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About
My name is Kristina and I love my boyfriend <3.

Wait, that's not interesting yet. Second try. I'm female, I play games.

Shit, that's still not that interesting.



Let's see... I'm into photography and I'm an aspiring travel journalist. For now, I'm trying to get my name out there in other fields that I can write about..like movies and games. I consider myself more of a casual gamer, but I am an opinionated casual gamer. My favorite kinds of games are RPGs or puzzle games (like Final Fantasy serie, Monkey Island games (or Zakk and Wiki), Prince of Persia, you know...that kind of stuff). I also get really excited when I get to beta test. I got really excited when I beta tested Hello Kitty Online. Hey, don't look at me like that.

I now currently write news articles and such for Tomopop! Yaaaay.

I've recently participated in StarCraft II beta test and currently test FFXIV. Although, I'm not supposed to tell you that. I think I'll be OK, though.

I'll be blogging, giving you the casual girl gamer point of view whenever I have something to share. I might make a few posts here and there about how awesome my boyfriend is. Did I mention he's awesome? You might know him..he writes for you, you know. Yeah, that guy. Pedro <3

With a little bit of luck, (and a whole lot of blood and sweat) you'll see my name around more.

I listen to Pandora radio while I work. (work = editing photos, writing and my morning office drudgery)

I love zombie games, mostly because I think they're effing hilarious.


links of note:

FemmeGamer Blog
Cake
Tomopop!
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Between the site upgrade/mishaps/downgrade and being productive (or something) - oh yeah, and forgetting my password on Dtoid (cause I'm a noob), I haven't had much of a chance to post on here as of late.

I suppose that should change, right? Here's a brief update on what's been going on with me:



After YEARS of searching, and I mean YEARS (at least 4) I finally found my long-lost PSP. I'd been searching in my room for so long, and all this time it was inside what initially looks like a CD album, but is really an ultra bulky PSP case with space for games/charger/accessories. I always overlooked it thinking it was a CD album of some sort, until a couple weeks ago when I was doing some more heavy "Spring Cleaning" and I actually picked it up to see what was inside. Yeah, I know. Lots of /facepalm happened.

Now that I have it back though, I'm really happy I can finally play some games I've missed out on! It wasn't until recently that I've been wanting to play some stuff on it, but not badly enough to consider purchasing another one, you know? My games right now are LittleBigPlanet PSP version and Guardian's Crusade (anyone remember that game from PS1?)



About Guardian's Crusade: I remember playing that game back in the day, and I have fond memories of it. I played that along with Monkey Island and other RPG/adventure games - so maybe it wasn't that great of a game and it just got lost in the storm with all those other types, but I'm about to find out soon how well it holds up! I would like to believe that my fond memories will stay that way.

Another good thing about finally finding my PSP is that now my boyfriend could show me a bunch of games without losing access to his own portable. I was playing Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep on his system until I found mine - so he transferred my save file and I can now play it whenever I like. I have to admit though, ever since then I haven't played it again. I've also not made too much more progess on Kingdom Hearts II.

I get distracted from games too easily. I've also been really busy lately.

I need more hours in the day! (Or a ONE steady job, rather than like three part time jobs that I'm juggling right now)



(that last image ganked from Jobi Wan Kenobi on DA)
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I've been slowly but surely moving along in Kingdom II, but as always as I get more and more invovled with a game, I become more easily distracted! The culprit this time is Kingdom Birth By Sleep.

The good thing about my BBS distraction is that the only way I can play it is by borrowing my boyfriend's PSP whenever we have some idle time together. The bad thing is that the longer I spend playing other games and not completing KH2, the longer it will be before I can get back to Arkham Asylum!

The reason I opted to focus on KH2 is that Batman is much easier to drop for a while and swing back into later, while the other...not so much. I'm about 30 hours in, and I think that puts me about halfway. Since I want to have full completion of the game, including beating Sephiroth, I think I set my total time to what, about 64 hours? I suppose I'm not doing all that bad!

For a five year old game, I think KH2 holds up really well. I can't give it TOO MANY props, because really, Prince of Sands of Time really surprised me wit
I've been slowly but surely moving along in Kingdom Hearts: II, but as always as I get more and more invovled with a game, I become more easily distracted! The culprit this time is Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.

The good thing about my BBS distraction is that the only way I can play it is by borrowing my boyfriend's PSP whenever we have some idle time together. The bad thing is that the longer I spend playing other games and not completing KH2, the longer it will be before I can get back to Batman: Arkham Asylum!

The reason I opted to focus on KH2 is that Batman is much easier to drop for a while and swing back into later, while the other...not so much. I'm about 30 hours in, and I think that puts me about halfway. Since I want to have full completion of the game, including beating Sephiroth, I think I set my total time to what, about 64 hours? I suppose I'm not doing all that bad!

For a five year old game, I think KH2 holds up really well. I can't give it TOO MANY props, because really, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time really surprised me with how great it looked for being a much older game on the PS2. Another thing is, I've gotten used to PS3 and HD and the works, so it feels like such a crazy downgrade every time I go back to a PS2 game.

I need to be strong, though. Somehow I will get through this game, so I can move on to bigger and better things! I gotta lay off the Hello Kitty Online, and give Fairy Tail a break so I could blow through KH2  as quickly as possible.

Speaking of Fairy Tail, I know this isn't the anime forum, but are any of you watching or reading that? I am in love with that show, dude. So much in love, in fact, that in a couple weeks you'll start seeing the summaries on Jtor's Fighting Friday, courtesy me! Semi-game related, since it DID come from a game, I'm also writing up the weekly summary for Togainu no Chi. Ok, so maybe most of you guys wouldn't be caught dead playing a BL game, but it was open, so I grabbed it. So far, it's lots of blood and fighting. And men. Awwww yeah. /end shameless plug!

Anyway, more later on my adventures in the Kingdom Hearts series, and hopefully I'll be back to Batman within the next few weeks!

Cheers.








So I've been playing Kingdom Hearts II for maybe a week or so now, and I am a good 12 hours and 24 minutes into the game (last I checked). This is huge, I didn't think I'd actually get past the first annoying hump of the game, much less over 12 hours into it. With that, I believe I am about a fifth of the way through, as far as total game time goes. I know the game is supposed to be about 45 hours or so, but I want to beat Sephiroth, so I'll have to grind harder.

When I play games, I like to do so as completely as possible. This means I tend to work on all the side quests, beat all the side bosses, all that good stuff. This is part of the reason why I never seem to have enough time to invest in said games, or why I tend to not even finish them at all. It's really daunting to pick up a game and know that I have to invest at least 60 hours of my time into it.

Now, for my impressions and whatnot.



I am really enjoying the flow of the game. While I was playing the first KH game, I only really got bored towards the end, during the "endgame" stage as I call it, when I only really had maybe 1 or 2 stages to go to finish the whole story, but I wanted to go back and get all of the puppies, beat all the bosses in the Colusseum, get all the trinity stamps, etc. That destroyed the flow of the game when I played it, and I actually didn't even finish it because I couldn't get every single thing done. I know what happens, but I didn't finish the last stage.

As far as KH2 though, I managed to keep myself way out of the loop, and came into the game not knowing anything about it (except that it has the horrible prologue that I had to start four times before I actually pushed through to get to the rest of the game). It's because this was such a put-off that I am surprised I've gotten this far, anyhow.



I'm really happy that the game holds up as well as it does, and another thing that really impressed me: whenever I change Sora into one of his other forms, and he jumps into a cutscene, he still appears to be in that form (with the different color outfit, etc). I always appreciate that kind of detail, and of course it goes without saying that the soundtrack is also great.

As I get further along, I'll probably write again and share what my continued impressions of the game are, because it has become really exciting for me. I like a lot of things about KH2 that are in complete contrast to the way the first game played, especially that it doesn't look like I'm going to be revisiting the other worlds to look for random little chests and mickey symbols to get 100% completion.
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Kristina Pino
1:20 PM on 09.22.2010

If there's one thing that really turns me off to certain games - without fail - is a bad tutorial. I don't even mean bad in the sense that it doesn't explain the mechanics properly, I mean bad like, I don't want to friggen know it's there.

Final Fantasy tutorials have this habit of being "in your face" and wasting hours of your time. I really like FF games; don't get me wrong, I've played them all to some extent. I haven't played through Final Fantasy XIII, though, only because the tutorial process is a cumbersome 20 hour commitment that I don't want to waste my life with. Why does Square do this?



They did something similar with Kingdom Hearts II as well. I started playing that game at least 4 times, getting no further along than 1 or 2 hours because of the weird beginning with Roxas tutorial mode. Recently, I noticed I had a lot of games backed up that I've been meaning to play, and I now actually have time to play them! So I took a little break from Batman to start Kingdom Hearts II again, and I am now a good seven and a half hours in. You should be proud!



I wish tutorials were usually more like the kind in Batman: Arkham Asylum. I like the way it just shows you what you need to do at the moment you need it, without stopping the flow of the game to give you a rundown. If more games had tutorials like this, my life would be so much easier. Of course, I understand that games as complex as FF types which involve a lot of customization, menus and so-forth would call for a more sophisticated tutorial; I just would prefer all of the FF games to have it, like say, Final Fantasy VIII which as I remember gave you the choice to skip the tutorial from the beginning of the thing. It's nice to have a choice. If I remember correctly, XII also made tutorials optional (beyond the very first 20 minutes or so in combat skill and whatever).




I don't think a lot of other games have such a stupid process. All the Zelda games I've played just have a quick little dialogue box telling you what to do when the moment arises. The Mario games I can remember just had signs posted with directions, if anything. Maybe this post is just a complaint about Square games and how they suck at tutorials.

Ah, well.

End rant.

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As a quick note, that DCGG is a shortened version of my series title "Diary of the Casual Girl Gamer". It looks nicer than typing out the entire thing, and the series will change soon - I'll explain why.

So I finally got around to starting Batman: Arkham Asylum, now that I've got the time. Currently, I've had two sit-downs with it and I'm about 5% through. I've already realized very quickly that the game has a hell of a lot of content! This makes me happy...because if I want to take a break from the story for a while, I've got plenty of Riddler challenges, or outside of the story-mode itself I can actually play challenge mode or look at trophes and achievements. The controls are good in my book, too. Actually, speaking of achievements, I should look at the list so I don't miss out on any (might help!). Really, I like to play RPGs as completely as possible and unlock everything. Also, I kinda like being able to switch on the 3D when I'm feeling like quite the cool kid.



As I thought I might, I've found myself with more time on my hands. It isn't just my boyfriend, but most of my friends have gotten busy with school back in and still keeping jobs; so the time I previously allocated to getting out of the house is now being used to go out and shoot pictures and whatnot, or I write stuff on Tomopop. I found out I have another week or so to wait for the respose on movie blogger, and I got hired to update a local photog's blog for compensation (for the win!). Eventually, I would like to put up my own site with my work and pro/personal blog (meaning, I'll be looking for help soon from someone who can write php!! Cause I really stink at that...). In the meanwhile, I spend my free time watching movies or now sitting down and playing me some Batman.

/end excited post!

p.s. Since I'm phasing further away from 'casual' status with the amount of time I spend gaming, this series will go on break to make way for a newer set in my Gamer Diary. As such, I am accepting ideas for the new series' name! Please comment with your idea if you've got one. Rather than titling all my posts with the new name, I am also heavily considering the title as a header for my blog here. I am preparing artwork for it, but yeah. Feedback greatly appreciated~
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Kristina Pino
3:09 PM on 08.24.2010

In todayís world, unless youíre doing it on purpose, idle time is generally ďwastedĒ time. Most ďproductiveĒ members of society use would-be idle time to read the paper, phone a friend, anything; as long as itís not a whole lot of nothing, right? As long as said person doesnít feel like their time is wasted.

So what do I end up doing when I have some spare time that I donít intend to spend idly? I flip on my handy-dandy Nintendo DS Lite and play. My current game is Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time. The other two DS Lite games that I havenít managed to finish are Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Super Mario 64: DS. This is mostly because I donít usually have enough idle time to complete long games like this in a timely manner (and get bored of trying to figure out where I left off every time I play it) and finding myself feeling further and further away from completing the game. Granted, itís really simple to tell where you left off in Mario 64 since you have a star count and whatnot; but these other RPGís donít have convenient story markers like the journals on, say, Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy XIII (different systems, but itís the point Iím trying to make, here).



Reading DToid is rapidly becoming a replacement (itís a strong contender) for my time spent waiting or just sitting around, along with keeping at least 2 cameras at the ready in case I see something I want to keep for later (grin). Itís nice to have a smart phone.

Also, as a side note, Iíll be posting some news on (Squeee) Tomopop, if any of you read that site. Itís all very exciting; my first writing internship. Sorta. I get to post news. Stuff. Iím still waiting on the response for another one I applied to. If I get that, Iíll have even less idle time, for the win?

Honestly, I wish I had the patience to carry around books and more things like I used to, because I donít always feel like taking out my DS and figuring out where I left off in a game I maybe havenít played in 2 weeks, and more frequently running out of battery about 15 minutes in (because I always forget to turn the dang thing off properly). Recently I prefer to just travel light: 1 handheld (DS), my phone, keys, wallet and a camera.



So what do you do with your idle time? PSP? Book? Nose-Picking Olympics? An Inquiring Mind Wants To Know!
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