Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lantis Matsuri 2015 in Singapore!

I rarely type long posts but god Lantis Feastival was INCREDIBLE. Every singer was godlike, and seeing the audience so happy just makes me feel happy too. It's great that despite racial and cultural differences, we can all enjoy the same anisongs together!
Man where do I start. Choucho started off immediately with her soothing voice in her "Girls and Panzer" OP "DreamRiser". From there, everything just got better, with all the artists performing fantastic throughout! Man, there's so much to describe overall, so I'll just highlight what's personally incredible for me.

The very first thing that threw me off was Choucho, sang "Snow Halation". That was easily the first high point not just for me but the entire audience! Man all the Love Live fans got a treat ^^

The second high point to me was Azusa Tadokoro, an artist I'm not really familiar with (though I know where she's from), singing "Lost My Music"!! I threw me totally off guard! The last thing I expected was a Haruhiism song being played.

The subsequent artists did a great job. There was much "Kuroko no Basket" and "Free!" from OldCodex, Kensho Ono and Kenichi Suzumura. Thanks. Now not only I sang those songs in KTV, I sang them in live performance. ^^;;

Then Megumi Ogata just decided to make all of us feel old with "Cruel Angel Thesis" and "Densetsu Moonlight"! And she suddenly decided to have some sister-brother relationship with Azusa www.

But of course the best part of me is MINORIN! She's in Singapore for the first time, yay~! I shouted and screamed cues for the people at the back; the front VIP guys, thanksfully, got it all covered. The most incredible moment was when she started singing "Yuki, Muon, Madobe Nite". NEVER in my LIFE would I expect to hear her sing that live. It felt like the only way to listen to that is to travel 10 years back in time before she even started much of her singing career. That might...just be as special to me as listening to her "Shijin no Tabi" back in her birthday concert last year. すごく感動しました;; I finally get to hear Nagato Yuki's voice live!

And of course, as expected, she sang Paradise Lost and TERMINATED. 

Her performance was the 2nd last, and next was JAM Project. Honestly, I felt that I have spent most of my energy and voice on Minorin's part. There I was hoping that they do not sing a high opening (well, not-so-high at least) so that I have a chance to recover. 

But no...

Right off the bat, they start with GONG, the crazy high song comparable to SKILL that they owe us 5 years ago in AFAX! Drained and 'dying' after the song, pleading for the "YUNKER" drink that they were promoting during the intermission, Jam Project, without a frigging break, broke into the "CardFight! Vanguard" opening. And not long after, they decided to go into their individual songs! Man I felt so old when I ran out of breath singing Gaogaigar's "Yuusha no Tanjou". I really never thought Masaki Endou would relief my memories from AFAX ^^

And of course they closed with SKILL, which seemed to dare me to push my body past its limits. By the end of everything, I went home dizzy and tired as if I just went through 3 hours of basketball practice and slumped right to bed!

It was fantastic and overall a great concert for me! I think everyone else who attended enjoyed it too!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Death of Maxis, but of course, right?

Wow, last month was madness. Tons of crap happened. My mother's attempt at matchmaking, Chinese New Year, and a loooong mad rush to meet deadline at work. I was drained and on a verge of burnout the last couple of days. Thankfully, I think I'm better now.

I guess there's not much I can do about it but complain. Poor decision making, disrespecting pipelines, leading to risk quality assurance and if something goes wrong, I will be served on the palate. On top of all that, the risk vs reward is highly unfavorable. It was rather stressful and I will obviously try my best for the sake of my sanity to avoid such a terrible situation ever again. 


The month just zoomed past just like that. I mean, I like working on new stuff and gaining new knowledge, but to code with a leap of faith is just irrational and irresponsible.

And this morning I woke up to this:

Of course, it is impossible that the Maxis then is the same Maxis now. This just goes to show how fragile game industry studios have become, as if they wasn't fragile to begin with. In the end, your successful projects only allow your studio to sustain. 2 major flops and your studio is on a verge of death. Exceptional cases occur though, like Blizzard, but that's another story, much like how our conventional physics don't work for quantum physics.

You really know you are getting old when you see game studios that you used to love disappear, and how old game studios that are alive today are struggling to stay alive. Bullfrog is dead. Interplay is dead. Codemasters is dead. Westwood is dead. THQ is dead. Troika is dead. Paragon is dead. There is literally only 2 western studios which are still alive and I am still hoping for good games from them: Obsidian Studios (back then Black Isle Studios) and Firaxis games. Man, if Pillars of Eternity dies, Obsidian would be in an extremely bad shape.

And then there are those that completely lose you as a fan because of their change of direction. For me, that's where Bioware stands. I just cannot enjoy their current gen games as much as their older ones. Maybe because they set my standards too high with Baldur's Gate 2; everything they made post Neverwinter just felt cheap, and I'm saying this even after I understand and worked in a game industry myself.

But I'm just a rambling old man, possibly one that cannot move forward with the change in demographics. It has come to the point where I can barely afford time to play the kind of games I like, because there is another game I like better. Technology is evolving so much faster than we can evolve. More scripts are being ran, more excel sheets are being edited, so much code is being compiled and written, so much more art is being drawn. In the end, we are only human, working with 1 keyboard and 1 mouse to input our efforts.

Cheers to what the future holds!