GGF#11: A gamer’s lot in life is to wait

[Gamer Girl Friday]

I am drooling at upcoming games while my current games lie untouched.

Because a gamer is greedy. She wants to play all the games available now and she wants to play all the games not available now.

Her brain has suffered a slight permanent damage from having to endlessly wait for games that refuse to come out of development phase. (For example, can you believe that Warhammer Online has been in development for eight damn years?!)

But I’m not going to talk about WAR today; it’s overhyped anyway. I’m introducing a few of my favourite upcoming games. (Only a few because I don’t have space for everything.)

Don’t complain if your favourite isn’t mentioned. I can’t possibly read your mind, wot. So, if you want to read about or see a particular game in action, tell me. I’ll do my best to humour you.

Rock on, baby!!

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Table of Contents

  1. Guitar Hero World Tour drums special
  2. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
  3. DC Universe Online
  4. The Goonfather plays Happy Tree Friends
  5. A game that forces you to walk
  6. Invitation to beta test FIFA Online 2
  7. Ask Sheylara
  8. Win a Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 USB headset!!

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Guitar Hero World Tour drums special

Celebrity drummers Travis Barker (Blink 182) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) are co-conspirators in the making of the drumset for Guitar Hero World Tour!

Watch video!

I love Travis Barker. He’s my second favourite drummer next to Lars Ulrich (Metaliica).

See, I have his drumsticks!! *blush*

These are Travis Barker signature sticks from the Zildjian Artist Series. But they’re just for show. I can’t use them (to play real drums) cos they’re too heavy for me.

I mean, I could technically use them, but then I wouldn’t be able to play very well.

Back to the game.

Guitar Hero World Tour seems all set to kick Rock Band off the music charts! (Of course, there is Rock Band 2 brewing in the wings, so don’t lose your stock options yet.)

Travis Barker says about the GHWT drums: “Especially on the expert levels of Guitar Hero, where you’re nailing every note for note, it’s absolutely like playing what the drummer in that band is playing.”

That’s some incredible endorsement.

I’m ready to jump ship from being pro-Rock Band to being pro-Guitar Hero.

Who’s with me?

Guitar Hero World Tour is slated for an October 28 release for Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 and Wii.

Not sure when we can expect to see it in Singapore, though.

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Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

There’s something very attractive about seeing a bunch of wholesome, sunshine, role-model superheroes thrown into a dark and violent place.

I don’t like fighter games, but I was immediately drawn to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, compelled to drop everything I was doing to watch the trailer, because it’s just such an unlikely matchmaking.

Raiden vs. Batman in the depths of hell! If it weren’t really cool, I would have found it immensely amusing.

Will try to get a copy to play when it comes out, even though I suck at fighters. November 3, 2008 is the date. Duh, I hate waiting, but that’s a gamer’s lot in life, wouldn’t you say?

Available for Xbox 360 and PS3.

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DC Universe Online

Yay, here’s another superhero MMORPG, although this one is console-specific (PS3).

DC Comics sure is ambitious, franchising its heroes out everywhichway.

This game reminds me of City of Heroes very much and I had a lot of fun playing that. Of course, we won’t be seeing DC Universe Online until next year, so have fun waiting.

In the meantime, we can dream about the kind of superhero we want to create.

In COH, my character was named The Daughter (inside joke):

I also created a Lara Croft lookalike just for kicks:

Me and my friends shared many good times and many a bloody, violent battle.

Aww, I miss my superhero friends so much. I can’t wait for DCUO!

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The Goonfather plays Happy Tree Friends

Due to my recent busy schedule, I’m turning to Xbox LIVE for quick gaming fixes. LIVE has tons of fun arcade-style games that you can download (for a small fee) and play almost immediately.

Plus you can earn gamerscore and achievement points on them. People can be such sluts for virtual points.

So, I made the Goonfather help me download Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm while I finished up my work. He sampled a few levels before I went to join him (to secretly videotape him playing)! Hehe!

Well, it’s a silly game. But it might appeal to sadistic kids who enjoy seeing cute cartoon animals get mashed to pulp.

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A game that forces you to walk

This is a funny little gadget. I wonder if we’ll ever see it in Singapore.

The Jinsei Game of Life pedometer will beat the couch potato out of you because you can only advance by leaving your sorry couch.

This tiny little gadget contains a simple version of the Game of Life board game we’re all familiar with. The catch is that you have to take 300 physical steps in the physical world in order to spin the wheel and take a turn. If not, the gadget simply won’t allow you to advance.

Pretty neat!

You might not want to buy it for your kids or nephews or nieces, though. It’s not like they’re not already way too hyper. With this, they’re gonna have a legitimate excuse to zip around the house maniacally, getting underfoot unnecessarily and just generally drive everyone nuts.

Buy it for your lazy ass spouse or sibling or colleague, instead.

Releasing end of July.

Source.

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Invitation to beta test FIFA Online 2

Thanks to IAHGames, FIFA Online 2 will be launching in Singapore soonish.

It will also launch in Thailand at the same time, although a date hasn’t been confirmed yet. Other regions — Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines — will get it later.

You can sign up for the closed beta test, which commences on August 5. Not much longer to wait!

Thai players can sign up here for the Thai version of the game. But I don’t think I have any Thai readers, so this will have been a few lines of wasted pixels that can never be recovered.

Here’s a photo taken at the recent FIFA Online 2 press conference in Thailand:

I’m sure you don’t really care who the three blokes in the middle are because the models on the sides are grabbing all your attention.

So, here’s a close-up for you because I’m nice!

Awwww.

Well, this is the only picture I have, so stop gawking already and go sign up for the CBT!

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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.

jesse5762 asks an Initial D Extreme Stage question:

Would you happen to know if it works with the Logitech G25 Racing wheel?

Sheylara Says:

It does, partially, which means that the game will only recognise the wheel turn for 90 degrees either way. So, maybe it’s not that good an idea to use that wheel for this game.

sdutango asks a similar Initial D Extreme Stage question:

So I read your blog, you said it partially works with G25. But will that work with 900 degrees? Thanks.

Sheylara Says:

Nope, the Logitech G25’s 900 degrees is wasted on this game, sadly. Like I said above, you can only go as far as 90 degrees.

liting asks a Wii question:

I just bought my Wii 2 days ago, mod Jap set. It was doing fine on the first day but after I tried connecting to the Internet and did a Wii update, I received an error message: “Error Occurred. Press the eject button and remove the disc. Turn the power off and follow the instructions in the console manual.”

When I try to play some games, it only happens to a few games and the rest are not affected. I am sure its not the disc problem cause i was playing it on the first day I bought my Wii. May I know how to resolve this? =((

Sheylara Says:

Sorry, but I wouldn’t know what your exact problem is without being there to see it for myself. My guess is that when you did an online update, you updated a security feature which prevents the console from playing modded games.

If anyone has the definitive answer to the above question, feel free to share in the comments section! :)

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Win a Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 headset!!

Ooh, I’ll bet you want!!

I’ve used it and I really like it. It’s comfortable and sounds good and is so easy to use (just plug into USB port).

I used it to record my song for the shower singing video!

No, no, I’m not giving out a used set. The winner of this week’s contest will receive a brand new Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000, never before opened and touched by human hands.

HOW TO WIN THIS BABY!

Starting today, up till July 31, vote for me DAILY in the S’pore Blog Awards!

(You knew that, somehow, I would work this voting thing in, didn’t ya?)

Then, post a comment in my blog each day to let me know that you’ve voted for me!

One vote per day, one comment per day, until July 31!

You’ll go into the draw for the prize if you do that!

Note: If you don’t live in Singapore, please agree to bear the cost of postage and packaging if you win the prize. This thing is heavy and I’m going broke mailing out prizes every week!

Feel free to e-mail me if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

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Woot! I love GGF!

Oh, wait. That didn’t sound right.

I mean I love writing about games for my GGF column! I love games.

Don’t you?

Now, you have a whole weekend ahead of you to devote to gaming. How nice for you!

Happy gaming!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

World’s Screamiest Person

There is, of course, no such word as “screamiest”.

But I’ll bet some of my friends will gladly testify to the fact that I’m an aural personification of that word, producing as hard evidence their burst eardrums.

Screaming, for your information, is just a way of relieving tension and stress. I can’t help it if my body’s preferred method of stress relief is screaming, can I?

For example, I was engaged in this very stressful activity yesterday.

Sure, sure, it looks like I was having fun, especially since I even had the presence of mind to smile for the camera.

But it was really quite stressful.

I was giving the World’s Fastest Drummer competition a shot.

Held at the Singapore Drumfest 08 at Youth Park yesterday, the WFD comprises two segments: Fastest Legs and Fastest Hands.

That was me on the double bass drum pedals, which explains the awkward sitting position.

You have to hit the pedals as fast as you possibly can in 60 seconds.

It’s tougher than you can imagine because, like, 20 seconds into it, your legs are on fire and you wanna smash something up in exasperation.

That was when I started to scream.

Okay, it wasn’t so much a screamfest as exclamations and yells. “OMG OMG OMG shit I can’t feel my legs anymore hahahaha OMGOMGOMG aaaaaiiiiiieeeeeeeee.”

After 60 seconds of that (I mean kicking the pedals, not screaming), you will hardly be able to walk because both your legs will have turned to water.

You have to understand that it was my first time trying out double bass pedals.

I scored 616, meaning 616 strokes in 60 seconds. Fastest in Singapore is 778. Fastest in the world is 1034.

I believe I can do a lot better if I can just channel the energy I expend in screaming into hitting the pedals. But you know me, I’m into dramatics.

I tried the hands, too. You bust your gut in single rolls on this pad for 60 seconds.

I totally sucked at it and gave up in disgust even before I reached 60 seconds. I decided that I was generally better at posing for photographs.

I scored like 300 because I wasted 30 seconds laughing uncontrollably instead of hitting the pad.

Fastest in Singapore 1067. Fastest in the world 1247.

These people are crazy lah.

I’m going to train up and take ’em on next year!

This all happened at the Singapore Drumfest 08. Yesterday was the preliminaries of the Drum Challenge Asia and Singapore Band Challenge.

I loved those drum solos performed by the contestants.

And I took photos with some of my favourite drummers in Singapore!

Brandon Khoo (who drums in The UnXpected, with Shirlyn Tan):

Well, to be honest, I’ve only seen the UnXpected perform once, a couple years ago, so I cannot really claim to know anything about Brandon’s drumming, but I’ve heard his name so often since I took up drumming that I’m starting to get the impression that he’s somewhat a legend.

Edmund of PeepShow!

Incidentally, his surname is also Khoo. Here’s Edmund doing the double bass. Can’t remember what he scored.

By the way, this is the fast hands that scored 1067, Alex Tey:

Power!

Here’s Eric, my senior at The Music Lab.

We’re both taught by Alvin Tan, who is also one of the judges for the Drum Challenge Asia.

Alvin testing the drumometer:

I don’t have a picture with him because he’s camera shy, so I snuck a picture while he was otherwise distracted. Haha.

Alvin is a fantastic drummer and instructor. He’s totally cool. And I hope he’ll be totally cool when he learns next week that I haven’t practised in two weeks due to my insane schedule. (I had to skip a lesson last week.)

The Singapore Drumfest 08 is ongoing till September. Semi-finals will be held at The Arena, Clarke Quay, on July 26.

I wonder who I will meet there next!

No more screaming, unfortunately, since the WFD competition was only for yesterday.

But I shall start training up my screaming… no, wait, I mean my drumming (duh!) for next year.

Whatever. Protect your ears!

My secret infatuation

Argh, okay, I suppose it won’t be a secret anymore after I blog about it. Damn, bloggers have got no privacy at all!

So, I am now secretly infatuated with drummers. *blush* Well, alright, it’s only secret to people who don’t read my blog. But I don’t think any drummers read my blog so my secret is safe.

Yes, I’m infatuated with all of them! Um, okay, maybe particularly the good looking ones. A girl has to be discerning where she directs her infatuations.

It all started eons ago when I watched a Metallica tour video and noticed Lars Ulrich, who is not really good looking but his drumming more than makes up for it — he’s like the god of drummers.

[Lars god of drummers Ulrich]

Even now, after so many years of listening to Metallica, my heart still skips beats listening to him play.

So I’ve always sub-consciously enjoyed good drum grooves but never thought to take lessons myself until recently when I got influenced by Rock Band, which I know is a freaking lame reason to pick up any musical instrument, but that’s how it goes, so I am suddenly paying more attention to drummers. (I used to only have eyes for Lars.)

I saw this band on Monday night at Nokia Connection 2008 (an event which I will blog about another day because there’s so much info and photos to sort through)!

[They had so much fun]

After a cursory photo of the whole band, I zoomed in on the drummer, whose name is Edmund.

[He had so much fun]

He is so cool!

He’s using black Vic Firth signature drumsticks, how cool is that??!??! It is so cool!

[The audience had so much fun]

His drumming posture (I dunno what else to call it) is so cool. I mean, seriously, I have no other word than cool. Cool says it all, I’m sorry.

Edmund’s like the best-looking member of the band, so like I took a video! Heehee!

The Goonfather is going to kill me, of course, but… don’t care lah. If he can have his infatuations on cute Korean girls and Angelina Jolie, I can have my infatuations on drummers! Hehe!

Oh, video!

I didn’t catch him at his best moments but I was really quite busy at the event and this was the only moment I was available to stand there and watch.

The best part of it is that he’s entirely self-taught! I don’t know how these people do it!!!! How can anyone teach themselves to play like that?

I’m not in any position to critique drumming, so I shan’t comment on his skill. But I think he looks good and sounds good on stage, so it’s all good!

Apparently, all members of the band PeepShow are self-taught! Can you beat that? I am totally flummoxed. (I JUST FELT LIKE USING THAT WORD!)

Go check out PeepShow’s profile and blog and support the band because it’s cool to support local acts and these boys are actually pretty good (great music and great showmanship)!

[Hiding from the meepits]

They won some band contest in 2005 and have just released their first EP, which got good reviews in TODAY and Time Out. You can buy their album at HMV!

Best of all, they’re all so friendly and down-to-earth!

Yes yes yes… I spoke to them later that night (well, particularly Edmund, because he approached me because he saw me unabashedly taking videos of him). AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT TO TAKE A PHOTO WITH THEM.

(I did have a photo with a couple of Nokia models, of which there were TONS that night. Look forward to seeing them in my next blog entry about the event!)

[Smiley people]

(I feel so short and dowdy sandwiched between them. And I’ve got that silly Nokia lanyard name tag which guests had to wear. I mean, it’s a nice lanyard, but it doesn’t quite go with my dress that night.)

So I forgot to take a photo with the band, bummer. (I think I had six too many martinis. There was a really mean martini bar at the event.)

No I’m not turning into a groupie. It just sounds that way. I’m not, really.

I’m just infatuated with drums! And drummers.

Maybe if I ever get as good as them (I mean the pros), I’ll stop being infatuated. Right now, they’re all amazing to me.

Until then, though, it’s costing me an arm and a leg to get there. Make that two arms and two legs. $50 a week for lessons + $50 a week to practise at the studio ($5.50 an hour).

That comes up to more than $400 a month!! I don’t even make that amount of money some months (told you I’m poor)!!

I think I’m going crazy. =(

Why would anyone want to know what I’m busy with?

Incidentally, I was looking at my blog stats and saw this keyword search:

“busy these few days back soon”

This has got to be the weirdest google search, ever. What was this person trying to find? I can’t think of any logical reason.

Okay, don’t care. Back to me!

[Me and cat!]

After a stupendously busy week, another busy week comes.

Today.

Meeting with Microsoft to discuss an exciting new gaming campaign!

Drums practice. New revelation. I’ve never loved an instrument as much as I’m loving the drums. Practiced for three hours straight yesterday (playing the same song over and over and over) and still felt like I could go on, but then I had to rush off to attend a performance.

Rush home after drums to get dressed to attend Nokia Connection 2008. I have to wear a cocktail dress for that. Stress. (Hate wearing that kinda thing.)

Tomorrow.

Photoshoot for Short+Sweet publicity campaign. I think that’s gonna be fun!

Drums practice. It’s sad that I don’t have a drum set at home so I have to keep travelling to the studio to practise. It takes me an hour to get there and an hour to get home.

Wednesday.

Communicasia 2008 bloggers event. So many launches this week!

Drums class. Yay!

Cathay and Sony launching their new digital movie system. Free movie screening. Yay.

Thursday.

Rehearsal.

Work on Gamer Girl Friday. Make videos (hopefully).

Friday

Looks miraculously free. But, as things have been working out the past months, I think this day is gonna fill up before mid-week.

I don’t have time for myself.

I hardly have time to blog.

No time to play games except on my NDSL when taking the MRT. Except these days I’m listening to music and practising drums in my head on the MRT.

Time’s up! Gotta scram!

Have a great week, people! =)

I formed a rock band!

My calf is aching, my throat is sore and my thumb is screaming.

Such is the result of the evil that is Rock Band.

I can’t wait to torture my body again!

I was really excited about Rock Band when news of its impending release came. We camped our regular gaming store and waited miserably for it to arrive in Singapore.

It took forever. By the time it did, all the excitement had died. I got busy with other stuff and lost all interest in the game.

So when the Goonfather bought the game unannouced on Tuesday night, I was, like, “Dude! That’s $389!!”

(I don’t actually call him Dude in real life. It just seemed right to type that.)

The game box is really huge. It filled up the entire car boot.

[Rock Band sitting in our car]

We took it home.

[Rock Band sitting on our floor]

The Goonfather took photos of the unwrapping, so I have to publish them because this is like the first time he voluntarily took photos for me.

(Every time I ask him to take a photo of me, he makes a face and grumpily takes a hasty, blur shot. Which is why I had to master the art of self-camwhoring.)

Okay, back to the box!

[Opening Rock Band]

A scary looking bright pink warning slip!

It looks scary but when you read it, you’ll go, “Duh.”

[Warning slip]

Duh.

[Rock Band software and drumsticks]

Ooh. The software and drumsticks!

Strangely, that makes me feel hungry. I’m thinking of chicken now.

[Rock Band microphone]

Ahh, the microphone! It looks rather small and retarded if you ask me. Very not glam. Hmm… in the first place, do rock stars use this kind of microphones? I thought they use headset mics. I can’t remember cos I don’t watch MTVs or concerts all that much.

This looks more fit for karaoke. Hahaha.

Ok, next.

[Rock Band unpacked]

Everything out of the box!

There’s a drum set, a wireless guitar and a microphone to form a three-man rock band.

Rock Band allows up to four players for a jamming session (drums, vocals, lead guitar, bass guitar) but the box only comes with one guitar, which is so inconvenient!!

The company doesn’t sell individual guitars. If you want an extra guitar to form a full band, you need to buy another Rock Band set.

Of course we’re not going to do that. You think we print money is it?

Anyway, since we have two people at home only, the Goonfather decided to get a mic stand so one person can play the guitar while singing and the other person can play the drums.

It was too late to rush out to buy a mic stand, so the Goonfather made his own. (How much does a mic stand cost, anyway?)

[Making a mic stand]

He has a bunch of toilet pipes lying around at home from a previous, abandoned project, so he dragged them out and drilled some holes and played lego with the toilet pipes to form this:

[Toilet pipe mic stand]

Wahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s so terribly unglam lah!!!!!!!!

I think we should call our rock band Toilet Pipes.

Close up:

[Close up of toilet pipe mic stand]

The drilling was to make a lobang for the wire to stick out of:

[Close up of toilet pipe mic stand 2]

I don’t know why they can’t give us a wireless microphone if they can give us a wireless guitar. It’s so stupid.

Last night, we invited Morte over to jam with us.

[First jamming session]

They are both still in their work clothes!!! Hahahahaha! I could just die laughing.

Here’s a back view picture of me on the drums.

[Back view]

There’s no front view because Morte didn’t photograph any.

We were too busy to take photos, anyway. Most of the night, we took turns swapping instruments and trying them all out. It was so addictive that Morte stayed till 10:30 pm, even though he had to be at SIM at 10:30 pm to pick his wife up from school. Hahahahaha. (It’s about a 30-minute drive from my place to SIM.)

I wonder if Wang Wang (Morte’s wife) gave him hell for it. I would if I were her. Hahahahaha!

As you can tell, I am highly amused by the entire incident.

Okay, that was a preliminary jamming session and like everyone was in their work clothes, so I didn’t take too many photos.

I’ll take better photos when we organise a proper session on a weekend with all my friends!

It is damn fun!! And damn funny!!! Especially when your friends are crap at a particular instrument and you can scold them for making you die. Hahahahaha.

Okay, of course dying is not funny. But you know what I mean.

I love playing the drums. Playing guitar is more glamorous but I’m kind of sick of it because it’s like Guitar Hero.

The drums is cool! But its hell on your right calf because you’re using your calf muscles to step on the foot pedal. I found out last night that I have really weak calf muscles. It’s a muscle I didn’t even know existed until last night! *lol* It started feeling irritated and trembly when I played too many songs requiring a lot of fast, nifty footwork. (Or maybe our chair was too low.)

The vocals part is fun only if you know the song. They do give you lyrics to sing to and a pitch indicator to tell you whether you’re singing the right note or not, but it’s better if you already know the song.

And it is DAMN COOL playing the guitar and singing at the same time… like a real rock star! Hehehehe!

But I’m not going to videotape myself doing that cos I sound horrible singing rock songs, like a frog croaking. Luckily, the game doesn’t judge you on voice quality. It only judges pitch. You don’t even have to sing the right words. You can la la la through the whole song and still score top marks if you hit all the right notes. Hahaha.

We made a band last night to play in career mode and called it Buns N’ Hoses. (Morte’s idea.) Hahahahahaha!!!!

I better stop blogging now before I kill myself laughing.

More pictures next time!!