Adventures in Looking for the Right Cell Phone Case

Updated March 21st, 2018: I finally found the case that fit my needs. Now I feel like an idiot for not buying it first. -_-

I purchased a Huawei P10 Lite in January. It’s a great little no frills Android mobile phone that’s sufficient for my needs. Call quality is pretty good as well. The only issue is, like many mobile devices, its back and sides are quite slippery to hold. Naturally, I went shopping for a phone case so I could get some proper grip.

The first one I bought was the Spigen Liquid Clear Case. I love the quality but unfortunately, it’s not anti-slip. However,  it provides more grip than the bare phone.

Since I didn’t want to be constantly paranoid about dropping my cell phone, I decided to try another case. I selected the Simpeak Premium Soft Protector Back Case. It looks nice, fits well, doesn’t feel like it’ll slip out of my hands, but there’s one problem — it dries my hands. I’ve been struggling to find a proper comparison for the feel of the material but all I’ve managed to come up with is that it feels like fine sandpaper, or even a typical sheet of printer paper.

As this Simpeak case met my expectations for being anti-slip, I’ve decided to keep it for the time being. I’m still not satisfied though. What I’m hoping for is a case that’s like the one I got for my MediaPad M3 tablet by kwmobile. I can’t think of an adjective that could accurately describe the texture of this either but it’s somewhat like the plastic from a clear shampoo bottle or hand sanitizer. Basically, your skin will kind of stick to it.

I did consider getting a kwmobile case for my phone as well but opted to try different sellers mostly because I needed a case as soon as possible. kwmobile products come directly from Germany which means at least 1 to 2 weeks for delivery.

Anyway, my third phone case was by a company called MYLB. I received this one about 3 hours ago today. Here’s the link to the product on Amazon Canada: I posed a question to owners this time to get an idea of the feel of the case. They all made it sound like it was different from the Simpeak one. But, to my dismay, it turned out that it was identical to the Simpeak one. (Obviously, no one has the dry hands issue so I suppose it has to do with my own skin. :P)

I wish I took more photos but my mind was so set on getting the thing out the door to the post office for a return that I just have this one:

Simpeak and MYLB cases for the Huawei P10 Lite
The Simpeak case is on the left.

The whole “[c]arbon Fiber Pattern and stylish wiredrawing design” on the back is exactly the same as well.

Honestly, I should have looked at the photos from the Simpeak case again before buying the MYLB one as I had no memory of the spiderweb design and “The Ultimate Experience” in the interior. That alone should have been a red flag.

Speaking about clones, I must point out that the Valenth one is also made of the same mold. It even uses the same photos as the MYLB one on its product page. I’m convinced it’s one Chinese manufacturing plant making these things and packaging them under different brand names for various (possibly Chinese) companies. 😐

In the end, I ordered a kwmobile case. Crossing my fingers that it’s the perfect one for my needs.



Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition Ramblings

FInal Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition - King Regis
King Regis in the game’s goofy caricature style.

This is not a review. I’m only writing out my thoughts about the game as I feel like sharing them. I may add more to this post later on.

There are spoilers. They’re found toward the bottom of the post. I marked the section with a header.


~~ Tuesday, February 13, 2018 ~~

  • Updated caption in IAP screenshot to note that the prices are in Canadian dollars.
  • Added screencaps of the app description from the App Store and iTunes.

Continue reading Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition Ramblings

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp — What’s Wrong with the Game Designers?

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Bunnie isn't taking your shit
Angry Bunnie

Edit on Saturday, February 17th, 2018: As of version 1.2.0, the quarry help, event creature catching success rates, and, to a degree, animal requests have been addressed. Hoping to see more improvements in the future!

I’m going to assume there’s more than one person involved when it came to designing the user interface and experience. It just boggles my mind that the following was given a pass by the designers and the folks that QC’d the app:

  • Sending Shovelstrike Quarry help requests to each friend individually.
    I literally have to spend 2 – 3 minutes everyday going through my list of 20 or so active players to ask for assistance. Did Nintendo honestly think players were going to just stop at 5 people? Maybe we would if we knew who would reliably send help every single time but as far as I know, that information isn’t shown.
  • No categories for flower trade.
    Some moron on staff decided it was a good idea to just lump everything onto one page and have everyone scroll for an eternity to look for the item they want to trade. To add insult to injury, the focus will jump back to the top of the list after the transaction is done. =____= Here’s what it looks like in action:

  • Constantly needing to re-initiate conversations with animals
    I realize that this is something from the main Animal Crossing games, but in those ones, you rarely had a need to speak to them multiple times in a row. In Pocket Camp, however, you’re trying to fulfill their 3 requests so why in all hell do I have to keep tapping on the animal over and over if I have everything they need? Why not just leave the dialogue topic menu open and let me close it myself if I have to go and get the items needed?
  • Abysmally low success rates of catching butterflies during Rover’s event
    I guess Nintendo made it nigh difficult to catch butterflies in hopes that players would spend leaf tickets (a.k.a premium currency) to get Lloid to catch them. If anyone did, it was most likely the whales and they’ll spend on anything to “win”.

    Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp -- Topaz butterflies from Rover's Crappy Ass Event
    A sight like this was not uncommon.
  • Useless “cutscene” of a Re-Tail delivery
    Unless you have severely short-term memory, you are most likely NOT going to forget what completed item you just tapped on in the Crafting menu so why show your character receiving it? It may just last a few seconds but it’s completely and wholly pointless. I’ve sent in a request to have an option to turn off the scene added. Who knows if it’ll ever happen?
  • The Market Box
    You can only see a preview of the first 4 items, you HAVE to go to the user’s camp to see the rest or buy anything, and you can’t collect all the Bells you made from multiple sales at once. It seems like the people involved in making the Market Box was thinking about the most inconvenient and roundabout way of using the damn thing.

Aside from the above, Nintendo also introduced the whole gardening bit without giving a thought of making life easy for everyone when it came to accessing other players’ gardens and identifying when a friend’s flowers needed watering.

They’ve addressed these two issues in recent updates, and they’ve released a notice not so long ago stating that they’ll be making changes to some things I’ve pointed out above. It continues to amaze me how common sense escapes everyone that’s involved with making Pocket Camp.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Future improvements
Nintendo is too blind to realize what common sense user experience is and needs the community to tell them that.

Something I hope to see is a re-balance on animal requests since I run into situations where all 4 animals would ask for multiples of the same fruit, fish, or bugs.

I get that they want us to make use of the Market Boxes and/or stay in the game/log in a few times over the course of a 3-hour cycle to collect the necessary quantities. But realistically, that probably doesn’t happen often for anyone playing. And along with Boxes being annoying to access, a lot of players simply put in rare items so good luck finding the squids or monarch butterflies all the animals are simultaneously wishing for.

As for fruits, I’d use the fertilizer more often but that would require spending leaf tickets to replenish them so nuts to that.

Incidentally, if you’re finding certain things rubbing you the wrong way in Pocket Camp, be sure to let Nintendo know! You can access the feedback form from the game’s menu under More. Tap Misc. and then Customer Support. From there, choose Feedback. The rest should be self-explanatory.

[Android] Fun Times with Removing SuperSU and Playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Please note that this post isn’t meant to explain methods of how to remove the SuperSU program or getting Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp onto your device. There are enough sources found through search engines for those.

Also note that everything I detail here wasn’t done for the sake of getting Pocket Camp to run. I really wanted my Android tablet to be back in its original, non-rooted state and this was a good excuse to do it. :3

After discovering Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp soft launched in Australia on October 25th, I decided to see if my pathetic ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME180A) could handle it.

I found the APK and loaded it up. I was pleasantly surprised that it could get through the character creation segment, but alas, that was as far as it would go. A pop-up box with the error code 802-5808 appeared and the only option was to return to the title screen.

It turns out the game can’t fully run on a rooted device. The thing is that is that my tablet wasn’t rooted anymore. I suppose I should have figured that not being able to uninstall the SuperSU application was a sign of future trouble. 😛 Continue reading [Android] Fun Times with Removing SuperSU and Playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Tiny Farm: The Event Lucky Bag Draw

Whoops. I meant to come up with something before September ended but forgot.  The silly thing is that I always have a lot to write about! However, they always end up as snippets on Twitter.

I probably mentioned it before, but one of the biggest deterrents in writing a blog post is that I feel the need to think up a theme or two and then write a few paragraphs based on that/those. Composing a blog post takes up a good part of the day too.

With Twitter, on the other hand, I can just toss up anything at the spur of the moment without worry that it has to be some sort of short prose. I like that sort of freedom.

Anyway, let’s talk about the pesky event lucky bag draw from Com2uS’ free-to-play mobile game, Tiny Farm, and how using it can get expensive.

Continue reading Tiny Farm: The Event Lucky Bag Draw

App Developers, Stop Asking for 5-Star Reviews!!

Back in 2012, I wrote a piece about the dos and don’ts of requesting and writing reviews on both Google Play and App Store. Nothing’s really changed from 5 years ago; people are still writing shitty useless one-word “reviews” and developers still put those prompts for a 5-star rating in their apps.

Once again, I will explain why I take issue to the latter:

  • The developer only has one thing in mind: A 5-star or perfect rating means better visibility in search results in the application’s store which ups the chances of it being downloaded. It doesn’t matter if the app is not right at the top of the results. The chances are many users LOOK for 4 or 5-star ones as it gives the impression that it’s a good product.
  • Developers use the bullshit excuse that a 5-star rating will better motivate their team. If you actually valued user feedback, you’d be asking for critiques without tossing in the specific rating suggestion and incentive (or bribe as I like to refer to it as) to review.
  • EVERYONE WANTS FREE STUFF — especially when it’s premium currency so of course most people will bite. Developers know this and they also know that they’ll fall for the following point.
  • Users do what they’re asked to despite how they actually feel about the game.
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. :(
    Poor user is made to think that the only way to get the gift is by giving the app full stars. 😦

    PRO TIP: I’m unsure how it is with Android apps but with iOS, you don’t NEED to even rate or write a review to get a gift/bribe. Simply tap on the prompt box and allow the device to automatically switch to the app’s store page. Once there, don’t do anything! Just immediately go back to the app.
    I believe this can also be applied to sharing on Twitter or other social services where you can just cancel the post and still receive the review incentive.

I leave 1-star reviews for companies that practices this sort of shit and call them out. I actually received a reply from one for a game I like playing which stated that players are free to give whatever rating they feel appropriate.

Well, gee. No shit. But as that example screenshot I provided showed, people a) rate 5-stars because they are told to, and b) believe giving a full rating is the only way to get the gift.

I’m not saying developers should outright stop asking for reviews and ratings or giving incentives. I’m only wishing they’d stop being dishonest and deceitful with the review prompts. Users will, in all likelihood, give the full rating and write positive comments if they’re happy with what they’re using. I think that should motivate the team more than all the blind & thoughtless 5-stars.

A Small Selection of My Favourite Game Music

I made two posts in the past that showcased my fave tracks from specific games. (See List of Favourite Final Fantasy Tunes. Just because and ポケットナイツ Music Selection.) This time, it’ll be a general list. 😀 However, since I have a lot of favourites, I’ll just be highlighting a handful.

I’m always interested in meeting folks with the same taste in music so please comment if you approve of this selection. XD

Names of tracks are preceded by the composer or vocalist. The title of the game follows the track title.

Chihiro Onitsuka – Castle・imitation from Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter

dj TAKA – ABSOLUTE from beatmania IIDX 4th style and various other Bemani games

Mio Isayama – Gentsurenka/Moon Love Flower from Shadow Hearts II/Shadow Hearts: Covenant

Michael Land – The Secret of Monkey Island theme from The Secret of Monkey Island. (Apparently, the track name is Introductions according the soundtrack that came with the Special Edition?)

The Fatman (George Sanger) – Main Theme – Cloak and Dagger from Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi

Roy Glover – M.U.L.E. theme from M.U.L.E. (Commodore 64 version)

Rob Hubbard – Commando theme from Commando (Commodore 64 version)

David Watson – Stones from Ultima VI: The False Prophet (MS-DOS version)

Yasunori Mitsuda – Time’s Scar from Chrono Cross; U-TIC System from Xenosaga

Frank Klepacki – Act on Instinct, Target from Command & Conquer; Hell March from Command & Conquer: Red Alert; Hell March 3 from Command & Conquer Red Alert 3

Kazuhiko Toyama – Fulfilled Desire from Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I also love the piano loop that’s played when you select the game on the PSP. ^^

Falcom Sound Team j.d.k. – Alone in the Moonlight, An Ill Omen – Indian Version – from VM Japan; Genesis Beyond the Beginning from Ys Origin; Beat of Destruction from Ys: The Oath in Felghana

Yuki Kajiura – communication breakdown from Xenosaga II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse ~Movie Scene Soundtrack~

Bob Bergthold & Debbie Seibert – Girl in the Tower from King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

Yoshitaka Hirota – SABBATH -Devil’s Banquet-, From the New World from Shadow Hearts: From the New World


Nobuo Uematsu – J-E-N-O-V-A [FFVII AC Version] from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Yoko Shimomura – Departure, Veiled in Black, Noctis, Somnus from Final Fantasy XV

Serena – Angel Breath from Phantom Brave

Video Games, Android, iOS, and life!