Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post of 2008

Well, Last post of 2008, its been a fun year. I have no idea why its fun, but it's what I should say right? Look fondly to the last years and bravely to the front? Ah well...

Buh Bye 2008. Its been a good year. But we got to part! I shall never see you again but remember fondly of the time we had together!

-Because I Can-

Digg!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Review: Elebits - The Adventures of Kai and Zero (DS)


Think Pokemon! 493 Pocket Monster to be caught at last count, utterly cute monster that just screams to be hugged and evolution chart that will boggle your mind. Well.. Not really...
May the adventure BEGIN!

Elebits first appeared in 2006 at Wii console as a search and capture game where gamer uses the Wii Remote to move objects around to look for the Elebits. Fast forward to 2008, we have Elebits 2; continuing the adventure of Kai and Zero from last season. The gameplay is utterly simple to follow. Go in, capture the elebits, shake the tree/stone, capture more elebits, beat the boss, walk around, talk to everyone else, find more elebits.

You can run! But you can't hide!

The learning curve is soooooo easy. But the puzzle is a bit out of grasp for me. This might be an individual case but I have been having trouble solving the puzzle. Case in point, I was stuck in front of a barrier for more than 2 hours, trying various elebits power to open the barrier when I finally gave up and ask online forums for help, then I found out I am supposed to get in from another map.... What The....

Gotta Catch Em All!

Now I found myself stuck in the same world but different map. The solution is ridiculously easy but I know for a fact that it will still eludes me in the end. Which begs the question, is the game easy or am I just plain old st.... (lets leave it at that)


I choose you!
(p/s: I am using too much Pokemon quotes...)
Conclusion
Irregardless, I am in love with this game. Elebits DS is a well designed game with great soundtrack, good graphic, easy learning curve but heck of a headache inducing puzzle (for me). It's no pokemon game as you don't go around capturing pokemon or having a fight in the middle of bushes. This is a game of exploration, puzzle, elebits capture and just plain ole enjoying the music and scenery. I am really looking forward for the english version of this game which was SUPPOSED to be out in Jannuary 6th 2009. Last I heard, it has been postponed.

I prefer the Japan Cover for Elebits, they are a lot more cuter than the US version....
Check it out!



If you are interested in purchasing this game, head over to HERE and make your pre-order now.



-Because I Can-

Digg!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Play-Asia Bad Customer Service



So I placed an order over a week or so ago on Play-Asia for a One-Piece Flash Keychain, a very nice piece of addition to my collections of assorted toys and what not. Mind you, the One-Piece Flash Keychain is anything BUT cheap, I also bought a PSP USB cable. Anyway, I received the package last weekend and the package was opened to reveal... only one item, Yeap. Its NOT the Keychain. So I mailed Play-Asia enquiring about my purchase and this is what they replied:

Dear (removed),

Thank you for contacting Play-Asia.com.

I am very sorry about this it must have been forgotten to be included in
the parcel accidently. Please accept our apology as we were really busy
around this busy X'mas time so it might have been missed out by mistake.

As the key chain is out of stock now would you like us to refund it as
store credit for you?

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.



Best regards,

(removed)
Play-Asia.com

What the hell? FORGOTTEN?MISSED OUT BY MISTAKE? I was pissed and I got to admit, I was not gentle when I replied them:
 
 Out of stock? I am disappointed. I ordered the keychain on the day it was
launched at Play-Asia and I was looking forward to receving it. And now
you are telling me that the item was accidently 'forgotten' to put in?
I understand that considering now is the busy session due to christmas but I
still feel that this mistake is unwaranted.

And the fellow cooly replied me this:

Thank you for contacting Play-Asia.com.

We are very sorry for the mistake. However, the keychain is no longer
available from our supplier, we cannot get any extra stock for you. Would
you like to refund the product price in form of our store credit?

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

The person in charged ask me Would I like to refund the product price in form of our store credit after telling me that the keychain is no longer available. Making it sound as if I have another choice! What the hell! I fired off another reply:

Would I like to refund the product price in form of your store credit?

Are you saying I have another choice?
This is the part where Play-Asia become rude. Personally I felt it is rude, don't know bout you guys

Thank you for contacting Play-Asia.com.

We have sent you a store credit of $6.49 for the missed order.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
What the... This is the second time that I encountered a problem with my product purchased, the first problem was resolved with much help from them but as for this encounter, it leaves a really bad taste on my tongue. Have you guys ever encounter something like this?

-Because I Can-

Digg!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DS Fan Translation: Ragnarok Online



What do you do if there is a game that you really really want to play yet you have no idea what the heck they are going on about in the game? Some case in point would be the new Ragnarok Online DS (which I have a bone to pick in the naming of the game but that is for another post) 

What do you do then? Do you go online and look for the gamefaq translation (which takes the fun out of the game, literally) Do you go buy the guide book (which is non-existence)? Or if you are those studious type, you might grab a dictionary and proceed to check the words against the dictionary one by one (Which is either very stupid or very smart) or you can go online and hope/pray/beg well, maybe not beg for a fan translation of the game.

Anyway, I did a bit of a search online for the said game and see if there are any crazed fan boy that will do the translation and after a bit of tree shaking, digging and shifting through lots of post, I came upon this site yet again
GBATEMP, a site that covers anything and everything that even remotely spells Nintendo.

And one particular thread caught my tired eyes. RAGNAROK ONLINE DS TRANSLATION. Yes! The translation there is ongoing and they barely have the patch running but the point of the matter is this. ITS THERE! Keep an eye out on the thread if you want a translation but PLEASE! PLEASE! Do not ask anything stupid there as everything you need to know is already there. Just read.

-Because I Can-

Digg!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in Singapore 2008 - Pictures

As promised, this are some of the pictures I took in Singapore on Orchard road. We were lucky that night as we reach there not knowing that there are going to be road parade, free open top bus ride and free popcorn & candy! Still, I am still quite disappointed with their deco for this year... Its.. Subpar? Sub-Standard?

Singapore Visitors Centre
(The place to get FREE open top bus ride!)

Parade Car on Orchard Road
(All the models on the car has seen too many summers [OLD])
Christmas Tree on Orchard Road
(Looks more like a lot of rubbish dumped together)
Christmas Tree
(This one is a lot prettier)

Orchard Road
(Chinese Proverb: Mountain people, mountain sea)

Orchard Road Arch
(Looks nice from far but not THAT nice when you are near)

Decorations on Orchard Road

Yeap, same decoration
(Seriously, It looks...)

-Because I Can-

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Play Gear Pocket Slim Skin: Okami

So I was doing a bit of research here and there yesterday in regard about the PGP Slim and I stumbled upon the US playstation site with a thread just for The Logitech PGP skinning. Read the 1.4k over pages (well not all of it) and found quite a few people asking others to do PGP skin for them.

Then I noticed a gem out of the many stones. EJ_Ink, one of the forumer there posted a guide on how to make your very own PGP skin. You can find the link HERE. I followed his instruction and manage to churn out a few Okami like skin. Added a bit of Soul Eater into it and the last one resulted on one of my own personalized PGP skin.

I only have one problem, when printed out. The size is a lot more bigger than my PSP. I need to find the correct size/printing ways...

 
 


-Because I Can-

Chirstmas in Singapore 2008

I always had this dream of spending a few days in Singapore during Christmas. I had always thought that Singapore will have a FANTASTIC and ROMANTIC christmas and that I would be able to take lots of nice pictures there. Boy, was I wrong...

The decoration in Orchard road was sub par, there was not much of a christmas feeling all around. I mean, the place is crowded and all that, but the spirit is just not there! This year the went for a SWEET christmas theme, this was portrayed by banding the lamp post with a red and white strip, effectively changing it to Candy Cane (sub par) a few candy themed christmas tree ( which looks more like a hill of rubbish) christmas house (which looks as if its out in the sun for a little too long) christmas elves/decorations (which has scratches and spots on it)

Seriously? I know the economy is bad, but my god... that doesn't mean things have to be THAT bad! The only saviour of my whole trip came in the form of free ride on the singapore Light Up Tour which is FREE for tourist! All you need to do is go to the Singapore Visitor Center and ask about it. The tour starts at 8 everynight and ends at 10. It takes you around orchard road for an open roof top view from the double-decker bus!

There is also quite a number of street performance on Orchard road, but the thing is this.... those performance are normally around on weekends. The only difference is that it's christmas theme for this one!

I took quite a few picture and will post them up as soon as i get home. For now though, if you are going to Singapore for christmas, you are better off visiting KL.

-Because I Can-

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To buy or not to buy: PlayGear Pocket Slim

 I am in a dilemma, should I or should I not get the PlayGear Pocket Slim? Interesting enough, there have been quite some mixed reaction/review online on the PlayGear Pocket Slim (PGPS) predecessor, the PlayGear Pocket (PGP).  Some of the stuff I found out online were that, the PGP is heavy and add unnessary weight upon the PSP but this SHOULD not be the case with the PGPS as the slim PSP has their weight already cut down.



Then there is the other problem of does it look good? I know that anyone can customize the PGPS by taking off the rubber and putting in some printout but does the weight outweight the custombility? Then there is one other varying problem. Varying because it does not affect me.(I think?) There is no accessibility for the UMD slot!

Tsk.... I hate this kind of choices. What do you guys think?

Here are some of the features featured on Play-Asia:

  • Virtually indestructible polycarbonate armor shell protects your device.
  • Easy access to shoulder controls means your PSP™ Slim & Lite is playable even while inside the case.
  • Headphone port means you can plug into some tunes, then stow them in your backpack.
  • 270-degree adjustable lid can be used as a sunshield for gaming or a stand for watching movies.
  • Secure snap closure means your investment stays put.
 
 If you are interested to buy this and then inform me, you can do that over HERE

-Because I Can-

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mass Effect - The Book

Mass Effect is an Action Role Playing Game (ARPG) developed by Bioware. Well versed in the RPG development scene, Mass Effect broke new ground with its superb story and gameplay. I first broach the Mass Effect universe with the Mass Effect book.

Mass Effect: Revelation


A prequel to the Mass Effect game, Revelation is the story of Captain Anderson as he tries to unravel the mystery behind the attack on an earth research station. The book provides a good backcover story on what happened prior to Mass Effect. For those that have never played the game before, it is a good read and makes you want to play the game while for those that are playing or has played the game, Revelation is a good look into Saren, the antagonist of Mass Effect.            

Synopsis:

On the edge of colonized space, ship commander and Alliance war hero David Anderson investigates the remains of a top secret military research station; smoking ruins littered with bodies and unanswered questions. Who attacked this post and for what purpose? And where is Kahlee Sanders, the young scientist who mysteriously vanished from the base?hours before her colleagues were slaughtered? Sanders is now the prime suspect, but finding her creates more problems for Anderson than it solves. Partnered with a rogue alien agent he can't trust and pursued by an assassin he can't escape, Anderson battles impossible odds on uncharted worlds to uncover a sinister conspiracy . . . one he won't live to tell about. Or so the enemy thinks

Read the Prologue for Revelation HERE

Mass Effect:  Ascension



Set two months after the Mass Effect event, Ascension tells the story about Kahlee Sanders. This book is not the continuation of after the Mass Effect series but instead is a standalone story which can be read separately from the game but it is best to read this book after you finish the Mass Effect game as the story have a brief recap of Mass Effect's ending. (I found that out the hard way) Again, this provides a good read while waiting for Mass Effect 2 to come out and gives an interesting look at biotics.


Synopsis:

Scientist Kahlee Sanders has left the Systems Alliance for the Ascension Project, a program that helps gifted "biotic" children harness their extraordinary powers. The program’s most promising student is twelve-year-old Gillian Grayson, who is borderline autistic. What Kahlee doesn’t know is that Gillian is an unwitting pawn of an outlawed black ops group Cerberus, which is sabotaging the program by conducting illegal experiments on the students.

When the Cerberus plot is exposed, Gillian’s father takes her away from the Ascension Project and the flees into the lawless Terminus Systems. Determined to protect Gillian, Kahlee goes with him, unaware that the elder Grayson is, in fact, a Cerberus operative. To rescue the young girl, Kahlee must travel to the farthest ends of the galaxy, battling fierce enemies and impossible odds. But how will she be able to save a daughter from her own father?

-Because I Can-

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Books: Dragonlance - Ogre Titans: The Fire Rose



I have only gone through this one halfway but I got to admit, The Fire Rose is a better read than WoW: Night of the Dragon. A continuation of the Ogre Titans series, The Fire Rose pick up after Golgren, the NEW Grand Khan of the Ogre as he struggle to keep his kingdom intact while under attack from various faction and betrayal from within. Get the Ogre Titans series if you haven't as the story promises to change what it means to be in the world of Dragonlance.

This is the synopsis from the book:

A hidden artifact waits to be found--and used...

The half-breed ogre, Golgren, at last Grand Khan of all his people, faces unpleasant threats. Tthe Knights of Neraka encroach on one border and the minotaur empire crosses another, while the rise of a new and unlikely rival among his own kind augurs the death stroke to all his ambitions...perhaps his very life. Now Golgren must abandon everything to embark on a quest he can trust to no other. The Fire Rose is a mysterious artifact that could prove the salvation - or destruction - of his growing empire. Safrag, the new master of the Ogre Titans, is just as eager to claim the precious artifact and promote his own might.

-Because I Can-

Books: World of Warcraft - Night of the Dragon

 I got to admit, I have been waiting for this book for a really long time since I heard that there will be a new WoW book, I even had my local bookstore keep me on alert as to when the book is published. On the first day that the book was out, I already have it in my cradle and freshly wrapped in adoring love and plastic. Expecting quite a whirlwind of story and amazing turns of event I eagerly turned the page and found myself.... slightly disappointed....

The book start off with the usual vague description of the villain and such which then slowly moves the story along but then the sense of excitement is not there. I do not get the tingling sensation from the story such as that I got from The War of The Ancients trilogy and then in the middle of the book, they started recapping on the The Sunwell Trilogy another finished manga trilogy. This might be an added bonus for those that follow the manga but it is a dread for those that do not and the recap does not do well enough that you would like t oactually read the manga, this is because the whole series are summarized in the book! What gives?!

Going further into the storyline will just give the plot away so I will refrain on that. What I would say though is that, if you follow the WoW series, you might be inclined to get this book but if you are looking for something to start you off on the WoW series, give this a miss and go get the War of The Ancients trilogy. Those are a lot more better than this one.



-Because I Can-

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Review: Prince of Persia PC Port

Many moons and many suns has pass since I wrote anything on Awwsnapped and I have a perfectly good reason for that. The L word (pun intended). I got lazy. It's not that there is no new game, or no new toys or no new well... anything. It's just that I got lazy but I am here today to change that and I will start off today with this brilliant brilliant looking piece of work. 


Game play
Prince of Persia. Out a week or so ago, the Prince of Persia series is rebooted in this new series and the new 'Prince' looks very good. Notorious for their steep learning curve and level, a lot of casual gamer were turned off from the Persia series for the hard to execute perfectly-timed-acrobatic-wall-jumping-hanging-from-the-cliff- leaping-from-one-wall-to-the-other gaming mechanism. I was one of them. This all though were naught in the new Persia series. Yes, there is still the jumping here and there, leaping from one wall to the other thingy machingy but instead of the game over screen you constantly get for the first 1 hour of gaming while you learn the curve, you get a beautiful magician lady in distress which will help you whenever you fall off the cliff or failed to time your move correctly. No more game over screen. Hardcore Persia gamer would complain that this tone down the hardness level quite a lot but it is also a refreshing change for the casual gamer which allows us to join the series.


Prince of Persia is best played using a game pad. If you do not have a decent game pad for your pc. Invest in one. I would recommend the XBOX game pad as most game that were ported to PC comes from the XBOX series and they already have an integrated setting for the controller.

Graphic

Each moves and attacks are perfectly and flawlessly executed with a flourish of movement making you want to execute it again and again just to see the move. Graphically enchanting, the game also took a leaf out of Okami game. One of the trademark of Okami game is the slowly expanding of flower with flourish and grace as Amaterasu restore nature. In Persia, the graphic is slightly the same albeit rendered in less flourish. This does not make it look less astonishing, but in varying degree it does give a refreshing look to the same level as your go through it again.

Music,Sound & Voice over

All the conversations in Prince of Persia has voice over, instead of the cheesy stuff that you MIGHT expect, the voice over fits perfectly well with the character. and the dialog is funny enough that you would just like to hear them talk. The music is relaxing and nicely composed but more often than not, some parts of the level are ran through with no accompanying music.

Character
 

What makes this game lovable is not the revolutionary graphic, the superb game play or the beautifully compose music. It's the character. My understanding of the 'Prince' from the last series were always of an uptight Prince which is out to save the world or his kingdom or his loved one. the NEW prince though is a likable "Entrepreneur" which finds opportunity everywhere. Namely, robbing graves. Yeap, no longer a prince of one kingdom or another (as far as I know) he is a grave robber. A very charming, cheeky and mischievous grave robber which thought that he can easily save the secondary character Erika and score a point but instead ended up getting chased by monster, jumping from one cliff to another and losing Farah. His donkey laden with gold coins. 
 Conclusion
The game is a solid restart and brings a much needed refreshing breath to the series. The graphic is nothing ground breadking yet it looks breathtaking enough for you to stop and stare at times. The characters are lovable and provided a curious glimspe of their former life, their attitude and the ocassional banter between characters are superb addition. All in all, Prince of Persia captured my heart.
-Because I Can-

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trip: Day 2 - End of Earth

So.. End of earth! Well, not literally anyway. But its still the end of the end. The mother of dead ends, the END OF EARTH! The southern most tip of Mainland Asia if you want specific. Now this location is at Johor and is called Tanjung Piai. Getting there requires an hour++ drive from the city of Johor Bahru, through another small town and end up on a small road leading deep into the middle of nowhere.


When we reached there, we were greeted by this HUGE rock. Man made if you were wondering but still, HUGE! We were expecting well.. truthfully, I wasn't expecting anything as the southernmost tip of asia mainland would look the same to me, everywhere....

Regardless, I shoulder on and found THIS!


Yes sir! The sign to the end of earth! Now, we were lead into a forest of trees and boy, the smell is BAD. Imagine, sea side, high tide, lots of rubbish and lots of other "things" which add up to one very strong odor which you get used to after a while. But boy is the place stuffy! Maybe because its by the seaside and we are in the middle of huge canopy of trees?

Anyway, I made my way following the road sign and reached THIS!
You see that globe right there? Yeap, thats the end of earth. Now the problem is this, as you can see from the "road" there, I highly doubt that it will sustain my weight and I am feeling particularly unbrave at the moment. So I took THAT picture and declare myself. Conquerer of the end of earth.

Thats it. End of Earth. Pretty undramatic isn't it? I would have expect something there, strong wave, huge stone outcropping. A few menacing looking statue or something. But nada, all you get is that lousy looking globe and a very dangerous looking bridge. But there is a good thing out of the trip. We had great lunch.

We had SEAFOOD! Now, within 5km of Tanjung Piai is a small fishing town called, KUKUP. The place there is bare and the houses are on water. They built it on pillars and on top of water. and they had QUITE a number of seafood restaurant there. I got to warn you though, don't drive your car into the town. If you see a HUGE BUS STATION on your left. Start looking for parking and a way to U turn as there is no road ahead. Only dead ends and sea.

Anyway, we arrived at this brilliant restaurant at the end of the town called, New Kukup Seafood. You won't miss it. Its the last shop on the last row of shops. There were 4 of us and we ordered 5 dishes and paid RM111.90 for it. Expensive? I have no idea but the food there is great! Now, I took pictures of 4 of the dishes, the 5th one was missing coz at that point, we were devouring the picture. Anyway, the dishes we ordered were



Duck egg fried bitter gourd


Fried blackpepper Crab

Duck egg fried prawn

Fried belacan clam


And the last dish, Steam Fish with sour plum. No pictures for this one. For this fabulous lunch, I have my lovely GF to thank as she spent us for it. For this, I Thank Her Here!




-Because I Can-

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trip: Day 1 -Tesla Coil

Right! As I was saying last weekend, I had a little trip to the south of Malaysia. Specifically, Singapore! Now, as any other curious and like minded intelligent people here, I visited the Singapore Science Center under strong persuasion by my lovely GF (she was pulling my ear).

My... What big mouth you have..

The visit for less of a better word. Electrifying. We arrived and got our first COOL impression of the science center when we were greeted with a roar by the resident T-Rex. After making a very good impression to us, we were quite thrilled to go in and arrived just in time for some TESLA COIL action! They had 4 demonstration of how Tesla Coil works and what it can do, I have uploaded 3 of them. One is the classic Red Alert style Tesla Coil, an exploding balloon and also power conduction! View them all below!.

Blue Forest

The rest of the trip though, is a bit... Boring... Well, what would you expect after the shocking show? The science center has too many broken machinery, most of the stuff there doesn't work. And the stuff that work is not THAT interesting.
That's a real Ferrari Enzo if you are wondering

Nevertheless, we spent nearly 5 hours there, looking through every exhibit and even manage to take picture with Ferrari Enzo, Blue Forest and various other stuff. It's bang for money the exhibit is, but I still prefer KLCC Petrosains. Theirs are a lot more fun!
My Shadow. Cool huh?

Anyway, I also went to the END OF EARTH. Literally! Find out about that in the next post!


video
RED ALERT!!


video
The power is in your hand!


video
Exploding Balloons!
-Because I Can-

First 5! Bleach: Soul Carnival


I have never had so much fun since I discovered Nintendo DS and playing all the games that has escaped me since I started working 3 years ago. Today. Today I relish back all the fun that I first had. The thrill of playing a simple hack and slash game.

Bleach: Soul Carnival is your standard platform hack and slash. Normally, any game that started off from anime/manga first then to game will only bank on their character and the availability of the easiest console it can get into. Making most if not all those game. Medicore.

With Soul Carnival though, its a totally different ball game. The game is rendered on 2D with a side scrolling action. The actions are fast paced, intense and superbly beautiful but what endears the game to me is the character. In Super Deformed body. Cute and deadly, all the characters wreak carnage across the screen with an efficency that shocks you. The game gives you a few spaces to breath in between when you started off, for the sake of newbies, but mocing slightly deeper into the game, the enemy you face will start to become a challenge. Providing an immense sense of satisfaction for newbie and hardcore player alike

There are a number of character that can be unlocked for play, unlocked character will also provide support with the use of easy to remember combo command. Considering that the game is in japanese, there might be some difficulty for most gamer to get into. but do not let that turn you off as what you essentially need to know is explained in the tutorial which has graphical instruction. Couple that with your own iniative on understanding what the game tries to stay. You will still have one hell of a time playing the game.

I would say this is a really MUST GET and IMPORT FRIENDLY game. I for one is having one ball of a time with this game.

For more purchase information and pictures, click HERE


-Because I Can-