August 28, 2008


Shaiya is an online MMORPG that is part of Aeria Games. That means, it is free to play – unless you want to use the good stuff which costs you Aeria Points. I found this game from when I last reviewed Last Chaos which is also an Aeria game. I have been playing it off and on ever since.

Online gaming isn’t new to me, so I understood many things about it. However, if you aren’t so inclined in the online gaming community, Shaiya offers newbie classes. I found this to be a cute and helpful thing for players, if they utilize it.
Character creation was actually quite nice. It allows you to zoom in on the character and rotate – great for checking out hairstyles! Shaiya only allows your account to play on the Alliance of Light or the Alliance of Fury though. This means that you can only create characters on one side. I decided to go with the Fury (also known as the dark side). They have hotter armor and I liked the characters more.

Once inside the world, I found that how the characters run is a little funny looking. The game loading music and music in some areas reminds me of Harry Potter. However, overall the graphics are great! Perhaps even better than some monthly subscription ones.

Questing was often dull, and I didn’t find a real storyline in the game. Don't expect to find any cutscenes or anything here. That was a bit disappointing because I like storylines in games. Nevertheless, grinding and killing stuff in a party was often fun. I actually made it to level 51 on my normal mode Pagan. I’m working on getting that to level 53 so I match. Hey, looking cute is a part of gaming too! I'm also working on a normal mode Assassin and a hard mode Oracle and hard mode Pagan.

Once a player reaches 50 in normal mode, hard mode is unlocked. Once a player reaches 50 hard mode, ultimate mode is unlocked. Only think I really dislike (and do NOT approve of) about this is that if a character dies in ultimate mode and either isn’t raised by a person or a resurrection rune (bought with AP of course) – they lose that character completely! As in, character is no longer there at login screen and everything on your character is gone too. That is just crap if you ask me.

PvP is not my thing in any game. Shaiya made no exception on this matter. Their PvP area is all about Light vs. Fury. The towers controlled equals which side has blessing and how much. I really did not enjoy PvP at all in this game. Perhaps it is because I am not good at it; perhaps it is because I had bad luck. I’m not sure, nor do I care. It just wasn’t my thing. I prefer to go kill monsters than people.

Monsters in this game were well designed. They were well detailed and interesting. There were even partially nude ones that were half-female half-snake or horse. Oh, I forgot to mention you have to be 18+ years old to play this game.

Overall, I enjoyed playing this game. There are many bugs they should fix and upgrades they should make. However, if or when they ever will, I do not know. As in most games, if your friends don’t play or play as often, it gets boring. It is a game I’d suggest giving a shot because it is free and will guarantee to take up many hours of your boredom. Happy Gaming!

August 24, 2008

Simulation Gaming

Lately I have wanted to play some of my simulation style games. So, going old school I pulled out The Great Empires Collection II, Sim City 4 Deluxe Edition, Sim City Societies, Sid Meier's Civilization IV and a new online browser style game called Ikariam.

The Great Empires Collection II was one of my first simulation city/world building games. I really quite liked playing it when I first got it, so I figured I would again re-playing. However, the old graphics and general lack of things to do proved me wrong. I guess I have just been too spoiled with updated games for me to appreciate older games such as this classic. It does offer quite a few options of play ruler-wise. I prefered the Pharoh one myself.

Sim City 4 Deluxe Edition is a great game. By far it is the best Sim City game out there. I remember I loved playing this game when I got it, but only could play it for maybe an hour at a time because it would crash on me. However, this time around it didn’t! A new PC in between that time helped too I’m sure. Playing a city or a region of cities and watching them grow and expand is really fun. I also liked watching the buildings get fancier or even become abandoned. I definitely recommend this game to anyone who enjoys these kinds of games.

Sim City Socities is a really cool game. It is similar to Sim City 4 - but not quite the same. The graphics are a lot better but unfortunately that caused my PC to crash out of the game every half hour to 45 minutes. Beware the system requirements even if met may cause the same thing. Not sure why this happens, but it does. If it didn’t do this to me, I may have enjoyed it more. Overall, I recommend trying it out. The price has really dropped on this item, so why not?

Sid Meier's Civilization IV was the first of the Civilization series games I tried. It was fun but the turn-based style annoyed me. It was a bit too slow. The single-player custom game was slow and doesn’t offer the option of just playing alone (without other nations invading in on you). Overall, it looked cooler on the box than actually playing it.

Ikariam is a web version of the above games, I guess. It is free and has nothing to download. It is constantly going on – even if you don’t login to play. I signed up for an account to check it out. I played off and on for a few days. Basically, don’t expect to get much accomplished in a short time. It won’t happen. Don’t expect to do much each time you login because it takes a long time to build or upgrade buildings, research things, etc. On the upside, you don’t have to do much to play it. Perhaps it gets better further on once you can expand to other islands and such. It is worth messing around with because you really have nothing to lose by doing so. They make their money off of people buying “Ambrosia” which I am not sure what the point of getting is yet. They sell 100 for $14.99 or 1,000 for $79.99. Not something I’d invest in, but whatever floats your boat.

After playing all of these games, the one that gets my stamp of approval is Sim City 4. It is the best overall game and for only $14.99 now it is in everyone’s price range. I would like to check out some new simulation style games, but for now I’ll stick with this one. Happy gaming!

August 13, 2008

Celebrity Morph and Look-A-Likes

I came across this rather interesting tool for celebrity facial morphing today. It was really easy to use. Just needed to upload a photo then it finds a celebrity that best matches you from the facial recognition. Very cool. Here is mine:

So, I guess I look like Monica Belluci. She is an Italian actress, who after viewing her IMDB page appears to be a very good actress. How cool is that?

Here is my collage of the ladies I look like most, according to this website.

*UPDATE - links no longer working!

August 12, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

Congratulations to Joshua on winning this season of So You Think You Can Dance! He was my favorite male competitor. His original partner Katee was my favorite female in the competition. Katee came in 2nd place this season. What a great match! The finale was really great. The judges picked most of my favorite dances from this season to show again, one of which is below: “No Air” from the winners: Joshua and Katee! Enjoy!

Katee and Josh from So You Think You Can Dance

August 4, 2008

Big Brother Twins?

Is it just me or do Big Brother players Daniele (Big Brother Season 8) and Keesha (Big Brother Season 10) look like twins? Perhaps not identical twins, but twins. The similarities are easy enough to see (view picture above). What do you think?

Personally, I like them both. They both seem to be good people and play a good Big Brother game. Daniele came in 2nd place on season 8, with her dad, Dick Donato coming in 1st place. If Keesha comes in 2nd place, it would be quite eerie. As it is now though, she is my favorite in the house for season 10. The rest of the houseguests (with a few exceptions) quite annoy me.