Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adventures In Ebay

So I have been going to and fro about taking the next generation console plunge. Money is always and issue so I thought the best way would be to put up my PS3 for sale on eBay because I don't have space for both with only one monitor - below is all the fun stuff that happened.



eBay is pretty much the only viable way I think for getting rid of your PS3. It is so late in the game that I doubt Game or other video game store would want it and heading to a pawn shop would most likely get me £30 at most. I figured that most likely in a free bid situation I should get more than that so if I add postage I would have been fine.

Obviously doing the eBay thing does require some preparation time taking nice pictures of what you are trying to sell. Having a PayPal account to deal with payments is pretty much a requirement. A good step is searching for what you intend to sell and pick out the good stuff that makes the listing appeal to you and adding it to your own.

I think to set my one up I spent 45 minutes before making the listing live. Oh pay attention to what eBay suggests you might as well use their stats but of course be aware that if it is low you might take a bath finance wise. It can be a little stressful sometimes.

I set my PS3 for £40 with a few games which I could live with along with the postage that I had already got a quote for. I used myHermes it allows for collection from your home and has decent prices but do your own research.

FEES, FEES EVERYWHERE

The problem with doing the eBay thing is the fees and not just in the obvious ways, eBay charges a monthly fee based on your sales for that month and insists you give its direct debit access. Now that might not be a deal breaker for you but I've never been a big fan of that also not a fan of the way this stuff doesn't kick in until your second or third sale or bunch of sales.

Also another fun thing that happens after a few sales is Paypal start holding onto your money for up to 21 days. The first time I called them up to ask why they said bring my status to Above Standard then they changed that. For now the rules seem to be add tracking for your package on Paypal and they will release it three days after delivery is confirmed. Now there is a problem there are only three postal services that are integrated into Paypal so the rest (like myHermes) won't confirm delivery through Paypal so you have to call them up and get them to check it through the site. Yeah makes no sense to me either.

So if you want to sell things for a reasonable price not the pocket change that cash convertor style places offer go to eBay just be aware that it can be a fair bit of work.

Monday, July 13, 2015

ANIME REVIEW: Terra Formars

Terra Formars was originally a manga serialised in Weekly Young Jump which was then adapted for anime in 2014. There were also two OAV (basically one-off or very short anime series) covering the earlier missions often referred to the show.


The anime ran from September 26, 2014 to December 19 2014 and consisted of 13 episodes
For those interested I did a little research and unfortunately could not find any evidence that there will be another season. There is still a manga to read though.

WHY I WATCHED

Terra Formars was marketed as a Horror/Sci-Fi which sounded pretty interesting to me and other than that it pretty much came out of nowhere. It sounded like a fairly cut and dry idea, hard to go wrong, it reminded me a bit of Gantz but could just as easily be described as Attack On Titan in space.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Terra Formars is a wild, wild ride. There is a OVA which is like two episodes wrong but I’m not whether or not you should watch it first, it shows the previous missions will be referred to in the show from the beginning so make up your own mind. So first up is Terra Formars scary? Definitely not in a jump scare serial killer behind you sort of way but more of a no one is safe so don’t get attached to that character you find endearing.

One thing of note is that when Terra Formars was first broadcast is was heavily censored (what else would you do with a horror show) so trust me when you I say you want none of that action it is more horrifying than any of the deaths on the show.

Zeroing in on the show’s core reveal it to be a battle anime (think Naruto, DBZ) with the fights being more violent but just as intricate with just as many “let me just pull this special move out of my ass” moments which will make you smile.

The explanations for the Science behind the abilities of our protagonists and the enemies is well worked though it doesn’t exactly have me wanting to queue for that surgery. The announcer is awesome I kind of want to check out the English dub to see if he is up to scratch but somehow I think I will be disappointed.

As I mentioned previously absolutely no one is safe but if you had to watch one character it has to be Michelle K Davis as one of the leaders of the crews and perhaps the most badass female anime of recent times (say last five years). She is one of the few female protagonists you see in a show where you think yeah even without her powers or abilities she still kick the crap out of most who tried to take her on.

The show isn’t all action though there are flashbacks which serve to show why people would choose to go to Mars on what could be well be a suicide mission. The flashbacks speaks of mega corporations and the divide between rich and poor growing even larger.


So if you have a strong stomach and a love of epic multi-episode battles handled a lot better than they were in Dragon Ball and if you want to see some strong women calling the shots than go pick this up on DVD or on a streaming service if you can find it.

Monday, July 6, 2015

ANIME REVIEW: Is it Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon

Familia Myth is what I will be referring to this as from now on but having the full title is useful.

So in no particular order these are its titles.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? - Eng Title
Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru DarĊ ka - Long Title
DanMachi - Shortended Title

Familia Myth is the anime adaption of a light novel series from SB Creative – GA Bunko. The anime series had an initial 13 episode run and started broadcasting on April 4th.

PLOT

The story follows the exploits of Bell Cranel, a 14-year-old solo adventurer under the goddess Hestia. As the only member of the Hestia Familia, he works hard every day in the dungeon to make ends meet while seeking to improve himself. He looks up to Aiz Wallenstein, a famous and powerful swordswoman who once saved his life, and with whom he fell in love. He is unaware that several other girls, deities and mortals alike, also develop affections towards him; most notably Hestia herself.

WHY I CHOSE IT

I was not sure about this show at first but decided to give it a try and when I checked it out on the various anime sites I saw that word most dreaded of anime fans "

WHAT I THOUGHT

I was not sure about it at first and even a look at that cover was a bit off putting somehow I could sense the harem issues but after a bit of back and forth probably 2/3 of the way into its run I took the plunge. The show is not a harem at least it is not the only thing it is. It really can be described as the typical male anime protagonist gradually proving himself and rising up through the ranks, this story has been told dozens of times but I was entertained all the same.

If I could de-construct DanMachi into its constituent parts and look at them I would probably come out having no idea how the show manages to work as well as it does. It is also interesting because this is basically an anime version of most fantasy JRPGs. The idea of experience and talent trees are presented in an interesting way.


Bell Cranel is the protagonist of the show and starts out as a level 1 adventurer (yes they have levels) who is just beginning his career. He is a nice if oblivious dude which should give you some idea of the character arc you’ll watch but still he is compelling to watch.


Hestia is a god one of the pantheon who came down to the world at some stage in the past to live with humans. She’s called the “Loli-God” down to looking like a kid, those ponytails and her other apparent assets. I couldn’t tell you why other than the obvious but she makes me uncomfortable, it is not the first time I’ve see Lolita with overly large breasts but her body combined with her personality makes it super weird.


Ais Wallenstein is the superstar of the world of Dungeon and considered to be one of the top adventurers as well as one of the most beautiful who Bell falls for in the first episode.

So to settle up if you like adventure anime and JRPGs then DanMachi is a show that is worth checking out. This initial season looks good for a renewal though I can’t confirm that. So just remember that as I said before this is so much more than a harem show.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS End Of Season Event

This Saturday was the End of Season 2 Event of Friday Night Fights – the free Fighting Game Community event hosted by Xtreme Gaming Colchester.


At the end of every Season (16 weeks or so) we hold a special event with a tournament and give out prizes to the top 3 placed players as well as a raffle earned through a points based system.
This was my first full season as I joined the first in the middle and I feel like that made a world of difference.

Season 2 consisted of weekly tournaments of two games Ultra Street Fighter IV and Skullgirls. I went into the second season feeling a lot better about my chances as I now had Ultra Street Fighter IV at home and a decent Fight Pad to hone my skills.

I managed to finish 1st in the 2nd season check out the points break down below it is a league system with points for turning up on each night and for doing well in each tournament.


Season points results:
1) 82 Points, Kinneas
2) 69 Points, DW|Kuniku
3) 37 Points, MOP|C4IQ
And I won this for coming 1st.

Mad Catz F.R.E.Q Headset


Xtreme Gaming and Friday Night Fights has been a revelation for me, a very welcoming community and lots of people to talk to with shared interests and not just gaming.

You can find out more about Xtreme Gaming here.

The event featured a Mortal Kombat X and Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament I managed to finish 3rd and 2nd respectively.


Thanks to the offline practice I’ve been getting I managed to get up the courage to pit my my skills against top ranked UK players at a major tournament next week.


So definitely consider coming down if you’re based in the Essex area for a cool free night of Fighting Game Action

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What's Been Happening With Yours Truly

So there may be some hope on the horizon or at least something to inspire me. I have found out that my local gaming tournament will be hosting a qualifier in August for a major tournament one of the Capcom Tour events.



It has reignited my passion for training in Ultra Street Fighter IV where to be honest it was starting to wane. My local tournament is also about to start a new season with the addition of Mortal Kombat X so I’m hoping that will mean more numbers. More numbers means new matchups and a learning process but even if I lose at first I know I’ll improve.

On the job front things are looking… unchanged but I’m still applying and I chased down my last interview when they ignored my repeated requests for feedback in the end I received the following:

“I understand from the manager who interviewed you on the day that although you possessed a number of the essential requirements for the post, you did not satisfy all the criteria.”

That is the entirety of my feedback right there, my application, the studying before and attending the interview. I’m a little bitter I know not particularly at the institution involved but the whole process and the way candidates are treated.

So new fun fact that happened last night my phone stopped working. To supply detail there is a little internal switch thing that works behind the outside power button that fell off and now I can’t find which means it is impossible to turn the phone on. For techies sometimes you can turn a phone on by hooking it up to your computer via USB, not in my case though.

I went into town and half of it was cordoned off apparently last night someone was killed during a fight or something and I think they are looking for a murder weapon or something. Honestly my town isn’t as crazy as it sounds.


Enough about me what are you the nameless viewers out there up to at this moment?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Feelings Of Limbo

An unsuccessful job interview has left me a bit dazed and confused. Maybe I should be used to unsuccessful interviews but that is a scary thing to get used to it feels a lot like giving up. I have been looking to more local roles as scarce as those are but those are the types of applications that you just fire and forget you don't get any acknowledgement of your application past the automatic ones made by the job site.

I've been blogging, keeping up my volunteer work it is good to keep some skills sharp. I have been working on my own project too which you can have a look at right here. I would like to widen the scope of the blog a bit but not sure how.

I feel like I can get back into the endless jobsearch grind but I will need a little break to gather myself. Things need to change as I can't keep doing this. There are some other things in the horizon some bigger projects than my volunteer work that I hope to update you on as soon as possible.

Sorry to have such a downer of a post on here I will try to make the next one be more positive.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

GAMING POST: The Salt Is Real

Picture the scene the weekly Fighting Game Tournament - Ultra Street Fighter IV being the game in question. This week one of the established Top 3 of the tournament is in attendance so things are going to get competitive. I made it through the first round but the second round brought the Top 3 guy and of course that meant it was on.

Tournament details and write-up can be found here
Venue: Xtreme Gaming

I went with my main Chun Li and he picked Cammy and things were going good with a solid win in the first round but it looks like I peaked too soon as I went on to lose dumped into the second round of losers. So yeah OK that was a loss and it stung but then I got drawn against my nemesis of sorts a Rolento player.

I don't know what camp you fall in whether you think Rolento is one big backward rolling, gimmick laden, online curse or an interesting character but he drives me mad, it becomes so much worse online as his moves go from hard to punish to pretty much invincible if you suffer any latency at all. This was of course and offline tournament so that is no excuse in this case but again despite a bright start I found myself losing in straight games.


Then the salt flowed, I'm not the kind of guy to go smashing my controller against the nearest wall or throwing my club into a pond but that didn't mean I was any less annoyed. I managed to beat that Rolento the last time we played and there were moments against Cammy where I didn't maximise my opportunities.


Still in the end the only way you can deal with this is train, train, train until you reduce the errors and turn those losses into wins so I'll hopefully be there next week playing better and winning more. The only thing that could be thought of as a positive was my win at the Skull Girls Tournament where I was expecting to go out first round.
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