Reflection Time: Video Games & Films

Recently Extra Life nominated me for the the Sunshine Award.  It made me smile as I appreciate the thought. But strangely, I was having a hard time answering his questions as I don’t have strong opinions about the film industry generally even though I have watched a handful of good films in my lifetime. I think I am a rather picky person when it comes to films.  If a film fails to grab my attention within the 30 minutes, I just quit watching it.  I have more patience with games than films because they are interactive. His questions, however, made me reflect about games and its relation to films and how I feel about it as a consumer. So I write my thoughts here and skip the tagging since I couldn’t answer some of the questions properly.

Back in 2011, I took Silent Cinema course  not necessarily because I am a film enthusiast, but I needed the credit.  To my surprise, I am really glad I did because I enjoyed the course a lot. I learned how films evolved overtime from something that was used for scientific purposes to entertaining the masses. In the early 1900s, the average person include the working class begin to have more time to watch films. It was a great escape and a cheap alternative to vacation. Similarly, I can see how video games can offer the same instant gratification. I enjoy traveling, but I was never the type who have a lot of energy in the first place.   Video games allow my brain to roam and since I’m the introvert type, I do enjoy doing single activities, which unfortunately society called people like me anti-social, which in truth, I don’t suffer from social anxiety and can be quite sociable. I just prefer some alone time to function as a proper human being. But of course, I’m one type of consumer. Some people play games causally and to past time. And there’s nothing wrong with that!  I remember a friend asked me to bring my Wii because I wouldn’t visit her without it. She actually really enjoyed playing games with me. We had a good time. Video games, despite its bad connotation as a social deviant activity, it is actually replacing films and becoming the new form of entertainment for the masses. There are different types of games for people to enjoy like how there are different types of music for people to listen.  So the term”gamer” is kind of outdated because it no longer distinguishes a particular group of people from the rest of the society as if there is something wrong with gamers. The correct term these days, might just be a gaming enthusiast.

Taking Silent Cinema course, made me understand why Last of Us was so successful and why it is appealing. It has that film aesthetic and the gameplay is extremely casual.  I could play the game during the weekdays after work without putting a lot of mental energy into completing it. Therefore, I think the game deserves it success, although I don’t think the medium should be ashamed of itself and try to morph into something else more mature (film). Video game has the potential to grow.  Don’t try to change its essence, which boils down to gameplay. This really got me thinking why I prefer Japanese games over western games. Japanese games are more experimental and don’t throw away the “gameplay” aspect even though it tried to imitate films (Silent Hill series is the perfect example).  However, Japanese developers can learn a lot from western developers. I find western games to be more realistic and honestly I prefer the realistic style over the animated cute style. But that’s just preference.

I have some friends who are more than a decade older than me. I get along with them pretty well. My new friend from work is a very beautiful, intelligent woman in her 60s. She was once a manager for a video store. She watched hundreds of films during that time she worked there so she can sell them. I have been discovering good films and books because of her lately.  She has good taste. We both have the same personality actually.  Unfortunately, it’s the age difference that set us apart. Lack of knowledge about games make it hard for older folks to  accept video game as a respectable medium. I believe some games do have the same aesthetic as great films.  I am pretty sure when I am her age, I can see myself becoming an expert in games and most likely still play video games (quality games). Then I can see myself becoming critical of the younger generation for the lack of taste in entertainment. Whatever the future holds, who knows.

I will end this post by answering one of Extra Life’s questions. My favorite film decade is probably the 1960s.  I love watching old shows such as Come Drink with MeBreakfast Tiffany’s and The Twilight Zone. When it comes to animation, I like anything from the 1980s.  But honestly, anything that have thoughtful dialogue would instantly captivate me.  To me, great art is timeless and it doesn’t belong to a certain era.

 

 

 

Dark Souls: My Adventure Continues

DARK SOULS

As I entered the boss fight area, Chaos Witch Quelaag greeted me with a flirtatious smile. She may be beautiful but her seductive smile has no effect on me. I was determined to take her down so I can ring the second bell.

Overall boss fight was not difficult; it lasted about 10 minutes. I summoned Maneater Mildred (have to kill her first in evil phantom form) to speed up the process. I wore the red cloak found in the high area near the waterwheel route, which leads to Blighttown and back into Firelink Shrine. From what I can recall,  the armor gave me a decent fire defense. I am surprised Manter Mildred in her peasant two-piece swimsuit  can take more damage than me. She was rolling in lava and hacking her butcher knife away and yet her life bar was still high. It was an effortless fight, but more so, it had to do with the environment being spacious. It gave me enough room to steer away from her lava attack and her swipe attack.

DARK SOULS

After defeating Quelaag, there is a hidden path that leads to her sister. I entered the covenant with her and she gave me Great Chaos Fireballs.  The Fair Lady won’t talk to me. I got to use a guide for this part as I can’t recall how to get her to speak.

DARK SOULS

My next destination is  Sen’s Fortress which will lead to Anor Londo.  The Blacksmith said the lunatics are attracted to such a place. I can agree (sorry if you are one of those people). I think the part is more unforgiving than Blighttown.  I don’t like the thought of being chopped off by big swinging blades because at the bottom are big muscly enemies. The area reminds me of an old Dracula movie I watched when I was a kid. In the scene, a young lady was trying to escape from the bad guys and found herself on the ledge. Beneath her were something like insects. I can’t remember well. All I know it was gross and I was scared for her. Yeah, I really don’t like Sen’s Fortress, it’s my least favorite area. But as soon I rang the second bell, I knew I had to go there because the cutscene told me so! Maybe I will visit the Dark Root Garden area first. It’s better to be surrounded by trees than inside that fortress for the time being.

DARK SOULS

I highly doubt I will get all achievements in the PC version. My intention playing this game is to prepare myself for Artorias of the Abyss DLC.  I never got the chance to play the DLC because I got sidetracked with other games during that time. I have always been very good with completing all the games I’ve purchased, but games  just kept getting longer and longer so my backlog kept growing bigger. I still need to complete Dark Souls Scholar of the First Sin (PS4), but I don’t really like dealing with a great mob of enemies. It sort of ruin the fun.

I probably will put this game down when I get my copy of Shenmue I and II remastered (PS4).   I bought it with a gift card I got from work.  I work hard so I can play hard. I think that’s quite fair.

I will leave you guys with one of the coolest quotes from the Blacksmith: “It’s okay to be undead, just have a level head.” I really like the Blacksmith! Until next time, take care now.

 

 

It’s Okay To Take A Break From Games

Sometimes we play games to escape but forget to live our own lives. I tried to balance life, work and games.  I realized, I have been in a better mood ever since the sun is out. Like a cat, I like to sit by the window. Also taking Vitamin D pills prescribed by my doctor helped.  We just don’t get enough sunlight during the winter here.

Since I am in a good mood, I will share on how I de-stress because things have been intense at work to the point I asked boss to go home and rest. The last few days, I play Rule of Rose on and off.  If only I had more energy and time to invest, I want to play fighting games and there is that game called Ikaruga that I would like to master but it requires a lot of mental energy which is something I don’t have (damn you work!).  That’s okay.  At work,  I get a chance to play foosball with my attractive partner who resembles Chris Redfield (sorry ladies, he’s not straight).

RE5ChrisA
                     source

We make a good team. People are always shocked when we win. I think mainly because people didn’t expect the nice girl can be aggressive. The trick is really to stay calm and focused. If you get too anxious you would lose. I thank the skills I’ve learned from Dark Souls and my partner who, unlike Chris Redfield, has a gentle voice which made it easy for me to follow his instruction.  I do enjoy playing competitively and co-op from time to time.

Ah! Sorry for going off topic…here are ways I cope with stress, which are non-game related of course:

#1

Go for a walk. I prefer to walk in a park, but this walk was on my way back from a doctor’s appointment.  It was pleasant nonetheless because the sun was out. Haha

Walk#2

I watched Mushi-Shi every night to the point my brother jokingly accused me that Ginko is my husbando. Don’t make fun of my singleness, brother. I never thought of him like that even though Ginko and I share similar fate.  What attracted me to the anime is its eeriness, sorrowful and mystical tale.  Isn’t real life bittersweet? I think Mushi-Shi captivated that feeling very well.   I watched this anime more than once–both seasons. I like the soundtrack a lot. Typically, I don’t watch anime because I’m busy with games.   HAHA

Ginko

#3

Dump yourself in a bathtub filled with epsom salt. This actually was recommended by my co-workers who are into health and wellness. This really does help. I sleep better and feel more relaxed. You should try it too.

salt

 

Okay I can go on… but I will stop for now. I think I have already talked a lot about myself.  I know that not talking at all is not good for mental health, especially if you are somewhat of a hermit like me.  Letting things off of my chest makes me feel better.  Hope you took something useful out of this and let me know if your have different ways to cope with stress.  I’d love to learn about it.

Once I feel more physically stable, I still plan to write an analysis on Rule of Rose. Until next time, take care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until Dawn: Is This Game A Joke?

Since it’s October, I thought I’d play a survivor-horror game because I am feeling quite festive 😛  So I purchased Until Dawn since it was on sale, and I wanted to play something casual.

So I started the game and two things bothered me: the intro and the outfit.

I don’t like it when a video game tells me what the game is about as if I just bought a ticket to an amusement park.

And secondly, this outfit below is very similar to Ellen from Folklore.

 

 

I don’t know if I can finish this game. One,  the fashion in video games matters to me. This outfit bothers me so much. I barely even start this game. It would be fun to play with friends, of course. I think it’s meant to be a cheap thrill? Should probably invite friends over to play this game. It can be entertaining if you are not playing alone!