On…Sid Meier’s Civilization V


I want to preface this post by saying that I am not a very good Civ player. I’ve been playing the series since its 3rd incarnation, but much of the games still remain a mystery to me. How then, am I to write a post about a game that, despite putting 100+ hours into, is one that I still don’t fully understand? I guess my only recourse is to explain the things I do understand, and try to explain the game to someone who has never played it. For veterans of the series, you will probably read this review and shake your head at it, but hey, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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On…Whisper of the Heart


This film has made a quiet impact on my life. It’s not as sweepingly epic as Princess Mononoke, nor even as cute and funny as something like Ponyo, but nevertheless, this modest coming-of-age story has really resonated with me. It tells the story of a young teenage girl called Shizuku, as she goes through school, indulges in her hobby of reading fantasy and fairytales, and meets a young boy who inspires her to pursue her dreams. It’s part romance, part self-discovery, but all portrayed in a very sensitive and moving way. It’s hardly the kind of plot that will inspire rowdy discussion, but more the kind that prompts a bit of introspection. For me, someone who is running out of time to figure out what to do after graduation, this film captured so much of the turbulence, the anxiousness and the journey to self-belief and confidence, that I have personally gone through and will continue to experience in the coming months.

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On…Steam Trading Cards and Gamification


So those of us who avidly waited for the Steam summer sales and picked up a bunch of titles that we may or may never play, you might have noticed a new little feature: Steam Trading Cards. At first, I was utterly perplexed as to why I should care about it. Reading the Steam faqs, I was told that you got new trading cards from playing games and from buying games, and that if you collected a whole set, you could craft it into a badge. You can also earn emoticons, background images for your profile and possibly discount vouchers. I mean, whoop-de-doo, I have never been one to care about my Steam profile; I only vaguely remember noticing I had a Steam level bar when I first joined up. So what was in it for me?

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On…Spirited Away


As the most famous Studio Ghibli film, I usually introduce all other Ghibli films to them as “Oh it’s by the same studio that made Spirited Away.” From the positive affirmations I get, I suppose most people have seen it (or are too polite to admit they haven’t). So I have been hesitant to review it, for what could I say that others couldn’t deduce for themselves? I’ll give it a try though, especially because if you are one of those people who haven’t seen it, then I would highly recommend it. I know I recommend all Studio Ghibli films, but this one in particular is a great place to start for those new to the genre and want to test the waters a little.

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On…Animal Crossing: New Leaf


Wait, didn’t I already write about this? Well yes, but that was a first impression, and I did suggest I might return to it. Over a month later, I finally feel ready to talk about the game in more depth. I’m sure in six months’ time, I could delve even deeper into this game. Look at me, I make it sound like a really deep and complex game. It’s all very simple really.

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On…Breaking Bad


Hype is a fickle thing: it can destroy one’s appreciation of shows in ways which just aren’t justifiable. Breaking Bad is an incredibly hyped up show. Critically acclaimed and loved by TV connoisseurs, it was a show that I was hesitant to get into because I was scared it would not live up to its hype. But boy, not only did it live up to its praises, but it shattered all my expectations and is now clearly cemented as the best TV show of all time, in my opinion. Yes, it even usurped The Wire in my estimates.

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For many PC gamers, games for PC have become synonymous with Steam. Valve’s digital distribution system is by far the biggest player in the PC gaming market; so entrenched is the use of Steam that we rarely step back and examine it. Yet, with every discussion that crops up about how terrible Origin is or Games for Windows Live or even with the recent catastrophe that was the original Xbox One statement (now rescinded), I can’t help but wonder, why aren’t we scrutinising Steam in the same way? Today I want to talk about the less discussed aspects of Steam, and why as consumers, we should be more aware of what we’re buying into and how our economic decisions affect the industry.

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