OBJECTION! There aren't any Ace Attorney threads!

So Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney saw it's release last Tuesday and I just finished beating it on Saturday. Verdict: It was definitely fun, but playing it made me realize how much I love Trials and Tribulations. I'd place it above Justice for All and possibly the original Phoenix Wright, but below Trials and Tribulations.

My major problem with Apollo Justice is that there just wasn't any (visible) antagonist. Traditionally, the prosecutors served as a strong oppositional force. Klavier, the prosecutor in this game, was extremely laid-back and cooperative. I love the glimmerous fop, but he totally didn't do his job. One of the great things about having Phoenix and Edgeworth or Godot battling it out was that they were determined to find the truth by putting up the best fight they possibly could.

I'm really divided on Phoenix's role in the game. On one hand, the part of me that played the past three games loves the plans he made, the huge changes he enacted, and the justice he helped serve to Kristoph.

On the other hand, the part of me that recognizes that this is supposed to be sort of a fresh start dislikes how much he overshadowed Apollo in the end. I'm all for cameos and recurring characters playing an important role here and there, but I'd like to see Apollo handle things on his own a little bit more. It always bugged me in the past games when Mia would come and save the day for Phoenix, when I didn't feel like I needed it. That was sort of how I felt at the end, though Phoenix certainly had a good reason to interject.

Still, the twists at the end were brilliant and I surprisingly didn't see the familial ones coming.

Anyway, here are some Apollo Justice pictures that I loved:

Large non-spoilery images:

Video game discussion! Here! Now!

Let us speak of the many games of the video nature that we are playing (or even look forward to playing).

I recently picked up Picross DS, which is totally great. School starts next week for me, and Picross will be an excellent way to kill time during the one hour(ish) breaks that I have Tuesdays and Thursdays.
If you don't know, it's sort of like sudoku mixed with crossword puzzles (the name itself comes from picture crossword, I've been told). You have to reveal a picture by chipping away blocks on a grid. There are numbers for each vertical and horizontal line that show how many blocks must be hit; so a 2 and a 1 mean that there is a group of two consecutive blocks followed by a single block that is separated by at least one space.

Anyone who likes solving puzzles and owns a DS should absolutely pick it up, especially since it's only $20!
And I think I should mention now that Sei's Push! ( is also a great, but less portable and stylus-free, version of picross.

As 360 owners may or may not know, the BioShock demo came out today. Having just finished playing through for the first time, here are my thoughts:
The graphics are goddamn spectacular, especially in the beginning, when you have time to admire them and aren't constantly paranoid about enemies being around the next corner.
The game definitely succeeds in establishing atmosphere. It's dark without being Doom 3, the music is creepy (in two different ways), and hearing the enemy splicers talking to themselves before they spot you can be slightly disturbing.

Even though it was just a demo, it did a good job of displaying the various possibilities that exist. There was a particularly intense moment towards the end of the demo where I set off an alarm (which I could have avoided by electrocuting the security camera beforehand). While the alarm was blaring, I had to switch between blasting electricity at a puddle full of splicers, staying out of view of the camera (so the alarm didn't reset), and shooting down security droids with my revolver.

If you own a 360 and don't mind playing first person shooters, you seriously need to try out this game.

Random Musings or Rants

In this topic, we just post whatever's on our mind. Something pissing you off? Did you think of something totally awesome?

Me, I recently remembered something totally random.

Robocks. Man, does anyone else remember that game?

What have you done recently?

I'd like for people to post in this topic towards the end of the day.

Aside from the basics (sleeping, eating, working), what have you done today? Or what has happened to you? Played any games, made any progress developing your own game, watched any TV (or movies, or anime, etc.), read any books (comic or otherwise)?
Don't just list what you've done; elaborate! Give us some thoughts about it!

I used some of the 4000 MS points I had bought yesterday to obtain Bomberman Live and Carcassone, and played a little bit of each. Bomberman was good fun, and I hope to play lots of matches with my friends (including certain people on this site =p). Carcassone was enjoyable as well. I like it a lot more than Catan. I don't get the chance to play these tabletop games in their original forms, because I don't have any friends that play them, so it's an interesting experience for me.

I wish I had friends that played D&D and the like, though...

After that, most of my day was spent working on character sets for Generica townspeople (which you can see here:
It was a little hard at first, as this is the first character set I've made from scratch, as opposed to copy/pasting, palette-swapping, and minor editing. I still don't know if I can honestly say it was from scratch, as I often referenced Dragon Quest IV character sets.

In any case, I was able to make some headway into the task. It's hard for even me to gauge my abilities, seeing as this is my first serious attempt at both character sets and tilesets, and they are deliberately derivative (and lacking in detail). However, I'd like to get a lot better!

It wasn't a terribly eventful day for me, since I spent a fair amount of time napping in between all this.
I hope to play more games tomorrow.

Gredlen's Official Anime and Manga Topic of Fun and General Merriment!

I know some of you people out there watch anime (and read manga). Let us begin a grand discussion in a largely unorganized fashion!

What's everyone been watching/reading? What are you looking forward to?

I haven't played many games or watched much anime since the beginning of the year. But I'm making an effort to change that right now!

I finally got around to finishing Honey and Clover II, started (and quickly finished) Nodame Cantabile, wrapped up the final two arcs of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, started on Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, and am almost through with Zero no Tsukaima (just in time to catch up to the second season). I may move onto Hidamari Sketch as well.

On the manga side, I've been obtaining the Honey and Clover manga (only $3 a pop; gotta love the prices for Japanese manga).

I'll probably start buying the domestic release of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (aka When They Cry) soon, and I look forward to seeing the domestic release of the Honey and Clover manga and anime.

I haven't been keeping much tabs on this season's anime (aside from the next seasons of the ones I've already watched), as you might have noticed from what I've been watching.

General thoughts about what I've watched:

Honey and Clover is great. Absolutely my favorite romance series. The manga is entertaining and contains some little things that were left out of the anime, but I definitely prefer the anime. This is one of the rare instances in which I prefer the anime to the manga (where the manga comes first). The voices, animation, and music all really contribute to making this series shine. I would not hesitate to recommend this anime to anyone who is interested in a romance series that isn't aimed at young boys.

Nodame Cantabile was pretty good. I read a volume of the manga in Borders, then decided to watch the episodes I had downloaded and not touched earlier. Once again the voices, music, and, to a lesser extent, animation all make this anime worth watching to people who've read the manga. Especially since this is a series that deals largely with music. Unfortunately, the anime ends before the manga and it's unlikely there will be a second season. There's really no good excuse for this, either, since the manga ended well before the anime began. It's not a terrible place to stop, however. The Nodame Cantabile anime has gotten me reinterested in classical music (especially concertos).

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni ended pretty damn strong. The last episode contains a scene that easily lands a spot in my top 10 dramatic moments in anime. I would definitely like to play the games someday, but it's unlikely they will be translated to English, and it will be a while before my Japanese is good enough. I unfortunately spoiled some of the big reveals of the last arcs, but I'm still fairly in the dark about what will happen, so the second season is something to look forward to! And I LOVE the opening songs.

Zero no Tsukaima is entertaining. I never found the fanservice and crazy antics in Love Hina (or any other harem anime) to be laugh-worthy, but Zero no Tsukaima has actually had me laughing out loud a few times so far. Whether that's a testament to its humor or to how I've changed since high school (when I read Love Hina), I don't know. It's not a thought-provoking or emotionally-touching anime, but it is pretty good at what it does.

After I've finished watching the second season of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Zero no Tsukaima, I'm not entirely sure where to go. I suppose it's not too bad to have nothing more on my plate for a while, though, since it's about time I started hacking away at my video game backlog as well...

Games you've been neglecting... (The Pile of Shame)

In this topic, we list the games that we've stopped playing, not necessarily because they're terrible, but because we've just had issues fitting them into our schedules.
These are games that we would really like to get back into, but are inexplicably having problems picking them back up.

Here's my little pile of shame:
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Suikoden IV
Dragon Quest VIII
Final Fantasy XII
Pokemon Diamond
Odin Sphere

I'd also like to pick up Suikoden V before it's too late... and I should probably get Grim Grimoire, too.
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