Monday, 24 June 2013

What's Your Story? - Reiko

I'm in cyberspace!!!! :)

I spent over three hours playing Neuromancer on the weekend, so I have a lot to catch up on as far as posting goes. While I figure out how exactly I'm going to approach that, here's another What's Your Story response from one of the more silent readers. She's been reading from the start (I think Reiko is a female, but please correct me if I'm wrong!), so maybe we can coax her out a little bit with talk of Japanese animation and music. Anyone a fan? My experience is limited to the Hayao Miyazaki films, but I find much to enjoy there. Please say hi to Reiko!

My home country is… USA

My age is… 29

My favourite adventure game is… Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time. I love time travel stories, science fiction with aliens, mysteries, and intelligent puzzles, and this game has all of those. The story has some amazing reveals at the end (no spoilers here) and also puzzles that are clever without being too difficult. Its prequel (JP2: Buried in Time) had more evocative music, but the story just wasn't as interesting, and it had a more historical feel than science fiction. I really hope you get to this one eventually, but it will be a long way off (release year 1998, I think).

I'm yet to play a Journeyman game. Intrigued much!

The first adventure game I played was… Hero's Quest (Quest for Glory I). Initially I played it in black and white with my dad on a computer that was probably a 486 or worse, which made it really hard to see what was going on, so we didn't get that far. I don't remember now why it was black and white; there was probably something wrong with the graphics card on the computer though. My dad loved building his own computers, but inevitably he'd use cheap components and there'd be something wrong with them. Anyway, I've replayed it a number of times over the years, both the original and remake versions, although strictly speaking I've never finished it even though I've come very close. The final sequence at the end with the brigands is just too hard (and runs too fast on modern computers). I really enjoyed the parallel replays by Trickster and Addict.

I like my games in (a box, digital format)… Mostly digital, these days. I buy console games in physical format because you have to have the discs to run anything modern, but I hardly buy PC games if they're not from GOG anymore.

When I’m not playing games I like to… Read about people playing games. That's why I'm here. Or just read novels. Mostly science fiction and fantasy. I'm working on trying to keep up with Brandon Sanderson (the guy is a writing machine, seriously) and catching up on reading everything by Guy Gavriel Kay in chronological published order (he writes a lot slower, so I think I'll catch up eventually). My absolute favorite trilogy is GGK's Fionavar Tapestry, a true fantasy classic.

I own this series somewhere, but never got around to reading it.

The thing I miss about old games is… Intricate stories and variable difficulty settings. Honestly, I'm not very good at games because I didn't really start being a gamer until I was in high school. I never had the reflexes for action games, for sure, and now I don't have the time to spend hours trying things to figure out hard puzzles. My favorite games are ones with good stories that allow me to make progress without too much repetition or frustration. I'm happier playing on a lower difficulty setting if it means I get to experience the whole game and see the ending.

The best thing about modern games is… Sensible and beautiful interfaces and fonts. Some of the old classics have nearly unreadable fonts and terrible interfaces with nonsensical keybindings and such. Most modern games already have pretty standard keybindings, and if not, then they usually have the option to change the keybindings. (Or, if you're emulating games, you can change the bindings to whatever you want anyway.) Or the visual interface itself is clickable in sensible ways. The games I tend to play still have a lot of text, so it needs to be readable, and it generally is. I love it when the font is beautiful without being so ornate that it becomes distracting or hard to read.

The one TV show I never miss is… Bones. Although I do miss it once in awhile if the time changes and we don't get it recorded properly or something. But I've been watching it nearly every week for the past few years. I didn't see the early seasons, but somehow I got into it and really started appreciating both the characters and the nature of the series as a murder mystery serial. Sometimes the technology gets a little implausible, like when Angela technomagically reconstructed completely shredded documents in one episode. There's a reason why professional shredders are cross-cut... But it's cool to see them reconstruct a whole scenario from the tiniest evidence.

He will always be Angel to me.

If I could see any band live it would be… Two-Mix. They are a Japanese duo who are famous for generally not having live concerts. Seems like the vocalist was shy or something. They didn't really do music videos either except for one well-known animated video about love and inspiration set to White Reflection (, and an entirely WTF dance video with aliens set to Naked Dance (yes that's the song title). They didn't appear physically in either one. They're probably not producing new material anymore, as they started back with the theme songs for the original Gundam Wing animated show, like Just Communication and White Reflection. They produced dozens of other upbeat Jpop songs though, and a whole concert would be amazing. I'll have to settle for the live recordings from their released discs though.

My favourite movie is… Courageous. It's hard to describe if you haven't seen it, but it's got so many memorable moments and so many good lessons about the nature of family. Truly a family-friendly movie.

One interesting thing about me is… I studied Japanese at school and spent a year studying in Japan. I got into bands like Two-Mix and Every Little Thing in high school and also the culture of anime and Japanese RPGs. I still play Japanese-style RPGs when I can find the time in addition to adventure games and CRPGs.

Two-Mix: I just noticed that Minami Takayama (left) did the voice for Kiki on Kiki's Delivery Service.

If anyone else wants to send their What's Your Story responses through and get 20 CAPs in the process, please send them to


  1. Oh, a Bones fan! That's the one show me and the wife would watch religiously. I guess it has something for anyone, or you could say writing is all over the place. Tone is definitely light here: silly fun (sometimes hilarious), but the sleuthing is good, the gore factor is high, characters work well together and the (initially) UST between the squeaky clean FBI agent and the impossibly nerdy Brennan is fun to watch.

    I find the first two seasons were the best; later the silliness became a little too much and characters were generally twisted and stretched to serve plot requirements as needed. But while the tech was ridiculous from day one, Brennan's unflinching attitude towards science was not; in fact I find it surprising how the show would not shy from unpleasantness rather than dialing back the character's eccentricities and strict attitude towards scientific procedures.

    1. Her eccentricities are pretty funny sometimes! I'm not all that culture-literate myself, so I totally identify with her when someone mentions something that most people know (like an actor's name) that I'm not familiar with either.

    2. My wife and I watched Bones as well, not missing an episode; however, something changed in this last season. We've both stopped watching. Maybe it's extra silliness, or a change in focus (less sleuthy more day-to-day life of the characters), but the charm is gone for us.

    3. I'm a Bones fan too. I tend to "catch up" after a season has aired. I've watched all the seasons except the one that just ended, so I'll watch it over the summer. I find it fun, like everyone else. Some silliness yes, but still enjoyable.

      That's my problem with TV in general; it's gotten too good. I think if new content stopped airing for 5 straight years, I still wouldn't catch up to all the shows I thought "looked good" and never found time to watch. Bones (and Supernatural) I've pushed to summers because LESS good TV airs then and I barely have time.

    4. I hear ya. Catching up on shows takes so much time, and there are so many good shows. We just watched Battlestar Galactica and that aired 9 years ago.

    5. Battlestar was 9 years ago!!!! Man, time really flies!

    6. Fragment alignment (with reference to the paper shredder comment) is absolutely plausible and in fact is an active area of research in computer vision / pattern recognition :)

  2. And who is this "Angel" you speak of, Trickster?

    1. Not sure if you're joking or not Charles. In case you're not, then you mustn't be a Buffy and Angel fan.

    2. Yes, I'm joking ;-D
      You called me out in the past (or was it Chet?) for not getting a reference to "Willow".

      Now "Angel", I did know about; I was a subtitler for one of the Spanish DVD releases.

    3. Aha! Yes, I remember now. Hey that's cool. I didn't know you'd been involved in that. Not a bad gig.

  3. GoG today: Superb Sierra Selection 69% off:
    King's Quest 1-8 + Space Quest 1-6 + Quest for Glory 1-5 + Police Quest 1-4 + SWAT 1-2 for $24.72!