Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Magic Radio: SRW Original Generation Sidestory

I get a lot of requests for MP3 download links to the music that I post to my Youtube account. Generally speaking, the stuff I upload there is strictly video game BGMs taken from imported soundtrack CDs that I've bought, then processed through Audacity to improve the volume and add an extra track loop or two, since I like having this stuff last long enough for me to enjoy it, and the tracks on the CDs will usually only include 1-2 loops in order to save disc space.

Anyway, I've decided to give in and upload an archived version of a game soundtrack, and provide it for those to wish to hear it. I'll probably continue to do this in the future, but I'll only provide a download link after I've finished uploading all the tracks to my aforementioned Youtube account (that way, people have incentive to tune in, after all). In addition, should I ever receive a cease and/or desist order from the government or the fine folks who make this music, or whatnot, I will comply without hesitation.

That said, here's the first of many EST (Extended Sound Track)s that I'll leave up here for the public, the music from the PS2 game Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation Gaiden.


Since OG Gaiden reuses almost all of the soundtrack from its predecessor, Original Generations, there's only 15 tracks here. Naturally, the OGs EST will come at a later date.

- Azure out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Of Devils and Angels

I've been playing Megami Ibunroku: Devil Survivor (Another Story of the Goddess: Devil Survivor) for the last month, and while the game itself is really fun, the bosses are punishingly difficult. This is largely because of the fact that they're at levels that are a lot higher than what you'd be able to achieve because of the low EXP yield of the only enemies you're allowed to fight instead of engaging them on the spot. Basically, instead of grinding until you're powerful enough to win, you're supposed to come up with a strategy to help your weaker characters prevail.

There are several ending paths to take, all of which are determined by your interactions with the characters in the game. Things like responses to questions and being around to witness certain events factor heavily in. In the end, I was given a choice between helping the possessed girl Amane establish absolute law under God; or taking the advice of Yuzu, who acts as a real person would in the game's demon-infested, locked-down and completely forsaken city and try to run the hell away. From what I've heard, doing the latter nets you an extremely depressing ending, which I'd rather not go for on my first playthrough, so I went for the former.

I'm a little disappointed that I'm not getting the chance to help the depressed musician Haru banish the demons from the city, since she's the character I sympathize most with, but oh well.

Back during Christmas week, Aroduc (who has some very interesting views on anime) released an English-language patch for Galaxy Angel, a combination romance-sim/strategy game that's piqued my interest since I'd been enjoying the antics of the core cast of five's (largely exaggerated) animated selves. Yesterday, a good friend surprised me by hooking-me up with both the game and the English patch, and I've been playing for the better part of today.

The graphics (especially during the 3-D strategy battle sequences) aren't the best (especially for a game released in 2002), but they suffice. The real star, so to speak, is the wonderful characterization. Each of the five heroines has her own distinct personality, and they're all very endearing (my personal favorite, by the way, is the clever, rabbit-eared telepath Mint). Unlike Devil Survivor, it's not a very difficult game, instead being great for relaxing with due to how fun the interactions with the characters are.

In other ramblings, the Borders bookstore in a not-so-local mall that I frequent due to the fact that other, unique shops that I like are in the same place is closing up shop soon, which means a going-out-of-business sale. While that's not exactly a good thing, me being able to get half-off on manga certainly is. I managed to pick up around $140 worth of such comics, including the first collection of Ishinomori Shotarou's Cyborg 009, as well as volumes of Lucky Star, Yotsuba&!, D.Gray-man, Fate/stay-night, Rosario + Vampire, and Pandora Hearts. Sufficed to say, I won't have any shortage of reading material for the next month.

- Azure out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Anime 2009: Best & Worst

So, we're a few days into the new year, and it's time to look back and have ourselves a retrospective. Since I am (as previously mentioned) an anime nerd, my retrospective will be on the Japanese animated shows, direct-to-video specials, and movies that caught my eye in one way or another.

Note: I won't be going into too much detail on the entirety of each series, for full details, go look up the titles on Wikipedia or Anime News Network.

BEST OF 2009:
  • Best Action Series: Canaan
  • Best Comedy Series: Nyan Koi!
  • Best Drama Series: White Album
  • Best Film or OVA: Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners (Film 7)
  • Best Soundtrack: Casshern: Sins
  • Best Story: Casshern: Sins
  • Best Opening Theme Song: "Alternative", Asura Cryin' OP 2
  • Best Opening Sequence: "Shugoshin ~The Guardian~", Shin Mazinger Shougeki!: Z-Hen OP 2
  • Best Ending Theme Song: "Prototype", Mobile Suit Gundam 00 ED 3
  • Best Ending Sequence: "Don't Say 'Lazy'", K-On! ED
  • Best Main Character: Kouji Kabuto, Shin Mazinger Shougeki!: Z-Hen
  • Best Secondary Character: Lockon Stratos (Lyle Dylandy), Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Second half)
  • Best Love Interest: Holo, Spice and Wolf II
  • Best Potential Love Interest: Ami Kawashima, ToraDora!
  • Best Villain: Alphard, Canaan
  • Best Character Development: Cecily Cambell, Seiken no Blacksmith
  • Best Minor Character: Unnamed taxi driver (AKA "TAXIMAN!"), Canaan
  • Most Moe Girl: Azaka Kokutou, Kara No Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners (Films 6-7)
  • Badass of the Year: Adam Blade, Needless
  • Seiyuu of the Year: Haruka Tomatsu (Misao Minakami in Asura Cryin', Yunyun in Canaan, Kisaragi Yamaguchi in GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, Mileina Vashti in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Kotone and Akari Kirishima in Nyan Koi!, Mana Mizuki in White Album, Yumiko Christina Ichinose in Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou, Rouge in Basquash!)
  • Coolest Giant Robot: Mazinger Z, Shin Mazinger Shougeki!: Z-Hen
  • Coolest Weapon: Kitchen flatware as utilized by Sebastian, Kuroshitsuji
  • Coolest Special Attack/Superpower: Saten's Daiyon Hadou, Needless
  • Coolest Upgrade: God Scrander/Big Bang Rocket Punch, Shin Mazinger Shougeki!: Z-Hen
  • Most Awesome Moment: Hyakuretsu Rocket Punch, Shin Mazinger Shougeki!: Z-Hen
  • Funniest Moment: The reveal of Nagi Ichinose's gender, Nyan Koi!
  • Sweetest Moment: Mikiya's release from the hospital and subsequent reunion with Shiki, Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners (Film 7)
  • Best Show I Didn't Watch: Bakemonogatari
  • Best Show You Didn't Watch: Pandora Hearts
  • Best Running Gag: Inko-chan the ugly bird, ToraDora!
  • Best Original Concept: Giant robots playing basketball, Basquash!
  • Best Reference: Making fun of Dragon Ball: Evolution, Seitokai no Ichizon

WORST OF 2009:

  • Worst Action Series: Queen's Blade
  • Worst Comedy Series: Kampfer
  • Worst Drama Series: Aoi Hana
  • Most Overrated Series: Mobile Suit Gundam 00
  • Biggest Letdown: Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (Honorable Mention to Slayers Revolution/Evolution-R)
  • Least Interesting Lead: Layfon Alseif, Koukaku no Regios
  • Lamest Villain: Kaede Sakura, Kampfer
  • Biggest Godmoder: Setsuna F. Seiei, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 / Layfon Alseif, Koukaku no Regios (tie)
  • Most Annoying Character: Pokota, Slayers Revolution/Evolution-R
  • "Isn't it Sad?" Award For Underdeveloped and Underutilized Characters: Allelujah Haptism, Mobile Suit Gundam 00
  • Most Pointless Death: Nena Trinity, Mobile Suit Gundam 00
  • Idiot of the Year: Whoever on the staff of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu that thought "Endless Eight" was a good idea
  • Coolest Concept That Didn't Quite Work: Combat Librarians, Tatakau Shishou: The Book of Bantorra
  • Lamest Giant Robot: Ahead, Mobile Suit Gundam 00
  • Lamest Weapon: Super-Special Awesome Katana (not official name), Koukaku no Regios
  • Lamest Special Attack/Superpower: Kandatta String, Needless
  • Lamest Upgrade: 00-Raiser/"True Innovator", Mobile Suit Gundam 00

And there you have it, my best and worst in anime of 2009. In case you're the kind of person who likes to flame people for their opinions online, be forewarned that I. DO. NOT. CARE.

- Azure out.

New Year, New Attempt

Yeah, I've been pretty terrible about blogging as of late, but it's more for the fact that last fall was insanely busy than the fact that I'm lazy (although I certainly am).

Planned things to blog about this year:

* Anime 2009: Best & Worst - Exactly what it sounds like. My thoughts on last year's anime.
* Adventures in Language-Learning - My new year's resolution? Learn a new language!
* Game Chat - Rants about video games.
* Anime 2010 - Rants about anime airing this season.
* Things That Cheese Me Off - Angry ranting!

That's all I've got for the moment, but it's a start. See you later in the day for that best & worst list.

- Azure out