24 April 2008

Gone for now

Just shaved off my beard. I had it for a bit, and it was indeed interesting... but meh, dunno. I think it's a little overrated. I also now know why they're referred to as 'soup-catchers.' I may go with it again sometime, but for now, back to being clean-shaven and more professional.

19 April 2008

What's Really Good

In the benighted tradition of my High School, I decided to post a brief list of some things that are really good.

- Typing this post on my eee while I download a TF2 map as I connect to the server.
- Unlocking crazier and crazier ships in R-Type Final.
- Not completely panicking about my final papers. (Hah, I can actually do them! Maybe.)
- Watching Meet the Scout this morning before breakfast... ("Hey, you. Yeah you, listen. Me? Kind of a big deal.")

Probably to be continued throughout the day.

15 April 2008

Farewell, R-Type

For the title-linking impaired, pleased to be watching this youtube playlist in its entirety.
I am currently in posession of possibly the most emotionally charged shmup game in history- R-Type Final. The R-Type series, for those of you who don't know it, is a 21-year-running series of side-scrolling shooters where you take on the role of a human pilot fighting the horrible bio-weapon known only as The Bydo. This translates into a large amount of blowing up stuff, followed by boss battles, etc.
Some areas where the R-Type series differs from other shmups, though, are in the continue and weapon systems. Firstly, when you die, you must re-start the level (or go back to a continue point, at least in Final). Secondly, you have something called a Force, which is an indestructible ball that can latch onto the front or back of your fighter, and acquires one of three different shot types- red, blue, or yellow. In addition, you can charge up your fighter's wave cannon to fire a huge death-ray if you forgo shooting for a while.
As you can probably guess, most of the strategy in R-Type games centers around clever use of the Force- ejecting it, manipulating it to fly into enemies and kill them, using it to block projectiles fired at you, et cetera.
Where R-Type Final differs from all previous R-Type games is in the number of ships- 101, to be exact, all with at least three different choices of two different lines of accessories. Some ships can even use more than one Force, opening up the selection even further. Every single ship from every R-Type game ever is present, along with a host of newcomers, all beautifully rendered and with adjustable color schemes. The R-Museum mode is a work of art, letting you zoom in to the point where you can see each individual ship in all its glory, arrayed amongst its fellows in a gigantic family tree. There's commentary for each ship, and as a little easter egg, each ship's inception date is relative to the clock on your PS2- that is, when you unlock a ship, the inception date is shown as X + (some number of years), where X is the current date! If you unlock 10 or so ships in a day, this gets quite humorous ^__^

General: We need more ships to fight the Bydo! What can you give us?
Engineer: Well, we all got horrifically drunk last night and took lots of psychadelics, and came up with this totally awesome new ship! It's got a Wave Cannon that I came up with while I was totally blazed at the carnival in Rio, so I'm going to call it the Carnival Wave Cannon!
[Door bangs open, another engineer rushes in.]
Engineer 2: Never mind! I just came up with an EVEN BETTER ship! Instead of a Wave Cannon, this one has a GIANT SPEAR!
[Door bangs open, again]
Engineer 3: I got one better than both of yours! My ship is even AWESOMER! I took a tank and put a drill on the front, then gave it wings and a tornado cannon! Beat that, punks!
General: ... You what?
Engineer 3: It's called the Kiwi Berry!
General: ... I need a drink.
(Note: These are all actual fighters.)
There is also one thing I forgot to mention- this game, like all R-Type games, is SADISTICALLY hard, even on normal difficulty. It's one of the few games that can actually make me scream fuck-words at the TV, which is quite rare nowadays. Despite that, though, it is still criminally fun to play, and it is nothing if not well-designed-- and it should be, because here's the saddest part-- R-Type Final, like its name suggests, is the last R-Type game ever. There will be no more. Hell, the design team even wrote themselves out of the storyline! (Yes, they wrote themselves into the storyline in the beginning)
But what a swan song this game is... The last three ships you unlock are the Last Dancer, the Curtain Call, and the Grand Finale. These three ships' information texts are as follows-
R-99 “Last Dancer”
[Ultimate Interchangeable Fighter]
There is evidence that it was developed to fill the strategic needs of today.

R-100 “Curtain Call”
[Ultimate Interchangeable Fighter Ver. 2]
The R-99 ended R-fighter development, but this unit was made to transmit the technology to future generations.

R-101 “Grand Finale”
[Ultimate Interchangeable Fighter Ver. 3]
The final fighter. After this, no other R-fighters will ever be developed.
After building this masterpiece, the design group known as TEAM R-TYPE disbanded.
Farewell, R-Type. We knew you well. Hopefully, someone else will step up to take the crown you left behind.

04 April 2008

Level Up!

Just dinged 21 yesterday. I guess that's all my important birthdays done, then.
In my 21 years on this Earth, what has happened? Wow, I can't even begin to say... But suffice it that I feel more like I'm 21 than I have ever felt like I was my age ever before.
Got to see Johnathan Coulton at the Iron Horse last night, and two guys by the name of "Paul and Storm" opened for him. Oh boy, were they great.
I'm feeling kinda taciturn today, for some reason. At least it waited until today to rain, heh.

Oh yeah, and this blog has now been around for four years! Amazing, isn't it?