GGF#33: Playing old games

[Gamer Girl Friday]

The new year is for playing old games!

So far, I have been making good on my new year’s resolution (aka spend more time gaming) by digging out all my old games to play. This week, I’ve played Grand Theft Auto IV, Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm and Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two.

Games

Peculiar choices, I know. I just wanted to start off with the more frivolous titles, the ones you can have fun with for 30 minutes or an hour, and then walk away without having to sacrifice a piece of your heart.

It didn’t really work. I still ended up spending way more time on each title than I’d scheduled for. I think I have been game-deprived for too long.

I don’t dare touch my RPGs now.

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Table of Contents

  1. Penny Arcade Freaking Long Title
  2. Grey’s Anatomy: The Video Game
  3. Hope for Singapore game developers
  4. Don’t forget this weekend
  5. Get featured on Gamer Girl Friday!
  6. Win a silver USB optical mouse!!

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Penny Arcade Freaking Long Title

The full, unabridged title of this game is Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode [ ].

I started off with Episode Two because the Xbox Team just happened to have a spare download code lying around. I never played Episode One (which is recommended because the story is a continuation and wouldn’t make sense if you jumped in midway.)

Penny Arcade Adventures

I’m not going into a full review because it’s an old game (in gamespeak, yesterday is old), but I just want to say that I enjoyed it immensely, even though I jumped in midway. I enjoyed it so much that I played it 1.5 times.

I completed the game within two days (could have been one day if I had started early in the day). And then the next day I played through half of it again just to get the last Xbox LIVE achievement. Yep, I managed to max out achievements for a game for the first time! (Well, it’s only 200 points.)

The Goonfather was very puzzled by my apparent addiction.

“Why are you playing this stupid game?” he asked.

He had tried it last year and didn’t like it.

The next day…

“Why are you still playing this stupid game??”

He thought the game’s boring because it kept making him read comics.

Penny Arcade Adventures

Well, Penny Arcade is a comic, duh.

The humour is quite wicked (although it’s not funny all the time) and the illustrations top-notch. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids, though, because of the liberal use of a certain popular French word.

The game has puzzle, adventure and RPG elements in it, so I found it very entertaining.

Penny Arcade Adventures

I guess you need to have a perverse sense of humour and an appreciation for irreverence to enjoy this game. I’m thinking of getting Episode One now.

Penny Arcade Adventures can be played on PC or Xbox LIVE (as an Arcade download).

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Grey’s Anatomy: The Video Game

Yoi requested that I feature more PC content for GGF. So, how about Grey’s Anatomy? lololol.

Games

Apparently, you can play your favourite doctor from the hit TV series, enjoy romances with the other doctors, and perform surgeries. What more could we ask for in a game?

Games

No, seriously. I have faith in Ubisoft.

The game will be coming out for the PC, Wii and DS. I might give the DS version a try. I like frivolous games because I don’t have time to play any other kind. ETA is March this year.

The response from the gaming community isn’t too promising, though. Some random responses from various gaming websites:

lonestarmt
omg…. why

J Wayne
FAIL

Dont Panic
I am at a loss for words, just…. really!?!

Pokrface
Will the game let my player character sleep with attending doctors to charge up my SurgeryMeter?

CapnRob
aw, heck. I was hoping for a _House, M.D._ game, in which you randomly guess one of twenty diseases, four times, and then the patient gets better. Or dies. Randomly.

Cwalat
can someone repeat after me:

FlopelyFLOP

Gary “ElfShotTheFood” McLean
Not even a Katherine Heigl nude patch could save this.

hagfish70
count me out.

Cajun Chicken
They’re concentrating on THIS instead of a Heroes game? What the HECK is wrong with Ubisofts choices of licenced IPs?

And the conflicting responses from fans of the show:

Svlad Cjelli
Well, my girlfriend is certainly excited about this. I came home tonight and told her about this, during the commercial break for Grey’s Anatomy.

tda-danny
My wife is a huge fan of this show, and owns a ds. I told her about about it jokingly and she replied, “Oh christ, that will be bad”.

Even people who dont know anything about video games & love the source material know this wont be good…

Reading comments can be really entertaining.

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Hope for Singapore game developers

Last year, a bunch of Singaporeans won the grand prize in a global Microsoft game development competition, picking up US$40,000 in cash prize and lots of recognition. (I wrote about it here.)

Sheylara with Team Gambit

This year, the same team has been selected as a finalist in the 11th Annual Independent Games Festival for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize award. If they pick up this award, it’s another US$20,000 in cash prize and even more recognition and exposure!

Team Gambit’s success has prompted MDA to set aside S$50,000 grant packages for aspiring game developers in Singapore. Application is still open, so don’t forget to check it out!

I wish Team Gambit all the best for the IGF award!

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Don’t forget this weekend

Remember to drop by Xbox Xperience Zones (Best Denki VivoCity or Challenger Funan) this weekend to enjoy the launch of some of the most fun party games, ever!

There will be Lips and Scene It? Box Office Smash competitions going on throughout the day (11am till 5pm) so either come as a spectator or take part yourself!! Yes, you can just walk in and sign up to take part if there are slots left. (Each mini competition lasts about 15 minutes.)

Participants will receive this cool freebie!

Lollipop

It’s a microphone lollipop! Heh.

Also, you can get $20 Kbox vouchers with any purchase of Lips, Scene It? Box Office Smash or You’re in the Movies. It’s while stocks last so don’t wait already! I promise you the games are fun!! =)

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Get featured on Gamer Girl Friday!

I am going to take reader contributions for GGF now because you guys make me laugh in the comments. I’m giving you the chance to make other readers (who don’t read comments) laugh!

Okay, your contribution doesn’t have to be funny. I’m just saying.

If you send me something and I find it suitable for publication, I will feature it here with a credit to you and a link to your website, if you have one.

Some examples of what you can send me:

  • Screenshots with a caption or description.
  • Anecdotes (interesting real-life stories).
  • Reviews of new games (not too long).
  • Drawings you did.
  • Videos you made (send me a link, not a video file).
  • Links to interesting gaming news or stories.
  • Photos of gaming events you attended with descriptions.
  • Money.

These are just examples. You can send me anything you like as long as its not porn or a death threat. It must be game-related, okay, since this is a gaming column, duh.

Please e-mail all contributions to E-mail and mark it “GGF Contribution”. Include your name exactly as you would like to be credited, and your URL (if any).

Just note that only suitable material will be published. And I reserve the right to define the term “suitable”. I also reserve the right to edit your entry for better, easier reading.

General rule of thumb: It should be entertaining or at least informative. If not, there’s no point, is there?

Thank you. I look forward to seeing if anyone will send me any money.

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Win a silver USB optical mouse!!

From a previous contest, I realised that there are many people needing mice and, lucky you, I just happen to have another to give away!

Mouse

It’s not a mini this time. It’s kind of halfway between mini and regular sized. (About 2″ x 3.5″)

The packaging says it’s white but it looks silver to me so, I dunno.

To win this, tell me what you like most about GGF by posting in the comments here.

Closing date is January 15, 2009, 11:59 pm.

All entries will be thrown into a pot and boiled into sludge.

The one that survivies will get the mouse.

Ganbatte!!

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By the way, I really suck at game driving. I failed an early GTA IV mission 11 times!!

The mission is a long one. First, I had to beat up some thugs, then I had to perform a violent car chase (violent because I kept bumping into lamp posts, mailboxes, people and other cars). Then I had to beat up a thug leader.

Grand Theft Auto IV

The beating up isn’t a problem; it’s just button mashing. But the driving really kills me, especially like when the thug car suddenly turns 90 degrees into an invisible narrow alley at breakneck speed.

It doesn’t help that the game camera keeps shifting perspective when your car spins. It changes perspective without warning, and left will become right and right will become left and it freaking keeps changing!!! Factor in having to deal with reverse directions and it’s one heck of a confusing toggle.

Compound to all that the fact that you’re chasing a car, meaning speed is imperative, and that the game keeps trying to foil you by throwing obstacles in your way, such as hugeass trucks that materialise in front of you out of nowhere, it’s just insane.

Grand Theft Auto IV

I set my car on fire more times than I can count.

It’s frustrating, although I have to admit that watching your car defy all laws of physics and nature is pretty cool.

I finally passed the mission on the 12th try, so don’t say I’m hopeless. If nothing else, I have patience and perserverance. lol.

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#21: Lara Croft comes to Singapore

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Today’s GGF is very Xbox-centric because we have all been swept into this crazy Xbox vortex, with so many exciting events happening in the Xbox world this month! I’m all dizzy, I swear.

Today’s GGF is also a crazed hyena with rabies doing the 100-metre dash because that’s about what I’m feeling, right now.

So, if anything feels wrong today, please blame the chocolates I’ve been overdosing on to give myself imagined energy boosts.

Also, I have one bit of very important news to announce. But I don’t want to say it now because I want to make you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the issue to read it.

(Blame the chocolates.)

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Table of Contents

  1. Meet Lara Croft in the flesh!
  2. You could be the next face of Xbox!
  3. Rocking out at Xbox Xperience Zone
  4. Sheylara Bus
  5. Celebrating Halo 3 anniversary by dying
  6. Results of last week’s contest

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Meet Lara Croft in the flesh!

This has to be one of the best news all year for all you hot-blooded males (and maybe females, too)!

The latest official Lara Croft, portrayed by sexy gymnast Alison Carroll, is coming to Singapore this month!

Bookmark your calendar RIGHT NOW!

She will be appearing at X08, the biggest Xbox event of the year, from Oct 24 to 26, 2008.

And fans will get a chance to get her autograph and have photos taken with her!

Because GGF is updated only weekly, you should stalk my Xbox blog for more regular updates on Lara Croft’s appearance as well as X08 itself!

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You could be the next face of Xbox!

Okay, I’m lazy, plus I’m running out of time, so I’m going to plagiarise my own blog and copy wholesale what I’ve written in my Xbox blog, okay?

Okay! (I gave myself permission to plagiarise myself.)

Woah! Yes! You saw right! The Xbox team is now on the lookout for a new Xbox Xpert to join me in my mission to shape the Xbox outreach in Singapore!

This means that one awesome person will get to do all the crazy stuff I’ve been doing here, and Xbox gamers will have more opportunities to interact with the Xbox team in Singapore!

The good news is that you don’t have to be a female. Or a male, for the matter. (Of course, it would be nice if you had a specific gender but either one is fine.)

What we really want are people with passion, people with a desire to help bring gamers together, people with the secret ambition to convert every last human being in the world into being an Xbox gamer! Mwahahaha.

Kidding about the last bit. That’s just me.

Very importantly, you should be an Xbox gamer, yourself.

HOW TO BE THE NEXT XPERT?

For a while now, we’ve been quietly building an Xbox Xperts page on Facebook. Sneaky, aren’t we? So, what we want for you to do is go there and upload a 2-minute video telling us why you should be the next Xpert.

Be creative as you can, but don’t break any laws doing it!

For more detailed instructions, CLICK HERE.

To upload your video, CLICK HERE.

The winner gets to be my slave!!!

No, I’m joking. The winner will get to do fun stuff together with me! (I’ll keep the slavery to a minimum, promise!)

Enough talk, now. Let’s see some vee-deeos!=)

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Rocking out at Xbox Xperience Zone

Before anything else, here’s a video of me playing Rock Band at the Xbox Xperience Zone last week, at Challenger Funan! I’m on the drums.

This was the last song I “performed” before I left the event. We had asked for volunteers to jam with me, but the crowd at the time happened to be super shy, so my real friends (who were there to support me) volunteered, so that I could finish up, pack up and go home! LOL.

My friends are sweet!

The Xbox Xperience Zone is a new space created by the Singapore Xbox Team to allow gamers to try the latest games and learn more about the Xbox from trained staff in the zone.

The first XXZ was launched last week at Challenger Funan, in conjuction with the launch of Rock Band for Asia and Infinite Undiscovery, the popular Square Enix Xbox 360 exclusive.

It was also an opportunity to meet with Xbox fans and be totally decadent by playing games on the job!

Since Rock Band is such a cool game, I spent most of my three hours there playing it! Heh.

I also chattered on (I can’t remember now what I was talking about)…

…and camwhored with my standee!

We held two Rock Band competitions within three hours and winners walked away with exclusive Xbox 360 bags and watches!

The fans really loved it!

And check out this little drummer!

He had a lot of difficulty following the coloured bars on the screen, but he kept persisting and wanted to get it right. Good boy! But his father was so worried about his little boy hogging the drums that he kept telling his son, “Enough, boy, let’s go!” Good man! LOL.

And tons of photos with Xbox fans!

See, we had so much fun! A shame if you weren’t there!! ;)

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Sheylara Bus

Multitudes of people have been kindly informing me via SMS that they have seen me on this bus that plies Orchard Road.

I reply, “I don’t take buses in Orchard lah.”

And they say, “I MEAN YOUR PHOTO LAH, IDIOT.”

Okay, fine.

So, I’m on a bus and now, I have photos of me beside me being on the bus!

We had to cheat a bit.

The Xbox Team arranged for the Xpert bus to be made available to us one sunny afternoon, so we could take photos of it without having to go camp Orchard Road like desperados, armed with ready cameras on tripods.

So, here’s the bus! TA-DAH!!

Does seeing this bus make you feel an uncontrollable urge to pick up an Xbox 360 to play? It’d better, or we’ll want our money back from the Secret Department of Subliminal Domination. We had subliminal messages magically weaved into the images on the bus saying, “Play Xbox!”

Oh wait, I think I’m not supposed to tell you that.

More photos!

Right, enough of buses. Don’t later people say I sua ku, like never see bus before like that.

(That last sentence, by the way, was a very fine specimen of Singlish, which I’m sure non-Singaporeans will be very impressed with because they don’t understand what the hell we’re saying when we lapse into that.)

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Celebrating Halo 3 anniversary by dying

The first time I got into a Halo 3 multiplayer game was with a bunch of International strangers and it was my very first time playing that game. I didn’t even know what buttons to press and what I was supposed to do.

Needless to say, I died countless horrible deaths.

Last Saturday, I got invited into a game by a group of Singapore gamers whom I had gotten to know through Xbox LIVE. They were cool! They took the time to teach me how to play the game before they thrashed me!

First, though, we all gathered at the beach to take some screenshots because, unbeknownst to me, it was Halo 3’s first anniversary!


Screenshot by Merdeka

There was a lot of screaming and shouting as a few jokers started killing everyone while people were trying to get in position for the photograph. Then the dead ones had to respawn and run back to the beach, cursing and swearing.

It was hilarious.

At one point of time, one of the guys asked me to jump on the back of his vehicle for the photo.. So I did.

And then he drove off with me clinging on for dear life.

The others yelled at him and asked him to bring me back but he just laughed.

And then one of the other guys shot him dead and he fell off the vehicle.

LOL.

With 10 players in the game all talking at once, it was quite a mess!

Anyway, we finally managed to get some nice screenshots, and then we started the game.

I did quite well. In one hour, I managed to kill about three people.

In comparison, I was killed about 3,000 times.

Wootage. It was fun.


Screenshot of me by Merdeka. I’m gonna get pink armor the next time.

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Results of last week’s contest

I put up a Microsoft LifeCam NX-3000 as prize last week and asked readers to answer five questions to get into the lucky draw.

The questions didn’t deter people at all. I got tons of entries for this contest. Good job, guys!

I really enjoyed reading all the answers, so before I announce the winner, I want to publish some interesting answers from random contestants!

Why do you want this prize?

Honestly — I like this one because it looks so cool. It looks like some fancy gadget from the future. With this in my possession, I would be invincible! — modchip

Because I dont have a webcam and it would be good for me to camwhore with it when I get bored waiting for Sheylara to update her blog. Hahahah. — felicia

Because my cam that is suppose to be a genius is not really that smart anymore. — Lee Mark Anthony

Because it’s a webcam! And also because I don’t have one? This is the only thing I’ve bothered to enter your contest for. Doesn’t that show how much I want it? — jwong

Do you actually read Gamer Girl Friday or do you usually just skip to the contest section?

sorry Guy don’t really read but skip to contest section — Chow SW

Honestly, I would go directly to the contest page. — Syazana

I usually just read GGf and ignore the contests. — jwong

What’s your favourite game?

Er… X-com: UFO Defense *blush* — tiger4

Starcraft (I know I am kind of old dork who lives in the past haha. Now looking forward to Starcraft2) — Aicee

What’s your gender?

Haha! What a silly question. ^_^ — modchip

Urhm. FEE-MALE. A silly question indeed. — felicia

Male (Wish I was female though. They get all the good stuff in MMOs) — Dominic

I know this is gross but the one that gives out red stuff every month. — Syazana

The one that hurts more when you are kicked between your legs. — Dwayne Tan

What’s the first thing you’ll take a photo of if you win this lifecam?

My bitter half and she refuses to be called a thing. — Lee Mark Anthony

Some of the cute dogs at ASD – Action for Singapore Dogs. These abandoned dogs need more publicity because they need homes. — Dwayne Tan

oooh my dog and I? i have a crush on my dog!! hahaha — mok ying ying

Hmmm nothing. Not into photography — Aicee

My happy face — jefflee893

AND THE WINNER IS…

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* * * Lindy!!! * * *

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Congratulations! Here are Lindy’s answers!

Why do you want this prize?
Because I lost my previous old and lousy webcam, and I want to get a new oneee!

Do you actually read Gamer Girl Friday or do you usually just skip to the contest section?
I’ll read about cute games like patapon! Or game events too!

What’s your favourite game? (Can be console or PC.)
For now it’ll be N+ on PSP!

What’s your gender?
Female

What’s the first thing you’ll take a photo of if you win this lifecam?
A mirrored version of the lifecam! =D

Lindy, if you’re reading this, please send me an e-mail to claim your prize (in case I forget)!

Thank you all for participating!

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Random photo for fun

So, here’s the important announcement: There is no contest today because there will be no GGF next week!

Sorry. =(

I am applying for a one-week leave and if you don’t give it to me, I quit!

LOL.

Seriously, I can’t do GGF next week because I’m travelling to KL and Penang for a feature film shoot and it’s going to occupy most of my time.

I will still update my blog as daily as possible during the week I’m there, to tell you all about the exciting torments that my director will be putting me through, but I will be out of the gaming scene, for sure.

I toyed around with the idea of making the Goonfather step in for me, and calling next week’s issue Gamer Goon Father, but then he told me that his idea of a good gaming blogazine looks something like this:

1. The Force Unleashed

Freaking good game. Buy it!!

2. Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway

Has great reviews. Didn’t try cos too busy playing The Force Unleashed.

3. Tom Clancy’s EndWar

Coming soon! But play The Force Unleashed first.

4. Fable II

Play THE FORCE UNLEASHED a million times and get all the holocrons!

The End

I’m of the opinion that you readers might just prefer that GGF takes a break for a week. Business will resume on Oct 17!

In the meantime, you should still continue reading Sheylara.com for daily rubbish and Xperts.com.sg for Xbox gaming updates!

Till the next time!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#20: Sheylara and Xbox weekend

[Gamer Girl Friday]

I wanted to review Brother in Arms: Hell’s Highway in this issue, but I absolutely have no time for that. At least I’m on schedule this week, even if I’m posting this really late in the night.

The lead story this week is of the Xbox activities happening this weekend at Funan Challenger because I have to promote my own events, right? If not, who will?

Other than it, it’s just my usual half-baked review on this and that. I’m sure that makes you quite delighted. So, let’s move on.

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Table of Contents

  1. Catch me at the Xbox Xperience Zone
  2. Infinite Undiscovery – 1st hour impressions
  3. Feeling at home in PlayStation Home
  4. Intel gives amateur gamers a chance
  5. Results of last week’s contest
  6. Ask Sheylara
  7. Win a Microsoft LifeCam NX-3000 for Notebooks!!

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Catch me at the Xbox Xperience Zone

I suppose this is sort of late notice, but if you’ve been following my Xbox blog, you’d have known already!

This is a weekend for Xbox fans! Xbox Singapore has just launched a new concept retail space called the Xbox Xperience Zone. Trailers of upcoming games will be shown on screens around and you’ll also be able to play the latest games on big screens.

Xbox Xperience Zone
Photo by Nizam. Check out his blog for more photos.

The first Xbox Xperience Zone was launched yesterday at Challenger Funan (5th floor). With the launch comes a host of exciting promotions to tease you into parting with your money willingly. (Only for this weekend!)

And I’ll be making an appearance tomorrow to mingle with Xbox fans, play games, take photos, sign autographs, whatever.

Xbox Xperience Zone with Sheylara
In case you can’t tell, this is a hasty cut-and-paste job of me looking delighted, using one of Nizam’s photos. Cute, huh?

Some of the cool stuff you can expect this weekend:

  • Rock Band Asia release! About freaking time is what I want to say. There will be a set on demo so come rock with me!!

    Rock Band for Xbox 360

  • Launch of Infinite Undiscovery, the much-awaited RPG title from Square Enix. It will be available for you to try out this weekend and there are also limited edition CD soundtracks available.

    Infinite Undiscovery

  • New low price for Xbox 360 Arcade at $399. This set comes with a 256MB memory console, a wireless controller and five Xbox LIVE arcade games. Good for people who are mostly interested in playing Xbox arcade games.
  • Get exclusive Xbox premiums when you buy stuff!

    Xbox premiums

I’ll be there from 2pm to 5pm tomorrow (Saturday), but the promotions last all weekend. See you there!

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Infinite Undiscovery – 1st hour impressions

Well, as the title says, this is only a first-hour impression, so you might not want to put too much stock into what I’m going to say.

Infinite Undiscovery Xbox 360

First of all, the game has two discs, which is immediately intimidating or immediately attractive, depending on what kind of person you are.

Infinite Undiscovery Xbox 360

I’m the first kind because I’m getting more games than I have time to play, so I need my games to be short.

I quite enjoyed the introduction sequence (although the first few minutes were pretty draggy). The style of drawing and the characters reminds me of Soul Calibur.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

I waited to be wowed after the intro but the wow didn’t come. It was, instead, kind of peculiar.

You play Capell, a cowardly minstrel, and you start off in a jail, begging for food.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

After the guard makes snide comments at you, a pretty lolita drops in from the ceiling. She bops the guard over the head, addresses you as Lord Sigmund and tries to rescue you.

And you’re, like, “No, no, I’m not a lord whatever. You have the wrong person, lady, so I’ll just crawl back into my cell now, thanks.”

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

Then, more guards come in and take out the lolita and you’re left on your own, defenceless.

Just as you’re about to become minced meat, you suddenly pick up the sword that Lolita dropped and you’re suddenly an accomplished fighter, despatching guards without effort (that is, simply by mashing buttons A and B).

The game starts off being action-packed and not making a lot of sense but then, I guess the title already warns us of that.

As you and Lolita (whose name is actually Aya) explore the prison grounds looking for a way out, the game tosses you pages off a game manual to teach you how to perform various actions.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

I feel that this could have been done better. As it is now, the help interface looks quite retarded and pulls you out of the game world.

I had to read a total of 11 pages before my first battle, which was a bit of an information overload. I could only remember pages 1 and 2 by the time I was done, which was why I ended up mashing A and B to kill the guards.

Well, the good thing is that fight animations are fast and beautiful and make you look rather glamorous, especially when you do combos.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

I think the game is determined to leave you gasping for breath at every turn. My heart never stopped pumping during the hour I was playing, as I frantically killed guards and tried to run away from a boss-that-cannot-be-killed.

Then, there was this trek through a pitch-black forest, illuminated by lamps at specific points. The mini map shows the way, but it gets blurred out when you step into a dark area unlit by a lamp, so that’s really challenging, not being able to see where you’re going (unless you cheat by turning up the brightness of your screen, which I didn’t try.)

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

After 25 minutes of bumbling through the forest and killing more guards along the way, with no save point in sight, the boss-that-cannot-be-killed suddenly made an appearance!!

I spent the next five minutes trying not to have a heart attack while I ran away from him, from countless guards shooting arrows at me, from bloodhounds, from irritating giant bees.

A few times, I thought I was going to die and have to make the 25-minute trek all over again because it was so dark and I kept running into walls and I couldn’t stop and fight because Aya said that the boss-that-cannot-be-killed cannot be killed, and I was actually knocked unconscious a few times.

Fortunately for the game, I survived the encounter and the game disc narrowly escaped a violent episode involving me and my hands.

Save points in games are very much like oases in deserts, wouldn’t you say?

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot
The save point in Infinite Undiscovery is a blue glowy.

Well, what I would say is that Infinite Undiscovery is not for beginners (although there is an Easy mode for noobs, but I didn’t try that because some features are not available in Easy mode).

According to Wikipedia, the game throws you into many situations where you have to experiment with creative ways to pass a stage or defeat a mob.

You will eventually have up 18 characters to manage in your party, although you only control yourself. The rest are AI, but you can manually use any of their skills by using the Connect function.

For example, Aya has a bow and sometimes I need to take out something at range. It’s a useful feature to have but the interface is irritating. A lot of time is wasted going into the interface, selecting the character, selecting the weapon, waiting for the crosshair to appear, and then aiming.

Trying to use Aya’s bow skill killed me twice in the game. The action in the game is so fast that I just get creamed even before the crosshair appears.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

Oh, there’s also the fact that the game makes you draw and sheath weapons manually. That means you press a button to draw and press it again to sheath. When it’s drawn, you can’t do certain actions like open chests or save game. When it’s sheathed, you can’t fight, obviously.

Some might find that realistic and challenging, but I find it downright annoying.

This game is not for the faint-hearted, really. But I think it would appeal to strategists. Gamers who like to apply smarts to outwit situations. IU promises that.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

I picked up some apple things in the forest which I think I was supposed to use somehow to lure the hounds away, but in my frenzy to get out of the forest alive, I totally forgot all about them. I might have had an easier time if I had used them.

Last thing to say. The storyline is interesting. At the end of my deadly forest excursion, my party gets rescued by the gallant Lord Sigmund, who looks exactly like me (Capell), so there’s this mystery waiting to be solved.

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

Infinite Undiscovery screenshot

Who are these two people and why do they look so alike? You start to think maybe they’re long-lost twin brothers that got separated at birth by some dastardly world-domination plot.

I guess I would have to continue playing the game if I want to find out. (Or I could read spoilers but i don’t think that’s fun.)

The game just needs to give me more save points if it doesn’t want me to die of heart attack.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Feeling at home in PlayStation Home

PlayStation Home is really quite impressive at first glance. It’s now in beta, but it will soon be available to all PS3 owners at no cost other than some bandwidth spent downloading the software.

If you’re into customised avatars and such, you will spend a gadzillion years creating your avatar. The permutations are literally endless.

Here’s the primary list of things you can tweak on your avatar:

PlayStation Home Beta

If you choose “Face”, for instance, you go into a sub-menu that allows you to tweak every part of your face.

PlayStation Home Beta

And then, more sub-menus:

PlayStation Home Beta

And more!

PlayStation Home Beta

Like, it’s totally crazy, okay? I decided I didn’t have a gadzillion years to spare, so I just chose a preset face and spent two minutes changing my hair colour (I like pink hair!) and putting on a better-looking t-shirt. Then I went out into the world.

Here’s what greeted me first. My home!

PlayStation Home Beta

Very nice! I always wanted to have a big, empty home!

The view out the balcony:

PlayStation Home Beta

Sony sure knows how to pamper a gamer!

In your career as a PS3 gamer, you will no doubt pick up items to decorate your home with, through playing games or taking part in activities in the PS Home community, I don’t know.

Decorating your home is like playing The Sims, quite intuitive stuff.

PlayStation Home Beta

The items I have access to now are really limited, so I got this rug and bubble blower for a start.

PlayStation Home Beta

Here’s a hilarious bit of AI. I was trying to place an ornament, right? The program makes you move the ornament around in mid-air before dropping it down to be placed permanently. So, when I dropped this particular ornament, it would keep landing on its side and roll around the room.

PlayStation Home Beta

PlayStation Home Beta

It took me a few tries before I realised that I could move it nearer to the ground before dropping it so that it wouldn’t fall on the side.

My apartment from the outside:

PlayStation Home Beta

The world outside is pretty. It’s like Second Life but prettier. The only annoyance is that I have to download each section of the world before being able to walk into it, but I guess that’s just an initial pain.

PlayStation Home Beta

The loading takes forever, too.

You can talk using preset speeches or typing with the digital keyboard.

PlayStation Home Beta

You can sit down in the square and watch a video.

PlayStation Home Beta

There are adverts and posters all around, the sneaky joes.

PlayStation Home Beta

You can interact with other real people. I’m not sure why some people appear to me as ghosts.

PlayStation Home Beta

Maybe because it’s still in beta, loading stuff in PS Home really takes some time. It takes half a minute to load a single furniture item before I can see it and place it. I hope it will become more normal at release.

Overall, I think it will be quite a great place for the PS3 community to interact.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Intel gives amateur gamers a chance

I sent the Goonfather to cover a gaming event on my behalf last night because I couldn’t make it.

And he came back to me with THREE photos of the four-hour event.

Intel Asia PC Gaming Showdown

Someone needs to strangle him real bad.

So, anyway, the event was a gaming competition for game journalists and amateur gamers to compete in three games: FIFA 2008, Need for Speed Pro Street and Crysis, and to promote Intel’s latest Core™2 Extreme chipset.

The winner will be travelling to Hong Kong next month to compete against champions of six other Asian countries. How cool is that?

The Goonfather and Unker Kell took part in the competition but they didn’t win. They did, however, enjoy the samosas, mini pies and fried dumplings served at the event.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Results of last week’s contest

I have five winners for the PlayStation Home Beta Test Account contest!!

PlayStation Home Beta

Okay, not making much fanfare this week because I have already contacted the winners to set up their accounts asap. So, the winners are, in no order of importance or wealth or looks:

V
Swift
Jimmy
Naiveguy
Aicee

Congratulations, guys! See you in PS Home soon! :)

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Ask Sheylara

I’m back on Q&A duty this week because the Goonfather decided to go on strike after I made him a bus driver. But you can still e-mail him questions if only just to piss him off. :P He can be reached at .

Anish asks a Wii question:

I have got a Japanese Wii. However, at times I get some errors which obviously I can’t read. This time I was dumbfounded with this error. Can you please translate this for me in English? What does this mean?

Sheylara Says:

Obviously, I’m not Japanese and I know very little Japanese, so I got my good friend Alvin (who is spiritually half a Japanese) to translate this for me. Your error message says:

“An error has occurred. Push the eject button. Take out the disk. Press the power button of your console. After the power is off, follow the instructions specified in the instruction manual.”

Well, you can’t say that error messages are often helpful. By the way, just because I have a spiritually half-Japanese friend doesn’t mean you all should start sending me more translation requests because I’m going to feel obliged to buy Alvin ice-cream if I continue misusing his friendship this way and it’s going to be all your fault!

zzz asks a music game question:

Would you happen to know if the drumset from Guitar Hero: World Tour would be compatible with Rock Band 2? The idea of splurging of two sets kinda kills me =x

Sheylara Says:

All Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2 instruments will be cross compatible on Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles. Not for the Wii, though.

cheesepumpkins asks a Fable II question:

Is Fable 2 only on Xbox 360 or on normal Xbox too?

Sheylara Says:

It will only be on the Xbox 360 and no other console! Yes, that means everyone must buy an Xbox 360 because Fable II is so going to be the game of the year!

Spite666 asks a Fable II question:

When is Fable 2 comin out?

Sheylara Says:

Depends on which part of the world you live in. It will first be released in North America on October 21, 2008. Other regions will get it a few days later.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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Win a Microsoft LifeCam NX-3000!!

Microsoft LifeCam NX-3000 for Notebooks

What a beauty. This Microsoft LifeCam NX-3000 for Notebooks could be yours for simply answering a few questions!!

The Contest

Answer the following questions and post them in the comments:

  1. Why do you want this prize?
  2. Do you actually read Gamer Girl Friday or do you usually just skip to the contest section?
  3. What’s your favourite game? (Can be console or PC.)
  4. What’s your gender?
  5. What’s the first thing you’ll take a photo of if you win this lifecam?

The Rules

  1. One entry per person.
  2. Closing date is Oct 2, 2008, 2359 hours
  3. Entries that answer all five questions satisfactorily will go into a pool for Mr Randomiser to pick from.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not collecting data or statistics for any purpose. I just wanted to make it slightly harder for people to win this because good things go to people who put in effort, right? :) At least, that’s how I like the world to be.

[Back to Table of Contents]

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I think the weeks are going by too fast. Don’t you think?

Week after week, the hours and the days just go by in a flash as I rush from project to meeting to event to writing to camwhoring. I hardly have time to form any memory of the whole week before the weekend creeps up again.

If you were to ask me now what happened from Monday to Thursday this week, I would draw a blank. I would have to consult my Filofax or read my own blog to remember what I went through in the week.

Do you think I’m going crazy or something?

[Gamer Girl Friday]