Alright. Time to get down to serious work. *slaps self* Been gaming too much despite mounting deadlines.
PopCap games are too addictive! I’m even hooked to the Puzzle Booble-type games (Dynomite and Zuma) even though I’ve always hated Puzzle Bobble.
The game developers are really good at keeping us playing. Most of their games provide a lot of stress-relieving satisfaction (great sound effects and animation like a zillion zombies getting blown up at once) and the levels don’t feel repetitive. (Sign up for free play of all the games here.)
I also love the humour. The help page for Plants vs Zombies cracks me up.
I have a hundred deadlines (exaggerating a bit) these two months, mostly advertorials, so Raine from Nuffnang made me a blogging schedule showing when to submit a post and when to publish it.
So thoughtful of her!
I found it very useful, so decided to adapt it and make my own version because I wanted to add my other assignments (like Star Blog and Stuff magazine) and I wanted bigger boxes to write on.
So I made monthly planners for March and April!
The images and icons are from Microsoft clipart. Really quick-and-dirty job. Just draw up boxes in Excel and pop some colours and random pictures in them.
It is now happily sitting on my wall, being ignored! Yay!
I keep telling myself, “One last game,” and it never ends because… WELL IF YOU GO PLAY SOME POPCAP GAMES YOU WILL KNOW.
My deadlines are looming nearer and nearer! Many blogs to complete before I fly to Shenzhen/Hong Kong next Wednesday. I will still have to work a bit even during my vacation but I’m trying to finish up as much as possible before then!
If you’ve ever needed a short distraction, if you’ve ever felt bored, if you’ve ever needed to kill 30 minutes of time, I have one excellent recommendation:
This is a comical web-based role-playing game where you do regular RPG stuff, like questing or killing mobs. Except that, in the game, you get only 40 turns a day.
That means you can’t get addicted to it. Once you’ve used up your number of turns, you can’t play anymore. You can still perform certain actions, but you can’t do anything significant until your turns get refreshed the next day.
It’s perfect for casual gamers who want something fun to do for a while but don’t want games to control their lives.
But that’s not the best thing about this game. The best thing is that it’s very funny. The developers have an awesome sense of humour and they’re not afraid to exploit the heck out of it.
Seen inside the Haiku Dungeon.
The illustrations are childish scrawls, which makes it very funny when coupled with sophisticated (although you might argue corny) humour.
For instance, as with all RPGs, you get to choose a class of character out of six possible classes. Some examples:
The class types are all pretty funny.
During your adventures, you will pick up cool items to help you out.
To earn these items, you’ll have to battle unimaginable horrors.
I’m a playing a Sauceror, you see. And my default weapon is a saucepan.
This game isn’t just about fighting monsters, either. You will often bump into random adventures that make you choose a path:
You will visit dangerous zones such as:
And you get to bring a pet to help you fight evil monsters.
Pooka is my pet. (You can name your pet anything you want.)
You will level up and get stronger.
Once in a while, Monty Python fans will thrill to references to The Holy Grail, scattered around the game.
To any passer-by who sees you playing this game, you will look like a complete idiot.
But it will be worth it.
I actually played this game years ago. I can’t remember how many years. The game’s been around for a while. But I stopped playing for a reason I can’t remember and my account has gotten deleted since.
A few days ago, I suddenly remembered this game again so I made a new account and now I’m having as much fun with it as I had, years ago.
Well, give Kingdom of Loathing a try. It’s free and it’s entertaining and it’s addictive. Just that it won’t allow you to get addicted.
Swordplay is my pesky li’l bro who spends all his time playing time-wasting games. To make him a little bit more useful, I’m sitting on him and making him recommend one fun and simple web-based game each week.
Today, Swordplay recommends…
Don’t Look Back is a simple flash game with a deep storyline, although you will only get it upon completion of the game.
It’s a challenging action-platformer using minimalist graphics and will take only maybe 30 minutes to complete.
Some of the bosses can be quite tough but it doesn’t matter because you don’t perma-die in this game. If you get killed, you start over in the same place you got killed. No replaying stages!
If you have to take a break or close your browser suddenly, the game will remember where you last stopped and put you back a few frames before that.
You need some patience to get through some of the challenges but it feels great when you do!
For six months, since I bought my iPhone, there hasn’t been a single game in it. I never really believed in playing games on mobile phones.
When I have time to kill outside, I’m either playing on my DS or reading a book.
But last week, horror of horrors, I forgot to bring out my DS and my book! So I was stuck outside with nothing to do but surf the net on my phone. Which gets old because I’m not really into random net-surfing.
That led me to changing my attitude towards mobile phone gaming. Now I need games on my iPhone for future times of forgetfulness.
One of the notable games I found was True or False Trivia. It’s not exactly a game; more a quiz application.
You get hundreds of weird facts for which you have to guess “true” or “false”. I learnt many interesting things through this. For example:
The average office desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet.
Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.
Every time you sneeze, some of your brain cells die.
There’s a free version of this application, which gives you 110 questions. The paid version (USD1.99) gives you a lot more but I don’t know how much because I haven’t bought it yet.
I created a new character this week. A ranger. Because Kerrendor has a masterplan for us to play the ranger team build, which means an entire party made up of only rangers and their pets.
Eight rangers + eight pets = massive damage.
I took the longest time to decide which hairstyle to choose (see above). I’m such a bimbo. Sometimes, I spend up to an hour just customising a character, especially for those games with fully-customisable facial features.
I finally went with the second one because I like the leaf in the hair.
And the twin pigtails.
The game world is really beautiful and the quests can be quite creative and entertaining. Best thing is that it’s not as demanding as other games of its genre. I can actually do something worthwhile in just half an hour.
One day, in the village, there were zombies running amok, causing the villagers to flee. And the local priest started praying to the gods for holy lightning, thunder and fart.
Zombies also began to pray to Sheylara, their goth goddess, for some juicy human flesh and lots of chilli sauce.
Packets of Mac chilli appeared, but some wanted ketchup, instead, so they fought among themselves. Soon, three police cars arrived. Two female zombies stepped out and the zombies stopped fighting.
And the zombie king appeared in his diapers and pyjamas, carrying a banana and a bottle of milk for zombies, from the mammary glands of zombie cow across the street, where Yoi lived.
Then, Yoi whipped out his miniguns and shot RN. RN evaded, then fell into a drain nearby where he twitched in pain, scrambling to find his intestines because he wanted to eat Peaches’ pink shirt for dinner. (Kajang satay with soy sauce.)
Soon, the zombies started puking out RN’s intestines. After that, it was Peaches’ pink shirt’s turn. Amd saw RN eating cow dung with dog piss but remembered his intestine was still in the zombie’s puke.
Then he thought, “I need to kill Peaches and Yoi.”
But, suddenly, Yoi unleashed his zombie doggies from Resident Evil and quickly sent them to find Sheylara, who’s in Kuching, bishing Yoi through her iPhone.
Soon, Peaches Mode also appeared aristocratically from the horizon. Then RN bushed ALL. So there.
He was bushing everyone. Then PeachMeister showed up. Ruined everything by bravely shielding the innocent.
“No innocents here. All guilty,” he said.
Then RN quickly went to the law firm to get Justice CG to help RN bush everyone again.
While both bushed, Yoi began to disintegrate, discombobulate and metamorphose because he had diarrhea. So amd recommended him charcoal pills to ease the diarrhea, but that’s not how diarrhoea’s spelt.
“That’s correct,” Peachy pointed out and so the madness continued… or so we thought.
The story started to not make sense after around Peaches’ pink shirt. So I have no idea how you guys are going to continue the madness.
But knock yourselves out and thanks to all contributors!
Tomorrow is the last weekday left before Chinese New Year and I haven’t gone to the bank to change money! Okay, I don’t have many people to give ang pows to, just parents and nieces, but still need new notes wat!!
I haven’t finished buying my CNY clothes. I haven’t done any spring cleaning. In fact, I haven’t cleaned my room in half a year. I’ll bet there are micro-communities living underneath the pile of junk on my desk now.
I still haven’t cleared all my e-mails, which have now reached the 3,000 mark.
I haven’t played GTA4 this whole week cos I’ve been so busy.
I haven’t finished all my work today. I still have a blog to write, messages to reply and Xbox duty in less than an hour’s time.
Tomorrow: Staying home to do GGF.
Saturday: Visiting a Children’s Home (organised by blog reader Darz). Speaking of which, anyone wants to join us to help spread some CNY cheer to 82 underprivileged kids? E-mail me. We need to submit confirmed numbers, like, now.
(Update: The trip has been postponed because it’s a bit too last minute. Many people aren’t free due to CNY, the Home director needs details of visitors in advance, and Darz has medical orders to stay home. Thanks for the interest. Will update you guys on this again!)
Sunday: Writing Star Blog entry. Then reunion dinner. Then our annual temple visit party. Then no sleep for the night. Then it’s CNY!! ARGGGH!
I’m sorry GGF didn’t make it last week! For the last few months, I’ve been getting progressively busier and busier. It’s quite amazing because every week I tell people, “I have never been so busy in my life!” And then, the next week, I’m even busier than the last week.
This has been happening for months!
Oh, well, that’s life!
Amazingly, also, I managed to cough out an issue of GGF today. I spent about five hours on it, after already spending five hours prior to that writing three blogs for my other, um, blogs.
Which means I’ve been writing nonstop for ten hours today!
If got typo, don’t kill me. =P (But let me know so I can fix it.)
Thanks for your patience and continued support of my business! I actually meant busy-ness, but that worked, too.
Okay, I really wanted to do a full review of this game, like, two weeks ago, because it’s a freaking great game, but I didn’t have time.
Sad to say, I still don’t have time now, lol. I’m working 15-20 hours every day, seven days a week, and that’s still not enough to finish all my deadlines. Haha.
Luckily, some of my work involves fun (so I’m not complaining too much).
For instance, I had to spend many fun hours playing this game with my friends and making movies so that the Xbox team can play them as demos in Xbox Xperience Zones.
I’m talking about the game called You’re in the Movies, which is exclusive to the Xbox 360.
Here’s one of the videos we made!
But let me explain the game a little.
The game software comes packaged with a LIVE Vision Camera which you mount above or below your TV so it can film you.
You choose a movie from a list of available movies, choose the number of players, then you each choose the role you want to play.
The game will then take you through a series of action mini games such as karate chopping blocks, running from tornadoes or washing clothes.
Yes, washing clothes. *lol*
Sometimes, two players are required to compete in a mini game.
Depending on how many players there are (1 to 4), you take turns to play your mini games.
Sometimes you’re required to act! The game will make you act surprised or laugh out loud or dance or whatever.
So, all this is recorded and at the end of it, a movie trailer incorporating everything you’ve done is produced!
Here’s another video for your viewing enjoyment:
The fun part is that what you do in the mini games is not reflective of what happens in the end result. Like, if you’re asked to wash clothes, it doesn’t mean there’s a clothes washing scene in the movie. It just means the movie needs you performing an action similar to washing clothes.
You’re always delightfully surprised by how the movie turns out in the end!
I took some behind-the-scenes videos of me and my friends playing but don’t have time to edit it yet. I promise I will show it some day cos it’s very funny! =)
In the meantime, please check out the next article cos you can get a chance to try this game for yourself this weekend! =)
YITM is also a great workout game. My muscles were sore and hurting for two days after playing this game.
Oh… and at the end of the movie screening, there’s a Best Actor award ceremony for the best performer!
I love You’re in the Movies!!
Tip: Buy this game at Xbox Xperience Zones this weekend and receive a free pair of Golden Village movie tickets (while stocks last)!
There’s a launch event happening this weekend at Xbox Xperiences Zones (Funan Challenger and VivoCity Best Denki) where you can play You’re in the Movies. You might even win something!
There’s also an avatar-making competition. Just turn up and the team will guide you towards making your customised avatar on the New Xbox Experience dashboard. The person who creates the best avatar will win a You’re in the Movies game!
A review contributed by a loyal fan and supporter of GGF
(That means this isn’t written by Sheylara.)
I’ve never really been a fan of fighting games on any platform, whether in arcades or consoles, but I’ve always made an exception for Mortal Kombat. Ever since I laid eyes on the first MK coin-op back in 1992, it has been the ONLY fighting game I ever paid any attention to.
I mean, life-like digitized characters, movie-like storyline, FATALITIES, what’s not to love, right? (Sorry, Street Fighter faithfuls, no hadoukens for this kid.)
Fast forward four arcade sequels (yes, I’m counting Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, too), countless console ports and hand-held exclusives, along with an action RPG — basically about 20 games — later, I’m still in MK’s thrall, though a teeny bit jaded by all the violence.
Being a parent of young children doesn’t help. But when Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe was announced, I immediately thought, “Didn’t it all end with MK: Armageddon? Could this be a franchise reboot? Or is Midway finally losing the plot?”
I just had to check it out.
Well, after trying out the title at a neighbourhood game shop, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The idea of merging worlds isn’t exactly revolutionary (Capcom vs Marvel, anyone?). But it’s great that Ed Boon and gang managed to pull it off. Not only is the storyline actually plausible (as far as superhero comic book storylines go), the gameplay is pretty solid, as well.
Here’s the gist: Remember Shao Kahn? Raiden and company kicked his butt through a portal. At the same time on Earth, Superman was just finishing up with Darkseid.
These two separate ass-kickings did not destroy either of the bad guys but, instead, merged them into Dark Kahn (!!!) and caused the DC and Mortal Kombat universes to merge.
With the merging, the characters’ abilities start to fluctuate. Which is why Superman can now actually be hurt and the Joker actually stands a chance against Raiden. Brilliant!
Now comes one of the key components of any successful title: the gameplay.
Reminiscent of MK: Dark Alliance, we have another attempt at a fighting system revamp. It definitely works but, man, is the learning curve steep.
You have the standard practice mode, sure. But hand-holding tutorials are nowhere in sight. Casual fighters (who aren’t rabid MK fans like me), will probably be turned off. Kinda reminds me of my short-lived experiences with Tekken. It’s more fun watching great players go at it than actually playing it yourself.
MK (and fighting genre) fans be warned: Just like any console fighters, nothing beats having an actual arcade stick.
Next. KILLER FINISHING MOVES, or FATALITIES, the cornerstone of any MK title.
Unfortunately, because of the tie-in with DC Universe (known for its teen audience), most of the characters’ finishing moves are less than awe-inspiring. Which isn’t to say that they all suck. But there’s a very good reason the game isn’t rated M.
Well, I definitely enjoyed what I’ve experienced in the game so far. I’m sold on this title. But take my recommendation with this proviso: If you aren’t at all nostalgic about Mortal Kombat and its arcade roots, and if seeing Batman facing off against the Joker, Superman, and even Sonya, doesn’t make you all warm and fuzzy inside, then you’d be happier spending your sixty bucks on dinner with your significant other.
Left 4 Dead has been out for some time now, but I just want to mention it because this is the first time I’ve enjoyed playing a survival horror FPS!
(That is, I dont normally play survival horror and I certainly do not play FPS.)
I played this on the Xbox 360 with the Goonfather and it’s so fun bashing each other. I mean, like, he bashes me for not keeping up with him (his style of gaming is chionging everywhere like a crazy peacock and shooting first, asking questions later), and I bash him for dying more often than all of us.
Of course, he gets more kills, too, so maybe it balances out, but it is still very inconsiderate of him to keep dying while we are all up to our necks in zombies!!!
In this game, you’re one of the four remaining survivors of a zombie epidemic, trying to escape the town. You can play multiplayer co-op or versus.
That means you get the choice to play a zombie in versus mode! Cool!
Teamwork and strategy are very important because you’re often swarmed (see above picture). And I love how, sometimes, someone on your team will get mugged by a particular zombie and you have to go save him before the zombie chews him up.
It can get pretty scary if you play this alone, at night.
If one of your player team mates goes AFK, uh, I mean, away from the TV, for a toilet break or something, the AI will take over him after a period of inactivity.
Any character not played by a live player is controlled by AI.
Do try the game! Remember, you can always download a demo to try first! ;)
So, I’ve started playing shooters on Xbox LIVE because it’s part of my job to have fun with the Xbox community, and I must say I really enjoy these gaming sessions despite my utter uselessness with kinetic projectiles of any sort.
I take heart from the fact that I’m allowing some gamers the enjoyment of racking up their scores.
Anyway, for some time now, I’ve been chatting with RN1209 about getting some less-expert folks to play and train together, which gave me the idea of hosting a Newbie Nite for Gears of War 2 on Xbox LIVE one night.
I thought I was going to get some kills in that night by playing with newbies… but I think I got conned.