Tag Archives: Gaming

A survival horror game

Remothered:Tormented Fathers Review

So, these past few days I have been playing some indie games, trying to give the smaller titles a chance to be recognized. Plus, I sort of got addicted to browsing games on Steam and added a few games to my Wish List. I will tell you what I find at a later time. For this post, I want to write a critical review on Remothered: Tomermented Fathers, developed by Stormind Games, published by Darril Arts, released in 2018. I enjoyed the game very much.

I bought this game a couple of years ago. It was one of the first game I bought on Steam but never got around to playing it. At the time, I recently had purchased a new laptop specifically for gaming and writing. Unfortunately, my laptop is not strong enough to run the game. Game crashes two times but I managed to beat it by quitting the game frequently for it to cool down. Oh, the experience was painful and it would have been better if I were to play it on PS4. I could have purchased a copy for the PS4 like I did with Tokyo Dark (you can find my review here). Instead, I stick with the PC version, risking my laptop to blow up in my face. I am just being dramatic. Actually, I have high toleration for minor nuisances. Rarely do I get mad if I have bad user experience, but I can see how this can be a glaring problem for some people.

A Classy Survival Horror Game

But let me tell you. This game is pretty intense. It’s that scary because you are being chased by a barely-naked old man who is wearing nothing but a butcher apron. The most difficult part of the game is trying to explore without being seen. Play with headphones is recommended. The sound effects are on par and intense like the sound from the Silent Hill 2 game. Don’t think about lowering the volume because you would need to listen to the psychopath’s footsteps and his humming of Old MacDonald had a farm song, which ties into the story. It’s like a game of stealth and hide and seek, which I really enjoy. Apparently, the little girl in me never dies. I like hide and seek games in horror style. I even found myself starting to sing along with the psychopath:

Old MACDONALD had a farm
E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a lamb
E-I-E-I-O
With a baa baa here
And a baa baa there
Here a baa, there a baa
Everywhere a baa baa
Old MacDonald had a farm
E-I-E-I-O

Lyrics source: Musixmatch

If you enjoyed Clock Tower series for the PlayStation, you will appreciate this game. The difference is you play as a strong, professional woman in her 30s by the name of Rosemary Reed, which I find the game to be refreshingly intelligent and classy for its kind. The balance between gameplay and story is sophisticated. It feels like a cinematic game but it’s not. A few cinematic cutscenes between story and gameplay give me enough room to breathe without feeling overwhelmed. The story is full of suspense enough to keep me on my toes but unfortunately failed to captivate me. The plot is not very clear. I still have questions on who did what and what. Perhaps a second play through would dispel my confusion. At times, the dialogues between characters tried to be too deep that it felt a bit staged rather than immersive. This result in a disconnection between me and the story. But honestly, I could care less what is happening because I grade survival horror games based on gameplay not story. If I want that experience, then I’ll I just watch a horror flick as a passive observer. Still Remothered:Tormented Fathers is still a good game. The strongest point of the game is oddly, its presentation. I felt like I was playing inside a film. Artistically, that’s a good thing.

Gamplay in Remothered Tormented fathers

I could drown myself inside the mansion for hours because the sound of high heels is quite soothing against the creaking floor. The lighting in this game is beautiful. There were certain shots in the game I really admire. Just look at how beautiful Dr. Reed is skipping into a nightmare in the picture below.

Classy Survival Horror Game

She is so dedicated to her job that she is willing to risk her life? She’s so brave and a tad bit crazy. But who am I to judge? I suppose I am just as crazy as she is to find her admirable. After all, I am playing a survival horror game here. Throughout the game, it was so difficult not to laugh nervously when the psychopath from the mansion kept mumbling in the background something along the line: “This place is not open to the public!” and “Are you working overtime?” Strangely, these little minor details make me appreciate the aesthetic of the game as an art piece in itself. For one, a professional eloquent woman like Dr. Reed is quite attractive. Female protagonists don’t always have to be a young Barbie doll like in Haunting Ground, a PS2 game developed by Capcom, to mesmerize the audiences. However, there were a few minor issues that were a bit of an eye sore—the protagonist’s facial animation which looked more theatrical than natural and her internal dialogue: “This can’t be real”.  I often wonder why she was so persistent to trespass a private property in the first place only to find her desperately trying to get out of the mansion. Perhaps, I just didn’t find the plot convincing enough or else I wouldn’t have had this question in the back of my mind. The game has potential in the story department and the pacing of the game could have been extended. So, it wouldn’t feel like the player rushed into a nightmare—only to want out as soon as possible.

Gameplay wise, the game is pretty straight forward. The horror takes place in the mansion and if you follow a guide, you can beat the game in 1 or 2 hours. Running time is similar to that of a film. But quite frankly, I am not against it. It took me over 10 hours to complete the entire game because of trials and errors and obtaining all trophies. My only big complaint with the game is that the gaming mechanics can be quite frustrating sometimes. Do expect to die frequently. I rarely use any of the diversion items in the game, which are supposed to distract the psychopath. Perhaps, it’s my fault that I couldn’t read the in-game description correctly, but I just had no time to read or learn how it works when I am busy trying to run and hide from my pursuer! The entire structure of the game revolves around hide and seek and some QTEs (quick time events) which can be frustrating for those who don’t have high reflexes. Some gamers are dissuaded from continuing the game when they keep seeing the Game Over screen as oppose to someone who see it as a challenge. Luckily, this game doesn’t acknowledge the player’s failure, it just reloads from the last autosaved saving point. Finally, while hide and seek is the main gameplay’s concept, I find it a bit annoying that the enemy seems to appear from one place to the next conveniently. Players would naturally assume, it takes a certain amount of time to walk from point A to point B. Apparently, the enemy doesn’t follow the same physics rules; I don’t believe it’s the game intention to make the enemy a supernatural being either. There were times when I would hide in the closet, waiting for the area to be clear of the enemy, but it always seemed like the enemy was nearby no matter what floor I was on in the mansion. When it comes to technical aspects, it needs some work, however, for the most part, the game’s concept is great!

I remember now why the game started with Dr. Reed smoking. Smoke while you can because you are going to be underwater for quite some time until you get another break!

Dr. Reed smoking in survival horror game Redmothered: Tormented Fathers

Overall, the game is good. The concept is intelligent. As a survival horror game fan, I enjoyed it and wish I had a physical copy of the game to put beside my collection of horror games, which sadly, aren’t many. Finally, I will tell you why I enjoyed this game, after all I am a bit of a wordsmith: Dr. Felton, the psychopath in this game is pretty sick. He’s a sickle. Get it? A sicko. And to his question, “Is it really worth it to put yourself into this story? No, but I am grateful it’s only a video game and it was fun! Now, I will go back to singing Old MacDonald had a farm song and go to bed happily because I found myself a good survival horror game to play.

fishingformetaphors in survival horror game

Leanne from Resonance of Fate

Halsdoll’s Progress Report Card (Video Game & Book Backlogs)

Well, I finally got Dark Souls II : Scholar of the First Sin out of my system. I beat it. It was fun exploring each stage and now I’m all shackled up and became one with the dark. I feel so accomplished–not really because I enjoyed the fairy-tale world atmosphere to part with it. It’s been a great companion for so long. On the bright side, I can start jumping into new games without feeling as if I forgotten to do something important.

I beat DS2
I finally sit on a throne. It’s not all that comfortable….apparently.
I beat Ds2!!
Hurray!! I am the queen of darkness!

I’m also proud to say I finished Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. I felt as if I ran a Harry Potter Marathon. Two more books to go until I finish the main series. I tell myself I need a bit of a break from the series to process everything I read but found myself starting on the 6th book after just taking one day from reading. Surely, I will write down my thoughts in the upcoming future on the Order of Phoenix. So expect that. Just in case, new folks happen to land on my blog and who is also a Harry Potter fan (hi, hello nice to meet you!), please check out my previous Harry Potter posts:

As for video game backlogs, I really am trying to give Sakura Wars a chance even though typically I am not into dating games. I am now on Chapter 3. Checking Howlongtobeat.com website helped me prioritize what games I want to tackle first even though I did say I tried not to make a list. And yet, with Elden Ring lurking around the corner (I’m writing this on the 24th, it comes out on the 25th), I feel as if a chunk of my time for games will be focused on Elden Ring. This means I will drop Sakura Wars for the time being. Yes, if there such thing as game-hopping like bar-hopping, (not much of a drinker or a socializer unless it’s about video games) I’m trying to find my new favorite drink (I mean game) because I am going to need a lot of booze to escape from current events which it doesn’t seem to get any better by the day.

Playing Sakura Wars
Photoshoot with the girls from Sakura Wars
Playing Sakura Wars
I told you he is like a rooster….

Well that is it for this weekly post. So important that I had to share when there are far more serious things out there. I know, but this blog helps me stay sane. Until next time. See you!

P.S.

I know I spend a lot of time with games and speed is not my biggest strength. Why do some games grade me on my performance? Ah…..I play to escape. Making adjustment to my report on Sakura Wars made me feel better. 😀

Playing Sakura Wars

Halsdoll’s New Year Rant: Harry Potter, Scarlet Nexus & DS2 Scholar of the First Sin

New Year and new start is never the case for me. I never wait around when I want to achieve a new goal. My New Year Resolution started in December after my fiancé gave me my birthday present. This year. I want to make more time for books. It doesn’t matter if it’s children’s books as long it got some depth, which is how I got started with the adventure to Hogwarts. Me being the curious cat, picked up the book and started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone despite being unimpressed with the movie’s adaptation many years ago. That experience was also my first introduction to the title. Now, I’m more than halfway on book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I intend to finish the entire series because I’m addicted to J.K. Rowling’s imagination and writing style. It made me smile a lot that I couldn’t put the book down, which explains my long absence from this blog. Perhaps, I might write each summary for each book as a writing exercise since that is what has been occupying my thoughts. I’m just so impressed on how well organized J.K. Rowling mind is to create such a genuine and humorous but serious world mixed with humility. Somehow the movies failed to capture it, which is why I was never a fan of Harry Potter franchise until now. I see why all of my good friends were obsessed with it.

When it comes to games, I find that playing game back-to-back can be quite a chore. Forcing myself to conquer my backlog is not fun. Since beating Tales of Xillia, I haven’t really been eager to jump into a new game and I thought I would play Tales of Vesperia, but I changed my mind. I played a little bit of Scarlet Nexus instead. The concept of the story and gameplay is promising, but feels a little bit too hip and young for my taste. I’m not feeling the characters at the moment or maybe it’s the fact the English voice dub failed to capture the character’s personality. Just not a fan of hearing people read scripts in manga style cutscenes. Well, I didn’t mind so much in Folklore but it just seems like a lazy tactic in storytelling. Despite all of that, it may possibly have a good story? It’s BANDAI NAMCO StudiosTose after all. I can see some cool things with this game but so far it tries too hard to be cool and deep. Well, I will put it aside. I may play it. Maybe in 7 years when I decided to turn into a teenager again.

SCARLET NEXUS

For now, I find myself going back to Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. Yes, I finally beat all the bosses in the Sunken Crown King DLC. Apparently, this time around, I just needed to step back from the game to have a fresh mindset. So here is what I learn: When playing a difficult game which required some sort of quick reflex, you have to talk mean to your opponent.Get your ass down here! is the magic phrase I used in defeating the Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon and with a little help from the NPCs. At this point, I just want to complete the DLC without caring how well I kill it. Thank goodness this game does not grade me on my performance.

Telling the dragon to get its ass down here
Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon

I suppose, you just have to be a little angry to play this sort of game at the same time be calm and collective. It’s all about balance and perhaps that is why I keep coming back to the soul games. I have two more DLCs to go: Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the Ivory King. I’m not kidding when I said I keep coming back to this game which I bought it back in 2015. This will be the second time I play this game. I already played it on the PS3 version which honestly I prefer than the PS4 version which included all three DLCs. I even have the PC version (wow I didn’t know I like the game that much!). I may go into details at a later time if I feel up for it. So far, I have already clocked in over 200 hours. Talking about great gameplay value. Why would I even bother with other games at this rate? I like to see games surpass Dark Souls franchise. It’s unlikely. As I mentioned before, once you give your soul to the game, there’s no coming back. All other games will appear lacking or petty in comparison. Souls game is just that rewarding and addictingly fun. Or perhaps, I just have fallen under its spell. It’s like playing inside an adventurous book and who can ask for more, especially for folks like me who love books and games? It’s the greatest combo.

Adventure book-like game
I stop to read in video games…ooooh if only school was this fun, I would have paid more attention in class once upon a time…

Well, that is it for now. I will leave you folks with a tip. Apparently, being a barrel literally doesn’t hurt if you are trying to reach to the next bonfire! Whatever it takes to stay alive. Until next time~

getting close to the bonfire

Tales of Xillia for the PS3 Review: ‘We All Just Want to Live’

May contain minor spoilers. This is a story focused structure-like essay review with some criticisms. May be the longest review I have ever written for this blog. I suppose it’s a nice way to end the year.

If you are a do-gooder who cares a lot about living organisms (yes, that includes destructive human beings) and you enjoy reading science college textbook, you’re going love this game. First off, you probably took an introduction course to biology and came across the term symbiosis. If I were to sum up the entire story to Tales of Xillia (developed by Namco released 2011), that is the structure to the story of which it involves. So, despite what some professional reviewers said about this game, it’s not just another generic JRPG story saving the world. In fact, I would even argue that there’s no saving the world in this game but rather protecting it. Tales of Xillia is about how life forms help each other to exist: humans and spirits coexisting and working in harmony or humans and an advanced technology called spyrites coexisting and working in harmony. I think you get the gist. In this story, there’s no real main evil villain and there’s a lot of philosophical conversation that happens among the characters, on top of the added humor. Does that sound like your cup of tea? Hey, I could always play a feel-good game in this day and age. The skits among the characters got me laughing hard; apparently, I did not view all of them as there is a trophy for it called Obsessive Skit Viewer. It is awarded to Xillia’s most dedicated couch potatoes. Wow, what a lovely way to mock your audience. You should be happy that your game is being purchased and played or else you wouldn’t have a job. The joke is on you too! I digress. Whatever happens to the concept of symbiosis that the game was so focused on preaching.

Joke aside, I did spend enough time with the game to have the characters grow on me. What I like the characters in this game is how imperfectly admirable they are. They got a lot of evolving to do which makes them a charming bunch. Yes, that includes Milla Maxwell who is a spirit that takes the form of a 20 year-old woman and who learns that there are limitations to being a human such as hunger and emotions; Jude Mathius an indecisive med-student who cares too much and lacks direction; Elize, an orphan child who suffers from verbalizing her thoughts and thus making friends, which is why she is accompanied by a “talking toy” named Teepo; Alvin, a lonely shady mercenary who changes sides like the unpredictable weather; Rowen, an old passive, self-conscious military tactician who fails to lead; and lastly, Lei, a childhood friend of Jude who lacks femininity and grace to attract a partner and start a family of her own. They are not the ideal heroes and heroines you see in most video games and that is exactly what I like about it. In fact, they are a bit on the “special” side. In other words, they are unevolved human beings. They are characters you can sympathize and relate with. After all, as a human being, “There’s always room for improvement,” says Rowen, the character who is often referred to grandpa by the other characters because of his age.

In contrast to the heroes and heroines, the “villains” aren’t all that evil as they appear. What’s separate them from the heroes and heroines is their outlook in life. And here I will mention again, where I came to the conclusion about the plot and how I refer it to symbiosis. The “good” and the “bad” guy have the same mission and that is to protect what they hold dear to them. In fact, when life forms help each other to their benefits it’s called symbiosis. One does not have to kill the other in order to survive. They just co-exist and even strengthens one another. So, it’s no surprise that the villains seem a bit one dimensional and stiff to my liking and even laughable and unrealistic. They could have been explored a bit more. At times, I felt as if they served a purpose only to give depth to the heroes and heroines by highlighting and contrasting their weaknesses. As absurd as it sounds, the heroes and heroines can learn some useful traits from the villains such as having a clear mission in life. They are “evil” for a reason because they stay true to their conviction. For this reason, the characters are not the game’s strongest strength rather it’s the concept of symbiosis and its humor that take the spotlight in the story.

But of course, the game has more to offer than its creative storytelling. The gameplay is flashy and fun! There are enough places to explore and gather materials to enhance shops. I found it quite addictive, just collecting materials and galds (video game currency). I like how I am rewarded for unlocking more items in each shop (foods, items, accessories, weapons, armors etc.) so I can make characters stronger in battles because the game battle system is entertainingly fun. I could easily get sucked into grinding for materials to expand these shops which may reach to level 99 or 100. The furthest I got with one of the shops is level 90. I stopped there since story is the main reason, I played the game for and I already clocked in 88 hours! So here I give my 2 cents on game design: I find it ironic how the male protagonist is as an honor med student. I bet he doesn’t play video games during his break because he is too busy hitting the books. If you are going to preach to your audience (which is probably your typical 20 year-old college student), you got to learn how not to slap his or her face at it. Only hardcore trophy hunters would spend hours on this game. Yeah, in life you can’t please everyone. Perhaps, you should practice what you preach and take Milla Maxwell’s route: stick to a point. As for the boss fights, they were challenging but not too difficult. There’s some strategy involved for those who like to tinker and customize their characters. And for those who just want to experience the story, the player can always select the option to optimize their character skills automatically. The only effort from the player is to mash certain buttons while in battle. Yep, this game is for you button masher! Not so difficult to learn. In fact, gameplay is quite generous. If you failed a boss fight, it opens the battle menu for players to re-strategize the characters. I found that extremely helpful and rewarding when I do finally defeat the boss. It’s a casual game that is manageable towards the end of the day. However, the down side to the gameplay is that on your second play through, the enemy and boss encounters can get pretty easy and boring fast until you meet the final boss, which makes me question the game’s development and its consistency. The only reasons I can think of is to play the game the second time around with less effort since most players might just want to experience the story in their chosen protagonist (you can either start off the game as Milla Maxwell or Jude Mathius), and view the cinematic cutscenes and collect some materials to max out the shops for trophy purpose. The game was meant to be played twice. Regardless, I didn’t think it flow well from a player’s perspective, especially if the story is the focal point of the game.

Overall, I really did enjoy my time with this bright colored game and its colorful casts even though it’s not a perfect seamless game, but still quite impressionable and ambitious. The greatest thing I got out of this game is the reminder that we have the freedom to decide for ourselves what is our life’s mission; whether it is to protect our family, support your love ones, make friends or lead a country etc., it’s important to stick to a mission and not waver. You can say that is a form of strength. In the end of it all, we fight because “We all just want to live,” I quoted Jude, the main male protagonist. From a gamer to another gamer, I highly recommend this game to any JRPG fan.

Ice Stages are the coolest in video games

My Video Game Shopping List: More JRPG Games

Looking back this year, all I played are RPG games and going forward I will continue to play lengthy games which require big time investment. There’s something addictive about it, especially when you started learning and appreciating the battle system of the game on top of great storytelling.

So far, I have put in 49 plus hours in Tales of Xillia. And just finished the game as Mila Maxwell. I have yet to play Jude Mathius’ route. Yes, you can select either one to complete the story. The replay value is great for gamers who want to get the most out of their money. I remember I only spent 20 dollars on the limited edition which came with an artbook and a soundtrack which is so cool because these days we don’t get artbook or a video game instruction pamphlet anymore.

Like books, I do feel accomplished for beating a great game. And will probably look into other Tales games afterwards. Its cinematic cut scenes are high quality and refreshing. I found myself sometimes just watching the opening trailer over and over before hitting the Continue button. Games like this reminded me why I started hunting for quality games in the first place. Will give Tales of Xillia proper review at a later time.

So here are three games in my shopping cart:

1) Sakura Wars

Videogame shopping list

Out of pure curiosity, I want to see what the hype is all about. A few random gamers on Twitter kept praising the game saying how it missed the radar. You know how fanatic gamers can get defensive about their games. It’s like religion. So, being the skeptic that I am, I want to play the game for myself. Then I can make the decision and write it on my blog because I’m a passionate gamer and I don’t have anything else better to do such as wasting time on social media! Oh wait, I think I am a hypocrite. I did hear about the game on Twitter where busy adult gamers randomly tweet video game stuff.

2) Neo: The World Ends With You

video game shopping list

My brother told me about this game and anything brother likes is most likely good. In fact, I used to go to him for video game recommendations and it never fails. So, this one is going on my backlog once I purchase it! Plus, according to an article I read recently, it didn’t sell well. I’m all for advocating for niche games so they are definitely getting my business.

3) Tales of Arise

Well…no mystery here. I actually enjoy the Tales series and appreciate quality games so I know the chance of being disappointed is slim. Unless, the series becomes like Dynasty Warrior games, then I might get tired eventually. Right now, a good story and some pretty visual gameplay that are manageable is what I’m looking for. Games like Elder Ring can wait. I’m just not in the mood for another soul-like game. All thanks to the git gud fan base. I still have not completed Dark Souls II DLCs. It is a shame because I love Fromsoftware as a game developer. They produce some high- quality games for sure. But like any business, you got to cater towards your customers to keep them coming back and sometimes that’s not always good for developers and gaming enthusiasts.

Yes, I know it’s all PS4. I am not in rush to buy PS5 and I am a PlayStation fan. It’s really all about the innovation and the story for me more than the competitive play. It just happens that PlayStation console wins my time.

Well, that’s it for now. I know I am a little late, and a little tardy as I normally post on Mondays. I am only human. Hope you found something interesting on this list!

Fun adventure Horror game

The Cat Lady PC Game Review (2012): Great Game to Play to Beat the Blues

Sometimes great games are not always pleasing to look at. The characters in this game have long limbs and are colorless and tend to look like a man even though it’s meant to be a woman. How do I know? The voice dub gives it away. Also, the background in this game is unflattering. Solid colors such as black and blue can be quite boring for someone who is used to pretty vibrant games. He or she may pass on it because it’s not cute enough. Well, I almost did!

This game is great and what is even more shocking is that I bought the game for $1.99 (on sale) and had a very good time with it! You can call Cat Lady, a point-n-click adventure game. It’s developed by Harvester Games and published by Screen 7. What intrigued to pick up this game? Well, it was the game description:

The Cat Lady follows Susan Ashworth, a lonely 40-year-old on the verge of suicide. She has no family, no friends and no hope for a better future. One day she discovers that five strangers will come along and change everything.

Game description from Steam

Back in 2019 when I was browsing games, I was on the verge of becoming a Cat Lady myself or more like a homeless cat roaming the streets in downtown, feeding off of dead mice found in the dumpster. Okay, I’m exaggerating; however, the city life did sort of affect my mood. Mental illness and homelessness are a growing problem in Seattle that I thought I might go insane myself eventually. There were multiple times where walking in the city felt like walking into a horror game. It was not uncommon to watch the mentally ill yelling out in the streets to themselves or doing drugs out in the open. My last incident was when a homeless woman started following to my apartment and yelled at me to get out of the country (I am Asian-American. I am used to it). So even before social isolation, I stayed in door most of the time and I often wonder was I to become a cat lady myself? It’s not so bad if you’re an introvert. I rather be alone than participate in the chaos outside my door. So, The Cat Lady was purchased out of pure curiosity. Why is Sudan Ashworth suicidal?

For such a serious topic like suicide, I was pleasantly surprised that I found myself laughing more than being scared. This game is packed with dark humor. Yes, game is depressing and the gore is a bit unnecessary for those who have a weak stomach like myself, but I found that the adventure, the dialogues and the pacing of the game make up for it. Plus, the soundtrack and the voice acting are great. It got that English vibe. Give this game a try if you enjoy dark humor. It’s a good friend to those who literally suffer from depression.

3 Admirable Female Video Game Characters (My List)

People admire strength and expect to see it in video games but strength is typically associated with men. Well, we all know that women are great. It’s 2021, right? Then why are we still debating about gender roles? I don’t know, but I see more and more strong female lead like Aloy from Horizon (2017) developed by Guerrilla Games in the media. She looks realistically fit for the role. She looks strong. Hurray, for female representation and to all the feminists!

Seriously though what is strength? Strong will? Defiance? Bold? Does inner strength counts? I believe so. So if you don’t have prominent features, that’s okay. Strength comes in different shapes and sizes.

Generally, I like female characters. A lot of them. Given the chance, I rather play as female than male because I think women are cool. The following characters I am about to list have more masculine traits than feminine but that’s because princesses don’t take action in video game, but princesses are cool too if they are given a voice (Sorry otome games don’t count because it’s not my cup of tea).

Here are my 3-list of cool girls!

Aya Brea from Parasite EVE

Aya Brea

One of my favorite female characters that many female gamers will mostly find agreeable is Aya Brea. Her fashion sense is quite simple: plain white t-shirt, leather jacket (she wears a jacket in the game) and jean. There is an air of coolness to her. She holds a gun and she is not afraid to face danger. That’s how the game started when her date didn’t turn out well at the Opera show. It’s fun to explore and play detective who doesn’t have a sport illustrated body like Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. When I was a teen, I looked up to Aya Brea, thinking that’s the type of woman I want to be, the one who takes action and make things happen. It gave a puny stick-figure teenage girl like myself a chance to daydream of becoming strong once upon a time. But definitely not with a gun–with a pen or a keyboard. That’s how I get my point across.

Next up!

#2 Lucatiel of Mirrah from DARK SOULS II

Lucatiel of Mirrah

What’s so admirable about her? She is a very skilled fighter who eventually lost sight of why she wielded the sword. She came from an unprivileged social status and had to carve her way to make a name for herself just like all the nameless heroes (Dark Souls player) that walk into the fog in search of answer. She is often seen alone. Well most NPCs are alone in Dark Souls universe and perhaps that’s why I like her. I can’t give enough respect to women who pick themselves up from the bottom and make a name for themselves. On top of that, I like loners because some of us just work better alone.

Last but not least!!!

#1 Xiuying Hong from SHENMUE II also known as Lishao Tao

Xiuying Hong

What do I like about her? A woman of few words who gets her point across through actions. She is not only strong physically but mentally. At age 26, (she reminds me more of a 40 year old), she is in charge of the Man Mo Temple in Scarlet Hills. In the game, she serves as a guardian to Ryo Hazuki, the main character who is bent on avenging his father’s death. She taught him to slow down by making him catch leaves and carry books. The purpose is to distract him from thinking about his bloodthirsty revenge that would only turn him into a murderer himself which is to find Lan Di and kill him. I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of thinking, which makes her the most admirable female video game character in my book.

Wise words from Shenmue II

Since I’m currently playing Tales of Xilla and I have been enjoying it, I would like to throw in an honorable mention: Milla Maxwell is now one of my admirable video game female characters.

Why do I like her? Not only is she beautiful, she firmly believes in protecting humans and spirits. Plus, she spends all her time studying about humans and the world in her shrine so she can protect them. Now, that is a goddess and a character I admire. I love her godly determination.

Well that pretty much sums up my 3-list post for the week. Until next time, I hope you enjoy this list.

Some Halloween Posts for you Festive Folks

There are times when I feel motivated to write and then there are times where I feel uninspired to write especially around the holiday. I am not all that festive but I tried to be because a holiday is a great reminder that we should celebrate and have fun. Today, I am taking the easy route by recycling some older posts I have written.

It may seem as if I would never run out things to to talk about for Halloween because horror is my favorite genre, but this past two years since Covid-19 happened, I am just not in the mood for horror and dark. I think we seen enough of it in the media when people start dropping like flies or at least I have seen enough in my life. There is time to grieve and there is time celebrate. These days, I want to celebrate life without ignoring that we are living in scary times. For mental health’s sake, I find myself attracted to games like Tales of Xilia on the PS3, which I bought about 7 years ago! The game is about a goddess saving infants from playing with dangerous toys. Okay being sarcastic. Actually, I borrowed the words from the game! So far from what I am gathering, the female lead, Milla Maxwell is trying to protect the world from a mass destructive weapon. How does this game fits into celebrating life? Well, it’s about protecting the world and living in harmony with nature. What did you think? Did I make a great saleswoman?

Enough ranting, here are some horror-related posts you might have missed if you are new to my blog:

We got so many options these days to be entertained but too many options sort of discourage me from binging shows on Netflix. I have seen a few decent films but not enough to write about it:

  • Level 16 directed by Danishka Esterhazy (on Netflix)
  • Fear Street Part One: 1994 directed by Leigh Janiak (on Netflix)
  • The Thing (2011) directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (on Prime Video)

As for T.V shows, I finally finished Twin Peaks season 1 and 2, and Death Note the anime. So stay tune for Death Note review but I haven’t decided to write up on Twin Peaks. It’s a great show. Most people know that by now. If there’s a show you think I might like, please leave a comment and I’ll check it out.

Until next time, Happy Halloween. Can’t wait to buy discount Halloween candy!

Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin Rant: Crown of the Sunken King (Part II)

The boss fight in this DLC is shit. I said it and I’m not polite about it. In fact, the DLC is not mage friendly. I had to reallocate my stats to equip the right weapon to defeat Elana the Squalid Queen. Finally beat her after pulling a few hair strands from my head (don’t worry it will grow back. I hope!).

What was my tactic? Well, I farmed at Lair of the Imperfect bonfire for Petrified Dragon Bone to upgrade the Drakeblood Greatsword to +5. The beasts down there drop about 1700 souls. However, equipping Covetous Silver Serpent Ring will yield more souls. I used the extra souls to level up STR (strength) and DEX (dexterity). Summoned 2 NPCs for the boss fight. One died in the name of being a tank. Equipped gear with high dark magic defense. Regardless, no easy battle and we did it! I mean me and my imaginary friends. But I sure feel like a noob in this area.

Was Squalid a fair fight? Can't Say
We did it!

My character is currently level 157. Yes way too high (haven’t beat the game yet). Got side tracked tinkering things around. Then I realized I’m not making progress. I learned it’s not so much about strategy or timing in this level. The enemies just have high defense. There is a mob of them purposely gaining up on you and mind you better have high resistant to poison. This DLC is purposely hard for hard sake and I don’t really like it.

Trying to get to the Cave of the Dead Bosses Fight
Trying to get down to the boss fight

If you have played Dark Souls II on PS3 and did not purchase the DLC, I would just leave it as it is when the credits start rolling unless you are into the lore and playing for difficulty’s sake. I like to make progress and not get stalled and mainly play this game for artistic exploration. You know like opening an adventure book and reading it except my imagination is limited so I need real visuals to appreciate the fantasy. Dark Souls franchise hit the spot for me. Sadly, I am going to put this game aside even though I have two more DLCs to clear. But then…the ice levels are always my favorite in video games. I can’t just move on. Just look how cool it is? My inner child, is beckoning me to come play with her. So, I just can’t say GOODBYE!!!

Halsdoll Gaming Rant

Dark Souls II Rant: Crown of the Sunken King (DLC)

Where to start..so difficult. How many times have I died? Am I making progress? Yes. 3 weeks later! I finally reached 2 out of 3 boss fights within this DLC but have not beat any of them. The stage design is what got me so addicted to Dark Souls franchise in the first place which came out 10 years ago (Sep. 22, 2011 and I am writing this post on the 23rd)! Wow just look at how time flies. Or maybe I’m just a big fan of nameless heroes/heroines who eventually come up on top through trial and error because the mysterious nobody always make an interesting story: Let’s see how long I’m benevolent and fit to rule until I turn Hollow. The curse of want and wanting is pretty strong. Although I must say, it’s not the throne I’m after. I simply just like obtaining those hard to reach items.

I jump, I slip, I die for a useless torch…com’on! As the saying go, curiousity killed the cat.

It’s a fair sadistic game, or is it? Blame the tagline Prepare to Die which attracted people to the game. No not me. I picked up the franchise because I love FromSoftware games!!! I told myself after beating Dark Souls back in 2011, I don’t want to invest anymore of my time with the franchise. And then on Dark Soul II release day, I bought it in a flash. I simply couldn’t resist. Quality games matter and I know I wouldn’t be disappointed. The game was manageable and quiet to my liking as expected (yes I said quiet and not quite but I was in fact thinking both when I wrote the sentence. Dark Souls II ps3 version is quite melancholically quiet). Dark souls II Scholar of the First Sin, on the other hand, is an uphill battle on purpose. Not so cool, I think. But marketing sure bring in the doe. The DLC that comes with this version is difficult and time invested in it might not be worth it. I spent enough time in it to want to set it aside, but I probably will be back to my abusive lover. I always come back. There are other games waiting in line to be played but not many are seamlessly fun in terms of stage design and boss fights which is why I stick around with this franchise and once you give your soul to the game there is no turning back (I sound so evil). I thought of reallocating my stats to be a pure muscle head (a.k.a. strength built) because the enemies in this stage have high magic defense. Maybe a whack in the face with a hammer as big as my character will do. I have been relying a bit on backstabbing with the mace and have gotten pretty good at it, naturally. I mean so typical of a girl to play mage…actually nope I just thought it was cool to play mage since I rarely play mage in RPGs. Then again, it’s rare since the closes MMORPG games I’ve played were WKC (White Knight Chronicles) and DCUO (DC Universe Online). I played them briefly when I learned that socializing is just not my cup of tea, unless we are dealing with serious business such as slaying the beast!

So far, this stage has been a painful exploration and now I must defeat Elana the Squalid Queen, who is prettily enchanting with her sparkly golden helpers. Can’t say it’s a fair fight from whose end? Well, you see player has the option to summon two NPCs but at the expense the boss’s defense increases. I could just summon one NPC and it does some damage but regardless the boss fight is not easy. Two against one is never easy because I’m still pathetically weak. Maybe it’s time to take off the high heel shoes and wear combat boots instead (No…it has high dark defense which is what I’m up against). Midway, I find myself dodging and rolling from getting attacked and then in the end, I grew tired and die

Let’s just put this aside for now. Yakuza 0 deserves some attention. I feel like a beat em game at the moment. Maybe I just need a punching bag game that will allow me to win for a change. Then again, I just can’t focus on other games unless I beat this one! Oh the woe of being cursed by a video game!