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Strip 414, Volume 3, Page 88

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< Piro >

that other site...

"mental note..."

Monday - May 19, 2003

[Piro] - 10:15:00 - [link here]

Mental note - when tired, don't do your thinking online and in the forums. Sheesh.

That's one of the problems with Megatokyo becoming as, er, popular as it is. Whenever i start grumbling around about something that's irritating me in regards to the story or something else about MT I have got to learn to keep my trap shut till i work thru everything and THEN announce what i'm planning on doing. Otherwise i end up with a storm of emails and tornado paths thru the forums.

Anyways, let's recap. The 'similarities to chobits' issue has been something that's been irritating me for the past few weeks, partially fueled by emails and other comments, but you have to keep in mind that the reason for the irritation wasn't the fact that i was getting emails, its that these similarities were getting in the way of what i am trying to do in the comic. If people look at Ping and see Chii, it changes what i'm trying to do, and it's irritating because it is something I have little control over. At first, i thought it was just superficial similarities between the shows that was the problem. What's curious to me is that people get worked up about the similarities between Ping's ear pods and Chii's, but the truth is they are far closer to Nuku Nuku's ear pods and Multi's ear pods than Chiis. I think i'll actually draw a detail drawing some time of the pods and what they do and the reasons for them sometime, just because i really did think it out.

I wrote my comments in my last rant just to let people know what was on my mind when i was writing all this, and commented that I developed Ping long before Chobits came out. The problem here is that I made two errors, and understanding these errors helped me understands WHY i was getting the feedback i was getting.

First off, Chobits did come out around the same time Ping first appeared in the comic. Even though the truth of the matter is that I personally didn't know this, there will always be people who say I got the idea from Chobits. I should have checked before saying that. I apologize for that, my bad.

Secondly, I now understand why i was getting the feedback i was getting in the volume I was getting it. There is a scene in Chobits where Chii wants to download information on how to bathe. I haven't watched enough Chobits to see this episode, so i was completely unaware of the similarities between the two scenes. In my defense i'd like to think that the outcome of my scenario (which no one out there actually knows yet unless i actually continue it) is far different than the Chobits one, but it does raise the issues that I would never have done such a direct spoof without it being more obviously a spoof. In short, i'm embarrassed to have made such a goof. I didn't think the idea was 100% original of course, but in light of knowing what happened in chobits, it really does seem 'lifted' from the show. I would never do that, but it doesn't change the fact that it certainly appears that i did - regardless of the facts.

So, that raised the issue (which i started mulling over while sitting at the computer tired, zoning, and recovering from my chicago trip) as to what to do. Some of the critisims was pretty snide, and one reaction i had (and it's a valid one) is to remove Ping from the story in some way. I've done it before, but there's no question that it would be a knee jerk reaction and certainly not fair to Ping fans. The second option was to change ping in some way that would result in avoiding all these comparisons that were bringing all these preconceived notions and comparisons to her character that I don't want - i don't want people constantly thinking Chii/Ping, i really don't. There are a lot of things i could do, but it would gut Chapter 4 pretty bad, and i don't know if i want to change things that drastically.

Third option would be to go back in history, change the two comics that had the joke/references that caused the direct comparisons. It seemed like the best option, even tho it involved having to go back and rethink some things. That was, i felt, one of the best ways to resolve the issue (please note that i did not remove the comics or take them down). Even so, i wondered if this was a good tact.

The fourth option, and it's probably the one that makes the most sense, is to not change the most recent comics, but look at how i can work with this close comparison to Chobits can be used in a productive way in the story. All the characters in MT are changing and evolving in some way as things move on, and this will in some ways effect how Ping turns out, but it's like anything, you don't really know exactly where it will go - perhaps this will be a good thing in the long run. But it's pretty obvious that whether I intended it or not, the comparisons to the Chobits story and characters are there and I have to deal with it, and even tho it wasn't my intent, i have to work that into what I am doing.

So, ping fans, relax, i'm not going to remove Ping the way i removed tsubasa, i like Ping too much to do that anyway, it just means that I'll have to subtlety work around this issue and maybe in the end it will make for a better story. There's a lot about ping none of you know about, and i am sorry it's taking so long to get there, maybe over the course of chapter four most of you will see why the chobits comparison is rather moot when it comes to Ping and her character - or maybe it isn't, who can tell? Maybe i need to finish watching the show now... ^^;;

(skitters off to pick up the dvds...)

I'll have an Acen report up for wednesday, complete with pictures and other things. As always, if you have pics from Acen and you want to share, please email them to me :)

< Dom >

Jean Reno isn't doing his own voice for Onimusha 3... except in France. Wish I could get that version.

"A tale full of sound"

Monday - May 26, 2003

[Dom] - 10:30:00 - [link here]

Whew! What a crazy two weeks. But it's Memorial Day, so I can finally sit back and start talking about what's happened.

We'll start with E3, where I'll echo what many other game journalists have said: It was a good show. But it wasn't a spectacular show. The major announcements were the playstation pocket and the N-Gage. To paraphrase Ken Kutaragi and Kenshiro, "The handheld wars is already dead!" There's just no way those two will challenge the Game Boy. And the N-Gage had the most gaudy press conference I've seen outside of the WWE. That was embarrassing even to hear about. If you haven't already, check out a look at the N-Gage and PSP here and a discussion of the N-gage press conference here. Suffice to say that I won't be getting either of those, since my GBA has become an expensive GameCube controller recently, and my GameCube is a $200 footrest. Well, it will be until Lost Kingdoms 2 comes out...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. After a hectic Monday night, I ran off to the airport and caught a flight to Long Beach, at which point I was kindly picked up by Brandon of Insert Credit and his girlfriend. An overpriced Bibimbab later, we were all off to Vince Diamante's place, where I found out I was going to stay rent-free. That was a surprise, and I owe Vince big. And I'm not going to just plug his Anime sheet music website, either. I'll, I dunno, give him some root beer or something.

Moving on, I won't give a day-by-day breakdown... I'll do it by company, since that's how I remember it.

Sega was, of course, one of the first companies I went to. I've been a big Sega fan since I was 6 or so, and I've stayed loyal to them throughout their gigantic cockups over the past decade or so. While Sonic Heroes was an absolute blast to play, and I got a sick satisfaction out of throwing Tails and Sonic at walls, the rest of the booth was kind of disappointing. I mean, I'm still looking forward to PSO III: C.A.R.D. Revolution, and I liked playing it, but it wasn't the sort of zing! feeling I was looking for. Otogi was really floaty and kind of ugly to control, Vectorman was 6 weeks old, and... well, okay. I must confess that I liked Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg for sheer strangeness factor. So I can say that Sega had an average show--nothing groundbreaking, a few bad eggs, a few giant eggs.

Capcom had so many games I can barely remember them all. First of all, I'll talk about the whipping boy of Capcom's lineup, P.N.03. That game sucks. To quote a former co-worker of mine, it controls like trying to pull pubic hair off a bar of soap. It's slippery and you don't quite know why you're doing it. The "dance" and style stuff was completely unnecessary to anything else in the game, and just looked ridiculous. Viewtiful Joe... the jury's out on Viewtiful Joe for me. I appreciate the style of the game, but I don't like the speed of it and the fact that Joe's arms and legs are like half a centimeter long. I can't stand beat-'em-ups where you practically have to be on top of an enemy to get anything done. Ahh, Streets of Rage, where have you gone? Steel Battalion Online was cool... until I died once and got spawn killed for the rest of the game. It's no fun taking hits during that 45-second ignition sequence, especially when you're not even DONE yet when you die. Of course, if my teammates had warned me or covered me better that would have saved my experience with it, but for now I have to say that I had a bad time with Steel Battalion Online. Hopefully it'll be better once it's on Xbox Live and the people on my team will be more than random dorks on the E3 floor.

Where I spent a disgustingly long amount of time at the Capcom booth was with Culdcept. You may have heard of this for the first time over at Penny Arcade. I played it on the Dreamcast a few years back, and as my roommates can tell you, many times they went to sleep as I played it, and woke up to me still playing it. So it was great to sit down with it again and goof around. And Mike, I know you're reading this-I'm gonna make a Piercing deck just to deal with your goddamn Walls of Ice. Just you wait, fool... when it comes out in the fall we'll box.

And of course, I played some Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown. It's a lot harder on the PS2 than I remember it being on my 286. The siege portion was ridiculously difficult, but still... it's Defender of the Crown. Nostalgia dictates that I must buy it when it comes out.

I got to go to a trio of private demos with the NCSoft stable, and let me tell you. City of Heroes looks GOOD. It's the first MMORPG that I've been interested in playing for years (I picked up Earth and Beyond for about a week and then sold my account for dirt cheap). When it goes to beta, I'll probably spend days just flying around the city and jumping around like a happy fool, shouting "I'm a superhero!" The combat system is a bit generic, but... I'll live. I'll get to play as a superhero, after all! I don't know what I'll do about a team, but... I dunno, I'll figure out something. I've never been in a real clan-type thing before, and I know I wouldn't want to lead my own. Meanwhile, Guild Wars has an interesting Magic: the Gathering model going, where you don't have to buy future expansions to play, are allowed to play with people who have those expansions, and are allowed to go to expansion zones--though you can't go without someone who does have the expansion. It's an interesting model to follow, and I'll look forward to that one in 2004.

I ignored most of Namco's booth, since I've played Soul Calibur 2 for months, and the concept of I-Ninja is just lame. The boss battles looked like ice skating with swords, and that's not kosher. For my ninja needs, I'll just go back and play Shinobi, thankyouverymuch. There were some other games there that got people's attention, but I didn't notice.

Sammy's booth was interesting. I played a sushi puzzle game for a while, kicking ass, and of course spent about an hour playing Guilty Gear XX. I didn't lose a single round, making me realize that people who play fighting games only on the console suck. I'm barely a mediocre player at my local arcade, and there I was mopping the floor with everyone. Oh, and Seven Samurai 20XX has the prize for "game least related to its movie license", since it has nothing to do with Kurosawa other than the number seven and the name "kurosawa" on it. It looks vaguely interesting, but really, why the Seven Samurai thing if you're not actually going to make a game based on the movie?

SNK was a very, very small booth. After beating Brandon at King of Fighters 2001 with my Generic Dragon Punch/Rising Tackle Action, I was disappointed to see no mention of Matrimelee-AKA the next Power Instinct-at the booth. I really, really wanted to see how the franchise that produced Groove On Fight, which is still one of my favorite fighting games just on style. The preview for SNK vs. Capcom was... interesting. The art looks pretty good so far, unlike certain parts of the CvS series (coughcoughMORRIGANcough) and I'm kind of interested in the part of the video that suggests you can Roman Cancel, Guilty Gear style. But other than that... there was nothing.

Bioware was quite accommodating to me, and thanks to Derek French I got to sit back and have a Pepsi after a long day on my feet. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic looks awesome. And I'm not saying that just because the demo had "549R3"s in it. It honestly looks like the best Star Wars game on the market in years. I like how the Light/Dark system works, and appreciate that I can choose which side I end up on, even more than the Jedi Knight games did. I'd buy it if Derek didn't keep insisting that they'd send me and Fred copies of the game, and I just might spite them by buying it anyway.

This is where I segue temporarily into LucasArts and say that they should really give up on making Star Wars games. Rogue Squadron III was worth about 15 seconds of pain before people put it down, and that was 15 seconds too many. Full Throttle 2 and the new Sam and Max game ooze with all the personality and fun that the Star Wars games don't anymore. And Secret Weapons Over Normandy wasn't bad either--but damn, those Star Wars games were completely outclassed by KOTOR.

Back to Bioware. I'm not sure what posters they gave me, since they went to Fred at ACen, but thanks for them anyway, I'm sure they rocked (and hopefully I'll be getting replacement posters from you guys... hint hint). They were a great bunch to hang around with, but next year, I fully expect to see more booth mods than just a ceiling fan. Some LCDs, get a clear wall going, liquid cooling... you know, the good stuff. I look forward to seeing you guys again next year, and hopefully Stanley Woo will come on down so we can box.

The last company I'll talk about at length is Konami, who didn't really impress me with Snake Eater (I think the KILL OR BE KILLED / EAT OR BE EATEN messages turned me off than the actual footage of Snake eating a... uh... fish...) but gave me a lot of hope with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. While they weren't especially deep or engaging at E3, they were smooth, and they brought back good memories of the TMNT arcade game and Devil May Cry, respectively. So I'll be watching those two games quite closely to see if they live up to their promise.

And with one last note, I leave you for now--I saw Bistro Cupid on the E3 floor. Sure, it was in Kentia Hall, where booths go to die, but I still saw it. Unfortunately, the Hong Kong Pavilion didn't bring anything for Bistro Cupid 2, but since I'm buying that game anyway, I don't particularly care.

And this concludes my E3 report. I'll probably be going next year, and I'll probably be just as tired when it's done... but hey, I had some fun.

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