Friday, June 11, 2010

What if Star Trek was written in Ancient Greece

 <-Historians were dumbfounded when they discovered this Greek vase featuring a picture of the Starship Enterprise

As I’ve been studying science fiction throughout the ages (read: watching Star Trek while eating a bowl of cheetos) I’ve notice a tendency in science fiction for it to emulate what it believes to be the perfect future for that time period. This becomes more apparent when one looks at the Star Trek movie released in 2009 and compares it to the original series, written in the 1960’s. The 1960’s Star Trek seems to embody the ideas of the 60’s with Captain Kirk running through the galaxy solving his problems through humanistic cheese. In the 2009 Star Trek, he solves problems with his inherent cheeziness, although they draw much less attention to it, and it focuses more on his ability to fight dirty. Furthermore, everything is much darker, and people are using advanced looking technology, rather than tape decks on a spaceship.

 This got me to thinking, what did they write about in the Greco Roman world, before we had even theorized spaceships? I think the whole thing would look entirely different….

Star Trek: Written by Genidillius Rodexilles (Gene Rodenberry) in 425 BC.

The date is 500 AD (This was far into the future at that point in time. Christianity? What’s that?)

We see a perfectly symmetrical ship flying by, with a statue of Chronos (god of space) on the front.

Meanwhile, on deck, we see a bunch of officers, all wearing togas and discussing things, while Spoxidius (Spock) is sitting in the corner, telling things to a scribe, writing things in stone. There is no Uhara there, but instead we see a shirtless pretty boy wearing winged sandals and carrying a horn, since these are obviously the best communication devices. After a zoom around the deck, the captain, Kirkatles (Kirk) comes out, completely naked, showing an incredibly muscular body with no physical flaws. He would then make his offerings to the gods before setting out their 5 year voyage throughout the cosmos.

In other episodes, we would see Kirkatles get captured and be tempted with things from his wildest dreams, such as olives and wine, while enjoying pottery and discussing philosophy. At the end of every episode, of course, Kirkatles would show those stupid barbarians (Klingons) how Greek values are vastly superior to theirs, and use them to defeat them. Of course, we cannot forget about the time travel episode, where Kirkatles goes back in time to the ancient time of Troy, and winds up meeting Achilles and falling in love with him. Alas, Kirkatles realizes that this would mess up the order of the cosmos, and has to return to his own time.

Of course Star Trek would be passed along by Bards and poets, and possibly written on Pottery. After that of course, the Romans would probably get the rights to it and start renaming the characters crazy things like making Kirkatles into some dumb name like “Kirk” or something, and making Spoxidius something equally stupid, like “Spock.” Hm… This looks like a pretty interesting fanart idea, if somebody wants to do it.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quit playing single player games at multiplayer parties

<-Street Fighter II, the quintessential game for multiple people to play. Notice how it has room for two players, and allows them to rotate quite easily

At the most recent party I attended, I noticed a strange tendency among they gamers in the room present. They all seemed to be surrounding a TV watching one guy play a single player game. Now then, this room contains like 4 people and a large TV. Furthermore, there were more than enough controllers present for everybody to play. This left me wondering why the bloody hell anybody would stand by and allow this to happen.

Sadly, I do know the attitude that allows for such atrocities to happen. It’s a state of sheer apathy and lack of desire to compete that is possessed by many people who enjoy sitting around and watching their friends play games at parties. This both offends me when I am playing the game and watching a person play such a game, for this activity does not promote any growth in the person sitting there watching another person game. Furthermore, it I’m the person watching, it offends me that this person has the gall or narccisstic tendancies to think that I find sitting and watching them play a game without me remotely entertaining. This si the very reason that games like Halo, Dead or alive and Street Fighter were invented, so friends can beat the stuffing out of each other in parties, without feeling left out. Yet, many nerds tend to continue in this fashion of leaving people out of gaming matches in favor of just having one guy get all of the fun. This was a silly issue, such as when I was hanging at a friends house and they wanted to play Arkham Asylum instead of Mario Kart Wii, even though 4 people were present (those people had bad taste anyway.)

To this I say to people! Stop making social events just so you can all play the games you would sit around and play by yourself! Sure, if you go to a friend’s house and play their games, they will probably kick your ass, bus so what? They didn’t get good by sitting around watching you play games, so have your bro falcon punch you in Super Smash brothers. Nobody cares how many points you can get on a level, or what level your char is at, or exactly how good you are at some single player game! Multiplayer was invented for a reason, and people need to start using this ability. 

Does is bother anybody else when people gather in order to play single player games?

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Anime in Focus: School Days Episode 6

 <-Itou x Saionji. There's no way this is going to end well

Well, last episode ending with Itou making passionate love to Saionji while Katsura sat at home not knowing. By this episode, Itou and Saionji are doing it practically every night, sometimes with Saoinji sleeping over.

Awww yes, I approve of the direction this show is taking.

This show does seem to suck…. AT DISSAPOINTING! Itou is such a sleazy jerk that watching him is like watching a trainwreck… you just can’t turn away despite how much damage he’s causing. Saionji is REALLY feeling guilty for cheating on her best friend, and really wants to tell her because of how much she is afraid to hurt her.

Meanwhile, Katsura is trying to figure out why Itou’s been acting so distant lately. It’s kinda sad to watch her. She’s giving it her all, and yet her boyfriend is cheating on her behind her back. She’s doing her best to attempt to fix their relationship, making him a scarf, making lunch for him, while Itou is busy having dirty sex with Saionji. They make out behind Saoinji’s work, Saionji spends the night at Itou’s, They making out on the school roof where Itou used to make out with Katsura. Itou’s even taken to lying to her in order to hang out with Saionji more. Still don’t see what’s so attractive about this guy though.

Maybe I should feel bad for enjoying this so much.

Alas, for some reason or another, another girl seems interested in Itou. At this point, Katsura decides to stick up for him and tell everybody that she’s dating him… Poor girl doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in the background.

Unfortunatly, due to the fast pacing this series has, I wasn’t THAT surprised by the ending. I am a bit exited about where this is going, though, hehehe

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fox announces it’s new teen drama: Olympus

 <-Next season, we follow the mishaps of Herakles in the new Drama inspired by "The Hills," "Olympus"

During a press conference, FOX entertainment has announced it’s latest drama in the style of TV shows like “The OC” and “The Hills,” to be titled “Olympus.” Rather than taking place in a beach town, this television show will take place in the mountains of Greece, and will focus on the day to day troubles of the gods that live there.

Thankfully, the nice folks at Fox gave me a preview of the shows setting and characters. Although this show is really being filmed in the Saddleback mountain range in California, they manage to make it look a lot like it is actually being filmed in Mount Olympus in Greece. A great deal of time will be spent in the fictional school Olympus High, where several of the characters struggle through the everyday issues of being high school students, maintaining worshippers, maintaining their divine portfolio, and competition with other gods.

A Preview show of a place many of the main characters hang out, a coffee shop named "The Forum."

The show will be taking place in a variety of locales that actually exist on Mount Olympus, and an actual coffee shop based off of “the Forum,” a place frequented during the show, is being planned in order to promote the show. The first episode they showed me focused on Herakles, and showed his relationship with Zeus, with a brief glaring match between him and Hera. Later Orpheus was shown playing a song by whatever band those kiddies are listening to these days. Although the actor that plays Athena was quite hot, she got the role of the jealous jerk down perfectly. I took issue with the fact that Herakles seemed to have been portrayed as a bit more macho in mythology, but the people at Fox said they wanted a new twist on the character. They also pointed out that this is why Orpheus plays a guitar instead of a lyre, along with having Orpheus showcase music by the latest bands. Fortunately, the pilot episode showed us a lot of the characters, and the hot young actors who are going to be playing them:
   Here's a shot of Olympus high, which the show will be taking place at

Zeus: Zeus is the principal at Mount Olympus High school. Although he mainly appears as a guidance figure to the other gods, he will occasionally get his own moment in the spotlight. He is currently having marital issues with his wife Hera, which makes things difficult while trying to a proper father figure to his illegitimate son Herakles.  

Herakles: Zeus’s illegitimate son who is trying to fit in at Olympus high. He has trouble getting along with the other students, who make fun of him because he isn’t really a god. Furthermore, he feels estranged by his father, who never seems to have time for him, and his scheming wife Hera, who always seems to make things difficult for him. At the start of the series, he’s been attempting to complete twelve labors in hopes of getting strong enough to join the Mount Olympus High Football team.

Orpheus: A singer who plays the guitar every Saturday at “The Forum” the coffee shop that the students at Olympus high frequently attend. He’s best friends with Herakles, as he’s the only person who really understands what it’s like not being a god in this town. Sometimes can be found by the lake gazing off into the distance, mentioning something about a girl named Eurydice.

Poseidon: Poseidon is the local surfer dude, who always seems to use metaphors that allude to surfing. He’s also very popular with the ladies at Olympus High, despite being a bit of a delinquent. He is quite famous at the school for an incident where he lost a contest with Athena, and wound up flooding most of the school.

Athena: Leader of the student council at Olympus high, she’s the principal’s daughter, and everybody knows it.  Started a rumor a few years ago about Poseidon’s ex-girlfriend that she was never able to recover from. Strangely, there are some rumors floating around that she has a crush on Herakles, which would ruin her reputation entirely if they were to be confirmed, since Herakles is SUCH a dork.

Aphrodite: Another member of Athena’s band of cheerleaders, quite famous for her on and off relationship with Poseidon. Then again, who DOESN’T she have an on and off relationship with? Recently, she’s had her eye on Herakles, just to see how it would cause Athena to react…

Artemis: The local goth chick, she always seems to be late for class. She loves animals, and doesn’t get along with Athena and her gang of blonde cheerleaders. She can be seen hanging around with Herakles down at “the forum” sometimes, and likes listening to Orpheus’s work, especially after Eurydice died and he got into a darker type of music.

I’m actually exited to see how this show turns out, and if any of the actors will be able to launch their careers from this show. Furthermore, Fox said that if the show is successful, they will be launching a spin-off series named “Valhalla.” This show will be airing sometime next season on Fox!

Anime in focus: Outlaw Star Episode 2

 <- Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, the suitcase you've been protecting has a person stuck inside of it

<-Previous Episode

Well, since I was at a friends house doing a anime watching spree with some friends, I had to watch the second episode of this series immediately after the first. I had no objections to this fortunately.

This episode starts with a flashback talking about growing up and the effects it has. Then we get back to where our main characters were originally, running away from some freaky wizards, hiding in a farm, realizing that the suitcase they were protecting had a person in it.  Unfortunately, the wizards that were attacking them are able to track them down. To make things more difficule, they are running low on wizard penetrating ammo, forcing James and Hilda to go out and get help, so they can escape the planet. This triggers a flashback with Gene showing the last time he was in space, and his father was killed, causing him to avoid space after that.

Anyways, the group winds up escaping the planet, now with the addition of the creepy chick in the suitcase, although barely, and with no shortage of EXPLOSIONS. This leads the characters to Hilda’s ship, where we hear some exposition on SPACE politics.

Episode ends with the main character’s hiding out in a hotel, then getting attacked. No resolution on this, leaving a “to be continued”. I like that attitude, since it pretty much forces you to come back with the promise of violence. Kinda like how School Days does things. Needless to say, I’ll be watching the next episode sometime soon.

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Coming soon! Episode 3

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Anime in focus: Dai Guard Episode 1

I was introduced to this series back in the days when I was running ye local anime shoppe, and one of my regulars bought it. A couple years later and we’re having a party at his house, and he suggests we watch it.

The first episode starts out with an Angel… no wait, sorry, Heterodyne is attacking something. Anyways, we then flash forward to some defense expo, where we focus on Dai Guard corporation. These guys have built a giant robot just to make themselves look cool apparently, since no giant monsters have appeared since that time. Makes a cool mascot, but nobody wants to pay for it. However, the companies mascot employee, a guy who advertises for the company while sporting a faaabulous pink bandanna, fully believes in their giant hunk of metal.

After a lengthy discussion about funding the giant robot, a giant sea monster attacks. This thing looks like a giant cobra with tentacles. The government official guy tells the guys at Dai Guard to run off, but the guy in the fabulous bandanna manages to rally the three people together to pilot their giant robot. This leads to a relatively boring fight where they wrestle the giant sea monster and throw it into the ocean, forcing it’s retreat Then everybody breathes a sigh of relief because they were starting to run out of fuel for their giant robot that was just a mascot a few minutes ago.

While the first episode manages to set the scene, I find that it moved unhealthily slowly, considering everything that happened. Maybe it’ll get more interesting, but I really wish more would happen in the timeframe.

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Next Episode->

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Artist Profile: Tsuranga

Project profile: Shira Oka: Second Chances

Today’s project is Shira Oka: Second Chances by Okashi studios

Demo is available now HERE  review HERE

With the school semester being out for summer, I’ve been finding it much harder to network with artists in the area. Fortunately while I was cleaning out my email box, I ran across a studio that was working a project that has not been released yet, hence making them the perfect subject for my next project to feature.

Okashi Studios is a small group of programmers and weeaboos based in San Fransisco working on a big beefy dating sim project named “Shira Oka: Second Chances” They have going at it for a few years, ever since I first ran into their booth at AX 2006 (four years now? Yeesh) Anyways, Shira Oka is a dating sim about a failure of a person who gets a chance to relive high school. While that tells little about the actual scenarios that will be encountered, it lays the basis for the games attitude. The most important thing about a dating sim is the characters and scenarios that run it, and I’m here to talk about the previews that have been released.

To start, we have the preview that was shown at previous conventions

This shows a bit of the characters and the plot, but little on the scenarios presented.

Now then, because I don’t feel like writing about everybody I’m going to write which characters appeal to which of my fetishes and why.

Alright, after watching disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, shy moe- blobs managed to appeal to me again. Let’s not forget that scarves make everybody, male or female, obviously much more attractive. Never underestimate how much sexier a scarf can make a person.

Next we have the Genji girl

Everybody who doesn’t like Genji girls has never talked to a real girl. Easily exited people actually do things, making them more interesting, leading to better dates. Also, this person appears at the town introduction here

After this we have the mechanic, Innou Suzu

Wasn’t very interesting until I read the word Motorcycle. Motorcycles make everybody sexier by about 50% I certainly hope we get to see her on a Motorcycle, mmmhmm.

Now then, I normally don’t play dating sims, but instead prefer my dating sim along with some ass kicking, like shown in the best game ever, Persona 4. Alas, your average RPG doesn’t focus on these aspects very much, and the great Persona 4 only has it in there as an optional side thing. On another note, while many western based RPG’s such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic include some romance based side plot, but that can easily be skipped. If one wants to get some decent dating sim action, and not just a side note, they need to get a game dedicated to it.

Although I had assumed that the project was either dead or already finished, it does appear to still be in progress. Perhaps they should hire me to go down there and show my awesome C++ skillz and help them finish their project. I have been meaning to program my own dating sim, one of these days. Alas, it is actually closer to completion. Perhaps I will pay these people a visit while I’m at Anime Expo 2010, as they may have some promotional goodies.

While the characters manage to fill most of the dating sim essentials; don’t really matter for much without the scenarios. I’ll need to see that before I can give a full opinion on the project. HOWEVER, I am moderately intrigued to see how an American made dating sim placed in Japan turns out. Will it be good, or will it reek of Weeaboo? Who knows, and only one way to find out.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Anime in Focus: Ninja Nonsense (2x2 Shinobuden) Episode 2

While the first episode of this series was entirely nonsensical and had an incredibly inane plot, we must remember that the title of this series is Ninja Nonsense, and not Ninja “stuff that matters.” Realizing this, we can see this show as silly, perverted and inane, while incredibly entertaining.

This episode starts with the Kaede over at the ninja mansion for the major cherry blossom viewing festival they have every year. Unfortunately, this year it manages to rain on the day of the festival, making the entire ninja mansion disappointed that their picnic plan has been ruined. While sitting inside the ninja mansion and complaining, it is generally agreed they should use their ninja arts in order to create their own cherry blossom festival. This results in them throwing powder around like a bunch of idiots, until Onsakumaru gets nearly eaten by a crocodile… or alligator. They never really figure that out.

Part B contains another 15 minute episode that screams of Shinobu x Kaede yuri, which is always fun. Shinobu ends up stopping by Kaede’s place before she goes on a shopping trip, and winds up going along with her. For some reason Onsokumaru and one of his ninja henchmen, Sasuke wind up coming along. Because nothing looks more normal on the street than a yellow floating life form… thing and a person in full ninja gear. Strangely, nobody seems to notice this. They wind up getting lunch, which somehow involves them eating without Sasuke ever taking off his mask. During this lunh endeavor, they wind up meeting Shinobu’s sister, who happens to be a wizard that want Shinobu to transfer into a less moronic department (well I’d be concerned about leaving somebody with those guys too) They manage to convince her that the ninja school is quite competent, leading to the episode end.

This episode manages to be more entertaining than the last one, although the first one was not bad. I have the DVD box set right here, so I will probably watch the rest of this series quite soon.

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Coming Soon! Next episode!