I Just Can’t Complete These Games

I know I have the symptom of a gaming addict.  I sit at work writing in my notepad, making a list of games to complete. Like a kid in a candy store, I want to eat everything, but realized that not all games are made with the same quality and ingredients. There are some things I like in a game, and some I don’t.

To shorten my post, I will list three games I can’t complete.

 

Game # 1: Yume Nikki

yume nikkiThere is a more recent version that came out on Steam. I tried playing the original but don’t get why people give it a good review.  I  became extremely critical about the art in the game.  It doesn’t appeal to me.  Perhaps, that’s why I don’t enjoy it as much.  

 

Game # 2: Pandora’s Tower

ElenaYes, I like the gameplay, but Elena, I hate to admit her personality is very similar to mine (when I am feeling sane).  The game is so painful to play because unlike her, I have no support. Dad taught me to be independent, and Mom taught me to be a lady.   To see Elena so weak, I want to jump off the cliff for being a burden to Aeron (her lover) on her behalf. The thought of slowly turning into a monster, waiting for my lover to come back and feed me beast flesh so I can return to human form is depressing.  No one likes being caged up ill. Trust me. One day, I may finish it after I get new batteries for the Wii controller.  Now I am curious about the ending.

 

Game # 3: Nioh

niohI feel cheated. Why oh why did I pre-ordered this game? I was so excited on launch day that I rushed to my local game store during lunch break.  The demo fooled me into thinking the game has potential, perhaps it does. The intro to the game sort of turned me off.  I have beaten some bosses, but the game is too commercialized for me to continue.  

So what have I been playing even though I have been complaining the lack of time for games?  I am playing Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin, Virtue’s Last Reward and Drakengard.  Once I upgrade my laptop to gaming, I will indeed, play more pc games, particularly Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition. I don’t care much about the Dark Souls Remastered. Why can’t they release a Demon’s Souls Remastered instead?!

I feel so overwhelmed for having so many choices. That’s what it really is.  Someone please help me decide!

Updating Blog

It’s hard not to pay attention to world news, or just news generally. The world feels a bit crazy.  So crazy that I can’t even escape to videogame world. I don’t know how many protests and marches have occured ever since we got a new president. The constant blasting sound of the siren coming from the ambulance and the helicopters flying over the building I live in is draining my mental energy.  Today is March for Our Lives, and a couple months ago was Women March 2018.  I watched people marching almost every month now.  I can’t help but feel as if the world is spiraling down into chaos.

My apologies for such gloomy introduction to this blog post. I want to make an annoucement that I am not abandoning this blog even though there have been some changes in my worklife. I have updated the About Me page so you can decide whether you want to continue to follow me or not.  If you are a new visitor, welcome!

I have removed some old posts such as the award tags to clean up the blog. To be honest, I appreciate the tag, but I have always found it awkward talking about myself, although I’m not so shy talking about the subjects that matter to me.  During this time, I think it’s more important than ever to speak up.

On a positive note, Happy Spring!

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Detention: An Indie Horror Game

After feeling disappointed with Evil Within 2, I decided to look for a new horror game to forget that horrid game.   I found Detention, watching a Youtube video clip, and so I gave it a shot.  I am not going to lie: survival horror/horror is my favorite video game genre and there is a good reason why.  But let’s not talk about that–leave it for another time. Let’s talk about the game.

This game is indeed creepy without the flashy stuff we see in AAA games.  You play a female protagonist, a teenage girl  who is undergoing personal hardship.  Like the protagonist,  I can recall experiencing that familiar overwhelming sadness when I was a teenager. I think it was so bad that the counselor and the school nurse had to check my wrists to see if I cut myself. Looking back, I think it was a typical thing for a teenage girl to go through (damn you hormones!).  So yeah,  it’s kind of nice to play a character that I can relate to and one that is realistically feminine.  A lot of games I’ve enjoyed  in the past were largely male-based.  I have my reasons–that too, I will tell you readers at a later time. 

I won’t say much more about this game because I encourage you to check it out for yourself. Oh, and one last thing I do want to point out  about the game: the storytelling is ambiguous but not overly complex. The game has enough suspense and plenty of symbolic meanings, which I like very much.  There are 4 chapters and it didn’t take long to beat (around 2-5 hours). I think there are mutiple endings, so replay value is good.  

Overall, I’d like to say great job RedCandleGames for crafting a pleasant horror game and for keeping me entertained during these winter evenings.  

 

The Evil Within 2: Not My Cup of Tea

The Evil Within® 2_20171227191302

 I deleted my old post because I got so upset, and then restored and revised it since I do have something to say about the game.  The game had a lot of potential, but unfortunately it wasn’t what I was hoping for. 

Call me picky when it comes to survival horror games, but I believe concepts do play a major role in horrifying audience.  Take for example, Silent Hill 2 will always be my favorite survival horror game because the developers know exactly how to define horror and  create a game which still haunts me till this day.  I learned to love the fog in winter because I experienced the chillness in Silent Hill. But this post is not going to be about the survival horror genre or Silent Hill games.  This is about The Evil Within 2 and my thoughts on it. Please keep in my mind, I am speaking from an artist perspective and from someone who dislike movie-like games. 

With any artistic medium ( I think some video games are a form of art), it’s wise not to imitate even if you are under the spell of nostalgia. I am not a fan of imitation.  You can  admire a successful game that haunts people–but reinventing the same thing doesn’t frightened people (at least for me) because we already walked that path before. The Evil Within 2 feels like a confused horror amusement park.  It cannot decide whether it wants to be an action or horror game. Hey, some people might like this game for the way it is and good for them. Personally, I don’t like games that feel generic.

What disappointed me about the game is its strong opening. The game introduction was atmospherically scary. Yes, there was a little chase here and there. Fun for a bit, but then it got sloppy  as soon as all the suspense is dispersed and the climax is reached. From there on, I found myself playing a cheap thrill. If gameplay is lacking then I expect a decent story, but this game has neither of them. The game design feels unpolished.  Why recycle boss enemies once it has been defeated? Why do I need to level up my skill trees in order to make the game a bit more fluid? There is some obvious technical issues with the game, especially in combat.  The cheesy dialogues amplify the  cliche plot.  I started asking myself, “Why I am playing this game?” I forced myself to complete the game anyway because I hate not completing games. I would have enjoyed the game more playing as Juli Kidman because she is an interesting character. 

Juli

I enjoyed the first game even though it was not perfect. So I was hoping The Evil Within 2 is more of a refined version of the first. Sadly no. The only thing that Evil Within 2 has is a simplified story.  You  play as a detective who is given the chance to save his daughter.   In my honest opinion, the game failed to horrify and tell a good story because its attention was focused on trying to be a movie.

So no, I do not recommend this game if you have particular taste for horror games like me. I prefer the earlier Resident Evil games over The Evil Within series now that I have finished the game. This game is designed intentionally for the mass market (movie watchers), and there is nothing wrong with that. This game is just not my cup of tea.

 

Rambling About Games Aimlessly

I have not mentioned one horror video game on this blog last month. Well, why should I? I play horror video games all year round. Now let me tell you one fact about me: I think horror movies are scarier than horror games. Why?  When I am playing video games generally, I am fixated on winning.  You give me a shotgun–I blast those monsters away. You make me run and hide like in Clower Tower series–I giggle. But horror movies take that control away from me, so I have no choice but to cover my eyes.  Now I am thinking, it might be an interesting concept to develop a game about shutting your eyes as your weapon of defense and relying on sound to survive in the game. I think Siren is sort of like that.  Anyway, so that is why I don’t watch horror movies.  I can’t remember the last time I watched one. It might be about 7 years ago.  I haven’t had any nightmares ever since, and I like it to remain that way.

But this post is not about horror video games. Today, I’m just rambling about games aimlessly because that is what’s on my mind at the moment.  I know that I don’t write anything negatively or say anything negatively on this blog. So you might think that I just play anything and be satisfied. That’s not true. Behind the screen, I want to poke my eyeballs out when I play a crappy game, but I refrain.  Okay, I am just exaggerating!  But seriously,  I try to remain open minded. Some games may not appeal to me aesthetically but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. After all, what you like is a reflection of your heart.

Lately, I  have been playing 999 (PS4 version). This game too, was actually recommended by my brother.  So far, I enjoy the soundtrack very much and the story is quite interesting.  I have two more endings to go.  Brother told me that this game was on par with Nier Gestalt during the year 2009-2010.  I can see why.  It is well executed.

999_cover.png
DS Coverart version from Wiki

Once I am done with the game entirely, my next game is Drakengard.  Hopefully by the time I finish the game, I won’t go crazy. I was warned that the gameplay is terrible. But that is okay, I am more interested in the thought process behind the game design rather than playing for achievements as of late. It’s more enjoyable.

P.S

I stumbled on Miyazaki picture browsing Twitter. As you know I am a fan of Dark Souls. I find this picture side by side summarizing my whole experience with Dark Souls–it’s inviting but brutal.

cute

 

Making Some Changes

It’s October. Weather is pleasantly cool, and I”m starting vacation next week, although I am not going anywhere special. I’m taking the time off to recharge mentally and focus on polishing up my songs. 

Awhile ago, I was working with a musician friend, but we don’t talk anymore.   I think he gave up on me because we were not on the same wavelength. I am an introvert. He is an extrovert. I’m calm.  He is chaotic.  I am a morning person.  He is a night person.  But mainly because he told me video game is a waste of time and he was trying to turn me into someone that I am not. I don’t like that feeling.  

I guess artists have different ways at looking at the world.  One, you create art because you want the glamour that comes with it, or you create art because you feel inclined to imitate your universe so that you can see your creation from a third-person perspective. In the end, you make sense of yourself and your reality.  But of course, this is just my observation. Hmm…to be honest, I don’t even know if I am making any sense writing this.  

Let’s just say, I have been doing things alone creatively and have been obsessively playing the same song that has so many different versions over and over.  Do I think it’s good? I have no idea. All I know it’s from my heart and I am giving birth to it.   So this is part of the reason why I have not been active on this blog. So I am afraid this blog might shift from games and more towards creative works in the upcoming future. I don’t want to surprise anyone.  That doesn’t mean I have given up on games. I still play them when I can.  In fact, I will be playing Nonary Games next week. I am excited. Well, I think it’s time to sleep.

Thanks for reading.

        Signing off~ 

cat (1)

 

 

 

My Notes on Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon

I highly recommend playing the game before reading this post.   My intention is to share my interpretation of the game which may differ from yours.

I bought this game seven years ago and I finally beat it. The content of this game is quite mature but with light gameplay, which is both suitable for adults and children.  Perhaps, I am a child at heart but I really prefer the simplistic gameplay approach, especially when the story is the focal point.  Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is about a boy’s journey towards finding warmth in the post-apocalyptic world. It has a typical story but it took advantage of the video game medium to produce a unique experience.

fragile-dreams

 

What I enjoyed about the game is that beautiful and atmospheric.  I found some of the enemies quite interesting and eerie, although this game is not a horror game.  I might do a separate post about this topic for in depth analysis.  Gameplay wise,  I personally think it’s a child version of Dark Souls.  In fact the bonfire and some enemies do have a strong resemblance to the Souls series. I don’t know much about the background for the development of making this game, but perhaps Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon  had some influences on the making of Dark Souls. Again, I will leave that for a different post after I gather some actual facts.

For now, I’d like to discuss Seto’s (the protagonist) journey. Throughout the game, Seto is accompanied by caring loving companions who are not humans. About midway,  Seto comes across an interesting character named Crow, who appears to be a big tea drinker like myself based on his clothes. This section, which may seem like a side track, is my favorite part of the game.

Crow

I enjoyed chasing and  hunting down Crow because it reminded me of  playing  hide and a seek and playing tag. For a moment, I didn’t mind taking a break from trying to find the silver hair girl. This section of the game illustrated an important point made by one of the characters, Chiyo : “It’s the sunbeams, the wind rolling over grass and the idle chit chat with friends [are] the gems of life.” That moment where Seto chased Crow to get his locket back is special. We must not forget during our journey to enjoy the moment we are in. That is called living.

However, the game also wanted to make an another important point:  Crow is a robot. Even if  we find happiness in the substitution of artificial life,  including digital ones–it does not replace the real life human interaction.  Thus, it’s the silver hair girl  that can offer Seto the real authentic relationship even if it involves conflict and misunderstanding between both people. And Sai, one of the main supporting characters, helped me understand that words may not always be the best form of expression, but it’s not entirely useless. Words fill in part where visual cue fails to communicate simple things such as  Seto wants Ren, the silver hair girl, to be his girlfriend. He is tired of being alone.

A little of topic here,  but I think everyone is alone because someone once told me that feelings are personal. We are so focused on our feelings most of the time that we forget other people have feelings too. There is a tendency to lack empathy for others and most of the time it’s unintentional. This lead to much hurt and destruction in the human society. The game really wanted to point out that the lack of empathy causes pain.

Overall,  the game provided a philosophical explanation for the continuation of existence, despite the dark side of humanity.  If you haven’t play this game already, check it out. And if you have played it,  let me know what you think. I’d love to hear them.

P.S

My next post most likely will be about Root Letter. I feel inspired by The Otaku Judge to get all the endings. Then I will play  Zero Escape: Nonary Games probably towards the end of this year.  

Thanks for reading! Until next time, take care guys.