GGF#39: Xbox Taiwan interviews Sheylara

[Gamer Girl Friday]

In view of publishing this issue as soon as possible, I am not going to make a speech here today. On with the goods!

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Table of Contents

  1. Xbox Taiwan interviews Sheylara
  2. Ninja Blade short review
  3. Resident Evil 5 special edition bundle
  4. The biggest Halo fan in Singapore…
  5. Why I’m playing Guild Wars now
  6. Win a Street Fighter IV calendar!!

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Xbox Taiwan interviews Sheylara

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!

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Ninja Blade short review

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.

Original costume:

Looted costume:

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.

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Resident Evil 5 special edition bundle

The much anticipated Resident Evil 5 now comes as part of an Xbox 360 deal that will blow you fans away!

For just S$590, receive this whole bundle of goodies!

  • Xbox 360 console
  • Resident Evil 5 game
  • Matching wireless controller
  • Wired headset
  • Exclusive premium Resident Evil 5 theme for Xbox LIVE
  • Resident Evil 5 Making-Of DVD
  • 3-month Xbox LIVE Gold subscription card
  • Exclusive tin case
  • Bonus card to download Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Whee! All the better to prepare your battle against the zombies!

The Resident Evil 5 special edition bundle is only available while stocks last.

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The biggest Halo fan in Singapore…

…will be revealed tomorrow!!

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!

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Why I’m playing Guild Wars now

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.

Oops!

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.

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Win a Street Fighter IV calendar!!

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:

  1. Who’s your favourite Street Fighter character and why.
  2. 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.

Closing date: Thursday, March 5, 2009, 11:59 pm.

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I am currently playing: Guild Wars, Puzzle Quest, Grand Theft Auto IV, Funtown Mahjong…

You know what, scratch that.

I am currently playing: A heap of games.

So it is with a lot of effort that I pry myself from my games to fulfill all my responsibilities daily, including publishing Gamer Girl Friday.

If GGF is late or absent sometimes, you gotta understand. I’m Gamer Girl Friday, not Writer Girl Friday! =P

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Sheylara in costume

The lines are blurring between my roles as actress and gamer. Sometimes, I’m both at the same time, which is awesome, because I get to wear outrageous costumes and play computer games on the job.

I can’t tell you anything about the job because of confidentiality issues, but the costume is from the Korean MMORPG, Granado Espada, and I’m supposed to be an Elementalist. I wish I could keep the costume! But it’s professionally-made and has a four-figure price tag. Scary.

I think I look a little silly because the costume is kinda poofy and it’s obviously European, which I obviously am not. And my hair is wrong for the Baroque-style costume, but the wig that came with the it was all ratty so the director said to do without it.

I also had the chance to play the game but, to be honest, I prefer WoW and EQ2. The selling point of GE, which is that you can control three characters at once, doesn’t quite appeal to me. I like having only one character so I can focus on her and pamper her exclusively. Haha.

But a game’s a game and playing games is always fun!

I had to take more photographs because I might never get the chance to wear this again.

I also took a group shot with the other actors.

You might notice that two of them don’t have shoes on. Pity, because it kinda spoils the look of the photo. But it was a mad rush at the studio that day because we were running late and we were all changing in and out of different outfits the whole morning.

And the only time four of us were in GE costumes and were available to take a group photo, the two just happened to have their shoes off and the crew didn’t have time to wait for them to put their shoes back on. We had to quickly take our photographs, change out, and get on with the shoot.

Well, I need to have more shoots like that!