Generations Revisited

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One of the things that you learn about me pretty early on is that I am prone to doing nonsense things.  One of those recent things has been trying to get the Citra 3DS emulator up and running to see how well Monster Hunter games work on it.  One of the things that I have wanted for awhile is for the ability to play the older handheld monster hunter games with a proper controller and on a larger non-handheld screen.  Yes I realize this literally goes against everything about the 3DS as a console platform, but I secretly wish that Nintendo would release something similar to the PSTV that is essentially a 2DS that hooks up to your television.  Similarly…  I pretty much exclusively play the switch in docked mode with a pro controller so maybe the whole handheld experience is lost on me.

Citra is an emulator that tries really hard to skirt that line between legal and illegal by forcing users to dump significant amounts of base information from a 3DS unit running a custom firmware.  I am not going to talk about this process, nor am I going to talk about the other ways around this process, but suffice to say that installing Citra is just the first step in many along this path that most assuredly leads to madness.  I’ve seen some stuff…  that is all I can say about that.  Which is made even more insane when you realize that I have a 2DS XL and a 3DS XL with the Monster Hunter Generations Cartridge that I can play easily any time I want to boot it up.

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Emulation has always intrigued me…  especially once you enter the realm of 3D games because generally speaking if you have enough horsepower you can run the games in a way nicer state than you can on the original device.  For example I am running Citra at 3 times the resolution of a native 3DS at 1200×720 which graphically still looks a little dated by way sharper than things do on the handheld itself.  This also allows me to do things like take screenshots…  which is something I find myself sorely missing when I am playing on the actual proper handheld systems.  There was in theory a way to do this through MiiVerse that has now been shuttered, and the only other way I believe is through a capture card that generally costs about $200 to get installed.  In theory there is a custom firmware option as well, but I am sorta afraid to do that on my primary system.

The trickiest bit of the configuration that I had was getting Citra to recognize my Xbox One controller inputs.  There is a standard push key to configure button type interface, but for whatever reason it was not actually recognizing input.  After some googling I found a work around which was to take someone else’s direct-input controller config and paste it into my configuration file.  For the curious this file lives in “C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Roaming\Citra” or more quickly you can just type %appdata% into the run prompt to get at least to the roaming directory.  Inside of the Config directory there should be a file labelled “qt-config.ini” and at the top of that is a controls block.

[Controls]
pad_a=65
pad_b=83
pad_x=90
pad_y=88
pad_l=81
pad_r=87
pad_zl=49
pad_zr=50
pad_start=77
pad_select=78
pad_home=66
pad_dup=84
pad_ddown=71
pad_dleft=70
pad_dright=72
pad_cup=73
pad_cdown=75
pad_cleft=74
pad_cright=76
pad_circle_up=16777235
pad_circle_down=16777237
pad_circle_left=16777234
pad_circle_right=16777236
pad_circle_modifier=68
pad_circle_modifier_scale=0.4000000059604645
button_a=”button:1,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_b=”button:0,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_x=”button:3,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_y=”button:2,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_up=”joystick:0,engine:sdl,direction:up,hat:0″
button_down=”joystick:0,engine:sdl,direction:down,hat:0″
button_left=”joystick:0,engine:sdl,direction:left,hat:0″
button_right=”joystick:0,engine:sdl,direction:right,hat:0″
button_l=”button:4,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_r=”button:5,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_start=”button:7,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_select=”button:6,engine:sdl,joystick:0″
button_zl=”engine:keyboard,code:49″
button_zr=”engine:keyboard,code:50″
button_home=”engine:keyboard,code:66″
circle_pad=”engine:sdl,axis_y:1,joystick:0,axis_x:0″
c_stick=”engine:sdl,axis_y:4,joystick:0,axis_x:3″
motion_device=”engine:motion_emu,update_period:100,sensitivity:0.01,tilt_clamp:90.0″
touch_device=engine:emu_window

Simply paste over this configuration and you should be good to go.  You might want to tweak the sensitivities in game a bit because right now my Xbox One controller is way the hell more responsible than a stock 3DS.

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All in all I am pretty happy with the results and while sure… I could be playing Monster Hunter World on the PS4 instead of messing around with Citra and Monster Hunter Generations…  that is not the way my brain works.  Sure the menus are all very pixelated and sure the textures look wonky at times…  but the base 3D models look so much smoother than they do on the console.  I have no clue why I suddenly feel the desire to play all the things when it comes to Monster Hunter…  but I am likely going to try and get the PSP game running on my PSTV to see how that one handles as well.  The risk of a post like this is that I am likely going to start getting a bunch of comments asking me how I did this and if I can send them files…  the answer is a big nope.  I am existing in a weird grey area in that I have all of the components needed to make this work naturally.

You know how all of those videos will say “this is for educational purposes only”, in truth that is sorta why I think I mess around with stuff like this.  I know soon I will get bored and wander off as the next shiny thing attracts my attention, because I am no longer playing Monster Hunter Online or Phantasy Star Online 2…  things I had to go through a bunch of work to make functional.  I think I like doing these silly ventures because it feels like I accomplished something interesting.  Its the core part of my brain that used to always keep changing Linux Distros on a second machine here at the house, because ultimately I guess I have a strong tinkerer instinct.

Bad Grind Good Grind

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I am still reeling a bit from a dream I had over night.  I guess in theory you could call it a nightmare, where I ended up leaving my current job and ending back under the yoke of the one boss in my work history that I hated working for.  I’ve always been one of those people who tended to naturally get along with bosses.  Pending they are coming from a place of logic, I get why they want the things they want…  and especially now as a “boss” myself I get how orders that seem disconnected from reality end up having to be passed down.  This boss however was petty and vindictive and gave me nothing but a constant stream of conflicting information.  If I did what I thought was right…  he would rail on me for not doing it however the hell he wanted me to do it.  If I stopped and asked for directions in how he wanted me to do a thing…  he would rail on me for not taking initiative.  In the end it was two and a half years of the lowest point in my career that did some serious damage to my psyche that I am apparently still sorting out.

On the gaming front however I have been playing quite a bit of World of Warcraft, mostly because I want to unlock the two Allied races that I have yet to.  Let me take a moment to talk about how much bullshit the way these races are unlocked is.  Primarily that it is grossly unfair that two races for a single faction are unlocked by doing content that has been in game more or less since the launch of Legion, and the other two gated behind the newest content and honestly the most frustrating to do.  So I have the two horde races of the High Mountain Tauren and the Nightfallen unlocked and a monk and rogue create respectively.  Now I am working on the frustrating rep grind that is roaming around Argus and doing daily quests barely watching the needle climb at all.

Argus just feels bad and was only slightly improved when I got the reputation to unlock the improved flight whistle.  Why in the hell this was not a default thing makes zero sense to me.  I get that they rushed this content out the door and did a lot of visual tricks that are easily dispelled the second you lift off the ground.  However the constant tug of war of achieving flying only to have it arbitrarily taken away from you is maddening.  We experienced this with Pandaria and then suddenly losing the ability to fly on the Timeless Isle and Isle of Giants and in both cases it felt horrible.  Having a speed bump in the form of Argus still feels horrible…  but I am gritting my teeth and dealing with it for the sake of racial unlocks.  As to why this suddenly matters to me now?  I have no clue… it could have been simply spurred on by having access to the races in Alpha.

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The other game I have been playing a significant amount of lately is Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on my new pokeball edition 2DS XL.  Unfortunately the shut down of MiiVerse and the lack of having any sort of a native screenshot functionality will keep me from actually capturing any shots of my gameplay.  However this has sorta become my evening retreat as I chill out doing some monster hunter from bed before finally heading to sleep.  I find having some sort of a wind down activity helps a lot and at least thus far this fits the bill nicely.  I do however have a USB to 3DS charging cable at work so I might start taking this with me and playing a little over lunch now that I am getting into some of the more exciting activities.

I’ve not made it terribly far but at this point I have taken down two monsters:  Velicidrome and Seltas…  both of which I need several more parts from.  I have the mission to hunt the Great Jaggi so I am likely to attempt that next because I need a single hide to upgrade my current sword and shield.  Not sure why I have not broken out my beloved Longsword yet, but for the moment I opted to stick to the starter weapon.  In truth in Monster Hunter World, the Sword and Shield is probably my second favorite of the weapons so I am in part using MH4U as a way to get more familiar with its quirks.

How quickly I have taken to this game in the relatively short amount of time I have been playing it…  tells me that Monster Hunter World is not necessarily a fluke for me.  Sure it was this amazing gateway into a very complex game…  but the core mechanics are ultimately the thing that is keeping me there.  I’ve had similar experiences with Generations, but I feel like 4U does a much better job of easing you into the game and giving you some semblance of a story to care about.  At some point I fully expect to return to Generations and push a little further given that I have yet to actually get to a single real monster there.

 

Moogle Charro Suit

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Last night I had all of the intent in the world to come home and stream some Monster Hunter World nonsense.  Wednesday is likely going to be one of those days I stream because it is a relative dead spot for the rest of the Moogle’s Pom team.  When I got home from training however I was just mentally toast and was not sure if I could handle non-streaming interaction…  let alone being “on” while playing something.  As a result I slipped into the comfortable chill of Final Fantasy XV.  As you can see I have decided to go with a completely different outfit for Noct because the Mariachi Charro suit with a Moogle Riding a Chocobo on the back is freaking amazing.  I’ve always thought the classic Mariachi attire looked classy as fuck, and since FFXV is sorta this weird homage to the Americas it sorta fits.  I also swapped the Regalia paint job for a classic two tone with black/gold rims and the black and white interior.

This is mostly going to not be a post about Final Fantasy XV but I had some screenshots to break up the blocks of text so I am using them.  I’ve been in ITILv3 certification classes and it is simply a lot of information to consume and remember.  What is making things more difficult is that some of our practices at work go against the norm and even attribute completely different meanings to some of the terms I am going to have to be tested on.  Some of my peers talked about just being mentally toast when they got out of class each night and that is precisely what I am going through.  We’ve taken six quizzes, a 40 term vocabulary test, a bunch of brain dump review sessions…  and today is the day.  We have a handful of study activities and a practice test…  and then finally at 1:35 to be exact I take the online proctored certification test.

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I spent some time reading last night and watched a few study guide videos…  but I could tell that no more data was going to fit into my brain that evening.  Its almost as though there is some maximum buffer of learning that I have reached each day and only sleep manages to come along and clear it out.  At this point we have covered probably well over 100 specific terms that we are going to need to understand and differentiate from other super similar terms.  It is not like my job is on the line if I don’t pass…  but I will catch massive hell because my predecessor did not when everyone else that went through a giant class together did.  So far I have made roughly 80% on all of the quizzes so I am trending to be able to make the minimum of 65% needed to pass the test and get certification.  Ultimately I will feel better once I have taken the practice exam and seen how I do on that.

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In the meantime…  I am ready for some normalcy to return to my week.  I’ve been in training each day since Tuesday with my entire focus being absorbing as much raw information as I can.  Coming back to work Friday and doing normal tasks is going to feel super odd given that I have been holed up in a classroom for the last three days.  It honestly may not be until the weekend that I have decompressed enough from this experience to be able to interact with other human beings on a regular basis.  I have stuff that I ultimately want to do in both Final Fantasy XIV and Monster Hunter World, and I have not even had a chance to check in and see what the weeklies are this time around.  I know the Wiggler quest ends soon, and then shortly after that the Anjanath Horizon Zero Dawn quest.  I need to make sure that everyone I know has the bits from that quest they still need before it poofs.

On the Final Fantasy XIV front I need to burn through the rest of the main story quest so that I can unlock the rest of the dungeons needed for Expert Roulette.  I would really like to get into a comfortable pattern of coming home and doing the few daily roulettes for bookrocks in order to catch up gear wise.  I would also really love to grab some people I trust and run through Rabanastre so I can get some quick explanations of the fight before I start tanking it on a regular basis.  I could in theory run it as Samurai, but I am not sure if my gear is good enough to get in there on that class.

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Finally last night I spent a little bit of time downstairs in bed playing around with my 2DS XL.  Firstly I have to say how much better I like using this than the 3DS XL.  For whatever reason the screen on the 3DS always screwed with my eyes.  I could never actually see the 3D paralax effect and as a result everything just looked fuzzy even with the 3D settings flipped all the way to the lowest settings.  As a result the 2DS screen looks so much crisper and as a result every game just feels better.  The other awesome side effect is the fact that it is so much lighter, and also qualifies as a “New” device meaning I can finally put some of my favorite SNES games on it.  I managed to catch Monster Hunter 4U on sale for $8…  but sadly at the time of posting this it has gone back up to its full price.  I started that game and already like it more than I did Generations, and I managed to defeat the Well-Done Steak boss on my first attempt because of figuring it out from World.  These games feel so fresh and new… and I have to think a lot of my reluctance to play them had to have been how much the screen frustrated my eyes.