Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Mobile Chapters

Yes, I am into THIS hype. This was taken when I had a Town Hall Level of 5, now it's 6 at the time of this post.

Unfortunately, my college assignments took its toll to my online activities like my site's revamp and writing at least one blog posts earlier this month. With the barrage of college assignments and preparations for my Student Service Study as I pointed out on my other blog's latest post, I almost lost courage in what I need to post here, even giving Nurburgring 24 Hours a life here; this year's race featured some of the greatest moments worth as reasons to why this year's race was an interesting one: from Adam Christodoulou's heroic tire change to everything about Manta Foxtail, and from the Subaru Impreza to Glickenhaus SCG003c. They can make a good post material and the post itself would be a sure-fire 24 Hours of Dubai format post, but time flew fast and my courage quickly dried with all the college assignments. Nevertheless, I still am assuring you that this blog is alive and well, for the nth time.

This post will be more about my mobile life which has drastically changed since the day I bought the Xiaomi Redmi 1S. Being an Android smartphone, I had a bucket list of apps to be installed in my new phone, and yeah, mobile games included. Initially, I kept lots of games, after months of usage however, I only kept few of them due to the fact that I had to give room to my other apps related to mobile productivity. In contrast to my days as a Nokia user, my mobile activity goes beyond just browsing things: I drove real circuits, tapping into Japanese rhythms, and forging an army while strengthening my defense....


There's nothing better to start the new era with a MIUI ROM and a Le Mans wallpaper. Also pictured is my starting app ensemble back in the day.

Several days after buying this new phone, I went to a barrage of "app shopping"; this is where I filled my internal storage with apps, formerly consisting of mostly mobile games space-wise. There were six games that I kept at the start of my first days as an Android user: Race of Champions, Real Racing 3, Pou, Mbaktin, osu!droid and LINE Let's Get Rich (Metal Slug Defense was installed but was never played, hence the snub). The prospect was to have all the racing games I have been eyeing for, with tapping games and "virtual pet game" Pou as the balancer of the squad. Unfortunately, I spared LGR's gameplay to death that I don't feel like playing it for no reason somehow.

The Race of Champions game is the first on the list, with an experience of playing it on BlueStacks Android emulator beforehand. Unsatisfied with the gameplay with using BS, I called hiatus on that game until I bought the phone. Man, I was imagining myself as an RoC driver with the tilt controls enabled by default, racing around the Wembley Stadium track of which the venue itself is home to the races in 2007 and 2008. The moment you complete the first track's tournament, you advance to the second tournament held in GRAN CANARIA! Yup, as expected, the all caps describes my feelings well as I drive the legendary track in a Race of Champions-themed games, first being Rally Masters (PSX) and then Rally Fusion (PS2). Props to Invictus for making this to happen.

A simple-yet-addictive Indonesian game Mbaktin is a purpose-built memetic mutation game where your objective is to simply tap the fixed number of purple mangosteens shown to "extract" the fruit. Power-ups and achievements are available, but its simple gameplay will move you, perfect for waiting something or just simply waste your time. Another tapping game is osu!droid, based on the osu! game for PC which in turn is based on Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan video game. I only limited my choice of beatmaps to Ouendan authentic ones, though, and I treat the game as simply a time-waster and skill-tester, even though some beatmaps may not 100% accurate to the game's actual beatmaps.

Real Racing 3, one of the mobile racing games I championed and still a part of my app squad, from Day 1 to recent (despite I don't seem to play often recently). Created by EA and Firemonkeys, the award-winning game takes players into world-renowned circuits and drive a variety of real-life cars, from slow starter cars to faster sport cars and track-ready race cars and supercars. Upgrade and Damage aspects are also featured in this game. (Image: Touch Arcade Forums)

Back to the racing topic, my collection of the genre expanded with Tiny Little Racing 2 which is the sequel to the Tiny Little Racing, with more cars and still with its Micro Machines theme, but some cars won't unlock except if you donate your money to the game. The same time I installed Real Racing 3, a mobile game which can be dubbed as "The mobile Gran Turismo", featuring hundreds of cars of varying kinds and world-renowned tracks. After hours of gameplay, I felt that RR3 is my passion and indeed is the racing game I might be looking for. Golds and waiting times for servicing, car delivery and upgrading can be a bitch but since I have other games to play, it is probably less of a bitch, unless if you are willing to have a "freezing control" problem when playing this game on Redmi 1S. I've been there so many times, I would cringe everytime it happens.

Clash of Clans becomes my second mainstream mobile game as my college friends suggested me to play. The first time I play it, it was just because they taught me the 101s in attack and defense on that game and on the early days my heart was on RR3, but then it shifted and I found forging an army is much more fun than lapping world-renowned circuits, phew... The third one is Candy Crush Saga, a more "lighter" mainstream mobile game to kill time, and last but not least is Beat MP3, a fun music game which utilizes your music as the stages despite its Engrish-y interface. Past games include Metal Slug Defense and Race Team Manager.

Whatever it is, I have turned into mobile gaming in addition to my browsing activities. Normally I have never gotten into excessive mobile gaming when I had my Nokia.


As expected, more sophisticated phone equals furthered online experience, which means that I can seamlessly update my social media at will, this time in a much effective and efficient manner, especially using Instagram. In the past, I had to deal with uploading everything via Bluestacks and face an unpleasant experience in browsing through my IG timeline. In case you are wondering, along with Race of Champions, Instagram is one of the three main apps I use in Bluestacks, with the other being the FIA World Endurance Championship app.

But with my new smartphone, I kicked my online experience to eleven in contrast to my old one; Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter changed the way I browse both, and then I am into more apps, especially document processors, a file explorer, GPS navigators and of course mail clients. Communication apps and a mobile browser are a gem and not to be written off from my mention, plus miscellanous apps like a music player and stuff. Not to forget, cloud storage clients and recently a torrent client. With the latter app, I don't need to fully depend on my laptop which sadly needs a non-stop plug due to battery leak, though this is only needed in emergency situations.

Thank goodness I joined the Android bandwagon, even though I am a little bit late than my friends did, but it's better than forever being a Nokia Master Race while in reality my Nokia's battery life is cringeworthy at best. Still, Redmi 1S isn't a top-tier choice at all especially when compared to other phones, but it isn't the worst there is considering its wallet-friendly price and good specifications.


CyanogenMod is the custom ROM you would want to have if you really want more of your device. Using CM will allow you to set the RAM settings on the go, change the way your lockscreen, transition and stuff the way you like it and many others. Not pictured is my lockscreen with a GeneRally screenshot, and the wallpaper is something you might be familiar with.

Months later after using this phone, I switched my MIUI to CyanogenMod, CM11 for exact, talk about pulling a Caitlyn Jenner before it was cool. It was my college friends who convinced me to convert my MIUI ROM to CyanogenMod one, in which they showed me how you can adjust your phone's performance on the go with the said ROM, has a potential to save more on battery usage and reduce heat. After the conversion and several uses later using the latter ROM, I felt that it quickens battery usage instead of reducing it, but maybe it's just a deja vu as I didn't pay much attention to how my battery ran using the MIUI ROM, furthered by the numbered battery percentage, not to mention that the annoying smartphone heat doesn't reduce at all.

Another minus I discovered is that I cannot play Real Racing 3 legitimately, forcing me to download it off an APK "warehouse" (read: APK-offering blogs), and by the time I tried to play it in Bluestacks, I'm not impressed with keyboard controls, and third-party tools don't seem to do more justice at all. This explains well how I transition myself from RR3 to Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga as a time waster. On the other side though, I am able to play higher-end games I could never play using MIUI ROM like Race Team Manager for example. With the original ROM, the game does not load, but with CM it does, but due to very limited internal memory space I uninstalled the game in favor to give room for other games, not that I hate the game. In fact, I see RTM as an interesting take on racing games in which you play the commanding part a la Gran Turismo 4's B-Spec Mode.

But whatever the circumstance is, I'm happy that I have chosen the right smartphone choice to support my mobile activity with limited budget. I could go with better smartphones like (almost extinct) LG G2 and (the newly-released) Infinix Hot Note as my top choices, if my wallet permits me to, but one thing is for sure:

What the...? Does this thing hint to the next post or what? I must've been sleeping all this time... -_-


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