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 :).
Another day, and it’s another look at the copy protection placed on yet another Square Enix game for the Nintendo DS. This time is the brand new Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time. Now, rather than have you adrift a sea (download a copy of Dragon Quest to find out), the developers chose a two step approach should you choose to download the ROM and run it.
First up, the game will not allow you to save at the check point:
And if you actually try to be a smart-aleck and forgo saving altogether (with all due respect to those who can finish a Final Fantasy game on the DS in a single sitting, I think that is totally nuts and a damn good case of nothing better to do), the game will just stop, and right before you get a taste of combat too…so near but yet so far!
As always, if you really want to enjoy and appreciate a beautiful game like this, well, buy an original copy! It certainly saves the hassle of going through all this shit in the first place. Interested in purchasing the game? Click here for details.
In real life, the Dragon Dance is a traditional Chinese performance, not unlike the Lion Dance. However, a Dragon Dance may feature up to 50 dancers for one dragon, making it a sight to behold. Dragon Dance for the Nintendo DS combines two elements from two different puzzle games, namely Mahjong tile games, and Luxor, to create a brand new experience on the Nintendo DS.
The objective of each level is pretty simple. A Dragon dance (in is going on, traversing from one end of the top screen, to the other end). Each dancer is represented by a Mahjong tile which is also shown on the touch screen as a pile of Mahjong tiles. You are supposed to clear the Mahjong tiles on the touch screen by tapping on them whenever they appear as dancers on the top screen. Check out the following video to see how this is done:
It sounds pretty easy, but given that there are a variety of Mahjong tiles, a restriction of showing so many of them on a small screen (thus the tiles appear small), and also the speed in which the Dragon Dance moves from one end to another, the game is actually quite challenging. Just don’t stab your screen out of frustration.
Do note that the game is in Japanese, but with a little trial and error you should be able to navigate through the user interface. Dragon Dance is available now at Play-Asia, click here for purchase information.
You know what, these bargains make me feel like packing up the PS3, sell it and get myself a brand new spanking Xbox 360, 3ROD be damned. Having Fallout 3 DLCs does help in pushing that idea, but hey, more on the bargains first:
Amidst of a techno-soundtrack, a voice announces to you: “Don’t let the enemy freak you out!” If you haven’t realized it already, this is the familiar Space Invaders Extreme experience, only made more colourful, more psychedelic, more pumped up in it’s sequel, Space Invaders Extreme 2. While the former was great, it felt like a bit disjointed at times; SIE 2 solves this by featuring very smooth level transitions and with all the improvements mentioned earlier, even more crazier than before in the quest for the next high score.
Gameplay is divided into several modes, the Score Attack being the primary mode to unlock stages. Time Attack, is well, a race against time to complete stages. Hardcore gamers would be interested in the Ranking mode, whereby high scores from the sub Score and Time Attacks can be uploaded to a global high scores list.
Players can also select which stage they would like to revisit and play in the Stage Select mode. Multiplayer support is excellent here with both WFC and local WiFi play.
Like I said earlier, there’s something about the SIE 2 that drives you to get an even higher score than your previous attempt. Whether is it done by chaining combos, or shooting to the sequence of the music or even collecting bonuses dropped by enemies, you’ll want to do ALL of that. For those of you who enjoy a good bit of techno with your games, SIE 2 is like a techno Electroplankton on crack; shooting enemies actually create sound effects that compliments the soundtrack!
This is the shmup to get at the moment for the Nintendo DS. Currently available in Japanese, the game is accessible even for non-Japanese gamers as the user interface is really straightforward, and as described in the first paragraphs, all announcements are in English!
After 10 months of running WordPress 2.5.1, I’ve finally taken the plunge and upgraded to 2.7.1. I must say I was quite resistant to the idea of upgrading, but I decided to do a swingover (updating a copy of the blog, test, and then replace the current blog folder with the updated copy) for minimal downtime. And it worked! Hehe.
Like the Malaysian government, the Singapore government is pretty anal on censorship, but when they do stuff, they got style and panache (but with the occasional misses), unlike the smug looking politicians populating the Malaysian cabinet, acting like Pharisees all the time while greasing their palms (I know it’s a catch all, but that’s how generally things are in MALAYSIA).
In any case, check out the website for Singapore’s Media Development Authority. They have a classification system for video games. To complement this, the site has a search tool to allow users to search for game ratings! How cool is that..in comparison, Malaysia doesn’t have one.
Anyways, more on the game ratings search. Some of the latest games are already searchable (Halo Wars, Henry Hatsworth), and the search engine even accepts acronyms like GTA. A sample search result looks like the following:
GTA – CHINATOWN WARS
Also Known As
Year of Release
MATURE THEME, SEXUAL AND DRUG REFERENCES, AND COARSE LANGUAGE