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Quick Notes – Obama Pitcher Edition [WMQ/GO]
Mar 30th, 2010 by Dan

Obama steps up to the mound

I’m WAY behind on writing legitimate content on this site, but I hope you’re enjoying all the videos. I wanted to mention a few things:

The opening pitch at Nationals Park will be tossed out by Barack Obama this year! I’ve managed to secure a ticket for the game. Our Nation’s team was 3-2 when Bush attended ballgames, but I’m afraid that they’ll probably start out Obama’s record with a loss against the National League Champion Phillies. Should still be fun to see him make that toss in person.

Irezumi is very beautiful, in a very "I'll-kick-your-ass-if-you-get-on-my-bad-side "kind of way - Enoshima

In totally unrelated news, I beat Yakuza and have moved on to Yakuza 2. I absolutely agree with anyone who chafes at the comparison of the series to GTA, because it’s nothing like it. The game is more like a brawler combined with a JRPG. Kazuma Kiryu levels up his fighting abilities as he gains experience from fighting, there’s tons of text and dialogue both in and out of cutscenes, and Kiryu even has equipment that affects his fighting. Action RPG is a much better descriptor.

The second iteration also corrects a lot of the faults from the first. Fighting still isn’t perfect, but it’s much improved and I find myself getting knocked around more because I’m playing poorly, not because the camera is terrible. The story is also much better partially because it seems a little less clich├ęd than the last game, even if it’s still a bit on the anime side. I’m intrigued by the whole East vs West thing they’ve got going on (it’s not what you think, we’re talking East Japan (Kanto) vs West Japan (Kansai)) and now they’ve thrown a foreign mafia (Korean) in the mix. I worry about what a Japanese video game is going to have to say about a Korean mafia, but we’ll see if they manage to keep the racism somewhat in check.

The other great thing about Yakuza 2 is that they didn’t bother with an English dub. I’m so thankful for this it’s insane. I’d much rather hear the Japanese voices, even if I can tell that some of the translation is off due to strange localization changes made in the first game (place names, people names, etc.). Some of the jokes just don’t make sense otherwise. For example, there’s this American dude who fights you in the coliseum in both games. Kiryu makes a comment on how bad his Japanese is in the first game, but everyone was speaking English, so it made no sense. When he appeared in the second game and I could hear his Japanese it was clearly being mangled and mispronounced, which did elicit a laugh from me. I might be fooling myself, but I even feel like I can hear the slight difference in the East vs. West Japanese accents too, which would be impossible with a dub. Good work not ruining this iteration of the series, Sega.

A Couple of Words on Mega Man 10 and Yakuza [GO]
Mar 18th, 2010 by Dan

yakuza

Despite Ian’s claims that I’m insane for doing so, Final Fantasy XIII lays almost untouched on my coffee table each night as I’ve been spending the past week playing Mega Man 9, 10, and Yakuza. Here are a few more words on the Mega Man games and a few on Yakuza:

DSC04984

Mega Man 9 & 10

I still stand by my assertion that Mega Man 10 is just too easy compared to 9. It makes me seem like a masochist to claim that I had less fun with it because it was easier, but that’s part of the fun of Mega Man. There were definitely some frustrating moments in 10, but I never got angry like I did with 9. It was much simpler to beat. I’ll have to play it some more so that I can beat my friend Lee to more trophies.

Yakuza

Why am I playing a 2005 game when I’ve got the 2010, beautiful CG epic FF XIII sitting around? The Yakuza series has been touted as fantastic for years, but I’d never gotten around to sitting down and beating any. That’s about to change over the rest of March. So far the game is pretty good with plenty of fighting and Japan-ness to it, which was precisely why I wanted to play it. It’s almost like being in Tokyo again, except that I stayed far away from the Yakuza strongholds when I was there. Nothing worse than getting in trouble with organized crime in a country whose language you definitely don’t understand. I hope to have this beat by next week and I might give a more complete rundown then.

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