Been Playing Eternal Sonata 
2009.05.23 19:41 - Entertainment, Microcode
This is a conceptually interesting game; you're following Frederic Chopin through a fever dream as he lays dying of tuberculosis or something in Paris (or wherever).

In actuality, you're following around a sad, terminally ill girl who is written and voiced with all the subtlety of a half-brick to the forehead. The art direction is nice, with bright colors and environments that are mostly pleasing to look at. The combat system seems a bit shallow, but has some interesting elements involved. But, man: the man plot (at least as far as I've played) centers around a little girl who is terminally ill of some undefined and, apparently, otherwise benign illness (I'm thinking that it's some sort of depressive disorder) seeking tax subsidies for the natural herbal supplements manufactured by the people in her village. Oh, and the nobility's evil and drugs are bad.

The chapters of the story include some stuff about Chopin's actual life as related to different compositions he wrote, but this appears to have little connection to the game itself, and the information is delivered as a completely disconnected expository dump that is not integrated in the game at all.

At it's best, it's okay. It's hard to escape the feeling, though, that there are better, more interesting and more enjoyable stories that could have been told using the premise, and even the art direction.
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On the Astro A40 Headset 
2009.04.07 11:09 - Entertainment, Microcode, Internet Stupidity, Toys, Gadgets
I don't yet know where the mic stacks up, but the cans sound lovely, the headband and earcups and comfy, and the cabling seems very nice.

The downside is that the QC seems a bit lacking, because one of the two mic jacks on the headset is kaput!

Long and short: I don't think I can recommend these in good conscience. Assuming they're not fragile, they really are superb, but I would hate for somebody to spend $200 on a headset to have the microphone not work at all.
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2009.01.13 16:47 - Entertainment, Microcode, Meatspace Stupidity
I haven't been able to finish any of these Pokémon games since I picked up something to play them on. It's kind of shameful, and I don't really know if the problem is an inability to save state or the general lack of critters I like. I'm 75% certain it's the latter.

Anyway, while picked up a copy of Pokémon Pearl ages ago, I really haven't touched it in about as long. However, I was poking around the TV Tropes wiki again (I CAN STOP WHENEVER I WANT) over the weekend, and happened upon an individual claiming that the Pokémon games were the only ones they allowed themselves to cheat at.

I am not nearly so virtuous, but, apparently, not quite so quick on the uptake, either. Seeing the genesis of a brilliant waste of perfectly good money, I hied myself to Best Buy for an Action Replay DS and a copy of Pokémon Diamond. So far, it's been nice, being able to cart around all three starting critters, and their equivalents from the Gold/Silver games. Not sure it'll hold my interest, but I figure it's worth a shot. Having basically infinite amounts of dosh is kinda handy, too.

(I grabbed yet another cartridge on the off chance that I might want to play against, say, Der Pikafoop at some point. It seemed unsporting to do otherwise.)
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I should stop checking the SW:tOR forums 
2008.12.12 14:05 - Entertainment, Microcode, Internet Stupidity
There's no information, and reading people's speculation and I-wants is producing a nigh-irresistable temptation to respond "Well, that's because you're an idiot."
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Chrono Trigger DS is out 
2008.12.02 09:11 - Entertainment, Music, Microcode
At least, I received a copy from Amazon yesterday evening. I assume it's out. I was mildly miffed about paying more than the usual $30 for a DS game, but it came with a soundtrack disc. Only two tracks, though, so it's obviously not complete, but I thought that was a nice bonus.
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