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Sunday, June 25, 2017

SD Gundam Generation Genesis

Having spent more than 1,000 hours on this turn-based strategy title -- that's according to the in-game clock, anyway ... but probably just a fraction of that in reality since the accumulated hours seem to be the total time the game has been active than of me playing it -- I've grown to like it quite a bit.

I came in as a total newbie as I haven't been a Gundam fan. So SD GGG is a great introduction cos 1) it obviously targets Gundam fans and 2) it tells the same core story about 20+ times (if you play every single story in the game). Sometimes you side with "the Federation", other times "the Zeon" rival fraction, which is kinda clever. I think the anime was created very much at a time when Japan was still pondering about the Second World War and its aftermaths; and its philosophic musings (yes!) verge on that grey area between right or wrong, good and evil etc.

So you can either enjoy these "moral" stories (which I do), or the collecting of the many, many Gundams and robots and warships (which I kinda enjoy but not obsessively) and the gameplay.

Now, the gameplay is pretty straightforward, not unlike Tactics Ogre only less fiddly. You basically unlock characters and units (i.e. an array of Gundam models) that you like and then that's it ... take them to battles and level up. There are options for you to evolve or exchange the units -- and characters gain more skills as they level up -- but the game (on normal mode anyway) is quite easy there is absolutely no need to pay too much attention on "bettering" your team. Sometimes I just want a basic Gundam simply cos it looks great (Blue Destiny Units!!!) without worrying about making it God-like. I leave that to the Unicorn Gundams, which players can easily unlock from the word go. The game also comes with some OP Gundams (Phoenix Gundam Power Unlocked) so this is not a difficult game... though the puzzles/challenges without these OP Gundams can be fun.



Being thematically obsessed, I now have two Federation warships, the Argama and the Nahel Argama [London Bell] captained by Bright Noa, (maybe I should get a Zeon one later) and four different teams. One made up of characters from the default Generation Genesis series, one from the first Gundam series (with Amuro Ray), one headed by Haman Karn (with the Quebley), one with Blue Destiny series (which I like!)

I have decided not to play the hard or insane mode cos that practically just means each battle lasts a lot longer (than it already is!) So I think I will just play through all the series and that's it. Will then move onto Super Robot Wars V, which I've heard has a more interesting story. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Plateau and Repetition

So I have been practising yoga for nine years (I always remember I started my practice a week before the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, 2008) and it feels like I've reached the proverbial plateau. That is when my body doesn't seem to be "advancing" any further and that it feels like I am not making any progress ... that all I'm doing now is to repeat the same old sequence again and again and again. Why am I not gaining more strength and flexibility? Why I still suck at handstand ><

Then I attended this panel discussion at this year's Asia Yoga Conference (AYC) and it all started to make sense. In this excerpt, veteran yoga teacher David Swenson explains why he likes practising Ashtanga and that through the repetition practitioners are able to find the magic and depth that lies within that practice... I'm totally inspired by that!!!