Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Festival

Vocaloids? I kept looking for them!

It's that time again~!

Okay, so it's not really a specific time or anything. But yesterday I I had a writing meet-up in the morning, a BBQ at the park for lunch, and then afterward I went out to the Summer Festival for a few hours of fun, really loud music, and a cosplay contest (no, I didn't participate. It was far too hot yesterday for cosplay, in my opinion). 

Obviously, this means that when I got home I was obligated to find a festival on Second Life... right?

Okay, not really, but yesterday was also the start of the summer festival hosted by Edelweiss! They're not selling the Attack on Titan stuff anymore (pity), but there's a large area for people missing summer festivals to go dressed in kimonos and eat all sorts of food... and win small prizes while they're at it!

And can we talk delicious foods? Everything at the summer festival is free (haha, yeah, I wish that's how it works in real life, but alas...), with various food stands that all give you items if you want to eat it... feels like Night Market! There are tables for you to sit, lots of food, games... all you need is little stalls to sell cheap wares~ But then again, there are stores everywhere and this isn't exactly a Night Market so much as it is a summer festival.

Make sure to visit this place soon, though, as it only lasts for a week! You don't want to miss out on all the delicious foods around. What I find really fun is that all the booths are "manned" by multiple people... not something I'm used to in Second Life, but I find I like it a lot. It feels more real to have people in the pictures rather than blank and empty stalls that you might be able to go behind yourself and pose; then you're enjoying the festival, you're manning the festival. And that's just not as much fun!
Omnomnom, fried squid~

There's also a shrine to leave prayers at, fireworks, and a haunted house! Obviously, I had to go check out the house, which asks people to go in first person view and for groups to only have one person with the flashlight. I didn't take pictures in the house (how do you do that in first person?), but I know I laughed the way through because my friends were having such a hard time navigating. Maybe it was because I was the one with the flashlight, but they couldn't seem to find their way around at all. Without the flashlight, though, the house is almost pitch black, so you really have to follow that person with the flashlight... and I didn't lead them astray or anything! They just... had a hard time following still.

In conclusion, I had quite a lot of fun yesterday and thought I'd at least share~ Or at least, share some pages of wisdom: no matter how delicious everything is, don't eat more than you can handle.

But other than that, peace and make sure you enjoy your summer!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Attack on Titan

Has anyone seen the anime line-up this season? If you have, then it's no surprise that the title of the year seems to be Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). It's bloody, brutal, beautifully animated, and tends to make you pray for your favourite characters like one would in Game of Thrones. It's easy to see why the world seems obsessed with this series (despite my preference this season for Hataraku Maou-sama! instead, but let's not get into that), because it really is the Game of Thrones of the anime world: surprisingly enough, without any fanservice. That's right, folks. While the Titans are nude, they have no genitalia and this series actually does not exploit it's female characters, since everyone is dressed in the same uniform, and there's no crotch or boob level shots as the focus of this series is on the story and characters.

Not to say this series is perfect. Far from it. But it's good fun and I like watching people cringe and scream while watching this (which is why I attended the marathon of it during convention), and Second Life store *Edelweiss* has managed to gather all the fans of this series into one place on our SL community... Wall Edelweiss.

I'm currently wearing the trainee uniform (which is free!), equipped with the 3D Maneuver Gear (NOT free) that allowed the characters to soar through the skies like spiderman, safe from the reach of Titans out to eat you. If you buy the uniform, you get a choice of trainee, ReCon, Military Police, or Stationary Corps. I'm currently sticking with trainee until I get enough finesse to take down 100 Titans, and then I'm going to graduate myself into the -- you guessed it, Recon Corps! Yeah, yeah, that's where everyone goes, we get it. Even with a death rate of... what, 30% each mission? But then, the amount of times I've died today in training...

There's something quite satisfying and terrifying, though, about the little training area that Edelweiss has created for people to play in. I usually recommend the beautiful places in Second Life, but Wall Edelweiss is good fun. They've got the training cut-outs, but if those cut-outs target you... run! Well, fly. And pray someone's got an assist for you.

What keeps me playing, though, is the promise of more free items after certain amounts of kills: a potato (haha) for 10, a series of poses for 100, the green cloak at 300 kills, and finally Mikasa's red scarf for 500 kills. I really suck at killing Titans, so I've barely gotten the first reward -- but I'm working my way up there!

A word of advice on killing Titans: if you miss, depending on how close you are, leave as fast as you can or keep hitting the target until your blade dulls... and your blades will dull fast. But hey, that's what they said happens in the series as well. The detail on the gear is amazing, and there are quite a few animations included for flying through the air, falling, landing, running, attacking, etc. I've certainly spent hours at this place just honing my Titan killing skills (I'm terrible, but lately I've been killing at least 4 before I die -- need to figure out a way to not die and I'll be set!), and this place is certainly busy all the time. Lots of players flying through the air and attacking Titans, at least we can say that if Second Life ever gets invaded, Wall Edelweiss is going to stay intact!

Last little tidbit -- the entire outfit is mesh, and for me there's a little bit of clipping around the area where the shoulders and neck meet, but that's easily covered by a scarf, cloak, or even long hair. However, I can't seem to justify long hair to myself since that seems such a hindrance unless it's tied up and out of the way. All the characters in the show are soldiers, after all, and it's dangerous enough in fights without having to worry about whether your vision's been obstructed by hair. All of the pictures here came straight off SL without any edits whatsoever, so yes, what you see is what you get!

Overall? While the training area has a lot of boxy buildings that may seem rather simple, this place is really fun and the details are there when you need it. (I forgot to take pictures of the nice little niches within buildings where there are tables and chairs and pretty plants and sunlight for photoshoot areas.)

Keep up the fantastic work, Edelweiss!

(For people who actually don't know Attack on Titan, have a fantastic trailer!)