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Sparky's Insane Ramblings
Just a wacky sapient being.
Recent Ramblings 
21st-Jan-2012 08:44 pm - Film: The Cove
Ecco - Vortex
Well... I finally sat down and made myself watch The Cove.

The reason I'd waited so long? Well, mainly because I've been following the story since at least a year before the movie was released. My first contact with the Japanese dolphin slaughter was through that clip from Earthlings about the Futo slaughter. Most of the stuff in the movie? Already knew about. The mercury-laced meat, the sale of live dolphins funding the slaughter, the self-awareness of dolphins, the Japanese media's coverup, Cathy the dolphin's suicide, corruption at the International Whaling Commission, the works.

For folks who don't, though, it's a very good gathering of the facts, paced well as a sort of real-life espionage film. I'd recommend it, if only for the information. Would have liked to see their stats on how many off-the-street Japanese they interviewed who did and didn't know about the slaughter, but that's about my only gripe.

And since the movie was released, I've continued following things as they continue unfolding via Sea Shepherd and Save Japan Dolphins. Have things improved? Yes, and... no. Briefly, demand for the meat seems to be declining, but they are still being driven, still selling the few for top yen and killing the rest, and the kill method is more discrete but nearly as cruel. (One would think that severing something's spine would indeed be instantaneous, but the hunters are either so incompetent at it or so cruel that they're still taking several clearly conscious minutes to die. And... besides, they're self-aware, intelligent beings whose flesh is furthermore toxic: I'd still be against the kills even if they really were killed instantly and stress-free.)

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14th-Jan-2012 07:24 pm - Yeah, go stick a dagger in your eye!
SotC - ur afterlifes
So, I got The Sims Medieval, and as usual with Simmish games am filling it with fannish stuff. Current town has Ocarina-Link (Knight), Rusl (Smith, of course), Wander (Peterian priest) and... Emon! Emon is the Jacobian priest.

I rolled a fairly random spy who has the Bloodthirsty fatal flaw, which makes him want to fight people. When his 'itching for a fight' debuff appeared, I cackled madly and set him on Emon.

The resulting fistfight really made me giggle waaaaaay too much...

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2nd-Jan-2012 02:38 am - Ecco music makes everything awesome.
Ecco - Power of Dolphin
Someone with more musical talent than me should make a mashup of "Welcome to the Machine" from Genesis Ecco the Dolphin and "Decisive Battle! N" from Pokemon Black and White.

Also I may kind of want to do a Let's Play of Pokemon Black with key moments rescored with Ecco music. Mutaclone's theme would go well with the Ghetsis battle, for example.

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30th-Dec-2011 01:45 am - And live at Dreamwidth.
Pokemon - Show you them
Whoa man.

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4th-Aug-2011 12:22 am - Still alive, just not posting to LJ?
Sparky - Headset
I went to Crater Lake the other day with Sis and the gang!

Also today this bit of conversation happened.

Jackass Customer: Do you wear a helmet?!
Sparky: Indeed I do, since I use a bike to get to and from work.
28th-May-2011 12:30 am - Baby seat.
Sparky - Headset
My evening went like this:

Sparky: Yaaaaay weekeeeeend~ :D *trots out to trike*
Nayru the Trike: *has a baby seat in her basket.*
Sparky: ...My trike has a baby seat in the basket. o_o
Co-worker: *walks by*
Sparky: Hey! *lifts baby seat out of basket* Want a randomly-appearing baby seat?!
Co-worker: o_o

Sparky: *brings baby seat in to supervisor*
Supervisor: ... o_o
Sparky: ...Baby seat? It was in my trike basket. I dunno.
Supervisor: Oh... kay...
Sparky: *holds it out* Lost and found? :D
Supervisor: *gingerly takes it off me* Um... I guess I'll, uh, send out an email for a lost... baby seat...
Sparky: Have a nice weekend, boss. :3
22nd-Apr-2011 09:29 pm - Pokeymans
PMD - Mudkip - Shocked
Yeah, yeah. Peer pressure for the win... I wound up with Pokemon Black. Because N is the most adorable... the most adorable. And I know I'll still wind up with Grey version, too! Darn you, Nintendo... >_>

Mainly been playing that, VHR, and tossing N and the female PC into Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers with Ris. After tossing PMD:E Grovyle into Black. BEST EVER.
Spirit - wtf
Virtual Horse Ranch is addictive like crack. MUST MAKE PRETTY KIGERS
21st-Mar-2011 11:16 am - Random Reminiscing: Skies of Arcadia
SoA - Taking Action
I'll always carry fond, maddening memories of getting the Dreamcast version of Skies of Arcadia.

Skies was probably the third JRPG I ever played through to the end (after Quest 64 and Pokemon Red), and it's still one of my favourite games of all time... but man, was it an adventure getting it! You see, at the time videogame selection in my town was pretty poor. After weeks of calling around to the places that had games (even getting some remarks that "we've been getting a lot of calls about that one", almost certainly driven by one eager kid), a store finally got one copy. One.

So Dad took me to the store and we got that one copy, and I spent eight hours of pure bliss with the game before, just after the first ship boss (during the scene change between the Recumen battle and the Belleza battle), the game locked up. Every time! The disc was bad! So we took that one copy back to the store, where they apologized, and I had to wait a week for the replacement one copy to come in.

Worth every minute. I still have that one copy, though I actually play the Gamecube version when I get into a Skiesy mood. I really should do that Vyse the Legend run of Legends sometime soon... :)
19th-Mar-2011 07:27 pm - Radiant Historia
SoA - Power of Delphinus
I guess the DS's era may be ending with the 3DS out soon, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of sparklies for it! Today, I'd like to tell everyone about a great little JRPG just released last month in the States! It's called Radiant Historia, by Atlus. It is what happens when you take Skies of Arcadiaish dialogue choices and bash them over the head a lot with Zelda: Majora's Mask's creepy and time travel elements, or quite possibly Chrono Trigger's which, erm, I need to play. Moving on!
More below the fold!Collapse )
16th-Mar-2011 11:27 pm - Digger
SotC - Dormin Underpants
Digger has ended.

Perfect time to go read it. It's a strange story about a wombat - in this setting, essentially a fuzzy dwarf with a fierce aversion to magic and gods - tossed into a land with magic and gods protruding from every orifice. There are a tribe of hyenas who stick close to actual hyena biology, with at times very sad consequences. Ganesh shows up, or a statue of him does. And there's all sorts of completely bizarre happenings that our sturdy heroine facepalms repeatedly at, that still somehow make a weird, internal sense... and what else could you want in a fantasy epic?

Seriously, can't recommend the comic enough. It's been a fun several years, Digger, and I hope to re-read your tale many times, the better for it to settle into my bones. Thank you, Ursula Vernon, for persevering through the project.
11th-Mar-2011 10:53 am - Japanese quake
PMD - Mudkip - Shocked
Ack.

Google has a person-finder; if anyone has loved ones there, perhaps this will help.
Pokemon - Show you them
Regarding Pokemon 5th Gen... I will probably wait for the inevitable Grey version. Probably. I still haven't even beaten HeartGold.

I play JRPGs verrrry sloooowwwlyyy... and I play Pokemon extremely grindy on top of that. Plotting a Nuzlocke run or two, though, and I'd kinda like to hack up a Pikachu army in LeafGreen or sommat.
28th-Feb-2011 06:42 am - Retro Game Challenge
Ecco - Power of Dolphin
Freakin' finally beat it! :D

Retro Game Challenge is a lot of fun, guys, especially if you grew up with a NES! Much dorky gamer humour everywhere, though sadly the sequel will not be leaving Japan. And it is certainly Retroly Challenging. *nods*

(Also I find it amusing the Ecco Power of Dolphin icon's become the standby for "I just beat a hard retro/retrax game, guys!" apparently...)
Ico - Yorda point
Just beat Fragile Dreams for the Wii.

I feel like smile and sad at the same time. :'( :)

Mad props to Ris for recommending it - TV Tropes describes the thing as like survival horror for the younger crowd (teens), and that's a fair assessment. More survival sadness or survival creepy, say. The gameplay is pretty clunky action-adventure stuff and you have a limited inventory of randomly-breakable weapons, but it hardly matters with the power of Storyline.

That made me cry. A lot. A lot a lot. Although it's actually weirdly hopeful in places, and the main character is adorable. I wanted to hug him lots.

I'd pick it up along with a large supply of tissues!
26th-Feb-2011 01:25 pm - Fire update
PMD - Mudkip - Shocked
Went to see the building that was aflame on Thursday. Apparently it was someone's home and mom-and-pop thrift store. :( Haven't heard any reports of death or injury, which is a good thing, at least.
24th-Feb-2011 12:31 am - Ice and Fire
PMD - Mudkip - Shocked
It's snowing and the trike's brakes need looking at, so a friend gave me a ride home tonight.

About... mm, five blocks from my apartment? There is a building on fire. There is a building on fire!

I mean, it looks contained by the fire brigade, but holy hell! We saw it in passing - the building's completely gone, you could see the scaffolding and everything! Eep. I know I'm safe, but eep. I hope no one's hurt...
19th-Feb-2011 11:39 am - Whaling and Pokemon
Pokemon - Show you them
* Good news personally: Finally finally finally beat Pokemon Platinum! Mostly a case of sitting down and doing it, but I started that file in 2009. Elite Four team:
** Yggdrasil the Torterra
** Orochi the Giratina
** Clover the Vespiquen
** Spirit the Rapidash
** Sarabi the Luxray
** Albert the Kadabra

Fun romp, though the Saving a Lot of Data thing was annoying. And! Team Galactic managed to make me angry at a Pokemon evildoer team again. Those poor Magikarp and emotion-fairies. :( Great music, too - as a small sample, I think the Trainer Battle theme is my new second-favourite after Johto's, Giratina has a really rockin' sauce, and I really liked the snow route's theme. Is a pretty cool RPG, though dunno if I'll get to post-credits stuff anytime soon. Clocked just shy of 60 hours by Elite Four.

Didn't like how the text auto-scrolls during battle endings, though. I wanna sit and listen to the battle theme/end of battle theme sometimes, and this is a Gen IV-introduced thing I really want to do without.

* Good news on stuff that matters: Japan's Southern Ocean whaling fleet headed home a month early with only 16% of their quota! Good job SSCS! :D
10th-Feb-2011 07:37 pm - BIT. TRIP RUNNER
Ecco - Power of Dolphin
Because my tummy decided payday was a good day to become angry at things put into it, I've been at home surfing the Internet and playing vidya.

Consequently I now have BIT.TRIP RUNNER under my belt. This one is a platformer in which you never stop, kinda like Robot Unicorn Attack but with set levels, and more in the difficulty range of the first two BIT.TRIPs than VOID. Apparently VOID was actually meant to be a breather game, if my researches are correct. Anyway, yes, I enjoyed/yelled at this one a lot, too! The games have all so far had very not-Atari backgrounds, but the one takes it to the entire world besides our player character, CommanderVideo - it has a charmingly weird art style that makes one think of sprites in 3D. The graphics slowly ramp up in complexity as the levels progress, which I thought was neat.

The challenge, too, has a nice, steady climb from the first levels to the teeth-grinding final ones. And there's a pretty hilarious Easter Egg if you fail the last level at the last second, too. Music is still great, but honestly it's more kinda there than in the other BIT.TRIPs so far. There's thirty-six levels, divvied up between three worlds - the worlds share a song each, and the boss fights have their own levels and one shared song. Rhythm is still everything, though.

I feel empowered after conquering this. I think that only crazy people will 100% the thing, so I'm letting it sit aside until a day I feel sufficiently masochistic. On to FATE!
5th-Feb-2011 10:01 pm - BIT.TRIP CORE and BIT.TRIP VOID
Ecco - Power of Dolphin
Second BIT.TRIP beaten! Yay!

CORE is rather less brutal than BEAT. Instead of a game of crazy-Pong, you are playing as a D-pad in the middle of the screen. With the Wiimote held sideways, you use its D-pad to select a direction, then 2 to fire your laser at the beats. The end result is that it feels much more like a traditional presentation of a rhythm game than BEAT.

Its difficulty is still nothing to sneeze at - you are still banished back to the level's start if you die, for a start - but I think I had an easier time memorizing the patterns, and the last song in particular goes to great lengths to teach you the repeating patterns in the song. The middle level probably took me the longest.

Still much fun with very awesome chiptune music! Also the storyline, such as it appears between levels, is becoming more interesting. Or at least mildly less mindscrewy than BEAT?

Now, to BIT.TRIP VOID!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two sittings, three hours, and a one-hour bath later...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Uh... um... I-I beat VOID?

Hahahahah

I actually had a lot of fun, but, wow! Way easier than the other games thus far! Um. Okay, so... this one you can play with either the Nunchuck + Wiimote or the Classic Controller. When given these options on a 2D game, Classic is my pad! You are playing as a black... circle, and you must collect black beats and avoid the white ones. This is complicated by the fact that black beats make you bigger, so judicious use of the A or B button to become small again is needed.

Also the first boss gave me flashbacks to the Skyway levels from Ecco: The Tides of Time. I'm sure it's actually referencing something else, but seriously - it plays just like an Atari 2600 version of the water tube levels.

Uh. Time for BIT.TRIP RUNNER, I guess!
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