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]

Sheylara, future drummer extraordinaire

Okay, not quite extraordinaire, seeing as I’m a reputed klutz and am all hands and feet.

(You might argue that a good drummer is all hands and feet, but I kinda meant mine in the negative way.)

Anyway, this is a semi-long story so I’ll start from the beginning.

Remember the Goonfather bought Rock Band six weeks back?

[Rock Band in the boot]

Well, we haven’t had much time to play it. Let’s just say we’ve played it fewer than 10 times since we’ve got it, but it seems that the drum is my instrument.

I find the drums most fun to play. I’m also the official drummer in our “band” because I happen to be the best at it in our group (although Minou is possibly as good as I am, just that, for some reason, she refuses to play in hard and expert modes).

The Goonfather thought I should have a pair of real drumsticks. He’d read that anti-vibe drumsticks will reduce the ridiculously loud “tok tok tok” sound that you hear when the default Rock Band drumsticks hit the drum pads.

So we went to Yamaha. We tried a few different ones and found that they all sounded about the same, anti-vibe or otherwise, so I decided to go for looks.

I am now the proud owner of a pair of dazzling white Zildjian Travis Barker drumsticks!!

[Fake drummer]

And I can’t even play drums. Real ones, I mean.

But they look so good and they feel so good. Seriously, it feels so much better playing with real drumsticks, like more solid or something.

But they also make me feel like a poser. Not a real drummer using real drumsticks! The cheek of me!!

Which led me to consider drumming lessons.

I googled “drumming courses in Singapore” and shortlisted three places to visit and see how I feel about them before making a decision.

Today, I was out for an audition and a work meeting, so I thought I’d check out those rock schools on the way.

I went first to The Music Lab. Within two minutes, I signed up and paid the deposit for four lessons, committing myself to 24 lessons.

I hate shopping around. I hate waiting. I hate dilly dallying. Not always a good thing, but it gets things done.

[Still fake drummer]

Ok, fine. I’m impulsive.

I told the Goonfather what I had done and he scolded me for wasting money. As if it’s his money I’m using.

He said I should have signed up with Yamaha because Yamaha charges like $10 less per lesson. When I tried to explain that I don’t care about the cost because I believe in learning from the best, he said I shouldn’t believe everything I read on the net.

But he was the one who wanted me to get real drumsticks in the first place and was supportive of me getting drum lessons, so I don’t see why he has to suddenly turn critical!!

Idiot partners.

So, anyway, I refused to talk to him anymore on the subject because I don’t believe in flogging a dead horse. I mean, I already paid the deposit so what did he expect me to do, rob it back?

[Not drummer]

But now I kinda regret signing up because this wasn’t even part of my masterplan.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me this year. I keep doing things that are not part of the plan. I think I’ve been possessed by aliens or something.

It’s not that I’m not excited about the lessons. (I start next week!) I love learning new things. And I’ve always loved drums.

I watched a Metallica tour video eons ago and fell in love with Lars Ulrich (the drummer) because his drumming made my heart skip a beat, it’s so good.

But being a drummer has never been something I felt I needed to do. I don’t think I could ever be a good drummer, anyway, because I’m so uncoordinated. (Rock Band is different. It’s easy because there are only four pads and a foot pedal.)

I guess I’m just curious about real drumming. I have this impression that drummers are not human because what they do seems impossible, especially those who seem to suddenly grow ten hands and twenty feet when playing.

Aiyah. Don’t care so much lah. Like I said, I already paid the deposit so wtf I’m just going to have fun with it, bugger them all. I think I need the stress relief. Life has been getting too stressful of late.

But the aliens possessing me had better stop making me do anymore crazy things.

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!!