surrealcouchuniverse

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." – Dean Martin


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STRESS AND LIFE

For the last couple of days I have been resting on doctors orders. This is due to stress-related illness’ (poor sleep and headaches). Having an enforced break from things let me get a few things back in perspective.

The main thing that I have noticed is how many things I have left fallen by the wayside. Exercise is still consistent but not as much as I would like. And with the long work hours the diet and work hours have not been sustainable.

With the last couple of days it has shown me that I need to make some changes. Now the question is, as always, whether I can make these changes stick before I have a more serious wake-up call.


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NUZLOCK POKEMON UPDATE

Well, after my original Pokémon game kept crashing/losing my data after having my second badge, I decided to move up to Pokémon Y as my Nuzlock. So far so good.

I got the fire type from randomly rolling a dice. I than captured a Pidgey, a Caterpie, A Bunnleby (or whatever the bunny is called) and one more that I can’t remember (I think it was a Pachu or something- the electric rodent). I beat the first gym leader easily. However, in the lead-up battle, I did get a critical hit and lost my Caterpie while trying to use those trainers to level up. So my first Nuzlock casualty has arrived.

So far so good, I think. Losing a Pokémon this early hurt but hopefully I can make it up by catching something good. There is a fear when moving to a new area of wondering if what you are about to face is going to cause you to wipe out and restart. I like it.

 


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Nuzlock Pokemon

So, with all the other various board and card games piling up around the place, I have decided to start a Nuzlock game of Pokemon.

For those that do not know, Nuzlock is a hard-mode type game where you are only permitted to capture the first pokemon in each area you find. Also, feinting = releasing your pokemon, and if you lose you die.

The version I am playing is Pokemon Black. I plan on posting updates on this as I go.


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ALL MY FRIENDS ARE SUPERHEROES- QUICK THOUGHTS

This book (All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kauffman) starts off interesting enough. There are superheroes everywhere with different powers. Some are Perfectionists, some are Hypnotists, some can breathe underwater, some are simply always nervous. Some powers seem useful, some not. There are no supervillains per se.

However, one hero makes the girl he has a crush on believe her husband is invisible (by hypnotising). Oh, and he used to date her after he hypnotised her to essentially rape her for 3 months. But somehow he is still not a villain. And the book tries to play this off as “well, the Perfectionist had the best sex of her life with Hypno which is what he hypnotised her to believe, so it is okay.” But no-one steps up to challenge this demented Deus-Ex character just to advance the plot more.

Overall, though (if you ignore this bit of writing stupidity), the book is humorous with its unique view of superhero powers. It is also short. But they are big things to overlook, so ultimately a big thumbs down.

 


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Reskinning Games: A Bad Thing?

Lately I have noticed a trend of being against applying a new skin or theme to an existing game. This is for board games and video games, but I personally never really saw a problem. I think it is actually a good idea, providing you don’t try to charge full retail price again.

It allows people to tell new stories or apply a new theme without going through the whole development process again. It also allows people to add some new minor rules to better reflect the new theme or to fix some problems from the original game and incorporate feedback. The new stories is probably more applicable for video games and the re-theming for board games.

These advantages let games skip a big part of the development cycle. It is also lets them explore new ideas with a more adventurous note than simply a second edition or HD re-mastering. That being said, I can definitely see how it can be an excuse for lazy design or a cash grab.


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Quick Thoughts: The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed

Orchard of Lost Souls is a book I would highly recommend reading. It follows the story of three women in a war-torn third-world nation that is slowly collapsing from within. There lives are intertwined from the beginning until the end with certain events and tragedies affecting 2 or 3 of them.

This book is written on the perspectives of each of the characters letting you get really into the minds of how they think. The descriptions of how each person sees the world around them, from three different generations of women (child, middle-aged and old) are well written and really make you empathise with what the characters experience.

The characters themselves are also generally likeable. None of the characters are heroes and each have their flaws. However, the author highlights these without shame or trying to sidestep the issues. This makes the characters compelling, even when they acknowledge their own flaws.

Overall the Orchard of Lost Souls is a compelling read and would heartily recommend it.


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7 Wonders- Over-rated?

I recently watched the Dice Tower list of over-rated games, and 1 game that kept showing up was 7 Wonders. They seemed to focus on the game being about card-drafting and how more card drafting games have come up. However, I feel this ignores the biggest strengths of 7 Wonders.

In effect, the card drafting is a way to keep the play time down (with simultaneous play) in order to effect the civilisation building. And this civilisation building, particularly around the escalation between ages (Age 3 cards score more points than Age 1, but Age 1 are the foundation cards). Games like Fairy Tales and Between 2 Cities use a similar card drafting but without this escalation, they tend to feel quite dry quite quickly (despite playing quickly).

Other games could learn how they can use a mechanic like card drafting to keep play-time down while still providing a full civilisation game. This includes things like tech-trees, game escalation. Instead, allot of drafting games I play tend to be doing the same things from beginning to end. In conclusion, I don’t think 7 Wonders is over-rated but is really good and appealing for what it does, appealing as a gateway game and a heavier game (especially with some of the expansions).

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