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StriderHoang avatar 12:58 AM on 01.02.2013  (server time)
Late night thoughts: Hey Strider! What'chu been up to?

It feels like I've been burning the candle from both ends for the past few weeks. Holidays descend on us, we have obligations, plans, and tons of celebrating to do. Not to mention work waits for no one, so in between everything is more work. But finally I have time to slow down and be at peace with my thoughts. So what have been up to?

Christmas, anniversaries, my new 3DS, and anime, all around work, that's what.

I survived Christmas and all I got was $20 in eShop points
Like me and ScottyG have discussed before, as we get older, we get less interested in what we're getting for Christmas. Mostly because we'd get what we want ourselves. Of course, I still got a few things out of the obligations of Christmas.

First, of course $20 in Nintendo eShop funbucks. That was immediately spent on Bit.Trip.SAGA and VVVVVV. Secondly, I got $100 from my dad, which I used on Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. I also managed to get Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG!? for the 3DS just to feel a sense of completion.

I'm actually quite surprised at how much I like Mario Kart 7 despite how little it mechanically has changed. The courses have an interested skew towards huge leaps to glide and underwater race ways. Any new items don't make much of a difference and I prefer the kart selection to previous titles like DS and Double Dash. But once you ride off a huge cliff on Maka Wuhu, you start to really enjoy the raceways presented in the game.

And let's be honest, Super Mario 3D Land is just all kinds of quality. Classic Mario flavor converted in pure 3DS fun.

Wil you please come to America already!?

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mentioned Ocarina of Time 3D. It's nice experiencing one of the greatest games of our generation on the go. It's not exactly portable friendly though, since one doesn't know when to stop when playing a game of that size and length. At least in Mario 3D Land or Mario Kart 7, you could get a level or a race down in between breaks at work. Still, with the ability to just close your 3DS into sleep mode, Ocarina 3D should be simple enough to play through between breaks.

The big fat 5 year anniversary
I celebrated my five year anniversary with my girlfriend before Christmas rolled around. I've talked already about it all but I feel happy with sharing Crashmo with my girlfriend. As we're a long distance relationship, we have to make due with what ways we can connect with each other in between our dates to see each other. We primarily use Skype and text with our phones between actually calling each other on our phones but I was hoping on connecting with her in a new way: online gaming.

It has never occurred to me to actually game with her on Tetris DS online. That's because her ISP is some weird, school run internet with blockers and weird throttling. But when she said she'd just realized that her local mall had wifi, it reinvigorated the idea of playing online with her. Of course, it seems she's still having issues connecting. Hopefully though, I can help her sort it out when I visit her and get myself another copy of Tetris DS in order to play with her online.

I think getting this to work would be a fairly good way to stay connected since sometimes we simply ache to see each other. At least if it works, we can be connected as she plays one of her all-time favorite games. Of course, she'll probably cream me the majority of the time unless we can decide on other Nintendo Wi-Fi compatible games to play together but Tetris DS is forever our thing.

I also almost forgot to mention Crashmo as we're on the subject of my girlfriend. She was completely absorbed into the game like I thought she would being a puzzle fanatic. I feel bad that she can't play it herself since it's a 3DS downloadable but it certainly gives me the idea to get her a 3DS of her own someday. Not to mention giving her a copy of Animal Crossing New Leaf as well so we can share townlife together. I mean, nothing says sharing like hopping into your friend's town to leave them little surprises and notes.

Seriously though, when is New Leaf coming?

Strider's Weeaboo Corner
Here's the part where I want to expand to a new column much like my running late night thoughts. Anime is something I enjoy watching and sometimes feel isn't well understood. So every now and then, I'll talk about anime, whether it's new and ongoing or old and classic. As long as it's something I've watched at some point, I want to take time and talk about anime as well as video games.

A while back, I mentioned watching something called Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic. It's an anime spin on classic Arabic folklore and characters, or at least using names we're familiar with as Arabic folklore. Magi follows specifically Aladdin, a magi, as he struggles to explore and understand the world while barely knowing anything about himself and his enigmatic title as a magi. Along the way, he befriend Alibaba, a small time worker who obviously has a mysterious past he's not letting on, but is also someone with noble intentions and a good heart. The two also meet Morgiana, a slave from a tribe of people called Fanalis, near superhuman warriors who single-handedly conquered the dark continent. Together, the three aspire to travel the world together. But along the way, they uncover a number of conspiracies and problems that can only be described by Sinbad as being apart of a distortion in the world.

The character designs and motivations are honestly a nice draw. It's refreshing to see something that doesn't involve school uniforms like puffy desert pants and turbans while some characters of noble background are downright flashy in their gold accessories. The cities and fauna are also quite diverse with things like giant, envenomed sabertigers and carnivorous desert lilies.

I honestly spend a large portion of my vacation time simply catching up on it as the show delved deeper into Alibaba's past but I've also been keeping my eye on the now long running Hunter X Hunter series as it enters the Greed Island arc. I honestly really got into the manga during the Greed Island arc as it further developed the nen capabilities of Gon and Killua, with the volleyball match further down the line being the culmination of the arc's development and I'm honestly excited for one of the earlier show pieces that happens right near the start. I won't spoil it but let's just say Killua really shines through as a cool character right near the beginning.

And with that, I've about dumped my thoughts for the past few weeks into another set of late night thoughts. If I can find another time to gather my thoughts though, writing this has made me really want to follow through on one idea: an Animal Crossing retrospective.

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