GGF#49: Next-gen gaming for the family

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Well, we’re a little late this week but it can’t be helped, can it? Better late than dead!

So, this week was E3 week, which obviously means that I got swamped with E3 material to sort through and report on, which kind of is a major bummer because I also received three brand new games to play (and review) since Thursday but haven’t even had time to free them from their wrappers yet.

It’s been a crazy busy week!

By the way, I am right now sitting at J.Co (Tampines 1) having a frozen yoghurt while working on this column. But that’s a long story which has no bearing on games.

So… onward with the goodies!

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Table of Contents

  1. Project Natal – Changing the face of gaming
  2. Facebook and Twitter on Xbox LIVE
  3. Xbox 360 exclusive games announced at E3
  4. More Xbox 360 games coming up
  5. Cute, mini PSPgo!
  6. Results of last week’s contest
  7. Win a silly looking mouse!!

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Project Natal – Changing the face of gaming

The most exciting announcement made at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo, June 2-4) this year came from Microsoft – the revolutionary Project Natal!

Now, this is very, very important. Natal is pronounced nuh-TALL. Please say it right because you don’t want to sound silly saying it wrong.

Utilising a sensor which combines a camera, depth sensor, microphone and custom processor, Project Natal is virtual reality as we’ve never seen it before. Without clunky equipment!

Project Natal

In layman’s term, Project Natal is playing video games without a controller because YOU are the controller.

Besides being able to detect full body movements and voice commands, the AI is so advanced that it can even detect changes in our facial emotions and respond accordingly. Cool, ne?

Project Natal

Watch the demo videos OMG OMG OMG watch them.

Steven Spielberg was at E3 2009 to present Project Natal.

“The next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear,” he said. “With ‘Project Natal’, we’ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognises us.”

Don Mattrick and Steven Spielberg
Don Mattrick, head of Xbox 360 (left) with visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg

There is no ETA on a release date yet. Microsoft is keeping very mum.

But Project Natal pwns!

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Facebook and Twitter on Xbox LIVE

Social networking is coming to our TV screens!

Xbox LIVE has teamed up with Facebook and Twitter to bring both applications to the TV through the Xbox 360 console.

Seems like this is going to give us more reasons to be couch potatoes.

Twitter:

Twitter on Xbox 360

Facebook:

Facebook on Xbox 360

Facebook on Xbox 360

Facebook on Xbox 360

Should be happening by the end of the year!

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Xbox 360 exclusive games announced at E3

Alan Wake (Mar 2010)

Alan Wake

An intense psychological action thriller from the developers of the Max Payne series. Riveting plot, cinematic, engaging and suspenseful, twists, innovative combat, realistic environment. I’ve got my eye on this!! But it’s a darn long wait.

Crackdown 2 (2010)

Crackdown 2

Sequel to the award-winning Crackdown. Be the judge, jury and executioner for a vast, infected city. Multiplayer co-op and versus (up to 16 players) available and better than ever!

Forza Motorsport 3 (Oct 2009)

Forza Motorsport 3

Drive your dream car in this definitive racing game that allows you to experience the most realistic racing experience ever. From an Audi R8 V10 to a Nissan 370Z, there’s a car waiting for every enthusiast!

Gears of War 2: Dark Corners (Jul 28, 2009)

Gears of War 2: Dark Corners

Expansion pack to the best-selling Gears of War 2, which has already sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Dark Corners features a new campaign chapter as well as seven brand new multiplayer maps.

Halo 3: ODST (Sep 22, 2009)

Halo 3: ODST

Experience the events leading up to the epic story in Halo 3 through the eyes of a special forces ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper). Includes a brand new campaign and three new Halo 3 multiplayer maps.

Left 4 Dead 2 (Nov 2009)

Left 4 Dead 2

After the success of the critically acclaimed Left 4 Dead, this sequel looks set to raise the benchmark for co-op action games. Left 4 Dead 2 introduces a different set of survivors, new boss zombies and weapons, and melee combat.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction (Sep 2009)

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction

Sam Fisher has been betrayed! And he must race against time to thwart a deadly terrorist plot! Well, that’s you. Expect improved features, interactivity, immersion and brand new multiplayer modes with this latest instalment of the multimillion selling franchise.

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More Xbox 360 games coming up

Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII

Apparently, this eagerly anticipated title will only be released in North America and Europe. What??!

Metal Gear Solid: Rising

Metal Gear Solid: Rising

MGS comes to the Xbox 360 for the first time! Woohoo. Welcome!

Modern Warfare 2 (Nov 10, 2009)

Modern Warfare 2

Sequel to the ever-popular Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Xbox LIVE gamers will be the first to get their hands on two MW2 map packs.

The Beatles: Rock Band (Sep 9, 2009)

The Beatles: Rock Band

The world’s leading music game meets the greatest band in history! Well, that’s what the official website says, anyway. I’m inclined to be very excited about this release.

Tony Hawk: RIDE (Sep 2009)

Tony Hawk: RIDE

This game uses a skateboard controller with full motion sensor so you get to physically do your skateboard stunts. Woo! Broken furniture, anyone?

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Cute, mini PSPgo!

Another delight unveiled at E3. The pocket-sized PSPgo is the next-gen PlayStation Portable which promises to make our gaming lives even more convenient.

PSPgo

For the download happy, the PSP’s UMB drive has been replaced with a 16GB flash memory to store all your digital entertainment needs, which can be downloaded from the PlayStation Network.

It’s smaller and lighter and has an easy sliding display panel.

PSPgo

The PSPgo will be available from Oct 1, 2009, at a recommended retail price of US$249. Comes in Piano Black and Pearl White. I don’t mind having a white one! =)

Hmm… but they neber gimme me peekture of the white one.

PSPgo

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Results of last week’s contest

Sorry for the overdueness of this, but we have two winners for the inFAMOUS postcards and posters!

inFAMOUS postcards

inFAMOUS poster

ahtiong wins himself an inFAMOUS poster AND a set of grungy postcards!

Sacrelicious wins a set of postcards!

Awesome blossom! Thanks for particpating in this giveaway. Please e-mail me to claim your prize, okay guys? =)

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Win a silly looking mouse!!

Well, you won’t quite believe this, but someone won this mouse last year but was too shy to collect his prize, so it’s been sitting around in my home for more than half a year now, looking silly.

Silly looking mouse

Recently, the winner requested to give it out as a prize again, so that’s what I’m doing.

If you would like to win this cute brinjal, please post a comment to sign up for the giveaway. A draw will take place and the brinjal will have a new owner.

It could be you!

Or not.

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In fact, what I’ve published today isn’t even half of what I’ve got for E3 but I’m not able to process everything, so maybe I’ll do a continuation next week.

Depends. Maybe no one will be interested anymore by next week.

Also depends on whether I have time to touch the new games I’ve got.

Life is so full of depends.

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#13: Sheylara endorses Xbox 360

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Woo! If you’re an Xbox fan, congratulations! You can expect tons of exciting developments this year to keep you happy and busy!

If you’re not a fan, I recommend that you give the Xbox 360 a try. And I’m not saying that just because I’m the Xbox ambassador. I’m saying it because I’m having a heck lot of fun with it and I’m really hyped about the new stuff that’s in store!

Today’s GGF is all about the Xbox because that’s what’s happening this week. But don’t worry. I will still talk about other platforms and consoles in the coming weeks.

The Xbox people believe in well-rounded gamers and for that I’m really thankful. After all, games are games and gamers are gamers. Bottomline, we all just wanna have fun, right?

I’m so in love with the Xbox 360! Come join me on Xbox LIVE!

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Table of Contents

  1. Sheylara as Xbox ambassador
  2. Xbox Singapore announces many exciting things
  3. Upcoming games on Xbox 360
  4. Sheylara in World Cyber Games
  5. Babes at World Cyber Games
  6. Results of last week’s contest
  7. Ask Sheylara
  8. Win a fantastic game called Too Human!!

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Sheylara as Xbox ambassador

A new campaign for Xbox LIVE has launched in Singapore.

And I’m part of it!

It’s called the Xbox Xperts program and I’m the first Xpert onboard.

More than just a brand ambassador, the Xbox Xpert will guide new users through Xbox LIVE and help them connect to the Xbox LIVE community.

Come and read my Xpert blog here!! (And if you have a minute, do register and post some comments!)

I’m not really an expert in the traditional sense of the word, though. And, in my Xpert blog, I’ll still be blogging in my usual rubbish manner which you all love. RIGHT?

You can read the press release to get the full details if you’re the sort who likes reading press releases.

Also, watch out for advertisements on buses and MRTs in the next week or so.

Oh, and dig this. New subscribers of Xbox LIVE Gold memberships will be rewarded with two movie tickets as a welcome gift!

This is an amazing offer because you’re also getting a free one-month trial Gold account when you sign up!

Trust me. Xbox LIVE is very addictive. Once you log in and play some games and start getting those achievement points, your gaming habits will change, like mine did.

Okay, now, please tell all your friends about this and get on the program!

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Xbox SG announces many exciting things

Some of the things you know, some you don’t. I’m just gonna tell you everything to make sure you don’t miss anything!

X08 Coming Soon!

This is a huge gaming convention which will be very fun and very cool and very awesome and very everything good!

The last one happened two years ago. That was X06.

On October 24 this year, there will be X08! Mark your calendars!

Very funky cool Xbox retail shops

New concept stores will soon be built for users to immerse themselves in the true Xbox experience!

Events will also be held in those stores… and I think I’m supposed to make public appearances for some of them.

Nice. I hope I’ll get to play some games in there!

New and improved Xbox LIVE dashboard

Xbox LIVE will soon have a new look and user experience.

This was announced at E3 so it’s not very new news but it’s still exciting, nonetheless. You’ll be able to create customised avatars and there will be a lot more fun content to download. Look out for it!

For a detailed overview of what’s in store, read this article.

Xbox 360 is very affordable now!

The Xbox 360 has seen a price drop from $620 to $499.

Not only that, the new Xbox Pro, which comes with a 60GB harddisk, will be available from mid August also at $499!

Great time to buy an Xbox now, I think.

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Upcoming games on Xbox 360

Too Human

I am most interested in this title because:

  • It’s an interesting mix between fantasy and science fiction, combining gods of mythology with technology.
  • It’s got cool quotes like “He who fights monsters should take care not to become one” (Nietzsche).
  • The genre is interesting, action combined with RPG, and the story is rich.
  • It’s releasing SOON!! On August 19 to be exact!

You can watch the trailer here or view the official site here.

You can also win a copy!!!

Fable II

I didn’t play the first Fable but I’ve read good reviews of it.

I want to play Fable II because:

  • The Fable series is an RPG with a difference. You can become a good or evil person based on your actions. In Fable II, you can get married and have children and the fate of your family depends also on your choices in the game.
  • You can start earning gold for the game from next week! Yes, you didn’t read wrong. You will be able to download Fable II Pub Games on Xbox LIVE Arcade. Points you earn from playing those games will be turned into actual gold pieces that will be deposited into your Fable II account when the game is live!

Fable II releases Oct 21, 2008.

Japanese RPGs

Fans of JRPGs will be really pleased to learn that several exciting titles are in the Xbox 360 lineup!

Starting with Tales of Vesperia by Namco Bandai, there’s going to be a slew of JRPGs to quench your gaming thirst!

Square Enix, the popular giant that made Final Fantasy, has committed to making an exclusive JRPG title for the Xbox 360.

Infinite Undiscovery is the title and – OMG – you must check out the website. It makes me want to play it now. I’m DYING to play it now.

Well, okay, mainly cos the music is so nice. Haha. But the game does look really good, too.

It’s coming on Sept 2!!

Also, Final Fantasy is finally coming to the Xbox 360! No dates yet, but expect to play Final Fantasy XIII on your Xbox! Let’s hope it comes sooner rather than later!

There are tons more games coming up:

Gears of War 2, Banjo-Kazooie, Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, The Last Remnant and Lips!

Aren’t you hyped?

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Sheylara in World Cyber Games

Yesterday, as part of the WCG celebrations, Microsoft Xbox hosted a press conference at Harry’s Millenia Walk, where I was introduced to the press.

So many journalists attended the event.

This is me before the event started, in my Xpert outfit.

After the event, I popped over to WCG in Suntec, where Bryan de Silva of RAZORTV interviewed me for, well, RAZORTV.

After the interview, Bryan challenged me to a game of Guitar Hero 3, which turned out to be quite hilarious.

I can’t tell you the results yet. Wait and watch on RAZORTV!

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Babes at World Cyber Games

There were fewer babes than I expected, but they were all very pretty!

Samsung babes:

Intel babes:

There are more, I believe. Go check ’em out yourself!

World Cyber Games is now on at Suntec Convention Centre Halls 402 & 403, until Sunday.

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Results of last week’s contest

Wow, lots of people wanted the Gran Turismo 5 windbreaker! Unfortunately, I only have one to give away.

Randomiser proclaims the winner of this awesome windbreaker to be Anlooo!

Congratulations, Anlooo! Randomiser loves you! Will contact you soon about your prize collection!

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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 (unless I get like 500 questions a day).

Nikhil asks an Xbox 360 question:

I have bought an Xbox 360 in singapore. I would like to know which format of Xbox 360 games I can use for my Xbox 360 (NTSCJ or PAL). Thanks.

Sheylara Says:

That would be NTSC-J. Remember to sign up for your free one-month LIVE Gold account to get free movie tickets! :) More info found here.

aig asks an Xbox 360 question:

Have you guys managed to make the Xbox Media Center work flawlessly? I have a Windows Vista laptop and I tried to set it up with my Xbox 360 Media Center feature. They can detect each other; problem is I am not able to play a video nor a picture slideshow on it because it is very slow. Ever had the same experience?

Sheylara Says:

We haven’t had a lot of success in this area, either, trying it on both wired and wireless connections. But there’s an alternative you can try, which works for us. Watch your video off a thumbdrive, which you can plug directly into the Xbox 360’s USB port. The playback is decent on that. :P

Anlooo asks a GGF question:

Can you do a section in PSP games review?

Sheylara Says:

I certainly welcome suggestions of what you guys want to see in GGF. However, I can’t promise that I will take up every suggestion. What appears on GGF every week is very dependent on my resources for the week and amount of time I have to work on it.

If a PSP game appears in my life, I will review it. If it doesn’t, I can’t. Maybe if game companies start sending me games to review, I will be able to do permanent sections, but not until then!

Alfred asks a Ninja Gaiden II question:

How to open the gate in Stage 5 where there’s a lot water???

Sheylara Says:

I believe you’re talking about the bridge gate in the Aqua Capital. There’s a shop directly opposite the gate, right? While facing the shop, you can see a small door on your right. Kick that down and go inside. You’ll find the key inside a chest.

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Win a fantastic game called Too Human!

Yes! I managed to wrangle a game for you guys to win! And it’s a game that I dearly want to play myself! I hope I can wrangle a copy for myself, too, when it releases!

This prize is kindly sponsored by the Xbox team in Singapore!

Well, I don’t have the physical copy yet since it won’t be released till Aug 19. That also means the winner won’t get a copy until then, too.

But let’s win it first!

The usual deal, okay, cos I don’t have time to think up anything fancy.

Post a comment saying you want it before next Friday.

Then go suck up to the randomiser so that it will pick you.

Good luck, everyone!!

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Woah, this has been quite a dizzying week. Lots of stuff happening, hyperventilation, general craziness.

And people publishing ugly photos of me in the papers. OMG.

I suppose that can’t be helped.

I want to thank all my friends and supporters for saying that you still love me even though I have ugly photos. You guys are the best and I love you!

[Gamer Girl Friday]