Click on water to feed fish

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Persona 4: the Golden (Part Six)

Slightly over 100 hours into the game and am reaching the end of my first playthrough (I think there is still one more super boss to handle for this particular storyline). SO SAD!!! I've actually grown quite attached to the characters (so well fleshed out!) and now levelling up the two new personas that I've acquired through a couple of lucky fusions ... they are supposed to be really good. Anyway, will have to fight the Final Boss this week ... then it's time to move onto another game ~ but what?!?!?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Persona 4: the Golden (Part Five)

Up until now, I've been leaving at least half my team (of four) to auto/AI mode (am bit lazy esp. when grinding) ... well, can't do that anymore cos Boss No. 10 is TOUGH! His attacks are extremely strong and varied, and have died twice already despite my characters are already a little bit OP. Read in the walkthrough that the best way to tackle this battle is to have reflective skills (bounce damages back), which my "personas" don't have. But I just discovered one skill that can inflict ALL kinds of elemental damages onto the enemies (so at least one will hit the bastard) ... think I might try that out. 

What I love about this game is that it's actually grind resistant ... spamming attacks only lead to Death(!!!)

PS the US release just came out (I have the Korean/Chinese/Asian version) so am expecting stats for my P4G posts to go up in the coming weeks!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Persona 4: the Golden (Part Four)

FIFTY-plus hours in and I think my team is slightly OP-ed (they are on average Level 50+ so I've been progressing at a pace of one level per hour!!!) Have killed all the bonus bosses(!) but am still getting the hang of the persona fusion mechanics. Thanks to walkthrough tips though, I created "Black Forest", which came in handy to destroy the last story boss (he has a skill that boosts power attack x2); even then, the battle took me some 30 mins!!! Will now unlock the last playable character, which should be fun. 

(am sure she is singing in English but it sounds Japanese)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Persona 4: the Golden (Part Three)

Now I know why I thought P4G was a fighting game ... there is another Persona 4 game (Arcade), which is exactly that and I saw that on YouTube.

But THIS version is much better ~ of course.

I'm now about 30 hours into the game. OH. MY. GOD. Was up @ 4.30am playing it! Was doing my third  dungeon *spoiler ahead so stop reading if you are getting your game, like, next week when it is released in English* and it turned out there are more than one boss (!!!) Quite a surprise since the Walkthrough doesn't mention anything about that ...

Anyway, I'm no closer to solving the murder mystery, which is totally gripping. Am also getting the hang of the gameplay, which is actually quite deep. My MC is now Level 35+ while his "persona" (like, his summon) is still around Level 20s (I made the mistake of "fusing" it to create another persona, which is kinda ugly and useless). All the other supporting characters are at Level 35+ too - and so are their personas. Anyway, managed to buy my original persona (which is called Izanagi) back (but at Level 1! Yikes) and it'd taken me, maybe a day, to level him up (with lots and lots and lots of skill cards, which are dropped after a battle...) Oh, the Grind, the Grind!!! 

(love this battle music!!)

But am almost there now and CANNOT wait to start playing with the new acquired characters (three of them) so I can level MC with them. There is one more unlockable character before NG+ ... maybe I should slow down a bit or else the fun will be over TOO SOON! Final Fantasy X is not gonnabe released on PSVita until next year. *BWAH*

Monday, November 12, 2012

Persona 4: the Golden (Part Two)

Okay, this game IS addictive.

When a friend mentioned this game, I went onto YouTube to suss it out but, for some strange reasons, I thought it was a fight game a la Tekken (or even Dissidia); but it turns out to be a JRPG (with a bit of Sims thrown in) which is just great, Great, GREAT! 

Persona 4: the Golden (or just Persona 4: Golden) is a remake (of Persona 4 for PS2/3 I think) now for PSVita. I got the Chinese/Korean version with original Japanese voice acting (Yeahh!!); though the strange thing is in order to activate the Chinese, I had to switch the PSVita language settings to Chinese altogether. Am I glad I learnt the language as a kid?!?  

The graphics, colours and animation are just Stunning. But that is just on the surface. What really appears to me is the story, that goofy humour (not unlike Disgaea 3) and depth of gameplay that lie underneath. PG4 is told through the (silent) teenage protagonist who has to move from the city to the countryside to live with his detective uncle and young niece. He also has to move to a new school but making new friends is the least of his problems when people mysteriously disappear and murdered in the small town. MC also meets a host of characters -- some fun but some really weird -- who will help him unravel the half murder/half horror mystery. 

"Persona" actually refers to our "other/darker self", which in this game, takes on a somewhat supernatural manifestation (they are a bit like monster summons in other RPG games like in the Final Fantasy series). While the physical human forms wield weapons, the personas possess all sorts of other powers to attack, buff and debuff. The gameplay/mechanics itself is turn-based but battles move really, really quickly. Unlike most RPG, levelling up doesn't so much rely on upgrading weapons and gears but MC staying intelligent, strong, sociable, determined etc. through "social links" or interaction with other characters and his environment. So he needs to attend school just like all teenagers and take classes and exams (so far, my MC is not top of the class but neither is he a dumbo).

So the idea is that the more he talks to other characters (to get their background stories), the stronger he and his various personas become. The game is, therefore, very dialogue heavy but the translation works very well and it really is just like reading a graphics novel, with battles and tough bonus bosses thrown in for good measure. The individual stories are actually quite adult with themes such as single-parenthood, sexuality/sexual preferences, self doubts/adolescence and death. 

The game has many endings apparently so I'm playing carefully not to get the Bad Ending (!!!) The cast of characters (including Kuma, a weird-looking "teddy bear" that has nothing inside its head) is really lovable ... and I'm glad the first playthrough will take about 100 hours. Then there is the NG+, which I cannot wait to unlock.  

On with the grinding!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Persona 4: the Golden

Here is my new game (graphic novel + jrpg) ... while I rest ... think have hurt my adductor muscles :o(

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Spine & Core

On the physical side of my yoga practice, I've recently been paying close attention to two particular anatomical areas: the spine and the core; both are essential for many basic as well as more challenging asanas.

Because of my tight hamstrings (yep, after almost six years, they are not loosening up! I guess I still sit in front of my computer a lot, like NOW!) and hips, my lower back/spine tends to round a lot when taking any form of forward bend. The only exception will be when I'm doing the cross-legged forward bend (see pic) because this doesn't stretch my hamstrings at all (with legs crossed) and I can actually go quite deep in this pose, especially if I move one foot way forward (so basically my forehead can touch my toes).

Note the straight back

During today's two-hour practice (which was very Zen), I stopped forcing my body down in a standing forward bend/fold but instead I tried to keep my spine straight and extended (i.e. keeping it healthily lengthened); so I micro-bent my legs just to go a bit deeper without pulling my spine. Think that is important, esp to avoid potential back injuries. Also, asanas are not about how they look but what they actually DO to the body.

I've also been working my "core", which is, in very layman's terms, the tissues/muscles underneath the abs. I've been trying to build my core strength for years now and I think I'm slowly getting there (I can gauge its strength by the duration/how long I can remain upside in inversion poses such as headstand and handstand). Having a strong core simply props your entire body up, which I think is crucial for better posture. So, yes, I am trying to work my core every week so it can stay strong and I can stay upright, whether I'm standing up or sitting up or upside down!

Have been giving some more thoughts on what to do about my end-of-year/beginning-of-year yoga retreat(s) ...and have decided to skip a local workshop as well as a trip down-under to save up for a, I hope, fruitful retreat in Koh Samui ... didn't realise it was that expensive!!!