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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kim Kardashian Hollywood game first impressions review Facebook version

Here is my first impressions review of the Kim Kardasian Hollywood game (Facebook version)

In my last post, I did a a sponsored post for the Kim Kardashian Hollywood game for the iOS (which you can download at http://bst.is/yVENW8.  Anyways, I noticed that there is a Facebook version of the game (do a search for "Kim Kardashian Hollywood" and you should find it) and decided to try it out myself.

Overview of the game:

So, this game is pretty much a point and click adventure game (kind of reminds me of games like Yoville, Cityville, Sims Social, etc) where you assume a role of a guy or girl that moves to Los Angeles with aspirations to become a star or starlet.  You start out as a sales associate at a department store called So Chic, but early on in the game you encounter a virtual version of Kim and she becomes your mentor and basically helps you to get started on an adventure to become a successful celebrity like she is (you almost get a virtual glimpse into her world in the game).  Lots of things you can do, including:
- Meeting new people in the game (btw, you can also invite Facebook friends to play the game too and interact with them in the game too)
- Traveling to various locations (such as Los Angeles, Malibu, Las Vegas, Miami, Florence, etc)
- Take on girlfriends (if you are playing as a guy) or boyfriends if you are a girl.  Btw, I think it is possible to have same sex relationships too, though personally, I'd rather date a girl over another guy (yeah, I am straight).  You actually get your first relationship rather early in the game too (my guy is currently dating a girl named Michelle).
-  Do photo shoots and ad campaigns.
- Visit parties

By the way, there are several antagonists in the game you will encounter (they seem to hate your player without a cause other than jealousy) and will try to make your life in the game miserable.  For example, one girl my guy met got my guy fired from working on a movie because she didn't like my guy in the movie.  Also, they will try to eat at your fan base too.  How you stand up to them is yet to be known but it is worth mentioning too.

Pros and cons about the game:

The good:
- Fun point and click adventure with lots of variety
- Who doesn't like Southern California even though it is not the real thing?
- Who doesn't like Kim Kardashian as a celebrity?  Not that I personally know her (I can't say I have ever met her in person other than "knowing" her on TV like most folks do) of course.
- Lots of tutorials, places to visit, things to do, etc.  Makes becoming a celebrity look easy (I am sure it is not nearly as easy as it looks being an average joe myself).
- Dating simulator elements.  This game also functions as a dating simulation game (where you meet virtual girlfriends and do some virtual dating).  You get your first girlfriend or boyfriend early on in the game.  Also, relationships can seem to evolve into marriages too.

The bad:
- Annoying energy bar system (which refills slowly every 4-5 minutes).  The energy bar system is rather limited and drains quickly as you do various tasks (such as going to parties, photo shoots, dates, etc).  Once the energy bar runs out, unless if you are willing to buy energy, you have to wait a while (usually 4-5 minutes per energy level) for the energy to refill.  This can definitely put a crimp into doing some tasks in the game, especially visiting parties, dates, etc within a time frame as you can use up all of your energy points rather quickly and then you have to wait a while for your energy bar to replinish before doing anything which can make it difficult to beat certain missions (especially within a time frame).  At most venues, as you do various tasks you earn stars which count as progress towards completion of them and sometimes it can be easier said than done to get them all within certain times.
- Redundancy.  Some things can get redundant after a while (such as doing photo shoots, working, etc).
- Pressure to put extra hours into the game (expect to have at least 2 hours set aside per play if you want to make real progress in the game).  The game does seem to operate at real time (no way to pause or save and reload progress int the game).  Alot can can happen between logins (for example, missed meetings, opportunities, etc).  Also, you have a fan base system that increases or decreases over time depending on your energy level.  Consequently, pressure is on to log in almost every day and spend at least 2 hours minimum (preferably more) per session.  This can definitely be a turn off for people who have busy schedules.  Sure if one has alot of free time on his or her hands, then the real time feature would not be a problem, but for most people who have jobs, school, church, or other responsibilities to attend to, one can only do so much in a given session.  Also, vacation mode might be recommended for the game too if one anticipates being offline for an extended period of time, such as vacations, work, family activities, etc (considering that summer is just around the corner, what if people have to take off for a whole week)?  Who knows what can happen if that happens.
- Probably appeals more to girls than guys.  Definitely a feminine style game. This is not to say that some guys will play the game, but it definitely seems to be geared more towards women (such as fashion, glamour, relationships, etc).
- Dating system is flawed and may or may not be worth the effort (you might be better off remaining "single" in the game rather in a relationship.  Integrated with the Kim Kardashian hollywood game, is a built in dating simulator where you can meet "girls" or "guys" (depending on your preference) in the game.  In my experience, players usually get their first "significant other" early on in the game.  While the dating system does add more interactivity in the game, the dating system does seemed to be flawed in my opinion.  From a guy's perspective, girls in the game can be high maintanence and you never know when they are going to call and want to break up (especially if you miss a day).  Originally I hooked up with a girl named Michelle.  A few days later, she called and wanted to break up (got a little busy doing other tasks in teh game too).  My guy met another girl met another girl (I think her name was Paige) and today I had to work my real life job and when I came on, she wanted to break up (I guess creators of the game are expecting players to have lots of free time on their hands).  You know, people can be busy in real life (I have 3 part time jobs myself, with Crossmark currently being my primary job) and I don't always have time to play the game.  It might be easier to hold off on the dating sim part of the game until you have lots of time to invest into the game.  It is alot easier to play through the game without girlfriends or boyfriends in my opinion.

Overall Grade: B
Good, though perhaps not the best choice for everyone.  Will definitely appeal to Kim Kardashian fans though.  

Well, that is all I can think of for now.  This game will definitely be a hit for many people who are into the Keeping up with the Kardashians franchise and looking for some games to play on facebook (can make a good alternative to games like Candy Crush or Farmville).  By the way, it appears Kim may have had a hand in making the game (see http://www.businessinsider.com/kim-kardashian-hollywood-game-history-2014-8).  Of course, this game will probably not appeal to everyone, especially people not into the point and click adventure style game as well as people who don't have time to play these kinds of games.  Note tthat this is only a first impression review I have and I will try and do a more detailed review of the game at a later time.

Other thoughts and tidbits:
- This game definitely makes becoming a celebrity look easy.  I am sure it is not as easy as it looks.
- Important disclaimer: I do not personally know Kim Kardashian nor am I working for her in this post.  I got the sponsored post via Boost Insider (fellow bloggers, you can check them out at http://bst.is/lnHPW8, sign up is free by the way, though you do need an ad enabled blog to host the referral links).  Like most people, I know her on television (such as in Keeping up with the Kardashians), but I don't personally know that lady (can't say I have ever met her).
- The game definitely makes you feel like you are in Southern California.  Like I said in my last post, I have only been to the Los Angeles area twice in my life (back in 2001 and 2006).  I have been to California on several other occasions, but those times I usually mainly visited the Sacramento area (my aunt lives there, and so did my grandfather too before he passed away back in 2005).  I have also been to the Lake Tahoe and San Francisco area on more than one occasion.  I do live in the Seattle area, which is 2 stats north of California (right along the Interstate 5 corridor).
- Important disclosure: this review is based on my own experiences with the game and may not necessarily reflect the thoughts of other people who played the game.  I don't personally work for the people who made the game (just an affiliate), and I may earn a commission if people click on the referral links for the game (same with the Amazon link for Grand Theft Auto 5).

Similar games:

Grand Theft Auto 5 (San Andreas is very similar to Southern California in many ways, barring some obvious differences).  

Have any of you played the Kim Kardashian Hollywood Game?  What is your experience with the game?  How would you rate it?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

#KimKardashianBI Hollywood Video Game -Let's Play (Gameplay), Sponsored Post (updated)

Here is a

I think it is time for another sponsored post.  Are any of you Kim Kardashian fans?  Here is an interactive adventure game where you can "work" for Kim.

You can get this game at: http://bst.is/yVENW8 

1. Game features and information:
Join KIM KARDASHIAN on a red carpet adventure in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood! Create your own aspiring celebrity and rise to fame and fortune! Have you ever dreamed of visiting Hollywood?  This game offers a simulated Hollywood experience (IOs style).  Obviously it is not the real Hollywood, but it is based on it.

? CREATE YOUR OWN STAR and customize your look with hundreds of style options, including Kim Kardashian’s personal picks!  The game lets you customized your own character.

? STAR in a huge interactive adventure as you encounter other celebs, dedicated fans, persistent paparazzi… and even hang out with Kim herself!  It is basically an interactive story game (choose your own adventure style).

? RULE THE RED CARPET as an A-list movie actor, cover model, fashion designer and more – what you do is up to you!  The goal of the game is to become a virtual celebrity.
? TAKE OVER L.A. in a virtual world complete with exclusive clubs, upscale boutiques, and luxury homes! Travel to New York City and Miami!  Probably based on some of the locations the Kardashians have been to (such as New York and Miami).
? DATE AND DUMP CELEBS at the best parties and hottest clubs! Flirt and become the next huge celebrity power-couple!  Reminds me of of dating simulation games on Newgrounds a bit.
? BRING YOUR FRIENDS ALONG FOR THE RIDE using Game Center and Facebook – help each other rise to fame, compare styles, send gifts, and see who can be the biggest star!  Like many Facebook style games, you can invite friends to play as well.

I don't have an iphone, so I haven't been able to try this game yet, but it looks pretty neat and creative.  It also seems to promote the Dash brand too.  I can't say I have ever been to Dash (only been to the Hollywood area once and that was back in 2001) considering that Dash doesn't seem to exist in the Seattle area, but I do work part time at Kohls, which is kind of like Dash in a way (retail clothing store environment) so I could almost relate to the Kardashians that way.  By the way, Grad Theft Auto 5 also makes you feel like you are in LA too in a much bigger world and adventure.  
Have you tried The Kim Kardashian Hollywood video game yet?  Feel free to share your experiences with the game below.

Update (April 27, 2015)

I noticed that there is also a Facebook version of the Kim Kardashian Hollywood video game and to be fair (sadly I don't have an iphone or ipad, have a Windows Phone and Dell Tablet instead) I will play that version of the game and post a full review of it at a future date.  Though I could share my first impressions of the Facebook version of the game in my next post.

Similar games: Grand Theft Auto 5 (you are basically in a virtual version of Southern California in that game too, barring some obvious differences).

Foods for thought:

1. My experiences in California.
I have only been to the Los Angeles area twice in my life.  The first time was during the summer of 2001 and in 2006.  In 2001, I had recently graduated from high school that year (at Jackson High School in Mill Creek) and for my senior trip, my family flew on a plane to the Los Angeles area.  Highlights of that trip included:

  •  visiting Disneyland and staying there for a whole week (lots of time to see the many different rides and attractions they offer).
  • Visiting universal studios in Hollywood
  • Driving around the Hollywood and Beverly Hills area
  • Driving up the Coast to Monterey via highway 101.  Stopped a a beach near Santa Barbra (forgot the name of it) and San Luis Obiso along they way.  Probably drove right past Calabasas that time on the freeway (obviously I didn't know anything about the Kardashians back then, at least not till the tv show started airing).
  • Visiting my grandpa in Sacramento before flying home.
In 2006, my family did a road trip to the Los Angeles area.  Stayed at my aunt's house in West Sacramento for a few days and then drove to Palm Desert and stayed at club intrawest there for a whole week.  Afterwards, we visitied Disneyland again for a few days and then instead of taking Interstate 5 home, we went up 15 and visited Las Vegas (marked my first time there, we stayed at the Luxor casino / hotel that time)), Bryce Canyon, and Twin Falls, Idaho on the way home.  By the way, I have been to the Sacramento on various occasions too, especially back when my grandfather was still alive (he passed away back in 2005), with the most recent trip being back in 2012 when I visited my aunt there.  

2. I do have some experience working in the fashion industry myself (at least in the way), via Kohls.  I can't say I have ever been to Dash retailers (the business Kim helps run) or similar retailers in Southern California, but I do have a part time job working at Kohls, usually working in the men's department, so I do have some experience when it comes to apparel and similar kinds of merchandise (even helped in the Misses and Juniors departments on more than one occassion).  In the video game, your characther works in a clothing retailer, which I am quite familiar with.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Grand Theft Auto 5 Online: A ghost town now?

Who here has played Grand Theft Auto 5 Online on Xbox One lately?  Considering that I have already played through the storyline mode on the Xbox 360 version of GTA 5 I have decided to try and focus a bit more of my time in the online version of the Los Santos area.  My character is officially at level 14 as of today and will likely level up again in the near future as well.
Example of a ghost town.  Looks like a town, with nobody in it (maybe ghosts though, considering that some do have ghost stories).  Image source http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Bodie_CA_-_ghost_town.jpg

Introducing Uncle Steve on GTA 5 Online
Here is a picture of my GTA Online character.  I named him Uncle Steve (was trying to be creative with names)
Anyways, while playing through the online mode, I have noticed that the streets Los Santo has been rather empty lately (besides npc characters).  At onetime, GTA Online has been quite lively with lots of people online, doing missions together, organizing races, doing pvp matches, etc.  Now days, it seems to look more like a ghost town.  There are npc characters you can interact with and some missions can be doable even on single player (though some missions can be considerably more difficult to do when playing alone as opposed to teaming up with people), though the online mode is definitely funner to do when other people are online too.  By the way, some missions and mini games are unplayable or nearly impossible to complete on single player mode (especially ones requiring 2 or more players).  I remember doing this one drug deal mission gone wrong mission where you had to go to a drug deal, though the people you had to meet turn hostile and you have to steal the drugs and destroy their vans (can't remember the name of the mission right off), but that missions was nearly impossible to do in single player (even on easy mode).  Not only do you have to take on an army of gang members but you also have to destroy vans too in that mission which pretty much suicide when one attempts the mission alone.

By the way, I am disappointed and suprised to see the empty map in GTA Online, especially now they are advertising the new GTA online heist missions that people can do on GTA online now.  Obviously you can't do a heist mission if there is nobody to team up with.  I hope Rockstar will fix those issues with GTA online, otherwise GTA 5 Online could very well be dead (much like how it was on GTA 4 was when GTA 5 came out) and you might be better off just sticking to the single player mode.  I don't have any pictures of the empty map yet, but if I see an empty map again, I will share it to show what I mean.  

Is anyone else having these issues with GTA Online?  By the way, I am not sure if this is issue is just affecting the Xbox One version or if it is affecting PS4 as well, but if you play GTA online you just might find yourself in a ghost town for now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Super Freakin' Parody Rangers THE MOVIE (Part 1)

Here is a funny parody of Power Rangers the Movie (1997).  Warning; this video does contain some crude language and some twisted humor.

8 bit Avengers Age of Ultron

You know, the new Avengers of movie is supposed to come out in just a few weeks from now and there have been several different trailers out and here is a very humorous 8 bit trailer of that movie featuring NES characters and sprites.

Few notes:

- Mario seems to be portraying Thor

- Mega Man as Tony Stark and Iron Man (Mega Man is somewhat fitting for that role considering that he too has his own mechanical suit and armor)

- Donkey Kong as Hulk (pretty funny, especially when he takes on Mega Man).

8 bit can definitely make funny parodies of various movies and shows.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Avengers - 8-Bit Cinema

Here is a short 8 bit version of the first Avengers movie.  Pretty funny to watch.  Seems to use mega man style sprites

Friday, April 10, 2015

Big name movies coming out this year

This year is definitely going to be an intersting year for movies.  Last year, there was the third and final hobbit movie, Iron Man 3,  Guardians of the Galaxy (interstingly, the guy that played Starlord is from the Lake Stevens area here in Washington), Teenage Muntant Ninja Turrtles reboot (still have yet to see that movie) and even Captain America Winter Solider (btw much of the Agents of Shield episodes since the movie have dealt with the aftermath of that move with the revived Agent Coulson being named the new director of SHIELD after Nick Fury stepped down), Lego Movie and even Interestellar (I thought that movie was as blast to watch, especially at night in theaters).   This year, more movies are slated to be released.  Here are some movies I am looking forward to:

Movie 1- Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (should be coming up in May)

It looks like Marvel is going to be starting this year off with a bang with the release of the anticpated Avengers 2 Age of Ultron.  This movies seems like it is going to be significantly darker than the first movie and brings the heroes back in a seemingly more chaotic world, especially with SHIELD in ruins and pretty much in civil war mode in the aftermath of Captain America 2 as well as unfolding events in Agents of SHIELD (given the hydra situation as well as now the so called "Real SHIELD") group too that has arisen (tough to tell the good guys from the bad guys too sometimes).  By the way, at comic con this year, I decided to dress up as Nick Fury (had the trench coat and eye patch) with the new movie coming out.  Interestingly, Age of Utron is supposed to mark the end of "phase 2" and being the "phase 3" marvel movies.  Apparently, it is also supposed to tie into Captain America 3: Civil War (apparently the Civil War storyline is going to be shown in that movie), though it is not clear on how the events will lead to the marvel civil war.

Movie 2: Ant Man (currently set to come out in July sometime)

This movie will start the storyline in the Marvel Cinematic universe version of Ant Man (aka Hank Pym).  He had a much bigger role in earlier versions of Avengers (such as Avengers Earth's Mightiest heroes, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and Marvel's Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2 movies).  Interestingly, Hank is not supposed to appear in the New Avengers movie considering past versions of Ultron were Hank's creation.

Movie 3: Fantastic 4 Reboot

Who here saw Fantastic 4 back in 2005 with Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans (also known as Steve Rogers from Captain America), and Michael Chiklis portraying the Fantastic 4 characters?  Well, it looks like we are about to be a reboot version of that movie, this time portrayed by different actors.  Will the infamous Doctor Doom make a return in this movie?  Only time will tell.  It will be interesting to see how this version compares with the 2005 version.

Movie 4: Jurassic World

After a long hiatus in Jurassic Park movies, the franchise is about go get yet another sequel.  This movie is supposed to be set about 22 years after the events of the original movie and a new dinosaur theme park is built in place of the old one.  It appears a new mutant dinosaur is supposed to make a debut too?  I still remember when the earlier version of the movies when they came out in the 1990s and early 2000s (especailly Jurassic Park and Lost World).  By the way, where is Turok the Dinosaur (from the N64 game Turok) hunter when you need him should the dinosaurs go on a rampage once again?

Movie 5: Terminator Genysis


Interestingly, the 5th installment of the Terminator is slated to be released later this year and Arnold Schwarzenegger is supposed to make a return into the franchise once again, after being absent from Terminator Salvation (aka Terminator 4) probably as a result of him being governor of California at the time.  Interestingly according to an article I read apparently, he wasn't too wild about Terminator Salvation (see http://www.fashionnstyle.com/articles/56098/20150409/terminator-genisys-news-arnold-schwarzenegger-slams-terminator-salvation-says-glad-didnt-have-appear-fourth-movie.htm), though I suppose having less say in the movie was a small price to pay for not being in that movie and being governor instead that year.  By the way, while I have seen Terminator Salvation, I haven't seen all of the other 3 movies yet.  Will have to watch the other movies sometime.

Movie 6 - Star Wars Force Awakens (aka Episode 7)


You know, who would have thought that there was going to be a third Star Wars trilogy in our lifetime.  I remember George Lucas once saying that he wasn't going to make any new Star Wars movies after episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith).  However it seems like he had a change of heart and let others directors continue the Star Wars movie storyline.  This movie will officially mark the beginning of the 3rd trilogy and will see the return of old favorites (portrayed by the original actors and actresses), including Luke Skywalker,  Han Solo, Princess Leia, etc.  This storyline is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, though even I am in the dark on what the new movies are going to be about.  Originally I thought that the Expanded Universe (such as books, comics, games, etc) were going to bridge the gap between the original trilogy and the new trilogy but it looks like the producers are not going to use those versions of events (no longer considered canon) and the new movies will be all new, so it is pretty much uncharted territory now.  There is some speculation though considering that there were some loose ends ins the storyline after Return of the Jedi (especially in light of the prequels).  Some questions I might have includes:
1) Does Luke restore the Jedi council (remember it was decimated during the events of Revenge of the Sith, especially once Order 66 was issued by Palpatine).
2) Does Darth Sidious Make a return despite his apparent death in Return of the Jedi?
3) What happens to Coruscant and the fallen Old Republic?
4)   How about Han and Leia?  In the book version of events, they get married and have kids (Jacen and Jaina)
5)  Does Boba Fett escape the Sarlacc monster?  In the expanded universe, he does?
6)  Is Luke married?  In the book version of events, he gets married to a lady named Mara Jade.  Interestingly, if you read the Thrawn Trilogy, initially she wanted to kill Luke as a result of Palpatine's death, but I don't remember seeing her in the prequel trilogy, so I don't know if she will be in the movie or not.
7) Does Obi Wan Kenobi make a return as force ghost
8) Does Leia become a jedi?  Remember in Return of the Jedi she just begun to realise her powers (much like how Luke was in Episode 4).
9) How about Luke and Leia's origins (not sure how much they knew about Anakin and Padme).
And many other questions.  Of course right now, one can only speculate.

Well, that is all for now.  I am sure there are many other movies set to be released this year.  How about you, are there movies you are anticipating this year?  Next year (2016) we will see more big name movies, including Captain America 3: Civil War, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Reboot (bringing back all of the original characters portrayed by new actors), Superman vs Batman (interestingly, when Man of Steel came out, I had to do a demo at the Walmart in South Everett where I literally had to dress up as Superman and try to get people to buy tickets for the debut screening of the movie, it will be interesting to see if Walmart stores do a similar promotion for the next film), and Independence Day 2 (yes, Independence day is getting a sequel at last).  By the way, all of these movies coming up are already giving me ideas on what to dress up as to next year's Emerald City comic con.  Could go as superman again, Batman, a power rangers character (doing a Bulk and Skull cosplay might be fun, though I would have to get someone to dress up too and get a punk outfit to look authentic), or even a Star Wars character.