A wise and venerable man once said, “Never pay more than twenty bucks for a computer game.”
As someone who begun my gaming adventure as a pirate, as a student with not a lot of leftovers in my pocket, as someone who buy books more compulsively than I do games (bookstores are notoriously dangerous places), this is a phrase I had unknowingly taken to heart. I set a quota for myself. For frivolous spending, no more than [the equivalent of $14] a month.
It’s not a difficult limit to maintain. I buy games on Steam during sales, and Steam has a ton of sales. The games I look forward to (and can actually play on my laptop haha) are indies costing no more than the aforementioned $14 (and Steam, bless be to the employees who manage it, has a much more generous exchange rate). In any case, I have plenty of books I already have that I can read, games already sitting in my library I can play, and work to be done. I can push off buying that one good game for another month. Continue reading “Paying more than twenty bucks for a game”
Review of Arcaea, a game by lowiro for Android and iOS.
I want to like Arcaea. I really do. On so many accounts, it’s a great music rhythm game. Its mechanic is simple, but a pleasure to play. It has the most pleasant-looking UI in all of mobile gaming, with a strong consistent aesthetic. It has an excellent artcore/electronica music library. A shame that most of that library is locked behind steep paywalls. Paywalls, plural.
Continue reading “Arcaea: A Slick, Premium, Rhythm Game”
( Found this small short story hiding in my computer. I can’t for the life of remember what circumstances I was in writing it, even though it’s only dated last month. It’s a side-story to something bigger I tried making but never materialised. There’s a lot more to Eric, Erika, and Hilbert I might have hiding in here if you’re interested. )
Eric was deaf and mute, but he wasn’t blind. He saw when it happened, when the man raised his fist, when he was ready to bring it down, and when the smaller man grabbed the knife and pushed it into his stomach. Everyone said there were no screams, there was only the thunder crackling, the storm clouding their hearing. But Eric heard no thunder. He only saw the man’s eye bulging wide open, the blood dripping from the wound. A thunder flashed in a distance, and the smaller man, the one whose eyes seemed like they had seen Death as well, he used the blinding light to kick his dying assailant and ran further into the darkness.
Eric saw all this from the roof above the two. He did nothing, because what else was there to do? He saw what they had done, both. He would not be the judge, neither would he be the executioner. He saw the big man, the one who used to be at the top of his food chain, crawling on the ground. He saw him pulling the knife out from his body, saw how he opened his mouth wide and stared at the sky with what strength he had left. He knew at the moment then that the man had seen him, a thief lurking. Maybe the man was pleading at him. He didn’t know. There was nothing to it but watching him die. Continue reading “Neither Judge nor Executioner”
I like coding. I’ve been doing it since I was 9, and I’ve, sporadically, picked programming languages and frameworks and whathaveyous up and built things with them even though I’ve never taken a formal education in it. I like doing it, I feel like I have a knack for it. But I also like other things. My passion is writing, linguistics, the likes. I lean more on the humanities than hard science in school.
I like coding, but I’ve always keep it at an arm’s length. Coding is like a lover who only come into town once in a blue moon or so. We’ll hang out for a day or two and then it’ll leave and I get on with my life. Until today I never really put thoughts on why I never invited it to stay, There’s this vague idea that half my brain hates it vehemently, but screw that, I said, you’re just being unreasonable. Continue reading “A Broken Relationship (with My Hobby)”
Video games have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. They are more to me than just something to while away the time. They become methods for me to become close with those I can call friends. They become markers of my life, each game capturing the essence of the time I was going through. They fill the moments between one crisis and the next.
2017 has been a big year for me. I dropped out of college and, a semester later, enrolled to a completely different one. I started to learn to live with the Hell that’s been growing in my head. I’m still learning, but I think I’ve figured out how to relax and let things go. It’s altogether a much better year than 2016, which I only allude to vaguely in my 2016 list of games that have impacted me.
I don’t write retrospectives much. My memory is a foggy place that constantly rebuilds itself. But, this year especially, video games become a landmark in that fog. So here’s my 2017, as told by the games I’ve played. Mind, it’s a very personal list. Continue reading “My 2017 as Told by Nine Games”
So a couple of months ago there was a thing going on where you tweet “Five games you tell your potential significant other to play to get a feel of who you are?” I tweeted this in response to that question,
And today I thought, heck, why not elaborate? It’s not like I’m going to get a significant other so soon that he’ll read this post, heh. My Game of the Year list isn’t until January either.
So let’s begin with the most unquestionable part of the list, Continue reading “Five games I tell my potential significant other to play to get a feel of who I am”
Writing non-fiction is a struggle between brevity and flow. You have these sets of facts you want to present, and you want to tell people how they’re connected. It’ll be so easy to just put them as bullet points and write the conclusion underneath. You get the facts, you get why they’re being written down, easy. But writing demands so much more.
People don’t want facts, they want stories. People don’t want dry numbers, they want someone to tell them how the numbers combine. So you stitch those facts together to a narrative, to long strands of words, sentences, paragraphs. How do I put these facts together? Will people lost the connection (or, God forbid, the interest?) if I put them next to each other. Oh no no no, these two facts look unrelated. They are related, but they don’t flow into each other when you’re reading it.
And all of a sudden your writing is 80% fluff, with the facts only strewn over it. All of a sudden it’ll take people ten times as much time to read through it. You realise with horror that you’re wasting people’s time. You’re wasting people’s attention. This is bad writing no matter how you put it.
You sigh for the hundredth time and start to rewrite the whole thing.
I wrote this story for a literature event in my school, under the title We Watch from Under Your Skin, because I forgot about this entirely better temp title. The theme of the event was “Neocolonialism” although I think what I’m writing isn’t the neocolonialism they were expecting, heh.
It’s really more a snapshot of a world than an actual story, but I hope it’s a good snapshot nonetheless.
A Canvas for Their Brand
It was dark.
There was no moon in the sky, no stars. He could vaguely make out the shape of buildings around him, had the sense that he was in the middle of the street in the middle of the city. None of the street lights were on, none of the windows were lit. The road was big and empty and quiet, not a single car buzzing through it. He knew the streets, he realised. He had gone through it a hundred times in his life, and yet nothing was familiar. Not in the dark.
And then, in a corner, near an alley he’d never minded, he saw a spark. Continue reading “A Canvas for Their Brand”
Waypoint recently published an article titled What Games Get So Wrong About Egypt, ‘Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Gets Right, dealing mostly with how many games, as any other media, exoticises Ancient Egypt, and the East in general, to the point it erases their real life culture. I agree that this is happening and that we definitely need more games (and stories in other media) to stop relying on caricatures that the West had made and start telling these cultures as they are in real life.
I just have problems with how the writer nitpicks on a couple of games. Sure, we need better representation in more games, but that doesn’t mean that some of these games are doing it wrong. Continue reading “What Games Get Right about Getting Egypt Wrong – A response piece”
Musings on the audio-visual of NieR Automata, a video game.
I’m not a fan games with high-quality graphic. Playing Assassin’s Creed, for example, is exhausting even for a short while. Took me a while to realise that the feelings I get when I play AAA games is similar to how I feel when I’m outside, walking in a busy city with too many noises coming from all direction, too many people about, too many things to see. I can’t take in all these little things, yet my brain just kind of force myself to take them in anyway? It’s tiring. And the same things happens when I play modern games.
So avoided AAA games on principle, and any game that boasts a huge world or detailed graphic. Games that populate their worlds with little intricate details might well make them more lively for some people, but they only drives me mad. I can appreciate them in a good screenshot, but I know I can’t play them in motion.
A week ago, on a ridiculous whim, I started playing NieR Automata.
Automata is an odd game, aesthetically. If you only look at its screenshots, it’s not very pleasing to look at. Washed out colours. Dull atmosphere. It’s set in an earth that’s long destroyed and abandoned. The environment is basically ash, dust, and rust. Even the plant life looks greyed out.
I love it. Continue reading “Life Made Out of Ashes”