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Not much here, just some new tiles to show off (the new waste bin and the tree.) They're still filler art, but the old ones didn't look right. I like the new tree much better, and the new waste bin is made out of glass instead of a checkerboard design that causes a glass effect because of dithering. You can't tell from the screenshot, but I also separated the scrolling speed for the different layers, so now I have a really nice effect of the clouds moving slowly and the fog "rolling." That's about it on the MalykAI side of things.

Quill - Version 2

So, I failed miserably on the editor. After two weeks I wasn't able to get everything done, but to tell you the truth I don't know why. I spent plenty of time on it and it was all stuff I had done before (several times in fact), but nothing seemed to be working.

Anyway, Friday night Raymond took over and fixed the underlying framework and modified the interface. Then, yesterday morning (Saturday morning) he passed it back off to me to finish up so he could go back to working on the content. I finished it around 5pm Saturday and headed off to the movies. The new plane system still needs to be implemented, but we're waiting on that for now.

Children of Mana review (Nintendo DS)

I haven't quite beaten the game yet, but I figured I'd throw my opinion about it up here. At least this way you know that I can't ruin the ending for you.

The game is pretty good; I like the storyline, the graphics are great, the gem system is nice, and the battle system works well.

Right at the beginning the gem system is kind of useless. I made a Hearts of Progress gem (gives you 50% more experience) and stuffed it in the frame (which filled it.) It wasn't until they expanded it that it became useful. It just got expanded again, so it's even more helpful now, but something seems wrong (I'm at one of the later levels, getting 2x50% extra experience, but I'm only getting four experience per monster.) Anyway, you can fuse different regular gems together to form a better gem with varying effects obviously.

The battle system is really nice. Some things are a bit odd, like the bouncing (monsters bounce around after you've hit them so many times; they cause damage to other monsters, but they don't seem to cause very much damage to you, if any at all.) The weapons system is decent; you get 4 different weapons (of which you can have 2 equipped at once) which are the sword, flail, bow, and hammer. Each has it's own bonus; the sword can be used to block attacks and reflect ranged attacks; the flail hits those around you and can be used to pull things towards your or you towards heavy objects (walls/trees or certain objects); the bow can be plucked to lull your enemies to sleep; and the hammer can smash harder objects as well as activate switches and send monsters flying via a charged ground pound.

The monsters are pretty good; some are kind of weird, but the rest are pretty cool and decently challenging. Especially the bosses. Oh, this does bring up one weird thing though; attacks seem to randomly cause effects. I seem to constantly be blinded, frozen, or put to sleep by pretty much any monster (well, not constantly. The one I see pop up most is blind and confusion (which reverses the controls.) The rest seem to be intermittent.)

The item system is good, there are pretty much 6 or 7 items in the game (healing, status ailments, etc; not including weapons, armor, or gems.) To start out you can hold 4 of each item, but you can buy bigger "knapsacks" (upgrades to holing 8, 18, and 24 items) which you'll definitely need later on.

The only crappy part about the item system is that you can't read item descriptions in dungeons. The way it's setup is that you enter the dungeon and then you progress through short areas called zones. Every 4 zones you're allowed to save, equip items and gems, check your status, return to town, or continue. Other than during this interval you can't access your inventory at all (your actual inventory screen; you still have access to the healing items and weapons you have equipped). Instead, you have two buttons, one that says "Return" which is misleading, as it means "Return to town" and not "Return to gameplay" and one that says "exit" (which returns you to the game.)

The magic system is kind of lame IMHO. You get to choose a "spirit" to travel with you (you can change spirits later on if you want.) You then get to summon this spirit to do an attack, or you can touch it and it'll do something else (Salamander gives you flamestrike, thats all I know.)

The storyline is good; it'd probably be better if I had played the other games. Still, it's pretty interesting so far.

The only other thing I can really comment on is the armor. For some reason I constantly get armor that says "cannot equip" (which means I can't equip it ever as far as I know. If it was a level restriction, it'd say "equip at level ##".) In the twelve or so hours that I've played, I've come across a grand total of 15-20 pieces of armor that I could wear (compared to the over 200 pieces of armor that I couldn't.)

Damn, I almost forgot one of the best parts. Due to the storyline, there are "space time anomalies" and you can actually go back and fight old bosses again (you have to do the whole dungeon over though.)

There's also the Dudbears. They're your source for side-quests. Most are either "kill them all" type quests or "find some item" quests (which consists of you killing your way through # zones and you'll just happen up the item after you've cleared the place out.) The rewards are the best part though; they hand out tons of cash sometimes as well as items and gems.

Anyway, I think I'm done with this review; it gets a 8/10 from me. I'll probably play through it again as each of the four characters.

Movies and Shows Anime

So, I watched Planet of the Apes, The Punisher, and a whole slew of anime today. I've watched The Punisher about 100 times now; one of my favorite movies. Planet of the Apes was okay; kind of different (especially the ending; I was really expecting a "Time Machine" type ending. Also, if you didn't get the ending say so and I'll PM you the explanation the hosts of FX's DVD show gave me. It sounded pretty good to me.) As for anime, I watched an episode of Trinity Blood, Bleach, and Samurai Champloo. Trinity Blood was decent, odd, but I'd watch it again. Bleach was also good, but again pretty odd. I've already watched all of Samurai Champloo; that is one of my favorite animes.

I hate coming in on the shows late though (which always happens since I don't watch Adult Swim everyday to know whats playing.) Doesn't really matter as I plan on buying Bleach anyway and I'll probably pick up Trinity Blood if I see it.

On the topic of anime, someone should "deal with" 4kids.

(Side note to Adult Swim watchers and Naruto fans: They're doing some special (on Monday I think); they're playing the Hinata vs Neji fight and the Rock Lee vs Gaara episodes.)

Anyway, this entry is long enough. I'll post something more on MalykAI tomorrow. That's if I ever get anymore done...
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