Spending Habits & Piracy

Spidey 3 on DVD! With free golf umbrella!

Spidey 3 on DVD! With free golf umbrella!

Spider-Man 3 arrives on DVD today! Mua ha ha ha ha! I’ve been hanging out here at Cineleisure and catching up on work after my lunch appointment at Dorae Garden in Hartamas. I’ve been seated here at Kopi Oh since 2-something leeching their internet & electricity. I think the proprietor is getting a bit annoyed with me so I’ll probably have dinner here … the nasi lemak & asam laksa is starting to look very, very good. Hopefully the Spidey 3 DVD will arrive at the store before I have to head off for my 8pm appointment with Juwita.

Korean BBQ lunch!

Korean BBQ lunch!

I’m feeling super pleased that today has been a productive day. This week overall has been pretty productive and I got to spend quality time with the people that mean the most to me. I got to spend some time with Tim from my cell yesterday and on Tuesday I got to hang out with my best friend J-son too.

Anyways, I’ve been buying original DVDs, CDs & video games starting end last year and so far I’ve not picked up a single pirated movie. I think it’s a good habit to pick up because it helps me think twice about how I spend my money and also I spend less time watching movies. I’ve thought about this long & hard and basically came to the conclusion that it’s better to spend less time on the non-essentials. I figure that if I were to buy an original video game for example it’d be far better to buy a good one and make the most of it. When I was playing pirated stuff on my PS2 I realise that I played probably like 2% of my purchases with 98% of the games mostly gathering dust somewhere. Besides! Packaging on original stuff is a whole lot nicer and I think it’s great to have a collection of things instead of crummy loose CD sleeves lying around.

Some of you might say “Why are you so bodoh (stupid)?” “Why spend a couple of hundred ringgit on original stuff when you can buy a pirated item for far less?” My stand on this would be that the makers of the games & movies work hard to put it out their craft in very much the same way that musicians work on their songs. Have you ever stopped to look at the film credits after a movie? That’s like a few hundred people who put their expertise into making that movie you just watched! It took me going into the music industry to fully understand that fact especially in a difficult market like Malaysia … plus pirated stuff generally finances a lot of underworld elements that we don’t know about. Piracy is a crime! But I do question what our government is doing to make stuff like music, video games & software affordable to the general public. Now that’s some food for thought no? Who are you financing when you pick up a pirated video game or movie?

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New Video Games & So MUCH More

Wow … I’ve decided to finally do a bit more blogging this year especially in the wake of all the new things that have been happening in my life. PLUS not just a boatload but a shitload of video game updates.

It’s 8:26pm now. I’ve not had dinner and have been going at Puzzle Quest on my Nintendo DS for the past 2 hours or so I think. Last I remember it was 6:30pm and had just climbed a top my loft bed. I played & played till the battery on my DS died and so I’ve been forced out of my Puzzle Quest! Ha ha! I’m hungry now so I better go scrounge out some food. Looks like it’s gonna be good old “sambal-flavoured” Indomie! Yums! My absolute favourite.

Some gaming updates! My brother & I picked up a Nintendo Wii last month and it’s been good fun. We’ve even gotten our dad hooked on it; it’s mostly the tennis mini-game in Wii Sports though. I picked up a copy of Super Paper Mario too but haven’t dug my teeth into that game properly yet. The bundle came with Marvel Ultimate Alliance which was pretty OK and even though I wasn’t too impressed at first I found myself going back to it again & again for more mindless beat em’ up action.

I’ve also been picking up lots of original PS2 titles whenever I visit Singapore and am the proud owner of quite a few titles. I’m particularly pleased with Guitar Hero II which is super good fun. Since I play the guitar pretty OK, getting through the game is quite alright but am stuck on the Hard setting which requires a lot of dexterity. The Expert setting almost killed me and made me feel like I suck at guitar (I don’t in real life)! Ha ha!

On a more serious note, things are picking up for me. Being able to blog again is good since it must mean that I’m not feeling too depressed anymore. 2-and-a-half years of pining for one girl certainly takes its toll on a person. I’ve started a new music label with Juwita called Four Forty Records, I’ve been meeting many local celebrities in my work and my cell group in church is really growing. Things are picking up definitely and just recently I’ve decided to just forget her and move on with my life. It’s hard having to stop loving someone who has chosen to ignore all that’s good about you in favour of someone else whom you know doesn’t match up in so many ways to you but that’s just life. I honestly don’t know how I can be friends with her again but I guess I’ll just have to leave it to God to work that out. Right now it’s time to glue back all the pieces of my broken heart and to enjoy what God is blessing me with in the here and now.

I’ve gotten a Sony Ericsson K750i but Blogger doesn’t have that much space for pix. I’ll have to figure out how to get more space so I can put up pix of my room and also all the video game stuff that I’ve gotten in the past 2 years. In addition to that I’ve been to lots of places too! And also I wanna give everyone on the World Wide Web a glimpse into the always exciting & never dull moments of my life (it can get tedious but I must say that’s it’s always interesting!).

I’ll drop a post sometime tomorrow I guess. Time to look into how to get more webspace for pictures!

Cheers!

Cheap XBOX!

I just got a call from my buhd over at Gamester Direct in 1U about a sweet deal for an under-played XBOX for just RM800! If I could afford it I’d probably get one but as it is I’ve already made my one brand new console purchase for the year already. Yes … I must admit now that I have gotten me a brand new NINTENDO DS and it’s still not even a month old. Anyway if anyone of you are interested in the XBOX just head on over to Gamester Direct in 1U and ask Eddie at the shop. Tell em’ you read about it on Chris Leow’s blog. The XBOX package contains the following:

  • 2 S-controllers (the smaller sized XBOX controllers not the clunky ones)
  • 2 original games (Halo 1 & Star Wars: Clone Wars)
  • 150 “other” games
  • The XBOX unit itself plus the cables (TV, power cable, etc)

I’m not too sure what colour it is though so if check it out if any of you out there are interested. It’s a pretty sweet deal I must say! Meanwhile I gotta get back to my DS … I’ve been playing with it a whole lot more than my GameCube or my PS2. The touch screen on that baby brings a unique flavour to gaming and I must say I’ve been having loads of fun playing Kirby: Canvas Curse and just recently acquired a copy of Meteos too which I have yet to spend much time on.

Long live NINTENDO!

Gears of Solid Metal!

Ah … where do I begin with this excellent game by Hideo Kojima? For those unfamiliar with the series, Metal Gear focuses very much on stealth and was the first of its kind. It inspired the birth of a whole new genre in gaming with an emphasis on not sneaking through levels instead of running, gunning and mowing down hordes of enemies.

But then I digress. I had a blast playing Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It’s arguably the best installment in the series. The game play mechanics are uniquely Metal Gear and it becomes second nature once you’re used to it. You’ll probably be sneaking around like a pro in an hour or two but then again I’ve played Metal Gear games before so I’m already acquainted with the control scheme.

The graphics are superb and it’s a joy to see the wilds of a jungle come to life on your TV screen. What’s more the cinematic sequences are incredibly well done with a music score by Harry Gregson Williams that’s just oozing with movie magic goodness. If more games are made this way it’d be the best marriage between gaming and movies. Sure the dialogue can be campy and corny at times but I think that’s done on purpose as Metal Gear makes it a point never to take itself too seriously.

Hideo Kojima always has a social/political message in his games and this one is no different. Fortunately the message isn’t as preachy this time round which made the game a whole lot more enjoyable. It is the tour de force gaming experience that you shouldn’t miss on the PS2. What’s more it’s highly re-playable and very addictive. It even made me crack out my copy of Metal Gear Solid 2 for a re-play and when I get back my copy of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for my GameCube I’ll probably have another go at that one.

This game gets a most worthy 10 out of 10. Check it out at the nearest video game stall near you.

Fun Factor: 10 out of 10
Addictiveness: 10 out of 10
Graphics: 10 out of 10
Overall Grade: 10 out of 10

Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone

I toldja guys I’d be writing about games right? Ha ha ha ha ha! If you aren’t interested in games at all then you’d better skip this blog entry.

I picked up Demon Stone for the PS2 sometime last week at my regular gaming haunt in 1 Utama after meeting up with some friends there. I’d been keeping track of the game for a fair bit as the graphics looked sweet! And in that respect I was not disappointed. The graphics are absolutely amazing. In one level as my characters were duking it out with some Slaad (Slaad are some planar beings from another realm), there was a huge red dragon battling one of the villains in the game. The rumbling of the battle in the background plus the on-screen action with my other characters certainly made the the game a somewhat more cinematic experience. I must say that Stormfront Studios have a most excellent game engine which I hope to see used to better effect in other games.

The plot while not the most original certainly feels very well written. Of course one would expect it to be so since R.A. Salvatore, a best-selling Forgotten Realms author with Wizards of the Coast. I read somewhere that he only wrote 1 page worth of plot and dialogue which explains the shortness of the game. I think beat the game in something like 8 or 10 hours; it gets my vote for shortest video game of 2004.

As a game itself, there isn’t much to shout about. All I did was mash the same combo over again & again to defeat the scores of enemies that came pouring at me. Although I must say the 3 person party element of the game was pretty unique. Me … I just stuck to the human warrior and lopped of the heads of all who stood in my way while my companions supported me. I was pretty annoyed towards the end of the game when battling the red dragon boss in the game. On my first try I managed to whittle down its lifebar to 0 but then I found I couldn’t kill it. Much to my dismay I got killed and later on had to replay the level multiple times to try to kill it. After much searching on the official forum I discovered that you had to use each character in turn after its lifebar was at 0 to take down the best. That really irritated me and I must say the developers should be maimed a little for programming that into the game.

Demon Stone does allow for some customization to your characters. At the end of every level you complete, you are given points to purchase different skills for each character plus GOLD to buy all kinds of nifty D&D items like +1 swords and the like. I couldn’t be bothered with it although I can get pretty engrossed in character customisation in most of the games I play. All I did was hit the auto buy option and got the game to just buy whatever it saw fit to add on to my characters which allowed me to plow through the game quickly.

In closing, Demon Stone was a pretty fun romp but I doubt I’ll be going back to playing it a second time through. Play it for the eye candy because I really do think it’s the best looking PS2 game out there now. To its credit I did end the game (if you looked into my cupboard now you will find tons of unfinished games) so I’d say the game did keep my occupied for a fair bit of time. Overall I’d give my escape from reality in playing this game a 6 out of 10.

Fun Factor: 6 out of 10
Addictiveness: 1 out of 10
Graphics: 10 out of 10
Overall Grade: 6 out of 10