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SMASH! Roundup [07 Aug 2008|10:03pm]
[ mood | amused ]

I headed up to Sydney again on Friday to spend the weekend with my lovely girlfriend and attend an anime convention.

The bus arrived late yet again (Greyhound suck), which didn't put me in the best of moods. The bad mood evaporated as soon as Gill picked me up and together we battled the fierce city winds trying to freeze us before we could make it over to the sushi train. Dinner was nice, though it'd been a while since we last had sushi train so I left the more suspect looking dishes for the other patrons for a change (Eel Ship just looked wrong). We headed back to Gill's place after that as it was getting close to 10.

I assisted in a bit of amateur hairdressing that night, but I didn't quite get the curlers right and Gill had to straighten her hair the next morning.

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We had to get up semi-early the next morning to ensure we got to SMASH! on time. After some wardrobe and hair changes, we were on our way and once there it turned out not pre-registering worked in our favour as we avoided the huge pre-reg queue, paid at the door and walked straight in.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting too much but everything looked pretty good as we walked in. It seemed set up kinda like a smaller scale Animania and although it was crowded, there was still plenty of room to get around. We wandered around vendors (bumping into some of Gill's students in the process) and had a look at the various vendors, pretty happy with the various things on offer (and laughing at the bootleg Nendoroids). We bumped into Franky on our travels and headed over to the game room to say hi to the rest of the guys (Noa had PM'd Gill saying he was attending) who were very busy playing Brawl. We left them after a short while, then indulged in some soggy takoyaki before settling in for the main event of the day, an interview and live dubbing performance from Japanese seiyuu Hidenobu Kiuchi.

It's pretty impressive for a small con to get an actual Japanese voice actor, but unfortunately the host was a dreadful interviewer who spent too much time talking about himself and then failed to ask concise, clear questions. I didn't know anything about Kiuchi before I went to SMASH! and I still don't know anything about him, aside from him seeming like a nice and funny guy. The live dubbing made up for the shoddy interview, it was a lot of fun.

Oh, he also wants us all to buy anime DVDs and not download anime. Kinda funny seeing as most of the anime he's had a major role in isn't available to buy here :P

We met back up with everyone at the games area and went over to Maccas for lunch, minus Noa who was still Brawling, but with the addition of Lindsay. Long lines were made short with a lot of wise-cracking, everyone was getting along really well and the good company was pretty much icing on what was proving to be a really enjoyable convention.

After lunch we all split up again and Gill stood in line with me for Kiuchi's autograph (I got him to sign a Darker Than Black booklet that came with the 1st OP single) and we did another round of the vendors before heading up to the artist's area. There was a lot of cool stuff on display and we had fun looking at all the various artist's work. Again this was something I hadn't seen at other cons, more artists getting to show off their stuff. Kidchan was kinda like the guest artist of honour and her stuff was all really nice (unfortunately her artbook was sold out before we got upstairs). Gill bought one of her prints and had it signed. I didn't get anything 'cause I'm a tight-ass :P

We must've missed the start of the cosplay, but didn't stick around watching it for too long because we ended up attending the trivia, forming a team with Noa, Franky and Jesus. The questions were a bit of a mixed bag, but there were a lot of gaming questions in there, so we ended up doing pretty well. We had to wait a while for the results and after missing the announcement of the winners, had to pull up one of the organisers to ask who had won.

Apparently we came equal second by a point (or some shit). I didn't feel we did that well, but everyone else believed we had won but that they had given the prize to another team so they wouldn't have to call out our name... Team Dickbutt. We did get a lot of answers right... shenanigans? I'm not sure.

Should I talk about the male karaoke sensation Barry Yellow? Probably not. He can really work a stage though.

Somehow Gill and I ended up participating in Kiuchi Trivia shortly after that. They just threw questions to the audience (mostly about Kiuchi-related anime characters) and even though I was just playing for the hell of it, somehow managed to tie for first place. Despite Gill's vocal protests, I just let the girl I tied with have the prize. It was a Prince of Tennis drama CD or something and I didn't really have any interest in it, nor would I have won a tie-breaker question if it had been about anything other than Darker Than Black or Hitman Reborn :P As a consolation, all the people that answered a question correctly got a Prince of Tennis trading card, which Kiuchi then signed. I had mine made out to Gill as I already had the signed booklet :P

We met up with everyone yet again, watched Barry receive his well deserved 1st place karaoke award and got our picture taken with him. We settled in for the band, but everything was running late and we were hungry and kinda left. I feel bad 'cause they were actually pretty good and no-one much seemed to hang around for their performance (including us).

Wandering was the theme of the day and we all wandered for quite a while before finding somewhere to eat. I can't remember the name of the place, but the food was pretty decent and the servings were large. Sometimes you didn't get what you ordered and sometimes the drinks came in bowls, but that just added to the enjoyment of the meal and extended the conversation. A good end to a good convention that wasn't just good because of the company, but because it was. Will be heading back next year if they have it.

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Sunday was another early-ish morning, so we could go ice-skating. I had never been before and didn't really want to go, but just went to amuse Gill. Turned out to be more enjoyable than I expected and somehow I avoided falling over, although I still didn't really get the hang of the rhythm and leg movements. I could be persuaded to go again.

Lunch and shopping took place after that, but it all drew to a close too quickly as I had to leave in the early afternoon. As always, a great weekend together but it felt as though we hadn't spent much time together at all since we were with other people for most of Saturday and it feels like weeks since we last saw each other.

I'll be heading up there next weekend, just gotta keep myself distracted in the meantime :P

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Mwuhaha <3 [13 Apr 2008|09:40pm]
Well, everything is booked for my Melbourne trip with Gill. We'll be heading down there together in a week and a half from Sydney and spending a few relaxing days in the city. There's no particular plan at this point, but we'll be attending Game On, a few art galleries and of course, going shopping.

She has a pretty stressful workload at the moment, even though she's on holidays. It's a shame that she gets such good holidays (being a teacher) but then has to spend most of them working and marking at home. As such, I don't want to plan too hectic a trip.

This will be our first trip together and given that we're well over the 6 month mark now, I'm surprised that it's taken us this long to get around to it. Schedules haven't been exactly in sync, but we're finally going on a holiday and I can't think of anyone I'd rather spend it with.

Best relationship ever.... aside from the distance thing, which is getting more and more difficult. I thought based on prior relationships that I'd benefit from having a break every now and again, but that's not the case with this one. Unlike before, I don't feel glad or relieved to have time to myself and time away from having to struggle to keep things together with selfish, erratic and damaging people. When you're with someone who genuinely cares for you and you for them, things are just so much easier.

Now I know what a real relationship is like, I'm thankful for every day of it <3

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Enough of the mushy stuff, I should talk about games now :P

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Mario Kart Wii is out in a week and a half and seems to be getting positive feedback. The game actually features 32 tracks, not 16 as I said in an earlier post ^_^; So 16 new tracks and 16 remakes of old ones. The battle stages are also a mix of old and new.

Apparently whilst the game doesn't seem to work with Freeloader, it is safe to use the game to upgrade your firmware if you're still planning on using your Freeloader for imports. This comes as a bit of a surprise and I'll be waiting for tests before trying it myself... which I won't be doing anyway until I get a bit of playtesting done as I'm not convinced that this is a must buy, even with Wi-Fi support.

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Picked up Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol yesterday. Haven't played it yet as I'm still sticking to my game regime (1 console, 1 game until completion) and I haven't finished Phoenix Wright 3 yet. I quite enjoyed the GameCube game though and I'm looking forward to playing this as it should be more of the same, albeit running around a park rather than a house... even if the water gun he wields on the cover seems to be shaped a bit like a penis.

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I could go on about games, but I won't :P
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Strawberry on the Shortcake [06 Apr 2008|09:34pm]
[ mood | cold ]

Headed up to Sydney last weekend to spend some more time with Gill and be her escort for a couple of events.

First up was the beach wedding of one of her friends on Friday evening. It was a small ceremony and it was very much religion-based, which starkly contrasted with the wedding we'd attended the weekend before that. I could go on about how strongly I disagree with some of the stuff that was said by the celebrant or whoever he was (and there was plenty of of it), but the fact of the matter is that it was the ceremony that the couple wanted and they both seemed really happy with the ceremony (and the night as a whole).

The reception was a lot warmer than the Canberra one again was a low-key dinner/speeches/dancing kinda thing. I felt out of place for a while, even though I'd met some of the people before. As the night went on, I loosened up a bit and started to enjoy things a bit more. Lucklily Gill's friends are pretty nice and easy to talk to and I think overall I enjoyed myself more than I did at my friend's wedding.

Side-note: Gill didn't catch the bouquet.

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We headed to the Easter Show the following day via the public transport. The tickets were pretty expensive, but it was worth the money and I regret not going a bit earlier and being more prepared so we could've seen more of the events.

It was quite a warm, sunny day and we wandered around looking at animals and such while we waited for one of Gill's friends to meet us. We headed into the food pavilion and I sampled a salsa (or something) made from the world's hottest chillies. I don't usually eat spicy stuff anymore and that burned for a good 10-15 minutes. The woman had it hidden behind the counter so kids wouldn't accidentally eat it :P

After meeting Gill's friend, we grabbed some lunch and watched some horses doing... horse-stuff in the main arena while we ate. After that we headed around the show, mostly looking at animals and craft stuff, but also taking in an acrobatics show. We took a look around the showbag pavilion, but left without buying anything. I was keen to get a Nintendo showbag, as they seemed quite decent in the guide, but no-one seemed to have any left. I have to admit to being a little sad about not buying any showbags, but we had to head back to the arena to save some seats for the grand parade.

After we got our seats, Gill and I left to go on a ride or two and got side-tracked by a cat area. Most of the cats had left though and only a few ugly, flat-faced ones were left. We then went on some bizarre spinning, whirling chair ride that was good fun. The grand parade was ok, it's mostly just livestock and horses walking around in circles. A few of the bulls went crazy, which was probably why it was so entertaining. It's not every day you get to see a woman punch a bull in the face...

I then saved seats while Gill and her friend went on a ride and grabbed dinner. About 5 minutes after they left, a big rain cloud passed over the arena and proceeded to pelt down hail and then rain heavily for about half an hour. This unfortunately lead to everyone getting a bit wet and also them canceling some of the evening shows that were supposed to happen. They had some really lame cover band play for a bit (Fish Lips = fail) and the car thing was pretty awful 'cause they could do much since the track was all wet. The fireworks and laser show still happened though and that was worth sticking around for, especially as it was about milk (my favourite drink).

After the fireworks we headed back to the rides to use the last of our tickets and made the (unwise) decision to go on a ride called the "Bad-Ass Zipper". It was one of those rides where you sit in cages and get spun around really fast and it seemed like the kind of thing we wanted and it went for a while.

The thing was a death-trap... I swear it was about 20 years old judging from the safety harness (a bar which went across your lap) which was inadequate as I felt myself slipping around as the thing started to speed up. We were flipped upside down and back and forth so much, it was pretty horrible, but also a bit exciting as well. The pro of a long ride soon turned to a con once you were on the ride. Seriously felt like it went for about 10 minutes :P Eventually it finished and staggered out onto firm ground again.

Unfortunately the showbag pavilion was closed, so there was no chance to get any last-minute showbags. Disappointed we headed off to the buses and said our goodbyes.

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Sunday was pretty low-key. Lunch was the best char-grilled chicken and chips in the park, which was nice aside from one spider-related mishap :P I had to head back to Central after that, which is always depressing. The trip back was actually nice this time though, but I was already missing my girlfriend.

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Game related news: Got my Freeloader last week and have feverishly been playing Super Smash Bros Brawl and No More Heroes. The boot-disc works great and it's nice to actually be playing the Wii for extended periods of time again and not using it as a casual gamer machine.

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A few 2 sentence reviews:

Super Smash Bros Brawl: Possibly everything people hoped for and more. A little slower and easier to play than Melee, but easily the most entertaining game available on the Wii at the present time.

No More Heroes: Stylish and entertaining, but surprisingly unsatisfying (unlike Killer7). Not a must-buy by any means, but is worth playing through at least once 'cause it's a hell of a ride.

Geometry Wars Galaxies: Fun and frantic remake of the Xbox Live game. It's good, but never really escapes the feeling of a game you should've only paid $15 for, rather than $70.

Zombie Virus: This is the game you get when your mum goes to the shops and buys the wrong one. Thankfully this was actually surprisingly good and both Gill and I had a good time running over zombies in an ambulance while saving civilians in Sunlight City. No kidding, this game is actually ok and only cost $15.

Phoenix Wright - Trials and Tribulations: All the pros and cons of any other Phoenix Wright game really. Cases are a bit longer and more frustrating this time round, but the characters are less annoying than in the second game.

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lawl [26 Mar 2008|09:01pm]
[ mood | bored ]

Thought I'd get an update in early as I'm heading off to Sydney for the weekend and will probably forget otherwise.

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Well, my Freeloader and Super Smash Bros Brawl are on their way. I was a little late to jump on the bandwagon, but it only ended up costing $80 all up including shipping (thanks to a discount coupon). I guess they'll get here in a week or two and that'll give me a chance to get through a couple more games in the meantime.

I don't really understand too much of what is going on with the Wii updates and how they'll effect the Freeloader. It sounds like it takes advantage of some coding glitch that will be rectified in the next system update and said update will up date the system menu and will need to be applied if you want to play the new Mario Kart game and WiiFit. Of course, I could be misinterpreting the whole thing (more than likely).

Not being interested in either of those titles is a blessing. Mario Kart seems pretty easy to pass on at this point. Due for release here next month, it looks a lot like the lack-lustre Double Dash and half its tracks and battle courses are remakes of courses from old games. I believe there's only 16 tracks total, which certainly isn't enough, factoring in that most people have raced the old ones to death. On-line multiplayer is a plus though and will add a lot of value to the game.

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Had a really enjoyable Easter weekend. The wedding was a bit dull, but it wasn't unpleasant. The reception was ok as well, mostly due to Gill's company and being seated with some other nice people. We were unfortunately stuck next to the only open windows in the place, so it got a tad chilly in the 18 degree weather. Got into the spirit of things though and had a few drinks and did a bit of bad dancing (thanks to the aforementioned drinking, no doubt).

The weekend was spent doing a whole lot of nothing much, which was perfect. My aim was to ease a bit of work stress (for both of us) and it was great to just cruise through the weekend together and not have to think too much about other commitments.

Cruising through means it all passes by quickly though and on Sunday we said our goodbyes again, but not for so long this time.

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True to form [20 Mar 2008|12:32am]
[ mood | chipper ]

Last week I picked up Asian Kung-fu Generation's new album World World World.

I was going to write a more in-depth review for it, but it started to sound really wanky in my head so I've decided against it. In summary, it's a lot more accessible their last album, Fanclub and if you like the current Bleach opening and the Tekkon Kinkreet ending, then you'll probably like the album quite a bit.

Actually, I think After Dark is probably the worst song on the album :P

It really is a return to form after Fanclub (which I still enjoyed, but took about 15 listens to appreciate), but it's still different to their earlier stuff. I'm pretty impressed with it overall and I think if Gotoh keeps writing like this, the next album is going to be amazing.

Interestingly enough, it came with a sheet of the lyrics translated into English tucked inside the booklet. This was pretty welcome to a non-Japanese speaker and I guess was an acknowledgment of their many fans outside their homeland.

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I have a friend's wedding to attend this weekend and I think it may be the first I've ever been to. In the past I've always found ways to weasel out of going to them, but it's for a good friend I've known since high school so I couldn't really pike out this time.

My escort for the evening will be my rather lovely girlfriend, who is coming down for the weekend. I'm hoping to show her a good time again (she was here not all that long ago) and help her forget about work stresses for a few days.

This is going to be an especially great week 'cause I get to spend the next few days with her and then I'll be heading up to Sydney at the end of the week to spend another weekend as a regular couple, which is time that always seems to pass way too quickly.

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Side-note: My cat seems to like her better than he likes me. Traitor.

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EBs have their '2 for $50' sale on at the moment, which is always worth a look. The stuff they have advertised on the website is pretty shit and from memory the last time they had this type of sale it was pretty lame as well.

It's well worth trying your luck anyway. If you get in there before the weekend, you might just find yourself something special.

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Freeloader for Wii is confirmed to work and I've already started importing US Wii titles.

I'm tired of Nintendo Australia's bullshit. I gave them a chance to turn their act around with the Wii and they failed. Badly.

Sadly a majority of people don't know any better and will keep supporting them (and pay $30 more for each game they buy) and as long as that keeps happening, Nintendo Australia won't ever change.

The trade-off is that Nintendo will most likely render the Freeloader useless with their next firmware update and if you want to continually use your region-breaking boot-disc... you'll have to forget about downloading virtual console games and the upcoming WiiWare titles.

...Which is pretty easy to do, really.

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Anyway, enjoy the long weekend everyone ^_^

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It's not unusual... [15 Mar 2008|04:44pm]
[ mood | calm ]

long storyCollapse )

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Ramblin' Man [05 Mar 2008|10:51pm]
So much for the regular updates... I do have things I want to talk about, it's just that I have trouble getting around to typing them up.

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I saw Rocket Slime for DS in EBs a while back for $25. I saw a mini-review on spero2's lj and thought it looked pretty decent so I picked it up.

Good game. Very basic, but a lot of fun and pretty entertaining for the most part. It's mostly an action-RPG game aimed at beginner players with bizarre giant tank battles thrown in to add to the fun.

I was very impressed with the translation and localisation job. Some of the dialogue and descriptions was amusing, with quite a few jokes that'd probably go over most kids heads.

On the whole it's a little too easy, but I clocked in about 13 hours to play all the way to the finish and then all the extra (optional) tank battles. I don't think I'll put in the extra time required to collect and mix the various items, but it's a game I see myself possibly going back to play in later years.

A good buy for a little brother or sister... then sneak away with it and play it yourself when they're not looking. The only problem I have with the game is that there's only one save file available, which means no sharing and also some reluctance to start again later and wipe your data.

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Freeloader for Wii (not in stock here yet, but you can get one off ebay) is apparently now a reality. My prayers have been answered (until Nintendo finds a way to render it obsolete).

I was going to import a US Wii, but I'll probably just get a Freeloader to tide me over for the time being. There's about 4 or 5 US games I want to get at them moment, which should all work for a while 'cause they won't require a firmware update.

I'm trying to save money at the moment though, so it's doubtful I'll be rushing off to buy anything just yet anyway... which might save me some trouble if there's any Freeloader issue popping up in the near future.

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Speaking of games, I'm still sticking to my recent resolution of '1 game, 1 console', which means I have to finish the current game before inserting another cartridge/disc/whatever in the console.

Exception to the rule is games like JUS and other 'pick up and play' games can be played whenever though. Logic telling me that this is ok 'cause they don't have a fixed life-span or length.

I make this resolution every year or so and don't usually stick with too long. Have got through a couple of games so far though and am hoping to get through some more of the backlog in months to come.

I haven't been buying many games lately, so that should help a bit.

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Another post soon. A boring one about a romantical weekend in the country and performing karaoke in a not-so-crowded hall.

Promise :P
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By request [10 Feb 2008|06:28pm]
It's been a while, but I'll attempt an update:

How come Batman doesn't dance anymore?Collapse )

(This post doesn't really have anything to do with Batman BTW)
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Scary stuff [17 Jan 2008|09:18pm]
[ mood | calm ]

I hope the new year is treating everyone well. It's been a while since I last updated, but I'll probably keep it pretty brief (more or less).

I headed up on New Years Eve to spend a week with Gill. She had passed her driving test that morning and picked me up from... somewhere (I forget, but I had to get a train out there) and then we headed over to the hotel where we were staying and swapped presents. I got overloaded with: jeans, shorts, thongs and a ceramic mushroom container (Mario-style, a picture will be uploaded at a later date) that she made for me while she was up at her mum's place.

We didn't really end up doing anything on New Years aside from watching DVDs, which wasn't exactly the plan. Even though we lost track of time and missed the fireworks, the raspberries more than made up for it.

The hotel was pretty nice, a surprisingly big one-bedroom apartment with kitchen facilities and balcony. Since the room was nice, the week was spent mostly doing the ordinary; watching DVDs, playing Wii and just laying around chatting about random stuff. We went out shopping a few times and also met up with some friends and family (both hers and mine), so we weren't exactly being shut-ins either.

I guess things are pretty serious now, evidence being the declarations that were made over the course of the week and the nature of several of the conversations. The time apart seems even more difficult now but at the same the relationship is more clearly defined, which is reassuring to someone who has very little confidence in themselves and tends to worry about things more than they should.

After that, it was back to work and it's pretty much business as usual. It's been pretty busy, but I haven't really been there for too long most days 'cause the jobs I'm working on are always being interrupted and the clients are irritating. I'd like to be able to work on things from start to finish and get them off my desk, but I don't ever get to do that any more. It's the nature of the work I guess, but being the 'go to guy' just 'cause no-one else is there isn't really rewarding or satisfying.

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I managed to finally pick up some decent gaming bargains when I got back to Canberra after New Years with cheap buys for games on several consoles. I also picked up Guitar Hero 3 for Wii (not 'cause I really wanted it, but because it's a little scarce) and was disappointed to see that it's based on the PS2 version and looks like shit. It also feels a little off compared to the earlier games and I think with the loss of Harmonix, the series has quickly started on a downward spiral. It also looks like Activision is going to try and pump out lots of tacky sequels this year so I guess the idea is to try and milk the series until it's a withered husk, rather than taking the time to make sure the games play right.

*shrugs* It's not like it's a bad game... In fact it's quite good. Somehow the chord and note progressions in the songs don't often feel like they're right, close but not quite. Also if you rely on the screen too much, you'll find your timing is never quite there and there's too many things flashing around and distracting you. This was never a problem in the earlier games where things just felt right and hammer-ons and pull-offs didn't tend to play themselves, which only adds to the slightly-off feel of the game.

I really loved playing it 2-player, but once I concentrated on the single-player I found myself a little disappointed with the overall product and regretting the purchase. It's a shame 'cause I think this iteration of the series has the best selection of tracks.

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I'm off to Sydney tomorrow for Gill's birthday. It should be a good weekend, although I'm a little anxious about the party as I'm not really a fan of 'going-out'. It's a mask party, so I've got my $1.94 Batman mask all lined up and ready to go and jeans and sneakers are ok apparently, which is also a plus. I have a few presents for her, some more heartfelt than others, but nothing too extravagant. Hopefully everything meets with her approval, but I doubt it :P

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Enjoy your weekend all.

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Let me write you this... [30 Dec 2007|10:43pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

I really meant to do an update before today... but never underestimate the power of laziness ^_^;

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. It was a pretty laid-back affair here, presents in the morning followed by a large lunch and dinner. I got Final Fantasy Tactics for PSP and Link's Crossbow Training for Wii (which isn't as bad as people say), along with a few DVDs and some money.

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I braved the after Christmas sales, searching high and low for gaming bargains... but there were none to be found. This is the 2nd or 3rd year in a row that the local after-Christmas sales have been quite disappointing. It was even worse this year than last year, which surprises me 'cause last year was as bad for bargains as I thought it could get. There was probably some good stuff on sale that's wasn't games... but I don't really know anything about that :P

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Heading up to Sydney tomorrow morning to spend New Year's with Gill. We've got a nice little one-bedroom apartment booked and I'm really looking forward to spending the week together. I've packed the Wii (so she can play Super Mario Galaxy) and a few DVDs, as I'm sure we'll be spending at least a few quiet nights in being domestic.

I just hope I don't poison her with my cooking :P

I'm not sure how long it's been since we were last together. In past relationships I've always been glad that I had some space to myself or some time apart, but that's not the case this time. I find myself missing her a lot... but that'll be fixed temporarily tomorrow. I finally understand why people say long-distance is difficult :(

Sorry if I've said some of this stuff before (it feels like I have), but I just feel like saying again anyway 'cause I'm feeling pretty great about this upcoming week. She's someone special, that's for sure ^_^

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Have a good New Year's everyone. All the best in 2008!

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Today's Rant [21 Dec 2007|06:32pm]
[ mood | bored ]

I went over to the southside today (reasons to be explained in a later post) and thought I'd stop in at the 2nd hand game/dvd shop as I hadn't been there for a while. As I walked in the door, I saw a 2nd hand copy of the Platinum version of Final Fantasy 8 for the bargain price of $70. I almost pissed myself laughing. Anything that's 'Platinum' or 'Greatest Hits' is worth bugger all and you can get a black label version of that game for around $30 anywhere else.

Wandered further into the store and almost doubled over when I saw a copy of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles marked at the low, bargain price of $100. Here's a hint guys: If EBs is selling a game for $30 cheaper than you are, you're overcharging... by about $50 :P

Another honourable mention was Breath of Fire 3 (which is a pathetic game, even by BOF standards) for the PSP for about $70 and marked as 'Unavailable new'. I guess the staff there couldn't walk 100 metres over to Game, who had 3 brand new copies sitting on their shelf for about the same price.

Do people who run these stores think we're stupid enough to buy these overpriced 2nd hand games because they stick a big sticker saying 'rare!' near the price tag? The worst thing about it is that the poor folks who sold these games to them in the first place probably only got about $5 for them.

I thought EBs had the most ridiculous pricing on their 2nd hand stuff, but this store takes the cake. At least it gave me a good laugh, as I had never seen so much overpriced stuff in a 2nd-hand store before... Though, to their credit, their more generic titles were dirt-cheap.

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Chicks Dig Nendoroids [17 Dec 2007|10:27pm]
[ mood | tired ]

Yesterday marked the half-way point in the Non-Gill period. Well, it's not really 'Non-Gill' 'cause we still talk on the phone most days, but it's Non-Gill due to the lack of actually seeing my girlfriend.

Two more weeks until we reunite for a quiet New Years up in Sydney. I don't really have anything special planned yet... A picnic for sure though, 'cause that was something we did together very early on that was a nice romantic afternoon and haven't really had the opportunity to do again since.

I'm hoping the box of Haruhi Nendoroid trading figures we're splitting gets here before I leave... even though I'm gonna open them first and keep all the cooler looking ones for myself ;P

I think I'm suffering withdrawals, going from at least an hour of talking each night to maybe 1/2 an hour if I'm lucky, due to her location. It's still a lot better than nothing but even though the conversations are always great, I'm still missing her a fair bit.

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I'm sure I had something else to talk about, but it's completely slipped my mind :P

Work's decent and nothing terrible has happened (that I can remember). I'm still playing lots of games and spending way too much on importing useless crap... so it's business as usual, I guess :P

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It'sa me. [29 Nov 2007|10:21pm]
[ mood | calm ]

Time for an update, methinks.

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Had a great weekend down here with Gill. I'm really glad that she made the trip down and we got to spend some more quality time together. We spent the weekend in a nice hotel on Northbourne and pretty much just relaxed and enjoyed each others company for the most part.

On Saturday, we spent the afternoon walking around shops before heading to a friend's engagement party. Watching people play Guitar Hero badly was frustrating me for some reason... I get a little tense and nervous around people I don't know, which maybe contributed a bit. We were only there for a few hours before heading back to watch a movie together and hopefully it wasn't too boring for her.

Sunday was a trip to the markets together, which was supposed to be followed by a trip to the art gallery, but we ran out of time. The markets are pretty interesting (don't buy the cider though) and it was good to see there were a few things there that interested her (potential future gifts?). Dinner was Turkish and as per usual we ordered too much, but it was still really nice food and even better company, so it was no big real problem.

10 am checkouts are a bitch, especially when you're with your girlfriend and it's also a Monday. We spent some time looking for some stuff for Gill's project and then looking at jewelery before rushing back to the hotel to grab bags and get her to the bus on time. We said our goodbyes with very few words as seems to be the easiest and best way.

The time we spend together is pretty amazing. I feel like I've known her forever and we just chat about anything and everything. I sometimes wonder if I'm not getting myself in too deeply too quickly, but things happen when we're together and I can't help but feel that everything is exactly the way it should be... Aside from the distance and the time apart, of course.

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Super Mario Galaxy is pretty cool so far.... but I'm only about 20 mins in. I picked it up from JBs (preordered there 'cause the line in TRU the other day was too long) and I got a pretty cool hardcover strategy guide, which is a lot better than the crappy looking one I seem to remember from the catalog.

Apparently they were just giving them out to their customers even if they didn't preorder, so I guess I probably didn't need to bother :P

Can't advise yay or nay at this early on, but it seems that this game is a winner with most folks, so I doubt this game will leave many people disappointed.

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Should've been in bed hours ago... [23 Nov 2007|02:33am]
[ mood | calm ]

I can't remember the last time I had such a shit day... But rather than bore you with the details, I'll just say it's not really that bad a thing.

Luck is not an exact science (well, it's not a science at all :P) but based on my calculations, I have exhausted my bad luck for this week. This means that this weekend should be more or less free of bad luck... which is important 'cause Gill is coming down here to spend it with me.

Of course, by making this declaration, I have now brought a jinx upon myself. A joker of sorts, a jinx may or may not result in a string or misfortune, but it's a pretty good excuse to use if something bad happens :P

Not that I'm really worried about anything bad happening. It's all been smooth sailing, which in itself is a miracle I attribute solely to her.

Did that last comment make sense... grammatically?

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Christmas has come early [18 Nov 2007|01:37pm]
[ mood | hungry ]

I bought my Christmas present... well, I dunno if it's a Christmas present. Basically I just went and bought some stuff. Vic Viper, Front Mission for DS and a Tales of Innocence DS accessory pack.

They have the Vic Viper listed as a model kit, but every other site has the same thing listed as a PVC figure, so I'm confident there'll be no assembly required. For some reason I've started collecting the DS accessory packs. It allows you to customise the appearance of your DS and is a lot cheaper than buying one of those limited edition Lites.

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I was supposed to play Super Mario Galaxy last night, but only got to watch other people playing it for about an hour or so. My hands were too cramped from playing through the whole of Guitar Hero 3 Co-op Career on hard anyway :P

It looks to be a pretty great game. Some of the gravity stuff, like (literally) running around small planets, looks to be pretty disorientating, but apparently you get used to it. From what I saw, it also seems to have a nice mix of stage types, so there's plenty of 'regular' type stages as well as the ones where you're jumping around space and what-not.

I'll be picking it up when it comes out in a few weeks. From what I hear, the multiplayer is kinda fun for couples :)

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Every little thing.... [17 Nov 2007|01:30pm]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

I spent the last weekend at my girlfriend's place, both to offer support as she completed her end of year project and to spend some time together. I can't say if I was much use on the support front, but I did what I could to help her out and calm her down when she needed it.

They were a really enjoyable domestic few days and I imagine that this is what living together would be like. Everything just felt really natural and I didn't feel like I was just 'staying over' for a few days, which of course made leaving even worse than usual.

Mostly I just hung around the house and played Metroid while she slaved away on her project. I did go shopping a couple of times and picked her up some requested items and I also did some painting for her, so I didn't feel completely useless. She's been stressing for a while now and it was nice to be able to lend a hand 'cause I'd like to think I can be there for her and not just in an emotional capacity.

I regret not being a bit more romantic though, especially given the expression of feelings we shared. After going to the trouble of taking the guitar up there, I didn't play for her all that much. I did eventually follow through on my plan to give her flowers and they got a much better response than a small bunch of roses deserved :P

That was only five days ago and it feels like a lot longer than that. I won't see her again till next Friday, when she comes down here. I don't know how I'm going to endure another week of waiting... but I suppose I should get used to not seeing her 'cause after next weekend I won't be seeing her till after Christmas sometime :(

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After a really intense opening first hour, Metroid 3 settles back into the rather slow-paced adventure style of it's predecessors. I'm hesitant to recommend for or against yet, but it's probably the best game on the Wii, bar Zelda. Given the new shooter-friendly control scheme, there should be a lot more action than what I'm currently experiencing. At the moment, the enemies are too infrequent and far apart for my liking. Fill the rooms with enemies, I say. Let Samus cut loose.

At this point it's a lot better than Echoes was though. Now that I've finished that, I have to say it was a disappointing follow-up to the excellent Metroid Prime. The game felt extremely cramped and restrictive, even though you had both a 'light' and a 'dark' world to explore. The boss battles felt more epic... but there was so much lame 'key hunting' that the game ultimately just ended up boring the hell out of me.

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I didn't end up getting Guitar Hero 3 'cause Big W sold out before I got there and I didn't realise shops in Sydney would price match even if the item was out of stock in the other store. The Wii version is only in mono anyway, so I can't say I was all that disappointed in missing out :P

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Some more gaming old news: [06 Nov 2007|11:56am]
[ mood | hungry ]

The Guitar Hero 3 bundle will be $98 in Big W on the 10th of November. This is a one-day only sale and from the picture in the catalogue appears to be applicable to all console versions of the game, including the Wii.

I'm yet to see the catalogue myself, but there a heaps of scans of it floating around the web at the moment, so I have belief in it's validity. Anyone keen for this bargain should head down to Big W on Saturday early, otherwise you'll probably miss out.

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Pokemon fans can download a Manaphy Pokemon at JB Hifi from 7th - 13th November. I dunno what a Manaphy is, but details can be found here.

It apparently comes in some special 'event only' Pokeball and is holding an item. It is also a Pokemon that can't be traded via the Global Trading Station, so you'll need to get into JB's yourself to download it.

*Blows dust off Pokemon Diamond DS Card*

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Speaking of blowing, the ending to Phantom Hourglass was absolutely pathetic. Why bother to make a direct sequel to a Zelda game when you don't bother expanding the story/universe. So much wasted potential story-wise, but other than that, the game is fantastic :P

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My Sega Direct Sega Ages Virtual-On Pack arrived yesterday. Worth an extra $50? Hell no :P I'm looking forward to playing a little more Virtual-On, but I'm not going to open it until I finish Metroid.

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[04 Nov 2007|06:35pm]
[ mood | hungry ]

I'm turning into a spending machine... but luckily it's all bargain stuff :P

Last week it was 3 pairs of shoes for $175, this week it was 3 Cube games and a dvd player for $90. $30 for Twilight Princess and $10 each for a Splinter Cell and a Prince of Persia game (all from Toys R Us). The DVD player was some cheap piece of crap from EzyDVD for $40, but it seems to work pretty well.

Also picked up Transformers from EzyDVD for $20, which seems to be the cheapest place for it.

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I'm playing through Metroid Prime 2: Echoes at the moment. I'm trying to get it finished before the Wii sequel comes out on Thursday. I'm not sure why I never finished it... I'm pretty sure I got stuck somewhere and just moved onto another game.

I'm really looking forward to Corruption though. It's apparently very, very good and that's something that's a bit lacking in the Wii game library at the moment. I think Super Mario Galaxy is out at the end of the month as well, so it looks like a pretty solid month for Wii owners. I hope it's enough to keep me from bitching about the Wii until the new Smash Bros. comes out next year.

I haven't played a Cube game for ages and it was interesting just how more comfortable the controller feels in my hands than the Wii Remote does. Conversely, using the analog to aim feels really sluggish and cumbersome compared to using the Remote.

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Should be a pretty lazy week. Public holiday here on Tuesday for Melbourne Cup (time to finish Metroid) and then Thursday night I'm off to Sydney to spend a few days with my lovely girlfriend before coming home on Sunday to run another JUS tourney.

It's looking like another great week. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Gill again in what is basically only a few days. Now I just have to work out how to minimise the stuff I'm bringing so I can manage to take the guitar with me :P

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So far so great [02 Nov 2007|12:53am]
[ mood | happy ]

I not really sure how it works exactly, but the happier I am, the less I post.

Blossoming relationship with a wonderful girl - check
Increased work hours without loss of sanity - check

Things seem to have fallen into place pretty well for a change. It's kinda hard to define... calling it stable and healthy sounds almost like an insult, but given that I've never experienced that before, it's really a lot more special than it sounds.

On second thought, I'll just say things are pretty fucking great. That pretty much sums it up, I think ;)

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To the point [19 Oct 2007|11:51am]
[ mood | bored ]

I've been playing Phantom Hourglass constantly over the past week. It is a very, very good game and I suggest you go out and purchase it.

As a result, I've been doing very little of anything else since Monday (besides working).

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World's creepiest backpack.

I suppose it's alright if you want people asking why you have a dead Mogwai strapped to your back.

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1 more week.

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