Reminiscing Point & Click: Three of the most epic games, ever.

Today, I’m proud to say I am an avid gamer. I play a large variety of games and am rarely picky when it comes to the genre. I mainly avoid sports games and recently RTS (because it seems I’ve lost the patience for macro-management). Yet, there is one genre that I’ve always loved to death. I usually notice them when I see that large inanimate background; that character in the corner waiting for your next command; and especially those stationary objects and people waiting for some sort of interaction… Hell yes! I’m talking about those awesome Point-and-Click Adventure games.

PCs always proved to have superior graphics to consoles and P&C showed them how. I admit that I was lucky enough to have enjoyed this genre when the graphics were pretty much comical illustrations. There were three games I loved the most – These games changed the way I looked at gaming and general problem solving. I will forever credit them for being some of the best games in time for the countless hours of fun spent on playing and re-playing them over and over again!

The first of these, is Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail. Sure, the story is about a dirty old pervert but it was the animation, jokes and puzzles that really caught me. I was probably way too young to play this game, but I didn’t understand 80% of the adult humour in it anyway – Didn’t bother me… I just wanted to finish the game. Larry is an old pervert looking to get laid. That’s it. The whole game revolves around him trying to get into the pants of every babe he meets on the cruise ship. Obviously he gets up to no good as things never go his way – But we go through a hell of a journey to help get this desperate guy some loving.

If the 2D-ness from Leisure Suit Larry didn’t give it off already, the next one up is obviously the Curse of Monkey Island. This was the third installment in the Monkey Island series and the first (and unfortunately last) one to use beautifully drawn 2D art. Everything about this game was perfect – It wasn’t too hard as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and listen out for the hints nor was it too easy because play-throughs were never under 2 hours; the music scores are perfect and will ALWAYS be remembered by Monkey Island fans; the humour in this game is corny as hell and yet delivered exceptionally well; the story is exciting, touching and immersive…

There are so many things I want to say about this game but the one thing I have to highlight is the main character… Guybrush Threepwood. He is no Captain Sparrow but he is by far one of the most entertaining character ever created. I doubt anyone out there who’s played this game can say they didn’t feel something for this character. Whether you felt sorry for him, laughed with/at him or even felt annoyed by him – The impact of this character made the game what it was: Legendary.

So where does this leave us? The third and final game I have to mention isn’t just one game but two: Broken Sword. The first two installments, The Shadow of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror followed the adventures of George Stobbart. This game has been described time and time again as one of “the best adventure games” and it definitely is. Our protagonist travels the world uncovering ancient mysteries, saving his girlfriend and searching for treasure – Everything that any Indiana Jones fan back in the day dreamt of. Today at least, these two games have been remastered and are available on the iPad. If you haven’t yet played them, do take a look.

There are obviously plenty more I haven’t mentioned like Grim Fandango, Sam & Max, Discworld, Day of the Tentacle and heaps of other retro games like the King’s Quest series. But these three games (sorta’) were my favourite. I loved them to death and have played them over and over again growing up. These games were entertaining and (now looking back) very educational because they taught us how to think outside the box. We all wanted to be like MacGyver – combining a pen, chewed bubble gum and a battery to make a laser beam – and that’s what made these games brilliant. This was the closest to sandbox we had back then, and yet ironically the most linear. The idea of having to explore a world to find everyday objects to get past insane obstacles made us giggle like little school girls.

So what happened to the Point and Click genre? Why aren’t there any sequels? Well, I hope to talk about this in my next post… Stay tuned.

Merry X’mas and a Happy New Year

Wishin’ everyone a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Unfortunately, did not get to post all of this earlier due to being way too busy over the holidays. Having that horrid sore throat didn’t help either. But here we are in 2012 – The last year of human civilisation according to the Mayans so let’s make it count!

Going to avoid writing too much on this, just going to attach a few photos from New Years at Waverton Park.

Why do we feel the Christmasy butterflies?

Christmas is just around the corner, everyone! I’ve always been excited about Christmas: setting up the tree, shopping and wrapping the presents, and having the family feast. You know all those corny mentions in media about having that merry ol’ feeling during Christmas – I have it every year, whether there are presents or not.

But why? I’m not a Christian, let alone a hardcore one and I grew up surrounded by the Asian culture.So when Christmas comes, why do I feel that excitement and eagerness as if something special is going to happen on the 25th of December?

Memories. When I was a wee little baby in Australia, my Dad dressed up as Santa Clause over a couple of Christmas celebration and I have to say those memories are still with me today. Chinese-eyed black eyebrowed Santa rocking up to my house was cool – Apparently my brother even asked my Mum, ”Mummy, why does Santa Clause look Asian?”. This was only the beginning.

Media. When I think of Christmas, some things come to mind including Macaulay Culkin smacking aftershave on his cheeks in Home Alone, imagery of Mr. Bean with his head up a turkey and that episode where Alvin & The Chipmunks (the cartoon, ofcourse) play the Jinglebell Rock. These pieces of media always told us stories of Christmas miracles which were extremely inspiring.

Faith(lessness). I learnt a lot about the right things to do (ethics) and the beauty in simplicity (humility) throughout my childhood. Today, nobody can deny how disgracefully the world has evolved: Filthy rich people with dirty money doing illegal shit, spending it on alcohol and drugs; governments playing god, making decisions on how societies should live out their lives; people wasting time on their cellphones or computers to read and comment on their friends instead of actually spending time with them. I guess this sort of goes back to Media – back in the day, Christmas media always showed how the world would transform on Christmas and act saintlike. So every Christmas  gives me that glimmer of hope that I’ll be able to see a completely different world of happiness, humility, togetherness and generosity (yeah, I can be a hippy too).

Put these things together and you have a Christmas Addict looking for ways to make things feel more Christmas-y. Presents are only a fraction of the festival and deserve a lot less focus than they have today. If we put more focus on giving and less on the taking, the world would be a better place… For a day even, it would be well worth it.

Enjoy the photos of the beautiful displays at David Jones taken yesterday, below.

Saturday X’mas BBQ and Why Gunbound skills are not transferable

Last Saturday, we had a great Christmas BBQ feast which turned out to be more of an Ultimate Frisbee Training session for the guys. As part of this festive season, we partook in a game of Kris Kringle. So each of us were to bring a present: budget set at $20, no mugs, no edible goods. We drew numbers and then took turns to either unwrap a new present or steal a present that had been previously unwrapped and held by another person. If a present was stolen, the previous owner would then get a choice of unwrapping a new one or stealing someone else’s. The sneakiness and backstabbing definitely gets you in the festive mood, doesn’t it?

All this aside, what I really want to talk about is the Frisbee-ing. Throughout our adolescent life, we grow up building our skills: We learn basic mathematics so we can calculate whether it is worth while to make a purchase; we learn to run and kick a ball to build up that stamina and speed to catch the bus we’re running late for; we learnt to make up great exciting alibis for our teachers when we forgot our homework to use that exact same skill on our bosses to take sickies. Almost every skill or knowledge we picked up through our life has been transferable to something we do today (with the exception of useless subjects like History).

So I was a pretty decent player of that oh-so-awesome online game, Gunbound and while playing Frisbee on Saturday, I realized how similar this throwing-of-a-plastic-plate was to Gunbound. If any of you don’t know what Gunbound is or may have forgotten, it was a simple game where you’d use your character and fire projectiles at your opponents – Like Worms (see image to the right)

In this image, we have the cute little Boomer that threw boomerangs that were significantly affected by the wind. This made it possible for trick-shots at weird angles like doing back-shots (firing it in the opposite direction but being blown backwards to your opponent).

With this in mind, I adjusted my angles and power to based on the wind speed, and attempted “skill-shots” with the Frisbee. Needless to say, I failed pretty hard. Once, I even threw the Frisbee over a barb-wired fence into some dodgy area with snakes and crocodiles. This was when I used my transferable skipping-school fence vaulting skills to re-obtain our flying discus.

When I finally convinced myself that my golden hammer from Gunbound wasn’t going to help me out here, I started from scratch and eventually got the hang of it. Now, let’s see where these Frisbee skills will be transferable.

Photos of the X’mas BBQ, Kris Kringle, some Frisbee action and Gizmo’s new friend, Mosby below. Thanks for taking the photos, Sonia :)

How 2011 burnt a hole in my wallet

So looking back at 2011, I realized that this is definitely the year I have spent the most. This could be because it’s my first year of official employment; I’m getting bored of Australia or maybe I just found some great bargains I couldn’t turn down. While I’m hoping it’s the latter, the reason doesn’t matter – The damage has been done and I can only try my best to save my bank account from the evils of marketing and social influence (poisoning as we put it).

  1. 42-inch LCD TV ($600)
  2. Playstation 3 console ($400)
  3. Five PS3 games ($400)
  4. Monster Beats Solo HD ($200)
  5. Stanton ST150 + Serato SL1 + Stanton SA-3 ($1000)
  6. Macbook Air 15″ ($1,400)
  7. HPI Nitro RS4 RC Car ($420)
  8. Holidays ($4000)
  9. Four suits ($1,250)
  10. Three pairs of shoes ($350)
  11. Gifts/Presents ($550+$250)

Total: $10,820 AUD

Hey! That’s not so bad. In fact, I think I did pretty good. However, since these are just the large-ish purchases from the top of my head and a deep hole still burns in my wallet right now this brings the question: What the fuck have I been spending on?!

Honey, I’m home

Why hello.

So my blog got attacked the last time and I accidentally deleted all the files without a backup (hence images won’t be showing up in archived posts now). Thankfully, the posts were still restorable as they were still on the database.

I put off rebuilding the site for a while because blogging was getting a bit drawl for me. It seemed that I had become one of those ‘bloggers’. I was blogging and hoping to gain the attention; to increase my visitor rate and to seek a bombardment of comments. Those Malaysian instincts must have kicked in and evolved my initial goals (of using this as my dear diary) into what it became – A monkey performing for an imaginary audience.

I want to use this website as a hub for discussions of issues marinated in my ideas and opinions. Something that I can come back to in the future to relate to or even reiterate.

Here’s to a new blogging life. A blog where I hope my motives stay on track this time. Need I mentioned this is the third or fourth reboot of my blog? :)