Sunday, January 9, 2011

Domain Ownership

This post confirms my ownership of the site and that this site adheres to Google AdSense program policies and Terms and Conditions.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Crew is falling apart

I dont mean my crew as far as music is concerned. i mean friends personally. a music squad can always be replaced and assembled when someone puts some money up and thats how business relationships get formed. but personally, whered my real crew go? i dont rock with my group of friends all like that no more. sorry to say, but wut happened to the old days. we wuz always a crew that rolled deep. we grew up together and been thru hella stuff. i feel like business and other ppls obligations are separating ties between us all. whether its work related or female related. everybodys just maturing thru time and doin their own thing. but i guess when we all link up again and have a reunion, itll be like no one ever left. its all love and respect.

-Christian (from Lyrical Opposition)

REVIEW: DJ MAX Portable 3

Wsup everyone! My name is Mike and my homeboy Christian asked me to place some random stuff on his tumblr, so I decided to write a review. Read it or ignore, it aint any sweat offa my back.
Music games, even though they are a bit more widespread that before, are still a niche genre. Some people love that feeling they get from playing a plastic instrument that they continue to support the company(s) creating said games and plastic instruments and others look at you like an idiot and say “learn a real fucking intrument.” I, for one, absolutely love music games. Music games have always been close to my heart and I still play them a lot to this day (even ask Christian.) Anywhere from the mainstream Rock Band or DDR to the import friendly Beatmania IIDX or non-import friendly Pop’n Music, I’ve been an enthusiast since the day DDR came to the Metreon in downtown San Francisco.
DJ MAX is no different. Although I wasn’t there for their initial first release, I was an avid member of their online music gaming community for quite some time during my high school years until they released their first portable outing; DJ MAX Portable. Ask any of my high school friends; any free time I had, I would be pasted to the screen of my PSP.

Now, in 2010, Pentavision has released their 3rd (numerical titles, they’ve released a number of spin-offs; i.e: International, Fever, Hot Tunes, Clazziquai, and Black Square) title of the official DJ MAX released and a long time coming since the release of DJ MAX Portable 2 back in March 2007.
As stated in their trailers, DJ MAX Portable 3 was meant to be a “revolution” to the music game genre. And I was incredibly eager to find out if they would deliver. After a torturous waiting period with my friend and DDR mentor Jack, the game was finally uploaded on the Playstation network and we were quick to begin the download.

Booting up the game, you are treated to a colorful and flashy intro with some funky disco tunes in the background. Comparing this intro to previous releases, however, is quite disappointing. Once at the main menu, you are greeted with the base of operations when it comes to the series. The “Arcade” option lets you play the game, and all it’s different button alterations. “Mission” challenges you by giving you set objectives for an amount of songs to play. The “Lounge” options strokes your ego as you look upon your high-scores and achievements (Yes, achievements for a PSP game) you’ve unlocked.

As with previous entries in the series, the basic gameplay is to play the notes on a note highway when the said note hits the bottom of the bar, similar to a Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Need an example? Here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLsSYltzjx0) Great song for those new to the series. The button modes are as follows; the classic 4 and 6 button modes and the new 3.2, 4.2, 6.2 buttons modes which I will delve into further in the review. The main killer for the gameplay for me, and quite possibly the reason why I haven’t put in 40 to 50 hours of work into this entry compared to any of the others, is the terribly slow leveling system they’ve revived from Portable 2/Fever/Hot Tunes. This level system introduced earlier in the series added a bit more depth as you went, similar to a level system in CoD or MoH; the higer the level, the more you unlocked. In Portable 2, you can gain a level and nab a new song within a couple of songs played. In this one, it takes more than 30 song plays to nab just one level and even completing a mission doesn’t grab you a level up like it did in Portable 2. Since turning on my PSP, I’ve played a good 14 hours into the game, and I’m only level 24. I can say with confidence that if I put in 14 hours into portable 2, I’d be an easy 30 or 40+. Perhaps it’s to appeal to Korean fans of level grinders, but really Pentavision, grinding only made sense in the original online version and Portable 2. Why take a huge leap backwards?

The new .2 modes indicate the new two note highways on either side on the main note highway as shown in the original video. Now, here’s that same song, but with the .2 remix mode on. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCkPNXxMBFo) Confusing, no? Well, it will take a bit of practice to get. The two side note highways on the left and right of your main one now act as two separate turntables for mixing and scratching to ensue to some neat effect, and you switch from the two by using your analog stick to go either left or right; similar to a cross-fader (OH! HIP HOP REFERENCE!). The notes that come down are in Square, Triangle, and Circle order, so practice with the 3.2 mixing mode first to get a handle on the ropes. A criticism regarding the actual remixing, however. It isn’t as clean as you’d want it to be and some of the song samples, which do elicit an amount of nostalgia in me because they are song samples from previous songs in the series, do not make much sense. For example, you’re playing a heavy techno song and a K-pop sample kicks in out of nowhere. The hell? Also, the actual gameplay of the .2 system has some problems. There seems to be some input lag when switching tracks with the cross-fader and when switching tracks, you hear annoying clippings in each track which can throw off your timing.

Music is always an important aspect of a music game. A music game without good music is like a fighting game without set rules or a life bar. In my opinion, the music in this entry is much more varied than previous. But, the quality of the said songs just seem to be lacking. Aside from a few of them, La Campanella: Nu Rave and Waiting for the Sun are phenomenal, I couldn’t find myself bopping my head to many of the tracks on here, sadly.

As a whole, I am terribly disappointed with the release and even more so that after everything was unlocked that there was only a minimal 39 songs. Really? When Black Square, they’re most recent release prior to this blight on the series, had an easy 49. Account with the lackluster music and barebones look, it just doesn’t stack up to previous entries in the series. Yes, it’s the second game to be released in the US, but Pentavision really screwed up on their chance to make an impact here. 6/10, my lowest score for any of the entries of the series. Sad, sad day for DJ MAX fans.
Mike signing out, peace.

Reasons

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Why do you go through the trouble of helping the people around you?’ It’s simple: I never had an existence without helping others. Being a spirit raised close to the church, my mother and the Scriptures have taught me to love your fellow man and woman as your brother and sister, respectively. It’s now become an instant reaction to people. I’m terribly eager to help even those who may hate me, even want to harm me. Like a deviant, I cannot help myself. But, sometimes I feel as if I give my entire person to the people around me that I end up feeling empty inside at the end of the day. The feeling is absolute torture. “You can stop, all you have to do is say no.” Such as simple answer isn’t something you can just tell a person and the result will become a positive one.
I am flawed.
Simple as that. Thinking about myself has never been a priority in the duration of my life. I guess that’s just the way things will be. Humans are capable of change, spirits are not.”
-Stigma

In and Out

“It’s often that people would strive for the attention of others, especially those who don’t pay any mind to them to begin with. We all want people to look at us, even in the slightest of actions. But in this effort we fail to see those who actually not only pay attention to us, but love us. Not for what we do or say, but for who were are. It is impossible to say with confidence that ‘no one loves me.’ Which is never the truth. If you were never loved, why would a two people make the effort of raising you? If you were never loved, why would your friends be around you? If you were never loved, why would you be reading these words right now? Your loved ones are the ones you give the least amount of credit to. It’s the truth, just reflect for a moment and think about your current life; the people who may be important to you, and those whom you are trying merely to impress. A person should never feel lonely in this world for this reason alone. Love surrounds you but you blind your eyes towards it, thinking that acceptance of love only exists from those you try to garner attention from. Love surrounds you, and I extend my love as a spirit to you.”

-Stigma

It’s the simple things

“To get make me upset or perturbed takes quite a lot. I am a patient spirit the majority of the time. But, I realized today and even just right now that the ones whom I hold incredibly close to my heart are the ones who do the best to harm and shake me emotionally. Especially my little brother. I look back and think to the person who said to me, ‘the closer you are to a person, the more it will hurt.’ During that time when these were said, I didn’t understand what he meant by ‘it will hurt.’ Then, life kicks in and you start to build relationships with everyone; some closer than others. It was at this point that I realized that he meant generally it will hurt. And hurt it does. Even the small and slight things that your loved ones may do or say have great weight upon you, things they may not even mean to commit. It’s just like Sigmund Freud’s Hedgehog’s Dilemma. Hedgehogs have to keep warm in the winter and in order to do so must huddle together their body heat. But the closer they edge towards one another the more each of their prickles borrow into on another, causing much harm and discord among themselves. But Freud didn’t take into consideration that we must all live with the fact the more intimate a relationship is, the easier it’ll be for emotional pain to occur in both of the people in said relationship. Pain is always uncomfortable, but with love comes that pain. I am a patient spirit, but a flawed one as well, my friends. I can only pray that with time I too can learn to ‘grow up.’”
-Stigma

Motion to lead

“Long ago when I was still a child, a very important person said to me ‘If you always contour to those around you, when will you ever be you?’”
“Society can ask much from you, but will you even give up yourself? Since when was it so socially incorrect to be your own person? Do you feel as if the world watches you every second of your life, like you were on The Truman Show? Society can distort the simple fact that your life is yours. It was given to you by God, or whatever you may believe in. To waste it by producing a false identity only to appease those around you will only lead you to ruin. Trust me, I’ve been there.”
“To my friends who read these words and you question whether or not what you do is right, first ask yourself if you are doing it for yourself or some random person off the street. These words are from a wandering spirit, take it as you will.”
-Stigma