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March 30, 2012

Just Be Friends - Human Covers

Hi everyone! Today two of my friends brought up the topic of being hooked on to the Vocaloid song "Just be friends", so I thought I'll chime in too!


I'll be frank, initially I didn't like the song because I didn't like the English lyrics "Just be friends, all you gotta do is just be friends. It's time to say goodbye, just be friends...". I just thought that in reality when you break up with your partner it's really difficult to say "hey, forget everything that happened between us and we'll just be friends". This is of course skewed with my bias of not believing in "love/falling in love" (this is a matter I will not ponder about in this post).

But what I do want to share with everyone today is a cover that Clear did of the song JBF (Listen here!). I really like this version of the song. The tempo is slowed down a lot from the original song. It contains plain piano accompaniment, which I think brings out the pain of breaking up with someone you love. Adding on Clear's beautiful and moving voice listening to this version will definitely make you cry!


Another cover of JBF is by NicoNicoChorus (in fact if you do a Youtube search you'll find many NicoNico covers). This one is one of favourites. I feel that the various human voices have been mixed in successfully, nothing seems out of beat or out of tune. I am also biased because Halyosy is part of the team singing this song.


One day I would like to make my own "Chorus". Go gather up a few friends, sing covers of Vocaloid songs and record them. But of course that is one naive dream. For starters I don't know Japanese so pronunciation is a problem, and secondly I can't sing ;_;.

Anyhow, I'll stop being depressive and leave you guys with a cosplay photo based on JBF.
Disclaimer: I don't own this photo. All credits goes to the cosplayers and photographer.

Kid Icarus: Uprising review

Hi! Rhycen here!
OK, so this is my first video game review, and I'm just doing this out of excitement, so it's not going to be the most comprehensive review, they are merely my thoughts on the game.


Kid Icarus: Uprising is a fast paced shooter/action adventure game developed by Nintendo for the 3DS, released in Australia on the 29th of March. You play as Pit, an angel and also the captain of the goddess Palutena's personal guard. The gameplay consists of flying shooter levels, where you just shoot the enemies that appear on the screen, and ground levels, where you have to find your way to the boss at the end. The gist of the story is, Medusa, the goddess of the underworld, is attacking, and it is up to Pit, with the aid of Palutena, to save the world.


I bought Kid Icarus uprising today, and I don't regret it one bit! At first I was slightly sceptical of getting this game based on reviews that complained about the terrible control scheme. However, a 20% off sale was too good to miss and I bought the game. As I expected, the reviews were quite exaggerated. The controls are nowhere near as bad as they make it out to be, although the camera is quite a handful to control and point in the right direction, but I imagine this can be perfected over time. The stand that comes bundled with the game certainly does help make gameplay more comfortable, although it doesn't help the fact that in exciting battles, I push my console on an angle, obscuring the 3D view. The gameplay is very fast paced, and you'll find yourself flying through the chapters at a blistering pace. After only about an hour of playtime I have already cleared 5 chapters, and also thoroughly explored all of the games features. The cut-scenes and animations are extremely well done and polished. The graphics are stunning, and the level design is interesting and non-repetitive. The game loads up very quickly, which is a plus for people like me who like to play games in short bursts. Also, the user interface is well designed and colourful, with large buttons that just beg to be tapped.


The action is heating up!
When beginning the story mode, after a short tutorial video on movement, you are thrust straight into the action of the first stage. There is no lengthy cutscene explaining the backstory  of this game. You are learning about the scenario at the same time as Pit. Palutena and Pit, and occasionally other characters, will constantly have conversations while you fight your way through each chapter, teaching you about enemies or how to get around obstacles, or even just joke around among themselves. I found this feature quite ingenious, as it provides information during gameplay, as well as additional "ear-candy" over the already beautiful soundtrack. The difficulty adjustment is also quite unique in this game. To raise the difficulty of the stages, you must spend "hearts" which is the basic currency of the game. This may seem a bit redundant, after all, why spend hearts to make it harder? Well, the harder the difficulty, the better weapon rewards you get for completing the stage. Having a strong weapon very important in this game so you can dispatch enemies quickly before they can hurt you. Speaking of weapons, the variety of weapons in this game is quite impressive. There are 9 different classes of weapons to choose from: Blade, Staff, Claws, Bow, Palm, Club, Cannon, Orbitars, and Arms. Each weapon has it's own advantages and disadvantages. There should be a weapon out there for any type of gamer. You can choose to fuse different weapons together to create even better weapons. I find this kind of collecting and combining very engaging.


The multiplayer is a very strong aspect of this game as well. After barely any wait at all, I was thrust into a beautiful arena with 5 other contestants. Although I did not fare as well as the more experienced players out there, I found the combat to be smooth and enjoyable. There was no lag at all during the match, which is awesome considering I am running on slowed down wi-fi as I am capped for the month.


Let the games begin!
Now, let's talk about the AR card feature. This feature was strongly advertised as a main focus of the game. It can take a while for the camera to register an AR card, but that could have been a result of my shaky hands. The models that appear above the card are well animated. A feature of these AR cards is, when two cards are placed head to head, a combat sequence initiates. During this sequence, you can view the cards' combat stats, which are health, attack and speed. When you press the fight button, the cards proceed to auto-attack one another, with their damage and rate of attack corresponding to their stats. The first card to lose all health points is defeated. Besides a big red X covering the card that last, there are no other effects after the cards are reset to full health. I find this feature kind of gimmicky, as there really isn't much use for it.


AR cards. Just a gimmick?
I have yet to complete the storyline, but I am going to enjoy every bit of it. This is a definite must buy game for 3DS owners, and one of the best 3DS games released to date.


Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Cut Scenes: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Controls: 6/10
Story: 7/10


Overall: 8.5/10


(This review can also be found at http://haveanicedaydotirl.blogspot.com.au/ )

My LUL #5

I guess it's time again to talk about what's happening around me at this time of the year. Firstly, let me talk about the blog. It's been quite successful since its beginning. Its gathered over 3000 views already and it will keep rising. I have been pretty busy lately with uni work and such, so my friends pumpkin_so77 and Rhycen has been helping me a lot by keeping the blog alive. I'm grateful for them to help me out. Anyway, I will keep posting stuff about Android and Technology everyday. I will also post the occasional anime review from my list. However, it seems my list is getting full and if I don't keep watching, I will have no more reviews to give.

Blog aside, the MBT team along with some third party members are in discussions of holding a cosplay photography event. It will obviously be based on Vocaloid as the central theme. Our goal is to do some scenes from the 'Just Be Friends' music video. It would be great if such an event happens. Of course, there will be a lot of organizing and preparation work to do, so I will keep posted on the blog.

Moving on, I bought a new mouse for my laptop today. Its a Logitech Anywhere Mouse M905. It was a special today over at JB Hi-Fi and I needed a new mouse, so I bought it. Why did I choose this mouse? Because it works anywhere. Serious. It even works on glass! Also its wireless! Also it has so many features...which I'm sure you don't really care about. So just a note, Logitech products are good. Get them if you can. Other brands to look for are Microsoft and Alienware. I've had bad experiences with the Razer products so far so I don't think they're that good.

So this ends my life update once again. To recap, I am really busy. I've been assigned to a huge uni project with a couple of other students in the class, on top of that, I've still got my C++ assignment left to do which is due next week! =O Save me! (I really shouldn't be wasting time watching anime should I? But...Steins;Gate is so captivating!)

'till then,
MegaBubbletea out.

Anime Review: Eve no Jikan (Movie)

In the future, computers have evolved into humanoid/android forms. They possess human like features and speech but is inhibited in emotions and feelings. As such, there is a big dispute between whether these androids are to be considered as just a household appliance or as something more.

Eve no Jikan (Movie)Synopsis:
The movie version is the complete version of the story. It includes all the OVAs and completely new scenes giving details on the background story of some characters.

Sometime in future Japan, androids have been involved in every aspect of peoples lives. One day, upon checking his android's behavioral log, Rikuo, a student, noticed his android's returning times have been odd recently. With his friend Masaki, they found out the place where his android, Sammy, have been visiting: a small cafe called Eve no Jikan where androids and human are not seen as different. Upon talking with the "people" in the cafe and discovering more of Sammy's behavior, Rikuo changed his view about androids and treat them as friends rather than tools. At the same time, elsewhere in Japan, the Ethics committee is trying to impose policies to reduce the involvement and use of androids in society.

Review:
Creating an telling a story about the future can be easy or hard depending how risky or realistic you want it to be. With that in mind, the creators of Eve no Jikan decided to leave out the minor details and dramatically throw the audience into the main plot right from the start. As of such, it can be quite confusing at first. However, the remake of the series into a full length movie with additional content added can be taken as a revision by the creators. Since the series did have a few loop holes, it was best just to cut the unnecessary bits out and add a proper explanation in. Thus, Eve no Jikan the movie has been refined to allow the audience to get a better understanding of what the anime is about. I personally did not watch the series as I noted that the movie was a direct remake with added extras. Hence, I will do this review from my perspective of the movie.

The story was great for a sci-fi, futuristic film set in Japan. We meet a guy named Rikuo who's android seems to be acting strange lately. After further researching into why his android, Sammy, was acting weirdly, he decides to follow her and ends up in a human/android cafe called the 'Time of Eve'. In this cafe, androids and humans are considered equal. However, a anti-android group wants to such down the 'Time of Eve' and similar places. Hence, this starts a chain of events that will affect Rikuo physically and emotionally. Overall, I found the plot acceptable to understand and interesting.

The art was really well animated and the characters all looked natural. Even the androids looked very human. The 'Time of Eve' was the main focus (or location) of the anime, and most events happen there.  Sound quality was good and the character's voice were all natural. Nothing much I can complain about here.

The characters were all interesting and its fun to watch the relationships that the characters have for one another. It is also interesting to see the interactions between the humans and the android from within the cafe and from the outside world. You will not get bored of the characters but you won't get emotionally attached to any of them since the movie is only a couple of hours long. (Approx. 8 episodes)

Overall, I enjoyed this anime. The anime is not the kind of anime that is focused on comedy, action, adventure or slice of life. Rather, I felt that it was giving out a personal opinion or a viewpoint of what would happen if the future had humanoid robots. So in a sense, it was like a educational, fictitious experience that touches on the ethics of having such a possible future. When I mean it is educational, I did not mean it was boring, I meant that it made you think of how you view such ethics in the anime.

STORY: 7
Interesting view on life in the future where robots are so human like. Where does your ethics stand?

ART: 8
Well designed art with fluid animation. Makes this a wonderful anime to watch.

SOUND: 7
Good voice acting and the theme songs where nice. Nothing to complain here.

CHARACTER: 7
Since its a short movie you don't get to see the whole background of the characters.

ENJOYMENT: 8
Entertaining in a different way. Really makes you think of the future.

OVERALL: 7
Its a pretty good anime to sit down and watch through in one sitting. The length was appropriate to get the message across.

Just Be Friends -ILLUSTRATIONS-

Let me talk about my album of the week. Just Be Friends -ILLUSTRATIONS- is a 'Just Be Friends' compilation album featuring man remixes of the same song. If you are a totally Vocaloid fan, you will definitely know the song. I first started listening to Hatsune Miku out of curiosity and after a while I started to enjoy her songs. Now, I finally broadened my Vocaloid collection after downloading the 100GB+ of Vocaloid music. So I accidentally came across this nice album. I would like to share it with you.
Track list :
01. Just be friendsトモダチダッテサ MIX
02. Just be friends NTMGmix
03. Just be friends Hard-R.K.mix
04. Just be friends ごめんなさいremix
05. Just be friends mintia mix
06. Just be friends 80’s winter discotic mix
07. Just be friends Punk Ballade mix

[DDL: MF]