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.

Shenmue II_20190113170018

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.

Shenmue II_20190114183954

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.

 

Shenmue II: My Part Time Gambling Job & My New Companion

I didn’t mind going to work in Shenmue II’s world because work was actually really entertaining (gambling, arm wrestling, lifting up crates, and fighting.)   I had to come up with HK $500 in order to proceed in the game. The best part, the NPCs complimented me on my skills. Hey, I can always take the compliment for my gambling skills even though in real life I hate it with a passion. I know it’s pathetic of me to confess, this game allows me to walk in a guy’s shoes. I am feeling so macho lately.   The game developer sure knows how to make those little small achievements feel rewarding.  When Ryo beat his opponent, he smiles. When he smiles, I smile too.

Shenmue II_20181226213515

My adventure continues onto Kowloon after I was able to chase after Ren. Yep, I had to pay him $500! The section of the game is fun–as I enjoy pressing buttons quickly. But there are more to come, and it gets more intense further into the game.  And still, I have yet to meet the mysterious girl from the cover! In time, we shall meet, hehe.

I am stuck trying to make some money (gambling) so I can participate in fighting tournament. This is the part where I seriously need to learn my moves instead of just spamming buttons.  For each fight, I have to bet money to participate!  I need a lot of preparation and practice.

So far I love the flow of the game. Normally, I would try to bypass gambling in games, but everything in this game seems to have a purpose. It’s really impressive. I even want to plan a vacation to China one day! Maybe I should seriously consider getting a boyfriend, so he can escort me like a princess. Hehe I am just kidding! I will invite anyone wants to go on a trip with me. That would be fun. The more the merrier!

Now I wait for the weekend to come, so I can continue on my adventure. Until next time, take care.

 

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!

Shenmue II_20181216130623

Shenmue II: My Thoughts So Far

Video game is not all damaging. Playing excessively is bad, but that’s just about with everything else. The key to happiness in life is balance. Shenmue series teach valuable life lessons. That’s why it is so special.

If I were to go back in time and play Shenmue I and II as a kid, this would easily be my #1 video game. As I mentioned in this blog several times, I grew up watching martial arts films and fell in love with it. Combining video game and martial arts film, makes it the perfect game for me. Those are the two things that bring me joy. Ha! I guess the word nostalgia is not entirely bad. I used to associate it with bad feelings, so I avoid playing older games, but this game brought good memories of my childhood.

Shenmue II_20181209181838

I find that Ryo Hazuki so relatable, which makes the whole gaming experience enjoyable.  But it’s not just the character, never a moment do I find myself bored. Talking to NPCs is like talking to people in real life. They are all so different in shapes and sizes. But what really make this game so special is that it offers me that escape, which most video games these days fail. Everything feels genuine and safe.

Music is really important to me even more important to me than story. It sets the mood and the atmosphere of the game, and thus making the world immersive and memorable. I also especially love the women in this game too. They all remind me of my own mother–strong and beautiful. Whoever said that Asian women are submissive, they should think twice.

Shenmue II_20181215203222

“Softness doesn’t mean there is no force.” The average westerner doesn’t understand this concept. So far in my work-life, this is how I maintain peace. Most conflicts can be avoided if you have a clear mind. But this concept doesn’t always work, sometimes being too passive is not a good thing as I learned from playing Rule of RoseIf only we live in a perfect world, most ideas are inherently beautiful, but not always practical.

So that’s my thoughts so far about this game. I will leave you folks with this video clip. I appreciate the humor a lot. I think we are all guilty of this.

 

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.

 

 

 

Dark Souls: My Adventure Continues

DARK SOULS

As I entered the boss fight area, Chaos Witch Quelaag greeted me with a flirtatious smile. She may be beautiful but her seductive smile has no effect on me. I was determined to take her down so I can ring the second bell.

Overall boss fight was not difficult; it lasted about 10 minutes. I summoned Maneater Mildred (have to kill her first in evil phantom form) to speed up the process. I wore the red cloak found in the high area near the waterwheel route, which leads to Blighttown and back into Firelink Shrine. From what I can recall,  the armor gave me a decent fire defense. I am surprised Manter Mildred in her peasant two-piece swimsuit  can take more damage than me. She was rolling in lava and hacking her butcher knife away and yet her life bar was still high. It was an effortless fight, but more so, it had to do with the environment being spacious. It gave me enough room to steer away from her lava attack and her swipe attack.

DARK SOULS

After defeating Quelaag, there is a hidden path that leads to her sister. I entered the covenant with her and she gave me Great Chaos Fireballs.  The Fair Lady won’t talk to me. I got to use a guide for this part as I can’t recall how to get her to speak.

DARK SOULS

My next destination is  Sen’s Fortress which will lead to Anor Londo.  The Blacksmith said the lunatics are attracted to such a place. I can agree (sorry if you are one of those people). I think the part is more unforgiving than Blighttown.  I don’t like the thought of being chopped off by big swinging blades because at the bottom are big muscly enemies. The area reminds me of an old Dracula movie I watched when I was a kid. In the scene, a young lady was trying to escape from the bad guys and found herself on the ledge. Beneath her were something like insects. I can’t remember well. All I know it was gross and I was scared for her. Yeah, I really don’t like Sen’s Fortress, it’s my least favorite area. But as soon I rang the second bell, I knew I had to go there because the cutscene told me so! Maybe I will visit the Dark Root Garden area first. It’s better to be surrounded by trees than inside that fortress for the time being.

DARK SOULS

I highly doubt I will get all achievements in the PC version. My intention playing this game is to prepare myself for Artorias of the Abyss DLC.  I never got the chance to play the DLC because I got sidetracked with other games during that time. I have always been very good with completing all the games I’ve purchased, but games  just kept getting longer and longer so my backlog kept growing bigger. I still need to complete Dark Souls Scholar of the First Sin (PS4), but I don’t really like dealing with a great mob of enemies. It sort of ruin the fun.

I probably will put this game down when I get my copy of Shenmue I and II remastered (PS4).   I bought it with a gift card I got from work.  I work hard so I can play hard. I think that’s quite fair.

I will leave you guys with one of the coolest quotes from the Blacksmith: “It’s okay to be undead, just have a level head.” I really like the Blacksmith! Until next time, take care now.

 

 

It’s Okay To Take A Break From Games

Sometimes we play games to escape but forget to live our own lives. I tried to balance life, work and games.  I realized, I have been in a better mood ever since the sun is out. Like a cat, I like to sit by the window. Also taking Vitamin D pills prescribed by my doctor helped.  We just don’t get enough sunlight during the winter here.

Since I am in a good mood, I will share on how I de-stress because things have been intense at work to the point I asked boss to go home and rest. The last few days, I play Rule of Rose on and off.  If only I had more energy and time to invest, I want to play fighting games and there is that game called Ikaruga that I would like to master but it requires a lot of mental energy which is something I don’t have (damn you work!).  That’s okay.  At work,  I get a chance to play foosball with my attractive partner who resembles Chris Redfield (sorry ladies, he’s not straight).

RE5ChrisA
                     source

We make a good team. People are always shocked when we win. I think mainly because people didn’t expect the nice girl can be aggressive. The trick is really to stay calm and focused. If you get too anxious you would lose. I thank the skills I’ve learned from Dark Souls and my partner who, unlike Chris Redfield, has a gentle voice which made it easy for me to follow his instruction.  I do enjoy playing competitively and co-op from time to time.

Ah! Sorry for going off topic…here are ways I cope with stress, which are non-game related of course:

#1

Go for a walk. I prefer to walk in a park, but this walk was on my way back from a doctor’s appointment.  It was pleasant nonetheless because the sun was out. Haha

Walk#2

I watched Mushi-Shi every night to the point my brother jokingly accused me that Ginko is my husbandu. Don’t make fun of my singleness, brother. I never thought of him like that even though Ginko and I share similar fate.  What attracted me to the anime is its eeriness, sorrowful and mystical tale.  Isn’t real life bittersweet? I think Mushi-Shi captivated that feeling very well.   I watched this anime more than once–both seasons. I like the soundtrack a lot. Typically, I don’t watch anime because I’m busy with games.   HAHA

Ginko

#3

Dump yourself in a bathtub filled with epsom salt. This actually was recommended by my co-workers who are into health and wellness. This really does help. I sleep better and feel more relaxed. You should try it too.

salt

 

Okay I can go on… but I will stop for now. I think I have already talked a lot about myself.  I know that not talking at all is not good for mental health, especially if you are somewhat of a hermit like me.  Letting things off of my chest makes me feel better.  Hope you took something useful out of this and let me know if your have different ways to cope with stress.  I’d love to learn about it.

Once I feel more physically stable, I still plan to write an analysis on Rule of Rose. Until next time, take care.