Monthly Archives: December 2007


While playing TF2 earlier, I noticed my screen dim. The AC indicator was off so I checked the rear of my laptop, but my cord was still in place. Then I checked the AC adapter. I picked it up, noticed a spark, and then noticed fire before promptly unplugging it.
(Voice) MrUser: MEDIC!
MrUser : My computer power supply just caught fire 0_o
Player NerubianTerror has joined the game
lunchbox : lol
MrUser : I guess I keep playing until my laptop batter dies?
@flac : the means you should turn it off and stop playing TF2
Player Mr.Underhill has joined the game
(TEAM) GM|SPLAT : sentry in our sewer
MrUser : that’s no fun
@flac : before it burns your comp
gambit : at least finish the level! 😉
Player GLASS has joined the game
Player zero has joined the game
MrUser : I unplugged it
MrUser : exactly gambit

Portal (PC)

Portal has been out for months now, and I’ve been meaning to write about it since the day of its launch. The main point that I want to get across about Portal is that it’s one of the greatest games ever created. At the very least, tied with Tetris for best game.
First, the portal gun is just so cool. It has two modes of fire – blue portal and orange portal. Once both portals are placed, you can walk into one and come out the other. Your speed is conserved, which makes for interesting puzzles involving flying into one to fly out of another one. The difficulty curve of the game was superb. I never really felt annoyed at any hand holding, yet things were introduced one at a time so I never felt overloaded. By the end of the game, I was able to do very complex things with the portals that seemed impossible and amazing when I first saw them done in a trailer.
The atmosphere and plot are both wonderful as well. And yes, the game definitely has a plot. By the end of the game, other characters emerge as well. The way the plot unfolded was amazing, but I don’t want to say much about it out of fear of spoiling it. The game also slowly becomes a bit eerie in a very cool way. The music and sound is perfect for the game. The dialogue, while limited, consisted of each line delivering the perfect amount at the perfect time. Every element of the game was carefully thought out and placed exactly where it needed to be.
That leads me to my final point about the game: it’s short. Even without trying to fast, you’ll still complete it in about four hours. Many people have complained about this, but I won’t be one of them. As I said before, everything was placed perfectly. The game couldn’t be any longer. Sure, they could have just added more puzzle rooms, but as it stands, there weren’t any redundant puzzles. Each room introduced another part of the game. Adding more would have just made the game tedious. There’s nothing wrong with a short game. In fact, I wish more games would cut the crap out of them. I don’t want to collect all 150 stars or 200 emblems. I don’t want to play the same levels over and over again in Sonic and the Secret Rings with new tasks each time. I just want to play Portal.


I saw Cirque du Soleil: Corteo today. It was really amazing. A clown imagines his own death and subsequent funeral. A lot of it was really funny, but the amazing acrobatics stand out even more. There’s really no way I can put into words what I saw tonight except possibly “exceptional.”

Ontamarama (DS)

When I found out that there was another rhythm game besides Elite Beat Agents, Ouendan, and Ouendan 2 for the DS, I was very excited. The music is nice, and the gameplay is actually very cool, but the song selection is limited, and all the quirks and character of the Ouendan series are completely missing in Ontamarama.
Unlike the quirky yet cool story in the Ouendan series, Ontamarama had an unexciting story. Ontama are small creatures that allow people to play music and conduct “Ontama battles,” which is some sort of aggressive music playing. Unluckily for the protagonist, someone is stealing all the Ontama; he wants them back. I know that no one expects there to be much plot in a rhythm game, but this isn’t what’s so bad. It’s the way the plot is presented. After chasing an enemy, the enemy says, “I’ve been under control,” and the protagonist says, “oh, okay!”
I really enjoyed the game mechanics. “Unfilled” notes slide across the top of the of the screen. There are four kinds of notes, each associated with their own color and D-pad direction. When the note reaches the little circle on the left, you have to press the note’s corresponding direction; However, there’s a catch: These unfilled notes can’t be pressed until they become filled. To press them, they have to be filled. Under the sliding bar, Ontamas appear and move about the screen. When you touch an Ontama, a note of the corresponding color becomes filled. What’s so interesting about this is that while watching the notes stream across the top (sometimes in rapid succession), you also have to watch for all the Ontamas and tap them quickly enough to fill the notes. Very demanding, and very fun. Luckily, you have three “blows.” When you blow in the mic, it’ll clear all Ontamas on the screen.
I still think that the corny plot elements were by far the biggest downside of the game, but there is one other. There are twelve main songs in the game. It takes about an hour to beat the game. The songs are still fun to play afterwards, but I only thought one song was really memorable. The character art is horrendous, but the Ontama sprites are quite cute. If you really like rhythm games, then this game is probably worth $20. If you’re looking for an Elite Beat Agents replacement, don’t look here, and if you don’t really have an opinion about rhythm games, then this would probably just be a waste of your time.

Simone Legno Signing

On the 8th, Saturday, I went to a Simone Legno signing party in Los Angeles. Simone Legno is the artist behind tokidoki. I was nervous about not fitting in with the people there. It seems strange to be a man going to a signing of an artist primarily know for creating purses, yes? Of course, I was going with a girl, but it still seemed odd.
Actually, I really enjoyed the whole event, including standing in line and talking about tokidoki with other fans. I find that I know a lot more about the topic than I previously though. It was at a store called Mobius, which I should definitely link to if only for the fact that they tried to make loyal customers out of us, and I live too far to frequent it. The place was very cool. It had a nice, open feel to it and sold a variety of products, most of which were vinyl figures. In was cold out so they let us move the line inside where they also brought us various chips, fruit punch, green tea, and red wine.
The first attendees we met were a mom and daughter in a parking lot. I hate parking in Los Angeles. It’s always in some hard-to-use pay lot. We walked around together confused as to who or how to pay. Eventually some guy asked if we needed help in broken English. I wish I knew Korean. When we explained that we wanted to park there for a maximum of four hours, he kept telling us six o’clock. Turns out, parking is free until six, and before then you can’t pay ahead of time. Did I mention I hate parking in LA?
The woman we met had a poster she bought for her daughter, but she didn’t tell her daughter. The girl though it was just a big blank paper in a poster tube that her mom was going to get signed. She was in for a nice surprise. We also met some cool people behind us in line too. They apparently knew each other from previous signings.
I was ninth or tenth in line and got there an hour and a half early. It was a shorter line than I expected. While there, we collected fliers and the like. We also purchased a Mozzarella figure. Beforehand, in preparation and/or hype, we bought tokidoki stickers, as well as a new Guitar Hero guitar faceplate because gem wanted mine.
Anyways, gem went first. She got the faceplate autographed. She wanted Mozzarella drawn on it, holding a guitar instead of a gun, but Simone forgot and drew the gun in anyways. It was pretty awesome watching him do such skilled drawings so quickly, even if he forgot that detail. He made it up to her by drawing Adios on it as well, this time with the guitar. It’ll definitely look cool on a guitar! Before leaving, gem gave him a robot panda she made out of felt and “fluff” stuffing. I think he really liked it. He collects robot toys, and gem knew this.
I first asked him to sign the Mozzarella. He drew a Latte on the back of her in full color. It was an amazing drawing. After asking if I had anything else he wanted me to sign, I gave him a blank Labbit and asked if he’d put it in a cactus suit like many of his characters had. He laughed and said he’d try. Well, I don’t know if he thought he’d fail or something, because it looks gorgeous. What’s especially cool is that we now have a Simone Legno autographed / sketched Labbit and a Nightwish autographed Labbit.
Long story short, I always thought it art was pretty cool, but I appreciate it much more now. It’s also interesting that I never noticed just how urban-influenced his style is. It just made me realize how unique his art is in that it’s a combination of American urban style with Japanese animation. Next time he has a signing close to Irvine, I’ll go again.