Saturday 27 August 2016

Rayman 1 reflections

I thought I'd do a quick note on Rayman 1 (PS1).

In particular, I noticed that there are some interesting discussions on the internet regarding which is the hardest Rayman 1 level. I thought I would lend my weight to this thread.

It appears to me that many seem to suggest that Picture City is the hardest World in Rayman 1; I can certainly see how that might be the case. For example, Pencil Pentathlon certainly annoyed the heck out of me, especially with the precision in which you had to use Rayman's helicopter power to navigate the needles/drawing pins without bouncing on the bouncy cushions; furthermore, Space Mama's Crater was also pretty unforgiving especially in that section where you had to time Rayman's jumps as he moved along a pencil sharpener to avoid a spikey death and/or falling into the void. Space Mama herself was also a difficult boss to get used to ---- it wasn't because she was that HARD, but it was the psychological effect of knowing that, if you did not beat her, you would have to repeat Space Mama's Crater.

So I'd agree that the hardest World is Picture City on an overall basis.

However the level (or more accurately, section) I hated the most was definitely Band Land's Allegro Presto, Part 3. I simply had so many issues dealing with the slippery musical staves that it was not funny!!!!!!

If I had to compare Rayman: Origins and Rayman: Legends with Rayman 1, I'd say there simply is no comparison in terms of difficulty level. Contrary to the former two, the margin for error in Rayman 1 is so unbelievably small. However, notably, Origins' Land of the Livid Dead and the Fickle Fruit speed-run were fairly hard. Mecha No Mistake's speed-run I have not actually completed because that is just more frustrating than anything else and I simply did not have the patience to deal with that!!!

My most resented enemy is probably the Moth (more a Grasshopper to me), given their tenacity, ability to dodge punches and counterattacking skill! Fighting two at the same time is deadly! The Spider in the Caves of Skops can also be pretty annoying if you let them fire their homing missiles at you.

Bear in mind though that I use unlimited lives for Rayman 1 -- if I didn't have access to this cheat I would certainly not be able to get very far in the game. I am currently on Mr Skops' Stalactites.

Andre Lim

Sunday 21 August 2016

Chen Long too good

I feel sorry for Lee Chong Wei, but Chen Long was just far too good. Chen Long scrambled for every shot with near-perfect court coverage. He is, in my view, the complete badminton player. Ironically LCW overcame his 'personal demon' of beating Lin Dan at the Olympics...but little did he realise that his real test awaited him in the final in the form of a much improved and stronger Chen Long.

As someone once said to me, if you find yourself in a bad position, you just have to be philosophical about it.

Of course Lee Chong Wei will be gutted and the whole of Malaysia will be hurting for him; however, on a positive note, who can boast of having three consecutive Olympic silver medals in the singles event? Not even Lin Dan can say he has three consecutive Olympic medals...

In any event, Lee Chong Wei didn't have the stamina to play any potential third set. Age had cruelly taken its toll. This was not his year to shine. If anything, 2012 was the ideal opportunity wasted as LCW was actually in the lead against Lin Dan in that infamous match.

Arguably, and most critically, Lee's real demon was not Lin Dan but the Olympic final itself and the fear of failing Malaysia (being their gold medal hope). It just so happened that Lin Dan personified the latter two in 2008 and 2012. By being so focussed on Lin Dan, the whole of Malaysia had forgotten the threat of Chen Long and to some extent took that match as already won.


The wait continues for Malaysia. Goh and Tan must feel even more bad about their match now??!

On an unrelated note, at least Viktor Axelsen was happy with his Bronze.

Andre Lim

Saturday 20 August 2016

Heartbreak for Malaysia

My goodness.

SO MANY service errors made by the Malaysians in the Men's Doubles final!!

The Chinese almost choked but, in the end, they adapted better.

Andre Lim

Spain "beats" Malaysia to a badminton gold medal


Spain has a gold in the women's singles. Malaysia have yet to win any gold.

Andre Lim

What a match

Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei gave us a classic to remember.

And now Carolina Marin will have to win it the hard way if she wants to give Spain its first badminton medal. But PV Sindhu would be a worthy winner anyway.

I personally hope to see a European victory in an Asian dominated (albeit usually Southeast and East Asian) sport.

Andre Lim

Friday 19 August 2016

Lee Chong Wei v Lin Dan: Quick Thoughts

So the game is about to start in 15 minutes.

What a mouth-watering prospect.

Ordinarily I would say the match is 55:45 in favour of Lin Dan; however, in the context of the Olympic and World Stage, I would say it is closer to 60:40 or 65:35 because Lin Dan has actually stopped Lee Chong Wei twice in the Olympics and at least twice in the World Championships.

It will be psychological warfare for Lee. Lee must put that bad record behind him if he is to overcome LD. LCW may have the better recent record but in BIG TOURNAMENTS he would definitely know that LD has the boss record over him.

Andre Lim

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Malaysia's Gold Medal Hopes... on the shoulders of their Men's Doubles pair, WK Tan and VS Goh, their Mixed Doubles pair, PS Chan and LY Goh, and, of course, Lee Chong Wei in Badminton.

Given the form of the men's duo, and given the fact that the Indonesian mixed doubles pair of Natsir and Ahmad have a 100% straight sets record so far (including victory over the Malaysian pair who they already met in the Group Stage), and if we put aside Lee Chong Wei for the time being on the basis that he's not yet made the final, I reckon the Men's Doubles pair has the best chance of winning Malaysia's first ever gold.

That is of course not to discount Lee Chong Wei by any means...who now has to face Lin Dan in the semis.

It will be very interesting times ahead.

Andre Lim

Sunday 14 August 2016

Olympics 2016 - First Ever Gold Medals

I take a snapshot glance at all the first-ever-gold-medals-for-a-country at Rio 2016.

Vietnam win their first ever gold medal with Hoang Xuan Vinh's heroic 10.7 final shot in the Men's 10m Air Pistol under ENORMOUS pressure, trailing from behind and despite the jeers of the Brazilian crowd.

After Brazil's Felipe Wu took his shot, the 41-year-old veteran wisely utilized a 20-second+ pause to take his final shot, and his whole career would, to an extent, be defined by that moment of calmness.


His ability to handle pressure was admirable but his sportsmanship was even more exemplary.

While his name was announced, and just before stepping up to the Gold Medal podium, Hoang went out of his way to do a full circle to shake hands with the silver and bronze medallists. 

Perhaps I have little experience with such things but I've actually not seen that particular gesture before. He did not let the moment overtake him - Awesome sportsmanship!!!!

Fiji win their first ever Olympic medal...which just happens to be a gold medal in Rugby Sevens, and they didn't need Jarryd Hayne to thrash Great Britain in the final.

The streets of Suva go berserk.

"It's like there's two religions in Fiji...
On Sunday there's church and no sport, but every other day there's rugby."

Who says football has the exclusive monopoly on generating national pride?

Kosovo also win their first ever Olympic medal...a gold medal in Judo, although I understand that there is some controversy because Kelmendi refused a drug test before Rio 2016.

Singapore's first gold medal is attained courtesy of Phelps being given a Schooling in the 100m men's butterfly :)

Amazingly, Phelps, le Clos and Cseh all finished with a dead-heat silver medal.

Fehaid Al-Deehani became the first Independent Olympic Athlete to win a gold medal in the men's double trap!

All images largely courtesy of Channel Seven.

That's all the firsts I'm aware of, perhaps I missed some?*

Andre Lim

*Update: Indeed I did miss one, Monica Puig made Olympic History for Puerto Rico by winning her country's first ever Gold in the Women's Singles...becoming the first female tennis player to win Gold despite being unseeded!!!!


** And Bahrain win their first ever gold medal thanks to the help of Kenyan-born Ruth Jebet in the 3000m steeplechase.

*** And Tajikistan win their first gold medal in the Men's Hammer Throw.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Vietnam's first EVER Olympic Gold Medal

So I am very late to the party but how AMAZING was Vietnam's first EVER Olympic Gold medal?

The way in which Hoang Xuan Vinh conducted himself was quite admirable.

After his competitor had finished his shot, Hoang calmly took about 20+ seconds to shoot his final shot.

And this was despite the jeers and distractions of the unsporting Brazilian crowd (who quite obviously wanted their silver medalist, Felipe Wu, to win). Not to mention the added pressure of needing a good final shot to round things up as Hoang was trailing Wu by an initial margin of 0.2 (not that he knew that he would eventually require a 10.4+ to secure top spot!). Despite these adversities, Hoang managed to fire home a whopping 10.7 to end things and make his nation proud.

Incredible. Congratulations to Vietnam - an historic achievement, their very first.

Andre Lim

Sunday 7 August 2016

Channel 7 disappointment

Here is a series of email exchanges between myself and Channel 7.

"Hi Channel 7,
I want to watch the badminton at the Olympics, however your website is quite poorly constructed and it is difficult to find what is and isn't included in your premium content subscription. Is the badminton offered in your premium subscription - or otherwise how do we watch the badminton?
Thanks - Andre"
[Not the actual words of the email - paraphrased as I don't have a record of it]

"Hi Andre,

Due to the nature of live sport we cannot confirm an exact broadcast schedule for the Badminton. Consider our Premium Access, which means you can watch every sport, every event, everywhere you go on the “Olympics on 7” app and website. It gives you access to up to 36 live event channels and includes over 3,000 hours of live HD coverage also available in catch up, plus reminders and alerts and a 24 hour Olympic News Channel. Premium content is indicated with a padlock...."

"Thanks, so in other words the only guaranteed way to watch badminton is to buy the premium package and stream it on the channel 7 website

"Hi Andre,
That is correct, Premium Access means you can watch every sport, every event, everywhere you go on the “Olympics on 7” app and website."

So I am a bit annoyed with Channel 7's coverage of the Olympic Games. As we all know, the Australian media tends to be biased towards Australians when it comes to sport. While not ideal, that is tolerable so long as television coverage extends to other events that Australians are not necessarily expected to win medals in.

I was disappointed watching the highlights show today on Channel 7 - I spent the whole time waiting for some highlights of Vietnam winning the gold in the men's 10m air pistol; or Thailand winning the women's 48kg weightlifting -- or seeing how South Korea or Hungary won their respective golds on Day One. However I was, instead, 'treated' to a somewhat overdrawn highlights show of various Australian performances at the Games. I do not know if Channel 7 actually showed what I wanted or not, because I just became so exhausted/impatient waiting for those things to come up that I just gave up.

Of course, it is good to see Australians performing at the highest level at the Games on TV. However, it is a little disappointing that the remainder of world talent has to be 'filtered' for this to occur.

I understand that Channel 7 only has a limited number of free-to-air channels. So I suppose it forces people like me to purchase a premium subscription. However, what is "free" and what is "premium" is by no means clear on 7's website. I don't use mobile phone apps -- but the Channel 7 website is a nightmare to navigate. I just wanted to know which sports are covered on free-to-air, and which aren't. The website isn't as user friendly as it should be.

It is Channel 7's onus to ensure the Olympic Games, including event schedules, are properly advertised given that they purchased exclusive rights to them. I suppose I am happy to pay the $20-odd subscription fee but the least they can do is let me know what selection of sports I am getting.

Andre Lim

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Chaotic guide to Malaysia/Singapore for Kevin

My friend Kevin asked me to let him know what is good to do in Malaysia and Singapore. So I've assembled this chaotic sketch of things just for him and his friends.

Of course, everything is all relative and it depends on what you like to do.

Tori Q chicken balls
However, I think it is fair to say that EATING is one of the most important aspects of any visitor's trip to Malaysia/Singapore, and in my view, perhaps the trip should be planned around EATING rather than sightseeing LOL

Here is a list of ideas/tips as recommended by my relatives, family and myself. Particular thanks go to my dad, Chloe, my yiyi Kit Yee, my cousin Ker Leet and my Ah Ghor Bee Ha.

Of course this list is not exhaustive and is probably a starting point for your research.

General tips
  • Not meaning to be alarmist, but please just be mindful that there is a death penalty for drug trafficking in Singapore and Malaysia. You can never be too careful with your luggage, and if there is something you can do to make yourself assured that no one can put things into your bag, then do it even if it is a bit of a hassle. (Eg. Locks on your bag, plastic wrap the whole bag..)
  • If your trip is short I don't think you will have time to go to East Malaysia (which is renowned for its natural beauty - but is notorious for piracy/kidnapping in the coastal areas)
  • Smart Traveller has issued a warning re: safety/terrorism in Malaysia
  • Beware of thieves/mugs/snatch-purses
  • Beware of food poisoning, don't be too adventurous

Food in Singapore
  • If you like coffee, my dad says to try one at a Kopi Tiam in Singapore.
  • Duck noodles on Phillip Street with chilli sauce. Can't remember the exact details but I remember when I was working there in 2011 it was famous.
  • Hainan Chicken rice at Tian Tian (Maxwell food centre, near Chinatown - but the queue is long because it is the current craze as it got some kind of Michelin rating); Boon Tong Kee (there are many outlets including @ River Valley) --- if you can't go to those places never mind as there are plenty of hawker's stalls, see which ones have long lines!!;
  • The chicken balls and unagi at Tori Q (fast food chain - many outlets) are one of my personal favourites.
  • Check out the massive hawker stalls - most famous and biggest one is perhaps Lau Pa Sat (doesn't mean it is the best)
  • Teh Tarik
  • Milo/coffee/horlicks with condensed milk
  • Ice Kachang
  • Jumbo Seafood's Chilli Crab at Clarke Quay --> book here as it is packed 

Places in Singapore

  • Clarke Quay at night time is a nice place that I would like to revisit
  • Pic#1: Gardens by the Bay (see the controlled greenhouses/cooled conservatories)
  • Pic#2: Marina Bay Sands (go to the top and look at the view - some book a room) which is also next to the ArtScience Museum. By the way, apparently the Singapore Flyer is NOT worth it - you are better off paying for admission to the top of Marina Bay Sands.
  • Nearby MBS is the Helix bridge from memory, that was pretty cool.
  • Night Safari
  • Universal Studios Singapore which is on or near Sentosa Island [not really a priority I guess]
  • Sentosa Island (but expensive now I heard)
  • Little India
  • Chinatown
  • River Safari
  • Singapore Botanic Gardens - I really liked this place but it was REALLY hot.

Stuff in KL if only staying for 1-2 days (no time to go to outskirts)
  • Shopping @ Pavillion - 
  • Lots of shopping:
My aunty also suggests: Lot10, KLCC, MidValley, Sungei Wang, Bukit Bintang, StarHill; in PJ -1U, Paradigm, the Curve, Ikano Power Centre, Atria, K Avenue
  • Twin Towers/Petronas Towers
  • Batu Caves
  • There are tours like one day trips to Sekinchan to visit rice paddy fields, rice processing factories and seafood meals or "Durian, tofu and peanut lolly (Fah Sung Tong)" trips but you may not have time for that as it goes to the outskirts of town
  • Petaling Street (beware of mugs/thieves)

Stuff in Penang if only staying for 1-2 days
  • Gurney Drive - lots and lots of food
  • Kek Lo Shi temple
  • Khoo Kongsi
  • Snake Temple
  • Sleeping Buddha Temple
  • Gold Museum
  • Nyonya Baba Museum
  • Penang Hill
  • Dad says take a car trip along Penang bridge - one of the longest in the world "good experience".

Lonely Planet Kids The Travel Book notes on Malaysia:
- See Rafflesia flowers - quite remote
- Sarawak Chamber in Borneo (East Malaysia's) Gunung Mulu National Park.
- Petronas twin towers
- Orangutans in Borneo

Lonely Planet Kids The Travel Book notes on Singapore:
- Rainbow Temple (Sri Mariamman Temple)
- Gardens by the Bay
- Marina Bay

Lonely Planet The Travel Book notes on Malaysia:
- See KL from the walkway at Petronas towers.
- See tea plantations sprawling across Cameron highlands.
- See dawn view from the summit of Mt Kinabalu, Southeast Asia's highest mountain.
- Penang's dragon-tiled temples in Georgetown.
- Munch on Nasi Lemak in a traditional Melaka coffeeshop.

Lonely Planet The Travel Book notes on Singapore:
- Light a joss stick at Thian Hock Keng temple.
- Soak up the sounds and smells of the subcontinent in Little India.
- Chinatown.
-  Hawker stalls.
- Sip a Singapore sling at Raffles, the famous hotel where the cocktail was invented.
- Asian Civilisations Museum
- Singapore Zoological Gardens and Night Safari
- Sentosa Island
- Sri Mariamman Temple
- Market mayhem, temples and crowds on Waterloo street

Hope this helps you and your friends Kevin!!!

But kindly bear in mind that I know nothing, so make your own experiences perhaps!!

Andre Lim