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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Got an Xbox One for Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone.  I have some exciting news from my end.  I just got an Xbox One for Christmas.
Picture of the Xbox One I got this morning.

Yes, it is official.  I now have an Xbox One.  I haven't set it up yet, but will probably do that sometime this evening.  Honestly, I had no idea I was going to be getting a new game system for Christmas (it is always hit and miss when it comes to getting new consoles).  It is the first new console I got since getting the 3DS about 2 years ago.

Here is the initial lineup of games I have:
-Lego Movie Game
- Assassins Creed Unity
- Minecraft for Xbox One (by the way, I have still yet to play through the Xbox 360 version)
- Lego Marvel game (yes a lego verision of the Marvel Universe)
and several others.

Other games I am considering buying when I have the extra money:
- Grand Theft Auto 5.  Yes I do have a 360 version and even beat the game a few months ago (though still working on the online mode), but I am curious about how the Xbox One version compares with the predecessor version.
- Halo Master Chief addition
- Kinnect for Xbox One (the bundle I got does not include a Kinnect)
- and others.

By the way, are you jealous?  Why not get your own Xbox One?  You can buy them at Amazon or Walmart here:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Candy Crush Saga Review

Hello Facebookers, Android users, and other online gamers.  I am sure that by now, most of you are probably familiar with King's Candy Crush Saga (or at least heard about it) which is a highly addictive puzzle saga on Facebook and King Network..
Screenshot of the game map in Candy Crush
Candy Crush at a glance (short version of the review)

Game type: puzzle, with some story telling elements (you play as a girl, named Tifi helping people as she travels across the candy crush universe in a bejeweled style puzzle game)
Number of levels so far: 755 (with more being added).  Eventually, there will likely be at least 800 levels (more are being planned).  By the way, that doesn't include the Dreamworld mode (which pretty much doubles the number of levels you can play through in the game).

Pros about Candy crush:
- addicting
- Can be fun if you are into puzzle games (especially ones like tetris and bejeweled)
- Each level, world and episode are unique in many differents shapes, forms, sizes, and twists.
- Power ups and boosters can be nice to have and make  the game more interesting
- Team style adventure.  Assuming some of your friends on Facebook have Candy Crush, they automatically become your "neighbors" (unlike games like Farmville where you have to "add" people as neighbors) you can help each other out in several ways, including giving "lives", extra moves (which can be useful on some of the more difficult levels) as well as unlocking new episodes (saves you from having to buy them).
- Daily booster wheel can definitely help.  Everyday, you can earn at least one free booster item daily (which is random).  

Cons about candy crush:
- Very long game.  Almost 800 levels long. Most people will probably give up and quit before then. Only the most dedicated players will likely make it to the end.  Of course, you can stretch the game out over time (definitely not meant to be conquered in one sitting). 
- Also, levels can get difficult and frustrating sometimes.  In fact they do seem to get progressively harder as puzzles get more complex and you have more ways to lose. 
- Does cost money if you want to buy episodes or powerups.  Note: friends playing the game can help you unlock episodes if you ask (you can return the favor too and they will be more inclined to help you).  Also, most levels are possible to beat without power ups, though the can be more challenging that way and will take time, patience, luck and strategy. 
- It is possible to waste power ups too, so use them wisely (especially ones you buy).  Only buy powerups if you feel like you have to (btw you can get free powerups every day by doing the power up booster wheel that you can use each day)..
- Levels can get redundant after a while too, especially the trickier ones.

Note: I am still playing through the game myself.  As of this post, I am currently on level 382

Overview of Candy Crush - 
Facebook is not only well known for being a popular social networking site, it is also becoming well known for it's games (such as Cityville, Farmville, Bubble Witch Saga, and now Candy Crush).  The game is many levels long (almost 700 levels now with more being added) and there are now 2 mode of gameplay: reality mode and dreamworld mode.  In the series, you play as a girl named Tifi in her journey across the many different levels and worlds helping other characters in need.  The game functions much like Bejeweled (and similar games), you get a huge collection of candies and you have to try and get combos of 3 or more to score points and each level goes until either you meet the goals for the levels, time runs out (some levels are timed) or you run out of moves.  If you fail to meet each level's requirements, you lose a life and you get up to 5 at a time.  Later in the game, time bombs start appearing and they count down each time you make a move.  If you fail to diffuse a bomb in time, they explode and you automatically fail the level and lose a life.   If you run out of lives, you have to wait till the lives refill again (which happens automatically during the course of the day, though friends can give you extra lives or moves if they choose). There are several different types of levels and these are the types of levels I have seen:

1) Regular moves levels.  
No special requirements.  These levels are probably the easiest ones to complete (though they grow rare as the game progresses).  You get a set number of moves and all you have to do is to use up all the moves and usually meet a score requirement.

2) Jelly levels
Believe it or not, this is a screen shot of Level 382, which is a "Jelly Level"  To complete the level, you have to clear all fo the jelly blocks.  As you can see, this particular kind of level can be tricky because not only do you have to clear both the meraigne blocks (the white squares), but you also have to take care of the liquorice swirls as well to get them.  By the way, there are chocolate spawners you have to deal with as well.

These kinds of levels can get annoying after a while (in my opinion), though you do get satisfaction once you manage to ace them.  Across the board you get squares that are covered in jelly (usually 2 layers of jelly) and to clear the jelly, you have to match candy combos or use special candy moves (such as wrapped candy bombs) to clear them.  You usually only get so many moves to clear all of the jelly.  If you run out of moves before clearing all of the jellies or (usually unlikely) miss the score goal, you fail the level and lose a life.  Some of these levels can be relatively easy, while others can be downright hard and will likely take several tries.  You might be tempted to use boosters (such as stripped candies, fish candies or hammers) but most (if not all) of these stages can be completed without boosters, though they do require strategy, patience, and even luck.  As the game progresses, the jellies get more complex and can get tougher to clear, especially ones where you have blockers (such as chocolates that "eat" spaces until you clear them), meraigne spaces to clear (those blocks you have to "hit" several times to clear and are best cleared with wrapped candies) or later in the game, time bombs to diffuse before they explode.   

3) Timed levels
Example of a timed level.  Source: http://images.bbgsite.com/www/2013/05/15/candy_crush_saga_pause_timed_levels_1.jpg

These levels can be easy or difficult to complete depending on how much time you have and score you have to hit.  Unique to these kinds of levels is that while you get an unlimited number of moves you can make, you have a certain amount of time to play through the level (usually only 1-2 minutes on average) and have to hit or beat a certain score.  If you have special candies (i.e., stripped candies, wrapped candies, etc), they will automatically activate if time runs out before you use them), though they can definitely be your best friend for racking up points.  If you meet or beat the score requirement, you pass the level, otherwise you fail the level and lose a life.  You can also gain time by combining candies that add time (like the ones that have +:05 next to them).  Some of these levels can have complications too, including: blockers, time bombs, and other things to distract you from meeting your goal.

4) Ingredient levels
Picture of a random ingredient level.  Image source: candy-crush-saga.wikia.com
In these levels, you get x number of ingredients that spawn (such as cherries and nuts) and you have to get the to the bottom of the board (usually where arrows are).  If you get them all to the bottom of the board within the moves you have, you win the level, if any of them are still on the board by the time you run out of the moves, you lose a life.  Some of these levels can be simple, while others can get tricky (especially ones where ingredients can get stuck in corners.  Striped candies (especially the ones that go vertically) as well as coconut wheels (those ones that go across the board when activated and spawn at least 3 stripped candies) can be extra useful with these.  

5) Candy Order levels - 
Example of a Candy Order level.  Source: candy-crush-saga.wikia.com
These levels start appearing after level 176.  There are 3 different types of candy order levels levels:

a.  Get x number of combos of a certain colors (for example clear 50 green candies before running out of moves).  Sometimes you have to clear mutiple colors to win too as the levels get more complex.

b. Use a certain number of stripped candies, wrapped candies, or sprinkled candies.  As you play throught earlier levels in the game, you can actually create special candies (such as stripped candies, wrapped candies, and sprinkled candies). For example, if you match 4 candies in a line (up or down), you get stripped candies and when they are added, they clear out a line of candies going up or down on a particular row or column you are on.  If you create an "L" or "T" using candies, you get these wrapped candies that explode and take out candies, jellies and blockers around it.  If you match 5 candies in a row going up or down, you can get sprinkled candies that clear out entire candie colors of your choice (for example, getting rid all of the red candies on board).  These types of levels are not too difficult provided you know how to create combos and there are opportunities to create them.

C. Combine 2 special candies at a time (for example a wrapped candy + stripped candies).  These are generally the trickiest as you have to create 2 different kinds of special candies and activate them both at the same time.  Of course, sometimes that can be easier said than done (especially if you have to combine 2 sprinkled candies at a time, which is an actual scscenarion the game).

General Reviews of Candy Crush:

Candy Crush is definitely a fun an addictive game.  Reminds me of bejeweled in many ways where you have to combine 3 or more pieces of the same color and score points.  Of course, unlike Bejeweled you are combining candies (red, yellow, blue, green, and orange).  Also, each puzzle represents a level where you have to meet certain requirements (such as a minimum score, clear jelly blocks, etc) to move onto the next level.  Each time you beat a level, you move onto the next state and the game goes one.  Whenever you fail a level (which most people probably will sooner or later), you lose a life, and if you run out of lives, you have to wait for the lives to refill themselves before you can play again.  Now, this game is extremely long (more than 700 levels to play through with more being planned as we speak) and currently there is no definitive conclusion to the game yet, so most people probably will not make it to the end.  Only the truly dedicated to the saga will make it to the end in my opinion.  Also there are some gimicks in place to try and get you to spend extra money, including "unlocking" episodes (though if you have friends playing the game, you can get around that buy "asking" them to help unlock the next episodes.  There are powerups you can get too, though some require you to buy gold and can get expensive if you are not careful.  Most levels can be done without power ups, but they to take time, patience, luck and strategy.  Also, boosters and powerups do not necessarily guarantee a win either and there are ways you can still fail a level.  Perhaps the most annoying way to fail with powerups are levels where you have time bombs to diffuse.  You can have all of the boosts you want and if a bomb goes off, you still fail and those boosts are all for nothing.  In levels where you have to clear jellies, it can be easy to run out of moves before you manage to clear them all and it can be easy to wind up short, even with boosters and powerups.  So, be careful to use powerups wisely if you get them (btw bear in mind you do get one free powerup per day, chosen at random so I recommend stocking up on them early on in the game so that you have them when you encounter the harder levels).

Of course, Candy Crush does have its nicer elements too:
- Multiplayer style environment: assuming you have friends playing Candy Crush you can help each other out such as by giving "lives" (if they have less than 5 lives), free moves, or even help them unlock episodes.  You can also compete with people by trying to beat their scores as well.  By the way, if you beat everyone's overall scores in a particular episode, you get special "trophies" for coming out on top (at least till someone beats your scores, which will likely happen eventually in my opinion).
- Variety in levels.  No 2 levels are completely the same.  The themes change, the complexity changes, difficulty level changes, etc.  Even episodes change too as you play through the game.  New scenarios, new characters to help, new powerups and even challenges to get past too.  Some additiosn can be blessings (such as new power ups, such as cake bombs tht help clear out large groups of jellies and pieces when activated), while others can be curses too, such as blockers, bombs, liquorice swirls, and other annoyances.  Each level has their own unique themes and requirements too, whether it is clearing out jellies, getting x number of points (usually within a time frame or moves), clearing out certain types of candies or bringing "ingredients" down to the bottom or a board.  Levels start out simple too and get more complex too.
- Free booster wheel: Everyday, you get one free spin on the booster wheel that enables you to unlock one free booster each day which can help.  Can be useful for stocking boosters for later and saves you from having to spend hard earn money to buy them every time you want them.

Well that is all I have, this game is bound to be entertaining for people who like puzzles, though the game is pretty long and gets progressively more difficult so some people might get bored after a while.  Personally I enjoy the game, especially if you want take a "study break" or feel like playing a game while online.  If you are interested in checking out Candy Crush, you can find it on Facebook (though you can also access it at King.com at https://king.com/#!/play/candycrush).

Can be a very useful resource for getting more information about the game, levels and strategies.

Similar games:
Bubble Witch Saga 2

Candy Crush Soda Saga - Seems to be the official sequel to Candy Crush

Pet Rescue Saga (puzzle game) - Great if you like animals

Pepper Panic Saga - pretty similar to Candy Crush, except that you are combining chili peppers

Bejeweled 2 - Here is the version on World Winner.  In this version, you compete against other players for high scores either for fun or cash (if you want to play for cash).  I usually play this game just for fun though.

General Tips and Tricks on Candy Crush:
- Pace yourself.  This game is not meant to be beaten in one or 2 sittings.  Luckily your progress is saved as you advance.  Don't feel like you have to complete every level in one setting
- Learn how make special candies by combining 4 or more candies in a row.  This will be especially useful as levels get trickier and more complex.  Some levels are pretty much unbeatable unless if you know how to make combos (especially candy order levels that require special candies as well as jelly levels with hard to reach candies and jellies).
- Don't give up.  Some levels will take multiple attempts to beat.
- Use power ups and booster wisely.  By the way, early in the game, I recommend stocking up on free boosters you get by spinning the wheel each day.  This way you will have plenty of them by the time the game ges tougher.  Also, lolly pop hammers and free switches can be very useful when used wisely can are great for using as finishers for a level (such as having one jelly block left to destroy on jelly levels along with both certain candy order levels and ingredient levels).
- Be mindful of hazzards that appear in the game.  A classic example of this are time bombs that appear as you play through the game.  Each time you make a move, they count down and if they count down to 0, they explode and you automatically fail the level. Try to diffuse them before it is too late if you can.  Also, ones where you have chocolates and chocolate spawners (those "blobs" that "eat" blocks and sometimes game pieces), it helps to destroy the chocolates before they spread too much.
- Sometimes it helps to strategize too.
(more will be added over time)

That is all for now.  What do you think of Candy Crush?  Feel free to leave comments below.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Top 10 Halloweenish games or games with Halloweenish themes (part 1)

Well, tomorrow is Halloween (at least at the time of this post).  If you are looking for some Halloweenish video games, here are 10 different Halloweenish style games you may like

1. Castlevania Series
Random picture from Castlevania Dracula X - in this scene, Richter Belmont fights the evil Count Dracula in a final boss battle
Castlevania is probably arguably the most halloweenish series in gaming,  The Castlevania series comes in many different forms and sequels (mostly 2D, though there are also 3D versions too).  However, despite the diferent titles in the series and all, the premise is pretty similar.  You play as a hero (such as Simon Belmont, his descendents such as Richter Belmont in Castlevania X, Dracula's son, Alucard or similar characters) and play through a series of levels and even a huge castle fighting against hordes of ghosts, vampires, monsters, werewolves, demons, and even huge goulish bosses including: Death the Grim Reaper, headless horsemen (Dullahan), Frankenstein Monsters (aka "The Creature"), giant bats, and many others.  Also, the main antagonist of the series is none other than the infamous Count Dracula himself (though not every game has him as the final boss as is the case in games like Dawn of Sorrow, Lords of Shadow and Lamment of Innocence).  My favorite Castlevania games includes: Dracula X (SNES), Symphony of the Night (Playstation), Dawn of Sorrow, Castlevania 64, Portrait of Ruin, Lamment of Innocence (basically a prequel to the series) and even Harmony of Despair.

By the way, here is a Youtube video showing off one gamer's favorite 15 boss battles in the series:

2. Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare - 

Sadly, I was never able to finish Red Dead Redemption Nightmare (focused more on the main game instead, plus my brother took the game with him when he moved out), but I was able to play through parts of the game.  This version of Red Dead redemption is definitely spooky.  Set in the old west (early 1900's era), you play as John Marston in an alternate storyline of events where his world basically gets infested with zombies and it is up to John Marston to save the day.  In addition to fighting Zombies, John Marston also gets various interesting missions, including: hunting sasquatches (yes they do appear in the game, at least early on), riding the "7 horse of the apocalypse" horses, hunting chupacabas, etc.  By the way, even in the regular version of Red Dead Redemption, have you ever been to the ghost town, Tumbleweed at night?  The town is abandoned, but according to some of the ingame newspapers, the town is haunted and you can actually see the buildings with lights on but nobody is there (though I don't remember seeing any apparations or anything like that when I checked out Tumbleweed at night, though sometimes you can encounter gangs there). The game definitely makes an interesting and eerie sequel to the main game.    
3. House of the Dead Series (arcade)

I've played this game at an arcade at Whistler, Canada on various occasions.  My family stays at Club Intrawest when we visit Whistler (usually around Thanksgiving time) and they actually have a free arcade there (where you can pretty much play arcade games for free) and the last few times I was there, they had that game (not sure if they still have it or not though).  It is a shooter type game where you go through various different levels (kind of like  the game, Area 51) and you have to shoot zombies, gargoyles, monsters, etc.  Hitting innocents or even getting hit by enemy attacks costs you a "life" and if you run out of lives, it is game over.  These games are full of goulish creatures that you have to shoot, especially zombies which make the game fun.  Lots of supense and action too.  Also like the Castlevania series, each level ends with a major boss fight.
4. Sims 2 (PSP version)

I used to have a PSP (before getting a 3DS), but sadly it stopped working (I tried to download an update for a game I got, but it didn't download properly and my system stopped working).  But I remember getting Sims 2 for the PSP.  The game is basically a spinoff from the original version of Sims 2 for the PSP and functions more like a roleplaying game instead of a traditional Sims game.  You play as a character you create and you are stuck in the middle of a desert town called Strangetown.  Based on the Strangetown in the original Sims 2 game, you feel like you are living in Roswell, New Mexico (a town in New Mexico famous for its alleged ufo crash back in the late 1940s) and Strangetown is known for its strange phenomenon.  Sadly, I wasn't able to finish Sims 2 for the PSP before my game system stopped working, but the game was pretty fun and interesting too.  Noteworthy moments in the game includes:
- Living in a haunted house infested with 3 ghosts (including a ghostly maid named, Emily), 2 of which will try to scare the heck out your character if you enter in the rooms they are in.
- Interacting with aliens
- Solving a wear wolf mystery
- Side quests involving a wierd cult that worships cows (seems to be a parody of golden calf worshipers from the book of Exodus in the bible as well as the Baal religion).
- Stopping a mad scientist that wants to take over
and many other features.

Sims 2 for PSP was definitely an interesting title in the Sims series and is definitely one to check out if you are into the paranormal stuff.

5. Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 - especially the Halloween Town level

Above is a random video from Youtube showing off the Halloween Town level in Kingdom Hearts.  While the Kingdom Hearts series is not really halloween oriented per se, they definitely have some elements that make them halloweenish, especially the halloween town level.  By the way, this version is not to be confused for the "Halloween Town" from the movie, Halloween Town (the one with Debbie Reynolds and Kimberly Brown).  It is the one from "Nightmare before Christmas".  You play as Sora, Goofy, and Donald and as you can see, they dress up in costumes and set out on a series of quests to save the day with hordes of heartless (those shadowy creatures you fight) as well as the evil Oogie Boogie trying to take over.  It is definitely a spooky level to play through, with gouls, people dressed up in costumes, spooky music playing in the background, pranksters you have to defeat (the trio), etc.  At the end of the level is a huge boss fight against Oogie Boogie himself.  There is also a Halloween Town level in Kingdom Hearts 2 as well by the way.  In that version, not only does Sora have to face Oogie Boogie again, he also sets out to save the day in Christmas town as well.  By the way, Halloween Town is not the only Halloween theme in the Kingdom Hearts series.  Other ones includes:

KH 1:
- Fighting heartless creatures.  These are shadowy creatures that constantly hunt Sora, Donald, and Goofy in their aventures throughout the series
- Disney villians.  Reminds me of the ones featured in "Disney's Trick or Treat".
- Malificient boss fights.  In fact in the first game, as in the movie "Sleeping Beauty", after you defeat her original form, she turns into a huge dragon and you have to defeat her dragon form as well.
- The End of the World level.  The final level in the game was pretty eerie.  You even fight that horned dude from Fantasia as well and revisit worlds you have played through early in the game too.
- Final Boss against Ansem, especially his final form where he is this huge beast that you have to defeat.

KH 2:
- The seven wonders quest in Twilight town.  Didn't some of them seem to be very real for Roxas (like the one where you have to fight a clone of Roxas or where you are investigating a wall in an alleyway and someone tries to hit balls at Roxas from the otherside of the wall.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GTA Online: How to Find the Snowy City in the Sky

I never knew you could find North Yankton in GTA Online.  I will have to try and recreate this for myself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Halloweenish Moments in Grand Theft Auto 5 part one.

You know I have recently beaten the game on Grand Theft Auto 5 and even got to the 100% completion mark.  This month is October and as you know, Halloween is just a few weeks away and Grand Theft Auto 5 has several Halloweenish moments.

Spoiler alert: this post assumes you have played through GTA 5.  If you haven't played through the game and want to be suprised, feel free to skip this post.  Alternatively, why not grab yourself a copy of GTA 5 via Amazon.  

Moving on,here are 3 Halloweenish moments in the game (this post is too big to do in one setting, so I will have to break it up into several posts):

1. Do some ghost hunting at Mount Gordo
Mount Gordo

Yes, ghosts do exist in Grand Theft Auto 5.  In fact, if you are venturing out to Mount Gordo late at night you might encouter this ghost.  Presumably it is the ghost of Lenora Johnson, who was murdered prior to the events of the game.  The Mount Gordo summit is hidden off to the side of the freeway connecting Los Santos with Paleto Bay just north of the Sandy Shores area (if you get to the Paleto Bay area going north, you have gone too far).  Once you get to Mount Gordo, you can either hike, ride a bike, or use a motorcycle to get to the summit.  The ghost will appear in a specific spot along the mountain, so you will have to scout it out.

Few notes about the ghot of Mount Gordo:
- There is a specific point at the top of Mount Gordo where you can encounter the ghost you will have to some exploring at the top.
- The ghost only appears at a certain time in the game (I think it is 23:00-0:00, or 11:00 pm to 12:00pm).  The ghost disappears afterwards.  If you get there too early or too late you will have to wait till the same time  the next night (btw, you can camp out there if you want if you are the patient type).
- The ghost basically just hovers over the rock.
- You can't shoot the ghost (bullets will go right through her)
- For a closer look at the ghost, I recommend getting a sniper rifle in the game.  You can get a closeup view of her with a sniper rifle
- The ghost will disappear if you try to get too close to her.  Interestingly if you back away, she will reappear again.
- Also, if you get to the rock she hovers around, you can actually see blood on it.
It's pretty creepy if you ask me.  By the way, it seems to be a residual type haunt as it doesn't seem to notice you and just does the same thing each night.
- You can also get a view of the lighthouse below in the distance from where she is.  Presumably she fell to her death from the top of the mountain.

Tips and warnings about this ghost:
- The ghost appears at a specific time (from 23:00-0:00 game time).  She disappears afterwards.  So you do have to time your visit to the mountain perfectly.  Alternatively, you can always camp out in the vincinity.  The fastest way to the top is via motorcycle.  If you go on foot, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the top.
- Watch out for cougars, especially if you go there on foot.  Just like hot it is in the game, Red Dead Redemption, cougars do exist in the game and will attack you if you are on foot (if you are on motorcycle, they will just run away).  Usually you will hear a growl followed by seeing a red dot on the radar and that will indicate a cougar nearby and closing in on you.  I recommend taking handy gun with you with plenty of ammo if you venture out to mount gordo for your protection.  Even a good pistol can take out cougars pretty quickly if they get too close.
- For a closeup view of the ghost, you will need a sniper rifle.  You can't get too close to her, otherwise she disappears.

Here is a video about the ghost:


Part 2: UFO's
Here is a picture of a ufo I took at the top of Mount Chillad (note that it only appears late on a stormy night there and after you have gotten 100% completion of the game)
Mount Chiliad

Yes, aliens do seem to exist in Grand Theft Auto 5.  Some ufos and aliens can be found before the 100% completion of the game, such as the sunken one near Paleto Bay as well as what looks like the remaints of an alien hidden beneath the ice near North Yankton at the beginning of the game (can be easy to miss).

After you have gotten 100% completion (these ufos will not appear till after you have gotten 100% completion), more ufos can be found, including:
1. UFO easter egg on top of Mount Chillad (appears after 3:00 on a stormy night).

After 100% completion of the game, if you venture to the top of Mount Chillad late on a stormy night, you might encounter a ufo there (close to the top of the gondala).  By the way, there is a cheat code that makes it so you can change the weather if you want it to be stormy sooner
Mount Chiliad
(see http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/634491-grand-theft-auto-v/cheats if you have the Xbox 360 version or http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps3/634490-grand-theft-auto-v/cheats for the PS3  version).
The Mount Chillad Ufo is probably the easiest one to spot if you know where to look and when to look.  To spot this ufo (after the 100% completion), make sure it is stormy out (if it is a clear night, the ufo will not appear) and night time (preferrably after 1am) and take the tram from the tram station near Paleto Bay to the  top of the Mountain.  Assuing it is still stormy, around 3am, a ufo should appear.  By the way, there are cheats you can use to change the weather, so if it is sunny out for example, you can use cheat codes to make it so it becomes stormy.  Note: the weather can change during the course of a day in the game (such as going from rain to clear) so you will want to wait till at least 2 hours before 3am before entering the cheats to ensure that it is still stormy by 3am.  If you change it  too early it might change and you will miss out.

2 warnings and other info about this ufo spot:
- cougars do roam on Mount Chillad and will try to attack you when on foot, so watch out for them, especially if you decide to hike down the mountain.  Carrying a gun is a must for defending yourself against cougars.
- You can parachute off the mountain if you want, though you can also bike, hike or take the tram back down.  If you hike watch out for cougars.
- It might work if it is raining out, though I haven't tried that approach myself so I don't know if it works that way.
- Unlike the UFOs over Zancudo Air Force Base and Sandy Shores, it doesn't turn hostile if you get close to it.  Instead it vanishes (much like how it is with the ghost on top of Mount Gordo).
- The easiest way to make it stormy is to use cheat codes to change the weather (otherwise you could be waiting for a while before it gets stormy).  Also make sure you time it correctly (say anytime after 1am).  If you do it too early, the weather might change on you.
- The Mount Chillad UFO seems to be a part of a larger mystery.  If you get off the tram there is a picture that looks like the inside of the mountain and a ufo that appears on the top.  There are rumors surrounding Mount Chillad I have seen online, such as elevators into the mountain (though apparently they don't work) at Fort Zacudo and the tram station seems to have what looks like panels that could open and lead inside the mountain but I don't know how to open them.   It is possible that Rockstar will add some DLC that expands on the mystery some day, though it is not clear if or when they will make the expansion (they might also make the changes when the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions come out).  I will try to keep you updated if I hear anything.

2. UFO over Sandy Shores

If you are flying high above the Sandy Shores area after you have gotten the 100% completion, you may encounter this ufo hovering over the hippy camp (the one that has the green landscape with ufo enthusiasts. This one can actually be tricky to find and easy to miss if you don't know where to look, though not nearly as tricky to find as the one at Fort Zancudo is in my opinion.  Here is how you can see  the ufo:
- I recommend using Trevor for this one and be sure to purchase the Mckenzie Airfield if you haven't done so already (it is the one in Sandy Shores).  Also, I recommend using a helicopter for this one.  If you do not know how to fly a helicopter in the game, you might want to consider doing the flight school missions at Los Santos Airport (ideally you should have done flight school during the Merryweather Heist preparation events, and I think it is required for 100% completion).
- As Trevor (or whoever you want flying), get in a helicopter and fly it as high as you can over where the hippy camp is and eventually you should see a UFO decending from the sky.  Note that the appear appears right around the hippy camp and nowhere else around sandy shores.
- You can get a picture of the UFO using the ingame phone, though it can be tricky to fly and take pictures at the same time.
- It might be possible to land on the ufo or parachute onto it (I have seen videos of people doing this), but it is very risky doings so.

Quick warning about this ufo:
- It becomes hostile if you get too close. If you get too close to it, it shoots this invisible beam (you will hear a wierd noise, don't know how else to describe it) that renders your plane inoperable, which means you have to parachute a long way down from the sky.
- Also, if you are using a parachute and get too close to the UFO, it will "shoot" the parachute as well, sending your character falling down to his death.
- Sometimes jumping out of a plane or helicopter can get you a wanted level.
- The ufo might not appear right away when flying around the hippy camp.  If you do not see it yet, you can fly around and keep trying to gain altitude and eventually you should be able to see it.

Ufo 3: Fort Zancudo

San Andreas
Picture of the Fort Zancudo UFO
 Update: I was able to get a glimpse of this one last night. If but if you fly high over the Ford Zancudo Air Force base in the game (again assuming you have 100% completion), you might be able to a ufo flying over the base.  Of the 3 UFOs that appear after 100% completion, this one is probably the hardest one to spot in my opinion and perhaps the most risky one to find too considering that you are flying over one of the game's restricted areas.  To see the UFO, you have to be flying high above the airforce base and if you are patient and know where to look, you should eventually see a UFO flying around.  Unlike the other 2 UFOs, it has a military style look, materializes in front of you (unlike the one at Sandy Shores where it decends from the sky) alost like it has a cloaking device, and looks like it is missing parts of its sphere.   Apparrently you can shoot at the UFO if you have a Lazer or military helicopter, though you can't seem to do real damage to it.  By the way, good luck getting a lazer or combat helicopter, since not easy to acquire as you have to sneak on to the base (which gives you an instant 4 start wanted level), fight your way to the helicopter (and yes military personnel do have tanks that will come after you) and manage to take off without getting shot down.  I recommend using the invincibility cheat (makes you invincible for 5 ingame minutes) if you are struggling to get to the helicopter (the only real hard part then is trying to avoid getting shot down).  Alternatively, you can fly a helicopter over to Ford Zancudo from either Los Santos as Franklin or Mckenzie Airfield as Trevor)
Interestingly, like the ufo in Sandy Shores, it looks like it gets hostile if you get too close and will try to shoot you down.  By the way, the Fort Zancudo ufo seems to be a reference to rumors about ufos being seen over real life military bases (such as Area 51, for example) and seems to pay tribute to a similar military base in GTA San Andreas.  I've never seen a ufo in real life and don't really know if ufos really appear over military bases, but I have seen shows on it, including a special on Travel Channel about Rachel, Nevada and Area 51 that talks about that kind of phenomenon.  Though I have never been to that part of Nevada so I wouldn't know if there is any truth to the claims about the place.

Quick warnings about the Fort Zancudo UFO:
- As with real life military bases, trespassing is forbidden at Fort Zancudo.  If you try to set foot on the base there, you will get an instant 4 star wanted level, which can essentially be a death sentence for your character unless if you are good at eluding police and military personel on a 4 star wanted level in the game (which is definitely intense).  Also, you have tanks on the base hunting you down too, which can kill you in one hit it shoots you.  If you fly over Fort Zancudo, unless if you are high enough, you can get shot down.  For the Fort Zancudo UFO, you will have to be flying over the base as high as you can and you should not have to worry about getting shot down, which can happen if you if you fly too low.  This should not be a problem if you are flying from Sandy Shores or Los Santos air port as you have plenty of time to gain altitude on the way.
-  Like the UFO in Sandy Shores, the Fort Zancudo UFO does get hostile if you get too close and will try to "shoot" you down, which can be dangerous for the player over the military base.
- This one can take several tries to find since it is not as easy to find as the other 2 are.
Part 3: Aliens and Alien Abductions

 You know, just thinking about UFOs, Aliens also seem to exist in the game too.  In the video above, there is a side mission Michael can take where there is some politician trying to legalize medical cocaine (seems to be a parody of real life medical marijuana) and when Michael takes a free sample of the drug, he has this hallucination where there a horde of aliens appearing and closing in on him and he has to shoot them with a mini-gun. It was a pretty wierd mission in my opinion.  Also they try to abduct Michael and if they succeed, Michael dies so you have to avoid getting abducted by them.  By the way, this is not the only time Michael can encounter aliens.  There is a more disturbing encounter during another mission (I think it is the "Did someone say Yoga?" Mission (it is the one where Michael temporarily breaks up with Amanda till towards the end of the storyline missions) where after doing Yoga and Amanda threatens to leave Michael for some Yoga dude, Michael encounters Jimmy.  He has Michael take Jimmy to get drugs (yes drugs do exist in GTA 5 and your characters can use them with funny effects) from a friend and tricks Michael into sampling the drugs (even while driving I might add) and it sends Michael into an instant hallucination trip where he gets abducted by aliens (they look like the aliens from "Aliens vs Predator" in my opinion) and sent back to earth.  There also appear to be aliens roaming the streets of Vinewood (GTA's version of Hollywood) as well as the Vinewood Studio (which is based on the Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles). Definitely a halloweenish moment.  It is probably the best paranormal events that take place in the game too.

By the way, here is a video I found on Youtube about some player causing a UFO to crash and get attacked by aliens.  Pretty funny (not sure how the easter egg works though as I haven't seen it yet).

Well that is all for now. Will add more Halloweenish moments at a later post.  Other Halloweenish moments I know of which I will try to expand more on as time allows includes:
- Killer clowns with Trevor.  It is pretty similar to Michael's hallucination of aliens, but involves clowns.
- Solve 2 murder mysteries
- Watch out for...Jaws (yes, man eating sharks do exist in GTA 5)!
- Joining cults (such as the Epsilon cult as Michael)
- Altruist Cult (basically cannibals in GTA 5)
- Trevor Philips as a psychopath.
-  Cougars!
-  Vandalism and costume dressing
- Ghost dog (there is a dog that appears in one of the "Strangers and Freaks" mission that only Franklin can see and seems to warn of impending danger for his "master"?
- Ghost of Trevor Phillip's mother (aka the Mrs Phillips Strangers and Freaks Mission)?
- Does bigfoot roam the Mount Chillad wilderness (also known as the "Last one" Strangers and Freaks mission).

Stay tuned for more.

Disclaimer about GTA 5: the game is rated "M" for mature and is definitely not for everyone content wise.  Content includes: violence, criminal acts (btw, don't even think about trying anything you see in this game at home for obvious reasons unless of course if you are trying to get arrested or end up in jail for a long time, or even wind up on death row in some case), drug use and references, dark moments, and similar things associated with the GTA franchise.  If you are the type that is easily offended by video game violence and similar types of content, then Grand Theft Auto 5 is probably not for you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Many Deaths of Bowser; All the ways He's been killed in the Mario se...

This video was funny to watch

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fable 3: Gnome Insults Video

Hey, just out of curiousity, are there any Fable fans here?  Here is a somewhat funny and crude video involving the gnomes in Fable 3.  If you remember playing that game, there are gnomes scattered throughout the land (which get activated after both the "Gnomes are Good" and "Gnomes are evil" side quests).  You know a gnome is nearby when he starts hurling insults at your character.  Here is a youtube video showing the many insults your character might hear from the gnomes.  Pretty amuzing too. 

Fair warning: this video might be offensive to some people.  You will encounter gnomes like the one in the video when playing Fable 3 though. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alaskan Malamute Puppy Walking The Dog

Hey, do any of you have 2 or more dogs?  I do, namely a golden retriever and a bichon frise shizu (Tucker and Angel).  One funny thing that can happen is if Angel has her leash on, Tucker will sometimes grab her leash and try to walk her.  Anyways, here is a funny video about 2 big dogs trying to walk each other with a alaskan malamute puppy trying to walk what looks like a german shepard.  This is a pretty funny video.

Like this post, feel free to like and share it.  Also, do your dogs try to walk each other?  Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.  Note I actually meant to post this on my other blog (http://rjanimalvideos.blogspot.com) when I hit the share button on youtube.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GTA 5 Mount Gordo Ghost confirmed

Confirmed: Mount Gordo Ghost.  Check out this scary and yet true ghost story on Grand Theft Auto 5

Closeup shot of the ghost at Mount Gordo (with the words ghost on it)

Here is an unaltered picture of the ghost at Mount Gordo

You know, remember back in the day when Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was out (long before GTA 4 and 5), the game was full of paranormal myths and legends, including but not limited to:
 1. Bigfoot sightings on Mount Chillad (which I doubt as I have been up that mountain many times in that game, even on foot and never seen any sign of bigfoot, at least not in the Xbox version).
2. Ghost in CJ's house (I haven't been able to verify that rumor either in the Xbox version).
3. The suicidal photographer at the Flint Intersection, which was one of the few I was able to confirm. In the Flint intersection area of the game, instead of taking the freeway, you should drive the side road that goes along the waterfront there (preferably at night) and you will see a person (usually a man) taking several pictures of the ocean and after a short while, he will walk into the water and seem to drown (which does seem to repeat itself each time you drive by the same spot, which is a bit eerie)
4. The "ghost cars" in the Back and Beyond area which is also true (if you scout out the Back and Beyond area), you should come across a spot where one or two cars seem to roll down the hill by them selves and if you get a closeup look at the cars you will find that there is nobody in them.
And many others.

Anyways, after San Andreas and a trip to Liberty City (which feels almost like you are in New York City) in the GTA 4 era games, Grand Theft Auto 5 takes you right back the Los Santos area (a modified version of San Andreas) and as with San Andreas, GTA 5 does have its' myths and legends.  One myth that I checked out myself and was able to confirm was the Mount Gordo ghost.  The mountain is near the northeast corner of the game map (just south east of Paleto Bay and is actually right off the freeway connecting Los Santos with Paleto Bay) is a good sized area to explore.  There are no roads that go directly into the mountains mainly just trails and terrain, so you have to go on foot to check out this one (though you can use motorcycles to reach the top of the mountain too).  By the way, when exploring Mount Gordo I recommend brining a handy gun with you since there are cougars (aka mountain lions) on the mountain and they will attack you at random while exploring Mount Gordo (usually you will hear a growling sound and see a red blip on the map when a cougar is nearby).  On Mount Gordo there is an area around the peak of the mountain that overlooks a lighthouse on the far east side of the mountain and it is around that spot where the ghost appears (it is hard to really explain it without showing you, so I will share a random youtube video about the ghost down below for more info).  By the way, to skeptics out there, I was skeptical about the ghost too but after exploring the mountain I came across the ghost too.

Here is how you find the ghost.

Step 1. go to the area in the game where the red circle is on  the map (you will have to go either by bike or foot since there is no road through there).  By the way, when driving to the area, you know you have gone too far on the freeway if you arrive in Paleto Bay
Step 2: There is a window of time to see the ghost as she only seems to appear between 23:00 and 0:00 game time (and you can track the time either by the pause menu or checking the in game phone).  Note the ghost seems to disappear after that window, so if you arrive too late (after 0:00), you will have to wait till the next night in the game to try again (timing and patience is key here and you might consider camping out in the area if you arrive too early).
Step 3: between 23:00 and 0:00 a ghostly woman should appear on a rock in the distance.  If you have a sniper rifle (Franklin, my character, did not have one at the time of the photo) or binnoculars, you can zoom actually in on the ghost and a closer look of her.  By the way, it does seem to be a residual type haunt as the ghost doesn't seem to notice your character and just appears and disappears on its own.

Few warnings and tips about this easter egg:
- It appears that the ghost only appears for a short window of time (between 23:00 and 0:00 game time).  Outside of that range she disappears and you will have to wait till the next night during those hours before you can look for her again.
- The ghost does disappear if you get too close to her (though you can see what looks like blood on the rock she hovers around), so you will have to view her from a distance.  BTW, if you have a sniper rifle, you can actually zoom in on her and shooting her does nothing (the bullets just go through her and she doesn't chase you or anything).  Alternatively you can also snap a photo of her using the snap o matic feature on the ingame phone (if you have a social club account at http://socialclub.rockstargames.com/, you can also share the photo too).
- Watch out for cougars while scourng the area in the game and be sure to bring a handy gun with you (even a good pistol can do) as cougarss do seem to have a presence there and they will attack your character randomly (happened to me several times while on the mountain as Franklin, luckily my guy had some guns and able to take them out quickly).  You will hear a growl when a cougar is nearby and is coming in for the attack (also, if a cougar gets too close it will lunge at your character, killing him instantly earning your character a trip to a nearby hospital).

By the way as promised here is the video below.  By the way, this is the only confirmed ghost story I am aware of in GTA 5.  I like to think there might be other ghost stories in the game (it is a big map after all), but this is the only one I am aware of (feel free to correct me if I am wrong though in the comments section below).  Also, there are aliens and ufos in the game too.  One funny encounter with aliens I had in the game is where I was playing as Michael and did this side mission where he took some drugs (yes, Michael, Trevor and Franklin can all do drugs in the game at their safehouses with humorous effects) and did this hallucinatione trip where he had this mini gun and had to gun down aliens that were attacking (they look like the ones from aliens vs predator), but I can get into that more on a later post).

Well that is all for now and hope you liked this post. Feel free to leave a comment below. BTW, if you know of other paranormal related events in GTA 5 or similar games, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

By the way are you missing out on Grand Theft Auto 5 and/or GTA online and want to get in on the action?  Be sure to pick up a copy of the game and you can get in on the action almost right away.  Here are the links for both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions.  There doesn't seem to be a version for the Xbox One or PS4 at this time though so you will need an Xbox 360 or PS 3 (unless if Xbox One or PS4 have backwards compatability, which I don't know if they do or not).


Monday, April 7, 2014

GTA 5 - Prologue [100% Gold Medal Walkthrough]

Here is a video of the proluge in GTA 5.  It was an interesting mission (reminds me of a similar mission from Grand Theft Auto 4, where Niko too had to take part in a bank robbery heist mission).  This missions is so signature to the series (yet twisted too).

Friday, April 4, 2014

Just got Grand Theft Auto 5 just a few days ago

Hey everyone, it's been a while since I have posted last, in part due to the job I was going for at Microsoft where I would have been working as a Bing HRS judge.  Despite my best efforts to pass the qualification tests, I fell short and so it looks like I won't be getting that job afterall (by the way, it was definitely tougher than it looks too since you have to be spot on your judgegments at least 80% of the time which can be easier said than done for most as you never really know if you got a judgment right till after you submitted a judgement).  Anyways, I do have some good news: I got Grand Theft Auto 5 (even beat GTA 4 a few weeks ago) which I purchased at Fred Meyer. By the way, here is a trailer for the game in case if you are curious.

Grand Theft Auto 5 (story mode) first impressions

I have been able to play the game several  times since I got it and here are my first impressions of the game.  Note that this is not my official review of the game (I will do that at another time probably when I am about to beat the game, whenever that is).  The game has 2 different modes of gameplay: story mode and online mode (aka GTA 5 Online) each with their own unique story lines and feels.  The game starts off in some foreign country (Russia?) where your character (Trevor?) is a part of a bank heist mission where your character is a part of a bank robbery scheme and he has to help secure hostages, take money and evade police.  I won't spoil  the whole prologue, but that is basically how it works in a nutshell.  Eventually the prologue ends and shifts over to Los Santos where you assume the role of an African American named Franklin and the real story begins.  I've done several missions already, including:
- A mission where you have to scope out a neighborhood (presumably for drugs) only to be attacked by a street gang and a shootout takes place and eventually leads to a scene where you have to chase a biker in a van (similar to many of the missions in GTA 4 where Niko has to chase down his targets in order to take them out).  Interestingly you can choose to skip the mission if you are struggling (which is nice as you don't have to keep repeating the mission if you are having trouble beating the mission).
- There was also a side mission where you have to help a random woman tow (which is definitely a first in  thee series as I haven't seen similar missions involving a Tow truck in earlier installments of the GTA franchise) a car from the street to an impound lot.
-  There is also a mission where you have to chase down a target with the help of a rottweiler (yes there are dogs in the game unlike the previous entries) at a train yard facility. Btw the dog can run off and get frisky with other dogs (which was kind of funny and yet twisted in my opinion).

Outside of missions, there is definitely a huge world to explore and plenty of things to do in Los Santos and San Andreas.  BTW this game will definitely remind you of GTA San Andreas in many ways which is definitely a change after hanging out in Liberty City throughout the GTA 4 era games.  Also just as Liberty City is alot like New York City in GTA 4, Los Santos is definitely alot like the Los Angeles area in California and will definitely make you feel like you are in Southern California.  By the way, interestingly your guy can smoke and drink alcohol too, which is kind of funny (btw, if you drink too much your guy passes out).  And if he smokes often he starts getting voices in his head.

Things I like so far:
+ Huge world
+ Great acting and clip scenes (much like how it is in GTA 4)
+ New mission varieties (especially the tow truck mission as the one involving the rottwiler)
+ Definitely a change of pace from GTA 4
+ During many missions, there do seem to be checkpoints where if you fail or die you can go back to the checkpoint as opposed to having to start all over in the mission.  This is definitely nice since I know in earlier installments in the series, you didn't really have this feature and if you failed at any point in the mission you had to start over from the beginning of the mission in most cases.  Also some missions do seem to have an option where you can skip them if you fail too many times (which can take out the frustration you might have on some of the tougher missions).  I am not sure if you can skip every mission that way but at least some of the missions do
+ At least 3 or 4 playable characters (though you start off with one at the beginning).  Not sure when the other ones open up

- Not sure if you can use taxis like you could in GTA 4.  Having cars is nice, but I liked the fast travel feature (especially if you are lazy or want to hurry and get to another part of the map).
- Your character (at least Fanklin) has a girlfriend at the start of the game so I am not sure if you can get girlfriends in the game like you can in GTA 4 or San Andreas, though you do get an email early in the game that implies that Franklin's initial girlfriend wants to break up with him (he gets one of those "dear John" letters where his initial girlfriend claims that she just wants to be friends and is not interested in continuing her relationship with him)., so he might be able to get girlfriends in the game.  Note: I haven't unlocked the

Online mode at a first glance:

Here is what I like so far:
1) Huge world to explore and do
2) The online mode does seem to have its own storyline that you can follow.  When I started out I created a character named after John Waynum (the screen name me and my brothers share on Xbox live).  I wanted to make John Martson his father (there is an easter egg in some versions where you can do that), though the version of the game I have doesn't seem to have  that feature.
3) Lots of things to do online.  You can do races, earn money do bounty hunter missions, fly jets (at least I saw a youtube video of someone flying a jet last night on GTA Online).

Cons so far:

1. Good Sport and Bad sport system.  There seems to be a new system on GTA Online where our actions can determine whether you are a good sport or bad sport.  I guess if you are a good sport, you reap the benefits of being a good sport.  Not sure what can make you a bad sport though apparently shooting other peoples' cars and failing jobs can land you in that category.

2. Kicking system.  On GTA 5 online, you can see other players' names and if you want to you can choose to "kick" or "report" the player.  While it might be a good way to prevent abuse of the system, sadly there are troll types (people who like to make life miserable for others online) that are ever present in GTA online that like to abuse it and sadly even innocent players can find themselves kicked from  the game or (worse flagged).  It seems to happen randomly as you can do a mission, accept jobs, take part in a race, etc and some jerk decides to kick you out of the game.  I remember on my first time playing online, I was just starting out and trying to familiarize myself with the controls and even did 2 missions when I got a message saying that someone voted to kick me.  No explanation why and I know I wasn't doing anything wrong either.  Hopefully kicking doesn't become problem for players (especially newbies), but that did seem to be evident when played the online mode.  If I were Rockstar I would make it harder for people to kick people (such as forcing them to state a reason why they want players kicked and make it easier for people to defend themselves when accused) off the servers (or at least if people want a private server to play on, encourage them to use private servers), otherwise that can be a huge issue that plagues the online mode.

Here is video for example of one of the players doing a mission where he had to get something from a gun store only to get kicked from the game (looks like someone didn't want him to beat the mission):

Other than those 2 things the Online mode seems pretty impressive so far.

Note that this is not my official review of the games as I will probably get a better impression as time goes on, but those are my thoughts so far.

Note that there doesn't seem to be a version of the game for xbox one yet, so you would need a PS3 or Xbox 360 to play it.

Interesting in getting GTA 5?  You can get them through Amazon or similar retailers:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Changes coming to my posting activity level

Hey guys, I thought that I would make a quick update about adding new posts to this site (btw I am posting similar posts on my other blogs too, particularly the Animal videos blog and the empower network bog I have).  Basically, I have some good news and bad news for you all.  Note: this post will be off topic for the moment.

The good news is:
I am going new part time job that could eventually replace my job at Kohls.  I am going for a position with an outsourced company of Microsoft called Tech Mahindra.  Basically if I get the job, I will be working with he Bing search engine as a human relevance system (hrs) associate.  In this new position, I would basically be helping to look up and rate websites for the Bing search engine team.  Obviously, for  confidentiallity reasons, (I don't think they would appreciate it if I talk about how the job works and how it relates to sites ranking on bing) I can't get into all of  the details about my new job (other than basically looking up websites and evaluating them) but basically I will be doing that on a part time basis, which would be in addition to the 3 other jobs I have (Snohomish Publishing, Kohl's, and Advantage Sales and Marketing).  I will usually Mon-Friday 9:30 am to 1:30 pm (except Thursdays due to working at Kohl's those days), and might eventually replace my job at Kohl's if all goes well.  I don't officially have the job yet, as here is a class I have to take as well as a test to pass at the end before getting the job (though I might have the job officially by next week sometime as of this posting).

The bad news is: 
Obviously, my free time is going to be dropping significantly.  It has actually dropped quite significantly over the last few months anyways in part due to my mother breaking her leg back in December (she tripped down some stairs and broke her ankle that way) and have been having devote some of my time to help take care of her while she recovers.  Now, with this new job coming up, my free time will be dropping significantly more.  Below is my tentative weekly schdedule till further notice.  Note: if this new job doesn't go through my schedule will revert back to how it was.

Mon - Friday (except on days where I am working at Kohl's)
9:30 - 1:30p: Working at Microsoft
1:30 - 3:30: Free (though I still have to drive back from Redmond).  May try to get a work out in.
3:30 - 7:00: work at Snohomish Publishing (job number 2)
after 7:00 pm: free.  Note: on Tuesday nights I usually have bible study to go to after working at Snohomish Publishing and on Wednesday nights I help with Awana (an organization affiliated with my church, somewhat similar to cub scouts in a way)

Thursdays (or whenever I work at Kohls)
8am - 12 p - work at Kohls
rest of the day (same with other days)

Free (except on days when I am doing a demo for Advantage Sales and Marketing)

8a-10a: free
10:45-12:30 - church
12:30 - night Free (except on days where I am doing a demo).

So, that is what the schedule looks like.  Obviously with less free time, it will be harder devote my time to blogging. Hey if I was either earning more ad revenue from blogs from the affiliate ads (such as Walmart, Amazon, etc) I am hosting or getting better hours at my existing jobs, especially Kohl's where I am only averaging one 4 hour shift each week there, I wouldn't need the extra jobs and could devote more time to blogging.  But circumstances have forced me to make the change.  I will try to add new posts whenever I get around to it, but for now, I will be limited these next few months.  Of course, if any of you are interested, feel free to help contribute to this site.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Awkward Video Game relationships Part 2 (working draft)

Well, the wait is over, time to talk about more awkward video game romances and relationships.  Note: some of them will be from various movies and TV shows too.

****Spoiler alert******
This article assumes you have seen the movies or played the retrospective video games below

Relationship 6 - Amy and Sonic (Sonic Adventure and later Sonic games)
Here is a clip from Amy's story in the Classic Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)

You know what is an awkward relationship in video games: Sonic and Amy.  Amy Rose actually actually debuts in Sonic CD where Sonic has to rescue her from the clutches of Dr Robotnik (long before he was known as Eggman) and his creation, Mecha Sonic.  However it is not till the Sonic Adventure Era games where she has bigger roles.  In fact, in Sonic Adventure 1, like other allies of Sonic, Amy has her own episode where basically she has to go through levels protecting a bird that has a hidden chaos emerald in its amulet thingy he is carrying while trying to fend off an evil robot that wants to kidnap both Amy and the bird for Dr Eggman (remember he wants to use the chaos emeralds to upgrade the Chaos monster he helped to create).  At the end of her story is a huge boss fight between her and the evil robot.  Anyways, as with Mario and Princess Peach (and similar hero rescues the girl type of scenarios), Amy has a huge crush on Sonic and is not afraid to show it around him.  She even manages to rescue Sonic out of trouble and certain death on more than one occasion, such as causing a robot to turn on Dr Eggman (the gama robot if I remember correctly), breaking Sonic out of prison after being framed by Shadow the hedgehog and even saves him from being killed by Silver the Hedghog (who wrongly thinks that Sonic is the villian behind the rise of Mephilles and the fire breathing monster Iblis that are responsible for a post apocalyptic future in Sonic 2006). She has even been known to help bring Knucles back into his senses when Dr Eggman manages to trick him into thinking that Sonic is the enemy on more than one occasion (happened in one of the episodes of Sonic X for example).  Of course, it is hard to really tell if Sonic likes her or not considering that he often brushes her off and it is possible she might be in for a heartbreak in a future episode.  Of course how their relationship story plays out is yet to be seen.  Of course, if Sonic doesn't work out for her, hey, there is always Shadow and Silver the hedghog too.

Relationship 7 - Anakin Skywalker and Padme / Queen Amidala (Star Wars Episodes 1-3)

Anakin Skywalker & Padme Amidalla
Touching scene of Anakin and Padme from Star Wars episode 2 (Attack of the Clones).  This was probably one of the happiest moments of their relationships, long before the start of the Clone Wars and before all hell breaks loose in Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith).

Ah, I've been a Star Wars fan ever since I was a kid, starting with the original trillogy and now the prequel trillogy.  As you probably know, long before Han and Leia, there was Anakin and Queen Amidala (aka Padme) and their story plays a huge role throughout the prequel era of Star Wars.  In Episode 1 (Phantom Menace), she was the Queen of Naboo (an earthlike planet) and was around when the Trade Federation, at the goading of Darth Sidious (aka then Senator Palpatine unbeknownst to Padme at the time) and was rescued from certain death at the hands of the trade federation by Jedis Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Ginn. Long story short, it was on Tatooine when Anakin (who was a slave at the time) first met Padme (though he did not know she was the queen at the time, especially considering that she had a decoy taking the queen roll most of the time).  You know a quote I like: "Are you an angel?" (Young Anakin from Phantom Menace when he meets Padme for the first time).  Anyways, almost immediately he started liking here, despite the age difference (he was probably 8 at the time if I had to guess and she was probably at least 14 when they first met, though feel free to correct me if I am wrong).  Anyways, she cheered him on during the Pod Race, kind of begrugingly too though considering that her ride off the planet was at stake if Anakin lost the race (that would have been something if he lost, wouldn't it?).  She also seemed to support him when he was getting ready to see the Jedi council for the first time (while she and the "queen" attend the fateful session in the senate where the "queen" tries to persuade her listeners to issue sanctions against the the trade federation for their invasion, which in a way helped Palapatine rise to power, who would eventually become the evil emperor).  Anakin and Padme were definitely an unlikely couple too given their obvious differences.  I bet a young slave / farmer boy like Anakin from the desert planet of Tatooine never thought that he would wind up with such a beautiful queen from Naboo (despite her young age).  Here in the united states, we do not have kings and queens, but we do have a president (which is like having a king or queen in many ways despite the obvious limitations they have as rulers) and if would be like a minimum wage worker like myself living out in the boonies of Washington Stat marrying one of the president's daughter (whether it is Obama's daughters or some future president's daughter), very unlikely relationship.  Or meybe you live in Great Britian, it would be like if you were some farm boy living in Scottland or Ireland (somewhere out in the country) trying to marry Princess Kate (who is slated to become queen someday, btw she is already married too so don't get your hopes up on her).  Very unlikely scenarios, but that is basically what happens with Anakin and Padme.

Of course, things start taking an awkward turn as they seperate for at least 10 years and by the time Anakin sees Padme again, she is a senator that is the target of assasination plots by the seperatists, with the evil viceroy Nute Gunray along with Darth Maul's successor, Count Dooku (aka Darth Tyrannus, who seemed  to have a hand in creating the clone army for the republic which proves to both be a blessing and curse for the republic once the Clone Wars start).  Obviously, Palpatine is now known as Chancelor Palpatine (eventually to become Emperor Palpatine come Episode 3), Qui Gon Gin is dead (killed by Darth Maul), Obi Wann Kenobi is a jedi master and is the mentor of Anakin (much like how Qui Gon was a mentor of Obi Wan and later Yoda being the mentor of Luke Skywalker in the original trillogy).  Anakin of course was a charming, yet reckless Jedi Knight and is the padawan of Obi Wan.  Soon, Anakin and Padme's path crosses once again and he is immediately in love with her (even though apparently the jedi code forbids falling in love and marriage, which Anakin does anyways) and after a failed assasination attempt by Janga Fett and his associate Zam, Anakin becomes Padme's body guard and goes with her to Naboo and later Tatooine.  Of course, predictably, Anakin can no longer control his feelings and soon a romantic relationship forms (much to the reluctance of Padme too given both the fact she was a senator at the time and he was on the jedi council) and before long they are boyfriend and girlfriend. By the way, I can't blame Anakin too.  Have you ever had a crush on someone you know?  I will never forget the crush I had on Kim C, back in the day.  Anyways from a typical guy's perspective, what would you do if something came up where you had to spend extra time time with the girl you like (such as going on a camping trip with her, work the same job as her, living in the dormatory she is in, or maybe you happen to be neighbors)?  Would you be able to hide your feelings or would they come out (especially if you take the time to get to know her)?  Well, Anakin and Padme had that exact scenario and he ends up making Padme his girlfriend and eventually his wife by the end of the movie.
(this section is to be continued due to time restraints).

Relationship 8 - Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) and Mary Jane Watsons (and similar super hero / non superhero relationships)

Relationship 9 - Thor and Jane Foster (Thor Movies / Avengers)

Relationship 10 - Love Triangle in Mass Effect 3

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Top 10 Awkward Video Game Romances Part 1

In Mega Man X4, one of the many boss battles Zero will face is against Iris (who was a female robot that was in "love" with Zero before turning maverick.

You know, it is almost valentines day and I thought I would make a valentines day related post.  You know what that means (at least from a guy's perspective): girls and dates.  I hope you have picked out a gift for your special someone.  Believe it or not, even I had a girlfriend at one time too, back during my senior year of high school.  it was a girl I knew from Christ the King Lutheran church, named Samantha (note: won't give out her last name for privacy reasons).  Long story short, we dated for about a year and then after I went off to college, about a month later, I got one of those "dear john letters", you know those letters sometimes your former girlfriend will  send you a letter that basically says she wants to just "be friends" and found another guy she likes, and that was the end of that relationship (been single ever since).  By the way, Samantha was not my only love interest during my high school career too. For a while there, I was also crushing on a cute blonde girl named Kimberly (aka Kim C, though I won't give out her full last name for privacy reasons, so I will leave it at that), who was the classic hot blonde chick (don't know how else to put it) I knew during my middle school and high school years, though long story short, I will just say that sadly I let my bashfulness get the best of me and wasn't really able to get to know her like I did with Samantha and she ended up moving away (I think she moved to Tacoma last I saw her back in 2002 and btw Facebook didn't exist back then).  Lesson to be learned there kids: if you see a girl you like: don't hesitate to break the ice with her and at least take the time to get to know her.  Wait too long and either someone else will beat you to the punch or life happens (such as graduation or moving away) and you will miss your chance to get to know her.  Luckily I have learned from those mistakes myself.

Anyways, personal stuff aside, in this post I will talk about some interesting and awkward romances and relationships in the video game world (some movies and tv shows too).  Here are the top 10 I have seen:

******Spoiler Alert **********
In the following passages: I will assume you have played through these games or watched these shows and movies.

1. Zero and Iris - Mega Man X4

Here is a video below of the boss fight between Zero and Iris (occurs about midway through the second of the Sigma levels in the game):

If any relationship in the video game world were to resemble that of "Romeo and Juliet", it would probably be Zero and Iris in Mega Man X4.  Mega Man X4 was definitely my favorite of the Mega Man X series (along with MMX, MMX5 and MMX9) and was arguably probably the best of the post SNES Mega Man X games.  It was also the first one where you can actually play as Zero for the entire game (up through MMX3 you mainly played as X, though you do get to use Zero on a limited basis in X3).  Anyways, in Mega Man X4, the game is set several years after the events of Mega Man X3 and while X and Zero thought that the evil Sigma was gone for good, he is back and this time, as a part of his quest for world domination time he basically drives a wedge between the Maverick Hunters and the Repliforce (many of which become maverick during the course of the game presumably due to the Sigma virus which was spreading at the time).  He even manages to turn the Colonel (Iris' brother) against Zero by creating paranoia that the repliforce were turning maverick especially by inciting the Colonel and the General to start a military coup.  Further complicating matters is that Iris (a female cyborg) is madly in love with Zero and is torn between him and the Colonel once the war begins.  Eventually, the Colonel (who is obviously under the influence of the sigma virus and is intent on destroying the human race with a death star type of weapon) does turn maverick and challenges Zero a fight to the death (it is scripted and there is no avoiding it) in a huge boss battle (occurs in the first of the "sigma" stages that appear after you defeat the initial 8 maverick robot masters).  Sadly, Zero is forced to defeat Colonel and that enrages Iris too (talk about woman scorned).  She literally becomes the second boss for Zero to defeat in the following level much to his regret and reluctance.  The story probably could have gone better but she was probably under the influence of the sigma virus too by the time Colonel was gone.  Definitely a short lived relationship for Zero.

2. Mario / Luigi and Princess Peach

Here is a video below from New Super Mario Wii showing Mario defeating Bower for the nth time and rescuing Peach once again:

Princess Peach (aka Princess Toadstool) and Mario / Luigi is definitely another peculiar type of relationship. Both Luigi and Mario like her (though she seems to lean more toward Mario than Luigi as far as I can tell) and are definitely her rescuers and heroes in the games.  Of course, Princes Peach always seems to manage to get kidnapped by Bowser in each Mario bros. and so Mario and Luigi have to go and try to rescue Peach each time too.  It it is almost like Peach likes to get kidnapped by Bowser and have Mario come and rescue her.  How romantic?

3. CJ and Denise in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

Here is a video of Denise chasing after CJ when he tries to date Millie (note this is from the PC version of the the game and doesn't seem to happen in the Xbox version as far as I can tell).  Pretty funny to watch too
 It is no surprise that in some of the newer grand theft auto games, your character can gain girlfriends.  In GTA San Andreas after the "Burning Desires" mission (happens somewhat early in the game) Carl Johnson (aka CJ) will gain his first girlfriend: Denise (another African american woman who lives in a nearby neighborhood close where CJ lives), how romantic?  She is probably the easiest one to date to compared to the other girls in the game in many ways (for example, she is cool with going to fast food restaurants as opposed to fancier restaurants that other girlfriends like to go to) and sometimes she does a drive by type of date too.  Unfortunately being a typical game like Grand Theft Auto, for Denise, CJ can take up to 6 girlfriends during the course of the game.  Other potential girlfriends for CJ includes: Millie (gained in Las Venturas), Barbara (an ex cop), Katie (she is a nurse lives in San Fierro), Helena (she lives on a farm near the Flint Intersection), and Michelle (also lives in San Fierro and even likes to take CJ for a drive sometimes too).  While you will also automatically gain Millie during the Las Venturas missions (much like how it was with Denise), Michelle, Helena, Katie, and Barbara are all optional girlfriends and normally you have to meet certain requirements and meet them in certain areas before you can date them (see http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/914983-grand-theft-auto-san-andreas/faqs/33260 for more info about girlfriends in GTA San Andreas.  In addition, if you manage to find all of the 50 hidden oysters (hidden in the oceans, lakes and rivers in the game) your sex appeal becomes unlimited and CJ can date any of them (or all of them) if he wants regardless on how he looks and all (my guy ended up with 6 girlfriends during the course of the game).  Apparently Denise and other girlfriends can get jealous and chase after you (like in the video above), though while it might be possible to encounter in the PC version, I am not sure how to trigger it in the Xbox version (will have to test it out sometime).  Now that is an awkward moment as not only is CJ dating Denise, he can also have up to 5 more girlfriends too (all at the same time).  Can't you imagine what might happen if you tried that in real life?  They would probably all get jealous and break up with you.  If you were married to any of them, then you would probably get divorced too. What happens in GTA San Andreas stays in GTA San Andreas

4. Nikko and Michelle (and later Katie Mcrerry) in GTA 4

As with Carl in GTA San Andreas, in Grand Theft Auto 4, Nikko (the main protagonist in GTA 4) can date at least 2 different girlfriends during the course of the game (there are probably optional ones too).  The first girlfriend Nikko encounters is Michelle (not the same Michelle from GTA San Andreas of course).  She starts out as a close friend of Nikko and even dates Nikko for a while.  However unbeknownst to Nikko is that she is actually an FBI agent keepin an eye on Nikko and obviously Nikko is a criminal type working for the mafia, drug dealers, and other kingpins that he encounters in Liberty City (btw, doesn't Liberty City feel alot like New York City?  It does to me).  Eventually after several missions, in the aftermath of the the "snow storm" mission, where Nikko is sent to raid a drug warehouse and steal some drugs for his boss at the time (I think it was Elizibetha) , which was definitely a challenging mission to beat in my opinion (especially when NOOSE gets involved), there is a clip scene where Michelle reveals herself basically as an FBI agent and effectively ends her relationship with him.  I guess on the positive note: she doesn't have Nikko arrested for his crimes in the previous missions I guess out of being merciful.  Can't you imagine what that might look like in real life.  Obviously I would never become a criminal type myself (such as joining gangs or the mob), but can't you imagine what it would be like if you were in Nikko's shoes and were dating an undercover cop or FBI agent?  You would probably want to stay on the right side of the law instead considering that she could have you arrested if you do things you shouldn't do like Nikko does.  Ironically it seems like Nikko moved to Liberty City trying to escape the criminal life style and yet he finds himself working for the criminal elements of liberty city.

Of course, Michelle is not the only love interest for Nikko either.  Later in the game, Nikko will encounter several Mcrearys', namely: Frances Mcreary, Katie Mcreary, Packie Mcreary and Derrick Mcreary. Katie becomes Nikko's love interest during the course of the game too.  Anyways, everything seems to be going well for Nikko and Katie at first, however there is a mission toward the end of the game, called "Blood Brothers", which occurs sometime after the "tunnel of death" mission where Derrick makes Nikko assasinate one of his rivals who was headed to prison (which was a pretty insane mission too as you had to bust the guy out of police custody take him to an isolated area and terminate him), where Francis McReary basically pulls a "Cain and Abel" (the story from the bible where one brother kills the other) and makes Nikko shoot either him or Derrick.  While it would probably would have been better for Nikko to stay out of their dispute, the game is scripted so that Nikko kills either Derrick or Frances (which one Nikko kills is up to the player and I went with Derrick myself in the game) and in the following mission (Undertaker), Nikko has to attend Derrick or Francis' funeral (depending on Nikko kills).  Now that had to make things awkward for Nikko and Katie considering that Nikko kills one of ther brothers.  Can't you imagine trying to date someone who killed a family member (even if he/she was forced to do so by his/her brother)?  I know I wouldn't want to date someone like that and I would probably be pressing charges against that person too.  Definitely another awkward relationship in the game in my opinion.

Just for some reference: here is a youtube video of the blood brothers mission (by the way,  the poster also has videos showing the effects of killing either brother, but I won't spoil those for you:

Important disclaimer / warning about GTA 4 and SA: Obviously, the game is rated M being a typical grand theft auto type game and will likely be offensive for some people.  Definitely not recommended for kids or anyone don't like violent video games.  Also, for your own good never try anything you see in GTA at home, ever.  Doing those things can probably land you in jail or worse.  What you see in Grand Theft auto is for entertainment purposes only and should never be done in real life for obvious reasons.

 5. Scott Pilgrim and Ramona in Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Here is a youtube video showing all of the boss fights in Scott Pilgrim (including he 7 evil exes).

 I admit, I have both played the Xbox 360 game, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and later watched the movie version (watched it last year).  It was pretty enteraining in my opinion.  Anyways, talk about "skeletons in the closet". I know lots of people have pasts and sometimes they might even have secrets they don't want everyone else to know about for obvious reasons.  Some girls may have only had one boyfriend in their entire lives, while others might have gone through several.  I am sure the same can be said for us guys too (hey, I only have one ex, just for the record).  Anyways, fellow guys, if you were dating a girl you like, would you beat up her ex boyfriends if she asked you to?  This is exactly the dilema for Scott in Scott Pilgrim vs the world (both in the movie and the video game version).  In the movie version, initially, Scott was initially dating Knives Chau (who was an asian woman Scott liked), but soon into the movie he later meets Ramona, who quickly becomes Scott's latest crush.  Subsequently, he breaks up with Knives and starts dating Ramona.  Unbeknownst to Scott was that she had gone through at least 7 evil ex boyfriends (with their leader being the evil Gideon Graves) and he soon learns the hard way that if he wants to date Ramona, he will have to defeat her 7 evil ex boyfriends (usually in Mortal Kombat style matches to the death where the person defeated literally turns into coins, at least that is how it was both the movie and the game version).  The video game version of the movie plays out much like Castle Crashers and similar arcade style beat em up games, where you can play either as Scott, Kim Pine (a drummer who was also a former girlfriend of Scott at one time and seemed to be indifferent to Scott and Ramon at the time of the movie as far as I can tell), Ramona, or Stills, going through several unique levels with their own unique designs, enemies and obstacles.  At the end of each level is a major boss battle where you fight one of the exes (the final boss is Gideon b the way and is probably the most epic of them). In the end, Scott defeats all of the evil exes (including Gideon though he almost defeats Scott) and gets the girl (Ramona), but it was definitely an experience he will never forget.  By the way, in real life would you do something like that?  How about if your gf had lots of exes and they are all bigger and stronger than you?

Well, that is all for now, and stay tuned for part 2.

In part 2, I will talk about:

1. The Love Triangle in the Mass Effect series
2. Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in Spider-man Series
3. Anakin Skywalker and Padme - Star Wars Saga
4. Amy Rose and Sonic in the Sonic the Hedgehog series
5. Thor and Jane Foster (from Thor and the Avengers).
Note: this list is subject to change by the way.

That is all for this post.  Do you have any you want to add?  Feel free to leave a comment below.