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Areala last won the day on April 1

Areala had the most liked content!

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About Areala

  • Rank
    Warrior Nun / Archivist
  • Birthday 10/21/1976

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  • Interests
    Video games, horror novels, creative writing, girls! :-9
  • PSN ID
  • Favorite Current Generation Platform?
    Playstation 3
  • Favorite Previous/Retro Platform?
    Super Nintendo

Previous Fields

  • Playing Right Now
    Champions of Norrath (PS2); Akai Ito (PS2)
  • Video Games Favorites
    Tomb Raider, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy VI

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  1. Just watch, don't play

    Yes, I love watching these! I generally use them for games I don't own, have little expectation of an ability to play myself, or for genres that I'm not very good at (I love RTS and turn-based strategy games, for instance, but I'm terrible at them so watching someone who's actually competent play their way through Command & Conquer or Gemfire is a treat). For games I am good at or just enjoy playing, I will occasionally watch speed runs just to see how badly some games can be broken without resorting to save states and cheat devices. Actually a little terminology may be helpful. A "long play" (or longplay) is generally a start-to-finish run of a particular game with no commentary. The World of Longplays YouTube channel is an example of this. Exceptionally long games like RPGs are often broken up into multiple multi-hour videos, and occasionally they will be edited for the purpose of slicing out random battles with enemies that have already been fought or 'grind' segments where a player is just powering up to be able to take on the next boss, but otherwise they are the full game experience. A "let's play" is also a start-to-finish run of a game, but with either the gamer or someone else providing voiced or text-based commentary and/or reaction. Kikoskia's YouTube channel is an example of this. There are two categories of Let's Plays, normal and Blind, and each are popular for their own reasons. Normal let's plays are usually done by people who already have experience with the game: they've played through it once, they know where to go, and they're like tour guides leading us through a specific title. The upside is there's little down-time in a normal let's play since the player is practiced and knowledgeable about where to go, and the commentator often telegraphs and foreshadows things so the viewer knows to pay attention to them. They're rarely caught by surprise unless the game itself is built on random elements, like Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Hack, and so on. Blind, on the other hand, means the person playing the game is experiencing it for the first time; these are especially popular with horror games, because half the fun is seeing the player shit himself after a horrible experience. The downside of a Blind let's play is that sometimes the players get stuck on a puzzle, backtrack because they missed an item, or simply don't know what the next step is. It's doubly frustrating when you can tell what they're doing wrong, but you have to sit there for twenty minutes before they realize where they missed a certain key or whatever. I much prefer normal Let's Plays for games I've already experienced, and because the player's knowledge makes them more entertaining. Truly fun Let's Players make you believe they're actually in the shoes of the character they're portraying, something Kikoskia's quite good at in, for instance, his Doom 3 Let's Play. A "speed run" is an attempt to complete the game as fast as possible, sometimes with conditions imposed to make it more interesting, but often it's a pure race from the title screen to the closing credits. Usually these runs are the result of people playing games to death and a community surrounding them coming up with new strategies that shave time off the current record results. I like watching Speed Runs of games I'm familiar with, because knowing the mechanics or what should normally happen makes it easier to understand just how (and how badly) the runner is breaking the game. There's a sub-category of speed run called the "TAS", or Tool-Assisted Speedrun, which uses emulators to play the game literally frame-by-frame to control the timing of button inputs and random number generation to produce optimal results that would be either extraordinarily difficult or impossible for a human player to pull off. TAS runs are amusing because the TAS player/programmer can showcase inhuman reflexes, show off hit detection boxes, earn critical strikes on every enemy, fire weapons so optimally as to never waste a single shot, and similar stunts (as showcased by this absurd TAS for Gradius on the NES). I often will have one of these open in a different window when I'm chatting with friends online, just like some people leave a TV running in the background while they're doing other things. *huggles* Areala
  2. This was what boned Wizards of the Coast when they released "The Dragon Magazine Archive", a CD-ROM compilation of the first 250 issues of Dragon Magazine, in 1999. Plenty of the magazine's content was either created in-house (in which case, TSR and then Wizards owned it and all the respective reprint rights), or purchased on a basis where all submissions became the property of TSR/Wizards. Their statement was printed in the masthead of the magazine as such: "All material published in THE DRAGON becomes the exclusive property of the publisher upon such publication, unless special arrangements to the contrary are made prior to publication." So far so good...except that a great number of contributions and submissions fell under that "unless special arrangements to the contrary" clause. Dragon, especially in its early years, published a lot of short fiction, and sometimes there were big-name authors like Gardner Fox who wound up between the covers. These were first NA serial rights, and carried no additional reprint clauses. The same was true of other things, like commissioned artwork or the serial comic strips that ran in the back of the magazine. Dragon used both, multiple times, in practically every issue. Wizards got hit with two different suits over this, one from a group of science fiction writers whose material was reprinted without permission, the other from Kenzer & Co. pertaining to the reprinting of a number of "Knights of the Dinner Table" comics that ran in the final dozen issues compiled in the archive. The associated legal hassles, along with a similar case that dragged out for seven years involving National Geographic's decision to publish their archives electronically and a photographer who sued over re-use rights, ensured the archive went out of print very quickly, was never coming back, and that we'd never see anything of the sort tried for TSR's sister publication, "Dungeon". It sucks, but it is what it is. *huggles* Areala
  3. PSX-Pro Issue 08 (July 1996)

    Excellent scan as always, Kitsu-san. Had a grand laugh at the fact the reviewer (who has been hogging the game for days, according to another editor) cocks up his review of Resident Evil on page 8 by saying the player picks between Jill and Barry. There's a screen grab of the player select menu on page 11, and while it's highlighting Jill's name, you can clearly see that's Chris Redfield's ID card behind hers. How much time did you spend on this game, Andy?
  4. New Release: PSX-Pro Issue 8 (July 1996)

    "It's the absolute finest, and the chicks love it!" Well, we'll just see about that... *goes to download* Thanks, Kitsunebi! *huggles* Areala
  5. Cracked the top 10! *waves her pom-poms around* *huggles* Areala
  6. Good call, Lieutenant Commander. I'll let the CPU job I'm on now run its course, then pause it and let my GPU take on the struggles. It's more valuable points-wise, as you pointed out. I'm only folding on Medium, so it's drawing on 2 cores. Full bumps it up to 3 cores, but that seemed excessive and I didn't want to strain my older computer. The PS3 used to have the Folding@Home app installed on it, but one of their updates must have taken it off, as I just checked and didn't find it. I'd used it in the past when I was folding for a different team, and it was an order of magnitude better than my PC at the time (something like 670 PPD as compared to 45-ish). *huggles* Areala
  7. My PC is 7 years old so I've no way to win, but have entered the fray just to move us up a few slots on the overall team top list. I can get roughly 6,000 points per day with my i5 cpu and Nvidia GT640 card. Pocket change in the grand scheme of things. *huggles* Areala
  8. Issues 1-1400 of Famitsu! ONLY $25,250!

    27 grand is a bit much. I think I could convince EDay to flash you. Would that work? *huggles* Areala
  9. Issues 1-1400 of Famitsu! ONLY $25,250!

    Buy it! Buy it! Buy it buy it buy it!! *huggles* Areala
  10. kitsunebi77's random stuff

    I say "potato", you say "butt plug"... *huggles* Areala
  11. kitsunebi77's random stuff

    Niiiiiiice!! Four new Game Players PC Entertainment mags for your collection. *huggles* Areala
  12. kitsunebi77's random stuff

    What all did Whiskcat send you? I'm excited! *huggles* Areala
  13. Now Listening To.......

    Chara's voice is remarkably similar to Donna Lewis's! I really dig this song, even if I can't understand 90% of it. You always have the most awesome music choices, Kitsunebi. *huggles* Areala
  14. Now Listening To.......

    Thread Necromancy!! Donna Lewis was all over the radio world-wide in 1995 with "I Love You Always Forever" (the song which kept it from #1 for nine weeks was the Bayside Boys remix of "Macarena", which is both awful and hilarious). I fell in love with the song, bought the album, and it's been in my top 10 for decades. Even now, at forty, popping it in makes me feel like a teenager. I have very specific memories associated with this disc, but my absolute favorite song off it is "Agenais", a dreamy tune about the narrator's journey to a fantastical, magical place. Every song on this CD is beautiful and inspires different feelings in me. I cannot count the number of memories I have that involve this CD: riding in the car in the night as I sat in the back seat listening to it on my Discman, using specific songs to inspire certain scenes in the stories I was writing at the time, crying in my room at my mom's house with the door closed as I realized I was about to disconnect myself from that life and move out on my own for good, playing it as the unofficial soundtrack to countless nights I spent MUDding (back when that meant playing a text-based online RPG, not slogging through a bunch of slop and climbing over obstacles just to prove how miserable you can make running)... So this is my album of choice this evening, but since it would be crass to link the whole thing, I'm linking to my favorite song. Maybe you've heard it before, maybe you haven't, maybe you'll love it, maybe you won't, but that CD's been the world to me more times than I can count in my life. *huggles* Areala