Friday, July 31, 2015

Angry Birds 2 Review - First Impressions (Updated)

You guys know I'm a huge Angry Birds fan, just like the rest of you.

Rovio has consistently produced many of its games apps with movie tie-ins, but for the sequel to their original smash hit - it's definitely worth a review. It took Rovio 6 years to come up with a sequel! For first impressions, I noticed how LARGE the app has become. Since Angry Bird's Transformers, I noticed Rovio seem to overlook the importance of app size. Personally for me, the smaller the app size the better because most of us have smart devices that comes with only 16gigabyte of space. This huge app needs to be downloaded only via Wi-Fi connection.

Upon opening the app, I need to sign in through my email to start playing the game. This signing-in option is vital because that way, my scores from the past is kept online. With our ever-changing taste of different kinds of smart devices, storing our game scores online is vital for I have the "unfortunate" experience of playing the game all over again after I moved to a new device. But with this signing-in feature, all my past game scores are kept safely and I don't have to play the game all over again. Unfortunately, this option doesn't work when I uninstalled the game app due to storage issue with my device. When I re-installed the app and signed in, I have to start from the beginning!

A noteworthy mention about this sequel compares to the original is the graphics. The characters of the evil piggies are more animated and expressive this time around. I noticed their funny reaction when I pull my sling to direct at them. At the top left corner of the screen, you'll get to see the close-up shot of both the angry bird and the evil piggie's comic expression, which to me is a great feature to add the "drama" of the whole game. It seems Rovio is trying to pull the attention of the gamers on the construction of the structure where the evil piggies reside. I feel this is unnecessary vanity on Rovio's part.

A line of dots would appear to project the trajectory of the sling is a great feature to have. This feature first appeared in Rovio's Stella game app. Another great new feature for this sequel is the gamer get to select which bird to slingshot. The birds are now presented in the form of game cards where you can pick. A new game card (ie: bird) shall be given to you everytime you scored a certain number. You can view your score on the upper right corner where the destroyed structure where the piggies are situated will morphed into golden dust and flew up to become your score card. The sling cards are the birds you get to sling onto the piggies. You have to be careful which sling cards you choose because upon touching the card, you cannot change your mind and select another card!

There's a downside to this sequel when you failed to complete a level. It takes you double the screen tap to get back to the start, as compared to the original Angry Birds where you can simply tap the pause button and restart the level again (when you suspect you're going to fail) all on the same screen. The sequel seem to focus more on the King Piggy where at certain levels, it would appear in its gigantic form. It would also appear when you failed a level, and the whole screen would have to wait for the King Piggy and its consorts to appear. It actually takes more time to restart playing a level. This is not a good thing for impatient gamers. Another difference from the original Angry Birds is that this time, the game levels are one way - meaning you have to complete one continuous level to reach another level. Angry Birds 2 does not have thematic sections where the gamer can choose to quit one section and start a new level from another section.

In conclusion, Angry Birds 2 is a much more graphics-centric than its original - which can be a good and bad thing. The first Angry Birds is a much more simpler and direct game to play. Angry Birds 2 have more of the drama and focus, thanks to the focus and mini-screen shots used to make the game more compelling and immersive.

Better, more immersive graphics
Extra cards to sling when points achieved

Cannot store scores from last game after uninstalling
Too long to quit and restart a game
Game levels are one-way, no selection option
Unable to switch sling card after selection
App files takes more storage space

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to fight Corruption on a Worldwide Scale - Start from where you are right now.

Corruption is rampant everywhere in the world. It's even more rampant in countries with a biased, race-directed education system, puppet leaders assuming leadership and civilians already disillusioned by their own ignorance. Corruption can bankrupt a country, take Greece for example. Corruption is a serious mental phenomena that destroys you without knowing until it's too late. Do you notice everytime any mass riot or violence happened, the media would often sweep the real issues under carpet? They would often say "It's not racial. It's not corruption. Let the law take it's course". For me, that would be called simply as ignorance.

Yes, the whole world wants you to be in ignorance. When anything goes wrong, simply blame your leaders. Blame your idols. Or blame the Chinese. Or Malays. Simply just blame. You can do nothing about it. It's all part of the system. Part of the shared corrupted culture. But with this continuous ignorance, the people becomes poorer each day. We have to work harder for money. I am a Malaysian Chinese artiste, and could not make a living in my own country. Instead, I have to persuade producers from other countries for work - how come? Corruption. Certain extremist politicians in Malaysia used the race card to sideline credebile non-Malay actors like myself from holding main starring roles in local films. That way, Malaysian audience only see one color on screen the local media. That way all kinds of negative connotations about the Malaysian Chinese can be conjured up because our voice is not heard in local movies. Our quality of life goes down. Prices of goods goes unexpectedly high. And our attitudes towards each other began to change. Self-pity began to fester. Soon we turn to each of our own God for help. Shouting, wailing and fighting in the name of God for our rights as sons of this earth. All the while not knowing that God only helps those who help others. More specifically - others from another race.

Below are 4 universal truths one needs to understand to fight corruption.

1. You have a part in it too

When it comes to corruption, EVERYONE is guilty. Nobody can give any excuse out from it. Success happens when all the right components combined just right. So does corruption. Corruption doesn't just happen overnight. It happens gradually, right under your nose. Who puts the racist political leaders up there in their high and mighty pedestal? You do. When you pick a leader, you are conditioned to pick only based on their race - not on their track record. Same corrupted principle everywhere - when casting main actors for local movies or hiring staff for a government-owned organisation. The only enemy you have to watch out for is yourself. Not the other races. Watch out for the other ghosts and demons handed down into your mentality by your elders. Your own mind is darker than you thought. You are conditioned to pick your leader based on their family legacy - even though their family legacy has nothing to do with how fair they would govern a country in the future. When you go shopping for anything, you always placed price as the first priority. So when you purchased a smartphone that doesn't work the way you wanted it to, you went back to the shop and complained, kicked at the glass display, punched the salesperson, then turned back to secretly steal another smartphone to cover "your losses". In a recent case, you would possibly bring your whole posse and cause a riot of unneccesary violence.

2. Equality always win over "Kindness"

You always feel comfortable being among your own race. That's because you perceive that they'll always be kind to you. But reality is not what you would hope for. Being with your own kind, you are expected to do certain things. Most of the times - do corruption. Like when one of your brothers are caught for stealing or beaten up, you would have to stand up for him and cover his ass. But all for what? All for their "kindness". They have been so kind to you so now it's your turn to reciprocate. Nothing is free in this world. So why would you be so foolish and accept such "kindness"? Why should you follow a corrupted leader that only gives you "kindness" when you have to do his corrupted bidding? Have you forgotten about your own self-worth? Your self-worth would guide you to be fair and equal to everyone regardless of their race, religion and physical appearance. Because if you don't, you would continue to live in a low quality of life. Your achievements (if you have any) would not be recognised and advance in your career. But you choose to silence those basic human thoughts and compromised your true potential to become puppets of destruction. Yes, we are all on the road to ruin. And the least we can do is to embrace each other towards that the name of kindness.

3. Stay away from Superficiality

Superficiality breeds hate. When superficiality culminates to its peak, it would generate riots and violence. It's a natural cycle that one would observe anywhere in the world. Superficiality means lies. Superficiality is everywhere from hand-kissing your elders to giving your seat to a pathetic charity-seeking bitch in the train. Young people are most susceptible to superficiality. When people are selling you a fake product and the price is so low, you would immediately buy it because your own corrupted values are superficial too. When a riot breaks recently, certain "artiste" would post their self video to promote peace and harmony. But in actual fact, they are really promoting their fake selves. They are not capable of thinking why such incidents happen like they do. All they want is to take advantage of the situation and show the world they are so damn good and perfect.

4. When one apple is bad, not all apples are bad

But hope still prevails for those with the right kind of mind and attitude. Those rare folks who doesn't generalize things and people in vague and superficial context like ALL chinese are cheaters just because they have been cheated once by one. Those rare heroes of society that stood up and fight for the genuine values that uplift all humanity regardless of their sexuality, race, status and physical appearance. Those precious individuals who choose to be angry for standing by the sideline too long while witnessing corruption that's slowly impoverishing their lives - and started to fight for equality. Those type of heroes are hard to find, maybe even impossible! If each one of us take action to fight corruption, the recent riot incident at Low Yat Plaza would not have happened. The riot is not only just about race. It's about people's frustration towards corrupted capitalism that's already impoverishing their lives. Imagine what you can do when you channel all that rage, fighting and rioting energy towards combating real corruption in your everyday lives instead?

Your effect on humanity will be so much greater and more significant.

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