Saturday, December 26, 2009

Afternoon Quickie: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

So, yeah... I'd love to write this great, insightful review, but I don't know what the heck is going on!

Um... you shoot stuff and people, and people shoot at you. Try to shoot them first. There's lots of yelling and gunfire. The color scheme doesn't stray from the colors of camo.

There's a lot of online play, gamers like that in a game, but I can't watch it. Maybe I need a few more weeks of basic training... maybe even a few months.

Review: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Played on: Wii

Everyone who was alive in the 80s/90s at least knows of Mario. Most gamers grew up on the Mario story and game line. Mario himself has appeared in over 200 games. Here's a list. If you have been around gaming at all, you have seen him at least once.

Well, Nintendo decided to bring Mario back and to recreate the platform game with one major adjustment, you can have up to four players. This may not seem like much, but in a world swamped by 1st person shooters, we now have a new platform game, a throw-back to the old Mario, and it is the first Mario game since 1983 to have multi-player (excluding party games and racers).

Visuals: Men around the world will hate this, but it's a really cute game. There are lots of bright colors reminiscent of a bright child's room (or acid trip). The large hills in the background are nice and colorful, and polka-dotted. It has all the cute images of old Mario games but they look a lot better (mostly just because they aren't in 16-bit 2-D). One of my favorite additions is that the background interacts with the music. As the music goes, the flowers dance and jump to the beat! Now, before I get too distracted, it is a platform game. There aren't a lot of movie like cut-scenes though a few do exist. The gameplay can be smooth or you might watch your guy mess up a jump a few more times then you (or he) would like.

Audio: The music is fun and lively without being overpowering or obnoxious. The game does have some new music as well as old music that has been updated for the new game. There aren't any painfully annoying sound effects. Much of the game does have the same music so it might begin to be a bother after a few hours, but that's just theory. I haven't had any trouble with it.

Involvement: If you don't want to play, there are a few instances where you can help your guy try to figure out how to get to a certain place or reach a far coin, but if you really want to get involved, pick up a remote. The multi-player aspect of the game is really fun and the game play is relatively easy to pick up. Now, for the most part, the game is played in a classic manner (you move the character by hitting buttons) but there are a few moves that use the remotes motion abilities. Have your guy walk you through the first few minutes and then enjoy the classic fun of Mario.

Overall: If you have a Wii and your gamer has not yet bought this game, and you forgot to get it for him for Christmas, head to your local game store and pick up a copy. It's a great throw-back to the old Mario, but with a new look and remastered music. If you play him or if you just let him go solo, this game is a lot of fun and really entertaining to watch. I struggle to find a negative critique.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Geek-Mas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
From your friends, at GamerGirlfriendReviews!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hi! Remember me?

For those of you who don't know, I'm currently in grad school. This means that during the semesters I am crazy busy! This is my excuse for not posting anything since October. You can take it or leave. I do hope to get some more reviews up during the winter break. There have been some great games to come out, and some that frankly, you just don't want to see. Be looking for reviews of new games like Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare, and some older ones like God of War 1 & 2 which were recently rereleased. I hope to also get some articles out about storage tips for games and game "stuff" as well as some more Gamer-Speak so you can keep up with your guy and his friends.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Afternoon Quickie: Batman, Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum really surprised me. I assumed it would have some cool fights and I was pleased with the list of villains that were expected to show up, but as we got closer and closer to the release date, I got more and more excited. Once Philip brought the game home, I was not disappointed. In fact, this Batman fan was quite happy. I think the game did a great job combining the action hero that our generation has known with the original detective of the early comics. It is a very dark game, but has an interesting story line. The villains that are in the game span far and wide and include the big names like the Joker and Riddler. There are some areas where the girlfriend/wife can easily get involved and this game easily passes the Wifey Watchability Test.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Review: Uncharted 2

Played on: PS3

I never watched (nor had heard of) Uncharted 1. Ok, to be honest, Philip says I watched him play the first one, but I don't remember that at all... So anyway, in this game you are a treasure-hunter thief. You are searching for a treasure that you believe was found and then lost by Marco Polo. In the game you fight the other people who are searching for the same treasure and the occasional Yeti (yes, I said Yeti).

Visuals: This game is incredibly beautiful. The scenery is amazing and the weather effects are great. As you play the game, your character's clothing gets effected by the surroundings as well. For example, if you walk through high amounts of snow, snow builds up on your jeans. You also go through some lovely areas that are based off of real places in exotic locations like Nepal and Tibet.

Audio: The soundtrack is very nice. It's mostly soft instrumental music through out the game play. Of course, when a gun fight does erupt, the pretty music is drowned out by firing weapons. (Why can't guns just sound like flutes or piccolos or something...) Now the worst apart about the audio aspect of the game is the grenades. If a grenade goes off near you, the game plays that lovely high-pitched squealing noise. Now, this supposedly makes the game more realistic, but I have never had a grenade go off near me, nor do I plan to engage in such an activity, and would rather my eardrums not be assaulted.

Involvement: There are some aspects of the game that lend themselves to the seeking of help. Some of the puzzles will allow for some non-player involvement, but they don't occur too often. More oft than not, if a girlfriend wants to be involved, she can help point out the snipers and the gunmen attacking the player. Now, not all players will like receiving this help. Know your player, if he likes direction in times of video game crisis, then go for it, otherwise, just let him find them on his own (even if it takes him dying 19 times to do so). One thing that can be helpful, is trying to spot the treasures. There are 100 little treasures hidden throughout the game, and you can always help your player find these. (They look like little lights shining, so you know.)

Overall: I really like watching this game, for a while. It's a lovely game and can be quite entertaining, but there's not much for me to do and I get a bit bored with gunfights. This would be a great game if your player is relaxing on the couch while you're up and about getting things done. It passes the wifey-watchability test but it doesn't meet the commercial's claim of being so movie-like that you won't know the difference.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Starter Game: Persona 3

Persona 3 is the most traditional of the games listed. It is also the leader by far. A group of students are working to rid the area of “Shadows” and solve the mystery of why people keep disappearing. Most of the fighting happens during what is called the “Midnight Hour” which is a special time just as the clock strikes Midnight that only a few people are aware of.

These people are also able to use a special ability called the “Persona.” The Persona is a part of the self that is able to fight the Shadows using special abilities that are based on the elements (Fire, Ice, Wind, etc.). The main character is extra-special as he is able to use multiple personas. You form a team and work your way through a mysterious tower that only shows up during the Midnight hour, and changes it’s layout each time you visit.

While not fighting shadows during the Midnight Hour, you go about daily life. You are the new kid in a Japanese high school. You go to the mall, join clubs and teams, and hang out with your friends. When you strengthen your relationship with certain friends, your personas also get stronger.

The fighting is done in a turn-based system, which is great for a beginner because you have time to think about what attack you will use. However, when initiating the fights, you are supposed to try to sneak up on the Shadows. If you aren’t used to video game walking, this can be somewhat difficult. (OK, it was the worst part about the game for me. I kept running in circles and going too far in one direction or the other. I don’t think I was ever able to sneak up on an enemy. At the end of it all, I am still not very good with video game walking, but then again, I’m not so good with real-life walking either…)

The relational aspect is a lot of fun and seemed to come really naturally. Now parts of the story line do include references to Japanese culture that I didn’t get. This is where the strategy guide starts to come in handy. The strategy guide defines the Japanese terms that an American may or may not know.

The strategy guide really is worth the money for this game. Not only do you get to learn a little about the great nation of Japan, but it tells you what each Persona’s abilities are, what each enemy is weak to, and which answers will benefit your relationships and which will cause harm.

All in all, the game is a lot of fun. It’s a great game to watch if you don’t think you’re quite up to the challenge, but if you have been playing a few games and are looking for more of a challenge and a “real” game, this is a great choice! If you have never played a video game before, get your boy to play with you. You can get introduced to the wonders of gaming and the two of you can have something to do together.

Article: Top Ten Starter Games

The Top Ten Starter Games:
The Gamer Girlfriend's top games for the girlfriend who wants to start playing...

10. Virtual Villagers (PC) tied with Endless Ocean (Wii)

9. Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

8. Wii Play/Sports/Sports Resort (Wii)

7. My Sims (Wii and DS)

6. Guitar Hero/ Rock Band (PS3, XBox 360, Wii, DS)

5. Mario Kart (Wii)

4. Mario Party (Wii and DS)

3. Spore (PC)

2. My Life as a King (Wii Downloadable)

1. Persona 3 (PS2)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gamer Speak: Game Systems

This article is a brief overview of the six current major game systems. The information provided is based on fact, but is indeed my opinion. I don't know much about all the technical workings of the machinery. What I do know is that I have seen games played on each of these systems, and sometimes I have seen the same game played on different systems. With the exception of the PSP and XBox 260, I have played games on the other four systems.

This isn't meant to be the end all be all of system reviews. Like all Gamer Speak articles, this is intended to give a little bit of insight into the world of the gamer. Hopefully, this helps some non-gamers out there to understand these systems a little bit better.

The six major game systems right now are the Wii, the Playstation 3, the XBox 360, the DS/DSi, the Playstation Portable, and Personal Computers.


Created by Nintendo and originally released in 2006
My favorite Wii game: Mario Party
My Gamer's favorite game: Wii Sports Resort

The Wii has a host of family-friendly and casual games. The system can also play Gamecube games and you can download several older Nintendo games for the virtual console. The Wii also excels in the new craze of fitness games. Nintendo's reputation for being easy to use right of the box is still seen with the Wii. The unique control system allows for people of all ages and skill levels to be able to play, and they offer a classic style controller for playing the virtual console games.

The Wii has mostly casual games, therefore the serious gamer may have difficultly finding games that would interest them. You will need to find an appropriate place for the Sensor Bar and the controls do take some getting used to at first. Also, there have been several instances of people letting go of the Wii-mote and it flying into their television and causing damage. Also, the Wii can only play games. It cannot double as a cd, dvd, or blu-ray player.

Playstation 3 (PS3):

Created by Sony, originally released in 2006.
My favorite game: inFAMOUS
My Gamer's favorite: Metal Gear Solid 4

Sony is known for creating high quality electronics and the PS3 is one of them. The PS3 can also double as a Blu-ray player and is one of the cheapest blu-ray players on the market. PS3 games come in the Blu-ray format. The PS3 can also play PS2 and PS1 games. The Playstation 3 also has far superior graphics. There are also opportunities for online play.

The PS3 is expensive. While the PS3 can play older games, not all of the older accessories will work and memory cards will need to be converted. Sony has released accessories that will compensate for these downfalls, but they must be purchased separately.

XBox 360:

Created by Microsoft, released in 2005.
My favorite game: Fallout 3
My Gamer's favorite: Left 4 Dead

This system is cheaper than the Playstation 3 and plays DVDs. The system can also be set up to receive movies from Netflix. The Xbox 360's greatest advantage is the amount of opportunities brought about through the internet connection. Online play is very popular with 360 owners as is XBox Live. 360 games also tend to receive more downloadable content and the 360 does have some exclusive games such as Halo.

The fail rate is enough to make most people reconsider buying another system. Depending upon who you ask there is between a 30-80% fail rate. Microsoft does offer a warranty, but once the system shows the red-ring-of-death, game play usually must be halted until the system can be repaired. And here is where we enter the realm of my opinion... The 360's graphics are obviously worse than those of the PS3. The experts would disagree with me and say that it's a matter of priorities, but I have watched the same game (Fallout 3) on both the 360 and the PS3 and there is an obvious difference. Some may prefer the 360's look, but the PS3 has a sharper and more realistic image.


Created by Nintendo, the original DS was released in 2003, the Lite in 2005, and the DSi was released in 2009.
My Favorite game: My Chinese Coach
My Gamer's Favorite: (tie) Trauma Center or The World Ends With You

The DS/DS Lite can play Gameboy Advanced games. There are also a slew of family- and kid-friendly games available. Many of the DS games are very unique, as is the Pictochat feature. The DS line is the only line of handhelds that currently has a touchscreen and some games are equipped with voice recognition software. The DSi also has a camera and internet capabilities. Like the Wii, the DS line also holds to the Nintendo ease of use.

While serious games do exist for the DS, they are often drowned out by all of the children's games. The DSi does not play any Gameboy games, and none of the DS's can play Gameboy Color games. The touch screen needs to be properly protected or it will scratch and many people have trouble with loosing the stylus.

Playstation Portable (PSP):

Created by Sony, the original PSP was released in the USA in 2003.
My favorite game: UMD movies
My Gamer's favorite: Crisis Core

The PSP has much better graphics than the DS line. The PSP also has more of a serious gamer set of games and can receive downloadable content. The PSP can also play UMD movies and if the owner chooses the void their warranty, the system and can be modified to perform other tasks and play older games.

Some people have experienced slow loading times and there aren't a lot of UMD movies available. The PSP only has one screen compared the the two found on the DS.

Personal Computer:

Created by various companies and originally released sometime in the 1980's.
My favorite game: Spore
My Gamer's favorite: World of Warcraft

Personal computers can perform a variety of tasks and there are computers in every style and price range. Many PCs are now portable and some PC games can be accessed by any PC, not just one. Online play is a very big selling point, and many PC games receive regular, or semi-regular, downloadable content. Also, some games from older systems can be accessed.

Some games will require large amounts of memory. In order to play a game, you must have the system requirements and this is not guaranteed as it is with other systems. For Mac users, many games are not Mac-compatible, but the newer Macs can run Windows and games can be played that way.

Each system has its merits and its downfalls. While I can say which systems I like the best, not every gaming need will be met with any single system. There is no consensus about which system is better than the others and there never will be. The best thing to do is to evaluate the system based on the gamer's priorities and go from there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Article: Top Ten Starter Games

The Top Ten Starter Games are games that I suggest for the gamer-girlfriend who is thinking, "Hmm... That looks like a lot of fun. Maybe I should try it out."

Now, to be honest, some games are just plain frustrating if you weren't raised with a N64 controller in your hand. Other games just don't really appeal to the casual gamer, mostly due to the crazy amount of strategy involved. There have been games (for example, Bully) that I have tried, and tried with the strategy guide, and I was so frustrated and did so horribly that I only accomplished about an hour's worth of gameplay (even though it took me several days).

So, if you are thinking about picking up a game, or are brave enough to ask your guy to borrow one, here's my list of recommendations that will hopefully save you some frustration and fist-fulls of hair.

I will present one game a week (if all goes according to plan) starting with number 10 and working my way to the top.

Afternoon Quickie: Wii Sports Resort

Wii Sports Resort is another mini-activity game from Nintendo designed to show you how awesome the new controls are. Sports Resort gives several new games and more opportunity for interaction with other players than the previous, Wii Play and the original Wii Sports.

The new Wii Motion Plus is really quite simple to use. When you go to play the game the first time, you will have to watch a three minute long video of how to attach/detach the motion plus piece. You cannot skip the video. Mute the TV and get a snack. The motion plus plugs into the bottom of the remote. The nun-chuck plugs into the bottom of the motion plus. The motion plus has a lock to secure it on the back. That's all you need to know. By the way, you don't need to use the "jacket" for it to work, and unless you have really sweaty palms, you don't really need it at all.

Oops, almost forgot about the games. (That three minute instructional video was just so entertaining!) Bowling, table tennis and golf reappear. You can now also sword-fight, throw a frisbee to a cute little dog, and shoot arrows. There are also wake-boarding and jet skiing activities. The games are a lot of fun. The motion plus does give you more control than the wii-mote alone does. This can be downfall if you are used to wii-mote, but after a little while, you get used to it.

In between games you might have to re-calibrate the motion plus. This is really simple. Place it face-down on something solid and straight.

Apparently Nintendo's grand scheme of releasing a set of basic games in hopes of showing off new technology has worked as I spent most of my time talking about the controls. However, this isn't the best game to watch. It's fun and entertaining for a while, but it is much better to play. Not a gamer yourself? Don't worry, anyone can play this game and it doesn't take much skill. (In fact, my husband did better when bowling with his eyes closed than he did when he was concentrating on the screen, but I didn't tell you that.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Article: Gaming for Charity! The Week's End!

Well, The Speed Gamers have finished day seven of their Final Fantasy marathon. Not only did these guys play for seven days straight, but they also ate veggimite smoothies and created a Christmas light body suit!

This marathon has proven two things to me.

Number 1: Sleep depravation and video games lead to boys being dumb (veggimite smoothies!!)

and Number 2: Good things can sometimes come in unusual packages.

This group of veggimite-eating, video-game-playing, sleep-deprived people raised over $50,500 for ACT Today (Autism Care and Treatment).

While it was fun to laugh at their antics, and annoying to deal with a tired a husband (who stayed up watching the previously mentioned antics), I have to admit, these guys did something pretty amazing. We gamer-girlfriends might complain about our guys playing video games for hours on end, but I doubt any one can complain about the good that these guys have done.


Monday, July 20, 2009

UPDATE on the Speedgamers

These guys have been playing Final Fantasy for 62 hours now and have raised $14,000!!!

Once again, the money goes to ACT Today (Autism Care and Treatment Today) and you can donate on the website as your watch them play!

UPDATE! They are on hour 100 and have raised $31,917!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Article: Gaming for Charity!

A bunch of guys are playing Final Fantasy for seven days straight! No, this isn't just a bunch of pasty-faced white boys with nothing better to do. They are playing for ACT, Autism Care and Treatment Today.

Help the guys out! Check out the website : The Speedgamers

If you've got the extra cash... give a little, if not... check it out anyways (and tell your friends!)

The guys have reached over $12,000!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coming Soon!

Ok, so... I know I haven't been posting much lately. I've been rather busy with life, the hubby, and work. However, I wanted to give you a heads up as to what I've been working on for this blog (I have been working, just not posting).

For Gamer Speak: Gamer Culture, General Gaming Terms, and Game Types/Systems

Articles: "Top Ten Starter Games" (my recommendations for the non-gamer girlfriend who wants to try it out) "Game Storage Tips" (If you live with a gamer, you know that all the stuff can get out of control.)

Reviews: inFAMOUS, Persona 4, Spore, Street Fighter, Resident Evil 5

So... I don't know when these shall be posted (just being honest here), but this is what is on the agenda.

Review: Blaz Blue

Played On: PS3

Blaz Blue is your classic arcade-style fighter brought into your home so that you can play in your boxers without getting fined. There is a story and it's a bit different for each fighter that you can play as... but my guy wasn't too into the story; he just wanted to kick some tushy.


The backgrounds for the fights are very well done. Some of them are cute and entertaining, and others are serene and relaxing. The fighters are very colorful and some of the special moves are rather unique to watch. In story mode, there are cut scenes after every fight, but the people don't move. Well, if they are talking, their mouths will move, but that's it. As a friend commented yesterday, "It's like watching a comic book."


Blaz Blue has great background music, if you can hear it over the sounds of the two fighters. This is the downfall of all classic fighters if you ask me. Not only do we get to see the two characters fight, but every move comes with its own sound-bite, and only the special moves get their own sounds. Be ready to hear lots of "Attack!" "Counter!" "Ugh!" and "Noooo!" If the fight is well on its way and the two characters are really going at it... the background music can't even be heard. What's the point in having beautiful, amazing background music if you are going to drown it out with crappy one-word sound-bites that don't even matter?


Break out your pompoms girls! Unless you want to pick up the second control and fight your guy... there is no chance for involvement. In fact, most gamers have played so very many fighters in their lifetimes, they don't even need a cheerleader. So if you have a big assignment due tomorrow, or a ton of paperwork you need to finish, let your guy play and go do your work in the next room.


Well, I'm not a big fan of the classic fighter game. (Which you could probably tell by now.) However, I liked this one quite a bit more than Street Fighter or Punch Out. In fact, I was able to watch Blaz Blue for about 30 minutes before I started to get bored enough to want to the dishes.

I wish I had more to say about this game, but there isn't that much more to it. Your guy picks a character and then fights other characters. He might play with the non-moving cut scenes in the story mode, or he might play in the arcade and skip the story all together. Either way... I just can't get all that excited about this one.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gamer Speak: World of Warcraft

Here are some of the more common World of Warcraft terms and shorthands that might be helpful in following a WoW conversation.

  • Alliance

I accidentally ended up in the middle of Alliance territory.

The Alliance is one of the two political sides of World of Warcraft. The Alliance is stereotyped as being the “good” people.

  • AFK

Sorry, I was AFK.

AFK stands for Away From Keyboard and is used when a player stays in the game, but leaves their controls.

  • Blizzard

Blizzard’s taking forever to fix that glitch.

Blizzard is the game developing company that produced World of Warcraft. They maintain the game and will occasionally update areas or add assets to the game.

  • Class

The character I’m working on right now is a priest, but I wish I had chosen another class.

The class a player chooses will determine what types of weapons and skills that can possess. The classes in WoW are: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rouge, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, and Warlock. gives a description of each class.

  • Char/Toon

I’m starting a new char next month.

Char, and sometimes Toon, are used as a shortened term for character. The player’s character is the person they play as in the game.

  • Drop

This creature only drops the item I need every 5-6 times.

When a player kills a creature (Mob), or finds a chest, they can find items. A creature drops items after they are killed, and the player searches the dead creature’s corpse to find the items left behind.

  • Dungeon

I’ll meet you I the Dungeon at 10:15.

A dungeon is an underground area in which the players can fight. The term dungeon can also be loosely applied to any area in which the players start an instance.

  • Elite

I can’t take on an elite for another two levels.

An elite form of a creature is one that is particularly strong. These creatures are more difficult to beat.

  • Grinding

I spent all day grinding and I only gained two levels!

Grinding is the process of working towards a higher level. Grinding often requires performing mundane or repetitive tasks to gain experience.

  • Guild

My guild’s name is “The Evil League of Evil,” and you can’t join our guild if you’re Alliance.

People who play World of Warcraft create guilds. These are groups of players who normally have something in common. Some guilds will have events in real life that they do together, or the guide might all play at an appointed time or in the same place.

  • Horde

This town is controlled by the Horde.

The Horde is one of the two political sides to World of Warcraft. A player chooses to be in the Horde or not. The Horde is stereotyped as being “bad” or “dark.”

  • HP

My HP is too low to start a fight.

HP measures a creature or player’s health points. When a person is out of health points they are dead.

  • Instance

We’re waiting for John to begin the Instance.

An instance is a part of the game where a group of players can play privately. This allows a group (usually members of the same guild, or friends from outside of the game) to play without being interrupted by other players or happenings.

  • Manna

After that fight, I’m in desperate need of manna.

Manna is what allows a player to cast spells. Spells can be used to attack, defend, or heal.


World of Warcraft is a very popular MMORPG.

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game. These are games that are played by a large number of people over an Internet connection during which players play as if they are a certain character.

  • Mobs

This quest requires me to find a certain type of mob, and it is really rare.

A Mob is an entity in the game that is not played by a person, but moves about in the game. The purpose of Mobs is to give players something to kill, usually for the purpose of gaining XP or completing a quest.

  • Pets or Mounts

At the next level I can get a new pet/mount.

A pet or mount is a creature that is associated with a character. The character usually will have to earn the pet/mount. These creatures can have various benefits based on the type of creature.

  • Pots

I’m looking for a certain Pot.

“Pots” is short for potions. This term isn’t used too often, but potions are a common part of WoW. Each potion has a different affect on a character. Potions can be bought or found, and some characters can make them.

  • PvP

This is a PvP area.

PvP stands for Player versus Player and marks areas where two players of any type can fight one another.

  • Quest

I have to go and turn in this Quest.

A quest is a task that a player completes to gain some sort of reward. The reward can be experience points, skill levels, or items.

  • Race

I chose to play on the side of the Alliance because they had the race I wanted.

The races in WoW are the types of creature/people that the player can be. There are five races for both the Horde and the Alliance. The races are: Human, Dwarf, Night Elf, Gnome and Draenel for the Alliance; and Orc, Undead, Tauren, Troll and Blood Elf for the Horde.

  • Raid or Raid Party

We need one more person for a raid.

A raid or raid party is a group of at least 6 players that complete tasks together under the leadership of a raid leader.

  • Rez

I’ll be there in ten minutes, I gotta rez.

Rez is short for resurrection. When a player in WoW dies, they have the ability to be resurrected by other players, by returning as a ghost to the body, r by a Spirit Healer.

  • WoW

I’ve played WoW for seven years now.

WoW is short for World of Warcraft which is a popular online game.

  • XP

I’m 1,500 XP from the next level.

XP is short for experience points. In Warcraft, a player gains XP by killing certain creatures or completing quests. As the player gains XP they gain levels.

For more in depth information I recommend

For the review of World of Warcraft see here.

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Afternoon Quickie: Animal Crossing: City Folk

Played on Wii

In Animal Crossing: City Folk you are the new kid in town. You gather stuff from around the village to sell so that you can buy tools to help you gather more stuff. The goal of the game is something along the lines of trying to improve your little town, but as I watched the game, I couldn't tell what the goal was.

I think that's because the game doesn't have a clear end, or at least, I never saw one. I even tried to play Animal Crossing and was bored then too. My husband loved the game. He was excited when it came out and played the game for much longer than I did. (Granted, I only played for a total of about 5 hours, and I think he did more than that in a single day.)

Overall, it can be kinda fun to watch, maybe, I suppose if you're into that sort of thing. However, I was thoroughly bored after about 15 minutes.

Good thing is there wasn't much noise involved so the game is easy to ignore.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Afternoon Quickie: Chain Rxn

Played on: PC (Facebook Application)

Chain Rxn is a game where you try to create the largest chain reaction (hence the name). You place a single circle in part of the board and try to get as many of the other balls to collide with your circle as possible.

It's a highly addictive game. The balls are all different colors and the game is fun to watch. When a ball collides with a circle the game chimes. It can be a very nice relaxing sound. However, if the player does not get enough balls to go on to the next level there is a loud buzzer noise.

The game is basically the same thing over and over again, just with more balls and collisions. It can be fun to watch, but I got bored after a little while. However, the game is very simple and can be fun for girlfriends as well. It takes very little skill and you can compare your high scores and have a little competition.

I prefer to play this game rather than watch it, but it still passes the Wifey-Watchability test.

Gamer Speak: Intro

Have you ever been hanging out with your player and his friends when you find yourself staring at them and wondering what language they are speaking? Sure it sounds like English, but you can't follow a single sentence, or even tell when one sentence ends and the other begins.

I have often been sitting in silence listening to what I can only describe as verbal alphabet soup spilling out of the mouths of those around me. Therefore, I shall embark upon the task of creating Gamer Speak dictionaries for the benefit of every gamer girlfriend out there.

Be looking for the first set this week. My first set of definitions will cover that all too familiar game, World of Warcraft. You can read the review here:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Portal

Played on: PS3

You wake up in the Aperture Science testing facility. GLaDOS directs you through a series of tests, gives you a portal gun to use in completing these tests, occasionally "enhances" the truth, and promises you cake. The game is basically the result of a bunch of game developers wanting to play with Physics. You use your portal gun to shoot at parts of the testing chambers. You can then travel through your portals and must do so with some skill to complete the game. Each test chamber poses a new portal puzzle that you must solve to get your yummy cake.


The cake looks really good. You just have to get through several not-so-colorful test chambers to reach it. There aren't any movie-like cut scenes and the game play isn't always very fluid as it will take most players a few tries (or a few dozen tries) to complete the task at hand. The physics are a lot of fun to observe and as much as I love cake, I am also a bit nerdy (understatement) and was really interested in how the portals work. I have two words for you: Terminal Velocity (chocolate cake). Have your player shoot a portal directly above his/her head and one right at his feet. Have fun watching him fall through the portals over and over again as your cake bakes.


Occasionally you might come across a radio playing, but there isn't a soundtrack. GLaDOS's voice gets really creepy as the game goes on, but she doesn't top the little robots that shoot at the test subject. Are you still there? Good, because the little robots will say some really awkward things. (Don't worry little robots I don't hate you.) It gets to be pretty comical to listen to the robots and play tricks on them; no hard feelings.


Two heads are better than one, but that does mean you will have to share your cake. Some of the later test chambers will require a bit of creative thinking and you can help your player to find a way to complete each task. (And if you do get bored, or he gets annoyed that you can solve the problem first, bake him a cake!)


This is a very addictive game to play. Be prepared for your player to sit on the couch and play for several hours. (Then make him go outside and take a walk to burn off all that cake.) It can be equally addictive for the girlfriend who likes to solve the puzzles and make fun of the little robots. Warning: If your player doesn't like to receive help (you know the type, takes five hours doing the crossword because he won't let you tell him what a four-letter word for a woman's heeled shoe is), you might want to leave him alone as he plays the game. You can spend the time practicing your icing techniques so you can draw a portal gun on his cake. You can also put robot quotes on the cake, he'll like that.

Now, this might not be the game to watch for all gamer girlfriends. Some girls will simply not get into it and will be bored. Start such a girlfriend with a more appealing game and help her gain girlfriend XP so she can be the proper level for such a game.

Good-bye...Oh! and don't forget the cake!

Shutting Down.

Afternoon Quickie: Punch Out

Played on: Wii

Before anyone starts... I know it's not the afternoon anymore; get over it.

So, Punch Out, yeah. Well, Philip really enjoyed it and... uh, well, I can't really find anything else positive to say about it.

I never played the original release of the game. I didn't think the jokes were all that funny and the sound effects got pretty annoying (especially when Philip was stuck trying to beat the same guy and so he fought one person for a few hours and I heard their catch phrases so much they made their way into my dreams that night).

It's really not that interesting to watch. You punch the other guy and hope you knock him out before he knocks you out. I much rather watch real boxing, at least the cameras change angles in real fights.

So basically, this fails the Wifey-Watchability test, but Philip beat it within the weekend so at least my misery was short lived.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Afternoon Quickie: Flower

Played on PS3 (Downloadable game)

Ok, so... if you ever wanted to experience the sensation of being stoned without all the law-breaking and health-risking behavior... watch your guy play Flower. It is filled with scenes of hilly landscape and wildflowers.

Now, you might be thinking... this doesn't sound like a very manly game. Get over it. The game is incredibly addicting (my guy played for hours on end, sometimes playing the same level over and over again trying to get all the flowers) and the physics of it are intense, especially considering the type of game it is.

I'm not really sure what the premise or point of the game is, or even if it has one, but it is quite enjoyable. The player is basically a breeze that goes around and blows into various flowers. As it hits the flowers a long Pocahontas style stream of petals begins to follow it.

The game is really pretty and the soundtrack is incredibly peaceful. It reminds me of those meditation DVDs where they play soft music and show you pictures of landscapes, but so much neater. The scenery flies by as the game is played and the level where it's storming is really just gorgeous (though the lightening might cause a seizure or two). I don't think I can do it justice. Buy the game for your guy. He will enjoy the physics of the game (it is very well done) and you enjoy watching the game.

This passes the wifey-watchability test without even trying.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review: World of Warcraft (WoW)

Played on: PC

World of Warcraft is an online game where players create characters. These characters can be different species and the player can choose to play for one of two main groups, The Horde or The Alliance. Players complete tasks and quests to gain levels and skills. Each expansion to the game has added more to the story line with the latest expansion adding the pursuit of the Lich King.


The game is graphically very well done. It looks like a video game, but generally plays smoothly. Some of the scenery can be quite beautiful. Due to the way the game is set up, players often have to do much of the same task, or use the same skill many times in order to gain levels and progress to the next part of the game. For some players this "grinding" can be a very positive characteristic of the game as it is a great way to waste a few hours, however, it can be excruciating to watch.


There isn't much to the game as far as soundtrack. There are sound effects that are associated with many parts of the game, but they are not necessary for the success of the player. The game can easily be played on mute.


There is no opportunity for involvement from a girlfriend who does not wish to play the game. The game's chat features can be a way to communicate with friends, but this will be done mostly by the player. Some girlfriends do play World of Warcraft on their own so that they may play a character with their boy, but I would not suggest WoW for a non-gamer, or even a very casual gamer.


There is a reason the term "WoW Widow" exists. WoW is not a good game for girlfriend watching and players tend to play for hours on end. I might find some enjoyment in watching it for a few minutes, but it quickly becomes boring. If WoW is to be played in the presence of the girlfriend, mute your computer and let her choose a movie to watch as you try to reach level 70. If your girlfriend is into games, and not just casually, you might be able to convince her to start playing, but don't push it. For most girlfriends, I would recommend leaving the WoW playing for when she goes with her friends.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Article: Meet the Gamer Girlfriend

Hi! My name is Amie. I was a gamer girlfriend for two years, now I have leveled up to gamer wife.

My husband is the definition of "gamer."

Let me explain... we own all five major game systems that are out right now. We have dvd binders full of games, boxes full of gamer related technology, a book case that is full of strategy guides, and so many collector's pieces that I find them in some of the oddest places. For example, I was doing laundry the other day and as I was putting the clothes in the washer I heard a small "thud." I looked into the washer, and what did I find? A small plastic Yoshi. Somehow Yoshi ended up in the laundry basket.

At first, my husband would wait until I went to bed to play his video games. He stayed up into the wee hours of the morning breeding Chocobos, racing go-karts, killing zombies, and trying to save the princess. This caused him to be awfully tired and cranky when he had to get up for work in the morning. (Many of the girls reading this are probably shaking their heads and wondering if there is anything that can be done. Keep reading.)

This caused us many problems. Not only was my sweetheart driving me nuts, but I was tired and cranky because I couldn't sleep through the sounds of heavy machinery taking out WWII Germany in the other room. I was left tired, frustrated, annoyed, and feeling rather hopeless. I wanted nothing more than for all video games in the entire world to be hit by one big magnet, rendering them all useless.

Then I realized something. I fell in love with a geeky, nerdy guy who spent as much time playing video games as he did working his job. Who was I to deny him his favorite pass time? Sure, now that we were together, he needed to put me first, before the video games, but wasn't there some form of compromise? He was hiding his game play like a goth girl hides her pink t-shirts, and that just wasn't right.

And so, I decided that I would make an effort to enjoy his gaming. At first, this was difficult. The first time I tried to watch him play a game, I fell asleep on the couch. All that got me was a a very sore neck.

But then, he brought home Kingdom Hearts 2. All my favorite Disney characters were there on the screen! The soundtrack even included Disney songs! All of a sudden, I found that when I would get home, I looked forward to watching him play.

As we continued on, him playing games, me watching him play, I began to joke about what games passed the "Wifey-Watchability Test." When he would tell his friends about a cool new game, I would talk to their girlfriends about how much fun I had as he played.

I realized that there were three things that could make or break a video game from the perspective of the girl sitting next to the player. These are the Visuals, the Audio, and how Involved I could be in the game. These are now the criteria I use to judge games.

Is it fun to watch? Is there an obsessive amount of blood and guts, or is it appropriate or even comical? What are the graphics like? Does the game play like a choose-your-own-adventure movie, or are you watching the player grind through levels for hours on end? (For those who don't know, when a player "grinds" or is "grinding" it means that they are performing usually mundane or redundant tasks in order to gain a level or skill. Some games require a character to be at a certain level in order to be able to continue.)

Is there a nice soundtrack or is it just a bunch of noise? Is there music, or do you just listen to the sound of guns being fired? Can the game be played quietly and still be acceptable, or does it need to be full volume? (Most gamers will argue that the game must be full volume, but this is an area that the couple will have to negotiate on their own terms. Not everyone likes to hear an AK- 47 going off every few minutes.)

Can the girlfriend get involved? When my husband got Persona 3 he also picked up the strategy guide. I sat with the strategy guide and looked up the information as he played the game. I was able to enjoy the game and help him out. This made seem as if we were both playing the game, even though he was the only one with a controller in his hand.

One final note:

To all the girlfriends of gamers that are out there: If you love your boy for who he is, let him play his game, and try to find a way to enjoy it as well.

To all the gamers out there: If you love your girlfriend (or even just really like her), you will need to put the controller down every now and then. Take her out to dinner and a movie (not a movie based on a video game). Give her a kiss on the cheek, and let her choose how to spend the evening.

Review: Ghostbusters the video game

Played on the PS3

Ghostbusters picks up where the last movie left off. You are the rookie Experimental Equipment Technician. You are attempting to capture ghosts and restore order to the world at large.


The graphics are just real enough, and yet keep a little of the video game feel. The characters are easily recognizable and much of the scenery and props through out the game are realistic. Parts of the game can play smoothly and the cut scenes are quite nice. During high activity scenes, however, the game can be somewhat hectic, and if you don't know what you are looking at, the screen looks rather messy. Players can get certain achievements from destroying property, and that can be somewhat entertaining.


Comparatively to the noise during fight scenes, the dialogue is rather quiet. The dialogue can be rather funny and is a great throw back to the movies. While subtitles are available, players will want to have the TV turned up a bit so that they can hear the dialogue over the sound of their slime gun. This poses the greatest problem with the game. The sound of the slime gun can quickly become irritating, but as stated earlier, the volume on the TV needs to be up to hear what the other characters are asking the player to do.


There really is not much opportunity for girlfriend involvement. Perhaps, if she was a fan of the movies she might naturally be more involved in the story line.


In the end, the slime gun gets on my nerves, but the rest of the game is fine. That's just it, fine. My husband is having a blast chasing down ghosts and spraying them green slime, and for that I am glad. The characters are funny, but that slime gun is just so noisy. If the slime gun came with a silencer, I would be a much happier camper.

Review: FallOut 3

Played on: PS3 and XBox 360

FallOut 3 is the story of a person from Vault 101. The player can chose to be a male or female. They were born and raised in this vault (think the 1950's bomb shelters), and when they finally leave they enter into a world that has been devastated by nuclear war. The player goes about the world fighting off mutants, feral ghouls, mercenaries, raiders, and animals that have been mutated by the nuclear waste. The player completes missions given to them by the people they meet and try to figure out the story of his or her past while attempting to restore the land.


FallOut 3 has very realistic graphics and some of the gameplay can come across movie-like. The graphics are superior on the PS3. The game can be somewhat gory. If a shot is aimed just right, the enemy will be decapitated, but there is generally not a lot of blood and guts. While it is not exactly "pretty," FallOut 3 is visually quite interesting, particularly when the game brings you to areas that are modeled after modern day urban centers. The concept of a world after nuclear war is interesting to watch and keeps the viewer's attention.


The sounds of shots being fired, super-mutants grunting, and enemies crying out is a small price to pay for Three Dog. While there are other radio stations available in the game, Three Dog beats them all. The fictional DJ's sarcastic news reports and the station's old-time songs create an amazing soundtrack for the game. If there was a Three Dog radio station in real life, I would be a faithful listener. The only downside is that during sneak attacks, the player will often need to turn off the radio, but do not fret, these moments are not usually long lasting.


Generally speaking, there are not a lot of opportunities for girlfriend involvement. During the Pitt downloadable content, she might be able to help locate ingots, and occasionally she might be helpful in finding enemies, but they are marked on the compass.


FallOut 3 might not be the best game for a girlfriend who is new to the gamer lifestyle (I found it a bit disturbing when I first saw my husband beat a giant mole rat to death, but I soon got over that. Plus, he now has the animal friend perk), but with Three Dog playing, most gamer girlfriends would find this game to be interesting enough for an afternoon of watching on the couch. The girlfriend who wants to be involved, might be a little let down by the game, but with some encouragement from her player, will find ways to help out.

Personally, I love FallOut 3. I haven't played a single second of the game, and have no desire to, but I will gladly sit next to my boy as he kills off the Talon Company and will sing-along to Three Dog.

"I'm as corny as Kansas in August, I'm as normal as blueberry pie."

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