All About shalashaska88
Wow. It's been a while. I haven't posted anything since last year, mostly because of my busy schedule, juggling between work and postgrad studies.
And I'm getting married.
That's right, and this led to many of my friends who knew me as a longtime gamer, to let me know of their opinion that they think I should stop playing these silly video games because I'm going to be a husband and father soon. This 'childish' hobby of mine will have no place in my future despite being my most favorite thing ever. The latest of these 'remarks' came from my own mother, as I brought up the news of announcement of the PS4 to my father (who ironically, is a gamer too, albeit a casual one who only plays football games these days). It went like this:
"So, dad they announced the PS4..."
My mom interrupted.
"That's enough, you're getting married this year, no more of this silly PS4 thing"
"But mom, that's not fair, dad plays too..."
My mom just repeated what she said previously, and knowing that I will never win this argument (trust me, Asian moms and dads are not to be messed with) I kept quiet, put my bowl of soup in the sink and just went upstairs to my room. I'm sure my dad wanted to say something, but he knows that my mother's defensiveness on the matter will not make my situation better.
Oh by the way, my dad got me into gaming in the first place. He was the one who encouraged me to play video games to improve my English, and he loved watching me play cinematic games like Uncharted. Yeah, he's awesome.
You should know that I live in a country of conservative values and practices. To most of us, gaming is a hobby meant for kids and men who are unfairly judged as an immature lot. It's a damn stereotype and an ugly, untrue one. I've had a number of fellow gamers within my circle of friends who play games and still have fun with their wives and make beautiful babies. These people make me feel happy that I can still hold on to my controllers after my wedding this year. It's so unfair that they don't get noticed and be made shining examples. That stigma is still around and it's just frustrating for me.
At the moment I can only wish and blog things like this. But I hope I will be able to change everyone's minds in this country, on their skewed angle on video games, one day. Especially my mother, who I adore so much, it's just that she has different opinions.
I want be that example, of a great family man while logging into my Steam account, pwning noobs online.
Wish me luck.
It's been ages since I last posted my last entry. I had been quite busy with my MA studies, and work has not been kind to me either. But amidst all the hectic schedule, I still found a great deal of time to play some games, some disappointing ones, but mostly, it was a year filled with, mostly, excellent games. Whereas last year I only posted 5, I had 10 of them this year. Please do keep in mind that I have not played several games like Battlefield 3 and Catherine (hence the omissions), which I'm sure are great games, but for several reasons, I could not play them within the 2011 frame. I'll probably get them later, when they're a lot cheaper.
So, without further delay, here they are, my GAMES OF THE YEAR!
10. Portal 2 (PC)
Portal is one of the funniest games I've played last year. It's also the game that hurt my brain the most. I was never good at puzzles, but at least it's not frustratingly hard. I do feel that the Source engine really is showing age, but somehow in Portal 2, they managed to make it look as glossy as other modern engines like the U3 engine.
9. Yakuza 4 (PS3)
Ultra melodrama aside, Yakuza 4 retains what makes the Yakuza series such an easy series to love. Great protagonists (now we have four!) great combat, immense exploration and its set in Japan, which is always a win for me.
8. Crysis 2 (PC)
Despite having not scaled the same heights of its predecessor, Crysis 2 still has some of the best action I've played this year. Yes, Crytek sacrificed the open ended levels of the original for a more direct approach in Crysis 2, but it is still entertaining as it retains that essential Crysis gameplay that forces the player to utilize the use of the suit according to the situation. And the online is much, muuuuuuuch better than the original's uninspired multiplayer component.
7. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)
Uncharted 3 did many things well, for example a better exploration of the protagonists and some of the set pieces such as the ships and the desert are mesmerizing. But some of the (sometimes) surface touching animations are a little ropey, making Drake look sluggish at times and the lack of real innovation since Among Thieves is a little jarring. Still a rousing journey though. More Elena Fisher and Charlie Cutter would be great.
6. inFamous 2 (PS3)
inFamous 2, though still had some flaws, was a better game than the first game was. Climbing feels less of a chore thanks to new powers and neat use of new climbing mechanics, cooler powers and a better visual presentation (which the first game lacked, despite having decent visuals) that led to a more effective story. Let's hope they fix the camera in close quarters combat in the sequel.
5. FIFA 12 (PS3)
I've never nominated a FIFA game for a GOTY list (let alone a football game), for as long as I can remember as a gamer. But last year marks as being the first, as FIFA has matured into such a satisfying game of football. The manager mode is a lot more bearable to play through now, the online competitions are awesome. It's not perfect, as some elements like the sometimes dodgy collisions and the lame servers kept it from being perfect. Still, I'm spending tons of hours on this game, and loving every second of it. (Anyone interested in a game of FIFA, pls pm me your psn id and we'll see what we can come up with)
4. To The Moon (PC)
It's always wonderful to see indie developers churn out something good. I enjoyed Limbo, though I do find it to be very…abstract, and no matter how interesting the discussions on the game's story, it didn't grab me like how To the Moon did. Clearly inspired by Eternal Sunshine, the story tells us of a dying man who wishes to go To the Moon before he dies, at least as a part of a final memory. Intriguing you say? A little weird? It's both. And just so you know, the ending made me tear up.
3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC)
I absolutely adore how they can still make games like Human Revolution. You are given different ways on how to complete your objectives, while walking through a visually enticing futuristic setting. But at the same time, there is enough action for you adrenaline junkies out there. It doesn't have weird, I mean, console-like interface (don't get me wrong, I love consoles, I just feel that PC works differently and should have different interface made for the platform's games) like Invisible War, and has endings that actually make you think of possible futures ahead of us. The conversation system works really well, as there are actual consequences when you make a certain decision. Choices have to matter in order to really affect the player, and boy do they really matter in Human revolution.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC)
In a generation of gaming where open worlds are like our staple food, it's actually easier to forgive a developer when they have bugs in their games, especially when the game is good. Skyrim is such a case. I love the weather effects, the characters are as weird as those you can find in Oblivion. The map is huge with tons of things to discover. Knee jokes. And of course, dragons. And you can beat them with some wicked shout powers. And I'm still playing the game.
1. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS)
I know. Right now you're thinking:
"Are you f*%$#@! kidding me? A f*#@*% handheld game?? Have you gone casual dude? You want to be different?? You're trying to be that obnoxious hipster who only plays obscure games that no one played?"
If you still haven't gotten it already, I'm a fan of good storylines, and while Skyrim has a decent storyline, it just wasn't that interesting to me. Ghost Trick has this in spades. It's an unusual story that is superbly told, and has some endearing characters that I really get attached too. Time paradox has been used so many times in movies and games that it has somewhat become a cliché, but Ghost Trick's intricacy in tying up all the possible loose ends in the game dazzles me. But it's not just the story.
I love the time manipulation concept as well. The game introduces you to the basic powers of object manipulation, and then mixes it up with the help of a very adorable character later on. I have so many things to tell you about the game, but in the end, you're going to have to experience the magic yourself.
Yes folks, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, is my Game of the Year for 2011. Here's hoping for an awesome 2012. Cheers.
So I spent quite some time with Yakuza 4, since I posted the entry below when I first got the game. So the obvious question that pops up here is, is the game good? The answer? It depends.
To those of you who have not played a single Yakuza game, (and I'm assuming that's almost 70 percent of you following me teehee) and have never seen its predecessors piquing your interest, then don't expect this to be the same. It's not really a game made for the masses.
Yes, it's a brutal and satisfying brawler (albeit a little too unrealistic), but a huge chunk of Yakuza 4's content is the story, be it from the melodramatic but intriguing main story, or the huge number of substories that range from quests that personally touch the characters' backstories, to the ones that are plain ridiculous.
Speaking about characters, there are 4 playable characters in this game including the super awesome Kazuma Kiryu. All of them are surprisingly likable characters, provided that you can tolerate some intense melodrama that make up most of the story. But don't worry, it ain't all cheesy cutscenes and lines. The story is significantly better than the 3rd game, which i found to be the weakest of the series. Oh, and there are lots of cutscenes in this game.
Yes, I LOVE THIS GAME. I am still exploring Kamurocho, which according to the game's stats, I've only completed a measly amount of 35 percent, so yeah, more asses to kick my way through. Heheh. If you like this kind of thing, go and grab it.
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