NieR Replicant ver_1_22474487139 (2021): My Impression

I am going to do something a bit more casual here. I am going to write an impression instead of a review because I am not here to sell you anything but give you my impression of the game as a fellow gamer who is just trying to help out some gamers out there whether you should play this game or not. so I’m too lazy to articulate my thoughts, especially after playing a heavy loaded game like this. I have already put over 60 hours of gameplay into this game. Not going to 100 % it. I did it with Nier Gestalt years ago, but would at least try to 100 % the side quests. Currently, while writing this post, I’m at 83%. Weapons completion is also important as well. This is a story driven game. You would appreciate the story more by completing these tasks.

NieR Replicant ver_1_22474487139 released 2021 of April, is not a remake or a remaster of Nier Gestalt (2010). It’s more closely related to the Japan’s version Nier Replicant which players play as the brother instead of the father. Some additional content have been added to this upgraded version to flesh out the story. So if you have played Nier Gestalt and wonder whether you should purchase it, you should but not at full price. You are not missing much. It’s just less convoluted than the one released in 2010. Perhaps, this is what some players need, a straightforward story?

The upgraded version gameplay feels a lot smoother and fluid like you would play in Nier Automata (2017). Gameplay is very simple: hack and slash with plenty of of weapons and magic to choose from, although let me warn you that gameplay was never the game biggest strength. I stick to one weapon and two magic: Dark Lance and Dark Hand the entire time. As for difficulty settings, there are Normal Mode which is really Easy Mode and Hard Mode. I can only imagine what Easy Mode is like. You’d go through the game without a sweat. Well I can see it being an option, if you are into speed run. Some of the trophies required players to beat a boss with a certain amount of time. And if you are just interested in experiencing the story, then there is no reason to play on Normal or Hard Mode.

Without spoiling the story for those who have not experienced this masterpiece (yes it was a masterpiece in my eyes when I first played it). It’s about a brother who is trying to find a cure to the disease called Black Scrawl which has inflicted his sister. There are some heavy topics such as body dysmorphia, homosexual and borderline incest introduced in this game. Yes, it’s not your typical heroes and heroine you see every day. They are humans, but are they?

As I mentioned earlier, the side quests add to the story so don’t skip them. They are fun and addictive with a twisted sense of humor. The greatest attribute to this game is the soundtrack, however the music arrangement is not as on point like in Nier Gestalt, which did affect my experience. I didn’t like how it sounds unnaturally flawless. So, I didn’t enjoy the game to its max. It feels kind of soulless. Well, it’s not soul’s game if that’s what you are expecting. If I were to compare this game with Nier Gestalt, I would still pick Nier Gestalt over Nier Replicant, playing as a father seems more logical. I don’t know though, I never had brothers who go to an extreme to protect me so it didn’t make any sense to play as an overly protective brother.

Although I can say, I know what it is like to be the protective big sister. I guess there is some similarity in that sense, or it’s just the fact, I’m as crazy as the protagonist. I just like killing stuff. Clearly though, the game was not intended for female demographic but why is it so popular among female players? That’s something to think about.

So what’s so great about this game? Well, it’s the story. The soundtrack, but more importantly how it was executed. The game allows players to see in different angles and it starts to question your morality. Who are the real humans? Even if you think you are right, does that justify killing?

I think you get my point. The game will make you think about your actions. Are you really righteous?

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy me talking about video games you can follow me on Twitter @Poetry_Huntress for gaming tweets and blog updates.

Pulse (回路,Kairo) Review: Help Me Escape Loneliness

Our world is ancient. People born and people die since prehistoric time. But what happens when there’s no more space left in the afterworld for those who have passed away? What are they? Ghosts? Wandering souls? When that happens, they bleed into our realm. The ghosts walk among us. So never open The Forbidden Room or else you will experience death, the eternal loneliness.

Pulse directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, released in 2001 in Japan and 2005 in the U.S, is a philosophical horror film with a touch of science fiction all mixed into one. Quite frankly I was pleasantly surprised this showed up in my recommendation of films to watch on Amazon Prime Video. I have been searching for this film for a while and seen it several years ago but forgot the title. If it were a video game, I would play it in a heartbeat. In fact, some of the horror titles I enjoyed in the past were released around that time:

The film is not as straight forward so watching it with full attention and twice is recommended. It’s like reading a heavy novel. There’s a lot to digest and piece together. Each frame, each scene ties well together, painting a world that is on the brink of human extinction. The scariest thing about this film is the internet and the red tape. Some places are just meant to be sealed away.

Why do we connect to the internet? Why do we need to connect with others? Most normal people go about wanting few interactions with people as possible or don’t see a need to fill up the void inside of them. That’s why if humans are too far apart, they are drawn together but get too close, they die. What’s the point of getting close? As Harue Karasawa (character from the film) explains a grad student programming project:

Two dots get too close to each other, they die and if they are too far apart, they are drawn closer together.

That’s the world we live in.

Take a moment to think about this abstract idea. How many times have you been honest with a friend but only end up hurting them instead? What’s the point of friendship then?

For horror fans, I don’t need to tell you to watch it because you might have already seen it, especially if you fall into the millennial age group. Japanese horror was a sensation back then. I remember the The Ring terrified many in theater including myself and I became interested in Japanese horror ever since.

One thing I took out from this film is that if I ever need to feel the need to connect with anyone, it might be wise just to turn off the device and connect with real people. Don’t glorify loneliness. It’s eternal death. Humans are no different from ghosts if we are pacing back in form in our rooms, trapped in the internet world.

Netflix Series Detention (2020) Review: It’s More Than Meets the Eye

Based on the video game Detention, released Jan 12, 2017, developed by Red Candle Games for Netflix, the T.V show comprises of 8 episodes which tells a detailed story of a transferred student who suffers from mental illness. Oddly, I experienced a sense of familiarity after taking so many social science and history courses back in the day when I see literacy references appearing in the show. Great writers (Plato, Orwell, Walden) helped me understood quickly what the plot was about. It gets an A + for using influential books as props to illustrate that point. I was entertained all the way.

This show is worth checking out if you are into East Asian horror and also if you are a big fan of poetry, which I think is an outdated art form, but when incorporated with other medium, it becomes extremely powerful. Poetry is the form of using words to paint an image and evoke feelings; its rhythm helps create memorable lines too. There are some emotions that you cannot described alone just through the use of prose. Only poetry can deliver powerful images to abstract concepts such as life and death so that we can understand it on a deeper level.  I like how Detention glorifies the power of a poetry through the use of a dead schoolgirl’s poem. It allows me to see and feel the political oppression in a small Taiwanese town through its high school. Thus making it a hauntingly political tale that gives me a glimpse of the culture on the island. As a horror fan, horror is a genre that is very difficult to execute so when a rare one comes by, I can’t help but want to share with the rest of the world. I wrote a short review on the game a few years ago. Please do check it out. No spoiler I promise.

For my final thought, the show made me wonder why do grownups imprisoned students with their outdated ideology? What purpose does it serve other than complete control of one’s sovereignty? Perhaps going to detention may not be such a bad thing because it’s “in the pursuit of freedom [against authoritative government, we find] inner peace,” I quote the counselor from the show. The school was just a training ground for a more authoritative political system. But even if we escape, “outside this place is just a bigger crazier world,” says Liu Yun-hsiang, the main female protagonist. So what is the solution? Death? Overall, if you are looking for a thought provoking horror title on Netflix, I highly recommend this one.

Three Scary Mom Films (Happy Mother’s Day Edition)

Yes, I am one day late. I missed the deadline, but the world hasn’t end yet, has it? Happy belated Mother’s day! Actually, last year the holiday was celebrated on May 10th so technically I am not really late, and I learned the holiday is celebrated on Sunday for religious reasons that is why Mother’s Day was on the 9th of this year. That’s a fun fact I never paid attention to until now.

I am back with my three list of recommendations. For those who are new to my blog, I like to make a list of recommendations on films, video games, or books. Because I enjoy horror genre, I purposely decided to go with the scary mom theme. I learned from the following films that sadly not everyone was fortunate enough to know what a good mom is. Hopefully, your relationship with your mother is in good terms.

So grab a bowl of popcorns and get ready! In no particular order from bad to worst mom. I make my three list:

A bowl of popcorns

#1 Mommie Dearest (1981)

Director: Frank Perry

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest

Why did I pick this one? Well the mother is a perfectionist to an extreme. You have to be if you are a top Hollywood star, but at the expense of motherhood. She is constantly unaware that she is not fit to be a mom and yet she insists of being a mom to a child. It’s really a sad story actually. She had a successful career but unsuccessful relationships with her love ones including herself. We all know she can’t remain on top forever. Youth and beauty eventually fade and soon she is no longer wanted. Like a product, Hollywood throws away the old for something new and fresh. It’s no surprise, for decades, the film industry has been largely dominated by men. So I sympathize with the protagonist and want to see her rise to the top even though I know she was clearly mad. Great career woman, but terrible mom. Seems like the film was arguing that you can’t be good at both.

Next up…

#2 Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Director: Jeffrey Bloom

Starring: Kristy Swanson, Victoria Tennant, Louise Fletcher

I kept wondering in the beginning of the film why the children are so blond then it occurred to me that they are the making of incest. Out of disgust and shame, the strict religious grandma locked them up in the attic and punished the daughter who is the mother of the children for her past wicked deed. Not only did she seduced her uncle and had children with him, but she also seduced her own father for his inheritance. Like a cat, she kept seducing people to get what she wants. Bad mom indeed, and purely one dimensional. She is so dehumanized that the story becomes an unconvincing horror tale, but more like a sexual fetish. Don’t know what I am taking about? Then I encourage you to watch it.

Lastly…

#3 White Lies (2013)

Director: Dana Rotberg

Starring: Whirimako Black, Antonia Prebble, and Rachel House

I mentioned this film before on my blog but never elaborate into details about the plot. The mother in this film is the worst. Living a lie and living in shame due to inferior complex is teaching children to hate their heritage. Mothers should teach self-respect, compassion and confidence to their children. Skin and culture has nothing to do with superiority but why do people still believe otherwise? Bad parenting, I assume. What irked me about the mother is not only does she tries to alter one’s appearance but she tries to eliminate her mother tongue completely. Hence the title White Lies. But if you want to look at the film a bit more deeply–it is more than just eliminating one’s root. It brought up the question: is the western’s way always better? I chose this film because like many international films I’ve seen in the past, it creates a dialogue that’s worthy of discussion on top of the fact the mom is scary.

Yep, those are my 3 list of scary mom films. I guess it’s not the end of the world if you were raised by a bad mom. Most of the children in these films actually turned out fine. Well some might experience permanent phycological issues, but overcoming it–will make the individual a stronger person and thus an interesting story. No one glorifies weakness as a desired trait. Well I have not met one person who does but let me know if you have.

Three Films that Make Me Want to Read the Book

I love books, but I feel that it’s becoming more of a luxury pastime leisure. Hard to focus reading when your mind is constantly on the go–literally it’s hard reading when you feel restless which is why I never read a book while walking, although I have seen some do it and it always put a smile on my face when I see such a rare sight. Even taking the public transportation, I could never find myself relaxed enough to read. However, I have once read on the job, but work never seems to get done. So I completely ruled out that option. Lastly, you’re probably thinking how about before bedtime? By then I am too tired to read. So you see, I am in a bit of dilemma. Maybe if I live in a huge library such as the picture below, I’d read more. Reading is a solitary experience and I need a quiet, safe place to immerse myself in a book. The same can be said for story driven single-player games.

Did you enjoy how I bold my words in the second to last sentence of the paragraph above? I just want to make sure you got the most important stuff from this intro. 😀

Reading is a solitary experienceneed.. quiet, safe place to immerse in a book,” says Halsdoll (had to quote myself because I feel enlightened from my own writing).

masterpiece video game
Current game I’m playing: NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139

I won’t ramble on about games in this post. This is about Three Films that Make Me Want to Read the Book. I know based on the title I got it all backwards. It should be read book first and then watch the film because most films I like are based on a novel. And I must confess, I discovered most books through watching the film first. So that doesn’t make me a book snob even though I think the mind is the greatest theatre.

If you are new to this blog. I like to come up with three list of recommendations or three list of anything for this blog because most of us love making list, don’t we? I do. It declutters my brain space so I can think more clearly. Plus short, sweet post like this gives me a break from thinking too deeply and it’s more conversational (I hope I’m talking to a human and not a robot, but if you are robotic that’s okay).

So here are my list. Three list of films I want to read the book eventually:

1) Hellraiser (1987)

Director: Clive Barker

Story: Clive Barker

Hellraiser the movie
The Hellbound Heart: A Novel

I was a teenager when I first got exposed to this classic horror film. I believe it was during Halloween, the show aired on T.V. The thought of demons were terrifying to me that I remember having nightmares about it. When you start getting nightmares, you know the film is scary. It never occur to me back then that hell is like the puzzle pieces of the human psyche. But of course that is just my speculation. The book got me curious and puzzles are always fun to solve. I love a good puzzle. That’s why I need to read the book for more details to come with a stronger conclusion. Hopefully, I don’t dive too deep because hell is definitely not the place I want to be.

2) Audrey Rose (1977)

Director: Robert Wise

Story: Frank De Felitta

Audrey Rose film
Film
Book

This film is so intense that I did not finish it. It reminds me of the Exorcist and the famous Silent Hill (video game series),but of course this came before the video game and before I was born so going back in time to find good films is like going on a trip to discover ancient relics (that’s a compliment, not an insult for those who are self-conscious about age. Young doesn’t always mean better. I like a good aged wine. It’s wisdom that I am after, not eternal youth). One of these days, I will watch the film, but definitely not by myself and if I am curious enough–read the book. Reincarnation can be a very scary thing and for horror fans, we know that horror films don’t always need scary ghosts and special effects.

3) Charlolette’s Web (1973)

Directors: Charles A. Nichols, Iwao Takamoto

Story: E.B. White (book)

Charlotte's Web (2006)
Film
Charlolette's Web book
Book

I know it’s contradicting after stating how I am after wisdom and not eternal youth to switch from horror to children’s film. But eventually adults revert back to a child-like state of mind. I really enjoyed the narration in this film and found that it contains full of wisdom. I used to read the book as a child, but somehow, I think some of the concepts in the story are too deep for a child to grasp. Themes about animal rights, life and death are concepts that are a bit hard for a child to internalize. I didn’t like it as much until now. Favorite quote from the film: “How special are we just a moment?” It’s a powerful phrase to remind us to be humble. Charlotte may be just a spider, but she is also a very good friend and a writer who stretches her natural abilities to make something more out of her existence. Truly inspiring.

Yep, that’s my three list of books I eventually want to read. It’s not so bad going back in time as I am finding it hard each day to find something worthwhile to watch or read. Time has changed or it’s simply just that I am getting older and my taste in entertainment is becoming more refined. I need something with depth. I need something classically timeless.

P.S

I found a good time to read. It’s in the morning with a cup of coffee. That way I won’t get Zzz…from reading. I couldn’t be more happy and content.

Violet Evergarden (2018) Review: The Doll that Learned to Feel Emotions

Some years ago, I spent a lot of time reading people’s blog post about this anime. People said it left them with teary eyes and recommended those to watch it with a tissue box. It’s just that emotional. Not only that–a friend from work told me how good the show is stating how beautiful the animation was, it reminded her of Japan’s countryside. But more importantly, the show revolves around the strongest emotion: love. What does I love you mean? Violet became a part of the Auto Memory Doll, writing letters to help express people’s innermost emotions so she could understand Major Gilbert last words to her. (Hmm…how poetic. My very own father used to write love letters as a side job.) So out of curiosity, I caved in and watched the anime but never bother to write a review until now–simply because I wasn’t impressed as I thought I would be. More than anything though, I felt it was hyped.

Before I start with my little annoyance towards this anime, I do want to mention that this anime is eloquent and poetic. It uses dolls to convey a certain message of perfection. They are perfectly hollow, perfectly beautiful, and expressionless. But more prominently, they show no emotions on their face. Her discovering the phrase, “I love you” through writing letters for Auto Memory Doll, helped her come to term with her human qualities and her emotions towards Major Gilbert, the man who is always on her mind. Violet Evergarden is a story of becoming human. It’s a beautiful concept. And yet, I am not impressed. What’s the deal with this anime? Why is it so emotional to some people? And why didn’t it sit well with me? Am I as lifeless as Violet that I might need to enroll in a writing course which will help me explore my feelings? Did my bias get in the way from appreciating this anime? I learned it’s not the case.

It’s the way how the story is presented. It’s theatrically unnatural in a way where it doesn’t flow well. I love symbolism but this one sticks out like a sore thumb. Violet is purposely made to be doll-like to indicate how precious she is to the Major. At the same time, her doll-like features subtly imply to the audiences how contradicting her “true” nature is to her innocent appearance. I kept thinking should I sympathize with this character? Time again and again through flashback, she is mentioned for being a war tool–a killer who killed people without remorse, entirely devoted to the Major. She was the perfect soldier. Despite being human, she shows no sign of having any desires of her own other than to find out what “I love you” mean (I am beginning to sound like a broken record in this post because that’s exactly what is wrong with this anime. How many times I have said Violet needs to find out what “I LOVE YOU” mean?!). How could she not understand her own emotions? It just doesn’t add up.

When so many people start googling the following, it just shows how misleading the character Violet is:

So I will answer the highlighted question above. Violet is human, but she is uninterestingly robotic. To make her relatable character, she is made into one size fits all. And so this brought me to conclude why so many enjoyed this anime. They enjoyed discovering their own hidden emotions through Violet. Like Violet, most of us don’t really understand what we feel and most often, we are not entirely honest with ourselves and with others or know our life’s purpose. Many of us are just moldable obedient dolls to the society at no fault (Ouch it sounds rather harsh, but it’s just my opinion.).

To summarize this anime series, it really is just an anime about reading between the lines. Violet has to learn how to read people which is why I think she is a relatable character to many. After all, humans are complicated. Miscommunication often happens when we fail to express ourselves properly. People tend to hide their true feelings behind words and so that’s where Dolls come into play. They are refined and eloquent in mannerism and speech. They are perfect people and perfect people are kind of scary if you ask me.

As for my final thought, one positive thing I got out of this anime is that I could learn a few tips and tricks from Auto Memory Doll. I know some of my reviews can be blunt. The last thing I want to do is offend some poor soul out there. But on a second thought, that’d kill my voice. I don’t get paid to write flowery words; I write with honesty. It’s just the critic in me. Overall, Violet Evergarden is decent, but not great. There was not one single teardrop coming from me.

My Notes on Nier Automata

Originally posted 6/18/2017. Re-blogging in celebration to one of my all time favorite game–Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139 which will be released 4/23/2021. 

I highly recommend playing the game before reading this post.  I will not elaborate the storyline into details.  My intention is to share my summary of the game which may differ from yours.

For those who followed this blog from the beginning probably knew that I was anticipating for Nier Automata (2017) ever since its announcement.  In fact, I was very hungry to play another game like Nier (2010)  and was hoping Drakengard III (2013) would be just as good. To my disappointment, I  didn’t enjoy it as much mainly because of the frustrating gaming mechanics ( I didn’t enjoy flying the dragon).  And yet I stuck with it because of the storyline and it’s humorous dialogue.  I have not reached the ultimate, final boss yet which I heard was difficult.

I had to stop the game because I couldn’t understand  Zero’s (the protagonist) cruel intention to kill all her sisters. The character was hard for me to relate.  I was definitely playing a killer.  But after I watched Yoko Taro’s interview Philosophy of Violence, I learned to appreciate his approach in storytelling and the concept behind it.  I realized Zero’s behavior is natural, but primitive.  Instinctively we want to remove whatever is in our path.  Defeating our obstacles give us a sense of control and remove all of our competitions.  However, if we killed everyone in our way, we would end up dying alone and the aftermath would be Nier Automata.

I came to conclusion because I had to grasp my head around this killing frenzy around Yoko Taro’s games,  so I categorize his three games that I played into the following:

  • Drakengard III- killing to be the only one
  • Nier Gestalt- killing is justified as long as you think it is right
  • Nier Automata- killing loneliness

*One important thing to note, this is just my notes for the time being.  I really would like to complete the Drakengard series *

Onward to the main topic,  so when I started Nier Automata, I already knew it was about killing.  The game started off strong, which reminded me of Xenoblade Chronicles’ introduction where the characters are thrown into battle against the machines.   Once I arrived to a safe place (a city reclaimed by Mother Nature), I sensed that I was entering a world where a great civilization (mankind in general) once stood, but mysteriously drove itself to extinction.

NieR:Automata_20170310182757

All we have left are machines and androids fighting one another.  In some ways, the game has a particular viewpoint about existence, which is hard not to notice if you do the side quests. It clearly pointed out that all lifeforms don’t want to fight all the time– they just want to co-exist. What meaning is there to killing? Why?

The real motive behind all the killing is more than just impaired thinking–it’s loneliness.   In the end, no one stands. But the tragedy is not the cycle of destruction, it’s actually the inability to view the world harmoniously, which is probably why 2B and 9S wear blindfolds. They exist to take orders without comprehending their actions.

NieR:Automata_20170325091138

I won’t go any further into details about the game’s concept because I am beginning to develop my own theory, which is probably not what the game intended.  I do just want to mention my overall experience with the game is good, but it is not one of my favorites. I like the first installment more partly due to nostalgia. Even though, I did not enjoyed the game as much, the game made me want to play Ikaruga, which has been sitting in my backlog of games to play.

Lastly, my final thought in regards to Nier Automata,  I’m starting to understand that it’s difficult to introduce big ideas and incorporate gameplay due to unforeseen limitation (e.g, technical, budget, translation etc.).  So I really do appreciate when game developers attempt to give meaning to their creation.

Well that is it for now. Thanks for reading guys. Until next time, take care!

P.S

Think I will play Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon next to clear my backlog before I jump into a new game.  My backlog began to grow back in 2010-2011 when I started playing co-op/multiplayer games. It is time to seriously tackle the single-player games list!

Savage Streets (1984) Review: The Hunting Bow Heroine

I’ve been thinking a lot about films and I’m beginning to really enjoy the medium. It’s like poetry. It’s full of imagery and it gets to the point, especially someone like me who is on the go and dislike details. I guess I’m a bit savage myself–me think in few words and like simplicity.

According to Miss Young, the school teacher in this film, poetry contains the following:

  • Rhythm
  • Rhyme
  • Meaning

I could see it. There are few catchy phrases that were cheesy but entertaining. The right songs are played in each scene, echoing the edginess theme. Lastly, the film has a good message. We could all take some notes from Brenda, the fiery protagonist played by Linda Blair who also starred in that terrifying film called The Exorcist. She is bold, daring but just. And she is only a teenager–a teenager who dares to lit a cigarette in the classroom and tells her sentimental poetry teacher to back off. As she said, teachers only know their students for 1-2 hours. They don’t know them on a personal level and what they are capable of. Grr…feisty.

[Okay! Forgive me for my poetry rant. Let’s talk about the film.]

Savage Streets is at its savageness. It’s a comedy/drama that’s not to be taken seriously. Unless you are a teenager reading this review, you may find the film offensive. Why? Because teenagers don’t really know anything in life other than peer pressure and seeking one’s identity and purpose in life. Unless you had a rough life like Brenda where you are forced to grow up fast, then that’s a different story. Brenda has to be tough because she got a deaf mute sister to care for. It’s no surprise she takes the lead among her female friends. She is like the hunting bow of the streets with her pack, walking in the night fiercely and patrolling the streets from injustice. Like Scorpion from Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion, she is on a mission to put bad boys in their place. Brenda doesn’t wait for the law to set things straight and offer her justice. Instead, she gives that neanderthal, punk villain Jake what he deserves. She hunts and strikes that barbaric savage down with her sharp arrow. I could hear her say through her eyes: “I got you bad boy!” Like a true heroine, she defends the weak from the domineering apes that prowl the streets.

I can’t tell you exactly what happened in the film because that would ruin the fun. Watch this film with friends, significant other, or by yourself and I am pretty sure you would get angry but then have a great laugh. Well depending on your sense of humor. Mine is pretty morbid. Overall, fun film to watch–a few outrageous scenes and nudity that don’t make any sense other then the fact it’s there for eye candy. On a second thought, it might not be a good idea to watch with an easily jealous girlfriend. There’s nothing more annoying than being accused of stealing someone’s boyfriend like in Brenda’s case. It’s not Brenda’s fault that men foolishly gravitate towards her hotness. I guess some men just want to get burn.

Welcome to Halsdoll’s Boutique!!! Code Vein Photo Shoot–A Fun Co-Op Adventure J-RPG GAME!!!(Mini-Review)

It’s a shame that Code Vein doesn’t have more clothing selection because that would stop my dress addiction purchases because as much I like it, I rarely wear a dress in public. Only during special occasions such a recent interview where I wore a black dress for the first time that I bought back in 2018. Thought it would be nice to sale clothes for a living since I am in between jobs. I just don’t want anything mentally strenuous so I can focus on my health and this blog, but unfortunately the plan didn’t work. I should have not dressed like I was going to the funeral at a preppy high-end store that has a lawsuit on its back for racism (Black Lives Matter!). Oh well, at least I get to wear a dress and a black one too! Now I did recall, the interviewee asked me what is my style. I couldn’t answer her at the time, but now I know–it’s the classic edgy, librarian. Yep, it’s not going to work!

Today, I present my fashion catalog to my boutique and briefly summarize the game. The highlight of this game for me was changing my character’s appearance. Perhaps, digital dresses might not be such a bad idea in terms of game design for a soul-like game. I know I will grind for a pretty dress. Dresses are like flowers; it relaxes me.

Code Vein, developed by BANDAI NAMCO Studios, released in 2019, is a great co-op/solo game with a lot of playstyle customization, which I won’t go into details because there are plenty of YouTube videos on it. If you are the type who enjoy trying out different weapons and codes (just another term for class) and changing you character’s appearance, this is the game for you. The amount of content is well worth the purchase, although the game is generic in the story department but it’s not so convoluted that’s hard for players to understand. Yes, it’s about humanity. It’s about corporation, service, interdependence, selflessness etc. All the good traits that make humanity beautiful. We don’t need to live in a single minded world where we have to choose the option between a prey and a predator.

Overall, it’s nice to play a feel good game that doesn’t bash humanity (I play games to escape reality, I don’t need to be reinforced how terrible the world is!). In terms of game design, obviously it took some parts from Dark Souls. Some bosses and monsters are a total ripped off done intentionally. The developers did it successfully to corporate those elements from souls’ games without jeopardizing their own creativity to create something new. Innovation is a risky business but ya gotta please your fans if ya still wanna job in the gaming industry.

Please enjoy Halsdoll’s Boutique photo shoot–one of the highlights of this game.

Thank you for browsing Halsdoll’s Boutique which may go out of business soon if I don’t start selling products that people want. Until, next see ya~

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) Review: The Anti-Material Girl

Should I have changed my title for this review to a story about a Classy but Penniless Gold Digger who Can’t Survive on her Own? That would mislead the readers on what I think about the beloved character Holly played by Audrey Hepburn. To call her a gold digger is far from the truth. However, at a glance it’s hard not to judge since that was the first impression I got from looking at the cover despite what critics say and what my older peers thought. In fact an older woman recommended this film to me. Now I see why.

Before I provide you my personal input about this classic film, let’s talk about the plot. It’s not all bad as it sounds if you are a carefree-loving wild cat and are on the liberal side of life. This film is about an unmarried woman who appears to be happy. She’s wild, fun, and entertaining. But underneath it all–she needs help more than anything. For example, she doesn’t know how to budget money; she makes her living through entertaining sugar daddies; She throws lavish parties; and doing things out of the norm. Sometimes I wonder how a classy gal can afford such things. Then again, her acquaintances have big money. Also being beautiful has its perks. She draws men to her like moths to a bright lamp at night. Even her neighbor, a writer struggling to make it big–named Paul Varjak, comes to her aid when she needs him. What a lucky girl just for being beautiful. In the end, she settled with Paul out of love when she could have picked one of her millionaire acquaintances, which makes this film a heart warming story. All it took for Holly to say yes to Paul is the prized ring found in the Cracker Jack box. The particular scene where the Tiffany’s sales clerk agrees to engrave the initial on the Cracker Jack’s ring for 10 dollars implies that love doesn’t have a set price. And most importantly, what is the probability of finding love? It’s worth more than all the diamonds you can buy. It’s a bold statement to women that you don’t always need diamonds to feel loved.

In conclusion, films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s point out the cold hard truth to material women. What it got right about love is that “love is plenty enough,” I quote from the film. Now that’s gold because to love is a rare emotion that some of us might never experience in our lifetime. So why trade the emotion for material security to fill the empty void in our hearts? What women really need is emotional security. The film says no to material things, but yes to immaterial things. How ironic is that, considering Tiffany’s is a jewelry store? The writer Paul Varjak is the jewelry store. He makes her feel like a diamond. Great metaphor! Overall, I love this film!

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Enjoyed this review? Want more of Audrey Hepburn? Please check out my other review:

The Children’s Hour Review: When Lesbian Is Not Sexualized