The one with the elaborate surprise.

.hack//Roots and .hack//G.U. - HASEO
.hack//Roots and .hack//G.U. – HASEO

I spent a good portion of this week doing absolutely nothing. Well, work has been really busy, so that’s my sole accomplishment. I guess what I’m trying to say is that absolutely nothing actually means hacking PS2 games. .hack//G.U. Vol. 1//Rebirth recently came out domestically, but I didn’t buy it. Why? Because after the Bandai-Namco merger, they decided to leave out the Japanese voices in a lot of their games. .hack//G.U. being one of those games [series]. So, really, the only companies now subbing their games instead of dubbing are NIS America and Atlus. Still, I wanted to play the game, so on a whim, I rented it. Well, not really on a whim, because it was premeditated for a while. Wait, I need to go back.

Okay, last week, I finally received my copy of HDXtreme (since the bastards only sent me one, which I gave to Patrick), an all-in-one solution for the PS2 HDD which enables you to copy your games to HDD and run them from it, thus decreasing load times. If you read my last blog entry, the USBeXtreme portion failed miserably, and even people on the official forums were complaining. As a company, they simply aren’t doing anything to justify their reasons for ripping their consumers off. However, I got a chance to go to Patrick’s one night to try it out. I brought my network adapter, a 200 GB PATA HDD I had “lying around”, and .hack//G.U. (which I rented). I copied that one first, tested it, and was shocked and amazed. It worked! The load times were as fast as they promised! Not too shabby. Now, to get my hands on an old style PS2.

.hack//Roots and .hack//G.U. - PAI
.hack//Roots and .hack//G.U. – PAI

When I started playing .hack//G.U., I didn’t realize that it was a continuation of .hack//Roots. As a result, I spoiled a bit of the storyline for myself, but I decided that I would watch the anime before I continue playing the game… and watch it, I did! I had left off at around episode 9 or so (maybe earlier, but 26 is a lot of episodes to remember), so I power watched my way through the series, putting away about five to six episodes a night. How amazing. I’d have to say, they really surpassed .hack//SIGN in terms of action, twists, and pure fun. I actually enjoyed watching Roots, as compared to SIGN, which was nothing but 26 episodes of philosophy and soliloquys. Bah. The only problem with Roots was the constant “What can I do to help Haseo/Shino?” contemplation made by Tabby, but since she was the kawaii character in the anime, it didn’t bother me too much. I really hope she returns or makes a cameo in G.U. Heck, even Sakisaka would be cool too. They developed his character for nothing, getting rid of him midway through the anime. One other character development (replacement) I enjoyed was when Ender was deleted and replaced with Pai. Oh, my… Pai… sexier than Ender with a better personality. It’s funny how far roleplaying can go.

So… on to the elaborate surprise. Two weeks ago, Esmond had planned to come back to town for the November 11th long weekend. The last time was a disaster because he wanted to surprise us and everybody ended up finding out about it because Mom was nosy when she saw me chatting on MSN with Esmond. Anyway, this time around, Esmond got smart and asked if Mom or Dad were around first before proceeding to tell me the plan. So, for two weeks, I pretended that nothing important was going to happen. On the day before Esmond was supposed to arrive, I decided to drop some hints to everybody for fun (I also asked Esmond to bring his PS2 so that I could swap it with the new Satin Silver one that I bought). They were subtle, like, “I wonder what Esmond is doing right now?”, or “Too bad Esmond isn’t around.” Also, I dropped the ultimate hint – I told Mom to make me some lunch for the next day because I’d be too busy at work, even though I had earlier stated that work would be dead since many users would be leaving for the long weekend. The kicker – I asked Mom to make one of Esmond’s favorite dishes, chalking it up to the excuse that “I’d never tried it before.”

Esmond was a bit late, due to the police blockading traffic from a terrible accident on the highway. Anyway, he arrived safe and sound, calling me up on my cell when he was almost on our street. My excuse for opening the garage door was that I was called out for work, but everybody had already fallen asleep. Well, the plan pretty much worked, because when Esmond came in, AM and Mom were already up and downstairs, wondering why I had opened the garage door (also, AM saw Esmond getting out of his friend’s car from her window). Too bad I didn’t have a camera for the look on their faces! By the way, the food I had Mom make was actually for Esmond, since I knew he’d be hungry after such a long trip. Hahaha. Mom was upset that she didn’t figure it out.

It was actually a pretty relaxing weekend, despite all the deliveries. I hate deliveries, but they paid for our purchases at Tony’s and some meals. Most of the other times, we watched Transformers The Movie (I bought the 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD), Justice League Unlimited, the latest episodes of Smallville, and we even got a chance to play Marvel Ultimate Alliance (I copied it to my PS2 HDD).

I got a day off today, but I’m going to spend it backing up my Japanese media to DVD (because my HDD is getting full) and playing .hack//G.U. I was also a bit naughty and I pre-ordered some figures, but they were must-haves. Yep. Good thing I have money to put in my Visa.

I’m not looking forward to this Thursday. James H and I are camping out in front of Wal-Mart all night long so we can get our grubby hands on some PS3’s. I’m not really buying them for myself – they’re going straight to eBay. If I manage to get a PS3 (or two), I’ll post my eBay auction here.

NSFW link ahead.

Tou Ayaka
Tou Ayaka

This girl is so fine. Too bad I can’t seem to find any other pictures of her at the moment.

Ikki Tousen - Shimei Ryomou ~DVD Ura JACKET LTD ver.~
Ikki Tousen – Shimei Ryomou ~DVD Ura JACKET LTD ver.~

I was SO tempted to preorder this figure, since I have the other two matching figures. Well, maybe if I get some more money. Ryomou isn’t really my most favorite character, but I like the pose and her hair color.

Aoi Sora - Nice scarf!
Aoi Sora

Nice scarf, eh? ^^

This AV idol recently turned singer/actress is my most favorite idol, bar none. I even bought her first CD single. Check out this sexy and funny video posted on YouTube here. She strips in this clip, but there’s no nudity. Don’t complain, it’s a national television broadcast, for crying out loud. I like Sora-chan in pretty much anything, nude or not. When her *cough* assets *cough* aren’t on display, she’s got a cute face to focus on!


Additional Resources

The one with all the Lesson Reviews.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this blog ever since I started using Hummingbird last fall. So, I decided to try an idea of mine called Lesson Reviews. Essentially, it’s more of a “what I learned from X anime” than a review, but the thing is, there will be good and […]

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