What a fun little game. I finished this game before I traveled to ICOSAHOM and France, and didn’t get a chance to write about it. To preface this, the only reason I bought this game is because of Dunkey’s video.

The soundtrack is actually the best part about this videogame. I’ve been listening to it before I even picked up the game on Steam, and it… just drives you on. Undoubtedly the best part of the whole experience.

In terms of the actual game itself, it is quite short (with an alternate ending). The bosses’ also have varying difficulty levels which makes some levels incredibly frustrating, and others a simple grind once you find the trick. I really hated the level with the poison gas, and didn’t appreciate how easy the second-to-last boss was (who apparently trained his whole life for our battle).

Other than that, the story line has some quirks. The non-skippable cutscenes really are the main character development, plus some quotes from the battles themselves. TBH, I had to look up the story because I didn’t pay attention most of the time.

Overall, a fun game to pick up for a weekend or two.


Some a year ago, I spent around ten dollars and bought the sixth Humble Bundle. Now I officially played more than a quarter of the games in that bundle with the completion of Rochard.

It’s a simple game, with intuitive mechanics. The idea is that the series of barriers, lasers and gravity control will pose moderately hard puzzles for the player. It was a rather simple puzzler though, with only one which took me a moderate amount of time. The expansion pack is suppose to remedy this by providing 4 supposedly hard levels for the player.

Mechanics-wise, it was a smooth experience. My only complaint was aiming the gun was mildly rough. It was a line-aim type of experience, which is fine for “grabbing” various objects, but quite tough to aim accurately fast.

Speaking of fast, this is a very fast game. The entire thing took me under 5 hours to complete. It seems that the producers ran out of budget for animation at then end: the story was extremely unpolished at the end.

It’s an almost Epcot-like experience, where the beginning and middle parts where quite pleasant, but the ending has no… end? They just swept everything under the rug.

Overall though, fun game but terrrriiiblleee story near the end.

Notes: SSD edition

Some notes from the past week:

  1. It is incredibly easy to be an impostor in a more academic party. First of all, most of the people will be already intoxicated to the point where bullshit science can’t be discerned from actual science. This is good as I can just say random facts I remember from Popular Science.Another acceptable thing to do is to just ask questions upon questions. “What’s your research? … Oh that’s so cool! Tell me more about it! … So does this connect to insert scientific news here? Wow.” That’ll burn around 5 minutes minimum.The main problem comes when you run out of questions in the initial barrage. It also fails when the person is laconic or can’t speak English.

  2. Installing a SSD is extremely easy, but installing operating systems are hard. Right now, I have around 8 entries on my GRUB menu before I migrate everything over to my new distro.I followed the mount guide provided here, which seems intuitive enough on where to put mount points. I’ve also learned that


    df -h

    are my friends. There’s also that good GParted software.

  3. The Lloyd Trefethren numerical linear algebra book is quite good for a quick overview of the subject. It doesn’t get bogged down with the analysis, and generally refers to other books (mainly the Van Loan) throughout.
  4. Holy shit URF mode.
  5. I need to be more brave in a certain subject….

Perfect Synergy

The past summer, I was at the REU in UMBC. The head of the math department guy preached about the future of mathematics is the intersection of mathematics, statistics and computing; I agree to a large extent. 

What I ended up working on seemed to be computing, with more computing, with very little mathematical analysis. The system of differential equations that described pancreatic cells was far too advanced for me to do some significant analysis. Heck, that’s how I feel about most of pure mathematics: the interesting problems are always out of reach from what I know.

Before this past winter break, I found a cool book called “Risk and Reward” in the math library. It’s all about the, surprisingly deep, game of casino blackjack, from the strategies to the mathematics behind the analysis. In the analysis portion of the book, 90% of all the results seems to be dependent on the a computer, but with relatively simple probability concepts.

If I ever do become a professor of some sorts, I want to be able to teach a class based on games like blackjack and poker. For projects of sorts, the task will be to calculate the probability of various conditions and to figure out the strategies from the math I provide in class. Maybe for a (optional) final, it’s to actually play the games that we studied in class…

As an exercise over the break, I took an existing program and added the functionality to “practice” the card counting went over the book. It’s based on this project which I butchered (honestly, I spent 2 days doing this… trying to understand someone else’s code is tough). To run the program, make sure Python is installed, and run Blackjack.py. Download

Her and Bioshock

After watching the movie “Her“, I can’t help but think what the implications are for technology and human interaction in the future. What happens when artificial intelligence, on the scale of Samantha, is created? Will we as a being really turn towards that “perfect” relationship with a computer instead of nurturing (and suffering through) one with another human?

Those serious and interesting questions aside, I had no idea the voice of Samantha was of  the beautiful Scarlett Johansson. In my mind, I pictured someone who was quite beautiful just from the voice alone.

Same thing happened in Bioshock Infinite: the voice of Elizabeth seemed to be from a pretty attractive women (of course, the fact that the character itself was meticulously crafted to be pretty helped).
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Turns out this isn’t a coincidence that a more pleasant voice goes along with a more attractive face. From paper:

Men were in strong agreement on which was an attractive voice and face; and women with attractive faces had attractive voices.

Whelp, I guess I’ll never voice a video game character.