Saturday, May 20, 2017

[private event] MapleStorySEA's Pre-Beyond Patch

I was invited by Asiasoft for the launch/preview of MapleStory's latest expansion and new game content. Having played MapleStory a long time ago, I was pleased to have invited, as it would allow me to catch up on what I've being missing!

The event was held at the 'Second-Storey Café', a quaint café/bistro that was exactly that! The place was located at Katong area, and was on the second floor of a shop-house. 

Quite a number of MapleStory fans and players were at the event, and I met up with Jasmine and Ryden too! 

Upon entering the bistro, some computers were already setup, in order to showcase the game. Everyone was allowed to login and play, if they wished too! 

A presentation started, and the spokesperson introduced new expansions to the game. There are new maps and locations to explore, and one of the most important additions was the new Dojo Challenge, whereby players could test their skills against multiple levels of enemies consecutively. The other major boost to the game was the 'Lucia Hard-Mode' Boss Challenge, where a team of friends could unite to try and defeat this challenge. According to the host, a special reward would be given to the first group of players who successfully beat the Boss!

As I had not played this game in many years, this event and the new contents piqued my interest, and I actually started playing again! 

A lucky draw was held, and I was fortunate enough to win a 'Pink Bean' while Baby got a Nabu X Smartband by Razer! 

Thanks for the invite once again, and I look forward to more new launches! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

[kansai region] Himeji Castle

My previous post on USJ marked the last attraction I visited in Osaka itself. From this point onwards, I will be touching on the other within the Kansai Region that I went to during my trip.
Prior to our departure, Baby and I purchased the 4-Day JR West-Kansai passes from JTB, and each pass cost us SGD77. The pass covered the Kansai area, which consisted of the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara & Himeiji. With the pass, we were allowed unlimited rides to all these designated areas on all the JR Train services line. these include all 'Special Rapid Train' services, but do note that the pass does not cover the Shinkansen trains.

 After having brekkie, we headed down to Osaka Station from Namba station to exchange our JR passes for the actual train passes. The traveling time from Osaka to Himeiji is usually an hour or so, but we took the special rapid train and that cut short our journey to only 40-45minutes.


Himeiji is famous for its magnificent white castle, and till-date Himeiji Castle is a both national treasure and a world heritage site. 



To be honest, Himeiji Castle was way better than Osaka Castle, as it was the actual castle from antiquity, and not rebuilt like the one in Osaka. Naturally, there are no elevators within the castle, and one has to go up each floor via long and ancient steep stairs. The stairs were pretty scary!

We paid 1000JPY per pax to enter the castle which I found a bit hard to take, but Baby insisted we enter the castle as he is a history freak. Personally, I appreciate the authentic experience of stepping on the ancient Japanese wooden flooring, which gave me a feeling of wonder.

We concluded our Himeiji Castle with a nice bowl of hot tempura noodles, and after our lunch, we walked around the town area. The sky turned dark as early as 4pm due to the Winter season. 

We went to Piole Shopping Mall which is located directly beside JR Himeiji Station. There were many shops in the mall, but I spent the most of my time in Tokyu Hands and the Seria 100 Yen Shop. I personally prefer Seria 100 Yen Shop to Daiso, but for some odd reason it is quite difficult to find Seria in Tokyo, whereas Seria was everywhere within the Kansai region! The selection is WAY better than Daiso. IMHO: Seria 100 Yen Shop FTW
Our expenditure in Himeiji was slightly cheaper than in Osaka, so we decided to have dinner before back to Osaka/Namba. We had our meal at Don Don Tei which is located within the mall. The Tendon was delicious, and I wanted more!

Thanks for reading! Next up is Nara, the capital city of Nara Prefecture in Kansai region of Japan. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

[Opening Night Gala] SISTER ACT

'SISTER ACT', the hilarious musical has hit Singapore for the very first time! This Broadway masterpiece opens at the MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands on the 9th of May 2017 for a limited time only. Tickets are now on sales.
'SISTER ACT' tells a story of a wannabe disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier who life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder, and is put into protective custody to hide. However, she is sent to the one location where nobody would look for her - a convent! Deloris finds new life and builds up strong sisterhood with her fellow sisters in the church. 

The plot pretty much stays true to the 1992's movie hit, 'SISTER ACT' starring Whoopi Goldberg (Deloris Van Cartier), a singer who witnesses her gangster lover murdering a man, and she had to hide inside a convent which resulted in extreme comedy! 

What I liked most about the play was on the efforts made by the character 'Sweaty Eddy', a policeman who used to be a school mate of Deloris and is in love with her. He gets into a groove throughout the play and tries to win her heart by being funky! It was also funny hearing the choir of nuns attempt to sing in the beginning, as they were initially tone deaf and unable to sing in key.
I was in awe by the outrageous dancing and the beautiful music pieces that were performed during the play

Although it is a lively and uplifting show, I felt it lacked a strong story plot but the top notch performance and singing by the cast made up for it! 'SISTER ACT' is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship. Be prepared to laugh-out-loud as well as be touched by the tributes made to the unlikeliest of friendships. Lastly, thanks for the invite and it is truly worth watching!