Sunday, July 28, 2013

Children of Mana: Post Mortem

So after the massive lack of gaming with the region locking hoo ha previously, I got my paws on one of the Mana series: Children of Mana. It's for DS, so works everywhere. Finished it in just over 12 hours, and I had my pre-final-boss save at level 49. I did one or two side quests but they seemed to be bog standard retrieval quests so I decided to just power my way through the main storyline.

Maybe I'm getting jaded but I found this title just not catching my heart. The art, music and controls are top notch - it's mainly that the game is more or less a variant of young-kid-saves-the-world. Again. But with a twist, he does not get the girl in the end. Yup, getting jaded.

If I really wanted to, there's 3 other characters to play with but just not feeling it. The boss fights are surprisingly simple, in fact one of the main bosses (Mana Lord) was giving me the willies due to the visuals but... got taken down by pure simple button mashing >.> The last boss was surprisingly easy as well, seemingly 3 attack patterns, that's it.

The only boss that gave me a really hard time, was the boss made out of the "revenants". According to the game clock, I spent half an hour just taking that sucker down >.> What's more amusing, is I killed it offscreen, without knowing how I did it >.> Evidently, yours truly was taking down the boss the wrong way.

Watching some youtube vids, it seems like all I needed to do was knock some broken masonry at the boss, that was it, as regular weapons do no damage in its gestalt form. I only tried that as my very last hit, randomly swinging the hammer to hit a piece of that specific masonry... and it went offscreen... and killed the boss offscreen.... >.>

The hard way (tm) was to wait till the boss splits up into revenants and then attacking the one with glowing eyes. Which is not only really difficult to see on a DS, you could not see the glowing eyes if the target was facing you with its back to the screen!

The main part of the game, which is dungeon crawling, revolves around finding a portal, and a "gleamdrop", a key that will open said portal and take you to the next level of the dungeon. I was button mashing for most of the game, but later stages challenge you with large packs of monsters that will surround you and give you a good beating, so a more tactical approach (read: keep distance and use multi-arrow attack from afar, wash and repeat) needed to be taken.

But that was it basically, going into dungeons over and over to move the storyline forward. It became very repetitive as there were no puzzles, nothing majorly different between dungeons - basically just different tiles for the dungeon and new critters for the later stages, with some recolours.

Music wise, it's really well done, but I can't really say I got a theme down in my head. The strongest impression I have of the music is the final boss fight, that was some nice pipe organ music - which immediately reminded me of FF6's 3 god fight.

A few FMVs abound in the game, short, but pretty good. I have a feeling the same company that did the FMVs for Solatorobo did these, they have a very similar feel and style.

I have Radiant Historia arriving sometime this week, hopefully it will be less hack and slack dungeon crawler than Children of Mana.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Omg omg the DUE

Haven't been keeping up with the newer Arduino boards and I am sooo excited when I read about the DUE. It's running an arm chip this time, clocking in at 84mhz (!!!) Not only that, it's got two on board DACs, and boatloads of ram. Higher resolution (12 bit!) ADC too.


Sooo excited.. I have got to get a Due to play with.

Monday, July 22, 2013

3DS Region Lock >.>

Earlier when I arrived in Montreal, I got hit by the fact that a DVD I bought won't run on my UK laptops because of the dvd region lock.

Today: Finally bought a new charger for my 3DS as my 3DS was a UK model, so uses 240V, whilst the voltage here in Canada is 110V. That in the first place is already annoying, its the only thing I brought over from the UK that does not have a universal power supply.

Also Today: Bought Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. Was going to enjoy it before bedtime but nooooo, it does not show up with my 3DS and web searches indicate 3ds games are region locked >.>

So, really great for those of us that do travel between regions, my console can't play local stuff, so what, do I need to import from the UK?! And get hit by custom charges? Why, I really do not understand the point. I'm glad software I do buy does not have shit like this. I mean, can you imagine if you bought some sample libraries that are region locked to... thailand?! And then omg, my sampler is for.... korea! I can't use my samples >.>

Rant rant rant OMG.

I'm so glad I also bought a book. Thanks Nintendo, from the people who travel the world. I guess we are a tiny proportion that is just forgettable >.>

EDIT: Place I bought the title doesn't allow for returns of games.... wow wee, awesome. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Random picture dump. BOING BZZZT

 Parc Laurier in the evening. While the area I'm living in is suburbia, there are parks of many sizes (some of them have water features for kids to play in), and there is Mont Royal like 10 mins from where I rent.
Piano! Played this little baby on my way home today. I'm still waiting to get a digital piano, and I've more or less decided to get a good one to lug around wherever I go. No stock though >.>

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Houdini Robot Vacuum Prototype

What can I say. Waaay cheaper than buying 3 rangefinders. I must admit it will be SOOOO COOL to get a real platform like this working.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Getting away from the screen

I headed of the house today as I promised myself to explore this new land I'm in. Should have gone out yesterday, as the weather was nicer (warm!) but I find it difficult to do so when I'm at the edge of completing a project (see previous post: Valse des Renards). Heck, even this morning I was just not wanting to go out of the house, trying to think up of some excuse that needed me to stay indoors.

Couldn't find any, so decided to just head out to where I planned to visit, Montreal's Biosphere.
I wasn't expecting much of it as I didn't google more than directions to get there, but I found lots of good info on how power is generated, effects of people on the planet, how a tiny changes of temperature of the oceans is actually not as tiny as it is etc.
There were some exhibits about recycling unwanted things into clothes, and another exhibit about how dams affect water downstream - with a real miniature water system with movable blocks et al to play with. I guess I was there at a good time and had the whole place to myself. As I was leaving, the entry area was jammed packed. The water room gave me several ideas

Out of the Biosphere, I fought against the instinctual urge to return home and just explore around Parc Jean Drapeau.
Lots of things were going on, food stalls were all over the place, as well as performing artists about. There was a section with acrobats, and another stage was filled with people playing music from Panama. Yet a bit further away, there was a whole tent filled with people playing ethnic drums (African, I'm guessing?). Even further along, there was a whole area (ticketed though) for EDM.
It's probably a night time thing, though there were a few people dancing to the music. I found at least two locations where DJs were pumping out tunes.

I must admit I had a great day out, and really, I should make the best of summer as I can (before winter!) but there are so many other things I wanna explore too.... >.>

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Valse des Renards

A short waltz for string quartet.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

SDF Blending

Could never figure how this paper blended the SDFs, finally figured it out :3