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11

.... or would it be the ratonga behind the man? Hmmm....

If you are wondering what the hell I am talking about, it is this month's challenge by Ambermist of Tastes Like Battlechicken. The idea is basically to give a peek about the person behind the blog. Sadly, I skipped last month's challenge which was to tell a story involving a MMORPG of our choice. Unfortunately, I could not think of any interesting stories to tell. There were sure lots of epic or funny moments moments in my MMORPG history but nothing that led itself well to an interesting narrative. This month however is a  topic I can write something about that I hope might be interesting to somebody.

So, here are some facts about this guy who writes this little blog:

  • I am a brazilian. Or if you want to get technical about it, half-brazilian, half-japanese. Unfortunately, I don't know much about japanese culture. Or even eat japanese food. I know, it sounds strange but my mother is the most pragmatic woman I know. So I guess she didn't see much point in teaching those things to me and my older brother. She is also second generation, with my grandparents from her side being the ones who were actually born and raised in Japan. The part about food though is my fault since I am terribly picky about food.
  • My grandparents, from my mother side, never learned to speak portuguese. Yet somehow I was always able to get along pretty well with them. Sadly they passed away when I was still a little child so I never got the chance to learn japanese to actually talk to them. Ah, well, I will always have the best memories from them, despite the language barrier. 🙂
  • I learned to speak in english in a course for it outside school at... 11 years old, if I recall correctly. My mother thought it would be one of those required skills to get a good job in the future (she was right). I didn't abandon it without completing it though since I got really tired of all those silly stories they make you read in those kind of courses. Plus the years were starting to drag by. I learned enough to get by myself though so the rest of my english was honed through lots of reading of tabletop RPG books (which were pretty much never used), games and reading websites.   Go internet!
  • I wasn't confident in my english skill until I started to play MMORPGs. I can read and write without issues. But listening and speaking is still hard for me. How hard? Well, this is how people in voice chat sounds a lot of times for me. To be fair I am pretty sure I sound the same when speaking english.
  • I started playing video-games back at the Atari days (whenever those were. It is been too long). Although I don't think I really got into them until the Super NES and a little game called Final Fantasy VI. That was the point where I really started to get interested into all things gaming. Before that it was usually platformer games or action games (I forgot the actual term) which could be played by two players with my brother. On the PC it usually was strategy games or adventure games.
  • My first real MMORPG was a little known title called Fairyland. As far as I know it is long gone by now.  I think it was originally produced taiwanese company whose name I don't remember anymore nor who did the american version of it. Anyway, as the name implies it was a game where all the quests were based around fairy tales. It was interesting to see how they turned some fairy tales into quests. It also had an interesting pet system, where pets were like party members. Pets also had elements so having the right pet for  the  right battle could make things a lot easier. Oh, combat was also turn based in the same style as Final Fantasy VI.
  • The name Rakuno was one I made up when I started playing Everquest 2. Originally my intention was to make my ratonga my "main" character. After much pondering about a name, I started to try thinking about things that would have to deal with stealing since ratongas have a natural tendency toward kleptomania. Eventually I thought about the word gatuno (a not very common word for thief, robber, etc. in portuguese. The most common word being "ladrão").  Change a couple letters and voila! New name that sounds original enough.
  • I chose a ratonga to serve as my person on this blog because they are the coolest race ever. If I had god like powers I would use it to put ratongas in every game in every MMORPG! Thinking well, maybe I just should use such powers to transform humans into ratongas. The world would be a much better place  that way.
  • On a random note, it has been dang cold here lately. In a related random note, I never seem snow! Well, ok, I've seem it on TV and movies. But you know what I mean!

13

Syl, of the Raging Monkeys blog, made a pretty interesting post about all the ways World of Warcraft changed her. I haven't played World of Warcraft nearly as much as her (it was just a brief stint during Vanilla then a few months later during Burning Crusade) but it made me think about all the ways MMORPGs over the years changed my tastes and expectations in terms of gaming. So, this is my list of those and the MMORPGs who influenced the most on that. Oh, for convenience, I will just copy the format of her post. :p

Syl, of the Raging Monkeys blog, made a pretty interesting post about all the ways World of Warcraft changed her. I haven't played World of Warcraft nearly as much as her (it was just a brief stint during Vanilla then a few months later during Burning Crusade) but it made me think about all the ways MMORPGs over the years changed my tastes and expectations in terms of gaming. So, this is my list of those and the MMORPGs who influenced the most on that.

Oh, for convenience, I will just copy the format of her post. :p

...continue reading "How MMORPGs twisted me"

This is a topic that I've been thinking for a long time if I should tackle or not here.... Honestly, it is mostly due to a fear of embarrassment. Yet I get this urges to ramble about some of the tokusatsu series I've been watching or  watched from time to time. And although there are good forums specifically to discuss it I've been feeling to self-conscious to join them. I've finally decided to at least make this post about it though. After all there are far worse things to be ashamed of and tokusatsu is certainly not a bad thing. Plus writing it on my blog means I can write giant blocks of text without feeling guilty! Mwahahaha! *clears throat* Anyway, putting the melodramatic aside, perhaps an explanation of what  this tokusatsu things is might be in order. To put it in simple terms tokusatsu is a live action show with super-hero like types aimed at children. Think Power Rangers and you are not too far off. In fact Power Rangers is not only based, but also use costumes and concepts, from one of the oldest tokusatsu franchises, the Super Sentai. It is much more broad than the team of super-heroes fighting the monster of the week though. For instance, Ultraman and Godzilla also fall under the tokusatsu genre. Even though it is aimed at children they usually have themes that can be appreciated by adults too with some even having plots more complex that you would expect in a children's show. There are also a few tokusatsu shows that have been trying to aim at an adult audiences too with some relative success. Garo is probably the poster child for this type of tokusatsu. Ok. Definitions out of the way, let me ramble on about how I got into tokusatsu, rediscovered it and why I love the genre.

This is a topic that I've been thinking for a long time if I should tackle or not here.... Honestly, it is mostly due to a fear of embarrassment. Yet I get this urges to ramble about some of the tokusatsu series I've been watching or  watched from time to time. And although there are good forums specifically to discuss it I've been feeling to self-conscious to join them. I've finally decided to at least make this post about it though. After all there are far worse things to be ashamed of and tokusatsu is certainly not a bad thing. Plus writing it on my blog means I can write giant blocks of text without feeling guilty! Mwahahaha!

*clears throat* Anyway, putting the melodramatic aside, perhaps an explanation of what  this tokusatsu things is might be in order. To put it in simple terms tokusatsu is a live action show with super-hero like types aimed at children. Think Power Rangers and you are not too far off. In fact Power Rangers is not only based, but also use costumes and concepts, from one of the oldest tokusatsu franchises, the Super Sentai. It is much more broad than the team of super-heroes fighting the monster of the week though. For instance, Ultraman and Godzilla also fall under the tokusatsu genre.

Even though it is aimed at children they usually have themes that can be appreciated by adults too with some even having plots more complex that you would expect in a children's show. There are also a few tokusatsu shows that have been trying to aim at an adult audiences too with some relative success. Garo is probably the poster child for this type of tokusatsu.

Ok. Definitions out of the way, let me ramble on about how I got into tokusatsu, rediscovered it and why I love the genre.

...continue reading "Tokusatsu and me"

6

Back during my introductory post for this blog one of the things I said was that I was going to try my best to avoid turning this into a blog where the posts are nothing more than quiz results that nobody cares about or pictures of cute kittens. Ah, well, the flesh is weak, as we say here, even more so when it is late at night and you should be sleeping. So the first (and hopefully the last!) step to this blogs version of Armageddon starts!

This happened while reading another blog where the author did a BrainHex test. It is basically like the Bartle test that classifies you into a set of different groups depending on your playing preferences. The difference is BrainHex has more categories although in the end I think I fall in roughly the same group in both cases.

In any case, on BrainHex my class is that of a Seeker with a Sub-class of Seeker-Achiever.

Here is the description of it:

"You like finding strange and wonderful things or finding familiar things as well as collecting anything you can collect or doing everything you possibly can."

And these are my exceptions to the class:

  • No Fear: You do not enjoy feeling afraid, preferring to feel safe or in control.
  • No Pressure: You dislike being asked to perform under pressure, preferring to take your time so you can make the right decision.
  • No Punishment: You dislike struggling to overcome seemingly impossible challenges, and repeating the same task over and over again.

Which is pretty much right on both in game and in real life. It also explains neatly why RPG is my favorite genre since it is not just enjoying a good story but also a chance to explore the world the story is set in. Good examples of that would be Morrowind, Deus: Ex Human Revolution, Fallout: New Vegas, pretty much any jRPG, etc.

I just disagree about the collecting part though. I really  hate collecting mini-games where they make you go in a goose chase for useless stuff that doesn't really add anything to the story or the gameplay. Examples? The flags in Assassin's Creed or the Riddler's Challenge in Batman: Arkham Asylum (which I heard got even worse in Arkham City *shudders*).

I do like collecting stuff though if it does have some meaningful significance to me. For example, in Fallout: New Vegas (and now in Fallout 3) I really like collecting stuff that are unique that was earned in some quest or that I looted from someone I had to kill. It is kinda like a memento of those moments. Unfortunately neither game has a good support to show of that kind of stuff so I have to rely on mods to do it. And now that I think about it, that all started in Morrowind with house mods.... Hmm....

If you are somehow  curious about the exact numbers I got on the test, here they are:

Seeker: 17
Achiever: 8
Socialiser: 6
Mastermind: 6
Survivor: 1
Daredevil: -2
Conqueror: -2

And if you want to know more about the whole BrainHex deal, you can read all about it here.

As for an actual post that will come as soon as possible.