Archive for the ‘Miss Genocide’ Category

Meet the Mindflex

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

 

Concentration is a must in Mattel's MindFlex... So is a willingness to wear clips on your ears.
Concentration is a must in Mattel’s MindFlex… So is a willingness to wear clips on your ears.

Thanks to Mattel, we are now one step closer to the wishes of the science fiction nerd in us all. The ability to move objects with one’s mind has long been the subject of great interest but it seemed to be too far in the distant future. Game designers at Mattel, however, have decided that the future is NOW.

It may be physically impossible to simply move objects with your mind but thanks to the new technology involved in the production of the Mindflex, one can experience the satisfaction of actually using telekinesis to play this one of a kind game. The Mindflex is like no other game currently on the market. It’s a huge step up from the same childhood board games we’re used to; moving objects along colored squares, racing to the finish,  all to beat an opponent. This unique game allows a player to move a foam ball through various obstacles using nothing but their mind.

The foam ball is held in the air by a movable fan nozzle which is controlled by the human mind. The player wears a headset which has a forehead sensor that rests above the left eyebrow and clips that attach to the earlobes. These accessories allow the game to read the brain waves that the player is sending out and change them into data that the unit can understand which corresponds with the ball moving in various directions as the player learns to alternately focus and relax their mind. The Mindflex is a very versatile toy that both children and adults can equally enjoy and there are a variety of games that the players can select and keep track of scores. A variety of hoops, hurdles, funnels, and a teeter-totter can be positioned however you choose on the game console. Players use their minds to move the ball under, over, or through the obstacles. Several games test speed while another challenges players to lift a ball up and through a funnel, shooting it across the game console to score points.

These are the only cons I can clearly identify: Mindflex is not multi-player friendly as players must take turns in order to see who can score the highest. It is not a game that players can use simultaneously. Also, as intriguing as the game is, it might prove difficult for some. Concentration techniques will vary from person to person and patience as well as a willingness to experiment are rewarded. The cons still do not take away from the true uniqueness of the toy or make it less enjoyable to play. Fans of mazes and brain teasers will appreciate the mental challenge and creative types will like designing the obstacle courses. Mindflex makes a great party game and might be an impressive Christmas present for the boss.

The Ever-Evolving Lara Croft.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
The Lara Croft models minus Alison Carroll

The Lara Croft models minus Alison Carroll

In this day and age, ladies are often expected to keep up with the times; clothing, attitude, and yes… even breast size. Video game characters have proven to be no exception, apparently, as our favorite heroine has gone through some dramatic re-vamps over her career. I’ve RELIGIOUSLY stood by the Tomb Raider franchise since ’96 when the first game was released. That would have made me about 8 years old. When I wasn’t playing the game, I was studying her history, new updates, and hanging around in the forums. At the time, that wasn’t the best idea since most of the forums consisted of guys looking for “leaked” n00dz of Lara, patches, or hacks. In response, Core, over the next few games would insert little teases in the cut scenes, Lara in a robe, a towel, bikini, or a provocative gown.

Lara has consistantly worked towards giving her gamers what they demanded. As she matured, the boobs got bigger, the outfits were smaller, and to appease our gamers with bit of a taste for “young meat”, Lara even regressed back to her teen years for one game. Original designer, Toby Gard, stated that Croft “gained more attention from her appearance than her tough-as-nails spirit and determination.” Gard began to consider her “growing status as a sex symbol in the video game fandom through each progressive game sequel-with increasingly gratuitous artwork and advertisements as deterimental to the character”.

Latest Croft model, British gymnist Alison Carroll

Latest Croft model, British gymnist Alison Carroll

In response to these raised topics, and eyebrows, it was stated that Lara would undergo a redesign and become more “demure” in Tomb Raider: Legend for the sake of becoming more appealing to female gamers. Now, I’m can’t speak for my fellow Gamettes but I rather enjoyed her appearance the way she was, though her new look should be charming in it’s own way. Another critical issue brought to attention was her character being portrayed seemingly in an increasingly bloodthirsty manner in the first two sequels of the series, and occasionaly not giving Lara the option to avoid lethal force against human characters. Tomb Raider III was heavily criticised for showing Lara having to fight security guards and military police officers. However, to address this issue, TR: Anniversary added a subplot where Lara felt guilty when she was forced to kill for the first time, with Toby Gard stating, “We wanted to make Lara’s first kill more meaningful”.

In addition to adjusting virtual Lara to various standards, there were also a series of models over the years, one model in particular was dropped in 1999 after her appearance in Playboy Magazine. After my personal close inspection of most of the models, I believe our newest and greatest addition, Alision Carroll, not only looks the part but in being a British gymnist, is most physically qualified. You can see videos of some of Carroll’s photoshoots as Lara and displays of gymnastic prowess on Youtube.com. However, overall, my personal opinion is Angelina Jolie more closely portrays Lara’s beauty and s[ass]. Also, according to a reliable source, Jolie HAS expressed interest in revisiting the character for the third film, contrary to recent rumors I’ve heard. *!celebrates!*

Miss Jolie overcame her fear of water to film the movies

Miss Jolie overcame her fear of water to film the movies

In conclusion, it’s not always easy being such an icon and being expected to respond to constantly changing trends and standards. I wish I had Chris Crocker with me to truely express the seriousness of my next statement…LEAVE LARA ALONE!

No girls, no glory…
Miss Genocide

Will the Dead Rise Again for 2009?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
Roulette Wheel - Smash!

Roulette Wheel - Smash!

My spidey senses tell me yes, FINALLY. After a few grueling years of waiting, and taking in rumors, I was almost sure that we would NEVER see a sequel to one of my all time favorite titles, Capcom’s “Dead Rising”. An acquaintance at my local Gamestop informed me of a lawsuit initiated by George A. Romero against Capcom, claiming that the game’s setting and theme were copied from his famous horror film “Dawn of the Dead”. Now, I’m a huge fan of his films but lately, the new titles have sort of lost their charm such as Diary of the Dead. It’s okay to watch maybe once, but that’s all. This suit kind of sounded to me like he was running out of funds. I could in a rather large way see the similarity between the game and the film. However, in doing some research on 1up.com, I was pleased to see that U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg “has not identified any similarity between Dead Rising and any protected element of Dawn of the Dead”. He goes on to explain that the few similarities the company has alleged are driven by the wholly unprotectable concept of humans battling zombies in a mall.

Months before performing the research, my source did inform me that there was a possibility of the game continuing under a different developer. I recently checked around to see how the game was coming, or if it was at all, and saw that IGN.com reported that Chris Kramer, director of public relations of Capcom Entertainment states, “There has been no official announcement of a sequel to Dead Rising, any rumors of an official announcement are erroneous”. When questioned if there would be a sequel at all, he continued to state that they have made no announcements of one…sounds fishy to me! I did some more snooping around and BADABING! DeadRising2.net!

There was a post in February stating that Capcom did in fact officially confirm that DR2 will arrive for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. There are screenshots and trailers leaked, and in taking a look at the shots, not much is different. Which I’m relieved to see as the game IS in fact being released under a different developer by the name of Blue Castle Games, the same company to bring us “The Bigs” and “MLB 2008″. Deadrising.net states that much like the first game, “Players will once again slaughter their way through thousands upon thousands of the living dead, using a plethora of weapons to butcher them. This time, however, instead of battling zombies in a shopping mall like the original Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 takes place in a Las Vegas-inspired city loaded with casinos and flesh eating blackjack dealers and zombified showgirls”. Showgirls! Hooray for zombie smut once again! Capcom states that DR2 will take the franchise to a “new level of zombie-killing fun with tens of thousands of zombies, and a chance to kill them in fun ways in the gaming paradise of Fortune City”.
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Busy Gamer Invades the Bars!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
BG Crew talking shop at a Texas Wingstreet

BG Crew talking shop at a Texas Wingstreet

Yes, just when you thought you had one place you could go to escape the BG crew, think again. Since frequent Busy Gamer meetings occur at bars in Texas (Downtown Bar and Grill and my place at our local Wingstreet seem to be favorites), I thought it would be quite fitting to invent a drink all of us geeks can relate to and enjoy.

Let’s face it, after a long day of slingin’ lightsabers, a Jedi needs a stiff drink! There’s already a Star Wars drink with a few variations but I figured I’d narrow it down to a shot named after a specific hero loved by all… “♥CHEWBACCA♥”. Who doesn’t love a big hairy Wookie?

BG's Game Over playtests the 'Chewbacca'

BG's Game Over playtests the 'Chewbacca'

The Chewbacca

It’s a three-layered drink, bottom to top:
1 1/2 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 of Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps Liqueur
1/2 of Bacardi 151 Proof Rum.

The Bailey’s gives it that soft, cuddly Wookie appearance and then the gold flakes bring kinky flashbacks of Princess Leia in the legendary gold bikini, and the 151 puts the Chewbacca hair on your bald nerdy chest. Busy Gamer crew member Game Over was the first to try the tasty beverage. He stated that “it cleared his sinuses”.

This drink isn’t all fun and games though. Your bartender MUST pour it correctly or else you lose the entire effect. So if the barkeep doesn’t know how to layer, move to your next drink. Also, before partaking, you MUST do your best Wookie yell then slam the shot. For extra bragging rights, light the shot on fire. This is why the 151 sits at the top of the shot. If any of these rules are broken, it could result in a party foul!

So stay with us and keep reading for more geeky drink recipes, including shots named after Busy Gamettes!

Cheers,
Miss Genocide

The T-Mobile G1, Definitely a [G]reat [1]!

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Photobucket

I thought it would take me a few days of playing with my new G1 before writing a review due to so many comments about it being too much technology for most to handle. But I got the phone just yesterday and already I feel completely comfortable with it! The device is VERY user-friendly, there have been no noticeable glitches or failures so far and it feels rather sturdy, even with it’s somewhat sliding form factor.

For a while, T-Mobile was really lacking on the technology end and the main attraction for the longest time was their Sidekick franchise. This drew a lot of consumers away from this provider and towards AT&T for its iPhone and Verizon for its usual mimics. But what the public didn’t know is that T-Mobile was using this valuable time to kick back and watch the rate at which other companies were advancing in their technical aspect; then it happened… I knew that Google was cooking up some ideas for a phone but little did I know that T-Mobile obtained the sale rights.

I heard about the idea about a year and a half ago then as the time of production came closer I learned that Google teamed up with a mobile software entity called Android. Which might I add is the best thing to happen to mobile devices EVER. Period. So yes, Android is an operating system for handsets, so what? It’s more than that. This phone features a “market” icon in the menu with the cute little Andriod logo. I click on it expecting a few free applications to spark my interest with the phone and instead I find multiple categories of applications including communication, entertainment, finance, shopping, travel, and so much more. This was great already but then I decide to scroll through the games section, and there’s tons of downloadable content there as well. I go crazy installing programs, games, little things here and there and I suddenly realize the best part… ALL OF THIS IS FREE. Sure, you’re paying $35 for unlimited internet and texting but EVERY other aspect of this phone’s capabilities are absolutely free. So the marketplace and endless usability of the phone more than make up for the pricey plan. What’s more, you’ll never pay for wallpaper, ringtones, or games again!

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EA Games, Setting the Mood for the Holiday Season

Friday, December 12th, 2008

EA, straight outta cold school!

It’s difficult to notice the weather growing colder as EA Games releases hot new titles such as Left 4 Dead, C&C Red Alert 3, NCAA `09, Mirror’s Edge, and one of the most anticipated, Need for Speed: Undercover… Which quickly turned into 4 trips back and forth to the game store for myself and fellow BG crew member, Game Over.

We purchased our first copy of Need for Speed almost a month ago and were surprised to find that the game froze within the first race. I thought, “no big deal, bad copies happen”. I happily returned the game only to try to second copy and this time it froze during load time. A bit frustrated, I returned the game once more and went to Gamecrazy instead and this time the disk would not read at all. I knew this couldn’t be some cruel coincidence or a problem with our console as it was only recently purchased. I tried just one more copy and alas, we got through the middle of one race and the disk froze. For some of you, this issue might seem familiar. My nerves were chilled from this consistent disk failure but I was determined to find the end of this cold front.

I searched in many forums and found numerous gamers with the same issues, all desperate for answers. At first, I was happy to find that we weren’t the only ones suffering. But in looking further I was even more pleased to find that consumers were able to alleviate the problem with their copy of NFS by installing the game to the hard drive, an ability recently granted by the required update via XBL. I’ve seen comments suggesting that the problem is the new dashboard or that the sudden freezing of the game is an indication that your console is near to producing a red ring, but truthfully there are gamers having some failures with a few other EA titles, the main icicle being NFS. It’s simply an issue with the publisher at this time. Some have even gone as far as returning their 360 and taking advantage of the warranty but I must assure you, do NOT go through the trouble. After installing the game to our HD, the game plays fine.

Now we’re able to enjoy the game to it’s fullest and are able to appreciate the amazing graphics, cinema worthy cut-scenes, and breath taking online play. Not all of you will have this problem with the game but for those of you who do, I highly recommend installing the game in the same fashion and telling your friends to do the same if they find themselves out in the cold. This game’s worth it!

Your Gamette,

Miss Genocide

Left 4 Dead

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Left 4 Dead - Busy Gamer Rating 3

Left 4 Dead - Busy Gamer Rating 3


First Glance:
The killer trailer and demo lead you to expect a lot out of this game. The effects and detailed texturing are amazing. Sounded like a good title for players of Dead Rising.

The Short Story:
You are one of four survivors attempting to fight your way out of the city while helping your other team mates. Fight together or die alone.

The Score:
I’m giving this title a BusyGamer rating of a 3. L4D was very visually pleasing but there was not much brain teasing involved. Valve spent a lot of time on the technical aspect of the game which made a lot of eyes open but when it got down to it, the lack of story line or varying goals kind of bored me.

Body of Review:
So far I’ve seen nothing but top reviews for this game. Many reviewers appreciate, or accept, the simplicity of the campaigns and compared it to some classic shoot-em-up titles. I, however, expected a bit more depth. One could simply run a straight shot from the beginning of the game to the end and miss nothing but maybe some hidden ammo. The goal of the levels were simple but I can say the charisma of the special infected keeps you on your feet. The lack of varying weapons and interactive environment left a lot to be desired. I, as a gamer, am into exploring and wasted a lot of time looking in empty rooms for something awesome to happen only to find nothing. You’re limited as to what you can use in your defense, guns and bombs only, plus melee.

L4D features a dynamic artificial intelligence system for game dramatics, pacing, and difficulty called the Director. Instead of set spawn points for enemies, the Director places enemies and weapons in varying positions and numbers based upon each player’s current situation, status, skill, location and alerts your team mates when you are injured so they may run to your rescue. A similar AI system was developed for Halo 3 in its campaign mode. Valve calls the way the Director is working “Procedural Narrative” because, instead of having a difficulty level which just ramps up to a constant level, the A.I. analyzes how the players fared in the game so far, and tries to add subsequent events that would give them a sense of storyline.

One major feature that cranks this game’s rating up a notch is the ability to play online and through system link. This puts it ahead of past zombie titles in that aspect. When waiting for a lobby to fill during online play, you can choose your character; survivor, infected, or random. When infected, you choose your spawn position; not too far from the survivors, and not too close. You’re randomly placed as one of four special monsters – a Smoker, Hunter, Boomer, or Tank – and you are given special moves and tactic tips to help strategize your feast. Should you be killed by a survivor, you respawn again. If you happen to complete a mission without dying at all as a survivor, you could randomly respawn into anything. As a human, you are expected to help your team mates get to their feet when they are injured, give extra health or pain pills, and fend off any zombies that might have circled around them in order for your team to win. In campaign mode this is fairly easy and allows for the levels to pass quickly. But during online play, your team mates are not always available to assist and you might often find yourself killed. When respawning, there is a bit of a wait, 25 seconds the majority of the time, but sometimes you wait even longer before the countdown, so the survivors can either enter or exit the safe room. While this occurs you are switched to spectator mode and because of the wait, there is often more anticipation than actual gameplay.

Hopefully, in time, there will be more levels released in the Xbox marketplace at least for online play. The fact that they used the same maps from the campaign was a bit dissapointing, and once again, boring. Working with actual players instead of AI did make it a bit more interesting though. If it were not for the online ability of this title, L4D would have gotten a much lower rating from this gamer.

Miss Genocide – signing off

Gamers Have a Soft Side

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Benefit organizer Lance Hayes presents a check for $2,500 to local charity Adopt A Pet

Benefit organizer Lance Hayes presents a check for $2,500 to local charity Adopt A Pet

There were ads everywhere. On the radio, numerous commercials on TV, videos on Myspace, and even flyers on the streets. The first annual “Warriors Never Die” James Forman benefit for Adopt-a-Pet shook our little town of Victoria, Texas like no one’s business. No one except Lance Hayes, that is. He’s the founder of the event and was a close friend of the late James Forman. For those of you who didn’t know him, James was an animal lover. At the time of his passing, he had two dogs, featured in the original poster of the event, and thirteen cats.

He also had a habit of taking in other needy animals such as turtles, ferrets and sugar gliders. I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with Lance to get a little background information on the benefit. He began production in May of this year. It started with a Myspace page, then a bank account, a P.O. box, and finally a Paypal account. The idea behind the event was to create a positive way to bring together old friends while benefiting a cause that James would have supported.

Bands were brought together, as well as sponsors and volunteers, and item donations for a silent auction were gathered. No one could have organized a better gathering of kind hearted benefactors. Your own Busygamer had a booth set up with a donation bucket and half of the proceeds went towards the cause. Lance was seen around the event making sure everything was running smoothly while managing to enjoy himself with the rest of us at the BG table when time allowed. Crutchboy and I managed the swag for nine straight hours slinging t-shirts, jewelry, stickers, and free koozies to the donators, along with Gritskrieg, Game Over, and Timothy Danger. The silent auction featured local and out of state artists’ work. John Lara (Timothy Danger’s brother and the creator of the Monster Valley High webcomic featured on our site) donated several pieces that were very popular with the crowd. There were crafts and even an autographed poster from the Violent Femmes. All together the benefit managed to raise $2,500 for Adopt-a-Pet, which was presented as a GIANT check by Lance. Everyone
who participated or were meant to attend will be sent care packages, including the Violent Femmes for donating the awesome poster.

BusyGamer Crew & Supporters: Game Over, Crutchboy, Gritskrieg, Miss Genocide, Mrs. Rabke, Timmy Danger, Steph Perry

BusyGamer Crew & Supporters: Game Over, Crutchboy, Gritskrieg, Miss Genocide, Mrs. Rabke, Timmy Danger, Steph Perry

Lance thanks all of the contributors, bands, and everyone who showed up to support the event, and would like to especially thank Tim Lara of the Stout City Luchadores, Colin Rabke of AR-15 and Puppet of Primal Instinct Tattoos and Revolution Unleashed. They were “the backbone of the musical aspect of the benefit, and good friends with James Forman” as Lance stated and he’s very grateful they were able to help the cause. The benefit served its intended purpose; it brought together old friends, some new ones were made, and even a first date was had between a lovely new couple. All in all, it was a good night for everyone.

If you missed it, the second Warriors Never Die benefit will take place on Saturday, November 14th of 2009 and the proceeds will continue to go to pet related organizations. We here at Busygamer hope to appear at the future benefits, and are thankful to all that showed interest in our humble offerings.

Miss Genocide – signing off










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