 players with various numbers of drops throughout the night, and somehow I ended up the only 4-0 O.o which got me a Fanatic of Xenagos FNM promo and 11 packs of Khans :O

I drafted a pretty generic, unexciting Mardu deck, no big bombs but lots of solid creatures and removal. 2 of my matches were really, really close; my round 2 I played against a Temur deck with some really huge creatures (Savage Knuckleblade, 2 Snowhorn Riders, 2 of the 6/5 Craw Wurms) and stuff like Singing Bell Strike, counterspells, etc. I was able to win because my opponent wasn’t keeping track of my land, so I was able to untap my Bell-Stricken creatures at the right time to kill his creatures for free. Both games I won we were both at <5 life on the last turn, so it really could have gone either way.

In the finals, I played against a Jeskai deck with multiple Scaldkins, Jeskai Ascendancy, Sage of the Inward Eye, gross removal cards and Deflecting Palm. I won game 1 because, while he had Ascendancy and Sage out, he wasn’t drawing any spells, so he eventually ran out of steam and I was able to swing through with Shambling Attendants and a +3 Ainok Bond-Kin. Game 2 we had a face-off between Leaping Masters early on that devolved into a board stall with each side having 4+ creatures out. I had revealed a Feat of Resistance to flip my Watcher of the Roost earlier, so once I was able to land Shambling Attendants I started swinging with them while Ainok Bond-Kin prevented him from blocking to kill, since I could Feat to give protection plus first strike. I was at 6, he was at 11, and I finally thought I could win. First, I EOT Burned Away his Efreet, since first strike plus any kind of pump could screw me over. In my hand, I had Arrow Storm, Suspension Field, and Dead Drop, with a couple cards in the yard and about 11 mana. I attacked with my whole team: +1 Attendants, Hordechief, Bond-Kin, Watcher, Pony Brigade, Leaping Master, Hateblade and 3 goblin tokens. He had 4 blockers: a Warshrieker, Leaping Master. Jeskai Student, and Wetland Sambar. I was calculating based on him blocking the Attendants and 3 of my 2-power creatures, but he actually traded/full-blocked all my 2s and too 8, putting him to 3. After combat, I cast Arrow Storm for 5… and he Deflecting Palmed it into me, putting me at 1 >_< He still had 3 cards in hand, but I had enough cards in the yard at this point to Dead Drop, getting rid of his last 2 creatures (Warshrieker and Student). Crossing my fingers, I passed the turn… he drew, and threw down his cards. 4 lands. He’d been bluffing spells the last 4-5 turns >.> but I also didn’t have the critical mass I needed to attack through anyway.

I’ll post a picture of my deck later. Anyway, it was an exciting match and entire tournament for me, I definitely plan on playing there again!

lots of news and pics

Not for anything particularly exciting, but I started my new job last week and got bunch of new stuff to share pictures of!

arnosurge

First, the Ar noSurge LE that I haven’t opened but my plan to play it has moved up significantly since I saw the item synthesis video.

Next, I grabbed the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game second base set while I was at Guardian Games on Friday. Also haven’t played it yet since we’re planning to play Mage Knight first, but soon!

pfacg2

Relatedly, the Class Decks will be coming out next week after numerous delays, which signals the advent of the PFACG Organized Play program, AKA Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild. I called up Rainy Day Games and found out that they’re planning to start it on Friday October 10th. Excited! Hopefully there’s enough interest to keep it going, since I really enjoy the game.

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dramatic card slapping – the anime!

chihayafuru

So I’m incredibly surprised that I haven’t made another post about possibly my favorite anime after my early impressions from when it first aired.

Chihayafuru is an award-winning josei sports/romance manga. Let’s analyze each of those adjectives:

  • Award-winning: Chihayafuru has won the Manga Taishou and Kodansha Manga awards.
  • Josei: Literally “woman” or “female,” as a genre, “josei” applies to media aimed at teenage girls and young adult women. Media aimed at young girls is referred to as “shoujo,” literally “small girl.”
  • Sports: One of Chihayafuru’s main foci is karuta, a Japanese combined cultural sport and literary art.
  • Romance: Obvious meaning; love is in the air!

Before I go on to describe Chihayafuru in particular, I should step back and explain karuta. The sport of karuta combines the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu with a card game similar to Memory or Concentration. The Hyakunin Isshu is a collection of 100 poems composed by 100 different poets gathered by Fujiwara no Teika during the 13th century. These poems were used to decorate a mansion near Mount Ogura. Watching the anime will give a better impression of how the game works, but I shall describe it nonetheless. In a one-on-one match, each player is given 25 cards representing the second verses of 25 poems. This means that one match will deal with 50 unique poems from the collection. A reader will randomly read poems from the full collection, and the players compete to touch the card corresponding to the poem. Taking a poem from the opponent’s set allows you to send the opponent one card from your own set. Whoever reduces her or his set to zero first wins.

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is index 3 coming?!

So a friend linked me this video today:

It appears to be a video promoting a new 10th anniversary work, and features characters from Kamachi’s other work too, Heavy Object. Obviously Index 3 is the biggest hype, but this could also mean that Heavy Object is on deck for an adaptation. Hopefully news comes soon!