Shenmue II: Earn Money to Access Fighting Arena

Work is already a mundane task in real life. What makes it an exception in game? Well, it is a necessity. For this post, I share a tip, which may help those who are curious about making money in this game because you are going to need it if you want to proceed in the game. There’s no way getting around it.

I arrived in Kowloon with HK $2. I felt broke and a little nervous (I am so insecure about being homeless in this game!)  I haven’t really tried selling collector items with the pawn shops.  There are a lot of pawn shops that buy items for different price. That requires some research. I sort of brush that off for now.  All I have done so far is part-time job and gambling. I learned that gambling might be the quickest way to earn money.

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I thought having to come up with $500 was brutal in order to meet Ren. Well, it seems that I need a total of $3,500.   There are three strong fighters I have to beat in the fighting arena. They all boast they’ve never been defeated. I confess, I wasn’t too thrilled when I heard about it. Partly because I don’t want to farm for money.  It will require some patience on my part to earn money and practice my moves and luckily this is just a game because I think I will literally pass out from overworking.

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Unlike in real life, when you gamble, there is a huge risk that you would lose money, and of course high chance you gain ton of money (no wonder people get an adrenaline rush from winning) in a short amount of time.  In this game, SAVE DATA is your best friend! Every time I won a bet (I max out my bet which is $100), I saved my file. I kept doing this until I earned $1,000. No sweat. I don’t care what the NPC says about me for quitting every time I lose. I don’t quit because I lack courage: I just like to play it smart. There is a difference.

If I were to rate the fighters from weakest to strongest, I would say Rod is the easiest, which is explains why it cost $500 to access the arena. Then comes Greg, which cost $1,000. Lastly, the most brutal is Chunyan. It cost $2,000 to enter the arena.  She throws people off the cliff when they lose. What a witch *shivers*.

Because I am clueless and all over the place, I fought Greg first, which is a good thing because once I defeated him, I doubled the money I bet. So, I had enough to face Chunyan.

For your amusement, I will include the video clips of the fights here starting from weakest to strongest. Let me just warn you though, I think I am clumsy fighter.

  1. Rod

2) Greg

3) Chunyan

One thing I think the developers did a good job with the game is its lenience towards the player (assuming a child is playing). Whenever I fail a tournament, it allows me to retry without penalizing me. It gives the player power. Just pay attention to Ryo’s expression in the video clips above. Sometimes he serious. Sometimes he smiles. Sometimes he is stern. Sometimes he is forgiving. Sometimes he is cocky. He is just like a real human being except that he is destined to win. Well, isn’t that the whole point of video game in the first place?  I appreciate the humanness of this game.

Well that’s it for now. I used to think that I have out grown video games that’s why I feel like it’s a chore to beat games these days, but Shenmue series reminded me that it’s not the case. Unlike most modern games, I have not anticipated when the game will be over and conclude whether the game is good or not because I am enjoying every moment of it. I never have felt that I have wasted my life when I play a good game. I really wish the general mass have more respect for the medium.

P.S

A fellow co-worker bought a book called Ready Player One for me to read, assuming I am a gaming addict. Wow! I didn’t know video game was written all over my face! Well, I guess it’s not so bad. It gives me something to do during break.  I might do book reviews in the near future because reading is also my favorite pastime.

 

Blog Report Card II: Heading Towards 2019

With the year ending soon, I often reflect whether I want to keep going forth with this blog. Keeping a blog requires extra mental energy on my part. I wish I could just focus on creating content for this blog and quit my actual job, but then my boss would panic. Well, I can’t complain.  My bills get paid.

So, what’s coming up next year? Well, a gamer will always be a gamer. There is no other hobby I enjoy more than gaming. So, I continue to play games and continue to write about games in the following three categories:

  • Rambling about games
  • My gaming adventures
  • Reviews (even though they are more like essays or short summaries)

My objective for this blog is really simple–to break down that introvert walls. If you are like me, it’s hard to make friends, genuine friends, especially if you come across as shy.  I am happy if anyone enjoy reading my gaming adventures. I know that people rarely care about my experience with games but to me, it gives me so much happiness and joy to write them. So thank you to those who take the time to read.  It means a lot to me. Writing about games not only helps me articulate my thoughts, but it also helps me become a better writer (English is a hard language to master). I like to do things that are beneficial. Overall, I hope I can offer a different insight into gaming.   I know that my writing tends to be a bit more philosophical. I hope this doesn’t offend too many people. I’m not here to start war, but a dialogue.  Everyone has an opinion, including the quiet gal like myself.

Next year for this blog, I intend on covering the following games:

Shenmue II

The Silver Case

Final Fantasy VIII

Siren

Undertale

Root Letter

Pandora’s Tower

Drakengard (I have to complete Drakengard so I can discuss the game with him. He’s always trying to open his big mouth and spoil the story for me. I get so angry because I want to experience the story for myself!)

There are plenty of older games that I have yet to explore and play.  Playing older games is more worthwhile. I think older games have more heart and soul put into them, particularly single-player games. I don’t care much for multi-player games for many reasons: 1) I am actually extremely shy to play with other people which is why I don’t have many gaming friends. 2) Playing single-player games is relaxing to me. As I mentioned several times, I take my time and I am really slow and completing games. 3) I like to be immersed in a video game. If I am talking to people on the mic, I can’t hear the sound effects and music in the game.  Music is very important to me.

And lastly, yes write more poems. I like writing poems. Next blogging year, I will be more active. Now I go back to spending time with my new-found love. I am always thinking about Shenmue lately.

Until next time,  Happy early New Year!  Next year will be a great year! I am pumped!

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My Thoughts on Shenmue: Short but Sweet

Today I feel especially happy. So happy I was skipping from work to home. It might be the effect of the booze I had during social hour at work (it’s a way for the company to get us introvert workers to mingle and talk) that is giving me this happy feeling. But more so, I think it has to do with it being Friday and I completed the first Shenmue installment. To my surprise, I didn’t know that I was so close to completing it. Wow, I kind of like how short the game is compared to games these days which require over 50 plus hours.

Despite it being short, I can tell the developers carefully craft the game. It’s a fine cup of tea. I enjoyed the thoughtful dialogue. Each NPC is different and not mass produced like Final Fantasy X.  There is nothing more annoying than bumping into clones. I like some imperfection and some distinction between the characters I interact with.  I was also quite fond of the changing season and the changing time.  Overall, I felt satisfied buying a” ticket” to  Japan with my gift card that I earned from work. Just play Shenmue, it feels as if I have been transported to Japan.  Life is so much simpler without the traveling part.  Plus in the game, I only need to sleep and investigate. There wasn’t a time I need to eat or use bathroom. Those two things I can live without.

So to celebrate my accomplishment (yes, I beat a game, and therefore it’s an achievement) I will share some of the special moments I enjoyed about the game that made me reflect on my own life and what I’d like to improve. After all, video game to me is just time out from reality which I often like to refer to as my cigarette break. So I list three:

1) Work– There was a period in my life where I had a hard time looking for a job. It doesn’t help that I have a soft personality.  Over the years, I learned to be assertive out of desperation just like Ryo who literally asked everyone at the harbor for work.  Most of the people would tell him they are not looking for new people and that work at the harbor is not easy.  I hate such discouragement because it reminds me of my own life–I was often told I can’t handle the work.  At that point in the game, I got a little frustrated because every person I turn to wasn’t helpful. One example is the homeless guy who said: “Son, do I look gainfully employed to you?” He later on said if you want to be unemployed just come back and talk to him.  I really appreciate the humor.  Perhaps in real life, generally speaking, if you looking for something–you ought to associate yourself with those who can provide you the tools and answers you need for success.  There are some people out there who can really give you bad advice and have a negative influence on your life. Personally, I think I have met some very wonderful people whom I can called my second family.  Without them, I think I would be a lost soul. They are always encouraging me to step up and grow. I am in fact, in the process, of refining my skills for a new venture.

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2) Health–The statement below is so accurate. “Health is the most important thing,” so take care of yourself.  I try to live a somewhat healthy lifestyle. I get my dose of exercise by walking to work.  In addition, naturally I like to eat vegetables. Good for me. However, what is not so good is my struggle for protein. I don’t like to eat meat. If I eat meat, it will cure my lack of energy for gaming? Hehe.

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3) Partner– They say loneliness is the number 1 killer. It’s more toxic than consuming cigarettes. Unfortunately in my life, this is the part where I need work the most. Although I am a bit hesitant to get into a relationship. I am perfectly content being single.  If you are single, you get a lot of pressure from family, and even from the opposite sex.  Just because I am single, some guys think I am lonely. What an insult.  To be honest, the reason why I am single is because I have a lack of interest in dating. The chance of meeting the right person is slim.  The solution? I thought of meticulously designing a fake boyfriend so people will stop pestering me.   But if I were to choose an actual partner, I’m not all that picky, like Mai, I just want an honest, hard working man–a guy with a big heart. No crazy people please! I am sensitive to stress.

I really had  a good time with Shenmue.  I did struggle a bit with quick time event and the fighting part. But that is to be expected.  I had fun. It kept me alert and focused. I like that feeling!

Until next time, I’ll be in Hong Kong. Maybe this time I will finally get to meet the mysterious girl in the cover of the game. Oh how I appreciate some romance! Life without it, is kind of boring and dull.

Update

I know my blog has been very quiet because I’ve been out of the country.  I am so glad for the long weekend. This year, I am spending Thanksgiving alone because I want to. It’s mainly because I’m suffering from jet lag and need time to properly rest.

I consider myself an honest person, so I’m going to be straight forward. I don’t know my readers really well, but if you are like, you are probably very sensitive to people, especially in big crowd. Sometimes it is just nice to shut the fuck up. Silence is beautiful.

 

 

A Little Drama at Work

Awhile ago, I wrote a post about my struggle at work on how video games motivate me in my life. A lot has happened in between since that post.  Things did normalize for a bit but then got crazy. There has been some ongoing drama at work that I don’t even need to watch Korean drama to be entertained. I get enough dose of entertainment at work.  Yeah, that’s how bad it was. On the positive note, I gain the respect from my boss. He told me I have good work ethic and I’m the nicest person in the world.  Wow, what a nice compliment! You can thank my mom.  She taught me to be polite.  My alter ego can be actually disturbing. I prefer alone time, killing demons or blowing things up in virtual reality. It calms me down.

Sounds like I have a dual personality. I am not fake. It’s just being courteous.  At work, things can get really stressful because meeting deadline is a big thing there and when we are tired and under pressure, it’s hard not to make mistakes.  Some people take it personally and unfortunately, some people are not always friendly and cooperative. One of the girls from my department couldn’t get along with other girls.  She was really mean and nasty to the point some people did not want to approach her. She eventually quit. It’s a shame as she was really bright. I really wish she had more patience, and most of all, I wish she wasn’t so hard and critical on herself. I know she was suffering from anxiety.

This work incident made me think of the game I played earlier this year: Virtue’s Last Reward.  The text below helped me cope during those difficult times. I don’t think she was aware her mean talk was like a knife. It cuts people up and reduce them to little particles. For awhile, I wanted to quit my job. She was so unpleasant.  With that attitude, no one wins in the end. Humans can achieve great things if they work together and respect one another. In the end, I think all of us just want to do our our work and go home so we can sleep soundly. I know I want to go to bed having pleasant dreams. Oh I was so annoyed. I broke out from stress just thinking about it.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games_20180407173018I hope the girl understand that grown ups should learn to cooperate. You are still a child, if you think the world center around you.

Anyway, in the upcoming future, I plan to play Final Fantasy VIII because it’s my brother’s favorite Final Fantasy game, and I want to write an in- depth analysis and share it on this blog. Why not?  Writing and talking about games casually can be quite fun. It helps me release stress. But first I need to complete Shenmue. It may take a couple more months at this rate.  There should be a trophy for the slowest gamer on the planet because that’s really me.

Until next time, take good care of yourself and Happy Halloween!

 

 

Reflection Time: My Blog Report Card

When I am gloomy I like to clean.  I like to clean my place and I like to clean my blog. As I was organizing my blog posts, I noticed maybe I should proofread before I hit the “Publish” button. I am so embarrassed, hehe. I made several typos.   Oh what a pain! I have to go through all my posts and make it pretty so that I can appear to be somewhat professional, even though I am just writing for fun.  Although lately, I think I should be more serious about what I want to achieve from this blog. What I intended for this blog in the first place has shifted. I was writing about games, but now I want to focus on my poems and songs. I would like to become a full-time poet/lyricist actually.

Yes, these days, I play games seldomly.  I did get my copy of Shenmue. I enjoy it but didn’t get very far. I am at the part where I need to join the mafia to figure out who is the tattoo artist. So far, it’s a fun detective/drama type game. I feel like I am playing an Asian soap opera.

One  character that stood out to me the most is the old lady. She kept telling Ryo (the protagonist) baby Ryo to stop wasting time. Somehow I feel that she was speaking to me as well.  I kept pressing X so she got annoyed and told me I’m hitting on her. So funny! Yeah, I will continue on my investigation. Similarly, my friends are like the old lady in Shenmue.  I am being lectured to cultivate my creative side and stop wasting time.  So that’s what I have been doing other than cleaning my place.  Telling an artistic person to be organize is like asking her to do the impossible.  Never know when inspiration strike! Once I am gone I am gone! It does take me a whole day to clean because I get distracted easily.

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Anyway, this blog will be quiet for some time. No gaming related content, as I am planning for a vacation. From now on,  I think I will do this Blog Report Card because it helps me put things into perspective. I was so close to deleting the blog after all this work.  I confess, I was feeling a bit stiff, as if I can’t breathe.  I started asking myself what’s the point? I know that my opinions are not popular, but then I realize I am  going to stand up for it anyway! And I don’t give a damn if I am a commentless blog in Seattle  as one blogger pointed out. Blogging is for my personal enrichment. If I write to gratify people it will become a chore. I already have a full-time job. I don’t need more stress in my life.  Unless you pay me, then I will entertain you gladly.

As for my final grade for my blog—I will give it a C+. Need to have a clear focus or else I’m just wasting time writing when I could be relaxing. We all know that writing takes time. On a good note, I think I have been good at attempting to be consistent. That’s quite an accomplishment for me since I get bored easily. By now, I think my blog would have been deleted. Thank goodness, I read my old posts. I put a lot of time into it so I will stick around.

 

 

 

Reflection Time: Video Games & Films

Recently Extra Life nominated me for the the Sunshine Award.  It made me smile as I appreciate the thought. But strangely, I was having a hard time answering his questions as I don’t have strong opinions about the film industry generally even though I have watched a handful of good films in my lifetime. I think I am a rather picky person when it comes to films.  If a film fails to grab my attention within the 30 minutes, I just quit watching it.  I have more patience with games than films because they are interactive. His questions, however, made me reflect about games and its relation to films and how I feel about it as a consumer. So I write my thoughts here and skip the tagging since I couldn’t answer some of the questions properly.

Back in 2011, I took Silent Cinema course  not necessarily because I am a film enthusiast, but I needed the credit.  To my surprise, I am really glad I did because I enjoyed the course a lot. I learned how films evolved overtime from something that was used for scientific purposes to entertaining the masses. In the early 1900s, the average person include the working class begin to have more time to watch films. It was a great escape and a cheap alternative to vacation. Similarly, I can see how video games can offer the same instant gratification. I enjoy traveling, but I was never the type who have a lot of energy in the first place.   Video games allow my brain to roam and since I’m the introvert type, I do enjoy doing single activities, which unfortunately society called people like me anti-social, which in truth, I don’t suffer from social anxiety and can be quite sociable. I just prefer some alone time to function as a proper human being. But of course, I’m one type of consumer. Some people play games causally and to past time. And there’s nothing wrong with that!  I remember a friend asked me to bring my Wii because I wouldn’t visit her without it. She actually really enjoyed playing games with me. We had a good time. Video games, despite its bad connotation as a social deviant activity, it is actually replacing films and becoming the new form of entertainment for the masses. There are different types of games for people to enjoy like how there are different types of music for people to listen.  So the term”gamer” is kind of outdated because it no longer distinguishes a particular group of people from the rest of the society as if there is something wrong with gamers. The correct term these days, might just be a gaming enthusiast.

Taking Silent Cinema course, made me understand why Last of Us was so successful and why it is appealing. It has that film aesthetic and the gameplay is extremely casual.  I could play the game during the weekdays after work without putting a lot of mental energy into completing it. Therefore, I think the game deserves it success, although I don’t think the medium should be ashamed of itself and try to morph into something else more mature (film). Video game has the potential to grow.  Don’t try to change its essence, which boils down to gameplay. This really got me thinking why I prefer Japanese games over western games. Japanese games are more experimental and don’t throw away the “gameplay” aspect even though it tried to imitate films (Silent Hill series is the perfect example).  However, Japanese developers can learn a lot from western developers. I find western games to be more realistic and honestly I prefer the realistic style over the animated cute style. But that’s just preference.

I have some friends who are more than a decade older than me. I get along with them pretty well. My new friend from work is a very beautiful, intelligent woman in her 60s. She was once a manager for a video store. She watched hundreds of films during that time she worked there so she can sell them. I have been discovering good films and books because of her lately.  She has good taste. We both have the same personality actually.  Unfortunately, it’s the age difference that set us apart. Lack of knowledge about games make it hard for older folks to  accept video game as a respectable medium. I believe some games do have the same aesthetic as great films.  I am pretty sure when I am her age, I can see myself becoming an expert in games and most likely still play video games (quality games). Then I can see myself becoming critical of the younger generation for the lack of taste in entertainment. Whatever the future holds, who knows.

I will end this post by answering one of Extra Life’s questions. My favorite film decade is probably the 1960s.  I love watching old shows such as Come Drink with MeBreakfast Tiffany’s and The Twilight Zone. When it comes to animation, I like anything from the 1980s.  But honestly, anything that have thoughtful dialogue would instantly captivate me.  To me, great art is timeless and it doesn’t belong to a certain era.