There’s one game that is eating up my time now, it’s Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (The Director’s Cut) for the Nintendo DS. And it’s nothing short of genius. A 2D adventure games, it features graphics done by Dave Gibbons, the same man who was the co-creator of Wathcmen. Outsanding 2D graphics aside, Broken Sword takes pride in its intriguing storyline (no spoilers here) and puzzles that you will encounter along the way.
Replacing the point and click interface of its PC predecessors, Shadow of the Templars is stylus driven with contextual points of interests in every scene. Using the stylus, you can choose to investigate, pick up or even drag an object from your inventory (e.g a key) into the point of interest (e.g. keyhole). The same interface is also used to talk to NPCs to find clues on the murder (oops) that you are investigating.
The game is surprisingly engaging and while some might find the puzzles tough (cyphers and locks are the first few you would encounter), it has a hints system that reveals more on how to solve a puzzle the longer you dwell on it.
The dialogue goes hand in hand with the graphics, top-notch and the game never takes itself so seriously. After all you are investigating murders (uh-oh) in which the suspect dressed up as a mime and a clown among other disguises (part of the plot is gone…but there’s more, trust me, play the game).
Another good thing about the game is that there are two versions of the game available. Both are essentially the same, the only difference being the price tag. The US version is selling for USD 34.90 whereas the Asian version is going for USD 29.90. Both titles are available at Play-Asia, click on the versions for purchase information.
Did you get fooled this year on the 1st of April? It seems to me that, like the economy, the number of gags have gone down the drain. Artline did introduce a “microchipped pen”, you know, to deal with missing pens everytime you loan them to a colleague. And while Sony’s price cuts were the norm (including this site… I ran of ideas, sorry), a helicopter hotel was the nearest at causing the blogosphere to implode in its seemingly real awesomeness.
Anyways, I thought the super influx of shovelware this April for the Nintendo DS and the Wii was an April joke being played on me. It was during my visit to Nine Over Ten earlier today that I noticed the ads were carrying a heck load of shovelware that I contemplated removing them for a week (seriously). But some people really dig shovelware, otherwise why make these games in the first place; like morons, it’s impossible to stop publishers from dishing out shovelware.
And like suckers, people buy ‘em and I get pocket money in the process.
But if you were to say on April 1st, that I would be getting a piece of shovelware in the mail, heck, I would actually believe you and will not sock you in the eye. I get crap sent to me sometimes, it’s ridiculous, and it doesn’t matter whether it is indie or not. I can’t review a game that insults my intelligence, or puts me to sleep in 2 minutes, or is so half-assed I would rather read a local car mag…shovelware does all three at once!
There are TWO games in my to-review-list-because-they-were-sent-to-me-but-they-are-crap, it’s vexing, but I don’t know where to start. What do you do when you get crap to write about?
I found it pretty strange that for the past 2 years, the only M-rated title I have in my 50+ Nintendo DS games library is Hokuto No Ken. Just two days ago, I received a parcel from a friend, containing game number 54 in my library and a M-rated one at that: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
While this comes as no surprise, the game after all is getting rave reviews from pratically everyone, I need to highlight the other reason why I bought this in the first place. Price. Specifically? RM 120. That’s pretty darn cheap and the simple reason is that this is the Asian edition of the game (for sale in the Asian region only).
The US Region version of the same game would set you back around RM 140+ and it would seem that only those with deeper wallets and a yearning for bragging rights (same like those who go for US Region PS3 games).
In any case, if you are looking for the Asian edition of Chinatown Wars in Malaysia, my friend here can be of help (he’s the chap that got me the game in the first place). Check out his blog at http://pureraver.blogspot.com
This is a bargain deal that is too hard to pass up, especially if you are a Playstation 3 owner. Play-Asia is selling LucasArts’ Fracture for the Playstation 3 for just USD 9.90. You read that right. USD 9.90. Click here for details.
You have now less than 16 hours to take advantage of the last day of Play-Asia’s Lucky Spring Sale. While some video game titles and toys have been sold out (or reverted to their normal prices by virtue of being new stock), there are plenty of video games, toys, collectible items and even music CDs and movie DVDs at hard to resist prices.
Here’s Nine Over Ten’s guide on what to pick up in the following categories on this last day of sales:
Nintendo DS – Look out for bargains on accessories such as cases, stylus, and also screen protectors for your NDSL/NDSi. Click here to start shopping
Gameboy – Be on the look out for Gameboy Advance titles such as the bit Generations series which can provide hours upon hours of fun for really cheap prices. Also, the soon-to-be-rare Famicom Mini games are the ones to snag here. Don’t miss this chance. Click here to check out the Gameboy section
Xbox 360 – There are plenty of Asian region (in English) games on sale below USD 20, and some of them even run on NTSC-U or even PAL consoles. Click here to start shopping for Xbox 360 games
Toys and Collectibles – Figurines, gashapons, and even trading card games are up for sale in this section. Looking to start your shooting game ship gashapon collection? Or build your killer Magic: The Gathering deck for less than USD 5 a theme deck? Start cheap at Play-Asia during this last day of sales! Click here to start your toy hunt.
Music - Soundtracks for video game franchises such as Final Fantasy are going for cheap here, couple this with free international shipping (to certain countries) and you’ll be hard pressed to find better bargains elsewhere. Click here to start shopping for stereo goodies.
Retro Games – Looking for a particular piece of nostalgia? The Lucky Spring Sale is bargains galore for retro consoles, accessories and that rare copy of an oldie but goldie game you are looking for. Click here and let the antique, I mean, retro buying begin!
And FYI, you are automatically entered into a lucky draw competition (with consoles as prizes) by virtue of buying on-sale items. Click here for further details.
While you guys are busy playing virtual biker in “The Lost and the Damned” DLC for GTA IV on the Xbox 360 and re-enacting whatever stereotypes in mind, members of real biker gangs are busy killing each other Down Under.
A case of life imitating art? While bike gangs are already known for violence (mainly over territory and drug trade), this is the first time I’ve actually seen such coverage and the level of violence is well so shocking it might as well be in the video game (beating a gang member to dead in a busy airport terminal, drive by shootings).
I always admired the fact that some people can really relate to Premiership clubs. Anfield and the Emirates Stadium are playgrounds they visit with their like-minded friends on perhaps, once a week.
To them, Christiano is their boy, Gerrard is their neighbour, and Ferguson is someone they hang out with at the local pub. Nevermind that it’s Christiano Lee Kim Sai (buddy), Muthu “Stevie G” Kariapan (futsal kaki), Ahmad (call me Alex, as in Alex Ferguson…the boss who is always hollering at you) they are hanging out with, but I believe the appropriate term for them would be football fanatics.
They discuss tactics and what their players would do to their opponents, usually over their favourite tipple (be it beer or teh tarik). And if you so much as show up in opposing team colours in a place where the other team’s supporters are congregating, I would actually bid you Godspeed (fly you fools!). If you really, really need to watch the game (because the other mamak is showing the OTHER game), do make yourself scarce when your team is winning.
Having just summed up footie nut behaviour in like three paragraphs….wait, I forgot one thing. The typical Premiership football nut prides himself with his/her knowledge on the Premier League and even more so, the team he or she supports. It’s like a security blanket you see and it even has the effect as a shot of Dutch courage. I can imagine this conversation going on prior to the Liverpool vs Manchester United:
Man U Fan: We are gonna beat you so bad, you be running back to your mommies crying. Our boy Christiano will see to that!
Liverpool Fan: F*ck off..we got Stevie G! He gonna gut you good!
I’m actually writting all this stuff after a head splitting session with EA Games’ Football Academy for the Nintendo DS. 1 part footie-management sim, 1 part football player card collecting game and altogether an overwhelming experience for all but the most machosistic footie nuts, this game is not for the faint hearted.
The story is like this, you are enrolled into a Football Academy (which features Louis Scolari as the principal), where you get to manage your own team made up of player cards (lol) and in order to get better players (cards I tell you!) and challenge more teams, your football knowledge will be put to the test. Dominating the entire experience is an entire bunch of mini games which you can probably ace, if you are Shebby Singh.
The mini games range from locating where a club is on a map to arranging player names out of a bunch of jumbled out characters (and they are not necessarily from a team you support….try West Brom or Aston Villa), shooting practice, formations (e.g. you are supposed to judge whether a rightback would fit in a 5-4-1 formation) , etc etc. It’s like a coaching exam out there with no syllabus! Excelling in these games will improve your team, and as a reward you’ll get player packs containing player cards which you can add to your team or trade pile, or discard.
The Game Room from the main menu will allow you access to the mini games without having to go through the main game. And if you are really up to the challenge, try choosing the Bundesliga or the 3 other leagues available besides the Premier League and play the mini games. In the process, try not to throw the Nintendo DS out of the window.
As for playing matches, you really got to watch this video. It’s a cross between the old Championship Manager match mode with some elements grafted from CCGs like Magic: The Gathering.
I think I’m gonna keep that game on ice. What a headache.
I spent the entire day on Friday cooking for my dad’s birthday party, so naturally I was beat on Saturday morning. Feeling lazy to get out of bed, I had a brain wave there and then to come up with map of popular video game stores in the Klang Valley. The idea came from the fact that while there are popular stores that have good testimonies (we don’t have big chains like Best Buy, Gamestop, EB Games in Malaysia but instead rely on smaller, independent retailers), not many people know where they are located.
So here’s a map that I’ve created, thanks to the Google Maps service, of popular video game stores in Kuala Lumpur (KL, the capital city of Malyasia) and the surrounding area known as the Klang Valley. Criteria for addition into this map is pretty simple, good customer testimonies in the Lowyat.net Forum, perhaps the largest online community in Malaysia. Check it out:
Click here to view it on Google Maps. P/S: I’m not getting paid for this, it’s just something nice to do for the guys who work hard in providing for our gaming needs :).