When the Goonfather first tried to persuade me to watch Initial D, the anime series, with him, I was like, “Eew, I don’t want to watch a stupid racing car anime. How boring!”
So he watched it himself (in fact, at that time, he was watching Season 1 for the third time), although he very cunningly watched it while I was in the same room.
Once in a while, I would accidentally catch a glimpse of it.
Gradually, the accidental glimpses turned to cursory glances. Then they turned to lingering looks. Next thing I knew, I was sitting beside him watching the damn thing.
Once I bit into the hook and couldn’t wiggle my way out of the couch, I made him start watching from episode 1 all over again so I could enjoy the series from the beginning.
Yes, it’s that good. But I’m not here to talk about anime. I’m here to rave over the latest game release from SEGA — Initial D: Extreme Stage for the PS3.
Table of Contents
- Initial D: Extreme Stage (PS3) gameplay
- Initial D: Extreme Stage (PS3) review
- Thrashed by a 10-year-old in soccer
- Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part 7
- Last week’s giveaway winner
- Ask Sheylara
- Who wants a Blue Dragon faceplate?
Initial D: Extreme Stage (PS3) gameplay
Fresh from the store! So fresh the paint on the cover is still drying! I mean the game.
Here’s a video captured while I was playing it last night. Watch the intro, too! It’s so good!!
Let it load up while you read the review below!
Initial D: Extreme Stage review
Yes, the game is only available in Japanese but you totally do not need to understand the language to have a lot of fun playing it.
Require Knowledge of Japanese Language: No
Region Code: 3 (Asia)
Dual Shock 3 Support: Yes
Steering Wheel Support: Driving Force Ex, Driving Force Pro, partially G25
SEGA has been kind enough to include English translations in the manual for us plebians.
The only downside to not knowing Japanese is that you won’t understand and enjoy the conversations in story mode.
Not a biggie, in my opinion. You can always watch the anime, which has enough story in all four seasons to satisfy the child in you.
Initial D: Extreme Stage was released only yesterday, so I’ve had limited time to test it out, but my immediate opinion is that it’s worth the buy for Initial D or drifting fans.
(As a pure racing game, it lacks features, but Initial D is not a racing game per se, it’s a drift game! If you’re not into drifting, then you won’t want to play this, if you get my drift.)
Similar to the arcade version of the game, players can customise their characters and cars.
I don’t particularly like the way the characters look, but that’s how they look in the original manga so I’ll just have to live with it.
You can tweak stuff like skin tone, eyes and lips, but they still end up looking as lame as they came.
But never mind the avatars. The main point of this game is the cars. Choose from a range of Japanese makes (Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Initial D) and models.
Yes, there’s a make called Initial D. Haha. Very cute. It has only one model, though, the Sil-80.
Next step, create a license plate.
Then, select a race course.
Followed by an opponent.
There are seven courses available at the start, each attached with its own opponents (just like in the anime)!
After each race, you get points whether or not you win. Of course, go for gold to get more points. These precious points allow you to pimp your ride in the tuning shop. Just like any other racing game, I suppose.
I like the replay feature in this game (you can watch it in the video posted above). The entire match is replayed in different angles right after you win a race.
If you feel that you’ve put in such a rousing performance that you simply must show it off to your pals or to a chick you’re trying to impress (although that’s kinda iffy because chicks don’t generally get impressed by videogame driving), you can save your replay clip for future reference.
Well, it’s a very simple, straight-forward game.
But it’s Initial D. That makes it great, instantly.
Unfortunately, there’s no online play. And it’s only available for the PS3. And is only sold in Asia.
But it’s Initial D.
Thrashed by a 10-year-old in soccer
Well, you can’t exactly blame me. I’ve never played a soccer game in my life. I’ve never even played real soccer.
These 10-year-olds, they’re pros with consoles. They’ve got lots of time to practise when they come home from school.
Me, the only practice I get a lot of is sitting on my butt and wearing out my keyboard.
So, this was at the UEFA EURO 2008 tournament last Saturday, organised by Adidas.
I was invited to take part in the tournament because I’m Gamer Girl Friday.
I said, “Yes, I may be Gamer Girl Friday, but I don’t play soccer games.”
“Never mind,” they said. “Just come and play for fun.”
“I’ll get thrashed in the first 10 seconds and totally embarrass myself.”
Of course, it’s alright for you.
But never let it be said that Sheylara is a wet blanket. Sheylara is game for any game, any time!
So, off I went to play soccer.
Ten minutes before the tournament was slated to start, I found myself a coach.
Wilfred from Adidas gave me a five-minute crash course on button mashing, after which he set me up for a practice match with this little boy who just happened to be there.
I don’t know how old this boy is, so I’m just generalising that he’s 10 years old because it’s a good round figure. He could be 12 or 15, who knows?
He totally thrashed me. The score was like 4-0, two minutes into the game.
I was so traumatised that I went running to Eunice to cry on her shoulder.
We ended up camwhoring, of course.
Soon after, the tournament started. My name was called in the very first round! Stress!
And guess who my first opponent was.
The very same boy who was my practice partner just a while ago! What are the odds, really, out of like 100 participants?
Check out my stressed expression!
The official tournament match lasted 10 minutes. My fingers nearly broke at the end of it.
I did better this time, though. At the end of 10 minutes, the score was 3-0.
I congratulated the boy for getting into the next round and took a picture with him.
After that, I went to hug the giant football for comfort and to see if I might not metaphysically absorb the power of the great football spirit, which might turn me into an instant football pro.
Not very high odds on that, but you never know.
Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part 7
After doing a series of quests to help her find her destiny, Sheylara the barbarian girl became very stressed.
Her destiny mentor told her, “Now, you must pass the most gruesome test of all. You must wear ugly, ill-fitting rags!”
Sheylara stared at her in confusion.
“You must be brave and do this. Only then can you find yourself.”
Sheylara blinked in dismay.
“No more bikinis?”
“No more. These clothes, although ugly, give you better stats, anyway. And you do need them because I’m sending you out on more suicide missions.”
So, Sheylara embarked on the next phase of her miserable life.
Her first mission was to chat up the city drunkard without getting puke all over herself.
Then, she had to brave the cold night and climb a mountain to pick some stupid flowers.
For once, she was glad for her ugly rags.
She had to save an old man from a bunch of town bullies, for which she reflected that doing in bikini might have been more effective because it’s always more effective to be wearing a bikini when you’re dealing with a bunch of rowdy barbarian men.
Then, there was a… um… courtesan that she had to seduce, which she thought was a rather stupd thing to ask her to do. But the world never makes sense, anyway.
There were also plenty of bloody fights. Too many of them, in fact.
At the end of it all, she was so bone-weary she had to scream.
“Well done!!” said her destiny mentor. “Even though you did die several times, I’m proud that you eventually completed all your quests!!”
“I will give you a present to reward you for your great work! You can now wear this skirt instead of that ugly pair of baggy pants!”
Sheylara looked at her new skirt and let out an inaudible sigh.
“Great, just what I needed.”
(To be continued…)
Last week’s giveaway winner
This was quite a tough one to decide, which is suprising considering that there were only six valid entries. (Why ah? The prize too small? Hehe.)
I asked readers to tell me what they like and don’t like about Gamer Girl Friday and I was going to pick my favourite entry to win this keychain.
To be honest, many of your comments confused me, specifically regarding the barbarian girl story. Some of you listed that item as both a plus and a minus. What is this, like, describing a girlfriend? I love her but I hate her.
Of course, there are those who either purely like it or purely hate it, and that’s fine.
All the same, thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I appreciate even those who confused me. I know you don’t mean to, so maybe it’s just me being too dumb and sleep-deprived to decipher your meaning.
Still, I have to pick a winner.
And the winner is…
(Hey, like, I can do that for real!! I’m a drummer!! :P)
(The problem now being that your name is so short that it totally anti-climaxes the announcement! =P)
But, yes, aig gets the keychain because he gave me constructive suggestions without being cryptic about it.
Please give him applause!
Okay, to end this, I do take all your suggestions to heart, but I may not implement them right away because of various limitations. Taking baby steps to improve, can?
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).
quigonjinn42 asks a question about this video:
How have you done a dual monitor setup? AoC’s window is not resizable oO… Have you got DualMonitor from Matrox?
No, I haven’t got DualMonitor. What you need to do is tweak some settings outside of AoC.
I’m using NVIDIA 8800 GT, so I go to NVIDIA control panel and select the Display folder. In there, I choose the option “As one large horizontal desktop”. This forces every application I use on my comp to think that both my monitors are only one monitor. So, yes, AoC is forced to play across both screens!
Not sure why anyone would want to play an MMORPG on dual screen, though. It’s a bit annoying because your avatar is split in two.
The Goonfather asks a trick question:
You can only choose one: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, NDS, Goonfather. Which would you choose and why.
Er… I choose the PSWii60!
Haha! Incidentally, PSWii60 was the Goonfather’s nick on MSN back at the time when he was torn between all the consoles. I think it’s a good choice!
Okay la okay la. I choose the Goonfather because he doesn’t run out of batteries, doesn’t get RROD, doesn’t cost money to maintain (buy new games), doesn’t make me lose sleep trying to beat the next level and, best of all, the Goonfather feeds me barbeque chicken wings.
Dexter Tiah asks an Xbox 360 question:
Recently, when I was playing a game on my Xbox 360, the screen shut off and the player 1 and player 3 light flashed red. This not only applied to my Winning Eleven game, but other games like PGR4 also caused the same effect when I played, barely 3 mins into the game.
Can I know what is the problem, in your opinion? I have a suspicion it’s the xbox rings of death or something. Is there anything I can do to correct it?
The famed Xbox Red Ring of Death is indicated by at least three quadrants lighting up in red. If there are two reds, it’s most likely just a routine overheating problem. I guess the best immediate fix would be to turn off your system and go do something else first.
There’s a famous towel fix for the RROD which tons of people swear by, but I really won’t recommend that.
What I would recommend is that you place your Xbox 360 in a well-ventilated area or even aim a fan at it while you’re playing.
If you still keep getting red lights for no apparent reason, it’s best that you call the Xbox Singapore Customer Care toll free hotline at 800 448 1330 (Mon—Fri, 9am—6pm). More efficient to have a trained technician walk you through a fix!
Who wants a Blue Dragon faceplate?
Yeah, I know the game is pretty old but I have this Xbox 360 faceplate sitting around at home, not being used. Never used, so it’s still brand spanking new.
I think it’s looks cool and sort of cute, and it’s an original limited edition Xbox 360 Blue Dragon faceplate, so I believe there will be people who want this!
Post a comment if you want it (before next Friday). I will do a lucky draw!
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There are a few other games I wanted to talk about this week, such as Happy Tree Friends False Alarm (Xbox 360), Guitar Hero Aerosmith (PS3), Guitar Hero on Tour (DS), Trauma Center 2 (DS). But, to be honest, I don’t really want to talk about games unless I’ve played them, and I haven’t had time to play them this week.
From the start, I meant for Gamer Girl Friday to be very personal, to share my personal experiences in gaming and my personal likes and dislikes.
So, I know you guys want to read about more games, so I will try and play more games so I can talk about more games in the coming weeks and in the future!
Meanwhile, feel free to suggest games you want me to play and talk about! :)
Oh, yes. To my American readers, happy Independence Day!