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Friday Blog - 18/08/2008

Ah yes, hopefully I'm back to the usual Friday blogs now!

I think I need a bit of help, I might be a shopping addict! I'm leaving my job in about a month, so I only have two pay days left until I'm back to being a poor student, so I'm buying things that I want now while I can still afford them. I bought some MS Points last night, and bought Puzzle Quest, I was tempted by Buku Sudoku but I decided against it in the end, so I've got about 1100 points left over so I might have a look at some other XBLA games, does anyone have any suggestions?

I also pre-ordered Viva Pinata 2, Fallout 3 and Fable 2 :D My boyfriend needed an XBL Gold subscription, and well, I didn't want to miss out on 'Pinata Vision' so I ordered one of those bundles, apparently they used to come with some MS points and a couple of free XBLA games, I'm not sure if they still do but that would make it a pretty good bundle if they did!

I watched the Sony & Microsoft E3 conferences. I thought MS's was pretty amazing, lots of games I am really looking forward too like Viva Pinata, Fallout 3, Fable 2, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Lips, Scene It 2, You're In The Movies and the new avatars thing, although a bit of a Mii rip-off still look pretty good! I was a bit 'meh' about pretty much everything else.

I missed the Nintendo one because I was out purchasing a new telly. But I only really wanted to watch the Animal Crossing stuff, so I looked it up on YouTube afterwards, and it looks AWESOME! I can't wait for it to come out, I hope Elvis is in it. I'm tempted to pre-order that too, but not a lot of places have it up yet which means that I can't search around for the best price. Sony's conference was particularly yawn-some, Little Big Planet was the only half interesting thing in it.

Anyways, I've rambled enough now :)


Birthday Blog! :)

Yep, it was my 21st birthday on Wednesday! :)

So here's a nice picture of me and my boyfriend enjoying birthday drinkies at my party.

I got loads of cool presents but my favourite one of all is Professor Layton for my DS which my boyfriend imported for me. I love it! The puzzles are so much fun but I'm finding it really hard to resist cheating :/ but I go on holiday tomorrow for two weeks to Cyprus so I'm hoping there will be no internet out there so I won't be able to look at any walkthroughs or anything! So I'll see you all in two weeks :) *waves*

Random Thursday Blog - 29/05/2008

I've been a bit lazy with my blogs recently, because I'm a lazy person :)

Rock Band has been getting played quite a bit too since I got it last Friday. I thought I'd be able to do guitar on medium, but I got stuck :( so I'm back on boring easy! I'm also attempting the hard vocal career and I'm 2 sets of songs away from finishing that. I got really stuck on Orange Crush and Should I Stay Or Should I Go, it just didn't seem to register my low notes for that song, obviously I'm better at high notes...as my 96% on Enter Sandman proves lol. I'll try and get some pics of my characters up soon.

GRID arrived yesterday, but it's not getting played for a long time I don't think, as I'm enjoying Rock Band and the Lego Indiana Jones game is out soon which I'm looking forward too very much.

Seeing as WiiFit wasn't helping my weight loss, I've joined Tesco Diets to try to help me to lose weight. They give you a weekly shopping list and meal plans for each day, so hopefully this will work. It's my last hope before I'm resigned to a life of eating junk food and being so fat that they need a crane to lift me out of bed. My 21st birthday and my holiday are at the end of June, so I'm hoping that I'll look a bit less podge-tastic by then, so wish me luck :)

- Zoë

Friday Blog - 09/05/2008

Sorry, no cool panda pictures today!

I couldn't be bothered to do a blog last week, I was off work and too busy sleeping and that kind of malarky :) But I'm back now you'll all be pleased to know! I spent a large chunk of my long weekend playing GTA IV, I wasn't that impressed at first to be honest, but as I've played the game I totally get why it's got rave reviews, although I necessarily wouldn't agree with the 10, it'd probably be a 9.75 in my book :) I've not played it much this week, and doubt I really will until my new strategy guide arrives, courtesy of the GSUK podcast competition :D I want the Liberty City Minute achievement so I will need all the help I can get!

I've preordered GRID also, I've not got round to playing the demo get, but it basically looks like DiRT but on a road. So I'm sure I'll love it :) which reminds me I need to finish getting those last elusive achievements for DiRT. I've been attempting to play Wii Fit every day too. So far I've lost a pound, gained a pound, then lost it again...so it's going to be a long hard road to lose that 2st! I really like the rhythm boxing, it's a lot more of a work out than it looks and the Mii trainer has a hilarious gruff voice! I find it really hard to do the yoga and muscle ones though, because they are just a bit boring, so I'm really only doing the balance games and the aerobic ones.

Also: ONLY 2 WEEKS 'TIL ROCK BAND! :D I feel like I should have some kind of Rock Band outfit to play it in like spandex leggings, and a studded leather jacket lol

- Zoë

Friday Blog - 25/04/2008

Yeah so I currently love pandas, they are just so big and cuddley and dopey. I really want one! There is no way that you can watch pandas and not smile, if you can? Well, you need to see a doctor about that stone heart of yours!

Last night, my grandma died but I'm putting a happy face on it because she'd been hanging on for a long time and she's not suffering any more, she's at peace now so I'm taking what comfort I can in that. So the pandas are helping with the happiness. As are Gamespot, because I won a game ( Euro 2008 ) in one of the GS UK podcast competitions and I'm supremely happy about that because it's the first time in my 20 years and 10 months (exactly!) of life that I've won anything. So that also made me happy, thanks guys...AND the fact Wii Fit is out today too :) So there are lots of things to be happy about.

I finished the Lost game this week too, I have to say, it got a bit more interesting at the end and I'm kind of looking back on it now as 'hmm that was an alright game'. Also I played my boyfriend at Mario Kart locally this time, and yes I can confirm he kicked my bum at it! :( except at Coconut Mall because that is the only track I'm good at. I unlocked Toadette, but finding it a bit hard to play with her because she's so slooow!

Anyways, thats about it for this week. Hopefully next week, I might have some pictures of Wii Fit in action to amuse you all with :)

- Zoë

Friday Blog - 18/04/2008

Ooh, I almost forgot about my Friday Blog! I decided not to do one last week as my big soapbox-y rant was enough :)

Not really been upto much lately, trying to finish some games that I want to trade in to help me afford Wii Fit. I managed to sit through the insanely boring CSI game, and now I'm just trying to get through the insanely fiddley Lost game, hopefully I'll finish it this weekend. Still, I like to finish games to 100% if I can before trading them in or I think I might regret it later, but really I don't think I'll miss those two games at all! Wii Fit will put me on until Rock Band (look it's okay, I'm getting it for £130 so shh) then once I'm bored of that hopefully I might actually get to finish some of my other games like Mass Effect, Halo 3 and the other games that live in my pile of unloved & unplayed games, getting dusty!

Me & my boyfriend got Mario Kart Wii aswell after we went to Game at about 9am on Saturday (possibly the earliest we've ever been up ever!), which is really fun. I've given up with the Wii Wheel though, I'm just using the C-lassic Controller now, which I prefer seeing as I actually win when I play with it! I tried out the multiplayer and I was impressed, it was really easy to do, lag free and...I came first! I played online with my boyfriend too, he lost repeatedly but claims it was haxx and he'd kick my bum if we played 'locally'...but I disagree :)

Sadly, I'm also supremely excited about Rock Band, I don't want to be, but getting it for £50 less was just too good to pass up really and I'm splitting the cost so reeeally its only £65, it's about what I'd been epecting to pay (the £130, not £65 lol). I've been watching videos about it, thinking about what my character might look like, what downloadable content I'd get, I got my boyfriend involved despite much grumbling about how it's too early, asking what his character would look like, what our band should be called etc. etc. I have a feeling he'll be annoyed when we get it because I'll be trying to make every detail perfect and he'll just want to play the game lol I have a 4 day holiday from work starting the day it comes out so hopefully it'll arrive on time from Play, or my holiday will be pretty much wasted! Has anyone else given up and decided £130 is fairly reasonable?


Why Rock Band Won't Sell (Much) In Europe

The European release date & pricing for Rock Band was announced today. I took one look at the words/figures 'May 23rd - £180' and came to the conclusion that Rock Band will not be getting many European sales. There are 2 big factors in why Rock Band won't sell in Europe: the delay and the price. A third smaller factor is the availability on the consoles. I apologise that this editorial will mostly be based around the UK, but I know more about the thoughts and opinions from this area than anywhere else.

1. The Delay

Rock Band was released on 20th November 2007 in the US, then several XBL packs were announced for people to download, then they announced they were making a Wii version...all while we Europeans sat and waited, and waited just for news that we would get a version of it at all. They have finally announced that Rock Band will be released in Europe on May 23rd 2008. This is over 6 months later than the US release. When I first heard about Rock Band, I thought it was great and I couldn't wait to play it, but as time as gone on the hype around it has really died down, and I've become bored of waiting and my attention and excitement for new releases has been turned to other things. The GS UK forum is of very much the same opinion.

For example...

  • 'Yeah i was pretty bummed-out by this, it's not like it's a month delay which i could accept, this may take up to half a year to get to us and that is unforgivable.' - fishdalf
  • 'Way too late for me, they've missed the boat and I don't think I'll bother getting it now. They release it later here, and we will be charged more for the game and extra songs. Sorry but thanks but no thanks.' - jk80
  • '[quoting jk80] I have this feeling too.' - PhoenixMDK
  • 'I'm leaning towards not getting it.' - Dark_Dude_98
  • 'This game is almost dead to me.' - macacd

I'm afraid that EA & Harmonix have simply 'missed the boat'.

2. The Price

Along with the release date, the costing has also been announced. £180. One hundred and eighty fine British pounds. Let's have a look at what else you could buy with this amount of money:

  • A Nintendo Wii
  • An Xbox 360 Premium (for £20 extra)
  • A PSP (with approx. £50 left)
  • A Nintendo DS (with approx. £70 left)
  • 6 GameBoy Advances
  • 7 GameCubes
  • 2 Playstation 2s (for £10 extra)
  • 3 Xboxes

Why should we pay this extortion amount, when we could buy a whole new console, or several, with that money? This seems espcially unfair when you convert the price at which the US version costs ($169.99) into GBP...£85. This means that we are paying over double what it costs over there. (For American readers: our version at £180 would cost you $355.70). Guitar Hero was just about affordable if you split it with your friends, or got your parents to buy you it for Christmas, but I really can't see mum and dad shelling out this much money on one present, or you and 3 other mates paying £45 each for a game you would have to share between 4 people, you could buy a normal 360 game each for that price. I highly doubt that the cliche 'casual gamers' will be willing to spend that much either...Rock Band is running out of prospective consumers.

Here are some more quotes off the GS UK board to further prove my point:

  • 'I'm not paying that much. I was really looking forward to it as well :(' - TepicPlug
  • 'I might still get it, we'll see how much it costs' - Dark_Dude_98
  • 'I doubt the average consumer will see that over the price tag.' - PhoenixMDK
  • 'the most I would have paid is around £100.' - jk80
  • 'I would expect to pay about £130 for the game and peripherals together, but this just seems far too much. I wan't this game, but not this much' - readingfc_1
  • '£180 :O Thats a complete rip off I really doubt I'm going to get it if we have to pay more for the game than an actual 360 costs :evil: ' - tamsj04
  • 'wow, 180 is just too much. I've been anxiously waiting for this game for 5 months but knowing the price....i think i may pass on this (or import it)' - HellsAngel2c
  • 'I'll stick with GH thanks.' - clyde46
  • '£180 for a 5 month old game and 9 new songs? no thanks', 'i'm fed up of being ripped off so i doubt i'll bother' - Jedi_Shearstone
  • 'Its a disgusting price...i couldnt believe it... they should be able to make it cheaper than that...right?' - Tom1243
  • 'The game won't sell much so will get price drops until people start buying it. I'd rather buy a Wii than this 1 game if it stays at £180. Even if there is more taxes to pay in good ol' Blighty no way does it justify the price doubling' - arfy2
  • 'wtf £180!! no thanks' - fenwickhotmail
  • 'If EA think people are going to be buying their games, they can get lost. Because of this I refuse to buy a single EA game and of course rock band until they sort this mess out.' - Dark_Dude_98
  • 'That is insane! That is more than half the price of a PS3 for crying out loud! I don't want to pay that, I might look into getting a drum kit from the US shipped over' - Caddy06_88

(There are many quotes just like this, take a look at this thread and you'll see what I mean, I just can't list them all as it would make this blog too long!)

As you can see, the massive RRP of this game has put a lot of people off. Let's hope theres some major, MAJOR price drops for this game.

3. Availability on other consoles.

The announced release date and prices are only for the Xbox 360, what about other consoles? Do they simply not matter, like how the European games market simply didn't matter when they were planning to make this game? This is ridiculous, first they exclude an entire continent, now they are excluding another huge portion of the games market? I think EA & Harmonix are finally realising the full extent of the backlash and are rushing to get this game out and just get it out on one console to 'shut us up'. Well, they should have thought about that before.

I'm not saying it won't sell any copies, of course there are still some people who are hyped for it and will buy it no matter what, but I think these will be dropping like flies now the price has been announced. There are those with more money than sense who will buy it. But what about gamers on a budget, gamers without a 360, young gamers who would have to save up pocket money for about 2 years to afford £180, 'casual' gamers, gamers without anyone who wants to split the cost, gamers who don't appreciate being charged double and waiting over 6 months for a game, gamers who thought they'd like the game but would 'wait and see' for a price announcement? I don't think they'll be buying it somehow.

- Zoë

[EDIT]: I was sent a link to a petition trying to get the price of Rock Band lowered, so I thought I'd post it for anyone who wants to sign it: http://www.petitiononline.com/RockBand/petition.html

Friday Blog - 04/04/2008

This week I discovered the Playstation Store, I was perusing the old games section and noticed they had Crash Team Racing and Crash Bandicoot 1 which I just had to buy for my PSP because I love Crash Bandicoot, I used to play the games all the time on the PSX, but I'd forgotten how hideously frustrating the first game is because it doesn't save after every level, I'm currently stuck on level 3 (hey, it's been a while since I played!) but I keep having to play level 2 again to get to attempt level 3. Which is quite ugh-some. Crash Team Racing is still pretty awesome, even if it is a bit of a Mario Kart rip off! But for £3.50, I'm not complaining. :) I've also been attempting to make a PSP theme but making the icons look smooth and round is alot more annoying than I thought it would be, but still it gives me something to do at work ;)

I think towards later on in the year I might get a PS3, there's a few exclusive games that I want like Little Big Planet, Rachet & Clank, Jak & Daxter and erm My Singstar. I could afford one now just I don't really want one now if that makes sense, I've got work and my PSP and I hardly get time to play games anymore anyways! So I think I'll wait, see if there's any truth to these 80GB coming back rumours.

Erm not much else to talk about really apart from the fact I'm really, really bored at work!

Ooh, I forgot to mention my new emblem, look isn't it shiny :) I'm also on the dreaded level 20 going up about 2% a day!

- Zoë

Friday Blog - 28/03/2008

Bit of a boring week this week so this might be a very short blog! I bought Patapon for my PSP and I seriously can't even do the 2nd level. I am so useless at rhythmy things, plus I only seem to have 3 little guys and I can't make any more! If you have any hints or tips, please share!

I have, however, discovered my inner chef this week! I cooked steak, Zoe's 'special' mash (it's special because it was meant to be chips but the potatoes went mushy) and peas for my boyfriend on Wednesday, and I did a stir fry last night, and well I was quite pleased. I'm going to reward myself tonight, with a take away from the fine pizza establishment down the road! Mmm!

I was tagged by Cheeg & Big_Bad_Sad so here is...

5 Things You Didn't Know About Me!

1. I like to knit, but I can only knit scarves, anything other than a straight line is a bit too difficult for me.

2. I have 3 cats, called Bunny, Shona & Peanut.

3. I've been a vegetarian for 11 years (since the tender age of 9) because I got really upset watching the film, 'Babe' when they think they're going to a better farm but really they're going to the slaughterhouse. Kind of traumatised me.

4. I'm scared of just about everything, in addition to the usual insects, spiders, heights, flying phobias, I'm scared of wet driftwood-type wood, wet ice lolly sticks, tarnished metal, cotton wool...oh, and work ;)

5. I eat an immense amount of frozen raspberries. Probably about 300g a day. I like frozen white grapes too.

I tag... gamingqueen, Mortz_88, Thorpe89 and zeus_gb

Unfortunatly, I must go now, because I actually have work to do booooooo! :(

Thursday Blog - 20/03/2008

Well, seeing as it's Good Friday tomorrow and this means I will be sleeping and playing games rather than getting up at some ungodly hour (about 6:30am) to go to work and suffering through 8 hours of being bored stiff sat at my desk, so I thought I'd do my blog today instead! I've written this at work to waste time, but I'm updating from home for a change because I wanted to pop some pictures in my blog :)

My holiday was pretty awesome, lots of sun and cocktails! I enjoyed just having the time off really and chilling out all day, I wasn't a fan of the plane trip home though, it was a bit bumpy and I felt ill all the way home :( There was a nice big swimming pool too, it wasn't heated but we braved it most days because you can't go on holiday and not go swimming!

(Thats the view from our balcony)

My collection of games I don't have time to play is growing aswell, the Simpsons Game (X360) was only 25 squids on Play, so I thought I'd buy that....then I received an early birthday present from my boyfriend, in the form of this little beauty:


So that is taking up most of my time! I bought some extra games for it too...Diner Dash, Tekken: Dark Ressurection, Wipeout Pure & The Sims 2 (Yes, the amount of Sims games I own is shocking). I bought my boyfriend GTA - Vice City Stories & Liberty City Stories, and Burnout Dominator to say thank you lol I'm really enjoying it so far, can't wait to get some more games for it...hopefully I'll find time to actually play them unlike the mountain I've ammassed of lonely 360 games! Any reccomendations?

My Zen returned this week to! It's a completely new Creative Zen, sent on it's own, no packaging or anything, in a Jiffy Bag, all the way from Poland! Obviously mine was too broke to fix, so they've sent me a new one. So far, this new one seems okay *touch wood* although I'm dubious about the method by which it was posted!

Also, because of my new found PSP joy, I'll be making a few wallpapers to go on it, they'll be in my Images gallery tab thing (along with some GS user icons) so feel free to have a look at those :)

- Zoë

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