3/17: Social Media Break

Right. This was bound to happen anyway sooner or later, so I might as well talk about my own thoughts about this whole social media detox thing and why I’m doing this for the nth time in my life. True, you can always look up so many articles on Google about this whole phenomenon (and you might have experienced the same thing one too many times), but I’d want to be honest for once about this.

Do I think that it’s ironic how social media is pushing me away from being social? Yes. Yes, I do. The truth is that when you’re still lost in your 20-somethings and you see almost everyone else live their lives glamorously, it’s hard to take. You can’t technically imagine them anymore as the girl who sat beside you in class years ago, or the boy you were grouped with for a project. They’re already at the top of their game (and who knows how far they’ll go), and you’re still you.

For me, this is how the irony begins. You start to not talk to anyone else but your close friends. You refuse to go to reunions in fear of seeing how far the gap is between your peers. The worst part of it is, instead of cheering people on for their little accomplishments, you do the opposite in your head and criticize them for it.

This is definitely unsightly and ugly. To me, the whole thing goes beyond the self-comparison issue. Just because I’m bitter, it shouldn’t mean I can go and diss other’s hard work. This definitely goes against my personal belief of being a supportive friend. Once I got to the point of thinking negatively about others, I knew I needed to stop.  Am I a coward for doing so? Shamefully, I admit I am.

So what happens during a social media detox? Realistically, and more than any feel-good advice article, I’d just really like to cement the following ideas back in my head:

1) Things DO happen but in their own time. But that also doesn’t mean you can sit around lazily doing nothing either (read: patience and hard work)

There are some people who you can consider very lucky in life and get to where they are faster because of where they were, to begin with (read this comic by Toby Morris entitled “On a Plate” – seriously, so much feels for this one) but most of them also had to work hard for what they wanted to do. Who knows how many hours they put in before getting that big break?

Exactly. And the same can happen for me too.

2) Make ‘self-love’ the reason and the motivation.

I know this doesn’t make sense, but let me clarify. There are many reasons why I could motivate myself to do something — I could save myself from embarrassment next time I’m dragged into a reunion, or I could do it to please other people (if you’re a people pleaser, that is) or to prove other people wrong. But if all my failures taught me anything, it’s that I didn’t put myself in the equation.

I realized that unless it was something I wanted for myself, the whole plan (of getting thinner, getting a better job, etc.) would be set-up for failure.

Concorde’s “Sons” music video drives the point nicely (and will forever haunt my mind).

I don’t know how long this detox will be (or more like how long I can hold out for) but one thing’s for sure: social media has brought out the worst in us. Or well, in me.

3/6: Being Mindful of Bad Habits

Although it may seem like I’m always up on my feet and running, I’ve just recently started noticing the habits that I’ve formed that could easily fall under time-wasters, and that (according to my mom) makes me look like a really lazy person.

In my defense, I’m not lazy. If there was anything I put my mind into doing, I’d go at it until I saw it through. But I do admit to procrastinating at times and waiting for the last minute to get up and start the day. After a few days of self-reflection and being mindful of the regular things I do on a day-to-day basis, here are my observations:

  1. I snuggle in bed until late morning. Literally, if I know it’s too early to get up, I would go back to sleep.
  2. When I do wake up, the first thing I do is check manga and read new updates
  3. I don’t eat breakfast
  4. I start personal projects and work at around 10 pm
  5. In the end, I sleep at 2-3 in the morning

Alright, I’m guilty. I’m absolutely guilty for living the unhealthy lifestyle.

So I know the list seems like a fairly normal timeline, but I’ve realized that these things do seem to have a domino effect on each other, like a viscous cycle that you can’t break unless you change something. I’ve also read somewhere that successful people start the day early, so I’m sure my daily routine isn’t a stepping stone to success.

To counter these newly formed bad habits (it wasn’t until recently that I’ve started doing these, I swear), here are the things I thought of reforming:

  1. Wake up the first time around (aka no snoozing)
  2. Not touching my cell phone first thing in the morning. It can wait
  3. Make toast. It will only take 10 minutes to prepare and eat anyway.
  4. Be a burrito in bed on or before 12 mn

Hopefully, this works! I’ve read somewhere that it will take 21 days to form new habits, so I bet this’ll take a while~

Post-Game Feels: コクラセ (Kokurase)

kokurase

Kokurase is an RPG game published by Degica Games

Steam never ceases to surprise me every time I try to dig up for free RPG games! Coming across the free first episode, I was completely taken by the fun pop-candy vibe it gave off. Of course, it felt like a refreshing break from my usual genre of games (read: the sad and scary kind), but it houses more than spunk to make you buy the next two episodes.

First thing’s first — have you seen the art? It is GORGEOUS! Enough said.

kokurase-3

Apart from that, what’s also intriguing enough is the premise of the game: Kokurase is a secret team in Hanaseto High School composed of four students. Their mission is simple, but it sets the whole game into motion: it’s to help clients profess their love! I’ve finished playing all three episodes and let me tell you, the story always ALWAYS takes an unexpected turn. Genji, the leader of the Kokurase, never seems to reveal his true motives and you’re left to follow specific instructions. Everything plays out unexpectedly at the end and you’re left feeling dumbfounded, asking yourself the question “Was this the plan all along?”.

It also has a kicker soundtrack playing in the background with every character having a special theme of his/her own. My favorite would be Riho’s theme and Kotarou Hino’s second theme from Episode 3! They’re more of the upbeat tunes, but there are others who are either on the mellow side (Meg’s) or of the mysterious kind (like Genji’s). Either way, you think about it, the character theme songs give a big helping hand in setting the ambiance of the story and it’s very on point. I wouldn’t mind buying the soundtrack, to be honest.

My favorite aspect of the game is really the system itself. In order to proceed to the next scene, you have to switch and toggle to another character! It makes a lot of sense story-wise because each character has their own mini-mission to complete, but the system itself is pretty different than your usual straight to the point RPG game. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a manual switching system like this before, especially when it’s very much integrated into the gameplay.

kokurase-2

Another is how puzzles (or missions) are usually solved not by items but by Key Phrases said throughout the story. Although they’re usually logged in as special phrases — and you’ll see them said in a green text, you’ll have to pay attention to the story and the dialogue to make sense of everything during crunch time! I haven’t perfected it myself to create combos (which I believe unlocks special extra after the episode is done) but you’ll know when you’ve got it right or wrong based on the character’s responses after.

kokurase-5

One feature that I think newbies would like the most is how the screen shows your next move. Located on the upper right corner, this handy feature helped me on many occasions whenever I got stuck in the middle of the game. It also turns orange when the task is done (along with your character being immovable), letting you know when to make a character switch.

kokurase-4

In a nutshell, Kokurase has a solid storyline, with a great soundtrack and gaming system that will keep you guessing what will happen next! I totally enjoyed playing this game, enough to warrant the purchase of the next two episodes! The game isn’t done either and I’m very much looking forward to the next installments. It gets better and better too with each episode too!

Did I mention that the game is also a Nico Nico Indie Game Fest Award Winner? That speaks volumes about how wonderful the game is! You can try out the first episode for free so you can judge it for yourself.

Check out the official game website here.
Check out the game on Steam.

For those who’ve decided to buy the next two episodes as a DLC, here’s a quick rundown on how to play the next two episode respectively:

On your Steam page, go to Library > Games > right click on Kokurase – Episode 1 and click “Play Episode 2” or “Play Episode 3”

how-to-launch

Took me a long time to figure this one out. You’re welcome!

D3: Meaning of My Blog Name

Before I begin this update, let me tell you first how hard it is to keep up with this daily challenge and that I don’t think these challenges really are my thing. Even in the middle of limbo, I’ve asked myself countless times how other people seem to have the time (or discipline) to make these challenges into reality. God knows I don’t have that *insert awkward laugh here*

So instead of having a daily output, I was thinking of giving myself some leeway and put up a weekly post instead. At least on the weekends, I can focus on having more stuff written instead of cramming every single thought in a single update. The whole point of starting this challenge anyway is to help me write better!

With that said, on to today’s topic!

hodgepodge

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on. My past blogs had always been about different topics of interest, but I wanted a clean slate since the Tumblr universe was something I wasn’t getting on well with. It feels like a cop out to admit that I couldn’t make up my mind, but I settled for Hodgepodge Corner as my blog’s name to satisfy my random posts.

Once while discussing blogging with a  good friend of mine, Trix from A Swish and Flick, she mentioned that my blog was a sort of lifestyle blog — a thought which never occurred to me at all! So I guess if ever anyone needed to categorize it, Hodgepodge Corner would either be a personal or a lifestyle blog. Either way, I’m just happy to share random content that I’ve found greatly amusing.

D2: 20 Facts About Me

  1. I prefer people calling me by my nickname, “Shing”
  2. I’m a 20-something Filipina who’s trying to get by in a foreign country
  3. My weight is something which causes me great anxiety at times
  4. I’m an introvert. Yes, my psychology tests all point to me being an extreme introvert
  5. BUT People have said that I’m an amazingly jolly and happy person
  6. Which is a huge contrast when they find out that I’m super grumpy when I wake up
  7. I consider myself as a frustrated everything  – frustrated writer, artist, blogger, etc.
  8. But I do like writing – like paper & pen writing!
  9. I have a book obsession – literally I just like owning books and my to-read pile is getting taller and taller every year
  10. I’m a night owl (but I do try to sleep earlier)
  11. I think skin care is more important than make-up
  12. I always can’t make up my mind if I want to keep my hair short or not
  13. I don’t watch or do things that people are currently raving about. I wait for the enthusiasm to die down before I jump on the bandwagon
  14. I don’t like raw egg on food. Any food.
  15. I don’t like cheese on supposedly sweet things/desserts
  16. Chocolate will always be my guilty pleasure
  17. I’m still trying to learn Japanese, but I’m miserably failing at it
  18. I like discovering neat places that are huge and spacious
  19. I’m a history geek
  20. I don’t like goodbyes

D1: Introduction (to the 31 Day Blog Challenge)

If you’ve known me for a long time, you’ll know by now that these kinds of challenges are beyond me and I never get to finish them in the end. But who says I can’t try every now and then right? So welcome all to another round of Shing-will-challenge-herself-to-do-something thing, starting off with a 31-day Blog Challenge!

While making the most recent blog post the other week, I realized how far this blog has come — it’s been around for about two years now (did you notice?) and true to my word, I’ve posted all sorts of weird things in here that don’t seem to add up. I’ve done games, books, make-up and even places I’ve been to show you guys the things I enjoyed and loved. I’ve tried my best to steer clear away from talking about the negative things in life, but in the process, I felt like I wasn’t really telling you guys who I really am or what I really do.

Well, I don’t do a lot. But you get the point.

So in the hopes of sharing a bit more about myself to you, I’ve decided to take up the challenge inspired by a post I read from Sam of “The Caffeine Gal”:

31-day-blog-challenge

I’d also like to add here that for a few posts now, I’ve realized that most of my writings always contain the “I” word and its’ variations (I’m, I’ve, I’ll, etc.). There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but there’s a lingering voice at the back of my mind that it’s something to be conscious about. It’s something I feel like I should change — the way the words flow shouldn’t just be about me and my feels, right? So in a way, I’m using this challenge as an excuse to help me word my sentences and phrases in a much better way. Talk about double challenging yourself.

There’s also no need to fret because, in the middle of all these self-challenges, I’ll also squeeze in a few regular updates so you won’t miss them so much (or run screaming away to the other side of the internet). The backlog’s still pretty full so there’s a lot to go around in the next couple of days, just as long as I find the time to write about them.

That’s it! See you all tomorrow then for a first more personal post!

12 Games that Stuck

An update game is currently happening on Facebook and since it was about video games, I couldn’t help but join in the fun (being a self-proclaimed game junkie and all). Despite growing up drooling at my cousins’ latest consoles and not being able to play, there was still an opening for me to be able to experience playing a few memorable ones in my teenage years — ones that ultimately shaped the kind of preference and genre that I look for in most game nowdays.

I’ve already updated my own timeline with the games that made a huge impression on my life, but I wanted to expound on it more and explain why. So here are the 12 games that have made an impression on me and stuck so much that I wouldn’t mind playing them again:

1

Most probably this is the first game that I ever owned for myself. Back then, my brother had just received his own Nintendo DS (the very first one which could still play GBA cartridge games) and I would sneak it out at night to play FF Tactics underneath the blankets.

What I liked most about it was that the gameplay was turn-based, which gave me a lot of time to think and strategize my next move. I could also take some movements back, just in case. Wakfu, an MMORPG game that I liked a few years back, also had an identical battle system which I immensely appreciated and loved.

 

2

Most probably the best Nintendo DS game I’ve ever played, The World Ends With You was a revolutionary game during its’ time. It made use of the console’s strengths and the artwork was just gorgeous. I remember that even before the game’s release, DeviantArt was having a character art contest that I had the gall to join.

With all it’s amazing aspects, what struck me the most was the concept and the storyline. Being a tween looking up to Japan and its’ culture, TWEWY completely enamored me along with its’ quirky and soulful characters. Every plot twist had me at the edge of my seat and the ending made me feel hopeful about my own little world as well.

 

3

I don’t really remember why I ended up playing Golden Sun but I could proudly say that it was the first RPG game that I finished from start to end without anyone interfering or helping me out in the process!

Monster combat was never my greatest strength and it was definitely hard to battle them out, but what kept me playing was the puzzles along the way which you had to use Psynergy to overcome. In a way, this was what got me wanting to play puzzle games even more because of the challenging puzzles that littered almost the whole map.

Literally, every turn had a puzzle.

 

4

No matter what anyone else says about Ib, I believe that this RPG horror game is a classic in its own right. It was the first game that got me excited about the RPG horror genre and it was actually the start of my whole addiction to these kinds of games.

To me, it was so refreshing to find this game suddenly during a time when there was nothing else I could play. Back then, when you said PC games one would either mean DotA or other MMORPG that made me dizzy just by watching — yep, you can peg me with someone who has low tolerance for fast-paced games. Other than the music, the story itself is very interesting and you end up getting sucked into a bizarre world full of chase scenes and puzzles.

 

5

Another RPG horror classic, Mad Father was the second game I played shortly after Ib, and it did not dissapoint. If you get past the point in caring how Aya screams at every turn, you’ll find that getting butt loads of clues will help in trying to understand Aya’s seemingly simple but complicated character. Coupled with gory scenes and unexpected plot twists, I found the game really intriguing as to how it will end.

Needless to say, I literally stayed up the whole night finishing this one.

 

6

Who can ever forget their first Steam game? Eternal Senia not only has an absolutely great soundtrack, it has been the easiest game I’ve ever played due to it’s unique attack system (which beginners will love). But don’t count it as an ‘easy-peasy’ game either! It took me a while to finish it and I still have yet to complete all quests to attain perfection.

I’ve written a post-game feels post about it before which you can read here.

 

7

WHO DOES NOT LOVE THIS GEM OF A GAME? Seriously.

I was a bit late in joining the bandwagon, but even with all those gameplays I was still so mindblown by the whole concept. The music, the story, the characters — I can go on and on for hours singing praises about this one. Or you can just read my fangirl-ness here.

 

8

Dreaming Mary has a special place in my heart for being deceiving. Looking at the pink banners and cute characters, who would’ve thought that the game had a dark side to it? Nope, you wouldn’t. That is until you’re actually stuck at the point where you keep repeating the game again and again with no chance of escape.

The game uses the cuteness to its’ advantage when trying to pull off horror elements, and I have to admit, it works. It got me absolutely paranoid to the point that I’d be saving in every move.

 

9

If I were to ascribe the phrase “less is more” to any game, it would be this. LIMBO, in my honest opinion, doesn’t thrive in overly done graphics or breathtaking music — the game makes up for it with how long and difficult the puzzles are (and how many times you’d die trying to get it right).

What makes this game so special to me was that it tried my patience.It really did. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not too great on the running aspect but in LIMBO, timing was absolutely everything. There’s also no real story line to this game but when I reached the end, I just stared at my screen, dumbstruck.

If you haven’t, you guys have to seriously give this a go.

 

10

Taking a break from the horror genre, To the Moon has been the best drama filled RPG that I’ve ever played. It just had so many feels to it, that when you got to the bottom of things you would be asking yourself all those philosophical questions in life. When you get right down to it, the game’s premise of being able to alter your memories is such a bittersweet concept, I was crying at the very end.

It’s also worth mentioning that the script and dialogue is just moving. I don’t know about you guys, but you gotta give cookie points to good script writing.

 

11

If ever you’ve seen me go crazy at the arcade for rhythm games (DDR, Guitar Hero, etc), this is what started it all.

A friend of mine brought their PSP to my highschool fair one day and let me play one song. After that, I was pining away for my own game because I couldn’t get it out of my head. Other than exercising your hand-eye coordination, DJ Max houses a lot of good music that I could listen to for hours on end! I’ve never gone past 4 buttons tho, but I love being able to catch all the beats.

 

12

I know I sound like a hypocrite because I’ve never beaten the game, but Persona 4 is just so so so so good! Even if the battles were repetitive and the boss battles seemed unbeatable, I was hanging on because the storyline was just so damn good to drop. It felt like reading a good book that you couldn’t put down till you got to the very end (which I haven’t yet *sob*).

It also helps that my brother’s a total fanboy for this too! We had our own separate save files but we competed in almost everything — how far we’ve gone, how many personas we had, or how much we’ve leveled up on a certain friendship. Not to mention how we’d argue on who we ship the main character with (I personally like Yuu and Chie).

 

 

And that’s it! If you haven’t played these games before, I really recommend you give them a go because 11/10 would play again!