Koei Hates Me

It's effectively official at this point. All that's left is for Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 to come out for the final nail in the coffin.

For those of you who have not followed this saga, Koei addicted me to Dynasty Warriors with Dynasty Warriors 3. It was a lot of fun, though obviously had room for improvement, and I played it a lot in college. Good times.

There was one feature I particularly appreciated, specifically the ability to choose the original Japanese voice actors. It was a very welcome reprieve from the amazingly horrible performances by their English-speaking counterparts. In fact, this feature made all the difference for me. Playing with the ear grating English voice acting was at best a distraction, and at worst impossible to deal with. Call me a snob, but giving an ancient mystic the voice of a surfer dude is only a good idea when you're attempting parody.

I skipped the fourth installment in the series as I was still enjoying the third, didn't have much money, and heard the fourth sucked anyway. I waited with anticipation for the fifth, but was grieved to hear it would not feature the original Japanese voice actors.

Reluctant to purchase the game when I knew my ears would forever curse me, I eventually gave in and bought it for the PS2. The very next day it was announced that an Xbox version was in the works, complete with an option for the Japanese language tracks.

Cursing my luck, I turned to Samurai Warriors, also by Koei. This game had the original language track available and so I thought my troubles were over. It turned out that the game punished you for improving your character. If you recall the review I posted in this blog, I didn't view this odd mechanic favorably.

Fast forward a few years and I purchase my first console of the new generation, the Xbox 360. One of its features was limited backwards compatibility with Xbox games. Irony itself must have compiled that list, as the only Dynasty Warriors game present was the fourth installment, the only installment to lack an original language track on the Xbox.

Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued with the releases of Samurai Warriors 2, Warriors Orochi, and Dynasty Warriors 6. All of these games looked promising, and all of them lacked the original language track. From the trailers and videos I watched, the voice acting remained as terrible as always. Dynasty Warriors 6 was notable for reducing the number of buttons to mash from two to one. I decided to simulate playing it by smashing my head against my desk.

At this point I had all but assumed that Koei was no longer interested in providing the original voice track. Despite the HD-DVD versus Blu-ray content war, they were content to avoid meaningless extras. I comforted myself with this thought and sought to move on.

Then they released Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. I had no interest in this game, and the demo didn't really impress me all too much. However, the game has its original language track intact and available.

Koei was toying with me.

I have spent considerable time on the internet attempting to find an answer to the question "Does Warriors Orochi 2 have an option for the original language track?" I was unable to do so for some time, so I added the game to my GameFly rental queue and waited patiently. My patience wore thin when after three returns they had still bypassed the game at the top of my queue for something in the middle.

In my frustration I searched one last time, and found an announcement for a PSP version of the game. The announcement made it clear that A) the 360 version has no original language track and B) Koei has been plotting to make me miserable all this time.

You see, the abominable PSP version is going to have the original language track. Not the 360 version with all its disc space, not any predecessors. No, the PSP version is the one they decide to bless with this feature.

Koei officially hates me. When Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 comes out and also sports this feature Koei's hate will be upgraded to pure malicious spite. I have no other explanation for my situation.


Today's Weather

Internet discussions are fickle things, rife with hyperbole and frivolous gestures. Watching them is often like watching weather patterns; while always unique, they invariable follow one or more predictable trends.

Today's trend is fairly familiar, though not as common as others. The often combative nature of discussions tends to draw roughly even or at least equally vocal battle lines. On some occasions, however, this equilibrium either fails to be established or is suddenly broken and the facts and fabrications of one splinter come to dominate a discussion.

The rough weather equivalent is a hurricane. The eye is the heart of the discussion. Here nothing is moving; the conclusions and premises that came to dominate the thread are now sacrosanct and untouchable. Surrounded by the swirling vortex of self-feeding repetition, no rhyme or reason may enter and break apart the storm.

A fairly good example of this, and the impetus for this post, is the Slashdot discussion of Blizzard's announcement that StarCraft II would not feature LAN support. The discussion is now thoroughly swamped with comments decrying the move. Playing over the internet will be many times slower than LAN play they repeat over and over, along with various comments about past transgressions by Blizzard and how they no longer care about customers. A general "woe unto us" attitude has developed, and any suggestion that things aren't as bad as they claim does nothing to stop the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The gale of self-pity is reinforced by the number of posters who join in. As each posts their lament it is validated by and adds strength to the others. No matter how solid the argument brought against them, their perception of majority status or superiority prevents it from being properly considered. Instead, their own repeated statements, whether they have any bearing or not, appear to them as nullifying the offending argument.

Eventually the frenzy will die down and the discussion moves forward. Until then nothing can be done but to find shelter and wait it all out.

This phenomenon is easily identifiable at a quick glance. Typically you will see a handful of instigators posting in constant repetition to one another along with the occasional individual, all sharing the same view. The chain is only broken occasionally by single posts which are never followed up upon due to either being ignored or the futility of the situation being self evident. On the rare chance that someone attempts to put up continued resistance, flame wars are often incited and the discussion is lost.

But fear not. Real life moves on, or as a wise man once said sarcastically, "Collective nerd rage on the internet is inherently representative of majority opinions."