Bonnie Pink – Ring a bell

Tales of Vesperia opening song, Ring a bell by the popular Bonnie Pink.

Metal Gear Solid IV – Solid Sun – End of Act 2

The end of Act 2 was amazing. An expected guest (if one has seen the trailers) makes his arrival and has one of the best if not the best fight in Metal Gear history. The journey towards the end was also exciting and probably the best chase scene in the series. The rest of the act was fairly simple, point A to point B action where we learn about how to spot collateral damage on the field and find enemy tracks. Not to say it was boring, but it gave us time to see how great the in game graphics were. The F.R.O.G.S or Liquids private army made up of women that have suits which blend in so well that when I took out my gun to prepare to possibly take one down silently from a distance, I ended up holding up an enemy in front of me by accident! She was so camo’ed that if I had moved another inch I may have been dead, but luckly she was preparing to ambush me facing the other way.

The mid-boss fight was interesting and could have possibly been really hard because it was the first boss of the game, and she was fighting me in tight corners. But in fact it was slightly entertaining, because of her abilities and pretty easy. I could walk up to her and place C4’s everywhere around her and she would do nothing to prevent me from doing this except whip me once. Needless to say I wasted more rations on the F.R.O.G.S than her. These were the most interesting part of act 2, the beginning was in fact a little slow, but once it picks up the action never stops. Drebin and Naomi also plays a much larger role in this stage than he previously did, so prepare for more videos of him and Naomi. By the way I’m 15 hours in and on Act 3/5 and from the end of act 2 prespective I would rate act 1 8/10 and act 2 9/10.


Trauma Center 2 next month!

The first game was quite an experience, and so much of one that I have yet to finish it! Trauma Center’s game mechanics are made up of so many stylus required missions and tasks that it put my DS to 110% use, and thats why now I fear to plunge back into the story after letting it sit for over a year. The story is great! Almost as interesting as Phoenix Wright, but its short comings are made up with challenging and engaging gameplay. Although the realism is a little off, it presents a chance for us to experience the same stress as a surgon and the same glory. Paired with a hot nurse, you will always have a lot on your hands (mostly blood for me) in every mission because the time limit is really unforgiving. If you’re looking for a “fsck off” challenge, and possibly hours of fun and/or frustration, the second game apparently will present us with the same tools used to cut open and patch up people (only if you want to). So get ready for it on July 1st, I know I will!


Major edits

I had proof read my “Air pollution in China” page (located on my side bar) and realized how poor my grammar was ( I never checked it before submitting it for marks!!!). So I decided to fix it and update a little bit of information. I can honestly say it’s worth checking out now!

I’ve been playing Persona 3 for little bit rather than Metal Gear Solid 4. Metal Gear games always push my senses to its limits, and thats why I never plunged into the third game yet. But I will after I’m done with MGS IV and find myself a copy of subsistance.

Gunnerkrigg Court

I found Gunnerkrigg Court, a fantasy web comic, to be a pretty fun to read. Taking place in a British style “post-modern” poltrageistish school, Gunnerkrigg Court has a quasi-science fiction, magic school feel, but the characters themselves are the strongest part of this web comic. As Annie and her friends develop and grow in this unforgiving and mysterious environment the story becomes deeper and more captivating. Gunnerkrigg Court has European mythology, futuristic technology, robots, ghosts and ancient legends expressed in a very light hearted yet modern and emotionally deep sort of way. As the characters try to explore this world they end up instead discovering new things about themselves and the connection between each other and their school.

This comic in particular has little to do with the story though.

Battle of the ISPs – Telus VS Shaw

Here are speed results at 12 A.M.:

I live in South Vancouver and I happen to have both Shaw and Telus this month because of a free Shaw one month sample and decided to run a test. Both are basic plans, not the lite crap. So it is roughly 35~40 bux a month for each.

The results point out that Shaw has a more powerful download pipe and weaker upload compared to Telus. I know it’s kinda silly to write more about Shaw vs Telus because of a speed test website, but I’d been longing to do so for a while and these results pretty much reflect my experiences.

Shaw: $40.95/month (Click)

  • Up to 5 Mbps download speed
  • Up to 512 Kbps upload speed
  • 60 GB/month data transfer

Telus: From $35.95/month (click)

  • Up to 3 Mbps download speed
  • Up to 640 Kbps upload speed
  • 60 GB/month data transfer

Through multiple tests, which had similar results, speedtest.net show Telus’ upload is almost twice as fast as Shaws, which explains how I upload data to websites and FTPs at a more efficient rate. Bit Torrent and direct downloads on Shaw are quite strong reaching a total bandwidth of 650 kbs (at non-peak hours), something I can only dream of with Telus. With Telus I can only reach half of that transfer speed as the results above states.

But one little thing that is not noted is how my bandwidth is more stable and flexible on Telus especially when surfing while downloading. This consistancy is a big thing as I am a big multitasker. I admit downloading at 600 kbs is a lot more efficient, but at the cost of my ability to surf the web ( I love to overtab my pages ) while maxing my downloads. When I use telus I can max it at just over 300 kbs consistantly regardless of time of day, and still surf without any major delays or cost to my down/up speed most of the time. Of course many people may prefer to finish a important download while sacraficing their net speed for a small amount of time, but to someone who requires frequent updating, surfing and checking e-mail this method may be a burden. That said, using the net without downloads/uploads on Shaw is not much faster than Telus.

In the end I feel it really comes down to what a person prefers, pure power or a hybrid. I guess the comparison isn’t as fair because I’m not comparing two $40 plans, but the net speeds on both these ISPs feel very similiar. You will get more for your money with Shaw if you are a big downloader or gamer, but if you are sharing the net watch out if your buddy is a big downloader. There are also a variety of plans and one might choose and ISP just for that free month or free laptop, no modem rental or to save that $5 a month.

My personal history with Shaw was bad, long ago they said I overuploaded and decided to cut me off claiming I was on their top 10 list of overusers. Even before I was cut off I noticed a large capping of my speed through personal experience, internet site testing and my newsgroup speeds (They went from 600kbs+ to under 100kbs in days). This was back when I had a 20 gig hard drive, so obviously I wasn’t sharing a lot. Telus has been kind to me these past few years even though I have exceeded their limitations by triple or more and have yet to get a complaint. Both provide decent customer service, although I really do not like Telus’ automated service but their “human” help is efficient and usually gets the job done. I’ve known others who have been cut off by Shaw and quickly switched to Telus though, but all of them had one thing to say in the end and that was they missed that big download speed. In the end though they stuck with Telus despite Shaw’s aggressive campaign to get customers back.

So what isp’s do you use and how is the speed compared to mine? Drop me off a comment!

Metal Gear Solid IV – End of Act 1 –

Act 1 was clearly a chapter used to get us familiar with everything. There were loads of weapons, very few dark areas, and a lot of support from the militia. Throughout this peroid we get to see a lot of heros and villians from the past games and get an idea of what is actually going down. Act 2, “Solid Sun”, looks like its going to be tougher apparently we have to earn support from the local rebels and sneak in the dark.

The mission briefing time is pretty fun, theres a lot to see while they are telling you whats next, you can use that little robot to hang out and see what Sunny is doing or you can explore the place. A lot of product placement PS3, PSP, Apple computers, Konami games and references are lying around. At the beginning of act 2 we get to see something disturbing. We get to see how Snake would look like if he had boobs, and if he had a bunch of robotic “Dr. Octopus” style tentacles sticking out of his head.

I work both days this weekend so I may not finish Act 2 until next week.

Metal Gear Solid IV Limited Edition (4 LE) Unboxing

This is the Limited Edition box for MGS IV and was only available upon preorder. It costed around 20 bux more than the normal version, but it came with a nice cardboard box, which I originally thought felt like plastic. It doesn’t feel like cardboard, which tells us about the quality Konami put into this LE version. On the back is a removable cover which details what is inside, in fact it has to be removed before we can explore whats inside. As we pop it open we realize the case does not open like a standard case, which is a nice touch. We can see the bonus blu-ray making of disc and the game disc inside.

They give us a pretty nice warning about the spoilers ahead of time incase we decide to jump straight into the special blu-ray. Beside the movie sits the special edition soundtrack with tracks listed on the back of the spoiler sheet. What I love is how the special blu-ray comes with its own awesome cover thats different from the game cover and the box cover. Next to my game sits my white DS3, which I got at Nagoya stations Bic Camera and feels awesome in this game.

The art book is like any standard art book, but it doesn’t just provide pretty art, but bios and information on the making of the game as well. Good work Konami! Now keep this up for the next Suikoden and Zone of the Enders LE *hint* *hint*

iVirii

I’m enjoying Metal Gear Solid IV quite a bit right now. After the opening and a few playable parts and cutscenes you are thrown right into the battlefield. The graphics are stunning and scenes cut right into the gameplay as the Metal Gear series has always done. The environment is large and interactive like the previous games and getting use to the use of weapons again wasn’t hard, but I died a few times trying to find routes around the enemies because the stealth suit fails on me at the wrong times. It didn’t take long to get use to how hiding and avoiding detection works in this MGS, but while I was learning how to be stealth I found the iPOD in my inventory. It looks like while the world is going to hell with proxy wars and crazy mech armies, the iPOD continues to rule the this mp3 world.

While going through the intro bits of the iPOD in which they state we should be listening after our first play through because there might be spoilers (but there aren’t) I found it more comfortable to leave it on while waiting for guards to pass. They have a talkshow with Aki and friends, and a variety of music. I found it funny and oddly out of the mood when I had Jpop play while I was sneaking around heavily armed soldiers, but hey apparently it lowers Snakes stress level, which I have no idea right now why it’s beneficial. I guess higher stress is like smoking in the previous games and you start losing life. Another little funny I discovered while listening to my iPOD and that Ooishi Two-Han Jpop tune is that the little kid in the start menu (after you meet up with Octacon) dances when the kid hears it. Apparently each song affects what video uplink you get and the people in the videos activity. This is what I enjoy about the MGS series, theres so much going on around you and the fun never stops and apparently neither does the marketing.

Activities i’ve been doing in SFICC

We had a wings meet and another get together then

That sunday

I finished last again at my first vcmc autocross which was free b/c of my renewed SFICC membership.

http://www.vcmc.ca/raceresults/results/2008/080601/T.TXT

I bought gta4, persona 3 FES, and FFXII about 1 week after I got back, but after 3 weeks I finished GTA IV. Breaking into Persona 3 just before MGS4 comes out!

And thats a brief of what I did in the past 3 weeks. I slept and watched anime most of the time. Was so jetlagged for 2 weeks.