Quoi de neuf?

Posted by mae on Saturday Mar 1, 2014 Under Games, General, Limesong

Gaming. 

A couple of weeks ago I decided to return to Kalos, the fictional region in the Pokémon universe, inspired by France nonetheless, to actually complete the playthrough of Pokémon Y on my 3DS and beat the Elite Four. After a long hiatus I was finally ready for the Victory Road!
Thanks to TwitchPlaysPokémon who made me remember the joy of Pokémon games.

The region of Kalos
800px-Kalos_XY

Thinking about it, it was amazing that it took so long to finish the game because I bought it (just) a week after the day it was released and I was super excited for another journey as a Pokémon trainer. Having played the series since it first started almost 14 years ago and missed only the first Black and White version (released in 2011), the thrill was understandable. I grew up with Pokémon. It was (and still is mind you) one of my biggest passions. But that excitement died halfway through. It died too soon. I kinda lost interest in the game when I was only at four badges, whereas to challenge the Elite Four you have to have all 8 badges from the gym leaders in each city. Not all was lost however, because I still played it from time to time while commuting on the bus or during the afternoon break, you know, that sort of thing. But that day I picked up my 3DS and went on a Pokémon marathon until I reached the finish line.

Then I found another long-lost title that would consume a crazy amount of my precious time.

I got Fire Emblem: Awakening free of charge late last year thanks to an offer from Nintendo where I had to buy a game from this list of games to receive a free digital version of a game from this other list of games or something like that.

Truth be told I was immediately sold and bought Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (about €34 on Amazon) just to get my free Fire Emblem that would have otherwise cost me €40. A huge profit. Three points to me! Anyway, I basically received a code, redeemed it on Nintendo eShop, downloaded the game, and, guess what, left it to rot for months until a few days ago. And believe it or not right now I’m really hooked on it. The main storyline was finished in about three days (another marathon of course), but the game’s replay value is so high that I believe I won’t abandon it anytime soon. Just a final remark – I haven’t even started playing Pokémon Mystery Dungeon yet. Nope. Another day, perhaps.

The soundtrack is awesome too.

And talking about good video game music, you should check out Suikoden Tierkreis. :mrgreen:
So that’s it. And oh, the second semester has just started. Yeah. But there’s no fun in that.

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La vie en France: Week 8

Posted by mae on Sunday Jun 16, 2013 Under Games, General, Limesong

Not much to talk about for this week. French lessons, as usual, started at 0900 everyday, and after lunch we had to take Bus 230 to Sophia Antipolis for some classes specially tailored for us les Malaisiens at the IUT.

On Tuesday, I went to the Official OGC Nice Store to do a friend a favor and buy her something she had asked for. An elderly man there decided to start a conversation with me, and I eventually asked him for how long he had been a supporter of OGC Nice. He said ça fait longtemps – it has been a long time – and then proceeded to show me some of the black and white photos of the glorious team that had won four Ligue 1 titles in the 50’s. “I was there”, he claimed while pointing at one of those photos, “and it was our second league title in as many years.”. The date on it marked 1952 – over sixty years ago. Until now the team had never been able to reach the heights they did during that golden decade. But this old man kept on supporting them, and that spoke volumes about passion and loyalty. Cette année on a fait une belle saison, he later remarked, given that the 2012/2013 season concluded with Nice finishing fourth in the league – their greatest finish in 37 years.

When I told him I was a foreigner and that I did not speak French really well, he gave me an absolutely fantastic advice: Pour bien apprendre le français, il faut d’abord trouver une copine niçoise! 😆

Anyway, my pre-ordered Animal Crossing: New Leaf game arrived on Thursday (a day earlier than the official release date) and I spent virtually the whole weekend playing it! The game is very nostalgic and calming, it’s become rather addicting.

Today this note was posted on the notice board in the in-game town:

Maybe you dare not usually say “I love you” to your father, but at least make an effort today! He deserves it!” – literal translation, yeah.

Well, Happy Father’s Day then!

Limesong of the Day: Cat StevensFather and Son, one of my all-time favourites!

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Pic: Borderlands 2

Posted by mae on Wednesday Oct 17, 2012 Under Games, General, Pic

GUNS.

Bandit is one of the weapon manufacturers in the first-person role-playing shooter game Borderlands 2. The most prominent characteristics of Bandit weapons include silly names and the primitive makeshift parts used to make one, which, in a way, reflect the general level of intelligence the bandits possess.

This one, for example, is named “Taktikal Carbene“.

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Pic: Sid Meier’s Civilization V

Posted by mae on Thursday Oct 11, 2012 Under Games, General, Pic

A cool game this.

We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.”
Khalil Gibran.

What?

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Video Games Live Malaysia 2012

Posted by mae on Friday Jun 8, 2012 Under Games, General, Limesong

Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur.
27 May 2012. 

It was a much anticipated day for gamers and music lovers alike. True enough, video game music is underappreciated simply because it usually appeals only to serious gamers, and those who don’t really play games as much will find it hard to understand what’s the fuss all about with it. Video Games Live, I believe, intends to show and to prove to the world that video games music is not just bleeps and bloops after all.

Not often can you enjoy the music from the games you love performed live by a symphony orchestra. The realisation of the concert series itself was largely made possible by Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, two highly experienced video game composers. I’ve already linked its Wikipedia page, so if you’re really interested to know more just click on the greened phrase somewhere up there, okay?

For this year’s edition, the event was held at the Istana Budaya (the Palace of Cuture) in KL, which is generally the main venue for theaters and classical concerts.

For me, the concert was a treat from my sister…so, a very huge thank you to Nieks who is without even the slightest of doubts my best-est sister ever! Quelle joie! 😀

On a technical note the tix that all eight of us bought were the cheapest ones, at RM98 per ticket, as you can see below. Haha. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? It didn’t matter anyway, it was good enough for me. :mrgreen:

To relate the price of the tickets with the seating, we were placed at the uppermost circle, from which the stage looked like this:

It wasn’t even half bad, as a matter of fact. 😆

Bon. For the setlist the songs/themes performed that night, see here. (perhaps not exactly the complete list, I dunno)
There were themes from Castlevania, Assassin’s Creed 2, Metroid, Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy, etc. and all of them were good. Very good, actually. But a few that absolutely touched me were:

  • The Pokémon Medley, due to the fact that I grew up with Pokémon. Duh, what else?;
  • Snake Eater, the opening theme from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, because it’s the only one of the series that I played with heart and replayed over and over again to gain achievements, special items, etc. The performance was accompanied by the song writer Norihiko Hibino himself with his saxophone.
  • Tetris Theme/Korobeiniki (an operatic version featuring Laura Intravia), I just loved it. It’s one of my all-time favourite themes since God knows when.
  • Jonathan Coulton’s Still Alive, the closing song, just because it was awesome. C’est tout.

In conclusion, it was such a fantastic night for me, personally. There’s probably no better combination than music plus video game. That’s all I can say. Thanks, again, to NiBokYi who made it possible for me to experience VGL.

Limesong of the Day: Snake Eater!

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Board Game Night

Posted by mae on Saturday Jan 28, 2012 Under Games, General, Limesong

Nitzus‘ Place.
23 January 2012.

The second board game night of the year commenced at around 9pm and lasted until near dawn the next day, no thanks to Arkham Horror, a co-op adventure game.

It is, in my honest opinion, one of the most complicated and demoralising board games ever. The game progresses in a way such that it implies how we are not supposed to beat the Ancient One after all. We (six of us) ventured in the cursed town of Arkham for almost 3 hours, all the while knowing we would end up dead anyway.

And due to its complexity, it wasn’t a smooth session of monster-hunting and gate-sealing either. Heck every time we play Arkham Horror we start to feel sleepy, and the initial excitement subsides. 😆

That night all of us were devoured by Shub-Niggurath.

One of the Ancient Ones, Azathoth.

Okay, done with that. We actually kicked off the night with Long Shot, a horse-racing game that involves buying horses, betting on them, and pretty much luck. Obviously. I did pretty well, earning podium finishes in both rounds – first in Round 1 and third in Round 2. 😀

7 Wonders, the game of civilization, was great too, though this time I fared rather poorly. My extensive military spending backfired as I finished fourth with 44 points, a hefty 17 off third place.

Only then did we visit Arkham, and by the time we played the obligatory Dixit, we were pretty much drained.

It was ~6am when we reached our home in Setia Alam. Fourteen hours later I was in my dorm at MFI, realising that I had left a couple of things at home, comme d’habitude.

“Analysis paralysis, the over-analyzing of a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.” Happens all the time to the board gamers. 😆

Limesong of the Day: Nathan Cragg’s classical version of Paradise, which I’ve been practicing to play for a while now. 😀

*all pics, unless otherwise noted, belong to the fabulous uncle Nitzus.

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The End of 2011

Posted by mae on Saturday Dec 31, 2011 Under Football, Games, General, Limesong, Travels

Another year gone, another year to live.

As 2011 draws to an end I believe people are tempted to take a short journey backwards, remembering how has the year been – the milestones, the significant events, the revolutionary discoveries, the movies, so on and so forth. To actually describe the year in detail would be an ultimately excruciating task. After all, there’s so much that can be done in 365 days.

Mine has been hugely substantial to the course of my life in general. Why? SPM. Go figure. Here, my very personal review of the year!

POST-SPM: Hello MFI!

If I remember it correctly, the results for SPM 2010 were announced on the 23rd of March. Thank God I got a few sweet A’s and A+’s, good enough to apply for a scholarship. Petronas handed me an opportunity at the EduCamp in Tronoh… where I think I failed miserably. Khazanah is not worth mentioning, simply because I knew it all along that it was a long shot. A very long one, really. In the end it was only MARA who approved my application, albeit with an offer to enroll in a Pre-Spain Programme at UniKL MSI instead of  the preferred Pre-France Programme. After weeks of uncertainty finally we managed to find a spot for me in UniKL MFI for the PFP.

THE VOLCANOES: Beholding Anak Krakatau, Scaling Mt Bromo.

We love volcanoes and mountains, that’s not a secret. For me it all started two years ago when I conquered my very first mountain: Mt Marapi, the most active volcano in Sumatra. The activity which I initially regarded with scorn –  climb up, then descend, what’s the point? That was so ignorant of me 😆 – became one I look forward to all the time.

Mt Bromo, Mt Batok and Mt Semeru in the background; Mt Marapi from the town of Bukittinggi; the erupting Anak Krakatau.

In January we visited the highly active Anak Krakatau. The volcano, which erupts continuously these days, has the potential to be as fatally dangerous as its infamous mother Krakatoa. Unfortunately, for some obvious safety reasons, the limit radius was (and still is, I think) 2km from the volcanic island. We circled, and never touched her.

Six months later we flew to Surabaya, en route to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, on my third volcano outing. A 1km limit radius was set up around Mt Bromo too, but it wasn’t taken seriously by the locals and the visitors. Therefore, we were able to climb it. Nice.

AUSTRALIA REVISITED: From Mt Gambier to Bright.

Part I, Part II, Part III. I have somehow, left out the last part – the one where we ascended to Mt Hotham. Just too lazy.

I have no recollection whatsoever of the first visit, about 16-17 years ago. I was, evidently, a hopeless little toddler. The only thing that convinced me that it did actually happen was some old photos.

We landed in Melbourne via AirAsia X, headed west along the Great Ocean Road to Mount Gambier, then back east to Bright, and lastly back to Melbourne. And hey, barring that first visit, for the first time in my life I played snow consciously, at Mount Hotham no less! 😀

Oh Bright, I love that little town.

A NEW HOBBY: Playing Classical Guitar.

In between SDAR and MFI there was a very, very big gap of idleness and emptiness. The terrifying 7-month-plus holiday. It could have been something else, but I didn’t look for job or anything like that. The only schedule that I had to follow was the guitar class on Thursday every week. I’m not saying that I wasted the whole holiday by literally doing nothing – I learnt new things, read some books, did the chores, travelled, etc – but heck I did feel like a big fat sloth. Oh, anyway, learning to play guitar was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, though I admit it would take years for me to really grasp all those musical theories and methods.

CHAMPIONS AGAIN: United Leapfrog the Scousers!

No one could have predicted it two decades ago. Heck, people even started doubting Fergie’s United early in the 2000’s, when the Red Devils lost grasp of the Barclay’s Premier League to rivals Arsenal and then Chelsea. That, coupled with their 2006’s UEFA Champions League group stage elimination (that year they missed out the league title for the third consecutive season) fueled speculations that perhaps, United’s time had indeed ended. How wrong they were. Duh.

It was a season where United were, honestly, below average, but so were other teams. That’s the only reason why we won it. Nothing else to say. United winning is not something out of this world, is it? It’s United 19-18 Liverpool. Err..while Liverpool no longer pose a threat to us, a new one has arisen. The noisy neighbors City. Heh.

THE END OF AN ERA: R.E.M. Disband.

From my point of view, R.E.M. were highly underrated. Seriously almost no one listens to them here. One of the pioneers of alternative rock, it took over 30 years for them to finally call it a day in September. I remember singing the Great Beyond in front of the classroom for God knows what. It was some sort of a test maybe. But oh yeah I sure did sing it. 😆
I just hope U2 won’t do the same just yet.

Some of their best songs, excluding the mentioned above:

Losing My Religion (1991)

Everybody Hurts (1992)

Imitation of Life (2001)

Man on the Moon (1992)

 

MOVIES OF THE YEAR: A Better Life and the King’s Speech.

Nah I will not review movies for I’m not a critic and I just can’t review movies. Don’t know why. But I assure you these ones are excellent, and thus I think I just leave a couple of trailers here…

A Better Life.

The King’s Speech – this one was publicly released early in January 2011. I just watched it last week. 😆

THE DRAGONBORN COMES: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

I used to be bla bla bla (like you), then I took an arrow in the knee. What an outdated meme. Anyway, this game is friggin’ gorgeous and highly both entertaining and addictive where one could spend hours of playtime without actually realising it. Set in the medieval world of Tamriel, the story is appealing, and the gameplay immersive, even with those tons of bugs. If you enjoyed the previous series or Fallout 3 and New Vegas, you should play this. If not, then Angry Birds would be fine.

Skyrim Timelapse!

Oh I think I should put the trailer here, too…

GAINING FROM GAMING: Barra’s FIFA 11 Tournament Champion!

Okay. It was a small and low-budget tournament held in July at Barra, a popular eatery in Shah Alam, absolutely nothing like those international ones or even Game Monster‘s for that matter. There were supposed to be 12 players, but only six turned up so I needed to beat just three other contestants to win the first prize – RM150, which I did. 😆

Hey at least it’s the real deal, no?

Well that’s about it I guess, I’m rather sure I’m missing something here. Wanna read about revolutions and life-changing events? Go somewhere else.

And comme d’habitude I’ll end this post with a rendition of one of the best themes ever! 😀

 

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Good Old Pokémon!

Posted by mae on Saturday Nov 26, 2011 Under Games, General, Limesong

*currently, at this very moment, following ESPN Soccernet Matchday live – 26 November.

Thanks to my great brothers, I grew up in the wonderful world of Pokémon where everything seemed so orderly and pleasant that even the supposedly wicked and powerful Team Rocket could not significantly disrupt the said world. And guess what?  Today I’ve found another uncomplicated, easy piece to play on my guitar: The Pokémon Centre Theme!

This is the world-famous tune that plays everytime we hurry into the PC to heal our beloved Pokémon…

…and this is the piece, played by BustyGlory. Simple yet satisfying.

I have exams next week before starting “me reposer”-ing chez moi this coming Friday. Oh God, have mercy. Cheers.

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Town Theme

Posted by mae on Friday Aug 26, 2011 Under Games, General, Limesong

The holidays have arrived. My dad fetched me today and we braved a hell of a downpour before reaching home a little more than an hour later.

The torrent got even worse after a few seconds, blowing gale-force winds that looked…cool. 😀

Then I fell asleep, only to wake up just before we entered into our neighbourhood. For some reasons, though, I doubt it will be an entirely just-for-kicks holiday. There are piles of devoirs to be taken care of. Ah well, you can’t achieve something great without hardwork, right? Bonnes vacances! 😀

Et quoi encore?

I’ve yet to play any installment of the famous Final Fantasy series but one thing is for sure – all of them, like most RPGs, feature plenty of beautiful, relaxing melodies. This one, which I’ve learnt to play on the classical guitar, is the second game’s Town Theme.

Isn’t it wonderful?
Cheers!

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The Holy Month

Posted by mae on Thursday Aug 25, 2011 Under Games, General

Fasting possesses great power. If practiced with the right intention, it makes man a friend of God. The demons are aware of that.
– Tertullian, a Christian author.

Suddenly it occurred to me that we’re nearing the end of the holy month of Ramadhanit’s the 25th night tonight. Time does seem to pass swiftly these days, at least faster than what I think I felt a decade ago. I don’t know, the complexity of how our minds really work baffles me. Heck, I’m eighteen already, and I still don’t feel like it! 😆

Anyway, up until now the month of Ramadhan has never failed to provide a unique, solemn atmosphere which I somehow find soothing and tranquilizing. Hypocrisy aside, it’s the month for salvation. It’s the month for purification. It’s the month when the music of zikr is given a wider exposure to Muslims around the world. It’s the month of holiness and kindness.

On a lesser note, it’s the month when the class schedule is altered accordingly(which I always look forward to, just for something different), and the month when we get up very early in the morning for almost everyday. Really. 😆

After spending five years in SDAR, now it’s Ramadhan in a new surrounding altogether. And it has been 25 days already, which felt like, say, a day? Unbelievable.

Food-wise, this year proves to be a modest one. Despite the presence of a plethora of eateries/restaurants and food stalls just outside and around MFI, I choose to spend an average of RM4.90 a day at the campus’ cafe for breaking fast. For sahur I have either crackers or snacks, plus dates and plain water. All that, in small part thanks to my newfound awareness and desire to save more and spend less. But seriously, if it wasn’t for my lazy ass I might have spent more than I needed. 8)

The popular quote among the PF10 students: Je veux manger mais je ne peux pas. 🙁

Et voila, another slightly addictive puzzle-themed game, Critical Mass, that brings innovation to the traditional 4-of-a-kind game. Perfect for killing some time while waiting for the sunset. This game can be holy too. Depends. 😀

When the holy month ends, a new month of festivity begins. We’ll probably be celebrating the first week of Aidilfitri in Setia Alam. I’m not sure. And I don’t mind. And I’m getting sleepy. Maybe that’s all for now.

*Welbeck and Cleverley rock! …and all of a sudden I realise that it’s also the month of Independence. Ah well…

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