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Friday, July 22, 2016 / No Comments

In anybody's preferred world of living, the possibilities are endless and only limited to the person's imagination. Naturally, there are some who would attribute such fantasies to having watched too much anime or read too much manga. There is nothing wrong with any of those though. I have been trying to imagine a universe where I could actually live in according to my own terms, yet the living conditions are such that I would co-exist with the supernatural. My apologies. I have started watching Servamp recently, and for some reason I wish that I had a hybrid like that.

What is way more intriguing is the fact that the protagonist Shirota Mahiru had just picked up the animal one instance and nearly got himself killed the other. The stray cat is only a disguise of something bigger and more powerful. The cat which Mahiru had named Kuro is actually a vampire that serves as a servant (hence the title Servamp) to whoever that feeds blood to it, effectively creating an unbreakable chain between the Servamp and its Eve.

Vampires have certainly lived up to the rumour of such in town, as talked about among Mahiru's friends in school. It wasn't long before Mahiru had met with his first vampire attack. One of his friends had been brutally bitten by another Servamp known as Belkia, which wields several swords and pretends to be a street performer only to prey on unsuspecting victims. In order to save his friend, Mahiru decided to feed Kuro some of his blood which instantly connected both of them as Servamp and Eve.

Despite Kuro's powers, he has a huge dislike for trouble and shows it without second thoughts. Mahiru is left with no choice as they have already been bonded through his blood, and can only learn to deal with this new identity while keeping it guarded from his friends. His friend who was attacked by Belkia had his memories strangely altered as he claimed to be in a car accident instead.

If I were to be confronted with such a situation, I think that I would be rather excited to fight alongside a vampire, despite the risks of having one staying by my side. Because Servamps need the blood of their Eves to unleash their powers, that is a downside which might just cause any human their lives. Then again, Mahiru isn't alone in his new journey as an Eve. Along the way, he will meet other Servamps and their Eves who will lend a hand to his newfound situation.

Anybody else is watching Servamp as well? I really find Kuro adorable, cat form or not! Well, except that he is such a heavy eater and a lazy bum too...

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

Pokemon news Part Two: Of conspiracy theories and global reactions

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Well this is impressive. On the same day that I was writing Part One, saying how Pokemon Go looks set to be the Donald Trump of news, this bombshell dropped.

Saudi Arabia's top clerics have renewed a religious edict that warns against playing Pokemon. The edict notes that a six-pointed star in the game, for example, is associated with the state of Israel and that certain triangular symbols hold important meanings for the Freemasonry. And here I thought conspiracies were only for crazy people.

The story gets even weirder. Crosses in the game are a symbol of Christianity, while other symbols are associated with polytheism, says the edict. Alice in Wonderland is looking sane by comparison. And if you think the Saudis are the only ones, read on.

Russian authorities have also weighed in on Pokemon Go, saying that it resembles Western intelligence agencies and the Devil himself. To be exact, Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Federal Council’s Committee on Defense, said: “There’s the feeling that the Devil has arrived through this mechanism, and he’s simply trying to ruin us spiritually, from within.” 

It is interesting to note that even with talk of "politically destabilising effects" Pokemon Go is not banned in Russia. Yet. 

In Indonesia, governor Made Mangku Pastika of the Indonesian island of Bali has prohibited public officials from using the augmented reality game. Pastika recently told the Tribun Bali, “If they [public officials] jump on the Pokémon bandwagon, then there’s no need for them to ever come back to the office again.” Well at least this makes SOME sense, though a bit extreme. 

And then we move to the first world countries. Australian authorities have declared that “I was collecting Pokemon” is not a legal defense” for people charged with trespassing. Funny, I was just mentioning that in Part One. Kudos to them for reacting swiftly. 

The next part is hilarious, and also related to trespassing.
The Australian police also urged Pokemon players to stop trying to catch Sandshrew in the Darwin Police Station. “For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokemon Go—whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs,” they wrote on Facebook.  As police stations are considered public places, I can see the problem in trying to make people leave without incident already. 

Portugal is the most moderate when it comes to Pokemon measures. As part of list of commonsense rules for playing Pokemon Go, the Portuguese police have warned Pokemon trainers not to hunt Pokemons while driving, since it’s too hard to do two things at once. On their Facebook page, the police also posted a message saying: “Don’t go hunting alone” and “don’t enter private property, it’s a crime.” So far they have not reported any Pokemon related arrests yet. 

I have only covered a few countries in Part Two. Some are rather minor points, like Portugal's take on phone driving. The Middle East looks dead set against it already, for dubious reasons. It will be interesting to see further developments as 
more people start to play. Check back in a week for Part Three.

Written by Don

The new Mother of all apps: Pokemon Go and related news Part One

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 / No Comments

Now I was reading some Pokemon news today and, can you believe this image is actually Pokemon related? This Bosnian signboard is from an area that still has live land mines. There are an estimate of 120,000 LIVE mines still in Bosnia. And guess what, that will not deter the crazy Pokemon fan. No casualties yet, luckily. But they had better fence up the area quick.

Pokemon Go as become THE most downloaded app in the world. People are playing it everywhere, offices, schools, and even on highways and while driving! Now I am not going to explain what the app is, because you really should just try it, even if it is to find out what the hype is about. More interesting are the crazy stories about players that are 

" Two teenagers playing Pokemon Go late at night in their car in Florida were shot at by a householder who mistook them for burglars, police say.

The man said he shot at their car after they refused to stop when he challenged them on Saturday. They were not hurt.

He said that earlier he had heard the pair say "did you get anything?"

Now this story is funny because no one got hurt. But you can easy see how they were mistaken for burglars easy. People seem to become reckless without any concern for the law. This is easily trespassing if nothing else.

In Hawthorn, Wiltshire, 4 teens had to be rescued from caves after they ventured into the Box mines there. From a local spokesperson:

"They were looking for these Pokemon creatures and surprisingly they didn't find any, but it's obviously leading people into dangerous situations, such as this, and things are likely to escalate if people are going to follow the rules of this game."

But perhaps the most infamous person right now is this teen from Pittsburg, who crossed a highway to find a Pokemon, gets hit by a car, and blames the app. When a friend shared a Facebook post, it was already filled with angry fans asking why they were not hit by a car, and that nothing excuses the lack of personal responsibility. Presumably you HAVE to get that Pokemon, even if it is at the bottom of a ravine.

Pokemon Go is really a Pandora's box of hope and horror. In the gaming world, industry watchers are already seeing it as a pioneer for the next step in gaming. There is talk of Grand Theft Auto going in this direction for example. In the legal world, the lawsuits that will come from this app will be groundbreaking by nature. And kids are risking life and limb for it. News wise this really is a Donald Trump. You know that every other day some shocking Pokemon new tidbit will show up yet again. And therefore I will label this article as Part One.

Written by Don

Funan and after the fall

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The closing of Funan Shopping Mall is incomprehensible to most. Even now I cannot understand how a mall that has nearly 100% occupancy for many many years can be closed while other shopping malls like Orchard Central, for example, with its incredible number of empty shops, can remain open. 

Now Funan is remembered differently by people. Some remember it as the lazy man's Sim Lim, slightly more expensive but way more  convenient location wise and reliable. You hardly hear of any customer being scammed at Funan. 

Others see it as an anime mall. You have the first maid cafe in Singapore(closed years ago), anime matsuris, and various hobby shops for different otakus. 

But for gaming otakus like me, Funan was a fantastic place for buying games. There were an incredible four game shops on the same floor (level 5)! This concentration of shops in such proximity is unheard of in Singapore. 

Starting from the right, Gaming World was always cluttered with stuff. It has everything from games to toys to even Pokemon merchandise. I probably frequented this shop the most since my friend was working there. Mostly English titles, therefore I didn't buy much. They are supposedly venturing online now, but there is no update at all to date. 

Gamescore was probably on of the oldest game shops in Singapore. Many gaming vets hang out there playing a huge variety of games. They had Monster Hunter parties, Musou runs, etc. It was always more interesting to see what they were playing than what was being sold! Gamescore used to sell Japanese titles but they shifted to all English games years back. They also expanded to another unit, purely selling merchandise like game T-shirts and posters etc. The owner has decided to close for good after the end of Funan.

Now I have never understand G3 much. The boss did not seem to be interested in doing business. The shop was always very dark and the interior very sparse. And yet the unit is quite huge. Honestly I have never bought anything there. 

Gamemartz was the latest to join the floor. It used to be a very tiny shop beside the food court before they took up an entire linkway. It used to have a lot of Japanese titles and even limited boxsets. But as with most shops, it shifted to nearly all English games later on. Gamemartz is still operating at Bugis junction after the fall. And it looks to be set a survivor.

The fall of Funan affected a lot of people. Tourists for example can only flock to Sim Lim Square now for electronic goods. Gamers like us have shifted to online shopping, less expensive but slower. And the anime scene lost yet another hotspot, from the old Clarke Quay, which shifted to Chinatown Square, then Funan being wiped out. Even Sunshine Plaza seems to have lost its shine. One more hit for local otakus in an already small community. All for an upmarket mall that will probably become as vacant as the others in a few years time.

Written By Don

Gacha Gacha Gamemu

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 / No Comments
Gacha Gacha Gamemu brings to you my collection of Gachapons in the Game categories. They are kawaii little toys found inside the Capsule Stations along shopping malls, walkways and toy events. Getting one of your favourite Gacha character is almost 100% based on luck. Are you game for it?

Super Mario Galaxy - Yujin

 Mario Princess Peach with mini Epoch Arcade machine.

King Koopa or Bowser. He is physically powerful, nearly indestructible and can breathe fire.

 This Star from Mario has a switch which enables it to light up.

 One of the characters in Tamotgochi.

I bought this one from a local toyshop but it wasn't from a gacha machine but in an illustrative Zelda box. The shell is quite large and is one of the more expensive gacha, $8.90.

Zelda Goodies Stamp here
The retrolicious Space Invader Gacha from Yujin.
Remember this childhood game?

You remember Maple Story, don't you? Yeti, Pepe, Mushroom and some other characters.

More Mario gashapons.

Written by Max