Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Site Update

Welcome back again.  As you can see, we are starting to populate the site with new content.  There are few new writers and contributors waiting in the wings with new content.  If you are interested

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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Site Update, GaMExpo, Nerdvana Con, Life Updates

What to Watch: You Tube

Top 5 YouTube video’s of the past week (with one blast from the past). Each week, on Tuesday, I am going to post 5 videos I think are worth watching on YouTube.  I’d love to hear what you

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What to Watch: You Tube

Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Welcome Bac

Welcome back to Killer Betties! It’s been over three years since I’ve made a post, but I am back. Before I get to what I’ve been doing for three years, I want to talk first about The

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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Welcome Back, TWD, The Bar, and Other Random Thoughts

Football Manager 2017 Review

Football Manager 2017 is a football management simulation video game for the PC developed by Sports Interactive and published by Sega. Gameplay: In terms of gameplay, it is really fun. You can create

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Football Manager 2017 Review

Volunteers Wanted

Killer Betties is going through some growing pains and we need more bodies (and pens) to keep up with it. If you have any interest in writing video game reviews, previews, interviews or editorials, p

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Volunteers Wanted

Weekly Quickfire - Board Games Played

by on March 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Every Thursday night, I go to Gamelot in San Antonio and play board games with some of the coolest cats around. This article will give a quick update on the games I played and what I thought of them. They are ranked in the order of enjoyment with #1 being my favorite from that night.

2013-01-10 20.32.301. Among the Stars Among the Stars is a relatively new game that was released in 2012. It’s a ship building card game in which players earn victory points by placing cards in front of them. Each card does something different and some have requirements or victory point bonuses if certain conditions are met. All cards have a cost requirement and money is not unlimited, so there’s a strategy in how to spend and when to discard for extra money. It’s a very fun game and I’m not just saying that because I smoked everyone else. My strategy involved trying to get as many of the objective bonus cards as possible and taking very high point cards that gave immediate points. I also chose a character that allowed me to replace special cards with the unused special cards, in order to maximize my points or remove a card my hand if I thought it would benefit someone else too much. I didn’t go for many of the cards that gave points at the end. In fact, I only got 10 bonus points, where as the person who came in second had 22 at the end, and he still couldn’t catch me. Take the lead early and build on it as quickly as possible was my strategy and it paid off well. It was my favorite game of the night.

2013-01-10 18.58.152. Elder Sign Elder Sign is a cooperative dice rolling game in which players work together to defeat a big, bad, evil monster that is dead set on devouring the world. Players have to defeat the monster by collecting a certain number of Elder Signs, awarded as rewards for completing quests, before the monster reaches the end of their Doom Track. Each player chooses a character with a special ability. I chose Amanda Sharpe. Her ability involves being able to complete as many tasks as she wants without having to reroll the dice. This is a useful ability when quests come up that have a lot of separate tasks but not many dice are needed for each task. In our play through of the game, though, I didn’t get to use it that much. We played a three player game and drew Azazoth as our big baddie. Early on, he got a lot of doom tokens and we had very few Elder Signs, so it didn’t look good for us, but then we had Rlyeh come out (which is worth a lot of Elder signs), and we ended up defeating the beast. Elder Sign was released in 2011, so it has some age on it, but still feels fresh and new for anyone who hasn’t played it much. I really love this game and the only reason it wasn’t my favorite play of the night was because I have some familiarity with it and Among the Stars was brand new to me (and I won Among the Stars…)

2013-01-10 21.31.143. Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga Fire & Axe, released in 2004, allows players to become vikings in a quest for victory points. Players do this by trading, placing settlers, and raiding cities throughout Europe. The whole objective of the game is to complete Saga cards. These randomly come out of a Saga card deck (split into three eras) and have some kind of goal on them, such as settling certain groups of cities (or a lone distant city) or trading with a city. The game ends when all the Saga cards are drawn (after three rounds) or all the Saga cards are claimed (thus immediately ending the game.) The interesting thing with these goals is that only the last goal in a group counts, so a player can be working on a goal, such as settling three cities, and get two settled with their pieces only to have another player swoop in and settle the last city, claiming the Saga. Some of the Saga cards had bonus points, but most of the victory points come from points immediately earned for trading with a city, points gained by raiding towns (with tokens on them), and points accumulated for settling. There were some interesting bonus point rules that made the game more complicated and was often hard to keep track of. In the end, I came in third, and that was only because I managed to steal a couple of Sagas with high bonus points on them out from under the leader, who really killed the rest of us at the end. Of course, he was also the only one who had played before. I didn’t really enjoy this game as much as the other two and given the choice, there are a lot of other games I’d rather play.

Do you agree or disagree with my opinions of these games? Please leave comments and let me know your thoughts! Do you have a game you would like me to play and give my thoughts on? Please let me know that as well. Thanks for reading!

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Killer Bits Episode 2 is Up! Weekly Quickfire Countdown

by on February 12, 2013 at 11:58 am

Our 2nd episode of Killer Bits is live. In this episode, Staci counts down 5 games that she’s recently played, from worst to best. Be sure to like, subscribe, and comment!

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‘Kingdom Hearts II’ Achieves Million-Unit Sales Mark

by on May 2, 2006 at 5:10 pm

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (May 2, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix interactive entertainment products in North America, and Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company announced today that KINGDOM HEARTS II, the action role playing game available exclusively for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, has sold through more than one million units in North America, making it one of the top selling new releases of 2006. KINGDOM HEARTS II is the sequel to KINGDOM HEARTS, one of the top ten best-selling PlayStation 2 titles of all time in North America.

KINGDOM HEARTS II combines classic Disney characters and worlds into a new story with new characters and environments created in the renowned Square Enix style. The game shipped to North American retailers nationwide on March 28 and was received with overwhelmingly positive response from both gamers and critics alike.

“KINGDOM HEARTS II has sold through one million units in just one-third the time of that of the original, proving that fans were waiting to get their hands on the sequel,” said Daishiro Okada, President & COO, Square Enix, Inc. “The winning combination of Disney and Square Enix has done it again and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”

“KINGDOM HEARTS II is the result of great creative teams coming together to make one of the most successful console games of the year,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “The success of this game is very exciting and we look forward to our continued collaboration with the team at Square Enix.”

‘Kingdom Hearts 2’ Review (PS2)

by on April 27, 2006 at 12:53 pm

Steamboat MickeyI was dancing like a little schoolgirl when I received Kingdom Hearts II. For months I had been checking out screenshots and reading anything I could about this game. So to say I was amped is an understatement. I can safely say I wasn’t disappointed. A few issues I dislike, but a whole lot I enjoy. If you haven’t played the original Kingdom Hearts by Square Enix and Disney Interactive, you may want to go ahead and do that before you even open the wrapping of Kingdom Hearts II.

While good old Jiminy Cricket’s Journal will get you pretty up to date on what has happened previously, it will be a lot easier if you play through the game and see for yourself. The opening of the game is a myriad of random shots and scenes from Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories. This will help to get a new player caught up (or super confused) and will remind old timers of what has already gone down. The game truly begins in Twilight Town where we run into Roxas and his gang. Roxas looks suspiciously like Sora, which is who I immediately thought it was. Poor Roxas, he is a friendly, decent guy, but as he starts having memories and dreams of someone he doesn’t know, things in the town start to get icky. Lucky for him, the trouble he runs into helps him to find out who he is and how to use the keyblade. There are new enemies to deal with including Nobodies and Organization XIII. Enter our old friends Donald and Goofy. With Donald and Goofy we hop into our trusty Gummi Ship and head out on another whirlwind adventure.

Jack SparrowUsing the Gummi ship we travel to different worlds searching for King Mickey, Riku, and Kairi, and trying to defeat both the Heartless and Organization XIII (who are not on the same side, by the way). There are a ton of Disney-like worlds in this game. Each one is completely different than the others. Some are familiar, such as the Coliseum with our pumped up pal Hercules, and of course Halloweentown with Jack Skellington. Others are brand new, making for some very interesting gameplay. Lazy River is a really cool world and a very different theme from all the others. Everything is in black and white and everyone looks like they are straight out of Steamboat Willy, including Sora, Donald and Goofy. Port Royale was astounding; it looked straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean and the characters look almost as if they walked straight from the DVD and into the game. Even Captain Jack Sparrow’s mannerisms were caught perfectly. In each world the skin of the command area changes to match the world, and in some worlds Donald, Goofy and Sora change to match the world as well. It is curious that this doesn’t happen in every world, as I could see some interesting costuming choices for Sora in say Port Royale or the Coliseum - Goofy goes Greek? Space Paranoids with Tron is one of the absolute best worlds by far. It is so completely different than anything else in the game and the getup that our three heroes are wearing is the best.

To accompany the looks, the sound in this game is really above average. The soundtrack matches the game perfectly and there are sections of music from the Disney movies that coincide with the worlds to really accentuate the mood of the world. Environmental sounds kick too, as you can just tell that people really put a lot of thought into making each place unique. Unique the whole game is, with its array of Final Fantasy characters built in. Every time I come across one, I giggle, because they just seem so out of place. Seeing Sephiroth and Cloud mixed in a game with Winnie-the-Pooh just seems so quirky and almost wrong, that it makes it irresistible.

The worlds look great, but have lost some of the depth that they had in the original Kingdom Hearts. In the original, there were far more pathways you could take, and much more difficult tasks to complete than in this game. I felt like I had barely gotten to a world when I had completed what I needed to do and was thus popped onto my Gummi Ship to take a spin to the next world. I was really disappointed in this. I didn’t feel like I got nearly as involved in the characters in each world and never really settled in. I felt like I was skimming the surface of every place I went. Bummer.

Sephiroth vs CloudThe combat system in this game is only so-so. In the previous game I had major problems with combat because of a camera issue. This has been basically solved now, and you can at least see for the most part what you are fighting. In the beginning the controls seem really mushy. Sora seems to move really slow and awkward. Once you change his keyblade it gets better though and Sora seems to fly through the air. What is cool in this game is the different special skills you can use by hitting the triangle button. These change from enemy to enemy and world to world, which is kind of fun. You of course have the option of using magic with Sora, but seriously, you won’t need to or want to put forth the effort to do so. Battles are beyond easy in this game. First of all, there are really a ton of options you can use in a battle on the command area. In fact I got so confused between Limits and Charge, Summon, Magic and regular attacking that I ended up sitting and staring trying to figure out what I was doing. Furthermore, in the original, probably many of you can remember moving barely an inch in Traverse Town and being so overcome with Heartless that your thumb was killing you by the time it was over. You may have even died - gasp! Not in this game. You really can get by with just using the X button. I was really bummed out about this because every battle you fight is easy. Not just the wimpy heartless that look like ants either, but even the bosses are a million times easier. There is no need to use magic at all against anybody so why bother?

There are Limit attacks you can do teamed up with other members of your party that do a ton of damage and look really cool. You can also morph into a special Sora who can wield two keyblades and whoop some butt. You can of course summon, this time being aided by Stitch and Chicken Little and a few others, but once again, you really won’t need them. They are more just to use as a boredom buster…to shake things up a little bit. The bosses don’t really get any more difficult as the game wears on (they just get more health), but Sora gets really strong. So you may find yourself trying to avoid the little battles in between bosses just to hear the story rather than enjoy the combat. You will find you have little or no need for potions or other items that you find because enemies drop enough healing orbs to keep you well intact and both Sora and Donald can heal as well. So if you want to spend time searching for every chest in town, go ahead, but be forewarned, there’s just not much in them.

TronSo this is what it all comes down to. This is a great game. The combat system stinks but the rest of the game pretty much makes up for it. It really is fun and has a superior storyline that is really interesting and really different than a lot of other RPGs. I had no clue what would happen next. I really didn’t. Plus the graphics are stunning and the music is fantastic. The cross between Final Fantasy and Disney makes this a great game for older kids and grownups, and the Disney characters make it a game that younger kids can enjoy too. As a parent I know I am overjoyed when I can find a game that I can play with my daughter in the room and not feel like I am warping her fragile little mind. Go out and get Kingdom Hearts II. It is well worth the money and is a game you can play over and over again and still enjoy.

Rating: 4star
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First Episode of ‘DinoHunters’ Released For Free

by on April 24, 2006 at 3:10 pm

New York (April 24, 2006) – Kuma Reality Games, the leaders in episodic, television-like video games, introduces the release of its first episode of DinoHunters, a free, online first-person shooter propelled by comical in-game scripting and a massive upgrade in game technology.

With a script penned by former Maxim Magazine editor-in-chief Keith Blanchard, DinoHunters involves the wanton and bloody destruction of dinosaurs for a fictional sports broadcast style-hunting show. This wild action comedy stars three dysfunctional celebrities, a sexy TV producer, a one-of-a-kind time-travel premise and numerous mean-spirited, hungry, yet soon-to-be extinct giant reptiles. Hilarious scripted sequences bring a televised sit com-style flavor to the game, which is developed on Source – the same engine Valve created to power Half-Life 2.

“DinoHunters is an innovative online gaming series that combines intense first-person shooter action with the comedic storytelling sense of a first-rate television show,” says Keith Halper, CEO of Kuma Reality Games.

The first in a series of new retail quality “advergaming” titles from Kuma, DinoHunters is offered to consumers for free, using advertising to pay the cost of development and distribution. The first episode of DinoHunters is sponsored by Schick, for which Kuma developed an advergame campaign for the Schick Quattro razor.

“Kuma’s ability to marry quality gameplay with engaging storylines, while maintaining focus on the brand’s communication objectives enabled us to make it a centerpiece of the Schick Quattro campaign strategy,“ said Alex Kakoyiannis whose company Navigame worked with Carat Fusion to develop Schick’s overall integrated game strategy. “Kuma’s episodic model also allows the brand to continue its relationship with gamers for an indefinite amount of time, which cannot be achieved with other advergames because they are not created with a serial approach.”

Future episodes of DinoHunters are scheduled to premiere on the fictional Total Hunting Channel each month and are available for download.

Total Hunting Channel Offers Sneak Peak of Game Programming

by on April 18, 2006 at 2:49 pm

Kuma Reality Games, the company that creates episodic, television-like video games, is one step closer to unveiling its newest project, DinoHunters. Kuma has released a series of machinima videos, giving audiences a sneak peek into its quirky and outrageous new DinoHunters online gaming reality series, The first episode of the DinoHunters game is scheduled to premiere on the fictional Total Hunting Channel this month. The videos are now available for download.

DinoHunters is a comedic first-person shooter involving the wanton and bloody destruction of dinosaurs for a fictional sports broadcast style-hunting show. This wild action comedy stars three dysfunctional celebrities, a sexy producer, a one-of-a-kind time-travel premise and numerous mean-spirited, hungry, yet soon-to-be extinct giant reptiles.

‘Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga’ Newbie Day Today

by on April 15, 2006 at 4:25 pm

Matrix Games in association with Worlds Apart Productions is proud to announce Newbie Night on April 15th, 2006 for Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga. No purchase is required to participate and win prizes, so download the demo (Windows or Mac).

Throughout the day on the 15th, every 30 minutes, a random new player (joined within the last two months) will receive 1 Atok Incident booster pack. In addition two tournaments specifically for new players (Ranked under 1600) will be run on Saturday, March 15th, at 10 AM and 7 PM MST.

Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga features a unique set of single player campaigns along with enhanced graphics, an improved user interface, new maps, new cards, new sound effects, four player games, a tournament drafting system, and many minor adjustments to improve the game.

The digital download and boxed versions of Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga is now available for Mac and PC at the Matrix Games Online Store. Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga is available to both existing Star Chamber players and those who have yet to try Star Chamber. While this is a stand-alone release, the installation process as well as the online play require an internet connection.

Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga contains 2 single player campaigns, 2 starter decks (or 6 booster packs), 5 Atok Incident boosters, 5 event passes, and 5 exclusive promo cards only available when you purchase the Matrix Games edition. For only $29.99 from the Matrix Online Store, the total value of the starter decks, booster packs, and event passes comes to $31.95 and that doesn’t include the value of the single player campaigns or the 5 special promo cards. For both existing and new players, this is the perfect way to experience the new Star Chamber. Also, the new Atok Incident expansion, which is launching along with The Harbinger Saga, contains over 300 brand new cards to further increase the number of strategies in the already robust Star Chamber catalog.

Kingdom Hearts 2 and My Thumb

by on April 10, 2006 at 1:36 pm

It’s official. My thumb and hand are suffering from playing far to many turn based fighting games. Now I have switched to playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and my thumb can’t hack it. I am simultaneously thanking and cursing the game. Thanking it for the ability to hit continue after you die rather than start way back from the save point, and cursing it cause my thumb can’t move fast enough to keep up with some of the tougher enemies. For example, the little heartless guys that look like ants, no problem. Big guy in the Ballroom of Beast’s Castle, AHHHH. Battles are very fun and exciting and always different(if not a little painful-but I have been exercising my thumb daily to get it in shape). Maybe if I could actually come up with a strategy I wouldn’t have as many problems, but I am not much of a strategy player. I hack and hack until I have won the day. However, because of the slow movement of my out of shape thumbs, the continue option is a total bonus and I max out the usage of this capability. There is nothing this girl hates more than having to go way back to a save point and start again from there. Especially if there is a cut scene in there that you can’t skip. They get so obnoxious. Anyone who has had to sit through a cut scene for the 8th time in one night can relate to my woes. Lucky for us, that is taken care of in Kingdom Hearts because you can skip the cut scene. There is one scene however, that is totally unskippable. It took SOOO long, that I was painting my toenails, going to the bathroom, and getting a snack, came back and it STILL wasn’t over. Sigh…the dude talked so slow for no reason. NOT cool, especially because it was close to the beginning and I was anxious to be on my way!! But that is minor and so far has only happened once.The only real downfall so far? Not enough time in the day.

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