Monday, October 04, 2010

Eyes At 6'5" Daily Photo Blog By Me

Sorry for a lack of updates around this blog. Had some 'life' happen and was rendered homeless for a month. I'm not kidding. Thanks to some friends I wasn't out on the streets. Now I have my own apartment and things are back on track. I was going to mention my new photo blog a week into it's conception, but got busy. But hey, better late then never right? Now there's plenty to view. Head over to To check it out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Opoona Review

Imagine a game developed by the makers of the Dragon Quest series.. set in outer space and the lead characters don't have spiky hair. Welcome to Opoona, a Japanese RPG for the Nintendo Wii.
Opoona, much like many JPG starts out with Opoona (the main character , the chubby bald headed kid with the orange ball on top of his head) sleeping in. He wakes up, his ship gets attacked and gets separated from his family and has to find them on the alien planet known as Landroll. Landroll, according to lore was hit by a meteorite awhile back and now the planet is split in half, a inhabitable side and a dark side.
The game takes a few cues from the Metroid Prime franchise with this plot device, but never gets very far with it. Sadly with no voice acting and only ONE CGI cut scene the story is made out through dialog boxes, long boring ones if that. And it's sad to say that Opoona did not get the best translation job out there. Things may have been taken too literal and sometimes leaves players wondering where to go and what to do? But then again the first dome (city) Tokione is such a mess of a design that it's easy to get frustrated trying to find a certain shop or even the exits! Whoever designed that city needs to be kicked in the balls, repeatedly. Thankfully the city designs are much more functional once you get to the next domes.
While getting frustrated with the city lay out and how the 'life style' part of this 'life style RPG' game works made me wonder about it even further. The game allows you to get jobs and make friends. In fact if you want to get outside of the first city you have to find a teacher to allow you to get a lice sense to be a Ranger, go the Admin office, get a license, then exit the building. If you want to upgrade your hover board transportation you get, you have to work fast food and get a mining license, then you can go face the second boss. At times I think the game is commenting on the bureaucracy of other games with job systems or society itself. But much like other JPGs and their ham fisted environmental message it comes off as annoying and leaves the player frustrated, especially when you have to do multiple 'side quests' just so you can reach the final boss's lair.
But let's talk about some more positive aspects of the game. The graphics and look of the game fit very well. Some of the domes look beautiful and have a real theme to them. Sometimes I wonder if the art team got their way on everything. The game heavily features variety of art work on display from paintings to sculptures to new age installation pieces. The character designs of the main characters work well, the cell shaded visuals of the characters make them look more childish and innocent. Some of the other characters are so oddly designed you wonder what kind of sick plastic surgeon the world of Landroll has, some women have beaks! Later in the game you come across some giants in an ancient forest, you’d swear they were created by a guy who just got his 3D modeling program the week before. Once you get out of the domes you can see some wonderful photo like sky boxes, which kind of clash with the cell shaded main characters.
The music of the game offers some short tunes, no 5 minute epics here. Most are over and done and repeating within a minute and a half, which isn't bad for some songs like the third battle theme or the final baddie lair music. But some of the cities have quite annoying songs to them (Bravo Company!).
The box of the game says it's one handed controls, only using the Nunchuck controller to do everything. I tried that, then picked up the Wii-Mote after 10 minutes and didn't put the Wii-Mote. It also supports the Classic Controller, didn't play with that.
The controls work well. 'A' To action things, 'B' to cancel things, etc, etc. In battle it's push the analog stick back, forward or sideways to direct your balls in battle and attack. Sure there's magical abilities which speak of angles and such (but never given any insight into how these abilities come to be, could be called Healing Spell 1, 2, 3 really.) As you progress through the game you'll find more and more attachments to your ball and gives your characters a bit more flare.
In the end you control 4 people over all. Only 3 at a time. The 4th is only momentarily during a part during the story. The three, Opoona, Copoona and Poleena have slightly different abilities. Copoona is more of a magic user, Opoona is the muscle and Poleena is the middle ground. But there isn't much difference between the three.

If you can make it to the second dome (Life Born) then you're going to be in for an RPG that will last 25- 40 hours, depending on your play style. The game has an odd quirky and cute charm that people have compared to the Super Nintendo cult classic Earthbound. I haven't played Earthbound yet, but Opoona has cult classic written all over it. Pick it up, give it a shot. It's most likely in a discount bin somewhere wanting you to play with its balls.

Grade: C+

Saturday, January 16, 2010

32 Ghost IV Video

Back in November I was visiting my friend Jeremy who is a director, editor and actor here in Kelowna and he was showing me his compilation of the Nine Inch Nails Ghost Film Festival. He chose his favorites and best and was compiling a fan made DVD of fan made videos. My 16 Ghost II video is featured on the DVD, but sadly he was having troubles finding a the right videos for a couple of songs.
So we looked at the candidates and thought of ways we could improve them. We then decided to just go out and shoot something. He had these really cool looking goggles, and the camera case and headed out as the sun was sinking lower in the sky. As we begun to shoot in the park, I suggested we walk by the military complex that's just a few blocks away since it had some tanks and chain link fences, things that frequently showed up in other Ghost videos and Year Zero. As we shot things just fell together.
After sitting on the footage and doing some post production, the video is complete:

Jeremy is also apart of an up and coming comedy group called A Quick and Dirty Experience, which I highly suggest checking out. Link.

In other Nine Inch Nails related news, the fan made video of concert footage taken by fans, edited by fans and distributed by fans called "Another Version of the Truth: The Gift" contains a remix of mine on the Las Vegas disc. You can find out more information about the project, and download it for free HERE.

Monday, January 04, 2010

7 Tips for Meeting People Offline

I'm a major player on the Anime and Cosplay Kelowna forum and the community there has been booming. But since there's a lot of young people and people who are a bit socially shy, I made them a quick and easy guide to meeting people. It's helped quite a few people so far, so I might as well post it here as well.
Remember, meeting new people is great, the anime forum has had a ton of great meet ups, new friendships being made and more. But there's always a danger of something going wrong. So here's some tips for meeting people in person.

1) Meet in a Public Place
This one is pretty basic. If you're going to meet someone for the first time, maybe it's best not to show up at their place. A coffee shop, the mall, a store, movie theatre all work well.

2) Tell People Where You Are and What You're Doing
This is important for the younger people. Your folks worry about you. Tell them where you're going. Who you're going with and what time you're expected back. Also tell them who are you meeting, their real name and forum name.

3) Bring A Cell Phone
Once again your parents worry about you kiddies. Bring a cell phone, that you if you're stood up you can call for a ride home. Or if you're feeling uncomfortable you can get away easily.

4) Bring A Friend!
Strength in numbers! If you're nervous about meeting someone in real person, bring a friend or a parent or older sibling. At the anime forum meet ups we always welcome friends of members to our meet ups! The more the merrier (but do give a little bit of notice, especially for events with limited amount of room).

5) Trust Your Feelings
Sometimes you know things are not right. If you're not having good feelings from someone, then don't meet them. Cancel your plans with them and tell them you'll meet them at the next meet up with multiple people instead of alone. Do have the common courtesy to tell them you can't make it to a meet up several hours before you're planned to meet them.

6) Protect Your Information
If you haven't figured it out yet. All anyone really needs is your e-mail address and I could potentially have your full name, location, school, work address and even phone number. That's it. Really easy to become an Internet stalker.

7) Dress Appropriate
I got a bit of heat from writing this on the forum, but do dress right for occasions. While some Cosplay costumes do features some revealing clothing choices, it's always best to not to run around in super short skirts and low cut shirts, especially for the younger ladies. Also make note of the weather as well.