Archive for July, 2008

XIN Fan Manga Update

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Experience Session 18 again through the eyes of AnimeAnonymous.


Click here to read.
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5 minutes review: July

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

For August entry

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner:
Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army
PS2
I am enjoying these compact RPGs more than those monstrous 100 hourers. Great background setting, you don’t see this theme often. Raidou is awesome. This “one against the world” setup is also great. Unique RPG – no inn, no equipment!?!? Having to deal with injuries and expensive treatment with limited item inventory becomes its own economic problem. Battle moves are quite limited, and having to set summoned devil’s strategy every time you enter a battle becomes kind of annoying. I wish the demons are purely Jap-myth based. Music is rather forgettable. Supposedly rather a let-down in the franchise for its lack of depth. As a rookie to the series I can live with that.
No voice over whatsoever? That’s so BC.
Chibi-Robo:
Park Patrol
DS
Almost feels like a side series of Harvest moon. You build your own garden, and receive more options as your place develops. Lots of facilities to explore. Why the super bright saturated color? Some fairly repetitive animations that can’t be skipped. Some of the item upgrades don’t feel like upgrades. Can feel like chores after a while, but it’s also oddly hard to put down. Game continues on pretty long…depends on how you approach. Ultimately it’s a satisfying experience to see your things grow, and a very positive message delivered by the developers. The charm of this game takes time to develop.
Get this for your kids
Izuna:
Legend of the Unemployed Ninja
DS
Feels kind of lame before it gets kind of fun. My first rouge-like experience, the gameplay feels more like puzzle/strategy rather than RPG. The element of shops and money feel extremely weak as you’d most likely rely on whatever items the randomly generated dungeons offer you. In other times, you’d be tossing Izuna to die in the dungeons till her exp is able to power her through. The in-between dungeons scenarios are pretty forgettable. All you pretty much do is to try different orbs on different village people until something clicks, yawn. Music is not bad.
This game cancel out your hard grown levels by sending hordes of enemies at you.
Dementium:
The Ward
DS
Very successful atmosphere (aka I was scared). Good usage of lighting and sounds. Starts feeling repetitive after 15 minutes of gameplay. From time to time you’d see something fresh, but most of the time it’s just the same environment over and over. After a while you can even tell roughly which doors are locked or accessible. Puzzle solving aspect is kept to a fundamental level. A cheap way to make scary games scarier is to make it difficult, as Dementium attempted to do here: limited ammo/health against unlimited enemies. Tracing back is sometimes required to gain new weapons, so choose your poison there. Some plot along the way will be appreciated. Having to restart each stage once you die is extraordinary frustrating, even though each stage is only so long.
Hitting the bosses actually grants them the “flashing invincible” treatment
Bomberman Land Touch! 2
DS
The story mode is pretty much a mini-game feast roughly dangling around bombing elements. The adventurous aspect of the game keeps you going, but exploration is always limited to be played in a somewhat linear progress. Mini games range from fun to hair-pulling, and I am not sure you’d want to revisit some of them after beating them for game requirement. There’s even some subtle romantic elements involved. Of course the classic multiplayer is as addictive as ever, if you have the right people to play with.

Etrian Odyssey
DS
This is a game that I really wanted to like. I used to be a big fan of 3D dungeon crawlers at the Eyes of the Beholder/Might and Magic era, and the first impression of this game certainly has that feel. Nice presentation and all that but… Wow, how can a game get this cheap in its difficulty? Half of my party was wiped out after the first encounter in the first dungeon. I was forced to retreat back to the town every other battle. I wanted to smash my DS when a poison effect took out half of my life bar. The system also seems a bit unbalanced as some of the skills seem either overlapping or useless. Also very frustrating when you can’t back out from a dominating boss battle that you accidentally walk in. Play this only if you have tons of patience or tons of time to trade in.
Stop the torment already

Dragon Ball Z:
Burst Limit
PS3
The roster: Includes fighters from the Saiyan Saga to the end of the Cell Saga, members of the Ginyu force are only Recoome and Captain Ginyu. Androids are only 17, 18, 16, and Cell. Bonus fighters/storylines : Bardock, and Brolli.

Ups and Downs: The gameplay has been improved once again from previous DBZ fighters, the style is reminiscent of the original Budokai Trilogy. Side view, no jumping, 3D movement and a few good new additions to the overall gameplay such as Aura Burst mode. All characters can initiate this mode (they have to be in their highest transformed state though, as it shares the same command as Ascending, so you’ll either ascend to a higher form, or enter aura burst) The cutscene attacks are automated, and only happen once per round, a great addition to the game to make your story mode more realistic. Also the story mode was very well done, all of the fights follow the plot with the exception of Bardock and Brolli’s side plots which are unlocked at the end of the game. (Check the Freiza saga upon finishing the game to find your new story chain, then cell saga once you complete it to find the last set of battles)

The difficulty is once again spot on, ranging from very easy to very hard it gives you 6 different levels to play across after you beat the game on normal. Prior to that hard and very hard remain locked. The online mode also has a unique dbz styled rank system, every fight you win gains you a decent amount of power level, and every loss takes a small amount away. Lower ranked fighters will remain in the lower brackets wherein tougher opponents will constantly rise in power level Allowing you to fight opponents suitable to your skill level. (lag is sometimes an issue, so I don’t recommend joining fights with people who have a red lag bar)

Overall the game was a huge success, and having it end at the cell saga they have plenty of room to create a sequel, or an expansion to the game to cover the rest of the story, or some of DBGT/DB. If they do it right, they’ll expand with a version based around the Buu saga and the rest of the DBZ movies and steer away from cross-branding with the sequel and prequel.

In anycase, a must have for DBZ fans, and a great game for fans of Anime Fighters. Fighting game buffs would probably be better off with Tekken 5 or Virtua Fighter 5, this game was made for fans of anime, not fans of fighting. :p


RPB Tuesday

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
THE XIN Role Playing Boards
Public High School #552
Link Updated.

Public High School # 259

Hircine High

Mugen Hall

Hallen High

Westbrook Academy

VA Community Insight – Lucien Dodge

Monday, July 28th, 2008

It’s been a while since our last featured VA talk with D-Mac. With some of the forum activities lately, it seems like the general interests in voice-over is still pretty high. I turned to Lucien Dodge for his input on this field, as well as his own experiences as a voice actor.

Lucien has been featured as Nathan in Surface, Kiz in Xin, and some Kazahana characters such as Yuen , Yuta, and Keita.

Q: To start things off, do you mind talking about your latest status as a VA?
A: I’ve been working in NYC for the past year or so auditioning for commercials and the likes. Most recent ones that were on the air were a couple of radio spots for McDonalds which you can hear on my web-site, www.luciendodge.com/blog/.

Q: Already a pro.
A: Yeah, been making great progress. I have an agent and everything.

Q: Before we learn the actual process, what was your life like before you decided becoming an VA?
A: Before I discovered voice acting, I had been involved in theater in my home town of Ithaca, starting off with school plays and moving on to some local theater groups. It’s all acting after all.
I just found I loved the craft of voice-acting more than anything else. I knew when I was about 15 that this was really something I wanted to do. Theater was a way for me to hone my skills as an actor, even when I knew I wanted to pursue voice acting as a career.

Q: Your initial VA equipment?
A: My first pieces of equipment consisted of my Dad’s old 4-track recorder, and a Shure SM58 microphone. Starting off with a very decent vocal microphone helped to keep my standards as far as sound quality high I think.
I would switch out my equipment over time, eventually leading to the current setup I have which is a Studio Projects C-1 microphone, an ART Tube Preamp, and my MacBook computer.

Q: What was your first project and how did you come cross it?
A: I remember my first online voice acting projects was a Final Fantasy Tactics audio drama, in which I was cast as a slimy nobleman who gets canned. I remember it was the death scream in my audition that sold it.

Q: Does doing something out of the ordinary always help your audition tape stand out?
A: It certainly helps get it noticed. Whether or not it helps depends on the person listening, and how they react to your particular choice.
They might love it, they might hate it. What’s important is for you to follow your instincts, and make it interesting To You.

Q: Any other advice on “how to land your dream roles”?
A: No different from landing any other kind of roles. Just work hard, practice, and keep at it.

Q: Tell us about a groundbreaking role you had.
A: I think my cameo on the Pokemon animated series gave me a credit that I could throw the name of out to just about anyone, and they’d know what I was talking about. Was my first gig in NYC, and for a worldwide known animated kid’s series broadcast on Cartoon Network. You can bet I was blown away.
In addition to all that, I felt very good about the performance I turned in.

Q: What do you think is the success ratio for becoming a professional?
A: Steep. Even quite talented people have been discouraged, and give up. Which is why persistence, and knowing you want to do the work that badly is so important.
It’s because of the number of people doing the work already, it’s because of the people who WANT to do the work, it’s getting access to the jobs themselves, getting studios to notice you, find auditions, all of it.
You have to break in somehow, or else no one will give you a second glance. You can knock on their door for hours about your ‘amazing talents’ but it’s getting them to open that door and actually give you a listen that’s the trick. Because it’s such a close-knit community, often places have their favorites already, and don’t feel the need to re-stock or listen to new talent.

Be open, and enjoy the work at hand. It’s a tough career to pursue, with lots of hurdles and intimidating odds, but if you love it more than anything, you’ll find a way to do it.

Congratulations to all the July entries!

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Thank you to everyone who entered this art contest.
Voting is now over, but that’s not all for these entries. More on that later this week.
As I said, the winner of the polls gets set the theme for next month’s contest.
Somehow.. uh.. that ended up being me, but I already set a theme for this month, so as the reluctant winner I’m going to shoot for a plot twist and give the honors to the entry I voted for.

Number 7. Yungukid

So Yungukid, if you’re willing to help us out, the thread to the August contest is here.

July’s contest theme was:
“Draw a scene on a beach. The picture must include a beach ball, and at least one figure / character wearing an stylish swimsuit. By stylish it could mean a funky / fancy design, pattern, or strange materials. “

July Art Contest Entries
Click on the pics to enlarge.
diamondbackcolor.jpg
1. Bishop_Supreme
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2. Unicomics
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3. Vegaman
oranged.jpg
4. Tri11
img022.jpg
5. MarkakaDusk
beachgirl_bystevelim.jpg
6. Steve
beachcontest1.jpg
7. Yungukid
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8. MidnightRaven
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9. Pandachu

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RPB News: PHS # 552

Friday, July 25th, 2008


Message from Nova.

We’re actually still not quite sure what happened to the board itself, but anyone can find out the latest status from here.

In the mean time however, our alternate board can be found at:
http://theregenesis.proboards104.com/index.cgi

We’d also like to thank the rest of our members and others who have been very supportive of 552′s restoration, and that statistic and item reformation discussions will take place again soon.

Thanks. Again. Will do to keep you posted.
-Nova

Figurine Talk: Saint Seiya Myth Cloth Appendix

Friday, July 25th, 2008


Premise:
Saint Seiya Myth Cloth is this insanely ambitious project by Bandai that’s on the pace to release every Saint Seiya character in completely refined details and features. It’s either a gospel or nightmare for fans depends on whether you have enough money and space to display them. I mean, think about those 108 Spectres…

The Appendix figures are complementary to the main series. They include stand-alone half-body statues with parts that can be switched between the same figures from the main series. There are also Seiya and Shiryu in casual wears, but this post will focus the half-body statues, which include Seiya, Mu, Aiolia, Saga, Shaka, and Rhadamanth.

I got Appendix Shaka for $15, regular prices range from $15 ~ 25.


Product
Full figures from Myth Cloth are around 6″ high standing, and the half-body statues are cut to 4″. This is a product where the cover images look a ton better than in actual product, even though the box is nice enough to show you the actual content. This is not to say the product itself is horrendous…just not as good as it looks on paper. Since I mentioned it, the box itself is worth keeping as it has a great design (even has the character profile on it). The horoscope clock “wallpaper” that’s being used at the bottom only makes me wish someday a real Saint Seiya clock will be on sale.

This design I like!

Some features sort of quench my fire on this series. The armor and statue stand both feel like cheap-ass material from the 80s action figures instead of the smooth plastic that’s being used on the face and hair. That makes a big inconsistency as a whole. The armor itself also looks a bit orange than the original gold. To add to my misery I’ve even got marks of air bubbles on my armor. I guess another flaw can be related by Rhadamanth owners: Shaka has no arms! It is truly a shame that Mu gets interchangeable pieces of him holding beads while Shaka’s beads have to stay attached to the appendix only. What a waste considering the Arayashiki flowers on the beads are rather nicely done.

Floating beads I like!

Shaka comes in with a pair of wigs and faces. While the hair styles remain identical, one is designed to fit with the helmet on and the other not. Quiet frankly I love how the hair turns out. The material and the flow of the shape are both very smooth. It makes you want to touch it more than once. Of course the two facial expressions have Shaka’s eyes opened and closed. Which brings us to another issue of the product. Apparently Shaka from the main Myth Cloth series has a crappy face. Check out this slogan on an auction post of the Appendix Shaka:

Big difference

“Dear friends. How much longer do you plan to tolerate this shxt face?”

So to fix their crap face production what Bandai did was to release a so called “supplementary version” to accommodate. In the meanwhile, collectors and fans pay more.


Recommendable Value
If you had bought the original Myth Cloth then you may as well get the Appendix ones of the same characters, especially for Shaka. Other than that, purchasing the 6 half-body statues as its own collection is not a bad idea since things look better as a collection (as random as the selections can be), but some parts will inevitably be laying in waste. Also, the price tag may have you consider twice.

For guys who are interested just ebay “seiya myth cloth”.

For some crazy ass collection check here:

* I’ve lost the link where I jacked the shxt face, sorry!. Another jacked from here.