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Pedro Cortes's blog

3:01 AM on 07.30.2008

How a guy got frustrated with his stick, or Problems with Soulcalibur 4 on PS3

So a couple months back I decided to look for the PS3 arcade stick that Aaron Linde
suggested that people buy. Well, I managed to find the very same Hori stick that he was
talking about and I've been enjoying it ever since.


I pop in SC4 into my PS3 and find that the game doesn't recognize my stick at all except for
the Home button on the top. When I press it, it jumps to the XMB and then all of a sudden the
system recognizes the stick. So it'll work with every other fighting game EXCEPT the game
that I originally bought the stick for. Is anybody else having the same problem?

Other than that I'm really enjoying the game. The create a character is a blast, the gameplay
proper is amazing, the online mode worked like a charm without any lost frames. The only
thing tarnishing this great game is the fact that I'm forced to use the Dualshock 3 with a game
that is clearly meant for a stick.   read

11:17 AM on 05.07.2008

(kinda VGR, kinda not) Got a lot of stuff done last night, including finishing Ai Yori Aoshi

Having a night to myself while my girlfriend is making another cake (to be posted after the party that it's to be presented at), I decided to do a bit of everything that I haven't had time to do lately.

-I played a bit of CoD4, which was ended prematurely due to a shitty connection (damn you Bellsouth!).
-I put some time into Brawl, practicing with Peach, Lucas, and Wolf so I don't get ground into powder at the next party I go to.
-I studied a bit of grammar for my upcoming grammar exam, only to find that the emails that had the websites to study from were AWOL (they were eventually found).
-I did some more research for my H-Game panel for Yasumicon.
-I played MGS through the whole PAL card ordeal. I left that for the next time I pop on.

By the time I turned off my PS3, it was about 3 in the morning, so I decide to go to sleep. After 20 minutes, of tossing and turning, I decided to read the last 3 volumes of Ai Yori Aoshi that were on loan to me.

For those that don't know, Ai Yori Aoshi is about a college student named Kaoru Hanabishi, who is reunited with his fiance, Aoi Sakuraba after years of separation. The point of contention is that he has run away and abandoned the family that had arranged the marriage between them.

Imagine a traditional Japanese version of Love Hina and you'll have a good handle on the story and how it follows. It has a zany group of females that all fall in love with one lovable goofball that enters their lives in strange ways. Unlike Love Hina, the main protagonist is not an incapable lout and does not waver in his resolve for the woman he ends up with. However, it also lacks in comedic value, since there is little to laugh at. Much like Love Hina, there are mistimed entrances and miscommunication abound, however every body plays nice and apologizes and simply blushes away. So if you want a less zany Harem series with more blushes than nose bleeds, Ai Yori Aoshi might be an interesting diversion.

Any way, so I read the last 3 volumes and when I got to the end, I wasn't pleased. I mean, it was a happy ending and everything worked out in the end, but I felt a little ripped off. Perhaps it's my patience with the genre getting shorter and shorter with every derivative show I watch, however, this time it was more to do with the manga proper. Somehow, it was even more predictable than the average Harem show. You KNOW who he's going to end up with in the first volume, so I suppose that sucked the enjoyment of the eventual happy ending.

Perhaps that's why I liked Ichigo 100% percent so much. While the show was in the same format as any old Harem series with the same type of annoying loser main character, you really didn't know who he was gonna end up with until literally the last volume. This was also one of the few things that was interesting about Shuffle.

Anyway, as my girlfriend is still working on cake tonight, I'll try to finish MGS and do a quick write up on it after playing it for the first time in ages, then onto MGS2!   read

9:28 PM on 05.04.2008

My GF cakes again, less Wii and more 'Wiener' version! (SFW, NVGR)

Hello Ladies and Gents, welcome to Cake corner, with ElfAngel7 and his lovely girlfriend.
This time, I bring to you the giant Hot Dog cake with mini burgers and fries all around!

The cake is a jelly roll cake with a marshmallow fondant around the hot dog proper, with a
dense butter cake acting as the buns, also covered in fondant. The jelly roll cake had
yellow icing in the center, acting as the 'cheesy' center of the hot dog ^^

The 'mini-burgers' around the burger are made from vanilla wafers (as the bun), red icing
(ketchup), and mint grasshopper cookies (the burger). Honey was placed on the top of the
'bun' and sesame seeds were placed on top to make them sesame seed buns! The fries
are large sugar cookies with tinted butter-cream icing acting as additional 'ketchup'.

The cake makers enjoying their double ended treat.

Finally, my girlfriend and I about to snarf down a real dog next to the cake one.

Oh yay, and I met Colette and Niero the other night at a Japanese restaurant. They were
awesome company and I hope to see you guys again sometime soon ^^   read

11:49 AM on 04.14.2008

Chessus Christ on a stick my GF is awesome (cake related)

as I'm under the stress of finals, this won't be a substantive post, however I'd like to post this
pic of a cake my girlfriend made for a recent party.

As my girlfriend and a friend of mine wish to create a business of cake making, they decided
to start practicing on my friends and the multitude of parties that we have. Considering that
most of my group are Ninty fans, the decision to create a Wii cake was made in short order.
Unfortunently, time was also in short order, as due to work and school, there was only 8 hours
to decorate the cake. However, I think that they did quite an amazing job, considering the
time restraints.

I'll post more pics when I get them from her camera, but as you can see, there is a system, a
wiimote and nunchuck, as well as a pile of games. The angle doesn't show it, but along with
the painted cover of No More Heros, the spines of several other games are painted on the left
side of the pile. I truly felt bad eating this cake, since it was a work of effort and love on her
and my friends part.

Edit: More pics! The last one is my girlfriend and my friend who worked on the cake about to leap into a freezing pool at 2 int he morning.   read

6:25 PM on 04.09.2008

Under the crush of games, or how the current release schedule of games will destroy my finances

Me dressed as Alex from Clockwork Orange on Halloween. NVGR, just a funny pic I
found on my computer. I may post more random stuff in my posts, if I remember to do so.

Anyway, to update on my last post, I'm past Magus in Chrono Trigger and in Zeal at the
moment. However, video game activities are put on hold until after the semester is
through, which means that for two weeks I'm FIU's bitch supreme. Well, at least I can
finish Apollo Justice and continue Crisis Core when no one is looking.

So I picked up Baroque for the Wii yesterday, despite the bad buzz that Nintendo Power
gave it. It's an Atlus game and since I could use a couple of games on the Wii anyway, I
preordered it along with Arcana Heart (damn Gamestop and their stupid delays!) and
Persona 3:FES.

As I was there, I remembered that Metal Gear Solid 4 is going to have a special edition,
much like any game of repute these days. I also remembered that Soulcalibur 4 is coming
out around the same time. This financial raping reminded me of how shittty the release
schedule of video games tends to be.

Normally, I complain of this problem in the fall, when every publisher decides that it would
be a great idea to release their games around the time that Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony
decide to unleash their massive titles. While this can sometimes work out just fine (Call of
Duty 4), this tends to lead to financial ruin and the loss of potentially good titles to the
bargin bin (Beyond Good and Evil).

The summer used to be a lull in the release schedule, when crap was mostly delivered
while an occasional gem washed up in my game shop (Persona 3 being a recent example).
Now, summer is getting a veritable ton of great releases with MGS 4 and SC4, along with
Ninja Gaiden 4 and several others that I don't remember off the top of my head.

With all these games getting released at the same time, how are gamers supposed to keep
up? Do they, or do they end up like me with a massive pile of shame that gets looked at
wistfully every week? I know that you don't have to get the game the second it comes out.
Waiting is indeed an option. Think of this though. Even if you do wait to pick it up, what's
to say that there won't be another grade A or B title that'll take your attention away from
the product you waited for. The way games are released now seems to only lead to
massive losses for most companies. I'm probably missing something in the equation, but it
seems like maddness to me.

A last note, somebody has probably already noted this, but what is it about the fourth titles
of series this year? CoD4, MGS4, SC4, Street Fighter 4, Devil May Cry4, Grand Theft Auto
4, Apollo Justice, Final Fantasy 4 DS. With the amount of quality in these titles, 4 should be
my new lucky number!   read

1:00 PM on 04.04.2008

I'm playing Chrono Trigger instead of my next gen games.

As a particularly devoted fan of Chrono Trigger and Earthbound, I make it a habit to replay each once a year, to remind me of why I love to play videogames. Just like a good book, I've learned what to expect from each game, the twists of their plots, the nuances of their fighting systems, the witty dialog of the NPC's. They may be over 10 years old, but I find that I'm still enthralled with them each time I make my yearly run through.

Last year I was unable to make my yearly play throughs due to a massive move from my old house to my current appt. In that time I got a Wii, a PS3, and an Intel Mac that allows me to play PC games. When I finally had the time to set up my SNES, I figured that this would be the last year I would be doing this, as I have quite the backlog of Wii/PS3/PS2 games.

Yet, I can't stop playing. From when I started up CT to where I'm at now (just reached the end of time), I haven't been able to think of any other game in my collection.

I could be playing:
-CoD4 (I've had the game since it launched and I'm only at lvl 34)
-Orange Box (Portal is done, but I got to get through the Half Lifes)
-Brawl (working on getting my Peach and Lucas skills up to par)
-Mario Galaxy (I'm at 110 Stars with Mario, need 10 more then replay with Luigi)
-No More Heros (i'm ranked 10th, about to start on my rank 9 match)
-Burnout Paradise (got it for my birthday, just barely scratched the surface)
-Assassin's Creed (it's fun, not as bad as everybody says it is, it's simple fun)
-Super Metroid on Virtual Console (this IS as good as everybody says, and more)
-Rock Band (this gets more play than the others, but not nearly enough)

This doesn't include my PS2 games (Persona 3, Ar Tonelico, Odin Sphere) DS games and my dubiously acquired PSP games. In the next few weeks, I'll be adding Baroque, Arcana Heart, and Persona 3: FES.

So I wonder to myself what is it about CT that makes me ignore all these other amazing games. I feel bad that I'm ignoring these other games (even more considering how much was spent on purchasing them), but once I started CT again I've had that gaming tunnel vision. Until I get through the best ending of CT, I can't focus on any other game.   read

8:54 PM on 09.05.2007

Drudging in crap, or, how I listen to crappy music when depressed.

The last several weeks have been rough ones, marked with lies, betrayal, shouts, and tears. They've tested the limits of my will and my ability to trust my ability to love and care for other humans. Yes folks, I'm single again, and in that light, I see one of the many things I hate in life in its glory (or lack there of).

Crappy music.

I FUCKING HATE CRAPPY MUSIC. With a passion unmatched by anything in my life. The joys of sex do not match the power of my hatred of crappy music...well, maybe not, but you get my point. Music is something that has literally defined my life, and anything that would smear it must be at the minimum intellectually decimated. Soooooo, when I find myself sitting in a chair at work listening to "What I've Done" on a loop, I want to bash my head against the computer screen until something cracks.

This isn't something that happened just now. This happens EVERY TIME I GO THROUGH A BREAK UP. I find myself listening to The Eagles, Creed, Crazy Town. I feel my soul wearing away everytime "Fly Like an Eagle" or "Butterfly" gets aurally shoved through my skull. I pass my Zepplin, my Marley, my NWA, my Atmosphere and go to this shit.

Maybe it's because of my masochism. I want to suffer, I must feel the pain, I MUST FLAGELLATE MY EARS TO ATONE FOR MY PAIN. Perhaps it's a defense mechanism to prevent myself from dwelling too deeply on my problems. I go to the crap so that I don't taint my good music with crappy memories.

So, with that in mind, I find it comforting that I'm finding myself skipping high pitched screaming and going back to my Floyd, my King, my Hendrix. It's a sign that things are getting better, at least for my ears.   read

1:20 AM on 09.05.2007

another post about the love life (or lack thereof) of a life long gamer.

Hey! First post and straight to serious thoughts and possible discussion.

Being a life long gamer and growing up in the gaming 'culture', I find it interesting how the prototypical 'male gamer' has attempted to, and often failed to, achieve normality when it comes to dating and romance. Way back when, I remembered how being branded 'the gamer' was the kiss of death to your social life. End of story. Once that was pushed onto you, there was little to no hope that you could get a female to seriously talk to you much less date you.

This act of social pariah-ism (can't think of a better word for it) stunted many males in my youth, including myself. I had no social life for many of the formative years of my adolescence. Instead of having friends that I could go out and interact with, I was essentially forced into using games as an escape from this loneliness.

It wasn't as simple as looking for a female that shared the same interest. Where I grew up in Miami, I never met a female that played video games in my middle school years. Being shallow little gits, they only cared about the boys who had their hair dyed and had the biggest JNCO's. For them, being a gamer was as low as you could get in their radar.

Moving onto high school, things did get better when I joined other clubs and interacted with people through those means. People met me through Theater and got to know me as a Drama kid before they found out my other hobbies. Here is where I started to learn how to interact with the opposite sex and, while still being unsuccesful most of the time, still managed to HAVE a social life, despite my hobbies and my anti-social past.

Then there were those that didn't join other clubs. They continued to have gaming as their main hobby and nothing else. Now, these guys were quite intelligent. They weren't slack jawed idiots; they could argue and debate with the best of them. However, the one thing they remained woefully ignorant of was how to deal with the opposite sex. They weren't ignored like they were in the past, but they lacked the social graces to handle a conversation with a female. This remained a consistant thing for them through all four years.

So now I'm in a university, where open thinking will mean more mature people that are open minded about others hobbies and habits, right? ...right? Well, yes and no. By this time, the PS2 and XBox were considered legit forms of entertainment that people of all walks of life (and of all sexs) enjoyed. In fact, it wasn't until I got into my current University that I met a girl that was an open gamer.

So what's the problem if gaming is legit? Well, those gamers that lacked social graces in high school still lack them in college. They ability to deal with social situations was atrophied beyond belief, not unlike a comatose stuntman who crashed head first into a wall.

What I'm getting at is that these people (the prototypical gamer here) have never HAD the opportunity to practice and get better, to experience, to learn. Maybe they've had some minor bits here and there, but for the most part lack the knowledge to handle themselves in a romantic situation.

I'm lucky that my other interests have lead to...interesting situations. I've been able to experience many things that these gamers haven't. I think of all the things that I've completly screwed up in and how I've learned from them and (at least hope) to never repeat. But what about those that haven't had my luck? When will they have the opportunity to screw up and learn?

Certainly it isn't my problem directly that they are stuck in this predicament, but being part of a large community, I often think about how other members deal with their lives. Now, this rant doesn't include the contingent of females that have played games through the years. This is simply based off my experiences in Miami and the surrounding counties. If I'm off base on something, please do tell.   read

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