I put a few video games on my Christmas list amongst the unending pile of canoe camping gear, and my sister picked me up Layton 2.

Mild spoilers for some puzzles -- no solutions, but commentary that could aid solving )
So, a bit back, [livejournal.com profile] lady_angelina lent me Ghost Trick (and Trace Memory, but I haven't gotten to the latter yet), and I finished it this morning.

Review contains spoilers for the first few minutes, game themes, gameplay, and for one plot point which is reasonably early on; it does not contain any for the big endgame spoilers.

Spoiler cut ahoy! )
[livejournal.com profile] aphephobia can probably tell from the subject line what I'm about to rec, but for everyone else, I figured I'd finally put this pimpage out there.

The Administration, by [livejournal.com profile] ms_manna. A fully constructed, plausible near-future dystopia, well-written, realistic, respectful treatment of kink, two complicated main characters and deep psychological drama, and serious, interesting plots that aren't just window dressing for the relationship drama? Yes please.

The reason I'm pimping this now is that the sixth book in the series just got published, and I figured hey why not. But the original version (the published version has had an edit pass and contains some added stories) is still available on-line, so it's pretty much the ultimate in try-before-you-buy. The original stories are at here at Manna's site (which also contains a full set of warnings -- while well-handled kink is a good description, there is also a fair bit of potentially triggery content due to hello dystopia), and the books are Mind Fuck, Quid Pro Quo, Games and Players, Control, Quis Custodiet, First Against the Wall.

I'll finish by quoting the author's own back-of-the-book blurb for the series, which says it better than I probably did.

cut since this is a few paragraphs )
So [livejournal.com profile] wariena plays Inspector Lunge, and he is awesome. So I convinced the library to lend me Monster, a bit at a time, and am slowly working through it when I have time.

And since I am on the train but too bleah to write, I will tl;dr at you instead.

Spoilers up through volume 10... )
valentinite: Phoenix hugging Edgeworth (phoenix/edgeworth)
( Feb. 26th, 2010 11:33 pm)
Okay, in entirely too much TL;DR, my thoughts on Ace Attorney Investigations. (I have no Edgeworth icons. I should fix that. Though that's partly because almost all my PW icons are snagged from past and present RP journals, and I cannot write Edgeworth to save my soul.)

Spoilers. For the whole game, not necessarily in any order. Wait to read this if you haven't finished. )
Am slowly getting caught up on Doctor Who and spinoffs; still at 2/5 on Children of Earth but we watched Waters of Mars tonight.

spoilers for WoM and casting spoilers/rumors for the rest of the specials )

In other news, pecan pie with green tea ice-cream is an unconventional but tasty combination. This is what happens when you accidentally do most of your Thanksgiving food shopping at H-mart. (Hey, I had an errand to run in Burlington, I stopped by, and suddenly I had a cart full of gorgeous produce and random crap. I have now successfully made both ddeok and gnocchi, although not at the same meal.)
I have the Final Fantasy chocobo theme stuck in my head. Ow. Brain, what did I ever do to you to deserve this?

Also, this game appears to be a completionist's nightmare. I have to keep telling myself that I'm just playing through, and that I don't need to 100% it. And I've been playing too much SMT because the random battles are ridiculously easy. (Though the multi-party series-of-small-battle sequences are kind of cool, especially when I've forgotten to restock on potions for added challenge.)
valentinite: tardis on an alien planet (tardis)
( Nov. 8th, 2009 10:29 pm)
The old Doctor Who audios with the Forge are so much sillier when you can't stop thinking about the fact that they use "Twilight" as code for "vampires". Also the Forge are so the proto-Torchwood with extra evil and no Jack Harkness it hurts. But Colin Baker doing a fantastically spot-on Sylvester McCoy impression is worth the price of admission right there, and the whole thing is pretty good. (Project Lazarus, that is -- Project Twilight (the first one) is better, but is not the one I listened to today.)
1. OH GOD PROUD MODE WHY I NEEDED MY THUMBS. Seriously, ow. I don't think there's anything but bragging rights beating it this way, unlike some of the earlier games, so just spare your fingers, f'list.

2. For a game with so little plot and simplistic characterization, I have absolutely no clue exactly what's going on. Day 276, IIRC? (I don't want to go googling for fear of spoilers or turn the DS back on right now, but it's just past the battle with the thumb-killing tentacle things.)

3. I kind of want to know what the creators think sea salt ice cream tastes like. Or just to have a big box of salt-water taffy, either works.

In completely unrelated news, buying a wedding dress entirely via email is possibly the least stressful clothing-shopping experience I've ever had. (So far, so good. I haven't actually committed to spending money yet as dear god that's a lot of money for an outfit I'll wear once. But I'll probably do so in the next day or so; I just want to grab the ear of a friend who actually has girl skills, and whom I'm having dinner with tomorrow. Besides, I'd sortakinda promised to take her along shopping for moral support, but I think eating Thai food instead of watching me freak the fuck out in front of a mirror is an acceptable substitute.)
We, uh, finally got around to watching the Doctor Who Easter special. Yes, worst obsessive Who fen EVER, especially when we haven't seen the Torchwood mini-series yet either. (Though that we've been putting off because it's supposedly a downer (I know more spoilers than that, D---- doesn't). Which is still lame, but at least it's a reason.

Spoilers for Planet of the Dead, as well as upcoming casting/management stuff )

TL;DR maybe I'll go watch Battlefield for good cheesy nostalgia.
'Kay, back to normality, although the amount of stuff that piled up while I was sick is kind of frightening. So, since I am not scrubbing the bathroom floor until LATER (ditto on posting characters to lunch at [livejournal.com profile] damned), have some miscellaneous mini-reviews.

Having run out of Doctor Who, and with Blake's 7 being too serious/depression/bleak for either of us when we get home from work, we've been looking for a new show. So I Netflix'ed Avatar, on the grounds that the fandom zeitgeist was that it had depth beyond a kid's show, but as it *is* a kids/family show, it wouldn't be ringing the bell on the Depress-O-Meter.

First thoughts (on the first two eps): Eh, not sure. The exposition and pacing are *very* kids-show -- give us more than five minutes of childish banter before a character is contemplating major life changes because their new friend is going away. Also, the fourth-wall-bending (no pun intended) in the snark (i.e. Sokka's monologues) is a little off-putting. But we'll try a few more, although not today, as the disc glitched out on eps 3&4 and I have to send it back to Netflix.

Also, I requested the first few volumes of Monster from the library because [livejournal.com profile] wariena's Lunge is fascinating, and the art in her icons of him was gorgeous. Plus chat and [livejournal.com profile] soodonim seemed to really like it. So despite the storyline looking like not my thing at all, I figured it couldn't hurt.

First thoughts, still in vol 1 (see review #3): The initial series of story developments have all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the metacarpals, but it's just setup. If we don't get more nuance when the main plot starts, I'll be very disappointed. The art is, as promised, freaking gorgeous and I can tell the characters apart. Inspector Lunge, however, in full-body shots as opposed to icons, looks eerily like Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. The mental image of an amnesiac Ninth Doc (hey, the Eighth had amnesia at the drop of a silk-lined hat -- it could happen) running around as a police inspector is kind of amusing, though. But that also means the story isn't sucking me in hard enough not to be flittering around making silly comparisons and not paying attention. We'll see -- it's certainly quick to read, assuming I can put down item number three below for long enough to do so.

Finally, the thing that's been timesucking anything else I'd read on the bus: SMT: Devil Survivor

I'm almost done with the last ending, which is about two more playthroughs than it really held my interest for, but I saved the one I wanted to see most for last. Atlus did a bunch of really nice touches on the interface -- the fact that dialogue choices start with NONE SELECTED so that you can be speed-buttoning through the chit-chat (just a-button, not L+R skipping) and not accidentally pick something is a really nice little detail -- why it's an innovation *now* I don't know because this is endemic to games with a lot of text, but it needs to catch on yesterday. The branching endings, however, are both nice and irritating. Nice, because it gives some replay value and makes a first playthrough massively non-linear. Irritating, since a bunch feel out-of-character for the rest of the storyline, and I only got two options my first playthrough, neither of which felt IC. But it's the best new game I've picked up for the DS in a long time -- and I'm milking out all of it because I don't have anything really exciting to play next. (On the DS. My PS2 game backlog is staggering, but I cannot play it on the bus/train/subway.)

Battle system is a nice tactics-plus-demon-summoning, and the fusion system is much nicer than P3. A respite from teenaged drama might be nice, though -- c'mon, Atlus, more stories about grown-ups that aren't action-RPGs (the battle system in Raidou Kuzunoha was deeply irritating, though maybe someday I'll go back and finish the game).
I like this game (I'd better; it's only been haunting the PS2 for most of this year as I don't have that much time to play) but today's WTFs:

2. Why do all the Viking/Norse gods wear tighty-whities?
3. Elizabeth, you speak more slowly than William Shatner. And I think Minato going on a date with the Shat would be less creepy.
valentinite: riffraff from the Catillac Cats cartoon (Default)
( Aug. 18th, 2009 11:11 pm)
I'm still not falling for Blake's 7. I expected to love it -- I have no need for special effects, a general liking of the genre, most of the male leads are easy on the eyes, and it's got an arc several decades before we called them arcs. (I am spoiled in only the vaguest of terms, and two eps in to S2. Please do not change that.)

I think it's because I just can't buy Blake as a revolutionary -- I had some witty way of explaining that earlier to D---- but it has stuck around like a snowflake in this heat wave. Avon and Blake are amusingly snarky, I don't ship them at all, D---- thinks Avon/Vila has subtext, and the outfits keep getting sillier.

I want to love it. But it just keeps falling flatter and flatter. Someone tell me it gets better? Please? Though it's not that long in toto. It's just taking forever to get through because I'd rather watch Iron Chef Japanese.
valentinite: riffraff from the Catillac Cats cartoon (Default)
( Jul. 3rd, 2009 04:54 pm)
Seen on the way here: a sign for Mello's Trucking, which is a thoroughly odd mental image.

Blake's 7 is still good but none of the characters are grabbing me and making me really care. Not terribly surprising -- it's rare that most of those archetypes will grab me. Except for Blake, who is the sort of idealist I usually like, but I can't seem to warm to him either.

And a meme, ganked from [livejournal.com profile] stopcounting

→ why I decided to play this character
→ my favorite scene or bit of interaction concerning this character to date
→ my favorite original aspect about this character (world-building for ocs or head-canon for fcs)
→ the last thing they did "off screen"
→ what their last words would be if they died tomorrow
→ what the next thing I'm doing for them is (narrative, post, shelving, whatever)

→ I will tell you what character of yours I'd like to play mine against
→ you may ask me as many free questions as you want, always

All my RP journals are here and the unused ones are marked, though I'll answer the parts I can for the ones I haven't played.
So the fiancé and I have been watching Blake's 7 on and off -- it's a little too downbeat for me to want it as a daily watch-a-thon entertainment thing, but it's still fun.

And I was pointing out that I just didn't really see where fandom got the slash (thinking mostly of Blake/Avon). And D---- replies that Avon and Vila are so doing it, and maybe Jenna/Callie as well. And then I swear 30 seconds later Avon tells Vila he has a weak chest and we both just start giggling hysterically.

I give up. I am not the one with slash goggles in this house.

Also: microreview? Blake's 7 is fun but not the Best Thing Ever coming at it as a fresh viewer. (One who loves old slow British sci-fi -- B7 is a lot more fast-paced than Doctor Who was back then -- the pacing would be passable for a modern show.) The special effects are terrible, but I don't mind -- it's that the characters border over into caricature on a regular basis. But the oneupmanship plots are fun, and we're only 2/3 of the way through the first series. (I do know vague spoilers for the ending of the series, but am avoiding details.)
Another capsule review, since I just finished it: Death Note, manga version. Specifically the Shonen Jump published translation. (I minored in classics -- I have a deep and abiding fetish for good translations and discussions thereof. But being able to read these on the train and hold them in my hands meant I actually read them.)

Summary: fun read, but again, I do not get the fannish obsession. Okay, icons of everyone under the sun doing the "just as planned" thing are now actually funny, but otherwise? Felt too much like a teenage boy's wet dream of Sherlock Holmes crossed with Ender's Game. (ETA: And by Ender's Game I really mean the later Bean vs. Peter books, not the original novella/novel.)
Death Note (manga) spoilers )

The biggest plus in reading it was finally figuring out a working theory on why I find comics so hard to read. And then facepalming at myself for not realizing it earlier. In short: I'm a natural speedreader. I don't remember how to read linearly. That DOES NOT work very well with comics. Reading manga helped because a) background text was almost non-existent or in a language I do not know, and b) the right-to-left tripped me up over and over until I actually slowed down and read frame-by-frame. It also explains why I never had much trouble with webcomics -- one strip at a time I can managed. So now all I need to do if I'm having trouble is cover up parts of the page until I can actually read the frame I'm on. Which is dorky, but it seems to work.

When I was at the library recently, the "librarian's choice" bookshelf by the checkout had the first few copies of Transmetropolitan sitting there, and as I'm about to be RPing with a Spider Jerusalem, I figured I'd check them out. And have managed to start successfully picking my way through them, based on what I guessed. So yay for an entire medium no longer being completely opaque to me. (And boo on Strangers in Paradise for confusing me so badly back in the day that I gave up on them back then. A friend of mine was kind of obsessed with it, so I tried and failed at reading them.)
valentinite: the dog from Catillac Cats after an explosion (someone set us up the bomb)
( Nov. 1st, 2008 09:55 pm)
Quills is a very, very silly movie. Except for the part where there's a lot of blood and now I'm not going to get to sleep for a while.

Apparently, when they were passing out the ability to separate fact from fiction when watching video of simulated violence, they skipped me. Bleah. (I can deal just fine in fiction, and *usually* in animated media. But even with a very silly movie, I can't handle blood.)


valentinite: riffraff from the Catillac Cats cartoon (Default)


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