Archive for December, 2009

Yes, I’m an iCade Addict

Posted in Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPhone, Mobile Games, My Stuff on December 31, 2009 by thelonegamer

2009 will probably mean to me as the year I really got hooked on portable gaming. I bought two PSPs (one got dropped on the floor and busted, had to be replaced eventually), which is a good sign that I really can’t do without Sony’s portable. However, the real revelation for me was the iPhone. Yeah, going in I already knew that Apple’s device was damn fun- one of the reasons I bought it was the AppStore and the promise of thousands of apps and games. However, I never really realized it would eventually become a console in its own right.

Some- well, many- may scoff. Yeah, tons of games are just one-shot throwaways, there are tone of blatant rip-offs of popular titles from other consoles, but even so… there are awesome titles available and tons of stuff that basically succeed in spades at doing what you want them to do- entertain you for a minute, two minutes, two hours. The sheer number of stuff available, readily purchasable at anytime at dirt-cheap prices (compared to regular console games) along with tons of free stuff and demos makes the iPhone truly an arcade- or, as I see it, an iCade. Here are just a few of the titles that kill time anytime…

Puzzle Quest. It’s Bejeweled meets RPGs. HOURS can disappear once you turn this on, so it’s great that the 3GS has much better battery life than before.

Modern Combat 2. Yep, this military-themed FPS from GameLoft apes the COD series, but it does so pretty excellently. Great controls and a true shooter feel makes this leagues better than the Resident Evil titles (which I regret getting…).

Alive 4 Ever. Another hilarious name which obviously emulates Left 4 Dead. You’ve got hordes of zombies, tons of firepower, spot-on controls, fluid animations and oodles of replay as you upgrade your guns, take on various missions and build your character as a total undead-killing badass.

Blades of Fury. Its Soulcalibur on the iPhone! Surprisingly, the game looks great, the controls are decent and there are lots of modes, unlockable characters and costumes, and an actual Story Mode.

Fast Lane Racing. First off, I HATE driving games. I played this title once… then I bought it. It’s awesome.

Pocket God. It’s impossible to not mention this hilarious, very original and unique title to the iPhone. Constantly updated and always entertaining in little bursts of playful sadism. GRAAAAHAHAHA!

Time Crisis Strike. It’s Time Crisis. Arcade action perfection.

Canabalt. Odd but strangely addictive running game. All you do is run and jump, and see how far you can go. The eerie sci-fi setting and black-and-gray-and-white graphics make this memorable.

Luxor. The gorgeous time-waster on desktops comes to the iPhone with wonderful touch controls. Throwing balls and sliding about was never this easy!

Cooking Mama. The iPhone’s touch controls make this port exceptionally delicious.

Man, too many games to mention. So now, even on the days I can’t be bothered to bring along my PSP, I’ll always have games in my pocket. And once Plants VS Zombies arrives in January… DAAAAMN! Ain’t technology grand?

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About That Avatar Movie…

Posted in Action Adventure, Game-related Events, Movies, My Stuff on December 28, 2009 by thelonegamer

I was able to catch James Cameron’s Avatar just before Christmas. What do I think? Yes, the flick is indeed Dances with Wolves or Last Samurai in Space. However, it doesn’t do as strong a job making a case why hero Jake Sully (Sam Worthington, doing his most pronounced everyman performance).
In Wolves and Samurai, you saw what the hero found so appealing in the new home and people he would eventually become part of. In Avatar, all that I saw was the ability to run and jump in the body of a super-strong and apparently well-endowed Na’Vi, and the fact that he falls in love with alien princess Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). None of the Na’Vi aside from Neytiri are ever given personality or depth aside from the stereotype- the wise chief, the jealous head warrior, etc. What was sorely missing was seeing any of the other Na’Vi have personality, spunk or any aspect aside from being a blue mosh pit.

That said, the movie was two hours of pretty amazing special effects, CG animations and some wild action, particularly at the end. The world of Pandora is really spectacular, and the stuff of theme parks or videogames are made of. However, in all the movie isn’t worth the hype that built up leading up to it, nor did this movie really need to be titled ‘Avatar’, which really should have gone to the Nickelodeon cartoon-to-movie instead, dammit.

Perhaps if I got to watch the movie in 3D, I’d have been impressed more, but even so, I didn’t find myself needing to watch it again. Nice for flashy visuals and action, but that’s about it. The characters and story were forgettable, and Pandora, while a nice place to visit, is not a place I want to live in. Moving on…

Merry Christmas from the Lone Gamer!

Posted in My Stuff on December 24, 2009 by thelonegamer

Happy Holidays to One and All!

It’s most probably vacation time for most or a lot of us, but regardless of this season being a great time to just chill out in the Gaming Loft and have some Me Time with your favorite hot games, for this particular day be with your family or loved ones and have yourself true quality time. Enjoy a Christmas Dinner, open up your gifts, send out your greetings, and just be Merry All Around.

Merry Christmas, Everyone. Be safe and be happy, and keep on playing.

Tekken Movie Poster from Japan

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 6 on December 22, 2009 by thelonegamer

The live-action Tekken movie may be a bit in release date limbo for the US, but in Japan the film adaptation of the world-famous fighting game franchise has started its marketing blitz. The first salvo is the pretty impressive teaser poster for the movie, featuring John Foo (Tom Yum Goong) as Tekken bad boy Jin Kazama. Japanese viewers will be able to see the movie this coming March 2010.
Well, this new poster is definitely a lot better than the previous ad materials for the film, and Foo does cut a very bad-ass Jin, complete with the trademark gauntlets and emo makeup. Also, the cool-looking Kanji helps a lot I guess. Heh.

Once the film goes out in Japan, I think it won’t be long before other territories see this film. We’ll just have to wait and see… I for one am pretty excited to see if this latest game-to-movie venture pans out. Check out the original article over at Twitch Film.

EGM Relaunches in March 2010

Posted in Fan Service, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming on December 22, 2009 by thelonegamer

Kotaku just posted this wonderful bit of news. Apparently the love for the premier gaming mag was just so much that Electronic Gaming Monthly is returning early next year. A deal was inked with Time/Warner for marketing and sales.
Announced last year, the new Electronic Gaming Monthly will be headed by publisher Steve Harris, one of the original mag’s founders. Joining Harris will be former EGM and 1UP regulars, Dan “Shoe” Hsu, Demian Linn, Seanbaby, Ryan O’Donnell and Matt Chandronait.

Good stuff! Really… Gamepro sucks and Playstation the Official Magazine rubbed me off the wrong way with their crappy Tekken 6 review. Bathroom reading just got classy again. Hahaha!

The Lone Gamer’s Better-Late-Than-Never Tekken 6 Review

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, Tekken, Tekken 6 on December 21, 2009 by thelonegamer


One final blow to end the year.

Okay, while I think it’s kinda obvious that I’m really, really excited for the upcoming Super Streetfighter IV, it goes without saying that right now, the game in my PS3 and not budging away from it anytime soon is still Tekken 6. The thing is, there’s not much news about Namco’s brawling sequel, and despite SD-Tekken’s saying that Namco-Bandai would support the game well after release, aside from the online patch there has been nothing much. That said, I guess I should end the year with my Final Word on this game which has been central to the blog for the past two and a half years or so.

Tekken 6
The arcade port of Namco-Bandai’s top-grossing arcade fighter, the console versions of Tekken 6 meshed in all the additions, tweaks and enhancements that first appeared in the arcade upgrade, Bloodline Rebellion. This meant two more fighters in addition to the four newcomers in Tekken 6.0, new moves and combos for everyone, tweaked gameplay balance, tons of new customizations and costumes, new stages and so forth.

The home versions added as well all-original stuff, such as the much-vaunted (and ultimately controversial) Scenario Campaign mode, which gave players a new way to play with the Tekken fighters outside of the usual one-on-one arena. Also added were the requisite home modes like Ghost Battle, Team Battle, Practice mode, Time Attack and so forth. Additional home extras included new costumes for several characters designed by well-known manga artists and some odds and ends.

In the end, how did the home version of Tekken 6 stack up?

PROS:

BIGGEST and Best Roster Ever. 40++ fighters, each of whom is badass, sexy or awesome in their own ways, with their own deep fighting styles, combos, strengths, weaknesses and personality. You can surely find a favorite and run with him or her, and just go wild. The sheer variety of styles and the depth of play ensures you’ll be playing this game for years.

Graphically Gorgeous. There were issues about the home versions being at sub-HD resolutions. I’ll leave this to the Hardcore HD people out there, since my eyes don’t see the difference. Suffice to say, Tekken 6 looks gorgeous, with wonderfully detailed character models, and silky-smooth and hard-hitting animations that make the game so much fresher and newer than any other previous Tekken thanks to redone moves and animations aplenty. The blokes look bad-ass, the babes are hot as hell… what more can you ask for?

Sexy Customizations. I love all the new ways to pimp out your fighter, which really showcases how detailed and fully-skinned the character models are. Customizing the look of my fave fighter head to toe really gives the game so much more replay value than before; I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for the customizations, I probably wouldn’t be as hot into the game as I am.

Addictive and Rewarding Gameplay. The fighting in Tekken 6 is far more fluid and enjoyable to watch than ever before, in my opinion due to how clear everything is due to the detailed animations. It’s easy to play in the style you wish, and moves flow into the next smoother than ever before. This is easily the most playable Tekken, and the game just gets deeper and more fun the more you play.

Scenario Campaign. Yes, I’ll say it. I actually liked the Scenario Campaign. It’s Tekken Force, bigger and better than it has ever been. The story snippets in the game, as well as a more detailed and definitive story starring Lars and Alisa is probably the closest we’ll see to an actual Tekken anime or movie (I hope that it’s canon). But the base thing is, it’s great to just take your fave fighters and see them kick butt outside the usual ring and be the bad-asses they are Out There.

Kick-Ass Music. Yeah, I love the music. Some may disagree, but I really feel that the soundtrack is as Tekken-ish as it could be. Yeah, the Yodelling rocks as well.

CONS:


A lot of Tekken 6’s endings made me feel like this.

Lots of Crappy Endings. While some are cool, some pretty funny, many of the CG Character Epilogues are too short and leave much to be desired (having nothing to do with the main plot, pointless humor) while several just stink (Leo, Zafina…). The best thing I can say is that overall the endings seem to hint about the next game, which I hope will not make us wait as long as this one did.

P1 and P2 Costume Fiasco. WHY can only one player use customizations? What the hell?

Offline Level Cap. Why can’t I go higher past First Dan offline? Records are separate for both Offline and Online play, so why was this done? It’s irritating and is just Namco-Bandai thumbing off at players to force them to play online.

Onscreen Text. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE REMOVE THAT DAMN TEXT ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN???? AAAARRRGH…

Still Not Enough Fan Service. Why can’t the customization be like Soulcalibur IV…? Sigh…

IFFY…

As for Online Play, well, in the beginning let me say that online was HORRIBLE, but it has improved a lot after the patch. Still, I don’t really play online that much, but it’s adequate to good, so in the end things turned out well, thankfully.

If I were to score Tekken 6, I’d give it a 4 out of 5. The base game is still spectacular and the tons of content is impressive. The extras may please some and irritate some, but it still can’t take away from the awesomeness of the game itself.

In the end, I can say that despite quite a few nitpicks and minor flaws, Tekken 6 was all I was expecting, and that’s not at all bad. The graphics, animation, customizations and gameplay are a package worth the price of admission- everything else is waffle. It’s an awesome fighter which I will indeed be playing till the next Iron Fist Tournament, even when Super Streetfighter IV arrives. I just wish that Namco-Bandai doesn’t drop support for the game in the meantime. I still want that multiplayer co-op patch, and hopefully new customs, patches for the P1-P2 customs and so on to come in the months ahead.


Keep on playing, people!

SSFIV Character Select Screen Revealed!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Super Streetfighter IV, Xbox360 on December 19, 2009 by thelonegamer


Four to go…

Some screencaps from a recently-held Famitsu online show with Yoshinori Ono have revealed what appears to be Super Streetfighter IV‘s quite voluminous Character Select screen. As you can see, the roster still has several spots left to be filled, which are assumed to be for 3rd Strike returnees Ibuki, Makoto and Dudley. The fourth spot is supposedly for all-new fighter Hakan, the mysterious Arab grappler. It seems that we won’t be seeing any formal reveals from Capcom for the rest of the year though, but hopefully we’ll have more info and stuff from this upcoming brawler once the New Year rolls in.