Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Minor Breakdown

Hi everyone! Did I ever tell you about the time I crashed my bike, broke my arm and then went to a job interview? No? Then gather round!

Last Friday, I was on my way home from school on my bicycle. It was raining, and I was in a hurry to get home and prepare for my interview later that day. On the way up the hill to the dorm, though, my bike decides it's had enough, and the chain comes loose with a clattering noise, which is swiftly drowned out by my cry of surprise. I tumbled forward and hit the ground pretty hard. I quickly dragged myself up from the dirt and walked home, stopping every few steps to let my fading vision clear up. I felt a bit like I imagine Kratos did in that one part of God of War 2 where he's all wounded and what have you.

So anyway, like a fallen warrior I dragged myself home, washed off my dirtied face, and then got on the bus and went to Nagoya for my interview. My arm hurt pretty bad, but I didn't think it was broken. The next day, when my girlfriend gave me a ride to the hospital, I learned that it was.

And that's what happened. I now have my arm in a sling, and can't really use it for much. It is quite a bother. I'm glad it was my left arm, though. I am right-handed, so I can still write and such. Typing is a bit of a pain, though. Hopefully, it won't take too long for it to heal.

Until then, I probably won't be posting much on the blog.

Have a good day, everyone, and stay safe!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Hunt Continues: Interview!

Hi everyone!

The other day, I received a mail from one of the companies I have sent my resume to. They want me to come in to Nagoya on Friday for an interview! Yay!

So, I am basically going to spend this week preparing for the interview, memorizing some key words for marketing my skills and good characteristics, come up with answers for potential questions... and try not to let my nerves get the better of me. I always get really nervous before a big event, be it an interview, an exam, a presentation, anything. But, when the time comes, I always get it done. As long as I do my best, I know it'll be fine.

That's it for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Term, New Toils

Hi everyone!

So, the long, long spring break is finally at an end, and so is the first week of class. I have gone to a lot of classes to see which ones I would like to take, and today I handed in my application form.

I hope I can get all the ones I want, though it seems some of them have limited places available. Cross my fingers, I guess.

Other than class, I'm also going to keep looking for work. Busy, busy...

Don't have much else to write about right now, so have a good day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

LD: Hovering, Falling Clouds

Hi everyone! I just woke up, it's a sunny day out, and I had a lucid dream last night. This day is looking like a fine one, and it's only 9 am!

So, about the dream. I am in a secret headquarters, in a low-lit room full of monitors and maps and such. There are two other people in the room, but I can't tell who they are. Anyway, they receive a distress call from one of our allies who needs to be rescued. I am sent out to find them. As I move across a large grassy field, I notice that I am in fact Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. (And I don't even like Transformers all that much!)

Since walking is awfully slow, I leap into the air and start flying. This is when it hits me: Optimus Prime can't fly! At least not without combining with some other guy first, if I recall correctly. So this must be a dream, then! I continue to fly at a really high speed over a forest, but I lose altitude and fall to the ground. Usually, if something like this happens, I leap right back up and try to fly some more, but this time, I decided to take things easy. I just lie there on my stomach for a while, concentrating on floating above the ground. I slowly rise about two inches and move forward at a slow pace. When I get to a paved road, I have to concentrate even harder to keep my legs up, to prevent them from scraping along the asphalt. After making it across, I stand up and walk for a while.

At this point, I make sure to test reality again, just to confirm once more that I am still dreaming and conscious about it. So I pull on my right index finger, which stretches out like rubber, impossibly long. Yup, still dreaming.
Recalling something I read about the sky sometimes being very odd and beautiful in dreams, I look up. The sky looks quite normal, apart form some very big, dark clouds. Upon closer inspection, I realise that the clouds are in fact falling down. I quickly step out of the way as the big cloud crashes into the ground with a dull thumping noise. When I try poking it, I find that it has the same texture as foam rubber. More clouds come falling down, and I kick and swing at them, sending them flying out of the way. I tear off a large chunk of cloud and try swinging it around. It's fairly light, and feels like a big rubber mattress. I play around with it for a while, and then my alarm clock goes off.

I was a little annoyed that the dream was cut short by the alarm clock like that, but it was fun while it lasted.

Until next time everyone! Have a good day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Arcade Archetype

Hi everyone! Enjoying Easter? I actually forgot all about it until my mom wished me a happy Easter a few days ago. Chalk that one up to Japan, I suppose.

Speaking of Japan, one place where you are likely to find giant, anthropomorphic animals chucking eggs and stuff around would be in one of the many game arcades they have here. (If that sentence doesn't win me the prize for most far-fetched segway ever I will eat my own hat.) Being from Sweden, the concept of a game arcade was quite foreign to me, having only been to one in my home town before it closed down about twelve years ago. Because of this, I was living under the impression that game arcades were a thing of the past, no longer able to sustain themselves in today's climate, with home consoles and computers packing more power than the arcade machines. After coming to Japan, however, I saw that I was wrong. I am so glad I was wrong.

It's a lot of fun to go down to the local game center and play a few rounds of BlazBlue or Persona 4U (which is really good, by the way), or pound on the drums to your favourite anime theme song. (And if your favourite anime theme song is from Evangelion, even better.)

But one of the most unusual arcade experiences has to be a game I tried the other day. Gundam: Senjou no Kizuna is a multiplayer first person shooting game based on the popular mech anime in which you control one of the titular mechs in battles against other players around the country. The game itself is decent, fairly standard both in terms of graphics and gameplay. What makes it so unique is the way it is played. You sit down inside the booth with is made to look like the cockpit of one of the giant robots, and control it by using two handles and two pedals. It takes a while getting used to, but it is awesome.

No, that is not a fancy public toilet. It's a fancy arcade machine.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen these around in Kyoto, so once I go back there I probably won't be able to play it any more... Oh well, yet another excuse to go in to Nagoya, then!

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Now it's Personal!

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, while out around town showing my mother the sights around here, we found ourselves in my usual game center. And there I saw that Persona 4: The Ultimate is out. Having nearly forgotten about it for a while, I was very excited to try it out.

Persona 4: The Ultimate is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works, makers of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, based on the Persona series of RPG's by Atlus. To a fan of both fighting games and RPG's like myself, it's a match made in heaven. The game itself? It's pretty damn good. It features the main cast of Persona 4, and some characters from Persona 3, fighting it out inside the TV world of Persona 4, for... some reason. (You know how it goes, no one really cares about the story in a fighting game)

On the gameplay side, it's both very similar to BlazBlue, and quite different. I jumped in not knowing anything about the characters apart form their roles in the original game, so I picked the main character from Persona 4 just because. It's similar to BlazBlue in the presentation and system, and you'll see familiar terms such as Fatal Counters and Bursts. The difference is that more focus seems to be on timing and positioning of your attacks, especially when summoning your persona, which can be done in two ways, both as a direct attack, and as a delayed combo. With the press of a button, you can call your persona in and have them ready an attack, and then time your own attacks to create a devastating combo.

I made it up to stage 6 before I finally bit the dust against Mitsuru, making an appearance as a slightly older, more refined woman than before. (Seeing as this is set in the time period of Persona 4, the P3 characters are all older versions of their previous selves) And since my mother was there too, I didn't want to spend the whole day at the arcade to figure out the game. It seems pretty good, though, and I will definitely try it out some more, and see if I can find a favourite character. And yes, I am still sad that Junpei isn't in the game. A future DLC character, perhaps? Please?

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