By Hailinel 4 Comments
Romance of the Three Kingdoms = Wow!
It's no secret that I like me some Dynasty Warriors, or heck, most any Warriors title, really. I'm looking forward more toward Samurai Warriors 3 this fall, but in the meantime I have Warriors Orochi 2 standing by in my PSP and Dynasty Warriors 6 ready to pop back in my PS3. Why do I bring this all up now? Well, this past week, I finished reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms for the very first time. It's the novel that Koei has mined for inspiration in the Dynasty Warriors series, their ROT3K strategy games, and various other titles. It's a very old text that doesn't conform to the modern idea of a novel, and the translation contains the occasional error, but once I had a chance to dig into it, it really stuck with me. Having read it, it's easy for me to see why Koei keeps going back to it. Romance of the Three Kingdoms is densely packed with characters, battles, betrayals, magic, and superhuman feats. The funny thing is, having played Koei's games, the actual book becomes much easier to follow.
Super Street Fighter IV: Juri and Juli, and the Importance of Stories in Fighting Games
I am a fan of Juri. Her speed and Taekwondo fighting style make her fun and easy to play. She's crazy and evil, yet likable (and yeah, pretty hot). Street Fighter has always been a series where it seemed like M. Bison was really the only villain anyone ever cared about. (Well, I guess Akuma, too, but he always struck me as being kind of dumb; being evil for evil's sake is a hard line to walk without looking ridiculous.) Prior to SFIV, the major villains were pretty much limited to Bison and his underlings, Gill, and well, that was about it. Seth is a fine addition to Street Fighter's hall of villainy, but it's good to see the series get a female villain whose villainy can't be chalked up to mind control.
But speaking of mind control, I have to say that I was disappointed but unsurprised at Capcom's decision to exclude my Street Fighter Alpha 3 main, Juli, from the roster. I'm bummed that she isn't playable, but given the number of characters Capcom could pick from, and also given the fact that Juli is such a minor character, it was kind of a longshot to begin with. Excluding Juli isn't akin to excluding Ryu; it's not exactly sacrilege. That being said, T. Hawk's ending made me smile, as did Cammy's. It's good to see Capcom still acknowledging these characters in their games, even if they aren't playable and one of the main reasons why I think that, while they're often seen as an afterthought, fighting game storylines are important. Even if they aren't particularly well written or fleshed out, they can still give players those little glimpses at the characters beyond how they play. Yes, Cody is a prisoner, and it is disappointing to see how he turned out, but he apparently just couldn't stop fighting and got into one too many of them.
And hey, if they acknowledge Juli in Super Street Fighter IV, I have at least a little reason to hope she might come back in Street Fighter V, whenever Capcom decides to make it. Hey, I can dream.
Going back to books for a second, I've just started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the first time. Yes, the first time. I know, I know. I'm really behind. Dumbledore dies, blah blah blah. (Spoilers!) Give me a break, guys! The first book is pretty short, and it's a breezy read, but it's pretty darn entertaining. I can see why the series became so popular. I should probably get around to watching the movie after I finish reading it (no, I haven't watched any of the movies, either).
Doing It Myself, The Wario Way
A couple weeks back, I received WarioWare: D.I.Y. as a birthday present. I haven't had too much time to tinker around with it outside of completing the tutorials, but I've managed to make a couple of very basic games of my own. I'd like to find the time to really dig into the tool set and become more proficient at crafting microgames, and despite the amount of depth, what I'd normally consider impenetrable doesn't seem so bad with the way that the game lays the lessons out. I don't know if I'll ever be able to make a good song without relying on the Maestro, though.