The first item of good news is that Astarotte beat Misaka Mikoto for a spot in the elite 8. Her next opponent is Erica Hartmann from Strike Witches. The remainder of the elite 8 in the Saimoe contest are Kyouko, Mami, Sayaka and Madoka from Madoka Magica (Just as I predicted, all 4 made it), Kuroneko from Oreimo, and Squid Girl from Shinryaku.
Madoka and Sayaka are fighting each other, so at least one Madoka girl has to lose this time. I'm hoping Sayaka will win, she's my favorite girl in Madoka Magica. I predict the other two Madoka girls will win handily against their opponents. And I'm hoping Astarotte will win again and advance all the way to the final four. That way, my eye for the cutest girls will have peer backing.
The next item of good news is that 13 top 100 anime shows are airing simultaneously in this ridiculously quality-packed fall season. Getting to watch Bakuman, Hunter x Hunter, Working, Fate/Zero and One Piece all in the same day is basically dying and going to heaven. What a season! Wow! I salute you, Japan.
More good news is that LSU and Alabama, #1 and #2, both unbeaten, will be facing each other November 5th in the most epic regular season SEC match in history. This will go a long way towards determining the national championship game in January -- but to be honest, this is probably going to be a tougher and better match than the national championship game itself. This IS the national championship game, for all intents and purposes. If you're going to watch a single football game this year, this is it.
The next item of good news is that World of Warcraft has announced an expansion, Mists of Pandaria. It has scrapped the old talent system and built an entirely new one that gives you completely overpowered abilities, but only 6 of them, and each of them is mutually exclusive with the other two options you might have chosen. This means there's now a great deal of customization and personalization of your characters. Hard choices will have to be made every 15 levels to create the perfect Paladin for *you.* In addition, the level cap is being moved up to 90, there's a new race, Pandarians (Panda-people) with all sorts of good racial abilities and great looks, and a new class, monks (Kung-fu Pandas) with an entirely new look and feel who can tank, heal, or dps just as you please, and a new continent full of new looking Asian-themed zones and dungeons to play around in. This expansion really has it all. Cataclysm was great in that it remade all the beginning zones to be a truly fun experience, and Wrath was great because it had the new death knight class, and Burning Crusade at least made Shamans and Paladins more reasonable/mainstream, but Mists of Pandaria is all of those expansions put together -- a new race, a new class, a new continent, and a complete reworking of the gameplay.
I was kind of hoping for the Emerald Dream to be the topic of the next expansion, but, I guess there's always next time. For now I'm excited enough by the prospect of playing a kung-fu panda.
Other good news is that the continuously high price of oil has caused a boom in oil production from slightly more expensive sources, like deep-water drilling, tar sand oil, and shale oil, which is found in the Americas instead of the Middle East. Soon enough America will be the oil provider to the world, and this will give us increased economic and military security, while at the same time undercutting all the dictators and terrorists of Dar'al'Islam.
Speaking of dictator terrorists, there's more good news, Qaddafi is dead. He met his just desserts at the hands of an angry mob. Not only did he commit terrorist attacks against us in the past, there's well documented human atrocities he committed against his own people, and now a stunning report that he had personally accumulated from the backs of his poor citizenry a stunning 200 billion dollars, making him the wealthiest man on Earth, all via theft. With that kind of money, he could have founded a Mars colony, but instead he chose to squirrel it away in Swiss bank accounts and never spend a dime. This insane usage of his people's tax dollars earned via his country's natural resources has to be his worst crime of all.
Obama so far has shown an amazing record for killing bad guys that Bush was completely incapable of fulfilling. He's also shown that we can win a war via pure air power, defeating an ancient enemy of the United States without losing a single man in the process. Hopefully Syria rises up next and we can send our planes over there to start a new bombing campaign. The dictator of Syria, Assad, has already been machine gunning his own people who were only engaged in peaceful protests, and his father killed 12,000 people who yearned for democracy in his day, so the moral legitimacy of that nation's leaders is also nonexistent.
More good news is that Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be coming out soon, and it will focus on Sera, Lightning's younger sister, who was always the most beautiful and interesting character, even in the original game, but maddeningly couldn't be used as a playable character even though she had l'ciel magic. Clearly the best was saved for last. There's also hope that Final Fantasy Type Zero and Final Fantasy XIII Vs. will finally come out this year as well. Square-Enix has really made us wait for all of its announced projects a long time, but that's just because they care about being the best and making games right. I have no problem with delays so long as the game at the end is good.
While we're at it, Dynasty Warriors 7 Xtreme Legends, an expansion pack to the best Dynasty Warriors game ever, will come with an unprecedented 3 new characters, including the woefully left out Pang De from DW5, Guo Jia, a great general from Cao Cao's early days, and Wang Shi, a girl who once fought Ma Chao in real history. ((I'm fine with cute girls who never existed at all, but historical warrior girls are always a plus.)) Putting DW7 and DW7 Xtreme Legends together, I just don't see how any game could ever be more fun than 7. It has everything and everyone now. Maybe once there's a PS4 and an even better graphics engine, but until then, DW8 won't stand a chance to this perfect gem of a game.
There's also some hints that an Xbox 3 and a PS4 are on their way. My view of the matter is that we should stay with the PS3 until programmers can't find any way left to make the graphics better, but after that, it's time to move on to a new generation console. New games won't be fun if they don't offer any novel experiences to gamers. So far every PS3 game has looked better than the last, but that probably won't be true for the years to come, so it's time to start developing the PS4 now, not after all this momentum has winded down. PS3 is so close to surpassing Xbox 2 sales and claiming its status as the best gaming platform of this generation. It only needs to somehow outsell the Xbox for 3 million more units. All the talk about how terrible a bet Sony made will be silenced by the victory of the PS3 and the blu-ray disk that they invented. I can't wait to see the pie on people's faces when the final results are in.