Sunday, January 26, 2014

1/25/14: Maverick Flare

The picture is more than fitting considering Vile is more or less the Mega Man X version of Boba Fett, right down to the attitude and armor. Oh, and it's been sunny around here too when it really shouldn't be.

This last week has been... strange. I don't know how else to put it. It practically didn't even happen at all, considering I was only at school for a day, yet it still felt like a long week. On top of that, like I just said, it's been nice nearly every day, which is out of character for the season. That's not to say we haven't had nice winters, because we have, but I don't remember the last time we had a winter where the sun persisted for so long. It's still as cold as ever, but even that isn't likely to last long. Spring will be here early, that's for sure.

Even though I mainly spent the week at home, I usually had something on my plate. The first half of the week was busy, as usual. We didn't have a reading assignment due Monday for Gender and Law so I spent the weekend doing Wednesday's instead so it wouldn't conflict with Men and Masculinities. I still had other stuff to do, namely work for the group project, which is what we primarily did on the day we did go. The subject we decided to research was domestic abuse and how, before Obamacare, it was considered a pre-existing condition, which meant that abused women who applied were subjected to higher rates and/or a staggered join date. The problem, if you can't see it initially, is that an abused woman likely would not be able to pay for these increased insurance rates and, if she could only join at a later date, risked the husband finding out and harming her in retaliation. So yeah, it was a problem, and the focus of the group project was to come up with a program before Obamacare came into the picture and one that, even when it did come into effect, would still be better in the long run. It honestly wasn't that difficult to find material for and the subject is very sad, so it's something we could work with. My personal worry is that I didn't do enough as it seemed like the girls pulled all the weight while us two guys were left to our own devices. Oh, I got their names, by the way. The girl from C. Law is named Tierney, the other girl is Amanda, and the dude is Lorin. Lorin wasn't actually there on Wednesday when we met, but he more than made up for it by building a killer business report for the project. We nailed down everything else then went to the library to find a computer to start the PowerPoint. It was my first time in there and it's much more spacious on the inside than how it looks on the outside. We got a room but just seemed to goof around, only making minor progress and coming up with a weak thesis. Oh well, there's still tomorrow to come up with something better.

In Men and Masculinities, we made our first "official" blog posts this week and were supposed to reply to someone else's. Uh... no one is really doing either. I did mine though, with my subject being over how masculinity plays out in prison. I thought it came out okay, but I ended it a bit awkwardly. On top of that, the professor commented on the entry right before that, which made me think he might've confused that post with the one that was this week's. I guess it's not all that bad either way. I wish he'd clarify some more things in regards to the blog, however. Should I be writing something every week? In the meantime, the primary assignment for the week was to come up with a video and analyze how it pertains to masculinity and encourages violent behavior. Tons of people went with stuff like Grand Theft Auto trailers, which I had to bite my tongue for, while others chose one off scenes from movies. I didn't watch them all, obviously. My video was "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan. Urgh, just posting it again is getting it stuck in my head. Never before has a song had such ear worm effects on me. Anyways, I more or less said that certain parts of the song and what was going on in the movie emphasized the fact men need to be violent for the sake of war and training is where those beliefs are usually born from. The lines that got people talking and agreeing with me were, "You must be swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire," which is interspersed with the chorus saying, "Be a man." I probably could've done better, but it was one of those ideas that hit me out of the blue that I just had to go with. Y'know? Unfortunately, while this week might've been on the more lax side, this next week is gonna be busy. One thing that is certain, however, is how quickly this quarter is going by. Only going twice a week is great, and all the assignments online keep me busy enough at home. Time is just flying by right now and in a week it'll already be February!

Mega Man is done. I've pretty much said my piece on the matter already, but I'll just finish by saying that Vile mode was pretty fun in the end. Instead of facing Sigma, the final boss(es) were X and Zero, and they were complete pushovers. Because the mode isn't canon, however, Vile was doomed to fail somehow so it ends with him getting double-teamed and X blowing a hole through his stomach. He vows revenge of course, but it won't be until X3 and X8 that he's seen again. It's unfortunate that the remake didn't do as well as Capcom hoped as, originally, Maverick Hunter X and Powered Up were to reboot their respective series. And with how Mega Man has been faring since then, it's likely we'll never see what Capcom planned to do with those two or Legends 3.

With Mega Man all polished up, I realized I had more free time left than expected. I read Jack Reacher in record time, and I still have more books, but I'm a little tired of reading right now. That means my nights are pretty much open right now, and while I could just as easily start up another short game like Power Stone or maybe even God of War, I'd rather wade out the busy period of school and finish other non-game related things. Perhaps in a state of either nostalgia or early spring fever, I remembered all these old cartoons and anime shows I either didn't finish as a kid, didn't watch enough of, or barely even started. Of note, Rurouni Kenshin, Monster Rancher, Gundam Wing, and Digimon Savers. A couple years back, I finally got around to finishing G Gundam and it was... an interesting watch now that I'm an adult, but I was glad it was something I finished after all these years. Of all those listed, Digimon Savers is the one I've been putting off for just as long, if not longer. I was first exposed to the series after we moved into this house from our old one, right before I started fifth grade. We didn't have cable yet so we only got the first ten or so channels, of which Fox was one. In the early afternoons, they showed marathons of Digimon and I must've watched through the majority of seasons two and three throughout the following year, but there were big gaps for both. Tamers is the one done by the same guys who did Neon Genesis Evangelion and the plot that was, in my opinion at least, the most interesting and fun to keep up with. Not to mention all the dark undertones. Guilmon was adorable and all the other characters really grew on me as the series went, especially poor Jerry. I think the last place I left off was when the D-Reaper first appeared in the city, which is admittedly quite close to the end of the series. The rest is basically a blur, so much so that it warranted a fresh watch from the beginning. Which is what I've been doing for the last couple days. It's a lot more juvenile than I remember and a lot of luxuries seem to have been taken with the dub for it to be funnier (maybe) but it's still a really enjoyable watch. I know this is total heresy from a Pokemon fanboy, but I've always felt that, while Pokemon had the better games, Digimon always had the better shows. By far. I can't wait until Tamers starts truly getting going and everyone gets to the digital world.

Speaking of -mons, I've been playing Pokemon just a bit. My sister's been getting revisiting older routes and collecting Pokemon she missed now that she has fly, and we've been catching some things together. We both have plenty of gaps in our Pokedexes, but since I've started playing again I've been able to fill some of those and help her do the same. Of course, she's also caught things I haven't. I've been having luck with Wonder Trade, which has also helped a little. Finally got a Froakie with Protean, for one, and a Riolu with most base IVs maxed, a max attack IV Pinsir, a Rotom that would make for a perfect Rotom-W, and a handful of other things. Even with all that I still can't play it for too long without wanting to quit. It's like running a race and trying to keep running even as your body screams in agony to stop. That kinda thing. I basically have to be in the right mood to play. My sister, on the other hand, is hopelessly addicted and more or less understands the core gameplay now. It bugs me that she insists on only using Delphox despite a team of other power contenders, but thinking back, it's only recently that I've started actually using my whole team. In most Pokemon games it almost feels smarter to just focus on one, two, maybe even three things. More power to her, in that case. She's gonna struggle with the E4 though...

With everything else more or less out of the way for the week and no other projects, I've been dumping my free time into Sleeping Dogs. Originally, I was just going to beat the game and do maybe a few extra things, but with how easy it is to collect things (they all appear on the map) or do other activities like race or complete cases, I've slowly but surely seen the game build up in completion. And after the last couple days, there's no way I'm not going to see the game to its absolute end and get 100%. I decided after I collected all the lock boxes for the central district yesterday. Today I finished collecting all the remaining lock boxes everywhere else, did all the races, and completed the various chores given by friends, strangers, and whoever. I literally just have three collectibles left in total, all of which I can only get through certain missions. And knowing that, progressing the story and beating the game makes sense as the next step of business. That alone would knock out the majority of the 100%. If I wanted all the achievements too I would have to do numerous side things like kill 50 cops, run over 200 individuals, disarm 50 baddies, and other such tasks for gold medals, which likewise shouldn't take all that long. Realistically, I could have the game done and 100% by this time next weekend, but I have a feeling school is gonna step in and interfere with that, so maybe a tiny bit later. Or earlier, who knows with me nowadays. It's been an interesting experience, but I'd like to move on to other things soon, especially before big releases start hitting in February and March.

And of those big releases is Bravely Default. I haven't talked too much about it, and the primary reason for that is I'd like to go in somewhat blind. There have been plenty of preview videos around, the fact Europe already has their copy, and now a demo for the US, but I'm staying away. 4 Heroes of Light was a surprise for me in many ways, and since Bravely Default is basically the spiritual successor, I want to sort of replicate what I had going for 4 Heroes. I have the collector's edition pre-ordered and everything in anticipation. All that needs to happen is for it to be February 7th, though my copy might come a day or two later... Yeah, it's weird that I'm anticipating a portable Final Fantasy game again. I used to always be looking forward to something on the DS, and usually a Final Fantasy game was up there somewhere. I was just looking at some of my games too, like Final Fantasy III, Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, Tactics A2, and of course, 4 Heroes of Light. What's funny is I still recall the times when I got all those.

One more post for the month. Ironically, while I felt like I was posting more and have had more interest in blogging, somehow I've managed to do even worse than last year. There'll probably be one entry for this coming week and then it'll be February. Only seven posts for January 2014, which is one less than last year. Criminy. If that's not evidence I'm burning out, I don't know what is. But I'll continue, nevertheless, and enjoy the time I do spend blogging. Anything less would only tarnish my memories.
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