Living the Good Life, Episode 109 (December 29, 2018): A bittersweet Christmas, 2018…

My Christmas this year wasn’t too bad. Some relatives came over and that kept me busy (couldn’t write or read too much), but otherwise I had a pretty relaxing week watching anime. So why’s it bittersweet? Well, read on…

WATCHAN:

Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu ep. 13: WONDERFUL sendoff! It’s essentially a parody of the Gundam movie, Char’s Counterattack. So Subaru and all his friends, along with his rival brother and evil clone from Metus, are trying to push back the dictator’s gigantic mobile armor to prevent it from destroying the Earth. They’re not having much luck…until Subaru finds out an external controller on the big machine! However, all his companions are so into it and shouting out uplifting but cheesy catchphrases that Subaru just doesn’t have the heart to simply punt the giant superweapon away. So he tries to subtly change its direction so it looks like his friends are actually having an effect! This works, so then he inputs a cheat code (which is the Konami code, as the external controller is a little NES type thing) to make the superweapon self-destruct, and tells his friends to shoot at a particular section of the machine so it looks like they’ve stopped it. The narrator says that Subaru’s concern for the feelings of his friends (not making it obvious they weren’t doing anything) is proof that he’s slowly managed to gain some degree of social awareness, and the story ends happily 😀

Haha, at 13 short episodes (only 7 minutes long), I had a hell of an enjoyable ride with this. I wish we saw more of some minor characters like Fei Calloway (she doesn’t show up at all even for the finale), but there’s only so much they could do with such a short running time. Great fun, no anime has made me laugh quite so much in a very long while!

Vento Aureo ep. 13: Just before he kills Fugo, the villain hears Abbachio running towards the objective in the real, non-mirror world, so he leaves Fugo for later and goes to get whatever it is they’re looking for. But this proves to be his undoing…not yet, of course, but we know it will be. So Abbachio runs off to the nearby dog mosaic, and finds a key hidden near it, but there’s also a reflective shard of glass nearby, which would allow the villain to drag him into the mirror world, preparing to kill him and steal the key he’s looking for!

Abbachio knocks it away ASAP, but this breaks the mirror into many shards, and each one of them serves as a gateway to the mirror world. It seems like Abbachio’s screwed, but he’s sneaky–his Stand disguises itself as him, and the villain drags *it* in, allowing it to fight! It looks like the badguy is on the ropes, but he uses another shard of the broken mirror to drag Abbachio’s real body in, making sure it’s only halfway into the mirror world (with another half in the real world) so that Abbachio is effectively paralyzed. The villain does the same to his Stand, paralyzing it as well.

But the bad guy can’t find the key, despite the fact that Abbachio was reaching for it earlier! It seems like Abbachio…chopped off his own hand, so that his Stand’s hand (the half of it in the real world) could steal the key and bring it to Giorno. But Giorno, noble as he is, refuses to take the key and run, he’s trying to figure out what happened to his friends. He uses a nearby reflective surface to drag Giorno in…but Giorno has really outsmarted him! Our hero infected himself with Fugo’s virus and dragged it into the mirror world!

The virus reaches the bad guy’s hand, so he thinks he can escape it if he cuts it off (so it’s more like a poison, sort of) and retreats from the mirror world to avoid infection entirely. So he chops off his own arm and jumps back to the real world, but that’s precisely where Fugo’s stand is trapped. Gold Experience is outside too, and it moves objects around to point to where the bad guy is, allowing Fugo’s virus stand to figure out where the bad guy is and blast him. With his death, everyone is released from the mirror world, and just in time, because the virus has almost killed Giorno–but he uses his stand’s power over living things to repair his body and turn the virus/poison into something harmless. More technically, it creates a cure for the virus from a creature it created earlier and injects that cure into Giorno. It seems like Giorno’s stand has healing powers comparable to Josuke’s from part 4! Though Fugo’s hand is still cut off…I wonder if they can fix that or if he’ll get an artificial hand. And after the credits, we see a suspicious guy picking up a burned piece of paper. I wonder what’s gonna happen next…

EATAN:

 

TIMAN:

w0000t! Next ep of Dragonar is OUT, friends!

https://msubsreleases.wordpress.com/2018/12/25/metal-armor-dragonar-episode-32-vengeful-sniper/

PLAYAN:

Not too much this week since I was playing with my relatives, but…Bloodstained has received some pretty bad news:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iga/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night/posts/2368304

Long story short, they’re no longer offering Mac and Linux ports. Now, they also had to drop the Wii U and Vita ports, but they offered refunds for those. But in this case, Mac and Linux folks don’t even have the option for a refund! It seems really scummy, and this is the first time in the project it feels like they’re really ripping people off.

I’m a mod at the Bloodstained forums and I backed the project to a significant extent, and so far I’ve tried to keep a positive attitude about the project. And not just because of my aforementioned involvement–I do think that a lot of the management’s previous decisions were understandable. The first problem was when IGA, the head producer and director of this game, replaced Inti Creates with another team, which caused some delays. It was an inconvenience, but it at least indicated that IGA was paying great attention to the progress of the project and was willing to take steps to ensure the end product was of maximum quality. Then came the cancellation of the Wii U and Vita versions. Again, inconvenient, but IGA offered refunds, as I said, so his obligation to his backers wasn’t entirely abandoned. So even beyond my personal biases, I think an objective observer could say the previous travails of this project weren’t necessarily indicative of either bad faith or insurmountable planning problems.

Alas, leaving Mac and Linux backers in the lurch seems like bad faith…at least at first. I can understand the business reason for doing so, which is the same as the business reason for abandoning the Vita and the Wii U. For those systems, the cost of porting Bloodstained to them far exceeded the amount of backers and potential customers who would play the game on them, while also significantly extending development time. The same reasoning applies to Linux and Mac platforms–as much as it sucks to say (since Linux and Mac owners are often very enthusiastic and passionate about gaming), less than 2% of steam’s users, to take one example, use those platforms. But even if it makes business sense to abandon those platforms, why couldn’t they have offered refunds to the affected backers, who would ostensibly be a small minority that could be recompensed without too much expense?

I think it has to do with the backer survey software that keeps track of what backers ordered. Apparently, it only offered the choices of:

Bloodstained on Steam/GoG

on PS4

XBOX

Wii U

Vita

And so on. So if someone selected, say, Vita or Wii U, they could just ask for a refund and it would be easy to provide. However, the “steam/GoG” option *includes* the PC, Linux, and Macintosh versions of the game. So the only way to open up refunds for mac or linux backers would be to allow everyone who selected “Bloodstained on Steam” to ask for a refund, which would mean all the PC backers would *also* have the option of getting refunded. Thus, that could lead to a lot of PC owners dishonestly asking for refunds even though the game was still being released for their platform.

So in this case, I don’t think IGA or the Bloodstained team have intentionally scammed the backers. I think if they could reasonably offer refunds, they would–it’s just the lack of specificity in the backer-fulfillment software they started with ended up messing them up down the line. Thus, even after this unfortunate move I still have my respect for IGA and his team as men and women of integrity. But that’s easy for me to say as a PC backer…Linux and Mac fans are justifiably much angrier, as they have every right to be. Given my aforementioned duties as a moderator in the Bloodstained discord and forums, I’ll have my hands full trying to alleviate that anger to whatever extent I can. So that’s why this Christmas season is bittersweet for me–good personally, but as a community official, I gotta deal with a lot of (again, justified) anger and bitterness :/

READAN:

Nothin much this week, since I was busy with relatives. But next will be better, hopefully 😀

WRITAN:

Forgot to mention it last week, but I did hand in my PP fanfic! Phew…aside from that, this week, I didn’t get much writing done cause I was busy with holidays, but no big deal, next week I’ll get a lot in 😀 One thing though, a commenter did write a guest post for me, or more specifically, I turned several of his comments into a guest post with his permission. Check it out!

 

https://gunlord500.wordpress.com/2018/12/29/guest-post-from-tru-several-critiques-of-edward-feser-and-aristotelian-philosophy/

 

See y’all next week!

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