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Madness returns

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Steam sale had Alice: Madness Returns. Despite already beating the game on the 360, I bought it for the PC anyway and spent my afternoon playing the first chapter and screencapping EVERYTHING.


All my feels for this game!

(I'll post a proper blog soon-ish. After new year probably.)

Tsk fine, I'll talk about games sheesh...

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... But before I get to the part about games, I have a couple of updates because I've mentioned them before in my blog and I'd like to do a follow-up.

Firstly, like a few million years ago, I applied for a driving license finally and only just took my driving test today because I had to wait 2 frickin months for it. The test went way faster than I thought it would and I basically breezed through everything. Only problem was that I found that I got 2 penalties for turning the steering wheel while stationary. Are you fecking kidding me? I was not made aware of this while learning with qualified instructors from the driving centre. They MADE me turn the stupid wheel while I was stationary! But whatever, I passed, so good riddance to this stupid place and crazy fees of $70/lesson, which I eventually had to take 21 lessons in total. Good thing my dad paid for everything. We're probably gonna look at showrooms this weekend. My sister wants a Honda instead of my Nissan, which I don't really care about, as long as it's not an SUV.

The other news is that I'm not gonna be unemployed any longer. I've gone from the film industry to the music industry this time around. I'll be doing marketing/advertising/PR for a new local record company, which is basically made up of friends of my sister. Pretty cool opportunity to try something new and I'll be paid way more than my previous job, and I basically didn't have to lift a single finger to get this position. I'll be going to Japan as well next year with them for a tour, heh.

I feel like I've been one lucky bugger so far. I've basically had no hardship in life aside from a couple of family drama, had good education, an interesting first job with my degree (despite the annoyances nearing my resignation), and I've been living comfortably even when unemployed during my short self-imposed break. The only thing I really need to work on in life is the social aspect. Lol. I really need to build good relationships with people, and honestly, I can't say that I have a single trusted friend right now that is not behind a computer or is a cat.


Alright game-talk time. I'm sure people have been spending some of their money on the Steam sale and I'm no exception. I've already mentioned that I got The Walking Dead and The eXceed Collection and was waiting for a further discount on Torchlight II. Because someone was being awesome, they gifted me the game and another on my wishlist.

So I've been doing nothing but play Torchlight II lately because it's addictive. There are some negatives? about the game though, which kind of should have annoyed me, but I can't bring myself to care much. You know that the previous dungeon-looting game I was playing was Diablo III, and I was obsessed with it. I've never played D2 before so I had no qualms about the recycled environments. Then I played Torchlight II and can't help but feel like the environments aren't original at all. You get the town and generic grassy, foresty area, and then soon after, you get a desert. I was like, woah Diablo.


Diablo III?


Torchlight II?

I'm not saying that I find this necessarily bad, I was simply surprised. Heck, I'm sure majority of dungeon looting action RPG games have a desert area somewhere. As long as the final area of Torchlight II doesn't kill my eyes with it being a red-tinted area like D3 was, then I'm totally fine and happy.

Another thing I noticed while playing was that a certain command wasn't very responsive for me. Torchlight II features weapon swapping, so you can carry both long-range and melee weapons if you choose to do so (or whatever other set you want). The only other game I played that had me swapping weapon sets around like I'm having a spazz attack was Guild Wars 2. My primary weapon is a rifle (despite being a Warrior), which I then switch to an axe-sword combo if an enemy comes close. Being familiar with this tactic, I decided I shouldn't stray from it in Torchlight II as well.

Well... too bad for me. Trying to switch weapon sets on the fly was such an unnecessary chore, let alone trying to attempt it in the middle of being mobbed, I decided to just give up. My Berserker is now happily wielding a double mace that has skulls on them and that's that.

But Torchlight II is seriously entertaining me right now anyway. I've already put in 16 hours since installing it 2 days ago, and would have had more hours if I wasn't busy with things in life.

Heh that's the only gaming-related news I have. Instead, have a list of things my sister ordered for me through Amazon because of Cyber Monday:

- Dark Knight Trilogy (blu-ray)

- The Resident Evil Collection (blu-ray)

- Fringe season 4 (dvd)

- Bones season 7 (dvd)

- Torchwood season 1 (dvd)

- Frozen Planet (blu-ray)

- Human Planet (blu-ray)

Spazz attack of 2012

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Pre-ordered in a heartbeat. I live for SNSD.

And Steam sale ugh. Have already bought The Walking Dead and The eXceed Collection. I'm just waiting to see if Torchlight II is gonna get more than 25% off, and also get a few of the cheaper games off my Steam wishlist. Anyone bought anything already?

Also randomly bought Black Ops II for the 360 some days back, but I haven't gone further than the first mission so far. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I keep getting snagged in random bits while running which got me killed and then severely pissing me off.

I need to get back into GW2.

Games I want to replay

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It's not really me to exclude a sort of intro in my blogs, but I really don't know how to start this. ... I just really want to play these games again, you know?


Fable II + III

I was chatting with a really good friend some time back, and mentioned wanting to replay the Fable series (aside from Lost Chapters, since I never did play it). I honestly enjoyed playing them despite the PR hype and subsequent disappointment from the general gaming public. What Molyneux promised, I chucked a whole sack of salt at. But the weird thing about this is that even though I know I thoroughly enjoyed what I played, I can't for the life of me remember what the heck happened in the games. The things that I do remember are:

- Fable II had an extraordinary amount of condoms buried all over
- The dog in Fable II was exceptionally good at pointing them out
- He wasn't good at anything else
- The dog in Fable III, on the other hand, was too good and kept stealing my kills
- I really hated both dogs


Alice: Madness Returns

Of course I want to replay Alice: Madness Returns! I'm so in love with this game I don't even! I never once thought the platforming was repetitive, was totally fascinated with the different worlds, had too much fun swapping dresses for Alice and settled on the prettiest one (though not the most useful), and I want to bear-hug the devs for adding in little details like flower petals while she twirls. For a game that's supposed to have a dreary setting, it's amazingly girly.

(No, guys! Play it! It's not THAT girly!)


Mirror's Edge

Parkour has always been fascinating, which was what got me interested in Mirror's Edge in the first place. I have to admit, I was worried that I was going to be hopelessly nauseous while playing because of the first-person perspective. The demo came out, and I was perfectly fine. It was probably the first and only demo I replayed multiple times because like I said, parkour is fascinating. I was impressed at how smoothly you can link one move to the other, the environment and minimal sty.le is gorgeous, and while I wasn't too aware of the in-game soundtrack then, the title song was in my brain for a long time after the demo.

Of course I bought the full game when it hits retail back then, and loved it even more.

I should mention that when I first played the game, it was on an SDTV. I have yet to play it on my current HDTV, so another reason to replay it, yes?


Final Fantasy IX

Yeh, finally a game people can relate to wanting to replay, right? FFIX will always have a soft spot in my heart because it's the first FF title I ever played, beaten, and loved. I remember this being the first game that had me in awe while watching an FMV - heck, I didn't even know they were called FMVs then. I know I was wondering how the heck they made something so pretty in a game, considering that my first PS1 game was...


Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone

Dude, I am not kidding. I was a kid, have read all available Harry Potter books then (even forced my English teacher to read it), and while I know I wanted Final Fantasy VII and IX when I got my PS1, I so badly wanted a Harry Potter game as well. I got it and I loved every second of playing it because I was very much an unashamed Harry Potter fan. Right now, I don't really know if I'll enjoy it as much but if I get the chance to replay it, why not? I know game adaptations weren't very well-received back then, and we scoff at them now as adults, but it made the kid me so very happy. Then I think the game served its purpose to entertain, didn't it?


Streets of Rage + Sunset Riders

Psh don't worry, I wasn't that hopeless as a kid. For someone whose parents disliked children playing video games, I still had a Sega Genesis which my dad bought randomly. For most people, they'd say "Ohhhh this was when I got into games!" or whatever. Uh not in my case. They were fun distractions when I was a kid and gave me a few hours of bonding time with my 2nd sister, which was what I really miss. They were easy to grasp - just frickin' punch or shoot, but games nowadays are a bit too complex. According to my sister anyway. Ugh seriously? She's only 3 years older than me.


Jazz Jackrabbit + Duke Nukem II

And hey, I played DOS games too! They were somehow preloaded into the family computer, and like the Sega Genesis games, they were fun distractions for us. My sister and I took turns controlling either the movement, or the gun. I don't know how, but we made that work. Although we never got to beat Duke Nukem II, and we could only beat Jazz Jackrabbit on the easiest difficulty. I barely read anything that were happening on screen and was simply just moving around or shooting, and my sister was useless at gaming in general.

I could download an emulator I suppose, and finally understand what the heck was happening, but you know how I'm always lazy.

What over-priced US PSN cards can get me

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My sister has the worst timing and stupid first impression of Okami ever. Every single time I was feeding an animal, she would manage to somehow pop into my room to watch it. After a while, she asked me why I bought a game about an animal feeding other animals. ... Well I'm sorry if I like to watch the camera rotate around Ammy creepily watching animals eat from a bag alright?

Anyway, I bought an over-priced US$20 PSN card to buy Okami HD off PSN because why not? I actually have the game on PS2 but I never did beat it before. I COULD just connect my PS2 back to my TV but it will look all sorts of ugly without an adapter. I remember the PS2 version being gorgeous, and you shouldn't expect anything less from the HD remaster. GamesRadar did a comparison video if you're curious.

The only thing I can really complain about is the dialogue. There are times when you can't fast-forward text, and that's a huge bummer because everyone talks so damn slow.

I like the game's lack of difficulty.

I'm planning to get another over-priced US$20 PSN card to get Odin Sphere and GrimGrimoire. Ugh should have gotten Odin Sphere when it was half off not too long ago. I've already played and beaten the game before, but I like it. I'm just wondering if the PSN download suffers from framerate issues like the original PS2 version did. As for GrimGrimoire, never got around to playing it despite owning a copy.

Although what I really want is Muramasa: The Demon Blade to be ported to a different system. I want all Vanillaware games to be on any gaming system I already own. ):

In other "Now Playing" news, I'm obviously still chugging away in Guild Wars 2. I've got a plot instance where I met with Destiny's Edge, which coincides somewhat with the second GW novel I'm reading called Edge of Destiny (originality at its finest, doncha think?). I want to pursue this quest so badly, but it would be so much better if I read through the novel first to understand what the heck happened to these guys. The GW novels didn't receive the best of reviews but I'd still like to read through them. Went in with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised with Ghosts of Ascalon, so I'll do the same with EoD.


Not sure if I should be amused by that first one, really

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That was pretty much where I've been. Cool weather and awesome views, which is a huge contrast for me and my "city living". The main attractions were strawberry farms and tea plantations, although it was very unfortunate that the tea factory closes on Mondays but we did still visit the area. That picture up there is actually the Boh tea plantation we visited. That greenery = tea bushes.

Although the main highlight for me was being amused by 2 incidents there - the locals trying to sneak a peek down my shirt (uhm...), and White tourists taking pictures of me (lolwhat). Cameron Highlands being in Malaysia means the place is quite conservative. I was wearing what I consider to be very normal, but apparently v-necks don't exist in the country or something. It's not like it was a plunging neckline either, but the shirt tends to shift down after a while... but still nothing scandalous! See:


Probably not the best smiley to use in the picture, but look, perfectly normal yes? But whenever I talked to any male locals, their eyes drifted. Tsk tsk. I understand if I was wearing a push-up bra or something, and I would have because I would totally like to look like a skank ho in conservative, religious Malaysia, but I don't own one. There was even an occasion when I was buying a small slice of raw honeycomb at a marketplace (which was SO SWEET I WANTED TO DIE) and the guy was talking to my chest. I. Eh. What. My parents were beside me by the way. :|

Should I be offended or flattered that they would rather not look at my face?

The GOOD THING is that I was able to bargain successfully despite my horrendous effort at it. Ahaha. I should be ashamed. >.>

The other incident was when we were going down the terrifyingly narrow road with crazy corners, we came across a waterfall with some booths set up selling tourist-y stuff. Because we WERE tourists, we of course got off to check things out, but I grew bored of it quickly. The area is pretty much an aboriginal settlement, so we of course stood out among the locals, and it certainly didn't help that I was wearing tailored jeans, colourful TOMS shoes and looking very amazed at the slingshots they were selling (I did say I was a city kid).

So there I was alone by a road shack sheltering from the sun, while my family were elsewhere getting fried snacks. Then a tourist bus filled with Westerners/White people/whatever appeared around the corner, shocking the heck out of me because it was loud and speeding, so I looked up at the people inside. SO MANY OF THEM whipped out their camera and pointed them at me. Ahhhhlolwhat. Do I look like a tourist attraction to you? I wonder if they thought I was an Aborigine who looked VERY different from the rest, hence the excitement to take a picture.

I should have done something weird really, but it took me quite a while to snap out of it. It was so random, and they passed by so fast.

... Why were those the highlights of my trip?!


Some gaming news time I suppose.

- Code of Princess wasn't worth the effort I made to secure a copy. It's not a bad game I suppose, but I didn't expect it to be mission-based every single step of the way. I was really hoping for an actual side-scrolling beat 'em up. Disappointing. The voice acting makes me want to punch my face. Controls doesn't seem responsive either, but I can't tell if it's because of the character I'm using is just that slow. She's wielding a huge two-handed sword.

- I want to play Pokemon instead. I would most likely pop in Soul Silver tomorrow, and it's about time I do.

- Because I was away from my laptop and internet, I didn't get to play Guild Wars 2. So I've been reading the novels instead, and I'm done with the first one, Ghosts of Ascalon.

- But since I'm already home and reunited with the internet, this is happening:


Been playing for the whole day just now until the game kicked me off for no reason at all. Psh. You don't kick me off when it's the last day of the Halloween event! Although I did relent anyway and stopped playing. According to Raptr, I've apparently clocked in 55 hours total in the game. That's not SO bad. But then again, 55 hours to complete only 10% of the map is woah. MMOs. I'm letting them suck my life.

- I don't think I'm addicted to GW2 really.

I am winner!

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Ignoring the fact that the cartoon me is a very fit-looking dude, HAH KAPOW TO YOU, PLAY-ASIA! Following up from my previous blog, the email response I got from the CS rep was VERY unsatisfactory so I called up gameshops around my area and as expected, all of them didn't have Code of Princess in stock.

Until I called up the one store I used to frequent and the guy told me to check with him today because he can try to get a copy from his friend's store. I did just that and he said he managed to reserve one specifically for me. I am beyond happy with this guy's strive for customer service and satisfaction, unlike Play-Asia, who is only willing to keep making excuses to me.


I noticed that by the time I am holding the actual game in my hand, Play-Asia had my status as "packing order". Heck no. I have never felt this much glee while cancelling an online order before, hah! The absolutely best part about this whole situation is that I paid $5 less than what I would be paying had I continued my order with Play-Asia.



So will I or will I NOT receive this game on time?

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Have I mentioned that I can be a complete b!tch when services disappoint me? I'm talking about my pre-order for Code of Princess. I just received a wonderful reply from a customer service rep and I had a nice reply back.



Hi. Can I be assured that this order will be sent out by 15/10, considering that this was:

1. A pre-order

2. Stated that it'll take 1-5 days to ship

2. It will be 5 days since retail release

Although honestly I was expecting a day 1 shipment, otherwise I wouldn't have pre-ordered but just pop by a physical retail store in the first place and would have already gotten my game 5 days ago.


Dear Noraini,

As for your concern, we are now just waiting for the re-stocks of the item Code of Princess (Sound & Visual Book Bundle) (Nintendo 3DS US, NTSC U/C) to arrive.

Please kindly understand that we can only rely on them when it comes to the availability of our products. In addition to that, please kindly allow and give us more time to contact them regarding its availability. We are hoping for your kind understanding.

Rest assured, as soon as the stocks has been received, we will immediately ship it out. We kindly ask for your patience.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


I understand on waiting for stock availability IF the item wasn't on pre-order in the first place.


How could the product already be out of stock (according to your words) if I had this on pre-order?
Shouldn't the site ensure that there are enough of the product and close up order slots when it has run out?
Why wasn't this communicated and reflected properly among site, warehouse and customers?
The sole purpose of customers making pre-orders is to ensure that they get their products on the first day (disregarding shipping), is it not?

I can be an understanding and reasonable customer, considering that I've been loyal to the site for years now, but this time, I believe my enquiry and subsequent complaint is completely justified because the situation seems misleading.

Pre-order slots still opened - I ordered.
Ships withing 1-5 days - I waited.

I don't doubt that the site will ship out my order once stocks are in, but that really isn't the crux of the matter now is it?

Please review and uphold your vision and mission statements.


Wow really? The site is slowly getting sloppy I realized. My orders haven't been shipping on time lately but I didn't care as much since I wasn't in a hurry to receive them.

In this case, I pre-ordered the game because I wanted to bring it for my road trip at the end of the month. If this item had shipped within the stated period, I would safely receive it before my trip since from experience, the longest that delivery had taken was 2 weeks.

Now retail stores are out of stock as well so I'm forced to keep my order with the website if I still want this game.

What a waste of my time.

Purchases and Now Playing (I REALLY miss doing this)

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Let's get back to a more gaming-related blog shall we? Have recently been spending some money when I really shouldn't, but I'm HAPPY with what I got. ... It doesn't really take a lot to make me happy.


I wanted the 3DS for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, and now I finally own a copy. Stores weren't selling it anymore so I had to find a copy online, which I hate because waiting sucks. What sucked even more was calling up the courier service to give them a piece of my mind because I paid extra for it to be delivered at a specific time but they failed. Let me tell you, I have a short temper when I've been wronged so I was absolutely ANGRY and the customer service guy could do nothing but keep quiet because my complaint was completely justified. There is always a reason why people are willing to pay extra for personal deliveries, you useless courier company! Apologies have no merit when they're not gonna compensate for the time and money lost, and they didn't bother notifying me of their mistake (I strongly believe the delivery dude didn't knock on my door and just set my status as "undelivered/absence") until I called them up to chew their as.s, which the CS dude had no response for, so I just hung up. Completely and utterly useless.

But I have Theatrhythm now and I'm back to being all zen-like, thanks.

RE: Damnation was bought from Amazon and I was actually expecting it at the end of the month because it's AMAZON. Shipping internationally. They can take up to 2 months! But it was in the mail today, so hooray? Apparently this was a marketing tool to lead up to the release of Resident Evil 6, but I didn't know that. I bought it to complement the other RE CGI blu ray I have on my shelf. I heard it's better than Degeneration, but it's not like you need to put in effort to be better than Degen anyway. Shall watch it tonight.


Had Code of Princess on pre-order from Play-Asia and it's now already in retail, but PA packs their things SLOW. My last order from them was supposed to be shipped within 48 hours but I waited for a whole week without any change in status, and I had to write in to them and they compensated me by express shipping my order for free. I hope this won't be the case with CoP because I'm hoping to get this before the last week of October. I won't be at home for a while then because I'll be on a road trip.

Also, am I the only one bothered by the design of 3DS game covers? Why is the white bar and the words "NINTENDO 3DS" on the right? It just feels so wrong.

Anyway, on to something a bit less negative...


I've been a bit more caught up on Guild Wars 2 now that Asagea_888 and my ELDEST SISTER bought the game. I was originally playing a Norn Elementalist, which I thought was fun, until I made a Human Warrior to play with Asagea which I feel had a better and more engaging Personal Story. Plus oh. my. god. Humans have such pretty hair sty.les! Although sorry Asagea, I might have advanced a lot more in the story when you were offline but drop me a chat if you want to party again.

And dude, I'm amazed my eldest sister, the non-gamer, got persuaded to buy GW2 by me and her colleagues. We made a Charr together, and she's playing a Thief (why?) and I picked a Warrior again. I'm really liking this Profession because it's so simple but so fun. The Elementalist is awesome because you can switch among 4 different elements, but it's so finicky and you just forget about switching when you're mobbed and panicking. All I have to worry about when playing a Warrior is switching between 2 weapon sets, which I have set for long-range and short-range.

My sister trying to familiarize herself with the WASD+mouse controls was HILARIOUS. She usually forgets to mix up her attacks as well, and just spams "1", her basic attack. Heh. It's cute.

So moving on, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I'm really enjoying Resident Evil 6 a whole lot! I've been playing on local co-op though, and we just completed Leon's campaign on Normal and stopped at Chris's campaign on Chapter 2. I'm not saying that I'm right and you're wrong, because everyone has different tastes, but I'm just extremely happy that I'm having a good time with this title. I'm not a fan of the franchise who holds the past titles in high regards, so I think that really helps in my enjoyment. Yeh it's not a horror game anymore, but Leon and Helena being huge spazzes in certain scenarios kinda made the whole experience fun, especially when I can laugh about it with my co-op partner.

Although I should say that my co-op partner doesn't own a current-gen console so he's always in awe at every single thing. It makes this whole gameplay experience more novel for me. And we strangely enjoy the QTEs and button mashing. Don't judge us!

Lastly and strangely, I haven't blazed through and beaten Theatrhythm Final Fantasy yet. I had no doubt that I would like this game before getting it, and I was right. Playing through the 8-bit music of FFI-VI had me smiling, FFVII's One Winged Angel is pretty epic I admit, FFIX's selection and videos got me all nostalgic since it was my first FF title and my favourite, and I'm looking forward to playing through choice selections of the remaining FF titles because I never had the time to REALLY listen to them. The graphics are frustratingly adorable and ugh my heart can't take it. My only real complaint about the game is that they could have added more songs instead of making us pay for them.

Wow I'm playing games.

Ahhh am I finally out of my gaming funk?


Really, my only forseeable plan for tomorrow onwards is to keep playing those 3 games. Although of course, I should make a move on with updating my resume and sending it out. :|

The frustrating case of the cat and the cone

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Not a lot of people know this but my cat recently fell from our 2nd storey apartment and broke his hind foot. We had to go for surgery to insert a metal pin structure to re-align the 3 broken bones, which is all fine really. My cat's a trooper and beared through the pain without much fuss and a day after, he was very much up and awake.

Well honestly, he was supposed to be under strict confinement but this face:


He stared at me, meowed and whimpered, and tried to touch my hand. We let him out instead, and thankfully he does nothing but crawls under our massage chair and sleeps most of the time during this recuperation period.

He had his first check-up today and the vet technicians removed majority of the bandage to reveal the metal structure in his foot, which had me all bug-eyed when I saw it. It seriously looks very painful, and I'm surprised it's not in a splint or a cast, considering that it IS broken. It's just open and bare! And being cats (suppose it applies to dogs as well), he has a tendency to lick and bite at the wound, so I had no choice but to put the e-collar on him. Oh the shame.


He HATES it. It's even worse when the collar is still too big for him and we need to use a string to tighten it, which makes it even more uncomfortable. The collar doesn't work too well because dude, why is this cat so flexible? He was still able to reach his foot and tore the bandage off! I was slightly panicking and brought him to the vet again to change the bandage and have him in an even bigger collar, which honestly was too heavy for him. It's not a very nice feeling to see your pet suffer like this.

The good thing is that when we first brought him home, I was searching online for a soft collar (inflatable or a softer plastic) and found a pet shop that sells some stupid version of it that I had to make do with. Why is it so damn hard to find one? The only problem is that while the soft collar fits him now and it's velcro so you can customize the size, the length of it is too short so I had to do some DIY fast. Seriously, who the heck designed this failure? Isn't the purpose of the product to deter pets from picking at their wounds? How does that work when your pet can still clearly reach their wound? Sheesh. 3 clear files, cable ties and some tape later, I made a very hasty extension to the collar.


It's at least more comfortable for him since the edge is padded with cloth, and all of that monstrosity is still actually lighter than the standard e-collar you get from vets. He was able to walk with his head upright, finally. We didn't want to stress him too much because he's had a tiring day, so he's sleeping in my sister's room instead of the confinement cage.

But ugh seriously, why can't vets here have an option between the hard plastic cone or a soft collar? Import those accessories! Pet owners don't mind paying extra if it provides comfort! Soft collars would definitely save both pet and owner from any traumatizing trouble and grief. And if there can only be hard plastic, at least have a variety of sizes that can comfortably fit smaller animals.