Friday, December 7, 2007

Review: "Elan Online"

If you think the concept of Guild Wars, Tabula Rasa and DDO can get worse, think again. Elan Online is making a soft hit here in Singapore. It looks great and interesting at first glance, but it is incredibly superficial.

What makes Elan Online unique is the combat system. It doesn't follow the traditional point-and-click system...instead it follows DDO's action-based mouse-click-spammage system. Hmm, I guess that doesn't make it unique after all =/.

Right now there are 4 classes, all incredibly traditional and simple. A fighter, a thief, a mage and a healer. All the classes only have 3 skills, and all of them as plain as you can get. For example, a healer get an AE heal, a status cure and some damage spell. For 16 levels ( I think), you survive on this until you get to upgrade your class, giving you another 3 more skills. You will probably have to grind your rest of your life with these.

Stats assignment is automatic. The world is completely instanced except the main areas. Probably the only other good thing is that it is cel-shaded...meaning it doesn't hurt my eyes.

It truly baffles the mind. This game is nothing...nothing. I guess I should've warned Dom before he bought the activation card (costing $5).

Pfft...another hopeless cause.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

[Random] A random post

Great, YH just returned me my $200 from the freelance project. I will probably get a X360 once the month ends, then I can do all the catching up for games!

My setup is very sad. I highly doubt my desktop can play The Witcher, but I'm going to have to give it a go. YH says he can play it on mid-high settings on his 7950GT but I doubt it's true since Dom is facing a bit of lag on his 8600GTS. If my X1800 can run Witcher I'll be really happy since I haven't been playing any new mainstream games since forever. I'm only updated on free MMOs and PSP games.

Disgaea is beginning to lose its flavour (thankfully), although I occasionally still grind a few item world level now and then. I don't think Disgaea will ever leave my PSP because 1) there are still many many things to do and 2) the file size is small, so there's no harm leaving it there.

On to a bit on my attachment, everyone working there just told me that some damn good programmer have some 'immortal words' which goes like: "I feel guilty playing games." so apparently, in the company, it is believed that once you reached this level, you will become a god. Hmm. 3 years ago, I felt the same. I tanked for people, I worked my ass off, I code and code and code and rushed production like mad. Back then, I DO feel kinda guilty playing games. I'm not that stupid now though. There is always time to play games. I don't think I would want to overload myself ever again. For 3 years, I've done it and I am now tired of it. In fact, I felt it was a wasted effort.

Seriously though, 'I feel guilty playing games' applies only because you are having fun doing whatever work you are doing. Okay sometimes it's because of fun, but mostly it's satisfaction. You don't actually feel guilty playing games. You feel that games doesn't grant as much satisfaction as completing work, that's why you want to work more. That has been the case for me for all the projects I've done in NYP. You want to feel the satisfaction of achieving something irl. That's how it works. It's a fucking trap. I won't fall into it again. I hope.

Back to other stuff, they haven't informed me on when my jap test is starting. Maybe I'll call them on Sunday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Demo: "Two Worlds"

I went to John's house one day and was 'recommended' to try it.


It's fuck awesome.

There's just too many things to list out, but I shall attempt the impossible:-

I will use the word 'shit' in replacement for a word that hasn't been invented to describe such crap.

1) Graphics look like PS2 graphics, and its on X360 tier.
2) The trees are shit. They look as if there's seaweed hanging on them or something
3) The grasses are shit. Not only one set looks shit, they had this wonderful idea of copy/pasting the same set (give or take 2 or so variations) all over the place. Usually I'm okay with that but damn they really look shit in this case.
4) Lip-syncing on models is shit. Looks worse than a Pinocchio-like puppet. I don't know what those kind of puppets are called.
5) Animations are shit.
6) Combat is shit
7) Combat animations are shit
8) Lag is shit

the list goes on.

Probably the only things they did right are the sky and the fog.

Wow. I bet this game makes lots of developers feel happier.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A step back to Neverwinter

I've done it again. I have reinstalled NWN1 to play around with it (and glimpse into its toolset). I heard that NWN2 isn't really polished yet, which means my com probably still can't run it above 30fps.

I have never taken NWN1 seriously. Back then, I felt dungeons tend to be monotonous and I never did appreciate the number crunching then. Back then, I only wanted to see big numbers and have fun PLing myself. Back then, when I hadn't experienced actual PnP DnD. That was before I actually opened my DnD Player's Handbook and examined its contents. Back then, I felt NWN felt like another D2 with Forgotten Realms material.

So I went back again, knowing better, and decided to play it through again. Properly. As in...with a munchkin sense, instead of blindly killing, and leveling up.

What a poor choice of class I chose.

I wanted to make a Fighter/Weapon Master. I accidentally made him lawful (cannot multiclass to Barbarian) but that didn't really make me feel too bad. At first, I felt awesome. Everything I face got cleaved to death. Nothing can stop me. I felt a little OP actually...until my first encounter with an even level sorcerer. Fireball is fucking painful. Killed me outright at the first blast. That sorcerer wasn't so bad to be honest, compared to the next few spellcasters I faced.

That's when things start to go downhill. Fighters are fucking vulnerable to every shit thrown to them. I got slowed, blasted by Fireballs, chilled to death by Ice Storms, webbed, entangled, held, paralyzed and stunned. Worse, I can't hit them with their Mage Armor+Invisibility on them. I drank tons of potions, including buff potions of whatever was avaliable to me (nothing that really helps spell-resistance though). And no matter what henchmen I brought with me, the results were the same.

Dammit, time to play some cleric.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Review: "Jeanne D'Arc"

Finally, I managed to complete Jeanne D'Arc on my PSP. So like I promised, I shall write out a review. I wanted to write because this Turn Based Strategy (TBS) game is extremely good in many ways. In my opinion, it is the most enjoyable game I have ever played since...a hell long time. I think it is the best game right now a PSP owner can have (maybe other than Monster Hunter 2 Freedom...if you've got friends to play with that is).

Nevertheless, let us get on with the in depth review:

Genre: Role-Playing > Console-style RPG
Developer: Level 5
ESRB Rating: T

*spoilers ahead, highlight to read*


Some people say that Jeanne D'Arc is similiar to Final Fantasy Tactics in certain ways. That is not far from the truth. As far as story goes, Jeanne D'Arc have certain parts in the game where it can be related to FFT's story.

Long ago, there were 5 armlet-wielding warriors (I don't know if they have a title for that), who used their powers to weaken a great demon and seal him in some powerful gem. Years later during a war between the French and the English, the Duke of Bedford (one of the armlet wielders) released the demon and placed him into the child King Henry VI's body, for the sake of his people and the real King Henry VI himself. Luther, another armlet wielder, tries to stop him, but failed. Eventually, both Henry's spirit and Luther were cast out into the wilderness.

Jeanne D'Arc, or more commonly known as Joan of Arc, was born to Jacques d'Arc in a humble village known as Doremy, as according to history. She had 2 friends which would tag along with her in her adventures: Roger and Liane, both fictional characters. Roger is a mercenary who had lost his memories when he first arrived upon Doremy years ago, and Liane is supposedly Jeanne's sister. They were all preparing for a festival when disaster strikes. The village was burned and Jeanne obtained an armlet. Afterwards, Jeanne swore to join the army and defeat the English.

The story then proceeds as according to history. With a twist. Before the part in history where Jeanne was captured and raped, in the game, Jeanne fell into a pit trying to save Liane. Presumably dead, Liane impersonated Jeanne and carried Jeanne's role in history, right till the end when she got captured and burnt on a stake.

Anime-style cutscenes!

Some parts in the story that are similar to FFT are as follows:
- First stage is outside a chapel
- Important people turning into powerful demons
- You fight those demons until the end, you fight the most powerful one.
- Game involves God, Christians, The Holy Bible, get the drift.
- and some more I can't remember right now...

Overall, story is great and interesting.

Gameplay Mechanics

Although you don't get to create your own custom character, or change classes, the game offers a good variety of customization. Enter skill gems! Each character can equip a certain amount of skill gems depending on level. Skill gems are divided into 4 categories: Weapon Active, Weapon Passive, Spells, Innate (my own naming at least).

Weapon Active skill gems are restricted to the weapon a character is carrying. For example, a sword user cannot equip a spear Active skill gem. Same for Weapon Passive. Spells can the equipped by anyone. And lastly, Innate skill gems are gems that passively improve your character stats + more.

There are many other mechanics such as Burning Auras, Skill Binding, differences between attacking from front/side/rear...but I'll let the game explain all that :p


The Levels in this game are challenging, unique and above all, fun. They are all creatively made, and can be difficult sometimes (of course unless you power level). Missions include protecting an AI, hold for a certain amount of certains, and the classic defeating all the enemies. There are many many situations the level put you through. Starting from multiple separate positions, fighting on a long bridge, fighting without skills are some of the examples.

Obstacles such as trees, rivers, doors are well-placed. Well-placed meaning I notice their existence. Rivers are irritating to cross, and the trees blocking your path can also be frustrating.

Overall, the levels are very well designed.


There are very beautiful anime cutscenes throughout the game. Voice acting is done well for an English dub. All the characters more or less has a French-like accent in those cutscenes. Music and sounds are also done well.

Perhaps one problem was the lack of animations / particle effects. Some spell effects are reused and repackaged to my dismay. However, that is only a small part of the game.

Graphics are cell-shaded and beautifully drawn. I'm not really an art guy as far as standard digital art goes. I like what I think if nice and the art in Jeanne D'Arc is nice.

I would give this game: 7.5/10

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

[SGCC] Wrapup

Finally SGCC is over and finally I have found some time to blog about it.

I could still remember the very first day when all of us 'student leaders' received our allocated groups. I scrolled down the list to find my beside the 'Singapore Chinese Girls School' tag. My first expression was joy like any other guys' would be, more so because my course is deprived of girls. Mr Quah came up to me and asked me who I have been assigned to. When I replied, he gave me a smile and shook my hand. Mr Quah is damn godly okay.

During the first day, every secondary school students was split up between design and technical side. I couldn't find Hwa Chong (the other team I'm assigned to)...but I went around to help anyway. The North View guys are very sociable, but they play a hell lot.

I can't believe people can actually listen to Mr GuoZheng. He's fuck boring. Those who can listen AND understand him deserves bigclaps.

I tried talking to the SCGS girls on the technical...they were so...quiet :p. Ilhammi keeps running around doing his usual stuff, like running up to some girls and going "Hello ladies, need an help?"...etc...

The other days were very pleasant. It was really nice getting to know the SCGS girls, the Hwa Chong guys and the North View guys. They were all really fun people. WeiZe, Derek, ChinYing, Prasaan, Joshua, Robin, Asri, Michelle, Josephine, I can't believe I can remember all their names.

But don't think I hog the SCGS team everyday (I know you are thinking that...). I helped alot of teams so I was pretty happy getting to know everyone in my room. I'm not like Minghui 24/7 sit with the Whitley girls except for lunch breaks. It's kinda scary to see YangZhi and Minghui sitting with them 24/7...watching movies, chatting...hitting on them and stuff. If I were the girls I would be reallllly uncomfortable. There were seriously a bunch of guys surrounding them.

I was wrong actually, YangZhi and Minghui doesn't sit with *them*. They were actually hitting on *one* of them. I heard that...wat...during an MSN convo one day after the whole SGCC, the other (not-so-pretty) girl was kinda...ignored. Ilhammi kinda felt sorry and tried to console her. It's really a case of pretty girl but not so good personality vs not-so-pretty girl but good personality. Feels like it just jumped right out of a drama series. Anyway, I'm not really involved in whatever happens there...but this is just a rough picture of what is going on.

WeiZe from Hwa Chong is fuck funny. He keeps telling me "Sorry to bother you, later you can go back to them(SCGS)." -_-;;; What the hell man... His expressions are also quite fun. He is damn different from the rest of his quiet teammates. They're lucky to have a friend like him, although I don't know whether they deserved to win.

The NVSS4 team were also a fun bunch. They were all very very active when I tried to be funny at the overhead projector. I mean...their game is called "The Sick Retarded King". If that doesn't catch your attention I don't know what will.

I'm glad my SCGS team (Vector Blenders) didnt' end up quiet. Seriously. I was afraid that after the first day, my team would be very shy/quiet/inactive. Well, thankfully they are not. I think they ended up being the noisiest bunch in the whole room haha.

But seriously. When they gave me and Jason (my DMD counterpart) presents, I was totally speechless. Those chocolates really don't look cheap. But I think the cards hit the soft spot. I ended up going home and reading them for quite some time. Now I know how people feel when they receive cards. Not only that, they bought me another on Saturday. Gosh how much did you girls spend on me dammit >.<.....On second thoughts, I think I'd rather not know. God I was so happy that day lololololol.

I talked to Miss Lum about the judging. Apparently it IS all about the presentation, which is quite silly in my opinion. I don't think most of the secondary school students were prepared to present. Supposedly they were meant to try to 'sell' their game. Anyway it's all over. At least everyone had a fun time...I wish I could say the same for the upcoming piano examination lol. Anyway, that's all for this blog post I guess. We had a really fun time, went out with Asri, Josephine and Lydia for dinner that Saturday...too bad Michelle couldn't join us =(

Anyway, I'm glad everyone got home safe. I was kinda worried there. It's the exact same feeling I get when I see my sis going home late in school uniform.

Pictures! (Taken from the SCGS IT club you don't see Hwa Chong...I knew I should've took photo with them too =/) - From left: Lydia, Me, Asri, Josephine, Michelle. Dammit why I look so sotong.

- I look damn yandao here lol

- This look looks completely new. I thought I was already smiling...why do I keep ending up smirking? -.-

- Funniest pic. Azman the Worker :p

PS: I saw Robin during the last day. He gave me a 'I'm angry but I'm not' conversation. But seriously...$250 for a freelance job lasting 2 weeks? No problem. With sleepless nights and delays? No deal. Period. I'm not going to be a nice guy and salvage everything for the sake of $250. I could work at MacDonald's for more than that within a WEEK. I think I'm too nice when it comes to work =/.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

SBO 07

Those who haven't seen it yet just search it at YouTube.

This year's was great to watch and I feel that it is much more fun to watch compared to 05 and 06. GGAC was a blast to watch with Ogawa and mike leading their team to the finals. Still, it was fun to watch BLEED's Johnny, Machabo's Ky, N-Otoko's Venom and KA2. I watched it all in a single night and I partly regretted not saving some for my attachment. How could I? One match is as great as the next.

I haven't touched Melty Blood for a long time, much less Version B. The MBAC tournament is actually fun to watch now that I get to see probably almost the entire cast at play instead of only 20% of them. Damn, Melty Blood has evolved and changed so damn much. Satsuki's qcb+A is JCable? Wtf! A lot of characters also seems a hell lot stronger now.

I want to go Japan :(

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Movie: "Transformers"

I just watched the Transformers movie just yesterday and it turned out to be probably the most unnecessary-scene-filled movie I ever saw. It has it's good parts, having humor catered to geeks like me, funny quotes and stuff. The movie is just like every other movie out there, with action, romance, love and twists; what I believed crippled what was supposed to be a great movie.

I don't really claim to be a Transformers fan, but it is what I grew up on so I'll be judging it based on that and not just on the movie. How can I? If I want to judge something based on the movie itself, they might as well make a brand new IP. It's like Juggernaut from X-men who looked like a whim and does not seem to recognize Xavier as his own brother...I don't think fans like that.

I only managed to recognize Optimus Prime when he transform because of his familiar color scheme and the fact that he has two car window breasts. The rest I couldn't really recognize them. Bumblebee is recognizable only because he is a yellow car with black strips and has some bee-like accessory hanging at the car's rear view mirror. Otherwise, he looked like scrap metal, just like the rest. Plus, Bumblebee is supposed to be a mini or something, definitely not a sports car. Starscream looked very alike to Megatron. I keep confusing them both throughout the movie.

Every fighting scene looked very well done, except for that fact that I couldn't see what's happening. Imagine two robots, both 80% silver-scrap-metal color, and random parts about, duking it out. I can't see shit man. I think the Starscream's aerial dogfight is the best, mostly because I can see what's going on.

There's that scene with a half-body Bumblebee being dragged around on a pickup truck...I think everyone knows it's supposed to be a scene about friendship etc etc, but wtf I can't see what's going on. Okay, bumblebee is being dragged around shooting at random The significance dropped during the entire scene.

The worst is probably the anti-climatic ending with Megatron getting killed by the Allspark which he sought after for so long. Megatron went like "gimme gimme", he absorbed the Allspark and just died gg no re. He just died. Afterwards we were presented of the scene of a happy ending, sunset over the horizon, main character kissing main character's girlfriend, Optimus NARRATING the entire scene. Does anyone know what happened to the cool fat nigga and the other girl? I thought they were supposed to play a really significant part of the show! They did NOTHING. Wtf? IF I try to remember, they disappeared at the 3/4 part of the scene.

It could really be done better all in all.

Friday, June 8, 2007

War. War never changes.

Hopefully it doesn't get worse.

Inc Fallout 3 teaser!

I don't even remember how long I waited for this. The earliest memory was when I was secondary 1 or 2 hunting pirated shops for it because I saw the old Fallout 3: No Mutants Allowed cover online and was excited (or stupid) enough not to check whether it's been released or not.

One can only hope Bethesda doesn't mess this up. I'm not as forgiving as the Ctrl-Alt-Del guy (Tim Buckley). My expectations are pretty high compared to his. I'm not going to forgive them if they did a poor job out of it. So far Bethesda haven't made a single good game I can think of, so I'm kinda skeptical that F3 will deliver. But it's F3 so I must hope and not tell some people about it lest bad things happen *cough*

Monday, May 28, 2007

Granado Espada Pre-Open Beta Impressions

Like I said last post, I went to try out Granado Espada's POBT to get a feel of the game's new mechanic of giving you the ability to control 3 characters at one time. Also it seems that the 17th century is becoming quite a hit in MMOs nowadays as GE is using that setting as well as some other upcoming MMOs.

The classes are very basic, with some variations:
Fighter: Your standard tank/melee dps. They are by far the best damage absorbing class and one of the better damage dealers.

Musketeer: Your constant ranged dps.

Scout: Your support class. They basically give good buffs and are the only class that can heal. They are also able to equip daggers to do damage for certain specs but from what I heard, they totally suck at it.

Wizard: Your caster/buffer class. They can buffer with all kinds of shit in the world as well as nuke quite a bit.

Elementalist: Your most powerful burst DPS class, equipped with nothing but AEs, DDs and...AEs.

One of the key features of this game other than the ability to use 3 characters at once is the 'stance' system. Equipping your class will enable them to use different stances like dual wielding, polearms, sword+shield, etc and using them long enough will enable you to level up in the stances. It's something like a job level much like RO, just that you can switch jobs if you get my drift.

Granado Espada boasts a really powerful AI, so powerful you can basically 'bot' through level 1 to 30. I'm only level 26 so I can't comment about higher levels. I have only heard that higher levels are so hard you could not spend a minute chatting. Hopefully I can reach that stage (if I don't fall asleep already) and comment on it.

Other than that, GE is extremely beautiful in many many ways including the animations, the art, the graphics, the UI and the environment. The music isn't really...'environmental'. It boasts a collection of trance soundtracks which imho was done very well overall. In fact they all fit the game nicely.

Unfortunately, like all korean MMOs, GE is a fucking grindfest. And it really is a huge grindfest. The amount of player-to-game interactivity is close to none (for now). If GE turns p2p, I highly doubt many people would want to play. Why would you pay money to afk grind? But hey, it's afk grinding, meaning you can work and 'play' at the same time...?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Game: "Prince of Persia" Trilogy

I finally completed the PoP trilogy (namely Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones). It was a pretty fun, yet annoying at the same time, like all puzzle games. WW added more combat gameplay elements as compared to SoT while TTT added more stealth on top of it.

I enjoyed doing the puzzles overall. They were not that hard in the first place. I have a few complaints though like the camera. Which scripter has the funny idea of turning the camera 180 degrees at one point? That caused me many stupid deaths. WW added more interesting enemies and weapon attacks as compared to SoT. However, mostly because of the enemy behaviour (like the normal types blocking your more powerful strikes and the ninja ones evading you on your first strike), I usually just proceed with the puzzle and skip the enemies all together.

WW is most definately the longest of the three games. It felt as if it would never end. It was simply one problem leading to the next, followed by an explanation, given a uber powerful lame item, and on to another chapter of the game. I expected TTT to be as long but it wasn't. I completed TTT within a few days and casual playing (note that casual is subjective).

I felt the best thing they added was the stealth critical hit scripted sequences in TTT. The dark prince was pretty fun to use...for awhile. Then he starts to get rather annoying since I find his attacks rather uncool (although incredibly damaging). The mini games in TTT were also quite fun like the chariot sequences.

I like the way the elements are implemented. The total amount of actions the prince have by TTT (wall run, etc) was really impressive. None of them were wasted. Although I had a gripe with the camera, overall it was still pretty well done, giving us very scenic views of the game. Of course, giving scenic views means viewing at odd angles and that could cause some problems with your controls. I'm also pleased with the way the Prince's personality grew (more emo) over time.

I'm probably gonna take a break from this Ubisoft franchise. Once I'm done, I'll get Rival Swords. There are a few things I don't understand in this trilogy:

1) Why does the prince...strip himself in SoT?
2) Wouldn't the sand wraith incident cause a time paradox in WW?
3) Why is the prince so stupid? Everything started because he unlocked the Sands of Time, he didn't suspect that Kaleena was the Empress and he expected to be safe home after WW.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Vanguard rant

I'm surprised I still have the time to blog. Vanguard: SoH is eating up my time, hard. I haven't played any game for around 15 hours in a row for a long long time. In a row! Fuck man. My projects are doomed lol. Still, I have to force myself to get away from Vanguard for tomorrow. Work is still work, they must be done before it's too late

So today I logged in and discovered today is Valentine's due to some emo people. I dunno why people are bothered about Valentine's; I probably never will know. Valentine's was always just another day for me. This Valentine's is a bit special because I'm gonna spend my time playing the buggiest MMO I ever played.

What a buggy MMO okay. I don't know how the hell Mcquaid fucking did it. Vanguard is littered with bugs and 2 of the continents seemed to be complete only until level 10-14. Despite all these shit, I'm having a blast with the game. Why? I honestly don't know. Maybe it's the atmosphere, the environment, the immersing graphics and design? Maybe it's the animation of my finishing blows cleanly falling its victim? Maybe it's the incredibly deep system of the 3 Spheres: Adventuring, Crafting, Diplomacy. Vanguard, in my opinion, has a hell lot of potential, and I hope that soon they will harness this potential to become a truly godly MMO better than what I experienced in EQ1.

Random Screenies:

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

MMO burnout record: 2 days

I'm typing this in shame because I gave into the temptation of buying a WoW time card for 50 bucks all because I'm interested to see what's new and since accessing it is easier as compared to, say, EQ2.

It feels like COH/COV. The feeling I'm getting is exactly the same. Angry at myself because I felt I threw $50 just like that. Frustrated because the game doesn't suck me in anymore, instead it repels me. Upset because I gave into temptation. It's like those times COH release their content patches. $60 jump back into the game, out in 2 days. When I was playing I was like "damn I bet I have like 100 things better to do than to level this gnome lock". Everything felt exactly the same, even when I'm on the alliance side. It's just more unbearable because I hate the alliance scene overall. It's exactly like the time I bought COV, the exact same fucking feeling of hope, and the exactly same feeling of utmost disappointment.

Basically, what I had experienced with my old and new character is exactly the same as what I felt 2 years back. WoW is still the same PvP /PvE game, just more instances, more talents, a few balancing issues and more 'fun'. It's like COV, it's exactly the same as CoH just more instances, more powers, more ATs, etc etc. Not to mention that magic/fantasy is getting really really fucking old. After replaying WoW, and thinking that Vanguard has the same setting, I can't really see myself playing it.

I think I quit MMOs. Everything's the fucking same.

*takes out Fallout Tactics*