I’m still not dead

This is a sort of placeholder post, in case anyone cares to know what’s been going on with me – I’ve been making the final sprint through law school, and today is quite literally the last day of class (hopefully for the rest of my life.)  Naturally, I paid about 20% attention in my classes today.  Once I bust through the exams next month, it’s bar preparation, then the bar exam, then a lifetime of working.  As a lawyer.

Well, my life is what it is, but I’ll be back writing here on a semi-regular basis after exams.  In the meantime, have a nice piece of official art from the amazing Dreamcast JRPG Skies of Arcadia:

171-Skies_of_Arcadia-1

I’d rather be an air pirate than a lawyer, but sadly that career path is not open to me.

I’m spending my downtime watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, so my next post might have something to do with that.  It’s a fabulously insane show.  And the ending credits song is Roundabout by Yes, one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, which is enough to make me want to watch the entire series.

Anyway, reader, see you again soon.

Seven more interesting/weird search terms

A while back, I addressed some questions visitors typed into Google that brought them to this site.  I also tried to address some of the stranger search terms I found in my blog stats.  I enjoy thinking about this kind of thing, and as I have previously said, my website is a public service.  So get educated and read the following:

1) true demon run matador battle nocturne

As I’ve said way too many times on this site, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is one of my favorite games of all time.  However, it also throws the player into the deep end of the pool, and then into the even deeper end, and then into an end even deeper than that.  The Matador battle is the first instance at which you will realize that Nocturne is not fucking around.

Time to get the buffs

Matador’s here, time to get the buffs

The key to beating Matador is having the right demons with the right skills.  Matador will beat the hell out of your party if any of your demons are weak to his force skills (the elemental equivalent of wind.)  Unfortunately, by the time you reach Matador you’ll probably just be around level 14 or so, and your demon recruitment/fusion choices will be fairly limited.  The best party at this point, realistically, should include Uzume (immune to force and has Media, an all-heal spell) and should not include any demon that’s weak to force.  You’ll need to be level 18 to fuse her, so if you’re not, get to grinding.

Matador will also buff his speed and accuracy to a point where he’ll be getting guaranteed hits and will be near impossible to hit himself – the best way to deal with this aspect of the fight is to get the Fog Breath skill on Demifiend from the magatama Wadatsumi.  Pounding Matador with Fog Breath will slow him down and make the battle manageable.

Nocturne is all about thinking tactically.  Brute force is typically not the answer to beating a boss in this game.  Matador is just the game’s way of expressing this point to players who haven’t yet gotten it.

2) nasa space diapers photo

p2

Everyone who knows anything about astronauts knows that all astronauts wear diapers.  When you’re locked inside a giant airtight suit in the unimaginably vast near-vacuum of space performing repairs to a billion dollar orbiting space telescope, you can’t just go to a port-a-potty, so you have to wear diapers.  What few people know is that it was the development of space diapers for adults that led to advances in earth diapers for babies.

Here’s a pair of real astronaut diapers:

IMGP2699 space diapers

3) do you have sex in persona 3 portable

Persona 3 Portable is a game made for the PSP.  So if you’re asking whether there are sex scenes in the game, that should answer your question.  That said, P3P does feature the possibility of a relationship between a girl in high school and a boy in elementary school, so there’s that.

p39

You know that if male protagonist in P3 tried dating the depressed little girl in the park social link, which would be fucking weird and creepy at best, the police would be cooling his ass off in a jail cell for the entirety of the game.  Talk about some double standards.

4) is nescafe bad for you

I’m assuming that this searcher was inquiring about the instant coffee powder that Nescafe makes and that inhabits every cupboard in the non-Western world.  From what I can tell, Nescafe is not bad for you unless you consume so much of it that you die from a caffeine overdose.  Any other use of Nescafe should be fine, including sprinkling it on top of ice cream or dumping it in gin and taking shots.*

*I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE.  PLEASE DON’T DO THIS.

5) freedom planet lilac hentai manga

freedom planet hentai

It’s depressing to me that my readership is apparently composed of furries who are looking for porn.

For the uninformed, Freedom Planet is a really good Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man X homage platformer.  I reviewed it here.  Also for the uninformed, this is Lilac, the main character of Freedom Planet:

SashLilac

If you really want to see porn based on this character, Rule 34 dictates that are plenty of places to find it.  But I’m not fucking helping you with that.

6) public domain best & rare world famous wallpaper download

It’s funny to me that someone was looking for a public domain image that is both “rare” and “world famous” at the same time.  Seems like an oxymoron – if it’s so rare, would it be world famous?  It’s even funnier that this search brought the anonymous seeker to my degenerate furry hentai video game website.

Anyway, I’m here for the people, so this is the first result for public domain best & rare world famous wallpaper download on Google Image Search:

469606

Pretty nice.  I wish I were there.  Of course, this isn’t my wallpaper.  My wallpaper is naturally of my waifu.

Oh Horo why can't you be real ;_;

Oh Horo why can’t you be real ;_;

7) welcome to the nhk too real

… yeah.  Yeah.

Though if I’m anyone from Welcome to the NHK!, I’m not suffering shut-in Satou, but rather shameless nerd Yamazaki.

vlcsnap-1486924

I’ve been told that I have had drunken nerd freakouts similar to this one that I don’t remember.

Also, this:

;_;

;_;

I hope this exploration into the darkness of the human psyche was useful to you.  I have exams, so I’m going to be off for a few weeks, but I’ll be back if my Securities Regulation exam doesn’t cause me to have a heart attack and die in class, Electronic Bluebook running in front of my lifeless body with a half-finished answer to one question out of five.  Wish me luck.

A review of Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Shut up and dance

I didn’t really plan on buying or reviewing Persona 4: Dancing All Night.  “A rhythm game?” I said to myself, dismissively, when I heard about this game.  “I shall not stoop to buy such an obvious cash-in.  I loved Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden, and Atlus knows that and they’re just trying to get into my wallet.  But I have more integrity than they think.  Just fucking release Persona 5 already, please.”

p4dancing

Then I saw a friend playing the game on his own Vita and decided I wanted it.  Because really, Dancing All Night isn’t just a toss-off – it’s really a good rhythm game.  It even tries to have a plot, and the plot almost isn’t totally stupid!  Almost.

Protagonist (now officially named Yu Narukami, though I can’t get used to it because I never called him that in my P4 playthroughs) and his Investigation Team friends are roped into joining their fellow Investigator and former pop idol Rise Kujikawa for her big comeback as her backup dancers.*  She’s re-debuting at a big concert alongside Kanamin Kitchen, a newly popular girl group with a bizarre and slightly creepy animal/meat theme.

Is it a commentary on how pop idols are treated like meat by their fans, as mere eye candy? Is Persona 4 Dancing All Night really a deep and philosophical game?

Is it a commentary on how pop idols are treated like meat by their fans, as mere eye candy? Is Persona 4: Dancing All Night really a deep and philosophical game?

As you could guess from the instant you meet them, every member of Kanamin Kitchen gets dragged into a shadow-filled world and the Investigation Team has to save them.  Protagonist’s uncle Dojima, a grizzled detective, is also on the case, and he discovers that a bunch of fans of the group are going into comas after watching a creepy video on the internet, and these people are naturally being dragged into the shadow world too.  (As a nice reference for players of Persona 3, this condition is referred to as Apathy Syndrome.  Though we already got a P3 cameo in Persona 4 Golden and a P4 cameo in Persona 3 Portable, so this isn’t really a big deal.)

The big twist about this shadow world is that, until the TV world of P4, the characters can’t fight or summon their personas through the usual methods.  Instead – no joke – they have to dance to defeat the shadows and save each pop star.  Somehow, dancing well makes the shadows happy, then they dissipate into the air and blow away.  Or something.  The game tried to explain this, but it still doesn’t make any sense.

Even in Persona dancing games you have to battle supernatural monsters that are expressions of your dark inner self

Even in Persona dancing games you have to enter an evil shadow world to battle supernatural monsters that are expressions of your dark inner self

So the story really isn’t much of anything.  Story Mode is pretty short and is just kind of there as a placeholder – as far as visual novels go it’s about as light as you can get.  But the point of this game isn’t its deep and engaging plot.  The point is getting to see your favorite P4 characters bust moves to the great Persona music that you’ve come to both love and completely get sick of after hearing it five thousand times in battle and while running around town.  Every member of the Investigation Team takes the stage at some point, and all of them can be played in Free Mode.  A new character is also thrown into the mix, and as a special treat for fans Nanako is also a playable character.  Though the whole subplot involving Nanako, a little girl, performing pop idol songs on stage in front of millions of fans is kind of weird in itself.

All that aside, the gameplay is a lot of fun.  The game makes use of three of the four button on each side of the Vita (only the -> and ◻ go unused) and players can also tap the screen to use the scratch function.  Most of the songs also allow the main dancer to pick a partner to jump in at some point if the player’s hitting the notes well enough.  Mercifully, the game offers easy, normal and hard mode versions of each song, so even if you’re total crap at rhythm games you should be able to get through it.  And the music itself is obviously great.  My favorite battle theme “Time to Make History” is thankfully in there, and there are plenty of other plain unadorned tracks from P4 together with remixes, most of which are good (though I could easily leave a few of them.)

The developers obviously put a lot of attention into the details.  Each character’s dance style really matches their character (ex: Chie does a lot of kicks/kung fu stuff, Kanji headbangs) and the other characters cheer their friends on while they dance.  (My favorite: Nanako commenting on Protagonist and Yosuke’s “bromance” when they’re paired up.)  Atlus also thoughtfully included a lot of unlockable costumes and DLC for each character, some of which are extremely fanservicey.  So if you enjoy hearing Chie complain about you making her wear a bikini while she dances, this is the game for you.  You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

But did you expect any less?

But did you expect any less?

All in all, I have to say I’m pretty happy that I got this game.  It’s a fun diversion from my bullshit law student life. I also really like the fact that both this somewhat fluffy, fanservicey rhythm game sits in the same Shin Megami Tensei franchise as the hardcore dark Lucifer-worshipping face-breakingly-difficult Nocturne.  Though Nanako dancing to the Junes theme is pretty fucking hardcore too.

* For those who didn’t play P4, the story behind this is that Rise retired from show business to settle down back in her hometown at the ripe old age of 15, where she gets tangled up in the events of the game. Apparently Japan retires pop stars before they even reach their majority.

Pennoyer v. Neff v. Mitchell v. me

As a 1L at law school, I’ve just gotten through one of the most infamous cases in the standard first year curriculum: Pennoyer v. Neff. Pennoyer was written in 1877 and is the final link in a chain that extends through two lawsuits between a total of three parties involved in a twisted web of unpaid fees, land grabs and weaselly tactics so confusing that the Supreme Court had to create new law just to settle the matter. Pennoyer is a definitive case in the history of personal jurisdiction in the US despite the fact that it’s been upended by later cases like International Shoe Co. v. Washington (which I have to read this weekend.) That’s what my Civil Procedure professor tells me, at least.

But Pennoyer is more than seven pages of drudgery in a casebook. It’s an interesting story in its own right. It involves one Marcus Neff, a guy we don’t know much about except for the fact that he sought out some land in Oregon pre-Civil War and his claim was held up for well over a decade. Neff hired John H. Mitchell, a prominent Portland-based lawyer, to take care of the paperwork. For a reason the casebook doesn’t explain, Neff never paid Mitchell and absconded to California, which was where he was when Mitchell sued him in Oregon state court for his outstanding fees. Mitchell won a default judgment after Neff didn’t show up to court. Not that Neff had been negligent of his duties – the Oregon court had published Neff’s summons in an Oregon paper, printed and circulated in a place that Neff would have never found because, well, he was in California.

613px-John_H._Mitchell_-_Brady-HandyThus bringing us to the most interesting character in the story. John H. Mitchell was originally John M. Hipple of Pennsylvania. He started out as a teacher, but apparently succumbed to the charms of one of his students, because he ended up impregnating a 15 year old girl under his charge (apparently this wasn’t illegal in Pennsylvania at the time.) The 22 year-old Hipple was subsequently forced into a marriage. Sadly, things didn’t go so well for the new couple, and after taking up the law as a profession for a few years, Hipple took off to the newly conquered West with a new lover, another schoolteacher, in tow.

This new relationship didn’t last either. When they reached California, Hipple (now Mitchell) left his paramour behind because she’d come down with a terminal illness. What a guy.

Mitchell ran off to Portland, Oregon, where he established another law practice.

Here Neff met Mitchell and the shit went down. Mitchell ended up collecting his unpaid legal fees from Neff by having the state court confiscate and sell Neff’s property in auction. The man who bought Neff’s property just happened to be Sylvester Pennoyer, future governor of Oregon. Neff soon found out that his land was in the hands of another man and sued Pennoyer, claiming the sale of his land resulting from Mitchell’s default judgment win was invalid.

I could go on, but it’s enough to say that the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the Oregon court in the original lawsuit had had no personal jurisdiction over Neff, since he was in California and hadn’t been served proper notice (service by publication doesn’t count if you’re an out-of-stater) and that, much more importantly, Neff had bought his land after the Mitchell judgment and therefore the sale was invalid. It’s all supremely confusing, but I think I get the gist of it now.

This case is an essential one for several reasons. It’s a definitive Supreme Court case defining personal jurisdiction, but it’s also a fascinating personal drama. And as a fellow teacher-turned-(prospective) lawyer, I can feel some camaraderie with John H. Mitchell. Minus the whole part about knocking up his 15 year-old student and abandoning his sick lover and all-around being a scumbag deal. Then again, being a scumbag didn’t stop him from being elected to the US Senate three times, so hey. Whatever works.

P.S. – If you’re a law student looking up info about this landmark case, welcome to my site.  I wrote this article back when I was a 1L.  Now I’m an attorney, but I still write about video games as a diversion.  It’s more fun than writing on a law school journal, that’s for fucking sure.

I just wanted to wish you luck at law school and to say that I’m sorry that you’re currently in law school.  You really have no idea yet what you’re facing, even if you think you do.  And be sure to take as many bar-related courses as you can in your second and third years.  You’ll be thankful that you did once bar review time comes around.