Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mmmmm.... tasty

Take a look at this:

I was told in my first week of Sociology class that I needed to read this article and respond to it. I have never taken a Sociology class before, and this was a really... awkward... I didn't even know that this even existed.

So, I'm just wondering. Have you ever had an experience where you were confronted with something so odd, and so unreasonable? Could your mind fathom the depths at which this idea entailed? Would you have to walk all the way to Mordor to answer your question, or is as simple to you as riding a giant bird to freedom?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gunblade: What it is and What People Don't Get

Aura... Limit Break... Lion heart.

Okay dokey ladies and gentlemen. Today I go a little Weeabo and discuss my first next gen video game that I've ever played. I say "next-gen" because when I was a boy I had me a little console called the Sega Genesis (Awwwww yeah), and on top of that my dad let me have a game called "Lethal Enforcers". Yes, I'm barely 5 years old and my Asian father is already teaching me how to wield .44 Magnum. Ah, gotta love America.

It was years later (way after the Playstation 1 came out) when my parents finally thought I deserved a better video game console. This is possibly the best present you could get at 10 years old, am I right? I got a great assortment of presents that year, including the new Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the original Gran Turismo (Yeah, not the Greatest Hits), and the mother of all of them... Final Fantasy VIII. Now, here's the thing. I didn't pick it out. Yes, my mom and dad (more specifically my dad), showed me a Target ad with the game's cover art on it and goes, "Hey son. Doesn't this look cool to you? Huh... huh?" I didn't know what it was, and I sure as hell didn't know what to think back then. So, my dad did what any loving father would... smacked me across the head for being ignorant and proceeded to buy the game for me for Christmas. I cannot thank my father enough for buying me that game. It was like love for... let's see now... I still listen to the entire album first to last, no skips... like a religion. That makes.... more than a decade. But that's beside the point.

I was not a Weeabo back then (hell, I'm not now, I just enjoy what life has to offer, like Pika-chick!)

Anyways, I write today because I want to talk about the weapon that the protagonist and one of the antagonists carry... the mighty Gunblade. Apparently, it's so awesome, you need to be a master in order to wield one in generic combat. Moreover, if you're a master, you can just summon your weapon from behind your back no problem (don't worry guys. it's an lol joke for those who know the game). I'll start off with a bit of fantastic history, and then talk about the weapons development over the years.

The Gunblade is an original concept provided by Sqaresoft (now Sqaure Enix) in their Final Fantasy series, starting with the eighth variation. The weapon is literally a mix of a gun and a sword meshed together. As seen in several of the original pictures, the gun portion is shaped to be similar to a large Magnum, with a large chamber for six supposed shots to kept in. The handle is extended greatly for ease of use with two hands or one. The blade itself is a full Tanto blade. I say this because the metal is fully flushed together with the gun, so if you somehow break the blade, you also break the gun portion as well. The antagonist's gunblade features a different concept, coming up with a lighter blade and in place of the magnum an M9 or 1911 variation is fused with the blade (in other words, a semi-automatic pistol instead of a hammer-blow).

The Gunblade is used again and again in the Final Fantasy series, some references, others an enemy tool. Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII had the tougher Genesis clones carry a large barreled gun with blades covering the oversized extension. In Advent Children and AC: Complete, the antagonists Yazoo and Loz use ornate Gunblade varieties that were called Velvet Nightmare. Though mostly a gun, there are small insertions of blades protruding from the top and bottom of the weapon. In Dirge of Cerberus there were Gunblade Katana hybrids that the enemies used. Final Fantasy XII featured a Revolver Gunblade in the collection of legendary weapons. And finally, Final Fantasy XIII renewed the concept by providing a sword that distinctly features a "gun mode" and a "blade mode".

With that all said, here's the question I get all the frickin' time...


Yeah, fuck you. Fuck you people who can't pay the slightest attention to detail.
I mean, honestly, there are so many arguments as to what Square Enix was trying to achieve by creating such a weapon. The original concept was designed so that the "gun" function actually vibrated the sword, thus when you cut something there's a larger mass that's cut out of the victim. Now, the latest variation of it allows for either a sword or a gun, an idea that, though strayed from the original concept, seems to be a better design and easier to wield.

Of course, I know there are other examples out there. I mean, on the totally badass side there's that one sword with a frickin' engine on it. What's that one called again? Yeah, I'm to lazy to look it up.

So, the next time someone tries to talk to you about hybrid weapons, make sure you've got a nailed- baseball bat with you. In that way, they'll feel obligated to talk about the right terminologies when it comes to these things. Yeah, I just wrote all that to build up one point. And I added pictures!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just some wallpapers I found...

I was digging through some new potential wallpapers and found a couple I'd like to put up. I'm pretty sure there's more, but this is what I found for now. What do you think? XD

Enjoy, comment... rate them in your opinion!

Toyota 's Game Plan: Is it going to work?

I was taking a look at autoweek and found this article about Toyota's "exciting" changes. Well, I don't know about you, but I guess I can accept them.

... so long as I can drive the car... not the car drive me. : )

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Funimation's Version of Initial D

I have to admit, when I first saw that Funimation was re-doing everything Initial D thus far, I was quite surprised. At first I was thinking that it was just some ruse to get hardcore fans to buy more merchandise with the same crap English audio but "remastered". But then I read this:

More specifically : "These stages will feature a new English dub cast and will remain uncut and use the original music."

I was ecstatic! A new English dub? Thank goodness! When I watched the first two "stages" of Initial D in English, I was really turned off by the fact that not only were all of the voices so ill fit for the characters, Kodansha tried incorporating U.S. slang into the mix to make it sound "tight". Not only that, but if you've watched both the English and Japanese versions you would easily recognize that in the English version they practically muted all of the engine and screeching sounds, with the exception of blow-off valves. Overall the English quality was poor, which led many, many people to just watch the Japanese version with subtitles.

When it comes to the music in Initial D... oh God. That was the first time I ever started listening to Eurobeat and stuff like that. There's a certain vibe that just excites the viewer when there are street racers doing their thing while listening to fast-paced, upbeat music. But again, the English version before really screwed this up, and put in some R&B and Rap into the mix, both of which were also ill-fitting to the racing scene depicted in Initial D. This one you can't totally blame on Kodansha though... I mean when they released this thing in English they didn't know what the American crowd would think about upbeat Euro music they've never heard before. Then again, that's what the first two seasons of Initial D in English felt like: a shit-job translation with a look that didn't fit the bill just to make money off the kids in the States. The only thing I liked about the English version was the opening and closing of the first stage. Just the music by itself, mind you.

So, enough with the flaming of Kodansha. I did get a chance to view an episode of Funimation's Initial D in English thanks to iTunes and I've got to say that I'm quite impressed. I want to say that they digitally remastered the traditional music because it sounds so much clearer than my DVD version of Stage 4. The voices were actually not too bad. I wouldn't say great, more like the voices are what they're supposed to be. When it came to the racing they cleaned out some of the static but left the original engine sounds in place, which was a relief in my opinion. If ever, I would say Funimation did accomplish what they wanted to do by redoing the dub and leaving the rest alone: they created the Initial D experience in English.

So, I know my review didn't really explain much, but honestly if you want to know what it's like then view a free episode in crap quality somewhere and look for yourself. I'm simply recommending it, and plan to see if I can scrounge up enough money to buy Funimation's version. It's been years since Stage 4 has been out, and since then the craze for Initial D has died down with the times. However I wouldn't see Funimation's move as risqué... in fact, I think they knew what people wanted. I also think that they've known this for quite some time now and have been waiting for the right opportunity to purchase the rights from Kodansha and do Initial D some justice. If you get a chance, definitely watch one of the episodes from Funimation in the best quality you can find. Even if you're not an Initial D fan, I bet you would gather some enjoyment from watching. : )

If you're even more curious or don't know what I'm talking about, check this out:

Finally! I have this up!

I have to admit, for awhile now I have seriously thought about making a blog. Not just several weeks ago, mind you, but for several years have I pondered the question of whether or not I should share whatever comes to mind with the rest of the world. I guess the reason why I haven't made one before is because I figured no one would care, and the fact that I was in high school, so anything you did is evaluated and judged by all of your peers. On top of that, being busy is certainly another factor. I cannot guarantee that I'll have a post in my blog every single day, or even a week for that matter. As of right now I see myself posting when something special crosses my mind and I decide to share. Hopefully that may change as my time with my blog progresses.

I certainly encourage all of you to follow along and comment about stuff that I post. I really do like intelligent conversations, and every conversation has the potential have something learned from it. And honestly, I really do hope you guys enjoy my blog. Bringing satisfaction to my readers I  assume is a wonderful feeling.

So thank you all for looking at my blogspot, and expect to see a real full blog soon on just about anything!