GGF#28: Giddy with games

[Gamer Girl Friday]

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

This has been happening for months!

Oh, well, that’s life!

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

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

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Be a movie star

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s one of the videos we made!

But let me explain the game a little.

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

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

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

Yes, washing clothes. *lol*

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

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

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

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

Here’s another video for your viewing enjoyment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love You’re in the Movies!!

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

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Try YITM and win prizes!

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

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

For more info, please check here.

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Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

A review contributed by a loyal fan and supporter of GGF

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

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

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

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

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

I just had to check it out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Survive the zombie apocalypse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newbie Nite to soothe my ego

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

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

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

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

Read the full report here.

Still, I’m gonna do it again. Haha.

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

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Results of last week’s contest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations, terboo!

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

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Win a funny-shaped mouse!!

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

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

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

So, hands up if you want it!

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

*lol*

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

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

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

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Exclusive peek at coming Xbox 360 games (April-Dec 2008) – Part II

This is the second part of my preview of the 10 most anticipated games coming out on the Xbox 360 this year.

The first part can be read here.

All the games were shown to us at the Xbox 360’s 2nd birthday party at The Screening Room on April 3rd. Well, some only had trailers because the games weren’t done being developed. But here’s a peek at the stuff we were shown.

Alone in the Dark

More gory zombie slasher survival thriller goodness coming your way!

[Alone in the Dark screen 1] [Alone in the Dark  screen 2] [Alone in the Dark  screen 3]

It seems a common enough theme in games for heroes to wake up disoriented in an eerie, perhaps threatening, environment, posing a challenge to the player to figure out what’s happening and to get the hell out of there.

But Alone in the Dark has the privilege of being a pioneer in the survival horror genre (first released for the PC in 1992), so you can’t exactly accuse it of being unoriginal.

This remake has some potential stuff to look forward to, not the least of which is the episodic treatment of the game. It’s made to look like a TV series, with each episode unfolding just like a TV drama complete with recaps and plot synopses.

There is a lot more interactivity. You can pick up just about anything that’s sitting around and use it like you might in the real world. You can even combine items to help you get through obstacles. Brains and logic count for a lot in this game.

For instance, you could grab a coffee maker and beat a zombie over the head with it. Okay, that’s a no-brainer, but I mentioned that because that’s what you’ll get to see in this funny video. I filmed it as an Atari representative played game for us.

It’s hilarious how the crazy zombie wretch just refuses to die. Watch it to the end. I promise you you won’t regret it.

Alone in the Dark releases on June 24, 2008.

Official site on Atari.com.

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Mirror’s Edge

I like this one. We were shown a CG trailer highlighting the plot and special features, and I hope the game will be as good as the trailer looks. (Sorry, we’re not allowed to share the trailer.)

The protaganist is Faith (that will be you), a spunky neo-Asian chick who works as a courier in a sterile city set in the future.

[Mirror's Edge]

She’s no ordinary courier, wouldn’t you know. Faith is faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Oh, wait. That’s the wrong superhero.

But she sure does kick ass, all the same. And her mode of transport is leaping tall buildings. Really.

Because the government monitors everything that goes on in the city and strictly controls the flow of information, there is a need for talented, gravity-defying individuals to courier sensitive information above the prying eyes of the government.

Yes, if you can leap from rooftop to rooftop, you can make a bid for Faith’s job.

So you get to do Matrix-like stuff in the game as you go about your business. You grab objects on the fly to use as weapons to help you overcome obstacles. According to the developers, the game is not about brute force. It’s about outhinking the man behind the gun.

The game camera is free-flowing in the sense that it follows your movement more realistically than most other first-person games. Real-time momentum is built in, like, you can’t come to a sudden halt in the middle of a sprint. And you will actually feel woozy when looking down or leaping off tall buildings. Unless you’re a daredevil with no heart.

[Mirror's Edge screen 1] [Mirror's Edge screen 2] [Mirror's Edge screen 3]

Mirror’s Edge releases late 2008.

Official site on Mirror’s Edge.

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Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon

So, like, the tables are turned and the human race gets obliterated by a retro disco-era zen alien going by the name of Crypto.

In the words of the trailer: “To attain enlightenment, you must expand your mind, master time and space and blow the living crap out of everything.”

Sounds like everything you ever wanted to do, doesn’t it, you sicko? Especially since you get to destroy all humans, as the title of the game strongly suggests.

What the heck, this brand new exclusive trailer says it all:

Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon releases May 16 (UK, Australia) and September 15 (USA), 2008.

Official site on Destroy All Humans.

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FaceBreaker

Personally, it’s kinda worrying to me that there’s an actual sport revolving around beating people’s faces in. But if that’s what people like to do for leisure, who am I to object?

FaceBreaker takes arcade boxing up a whole new level with real-time facial deformation.

Yes, it’s not enough for people to see cars getting pounded in and smashed up in racing sims. People want to see people get pounded in and smashed up now. Oh, and let’s top it off with a cherry, why don’t we.

Put your photo on your avatar. Put your worst enemy’s photo on your opponent’s avatar. Uh huh.

We were told that your photo will get 3D’ed nicely so your boxing avatars will look just like you and your good friend, Billy Wanna Get Punched In The Face.

How about that?

[FaceBreaker screen 1] [FaceBreaker  screen 2] [FaceBreaker  screen 3]

Official site on EA Sports.

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UEFA EURO 2008

You can probably tell that I know nothing about sports or sports games, so I’m naturally biased and won’t be talking at length about this title. Haha. That’s just how it is, unfortunately.

All I can say is that the developers promise highly authentic stadiums and teams. And the game interface has been made easier for casual players to get into it.

Die-hard fans can check out the Be A Pro mode, in which you zero in on one particular player and develop his career from scratch.

Oh, and there’s this cool feature you can invoke when you score a goal. It’s called a celebration scene, during which you can make the scoring player perform celebratory dances while your enemy watches. And you can do it as much as you want, disrupting the game for as long as you want, to really rile your opponent.

Coolness! I like that, even if I won’t play this game.

[UEFA 2008 EURO screen 1] [UEFA 2008 EURO screen 2] [UEFA 2008 EURO screen 3]

UEFA EURO 2008 releases on April 11 (Europe) and May 19 (USA), 2008

Preorder is available here.
Official site on EA Sports.

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That’s all for upcoming games this period. If you liked my previews, tell me and I might do more. If you didn’t like them, what the heck, I still might do more because I like playing games and talking about them. So there.