Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween Pictures

Hi everyone! It's been a while since my last update. I've been kinda busy with homework (and I admit, some video games and mindless internet surfing), but today I thought I'd post something.

Halloween is long past by now, but last Monday, we had a Halloween party at university. It was lots of fun and everyone was in costume, sporting outfits of many different types. Maids, zombies, anime characters and food items all came together and had a good old time. As for me? I was dressed as an admiral from One Piece, which seemed to be quite a hit with most of the people there. (Seriously, if someone has not yet written a book on the massive popularity of Once Piece in Japan, I'm damn well going to.) Anyway, here are some pictures.

Steve Jobs lives!

Can't go wrong with bunny ears.

No amount of justice can hold Zombie Goku!

Haruhi Suzumiya, a character from yet another anime I've never seen.

Possibly the most disturbing thing I saw that night. Can't go wrong with bunny ears...

Well, that's all for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Odd and/or Obscure: Title Withheld

Hi everyone! I hope you've been well. I know I have.

There is a certain game I've been playing quite a lot lately, and finally finished a couple of days ago. I thought I'd talk a bit about it here. I do think this game deserves any attention it can get, as I doubt many people have heard of it. (Outside Japan, at least. More on that later.)

The game in question is Gachitora! Abarenbou Kyoushi: In High School, and by just seeing this borderline obscenely long title you've probably already guessed it: It's a Japanese exclusive game, available for the PSP. The game plays quite similarly to the Yakuza game series. You even play as an ex-yakuza member so there you go. You fight bad guys, level up your physical and mental skills, you do mini-games such as fishing, boxing, card games, pop quizzes, side-scrolling shooting, photography and... bomb defusing? Sure, why not!?

Perhaps I should let the game speak for itself first. Check out this trailer.

Okay, if you don't know Japanese, you're probably wondering what in the world you just watched. If you know Japanese, you also probably wonder what in the world you just watched. That's what I did, anyway.

So, the story goes like this: Yakuza member Kaji Torao gets involved with a high school student's suicide attempt, saves her life, and is then asked to become a substitute teacher at the school by the principal, who sees Kaji's potential when it comes to giving advice. Kaji grudgingly accepts the offer, since it means that he can get the principal's help to fly in a doctor from Germany to perform a complicated operation on Kaji's sickly Godfather. At first, Kaji's rough exterior and rude personality makes it hard for the students and teachers at the school to accept him. But, as he starts solving problems that the school has been struggling with for a long time, he is gradually accepted by everyone, and soon starts to become a real teacher. It's basically Kindergarten Cop, but in Japan. And in high school. And with a gangster instead of a cop. And he has arguments that manifest themselves as mental fist fights with the students. And these fights for some reason tend to end with the student's clothes disappearing as they finally give in and tell the truth about their problems.

So... not much like Kindergarten Cop at all, in other words. Whatever.

This is one of those games that has to be played to be believed. Unfortunately, given how extremely Japanese it is (To paraphrase a certain meme image, it's so Japanese it shits the Emperor), it's most likely never going to be released outside Japan. It's a shame, too, because this game really shows just how much the PSP is capable of. There's a lot of voice-acted cutscenes (Which are some of the most hilarious scenes I've ever seen in a video game, by the way), plenty of side-missions and mini-games, and the graphics are top of the line for the hardware. It also has the best New Game+ feature I have ever seen.

Well, the language barrier, along with the relative obscurity of this particular title makes it pretty inaccessible to many people. But if you have a PSP, and would like to try something unlike almost anything else on the market, give Gachitora a try!

Until next time, have a good day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

After the Battle

Hi everyone!

Today I went to the BlazBlue tournament, and I had a lot of fun. There was even a live commentary and everything. And yes, I lost, big time. I still had a good time, though, and it got me thinking: This game has the fantastic quality of being fun even if you lose. When you lose, you feel like you want to try again, improve your game, and get even better than before. It inspires progress rather than punish failure.

That's my take on it, at least. From now on, I'm going to see if I can get better at the game and actually be able to compete with the beasts at the arcade. Maybe one day I'll be able to win against them... Well, as long as I'm having fun, winning or losing doesn't really matter.

After the preliminary round, the game's producer Mr. Mori held a short presentation of the new installment in the series, scheduled for release later this year, and gave his views on what makes a good fighting game, and what he strives to accomplish when he makes games. Following that, the audience had quite a few questions regarding lots of things concerning BlazBlue, from technical details to Mori's personal choice of character. As for me, I was curious about the Persona fighting game cross-over being developed by Arc System Works, and how it would play in comparison to BlazBlue and Guilty Gear. However, it seems it was still too early to reveal any details on that game, but Mori did tell me that it will "be quite different from BlazBlue." I'm waiting eagerly.

Well, that's all for now. I'll just leave you with some photos from the event, and wish you a good day! Until next time, keep that wheel of fate turning!

The entrance.
Quite a lot of people showed up.

"Please select your character!" The most used characters of the day were Ragna, Bang and newcomer Relius Clover.
My main, Taokaka. Only a few people used her today, but they showed some spectacular moves.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Here Comes a New Challenger

Hi everyone!

Today, I signed up for a game tournament that is going to be held on campus on Saturday. The game in question is BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, probably my favourite fighting game ever, and in addition to a tournament, the game producer is going to hold a presentation as well. And it's all free! Oh yeah!

I am prepared to get my ass severely kicked, though. I am pretty good at the game, but if the competition is anything like almost every person you see playing the game in the arcades, I am definitely among the less skilled players. I'll be happy to win just one round. Hell, I'll be happy just to participate. This isn't something you run into everyday.

So, in order to get psyched up for the event, I'm going to post this here song, which plays when the character Bang unleashes his ultimate technique. (Although I main Taokaka, I still think this song is the most awesome one in the entire game, period.)
Well, that's all for now. I'll get back with some pictures from the event. Until next time, have a good day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back in Town

Hi everyone!

First of all, thank you for the congratulations! I had a great birthday. Quiet, but precious. And now I'm back in Kyoto, ready for more class, more laundry, more grocery shopping, homework... Oh God what have I done!?

Just kidding, I'll be fine! So anyway, I promised some pictures form the Nagoya festival. Now, it actually wasn't much of a festival. It was raining quite a lot, so the parade that was supposed to pass through the center of town was cancelled. So, no pictures of awesome parade floats with people dressed up as Oda Nobunaga. Oh well.
To make it up to you, here's a picture of me wearing a paper hat.

For some reason, my girlfriend refused to walk next to me while I was wearing this.

Anyway, as we all know, you can't have a proper festival without a person in a castle outfit. This one had one.

I always get the feeling that these kinds of suits are especially designed to traumatize small children.
And, because I make it a point not to upload too many photos at once, here's one last picture of me in a funny hat.

Well, that's all for now. Until next time, everyone! Have a good day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weekend Trip

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to make a brief update. This weekend I'm going to Nagoya, to see my girlfriend and to go to a festival with some old friends. And, on Sunday it's my birthday! Whoo!

So yeah, I'll try to remember to take some pictures to post here when I come back on Monday. Until then, have a good weekend!

Friday, October 7, 2011

I hate Spiders

Hi everyone!

I really like living in Japan, but why, oh why do the spiders here have to be so freaking big and creepy? Any Australian person reading this will probably roll their eyes, thinking something along the lines of "you should check out some of the babies we've got down under, mate." And this might be true. But for me, a poor urbanized Swedish guy whose prior experience with spiders has been pretty tame, the ones that can be found over here are quite disturbing. Thank The Builder I haven't had any of the big ones in my room so far. I pray that things will continue like this.

In other news, I am starting to get used to the daily grind at university by now. I have all my classes scheduled and know where to go to get to them. So, that's good.

Anyway, that's all for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Temple Time!

Hi everyone!

When I say Kyoto, what is the first thing to pop into your head? Nothing? How about a clue: There are literally hundreds of these all over the city, and they are all quite beautiful to look at. They are supposed to fill a religious purpose, but most people seem to just see them as a nice tourist spot or an interesting diversion.

I am talking, of course, about temples. Be it a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple, Kyoto has them in droves. And today, it just so happened that I went to visit one of them. Finally.

Well, to be fair, I have been to some temples and shrines before, when I was in Japan last summer. But, today was the first time I visited one since I came here, and it was about time. The temple in question is called 仁和寺 (Ninnaji) and was founded in the year 888, and has been expanded several times since then. In 1994, Ninnaji was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. It was really beautiful, and the weather was perfect. Not to hot, but still sunny and bright.

After that, I took my bike and went for a ride through town. In all, a pretty nice day. How has your day been?

Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Game Music - Ico #Cover#

Hi everyone! I just saw a video my dad shared on facebook, and was very happily surprised by what it was.
Now, my dad is not the person to normally post game music related videos just like that, so naturally the video sparked my interest. The fact that Ico is one of my favourite games ever only added to my curiosity. Upon hearing the singing and reading the video description, I suddenly realised:

"That's my little sister singing!"

I was totally taken aback. I knew that my sister was pretty good at singing, but I had no idea she was this good. And she's only twelve! To my knowledge, she hasn't gone to any musical school, apart from piano class, and I don't think they taught much about singing there. This basically means that she has this talent naturally. Now, if she did receive training and education, imagine how even more awesome she would be... I already knew she was great at drawing, but her singing talent really surprised me. Though, to be completely honest, it might just be the fact that she played and completed Ico that has me all worked up like this. Anyway, here it is:

"You were there"
Now I feel a little homesick... Oh well.
Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Internet Fixed...? - A General Update

Hi everyone!

Today, some people from the local internet service provider came by and fixed our internet connection. Everything seems to be working fine, for now at least. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will last.

Anyway, since last time, orientation here at the university has finished, and lectures have begun. Today, I went to the first class, which was about how the Japanese language, like all languages, is gradually changing. What used to be "correct" grammar some 50 years ago is quite different today, and in the future, things will probably change even more. Being the language geek that I am, I find these kinds of subjects very interesting. I'm definitely going to stick with this course if I can. Oh yeah, I should probably explain this properly.

Now, the way the system works regarding classes is basically as follows: The first week we go to as many classes as we can, to see what they are about, and if they are of interest to us. Then, after applying to them and getting our preliminary schedule, we can choose to cancel ones that we don't want to take any more, excluding the ones that are compulsory.

That said, we're limited to what time periods the classes are held on, and it just so happens that I have no classes to go to tomorrow. Feels a bit weird, but I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

In other news, my girlfriend came to visit me this weekend. It was great seeing her again, and we had a great time checking out some tourist spots in Kyoto, from the tranquil riverside "Philosopher's Road" to the old Gion district, full of old buildings and a truly classical Japanese atmosphere... and chock full of tourists. But whatever, it was still fun. And of course, strolling around town means more purikura.
It just so happened to be our 1 year and 2 months anniversary. Smile and say cheese!
 Well, that's all for now, I think. I hope the internet connection will be okay from now on, so I can update a little more frequently in the future. Until next time, have a good day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yay, I can connect again!

Hi everyone! Today, the internet actually seems to be working! Huzzah! Anyway, just a quick update on what I've been up to the last few days.

Yesterday, I got on my bike and took a little tour of Kyoto. It is a pretty nice city to bike in, and most bicyclists seem to be operating on the basis that the traffic rules are just a loose set of guidelines... that only drivers have to pay attention to. Well, some people at least. Anyway, biking in Kyoto is nice.

I had some trouble sleeping last night. Remember that lovely little fridge I have in my room? That fridge can get really loud, and last night it was just ridiculous. I got fed up and unplugged it for the night. I just wondered, is this safe to do? I mean, obviously the food in the fridge will spoil if you don't keep it refrigerated, but will it go bad if you just leave the fridge unplugged over the night? Does the fridge retain some cold? I'm no fridge expert, so if anyone knows, please tell me. Oh well, I suppose I could always get some earplugs or something if I can't sleep.

Well, that's all for today. Until next time, have a good day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

In the Dorm

Hi everyone! I have some good news, and some (slightly) bad ones.

The good news is that I have arrived in Kyoto and made it to my dorm safely. I am currently in my room, chilling out after a long day. It is really nice here, and I'm hoping that I can make many good friends.
My room upon arrival. Note the smexy refrigerator ;)

My room name tag. Cute, isn't it?

The bad news is that the internet connection here is kinda dodgy, so I might not be able to upload as many pictures as I would like. I'm going to try my best to keep the blog alive and well, but there may be times when there won't be much activity around here. I hope you understand.

Other than that, it's all good. Until next time, have a good day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Warm Welcome

Hi everyone!
It's been another hot couple of days here in Nagoya, I swear the sun is actively trying to burn people to death. Luckily, there's lots of shade to hide in, both indoors and outdoors. I don't mind the weather so much, since I've really been wanting to come here for quite a long time. Anyway, let me show you a few photos, all taken by me and my less than professional camera. (I'm not one of those people who carry a 9-pound beast of a camera with me on vacations. As long as you can make out what a picture is, that's good enough for me.) So, let's kick it off!
"Welcome to Japan"
Okay, I lied. This picture was not taken by me. Well, at least I'm in it... It was taken in one of the ever-present "Purikura" (Print Club in plain old English) photo booths that can be found in game arcades and shopping malls all over the country. Basically, it's like an ID photo booth on crack, with lots of options for making the most sugary-sweet, disgustingly cute souvenir photos you could ever imagine. The picture above is nothing compared to many other ones. Moving on...

The entrance to the Tokugawa Museum
Yesterday, my girlfriend and her mother brought me to the Tokugawa Museum, a museum mainly dedicated to the Tokugawa family, related to the old historical person. (Okay, I'll be honest, I don't know that much about him. Look him up if you're interested.) It was quite an interesting experience, although the weather was, as always, hot.
Nice view, don't you think?
 Unfortunately, photography inside the museum was forbidden, so no pictures of samurai armour and ancient tea service sets for you. Now, now, don't cry! After the museum, we went to have lunch at a tempura restaurant. I had a bowl of delicious fried prawns and squid, laid out on a bed of rice, with a green pepper on the side, and... Oh, just see for yourself, why don't you?

In your face, KFC.
Well, it's been awesome so far, and I haven't even gotten to Kyoto yet! I'm really looking forward to it, but I have to admit, I am a little nervous.

Well, until next time, everyone! Have a good day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finally, Japan!

Hi everyone! It's been a while. Now I have arrived safe and sound in the Land of the Rising Sun. The trip was no picnic, one of my flights got delayed, causing me to miss my connecting flight, resulting in me having to wait approximately 7 hours in Hong Kong. Oh well, the airline was kind enough to give me a free stay at the airport hotel, so I'm not complaining.
All this just for me? Okay, I forgive you, Cathay Pacific. Almost...

The first week here, I'm staying with my girlfriend and her family in Nagoya. After that, it's off to Kyoto to enter the university life. Looking forward to it! I haven't taken many pictures yet, but hopefully I'll remember to bring my camera with me from here on.

That's all for now. Until next time, have a good day! お元気でね!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Final Countdown - 1

Hi everyone! *deep breath*



Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I have to say, it feels weird. I'm going to be in Japan, half-way around the world from my home, for a whole year. Now that probably qualifies for a pretty big thing. It's going to feel really weird, but I think I'll get used to it. This is what I wanted, after all.

So, today I'm going to finish the packing, and then just pass the time until tomorrow morning. I won't be able to post anything tomorrow, as I'll be travelling pretty much all day, but on Friday I might be able to give a quick update if I'm not too tired.

I hope you'll all have a good day. Until next time! 1

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Final Countdown - 2

Hi everyone! Only 2 days left now!
Guess it's time to start packing today. Oh man... Well, have to do it sooner or later! Especially since I'm leaving the day after tomorrow.
Well, I hope the weather is going to be better than that, obviously. And the in-flight movie! Zing!
Anyway, that's all from me for now. Gotta get packing! Until next time, everyone! Have a good day! 2

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Final Countdown - 3

Hi everyone! We're down to three days! The magic number, and all that.

I've pretty much entered a permanent state of excitement and mild anxiety, which I suspect won't let up until I am sitting on the plane and am on my way. I'm usually like that. The waiting is the worst part.

But it's not like I have nothing to do until Thursday. Today, I'm going to to the laundry. Once that's done, it's time to start seeing over the packing of my luggage. And even when I'm done with all of that, I'll still have ways to keep myself busy, I suppose. Just gotta hang in there! In the meantime, here's the opening movie from Queen's Blade: Spiral Chaos for the PSP. I like that game, and not only for the obvious reasons. (No really, it's a pretty good game, honest.)

Well, that's all I had to say for now. Until next time, have a good day! 3

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Final Countdown - 4

Hi everyone! Only 4 days left now. Excitement!!!

I really don't have much to say today. I'm just going to take it easy and pass the time. Tomorrow I'll start preparing stuff, honest! Anyway, I'll just leave this here. Hope you enjoy!
Nothing like some Guilty Gear music. Speaking of which, the developers of Guilty Gear are teaming up with the developers of Persona to make a 2d fighting game based on Persona 4. Now that's something to spend money on in the arcades over in Japan!
Well, until next time everyone! Have a good day!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Final Countdown - 5

Hi everyone! We're down to the fingers on one hand's worth of days left now! High five!

Today, I received a mail confirming that I will get the scholarship I applied for. Free money, here I come!
It sure feels good knowing that I won't have to take any massive loans to cover my expenses the coming year.

I just keep getting more excited as the days go by. This song kinda captures the feeling of excitement I feel.
Sort of. Well, it's awesome, anyway.
Now I just gotta start packing, huh...
Until next time, everyone! Have a good day! 5

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Final Countdown - 6

Hi everyone! Only 6 days now!
Today I went over to a friend's place to hang out with two close friends one last time before I leave the country. We cooked some delicious curry together, and watched a movie, played some video games, and talked about lots of different things.

On my way home through the town, I felt a lot of mixed feelings. I am excited about my coming journey, but at the same time, I can't help but feel a sense of sadness, knowing that I won't see many of my friends or my family for a long time. I've also started taking note of doing things "for the last time" before I leave. Just this morning I had breakfast at my usual café for the last time for at least a year. Wow.

I think I'll miss my home, my friends, my family... heck, I'll even miss the sound of the annoying drunk students bicycling past my window at 2 am, singing Gorillaz songs at the top of their off-key voices.

But, I digress. As much as I'll miss my home town, I know I'm going to have a great year with a lot of exciting and interesting experiences. Well, that's all I wanted to say today.
(Video related, it's what I was listening to on my way home tonight)

The day of departure approaches steadily.
Until next time, have a good day! 6

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Final Countdown - 7

Hi everyone! Only seven days left until I leave for Japan now! Excitement!

Yesterday turned out to be a very good day. I had an appointment with the dentist, and arrived there a little early, like I usually do. There were a lot of people in the waiting room, all seemingly part of the same family, and the mother was chewing the kids, who were about 16 or 17 years old, out for having poor dental hygiene. My appointment with the dentist got delayed about 15 minutes because of this family. I didn't mind it much, I just spent the time studying a little and playing some games on my phone. Then I had my teeth examined, was told that they looked excellent, and as I prepared to leave, my dentist said: "I'm sorry you had to wait so long. To make up for it, this examination is free of charge."

I basically got a free dental exam because I had to wait an extra 15 minutes. I am extremely OK with this. As I walked out from the reception, this music rang in my ears.

I just can't believe my luck recently. It's almost scary... Anyway, that's all for now.
Until next time, have a good day!    7

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Final Countdown - 8

Hi everyone! Time is ticking on and on...

But I'm not really rushing, as I don't have to take the bus. I'm going to the dentist today, something I'm not exactly looking forward to, but I might as well go and get it over with. It's just a regular check-up, though. Nothing serious. I don't really know why I'm even worrying about it. Instinct, I guess...

Well, here's a song from Tales of the Abyss to set the mood, enjoy!

"Finish the Promise"

Ah, the epicness... Anyway, until next time! Have a good day, everyone! 8

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Final Countdown - 9

Hi everyone! Oh snap, we're down to single digits!
Today I'm going to do the laundry and start planning my packing more seriously. I also need to calculate how much money I need to bring initially. Busy, busy, busy! (Well, not that busy, but still...)

So, in the meantime, here's some more music from Okami. Enjoy!

"Ushiwaka's Appearance"
I think I'm going to play this game today, too. Until next time, everyone! Have a good day! 9

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Final Countdown - 10

Hi everyone!
I woke up this morning and looked at my hands. That's when it hit me like a nine-pound hammer: Today it is only ten days left until I leave for Japan! After settling down from this overwhelming realisation, I got up and had breakfast.

Once again, I found myself pondering the mystery of time. Last year, after returning home, the day I would once again go to Japan felt so very distant. It felt almost as if it would never come. And now it is only ten days away!
Time sure moves a lot quicker than you might think.

That's not to say everything has felt fast. Looking back on the year 2011 so far, a heck of a lot has happened, really. Thinking like that kinda puts my mind at ease. It ensures me that my life, and my time, are real.

So, with only ten days left before departure, I think I'm going to start counting down. 10.

(Okay, I just couldn't resist. Sorry :P)

Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Brief Recollection

Hi everyone!
Last night, I had my the first lucid dream I've had in a long time. However, since I haven't been actively writing in my dream journal for over a month, my recall is quite low at the moment. I can remember flying through the sky. It was very cloudy, and I thought I'd fly above the clouds just for the fun of it. I also seem to remember something about a convenience store, where I was chasing a child on a toy car, but that was probably unrelated to the LD.

As frustrating as it is not being able to remember a lucid dream, especially after a dry spell like this, I'm actually glad. At least I remembered that I had the dream, and could recall at least a few details of it. Now I just need to improve my dream recall and put a little effort into it, and I just know I can have lots of new exciting LD's!

Well, that's all for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Game Music - Final Fantasy II

Hi everyone! It's time to get old-school today, with some good old Final Fantasy music! Well, maybe not THAT old-school, considering this is a rearrangement of a theme, taken from a remake of the original game, but still.

Final Fantasy II is often looked upon as one of the worst games in the series. This is mostly because the game abandoned the standard "kill enemies, get exp., level up" kind of leveling system, and instead developed the characters' stats depending on what actions you had them carry out in combat. This system wasn't necessarily bad, but it made it hard to gauge how well you were progressing, and I would usually end up being too weak to handle the tougher enemies.

But the music, now that's a different story altogether. The soundtrack for FF2 is one of the best in the series, and here is a tune which has been stuck in my head for some time.

"Castle Pandemonium"
Dramatic, epic, and just plain awesome. Just the way I like it!
I hope you've enjoyed it. Until next time, everyone! Have a good day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Got It!

Hi everyone! Today I woke up feeling almost fine again. If not at 100%, then at least 85. Good enough. After my usual breakfast in town, I went to the university to study for a while, or at least study a few minutes and then play games on my PSP for about an hour. Anyway, when I came home, I noticed a, well, notice on the doormat.
I immediately knew what it was.

My visa had arrived from the embassy. About four days early. Pic related.
So, wrapped in an aura of joy and excitement, I skipped my way down to the local postal service (We get our packages delivered to the nearest supermarket here in Sweden.), and bought a bag of celebratory chips for good measure. Today is yet another fine day.

I hope you all are having a fine day, too. Until next time, everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Hi everyone! I'm not feeling too well today, got a bit of a cold going on. So I'm just going to take it easy for the rest of the day, playing some games, reading, and probably go to sleep early.

Hope you all are alright. Have a good day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Game Music - Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven

Hi everyone! Just fyi, I got the business at the embassy taken care of properly yesterday, so now I just have to wait a few days to get my visa in the mail. Hurray!
Upon returning home, I decided to celebrate with some gaming, and started up some Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven. It's a stealth action game, pretty similar to Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell, but with ninjas. (Thus automatically making it slightly more awesome.) The music is also very good.

In your face, Ninja Gaiden.
Well, that's it for today. Until next time, have a good day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unlucky, or maybe not?

Hi everyone. Yesterday, I was on my way to the Japanese embassy in Copenhagen when I realised that I had forgotten my passport at home. No passport = No visa. The following picture sums it all up. (Contains some swearing, be warned)

Needless to say, I was quite annoyed. However, when I came home, I discovered that I had made some mistakes when filling in the application form the night before. I also remembered that I had to send an arrival notice to the university in Kyoto before the 24th of August. Had I not forgotten my passport, I probably wouldn't have remembered this at all. So it all turned out okay in the end. Now I have double-checked all of my documents and made sure I have everything in order. Today, I WILL apply for my visa, right and proper.

Oh, and I got Thief 2 to work on my computer last night, too. I'm on a roll, baby! Until next time, have a good day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Old Games, New Problems

Hi everyone! Today, after some of the usual swearing and wall-punching, and some investigation on the internet, I managed to get Thief: The Dark Project working on my computer. This game is notorious for being a hassle to install and run on modern operative systems, and let me tell you, it wasn't a picnic.

In the end, I managed to get it working, however, and I'm really stoked to try out this game. I've heard a lot of good things about it. Installing it got me thinking, though. What will become of all these classic old games that simply won't run on modern computers, or take a titanic amount of efforts to install? Will they simply fade away and vanish as people get tired of trying to get them to work and don't feel like it's worth it?

A lot of game developers are currently working on HD remakes of some classic console game series, such as Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid. Since modern computers can't handle many old computer games, why not do the same with them? It shouldn't be too hard to update the source code/graphics engine/whatever (I am far from an expert in this field, fyi), in order to make them work. Right?

Well, for the moment I am happy. I got the game working, and after I've been to the embassy to get my student visa, I'm going to try it out (And see if I can get the sequel to work as well...). Until next time, everyone! Have a good day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Game Music - God Hand

Hi everyone! I got some sleep last night and am back to my usual, cheerful self. So what could be better now than some upbeat surfer music?
God Hand is a beat 'em up game from Clover studios, about a guy called Gene, whose right arm has been replaced by the "God Hand," a mysterious and immensely powerful arm. Together with a young woman called Olivia, Gene travels a barren Wild West wasteland, beating up outlaws and demons wherever he goes. This is one of the wackier games out there, it doesn't take itself seriously at all. It's all about silly enemies, over-the-top special attacks and insane boss fights against completely mental demonic creatures. And it is awesome. The game is accompanied by a really upbeat soundtrack that sets the tounge-in-cheek mood. Have a listen.

"Gene's Rock-a-bye"
This song plays whenever you activate the God Hand, making you faster, better, harder, and invincible.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed it. Until next time, have a good day!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Hi everyone! I'm a little tired today. I pulled an all-nighter last night, something I usually don't do. I was at a friend's house for a small LAN party. When I got home, it was 6.30 am, and I just needed to sleep.
I intended to sleep until about 10.30, but ended up snoozing until 13.30 instead. I hate the feeling of sleeping away so much of a day like that, but at least I felt well rested.

I'm just going to take it easy today, chill out, prepare my visa application and go to sleep early. I'll just leave you with a little lullaby. Oh man, now I feel sleepy again...
Until next time, everyone! Have a good day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Game Music - Persona 3

Hi everyone! I honestly don't have much to write about right now, but I thought I'd share some game music for the heck of it.
Today's piece is from Persona 3, more precisely the special version called FES. It's one of my 3 favourite games of all time, and the soundtrack, being composed by demi-god Shouji Meguro, is nothing short of amazing. So let's give this one a listen! (There will be some pretty heavy spoilers underneath the video, be warned) Well, until next time, have a good day!

"Heartful Cry"

This song plays during a special set of boss battles that take place near the end of the epilogue of the game.
Your team-mates are in turmoil, disagreeing about the right thing to do in the extreme situation you are all in. Ultimately, it results in a battle between friends, to determine which path to choose, and alter their grim fate. These battles are some of the most emotional and challenging fights in any JRPG, and I love them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

At the Time of Farewell

Hi everyone.
It's been a long time. My girlfriend has gone back home to Japan now, and I'm feeling quite lonely. She was only here for about two weeks, but it still feels so empty, like something is missing that was always there. I don't know if I'll get much sleep tonight...
It's a sad feeling, but it is somewhat softened by the fact that it won't be long until we see each other again now. All that is left for me to do is get my student visa taken care of, and then it's off to Japan with me! Only three weeks left...
I haven't been very active at all with the blog during this time. I hope you all can understand, and I hope that you will stick with it despite this long silence. Once I arrive in Japan, you can expect a few tidbits of my daily adventures there. And if I get in the swing of lucid dreaming again, I'll be sure to share whatever wild, wacky dreams I have.
Well, just wanted to tell you all that I'm back, and hope that you've all been good. Until next time, have a good day!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Time is weird

Hi everyone!

I've been thinking a lot about time today. Until today, time seemed to pass both very quickly and terribly slowly at the same time. A day seemed to drag on forever, yet the week ended before you knew it. On the whole, it felt like time went by at a brisk pace. That is, until today.

I woke up early in the morning, and it is now noon. It feels like I've been up for days already. It's only been an hour since I last looked at the clock, and I feel like I've done a ton of things in that short span of time. Sometimes I wonder if this day will ever end, or if I am eternally trapped in an endless half-light (It's cloudy out today), just passing time that never truly passes until I slowly go insane.

But this is probably just my mind messing with me. Good things come to those who wait, as the saying goes.

So for now, I think I'll wait just a little while longer.

Have a good day, everyone!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A long wait is over

Hi everyone!
Tomorrow is going to be awesome, at least for me. Why? Because, tomorrow is the day my girlfriend arrives in Sweden, and we can finally be together again after four months of being apart. Long-distance relationships can be a real pain sometimes, but when you finally meet again, it just feels that much better! I'm talking pure ecstasy here, people!

So, I might not have a lot of time to keep this blog updated for a while now. I hope you're not going to miss me too much. (Though, truth be told, it's okay if you miss me a little ;)
I'm just going to leave you with this happy song, and wish you all a good day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Studying Abroad - Housing

Hi everyone! Today, I opened my e-mail account and saw a mail from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.

I got the housing I wanted. Hell yeah!

I applied for a room in one of the university dorms, mostly because it's a bit cheaper than an apartment, and also because I'll surely meet a lot of new friends and interesting people living there. What's more, I get my own personal balcony and refrigerator. Pretty fancy, if I may say so myself!

So, now all that's left to do is apply for a student visa at the Japanese embassy here in Sweden, and then I'm all set! Really stoked for this! Banzai!

(Video related, it's what I heard inside my head when I saw the mail)
Well, that's all I wanted to say right now. Until next time, have a good day!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Game Music - Eternal Sonata

Hi everyone! Today's music comes from the RPG Eternal Sonata, available for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
It tells the story of the last days of Frederic Chopin, the famous composer, who is on his deathbed. And he is having a most peculiar dream... The whole game takes place in Frederic's lucid dream, where a bright and joyful world opens up, full of different people who have started to live lives of their own.
Though some might find the game a little too sugary sweet for their taste, I really like it. It takes a while before the story gets really interesting, but toward the end, it gets really good. It brings up some pretty interesting questions about what is real or not, and how reality might not be more than what each of us perceive.
And the music is wonderful. It mixes an original soundtrack with some pieces composed by Chopin himself, and it comes together brilliantly. Let's give it a listen!

"Remember Me"
It's a really good game, and what's more, you can even play three-player co-op if you want to. I used to play this with my younger brother and sister a few years ago. Good times...

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Region Barrier

Hi everyone. For those of you who play a lot of video games, the words "region lock" ought to ring a few bells. For those who don't know, let me give a short explanation. Basically, different parts of the world are divided into different "regions," for example America is one region and Europe is a different one. For many game consoles and handheld gaming devices, a game produced in one region can not be used on a console of a different region, hence the expression "region lock."

This phenomenon could be very annoying for an avid gamer if a game that you really wanted to play wasn't available in your region. Even importing the game wouldn't help, unless you wanted to modify your console to play games of any region. I have done this myself, and while it wasn't too much of a hassle, it still felt so unnecessary to have to mess around with your console to make it do something it should have been able to do in the first place: Play some damn games! Luckily for me, however, the Playstation 3 and the Playstation Portable are not region-locked, which means you can put a game from anywhere in the world into your console, and play it without any problems. No more longing for games you can never have, just import and play! Lovely.

This got me thinking, now that regions aren't an obstacle any more (at least not for the consoles mentioned above), and with all consoles now having easy access to the internet, wouldn't it be possible to remove the annoyance of delayed game releases by simply releasing translation patches for foreign games online? Living in Europe teaches you early on to wait longer than most for a new game release. The biggest reason for this used to be the publishers having to reformat the game to suit the 50hz TV's of the EU region, and of course to translate the game content. But with most people owning a more modern TV that supports the refresh rates used in America and Japan, that reformatting is no longer necessary, so all that is needed is basically a translation. And if that can be released online, then everything would be that much smoother!

This is mostly just wishful thinking on my part, and I doubt it's ever going to happen. It doesn't bother me, though. If I may be smug for a few seconds, I must say that knowing Japanese sure opens up new possibilities when it comes to video games. A lot of really fun and interesting games are never released outside of Japan, and that's a darn shame. The region barrier may be gone, but the language barrier remains.

Until next time, have a good day!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lucid Dreaming - Motivation Trouble

Hi everyone.
I've really been slipping in the lucid dreaming department lately. I think one of my biggest problems right now is motivation. I haven't felt all that motivated to make an effort to have lucid dreams as of late. It's not that I've completely lost interest, I just don't feel all that motivated to actually try to recall my dreams or altering my sleeping schedule to boost chances of lucidity.

I guess it's got a lot to do with my situation in life as it is right now. I have a lot of things to look forward to, and some things I have to take care of once certain procedures are settled. Once I receive word from the university in Kyoto, I have to apply for a student visa, I'm going to visit my grandmother today, first time in way too long. And in just five days my girlfriend is coming to my country. It's been several months since we've seen each other, so naturally I'm pretty excited.

All these things tend to pop into my head at night when I'm about to sleep, and I just can't concentrate on the dreaming itself. So, I think I'm going to take a short break. Once some of these things settle down and I can focus better on the dreams, I think I'll give it another shot. The memory exercise I mentioned about a week ago was quite successful, though. So that's nice.

Well, I hope I can settle down and focus a bit better after a few weeks break. Who knows, maybe I'll have a spontaneous lucid dream just like that? You never know! Until next time, have a good day!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Game Music - Rogue Galaxy

Hi everyone! Today's music comes from the PS2 action RPG Rogue Galaxy, a fun and addictive game from Level 5, the developers of the Dark Cloud and Professor Layton series. It tells the story of a young man who lives on a desert planet (just like a certain other young man), who meets up with a crew of space pirates and joins them on their wild and wacky journeys across the galaxy. It's a fun game, but some might find it a little tedious, with a lot of time being spent running through seemingly endless corridors or vast fields on your way to the next location. In any case, I like it a lot, and the music is nice.

"Shadow of the Sun"

I totally like the game, and I hope Level 5 will make, if not a sequel then at least some sort of spiritual successor to it on the PS3. Fingers crossed...

Well, until next time, have a good day!

Friday, July 29, 2011

What makes a game worth playing?

Hi everyone! This is something I've been thinking about lately, and thought I'd write about here.

While playing Rule of Rose this week, there were many times where I was outright offended by how sluggish and annoying the gameplay can get at its worst. You play as a young girl who runs slowly, attacks slowly and with little power, turns around slow as a freaking battleship, and who starts limping like a cripple when she gets low on health. Now, there isn't that much combat in this game compared to many other survival horror titles, like Silent Hill or Resident Evil (Which is less survival horror and more third-person shooter anyway), but the combat you have to do is quite bad. Sure, it feels exciting to beat down a mischievous imp and see him squirm and die in a puddle of his own blood, but the excitement swiftly gives way to annoyance when you realise that every enemy you encounter will be a struggle to defeat, and the game usually throws groups of any number between 5 to 10 enemies at you at a time.

On second thought, let's NOT go this way.

So you run, you run as fast as your scrawny little girly legs can carry you, and hope that the enemies won't catch up. Fortunately, most enemies are fairly slow, so you should be fine in most cases. But then there are times when you must fight, such as boss battles or otherwise inescapable encounters. And that's when things get really annoying. So annoying in fact, that I more than once have considered quitting the game and just watching a playthrough on Youtube or something.

And yet I don't want to. No matter how annoying the gameplay gets, I feel compelled to keep playing. I want to see what happens to the poor, unlucky girl, trapped in a vicious cycle of bullying and loneliness. I want to hear the hauntingly beautiful and sad music accompanying the poor girl's fate. I want to see the end of her story, and know that I made it there myself. That's why I don't quit. If the game didn't have this engaging story, beautiful music or tangible atmosphere, I probably would have quit long ago and returned to beating raiders to death in Hokuto Musou (Which is also quite a delectable pastime, make no mistake), but because the game manages to captivate so strongly with its story and atmosphere, I can forgive the bad gameplay. Almost.

Well, I think I'm nearing the end of the game now, so maybe soon I can be free of it. I like it, but I don't think I'd want to play it again any time soon. As good as the story is, once is enough for a game with such poor gameplay.

What about you guys? Is there a certain game that you hate to play but love to experience? One where the story, or maybe the music, makes up for lacking gameplay?

Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Game Music - Lucifer's Call

Hi everyone! Today's music comes from the PS2 game Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call, or as it was called outside of ye olde Europe: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. The game tells the story of a teenage guy who visits his teacher at the hospital, witnesses the end of the world, and its subsequent rebirth, and is transformed into a demon known as the Demi-Fiend. Now, he must choose a reason to build the new world upon. The catch is, he has no choice in the matter, but can only support the ideas of others.
Wandering a devastated world infested by demons and spirits, he searches for an ideal which can support a new world. Like the other games in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, the music is composed by the one and only Shouji Meguro, in my opinion a living legend. So, let's give a track from this excellent game a listen!

"Normal Battle (In Dungeons)
The cool thing about this theme is that it has many different variations, which play randomly during battles, so it always feels fresh and new when you hear it. I can't think of any other games that does this. If you know of any, let me know!
Well, that's all for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Game Music - Silent Hill 2

Hi everyone! Today's music comes from one of my favourite games, Silent Hill 2. It's a survival horror game that tells the story of James Sunderland, a man who receives a letter from his dead wife, inviting him to the titular town, a town where nothing is as it seems, and whatever is as it seems, is very, very wrong. During his visit to this once famous resort town, now an abandoned ghost town shrouded in fog, he is faced with truths about his wife, and himself, that he would rather have forgotten...
It's a pretty scary game, and the soundtrack really helps set the atmosphere. Let's give it a listen:

"Theme of Laura"
The Silent Hill series is really good, both story-wise and music-wise. The gameplay is a little clumsy, like most survival horror games, but I definitely recommend these games to anyone who likes an intriguing story and who likes getting scared.

Well, I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, have a good day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Project - Finished

Hi everyone! It's finally done! The subtitles for Elite Yankee Saburou are complete.

It took a while, but now I have finally uploaded the finished product. I have to say, it's been a lot of fun to do this, and I would definitely enjoy doing this sort of thing for a living. I'm hoping I can get into the translation/subtitling business soon, maybe as a part-time job while I'm studying in Kyoto. That would be wonderful. Anyway, however small a step making these subtitles was, it's at the very least a step in the right direction.

My Battle Station during subtitling sessions. Candy optional.
So, without further ado, here is the download link for the subtitles. As for the episodes themselves, I'm sure you can find them one way or the other (Trying not to look like a criminal here *^_^* )
Here we go:

Well, I hope you'll enjoy the show! Now, I'm going to take a long break and hope the random lines of text and characters from the show will go disappear from my dreams eventually...

Have a good day!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Game Music - Odin Sphere

Hi everyone! Today's musical piece comes from the PS2 game Odin Sphere, a 2d action RPG loosely based on Norse mythology. It is one of my favourite games of all time, mostly for the beautiful art style and atmosphere, but also for the challenging and fun gameplay, and of course, the music. It helps create a fantastic ambience and sets the mood for this dark and enchanting fairy tale, told through the perspectives of five different characters, as the world slowly approaches its end.

It's a lovely game that anyone who appreciates magic and wonder definitely should experience.
Until next time, have a good day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Project - The Finale

Hi everyone! It's been a long, arduous road, but now I'm finally nearing the finish line. Only one episode left to translate, and it will be done!

However, the last episode is a one hour special, making it equal to two regular episodes. So there's still some hard work left for me. But don't worry, I've come this far, and I'm not about to stop now. Once it's all done, I'm uploading the subtitles for anyone who is interested.

Well, sorry for such a short post, but I gotta get going! Have a good day!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Game Music - Rule of Rose

Hi everyone!
Today's music comes from the PS2 game Rule of Rose, a survival horror game set aboard a big airship in the 1930's. The main character, Jennifer, is being bullied and tormented by a group of children who make her life miserable. As if that weren't enough, there are imp-like monsters threatening her life, as well as adults twisted into madness by the pranks and mischief of the unruly children.
In short, it's a pretty gloomy and depressing game, but I like it. It has a very thick atmosphere, and of course, a lovely soundtrack. Let's give it a listen!


Powerful stuff! I think I'm going to play this game today, when I'm not busy translating, that is!
Have a good day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Busy Morning

Hi everyone! Today will be kind of short, as I'm a little tired.

I just came home from my Friday routine outing. That is, every Friday morning I go out and have breakfast at a café in town, then go to the library and study for a while. Well, since I have summer vacation I didn't study per se, but I did work more on the subtitles for Elite Yankee Saburou. (See my "Summer Project" posts for more info.) I only have two episodes left to translate now! Whohoo!
The show just keeps getting crazier and funnier, with episodes 6 and 8 being my personal favourites. I definitely recommend that you check it out! And if you don't know Japanese, don't worry! I'll be uploading the subtitles next week, probably around Wednesday, if everything goes as planned.

It's raining over here now, not as much as this morning, (which was unbelievable) but still enough to warrant staying indoors. So, from here on it's another lazy day of gaming and translating for me.

Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Game Music - BlazBlue

Hi everyone! Time for some more game music! This time from BlazBlue, a fighting game from the developers of the Guilty Gear series. It's a really good game, with some very unique and funny characters, of which my favourite is Taokaka, the loud, hungry cat girl with braids. She is a very silly and funny character, which is reflected well in her theme song, which unlike the rest of the guitar-heavy metal soundtrack is more jazzy and upbeat, like something you'd hear at a broadway musical. So, here we go!

"Catus Carnival"
Meow! Now that's what I'm talking about! Have a good day everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Game Music - Okami

Hi everyone! Today's game music comes from Okami, a very beautiful and fun game with some great music. It is set in ancient Japan, and tells the story of the sun goddess Amaterasu-no-Oomikami, who travels the country in the shape of a white wolf, saving it from a spreading darkness and evil demons. The gameplay is reminiscent of a Legend of Zelda game, but with a few unique twists. Ammy (Because Amaterasu is too long), has the ability to use a magic brush, which she can use to paint the world, and in doing so produce various effects, such as making plants bloom, creating wind, turning night into day, and much more.

And the music is wonderful. It has a traditional Japanese feel to it, and really contributes, along with the graphics and art style, to suck you into the atmosphere of the game world. Just listen to this!

"Ryoshima Coast"

Well, I hope you've enjoyed today's tune! Until next time, have a good day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Story Ends

Hi everyone! Last night, I finally beat Persona 4, the game I've been playing (almost) religiously for the last two months, give or take a few weeks. It was one hell of a ride and definitely a good game. But, to be completely honest, it kinda lost it right at the end. This post will contain massive spoilers for the plot of Persona 4, so the ones of you who haven't finished it, or haven't played it at all and want to experience it first hand, you might want to stop reading here. (There will also be some Persona 3 spoilers, just so you know!)

So, I had grinded myself up to a modest level of 88, acquired Helel, the most ridiculously overpowered persona I ever saw, and thought it was about time to end things. I had fought the final boss before, but was not nearly strong enough to defeat her. This time, things would be different. I waltzed in and engaged her in battle.

And what a disappointing battle it was. Now, here we have Izanami, an ancient goddess of Japanese mythology, who together with her brother Izanagi pretty much created Japan (Standard mythological stuff about various bodily functions becoming geographical phenomenons, it's on wikipedia, most likely). And she barely puts up a fight. I ended up not even using my overpowered ace-in-the-hole, because it worked fine with another persona whose skill set just happened to make me nearly impossible to hit. The fight went on for about 30 minutes, and then suddenly, Izanami pulled an instant kill move out of nowhere.

"Now things are getting serious!" I thought, and then looked on horrified as she killed off my characters. Not just knocked them out like usual, she simply erased them from the battle. "Oh crap" I thought. "Better take this lady down fast!" (My use of the word "lady" is a slight alteration, I'm sure you can figure it out.) So I attacked with all of my strength, but she had just one sliver of HP left when her turn came around. And so, I could do nothing but watch as my last two characters were annihilated.

"If this means game over, I am so. Very. Angry." I thought as the screen faded to white. Luckily, it wasn't game over, I actually made it. I won, and the ending played out. A good ending, but the final boss was very disappointing. Here I had been expecting an epic showdown with a god, one that would thoroughly test my skills, and I get this. Compare this to the final battle against Nyx Avatar in Persona 3, where you had to fight through 14 stages, each representing numbers 0 through 13 in the Major Arcana of the tarot deck, against a manifestation of Death itself, where you and your party members were constantly on the brink of annihilation, having to struggle to just survive while trying to land the occasional attack on the enemy. This fight could take up to an hour and a half, depending on luck. All this accompanied by a rock opera rearrangement of the theme that's been a symbol for the entire game series. How can you possibly top that?

I guess that's just the thing. Persona 3 set the bar so high that Persona 4 simply could not live up to it. Even if the battle had been longer and harder, and the music better (it was kinda average), it still would have had a hard time competing with such a predecessor.

On the whole, I think Persona 4 was good, but I still think Persona 3 is better. Especially given the fact that the special edition of Persona 3 comes with an epilogue that was made in dungeon crawler heaven (or hell, depending on how you look at it). The story and pacing also felt more consistent, and there weren't as many things that came completely out of nowhere, like many of the plot twists in Persona 4 did. In all, they're both very good games, and if you haven't played them yet (you've probably already stopped reading and won't partake in this message), I strongly recommend them. I personally think Persona 3 is better, but to each his own.

Well, that's it for Persona 4. I wonder what game I'm going to play next? I have quite a few ongoing ones that I want to finish, and even a few I haven't even started playing yet. o many games, so little time...
Until next time, have a good day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Game Music - Halo

Hi everyone!

Now, I'd be the first to admit that I do not like Halo. Sure, it's a decent FPS and it's pretty fun to play with a bunch of friends, but I don't think it's as good as most die-hard fans make it out to be. It tells a fairly standard story about humanity's struggle against a mighty alien race that threatens to bring death and destruction to mankind. I've heard it's supposed to be much deeper than that, but if it is, it sure goes a long way hiding it. Well, I digress.

There is, however, one thing that Halo does absolutely right. The theme song. Wow. It's really damn good, if I may say so, and I'm sure a lot of people agree. Have a listen and decide for yourself.

Awesome music, not so awesome game. Until next time, have a good day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lucid Dreaming - Memory Training

Hi everyone! Sleeping well? Time for another lucid dreaming post!

Now, to be honest, I haven't felt too motivated to make an effort with my lucid dreams as of late. I haven't had any LD's for a while, I've been going to bed a little too late for comfort, and in general just haven't felt like concentrating that much on dreaming. So I figured I'd give it another try, and start with the basics again. The most important thing when it comes to LD's is your own intention. But what's easy to overlook is your ability to remember that intention as you drift off to sleep. Fortunately, there are a few memory exercises you can do during the day to improve your ability.

This particular exercise is designed to be practised for one week. There are four target events for each day. When you wake up in the morning, read the events for the current day, and only the current day. Memorize the events.

Now, as you go about your business during the day, be on the lookout for the targets. When you notice one of them, do a reality check, to determine if you're dreaming or awake. For example, if the target event is "The next time I see someone with a baby carriage," you would do a reality check when you spot someone pushing one of those around.

At the end of the day, write down how many of the four target events you managed to notice. If you realise that you missed the first occurrence of a target event, you have failed it, even if you notice it again later. If you are sure that a target did not occur at all during the day, make a note of it.

Continue this exercise for at least a week. If you find yourself not getting many of them down, then continue with the exercise a while longer, until you can get most of them. Make up more targets, write down your results and keep track of your success rate.

If you stick with this exercise for a few weeks, your memory should improve quite a bit. I have yet to try it, but I intend to start doing it tomorrow, on Monday. I hope it will be helpful, and I hope this post was in some way helpful to you. Until next time, everyone, sweet dreams!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Game Music - Fist of the North Star

Hwataa! Hi everyone! After an evening of playing the Fist of the North Star game for PS3, the boss fight music got kinda stuck in my head, and I can't get it out. Well, to be fair, it's basically just an instrumental rearrange of the opening theme from the anime, but it's just so damn epic, in my humble opinion.

The game is quite similar to Dynasty Warriors in many ways. You control a fighter who moves through the battlefield completely demolishing the enemy troops and go toe-to-toe with some fearsome martial artist bosses. And it is awesome. Based on the anime (which was based on the manga) with the same name, Fist of the North Star tells the story of Kenshirou, a martial artist who travels a post-apocalyptic wasteland searching for his lost lover, all the while fighting for justice in a lawless world.

In the game, whenever you fight a boss who plays a key role in the story, this music starts playing, and it gets you really pumped up to kick some butt!

"Ai wo torimodose" (Take back our love)

I've been playing this game a lot lately, and I definitely recommend it if you are a fan of Fist of the North Star, Dynasty Warriors, or just want a game where you can make people's heads explode by poking them. ;)
After all, if you pick a fight with Ken, you are already dead...

Until next time, have a good day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Game Music - Cave Story

Hi everyone! It's raining today, so what would be better than to find a nice, cosy cave to curl up in and ride out the bad weather? Just make sure the cave isn't infested with bats, crocodiles and demons!

Cave Story is a 2d platformer for the PC and Wii, and a 3DS version is coming out soon. It plays sort of like a Metroid game, and it's an absolute blast to play. Best of all, you can get it for free! If you're into retro-style games, definitely check out Cave Story.

The soundtrack is also great, oozing with a retro feel. I find myself humming the main theme every now and then, as it is quite a catchy little number. Listen for yourself:

This is one of those games you can replay over and over again. There's a surprising amount of content for such a "small" game. (Roughly 4 MB in size!)

Well, I hope you've enjoyed today's game music. Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Project - Halfway There

Hi everyone! I'm about halfway finished translating and subtitling Elite Yankee Saburou by now. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel... Just kidding, I'm having lots of fun doing this, and it's going surprisingly fast now that I've gotten into it. I reckon I can have it done within ten days if I keep this pace up. (So I expect to be done in about 12 days.)

Well, just a quick status update for now. Until next time, have a good day!