Saturday, October 20, 2012

First Thoughts: Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.

I now have a file folder labeled Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel. Its sole purpose is so I can highlight and copy/paste the name Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.

Just got my own LEGAL COPY of  Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel thanks to Super Justin. As to my first impressions, let's say that fans can be the harshest, but perhaps the fairest critics. Let's get the stuff that's bugging me out of the way first. The first one is something I really hesitate to bring up because I think it is two things on my part. It is the screen resolution. At 1x all the details are too small for me to see. Then 1.25x and 1.6x the graphics get distorted. Finally 2x too big for my screen because the top and bottom portions of the game window get cut off. Then full screen is right in your face. A lot of the problem is most likely my monitor. It's a tweny-inch widescreen. I went back and played a little of the first game and trials and it seemed to be wrecking some of the same havoc. (I haven't really played the games in a couple of years and back then I was using a smaller monitor.)

The other reason is that my eyes are not as good as they used to be. Long time reader of the comic can probably guess why. I do have plans of talking about it at some length. Now's not the right time.

There were numerous changes from the trials to the final product, one change that had me scratching my head was why was Eifer's attack changed from leaves to energy balls? Also her vine attacks from the ground come in an easily avoidable set pattern instead of always focusing on Freudia. Makes for a much easier battle.

I guess at this point I should admit to only playing two stages: The Prologue and Luste's stages. Right now, I just don't have the time to give the game a thorough play through. Yesterday I got caught in a ten hour traffic jam which made me almost too late to vote. Now I have to get my vehicle in for service and then it's off to a friend's for a Halloween Party. On top of that is all the stuff I need to do for the web site and blog for 2013.

Now the one thing that is bugging me the most:


Okay, it's a Megaman clone. WE GET IT! What makes it even more annoying is the fact that such graphics are incongruous with the rest of the game.

Now let's talk about what was done right. Unlike the previous examples, when other stuff from Megaman was borrowed, the concept was improved upon. In Megaman 4 you had the ceiling going up and down. Here it's the floor. Plus badguys and traps are hidden from view to surprise you. I think that almost every apsect of the original Rosenkreuzstilette that was imported in was very much improved. I think that the musical score is holding its own when compared to the previous game. The best part: if you are playing Story Mode, just hit the Start button and you're warped right through it. Why bother playing Story Mode if you do that or even can't read Japanese? Easy, there's lots of little things going on that are not in Arcade Mode.

Give me some time and I'll play through the whole game and review it.


It has come to my attention that my criticism of Isemiya and Womi's blatant use of Dr. Cossack and Beat may have left an impression that I was implying nefarious motivations on their part.


My criticism is based on a couple of factors. The first being is that these graphics stick out like a sore thumb. They are of a style that clashes with the rest of the game. There are plenty of other characters from Megaman and other games that are used in RKSF and those graphics have been reworked from scratch to fit in properly.

Now I know in the past I have criticized the programmers for doing too much. That stems mostly from having to wait so long between sequels. The point in this article is that if you use one style, you must use that style at all times. Dr. Cossack and Beat look good, they just don't work.

Second: Most of us playing RKSF have played Rosenkreuzstilette. We know that it is a Megaman clone, it feels as if it is being rubbed in our faces. One of the funnest parts of playing Rosenkreuzstilette and RKSF is reference hunting. What video game, manga, or anime is being used here and there. Those images totally spoil the fun. Couldn't they have used Talos? Or go for the really obscure reference and used Reggae.

Jeeze, where are they getting their graphical advice from: a sprite comic?

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm Not New to Downloading.

In my last article I discussed how much I liked going from store to store in search of whatever treasure I was having O.D.D. issues over. (Mind you, that article is going to get posted after this one so that way it will be in somewhat of a coherent order. I hope.) Now I am getting dragged kicking and screaming into the 1980's.

1980's? Yep, or was it the 90's? I don't remember. I do remember playing with the C64 and being on Q-Link. (That's where I got most of my trolling habits out of my system. Most.) Printed out a bunch of those car acronym jokes. You know: Fix It Again Tony, Found On Road Dead, Cracked Heads Every Valve Rattles Oil Leaks Expensive Trash. If you were really adventurous you could download music and games. It would take about eight days to get a minute thirty MIDI onto a five and a half inch floppy. Only downloaded one game. It was an overly simplified version of Risk. Bunch of hexagons provinces with up to six players duking it out to be king. However the NES was much simpler: pop in a game and away you go. Then of course it was remove the metal bar and insert two games and a pen.


I would take my leave of the internet for awhile. Then it beckoned me back a number of years later. Friends would tell me all about the games, books, videos, college and correspondence courses that could be had. I was intrigued until a guy showed me a nude picture of Sailor Moon he printed out. I asked “Is the what the internet is all about?” He said “Yeah! Isn't it great?” I snorted and turned away for about another year. Fortunately other friends that used the Net for real work showed me the real deal. What had me hooked was a site in which you could make free phone calls from all over the world. I bought a new computer that week. Then it was several more months before I could actually get on the net.

Boy did I have a lot to learn. I ran for the first year or so without an anti-virus. No kidding. I was copy/pasting those fanfics. Many an image was lost because I didn't know about internet caches and right-clicking. NES, SNES, Genesis ROMS? I thought for the longest time those were circuit boards you had to buy to insert the ISA slot on your motherboard.

Then I found Napster. I now could locate songs that I had heard on the radio for years, songs I had on rapidly deteriorating audio tape, all those anime themes at full length. Best of all, I could try out a song and see if I actually liked it without having to buy a $20 CD. Yes, I would put every effort into finding a hard copy of that song. I considered it the right thing to do. Studies have shown that even though you could get free music off the internet, most people would still buy the CD. For me another reason is that often one crappy version of a song was all you could find on Napster.

Let's fast forward to today. There are advantages and disadvantages to downloading off the Net. They really are no different to having a hard copy. A fire can wipe out you book shelf, a fire can wipe out your hard drive. Someone can break into your house and steal your hard copy of Flash CS6. Someone can break into your house and steal your computer. There is one advantage to a hard copy: I bought Rosario Vampire on the shelf long before it showed up in the Viz Media app.

Then the irony being is was Puella Magi Madoka Magica that got me into it. When I did my review of it I wanted images to comment on. I'm not tearing apart my copies, and I'm not buying another copy to rip up. The manga site I got the images for Rosavam didn't have Madoka. The Yen Press app still doesn't have it. Viz Media does have all of Rosavam. Unlike Yen press that puts its manga in a big blob, Viz stores its manga as JPEGs in file folders. Unfortunately it is not backed up on your computer inside the app.

I know, I tried. You see you can copy the app IPA into the Zorin OS Linux distro and open it up like a file folder. Try it with Angry Birds. You can find all the music, SFX, and graphics. However you won't find Rosavam and all of Moka's ass kicking action in there. So here's how you properly

Back that APP up.

There's two ways of going about it. The first is noninvasive way. Just take a screen shot of each page.

Then there's the somewhat frustrating but much faster way.

I used iExplorer for Windows. Get it from the official website. Not anywhere else. I went with CNET. While it is a good place to find software that is not virus laden, they love to junk up the install with 80,000 toolbars. You may have to instal another variation of the .NET Framework. Always best to get it directly from Micro$oft. Once everything is set up. Plug in you iPad and turn on iTunes and double click iExplorer. The best way to go about is to right click the app and copy the whole thing over.

There you have it. The main advantage to the Net: saving multiple copies of your 19 volume set of Rosario Vampire on as many hard drives as you want. As well as the online back up of your choice.

Plus they're not as expensive as the actual book.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Thrill of the Hunt.

(Keep in mind this is part three of a series. Part two will get posted next time and part one will the time after. Also, there is nudity in Girls Bravo.)

In part one: A Hardheaded Holdout for Hard Copies, I discussed going from store to store looking for whatever movie or book I'm obsessing over. I am a firm believer in supporting my local businesses. What if none of these big boxes or mom and pops doesn't have what I am seeking? Or worse yet the copy I got is screwed up?

Remember the fecal storm of cursing I had over the anti-virus AVG? The hard copy I bought in the store turned out to be no-good. AVG made it good two months after I installed the competitor. Here's the thing, the version of the program I wanted wasn't on the shelf, it was in the online store. On top of that the boxed version I got was out of date. The company has honored the key code so far. There may come a time.

Other than supporting local people there is a technical reason for buying boxed software. When I installed Windows 7, my downloaded copy of Bejeweled wouldn't activate. You see Pop Cap lost my registration information. If I had the disk it would have worked no-prob. A lot of companies put excessive registration forms on downloaded software. It is even made it way onto CD/DVDs. I understand why: in this age of high speed internet and massive hard drive space it is easier than ever to upload Photo Shop CS6 to some torrent site. Cracked and ready to to go. If only these companies would realize that by dropping the price to a reasonable rate and stop with the DRM rootkit schemes that more people would buy their products. All that stuff really does is turn honest persons into pirates. People will support you if you give them a reason.

Oops. Seems as if I drifted off onto another soapbox. Where's the soapbox labeled for digital downloading? There it is.

I've gone to every store in town and nothing. My first choice of online retailers is Amazon. That way I can get a hard copy. I typically reserve iTunes for music. What if disk three of Puella Magi Madoka Magica I bought from Amazon is unwatchable. Due to technical reasons and not the content per say? (Buy the way, I always have to look at the DVD cover when spelling that out.) I could always order another disk, but the anticipation of waiting for it to arrive in my mail box has long since turned to gripping. That new disk may be screwed up as well. Also it wasn't cheap. Looking at iTunes, all there is a couple of Kill QB apps and some podcasts. No episodes.

The thrill, and frustration, of the hunt now goes into the dork underbelly of the net. There are plenty of sites to be had that post anime, OSTs, and manga. I use them when all else has failed me. You can find just about everything, almost. It's these sites where I found all those images for Rosario Vampire I used in my reviews. (Another great thing is that sometimes they are far in advanced of what we get here. Rosavam 19 on the Viz Media app finally appeared two months later. Online you can get volumes 20 or 21.) Also I found Samuri Pizza Cats and that one series I promise not to talk about ever again. You know, the one about the fox girl trying to be a “dog-god” and falls in love with a human. Plus my newest guilty pleasure: Azu Manga Daio. It's free, I am not losing any money on it, except now, I just ordered it. It wasn't available anywhere locally. (I am NOT posting a video of the opening credits. It is one of the most obnoxious anime themes of all time. Even I'm not that cruel.)

What about that messed up copy of Madoka disk three? That was a hard one to find. Most sites didn't have it. One said it had the dubbed version, but alas no. It supposedly had the entire series subtitled. It had episode one complete. Which was great, but only had half of episodes 11 and 12! No kidding. Wait a half an hour for each one and only get half. (I spent that time writing part one of this series.) Checked several others to no avail. What makes it more frustrating is that it could be under Puella or Madoka, or Mahou. I finally found it on a site that had a very slow server (which allowed me the time to write out part two of this whole rambling ramble of a ramble.)

I guess hunting for anything on the net is just as frustrating as driving around. It could take awhile to find what you are looking for, it may be a bad upload to begin with, or even laden with malware. But uses less gas.

I watched the last two episodes of Madoka, and I'll save the review for some other time. Next up: the greatest advantage to those bootleg sites. Of course that will have already been posted before this article making that line seem kinda of sillier than normal. If you scroll down it will make some sense.

Won't it?