mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Cadence of Hyrule

Some say Avengers: Endgame is the greatest crossover of all time, but Cadence of Hyrule - an unlikely mash-up between the indie roguelike rhythm game Crypt of the NecroDancer and the Legend of Zelda - is definitely in the running in my book.

Music-themed baddies

The game visually looks like A Link to the Past (one of my favorite Zelda games) and has an absolutely amazing soundtrack. Candence of Hyrule is a short romp: it took me six hours to complete. It even has a leaderboard for speedruns; someone has beaten the game in under seventeen minutes! If you want to do a speedrun against a friend you can even input a seed to get the same map.

My procedurally generated Hyrule

The overworld (procedurally generated) isn’t huge and there are only five main dungeons. While it is a roguelike once you get a longsword and some health potions it’s almost impossible to die. And while it’s a rhythm game you can disable the rhythm stuff or you can just suck it up and eventually you won’t be nearly as bad as you’re imagining.

Bass guitar power

Overall, for a game that literally came out of no where, I’m massively, massively impressed with this game. I would’ve love to have something a little meatier, especially at the $24.99 price-point, but this was a no-regrets purchase and I highly recommend this game to anyone who is into The Legend of Zelda.

Manager Reads - Elegant Puzzle - Systems of Engineering Management

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Anime and Movie Blitz - Spring 2019

It’s that time again… Time to plow through anime and movies I’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t gotten around to yet. Here is a list of what I’ve watched these past few weeks and thoughts on them.

  • Mob Psycho 100 - Season 2 - Fantastic! The first season of this show was great and this season is even better.

  • Overlord - Season 3 - I really enjoyed the first season of Overlord and was disappointed with the second season. The third season isn’t as bad as the second, but certainly doesn’t have the magic of the first season. What is this anime aiming for? The overarching plot advances so little in this season and so many side-stories that go absolutely no where are covered. If a fourth season happens, I’ll definitely be reading reviews before checking it out because this series seems to have turned sour.

  • Sword Art Online - Alicization - Sword Art Online gets a lot of hate but it’s a reliable and fun series to watch. This season (the first half of the larger Alicization arc) was just that: fun and enjoyable. It’s still jam-packed with anime tropes but it was refreshing to have a deuteragonist, Eugeo, in this season to shift focus away from Kirito. I can’t wait for the second cour - coming in Fall 2019 - to continue this arc.

  • Us - A great sophomore entry from Jordan Peele. This one is significantly more layered and nuanced compared to Get Out and had me on the edge of my seat from the get-go. I started getting inklings of the plot twist when Red and Adelaide’s families were gathered in the living room.

  • A Silent Voice - This movie is highly rated on MyAnimeList but I don’t think this movie is that great. It had its moments and the art style and animations are great. But the movie props itself up with heavy topics - deafness and bullying - and it doesn’t treat them with the respect and gravitas both deserve.

  • Always Be My Maybe - My wife and I are huge fans of Ali Wong’s Netflix specials so when this rom-com came out we jumped on it immediately. While the plot is straightforward and predictable, this movie is hilarious and very well done.

  • Sword Art Online - Ordinal Scale - Ordinal Scale is a movie that serves as a segue between the Gun Gale Online arc and Alicization arc. I screwed up and watched Alicization before this movie but it’s no big deal. This movie is Sword Art Online through and through: lots of fawning over Kirito, nothing groundbreaking, but an entertaining watch.

  • The Rising of the Shield Hero - An otherwise great anime marred with some questionable plot threads early on in the season. The isekai genre has become inundated since Sword Art Online but this series sets itself apart in a crowded field. This season is still ongoing and I’m looking forward to wrapping it up.

There’s a ton more to watch but it’ll have to wait for next time! 👋

Manager Reads - First, Break All the Rules

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Happy 6th Birthday to

Happy birthday to my good friend, Josh Wu, and happy birthday to the venerable!

The past year has been a busy one. I got married! After eight years of Android and iOS development, I recently completed my first year as a Mobile Engineering Manager. I also got back into reading, focusing on leadership books in my Manager Reads series but also devoured the amazing Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy.

2020 here we come!