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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

(What wasteland?)

Subject:LoL Journaling Posts
Time:4:35 pm.
Mood: apathetic.
So I've been wanting to start a LoL journaling habit based on things I see and notice from an observer's perspective. No one will read it, but it will keep little things I see and find. This will help me toward some kind of analyst/writer/coaching goal. So I'm going to compile the entries here. with links. I might fill it out too if I decide I want to talk about me. At all.

1. 10/8/2013 Maokai and Curse's Three Rosters

Game of the Week:
1. 10/4/2013 SKT vs RYL 3/3

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Maokai and Curse's Management Strategy
Time:2:52 pm.
Hello friends.

Whatever Happened to All the Trees: Maokai Discussion and a Track of Season 3 Jungle RevolutionsCollapse )

I was going to talk about Olaf, but I honestly didn't expect to have that much to say about Maokai sucking dick.

Anyway, I will, however, talk about Curse. I'm not going to comment on the Roster changes until I see some action out of the Challenger series, and I don't really have much to say in regards to the eSports scene (for those of you have listened to me bitch or know that I am a staff editor at GosuGamers, this is clearly bullshit), but I want to talk about the strategy of sponsoring three teams.

I have a feeling it won't last. And I have a feeling Curse went into this knowing they would cut at least one roster loose eventually. They're strategizing, pooling 15 players together in hopes that they will be able to raise some decent talent by the time Season 4's finale rolls around. I expect to see at least five (well, four, since LoLPro doesn't have a support player yet) of these players let go while the remaining players get shuffled to form an A Team and a B Team kept around to practice, a la the Korean structure pioneered by Azubu. It's an interesting idea, and Curse definitely has enough resources to support three teams, even without Riot and Coke Zero paying player salaries and offering housing stipends. I predict this strategy, more than any of their roster changes--except maybe removing Saint, but I promised I wouldn't say anything--will be a primary factor in any success we see out of Curse's lineups. I want to see how this pans out, and I hope I can report something interesting coming out of the Curse and Curse Academy competition in the Challenger League.

Please watch with me today at 8:00pm EDT ^^.

Monday, October 7th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:SKT T1 vs Royal Club, Game 3/3
Time:12:18 pm.
Mood: blah.
Of all the games to analyze in the world championship, I'm choosing the last game in the finals. Some might argue that this game was anticlimactic, that nothing exciting transpired, and if you look at the scores, the jungler on the losing team had zero deaths. How does that even happen? Don't teams win off aces and kill gold? That's why I think this game is really worth looking at. It exemplifies the kind of play that matters and the reason teams like Fnatic lost, despite having some of the highest KDAs in the playoffs.

Picks and bans:

SKT: Annie, Renekton, Zed
RYL: Orianna, Shen, Vi

SKT first picks Jax.

SKT lineup: Jax, Jarvan IV, Gragas, Corki, Zyra
RYL lineup: Kennen, Lee Sin, Fizz, Caitlyn, Sona

Lane speculationCollapse )

Match-ticker:Collapse )

What actually happenedCollapse )

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on Redundancy
Time:11:21 am.
Mood: hungry.
I feel like I should have some deep insight by now, but everything important is self-obvious. I'll get some details by next time.

Icon - The Battle for Trost (7)Collapse )

This episode was probably the weakest so far. They covered pretty much nothing in twenty minutes. Pixis gave a lot of bullshit, uplifting speeches. I'm sure he believes about 25% of what he says. The conflict between Eren and Mikasa is also beaten in, again. These, I'm sure, are the two competing pieces of information he takes with him into his transformation. One is save humanity, and the other is fuck Mikasa. It's a symbol of the point stated earlier. Humans would rather kill each other than unite to save their entire race. So Eren holds onto his fight with Mikasa over his resolve instinctively.

For now.

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on Ribcages
Time:12:30 pm.
Well, I did one of the things I meant to do today. Which is finish cleaning the kitchen. That's a win. Back to wasting my life.

Response - Battle for Trost (6)Collapse )

If I picked one character as the devil, it would definitely be Pixis.

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on...The Devil?
Time:9:54 am.
Mood: groggy.

Where the Left Arm Went - The Battle for Trost (5)Collapse )

There are a couple interesting things. We see that Mikasa's prowess as a soldier (they give Eren a second chance to answer, at least) and Eren's resolve both protect the group in that scene. Armin will get his turn next episode, so Hannes' line was very pointed.

In addition, the line "no one can prove he is not the devil" seems double-edged. The garrison captain is also talking about himself. It's a reflection of a take on humanity. We haven't yet gotten the question of whether humans are worth saving. They just fight to survive instinctively, but here the garrison captain says why. The selfish survival instinct makes them act no better than the devil, and that renders the question mute.

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on Leaderhip
Time:9:56 pm.
Mood: recumbent.
It's been a while. I'm on break from Twisted, but still working on a huge project in LoL, so I'm back to this. It's what it is.

Hearing the Heartbeat - The Battle for Trost (4)Collapse )

Of note here is the cleverness of the title. "Hearing the heartbeat" refers to Mikasa listening to know Eren is alive and Jean being able to gauge "the heartbeat" or pulse of the group. He flashes his stripes as weak and unwilling to help the titan at his own expense at the end, confirming Marco's words.

I also touched on hands (lol pun) as having some significance. So far, we have Eren and titan!Eren losing his hands a few times, triggering his changing of forms to regenerate and regain his power. We have Jean cutting off the hand of a titan to escape one. We have the emergence of "the hand of god" at the beginning of the series. Then titan!Eren's hand saves those at HQ. Eren is briefly able to attack without hands, but he still falls. The placement of hands in scenes has some relevance to who has the power. On, and on.

Next, we have the army's reaction to titan!Eren and all sorts of goodies.

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on Animal Crossing
Time:1:00 am.
Because my girlfriend wants me to play it.

All right. This should be--I don't know. It's probably at least a four-parter. I give up. Actually, let me check this. Yep. Nine-parter. So we'll uhhh just do the thing I said I would do with Mikasa and Eren at the end of this one.

The Small Blade - The Battle for Trost (3)Collapse )

So the relationship between Mikasa and Eren goes like this. It isn't really romantic on either side, though it could be without it changing its fundamental structure. Mikasa recognizes the contradiction in Eren's personality and clings to the side that seems more practical: the side that acknowledges the world as cruel. She wishes to protect the other part, though she does not really believe in it. That they can win. She only fights for memories and her family, while Eren's ideas are more grandiose. She acknowledges that he doesn't need her like she needs him, and so she is constantly clinging to him. She is stronger, so she tells herself he would die without her.

Not to validate her point or anything.

Meanwhile, Eren sees her as his friend. But his friends, to him, are secondary. They exist to further his ultimate cause to kill titans and see the world. From that perspective, Mikasa and Armin are always second. This creates a tension in their relationship that must eventually come to a head. But for now, that's how it goes.

Also, gas is hope and will to live. Yep. As Mikasa gets hers back, Armin acknowledges he still wants to die because Eren died for him and he did nothing.

As for the title, it refers to both this new titan--as a small blade to fight the titans--and the blade Armin tries to keep to off himself. Both of these symbolize humanity's rage, which is its ultimate weapon against the titans.

Monday, July 8th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on My Bladder
Time:11:18 pm.
I really need to pee.

The World the Girl Saw - Battle for Trost (2)Collapse )

Since this is actually at least a three-parter, I'm holding off on the Eren Mikasa analysis, but I am asking some questions. First, we see how Armin and Mikasa learned the world is cruel here. Armin learned during the battle for Trost, and Mikasa learned as a child. How did Eren learn the lesson that one must fight to survive? How naive is he really? How much of his boundless enthusiasm is a show and how much of it is amnesia? God only knows. But something must have happened to Eren in his past. Unless it hasn't happened to him yet, and he's just naturally a bamf. He doesn't really get that the world is cruel. He just says it a lot. Armin and Mikasa actually get it.

And I love Armin, so fuck all of you.

Friday, July 5th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on Kitty
Time:5:53 pm.
Mood: lazy.
Because I sometimes want to kill my cat. And she's currently in my lap. My titles just get more uncreative.

First Battle - Battle of Trost (1)Collapse )

Welp. Maybe two people in the world actually believe Eren is dead at this point. I think the story could have been really interesting of it suddenly became about Mikasa and Armin at this point after Eren's death, but what the fuck do I know? It's still good anyway.

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on Citibank
Time:10:59 am.
Because I don't want to deal with it. But I should go. So I'm stalling.

In any case, ummm. No forward.

Night of the Graduation Ceremony - Humanity Rises Again (2)Collapse )

The point of this section is obviously to introduce the other characters, then to create a sense of hope after the devastating first arc, and finally to create tension surrounding Eren's ideals so that they can have payoff in the next arc. That brief moment where he climbs the wall and takes charge validates everything he has been saying over and over. He is a broken record until he backs it up, and this promises he will. It's a very strong ending.

Introducing the face of the colossal titan brings back the powerful beginning. The bareness of the titan's face refers to human vulnerabilities. They cannot hide from him, as evidenced by the ease with which he kicked in the gate.

In any case, after so much build up, the action finally starts. It's time to get down to business to defeat the Huns.

Monday, July 1st, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on Finishing Posts
Time:10:09 am.
I still need to work up an analysis of the two-part episode, but I have about a half hour to kill, so I'm starting the next episode.

A Dim Light in the Darkness of Despair - Humanity Rises Again (1)Collapse )

Well, it's pretty clear now that talent is more important than determination. Or perhaps determination creates talent. I'm sort of unclear what the point of this section was even now. I guess that, even when defeat seems imminent, Eren stays determined. Still, it just feels kind of--pointless. I'll talk more about training when it finishes in part 2.

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Attack on my Evening
Time:7:38 pm.
So girlfriend is asleep. I'm waiting on a friend. Might as well start episode 2.

That Day - The Fall of Zhiganshina (2)Collapse )

First things to note are the themes: greed, individual vs the whole, and strength vs will.

Greed is something everyone is suspicious of with the food shortage. If you want more than you have, which isn't even enough to live, you are greedy. I think greed is viewed as a titan trait, so it makes it all the more dangerous and suspicious, especially when it turns out that titans live among the humans.

Individual vs the whole. This one I'll talk about in more detail as I go, but it's important to note it exists. The most interesting aspect we get so far is the vague description of 20% of the population, followed by Armin, alone, nursing his grandfather's hat.

Strength vs will. This creates the dynamic that separates the three main characters. Eren is shown, time and again, to have the will to fight, but many question his strength. Mikasa, meanwhile, is considered to be, perhaps, the strongest human among her trainee squad and even the Survey Corps later, but her will is entirely obscured by Eren's. Finally, Armin at times seems to have neither of these things. He is a tactician who follows his friends and can barely pass physical fitness tests, but he has the name "warrior." It will be interesting to see who survives in the long run.

As for colors, brown and green are big. Green is associated with the outside, as the Survey Corps wears green shawls, and there is a great deal of grass outside Maria. Limited resources exist in the walls. Blue is also significant, but it's meaning alludes me.

Bells relieve tension. They're generally silver. And with that, I conclude.

Friday, June 28th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Time:1:56 pm.
Mood: productive.
Since it's looking like I am going to hate Twisted, but I've already committed to journaling it, or whatever it is that I'm doing, I decided I'd take on another project.

Yes, this is how it starts. I take on too many projects and abandon them all.

Here's a fun fact. I'm not writing as much as I used to, so if I feel like writing, I'm going to take on a bunch of projects, even if it's ill-advised.

So what's this one? Well, my oldest friend seems to be addicted to the manga, Attack on Titan. I'll be reading it, then watching the anime, so I'll be exposed to the story twice, and this will be slightly more analytic and less fun than my other two.

What do I know about Attack on Titan? Well, a great deal, considering I've read almost fifty chapters of the manga, so I'm just going to say pretty much everything this anime is going to tell me through the episodes that have been aired (which is thirteen).

Things to take note of include Norse mythology. There's more than a bit of that. A lot of names are Norse or Nordic or Germanic. The myth of creation is particularly significant in this anime. There is a character called Ymir. In Norse mythology, Ymir's toxic flesh brings forth men and giants as well as the land. Considering how all these elements are related, Ymir will definitely be a key figure going forward, even though the full extent of her importance hasn't even been written into the manga yet.

She's also a lesbian.

I'll get to more details. But this seems to be the platform myth upon which the manga draws most heavily.

It's been compared to the likes of Berserk and Claymore. I don't really know of an anime more perfectly executed than Berserk, including what people sometimes consider a jilting ending. (Just tell me how one can portray the bleakness of the human condition any better. Really.) So that's a high bar. I'll just go with it for now and see what I can track.

Episode 1Collapse )

I'll also go over themes and characters next time, since this was a two-parter.

Monday, June 24th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:The Last of Tessa
Time:10:47 am.
I know. Title spoilers. I'm not editing myself.

There's a fair amount of story and direction change in this segment, even though it's short.

First, something has been kind of bothering me about Ellie's name. It invokes Helen of Troy for me. In a sense, this entire story is "going to war" or dying over Ellie, especially after the segment today, so I can see that having some relevance. I'm not sure how far we're supposed to take it, but I think that lens adds a little sense of urgency.

I don't want to get too far into name meanings because then I'll end up with Tessa Jowell because her name has Joel and Tessa in it, but that doesn't make any fucking sense, so I'm shutting up now. Just something to think about.

Though Joel does have "guide" connotations, and Tessa means "harvester," but no one even cares but me.

And so this arc endsCollapse )

So Tessa died. More importantly, she got infected. Joel lost his sense of direction twenty years ago, and now he has one again. It's a little girl, and it's the result of a death. So we're supposed to see the parallels there, I guess. Tessa invokes luck once more. Again, people are alive, not because they're good, or smart, or strong, just "lucky." The same way Ellie said earlier that she didn't ask for "this," meaning the immunity. She's just lucky. It's random. The same way spores randomly evolved to infect humans. The same way people are randomly born into poverty or randomly get laid off.

Yeah, we all get the message.

So the story has taken an important turn. This is no longer about the pay off. Joel is personally invested, and I'm sure we'll see this turn again from Joel being personally invested because of Tessa to Joel being personally invested because of Sarah to Joel being personally invested because of Ellie. I imagine Joel somehow sees Tessa as a sacrifice for his continued survival. They're "shitty people," so it's all very self-centered and focused on survival. Tessa wants some justification for her death, not salvation for humanity. So I like that aspect of it.

I imagine we will see Tommy again. That's the part of the story I'm most looking forward to because I'm not sure exactly how that will pan out. I'm also excited to see if I get to mow over zombies in my car. Only time will tell, I suppose.

Friday, June 21st, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:The Last of My Limited Skill
Time:10:06 am.
Mood: tired.
I'll just preface this entry by saying that I am truly terrible at video games. There is a reason this is a written LP. My strength lies in my ability to interpret the plot and tiny little subtleties, not the stealth puzzles, which I, frankly, fail at. I am good at luring enemies into corners and punching them to death, and that's how I managed to play through much of Uncharted 2, and I have a small grasp of headshot mechanics, but I cannot play stealth games.

Unfortunately for me, there are these things called "clickers," which are admittedly difficult to brute force. Most attempts result in immediate game overs. More on that later.

Luckily, zombies are increasingly less terrifying when I play the level five times, apparently, and that's when my girlfriend takes the controller and castrates me, effectively. In any case, let's get into it.

Episode 1 and Whatever ElseCollapse )

After that, I saved. My girlfriend did the last section sneaking past the soldiers before Tess reveals why we're smuggling her and the big zombie room with the lone clicker and a bunch of runners because she couldn't deal with me. I died a couple times in the last room, mostly because I was low health going in from not having healed for a while.

Thoughts? Joel is jaded, and I do have a feeling a lot of people have died, and he feels guilty for that. Tess is likely going to die. Ryanne thinks she'll betray Joel, but I think her dying fits the theme more. Something will happen at the Capitol building, and Joel and Ellie will be two against the world. Or whatever. So far, I don't understand the hype with the story. Everything has been fairly predictable or done by the 28 Days Later franchise already. The execution is quite nice, however. The game is good at relaying information without making you feel like you're being told. The mechanics are easy to pick up. The stages of zombies have been interesting, and there's a forth stage of infection they've hinted at.

Boy am I excited!

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:The Last of My PS3
Time:12:01 pm.
As promised, I'm logging my way through acclaimed The Last of Us. My girlfriend was practically chomping on her incisors to get me to buy this game and play it. It's horror, so she won't, but she wants to watch me, even though watching me play video games for her is like watching a retarded child playing in traffic.

The things I know about this game before I begin:

-It's supposed to be the best game of the PS3/XBOX360 generation, and it's PS3 exclusive, so Microsoft shot itself in the foot even before the XBONE release (yeah, yeah, that joke is about as clever as a Magicarp falling for the Old Rod, but my sense of humor is easily satisfied).
-NaughtyDog made it, and they made Uncharted, which I adore.
-There's a main character named Joel.
-It's pretty.

I was supposed to have watched a segment of an LP of it with my girlfriend on her cell phone while in bed, but I fell asleep. What she doesn't know will probably hurt me.

The positive thing here is that I somehow managed to escape knowing exactly what is supposed to make this game so fantastic, so I get to decide for myself instead of letting IGN's 10/10 tell me.

Okay, so that's a sixth thing I know about this game, but it's inconsequential, and something of a subset of point one.

Before we start, here's the reason why I'm apprehensive about this game. It's tapping into something I find sensitive.

Lately, zombies and post apocalyptic settings are romantic. Everyone wants to write about them because the world is going into catastrophic debt and unrest is brewing. Yet no one really wants to write about how civilization as we know it will actually collapse: apathy and ignorance will lead to starvation and a slow decay of tax base, leading to a pathetic revolt consisting of a handful of people strong enough to not just die in the streets.

Instead, we're hoping for some other post-apocalyptic scenario. A strong person will take over the government and turn us into more obvious slaves by giving us numbers, or bring about an operation that will take away our ability to feel anything. An outbreak of zombie-ism will occur. Chemical/nuclear warfare will kill 90% of the population and get rid of the impending food shortage. All these scenarios are romantic because 1) they're unrealistic, and 2) they make human agency seem easier, more clear cut, or do away with it entirely. Solutions are more obvious. You can survive by stealing a gun or running or letting the government handle it. In reality, we're all just going to suffer from doing absolutely nothing.

Well, with that optimistic nugget, let's see how romantic The Last of Us turns out. Does it give me the futility I crave, or is there triumph and roses galore?

I had to play this part of the game twice because it turns out my PS3 is defective and hates HDMI, so it overheats and shuts off, but Ryanne's doesn't. Again, it's one of those little things that differentiate us as gamers. Or so I tell myself when she kicks my ass.

All right, get on with it.Collapse )

That's a good stopping point for now, though I did keep playing. I'm expecting another main character to be young and female and remind Joel of his daughter. Then I'm expecting some sort of McCarthy-with-zombies scenario where Joel eventually gets the chance to die for her, and she ends up okay, the way it should have been twenty years ago.

Or she dies too. In that take, without a younger generation, we have a more futile message, but maybe I should shut up and hope a little instead of instantly craving that scenario in this game. The world isn't going to end yet, and if I'm doing nothing, I don't have a right to talk much, do I?

See you when I finish Chapter One, and we get to see how Joel uses his freedom, now that he cannot base all his decisions on his daughter's safety.

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Shadow of Colossus
Time:10:00 pm.
It's after Christmas. I received new games. I am once again putting a pin in the JRPG projects. I swear, I will get further in VP2 one day. When I care. I think I'm getting soured on longer, less skill-intensive games.

In particular, my girlfriend gave me the PS3 remasters of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. I have played half of the former before trading it, and I never touched the latter despite owning a PS2 copy. I've also heard Shadow is something of a prequel to ICO, so that's where we'll start.

It opens up following a man riding a black horse through a mostly green and brown landscape. It's still pretty, and you get the sense that this game is just going to feel nice. That is, of course, until you hit new game and want to kill yourself.

HERE WE GOCollapse )

My general thoughts are on the expanse. The enormous outer world didn't work for me at all in Star Ocean: Last Hope (I only bring this terrible game up because it too felt like it had an extremely large world dwarfing the main character), but I think it suits Shadow much better, as there is a purpose. The world is large. Stone giants are everywhere. You are small, alone, insignificant, and your only friend is a horse that probably dies at some point. It's beautiful, scary, and sad at the same time.

The second time around, this game has been significantly less frustrating. I'll probably still swear and try to kill ten people over the third one, as I had a much better grasp of controls when I fought him last time already, but we'll see.

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria
Time:12:09 am.
Sexual enhancement ads.

That is, Uncharted 2.

That is, I left it in Colorado, which means, instead of Uncharted 2, I'm playing Valkyrie Profile 2.

I'm something of a raving tri-Ace follower. I'll play anything they churn out, including the mediocre Resonance of Fate.

All right, it wasn't that bad.

For whatever reason, though, I have yet to get around to Valkyrie Profile 2. I adored the first installment, struggling to choose between it and Star Ocean: the Second Story for my favorite RPG, and I ground my way through the first two dungeons of this one before getting distracted. In that case, it must not be very good.

Well, I can't remember, so I started over.

The first game followed the Valkyrie, Lenneth, as she gathered einherjar, or dead warriors, to fight for Odin and Valhalla. This game is called Silmeria because it follows a different Valkyrie, I assume. The main character isn't a Valkyrie at first; she's Alicia, and it turns out she's the princess of Dipan (not a low IQ version of Japan; I see how you might get confused) with what appears to be a split personality--except that her second personality is Silmeria. She's not supposed to be outside Valhalla, as Hrist, dark Valkyrie from the first game, is still there, and having two Valkyrie among humans at once violates Odin's laws. Hence the cover.
But there is a problem.Collapse )

So this game is fun so far. The plot feels kind clunky, like the Star Ocean sequels. Plot and visuals really aren't tri-Ace's talents, which was good during the SNES and PSX generations, but puts them behind moving forward. The gameplay is just fun, generally, and that's true here as well. We'll see what else I think when I pick this up again.

Monday, November 12th, 2012

(What wasteland?)

Subject:Heavy Rain 2
Time:2:18 pm.
Almost immediately, I booted up the machine again.Collapse )

Anyway, I liked this game. I'm glad my girlfriend let me borrow it. I'm going to review it in a bit.

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