Jan 312014
 

Gamer Photo A Day is back and is starting tomorrow! Are you up for the challenge?

How to participate:

  • Look at the Daily Topics and take a picture of something that resembles it.
  • It doesn’t matter what you take a picture of or how you see the “topic” just have fun with it! There is no “right” or “wrong” way to participate.
  • Upload and hashtag your photo using Instagram, Facebook, Picasa, or Flickr.
  • Use the hashtag #GamerPhotoADay. Once you tag your photo, it will automatically be displayed on gamerphotoaday.com.
  • It is also a good idea to also hashtag the daily topic so your viewers know what the topic is.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate in the #GamerPhotoADay challenge! Have fun!

GamerPhotoADay_Feb'14

Jan 252014
 

It’s snowing in Gotham, the attempts at joyful decorations mask a city that has unimaginable darkness. Criminals are hiding in the shadows, the cold air penetrates their skin. They are waiting to strike, they unite to achieve one goal: to kill the Batman. It’s Christmas Eve but there are no children singing, no bells ringing, only the screams of the innocent. Alfred has a delicious meal prepared at the Wayne mansion, but Batman doesn’t take a night off. Nor will he ever.

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Batman: Arkham Origins is the third installment in the Batman Arkham series. I admit I was skeptical to play this since it was a different company making this game from the others, and that it was an Origins story, not a continuation of Arkham City. But since I’m such an avid Batman fan how could I refuse all the hype?

Let’s start with the positives. I quite enjoyed the story and the cut-scenes. I liked the malicious intent of the Joker and how they portrayed his character. I enjoyed the cut-scene of Joker and Harley when they first met, and the part where you briefly get to play as him. There was good tension between the Batman and Joker, and the final showdown between them. The development was good, from Batman not knowing who he is, to discovering a man with such a disturbed and evil nature, not soon to forget.

Gsm_169_batman_arkham_origin_x360_gameplay_061213_joker_640the-joker-returns-in-a-new-arkham-origins-videogame-trailer

The boss fights are epic. I’d say they were my favourite part of the game. The cut-scenes gave it that action and intensity it needed. In particular I enjoyed the Deathstroke and Bane fights. I want to know why the Dark Knight Rises didn’t make Bane like this?

batmanaomp_610Batman-arkham-origins-deathstroke

The graphics are top-notch. Gotham City is beautiful, and the map does seem slightly bigger than the 2 previous games. The details on Batman are great. Was it just me or did he get beefier?

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The Bat Cave and Bat Jet are awesome. I like that they added the combat training and the Bat Suit chamber. The conversations with Alfred were delightful.

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I liked the new enhanced detective mode. Being able to review the crime scene, rewind and forward through it, was a neat feature.

Batman_ArkhamOrigins_DetectiveMode

Now with the negatives, Arkham Origins was more like the expansion of Arkham City. The gameplay & combat system is almost exactly the same, there are only a few minor differences. It was a safe bet, but I was disappointed in the lack of originality. This game had no lack of glitches either.

I didn’t like the voice actor of Batman as much as I did Kevin Conroy. The same with the Joker, it just wasn’t the same without Mark Hamill.

There are new villains, some unknown, and a different story; but I felt like the whole thing was too short. I felt like I got more out of Arkham City.

The side missions were good, but could have been better. I didn’t like that the Enigma one never really went anywhere, and that the collecting of the data packs were exactly the same as collecting the Riddler trophies. Some tasks got really monotonous. What I want to know is how many bad guys Batman beat up in one night! I also didn’t really understand the police being against Batman thing, I mean it was clear he was trying to help stop the bad guys right? Silly Commissioner Gordon.

I really didn’t care much for the multi-player. I had high hopes for it but it really wasn’t that great. I personally like co-op multi-player’s such as in Mass Effect 3. Never been a fan of getting my ass kicked several times repeatedly by a 10 year old who has a personal vendetta against noobs. Capture the flag and so forth is so not my thing.

Overall, while this game lacked originality, I still enjoyed the action it gave, the story and the character development. It wasn’t as good as Arkham City, but it’s still worth playing if you enjoyed the other two games and are a Batman fan. My advice would be to wait for a major price drop since it doesn’t have a lot of replay value. I give it a 7.5/10.

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On a side note, I’m interested to see what the DLC coming out this year is going to be. An edition to the story perhaps? I think another origin story with a different villain would be neat. There are rumors it might have to do with Mr. Freeze!

Join the conversation! Did you play Arkham Origins and what did you think? What would you like to see in the new DLC? Comment below or on the Epic Gamer Girl Facebook Page. You can also find me on twitter @firedragon1087.

Jan 082013
 

I am following up after the stunning @LadyAether posted her Gaming Resolutions last week. I too have hopes and goals for the new year.

Achievements that I would like to complete:

I have to be realistic here, I am not capable of getting all the achievements in my xbox library, but I know there are a few that I can master this year.

I would really like to get the rest of the achievements on my Fable 2 and Fable 3 game. It is a fun adventure that I can handle playing over and over again in order to get them.
I currently have 42/66 achievements for Fable 2 and 34/60 achievements for Fable 3.
Oh yea, and I can’t forget the lovely new Fable: The Journey. I would like to get all the achievements for that game too! I have 19/50 achievements for Fable: The Journey.

My beautiful Fable games! 😀

All the LEGO games that I own. I know this will take me a really long time, but I think it will be fun and totally worth it. The games are meant to be played right? All the extras are there for a reason, so I may as well embrace them.

Lego Harry Potter: years 1-4. My current achievements are 11/36
Lego Harry Potter: years 5-7. My current achievements are 34/49
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. My current achievements are 7/40
Lego Lord of the Rings. My current achievements are 11/48
Lego Batman. My current achievements are 2/46

**Lego Rock Band. I have 39/49 achievements. It depends on what I’m missing and whether I can get 100% or not. I am a sucky guitarist and drummer.

My Lego games <3[/caption] Games I would like to finish: Achievements not mandatory.

I want to finish Braid. It’s frustratingly difficult but I know that I can wrap my brain around the puzzles and figure it out.

…and on a similar note, I would like to finish Limbo. I can’t get past this horrid place of rushing razors and moving platforms. I may need something to calm my brain while completing these games. I think I rage the most while playing it.

I would like to finish the story for Dead Island. I will need some online friends to team up with to get through the story. I can’t handle all those zombies by myself. Is anyone brave enough to stand alongside me during the Apocalypse!?

[caption id="attachment_5616" align="aligncenter" width="249"] I will finish these!!

Skyrim would be a huge feat for me too. Not necessarily all the side quests, but completing the main storyline would be cool. I am a level 38 mage with a masters in destruction 😉

I enjoy playing the xbox arcade games, and I still haven’t finished Fez, Super Meat Boy, Alan Wake: American Nightmare, or Scott Pilgram. I would like to work through the challenges and story. I’m not too fussy about getting all the achievements for these games.

Gaming in Real Life:

Women in Games Vancouver. I want to attend all of the gaming meet-ups for women in games in Vancouver. I would also like to attend some gathering in Seattle (if there are any). I love meeting with women who are passionate about video games! Authentic girl gamers and creators are amazing.

Emerald City Comicon. I don’t know if I am hosting the Guitar Hero booth yet, but even if I just attend as Press, it is a must! Last year I was able to see the Weasley Brothers. I am the biggest Harry Potter fan and that was beyond cool. Plus all the awesome video game and comic book stuff 😉 I would love to dress up this year. Do you have any fantastic cosplay ideas?

Emerald City Comicon

Vancouver Fan Expo. This is when the beautiful @firedragon1087 returns to the city for a visit of epic girly geekiness! I miss her so much already so knowing that I will see her in April for geekasmic fun is brilliant.

Vancouver Fan Expo

Geek Girl Con. I love getting together with fantastic women that embrace their geek! I will likely try to volunteer and go as press again. It offers huge insight into what happens behind the scenes to make an event such as this EPIC!

The lovely ladies from EA at Geek Girl Con. With me on the right 🙂

Pax. I will likely attend this con again. I will have to schedule my time differently as I want to experience more of the gaming adventures and not the parties. I know, I’m lame like that. I like gaming. Who knows, I might even try some tabletop gaming!!

Another PC game that I must get! I’m so happy that I was able to play FireFall at PAX! 🙂

I wonder if I am going to have enough time to do all this gaming! It’s quite a list. I have Monday’s off work, so I can dedicate that time to gaming. Plus, I can do co-op gaming on the weekend with Julz. This can be done! I know it can. It is afterall,

My 2013 Resolutions.

What’s yours?!

Oct 052012
 

I’ve been rather hesitant about posting anything about my first PAX experience. I have been trying to find a nice way to say that it wasn’t really what I expected. It wasn’t horrible by any means, but it wasn’t fantastic either. My overall opinion was likely impacted by everything that happened prior to attending. Plus, I was really disappointed when I meet girls that were paid to dress sexy and flirt with gamers at PAX. In my opinion, it’s cool if girls work at booths dressed in sexy cosplay outfits …but they should play the games that they are promoting.  I understand the entertainment world uses what sells …and sex sells.  I also enjoy being sexy, but to hear girls complain about being at PAX and how much it sucked because they weren’t gamers, was lame.

Pax Prime 2012 at the Washington Convention Center

If I look back at when I requested time off work it was at least 6 months before tickets even went on sale.  I booked the entire week off because I heard such wonderful things about PAX East and I really wanted to experience PAX Prime.

Tickets finally went on sale in May. I was at Disneyland and didn’t get online until there were only Sunday badges left. I was totally gutted. I cried …and then I told myself that I would still be able to go. I was determined to go so I wouldn’t let anything stop me.

I decided to apply for a Media pass. Being a new video game journalist. I figured it was worth a shot. I write about video games, PAX is about video games so it’s a perfect match right?

A few weeks before PAX, I got an email stating that they have increased their requirements for the Media pass, so I would not be accepted.  I was denied a Media pass because Epic Gamer Girl wasn’t a “business”.  A couple of my friends offered to use their business sites but that meant posting content and creating business cards when I had already done that for Epic Gamer Girl. I figured it was just not my time to go as media for my own site. So I would just apply again next year.

After I shared the news of not being accepted, a friend from Twitter linked me the PAX Prime “Enforcer” application. I had already volunteered at Emerald City Comicon and I was due to volunteer at Geek Girl Con, so I figured that would be my way in.

Nope.

PAX was not accepting Canadians as “volunteers” because they were compensating their volunteers this year.

I was going to give up. I tried to buy tickets, apply as media, and volunteer. My last chance was to look online and see if anyone was selling tickets. Sure enough they were!! Craigslist had loads of tickets for sale.

At three times the cost.

I couldn’t justify spending more on a ticket and letting someone profit off buying more tickets than they needed.  I would never sell tickets for more than they were bought for.

I told the people on craigslist that if they would sell it at cost then I was interested.

A girlfriend on twitter, @PMSLammy, offered to sell me Friday passes at cost. I was totally interested. She had two passes so it was a matter of finding someone to go down to Seattle with. @Firedragon couldn’t get the day off work and @lildustbunnie had school. @th3_jynxxx was moving and Laura wasn’t able to attend. I even asked my new gaming but long time IRL life friend @QueenFaerie but it was too short notice and she couldn’t.

I told PMSLammy that I would get one ticket for sure and I would go down for Friday just to experience PAX.

I sent a shoutout on twitter requesting a  3 day PAX pass at cost. I never expected to find one, but one of my new twitter friends @craigums connected me to a friend of his who was selling a ticket. I got a hold of a 3 day pass and PMSLammy sold the Friday tickets to my friend John.

The pass was sent through the post and alas, I was going to PAX Prime.

My amazing friend @vr00mie that I stayed with for PAX <3

Gaming has consumed a large portion of my life, and is really important to me. For most of my gaming life, I was one of those gamers that was content playing games at home, with friends, and people I know in real life. That changed a few years ago while I was studying at UBC. I started playing games online and was introduced to a whole new virtual community of gamers. So with PAX Prime, I was finally able to attend this event where online gamers could connect and explore new & upcoming games.

PAX Prime 2012

PAX was so overly appealing to me because it’s a convention highlighting video games. I’ve been to a couple conventions in the past year that highlighted comic books, geek culture, and girls in geek culture. This was my first convention totally dedicated to video games.

Naturally, the most exciting part of PAX Prime was the Video Games!!

The first game I was drawn to is Plants Vs. Zombies Pinball. The booth was full of colour and offered a photo-op with a PVZ backdrop and computer edits. They had the coolest swag (walnut beanie; mini zombie, mushroom, and walnut stuffies; zombie magnets). PLUS loads of individual gaming stations where you could get cozy on in a giant chair and stare into your own screen while playing the newest PVZ creation: Pinball.

For some reason I love these silly little plants and awkward zombies. There’s nothing that I can personally relate to, as “me”. But do you really need that in this game?!

On Thursday night “pre-pax”, I watched my twitter girlfriend, MollyPop, play pinball at The Funhouse for a Rockage event. She was on a roll, as soon as she got a hang of the paddles and following where the little silver ball wanted to fly to!

Plants Vs. Zombies Pinball had all the “pinball” needs -side paddles, ball, maze of areas to collect points, and bonus rounds where you can collect more points. On the PS3 there are 3D zombies that dance around in your bonus modes.

This game was released a week after PAX on both consoles, xbox and playstation3.

Next I found myself wandering through PC Games. I often pride myself on being a console gamer, but the truth is that my PC cannot run wicked new games because it’s a dinosaur.

Console Gaming

I went to a familiar looking RTS (Real Time Strategy) game: End of Nations. The crowd around the booth was lining up for something, so the game station was quite empty. I approached one of the exhibitors and asked if I could try the game. He walked me to a free station.  When I asked if End of Nations was similar to Rise of Nations, he seemed a bit put off. I thought it was an acceptable question considering that was the last RTS game I played on PC and End of Nations had a similar feel.

End of Nations is more complex with amazing graphics. It also comes with cooler weapons, vehicles, and new combat options. But it’s the same idea: collect resources, build a military, and attack the enemy.

The controls are fairly simple and I can see this game being very addictive. After playing for a few minutes, I signed up for the beta and got some cool swag (a mousepad, t-shirt and cute alien bug stuffy).

There was a huge structure promoting a PC game called Fire Fall. I have never even heard of this game. One if the exhibitors approached me and started talking about the game. He was obviously a player that appreciated everything that Fire Fall had to offer. He offered me an 8 GB USB which contained videos and information on the game.

Fire Fall is an online Mulit-player FPS game.  It played like Gears of War and felt like a Halo. Weird combo but it absolutely stunning!  I signed up for the beta and decided that I must invest in a new computer!  The end of console gaming is near …

Or is it?

…Nah, I honestly believe that the WiiU will offer a whole new gaming experience!

I met up with Kirby from Canadian Online Gamers and he brought 2 of his editors and myself into a media room to play the WiiU.  I was able to watch the beautiful WiiU gameplay and also experience what the new tablet controller has to offer.

With the tablet on Super Mario Bros U, you can be the platform creator. You use the touch screen to place new platforms that will help Mario and his buddies reach treasures. Plus you can strategically place platforms to save his life when he’s falling to his death!  The tablet is an innovate way to introduce “non-gaming” friends into your world!

Plus, You can play the WiiU games through the tablet while watching tv.

Another game I played on the WiiU was NintendoLand. You use you Mii characters to collect sweet pieces of candy (using the Wii controllers) while running away from 2 mad little men trying to trap and eliminate you (using the Wii tablet).

NintendoLand

I can’t wait to get a Wii U and set it  up in my gaming room.

Overall, the gaming experience at PAX was fantastic! I want to learn more about table top gaming and mini’s. Next year I will plan my schedule a bit differently and spend the whole time gaming.

PAX is a game convention after all!

Aug 282012
 

Rock Band Blitz has finally been released!!!

This was my pre-played opinion of Rock Band Blitz:

I don’t know if I am more excited to have 25 new songs for Rock Band 3 or to play the new Blitz game. I am a huge fan of Rock Band, but honestly, Blitz looks like a fancy version of Rock Band Unplugged (PSP). I played Unplugged for many hours while commuting to/from work. It’s not a new concept to me. Switching between the instruments with the controller triggers and playing the music notes with the controller buttons (A, B, X, Y). Unless I’m missing some crucial gameplay element, I think that’s the basis of it.

It could be beyond Epic! …anything is possible, right?

————————————————————

I was fortunate enough to play Rock Band Blitz before it was released so I’ve experienced what the game has to offer.

First off: It’s ROCK BAND!

Okay, if that doesn’t make it awesome by itself …let’s look at some of the perks and downfalls.

 

Game Play:

Rock Band Blitz is similar to Unplugged. You have instrument tracks to alternate between and there are only 2 notes on each track (instead of 4). The way to get points is to use your Blitz Power and Power-Ups to your advantage. It doesn’t matter if you hit all the notes or not, you just need to keep your instruments leveled up so they collect power.

New & Exciting Additions:

There are a lot of Power Ups to unlock throughout the game. I am not going to spoil it by telling you all of them, but my favourites so far are “Pinball”, “Band Mate”, and “Super Drums”. If you hit the glowing notes or purple notes you will activate these powers. Plus, if you have Super Drums selected, you will automatically get more points for drums!

The Score Wars that you can initiate on Rock Band Blitz are fun! Make sure you select your Power Ups so you can get the best score possible. Everyone that has even a small competitive streak will enjoy this feature! All of your battles are stored in your Message section. You can see how many times it’s taken to beat your competition or in my case, how much you are failing.

Blitz emphasizes the Rock Band community and supports team building and of course healthy take-downs! In Blitz you can work together to accomplish Goals and you can battle against others.

Load Time for Blitz vs. RB3

The first load for Rock Band Blitz took forever! I have around 1850 Rock Band 3 songs so I figured it would a while. It was about 30 minutes …BUT that only happened once. The load time now is way quicker than RB3. For a morning quickie, Rock Band Blitz will be a top pick!

Rock Band World:

I heard about this Rock Band World on Twitter. I had no idea what it was until I played Blitz. Basically, you get to connect your Blitz experience with your friends on Facebook. This is where you can connect with people who are currently playing Rock Band! You have “Goals”, “Songs”, and “Score Wars”. You don’t have to connect Rock Band Blitz to Facebook but it’s there as an extra feature.

Rock Band World connects your Blitz experience to your Facebook world!

You can see how you rank next to your Facebook & Xbox friends and decide if they are worth a Score War or a friend removal 😉 Your Score Wars are also visible on RBW and you can see how many are in progress, won, or lost!

On Rock Band World, you can also complete Goals and be rewarded with extra coins to use in Rock Band Blitz. You can do solo goals, team up with friends, and work as a larger community to achieve that shiny gold!

I just finished the Solo Metal Goal

It would be cool if you clicked on “Visit Rock Band World” in the Messages section of the game and you were automatically connected to Facebook. Maybe that’s something the wonderful people at Harmonix are working on.

Problems with RBW and Score Wars.

I’ve timed out on a couple Score Wars because I didn’t know they were there. Pay attention to your “Messages” section to know when you’ve been invited to battle against your friends!

Overall

Not only is Rock Band Blitz $15 for a whole new game, 25 songs playable on both Rock Band Blitz and Rock Band 3 …but you can also connect and battle through Facebook’s Rock Band World.