Making Excuses

I should just be honest and say that I didn’t work on any blog posts this weekend because all I wanted to do was play FFXIV:ARR.

Which I did. A LOT.

I got all 3 gathering classes (Botanist, Miner, and Fisher) to level 21, completed my level 35 Paladin quest, leveled to 37, continued story mode a little, and finished getting all the tradeskill classes to 16. The last one was Culinarian, which was particularly problematic because I’m trying to level ALL the trades at around the same pace by harvesting my own materials, thus minimizing the amount of gil that I have to spend on the market board or at in-game vendors. (This plan has actually worked out very well for me, but it’s very slow.) Back to Culinarian, though… This tradeskill is the only one that requires level 20+ materials to craft the level 16-20 recipes. All the other tradeskills only require level 15+ materials. So I had to spend extra time leveling up my gathering skills to the next tier JUST so that I could keep my cooking on par with things like armorsmithing, carpentry, etc.

While I was working on Fisher, I did a lot of other stuff, too, since you don’t really need to pay much attention to the screen if you’re using a controller with vibration turned on. I watched a summer music festival called FNSうたの夏まつり (FNS Uta no Natsu Matsuri) or FNS Summer Song Festival. It was just over 4 hours long and featured performance collaborations between many of my favorite Japanese music artists including T.M. Revolution, EXILE, JUJU, MIYAVI, Yuzu, and Hideaki Tokunaga. It was particularly great when different genres blended together, like when Yuzu (folk pop rock) sang with Kiyoshi Hikawa (enka). The thing I liked the most about this show was that it wasn’t as autotuned as most Japanese music shows are, so the good performers really stood out. Of course, this was a double edged sword. When one of the idol groups comprised of cute girls that can’t sing AT ALL were performing, it was PAINFUL. Like I wanted to stab myself in the head with an ice pick kind of painful… LOL

Kiyoshi Hikawa & Yuzu Performing Kiyoshi no Zundoko Bushi

I also did boring stuff like sort paperwork, fold and put away laundry, and clean the bedroom. I was productive!

I also spent a lot of time watching lectures for the various coursera courses that I’m taking. I took the final exam for the Mathematical Philosophy class and the Global Business of Sports class, as well. I also decided to trim the number of classes that I’m actively taking. I found that I was unable to keep up with all the homework. I realize that I could just keep watching the videos, but my rather compulsive nature made me feel like I HAD to do the homework, even though I didn’t really have to. So I watched lectures for History of Rock, Part One, Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative, An Introduction to Financial Accounting, and Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Since I currently work doing accounting, human resources, and other general office stuff, I decided to sign up for the accounting class as well as An Introduction to Operations Management and An Introduction to Marketing. I have a minor in Business Administration already, so these classes are more of a review, but since they’re part of a pre-MBA program, I thought they’d be useful. When I move to the mainland, I’m going to have to find a job, which is something that I haven’t had to do since 2003, so I want to make sure my skills are up to date and marketable.

On top of that, I had to replace my video card earlier in the week because my old one was quickly dying. The fan was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself think and had to use my noise-canceling headphones to play games without throwing my computer through the window. I bought a budget card, but it was still an upgrade to what was in my machine before. I’m planning on building two new machines once my husband and I move to the mainland, so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on replacements and upgrades on our current rigs. (My computer is over 6 years old.)

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Once I replaced the card, everything was running great for awhile, but then I started getting random game crashes, I fell into the environment a few times, and my video card drivers started crashing intermittently while playing FF, so I spent a good chunk of the weekend also running tests and trying to fix it. Other people on the forums were having the exact same problems as I was, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t the card. I eventually upgraded to the most recent .NET framework, reinstalled the C++ redistributable, and downloaded the newest video card drivers. Now everything is happy again. Especially me. I get particularly bitchy when my computer isn’t working.

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I’m dangling below the ground. You can see my husband’s character on his mount above ground to the left. (Also, I’m wearing thunder thighs armor again! Ugh! I look like a Storm Trooper…)

So yeah, I was busy this weekend. And yes, I know I’m just making excuses. 😉

FFXII: Lightning Returns and FFXIV: ARR Crossover

I’m not going to lie. I’m excited about this. While I would rather be fighting alongside other Final Fantasy heroes and/or heroines, this is cool. I’m a Final Fantasy fangirl, remember, so ANYTHING Final Fantasy is fair game for my undying affection. The one thing I am rather disappointed by, however, is the fact that as a female character, I am only going to have the option of getting Lightning’s costume. Male characters will receive Snow’s trench coat and bandanna. (Yes, I totally triple-checked the spelling on that. I thought it was bandana.) Oh well. I suppose I could level up a male character a little just to get access to the trench coat. We’ll see. I just might. My Roegadyn female is large and muscular, so I think she’s going to look weird in Lightning’s outfit.

Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns Opening

In case you missed it (and I’m really not sure how you could, given that this is on every game site), this is the opening cinematic for FFXII: Lightning Returns, due to release in November in Japan and February in North America. I’ll be honest and say that although I’ve played XIII, I still haven’t played XIII-2. It’s on my backlog list and my goal is to get through it before the release of Lightning Returns.

I played XIII in Japanese since JP and NA games are the same region. I HAVE the NA version, but I chose not to play it because I prefer Japanese voice acting to English voice acting. This is a personal preference. I have both the JP and NA versions of XIII-2, so I was planning on playing that in Japanese, as well. However, for the most part, although I PREFER Japanese, the English voice acting for most Square Enix games is decent and doesn’t make me want to stab myself in the ears with an ice pick.  HOWEVER, I’ve heard the moogle in English and it made me want to throw my controller at the TV.

But that’s only ONE character, who doesn’t seem THAT crucial. I could suffer through that, right? Right? It is that line of thinking that led me to the decision that I didn’t need to buy the JP version of Lightning Returns. Spending $75 instead of $60 plus having to sit with a dictionary next to me at all times seemed excessive when the English version would likely be passable, since all their other games are passable.

Then I watched this trailer on my lunch break at work. Lightning sounds fine. Snow sounds fine. Lumina needs to SHUT UP RIGHT NOW. I don’t know what happens in XIII-2, but Lumina looks like some other incarnation of Serah from XIII. Her hair and everything are the same. And based on this trailer, she looks important to the story. So NO WAY. I am NOT playing this game in English. Forget it.

FFXIV:ARR 2.1 TGS Trailers

Square Enix released three new trailers in anticipation of the first major content patch for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is supposed to go live before the end of the year. I am not a fan of PvP, but everything else looks awesome. I can’t wait for player housing!

This is the Binding Coil of Bahamut end game content.

This is a look at player housing. I really want that cactuar lamp.

They’re also going to be implementing PvP.

Manicure – 9/20/13

Wednesday is my husband’s birthday and the following Tuesday is our 9 year wedding anniversary. So I asked my husband what his favorite color is and he said that he didn’t really have one, but that he liked blue, green, and black. So I told my nail artist that and gave her free reign to do whatever she wanted. This is what she came up with:

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My Tokyo Game Show 2013 Roundup

TGS 2013

I don’t officially have a bucket list, but if I did, attending this event at some point in the future would most definitely be on it. When it comes to my taste in games, it definitely runs more on the Japanese side than the Western side, although I do just love GOOD games, regardless of origin. So this post is by no means a comprehensive overview of TGS 2013. It is just a list of all the stuff that interested ME.

One thing that you will notice is that I don’t really talk about mobile phone games. At all. You know all those pictures I post here with my nails? THAT would be the reason. Without the ability to use the very tips of my fingers, mobile phone gaming is simply not an option without buying a stylus. Forget that. I’m not going to keep track of some accessory that doesn’t attach to my phone just so I can play games on a tiny screen where my eyes can barely make out fine details. (At least Nintendo’s handheld DS systems have a place to store the stylus!) There is a lot of argument that mobile gaming is the future of gaming and given what I see when I see people dicking around on their phones, that could be an accurate statement. And if that is how the future plays out, I’ll definitely have to find a new hobby. On the other hand, with Sony’s and Microsoft’s push to bring an entire entertainment system into your living room via their next-gen consoles, I’m probably safe. In any case, I just wanted to make sure you understood why I’m leaving out the announcement that the Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics guy (Yasumi Matsuno) is working on a new game for mobile platforms called Unsung Story.

In any case, here’s the stuff that caught my fancy:

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns

Crimson Dragon

Deep Down

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call

Tales of Xillia 2

Puyo Puyo Tetris

That’s not a whole lot. E3 had WAY more news. Is this a testament to the notion that Japanese game development is truly lagging behind its Western counterparts? Probably. It’s sad, especially when you consider that the Japanese gaming developers used to be the pioneers in the industry. Now they’re just doing the same old crap, over and over and over again. To be fair, though, it’s that same old crap that I love and willingly spend all my money on. But how many people in the West have the same kind of gaming tastes as me?

Star Trek Into Darkness Starfleet Phaser Limited Edition Gift Set

I’m a huge Trekkie. My favorite series is the Original Series, although I love everything Star Trek. Personally, I had a problem with Into Darkness. It was a good and enjoyable movie, but it wasn’t Star Trek. But whatever. Like my indiscriminate love of Final Fantasy, if it says Star Trek on it, I have to have it. And even if I thought the movie was terrible, this thing COMES WITH A PHASER!!!!! HOW COOL IS THAT?!? So my set came from Amazon on Tuesday. I didn’t totally unwrap the phaser because I don’t have any place to display it right now, but you get the idea. Now that I have the movie, I’ll have to watch it again. This is the only Star Trek movie that has come out since 1990 that I only saw ONE TIME in the theater.

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