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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just a little bit more....

Yesterday was my sister's birthday party which was something I have no control over and I've got my hands on Need For Speed Undercover. Just give me a little more time. I'm a good ways in but just want to confirm some things.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dungeon & Fighter.... I mean Arad Senki.....I mean Dungeon Fighter Online

has opened for Closed Beta sign ups. A sidescrolling, sprite work beat em up that's been pretty popular for its PvP and forcing players to pace themselves through a battery system that only lets you run a certain number of dungeon runs each day.

Who cares if it's sprites? As long as the animation's clean, it doesn't really matter. Guilty Gear, King of Fighters XII, Odin Sphere and a whole bunch of other games use sprites.

I wish you luck.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Anime & Games update

June isn't such a great month for either. April is usually when you have a bunch of anime that come out and E3 in June is there to keep fans hyped for things to come.

Prototype is out so I better check it out.
S4 League US's release date still hasn't been confirmed.
Dungeon and Fighter from Nexon USA (ugh) still has no signs of a release date.
Left 4 Dead 2 is in november I believe.
Street Fighter 4 for the PC is coming soon.
I'm saving up for a PS3. I'm thinking of buying a used one.

In terms of anime:
Summer Wars looks like it's gonna be good (from the director of The girl who leapt through time).
To be honest, I actually missed out on a bunch of anime that premiered this april (Phantom, Shangri-La, 07 Ghost, Higashi no Eden) They're all actually about to end around this time (because they're all 12 episoders.....)

I still haven't heard much about the third season of Black Lagoon.
No idea when The Sacred Blacksmith airs.
Higashi no Eden is supposed to continue on in two full length movies.
Spice of Wolf is going to air July 8th.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni airs July 1st.
Canaan airs July 4th.

Higurashi no naku koro ni Rei's 4th OVA comes out around the 22nd.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Umineko no Naku Koro ni - release date confirmed?


Yui Horie (my favorite voice actress) and Daisuke Ono (Yukito from Air, Itsuki from Haruhi) are to be cast in this.

From what I see, it's gonna air July 1st on Chiba and Aichi. the 2nd on KBS (Kyoto) and Kanagawa. I'm not too sure on what the other stations are. I need to check which service I have.....

ATK's Second Speed paint

Here's the finished drawing.

Well... His hands are getting much better. What still bothers me is his attention to detail so early on. I really think that setting base colors first and then highlighting and shading later on would prove to not only be more efficient but help him see the bigger picture early on. I've yet to talk to him about this but I'm not sure if he realizes that the roofs of the houses are the same brown as his muffler, and that there's FAR too much gray.

Contrast wise, it's very light which his style, if he applied some extra detail the background could help complement the character, but right now the character and the bell tower ( I think that's a bell tower) seem to stick out very much.

Oh right... He needs different music XD.

Inukami! - review

Inukami! (lit. dog god) is about a guy named Keita Kawahira who's part of a long line of "inukami tsukai" (inukami "users" or "tamers"). The purpose of contracting with such an inukami is to follow the clan's tradition of banishing evil....except Keita is more interested in girls. His Inukami, Youko, isn't too happy about this. As a very jealous, controlling type she tries to make Keita do her bidding instead of the other way around.

Before I begin the review, I'd like to note that it is PURPOSEFULLY spelled InuKAMI instead of InuGAMI which refers to the dog deities in japanese folklore. Inukami are similar to inugami in many ways but there are many characteristics that completely change it around.

Inukami! feels like what Zero no Tsukaima was trying to do from the second season on. It's chock full of perverted jokes and really course humor. Not to mention there are a lot of indirect references to other anime which make you cringe, but in a good way. You know it's a parody and yet there's something wrong about it.

A lot of the inukami who are shown in their human forms are female which brings up the traditional harem style that we're all aware of. It can be potentially said that they're ALL tsundere for their disgust for the main character but it's more obvious that they fill a different cookie cutter role (with two of them being devious twins)

In terms of its humor, what I've got to say is its biggest strong point and downfall is the lack of restraint on perverted, crude humor. By no means is the viewer confused as to whether or not that was a reference to a sexual trope. The show itself leads you on until the last minute when you finally see the full picture. This style of humor is quite common in Japanese humor along with temporarily using two characters as a manzai team.

One problem with this series would be the enormous cast of characters. Keita only has one inukami but his cousin, the other major inukami tsukai in the show, has ten. Then there's the head of the family with her inukami. Finally, there's the representative from the "Spritual division" of the government giving the Inukami Tsukai leads on jobs. In total, that means the show has 13 major inukami and 4 major and secondary characters. The result is that twenty six episodes are too short. The manga and anime director could've approached this harem anime style and made an episode revolve around the development of each character but that would leave too few episodes for a good indepth story. It seems that the director agrees with this and only places development when it seems that there's some room left.

What you get instead of individual focus is how the group does as a whole. The viewer constantly needs to be reminded that the 10 major inukami that haven't contracted with Keita aren't sisters. They just have this undying infatuation with one particular guy, which is weird....and something that the show has no problem mentioning (that it's weird). In addition, while Youko works alone the other ten work together breaking off into different groups when necessary.

What's most memorable is probably the soundtrack. There are some nice battle themes along with some wacky synth that fit well with the blunt humor. Then there's the slow paced relaxed songs that help emphasize perverted humor.

The presentation of the "main" story was fairly weak. You were aware that there was some underlying purpose to the jobs but it doesn't really show up until the end. In addition, the resolution wasn't so great. They ended it with a fairly big plot hole that isn't covered in the OVA. It kinda makes me want to read Inukami.

To be honest, I wouldn't recommend this to a lot of people. It's very clean with the occasional still shot and presentation is actually solid, but with an average story and each episode almost filled to the brim with perverted jokes, it would probably turn some people off. It's not bad, but it's not phenomenal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ATK's First speed paint

I need to remind him to speak proper english.......

This is once again, a different style that ATK decided to use. I've spoken with him for a while and he decided to use this art style for the visual novel.

I'm actually glad he decided to do a speedpaint actually. Now I'm able to see how he colors and the first thing I noticed right off the bat was his attention to detail so early on as well as the use of a small brush which would lengthen the time it takes to color. That's not necessarily bad, per say, but it's a bit inefficient from what I've seen. Many professional artists I've spoken to and articles that I've read often involve establishing basic color schemes first and then working with shading and highlights later on.

I guess I can't really complain if he delivers though....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

S4League USA/NA Branch

To be honest, I was quite frustrated with the way alaplaya has been handling their hosting of S4 League. It was quite sloppy, with poor maintenance, poorly executed events (who would set up a SOLO tournament for a TEAM game?) and they released premium items too early without taking into consideration the patching of major bugs that affect gameplay as a whole. I usually don't say this often, but in this case, I really feel as if alaplaya was only thinking about the profit. They didn't even really analyze the game itself. They rely on releasing beta versions of weapons to get feedback from the forums. At least, hire some people who know the game.... I understand that premium items are the key to microtransaction games, but in return these paying players DESERVE better. It's been maybe 3 to 4 months and they STILL haven't fixed jukebox issues (a section where you can integrate custom music into the game).

To be honest, I have no idea where they received the capital to buy rights to host a European server. Apparently you also pay for premium items for a FORUM AVATAR. Really? You're going to be that stingy? I would have to pay 5 dollars US for an image of a gun on my forum avatar when I could (but won't) spend that same 5 dollars for a functional, boosted version of another gun in S4.... Really....

Anyway, there's been a quiet launch of this site however and I can't tell who the host is. As of now, I think we may get access to Pentavision or Neowiz's servers, which would mean that we would get the same kind of quality service that Pmang receives. MAYBE. It's still hard to tell, but I officially quit S4 League Europe. The service they provide is crap. No joke, if I hosted a server as a full time job, I could do a better job.

Anyways, there's a beta coming soon so sign up and Show Me Your S4.