ultranos: cam reaching for a sword, with text "guys, you DID check for traps, right?" (TRAP!)
Remember when I was utterly obsessed with Persona 4 (er, as opposed to right now, when I'm only somewhat obsessed) and most of the rest of you were completely baffled by this? They made an anime, and not only is Persona 4: the Animation airing in Japan this fall, but you can get it, subtitled in English, within 24 hours of original air time on Hulu. It's pretty much exactly like the game, minus dungeon crawling. It sends me right to my happy place, and I adore it madly.

In other Things What I Am Watching news, I finally had enough of people beating me over the head and started watching the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who and Last Exile (steampunk airships!).

I also seem to have mostly abandoned League of Legends and fallen headfirst in Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance. Not that this is a bad thing, considering it means LAN games with housemates as they teach me about flak and tac d.

It sounds like my old DnD 4E game is coming out of hiatus soon, which makes me a lot less pissed for accidentally forgetting to cancel my yearly subscription to DnD Insider. It's useful now! I'm pretty excited because this was the campaign that was a sequel (set 50 years later) to the first 3.5ed campaign I played way back, and we'd just hit Paragon tier when hiatus happened. So I'm looking forward to getting my DnD back on. (My character is the grandkid of my original character, and she's all kinds of cranky because of it. Such as being utterly convinced that her getting assigned to the party is some kind of punishment but no one is telling her what she did wrong.)
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory (white-haired girl) sleeping (head down go to sleep)
-I blame friends of mine for getting me utterly addicted to Longform.org. What is Longform?

"Longform.org posts new and classic non-fiction articles, curated from across the web, that are too long and too interesting to be read on a web browser.

We recommend enjoying them using read later services like Instapaper and Read It Later and feature buttons to save articles with one click."

You know, like Jack Kerourac on Fiction, or a profile of Buster Keaton, or Wikipedia and the Death of the Expert.

That sound you heard rushing by? My free time. I knew I should have only stuck with Ars Technica.

-Speaking of Longform.org, it and Metafilter pretty much destroyed my lunch hour with the harrowing and rage-inducing article on Vanity Fair: Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door. It's well-written, and hearing the stories of women and girls in this hell broke my heart.

-Why You Hate Comic Sans, because at some point I apparently started caring about typography, and this is an accessible explanation on what drives typography geeks nuts about Comic Sans.

-Persona 2: Innocent Sin is coming to North America, 12 years after it came out in Japan. It's a port of the PSP remake, but it's the only Persona game that's not come to NA officially until now. Between that, Catherine (much to my embarrassment), and Devil Survivor 2 (seriously, some of the art coming out for that is great), Atlus has perfected the art of separating me from my money.
ultranos: girl in gekkougan uniform with monsterous shadow (casting shadows)
So, over the last week or so, a friend decided to take another friend's homebrew Persona tabletop system and write/run the sequel campaign to the original campaign that kind of died a quiet, ignoble death roughly a year ago.

The new campaign is, possibly from my understanding, which of course could be entirely wrong, essentially the Eternal Punishment to the original campaign's Innocent Sin. (Basically, the original GM and the new GM decided by GM-Fiat that the original campaign canonically got the Bad Ending. New campaign is taking that and running from there.) Because of this, my original character is returning for the sequel, is the only PC returning (it's pretty much a new group, and the old GM is now a player, which is great). Except the experience kind of fucked her up bad. How badly? Her Arcana changed from Star to Tower. (The system runs off of the Persona 3 interpretations of the Major Arcana.)

So yeah, I'm pretty excited to play this character again and get some good tabletop going. I'm only currently in one other bi-weekly run, and I realise that I miss it. And it's kind of the impetus to get off my ass and actually write the rules for that Sliders-esque campaign I've been tossing around in my head. I just need to decide if I'll run off of modified FATE or just write a homebrew system for it. GURPS is actually a few orders of magnitude more complicated than what I want for this.
ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
Stayed up Far Too Late (uh...3am?) to finish watching Baccano!. It was totally worth it. If you like non-linear storytelling, 1930s bootleggers, gangsters, and assassins, alchemy, immortals, and a plot that's highly rewarding once it all slots together, I highly recommend it. I need to go read the light novel translations over at Baka-Tsuki, because this is my crack and I need more of it. Guys, I...I think I might have an OTP. Or several. From this. WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN

Need to go find fic.

Astute readers will remember that I am a big fan of the Persona series. Those who have played Persona 4 will realize that the game takes place this year, starting today (April 11). Atlus seems have remembered this, and teased us all weekend with a TV countdown on http://www.mayonaka-tv.jp. After the inevitable happened when the clock ticked over at Midnight in Japan (you put a countdown on the internet; what did you THINK would happen to your servers?), http://www.p4a.jp went live.

We're getting a Persona 4 anime.

From what DMark can translate so far, the original Japanese VA cast is returning, Meguro is composing, and the director is the director of Angel Beats.

Friends, this is going to be Awesome.
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory asking why do you make my life difficult? (life on hard mode)
So, my reluctance to pre-order Dragon Age II actually has little to nothing to do with the fact that I haven't finished the first one nor played the demo yet. It actually mostly stems from the fact that, once again, there's Day 1 DLC. Which is irritating in and of itself, but what's got me currently pissy at EA and Bioware is that said DLC was included with the purchase of the Signature Edition (for no extra charge). The Signature Edition was available to everyone who pre-ordered before 2/11 (or thereabouts), and was in fact the edition you would get if you did so.

DA2 showed up on Steam for pre-order on 2/12.

I'm kinda pissy at them. To the point where I'm leaning towards just waiting until the first time the DLC + game pack goes on sale on Steam. It's not like I have a dearth of games to play. In fact, in some ways, they might have done me a favor.

I think my current plan for finishing games is
-DA1 (Origins [currently in Denereim], Awakening, and the 2 DLC packs left)
-P3P (think I'm in September)
-SMT: Devil Survivor (I'm on Day 7, I just need to grind because I chose the crazy option on first playthrough)
-Mass Effect 1 (2nd to last major mission; I suspect 5-8 hours total, including time to remember how to be a sniper)

Then, in some order:
-Mass Effect 2
-Dragon Age 2
-KH: Birth By Sleep
-SMT: Devil Summoner 1 and 2

This is not counting to to be released games:
-Catherine (July)
-Okamiden (mid-March)
-Portal 2 (April)

If you notice something strange on that last list, yes, AtlusUSA has announced that they're localizing Catherine, the game that proves that Atlus has indeed discovered the way to put sheer WTF into game form. It also further convinces me that if we can figure out how to turn WTF into energy, we'd solve the energy crisis. Of course, that means Japan will rule us all, as they are the undisputed masters of generating WTF, but hey. In any case, I will most likely end up pre-ordering Catherine, feel slightly dirty for doing so, and will live in abject fear of what Atlus could possibly include as preorder bonuses. Oh, the things I'll do to try to ensure the existence of a hypothetical Persona 5 (or localized ports of ALL of P2 even!) in my hands.
ultranos: ibuki maya sitting at laptop in shorts and a t-shirt, eating a cookie, with prompt \\ "Rocks fall; everybody dies." (this would be much simpler)
Because it's 1am and I'm not asleep yet.

I'm going to try something here. This is a list of all WiPs I'm theoretically working on. I'm in such a weird headspace right now that I need a push to finish them. So. Here are summaries from what are technically active. As teasers, yes, but as also maybe I'll be motivated if someone kicks me into writing it.

If nothing else, hey, at least I know what I'm theoretically working on.

ETA: Aby reminded me I'm missing one.

I graduate from college, and turn into a demotivated slacker. Who knew? )
ultranos: girl in gekkougan uniform with monsterous shadow (casting shadows)
*tilts head*

I seem to have A Thing for creating "exceedingly reluctant rulers". You know, when they find out a fief/kingdom/planet wants to make them ruler after they've been raised away from it, they keep trying to figure out how to give it back. Crown = Do Not Want.

Amusingly, both of them are female, in systems that rely on first-born inheritance, regardless of gender. Oh boy, I have A Thing. (Yes, Ashura, I am talking about you, however did you guess? You just got company in this category.)

In other, non-original fic news, I wish this apocafic I'm plotting would grow the rest of its plot. I'm so going to be tapped out of crazy Gnostic traditions, various mythologies, and legends really damn soon at this rate. Because I had the brilliant idea of adding a tenday on top of plotting the aforementioned P3/P4 apocafic. Why is the tenday add to that load? Because the last time I wrote a tenday, every corporate research project in game was organized via mythological tradition by company (one named all their projects after Norse, another from really esoteric Jewish tradition, etc).

I am insane.
ultranos: ashley from Trace Memory asking why do you make my life difficult? (life on hard mode)
I feel slightly guilty that my interest in the Stargate WiPs I've got languishing on my harddrive is continuing to wane. There are spikes of interest here and there, but nothing's lit a fire under me about it for awhile. I'm sure I'll find it again eventually.

On the other hand, in danger of stating the goddamn obvious (TM :) ), I've been running into Persona and Shin Megami Tensei full-tilt. Guys, I have an apocafic percolating in my head, and it is Epic and Glorious. Mythology! Angst! Drama! Duty! Psychology! The End of the World! *rolls around happily*

(There is also the crossover kidfic that I swear I'm not writing. [livejournal.com profile] holdouttrout knows how much I'm swearing this.


I am so doomed, aren't I?)

Also, to my great surprise, some original fic characters from years ago popped up in my brain again, bringing with them a new, better, and utterly fascinating origin story. And character redesign, of course. But I'm considering writing this story, if I can find the plot. Well, beyond one character's homecoming for her denied birthright. (Fantasy world! Spooky powers! Assassins! Assassins as a team with PTSD!) There also might be research required, oh no. (Kiyo's been albino and Tam's been blind since they were both created. Serj, I haven't figured out what his deal is yet.)
ultranos: naoto in glasses looking a bit skeptical (wait what?)
Title: Zero Failure Modes
Author: ultranos
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3660
Prompt: 28. Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof. With baits and deceptions, lure your enemy into treacherous terrain. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. To save himself, he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.
Fandom: Persona 4 (bonus appearances from Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor)
Characters: Yosuke Hanamura, Naoto Shirogane
Notes: Written for the [community profile] 36_stratagems ficathon. Thanks to [personal profile] shanghairain for the extensive beta work, and for being the poor man I poked at 3am on multiple nights trying to plot this thing.
Summary: Yosuke Hanamura is 21 and single. He resolves to fix this, and he ropes Naoto Shirogane into helping him. This plan has Zero Failure Modes.

Zero Failure Modes )
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ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
I now have the Tartarus music playing in the back of my head at odd moments, which is really weird, because I expect a Shadow to come jump me at any moment.

This has also led to me wondering what Arcana my gaming group is associated with. *facepalm*
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ultranos: naoto in glasses looking a bit skeptical (wait what?)
One day, I feel like I should write the Big Damn Shin Megami Tensei/Persona Post about why I love this series and spin-off series so much, about the characters and plots and mechanics and gameplay and philosophy and everything else. Because it's at the point where I'm contemplating the prices on the Persona 1 PSP remake, because that's about the only way I can still throw money at Atlus (other than buying SMT: Strange Journey).

I have also realized that I have bought P3 3 times, in 3 different forms. I don't actually regret this at all.

I guess it's because where lots of other people pick up TV shows to sink time into and find glee in, I do it with games. And if I've seemed a bit distant lately, it's because I don't know how to talk to people on my flist about this. I can post about it, but it's not...I don't know. I want to make people understand, because yes, I love them, but I also think other people would too. I dunno. I guess I can't see much difference in time commitment to spending 60 hours on a game and watching 60 hours worth of TV. :/

Maybe my brain's wired strangely.
ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
Persona 3 Portable came in the mail today, which has shot my productivity to hell. Totally worth it though, in some respects, because it seriously is almost an entirely different game when you play with the female protag. (The strength of the Persona series is not only in its game mechanics, but also in the character interactions. Therefore, it makes utter and perfect sense that everyone's reactions to you, the main character, are slightly different because, guess what? Atlus gets that boys and girls interact differently with society in life. It's kind of that perfect "what if [character who is male] was female?"...canonically.)

On the other hand, this is causing problems because my [community profile] 36_stratagems fic is P4, and I'm going to make myself confused, just watch me. If I can put down the PSP long enough to write it...
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ultranos: naoto in glasses looking a bit skeptical (wait what?)
Finished Persona 4 earlier tonight (like I said, January 31, 2010 is really the perfect day to beat a Persona game. Only thing better would have been if it were Persona 3). Now I'm kind of sifting through my feelings for it while listening to the soundtrack on iTunes.

Which is causing interesting feelings in my chest as my heart clenches at certain moments with the music as I remember key plot points and battles. (Shoji Meguro absolutely outdid himself on this soundtrack. "The Genesis" is some of the most epic music ever.)

It's interesting, you know, how music can be tied into events in visual media, and how it's used to hammer home an impact. And how if it's used badly, it can totally ruin everything. P4's the latest in this string for me, but I can't help but want to kick some serious ass whenever I hear "Libera Me from Hell" (Tegan Toppa Gurran Lagann) or "Battle for Everyone's Souls" (Persona 3), or straighten up a little when I hear the "Imperial March", or a hundred other little things. (Oddly, I can't recall a leitmotif from the 'gateverse that really has the same effect.)

I don't know if that's a remnant from my (very slim) music training as a kid. Or rather, whatever that music training I got left is that I react very well to crazy electric guitar chords. I do wonder how it is for other people.

Anyway, I know that this seems odd for most people on my flist, to have such an emotional response to a video game. To a lot of people, it probably doesn't make much sense. I can argue that it's very much like TV shows or movies or books, that the games I'm fond of (RPGs, especially Eastern RPGs) can have engaging characters and stories, but it's possibly outside the realm of easy comprehension for a lot of people. How in the world can I have an emotional reaction and get attached to characters who exist only as a series of 1s and 0s on a disc? It's not the printed word, nor is it actors on a screen, or animation.

Maybe it's because video games are still a young industry. And that it's only been within the last 20 or so years that RPGs have really been trying for stories (Eastern, at least. Western still is more sandbox-y, but that's changing too). That's not a long time. And it's very different from other game genres, like FPSes (Half-Life) and platformers (Mario, Sonic).

But I just finished spending over 100 hours of my life with a group of characters, who were fleshed-out and had character development and grew as people over the course of a year in-game. 100 hours. That's more hours than Stargate Atlantis has.

So when I put down the controller and watched the ending, since the Protagonist is such a blank slate in this game, he really pretty much is you...I felt like I was leaving Inaba myself. And all my dear friends who'd been through so much with me, and grew stronger as people, were saying good-bye to me as well.

Damn if that doesn't hurt.

I haven't had this feeling from a game in a very, very long time, if ever. (Maybe the closest was Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete) In fact, I don't recall having this feeling for any form of media in a long time.

Well done, Atlus. You now own my soul.
ultranos: naoto in glasses looking a bit skeptical (wait what?)
I can do far, far worse than finishing Persona 4 on January 31, 2010. Thematically, I mean.

Let's see if I manage it.

Might do full debriefing later, because goddamn I forgot how meaty SMT games are. It's making me wish I'd taken a philosophy course.

Then again, most things I know about philosophy have actually come from video games. Oh, my reference pool is so very skewed...

(Also: Things That Are Slightly Disconcerting [Partial List]:
-"Satan has emerged from the sea of your soul!"
--You know, joining other personifications of facets of your personality such as Metatron, Loki, Scathach, Isis, Saturnus, and Kohryu. Among many others.
-The fact that I'm trying to add Lucifer to that list.)
ultranos: souji with his head stuck inside a tv (tv is eating my brain)
If you thought my last entry on P4 was bad, I was cursing out Atlus EVEN MORE last night. Seriously. I was almost crying. That company is seriously good at making me flip the hell out. Well played.

(Er, I hope I'm not bugging the hell out of people by just posting about video games lately. I suppose if you don't want to read, you don't have to. My love of games is incomprehensible to people, I know.)

Speaking of companies making me flip out, who the HELL at Sega decided that releasing Resonance of Fate on the SAME DAY as Final Fantasy XIII was a good idea? Seriously, are they TRYING to make me not graduate?
ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
Persona 4, and Persona/Shin Megami Tensei in general, has eaten my brain again.

Please adjust your references accordingly.

I have somehow gotten even more attached to these characters in the intervening 4 months. How, I'm not sure. But Chie = Still Awesome. And Naoto = Still 10kg Awesome and Death and Destruction in a 5kg Bag.

EDIT: By the way, I'm currently blaming the NyQuil for the idea of "Four Ways Sam Carter and Naoto Shirogane Never Met and Maybe One Way They Did". Because approximately one other person would actually read that.
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ultranos: girl in gekkougan uniform with monsterous shadow (casting shadows)
As a bonus addendium to Atlus's ability to create stories with characters you care about:



That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you write compelling characters.
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ultranos: girl in gekkougan uniform with monsterous shadow (casting shadows)
I finally got to play Persona 4 again, after roughly a 4-month hiatus. (Damn term.) Anyway, I'd answered [profile] abyssina's recent "Fuck You, She's Awesome" theme-spam, pretty much with female characters from video games who had a profound effect on my development and psyche as a child. (Although I forgot Cecilia from Wild Arms 1 and Kanon from Wild Arms 2, dammit) Because unlike many people, apparently, I grew up on books and games, rather than TV and movies. So my cultural references are a little skewed. But I disgress.

This kind of got away from me )
ultranos: girl in gekkougan uniform with monsterous shadow (casting shadows)
Atlus is Bringing P3P to the US

AND the release date is after graduation, so it's not going to freaking tempt me to ditch work. Hells yeah! This literally made my day.

Thing is, now I'm going to need to buy a PSP. I've been putting it off, but there are some games I've been wanting to play that have been tempting me.

Persona 1, Valkeria Chronicles 2, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep...Hell, even Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, for sheer nostalgic value.

(Because clearly I need to play the remake [Silver Star Harmony] of a remake I played [Silver Star Story Complete] of a remake I didn't play [Silver Star Story] of a game I didn't play [Silver Star]...)

P3P just was the absolute deal-breaker.
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ultranos: arisato minato listening to music in minimalist colors (beat of a different drum)
Damn I haven't been like this in years. I think the last time was when I was on leave from college and coming home and playing Final Fantasy XII every day after work.

See, I finally broke down and bought P4 (off of Amazon, so I'd actually have the damn fusion table in the manual, instead of buying a used copy from GameStop), and started playing it when I was at my folks' house on...roughly August 17. Since I was, you know, at home and had social obligations, I wasn't exactly hardcore grinding.

And then, this past week, I got back to my apartment, had nothing to do, and thus spent the vast majority of my time stuck on the couch. Good god, this game! I love it to pieces. The characters! Chie is still awesome, and I have professed my love for her ability to save my ass with Galactic Punt on numerous occasions. Naoto's first action ever, before I swapped to Direct Commands, was, uh, Megidola. My reaction? "CHRIST, CHILD! You are a terrifying little package of death, aren't you?" (I'm vaguely distressed that I find Naoto kinda hot. I don't know if it's more of the "dude, SIXTEEN!" than anything else.)

I've been reading the Let's Play: Persona 3, which is brilliantly done, taking P3 as if it were the protag's LJ. That, combined with the announcement of P3P (and the never-played copy of FES sitting by my desk), is making me want to take another stab at P3, since I never finished it. (Stupid Tartarus guardian I couldn't beat) Problem is that I've grown very, very attached to P4's battle system and would probably scream awhile about not having direct control over my other party members.

Anyway, since term starts on Wednesday, I'm not going to be able to play much more. I don't think I can beat it in 2 days, though. (currently in October, gametime) Well, I probably could, but I'd be delirious for the start of term. That'd be poor.
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)

Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)

Currently Reading:


-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."


"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."


"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"


"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"


"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."


"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."


"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"


"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

April 2017

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