The capitalistic, the enigmatic and the vintage.
During my Internet drought brought to me by the old 10 year old house modem, I have been quite busy in the laziness department. Wanting to make do with it as much as I can, I finally started Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale (pronounced re-set-tear), took a long listen with Koss’s dual driver KDE250 and went on a date with the Yammie YH-1.
Setting up shop is hella hard
Recettear is in all honesty and dungeoneering game, only with the added game mechanic of trying to rip off as much from the townspeople and adventurers to pay for your debt your adventurous father left you. I’d not elaborate more on it since I’m not really the best people for it, but you can look up on it on RPS here and here. Of course if you have an aversion towards them feel free to Google.
For the most part, I quite enjoyed the game for how long I played it. An anime nut like me wouldn’t be bothered a lot by the style of the artwork. Heck, it is a doujin [basically indie, but there seems to be more tha meets the eye regarding the different culture of indie in East and West] game from Japan, so it makes sense for it to be that.
Gameplay-wise, the shopkeeping part is interesting for me since I’ve never played anything like it. When haggling with customers, there are subtle differences between each type. Little girls that comes into my house expecting to buy expensive shit is a hard one to deal since they’re always broke, old guys are very persistent at being very unreasonable when they are buying expensive stuff and asking for low prices. This parts actually frustrates me a lot, even a lot more when the quota for the week approaches the first time around. If you read the articles I linked, you would now know that they will loop, carrying all your profit, items, seller level and any adventurers you met that you can contract later on to go into dungeons, instead of punishing the players and give you a ‘Game Over’ screen.
The dungeoneering part is fairly enjoyable, if not very tedious, as befitting these kinds of games. The enemies took direction-based damage, so if you’re skilled enough you can circle around enemies to inflict the most damage possible.
I actually followed what the little fairy taught me during the tutorial period almost every time. Little did I know there’s more hidden game mechanic for the commerce part such as maintaining a good and healthy relationship with shoppers by not trying to be a uber-capitalist asshole. Since then my playthrough of the game has been a lot smoother and less frustrating.
All in all, I think if you have no qualms with anime-art and are in to dungeon crawling and wasting your time looking for materials to craft uber-items to rip off townsfolk, then I suggest get this game on GamersGate and Steam, among other places.
There seems to be scarce impressions of it relative to other products that’s in Head-fi. No surprise, considering it’s in its core is an earbud type of headphones, and it’s not even in the traditional sense too. I’m not going to go into it too much yet; that’s for my long impressions post later on, but for now I’ll just give some fleeting thoughts on it.
Concurring with others here, fit is of the utmost importance if you want to get it to even sound decent. You could go from a messy muddy bass farter to shrill treble siren-shrieker. I finally been able to get a correct fit, or at least correct in the sense that it won’t dislogde from my ear with the slightest tug of the flimsy cable, or felt like it’s trying to tunnel through my skull with one of the uncomfortable position that I managed to found. I still have trouble with my right ear though, thus confirming more and more that my ears are not symmetrical, to my mild OCD dismay.
On with the preliminary impression. Bass-focused, but not in anyway heavy on it, and still can deliver on the details both in the mids and treble. I suspect though that they have a upper treble focus, since I can get my eardrums sore after 1 hour of listening. The 20mm driver, responsible for the lower spectrum of the sound, really is very capable. Quite fast from what I can tell so far, nothing one-note about it and quite textured. The bass impact is lesser than the YH-1, and even my Nami-chan, but it’s not a complaint for me. It could use a little bit more though, IMO.
Mids seems to be quite okay, up on par with my very subjective standard. It’s nothing forward or shouty mind you, but I would hazard a guess that it’s slightly less than neutral for it. Considering that the KDE250 uses two drivers of different size, and as far as every owner is concerned and knew, they don’t seem to use any crossover circuit, it performs really well. Admittedly this is just me trying to sound smart by talking like this, since I know jack shit about crossover, so I shouldn’t even written that, to be honest…
Moving on, like I said, the treble seems to have an upper tilt to it. There’s nothing too bright to it or sibilant that I can tell, but for whatever reason, like I said earlier, I seem to get my ears sore fairly fast. There’s still not a lot I can say about the treble though.
But I think the most unique thing about it is the fact that it can provide good soundstage. This one is by far the second most impressive soundstage I’ve heard in a small package (think of IEMs and small portable on-ears), the first being the Sony MDR7550. In fact, if I’m not going to bother with the weight of Nami-chan, and in no mood to deal with stuffing things into my ear canal, this would be it. The thing that doesn’t lend itself well is the fact that they are essentially earbuds and the slightly awkward fitting, preventing me from taking it to rounds out into the city, or jogging. Very great indoors-only earphones though. Expect a longer impressions with some songs I thought is a great match (and not) to pop up later.
Oh so good planar magnetic/orthodynamic technology, you seem to got it right the first time around back when I’m not even conceived yet. I think the one I got from a Head-Fier is in stock form. But regardless if it is or isn’t the dark nature of it is simply quite a mystery for me actually, and basically just reinvented my dream perfect mids for me again. The first time around was when I listened to Nami-chan back in its stock form. The second time is my time with the A1000X. The YH-1, dubbed Kafuka-chan somewhere down the line, basically solidifies that my sound signature preference is indeed a mids (vocal) focused one.
The bass, and the extension, is ohmagawd awesome to these young ears. Really this just trumps anything I did with Nami-chan. I feel like they have good bass impact, but nothing brain-mashing. I don’t think they are as tight and speedy as what I did with my Nami-chan, but then again it could be the other way around as well. The mids are definitely slightly deemphasized compared to what my Nami-chan sounded like 2 weeks ago, but I very much like it, since it matches quite well with the overall dark nature of Kafuka-chan, and to my amusement, with a lot of my frequent favourite songs and albums. Even the rolled of treble didn’t bother me all that much, since it still can come out rather beautifully.
Alas the dark nature of Kafuka-chan didn’t mesh well with a lot of my Jpop songs, as I don’t think it delivers enough of the treble energy and vocal prowess that seems to be in a lot of Jpop. It does mix very well with a lot of the electronic music I have though, since the bass is just superb. Kafuka-chan can even deliver decent soundstage and directionality and separation for a lot of the electronic music I listen to.
Of course all of this are early musings and I will write up a longer impression post for it, along with which songs I thought best show its capability, and what doesn’t work too well with it.