Tag Archives: Reading

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

Reflecting on Interview with the Vampire (Book): Passivity Is Death

I’m sort of done writing reviews. Writing impression, journaling or reflective posts might be the politically correct term for this type of blog.

When it comes to reading, there’s no way I can ever read all the classics that I have set myself out to apart from discovering new stories from modern day authors. Reading is meditative and truly addicting. I feel as if I have to be immortal to experience the many lives ebbed into a meaningful story which people packaged them into a book and sell them off for profit. Strange concept if you were to ask me, but a writer has to make a living somehow. As a reader, I could play the god and judge the world for myself whenever I open a book. That’s what modernization turned human civilization into, a passive observer. As the bible goes: “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow (Revised Standard Version, 1:18).” Am I doom to be melancholic?

Reading as a pastime is a double edge sword. For one, reading offers an escape but at the same time causes fatigue eyes, and limping body. You see, there is a thing called the clock in which governs our lives. Called it Mother Nature’s clock. We are forced to sleep against our own will and forced to do mundane things to sustain life such as working, eating, cleaning etc. And we can only wish we had more days to live so we can experience life fully to feed our godly curiosity until there’s nothing else to uncover the mystery of our existence. Reading the Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice, made me think do I really want to be immortal? Vampiric immortality is far from living but more like a damnation. Louis, the protagonist is doomed to search the “truth” which he may never find: the origin of his kind. Do they exist just to kill? Are they truly the devil’s servants?

Since I am pressing for time, I won’t go into details about this book. I will just mention briefly that this book argues passivity is the real death. Just watching things slip from your hands when you could have done something about it make you the murderer of time. Things don’t have to stand still. Get up and make some action. That’s the lesson I got from the book.

Finally, I will leave you folks with my favorite quote from the book:

I went though mortal life like a blind man groping from solid object to solid object. It was only when I became a vampire that I respected for the first time all of life.

Through Louis, we see one sad truth about the nature of vampires: they are eternally dead. Therefore, it’s hard not to see life as a gift even if it’s for a brief moment.

P. S

Thank you Nairdalex for reccomending this book!

The Handmaid’s Tale (Book Review) – Eggs and Butter

WARNING: You might never look at eggs and butter the same way again. This is not a proper book review, but more of a reaction against a made-believe religious institution that could possibly happen in America. Lastly, this is a re-blog post. Even though it was originally written for mature audiences, I made it PG-13 in case minors stumble across this blog post.

I cringed when I hear sexist comments such as how women are irrational beings governed by their emotions rather than logic. How can anyone think that 1+1+1+1 ≠ 4? If you put 4 women in a room together, would you call them a clone of one another? No, each woman is different. Women are not a division of a whole number! So, the answer is not 4. The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood, is about all kinds of women.

The book is a dystopia drama but don’t expect a lot of action. The flashback showing the downfall of the society can get painfully distracting sometimes. I had to go back and read the same passage several times. For the most part, the book is poetically descriptive to the point it made me feel sick to the stomach. It loves to point out how the sex organs both male and female are used for reproducing purposes only. There were a few times I wanted to vomit because the author refers eggs to ovaries and butter to beauty cream. Both eggs and butter are consumable and when associating it with sex, it makes it less desirable. Consuming too much eggs and butter will make you sick. In this case, the Commander has accessed to a lot of women, but based on the the way the author described the sex part, he doesn’t seem to enjoy it much, especially when the wife is positioned on the bed where she can see the husband penetrating the handmaid. It’s awkward.

Sex is a production. Anything that deviates from that is considered evil. Sluts should be imprisoned especially the ones who wear false eyelashes. So get rid of those seductive magazines such as Mademoiselle and Vogue! They are forbidden in this absurd society called Republic of Gilead. Let me reiterate. Sex is a production. Baby making is a production. The Commander is a tool, the wife is a tool, the handmaid, Offred (protagonist) is a tool for the society. Everything about it strips the rights of humanity—the freedom to choose, to express oneself, the freewill to desire and so forth.

Now that I finished the book, I’m glad I have the choice to slip onto a nice black dress, reach out for the red lipstick, and spritz a little perfume if I want to feel sexy. Ironically, I’ve never walked out the house like that in my entire life. It’s not because I am religious. I am just reserved. For other women though, I am left wondering how much should they express themselves sexually without losing their dignity? Slut is such a derogatory word. More importantly, the book made me wonder why do society emphasizes so much control over a woman’s reproductive system and tie it to her value? Is she supposed to be nothing more than a pious, baby popping machine? That’s just inhumane. There is a difference between being a good mother to a child and being a slave to a system. Let’s not mix politics with sex.

P.S

There is a TV Show version on Hulu, but I have not watched the entire thing when I got all the important details from the book. It’s a heavy read and a political one that’s hard to digest for many reasons.