GGF#2: Age of Conan special edition

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Oh, gosh, is it Friday already? While people are thanking god it’s Friday, I’m raising the panic alarm for a worrying number of deadlines unmet.

Nevertheless, Gamer Girl Friday is still in business, even if I have to sacrifice my Age of Conan game time.

In fact, I only had time to play for one measly hour since receiving my AoC registration key on Wednesday. But that’s enough to talk about AoC at great length because it gave me enough lasting first impressions to fill a book.

You’ll want to read my “Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian” series because it’s funny!

And don’t forget to take part in this week’s contest. I’m giving away a Grand Theft Auto IV game! Ooh!

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Table of Contents

  1. Playing Age of Conan on dual-monitor setup
  2. Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part 1
  3. Age of Conan first impressions
  4. Ninja patrol squad terrorizes Bugis Junction
  5. Results of last week’s contest
  6. Ask Sheylara
  7. Win a Grand Theft Auto IV game!!

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Playing Age of Conan on dual-monitor setup

Here’s a quite useless and self-indulgent video showing you Age of Conan played on dual-screen mode.

I was on a dual-monitor setup when I logged in to Age of Conan for the first time and found that I couldn’t force the game back to one screen, so I decided to play it like that just for the heck of it.

Of course, the game world looks incredibly beautiful spread across two screens, but it was a pain to play because of the gap between the two monitors, where your character is stuck the whole time.

So, bad idea. Next!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part 1

Once upon a time, onboard a slave galley, there lived a kind-hearted and innocent barbarian girl by the name of Sheylara.

[The galley slaves couldn't get entirely coordinated]

Sheylara had been kidnapped from her hometown in Aquilonia to be sold into slavery. Her talents include looking cute and owning an outrageously daring bikini (for that era).

[She often got teased for her birthmarks]

One day, as luck would have it, the ship got wrecked by some fearsome squall or something and everyone got thrown overboard. Sheylara passed out before washing up on some scenic beach shore, just like in the movies.

Shortly after, a strange old man, who just happened to be hanging out at the beach, came along and tried to wake her.

Amazingly, Sheylara wasn’t dead and even managed to wake up looking like she just stepped out of the latest issue of Swimsuit Illustrated.

[How is this pose? She asked]

The strange old man said to Sheylara, “Since you’ve washed up on the shore anyway, I might as well make you do some work. There’s this cute little thing got herself captured by an evil man. Go save her, would you please, if you’re not in a hurry to go anywhere.”

Sheylara, being kind-hearted and innocent and, in fact, not in a hurry to go anywhere, agreed to the old man’s request even as she coughed out the last drops of seawater from her lungs.

Now, it didn’t take her long to find the cute little thing that needed rescuing.

[Help!]

“Help!” said the cute little thing, whose name is Casilda. “You look like you have the stomach for a bloody encounter (even if you resemble a swimsuit model). Wouldn’t you please kill that meanie over there and get his keys to free me? Please?”

“Okay,” said kind-hearted and innocent Sheylara, and off she went waving the broken bottle that the strange old man had given to her to use as a weapon.

[This pose I'm sure you like, she said]

Incredibly, Sheylara managed to kill the meanie with nothing but the broken bottle and her charms.

[He was surely afraid of the broken bottle]

She returned to Casilda and freed the bimbotic wench. Then, the two ladies had a nice conversation about the latest trends in swimwear.

[The girls had a fine time chatting in the jungle]

Casilda said, “Hey, you know what? The city of Tortage has some really nice shopping spots. Why don’t we walk there together and I’ll show you around?”

“Awesome plan!” said Sheylara.

The two provocatively-dressed ladies then proceeded to leisurely stroll through the jungle, chatting and giggling as if they’d known each other forever.

Suddenly, Sheylara was attacked!

[There had to be a better way of donating blood]

“What is this?!?!?!?!” she screeched. “You didn’t tell me there were more bad men around!”

“Oops, sorry,” said Casilda as she scurried off to hide behind a tree. “My bad.”

Just as Sheylara was about to get slaughtered good and proper, a strange feeling overcame her.

[Dance Dance Revolution v200]

A fascinating blue light descended upon her, like a deus ex machina, and infused her with the strength of a panther and the courage of a man who’s about to get a root canal treatment without anesthesia.

“I can take on the whole world!!” she declared. “Come and get me if you dare!”

[Nobody was going to mess with her]

With that, the thug in front of her dropped dead with fright. He also dropped some loot just the way mobs are supposed to, when they die.

“Cool!! A new bikini!!” enthused Sheylara, as she changed into her new outfit right there and then, never considering prying eyes hidden in bushes.

[It was quite cooling]

Casilda ran out of hiding.

“Aww, pretty!” she crooned. “I told you, didn’t I? There’s a lot more of that where we’re going!”

Sheylara blushed before rolling her eyes and said, “Yeah, okay, let’s go. But next time, warn me before I get hacked almost in two pieces again!”

With that, the two happy maidens went on their merry way.

(To be continued next week…)

[She's a little of the shy wallflower]

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Age of Conan first impressions

Like I said, I could fill a book with my first impressions, but I’ll just pick a few things because I’m sure you don’t want to read a book.

Impressing me right at the outset was the character creation screen. It’s so dynamic I thought it was another intro video sequence.

[Character Creation is a game in itself]

As the story goes, you’re a captive on this ship on the way to being sold into slavery. The character creation screen shows you being on a ship, surrounded by oarsmen busy at work rowing and making a frightful din.

It’s a dark and stormy night and all that and you’re alone and frightened, but you have work to do. You have to choose a gender and race and class, following which you have to choose hair colour, eye colour, body shape and size, and all the rest of it.

[Never has such a beautiful slave been born]

From here, you have the option to go into an advanced customisation mode to tweak every single last detail, from boob size to eyebrow angle. Never has character customisation been so detailed since Star Wars Galaxies.

Past the character creation stage, the game world is truly a sight to behold.

[She thought perhaps the gate needed a good whacking]

The colours are vibrant, the landscape is lush, the avatars so detailed. Everything is just so beautiful it makes your heart sing with joy.

Once in a while, you get these cutscene animations when you initiate contact with an NPC.

[Hello, pretty!]

These are pretty cool. Makes me feel like I’m playing a console game. And the voice acting is really good. The only complaint I have here is that the character animation seems a little blocky, lacking the natural fluidity of real-life motion.

Not that I’m expecting a lot. Remember Beowulf (Angelina Jolie)? Even that didn’t achieve 100% fluidity. So I don’t expect any better from a game for which cutscenes are only a minor feature.

Age of Conan is not a game for MMORPG newbies. There is no newbie-friendly tutorial such as you would get in World of Warcraft and EverQuest II. You do get guides that pop out when the game feels you need some, but they are not as intuitive as those in aforementioned games.

But that’s fine because I’m not an MMORPG noob and I managed to get a quest and kill some mobs right away.

AoC is very bloody, which is a first for an MMORPG.

[Ouch, that hurts, you dope!]

It’s very tantalising. If you’re playing a female avatar, you’re staring at a pair of perky butt cheeks 95% of game time.

[Ooooh]

There’s also the option to disrobe your avatar almost completely but I’m not showing it here!

Oh, did I forget to mention spell animation?

I totally love it! If it’s so beautiful even at starting levels, I can’t wait to see what I’m going to get at higher levels.

[She felt a sudden chill]

I took a video with the built-in video recorder (also an MMORPG first, I think) but it’s in a weird resolution (1274×992) because I was playing in windowed mode and, somehow, YouTube isn’t able to play that.

I love the built-in video recorder, except that it doesn’t capture sound. I have no idea why.

Well, I think that’s enough AoC for a day. If I talk anymore about it, I’ll never be able to get out of my house and I do have an event to attend in a couple hours.

If you’re in Thog, look me up!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Ninja patrol squad terrorizes Bugis Junction

There are only two days left to the Ninja Gaiden II preorder promotion and the current preorder figure stands at 327 (needs 174 more for the release of the second tier freebie of the NG2 notebook).

For such a popular long-running game series, I’m surprised the figure isn’t higher.

But then, it’s not my job to worry about preorder sales figures. My job is to worry about properly terrorizing random folks in the streets with my scary Ninja demeanor!

[Scary shit!]

As you can see, we were completely and utterly menacing.

In fact, people had to literally beg us not to harm them.

[Very]

Ferocious Ryu Hayabusa says, “You. Yes, you there. I’m watchin’ you, kid, I’m watchin’ you.”

[Get me a cheese toasted sandwich, please]

That was unfortunately the last of the ninja patrol tourist attraction pose squad, although we will be making a couple of appearances during the launch event on June 3 at Funan, which will be on from 12:30 pm till 8 pm.

There will be a lucky draw going on every hour for people who have pre-ordered the game. An exclusive NG2-themed Xbox 360 Elite will be given away! I wonder who the lucky person will be. Will it be me? (I wish).

You have until Sunday to preorder the game. I swear it’s really fun. Go for it!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Results of last week’s contest

Last week, I put five Grand Theft Auto IV stickers and three Grand Theft Auto IV coasters up for grabs. The response was really quick and all items were snapped up within a few hours!

[Prizes!!]

Congratulations to the following winners!

GTA4 coasters
tedbear
bedlamite
Aves

GTA4 stickers
Leo
Bartman
modchip
Ayane06
siegeholler

The items will be mailed out to you as soon as I can find some time to zip down to the P.O.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Ask Sheylara

Ask me any gaming-related questions! Post them in the comments or e-mail me, I don’t really care. I will try to answer all questions (unless I get like 500 questions a day).

BC asks a Wii question:

I wanted to connect to the Internet using my Wii and its in Japanese so I downloaded your site’s translation. However, when I went to press the wrench icon to go to system settings, it gives me an error message saying that it can’t connect to this certain url and that I should check if I typed it right. I have never touched the settings until now. Please help.

Sheylara Says:

This is one of the most common problems faced by users of a modified Japanese Wii set. When you insert a game disc of another region code which contains a firmware patch update, it will overwrite your original menu. You then get an error because the system is trying to locate the Japanese menu with the address “marc:JP/JP/JPN/index01.html” but it’s not there anymore.

This is known as semi-bricking your Wii. You can still play games but you just can’t access the settings menu. In some severe cases, you will get a fully-bricked Wii, in which case your set is totally unplayable.

You can fix semi-bricks by inserting a Japanese game with a firmware update that is higher than your Wii version. That will overwrite the menu again with a valid Japanese one.

Matthew Chua asks a DS Lite question:

I just bought a DS Lite for my girlfriend. But, being a gadget idiot, I’m lost trying to load music into it. Do I need any software to do it? I’m using an ezflash card.

Sheylara Says:

Please note that Gamer Girl Friday does not advocate piracy! But I will answer your question this once. If you’re using EZ-Flash V, it should have an MP3 icon which you can tap to launch the media player. If not, what you need is Moonshell. I can’t explain to you in detail because it’s not exactly legit. But you can Google it.

David Lee asks a console comparison question:

If you were totally unbiased, how would you rank the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360, in terms of games, performance, satisfaction?

Sheylara Says:

It’s really hard to rank them strictly, so I will tell you what I like about each console!

PS3: It’s sleek and shiny and it has Blu-ray capabilities so you save your money on a Blu-ray player.

Wii: It’s cute and the games are a totally different experience. I love the great workout some of the games give.

Xbox 360: For now, Xbox 360 has the best games library and the Xbox Live experience is unbeatable.

You know what, I’m going to open this last question out to all you readers. It’s really hard for me because I do like all the consoles almost equally. But there must be dedicated fans of specific consoles out there. So how would you rank the three consoles?

Post your answers in the comments here.

Best answer received before next Friday will get a small mystery prize!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Win a Grand Theft Auto IV game!!

YES YES YES. I’m giving out a Grand Theft Auto IV game (Xbox 360 Asian version) because I’ve got a kind sponsor this week. And because it’s a bigger prize, the contest will be a little harder than last week’s (but not that hard).

[Wouldn't you like to take me home?]

This week’s prize is sponsored by The Xbox 360 team in Singapore. (Yaay! Give them a standing ovation!)

Here’s how you can win it!

  1. Write a review of Gamer Girl Friday.
  2. Post it on your blog or in a gaming-related forum (but don’t spam).
  3. Link the post to www.sheylara.com.
  4. Post a comment here when you’ve done it so I can check it out.

Rules:

  1. There is no word limit and it can be any style you like.
  2. Entries will be judged by me! I will pick the one I like best.
  3. You need to be at least 18 to win this prize. (ID verification will be required.)
  4. Closing date is June 5, 2008!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Oh, my. Today’s issue seems very long. I don’t know if you read everything but thanks for reading!

Remember to take part in both contests! There is one sneakily embedded in the Ask Sheylara segment. Haa.

Okay, Gamer Girl Friday needs to sign off now to go play Age of Conan (after attending previously mentioned event).

See you next week!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

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32 thoughts on “GGF#2: Age of Conan special edition

  1. Avatar

    Hmmm….. No boobies pic for Conan?

    PS3
    X360
    Wii

    And I may soon drop PS3 below X360 if SCEHK does not buck up! SCEHK suxx!! They are lazy farks who doesn’t update the Asia PSN. Why did Sony even appoint SCEHK to handle Asia. Singapore would have done a better job, at least we speak english!! FARK SCEHK! From March 23rd 2006 till today…. Only 2 videos “Casino Royale” and “Kung Fu Hustle” were online. Since then they have not done anything to update the video download section. Can we have SCEA take over Asia market. The only reason if PS3 doesn’t make it in Asia, is due to the incompetent SCEHK!

  2. Avatar

    I must say that aside from the obvious comment about why you are not playing the AoC naked (why?) I still don’t get why you play in a bikini… Surely some sort of armour is in order?

  3. Avatar

    That’s no barbarian!!! If you want a true-blue, blood spewing, raving-lunatic, spittle-flying barbarian, you should meet Ruok.

    He even plays it in character >_<

  4. Avatar

    Silver_Zx: Thanks for your entry! Um… sorry, first don’t have extra chance. lol. Maybe next time. :P

    The Goonfather: Well, you are not eligible to take part in the Ask Sheylara contest. Haha. Sorry. :P But thanks for your feedback anyway! But then, you may win the contest by default because it seems like no one else is interested in ranking the 3 consoles. :P

    Jesta: The bikini IS armor. Duh. :P Well, I think I will get less skimpy as I progress through the game. You should know that newbie armor is supposed to be less protective. :P

    moralis: OMG. Please remind me not to meet him IRL within the next half a year. I don’t want him spewing spittle at me. That crazy guy does get lost in his characters quite a bit.

    Dominique: I’m on Thog (PvE). Are you playing?

    Junhao: Thanks for the review!! :) Very nice one with useful suggestions.

    ryo hazuki: Yeah, probably. We do get a lot of kids wanting to take photos with Hayabusa. :P

    aig: Thanks for the review, too! Good suggestions you’ve got there. Will serioulsy take into consideration!

  5. Avatar

    I made a review which can be viewed here. Please don’t laugh. :) By the way, the site hosting this is currently upgrading, so if you get an error, please try again in another time. Thanks! :D

  6. Avatar

    Hey, since no one attempted this except the GF, let me try this too. lol.


    1. Xbox360
    2. Wii
    3. PS3

    Aside from the huge games library of the 360 (most of which are actually very very good – and original), one factor that really affects my purchase is the price. If you compare the three, the 360’s price is almost in between the price of the PS3 and the Wii, the latter being the cheapest. With the price that you pay, you get great games with great graphics, great gameplay and as a bonus, you get a great media center. Ah, before I forget, I was also attracted with its sleek design. Though its not perfect (overheating issues etc.. — but I’m gonna get the new one with the aka falcon board to resolve this), the 360 is the best choice in my opinion.

    Then comes the Wii, which as we all know is more on the family-oriented side of gaming. One notable advantage of this console is its unique gameplay mechanics that not just let’s you play the game, but feel like you are in the game itself. There’s also a channel where you can get those old titles which is a plus for retro fans. Of course, it has our all time favorite Mario on its side.

    And the 3rd, the most powerful of the 3 — I can’t really comment much on this since I don’t own one (only some of my friends do) — But this is what I can tell you; it’s a powerhouse indeed, but the price is really a turn off. And the games line-up “available” here is very weak. :D

    Just my opinion as a practical gamer. :D

  7. Avatar

    David,

    Regarding the PS3/360/Wii comparison, it all comes down to which exclusives interest you the most, as opposed to some arbitrary rating based on game/ performance/ satisfaction/ value/ whatnot.

    PS3 has secured MGS4, FF13 and other big-name titles. Tons of Japanese developer support and developers have generally come to terms with how to produce multiplatform titles using PS3 as the lead platform(like Burnout Paradise, downported to the 360).

    Wii has an abundance of Nintendo franchises you wouldn’t find anywhere else. With all the usual suspects (Smash/Kart/Galaxy/Metroid/Zelda) out of the way at this early in its lifespan, expect to see more genre-defining titles along the likes of Wii Sports and Wii Fit. The recent launch of WiiWare also manages to introduce some offbeat concepts from small upstart developers, specifically catered with the Wiimote and/or Nunchuk controls in mind.

    360 has had the most successful online experience only to be rivaled by Valve’s very own Steam platform. XBLA Marketplace is host to gems such as RezHD, Ikaruga as well as classics like Sonic and Streets of Rage. While many would focus on its deluge of shooter and driving titles available (usually from western devs), it has indeed managed to snag a couple of licenses with the likes of Lost Odyssey to quell your thirst for the traditional JRPG experience.

    My personal advice, as with all technology-based purchases, would be this:

    If you think too long over it, just don’t buy anything and wait it out until the next generation/model/series.

    If you have committed yourself to a decision, be sure as heck to yourself that you will not be regretting your purchase, having already considered the price, value, durability, performance and future-proofing.

  8. Avatar

    How on Earth is the bikini considered “armour”??? I grant that it protects some of the more important things in life, but those scraps of cloth are hardly going to stop a sword…
    On the other hand… they do look great!

  9. Avatar

    You just made the bloodiest MMORPG game sound like barbiedolls online. Being a female gamer doesn’t necessary just look at the surface of the game like clothes, avatar and spell casting??? I don’t know, but if you are introducing this game to a gamer, sorry your approach is a huge turn off. To be honest, I would not want to be playing with a bunch of people who is more interested in how their avatar looks than to be concern with their skills.

  10. Avatar

    modchip / metal_spider: Thank you for your entries! ;) You raise very good points.

    Jesta: Stop being so fussy and get with the program. :P

    Vix: For homework, would you like to look up the meanings to the words “irony” and “humor” in the dictionary? I promise you, having those words in your active vocabulary will be very beneficial to you in life.

  11. Avatar

    @metal_spider: Games that are multi-platform are usually downported from the PS3 to the Xbox 360 because of the fact that the it’s really hard to design PS3 games, and it’s easier to port it down to Xbox 360 than the other way round.

  12. Avatar

    Looking back at this I can see that your bikini is getting larger, not smaller… What’s going on?

  13. Avatar

    I have a modified Japanese Wii set that appears to be fully-bricked. Can it be fixed like a semi-brick Wii set by inserting a Japanese game with a firmware update that is higher than my Wii version? If it can be corrected, where can I buy a Japanese game in the US?

  14. Avatar

    That technique is only for semi-bricked Wii, since when you’re semi bricked, you can still play games, hence you can do the update. But I THINK when fully-bricked, you cannot boot games.

  15. Avatar

    Me and a friend was on about 4 4 2.. I think it’s dead.. But I do think we should use it sometimes at home…

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