Archive for April, 2010

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Accented Absences

April 10, 2010

So tomorrow I leave for a short trip to visit my grandma for her birthday. I leave you with a short program I wrote, which allows these foolish American laptop keyboards to use accented characters. All you have to do is press ALT+the key (a, e, i, o, u or n).

Download

If you want it to start up at the same time your computer turns on, drag it into your Start Up in the start menu.

I’ll try to blog from there, but if I’m not able to then…whatever no one reads this anyway.

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Fabaceous Friday

April 9, 2010

Nothing says FUN like the Wii!

You’re doing it wrong, foolish Wii. Let Kumasawa show you how it’s done.

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Movies You’ve Never Heard Of: Equilibrium

April 8, 2010


I found out about Equilibrium after reading Jouka no Monshou, a fanfiction in Visual Novel form. There are many familiar faces in Equilibrium, but they aren’t people whose names I can remember (since I’m pretty bad with actors’ names).

The setting is the same: after a Third World War, some of the remaining humans build Libria, a society where it is necessary to suppress emotions through the use of a drug called Prozium. Leading the society is a Big Brother-like figure known only as Father, though he isn’t constantly watching you.

The protagonist this time around is John Preston, the highest ranked Grammaton Cleric in the current Order (a.k.a Batman). His job is to aid in eradicating rebel groups of those who have neglected to take the drug, and destroy anything that could possibly inspire human emotions. These emotion-inspiring materials are things such as movies, books and paintings. Preston does show up in Jouka no Monshou for a brief moment, in which the protagonist (Bernard) asks him for advice. Like Bernard, Preston eventually misses his dose. Unlike Bernard, though, it is only thanks to a string of unlucky events.

Many people tend to compare Equilibrium to The Matrix, Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. It’s true that there are many similarities, but even so Equilibrium has its own charm. Yes, the plot may look like a bunch of other things mashed together, but that’s a case in modern literature and movies as well (Twilight, Eragon, and Avatar to name a few). The action scenes are on almost on par with The Matrix, but they make use of little to no slow motion. This is unfortunate, because at times you can’t actually see what’s going on.

There were a couple of scenes that had me curious as to how they took place, since people were supposedly emotionless. I wasn’t very fond of the first gunfight, as the way Preston moves and the sound effects made me laugh and want to turn it off. There’s also the 1 vs 1 fight at the end that struck me as odd, though in Jouka no Monshou a similar fight takes place and I enjoyed it a lot. Perhaps it just looks better in writing.

Watch this film if you get the opportunity, chances are you won’t be too disappointed. While you’re at it, download Jouka no Monshou (it’s free).

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Let There Be Classics

April 7, 2010

I have no clue what to post today, so I’m just going to throw some classics at you instead of waiting for next monday.

Another random line of dead pixels has appeared down my laptop’s monitor. Joy. Feel free to waste some time playing the game below.

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/games/beargunner

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What Do You Think About The Planetarium?

April 6, 2010

That beautiful twinkling of eternity that will never fade, no matter when.
All the stars in the all sky are waiting for you.
What do you think about the planetarium?

Humanity has (as usual) left the world demolished after a third world war. The protagonist is what is known as a Junker, a scavenger who travels from ruin to ruin in hopes of finding pre-war goods. Making his way to a city that has been abandoned almost 30 years, he is surprised to find a robot on the top floor of what he originally thinks is a camouflaged military facility.

The robot believes him to be a customer, and treats him as such. Though he quickly gets annoyed at her constant chattering, he soon learns that the building is but a simple department store, the top floor being a planetarium. After witnessing a failed attempt at an astronomical presentation, the protagonist decides to stay and attempt to repair the projector, a machine that hasn’t been touched in 30 years.

Planetarian ~The Reverie of a Little Planet~ (unofficial English translation title) is the 4th release of Key, commonly known as “that-Japanese-company-that-produces-visual-novels-that-are-supposed-to-make-you-cry.” It differs slightly from their other titles, as there are no choices for the reader to make as they go through the story, nor is it 18+. It’s also significantly shorter, which is really a shame because it is quite good. I hate to admit it, but this is also the first time I’ve been all “SO MOE~!!!”, though only slightly.

Click to enlarge.

There aren’t many event CG, but seeing as the game is fairly short it doesn’t matter. The sprites are wonderful, by the way, and more than make up for the lack of CG. This is one of the first times I’ve taken a huge notice to the sprites while I read, perhaps because of how well it matches the text.

The music in Planetarian is just as excellent as the story, and fits it perfectly. There are a total of 8 songs, but I think a couple of them were based off the same thing as I can hear similar melodies. Great scenes are turned even better by the matching music, and the later mentioned manly tears could very well have been caused by said deadly duo. Below is my personal favorite, which evoked the same feeling of awe in me as that of the protagonist in the scene it was played.

I have not yet cried after reading something, but by the end of Planetarian I was pretty close. I would describe it as more of a ‘manly eye watering/tears’ sort of thing, though. Please refer to Figure A. if you are confused.

Figure A.

I gave this a 9/10 simply because it was too short. It’s the most horrible reason I can think of, but I was just left so IMPACTED I really would have liked it to be longer.

Sadly it is not free, so I am unable/unwilling to post a download link. You know what to do.

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Motatorious Monday

April 5, 2010

All the contrary, actually. Have some music.

An instrumental version of ‘Bird and the Worm’ was used in the trailer for the remake of Clash of the Titans, in case some of you were finding it familiar.

"I am sorry, Mr. Neeson, I simply cannot hear you over the sound of how awesome I am."

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A Dirty Job

April 4, 2010

The lack of books mentioned in this blog…it disturbs me. It may be getting increasingly difficult to find decent literature these days, but it is still a treat when something does turn up. In this case, it was A Dirty Job, by EEUU author Christopher Moore.

The plot synopsis on the back of the paperback isn’t the best, so I won’t be quoting any of it. A Dirty Job follows the story of Charlie Asher, single father to baby Sophie and owner of a secondhand store in San Francisco. Being a recent widower, he’s trying his best just take things slowly and get back on his feet. The author, of course, has no intention of letting him do so, and Charlie soon finds himself working as Death.

I’m not much of a fan of satirical novels, but Christopher Moore’s writing style has proved to be an exception. Everything is so blunt at times…it’s most excellent. There are also many easy to understand references which may get an extra laugh or two out of you, provided you can connect the dots. I actually guffawed at some points. Really.

Pick it up at the local bookstore (or online) if you’re in the mood.