GameStop Expo 2012

Only a few days ago, I was in Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio surrounded by unreleased video games I was itching to play. There were so many options, and I wish I would have had enough time to play them all. By the time 4:00 p.m. rolled around, my hands were full with free stuff and my head was spinning from all the awesomeness I had just experienced. Say farewell to sleep and money my friends, because when these games come out, you'll be hooked.

Fable Journey for Xbox 360 Kinect

The Games 

My first encounter with an unreleased game at the expo was in the VIP room an hour before the event opened it's doors. Amid the food displays, water jugs filled with fruit punch and gamers sorting through their bags filled with goodies were two stands with a playable level of Lego Lord of the Rings.

This Lego adaption had the typical quirky comedy infused with the already great Lord of the Rings storyline. As expected, each character had unique abilities. For example, any tall character could throw Gimli so he could break high targets. Yet another game on my 'to buy' list. In addition to Lego Lord of the Rings, I managed to get my hands on Dishonored and Halo 4.

Dishonored was everything I hoped it would be; grungy, laced with blood and lots of stealth. I only played a few minutes into the level, but for what I played I know it's going to be amazing. My favorite ability was mind control - it's not everyday you get to scurry around as a rat.

I was too short to properly see the screen.

The lines to play Halo 4 were surprisingly short. After watching only two games, I got my chance to play. My boyfriend and I played a single Free-for-All match with a total of 12 players, each on their own screen.

Multiplayer played like a dream. It was the perfect mix of Halo 3's general gameplay and Halo Reach's items, classes and abilities. There are also a few new additions, such as the ability to sprint by pushing down the left thumb stick. For the little bit that I was able to play, I know this upcoming November will be filled with sleepless nights. 

The Swag

What's an expo/convention without free stuff? In addition to my goodie bag for being a VIP member, I picked up quite a bit.

Agent 47 Bag - Adventure Time Lanyard (2) - Adventure Time Button (2) - I'm a Fighter Dead or Alive Necklace - Power Up Lanyard - Sonic the Hedgehog Hat - Signed Game Informer posters - GameStop Bag - NOS Lanyard - Skylanders Figure 

Also, I was one of the very lucky winners of a Square Enix drawing. Every hour at the Square Enix booth, a few prizes would be given to the people who held a winning ticket. In the first drawing round, I won the second prize pack; a set of six Final FantasyXIII-2 figures!

Aside from all the free stuff, I made some sweet purchases as well. My boyfriend and I purchased a Retro Lancer Replica along with a Creeper vinyl figure - both of which were cheaper at the expo than they were online. 

The Experience 

Out of the three general sessions offered, I only went to two. Activison's was first on the list, I skipped Ubisoft's to play games and Square Enix's was last. These sessions were a lot different from what I expected, but more on that later.

My favorite thing from the expo was meeting the editorial team of Game Informer. Since Game Informer was the magazine that really got me interested in video game journalism, it was an honor for me to meet the team who is responsible for the magazine's success.

Me and the Game Informer editorial team

If only I would have had more time. I could have played the WiiU, Assassin's Creed III or even would have waited in the never ending line to try Black Ops 2. There was so much to try, but in between the general sessions and waiting in lines, there just wasn't time for it all. Maybe next year I'll pass on the general sessions and sped more time on the floor.

Overall, the expo was definitely worth going to. Between playing awesome unreleased games and the great free merchandise, I know the GameStop Expo is something I will continue to go to. Whether or not I choose to be VIP is a story for another time.

For more pictures from the expo, check out my Facebook gallery.

Yours truly,


The Eve of the Expo

In less than nine hours, I will be walking through halls filled with video games among their creators and the people who love them. I'm so excited, I passed out in a restaurant.

via MTV

Expect plenty of live blogging on my twitter and Facebook.

Stay tuned!

Yours truly,


Nintendo Pulls the Plug on Nintendo Power

As a journalism major with a focus on magazines and feature writing, I often pop into the magazine isle of the grocery store or book store. I remember the days when Game Informer was sold in all local stores, when all three major consoles had their magazine on the racks and when the video game section rivaled the wedding section. Now, finding a variety of video game magazines on the shelf is rare.

This week, the our options just became more limited.

According to IGN and G4, Nintendo is stopping production of it's official magazine Nintendo Power. Like the Official Xbox Magazine and Playstation the Official Magazine, Nintendo Power was not only an exclusive news source for the company, but also an easy marketing tool.

via Nintendo Power

Nintendo was the longest running official gaming magazine of the big three. The magazine was originally published by Nintendo, but those responsibilities were handed over to Future Publishing in 2007.

What could this mean for the rest of the video game magazines? Much of print media is already on it's last threads. Game Informer doesn't offer a print version on the shelves. Other gaming publications like GamePro have already called it quits, so who will be next? Will publications be purely online like IGN or will the print publications simply die out? As much as I love IGN, no one likes a monopoly.

On a positive note, Dark Horse Comics announce last week that it is releasing an official english copy of the The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia. This book was released for the 25th anniversary of the Zelda series in Japan and is finally making it's way to the US. It will include information about the entire series including the popular timeline that puts every Zelda game in order.

via Dark Horse

It will be released January 29 and is available for preorder now for $20.99 on Amazon.

What are your thoughts on Nintendo Power closing? Will you miss it?

Yours truly,


Website Feature: Gourmet Gaming

Games like Cooking Mama really get my appetite going. Here you are preparing delicious food and you can't even eat it. It's like composing a symphony and not being able to hear how all the parts finally come together - I'm talking to you Beethoven. One gamer has the food creativity of a culinary master and has figured out how to make out favorite in-game treats into real life products.

Daniella - the creator of Gourmet Gaming - takes the concept way farther than the simple Cooking Mama recipes you could easily find around the internet. She has created recipes for Costume Quest's Mossy Log, Pokemon's Poffins and many more. This gamer gone food artist has crafted some of the most delectable desserts and snacks I've ever seen. Maybe it's just her amazing photography skills, but all the food she puts up on her website looks amazing.

Kingdom Hearts - Spark Lemon via Gourmet Gaming

Looking at the recipes and delicious food is one thing, but making them is a whole different story. Each recipe is rated on a scale from one to five hearts to show the level of difficulty. In addition, all recipes include the metric and customary units - a nice gesture for all her American fans.

Out of all her recipes, I decided to take a stab at making her recipe for The Sims  Goopy Carbonara. With a two heart difficulty rating, I figured it would be an easy dinner dish and a good place to start in all of her crazy foods.

Video Game and Reality Carbonara via Gourmet Gaming

For the recipe, click here!

Mine didn't turn out so pretty, but my tastebuds were pleased. The next time I make this recipe there are two things I plan to do differently.

For one, I wasn't able to find cubed ham the recipe called for at my local Fiesta - the Mexican food store my friend insisted we go to for ingredients - so I just used flat lunchmeat ham instead. It worked just as well but because it shriveled so much, it resulted in a frugal amount of ham in the overall dish, leaving it tasting a little bland. It's a good cheap replacement, but if you do use this substitute then make sure you add a generous amount of it.

One other thing I would do is make more of the sauce. The amount the recipe makes just didn't create that 'goopy' feeling for me. It still tasted great, but it would have tasted fantastic if there was just a bit more.

My take on the Goopy Carbonara

I plan on returning to her website for many more dinner recipes. I'm hoping she does a recipe for Fallout's Surgar Bombs next!

Yours truly,



A new type of console has been proposed to the gaming comminuty that promises a platform that will encourage development and free-to-play games. For $99 in March, you could get your hands on the OUYA (ooh- ya) console, controller with a touch screen with all the typical fixings, and of free-to-play games on launch day.

via USA Today

The idea behing this console came from the easily developed and sold games that we currently get on our smartphones and tablets. However, they want to bring those talented developers behind these simple games back to our living rooms. The OUYA is meant to be a simple platform that nearly anyone can develop for and sell their games.

It will run on an Android program and is 100 percent hackable - one of the biggest selling points of this new machine. They chose Android because a majority of developers already know how to develop programs for this system.

An open indie market? I like the sound of that, especially if these games will be sold for lower prices than what we pay for a typical Xbox 360 or PS3 game. Since the developers won't be paying for a lot of publishing costs and they will be sold online, the games should be substancially cheaper. I think this is going to be a great platform to support the small developer who is just getting their feet off the ground.

However, in order for them to move out of the prototype phase and into the production, they are calling to us gamers and developers for funding - and they are definitely rewarding us. Depending on how much you donate, you can get your username reserved, the acutal console with your name engraved on it, or an invitation to the fancy launch party.

via Geeky Gadgets

On Kickstarter, they set their goal for $950,000 with the last day to donate on August 9. Right now, they have more than surpassed their goal with 29 days left - I don't think they need to wait till August to get started. I'm contributing $10 to get my username reserved, but I'll wait till March to purchase to console.

What do you think? Will you be donating?

Yours truly,

P.S. If you want more information on the OUYA, visit their Kickstarter page which includes more pictures and a video.


Happy Birthday, America

Via GameStatics

Patriotism at its best. 

If only they would have released Assassin's Creed III today - it would have been perfect. Oh well, time to go get a hotdog. 

Yours truly, 


Oh yeah, Nintendo

So, remember that conference that happened earlier this month? E3? Yeah, I remember that too. I also remember too many psychology terms and not enough about introductory U.S. Government. Summer school is fun - I hope you realize that is sarcasm.

With that sad excuse for an apology, I present to you what you may have missed at the Nintendo 2012 E3 conference - which really wasn't that much. So lets make this short.

via Kotaku

The Nintendo conference was far from spectacular. Of course, my hero Miyamoto was present and set the stage for Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America. Fils-Aime guided us through our Nintendo journey with awkward faces and comments. And by journey, I mean a petting zoo. No Amazon jungle with unknown surprises at every turn - just baby goats, pigs, and even a few Pikmin.

Games Announced: 
 (3DS = Nintendo 3DS)

Aside from games, not much else was announced. We were informed that the WiiU will allow for two WiiU pads to be connected and that there will be more ways to connect online with friends by posting updates that are displayed on the Miiverse - WiiU's new home screen. 

Who know's what they will announce in the coming months. Perhaps they will just wait for us to purchase our WiiUs this holiday season to find out more.  

To watch the conference for yourself, click here.

Was there anything you wanted to see that Nintendo didn't present? What did you think? 

Yours truly, 

P.S. I seriously apologize for the tardiness of this post. I don't advise taking two summer classes while working - it's not fun. In the next month I promise to make it up to you all. Thank you for your support/readership!


Happy Birthday!

Picture from GourmetGaming.co.uk

One name change and 39 posts later, this blog is one year old today! This next year expect more posts, videos and much more.

In addition, I would like to announce that I will be attending this year's GameStop Expo - a five hour conference where I'll be able to talk with publishers, developers, and even play some games before they are even released.

If you plan on attending, let me know so we can meet up. I'm not too sure if I'll be dressing up but I will announce those plans in the near future.

Thank you all for reading this blog! If there is anything you would like to see, feel free to let me know.

Yours truly,


Sony's Conference - E3 2012

Sony didn't open their conference with one game, but with dozens. They utilized their multiscreen stage to it's full potential, while presenting a montage of games that will come to Sony systems.

The first person to take the stage was Jack Tretton, Sony of America's President and CEO. Of course he talked about the industry, where the show could be watched and also payed homage to the loyal Sony's gamers. After a little bragging about Sony's hardware, Trentton handed the reigns over to Quantic Dream's David Cage.

This is where the show really begins. Cage wasted no time when presenting Quantic Dream's new IP, Beyond: Two Souls. This PS3 exclusive is a game that explores the life of a girl who can see the dead. The way Cage describes the project makes it sound more like a movie than a video game. Jody Holmes, the main character of Beyond: Two Souls, is to be played by Ellen Page. So if you've ever wanted to run around in a virtual world as Ellen Page who can control a ghost, your game has arrived. 

The trailer looks fantastic, but until we get some more gameplay and details I can't say I'm sold yet. 

Here are the other games Sony presented: 
(P = Playstation Exclusive) (V = Vita ) (M = Playstation Move) (W = Wonderbook)

New Features and Hardware: 
  • Little Big Planet 2 Cross-Play - Play and save Little Big Planet 2 on your vita and resume on you PS3. 
  • PS1 Classics for Vita 
  • Crackle Television and Hulu Plus will be added to Vita 
  • Wonderbook - An interactive book that uses the Playstation Eye camera to bring books to life.
  • PlayStation Mobile - Sony games on tablets and smartphones 

The Sony conference always has too much bragging. You can't go two minutes without Tretton saying something about how great Sony is or how exclusive something is. It get's a little old. (I still prefer him over the Ubisoft hosts.) Another thing I didn't like about this year's conference was the lengthy montage at the very beginning. Like some of there demos, it was too drawn-out and I got bored. Sometimes shorter is sweeter.

Sony's conference also had a lot of great features. This year, they presented two new items that do a fantastic job of bridging the game industry to both the film and print industry. Also, they are the only ones that allowed non-industry fans into their conference. In addition, they pulled an Oprah and gave all attendees one year free to PlayStation Plus.

To watch the conference for yourself, click here.

What did you think about Sony's conference?

Your truly,


Ubisoft Conference - E3 2012

Everyone is throwing out the celebrity card this year. While E3 is no stranger to live performances, (like Microsoft's Cirque Du Soleil in 2010) this year sure does have a lot. Ubisoft began their conference with a group of women dancing to the upcoming Just Dance 4 songs, and ended the performance by becoming Flo Rida's back up dancers. So, Microsoft snagged Usher and Ubisoft got Flo Rida. Who is the real winner here?

Pictures by Boston.com and USA Today

The best part of Flo Rida's performance was when he told the audience to put their hands in the air. Almost immediately, you see a bunch of arms go up but they are flailing awkwardly since everyone is seated and a good amount of them have laptops or other electronic devices in their laps.

After Aisha Tyler made an awkward comment about everyone being a little bit gay, the presentation Ubisoft's of new games began.

Towards the end of the conference, Ubisoft showcased their already released free-to-play online games. E3 is pretty much a massive advertisement, but Ubisoft shouldn't have been advertising what they already have on the market.  The following games were shown with their reviews slapped next to them.
  • Trails Evolution 
  • The Settlers Online 
  • Ghost Recon Online

Ubisoft didn't use their time wisely here. I understand they are proud of what they've developed, but E3 is all about showcasing what is new, not what has already been accomplished.  I only forgive them because of the awesomeness they concluded their conference with - even though it wasn't related to their lengthy montage. 

Watch Dogs is probably the best new thing I've seen out of any of the conferences. It's a game with consequences and it is surely going to be one that'll make you think about what you do before you do it. I'll be writing more about this later this week in my 'Best of E3' post. 

To watch the press conference for yourself, click here.  [Warning: The hosts are annoying.]

Stay tuned for coverage of Sony and Nintendo's conferences!

Yours truly,


EA Conference - E3 2012

The first thing I want from this conference is The Sims. When I think EA, The Sims is the first thing that comes to mind. I played that game on my computer as a child well into my teenage years. Returning to that series would be awesome.

Dead Space. EA started with DeadSpace 3, and I was just about ready to run from the room. If there there is one thing that really scares me, its aliens. I don't mean aliens like the cute Grunts in Halo, I mean like the big baddies in Aliens.

Thankfully, the trailer hardly showed any of the gruesome creatures, but it did reveal something else: Co-op! Who doesn't love Co-op? Especially if it's a simple drop-in and drop-out format. With this addition, maybe I could handle the horrifying world of Dead Space. Just maybe.

Everyone was just bringing in surprise guests today. In order to talk more about the upcoming Madden game, EA brought in NFL's Hall of Famer, Michael Oher.

Then, it was time for a Maxis presentation. I was so happy - then they announced it was a game for Facebook. That shrunk my excitement down to the size of a pea. In a way, it makes sense that they are finally releasing the SimsCity Social for Facebook.

Facebook is a great place for simulation games, such as FarmVille and CastleVille, so it was only a matter of time before Maxis brought it's original creation to Facebookers. In addition, they announced another SimsCity for PCs that would include a multiplayer feature.

In addition to these three games, EA announced and presented the following games:

My favorite part of this conference was when Criterion Games' Executive Producer Matt Webster ended his presentation with "God save the queen." So British. 

Did anything from EA's conference impress you?

To watch EA's Conference, click here.

Tune in tomorrow for a report on Ubisoft and Sony's conferences! 

Yours truly, 

Microsoft Conference - E3 2012

Once again, it's here! E3 - also known as the most important televised event in the gaming community - begins today with the anticipated Microsoft Conference. Like last year, I'll be breaking down the conference and reporting what's what - that way you don't have to think about it too much.

Microsoft picked up right where they left off from last year by premiering the partially live action trailer of Halo 4, which led right into the first ever gameplay footage.

For anyone who has had doubts about Halo 4, and I know there are a lot of people out there, each and every one of you must watch this video. It's gotten me more excited than ever to get my hands on this game. 343 Industries did a fantastic job on designing the new enemies, and this trailer has me drooling for more. 

After a quick word from Don Mattrick, the barrage of game trailers and gameplay began.


K = Kinect Enabled 
X = Xbox Exclusive 


Aside from games, Microsoft announced a number of new features. Since they are becoming more entertainment focused, they had a good amount to reveal:  

  • Bing Genres - Search entertainment genres through voice control. 
  • More Language Identification for Bing 
  • Nickelodeon, Paramount, Machinima, Univison added
  • NBA Legue Pass/Game Time 
  • NHL Game Center 
  • Watch ESPN - More networks available 24/7
  • Xbox Music - Available on Xbox 360, PCs, Tablets and Phones 
  • Nike+ Kinect Training 
  • Xbox SmartGlass
  • Internet Explorer

Microsoft concluded the conference with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The coolest thing about that for me was that they made their president a woman. Other than that, I wasn't too interested. When it comes to Call of Duty, I prefer Modern Warfare. The game looked interesting but before I'm ready to buy I'll want more information on the game. 

Final Commentary 

SmartGlass was the most impressive new feature Microsoft announced. This system is a way to connect phones, tablets and televisions to movies, gameplay and other media. While you are watching the Game of Thrones on HBO Go, you can whip out your tablet to see what part of the land the characters are at and read other information about the show. It also gives your phone the power to become a remote. This becomes an important feature with the addition of Internet Explorer. You can use your touch phone to scroll, zoom, and perform other features. This is a big improvement from other console internet programs because they are typically difficult to control. Using your phone is much simpler than trying to scroll through each letter and slowly typing with a controller.

Photo from Liveside.net

Another interesting feature was the Nike+ Kinect training. This new program will send you messages to your phone for when you need to workout, connect you to the Nike+ system and provides interactive workout routines. I think this is a smart partnership for Microsoft. Just like Wii Fitness, it will attract a wider audience to their console, especially since it is a program backed by Nike+, which already has a plentiful amount of users. 

As for games, I was disappointed with what Microsoft revealed. There was nothing new that I was really impressed with. We already knew about Halo 4, Tomb Raider, Fable: The Journey and to an extend, the new Gears of War: Judgement and Black Ops 2. Basically, Microsoft needs to step it up when it comes to games - we need more than just sequels. 

Dance Central 3 was another game Microsoft announced. Was anyone surprised? Definitely not about the game, but maybe about Usher's live performance. So, if I purchase Dance Central 3, will Usher pop out of the game? If so, I think they could use this transportation technology to better the world and bring me Orlando Bloom instead. That would be nice. 

What did you think about the conference? 

To watch the conference, click here.

Stay tuned for coverage of EA, Ubisoft and Sony's conferences. 

Yours truly, 


Overcoming Virtual Death

Giant evolved Centaur/Fallout Wiki
While it takes my little brother an hour and a half to complete a difficult mission on Fallout: New Vegas, it takes me at least three. A majority of the time I am sneaking around corners, constantly checking my V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) for nearby enemies and doing just about everything to prevent a monster popping out and killing me.

Ever since I started playing video games, I've used this crazy tactic to try and avoid the scariest enemies. When a monster like the giant evolved centaur or yao guai appear on my screen, I head for the hills. And if I happen to spot the foe too late it usually ends with my death and very real whimpers and screams. (I know, I'm a baby.)

With less time on my hands, this method makes it nearly impossible for me to finish a game. To get rid of my fear of an in-game death, I've found a new iPhone game to break me of my ridiculous habit.

For $3.99, I've been training myself with Square Enix's new iPhone game, 774 Deaths. 

Once you tap start, it begins. However, don't expect Square Enix to hold your hand in this game. There is no tutorial level, instructions on controls or even a story line. In this game, Square Enix tests your knowledge of controls on the iPhone and your ability to quickly solve difficult puzzles. 

You begin in a room with two grey characters - a man and a woman. By walking up to one of the figures, you can change your character. The following room is where the real fun begins. The room has four tombstones, another grey man - a character change - and the door to the next room that is locked. In order to progress, you must complete two of the four games.

In each game there is a different layout with different obstacles and different controls, which makes the game fairly challenging. The first game was simple. You use the arrows to move and the circle to jump on stones to get across the room. Then Game 2 threw you into a room where you must tilt your iPhone and avoid the blade-lined walls. In the third game, your character automatically runs and you must tap the screen to jump. For the fourth game, you must guide your character through a maze by tilting your iPhone before the time runs out.  

Game 1 - 12 Deaths
Game 2 - 17 Deaths
Game 3 - 3 Deaths
Game 4 - 1 Death

The reason this game is so effective in teaching me to accept the occasional pixelated death is because, as you may have guessed from the title, you die a lot. The first four rooms took me a total of 33 deaths to complete - which isn't too bad. Some of the later games have taken me well over 40 deaths to complete.

As frustrating as this game can be, it's also really fun. This games was worth the money, and it's a great game to play while I'm waiting in line at a store or while I'm waiting for a match in a game lobby. So, if you get an iTunes gift card or are willing to spend the $3.99, I recommend you check this game out. What's your favorite iPhone game?

Yours truly,


Kittens Make Everything Better

If finals time is as stressful for you as it is for me, you'll know that procrastination is the key to staying sane. So instead of studying for my Japanese final this morning, I stumbled upon this adorable video.

Pikachu is Japanese, so this could count as studying in some roundabout way.

For those of you also battling through finals, がんばって!

As soon as this dreadful week is over, I promise more posts, possibly some videos and definitely an expansion to this site that I hope you'll love more than I do!

Yours truly,


Eggs Are Prettier Colored

Happy Easter Everyone! 

Aside from these colorful beauties, I think the talking grunts from the Halo series were my favorite easter eggs. How about yours?

Yours truly,


Press X Twice

You may have noticed something is a little bit different about this website. Yes, you are still on what was once known as Platform Girls, but this girl decided it was time for a new look.

After a recent poll conducted on Facebook, I decided it was time to give this blog a new name.

I came up with the name by just playing around with different video game terminology. For some reason, I looked at my controller next to me and thought about buttons... X? Then I noticed there was a Y right next to it. Just like chromosomes! (I don't know how that thought made its way into my head, I'm in a botany class right now, not biology.) Then it hit me: what about two X's, the chromosome's for women? From there, Press X Twice was born! See what I did there?

In other news, Martha Stewart has ruined my Facebook game.

She wants to have some sort of Easter feast or something... Oh, goodness.

Anyways, what do you think about the changes? Let me know in the comments below.

Yours truly, HavokRose


Magazine Clipping Art

Over my spring break, I got a little crafty. Sometimes it's hard to find the perfect mashup of your favorite games/movies/books/cartoons, so I decided to make one of my own.

I am a diehard Moonie (Sailor Moon Fan) and Zelda fan, so I decided to bring those two loves together in this unique piece of art: 

I made this little beauty out of magazine clippings that gives it a unique shine and texture. I absolutely love how it turned out. While I was at it, I made this one for my boyfriend: 

Interested in making your own magazine masterpiece? Here's how you do it: 

1. Sketch out a draft of the image you want to make. But keep in mind, curves can be difficult if they are small and take more time to fill in. 

2. Layer the scratch sheet on top of the card stock and retrace the image, making sure you press hard enough so there are imprints on the car stock. 

3. Trace the imprints with your pencil. 

4. Look through your magazines and find colors to fill in your picture. Then, cut them out.

5. Try to find patterned colors as well, such as fluffy pillows for white or a fading background. Patterns will give texture to your pictures. 

6. Begin gluing your clippings onto the card stock. If you have a lot of background area, try covering that first, but try to keep some space around the drawn image. You'll fill those spaces in later.

7. After filling in the details (Like I did with the moon and triforce), fill in the blank spaces with the background color. For curves and straight lines, try to cut background pieces to help form the borders of the image to make clean edges and smooth curves.

 8. Once the image is filled in, add details. I cut out stars with my mom's precision scissors. Adding words also make for a nice touch. 

9. After adding the details of your choosing, find a frame, put in your masterpiece and hang it up. 

10. Take a picture of it and post it here. I'd love to see what you create! 

Yours truly, HavokRose 


Did you say, free?

The last computer game I seriously played was the Sims 3 - about two years ago. This Thursday, that may change. Since most of my gaming experience has been on consoles, I've never been too interested in MMO's. But this is one I will definitely try.

Today, IGN reported Star Wars: The Old Republic will offer new users a free trial starting Thursday, March 15 and ending Monday, March 19. The trial gives users the opportunity to try out the eight available classes and explore their Orgin world and Capital world. PVP Warzone will also be available along with The Esseles and Black Talon flashpoints, IGN reported.  

As a Star Wars geek, I am incredibly excited. I've heard great things about this game, and it'll be my first MMO. I think this would be a great way to get started, and if I don't like it, I can at least say I've tried. Let me know if you plan on taking part in this trial!

Yours truly,


Mmm... Donuts.

Since I got my iPhone last August, I have been on the hunt for ways to make the little machine reflect me and my interests. I have over 600 pictures and five pages of apps. The memory on the little poor device is almost bloated with the 572 songs and three movies I have on it. However, I keep pushing it's limits.

I love the Simpsons. Especially the games. I remember countless hours I spent as Lisa, running around Springfield in The Simpsons Arcade Game, Road Rage, Hit and Run and the recent The Simpsons Game.

Now, EA has cranked out another Simpsons game to occupy the time I don't have. This time it's free and for the iPhone - sorry Android users. 

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is the newest addition to the Simpsons game collection and it is wonderful! I've only begun the tutorial, but I'm already in love with the plot and the gameplay. In this game, Springfield is wiped out by a nuclear explosion, thanks to Homer. He is the only person left in what used to be Springfield. It has become a large field of grass with scattered products of nuclear waste. It is your job to rebuild the iconic town. With a simple tap and a bit of money, you have ability to place buildings, foliage and decor wherever you desire.

The controls  can be a little tricky at times. Tapping something once doesn't always complete the action desired. Precision is key, and when the target is only a few pixels big, it can be a little tedious. Despite this hiccup, the game has already become addicting. So much for doing my Japanese homework.

If you download this game, what do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

Yours truly,


Website Feature: TeeFury

I am the worst compulsive buyer, especially if the product is video game related. I've had reoccurring dreams of stumbling into shops with piles of The Legend of Zelda and Sailor Moon gear, in which I purchase just about everything in the store. Today, one of the many geek newsletters I follow posted a picture of this:

I absolutely love Adventure Time, and even more so, Link! This is a design for a shirt from TeeFury.com and it was practically screaming my name. So, naturally, I bought it. That was the fastest $10 I've seen fly out of my pocket in quite a long time. And I don't think it will be the last.

TeeFury has a unique way of operating business. For one, it only has a single t-shirt for sale, but each day it changes. Once the day is over, the shirt design is no longer offered. The designs can be an artistic rendition of just about anything in pop-culture or a unique art concept. The shirt is only $10, no sales tax with four different levels of shipping starting as low as $2.50. So, for only $12.50, you can walk around your home/park/office/spy base/campus and flaunt a unique shirt that only you and only a few  people own.

Another marvelous feature of this website is it promotes the artists who design the shirts. According to the TeeFury website, the artists are given $1 for every shirt of their's that is sold and they keep all rights to their design. So, if they decide to sell their design elsewhere for a more expensive price, they may do so. Also, each artist has a small profile next to their designs that gives consumers an insight to the inspiration for the design and the artists.

If you are ready to get your hands on some awesomely cheap apparel, keep up with the TeeFury website, or watch this website to see what other awesome video game related shirts they post. I promise to keep an eye out for you!

Yours truly,


Everyday Video Game: Mario

I apologize for the late post, but this particular entry required some groundwork. 

Perhaps one most merchandised character on the market, right next to Mickey Mouse and Spongebob, is Mario. At any given time one can find Mario products at nearly any major retailer. From clothes to bedding, Mario is everywhere. 

This past Halloween there were so many different Mario costumes on the market, practically everyone in the family could have dressed up as the plump plumber. 

Party City has kept these costumes at their original price, ranging from $19.99 - $49.99. In the summer, some of these costumes may go on sale. 

For those who simply can't wait till Halloween, head over to your local Target. That's right, Target. In my last 'Everyday Video Game,' I presented different Pac-Man products that stray from the norm. Although those items were unique, they were not available in the same place you purchase makeup or bedding. What sets the Mario merchandise apart is its availability. Target had over thirty Mario products in their store.   

One of the easiest places to find Mario in a department store, aside from the electronics section, is in the boy's, junior's or men's section. Here is what Target had to offer.

This was the only shirt left in the Boy's section for $8.99, although I did see price tags for other styles available. In the Men's section, there were quite a few more options for only a dollar more at $9.99. 

If you were wanting something more than a T-shirt, here's a little something extra. You may not fit in them though. The 3 piece Mario pajama set is  $16.99 and the swim trunks are $14.99. 

Alright, enough with the clothes. Practically every major video game has a basic t-shirt. But how many of those characters can boast about their face on a fruit snack? Chomp down on some Mario fruit snacks for only $2.04. 

Nintendo didn't stop there. They put Mario and his co-stars on collectable racers ($3.99), a backpack ($17.49), a micro blanket, ($24.99), in a cartoon ($5.99), a 'cuddle' plush ($19.99)  and in K'nex Mario Kart themed building sets and karts (2.99 - $54.99). Once again, all of these products are available at Target. 

If these items weren't enough to satisfy your Mario craving, check out Walmart, HotTopic, JCPenny and Kohl's for even more Mario related apparel, bedding and novelties. 

Do you think all these Mario products make Nintendo a sellout, or are these products fun ways to make Mario a household name? Let me know what you think! 

Yours truly,