The woe of beginning

•31/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

Starting is the hardest thing to do for me. I will put something in front of me and think about how long it will take, how it will end, the perfect path to finishing it.

Starting is a difficult thing for me, I do not like it when things end, so I endlessly do things I know the start, middle, and ending of. Re-read old books, watch old movies, play old games I have completed a hundred times before. I’m hurting myself. I’m not broadening my horizons.

Starting is burdensome when I already want to know how it end.

Coincidentally, I started a book recently that I’ve been trying to read for the last 16 years. I’ve bought the book on several occasions, never to start it and get rid of it, only to buy it again a years later. Rinse and repeat. Last night, I finally started the book. The opening pages have a quote that describes that which I experience to a tee.

“He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.”

This is the opening quote for Tad Williams “The Dragon Bone Chair”. It really spoke to me tonight. I feel frazzled from everything, and I am unwilling to try new things because I unconsciously try to figure out what is going to happen instead of enjoying the journey, which brings me to another quote.

“Journey before Destination”

This is part of the First Ideals of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive.

The journey is important. The rest is details. I have got to stop pre-empting myself on how things are going to end and enjoy them for what they are. A story. Engagement needs to be personally worked on. This in itself is a Journey that I hope to one day arrive at the destination a much happier man.

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Replayability

•30/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

Last Tuesday the 24th, Mega Man X Legacy Collections 1 & 2 came out. Once again, I purchased the re-release of the Mega Man X games. To date I own every re-release of every Mega Man X game (Console only), and I will continue to re-purchase them because that’s just how I am. I am a huge Mega Man fan, specifically, the X series.

I purchased the Legacy Collection via a physical copy for the PS4. I decided on physical over digital unlike I did with the Mega Man Classic Legacy series. I wanted to be able to have a physical copy, just in case something happens. Who knows. Maybe when the digital versions go on a deep discount, I’ll purchase them again on the PS4. I am a sucker after all. I want to support the series. I want more X games. After the said Mega Man 11 exists primarily because of how well the Legacy Collection sold, I want the X Legacy Collection to do as well or better so that they make a new X game and make it leagues better than X6-X8 were. They really did not get treated well when they were made.

Despite all of this however, I still bought them. Again. I don’t mind. I love being able to play the games on the current systems. I don’t keep a lot of older systems hooked up these days. I also like the added extras, like the music player, product gallery and the most important new mode: X Challenge Mode. Playing against 2 Mavericks at the same time? It’s so good and so hard at the same time.

Over this past weekend, I had only played through Mega Man X and X2 up until this point. I had a lot of down time after doing yard work and general chores around the house, so I found myself beating Mega Man X3 and X4 twice each. I didn’t mean to do it. It just sort of happened. Following that later Sunday night, I beat Mega Man X again, for a total of three times in a 6 day period. I find I talk to myself a lot about how I feel like I can never replay games. It took me 10 years to do my second play through of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The only Zelda game to date that I’ve played more than once. I always find some reason on why I can’t. “I’ll remember the story too much” or some other similar excuse. This doesn’t apply when it comes to Mega Man, seemingly. I can play these games over and over and over and never get tired of them. I think Mega Man X is my most replayed game ever, probably followed closely by Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy 1. I can always turn them on and just go and not have to worry about anything. They are the perfect games to me. Why is it then that I have such issues playing other (Non Rhythm game) games more than once?

It is an answer that I am still searching for after all this time. Maybe one day I’ll find the answer, but until then, I’ll keep replaying Mega Man X.

Portability and the Attention Span

•25/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, but portable game systems have really killed my attention span.

the DS Family systems have been around since about 2004. I got my first one in 2005, and I’ve had a DS ever since. I ran with the original brick system from 2005 until the 3DS was released in 2011. I’ve played thousands of hours on the systems in the last 14 years, and I don’t thing badly on this. RPGs for the most part made a slow progression from home consoles to the handheld market because that’s where a lot of the player base for JPRGs went. Nothing wrong with that. We get to play our games, and re-releases of our favorite games on the go. (Thank you Square Enix for releasing Chrono Trigger on the DS).

Because of this though, having the ability to play a 20-60 hour RPG on the go whenever I want wherever I want, I feel like it’s been harming my attention span. Not to say this isn’t happening to everyone, but I feel like it is happening to me.

There are still plenty of console RPGs to play, make no mistake there. When I do play a game on a TV on the SNES all the way up to the PS4, I feel like I am fully engaged in the game and there are no distractions. When I play on a hand held, I feel way less engaged these days. The RPG that I was talking about in my last post? I’ve put 7 hours into it since Sunday, which is more than an hour of playing a day, but I carry my 3DS around in my bag. When I get downtime somewhere I’ll try to play, but I find myself playing through a battle or two, or a dialogue sequence and shutting the 3DS to check my phone or do something else entirely. I don’t like this. I do this with every game on my hand held now. I play for 5-10 minutes and I get distracted by “maybe I should check my email” or “I’ll continue to watch the TV that’s on in the background”. I just don’t feel engaged, despite wanting to feel engaged. I feel like there is a major disconnect here. I do not get this way when I play on a console there. It’s all or nothing.

This leads up to the Nintendo Switch. I would eventually like to get one, but I have zero interest in using it as a hand held. Octopath Traveler is out, and I want to play it, but only on TV mode. I don’t want to let myself get distracted so easily.

Again, this is a personal hangup that I’m sure most people aren’t having an issue with, but I certainly am and I want to fix it. I’m working on it, but I definitely needed to vent some steam here so I don’t talk anyone’s ear off about a personal issue they most likely don’t care about. I feel really alone in this situation.

The Old for the New

•22/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been talking to an old friend recently after years of us doing our own things separately. We talk mostly over messenger these days during work hours to pass our respective downtime at the office. Mostly, linking funny pictures, talking about incompetent clients/co-workers and other general buffoonery. Growing up, we were really good friends living a neighborhood over from each other, so we’d bike over to each other’s house pretty frequently. We played a lot of video games together growing up, so we’re pretty knowledgeable on each other’s tastes. I remained much in the camp of platformers and RPGs as he evolved into first person shooters and more cinematic experiences with video games. Nothing wrong with that. He has kids now, so they mostly play all the systems he currently has, but he wrestled away the 3DS his oldest has, and has been downloading demos of RPGs to play. One specific one that he suggested saying, “I know you’d like this, it looks and plays excellent It’s new, but does everything I know you like in an RPG”. So I watched the trailer he listed. It was for a 3DS RPG called “The Alliance Alive”.

Full disclosure, I saw when this game came back out in March of this year, and while I thought it looked neat, I really didn’t give it much of a chance. I thought it was going to be a droll attempt at another 3DS RPG, so I brushed it off and moved on without giving it a chance. Once he suggested it to me, I thought to myself “Ok. If he says it’s up my alley, I will give it a shot, but I’m really not expecting much.”

I downloaded the demo, and started on Friday night, the same day he suggested it to me. I played the first several hours, and I found myself absolutely smitten by the demo and the game as whole so far. It wasn’t flashy. The characters were likable. The combat system I found to be super intriguing with its sort of variable system with different weapon types, each which you can train points into for better use of each weapon type. The music, oh my god, the music was super fantastic. I could listen to this music all day. I was probably sold on the game within the first 10 minutes based on the music alone. I ended up playing the first two chapters of the game, just to pass the title card info. I had to buy this game.

Within a 24 hour turn around, I had no intention of ever trying this game, to being really into it. I went out to a local store and got their last “Day One Edition” that comes with an art book, music CD, and rubber key chain strap. I did not finish the demo, so I am unsure if progress would have transferred to the game, but I absolutely did not mind playing through the sections I had already played through again which is a big thing for me. Most of the time if that happened in a game I was playing, I’d have groaned and stopped playing for a couple of days until I could force myself to slog through it. I’m very happy with being as into this as I ended up being.

Now comes the hard part. Not googling anything about this game, as I can be sorta impressionable with people’s thoughts on games, and it can potentially ruin how I’m feeling about the game. I’ll just keep at this, and keep off the internet about this game.

Thanks, old friend. You know me better than I know myself sometimes, and for that I am thankful.

Midnight thoughts

•18/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

I’ve spent the last week really going at it with anime. I have’t been like this in at least a decade with wanting to watch anime. I went ahead and compiled a master watch list of everything I own, plus my queue on the Funimation streaming service. There’s a lot to watch. Despite this, I ended up pinging a friend about a show he mentioned earlier this year that looked interesting at the time, but I hadn’t thought about until now. It is called “Legend of the Galactic Hero”. A Military Sci-fi 110 episode OVA that aired from the late 80s to the late 90s. The only place to watch it was on the HiDive streaming service, so I signed up for service there at his suggestion to watch it. Doing this, I decided to not try and binge the show, as it’s so massive and would take a month at some 5-7 episodes a day, so I will just watch one episode a day, and by AWA, I’ll be about 70-80 episodes finished on it which is admirable for it. Though I will fully admit, the want to binge a bunch of episodes in a day is tempting, it’s better for me to do it this way with all the other items on my list.

Despite this, however, I started watching two other shows again. One I’ve watched twice over subtitled, Tsuritama. A quirky anime about aliens and fishing. It is dubbed on this service, so I’ll watch it a third time, but in English this go around. The other is Argevollen, a Military Sci-Fi show with Mecha. Another friend suggested this as “Front Mission: The anime”. This piqued my interest, for sure. When I initially watched it, I got about 5-6 episodes in and dropped it, as I was watching it on Crunchyroll, but at the time I wasn’t to interested since it didn’t have a dub. I have come around on it since then and restarted, and as of today, I’m four episodes into it, about where I left off before, but I am more invested in it this time.

For some reason, my want for Military sci-fi has grown stronger as the shows I am gravitating to are less Shonen and more about War among other things. I am two episodes out from finishing Stardust Memory for the first time, and that show really sends the message home that War is Hell. I have made sure to include some lighter things in my watch list, as it would get depressing to watch nothing but heavy material all the time. Over the weekend I found Appleseed: Ex Machina and Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon for $6 total on DVD. Let me tell you, I love the character of Tapion from this DBZ movie. He is such a fantastic one-off character. The design almost reminds me of a cross between Link from Legend of Zelda and Crono from Chrono Trigger. Appleseed: Ex Machina I picked up because after watching Appleseed Alpha last week, I’m definitely more interested in the universe of Appleseed. It’s a post apocalyptic setting, but not as harsh as a general Gundam setting.

I write these entries mainly to keep myself focused on the things I am engaging in, since I don’t have anyone to really talk in depth about this stuff other than the general “you should watch this” “that was good” conversations. I can’t expect everyone to talk in depth with me about all the stuff I’m engaging in, but at the same time, you almost want someone who does. These journal entries will have to do for now, they placate my mind and keep me focused on the task so I don’t drop the hobby a week in and more onto the next thing.

July/August

•10/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

Around July/August every year, I seem to have a slump of some sort. Being on the internet too much listening to other people talk really frazzles my brain after a while. Earlier this year I took some proactive measure and stopped using Twitter for the most part. Before March 2018, I was tweeting between 400-900 tweets a month. Since March 2018, I’ve tweeted a whole 5 times. That’s around once a month. Three of those tweets were within 10 days when a video game was announced I was excited for, so I tweeted at the publisher’s twitter for that franchise.

Another measure that was taken is that I stopped going to reddit altogether. I switched browsers recently back to Firefox from Chrome after using it for a number of years. Doing that nuked my history and bookmarks, which I am fine with. I still have the habit of opening a new tab and I start typing in reddit, but since it doesn’t suto-complete since I’ve never been there in Firefox. It’s been almost two months and I still have that habit. They certainly do die hard. I’ll get there eventually.

I’ve started participating in a chatroom with some mutual internet friends on discord, which is a very active place, but I feel like it has sort of replaced the habits I’m trying to break with twitter and reddit. I do find myself checking the chat room constantly instead of a couple of times a day. It’s almost always open in another tab. I should probably keep check on that so the habit doesn’t just transfer to doing that. My brain wants external validation and it’s trying to get it from there since I’ve cut out all other social media. I need to be able to suffice on my own with regular social interaction. The internet really does a number on you when you’re on it all day for work.

A few days ago, I pulled out a bunch of anime DVDs that I’ve purchased over the last two years and the number came in around 10 DVDs. Stuff I’ve purchased but never got around to watching. I’ve been trying to get my spending habits under control as I’ve been of the rail since we moved, so I decided to watch these first before I buy anything else (There are only a couple of things out there I want to purchase right now, like the Record of Lodoss War Bluray/DVD set), but I have a Funimation account so I can stream them there until I want to buy them (if I ever do). Yesterday I watched Armitage III, which was pretty fantastic. I’m really into old animation like that (but that’s a whole other story).

I’m also determined to get through the remaining volumes of Excel Saga that I have. I spent much of 2016 getting volumes all the way up to volume 21 (of 27), yet as of right this moment, I’m two-thirds through the 8th volume. I want to read up to at least volume 19 before I purchase anymore, unless I can find a really good deal on the last six.

I’ve also acquired a lot of Gundam to watch through, and I’m a third of the way through 0083 Stardust Memory, which I’ve been wanting to watch for the better part of 18 years. I’ve been really stuck on the wanting of doing, instead of doing. It leaves much to be desired. I’ll look up an online encyclopedia entry for something I’m interested in and read on it instead of finding and watching/playing/doing. I’ve got to stop doing this to myself. It’s been putting me into a slump lately. Thankfully I am being proactive on a hands on hobby of Gunpla kit building. I’ve done a few kits in the last couple of years, but I want to take it to the next level and make something I can be proud of. My latest kit I have been sanding and making sure it looks good. I have also purchased paint and lacquer for a topcoat so I can make it look more realistic.

I want to get good at this. I have to keep my mind on it or I will drop it. It is my major character flaw where if don’t think about something for a few days, it becomes 10 times harder to go back to. I’ve been plagued by this for years with RPG video games. I have to stay vigilant with the hobby, but not go so overboard that I burn myself out, which is easy for me to do. I have a hard time regulating activity, and I’m working on it. I have things to watch, read, and build. I am in a happy place and I hope that I can keep this up for the time being.

Things are looking up.

•08/08/2017 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been living in the past lately. I’ve been so fixated on what has past, reminiscing on what I perceive to be “better times”. An old chatroom I used to frequent back in 1999-2002 recently had a reunion event. The chatroom website has been active this whole time, but no one really visits it anymore. Over the weekend, some of us got on and chatted, caught up, and had a little bit of fun. Since then I’ve been sitting in the chat room, updating the page before I time out at the 20-minute mark hoping someone comes in to chat with. I really, really miss that chat room.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve been like this over the last month. I’m happy that I’m living on my own with my SO, yet for some reason I’m unfulfilled somewhere. Something is not making me happy, and I can’t figure out what it is. I’m social. I hang out with friends almost every weekend, I talk with them regularly, but I find myself constantly pining for the old days.

I’ve been having the issue that I’m never excited for anything anymore, but today I felt that a little bit. Last night at midnight PST, the Mega Man Legacy collection 2 released digitally. I live on the East coast, so I wasn’t able to play at midnight, because it was actually 3am for me. I woke up this morning and started the game up and futzed around in the menus, played a couple of challenges, and then came to work. Since I have been at work, all I feel is the want to go home, sit down in front of the TV, and play the games until I can’t anymore. I haven’t felt like this with a new game release in quite some time. It feels nice. Lately, I’ve been going home and from 9pm to nearly 3am, I drink until I fall asleep. It’s not healthy, and my SO doesn’t know I do this since they go to bed earlier than me. I’ve got to find a way to deal with this. writing it out here helps a lot, even though almost no one will ever see it.

I’ve been generally feeling a bit better lately, and I need to keep it up, I don’t want to spiral back into how I have been over a month ago. I stopped listening to podcasts, and started listening to audio books instead. My drive has improved and I get amazing stories written by great authors inserted into my brain instead of opinions from people I don’t really care about anymore.