Date archives for July, 2006

July 26th, 2006
Blog Entry


Regarding the recent lack of updates, I’m in between houses at the moment so I have very intermittent access to the Internet and even more intermittent access to my brain and ideas!

In the coming weeks I’ll hopefully be getting back into the swing of updating here on a regular basis, including more articles on games – including another Player P.O.V. on Ubisoft’s classic Beyond Good and Evil – more Harvest Moon diaries (which I updated before I moved away) and more about NiGHTS into Dreams.

Thanks for reading and coming back. You can subscribe to my feed with so you’ll be the first to know when I update with some more great content!

July 12th, 2006
Blog Entry


I’m guessing James sort of lost his interest in photography this season – or perhaps the previous pictures were taken by another resident in Forget-Me-Not Valley? Either way, there don’t seem too many photographs to complement this season, although what’s here is still fascinating. How is Boris’s career path shaping up? How will James revolutionise farming forever?

1st Winter

Raining! Time to go plant my new crops. This is the most exciting part of any season!

S Milk from Bella – excellent!

Harvested two Turnips, which went straight into the Seed Maker. I should have time to plant them again. Also planted and fertilised 5 x Potato and my S Radita, which grows until the end of Summer. Awesome.

I think I’ll take Boris to see Vesta et al. I’m seriously worried about the artist thing. Be a rancher, Boris!

I fed three of the animals by hand. I wonder if they’re eating properly..?

2nd Winter

Hatman says it’ll stop raining today, but he said that yesterday and it only stopped about 10pm! Useless.

Radita is sprouting already. Picked two more S Turnips. Bonzer! Next Autumn I’ll have six Carrot As and loads of S Turnips. Well, at least four, probably six or eight. Building for the future!

I can’t break Boris out of thinking “drawing fun”, or telling me “moon is wound.” I’m showing him dairy stuff all the time, and yesterday I took him to Vesta’s, but I don’t know if it made any difference. I’m becoming increasingly resigned to having a son who’ll break the family career line. Now who’ll run Kent when I’m gone?

Trying Tomato and Melon – FINALLY WORKED! Now I know why I don’t hybridise more often.

Made Tomaca – cool! Also made Camelo, Dhilon and Melotoma! A good day for hybridising (eventually).

I came to get Boris at 6:44pm, and he jumped me and asked me to bathe him! I said “let’s jump in!” and, after some strange mooing, crashing and clucking sounds, he came out “feeling so clean”! I’m such a good Dad.

3rd Winter
Hatman says it’ll stop snowing today – no watering for me!

Bella only gave me one bottle this morning; only A grade, too. I think she’ll be giving birth soon, then I can sell the baby (when grown) and get Isabel pregnant by Vince. Job done.

Boris is asking about animals and running around the farm again. Maybe the artist thing was just a phase.

Put another egg in the incubator. Chicks and chickens/ducks are worth loads more than just eggs. Took Boris to the other farm to try and encourage ranching. I think it’s the right place – it certainly isn’t very artistic.

Van’s in town today, but I have next-to-nothing to sell. Just an egg and a couple of Turnips, oh and some – 50+ – flowers. I’m going to have so many Turnips come Summer. Oh yeah!

I went to the Villa and into Lumina’s “lobby” thing – she didn’t want me in her dressing room or bedroom, but I gave her a flower – her favourite, Gemsoil – which helped. I’ll give her more tomorrow. I went to give Romana one but said no by accident. OOPS!

July 2nd, 2006
Blog Entry

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django


I wrote about Boktai last summer. I absolutely fell in love with it, but had to say goodbye to it – along with Mr Sun – when summer ended. Now, with the sun once again out I can get into Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django. Is it the innovative life experience Konami – and I – want it to be?

You might not know anything about Boktai – that’s okay, I won’t judge you for it. There’s an article about it here, or here’s a very short summary:

  • Boktai uses a solar sensor to detect how bright the sun is;
  • You use the sunlight to battle vampires, power weapons and interact with all kinds of other features.

As I write in my original Boktai article, the best thing about the solar sensor is the way it brings about a merging of the in and out-of-game settings and scenarios. By covering the solar sensor or running somewhere dark, you create shadows within the game you can use to hide.

Some rooms are windy when it’s sunny, making them treacherous to cross. What do you do? Run inside, out of the sun and wind, of course.

Boktai 2 takes this a few steps further by making the sun impact upon you as a player and character, not just your surroundings and enemies. Staying out in the strong sunlight for too long causes Django to faint from heat exhaustion. Although it might seem counter-productive for a game that relies on sunlight to discourage its players from staying outside, imbuing the character with these human qualities further strengthens the link between the actual and virtual.

All the healthy and safety notices and parental cries of “don’t stay in the sun too long or you’ll get sunburnt” to warn you are all well and good, but you’re playing a game – it’s important. If Django’s fine, you’re fine. However, if your character starts to have the same kind of needs as you, things begin to change. If your helper Otenko tells you to seek shade, you do it for Django’s sake.

Of course, forcing the player to get out of the sun does seem a little like conscientious interference, but I suppose a game like this has certain responsibilities. Besides, to me the very fact that you will run into the shade because a GameBoy sprite is too hot is incredible.

I haven’t got very far in Boktai 2 yet, but it still makes me smile, and now the sun is out – and I’m out of Uni – I’m looking forward to making some genuine headway. The even better news is that Konami are developing “Lunar Knights” for the DS, which seems to be a reimagining of the Boktai characters and situations, and will be able to suck in sunlight by inserting an original Boktai GBA game into the DS. Bring it on!

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