Author Archives: Abhishek Indoria

The State of Things


Hello guys

It has been a while since I posted here (3 and a half years, to be exact). After some consideration, I am thinking that it is time to retire from “edgy” commentary my teen self thought appropriate during the time. I thank you for your comments and valuable insight.

I might continue to post here if I ever feel that I have found a niche topic which I’d like to contribute to. But for the time being, it is indeed goodbye.

Thank you again

Abhi

Advertisements

Getting older…is this really the direction I want to go in?


Hello there people. I haven’t posted anything in a while. I haven’t been active on GameJudgment either. Truth is, I never get enough spare time to do anything else.

I started to pursue a Computer Engineering degree from a university in India in August. It’s been two months and I am already regretting the decision to do so. Basically, the education system is so closed and strict that it makes Pentagon look like a public square. (Okay, bad analogy)

A few months ago, I had no other obligations. I could game, write about games, study in my own time, and basically do anything I wanted. Now, I get up at five, leave home at seven, return home at five in the evening, study/do assignments till 2 in the morning and then get three hours’ worth of sleep. Problem is, the Indian education system. People praise India’s education. I honestly don’t see why. India has, in my opinion, one of the worst education systems in the world. I doubt if it’s even better than North Korea. You go to school/uni, you attend lectures, and then you go home and are expected to cram them all with no practical education/knowledge whatsoever. But then again, first year has common subjects to all Engineering streams so that I am not really studying any subjects related to computer at the moment.

Then there’s the “Required attendance” policy, which requires that you attend 75% of the class. You’re not allowed to leave the university before the time ends (4 PM), you’re not allowed to wander the halls and you’re not allowed to go to the library and search for books even in your “Library” period. Yes, we do have a library period, however, it’s basically spent on listening to some idiot babble about “Library projects and presentations.”

I have no time to game either. All my games are now sitting on my desk, gathering dust. Sometimes I wonder if “Engineering” is really the thing I want to do, and even if I do, is India really a good country for it?

Is getting older really like this, when you will have to keep following others and you have to stop pursuing your dreams? When you’re still treated as a child despite being expected to show maturity when it comes to topics like lax education system and problems with professors.

How to Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 in HTC Explorer


It’s been a while since HTC released a list of the devices which will get Official ICS update to Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Some devices, like HTC Explorer were left out in the wild. Now, thanks to some developers at XDA, we finally have Android ICS for the little device. All credits are due to derefas for the build and savvas for the kernel.

What’s Not Working

-Camera

-Bluetooth(Fixed, will be released in the next build)

-Voice search
INSTRUCTIONS

Download Latest version of Google Apps for ICS from the Goo.im repository :

http://goo.im/gapps

Download the Cyanogenmod 9 Build 2 here : (Just click the link displayed after you fill out the number challenge) http://narod.ru/disk/59245691001.865…d%209.zip.html

For the first time Installers :

– Root (If you don’t know what I am talking about, you’re in the wrong section. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Root+HTC+Explorer will solve it for you.
– Copy The Google Apps and The CM9.zip to your SD Card’s base directory.
– Boot into Recovery by holding down Vol-Down button while powering up the device. Select Recovery via the vol-up and vol-down buttons after booting into bootloader(Skating androids). Navigate to “Recovery” and press the power button.

– Select Data Wipe/Factory reset

– Choose Install Zip From SD Card –> Choose Zip –> CM9.zip
– Flash CM9 zip from SDCard
– Same way, Flash Google Apps zip from SDCard
– Reboot
– Install Youtube and Google Maps from PlayStore as they’re not included.

Upgrading from earlier version of CyanogenMod 9:
– Copy CM9 ZIP to your SDCard
– Boot into Recovery
– Flash CM9 zip from SDCard
– Reboot

That’s it. You’re now running Android 4.0.4 ICS on your HTC Explorer.

Nonsensical Rant


I’ve been experiencing a lot of 3 A.M. upheavals lately. I finished Persona 3 at 3 in the morning, alongwith Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 and finished readingJerry Spinelli’s Stargirl. Every single one of them at 3 in the morning. Result? Sleepless night. Those are some of the best entertainment mediums I’ve seen which can make you squirm all night and not let you sleep.

Of course, I had a similar experience with Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Looking for Alaska by John Green. The point is, I no longer trust early mornings. If I have to finish something on that particular day, and it drags on after 00:00, I assume it’s going to have a deep impact on me, and usually it does.

Well, nonsensical rant, but hey, it’s my personal blog, I can do whatever I want. Ciao.

Nonsensical Rant


I’ve been experiencing a lot of 3 A.M. upheavals lately. I finished Persona 3 at 3 in the morning, alongwith Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 and finished readingJerry Spinelli’s Stargirl. Every single one of them at 3 in the morning. Result? Sleepless night. Those are some of the best entertainment mediums I’ve seen which can make you squirm all night and not let you sleep.

Of course, I had a similar experience with Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Looking for Alaska by John Green. The point is, I no longer trust early mornings. If I have to finish something on that particular day, and it drags on after 00:00, I assume it’s going to have a deep impact on me, and usually it does.

Well, nonsensical rant, but hey, it’s my personal blog, I can do whatever I want. Ciao.

Gaming: a luxury in Asia that leads to Piracy? | GAMEJUDGMENT


Gaming: a luxury in Asia that leads to Piracy?.

Read my post on GameJudgment about Gaming in Asia and Piracy related issues.

Does anybody really care about Mass Effect 3 ending?


I still have to finish the game, but on a related note, do you care about the Mass Effect 3 ending?

Skyrim Review


(After a long hiatus, I am back again.I wasn’t able to review any games due to the facts I’ve mentioned in the post below, but thankfully, I’ll be able to work on the blog more frequently now. Here’s my Skyrim review for the PlayStation 3 system)

Behold, one of the best and the buggiest game of 2011. Skyrim is finally upon us. Yes, it is one of the best games of the year and while it doesn’t really revolutionize the RPG genre, it is still an excellent addition.This game will force you, and with good reason, to invest dozens of hours of your life.

The game takes place 200 years after the events of Oblivion in the region of Skyrim, north of Tamriel. The region is the native land of Nords. The land of Skyrim is gripped in a cold civil war between the empire and the Stormcloaks, the rebel group of Nords.

The game starts with you being carried in a cart to beheading with other Nords. Obviously the Imperial soldiers assumed that you were with the Stormcloaks and decide to hand out your punishment(It was all due to an error on their part, as it will be explained as you progress further in the game). Before your beheading event, however, appears a Dragon which makes the village of Helgen tremble, then you would have to escape with your fellow prisoners.

 

The first thing you’ll notice about Skyrim is its beauty. The game is gorgeous. The graphics, while not flawless, give an impression of a living, breathing world. Upon closer inspection, the graphics don’t look as good as they do when looking from some distance away, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The weather changes include fog and as you move north or up in the mountains, you would find your field of view shrinking due to it. Skyrim has a vast range of flora and fauna, and they are all at your disposal.

The combat system has been improved from Oblivion and the tutorial level takes you through the village of Helgen. As you escape from the Dragon in Helgen, basics of the game will be explained to you. You can choose to wield the weapons and spells any way you want. You can either dual wield two swords, or a shield and a sword, or go with magic spells. There are a wide variety of weapons for you to choose from, most powerful ones appearing later in the game. The control scheme is pretty simple. You attack with your R1 button and defend with your L1 button, depending on your chosen weapons. If you are dual wielding spells, the appropriate Right or Left shoulder button will function as the attack trigger of the spell. You can assign shortcuts to your weapons and armor, however, and I personally love the change.

World-Skyrim

 

Leveling up is done in a simple manner as opposed to the one in Oblivion. You level up as you use the skills. For example, the more you use your sword, the more you’ll improve your Melee skill. The skill system is not affected by how many people you actually kill. The more you use something, the more your skills in that particular field will grow. Unlike Oblivion, I found that Skyrim allows a pretty excellent gaming option with your bow. Bows in Oblivion were highly unstable and frankly, I didn’t see the point of bows in Oblivion. In Skyrim, however, this is different. Bows do actually matter in the game. You will see a lot of foes wielding bows, and some of them will kill you in one shot unless you’re careful. Magic skills could be developed further. As I’ve experienced, you should at least try to improve your melee or archery skills even if you’re planning to create a primary character with magic proficiency. Horse combat is still not possible and you can’t even mount two persons on your horse, which is a shame. Horses do fast travel wherever you go, so that’s a nice touch.

In addition of spells and weapons, you have access to Shouts. These Shouts, or Thu’ums, are special words in Dragon language which you will have to learn using Word Walls. Before you can use shouts, however, you will have to unlock them by spending Dragon souls. Yep, you guessed it. Dragon souls are available once you kill a dragon. Killing a dragon provides you with a dragon soul to spend on any one shout you want. However, dragons won’t start spawning until you complete a certain part of main story, and a shout comprises of three words. The more words you learn, the more powerful it becomes. Shouts can help you out in some really nasty situations if used correctly.

Skyrim uses a Radiant Story quest system, in which quests are dynamically altered based upon the conditions, and you will never run out of things to do in the game. The Dark Brotherhood and The Thieves Guild quest lines are some of the best quests available in the game, and they earn you pretty good rewards too. The main quest line was, in my opinion, pretty decent, although not groundbreaking. Though it had one of the best ending quests in The Elder Scrolls games. Also, it seems like almost everyone in the game has a problem or two yet to be solved and only you can solve them. I would strongly recommend you try to get through The Dark Brotherhood and The Thieves Guild quests because they net some of the best weapons and armors available in the whole game.

You can recruit mercenaries to help you out or you can get certain ‘Companions’ once you complete their quests. You will automatically get one or two companions as you complete your main quest, however, the AI in Skyrim is pretty dumb and your companions are no better. They will step on pressure plates, activate traps and one or twice, will die on you due to a bug.

Which brings us to an interesting part of the game-BUGS! The game is overflowing with numerous bugs. Horses disappearing, Backwards flying dragons, Flying mammoths and Giants sending you to stratosphere with one hit of their mace(It MIGHT be intentional, however). I’ll leave you to discover more bugs yourself, and I would like to point out that you cannot blame Bethesda for bugs as Skyrim is a huge game and it will be impossible to detect and fix every single bug found in the game. People are flaming Bethesda because of the bugs but hey, let me ask you something-400 people, or two million people-Which ones do you expect would find more errors or bugs in the game?

You can purchase houses and stock them with furniture, bookshelves, weapon racks and a few other things. It’s a nice addition to the game. You can craft your own weapons and armor, which is one of the major parts of the game, enchant your weapons and even chop woods. Enchanting, is pretty stupid, however. I feel that Bethesda could’ve added more to enchanting than a weapon doing 20 damage to health or stamina or Magicka. There are a few other options available, but they are rather limited.

The soundtrack is one of the best available for any game released in the decade. It’s worth listening to very closely because you will be astounded with variety of sound effects and music. It’s an integral part of the game-The chills you get once a dragon lands close to you and out of the speakers come the blasting sounds of the main theme of Skyrim, the rush you feel when you walk through the chants in the ending level of the main quest(No spoilers). Overall, Skyrim’s music is there to behold. However, it has a few weak parts too. Some lines are repeated so many times that they are starting to become annoying (Hi, Guard with an arrow in the knee!). Voice acting of the main characters is pretty strong, but a few NPC lines feel weak and poorly constructed.

Overall, Skyrim is one excellent game, advantages of which overpower the bugs and faults in the game. It has a vast world set for you to explore and highly detailed armor/weapons. You “will” invest hours in the game and lose the track of time. Despite 70-odd hours I’ve invested in the game, I can easily say that I have not yet even seen half of the world there is to see. I can see myself returning to the game frequently even after finishing most quests. It’s a genuine classic you have to play!

 

Why I haven’t been able to write more


Hello everyone,
As you might be already aware, I am currently not updating my blog regularly. This is due to the fact that I did not have enough time to blog due to my recent final examinations. I have a few of them left, but I will be able to write more frequently now.
I apologize for causing trouble to anyone.

Skyrim Obsession


I have been playing Skyrim since it came out. I had pre-ordered it, and got my copy on 10th of November, one night before everybody else.  Since then, it is one of the games I’ve spent so much of my time (60 hours in) and haven’t regretted it since.

How about MMOs, you say? My friend, I am not a big fan of Massive Multiplayer Online RPGs. I refuse to play World of Warcraft. One reasons is that I’ve got no friends who play the game regularly, and I don’t want to waste too many hours in an MMO.

Skyrim is different. It’s exquisite. I’ve spent about 40 hours in Oblivion. I haven’t even completed its quest, but Skyrim kept me hooked from the start. The Dragons, the Dark Brotherhood and a few side quests are equally interesting.  The world doesn’t feel dull, unlike so many games. The world feels alive and different.  Here are my three reasons why I can’t stop playing it:

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

Yes, Skyrim is based on decisions. The choices you make will make you celebrated or hated in a region. For example, if you are a member of thieves guild and threatened a bartender to get her money, you’ll receive no end of harassing lines from the customers even after your 100th visit. Similarly, if you helped someone, they’ll often say, “You’ve been a good friend to me, that means something.”

DRAGONS

Like you haven’t figured it out already. I haven’t completed the main quest yet but I am trying to find all shouts and capture souls of more dragons in the game. So far, I believe I have about half the shouts there are (Correct me when I am wrong) – “Dragonrend, Fire breath, Ice form, Aura Whisper, Unrelenting force, Whirlwind Sprint, Clear Skies and one more I can’t remember on the top of my head right now.”

QUESTS

Yes, the world is big, but what about quests? The quests are varied and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the Dark Brotherhood quests which are exceptionally crafted.

WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ABOUT SKYRIM?

Companions. Companions should be more lively, for example, offering to tell their story as the main quest proceeds.

Dark Brotherhood is another assassins’ base. Dark brotherhood was coated in mystery the first time I killed someone, finding Astrid on the top of the shelf with clothes covering half of her face. The mystery turned into awkwardness as soon as I set foot in the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. Casualty and Dark Brotherhood don’t mix.

My initial review would be 95/100 for the game. Full review coming soon if I am able to finish it before my exams.

%d bloggers like this: