Archive for November, 2008

Twiddling my Thumbs

Posted in Fighting Games, Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, Street Fighter IV, Xbox360 with tags on November 26, 2008 by thelonegamer

Super Streetfighter II Turbo HD Remix came out today, but I’m not exactly spoiling to buy it. I was, for a while, thanks to those nice, hi-res trailers coming out on Gametrailers and stuff, but when it came right down to it… I kinda balked. Really, SF2 was awesome, but… man… it’s an OLD game. My fave Streetfighter is SF3, or Third Strike, casual gamer that I am. Even with the redone, HD-ready new look and tweaks to the gameplay, it’s STILL basically the same SF2. Two babes, just Chun-Li and Cammy, and the same bunch of fighters with their small but eternally usable menu of moves.

Not right now, I guess, if ever. I’ll hold out for Streetfighter IV, I guess, if I want a new SF. If I feel like a sprite-based SF, I’ll just plunk in my copy of Third Strike (PS2) or have some SF Alpha Max on the PSP. Now, if they come out with a HD Remix of SF3… Now THAT would be awesome…

Into the Underworld

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, My Stuff with tags on November 24, 2008 by thelonegamer

My copy of Tomb Raider Underworld came in early this morning, and since I had to go hie off to work I only got to get in an hour of play.
I pretty much zipped through the Prologue (seen far too many vids of the introductory ‘Burning Manor’ level) and literally dived straight into the Mediterranean first stage. I was never really good at directions, so I easily got lost amidst the various caves and crevices. While plumbing about, I was able to find several treasures before finally finding the key items I needed to move on with the quest. When I finally got Lara out of the water (Mmmm… drippy Lara…) it was a relief… and back to the more familiar play of running around dank passages, looking for levers and triggering ancient mechanisms. Thankfully, this game seems to be a bit forgiving (or is it due to the Casual Gamer difficulty level I selected?), so despite gracelessly mucking about and collapsing a column or two, I still managed to activate the portal to the next level.

So far, it’s been quite nice. Lara looks… well… smashing, and she moves really nicely. It’s been a while since Legend and Anniversary, but it’s easy to get back into the groove of the smooth gameplay.

I have to say that the version I have is the Xbox360 version, which is, simply put, the version to get. For whatever reason, Sony dropped the ball on any negotiations with Eidos on this game, resulting in the Xbox game getting pretty much EVERY good thing- from a convenient save system to the certainty of upcoming Downloadable Content and supposedly better frame rates overall. Graphically, the game should look identical to the PS3 game, so there’s really no reason to go for the PS3 version unless you don’t own a 360. Anyway, that’s that.

I’ll be sure to try and give this an earnest attempt to make this the first Tomb Raider title I actually finish. More on this later.

Weekend Warrior

Posted in Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, Xbox360 on November 21, 2008 by thelonegamer

I’ve got a TON of games on standby at home. I’m not even half-done with Fable II, Fallout 3’s hardly been touched, still working through the DC side of Mortal Kombat vs DCU’s Story Mode and I’ve got Tomb Raider Underworld on the way as I type this, and I’m now thinking of getting Valkyria Chronicles. MAN, that’s a lot of games. In fact, that should be enough so I shouldn’t get anything else until the New Year. But noooooo… Streetfighter II HD Remix is out next week so I’ll be getting that too (on PSN). Then there’s Prince of Persia in December. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I actually won’t be able to play much since I’ll be busy at a comic convention tomorrow, but maybe I’ll squeeze in some hours tonight and on Sunday. Man, so many games, so little time…

Exclusive Filipino Tekken 6 Interview!

Posted in Arcade, Fighting Games, Gaming, PS3, Tekken 6, Xbox360 on November 20, 2008 by thelonegamer

Heeeey! Youtuber Adamz019 just posted an interview with Tekken 6 producer, Katsuhiro Harada. Apparently, Harada-san was in the Philippines recently to attend a local Tekken 6 Tournament held in SM Mall of Asia, and the guys with the event managed to score some time to ask him some questions.

Unfortunately, most of the answers given are the usual- console Tekken 6 coming with new features, more storyline elements, online play, yada-yada-Harada… but the biggest thing in the spot is the possibility of a Filipino Tekken fighter? Heh. Well, it seems that Harada-san was very impressed with the fervor and enthusiasm of local Tekkenheads (and skillz, as well), and this just may get a Pinoy tussling with the Mishimas someday.

If anything, I hope Harada-san’s visit here more or less guarantees that Bloodline Rebellion will make it to Manila arcades. The Philippines is Tekken Stronghold, and our local arcade scene is very energetic. That should make the wait for the anticipated console version a li’l bit easier. So, what are you waiting for? Check out the vid!

Home Invasion

Posted in Fighting Games, Gaming, My Stuff, Xbox360 with tags , on November 19, 2008 by thelonegamer

Well, my copy of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe arrived today. I was able to get in about an hour of playtime with the single player Arcade Mode. For the most part, the controls are solid, and the game flows pretty smoothly. Despite still having that trademark MK-stiffness to the character movements, this is probably the best-playing Mortal Kombat game I’ve ever had. And this is with the Xbox360’s horrid controller, mind you.

Anyway, the good news is that I think it’s a good game. No SCIV or VF5 though, but it’s fun and I’m pretty intrigued at the Story. But of course, the thing quite a few of you out there may want to hear is whether or not the Asian version is censored or not.

Well, God Bless Asia! We here get the game uncensored, so the Joker’s fatality (and some others) won’t be de-toothed as in the US version. I blew away Kitana myself just like the MK producer did in the famous demo vid on Gametrailers- no offscreen deaths here. The only problem is, well, the animation seems more rushed or abrupt here rather than the more ‘leisurely’ and realistic fall in the demo vid. Man, details, details. Well, at least we got it.

The trick is though, actually performing the damn fatalities… it’s a bit tricky, perhaps not in the actual button inputs but in the distances you have to be from your opponent/victim as you do the move. Or perhaps it’s that trick of holding block while you input the directional commands. Oh well… practice makes perfect. Or flawless, in this case. Should be back to murdering some superheroes later after work. Heh.

Prince of Persia: Awesome Adventure and Hot Date

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, PS3, Xbox360 on November 18, 2008 by thelonegamer

One of the games I am looking forward to a lot in the last few weeks of 2008 is the new Prince of Persia.

I can’t help but see similarities between the game and Ico. Both follow a young, strapping youth of a hero who encounters a mysterious beauty who leads him to a dangerous quest. There’s lots of running and jumping, and clambering about monstrous foes to find their weak spots.

But while Ico’s Yorda was a damsel in distress who basically just stands around while the hero does all the work, the new sidekick babe Elika is no such pansy. She’s all of an indispensable ally to the Prince in both movement and combat. As they move around, she gives the Prince an extra boost for every overly-long jump as often as she clings to his back during some harder climbs. During skirmishes and inevitable boss battles, she’s as much a weapon as the Prince’s sword, giving her formidable magical powers and acrobatic attacks into the fray. Also, the unlikely pair are about as talkative as Ico’s duo was silent- the couple’s banter is entertaining to hear as their relationship builds.

So far, I’ve seen tons of videos on the game, touting the fighting game-esque combat gameplay which pits you and Elika against a single opponent during every encounter. I have my reservations about this- it seems that duels are a combination of real-time fighting as well as carrying out a set bunch of conditions, so you can’t just barrel through simply by hitting your enemy until they stop moving. It may prove cool, or it may be repetitive. We’ll just have to see. It IS nice though to see the tag-team tactics employed by the Prince and Elika as they pummel their foes, though I want to see something happen when you do something WRONG. So far the gameplay vids have shown the enemies getting defeated quite easily- what happens when you lose? Can you even lose at all, given how you can’t apparently die in the game?

Anyway, there are tons of stuff I want to find out about this game, though so far I love most everything about it- the characters are likeable and there’s always that warm Ico vibe about running around hand in hand with a beautiful princess through thick and thin. A gamer’s dream come true- a thrilling adventure as well as a hot date! What else can you ask for from this upcoming classic?

Prince of Persia is due out in December 2008. More on it as we get it!

The Cream of the Crap: The Worst Fighting Games

Posted in Fighting Games, My Stuff on November 18, 2008 by thelonegamer

To kinda celebrate the coming of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, a title of which I have dubious opinions of, I’ve decided to come up with a couple of lists for entertainment purposes- the Worst fighting games I’ve ever played. These are, of course, my own personal choices so any fans out there of the crappers I single out just chill. This is really just my way of saying that, if MK vs DC turns out to be not that great… well… you can do far, FAR worse. Heh. Why not a Best Fighting Game list as well? ‘Cause that would just be filled with new stuff like Tekken 6, VF5R and SCIV and that’s just predictable. Okay, here goes…

The 5 Worst Fighting Games I’ve Ever Played (in order of Least Worse to Abysmally BAD)

Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus (Xbox) A 3-D fighter with strong Asian influences produced by John Tobias (formerly of Mortal Kombat fame), this initially looked promising but in the end turned out to be a clunky, awkward and un-fun fighter that was far crappier than even the worst Mortal Kombat game. The generically-named characters were unlikeable, and the gimmicks of visible damage and environment-based attacks only translated to cheap and clunky gameplay. Worst of all, the voiceover narrator speaks with an awful Filipino-english accent… heh.

Kakuto Chojin (Xbox) Yet another fighter on the original Xbox, this was one of the console’s most heavily-hyped titles. However, long delays showed cracks in the slick surface, and in the end Kakuto Chojin (translated as ‘Fighting Supermen’) turned out bad. The character designs were ugly and devoid of personality, the fighting system repetitive and the whole game having a dismal vibe. Perhaps not unplayable by any degree, the presentation however was about as empty and bare-bones as you can get (Read: Text Endings!!!).

Kensei: Sacred Fist (PS1) Konami makes great adventure games… but they SUCK at fighters. Their arcade beat ’em up Fighting Bujutsu never made it to general release, while the console title released was as average and dull as you can get. Once again, the roster is filled with dull, uninteresting nobodies, including a fighter made to look like Steven Seagal. The fighting action is decent but just… dull. In the crowded genre of the 90s, this was one of the multitude of Me Too titles that you forget once the next Sega or Capcom title comes around.

Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi (PS1) OOH! A Star Wars game!!! Ever wanted to fight as a Gamorrean Guard? A Tusken Raider? I didn’t think so. The roster mixes up the main heroes with ramped-up background fodder to make up a decent roster, but even with fan service (Leia in her bikini!), the unbalanced fighting action (why the hell would you fight as Han Solo bare-handed?) and clunky, awkward controls made this as heavy-handedly bad as the Star Wars prequels. Take note as well- this was made long before Jedi action ever became awesome instead of just waving light swords around…

Stake: Fortune Fighters (Xbox) And HERE it is! The crappiest of the crap! This Xbox fighter looked cool from the nice Capcom-ish art of the characters, but once that was past you found a game that tries (and fails miserably) to emulate the run-around action of Power Stone. Unfortunately for Stake’s case, the stages are huge which makes finding enemies a chore since they insist on running away from you (and they all run faster than you!). Combos are non-existent, the gameplay is full of useless tedium (like booby traps and bombs and stuff that shrinks you helpless for the hell of it) that makes it all about as fun as slicing yourself with a razor blade. Add to that absolutely ZERO presentation (no intros or such) value, tons of bugs, next-to-no options, modes of play or options, and you’ve got easily the worst fighting game around.

MAN! The original Xbox had it’s share of crap beat ’em ups, but to be fair it also got cool ports of SNK games, as well as SF3 Third Strike. Still, fighting wasn’t it’s strongest suit with the crap controller (something that still persists in the 360), but I can’t deny that my gaming persona today was shaped by all the crap that I endured back then. Heh. Here’s to better fighting games in the future. I mean… we can’t get any worse than these titles, can we?

Kombat of the Superfriends

Posted in Fighting Games, Gaming, Xbox360 on November 18, 2008 by thelonegamer

Times like these, I remember that cool old DC superheroes cartoon, Challenge of the Superfriends. Not the corny one with the Wonder Twins, or the even cornier one with the wonder dog… the one with the Legion of Doom. Yeah, the action was nowhere near the awesomeness of the more contemporary Justice League Unlimited series, but it was still pretty entertaining. That’s pretty much all I’m expecting to get from Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.

Yeah, I ended up ordering the latest MK, if only to watch the hammy story of how the MK and DC worlds come crashing into one another. The graphics look nice, although this is no VF or Tekken 6, or even a Soulcalibur. Still, what can I say… Kitana is damn hot. This should be a nice distraction as I wait for more serious fighters down the line and take a break from SCIV bouts. Oh, and I ordered the Asian version for Xbox360, which hopefully will NOT be censored like the toothless US version. More on this as I get it.

Degeneration Degenerated

Posted in Game to Movies, Gaming, Survival Horror with tags on November 16, 2008 by thelonegamer

Resident Evil: Degeneration, the all-CG Resident Evil movie, looks cool. I mean, any RE fan would be thrilled to have Claire and Leon back together again and kicking zombie ass. But man… seeing the recent clips posted online have kinda dampened my fervor. I mean, the whole thing has the look and sound of a game cutscene, instead of a high quality movie. This would have been awesome a couple of years ago… but now… well… I’d say that anyone going into this had better lower their expectations. Not sure I’d get this on Blu-Ray or anything, but I’ll probably check it out. Eventually…

Streetfighter IV US Release Date

Posted in Fighting Games, Gaming, PS3, Street Fighter IV, Xbox360 with tags on November 16, 2008 by thelonegamer

Earlier it was announced that Japan would be getting the console versions of Streetfighter IV in February 2009. Well, the US and Europe will be having SF Love about the same time, with the US getting a simultaneous release of the PS3 and Xbox360 versions of SFIV on February 17. Europeans get theirs a few days later on Feb. 20. Me, I’m looking forward to the game- hopefully there will be a few cool surprises revealed or given aside from those already leaked out in the past couple of weeks. Till then, we can all sate our SF-cravings with the upcoming release of Streetfighter 2 HD Remix on PSN and Xboxlive later this month.