Is it bad that I'm amused by 100% on Easy?

After buying Guitar Hero III a few weeks back, I have been slowly but surely making my way through the game. I passed every song on Easy (both the Set List and the Bonus Songs), and am now in the middle of the Bonus Songs on Medium. Even though my skills are somewhat decent on Medium, I have yet to move on to Hard since I am having difficulty even imagining playing five notes with four fingers (my proverbial hat goes off to anyone who can compete a song on Hard, let alone Expert).

At any rate, since my little finger starts hurting on Medium after a few songs (I apparently have small hands), I have been trying to get 100% on every song on Easy, and I was down to one - Through the Fire and Flames. Now, after trying that song more times than I care to admit, I had become accustomed enough to the pattern to miss anywhere from 1-3 notes every time, simply based on my own stupidity, a slipping finger, and so on. But, today, I finally defeated my nemesis, and got 100% on the song.

Laugh all you want about my being excited over this, but I have already given up on moving on past Medium (see above), so I am excited with any progress on make on the easier two difficulties.

Other than GHIII, I've also played a bit of the Puzzle Quest: Galactrix demo, which you all can find here. For those familiar with the original Puzzle Quest (think Bejeweled, but with combat), you'll notice a few striking differences: Gone are the medieval landscapes and horizontal/diagonal grid patterns. Instead, you're left with an outer space theme (which I am wild about) and a diagonal orb setting.

My one complaint about the demo comes from said diagonal arrangement, in that it causes a disjointed flow of new orbs into the play area. That is, you could make a match of three orbs in the same relative location two turns in a row, only to have the new orbs come in from top left, bottom right or top right. And without knowing beforehand what the resulting configuration will be, you more-often-than-not accidentally give your opponent a free chance to attack you.

Needless to say, if this is how the final version ends up playing, the game will be a heck of a lot harder than the first one, but that might actually be a good thing, as, once I reached a high enough level in the original, I was decimating everything in my path, and even the final boss put up a fight of laughable proportions.

Hopefully I'll get to experience the whole thing when it releases on the DS next month.

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Won't you be my neighbor?

Or at least friend, in this case.

Those of you who read my last blog will remember that I mentioned I was looking to purchase a router. However, the "in a couple of days" from that past blog turned into "a couple of hours," and I went out and bought one that night.

That brings us to today, and my ability to take advantage of online gaming on both my Wii and my DS.

For those of you who would be interested in playing together, I have Guitar Hero III, Pokémon Pearl, and Animal Crossing: Wild World (I have other, more obscure Wi-Fi enabled titles, but those are the big three). Or, I would also be interested in just swapping Wii friend codes.

That being said, if you want any of my friend codes, you can either PM me or email me at brandy@grrlgamer.com, and I will pass them along. I apologize for forcing you to put some effort into this, but (call me crazy) I don't see the point in broadcasting my codes to everyone with an internet browser.

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Here We Go Again

I really wish I had more interesting things to discuss than forever rambling about GrrlGamer, but alas, I do not. Here's my next batch of reviews:


That leaves me with only one, yes, one game in my immediate backlog, that being King of Fighters: The Orochi Saga for the Wii. I can't even recall the last time that I only had one game to focus on. However, this reprieve will probably be short-lived, as I have been told I'm receiving the new Max Payne DVD, and have asked for a few games as well, so we'll see.

Other than that, I'm probably going to buy a router in a couple of days (I know which model I'm buying, it's just finding it in stock at Target that's the problem), so I will finally be able to get online with my Wii. Buying the router now will also help me later in mentally justifying a 360 purchase, since it will be one thing I don't have to buy at the same time as the console, adapter and whatnot. As it stands now, I've practically had to strap myself to a chair to stop myself from buying one (a 360, that is), but so far my cheapness has prevailed. Hopefully, buying the router and gaining access to Wii's Virtual Console games will be enough to tide me over for the foreseeable future. One can only hope...

Until next time all!
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Getting the ball rolling...

Long story short - An unscheduled GrrlGamer update was launched yesterday, which serves to get us back into the rhythm of reviewing after the holiday break (laziness ftw!). While a rather small update, it still included four things from yours truly:

We are still on track to have our scheduled update on the 15th, and afterwards should resume our normal bimonthly updating routine. I also might as well mention that my status at GrrlGamer has officially been upgraded from Staff Writer to PR Associate. Even though I had been acting as such since around August of 2008 (with business cards to boot), the Crew Page was only recently changed to reflect such (have my own Bio section and everything, hehe).

Finally, we've also launched a Mochi Arcade page, which allows visitors to play various casual games in the vein of Bejeweled and so on. By playing games through our site (and subsequently sitting through the 15 or so second ad at the beginning of each), GrrlGamer gets a bit of a monetary kickback, helping to keep up alive - so play those games!

Until next time all!

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2008 - A Year In Review

2008 - A pretty bad year, at least where January through July are concerned. While I could type paragraph after paragraph citing examples of how that portion of the year decided to blow up in my face, instead please allow me one (probably run-on) sentence:

Had kidney stones in Feb or March (can’t remember which, but definitely remember the pain, as all those horror stories you hear are true), Mom was diagnosed with both high blood pressure and diabetes [when she has had no major health problems whatsoever up to this point (btw, both are under control, if you care)], one of my cats died, my maternal grandfather passed away, and I lost my financial aid.

Jump to mid August and things make a bit of an upswing, starting with Gen Con, which I was, for the first time, able to enjoy for its entire four-day duration (five actually, as I got into Indianapolis a day early in order to hang out with some Gen Con specific friends). Met tons of great people within all aspects of the gaming industry (that is, not just video games, but board games, table-top RPG’s, card games, miniatures, and so on), and also had the opportunity to attend the ENnies (the Oscar's of table-top gaming), and meet face-to-face the vast majority of people that I talk to on the Gen Con forums.

The rare noteworthy positive from the first half of the year would be my two year anniversary with GrrlGamer, which occurred in June. Not only has my continued participation with the site allowed me to extend my network of contacts within the video game industry, but also allowed me to be blessed by Nintendo in late November when they sent me a Wii, free of charge, in order to play the many games that I had either already been given to review or had been offered by various developers / publishers.

And without the Wii, I wouldn’t have been able to experience what is easily the best game I played in 2008 – de Blob. Keep in mind that I don’t have a 360 or a PS3, so any title like GTA IV, MGS 4, Gears 2, Fallout 3, etc. is not even within my realm of gameplay opportunities, and therefore couldn’t be considered, and the fact that I have had the Wii for such a short amount of time, meaning that I have not yet had a chance to go back and play things like No More Heroes. And while I won’t go into an all-out “Game of the Year Countdown,” I will grant a bit of praise to Princess Debut on the DS, which would be my runner-up, that is, if I were having a countdown.

But perhaps the most noteworthy occurrence of 2008 for me is that fact that I am not even writing this blog on Gamespot in the first place, a possibility I never saw coming in the first portion of the year. Even in July, when I followed the crowd to the Bomb, I never saw my abandonment of Gamespot as the eventual outcome, but here we are (Gamespot’s collection tracker notwithstanding).

So, to the new friends that I have made here at Giant Bomb, and to those friendships that have continued even after the switch, I say thank you, as it’s conversations with people such as yourselves that allow me to forget the personal problems I may be dealing with, even if just for a few minutes at a time.

See you in 2009!

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And to all a good night...

Quick(-ish) blog post, just to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, that is, if you celebrate the holiday, and to get the obligatory list of "stuff I got" out of the way:

From mom:

  • Kingdom Hearts RE: Chain of Memories
  • Finding Neverland DVD (didn't ask for it, but it's Johnny Depp, so I can't complain)
  • Resident Evil: Extinction DVD (I'm a sucker for the films, so sue me)
  • Wall-E DVD
  • Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest DVD (one of my favs as a kid - haven't seen it in years)
  • Sweeny Todd DVD
  • Short Circuit 2 DVD (another cheesy movie, but I just can't help myself with them, hehe)

From sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew:
  • Caddyshack DVD (how I didn't already have this one in my collection is beyond me - GREAT movie)
  • Enemy of the State DVD
  • Pathfinder Unrated DVD
  • 28 Weeks Later DVD
  • Transformers DVD
  • Lucky You DVD
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 2 Special Edition DVD

Sensing a pattern yet? My mom also bought me a watch, but it didn't fit right, so I'm going to take it back...whether I buy another one with the refund money is yet to be seen, as there are other things I want more than a new watch.

After opening presents and eating lunch with the family, my niece, nephew and myself played Wii Sports, and my nephew surprisingly did quite well. He's only 5, but somehow managed to fluke his way into a birdie in golf and a turkey in bowling. My niece didn't fare as well, but a fun time was had by all. Also got around to watching the new Hulk DVD, which my nephew received from my mom, and the new Disney Tinkerbell movie, which my niece received from her parents. Both were thoroughly enjoyable.

Since the last time I posted, I actually made quite a large gaming purchase (which is definitely rare, as I am the cheapest person I know) in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Meijer had the Wii bundle marked down by $50, and also had a special coupon in their ad worth $8 off an item priced $39.97 or more, making the entire bundle cost me only $32. A great deal if you ask me, as Target had the exact same bundle on sale this week for $88.

So, I've been playing the game like crazy, as it is my first Guitar Hero game, and the novelty is still incredibly new with me. I'm satisfied playing in the easiest mode for now, until I build my skills up, but am already hooked on the "hardest" song in the game: Through the Fire and the Flames. I know it might not sound that impressive, but I've gotten to the point where I miss around 10 notes each time I try, out of around 1100, and most of those are just stupid mistakes, not anything caused by my being overwhelmed. I know there are those who have mastered the song even on Expert, and those people may laugh at me if they wish, but you have to remember that I'm still a beginner, and it will definitely take a lot of time for me to master the game entirely. In the meantime though, I'm having a lot of fun!

Again, Merry Christmas to everyone out there! I hope the day brought you everything you expected and more!
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Last update of the year...

I really need to post more often. But, droughts are what happen when you have nothing interesting to say... That being said, today marks GrrlGamer's final update of the year, and while it isn't as big as our last update, it's still nothing to sneeze at, and includes 8 reviews from yours truly, including one for a DVD and another for a Wii accessory pack:

In other news, I finally got around to finishing my Christmas shopping. Whereas last year I was done with the vast majority of said shopping in August, this year I've been, for some unknown reason, way behind, leading to a bit of panicking on my part. At least it is finally done now, and I can concentrate on the ever-growing backlog of games that continues to accumulate in the corner of my office. Even received two games today: Cake Mania: In the Mix and The King of Fighters: The Orochi Saga, both for the Wii.

And that's about it in terms of interesting news in my life, unless you consider my getting new glasses last week or the fact that I'm getting a haircut on Monday interesting news. But yeah, Christmas is obviously approaching, and I'll probably be a bit more active around here in terms of posting blogs, since Christmas brings out the bargain shopper in me (well, after Christmas clearance sales anyhow), and I just love to share my deals. Plus, I have my "Year in Review" blog to look forward to. One thing you won't see however is any GotY blogging, as my current situation hinders my ability to play the vast majority of titles that would even make the cut.

So, until next time all!

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Brandy's Bargain Bonanza - The Spoils... of WAR!

For all of you not familiar with me from GS, Brandy's Bargain Bonanza is a feature that I created a couple of years ago to highlight certain times when I go nuts buying a mass amount of electronics at once (videos games, DVD's and whatnot). While I used to shop for these items on a pretty regular basis, certain events have led to a considerable slowing in that respect (hence my not doing a blog such as this until now). However, this is Black Friday, a day which no self-respecting bargain hunter should pass up.

After leaving home at 4:45 AM, here is the rundown of my day:

Wal-Mart - Wait time: 63 minutes

When I finally did get to checkout, I purchased the following DVD's:

  • Borat Special Edition w/ T-shirt - $2.00
  • V for Vendetta - $2.00
  • The Whole Nine Yards - $2.00
  • TMNT - $2.00 (Gift for nephew, I think; Might decide to keep it for myself... Is it any good?)
  • Just Friends - $2.00 (Gift for sister)
  • Pay it Forward - $2.00 (Gift)

Total paid: $12.84

Total savings (over original prices): $50.25

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Meijer - Wait time: 0 minutes

After seeing something to the extent of "All 9.99 video games half off," I thought that I would take a chance and find a couple of decent PS2 games to add to my collection. Little did I know that the ad failed to mention the fact that you had to buy a certain amount of games before the discount came into effect, and with options like Bratz: Forever Diamonds or Nickelodeon's Unfabulous making up the majority of my choices, there was no way I was buying enough to count...

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Target - Wait time: 20 minutes

Target... It's like home really. One sure-fire location where I just know I am going to find something good. After making my way through the toy, video game and electronics departments, I picked up Polar Express, the new Indiana Jones, the new Hulk, a Leapster game, and some pajamas to purchase with my mom's money (all gifts for various family members). As for myself, I picked up a few things (prices look strange because I have included my mom's 10% employee discount in the prices):

  • Atonement - $5.38 (I adore Keira Knightly and sweeping/epic romances, so this was a win/win)
  • Office Space Special Edition - $3.58

I should also note that I got two rainchecks (Made of Honor for $8.98, and Pirates 3: At World's End for $5.98), that I may or may not redeem sometime within the next 90 days (depending on how my wallet looks as we get closer and closer to Christmas):

Total paid : $9.59

Total savings (over original prices): $19.06

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After getting home, I was a bit annoyed that I didn't find more during my trip, so I headed onto Amazon to see what sorts of deals I could find, and was very pleasantly surprised.

  • Nintendo Wii Remote Charge Station - $19.95 (not just four rechargable AA batteries but two actual battery packs like you have on cell and cordless phones; had hundreds of reviews with the general consensus being that it's a great unit)
  • Resident Evil 4 Wii - $9.95
  • Iron Man DVD - $8.99 (Gift for nephew - was $13 at Target, so I'm glad I waited)

Total paid: $38.89

Total savings: $35.89 (plus another $6.47 saved by getting free shipping)

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Total spent on the day: $61.32

Total savings on the day: $105.20

So there you have it. Did any of you journey into the crowds this morning? If so, what did you get?

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Wheee... No, wait... Wiiiiiiiiiii!

Say what you want about Nintendo, and how their disappointing E3 press conference sent them down the proverbial gutter in the minds of hardcore fans... They still earn much heart from me. Why?

Not just any Wii - My Wii, for free (hey, that rhymes).

























I really...
LOVE
my job!

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