History of TE: 2004

Did you know that June 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Mega Man Battle Network 4? Well I did. Or at least, I had a hunch, since for whatever reason my brain has been laser-focused on memories of playing that particular game – despite the fact that I didn’t really like it.

But I’m not here to type a retrospective about MMBN4. No, sir. I already did that almost a decade ago, and haven’t revisited the game since.

Today I want to just rattle off a few interesting points about 2004. It was a big year for me! Lots happened! Firstly, there was the MMBN4 release. That was big, but not for the reason you think! See, I played the Japanese ROM for a while before the NA version came out (there was a six-month delay), and because it’s an RPG, the fact that I couldn’t read Japanese was kind of a big deal. So I started trying to tech myself katakana. It obviously didn’t really take, but I was able to learn enough to read some text in the game, and I still remember a handful of the characters to this day! I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say that the best part of MMBN4 is that it made me engage in self-improvement, in some tiny way.

Continue reading History of TE: 2004

Nintendo Direct – 9/13/2018

Another Nintendo Direct happened yesterday. That’s what, like four in just over a month now? Looks like they don’t intend to ever let the Switch hype train slow down. In any case, this one was slightly over half an hour long, and had like a bajillion games highlighted. I’m gonna have to be very concise if I’m going to keep this under 3000 words…

Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Right on! I’m definitely down for this! At least, depending on when it releases.Too many games, and all that. Also, I still need to play Dark Moon, which could very well never happen.

3DS Games – Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, Bowser’s Inside Story, and Luigi’s Mansion. All ports of games I very much liked, but not so much that I need to buy them again on a dying platform. Also there was a Yo-kai Watch thing and I just cannot be bothered to care.

Splatoon 2 v.4 – Another free update that ostensibly adds a bunch of new weapons and clothes. Maybe even a stage or two? This one also seems to come with new sub-weapons and supers, which is really cool and not something that usually happens with the free updates? They didn’t go into great detail on what’s going to be included.

Mega Man 11 – I have already played the demo far more than necessary, and I am so excited for this game to come out next month. It feels so good, like Mega Man game should. I’m a little disappointed at how bland the amiibo feature is (daily free items), but not at all surprised.

Mario Tennis Aces – There’s a free update with new characters. Also a new co-op challenge mode where you can win new skins and whatnot. I’d like to care, but I’ll never play this game.

Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle – This is cool! Seven classic beat ’em ups on one package, some of which were previously arcade exclusive. Not something I personally would buy, but I like that Capcom is reviving some of their B/C-tier stuff.

New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe – I still want to play Super Luigi U at some point, but I’d rather spend the $25 on Wii U than another $80 on this port bundle. Adding Nabbit and Toadette as playable characters is neat, but not nearly enough.

Katamari Damacy REROLL – I am tentatively excited about this. I need to know whether or not it’s just a port of the first game, and that’s not overly clear from this trailer. And if it is just a port/remaster, what kind of price are we looking at?

Nintendo Switch Online – Paid online service, $25 a month, free NES games and cloud saves. Nothing new here, but it was a cute video. A really cute video.

Pokémon Let’s Go – No new information here. Obviously I am super excited for this.

Diablo III – I’ve never played Diablo III, and likely won’t ever play Diablo III. Although it does look strikingly similar to the kind of game that I would really enjoy.

Super Mario Party – Ugh, it’s Mario Party, I have absolutely no inter… wait, single player modes!?

Town – A cute new RPG from Game Freak. Apparently the entire game takes place in one town. So that’s different. It looks really cool though, something I’ll keep an eye on. Also, spoilers: this is my most hype new announcement of the Direct.

Cities Skylines – I gave up on SimCity decades ago.

Daemon X Machina – I was already on board because it’s an action game about flying around in mech suits. Now they’re telling me I can swipe weapons and parts from downed mecha and use them for myself? Guys, thank you for building a game specifically for me!

Yoshi’s Crafted World – Totes adorbs, I like the world-altering gimmicks. Let’s be honest, it’s a Yoshi game, so I’ll be buying it regardless.

Board games on Switch – I don’t see myself buying any board games on Switch, but it’s really cool that there’s going to be a digital version of Pandemic out.

Civilization VI – Considering how addictive people say this game is, I think it’s best that I just keep myself out of this one’s way.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas – This looks like an actually good Star Fox game. Plus the Switch version allows you to play as all the Star Fox guys! I’m all-in on this one!

The World Ends With You: Final Mix – Sorry, don’t care.

Xenoblade 2 DLC – Aww, people who bought the season pass get it a week early? Well, I don’t have time for this right now, anyway. And I also want to buy the physical version.

Warframe – Meh.

Just Dance 2019 – Meh.

FIFA ’19 – Meh.

Team Sonic Racing – Meh.

NBA 2K19 – Meh.

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 – I bought the first one, but I no longer have time for sports games.

LEGO DC Super Villains – Meh.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered – Now with online play? Oh yes, that is a thing that I want! But I don’t know if I’d actually buy it again…

Final Fantasy XV Potato Edition – Full disclosure: I bought this immediately after the Direct was over. I really liked FFXV, and I think I’ll like it even more without all the bloat.

Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy – The indie obsession has killed my appreciation for roguelikes. Sorry, Chocobo. It’s just not happening.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age – This is my reward for not buying it on PS4. Now I can play FFXII everywhere! *maniacal laughter*

Final Fantasy VII HD – WHAT

Final Fantasy IX HD – Wait, you missed one…

Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remaster – No, I’m serious. Where’s FFVIII? That’s the one I want. (Realtalk: all these Final Fantasies on Switch is awesome. I wish I had a reason to buy them, but I own most of them two or three times already. Except XII; I’m totes buying XII.)

Super Smash Bros Ultimate – There’s a Switc bundle with a fancy dock and joy-cons… Oh! And also Isabelle is now a fighter! I don’t do the whole “waifu” thing, but if I did, Isabelle would totally be my waifu. Yes, I know she’s a dog. We’ll make it work. But, I don’t think I can play Smash now, because I couldn’t bear to hurt Isabelle 🙁

Animal Crossing Switch – Oh, hey. This is a thing now. Coming next year. I… don’t care.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: July 2014

I touched on it briefly last month, but as you’ll see if you keep reading, I’m really getting into the swing of my personal Steam Train. It’s time to start actually playing some of the 150+ games registered on my Steam account! Also I had a week of vacation early in the month, so I had a lot of extra time for gaming this month and this may be the longest MVGW to date.

I would like to direct your attention to the banner below, which was uploaded and visible when this post went live, as opposed to a few days later. Maybe I’m actually starting to clean up my act here?

~ Now Playing ~

Tokyo Jungle (PS3) – One of the two PS3-exclusive games that I have any interest in, I’d say that Tokyo Jungle is worth owning the console for. For me, at least. It gets awfully repetitive, but there is enough randomization and a huge roster of animals (50ish, then even more as DLC), so it’s stayed fresh enough for me to pour a good number of hours into it. I’ve still only started unlocking the cooler animals though, so there’s lots and lots of game left for me to experience.

Toki Tori 2+ (PC) – Working to scratch more games off my PC to-do list, I booted up Toki Tori 2+, and it’s quite a unique game! It’s a puzzle platformer, but every puzzle has to be solved with a only two actions and the way those actions affect the environment and other animals. It’s pretty fun, and some of the puzzles are downright devious. I’ve gotten myself stuck though, and I think that I might like this game enough that I’m not willing to consult a FAQ just so that I can move on. I feel like this one is worth solving on my own. But nuts to gathering all the collectibles. That’s a fool’s errand if I’ve ever seen one.


Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: July 2014

Which is the way that’s clear?

One of this year’s most anticipated and hyped titles was Fable II. I think that for the first time in a long time, the excessive amount of pre-release media coverage actually did not turn me off the game, as was the case with last year’s Mass Effect (damn good thing I tried it anyway!) But yeah, I was totally disinterested with Fable II, but the more I heard about it, the more it seemed neat and kind of like something I would like to play. And it was!

I skipped over the original Fable almost completely, playing the PC version for about five hours total before forgetting about it in favour of games based on consoles that I owned. So it stands to reason that if the original game couldn’t start a fire in my heart, then the second probably would suffer the same ignorance that I showed the first, if not moreso. I’m not entirely sure at exactly what point it clicked and I decided I wanted to try out Fable II, but I think it may have had something to do with the dog. The idea of a game where you have a dog that follows you everywhere appeals to me for some reason.

Oh, wait, no. I remember now. I wanted to play it so that I could be the female character, have babies, and sell them into slave labour for millions of gold. I have yet to accomplish the last phase of this plan. Though one time I did whore out my lesbian wife to a con artist. That was neat.

So yeah, I really like the game. It’s got a lot of faults though. The number one problem being the lagginess. Oh, the lag! I can sort of understand why the game might slow down a bit when you’re in a huge fight or wandering around a densely populated part of town, but why are the menus so slow? It sometimes takes forever just to load the main pause menu screen! It’s ridiculous! And trying to get anywhere else from there is going to take you some time, so you may want to think about whether changing your hat is really worth the three minutes it’ll take to do it. Also the contols are not nearly as tight as they could be, but that’s not nearly as annoying as the menu lag. In fact, I’ve mostly gotten used to it.

On the upside, the game is plenty of fun! And it’s easy to accomplish things! Like Mass Effect, a large amount of the sidequests are shown to you by the game itself, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on the time-sensitive ones like in pretty much every other RPG. That has always been one of my most hated parts of RPGs, and any game that does away with that stress gets a gold star from me. The flashing trail that leads you to your objective is wonderful in certain cases, and the ability to instantly jump almost anywhere in the world is such a time-saver that it almost makes up for the menu lag. Loading times are pretty long, of course, but the areas are so large and pretty that I’m willing to let it slide.

I don’t know what else to say. I mean, I’ve got a ton of hilarious stories and other things about the game I could praise until the cows come home, but I don’t want this post to ramble on forever. I’ll just end it here saying that if you haven’t picked up Fable II yet, it’s maybe something you might want to consider. At least rent it. It’s so much better than the first.

I’d trade all the others away

I’ve had a lot of pets in my twenty years. At least six hamsters, a ridiculous amount of fish, a frog, and even a bird. But I never really cared about them. They came and went with little to no impact on my life, except maybe that I learned that I disliked responsibility. A couple years ago, we finally got a dog. He was a great dog, and I spent a lot of time with him. Sadly, only months after we get him, the vet discovered that the animal shelter had classified him as a basenji when really he was a pit bull, and seeing as pit bulls aren’t allowed in the city, we had to give him up. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever faced, but it was okay, because I knew he was just going to live somewhere outside the city. Soon after, we were lucky enough to get two more dogs, and life was good.

The last few days have been Hell for me and my family. It’s been all uncertainty and pain. Finally, today I had to say goodbye to one of those dogs. On Wednesday afternoon, I came home to find him far less chipper than usual. Slowly it became more evident to us that something was wrong, as he could barely walk, and couldn’t even get up or down the stairs. By the next night, the poor thing couldn’t move his hind legs, and he coudldn’t even wag his tail. My dad took him to the vet Friday morning and they told us that a couple of the discs in his spine had ruptured, and things weren’t looking good. We gave it a couple days to see if there would be any improvement, but my horible luck was working overtime this weekend, and it just got worse.

We all went down the the animal clinic this evening, and I can say without a doubt that this was the worst day of my life. Just seeing my little puppy there, quivering and helpless, I felt more pain and sadness than I’ve ever known. The worst part about it is that there was absolutely nothing anyone could do. Treatment had clearly failed, and surgery would only delay the inevitable for a short while. The little guy had no chance. All anyone could do for him is put him to sleep so that he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore.

I think that it goes without saying that I’m not taking this well. I’ve never had to deal with real loss my whole life, though you might say that an animal isn’t a real loss. But Harley wasn’t just an animal. He was one of my best friends. He was my confidant. He was family. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know how I’m supposed to act. My emotions are all so conflicted that I just want to go to sleep and not wake up so that I don’t have to deal with it any more. I don’t care about many things, but I cared about my dog. I loved him, and I’m gonna miss him for a long time to come.

Articles and rants and dogs! Oh my!

Remember yesterday when I promised I’d write an article? Well I did it. Surprised you, didn’t I? You can find it here. And now that that is done, I have some news.

Nobody will really care too much about this one, but we finally got a new van. That’s right, no more rickety bucket for us! It’s a 2001 Windstar Sport and it’s pretty sweet as far as I care. It’s really a nice van, and it sure beats the hell out of old red. Everyone in the family is pretty worked up about it, so I figured it was important enough news to mention on the site. And since the news is out of the way, it’s ranting time! I’ve got a monkey on my back, and it’s screaming for a rant. Oh it’s screaming. And it’s an angry rant, too!

What the hell is with stupid kids and their shitty websites? I really have no place in ranting about something as such, as my site is very novice-style, and I just got over my huge design change, but really people. This goes out to every kid who’s signed up with a free webspace provider in hopes of making a personal site with no actual relevance. I hate you all for creating such crap and polluting the already shit-on-by-not-nerds internet. Your little pages are 100% crap. You have no reason to have webspace, and I hate you for wasting the time of everyone who stumbles upon your crap.

Now you may be saying something along the lines of “but Ryan, your website isn’t exactly purposeful or relevant to anything.”, and you know what, you’re right. But at least my website has stuff on it that people can use for even a small bit of entertainment. the sites that I’m talking about are a dime a hundred dozen, and I can run down every element of them without breaking a sweat.

The index page is possibly the worst. Littered with tons of gifs and usually a full MP3 (loading hell for dial-up), they have a scant “hey this is my *current buzzword* website. It’s real kewl and I hopes you love it. luv ya, -*owner*” And it doesn’t stray too much from that. Sometimes there might be another phrase or something describing the “content” of the site, which is never much. Oh yes, and it’s almost always written in a terrible combination of net-speak and keyboard symbols. See my mock page for an example of this jargon.

The second page on the page list is the “all about me” page. This one is always the same too, giving out every single detail of personal information that this person has, including full name, exact location, and about three trillion photos. My parents never wanted me to have a web site so that I would never put this information out on the internet, but I went and did it anyway, becasue there’s one little factor that plays a big role in this. I was a 16-year-old male when I made this. Low predator rate there. Not zero, but a helluva lot lower than for 11- to 15-year-old girls, the group that makes up about 98% of the population of idiots who own these crap pages. Not only that, but these girls are flaunting all this shit about being dead sexy and how they love to get with boys and shit like that, and if you ask me, that’s just demanding that they be raped. Maybe I’m jealous because I’m ugly, but these girls really need to learn a lesson.

And next, we get the “mi friendz” pages. There are usually one or two of these, and they show a bunch of pictures of all their friends. Not only is this a waste of a page (nobody cares about your friends), but they’ve also got all their friends’ info stuffed on there as well. Maybe I’m taking this too much like a parent (How many kids have been stalked/raped because of a personal site? Not rhetorical, I’m really asking), but it angers me that people would not only tell the world who and where they are, but put out all of their friends’ personal information as well.

And then there’s the guestbook. Filled with words of praise from all of their stupid friends who think the site is so shit-hot. Are these people blind retards or do they just not register the lack of any actual content? It makes my blood boil that people will be proud of sites that are so crappy and that other people will actually go and tell them that it’s a good site. Me, I get compliments , but I also get constructive criticism. Never has anyone just flat-out said my site sucks (which would be a respectable opinion, I know it’s not as great as I want it to be), but people have commented on my writing style, what articles they liked, what articles were weak, and which parts of the site just weren’t interesting to them at all. And if this were in my guestbook, I would not just delete the post and accept only praise like these kids do. I’ve posted many a message pointing out bad points of their site and how to get around them, and every last one of those posts were deleted. To all aspiring webmasters, take advice from people who know what they’re doing (that doesn’t mean me), God knows your site will only benefit from it.

And after all this, sometimes there are other pages, like quotes pages and random pictures pages. These are equally stupid. The quotes, no so much, if you want to make a large collection of your favorite quotes, but it’s still unappealing for readers. As for random pictures pages, I have one word. Why? That is what your entire site is! Why do you have to make a whole other page for it? I’m probably being too critical about this, but if you ask anyone who has a website that isn’t described in the above paragraphs, they will probably agree with me. While it is all about creating
something that you like, it should still avoid looking like a piece of crap and having absolutely no content besides pictures of you and your friends. Unless you’re making an online photo album, but Yahoo will do that for you for free.

Oh it’s nice to have that off my chest. It’s been buggin me for a long time now, and I just needed to get it out there. It is kind of comforting to know that there is a kind of website that I hate more than the blog. If I were making what I hated most, it would look pretty bad. Heh. In light of all I’ve typed today, here are some pictures of my puppies. They’re growing quite well. On the left we have just Gizmo, and on the right are both Giz and Harley.

That’s all I neeeded to get out today, and that’s probably all I’ll be doing for a while. I’ll have the new Band of the Month pic up on the 1st, but the actual review probably won’t be seen until Sunday or so. Maybe on Thursday or Friday at the earliest, but not before that for sure. I still don’t know which band I’m reviewing.

The final stage

Yay! I’m not dead! Sorry if you missed me. For a week there my internet connection was down again, and I believe the cause was much more evil than just not paying the bill this time. And then last week I was out at the cottage, so that pretty much clears me of any claims of laziness. And now that that’s out of the way, lots of big, big news.

First, and possibly least related to the site, we now have two dogs. The new one is named Harley. He looks exactly like Gizmo, except his paws aren’t white. They’ve both gotten pretty good at the housebrokenness, so they no longer really need to be watched over all the time. That means I’m not so damn busy watching them any more.

Nextly, I’ve been fooling around with FrontPage all night (morning?), trying to create (steal) my new layout. For the most part, it’s coming along really well, but my limited amount of experience with web design is keeping the final product just out of reach. It’ll probably be done by the end of the week, if I keep working hard.

Finally, this will more than likely be the last news post of this kind, assuming that I don’t just totally abandon my hopes of burning this site and resurrecting a new and better one from the ashes. That means no more song-titled news posts, no more me trying to convince you I was too busy to finish the latest article, and most importantly, making the full-length articles a lower priority.

Now that I’ve made clear everything I set out to say, it’s time to head on back to site design. I just hope that with the “new” site, the message boards will also get something of a revival.

~Ryan out. For the last time.