I dreamt of a colleague this morning asking me if The Omen is any good. Apparently she’s thinking of watching it with her kids and want to know if it’s suitable. In the dream, I told her that it’s an okay movie but definitely not for kids, especially not for the younger ones.

Releasing the remake of the 1976 classic today is a nice touch for the people handling the promotions for the film. With the reference to the once-in-a-century date which could translate to 666, it’s enough to scare some people into believing that perhaps today would be the day that would see the birth of the spawn of evil. Well, it’s enough to worry some expectant mothers from giving birth today.

As for me, I don’t think I’ll be watching the remake (unless persuaded otherwise by the hubby). I generally don’t like remakes (can’t they think of something original?) and the new one is panned as worse than the original anyway.

One horror movie I’d really like to watch is Silent Hill, based on the Playstation game about a haunted and fog-shrouded town which is now home to some pretty creepy creatures. I played the video game just to know the story and actually thought of getting the Silent Hill collection (which includes sequels 2,3 and 4). Anyway, the movie was shown a couple of months ago in the US but won’t be shown here till August. Gahhhh, why is it that movies and TV shows are always shown late here in Australia?

Going back to The Omen, don’t believe the hype. According to the Australian Catholic Film Office, the real sixth day of the sixth month in 2006 actually occured in 2002. Wonder if something momentous happened that day?

Published in: on June 6, 2006 at 1:12 pm  Comments (2)  

Palabok Place

Ok, I’ve spent most of the weekend playing some more Sims 2. Well, I didn’t get to actually play with some Sims characters but was busy building a replica of our house in Simlandia. With hubby’s help and armed with the floor plan, we’ve built the basic structure. I’ve downloaded custom objects from the Mod the Sims, The Well Dressed Sim, Sim Resource and the Sims Zone. The original game and some of the expansion packs feature some objects that the Sim characters could interact with but the number of objects are limited. Some very talented people at the aforementioned forums have created various objects to share with fellow gamers. As an example, the facade of our house is made of yellow bricks but the game only has red bricks. Thank goodness, I was able to download a free wall covering object made by Starrats and used that.

To the curious ones wondering what our place looks like, this is a good look-alike although not really accurate. Although some objects could be obtained online, not all objects are available, as you can imagine. As such, our garage door doesn’t really look like that but I haven’t had the opportunity to trawl the Sims 2 websites yet to find a rolling shutter garage door. Also, objects in the Sims 2 are not really proportional to each other (a telephone would take up 1 square, the same as a dishwasher for example. Imagine if your phone is as big as your washer, wouldn’t that be freaky?) Anyway, the resultant replica is close enough to how our house looks like and here it is, dubbed Palabok Place. Click on the image for a bigger version.

Up next, a virtual tour inside? Hmmm… maybe? Hehe.

Published in: on June 5, 2006 at 12:40 am  Leave a Comment  

The SIMple life

My fun meter was pretty much depleted last weekend, it felt like I was burnt out from work and my brain won’t cooperate. I was so exhausted that the only urge I had was to vegetate in a couch and space out. I guess it was a long time coming as I haven’t really had any “me” time for quite a long while. I was always off somewhere – working, going out with friends and doing chores.

Last Saturday saw us watching X-men 3 (which was good, better than expected) and went to the mall about half an hour before closing time. I have been thinking for the longest time to get the Sims 2 PC game (I’ve previously rented it out from a video store and I know that I like the game. We even created our own avatars!) The new Open for Business expansion pack has rekindled my interest in purchasing my own copy.

It was sold out at EB Games and we comparison shopped between Big W and Kmart. Kmart had the cheaper price and is selling the Sims 2 Holiday Edition at the same price as the original so we opted for the holiday edition for $88.84 (too bad there wasn’t a Myer near our place as we later found out they are selling the basic game at a discounted price of $74).

After rushing back home and installing the game in both our laptops, we spent the remainder of the weekend creating Sim families and having them live their lives. My Sim family is loosely based on the characters off Stargate SG-1 – Daniel Jackson, Teal’c and Vala forming one family while hubby created the Griffith family based on Peter, Lois and Grandpa from the Family Guy. Yup, could you tell we watch a lot of TV?

I chose a single storey house for my family and had them get jobs that were similar to those they have in the TV show – Daniel took the science track, Tealc got into the military track while Vala had a career in crime. I’ve been playing every night after coming home from work and the Jackson family has now significantly improved their status in life. Daniel is now a theorist (one level away from mad scientist), Vala has turned out to be quite a thief to be elevated to smuggler level (one shy of a criminal mastermind) and Teal’c an astronaut (one step away from being a General). The Teal’c character started out with a tendency to like other men than women – which wasn’t my intention, I wonder if the developers at EA Games equate cleanliness with a tendency to be gay?

Anyway, the Teal’c character was getting it on with a male co-worker but that soon soured when another man whom Teal’c invited over slapped him for flirting with Guy number 1. My guess is that Guy 1 has a thing going with Guy 2 and had Teal’c on the side. Teal’c soon turned his attention to housemate Vala who was initially engaged to Daniel but was gutted when Daniel turned his attention to Regina, a lab assistant who got into the habit of going home with Daniel after work.

With Vala pregnant with Teal’c’s child, I’ve moved the family from their 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom house to a 3 bedroom, 2 baths abode. Vala is on maternity leave and both men only working a few days in a week. Good thing too as they now have more time to enjoy their new home with the expensive furniture and a good-sized pool out back. Unlike at the start of the game when money was tight, the family is now quite well off with almost 100,000 simoleons to their name (all their hard work, no cheats).

The Jackson family was too intent on making it up their respective career ladders that they haven’t even gone out to one of the community centres yet, haven’t even thrown a successful party (I tried throwing a party once but it was deemed a snoozer!) or be saved from death successfully (I tried several times but always had the Grim Reaper taking the Sim anyway so I had to reload from my last save point). Then there’s still the body shop where I could create more Sims with unique features and the Build feature which I’ve only used for extending the kitchen of the Jackson’s old house, never for building a house from scratch.

Overall, I’d say there’s still a lot of gameplay left on this game from me what with all those options still waiting to be explored, modifications to be downloaded and used and cheats to try. My fun meter has significantly gone up and I’m already plotting when to get the other expansion packs.

Some say that the attraction of the Sims series is the ability to control lives and feel like a god. Maybe. For me though, I find the Sims to be more like interactive television with characters who have stories to tell and care about and to remind you that sometimes, the most important things in life are the simple ones.

Published in: on June 2, 2006 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cancel that next gen console upgrade

Microsoft’s next generation gaming console, the XBox 360, has been available in Australia since its official launch last March 23 of this year. Ever since, I’ve started rethinking my position on the whole next generation console wars.

In case you don’t know it, there are three next generation gaming consoles fighting a three-way war for consumers’ pockets: Microsoft’s Box 360, Sony’s Playstation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii. The Box 360 is already out and sells for around $650 here, while the PS3 and WI will both come out some time in November. At the moment, the 360 has the advantage in that it came out first and it’s cheaper than the upcoming PS3. The PS3 is rumoured to cost $999 here when it comes out. The WI will be the cheapest of the three at a predicted launch cost of around $300.

I currently own a PS2 so my loyalties are slightly skewed toward Sony and the PS3. The PS3 is touted to have the best hardware from the bunch. The games coming out for the console at launch date seem to be very exciting and graphically superior to current 360 titles. There is also the added bonus that it is fully PS2 backward compatible, meaning all my existing PS2 games will be playable on the PS3 if I decide to buy it. The only problem I have with it is its hefty price of almost a thousand dollars.

Because of that, I started considering the Box 360. I should say that I’m also considering the WI but only because of what I’ve seen on the E3 reports featuring its unique controller and very cheap cost. But, I reasoned to myself that the Box has been known to be the must-have console for First Person Shooter aficionados so maybe it’s about time I make a switch.

I planned to buy the 360 during this year’s nationwide stocktake clearance sales that happens around June. Well, it’s June now. After much searching, I found that the 360 sells the cheapest at Myer for only $629. Not only that but most of its accessories and games are discounted. So, for a Premium Box 360 package, a charge and play kit, an extra wired controller, Call of Duty 2 and Dead or Alive 4, it will only come to just over $800 total. I say “only” because buying this set elsewhere will be dearer. In the end though, I have no intention of buying these at Myer. I only need their catalogue to show as proof of the price at EBGames, Dick Smith Powerhouse or Harvey Norman so they can beat it. Any of these three stores are okay as they usually accept returns for problem products.

I tried the Box 360 controller while playing the first person shooter game, Call of Duty 2, at a JB Hi-Fi demonstration Box 360 in shop and I love its responsiveness. The 360 controller seemed to be better for FPS games than the PS2’s (and by extension, the PS3’s because they share the same controller form factor). More and more I’m getting myself convinced that the 360 is the console for me.

I even got to the point where I had my old PS2 listed on eBay for $100. At EBGames, you can buy the 360 for effectively $150 off if I trade-in my old console plus 7 games. So if I can sell my PS2 on eBay for at least $150 without games, then I’ll come out ahead. I can then trade-in my 7 games at EBGames and use the credit to buy 360 games.

I didn’t want to include the EyeToy PS2 accessory that Raquel gave to me for my birthday with the PS2 package I was selling on eBay. After looking around the Web, I found the drivers I needed to get it to work on my PC as a webcam. It works great. So, even without a PS2 I can still make use of my EyeToy.

However, in the past couple of days, I got to thinking again. I looked at gaming sites on the Web and compared the games for the next gen consoles and even the PS2 ones. The PS2 seems to have lots of great games in its line-up and the PS3 looks like it’s going to get awesome games when it comes out. Also, the FPS game Unreal Tournament 2007 will be coming out for PS3 and since I’m an Unreal Tournament fan, that’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.

And so, I decided to back out on my buying an Box 360 this week. I also canceled my listing on eBay for my PS2. I decided to just wait for the PS3 release in November before committing to any next gen gaming console. By then, I can properly compare the consoles.

I’m also afraid that when the PS3 comes out, I might like it better than the Box 360 and thereby regret my Box 360 purchase. But if it turns out that I actually like the Box 360 better anyway, then it’s still good as it will probably sell for less than $600 by then to compete with the cheap WI. And who knows? I might end up actually buying the WI instead.

Published in: on June 1, 2006 at 1:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Game Console Dilemma

E3 LogoThe eleventh Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, held in Los Angeles ended just a few days ago. Here is a short description of E3 from Wikipedia:

Presented by the Entertainment Software Association, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or Exposition), commonly known E3, is the world’s largest annual trade show for the computer and video games industry and the third largest gaming convention. The expo is open only to game industry professionals, celebrities and journalists who are over eighteen.

It’s a three day event where new computer and video game hardware and software get unveiled (for prototype and finished ones) or announced (for upcoming ones). I wish I could be there to try out the demos and prototypes first hand but it’s only really for people who are in the business already. That and I couldn’t afford to fly to LA at this point in time anyway.

Fortunately, Gamespot and PAL Gaming Network Australia (PALGN) both cover the E3 events as they happen. I found that Gamespot’s coverage more comprehensive with their detailed write-ups and video feeds but PALGN’s coverage is more Australia-centric so I read their articles, too.

From the last generation of gaming consoles, I chose to side with Sony and bought the PlayStation 2 (PS2) instead of Microsoft’s Xbox or Nintendo’s GameCube (GC). I thought the PS2 offered a lot more cool games even though it’s hardware is inferior to that of the Xbox and GC. PS2 also offered free online gaming unlike Xbox’s subscription-based Live online service.

However, I have come to realise that “free” doesn’t necessarily translate to “good.” It is difficult to find players online for games that aren’t that popular on the PS2. Whereas with Xbox Live, there is a common place to go to online first then play a game they have in common from there. That’s what I’ve heard, at least. I’m also a sucker for first person shooter (FPS) games like Half-Life, Unreal Tournament and Counterstrike. So I’m a little disappointed that the best online FPS game PS2 has to offer is Killzone and probably SOCOM II (but it’s not really an FPS game). Whereas Xbox has Doom 3, Unreal Championship 2, Half-Life 2 and, of course, the ever popular Halo 2.

It just seemed to me that Xbox would been a better console for me since I’m so into online FPS games. The thing I love PS2 though was that it had Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), cooler fighting games like Tekken 5 (I never liked Dead or Alive’s controls on the Xbox) and Soulcalibur III, and cool action games like the Onimusha 3 and God of War. The problem was that although DDR games are easily available in Asia, it isn’t so here in Australia. So now I have a DDR dance pad from our old PS1 console brought from the Philippines but I could use it as there aren’t any DDR games for sale. I like fighting games but since these games don’t have online capabilities on the PS2, I have almost no-one to play against. Although Raquel plays fighting games, too, she isn’t all that determined to be good at it so sometimes she doesn’t seem like such a challenge. When I was still in the Philippines, I have my brother, my cousins and my friends to go up against and all of them wanted to master the game in order to win. Here, fighting games don’t offer the same level of excitement anymore. I tried looking for others to play with but I haven’t much luck on that department. The only thing I really enjoyed on the PS2 was the God of War game.

So now that this generation of consoles are coming to an end, the recent E3 got me thinking of the next console I’m going to get. Ever since Sony announced the coming of their next gen console dubbed the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and showed-off its specs on last year’s E3, I have been wanting to get my hands on it as opposed to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Nintendo’s Revolution (now called the Wii). The PS3 is supposedly more powerful than the Xbox 360 or the Revolution and it will have games like Unreal Tournament 2007 (an FPS game from a popular FPS series on the PC). The PS3 is also supposedly going to offer an online service similar to that of Xbox Live except it’ll be for free. It would also come with their new Blu-ray disc drive which is going to be way better than the current DVD drives.

But then, the Xbox 360 was released early this year. It was expensive but the PS3 will be much more expensive when it is released on November this year. And by the time the PS3 is released, the Xbox 360 might already be cheaper yet again due to discounts. The 360 seems to be doing just fine and their Xbox Live is doing great. I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before more FPS games get released for the 360 (including the much-awaited Halo 3). So now, because of the lower price point, great online service, and a high probability of more FPS games coming, I’m now slowly veering toward getting an Xbox 360 console instead of a PS3.

And then, E3 happened. Nintendo finally showed their cards and unveiled their next generation console, the Nintendo Wii with their revolutionary Wii controller. Although the Wii is technically inferior to the 360 and the upcoming PS3, it has at least a very innovative new controller that senses motion. It will allow you to wield the Wii remote like a racket when you are playing a Tennis game or a bat when you are playing a baseball game or a conductor’s baton when you are playing an orchestra-type game. Trying to explain why the controller is innovate will take up a lot of paragraphs so why don’t you just read the Gamespot article about it.

The other thing going for the Wii is that it will be the cheapest of all the next gen consoles when it is released. Some say that the price of the Wii and the Xbox 360 combined will be equal to the price of just the PS3 by itself. So, my getting a PS3 is more and more becoming
unlikely. Although I’m sure the PS3 will still kick butt, I’m not sure I’m willing to part with that much cash for a gaming console. Although the Wii is now one of the consoles I’m considering due to its innovation, I think I’ll probably go with the 360 when the time comes. I’ll probably only decide to get the 360 though after the Wii officially comes out. By then, the 360’s price would probably have been lowered again to compete better with the Wii.

Apart from the home gaming consoles, the E3 has made me aware of another device that I mostly ignored in the past. That is, the portable gaming device called Nintendo DS. At the moment it is competing with Sony’s PlayStaion Portable (PSP). PSP is being touted as being the more powerful of the two portable devices but again, Nintendo is being the more innovative one with the DS having two screens, built-in wi-fi gaming and a touch screen. When the DS came out some time ago, the touch screen was just seen as a gimmick that wouldn’t be too useful in typical games. The problem was that the reviewers were only thinking of typical games. The value of the touch screen was only realised when Nintendo released games that utilised the DS’s strengths.

I have never thought of buying the PSP because I thought it was a bit to bulky. I also heard that it was plagued with problems when it was first released. Whereas I heard nothing but nice things about the DS (except for the early dissing of the dual screen and touch screen design which are actually the device’s main selling point nowadays). And at E3, Nintendo announced that the DS Lite (a smaller version of DS) would soon be available to the West. With that, I’m now thinking of getting the DS Lite, too!

However, the only thing that’s probably going to keep me from buying it is that it will actually cost me real money to own one. And I’m not so sure I’ll really be able to play it all that much. When am I going to play it? In the train to work? In the toilet? At home? If it’s going to be at home, then I’ll probably just play a gaming console instead. Anyway, I’m always free to dream of owning one, right?

For now, I don’t have to decide on anything. My PS2 is still okay but I’m trying to avoid buying new games for it for the time being. I don’t want to be stuck with all these games which I’ll probably stop playing as soon as I buy a new console, may it be the Wii or the Xbox 360. Unless I buy the PS3 instead anyway, then I would be able to play the old PS2 games on it because it’ll all be backward compatible. All these options are so confusing. It’s best not to think about it for now. Darn that E3.

Published in: on May 17, 2006 at 11:40 am  Comments (12)  

My Quick Fling with Sudoku

I recently got drawn in by this quirky maths game called Sudoku. Here is a quick description of the game from Wikipedia:

The aim of the canonical puzzle is to enter a numerical digit from 1 through 9 in each cell of a 9×9 grid made up of 3×3 subgrids (called “regions”), starting with various digits given in some cells (the “givens”). Each row, column, and region must contain only one instance of each numeral.

The day before I had to show up at the Victoria County Court in Melbourne for my Jury Service, Raquel and I dropped by the local bookshop (as usual) and I happened to come by a rack of books dedicated to Sudoku. I was mildly curious so I read the first few pages just to understand how the puzzle works.

I found out that it wasn’t too difficult to play, actually. It just involved a lot of lateral thinking, especially on the more difficult puzzles. When I finally understood how to play the game, I got hooked.

I printed out pages of the puzzles and even brought them to Jury Service the next day so that I had something to do while waiting to be enpaneled. A good thing, too, because I spent most of that day just solving the sudoku puzzles I brought along.

I think I may have overdid it for the past few days though because, now, I no longer hold much interest in it. Still, I recommend you give sudoku a go. It’s a fun way to pass the time.

You can get your fill of sudoku puzzles from the following sites:
Web Sudoku
Sudoku Online
Sudoku Puzzles
Sudoku Fun (I found the ladder puzzles very challenging.)
Fiendish Sudoku

Published in: on November 9, 2005 at 3:42 pm  Comments (2)  

Almost Done with God of War Again

I’m playing the God of War game for the Playstation 2 again, but this time in god-mode which is the most difficult mode of the game. It’s essentially the same as the standard mode except the enemies are much much more difficult to beat.

I hope to finish the god-mode soon. I’m at the stage where I have to go against the god of war Ares after Kratos opened Pandora’s Box. That meant I still have to defeat Ares, then fight of the Kratos clones, and then fight Ares again with Athena’s sword.

Why am I playing the game again? Well, it’s a really great game. And I want to whoop Ares’ ass all over again. Why am I trying to finish the game again as soon as possible? Well, SoulCalibur III is coming out in October. When I’ve finished God of War in god-mode, I probably wouldn’t play it ever again. So, I can have the God of War game, along with another game I have, exchanged for the up-coming SoulCalibur III game at EBGames.

Published in: on October 3, 2005 at 7:45 am  Comments (2)  

Final Round… Fight!

A couple of weeks ago, I was entirely addicted to the Playstation 2 (PS2) game, The God of War. I finished playing it in the normal heroic mode a while back but I wanted more so I started the game again but in god mode this time. The only reason I stopped playing it for over a week now was because the PAL version of the PS2 game Tekken 5 was at last released in Australia just several days ago. Tekken 5 was released as early as February of this year in the US. Lucky dogs.

Final Round… Fight!.
I wasn’t really a big fan of Tekken in the past. I played it a few times in the video arcade when I was still in the Philippines but it really didn’t caught my fancy. I was still more interested with 2D fighting games back then like the various incarnations of Street Fighter (Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha-Zero, Street Fighter Alpha-Zero 2!, etc…), Capcom Marvel Fighting games and Mortal Kombat.

When I moved to Australia, I had a friend who liked video games a lot that he owned the Sega Dreamcast when it came out, then a PS2 and then a Microsoft XBox. He liked fighting games, too, so we spent a lot of time playing more Street Fighter incarnations, Guilty Gear X and SNK vs Capcom. But with the next generation of gaming consoles, 3D fighting games were more appealing than in the good old days. So, we also played a lot of Soul Calibur, Soul Calibur II, Dead or Alive 2, Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken 4. Since he owned the game consoles, he got more practice than I did. The end result was that I lost more often than he did. But it was okay. I loved the competition anyway.

Then when Raquel moved to Australia a few years back, she brought her Playstation One (PSOne) with her. One of the games she had brought with her was Tekken 3. It was certainly older than the PS2 Tekken Tag Tournament or Tekken 4 but at least I finally had a chance to practice some of the moves and combos of Tekken characters that were also on the later Tekken games.

When I moved to Melbourne and bought my very own PS2 a few months back, I bought some of the fighting games I used to play back in Canberra: Dead or Alive, Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur II. I didn’t get Tekken Tag because I thought it was too old and I would have a tough time trading the game later. As it turns out, Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag were much better than Tekken 4 so I ended up returning Tekken 4 anyway. I decided not to get Tekken Tag after that because I was aware that Tekken 5 will be coming out soon and that it will be more like Tekken Tag than Tekken 4. As for Dead or Alive, I found the controls unappealing now so I returned that game, too.

I was left with Soul Calibur II which I really love since Soul Calibur came out for Dreamcast. I guess it also doesn’t hurt that the game has a Pinoy character called Talim (means blade, edge or sharpness in Tagalog) who uses two blades for weapons. Don’t believe she’s supposed to be Pinoy? Here are some of her moves: Tagga No Kamay (I guess the “no” here is the Japanese “of” so it should actually be Taga ng Kamay), Sunggab Throw, Swift Espada, Spinning Low Hiwa, Tuhod Slicer, Double Abaniko, Salisi Razor, Handa Blade, Twin Fang Sahig, Whirlwind Hambalos, Sipa Rising, Planchada Cyclone, Isa Hampas, etc. Can you imagine if it was an anime show and the fighter yells out the moves while performing it?

Anyway, I realised that although I would’ve liked to be able to play these fighting games with a real person, I still enjoyed playing through it at increasing levels of difficulty. That’s why I decided to still get Tekken 5 when it came out. I could just fight the AI-controlled characters and pretend their just end-bosses in a game like God of War.

So the past few days, I’ve been busy playing Tekken 5 whenever there is nothing better to watch on TV or DVD. This game has lots of modes and I’m still not through all of them. I guess that’s good. I’ll have my money’s worth and I’ll be kept busy while I’m waiting for the Soul Calibur II sequel, Soul Calibur III, to be released later this year.

Published in: on July 21, 2005 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  


Yep, Ares of Mt Olympus. As in Ares, the mythological Greek god of war. For the past week, I spent my free time at home hooked on to my Playstation 2 playing the amazing God of War game from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA).

I’ve been hearing great things about this PS2 game when it came out in the US. I had to wait for a few months to get my hands on a PAL version of the game (as opposed to an NTSC version from the US) that would work on my unmodded PS2 (yeah, it’s illegal to have the PS2 modded). And last week, God of War was at last available at the local EB Games shop.

Retail price was $99 if I recall correctly. A bit steep but I was sure it would’ve been well worth the price tag. However, there was a promo for it where if I had two PS2, X-Box or Gamecube games I’d be willing to part with, I could get the game for only $29! As it happened, I had three games I’m not really playing that much: X-Men Legends, Kingdom Hearts and Onimusha 3. They were decent games but I never became addicted to them.

The problem though was that according to an EB employee I asked a while back, they don’t accept just any game for trading. They would only accept a game that wasn’t more than a year old. And not just any game. The game should be a non-lemon (doesn’t suck). So, I was afraid that EB might not take my games. I especially wanted to get rid of Kingdom Hearts. It was an okay game but I hated the controls for it. I was afraid they wouldn’t take that one.

Anyway, I didn’t bring my games along that day we dropped by at EB along Elizabeth St so when we went to the EB in Chadstone, I packed the games I wanted to trade away. To my surprise though, the promo at the Chadstone EB was different. There, they were selling the game not for $29 but for $49 if you trade in not 2 games but 3 games! Unbelievable. No way!

Good thing I didn’t buy the game right then and there because when we went to the EB in Southland, the promo was the same as the EB on Elizabeth St. I told the EB employee that I wanted to trade two games in. He asked me which games I had. I gave the Kingdom Hearts game first. Fortunately, he was okay with it. The next game was the X-Men game and he was okay with that, too. With that, I was able to buy God of War for $29! Woohoo!

It’s been touted as this great graphical achievement for the PS2 with awesome gameplay and controls. I didn’t believe it until I actually played it. And once I did, I couldn’t stop playing. Well, I had to but it was really difficult to turn the PS2 off. I wasn’t much into platformer-type arcade games anymore (I’m more into First-Person Shooter games now) but this game got me hooked on these type of games again.

So let me talk a little about it. You control a Spartan character named Kratos who was a disciple of Ares, the Greek God of War. That was, until he was maligned by his very own god. Then it’s pay-back time! With the help of the other Olympian gods, you seek a way to get back at the very god that was once your master. In order to defeat Ares, you have to go through the streets of ancient Athens and the temple of Pandora on the mountain that sits on the back of Cronos, the fallen Titan.

Sounds epic? Well, it is! The game levels remind me of old fantasy flicks like Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans. In some levels, it reminded me of Indiana Jones dungeon crawling. And the last fight(s) reminded me of Belgarion vs Torak in David Eddings’ Belgariad series. You can learn more about the game by reading the reviews about it.

So, if you have a PS2 and you haven’t played it yet, I really recommend you get it. You won’t regret it.

Published in: on July 4, 2005 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fun, Anyone?

Last Friday, we purchased a Playstation 2 gaming console at EB Games at the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre for cheap. We also bought around five pre-owned (second-hand) games from EB Games, too, as they were cheap to begin with but they were also discounted again (10% to 50%) due to some seasonal promotion.

Never much of a console gamer, really. I preferred to play First-person shooter games like Half-Life 2, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Counter-Strike on the PC. The only time I played console games while here in Australia was when I visit my friend Randolf.

Back in 2000 when I first moved to Australia in Sydney, I lived in a shared accomodation provided for by my employer then. One of my housemates was Randolf and he owned a Sega Dreamcast and all of us would play against each other on games like Guilty Gear and Soul Calibur. Later on, when we moved to Canberra, he got a Playstation 2 and XBox and he would invite me over every weekend to play.

A few years later, I found myself owning my very own gaming console. It’s a little late though as a new version of Playstation was reported to be in the works and would be available as early as early next year.

However, the major selling point for me on getting a Playstation 2 at this time was because the console is selling for cheap nowadays as well as its games. Okay, so maybe brand new games for PS2 is still as expensive as it was before but there are not a lot of pre-owned PS2 games at EB and those are cheaply priced. So far, we have Soul Calibur II, Dragonball Z: Budokai 3, The Sims Bustin’ Out, Kingdom Hearts and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance.

I was hoping there’d be some Dance Dance Revolution incarnations of the game for the PS2 but unfortunately there weren’t, at least here in Australia. It seems like those games are only popular in America and Asia. And since Japan and America both use the NTSC system for their TVs, I couldn’t import any games from their region.

You may also ask, why not an XBox instead? Well, to be honest, I was tempted in getting an XBox instead of a PS2. Here are my reasons why I didn’t:

  • XBox to is going to be released some time this year. So, if I buy an XBox now, it will just become obsolete. At least with the PS2, I will have a year more before it becomes obsolete.
  • We have a PSOne and the controllers for that game is compatible with PS2. PS2 only comes with one controller and an extra controller is worth about $50. XBox also comes with one controller so we’d be one controller short if we got an XBox instead.
  • We have PSOne games which we can use on the PS2 but not on the XBox.
  • There seems to be more games for the PS2 even now. The games I like on the XBox are games that I’d rather play on my PC which I already have (like Doom III).

Anyway, I’m quite pleased with our gaming console. It’s just so easy to turn on and play unlike when I want to play on the PC. Any game I buy for the PS2 will surely run decently on the machine whereas if I buy a PC game, there is a chance that my machine wouldn’t be able to cope with the game’s requirements.

I can’t wait for top-rated games that will be released for the PS2 this year like The Sims 2 (for PS2), Soul Calibur III (will be exclusive to PS2 only) and God of War. So, fun, anyone? I’m sure having some.

Published in: on May 2, 2005 at 5:33 pm  Comments (1)