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will we finally see some online rpg's on the ds?

Written: 14:07 on November 10, 2008  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
If announcements hold true, yes we will. In the form(s) of:

Dragon Quest IX
Dragon Quest IX


Phantasy Star Zero
Phantasy Star Zero

Party up now, peeps.
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mother 3 fan translation

Written: 17:19 on October 23, 2008  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Mother 3!Guys, it's out. And it's fantabulous. Get it here.

I'll have more to say on it as I play through it, but even two hours in, I can tell you it is by far the best fan translation ever to be completed. It feels official; it's that good!

If you don't know what Mother 3 is, I'm sorry. I don't think Europe ever experienced the magnificence of Earthbound, so it may be a bit lost on a lot of you. Why not do some reading?
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nintendo learned a thing or two from the riaa

Written: 18:54 on July 29, 2008  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Legitimate uses for flash carts be damned, WE'RE SUING!
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isn't it time for more good comic movies?

Written: 19:19 on July 24, 2008  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
I saw the Dark Knight, like the rest of the world, over the weekend. I'm not here to review it, though. I want to discuss the possibilities, my friends. The possibilities of awesome comic movies that we're missing out on. Somewhere towards the end of the film, I was half paying attention. Hey, it's long, and I was tired. I was thinking about how completely incredible a Green Arrow movie would be, done PROPERLY.

I'm not a big Batman fan by any means. I like the guy well enough; he's just never completely grabbed me. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have shown us, though, that comic movies don't need to be campy nonsense, or overdone trash relying on lowest common denominator effects and writing. They can be well-written and thoughtful, appeal to the masses, and respectful to the source, all at the same time. Apply that to my favourite comix characters, and it's a wet dream. Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing? Don't they all deserve a chance to win the hearts and minds of moviegoers everywhere?

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final fantasy iv is back, and it's baaaaaaaaaaaad.

Written: 15:16 on July 24, 2008  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
But as Run DMC says, not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good. As every nerd knows, Square-Enix just pushed out its latest Final Fantasy IV Final Fantasy remake, for the DS. Final Fantasy IV has always been a favorite of mine, thanks to an enjoyable cast and a story I adore. Seriously, you take a whale to the moon. What's not to like? So, is this another cashgrab, or is this actually worth it? Let me answer that for you.

Short answer: Yes. It's a nicely polished remake of a great game, with additional features to boot.

Long answer: FFIII was okay, I guess. It was a good remake of an okay game, and thus it ultimately lacked any real draw for me. Class changing was a hassle and the story was reeeeeeeeal light. FFIV changes all that. It's a remake of a great game, so the foundation is more solid. What it adds, however, is what really makes it.

First off, the Active Time Battle system isn't much changed. The meter still fills, you still pick an action, and then perform said action. Nice touch: you know see how long it will take until the spell you just selected is cast, as the gauge starts filling up again, in a different colour.

Secondish, also related to battle: Each character's battle commands are now customizable. Do you think Edward's Hide command is useless? Replace it with a shortcut to a potion. That's right, instead of just being able to pick "Items" to throw on their list of five battle commands, you can specify which item. Same with magic-users. Why dig through the menu to cast Cure or Fire, when you can put it smack on the commands list up front. The only ones that must stay static are Attack and Items. The other three slots are flexible. AND, since characters now have the full complement of actions they had in the Japanese version of the original 16-bit game, there's quite a variety. Rosa now has Pray, not just Aim. Edward can use Salve, to use an item on every party member. Palom and Porom, Yang, too — every character I've used has extra commands.

EDGE Thirdforth, also also battle-related (let's face it, the bulk of time you spend playing an RPG is spent in battle, so it better be good and tweaked): Auto-battle. No longer must you sit and pay attention to every single random encounter. Push X and the party will fight for you. What's awesome about this, aside from the time savings? It's completely customizable. You choose the command. If you want Cecil to fight, Tellah to cast Thundara, Yang to use Kick, and Rosa to heal, you can do it. It's all set up in the same menu as their battle commands. Reeeeally tricky, Square. Nice.

Fourthwise, and this is a plus that potentially was a minus: Cut-scenes and voiceovers. Any time you take material this old, with a following this large, you run the risk of shattering everyone's mental impressions of characters, which have been established for what, about 15 years now? I'll admit: at first I hated the voices. Cecil sounds younger than I always imagined. Kain sounds too growly. Everyone else, however… has been pretty spot-on. I've even started to accept the others. Combine them with cut-scenes — thankfully NOT FMV — and it's a nice touch. Cut-scenes use the same character models as the rest of the game, so there's no shocking switch from 3D to FMV. It's a nice touch, and I don't usually like these things. I do, however, wish that you could skip them, which you can't.

So what's not to like about it? Not much. It's hard, for one. You will die. You will probably die multiple times. You will have to level your party or face death at every boss, and occasionally in random encounters. For serious. I also don't understand why they missed out on a couple little tweaks that would've made a big difference. For example: You can't set the cursor to memory mode, meaning you have to pick your action again and again every time you're in a battle. That's an annoyance. Also not configurable is the battle message speed, so you'll have to sit for five seconds after you're done reading, every time someone says something in-fight. Not major items, but silly just the same.

To summarize: If you like Final Fantasy IV, you'll like this. If you don't, you should. If you want something easy, don't get it, and miss out. It's up to you. I just can't imagine passing this gem up.
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in review

Written: 21:12 on January 29, 2008  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
It's been a slow time here at, obviously. Wait, who am I speaking to that doesn't already know this? ON WITH IT.

First on the list for reviewal: Tang. Now with Fruition. If you don't know all about Tang, I'm not sure we can be friends. Tang is one of my passions. It's easily my favourite soft drink in the entire god damn universe. Recently, they changed the decades-old formula, added more vitamins, removed some sugar and replaced it with artificial sweeteners. I usually drink sugar-free, anyway, but that stuff is harder to find, and doesn't come in a large tub, anyway, sadly. ANYWAY, the point of this is: you'd think that Tang had slaughtered some babies or something, the way people freaked when they removed that sugar. SO I was a bit apprehensive when I spend four dollars for a container of this sweet orange powder. UNNECESSARILY. I'm honestly not sure what the hubbub is about. It tastes good! Not quite the same, but it is still very Tang, and superior to Kool-Aid for sure. So, I give you 4.8/5, Tang, but your drooling fanatic freaks score a Jesus, worry about something that matters/5.

NEXT: Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker. It's good! Any Dragon Quest fan should enjoy this. Who among us has never wanted to create a super-powered Drakee, capable of casting Kaboom, healing the party, and using Omnislash, all in one fight? I HAVE DREAMT OF IT. It's repetitive, sure. It's kind of trite and predictable, yes. It involves hours and hours of level grinding, definitely. BUT IT'S DRAGON QUEST. Those are things are the foundation upon which the franchise is built. It's typically a love or hate relationship with Dragon Quest, and I happen to be weeeellllllll on the side of love. For all of this, I give DQM:J a Level 40 Slime/10.

Lastly, before the speed round, let's take a look at my living situation. Those of you who know me know the shack as well, and my opinions and experiences in it. It's been on my mind lately, because I'm looking at my finances and realising that all this rent is not building me any equity whatsoever. On the flip side, however, I do love this house, with all its flaws. I sometimes wish I owned it, because I think I could very much improve it for not much money. Alas. So, I rate the shack 45/68 for all its charms, minus a penalty for costing me money without building equity. Also penalized for squirrels in the chimney.
  • Between Hell and Reason: Albert Camus at Combat: quatre.cinq/cinq!
  • Not having any mice in the house since Christmas: yay/10
  • The Asus Eee PC, or Eeep, as I like to call it: i-don't-really-need-one-but-i-just-got-bonuses/neat
  • More days of way-below-freezing weater, but still no snow: so depressing/5.
  • Being responsible for 90% of the projects going out the door at work: i used to have an assistant/get me a new one please.

Would you guys hate me if I moved my two sentence blogs to here, instead of using my blogspot? Because I totally will, if it means dovka will have something on it regularly. It just seems like one of those things that would annoy the populace. Opinonions?
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Written: 09:31 on July 19, 2007  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Surreal: Finding a bowling ball in your yard.
Double Surreal: Realising said bowling ball fits your hand more perfectly than any other ball you have picked up.

Bowling Ball thrown on my lawn
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there has not been a dovka in more than two weeks.

Written: 19:15 on April 10, 2007  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
And for that, we are sorry.

1. fon is a brilliant idea, right in line with my socialist tendencies, but the fonera router is a piece of trash. It won't connect to Googletalk, or check Gmail via POP. I also can't attach to my work VPN through it, and the private wifi signal won't ever give me an IP address. So now I just keep it plugged in, so on the off chance anyone ends up in the middle of nowhere near me, they can connect all they want.

2. DECT makes for a better home phone than 2.4ghz ever did.

3. I'm clearly a network nerd, which you should all know by now, since I just rewired my home network to fit in the unused portion of a bookshelf. Well, in the empty space under it, really. Although now I'm thinking it would be neat to get some short rack rails and actually fit it into the shelf.

4. Getting Amazon Secret Santa gifts in April is actually a pleasant experience, and Porco Rosso is excellent.

5. I bought a 32" LCD TV today. I'll let you know how that is when it arrives in 7-10 days.

6. Goodnight!
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hello, my name is: rogue galaxy

Written: 00:22 on March 18, 2007  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Happy Sunday, dames and gents. What follows is a quick journal of my first 48 hours with the PS2 RPG Rogue Galaxy. Nothing too in-depth, just first impressions, notable quirks, flaws, etc. Not quite a review, but the beginnings of one. The initial WOW factor which is really what grabs you. I'm thinking I might make this an ongoing bit, with games, and maybe books or music, if it works. So by all means, tell me if it does/doesn't.

Rogue Galaxy9:28pm, 15 March 2007: I just put Rogue Galaxy in the PS2. Immediately, I am taken by it. Level 5, you are amazing. The style of this game is exactly what I hoped it was. Why more people don't make Space Operas, I'll never know. I am Jaster Rogue, who is more than a little Luke Skywalker. From a desert planet, doesn't know his real father (yet), fights with a sword/sabre and a blaster. You get the idea.

9:38: First battle. Combat is fast! Not in a bad way, but when you have five baddies on-screen, it gets a bit hectic, and I wasn't prepared for it in my overtired state.

9:44: Second battle. I died. Little cactus creatures slaughtered me in two hits before I could hit triangle to use a potion. Whoops. That's discouraging, just a bit. Restart! Skip intro this time, and head back into it, only this time a little smarter.

9:58: Wow, I'm bad at this. I died. Again. Ethan needs more random encounter practice, and needs to learn to dodge.

10:07: This time I manage to hack up a whole lot of enemies, and roll on down to the first boss, after a bunch of cutscenes, and allies coming and going. I especially appreciate Steve, the robot, because who names a robot Steve? I find that hilarious.

10:28: First boss cleared. It took me forever. I have a habit of wanting to wander around looking at everything, instead of just killing stuff. I'm also having a conversation as I play this game. This was an interesting fight. I was handed a gun that forms platforms over its back, so I can jump up on them, while it's moving, and hack away at its exposed heart. Nuts!

10:42: Ethan, you are a dumbass. I forgot to save after my big boss victory… and ended up dying in a huge, hectic, random encounter. Restart again…

10:58: I finally managed to level up, upgrade my equipment, and get ready to head out of town into the desert, ALL WITHOUT DYING. Hooray!

Since I have to work tomorrow, that's it for day one. I really do enjoy this game, despite the whole… dying three times thing. But, to be honest, I suck at any sort of action game until I play it for forever, so it's to be expected.

Friday: 5:01: Time for space! After a couple random battles, and a new flamethrower, I head into the desert. Lots of cutscenes ensue. They are GORGEOUS. Lots of craziness involving giant worms and cute space girl and big flying ship. I am assuming she will become the love interest at some point, because hey… that's just how these things work.

5:10: Finally, I am a crew member on Captain Dorgengoa's (The Greatest Space Pirate in the Galaxy) ship, the Dorgenark. Not the most creative name, I know, but its second in command is a suspiciously Meowth-like cat. He is highly entertaining, though, so I'll let the plagiarism slide. After all of five minutes aboard, CRASH, and we land on a jungle planet, and I get the chance to roam around free, battling and levelling and DYING but only a couple of times, and that was from the mimics. Note to anyone playing: save before you wander to the end of the stream. That chest is a mimic, and it most like will kill you, as it does about 90% damage to all your characters at close range.

And there you have it. My first 48 hours with Rogue Galaxy. I spent a little more time with it tonight, and still, I do love it. It is almost on par with Dragon Quest VIII, though that is a Dragon Quest game, so it naturally wins out. I've discovered a couple of clunky menu design flaws, but nothing major. On a scale of zero to one, with zero meaning don't buy, and one meaning buy, I give this: 1.

Now, I'm off to play Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime until I go ZZZZZ. ….When did I become such a gamer?
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objection! take that! hold it!

Written: 21:32 on March 11, 2007  |  By: ethan  |  MORE…
Wow, I am hip, now. "Why?" I hear you ask. Because, my friends, I have discovered the joy of Phoenix Wright.

It is no small secret that I love the DS. NDS, even, if you want to keep things to sweet three-letter abbrev's. I haven't bought so many games for a system since… well. Never, probably. Not in such a short period of time, at least. In a little more than a year I've probably bought a dozen games, and all but one are gold. So, when Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney came out forever ago, I thought "that looks nifty," but then promptly left it alone. Cue to a year later. The sequel And Justice For All came out, and herds of fanboys got excited, and about then, I started to wonder if I was missing something. The short answer is "HOT DAMN I CERTAINLY WAS!"

Phoenix Wright is intense. That is the single word that describes it best. Everything is exaggerated. Beautifully so. Every little action in dialogue results in anime sweatdrops or tit bounces or *WINKS* n_~ Every time you object or present a new piece of evidence brings fullscreen graphics saying OBJECTION! or TAKE THAT! on top of a big explosion graphic. The dialog is honestly funny, unlike a lot of games that try to be humourous and end up…. just failing. The plot is honestly somewhat predictable. Logic-ing out whodunnit is never an impossible task, though presenting the right evidence and cross-examining properly, can get challenging. It seems like it will offer very little replay value, but the quality of the rest of the game more than makes up for this. That and its pure INTENSITY.

Besides, I got it for 17 bucks on eBay, so who's complaining? Not me! I'll be picking up the sequel as soon as I'm done with the first, and attacking all the text adventure-type games that have come out for NDS in the last little while. Hotel Dusk ready yourself. Ethan Ace is headed your way.

On another note: Fixedsys Excelsior 3.00 is out, and it is heavenly. 
What is dovka?

this is a group blog run by a group of irc zealots, the prefabricators; each is a member of an exclusive irc channel on phrenzy.


here's a list of destinations that are worth visiting…


we talk about a range of stuff here at dovka:


always dedicated to the cause, the prefabricators microblog whilst out exploring the real world…

  • liam: mind fuck! (link) — 6 pm
  • anthony: I got good at Guitar Hero, so I started playing guitar…then I got really good at Grand Theft Auto and thought "Should I beat up hookers?" — 31 HRS AGO
  • ethan: The Chameleons are strangely comforting to listen to when nursing an KILLER STOMACHACHE. — 33 HRS AGO
  • liam: This is so wrong. Fuck you Fox! (link) #futurama — 61 HRS AGO
  • jon: Paul Robertson is my hero. — 73 HRS AGO
  • jon: @anthony Yes! Get writing my man. I shall endeavour to write more too, I don't know if the world can take another "double griven" post. — 73 HRS AGO

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