GGF#59: Games for all genders

[Gamer Girl Friday]

I’ve been playing the Facebook games Restaurant City and Country Story for some time. They’re something I can leave running in the background of my PC while I work, needing only to check in once in a while to feed my staff or harvest my crops.

Country Story

The cute animations make me happy to look upon them, so no matter how silly and juvenile the gameplay is, there is that appeal for me.

I like surrounding myself with games and cuteness when I’m working!

==================================================

Table of Contents

  1. Love and hate Scribblenauts
  2. Time Wasters by Swordplay
  3. The Ballad of Gay Tony
  4. Colin McRae: Dirt 2
  5. X Team recruiting
  6. Results of last week’s contest
  7. Win Grand Theft Auto t-shirts!!

==================================================

Love and hate Scribblenauts

I’m in two minds about Scribblenauts. On one hand, it’s a fantastic game. It’s innovative and fun and you can’t help but get hooked by it.

On the other hand, the clumsy controls mar the experience somewhat, which is a tad bit disappointing after so much hype and anticipation.

Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts is a side-scrolling platformer with over 200 levels to play. In each level, you get through obstacles by typing out any items (living or non-living) you can think of to help you get the Starite (the goal of each level).

There are many ways you can complete each level, which is what makes the game so fun.

Scribblenauts

For example, to climb up a tree to get the Starite, you could conjure a ladder or wings or even a helicopter.

Or you could choose not to climb the tree but, instead, lasso the Starite down with a rope. The possibilities are quite astounding.

Scribblenauts
I’m a spade-wielding, magic-carpet-riding ninja.

Many unexpected, amusing things can happen, too, if you take your time to experiment.

Like, there was this button on a wall I had to push to open a door. But the door closes when the button is released, so I needed something to push and hold onto the button while I went for the Starite.

I decided to try someone, instead. I typed “girl” and a girl popped out. I thought I could get her to push the button for me. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t quite work that way. She just stood around and did nothing.

Scribblenauts

So I summoned a rock to lean against the button, but I got a rock too small to be of any use, so I threw it at the button for the heck of it.

The rock hit the girl instead of the button and she got mad at me. (You know they’re mad when they get angry pictures in their speech bubbles.) So I conjured a flower and gave it to her and she was happy again!

Of course, all these didn’t do jack to help me get the Starite but, what the heck, it was fun.

The problem with the game comes when the sucky controls get you into trouble.

Scribblenauts

To move your avatar (Maxwell), you tap a spot on the screen where you want him to go. To pick up items in the world, you tap on the items. To do something to anything, you tap on them. Almost everything you do in the game involves tapping.

It’s a great use of the DS touchscreen interface, to be sure, but it’s also a source of frustration.

Sometimes, when you tap on items, the game thinks you’re trying to move Maxwell, so you end up having Maxwell rush headlong down an erupting volcano.

It might be good for a laugh once in a while, but if you have already spent five minutes carefully setting up a path to your goal and Maxwell ruins everything by killing himself because the touchscreen didn’t read your taps correctly, it’s infuriating.

Air navigation is also very clumsy. Magic carpets don’t hover when you stop in mid-flight. They sink to the ground. And, sometimes, Maxwell refuses to fly to where you tap, maybe because he enjoys hovering right underneath a chute that is raining hot coals.

Scribblenauts

If you can forgive the controls, Scribblenauts is a veritable treasure trove. There will be some levels in which the clumsy controls won’t matter at all, so that’s a consolation.

I would love to give Scribblenauts a 10 because it’s really quite an impressive game. But the annoying controls bring the score down to about a 7, except during the moments when I feel the urge to defenstrate my DS, in which case, it’s down to like a 0.

But I am still enjoying the game. It’s such a good game that I must play it despite the controls.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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: Higher

Higher

What a nice, relaxing game this is!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Ballad of Gay Tony

When the first expansion for Grand Theft Auto IV (The Lost and Damned) was released earlier this year as a download option for the Xbox 360, I was excitedly stressed.

It’s no secret that I love Grand Theft Auto IV but it’s such a long game that I will never get enough time to complete it, much less play the expansions.

And now the second expansion is coming out!

The Ballad of Gay Tony

The Ballad of Gay Tony allows you to play as Luis Lopez, a street gangster and personal bodyguard to Tony Prince (aka Gay Tony), who is ostentatiously the king of the club scene but is, in actual fact, in a lot of trouble.

You would have come across Luis Lopez in your adventures in GTA4 and The Lost and Damned, so this time, you’ll get to play some familiar scenes as the other camp!

The Ballad of Gay Tony

Here’s a video promotion of the game disguised as an actual news report from Liberty City:

The Ballad of Gay Tony is also an Xbox 360 exclusive. It will be available for download on Xbox LIVE on Oct 29, 2009.

It’s looks set to be totally explosive!

The Ballad of Gay Tony

A disc-bundle comprising The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned will also be sold. Called Episodes from Liberty City, they can be played as standalones, without requiring the original Grand Theft Auto IV.

Watch out for the cool new features you’re going to love, such as the parachute, APC (tank) and AA-12 (automatic shotgun with explosive rounds)!

The Ballad of Gay Tony

October 29!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

I gave this game to the Goonfather to review because racing is his forte. He really enjoyed Ridge Racer and Initial D, plus he used to race in real life.

But it turns out that he didn’t like Dirt 2 because the game is too good, plus he claims that he’s not into racing games. Sometimes, you just can’t understand him!

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

The Goonfather reviews Dirt 2

First of all, I am not much of a racing genre fan, nor am I into rally cars. But I was forced by Sheylara to take Colin McRae: Dirt 2 out for a spin.

After a long intro (with me almost falling asleep), the game menu popped out. I created an ID and started the game.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

Something I like about this game, which is unique, is that you get to choose a voice name from a long list. The game would then address you as that name throughout. Kinda cool! Ever played games where you enter your name as Tom but the voiceover is still calling you some other thing?

After the initial setup, I got into my first race. The only car available for selection at that point was a Subaru WRX STI. The race begun and I crashed myself into the last position.

Tried a couple more times and I started to hate how realistic the controls were.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

Finally gave up on my fifth attempt. The thing about me is that I play games for fun and not for realism.

Sorry for the short and unexciting review. This game made me sleepy with the long intro so I had no energy left to explore much of it. But the graphics is very good.

Don’t let my bad review of the game fool you since the rating in most gaming sites for Dirt 2 is above 8/10. It’s just not my game. Waiting for Forza Motorsport 3 and Gran Turismo 5.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

X Team recruiting

Want to be part of the X Team?

X Team

As part of my involvement with the Singapore Xbox team, I’m recruiting a volunteer to help out with online activities to reach out to local Xbox fans.

Click here to read more!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Results of last week’s contest

Last week’s contest to win this eye-catching haversack gave us some interesting information about what guys carry in their bags when they go out!

Haversack

Thank you all for your entries! It’s nice to know I’m not the only crazy person who carries tons of stuff out with me.

Well, I have randomised a winner. The winner doesn’t carry many things out. I think this bag is too big for him! Or maybe he’s waiting to get a bigger bag so he can carry more stuff.

Anyway, it’s his.

Congratulations, Ryen! A winner is you!!

Please do me a favour and e-mail me to claim your prize. Thanks!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Win Grand Theft Auto t-shirts!!

In anticipation of The Ballad of Gay Tony, I got some t-shirts from Rockstar to give away!

The Ballad of Gay Tony t-shirts

Three, to be exact! Size M, but the M is actually more like L or XL.

If you would like to be one of the three lucky winners, just post a comment here and tell me one thing (anything) about The Ballad of Gay Tony. No repeats, so submit your entries early!

Terms & Conditions

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

Okay, please post your entries now. Get the chance to wear this t-shirt before the game comes out! (If you dare.)

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Time to eat!

Restaurant City

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#33: Playing old games

[Gamer Girl Friday]

The new year is for playing old games!

So far, I have been making good on my new year’s resolution (aka spend more time gaming) by digging out all my old games to play. This week, I’ve played Grand Theft Auto IV, Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm and Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two.

Games

Peculiar choices, I know. I just wanted to start off with the more frivolous titles, the ones you can have fun with for 30 minutes or an hour, and then walk away without having to sacrifice a piece of your heart.

It didn’t really work. I still ended up spending way more time on each title than I’d scheduled for. I think I have been game-deprived for too long.

I don’t dare touch my RPGs now.

==================================================

Table of Contents

  1. Penny Arcade Freaking Long Title
  2. Grey’s Anatomy: The Video Game
  3. Hope for Singapore game developers
  4. Don’t forget this weekend
  5. Get featured on Gamer Girl Friday!
  6. Win a silver USB optical mouse!!

==================================================

Penny Arcade Freaking Long Title

The full, unabridged title of this game is Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode [ ].

I started off with Episode Two because the Xbox Team just happened to have a spare download code lying around. I never played Episode One (which is recommended because the story is a continuation and wouldn’t make sense if you jumped in midway.)

Penny Arcade Adventures

I’m not going into a full review because it’s an old game (in gamespeak, yesterday is old), but I just want to say that I enjoyed it immensely, even though I jumped in midway. I enjoyed it so much that I played it 1.5 times.

I completed the game within two days (could have been one day if I had started early in the day). And then the next day I played through half of it again just to get the last Xbox LIVE achievement. Yep, I managed to max out achievements for a game for the first time! (Well, it’s only 200 points.)

The Goonfather was very puzzled by my apparent addiction.

“Why are you playing this stupid game?” he asked.

He had tried it last year and didn’t like it.

The next day…

“Why are you still playing this stupid game??”

He thought the game’s boring because it kept making him read comics.

Penny Arcade Adventures

Well, Penny Arcade is a comic, duh.

The humour is quite wicked (although it’s not funny all the time) and the illustrations top-notch. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids, though, because of the liberal use of a certain popular French word.

The game has puzzle, adventure and RPG elements in it, so I found it very entertaining.

Penny Arcade Adventures

I guess you need to have a perverse sense of humour and an appreciation for irreverence to enjoy this game. I’m thinking of getting Episode One now.

Penny Arcade Adventures can be played on PC or Xbox LIVE (as an Arcade download).

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Grey’s Anatomy: The Video Game

Yoi requested that I feature more PC content for GGF. So, how about Grey’s Anatomy? lololol.

Games

Apparently, you can play your favourite doctor from the hit TV series, enjoy romances with the other doctors, and perform surgeries. What more could we ask for in a game?

Games

No, seriously. I have faith in Ubisoft.

The game will be coming out for the PC, Wii and DS. I might give the DS version a try. I like frivolous games because I don’t have time to play any other kind. ETA is March this year.

The response from the gaming community isn’t too promising, though. Some random responses from various gaming websites:

lonestarmt
omg…. why

J Wayne
FAIL

Dont Panic
I am at a loss for words, just…. really!?!

Pokrface
Will the game let my player character sleep with attending doctors to charge up my SurgeryMeter?

CapnRob
aw, heck. I was hoping for a _House, M.D._ game, in which you randomly guess one of twenty diseases, four times, and then the patient gets better. Or dies. Randomly.

Cwalat
can someone repeat after me:

FlopelyFLOP

Gary “ElfShotTheFood” McLean
Not even a Katherine Heigl nude patch could save this.

hagfish70
count me out.

Cajun Chicken
They’re concentrating on THIS instead of a Heroes game? What the HECK is wrong with Ubisofts choices of licenced IPs?

And the conflicting responses from fans of the show:

Svlad Cjelli
Well, my girlfriend is certainly excited about this. I came home tonight and told her about this, during the commercial break for Grey’s Anatomy.

tda-danny
My wife is a huge fan of this show, and owns a ds. I told her about about it jokingly and she replied, “Oh christ, that will be bad”.

Even people who dont know anything about video games & love the source material know this wont be good…

Reading comments can be really entertaining.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hope for Singapore game developers

Last year, a bunch of Singaporeans won the grand prize in a global Microsoft game development competition, picking up US$40,000 in cash prize and lots of recognition. (I wrote about it here.)

Sheylara with Team Gambit

This year, the same team has been selected as a finalist in the 11th Annual Independent Games Festival for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize award. If they pick up this award, it’s another US$20,000 in cash prize and even more recognition and exposure!

Team Gambit’s success has prompted MDA to set aside S$50,000 grant packages for aspiring game developers in Singapore. Application is still open, so don’t forget to check it out!

I wish Team Gambit all the best for the IGF award!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Don’t forget this weekend

Remember to drop by Xbox Xperience Zones (Best Denki VivoCity or Challenger Funan) this weekend to enjoy the launch of some of the most fun party games, ever!

There will be Lips and Scene It? Box Office Smash competitions going on throughout the day (11am till 5pm) so either come as a spectator or take part yourself!! Yes, you can just walk in and sign up to take part if there are slots left. (Each mini competition lasts about 15 minutes.)

Participants will receive this cool freebie!

Lollipop

It’s a microphone lollipop! Heh.

Also, you can get $20 Kbox vouchers with any purchase of Lips, Scene It? Box Office Smash or You’re in the Movies. It’s while stocks last so don’t wait already! I promise you the games are fun!! =)

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Get featured on Gamer Girl Friday!

I am going to take reader contributions for GGF now because you guys make me laugh in the comments. I’m giving you the chance to make other readers (who don’t read comments) laugh!

Okay, your contribution doesn’t have to be funny. I’m just saying.

If you send me something and I find it suitable for publication, I will feature it here with a credit to you and a link to your website, if you have one.

Some examples of what you can send me:

  • Screenshots with a caption or description.
  • Anecdotes (interesting real-life stories).
  • Reviews of new games (not too long).
  • Drawings you did.
  • Videos you made (send me a link, not a video file).
  • Links to interesting gaming news or stories.
  • Photos of gaming events you attended with descriptions.
  • Money.

These are just examples. You can send me anything you like as long as its not porn or a death threat. It must be game-related, okay, since this is a gaming column, duh.

Please e-mail all contributions to E-mail and mark it “GGF Contribution”. Include your name exactly as you would like to be credited, and your URL (if any).

Just note that only suitable material will be published. And I reserve the right to define the term “suitable”. I also reserve the right to edit your entry for better, easier reading.

General rule of thumb: It should be entertaining or at least informative. If not, there’s no point, is there?

Thank you. I look forward to seeing if anyone will send me any money.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Win a silver USB optical mouse!!

From a previous contest, I realised that there are many people needing mice and, lucky you, I just happen to have another to give away!

Mouse

It’s not a mini this time. It’s kind of halfway between mini and regular sized. (About 2″ x 3.5″)

The packaging says it’s white but it looks silver to me so, I dunno.

To win this, tell me what you like most about GGF by posting in the comments here.

Closing date is January 15, 2009, 11:59 pm.

All entries will be thrown into a pot and boiled into sludge.

The one that survivies will get the mouse.

Ganbatte!!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By the way, I really suck at game driving. I failed an early GTA IV mission 11 times!!

The mission is a long one. First, I had to beat up some thugs, then I had to perform a violent car chase (violent because I kept bumping into lamp posts, mailboxes, people and other cars). Then I had to beat up a thug leader.

Grand Theft Auto IV

The beating up isn’t a problem; it’s just button mashing. But the driving really kills me, especially like when the thug car suddenly turns 90 degrees into an invisible narrow alley at breakneck speed.

It doesn’t help that the game camera keeps shifting perspective when your car spins. It changes perspective without warning, and left will become right and right will become left and it freaking keeps changing!!! Factor in having to deal with reverse directions and it’s one heck of a confusing toggle.

Compound to all that the fact that you’re chasing a car, meaning speed is imperative, and that the game keeps trying to foil you by throwing obstacles in your way, such as hugeass trucks that materialise in front of you out of nowhere, it’s just insane.

Grand Theft Auto IV

I set my car on fire more times than I can count.

It’s frustrating, although I have to admit that watching your car defy all laws of physics and nature is pretty cool.

I finally passed the mission on the 12th try, so don’t say I’m hopeless. If nothing else, I have patience and perserverance. lol.

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#4: Bimbo, babes, barbarian

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Gamer Girl Friday is busy being an actress this whole week, so have had less time to devote to this week’s column.

If you find it in any way lacking, please divert all your complaints to the Goonfather. I asked him to help me do some research and give me some topics to write about, but he played the busy card.

Yeah, he’s busy alright. He’s busy every night playing Ninja Gaiden II and Pixel Junk Monsters and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (freaking old game!).

Men!

Gamers!!

==================================================

Table of Contents

  1. Sheylara plays Ninja Gaiden II
  2. Play Guitar Hero III right here right now!
  3. The babes of Metal Gear Solid 4
  4. Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part III
  5. Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit a surprise hit
  6. Winner of Ninja Gaiden II contest
  7. Winner of Grand Theft Auto IV contest
  8. Ask Sheylara
  9. Win a 1GB thumb drive!!

==================================================

Sheylara plays Ninja Gaiden II

Bimbo alert!

I’m really sorry. I very suck at action fighter games. Well, we can’t all be good at everything.

I hardly ever play this genre of games and I didn’t even know who Ryu Hayabusa was prior to my involvement with the recent NG2 Xbox 360 launch campaign.

Just be warned that I will be very painful to watch.

(Before you go on, please check your own IC. If you’re under 18, you’re not allowed to watch it because it’s a violent game!)

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Play Guitar Hero III right here right now!

Wear out your keyboard on this Guitar Hero III widget! It has only three songs, but it’s fun enough. Play it here!

Apparently, if you stay in the top ten leaderboard, you can win prizes from Rocket XL and Activision.

Not for me. On my second try on Easy mode, I only got like 75,000 points. The current highest legal score is 657,987. WTF? (I think the top three are illegal because their scores are like 999999999999.)

Well, I’m not playing anymore because I’d rather play the real GH3. Then again, if I had the time, I’d rather play Rock Band… until Guitar Hero World Tour comes out!

OMG I seriously can’t wait for GHWT!!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The babes of Metal Gear Solid 4

Well, the Goonfather not only didn’t help me do research for interesting stuff to talk about, he forced me to talk about Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot (what a mouthful).

He said, “You must write about it! It’s… it’s… well, it’s Metal Gear Solid!!!”

Yeah, like I care.

Well, ok. I have to admit that, although I only started becoming a console gamer last year (largely because of Wii and Guitar Hero and Rock Band), I have seen the previous installments of MGS and I really enjoyed watching people play it.

I prefer watching rather than playing myself because the game goes faster that way. If you’ve watched my NG2 video (above) till the end, you’ll know what I mean.

Anyway, one of the most interesting things about MGS4 are the beauties. Auditions were held around the world to seek the most beautiful women to serve as models for MGS4 characters.

I’m jealous. I want to be a game character, too.


Lyndall Jarvis, a famous USA model who has modelled for brands such as Guess and Bebe.


Scarlett Chorvat, a Hollywood actress and fashion model, last seen in Entourage and 24.


Yumi Kikuchi, a multi-talented Japanese artiste who can be seen in Godzilla: Final Wars.


Mieko Rye, a USA fashion model whose Maxim swimsuit spread has slain many a man.

Well, you’ll be seeing these faces in-game soon! MGS4 releases in like less than a week!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Pt III

Read Part 1 | Part 2

Sheylara couldn’t wait to get into the city of Tortage now that she’s got her hair done and all.

[The Barbarian Dream]

As the kind-hearted and innocent barbarian girl walked towards the city gates, she chattered excitedly to her friend, Casilda, “What shall we do first thing we get inside?”

Casilda turned evasive, like she’d done when they’d been ambushed earlier. “Um… we’ll see.”

Not noticing because she was so excited, Sheylara continued, “Well, of course, I will want a cream soda first.”

The girls stopped right in front of the gates, where they were met by an imposing man wearing a huge question mark above his head.

[He wondered why he suffered a headache all the time]

He was busy barking orders at a quivering soldier but he spotted the girls and yelled, “Halt! Who goes there!” giving Sheylara an awful fright.

Casilda giggled. “Aww, sweetie Laranga, it’s me. I love when you exert your authority!”

Laranga’s eyes softened. “Yer all right, gal. Go on in.”

As Casilda went through the gates, Sheylara tried to follow.

She was stopped.

[You couldn't see into his eyes]

“Not so fast. Where do you think you’re going, delinquent?”

“I…” began Sheylara.

Casilda giggled and winked at Sheylara. “See you on the inside, babe!” And then she disappeared into the city.

[It was an abrupt farewell]

“But…” repeated Sheylara, flustered.

“All delinquents must prove their worth before being let in!” boomed Laranga.

“But…” Sheylara attempted again.

“The blacksmith needs help. Go to him.”

He gestured vaguely at a direction before returning his attention to the still quivering soldier.

[It was futile]

Disappointed and confused, muttering curses at Casilda, Sheylara trudged wearily away.

Before long, she came upon a scary-looking man with black stripes on his face.

[How's the weather today, mate?]

He was just standing there, not doing anything much.

In his hand was a hammer but Sheylara couldn’t see an anvil anywhere in sight.

“Excuse me,” said Sheylara. “That man over there said you needed help?”

“Right,” said the blacksmith. “You go through there, wind ’round the lake a bit, cross a bridge, get past a couple nasty pirates (you might haveta kill ’em), there’s some bricks them pirates have stolen. Get ’em for me.”

Sheylara gaped at him, confused. “You want me to fetch you bricks?”

[It was a confusing time for her]

“Them’s the orders, miss.”

“Kill pirates?”

“Them’s the orders, miss.”

“But you’re just standing here doing nothing!”

“Them’s the orders, miss.”

“But…”

But the blacksmith had turned into stone and just stood there impassively, waiting for his next showtime.

[He was going for the statue championship title]

Indignant but not having a choice, Sheylara went off to do as she was told. Night was looming and she didn’t want to have to sleep out in the open.

(To be continued next week…)

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit a surprise hit

Well, it’s a surprise to me, anyway. The game is supposed to release next Tuesday and I haven’t heard anyone talk about it.

Nobody I know ever talks about Dragon Ball games. Nobody I know ever plays them.

But what’s remarkable is that I posted a video clip of the gameplay two months ago on YouTube and I’ve gotten over 100,000 views, 285 comments and 109 favourites for just that little pixelated clip.

I’ve also gotten at least two pirates stealing my clip and reposting it on YouTube as their own. (That’s why I watermark all my videos now.)

Here’s the clip!

I do like Dragon Ball but more specifically the manga. I love it! I just can’t quite get into the movies and the games. The anime is alright, but the manga pure owns.

So, what do you think? Do you know anyone who is buying or planning to buy Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit?

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Winner of Ninja Gaiden II contest

As part of last week’s contest, I got readers to share interesting or funny gaming encounters they’ve had.

A lucky draw was conducted to pick a winner.

The lucky winner is Aves! He went home with a brand new Ninja Gaiden II box (kindly sponsored by the Xbox 360 team in Singapore) on official launch day, no less!

[Congratulations!]

Here is Aves’ winning entry:

When playing Team Deathmatch in COD4, we often need to tell our team mates the locations of the enemy. So one fine day, when playing in the Chinatown map from the latest map pack, our dearest Smoe starts telling us that the enemy is in the MUSHROOM SHOP. This went on for a few weeks without anyone ever knowing where the heck the mushroom shop is at.

Finally, we all couldn’t take it and we created a private match. Asked everyone to cease-fire and made Smoe lead us to the Mushroom shop. So everyone gathered at the main road in Chinatown and Smoe led us into a house and started showing us the mushrooms…

Upon first look, I saw that those were fishes and furthermore, there were lobsters beside those fishes so I was pretty sure.

Me: WTF, these are fishes la!!!!
Smoe: Oops ok, these are fishes. The mushrooms are here!

*brings us to the room next door*

Me: OMG!! These are mussels! -_-”””””””

I proceeded to bring Smoe outside the shop and showed him the signboard stating:

KAR PG CO (large fonts)
Fish Market (small fonts)

From then on, we all call the place the mushroom shop even though we know it’s a fish market.

For those interested in knowing where the mushroom shop is, check out this link.

Moral of the story: Read signboards

Thank you, Aves, and congratulations! How’s Ninja Gaiden II so far, eh? ;)

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Winner of Grand Theft Auto IV contest

It’s modchip!!!!!!

*streamers* *clickers* *balloons* *poppers*

Well, modchip doesn’t live in Singapore, so I couldn’t hand him the prize personally. So, I’ll have to mail it to him!

modchip wins a copy of GTA4 for the Xbox 360 for taking part in the “Review Gamer Girl Friday” contest.

I had tasked readers to write a review of my column. Best review wins.

I think all entries were really good and I wish I could award everyone a prize. But I finally picked modchip’s entry because it’s evident that he spent a lot of time on the screenshots, which he collaged into a nice overall image of Gamer Girl Friday!

[Congratulations!]
Click to read his entry

Thank you and congratulations! Your prize will be mailed to you soon!

I would also like to make special mention of some of the entries that I really liked but I unfortunately don’t have more than one prize to give out.

-=}{oT~dEv1L 666=- wrote a really long and flattering entry (although he is underaged and therefore not eligible for the contest, lol).

Junhao offered some constructive opinions.

aigatdula gave me some useful suggestions.

Thank you all, guys! I hope you will win something in my future contests! ;)

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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).

Hun Boon asks a Rock Band question:

Can you use the guitar from Guitar Hero 3 for Rock Band?

Sheylara Says:

It depends on which console you’re playing on.

On the PS3, the GH and RB guitars are not compatible with each other.

On the Xbox 360, you can use GH guitars on RB, but not the other way round.

Gamespot has a useful guitar compatibility chart if you need to know the details.

On a side note, Rock Band is still not available for the Asian region code Xbox 360 and there is still no ETA. We’ve become thumb-twiddling experts.

fanatic86 asks an Age of Conan question:

Sheylara, may I know what server and guild you’re in on AoC? How about coming to Gwahlur to join us? There’s a big Singaporean guild here and it’s very fun.

Sheylara Says:

I’m in Old Timers Guild in Thog, which has many Singaporeans, too. But I do also know many people in Gwahlur. It’s just that I chose Thog because I hate PvP. :P

But, anyway, I really hardly have time to play AoC now. I am still at level 10!!!! All the same, thanks for the invitation. Maybe I’ll create a character in Gwahlur when I have a bit of time, just to say hi! ;)

rajiv asks a Wii question:

I got a Japanese Wii and I set up the Internet using your translater. Now, when I click on the Wii shop, it says something in Japanese and the only button there is is to go back to the main menu. I cannot access Wii shop.

Sheylara Says:

Sorry, but I can’t help you unless I know what the page says! Next time, send me a screenshot and I’ll see if I can help.

Well, I’m not getting 500 questions a day, which is actually a good thing because, otherwise, my e-mail would bust, along with the capillaries in my brain.

But keep those questions coming! Let’s see some funny questions, too, because I’m tired of answering serious questions. Haha.

Hmm. Maybe I will make that this week’s contest.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Win a 1GB thumb drive!!

I’m tired of giving away games, so here’s something different for a change.

How about a thumb drive? I’ve got a snazzy looking Nokia N-Gage thumb drive which comes with a lanyard!

[Win me!]

[Win me!]

One could never have too many thumbdrives, I always say. I used to have a sleek Sony one, but it stopped working only after a few months. Sad!

Okay, the rules this week!

  • Ask me an interesting or funny question (doesn’t have to be but preferably gaming related).
  • You can post here or e-mail me.
  • You can use a pseudonym if you wish.
  • My favourite question wins the prize!

There is no closing date for questions, of course, but I’m awarding the thumb drive next Friday, so if your question comes after that, well, that’s that, then.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Gamer Girl Friday!

I have to take my leave now because today I’m also Actress Girl Friday and I’ve got to rush off to NAFA for my performance tonight.

Please be liberal with your comments and suggestions because Gamer Girl Friday needs your feedback to get better!

Have an awesome weekend!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#3: Monsters invading my bedroom

[Gamer Girl Friday]

The irony of being a gaming writer/editor and generally working in the gaming industry is that one hardly gets to play games because one gets so busy with work.

I’m reading and writing about games more than I’m actually playing them, which is a dreadful shame. Can you believe that I’m only level 7 in Age of Conan and I got that game about 10 days ago?

Well, I suppose there’s always Rock Band. I try to keep my weekend evenings free to jam with my friends and we’d play till the wee hours of the morning.

I love my life, nevertheless (when I’m not being hassled by idiots).

==================================================

Table of Contents

  1. Monsters invading my bedroom
  2. Enter the World of Wifecraft
  3. Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part II
  4. Ninja Gaiden II gameplay (sneak preview!)
  5. Someone won the mystery prize
  6. Six more days to win Grand Theft Auto IV!
  7. Ask Sheylara
  8. Win a Ninja Gaiden II game!

==================================================

Monsters invading my bedroom

So, the Goonfather has been addicted to the silliest of games for over two weeks now, playing it every night before going to bed.

It’s one of those cheap arcade games you can download from the PlayStation 3 Network for a ridiculously low price, which just goes to show that it’s a silly game.

[All your, um, trees are belong to us]

It’s called Pixel Junk Monsters, supposedly inspired by the ever-popular Tower Defense. The Goonfather claims that it’s gotten the whole world addicted to it.

You play this old man who looks like a cross between a tortoise and a spoon.

I am totally not joking.

[It's a busy world]

Your whole sad mission in life is to repeatedly protect a bunch of ugly-looking baby freaks from getting eaten by wave after wave of invading monsters.

[We are freaks, hear us squeak]

As a side note, I would like to comment that the monsters are infinitely better looking than the tortoise man and his sad babies.

[Panda bears]

Those freakish babies, may I inform you, do not add value at all to your existence as a tortoise man because they just jiggle around in a corner and don’t even lift a finger to help you (assuming they have fingers) and just meekly get eaten by monsters without putting up half a fight.

[Save the trees!]

When I watch the game, I feel terribly sad for the tortoise man (who the Goonfather informed me is not actually a tortoise but a village chieftain wearing a shield on his back). Every second of the game, you’re making him scurry around the screen frantically, performing any one of the following tasks:

  1. Turn trees into artillery towers to shoot at monsters that come close.
  2. Pick up coins and gems dropped by dead monsters before they disappear.
  3. Stand in a tower and do a silly awkward dance rivalling William Hung’s virgin performance. Towers get upgraded when you’ve danced long enough in them.
  4. Unlock new artillery with the coins/gems you pick up.
  5. Try not to get eaten by the monsters yourself.

It’s a simple game that’s not simple, if you get what I mean. The levels get harder and babies get eaten faster.

[Winter is when summer is not]

I don’t know about you, but I’d just let the babies get eaten and then I can wash my hands off ’em and run off to Maui to relax on the beach with all the coins I picked up from the dead monsters.

I don’t know. Some people are just weird.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Enter the World of Wifecraft

This video is a must-watch for everyone, gamer or not. While being kookily entertaining, it also explores a very serious social problem that has plagued humanity since MMORPGs were invented.

It’s the problem of spousal neglect resulting from MMORPG addiction. This video offers a solution… or not.

It’s not exactly rofl-funny, but it’s very, very amusing. I love how these men have name and guild tags above their heads! Haha!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Pt II

Read Part I first

Sheylara and her new friend, Casilda, had been trekking through the jungle for a few hours now. Hot and thirsty, the girls decided to stop for a drink.

[She waited for the brick to fall]

“Hey!” Casilda suddenly shouted out. “I know a shortcut to the city!”

“Why didn’t you say so earlier?”

“Well… it isn’t exactly the safest route.”

“Forget it, then. I don’t want to get hacked again.”

The girls were silent for a moment before Casilda ventured again. “If we took that shortcut, we could get there so much faster…”

“No.”

“But…”

“No.”

“I’ll help you beat away the mobs. C’mon.”

So, it was that Sheylara allowed herself to be talked into taking that shortcut.

[It was a nice and sunny day out]

[The pigs had been at it again]

As she stepped hesitantly through the arched opening, Sheylara had a feeling that something wasn’t right.

She was right.

“YUAAAAAAAAAARRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” was the next thing she heard, and then…

[It was a refreshing bloodbath]

“To arms! To arms!” cried Sheylara. “Flank my right!”

The intended recipient of her cries, unfortunately, had considered and promptly rejected Sheylara’s suggestion of strategic flanking, preferring instead to hang back and offer help by applauding.

[Everyone needs an audience]

“Oooh, fierce!” clapped Casilda, her eyes widening in both fear and delight.

“CASIIIIIILLLDAAAAAA!” shrieked Sheylara, and then she could speak no more.

[The air smells fresher at the bottom]

“WTF,” said Sheylara’s corpse.

“Oh dear, oh dear,” fussed Casilda. “What a mess. You’ve got gore all over your new swimsuit.”

Sheylara would have strangled Casilda if her corpse had been able to move. “I am dead and you’re worried about gore on my swimsuit!?!?!”

“Awfully sorry, mate,” said Casilda. “I’ll, uh, I’ll keep watch here while you release and run back, okay?”

Muttering curses under her non-existent breath, Sheylara released back to her spawn point and started trekking back. She had half a mind to leave the dumb blonde to her own devices, but she needed someone to show her the way to Tortage.

Sighing wearily, Sheylara made her way back to Casilda.

“No more shortcuts!” demanded Sheylara, once kind-hearted and innocent, now still reasonably kind-hearted but not quite so innocent anymore.

“Alright, alright!” said Casilda amiably.

The scenic route to Tortage took the two girls the better half of the day but they eventually arrived at an impressively intimidating gateway.

[Blue skies, nothing but blue skies every day]

“Oooh, the city of Tortage!” Sheylara sucked in a deep breath of awe.

[The city that never sleeps]

Excitedly but reverently, Sheylara pushed open the gate and stepped through.

[The natural city]

“What kind of city is this?” sputtered Sheylara. “There’s nothing but trees!”

“We’re not there yet. This is only the city perimeter.”

“Oh.”

The girls continued walking and came upon a https://www.nafsiyat.org.uk/buy-cialis/ road sign pointing the way to the city.

[That way to the rest of your life]

“I feel cheated,” said Sheylara. “I thought we were there already. I’m tired.”

“Aww, don’t,” Casilda said. “Tell you what, I’ll do your hair to make you feel better!”

“Well, I don’t…” began Sheylara.

She stopped abruptly as the real city gate of Tortage loomed before her.

[She considered the best way to scale them walls]

“Is this is?” Sheylara eyed the structure suspiciously.

“Yes!” beamed Casilda.

“Ooh!” Sheylara danced with joy. “Let’s hurry! I’m dying for a cream soda!”

“But what about that hairdo?”

“I really don’t…”

“You want to look your best when you enter the city, don’t you? Think of the hundreds of barbarians you’re going to meet!”

“Well… okay.”

“Awesome!”

So, Casilda did magic with her fingers and transformed Sheylara into a new barbarian. Her job done, the sometimes hairstylist clapped her hands to her ample bosom and gushed proudly. “It’s sooooo beautiful!”

“Lemme see! Lemme see!” cried Sheylara as she skipped to the nearest pond to look.

[The makeover took a really long time]

“OMG,” said the relatively kind-hearted and still a little innocent Sheylara. “What have you done?! I’m a…”

“Blonde!” finished Casilda.

“But…but…”

“Haven’t you heard?” smiled Casilda sagely. “Blondes have more fun!”

(To be continued next week…)

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ninja Gaiden II gameplay (sneak preview!)

I know you guys can’t wait for the launch, so here’s a short teaser clip of the Ninja Gaiden II gameplay, showing Ryu Hayabusa fight his way to the first boss!

If you click on the screen to go to the YouTube page, you can select the high quality video option.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Someone won the mystery prize

Last week, as a side contest, I invited readers to rank the three major consoles in answer to another reader’s question.

I am pleased to announce metal_spider as the winner of this contest!

Thank you for your answer. You win the mystery prize of a PSP pouch!

Front view:
[Front]

Back view:
[Back]

It’s a soft pouch. It looks crumpled because it’s new.

Congratulations, metal_spider!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Six more days to win Grand Theft Auto IV!

There is still time left to try and win yourself a Grand Theft Auto IV box for the Xbox 360!

[Grand Theft Auto IV]

Click here to read the rules if you’ve forgotten all about it.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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).

ToughGuy asks an irrelevant question:

Will you marry me?

Sheylara Says:

Um…. no, not really. Awfully nice of you to ask, though. NEXT!!

Jason Ng asks an Xbox 360 question:

Can you recommend me some Xbox 360 games that are must-buy? Anything but FPS games cos I don’t like them.

Sheylara Says:

Here are some of the more popular non-FPS Xbox 360 titles:

Ninja Gaiden II (coming June 4)
Grand Theft Auto IV
Assassin’s Creed
Mass Effect
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Lost Odyssey

Why not try some FPS, though. The Halo series is one of the best-selling titles exclusive to the Xbox and it’s really a shame for an Xbox owner not to have played it. Try Halo 3, the latest in the series, at least!

Bunnie asks a Rock Band question:

I read that you play Rock Band. Can you share how to become better at playing it? I like it but always can’t catch up with the notes.

Sheylara Says:

Uh… how do you get better at anything? Practice lah. For any instrument you choose to play, start with the easiest songs on Easy mode. Play each song until you can get it almost perfect, then move on.

If there are segments that keep causing you to lose marks, go into Training mode and play the song on a slower speed. Gradually increase the speed and practice until you can play it with your eyes close.

Any specific questions and answers you want to read in Ask Sheylara? Well, ask Sheylara! You can use a pseudonym if you don’t want your name to be splashed all over here.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Win a Ninja Gaiden II game!

Why, yes, I just happen to have another game to give away this week, you lucky fellas!

I don’t want to make it a habit and spoil you, but I gotta give ’em away as I get them, don’t I?

This week’s prize is a Ninja Gaiden II game, exclusive for the Xbox 360!

[Ryu Hayabusa demands royalties for his appearance]

How to win this week’s prize

  1. Tell me something funny or interesting you’ve encountered as a gamer, whether in real life or ingame (no word count requirement).
  2. Post it in the comments here by June 3, 2008, 11:59 pm
  3. A lucky draw will be conducted to pick a winner from all entries.

Once I’ve got a winner, I will contact you via e-mail immediately and try to arrange to give you your prize on June 4 so you can own the game on the very first day of game release!

Exciting, no?

Well, obviously, if the winner is from overseas, you’ll just have to wait till the prize gets mailed to you.

Now, get to it! This contest lasts only four days!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I wonder if anyone ever reads this bit at the end.

Because Gamer Girl Friday is such a physically long entry, I have a thought that most people just stop reading halfway and go away. Some might read selectively by clicking on only the topics they’re interested in (since I’ve so helpfully incorporated a very convenient navigation system for yous).

Well, if no one’s reading this, should I be shortening my keyboard’s lifespan by typing away here just for the sake of having a last word?

That’s kind of a rhetorical question, but you can answer it if you like, if only to prove me wrong about there being no one reading this.

Have a fantastic weekend!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#2: Age of Conan special edition

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Oh, gosh, is it Friday already? While people are thanking god it’s Friday, I’m raising the panic alarm for a worrying number of deadlines unmet.

Nevertheless, Gamer Girl Friday is still in business, even if I have to sacrifice my Age of Conan game time.

In fact, I only had time to play for one measly hour since receiving my AoC registration key on Wednesday. But that’s enough to talk about AoC at great length because it gave me enough lasting first impressions to fill a book.

You’ll want to read my “Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian” series because it’s funny!

And don’t forget to take part in this week’s contest. I’m giving away a Grand Theft Auto IV game! Ooh!

==================================================

Table of Contents

  1. Playing Age of Conan on dual-monitor setup
  2. Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part 1
  3. Age of Conan first impressions
  4. Ninja patrol squad terrorizes Bugis Junction
  5. Results of last week’s contest
  6. Ask Sheylara
  7. Win a Grand Theft Auto IV game!!

==================================================

Playing Age of Conan on dual-monitor setup

Here’s a quite useless and self-indulgent video showing you Age of Conan played on dual-screen mode.

I was on a dual-monitor setup when I logged in to Age of Conan for the first time and found that I couldn’t force the game back to one screen, so I decided to play it like that just for the heck of it.

Of course, the game world looks incredibly beautiful spread across two screens, but it was a pain to play because of the gap between the two monitors, where your character is stuck the whole time.

So, bad idea. Next!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Adventures of Sheylara the Barbarian Part 1

Once upon a time, onboard a slave galley, there lived a kind-hearted and innocent barbarian girl by the name of Sheylara.

[The galley slaves couldn't get entirely coordinated]

Sheylara had been kidnapped from her hometown in Aquilonia to be sold into slavery. Her talents include looking cute and owning an outrageously daring bikini (for that era).

[She often got teased for her birthmarks]

One day, as luck would have it, the ship got wrecked by some fearsome squall or something and everyone got thrown overboard. Sheylara passed out before washing up on some scenic beach shore, just like in the movies.

Shortly after, a strange old man, who just happened to be hanging out at the beach, came along and tried to wake her.

Amazingly, Sheylara wasn’t dead and even managed to wake up looking like she just stepped out of the latest issue of Swimsuit Illustrated.

[How is this pose? She asked]

The strange old man said to Sheylara, “Since you’ve washed up on the shore anyway, I might as well make you do some work. There’s this cute little thing got herself captured by an evil man. Go save her, would you please, if you’re not in a hurry to go anywhere.”

Sheylara, being kind-hearted and innocent and, in fact, not in a hurry to go anywhere, agreed to the old man’s request even as she coughed out the last drops of seawater from her lungs.

Now, it didn’t take her long to find the cute little thing that needed rescuing.

[Help!]

“Help!” said the cute little thing, whose name is Casilda. “You look like you have the stomach for a bloody encounter (even if you resemble a swimsuit model). Wouldn’t you please kill that meanie over there and get his keys to free me? Please?”

“Okay,” said kind-hearted and innocent Sheylara, and off she went waving the broken bottle that the strange old man had given to her to use as a weapon.

[This pose I'm sure you like, she said]

Incredibly, Sheylara managed to kill the meanie with nothing but the broken bottle and her charms.

[He was surely afraid of the broken bottle]

She returned to Casilda and freed the bimbotic wench. Then, the two ladies had a nice conversation about the latest trends in swimwear.

[The girls had a fine time chatting in the jungle]

Casilda said, “Hey, you know what? The city of Tortage has some really nice shopping spots. Why don’t we walk there together and I’ll show you around?”

“Awesome plan!” said Sheylara.

The two provocatively-dressed ladies then proceeded to leisurely stroll through the jungle, chatting and giggling as if they’d known each other forever.

Suddenly, Sheylara was attacked!

[There had to be a better way of donating blood]

“What is this?!?!?!?!” she screeched. “You didn’t tell me there were more bad men around!”

“Oops, sorry,” said Casilda as she scurried off to hide behind a tree. “My bad.”

Just as Sheylara was about to get slaughtered good and proper, a strange feeling overcame her.

[Dance Dance Revolution v200]

A fascinating blue light descended upon her, like a deus ex machina, and infused her with the strength of a panther and the courage of a man who’s about to get a root canal treatment without anesthesia.

“I can take on the whole world!!” she declared. “Come and get me if you dare!”

[Nobody was going to mess with her]

With that, the thug in front of her dropped dead with fright. He also dropped some loot just the way mobs are supposed to, when they die.

“Cool!! A new bikini!!” enthused Sheylara, as she changed into her new outfit right there and then, never considering prying eyes hidden in bushes.

[It was quite cooling]

Casilda ran out of hiding.

“Aww, pretty!” she crooned. “I told you, didn’t I? There’s a lot more of that where we’re going!”

Sheylara blushed before rolling her eyes and said, “Yeah, okay, let’s go. But next time, warn me before I get hacked almost in two pieces again!”

With that, the two happy maidens went on their merry way.

(To be continued next week…)

[She's a little of the shy wallflower]

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Age of Conan first impressions

Like I said, I could fill a book with my first impressions, but I’ll just pick a few things because I’m sure you don’t want to read a book.

Impressing me right at the outset was the character creation screen. It’s so dynamic I thought it was another intro video sequence.

[Character Creation is a game in itself]

As the story goes, you’re a captive on this ship on the way to being sold into slavery. The character creation screen shows you being on a ship, surrounded by oarsmen busy at work rowing and making a frightful din.

It’s a dark and stormy night and all that and you’re alone and frightened, but you have work to do. You have to choose a gender and race and class, following which you have to choose hair colour, eye colour, body shape and size, and all the rest of it.

[Never has such a beautiful slave been born]

From here, you have the option to go into an advanced customisation mode to tweak every single last detail, from boob size to eyebrow angle. Never has character customisation been so detailed since Star Wars Galaxies.

Past the character creation stage, the game world is truly a sight to behold.

[She thought perhaps the gate needed a good whacking]

The colours are vibrant, the landscape is lush, the avatars so detailed. Everything is just so beautiful it makes your heart sing with joy.

Once in a while, you get these cutscene animations when you initiate contact with an NPC.

[Hello, pretty!]

These are pretty cool. Makes me feel like I’m playing a console game. And the voice acting is really good. The only complaint I have here is that the character animation seems a little blocky, lacking the natural fluidity of real-life motion.

Not that I’m expecting a lot. Remember Beowulf (Angelina Jolie)? Even that didn’t achieve 100% fluidity. So I don’t expect any better from a game for which cutscenes are only a minor feature.

Age of Conan is not a game for MMORPG newbies. There is no newbie-friendly tutorial such as you would get in World of Warcraft and EverQuest II. You do get guides that pop out when the game feels you need some, but they are not as intuitive as those in aforementioned games.

But that’s fine because I’m not an MMORPG noob and I managed to get a quest and kill some mobs right away.

AoC is very bloody, which is a first for an MMORPG.

[Ouch, that hurts, you dope!]

It’s very tantalising. If you’re playing a female avatar, you’re staring at a pair of perky butt cheeks 95% of game time.

[Ooooh]

There’s also the option to disrobe your avatar almost completely but I’m not showing it here!

Oh, did I forget to mention spell animation?

I totally love it! If it’s so beautiful even at starting levels, I can’t wait to see what I’m going to get at higher levels.

[She felt a sudden chill]

I took a video with the built-in video recorder (also an MMORPG first, I think) but it’s in a weird resolution (1274×992) because I was playing in windowed mode and, somehow, YouTube isn’t able to play that.

I love the built-in video recorder, except that it doesn’t capture sound. I have no idea why.

Well, I think that’s enough AoC for a day. If I talk anymore about it, I’ll never be able to get out of my house and I do have an event to attend in a couple hours.

If you’re in Thog, look me up!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ninja patrol squad terrorizes Bugis Junction

There are only two days left to the Ninja Gaiden II preorder promotion and the current preorder figure stands at 327 (needs 174 more for the release of the second tier freebie of the NG2 notebook).

For such a popular long-running game series, I’m surprised the figure isn’t higher.

But then, it’s not my job to worry about preorder sales figures. My job is to worry about properly terrorizing random folks in the streets with my scary Ninja demeanor!

[Scary shit!]

As you can see, we were completely and utterly menacing.

In fact, people had to literally beg us not to harm them.

[Very]

Ferocious Ryu Hayabusa says, “You. Yes, you there. I’m watchin’ you, kid, I’m watchin’ you.”

[Get me a cheese toasted sandwich, please]

That was unfortunately the last of the ninja patrol tourist attraction pose squad, although we will be making a couple of appearances during the launch event on June 3 at Funan, which will be on from 12:30 pm till 8 pm.

There will be a lucky draw going on every hour for people who have pre-ordered the game. An exclusive NG2-themed Xbox 360 Elite will be given away! I wonder who the lucky person will be. Will it be me? (I wish).

You have until Sunday to preorder the game. I swear it’s really fun. Go for it!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Results of last week’s contest

Last week, I put five Grand Theft Auto IV stickers and three Grand Theft Auto IV coasters up for grabs. The response was really quick and all items were snapped up within a few hours!

[Prizes!!]

Congratulations to the following winners!

GTA4 coasters
tedbear
bedlamite
Aves

GTA4 stickers
Leo
Bartman
modchip
Ayane06
siegeholler

The items will be mailed out to you as soon as I can find some time to zip down to the P.O.

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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).

BC asks a Wii question:

I wanted to connect to the Internet using my Wii and its in Japanese so I downloaded your site’s translation. However, when I went to press the wrench icon to go to system settings, it gives me an error message saying that it can’t connect to this certain url and that I should check if I typed it right. I have never touched the settings until now. Please help.

Sheylara Says:

This is one of the most common problems faced by users of a modified Japanese Wii set. When you insert a game disc of another region code which contains a firmware patch update, it will overwrite your original menu. You then get an error because the system is trying to locate the Japanese menu with the address “marc:JP/JP/JPN/index01.html” but it’s not there anymore.

This is known as semi-bricking your Wii. You can still play games but you just can’t access the settings menu. In some severe cases, you will get a fully-bricked Wii, in which case your set is totally unplayable.

You can fix semi-bricks by inserting a Japanese game with a firmware update that is higher than your Wii version. That will overwrite the menu again with a valid Japanese one.

Matthew Chua asks a DS Lite question:

I just bought a DS Lite for my girlfriend. But, being a gadget idiot, I’m lost trying to load music into it. Do I need any software to do it? I’m using an ezflash card.

Sheylara Says:

Please note that Gamer Girl Friday does not advocate piracy! But I will answer your question this once. If you’re using EZ-Flash V, it should have an MP3 icon which you can tap to launch the media player. If not, what you need is Moonshell. I can’t explain to you in detail because it’s not exactly legit. But you can Google it.

David Lee asks a console comparison question:

If you were totally unbiased, how would you rank the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360, in terms of games, performance, satisfaction?

Sheylara Says:

It’s really hard to rank them strictly, so I will tell you what I like about each console!

PS3: It’s sleek and shiny and it has Blu-ray capabilities so you save your money on a Blu-ray player.

Wii: It’s cute and the games are a totally different experience. I love the great workout some of the games give.

Xbox 360: For now, Xbox 360 has the best games library and the Xbox Live experience is unbeatable.

You know what, I’m going to open this last question out to all you readers. It’s really hard for me because I do like all the consoles almost equally. But there must be dedicated fans of specific consoles out there. So how would you rank the three consoles?

Post your answers in the comments here.

Best answer received before next Friday will get a small mystery prize!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Win a Grand Theft Auto IV game!!

YES YES YES. I’m giving out a Grand Theft Auto IV game (Xbox 360 Asian version) because I’ve got a kind sponsor this week. And because it’s a bigger prize, the contest will be a little harder than last week’s (but not that hard).

[Wouldn't you like to take me home?]

This week’s prize is sponsored by The Xbox 360 team in Singapore. (Yaay! Give them a standing ovation!)

Here’s how you can win it!

  1. Write a review of Gamer Girl Friday.
  2. Post it on your blog or in a gaming-related forum (but don’t spam).
  3. Link the post to www.sheylara.com.
  4. Post a comment here when you’ve done it so I can check it out.

Rules:

  1. There is no word limit and it can be any style you like.
  2. Entries will be judged by me! I will pick the one I like best.
  3. You need to be at least 18 to win this prize. (ID verification will be required.)
  4. Closing date is June 5, 2008!

[Back to Table of Contents]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, my. Today’s issue seems very long. I don’t know if you read everything but thanks for reading!

Remember to take part in both contests! There is one sneakily embedded in the Ask Sheylara segment. Haa.

Okay, Gamer Girl Friday needs to sign off now to go play Age of Conan (after attending previously mentioned event).

See you next week!

[Gamer Girl Friday]