Yesterday, I had my first interview done on Xbox LIVE, through Xbox LIVE video chat.
It was conducted by Toshi, a prominent Taiwanese blogger who is also the voice of Xbox Taiwan and maintains the local official site, Xbox Life.
The interview was recorded and a video of it will be published on the site once they’re done editing and subtitling it.
It was really fun! I haven’t actually tried the video chat function on Xbox LIVE before, so it was interesting. Well, it’s just like any other video conference. You stick a webcam in front of you and you see two faces on the screen – yours and your chat partner’s.
I forgot to take a screenshot, sorry!
Anyway, Toshi posted a teaser for the interview a few days ago.
The translation (kindly supplied by Xbox Singapore’s PR agency):
A Mysterious Babe will be making a special appearance on Xbox LIFE!
Why is she standing with Master Chief? Who is she?? Don’t tell me Master Chief’s real identity is???
Since there are so many unanswered questions, we are going to have a private chat with her to find out more. Let’s call her Secret Agent S for now. We’ll have our first interaction with her this coming Thursday on Feb 26. All the details will be disclosed on Xbox LIFE (blog). Watch this space if you’re keen to know her better!
Hehe! Cute! Link here. Will update you guys when the video is up!
I meant to do this two weeks ago! But I’ve been so caught up I haven’t had time to edit this video until today:
It’s a montage of the first hour of gameplay. I’ve only managed to clear the first mission of the game and it’s already as exciting as hookey.
There are, no doubt, some Ninja Gaiden II elements in it, such as the awesome ninja leaps and bounds and cool weaponry, and critics might brush Ninja Blade off as a copy. But it’s a ninja game, for crying out loud. How else would you make a ninja game if not with the obligatory ninja wayang?
But the gameplay experience is quite unique.
First of all, the game is very, very cinematic. The whole damn thing feels like a big-budget Hollywood film. Watch the video and you’ll understand. Awe-inspiring cinematic angles, stylistic panning, fluid transitions between cut-scenes and gameplay, slow-mo effects during critical strike moments, sometimes humorous dialogue.
When I was viewing my video clips for editing, I wanted to ditch the videos and go power up my Xbox 360 right away. This is one of those games you’ll enjoy watching someone else play, even.
There was this part when I was learning how to run on walls and, as usual, failing very miserably in my first attempts. The failure made me fall onto a lower level of the map, which led me to discovering a secret breakable wall.
Breaking through, I found special items, including a new ninja costume! It pays to explore every nook and cranny.
LOL pinstripe ninja! That’s quite a silly costume, to be sure. But there’ll be more styles. I just haven’t found them yet.
You can also customise the colours of every part of your costume, right down to the last detail.
You could make a total clown out of your ninja if you wanted to. Once you’ve saved your costume, you’ll see your exact creation in the next missions, including in the cut-scenes. Pretty cool, huh?
There’s one interesting feature in the game which starts out as fun but becomes annoying after a while.
At crucial points of the plot, sometimes you’re tasked to press a specific button on your controller to progress the story. You have like less than two seconds to react. You get to retry it if you fail (there’s a cool rewind sequence) but you take damage if you fail these things during boss fights.
You’d have to memorise your button positions because there is not enough time to look at your controller to find the button.
But despite it being mildly annoying at times, I really enjoy the cinematics of this part of the gameplay. Again, watch the video!
Finally, one super annoying thing about Ninja Blade: You can’t save between missions!!
Your game only saves when you complete a mission. The first mission took me an hour to complete. Go figure.
You could complete it in less than an hour, I suppose, but probably not a lot less. I think games should let us save at least every 15 minutes, if not 10.
So, if you want to play this game, wait till you have plenty of time.
Newbie tip from Cavin of Xbox Xperience Zone (Funan): Your ninja has three weapons which you can upgrade using blood crystals. Don’t upgrade the Oni-Slayer Blade because you get a free upgrade on that weapon a little later in the game.
Cavin, by the way, has completed the entire game several times (because he demos games at XXZ and just spends all his days playing games – what a cool job!).
He told me the tip after I’d already upgraded my slayer. Doh. So I’m probably gonna replay the game from scratch when I pick it up again. Which is no biggie. I rather enjoyed it.
The Xbox Team recently hosted a competition to seek the biggest Halo fan in Singapore. Participants were tasked to submit as much photo and video evidence as possible of their Halo fanaticism. We now have five finalists competing for the title.
And these five will be put to the test tomorrow at Xbox Xperience Zone (Challenger, Funan) from 5 pm to 7 pm.
This competition is held in conjunction with the launch of Halo Wars, which is currently hogging the limelight within the Xbox community. (I have the game… I just haven’t had time to play it. =P)
Expect mini contests, giveaways and photo-taking opportunities with Master Chief at the event tomorrow! (If you’re among the first 50 to take a photo with him, you get a print-out to take home with you, free!
Here’s the Master Chief photo again…
Anyway, I hope to see you at Funan tomorrow. I’ll be there!
I can’t quite believe that I’m actually spending hours of my precious days on this game. It’s quite an old game, around since 2005, but is still going strong in terms of player base.
One day, out of the blue, my friends all decided to troop down to Sim Lim Square together to buy Guild Wars. And suddenly, the whole group is playing.
These are the same friends (Club Morte) whom I met in EverQuest II in 2005. It was through an MMORPG that we bonded, although we’ve stopped playing MMOs for a few years now, so it’s quite nostalgic to explore another MMO together after so many years.
The good thing about Guild Wars is that you only pay a one-time fee to buy the game. There is no monthly subscription fee for logging into the game.
Okay, another good thing: The graphics and and avatars are beautiful!! This is my character wearing Xbox colours, hah! =)
I’m an Elementalist. I chose this class because the armor is very cute! Even the combat stances are cute! *lol*
I actually played Guild Wars beta in 2004, but never felt compelled to play the game at retail. I don’t remember why. Most probably, I was busy with another MMO at that time.
So, I’m quite enjoying this game right now, especially because my friends are playing.
Morte’s character’s name is Emperor Morte. He’s been receiving a lot of flak from us for that, over the past week.
Every hour, the game will remind you how long you’ve been playing.
My next armor upgrade:
Some people have mini pets which do nothing in the game except follow them around and strike cute poses. Some of these pets are humanoids and it’s really funny seeing them walk around the city.
Hehe!! My gaming bro Swordplay, who is a long-time GW player, loaned me a candy stick and gingerbread man weapon set. It was a limited edition Christmas release.
The stats are low, but just nice for my level right now.
Casting a spell:
Back view of see-through armor. *lol*
Pity that party sizes are limited to four per group. A major bummer!
Well, we’ll see how it goes. I’m enjoying it so far and, perhaps, the game will even last a few months for us, at least.
The Street Fighter IV calendar redemption program at Xbox Xperience Zone is winding to a close today.
If you didn’t get your calendar, you could try winning one of the two sets I have on hand right now!
I actually have three, but the Goonfather confiscated one to place in his office. But that’s okay. He’s the biggest Street Fighter fan there ever was. He told me he practically lived in the arcade during his youth.
So, how about I give my other two sets to two worthy Street Fighter fans? Tell me:
Who’s your favourite Street Fighter character and why.
Who’s your least favourite Street Fighter character and why.
I’m looking for entertaining answers (can be short and sweet), but you’re welcome to give me straight answers as well. If there aren’t any entries that jump out and grab me, I’ll randomise the winners.
Alright, so it’s unfair to people who want straight hair but didn’t get born with it. But rebonding spoils your hair, ok? Like drugs kill people, it’s bad, so people shouldn’t do it.
I know hair rebonding is not fatal like coke snorting, but it is a particular annoyance to me because, since rebonding came into fashion, everyone automatically assumes that anyone with straight hair has had it rebonded.
What, can’t people be born with straight hair these days?
I am annoyed.
I was at MediaCorp for the Living With Lydia shoot yesterday and had just had my hair and makeup done.
I’m supposed to play a beauty pageant contestant, right, so I’m supposed to have one of those outlandish beauty pageant contestant hairstyles. Like with big buns and lots of hairspray and wavy wisps falling over the sides and everywhere.
But the lazy hairstylist just steamed my hair a bit so I don’t have ends that stick out (like you get after you wake up in the morning). And my hair ended up looking exactly the same as my hair always does.
(Just pretend the headwear isn’t there. The hairstylist didn’t know I had to wear this thing since I wore it only after leaving the makeup unit.)
For comparison, the other girls’ hair looked like this.
They’ll probably murder me if they see this posted here but this is the only full group photo I have. I took it because I thought it was a funny sight to have a bunch of “beauty queens” eating dinner out of cheap styrofoam boxes at a dusty alley.
So, back to the original topic.
After I did my hair and makeup, looking like the above photo sans the headwear, I met up with the styling coordinator and we had this conversation.
Her: Is your hair done already?
Her: Why is it… just like that?
Me: I don’t know. The hairstylist said that’s all he’s doing for me.
Her: Strange. We left specific instructions for him to give you all glamorous hairstyles.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Her: Oh, maybe he didn’t want to spoil your rebonded hair.
Me: My hair is not rebonded.
Her: Oh, really? I always thought it was rebonded cos it’s so straight!
Me: Yeah, I know, everyone says that but it’s not rebonded. =(
Her: Wow, you’re so lucky.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had a conversation like that. Everyone likes to ask me about my “rebonded hair”.
And when I tell them it’s not rebonded, they either think I’m a liar or they envy me. Both of which reactions I do not want!!
So I try to save the situation by saying that I hate my hair because it’s always limp and flat and makes me look old, plus it’s impossible to style because it’s so fine and slippery it resists styling gunk, and fancy hairstyles on me fall apart at a rate seven times faster than on the average girl.
THEN, they’ll either think I’m ungrateful towards my wonderful straight-hair genes or I’m trying to be modest. Both of which I’m not!!
I really do hate my hair. So much so that when I was at Uni, I went to get it “damaged” by going for a full-head, permanent dye.
After the dye job, my hair was rough and tangled easily and had more split ends. But I liked it because it wasn’t limp and my fringe could stay up better so it didn’t restrict my vision too much.
But I didn’t keep up with it because dye hurts my scalp and I can’t imagine myself going to the salon to punish my scalp every two months to touch up the roots.
So, right now, I have again my original head of horrid, limp, boring, un-stylable hair, which apparently people envy. But they don’t know the trouble it causes me.
Besides, they only like the hair in itself. They don’t consider how it makes me look.
I think hairstylists hate me.
When I was involved in TNBT, we all had to go for a hair makeover, and EVERY SINGLE ONE of the contestants had dye or highlight jobs EXCEPT ME.
Where is the justice in that??
The hairstylist said she didn’t want to spoil my hair so she’s not dyeing it.
Another time, we had a photoshoot for The New Paper and everyone had fancy hairdos EXCEPT ME. The stylist (a different one) did exactly the same thing to my hair as the Living With Lydia stylist did.
It’s a conspiracy!!!
They all hate me.
But that’s a digression. I need to do SOMETHING to my hair but I don’t know what.
I hate it that people think I get my hair rebonded because I’m vain, which, of course, I am, but I don’t like to be credited for more vanity than I possess, know what I mean?
Some people might say I’m already so vain no one could possibly think me more vain that I really am, but they are wrong. Or liars. All of them.
In fact, I am so NOT vain that, once, I went around Uni for a day of lectures looking like this:
I’m sure you can figure out which one is me.
I mentioned this event briefly in one of my comment boxes. We were the openers for the Melbourne University Drama Festival Parade, which is supposed to kick off three weeks of drama events at the Uni.
We were supposed to be like mud people or something because the festival is called MUDFest for short. And we walked around banging on pots and pans. Generally, our job was to look crazy and make a din. And since the parade was in the morning, I attended lectures and tutorials in this get-up all day after that.
But again I digress. So I was saying I hate that people keep assuming I have rebonded hair just because rebonded hair is the rage.
Let me present to you a parallel case for comparison.
Let’s say there’s this woman born with huge boobs.
Now, because boob jobs are so common these days, people she meets start assuming that she’s had a boob job. Wouldn’t she be frustrated to have all these people come up to talk to her about her “boob job”?
To complicate things a bit, wouldn’t it totally piss her off if she, in fact, hated her boobs because she thought they were too big and cumbersome, or maybe she’s into athletics and the boobs get in the way?
So, I was in this state of mind this morning, thinking that hair rebonding is a curse. Coincidentally, I also needed to go to the store to buy some shampoo.
I’m at the store and picking out my usual shampoo. I’m about to go pay when this lady pops out of nowhere and tries to sell me a new shampoo.
She’s holding out this bottle and waxing lyrical over its incredible hair enhancing qualities. On the bottle, these words in big, bold letters jump out at me:
On the side are smaller words that say something like “For chemically treated or damaged hair”.
I cut her off mid-sentence and say, quite politely, with a friendly smile, “My hair is not rebonded.”
And she says, “Oh, it’s not only for rebonded hair. You can use it on hair that’s been dyed or dry or treated with chemicals.”
And I say, “I don’t do anything to my hair.”
“Oh,” she says, looking a little worried, and then she scurries over to her corner where her products are displayed and plucks out another bottle.
“Here!” she says triumphantly, “We have a version for normal hair, too!”
Now, I wasn’t offended or anything — she’s just doing her job — and I kind of almost wanted to buy it.
But for two details.
One, the shampoo doesn’t come with a matching conditioner (the lady says this shampoo is so good it doesn’t need conditioner). But I’m wary of “too-good-to-be-true” things until it’s been proven and recommended by many people.
Two, it is made by Follow Me and I have some problems with Follow Me. I think their commercials are stupid (those that I saw long ago, anyway, before I gave up watching TV), and I think that Follow Me is an absolutely ridiculous name for a brand.
But I might try it out one day, anyway, just for kicks, because I like trying out new things. But now, I just don’t feel too adventurous because I’m on a tight budget.
Having said all that, I have to admit that part of me is secretly pleased that I was born with something that girls all over the world are paying good money to get.
The only trouble is that I don’t think it looks good on me and I don’t want to have people mistakenly think that I’m paying all this money to get something that doesn’t look good on me. That would make me feel so misunderstood.
I was discussing this with a friend earlier and I said, “My hair isn’t even THAT straight! The back curls out a bit because of the layering. How does it look rebonded??”
And he said, “That’s true. Your hair looks like it was rebonded six months ago and now it has grown out and you’re too lazy to maintain it.”
Like, how about smearing salt onto my wounds and then setting an army of maggots on them!
Perhaps I shall, from now on, roll my hair up in a bun and wear it in a baseball cap. That should save me all the trouble!
Each time a slightly titillating incident occurs, everyone pounces on it as if it were the last popcorn in the bucket. They gawk and gape and savour the very lastness of it, refusing to let go until it’s made sodden and unrecognizable by the drool of every spectator in the seat.
What’s up with the Elizabeth Wong saga? It’s just a bunch of photographs of a woman sleeping, albeit in compromising positions and states of undress. Who hasn’t seen a sight like that before? The Internet is full of women volunteering such photographs. Go gawk at women who want to be gawked at and leave the unwilling alone.
Elizabeth Wong, the Malaysian politician who’s had the misfortune of having her nude photographs maliciously engineered and unethically distributed, is a human being, not a piece of popcorn. Why can’t people have the decency to allow her the privacy and dignity that every human deserves?
If your nude photos or videos were to be circulated around the world against your will, would you want people to treat you like a freak show exhibit?
Why can I never get a straight answer from a man? We’re planning a trip to Guernsey (an island) dead early tomorrow morning, so I need to know what time we have to leave so I can set my alarm.
Me: What time do we have to leave home?
Piers: No earlier than an hour before the time we have to be there – which is an hour before we sail (6 am).
Took me 11 minutes of questioning, during which time I got more riddles, before I received the answer: 4 am.
Piers “invented” a really delicious Asian snack combo: Prawn crackers with hoisin sauce! So proud of him!
I also found this awesome lemongrass-flavoured prawn crackers at Tesco. From Netherlands, but makers were Indoneisan settlers. Tastes so great when you dip into hoisin sauce (sparingly)!
Yeah I know my photos are missing from my blog header. Looks very funny, doesn’t it?
Nanny Wen (aka Buggy Wen aka Davienne) says it reminds her of Harry Potter’s moving picture people.
Guess my photos are taking a break. They’ve gone into hiding because it’s been raining a lot in England and the weather forecast says it’s going to hail tomorrow.
IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER!
Crazy or not.
I thought I’d be in discomfort for a year because I was finding it impossible to get used to Invisalign in my mouth. But just 11 days into it, I hardly feel it anymore.
Was playing on my iPad before bed last night when I suddenly couldn’t feel plastic in my mouth and for one horrifying moment, thought that I had forgotten to put my aligners back on after dinner, which was ages ago.
Turned out it’s just my mouth has started to adapt.
Quote of the day
Me: I want a pet duckling!
Piers: LOL why!!!
Me: Cos they’re so cute.
Piers: All baby things are cute! Except babies.
A transport provider in the UK just sent me an e-mail asking me to take part in an online survey to help improve services.
So I go there and answer two questions (age and last time I used the service) and they say:
“Thank you for your time. Unfortunately, you do not qualify for the survey as this time around we are looking to survey our more senior customers (over 60) only.”
Was googling the difference between biscuits and cookies and got linked to a Yahoo! Answers page. This guy’s answer made me LOL.
“The difference between the biscuit and the cookie is the Atlantic.
Plus, American biscuit more like a savory scone
Plus English biscuit is an American cookie.
Plus English or American cookie is in your computer to do stuff that no one really understands.”
Being too ambitious (or greedy). Two heaped bowls of ricotta and spinach tortelloni in bolognese sauce, with six sausages and three baby zucchinis thrown into the mix. A roll of garlic bread and a bottle of wine. Delicious!
Yay I got white tulips! My favouritest flowers. :)
England has the most beautiful flowers. Tulips and roses in white with pale pink. Gerberas in strawberry milk pink. Makes me happy!
Just read in detail about foot binding in ancient China. I always thought they just wrapped up the feet during infancy to stop them from growing.
But, no! They wait till the girl is 4-7 years old, then break her toes and arch bones so that the toes can curl under the sole. Without anaesthesia.
After wrapping the monstrous creation tightly, the girl is then forced to walk on her broken feet so her weight can help crush them into shape. The feet are crushed and rebound daily for like two years! WTF is wrong with people?!