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Silicon Rose

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[Aug. 21st, 2005|12:32 am]
Silicon Rose
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One of the things I've decided to do while I'm unpacking is to catalog my books. I started with the ones I got this round in Japan (list will be forthcoming as soon as I process the Excel file), and I'm now cataloging the other Japanese books. I have quite a few.

Anyways, there were a few things I noticed during data entry, primarily while entering Sohryuuden and Twelve Kingdoms.

Sohryuuden first. The first... somewhere around six, I think, books have the words "yonkyoudai", "four brothers", in them. However, if you look at the publishing info page near the back, where books helpfully provide the reading for the title, it's supposed to be read "dragon". Okay, they're dragons, very cute. After the first six books, he starts titling them using poetic Japanese for awhile, then returns to the "dragon" motif. Except this time, he just uses the katakana in the title. Maybe people weren't getting the joke? Or maybe it's just that by then it's obvious that they're really 100% dragons... though it's pretty obvious from the first book. Or maybe now he means it in the singular tense?

Anyways, Twelve Kingdoms is notable for its poetic titles which a) I can't pronounce, and they might not even expect your average Japanese to be able to pronounce either, since the readings are written in romaji on the cover, and b) the IME doesn't recognize. This is sort of a hassle, because the pronunciations do not always have anything to do with how the original kanji were pronounced.

Another notable thing is that the lion's share of my Japanese book collection is Fujimi Fantasy, but most of the new stuff I brought back from Japan is not (aside from the remainder of Scrapped Princess and Kaze no Stigma). I covered several publishers, but I think the winner for # of volumes is Dengeki.

Currently the fields in my spreadsheet are Title, ISBN, Publisher, Author, Translator, Genre, Series, and Volume. I've so far only entered books, but I intend to start with my manga shortly, since it happens to be at the top of the box I'm currently working on. The manga should fall into roughly the same fields, but I'm going to put it on a different sheet. Any suggestions for other fields are welcome.

Lessee. Listened to the new Angela CD, I/O, at work the other day, and was more or less not impressed. Some of the songs I didn't like so much might grow on me with time, though... I actually didn't like Asu e no Brilliant Road the first time I heard it. I also started listening to Final Fantasy VII's soundtrack, which is four discs like the FFX soundtrack, but was entirely written by Uematsu Nobou, unlike FFX. He's a very talented composer. I have to say, I didn't like many of the songs written by the other composers in the FFX soundtrack. Too repetitive. My experience with the FFVII music was marred by a confused Windows Media Player/Gracenote Database (not sure whose fault it is) which gave me the correct track list online, but failed to name the track lists correctly in the player. (Ex. The welcoming theme for Rufus was mislabeled as "Chasing the Black Caped Man". These two themes are so completely different as to be painful when compared.) Also, the song names in the database were translated. They're not bad translations, but I'm trying to decide whether I want to keep them.

...Yoshitaka Amano's art is strange as always...

Started Aoi Umi no Tristia, and am reasonably amused by it. It's interesting to see the town grow as you distribute inventions, and the scenes are entertaining. I need to move out into other districts more, though, and try to raise some of the shop levels. One thing that I've run afoul of is that I started pursuing higher level inventions, but the shops aren't high enough level for me to be able to sell the new inventions to them. This was an aspect of the system I was not aware of. ^^;; Er. Back to the drawing board?

The game is overall turning out to be entertaining, but not incredible. I'll probably play through it once and remember it with relatively fond memories. Barring massive failures.

Was reading up on Kingdom Hearts II in an (slightly) old Famitsu (but one that I purchased today). The battle system seems very different from the original - it doesn't look like an action RPG at all, but instead more your typical Square "wait for turn, select action, see action succeed/fail, next character...). Of course, I'm just going off some screenshots, so perhaps I'm mistaken, but there was definitely not an "Attack" command in the original (right?). As for content... Mulan is a partner character? ...I see cyfis climbing the walls here...

In other game news, we're running out of space to store them in our entertainment room. ^^;; There's a large pile of PS1 games sitting next to the game shelves. The top four shelves are entirely occupied by Atari and SNES games... I have two shelves worth of Japanese PS2 games and a slightly packed in shelf worth of Japanese PS1 games. Heh. We're... um... not game geeks or anything. Really.

Ah. Tried Dinner's Ready today. We constructed our six meals (split into half portions), and it was a reasonably painless hour and a half. We decided to try one of the dishes tonight. I didn't like the Cannellonis we made much, but that was not because of the quality of the food, but more because it was too Mexican for me. We're having the Dijon-Tarragon Chicken tomorrow night, which I think should be more up my alley, and I expect to enjoy.

[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-08-22 03:50 pm (UTC)
At least in the American Kingdom Hearts, if you didn't press any buttons for a second, the game would remind you which button attacks. That may be what you're seeing in the screenshots -- not having looked at them, I obviously can't be sure. I have noticed an odd phenomenon: the same people who really liked FF7 tended to really like Kingdom Hearts. On the other hand, people like Tristan, Cyrus, and myself, who didn't like FF7, also didn't like Kingdom Hearts. This suggests that there is some prominent feature shared by both FF7 and Kingdom Hearts which is NOT present in, say, FF4, FF8, or Chrono Trigger, and which appeals to the majority of RPG players, but turns off a sizeable minority. I honestly can't for the life of me figure out what it is. I do think it has to be something very fundamental, because it seems to affect gameplay, story, *and* music.

While I think Uematsu was an excellent composer, I find his early, grander, more Romantic (referring to the musical style) work far more appealing than his post-1995 output. For exactly this reason, I like Yasunori Mitsuda, with his operatic overture/variation approach, even better.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-08-23 02:28 am (UTC)
Well, we shall see. It's probably just my misinterpretation, since Famitsu is reporting it as an Action RPG... BTW, screenshot here, courtesy of RPGamer (if they allow external linking):

(I'm so sad, I forgot how to do an img tag...)

FF7 was all right, though not incredible, so we'll see how I like KH.

Yes, Yasunori Mitsuda is a sweet, sweet composer. His music is gorgeous.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-08-23 02:46 pm (UTC)
Do you know what the options on the menu say? Because, IIRC, KH had a special abilities/party commands menu you could scroll through with one joystick while using the other to fight.

The one part of Kingdom Hearts I really enjoyed was the optional fight with Sephiroth. First, because I beat it at a far lower level than any FAQ or other player said I should be able to, and, second, because I got to control a small child beating the crap out of Sephiroth with a blunt object.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-08-23 04:30 pm (UTC)
Meteor, Fight, ?, Item, -

That's interesting. Not a bad design, I guess.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-08-24 04:03 am (UTC)
It wasn't bad. The godawful camera control really hurt, though. But not half as much as hearing the first thirty seconds of "Under the Sea" over... and over... and OVER...

...You know, I rather suspect my youngest sister has never heard the term "joystick"? The young 'uns just call 'em "sticks" now. And I'm pretty sure my nephew will grow up not knowing what a cartridge is... *is old and sad*
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[User Picture]From: falsedrow
2005-08-23 10:08 pm (UTC)
Having just finished the first one last week, I can say that looks just about the same - fancier, but not fundamentally different. It had a menu in the lower left which had attack/item/magic/*various specials* on it; you could use the digital pad or the right stick to move around in it.

Mmm, pretty.
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2005-08-23 05:47 pm (UTC)
According to the information I currently have on hand (which, admittedly, may be slightly dated), the basic combat system for KH2 remains unchanged, although they said they've improved the camera work.
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[User Picture]From: froborr
2005-08-23 06:03 pm (UTC)
Praise Ghu! KH was the origin of my quote, "I tend not to enjoy games where the cameraman is trying to kill me."
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-08-30 03:28 am (UTC)

Book cataloging

Check out my new site www.librarything.com. It catalogs your books online. The first 200 are free. Send me the Excel file and maybe I can get process it too. -Tim
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-09-04 05:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Book cataloging

I took a look, but I'm looking for a set of features you don't have right now. Currently I'm entering my books into an Excel file, but I plan to move them into a database and allow sync'ing with my PDA in the future (at least for search by ISBN, search by Title functionality). It has to allow an offline sync because I travel to different countries, and I am not guaranteed internet access in every bookstore I go to.
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