Features

Doki Doki Literature Club: It’s all fun and games until it’s not

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There’s more to this game than just what it intentionally let’s itself seem. Feeding into a good mix of stereotypical visual novel and dating sim with a simple yet fascinating twist.

With archetypal characters that bait you into your preferred school girl, you get sucked into dating sim muscle memory: choose the girl you find a slight interest in, and play the game to date her.


Sayori, Doki Doki Literature Club

You play as a reserved high school student who loves anime and gaming. You struggle at socialising and so, Sayori, a childhood friend, asks you to join her club: the Literature Club.

A witty game of diction

You meet Monika, Natsuki, Yuri the founder, and members of the Literature Club. Once you join the club, you are then asked to write poems. You foster the attention and affection of the girls by choosing their word preferences and using it in your poem.

Poem, Doki Doki Literature Club

Most of the words you choose from are straightforward and obvious. The game repeats the same set of words throughout the game so it sets up the comfort of replay value.

Well thought-out

It is definitely not your typical visual novel dating sim. The game sets you up so well with light chipper music, hints of replay ability, and charismatic characters. The poems each character presents you are relentlessly honest.

Monika, Doki Doki Literature Club

Doki Doki Literature Club! uses this genre to its advantage by conditioning you to suspend your disbelief through it. And, as you progress further into the game, you find a palpable shift in dynamic. You encounter mixed signals, strange hints, and questionable moods. As you grow closer to the characters, you uncover dark and unsettling topics.

More than just jump scares

Doki Doki Literature Club! lets you question your control, but it does more than that. In a sense, the game gives you control over the outcome and by doing that, appropriately plays out set chain reactions. It builds a false sense of control, takes it away, and by the time you get to choose, you don’t feel like having any of it.

Yuri, Doki Doki Literature Club

There are intentional glitches that pop up in the game that stress how everything is not fine: demented statements, shattered images, and dead silences. At first it’ll drop little clues in the background or just strange statements, but it eventually turns into outright mayhem.

glitches, Doki Doki Literature Club

When playing any visual novel dating sim, choice is the essential aspect that lures people in. The genre presents options for you to learn more and more about each character and to work towards getting what you want. This is precisely what Doki Doki Literature Club! does well — simply to effectively build up to the unsettling point of the game where the consequences of your first play carries over to the next. 

Eases you into a valid perspective

In many ways, Doki Doki Literature Club! isn’t just haunting by the series of events that slowly seeps into the game. It reels you in with the familiar only to drop it with metafictional elements. Replaying this game is part of the experience. There are events that unfold in the first play that pushes the player enough to play to the game’s advantage and redo the game.

Monika, Doki Doki Literature Club

This is intentional and is how you progress into discovering what the game is really about. How it carries over the dramatic end to the first play is through sudden shifts in music and deliberate glitches. The game adequately depicts a sense of free will, only to slap the upsetting reality of limitations of circumstance and results beyond control. In the end, it’s a game you play that ends up playing with you.

SEE ALSO: Stranger Things gets a mobile game!

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Automotive

Right-Hand Drive: My first experience

It’s never too late to do something new

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It was a Friday, my birthday. I, along with the local media team, flew to Hong Kong for an annual event on electrifying cities to achieve a greener environment.

After the warm welcome of the event’s hosts, they started briefing us of the day’s itinerary. We were to use the company’s electric vehicles and drive them through Hong Kong’s three main regions to get a feel of how they ride and put their features to real-world use.


Exciting, right? Thing is, Hong Kong is a right-hand drive territory and I live and grew up in a country with left-hand vehicles. I’ve never driven on the opposite side of the road. I figured I’d just wing it.

I figured I’d just wing it.

They finally sent us out to the cars in pairs and assigned us an official rep either to make sure everything went well or that we didn’t run away with the car — pretty sure it was more of the former.

My partner for this ride was a fellow journalist in the automotive industry. He would always crack jokes on almost anything he saw which somehow took my mind off the fact that I’d be driving in a foreign country with unfamiliar roads during my first right-hand drive experience.

We agreed that I’d take the wheel for the first half of the trip and switch seats halfway so we both could experience the electric vehicle. I grabbed the door handle on the right side, opened it, and gave my weight to its cushioned driver seat.

I was faced with the cockpit of the vehicle. As a person who likes things neat and in order, the buttons, displays, and icons were neatly laid out. I was not overwhelmed.

I spotted a mounted GoPro on the passenger’s side aimed directly at me. I thought it was cool to have a copy of myself driving on the opposite side of the road for the first time.

I kind of felt like I was in a sci-fi movie.

With everyone inside, I stepped on the brake and pressed the ignition button. The motor of the car whirred with a held-back enthusiasm. “I’m still not used to how quiet it is,” I told my companions, explaining that I was already able to drive the car — only the previous year’s model. The absence of a gas-guzzling engine made the vehicle come to life not with the sound of a heavy breathing dog but more like Wall-E‘s Eva powering up. I kind of felt like I was in a sci-fi movie.

Then we were off to take on the gloomy and chilly weather. The hotel’s lobby is elevated so there was a long spiral-like ramp that led in and out of the driveway. Turning towards the ramp was critical for me as it was my first turn to the opposite lane. “Always enter the left lane. Always enter the left lane.” I kept telling myself this over and over just to rewire my mind and unlearn the driving system that I grew up with and adapt to this new setup.

We drove down the ramp, onto the street, and later on into the highway. “So far so good,” I thought to myself. The idea was to drive through a pre-designated route using Google Maps. But, as with most times, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned. The app didn’t work properly for the first 15 to 20 minutes of our trip. It had problems with GPS so I had to listen to the company’s representative seated at the back as he pointed when and where to turn.

But, as with most times, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

For a while there, I was like an Uber driver going through the busy streets of Hong Kong.

The vehicle responded very well every time I stepped on the gas pedal. We were discussing that having an electric motor means power is quickly channeled to the wheels so it responds a lot faster compared to internal combustion engines. I also liked how the car didn’t have problems gaining speed whenever I needed to catch up. Basically, exploring the car’s array of features, while driving, helped me eliminate the few anxieties that I had left. Yes, I enjoyed the drive.

It was about 30 to 40 minutes in that I became more confident driving the right-hand vehicle. Entering the left lane every time I turned became more and more natural. Of course, there were times when I’d still forget I was on the opposite side — like that time I was paying at the toll gate and opened the left window instead of the right. Boy, was the teller confused when I did that.

While probably a really simple and obvious solution, one of the things that helped me with the transition was to think of everything in the opposite way. That way, It was easier for me to grasp the entire idea of right-hand driving. If my natural habit was to keep right, I knew that during that moment, I needed to keep left. When it felt natural to flick the turn signal using the left switch, I’d use the right since the left would be for activating the wipers.

If my natural habit was to keep right, I knew that during that moment, I needed to keep left.

That kind of mindset got me through the entire ride right up to the point where I and the other media I was with had to switch for his turn to drive.

I went down, walked around to the other side, and got in the passenger seat. It was weird because since I was back to sitting on the left side, the initial response of my arms was to grab the steering wheel and start the vehicle, forgetting all of a sudden the “brainwashing lessons” I taught myself just half an hour ago.

Seeing the GoPro that was mounted right above me, I reached for it to check if it was still recording. I then noticed there were no blinking red lights. I leaned closer and to my surprise, it wasn’t even turned on. So much for documenting my first right-hand experience, right?

“It wasn’t recording the entire time!” I exclaimed. It was unfortunate but we had a laugh out of it. I figured I’d just write down the events that happened so that I wouldn’t forget it. I powered up the action camera and started recording for my partner’s sake. With dark clouds and light rain still accompanying us, we started driving back to the hotel.

My key takeaway from the experience was to know what works for yourself.

During our trip back, I reflected on what I just did, from the excitement to the feeling of fulfillment of doing something the first time and succeeding. My key takeaway from the experience was to know what works for yourself. For me, I simply had to do the opposite of what I’m comfortable with to make sure I had clear control of what to do for certain situations.

Of course, it would also help a lot if one would closely study and practice for something like this. I just didn’t have much choice and had limited time to prepare for the drive.

We got back to the hotel, thanked the company’s representative who came with us for being an accommodating guide, and I went straight to my hotel room to freshen up for the night’s welcome dinner.

It was a great experience overall and am still thankful for the brand extending an invite to the event. The fact that I did something for the first time on my birthday only made it more special. To more drives!

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Hands-On

Huawei P30 hands-on: All the cool features applied in real life

How zoomed in is zoomed in?

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After all the “oohs” and “ahhs,” and as the dust settles from Huawei’s flagship launch, the question is: What’s so great about the Huawei P30? And no, I don’t want to hear any specs.

To answer this question, I road tested the Huawei P30 to see just what it can do and how I can use those features in real life.


In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

SEE ALSO: Selfie and posing tips from Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

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Her GadgetMatch

Selfie and posing tips from Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

Also, we unbox a Huawei P30 Pro!

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Two years ago, I tried to recreate photos by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach shot on the Huawei P10 Plus. It resulted in a profound appreciation for modeling and even higher regard for Pia’s  posing skills.

Not even close but it will do 😂

In a wonderful case of how things can come full circle, I got to sit down with Pia to unbox Huawei’s latest flagship, the P30 Pro. We chat about how to pose, her beauty mode tips, and more importantly, what she thought of my Pia versus Me photos! We also took more selfies, because that’s what Queens do. ✨


Take photos with her subjects, that is, lol

Enjoy watching the video, as much as I did shooting it. 💎

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P10 Plus portraits: Pia Wurtzbach vs Me

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