RonRoen

The Bromidic Introvert

Digimon World: Next Order [PS4]

5 Aug 2017
Ronald Roen

Welcome to the Digital World!

Digimon! I am a fan of monster collecting games, and out of the 2 well-known franchises..I definitely side with Digimon.

The Digimon franchise have underwent many gameplay changes, changing from each game. But Digimon World: Next Order is definitely an ode to the very first Digimon World franchise. And I LOVE it!

The story is very simple. And smartly simple too. The writers have cleverly hidden the main villain till the last chapter (though for a very short of time too). The Digital World is threatened by a virus that causes the affected Digimon to leave and forget the city. And so a digimon-passionate youth was sucked into the Digital World and journeys to restore the Digital City. The virus has also turned a few of the inhabitants to turn berserk and threatening the livelihood of the Digital World’s inhabitants. Unknowing that the mask behind the virus was a power hungry maniac who lost his mind..for a very childish reason too! The ending dialogue was a painful exchanges of awkward forgive you-forgive me…It was painful to go through, definitely an ending I did not expect (in a bad way).

SPOILER: Ending Dialogue video (Credits to Primera Espada)

Another SPOILER: I think Mameo is the main character from the first Digimon World (1). His clothes(yellow clothes and black beanie…Sounds familiar?)…and his love for Mamemon, which was somewhat of the mascot back in Digimon World.

The story was a simple but the breeding definitely wasn’t!

The Digimon breeding was so complicated, I had to have pen and paper with me and also the magical mr.Google.

Certain stats, precise reborns, specific conditions, causes the Digimon to evolve(digivolve) into a specific Digimon. There were times when I wanted a certain Digimon, following the laid out plan from my paper and the website…and still it digivolves into a being I did not expect it to. And then realized that it was because I had not let it poop in the wilderness enough. Of course, at end game, we get to manipulate this process through a game function.

This. Badass -mons

Battles start as you touch an enemy. A circle ring will materialize and your two -mons will freely move in that ring, crushing the enemy with the power of the bond between the tamer and the -mons. In actuality, most of the battle system involves mashing the X Button at the right time and then do a finishing move that wipes out almost all opponent…so it was easy. And sometimes even when you  have lost the fight, your partner will somehow fuse into one and become badass-mon and wipe the already weakened opponent. So…yeah, that was easy.

 

 

Of course, you need to plan before every excursion into the Digital World. Not enough food? Sickness awaits. Incompatible terrain? Sickness awaits. Haphazard pooping? Sickness awaits. Always carry a band-aid! or death comes a step closer for your -mons. But don’t worry, they get stronger than ever from each death.

Gotta keep them HAPPY 🙂

I could keep on playing this game, but the ending has somehow dampened my mood to further delve into post-game so I only spent 3 hours on post-game. Besides that…after a very food stuffing abuse, my -mons were obviously too overpowered where the final boss and a few of post-game recruitable -mons were easily beaten. That certainly took much from the replay value…for me.

CONCLUSION

Fans of the first Digimon World, will definitely love this. The battle gameplay is a certainly a development update from the that game.(and another Digimon Re:Digitize on 3DS). There also various odes to the first game, from the system sounds to the characters.

Score: 7/10

 

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Challenge #1 – Doctor Troubles

11 Jul 2017
Ronald Roen

So, in my attempt to understand gout and its affect on fitness life. I went to see a nutritionist and physiotherapist, on top of the internist I went to.

Nutritionist:

Gave me a list of food on what not to eat, which was kind-of-a lazy printout of a list I found easily while googling. I studied that list and dug deeper into the internet. And being the internet, information was conflicted. I will study this more and create a gout-friendly diet.

I wonder is that all a nutritionist should have done. Aren’t they supposed to help you create a diet plan or something?

Physiotherapist:

Was of no help. Partly my fault because I did not know that I had to be in pain for the doctor to even listen to me. I came in, she said “I see no redness or swelling, I cannot help you. What are you here for?” So I started to tell her my gout history. I had a few questions I wanted to ask (a few from the Gout and Fitness thread I started here.), but before I could even get to that she cut me off saying the same thing about me not being in pain and she could not do anything. I was annoyed (I have kind of an explosive temper), and told her then cant you at least hear me out and refer me to someone who could or a treatment plan or anything. And when she opened her mouth, her words were “look I really cannot help you unless you are experiencing pain.” I just stood up, told her sorry for wasting her time and left. To me she sounded like she has no experience in the gout field and/or too lazy to help out this misinformed patient.

Well, that was annoying. I wasted her time, i wasted my time and money. I could have googled all that shit or bought a book on it – which I did. Recipe Book and whatnot.

Guess maybe it is because I am living in a third-world country (Indonesia) where the doctors are not educated enough or just plain lazy as shit.

Action Plan:

  • Study the books – understand more
  • Create a gout diet plan – because nutritionist was of no help.

Life Challenge #1

11 Jul 2017
Ronald Roen

My first (second attempt actually) on a challenge.

3 Goals:

  • Get to a Healthy Weight

Overweight at 96kg, healthy weight for 174cm is 78kg. THAT is the target.

  • Confidence Boost

Low confidence has made me the poster boy for bullying target, though I am fortunate enough that it did not happen to me. (I had great classmates.) And also, I want to feel what vanity feels like. That rush when someone tells you that you look good. Or that liberating feeling of stripping your shirt off just because you feel like it. (of course, within permissible boundaries)

  • Handle Life with Gout

26. Gout-sufferer. Doesn’t ring nice, does it? I understand (after countless doctors telling me that) – it is a lifelong disease. I want to learn to handle it – so the least I could do is handle it well-enough, that it doesn’t become a lifelong bother on my mind. I heard some patients that handled it good, only relapses once a year, even once every 2 years. My goal is that.

Action Plan:

  • Get to a Healthy Weight
    • Meet daily step goals of 10,000 (bought a garmin tracker just for this)
    • Workout at least 4x a week
    • Develop a Hydration Habit – 3litres a day.
  • Confidence Boost
    • Stop Picking on Skin. I have bad eczema. And made worst because I pick my skin when idle, scared, stressed, etc
    • Cold Shower. Heard it is good for eczema.
    • Lotion up after shower. Didn’t do it because I thought it was a girly thing to do (is it though?). But I guess I have to now. I’m so dry.
  • Handle Life with Gout
    • Study on Gout.
    • Uric Acid Blood test (or blood test in general) every 4 months.
    • Develop and cook gout diet plan
    • Keep a Gout/Pain Journal

That is it for this challenge. Help me on this journey. Any advises are extremely welcomed. Thank you~

Lost Odyssey [X360]

9 May 2017
Ronald Roen

Lost Odyssey: Hironobu Sakaguchi – A lost gem for SquareEnix

Lost Odyssey is one the few traditional JRPGs to be released on the Xbox360. It was developed by Mistwalker, which was headed by Hironobu Sakaguchi – the father of the Final Fantasy series. Lost Odyssey was his first RPG, since leaving Square Enix. This created a following and the anticipation for the game’s release from the fans of early Final Fantasy release, which was largely due to way the Final Fantasy series has changed.. Furthermore, the team developing this game also included the now-defunct Nautilus – developers of memorable JRPgs such as the Shadow Heart series (one of my favorites) and the Legend of the Dragoon (a highly acclaimed JPRG on the PSX). So what could go wrong? Nothing! I have thoroughly enjoyed Lost Odyssey.

Story! Lost Odyssey story was what stood out for me. Lost Odyssey follows a group of “immortals” take back their memories. The group is then joined with mortals who are closely tied to their memories. The story has a very emotional moments for me – Lirum’s Death and the epilogue. The epilogue really shows that every character in the party has gone through a very fitting character development. (I still fail to understand what is the purpose of Vaan where he is not really tied much into the story and yet is a main character – well, I will be playing the the Zodiac Age remaster to find out~)

The main story involves Kaim  and his immortal friends regaining their memories – where they are observers from another universe. As time flows differently, in the current world, they are made to be immortals. And being immortals, is not easy. They outlive their loved ones, goes through changes of time and could only observe. Eternal rest is never easily attainable.  Also  with lots of power and time, the mind corrupts, therein created a threat to the land. And only the immortals could stop it. Equipped with the desire to protect their loved ones, his legacy, her love and her people. They fight.

The idea of creating a main character that is an amnesiac 1000 years old allowed the writer to tell many stories – which was done through the dreams. Dreams are sort-of like a visual novel where Kaim, recounts his memories acquired throughout his thousand years. These short dreams were very, – highly emotional. I could remember the story of man who was imprisoned so long, burnt his eyes at the first sight of freedom and sunlight. Or the story of the “Upstreamers” who journeys a never-ending journey.

Each “Dream” Kaim has, serves a different moral to the story. Kaim was like a blank slate wherein his 100 years, he experiences different things – each teaching a different lesson and invoke a different emotion.

Youtube user ATYoD has uploaded all 33 dreams on his page.

Gameplay was very basic. Turn-based strategy, where in the battle characters would wait for their turn to beat the crap out of the enemies. Their Aim Ring System was relatively easy. The system allows for bonus damage or ailments atop of the basic attack. A perfect trigger would create most advantage. Think of it sort of like the GunBlade from FF8. Other than attacking, the battle is a traditional turn-based RPG where you command your characters to do an action. Skills, Magic and Item usage does not use/trigger the Aim Ring System.

Characters are divided into 2 types: Immortals and Mortals. Immortals are able to learn all skills by learning from the Mortals and/or from accessories. Much like the AP system of Final Fantasy 9. Although they are able to learn everything, the immortals are still locked to the traditional warrior/mage build. Warrior immortals can never be a mage and vice versa, which makes the infinite possibilities of skill build redundant as they can only be what they are determined to be.

It is very easy to be over-powered in the game, which I regretted. Having attempted the side quests/DLC before the final boss, puts you in a position where the boss is just WAY TOO  easy. You would figure the side quests to be hard, but it wasn’t. I attempted them under-leveled and yet manage to survive battles that provide much EXP that slowly the party gets strong enough to finish through the side quest and then break the game.

Graphics were at the top during the game’s release. However, there were some who had issues on the loading times, though being patient, I do not find it much of a deal-breaker.

Nobuo Eumatsu…the godfather of Final Fantasy music scored this game. Need I say more? I enjoyed 2 particular OST – Howl of the Departed (Final Boss Theme) and  “Dark Saint Battle”. It makes the near-ending boss battles seemed way epic.

“Howl of the Departed” has choir, rock and a rapping Satan – Who would have guessed choir and rap sounds good together. Though I am a simple mind…hair-standing choir chorus has always been present in game music and yet I find these soul-igniting choruses makes almost any battle music sound so awesomely epic.

“Dark Saint Battle” was only used a few times near the ending and yet it is so memorable. The use of a cowbell-like sounding instruments made it so unique and I couldn’t get enough of it. And of course, being a boss battle music, it tied to deliver an epic battle…but the Dark Saints weren’t that much of a threat and only confronted the party once, so the emotions the music delivered was not delivered through this battle. I mean it was just a battle against lesser unknown, none threatening, final boss lackey and yet the music used was so epic I would have used it on a much bigger, more awesome boss.

Conclusion

Story was great but I do not like the character design at all. Kaim has a weird, androgynous clothing on. Mack looks like a girl, especially if you equip him with magic-teaching accessories. Cookie sounded weird. Seth is a bad ass pirate…with a simple sun dress. And Sarah has glasses on – I mean Kaim could survive a meteor crashing on him and Sarah couldn’t get her eyes fixed?

Kiyoshi Shigematsu has really done a great job on penning these emotional and rich short stories. I much prefer them than the main plots of the game. I wished these dreams were narrated. I would think these stories, accompanied with emotional narration would create a more memorable, emotional impact.

I would think – with the battle system – Lost Odyssey was the true successor to the Final Fantasy series. I would think so as Lost Odyssey was created by creator of past Final Fantasies. I will rant about the Final Fantasy transitioning to an action-game in another post.

Score: 8/10

 

 

The Single Grain of Sand – what will he move?

24 Mar 2017
Ronald Roen

Growing up…was rather uneventful.

I do not go into fights, I do not join competitions, and I was just average in my studies.

I never stood out. No one knows me (outside my class)  and no one remembers. And so, I grew up thinking, who am I – trying to influence the world? I am nothing but a grain of sand.

A life that passes by, through an individual who thinks that the world will never be influenced by his actions. A grain of sand in the expanse of the Earth.

However, as the philosophy of Fichte goes –

“You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole.”

So, what will this grain of sand be capable of moving? I am excited to find out!

Daegu 대구 – Hogsmeade Cafe 호그스미드

18 Feb 2017
Ronald Roen

“Why Daegu?” – My friends questioned my decision for my trip to the quiet city in South Korea.

My sole reason of going to Daegu was mainly to go to Hogsmeade Cafe – a themed cafe based off – you guessed it – Harry Potter. [Hogsmeade is the name of an only all-wizarding village.] And so far, it is the only Harry Potter themed cafe to be established in South Korea. And potterheads in South Korea are raving all about the cafe on their blogs!

As I make my way to Gyeongsan from Daegu (man…I should have taken the ITX from Seoul to Gyeongsan station, which was right across the neighborhood where Hogsmeade was at.) I realized that the cafe was situated smack dab in the heart of a residential area, with tall apartment blocks surrounding the area. And hills too!

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Eyes switching from the road, to the map. After a few wrong turns, at last I found it – Hogsmeade Cafe. Where is it? The map showed that it was near a school and so, I let the sounds of children playing to guide me there. And there it was, right in front of the school gates.

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The cafe has a cozy atmosphere to it. It was dimly lit with brown cabin-like feeling to it. There was a digital(?) fireplace and the top, adorned with wizarding artifacts. From books to a potion apparatus, to details like wands, sorting hat and Potter’s glasses. There was also a huge Gryffindor tapestry, with the smaller Slytherin tapestry hanging from the ceiling.

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To the side, there is the Nimbus 2000, where patrons could grab a robe and scarf and pose for a picture. How neat!

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After taking in the sights, I made my way to the counter and placed my order of ‘Tiramisu and Butterbeer’. I am no cake/desert connoissuer but the tiramisu was not great. But the Butterbeer is of more importance! It is after all, the only place in South Korea serving Butterbeer (as far as I could tell). Butterbeer, despite its name, is not beer. I am sure the potterheads who has been tot he Wizarding World in Universal Studios, would know but for those who don’t – it is a non-alcoholic sweet, butterscotch soda drink. Very sweet. And with the added chocolate chips on top, it was very, very sweet.

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It was 2pm, I expected it to be busier as the nearby school has ended its’ classes. But alas, there were only the 4 of us – 2 visitors (and from their shenanigans, they  must be fellow travelers), the barista and me. For the next hour, I sat there – reading my book, ingesting my Butterbeer and watching the potter-struck travelers. With the constant kpop music playing, the magic of a Harry Potter themed cafe has slowly dissipated. And also having satisfied my potterhead side, I left the cafe and made my way back to Daegu.

PS. with my limited Korean language knowledge, I spotted a sign saying that the cafe would be renamed to “King’s Cross in Urban”. Makes me wonder if they had a trademark issue as I understand that the word “Hogsmeade” has been trademarked by Warner Brothers.

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Well, you can ask them yourselves. Here is their Facebook Page: 호그스미드

How did I get there:

  • Take the Daegu Subway to Sawol Station and exit at Exit No.2.
  • Near the exit, there is a bus stop – Board the bus 100-1 for 5 stops and alight at Oksan Woobang Apartment stop.
  • Cross the street, passing through the Gyeongsan Train Station and walk towards the school.

Alternatively,

  • Take the ITX from Dongdaegu or Daegu Station (10,000won+) and alight at Gyeongsan Station.

My Next Reading List? (From The Art of Manliness)

29 Nov 2016
Ronald Roen

One of the earliest articles we published on the Art of Manliness was “100 Must-Read Books for Men.” The piece was a result of a collaboration between the AoM team and a few guest writers. The list was certainly decent enough, but some of the guest picks weren’t books we would personally recommend. So too, over…

via 100 Books Every Man Should Read — The Art of Manliness

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