<< january

media diary - february 2024

this is the FEBRUARY 29TH SPECIAL! i usually write these at the end of a given month but we're in the secret inbetween space, an event we only see every four years.

where am i?!?

[02/02/2024-] PERSONA 3 RELOAD

ok i wasn't even expecting to play this game but folks kept talking about it and it was on xbox pc game pass and i had a free 3-month code for that so i thought i'd take a look!

i have a lot of reasons to question why remakes are so popular to begin with. sometimes it can be justified but i worry that in most cases it's done to replace the original game while offering a fundamentally different experience -- you see this a lot with nintendo games, we just got a mario RPG remake and pokemon does it for each generation every few years while keeping the original games locked away. square enix has a lot of junky remasters & ports of their old games, but they seemingly have it right with FF7 remake which is secretly just a continuation of the series not intended to replace the original FF7 (which is on everything!!!).

the persona games only recently became more accessible, though right now they only ported 5, 4 and the portable version of 3. persona 1 and 2 are nowhere to be seen, and the console version of 3 isn't seeing a port but a full remake. why a remake??? i mean, the answer is money it's always money they're charging $70 for this thing but also it seems like the goal is to make persona 3 more like persona 5. and i'm not sure how i feel about that!!! i don't like persona 5 all too much, the darker tone of the earlier games is far more alluring to me, so this just isn't really for me on the surface.

ignoring the position this game has as a release in the series though, it's still pretty good. i'm able to switch my brain off so easily and just play it like it's nothing. they streamlined the experience and made it silky smooth (i mean, compared to what i remember of the original) which is probably excellent for new players. but... man, i don't know, something's missing? the original had such a dingy dark look to it and now everything's bright and colourful and pretty and it's just less appealing aesthetically to me. the art direction is solid otherwise, but it really feels like an integral part of the experience has been stripped away.

i can't complain though, i didn't even buy the game. maybe when it gets a switch port i'll play it for real!

[17/02/2024] FIRE WALK WITH ME

when i wrote the entry for twin peaks last month i was nearing the end of season two, under the impression i had a lot more to go. my (totally legit) copy of the series formats the seasons as just 1, 2 and 3, so i assumed the original run of the series was 3 seasons long. this expectation came crashing down once i finished season 2. it ended in such a way that i thought "haha! wow! ok cool! we're gonna resolve this conundrum next time right?!"

i was wrong.

friend of the site maria told me just beforehand that the real twin peaks starts on the final episode of season 2. i assumed it was just gonna be, like, a really good solid final season before the extended media and later revival but nuh uh??? the season 3 i had is actually the revival season from 2017. tv viewers in the 90s were just left with a sudden, haunting ending that they wouldn't see concluded. i mean, kinda. the series wouldn't get a conclusion but it would get a sort of prequel movie -- FIRE WALK WITH ME -- a year or two later.

immediately there's a darker tone than anything in the tv series, starting with an investigation in a town that very much isn't twin peaks. all the warm, cute quirkiness of the characters is gone and contrasted with the cold rudeness of this run-down garbage hole elsewhere in washington. it sets the tone that this movie, overall, isn't messing around. we're seeing the rest of the world, and the rest of the world is cruel.

overall this movie shows the days leading up to the murder of laura palmer, somewhat bringing closure to the mystery from the tv show and doing so in a pretty brutal way. there's no holding back, and it's really great at providing the absolute dread of the circumstances surrounding her death with just the right amount of discomfort and tragedy. it's not something i can easily recommend, this is really hard to watch at times, but it's excellently handled and while it doesn't continue the plot of the show, it does feel like a fitting finale.

well, except for all the questions it raises. in particular there's a scene where a character played by david bowie(?!?) shows up at the FBI headquarters and i didn't understand what was really. going on? my questions led through to THE MISSING PIECES, the feature-length series of deleted scenes from the movie which provides more context while continuously raising more questions. all around very strange but a great followup to the series anyway. after watching FIRE WALK WITH ME i wasn't able to think straight for the whole day after. it brought a sort of panic to my soul that i hadn't felt from any other movie. gobble gobble gobble

[XX/02/2024] STUFF ON MY WII U

unexpectedly, i set up my wii u this month. i was in a call with two friends from my class and i wanted to show them stuff i had on there, which led to me playing mario kart wii for like three hours and my interest in the console being revitalized. my wii u is modded, so i can play all kindsa things on there, and it's a lot i haven't really thought about in a while. i put a few DS games on there for mysterious video-related purposes and also checked out some gamecube games i'd never played -- i did so on stream, actually.

the highlight of my little wii u vacation was playing some of WIND WAKER HD again, a game i haven't really thought about in a long while. i first played it back in 2016 after getting a wii u for christmas, but i never got very far at that time. then in 2020 i played the gamecube version on an emulator, and actually beat the game! and now, in the future year 2024, i returned to the wii u version again.

it's pretty neat! i like wind waker a whole lot but i haven't really given myself the time to check out this version particularly in quite a bit, so it was nice to revisit. i had no idea it was in 1080p by the way. i really thought wii u games could only do 720p i was shocked here it actually *is* HD!!!!!!!!

anyway i seriously recommend modding your wii u if you have one. it can natively run gamecube & wii games, and the official ds emulator is pretty good since the wii u has two screens by default. i will forever be a defender of this thing people who say it's bad are just jealous.


so it's finally happened. i finally became a letterboxd user. my flatmates all got it and i thought i'd join in after i already made an account back in june. i had to log each and every movie that i'd seen (since 2023) so i'd be able to show off what i've seen (since 2023) and it got me to realise i really did watch a lot of good movies last year.

while it doesn't nearly match up to being able to write for this website, letterboxd is still fun to use for seeing what your friends' tastes are like i guess. my initiation into letterboxd aligned with my watch-through of TWIN PEAKS, so FIRE WALK WITH ME is one of the first movies i logged on there. i couldn't just continue watching twin peaks however -- i've been informed a few times that the third season is more impactful once you've checked out david lynch's filmography, and so my first few weeks of activity as a letterboxd user was spent doing the most movie-snob-ish thing possible: i watched a buncha david lynch movies.

not ALL of them, though, i'm not gonna watch them all in a row and i'm certainly not gonna list them all and make it an entire article like the wes anderson thing from last year, but i did get a substantial sampling of the kinda stuff the guy makes and my taste in film has probably changed forever.

BLUE VELVET is the first one i watched after fire walk with me, and the most tame i think. it still has the horror of sexuality but for the most part it's a relatively simple crime thriller that i had an ok time with. and then i saw ERASERHEAD which is like the condensed milk of freak shit. twin peaks and blue velvet sorta express a repulsion for sex, but eraserhead takes it a step further and shows us the horrors of being a parent and the weird expectations that come with that. i began to really feel the themes of just, like, a general refusal to adhere to typical nuclear family standards, and to top it all off the baby is absolutely nasty!!!!

LOST HIGHWAY was next up on the watching detour, the first lynch release after twin peaks, and i'll be real i was really truly tired for this one to the point of being half-conscious. i really felt that this enhances the whole experience though! with twin peaks the wackier stuff felt more engaging if it was late or i'd just woken up at the middle of the night, and so lost highway derailing itself and having the fizzy wobbliness that it does was a blast. the same feeling would extend through to MULHOLLAND DRIVE which was just as insane but had lesbians and a cowboy.

i can't even write about What happens in these movies, i think they're incredible simply for their indescribable nature. they manage to have a great sense of humor while also filling the viewer with dread. you really need to see them to understand what i mean, but i can tell you i felt really dazed and frazzled and this feeling reached new heights when i finally checked out INLAND EMPIRE. the profound, intense feeling in my soul persisted throughout all these movies but inland empire is where it reached its peak and i was left speechless. that specific moment -- if you've seen the movie you probably know which one -- had brought to me a feeling i don't think i've ever felt. my hands instantaneously went cold.

uh so yeah i had fun! i think you should watch these movies they were cool :)


this is just kinda something i wanted to write about, because it's been a weird month for me and this kinda caps everything off as maybe the strangest thing??

about a decade ago sony announced LITTLEBIGPLANET HUB, this free-to-play littlebigplanet game that would've had microtransactions and such. if you know me you know i'm a lifelong huge fan of this series and i do in fact remember when they announced this, but i was a little worried even then by the prospect of "it's free, but you need to buy stuff in it!". luckily for my worries, the game never ended up releasing, but we never found out what the game would be like anyway so this was more concerning than relieving.

all this time later, a private beta finally surfaced on archive.org, available for anyone with an emulator or modded PS3 to check out for themself, and it's really strange. not quite unfinished, not quite ready, obviously never released. but it's now the final littlebigplanet game, and i guess now i can truly say i've played them all.

the beta itself is kind of just a shell for a buncha online live-service type things, including the aforementioned microtransactions which would have given players access to story mode levels from LBP1&2 and, assumedly, original level packs too. the actual original content here is sparse, there's a couple original tutorial levels in the beta but interestingly the rest of the beta content is just stripped down LBP2 material. it feels like someone pulled this thing in from an alternate reality, but i'm glad i got to play it, and now i'm sad about the series' nonexistent future. yippeee.

march >>