GGF#60: I met Ian Livingstone!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

I could never stop being a gamer.

Now that I don’t have time to play serious games, I find myself compulsively playing stupid kiddy games, such as Facebook games, which I mentioned last week.

I almost feel ashamed of myself.

I also recently downloaded a bunch of free iPhone games just for days when I’m caught with nothing to do outside and I didn’t bring my DS.

Last night, in bed, I decided to play Lemonade Tycoon (!!!) on my phone for 15 minutes to make myself sleepy so I can fall asleep.

Lemonade Tycoon

I ended up spending an hour on it but it didn’t feel like an hour at all. It felt like 15 minutes.

I had to lock my phone in the bathroom to force myself to sleep.

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Table of Contents

  1. Heroes Over Europe
  2. Time Wasters by Swordplay
  3. Sheylara goes to GCA 09
  4. Forza Motorsport 3 video
  5. Results of last week’s contest
  6. Win a limited Forza 3 2GB thumbdrive!

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Heroes over Europe

Heroes Over Europe

A review by the Goonfather

I have always wanted to get into a cockpit and get entangled in chaotic dogfights.

I have tried playing games such as Wing Commander, Strike Commander, F15 Strike Eagle III, Falcon 3.0 and F-22 Lightning II, but gave up after a couple of tries. You need to have attended flight school for a week just to make sense of the controls in these games.

So it was for that reason that I stopped buying flight combat games despite being sorely tempted with each release.

Heroes Over Europe

Then, one day, I found a copy of Heroes Over Europe sitting on my desk, courtesy of Sheylara. I hesitated a little. To be honest, I still have an unwrapped copy of Blazing Angels which I bought more than a year ago.

But thanks to the forceful persuasion Sheylara, I finally relented and played Heroes Over Europe over the weekend. My first impression of the game was: “Wow! Easy controls!” There are no gauges to bother with and the controls are as simple as those of FPS games.

Heroes Over Europe

The gameplay is less of a flight simulator and more of an arcade shooter, which will appeal to players looking for a fun game rather than a realistic flight sim. There’s the regular “chase, aim and fire” tactic to take down the enemy, or the ace kill mode.

When your meter charges up, you can go into Ace mode where time slows down and you can zoom in a great distance to see in magnified detail the enemy pilot, gunner, engine and ammo container. You will need to hit one of these vital spots to one-shot the plane. (Bigger planes may require two vital spots to be taken.)

Heroes Over Europe

There is also a nose dive tactic, in which you’re required to dive straight down at full throttle while firing at the enemy. Damage is maximised in this stunt.

The storyline seems messy and weak as the game takes you to different missions in different areas. The story revolves around three pilots, each out to become a hero of the skies during the WWII era. I just skip the stories and go straight for the action, which is addictive enough as it is.

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Time Wasters by Swordplay

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.

This week: Vox Populi, Vox Dei (a werewolf thriller)

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Description: An adventure game about heartbreak and werewolves! Sneak up on werewolves and tear them apart with your bare hands, leaving a trail of pixelated blood.

Gotta love the description!

Vox Populi, Vox Dei, by the way, is a Latin expression meaning “The voice of the people is the voice of God”.

I don’t know what that has to do with werewolves and heartbreak, but it’s a cute, simple side-scrolling game.

Here’s what the pixelated blood looks like.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Yes, I caused that bloodshed, evil me.

You get to pounce on werewolves then hit Space Space Space (see the signboard behind?) to liquefy them. You can actually see the blood spurting out and dripping.

How do they manage to make 8-bit games so gory?

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Sheylara goes to GCA 09

I went to GCA 09, as y’all know, shot some footage and did some interviews.

Here’s the video after much procrastination. (I really dread editing videos cos it’s such a tedious process!)

I mainly just went around the Xbox 360 booth, so you’ll be seeing mostly Forza Motorsport 3 and Halo 3 ODST.

Actually, you’ll be mostly seeing me suck at playing the two games.

I also had a chat with The Great Ian Livingstone (Life President of Eidos, founder of Games Workshop, author of Fighting Fantasy books).

Sheylara with Ian Livingstone

He has a new Fighting Fantasy book out, called Stormslayer. A few other popular titles in the series have also been revamped and republished, with more colour and in B4 size.

I’m also hearing that some FF titles will soon be available on the iPhone and DS, like around Christmas! Gasp!

I digress.

Other interviews in the video: John Wendl (Content Director of Turn 10, for Forza 3), Erik Ford (Regional Senior Marketing Manager, Xbox 360) and the two Forza 3 booth babes!

Forza 3 is looking really great! The demo is out now on Xbox LIVE, so go check it out!

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Forza Motorsport 3

Oh, yeah, I think I haven’t shown the Forza videos here, yet. (I have too many channels for gaming news to take care of, these days. I get confused.)

Check this out. It will make you so want to play the game!

Forza Motorsport releases on Oct 23, 2009, exclusively for the Xbox 360.

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Results of last week’s contest

These exclusive GTA t-shirts are going to three lucky people!

Ballad of Gay Tony t-shirts

Amazingly, Mr Randomiser picked NNNW, bryan and Piers!

Congratulations! You three are getting the awesome tees!

Please e-mail me to claim your prizes. (Prizes not claimed after two months will be returned to the giveaway pool.)

Thanks!

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Win a limited Forza 3 2GB thumbdrive!

I was going to keep this for myself because it’s beautiful and it’s 2GB!

Forza 3 thumbdrive

But after some thought, I decided to be nice and share it. I’m sure some Forza fan out there would love to have this.

This thumbdrive is one of the goodies that come in the Forza Motorsport 3 Limited Edition game.

To win this, tell me how much of a Forza fan you are. The person I think is the biggest fan will win.

Terms & Conditions

  1. Winners will not be notified. Please check the next issue of GGF for results and instructions.
  2. Prizes not claimed after two months will be returned to the giveaway pool!
  3. Closing date is Oct 8, 2009, 11:59pm.

It pays to be a fan!

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Back to the topic of iPhone games, Nanny Wen recently introduced me to this game called Tap Tap Revenge 2. It’s also free. It’s a music game where you tap on notes as they fall.

Tap Tap Revenge 2

By the way, I only download free games on the iPhone. It’s like that. When you give someone something free from the start, they find it hard to pay for the same, subsequently.

That’s why I haven’t attempted to purchase the paid version of the game even though I really enjoy it, and it has only a few songs in the free version, and iPhone games are actually really cheap (value for money).

You gotta wonder what’s wrong with people.

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#58: It’s raining food!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

This has been an eventful gaming week!

There was GCA 2009 with eclusive showcases of Forza 3 and Halo 3 ODST.

I met the great Ian Livingstone.

I also met with some Rockstar people, who shared with us developments in the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

I received five new games to play (and review): WET, Heroes over Europe, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Dirt 2 and Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

So, I really, really need someone to invent a time stopper!

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Table of Contents

  1. Cloudy with a chance of meatballs
  2. Time Wasters by Swordplay
  3. Photos from GCA 2009
  4. Win a New Era Games haversack!!

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Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

This funny title started as a children’s book in 1978 about a town called Chewandswallow where it literally rains and snows food.

It’s now a movie and a game, released Sep 18 and 15, respectively.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Well, I have somewhat outgrown children’s movies and games (Hello Kitty not counted because Hello Kitty is for all ages), but of the five new games I received this week, I decided to play CwaCoM first because it looked the simplest and I just wanted to play something brainless after suffering an insufferably busy week.

Surprisingly, I found it enjoyable. In fact, I want to play it right now instead of writing GGF, but we can’t always do what we want, especially since GGF is already a day late!

So I will zip through GGF today and maybe have some time left over to get back to it. =P

In CwaCoM, you play a quirky inventor who invents this machine that makes food fall from the sky so that people can have better lives.

The machine works but then quickly gets out of control. Soon, your townsfolk are terrorised by giant foodstuff raining on them mercilessly.

Imagine being flattened by this giant piece of broccoli!

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Or giant burgers!

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

I must say, though, that playing this game made me very, very hungry.

So, your task is to get out there and vaporise food. You have five different weapons which deal with the monstrous foods in different ways, such as melting them down or hacking them to pieces.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Killing food earns you points which you can use to upgrade your weapons.

Some foods just sit there harmlessly (or obstruct passageways) while other foods are aggro. For example, you could get rained on by sizzling hot chilli sauce or get bitten by cute gummi bears that won’t leave you alone until you slice them into oblivion.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

The first mobs you’ll encounter are annoying snowmen that shoot snowballs at you the moment you walk into range. You’ll need to melt them down before they pelt you to death with snowballs.

It doesn’t matter if you die, though. The game just lets you start over where you last died, with no penalties.

In this way, you progress through five acts, each of which consists about five missions. I’ve only completed the first act. It’s fun! And I believe it will get more interesting in the later acts when you get to change weapons mid-mission.

Besides fighting homicidal foodstuff, you also have the challenge of navigation. Once in a while, you’ll have to figure out how to use objects in the environment to help you get where you want to go.

There are some places that are quite hard to get to but you’ll want to get to them in order to unlock the ultimate weapon.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

You can probably complete the game without it, or you can redo missions to get what you missed earlier.

I think kids will really love this game. Adults with a sense of fun will like it, too.

I think I want to watch the movie, now!

CwaCoM is available across all platforms.

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Time Wasters by Swordplay

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.

This week’s game: CANABALT

CANABALT

This game only requires one button (I use the spacebar). It’s a side-scrolling game with your avatar running automatically in superspeed mode across rooftops. You have to jump across obstacles and buildings to stay alive for as long as possible. (Crashing into a wall or falling to your death ends the game.)

CANABALT

Great for a quick distraction!

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Photos from GCA 2009

Games Convention Asia 2009 is still on until tomorrow (Sunday, Sep 20)!

Xbox fans are going crazy with the opportunity to play Forza Motorsport 3 and Halo 3 ODST before actual game release. (It’s free. Just walk in to the 4th floor exhibition hall and you can start playing — if there isn’t a queue, that is.)

I was there on Thursday to shoot some videos and do some interviews, but I don’t have time to edit the videos yet, so here are some photos first, taken from the Xbox 360 Facebook Fan Page.

GCA 2009
The Forza Motorsport 3 girls.

GCA 2009
John Wendl, Content Director of Turn 10 Studios, showcasing Forza 3 on the GCA stage.

GCA 2009
Me with John Wendl.

GCA 2009
The Forza 3 racing station with three-screen setup.

GCA 2009
Xbox 360 booth next to EA booth.

GCA 2009
Me with the Forza girls and Kellyn.

GCA 2009
Me with the Forza girls and Ian Livingstone.

GCA 2009
Taken with my crappy camera.

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Win a New Era Games haversack!!

I have an attractive haversack here with an interesting single strap at the back, and the words, “Gaming at its best!”

New Era Games haversack

I wanted to give this out last week but didn’t have time to include the giveaway section, so here it is today!

If you want it, just post a comment telling us what are the items always found in your bag! I’ll randomly pick a winner.

Closing date is Thursday, Sep 24, 11:50 pm!

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Whee! Back to playing kiddy games!!

Bah, who am I kidding? I have more (other) work to do, lol.

Enjoy your long weekend and Selamat Hari Raya!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

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]