Tuesday Mumbles: Relationship Issues

Written By TheChoujinVirus

Note: The following is based on my own opinions, so do not take any offense to this if it hits a nerve.

Hey everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin. With this pandemic situation going away and attempting to go back to normal, but something got ya boy hit hard. Apparently one of his real life friends got himself in one hell of a situation of a relationship problem. Ya boy’s not gonna be that person who will babble on his friend’s problem. Ya Boy understands the wise words of a certain person. However, ya boy’s seen this stuff from time to time and gets me a bit annoyed.


The first thing I have to admit is why the heck do some people always seem to argue so negatively over the basis of their break-ups? Some i’ve seen always bitch about their partner’s flaws or problems while at the same time they don’t see their own problems in the mirror. I mean, sure, ya boyfriend can be a drunken asshole but maybe try to intervene or keep an eye out on that situation but do nothing on it? To me, that makes it like you don’t care about your partner and let it bad. That’s like ignoring the fire in the room as the northern lights. Seriously….


Another thing I have to admit is that some people also seem to hold onto some bad relationships in either two unhealthy ways: They either hold onto the relationship in some hope that things will go back or they become vindictive of their former partner and somehow need some validation that they don’t need them. Now, the reason why ya boy is saying those things are unhealthy is that if you’re intending to move on from said bad relationship, you don’t need to take your frustration out on them let alone pining for them like a sad dog. If there’s a chance that they’ll come back to you, then you’d need to know without needing to validate it. It’s a pretty toxic thing that makes you look bad. Sometimes the best and healthy thing to do is to move on, regardless of the situation. After all, you can rebuild relationships if done right.


Lastly, the one thing that gets me annoyed with how some relationships can be broken is due to how one stupid little thing can be a catalyst to the whole situation. I mean seriously, you have so many problems that you all could have worked out and you let it fester and fester until one little incident ends up becoming the string that snaps the entire relationship? What the heck and why did you let it get that way? Also, what made you not think when you decided to do something. Whether it be one dumb action or poor choice of words, what made you do that shit?


Now, ya boy’s not someone who’s an expert on relationships (sadly, ya boy’s never been in one so I can’t comment on that.) However, my suggestion is that if you’re in tension and not in a break-up, I would suggest you get some couple’s therapy right away so you can figure out the problem and try to salvage the situation. If you love your partner, you would ensure that they remain happy. If the event happens and you’re broken up, all ya boy can tell you is that it takes time. Focus on improving yourself and ensuring it may never repeat again. Though this journey is something that requires time and something you have to deal on your own.


And that’s ya boy’s gripe bout the negative relationship issues. I’m not a man who’s in any relationships or been in one so I can’t really comment on experience, but I don’t like to see people suffer through these issues.

Monster Hunter Rise Armor Review: Gathering Sets

Written by TheChoujinVirus

Happy Thursday everyone, it’s ya Boy Choujin here. Today we’re going to be doing a change of pace with our usual broadcast to bring you a special: Armor reviews for Monster Hunter Rise. Some may be either found online, submitted by people playing the game or even those ya boy cooked up in the Bird’s Nest research labs (eat your heart out Honeydew!)

The first thing in the core of monster hunting has you doing besides just killing monsters is gathering resources like Minerals and plants. Sure you can go into your hunting gear and gather the sources but you may not be gathering as much as you can bring back during an expedition. What if I told you ya boy has an armor set that’s easy enough for you to make and can help gather as much rocks and plants to help you out on your future hunts?  It’s also pretty easy to build and focuses on two aspects you need: Geology and Botany. With that, let’s get our first review of ya boy’s first armor submission.


The first set is a default set uses the following

Chainmail Headgear (Botany 1, Defense Boost 1)
Melahoa Jacket (Botany 1, Recovery Up 1)
Chainmail gloves (Botany 1)
Melahoa Folia (Botany 1, Recovery Speed 1)
Leather Pants (Geologist 1)
any petalace
Breeze Talisman (Geologist lvl 2 )

The set is pretty easy to make and isn’t limited to any weapon. The Chainmail Headgear, Gloves and Leather Pants can be made with common low rank materials you can find like Iron Ore and Leather. The Melahoa pieces do require some items exclusively found in the Argosy trading hub in the Buddy area of the village. However, these sets will make gathering armor much easier through your low rank and some high rank areas as you’ll be able to harvest more things like ore, mushrooms, bones and herbs in one go.

Later on, once you unlock High Rank hunting, you’ll gain access to a high rank materials and thus you’ll gain stronger materials and some harder areas.  Here’s a High Rank variant that’ll help you out should you need it:

Chainmail Headgear S (Botany 1, Defense Boost 1)
Leather Vest S (Botany 1)
Chainmail Gloves S (Botany 1, Defense Boost 2)
Chainmail Belt S (Botany 1, Guard 1)
Leather Pants S (Geologist 1)
any Petalace
Breeze Talisman (Geologist lvl 2)

The armor here does have some protection and flexibility when it comes to the high rank perk should you gain some decorations to add some unique traits to help you out or implement more viable ways to cover the armor. Also, there are better substitutes that can fit the set such as replacing the Leather Vest S with a Rathian Mail S as it provides a Recovery Boost alongside Botany. This makes the high rank set a bit more sought after and with some guard bonuses can allow some monster hunting (though not against more dangerous foes).

Gathering Sets (Low and High Rank)

Pros:

  • Both Armors can be made easily and with materials early into the game
  • Allows more resource gathering from plant and ore nodes, thus making basic resources easier to find and saves money on needing to buy bowgun ammo or potions.
  • High Rank Gathering set can uses sockets to add more survival and versatility for more specific needs.

Cons:

  • Both not really fit with hunting monsters (Low Rank especially)
  • Low Rank Melahoa parts will require Argosy to gather
  • Requires a lvl 2 Geology talisman to gain the lvl 3 requirement from Leather Pants
  • Low Rank set is outshined by later High Rank set.



Does ya boy recommend them?

I’d say yes, though replace the low rank with high rank once you got the chance. Otherwise, the set’s a good way of getting more from the land than usual.

Do you like this set? Have your own set you want to share or a fun set found online? Then post on the comment section and you might see it be reviewed in the next Armor Review. Until then, you have a good one.

No Mumbles, but some updates

hey everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin here.

For today, no mumbles will be this week but two things are going on.

first off, my adult education classes are now moving well so I hope I get to get that done.

Second, some may be wondering if Chapter 6 of Slayer of Foultongues is going to be made? Fear not, i’m working on chapter 6 as we speak so the story isn’t abandoned or dead.

Third, a change for Media Review Wednesday will be a special thing: MH Rise Armor Review. For those playing MH Rise, I’ll be submitting or reviewing MH rise armor sets

Finally, if I can get my stuff set up, Ya boy will be probably streaming on Twitch. If I can get some stuff ready and done, we can do some things set up and ready. Will this affect future projects, not really but it’ll broaden things out.

You have a good tuesday

(Late) Thursday Media Review: Monster Hunter Rise

Written by TheChoujinVirus

Note: The following review may contain spoilers to the game.







Monster Hunter, I’ve really gotten interested in since my first introduction with Monster Hunter Tri on the Nintendo Wii and the more recent Monster Hunter World and Iceborn. Though one game is released on the Nintendo Switch. Launched on March 26th of this year, Monster Hunter Rise is one game that everyone has been waiting for for a while. Does this game put a big expectation that World left? We’ll let’s do our review.

Story+Gamepay

The Story of Monster Hunter Rise has you being a recently graduated hunter sent to the village of Kamura. The town is being plagued with an event known as The Rampage, and even that transpires throughout the event. You are tasked with aiding the village in protecting them from this calamity while solving the mystery of the Rampage source.

Monster Hunter Rise’s gameplay has you using Kamura Village as your central hub for various things like crafting/upgrading your armor, buying/crafting tools, accessing special features like the Training room or the Argosy Trading post, and of course, accepting missions. Missions are the bread and butter of Monster Hunter Rise as they provide you resources and currency needed to progress your character. They can range from gathering quests to your typical slaying quests, and a lot are straightforward enough to learn. Complete the task without dying three times, running out of time, or failing a specific objective like letting the gate fall in a rampage.

Speaking of Rampages, the newest mode in Rise is Rampage missions. Unlike the usual missions here, Rampages are a tower defense mission in which you must protect the main gate of Kamura village from being busted down by invading monsters. You’re given various arsenals from ballistas, cannons, bombs, and even Gatling guns to repel the wave-like horde. Some missions may have you fighting a powerful leader called an Apex Monster, ridiculously stronger than any other leader or monster.

When you complete any quest, you’re given the reward of money and Kamura Points. You also gain resources like monsters such as claws, fangs, even oddities like mud, or even gems off the monsters. Those parts alongside the money rewards you acquire are vital for crafting the armor and weapons needed to help you move through. When it comes to weapons, you got a whopping fourteen weapons in Monster Hunter. The heavy-hitting Greatsword, the head-smacking Hammer, the long-ranged bowguns, the odd Hunting Horn and the speedy Dual Blades and Longsword. You have various weapons to hack, slash, shoot, impale, explode, vault, and crash.

But wait, there’s more to your tools and traps. Rise introduces you to two new things. The first is the Wirebug, a weapon that replaces the launcher and clutch claw from World. The Wirebug allows you to briefly fly into the air, sticks to walls, even can be used to hang in midair and swing about. Best of all, it can be used offensively with your weapons to unleash an excellent trait called Wyvern Riding. This allows you to mount a monster and control it like a puppet. It can help turn an unwelcome party crasher into a helpful weapon against your target or just to humorously smash its face into walls. The second is a new companion called the Palamute. This Dog-like companion is a partner for your hunter while going solo. Alongside your default cat-like Palico, the Palamute can serve as an offensive ally but also as a trusty steed to help you traverse the map fast to hunt monsters.

Between your new toys, you also have to deal with a menagerie of monsters out there. Some are saurian like the whip-tailed Great Izuchi, while others are odd, like the mud brushing Almurdon or ice slashing Goss Harag. However, nothing tops the series’s flagship, the ghostly but dangerous Magnamalo and its hellish powers that’ll put you to the test. You best bring your A-Game to the field because this monster will make the hunter the hunted. Whether it be in the abandoned Shrine Forests, the Sandy Plains, the Frozen Islands, or even in the volcanic caverns, it’s a battle between colossal monsters.

Hunting Prowess: What makes the game great

Rise brings plenty to the table. One such example is the Quality of Life features brought over from World. The barrier removal of allowing ranged weapons and melee weapons to one armor set over needing separate sets to function makes not needing two different sets for the job of hunting. Another feature is the ability to track monsters across the map. Older games had to require you to use a paintball to track your target and have skills that require you to know when it was about to die. Now you don’t need those skills to see where the monster is anytime, anywhere. The game is pretty stunning, and that’s thanks to the RE engine that runs the game. Thus, the game doesn’t need loading zones for each instanced area on the map as everything is seamless. The environments are also exciting places that make exploring, hunting, and gathering oh so impressive. The Forest Shrine and Flooded Forest give you a mix of two types of jungle vibes, with the Forest Shrine giving you an abandoned village motif and the forest a jungle ruin to explore. Other spaces like the Frozen Isles and Volcanic Caverns give you a very hostile environment to hunt and such. The hub of Kamura Village has a very Japanese vibe to the series that makes it a very good ascetic feeling throughout the game. The last personal favorite is the monsters, the bread, and butter of the franchise. Rise has the new monsters in the series, but you also have some returning favorites. Some like World’s Pukei-Pukei and Anjanath make their recent return in Rise. While fan favorites like the Mizutsune, Zinogre, Nargacuga, and Rajang also enter the roster of the series to test your prowess in hunting.

Quest Failed: What the game lacks.

Though Rise has some good parts, there’s plenty of lacking features in the game that you don’t see and are neglected. One such feature is that though some features do make a return from World, not all of them make a return. No more are the days of capturing endemic life to decorate your home are there, which I missed so well. Another problem is that most of the single-player story ends a bit early and doesn’t continue like World. Once you complete one part of the story in the village, the rest is continued in the Hub quest, which can confuse some folk upon completing the missions. One problem is that though some monsters have made it into the game, not all of them have, and it leaves some confusing parts. Examples are that though the Jagras, Zamites, and Jaggi lines are in, their larger counterparts did not. Not only that, but compared to the last Switch Monster Hunter game, the pool is lacking compared to each game and even compared to World. It’s a darn shame that the monster pools are minimal, but no subspecies are in the game. However, we may see it later on with the DLC.

Hunting Report

If a veteran or a beginner to the franchise, Rise is a good jumping point to get yourself into the game. With many improvements compared to World and its predecessors, Monster Hunter Rise is one such game that you will enjoy immensely by yourself or with allies online. Just remember that in life, there are monsters, and there are Monster Hunters.

References

The Following sources used

Tuesday Mumbles: Vaccination

Written by TheChoujinVirus

Note: the following is based on my own opinions, so don’t take them personal if you feel offended by them.


Hello, It’s ya boy Choujin here, and today’s another Tuesday.


However, today ya boy’s got his second vaccine for Covid-19, which means that I’m fully immunized. However, i’m sure some of are on their first shot for the week while others like myself are on their second and final shot. Though one thing I heard this morning was that there was something wrong with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Ya boy here got the Pfizer vaccine, so that’s not a problem.) What was the cause this time? Yup..you heard it, it was blood clotting.

One thing has ya boy scratching his head: how come these things are surfacing up? I understand that complications happen, but people aren’t really the kind who might do their research. To quote Agent K from Men in Black:

“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

Folks get scared of this shit and might end up avoiding the vaccine because they’re afraid of getting sick or dying from the vaccine due to some side effect. With the fear of a fourth wave of Covid-19 showing up and the fears of variant strains that could put a hamper on this virus.


What does ya boy think should happen? Well, first, maybe some further testing on future Covid vaccines in order to ensure that some of these problems do not slip through the cracks and get ourselves hurt. There are some people outside that will prey on that kind of crap and can become something they can use to push the idea that these vaccines are poison (when they’re not.)

Another, that i’ve noticed and glad they do, is reassure that the shots won’t cause those symptoms or problems. One version of the vaccine that causes it doesn’t mean that the rest of them will do the same thing as the others. Besides, the worst I’ve gotten was headaches and pains and fevers. Other than that, it’s not a big deal.


So for those who got the J&J vaccine, make sure to keep yourselves checked up for any bad reactions. Those that are fearful of the vaccine, do not freak out as you won’t get anything lethal from this. Those that want to push some conspiracy well then…

Friday Fan-Work: The Ebon Harbinger of Surtur.

Written by TheChoujinVirus

Happy Good Friday everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin here.

First off I appologize for the lack of any Media Review for today, I was hoping to get access to Monster Hunter Rise this week and would have been reviewing but due to some shipping error I couldn’t get it in time for this. However, I did manage to get something I was briefly working on a while ago. For your curiosity, I’ve been getting into Dungeons and Dragons (Fifth Edition for those curious) and I ended up creating a character: a Dragonborn Rogue named Sieger. Sadly in our current campaign, The Curse of Strahd, which led to my character being killed. Reading up on the lore, I decided to create a short story here that tells what happens to those who died in the cursed lands of Barovia and introduces a new character for the current campaign. Without further or do, sit back relax and get yourself something to drink as we dive into this short story.

“Impossible…I..couldn’t do anything to help them….”

Then the sudden silence as his body’s senses began to fade one by one..the last words was hearing Middle saying “….not good….”

Instead of the silence of the grave or being saved by whatever deva, Sieger found himself pulled into what looked like the abandoned fort. Instead of anything, he saw only a dense fog surrounding the area save for what he could see.

“Middle? Vanir? Kalos?” He yelled out as he only heard the echoes of his voice. Though as he looked around, he noticed one thing around the abandoned area: other people. Sieger looked confused as he walked up toward one human, a female villager.

“excuse me, miss. Do you know what happened?” Sieger placed a hand on her shoulder. The woman turned around to expose a nearly rotted face as she grabs the Dragonborn, her face with total fear.

“Please! Where’s my boy! I need to know where’s my boy!” she screamed and pleaded. Sieger panicked as he pushed her away. Other spirits began to look at the Dragonborn, staring at the new arrival. Some of them began to move toward him, all with concern.

“Are you here to free us?”

“Please make this end!”

“We are forsaken…”

“No hope…”

The thief ran away from the group, running through the mist. He heard echoes and calls of each person that passed by.

“We cannot leave..he won’t let us leave…”

“The lands….are forsaken…they can’t hear us..”

“No hope…no light…no peace…”

Eventually, Sieger stopped running as his mind couldn’t comprehend what just happened. Let alone what is going on. He fell to his knees as he began to hold his head, cowering like a scared child believing the monsters will go away if they can’t see him.  He felt the voices growing louder and the dead coming closer; the echoes and whispers began to hush and quiet down. Though he began to sense another presence. Sieger looked up to notice someone staring down at him. This being looked human, though not decayed like the spirits. Her armor black as charred obsidian. The parts of her body not covered by armor, her face resembled an ashen color akin to soot or something that was reduced to ash. Her hair was slightly spiked. It was almost as though this being was burned by someone or something.

“Welcome to the land of the dead, Dragonborn,” she said. Sieger looked at the surrounding mists, then back at the creature.

“Dead?” Sieger began to look around, “so you’re saying I’m dead?”

The being nods, “You were felled in battle, Dragonborn. The wilds of Barovia are indiscriminate of what food attends. Though my guess is that you tried to steal its riches in a foolish attempt.”

“no, I was trying to help my friends.” Sieger said, “I guess I bit off more than I can chew…”

“A pointless death for such faux heroism.” The being said

“So…I take it  you’re here to take me to be judged, or is this Hell?” The Dragonborn asked

The being shakes her head, “I’m not here to take you to your afterlife…even if I could; the lands here prevent anyone from leaving..even in death.”

Sieger looks puzzled, “What do you mean?”

“The cursed lands prevent anyone from leaving. Even the dead aren’t immune from it.” She began to point at a wandering maiden. “Those that die in this land, whether they be native or outsiders like yourself, cannot leave to their eternal rest. It won’t allow you..and eventually, you’ll become its thrall like the rest of them.”

Sieger looks at the maiden, watching her fall to her knees while raising her hands to the heavens. Crying and screaming to be freed from this nightmarish realm. The Dragonborn then looks at the being again, “Who about you? Come to think of it..what are you?”

The being turns her back, though she tells the Dragonborn, “Come, I’ll explain to you…”. The two began to walk through the mist, with the being leading the Dragonborn behind her.

“I am called Farina…your kind may refer to me as an angel, but I am referred to an Aasimar. Like you, I’ve arrived in these lands. Though I was ordered by my master with one objective: to stop the Dark Powers..”

“Dark powers?” Sieger asked, “You mean like Strahd?”

“Strahd may be the master of this land, but he’s just a pawn to his masters.” Farina said, “My master wants to beat Strahd’s. You can see what he is doing to the lands now, in the land of the living and here…”

Sieger looked around as he saw more spirits of the dead. Many wandering aimlessly, others laying on the ground, and some looking as though they don’t know what to do. It felt like Hell for these souls, though at least that place would be better than Barovia in a sense.

“Who is your master?” Sieger asked

Farina stopped in her tracks, “that is a question you are not ready to know. Though I will tell you that my master isn’t a being even my own kind would serve. However, he views the dark powers as upstarts and usurpers.”

“I thought evil and good only fought each other, never between themselves?” Sieger scratched his head

“Good and Evil are just points of view, Dragonborn. Not every good or evil being will side with each other just because of that. Barovia is soured, and thus the balance is skewered. My master doesn’t tolerate that level of imbalance and views Strahd as a fool.” She then continues walking

“Wow…sounds like your master and Strad’s like aren’t on the diplomatic side,” Sieger replied. Though him wanting to know more about Farina began to change to another question, “If I’m dead…will I end up like the people here?”

Farina replied with a nod, “It will happen to you; yes, eventually, you’ll become another mad ghost in this cursed land so long as Strahd remains in existence. Though from what I’ve heard, your compatriots have brought you to someone who can save you.”

“That’s great!” Sieger said with happiness, “I knew they would-“

“Was a slim chance anyways.” Sieger heard a voice, a voice he remembered to be Vanir. He looked around, “Vanir?”

Vanir’s voice can be heard again, “Well. I, for one, vote against risking our lives to recover a corpse.”

“Wait..what?” Sieger’s face and tone began to change upon hearing other voices.

“And you’ll either realize that or end up like Seiger,” Another voice can be heard, this time of Ogre.

“Ogre?! Wait, this isn’t right,” The Dragonborn face begins to look concerned.

“I don’t want to recover it relax…” the voice of Middle echoed. Eventually, Siger was starting to become worried, “Wait! You can’t leave me here!” He yelled out to the dense fog, “I tried to save you guys! I don’t want to be lost here!”

Farina turned around to look at the Dragonborn. He was growing frustrated and angered over this, “You can’t leave me in this Hell, guys! Do something! Anything! Anything’s better than being here!!”

“They can’t hear you, Dragonborn.” Farina said, “Barovia’s curse claims all, forsakes all, and you will be part of it.”

“that’s not true!” Sieger snapped, “I can’t let my life end here! Not when that kid is still there!”

“it’s the truth, Dragonborn,” Farina said. “Your stupid heroism put you here; now you must live with the consequences.”

Being reminded of the spiders, Sieger ran toward Farina as he grabs. “You got to bring me back! If you can see me, then you must be someone who can bring the dead back to life then!”

Farina looks at Sieger, “Just because I can see you don’t make me a necromancer, Dragonborn. My powers cannot bring the dead back.”

“Then your master, if he’s as powerful as Strahd’s master, he could-“

Farina pushes Sieger to the ground, “Stop your mewling, Dragonborn! You’re as pathetic as the desperate souls here who clamor for escape! I told you that the curse prevents escaping; even my master is limited in this situation. I only have the power to bring my weapons and powers to this land.”

Sieger looks at the Asamir, listening to what she was saying but adamant in not wanting this afterlife or fate (even if he did bring it onto himself.) He then looks at Farina, not knowing what to do in this situation. Though it wasn’t of lost hope, more of a defiant look. Like he didn’t want this fate to begin with, let alone wanting this kind of Hell.

Farina gave an approving smirk, “hmph…you want to defy this fate, but you know you’re powerless to stop it?”

Sieger just stares, “I don’t want this fate…I don’t want my death to be pointless. I want…”

“…a second chance?” Farina asked, “Interesting that you felt cheated…though as I said, I cannot bring you back, and my master cannot intervene due to the powers of this curse. However..do not prattle about your situation.”

the Asamir puts a hand on his shoulder, she said only these words…

“I’ve taken care..of everything…”

Tuesday Mumbles: The New Normal

Written by TheChoujinVirus

Note: the following is based on my own opinion. Do not take any offense of anything.


Happy Spring break everyone, it’s ya boy Choujin here.

Ya boy got himself his first Covid shot and now waiting on the second shot. Though as I’ve been watching the good news that we’re beating back this virus. I have to admit that I feel that everything may never be the same after the vaccinations and such.

“What do you mean,” you might ask? Well, there are three things i’ve noticed on our path to a post-covid world.


The first thing that is the most obvious is the political side of the world. Sure, Trump is out of office and we got Biden. The path was shattered during the events of January 6th and the GOP’s somewhat defiance between those that still want to push this fight. It’s not just limited to the right; the left is dangerously going into in-fighting as well (Remember, it was this kind of in-fighting that also got us Trump to begin with.) We need less knives and fighting and more unifying. After all, our democracy was threatened and yet we still argue over political crap and even anti-sjw petty nonsense. Not only that but the pragmatic reality that the US may not be the superpower that seems to get everyone a bit worried and scared. However, all this paranoia and such over a shifted power. Doesn’t help when you have people bitching about the aspect.


The second one is more or less a change in the economy. Covid hasn’t been so nice to everyone and a lot of people have lost their jobs, homes, businesses or everything. Some people have managed to get their jobs back or found new work in this era, but others seem to be struggling for the time being. Though from what i’ve seen that some folks have turned to alternatives to start their own businesses out of things like Etsy or other platforms. I’ve also heard that some computer and I.T. departments have even broadened the idea of allowing people to work at home. Why is that good? Well think of it as broadening your workforce without having to do accommodations and various other things that becomes a win-win for both the business and future employers. This can be helpful for ya boy on his career choice. This can also be helpful for future college students that need to learn but work at the same time. You might say this is not a bad thing after all.



The final one is that after all these changes and accommodations, even getting the vaccine will still lead to one possibility: Covid never going away. You heard me, there may be a chance that Covid may never go away and that we may have to get used to having this virus out there. We already have reports of new variants and a 4th wave of Covid in the news. These things could be something that can flare up, monkey wrench everything if another super-spreader event happens. Ya boy here doesn’t want to have some of his stuff sabotaged due to something bad. Heck, I had to endure the whole widespread incident and how it caused problems with my NCCT testing. It also got me thinking that this virus may be with us for a very long time and that it won’t be killed. Like a viral specter that haunts the world and serving as a reminder at just how easily we can be brought to our knees due to a virus. Gets ya boy thinking and scared at the same time.


We’re all pondering about the post-Covid world and what we should do. It’s a scary future but it’s something we need to get used to. However, we don’t have to be scared of it, for we’re all in this together.

Thursday Media Review: Raya and the Last Dragon.

Written by Joenn

Note: This review was submitted and written by another person, so credit goes to them for their time and energy for creating this review. This review may contain some spoilers.







All art is a product of its time, but it’s a rare thing to see a story come along that so perfectly resonates with the emotional needs of its audience as Raya and the Last Dragon. It’s early March, 2021. We, the audience, have been cooped up inside for a year now with precious little contact with the outside world. Raya went through production and post-production during 2020, so all of the voice capture and animation was done from home. The makers of this movie, all of them, have been going through the same troubles we have. They know the story we need to hear right now.
Raya is a heroic fantasy story from Walt Disney Animation Studios, set in the fictional land of Kumandra. It draws inspiration from Southeast Asian cultures and myth to create its world, and worldbuilding is one of this movie’s greatest strengths. Spoilers follow, but I’ll try not to spoil any details that aren’t established within the first half-hour.

The World

The land of Kumandra surrounds a large inland sea that is shaped like a dragon. Its people are divided into five tribes, each one named after a part of the dragon: Fang, Heart, Spine, Talon, and Tail. The tribes used to be unified as a single nation, but this nation fractured after the arrival of malevolent spirits called the Druun.
The Druun are introduced to us early in the story. They appear as amorphous clouds of
smoke that seem to glow from a sourceless purple light. They’re completely mindless; they never speak or show any signs of intelligence. If a Druun touches a human, it will petrify them and then replicate itself, and each copy will continue to hunt for more humans.
In other words, they’re virulent.
The Druun can’t be fought, but they can be repelled by pieces of a gem that was forged by dragons. Upon learning this, the chiefs of the five tribes scramble to horde these gems, and sequester themselves in isolation.
Does that sound familiar to anyone?

The Characters

Our protagonist is a young swordswoman named Raya, of the Heart tribe. For reasons I
won’t spoil here, she blames herself for the world’s current state, and she sees it as her
responsibility to set it right. But living in this world has taken its toll on her, and she has some serious trust issues. You could call her paranoid.
Raya possesses one of the five gem pieces, and she believes that if she can collect the other four, the Druun will be vanquished. So her goal is to travel to all five tribes and steal their gems either through guile or force, because she can’t trust anyone else to do the right thing. The question the movie asks is simple: Can Raya learn to trust again?

Joining Raya on her quest is Sisu, the last dragon. In many ways, she is Raya’s complete
opposite; she’s ditzy, upbeat, naive, and very gullible. She’s like your frazzled aunt who never figured out what to do with her life after college.
Opposing Raya is Namaari, princess of the Fang tribe. She’s kind of a fascinating character because we can always see her struggling internally between what her conscience tells her to do, and what her duty to Fang demands of her.

Along the way, Raya also crosses paths with survivors of the other three tribes. In Tail she meets Boun, an orphan boy who runs a fishing boat. In Talon she meets Noi, an orphan girl with three pet monkeys. And in Spine she meets Tong, a lonely warrior. In meeting these characters, we begin to realize something: In this world, everyone has lost someone. Everyone feels isolated and alone.
Now, if what I’ve just described sounds like a downer, fear not; Raya is also filled with levity to balance out its weighty themes. Sisu in particular is a giant doe-eyed goofball. And don’t worry, it’s a Disney movie; it has a happy ending.

The Flaws

As much as I appreciate Raya, it’s not perfect. If I were to summarize its flaws into one
word, this movie is stuf ed. The film is two hours long, but every scene feels just a little bit rushed because there is so much story to tell. It feels like the story would have been better served if it had been presented as a show, since it already divides itself up into six episodes.
The movie is also stuffed with elements that have clearly been borrowed from other
franchises. Sisu looks like she jumped out of an episode of My Little Pony. Noi is a
hypercompetent toddler straight out of Boss Baby. And there are two sequences toward the end of the movie that were pulled straight from The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. The parts of this movie that are original work very well. The parts that have been borrowed from other movies are obvious, obnoxious, and out of place.
And as a minor quibble, the movie has to break one of the rules established as part of its worldbuilding in order to earn that happy ending.

The Virtues

Aside from the simple virtues of knowing its theme and executing it well, the movie is
visually stunning. The main characters are expertly animated and the acting is emotionally moving. The fight choreography is stellar as well; I just wish we got to see a bit more of it.
Overall, I believe Raya’s virtues outweigh its flaws. This movie matters to the emotional
state of the world today. It deserves to be seen and enjoyed by those little ones in your life. I encourage you to go out and see it. Just please remember to be safe and wear a mask.

Links Used

(Late) Thursday Media Review: Eco

Written By TheChoujinVirus

Note: I was referred to this game by a friend of mine. He is a streamer and no way was part of the development of the game. My review may contain spoilers to the game.






When people look at survival or building games, everyone thinks of Minecraft or games like Ark: Survival Evolved that show up on people’s radar. Though you kinda wonder how the environment would react to those changes? Ever wondered what happened to Minecraft’s world if you leveled all those trees or wiped out the wolves and cats? Well, you have one game that can show you that outcome. I was recommended this game by an RL friend of mine and Twitch Streamer AznablZ. Created by the indie company Strange Loop Games and released early on February 6th, 2018, Eco is a game that shows the ecological damage players might do to a virtual world.

Brief Story and Gameplay

Eco doesn’t have much of a story, but the objective is explained through the in-game tutorial. A meteor is threatening the world. You and several other people must cooperate by using the resources the world provides; however you must be careful not to pollute or exploit too much of the resources to avoid any ecological damage. Will you save the world from the meteor without damaging it, or will man do more harm than the meteor?

You start out with the character creation screen, and you set out in this world with no intro cinematic or anything. However, you’re given a tutorial that teaches you the basics of the game. Gameplay-wise, Eco’s resource harvesting doesn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. Axes are used to harvest trees, pickaxes are used to mine rocks, the hoe is used to till the soil, and a bow to hunt and kill animals for food. However, it takes energy to dig and make things, and wooden tools don’t last long, and you need a balanced diet to gain experience. The game adds a way around this through a job system that adds some flair or perks.

An example is that the Cooking profession allows you to cook better quality food, vital to maintaining a balanced diet and using fewer reagents. Building jobs like masonry or carpentry enables you to make furniture or items from specific materials. Some like Farming and Gathering lets you create larger yields of crops, and Butchery can help you harvest more animals. Though you don’t have to master EVERY skill, form trade deals through money, trade, or anything socio-political to offset that problem. Heck, you can simply be an eco-villain from Captain Planet and just pollute the world if you want to.

Ecological Beauty: What makes the game great

One aspect I do like about how the game works are the fundamental aspect of the world. It’s a virtual world similar to Earth with some various aspects than the blocky part of Minecraft. Another thing I do like is the game’s environmental message and the consequences of what you do. If you cut down too many trees, it can cause some issues like CO2 buildup. Dump tilings in water, and you can contaminate the waterline and thus kill all the plant life. Hunt too many animals, and you might lead a species to go extinct. The Political and Governmental aspect also plays a vital role in cooperation as you are encouraged to work together than killing each other for loot or PVP prestige. Lastly, some of the servers do have some exciting communities that focus on city-building roleplaying. It gives it a good vibe and gives a bit more flavor to digging and building things. The one thing I really love is the professions you gain while you play the game. Each specialty gives a special perk, and with combinations, you can become self-sufficient or a supplier for other people.

Meteor Crashes: What the Game Lacks

Though fun as it is, the game has some significant issues that may make the game unfun. One such example is that the game relies on cooperation, so you’re putting your faith into people who might refuse to cooperate or simply let the world burn. Another problem is that there aren’t many dedicated US servers that host the games here. This is due to most official servers being hosted in Europe. This causes massive latency issues, and that running the servers does require some heavy hardware to prevent latency issues. Another problem with the game is that it can be overwhelming for new players, with things like experience, professions, nutrient balance, and even farming could be a pain in the butt. Lastly, the game sadly does have some bug issues due to it being in Early Releases, like vanishing dead animals or cars falling through ceilings.

Fun Fact

The game was not intended to grace Steam. In fact,  was initially made to grace the computers of middle schools to teach the importance of environmentalism. Strange Loop got assistance from both the University of Illinois and The US Department of Education for the game’s development and funding. Also, the game borrowed inspiration from games like Minecraft, Rust, and even Eve Online for things like building, construction, and player social dynamics.

Conclusion

If you want to have some fun building stuff and learning what effect it has or just an RPer who wants to have some fun doing things, I recommend Eco to you and your friends. It’s a nice change of pace if you’re into building stuff like Rust or Minecraft without the player v player annoyance.

Links/Sources