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From eroticism to job ethics... thought´s and dillemas from an exiled artist wannabe.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The fields of justice

I'm not eating much lately, i'm even sleeping less than i should... Some may say i'm being lazy and that this is just a symptom of single behaviour. However i know better to notice this started some weeks ago, when a friend of mine introduced me to League of Legends.

The premise of the game is simple: two bases, and two armies of minions condemned to fight eternally in equal conditions, and a jungle full of creeps in the middle. Players take control of a hero on one of the sides of the battle, trying to overpower the balance into victory, gaining experience and gold as they progress through the enemy ranks, Ultimately turning into ultimate machines of destruction that can chop through enemy hordes as a knife through butter.

But of course the enemy heroes are there to prevent you to do so. There is where the fun starts: try to single handedly kill an enemy hero and you may be the first corpse of the day. Teamwork is the key of winning in LoL and coordinating with your team and taking advantadge of your strengths is the funniest part of the game. Running for your life and suddenly see your team spring from the bushes to ambush your unaware pursuer or coordinating a full scale attack on the enemy team are the most rewarding moments of the game.

The best thing is that all of this is free to play! Lol has hundred or more champions to try, each with his strengths and weaknesses, and every week, 10 of them are free to play, the rest of them can be unlocked with the ingame currency that will be rewarded after every game. If you want to look fancy or shortcut your way to a certain hero though you can spend some real cash to do so, supporting the developers. But remember cash does not buy power in LoL. Every one, regardless of their player level starts the match with a hero in equal conditions, this means that only ability decides the victor.

It will take you quite some time in the beggining to grasp how to keep yourself alive until you find a hero that fits your playing style. It took me almost one week of trying until i found myself confortable playing with Kog'maw, and this week i found another nice hero in the armored armadillo Rammus. Having ten heroes to test each week helps you in trying new things until you decide where to invest your hard earned IP points.

If this caught your interest, come join me in the League!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Love, Lust and Morals

This week I finished reading the fifth adventure from my favourite succubus: Georgina Kincaid, from the american writer Richelle Mead. Georgina's constant drifting between love, lust and morals, as always, has stirred some thinking and restlessness inside me.

I've always been a honest man, and i'm not ashamed to say that like many man, lust drives my thoughts more often than not. Rarely i would deny a chance to get down and dirty with any girl as I don't believe in the common moral code of having sex only with your loved one, though that doesn't mean i actively hit on every girl that crosses my scope.

Sex for me means deepening the connection with someone you care. I've had a fair amount of friends which whom i got down to business: No love, no regrets, just a deep and profound care and respect for each other, and the promise of fun while it lasts. There will be no breakfast in bed, no bouquets and no future implications. Just a friendly sly look each time your eyes cross: recalling how you shared something special.

On the other side, i do believe in love. I have experienced it to the last of it's heartbreaking consequences. It's a feeling that can make you cross barriers never trespassed and face harms you won't endure for any other reason. My last relationship was pretty damn long and i always thought that was to last forever.  I was a faithful companion and was rewarded with a long period of happiness and partnership. The pain of the loss was something i certainly won't like to go through again, but i managed to overcome. On the downside however i became more unable to feel than i ever was: i have the feeling that i burned with so much passion that now i'm dead cold inside.

I don't care much about horoscopes, but if something is true about what they write from my sign is: I don't love easy but when i do i really mean it.

Sometimes people ask me if i do believe in gods. My only answer is that i don't. No religion  and no god whatsoever has the right to intervene on my life. I only live with my own ethics and morals, and for me every girl is a temple. Something that should be revered and respected.

I can't stand the hipocrisy of those who say themselves pure and honorable and then treat their partners like trash. And by this i don't mean beating them (though i have some girl friends with some kinky fantasies) but also psicologically threaten or abuse them. It's just plain wrong.

Unfortunately though life has put me in a moral crossroad. One of those relationships based on lust, awfully gone wrong, as my partner grew more and more attached to me and I still feel dead cold inside my chest. Almost a year has gone by, and she has become one person i care and hold dear, but to whom i can not give the thing she truly wants for me.

Twice i tried to end our relation in fear it would harm her more, but twice i failed as life circumstances drew us back together. Time keeps going by, and we just grow closer but on the insides i can almost hear a tic-toc of a bomb ready to explode. A bomb that grows whith every passing day, menacing to place me one day in front of someone i'd really love, and shattering the dreams i hopes of someone who has a high esteem of me and which i hold dear.

I pictured myself on the same situation Seth Mortensen goes through volume 5 of the Succubus Blues series. On the same situation Boq endures with the Witch of the East on Wicked. Unable to obtain true love, they end up accepting a faux couple life with someone they care and hold dear, but whom they do not love. This situation is sustainable only with great insatisfaction of her romantic life and a heavy toll of mental stress, until they blow up their unsustainable microcosmos bringing pain to those around.

Now the morals come around. Should you be egoist? Should you pursue your own happiness? even if that means shattering someone else's hopes? Sometimes you even wish something wrong will happen, something that will make that decision for you, but until then... The clock keeps on ticking.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MonTowers: Legend of Summoners

I've always been a pokemon fan, and had a tendency to gravitate to monster collecting games. So it was natural that was one of the first things i looked for to download when i got my ipad. Sadly though, the amount and quality of the offer in monster games lacks in comparison with Nintendo's powerhouse.

This week though i discovered a small island in that vastness of desolation: MonTowers.
A small casual menu based game that promises hundreds of monsters to collect and some hours of fun for a small price.
Beautiful anime graphics and easy to play.


MonTowers setting is nothing spectacularly creative. You take the role of a summoner in his quest to be the master of all monsters while climbing up various towers with a monster challenger in each floor. To do so you will have to capture and summon the monsters you've defeated to fight by your side (well, more like fight for you). 

In order to summon the captured monsters or upgrade them you will have to head to the field to collect the elements you will need to perform the summoning, consuming a little of your energy on the process. You can also mix monsters into new ones by combinng them with the appropiate recipe, as well as upgrading the monsters through 3 levels each one.

Combining monsters adds some unique monsters that can't be found in any other way.
With your summoned monsters you can now head to the towers themselves, where combat will await. Three of your monsters will face an overpowered version of one monster on each floor. Unlike pokemon, your monsters don't have attacks you can choose nor types that produce extra damage. They do have abilities  that affect their combat performance though, like improved defense, regeneration, double attack and so on.

Your interaction in combat is limited to heal your monsters when they are in need and determining initiative by playing a small tapping minigame which is a bit pointless unless your monsters are close to be dead.
Tap the ball in the red area to pwn the sexy Mummy.
Even being bland, the combat manages to be thrilling just by the fact that a monster's death is actually a death and not a fainting, effectively removing him from your summoners list. So you will have to be keeping a balance between using to much of your limited potions or letting die that monster that took a lot of resources to raise to Master level.   

Time Attacks

If you are familiar with menu games you should already knew the hateful timing mechanic that they use to control your gameplay time. Usually you have to spend energy to perform actions that let you advance on the game, thus when you are depleted on energy you can do nothing, nada, rien, until waiting a set amount of time for your energy to refill. Montowers uses this timing concept for energy and monster regeneration but in a way so subtle that it wont make you just stop playing but instead keep you coming for more. 
Your ability to collect materials is limited by time. So you have to play carefully.
Energy is not linked to the fact of you actually climbing the tower, so you are free to fight and farm as you please on the towers without that hindrance. Instead energy controls how many resources you can extract from the field, thus conditioning your ability to summon and upgrade monsters. As your monsters progressively look weaker as you climb higher, due to enemies growing stronger every floor, you will find yourself cautious to risk the next challenges without appropiate companions, thus backtracking to easier levels for monsters you didnt manage to capture on your first fight. 

This is a nice strategy, because the game does not deny you the chance to play but instead puts a great challenge with a great risk on you with the promise that you will be able to overcome it in some time, what makes you keep coming in to fight that monster later. And if you are in really need of energy you can also buy it with tokens you get as a reward from quests ingame.

The fact that monsters die and are not supposed to be equiparable in fighting qualities between them makes creates the need to be constantly changing your teams ranks as you progress throught the towers. This removes the attachment of other games with the creatures and keeps the game changing, unlike pokemon where once your team is firmly stablished you will rarely go through all the trouble to train replacements.

Be ready to keep a team storage of 10 or more monsters to endure heavy damage through  stages

Art and Character Design

The game description says that the game has about 220 monsters. Well, that won't be accurate per pokemon standards as each of the monsters has three levels of evolution that, while retaining the name, vary on the visuals, having different clothes or physical aspect (female monsters have a tendency to get sexier as they level up). This sums up a grandtotal of 660 monsters where you certainly are to find some that meet your likes.

Despite the main idea being bland the artistic department is fantastic and reminds me of other great anime style games like Fantasy Defense. Graphics are clean and sharp, and monsters are drawn expertly and full of detail. Attacks also have nice animations on the style of old first person view rpg's. Only the poor summoner's assistant seems to not stand to the overall level of greatness as her face seems blurry during animations.

One of my favourite features is the gallery mode. A place where you can view all monsters you have collected on full screen with up to 4 different backgrounds. Having the iphone/ipad the ability to screenshot means you can save the pics of every monster you collected. 

As all monsters are classic rpg monsters and PC classes (you wont see any bizarre turtle with cannons and the likes) and mantain an artistic coherence as they rank up, this is an awesome monster database for pen and paper rpg masters out there. I would love to see more backgrounds for the gallery, maybe inspired from the tower's backgroungs.
A Master level Living Doll shows his sexyness in fullscreen.


As a casual monster catching/taming game this totally gets my seal of approval. Can't do nothing but love sexy monstergirls and games that drain your life away. A fair warning though: as a casual game you might find yourself playing more than you should.

I hope this company pushes this idea further in future games and shows us a game with more options during battle, but they certainly have a headstart on quality and quantity of monsters.

The game is now priced at 1$ so if you are into monsters collecting or rpg it would be a shame not to try it. If you are not into this niches though you might not find any appeal on it (unless you are a 4chan denizen and you are looking for sexy monstergirls)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grown up kids.

I was writting a review of an ipad game in the bus when my head drifted to watch around on my colleagues. I caught a glance of an engineer colleague of mine, probably on his 40s watching in his laptop an episode of Thundercats. I had to stop my trail of thoughts to write about it at that very instant.

Some time ago, i met another aeronautical engineer, a respectable and hard working colleague which whom i shared some time in the company. Once, he gave me a ride on his elite-salary-can-buy car, and when i was to seat on the back seat i almost landed on a set of famous brazilian child comics ("Turma da Monica"). He told me "beware my daughter's comics back there".

He went on explaining on how he loved those comics as a kid. He even had a huge collection, until his wife bullied him out of it. Now, his daughter has provided him his escape route. "i must confess that i read them more than she does, now at least i have an excuse to buy them again".

Every brazilian has read one of this at least once during his life.
I´ve always been a kid. I'll be on my thirties in a few years and my favourite passtimes include watching anime and playing videogames. My room in Barcelona was full of anime figures of girls in skimpy dresses and manly anime guys in heroic poses. I spent a lot of time drawing and painting wargame figures and everytime i got asked why i did want to become an aeronautical engineer my answer has always been: "to have time and money to spend drawing, which is my true passion"

The kind of things you can find back at my home.

However, on high tech or corporative enviroments a level of seriousness and commitment is expected, making it look like this kind of behaviours are something to be ashamed of. For this reason I admire those who are not afraid to show themselves as they are in this situation.

Let's face it, we all love the series of our childhood, and those friends with children confessed that they steal their kids videogames to play all night long. It's alright to play poker, but not to play Magic? It's alright to play chess but not warhammer? It's okay to lose your life in front of the stupid box of propaganda that is the Tv but not to spend an evening with your friends fragging zerglings or spartans?

The kind of father's we'll be.
Get over it! We're children still inside and we love it! People who live just for work are just tossing her life away. It's no use to overwork yourself to get extra pays if you dont have a way to make that money useful to you, and by that i mean profit from it for your own happiness, not for bare necessities.

Colorful things are not just children territory. Colorful things just spell FUN in capital leters, and as humans we tend to gravitate toward them. Remember that day where your mom tossed out all your toys. Do you recall the sadness of losing something that was treasured to you. Remember that day the college kids made fun of you becuse you still played Pokemon on your DS. Do you remember how you were bullied by doing publicly what all the others did in hiding?

"Don't you dare mock my childhood!"
There's a saying in spanish that goes something like: "Be I warm, and let them laugh"
This means: as long as you are happy/safe/confortable with something you shouldn't be ashamed. I say, go there and grab back your life, the things you treasured, and if someone ever has a pointy comment or disaproving look, stare him dead in the eyes and say: "At least I haven't forgot who I really am."