Let’s Talk About Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim

Finally back with another Let’s Talk About video, this time on Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim. I like this game, but the devs had an overly ambitious plan for the budget they crowdfunded, and that makes this a great example of why we need both AAA and indie games. Transcript is below the break.

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Let’s Talk About… Epistory: Typing Chronicles

There’s an awesome game out called Epistory: Typing Chronicles. It’s an adventure game controlled entirely via typing, and although it looks to some like just another typing game, it’s not. Script is below.

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Pondering RogueliKes, RogueliTes, and Procedural Death Labyrinths

It’s been forever and a day since I posted anything here. In addition to fall being busy in general for me as a JET ALT who is very involved with her schools, I was working on and releasing my first finished video game, Ultra Hat Dimension (which was a great, if stressful experience; check the game out and look for a postmortem in the near future).

Now that that is finished, I have finally begun making videos besides my critical/reminiscent long-form FFX let’s play! My first one is about the terms “roguelike”, “roguelite”, and “procedural death labyrinths” — both how the terms came about and how I use them. It’s a lead in to a series of one-offs about games that I’ll be doing. The video script is below the embed.

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Tangled, Part 1

I didn’t get around to watching Disney’s Tangled until a few days ago. Though I missed it in theaters, it came up in a Facebook discussion about Pixar’s upcoming Brave. Reminded of it, I got my hands on it and watched it.

Watching the movie, I found myself conflicted. The parts I liked I really liked. The parts I didn’t like, I really didn’t like. There was very little in between. At the end of the movie I simply felt disappointed. So much was done well, but the parts that were done poorly left me with no desire to watch the movie again. Frustration prompted me to write a long consideration of its pros and cons. So long, in fact, that I’m breaking it up into multiple posts. (Hopefully the others will be shorter than this one.)

That said, I would like to point out up front that I do think the movie is worth watching.

The Tale

Traditionally, the story of Rapunzel starts with a pregnant, common-born woman having cravings for her neighbor’s vegetables. When the neighbor catches her husband sneaking into her garden to steal some for a third time, the neighbor demands the unborn child as payment for the stolen vegetables. Since this neighbor is supposedly a witch, the couple complies out of fear. The girl grows up to be beautiful and eventually the witch locks her in a tower, where she stays until a prince hears her singing and starts to court her when the witch isn’t around. When the witch finds out, she cuts off Rapunzel’s long hair, which is the only way into the tower, and casts her out. When next the prince comes by, the witch blinds him. Though there are several variations on the ending, typically Rapunzel and the prince eventually get lucky and find each other again.

Tangled sets itself up with a modified origin story, adding a magic element to Rapunzel herself and setting up for a very different tale. I won’t summarize the whole movie (though there are spoilers ahead), but for my purposes here I do need to tell you about the five-minute back story with which the movie begins: Continue reading

The Molted Cicada

This was written for one of my classes this semester. The class is titled Women’s Voices in Japanese Literature. The assignment was to compare/contrast two poems from The Tale of Genji, one of the staples of classic Japanese literature.

The Molted Cicada

There are many tanka poems in The Tale of Genji. These short poems, each consisting of a total of thirty-one syllables in five lines, form the most important conversations in the story. They are used in place of dialogue when the characters’ emotions are strongest; each poem bursts forth from the character, expressing his or her situation or emphasizing a point the way songs do in a good musical. These poems help shape the story for the reader, regardless of whether it is being read in English or Japanese. Since the poems represent dialogue, they often have more impact when all the poems in a dialogue are considered together. Continue reading