Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Civilization IV is still the best civilization game

As I loved the espionage ,race for religion, and the fact that you can turn off vassal states. However, despite how annoying I find city states[I need to remember who is allied with who? Is this high school? You barely give me shit. can't I just crush you? Please?] , and how much I love to go into people's cities, steal their technology and cause a revolt, I do like the fact that there are NOT giant roving stacks of doom, that you can discover natural wonders, that you can buy new land tiles, that the resources are limited, and the new civics while not as good as civ 4 is still a good system- I like buying things with culture points. I am confused about some mechanics like 'why can't I just put my settler on a boat so I can get across the ocean quickly instead of embarking him and he crawls across the ocean and I have to find my frigate to protect him..." I do miss the randomness of the events and religions, and being able to crush barbarians and add them to my civilization instead of just getting a few gold which you can barely use to bribe anyone.

The graphics are good as far as the land is concerned, but I don't like how the units are depicted on the map. They don't seem 'solid' somehow, which is probably just my computer not being a gaming computer. However, some images have a real charm to them, such as the leader images,which are more attractive than the leader images from Civ4.

Eh,I'll play it for a few hundred hours.

Someone else loves civ 4 too.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why Gakuen Alice is a Terrible Manga and Why I'll Keep Getting It

Gakuen Alice is a terrible manga- a mishmash of a manga which can't decide whether it wants to be a fun magic school manga, or an angsty chronicle of the school de child abuse. It also has way too much creepy pre teen romance in it. We get way too many wacky hijinks involving decorating Christmas trees, and way too little about important things such as say, someone's dead[not literally] little sister recovering from her amnesia and blindness! The dramatic arcs often seem rushed, despite there being plenty of time for filler stories. And there's the age issue. Now, I give a lot of leeway to manga about realism. However, speeches about how we're all going to protect the future together are usually not common among the tween set, so it's best to confine them to once every two volumes. The effect gets lost when it's pulled out too often- this is why these speeches are usually limited to the most dramatic volumes in other manga.

Not to mention, romance with ten year olds is hard, I know. There are many limitations. One of the limitations is that ten year olds tend to still be in the 'ew cooties' stage- i.e. making out isn't likely, nor are conversations about your rival in love's taste in women. Really, I can't let that slide!

But why will I keep getting such a terrible manga? Well, I just can't give up on learning what happens, and even though it's the sort of story that throws everything that appeals to the audience in- 'hey! let's add some androgynous guys, little kids, obsessive guys who appear nice but have a hidden dark side, cross dressing, etc,etc in there!", there still is potential for the story to lose its scattered desire to appeal to everyone at once, and focus more on whether it wants to be a comedy, a drama or even, urgh, a romance.

*Note: I'm on American fantime, and have only read up to vol. 12.


Friday, September 10, 2010

I feel better now

about my habit of going to Borders every week if they have a decent coupon. I of course buy the less expensive manga, as the cost of American comics is ridiculous. I can understand Fantagraphics stuff having a higher price point as they are 'art' comics, but commercial works like Spiderman don't need to be $20 for a thin book. I like manga since it's blatently commercial, delivering up my romance, sci fi, and bang zoom at a sensible price.

People are discussing people looking down on shoujo manga because it's girly I say let them look down their noses. Good storytelling and good art remain so whether it's a adventure series about retrieving the robes of a goddess and fighting off evil people who are genetic manipulators or an adventure story about people battling demons.
[The first is Ceres Celestial Legend, the second...every manga ever, but especially DGrayMan] I agree that people think that because something is marketed at teen girls it might be bad, which is silly- teen girls are people foremost. They love action, they love comedy, yes, they love romance, but all of those can be woven into stories that entertain and that enlighten. One loses out on good art if they are narrowly into "It's not marketed to me."

But I guess another issue is the fact that "everyone" is supposed to love "men's" things, but only women can like "women's" things, just like white movies are for "everyone" but "black" movies are for blacks. When we blindly believe things like that, we cut our selves off from good art, and that's inexcusable.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Kudos 2

Yet another game that would be a whole lot better if you could change the race of your character. At least you can mod the game. I should learn how to do game mods, and I wonder if there's a community of modders to make games more diverse, more interesting, and more fun.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I guess he's right

about why it doesn't matter that Scott Pilgrim didn't make a zillion dollars. I usually don't get too excited about people making movies about things I love as for movies a lot of the complexity and diversity of the book/comic that they made a movie out of disappears- it becomes the same old blockbuster movie with different names on it. But I admit, I loved the Scott Pilgrim movie even though the emphasis moved from romance and growing up to cool action scenes.

I must admit that quirky movies with white 20 somethings won't go away even if Scott Pilgrim bombs, and I'd be more concerned if it was a film with a person of color breaking out of the designated Hollywood roles, and being in an interesting and complex film. I think another reason I'm not concerned is that Scott Pilgrim is near guaranteed to be a cult classic, and the whole point of a cult classic is that it appeals to a few people a lot, rather than a lot of people a little. It may not be the best formula for a blockbuster hit, but not every movie can make 200 million on the first weekend.


Monday, September 06, 2010

This Month's Afterschool Charisma

Finally! Afterschool Charisma! There's some nice romantic interludes here, setting up Napoleon/Joan of Arc and Rasputin/Himiko, and Shiro's memories of his father are a nice touch too- drawing us into the drama of Shiro's curiosity about his real origins.

Rockswell continues to be a mystery. Why is he the chairman of a school for clones if he has such strong anti clone prejudice? I hope this manga gets into more about the reasoning for the hatred of clones, and the real vision behind the clone research teams. So many mysteries...

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Friday, September 03, 2010

More Obsessing About Scott Pilgrim

Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour is the best ending ever. I liked how Scott Pilgrim goes through a retrospective of his important exes all through the novel, as both he and Ramona learn to let go of the past, unlike Gideon who has cryogenically frozen his exes. Since the ending was totally different, and much cooler with Gideon using emotional issues for warfare, it's really hard to compare.

I will obsess about how in the movie the Roxie and Twins fights were visually cooler, although those were in volume 5. I will also state that I love the chapter title "World of Ruin", but does that mean that from before, with Scott being an ass, was the "World of Balance"?

I'm just rambling, but I really have become a giant Scott Pilgrim fangirl. Not so much that I'd ask @radiomaru if fanfic was allowed though! BTW: This Scott Pilgrim soundtrack is great.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Let's Obsess!

Here's a twitpic of some Scott Pilgrim art. I am rereading Scott Pilgrim and thinking about how they collasped and combined events and characters- making Todd punch Knives' highlights out instead of Lynette, since they cut much of Envy's storyline, and they put parts of the Envy/Ramona fight into the Roxy/Scott + Ramona fight. Although I do think that Luca Lee's fight scene was much cooler in the movie.