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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Final Fantasy XII - The Zodiac Age (Part 2)

Just finished watching the Final Fantasy XII "movie" (all the cut scenes) and have decided to change my team lineups a little:

Princess Ashe
Cos they are all from Dalmasca ... 

They all seem to have a past of sorts...

Gameplay-wise it's good to put Vaan (dark mage) with Ashe (white mage) and Penelo (monk/ time battlemage), as all three of them can do physical damages and cast magic. While Basch (tank) with both Balthier and Fran who are range attackers. Fran also serves as a red battlemage so she can cast basically all sorts of magic (the guys are just hitters). Balthier is probably the weakest of them all (wielding a gun is kinda cool but just not very practical in a fight) but he is, by far, THE BEST character in this game. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Final Fantasy XII -- The Zodiac Age

First of all, things have certainly taken a turn for the worst in my Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire game since the last post. For reason unknown -- other than stupidity and/or greed -- the developer decided to just completely reset the game so whatever items/ troops/ strategies and real money that players had invested had literally turned to rubbish overnight. They practically started the game on a clean slate and expect gamers to continue to invest time and money into it? 

So, the good news is I am finally done with it. I still log on maybe once or twice a day to catch up with fellow players but that's about it. My empire is completely useless. Let that be a lesson learnt! Never spend money on mobile games.

It's lucky perhaps then that Square Enix decided to port Final Fantasy XII to Switch :-) This is one of the FF games that I knew very little about (it was released on the PS2 more than a decade ago) except for the two characters - Vaan and Gabranth - who appeared in the Dissidia Duodecim, which I played before. It has quite an epic story and the gameplay is super fun (think the combat system is even better than the dresspheres in Final Fantasy X2, which I love).

I've now reached the point where I have to decide how to split my six characters into two teams... I initially want to (since I'm obsessed with thematic/ canonical setups) put the lead characters - the knight, the princess and the sky pirate - all onto one team but having given this some  more thoughts, I think it'd make sense to have two balanced teams of physical/ tanks and magic wielders.

So now each lead character will, well, lead their team: 

Team A
Ashe (the Princess) White Mage/ Foebreaker
Balthier Ulan/ Machinist
Fran Archer / Red Battlemage

Team B
Basch (the Knight) Knight/ Bushi
Vaan Shikari/ Black Mage
Penelo Monk/ Time Battlemage  

Team C
Balthier (the Sky Pirate)
Ashe (the Princess)
Basch (the Knight) 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire (continues...)

Around this time last year I took this yoga teacher's training course and one exercise we had to complete was to write ourselves a letter, which was put away by our teacher for a year before she posted it back to us. So last week I received this letter from 2018 Kevin and he wrote (among other things): "Oh, I hope you have long stopped playing FFXV: ANE!"

Well, guess what? I am STILL playing the MMO game (on my LG G5)  ><! This game is pretty crap (v unbalanced) but addictive at the same time. Partly because we've been playing with that same group of people for, like, a couple of years and we've become online friends. Have to say I have done pretty well (with moderate but still v wasteful spend) ... and just this morning I defeated two big marches from a Citadel 93 (max is 100 right now), which is not bad at all especially I am only a Citadel 50! 

But things are not always what they appear to be so I think I am a good trap :-)

Also have returned playing Marvel Trading Card Game (on the OLD PSP too) lately thanks to all the hype surrounding Avengers: Endgame... 

... and the Dark Phoenix saga in the X-Men...  

I love this game cos even the most obscure characters in the Marvel universe are included. And no win is guaranteed even after all these days ><

Now, going back to that letter I wrote myself. The last year me said: "I have [the] duty to remind you that come what may, you need to continue to cherish every moment you have, and the people around you. And to remember what you [have]: happiness and hope".

I honestly cannot remember writing this down LOL

Monday, February 18, 2019

Some Good News

So I had a bit of a health scare recently. 

Just before the Chinese New Year I caught a cold and had a swelling on the chest right below the collarbone. It was quite painful but the swelling soon went down but there appeared to be bone spur/ lump, which I'd never noticed before (mind you, I seldom look into the mirror so for all we know it has probably been there for ages).

Anyway, my GP recommended me to see an orthopedic surgeon so I went to this guy who drained my knee about a year ago (these doctors are on my company's medical care plan). Wish I didn't though cos without lifting a single finger he just asked me to have a X-ray and MRI (!) scan ... in case it's something serious. Like, shouldn't he at least examine my frozen shoulder, which could well be the cause? 

So that kinda freaked me out during my two-week holiday and throughout the whole CNY period (doing the scans and then waiting for the report)... finally, I received a clean bill of health today, which is a big relief (and, no, the clinic didn't even call me up to follow up). The orthopedic surgeon just told me Good News, everything is fine -- but didn't explain to me why this bone is protruding ... only said that a muscle has pushed it forward (like, what does THAT mean?) 

This was the first time I actually got this strong sense of mortality... and for a few days I felt extremely depressed. The sense of uncertainly was daunting ... and I turned to my yoga practice as a form of refuge (focusing just on the present). Let's have no illusion about this though, it was difficult.

Now that the cloud that has been hovering my head is cleared, it really does make me appreciate life more. 

And I am so glad I won't have to see this orthopedic surgeon again! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A Decade of Blogging

... or slacking (?!) Okay, it hasn't been quite 10 years but am quite amazed that I've kept this blog going (kinda ... on/off) for almost that long. And how the world has changed since. Not that *I* have changed much though (cause for alarm?) I'm STILL into gaming (currently playing The World of Final Fantasy on the PS Vita, Final Fantasy XV on PlayStation 4, and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire on my mobile), yoga and mobile phones (BlackBerry, LG, Samsung and Sony). 

Mobile phones I have stopped buying as many (my contribution to environmental protection by cutting digital waste) partly because they are just not as fun & creative as they were in the past (design-wise anyway) and partly cos I get to sample them as part of my day job now (which is pretty neat). Most smartphones now pretty much offer the same functions and features (other than calling in and out) I just don't get excited about them anymore. 

Voice activation/ assistance (OK Google) still my favourite/ geeky feature and it's amazing how this function has evolved so much with artificial intelligence. Camera functions I am not so keen (never into taking photos/ videos other than the occasional posts for Instagram) but you can pretty much take very clear snaps in the dark now -- also thanks to AI. My current favourite phone is the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact, which is small and versatile. It also takes 3D images but that is just a gimmick. The slow-mo function I also like.

I'm still practising yoga -- as a student and teacher -- but recently I realised I have been neglecting my practice a little ... hence my tight hamstring and this IG post:

(Hmm, still cannot cut and paste an image straight onto the blog page!!)  So I am looking forward to spending more time yoga-ing (and less time at my desk at work!!!)

Life is not just about phones, yoga and gaming though. Just finished reading a much-hyped book by Sally Rooney called Normal People. Not sure why it got such raving reviews; it's very well written for sure but what is it trying to say? The two main characters are like-able but not relate-able ... or maybe it's a generation gap thing (perhaps the story appeals more to Millennials.  

Okay, it's Chinese New Year today (Year of the Pig) and I'm wishing everyone Good Health. Even if you do have all the wealth in the world, without health, all would be quite meaningless. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Frozen Shoulder

Tomorrow I'm off to a yoga retreat in Chiang Mai organised by a bunch of friends; it's a trip that I've been looking forward to for months (!) The last time I went on a yoga retreat was ... maybe two years ago to Canggu. That trip was nice but it was kinda expensive and Bali has become far too commercial for my taste. 

Looking back, I was already suffering from frozen shoulder (right shoulder) without even realising it. I remember my shoulder would hurt when it was moving in certain directions and it got so painful at one point I had to see a physiotherapist. Not the greatest personality I've ever met but he, after months of treatment, eventually fixed the problem. 

Then my left shoulder started to feel the same tightness and, eventually, pain ><

Being more aware this time, I knew exactly what was going on so I went for physiotherapy straightaway. But this time even that didn't help much ... and eventually the physio said I should just let the frozen shoulder run its course ... and the pain will eventually go away. So I am expecting another, maybe, six months of pain. 

Which is kinda upsetting. For a start it has totally disrupted my yoga practice. I used to be able to do reversed twisted bind (well, all sorts of binds), wheel (urdhva dhanurasana), headstand (my fav) ... I was actually quite proud of my mobile shoulders -- and now I cannot do any of that because of the pain in my left shoulder. Perhaps I was doing too much handstand practice and it really messed up both my shoulders. So no more handstand for some time -- which is fine. Yoga is more than just doing handstand.

TBH, I have not had a proper practice for a long time and even doing trikonasana is challenging. I just feel that my body is, like, shrinking up.

So in the next few days I will just be in tune with the body and let it take me to wherever I am at with my practice right now. And relax. And enjoy. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

World of Final Fantasy Part 1 (Danganronpa V3)

Actually have not been playing this game for awhile but am now back into it and it's quite a blast. This game seems a lot longer but I'm actually enjoying it cos there is so much more to the story this time than 1 and 2.


What happened there? I found the above (unfinished) entry written probably several months ago (I've since finished Danganronpa V3) and ... my bad ... I have totally been NOT keeping up with this blog. But here we are ... many months (and bouts of food poisoning -- what is WRONG with 2018?!) later, I am now playing the World of Final Fantasy -- and totally LOVING IT.

But first, a quick recap on Danganronpa V3, which has one of the most controversial endings in video game history (or that I have played) and to this day I am still not sure whether I liked it or totally hated it. Whichever I think I still liked the second instalment the best.

I'm still (yes, I surprise even myself) playing Final Fantasy XV A New Empire MMO and pumping $$$ into it ... but it's okay, as long as I get something out of it, I think it's fine ... and it's not, like, I am addicted (LOL).... Six of my heroes are now over Level 100 though, to the surprise (and annoyance perhaps?) of my guild mates, my citadel is still at level 25, with tier 4 troops. Which means I am def not strong enough to wipe out t7 troops, especially march size is now at... 500K+ (the whales launch 1M marches ... totally WTF) . But I do have an extremely solid defence and this weekend I will test out whether Luna can be a sufficient defensive hero (after Gladio) in the "free for all" RvR (realm versus Realm).

Right now, I am (literally) spending much resources on building up a strong Mercenary force, which is still relatively cheaper than levelling up my citadel but I know there will come the day I will HAVE to get t5 troops (which will be such a chore) ... but what needs to be done -- needs to be done.

Okay, off to teaching one of my two weekly yoga classes so will save Part 2 (and other yoga updates) for later .... hope that will not come in another six months ><