Stop putting spoilers in anime openings!

Spoilers suck. They’re absolutely no fun irrespective of the medium, especially if you’ve had an invested interest for a considerable amount of time. Many of my Twitter followers complain about Game of Thrones spoilers when that airs, and while I’ve not seen that show in particular, it’s understandable how infuriating it is to have a surprise taken away from you. In cases similar to Game of Thrones, it’s also unfortunate for those working on the show, as their hard work alluding to events and creating mystery will be made redundant.

goddamnright
You’re god damn right.

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When is a collection considered large?

pile

Recently I’ve been buying boosters for the most recent Pokémon set, which features a mix of old and new critters including those only found in the X&Y games. This is a strange habit of mine, as I wouldn’t call myself a massive fan of the card game, nor a collector of it. I mean, it’s fun enough, but I prefer Magic: The Gathering, a different card game that better entertains my sporadic interests.

Going back to Pokémon, I think the reason I keep buying the cards is down to my noticeably cloudy nostalgia goggles. I’ll admit, there’s nothing quite like tearing apart a booster pack of cards and sifting through the spoils, but were it not for my ten year old self and his playground obsession with them, I doubt I’d be able to get past the £3.50 asking price.

I’ve done something terrible recently and given myself a reason to indulge in my Pokémon card habit. That’s something I’ll go into in a later post, but in the meantime, this ‘project’ led me onto eBay. I figured that I’d take a look at what card bundles were ending soon, hoping to grab myself a bargain. I found this, with about half an hour to go:

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It’s finally cheaper to buy digitally on consoles

At least, that’s the case when it comes to importing games from countries outside the EU. A charge of £18.92 was ‘incurred’ when I imported a copy of J-Stars Victory Vs. from Japan for the PS3, adding to the 10,057 yen I’d already spent on it. This is a pretty hefty amount of money regardless of the customs charge, coming in at about £58, mostly because Japanese game software prices suck and I also decided to go for the anisong version of the game.

Yes, one way or another, I’ve spent about £77 on a game that is due to arrive over two weeks after release. My game has spent over a week of this sat in the customs office. It’s 7,980 yen on the Japanese PSN store, so buying it there would have given me a saving of over 2,000 yen on the software alone, let alone the fees from customs. Sure, this wouldn’t be the anisong version of the game, but considering there’s the option to import custom music (in other words, import all those anime openings because why wouldn’t you?) this isn’t such a huge deal.

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Being scared on a roller coaster

After hearing Vinny talk about roller coasters on the latest Bombcast, I was reminded of my own terrifying experience. For the record, I love riding roller coasters, to the point where they’re usually the rides I head to first when at a theme park. This particular experience happened back in 2005, when I was in Florida.

We were on holiday for two weeks, doing all of the theme parks you can think of in and around Orlando. At this point we’d done Universal Studios, some of the Disney parks and Discovery Cove, and we were now heading to Seaworld. Most people are coming here to see the killer whales and the other marine life on show, but come on, it’s all about the roller coasters! Seaworld may not have been jammed full of rides like most of the other places we’d been, but it was home to the intimidating Kraken.

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Finally Beating Kururin Paradise

My infatuation with the Game Boy Micro has continued into 2014. Not content with the defeat of Final Fantasy V being the final use of this pocket portable, I recently jumped back into Kururin Paradise. The first game in the series, Kuru Kuru Kururin, was one of the very first Game Boy Advance games I played, thanks in part to the abundance of emulators and a console that wouldn’t arrive until Christmas time. It was great fun, but back then I was terribly inpatient, so I never completed it. Purchasing a Micro was first and foremost for tackling FFV, but hey, why not go for the nostalgia trip and purchase Kuru Kuru Kururin? A few days after starting, I’d beaten this puzzler.

If you’ve not played this game before, the concept is quite simple. You control a helicopter-like ship, which you only ever see from a top down perspective. What you must do is move through each level without touching the walls, or any other objects placed in the level to obstruct you. Using the d-pad allows you to move the ship, although the rotors are always moving at a fixed pace. This means you have to time your movements well, because you’re in for disaster if you’re inside a corridor and you rotate into the wall. It’s simple, fun, and devilishly difficult.

What I didn’t realise back in the day was that there was a GBA sequel, only released in Japan. While I cracked on with my FFV playthrough, I ordered it from a seller on eBay. I did play it a little when it arrived, but I was ultimately distracted by other games. Kururin Paradise eventually became a game I’d play in bed, conquering a few levels before sleeping.

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Some of my writing from around the ‘net

Destructoid

Gamasutra

The Glorio Blog

Japanator

Kotaku UK

Microsoft UK