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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Review : Spec Ops: The Line

The only I remember about Spec Ops franchise back when my childhood days, its on Playstation X where the game play resembles and looks like Army Men franchise but with real soldiers as character you play in the realistic setting, after long years forgotten I found this game recommended as a game that every shooters and military genre fans should try. 

I played and finished this game twice when for the first time, I played it curiously because of the unconventional plot and great story line about how bad the outcome of being in combat and military environment to question your morality as in the process to finish the game. 

And secondly, I re-played for fun and also make little bit different choices on the game play where SO:TL is basically third person shooter with linear plot but still give choices to its player to see what will we choose for better decisions on combat that later affects how we see the characters we play (that basically the player themselves) about the deed we have done every each chapter. One thing for war : Kill or be killed, or you don't have to?

Here is my review: 

PLOT :

You are Martin, an idealistic soldier with high rank as captain. Along with your two partner and subordinate. You are deployed into a post-natural disaster state on Dubai, a city that was wiped by the standstorms. And here is your task, a simple task: Find survivors and mysterious radio signal that presumed as evacuation from inner city with civilian survivors and armies that you have to face in combat and later leads you into a journey of our main character mental state of mind choices where your partner question a lot about your decision into deep rabbit hole with the intense of inside city battles which you dont fight your enemy but also your sanity. 

As a military shooter game, the plot will drag you into philosophical questions about choices and your realization (as player) to continue fighting and also SO:TL will deconstruct the whole thing of being what is right and what is wrong in military combat with realitic touch how are you the hero of this story when you have to fight what you tought is right as your duty.

CONTROL :

Grab your controller or simply use mouse+keyboard, the control is pretty responsive with stunning graphic and dynamic camera movement that shows third person perspective which makes this game easy to enjoy and not really hard when you are in combat, I personally use normal mode and found its challenging because as in combat you have to think on every single move you have to do.  As main character, you can bring two type of guns and explosives where you can find along the gameplay or you can simply grab your enemy weapons after being taken down. As a captain, you can order your two partners (as AI) to use their skills in order to solve the thightness in some combats where they can shoot specific enemies or doing distractions to move forward. 

The gameplay set some realitic tone when it comes to your health system, you wont see any healtbar or indicator, just avoid massive of gunfires from enemy or you instantly being killed, your character can survive if your partners maintain their distance in order to save you if you are taken down. Probably, the annoying side of control system is when the cover system in combat have false detection in deciding to take cover or moving forward. 


VISUAL :

Enjoy stunning visual of post-disaster state of Dubai where sky scrappers are being torn and crushed buried among desert hills, walk and explore straight into miserable places of war casualties and what left that you will experience. Some parts are athmospheric and you may find some disturbing scenes (that involves with the plot) This game visual will touch your minds (literally) and your character mind when they face some odd strange situations where leads you into questioning, are you enjoying this kind of game, or you just feel something else. 

Moreover, this game have to offer interesting side of how music really influences how you perceive this game as serious but sometimes (in the early parts of games) it have the fun part of musical cues that can be enjoyed while you shoot everyone. The voice acting are top-notch and convincing that the characters you are playing have the situation as in the game.

FUN : 

SO : TL have good tier storyline where I assumed eventhough the plot sounds cliche at the first time (about a soldier being a hero and typical American shooters where glorifies its greatness and you act like another Rambo in this game, eventually, I was wrong. This games have no fun when you really think of how it projects what is great being American soldier or simple being a soldier when facing the outcome what you did on the entire gameplay. Yes, you do mass killing people and blow some shits to progress, its fun on video game medium. But when SO : TL approaches of realistic tone of this kind of genre. It has the plus point where I stated this game deconstructs what is kind of type shooter genre looks like mostly, and this game prove us wrong. 

If you like playing shooter game with great storyline and message, grab this game and experience your state of thought will be filled the consequences of various feeling on your main character decision and choice by the hand of yourself as the player in the challenging of combat system but still rewards you an thought-provolong experience.

Rating : 8/10

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Review : Sophie's World and How It Affects My Perspective about Learning Philosophy

“A Russian astronaut and a Russian brain surgeon were once discussing religion. The brain surgeon was a Christian but the astronaut was not. The astronaut said, 'I've been out in space many times but I've never seen God or angels.' And the brain surgeon said, 'And I've operated on many clever brains but I've never seen a single thought.” ~ The best part of book.

I dont have buyer remorse syndrome for buying this book as my collection and wasting my time to finish it. I used to roll my eyes when attending philosophy class in college because at that time it sounds like a bitter pill for me when I listen someone told me about philosophy which is in my language called "Filsafat". 


In my Islamic boarding school on my teenage years, it is stated that person who learn it could be insane and crazy enough if you cant handle this scientific field which I thought was kind of supernatural teaching that our teachers mastered to unlock the truth about faith and how to believe. 

Back to my college days where on first years that I dont really care of, philosophy is a new field where I had to yawn my lecture told me some strange un-Islamic names from Greek talking shit about the meaning of human origin and the universe. I remember other students didnt have same enthusiast either, we just see that this field is obligatory to pass one of our first semester, and after that philosophy was never heard again because our major was English learning. And yes, even our lecture told me its so pointless because it against of Islamic faith but students my study it in order to understand western education system and how its related to our major. 

For me, philosophy is the all answer of my unanswered questions how the world works after years being "outside" of world than my boarding school taught me how to become that good moslem or simply being dogmatic religious. It challenges my rationality and also what is the best way to reveal the core principal of being someone in the era I got more knowledge and perspective from Internet and also people I have met from different countries. And also, it amazes me that everything I enjoy and live comes from philosophical thinking of someone who already dead. 

So, I tried to look for some material like books and video about philosophy teaching that mostly made me yawning more than enjoying it because those teaching material were so systematic and hard to understand in order to relate what was the matter right now. So I have found some interesting learning sources where I can relate to. I can study philosophy by watching some Youtube videos about how pop culture medium can be entertaining and philosophical at the same time. 

And book is different matter, books about philosophy are mostly written in non-fiction way. When I look up for books about philosophy as my personal birthday present, I found "Sophie's World" novel on the book store with the subtitle "a book about philosophical novel" that interested me to get even though the synopsis is plain simple, where a young girl was challenged to question herself about her existence from mysterious man.

The book has everything that philosophy book for dummy has to offer, but it has charm with the story line and characterization having discussion about the beginning of philosophy history with examples (that helped me to understand the context) to modern philosophy where will lead into our main fate conclusion that keeps me reading. Some parts were like my college philosophy class but still keep me on the line listening the lecture while give me understandable example and how events on the plot still relate-able with the sequential subject of philosopher figures each chapter. 

Maybe I cant recall everything the whole novel I've got here but the magic of Sophie's World will remain intact on my mind about what philosophers can give their teaching and also its meaning when it comes to understand their work. Actually, I dont read novel too much and I am also selective how I invest my time finishing a book to keep me learning subjects that interest me, and Sophie's Wolrd becomes one of my all time favourite because it introduces me how something I question have the way to explore by using thesis, anti-thesis, and synthesis method to give me some answers that I have not know before. 

Rating : 9/10 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Review : Kane and Lynch: Dead Men™

To be fair, writing this review should be divided into two kind of aspects. First of all, the technical issue, this game is barely out-dated so everyone can run the game flawlessly and I had nothing problem on running it on the latest GPU such Gtx1060 with i7 processor. You have to install Windows Live first to run the game if you encounter error issue such the game wont start properly.

The second thing, of course its about game play. So lets get started with the plot.

PLOT

You are Kane, an ex-criminal that do revenge against to your crime organization because they kill your family and must save your daughter that is kidnapped. In order to do that, you don't do it alone, you will be accompanied by Lynch, a troubled temperamental guy who swears a lot. He helps you during the game play and mission which you must shoot everyone from police to Yakuza where the game play is basically just getting from point A to B and so on with interesting feature such as commanding your partner or your groups (on some mission) to face your enemy for killing. 

Story-wise its over-used theme and the dialog are terrible, for personal reasons, I cant see the reason why the writers here write their every single characters in this game have swearing lines that were not necessary and exaggerating in order to convince the character you play is not average good guy trope. Its like written by an edgy writer who thinks that character who swears a lot is great to convince the player that has unique personality, and the problem almost single of characters here sound same with angry attitude. 

CONTROL

This game requires keyboard and mouse to control, so if you have controller/joystick its useless. The problem with the control mechanic is really awful in aiming for far range. You have to remember precisely which the keyboard button function for exact control. The most annoying thing that this game dont have "jump" button which in one mission I almost being stuck to continue my game play, and besides please be patient that your movement isn't smooth enough to move with confusing camera movement and auto-hiding feature that is glitchy. But overall, still you can enjoy game if you get used with default controlling mapping if you don't play this game often. 

VISUAL 

Its little bit out-dated but still cannot categorized into retro game considering this game came out in mid 00s. The facial movement looks stiff and sometimes ridiculously weird with characters moving their lips on dialog unsynchronized and you can find bug here and there during the game play. 

FUN

For the game that you can spend for more 5 hours, this game can potentially be fun for third-person shooting genre, but considering this game is not controller / joystick ready and have lack of story-line interesting plot. You can still add to your collection but for me, Its really hard to see what is the replay value from this game and maybe I never look back because the only thing makes thie game interesting is probably its kind of starter to explore third-person genre on PC that is "cheap" to try on Steam (bought on sale). 

P.s : too bad, there is no such button beside yes or no on steam, i'd like to put "maybe". 

Rating : 6.5/10
Steam Link : 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Year of watching capeshit movies

Watching movies in cinema are the most generic hobbies that modern people do. And I am one of them, and the only reason I watch in cinema because I like watching capeshit movies or superhero movies that started attract me in 2015, its pretty late and I didn't jump in the band wagon because I remember this kind of genre has existed several decades ago and I think watching this kind of movie just like chores that you can watch on TV besides the idea of grown man using costumes I thought its so campy and marketed toward kids.

I am pretty sure that the glory age of capeshit movies emerged since the birth of "Internerd" culture in early 2010's where watching capeshit is a must to do in understand internerd memes so that you can stay hip and being that nerdy guy who know imaginary characters based on comic books and being involved endless debates which capeshit movies are the best.

So, I tried to watch religiously some late cape shit superhero movies like The Dark Knight trilogy and get attracted by its approach serious tone how a man in bat suit fighting againts any ideals from his enemies that look stupid enough that this is based kid cartoon but re-imagined for adult audience. And then It gets me, I then watched Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America and another superheroes original movie, some of interesting part are those movie have fun tones but still takes realistic approach to depict how the heroes are still relevant, moreover... I really prefer to watch the origins of each superheroes itself.

Tv serials are also something that I cant miss where probably those series require time investments in order to finish. Maybe I want to discuss about this later. But the thing that attracts me watching this medium is same as the reason i like cinema capeshit offered, origin of superhero and what kind of thing they stand and fight for.

Moreover, capeshit movies will be likely endless trends that people like to watch perhaps one or two decades later this will be ended. Its like western themed movie that had glorious days  in early rise of cinema which I think this has same case with superhero that rely on the good guy vs bad guy card that save the whole world or city and even the whole universe.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Podcast Episode 01 : Ofcourse its about Podcasting

Its midnight before my birthday, I read my last previous post that I wrote a year ago about everything that related with my aspirations and something I want to achieve. Realistically saying some of them have not reach to be true, I just think maybe I don't create another one. Just simply being focused to finish them all.

Anyway, I like archiving what happened on my life that I spent, not all of them mostly. Taking pictures, create notes (on my secret blog) and also writing blog occasionally. I managed to plan creating audio and share it into Internet, something like called as Podcasting, so I start recording my self using a microphone device that I bought several months ago that is dedicated for Podcasting, thankfully... I can start now.

For the first episode I want to say its about podcasting itself, what I want and why you should do for archiving thought into Internet and also sharing your opinion into audio file (I am quite sure that Internet is already filled with various opinions). I like learning about media and want to master it (that what I wrote last year ago) and maybe podcasting will be like my attempt to get started for applying what I have learnt about it.

If you use PC, creating podcast is not actually that really simple and it takes about 2 hour for recording and edit the audio for better audio quality which is better than using recording device on smartphone. So, I manage to post occasionally once or twice in a week for scheduling and also planning on the topic that later circle around media like books, video games and movie review. Also, language learning and culture are my interest and will be feature for future episodes.

Here we are, this is my first episode of my podcasting and ofcourse ots about podcasting: