Virtual Reality

I originally pre-ordered an Oculus Rift after the consumer version was finally announced, but after reading about all the “controversies” around the launch of the Rift and the Oculus company after it was bought up by Facebook, I eventually ended up cancelling it and buying the HTC Vive instead.

List of controversies from memory:

These and the fact that HTC Vive already have motion controllers and also better room-scale support (if you walk around in the room, you are also walking around in the game), eventually convinced me to buy it instead. It even arrived quicker than the estimated delivery date for my Oculus Rift pre-order (was stated to arrive in July).

HTC Vive

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive was developed by Valve in cooperation with HTC, and Steam already had VR support for quite a while, with a decent list of VR games by now. However, most of the games are made by indie developers and it is quite apparent that many of them lack the polish of games from larger companies. It has some similarities to the games found on app stores in the early days of smartphones, a bunch of mediocre games and also some gems, but even among those many are under development (“early access” as Steam calls it). Many of the games are also very arcade-like, without any story or campaign modes, but instead having wave-based level progression, which can be fun too, but is not really my favorite type of games.

I already have 73 games in my VR library (some of them are free demos, but I did buy quite a few during Steam’s summer sale), so I’m not going to go through all of them, but here’s a short list of the games I liked slightly more than others:

A Chair in a Room
A Chair in a Room – Greenwater: One of the more complete VR games, this is a short horror adventure game in the style of old “point and click” adventure games. With jumpscares. I haven’t actually played this game till completion yet since one of my friends finished it when I was demoing VR to some of my friends, and I haven’t really felt like playing it after reaching the first jumpscare parts of the game…

MIND Path to Thalamus
MIND Path to Thalamus: I got this game from a Humble Bundle a while ago, and was happy to see that it got VR support added. It’s also an adventure game, but mostly exploration based, with some slightly physics based puzzles.

The Solus Project
Another game in the similar vein is The Solus Project, which is also a mostly exploration-based adventure game, but with some survival elements (you have to eat food, drink water and sleep at regular intervals in order to not die).

The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed
The final similar VR game is The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed, this one however got enough money through its Kickstarter to feature full voice acting, and while it’s a lot shorter than the previous two, it feels quite a bit more polished. Hopefully they will be able to finish all the episodes of the game.

Portal Stories: VR
Portal Stories: VR
: A fan-made game in the Portal universe, it is a pretty short game consisting of 10 puzzle stages using a “blinking” device rather than the portal gun. The puzzles are pretty good and it is also voice acted with some dialogue that fits pretty well with the humor in the Portal games. Would’ve loved to see more stages for this game.

These five games are the most “story-rich” VR games of the ones I’ve tried so far, which is why they stand out the most to me.

Other noticable games are:

  • Vanishing Realms, a decent but unfinished action RPG
  • Fantastic Contraption, a game where you have to build machines in 3D in order to transport a “balloon” to the target area
  • Final Approach, a flight control game very much like the old mobile game (iOS), but in 3D
  • Ruckus Ridge VR Party, a somewhat unpolished party game where one person uses the Vive while three others uses normal controllers, and they have to “fight” each other in order to get a high score. It’s one of the few party games available for VR, so it’s worth a mention even if it has some playability issues.

In other news, since last post:

  • I’ve been trying to eat vegetarian food as much as possible because of environmental reasons. (In short: Producing meat causes more pollution than cars and other transportation, according to a report by United Nations.) Though I still eat meat sometimes…
  • I’m still biking to work too. I found out I have actually lost about 5kg over the past year, I assume it’s most likely because of this and the previous point.
  • I experimented with making an “augmented reality” / “escape room” type of game using a web page mixed with real world clues. It worked all right, but took so much work that I had to take a break from it after planning two of those.
  • Bought a Pebble Time, mainly because I thought it’d be fun to switch between different geeky watch faces:

  • Went to Easter and Summer Camp, also had a church BBQ

    Church BBQ

    Church BBQ

  • Painted the fence of my balcony, looks quite nice now! Though the “floor” looks very shabby in comparison now. Should probably paint that too later…

    Painted the balcony "wall" and some of the outdoors furniture.

    Painted the balcony “wall” and some of the outdoors furniture.

  • Been watching a lot of TV shows and anime. Stranger Things was pretty awesome, Game of Thrones season 6 was being very Game of Throney, Netflix has started licensing a little bit more anime shows in Norway too, plus the ones I watch on Crunchyroll. Jojo Part 4 is amazing, Ace Attorney is somewhat mediocre but still enjoyable as a fan of the game series, and Food Wars/Shokugeki no Soma is fun to watch, even though I try to eat vegetarian food nowadays.
  • Some of the non-VR games I was most excited to play lately: Zero Time Dilemma was probably my most anticipated game this year, pretty much “binge” played it through a weekend. A great end on an awesome game trilogy. Shovel Knight really was a pretty good old-school style platforming game. Kirby: Planet Robobot was a fun new entry in the Kirby series.

Currently I’m in my week long home vacation now after summer camp, and decided to just stay home most of the time, doing some chores and binge watching TV and games until I have finished some of the stuff I have been wanting to do but not had time to finish.


Posted by on 2016-07-21 in Games

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Almost a year of my life

Apparently there’s been an even longer time since my last update now, than when I posted last time. Been almost a year… Time passes way too fast.

Since my last post, I:

  • Went to Easter Camp
  • Visited Finland with the church youth group (I seem to recall us having a city exploration game, unfortunately it was raining rather badly…)
  • Went to Jenny and Martin’s wedding
  • Went to Tromsø on a work conference, visited some friends while I was there
  • Went to Summer Camp
  • Hung out with friends and visitors during summer vacation
  • Went to William and Marita’s wedding
  • Went to Enoch and Monica’s wedding the weekend after that
  • Went on a cabin trip with the church youth group (apparently there’s a difference between cabins and cottages. The correct term for what the Norwegians traditionally call “hytte” would be cabin or log cabin, because it’s usually built mainly with wood and is also usually located in the woods.)

    Tradional Norwegian cabin

    Old-style Norwegian cabin found at the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo.

  • Went to Copenhagen on another work conference, visited the Tivoli amusement park and The National Museum of Denmark.
  • Started playing Dungeons & Dragons with some friends. So far we have found that we might be somewhat lacking in imagination, and generally only know how to rush dungeons and try to beat up everyone. Also we have the worst luck with dice rolls.
  • Went to the “Films From the South Festival” (watched mostly anime and Asian movies)
  • Went to Boda Borg in Sweden, it was quite fun!

    Boda Borg introduction

    Boda Borg introduction, the place is not as scary as this photo might suggest.

  • Went to Hong Kong and Malaysia with my family. And went to my cousin’s wedding in Hong Kong.
    Malaysia, being one of the tropical countries, was quite hot and I’m glad that the tour guide that took us around sightseeing had a car with great air conditioning.
  • Tried out curling. Found out I suck at it as with most competitive sports and games.

Apparently I went to a total of five weddings throughout 2015. I was invited to Wenny’s wedding too, but in the end I decided not to go since I was already going to two other weddings in that same month. Sorry Wenny. If I count the two weddings I went to in Final Fantasy XIV, the count would go up to seven weddings, but I guess those two probably don’t count.

I’ve mostly lost track of the video games I play. I feel like I don’t get around to play as much as I really want, because a lot of evenings after work and Saturdays I end up surfing the net/Reddit and doing some chores and reading webcomics and random stuff and I might really only play games a few hours or so. Still I have played through at least a few games. In no particular order:

  • Undertale (it won the “Best Game Ever” poll on GameFAQs for 2015 in a hilarious tale of Undertale fans rallying each other to vote for the game on a web site they don’t usually visit, while grumpy fans for other games were complaining that Undertale fans were ruining the poll)
  • Batman Arkham Origins and also the companion game Arkham Origins: Blackgate
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (got it quite a while ago, but didn’t get around to beat it before lately)
  • Teslagrad (Norwegian metroidvania style indie game)
  • Murdered: Soul Suspect (it was, uh, OK)
  • Her Story (fascinating game where you have to find out the truth by watching old videos)
  • Portal Stories: Mel (fan-made mod to the original Portal games with voice acting, quite amazing)
  • Deadlight (2.5D almost metroidvania-style platform game with zombies)
  • Amphora (a mix between a puzzle game and picture storybook, also made by a Norwegian indie company)
  • almost finished The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, just trying to find all the secrets now
  • played both Lara Croft top down shooter games with my brothers (Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris)
  • The Swapper (another metroidvania style game, in space, kinda horrorish, amazing atmosphere and story)
  • The Novelist (an indie game about despair and depression. Nah I hear it’s possible to get a perfectly happy ending, though I didn’t want to play through it again to try for it)
  • Corpse Party: Blood Drive (the final chapter in the Corpse Party horror game series, was cool to see the characters again, but felt somewhat underwhelming compared to the first two games)

Currently I’m supposed to be planning an activity for the youth group next Saturday, so I should get back to it. Might very well post about it here after it’s done!


Posted by on 2016-02-05 in Uncategorized

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Half a year of my life

So apparently it’s been over 8 months since last time I updated my blog!

I think the reason is that when I get home from work I don’t really feel like doing much besides gaming and watching Netflix, so usually I’ve been doing random stuff like blogging and cleaning the house on Saturdays. But since summer 2014, I haven’t really had many Saturdays “off”, because I’m almost always spending time with family, friends or church. And the few Saturdays I have left usually goes to cleaning (and gaming). Honestly I’m feeling somewhat exhausted most of the time, to the point where I’d rather just stay home during vacations rather than go travelling… Last Christmas (2014) I actually did stay home most of the time except a few days I spent with my brothers, since we didn’t go to Hong Kong with our parents.

Still, I’ve been trying to keep being social as much as possible, and I have travelled a few times. Went to Amsterdam last summer with my parents, where we ate a lot of Chinese food and visited family. Went to a friend’s wedding in Sweden, to Bergen to visit the youth there and also went to a wedding there later, visited friends in Gothenburg, went to Trysil on a ski trip with the youth group and to Tromsø with my cousin to try to see the Northern lights, though it was cloudy almost all the time so we didn’t really see much.

Oysters in Amsterdam

Oysters in Amsterdam

The cousin I mentioned is a cousin from Hong Kong who’s studying in Norway as an exchange student, she’s staying at my parents’ place, so I try to hang out with her when I can.

Polaria Museum in Tromsø

Polaria Museum in Tromsø. You can pet these corals and crabs! The water is very cold though.

I try to play games on the weekdays when I don’t have to go to church or visit family in the evening, but I’ve mostly given up trying to keep track of how many games I intend to play. After buying almost every Humble Bundle since the start, plus games I’ve bought regularly or during Steam sales, I currently have 763 games on Steam, which according to this web site might take over 6000 hours to play through. This is in addition to games I have on Wii U and 3DS and other consoles… While there are some games I’ve already finished, plus many games from Humble Bundle that I probably will never play, there are still quite a number of games that I intend to play. So I just play the games as I go and gave up trying to keep track of how many I have left.

MH4U Guild Card photoMH4U Guild Card

Currently I’m playing quite a lot of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, also I started playing Murdered: Soul Suspect and Dreamfall Chapters that I kickstarted a while ago. Of the games I’ve played since the last blog update, some of the most memorable are Captain Toad (adorable puzzle game), Arkham Origins (this game looked awesome in 3D Vision!), Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons (also nice in 3D Vision, and the story is rather touching), Among the Sleep (another kickstarted game, baby horror with a twist I didn’t expect at the end), finished the rest of the episodes in The Walking Dead Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us (choices are so hard!), Danganronpa 2 (more murder mystery and you get to know what happened to some of the characters from the first game), Guacamelee (“Metroidvania” 2-player coop game, played it with my youngest brother, some of the platforming puzzles were so, so difficult…), Bayonetta 2 (stylish and epic action game, I especially remember the part where you are surfing on a water tornado while fighting a giant dragon boss monster), Hyrule Warriors (was fun for a while, but got tired of the grinding in the end, after beating the story mode).

I’m still paying for Netflix and Crunchyroll subscriptions, and I usually watch some shows whenever I do house work or eat dinner. I just finished watching How I Met Your Mother (and I think I agree with a lot of fans that the ending was somewhat disappointing), I’ve gotten to season 8 on Supernatural (the plot in this show isn’t really that strong, but the dialogue and writing in general is pretty funny), I started watching Log Horizon and Sword Art Online because I was curious about the similar premises of both shows, but both these and Arrow really weren’t good enough that I got excited about watching each new episode. Parasyte: The Maxim was awesome though, and Terra Formars was quite enjoyable even with the extreme censorship black boxes and being only 13 episodes. And it still caught up to how far the manga has been translated to English so far, still waiting for new volumes of the manga to get the rest of the story. Started watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which is hilariously old-school shounen, even though the animation is new. Also looking forward to the upcoming new season of Gintama! Just found out that J-Stars Victory VS is going to be localized too, sweet! Actually got the Japanese version of the game, but it was a pain not knowing what they are saying.

Gintama is back!

Gintama is back!

As I mentioned before I would’ve liked to update the blog more often instead of writing a big bunch of text every time I update, but so far I haven’t been able to make myself do that… It would’ve been better if each blog post was about a single subject. Oh well, we’ll see how it goes.

Happy Easter!

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Posted by on 2015-04-02 in Rambling