2015/03/04 23:00

Golden slumbers

Now, I somehow doubt that thirty pushups a day could cause immense chest pain, but either I am that much out of shape or well, I am doing something wrong. Or maybe it is just science and my muscles are rebuilding themselves right now and super-sexy Eric is on the way. Watch out, Internet. I’m going to be all musclely. Now that is a gross sounding word.

So, yeah I am exercising a bit between translation time boxes. Ten or twenty minutes deep inside the project. Ding. Stand up, stretch. Pee. Put more water in the body. Maybe even grind a few battles in Draong Quest 3. Ding. Back to work. I’ve done it before. This time? Nah, nothing special. Just workin’ hard.

I just finished the pyramid in DQ3 complete with a party wipe after picking up the Golden Claw. Not being able to use magic is a double whammy of pain. And unless I am missing something, the Golden Claw is no longer in my inventory. So it stayed in the pyramid, which seems a bit creepy. Or I’m just sleepy.

2015/03/04 12:00

Nintendo Japanese VC Releases for 2015.03.04

It’s Namcot Week here on the Virtual Console. We’ve got two titles coming at you that are guaranteed to make you spend your money on something else.

Metal Marines (Super Famicom): ¥823 (¥130 cart-only, ¥600 complete on Suruga-ya)
I always love finding out games actually were released in North America and I either just forgot about them or didn’t care about them. The Super Nintendo era was the height of my read every Nintendo Power ten times over so Metal Marines was either covered very lightly or the name made me think of Micro Machines enough that I said “No thank you, Namco(t)”. It’s a real time strategy game, which has never been my cup of anything.

Speaking of cups of things, Sky Kid looks like it has that mid-eighties art style that you could easily find on a mug in a retro game shop these days. Sky Kid is an 1986 side-scrolling shooter. I think that sums everything up well enough.

2015/03/03 23:00

I like the night life

Playing through Dragon Quest 3, even knowing about the differences in towns between night and day, it’s Assaram where the potential is really shown. Sure, you can find different dialogue and closed shops in the earlier towns, and even a unique item to steal from a shop, but it is Assaram where the entire town changes.

There’s a night life to the town. A shop opens up that was closed during the day. A building empty in the day becomes filled with dancers and patrons. And there is a young woman in the middle of the town who can teach you a thing or two about following people you don’t know into buildings in the middle of the night. Unless the character in front of your party is a woman, then she just brushes you off.

Finding these little details even now bring such an enjoyable touch to a game I’ve played more times than I can remember.

2015/03/02 23:00

Moving right along

At today’s morning meeting, the principal was speaking some big words to the kids, but it was nice to hear someone in authority saying to the children “Hey, you might hear some things about terrorists and crimes and killing. Japanese people are mostly Buddhists, right? But if a Buddhist kills someone, not all Buddhists are killers, right? Same goes for followers of Islam.”

Fifth period I watched my sixth graders practice a play they are going to be putting on in English in front of the entire school later this week. It is equally touching and frustrating to see the students who are trying to see the students who are trying so hard put up with those who just don’t give a fuck. Or perhaps they are nervous, shy, unconfident, or something else. Or, maybe they just don’t give a fuck. Dealing with that is still hard.

For some reason1 I watched The Muppet Movie the other night while working on a translation. I had forgotten how hilarious the film is. And how impressive. All that puppet work is outstanding. Strangely, the one bit I was most impressed at, Kermit riding the bike at the beginning, is one of the easiest things they did. Just some strings like any old marionette. Apparently the scene with Gonzo over the car was really hard to get right, but they heard very few comments about that one and yet constantly heard praise about that bicycle scene.

  1. That reason being the words “Moving right along” sung on The Flophouse

2015/03/01 23:00

Games I beat in February, 2015

Games I beat in February, 2015

  • 2015.02.07: Dust An Elysian Tail

Eek. What happened? Work. And The Legend of Legacy is pretty hard and Majora’s Mask confuses and challenges me.

Games I bought in February, 2015

  • 2015.02.05 – PS+
  • 2015.02.13 – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

It may seem weird to plop PS+ in this category, but I think it would be insane to track each game I downloaded via PS+ before I play them. These games will go into the records when beaten, but not until then. Seems logical to me.

Majora’s Mask was “kind of” free, what with the 4000 eShop points obtained for 800 Club Nintendo points. Pretty awesome month in that regard.

2015/02/27 23:00

Hard work

Every time I start a new translation project I get a bit of fear in my gut. Until I get a few lines in I feel as if I had forgotten how to translate. It’s super humbling and something I am a bit grateful for. I never feel like I “know” it so well that I can just be careless. It feels like I try harder.

And when I get to the dreaded review stage, there are always fewer mistakes and less awful lines than I imagined. There are typos here and there and a few lines that I have to rework, but in general I find myself so much prouder of work after a while away from it. Standard stuff for anyone who creates, but something that I find myself coming face to face with every day.

It doesn’t get easier – at least not much, but that’s probably a good thing.

2015/02/26 23:00

Quick switch boomerang

It seems Mevius Final Fantasy is going to be played vertically, and that’s great. If I’m in a position to play a horizontal mobile game, then I’m in a position to play a 3DS or Vita game. And there are a lot more I’d like to play on those two at the moment. I never use my phone horizontally. Hell, I watch videos vertically because I don’t feel like disabling the rotation lock.

I beat Kandor1 today in Dragon Quest 3. As soon as his henchmen were taken care of, without even thinking, I switched the hero from the boomerang to sword. It was so smooth and easy to do in battle that just waited for the next fight to switch back. The field menus just took slightly longer.

The multi-attack weapons versus single attack weapons have key advantages and disadvantages in the game and yet switching is painless. That is the kind of experience that still makes Dragon Quest enjoyable.

  1. Robbin’ ‘Ood

2015/02/25 23:00

Forgetful obsessions

I get no do-overs when one of my forty-five minute lessons doesn’t go as planned. I take what went well, look at what didn’t and improve for next time. The only reason I got as “good” as I did at teaching was that I had over fifteen lessons a week to figure out what the heck I was doing the forty-five minute period structure was a harsh limitation, but one that I had to work with.

Freelance translating and independent game development have no periods. If I get hung up on how to translate one line or how to make a game’s control feel, that can dominate my body until I physically can work no logner. But then it consumes the mind until I must sleep. At that point, it can consume the soul.

With deadlines, self-imposed or no, on the horizon it becomes increasingly easier to forget that a nap, a shower, a cookie or even a glass of water can be all that stands between frustration and an answer.