Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed Review

Developer: Acquire
Distributor: NIS
Platform: PS3, PS Vista
Release Date (Australia): 16th October, 2014

Pros:
-Lovable characters
-Witty, humorous dialogue
-Outstanding soundtrack
-Gorgeous cinematics
-Uniquely fun and original

Cons:
-Awkward camera movements
-Outdated in-game graphics
-Frequent loading screens
-Unfair combat scenarios
-Difficult fight mechanics

Verdict: 9.5 (out of 10)

For over ten years, I have been a fan of Anime films and television programs, but until now I have not attempted to become involved in an anime video game. Perhaps some may question why my first foray into anime gaming would be Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed, however, the originality of the product, not to mention its attractive atmosphere, gorgeous female warriors and hilariously witty and intelligent dialogue, is sure to captivate a vast quantity of people. Right from the opening, the game feels a lot like an Anime television series, with a beautiful introductory movie clip introducing each of the major characters, while an entertaining musical score and impressive vocal talent delightfully peaks your interest at what awaits you on your journey.

The graphics of the cinematics however do not last. Although cinematics play a large role in the game, which is an incredibly loquacious piece of fiction, they are an alternate variety than what you may have come to expect from other titles. The game itself fades out into the background as the characters are displayed in front of you. Only their eyes and mouth move, and their faces employ a wide array of emotion, conveying embarrassment, happiness, grief or anger, with their dialogue textually appearing beneath them. After these occurrences, the game returns to normal, the graphics experienced during the exploration and fight scenes being rather dull in contrast with games today, the eyes of the characters especially, when visible, appearing rather alien and lifeless. Despite the graininess of the image, it does retain a great depth of brightness and vibrant beauty, although the fact the game was originally released in Japan a year ago clearly illustrates that by today’s standards, it is unable to compete with the flare that games are displaying now on the new consoles.

When walking down the street, despite the comic style setting, you cannot deny the feeling of reality which coats the world around you as you explore and take in the sights. This however comes with its own limitation. Unlike in FarCry 2 and 3, where the entire world was explorable, and very rarely did you even see a loading screen, in Akiba’s Trip, you frequently bump into areas which require loading (you also bump into a lot of people too, but that’s a different story). The city is separated into districts, and each one requires a short period to load before you can gain access. This can be somewhat avoided with the use of fast travel, however, as with many titles, these areas need to be initially unlocked.

Set in the technologically profound, and entertainingly captivating location of Akihabara, Akiba’s Trip is one of those titles that falls into the love or hate category. It also requires the gamer not to ask many questions, for even suspending your disbelief over the course of the game will potentially leave you with a variety of queries. Providing a unique take on the vampire genre, Akiba’s Trip, rather than conceiving the normally unsettling atmosphere one might assume for a game in this genre, throws you into a world which is always bright and sunny.Referred to as ‘synthisters’, the man made vampires you encounter, rather than consuming blood, devour energy, and how they were made, and for what reason, alongside how they can be possibly stopped, are three of the major plot points which push the game forward. Moreover, rather than the stereotypical stakes and garlic one might expect to find attached to our company of ‘freedom fighters’, sunlight is the primary weapon of choice, and apparently, the best way to stop a vampire’s rampage, is to strip them down to either their panties, or their tighty whitey’s, and watch the exposure to the sun obliterate them.

When battling agaisnt an enemy, often they come equipped with head gear, a top, and bottoms, each piece of their attire having to take substantial damage, before it is capable of being ripped clean off. If several enemies have weakened attires, the player is able to chain strip, meaning, by following the key prompts, the character can automatically strip several pieces of clothing one after another, rendering the enemy less problematic. The way in which clothing is entertainingly removed can be altered by applying different combat skills to your person, which can be obtained from reading material. The best possible comparison I can think of is The Matrix, where knowledge on fighting is uploaded to the character’s minds. Additionally, you are, later in the campaign, able to activate special combat styles after attaining enough juice from battle, which deals extreme damage to enemies, and often reverberates onto others in the immediate vicinity. How a vampire can run around without a top and suffer no excruciating pain from the sunlight is beyond me though. How the bodies of the attackers are not damaged by the excessive blows they take, or how exactly the clothes can be removed in the fashion that they are, all very interesting questions that come equipped with no answers. Like I said; this is a game that you are meant to enjoy, rather than consistently analyze.

Fighting during the game is very basic, with each attack connected to a single key on your controller. To attack head gear, press the triangle; for the torso, use the circle, and for anything beneath the belt, use the ‘x’. However, what makes combat an unnecessary challenge, are the camera angels. Although you can personally pivot the camera anywhere you want, during combat this becomes a nuisance, when your primary focus is the deterioration of your enemy’s attire. On more than one occasion, the enemy fell out of the frame, and I was unable to see how much damage, if any, I was inflicting. On top of this, if you happen to begin moving out of a general area, say, into a side street, off the beaten track, the position of the camera will become similar to a bird’s eye view, something which cannot be manually altered unless you move out of the immediate area. Additionally, battle mechanics in general can appear rather difficult, and although the controls are easy to master, employing them appropriately is a different struggle altogether. On countless occasions, when attempting to confront one particular enemy, the character instead attacked another. It would have been an idea to have a way to aim your attacks at a specific target. Instead, over the course of the game, you inevitably, inadvertently, attack, on occasion, complete strangers. This happened a number of times to me whilst patrolling the streets, in which I accidentally happened to find himself in a fist fight with an officer of the law, rather than an enemy synthister, an act which subsequently led to my arrest.

Combat in general is already made quite challenging by the fact that rarely is there only one opponent you face down, with often, anywhere between four and eight plus assailants getting in your way. Although you usually enter a fight with an NPC (non-playable character (for the uninitiated)) beside you, even the assistance they provide is unable to quell the steady advance of the opposition, who appear to, on many an occasion, be equipped with better equipment than you. Moreover, during combat, you are unable to alter what weapons or clothes you happen to have on your person, but you are able to repair your attire at the press of a button to replenish all that was lost to damage. However, this slow process always leaves you vulnerable. Although some could argue this is equal to a healthy challenge, there is a point when a challenging scenario becomes intolerably unfair, and appears to be a developer’s way of making a game last for a greater period of longevity than it would without the frequently overbearing battles.

Attempting to thwart the threat of the synthisters however occasionally seems to be not as pertinent as building relationships. During the game, you portray Nanashi, and rather than being the quintessential hero one may expect, he is rather, a geek, unfortunate enough to be transformed into a synthister. He, along with his friends, who form the Akiba Freedom Fighters, their base of operations held at the gaming venue MOGRA, take it upon themselves to try and save the city. Although the player’s name can be altered, and during conversation, when subtitles appear, the other characters refer to you as the name you provide yourself, the physicality, and features of Nanashi cannot be changed, which I found a little restrictive. If it is any conciliation however, your character is able to frequently alter their chosen attire.

Over the course of the game, there are a number of (gorgeous) female characters, including the mysterious Shizuku, the multi-talented Rin, the athletic Tohko, the well presented Shion, and the foreign Kati, either of whom your character is able to form a romantic attachment with, as long as you don’t stuff up. In Mass Effect, it was mandatory to have conversations with people you wished to romance, and a similar, albeit, more difficult concept is applied here. Rather than alerting you with what is possibly the best response when prompted to say one of three possible sentences, the game challenges you to realize which statement or answer would best attract the woman you are attempting to woo.

The dialogue options the game provides to you are not necessarily separated into good or bad, but often have varying degrees of sarcasm or sexual innuendo attached, and it is up to you to decide how you want to be viewed. In Mass Effect, the most positive comment was always located at the top, while the most bad ass were at the bottom. Such a technique is not applied here, with options always been randomized in their location. Occasionally you can appear humble, violent, or even laid back, but again, many a response comes equipped with its own pros and cons. Luckily, the game does assist you in tallying how well your rapport is with each available woman. By communicating with Yuto, a young man who considers himself an expert on the female psyche, he notifies you where each woman stands, and appears only too happy to admit when they feel nothing at all – sick bastard!

At times I felt constrained by the often lacking opportunity to speak, and I occasionally wished to be granted the option of retaliating agaisnt attacks directed towards my character. This was especially true with regards to the character Kaito, who not only had sarcastic quips to make about my efforts, but was trying to move in on my territory and steal my Shizuku! That dirty mongrel! I hiss inappropriately in his direction!

On the other hand, there was something undeniably poetic about much of the dialogue, for not only Nanashi and the other freedom fighters, but for the enemy as well, with a beauty that swept you up in the motivations and passions of the characters. At times, even the player could not help but relate, and understand the reasoning behind antagonist’s decisions, which not only made them enjoyable as bad guys, but an interesting contrast to the heroes.

One of the best characters however had to be Nana, Nanashi’s ‘adorable little sister’ as she called herself, who, apart from having some of the best witty punch lines and responses, was also capable of advantageously crafting new material. Been able to splice together several garments to create a more durable outfit, or even merge a number of ‘weapons’ to make them more efficient in combat. The fact there was no limit to how many items could be merged into one, ensured these upgrades could immeasurably assist in making your character’s offensive abilities more powerful, and their resilience to attacks exceptionally impressive. On a side note, notice the quotations around weapons? Well, the equipment you offensively use to smite your enemies in Akiba’s Trip are not the stereotypical variety one may be used to seeing. Although there is a collection of boxing gloves, balls, bats, swords, sticks and umbrellas to choose from, there are also brooms, guitars, posters, monitors and laptops, with basic home made appliances and everyday utensils been customized for combat. Depending on the size and shape of the weaponry will also weigh heavily on how your maneuverability is affected in combat.

Unlike in other games, upon finding a new dress or weapon, you can instantly fix it to your person without having to worry about the level you are on. Taking part in the main quest is only able to progress you so far, and it is during the side quests and the battle arena, that the player is able to acquire better equipment. Side jobs, including hunting down synthisters, communing with everyday citizens, and helping people with basic dilemmas, not only provides you with money, and a degree of popularity amongst the locals, but almost always results in some kind of fight that allows you an opportunity to find equipment. The same goes for the battle arena, and as you progress forward, you are able to fight stronger opposition. If finding items becomes a little strenuous, you can simply buy something from one of the many stores, however the prices do seem a little exorbitant, although as I live in a country where we use ‘dollars’, I’m unsure how much the ‘yen’ is actually worth in contrast.

Annoyingly enough though, side quests come equipped with a time limit, and you are only made aware of this by checking on social media. During game, you are provided with an e-mail account, which people use to contact you, and a Pitter profile, that allows you to keep up to date with public opinion. The level of detail which has been applied to the social media spectrum of the game is amazing, with there been a huge abundance of Plips, each one feeling as though it could have easily been written by a real world individual. On top of this, Akiba’s Trip makes use of apps, with one such nifty gadget you are provided having the capacity to tell who is a synthister. By taking a picture with your camera, you are able to tell the fake people from the real, and attack the enemy on site, wherever they may hide.

Moving on, the game’s ending happens to arrive very fast, so much so, it is almost unexpected. One second you are attempting to decipher how you might thwart the enemy, and the next, you are in the midst of the final boss encounter, striving to secure a resolution. In a game running for ten plus hours, the conclusion seems to settle out of nowhere after experiencing a storyline which seemed to indicate it would build to something considerably longer. This however is not a criticism, the ending maintaining the same consistent feel as the rest of the product, and unlike many American games, does not leave you up in the air, but ends conclusively, although I might recommend you invest in a box of tissues. Once the game has been finished, a wealth of benefits are unlocked, which resolve a number of the quandaries that some gamers (myself included) may have had with the original play through. If anything though, it is sad to say goodbye to the characters, who were excellently and wholeheartedly conceived. But like any good friend, the characters never truly leave, and at the insert of a disc, they will gratefully return.

Akiba’s Trip is a uniquely fun experience, and although some could refer to it as a perverted storyline, the unyielding humor consistently reminds you not to take yourself too seriously when embarking on this adventure. Moreover, despite been occasionally predictable, and although revisiting the same locations, and fighting in similar areas can become repetitive, the wealth of options at your disposal regarding what weapon you could use makes almost every encounter different. Additionally, the option of choosing which NPC to accompany you (something which is occasionally provided) allows you to not only experiment with who is the most physically adept team member, but grants you the opportunity to potentially get even closer to the Goddess you are trying to ensnare. If you are looking for a fun, comedic adventure, with little emphasis on explanation and contemporary issues, and a strong emphasis on romance and butt kicking, look no further than Akiba’s Trip, which is sure to quench your appetite for all things crazy and unreal.

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Going Beyond the Beyonds with Quantic Dream’s new emotionally charged thriller

Title: Beyond Two Soulsimages
Developer: Quantic Dream
Distributor: Sony
Platform: PS3

Length: Between 12 – 15 hours

Pros:
-Amazing storyline
-Emotionally powerful
-Dramatically thrilling
-Outstanding graphics
-Brilliant choice options

Cons:
-Occasionally difficult controls
-Awkward fighting scenes

Beyond Two Souls is a masterpiece just waiting to be explored. Every moment of this journey is a well scripted, gorgeously detailed combination of video gaming genius and cinematic enjoyment. In fact, to call Beyond Two Souls a ‘masterpiece’ is perhaps an outright lie, for it is far more impressive than that. Having never played Heavy Rain, I had never actually partaken in a game which is less of a game, and more of a cinematic experience, which is exactly what Quantic Dream’s new title is all about; making the player a part of an interactive movie. In this sense, the player is responsible for all of the choices, and are forced to live with the repercussions, the emotions and the challenges that come with them as you shape the life of the protagonist, Jodie, all of this making the game even more emotionally potent as you continue through the course of her unfathomably unique life.

The game is not orchestrated in chronological order like many video games, and instead crosses from one moment of the character Jodie’s life to another, and although one may initially think this to be both convoluted and difficult to keep up with, this is one of the unique elements which makes the game so appealing. Say, the player goes through a moment in Jodie’s life when she is eighteen and there is mention of something that happened earlier; originally, the player will have no knowledge of this, which shall spark an assortment of questions, which will later be answered when the game travels back to this specific time, hence keeping the player intrigued and on their toes.

Jodie is an incredibly well rounded character, and where many women in video games are reduced to sex symbols with very little opinion of their own, Jodie is the exact opposite. She is almost always in a vast amount of clothing; she becomes emotional when horrific occurrences transpire in her life; she is anxious around strangers and slow to trust; she becomes envious of the opinions of others; spiteful of those who attempt to do her wrong, and has the want to be morally good. Jodie seems like a real, flesh and blood woman, and the acting of Ms. Ellen Page is beyond extraordinary in bringing this amazing character to life, which assisted me in caring not only about the game, but especially for her brilliant character.

Not only is Jodie gorgeous, but she is strong, in both mind and body, independent, romantic, adventurous and very capable. What sets her apart the most from other characters is her connection to Aidan, a ghostly aspiration who has been tied to her for as long as she could remember by an invisible tether. Aidan goes where Jodie goes, and over the course of the game it is questioned as to who really is the dominating figure in this obscure relationship.

The other pivotal character in the game is Nathan, who is a doctor that looks after Jodie for most of her life. Voiced by Mr. William Dafoe, much like Ms. Page, Mr. Dafoe’s acting is exemplary, and he helps bring his character to life on so many levels; as not just a professional individual, but on a brilliantly developed emotional level as well, and although Jodie is the primary character fixated upon, Nathan’s character and the pain he has been through is fabulously represented in Mr. Dafoe’s voice.

On top of this, the acting of all actors involved in developing their characters is just as outstanding, and goes to show that the talent must have been as passionate about the game as the developers were.

Moving on, at any moment in the game, the player can enter the view point of Aidan by hitting the green triangular button, and can then survey the world through Aidan’s eyes. Not only can Aidan see things that other people cannot, but he can travel through walls, interact with the world through telekinetic abilities, he can choke the life out of unsuspecting enemies, and he can possess certain characters and make them do all manner of things. Of course, there is only a certain distance that he is allowed to travel, for the tether that binds him to Jodie acts like a leash, and thus, it has a limited range.

While the player controls Aidan, at times, Jodie can provide him with advice, or tell him not to bother her or to halter his actions entirely, and the player has the option of doing what they are told, or doing the exact opposite. This can lead to quite nefarious occurrences, and the repercussions often affect the life of Jodie herself; you can, at one moment, ruin a date she is on, which will emotionally demolish her, and leave the player, well, me at least, feeling incredibly crappy with myself.

Unlike in other games, the likes of Brute Force, Fuse or Remember Me, where characters are bestowed with special powers and abilities which are unnecessary for the player to successfully complete the game, each of the mentioned titles predominately turning into shoot ’em ups, or, in the case of Remember Me, a continuous punching match, in Beyond Two Souls, Aidan’s ghostly abilities are a necessity in every single level. You may need to open a locked door; distract a guard; navigate an area filled with hostiles; knock items out of the way; the number of possibilities are endless.

Not everything goes according to plan all the time though, but the game will compensate for this. There was a moment in the game when Jodie wanted to leave her accommodations and go out, even though she had been told repeatedly that such was against the rules. However, being the bad boy that I am (to this day I still refuse to eat my broccoli), I helped Jodie by using Aidan to sneak her out of the building, but was unfortunately caught during the process; brilliant escape artist I apparently am not. Instead of bringing up a ‘mission failed’ sign though, the game continued, with Jodie being lectured to about her actions and how everything could have gone hopelessly wrong.

There are a vast number of moments in the game when, if Jodie does not do something properly, the game will continue regardless down an alternate path which will still, inevitably, lead to the intended conclusion. At one point, Jodie was captured by the enemy, and instead of being killed, the cavalry eventually manage to mount a rescue before anything went terribly wrong.

One of the reasons why things may on occasion go wrong, could very well be the controls. Now, I admit, I am more of an XBOX 360 kind of guy myself, and when the PS4 comes out I will not be rushing out to my local game retailer to procure a copy; what I am saying is that perhaps my lack of experience with the PS3 controller partially lead to my downfall on a couple of occasions. When it comes to Aidan interacting with the environment, the player will, more often than not, pull back on the left and right thumb sticks for something to happen, and additionally need to move them in a certain direction. Depending on the occasion, this may include moving an object, healing either Jodie or another character, or even physically moving the memories of an object or a deceased individual into Jodie’s mind so she can glimpse what they witnessed. Some of these occurrences can be downright annoying, for not only does the player have to fight the awkward controls into the right position, but then has to maintain them in that same position for a set duration of time for anything to happen. On occasion, there is a time limit, and if the player fails, then the game will simply take over.

On that note, the game will on many an occasion do everything for the player, including fighting. Fighting in general is another issue with the game; the camera is often in a difficult location as it follows Jodie and will constantly change from being on her back to being on her front. Additionally, in most games, the player needs to pay particular attention to enemy combatants to see what attacks they are doing so the player may avoid them; in the case of Beyond Two Souls, the player needs to keep their eyes predominantly on Jodie. Depending on the direction Jodie moves in, the player moves the camera stick in that particular direction for Jodie to successfully attack or block, and if she fails, this does not result in her demise, for the game will eventually have Jodie beat her opponent regardless of the outcome when the player was at the helm. Safe to say there was more than one occasion when the game saved my sorry ass, however, there were other times when even I managed to surprise myself by helping Jodie kick ass and take names with ease.

This is adjunctively made easier by the fact that the game in general is not terribly difficult. There are two skills levels; one for novices to games, and one for veterans, and even on the latter difficulty, the game posed very little trouble for me.

Moreover, although Beyond Two Souls is at its heart, a ghost story about a young woman haunted by a spectral entity, the game is more of a drama  than a terrifying thriller, and it is several hours into the game before there is even any hint of something spooky. The first time we see Aidan I admit, I jumped into the air because I was not expecting anything creepy to go down, which is one thing that sets the game apart from other titles which have horror elements within them; instead of initially introducing Aidan as this scary creature, he is illustrated as an actual, understandable, recognisable being, rather than a monster, which helps the audience not only adjust to having him around 24/7, but even like and care for his character as well, so by the time a creepy occurrence happens, we do not resent Aidan for it; he cannot help being what he is, and by that time, we have accepted him regardless.

After the first jump there are some other scary moments, and these are just as well managed as the first. Although at times the spooky moments seem a little odd as they are few and far between for the most part, they are beefed up by the continuous mentioning of ‘monsters’, suggesting that there are other ghostly creatures out in the world, and not all of them are as nice and homey as our boy Aidan, and the occasions when Jodie is unfortunately forced to face them are delivered beautifully upon the screen. I will say no more about them, but although they are rare, they are an awesome highlight of the game and remind the player that Beyond Two Souls is just that; a game, one which is deserving of being played.

Beyond Two Souls is a fantastic, unique experience which is not only emotional and passionate, but is is brilliantly written, intelligent and continuously entertaining. I will say this though; if you intend to play Beyond Two Souls, you may want to have a box of tissues handy; many scenes are delivered to such an emotionally high caliber that I for one was deeply affected by the emotion dripping forth from the screen, the ending especially is a real tear-jerker, and one that will stay with you long after the game is over.

Quantic Dream’s new title is, without a doubt, one of the best games I have played all year. Will I play it again? You can count on it!

Rating: 11/10 (even with those occasionally irritable controls)

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the Beyond experience as much as I did!

Image Reference:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcREcVr_lD5t162HalBC_UfQjkna9BLyE7lDFG066OC7kXjvzWa3

Recently signed the petition to stop the unjustified killing of Montana’s wolves

Ladies and Gentleman,

 

I know, it has been a little while since I last posted, and I apologise for my inconsistency, however, recently I discovered something that simply ought to be shared because of its monumental significance.

Recently I signed the petition to help save the wolves in Montana from being unjustifiably slaughtered to extinction.

Now, yes, I live in Australia, so what right do I have to have a beef with something that is occurring in another country that I have no ties with?

I would answer that question with another. What right do we as people have to sanction the genocide of an entire species?

I understand that every day several species go extinct and maybe it has become justifiable in human culture to simply watch as animals on Earth are extinguished. But to stand by and do nothing, even when we know that something cruel and inhumane is occurring, is that not criminal? Ethically and morally, if not for any other reason?

Maybe signing the petition will do very little; but it’s a start though – and if doing the right thing is no longer worth anything, then what is the point to being alive?

I personally would like to live in a world where humans are not the only animals walking the planet. What about you guys?

I signed the petition at this particular address:

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-unjustified-killing-and-hunting-of-montana-s-wolves-use-science?share_id=LejopZyzQv&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

If you believe as I do that this is an important cause, please feel free to sign this petition.

Thank you for reading guys!

Have a great weekend!

Alone…Again

 

I began this blog so that all of the content that I did not want impeding on my other blog, I could instead store here. Tonight however I am using this blog for an entirely different reason; therapeutic.

Well, hopefully.

It’s Friday night here in Australia as I type away this particular number, and the reason why I am writing this rather than being out on the town like other stereotypical young adults is for the simple reason that I have no paramour in my life to go out with.

Yes, I have friends (actually, I’m lying – I have a best friend and I have a couple of friends overseas) and I have a family (who I get along with as often as I travel to Mars by pony), but, like I have written previously on this blog, I have this hole inside me which can be filled only by a potential love interest, and as long as it remains unfilled, I am forced to endure this feeling of intense loneliness.

Okay, full confession? I have not being in a romantic relationship since 2009. In 2012 I began to think that a relationship may be a good thing to attempt, as I have continued to think since, yet attempting to start one is proving to be immeasurably difficult.

You see, as I have (I think) mentioned on this blog previously, I suffer from depression; I have since I was 15, and I have since convinced myself that no woman could ever possibly fall in love with me, which is what makes attempting to ask a woman out so difficult. I already think a woman is going to say ‘no’ before asking her out, so I normally don’t bother.

In June of this year I asked a woman out, and I probably should not have done so. Reason: she is SO out of my league (I say ‘is’ rather than ‘was’ because I bump into her every Monday – funny – I asked her out because I thought I would never see such a beautiful woman again, and yet, now I am forced to do so!) Basically, I was pretentious to think for a second I was her type; to think she was available; to even attempt such an action.

But, amazingly enough, after I asked her out and was rejected, I did not feel so bad – true, my ego was deflated and I was disappointed, but it was not as painful as the feeling I have in my gut right now.

A young woman I met in 2011 resurfaced in my life this year, and I never began to pay her much interest until now. In August we really began to communicate, and I told her I thought it was strange that a beautiful, intelligent woman such as herself was without friends, and we talked about not affiliating with people at the university campus we attend and she later mentioned she was single when I raised the idea of a possible partner.

Like I mentioned previously – I often convince myself that women cannot love me, and the same applies here.

I contemplated asking her out last week, but this feeling of mine halted my doing so, and today I just went for it; and it turns out she began to date a man not even a week ago. If I had asked her out last Friday as planned, I might have been lucky enough to be dating her right now.

This is of course, my own damn fault.

I guess the reason why I wanted to go out with her is, yes, because I like her, but the real inspiration for my asking was for a different reason entirely. I may have written this here previously, maybe not too – full confession, right? – but I have in the past attempted suicide, and one technique that I have been using to keep my depression from completely destroying my existence is to distract my mind; as long as I am doing something; working; going to university; talking to friends or family – I am not thinking of my depression.

However, this technique of mine has been waning recently, and I at present feel as depressed as I did back in 2010, which is the last time I attempted to take my life, and was the one time when I really nearly succeeded, and if my friend had not intervened, and, with the help of her father taken me to a medical clinic, I would not be here now.

On that note, I felt that going out with this young woman would do me good; would help me with my depression and fill the hole inside my gut.

Instead, that’s not going to happen. For a long time I wanted to die. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I don’t necessarily want to die now, but this is the first time that I can remember when I am scared; I don’t know if I will be able to continue without, well, love I guess.

Anyway, I just wanted to write this, and I have.

Thank you for reading!

Oh, and I don’t think this was therapeutic at all! But I tried, right?

If you are broke, do you have the right to ask someone out on a date?

In the past on this blog I have asked two questions regarding relationships, including ‘do guys date women who remind them of their mothers’ after reading an article on the subject and feeling a little queasy at the thought, to asking ‘do women date guys who wear glasses’, which was more of a rhetorical question, but I was glad for the feedback generated by it.

Today I am asking another question, and as suggested by the title, it is as follows: if you are broke, or are not economically comfortable, do you have the right to ask someone out?

Over the course of this post I am going to be talking about a man asking a woman out, however, the same argument can be made for anyone of any gender in any relationship.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m broke, don’t get me wrong. Of course, I wouldn’t openly admit to such an embarrassing notion even if I was. At the moment I have the money to sustain myself and acquire the necessities (food, etc) and can acquire entertainment on an occasional basis, however, if I were in a relationship, I have no evidential proof of how long I would be able to afford to go out with a woman before I inevitably ran out of money to date her, let alone support my own existence.

I think it is an obvious connotation, that if a guy asks a woman out, then he is expected to pay for, well, a lot, and I will not argue against this assumption. If you are asking someone out, you are asking for their time and their commitment and so you should fork out the money to enjoy their company. You are asking them to accompany you to places and to spend time with your friends. If you were not a part of their life they would be spending their time doing other things, and so, if you ask me, the man should put up most, if not all the money for the time that he is lucky to be spending with a living, breathing human being that they like.

However, if you do not have the money to accommodate for this, then I am unsure whether the man has the right to even ask the woman that he fancies out. I believe it would be plain rude for a man to ask for a woman to spend her time with him, only to say after a decent night’s meal at a fancy restaurant ‘oh, I don’t think I can entirely afford this, do you mind paying for half the bill?’
A woman may have agreed to go out with the man, but I cannot imagine her ever agreeing to pay for the meal that the man wanted her to have with him, nor would I even want her to. Maybe I’m strange, but I feel a man would have quite the nerve to ever do that to a woman. I’m not saying a woman could not afford it, not at all; I’m saying that she probaly would not have attended this restaurant if the man had not asked her there, so why ask this certain lady to put her hard earned cash into the equation when it was the man who asked her to be there in the first place?

Adjunctively, what if a woman left her former partner to have a relationship with a man who had recently captivated her attention, only to discover that he was not as economically stable as the partner she recently left? Would she not feel horribly cheated?

The reason I am asking these questions right now is as follows – if a man does not believe he can afford to take a woman out for the period of longevity that he would like the relationship to last, should he simply not bother to ask a woman out at all?
This may seem like an easy decision to make when written on paper, or in this case, a blog, but I would argue against that therom.

I believe that as soon as we humans in general agree to have a romantic relationship with another person, that we give up the ignorance we were originally born with, that ‘ignorance’ being our unknowing of how it feels to be in love. The moment we welcome someone into our heart, I believe that we become accustomed to that feeling, and thus, cannot live without it. I’m not saying that dating is like oxygen, and is thus a mandatory part of life, but I am arguing that if that first person we date were to leave us, it leaves a hole, and every time anyone leaves from that moment on, the hole returns.
Before dating we had no idea of the pain felt when someone leaves. We also had no idea of the loneliness felt when we do not have a paramour in our lives. True, if a person has friends and family they are not essentially ‘alone’ per se, but there is a difference between the hole left from not having family, and the hole left from not having a love interest.

I can’t really believe I am going to admit to this (however I will because it will strengthen my argument), but I myself have not been in a relationship for over a couple of years, and I can assure you dear reader if you do not already know, that what I noted in the previous paragraph is true, at least for me. Although I have friends and family, they cannot fill the hole that is now meant for a paramour, and it does become quite brutal every so often when I realise how many a night is the same – dinner for one, dessert for one, wine for twelve (maybe I’m kidding about the wine, or am I?).
It would just be nice to have someone in my life that I could love because, well, isn’t it nice to love someone and to be loved back? I’m sure there is not a single person out there who will disagree.

Now, unless I’m destined to spend the rest of my existence alone, and I would hate for that to come to fruition, I would like to think there is still hope for me, which comes all the way back to my original question – do I have the right to ask a woman I like out if I cannot fathom I will be able to always afford the ability to take her out?
Of course, there is more to dating than going to fancy restaurants, clubs and theaters, and I am sure continuously having a woman over at my place for dinner, or cooking at hers; or making every date night a movie night, will inevitably become quite boring.
Besides, if you like someone, there is the expectation that one must shower them with gifts every so often. The argument ‘I will always love you’ in my opinion has not been enough for some time, and unless you can show a woman your affection through jewellery, clothes and other like accessories, I do not think that the four letter word in the three word sentence will always remain believable.

On this note, image is just as important as affection, which is often where economics comes into this, for money does pertain to a person’s lifestyle. Now, I am not an expert on women (who is?), but I think it is a fact (and if it’s not then I beg the forgiveness of every woman on the planet) that women like men who are: good looking, older than they are, mature, confident, economically comfortable and suitable to the lifestyle the woman enjoys, have their own place of accommodation (basically, they are not a kipper and still sleep over at mum’s house when they are nearly thirty years of age), own a car of their own (and can drive it, although I think ownership usually implies driving capability), are in a professional occupation, and on top of that, have the ability to keep a job for a period of longevity.

Although I can admit to having some of these qualities, I would be lying if I did not openly admit that all of these do not necessarily describe the man I am today. Again, this leads to the question, do I have the right to ask a woman out if I am not economically stable?

Additionally, does a man have the right to ask a woman out if he is still in is twenties and lives with his parents?
Does a man have the right to ask a woman out if he does not own a car?
Does a man have the right to ask a woman out if he is not incredibly popular and really good looking?

I’m not saying those three above questions pertain to me, but they do fall into the same category as the primary question that I had begun this post with. I think I am getting ahead of myself here, but I do believe all of these questions can be asked.

Now, perhaps these ideologies are simply those generated by a mind that is lacking confidence in the area of dating? Maybe so, but the fact remains the same that money is unequivocally an important factor in a relationship. According to research statistics recovered online, it costs between 2-4 thousand dollars a year to maintain a stereotypical relationship, and if one does not believe they can afford this kind of money, should he attempt to orchestrate a relationship with a woman in the first place?

I realise I keep asking the same question time and time again, and that will be the last time I do so.
This here is just my opinion. Any other opinions on the subject will be very welcome in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading, and I bid all of you a good day.

Shall I be remembered when I have left this world?

 

What is the meaning of life?

It is a question that many have pondered about over the centuries, with a vast number of responses being theorised.

Of course, many would say that the answer is unbelievably simple: the meaning of life is to acquire an economically proficient occupation; to become a professionally empowered and respectable individual; to fall in love and one day have a cherished family. The biggest thing to keep in mind though, would be to always follow your mind; your heart; your gut; and to always, and this is the most important part – have fun. For what is life if it is dull, boring and predictable?

I on the other hand would additionally speculate that we wish to be remembered, right?

This is something that I have thought about – not often mind you, but it has on occasion crossed my mind. Bearing in mind this is not exactly the most positive post ever (in fact some may go so far as to call some of the connotations downright negative), so please bear with me. If you have objections, by all means – make them known at the conclusion of this piece…

Back to what I was writing…before we depart this Earth, we would like to have achieved something that someone would remember us by.

Militarian leaders of the past, the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander the Great are especially known for their orchestration of the spilling of blood and frequent warfare; for their fantastical wins and unfathomable losses; the way they presided over their dynasty; and how they treated their municipals; their supporters; and their people.

I am not speculating that everyone wishes to go down in history with such a spectacular résumé under their belt, but I do believe that we wish to be able to look back and think ‘I will be remembered for this, that and the other.’

My question is, are we really ever remembered?

For instance, say when you leave this Earth you have yourself:
-a loving partner
-a fantastic child
-loving parents
-amazing friends
-a gorgeous dog
-a professional occupation

Will you be remembered?

Below is a purely hypothetical scenario of what could happen…

Your loving partner will weep for you, and will eventually; perhaps a year later, or maybe three, find a new lover and will happily marry them.
Your child will grow up calling another person ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’.
Your parents will cry over you, for parents should never be forced to outlive their children, and then they too will pass away, and no longer will they grieve.
Your friends will drink to your memory, and soon afterwards find another friend to replace you with.
Your dog, being man’s best friend, will happily acknowledge the love and support of any new owner who comes into their life and will eventually forget you ever existed.
Your boss will, perhaps a week later, have already filled your position with another able bodied worker who will soon succeed you and go on to perhaps run the company.

What legend do we leave behind when there is always something, always someone that can so easily replace us? In love; in friendship; in professionalism; we are, each of us – replaceable. Really makes you consider the value of a human life.

Many people would say they would give anything to see their loved one again. But what would they give to feel happiness again?  How can we be remembered when the whole idea of living is to simply move on with your life when something horrific happens, such as losing someone who meant so much to you?

Besides, today, history is learnt and taught by so few people. Very few people have any respect for the past, and as the years go on, fewer people will care. There will come a time when people will simply not even remember about the ancient Egyptians; the ancient Greeks; the French Revolution, or the Russian Revolution; and if these significant moments in history are not remembered; how do you honestly think that you will ever be remembered for what you accomplished?

And in the end, much like the sands of time, we will be erased from the history of the world, and we will become nothing more than a whisper in the gathering dark, and soon after, we will be but silence in the background of time.

By this time, nobody will even remember us; and nobody will even care to.

 

Thoughts and suggestions are always welcome.

Have a great day!

Haddaway don’t wanna be hurt no more – funnily enough, neither do I…Valentine’s Day: Is it a Gift; a Curse, or an Unnecessary Risk

 

Quintessentially, Valentine’s Day is an annually celebrated occasion about the discovery and celebration of love. The occasion however leaves no room for any alternate conceptions on the subject of romance. Please, allow me to explain…There are many notions on how there is somebody out there for each of us. There is another idea which dictates for every person is seven possible paramours, and you simply need to find one of them for eternal happiness. To believe in such romantic ideologies however, one must then acknowledge the opposite believe. This is the same for religion – if one believes in a Heavenly paradise awaiting us on the other side, then a fiery Hell must additionally be something that an individual with religiously spiritual views believes in. What I mean is – if one believes there is someone out there for everyone, then they must also believe that some people are simply destined to be alone. Valentine’s Day however does not leave room for such a belief, and for those who are destined to make their way through life without anyone by their side, Valentine’s Day makes that eternal suffering all the more difficult to live through.

I have always wondered why Valentine’s Day is such an important occurrence which takes place annually in our society. Christmas, Easter – these are primarily religiously oriented occurrences and so it makes sense that these would be celebrated. Birthday’s too are a celebrative occurrence which annually recognises one’s birth into this world. Anniversaries of partners and married couples I also believe have merit because this is a personal interaction between two people who love each other and are celebrating yet another year together. Remembrance Days additionally enable us the time to remember those who died patriotically to defend our shores, and although those who personally lost loved ones remember daily, those that have not lost relatives to the wars sometimes take their liberties for granted, and these specific days remind them of the tremendous sacrifice it takes to protect a country from barbarity.

Which of course brings me to Valentine’s Day. Now I am no zealous monster who has purposely singled out Valentine’s Day because I am waging a personal vendetta against love, and I am not doing so because I had a bad experience on such a ‘romantic’ occasion. I am doing so for the sole reason because I believe it is actually a little, how do I phrase this, ah, yes – pointless.

To be perfectly honest, not once have I ever had a Valentine; nor have I ever been someone’s Valentine. Reading this post, perhaps you will develop your own reasons as to why. Whenever I have been involved with a certain young woman during any Valentine’s Day, we have simply proceeded as though it is just an ordinary day. True, I have always insisted on taking my partner at the time to a fanciful restaurant or something of reminiscent beauty, but I’ve never made a big deal out of it like some other people do.

Now, perhaps you think I’m a hypocrite – I say I don’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day – yet in the past I’ve taken my then partners out to dinner – does that not mean I am acknowledging the event? Well, I fear if I had not taken my then partners out, that they may have become my ex-partners sooner rather than later due to my inability to do such a thing, whilst all of their friends spent the day been pampered by their lovers. Basically, I would do so to keep the woman who had stolen my heart happy, unlike others who simply go outrageously over the top.

Which brings me to the reason as to why I write this post.

Why have Valentine’s Day? I have asked this before, but really, why? Think about it; you love somebody with all of your heart – why do you need one day of the year to tell them; to show them how much they mean to you. Do you not convey to them that they mean the whole world to you all the other 364 days of the year (365 in a Leap year)?

Why would you wait for that one occasion to be tragically romantic? Why wait for that one day to buy your lover a huge bouquet of flowers? A big box of chocolates? A card outlining your undying feelings? A poem about a romance everlasting? A night at a luxurious restaurant?

If you really love somebody, do you not show them on a daily basis how much they mean to you? Are you expected to show them how much you love them on Valentine’s Day, and every other day of the year simply pretend they do not exist?

Why do people need an excuse to be genuinely romantic, which is what Valentine’s Day is – a reason to not be afraid to show your feelings. Is that not an insult – is not Valentine’s Day making the implication that people in general are too frightened of commitment and romance that we all need a twenty four hour window to be stupid in love? Why can’t we be like that any day? Every day? In fact, aren’t we?

So, what makes Valentine’s Day so special? We still love the people we fell for just as much as we do on every other occasion. Our feelings do not miraculously change overnight, do they? We do not become any more romantic, but we certainly do not become any less.

Negatively speaking, for those of us come Valentine’s Day who are either single, just making our way out from a bad break-up, have not had a partner in a few years or who have as much chance of having a ‘Valentine’ as they do of ever going to the planet Jupiter, Valentine’s Day is nothing more than an unnecessary in your face reminder that we are hopelessly alone. As we watch those who are happily enjoying the occasion with the one’s they love, we are again reminded that we do not have the opportunity to present anyone with such affection, and we are moreover reminded that there is nobody out there who at that very moment romantically cares about us.

What is your opinion?

Am I simply an angry young man who should shut up, get laid, and quit writing annoying posts like this?

Am I partially right, but at the same time wrong, and Valentine’s Day is actually a special occasion because people in fact do need an excuse to be stupid and foolhardy in love?

Am I so amazingly correct that I should be granted a Pulitzer for what I have written here?

Or is there something else that you might like to add?

By all means, have your say – or don’t, entirely your prerogative.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day. I may not be its biggest fan, but I am in no way suggesting that others should simply not bother acknowledging it on my account.

Have a great day!

What do you think?

 

I mentioned in my Christmas post that I received a new phone as a gift; a GT-C3520 Clam Shell.

After inserting my old SIM card into my new device, I found that all of the information stored on there; the numbers of my friends, family and acquaintances; the history of texts and calls that I had sent and received, along with my photos and recordings were all unavailable.

My old phone was an LG Clam Shell, and my new one is a Samsung, and with that said; only the number is the functional part of my old phone that was successfully integrated with my new device.

So, I therefore had to go and place my SIM card back into my old phone because I didn’t know most of the numbers of my friends and family off by heart and had to make backups of any files that I felt were important, which I transferred onto a USB. The numbers however I had to physically write down and later transfer into my new phone.

Some, I admit, did not make it onto the new phone, and this cleansing cycle made me wonder; why did I still have half of the numbers on there anyway when the last time I had communicated with such people, the human race was running around in leopard skins whacking each other over the heads with sticks as a way to communicate with other tribes.

I did come across one number in particular that I am undecided upon, and wish to ask the general public their thoughts on this matter.

The number belongs to a certain young woman that I used to fancy, and still have feelings for. We never did date, and even though there might have been a spark once, we left things on a rather negative note when we last spoke.

On top of this, I most likely have a greater chance of flying to Jupiter than I do of ever either seeing her again, or going out to dinner with her.

However, even with that said, should I keep her number somewhere in my phone – perhaps in one of those ‘groups’ sections? An opportunity may one day present itself I do suppose, although this is unbelievably slim. Another theory could be that having her number will prevent me from successfully moving forward with my life.

I am at a loss of what to do right now, and any thoughts and/or opinions on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Photos of our Special Days – do we really need them?

 

On Wednesday the 24th of October I celebrated my birthday. So, now with another year gone, that officially makes me the big two three.

Of course, the age difference is not really what was the most exciting about such an event. What was however were the many gifts that I received from family and friends.

I had mentioned that I primarily wanted to indulge in films, TV on DVD, music, clothing, aftershave and jewellery, and long and behold a miracle – my family and friends actually listened to me for a change!

Often in the past my friends and family have bought what they thought I would want rather than that which I had asked for, so I was glad to actually receive what I was after.

This included one necklace, two shirts and a wide variety of music, film and TV shows.

Additionally, a rather sumptuously delicious cake from Michelle’s Patisserie was purchased to coincide with my birthday. Often when cakes were purchased for my birthday in the past, they were sponges procured from Coles and Safeway, so it was nice to have a specially made cake with my name on it.

Now, I know that I perhaps should have made a post about this last week when such an occasion happened, but again my life has become a little clustered with business.

Of course, this leads me to the next part of my post – the pictures.

As you may have noticed – there are none.

No matter the situation, whether it be a birthday celebration, an occasion the likes of New Year’s Eve or Christmas, or even a night out with my girlfriend, my opinion remains the same. It’s not that I don’t like taking photos, or that I am simply too lazy to do so, no – there is a completely different reason at work here. The reason is that I really do not see the point.

True, a photo does seal a memory in time forever and is a great way to remember an occurrence that transpired in one’s life. The question I am going to ask however is; how could I, or anyone else for that matter, ever honestly forget a moment in life of such significance or import?

How could I forget a Christmas with my family and friends? How could I forget a birthday? How could I forget a night out with the woman of my dreams?

All of these occurrences in my life would be so valuable, that I would not need a photograph to remind me of them – they would be forever with me – permanently imprinted within my mind. I would constantly carry these moments with me – so why would I ever need assistance in reminding myself of something that meant so much? I wouldn’t – and that is why there are no photos of my birthday.

If you have your own views on this subject, please, by all means, comment at the end of this post!

Cheers!

The Questions Cometh…

 

I was recently tagged by Elaine, who’s blog can be found at the following link:

http://ourconsciousness.wordpress.com/

Thank you Elaine! If you have not checked out her blog, you absolutely should!

Anyway, the task here is to answer the 30 questions provided in just one word! Then, tag three other people and provide them access to the same three questions, and so on and so forth.

As you will soon realise, I did a terrible job at sticking to the rules…

So, here are my answers to the questions:

1. Where is your cell phone? Here!

2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend? Can’t (I’m a bachelor)

3. Your hair? Disappearing

4. Your mother? Annoying

5. Your father? Ill (My father has prostate cancer)

6. Your favourite item? Laptop

7. Your dream last night? Nope! (what dream? I have enough trouble trying to sleep let alone dream!)

8. Your favourite drink? Port/Coffee

9. Your dream car? Ferrari

10. The room you are in? Comfortable

11. Your ex? Married

12. Your fear? Loneliness

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Successful

14. Who did you hang out with last night? Work Colleagues

15. What you’re not? Normal

16. The last thing you did? Stress

17. What are you wearing? Pants

18. Your favourite book? VampireBlood (the Darren Shan collection. You see what I did just there? I turned two words into one! Aren’t I a genius! No, not really)

19. The last thing you ate? Salad

20. Your life? Collapsed

21. Your mood? Hopeful (it’s my birthday tomorrow)

22. Your friends? Unfriendly

23. What are you thinking about right now? I can’t answer this! There might be children reading!

24. Your car? Non-existent

25. What are you doing at the moment? Typing

26. Your summer? Hot

27. What is on your TV? Mass Effect 2

28. When is the last time you laughed? 31 minutes ago (honestly, how can I make this into one word?)

29. Last time you cried? Thursday

30. School? University!

Here are the sites of the three people that I have tagged:

Nelli

http://nelsville.wordpress.com/

Anna

http://justonemonkeytyping.wordpress.com/

Zen

http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/

Again, thank you to Elaine for the tag!

Hope you enjoyed the post dear readers!

Cheers, and have a pleasant day – or night as it is where I am at this very second.