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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close to done

While I still have the epilogue and remix episodes, I finally finished the main content of Kara no Kyoukai (watching a series with another person who doesn’t have a very lenient schedule is not the greatest idea ever). Episodes 5 & 7 definitely went more into the “I don’t know what’s going on, but cool things are happening, so whatevs” that I’ve experienced in Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night, but every episode was slick, gorgeously animated, the music awesome as usual, and I am ever growing in Type-Moon fandom. Definitely looking forward to finishing off the last 2 episodes, and then maybe seeking out some of the manga adaptations or something. Or just re-playing Tsuki/FSN. Or learning Japanese so I can play Mahoutsukai no Yoru when it comes out in April!

portable fates!

So, from recent posts, you might have gathered that I have become a Type-Moon fanboy. It should come as no surprise that I would have gone out of my way to pick up the PSP games Fate/Extra and Fate/Unlimited Codes >_>

Fate/Extra is a jRPG set in an alternate world based on the Type-Moon universe, with the story written by Nasu Kinoko (the author for all the Type-Moon visual novels as well as other notable media). As a certain Amazon review repeats ad nauseum, the game setting and some of the system will seem very familiar to Persona players, particularly Person 3. During the day, events occur, you can investigate the school and interact with characters, and you can shop or upgrade your Servant. When you decide to enter the Arena, that ends the day phase. In the Arena, you fight monsters, find treasure chests, and perform other miscellaneous tasks that drive the story forward. Once you exit the Arena, you return to your room, where you sleep until the next day.

There are many factors that make Fate/Extra stand out on its own. First, due to the story and setting, you have good general idea of how events will play out within the game time. You are battling in the Holy Grail War against other Masters and their Servants. Rather than the free-for-all brawl known from the source material, this War is executed as a tournament, with Master/Servant matches every 7 days. The days prior to the matches are used to train in the Arena and do research on your assigned opponent. “Doing research” can be better explained after I go over the battle system.

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fate/stay night – vn > all

I came across the translation for Fate/Stay Night a while back (mirror moon), and, since I keep hearing about how the visual novel is X times better than the anime, I figured I’d give it a shot. I really liked the anime, and I found out that the story was a lot more complicated after I finished and checked out the Wikipedia entries. The Unlimited Blade Works movie came out some time ago, which was OK. Until this point, I hadn’t actually played a visual novel yet, so I figured I’d try to do things “right” and start from the beginning, i.e. Tsukihime. I didn’t want to watch the anime adaptation, since I heard it was horrible, so I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to play the Tsukihime VN first.

Being a (formerly) avid reader, I quickly discovered that I really liked visual novels. Yes, being able to imagine what’s going on, what characters look like, etc., is an important part of the reading experience, but VNs have the advantage of flexibility; sound effects, scenery, character designs, and pacing all play a huge role in the VN experience. Since visual novels are more or less advanced choose-your-own-adventure books, you are always seated behind the wheel of the main character. So, when the protag is nervous, there is often a disruptive heartbeat; if the atmosphere is quiet, there is frequently a clock ticking; if the protag is having uncharacteristic or insane thoughts, the text color sometimes changes or the words start appearing more quickly, with haphazard capitalization and less punctuation, emphasizing a problem. These sensations really define visual novels as a really separate form of storytelling; it’s not a book or graphic novel and it’s not a movie, it’s in its own category.

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help wanted! – knk soundtrack titles

So, after watching the first 2 Kara no Kyoukai movies, I absolutely love the music and immediately sought out the soundtracks. However, what I found doesn’t actually have titles for the tracks, each one labeled as “M#”. I did notice some individual tracks had titles, but after some pretty extensive searching I wasn’t able to find complete lists or anything. If anyone knows where I can find titles for the soundtracks, I would very much appreciate it!