Rambling

Where do I even start.

It seems that every time I get on the keyboard, I always have something to whine about.

It’s just been a long day for me today, really. I’m writing this to relax, get things out of my head. Clean my mind so that I can be a perfectly happy person.

Student Health Services sent me a survey called “Healthy Mind” a few days ago. I took it, and I got a 24/27 on the possibility of being depressed. What the fuck. So I’m depressed I guess?

My original intention for writing blog posts like this was to put what’s on my mind into a blog post so that later I can read it again and reflect on it. However, I never look at them again. As paradoxical as it sounds, I’m still doing it. Sometimes I just do stuff without a lot of reasoning. I just do it for no reason. It’s just me. But I always put safety on my mind tho. I would never do things that might endanger myself in a heartbeat.

How can one person just be happy? I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately. Happiness is like those Nike commercials. You want that body but you’re not going to get it. Nike makes you think you can, but you really can’t. You just can’t, you can’t, that’s it. People say, count your blessings, be grateful, be loyal, shit like that. However, the way I see it, the less you know, the less you see, the more grateful you are towards life. I’ve seen too much and I can’t help it.

“Maybe it’s just jealousy mixing up with a violent mind. The circumstances that don’t make much sense, or maybe I’m just dumb. I’m a chump.” That’s me right there. That’s why Green Day is the best band ever. I can always sympathize with Billie. You go Billie.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m not happy lately. I still remember when I was in China, life was fairly simple. Although I was learning hard stuff in a very mechanical way, I didn’t complain about it. Wake up, go to school, do problems, do homework, go to sleep, life was that simple and I was a perfectly happy person. Occasionally I do really really well on tests, which made me even happier because I can use high test scores to bargain with my parents so that they can buy me stuff, like new sneakers or small electronic gadgets. I wasn’t popular in my school at all, girls didn’t like me, I wasn’t really outstanding in anything, but I was perfectly contented with the little I had.

Now that I’m in the States now. Land of opportunity and the realm of dreams come true. What the fuck is my dream? And why the fuck does it seem so far away from me?

Fuck.

Sorry for that, well, sorry not sorry actually.

I should have like, a catchphrase for finishing the blog post. I’ll skip this time and think about it before I post the next blog post. Good night folks.

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Hotline Miami Review

This is the most captivating game I’ve ever played.

In the current state of gaming that promotes better graphics, advanced interfaces and timely storylines,Hotline Miami went against everything that we’re used to and returned to the fundamentals. This retro-graphic, ultraviolent, fast-paced twitch-shooter game revolves around a single protagonist and his unstable consciousness, which shifts between the reality and an alternate reality in his mind. The somewhat convoluted storyline becomes less important as the game progresses.

After finishing the first chapter of the game, it appears that the only goal is to kill every Russian mobster you see. This might sound very superficial for a game, but Hotline Miami is not some ordinary, low-production shooter. The continuous, mindless killing gradually builds up momentum as the protagonist struggles to discover what’s happening to himself. As the game reaches its climax at the end, I got confused because the ending didn’t make sense to me. I guess I should’ve paid more attention to the storyline and the talking. Therefore, I went back and walked through the game for the second time.

That’s how captivating this game is.

The story, as the name suggested, takes place in Miami in 1989. Players take the role of a nameless man who wears a letterman jacket (let’s just call him “Jacket”). One day, Jacket receives a voicemail about a cookie delivery to his home. Instead of receiving cookies, Jacket found a rooster mask inside of the package. In the midst of confusion, Jacket receives another voicemail, saying that he needs to follow some instructions and obtain a briefcase by any means. The voicemail also threatens him that he is being watched.

At this point, the player is playing a game with a mysterious character in a mysterious story. This mystery remains throughout the game as Jacket is asked again and again to take care of “problems” in various places. What at first seems like a story about a contract killer evolves into an entirely new entity, as Jacket becomes increasingly confused about which part of his life is real or fake. Is he a contract killer? Is he a psychopath? Who’s on the other side of all the voicemails? Why doesn’t Jacket contact the police and try to solve the mystery? Maybe Jacket enjoys butchering people, lots and lots of people, to a point where he doesn’t care about the mystery anymore. He just wants an address and a mask to hide his identity when slaughtering Russian mobsters.

The graphics and soundtracks of this game are phenomenal. I’m glad that the creators made this game in 8-bit because I’m sure I won’t be able to handle the blood, gore and violence of this game if it’s made into some next-gen graphics. Heavy techno music is both appropriate for the style of the game and it adds a tinge of tension to the gameplay. The music works perfectly with the mechanics of this game: if you get hurt, you die and start from the last checkpoint. In other words, no mistakes allowed. The player needs to plan and perform a perfect run in each level, which can be frustrating sometimes. In some occasions, I find myself repeating the same level 20 to 30 times. The magic of this game is that the more frustrated you get, the more you want to finish the level. You will get a solid 3-4 hours of adrenaline-filled gameplay. Trust me when I say it’s pretty addicting.