I saw the new Star Trek movie Saturday, and it was a decent, fun movie, just so long as you didn’t sweat the details (black holes and supernovae don’t quite work like that) and did not try to compare it to the Great Bird’s original works. But ultimately, it was a forgettable movie, because it was just “a tale…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It was only trying to be an enjoyable but disposable science-fiction flavored actiony popcorn movie, and it succeeded; it was not trying to be anything more than that, and in this regard, it also succeeded.
Posted by Doug on May 10, 2009
Posted by Doug on May 7, 2009
K-ON is another series in the same vein as Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star: take a group of high school girls who are friends and lead more-or-less happy-go-lucky lives, and distill the charm from their day-to-day adventures. K-ON adds the appeal of a pop band, and, based on the first four episodes (that I’ve finally gotten around to watching), is going to be a light and enjoyable watch.
The main characters seem so familiar…there’s the airheaded Yui Hirasawa playing guitar, easygoing Tsumugi Kotobuki on keyboard, serious(ly moe) Mio Akiyama playing bass, and hyperactive Ritsu Tainaka on the drums…yep, a well-rounded quartet. The pics are from the end credits, by the way—they wear much more pedestrian attire in the series (so far).
The other three I’m rather ambivalent about, but Mio is so damn moe it isn’t funny. I like her character design both appearance-wise (especially the eyes. There’s actually a term for the style used to draw her eyes: tsuriume) and personality-wise (I got a weak spot for tsundere girls, guilty as charged).
Basically, the story is that Ritsu wanted to start a “Light Music Club” (read: “band”) and conned her childhood friend Mio into it. They nab Tsumugi, who was going to join the Choir Club otherwise, and desperate for a fourth member to keep the budding club from being disbanded by the school faculty, they get Yui…who has very little focus and only a modicum of talent. Ritsu and Yui spend most of their time getting distracted or distracting Mio, Tsumugi just goes with the flow, and poor Mio tries to be very, very serious about the band, but her deredere side and moe-ness work against her. Four episodes in, and I think the four girls have played their instruments together all of once.
All told, I doubt this series will be worthy of being listed among the greats, but if the first four episodes are any indication, it should be enjoyable enough that I don’t regret spending my time watching it.
Posted by Yamane Ishi on May 4, 2009
So…We went out and watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine Saturday. I have to say that over all I like it better than the other three X-men movies. I’m not sure why exactly. I guess it’s because the other movies deveated too much from what I remember of the X-men. Granted I’m no expert on the X-Men, in fact my knowledge is somewhat limited. This latest movie just seemed to make more sence to me than the others. Though I’m still trying to figure out how he survied a cannon shot at basicaly point blank range before he had the adamantium. I mean he would have been blown to bits and that’s not even an exageration. The biggest peice of him could probably fit in a shoe box. I guess it just depends on what he can regenetate back from, I’ve seen in one comic him coming have from just being a skeleton.
All the nit picking aside I really liked this move. I just wish they would go back and tell the story of him growing up and then living in the early to mid 1900’s.
What do you think, want’a see a Deadpool movie?
Posted by Doug on May 3, 2009
Your players have fought every listed encounter group in the Monster Manual, plus all the solos….plus everything from the Draconomicon, and the Dungeon and Dragon magazines, and the other splatbooks, and the homebrewed stuff you made…and the homebrewed stuff you found on the internet. The PCs have all passed the 1,000,000 experience point mark a long, long time ago. You’re at the point in your campaign where the well-intentioned Dungeon Master’s Guide recommends ending the campaign, and starting anew, but nobody in your group wants that. They want to keep going. The thirty-level limit of the Fourth Edition just rankles them; they want to reach level 31, 32, 33, 40, 50, 60…
Well, I suppose one way to deal with this situation is for the Dungeon Master to simply follow the advice of the DMG and say “Sorry, level thirty is it. New campaign!”
This post is not about that option.
Posted by Doug on May 1, 2009
On a whim, I picked up a copy of Discover Presents: Einstein, an 88-page magazine dedicated to the world’s most famous theoretical physicist. My taste in ‘entertainment’ is eclectic: most of the time it is one variety or another of pure fantasy, but frequently it slides across the spectrum to simple reality. Today, it is reality.
Posted by Doug on April 27, 2009
The possibility exists that I might be serving as Dungeon Master for a player new to Dungeons & Dragons, and so I have been trawling the official D&D Fourth Edition forums, partly for general inspiration, and partly in the hopes of finding some nuggets of wisdom relevant to the task of DMing a new player, and partly just to pass the time.
Posts like “1001 Worst DMs to Ever Have in a Game“, while generally long and whiney, do speak to an underlying truth: some DMs, simply put, suck, and quite frequently the individuals in question are utterly unaware that they do, in fact, suck. The worst part of it all is that as I read the comments in threads like those, I inevitably start finding descriptions that are eerily familiar, almost as if I’m looking at a mirror…
Posted by Doug on April 24, 2009
The Dungeons & Dragons Character Builder is a very useful program for anyone interested in the most recent edition of Wizards of the Coast’s flagship roleplaying game (whether or not it is worth subscribing to Dungeons & Dragons Insider to access is debatable. I think it is, but your mileage may vary). It is a fairly straightforward interface that can step you through the process of making a playable character and whenever you gain levels, it can guide you through that, too. You make all the choices, and the Character Builder does all the math, adding up your attack bonuses and defenses and whatall, and outputs the end result to a slightly customizable character sheet…which is one of the weaknesses of the program. At best, it is an inefficient, disorganized layout with lots of unneeded and/or redundant information. At worst…well, needless to say I organize my character sheets differently.
Posted by Doug on April 21, 2009
Or: A Not Particularly Long Post Dedicated to Briefly Mentioning the Things I Really Ought to Post About Instead, But Just Lack the Motivation to Do So At Present Time. This post is going to be almost entirely blah blah blah, so if that’s going to bother you, you might want to relive some of the glory slightly less sucky days of Taedium Edax Rerum, like those Japanese girls singing that really cheery yet incomprehensible song or something.
Serious blah blah blah follows. You have been warned.
Posted by Doug on April 17, 2009
A hour-long playable demo of Final Fantasy XIII will be released in March, it seems, and having been a Final Fantasy fanboy since forever (well, at least since Final Fantasy II on the SNES…which was really Final Fantasy IV, but nevermind that right now…) I have been awaiting more information on this next installment of Squenix’s flagship series.
But not in the same way I might have a decade ago.
Posted by Doug on April 13, 2009
Having finally completed Star Ocean: The Last Hope—and having unlocked all the secret endings, thanks to Shaun “Uptown877” Danis’ walkthrough at GameFaqs—I now feel qualified to have an opinion on the game; more to the point, I now have the time to express my opinion on this blog. To make a long review short, I liked the game, I feel it was well worth the purchase price, and I will likely attempt to replay it a few times in order to complete more than a few of the sidequests. Currently, I am attempting to complete the game on the “Universe” difficulty (essentially, “Hard” difficulty, unlocked after beating the game on “Galaxy” or “Normal”).