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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Atelier Escha & Logy -- Opening Track

The crafting/ synthesis system in this game is pretty complicated but I'm enjoying the game nonetheless. And I love its opening track...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Self Made "Yoga Retreat"

So I had three weeks off work recently (worked from home in the first, went down with a bad flu in the second) and didn't have time to organise a yoga getaway abroad so decided to stay in the city and created my own programme in the third and final week of my break. And I had a brilliant time!

It just happened that one of my (v good) instructors Patrick was in town for a month so I was able to join some of his classes for a week. Before that I discovered this really cool Indian teacher at my local studio and his demanding sequences prepped me well for Patrick's more advanced classes.

I decided to get up early for the first morning session and was pleasantly surprised to find Patrick's teaching has evolved since the last time I took his class (awhile ago). It is now more retrospective, quieter but still as detailed as ever. There is a lot of "lengthening" of the spine throughout and I love, love, love how my upper back is being worked. So I took three sessions with him, all pretty advanced and the final (apex) class yesterday morning was the most challenging. In fact, at one point I was so physically, mentally and energetically drained I was having difficulty in breathing and I thought I was going to pass out (!) But I stuck with it and was able to hold my headstand for a long time again (I forgot a slight back bend would help stablise the pose). It was really great to see some of my teacher training classmates on the mat too.

Just when I thought my practice has "plateaued" (I don't practise as regularly as I used to, say, two years ago) I think I am still making gradual progress... it is just not immediately obvious!

My next class will be in a couple of days and I've asked the instructor to come up with something that will help further open up my upper back and shoulders. Then I think I will have to target my glute muscles and hips later to start working on my Lotus pose (which I simply cannot do at the moment).       

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Atelier Escha & Logy

This is the second Atelier (Alchemist) title I've bought and played, the first being Meruru from the Arland arc, which was so repetitive, dull and boring I gave up before finishing its first chapter. Come to think of it, I can't recall why I bought the game in the first place >.<

Anyway, after playing the two (intense) The Legend of Heroes games almost back to back, I've decided to go for something more, say, leisurely and the gorgeous art & graphics of Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky caught my eye. As the title suggests, this series of games runs on the theme of alchemy, so the gameplay involves a fair amount of crafting; i.e. collecting items before combining them to make new items. I'm not a big fan of crafting but am not against it either. What I love most about this series is, though, it does feature a turn-based battle system (my favourite kinda game after card games). And, to my delight, the battle system in E&L is really fun and I've already completed the first chapter. 



This game features two protagonist and I've chosen to be (naturally) Logy, who has this really cool voice acting. All the characters are nice and amicable and some of the dialogue pretty fun and wacky. The pair has been assigned to the same government department and are ordered to carry out a series of important tasks and side quests, all have to be completed within a time limit. I think it has similar mechanics in Meruru but I cannot remember the "time" factor being that important. Anyway, it's not that difficult and I only missed out on one small mission in the first chapter.  

The battle system is pretty traditional but with some nice features: other than attacks you can also use skills, items and have other team members jumping in to help or defend. My team can take up to six members. At the moment I only have three but it's been really fun so far. The perfect game to relax with!!!  

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Very Nasty Virus

What a way to end the Year of the Goat last night when my laptop was attacked by this really nasty virus/ malware "HELP_RECOVER" ... what that does is it encrypted almost all my document, music, photo and video files, thus rendering them unreadable & useless. Just as well I don't keep that much important stuff on my laptop and most of which I don't mind losing. Still, it basically destroyed most of my files!! Worse, the virus planted 10,000+ viral files onto my laptop, which took me a couple of hours to delete them all (thank goodness for universal search!) 

It was so annoying because whenever I restarted the computer all these fake screens popped up. It was a real nightmare. So I downloaded two (free) software programmes that contained the malware virus (very grateful) before I killed the planted files.

Luckily they didn't reach my cloud accounts (touch wood) cos that'd have been quite a disaster.

Year of the Monkey has started so hoping a healthy year ahead for my laptop !!!    

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ao no Kiseki (Part 4)

Wow! It took me several hours to beat one of the tougher bosses, Arianrhod the "steel maiden". Had to use the first few attempts to formulate a successful strategy; so had a high evasion bait (Lloyd) to distract Arianrhod, time manipulating Elie to get extra turns + buff/debuff, Tio spamming protective shields while Wazy deals damages. Their positioning was also crucial ... AI saw a loophole in my strategy and exploited that (believe it or not!) ... and I am already on Easy Mode! Anyway, wish I had Rixia with me but at the end I won without wasting too many items. 

Now I can play around with different setups ... I can have ~

Tank Team: Lloyd, Randy, Rixia and Wazy
Mage Team: Lloyd, Tio, Wazy and Elie
Shooter Team: Lloyd, Elie, Noel and Alex Dudley
Male Team: Lloyd, Randy, Alex and (arguably) Wazy *lol*
Female Team: Tio, Elie, Noel and Rixia

Below more screenshots from the final chapter. This game is truly epic! 

Noel with the funny cap is my least favourite

By chance Rixia is the most friendly with Lloyd <3 td="">

Oh, the source of all troubles!

Spy Lechter Arundel
a recurring character in the Kiseki series

Ao no Kiseki playable characters

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ao no Kiseki (Part 3)

Here are just some snaps of all the different characters from this fantastic episode of the Legend of Heroes series! 

Members of different fractions gathers at this v important convention

Day off at the fair with the troupe

KeA transformed!

KeA with Red Constellation and Ouroboros members

Lloyd's brother guy (the v moving part of this epic story)

This dude is funny

Yet, another fraction in this sprawling kingdom....

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ao no Kiseki (Part 2)

I never thought I'd get THIS far with the game, given it's all in Japanese and I wasn't particularly drawn to the story or the game system initially (unlike Final Fantasy X-2, which is also all in Japanese but I was interested in all that Dressphere stuff...) Anyway, I've just completed (the v epic) Chapter 4 in Ao and I took out the supposedly very difficult boss (well, I am def on easy mode and I learnt this v devious trick that guarantees success) so I reckon I will be able to complete my first playthrough over the next few weeks (while I am on holiday ~ yeah!!!)


(The Zero track is actually better, I think)