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The World Ends With You January 28, 2010

Posted by huymix in Games.
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What constitutes a Japanese RPG anyways and what does it matter to you. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of RPGs since I’ve only really played a handful. Of those that I’ve played I suppose half are considered Japanese and even from that group I have only finished 1. Notably Final Fantasy 3 on DS (which is the original FF3 that was released in Japan). It’s fair to say that of the RPGs I have played, I prefer the more action-oriented RPGs. I typically use DS games as commute fodder and The World Ends With You did a great job of entertaining me on endless commutes because:

  • The combat is very action-packed and varied. For the most part I controlled Neku (the main character on the touch screen) while I let the computer control my partner (either Shiki, Josh, or Beat). Between the 2 different characters and the many types of pin attacks, there is no shortage of combat variety. It’s not confusing as it is a relief to have so many choices.
  • Sound. Everyone has talked about the music and make no mistake I do like the music in this game (I did love both Ouendan 1 and 2 despite not knowing any Japanese). But in this game, it’s more than just the music that plays that is worthwhile. Sound is crucial because in an RPG you will inevitably listen to it for many hours. The sounds in the game stay fresh even after 20+ hours of hearing the same stuff over and over again.
  • Progression. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it many times. The progression mechanic is easily why games will hook me. The right thing The World Ends With You did was to offer multiple levels of progression. The character, and each pin will separately gain experience. In another twist, clothing and food options also allow for progression while adding in a dose of collection instinct as well.

There are a ton of mechanics in The World Ends With You that I could just keep listing off. IGN can handle all the micro-details. For those of you that either like action-y RPGs or have a killer commute you would like to blast through, then I can definitely recommend The World Ends With You.


Judo April 23, 2009

Posted by huymix in MMA, Sports.
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judo fplusjudo logo beijingIf you read my profile page you should already know that I think quite highly of Judo. Unfortunately, in Canada, Judo is a very niche sport. This is an odd trend considering it’s relative high global participation and the high levels of immigration from nations that are big into judo. If you don’t know what it is, the first thing you need to know is that it’s not Tae Kwon Do or Karate. There are a lot of great reasons to at least try judo, specifically:

  • Fantastic exercise. If you put in the effort, you will work your body as hard or even harder than you might at the gym. I love this quote from Fight Club “guys come in and their asses were made of cookie dough, and they came out carved out of wood”.
  • It’s usable for self-defense. You might say, “I won’t need to learn self-defence cause I won’t be in a position to need it” but that’s what a lot of victims have thought before it happened to them. It’s a rough world out there, you gotta learn to take care of yourself in it.
  • It’s pretty cheap. Unlike say hockey or football, the only equipment you need is a uniform. Not only that, but judo clubs typically have very cheap monthly rates (or drop-in rates) relative to most other sports.

I hated going to the gym. I wasn’t a class-guy but the monotonous track running and weight lifting just didn’t provide enough motivation. With judo in my life, I have a reason to work out, I have a reason to put the effort in, and exercise is not so much work as it is improving my judo. Generally, judo clubs are pretty relaxed, they’ll let you try it out for a bit without paying. Give it a try, it’ll at least be a lot different than whatever you’re doing nowadays.