Friday, December 18, 2015

Q Attack, Round 25 - Is it Time to Leave Legacy Consoles Behind?

https://www.playstation.com/en-us/explore/ps3/
With so many games being developed for current gen consoles, their legacy counterparts have seemed to have taken a hit in terms of quality. Is it time for gamers to unplug their legacy consoles and make the switch to current gen or is there still life in these older machines? Tiger and Rabbit weigh the options and debate whether it's time to pull the plug.

^^**^^

Rabbit: I think I'm going to get Persona 5 on PS3 and PS4.

Tiger: Isn't that a waste of money getting the same game on two different platforms?

Rabbit: But I want to support Atlus.

Tiger: You should just get it for the PS4 then, I've made the switch. Especially now when a lot of the games are being developed for the current gen consoles first.

Rabbit: But there are games that you bought the PS3 and Vita versions, like Steins;Gate.

Tiger: That's different though, the Vita is portable so it makes sense to get a version for it. As for the PS3 copy of Steins;Gate, I mostly got that because the Vita limited edition was delayed and I didn't want to wait to play it.

Rabbit: Yet you still haven't played either version.

Tiger: *sighs* Yup.

Rabbit: I don't know, I really like playing games on my PS3 versus on the PS4.

Tiger: Maybe it's because you're just so familiar with the PS3. I know it took me a little time to get used to the PS4 and its operating system let alone the DS4.

Rabbit: The DS4 is so big! And the battery dies so quickly. I much prefer the DS3.

Tiger: I still think you get a better experience on the PS4 versus the PS3. Games generally look better, load faster, and just run smoother.

Rabbit: That's not always the case though. Dragon Age Inquisition didn't look that much better and Destiny didn't seem to load any faster than on PS3.

Tiger: Both of those games came out pretty early in the current gen cycle and I'm sure were being developed for both consoles simultaneously. Look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 3-

Rabbit: Really?

Tiger: Yes, really.

Rabbit:You're going to taint our blog with CoD Talk?

Tiger: Bear with me here.

Rabbit: I'm a rabbit.

Tiger: You know... Never mind, it's futile.

Rabbit: ^grins^

Tiger: The legacy versions of that game won't have a singleplayer campaign and a few other features that the current gen versions have.

Rabbit: That sucks if you're a fan of those games. I know people don't play CoD for the singleplayer but the campaigns are pretty good. Do you at least get a discount if you buy it on the PS3?

Tiger: You do, they're pricing it at $49.99 on PS3.

Rabbit: Wait, they're basically saying that the singleplayer campaign is only worth ten bucks?

Tiger: I know, it's kind of crazy. I feel bad for the people who worked on that campaign.

Rabbit: ^deep voice^ “We appreciate your hard work these past few years but feel that what you did is only worth $10 and we aren't even going to put it in every game!”

Tiger: That's harsh man, that's harsh. Do you think they'll ever do a multiplayer only CoD?

Rabbit: I could see that happening. I know a lot of people only play it for the MP. I wouldn't want games to get into that trend though but I guess we already have that with Destiny.

Tiger: Technically, you can solo Destiny but you do have to be online to play it.

Rabbit: That's another stupid thing about this generation, I hate having to play online when I'm not playing online!

Tiger: That doesn't bother me too much but I'm not as big of a social recluse as you are.

Rabbit: ^sticks out tongue^ Says the kitty who avoids ever leaving the house.

Tiger: I think we're getting off topic. While there are still a lot of great games out there for the legacy consoles, when it comes to the new releases, I think it's time to start focusing on current gen.

Rabbit: I still play my PS3 a lot though. There are so many good games I have in my backlog that need my attention. And while I enjoy my PS4, I just don't feel like there are enough high quality games to take over as my ichiban console.

Tiger: Heck, we still have our PS2s and PS1s plugged in.

Rabbit: Exactly. It took me a long time to switch from PS2 to PS3 and I think it will take even longer for me to make the jump to playing games solely on PS4. While the PS3 had a lot of issues, for me, it's still one of my favorite consoles and I'm not ready to box it up just yet.

https://www.playstation.com/en-us/explore/ps4/
Tiger: It's not time to say goodbye to our legacy consoles yet?

Rabbit: Definitely not. I believe the PS3 and other legacy consoles have so much to offer. There are still good games being made for both generations so everyone can enjoy the experience. I couldn't imagine unplugging my PS2 let alone not playing my PS3 anymore. I enjoy my time with the PS4 but right now, there just aren't enough games that I like for the system. I feel as if a lot of the games are good but not great on the PS4 and while it has a lot of games, many are DL games that don't have the robust story or quality I'm looking for. I'm just not ready to completely make the switch to the PS4 so I'll continue buying games for PS3.

Tiger: I disagree with you. If you have the choice between getting a game on PS4 and PS3, you should get it for the PS4. You just get a better experience nowadays on the PS4. The graphics are gorgeous and games run better on the system. Plus, I actually enjoy a lot of the extra features such as sharing and the ease of streaming on the PS4. I do agree that this current gen's offering of games is on the sparse side but that will get better with time. I still play my PS3 and I'm not going to unplug it but I won't be buying any more games for it if they're out on PS4 as well. If you have the new tech, you might as well use it.

Rabbit: You and your newfandangle gizmos.

Tiger: You are so slow to adopt new technology. I remember you were still buying VHS tapes when we had a DVD player. I could not comprehend why you'd do that!

Rabbit: I love my VHS player! I still have it and it's plugged in!

Is it Time to Leave Legacy Consoles Behind?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 32 O'Clock - Legacy of the Vita!

http://www.dualshockers.com/2015/10/23/sony-has-no-first-party-ps-vita-games-in-development-first-party-strategy-focused-on-ps4/
After discussing current and legacy generation consoles, Tiger and Rabbit contemplate where the Vita stands. Is it dead or has the little console that could seen a resurgence. Find out in this edition of Random Happy Time!

**^^**

Rabbit: Is the Vita considered legacy?

Tiger: According to some at Sony it is. (´_`。)

Rabbit: I still think of it as being an active console, I mean I picked up more new release Vita games than I did PS4 games this year.

Tiger: You and your otome games.

Rabbit: ^sticks out tongue^ Not all of them were otome games; many were rhythm or straight NVL games.

Tiger: *shakes head*

Rabbit: Hey, I love them!

Tiger: The Vita still has life in it, just a very niche sort of life.

Rabbit: It is true, if you aren't into Japanese games or... Japanese games you are kind of sorry out of luck.

Tiger: Luckily for us, we enjoy those kinds of games.

Rabbit: I wish Sony would support it more with their first party studios but it sounds like that's never going to happen. (ーー;)

Tiger: (ㄒoㄒ) I love the Vita so it's too bad we probably won't get another Uncharted or Killzone on it.

Rabbit: If Vita is legacy what would you call PlayStation VR? Current gen just doesn't sound right.

Tiger: (✖╭╮✖) How about “going into the closet like PS Move gen?”

Rabbit: That's way too long and way too mean.

Tiger: You know it's true. That thing is going nowhere and fast.

Rabbit: But you're still going to get one?

Tiger: *sighs* Yes. ( ;`ヘ´)

Rabbit: And you say I waste money.

Tiger: You waste it more than I do!

Rabbit: o(〃^▽^〃)o We also want to wish everyone a happy holiday season! Hope this time is filled with amazing wonders and zero snow!

Tiger: That’s your wish.

Rabbit: Well, what’s yours then?

Tiger: I wish that our readers have a happy New Year.

Rabbit: You’re excited for 2016, aren’t you?

Tiger: Oh yes, I love even years. That means we have the Olympics! I love sporting events, it will be fun. We’re still planning a trip to EVO too, though I’m not sure if we’ll be able to pull it off. (─‿‿─)

Rabbit: I kind of want to do PAX Prime again.

Tiger: That would be fun too. Decisions, decisions.

Rabbit: I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the new year brings us.

Tiger: Hopefully, a few more readers.

Tiger & Rabbit: Thanks for being with us Qgers and Qbbits! We hope to see you next year too! \(^∀^)メ(^∀^)ノ

Friday, December 4, 2015

Q Attack, Round 24 - Would You Pay to See a Vocaloid Live in Concert?

http://www.ticketmaster.com/Hatsune-Miku-tickets/artist/1989197
Tiger and Rabbit are back in action as they discuss Vocaloids singing at live concerts with live bands. While Hatsune Miku and friends have never appeared in the State Tiger and Rabbit live in, if she did, would they be willing to attend? Is a live concert really any different from a recorded track when the vocalist is a synthetic computer program? Find out in this episode of Q Attack.

^^**^^

Rabbit: I finally remembered the question I wanted to ask when we talked about Vocaloids a few posts ago.

Tiger: About time, so what was it?

Rabbit: Would you pay to see a Vocaloid live in concert? Would it really be worth it?

Tiger: Interesting, what brought this on?

Rabbit: Well, we’ve purchased a few of the BD concerts, Hatsune Miku Live Party 2013 in Kansai and Mikunopolis in Los Angeles. They’re fun to watch and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go see her in person. Well, you know what I mean.

Tiger: We’ve seen a few live performances of both classical and popular music. I gotta say, I prefer seeing classical live. I’m not one for mosh pits.

Rabbit: Stereopony was awesome when we saw them! They had so much energy.

Tiger: Yeah, they were fun to go see. But I guess it would depend on which Vocaloids were going to sing at the concert. As much as we love our favorites like Kagamine Rin and Len, they are kind of old now. Especially when you look at popularity polls, Hatsune Miku has even dropped out of top three standings.

Rabbit: Yeah, but she’s also a classic. She may just be the Cher of Vocaloids.

Tiger: Didn’t a critic once say that after a nuclear apocalypse, the only things left on earth would be cockroaches and Cher?

Rabbit: Something like that.

Tiger: Just a point of order, we don’t listen to Cher. I don’t even know why you brought her up.

Rabbit: Anyway, Mikunopolis in Los Angeles was the first concert recording we ever saw and some of the first live Vocaloid music we heard. It was recorded at Anime Expo 2011 when Hatsune Miku made her first appearance in the United States. She and the others were accompanied by The 39’s, a live band.

Tiger: It must be hard playing with a recording; it leaves you very little room for mistakes. Probably why they are professionals but I wonder what they think of it all. It’s a little strange, don’t you think?

Rabbit: At least she’ll never go full on diva on them at rehearsals.

Tiger: *laughs*

Rabbit: At Anime Expo, classic songs like World is Mine by Ryo from Supercell and Romeo and Cinderella by doriko were performed.

Tiger: One of my favorite Len songs, Butterfly on Your Right Shoulder by Nori-P, was also showcased.

Rabbit: Rin also sang Meltdown (Nuclear Fushion) by iroha.

Tiger: I have to admit that the live version sounds so much better to me than the one you find in Project DIVA f 2nd. The live instruments bring a kind of weight to the music, I really love the sound.

Rabbit: Megurine Luka also sings her classic, Just Be Friends by Dixie Flatline.

Tiger: *groans*

Rabbit: What’s your problem?

Tiger: They always make her sing that. I realize it’s a popular song but out of the big Crypton stars, I think Luka has the best voice yet they never utilize it. Same thing with Len, he didn’t even get a solo song.

Rabbit: Well, it is named after Hatsune Miku so it’s understandable that she gets the bulk of the spotlight. Same with Hatsune Miku Live Party 2013 in Kansai. This time MKP39 backed up Miku and the others. Plus, appearances from KAITO and MEIKO were featured.

Tiger: Thousand Year Solo by yanagi-P and Piano x Forte x Scandal by OSTER project were notable inclusions. KAITO is okay but I love MEIKO, even though she’s from an older generation, I still like her sound.

Rabbit: Senbonzakura by Kurousa-P was a big crowd pleaser. I read that it was the #1 karaoke song amongst teens last year.

Tiger: As for what you actually see at these concerts, they use mirrors, smoke, and some pretty cool projectors to make Hatsune Miku and company appear on stage. Some of the staging looks better than others. I know in the LA show, you could see the reflection of the audience which was distracting. Kansai looked a lot better and they also seemed to have a larger stage to work with. I don’t recall seeing a strings section with the Kansai band though, I would want to go to a concert that has a least a few strings.

http://www.rightstufanime.com/MIKUNOPOLIS-in-Los-Angeles-Blu-ray-S-Liveaction-Limited-Edition-CD
Rabbit: So would you pay to see Hatsune Miku live in concert?

Tiger: Probably not. While I do enjoy the music, I’d rather spend my money on a real musical experience like A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Now, if it was a Kagamine Len concert, I might change my mind, but it doesn’t really appeal to me. It’s a novelty that would be fun to see but I’m not going out of my way for it. Plus, you’d have to be there with a bunch of other people jumping and dancing and waving blow sticks that look like bunching onions in your face. I like dressing up in formal wear, going to a fancy restaurant, and then sitting to enjoy my music.

Rabbit: You’re just lazy and you sound like one of those classical music snobs.

Tiger: I can’t help it; I was trained by those snobs. Actually, they were really nice people, but they did instill in me a deeper appreciation of classical music and music in general. This is a good time to plug one of my favorite podcasts – Learning to Listen by Emily Reese. If you want to learn more about classical music from a non-snob classical music lover, she’s the one to listen to. She also does a great podcast about video game music called Top Score.

Rabbit: You know, you always get mad at me for hijacking our conversations but you just did it too! Now get back on your segway and segue back to the topic at hand!

Tiger: Point of order, you were the one that pulled me off topic. Its okay, I’m pretty much done. My answer is a big fat no, though I’d go with you if you asked.

Rabbit: Maybe I don’t want to go with you. Maybe I’ll go with Martin.

Tiger: It would be cheaper to go with him. So I take it you would pay to see Hatsune Miku?

Rabbit: In a heartbeat! I think it would be pretty special to see her perform live. To hear the band and share the experience with other fans, I couldn’t imagine a better time. Plus, it’d be neat to see the Vocaloids in all their different costumes. I wonder how they change so fast? I would definitely appreciate the opportunity to attend though I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the chance. She doesn’t seem to come up this way but if she did, I’d buy tickets in a heartbeat. I want to get that onion glow stick just so I can mess with you.

Tiger: *shakes head* You’re hopeless.

Would You Pay to See a Vocaloid Live in Concert?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 31 O'Clock - Best Concert Ever!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man:_Turn_Off_the_Dark
Tiger and Rabbit discuss which musical artists they would love to see in concert. From deceased composers to contemporary pop stars, these furry compatriots chat about their favorite musicians.

**^^**

Rabbit: If you could see anyone in concert, living or dead, who would it be?

Tiger: Clara Wieck Schumann for sure.

Rabbit: I’d go for the Grateful Dead.

Tiger: Really? I thought you would’ve picked Boston or Cream.

Rabbit: Ooh, how about Megadeath? (ノ> ◇ <)ノ♪

Tiger: Uh, no thank you. I’d rather see Keane or The Decemberists if I chose a contemporary group. Oh I know! The Ink Spots or Lady Day, yeah, now I would kill for tickets to see them play live.

Rabbit: ♪(┌・。・)┌ I want to see Rabu Raibu! in concert!

Tiger: As long as Nico doesn't get a solo.

Rabbit: ^makes bunny ears with fingers^ Nico! Nico! Nii! ૮⍝◜•˕̮•◝⍝ა

Tiger: ヽ(#`Д´)ノ

Rabbit: So violent. I’d love to see Kujikawa Rise live.

Tiger: *shakes head*

Rabbit: Or at least see the Persona 3 musical. They've also done stage shows for Danganronpa as well.

Tiger: (((*°▽°*)八(*°▽°*)))♪ I’d definitely join you for that, seeing a maniacal teddy bear serial killer on stage would make my day. What about recent Broadway shows?

Rabbit: Spider-Man!

Tiger: How about no, I heard that was a terrible show. (;¬_¬)

Rabbit: From all the injuries to special effects malfunctioning; I did hear it was an absolute mess.

Tiger: It also looks amazingly stupid.

Rabbit: How about Wicked then?

Tiger: We've already seen that one. (-‸ლ)

Rabbit: We poor unfortunate souls!

Tiger: Wrong one.

Rabbit: What?

Tiger: You want something like “my precious!”

Rabbit: That doesn’t sound right either…

Tiger: "Pretties?" I’m pretty sure it was "pretties." I know there are monkeys in it.

Rabbit: ^singing^ Hey, hey we’re the monkeys! And people say we monkey around!

Tiger: Okay, that’s enough, you’re reaching now.

Rabbit: ( ・᷄ㅂ・᷅ ) But I was just getting started.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Versus Mode, Round 3 - Persona 3 vs Persona 4, Ready? Fight!

http://www.atlus.com/persona3/
Warning: The following presentation contains major spoilers, reader discretion is advised.

It’s a high school brawl as Tiger and Rabbit clash head-to-head to see which Persona game reigns supreme. Is it Persona 3? Originally released on the PlayStation 2 in 2007, it received an ultimate edition called FES in 2008 and a PlayStation Portable release in 2010. Or is it Persona 4? First released in 2008 on the PlayStation 2, it was later remade as Persona 4 Golden on PlayStation Vita in 2012. Both games are similar but have striking differences. Tiger and Rabbit set out to prove which Persona game is the best.


^^**^^

Tiger: Persona 3 or Persona 4, which one is better?

Rabbit: This again? We’ve had this conversation multiple times.

Tiger: Exactly. I thought it was time we finally put this on tape and officially battle it out.

Rabbit: ^crosses arms^ You know I’m going to win this one, right? That’s the only outcome possible.

Tiger: *shakes head* Keep dreaming, there is no way my beloved Mitsuru could lose to your Rise.

Rabbit: She’s so old though.

Tiger: She’s awesome but I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Rabbit: In this edition of Versus Mode, Tiger and I will be fighting over which Persona game is the best, Persona 3 or Persona 4? I, obviously, am choosing Persona 4.

Tiger: And Persona 3 is the game I’m going to use to pulverize you with.

Rabbit: I dare you to try.

Tiger: While the games are very similar, after all they are from the same series, there are some major differences.

Rabbit: They’re both developed and published by Atlus, both directed by Hashino Katsura, share the same artist in Soejima Shigenori, and the music for both games was composed by Meguro Shoji.

Tiger: They both appeared first on PlayStation 2 before getting expanded versions. The two games also share the same in-game world with cameos of Persona 3 characters in Persona 4. A lot of the characters from both games also appear in Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax, the fighting game spin-off series.

Rabbit: We’ll be focusing on Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden in this Versus Mode.

Tiger: Persona 3 takes place in Iwatodai, a city built and managed by the Kirijo Corporation. There’s this strange event called the Dark Hour, a period of time that separates the days. It results in the majority of people turning into coffins, unaware of what happens within this hour. During this time, reality is changed with creatures called Shadows, roaming the city and preying on the minds of those who are still conscious. Being attacked by Shadows in the Dark Hour leaves the victim in a catatonic state outside of this time, which the media refers to as Apathy Syndrome. The local high school, Gekkoukan High School, also is affected by the Dark Hour, transforming into the labyrinthine tower known as Tartarus. All of these events lead to the creation of the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad or SEES, a group of Gekkoukan High School students who are determined to solve the mystery that is the Dark Hour.

Rabbit: Wow, that’s kind of depressing.

Tiger: To me, Persona 3 is the darker of the two stories, even though 4 centers on a bunch of murders.

Rabbit: That is true. Persona 4 is located in the rural town of Inaba, where unexplained murders have taken place. This usually peaceful town is now plagued by strange fog and bodies being hung from television antennas, to which the police have no known cause of death. During this time, students at Yasogami High School hear a rumor about the Midnight Channel. If you watch a switched-off TV during a rainy midnight, you will see your soulmate but so far, the only people seen on this channel have turned up dead.

Tiger: See, how is that happier? People don’t really die during the Dark Hour; they just get turned into vegetables.

Rabbit: But Iwatodai is a depressing location, especially as the game progresses. Eventually the entire city is covered in garbage and doomsday graffiti.

Tiger: There is an “end of the world” vibe going on at the end of the game, that’s for sure. Even with the murders though, Inaba stays pretty upbeat. I don’t know, I like the characters and all but I just found Persona 3’s group to be more grounded. I mean, a teen idol, really?

Rabbit: Persona 3 has a death robot that is obsessed with the main character. And what about your best bud falling in love with the enemy?

Tiger: At least there is an actual enemy in Persona 3, I disliked Persona 4’s ultimate bad guy. Yes, it was fun not knowing who the murderer was at first but eventually, I felt that we got strung along in the end.

Rabbit: I do feel that Persona 4 has the best characters, like Narukami Yu.

Tiger: Point of order, we’ll be using the Anime names since the protagonists can be renamed by the players and because some of the manga use different names as well.

Rabbit: While his parents work abroad, Yu moves to Inaba and stays with his uncle, Dojima Ryotaro and cousin, Nanako. While attending Yasogami, he befriends fellow Inaba transplant Hanamura Yosuke. Yu is also joined by two of your classmates, Satonaka Chie and Amagi Yukiko. They travel through a TV and find themselves in the world of Shadows.  Later on in the game, they are also joined by biker-esque Tatsumi Kanji, mascot Teddie, and idol Kujikawa Rise, yay for Rise, and detective Shirogane Naoto. Together, they race against time to stop the murders of those who appear on the Midnight Channel.

Tiger: I thought I would like Yukiko a lot more than I did. She looks like your typical yamato nadeshiko. A shy girl who’s elegant and popular at school but doesn’t realize it yet and she has some odd quirks.

Rabbit: Like her laughing fits that seem to happen at strange times.

Tiger: I gotta admit that her Shadow was one of my favorite moments. Pretty funny stuff.

Rabbit: Yes, all of your teammates have to face their Shadow selves in the TV world before they unlock their Persona. This Shadow represents their darker selves with a lot of personal fears and anxieties manifesting themselves in overt ways. Kanji’s is the best by far.

Tiger: Yes, that one probably takes the cake. I thought most of them were very well done except Naoto’s Shadow. That entire character felt rushed and to me, Naoto appeared a little too late in my opinion. So, I know Rise is your favorite but do you have a second fav?

Rabbit: I think Chie is my other favorite, she’s the most normal out of all of them and I really enjoy her can-do attitude. I actually thought she would’ve been my top pick, since I usually don’t go with the Idol type but Rise won me over in the end. Plus, she’s actually really helpful in combat, unlike Fuuka.

Tiger: Yeah… but the rest of the Persona 3 cast are awesome! Yuuki Makoto is also a transfer student but unlike Yu, his parents died in an accident in Iwatodai ten years earlier. He naturally has the ability to function in the Dark Hour, which is revealed when he first arrives at the SEES dormitory. There he meets classmate Takeba Yukari, and upperclassman Kirijo Mitsuru. Mitsuru’s classmate, Sanada Akihiko, lures a powerful Shadow back to the dorm, which overpowers the SEES members. Yukari takes Makoto to the roof, in hopes of saving him, only to be attacked herself. Makoto then picks up her Evoker, a gun-like item that summons Personae, and uses it to defeat the Shadow. After that, he officially joins SEES along with fellow students Iori Junpei and Yamagishi Fuuka, android Aigis, ex SEES member Aragaki Shinjiro, elementary student Amada Ken, and the awesome dog Koromaru.

Rabbit: I LOVE Koromaru! He’s the dog's woof!

Tiger: Of course you would love the dog. He is pretty great. He was one of my mains and did very well until the last freaking boss.

Rabbit: *giggles* You also love Mitsuru, I don’t get that.

Tiger: She’s very cool and mature. She also is an Ice Queen and can heal. I probably would have liked Yukari more if she wasn’t an absolute idiot in battle. Speaking of which, this is where I feel the games are the most different. In Persona 3, you can only control Makoto which can be bothersome.

http://www.atlus.com/persona4/
Rabbit: Persona 4 isn’t like that at all.

Tiger: *sticks out tongue*

Rabbit: So who were your mains during your last playthrough?

Tiger: Makoto of course, with Koromaru, Yukari, and Mitsuru. I could destroy every enemy with ease, even Death I had no problem with, until the last freaking boss. Apparently, according to a few guides, Koromaru and Mitsuru are the worst characters to bring with you to the final battle, go figure.

Rabbit: Here we go; another Night Queen rant.

Tiger: *throws up hands* Yes! Another Night Queen rant, freaking Night Queen! That move is unfair on so many levels! Not only does the final boss get to throw out attacks two turns in a row, freaking Night Queen can charm, enrage, and panic all of your characters!

Rabbit: And we all know what happens next.

Tiger: I tried to beat that boss so many times, I eventually had to backtrack to an old save, replay almost two in-game months worth, and then face the boss with my newly leveled up characters. Do you know what happened then?!

Rabbit: We all know what happened next.

Tiger: *waving arms in air* The boss didn’t use freaking Night Queen once on me, not once! I did all that work for nothing!

Rabbit: You did finally beat the game though.

Tiger: All that time grinding so I could defeat that move and Night Queen was never used.

Rabbit: At least in Persona 4, I never had any issues like you had where Yukari refused to do anything, even though she could have healed you because, in Persona 4 you can control everyone. Yay!

Tiger: It also makes the game much easier, where’s the challenge in that?

Rabbit: Persona 4’s support member is also a lot more useful. Rise can tell you enemies’ weaknesses, tell you party members’ status, and even join in on the action.

Tiger: Yeah, I will admit I found Rise a lot more useful than Fuuka.

Rabbit: My mains were Yu, Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko-

Tiger: Wait, you just stuck with the original four characters?

Rabbit: ^grins^ Yup, they’re the best! I really didn’t want to break them up once the other players became available, it would’ve been sad. The combat is the same as Persona 3 where you explore dungeons, fight Shadows in turn-based combat, can use physical and Persona attacks, and then you have your daily life gameplay. I like being able to fully control my party though, it saves me the headache of having characters sit there and do nothing when they could have saved you from defeat.

Tiger: I just realized we haven’t even discussed what a Persona really is.

Rabbit: Oh yeah, I’d describe them as cute little soul demons that you can summon to aid you in battle. All of the characters, expect the main protagonist, have a specific Persona which is like an alternate representation of their true selves. Each Persona also has a specific element which they use in their magic attacks.

Tiger: That’s the gist of it, though I wouldn’t have quite described them that way.

Rabbit: Like any high schooler, when you play a Persona game, you have to balance out your daily school life while fighting Shadows at night.

Tiger: I don’t remember having that dilemma when we were in school…

Rabbit: After fighting Shadows every night, you still have to wake up and go to school, study, hang out with friends, and even work a part-time job. These experiences create bonds with the people you meet, called Social Links, and through these connections; your character begins to grow in ability.

Tiger: The Social Link system really defines the Persona games. It’s quite complicated trying to find equilibrium between leveling up via combat and spending time with your friends. Plus, you have to choose wisely which Social Links you want to focus on, forget to hang out with someone for a few weeks and you might lose your connection to that person. 

Rabbit: It’s these relationships that really make Persona games special. I love the non-playable characters in Persona 4. I liked hanging out with the old widow Kuroda Hisano and the mysterious Fox you meet at Tatsuhime Shrine.

Tiger: I really enjoyed spending time with Miyamoto Kazushi who is a member of your sports team. I also liked Bebe Geraux, a French exchange student; and Suemitsu Nozomi, the Gourmet King.

Rabbit: You have weird taste in friends.

Tiger: I’m not the one that hung out with a Fox. Anyway, both games are really great JRPGs but I’m still sticking with my guns on Persona 3 being better than Persona 4. The story is tighter, the characters are deeper, and the gameplay is challenging. Persona 4 is too light and bubbly for my taste.

Rabbit: Bubbly-ness is what makes Persona 4 so awesome. It has a great murder mystery, lovable characters, and I thought the ending was pretty good. For me, it was much more enjoyable than 3, plus I could take it with me on the go!

Tiger: You know what we haven’t talked about yet?

Rabbit: What’s that?

Tiger: The music of Persona 3 and Persona 4.

Rabbit: I guess that means it’s time for a Bonus Round!

http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/huntad/blog/best-overall-ost-persona-3-fes-vs-persona-4/89134/
Versus Mode Bonus Round – Burn My Dread vs Your Affection, Ready? Fight!

Tiger: *yells* I WILL BURN MY DREAD!

Rabbit: Oh no! The best song from the Persona series has to be Your Affection.

Tiger: That song is so chill though. C’mon, Burn My Dread even has a rap in the Last Battle version! *puts sideways baseball cap on and raps* There’s a no man’s land, no man ever survived. Invisible hands are, behind you just now. If you ever win that, race against rage then, you’ll be king ‘cuz, it’s no man’s land.

Rabbit: Word to your mother. Your Affection talks about flowers though, awesome flowers! Ones that bloom in tears, turning misery into meaningfulness!

Tiger: What does that even mean?

Rabbit: It’s groovy. ^starts to dance^ You can’t help but groove to this song. Oh yeah, See’mon and dance Tiger!

Tiger: *Turns Burn My Dread back on* This has to be Meguro Shoji’s best song. It's sung by Kawamura Yumi and Lotus Juice does the rap vocals. There’s even a more relaxed version for you if you don’t like the Last Battle or Reincarnation versions.

Rabbit: Well My Affection is also Meguro Shoji’s best song and it’s sung by Hirata Shihoko. It also has a Reincarnation version that rocks, so there!

Tiger: It doesn’t rock at all. That’s why Persona 3 has the better soundtrack, the battle themes are the best. Persona 4 is just too lighthearted.

Rabbit: You may think that but Persona 4’s music is upbeat, it’s great driving music. It makes every day seem sunny and bright when you listen to it.

Tiger: I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Rabbit: ^grins^ We’ll just turn misery into meaningfulness!

Random Happy Time, 30 O'Clock - Memento Mori!

http://atlus.com/persona5/
After chatting at length about Persona 3 and Persona 4, Tiger and Rabbit take some time to discuss the upcoming sequel and what they would like to see in the next game. They also cover how the Persona series has expanded into other mediums, like anime and musicals.

**^^**

Rabbit: Persona 5 has been officially announced! ೕ(•̀ᴗ•́)

Tiger: Yes, I’m super excited about that. What about you? Anything you’d like to see them change or add in the new game?

Rabbit: I want more animal partners!

Tiger: Anything besides that?

Rabbit: Not really, I think they’ll do a great job with it no matter what. I just want them to create the vision that they truly want and not be hindered by anything.

Tiger: I’m curious to see how the whole stealth sections play out and the phantom thief theme sounds neat.

Rabbit: Doesn’t their home base totally look like Stray Sheep? ᏊˊꈊˋᏊ

Tiger: It does though it can’t be because I’m pretty sure Atlus stated that Stray Sheep was in the U.S. somewhere, while Persona 5 looks to be set in Japan again. Also, they’ve said in the past that Catherine and Persona aren’t in the same world.

Rabbit: I do love me some Stray Sheep. Did you see they turned Persona into a musical? (\˳˘ ɜ˘)˳ ♬♪♫

Tiger: I did! I really want to see that, I think it would be cool. P3 even has a female protagonist. We’ve seen previews advertised with the P3 movies. Which are also awesome.

Rabbit: I really enjoyed the P4 anime but I haven’t picked up any of the manga, Still gotta do that.

Tiger: There’s also the two fighting games. o(`ω´*)o

Rabbit: Which I suck at.

Tiger: I think it’s cool to see the P3 cast now that they’re older. I still need to beat the story modes but I never seem to have time.

Rabbit: While you do that, I’ll be playing Dancing All Night! Rise is amazing! ┏(^0^)┛

Tiger: It’s the same developer that does the Hatsune Miku games, right?

Rabbit: Yes and no. Dingo worked on Project Diva but was dropped when the development team was reshuffled.

Tiger: I’m still bummed that it’s only going to be the P4 cast but I’ll be playing it no matter what.

Rabbit: ♪♪(o*゜∇゜)o~♪♪ I’m going to play Your Affection nonstop!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Q Attack, Round 23 - Should Visual Novels be Classified as Games?

http://www.ideafintl.com/amnesia/
Rabbit has recently completed AMNESIA: Memories on PlayStation Vita and decides to share some thoughts on the surge of visual novel localization. She and Tiger discuss past visual novels, the different genres, and if visual novels should really be considered video games in this entry of Q Attack.

^^**^^

Rabbit: ^sighs^ I wish Ikki was a real person.

Tiger: Really? I thought you’d be more of a Shin fan.

Rabbit: I don’t like my tsundere guys with that much edge. What about you, Toma I take it?

Tiger: *crosses arms* Heck no. I’m not a fan of yandere, not at all. If I had to pick anyone, I’d say Kent is more my type.

Rabbit: Of course, I should have known.

Tiger: What, is it that obvious?

Rabbit: ^shakes head^ Megane.

Tiger: Hey, I’m not even a fan of otome games; you’re the one that’s been on this AMNESIA kick all month.

Rabbit: I’m really enjoying it; I waited months to finally play it. I even got the physical collector’s edition.

Tiger: Back up a minute, a collector’s edition?

Rabbit: Yes.

Tiger: For a digital only game?

Rabbit: Yes, Iffy made a physical collector’s edition that came with the soundtrack, artbook, coasters, and a body pillow cover.

Tiger: *rolls eyes* Oh geez.

Rabbit: I even got the anime as well.

Tiger: You and your games that aren’t even games.

Rabbit: They are too! Otome games are visual novels geared towards gamers who like dating sims.

Tiger: I don’t even like calling them dating sims, that’s pretty inaccurate.

Rabbit: Well, I don’t want to say they’re chick games because that’s wrong too. I know a few guys who enjoy playing them.

Tiger: They’re non-games that have a load of hot guys that interact with the usually voiceless heroine in non-realistic ways.

Rabbit: Like Toma and the cage.

Tiger: Actually, I think that might be the most realistic scenario from AMNESIA.

Rabbit: ^shocked face^

Tiger: Anyway, otome games are a subgenre of visual novels.

Rabbit: And NVLs are games that include lots of text, pretty art, and are often fully voiced-

Tiger: Yet they don’t have any actual gameplay-

Rabbit: They have mini-games!

Tiger: Jan ken pon does not count as a video game!

Rabbit: They are too games and there are a lot of them.

Tiger: We all know you have Hakuouki on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.

Rabbit: Ah, my PSP. We had a good run together. Hakuouki is considered an otome game as well as Sweet Fuse: At Your Side.

Tiger: Then there’s AMNESIA which came out recently on PlayStation Vita.

Rabbit: I’ve also played XBlaze Code: Embryo on Vita but that’s just a straight up visual novel. I picked up Steins;Gate too. I’ve heard some people call it a dating sim but I don’t really think of it that way. I also preordered Norn9: Var Commons and Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ which are both on Vita also.

Tiger: You also have a few ADVs as well.

Rabbit: I do! Those tend to have a lot more gameplay in them like with Zero Escape. You could even say that games like the BlazBlue series have light ADV components to them too. Whether they’re straight NVLs or ADVs, I love them all!

Tiger: I still don’t think NVLs should be called video games, you’re basically reading a book. You can, after all, just go read a book instead of “play” a book. It’s not like it has to be in video game format. Now ADVs are a little different, they actually have gameplay elements but NVLs have you pushing circle a hundred-thousand times to advance the text, that’s it.

Rabbit: You have more control than just that. Because most NVLs have multiple endings, you have dialogue choices that lead to different branches of the story. And if it’s an otome game, often times you have multiple endings for each guy, AKA route, you can choose from. Like with AMNESIA, there are five routes and each route has at least three endings. You have other controls too like fast forward so you don’t have to sit through text you’ve already read, though I really enjoy replaying my favorite routes.

Tiger: That doesn’t sound fun, just fast forwarding through scenarios you’ve already seen.

Rabbit: It makes more sense when you play them. Anyway, that’s not the real reward. NVLs are special because of the usually high quality voice acting and unlocking the CGs, which are sometimes partially animated.

Tiger: We’ve thrown around a lot of abbreviations and terms so far, maybe you’d like to clarify what they really mean.

Rabbit: Oh yeah, good idea. Well NVL is just the common way to refer to standard visual novels. I think it’s short hand for NoVeL though I could be wrong. ADV is the same concept and refers to ADVenture games, or visual novels that have more gameplay ala Danganronpa. CGs stand for Computer Graphic and yes, while technically all the images are computer graphics, CG directly refers to the full screen images you unlock throughout the playthrough. Most games have a gallery that keeps track of which ones you’ve unlocked and allows you to look at them again, sometimes with the full voice audio being replayed as well. Routes, as I already mentioned, refer to the different paths or love interests you can choose in the game. With AMNESIA you choose your route very early on but in Hakuouki, it’s not as clear which route you’re following until you advance farther in the game. These routes lead to the multitude of endings that most NVLs have which usually consisted of a good, normal, and at least one bad ending.

Tiger: I think in Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, all the endings were kind of bad.

Rabbit: That game had so many endings, the game actually had a chart to help you keep track!

Tiger: It’s crazy to think how many visual games have been localized.

Rabbit: I know! Especially the straight NVLs. Now I don’t play PC or mobile NVLs so I know I miss a lot that release that way but on Vita alone, I’m going to pick up five legit NVLs and three more that could be classified as ADVs just in 2015 alone. I remember when I only had Hakuouki to keep me company at night back in the early PSP days.

Tiger: *shakes head*

Rabbit: I’m really thankful for Aksys, XSeed, NISA, Iffy, and everyone else who supports the NVL community here in the West.

Tiger: Now you mentioned a game I don’t consider to be a NVL, Danganronpa.

Rabbit: The first two Danrangonpa games are considered visual novels, ADVs to be exact, just like the Ace Attorney games!

Tiger: But I like the Danganronpa games.

Rabbit: That means you like visual novels!

Tiger: Technically, that only means I like ADVs. I still think straight up NVLs shouldn’t be considered games.

http://aksysgames.com/norn9/
Rabbit: So you don’t think visual novels are games?

Tiger: No, I don’t think visual novels are legitimate video games. While they are partially interactive it’s only a small margin of the overall experience. I’d say NVLs are closer to choose your own anime or manga than anything else. While the genre has its fans, *points at Rabbit* I wouldn’t consider it a large enough category to be a subgenre of video games. I personally don’t see how you could really call them video games. It’s similar to my issues with some of the indie games like Journey; they just don’t really fit into what I perceive as a game. I mean the definition of “game” is that it’s an activity that involves skill, knowledge, and chance in which you follow rules to try and win against an opponent or solve a puzzle. There is nothing in that definition that even remotely applies to NVLs. Again, I’m not saying they're wrong and shouldn’t exist; I just think it’s going a little too far to call NVLs video games. ADVs are something else because you do have parts where a player’s skills are involved and it’s something you can beat. NVLs just end, no matter what you do. So no, I don’t think NVLs should be considered games.

Rabbit: Well, I just think you’re being too narrowed minded. Not everything is quantified by winning and losing, sometimes there are other ways to finish a game. How about reaching the end of the story? That is almost like winning. Plus, you do get rewards for choosing certain paths or completing various routes in the form of CGs and bonus stories. And media can be interactive in more ways than one. You don’t always have to be in control, the fully voiced narratives in NVLs create a level of immersion that when coupled with choosing your own destiny, creates an experience you couldn’t get in the theaters or with books. I love NVLs because it’s just another great way to experience a new world and a new story that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

Should Visual Novels be Classified as Games?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 29 O'Clock - Romancing the Vita!

http://www.rightstufanime.com/category/DVD?keywords=hakuou
Rabbit takes time in this edition of Random Happy Time to talk about her love of otome games with Tiger and which games have the best hot guys, er, routes and endings.

**^^**

Rabbit: (●´∀`)ノ♡ I love otome games.

Tiger: I think we all know that by now.

Rabbit: I even bought the digital versions of Hakuouki and Sweet Fuse so I could play it on my Vita again.

Tiger: What did you think of Sweet Fuse?

Rabbit: I enjoyed it, not the greatest but it had some good moments. I really liked the protagonist, Inafune Saki, who is the niece of Inafune Keiji. She gets trapped in a theme park that’s been taken over by a deranged talking pig.

Tiger: Sounds a little like Danganronpa.

Rabbit: Yeah, just a bit. I wasn’t really impressed with the guys though, they weren’t as smokin’ hot as the Hakuouki men.

Tiger: (; ̄ェ ̄) I don’t think anyone could beat them in your eyes.

Rabbit: Shidou Subaru is the canon route; he’s your typical serious guy. You can choose to have Saki blow up and yell at the guys during certain scenes and it’s always funny to see his reaction to this. It’s the only time he really breaks from being a cool detective. I personally liked Shirabe Ayumu the best though.

Tiger: You like older men?

Rabbit: It just turned out that way in the game; he was interesting while the others just felt like your typical cookie-cutter characters.

Tiger: We know you love all the guys in Hakuouki but-

Rabbit: Correction! I love everyone but Toshi, I can’t stand him.

Tiger: He’s canon in the anime though.

Rabbit: I know that’s why I hate the anime.

Tiger: But you still watch it.

Rabbit: (^~^;)ゞ I do, I make no sense.

Tiger: I’m glad you realize that.

Rabbit: We even own a few anime series that are based on otome games like Hiiro no Kakera and Uta no Prince-sama.

Tiger: You and your love of reverse harem. (︶︹︺)

Rabbit: (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و I still love Saitou the most! Though Kazama is a close second with Okita and Harada tied for third.

Tiger: What’s so great about Saitou anyway?

Rabbit: His hair and how it partially covers his eyes making him look so mysterious.

Tiger: *covers face*

Rabbit: But Kazama has that wolfish grin, Okita with his fox-like smile, and Harada’s flaming red hair that just ignites my heart.

Tiger: You can stop now. You can stop anytime.

Rabbit: I love AMNESIA’s character designs. I think all of the characters look really cool and even the simplistic background art looks amazing in that game. If only Shin wasn’t canon.

Tiger: Face it; you’ll never like the canon route.

Rabbit: I know but at least the anime shares the love!

Tiger: *shakes head*

Rabbit: Ikki, darling! Let me succumb to those gorgeous eyes of yours! ٩(♡ε♡ )۶

Friday, October 16, 2015

Q Attack, Round 22 - Is VR Here to Stay?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddkenreck/2015/09/23/playstation-vr-is-every-bit-as-good-as-the-oculus-rift-even-better/
VR gaming seems to be all the rage these days with multiple companies producing their own headsets. Tiger and Rabbit share their thoughts on VR and examine what this could mean for the future of gaming. Is VR the next big thing in gaming or just another fad that will fade away?

^^**^^

Tiger: I think I’m ready to jump into this whole VR fad.

Rabbit: Wait, really?

Tiger: Yeah, there are some pretty interesting games and the tech has come a long way.

Rabbit: It’s still really pricey, which is a big drawback for me.

Tiger: There are so many options nowadays and some of them aren’t too expensive.

Rabbit: I know Valve is working with phone manufacturer HTC on Vive.

Tiger: Our phones are from HTC, I’ve always liked them but they’re pretty simple. I’m curious to see how this marriage will work out for Valve.

Rabbit: Supposedly, the Vive has some of the best graphics compared to the other competitors.

Tiger: We already know what Oculus Rift can do. The big question is the price tag.

Rabbit: With the controller attachment and the PC needed to run it, I bet it’s going to be pretty high. Still, they are the most experienced, so it may be worth the entry fee.

Tiger: Samsung’s Gear VR is also powered by Oculus and uses a smartphone, but it’s limited to Samsung phones at this time.

Rabbit: Carl Zeiss VR One uses the same concept but supports the iPhone 6 as well.

Tiger: I’m not a fan of mobile gaming so mobile VR is an even less appealing idea for me.

Rabbit: There’s Microsoft’s HoloLens which is more of an AR headset than a VR one.

Tiger: I’ll be interested to see what they can really achieve with it. It’s a cool idea but also limited I think, since developers won’t be able to port other VR games to it easily.

Rabbit: We also have FOVE Eye Tracking VR which is backed by Microsoft Ventures. This headset needs no controller and relies on the user’s eyes to track movement.

Tiger: My eyes hurt just thinking about playing a game that way.

Rabbit: How about Google’s Cardboard VR headset?

Tiger: Backhand to the face, anyone? There’s also Razer’s OSVR which is an open source system supported by Gearbox Software.

Rabbit: We seem to be missing one.

Tiger: And that is the one we’d most likely get if we get one, Project Morpheus, now known as PlayStation VR.

Rabbit: I really hate the idea of it being paired with the PS Camera and the Move controller.

Tiger: *shakes head* PS Move, that controller is a big waste of space.

Rabbit: Yet, we have four of them.

Tiger: To my defense, I got a second pair for cheap. Plus, you were the one that complained about not being able to play the multiplayer games with me.

Rabbit: I’m still not sure if I’m sold on VR, I can see the benefits for some types of games, but it feels a little gimmicky.

Tiger: Especially with some of the headsets. Like with Morpheus, did you see how they did multiplayer with some of the games?

Rabbit: Having one person use the headset and the rest using Move controllers with the PS Camera? Lame.

Tiger: I think the games I’m most interested in using VR with are the flight simulators, like piloting a mech or something.

Rabbit: You just want to make your childhood dream of piloting a Gundam come true.

Tiger: You know that game will happen, it just has to.

Rabbit: FPS games could be interesting with VR and I like the concepts behind a few of the horror demos too. I just don’t see VR having a huge impact on gaming in general. The price point is going to be steep for a lot of people. You already need to have a console or PC that can run the games, now you need to get a VR headset and maybe even a new controller! Gaming is already an expensive hobby, adding all the extra peripherals has made this a working mammal’s hobby.

Tiger: Well, we’ve only experienced the Oculus Rift so it’s kind of hard to say how VR may change video games, but there were some notable things to mention with our experience. One was depth perception; I was super impressed with how everything made sense visually. The demo was placed inside a room that was connected to a long hallway. It sounds weird, but I actually felt like I was as tall as I am in real life.

Rabbit: I totally get where you are coming from. In a lot of FPS games, I feel exceedingly tall, it’s a strange feeling. That Rift demo made it feel like I really was in the game because the placement of the walls felt normal. It didn’t feel like I had Mr. Fantastic arms or I was a giant.

Tiger: It seems like such a little concept but I figured it would be really hard to get that to feel accurate, so I was really impressed with Oculus Rift regarding that.

Rabbit: I also liked how it fit. We both wear glasses and have major issues with 3D TVs, so I was worried that it wouldn’t function well for us. Not only was the headset really comfortable to wear, the VR effect was not distorted by my glasses. The headset was a little heavy after you added the headphones, but overall, it was a comfortable design.

Tiger: While the game we played wasn’t very graphically detailed, the visuals still looked amazing. That screen was really high quality. I can see a lot of potential in VR. Could you imagine playing Fallout or Skyrim?

Rabbit: I want a VR Hakuouki game so I can see Saitou in all his high definition glory.

Tiger: Do you think we’d get motion sick playing an FPS game?

Rabbit: All the action could get a little hectic, maybe a game like the Vanishing of Ethan Carter or Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture would be a better fit.

Tiger: I’d really like to play Firewatch on a VR headset. The game’s artistic graphics would be amazing that way.

http://www.wired.com/2014/05/oculus-rift-4/
Rabbit: So what say you, oh illustrious Tiger. Is VR going to be commonplace for gamers?

Tiger: I think it has the potential to be. We haven’t seen technology in gaming that could really change the way we play since motion control. Granted, I wasn’t a fan of motion control but you cannot deny the success Nintendo had with the Wii. With 3D TVs, they weren’t necessary to experience certain games but a nice add-on feature. I think that was one of the main issues why it never truly saturated the video game market. With VR, if they can get the right games for it, I think they have the opportunity to really penetrate the market and carve out a niche for themselves. The software is going to be a key factor with how quickly and expansive gamers will adopt this new way to play. We already mentioned pricing as being a factor but I think something as simple as how quickly it is to put on and play will also affect whether gamers adopt VR fully. That was the one thing I hated most about the Move, I had to recalibrate it every freaking time I wanted to play a game. Adding five extra minutes to the boot up of a game doesn’t sound like much, but when you can just hit start and be playing within 20 seconds on other games, you start to notice the difference. I don’t want to feel like I’m putting on firefighting gear every time I want to play a VR game.

Rabbit: What kind of game would prod you to buy a VR headset?

Tiger: An actual game and not a tech demo. Many of the Move’s early games felt like glorified tech demos. I want an AAA game, built from the ground up for VR. Like with the Move, even games that came out later in its life cycle felt like the motion controlled gameplay was tacked on. I think with the right price and game, VR could become a staple for the hardcore and maybe even casual gamer. After all, casual gamers seem to adopt new tech like motion control pretty quickly. Who knows, get the right kind of commercial and holiday buzz, and we may see VR dominate sales.

Rabbit: I don’t think VR is going to revolutionize video games. Sure, it’s a great concept and will definitely be fun to play but I think there are too many barriers to overcome. One is definitely the entry fee. Consoles are already super expensive and so are games. Now you’re adding another peripheral that you won’t be using with every game, that could cost hundreds more. I do agree with you about the software side of the discussion needs to be strong. A killer app is a must but I’m not sure that will do it for most gamers. Harking back to the Move, we adopted pretty early but still have less than a dozen games that utilize the controller. I can’t imagine paying three to four hundred dollars for a headset that we may play for a few hours here and there. And while there were games I liked for the Move, it never replaced my Dualshock and I don’t think VR can do that either. Yes, I know you use a controller with it too but what I’m saying is, I don’t think VR can force me away from traditional gaming for an extended amount of time. Speaking of extended play sessions-

Tiger: You going to rant how you may accidentally walk into a wall while wearing a headset?

Rabbit: Chigau! I’m gonna go all scientific on you now. I think motion sickness and fatigue are going to be huge problems and difficult to overcome. Time to use my handy-dandy education in neuroscience! The fundamental problem with VR is this little problem called vergence-accommodation conflict. Your eyes do a couple of things when you look at something. First, your eyeballs move to ogle an object. If it’s close, they naturally converge on it but if it’s far away, they diverge. When your eyes don’t line up properly, that’s when you see double of what you’re looking at. The next thing that happens is your lenses focus on the object, or accommodate. This works perfectly well when looking at reality but with VR, all bets are off. VR creates 3D images by showing offset images to the left and right eye. The more offset, the closer an object appears. While your eyes are still accommodating, they're converging to the image in the distance. What does this mean, Professor Rabbit? This means that your eyes are overworking which causes fatigue, discomfort, and what has become known as virtual reality sickness. There also isn’t a great solution yet as many have suggested basing tech on light fields but none have done so.

Tiger: I’m really surprised that you remembered that from school, I thought you just slept through all of our classes.

Rabbit: ^sticks out tongue^ Anyway, while I think there will be those gamers who will adopt the new tech, there’s no way that VR will become mainstream and replace gaming as we know it. At least not in the state it’s in now, maybe in a decade when the tech is better, but not right now and not for the next few years.

Tiger: I don’t think it will take ten years for VR to saturate the market, not at all. Just make a great game that has you piloting a Gundam and you will own the video game industry!

Is VR Here to Stay?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 28 O’Clock - Tech Talk!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSX_%28video_game_console%29
While discussing virtual reality headsets in the previous Q Attack, Tiger and Rabbit take time to reflect on other gaming technologies in this edition of Random Happy Time! From the PocketStation to crazy controllers and everything in between, these fuzzy friends share some of their most memorable tech.

**^^**

Tiger: We’ve adopted a bunch of different video game related peripherals.

Rabbit: We’ve already talked about the PS Move and PS Camera; we also got the EyeToy when it first came out.

Tiger: I actually used the EyeToy quite a lot since I played Eye of Judgment often.

Rabbit: I used to play EyeToy: AntiGrav. It was a terrible game even when you could get it to work.

Tiger: Remember those screensaver esque PSN games that utilized the EyeToy?

Rabbit: (*^▽^)/ You could do things like paint the screen with your hand or move blocks and what not.

Tiger: We would turn that on when we hosted parties, just so people could mess around with it.

Rabbit: We also had an EyePet.

Tiger: Do you remember Tamagotchi?

Rabbit: I loved mine!

Tiger: We actually had some knock off version that featured an alien, but it was okay.

Rabbit: You always let yours starve. I had my pet alien alive for so long and then I went to a birthday party and asked you to take care of it. Do you know what you did?!

Tiger: ╮(─▽─)╭ I forgot about it and let it starve.

Rabbit: My poor friend starved to death. 。:゜(;´∩`;)゜:。

Tiger: Speaking of Tamagotchi, I always wanted to pick up a PocketStation but we never did import one.

Rabbit: We weren’t big spenders let alone importers back in the PlayStation era. It still would have been pretty cool to get.

Tiger: There was also the PSX.

Rabbit: Oh man, was that thing expensive.

Tiger: ヘ(゜Д、゜)ノ We’ve also picked up some crazy controllers, like some weird off-brand one that split in two.

Rabbit: Do you remember the GameShark?

Tiger: Now that brings back memories. I think the most used video game peripherals we’ve owned are the guitar controllers.

Rabbit: We’ve had so many of those that we actually bought guitar stands for them. (。-_-。)

Tiger: Oh, remember having the multitap for our Tekken Tag Tournament parties?

Rabbit: (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ Now those were the good ‘ole days.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Q Attack, Round 21 - Are we Oversaturated with Superhero Movies?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3498820/
Tiger and Rabbit don’t go to the movies but that doesn’t mean they don’t love their films. Superhero flicks are always a popular choice but are we oversaturated with them? Tiger and Rabbit discuss past, present, and future superhero films as they examine this growing movie genre.

^^**^^

Tiger: Are you ready yet, Rabbit?

Rabbit: Just hold onto your nose, I’m almost done.

Tiger: What’s taking you so long?

Rabbit: Patience, young Padawan.

[beep]

Tiger: What was that?

Rabbit: The microwave, popcorn is done! Let’s start the movie!

Tiger: *shakes head* Rabbit, we’re going to talk about movies not watch one.

Rabbit: What? We’re not going to watch Daredevil?

Tiger: *smacks Rabbit on the head* Why would you even bring up that terrible movie?!

Rabbit: Itaiii! ^rubs head^ That hurt. It was better than the Catwoman movie at least.

Tiger: Ah geez, that was really bad too.

Rabbit: Or the Green Lantern.

Tiger: Okay, please just stop. We’re here to talk about superhero movies and whether or not we’ve been oversaturated with them, or at least will be soon.

Rabbit: Yeah, no kidding. I saw the list of the Marvel movies alone, ka-ray-zee!

Tiger: It seems to me that Marvel really changed the landscape of superhero films. The Nolan Batman trilogy and the first two Spider-Man movies also had a big impact. Before them, most of the movies seemed mediocre at best.

Rabbit: I liked the Fantastic Four movies and the Blade series.

Tiger: The Punisher movie was pretty bad.

Rabbit: We should probably note that we aren’t really comic book readers.

Tiger: Yes, we’ve only read a hundred or so different series over the years.

Rabbit: Like Atomic Robo!

Tiger: That was a funny series. I always wanted to get into comics but when I start reading them, I’m reminded at how poorly written they are.

Rabbit: Or how they create so much drama and kill people off just to have it all be a dream or something like that. I do like the movies though. Avengers was probably my favorite one out of the more recent movies.

Tiger: Captain America baby. I love Cap, always have, and the Winter Soldier was an awesome flick. It had some great action but also a really good plot. I also liked the Edward Norton Incredible Hulk movie, that one was decent. I thought Thor was really going to suck but that one was fun too.

Rabbit: Yeah, not much substance but definitely a fun movie. We should probably also mention that we don’t go to the movies very often. What was the last movie we saw in a theater?

Tiger: Pirates of the Caribbean 2 I believe.

Rabbit: ^embarrassed look^ So yeah, it’s been a while.

Tiger: We just aren’t the movie seeing kind.

Rabbit: Plus, we aren’t always welcome.

Tiger: Well, most theaters do have a policy about bringing animals into an establishment unless they are service animals.

Rabbit: See! I told you we should have become seeing-eye animals!

Tiger: I don’t think that would’ve helped us.

Rabbit: I guess not. ^pouts^

Tiger: You just want a vest, don’t you?

Rabbit: They’re cool.

Tiger: *shakes head*

Rabbit: Spoilsport. Anyway, I’m looking at some of the movies that have been announced and I can definitely say I’m excited to see what the rebooted Fantastic Four will be like.

Tiger: I’m more excited for the superheroes we haven’t seen yet like Dr. Strange and Deadpool. I’m not a big DC fan but I’ve always loved the idea of Batman going against Superman. Wonder Woman could also be really cool.

Rabbit: I think Captain Marvel and the Black Panther were great choices too. But I question if they aren’t overdoing it with another Wolverine movie.

Tiger: I’m bummed about how the Amazing Spider-Man movies have turned out so far. I’m not hopeful that the reboot will be better-

Rabbit: You mean a re-reboot?

Tiger: Plus, it's great for fans that Sony and Marvel were able to work out an agreement so Spidey can be with the Avengers.

Rabbit: As for the Avengers, I liked how fun the first one was. Age of Ultron seems a lot darker, that’s cool, but I hope it still feels like an Avengers movie. There are just too many movies to talk about. I can’t believe that they have movies announced until 2020.

Tiger: Speaking of those, the Green Lantern movie should be amazing compared to the first one. I mean, you can’t get any worse than that one, can you?

Rabbit: I doubt it. It’s definitely hard to get excited when so many movies are announced in advanced. It reminds me of E3, you see a trailer, get all hyped up, but then it says coming out six years from today.

Tiger: It is ridiculous how far in advance things get announced nowadays. According to the internet, there are roughly 38 titles announced for 2015 and beyond.

Rabbit: Man, you think they were going overboard with all these superhero movies. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy them but you know what you’re getting before you even see the film. They all tend to follow the whole “beat the bad guy, save the world, all done with perfect hair” plot-line so they’re pretty predictable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Cinematic_Universe
Tiger: So are you saying we’re oversaturated with superhero movies?

Rabbit: If we haven’t been yet, we will be. Those darned movies just keep coming and coming and coming. I get that it was cool to see the likes of Batman and Iron Man on the big screen, but now they’ve run their course. It’s time to move onto something new rather than rebooting the same old characters over and over again. How many times do I need to see a new Batman anyway? I get the Tim Burton movies weren’t the greatest so it’s understandable that fans wanted a better version. We got it with the Nolan movies and Bale but now we’re getting another Batman! When is enough, enough? Now lesser known superheroes are getting movies. I know people who love the Inhumans but your average moviegoer isn’t going to know them from the Justice League. I think it’s time to move on rather than resurrecting the same characters over and over again or making films about characters no one knows about.

Tiger: I’m actually excited about some of the new superheroes they’re choosing to make movies of. The Sinister Six sounds like it could be awesome and I think the Inhumans is a great choice for a movie. Superhero movies can be more than just loud explosions and great fight scenes; we saw that with the Winter Soldier. I don’t expect a superhero movie to win any top awards but they’ve definitely come a long way from the early days. Nolan’s Batman movies were terrific and they had a lot of substance to them. I do agree with you about the reboots, I get it if the first one was terrible to sort of start again with the second, but I hate seeing the same things over and over again. That’s why I hope the movies like Captain Marvel or Black Panther do well because we haven’t seen them before. As long as we keep getting quality superhero movies, I don’t think we can ever have enough of them.

Are we Oversaturated with Superhero Movies?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 27 O'Clock - Favorite Movie Food!

https://www.amctheatres.com/food-and-drink/showtime-snacks
Even though they don’t go to the theater, that doesn’t mean Tiger and Rabbit don’t know their snack foods. The pair of fuzzy animals discuss their favorite movie foods, from the classic popcorn to the trendy sour Brite Crawlers.

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Rabbit: So I know it’s been a long time since we went to the theater but I wanted to talk about some of our favorite movie food.

Tiger: Food again? ┗(•̀へ •́ ╮ )

Rabbit: What? I like talking about food. It’s fun. ヾ(。・ω・)シ I love visualizing it and trying to remember what it smells like. It’s good practice at how well you can creatively construct images in your mind.

Tiger: You see this only works because you talk about the food so much; I end up going out and buying it for you so you’ll shut up.

Rabbit: It’s a great exercise in mind control. ^wiggles fingers at Tiger^

Tiger: *shakes head* I only have two staples of snack food when it comes to movies, popcorn and gummy bears. But not just any gummy bears, it has to be Haribo bears.

Rabbit: They used to have Care Bear branded gummy bears at our old theater back home. I remember that the box looked super big but when you opened it, the plastic bag full of bears only filled half of the box. Such a rip off.

Tiger: That’s why I liked bringing in my own candy.

Rabbit: That’s against the rules though!

Tiger: It saves my wallet some hurting though.

Rabbit: Well I always enjoyed getting sour gummy worms and soft pretzels. Ooh, and a hot dog with nachos. ╰(✧∇✧╰)

Tiger: For you, it was more like going to dinner and getting a movie as a bonus.

Rabbit: Now, we just crash on the floor and watch a movie at home.

Tiger: It’s a lot cheaper, that’s for sure.

Rabbit: It is, but alas, I don’t get those awesome nachos anymore.

Tiger: Your heart thanks you for it too.

Rabbit: (★^O^★) Well, that’s all the time we have folks. I think I’m gonna make me another bag of popcorn!