GGF#28: Giddy with games

[Gamer Girl Friday]

I’m sorry GGF didn’t make it last week! For the last few months, I’ve been getting progressively busier and busier. It’s quite amazing because every week I tell people, “I have never been so busy in my life!” And then, the next week, I’m even busier than the last week.

This has been happening for months!

Oh, well, that’s life!

Amazingly, also, I managed to cough out an issue of GGF today. I spent about five hours on it, after already spending five hours prior to that writing three blogs for my other, um, blogs.

Which means I’ve been writing nonstop for ten hours today!

If got typo, don’t kill me. =P (But let me know so I can fix it.)

Thanks for your patience and continued support of my business! I actually meant busy-ness, but that worked, too.

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Table of Contents

  1. Be a movie star!
  2. Try YITM and win prizes!
  3. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
  4. Survive the zombie apocalypse
  5. Newbie Nites to soothe my ego
  6. Win a funny-shaped mouse!!

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Be a movie star

Okay, I really wanted to do a full review of this game, like, two weeks ago, because it’s a freaking great game, but I didn’t have time.

Sad to say, I still don’t have time now, lol. I’m working 15-20 hours every day, seven days a week, and that’s still not enough to finish all my deadlines. Haha.

Luckily, some of my work involves fun (so I’m not complaining too much).

For instance, I had to spend many fun hours playing this game with my friends and making movies so that the Xbox team can play them as demos in Xbox Xperience Zones.

I’m talking about the game called You’re in the Movies, which is exclusive to the Xbox 360.

Here’s one of the videos we made!

But let me explain the game a little.

The game software comes packaged with a LIVE Vision Camera which you mount above or below your TV so it can film you.

You choose a movie from a list of available movies, choose the number of players, then you each choose the role you want to play.

The game will then take you through a series of action mini games such as karate chopping blocks, running from tornadoes or washing clothes.

Yes, washing clothes. *lol*

Sometimes, two players are required to compete in a mini game.

Depending on how many players there are (1 to 4), you take turns to play your mini games.

Sometimes you’re required to act! The game will make you act surprised or laugh out loud or dance or whatever.

So, all this is recorded and at the end of it, a movie trailer incorporating everything you’ve done is produced!

Here’s another video for your viewing enjoyment:

The fun part is that what you do in the mini games is not reflective of what happens in the end result. Like, if you’re asked to wash clothes, it doesn’t mean there’s a clothes washing scene in the movie. It just means the movie needs you performing an action similar to washing clothes.

You’re always delightfully surprised by how the movie turns out in the end!

I took some behind-the-scenes videos of me and my friends playing but don’t have time to edit it yet. I promise I will show it some day cos it’s very funny! =)

In the meantime, please check out the next article cos you can get a chance to try this game for yourself this weekend! =)

YITM is also a great workout game. My muscles were sore and hurting for two days after playing this game.

Oh… and at the end of the movie screening, there’s a Best Actor award ceremony for the best performer!

I love You’re in the Movies!!

Tip: Buy this game at Xbox Xperience Zones this weekend and receive a free pair of Golden Village movie tickets (while stocks last)!

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Try YITM and win prizes!

There’s a launch event happening this weekend at Xbox Xperiences Zones (Funan Challenger and VivoCity Best Denki) where you can play You’re in the Movies. You might even win something!

There’s also an avatar-making competition. Just turn up and the team will guide you towards making your customised avatar on the New Xbox Experience dashboard. The person who creates the best avatar will win a You’re in the Movies game!

For more info, please check here.

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Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

A review contributed by a loyal fan and supporter of GGF

(That means this isn’t written by Sheylara.)

I’ve never really been a fan of fighting games on any platform, whether in arcades or consoles, but I’ve always made an exception for Mortal Kombat. Ever since I laid eyes on the first MK coin-op back in 1992, it has been the ONLY fighting game I ever paid any attention to.

I mean, life-like digitized characters, movie-like storyline, FATALITIES, what’s not to love, right? (Sorry, Street Fighter faithfuls, no hadoukens for this kid.)

Fast forward four arcade sequels (yes, I’m counting Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, too), countless console ports and hand-held exclusives, along with an action RPG — basically about 20 games — later, I’m still in MK’s thrall, though a teeny bit jaded by all the violence.

Being a parent of young children doesn’t help. But when Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe was announced, I immediately thought, “Didn’t it all end with MK: Armageddon? Could this be a franchise reboot? Or is Midway finally losing the plot?”

I just had to check it out.

Well, after trying out the title at a neighbourhood game shop, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The idea of merging worlds isn’t exactly revolutionary (Capcom vs Marvel, anyone?). But it’s great that Ed Boon and gang managed to pull it off. Not only is the storyline actually plausible (as far as superhero comic book storylines go), the gameplay is pretty solid, as well.

Here’s the gist: Remember Shao Kahn? Raiden and company kicked his butt through a portal. At the same time on Earth, Superman was just finishing up with Darkseid.

These two separate ass-kickings did not destroy either of the bad guys but, instead, merged them into Dark Kahn (!!!) and caused the DC and Mortal Kombat universes to merge.

With the merging, the characters’ abilities start to fluctuate. Which is why Superman can now actually be hurt and the Joker actually stands a chance against Raiden. Brilliant!

Now comes one of the key components of any successful title: the gameplay.

Reminiscent of MK: Dark Alliance, we have another attempt at a fighting system revamp. It definitely works but, man, is the learning curve steep.

You have the standard practice mode, sure. But hand-holding tutorials are nowhere in sight. Casual fighters (who aren’t rabid MK fans like me), will probably be turned off. Kinda reminds me of my short-lived experiences with Tekken. It’s more fun watching great players go at it than actually playing it yourself.

MK (and fighting genre) fans be warned: Just like any console fighters, nothing beats having an actual arcade stick.

Next. KILLER FINISHING MOVES, or FATALITIES, the cornerstone of any MK title.

Unfortunately, because of the tie-in with DC Universe (known for its teen audience), most of the characters’ finishing moves are less than awe-inspiring. Which isn’t to say that they all suck. But there’s a very good reason the game isn’t rated M.

Well, I definitely enjoyed what I’ve experienced in the game so far. I’m sold on this title. But take my recommendation with this proviso: If you aren’t at all nostalgic about Mortal Kombat and its arcade roots, and if seeing Batman facing off against the Joker, Superman, and even Sonya, doesn’t make you all warm and fuzzy inside, then you’d be happier spending your sixty bucks on dinner with your significant other.

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Survive the zombie apocalypse

Left 4 Dead has been out for some time now, but I just want to mention it because this is the first time I’ve enjoyed playing a survival horror FPS!

(That is, I dont normally play survival horror and I certainly do not play FPS.)

I played this on the Xbox 360 with the Goonfather and it’s so fun bashing each other. I mean, like, he bashes me for not keeping up with him (his style of gaming is chionging everywhere like a crazy peacock and shooting first, asking questions later), and I bash him for dying more often than all of us.

Of course, he gets more kills, too, so maybe it balances out, but it is still very inconsiderate of him to keep dying while we are all up to our necks in zombies!!!

In this game, you’re one of the four remaining survivors of a zombie epidemic, trying to escape the town. You can play multiplayer co-op or versus.

That means you get the choice to play a zombie in versus mode! Cool!

Teamwork and strategy are very important because you’re often swarmed (see above picture). And I love how, sometimes, someone on your team will get mugged by a particular zombie and you have to go save him before the zombie chews him up.

It can get pretty scary if you play this alone, at night.

If one of your player team mates goes AFK, uh, I mean, away from the TV, for a toilet break or something, the AI will take over him after a period of inactivity.

Any character not played by a live player is controlled by AI.

Do try the game! Remember, you can always download a demo to try first! ;)

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Newbie Nite to soothe my ego

So, I’ve started playing shooters on Xbox LIVE because it’s part of my job to have fun with the Xbox community, and I must say I really enjoy these gaming sessions despite my utter uselessness with kinetic projectiles of any sort.

I take heart from the fact that I’m allowing some gamers the enjoyment of racking up their scores.

Anyway, for some time now, I’ve been chatting with RN1209 about getting some less-expert folks to play and train together, which gave me the idea of hosting a Newbie Nite for Gears of War 2 on Xbox LIVE one night.

I thought I was going to get some kills in that night by playing with newbies… but I think I got conned.

Read the full report here.

Still, I’m gonna do it again. Haha.

Come join me on Xbox LIVE if you’re new to shooters and want a fighting chance at these games! ;)

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Results of last week’s contest

My last contest was for a 1GB Imation Nano Flash Drive.

I invited readers to tell me what superhero power they would choose if they could choose one, with costumes and names.

That was really entertaining! Really, guys, thanks for your entries! I wish I could pick all of you as winners but I only have one prize. :(

So… I’ve decided to award the prize to terboo for his funny power of forgetting!

My superpower is being super forgetful and Im affectionally known as The Amazing Mr Forgetful!!!

I come to the aid of highly distressed citizens who need someone to confide in with their deepest darkest secrets. What better way to keep a secret then to not even remember it??hah!

I used to have a costume…but…yea…i forgot where i left it and how it looked like. :(

Now’s your chance Sheylara to be a good citizen and help Mr Forgetful with a 1GB flash memory!! Maybe Ill remember to thank you for it too!!

I decided to go for his entry because I found it very refreshing and creative, something which has never crossed my mind. And, of course, because it made me laugh!

Congratulations, terboo!

Please e-mail me about collecting your prize in case I forget! You may be Mr Forgetful, but I bet I’m more forgetful than you.

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Win a funny-shaped mouse!!

I got this as a freebie when I bought my MSI Wind some time back. It’s been sitting in my cupboard waiting while I figured out a use for it.

I can’t think of anything. I find it looking a tad bit ridiculous and can’t bring myself to use it.

But, hey, there must be people in the world who like it since at least one person did design this thing and at least one other person must have approved the design!

So, hands up if you want it!

It’s a USB optical mouse ideal for use with laptops. It’s about as long as the Goonfather’s middle finger.

*lol*

If more than one person wants it, we’ll ask Mr Randomiser for his opinion.

Closing date for requests is next Thursday night, as usual! =)

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“The Goonfather pwns ya!” yells the Goonfather as he gets dragged off by the feet by a ravenous ravaging zombie.

[Gamer Girl Friday]

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!!