Game: Portal 2

Yes, I’ve been extremely disobedient and chose to play Portal 2 at such a crucial time with my exams and stuff; but you can’t stop me, because I’ve already finished the game! *giggles*

Fans of the original Portal 1 (which I started and finished last week oops) will immediately familiarize yourself with the game, while newcomers will first, like me, think of the game as ‘a first-person-shooter without the gun’. But of course it’s more than that.

Hey – it’s GLaDoS!

I was greeted by a pleaseant surprise through my first half an hour of the game – the main character, Chell, was in the same place that she was in Portal 1, except everything’s pretty much destroyed by her, as can be seen from the above screenshot (there’s supposed to be the control room there). I could even recall which room I was in! Graphics have generally improved a lot, the wildlife invading into the Portal scene is very nicely depicted.

Nicely themed with the forest 😀

As for the mechanics, there’s not much changes – in fact, it’s all back to the same game, where you use portals you create with your portal gun (what replaces the gun you use to kill people normally) to solve puzzles and to attempt to go to the next stage. All the usual things like momentum conservation (high speed in, high speed out, as quoted by GLaDoS) and passing objects through the portals apply.

Of course, new elements were introduced, such as the laser refracting cube, which bends lasers in a direction of your choice, and the blue/orange repulsive gel and speed gels (pictured below) respectively, which gives you special properties when you are on it.

The speed gel allows you to run a lot faster on it

More characters were also introduced – instead of just you and GLaDoS (the previous game’s antagonist), you have Wheatley, the oh-so-stupid robot that attemps to help you escape the place but.. (no spoilers!) and Cave Johnson, the owner of the facility (in voice). They introduce a lot more dynamic into the storyline (though still very linear), and greatly improved the general game feel. Of course, the jokes from Portal 1 return in a lot more different ways, and it’s all definitely for the better – it made me laugh quite a number of times!

Wheatley the.. retard..

You are also introduced to a new area of the Aperture Science Laboratory, the underground, abandoned compartments; it’s like a new area different from the normal pretty labs that you’ve gone to. I think it’s a nice change and it’s a setting done well.

Puzzles in this game are generally a lot harder than the previous instalment, and I would predict newcomers to the series to struggle quite a bit halfway through. Good work done by Valve, as the previous game was rather easy and completable in 2-3 hours. Speaking about game length, the length of Portal 2 was rougly 8 hours for me, of course an improvement from the previous game. It can’t be too long anyway – shooting portals forever is just sick.

The light bridge allows you to walk on it, and it goes through the portal. Sweet!

If you get dizzy when playing a first person shooter game, prepared to get A LOT DIZZIER in Portal/Portal 2. When you go through portals, the whole gravity vector changes and the screen immediately resets to the gravity of the ‘new environment’, leading to a lot of turning here and there. I couldn’t play the game for more than an hour and a half, and had to rest after that because of the ohmygawd dizziness factor involved.

The Excursion Funnel (yes they are named retardedly) that allows you to drift in its direction in air

Ultimately, I feel that the Portal 2, like the prequel, targets the puzzle-solving gamers in a FPS perspective; those just looking for satisfaction from killing zombies can look elsewhere, but if you’re onto something different and something cool and futuristic, this would be a good game I recommend. One thing though, is that the game essentially just feels like ‘Portal with more levels and mechanisms’ since everything’s the same, but I guess not much can be helped considering they already came out with so many new elements.


Rating: 8/10


After exams..

No, not yet, two more papers to go, but it’s always good to plan about all the happy things you want to do after exams right?

After exams, I want to..

  1. Send my semi-broken motherboard for RMA.
  2. Play Crysis 2.
  3. Make use of my Vaio P, which is left deserted after the iPad took its place for a semester. 😦
  4. Install the latest leaked copy of Windows 8.
  5. Create my own self a cappella music video.
  6. (omg why the list so geeky) Get a new smartphone and tweak it like crazy.
  7. Finish Portal 2 oops, already done.

Sony Ericsson W8

Seriously, Sony Ericsson? Repackaging a phone released last September and re-releasing it as a new phone?

Sony Ericsson W8 = X8

Are you really so lazy SE? I’m sure there are much more innovative things you can create on a Walkman phone, a branding that used to be so popular. But.. this?

Sony Ericsson X8
Sony Ericsson W8
Processor & Graphics 600 MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset 600 MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset
Operating System Android OS, v1.6 (Donut), upgradable to v2.1 Android OS, v2.1 (Eclair)
Camera 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, VGA Video @ 30fps 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, VGA Video @ 30fps
Display 320 x 480 pixels, 3.0 inches TFT Capacitive Touchscreen, 16M Colors 320 x 480 pixels, 3.0 inches TFT Capacitive Touchscreen, 16M Colors
Size 99 x 54 x 15 mm, 104g 99 x 54 x 15 mm, 104g
Memory 128 MB storage, 168 MB RAM, microSD support up to 16GB 128 MB storage, 168 MB RAM, microSD support up to 16GB

What a bluff to consumers.

Process versus Outcome

Damn, I shouldn’t be digressing from my study on Electromagnetic Waves, but..

The past week I’ve been reading Physics due to me taking PC1143 – Physics III, a module for physics majors. And the module is deadly difficult like nobody’s business; I mean, in a single Level 1000 module the amount of content you are expected to absorb is just plain disgusting. And with so many formulas per chapter (12 chapters times ~6-10 equations/chapter), there is no formula sheet.

But, as much as this module is so downright disgusting, I kinda get a little bit of satisfaction when I read through the textbook and seemingly understood nature, it’s as if everything in the world suddenly makes sense.. I mean, all the electric and magnetic fields generated, circuitry and things that are just relevant in your real life, isn’t it magical?

….. only to get doomed to oblivion when I can’t do the tutorial questions, which proved to be too difficult for a student like me.

I’m happy that things in the world make more sense now, but that’s not important, because the tutorial questions don’t make sense to me at all.


My Next Phone

Yes, instead of studying for my final examinations (which I’m totally behind schedule), I’m here to talk about my next phone.

So in Singapore, the impulse to purchase a new phone greatly intensifies especially when your phone contract (usually 2 years, 20 months for mine) ends, because you can now purchase a new phone at a much cheaper price than the retail price of the phone itself. Nothing like this in Malaysia 😦

And as the tech geek I am, of course I’ll be looking at the either the most powerful phones on the market, or phones that serves a specific purpose. There are really a lot of offers on the market right now (I’m viewing as a M1 customer):

LG Optimus 2x – The world’s first dual-core smartphone!

Currently the most powerful Android phone on the market (sans the Atrix which doesn’t seem like it will see light in Singapore), the LG Optimus 2x is equipped with a dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, coupled with NVIDIA Tegra 2 graphics. Along with an 8 megapixel camera which records videos at full HD (1920×1080) and you have yourselves a heavyweight champion.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc – incredibly sexy

Although not rocking a dual-core, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc provides a multitude of features that makes it attractive as a phone with sleek looks. Besides the curved form factor (which is really a looker), it boasts a 4.2 inch Reality Display powered by Sony’s BRAVIA engine, which Sony promises to improve the colors and contrast of the images shown on the screen. Add a 8 megapixel Exmor R camera sensor and power it up with a 1GHz Scorpion processor and that’s Xperia Arc for you. Oh, and it’s running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread – a version newer than the rest.

HTC Incredible S – HTC’s new flagship

Next up we have the HTC Incredible S. Don’t be fooled by its internals which looks like it’s from the previous generation – reviews have praised the phone to be extremely speedy through daily usage, and the Incredible S also sports one of the most tahan-ing battery on the market – being able to cross the 2-day mark for any smartphone is a record worth celebrating. (For comparison, the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S can’t last through a day.) With an 8 megapixel capable shooter, the solid-looking HTC Incredible S is really something.

But as much as these phones are really enticing to me, I’m actually looking at.. THIS:

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play – PlayStation® Certified

Sporting a set of PlayStation gaming keys, the Xperia Play would be the quintessential Android gaming device on the market right now. The 1GHz Scorpion processor powering the phone will be able to handle PlayStation games well, as well as other console games that the Android is able to emulate. The only thing I am worried is the not-so-positive reviews the phone is receiving on the net – I will definitely check out the phone myself when it arrives before making a decision.

Damn you Xperia Play, your absence in Singapore is the only reason holding me back from buying a phone!

Dance Uncensored: Snapshots!

AND it’s one month after my previous blog post. Time flies.

DU was fantastic. Although I was only in 1 item, I didn’t regret it; for missing the coziness of a Eusoff dance group from last year’s DU, what I got was REALLY COOL friends from the different halls. It’s really heartwarming to see dancers from all 6 halls putting in effort to make the item work, do magic, and shine on stage.

There’s the really crazy people like Charlotte and VK, retards like Mereith and Ming Jie (hahah), really nice people like Weiting, divas like Adinda, and of course the most awesome Rasul who’s our choreographer and a good friend of mine. It’s.. another side of hall that I came to see; that different halls are no longer competitive or whatsover, but just work hard together.

And the item was just plain AWESOME.

It’s an experience I will never forget; something that will definitely stay deep in my heart.

I keep telling myself, I will never be an Item IC again, especially in situations like this, where I really have to start doing saigang and approach people whom I’m not close to to ask them for money, cards, etc, and when some of them don’t cooperate it’s really frustrating. But somehow after the whole performance, it all seemed like it’s worth it. Maybe no one will appreciate what I did for Rasul, but I know he deserves it and that’s what kept me going with the presents and things. Special thanks to Nicole, without you I wouldn’t have made it.

But whatever shit I’ve gone through,

Boy wasn’t it awesome awesome awesome. I can’t find other words to describe omg english fail.