Archive for category Hobbies

2018.05.11 《1Q84》

网上挺多人都提到,《1Q84》不太适合第一次接触村上春树的读者。严格说来我不能算在此类读者中(很多年前随大流读过《挪威森林》,感觉不是太喜欢),但时隔多年后,阅读他的新书也可算是我为尝试认识村上重新做出的努力。

《1Q84》共3本1000多页(英文版),从厚度来讲可算是鸿篇巨著,但整个故事其实很简单,而且直到结尾这个故事还没讲清楚。细腻的心理描写是村上的风格之一,但这次确实做的有点太过了,连我这种沉迷于 George R. R. Martin 拖拉风的人都有点受不了。另一方面来说,事无巨细的描写可能会让有些读者产生更多共鸣,因为在阅读过程中对主人公命运的的疑惑和担忧基本都会在后文中得到确认或澄清,我虽然喜欢这种 ‘See! I just knew it!’ 感觉,但同时又急迫的想让故事进展快点。如果说村上春树在日本出名是因为本国读者接受这样的风格的话,那《1Q84》在国际读者中不温不火的反应也同样是摆它所赐。

《1Q84》的 ‘Q’ 代表 Question Mark,故事发生在一个平行世界里的东京,只有为数不多的几个人察觉到了这个世界的怪异,但到最后都无法理解,或许这就是书名的由来吧。由于村上固执的不阐述任何逻辑,每位读者都有足够的自由对主人公,对清洁,对书中描述的世界有着自己的理解,就这样看来,村上春树算是成功的。

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2018.01.29 Severed

The best way to describe the game Severed is probably – “Fruit Ninja in the hard mode, with brilliantly designed puzzles and an average storyline”.

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Though I personally did not like Fruit Ninja (as a matter of fact, I don’t appreciate any mobile game), this by no means should be interpreted as I am giving a bad review to this title.

To say Severed is action-packed game is an understatement. This game is hard, frustratingly hard. But hey, anyone knowingly picks up a game made by Drinkbox Studio should prepare to be physically and mentally challenged. “Physically” as in this game fully utilises all aspects of touch screen slicing techniques: long, short, angled, long-press, and many more that are not so easy to describe in a blog (no, I am just being lazy). The game control was so intense that I had to break the 7 hours campaign into 3 days so that I would not risk cramping my hand. “Mentally” comes from the fact that some battles in the main story were so disgustingly challenging that it took me 10 attempts plus some youtubing to finally move on from it.

Slicing aside, puzzle design is where this game truly shines. They are not so easy, but not too ridiculous either. I enjoyed the feeling that when confronted with a new puzzle, I knew that somehow I could solve it in a few minutes, or that I would receive an ability upgrade at later stage to overcome it. To some degree, it reminds me about the Zelda series, and you know it’s likely to be a decent game when someone tries to associate it with the legendary Zelda.

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2018.01.18 Nintendo Labo

任天堂每次的新产品发布都会让我这个大孩子热泪盈眶,踏踏实实的做创意十足的产品。

(credit: Nintendo)

折只索尼小松鼠向伟大的任天堂致敬。

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2017.12.31 the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

当微信朋友圈被18岁照片刷屏时,我在小黑屋里通关了Majora’s Mask,也算是重活了一回18岁。

Majora’s Mask 最初于2000年发售在N64上,我玩的3DS欧版都不知道是第几次复刻了。但这些都不重要,只需要知道这是老任第一方出品的3A大作,随便玩,绝不会是坑。特别是塞尔达系列,在我玩过的6作中,除了一部因为德语的缘故影响流畅度被我打了一个4分,其他的都是满分。

Zelda Rating

Majora’s Mask 和“主流”塞尔达还有那么一点不一样,游戏方式尤其独特,在开始的一段时间很难上手。渐渐熟悉后又被隐晦的剧情(特别是某些支线)搞得很摸不着头脑。迷宫的设计也可以算作我玩过6作里面难度最大的。严重不建议12岁以下的小朋友尝试该作。

基本没看攻略,前前后后花了我50多个小时才通关,好像还有两个面具没有收集到。毋庸置疑的满分神作。

(Left Image Credit: Nintendo)

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2017.12.27 Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (the Greek Version)

Recently I discovered a new recipe for Aglio e Olio from Akis Petretzikis’s Youtube channel. It looks easy, tasty and healthy, so I decided to give it a try today.

Step 1: Cook your Spaghetti in salted boiling water.

Step 2: Thinly slice 3 garlic cloves (for 1 serving). Cook them with thyme and chili flakes in extra virgin olive oil. The key here is the low heat. You do not want to burn your herbs and oil. Let all flavours get slowly infused into the oil.

Step 3: Add the drained noodle into your infused oil, or vice versa. Add some more freshly chopped herbs (basil for instance), salt, black peppers and parmesan cheese. Mix them well.

Step 4: Plate your noodle, dress it with more cheese to your taste.

Step 5: Enjoy!

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2017.10.14 Zone of the Enders HD Collections

The autumn smog of Chengdu has been visibly bad recently so I had plenty of time to clear my game collection. It was Luigi’s Mansion 2 last week, and this week I finally beat Zone of the Enders 1 and 2.

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I am a big fan of Kojima, but I have to say 1 was a bit disappointing. Though the concept is unquestionably original at its time, the weak storyline and repetitive stages made it unattractive shortly after the game started. ZoE 2 (Second Runner) improved significantly on both aspects. With gameplay and controling matching its definition of “High Speed Robot Action Game”, 2 almost met my full mark standard if not for its level of difficulty. It is tough, too tough.

I don’t recall any boss fight throughout the entire ZoE 2 gameplay that I managed to beat at first attempt, and 5 to 6 retries for stages near the end were very common. Online walkthroughs were essentially useless because they basically just tell you to beat it. A fair amount of challenge is welcome, but too much would ruin the experience. Probably the only 2 games I remember that were “worse” were Biohazard: Revelation and MGS: Revengeance (seems it’s a habit for Kojima to torture his fans).

2 advices for the gamers. 1), if you have a history of throwing your controller or bashing your head to the wall, you probably should not try it. 2), no matter how frustrated you are, SAVE THE Game before hitting the “EXIT” button, the game does not have an auto save function, I learnt it the hard way, twice.

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2017.10.05 Luigi’s Mansion 2 Dark Moon

绿鸡鬼屋2这个游戏是去年从柏林撤退时提前屯的游戏,今年游戏井喷,拖到国庆黄金周才排出时间玩。

4天内19个小时就穿了,好玩的根本停不下来。关卡设计巧妙,Toad小蘑菇和某些鬼设计的又可爱。说是捉鬼游戏,其实一点恐怖感都没有,反倒是时不时的把我逗笑。任天堂第一方出品的音乐素质也一如既往的完美。要说唯一的缺点,估计就是节奏稍微有点慢,不过也可以看作这个系列的风格。

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任天堂的伟大之处在绿鸡上显露无疑。

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