Deadliest Sin 6/13/2009, the birthday present to myself

So I am 22 now. Do I really care? Not particularly, but it does call attention to myself, which I seem to be in dire need of lately. Kinda depressed lately of having no girl and pretty much being rejected or my new favorite word “Cockblocked”. This girl I met on Myspace I am interested in, but have never had the chance to see her in person. I have this sneaking suspicion she isn’t totally interested in me, which is odd since she was the one who came to me first. Also, this other girl who I know from high school who I feel for, but she doesn’t seem to be into me. She had been gone for a while so I let it go, but now that she’s back I feel that awkward heart sensation again. I also guess I am totally off her radar. Finally I have this girl I know over the internet from the UK. I like her because she’s snarky, pretty and very honest, among other fun features. But another thing that’s a big deal to me is that for my birthday she let me have an audio clip of her singing. I thought that was cute. Though I’m confused as to what women want from a guy or more bluntly, me. I am no good at relationships with women, but with how cryptic they are and what people say about them I can’t seem to get a girl, let alone anyone, to tell me what needs fixing. I’m a software developer at heart and frankly people can tell me “I hate it” but that doesn’t help me when I’m attempting to fix the problem. I can understand something like “The user interface could use a larger splash of color” or “The menu control feels sticky” but just “I hate it” never advances what needs doing. *Sigh* Another year, still girlfriendless.

Okay, let’s talk about my birthday. I bought a blazer for myself because I needed one after mine broke. Didn’t run me much and hopefully it will help with impressions. Got some sneakers too which should help with the convention season. I did however mind going out with my mom when she decided she wanted to go shopping. I only have one birthday a year, why couldn’t she go somewhere with me and do some things and not shop? That brings me to another thing about women I don’t get, their shopping habits. When I go into a store I don’t go to browse for more than a moment or two, I just go in, get what I want and take my leave. Or I just shop online since that’s usually what I do. I do not want to go into a mall and stand around in a lingerie store while my mom is trying on bras for two fucking hours. Now I’m a guy and normally that would make men uncomfortable but suppressed, but this is my mom we’re talking about here. Nobody needs that sort of thing. One last thing of mention is that on my birthday I got an eye exam and bought a new pair of glasses. To be totally honest, I spent less money on them than I thought and far less than my sister and mother on theirs’, which it came to $351.00 including tax and the exam, as well as all the goodies on my lenses (minus photochromic lenses, transitions lenses to the brand name inclined crowd). Surprisingly the optometrist said my original lenses were “overcorrecting” my visual acuity so I have something closer to 20/18 vision rather than the standard 20/20. This leads to my phenomenal visual perception skills and using them as an asset. I asked him if he could continue helping my overcorrection and as of this writing the lenses to produce my 20/15 vision are ready for pickup. I will include pictures of the new glasses when I get them. There are two main reasons I needed new glasses. The first one the fact that my current glasses have a ridiculous series of scratches in my left lens, which because of my left eye being dominance makes my eyes hurt when attempting to refocus my eyes on a different target and when shooting this proves to be a real problem considering I’m using both eyes and refocusing like crazy to line up targets. Secondly is my specialized ACOG sight that I can use to shoot without my glasses or just provide additional acuity so I can see at distances in excess of one kilometer without help (read: spotter). I’m just pleased with having new glasses soon. Something I’ve been in dire need of lately.

As a sidenote, my XNA project is not going anywhere at the moment so those who contacted me about it I have no use for you at the moment.

I do have a few new video games. First one I want to talk about is Half-Life. Now I love The Orange Box and think it is quite possibly the best game bundle ever produced by any company. Ever. The biggest spell I had of Half-Life was a few days with it after a high school chum named Eric let me use his Steam account to play Counter-strike (Source too). I noticed Half-Life on there as well and ran with that too. I felt it was a good game and certainly worth it, but I never got around to finishing it. Recently I just had to get it, if anything just to complete my series of Half-Life goodies, so I picked up the Half-Life 1 Anthology pack from Steam. I did play through Half-Life in about ten hours and I don’t know if it’s just me but I felt it was significantly harder than anything in the 2 series. The game also had the problem of causing my “FPS headaches” at an alarmingly quick pace, causing me to only play in one hour bursts. Most other games I can play for upwards of six hours without having to do something else, but Half-life always seems different. I don’t know if it’s the visual aesthetics or what, but it seems to be the only game to do this. I can play Unreal Tournament 3 or Call of Duty 4 constantly without having my head hurt, but Half-Life is drastically different. But that’s quite alright. The game is still fucking awesome and frankly I am hoping Half-Life 2: Episode 3 contains some of the stuff that the original had, like some of the enemies or weapons. However, after playing the original there was a huge gap in story that wasn’t filled, like the role of the Combine in the story before Half-Life 2 and really all of the events between the original and 2. Perhaps Blue Shift and Opposing Force will fix those problems for me.

Onto “hack-and-slash” games, starting with Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2. Now as I said some time ago I thought the original game was a fantastic advancement of the concept of Dynasty Warriors by adding in an absurd amount of weapons. 2 is more of the same, with tweaks and it is extremely long. I am 80 hours in and I don’t even consider myself half done. As for being longer let me explain some of the things that make it that way. I’ll start with the statistic of 41 playable characters and 62 mobile weapons. To add to that, all characters have missions to be played, most with five and some with one with a mix of in-betweens. So as you can tell the combinations of pilots, weapons and so forth is mindboggling insane. Now this is only a small portion of the additions. Next up is a combat tutorial which was useful to me since it finally explains how boost attacks work and subsequently taught me how to juggle. The parts system while nice does seem a bit of a chore to obtain them. You have to destroy the suit you want parts for and then do it in a ridiculously long combo and slaughter a bunch of grunts for the good parts. Parts are also suit specific which helps when you throw in a new pilot. That aside, you can upgrade parts with some fun bonuses, like the Biocomputer that gives a bonus to the SP gauge recovery, the Zero-Range Shot that gives a bonus to shot attacks at point blank and Hard Strike that randomly gives a bonus to attacks. Skills are back but you get them in a different way and the number you have is set to three instead of six. Most of the skills from the first return, except for Newtype (which is not a skill but something a character can just be) and there are some nice ones. I haven’t even touched on the combat part yet but that got such a refinement that it’s practically insane. The game is harder (even on easy), with grunts actually doing things like surround the player and lovingly beat the living piss out of the player. Not to mention aces are largely tougher and more intelligent. Mobile armors was a double edge sword to add to the game. On the one hand, they are perhaps a little too hard, on the other it adds an interesting challenge. See, the problem with it is not the fact that they stand so tall, but it’s the way you have to defeat them. They are only vulnerable to three things. Charge Attacks which involve pressing the melee button and holding it until you totally charge and hitting them but in practice this is far too hard since when you’re in this mode you can’t boost and you can only jump straight up. When trying to dodge-wait, never mind, when using a charge attack you can’t even do that. The idea is good, but it is horrible in practice. Second is when the weak points are showing, which involves either hitting a successive attack after a charge attack or just waiting for them to show up and either pea-shooting or shoving a few swings up it’s butt. Finally is the SP attacks, which pretty much have no requirement on when to use and typically are quite potent. To really kill an armor the best thing to do is to charge up a charge attack, wait for the weak points and fire so it falls over disabled then launch an SP attack to give it hell. Good in practice and if you can get that done swimmingly they can be easy. That is, unless you’re facing ones with Funnels. Funnels are independent from the armor, unlike mobile suits using them for special attacks and the shots they take, while not too strong, keep knocking you over which is real harassing when trying to get them done and wasted. So overall good idea, could have used some polish in execution though. The size relation took a hint from A.C.E. where all machines are sized properly with Nu Gundam being a tower and mobile armors being scaled appropriately so that they are just over two machines tall. This also makes for amusement when you see how puny F91 is in comparison to the others. I think I have said all I need to about this game. It’s entertaining, long and fun to play, though it does get boring after a while and feels like a grind. That aside I want to announce I have acquired Onichanbara, a largely amusing game involving scantily-clad girls, swords and zombies. Now I haven’t actually played this yet since I am working on other things but I just wanted to make that note.

Speaking of video games, I do want to make a few quick notes. First up in the world of Final Fantasy XI I haven’t played in a while. See, my Beastmaster has hit 73 but my time in the Boyada Tree is being less than pleasurable. I end up dying a lot and the place seems crowded with parties doing skill ups or other things. So over the course of a week or so I have gained exactly 4K EXP. It is not being fun anymore so I am taking my time off to play other things, which is my real reason for not doing XI. Moving with Final Fantasy XI, I did buy a copy of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete. This would be my first Blu-Ray movie since I bought the damned PS3 (Still own only one PS3 game though) and once again I have yet to watch it. With an extra half-hour of footage it should keep me entertained, but I would really just like to see the difference between an HD performance and the original I saw using a CRT television.

Oh wait, I titled this thing “Deadliest Sin” right? You want anime, don’t you? Well, alright I suppose can give you anime. I am going into stronger detail with this shipment than the last and it does include pictures, so here we go with box number one!
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Stylish. Let’s open this bad boy up to the usual fair of inserts and goodies.
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So this is volume 9 of Death Note and this:
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does this, completing my collection of Death Note DVDs and figures. Now when I get time I will watch them all for great justice.
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Gurren Lagann has been countless recommended to me by people and frankly it could be quite a nice ride. After picking the first volume up I got this pair to finish season one.
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Like this.
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As you probably notice by now all these DVDs are just for completing series and I basically take this and run with it with the whole “Real Men” thing by grabbing Lucky Star volumes 5 and 6. (The inside joke is “Real Men wear Lucky Star”, something Frice and I developed at Otakon 2008.)
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Now this completes Lucky Star for me. Something I did find a little odd was the total lack of a Limited Edition volume 6. I did look around to confirm it’s non-existence, but if you’re going to do Limited Editions for the whole thing why stop at the 6th volume? I digress. Here ya go.
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Next up, Doll Porn. Okay, I kid. Rozen Maiden is still a rather amusing and beautifully done anime that seamlessly combines comedic anime with a level of emotional drama that can be heart gripping, something Moon Phase tried to do until it totally shit all over itself for the ending. Actualy, that was more moe and love than drama, but whatever.
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This collection is complete, however I haven’t watched the second half of the series (Traumend). You also see the complete set of Welcome to the NHK, something else I need to get done, if nothing for the Final Fantasy XI parody. I completed that this week too but Right Stuf didn’t have a copy.
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Another recommendation was Ouran Host Club. Now I have little idea of what this series is about other than massive gender confusion. It does seem to appeal to the female audience more than the male crowd, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give it a try, right?
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I also thought Lucky Star needed a buddy, so I threw the four disks next to each other for fun.
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Stellvia (or Stellvia of the Universe, dependant on where you come from) is a drama where a bunch of kids save the world from an event that is practically impossible where a supernova turns space green and sends a shockwave that could kill earth if not for these brave kids. As much of a scientific nightmare as this series is, it does have it’s redeeming points of being well told and mostly original. Defense against a natural disaster has not really been done in anime and frankly hasn’t been done to a supernova before. It is a good watch and for the Final Fantasy XI crowd, you may recognize the opening from a particular video entitled “Epic” by Goggly of Cait Sith.
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I was totally guilty of watching this series before I had it completed (I thought it was done at disk 6) but now that it’s together it looks good. Also here’s a slightly better shot of Rozen Maiden.
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This is a series I don’t think I will ever finish. At 104 half-shot episodes (52 half-hour episodes) and only 9 disks released (Correct me here, I don’t think there were any more) there is quite a gap as to how many I don’t have. Disk 9 brings the series to episode 72, which still leaves 32 left and no release date in sight. Whatever, just something to continue the collection.
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Along with the rest of my DiGi collection.
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Here’s something I have because I fucking love CLAMP and would love to impregnate them (can’t have their children since they are all women). Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is an interesting story reusing the characters of other CLAMP series (the two main characters are a direct rip of Cardcaptor Sakura minus the whole magic thing). So after buying most of the manga and liking what I read, I went for the anime.
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I also do the manga, so here are them:
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One thing that I found a bit odd, somewhat like the Lucky Star Limited rant above, is that the second season has no box. The first one did and it was a fantastic piece of art. The second has nothing of the sort, making this look all silly. The entire Tsubasa series:
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More manga was abound with the addition of two more Negima volumes to the mix. The series is keeping pace despite being as long as it is and I am enjoying myself and what I see.
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And this group completed:
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Next is a bit of an odd choice. This was just found in the bin at Right Stuf and I didn’t know what to think of it. What we see is a manga retelling of the games in one shot volumes. While not exactly keeping the entirety of the games into these books they are still fun to read.
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The biggest thing I find odd is the lack of a numbering system which makes it a bit tough to tell which one goes where in the series. Fortunately Right Stuf has the numbers on the invoice so I can put them back together correctly.
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Another book enters the fray here, this time in hardcover, but you might think “Don’t you already have volume one?”
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Well I do, but that’s the manga, this on the other hand, is the novel everything was based on.
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Here is the entire Haruhi collection, but the problem is with the hardcover book that it is too big to fit on the shelf with the rest of the stuff, so I have to put it in sideways unless I want Haruhi on the floor if you will.
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And finally the one and only thing I really like from Shonen Jump and that is Kenshin. I’ve been buying the VIZBIG editions because they are much easier to carry, more detailed and easier to read. It’s beautiful and still is an excellent series no matter what you do to it.
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Six down, I think there are like four left.
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So that’s it. I probably should also mention I am rewatching Trigun. Last time I did this I was watching on Cartoon Network and didn’t get the most clear and awesome picture of the anime, so I’m doing it in one burst and am already half done. Also, a master shot of the current collection is coming, but is has to wait for me to put everything back and me to clean up the area it sits in. But sitting here at sofar 3,300 words this is quite the posting I have for you. Keep up with me and I’ll be sure to have some things in store for you to ogle at. Oh, right. I suppose I should mention that Duke Nukem Forever has failed and frankly I couldn’t care less and it looks like it is the ultimate in vaporware. Hats off to the idiots at 3D Realms for keeping hype for 12 years.

And here goes my fanservice. The master shot:

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Where I get most everything: The Right Stuf International.

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