foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
Another week, another overdue post...

I've become a bit more aggressive about seizing the living room for DDR, so I've been working on that. I decided to go through and post a score on every Beginner-mode song (even if it was an E); Saber Wing and SAGA seriously kicked my ass, but because I have the global setting on easy (dance meter drains as slowly as possible) I managed not to fail them, and so far I think I have an A or B on everything else. A lot of the challenge songs live at the bottom of the list, so that's sure to change soon; I may use Training Mode to work on some of them. I should also try Street Master Mode when I get through the list, and maybe see what I can do with MAX2...

I've also gotten back into it and am plugging along in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (currently in the always-annoying machine tower section; moving platforms, spikes, medusa heads, blargh). As predicted, for fanfic purposes I've gotten attached to its story now, but with some tweaks; some of it just seems unnecessarily complicated, and I had my own ideas to make it mesh with, so I'm ending up with a take on it where most-to-all of the same things happened, but not for the given reasons. Anyway, I'm loving it like a Metrovania, although I was miffed to find that it's kind of buggy, apparently rushed to market, and I had one of my spells lock it up. Grr... C'mon, make us a "Greatest Hits" version and fix it up! (Except maybe the Quest Reward glitch, I can live with that one. ^_~ I haven't tried it yet, but apparently there's an instance coming up where it's so very tempting...)

I actually got out of the house yesterday. In Jessie's town there's a church whose people tend to be very nice and relatively freethinking. Formal services still don't seem to float my boat but more informal get-togethers with people from there tend to be nice (I especially like the Pastor), and they had a "writing as a Spiritual Practice" thing so I decided to go. Pastor Ellen had been reading "Writing Down the Bones," and we just did prompts with ten-minute free-writings, no religious overtones at all, actually. It was a lot of fun. The first couple I did in a totally conversational kind of tone, but after complaining about my writer's block wherein recently it seems like I can write diaristically or in summary, but not an actual fictional scene, the last prompt ("Drop this"; from "drop this ticket . . ." written on a coil of tickets from a fundraiser that was sitting on the table) then inspired me to a little piece of flash fiction, below the cut.

Today I wasn't with people being given prompts, but something sprung up in my head which for me was rather emotionally loaded ("I want you to read this book"---I am always conflicted, always want to but am always very self-conscious about sharing music/movies/books/etc that I like with people, like I'm imposing on them) and I jumped off from it in a similar way, but as a more direct free-verse poem.

For those who want to read the results.... )
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
First, DDR X. I unlocked Bloody Tears today! ...And that is SO not Level 2 it's ridiculous. I give myself some credit for at least trying it, but if I hadn't been on workout mode it would have failed me that time. Partly it's just too dang fast, and of course it has that freeze calculated for maximum evil. Other than the evil challenge songs, tho, moving up to level two is pretty painless---I did Ticket to Bombay today; that one's fun. I think I'm getting my timing back a bit, too; I skipped a couple of days playing one time and was just totally out of the groove.

The foam dance pad came, too; much better! The top surface on this one is plastic and doesn't lay flat, so I don't know if it's as good as Jessie's, but still very nice, and tons better than the flat one (which I should now figure out what to do with; squirrel back for emergency use? It can't be worth much on resale...)

Kind of feeling the limitations of the living room; on one hand I have this strange feeling like I want to find out what are some of the great PS2 games and get them, but on the other hand I have several already (especially if you count the PS1 games too)---I've got Okami for cryin' out loud, plus I was meaning to play Lament---and I don't find myself playing them in there, so there's really no point. If I want new games I'd still be better off focusing on the DS/GBA library---and it's not like I don't have several of those already on my plate either (barely fired up Minish Cap, Hotel Dusk not at all, plus of course Portrait and Dawn). But PS2 games are still strangely tempting, to just flesh out the library there with Katamari Damacy or Shadow of the Colossus or something...
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
Ah, well.

Since last time I have continued enjoying DDR X. I think I'm getting better at it too (full combos make me so happy!), although I haven't moved past level one yet and my scores sometimes go all over the map. Ask Jessie how her copy ended up with a D on "Here We Go" beginner mode. Or I might rather you didn't actually... (It's a quirky song; I just couldn't seem to get on the beat that time...)

The very next day after I got it working, I got Mom to play it with me---she was just stepping beside me; she hasn't gotten on the pad yet, but that's up to her anyway---and the need for a new TV was immediately revealed to her as we tried to read any of the onscreen instructions. She was also a dear and went ahead and ordered a foam-lined pad (and I have since tried Jessie's out; it's much much nicer than the thin kind).

But anyway, we went out today and got a new TV, a 26" LCD, which I just hooked up. I think we'll need an updated cable box to take full advantage, but it already looks light years better just with a coax hookup, to say nothing of the PS2 (for which I can now use the composite cable).

I also had gotten together a bunch of books and things to trade in. At my favorite used game/video/music store, I spent my credit on some MST3K and Wild Arms 3. I have this idea like there are a ton of awesome PS2 games out there and I just don't know what hardly any of them are (plus there's the old "90% of everything is crap" effect and the other 10% isn't what people are in a hurry to trade in, so good games or games from good series tend to be the harder ones to find, barring outright market-flooding), but WA3 seemed promising. I didn't get the manual for it, but that's what GameFAQs is for. It was also amusing, the clerk was a little miffed that I'd found the MST3K before she did. ^_~

Then at Hastings we traded in a bunch of books. Dad likes the used CDs there, but I spent my share of the booty too, on Porco Rosso. I haven't shown Jessie that one yet, and it was actually my favorite Miyazaki movie for some time (until Howl's Moving Castle came out, I think), so... ^__^
foxinthestars: Photo of fox pouncing in snow captioned "Fun!" (fun)
Some friends might be familiar with my misadventures of getting a PS2 ready to play DDR (and hopefully other games like Castlevania: Lament of Innocence). First we had to get the PS2, then I set it up at the parsonage, then the TV there didn't work, so Sis gave me one that did (tuner broken, but great for just a PS2), then it turned out my old dance pad didn't work, so I tried to get a nice new one, but I had a bad shopping experience and ended up with a crummy new one (at least they only charged shipping for it because of the mess), then we, er, didn't actually go the parsonage very much.

So the latest chapter is, I brought the PS2 home and swapped it in for the DVD player Mom and Dad had, which has compatibility and temperament issues. (It wouldn't play my Criterion Collection DVD of Kurosawa's Spider-Web Castle --- oh, sorry, "Throne of Blood" -_-; --- but that might be just as well because Mom thinks there might still be a DVD inside when I unplugged it because they couldn't get it to give one back. Suddenly the simple mechanical clamshell door on the slim PS2 seems like a selling point... 0_o;;

There are only a few problems with this. Firstly, the living room isn't always accessible because Dad is watching Match Game '77 in there or something. Secondly, the TV is, er... Well, it's at least 15 years old and has seen better days. I tested it with some of my games and the PS2 was working fine, but anything you need to *read* on that TV is pretty dicey. I couldn't tell how many hearts I had in Symphony of the Night. Worse yet, it rendered the atmospheric visuals of Lament so badly as to render it pretty much unplayable. Thirdly due to the room layout, it needed a DVD remote and a controller extension (the latter for DDR especially), but those were no big deal.

We went to visit Sis today, I stopped by the video game store, and got the remote, extension---and my own copy of the more beginner-friendly DDR X (We got that for Sis for Christmas and she's played it on visits, making it look very appealing, plus I'm the losing-averse type and beginner-friendliness was a big selling point).

So I got it home tonight---and played me some DDR! Functionality at last! Not perfect, a lot of the text is difficult to read (so the whole "information" menu I've just written off; the dialogue in Dance Master mode will probably be a wash, but, er, it kind of was even when you could read it...), but the important parts are easily seen. And it's a blast! Sure, I made a C and then a string of Bs on level one songs (I mentioned beginner friendly = selling point, right?), but even at that I worked up a little sweat and most importantly, it was FUN! ^___^

Mom wanted to play it too, so hopefully tomorrow we can peel Dad away from Match Game so I can show her the cool toy. I even turned off the annoying announcer already; turning off the jumps seems to be song-by-song, tho; I'll have to show her how to do that...

It was so fun, I'm even using my special "fun" facepic. ^___^


foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)

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