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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Final Fantasy X-2 2nd Playthru

The thing is, there aren't that many Final Fantasy games out there that I like and are ported to the PlayStation Vita so after some dithering I've returned to X-2 for a second playthrough. The fact that it's all in Japanese is a real turnoff (since there are so many missions that require understanding of the language) but I really want to unlock the Aeon Cup (summons!!) so I am willing to overlook this inconvenience. Since I am going to skip all those time-consuming side quests, at least I can speed through the chapters this time round. 

I'm in Chapter 2 now and so far so okay ... since this time I made a different decision - handing the Awesome Sphere to New Yevon - I 100% the game. So my objective is to get to the last Chapter (5) as quickly as I can cos only then I can catch all the fiends I need to unlock the Aeon Cup ... but before that, I will have to substitute Yuna Rikku and Paine with Nooj, Baralai and Gippal to keep their level low so I can morph the fiends more quickly. Which also means, by that time, the game will get very challenging because YRP will be @ Level 4 while all the enemies will be @ very high levels... which should be interesting... 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Steins;Gate 0 (Part 2)

Have played a bit more and gradually getting into the story. I'm still getting used to some of the new character illustrations (Mayuri and Luka especially) and (I know, this is weird) I really don't like that save file image, which looks like a blurry blob ... what's happened to the mini scream caps?

New (and old) cast
Now I understand the structure a bit better and I'm, basically, on the right track. There are, like, six endings (including the "true" one) and to unlock that, I will have to, compulsorily, unlock the Kurisu and Mayuri endings. Which leaves me two optional Maho, Kagari and "Bad" endings. Well, if I still have time (and enough curiosity), I will play through those too (maybe the bad ending?)

More Mystery and Action!
Is that ... really you? Kurisu....

I've reached a point where Okabe is now quite sure he's leaping from one world line to another. And the shift is done after answering (or ignoring) a call from Amadeus Kurisu (the AI). I have yet to find out how the AI and world line changes are connected. I hope there is no more padding out on this route -- before I have to, like, go back in time, and do the other route, which unlocks the Mayuri and True endings. 


The more sentimental soundtrack here actually reminds me of that in Ao no Kiseki, which is quite beautiful, lyrical and moving. And I've just reached the part when Okabe and Kurisu (in human form and another world line) reunites and that got me a bit teary. ><

So, will continue to play this ... while I've also just download YuGiOh for mobile phones and that looks very interesting. I've Always loved this card game (I still have the Ultimate Masters- World Championship Tournament on my GameBoy Advance) and can't wait to get back into it. Though I also recently re-bought the Marvel Trading Card game but since it has this terrible lag on my Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core limited edition PSP2000 I think I will kinda leave that (I'm just more interested in the cards cos they include a lot of different series from the Marvel universe...)  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Steins;Gate 0

Have started this "midquel" of Steins;Gate and my opinion of it so far is a bit mixed. Since I went straight to the True Ending in the last game, I know how this story (canonically) ends. Steins;Gate 0 is more a follow-up that fills in more details about one particular "world line" (alternate universe), the one that started the last game. And it's not a pretty one. While the Stein's Gate universe is the one with the happy ending, i.e. no one dies, the Beta world line is the one that Kurisu dies, an event that leaves our protagonist Okabe devastated.

Okabe ... a broken man 
Steins;Gate 0 wastes no time in jumping into the thick of it and quickly introduces the new characters. Kurisu still exists in this world line but only as an AI. So far the story is interesting enough (though peppered with small talks that I really have no interest in). The relationship between Okabe and Kruisu is probably the only thing I'm interested in ... Mayuri sounds a bit different (though the same voice actors have returned for this instalment) and I really don't like her new look. The new art is actually more slick but, like, Daru looks better in the last game. The music also makes less of an impression. 

New character Maho

While Suzuha returns ... 
I'm taking the route that unlocks the true ending of this game, though I'll have to leap back to unlock others endings to finally access it. This time the story is told from different PoVs instead of just from Okabe so whenever I reach a segment I have little interest in I tend to stall there a little. Anyway, will keep playing (since there isn't much out there at the moment). 

Genji Armour + Genji Shield = Invincible!
I played a bit of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core this morning; decided to change the set up just a little so I have Rebirth Flame replacing Costly Punch, using Quake to kill big mobs. I really love the music so will keep playing the game until I get really tired/sick of it ... but will I?   

Monday, January 9, 2017

Steins;Gate

So, after a very, very, very slow start ... did I say this game has a VERY start? @.@ Steins;Gate turns out to be exactly what critics had long lauded: an excellent localised VN game. I cruised through the final three-four chapters last weekend ... I just couldn't put it down. I laughed, I cried and I cried some more before a very, very satisfying end.

Since I am not a big VN fan -- I don't have the patience to unlock every single ending --  I went straight for the the True Ending (though I did, by mistake, unlocked the Suzuha ending) and though it is kinda long (an full extra chapter) but it wraps up the whole story very nicely.    

Okay, *** Spoiler alert ***



moments of comic relief


...and high tension 

Take away the padding (and there is quite a bit) the structure of Steins;Gate is actually quite simple. Protagonist Rintarou Okabe (brilliantly voiced by Mamoru Miyano) accidentally stumbles across a way to send emails back to the past (D-Mails) and, inadvertently, sending himself to another "worldline" (like, an alternate reality). Without knowing what happened and the (serious) consequences of sending these emails, he gradually leads himself into a reality (Alpha) in which his oldest childhood friend has to die. When he finally realises his "mistakes", Okabe, with the help of the very intelligent (and later love interest) Kurisu Makise (voiced by the equally outstanding Asami Imai), has to undo all the D-Mails that eventually takes him back to his original reality (Beta). But all is not well in this reality -- from the beginning, we know Kurisu dies here -- so who is Okabe going to save? His childhood friend or love interest??? It's heart-breaking to witness the many sacrifices that he has to make in order to save at least one of his friends ... but, if you get to the True Ending, at least there is one reality -- known as Steins Gate, where this game got its name from  -- in which they all survive, alas, with an unpredictable future. 





Is He a She?

The True Ending ....
So now I just started Steins;Gate 0, which is pretty dark as it is set in the Beta reality in which Kurisu is dead. So how does Okabe cope with this reality? With some of the old cast returning and new characters joining, I'm going to find out. But at least the pace of this follow-up game seems to be a lot faster (no need to reintroduce characters / background I guess) so I hoe it's more engaging than the early chapters of Steins;Gate, which did put me to sleep :-)

More (Thoughts on) Handstand Practice

So. Hand. Stand. 

Standing on the hands. 

Though this might seem all too obvious (DOH), as the video in my last post shows, to be able to do handstand you do need to have 1) core strength, 2) good alignment and 3) shoulder/body strength. Once you've acquired all these three conditions, then the focus should be back on the hands! Hand. Stand. For some reason I've been faffing around with my legs/ feet (reflex?) when I'm upside down, which makes holding my handstand very difficult. Last Saturday, my yoga instructor helped me get into alignment and he was counting to see how long I could hold my handstand without falling. Many things went through my head... like, am I squeezing my butt and legs, am I tucking my ribs in ... then I thought, What are my hands doing? Let's use those fingers to balance!! So I started to shift my body balance - ever so subtly - on my palms, those ten fingers and before I knew it I was up there for 10 seconds (the longest I've held a handstand). I felt a great sense of achievement and I think I am now another step close to mastering this pose :-)  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII ~ Revisited (finale)

Truly, one last post on my fav RPG game EVER (also my first!!!)

Kinda 100%
So I 100% the DMW wheel (Genji Armour), 100% the Missions (Heike Soul) and beat Minerva (Divine Slayer). Hurrah! But I will not finish the main story cos its ending is just TOO SAD. So my Zack will always be on the verge of meeting the final in-game boss (Genesis) but won't take him out (with the gear I have, piece of cake!!)

Instead, I will play through the tough missions again ... the thing is, even with top equipment, you can still get killed so this is how challenging this game is (even on normal).

Also, I'm a bit split about Heike Soul, the "ultimate" accessory in the game. Though it basically makes Zack godlike (and doubles, like, everything including casts), it is 1) cursed and it 2) consumes SP. I don't mind so much about being cursed, since I am now done with the DMW (it is now forever in Heavenly state tehe) and levelling, I am not sure about it eating up my SP ... so will explore just how practical this piece really is. I've kept the Genji Glove cos it guarantees critical hit every time. Divine Slayer and Ziedrich are for stats boost. I probably won't be putting this game down anytime soon (I also love just holding the Crisis Core Limited Edition) though I must admit Steins;Gate is getting Really Good so these two games will keep me happy for some time yet 😊

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year Resolution

But of course! This being New Year Day! (And Happy New Year !!!)

What I really want to achieve this year is ... *drum roll* Doing the Handstand ^^

I am, like, half way there ... as I can kick up to handstand in the middle of the room with scissors legs:


To have straight legs is much harder, I think... well at least for me (!) I find the video below THE BEST in explaining how to do a handstand (the three requirements mentioned are CRUCIAL)


It totally matches with my own experience. First and foremost you have to have core strength. Without which then it's not possible to hold yourself up without assistance. Alignment is also extremely important ... again, without which you are just gonna fall. Of course you'd need strength !!! I have Core and Strength but Alignment is a bit of a hit or miss; sometimes it's there and other times it isn't ... I know, totally weird. That is partly due to my shoulders being not as open as they should be and am still too scared to flip over (even though I know how to fall)... But slowly, slowly, I am getting there... I just need to practise more!  

So that is my Number One resolution for 2017. In general, I want to improve in both my practice and teaching while at the same time become (more) mindfulness. I think I still pay too much attention to the shape (to be able to "do it") than the asana itself... like, what is the purpose of the pose and what is it supposed to do?? Think will have to think more about that. 

AND I will have to control self and buy fewer (if any!!!) games and even fewer phones!!! ><!!