MSN Messengar:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Games Review: Magic Match Adventures by Oberon Media

Hoooome Aloooooooooooone!!

At last! Gone! Whoosh! Sayonara! See ya!

This is me in a very empty semi-D house for the next 2 weeks. Junk food for dinner and 7-Eleven slurpee for breakfast. It’s like cuti-cuti kosong all over again. Too bad I have no bigger plans than play games, shop for jeans and read paperbacks.

Heh, I’ll let you know if I have anything new to report, but first I’ll like to blab about a really nice game I’ve been checking out during that Thurday’s day off.

Generally, when it comes to writing reviews, I choose games that are not too big on the gameplay and more emphasis on visuals and storyline. Which is a shame because gameplay puts the ‘game’ in the concept’s ‘play’.

Enough paragraph bladding, let’s get to the novel thing I tried out.

Magic Match Adventures by Oberon Media

Match 3 or more elements to accumulate enough items for the Red Spell.

I don’t always fall for the matching games, maybe because I’m kind of bad at it. The tool of the trade here is to be presented with a squarish board of various miscellaneous icons which the player must find the ones neighbouring each other in a set of 3 or more sequence.

If you’ve played games like Bejeweled 2, Cradle of Persia, Zuma or even Sushi Do, I betcha you get what I mean. Though I can fall for a pretty visual and a charming tale (ladies, beware), I can’t judge a game by those two only.

If you’ve suddenly turned careless, Evil must be afoot!

It’s up to you to save the Imp World because everybody’s too busy playing...

Magic Match Adventures is the third game in the series created by Oberon Media, one of the fanciest game-makers you can download online in the current market. This game is a story all by itself and you don’t have to seek out their previous installments to get immersed into the story.

You are welcomed into the Imp World with this ridiculous kiddie song that must have been a reject from the Wiggles TV series (I knew from that moment that Sound/Music is no biggie in this game’s development). The imps, who looked like a product union between chimpanzees and hobbits, are having a party in each of their homeland.

However, an invisible gremlin seemed to have jinxed all their preparations for the festival. Water pumps broken, row boats getting out of control, carts broken, merchandise malfunction and all other sort of absurdities of which nothing but a Red Spell can’t fix.

And yes, you’re the guy who’s going to save the fiesta.

Every imp community uses different elements in their Red Spell potion.

If you’re good at this, you get a trophy for certain milestones.

For an arcade-type game, the storyline is not bad at all. I liked watching the imps at work from my bird’s eye view and they’re as interesting in their antics in all levels on the Cute Factor. The gameplay, enhanced with potion grabbing, mana gathering, spell-casting and iced squares (that one bugs me the most) is definitely a new plus in the matching genre.

Ooo, not to mention that there’s 4 boss battles you’ll have to face too (match your stuff before your opponent does!).

Storyline, very nice; gameplay, very interesting, not bad at all. Visuals? The combination of 3D characters and 2D environment is a nice touch. But it’s the Sound/Music that severely irks me.

I think the music is supposed to make it look cute and one would have thought this is a children’s game. But it isn’t at all; gets damn difficult as you level. The sound effects is nothing grand; in fact the drum pounding indicating me running out of time just agitates me somemore.

I guess the producers know that majority of us rather play with the sound off anyway. Heh.

Yay, you saved the Water Imps. Now run! Go save the other before they make you eat their sun-dried sushi!

The trophy room, naturally, chronicles your achievements to date.

Overall, I like it enough to stick around for a complete finishing, a first for me considering it’s a matching game. In fact, it’s actually really addicting, refreshingly addicting, outrageously addicting.

Oooooo, addicting. What a dangerous thought.

At least my wardens are gone for 2 weeks! *hehehe!*

PS: Downloads for this game can be found at Reflexive Arcade. If you want the cracked version, ask me nicely.

There’s a Fort in My Room

There are at times when I believe that the world that knows me is out to get me. Whatever sin I’ve committed to deserve this absurd punishment, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again, I promise, on my word as a blogger and yada-yada-yada plus sugar on top.

I had to babysit my nephew.


Let me give you an introduction to this menace of my current life.

Name: BabyNabil
Age: Terrible ‘2’s, will turn 3 this June
Gender: Male
Status: Only child until little brother comes in May
Intelligence: Too much of it
Energy: He’ll kill the Energizer bunny first

And I tell ya, a kid like this is the best walking advertising for practicing safe sex. The last time, it was vomit on the staircase. This time is less messy but equally obstructive.

His Space is in My Space.

Beyond the blanket/tent is the life force of half what I exist for, namely my Hewlett Packard PC. Unfortunately, Lord Shrimp here had just marked his territory between the bed and the PC desktop, proclaiming the corner as rightfully his in the name of God and Clan Nabil.

This castle/tent/thing had to be erected with adult help (and when I find out which, I’m going to get my hands on that adult, one way or another) which is pretty much big enough to hold him and his feline guardsman.

Tiger on the prowl.

And wenches wishing to pass his territory shall be subjected to servitude towards the 3-feet-high and mighty king. Even his aunt. I started by tickling him to giggling fits and whacking his soft, developing body with a pillow as big as him.

Okay, so there are times when I do like having my baby nephew in da house. But usually he and I have a mutual agreement that ‘da house’ has a second bedroom that’s strictly off limit to anybody in Pampas diapers and headless Ultraman action figures.

I guess I can give leniency for today, as long as he doesn’t mess with my computer.

Oh crap, did he just turned my PC on?

Recipe: Chicken Tartlets

Yeah, this one’s an overdue recipe of the damn yummy chicken tartlets I’ve had ages and ages ago. One of it being was that the white sauce recipe was a kill to make and so I needed to substitute something that’s equally creamy but less time-consuming to boil and stir.

Here goes nothing...

(The filling)
3 Potatoes
One packet of Ramly mince chicken (defrosted to room temperature)
Finely chopped onions and garlic
Some canned mushrooms (all chopped)
One can of Campbell mushroom soup
Frozen mixed veggies (defrosted)
One dried basil leaf
Some dried rosemary

Instant frozen pastry roll (defrosted to room temperature)
Some foil pie cups for the tarts (I got mine at Tesco hypermarkets)

Serves: A lot

1. Firstly, to the potatoes! Peel all 3 of them and cut them into tiny square chucks, each no bigger than the nail of your little finger.

2. Next, fry the chucks of potatoes into hot oil until they’re half cooked (more yellow golden than golden-brown).

3. Remove all the potatoes from the pan and then start frying the chopped onions and garlic until they’re soft and fragrant.

4. Add in all the mince chicken to the pan and fry the meat. When the chicken is half-cooked, add in about a cup of the mixed veggies and keep on frying. Once the meat and mixed veggies are well mixed-in and soft, add in the half-cooked potato chucks and the chopped canned mushrooms.

5. Reduce the pan to low heat. Open up your can of mushroom soup and dump the whole can into the pan. Add water to only about a third of the soup can and pour it into the mix. The filling should be soft and gooey. You can decide how thick you want the filling by adding water or letting it cook longer to dry the water.

6. For some fragrance and taste to the filling, add the dried basil leaf and scatter some dried rosemary. Mix everything well.

6. After the filling is cooked, leave it to cool in the pan and start on making the tartlet pastries. Use the foil cups to determine how big you want to cut circles in your pastry dough roll. Make sure the dough circles are larger than the foil cups.

7. Mix some egg white with a little bit of water. Use this mix to coat the foil pie cups so that the pastry won’t get stuck to the foil cups when you want to eat.

8. Arrange the pastry dough into the cups. You may have to pinch the pastry on its side walls to make it fit into the cups.

9. Pour in the filling into the cups, as much as you think the foil cups can handle.

10. Next, pull some long strips of pastry and place them cross-sectioned on the pies. Usually about 4 strips each. This is to prevent the pie from getting too dry during baking and keep the pie in one piece when you want to take it out of the foil pie cups.

11. Okay, now set your baking oven to about 190’C. Place the pies on an oven tray and bake them until the pastries are nice golden brown. Serve while still hot, but it’s also great as a picnic food.

Original Link: Invaded by Chicken Tartlets!

If I Stay Single, I Go To Hell

Here’s the latest familial report of Quickening’s extended family. My cousin, maternal side, a year older than me, had just got married. She lives in Pontian, Johor, so on Malidur Rasul morning, Mak had left house at 4 pm and will be expected home by the evening, late night if she stopped to shop in Seremban.

Wow, it’s been a while since I had last saw Cik-Nong and/or her daughter. I decided not to follow the balik kampong trip, mainly because I don’t think I can stand 4 hours of Celine Dion plus ABBA, crooning on Mak’s MyVi’s CD-player.

In receiving those news, Mak and Ayah also turned their attentions to the latest round of media frenzy on the Paul McCartney vs. Heather Mills divorce case.

Other than the former Beatle’s lawyer had a quick shower in court (given to her in a jug by the ex-wife), the surprise comes as it was apparent that the melodramatic queen was very much less than satisfactory with the pittance - an enormous million dollar pittance, but a pittance nonetheless.

It’s funny how Miss Mills seem to demand the money legally earned and accumulated by Mr. McCartney, a godly amount which the musician made before his marriage. What’s up with that? I speculate a lot of the shoving and grabbing was due to the correct inheritance that should be stipulated for the young daughter, only child of the feuding couple.

A series of rocky avalanches. Next thing you’ll know, they’ll state “property and financial allocation also will be reserved for the family pet/maid/butler/nanny/sex worker/gardener/yogi guru/septic tank cleaner/street sweeper/oh-and-the-lawyers-too to an amount of no less than $$$.”

Brainy, Baddie, come sing along that song with me;

“I don’t care too, much for money;
Money can’t buy me love.
Can’t buy me looooove, oh,
Can’t buy me looooove, ooooh.

Well, I’m not the one to promote tabloid-ism in my blog unless I have a core reason and that one follows the comments tossed between the elderly two people over my breakfast.

Malays, Muslim actually, had a more structured course regarding division of property when it comes to divorce, which we all obeyed to the letter. The ex-es don’t touch each other’s money made before the day they cursed ‘I do’. This system greatly reduces the need for the westernized act of prenuptial contracts.

Of course, Mak and Ayah never stick to one subject and let it die. They tossed horribly-ever-after gossip marriage tales, one that includes a guy recovering from cancer only to face both his wives in a battle of property that was stipulated in the even of his death.

Gosh, the cancer guy wasn’t dead yet (in face, was recovering) and already the two vultures he married are snapping for his cash.

My point is, that in the light of this bad-choice-of-soulmate discussion, I decided to finally confess to my parents something which I had been considering for some years.

I told them I never want to get married.

Don’t laugh please, and don’t b***h me either. I had put in a lot of thought about it for a considerably long time. It’s not that I’m having a Bridget Jones’s Diary phase. Rather, for some years now, I’ve been growing up to be quite leaning towards the merits of being a single woman from now till doomsday.

Single women, other than the freedom and the lesser responsibility, will not need to be accountable to a husband for her actions. Or her money. Or her house. The merits are few I daresay, but the risky possibilities of being a married woman really... irks me, to say the polite least.

Misuse of property rights.
Unequal division of inheritance.
Back-stabbing infidelity.
Disrespect for familial obligations.
And most of all, rampant polygamy.
I swear I’ll die first than be introduced to the public by my husband as ‘his first/second/third/fourth wife.’

Yeah, I guess you can say I’ve been cynical and disillusion about choosing for a life partner. That and ever other granny-aunties shoving horror stories over nasi briyani at the wedding banquets I got dragged into. I’d like to say I’m keeping my mind - and my options open. And my wits with me.

Trust, courage, dependency, hope and mutual congenial affections.

Notice I took ‘love’ out of the equation. You may have heard me blogged this overly much but I’m a fan favourite of romanticism. In fantasy. And only in fantasy.

Romanticism in reality? That’s soooooooooo dead.

Don’t take my opinion for it, but to me, Love is a silly little putty of an emotion that’s good enough when confined to fictional characters going through a sequence of unfortunate events between the leaves of paperback novel or the reels of a blockbuster movie, best indulged with a Cadbury milk chocolate bar and a can of Seasons’ Ice Lemon Tea.

I don’t think I’ll seek ‘love’ if I ever have to need to fall for a guy in real life. I never let myself trust any guy I ever knew as deep as to include love, let alone posses a well-spring unconditional enough to reserve for any one person. Hell, I hadn’t had a crush on a man, any man, since I left hormone-induced secondary school.

: Maybe I’m gay?

*slams Baddie-self into the Dark Pit of Reasoning*

In short, I’m not the kind of girl who wears her heart on her sleeve or allow myself to bare my soul on bended knee.

That’s the part of Brutally-Honest-Me I keep only to myself.

Hence, my takes on marriage life. Zippo, gone, maybe-not, forget-it, tak-payah-lah, seram-nyeeeeeeea. I think I can be happy being single. A lonely future individually, but I have a large extended family, with cousins born by the hour (did I mention that twins run in my family?) and I know they won’t leave me to rot in a low-rate condominium and be devoured by wild dogs.

So I confessed my honest views to the two people I owe honor and obedience to.

Of course they thought I was joking.

So I made it extra clear in textbook English. I really don’t think I want to be a wife to any husband.

: By the way, as I’m writing this on my PC in mid-afternoon, a thunderstorm is brewing in. It just flashed lightning so damned big and loud and scary, cars alarms and house alarms in my neighbourhood turned haywire. Is this a sign from The Above, reading my blog?

*slams Brainy-self into the Dark Pit of Everything’s-Just-Coincidence*

My mom just rolled her eyes heavenward and my dad’s mouth turned grim. That’s usually the sign of a lecture to come. But then, Ayah always gave lecturers that didn’t mean nothing.

He reminded me that when a Muslim dies, his worldly materials have no meaning. Only 3 considerations would be brought along; the good he had done to himself (prayers, religious obligations), the good he had done to the world... and a good child who prays diligently for you.

Apparently, a full ticket to heaven costs one third of which must have a pious offspring. That’s Ayah. In a sense, he’s right. I always think that everybody’s got to leave an impact deep enough during their lifetime that leaves a lasting good impression on a impressible kid.

One of these days I’ll get that holy book, learn Arabic and meticulously read between the lines myself. I wonder if the angels would look at single women having infant adoption as a bonus under consideration no. 2?

But as my step-grandmother would say, jodoh itu rezeki dan rezeki itu di tangan Tuhan. Most people are so in a rush to get married and legally start humpin’ and knock out each other with booze and sex that they forgot that there’s a blessing to actually have someone you can call ‘soulmate’.

Rezeki, kurniaan, a gift that comes along right in front of you. You don’t plan it, you can’t command it, but it comes to you if you decide that you’re up to it. And it really is up to you to either help it flower or let it die. Paul McCartney ought to sing that money can’t feed love either.

Trust, courage, dependency, hope and mutual congenial affections.

Not for me though, I think I’m a coward. But I’ll think about again in 10 or 20 years maybe.

More Weeds...

Add to Technorati Favorites Bloggapedia, Blog Directory - Find It! Blog Flux Directory blog directory Blog Directory & Search engine Show off your blog Blogarama - The Blog Directory BlogGod Webloogle Blog Directory Blogging Fusion Blog Directory All Malaysian Bloggers Project