Elden Ring Keeps Getting Better

When I wrote my first blog post about Elden Ring I was about 25% through the game with about 20ish hours on record. Now, 2 or so weeks later, I have 106 hours and I’m almost done with my first playthrough. If I thought that Elden Ring was the peak of gaming at the time, I was wrong, because the mid to end game was getting ready to completely blow me away. The end game of Elden Ring is so fun. There is literally no other game that can feel so fresh even over a hundred hours into this game. Every single boss and area is a fresh and enjoyable challenge. Not only that, but the variety of builds that are possible in Elden Ring is insane. When I first picked up Dark Souls 3 I was bewildered by the variety of builds that I could run, but Elden ring is on another level. Elden Ring gives the players full creative control to switch their build at any time after a certain point, which was also a feature in Dark Souls 3. However, I have never respecked in my multiple playthroughs because it’s simply too short to want to switch builds mid-game so most players just try new builds on their next playthrough. However, the sheer size of Elden Ring almost encourages players to use this feature as switching builds to keep the playthrough fresh even to the end.

Photo Credit: nme.com

The end-game of Elden Ring is honestly my favorite part of the game. Before I got there, there were hundreds of posts all over the internet of people complaining about how unbalanced the late game portion is. I honestly have no idea what these people are talking about. It’s probably because most players don’t level vigor and just get one-shotted by literally every enemy past the Plateau. The Endgame is most definitely very difficult, but the game gives the players all the tools necessary to handle the Endgame. I mean even souls veterans who are well aware of how broken some builds can be are complaining about the difficulty of the endgame and speculating that it wasn’t playtested. I don’t believe that for one second. The increasing challenge of Elden Ring through to the end is exactly what drives me to keep coming back day after day for hours. Being slapped by every boss over and over again, learning their move set, and finally beating them after 10+ is literally the point of a Fromsoftware game. I seriously don’t understand this anti-difficulty sentiment in the Elden Ring community, not only does the game give you all the tools necessary to beat these enemies, but every other Souls or Fromsoftware game is insanely hard. I mean if you look at the Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 DLC or the Sekiro Endgame, these are some of the most difficult bosses in the gaming period. These games have always been about overcoming what seems to be an insurmountable challenge. The point of these games is to die over and over again because these enemies are truly more powerful than you are but through trial and error, eventually, you will beat them and that adrenaline is absolutely unbeatable in gaming. Because Elden Ring is so big, the difficulty had to spike, it had to keep going up so that players had the challenge to overcome. I hate to be that classic Souls series troll, but if you find yourself complaining about the endgame difficulty, git gud shitter.

Photo Credit: https://assets.gamepur.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/07141317/Malenia-intro-elden-ring-hand-of-malenia-guide-e1646684005597.jpg

Why MMA is the Best Sport Known to Man

When many are told to think of sports that need extreme technicality, many people’s first thoughts would go to sports like golf, fencing, or F1 racing, however, my first and undisputed choice would be MMA. It is most definitely the most technical sport in the world, requiring multiple Olympic skills as well as multiple martial arts that can take years to learn. MMA doesn’t necessarily require profession in every single useful style of combat, but to stand a chance in an octagon, one must have mastery of some striking technique as well as a grappling technique. If a person enters the cage with a heavy background in wrestling and is completely lacking in defense and striking technique, they’re most likely leaving the cage with some fractured facial bones. The thing is, is that this would be the most likely outcome, but in a fight, nothing can be predicted. If the wrestler who only focuses on his wrestling is able to take down his opponent successfully he has a chance. If he lands a few punches in the ground and pound, as well as tiring his opponent on the ground, he has an even greater chance of submitting his opponent. MMA can go any way, it is a constant game of chess where every movement changes the possibilities of the match. One bad movement, with bad defense, while a fighter is fatigued can end a fight in a moment, but that’s only if they get caught in their blunder. This makes MMA a technical sport, however, if you want to make it more technical with advanced striking techniques like creating efficient combos where no movement is wasted, connecting the ending of one punch or kick, with the starting movement of your next strike, as well as taking into account the reaction and movement of the opponent. Things such as feints and reactions to feints can’t go unnoticed. Sharp observers and champions such as Isreal Adesanya and Sean O’Malley are masters of taking advantage of their opponent’s reactions and body language, while more instinctual fighters such as Kevin Holland, Jon Jones, and Jose Aldo are great at taking advantage of their opponents in quick thinking exchanges. It’s a brutal yet beautiful sport, that perfectly ties together technicality and intensity.

Photo credit: CBS Sports

Feminism on Simplified Chinese Internet

The recently revised Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests caused many arguments. Several famous male social media influencers posted comments against this revision which ignited more disputes than ever. 

From my personal experience on the Chinese internet, especially an online social platform called Zhihu, the tension between feminists and anti-feminists has grown stronger and stronger in recent years. A weird phenomenon is you can find feminists and anti-feminists fighting in the comments of almost any social media post.

Many anti-feminists believe that the word feminism means privilege for women because it includes the word women. In other words, they think it means the feminists want to put women in a higher position than men. Because of these voices, some feminists choose to use the phrase equalism when referring to women’s rights.

https://ckdofnf.com/

Girls‘ Last Tour

At that time, the earth’s surface is not suitable for living anymore, so people built new cities on top of old cities and they kept stacking higher and higher. Two girls left their family and started a journey on their German half-track motorcycle, with the goal of survival and trying to reach “the top”. But they travel up to higher levels, they only found war machines and other leftovers of human activities.

Even though their findings were depressing, they did not hold the girls back. They kept looking for resources and moving forward. They even gave up their most valuable things such as the dairy and books to keep themselves alive. The girls’ desire for survival in a world full of despair is admirable.

Lastly, this is a poem by Hermann Hesse that was cited in this manga.

Out Wandering

Don’t be sad, soon comes the night,
When we watch over the faint countryside,
As the cool moon secretly laughs
And we rest hand in hand.

Don’t be sad, soon comes the time,
When we rest. Our small crosses will stand
On the bright roadside together,
And it rains and snows,
And the winds come and go.

Auf Wanderung

Sei nicht traurig, bald ist es Nacht,
Da sehn wir über dem bleichen Land
Den kühlen Mond, wie er heimlich lacht,
Und ruhen Hand in Hand.

Sei night trauig, bald kommt die Zeit,
Da haben wir Ruh. Unsre Kreuzlein stehen
Am hellen Strassenrande zu zweit,
Und es regnet un schneit,
Und die Winde kommen und gehen.

photo credit: aminoapps.com

The Ultimate Smash Tourney

As many long-time readers are aware I wrote a blog a while back ranking how I felt the people in journalism would perform in our class smash tourney, this ranking list was quite controversial and amongst the class has labeled me as some not to good things. But as it turns out I am relatively good at reading how people will perform.

  • E.H.
  • N.J.
  • A.K.
  • C.C.
  • H.L.
  • Z.D.
  • S.H.
  • B.M.
  • E.S.

The list above was the previous list below is the actual ranking

  • N.J.
  • C.C.
  • Z.D.
  • H.L.
  • E.H.
  • F.A.
  • E.S.
  • B.M.
  • A.K.

I’d like to point out that I was not perfectly accurate but it was pretty damn close for a majority of the people in the tourney (S.H. didn’t play). For starters, I put C.C. under N.J. and that was true Z.D. beat H.L. which I will admit was wrong but I didn’t expect H.L. to lose. E.S. was accidentally given a bypass of the first game by me so B.M. didn’t get to play but I think they would have lost. F.A. was a wildcard in my last ranking and he lost his first match so not much to say there. E.H. was a bit weird because he was the person that owned the switch and he was the expected winner, I think he would have won if he picked his main not duck hunt. Overall I think that most everyone had fun and would play again.

credit: nintendo

Reviewing the Movies I watched this Weekend

Over the weekend I had an awful cold. One of those colds that just shut down both your brain and your respiratory system to the point that playing video games or doing anything that’s not lying down feels like a chore. So instead of doing my ritual video gaming I did something totally out of character and actually sat through not just one but three movies. Long ones too. Over the course of Saturday afternoon, I watched Marvel’s Eternals, The Dark Knight Rises, and Joker.

I started with Marvel’s Eternals, one of the first Marvel films in years to get a trash rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Going into this movie, I was already expecting this movie to be not that great. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but this movie fully exceeded my expectations. It is not a good film. First of all, they bring in an entirely new group of heroes who are supposed to be immortal and help birth planets but they’re pitifully weak for the task they’re put up to. Secondly, they implant a completely new villain who was nowhere to be found in any other marvel movie despite being seemingly pretty abundant in the world, so much so that an entire group of heroes was created to fight them. Not only that, but the whole point of these heroes’ existence is to help life flourish throughout the universe and then continue to neglect a situation in which Thanos tries to wipe out half of all life. In general, this movie suffers from a pretty unrelatable cast of characters and more plot holes than the entire franchise so I really don’t understand how Marvel pulled off such a mediocre film after such a reigning decade of great movies.

Photo Credit: The Cosmic Circus

The next movie I watched was The Dark Knight Rises which was a long-overdue viewing experience for me. I had seen the first of the trilogy at a very young age and then watched Dark Knight multiple times throughout my life because that movie absolutely slaps. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking about not watching Dark Knight Rises for so long I mean Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies are awesome. Although this one doesn’t have as compelling or coherent of a plot as the one preceding it, Dark Knight rises is a very good-looking and well-shot movie with a pretty moving plot for a DC/Batman movie. Christopher Nolan does a great job of blurring the line between good and evil to create a tangible dilemma that Batman/Bruce Wayne has to face throughout the plot. Although this movie doesn’t live up to its predecessor, it is a great continuation of the trilogy and a good way to cap it off.

Photo Credit: Slant Magazine

Joker was the last movie I watched and this one was a very different story. This movie is straight-up depressing. This movie is a fantastic example of the direction that DC needs to take to be taken seriously in Hollywood. This movie takes Gotham, a city that is very prevalent in the DC universe and makes it a very tangible, and very depressing place with deep-rooted economical issues that caused an uproar of poverty. And it doesn’t just show that by having a lot of crime. There are living in rundown apartment buildings, suffering to find a living, and even budget cuts in mental health institutions. Instead of Gotham just seeming like a playground for Batman, it is now a mirror of the depressing reality that is living in poverty in a city, the neglect of the U.S government to fix these many problems such as mental health and care, and the empty promises by those who are wealthy to fix all of this. This whole film completely flips the Batman story on its head. Now you have this horrible and unsavable town in which people are doing whatever they can to help themselves out of this crushing situation that they didn’t even cause. It makes all the people previously beaten into a coma by Batman seem almost innocent for their crimes compared to the heinous neglect of the lower class by both him and his father. By the end of the movie I was kind of waiting for them to kill Bruce’s parents because, in all honesty, Thomas deserved it. Overall, this movie is the direction that DC needs to take with their films because this is a clear improvement over everything they made after the Dark Knight Trilogy.

Photo Credit: The New Yorker

Artemis

So NASA has a moon landing program called Artemis. This program is going to take the next group of Americans to the moon, including the first woman and person of color to ever go to the moon. Today, the Artemis rocket was rolled out onto the launchpad from the vehicle assembly building. In the coming days, the crew will practice loading and unloading fuel from the rocket and go through a full launch procedure known as the “wet rehearsal”. The first launch of this rocket will be uncrewed ahead of the crewed launch to the moon to bring the first astronauts to the moon since the 1960’s. When Artemis I launches in 2024 it will go farther than any human-rated spacecraft ever. It will go 40,000 miles past the moon carrying testing equipment and data measuring devices to see how humans will fare in the Artemis spacecraft. Once Artemis II launches it will carry humans on a 4-6 week journey to the moon and back.

Artemis I Undergoing Final Rounds of Testing | APPEL Knowledge Services

Photo cred- NASA

Fate is Fatuous

Albert Camus, a philosopher, once said “accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience: it should not become a dead end. It arouses a revolt that can become fruitful.” Camus is stating that there is meaninglessness in life, but we must accept that fact, and despite its meaninglessness we must not become depressed. The only real answer to the newfound meaninglessness is acceptance, and with the acceptance of lack of meaning one cannot become depressed or stressed. Every situation no matter how difficult or troublesome it may seem, becomes simple. All that is necessary is to simply live, it is not a necessary reaction to feel that the task is useless or difficult, because everything is useless regardless. Camus talks about the “Myth of Sisyphus,” a greek myth in which a king is condemned to roll a rock up a hill for eternity. Every time he pushes the boulder all the way up the hill it rolls down again, forcing Sisyphus to start over once again. Camus stated that if Sisyphus simply accepted his menial task as absurd and fatuous that the task would no longer have ay level of difficulty, all that is left for Sisyphus to do is to push the rock and live his life.

photo credit: WRITE NGEOW

A Sky Full of Stars

I have two other brothers, and they always did everything better than me; which I always feel so much pressure doing something with them. I always doubt my ability to do anything, like anything. I began the thought of I just can’t do it right. This year, I become a senior, ready for college. You have no idea how much pressure I have on myself. I don’t want to give up and go to random college, meantime, I still keep believing that there is a 1 percent possibility I can make something beautiful. A couple of weeks ago, Penn State needs a requirement of 120 scores for the English Language Proficiency. I spent my own money and took it almost twenty times, my highest score is 115 still couldn’t reach 120. Penn State can be an easy school that most everyone can get into. However, I’m still stuck in that dumb English test and couldn’t think of any way to improve it. Recently, most of the decisions came out, I got rejected by UIUC and LMU. I am not surprised at all because I know those types of good schools won’t accept me. Until this Tuesday, I got an email from Syracuse University. I just want to say, I think I’m dreaming right now. I got accepted! At that time, I told myself that I’m not that bad, not bad. Meanwhile, I’m so thankful that my brother and friends are there always supporting me. I just can’t believe it, really can’t. I can say I am really proud of myself, and I should love myself more.

Photo Credit: Stars

Loneliness

Doesn’t matter if I’m in a relationship or not, sometimes when I went back to my room and lay down on my bed; I just felt so lonely. Have you ever felt that way? Did you ever feel that you have no one to rely on but yourself? Yourself is the only person who knows what you have been through, and knows what’s your feelings and emotions were in the worst situation. Every time I talk about my feelings with someone, they always say they understand what it feels like. However, that is not true, no one has been through something terrible like you do. They’re not you, they don’t know what your pains feel like. Everyone is busy with their own problem, which doesn’t have time to help you. At this point, you realize you are the only person left holding yourself up and keep walking every single day. I always told myself that it was just progress of becoming a stronger me, but it’s really lonely. Even I found the joy of being on myself, loneliness is still bothering me sometimes.

Photo Credit: loneliness