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Monday, July 25, 2016

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (Part 1)

Well, I'm glad I picked up Virtue's Last Reward again cos, despite all the spoilers, I still found the ending totally mind-blowing. Alternate realities, robots, parallel universes, time travelling etc ... what makes the story so good and clever is that everything seems to ... make sense, even though all those pseudo-scientific theories seem far reaching. 

Now playing the last of the trilogy, ZTD, and the narrative (if there is one) is all intentionally jumbled up. At the beginning anyway. Will have to keep playing before things start to make sense, I guess. New characters are quite horrible, not likeable at all. Which turns out to be a blessing since I don't feel a thing to see them getting murdered in quite horrendous ways (!!) But the puzzles in this game seem to be more fun and less forced.

Well, there is nothing else out there that I want to play right now so will spend some time on this game (which is not that long). The next title I might get is World of Final Fantasy, which looks interesting (and very kawaii)... 

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Best Incense Sticks (IMHO)


And I thought incense sticks were all the same. Until I ran out of the Banyan Tree variety that i bought years ago from Macau and realised some smell terrible. For instance, I bought some from Thailand (also awhile ago) ... but think they were made in India and the incense was so pungent and strong that they cannot really be burnt in a yoga class.  

Top to bottom: Vanilla, Rose, Bergamot,
Sandalwood and Lavender
I guess these ones from Banyan Tree, which come in different "flavours", are primarily for aromatherapy (massages at their spas) they are milder and, well, more yummy to inhale. These are short incense sticks (which I think is the only disadvantage) so I guess they're for settling the mind. Great to lit up before a yoga class. Here are how these scents are used:

(From Cindy Murdoch @ worldhealth.net)

Aromatherapy can be used to help us relax, to provide mental clarity, to help cope with emotional conflicts, and to energize us physically, emotionally or mentally.

* Rose to relieve anger
* Bergamot, Rose and Lavender to relieve anxiety
* Bergamot, Lavender and Sandalwood to relieve depression
* Sandalwood to increase confidence
* Sandalwood and Vanilla can used as aphrodisiacs (!!)
* Bergamot, Sandalwood, Lavender and Rose can help insomnia 
* Rose can calm irritation

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A PS Vita Game Drought

Cast of Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
While I still think those puzzles are kinda random: weighing different coloured coins? Whatever for? The story behind Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is very intriguing. HOW the story is unfolded also interesting, if not a little repetitive. So basically you have to go through various routes (with 28 endings!) -- a very disjointed narrative -- in order to get the full story, which is pretty deep and clever. As said previous, I rather go straight to the story with minimal BS so am glad there IS a direct route. Am about the finish the third proper story ending, so six more to go. And despite having read many spoilers (unavoidable as the game came out some years ago) -- cloning, parallel universes, time and timeline hopping -- I still find the plot engaging and full of surprises. I'm glad I can, err, jump right onto Zero Time Dilemma straight after this ... after all, there aren't that many PS Vita games out there that are as good at the moment ... Maybe I should look for more games by Spike Chunsoft, who is also behind the Danganronpa series, which I enjoyed (bar those mini games...) 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward




I really dunno what to make of this game. I bought it on the UK PSN awhile ago (cos it's not available in Asia ... God knows why) after I read some raving (and I mean, GOTY sorta raving) reviews. It's kinda like Danganronpa (but a tad less bloody): nine people are trapped inside a maze-like plant and they need to escape... or else they die. While in Danganronpa, those who wanna survive/ escape will need to murder others (without being found out... v sick), here you need to betray others in order to survive... and those who are betrayed will ... well, die (equally sick).

Like Danganronpa, it's a visual novel with an intriguing story. And in order to advance with the story (which is full of twists and turns), player needs to solve a series of puzzles. Now, so far so good (even some of these puzzles are a bit ... forced). What I didn't realise was that there are 20+ endings and just as many routes to take in order to get the fully narrative. So, after I played through one route (which doesn't take that long) I was utterly lost. It turns out the ending I unlocked is all but one of many endings (hence makes no sense when viewed by itself). Only when the player has unlocked most (if not all the endings) do they get the full picture/ TRUE story. 

Look at all these routes
Since I am a little impatience, I have decided to look up a walkthrough (above) that gives me the most direct shortcut to the end, i.e. so I can SKIP dead ends that stop me from progressing the story. Even then I still need to take a combination of 11 routes in order to reach the "true ending".  

Is the game enjoyable? Kinda. Kinda not. But it does help while the time away. Besides, am running out of games to play (again). Like thre Digmon game, I lost interest in Stranger of Sword City pretty quickly while I think I will re-pick up Crisis Core later. Also, VLR's direct sequel Zero Time Dilemma was just released so I might as well get that too ...