Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Surprise Gran Turismo 5 Car

It had been quite a long time since I last played Gran Turismo 5. For a quick background story, I was level 16 and some of my best cars were a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Ferrari 512bb, and a Renault Clio Sport.

As another aside, I do not have a PSN ID. So my GT5 has not a single patch. What I got when I bought the game is what I have up to now.

Anyway, I started playing again and I tried to race in the MR Races. I tried using either the 512bb or the Clio Sport. The problem with the Ferrari was that I had maxed it's power and it was very unstable when I pushed it as fast as I could. The Clio Sport, no matter how much setup I did, just couldn't compete against the MR race cars.

I don't claim to be a great GT5 driver. My driving style has improved since GT2, but I still have a tendency to do subtle powerslides in my driving, and I really have a hell of a time managing racing slicks. As an example, my 512bb has medium racing slicks and the rear wheels are all red after five laps around almost any track.

Well I was having a hard time at the MR races. The best finish I got at Deep Forest was sixth out of twelve. I was saving my money for either the McLaren MP4-12C or another high powered supercar. I had almost forgotten about one of my favorite supercars...

... The Ford GT.

I had made a mental error thinking that the Ford GT had the same power output as my 512bb. Well it technically was true, stupid me. You see, my fully set-up Ferrari produced better HP and torque output than a stock Ford GT. And I forgot about one important detail. The Ford GT was. Still. Stock.

So I bought a Ford GT, and with what little cash I had left got it the best suspension package, a performance chip, and the best intake and exhaust upgrades. And I won the MR Deep Forest race.

It was a close race, but it was fun. When I saved up enough money I upgraded the car again, adding stage 1 engine tuning, stage 1 weight reduction, and the best drivetrain upgrades (minues the limited slip differential, I still can't tune those properly). Now I feel confident enough to race my Ford GT in the other races that I used to have a hard time placing when I was using my Gallardo.

So what the hell was I thinking? Is the Ford GT really that great in real life? I don't care. All I know is I fell in love with the GT40 in Gran Turismo 2, and I've been a fan of the car and it's "descendants" ever since. So I'm really happy I now have a Ford GT that can win races. Plus the races I race it in are relatively balanced, meaning I still have to drive real well to win. I don't rely on super horsepower to just outrun every other car.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Why I Stopped Playing The Sims Social on Facebook

A few weeks ago I decided to (finally) stop playing The Sims Social on Facebook. The Sims Social is a free online casual game. So why did I stop playing?

It was because of the swimming pool quest. Normally I don't play quests because I usually just do what I want in the game. But then I wanted that pool. Unfortunately, after spending the time allotted to finish the quest, I failed. And it was frustrating.

I had spent almost all of my simcash (well, it was free simcash, but it was simcash nonetheless) and annoyed almost all of my friends who still played the game and I still didn't finish the quest. It pissed me off. A lot.

Yes, I do understand that The Sims Social is a game that requires having a lot of friends who also play the game. Hence the name. But at the same time, I found it insulting and frustrating that the game developers were going to penalize people who had less friends who played the game.

No, I do not want to add people I don't know just because they play the game. I have an office mate who did that. He finished the quests. Should I have added random people I saw on their fan page? No. That's not how I use Facebook.

I also stopped playing because I went on vacation with my family for about a week. While there was an internet connection where we went, I was too busy relaxing to actually bother to play the game. And you know what I realized? I don't really need to play the game. It was a fun time killer while I enjoyed it, but I just didn't enjoy it anymore.

When I did return to my regular life, I did load the game once or twice a day, but only to approve the quest requests of my friends who still played the game. But now I don't even bother clicking on the game. I'm even thinking of deleting the app from my Facebook account.

I honestly feel like the game developers could have thought of a way to let people with little or no friends who play The Sims Social finish quests without resorting to using real world money to finish quests, or without needing to add random Sims Social players as friends. But alas, that's not how they roll. So I won't be rolling with them anymore.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Reaction to the Pacquiao-Bradley Fight

Last Sunday, Philippine time, Manny Pacquiao lost in a split decision to Timothy Bradley via split decision. Some say it was highway robbery, that Pacquiao should have won. Some conspiracy theorists believe they made Pacman lose so that the rematch would earn more. I really could care less.

Now, I'm not a boxing fan. I'm not even a hardcore Pacqiuao fan. But what I am is a Filipino, and I was proud of how our Pambansang Kamao (National Fist) handled everything after the match.

There was no complaining from him. He accepted the decision, and that was it. At least, as far as I know. He was gracious in defeat, and that really impressed me. Manny Pacquiao was not a sore loser, and for that I am proud of him, how he handled himself, and proud that Filipinos can be like that.

If there is any example we can take from the boxing superstar, it's how to handle defeat. Stop complaining, move on, and be a man.

Makes me prouder to be a Filipino.


Monday, June 04, 2012

Vacation Reflection

A lot of stuff I learned, realized, or thought of during vacation. Strange how that happens. Usually a vacation is when you empty your mind of thoughts and just relax, but that's not how I roll. So here are some of the thoughts that passed through my head, and maybe a short explanation of each.

  • The Philippine North is such a beautiful place. From Isabela to Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Sur, and even La Union, the sights to see were very beautiful and inspiring. Most of the cities and towns were clean and organized, and the density of people were considerably less than in Manila. Which brings me to...
  • The nearer you get to Metro Manila, the "shittier" things start to become. I kid you not. Drivers become ruder, litter increases, roads get worse, ugly buildings start replacing the beautiful rustic homes, I can rant all day long about this. And it's sad since we Filipinos have such a great place to live in, but it's also us who are making it ugly. Not just physically but also spiritually and even economically. So please, let's stop with the talangka mentality, and let's just all work together to make this country something we can ALL be proud of.
  • I would love to road trip driving a classic VW Beetle, but it won't likely happen. Lots of reasons. First, lack of aircon (that can easily be fixed with a few mods to the car). Second, lack of funds to buy one and fix it up. Third, Lack of trunk space. Fourth, lack of people who'd want to actually road trip with me on a classic VW Beetle.
  • There are good people everywhere who want to help make this country a better place. You just have to find them and help them out. I'm off to start looking for these sort of people.
  • It's easier said than done. Try as I might to be a positive person, it still is very hard for me to actually be positive. The thoughts of negativity are still there. But it can be done, I can be positive I just need conscious effort on my part to actually correct all of my faults.
Well, that's it for now. I don't want to bore you with everything I thought of during vacation. Just some of the more important ones.


Friday, June 01, 2012

Blogging from Pagudpod

I've been on vacation for the past few days, and it has been refreshing. No stress of working everyday, no hassles of traffic, no deadlines. Just plain relaxation. It has been great.

Sadly all vacations must come to an end, and my vacation is nearing its end too. It's a great thing I planned ahead and extended my leave by a day so that I don't have to go back to work with a vacation hangover.

This has been a great vacation, I really enjoyed the time I spent on the beach with my family. I look forward to doing this again soon.

Better start saving, then.