Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Afternoon Quickie: Army of Two The 40th Day

Played on: XBox 360

Ok so... you and a friend are mercenaries and you go around town shooting at people. You get to customize your weapons and wear weird masks and it's basically the same as every other game that's come out in that last so many years. You do have to make moral choices along the way, like will you kill your comrade on orders and what not, but that only takes a few seconds. I'm sure there's a story-line somewhere in there. The dialogue is basically the equivalent of a video game soap opera, you know exactly what's coming and the acting sucks.

So, does it pass the Wifey Watchability Test? Well, I can't really tell the difference between this and 30 other games, so I might not enjoy watching it, but I won't know if I'm watching Army of Two or one of the many other games that are exactly like it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Facebook games

I've decided to review Facebook games, and this time from the perspective of a player (shocking I know!). You can read the first review on My Zoo here.

Now, I do need your help here! Send me links or invites to all of your favorite (or not so favorite) Facebook games. I'll give them a try a let you know what I think!

To help you out, I've set up a Facebook account that you can friend and send requests/invites to if you don't know me in person. (Sorry, but there are too many creeps for me to give you my real info.) You can find it here.

Afternoon Quickie: My Zoo on Facebook

If you're on Facebook, then it's very likely that you've been invited to play about 100 games on the site! Well, I thought I would take a second to review one of the games that I enjoy playing, My Zoo.

In My Zoo you build exhibits and start programs as if you were managing a real zoo. You have to earn money and manage marketing and ticket prices and you must ensure that your customers remain satisfied. After a while, you are able to bred endangered animals to help "stave off extinction".

The game is a lot of fun and mildly addicting. That is, until you get to the upper levels. Once you hit the upper levels the challenges are almost all based on how many animals you've bred. It can take a while to bred the animals and it can take even longer to bred enough to gain levels. Also, once you get to the upper levels, you unlock fewer animals/programs than you did at the earlier levels.

I still enjoy the game. I have to bred another six animals for my next level and I've been working on this level for about two weeks now, but I still like the game.

Article: Collectables

Most Gamers will have at least some collectables. Some will only collect pieces related to their favorite games, others will collect anything game related. If you're living with a gamer and have inherited their collectables you are probably thinking one of two things. 1. This isn't so bad... 2. Dear God in Heaven where did all of this come from?

If you're in that second category, here are a few tips that I have learned in my 2+ years of sharing a (relatively small) apartment with my Gamer and his collectables.

1. Be Careful! A lot of the collectors pieces will come with a game and then won't be made anymore. This means that if you break one of your guy's pieces you will probably have to go to ebay to replace it and will pay way too much.

2. Just because it's in its box doesn't mean it can't be broken. I've made this mistake. We have a couple of figures that have completely intact packaging and the leg is busted off and rattles around inside the closed box.

3. It may look like "junk" to you, but it has meaning to your gamer. Understand that what looks like it's just a piece of cloth is actually a headband from Street Fighter and he might care if you give it away to Goodwill.

4. Display cases and frames are your best friend! Whenever possible place collectables out of reach of elbows (or large purses, my purse has claimed a few pieces).

5. If it comes in packaging that looks nice, then use it as a display piece! Just keep in mind number 2.

I hope this helps. I know it's brief and not very specific, but every gamer (and every set of collectables) is different. If you have a solution that's worked for you, or a story of woe that you'd like to share, feel free to comment!

Gamer Speak: General Terms/Shorthand

As anyone who spends any decent amount of time with a gamer knows, Gamers have their own language and they don't just use it during play. Long after the game has been saved and the control put down, a Gamer is likely to use any gamer-term they want. Here are a few of the more common ones so that you can be ready when your Gamer tosses them out!


Grenades FTW!

FTW stands for “For the Win.” This can be used to exclaim a liking of almost anything. For example: Puppies FTW! Fabric Softener FTW! Tomatoes FTW!


GG with the laser beam.

GG stands for “good game” or “good going.” It can be used as a compliment or in a sarcastic tone when pointing out a mistake or stupid move.


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.


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.

Leet or 1337

My elf is a level 70 leet. Or He’s a leet dancer.

Leet is short for elite. When you type 1337 into an older basic calculator and turn the screen upside down it will look like the letters l-e-e-t. Being elite can be due to the classification in a game (The elf reference about refers specifically to World of Warcraft.) or to having a significant amount of skill in a particular area.


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.

Note: There is also a new energy drink marketed to gamers called "Manna."


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.


Adam is such a noob, he didn’t know what pwn meant!

Noob is short for newbie. However, it is more often used to refer to someone who is considered to not be very cool or who has an exceptional lack in skill.

Pwn, Pwning, Pwned

He got pwned when playing “Star Fox” last night.

This evolved from the tendency of many online gamers to type quickly but not accurately often without proofreading. Pwn is the mistype of own. To own someone is to beat them rather significantly in some form of competition. One could also use Pwn to refer to life events.


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.

~~Some of these terms are copied from the WoW Gamer Speak article just as a refresher. You can find the entire WoW Gamer Speak here.

Starter Game: My Life as a King (Wii Downloadable)

From the makers of Final Fantasy comes My Life as a King. In this game, you are the child king of a small kingdom. This game leads the others due to the simplicity of the game play and the fact that it is just so gosh darn adorable!

As the child king, you create behests and select people to fulfill them. These behests include fighting monsters in the near-by villages, exploring and gathering crystals to be used in the building up of the kingdom, and doing various other tasks to improve the kingdom.

This is a great game to learn about leveling and skills. As you send soldiers out on behests they gain experience. As the gain experience they gain levels and special perks. You can also build buildings that will allow you to train your people in special skill areas, such as black and white mages.

If your boy plays a lot of Final Fantasy, there will be some aspects that will look quite familiar. In particular, the game includes moogles, which are small creatures and in this game they help you learn different aspects of the game controls. This would also be a great game to help you place Final Fantasy terms.

The game play may take a few minutes to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it is really simple. The game is a lot of fun. It’s very whimsical and you get to develop your kingdom and meet all the inhabitants. I will warn you that the last boss battle takes forever! In fact, I’m not sure if I even finished it… I think I did… Maybe I should go check on that…

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