Tag Archives: Amanda Scharon

Kinect With Your Inner Jedi in Kinect Star Wars

Do you love Star Wars? Have you ever imagined what it’d be like to be a Jedi? What about what it’d be like to have a light saber? Well, I have. Yes I know it’s lame, but who cares? It’s STAR WARS. Now you can be a part of it. On April 3rd, Kinect: Star Wars is going to take Kinect gaming to an entirely new level.
So you’ve always wanted to be a Jedi? Then this game is for you.

Taking place soon after Episode I: The Phantom Menace and concluding during the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, players have the option of playing as a Jedi or an evil Rancor (evil is bad, kids!). If you’re a classic Star Wars fan who has a playful side, there are even settings from the original trilogy, including the planet of Bespin from Episode V. If you think the game is going to look cool, there’s a lot more in store.
This is going to be the most interactive Star Wars game released to date. Players get to use the Force to handle objects and even fight off their opponents with lightsabers with a wave of a hand. Now, if you’re like me, you love little baby Anakin’s podracing skills. Players are now able to control X-wings and podracers with simple body movements. If that’s not enough or seems a little bit too complicated, the voice capabilities of the Kinect can allow for additional commands if you get confused as easily as I do.

This bundle alone should excite you about Kinect Star Wars (credit: engadget.com)


The best part of Kinect: Star Wars? It’s definitely going to be the gameplay. The game features five different sections, each with their own campaign. In Jedi Destiny, players learn to use lightsabers and other mysterious force techniques to defend themselves against the Dark Side. If you want to play as a Rancor, Rancor Rampage is the game section for you. The gameplay in this section is mainly focused on the player’s ability to destroy the entire area. So you decide Rancors aren’t for you? There’s three other sections where you can continue on your path to defeat the Dark Side. Since I watched Episode I, I’ve been in love with podracing, which is why this next section is probably going to be my favorite.

In Podracing, players get to take on the role of a young, new racer as they compete in various races to try and win first place. The Galactic Dance-Off might not be what the male fan base is looking for, but why not give it a shot? Princess Leia and Jabba’s other prisoners can dance to modern day songs remixed with Star Wars lyrics. The last section is the one that most gamers will have been waiting for, because the time has come to take all of the skills that you’ve learned so far and train to fight Darth Vader himself in the final chapter of the game. Think you’ll be good enough?
Well, on April 3rd, I guess we’ll see. For $49.99, Kinect users can become a part of a galaxy far, far away. If that’s not good enough, Microsoft is also releasing a new Kinect Bundle! Yes, you heard that right. For $449.99, Star Wars and Xbox fans can purchase an Xbox 360 modeled after R2D2 himself. If R2D2 isn’t enough for you (but seriously, why wouldn’t he be?) then hopefully the 320 GB hard drive is enough for you. Alongside the white Kinect sensor and gold controller designed in the style of C3PO, of course.
Kinect: Star Wars has me excited, and if you aren’t excited yet, watch this video.

(featured image credit: joystiq.com)

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Annoying Gaming Things

When you ask most people why they game, you usually hear that it’s because they want to relax or entertain themselves. What you don’t hear is that people game so they can deal with all of the annoying things that come with it. What comes next is my perspective on what can be considered some of the most annoying things that come along with online gaming.

Harassing Girls 

It should really come as no surprise that this on my list. I don’t need some immature guy over Xbox Live to go tell me to get in the kitchen and make a sandwich. What possible joy comes out of that? One day I’m just going to say, “As a matter of fact, I am making a sandwich. I just beat you with one hand.” Don’t say you want a girlfriend who games and then be rude to every girl you come across online.

Ridiculously Foul Language

I’ve literally heard the worst possible words and word combinations over Live than anywhere else. The things that people say are absolutely ridiculous, even if they can sometimes be entertaining. But, what do you get out of calling someone a f$@%^t? I hate that word more than any other word in the human language, but kids these days throw it around like it doesn’t even matter. Newsflash kiddos, you aren’t cool for swearing.

Camping In Shooting Games

Seriously, who doesn’t hate campers? Yes, I understand that it can sometimes be a winning strategy, but when every person in a game is doing it, it’s just (for lack of a better word) stupid. The game not only gets boring, but it also makes it difficult for the game to actually progress. If I wanted to hide and lay on the ground, I’d be active and play hide and seek with six-year-olds.

Background Noise

TURN YOUR MICS OFF IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO USE THEM. Seriously. Nothing is more annoying than listening to you talk to your friends that are in the same room, your terrible music, or all the static that comes out of your headset. Headsets have a mute option for a reason. Unless you’re actively participating in the game, shut it off please.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

I’ve never heard more people complain when they lose a game. People lose; it’s a part of life. Games are just that… Games. Getting worked up about it just makes you seem immature and nobody wants to play with you anymore.

Laggy McLagsALot

In case you didn’t catch that, the lag during online games is absolutely terrible. I know that a lot of times it can’t be helped, but sometimes it can. The worst thing is thinking that you’ve killed or beat someone, when all reality they’ve lagged out and killed you. Cool story, bro. Fix your interwebs.

Racism

Let’s get real, it’s 2012. I think by now we should all be aware that there are other races and cultures out there. People from all over the world play games, and it’s about time that we accept that. If I have to elaborate on why racism is a problem, then this world is a sad place.

The reality of life is that nobody gets by without being a little bit annoying. Sometimes, you just have to rant about those annoying things, especially the ones that take away from something you love. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that there are people out there who find more annoying things than I do and think that some of these things are just fine. But, before you go and act like a twelve-year-old on Xbox Live (unless you are one…) then think about other gamers. We’re people too!

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Cheerleader in Azeroth

We don't all look or act like this guy

A little over a year ago, I happened to meet a beautiful boy. This boy had every quality I was looking for in a person at the time; he was an athlete, cute, funny, and just the right amount of perfect. Or at least I thought he was. As every princess finds out, even Prince Charming has his flaws. This prince? His flaw was none other than World of Warcraft.

Now, before you think I’m some terrible, judgmental person, I assure you that it’s in your best interest to continue reading.

When you’re a cheerleader gone gamer, it’s a little hard to fall into nerd life. When the boy who steals your heart spends his spare time travelling the world of Azeroth, it’s a little hard to take him seriously. Just when I thought it was impossible that it could get any worse, he asked me to play it.
Um, what? Why would I ever play WoW?

Oh wait, I do. It took quite some time, but even I realized that this game might just have a little bit of something for everyone. Every gamer I have encountered plays games for different reasons and WoW is no different. Some play it for PvP, some play it for PvE, and if you’re me, you also like the part where you get to change your hair and find different pets.

We don't all look like this either.

Another thing I learned by playing WoW? You can’t knock things until you try them. I, like many other people in the world, prematurely judged WoW gamers, and it’s something I’m actually kind of ashamed of. The people I’ve met through a simple online game have admittedly become real-life friends. They aren’t all completely weird and whatever other stereotypes we assign to them.

I feel like we tend to harshly judge people with no true precedence, and WoW gamers have been the subject of this judgment. Take this from cheerleader gone WoW nerd, it’s not all that bad. If you have a friend who plays WoW, maybe you should realize that if your friend plays, then maybe not every Azeroth adventurer is a total nerd and hides in their room at night with their virtual friends.

Now is a great time to get started. I challenge each person who reads this to try WoW for free up to level 20. To be completely honest, I think you may be surprised to find how much you like it.

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Amanda’s Top Ten of 2011

The Bat and the Cat

Every year, websites decide they’re going to post an article about the most popular and best games of the year. That’s not what this is. This isn’t what I think everyone likes and this isn’t a list of the best games that came out in 2011. These games are what this nerdy, college student picked. So, without further ado, here are my ten games of the year in no particular order.

1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Chances are this game is going to be on every list of top games this year. From dragon fighting to infinite quests, it seriously seems like this game has everything to offer. Every person I’ve talked to has had a complete nerdgasm for Skyrim, and it’s not hard to see why. The countless hours that can be put into this game and the gameplay itself make it completely worth it.

2. Batman: Arkham City
Batman may not be my favorite superhero, but this game caught my attention. I loved Arkham Asylum, so this was a must-have. Arkham City was absolutely brilliant. It played exactly like Arkham Asylum, but better. The storyline made it almost impossible to put it down a,nd it rarely disappointed me. Don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t perfect, but the overall quality made the little flaws insignificant.

Super Meat Boy. Image courtesy steampowered.com

3. Super Meat Boy
Yes, I know this game didn’t come out this year, but it’s still on my top ten for the year. This game is the perfect amount of adorable and dork. Making characters named Meat Boy, Bandage Girl, and Dr. Fetus may seem outrageous for some people, but let’s get real here, this game can entertain anyone. So not only is this arcade game dorky and cute, it also takes skill. If you’re looking to play a game that you don’t have to invest a lot of time into, then this is for you. Also, if your girlfriend is a nerd like me, you could tell her that she’s the Bandage Girl to your Super Meat Boy. It might get you some bonus points if she knows what you’re talking about. If she doesn’t, she’s just going to think you’re weird.

4. Gears of War 3
I’ve been a Gears fan since I bought my 360, and this installment reinforced that. Everything about the Gears series reels gamers in–from their characters, to the storyline, to the actual game play. Adding Sam (the new female character) was really just an extra bonus. The fact that Gears still allows you to play a campaign that’s longer than 6 hours makes it a front runner to most games that come out these days. Beast Mode makes it easy and a lot more fun to play with friends. If you’ve ever played a Gears game, this one is definitely worth trying out. If you haven’t, play this one anyway.

5. Mortal Kombat
Okay, I’m sure we can all agree that this was far from the best Mortal Kombat game in the world. Nostalgia killed me with this one, though. I grew up loving the games on my PlayStation, and I even owned the movies, so I was way too excited for this to be released. Even though it was modernized, this game stays true to the Kombat characters. The graphic nature of the game added to its charm, along with the X-ray feature. Whether playing through the campaign or the online multiplayer, this game is definitely entertaining.

6. Portal 2
This is another game that you’ll more than likely find on every list of top ten games this year. It’s hard to believe that the original Portal was just a side project, but it’s amazing what it’s turned into. Portal 2 partners Chell and GlaDOS in another puzzle-filled adventure. The puzzles are just as challenging and the co-op feature (Atlas and P-body are so cute!) lets you partner up with a friend. It’s funny and entertaining; pick it up if you haven’t yet.

7. Alice: Madness Returns
I don’t know what it was about this game that had me playing it every night once I got it. This twisted adventure game was not only pretty to look at, but it was also interesting to play. There’s a lot to discover in Wonderland, including new areas and hidden objects. The land is fun to explore and the weapons are innovative and interesting. The darker take of the story of Alice in Wonderland is what keeps the game interesting. I know that it’s not the world’s best game and the game play can be glitchy, but it’s fun, and every once in awhile everyone needs a little bit of fun, right?

It's so fun! Endlessly fun!

8. LittleBigPlanet 2
I feel like it should come as no surprise that I love Sackboy, and that I find this game absolutely adorable. Other than Sackboy’s pure cuteness, LBP 2 is simply amazing. The game play is solid, the storyline is cute, the levels are innovative, and the fun is never-ending. Every world is different and the gaming gets more intense as you go on. There isn’t a single thing I would’ve changed about this game. A lot of the appeal of LBP 2 is that it can be considered a modern day Mario; it’s platform gaming at its finest. I’m one of those people who can’t pay attention to anything for longer than ten minutes at a time, but this game kept me interested a lot longer than I even thought it could… But then again, I really like cute things.

9. LA Noire
I understand that this is WAY different than the previous two games, but this was quality. I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first, thinking that this might just be Grand Theft Auto in the 40s, but I was really surprised. This is one of the most realistic games I have ever played, and that’s where the majority of its appeal came from. It’s slow-paced, and it isn’t based on your ability to kill as many people as you can, it’s about your ability to read people and use patience to discover what really happened. This was another game that I was surprised I could pay attention to, but I’m glad I did.

10. Words with Friends
This game came out in 2009, but it’s being played by people EVERYWHERE. You wouldn’t consider it for game of the year and most people wouldn’t put it in a top ten list. One thing’s for sure though, I’ve spent a lot of time playing it. Whether it’s just an app on my phone or Facebook, There’s nothing exceptional about it, and it may just be a glorified Scrabble, but more people are playing this game than almost any console game you’re going to find.

My games of the year aren’t the ones I think are the best, they’re the ones that entertained me the most. I’m not the world’s best gamer, and I don’t know all there is to know about games. One thing I do know is fun, and fun is exactly what all these games are.

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