GGF#55: Because I want to give you stuff

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Here are some interesting facts about Gamer Girl Friday.

  1. I always leave this introduction bit till the end to write.
  2. I don’t decide what prize to give out each week until I am actually writing the contest section. Then I’ll walk over to the big paper bag where I store my collection of stuff, and pick one.
  3. GGF started in May 2008. The two main reasons were because I had so much stuff to give away and because I was getting so many gaming questions at that time.
  4. The stuff I get for giveaways come from media events, from Microsoft, and from kind sponsors who contact me directly.
  5. I never intended for GGF to last for as long as it has but, while I have run out of Q&A to publish, I haven’t run out of stuff to give away. Lucky you.

Maybe I will stop once I hit 100 issues. But OMG that’s another year.

Whee.

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Table of Contents

  1. Brave: A Warrior’s Tale review
  2. Time Wasters by Swordplay
  3. Cute avatar props on Xbox LIVE
  4. Space Invaders Extreme review
  5. Win a Marvel Vs Capcom arcade game!
  6. Results of last week’s contest
  7. Win a saucy Lips t-shirt!!

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Brave: A Warrior’s Tale review

Oh, I finally get to review a game for kids.

And I mean kids that are probably not old enough to be reading my blog. Or they’re old enough but they’d rather be playing games than reading blogs.

The age rating says Everyone (10+), probably because of the hack-and-slash part of the game, but I think the gameplay would appeal more to kids younger than 10.

I suppose you can tell by looking at the box cover art.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

Brave: A Warrior’s Tale is an action adventure game set in Native America. It starts with a village elder (Brave) recounting his past adventures and encouraging you to be as brave as he was.

You control this Red Indian kid called Courage, exploring the land around your village to learn skills while you seek out baddies to kill, to protect your village.

It’s a very easy game. The movement tutorial took like 30 seconds and I got 30 gamerscore points for my trouble.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

Speaking of which, the Xbox LIVE achievements for this game are worth at least 30 points each, with the highest being 500 points, just for completing the game.

Okay, sorry, I digress.

The reason I say this game is for kids is because it is so easy. You’re told what to do exactly. Press B to pick up this rock. Press X to throw it at that nasty gorilla over there.

And the game waits patiently for you to figure out where the buttons are. Well, it does sometimes, anyway.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

To take the cake, you can never die.

Well, you can die, but then you get revived instantly with no penalty, at the point where you died. It’s like an infinite Continue? button.

The hardest part of this game is wrestling with the controls. The camera is sluggish and gives me motion sickness.

Most of the game, you’re forced to be a stuntman, leaping boulders and climbing walls. If the camera doesn’t pan nicely, you can’t see where you’re going. Then you’re liable to fall into a pit which you have to figure a way out of and make your way back to where you wanted to go.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

It’s a bit unnecessary, therefore annoying, not to mention nauseating.

The graphics is childish. Maybe children appreciate it. To me, the avatars just look scary.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

But if you set aside the wonky controls and the scary graphics, the gameplay is quite engaging. For kids, remember.

It’s activity-packed throughout. You’re learning new skills every step of the way to help you along your adventures. Track animals, spear fish, make bird calls, ride an eagle. You have a variety of weapons to help you kill stuff: A burning stick, a tomahawk, a longbow.

And if you get stuck anywhere, just call Elder Brave on your stone to ask him what you should do next.

Well, see, you’ve got this stone which functions like a modern-day webcam to communicate with your mentor instantly.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

You also have a girlfriend called Meadow Flower who mysteriously turns up once in a while to give you hints.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

You’ve also got a little map which tells you where to go next.

So, if you ever get stuck in this game, you should just shoot yourself.

Of course, it’s not that easy. You have to remember how to use each skill (what buttons to press) because the game won’t show you all the time. I suppose there is a bit of a challenge knowing where to apply which skill.

You’ll also need to be pretty nimble with your fingers to do the double jumps and dive rolls.

Killing mobs is relatively easy with only a limited number of combos to learn, but it should be challenging enough for a youngster.

So, yeah, if your kid doesn’t throw up from the nauseating camera movements, this game can probably keep him or her happily entertained for hours.

Brave: A Warrior's Tale

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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: Puzzle Dungeon

Puzzle Dungeon

I wanted to spend 10 minutes to try out this game. I ended up spending an hour, instead. I had to forcefully drag myself away from it or I wouldn’t have been able to publish GGF today.

Yes, it’s addictive! Very simple to play. You’re dungeon crawling, going deeper and deeper, fighting mobs and looting items to help you out. The looting system is very unique, involving two different kinds of puzzles and a jackpot game.

Puzzle Dungeon

After a while, the levels and puzzles get repetitive but there’s an old man to keep you intrigued.

You meet this old man every few levels and he does something mean to you each time and it just makes you keep going because you want your revenge.

Puzzle Dungeon

Also, your avatar keeps saying things like, “Will this never end??” or “I am lost!” to keep you entertained and curious.

Pretty nice waste of time! And I mean that in a good way.

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Cute avatar props on Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE this week rolled out a number of cool stuff, among which are props that your LIVE avatar can interact with.

Starting from 160 MS Points (about $3) each, you can buy stuff like a skateboard, an electric guitar, a Halo RC Warthog, a bucket of popcorn and a lightsaber.

They are all so cute! I bought a pink mobile phone to match the cheerleader outfit I’m now wearing.

Watch this video of the avatar-prop interaction!

Game-themed outfits are also available, featuring popular games such as Halo 3, Fable 2 and Clone Wars.

Other cool new stuff on the Xbox LIVE dashboard:

  • Games on Demand – download full Xbox 360 games straight onto your Xbox 360!
  • Community Ratings – Games can now be rated by Xbox LIVE members, which can help you shop for games better.
  • Xbox LIVE Tenure – Gamercards of Gold members now show how many years the member has been on Xbox LIVE. Just for bragging rights.

Get on LIVE today if you haven’t already. It’s free! (For Silver membership.)

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Space Invaders Extreme review

It was quite by chance that I came to download the trial version of Space Invaders Extreme (Xbox LIVE Arcade).

Space Invaders Extreme

I was just surfing around the Xbox LIVE dashboard to check out the new changes. While looking around the arcade game shopping list to see the new ratings feature, I saw this game.

Of course, I knew about it when it was released three months ago, but was never moved to try it out. I remember playing Space Invaders when I was a kid but I was never any good at it.

Space Invaders

On a total impulse, I downloaded it, thinking I would try it out just to compare the difference between then and now. I thought I would try it out maybe tomorrow, because I had to work on GGF first.

But once I heard the “download complete” beep, I couldn’t restrain myself. It’s a gamer thing, I suppose.

And, oh my gosh, it’s so fun I’ve decided to buy the game.

Space Invaders Extreme

It’s the same game as the old version, but it’s a world of difference! The techno music keeps your adrenaline pumping and makes you wanna dance along with the spaceships. The special effects and powerups, lasers and such, makes the game very therapeutic!

If I were a shrink, I would recommend this game to all my patients! I think.

Here’s a video I made of the gameplay! Watch it! It’s really crazy!

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Win a Marvel Vs Capcom arcade game!

If you haven’t already, please go sign yourself up as a fan at the Xbox 360 Singapore fan page.

Fans get to take part in the weekly giveaways, where games and premiums will be awarded every single week!

This week, we’re giving out two download tokens for the popular Marvel Vs Capcom for Xbox LIVE Aracde.

Marvel Vs Capcom

Go find out how to win here!

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Results of last week’s contest

One lucky blog reader has won a Porsche 911 Carrera S! A miniature, that is.

Porsche

I decided to give the Carrera S to Kaiwen because of her sweet, sincere post.

I want that car because… okay wait.

Technically speaking, I want it. But it’s not really me, it’s for my boyfriend…

He adore cars and when I showed him those picture above, he totally freaked out. He kept saying something like “Carrera S!! OH ITS CARRERA S!!”.

So yeah, I hope to make him feel loved and happy by trying to get this car for him… ^^

Hopefully I can, amongst so many blog readers of yours!

Anyone who totally freaks out about anything totally deserves to get the thing they freaked out about.

So, congratulations Kaiwen’s boyfriend for having such a cool girlfriend and for winning this!

Kaiwen – please e-mail me to redeem your prize.

Thanks, and onward to the next contest!

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Win a saucy Lips t-shirt!!

What do we have here today?

Lips t-shirt

Ooooh, it’s a naughty Lips t-shirt!

Unfortunately, I only have one size, which is S, so it’ll probably be suitable only for girls or maybe guys who like to wear very tight t-shirts.

Back of the t-shirt:

Lips t-shirt

Very simple this week. If you want it, just ask for it and I’ll do a lucky draw.

Closing date is August 20, 2009, 12:59 pm.

Please note that winners won’t be notified. You’ll need to check the next issue of Gamer Girl Friday to see if you won.

Good luck!

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Okay, and now, I’m going back to Puzzle Dungeon because I need to find out how it ends.

And if it ends up being one of those sick games that never end, I’m going to kill Swordplay.

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#35: It’s fun to wave your arms around and act crazy

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Screenshot

Enough said!

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Table of Contents

  1. It’s fun to be a movie guru
  2. It’s fun to be a gaming journalist
  3. It’s fun to be a gamer
  4. It’s fun to scrub animals all day
  5. Results of last week’s contest
  6. Win a mystery prize

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It’s fun to be a movie guru

I’m waiting impatiently for the Xbox team to send me my copy of Scene It? Box Office Smash! I totally can’t wait to play it!

Scene It? Box Office Smash

I saw the game in action at a recent Xbox press event, where a few journalists were invited to pit their movie knowledge against one another.

It looks fun! I am embarrassingly bad at trivia games because my memory is horrible (a few times I watched a movie more than halfway through before I remembered that I had already watched it), plus I don’t watch movies often so I am effectively ignorant, but I want to play!

I love the use of the Xbox avatars, which you will see perform lots of cute actions.

Scene It? Box Office Smash

And the fact that the game features mostly new movies, rather than movies made before you were born.

There are also 22 puzzle types which means it won’t get boring so quickly.

Scene It? Box Office Smash

Oh, and big button buzzers that come with the game!

Scene It? Box Office Smash

Here’s a video of the competition!

NEWSFLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The game arrived while I was working on GGF! Wootage! Just in time for me to take a photo of the actual box. Sitting atop the epic mess on my desk.

Scene It? Box Office Smash

Aww I feel like crying.

It’s such an emotional journey gamers undertake with their games.

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It’s fun to be a gaming journalist

On Tuesday, the Xbox team hosted a Chinese New Year get-together at Brewerkz, Riverside Point, for gaming journalists.

Xbox 360 press event

There were Lips and Scene It? Box Office Smash friendly tournaments to start off the event. It was pretty trippy. I think everyone had fun, not just because of the free-flow beer, but because all the gaming journos more or less know each other since they always meet at events.

Xbox 360 press event

I didn’t drink any beer because alcohol makes me either sleepy or tipsy, neither of which are recommended states of consciousness in the company of journalists.

Xbox 360 press event

We were also shown previews of Ninja Blade and Halo Wars, the two next hot titles coming out on the Xbox 360, which I will talk about nearer to the dates. But they’re very anticipated titles!

We were also shown the latest gaming mouse: the Microsoft SideWinder X8, which boasts BlueTrack technology and has a play-while-you-charge feature and, well, tons of other things. I don’t want to sound like the back of a blister pack so let’s leave it at that.

Microsoft Sidewinder X8

And we were informed that the fashionable Arc mouse, previously in black and red, now also comes in white!

Microsoft Arc Mouse

(I know it doesn’t look very white in the picture. Bad lighting lah.)

I wonder if pink will be next!

Everyone went home with a Lips t-shirt and an Arc mouse!! How cool is that?

The t-shirt says, “I want you to play with my Lips.” Or something like that. I can’t find my t-shirt now to confirm. It’s either sitting in Makkuro or buried somewhere in one of the junk heaps in my room.

Maybe I’ll give that out as prize next week… if I can find it. =P

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It’s fun to be a gamer

Many gamers have told me that they don’t like Norton because it slows down their computers, among other things. So, I wonder what they will say to this:

Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition!

Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition

It’s designed to gamer specifications after taking into account endless feedback over the years.

This software, in the words of Symantec, “won’t bother you while you’re in the middle of a game”.

It uses less than 6MB memory, installs in under a minute, adds less than one second to boot time, averages scans in less than 35 seconds and waits till your computer is idle before performing resource intensive actions.

Good dog!

Symantec hosted a Counter-Stike gaming tournament on Wednesday to allow gamers to experience firsthand the NAV GE.

Gamers

To be more accurate, you don’t experience it because you’re not supposed to feel or see it (unless you specifically want to). We had a few great sessions of lag-free gaming at Cathay E2MAX.

Gamers

I took Unker Kell and RN1209 with me to the event and we were put in a team to challenge three other guests.

ME! PLAYING FPS!

Actually, I wasn’t too bad. I even managed to get in quite a number of kills. But our team still lost. Blah. It’s all my fault!! *cries*

I’ve never played Counter-Strike before but I think it’s fun. Don’t mind playing again.

Our tournament was actually just a farce. The real tournament happened with the real experts. Team Titans (four-time WCG Singapore champions) vs some other team whose name I’ve forgotten. I’m sorry!!

Gamers

The Titans (in red) won. Congrats to them!

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It’s fun to scrub animals all day

Don’t ask me! I don’t know anything! I deny everything! I plead insanity!

I am now playing…

The Sims 2 Pets

…on the DS, in lieu of bedtime reading.

Yes, it’s my bedtime poking activity. The Goonfather says I’m very noisy.

I haven’t gotten any new DS games in ages so I’m playing old games. =P It’s one of those damn annoying games but you can’t help getting addicted to it. Argh.

The Sims 2 Pets

Basically, you’re a vet. While taking care of your own needs (like all Sims games), you’re healing pets every day.

Pet owners will come to you and say, “My pet is ill,” and you say, “I will fix him up!” and if you do, you earn money. If you don’t, you get stoned.

Sometimes, pet owners will come to you and say, “My pet is ugly.”

I AM NOT JOKING.

The cure for the ugly disease is to buy clothes and accessories and dress the pet up. LOL.

The Sims 2 Pets

Other diseases include flu, worms, dirty and broken limbs.

What a stupid game.

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Results of last week’s contest

This is the winning entry for the limited edition Halo Wars cap!

win

LOL. Peaches Mode is in agreement with me.

Congratulations SpiritAngelo! Your dedication to the cause has touched me!

Halo Wars cap

And, now, BONUS GIVEAWAY!!

I actually have two of these caps. One is supposed to be mine to keep, but I’ve decided to award another winner because this other entry is so insane it made me laugh.

win

Like… seriously… *speechless*

Congratulations Leo! Your insanity has moved me!

If the both of you would kindly contact me, I will send you the secret map to the location of your treasure.

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Win a mystery prize

I can’t decide what to give out this week and I’m bored of taking boring product photos every week. So this week’s prize will be a mystery. Haha.

The contest will be super easy.

Be the first person to correctly tell me what game the screenshot at the top of today’s GGF is of!

(To make it not too easy, you have to give the exact full name, as it is written on the game box, or wherever, to qualify.)

Er… no closing date. The contest will remain until someone gets the prize.

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In case you’re wondering about today’s title, it’s just random and has no significance to anything.

I’m just sleepy today (not enough sleep last night). When I’m sleepy and tired, I tend to be less conscientious about making sense.

Who cares about titles, anyway?

Happy Chinese New Year!

[Gamer Girl Friday]