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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Introducing my new GTA Online Character: Uncle Steve

Well, I was finally able to get my Xbox Live account working with the help of my father.  Anyways, I have started a new game and career on GTA 5 Online.  Let me introduce you to my new character, which I dubbed: Uncle Steve (was trying to be creative with names and thought that name looked cool).
Did a "selfie" of my character
Interestingly, there was nobody else online last night so I pretty much had the GTA Online mode to myself and was able to explore the map and try out the online features.  It is also worth noting that this character will replace the character I had on the Xbox 360 version of the game (even if I wanted to resume that version of the game, I traded it in at gamestop and got the Xbox One version in its place).

Stay tuned for the latest updates.

Here are some other pictures I have taken so far:

Vinewood Hills
Siberian huskies at a dog park north of Los Santos.  Yes: sibes do exist in this version of the game and can often be found at parks like this one.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saw the new Power Rangers short film today - my thoughts

Hey everyone.  In this post, I thought I would share with you the New Power Rangers short film on Youtube.  You can watch the film there.  Warning - this video is rated R and may be offensive to some.  Here is the original video if you want to watch it.  Interestingly, the film was temporarily taken down, but it appears that the film maker was allowed to repost it.  Note: the film is listed as "adult content" (as a part of the agreement the poster had with Bandai / Saban)

My Commentary of the film

In case if you don't know, the creators of the Power Rangers franchise are planning to do a reboot movie of the the MMPR franchise which is supposed to take the series back to its roots (back in the 1990s' incarnation where Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd were the main villians and you had the original characters: Tommy, Jason, Triny, Zack, Billy, and Kimberly as the power rangers), which will definitely be a first since the 1990s.  Anyways, there was a fan made short film of the original franchise and I thought I would talk about it.  The short film is definitely not canon in my opinion (completely different from the original series) with the franchise set sometime in a distant future New World order style system where the Rangers take on an evil empire called the Machine Empire (not to be confused with the Machine Empire from Power Rangers Zeo).  In the film, it appears the rangers were defeated in a battle against a corrupt NWO style government known as the Machine Empire and Kimberly (who is a blonde type unlike her counterpart in the original series) is being interrogated by the secret police (I won't spoil the film).  The film is definitely much darker than the original version but has a little bit more action and drama.

Things I liked about the film:
- Futuristic look (the graphics at the beginning of the film remind me of those in the Halo franchise)
- New actors portraying the original characters
- Different take to the saga.
- I definitely liked the acting style
- New villians: instead of the rangers taking on monsters from Rita or Zedd, they take on an evil empire in a New World Order style world (where there is a global dictatorship).

Negative aspects:
- Definitely more violent and dark than the original
- The fact that it was taken down today.  It looks like I just made it before the film was taken down since it was taken down shortly after I watched it.
- Not quite the same as the original franchise.
- Power Rangers (at least the original version) dieing is definitely not canon in my opinion.

Interesting tidbits after watching the film:
- Machine Empire (the empire listed in the short film): this was a real empire in the franchise, at least during the Power Rangers Zeo series.  The real Machine Empire were the main antagonists during the Power Rangers Zeo season (bridges the gap between Alien Rangers and Power Rangers Turbo), lead by King Mondo.  They replaced Rita and Zedd during much of the Power Rangers Zeo series while Rita and Zedd were on the run from them on the moon.  Eventually the Machine Empire was defeated by the rangers (indirectly with help from Rita and Zedd I might add), though by the time Power Rangers Turbo aired, another villain replaced the Machine Empire (namely Divatox and her minions).
Picture of King Mondo from Power Rangers Zeo (image source: rovang.wikispaces.com, appears that the website was taken down).
- Interestingly many of the original rangers including: Kimberly, Triny, Jason and Zack all left the show before the events of Power Rangers Zeo took place.  If you remember, Jason, Triny and Zack all left the show around the midpoint of Season 2 after being picked for the "world peace conference" which apparently happened as a result of a pay dispute between the actors and film makers, which is somewhat understandable in my opinion.  According to the IMDB, the actors and actresses would often put in very long hours, sometimes day and night almost every day (poor fellas, I wonder when they are able to sleep or have days off) and were only paid minimum wage (you would think actors and actresses would have made significantly more being in the show and all especially by being the star in the film).  Their characters would be replaced by Rocky, Adam and Aisha as a result, though it appears Aisha left the show shortly before Power Rangers Zeo.  Though Jason does make a brief return about midway through Power Rangers Zeo as the gold ranger  and was on the show once again for a while before leaving the series once again at the end of the Zeo season (before PR Turbo aired).  He also briefly appeared in the Power Rangers Turbo movieas one of Divatox's (the new series antagonist during the PR Turbo series) hostages in the Power Rangers Turbo Movie (she wanted to sacrifice him and Kimberly to a weird volcanic monster that appears towards the end of the film).
- Amy Jo Johnson (aka Kimberly) left the show about midway through season 3 (taking up gymnastics on a full time basis) and was replaced by Katherine (Catherine Sutherland).  Interestingly she is only mentioned once in Power Rangers Zeo when Kim sends Tommy a "Dear John letter" (which is basically a letter informing Tommy that she wanted to break up and just be friends), effectively ending their relationship permanently (probably as a result of Amy leaving the show).  Interestingly, like Jason, Kimberly makes one more appearance in the Power Rangers Turbo Movie as another hostage of Divatox before leaving the series once again afterwards.  Not sure if she makes any more appearances afterwards.
- Billy and Tommy return on Power Rangers Zeo, with Billy more as a support character than a ranger and he leaves the show before the end of the Zeo series.
- Kimberly as a dumb blonde type?! In the Power Rangers Short film, Kimberly (the pink ranger) is portrayed as blonde type.  Interestingly, according to the trivia page as well as Amy Jo Johnson's panel discussion at the Lexington comic con (see youtube video below) for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, when Saban started doing auditions for the original show Amy's character was originally supposed to be portrayed as a "stereotypical dumb blonde" type, possibly as a comic relief style character, much like Bulk and Skull were (probably the same iq level as them if I had to guess and those guys were definitely the idiot types in the series almost like Beavis and Butthead in many ways).  Though obviously her role eventually ended up being the much wiser California / Valley girl type (Valley Girl, California girl, what is the difference?).  The short film seems to go with the original idea and make her more of a dumb blonde type.  Thought that I would point that out.          

- The Machine Empire in this version of events reminds me of the New World Order style government that will likely appear in the tribulation era (presumably lead by the Antichrist during the 7 years leading up to Christ's return, at least from Christian stand point).  It features the rangers going up against a corrupt global dictatorship with corrupt government agents replacing the "putties".  Many conspiracy theroists think there will be a NWO style dictatorship someday.  When and how such as global dictatorship comes about is yet to be know, though most likely it will probably appear during the end time events (at least in Christian perspective) with the Antichrist leading it.
- Even though this is only a fan film, it does seem to mark the first new incarnation of Power Rangers to bring back all of the original characters (Zack, Billy, Jason, Triny, Kimberly, and Tommy), portrayed by new actors.  We will probably see that again when the Power Rangers Reboot movie comes out next year.  Up till now older characters are usually replaced by new ones with different names (such as Jason being replaced by Rocky, Triny being replaced by Aisha and later Tanya, Kimberly replaced by Katherine, and all of the other changes over the years).    
- Interestingly, Jason David Frank (the original Green Ranger) made a comment about the video.  You can see his take at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/power-rangers-green-ranger-actor-777984 (apparently he wasn't too wild about it to say the least).  Apparently, the other actors and actresses offered their takes as well.  You can read the article at http://www.slashfilm.com/power-rangers-short-film-reactions-controversey/

  Well, that is all for now.  What are your thoughts on the short film?  You know, the reboot version of the show is supposed to come out next year sometime.  Who all is looking forward to that?  Feel free to leave comment below or like and share this post.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Introducing Game of War Fire Age for the iOS phone and Android Phone (sponsored post)

He fellow gamers.  Do any of you like real time strategy war games, such as Age of Empires, Command and Conquer, Rome Total War, etc?  I thought that I would share with you all a new game coming out for the Iphone and Android phone called, Game of War Fire Age.

Game of War is is supposed to be similar to Age of Empire where you can create your own civilization and conquer other civilizations in this real time strategy war game.  I don't have the game myself (don't have an iphone or android phone), but it looks pretty fun.  I know my brothers would probably like these games.  Currently the game is available for the iOS (I am assuming Iphones) and Android Phones.  Not sure if it is available for the Windows Phone at this time.

Here is a trailer for Game of War below that I found on Youtube:

Noteworthy Features of Game of War:

- Play and chat with millions of Online Players from around the world in 32 different languages – all in real-time. I used to play MMORPG games for a while online, including Earth 2025, Adventure Quest, Second Life, and Utopia and this game seems to expand on the MMORPG style game play.

- Be part of a Global Alliance where you can make friends, co-op with Alliance members & become the all-powerful King! Can be a good way to make friends, team up with people, etc. When it comes to online games, I don't recommend going at it alone (for example lone players tend to make easy targets for landgrabbers and people who like to attack newbies from personal experience in similar games). It is good to work with other gamers too.

- Train vast armies to lead into action packed battles & watch the fighting in real-time on the stunning World Map. Reminds me of Age of Empires and Command and Conquer that way.

- Attack & conquer the Wonder to become the King! Use your power to give special Titles to your Friends & Enemies in the Kingdom! Like many online games, you are competing to become the top gamer. Not sure if there are any prizes to be won for top players like some games do, but it can come with bragging rights.

- Talk & strategize with your Alliance & friends in Chat – Alliance Chat, 1-on-1 Chat, or Chat with the Entire World. Can be useful for connecting with fellow players easily.

- Team up & join Forces with friends or smack-talk & burn your enemies!

- Forge diplomatic alliances to Conquer enemies & become the most POWERFUL Alliance in the Kingdom! Like in Age of Empires, alliances can be very useful to have, especially when going up against powerful enemies.

- Build & Customize your Empire - Upgrade buildings, walls & weapons to strengthen your Empire.

- Train, level-up and deck out your Hero – Craft legendary weapons and embed them with powerful Gems to rise above the competition!

Well, that is all for now. I haven't tried the game out myself yet, but if they do make a version for the Windows Phone, I will be sure to check it out.

Want to try out the game? You can get the apps at the following links below:

Click here to get the iOS version

Click here to get the Android version.

What is your experience with Game of War? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Top 20 Favorite Xbox 360 Games I have played part 1 (games 1-5)

Well, the Xbox 360 is officially a thing of the past now (though I may still try finish some of the games I have been playing through, including the 3rd time through on Mass Effect 3, Borderlands, as well as Fall Out New Vegas) and the Xbox One is officially here (and I got my copy of the game system back in December just fyi).  Looking back at the Xbox 360 days, I thought I would share with you my top 10 favorites list.  If you are looking for Xbox 360 games to play or buy I highly recommend the ones below.  Disclaimer: this list is based solely on my opinion and may or may not be the best game for everyone, but I enjoyed them the most.

Game 1- Red Dead Redemption (below is a youtube video showing the first 13 minutes of the game)

Who likes the western genere, such as the old John Wayne movies or Clint Eastwood movies?  There have been several different western themed games for the Xbox 360, including: Gun, Call of Juarez and Red Dead Redemption.  Of the 3, my favorite is probably Red Dead Redemption.  The game is set in the early 1900's (maybe 1910's), but the Wild West was still on, though change was slowly coming with automobiles and trains slowly starting to replace horses as transportation options, feds starting to officially expland its reach to the west, along with all of the other changes that we have seen in the past century leading up to the west in the 21st century  In the game, you assume the role of John Marston who was a former gang member lead by a man named Dutch who abandoned his former lifestyle, and even took on a wife, dog and even a son and lived a seemingly comfortable lifestyle.  One day, corrupt federal agents shows up lead by a guy named, Edgar Ross and he and his friends kidnap John's family and enlists him to basically become a bounty hunter and hunt down members in his former gang.  Like the grand theft auto series, the game has you playing in an open ended world, this time in an wild west style theme and has John traveling around, assisting people along the ways and ultimately hunting down his former gang members.  John Marston's world is full of wild west themes, including outlaws, western downs, animals you can hunt, poker games you can play in the saloons (such as texas hold em poker tournaments), wagon trains, and many other elements.  Lots of interesting characters Marston meets too, including: a snake oil con artist and salesman, grave digger, local sheriffs, mexicans, women in need, and many others.  John even gets involved in a Mexican civil war and he is forced to work with both sides to complete is primary quest. If you don't want to play through the main quest, there are plenty of other things you can do including: hunting (btw watch out for wolves, cougars, and bears which will try to kill John), exploring, going on rampages (much like how you can in GTA 4), help people, and even make choices that determine how people view John (either as a hero or an outlaw).  Red Dead Redemption is definitely a must have if you are into the wild west style genre  My only complaint about the game is that the storyline is pretty much linear and choices you make (be it good or bad) does not really really seem to have a discernable effect on the overall storyline  For example, in the Mexican civil war missions, I kind of wish they had it so that you could choose which side to align with (at first you aligned with the mexican army and later on you are aligned with the rebels).  A villainous John Marston might opt to side with the mexican army while a heroic John Marson might choose to align with the rebels.  Also, the ending is a bit tragic (John dies in the end, betrayed by Edgar Ross and his army).  If I were in his shoes, I might have fled to Mexico if I knew Edgar Ross might betray me .

Also: If you have played through the main game and want more, there is always the Red Dead Redemptiom Nightmare expansion pack you can play through.  In that version of events, John finds himself in a Walking Dead style west, filled with Zombies, sasquatches (yes there is at least one confirmed sasquatch in the game), "7 horses of the apocalypse" that John can find and ride, and many other spooky elements.  Can definitely make a good halloween style game too  Sadly, I gave Red Dead Redemption away to my brother and haven't played that game since, and while I did complete the main game twice (once as a hero and once as an outlaw) I was unable to finish Red Dead Redemption Nightmare, so I don't really know how that version plays out or ends (made it to the mission where you had to hunt a sasquatch but haven't played the game beyond that point)..

Game 2 - Grand Theft Auto 4 (see trailer below)

I've always been a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series myself.  GTA 4 is set in Liberty City, which feels more like real life New York City in many ways where you play as an eastern European immigrant named Nikko who moved to New York to try and escape his past life in Europe.  Of course as with any other Grand Theft Auto 4, Nikko once again gets entangled in the life of crime on the streets of Liberty City and even makes a few new friends along the way.  Lots of missions to play through too.  The game will almost make you feel like you are playing games like Assassins Creed and Hitman since many of the missions in the game involves Nikko becoming an errands boy for various gangsters and criminals as well as missions where Nikko is given a target he has to assinante which often leads to epic chase scenes in the game.  By the way, if you don't feel like driving around Liberty City, there are plenty of other ways to get around too, including taxi (great for fast traveling from one part of the city to the other), boats, subway (yes there is a subway system in Liberty City, much like the one in real life New York City), and even helicopter too.  The only downside to the game is that it is definitely darker than the previous entries in the series, which may be a turn off for some people.

Some cool things you can do in Grand Theft Auto 4:
- Go bowling either alone or with a friend
- Friends system is expanded.  Do you remember how in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, it is possible to hang out with girlfriends?  GTA 4 expands on this mechanism where in addition to at least 2 girlfriends Nikko can take on, he can also befriend other people in Liberty City (such as Roman, Packie McNeary, Brucie, etc) and hang out with them too, such as throwing darts, going bowling, getting food, or even going drinking at a nearby (watch out for cops when driving back to the safehouse though since Nikko will be drunk and like cops in real life, they are always on the look out for drunk drivers and will try to bust Nikko if driving drunk).
- Watch shows.  There are 2 comedy club theaters Nikko can visit in Liberty City where he can watch shows being performed.
- Visit happiness island (which is pretty much GTA 4's version of the Statue of Liberty).
- Ride the subway system
- Hitch a ride in a taxi (like real life New York City, taxi driving is a thriving business in Liberty City and if you don't feel like driving, why not hail a nearby taxi). Can be a good way to take in the sights of the city while riding around in the city.  It is also useful for "fast travel" too (which is especially useful when going from one island to the other).
- Visit the beach.  Lots of beaches you can hang out at.
- Helicopter tours.  Feel like taking to the skies?  Why not check out the helicopter tours too.  By the way, you can also steal helicopters if you want as well.

Game 3 - Mega Man 10 (below is a gameplay video of the game featuring the 1st Wily Castle stage of the game)

 The original blue bomber is back after a long hiatus since when the Playstation 1 was popular (besides Mega Man X8 for the PS2) and returns to its 8-bit roots, unlike Mega Man 7 (which takes on 16 bit graphics) and later Mega Man 8 (which takes on 32 bit graphics).  There was also Mega Man 9 for the Xbox 360, but my favorite of the two was definitely Mega Man 10.  This game also marks possibly the first time in the mainline series where you can actually play as Protoman (I don't remember being a playable character in Mega Man 9 unless if he was a downloadable character).  The game is set after the events of Mega Man 9 and Doctor Wily (the series antagonist) is back to his evil tricks and creates a virus that causes robots to turn maverick and try to take over the world (much like what the Sigma Virus does in the Mega Man X series).  It is up to Mega Man and Protoman (Bass too if you get the DLC expansion pack) to save the day.  This game also marks one of the few mega man games where the boss music changes several times (changes between the regular boss battles, wily castle boss battles, Dr Wily's first form, and later Dr Wily's second form), normally the boss music doesn't change till you get to the final confrontation with Dr Wily.  It also marks the first game since Mega Man 5 where you have to fight Dr Wily on 2 stages instead of one, with the first encounter being in the teleporter room level (where you have to fight the 8 robot masters again), and the latter being in the following level.

Notes about Mega Mans 9 and 10:
- Marks the first "next generation" mega man game since Mega Man ZX Advent? to be presented in classic nes style 8 bit format.  This is definitely far cry in my opinion, especially when compare it to games like Mega Man X8, Mega Man Zero, etc).  It also the first original era mega man game to be 8 bit since Mega Man 8 (that one was 32 bit and Mega Man 7 was SNES style 16 bit graphics).  By the way, there does seem to be some speculation that the next Mega Man x game is supposed to be 16 bit game, though it is not clear if or when that is going be happen.  In my opinion a series finale game would be nice if Capcom is running out of ideas for Mega Man X games (same for original era mega man games) considering that both series still seem to be ongoing and haven't had a definitive conclusion yet.
- I like how you can play as Proto Man in Mega Man 10.  Offers a change in pace and offers more reason to play through the game more than once.  You can also play as Bass in Mega Man 10, but I think you have to buy the expansion pack on Xbox live  Not sure if Protoman is playable on Mega Man 9 (at least without DLC content).  Interestingly, Protoman can slide, charge his mega man b

- Classic mega man seems to have returned to hiatus status since Mega Man 10  It is not clear if or when Mega Man 11 or beyond will be released.  I have heard about Mighty No 9, but I don't think it is the same as a mega man game (different storyline and all).
- Mega Man 10 marks the first mega man game in a while where the boss music changes several times (1 for robot master battles, 1 for the dr wily stages battles, 1 for Wily's first form, and one for wily's 2nd form)
- This game also marks the first time since Mega Man 5 where Dr Wily battles occur on 2 seperate stages instead of one (much like how it is in Mega Mans 2-5 where you fight wily's first form in one level and then fight him again in his final form on another level.  

Game 4- Fall Out New Vegas

Have you ever wondered what Las Vegas might look like in a post apocalyptic world?  Fall Out New Vegas explores that concept.  The game is set in the future in the aftermath of a fictional nuclear war where you play as a person who survived the war and must survive in a devestated Las Vegas.  Lots of things to do in the game, including associating with several groups, avenge the people who try to kill your character at the beginning of the game, and even get involved in a civil war between the NCR (government troops) and Caesars Legion (which basically wants to establish a revived Roman Empire in the United States), help people in need, and even explore the world while watching out for bandits, animals and other creatures that may want to sent you character into an early retirement.  Sadly, I since upgraded to Xbox One and haven't been able to finish this game yet.  Maybe someday, but I found that the Xbox 360 doesn't work too well when the Xbox one is also set up on the same tv, so I don't really know ho the game ends yet.

Food for thought: Fall Out New Vegas envisions a world sometime in the future in the aftermath of a nuclear war (World War 3?) and what life might look like in such an event.  We do live in a world where something like that could happen (not to say that it will) considering that many nations now have nuclear arsenals around the world and ways such a war could happen.  For example, North Korea seems to have nuclear weapons and have threatened war against our nation on various occasions and I am sure that a war against them could turn nuclear, though the question is, what dicator there is crazy enough is crazy enough to attack us?  Kim Jong Un definitely seems crazier than Kim Jong Il in my opinion based on what I have read about him in the news.  I would also hate to think what could happen if terrorist groups (especially groups like al qaida and isis) were to get their hands on them too considering that they could easily hold entire nations or even the entire world hostage without giving it extra thought should something like that happen (they could even attack Israel or even the US with it without giving it second thought too should that happen).  Even Russia could become a major threat should relations with them get too icy considering they are already a nuclear nation as well.

Let's pray that nuclear war that never happens in our lifetime of course.

Game 5 - Mass Effect 2

 This is the second installment in the Mass Effect Series.  The game is set about 2 years after the events of Mass Effect 1.  Saren is dead, the geth problem had been dealt with (at least for now), sovereign has been defeated and everything seemed peaceful.  However, the evil and genocidal alien race: the reapers make their presence known once again and recruit a race of bounty hunters known as "The Collectors" to do their dirty work by abducting humans on various colonies across the galaxy and harvest their dna for use by the reapers.  Commander Shepard (can be a man or woman, depending on the player's choice) seemingly dies at the beginning of the game, only to be resurrected by Cerberus, which is basically a human supremacist group that sets aside their villanous ways to help save the human race from annhilation by the collectors.  Shepard must recruit crew members, gain their loyaltes and lead the charge on an epic suicide mission (though very survivable) going up against the collector race before they can wipe out the entire human race.  The Mass Effect 2 is unique in that choices from Mass Effect 1 do seem to have a direct impact on how things start out in Mass Effect 2.  For example, if Shepard saves the council in ME 1, they will return, otherwise they will be replaced by a new one.  Kaiden or Ashlely (only one of them will have survived the events of ME 1 depending on who you save in that game) will make a return as a NPC character Shepard will encounter.  Wrex will have either survived on Virmire from the previous game or have died and be replaced by his brother, Wreav.  This game assumes you have played through ME 1 and the games are best played in order in my opinon for you.  You do not have to import a Mass Effect 1 save in ME 2, but choices in the previous game will be made for you whether you like them or not.

Several other things you might like about Mass Effect 2 as well as interesting tidbits
- More planets to explore
- Lots of side missions in addition the regular main line missions.  Extends the gameplay considerably
- Choices in Mass Effect 2 do have effects on how Mass Effect 3 plays out (for example, some relationships in Mass Effect 3 must have started in ME 2, such as Tali or Miranda).
- Marks the only game in the series where Cerberus are portrayed as the good guys as well as Shepard being aligned with the (much to the dismay of the Alliance, which opposes Cerberus).  They become villians once again in Mass Effect 3, probably as a result of the Illusive Man getting indoctrinated by the reapers.
- This game seems to have the most DLC content if you don't mind spending the extra money.  Some notewothy DLC expansion packs includes: the shadow broker quest (where Shepard teams up with Liara in her quest to take out a corrupt shadow broker), going on a heist mission with Kalani (makes here a crew member too), as well as "the arrival" mission, which aims to bridge the gap between Mass Effect 2 and 3 and helps explain why Shepard was temporarily relieved of duty and in detention at the beginning of Mass Effect 3, at least before the reapers attack.
- Most crew members in this game are brand new.  Only a few from the first game return as crew members, such as Garrus (aka the Arcangel) and Tali.  Other former crew members return in lesser roles though, such as the encounter with Kaiden/Ashley during the Horizon mission (he/she is hesitant to join Shepard's crew due to his alliance with Cerberus at the time, which he/she doesn't support), Wrex being the leader on the Krogan Homeworld (assumes he survives ME 1), and Liara is a business woman on Illium.
- The game's final storyline missions has many possible outcomes and it is possible (however unlikely) for Shepard and his entire crew to die during the course of the mission.  People who survive do return in Mass Effect 3.  Note that Shepard's death at the collector base is not cannon and he must survive the events of ME 2 in order to be importable into Mass Effect.    
- Legion and Grunt: after acquiring them during the course of the game, they become optional crew members, which means you have to active them in order to use them.  In my game, I activated both of them and make very good assets to the crew during the game's final mission.
- Collector base: to destroy or keep, it is up to you.  It doesn't really seem to a discernible effect in Mass Effect 3, even after Cerberus turns rogue during the course of that game.

Quick tip:
Choices you make in Mass Effect 2 do have some impacts on what happens in Mass Effect 3.  Players who die in the suicide mission do not come back in Mass Effect 3 (and some of which can be very useful if you are going for the best possible ending in Mass Effect 3).  Also, some romance options are only available in Mass Effect 3 (such as Miranda or Tali) if they are started in Mass Effect 2.  Also, if you are daiting 2 people in the games (such as Ashley in Mass Effect 1 and say Miranda in Mass Effect 3), be prepared to have a love triangle to deal with in Mass Effect 3.  Even choices in the first game can have some impacts on the 3rd game too (such as whether Ashley or Kaiden is still alive, with only one of them guaranteed to be alive in ME 3), saving the Rachni Queen or destroying her, as well as whether Wrex or Weav is leading the Krogans (Weav is the default choice if Wrex is dead or you start a new game either in Mass Effect 2 or 3).

Bonus Content:  Mass Effect 2 final mission, everyone dies:

Those are all of the games for now.  Will share more in a later post.

Sponsored Post: Introducing The Sobrr IOS app

I joined boost insider a few days ago and they give me sponsored posts to share with viewers like you.  For my first sponsored post from Boost Insider, I thought that I would share with you a new app for the Iphone, called Sobrr.  I don't have an iphone myself, so I haven't tried the app yet, but it does seem like it can be useful to have.  Basically a new social networking site that is supposed to be similar to Twitter and Instagram where you can snap photos, chat with other users, gain followers, and more (much like any other social networking site).  You can check it out by visiting the links below.

introducing sobrr
Official banner from Sobrr.  Note you can download the app from the apple store too.  
Want to try out the app?  Visit this link to visit their site.  The app is free to download and you can get it at the Apple store too.

Have any of you tried this app before?  Feel free to share your experiences below.

Important disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and link from Sobrr.  I don't have an iphone and so I have never tried the app myself, so I can't really offer my own opinion on it at this time.  I might get paid a commission should you visit their site.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Top 10 Video Game Romances and couples part 1

Ah, Valentines day is here.  I don't have a girlfriend, but I do have friends who are in relationships.  Anyways, in this post I will talk about several romances and romantic moments in video games.

#1 Super Mario and Princess Peach (aka Princess Toadstool) - super mario bros series

Video of Mario rescuing Princess Peach once again in New Super Mario Bros Wii.  Mario and Peach (aka Princess Toadstool) goes along ways ever since the 1980s.  In case if you are not familiar with Super Mario Bros, it is a generally a series of video games (usually side scoller and platformer) where you play as either Mario or Luigi, where they set out on quests to defeat Bowser and his minions usually over a series of 8 different worlds and rescue the princess.  Of course, in the sequel, the princess (somehow) always manages to kidnapped once again by Bowser (perhaps Bowser has a crush on Peach too) only to be rescued by Mario and / or Luigi once again.  Both plumbers seem to like the princess so they often compete for her heart.  Perhaps the most amusing Super Mario quest was the one in New Super Mario Bros wii where up to 4 players can team up and work together to get through the many levels in the game, which can get amusing to watch too as players tend to die alot, much to the frustrations of other gamers.

#2 Sonic the Hedgehog and Amy Roses (Sonic the Hedgehog series)

(video or pic will be added later)
Amy Rose and Sonic goes all the way back to Sonic CD era of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, where Sonic rescues Amy from the clutches of (then) Doctor Robotnik's Mecha Sonic and saves the world from certain destruction.  Since then, Amy gets a much bigger roll in Sonic Adventure era Sonic games.  Perhaps my favorite was Amy Rose in Sonic Adventure.  She hasn't seen Sonic in many years and is more than happy to see him once again in the adventure.  Of course in Sonic Adventure, she is constantly pursued by another one of Dr Eggman's robots who wants to kidnap her and the bird she was watching over (it had been carrying a chaos emerald that Eggman wanted to feed to the monster he was trying to create in the game).  She even had her own storyline you could play through too where she was wielding a special hammer that she could use to whack enemies and ultimately defeat the evil robot that was pursuing her in the game.  In subsequent games, she often functions as a support character and assists Sonic when needed (like in Sonic 2006 when she stood up for him when Silver the Hedghog was trying to defeat Sonic after being tricked by the evil Methalees into thinking that Sonic was evil).  In the most recent incarnation of the series (Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric), Sonic and his friends (Tails, Knucles, and a new character with boomerangs) set out on a quest to rescue her from the evil Lyric (he replaces Dr Eggman as being the primary antagonist) who kidnapps her at the beginning of the game.  Amy definitely has a huge crush on Sonic and will stop at nothing to win his heart.  Sonic tends to brush her off though, so it is not really clear if they are an item or not, but they definitely make a cute couple in the games.

#3 John Marston and Abigal (Red Dead Redemption)

Set in the early 1900's (though still has a wild west style feel), you assume the role of John Marston in a grand theft auto style adventure in this western action RPG.  In the game, John Marston was a former gang member that abandoned his old ways and was "recruited" by corrupt government agents, to hunt down his former comrades and even get involved with a Mexican civil war after they take his wife, Abigail and his son Jack Martson (along with their family dog).  Throughout the game, Marston remains loyal to Abigail in the midst of all challenges that would test his loyalty, such as getting close with a lady named Bonnie, resisting flirty saloon girls who vie for his attenting, and even does Edgar Ross's dirty work (such as hunting down a gangster named, Dutch) to ensure his wife's survival.  At the end of the game, Ross decides to betray John Marston by setting up an ambush against the Marstons house and John was willing to sacrifice his own life to save his wife and kid so that they may live.  If you play as Jack after the storyline ends, he gets a chance to avenge his father's death by engaging Edgar Ross in a gunfight in the game's epilogue.  Interesting tidbit: did you know that in Grand Theft Auto 5 online it is possible to create a character under John Marston's lineage?  I created a character like that in the Xbox One version which I dubbed, Uncle Steve (I don't have a picture of him yet, but I will post it later).

#4) Carl Johnson (aka CJ) and Denise in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

GTA San Andreas officially became the first game in the GTA series, where the game's protaganist can have a girlfriend.  CJ saves Denise from the Ballas gang (a rival gang to the grove street gang, which CJ is a member of) and like any game or movie where a hero saves a woman (like Sonic and Amy or Mario and Peach), she automatically becomes a romance option for CJ at the end of the mission.  She pretty much lives down the block from CJ (in the next street over if I remember correctly) and is probably the easiest girl to please in the game.  CJ can win her heart by taking her to the local club, going out for fast food with her, drive her around the block, and even let her do some gangsta style drive by shooting.  She will call CJ or a heart will appear at her house when she wants to date CJ.

By the way, given the twisted nature of the Grand Theft Auto series, Denise is not the only romance option for CJ, as there are several other girls that CJ can date as well, such as Helena in Blueberry, Millie in Las Venturas (she automatically becomes a romance option during the Las Venturas missions), a retired police officer named Barbara (which is an ironic relationship considering that CJ is a common criminal just like other members of his gang just as any other protaganist is in the series), a nurse named Katie (you meet her in San Fierro) as well as a driving instructor named Michelle, who likes to take CJ for a ride sometimes in the city of San Fierro).  It is also possible for CJ to "cheat" on Denise by dating multiple girls, especially if you manage to obtain all of the hidden oysters (hidden under water) in the game, which pretty much gives CJ unlimited sex appeal and automatically makes him attractive to the other girls even if he doesn't meet their standards in appearances (normally, with the exception of Denise and Millie, you have to meet certain appearance requirements if you want to date Katie, Michelle or Helena).  Apparently, there are versions of GTA San Andreas where a jealous Denise can chase after CJ in a car when dating the other girls, but that event doesn't seem to happen in the Xbox version of San Andreas (I tried it), though I have noticed that she can die suddenly if you take her to a rival girl's city (such as driving her to San Fierro if you are dating Katie or Michelle).  Also, like real life relationships, Denise and CJ can break up (if your relationship level with her is low enough) and she can also be killed off too. Waring about Denise: be careful not to kill or break up with Denise unless if you don't care for her, or at least do not save the game should something like that happen since it is pretty much impossible for her to respawn or get her back should she die or break up with CJ  (apparently some of the other girls respawn after a while if they break up or are killed off, but Denise and Millie do not respawn as far as I can tell if they die or break up).  

By the way, GTA 4 has relationship options as well, but they are not quite the same as the ones in San Andreas. In Grand Theft Auto 4, for example, there is Michelle (Nikko dates her early on in the game) and later Katie McReary (who later replaces Michelle as Nikko's love interest), but both relationships are short lived.  Michelle turns out to be an under cover FIB agent that is sent to spy on Nikko and Roman (which is understandable considering that Nikko often works for the crimnal element in Liberty City and even assasinates various targets too).  Kate eventually replaces Michelle as Nikko's love interest, but you lose her during the course of the game's final missions (one scenario has her breaking up with Nikko and the other scenario has her getting killed off by Jimmy Pegorino, another kingpin who is in league with Demetri (the primary antagonist in the game) who Nikko gets entangled with during a drug deal gone wrong mission that Jimmy tries to force Nikko to do do.  By the way, it is also possible to get a girlfriend via the internet in GTA 4, but I never tried it, so I don't know how that works or how they compare with Michelle and Katie.

In GTA 5, the girlfriend system gets done away with, Michael De Santa starts out as a married man in the game (married to Amanda) and has 2 kids (a son and a daughter), though he and Amanda temporarily seperate around the mid point in the game after a series of event, such as the jewelery store heist mission, FIB agents resurfacing in his life, parenting issues (like the mission where Michael forces his daughter off a party boat and gets pursued by her "friends", as well as the crazy Trevor Philips showing up at his doorstep not long after the Jewelery Store heist mission (happens shortly after the "Friends Reunited" mission (if you play as Trevor or Michael).  As for Trevor, he doesn't really have a girlfriend or wife, though he does attraction for a lady that he and Michael kidnaps during one of the missions (though eventually he returns her to his husband), and later he becomes the owner at Vanilla Unicorn and can develop with some of the ladies he works with there, especially if you are going for the "booty call" achievement (towards the 100% completion).  As for Franklin, technically had a girlfriend, named Tanisha at the beginning of the game (you never see her in person till the "Lamar Down mission", but she automatically breaks up with him early on in the game via a Dear John letter  (via email), which is basically a "dreaded" (depending on how you look at it) letter or email that a boyfriend or girlfriend may send you that pretty much states that they want to break up and "just be friends" (much like what happens between Tommy Oliver and Kimberly Hart early on in the Power Rangers Zero series, where she sends him a "Dear John" letter during one of the episodes, effectively ending their relationship permanently ).

#5 Romance options in Mass Effect series

Above is a video where Shepard gets a picture of Tali "unmasked", which is only unlockable if you romance her in Mass Effects 2 and 3.  BTW, I originally wanted to show the romance video between Shepard and Ashely, but I figured it might be too much for some people, but if you want to see it, you can find it on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1DtASoSShA.

Science fiction style romance anyone (such as Padme and Anakin or Han and Leia in Star Wars)?  In the Mass Effect series players assume the role of, Commander Shepard (which can be a male or female captain depending on your preferences) and make various choices that can affect the main storyline in all 3 games, and Shepard can also take on a wide variety of romance interests.  If you are a male shepard, Ashley (assuming she survives the events of Mass Effect 1, meaning you save her over Kaiden during the Virmire Missions) and later Miranda (from Mass Effect 2) are very tempting options for Shepard (probably the best looking female characters in my opinion).  Of course, Shepard can also opt to date other crew members if he chooses, including Liara (an alien Asari), Tali (the masked alien lady) or even Jack (she is a "firey" lady that you can rescue from a prison ship in Mass Effect 2).  He can also romance Samara's "sister" Morinth assuming he saves Morinth over Samara, but she literally kills him if Shepard decides to romance her (kissing her leads to the game over scene) as a result of a condition she has where people trying to romance her get killed in the process.  Female Shepards can also date people like Kaiden (assuming he survives the events Mass Effect 1), Garrus, Jacob, Thane, and others.  Same sex relationships are also possible too (such as female shepard and Diana or female shepard and Liara) if you want to make Shepard "gay" (not sure how else to put it. It is also possible to date more than one person at a time during the series (such as Ashely and Miranda considering that Ashely has much lesser role in ME 2 compared to the other 2 installments in the series), leading to love triangles that Shepard must resolve during the course of the game.  In my playthrough, I actually killed off Ashely during Mass Effect one and ended up dating Tali.  As female shepard, I thought it would be funny to have her date Diane, so she did.  What romance option you go for is up to you.

Notes about romance options:

- Miranda, Jack and Tali: these relationships must be started in Mass Effect 2 in order to work in Mass Effect 3.  In addition, they must be loyal (by completing their loyalty missions successfully as well as siding with them when getting feuds with other crew members, such as Jack vs Miranda or Tali vs Legion) and they must survive the game's climatic suicide mission at the end of the game too (which is very doale in my opinon).
- Ashley: relationship can be started in Mass Effect 1 or 3.  A relationship with her assumes she assumes the events of Mass Effect 1 (either she or Kaiden will have been killed off during the course of the first game).  In addition, Shepard must regain Ashely's trust too, which is inevitably shaken during the events of Mass Effect 2, where Shepard finds himself working for Cerberus while trying to defeat a diabolical alien race known as the collectors that want to kidnap humans and want to harvest their dna for the reapers, and later during the Mars mission on Mass Effect 3 when the Illusive Man and Cerberus start to show their true colors and attack the base, even almost killing Ashley in the process..

- Tali.  A relationship must being with her in Mass Effect 2 and requires you to complete her loyalty mission successfully (the one where she is falsely accused of treason by her fellow aliens).  Interestingly, she has a mask during most of the series and you can't really see what is behind the mask, so she is a mysterious woman.  I like to think that Tali is a beautiful woman behind the mask, but her face is not revealed tills Mass Effect 3 and assumes you are in a relationship with her.  Note: she must survive the events of Mass Effect 2 with her loyalty in tact for a relationship to work.  Warning about Tali: she commits suicide in Mass Effect 3 should you save the geth over the Quarians during that leg of the game (Legion tries to upload a program that would cause the geth to turn on the Quarians, but Shepard can stop him and either bring peace to the 2 races or let one race destroy the other).  If you want her in Mass Effect 3, you will have to stop Legion from uploading the program or bring a truce between the 2 races.

Other notes:
- Jack is definitely an interesting character and is often suspicious of Shepard and Cerberus.  Interestingly, she seems to have a guy's name too (unless if her name is short for Jacky).  She is also a fiery type too that has a short temper too.  Date with caution.  dating her requires you to do her loyalty mission in ME 2 as well as siding with her during a dispute she has with Miranda).
- Liara.  She is a classic alien type that Shepard can date.  If you are in to alien types, she is right up Shepard's ally.  She also becomes the shadow broker after the events of Mass Effect 2 (there is a DLC mission that if you are willing to spend the extra money where Shepard can take part in the mission where he can help her take down the existing shadow broker on Illium).  She can date either a male or female shepard.
- Diana and Samantha Traynor - if you are into lesbian style relationships, it is possible for fem Shepard to romance those 2.
- Some relationships can prove to be dead end relationships (which automatically ends), as is the case of Jacob in Mass Effect 3 or Ashley / Kaiden during the course of Mass Effect 2 since they don't take kindly to Shepard working for Cerberus during the events of Mass Effect 2 (not that the player really has a choice in the matter since Shepard's tenure with Cerberus is pretty much scripted during the course of that game and can't be chanced as far as I can  tell), though those relationships can be rekindled in ME3.

For more information about romance options in Mass Effect 3, you can read the article on romance options at Wikipedia: http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Romance.

That is all for now.  Stay tuned for part 2.

Other ones includes:
- Scott and Ramona in Scott Pilgrim vs the World (btw I have finally seen the movie recently)
- Princesses you can rescue in Castle Crashers
- Fable relationships
- and mroe


Monday, February 2, 2015

Officially started my second playthrough on Grand Theft Auto 5, this time on the Xbox One

The game is on.  I already beat the main story and even got 100% completion on Grand Theft Auto 5 for the Xbox 360 and after upgrading to the Xbox One, I traded in the 360 version at Gamestop and got the Xbox One version in its place.  Just got to the point where you play as Trevor for the first time, shortly after the Jewelry store heist mission.

Things I like about the Xbox One version so far:
- better graphics
- cell phones have a new look.  By the way, I like how Trevor's phone is cracked
- New dog breeds, many of which were not seen in the 360 version.  In addition to labs and rotweilers, there are also siberian huskies, golden retrievers, saint bernards, pugs, and poodles that you might encounter as well.  There is also at least one confirmed dog park that you can take Chop to as Franklin adding more interactivity between Franklin and Chop.  By the way, Chop can attack people on command (usually if you aim at someone), though be warned, sicing Chop on random people can net you wanted stars.
- New Peyote plants.  These are hidden all across the map and whenver you come across one, you can eat the plant and it turns your guy into an animal that you can control temporarily.  Kind of funny.
- New first person shooter mode.  If you get tired of playing 3rd person shooter mode, you can always switch to first person.  Personally, I like 3rd person more, but first person can be useful to use sometimes, especially during shoot outs.
- xbox one can record random video shots as you play the game, such as doing stunts in cars, shooting things with sniper rifles, as well as getting mauled by animals (one time Michael got wasted by a siberian husky once, which was pretty funny).

Other than those, it is pretty similar to the original game in many ways, and the story line is almost identical too.  By the way, I will be starting over in the GTA Online version too, creating a new character that I dubbed as "Uncle Steve" (was trying to be creative with names).

Will post more infor about the game as I get more experience with it.