I’m not gushing just because of my affiliation with the company. Really. I was a Microsoft fan way before joining the Xbox team. Ask anyone!
Well, okay, ask the Goonfather. Cos I doubt anyone else really bothers to know that I’ve been using only Microsoft mice and keyboards since I was old enough to buy my own mice and keyboard (but dad pays… wahahaha) and, of course, I love Windows, and Microsoft Office, and my Xbox 360, etc.
Is that too much gushing?
Okay. I’ll stop. (Not really.)
The reason I’m writing this blog today is to bring you an all-important announcement from Microsoft, HTC and StarHub.
Ooooh all the big names!
It’s an all-important announcement because *jeng jeng jeng*Microsoft is giving away an Xbox 360 Arcade every week till April 30!!
Yes. Yes! It’s very exciting!
Of course there’s a catch. There’s always a catch, duh. But it’s a very appealing catch, nevertheless.
You’ll need to go to the nearest StarHub store to buy either a HTC HD2 or a HTC Touch2. When you do that, you will receive two things!
Two free pre-loaded hit games: Guitar Hero 5 and Diner Dash: Flo on the Go. (Only available till April 30.)
A chance to win an Xbox 360 Arcade. (One awarded every week!)
After you buy either of the phones, go to this page and register for the lucky draw.
This is a pretty great deal, if I may say so. I would buy the phones if only just for the two free games! But, more importantly, being able to win an Xbox would be just awesome.
Sometimes, I have to literally fight with the Goonfather for the Xbox. He would be, like, “GO BUY ANOTHER XBOX LAH! I NEED TO PLAY BAYONETTA NOW.”
Most of the time, I give in to him because he’s such a poor thing, having to go to the office to work every day, while I can work from home and slack off to play games if I feel like it.
But, you know, just sometimes (and if you’re a gamer you would understand), you MUST play a certain game NOW and you just cannot wait! Right??
Anyway, keep this Microsoft-HTC-StarHub promotion in mind. It’s ongoing till April 30, 2010. I’ll be back with more updates on, like, winners and things.
Here’s a closer look at the phones.
I might try to persuade the organisers to give me one of these with the two games so I can play them and write you some reviews.
When I first got the game, the cover reminded me of Afro Samurai for some reason. I didn’t think much of it then and let it sit around for a while.
Eventually, when I decided to try out the game, I found that my Xbox 360 had died on me. I didn’t get it fixed immediately.
Long story short, it took me two weeks to get my console up and running due to unforseen circumstances.
Then I loaded the disc with low expections since I was just playing it to kill time.
But the introduction perked my interest immediately: Two hot chicks, Bayonetta and Jeanne, in tight leather, fighting on a falling platform. It’s like Heavenly Sword with that sexy babe killing ever-advancing hordes of enemies.
Still, it wasn’t until the Prologue that the game got my full attention.
The starting story, the strong personalities of the characters, the vicious violent moves, Bayonetta’s nun costume splitting open as she bursts out naked from it, transforming into her true leather-clad self…
It was stunning.
Reminds me of Devil Hunter Yohko, the anime.
If I had already started on Bayonetta when my Xbox 360 died in the middle of the night, I would have rushed to Mustafa to buy a new console right there and then, instead of waiting to get an exchange set for free.
It is that captivating!
Gore, guns, kungfu, hot chicks in tight pants, semi naked scenes and explicit language. What else could a guy ask for in a game?
By the way, Bayonetta looks like an OL version of Elvira. Teehee.
What mesmerises me most is Bayonetta’s personality, which comes across very appealingly in the amazing cutscenes. Where other game heroes gasp and struggle when faced with strong opponents, Bayonetta is bitchy and confident to the point of arrogance, which gives her a very sexy air.
I find myself developing a huge crush on her!
Hey, my silent admiring crush isn’t as bad as this bloke posting a Bayonetta video on YouTube asking if it’s normal to get a hard on while playing the game.
Bayonetta is an action game by the creators of Devil May Cry. Expect a similar feel but with a female hero with an attitude.
The moves are similar, with guns and huge-ass melee weapons, but the developers have raised the stakes here. Many variants of special moves such as Punish, Torture and a Nude move make the gameplay all the more exciting.
The Punish series of moves includes pinning down the enemy and bitch-slapping it to death, or grabbing it and slamming it right to left.
Torture moves include kicking an enemy into a guillotine and dropping the blade, or throwing it into an iron maiden and watching its juices flow out.
In the Nude finishing move, Bayonetta’s black leather outfit melts off her body to become this huge demon that flies up and eats the enemy.
But what’s better than all these moves combined is the unforgettable soundtrack which gets your blood pumping while you fight, especially the techno-jazz remixed version of Fly Me To The Moon.
Bayonetta is a witch who has lost her memory and goes around in search of her past. Following trails of a mysterious gem known as The Eyes of the World, with the help of an informant, Enzo, Bayonetta tries to recover her lost memories.
Along the way, she meets a journalist named Luka who claims that she had killed his father while he was a little boy. Luka swears to expose her existence to the mortal world. But because both of them aren’t bad people, it’s hard to make enemies out of them, which resullts in an uneasy friendship.
As Bayonetta visits places of significant histories, flashbacks of her past occur to her. She also meets delightful bright-eyed Cereza, who keeps calling her Mummy and following her around despite Bayonetta’s protests.
Cereza adds a wonderful human interest element to the story. You will fall in love with both mother and daughter for different reasons.
Be sure to watch the cutscenes carefully for the story is complicated but rewarding if you follow it through to the end.
If Bayonetta were an anime, I would be the first to buy it!
One noteworthy feature of the game is the loading screen. A controllable Bayonetta appears on the screen together with a scrollable list of fight combos. While the game is loading, you can practice moves and combos.
There’s never a moment of boredom in this game!
Well, now that I have completed the game, I feel at a loss. Perhaps I should try and persuade Sheylara to cosplay Bayonetta for me.
For the past week or so, each time I had the intention to sit down and write this review, my limbs would feel a magnetic pull towards my Xbox 360 controller, instead.
I would auto-pilotly power up my Xbox 360 and TV before realising what I’m doing.
Indeed, why would any sane person want to write a review when they can be playing a game?
So, I’m probably nuts.
In any case, I find CSI: Deadly Intent a lot of fun, bearing in mind that I’ve never watched a single episode of the TV series, nor have I played any of the previous CSI games.
I’m a CSI virgin, to put it crudely.
You’re probably not one, if you’re bothering to read this. So forgive me if I wax lyrical over how fun it is to collect evidence, analyse them at the lab and terrorise question witnesses and suspects.
Granted, the graphics is a bit retarded — blocky humans with unnaturally lolling eyeballs. But in games like this, it’s always the content that counts. They can give me stick figures and I’d be happy.
Okay, maybe not. It might be a little hard to detect fingerprints on stick figures.
In CSI: Deadly Intent, you get five delicious cases written by CSI writers, cool technologies for processing evidence, and celebrities to look at (Laurence Fishburne, Lauren Lee Smith), albeit blocky versions of them. Winning formula!
You get to feel like a real detective, although on a simplified scale. Like, if you cursor-over something important, it will turn “active” so you know that’s an important piece of evidence for solving the mystery. Obviously you won’t get that kind of convenient hand-holding in real life.
But the game is still challenging enough. You’ll need to know what to do with each piece of discovery. Brush for fingerprints? Collect a sample for processing? Make a mould of an imprint? Compare under a microscope?
Once you have some evidence, it’s straight to the lab. What would you do there? Analyse DNA? Compare fingerprints? Process audio clips?
After that, it’s piecing things together to decide on your next course of action. Interrogate people? Examine a corpse at the morgue? You’ll shuffle back and forth between crime scenes, the morgue, the lab and the interrogation room throughout the case.
The first game is almost like a tutorial because it’s pretty easy and straightforward, but each case after that gets progressively trickier and takes a longer time to solve.
Because the game is pretty linear, you won’t be able to progress the plot if you miss out an important piece of evidence or discovery. But you get hints in the game and you can specify how much you want to be hand-held.
I’m quite impressed with the plot twists. Not that I expected any less since there must be a reason the CSI series has been such a success. But it’s a real joy to unravel something that leads to a new shocking discovery.
The game will probably make many people feel really smart for being able to solve tough cases. There will be some people who think they can be detectives after playing this game because they fail to realise that it’s a lot easier to solve mysteries in games than in real life.
But I think the game does give a good insight on what it feels like to be a crime investigator.
I’m playing the Xbox 360 version but I think playing on the PC will be a lot easier. This is the kind of game where you have to move your cursor on every inch of the screen to find an elusive piece of evidence. A controller lacks precision for that kind of task so it gets annoying.
Sometimes, the area of activation is, like, one pixel. Can you imagine how hard it is to land a console cursor on one specific pixel?
The good news, though, is that it’s ridiculously easy to get Xbox LIVE achievement points on this game, so I have no regrets, really.
I think the DS version (titled CSI: Deadly Intent – The Hidden Cases) has different stories because it’s rated Teen while the other three are rated Mature. I shall have to try it!
After playing this game, I’ve decided that I want to watch the TV series. Oh no. More time sinks!
Well, we’re a little late this week but it can’t be helped, can it? Better late than dead!
So, this week was E3 week, which obviously means that I got swamped with E3 material to sort through and report on, which kind of is a major bummer because I also received three brand new games to play (and review) since Thursday but haven’t even had time to free them from their wrappers yet.
It’s been a crazy busy week!
By the way, I am right now sitting at J.Co (Tampines 1) having a frozen yoghurt while working on this column. But that’s a long story which has no bearing on games.
The most exciting announcement made at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo, June 2-4) this year came from Microsoft – the revolutionary Project Natal!
Now, this is very, very important. Natal is pronounced nuh-TALL. Please say it right because you don’t want to sound silly saying it wrong.
Utilising a sensor which combines a camera, depth sensor, microphone and custom processor, Project Natal is virtual reality as we’ve never seen it before. Without clunky equipment!
In layman’s term, Project Natal is playing video games without a controller because YOU are the controller.
Besides being able to detect full body movements and voice commands, the AI is so advanced that it can even detect changes in our facial emotions and respond accordingly. Cool, ne?
Watch the demo videos OMG OMG OMG watch them.
Steven Spielberg was at E3 2009 to present Project Natal.
“The next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear,” he said. “With ‘Project Natal’, we’ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognises us.”
Don Mattrick, head of Xbox 360 (left) with visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg
There is no ETA on a release date yet. Microsoft is keeping very mum.
An intense psychological action thriller from the developers of the Max Payne series. Riveting plot, cinematic, engaging and suspenseful, twists, innovative combat, realistic environment. I’ve got my eye on this!! But it’s a darn long wait.
Drive your dream car in this definitive racing game that allows you to experience the most realistic racing experience ever. From an Audi R8 V10 to a Nissan 370Z, there’s a car waiting for every enthusiast!
Experience the events leading up to the epic story in Halo 3 through the eyes of a special forces ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper). Includes a brand new campaign and three new Halo 3 multiplayer maps.
After the success of the critically acclaimed Left 4 Dead, this sequel looks set to raise the benchmark for co-op action games. Left 4 Dead 2 introduces a different set of survivors, new boss zombies and weapons, and melee combat.
Sam Fisher has been betrayed! And he must race against time to thwart a deadly terrorist plot! Well, that’s you. Expect improved features, interactivity, immersion and brand new multiplayer modes with this latest instalment of the multimillion selling franchise.