Short issue today because I’m in a hurry and am already late for my dinner appointment!
But I review three games today. They are very different types of games and I enjoyed them all! So, there should be plenty to keep you occupied!
Table of Contents
- Be a hell rider on Trials HD
- Be a Nazi destroyer in Wolfenstein
- Be, uh, very cute in Hello Kitty Online
- Time Wasters by Swordplay
- Results of last week’s contest
Be a hell rider on Trials HD
I honestly didn’t expect to like this game because it’s a very male-centric game. But I downloaded it because I had a free code. I’m always game to try new stuff if it’s given to me free.
Trials HD got me so hooked I was playing it till 5:30 am.
It’s an Xbox LIVE Arcade exclusive motorbike racing game except that you’re not racing against other bikers (not in the literal sense, anyway). You’re racing against time.
You progress through the game by completing obstacle-loaded tracks which get progressively harder. I’m only at the beginner stage and I’m already finding it tough as heck.
Each time you complete a track successfully, you’ll see a leaderboard where the game tells you how you fare in timing among your Xbox LIVE friends.
It makes you want to try the track again and again just to shave seconds off your score to beat as many friends as possible.
That’s why I was playing till 5:30 am.
Although, in my case, it wasn’t as much to beat friends as to make my scores less embarrassing.
Other than that interesting competitive element, this game has no multiplayer feature.
Trials HD features two modes: Race Mode and Skill Mode.
Race Mode is like what I’ve mentioned. Complete a track full of obstacles as fast as you can. Believe me, the tracks are very challenging.
The gameplay is exhilarating with a polished physics engine that makes your experience very real. You’ll feel the crawl of your bike as you motor up a steep slope. If you lose your balance, your avatar will fly off your bike and crash into objects so realistically you’ll cringe.
I particularly enjoy the Skill Mode, although I didn’t fare too well there.
You play through a series of courses, each of which tests your skill in a particular area.
For example, there one where you have to literally fly your motobike through rings of fire.
Another one has you riding through an obstacle course while you’re trapped inside a giant wire ball. You have go as far as possible without upturning yourself inside the ball.
One of my favourites is this one where you have to break as many bones in your body as possible.
You’re supposed to voluntarily crash into a barrier, fly off your bike, and tumble down neverending giant steps. After trying this one like 30 times, I only managed to break about 65 bones, whereas some of my friends had broken something like 200 bones. I don’t know how that is even possible.
To add to the replayability factor, new and more powerful bikes can be unlocked and you can customise the colour of your bike and your rider. There’s also a level editor which allows you to create your own tracks and share them with friends.
Don’t even consider it. Get this game!!
The only complaint I have is that, after four hours of riding my bike in the wee hours of this morning, my left thumb still hurts now when I apply pressure on it.
Well, that, plus the fact that I just can’t figure out how to break more bones.
Win one of four Trials HD download token at the weekly Xbox 360 Singapore Facebook giveaway! Here is your chance to play this amazing game for free. Go take part now!
Note: You must be a fan of the Xbox 360 Singapore Facebook Fan Page.
Be a Nazi destroyer in Wolfenstein
I didn’t know before today that Wolfenstein 3D was the mother of all first-person shooters. I suppose that accords the Wolfenstein franchise a kind of solemn prestige.
Well, I was playing the latest installment yesterday and I made a video of me playing it. I’m still considering whether to upload the video.
If I upload the video, it’s going to be called “Sheylara playing Wolfenstein very badly”.
As y’all know, I am absolutely rubbish at FPS games.
In any case, I can’t upload it today because I haven’t got time to edit it. So, I still have a week to mull over it.
So, I’ll just kind of say a few words about the game for now.
I am absolutely rubbish at it, is the first thing I will say.
Oh, I’ve said it already, haven’t I?
Apart from me being rubbish at it, I think Wolfenstein is a good game.
You play B.J. Blazkowicz, a special agent who is very talented at killing Nazis. You infiltrate a Nazi camp to learn about a secret power the Nazis are developing, called The Veil.
Very early in the game, you acquire the ability to use that power, which allows you to travel around in bullet time as well as see hidden objects and move through special portals.
That part is quite cool, really.
Other than that, it’s just like any other FPS. You pick up weapons and ammo as you go about killing your enemies. There’s supposedly a weapon called the Black Sun, which is a war-ending supernatural weapon capable of unlimited destruction. But I haven’t seen it.
You can upgrade your weapons at a secret shop. You unfold the story through meeting with NPCs and picking up special objects.
I would probably enjoy it a lot more if FPS doesn’t give me motion sickness and if I can actually make myself useful with a weapon. Sometimes, I shoot my own friends because I can’t tell friend and enemies apart. Fortunately, friendly fire doesn’t seem to work in this game.
Or maybe because I’m playing in Super Newbie Mode.
Well, okay. Let me know if you want to see my lousy video.
Wolfenstein can be played on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
Be, uh, very cute in Hello Kitty Online
I normally wouldn’t give a kiddy game like this a chance. I have so many other games to play.
But this is Hello Kitty! The ever-endearing cutie we all never quite grew out of!
I was quite pleased when they sent me a cute installer DVD for Hello Kitty Online, the first MMORPG featuring favourite Sanrio characters.
It’s so cute, is it not?
You can request for the DVD too, here, if you live in Singapore or Malaysia. The game is now at a Commercial Preview stage (I guess it’s like Open Beta) and is free to play.
The user interface is unbelievably cute.
That means I can’t quite believe that I’m actually playing a game like this.
It’s all sugar and spice and everything nice. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as much as I like cute things, I normally leave pre-teens alone and try not to encroach on their territory.
But then, like I said, this is Hello Kitty. And Hello Kitty is for all ages!
HKO is just like any other MMO. You do quests, kill mobs, earn money, harvest materials and make things through a crafting system. There’s also a slightly different feature — farms — which I’ll talk about later.
One of the first mobs you’ll encounter is a Starbeam, which is a cute little walking star. It’s sole purpose in life is to walk around and look cute and wait for players to kill it.
Except that in HKO, mobs don’t actually die. Once you’re “killed” it, it goes into a sleep with little “zzzs” coming out its head. After a minute or so, it wakes up and walks around and you can “kill” it again.
You’re probably wondering where’s Hello Kitty. I don’t really know. When you go through the tutorial, it tells you that Hello Kitty’s friends are missing and your job is to go into her world to help her find her friends.
Once you get into the world, though, you see a bunch of unfamiliar NPCs who make you do one quest after another, as they teach you how to play the game.
But that’s okay because Hello Kitty’s face is everywhere in the world environment.
Crafting comes in the form of purchasing recipe books, which tell you what ingredients/materials are needed to make the item. You don’t have to choose a trade. You can craft everything (food, weapons, clothes) as long as you meet the level requirements.
You could even grow your own ingredients.
Every one is given a farm in HKO. You get a basic one for a start but you can buy nicer-looking ones when you have the money.
You can plant all kinds of crops and trees in your farm and harvest them when they grow up. But you have to water them every so often or they’ll die.
One of the downsides of the game is that the tedium in the basic gameplay.
Your avatar walks about in a leisurely pace. There is no sprinting, no teleporting, no mounts. It’s quite tedious getting from one place to the next, especially since the world is so big.
I haven’t been able to find any options to hotkey actions, like in adult MMORPGs, so, say, if you want to kill a mob, the only way to do it is right click a mob with your mouse.
But, sometimes, the game doesn’t register the mouse click, maybe because the mob is moving around all the time, so you end up clicking endlessly. It’s very time-consuming.
The chat system is not entirely intuitive. There are multiple chat channels but only one chat tab. Up till now, I still haven’t figured out how to send a private message. And when a private message is sent you, the notification is quite subtle, so it might actually sit there for ages before you notice it and click on it to read.
If you have the patience to put up with all these, the game is quite fun. In fact, despite the tedium of some of the quests, especially the harvesting ones, I actually find myself wanting to log in and play all the time.
Or maybe it’s just a gamer thing. You always want to log in to level up, upgrade your equipment and find more cute clothes.
I joined a media tour in the game today and they gave me a set of cute clothes and accessories.
In HKO, you get to wear two sets of clothes/equipment at once. One set is the stat-equipment, which increases your stats. The other set is for decoration. If you wear two sets, the decoration set will override the stat set so your avatar can look cute.
You can also get pets. Sometimes, when you kill a mob, they will drop a card. The card can be turned into a pet of that mob type. It’s quite rare, though.
Well, HKO might or might not be a game just for kids. It’s certainly feature rich. In the game environment, you can send e-mails, take videos and photos, and write blogs. Doing all these actions earn you loyalty points, which you can redeem for cool stuff at the Items Mall.
It seems like HKO is set for a commercial launch pretty soon, possibly in September. More worlds will be introduced, for higher levels. There’s even a Paris and a Beijing in the new worlds. We saw those in the tour today and they were so pretty!
Here, we were at the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris:
And here’s Beijing:
Well, since the game is free anyway, it’s definitely worth a try if you like Hello Kitty! You can find out more about the game and sign up here.
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.
Today’s Game: Bubble Spinner
Last week, I bished Swordplay for recommending us a game that doesn’t seem to end and goes on and on forever. So, this week, he gave me something simple.
This is it.
I haven’t got time to test it, but I’ll trust his words for this time.
Results of last week’s contest
Congratulations, Precish, for winning last week’s contest! You win this delicious t-shirt!
Precish was picked by dear old Mr Randomiser to win this.
But thanks to all who participated. Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t win. Keep taking part in my contests and you’ll win something eventually. I think.
Precish, please e-mail me to claim your prize. You can find my e-mail in the Contact link at the top of my blog. Thank you!
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I’m sorry there is no contest today. I kinda need to rush off NOW and haven’t got any more time to go dig in my bag and find something to give out.
But you can always take part in the Trials HD giveaway to win the game! It’s as good as the giveaways on my blog!
See you again next week! =)