Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1 More Month


It's my final month here!!!!

This time next month I would be in Australia!



 I will be setting of for Oz on February 10th, 1 week after Chinese New Year. (Would it be selfish of  me if I ask for extra angpaus this year? Nah, I deserve it......)

That would mean I need another EPIC NIGHT OUT with my AWESOME FRIENDS!!!

On another note, I started playing a new computer game

This was seriously the scariest game ever created so far. Not only do you have no chance to fight back against monsters, you also need a constant supply of lamp oil and tinders to preserve your sanity.

Basically, you are Daniel. You wake up dazed and confused inside a Prussian castle. You have no memories. Soon, you find a note from your pre-amnesia self, telling you to find and kill the castle's master, Alexander. No biggie. But you have to navigate yourself throughout the castle, fleeing and hiding from monsters and a shadow who is following you.

What got me playing this game was discovering the reason why Daniel was there, piecing together his past bit by bit by finding diary entries throughout the castle and find out exactly why Alexander needs to die. But it's not easy as you will have to go through the darkness where your sanity degrades and you start fearing for your life. (And pee in your pants too)

Alexander needs a better hobby

The fear is created by a combination of implied and observable events. The scratches, clicking and footsteps  will make you jump but the moaning of the unseen creatures will have you literally running away. Visual cues are also crucial to reinforcing the sense of terror, as Daniel's vision is affected by ghastly sights and revelations of gruesome acts to which his previous life was connected. Sanity degrades while in the dark, causing the scene to shift and sounds intensify, controls are muddied, and eventually insects crawl across your field of vision. It contributes to an feeling of isolation and helplessness that adds to the sense of terror.

A rare moment of peace

 Staying in the light maintains mental focus. A lantern is available to light up corridors, provided you've enough oil to keep it lit. Tinderboxes are scattered around and used to light torches to illuminate shady passageways and candles within kitchens and torture chambers to make it less psychologically taxing as you explore. You can still see in the darkness if you've run out of both oil and tinderboxes since Daniel's eyes will eventually adjust to the darkness, but there's a moment of adjustment, mimicking the dilation of his pupils to altered intensity of light. It also sets up a gameplay dynamic between dark and light -- do you stay in the shadows to hide from enemies but risk your sanity, or light up everything you can to keep your wits but be in constant danger?

Mr Monster enjoys long walks and scaring the shit out of me

It may not sound like much but wait till you play the game! The background noises alone will just make you run.... This is seriously the best game ever and one of the scariest games I have ever played. The loading screen recommends you turn the lights off and play with headphones, something I strongly agree. Few games are able to conjure up an atmosphere this genuinely frightening.

{Song in My Head}
~King of Anything Beautiful by Sara Bareilles~
      "I'm not the one who's lost with no direction,
           But you won't ever see;
                You're so busy makin' maps with my name on them in all caps,
                     You got the talkin' down just not the listening......"


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