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.

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

I’m Not A Pervert! It’s The Developer’s Fault!

Even though, I have no intention of becoming a game designer or create my own games, I find it quite fascinating to learn about the thought process behind it.  The whole creativity process  is not so different from the way I approach to songwriting, which is something I do as a creative outlet.

Yesterday, my friend visited me and wanted to watch me play games so I picked Virtue’s Last Reward (PS4 version) of all the games because I find this game quite relaxing to play on a lazy evening.  As my friend and I were solving puzzles together, one particular part stood out to me: the pinned photo.

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In this section,  I understand the importance of creativity in games.  In the Crew Quarters, there are four rooms, which contain four lockers. I have to find all the passwords in order to unlock the lockers.  In one of the rooms, I was given a coin, after entering the right set of numbers to a locker.  The coin is used to scratch off the woman’s clothes which reveal a different set of numbers to a password for a different locker in a different room. At that moment, I was thinking, indeed,  I’m playing a scratch lottery ticket.  As I was so focused on scratching off her clothes, my friend, (who is a prim and proper type of gal) looked at me and accused me of being a pervert.  In my mind, I was just trying to find all clues so we can progress in the game.  Even though, I am not a guy and can never understand what’s so appealing about half naked women, the experience was exciting as I was one step closer to solving the mystery underneath her clothes. To my surprise, the numbers were never underneath her clothes, they were located on her arms and legs!   It was then, I realized a great game is highly creative and has the ability to engage the player against his or her own will on a subconscious level.  I say this because I am not a gambler or a pervert, but I was lured and trapped into the developer’s craft.  And strangely, it put a smile on my face and made me laugh.

After completing this section in Virtue’s Last Reward,  I realized that authenticity is important to creativity, which is the intent to create and capture the audience. In some ways, I think developers should have more control over the medium and listen less to the consumers, but please be mindful.  Honestly, I  don’t think consumers know what they really want. They just want to play a good game.  Lastly, I want to make an argument that a game is a game, a medium to itself.  All the fancy stuff such as the art and music only enhance the overall experience and bring it to life.

P.S

[To my friend if you are reading this] Sorry this was supposed to be a secret between you and me that we found ourselves playing a pervy game, but it was a lot of fun solving the puzzle together.

I Play Dark Souls II: Scholar of The First Sin to Unwind

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I realized not playing Dark Souls games for awhile, I miss it a lot.  I am playing it again and realized that sometimes, music is unnecessary as much I love listening to music.  I can hear my character’s footsteps echoing in the hallway. I like the sound of clashing and clinking of my weapons. I can hear the wind so I think I feel the wind touching my skin. I hear the waves splashing onto shore and that makes me feel so calm. I like to explore the game’s universe. 

Currently, I am at Huntsman’s Copse,  but got sidetracked because I am looking for materials to enhance my dagger. There are two bosses I’m about to face.  I know what to expect because I played the game on PS3. Since I am too cheap for Playstation Plus ( I don’t play online), I have to make sure I am strong enough to handle the boss alone. Maybe summon NPC to distract the boss so I can blast my spell from afar. Get too close, I will use dager and quickly cut it up.  But I don’t know if my plan would work. 

One thing I love about the souls series is its educational gameplay style. If something doesn’t work out, then try something else. My only gripe about this edition is that there are too many enemies, and they make game more difficult on purpose. Strangely though, it feels like a new game because of the placement of items, characters and number of enemies.  I cannot rely on my old guide for reference apparently. 

 

P.S  here is a fat cat for you, just chilling like me. Hehe

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I Just Can’t Complete These Games

I know I have the symptom of a gaming addict.  I sit at work writing in my notepad, making a list of games to complete. Like a kid in a candy store, I want to eat everything, but realized that not all games are made with the same quality and ingredients. There are some things I like in a game, and some I don’t.

To shorten my post, I will list three games I can’t complete.

 

Game # 1: Yume Nikki

yume nikkiThere is a more recent version that came out on Steam. I tried playing the original but don’t get why people give it a good review.  I  became extremely critical about the art in the game.  It doesn’t appeal to me.  Perhaps, that’s why I don’t enjoy it as much.  

 

Game # 2: Pandora’s Tower

ElenaYes, I like the gameplay, but Elena, I hate to admit her personality is very similar to mine (when I am feeling sane).  The game is so painful to play because unlike her, I have no support. Dad taught me to be independent, and Mom taught me to be a lady.   To see Elena so weak, I want to jump off the cliff for being a burden to Aeron (her lover) on her behalf. The thought of slowly turning into a monster, waiting for my lover to come back and feed me beast flesh so I can return to human form is depressing.  No one likes being caged up ill. Trust me. One day, I may finish it after I get new batteries for the Wii controller.  Now I am curious about the ending.

 

Game # 3: Nioh

niohI feel cheated. Why oh why did I pre-ordered this game? I was so excited on launch day that I rushed to my local game store during lunch break.  The demo fooled me into thinking the game has potential, perhaps it does. The intro to the game sort of turned me off.  I have beaten some bosses, but the game is too commercialized for me to continue.  

So what have I been playing even though I have been complaining the lack of time for games?  I am playing Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin, Virtue’s Last Reward and Drakengard.  Once I upgrade my laptop to gaming, I will indeed, play more pc games, particularly Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition. I don’t care much about the Dark Souls Remastered. Why can’t they release a Demon’s Souls Remastered instead?!

I feel so overwhelmed for having so many choices. That’s what it really is.  Someone please help me decide!

Rambling About Games Aimlessly

I have not mentioned one horror video game on this blog last month. Well, why should I? I play horror video games all year round. Now let me tell you one fact about me: I think horror movies are scarier than horror games. Why?  When I am playing video games generally, I am fixated on winning.  You give me a shotgun–I blast those monsters away. You make me run and hide like in Clower Tower series–I giggle. But horror movies take that control away from me, so I have no choice but to cover my eyes.  Now I am thinking, it might be an interesting concept to develop a game about shutting your eyes as your weapon of defense and relying on sound to survive in the game. I think Siren is sort of like that.  Anyway, so that is why I don’t watch horror movies.  I can’t remember the last time I watched one. It might be about 7 years ago.  I haven’t had any nightmares ever since, and I like it to remain that way.

But this post is not about horror video games. Today, I’m just rambling about games aimlessly because that is what’s on my mind at the moment.  I know that I don’t write anything negatively or say anything negatively on this blog. So you might think that I just play anything and be satisfied. That’s not true. Behind the screen, I want to poke my eyeballs out when I play a crappy game, but I refrain.  Okay, I am just exaggerating!  But seriously,  I try to remain open minded. Some games may not appeal to me aesthetically but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. After all, what you like is a reflection of your heart.

Lately, I  have been playing 999 (PS4 version). This game too, was actually recommended by my brother.  So far, I enjoy the soundtrack very much and the story is quite interesting.  I have two more endings to go.  Brother told me that this game was on par with Nier Gestalt during the year 2009-2010.  I can see why.  It is well executed.

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DS Coverart version from Wiki

Once I am done with the game entirely, my next game is Drakengard.  Hopefully by the time I finish the game, I won’t go crazy. I was warned that the gameplay is terrible. But that is okay, I am more interested in the thought process behind the game design rather than playing for achievements as of late. It’s more enjoyable.

P.S

I stumbled on Miyazaki picture browsing Twitter. As you know I am a fan of Dark Souls. I find this picture side by side summarizing my whole experience with Dark Souls–it’s inviting but brutal.

cute