Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alcohol consumption per captia

Fun with Wikipedia.

Alcohol consumption:
Moldova 1st,
Czech Republic 2nd,
Hungary 3rd,
Russia 4th, (They don't call it the vodka belt for nothing).
UK 18th,
Australia 44th,
USA 57th,
Japan 70th.


Beer:
Czech Republic 1st,
Ireland 2nd,
Germany 3rd,
Austria 4th,
Australia 5th,
UK 6th,
USA 13th,
Japan 35th (highest of any Asian country)

Wine:
Luxembourg 1st,
France 2nd,
Portugal 3rd,
Italy 4th,
UK 20th,
Australia 25th,
USA 49th,
Japan 83rd

Spirits:
South Korea 1st (makkori?),
Estonia 2nd (vodka?),
St. Lucia 3rd (rum?),
Japan 28th,
USA 42nd,
UK 49th,
Australia 94th

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption

Friday, July 8, 2011

Epic Battle Fantsy 3


This is another game I played quite a while ago, but wasn't blogging at the time. It's a pretty goofy game, the story and dialogue are pretty cheesy, but I find it amusing. The music is awesome, downloaded that soundtrack and listened to it a lot. The battle system is pretty challenging. It's turn based and you can freely chose what order your characters go in. You use AP to learn and upgrade abilities and you can also upgrade armor and weapons you find. You get big fancy limit breaks and items that buff your stats, like beer! It boosts your attack power.

Spirit Engine 2


I was out of the whole blogging thing when I played this game last year, but it was so memorable it definitely deserves a post. I tried to play the first spirit engine game after I started this one, but it is just soooo ugly and the battle system is so clunky, plus the story is unconnected, so you don't miss anything from skipping the first game.

There were just so many awesome things about this game. The story is dark, mysterious and complicated. The whole situation really gets you thinking of the "what if aliens came to earth" idea from a different angle, and gets really philosophical toward the end.

It's really hard at first because the gameplay is so different from a typical RPG, you have to worry about who is in front and about how you time your attacks in some fights. It's very challenging, I beat very few bosses on my first try, some took me 3 or 4 tries, and for the last 2 bosses I ended up having to switch my difficulty setting to easy to finish the game.

You get to chose a combination of 3 characters out of nine, so there are 15 different teams you can have. You have to chose one character from each of three groups. Each group has one of each of 3 classes, Knight, Priest and Musketeer. Your 1st character is the pessimistic, pragmatic one, 2nd is the young, optimistic, naive one, and the last is older, experienced one. A lot of the dialogue is the same regardless, but a lot of dialogue and events are different depending on who is in your party.

Some combinations are too impossible to be worth trying. Like 3 knights or 3 priests. My 3 priest team gets slaughtered on the first boss and the 3 knights team gets stuck on this fight where you have to survive for 80 seconds. 3 Musketeers actually works really well though, you can just blast through everything, and they've got enough
evade to take turns tanking, plus they've got the best defensive ability, imps that take damage for you. Each character has one skill missing that the other two characters of that class have. The worst is Grace, the musketeer with no imps, don't chose her unless you have 2 or 3 musketeers.

Anyway, very very highly recommend this game, it feels like an old lost SNES or PSX classic.

Starwish


The most recent awesome indie game I've found, it's a really nice blend of RPG, shooter and, I guess you could say "date sim" although you can end up with an ending connected to any of the characters, not just the girls. I got Swig's ending, the drunk panda, he was the most interesting character so I ended up talking to him the most in the cafe. I think Johnny's ending is the coolest though, I watched all the endings on youtube after finishing the game.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Games these days...

Suck!

Mostly.

There just aren't many developers coming up with anything new these days. I have been getting pickier and pickier about games as the years go by and I've been leaving more and more games unfinished. As a kid, I almost always finished any game I started. But these days, probably 90% or more of games I try, I leave unfinished.

I got really into WoW early this year because lots of my friends back home were playing it and it was really fun for a couple months. Then they all quit, and I realized I was pretty much the only one still playing. I was level 85 so all the content left to do was end game large group stuff or mindless PvP grinding.

So, I decided to get a new computer to play Rift and try to get my friends to play it with me... none of them did :( But maybe it's for the best because I ended up getting tired of the game almost as soon as I hit 50. Everyone says it's so much better than WoW, and I agree, but it's just too much LIKE wow. It's got better, but all too similar, combat, crafting, pvp, character customization etc. I played a fun little free MMORPG called Divine Souls for a couple of weeks. I got disconnected twice in a group and both times I was unable to rejoin my group so I decided, screw it. So many games just completely ignore simple obvious frustrating flaws like that, it's ridiculous.

MMORPGs have kind of overshadowed most other genres for me since Final Fantasy 11. I've always like co-op games, and I've always liked games where you get to explore and get more powerful. But no one is doing anything new and interesting with the genre, and it really is a shame. Trion, the makers of Rift, being the prime example. The rifts, are awesome, amazing really, I wish they did more with them, hopefully they'll develop them more. Everything else in the game is lazy, cookie cutter, standard MMORPG content.

I've been reflecting on games I've played and imagining possible new MMORPGs in my head recently. Nothing even comes close to Final Fantasy 11's zone design. Every new area felt so huge and mysterious and sparked your curiosity. WoW and Rift are full of cookie cutter caves, cookie cutter houses, and cookie cutter quests. FFXI caves were all entire zones, huge labyrinths to navigate. I never walked into a zone in FFXI and thought "Ugh. Really? Again? THIS looks familiar" FFXI had the Boyahda Tree, a huge dungeon in the roots of a tree, the dusty, dark, floating worlds of Promyvion, and tons of other unique ruins, castles, dungeons. The zone that really takes the cake though is Ru'Aun Gardens, what players simply called, "sky" a whole floating magical fortress where you fight the gods!

The zones in Burning Crusade were awesome, pretty much all of Outlands had an epic feel to it. Cataclysm as well, especially Vashj'ir and Gilneas. I missed out on the whole WoTLK phase of the game, just quickly grinded through that content to get to Cataclysm content, it looks pretty good too though.

Rift, in spite of it's amazing graphics is seriously lacking in creativity (besides the portals, which, have I mentioned? are amazing). The biggest dissapointment was getting to Stillmoor, the highest level zone in the game and seeing grass and trees... really? That's it?

It's interesting, games and stories are really completely different things. Something like Tetris, for example, needs no story at all. Sports, board games, card games, no story, you just play it. But video games are regularly critiqued on the quality of their story.

Well now... this might be going over the deep end for some people, but I've never understood, and don't think I ever will understand, the appeal of sports. In video games, with each new game you have to master completely new skills for a completely new task. People invent new sports all the time, but because of the whole sports industry they never catch on I guess.

So recently I played through the Half Life series and Portal series... WOW, amazing stuff. Those 2 series of games alone make my shiny new $1000 computer completely worth it. Just thinking of the possibilities of Half Life 3 gives me goosebumps. Some new physics manipulating gun that makes the game completely new and unique. Hell, even if there isn't a new gun, just having both the gravity gun and the portal gun in the same game would be amazing.

MMOs just have so much untapped potential it really annoys me. You could have a game where everyone has the potential to evolve into huge beings like the giants in Shadow of the Colossus. You could do more with mechanics like stealth, flying, swimming, ranged attacks, timed attacks. You could develop a single game, but market it as two completely different games, perhaps even market it to different countries so the groups don't know about each other. Make it a big mystery, "what's on the other side of the portal!? or, what's on the mysterious floating continent!?" bam! it's a whole group of other players just waiting for you.

I was also thinking, it would be cool to have a game with an even smaller group size, like 3. Tank, Heals, DPS. Or even scrap the roles system and just have players chose their skills. Also, more realistic tanking, instead of just pushing a button to provoke the enemy, have tanks need to actually get in front of and protect people, like the FFXI Paladin could. And have ranged actually have to consider line of sight, instead of being able to fire through their allies. Well, I don't know about those last two ideas, those might just be obnoxious.

EDIT: Wow... dude... The Secret World. Looks very promising.

Update: Notice: More updates forthcoming...!

Sadly, like most things I get into, my blogs have died. Well, it's time to revive them! Especially since I haven't written in my journal in ages either. I think because I only ever write in my journal when life is confusing or frustrating and recently it's been, in the words of weird Al, juuuuuuust PEACHY!!!

(Originally I wrote a rant very focused on video games here... but I'll make that a separate post so that anyone who reads this who isn't into games won't get lost.)

To sum up that post, basically, I've become very much less impressed with games these days, so I'm hoping to spend more time studying and working toward my goal of getting out of the English teaching phase of my life. So I'll use this blog to talk about random real life stuff and random thoughts about games and whatnot. And I'll also revive the Mainichi Ganbare blog to motivate myself to study.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amazing idea for an online fighting game

...or maybe it's only amazing to me, we'll see. I recently saw an add for a new Outspark game that said, "the only cooldown is after the fight" brilliant language, targeting hardcore WoW pvp players, who basically are responding so fast to their opponents it's similar to a fighting game. Anyway, it got me thinking. My favorite fighting game of all time is Smash bros. If someone made an online smash bros with some highly customizable talent tree system, maybe even a ranking system for moves... Or even a move creator, like level creators, like a little big planet of fighting games... That would be insane.

Maybe a move creator is going too far, but talent trees seem doable. I bet there are games out there already that are similar to this idea, but they need to be revamped and marketed to the masses. I hope that happens soon.