Gears of War 3 Launch Party

Brothers to the End

Vancouver, Canada – Gears of War fans were treated to free bandanas, air brush tattoos, locust skewers, and a chance to play horde mode with their ‘squads’ at the Gears of War 3 Launch Party (Sept 10, 2011).

Whether on twitter, through xbox live emails or just by word of mouth, Gears fans lined up at the docks in Vancouver for a chance to play Gears of War 3.

The vancouver docks at the foot of main street provided the perfect industrial setting for the event. They even had tubs of ‘used cooking oil’ sitting around. Props?


BBQ Locust station


Wood carver station

Those lucky enough to have tickets (earned if they visited the butcher – save-on-meats – for locust meat 2 days prior to the event), also got a free Gears T-shirt!


Is Locust meat kosher?

It was a really fun event and although there were lines, it moved fast. One fan in line-up even said that it was much better than the Gears of War line at this year’s PAX. Probably true as most lines at this year’s PAX were ridiculous.

The event was organized in a way that you move with your squad of 5 to the various stations. When you first arrive, and get through the first line, you receive your Gears of War bandana (and t-shirt if u have a ticket). And if you don’t have a group of 5 friends, you meet some random people and form a squad.

The ballot station is next. Here you enter a drawing for a wood carving of the gears logo. It was neat watching the wood carver at work.


Wood carver showcasing his carving skills. Wonder why he didn’t just use his lancer…

Once that’s done, you move on to the Air brush tattoo station where you get your very own tattoo. It’s the most popular game tattoo done apparently.

And then it’s off to the grub station where they gave us Locust meat on a skewer with a side of crickets.

Mmm that was some tasty locust..oh and the crickets weren’t bad either. Tasted like sunflower seeds.

We had to wait in two more lineups before we actually got to play the game. Each squad was given two chances to play starting on Wave 8. Our squad didn’t do that well, considering only a few of us even knew how to play. I remember having to revive my teammates more than a few times. But it was fun nonetheless. New weapons, levels and characters, Can’t wait to play more!

On your way out you could also choose to take your photo with the lancer in front of a green screen. And they also handed out free Energizer batteries for your controller! Woohoo!

 

The staff of the event were dressed in army gear with bloody noses etc. They said they didn’t advertise this event as much as their last launch because they feared masses of fans would show up like they did at the Halo launch.

Gears of War 3 comes out Sept 20th, 2011. Midnite launch at Cambie Best Buy, Sept 19th.

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Radiation Party, SPAM & More – PAX 2011

Penny Arcade Expo 2011
Aug 26-28


Seattle, WA – Well, another PAX has come and gone and let me just say, that the lack of sleep was worth it! I’ve survived another PAX!! Although, I missed out on getting a 3-day badge this year, the PAX-related events made up for it and I had a wonderful time overall.

The Adventure begins
Arriving at the border, there was only a 5 minute wait and from the ‘oh that’s the video game show’, the Customs Agent had already encountered other PAX-goers. What could go wrong? Well, little did we know we’d get pulled into a Radiation party, invite only…

So apparently, the Customs Agents detected a large amount of radiation around the time we crossed along with 5 or 6 other vehicles. Because they couldn’t narrow down the vehicle they put an orange sticker on all of our windshields and sent us to secondary inspection.

While still in line at secondary inspection, they were able to locate the source, a woman who had recently had a cat scan. She and her husband were told to sit in a corner far away from the rest of us. The ‘Radiation party’, however, just kept growing and they were even surprised that we were all there for the same reason.

We didn’t meet other PAXers at the party, but we did meet some people on their way to Burning Man. They had friends who decided on attending PAX instead of Burning Man so they knew all about the expo.


After waiting 15-20min, they brought out the radiation detector/geiger counter and scanned each of us just in case there were other sources. They also brought out the cute black lab drug dog. He was probably ‘in-training’, because he kept getting distracted with us all there watching him.

Another 20min wait and then we were told to leave through the secondary inspection. Off we went to finally get some dinner.

Ever wondered what your car undergoes at the border? Check out this News1130Radio article: http://t.co/cwZ5P8f

Poi? No Thanks!
We were in a rush not only for PAX but also to make it on time for dinner at Bobby’s Hawaiian in Everett. We arrived 10 min before closing. The guy working that night was nice enough to let us slide this one time. He even said that there have been others using the same excuse ‘but we drove all the way from Canada!’ Hahaha!

We ordered a hawaiian plate (they were unfortunately out of poke), some spam musubi (must have if u like spam) and bbq chicken. Everything was delicious except for the Poi which we decided had to be an acquired taste! Is there anyone out who actually likes Poi???

Badge-less Friday
OK, so as I mentioned above we missed out on 3-day badges this year. They sold out ridiculously fast, and it didn’t help when official_pax tweeted they only had a few 3-day badges remaining. But that didn’t deter us from having a fun time in Seattle.

It started off with a studio tour at Big Fish thanks to a friend of ours @CRSII. They have a sweet projection screen set-up for lunchtime gaming.

We heard about the Virtua Fighter machines Sega would have on display during PAX, so it was off to Gameworks next!! Got my free VF Panda tattoo and had a few victories/defeats.

Afterwards, we were Tourists for a day with a trip to pike’s market where we stopped in at Le Panier (Friands are sooo good!), the Original Starbucks and Golden Age Collectables.


Warning: Friands are yummy, but DO NOT heat them in the microwave they will burst into flames (I know this from experience)

Fast forward to the 1UP/IGN Party in the evening where we met up with 1UP Friends, Jen, Kevin and Davin. We even ran into DTJAAM AND Sam, Teanah and Jeremy. Check out Rez’s blog for photos. It was awesome seeing everyone!! The night went on for 2 other PAX parties after that.

Saturday only
I’ve always thought that Saturday was the best day, so when it came time to buy 1-day badges, it had to be the Saturday badge.

Started the day with another Breakfast buffet and then headed to check out the convention.
We made sure to sign up for the Mario Kart DS Tourney, although it took us a while to figure out where exactly to do that (the enforcers we did ask weren’t much help more about that in a later blog).

Highlights of the day included:
– Exhibit Hall
– Mario Kart DS Tourney
– Sega Gameworks party

Here are some pics from the day:

PAX baby yeah!!!!



Taiko Drum at Gameworks!

PAX 2011: Swag, Gameworks and Virtua Fighter 5

Tshirts, Free Food/drink and Virtua Fightin’! Oh My!

Is it me or did I collect more swag this year?
I finally had time to sort through the swag I got from the PAX 2011 exhibit hall. It seems like this year’s loot was more abundant than previous years too. This can easily be explained however, by the fact that I spent so much time in the exhibit halls at this year’s expo compared to other years.  I thought I’d just make my rounds to all the booths and ‘see what there was’, but that quickly changed.

Just like every year, there was just too much to see and do(and grab). Circling the hall more than a few times in search of  a lost friend also added to the time spent there. The exhibit hall was packed and the lines to play games were ridiculous. PAX has become soo big over the last few years, and  it’s only gonna get more crowded!

I must also mention that PAX-goers have to be some of the nicest people!!  I saw a guy walking around with the blow-up Mass Effect Omniblade and asked him where he got it. He said that it was by the Mass Effect booth but he had an extra one AND I could have it!!! Can you believe it??

After sifting through, here’s what I kept:
(Not shown are a few more items, that I’m giving away or ebayin’)

The 1UP/IGN Tees have to be among my favorite items.

SEGA knows how to throw a Party!
I also made it into the SEGA Gameworks party on Saturday night, despite the lengthy, down the street and around the block lineup. Free food, drink and 2 hours free play + 30 credits for ticket games,  Boy oh boy was that fun!


I ended up getting a cool Sonic the Hedgehog ball for 200 tickets! I also got a smaller Sonic the Hedgehog hacky sack but I was nice enough to give it away to a friend 😛

Free Games for All!!! Can you say AWESOME?

Challenger Comes
Sega brought Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown machines direct from Japan just for PAX! I’ve been a longtime Virtua Fighter fan since the first game. I remember spending lunches (and other times when we used to skip class) in the corner store playing Virtua Fighter with my older bro. It was great to have the opportunity to meet and challenge so many different Virtua Fighter fans at Gameworks. Thank you SEGA!! iPlayWinner posted a vid here


Shout out to ChanChai! Thanks for the tips!


Me Versus Rez

One player told me as I sat down to play “Um, just to let you know, I’m really good at this game”. Umm, okay.. I couldn’t help but see my older bro nodding approvingly as I beat that person and then another guy after that. Even if I only beat a couple of them, it was all in good fun. Got a free cute panda tattoo for playing!

My search for Eleanor has come to an end.

Finish Bioshock 2 – Done!
I’ve stayed true to my goal of putting aside more time for gaming. As a result I can scratch a few games off my list, one of which is Bioshock 2.

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I really enjoyed Bioshock 1, and I’m glad to say that Bioshock 2 didn’t disappoint. The sequel takes place about 10 years after the last one ended and this time around you play as a Big Daddy. The intriguing storyline, the option to be ‘evil’ or not and the advantages that came with being a Big Daddy made this game a really fun experience for me.

Walking around the beautiful underwater environment and ‘adopting’ lil sisters were some of the ‘Big Daddy only’ abilities, along with a drill arm. Although I have to admit that I really missed the quickness of my wrench. Swinging the Drill was just too slow. The majority of the weapons were featured in the first Bioshock but there were a few new ones like the Spear Gun that came in handy.

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I didn’t use the Camera as much as I did in the last game. It  was more of a distraction when I was busy killing splicers and other Big Daddies. That meant, I didn’t complete all the achievements for the Camera Research. There were a number of other (easier) achievements I completed  instead, like the achievement for defeating a Big Daddy without dying 3x.

Security Cameras were a bit of an annoyance. I was lucky if I had some auto-hack darts, but if not, it helped that the hacking was a little easier in this game. If all else failed, destroying the cameras worked too. I wish I could hack more than 2 security bots at a time though. It would be neat to have a small army of them escorting me around.

Strategically placing mini turrets and trap rivets really helped when waiting for the lil sisters to finish collecting Adam, and for Big Sister encounters. Collecting Adam wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but it was necessary for the story’s progression and for obtaining enough Adam to get new plasmids.

I liked that the health refill is on the cross bar now, instead of the B button. This change definitely prevented accidental health refills during fast paced action.

Overall I didn’t find Bioshock 2 as difficult as the first. As I mentioned above, hacking was a little easier, and the final part of game wasn’t as challenging  compared to the battle I had with the last boss in the first game. In retrospect, I think I should have set it to Hard. We’ll see if I have time to play that game over again.

Without giving anything away, there were plenty of really exciting parts and  moments that actually made me ‘jump’ during the game. I really enjoyed the story, the introduction of Big sisters and ‘adopting’ little sisters who thought I was the best Daddy ever, heehee.

THE END

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Buy Bioshock 2…

Would you kindly….
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Largely due to lack of gaming time, I seem to end up playing games pretty late. It’s not that I necessarily wait to buy the game, sometimes I buy it right away and it just sits there, unwrapped. A good example of this is the case of Bioshock, which I first started last year and only continued playing a few weeks ago. I read about the highly anticipated sequel and wanted to experience what the first game was like to see what all the fuss was about.

As I got to the more interesting areas and more comfortable with the controls, I found myself really enjoying the game and becoming addicted to playing.

I finished the game a couple of days ago and after seeing what they called ‘the ending’, I MUST play the next one to see what happens next.

What I loved:

  • Use of different plasmids
  • variety of enemies + creeepy areas
  • snapping photos of them for my research.

Didn’t like so much:

  • That the first aid kit refill was B button, I accidentally pressed that a few times and wasted my first aid kits.
  • An encounter with ‘Rosie’ and a little sister may be terrifying depending on the type of ammo one had left.
  • And vita chambers right next to where you were just killed were useful..but decreased the game’s difficulty.

Overall, very much enjoyed this game! It’s one of the only games in a long time that made me jump when an enemy appeared behind me…damn houdini splicers!

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Some side notes…

With V-day coming up I thought it’d be a good chance to ‘request’ my gift..yes because V-day is really for girls and the boys seldom get gifts on this holiday. But lucky for me, I have already found a copy I can borrow! Now what should I hint at instead…maybe Star Trek Online..or one of these gifts (listed on Kotaku) ^_^

The Winter Olympics starts tomorrow and I am so pumped to be in the city for all the craziness! Here’s a photo from the torch relay after work today! Photobucket

This Hermit doesn’t need anyone but himself

Indie Puzzle Game: The Company of Myself
You know that feeling of frustration you get when you try again and again but can’t seem to figure out how to solve the puzzle?? You’re just about to the end..almost there..and then…Nooooo you fail and have to restart the level again…ugggh.

The other day, a friend of mine sent me a couple interesting links. One of them was to this indie game…
“it’s an indie puzzle platformer, very awesome”
“just finished it”
“only took me like 15 minutes”

I wasn’t really paying attention because I was focused on playing Phantasy Star 0 (finally got around to tweaking the settings of my router and setting up my DS wi-fi connection settings – more on this on a later blog).

I decided to try the game, it had a neat story and pretty simple objective and if it only took him 15 minutes…it probably wouldn’t take up much of my PS0 time..right?

The Company of Myself (Game by Eli Piilonen)
The game begins with a short intro about a hermit. Sometimes feeling that way myself, I decided to go on.
Each level you must lead the hermit to the green exit door at the end of the screen.

I got through the first few levels pretty quickly, and I began to enjoy the game. The music ( ) was fitting it had a “oooh wonder what’s to come next” sort of vibe to it.

When I got to the level that resembled a tall staircase, the game started freezing, and I had to restart the level. I started to get frustrated. When you’re frustrated, the door seems to taunt you, sitting there, just sitting and waiting. How will you ever reach me? it seems to say. After awhile, the music started getting to me too.. hehehe

The game has a ‘help me’ option at the top right of the page where it gives you subtle hints on how to complete the level.
Luckily this one saves at the last level I played…

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The game gets even more interesting after that level I was told. I took a break and came back refreshed to play again.
I was able to complete a few more levels. The hermit was feeling pretty good about himself at this point.

I enjoy a good puzzle game, even more so when I can finish them.
It didn’t take me ‘only 15 minutes” but I did help lead the hermit through the game.

Play this kewl addictive little puzzle game here

Gearing up for Gears 2

Gears!

side note…..

Way too many Games…

There are just TOO MANY games to play. My pile of “Need to Finish”/”Need to Start” games only seems to get larger each week. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I’ve added 3 new games to my DS collection recently, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Rhythm Tengoku Gold, and Hotel Dusk Room 215. The last one was an impulse buy at $14.99 USED from EB (I only supported them because they had the best price for a new copy of World Ends With You, which I picked up that day for a friend). Rhythm Tengoku Gold, I have yet to play, and only recently unwrapped the game. The new Castlevania game is the one I leave in my DS these days.

*Excited* about Gears of War 2!



Of all the games to be released this quarter, one of the games I am insanely excited about has to be Gears of War 2 (Release date: Nov 7). But, of course, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm. Grunts and sighs from those who aren’t the least bit interested are usually heard at my mere mention of the game. To each his own.

For those familiar with my blog, you know how much I enjoyed Gears of War. But not only that, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the game. New readers might be interested in knowing why… My older bro, Ryo, and I used to play Co-op mode together a few times a week. It was a great way for us to keep in touch, being in different countries and all. My memories of all the fun and frustration we had with the game will stay with me forever. Around the time my copy of Gears of War stopped working was the same time period where I played games less frequently because of my so-called busy life. Although as much as I regret that now, at least I have enjoyable memories with my bro even if he was so far away. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I know he was very much looking forward to the sequel. We were both excited after seeing the trailers for the game and it really hurts that he and I won’t get a chance to earn more achievement points together…

My bro usually joined in after I had started the online game which meant he played as “Dom” for the majority of the time.

And now to go off on another slight tangent, I started my Bioshock file the other day too (I’m soo behind on all these games…). The story is intriguing so far, and makes up for the visuals. I switched to Gears of War with an intent to get some practice in before next week and it was clear which game looks more visually superior to the other. Gears of War has beautiful, stunning graphics with a music soundtrack that really sets the mood. Whether you hear the raindrops in the background or the enemy whispers from the shadows, it makes you feel like you are really there in that dark, wet cave. Speaking of the music, the Gears sequel’s soundtrack will be released on Nov. 25.

One of my favorite parts of the game was in the cave when you first encounter the enemy archers with arrows that explode seconds after they impale you or your armor. I found this part challenging on single player mode simply because it seemed like my partner was always trying to get himself killed. The AI for Dom was really laughable as he would choose to run up head and become a sitting target. He eventually got killed which resulted in me having to save him numerous times. Much, much better on Co-op mode when you could actually plan the attack with your partner.

Limited edition items?
With a little over a week until its release, if you are thinking of buying Gears of War 2 but haven’t decided where yet, keep in mind that depending on where you pre-order the game, you are likely to receive different collectors’ items.

Amazon.com is offering a
Lancer with the game.

If you order from Futureshop.ca (Canada)
one will also receive a Locust Figurine with head blown off valued at $200(cdn)

Futureshop (Canada:in-store)
Picking up the game in-store will get you a limited edition dog tag like necklace — “COG tags” — the same ones you’d collect in the game (Featured with the locust drone above)

**There is also an in-store deal of $20 off a copy of the game when you
trade in 2 games. I was advised to just bring in a stack of games I want
to trade in and the Futureshop staff would determine which two they will accept.

EB said it depends what they receive, but there will be something. I’m guessing its the COG tags as well.

Well, after all this talk of Gears 2, I think its about time for some practice…hmm..that’s unfortunate..
my copy of Gears of War 1 constantly gives me Disc error. Siiigh. Someone lend me Gears 1 quick 😛