gaming

Standard-Action-Logo

Review: Standard Action

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There is one new web series you should check out in the New Year: Standard Action. It’s based on Dungeons and Dragons and other fantasy RPGs, but incorporates all kinds of pop culture. In D&D terms a “standard action” is an action that allows you to do something, i.e. attack or cast a spell. Standard Action was created by Joanna Gaskall and is shot in Vancouver. It has a small main cast, with many guest actors as the series goes on.

 

The cast stars Joanna Gaskall as Edda, an Elven Barbarian, Daniel Johnston as Martin, a Druid allergic to trees and who won’t heal, Edwin Perez as Fernando, an eternally optimistic half-Halfling Bard, and Tara Pratt as Wendy who prefers to be called Gwenevere and is more concerned with her looks and reputation than most other things. The series’ first four episodes are to introduce the characters to the viewers and to each other. The show then moves onto a quest to save Wendy’s and Fernando’s friends which morphs into saving the area.

 

 

Standard Action has 13 episodes (plus episode 6.5), which are all short and easily watchable in one day. The production value of the episodes are excellent. Everything from the costumes, makeup and setting are very well put together and believable. The writing is some of the funniest I’ve heard in a long time, web series or not. The dialogue is snappy and clever. There are many references to D&D, modern music, and more. If you don’t play D&D or any other type of fantasy RPGs, then some of the jokes might not make sense to you, but I don’t think that will detract from any enjoyment of the show. Each of the characters has a distinctive voice, all the while mocking (in a lovingly way) the tropes of their characters.

 

Speaking of characters, for a short web series the characters start off well developed and continue to evolve as the show goes on. They don’t get along at first and fumble their way through to the end, but at the end the group comes together to defeat the villain.

 

 

There were a few issues I had. First, in a few episodes the visual (mouth movements and prop sounds) didn’t match up to the audio. Secondly, I had some video stuttering where the audio kept going while the visuals were frozen. However, I am willing to blame those two things on Youtube, my internet connection, and my choice in watching it in 1080p. Perhaps with a better connection or a smaller size, those issues would not occur. My other minor problems was that sometimes the actor’s dialogue was hard to hear and the music got a little loud. Those are minor like I said and can be overlooked.

 

If you’d like to watch Standard Action you can watch it at the website http://watchstandardaction.com/ (which is linked above as well) which links to the videos at Youtube. Here’s the first episode to see if you want to watch the show:

Youtube Channels You Should Visit

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Since it’s the Christmas season, and since Christmas is about sharing, I thought it would be nice to share two of my favorite Youtube channels with everyone. They are both focused (mainly) on gaming. Both channels have some swearing, so if you are sensitive to that, you should skip them. If you aren’t, you might like them! Give them a shot either way and see if they work for you.

 

First up is OMFGcata. It started out as a channel for commentary about the WoW Cataclysm Beta, but has since branched out into Minecraft, Skyrim, SWTOR Beta, Terraria, The Witcher 2 and more. The leading force behind the channel is Jesse Cox, a voice actor, but he has amassed other cohorts to enrich his channel. They include: Pride, Blondie, the whole Minecraft RPGMakers Crew, and many, many more.

 

Jesse has the habit of singing anything that comes into his head. He also has the habit of picking up anything he can in games (specifically Skyrim) and becoming overburdened. He plays through games how he normally would, if not filming, and not for fans, much to the annoyance of some viewers. Jesse does take suggestions and tips, but it never dictates his playthroughs.

 

The videos on OMFGcata are funny and entertaining, all one could ask for in a Youtube channel. Here’s a video of his latest Skyrim video:

 

The second channel is The Yogscast.  It also started out with WoW videos, but has then branched out to encompass many other games including, Minecraft, Saints Row the Third, Heroes of Newerth, and more. The two main commentators are Simon and Lewis who fumble their way through many games. Occasionally accompanying them on adventures are Hannah (who has her own playthroughs on Yogscast 2), Peva, Tinman, Fumblemore, and many others.

 

They are best known for their Minecraft videos and especially their ongoing series, Shadow of Israphel, but many people found them because of WoW. Lewis and Simon used to make podcasts, but haven’t updated that in quite some time since they are very busy. Much like Jesse; Lewis and Simon tend to play games that they want to play, even when fans scream for more Minecraft.

 

Every video they make has something humorous happen, from Simon pushing Lewis into deep holes to the two men being scared by Creepers. Here’s their latest Advent Calendar video:

 

 

Skyrim

Makin’ Love, The Skyrim Way: Warming Up.

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(Installment One in The OverLady’s ongoing review series on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

 

The Anticipation.

Waiting for the release of a new RPG is like waiting for the release of a new book the author take years to build. The author has perfected his/her craft and curated a loving readership.

While I fancy to use completely current comparisons (Which, in this case would be the ever-loved Harry Potter book series), an extremely beloved and more content-accurate comparison would be a combination of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and her Lives of the Mayfair Witches series. These books, besides being highly anticipated through every book by her loyal and loving readership, chronicled a carefully crafted and elaborate history of thousands of years. Most of Rice’s stories in these series took place between the 18th century and modern day, though entire chapters were often devoted to delving into ancient history and speculative lore of New Orleanean, French, Scottish, and Egyptian vampires and witches. As an historian by study, Rice’s tales wove an intoxicating mix of real-world history with her fanciful and lush imagination. The richness of her work was not for the feeble, as many of her books hit the 1,000 page mark with ease and grace. Much like these books, each Elder Scrolls game offers much of this richness in the world, the story, and most certainly the history… each touting at least hours of gameplay, depending on how thorough the player decides is necessary.

 

The Motivation.

On November 11, 2011, Bethesda released Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which is probably fairly well-known by this point. With much of the hype and erratic anticipation of arguably any of the Harry Potter series, but with the specific history and richness within the pages of Anne Rice’s most famous series, Skyrim is already a new classic to the RPG repertoire. Regardless of the fact its kin (Oblivion and Morrowind) both won game of the year and Skyrim is already nominated once so far, it already wins game of my heart until Elder Scrolls VI comes out in the unforeseeable future.

Cracking into a new video game, especially one I know is going to leave me in a state of orgasmic shock every time I play, comes with a set of simple but necessary rituals I have developed over the years. Before settling in for hours of delicious gameplay, I must have things in order. I mustn’t have any unfinished chores. (Something which I believe has come with feeling responsible to my partner as well as exponential nagging guilt I would otherwise feel towards myself!) The only thing I should be getting up for, save emergencies, is the direst of bathroom trips.

 

SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Preparation.

As a firm believer in daily decadence, here is a general list of what I make my gaming nest out of– especially in the colder months:

Hot tisane? √

Full bottle of water? √

100% juice? √

Dried fruit? √

Apple or other fresh fruit? √

Quinoa or another super-yummy and equally healthy nom? √

Cozy & non-binding clothes? (Leggings/sweaters/soft ballet flats are my norm) √

At least one blanket for an unexpected chill? √

Heating pad on high for pre-emptive back care? (A true Pro-Tip from a seasoned gamer, trust me on this.) √

At least one lap-ready cat? (Note: any cuddly pet or partner will do wonderfully!) √

Optional item for the spry: Balance ball to sit on instead of the couch. No √ this round, my older cat punctured my last one!

***I will get a photo in the near-future of this ridiculous spread for everyone, but trust that a well-put-together gaming nest is essential for optimal gameplay and submersion into the world.***

 

The Lamentation (of this woman).

As I have since switched to MacBook after Oblivion came out and mostly have neglected upgrades to my desktop PC since Fallout 3, I decided on a first– playing and Elder Scrolls game on console! I was a bit worried about playing on Xbox 360, worry of a completely baseless and totally biased nature, of course. In any case I pre-ordered it through Amazon for the same store price and still got the cute map inside. It arrived in the morning right before I headed to work, where I got to agonize all day about it.

 

Physical Map Included With Game

 

I actually only got to play for a couple hours as there were things to be done (Remember, loose ends equals silly amounts of guilt!) and of course prepping my costume bits for the Swashbuckler’s Ball the following night. Insert work all day Saturday & Sunday. I finally got to put in some time Sunday night and ALL of Monday… No, really! Approximately 12:35pm to 2:30am, save a couple hours of dining and partner face-time before he cuddled up with me and did homework while I played. Up to now, I would say I’ve amassed a modest 20 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Creation

I am going to do my best to not recount an overview of the game, one can google that or check out the Skyrim wiki on Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls site. With that said, I will also do my best to give my take on it as both an astute gamer and Elder Scrolls fangirl.

 

S'Leife DLeina

 

Meet S’Leife DLeina, now level 11 Dunmer (Dark Elf to the layman) with a penchant for Alchemy, Sneaking, Light Armor, Smithing, Two-handed weapons (currently an Orcish warhammer), and most certainly collecting books. Check out her sexy Elven light armor, isn’t she a babe?!

For those of you who may have played past Elder Scrolls games, you probably also noticed the distinct lack of choices in the character creation menu. As someone who loves her detail, this was very disappointing to me. Oblivion had a near- Sims 3- level of character detail in the creation menu. I fucking loved that. I loved getting to pick and choose literally every physical characteristic of my new elf’s face… not to mention the ability to give my past Dunmers a luscious shade of lavender on their hair. On the flipside to this disappointment, I will acknowledge how awesome it is the elves look much less human. They look like, well- elves!

(I had a far-fetched aesthetic fantasy Skyrim would bring back the ability to layer clothing like in Morrowind… It’s still just a lofty dream!)

On the topic of choices, let’s talk about the lack of stats! On the main screen during gameplay, the only stats shown are your health/stamina/magicka bars, if they are less than 100% charged. There is no menu or ability to see how high your specific abilities are beyond while you are actively doing something. Oh, the computer keeps track so the end user doesn’t have to. I was really wary when I read about that as well as the open-ended nature of not having any classes.

The intent, which I think works extremely well, was to allow players to develop their characters more naturally without constraints. I am very much reminded of this strip from the web comic Stuff No One Told Me. By allowing the player to organically develop their character, they can sate all of their human curiosities while still continuing to progress in the game and evolve their character. Progression of stats and in turn, leveling, is done on a by-use basis instead of a “Oh I HAVE to go do this thing again, if I want to level, since I am stuck with these areas as my major focal points”. Wariness be gone, I think I love the classless system!

On a similar note, this lack of class system rigidity can achieve some fun combinations that definitely “break the rules” of traditional RPGs. Want to wear heavy armor but focus on alteration magicka? Do it! Oh, you like wielding bow & arrows, but love close-range attacks? DO BOTH!

 

Deal With It- This is an animated Gif. Click it.

 

 

I will wrap things up now, as I have been away from my game for a bit too long (:::reaches for paper bag to breathe in:::), but I will leave you with the following as a preview of what I will be talking about next time: NPCs! Dealing with them, living life, and manipulating them, alive or dead.

 

 

 

 

 

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World of Warcraft and Female Models

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A few weeks ago, Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, held Blizzcon to showcase all of their games; WoW, Diablo III and Starcraft II. They started off the con with information about their new WoW expansion, Mists of Pandaria. They showed off a lot of new things such as the new playable race, Pandaren, a new class, Monk, new mobs to fight, and new locations to explore. One thing they didn’t show off was the female model for the Pandaren.

 

There was a picture of a Pandaren with a bow on it’s head, and many people wouldn’t mind that being the female model for the new race, but I don’t know if that will happen. Apparently the creator of the Pandaren has always drawn females as Red Pandas. People fear that female Pandaren will be slimmed down to fall in line with the other female races.

 

 

Blizzard has changed female (and male!) models before. In the Alpha version of WoW, Troll females were just as hunched over as males and seemed to have more facial choices. For whatever reason, Blizzard decided to change the model into what is now used today. The female Troll model has limited facial options and many Trolls tend to look the same. There’s a video of the Alpha Troll model here. Below is an image of the current female Troll model.

 

 

They also seemed to have slightly altered the Tauren female model from the Alpha version. It doesn’t seem to be a huge change, like with the Troll females, but it’s still an odd change as the Alpha Tauren female looked fine. Here’s a video of all the Alpha models, Troll and Tauren included. Below is an image of the current female Tauren model.

 

 

As I said before, Blizzard even changed male models for Blood Elves back before Burning Crusade was released. The Beta male models were slim and not as muscular as the other male members of the Horde (minus the Forsaken). There were some complaints that the Beta models looked “too gay” or “too pretty”, this might not have been why the change was made, but no one knows for sure.

 

 

The latest model change came back before Cataclysm was released. The Worgen male and female models went through a lot of changes; from looking, some would say, more wolf like to becoming more feral. The female model came under the most fire as they lost a little of the muscle they had and didn’t really seem to match the male Worgen model. Here’s a video of the Alpha models. And below are images of the Alpha and current models.

 Alpha:

Current:

It’s all personal preference and personal opinion on whether you like the old models or the current models better. I’m just hoping that the female Pandaren aren’t going to be too different from the male version.

Ground Kontrol in Portland Oregon

Ground Kontrol Arcade: Portland’s Coolest Hangout

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I recently had a chance to have a chat with Ground Kontrol employee Dawn Manske. Ground Kontrol has been around for nearly 10 years, its current incarnation — v 3.0— is the most elaborate and visually stunning version yet; having been designed to emulate TRON.  And the bathrooms are all Pac Man themed!

Pac Man Ghost Graces the Bathroom Floor

I celebrated my 30th birthday at Ground Kontrol this past August and have spent a ton of time playing games and hanging out since then. My personal favorite games are the Doctor Who & Twilight Zone pinball machines and the muli-game machine that has Tetris, Bubble-Bobble and one other that I can’t remember because I never bother to play it. They don’t start serving alcohol until 5pm so I have been able to bring my 7 ½ year old with me on a Sunday afternoon, he likes the big Pac Man battle game the most, with the  Doctor Who pinball as a very close second. The old school  Star Wars arcade games are a little too hard for him and make him angry.

Many celebrities visit Ground Kontrol when they come to Portland; most notably Wil Wheaton and Chris Hardwick. Both of whom have tweeted about it to their followers on Twitter. 

 

NerdsinBabeland: It’s notoriously difficult to get a job at Ground Kontrol, how long have you been working there and how did you swing the job?

 

Dawn Manske: I have been working at GK for almost a year. But, I have been in love with GK for almost six years! I spent my 21st birthday gaming with a few tumblers of wine, it was glorious. Itis true, it is not easy to get a job here. The big reason is, there just isn’t a lot of turnover here! Even with all the mundane stuff of a normal bar/arcade/retail environment, everyone really does like their jobs at Ground Kontrol, myself included.

 

How I got the job was purely perfect timing and happenstance. I have been friends with some of the staff for a bit and when they were looking for a new weekend person right after the big remodel finished, I was shoulder-tapped as I had some extra space for a second job. I will say this, you must genuinely be into gaming and a genuine fan of Ground Kontrol to work here and, knowing a few people never hurts. 😉

 

NIB: What is your job at GK? Do different people do different things or is it mostly even across the board?

 

DM: My official title is arguably the coolest one of all titles at Ground Kontrol, which is that of the Game Warden. I work mostly day times, meaning I deal with the kids and have time to deal with games if they need some loving. I sell classic console games when people are here to buy and keep things in as much of an orderly state as I can. In addition to my official title, I also am much of the voice behind GK’s Facebook and Twitter postings as well as various promotional work. On most Rock Band Tuesday nights, you can also find me whipping up all the tasty geek noms for people. Sometimes, I do fun stuff as a GK representative too. Like, when I got a photo with the uber-ridiculous Tommy Wiseau in one of my Ground Kontrol t-shirts and on November 18th I will be one of the art judges for Captain Picard Day.

 

If my own position is any indication, many other employees span across a few different positions too; we all have our awesome uses to make GK as consistently awesome as possible.

 

NIB: Tell me about the remodel, how did that impact your hours/work?

 

Honestly, I was hired partially because of the remodel. But, knowing the state of the place very well prior to the remodel, I am confident the remodel is nothing but a positive impact. A lot of things got streamlined due to it, making the work environment easier to manage.

 

NIB: Before the remodel bands used to play there (my husband’s band being one) what kind of special events go on now that full on metal boy shows don’t happen anymore?

 

Now that traditional band shows aren’t really a feasible option here, GK has gotten pretty creative with what it can do. The aforementioned Rock Band Tuesday lives on and the DJ sets have amplified, it doesn’t hurt the upgraded sound system is amazing. Every last Thursday we do the Videogame Quiz Show, it’s pretty intricate and fun to watch, complete with a custom buzzer system and sweet video game sound effects throughout. Recently we hosted Keith Apicary for an awesome live nerdcore show as well as hosting a couple of the fancy new Transformers pinball tables for their traveling promotion. I would love to see us get more nerdcore artists to do shows here, as they don’t require the same kind of space as a full band and they are of course– super nerdy!

 

Twilight Zone Pinball

NIB: How do you obtain new games?

 

I know the owners all have some games, for their personal use and it’s often through happenstance a new game falls into Ground Kontrol’s lap. Recently, a private owner of the classic Twilight Zone pinball sold the table to GK. In its roughly 17 years of existence, it had never been played publicly at all. Needless to say, this gem is in the mintiest of mint condition and has been quite popular since it’s lived at GK.

 

NIB: What are your favorite games?

 

My favorite arcade cabinets we have: Crystal Castles, Rampart, Pole Position (R.I.P.), Tetris, and Championship Sprint. Pinball tables: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Bride of Pinbot, Twilight Zone, Lord of the Rings, and Theatre of Magic.

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Kontrol in Portland Oregon

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
511 NW Couch St.
Portland, OR 97209

Open Noon-2:30AM Daily
All Ages Admitted Until 5PM
21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM

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Press Release: The Hidden, Available Now on Nintendo 3DS

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Majesco Entertainment Embarks on a Paranormal Adventure with The Hidden, Available Now on Nintendo 3DS!

Utilize the Nintendo 3DS camera to scan, detect and hunt ghosts day or night in real-world locations!

Edison, New Jersey – November 3, 2011 – Majesco Entertainment (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of video games for the mass market, announced today that The Hidden, an augmented reality (AR) ghost hunting adventure for the portable Nintendo 3DS™ system, is available now.  Developed by 1st Playable Productions, The Hidden turns your handheld device into a portal to the astral plane and allows you to investigate real-world environments with the Nintendo 3DS camera in order to search, capture and destroy supernatural entities as a paranormal investigator.

“The new genre of augmented reality is an exciting direction for video games because it combines the real and virtual worlds in an unprecedented way,” said Jesse Sutton, CEO, Majesco Entertainment. “The Hidden is all about bridging worlds which conceptually is a great fit for the ghost hunting theme. Gamers everywhere will get a thrill out of discovering what’s truly hidden in some of their favorite real-world spots.”

Experience the world of augmented reality like never before as you utilize the Nintendo 3DS camera to help you scan, detect and hunt ghosts. As a member of the elite squad known as the Ghostly Entity Investigation and Strike Team, (G.E.I.S.T.), you must work with your team to destroy evil spirits and neutralize mysterious outbreaks that pose threats to all mankind.  To find every ghost in the game, players must also bring their Nintendo 3DS with them to new locations and investigate the world around them in twelve exhilarating missions.

Additional features of The Hidden include:

  • Prepare to battle powerful bosses using your full arsenal of acquired tech. With unique strategies required for each enemy, you will soon find that some become long-running nemeses.
  • Perfect the tracking process to catch the stealthiest spirits, banish stubborn creatures that can’t be destroyed, and take down the malevolent entity behind it all.
  • Engage in different activities including:

o   “Scanner”: Scan your current area using the Nintendo 3DS camera and Wi-Fi hotspots.

o   “Tracker”: Hunt for ghosts and pull them out of their world and into ours.

o   “Shooter”: Hunt and shoot ghosts using the latest in paranormal weapons tech.

o   “Wormhole”: Navigate through tunnels of another dimension while battling ghosts.

o   “Stealth”: Avoid being detected by entities that are too great in number or extremely tough to handle with your equipment.

  • Take photos of entities with the Nintendo 3DS camera and keep a log of your discoveries while using your map to keep track of where you’ve been.

Rated E10+, The Hidden, for Nintendo 3DS™ is now available for the suggested retail price of $29.99.  To watch the launch trailer and find out more, please visithttp://www.HuntTheHidden.com/.

Majesco Entertainment Company

Majesco Entertainment Company is a provider of video games for the mass market.  Building on more than 20 years of operating history, the company is focused on developing and publishing a wide range of casual and family oriented video games on all leading console and handheld platforms as well as online, social networks and mobile devices.  Product highlights include Zumba® Fitness, Cooking Mama™, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Hulk Hogan’s Main Event.  The company’s shares are traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol: COOL.   Majesco is headquartered in Edison, NJ with offices in San Francisco, CA, Bristol, UK, and a social games development studio in Foxboro, MA.  More info can be found online at www.majescoentertainment.com or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/majesco.

Zelda – 25 Years of Music

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On October 21, I had the extreme pleasure of attending the Legend of Zelda: 25th Anniversary Symphony at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA. When Nintendo announced at E3 this year that they would be doing this concert, I knew that I would have to buy tickets. When I walked into the Pantages on that Friday night, it was made quite clear that these were my people. People who love and enjoy Zelda as much as I do. There were cosplayers and Zelda shirts everywhere (I wore one myself!). Just a bunch of video game lovers anxious to hear some of their favorite pieces performed live with an orchestra, instead of an 8-bit midi version.

The evening began with producer Eiji Aonuma addressing the audience, with the help of Nintendo’s translator, for he doesn’t speak very much English. He was very exuberant and excited that we were there to enjoy the evening, and that when they had had their first concert in Toyko, many people cried. So, he wished us to have a good time and hoped that we would cry as well; he wanted us all to have the same experience. He pointed to the screen behind him, mentioning how they’d be showing clips from the games, but there was ‘spoiler’ material in the clips, so if we hadn’t played the game, he was sorry. The audience had a hearty laugh at that. He said his farewell, and then left the stage.

When the conductor walked out onto the stage, I was ecstatic. It was a woman. Her name is Eimear Noone, and she’s amazing. It’s not very often that you see a woman conductor in front of an orchestra. Yes, there are women conductors in the choral field, but for every one woman conductor there are twenty men. Being the music geek that I am, this concert was already amazing, and the orchestra had yet to play a single note.

Outside the theater doors

Ms. Noone had quite the stage presence. She introduced each piece to us, telling us where we would be going on our journey for the evening. What I found very fascinating was that the orchestra members all wore headsets. They were filming the concert for Nintendo to use for a variety of reasons.

The concert began with Hyrule’s Castle Theme from A Link to the Past. A lot of people consider this game to be one of the best Zelda’s games, as was made clear by the audience whenever a montage from that game would come up on the screen. Next, the orchestra played a beautiful rendition of Princess Zelda’s Theme from A Link to the Past as well. The next movement was what I had be most looking forward to, as it is the first Zelda game I ever played through its entirety – the symphonic suite for Wind Waker. One of my favorite pieces of music is ‘The Great Sea‘, and to hear it live had me openly weeping. It was amazing watching Link sail across the sea, hearing the music performed live. This is why I had waned to attend this concert so badly; this moment is what made it special.

Next, Ms. Noone took us through the entire orchestra, showcasing each section off by playing snippets of music from Ocarina of Time. Did you know that there are 19 ocarina melodies, but each of them use only the five notes of ‘Re-Fa-La-Ti-Re’? I didn’t. But I do now, thanks to the show’s program. After introducing each section, they brought it all together by the entire orchestra playing ‘Saria’s Song’, another one of my absolute favorites. Heck, it used to be a ringtone on my phone. The arrangement of the piece was wonderful, and everyone in the audience was tapping their foot along to the beat.

The orchestra then played Boss Battle Medley, which took various boss battle music from four of the Zelda games, while each boss fight was shown on the screen. Everyone cheered when each boss made an appearance. They then played The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley to end the first half of the concert.

The second half began with everyone’s favorite villain – Ganondorf. The orchestra played Ganondorf’s Theme from Ocarina of Time. What was really cool about this particular piece is that they used an organ (albeit through a keyboard, but hey, what can you do?), which brought chills to my body. Seeing Ganondorf play the organ on the screen, remembering how it sounded through my TV as I played on the Nintendo 64, then to hear it live? A fangirl’s dream come true.

The next piece was simply titled The Legend of Zelda: Selected Shorts Suite, where they played as many songs as they could from all the games. The piece that followed was one that I was praying they would play. The two pieces I had wanted to hear live were The Great Sea and then Gerudo’s Valley from Ocarina of Time. The arrangement for ‘Gerudo’s Valley’ was, simply put, astounding. I love the 64-bit version, as well as the string version that was produced a few years ago. But this? This was icing on the cake. To hear the horns blast the melody, as the orchestra accompanied them brought tears to my eyes. Again. Mr. Aonuma would be proud.

Hyrule Field from Ocarina of Time followed. On the screen behind the orchestra they showed Link as he traveled across the fields of Hyrule upon Epona’s — Link’s horse— back. Hearing the trumpets shine was a ton of fun. Ms. Noone then introduced us to the two harpists that sat on either side of her, as they began to play the Great Fairy’s Fountain Theme from A Link to the Past. The two women that played made the music sing, hearing them go back and forth was very cool. And no, they didn’t show anything of the Great Fairy fountain.

Having not played the game since it was released; it was a real joy to watch scenes from Twilight Princess for the next piece – Twilight Princess Symphonic Movement. The music in the game was incredible, as was the game itself. It was like I was remembering all over what a wonderful game it was just by the music. It’s funny how we can associate music from certain things (video games, movies, etc). Ms. Noone actually talked about that in one of her segues between pieces. As I listened to the medley, I remembered my reactions to certain parts.

The evening’s scheduled program ended with The Legend of Zelda Main Theme Medley. The audience cheered and hollered, asking for more. No one wanted to say goodbye to the orchestra just yet. Our hollers were heard, and then, the biggest surprise of the evening happened.

Koji Kondo, the composer of the Zelda music, came out on the stage. Everyone screamed, applauding loudly. He sat down at the piano and played Grandma’s Theme from Wind Waker. Watching his hands travel across the keys, knowing that this man was responsible for some of my favorite music in the world (video game or otherwise), made me cry. Again. Lots of tears left my eyes that night. As the song concluded everyone in the audience jumped to their feet. He then thanked everyone, in English, for coming to the concert. He quietly exited the stage, and Mr. Aonuma came back out and said that he had wished he could speak English like Koji, again making the audience laugh. He then informed us that we would be hearing the main theme from Skyway Sword, the Zelda game that is set for release on the 20th of November.

The 25th Anniversary Logo

It was an amazing night. I am so thankful for being able to experience it. I know that when Skyway Sword is released, there will be a music cd to accompany it for the 25th anniversary. I’m hoping that this music cd will be what I got to hear live so all of you can listen to it. If you are a lover of video game music, it will be a must-have for your collection. This night will be something I will never forget.

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Ground Kontrol Inaugural Ladies Night

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Last night Ground Kontrol Arcade in Portland, Oregon had their inaugural Ladies Night free play event. There were prizes from Things from Another World & Shebop, a craft exchange (I brought a pair of 1-up earrings and took home a technicolor stuffed Dalek). I had a great time and cannot wait until the next one!

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Ground Kontrol Arcade LADIES NIGHT!

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Ground Kontrol is proud to present the unveiling of its inaugural ladies’ night event, “Ms. GK”.

This night of lady-centric gaming and free-play night, will also have some other fun and exciting things to do!

**With an all-female deejay set (deejay ReighLee, DJ Ava Delay, DJ Pippa Possible) and a female-centric staff, we aim to bring a warm and welcoming ambience to Portland’s plentiful gamer crowd who may or may not know the awesome safe and sweetass space we provide every night, including this special night.

**Casual tournaments of both Burgertime and Bride of Pinbot and corresponding prizes from our sponsors SheBop, Things From Another World, and perhaps more!

**For those of you who are crafty, there will be a table set up for a free geeky craft exchange: bring a craft, take a craft!

FREE-PLAY!
CASUAL TOURNEYS!
DRINK SPECIALS!
CRAFT SWAP!
DANCEABLE MUSIC!
PRIZES!
WIN AT LIFE!

COST: $3 for ladies, $8 for gents.

Come enjoy this cozy event, we’re pulling out all the stops.

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
511 NW Couch St.
Portland, OR 97209
Open Noon-2:30AM Daily
All Ages Admitted Until 5PM
21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

This Week at NerdMelt, Sept 14-20!

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Calling all Los Angeles nerds and geeks! Come join NerdMelt at Meltdown Comics for any and all of these awesome events.  As always, tickets for shows can be found at http://nerdmeltla.com/tickets

 

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Wednesday, September 14th at 8:30pm- The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail
Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani host this popular weekly standup show, and this week they welcome Nick TurnerJohnny PembertonBarbara GrayMichael PalascakTodd Levine, and Pete Holmes, and maybe a special guest…
$8

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Thursday, September 15th at 8pm- Sex Nerd Sandra LIVE
This month, Sex Nerd Sandra welcomes a career dominatrix as well as comedian Dave Ross to talk about all things kink.

“Sex Nerd” Sandra Daugherty is the lead sex educator at Pleasure Chest LA and has been teaching sex and intimacy skill workshops for over two years, helping thousands of people improve their sex lives. Her Nerdist podcast is a wild runaway hit, and you can see her LIVE as she brings her skills to the back of a comic book store! Come and see the woman who brought you “The Crab Hand of Doom” & “The Clittiest Part of the Man-Clit” live and in person as she geeks out on the finer points of orgasming your life and answers your most intimate questions. Panel followed by audience Q&A.
$8 in advance, $10 day of show

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Saturday, September 17th at 8pm- The Halo Show
Join Capt Dope (Colton Dunn), Dude of Earl (Ian Wolterstorff), Adam Green (Hatchet, Hatchet 2, Frozen) and their Xbox live friends for a night of fan appreciation of Halo: Reach.  From rockets to jet packs to armor lock to shotguns, we’ll take you through the world of Bungie’s Halo: Reach one sticky at a time.  If you love Halo, you have to see this show.  If you don’t know what “Halo” is, come find out why your boyfriend (or gamer girlfriend) is not returning your texts.  Trust me, you’ll want to see this. With special guests Kumail Nanjiani (The Indoor Kids podcast, mrliamuk), and other surprise guests whose voices you may recognize…
$10

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Sunday, September 18th at 5pm
Nerdist Writer’s Panel
Ben Blacker hosts these panels chock full of screenwriters, novelists, and more. Scheduled: Ed Kitsis & Adam HorowitzEric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder.
$15

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Monday, September 19th at 8:30pm   
The SXSW Showcase Show
South by Southwest is an amazing festival for comedy, and at this showcase, you’ll see some of the “about to pop” comics of LA try out for it! Hosted by Pete Holmes, this showcase will feature MC Mr Napkins, Jonah Ray, Tom Segura, DC Pierson and more!
$8 in advance, $10 day of show

Image Courtesy of NerdMeltLA.com

Tuesday, September 20th at 8pm
A Greg Proopscast LIVE
Greg Proops’ massively popular podcast, The Smartest Man in the World, makes its debut on the NerdMelt stage! Come see the king of “being in the moment” comedy as he talks about religion, politics, and anything else that enters his mind.

$10

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