Monday, May 18, 2009

The Good and the Corrupted ...Files

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel on the Xbox 360. Yeah, it's had a rocky start. This role-playing game lines up beside Diablo 2 and Darkstone in gameplay. You have many quests, 6 character choices, good or evil campaigns, and a great co-op play.

Unfortunately, the promised carrier imp for pre-ordering has yet to appear. They had technical difficulties with the download content systems - you can read the spiel on CDV's website. I'm sure they will fix it in a patch.

Was the game rushed? Well, there is definitely a dark side in the first week. Twice, my husband has had a Corrupt Save File. He goes to log into the game. Gets a message his save file is corrupt. He loses all his game and has to delete his save file (40kb vs. my 108kb working save file).

I found others on the Xbox forum. This is a common problem and appears to be happening only in multiplayer. The Xbox forum's post on Bugs, Glitches, and... has people discussing this problem.

Many people are speculating on when and why the game gets corrupted. I'm sure they will fix the corrupt save file in a patch. It's a big problem that will keep people from playing the game. And you want to play the game. Because the offline co-op kicks ass. You play on the same screen -no split mess. You can't zoom in and out, but you can move the camera. I was very happy to see this genre have a nice offline co-op.

The Good

Nothing says fun like glowing armor. The item textures are gorgeous, even at low levels. The quests are easy to follow with a clear map. Different colored arrows direct you to class, side, and main quests. You get a mount early. You can do a little fighting on your mount. The abilities/spell tree allows for a wide array of specialization. I haven't encountered much lag, yet.
It's pretty. It's fun. It's...well....a great game when it works.

The Plan

Today, my hubby plans to pick up a memory stick. We are going to try and put a copy of my good save game in it, so I can play without fear. I'm really not willing to play and lose my characters. I've seen it happen to my husband twice. I've completed the totally awesome Blind Guardian band quest, went to the concert, and cheered over the good loot. If I can't make a copy of my good file, I'll just play alone till it's fixed. It's one thing to lose your low level characters, but quite another to lose a game after hours and hours of play.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Gamer Tunes: Girl Gamer

Friday, May 8, 2009

I need some tunes to lighten up my finals week. Warning! This post may offend. Well, I love this Bryan Simon guy. He has some really funny songs on Youtube. A guy with a guitar and a damn good sense of humor. This song "Girl Gamer on My Friend's List" is a personal favorite.

As I listened to the song again, I realized the line "she even teabags" may confuse a few. Here's my loose definition:

Teabag: noun - Testicals, balls, nads, nuts, juevos, family jewels, etc...
Teabag: verb - To shove your character's teabags in another character's face, usually after knock-out or death.

It's usually used when you kill someone and rub it in their face. Pretty literal enforcement, I think. But, if you're wondering what the hell this looks like on a game. Never fear!

This rap music video "Straight Outta Blood Gultch" from Pure Pwnage has some great gameplay video of it. Enjoy.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Gayest Game: Enchanted Arms

Friday, April 17, 2009

Enchanted Arms CoverAs I mentioned in the Great Cheap Game: Culdcept post, I often look for cheap, old games I never tried. Like movies, so many games exist, I often miss some good ones.

I wish I had missed this bad one. I had seen Enchanted Arms for Xbox 360 and the PS3 quite cheap at my local Gamestop. It appeared a "classic" RPG (role-playing game) style. Hastings had it for rent. It looked good....until I played it.

Why So Bad?

First, it has horrible, weird dialogue. The acting sounds like one guy changing his voice. Second, the script babbles on with lame conversation.

Thirdly, it is SO gay. Not to offend my gay and lesbian friends. Not to revert to 13 yr. old dialogue. But, OMG gay....totally gay....Liberace gay. One character is actually gay, and has this weird flaming presence. It's rather offending and stereotypical. His spells look he plays his little saxophone and sings "Aaaagghh." Watch the movie below to give you some impression of this character.

Of all genres, I expect RPGs to have a story with well-developed characters. I may skip past some dialogue, but in general I watch, read, and get involved. I rented the worst game ever. I hope the writers and developers now work for Chuck E. Cheese.

Anything Good?

Well, I just couldn't play it for more than a few battles. But, I did get a damn good laugh out of it. Seriously, I had tears running down my face. Was it supposed to be this funny? Sort-of the same laugh I have with a really bad "B movie." Those movies we watched on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 look like Oscar material next to this game.

Your Worst Game?

We all have different tastes. That's what makes life very fun. I've disliked games for lag, gameplay, and difficulty. What is the worst game you ever played? Why was it SO bad?

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Great Cheap Game: Culdcept

Monday, April 13, 2009

Culdcept Game Box Image
Renting games to check them out works great. However, you can find many used games for cheap. Most rental places, Hastings, and Gamestop sell used games. You can find great games this way without dropping $60. I've found many for $10.

Sometimes, I find a gem. A cheap game with great replay ability. Culdcept Saga definitely fits this build. It's somewhat a cross between the Magic the Gathering card game and Monopoly. The single player teaches the game really well. The game has hours of replay with different decks to build and cards to collect.

You have a deck. This deck includes creatures, spells, and items (like swords and armor). In the versus mode, you may play with or against friends (online or offline) as well as characters from the storyline. You may play in allied teams.

Each Turn

The game determines player order randomly. You start with 5 cards.
  1. You draw a card from your deck.
  2. You may cast a spell.
  3. You roll the dice to travel around the board.
  4. You land on a square and may cast a creature card.


If you land on an empty square, you may cast a creature card. If the square has an enemy creature, you may invade it. All creatures have strength (ST) and life called Hit Points (HP). Many also have special abilities.

Most creatures also have elements associated with them. Creatures may be associated with Wind: yellow, Fire: red, Water: blue, and Earth: green. Some creatures are colorless.

ex. The red Chimera creature has 30 strength (ST) and 50 Hit Points (HP). It Attacks First and gains 10 ST every time the user makes a lap.


You can also damage creatures, steal gold, draw cards, and do many other things with spell cards.
These cards can also add effects to you, your enemy, or creatures. The effect may be positive - like adding ST points. Or negative - like reducing HP points.

ex. The spell Brave Song adds 20 strength to all your creatures for four rounds.


You can use these when you attack with creatures, or are being attacked. They include things that give ST like swords. Some items add to HP like armor. Other items have special abilities and may reflect damage, steal items, or neutralize damage.

ex. This sword item gives the Seismodon creature extra strength in battle.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Resident Evil 5 Interactive

Monday, April 6, 2009

Resident Evil 5 reaches a new level of interactivity on the XBox 360 and PS3. As Chris or Sheva you attempt to save the world from the dangerous Uroboros virus.

Although a slower play style than I described in my Left 4 Dead post, RE5 still delivers zombie action. Slower, but deadly. You are in Africa. You superman search for answers about your partner and about Uroboros. You search in villages, marshlands, and underground labs. Some nice large bosses (like Irving) enter into the action. Heads explode...and then slimy tentacles pop out of the bodies.

Great Co-op
Most impressive, however, is one of my favorite things - a GREAT co-op play. You need your partner - be it online, offline, or AI. Doors require teamwork. You can save your partner from being Zombie Lunch. You can resuscitate your partner. You may quibble a bit over ammo, but you split the money and jewels equally. The game even separates you at times to progress.

Interactive Movies
You also need your partner in the movies. Yes, the interactive cutscenes require frantic smacking of the A-button, undivided attention, and frequent cussing. I couldn't help it. When I see a movie start, I immediately get up to pee and get a drink. With RE5 I got up, cussed, and ran back to the couch. Damn, dead.

Mix-It-Up Gameplay
But, oh how fun. And you don't just shoot your gun. There are a myriad of situations.You can drive the boat, or shoot. You shoot the turret gun from the back of a moving vehicle. Don't forget to hang on in the cutscenes. They mixed up the gameplay a bit which - although straying a bit from the sequence - gave it variety.

What I learned...

  • If it pops out of someone, or something.... shoot it!
  • If it glows, or bleeds... shoot it!
  • If it attacks, or doesn't... shoot it!

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Rummy 5000: How to Play

Friday, March 27, 2009

Basic Card DeckI've focused on video games lately. So, as some commenters' requested, here is some tabletop fun. How to play my favorite card game: Rummy 5000. The next post will explain Rummies, some special situations, and my "house rules" to handle them.

You Need

  • Basic 52 card deck
  • 2 or more people
  • pen and paper for scoring

Main Objective

Reach 5000 points

Before Playing

Cut the cards to see who deals first. Aces are high.


The dealer, wild card, and amount of cards dealt changes each hand.
  • Deal the first person to the left one card face up.
  • Deal the amount of cards (face down) shown on the face up card. For cards 2-10 deal the number on the card. Deal 10 for face cards; 15 for Aces.
  • Repeat for each person.
  • After the dealer has his cards, the dealer gives himself one more card, face up.
  • This face up card determines the wild card for this round.
  • Set the remaining cards in a face down stack.
  • Flip over the top card (face up) beside the stack. This begins the discard pile.

Each Turn

  • The first person to dealer's left goes first.
  • Each turn, you may either draw a card from the stack or pick up a card (or cards) from the discard pile. *You may pick up the top card from the discard pile and add it to your hand. If you pick up cards farther down the pile, you must play the first card you pick up immediately.
  • Lay down your runs or sets. Runs have 3 or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order. Sets are 3 or more cards of the same number (or rank)
  • Play on other player's runs or sets. *You play these in your area, and count them as your points.
  • Discard one card to the discard pile.

Ending the Hand

  • Play until a person is out of cards at the end of their turn. *This includes the discard phase. If a person runs out of cards, but has not discarded, the hand continues. This person is now floating.
  • The first person to go out gets all the cards left in the other players' hands.


Count all the cards you played during the hand. If you "went out," also count the cards given to you by other players.
  • Wild card = 200pts
  • Ace = 100pts
  • 2-7 = 5pts
  • 8-K = 10pts

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Printer Jam Animation

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I came across this awesome video on Geeks Are Sexy. Tinspider Studio uses the music from Mistabishi to create a fabulously interesting, and entertaining animation.

The song Printer Jam explores the "noise" Sam has been exploring on his Inconsistent Beauty blog. Am I right on this Sam? Listen to the various printer sounds. They become the music. Have you heard similar music to this before? I think it's wonderfully geeky :)

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Offline Co-op not Left 4 Dead

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Left For Dead CoverThe game Left 4 Dead is available on Xbox 360 and the PC. This game features 4 characters that shoot their way free through the "infected" zombies.

Offline Co-op
The offline co-op (or cooperative play) in this game makes it ideal for the thirtysomething gamer. Through a split-screen, you can shoot zombies with your husband, sister, or friends. Hell, it has friendly fire (you can shoot your teammates).

Although you need their help, shooting your husband by "accident" yields some sick giggles. The ultimate passive-aggressive fun. Read this Left 4 Dead co-op review for more game specifics.

The real enjoyment with offline co-op is you don't ignore the people around you. You both fight through the zombie hordes. You can set on the couch, munch, pause when you need to. And of course, the cries we all make when under attack. "Hunter has me! Help, help!" and "Sorry, that was me." This often follows your hubby shooting you in the head. *accident?*

You challenge each other. Can you get more headshots? *Yes, the heads explode. Zombie blood apparently has part napalm* Who does more damage? Who takes more damage?

And oh yes, Left 4 Dead is scary. The intro movie drops you into the horror immediately. Old Bill grumbles the great line, "Son, we just crossed the street." You're introduced to the pathetic crying of the witch, and what happens when you startle her. What does happen? Watch it below.

Left 4 Dead Intro

The whole game has the creepy feeling of a horror movie. The dark and seedy graphics transport you to an inflected world. You creep around in darkness, with only your flashlight to guide you.

Of course, more things scare. When many, many, MANY infected come running at you - adrenaline rushes through your body. If a boomer vomits on you, you shoot through the thick, putrid fog. You wildly shoot everything that moves. *sometimes this includes your teammates, as mentioned before.*

And the sound... The witch may cry, but the infected scream. The background noises feel like a haunted house. You hear the hunter, before he strangles anyone. You frantically search around for him. And the witches cries force you to turn off your flashlight and search through the dark.

Oh, the sound. It makes you want to turn off the lights.
You should.
I hear the witch's cries.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

My Gamer History

Friday, February 27, 2009

Here is a little introduction to my gamer history - from my view of being in this cult group. This post lists my video gaming levels, from Noob to Pro to Old-School. In other words... from a little girl with the Atari, to a PC hard-core gamer, and now to a casual multi-console lover: what I have played and want to play.
For me, the groups began early. I would spot my mom points in Atari. My sister and I actually wore out controllers. Mario and Tetris later ruled the scene. Then, we finished our friends in basements with the still popular franchise, Mortal Combat.

Then my husband introduced me to Blizzard (sounds of angels singing). My husband played online, but the best groups were when we had LAN (Local Area Network) parties. 6+ geeks packed up their computers. By god the monitors were heavy. Noone used a laptop to game. They didn't have the video acceleration, the fabulous speakers, or the power. We separated, a couple of people per room. Hooking up (literally wires and hubs), upgrading versions, patches, pizza, and LOTS of caffeine. Best game: Starcraft. Although we dabbled with any Real Time Strategy (RTS) we could get our hands on.

Once a month, we headed to Gammathon, the Greater Albuquerque Massively Multiplayer Alliance (GAMMA). Now extinct, we hooked our computers up with large groups of geeks in tournament competitions for prizes. RTS, First-Person Shooters (FPS), and lots of music trading. Again, pizza and soda accompaniment. We had small LANS still with our friends.

I could now afford DSL (first) and later Cable (there go those damn angels again). We turned more online: Diablo 2, random Role-Playing Games (RPGs) like Darkstone. Then the game that is TOO good: World of Warcraft (WOW).

After 2 years of hard-core gaming in WOW, my hubby and I decided we needed to focus on Real Life (RL). The game became a job. This was compounded by being officers in the guild, and I, the the main force of our guild website. We quit right as the expansion was coming out (*sniff *sniff).

Switch to more consoles. Cheap PS2, Wii, and Xbox 360. We had always had consoles, but they were something to play when the servers were down. The online interactivities in this genre are just beginning to form communities, In My Humble Opinion (IMHO).

Now, I play Culdcept Saga with my hubby. I am an evil chickie, complete with horns, in Fable 2. I have split personalities, though. I am also so good I dawn a halo. I'm a drummer in Rock Band, of course. Spore didn't hold my interest. I rent alot, looking for that next big game to pwn. Every now and again, we have a Magic: the Gathering draft. We play the basics like Scrabble and cards, too.

Don't get me wrong. There were many MANY more games mixed in all of these levels. I didn't even touch on The Sims or Podracer. Which, hands down, was the best racing game ever. Especially at Gameworks.

Coming Soon
And there are many more on the works. I want to see if Halo Wars can keep my attention after Starcraft. Can the console really pull-off the RTS so popular in PC games? Of course, Final Fantasy XIII will have me spellbound. Starcraft 2 may get me divorced.

Let's face it - the family that kills zombies together, stays together! Left 4 Dead tops my short list of next games to rent. Resident Evil 5 is out very soon. My hubby wants to travel back to time - Street Fighter 4. Angry about the dishes? Screw couples counseling...a few punches in a fighting game really does make it all better :)

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Zero Punctuation: Wednesdays

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So, Zero Punctuation are little Flash animations set to the ravings of a Brit living in Australia. They are game reviews, mostly. Every Wednesday he puts one out, for the Escapist. His little bio is under the animations. Very, very funny. Below, is the latest. Go to the site to see more choices.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why Wii Rocks

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My hubby waited for months for the Wii to be released. He waited in line. He waited in the cold. He was SO a Cartman about it. Was it worth it hype?

Oh, yeah. Every annoying text-message about it. We had played highly interactive games at Gameworks. We knew this was the future of gaming. This was the next step of the console revolution.

You ARE the Character
Video games place you in a role. Think of the language you use. "No, No, No, No!....damn, I died." Really? You? Yes, of course. Character customization let's you BE your character in many games. Always want to be a tall? Want to get rid of your bald spot? Want your name to be Thor the Magnificent?

And Beyond
The Wii now takes this immersion to the next level. Wii's even calls your avatar a Mii. Now the game mimics your actions. You wield the sword, swing the racket, and spin that hoola hoop. You interact with the game on a whole new level. Although there are extra accessories for the Wii. The balance board is the best one so far. The Wii-mote's versatility across all game genres rocks.

Console Wars
Xbox 360 charged ahead with the HDDVD player, pretty graphics, earlier release, and online gaming ($50/yr). PS3 has the Blue-Ray, is beautiful, has a hefty price-tag. While Xbox and PS3 fought over the current "gamer," the Wii expanded the "gamer" definition. You can say the Wii won, but in fact, there was no competition. The sales have been enormous - it has outsold and won this generation of "console wars."
The Wii focused on a different market.

Who Plays Wii?
Who can play these games? Ev-er-y-one. Ev-er-y-one? Ev-er-y-one. My mother-in-law and I were playing Wii Sports. My hubby came home, and was amazed. "I have never seen mom play a video game." That's what this console has achieved. So to Nintendo, I bow. You gave me fun, while the other consoles gave me beauty.

Play It, Buy It, Love It
Go play the Wii. Try it at Best Buy or Gamestop. Hell, just buy it. It's cheap and it's fun. You can play it for minutes or hours. You can play it with your mom and your kids. Don't believe me? Watch this Granny do a little samba in the video below.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pro at Cooking: Episode 6 - Eggplant Parmesan

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let's face it, we can't all be Martha Stuart and....well....Emeril's BAM! makes you jump like a cat in a cartoon. How do you get chocolate pudding off the ceiling? We need someone mellow. We need ingredients we don't have to google. And, could you make him hotter than the food?

Yes, you can watch a sexy man cook. They can cook? Well, this one can. Dave, from Pure Pwnage, now has his own cooking show: Pro at Cooking. Great recipes with humor, only the way Dave can cook it.

*Note: This episode may be offensive to vegetarians and kitten lovers.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pure Pwnage (Ownage): Watch It

Thursday, February 12, 2009

IMHO, Pure Pwnage is a fabulous example of the gamer community. It's an internet show - free. Started by 2 guys in Canada. Well, they came up with this idea...the Jeremy character emerged....and they ran with it.

I recommend watching the Welcome Video. Sequentially makes the most sense, but you can bounce around episodes. They have huge release parties, now. They sell DVDs and T-shirts. *Note: Don't wear the boom headshot shirt to the airport.

Pure Pwnage shows the variety of gamers. There is FPS Doug, MMORPG girl, and of course -- Kyle is the Noob. They often have short intros of video from games with sound overlaid. Know what I mean? If not, watch Season 1 Episode 4.

The show is so popular, it actually has a spin-off. Watch it in the next post!

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Code Monkey Video

Saturday, February 7, 2009

We all need some Saturday morning cartoon. This song is hilarious. My husband uses a portion of it for his cell phone - for when his boss calls. After all, he is a Code Monkey

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Gamer Defined

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is a gamer? I like The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary definition the best:

Gamer: gā-mər) n - an avid game player.

And....that's us.
This word brings different pics to mind. It may be a pimple-faced geek, dressed with a cardboard sword as he plays D&D. Or is it the nerd on the computer in a dark basement, surrounded by soda cans and pizzas? Maybe guys clicking controller buttons as they yell at their 152 inch TV, and set on their Goodwill sofa pop into your brain. Let me expand your definition.

a thirtysomething gamer. a girl. a college student (again and forever). a former WOW addict. I play Scrabble for death. I've won the last 4 Magic: the Gathering drafts my hubby and I have played. Oh, yeah, wife...I'm a wife. I pay my bills. I attend the family gatherings, but as I talk to you about the weather... I'm really thinking about a Battle-End Combo for Culdcept Saga.

U pwn the little nooblets. You played games before they were born. You ate dots with circles. Your modems spoke crrrrshhhhhhharrrrrrrrrrr. Your internet had wires.

So this blog will give u gamer information. I'll post the rules for my favorite playing card game - Rummy 5000. I'll tell you how to play a draft. I'll tell you about the newest game, the one that didn't have commercials. It is SO SO fun, and usually CHEAP CHEAP. We will explore consoles, PCs, and table games. I'll show you my favorite geeky stores and geeky shows.

Join me old friends.
Grab some time every day.
Remember your Atari.
Dust off the games
and Let's Play.

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