GGF#37: An exciting month for gamers

[Gamer Girl Friday]

February is a very exciting month (which translates to busy for me).

Apart from Valentine’s Day, which is totally irrelevant to today’s column but is being mentioned for the sheer fact that it just so happens to also fall in February, we’re looking forward to all the many games releasing this month.

Plus, and more excitingly, we’ll be experiencing big game launches for three big titles in Singapore, namely Halo Wars, Ninja Blade and Street Fighter IV.

There are so many activities planned for this month I’m getting dizzy sorting through all the info.

But I managed to sort through everything (huzzah) so read on to find out what’s what.

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

Table of Contents

  1. Halo Wars
  2. Ninja Blade
  3. Street Fighter IV
  4. Funtown Mahjong
  5. Lips – Grammy songs
  6. Results of last week’s contest
  7. Win a limited edition UNSC Spartan vest!!

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

Halo Wars

The popular Halo franchise comes in RTS (real-time strategy) format for the first time!

To be launched on February 26 (Japan & Asia Pacific. Yes we get it before the Americans and Europeans do), Halo Wars is already getting ahead with a slew of pre-launch activities.

Halo Wars screenshot

Here’s a summary. See if anything catches your fancy!

  1. Play Halo Wars demo free at E2MAX Feb 14-22
  2. Halo Wars tournament at E2MAX Feb 21-22
  3. Singapore’s Biggest Halo Fan contest, now on till Feb 22
  4. Halo Wars pre-order available till Feb 19
  5. Halo Wars demo now available for download on Xbox LIVE marketplace

If you need more details on anything, they’re all here.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Ninja Blade

Ninja Blade is flying your way on Feb 12! Have you tried it yet? If not, get your butt over to XXZ this weekend! (Feb 7 and 8, Best Denki VivoCity and Challenger Funan.)

There will be Ninja Blade demos and free play, as well as guest appearances by Xbox Xpert Merdeka and a special Ninja mascot!

Ninja Blade

Merdeka’s looking very cute deadly at the bottom of the poster.

More details here.

Ninja Blade pre-order is still availabe at XXZ until Feb 8. Get your Ninja Blade letter opener quick!

Also, take note that there will be launch activities at both XXZs on Feb 14 and 15.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV is also launching on Feb 12! How lah! So many games!

If you’re a Street Fighter fan, you don’t want to miss a thing!

Free SF4 calendar

From Feb 12 to 28, show XXZ staff a copy of your SF4 game, or purchase a copy there on the spot, and receive this cool calendar!

SF4 Launch

Go to any XXZ on Feb 14 and 15 to enjoy launch activities!

XXZ is at Challenger Funan and Best Denki VivoCity.

Digital Life party

Digital Life and Microsoft Xbox Singapore are hosting a party on Feb 14 for fans. You’ll get to play the game with other fans and win prizes! This is an invite-only party! You need to send an e-mail to get an invite.

Win an Xbox 360 console and SF4 games

One Xbox 360 and five SF4 games will be given away to lucky winners in an SMS contest. Details here.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Funtown Mahjong

I just downloaded this game from Xbox LIVE Marketplace. It’s so fun! I can’t wait till more people download it too so I can play multiplayer instead of playing with the cheating AI. (Well, they always win just before I’m about to win big!!)

Funtown Mahjong

The game is very Anglicized. When characters throw out cards, they will announce the cards in English names. For example, “Bamboo 4”. That takes a bit of getting used to.

Even the tiles are Anglicized, although you have the option to change them to traditional tiles.

Funtown Mahjong

Funtown Mahjong

The gameplay is a little bit different from the mahjong I’m used to. The rules are roughly the same, but this is 16-tile mahjong (whereas in Singapore, we usually play 13-tile mahjong).

That means your play strategy has to be slightly modified. For instance, there is less time to build very exciting big combinations. The game ends a lot faster since everyone gets three extra tiles in the beginning, meaning there are less facedown tiles to open up.

Funtown Mahjong

The above is a Chinese New Year special background which I downloaded for 200 MS Points. It’s pretty cool. The original background looks like this:

Funtown Mahjong

And you get to choose which cutesy AI opponents you want to play against.

Funtown Mahjong

I really dig this game, although the 16-tile gameplay annoys me because I like building big cards.

Still, it’s a very nice “break time” game to play for when I only have 10 or 20 minutes to spare.

And I think it’s a good game for beginner players because there’s a fully guided tutorial on the rules of mahjong, and the game seems to encourage a play strategy of “anyhow build your tiles just to win fast”, which is the strategy that most beginners adopt.

Drop me a note if you download this game. Let’s play together! =)

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Award-winning songs for Lips

Lips launched late last year with quite a sad selection of downloadable songs.

Lips

But over the months, the list has just been exploding, with three to six new releases every single week.

I think now would be a really good time to buy Lips if you haven’t already.

Available from today are three new Grammy Award winning songs:

Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
In My Place – Coldplay
Building a Mystery – Sarah McLachlan

Alicia Keys - Fallin

And coming up next week:

Buttons – Pussycat Dolls
Magic – Olivia Newton-John
My Happy Ending – Avril Lavinge

Yowza!! Siiiiiing! Sing a sooooong! Sing out louuuuuud! Sing out strooooooong!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Results of last week’s contest

Dominic wants an IAHGames iCash card to buy Expert scrolls and Enchantment boosters and +7 his weapon to make it bling.

VERY WORTHY GOALS, MY FRIEND!

So, Dominic wins a $10 IAHGames iCash card! Congratulations!

Please e-mail me to claim your prize, thanks!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Win a limited edition UNSC Spartan vest!!

I suddenly have a lot of stuff to give away!! But one at a time, eh?

This week, I’m giving out a very special exclusive item which I have kept since 2007.

It’s a limited edition vest that was given out as part of the Halo 3 launch campaign in Singapore in 2007.

I thought this might be a timely thing to give out, while the search is on for the Biggest Halo Fan in Singapore.

It’s still brand new, never been worn before.

To win this, I need from you:

  1. 3 reasons why you need the vest
  2. 3 reasons why you deserve the vest

Please post your reasons here. I will pick the most convincing, sincere, heartfelt, touching entry. In case there are too many convincing, sincere, heartfelt and touching entries, I will get Mr Randomiser to help me decide.

Closing date is Thursday, Feb 12, 2009, 11:59 pm.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Phew! Mission accomplished! A winner is you!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#36: Games coming in February 2009

[Gamer Girl Friday]

One more day to February! One more day to a month full of exciting games! Whee! I can’t wait!

Actually, I can.

I wish they’d stop making games so fast. I don’t have time to play everything!

I only have time to drool at them and then move on. Here’s a quick look at titles to look forward to in February 2009.

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

Table of Contents

  1. Ninja Blade
  2. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
  3. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
  4. Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?
  5. Street Fighter IV
  6. The Sims 3
  7. The Godfather II
  8. Killzone 2
  9. Results of last week’s contest
  10. Win a S$10 IAHGames iCash card!!

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

Ninja Blade

Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Genre: Action
Release Date: Mid February (Singapore)

Ninja Blade

Ninja Blade was ranked 6th in the Top 20 Tokyo Game Show list by Edge and seems to be a promising replacement for the popular Ninja Gaiden series.

Not that we want to make comparisons, but Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki did say he’s had enough of the series and wants to move on. So we should all get our ninja fix with Ninja Blade now.

I’ve downloaded the demo on my Xbox 360 but haven’t tried it yet. (I keep forgetting. Too many games to play.) It looks very much like NG2 except a lot more cinematic. Well, it has garnered rave reviews around the world so that should say something.

Ninja Blade letter opener

Singapore gamers, why not pre-order a copy now and receive a free Ninja Blade letter opener? More details here.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Survival Horror FPS
Release Date: February 10 (USA)

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

I love survival horror but I don’t want to play them. They make my nape feel prickly and I keep getting the urge to turn around and look over my shoulder.

I didn’t play the first F.E.A.R. but I think I want to get this and force the Goonfather to play it. I will watch hidden under the safety of my comforter.

This game kind of reminds me of The Ring because they both feature a little psychic girl unleashing her powers in a venging crusade. I can’t imagine how little girls could logically be scary, but they are.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

Like when I’m playing Left 4 Dead and we encounter the witch, my skin crawls.

Damn.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Platform: DS
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: RPG (Turn-based)
Release Date: February 16 (USA)

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

I must not have played enough games when I was younger because I never heard anything about this series even though it has been around for almost 20 years and has had 11 instalments since.

Well, it’s good that the first time I hear of it is also the first time it’s released on the DS, although it must be noted that the DS version is a remake of the first ever Fire Emblem game.

But that’s all good. My DS needs more games and old-school RPG is good.

The game is already out in Japan and Europe and reviews sound promising. Good sign!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?

Platform: PSP
Developer: Nippon Ichi
Publisher: NIS America
Genre: Action
Release Date: February 17 (USA)

Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?

Whee! A calefare character becomes the hero! Prinny, the exploding penguin from Disgaea, takes the lead in this silly game.

Following an urgent order, a lowly Prinny rushed to meet his boss, Demon Lord Etna, in her chamber. He arrived to see Etna beating his fellow squadmates to a pulp!

She was definitely in a bad mood, being even more abusive and violent than usual. As it turns out, someone had snatched her favorite dessert from the fridge!

Eager to vent her frustration, she orders Prinny to hunt down the Ultra Dessert. And if he doesn’t deliver the goods by the next morning, he’ll learn what eternal suffering REALLY means.

Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?

Um… okay. If you say so.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Street Fighter IV

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Developer: Dimps/Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Fighting
Release Date: February 17 (USA) (Q2 for PC)

Street Fighter IV

You don’t need me to tell you anything about this game. It’s Street Fighter, for goodness’ sake.

Well, okay, there’s this new thing called Focus Attack, which allows you to absorb your opponent’s attack to launch a counter attack. How cool is that.

I’m not a Street Fighter fan, but the Goonfather is.

Last night, he suddenly yelled out, “Yay! Tomorrow is February!”

I was, like, “So?”

“February is the month Street Fighter 4 comes out!!!! RAAAARHH!!!”

Okay. Calm down.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

The Sims 3

Platform: PC
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Simulation
Release Date: February 20 (USA)

The Sims 3

Yay! The Sims 3!! RAAAARHH!!!

I like The Sims so I shall write an essay about it!

I’m joking. About writing an essay, that is. Here’s a developer walkthrough video, instead:

I can’t wait! But I’m scared. It looks like a massive time sink!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

The Godfather II

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Action, RPG, RTS, TPS
Release Date: February 24 (USA)

The Godfather II

Waah! Let’s all be mafia!

I didn’t watch The Godfather movies until after The Godfather: The Game was released, so it never crossed my mind to play the game. In any case, I was busy playing EverQuest II that year.

Maybe I’ll play this sequel if someone gives me a copy to try. Would be nice to experience the world of Michael Corleone.

Apart from it being a multi-genre experience, and totally not a GTA rip-off, The Godfather II also offers four multiplayer modes, allowing up to 16 players per session. Imagine all the mischief you could get up to!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Killzone 2

Platform: PS3
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: FPS
Release Date: February 27 (USA)

Killzone 2

This is a damn good-looking game. So how about I show you a whole bunch of screenshots and we’ll call it a day?

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Oooh.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Results of last week’s contest

Last week, I got you guys to guess what game a screenshot was from, for a mystery prize.

The screenshot:

And the game is:

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.

You know what that means? That means Peaches Mode won a mystery prize because he was the first to get the right answer!

Yay!

I’ll bet you all want to know what the mystery prize is. Well, I won’t tell you cos it’s supposed to be a mystery. Ha-ha.

Wait till after he receives it, at least. =P

Congratulations, Peaches Mode!!

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

Win a S$10 IAHGames iCash card!!

Oh, look! I have a $10 iCash game value card, which allows you to buy in-game items from Granado Espada and EA SPORTS FIFA Online 2 (a game which, by the way, launched a week ago in Singapore and Malaysia, to the delight of football fans who can now play FIFA online.)

IAHGames iCash

If you want this, tell me why. What will you buy with this card? Valid entries will go into a pool for lucky draw.

By valid I mean you should say items you can really buy with this card. Like, if you say you’re going to buy a McDonald’s Value Meal with it, I’ll shoot you with a Super Soaker the next time I see you.

I’ll even throw in a set of Granado Espada “red packets” for the winner. How about that?

Granado Espada red packets

I’m so nice to you.

Please submit your entries in the comments. Closing date is Feb 5, 2009, 11:59 pm (Singapore time).

[Back to Table of Contents]

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

So, what game(s) are you going to get in February?

[Gamer Girl Friday]