GGF#42: Everyone has slitty eyes in Chinatown Wars

[Gamer Girl Friday]

The game of the week is Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. I was quite surprised to see poster ads of the game at various bus-stops in Singapore.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

This is the first time I’ve seen ads for a DS game in Singapore. So it must be quite something, huh?

Maybe it’s because the game features a Chinese main cast and all the characters in the game have slitty eyes. And Singapore, as everyone knows, is in China.

Not.

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Table of Contents

  1. GTA: Chinatown Wars first impressions
  2. Time Wasters by Swordplay
  3. Singapore’s Biggest Halo Fan (video)
  4. Funny quests in Guild Wars
  5. Results of last week’s contest
  6. Win 5 boxes of Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition!!

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GTA: Chinatown Wars first impressions

I’m happy to get a new game for my Nintendo DS. I’m tired of playing Puzzle Quest on it. (Playing Puzzle Quest on the Xbox 360 is a lot cooler.)

So, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars shall be my new MRT companion for the next few months. Yeah, it’s probably gonna take me at least that long to complete the game because I don’t take the MRT a lot, these days.

First impressions of the game: Excellent.

Everything you love about Grand Theft Auto is there. Well, except for a few little things, such as graphics. But this is a DS game, so if anyone wants to complain about the graphics, I will shoot him in the legs and run him over with my Rhino.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Yes, you can buy all kinds of funny vehicles in GTACW.

Even a hearse. LOLOLOL.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

And a go-kart.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

A bulldozer!! Hahahaha.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

I’m sorry. I just find this very funny.

Of course, there are tons of speed demons you can buy, too.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Unfortunately, I’m only 3.6% into the game right now and can’t afford to buy anything. I have, like, $350. Most of the vehicles are still locked at this point, anyway.

In any case, the GTA series started off as having crappy graphics in the first place, so this DS instalment is no major infraction against the franchise.

It takes a bit of getting used to the top-down view, though, if you’ve been spoilt by the next-gen versions which last stopped at GTA4.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

But the gameplay is as top-notch as you could want.

As in GTA4, you start off as an out-of-towner brought to Liberty City by fate. There, you unwittingly get entangled in a life of crime. Before long, you start to lose all morals because its so easy to steal cars, kill people and make a fortune being a criminal.

All the usual GTA goodness.

In Chinatown Wars, you play Huang Lee, a Chinese dude possessing the Western stereotype of Asians with slitty eyes and a funny forehead, but speaks with Western wit and sarcasm.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Most of the time, you use the D-pad to move around and fight people. Occsasionally, you get to enjoy the touch-screen capabilities of the DS.

For example, jacking a car requires you to poke at your screen to hotwire it.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

To progress missions, you’ll sometimes be required to use your stylus (or your nails, if you have very sharp, pointy ones). One of the first things you’ll get to do, for example, is tap at a car windscreen to smash the glass and make an escape.

All that is rather cool. Who doesn’t love touch-screen? But I do find it mildly annoying having to pick up and put down my stylus repeatedly over the course of a game. (GTA games require a lot of coordination to drive vehicles or fight — there are even combos moves for combat — so it’s better to put the stylus down altogether when you don’t need it.

What’s great about GTACW, compared to other GTA games, is that you can teleport to a location if you’re doing a mission for the second time. That means, if you fail a mission and want to redo it, you can skip the cutscene and the travelling, and zip to the needed location instantly.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

That saves a lot of time.

Oh, another thing different. When you get cops on your tail, you can lose your wanted level by ramming into police cars or forcing them to crash themselves, effectively taking them out of the picture so that there’s no one left to chase you. Then you’re off the radar.

Well, I can’t say a lot more about the game since I’ve only spent maybe two hours on it. Reading some of the reviews out there, there’s a lot more fun stuff I haven’t uncovereed. But what I’ve seen so far is already good enough to keep me going.

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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 find and recommend one fun and simple web-based game each week.

Today’s recommendation:

Cursor Chaos

Here’s a schizophrenic little game that will give you a few minutes of insane entertainment… if you’re good.

If you’re clueless, you’ll die within 42 seconds.

In Cursor Chaos, you’re given a series of simple tasks to do using only the four arrow keys and spacebar. You have to complete the task within about six seconds (which includes the time you need to spend figuring out what you need to do to complete the task).

If you fail, you lose one life. You have seven lives to get through 42 levels.

Cursor Chaos

If you die prematurely, you get insulted by the game.

Cursor Chaos

Haha.

My best score for now is 459. Can you beat my time? (Lower score = better.)

Cursor Chaos

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Singapore’s Biggest Halo Fan (video)

Here’s the video I said I would make a month ago. =P The finals of the Singapore’s Biggest Halo Fan competition. See what each of the five finalists did to convince us that they’re the biggest Halo fan in Singapore!

I thought they were all equally impressive but, as in all competitions, there can only be one winner, so.

Click here
for more photos.

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Funny quests in Guild Wars

I’m really surprised at how good Guild Wars is. I was never so impressed when playing the beta in 2003.

What I like most is the rich story and the way the game makes you feel part of it. At strategic points of main quests, you’ll get cutscenes in which you’re the leading character.

Guild Wars

Guild Wars

Whatever your character is wearing (or not wearing) at that moment is reflected in the cutscene, giving you a real sense of belonging in the story. If you’re grouped up with friends, you’ll see your friends in the cutscene, too.

The quests and dialogues in this game are actually worth the time reading. In fact, no other game has actually made me feel something for the NPCs and want to find out what happens to them next.

I also love the humour.

There’s this quest where I was supposed to help a city officer dispatch aid to homeless villagers.

Guild Wars

He gave me a bunch of mirrors and made me look for three homeless villagers to give them to.

My first beneficiary wasn’t too grateful.

Guild Wars

LOLOL. Ultimate funny.

The second villager said:

Guild Wars

And the third:

“I appreciate you delivering this, but can you not see we have no need for such things? All of us have basically given up on the ministry when it comes to matters of survival. Thankfully, the emperor is much more attuned to the people and manages to provide for us.”

That’s not the end of it.

I went back to the officer to report my mission and he said:

Guild Wars

Haha!

I love Guild Wars!

Guild Wars

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Results of last week’s contest

I guess the haiku contest was a little too tough. Only one person managed to do it correctly so, like, I didn’t have to do any judging~!!

Thanks, RN1209, for doing it correctly, and writing a pretty witty one, too. As a reward, you get an Xbox 360 laser pointer LED light keyring! Congratulations!

Xbox 360 laser pointer LED light keyring

Here’s the winning entry:

No loot, you say, girl?
I suppose that’s no surprise…
Sneaky you are, yes?;)

— RN1209

I’m overlooking the smiley. And the dig. Cos it’s kinda funny. lol.

Please e-mail me about your prize! Thanks!

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Win Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition!!

WOAH WOAH WOAH!

I have FIVE boxes of Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition to give away to five savvy gamers, courtesy of Symantec!

Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition

From protecting gold earned in MMORPGs to keeping malware at bay, Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition is designed specifically for gaming. It’s fast and light on system resources, and never compromises the gaming experience.

How cool is that? An anti-virus software made specially for us! Each box has a commercial value of S$65, which is quite a reasonable price for one year’s worth of protection.

Norton AntiVirus 2009 Gaming Edition

But, hey, you don’t have to pay even that because we’re giving it to you free! If you pass the tests, that is.

FIRST TEST

Answer the following questions correctly.

1. At the German Games Convention 2008, 16% of participants said they’d had a game account stolen by hackers.

a) No way!

b) True.

2. What exactly is Gamer Mode in Norton AntiVirus Gaming Edition?

a) The opposite of a younger brother: Won’t bother you while you’re in the middle of a game, but keeps you protected throughout.

b) Something that automatically suspends updates, alerts, and other background activities when the system goes into full screen mode.

c) All of the above.

3. What did I give the homeless villagers?

a) Mirrors.

b) Tin cans.

c) Food.

SECOND TEST

Prove that you’re a gamer.

I don’t care how you do it. Use words, text, image, video, sound or whatever you can think of. I’m quite flexible. Just do it!

THIRD TEST

Post all your answers here by April 2, 2009, 11:59 pm.

Five winners will be picked and announced next Friday. Good luck!

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YAy! It’s done!

[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]