Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Peter Pumpkin Head XII

Hope you know your music to understand the title. Anyways, Happy Halloween and what better way to celebrate today (aside from going to the bar, like i will tonight :D) than watch some Cowboy Bebop Knockin' on Heaven's Door as well as playing some FFXII which I got this morning.

For hardcore FF fans, it was a no brainer to get the Collector's Edition since it houses the game and bonus DVD in a tin case. The case is beautiful as you can see as well as the inside art. Surprisingly the CE dropped in price today. Instead of being the original price of 69.99 CDN, it was dropped to 59.99 CDN (so 49.99 for the RE). So that was good news and made it more reasonable. There was also a Limited Edition Bradygames guide that contains an artbook and the strategy guide itself w/ 1 of 6 different covers. My EB didn't get the LE guide yet but had the regular guide (the fuck?), so i didn't get it. Now, i don't usually get strategy guides since i don't like using them (and you can get guides FREE @ gamefaqs). However, being the hardcore FF fan that i am, i WANT that artbook. Also, it's 20% off when you get the game and the guide is pretty thick (about 400 pages). So i'll probably be getting it tomorrow when it arrives since it seems somewhat worthy).

Oct. 31 1:20 PM edit: My EBgames just called me minutes after finishing this post. My LE strategy guide has arrived! However, i don't feel like driving out there AGAIN to pick it up today (though it's like a 5 min. drive :P...sue me...i'm lazee). I'll have shots up tomorrow along w/ Street Fighter Legends: Sakura issue 3, hopefully (as UDON is never on schedule w/ SF2 but they've been good w/ SFL:S).

For those who didn't ge the CE (you foo! jk ^^), here's what the bonus DVD (normal dvd not PS2 DVD, thus it'll run in any dvd player) contains:

The menu

Inside "Developer Interviews"

The History of FF is a 30 min. feature video detailing all the FFs from 1-11 (i wuv you VIII and VI)

Inside "Art Gallery" (so yeah, i probably don't need the artbook since it's all here, but no i want it on PRINT!)

here's some samples from the gallery

ouuu Ashe...looking hawt.

and you already know how much i love Fran from WAAAY back ;). Balthier/Balflear is DA MAN!

Promo Trailers menu

Since i'm lazy and have FFXII to occupy me for a bit. i'll refrain from posting many game news today aside from today's famitsu scores. IGN also made note of an update on FFXII Revenant Wings (DS) yesterday and posted 2 new Trauma Center Wii vids. There's much more news but i don't want to waste any more time.

Famitsu Scores, yeah baby PS3!:
Ridge Racer 7 (PS3, Bandai Namco): 9 / 9 / 9 / 9 - (36/40) - hawt
Genji: Kamui Souran (PS3, Sony): 7 / 7 / 7 / 8 - (29/40) - i knew this game would score meh, it looked to rush and didn't look like it would live up to the first game. So sad.
Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3, Sony): 9 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (33/40)
Sega Golfclub Featuring Miyazato Family (PS3, Sega): 7 / 7 / 7 / 7 - (28/40)
Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight (PS3, Bandai Namco): 8 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (32/40)
Area 51 (PS2, Success): 7 / 7 / 6 / 7 - (27/40)
Mai-Kinoto Hime (PS2, Sunrise): 5 / 6 / 6 / 6 - (23/40) - another crap HiME game as i expected and foresaw. Still it won't stop me from enjoying on fan level but on my fighting game persona..."WTF is this CRAP?!"
I's Pure (PS2, Takara Tomy): 6 / 7 / 6 / 6 - (25/40)
Mezase! Shoujo Manga Ka! Chao Manga School (NDS, TDK): 5 / 6 / 6 / 5 - (22/40)
Black Jack: Hi no Tori Hen (NDS, Genki): 8 / 8 / 8 / 7 - (31/40)

So here's the gaming guru and HiME/ZHiME godfather signing off w/ some lovely ladies for my Halloween theme. Trick your Treats :P!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Just Another Day

After a month of waiting + nagging my EB store, they finally obtained 1 single copy of the King of Fighters Another Day anime just for me. This promo dvd was supposed to be packed w/ the US version of game but because of the delay of the US game, SNKP decided to release the game w/out the DVD to prevent it from further delay. Thus the price was lowered and the DVD was made scarcely available about 2 weeks after. Most game stores in the US didn't even know about it. Game stores in Canada had no clue (what noobs). When the DVD WAS made scarcely available, it was in the States only. No stores in Canada were getting it since it was already rare in the States. However, after bitching at my EBgames store and @ the manager, they finally obtained one just for me. Even though i have fansubs of it and can watch it on my DVD player, it just feels gooood to have the actual licensed DVD w/ better picture (MUCH BETTER), sound, eng dub (for the fun of it) and minor extras.

Since i already covered most of the anime previously, i'll just comment on the DVD. All 4 episodes split into 4 chapters. Sound includes JPN stereo, JPN 5.1 DD Surround, ENG stereo and ENG 5.1 DD Surround and a Commentary track w/ NO subtitles for the commentary and just the show. Speaking of subtitles, they're really dubtitles and is not an actual translation of the JPN track. So it's annoying if one understands some JPN and is reading the 'sub'titles. Having watched the entire show RAW (before the fansubs came out months after) and understanding it, i had no problems. But it's a nitpick that should be noted. I understood the show cuz: a)it's easy JPN, b)i have some knowledge of the language having taken courses of the years, and c)i'm a hardcore fan and know the KOF series like the back of my hand. The extras include character sketches/line art, a trailer for the online anime and TVCMs for the game (KOF Maximum Impact 2). Here's some samples of the chara sketches on the DVD,

my KOF MI fave gal, Lien. yesh yesh

fan fave Mai

THE BEST SNK character and my fave SNK chara

Too bad there was no art for Elisabeth (how i love her) and Luise. Anyways, sweet fanservice DVD if you're a fan.

Some mix of old and new gaming news i'd like to make since my last post cuz i want to.

Metal Gear Solid 4 for Spring 2007 in JPN? - i doubt it. It's way too early and it's been tradition (since the last 2 solids) that the game comes out after the US. Also, when it hits the US, it's usually released near fall (around sept-nov timeframe) like all the other Solid games cuz of Christmas season. So yeah, i'm expecting like a release of a demo or something but not the actual game.

Metal Gear Portable Ops Premium pack and Konamistyle Limited Premium pack - only the true hardcore fans of MGS and Hideo Kojima need apply (ie. Junker HQ's Artemio Urbina, who's undoubtedly THE GREATEST Kojima fan if ya didn't know). These sort of premium packs aren't anything new as Konami has released them before w/ previous MGS and ZOE 2 games. The Premium costs 29,190 yen (Euro 195 / USD 248), while the KS PP costs 39,690 yen (Euro 265 / USD 337)Bigger pics can be found at IT media who was the first to get the scoop followed by Impress and then Famitsu (didn't feel like linking the latter).

Famitsu shots of the mini games and sexy cutscene that i mentioned about in Ryu ga Gotoku 2. Expect a scan soon.

Famitsu shots of the Zack of All Trades shop in DOAX2. Lisa in Venus outfit shown in link...woot.
Xboxyde shows off a gameplay video of DOAX2 in Paris @ the Micromania Games Show.

Old shots of Oanechanbara vorteX, showing off Misery, more enemies, customizable outfits (!) and some more details on the systyem.

Jeux France shows off new Famitsu scans of Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (Wii), in which they had photos of the same shots the other day. The official site went up today but isn't open yet. Put your pointer over the words for some musical fun ;). The game will be released some time in 2007.

Necro-Nesia (Wii) promotion video vol.1 - needless to say, i'm not all that interested in this game since day one.

Gamespot tests PS3's backwards compatibility. obvious results.

Ruliweb's got a streaming Famitsu movie of Portrait of Ruin. It's the same old w/ cool gameplay and anime cuts from the intro. Speaking of the anime intro, it was released some days ago on the official site, very sweet.

Bleach Wii scans - which do not seem all that new to me. i could've sworn i saw this last week or so.

A live-action Chun Li Street Fighter movie in 2008. NOOOOO, i don't want another failure. Just gimme a anime movie of the greatest female fighter in fighting game history and chuck in a bunch of fanservice. That is NOT the way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SF. I hope this project never goes through.

I'll finish off w/ a Lien pic and I'll have a Halloween post tomorrow. Later.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hisayuki Attack

ohhhh yeaahhh! FINALLY because the Wotome Graph was delayed, i finally got my AJ package which was supposed to arrive last month. Next month i'll have sort of another Hisayuki attack w/ very a VERY OLD order (QB Reina book that i 'pre'ordered over a 1 year and half or so ago, BEFORE anybody knew about it ;)...yeeeahhh, i'm arrogant in that sense :P ^^). So yeah, the pack includes Wotome graph which was released yesterday in JPN (yay for fast but expensive shipping, took them 1 day instead of the usual 2 ^_^), My-Otome vol.9 (finally done another series, not counting the OVAs) and Queen's Blade Elina/Erina drawn by Hisayuki Hirokazu.

For those who want to get the skinny on the details of the graph book, i posted about it in the suki forums. my direct quote "For those who want to know, the book is 80 pages. It contains 9 new artworks of characters from the series as shown on the website now. It also has the collection of old artworks from previous mags (seen in the musuem section of the official site). It then proceeds to show you meister (except Tomoe)/character shots of 20 charas from the show. Most of which are from Hisayuki's site. Then there's a character relation chart, followed by setting/background info and screencaps/summaries of the omakes on the dvd. There's also the usual pages of merchandise and interview/commentary. The calendar is small and basically uses the same spread artwork in the book. Worth the pickup? for sure depending on how die hard you are like i am as it's nice to have hisayuki's art on real printed paper."

Here's some sample shots:

I'm not gonna post any Elina shots, as one can easily find the scans on the internet that was posted a month ago.

Yay! Another Hisayuki series done!

The offical ZHiME site updated today (new screenshots from Zwei) w/ the new cover, more details on the LE (cd, commentary, fig, illustration, the usual you could say) and the some samples of the artwork in the Graph book.
The Dendoh site also updated today w/ more short story synops (ep.29-33), another edition of C-Drive comic update and another sweet 'inner jacket gallery' by Hisayuki once again. Man, I've been so wanting to get this! some R3 (or R1, but that'll take forever to be released) company NEEDS to pick this up and release and a decent price NOW!

In gaming news:
new Famitsu DOAX2 scans - i don't know who to credit first, JF or Xboxyde? :P The HQ TGS trailer was released a couple of days ago and is available on Xbox Live i believe.

Some interesting articles regarding the PS3 from Joystiq:
"The PS3 economy"
"PS3 ads still peddling potentials"
"Misprint: Someone tell Wal-Mart the PS3 costs at least $500"
and not from Joystiq but IGN, talks about the PSP and PS3 connectivity. What's of interest is the software update like the PSP's firmware and the small talk of the region-free "There are exceptions, however, so SCE does not make guarantees about operation". Exceptions? WTF? let's hope this 'exception' are movies as the article didn't clarify that. Anyways, i see the PS3 being so hacked like the PSP and the hardcore gamers will being playing homebrew style and not wanting to upgrade or they'll find a way to downgrade. Sony will so lose money then.

umm...not really to my interest but maybe to some, Taito Memories 2 (PS2) includes: Zun Zun Block, Thunder Fox, Rainbow Islands Extra, WGP 1 + 2, Space Laser, Buggy Challenge, Arkanoid 2: Revenge of Doh, Pit & Run, Ninja Hayate, Phoenix, Defender, Halley's Comet, Arkanoid, Metal Soldier Isaac, Jungle Hunt, Megablast.

Shining Force Exa (PS2) will be released on Jan. 18 2007
Vampire's Rain (XBOX 360) will be released on Jan. 25 2007

some Yakuza 2/Ryu Ga Gotoku 2 info:
mini-games this time will also include golf, bowling, shogi, mahjong, pachinko. Pachinko will have real games licensed from Sammy like Aladdin A and the famed Kemono-oh. Real restaurants like Matsuya and shopping stores like Don Quijote. Also, there will be more 'sex appeal' in the normal and action cutscenes they say.

the most interesting news to me today is one of Capcom's next games for the PS2. A 3D fighter based on a Fall anime and originated from a manga. This game is Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi. When i first looked at the game page, i knew that busty chick looked familar, it clicked right away that i remember seeing a fig of her and her companion months ago. My search also lead me to disovering an anime of the game, since i'm not really following anime this fall ('cept for Black Lagoon 2B and Code Geass occasionally), i didn't know there was an anime to this manga until today. But because there's a fighting game of it (and by capcom no less), i think i'll be checking this out along w/ the original manga by Shun Matsuena. The busty chick Miu is quite the bonus too and all the more reason to check it out. Has anybody checked out this anime? Good animation for the fights? fanservice? could care less for the story juss by looking at it. I don't want another Fighting Beauty Wulong (what a crap game too, good that Dream Factory isn't touching this...oh how DF has gone to shits. i wuv you Tobal No.1 and Tobal 2). So yeah, go visit Matsuena's site to check out the pics below in 'clean' form.

Lastly, Famitsu and Dengeki PS scores for the week:
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, EA): 9 / 8 / 7 / 7 - (31/40)
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (NDS, EA): 6 / 6 / 6 / 6 - (24/40)
Winning Eleven DS (NDS, Konami): 7 / 7 / 7 / 8 - (29/40)
Hoshi no Kirby: Sanjou! Dorocche Dan (NDS, Nintendo): 8 / 8 / 7 / 8 - (31/40)
The Outfit (Xbox 360, THQ): 8 / 7 / 7 / 6 - (28/40)
Love Love Hamster (NDS, Digital Kids): 5 / 6 / 5 / 5 - (21/40)
Edamoto Naomi no Shiawase Kitchen: Kakushi Aji wa Anata ga Kimete ne (NDS, MTO): 6 / 6 / 6 / 8 - (26/40)

Dengeki PS
Utawarerumono (PS2, Aquaplus): 80 / 85 / 70 / 75
Spider-Man 2 (PSP, Konami): 75 / 80 / 75 / 70
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, EA): 70/ 85 / 75 / 75
Shinobido Homura (PSP, Spike): 75 / 70 / 65 / 60

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Duel of Sisters

Since I got a little break until my next midterm (next week), i decided to do post on a game that i hope would get a release in the U.S as we get softcore porn like DOAX2 coming. Anyways, the game of focus is the Oneechan bara (somtimes romanized to Oanechan bara) vorteX which i'm pretty sure i have mentioned before. The reason it's the focus today is cuz the official site added a sweet new trailer. There was another trailer that was released last week that focused more on gameplay. That one can be seen here. This new one on the official site is pretty sweet as we get some more Aya fanservice (SHOWER SCENE!). Anyways, the FMV CG is looking REALLY good (Onee 2 SE sucked) and i must commend Tamsoft for putting more effort into this game since it's not a "Simple" budget title. For those who don't know, the oneechan bara first appeared on the PS2 as part of D3's Simple 2000 budget titles. It's basically a Dynasty Warriors rip-off w/ hot ladies in revealing outfits as your main characters (most of the Simple 2000 games were like that, rip other game's engine and put in fanservice to appeal to the horndog gamers). However, the game gained popularity not only for it's shallowness, but the gameplay that they ripped off was quite fun and added some new flavour. Thus, the Oneechan bara spawned a Blue version which included Riho (who's basically the D3 Simple 2000 mascot, though another familar D3 character shows up in the sequel and has become a mainstay) in her classic bikini outfit as well as her sister Makoto (who's also appeared in a few other D3 games...to please the loli fans i guess). Oneechan bara 1 was also released last year in EU by 505 gamestreet (which releases quite a few simple titles) entitled Zombie Zone. Not too long after, a sequel was released (Oneechan bara 2) and a Special Edition (Oneechan pon - Oneechan Bara 2 SE) to the sequel was released just a couple of months ago. The SE only added some more outfits, playable characters and a new CG intro (which is pretty bad and pales in comparison to vorteX). The sequel and SE was never released outside of JPN. vorteX as you can see looks to improve in some areas as the graphics are a BIG improvement (HR, widescreen). CG looks fab, new characters (Anna and Misery) and 2-player coop (!). 2-player coop is huge as i was like WTF? when i first played Blue and was pissed off the sequel & SE didn't have it either. The previous games DID offer 2 player...2 player alternating/switching >_>. The 'tagging' that you see in that vorteX trailer is what i'm talking about. That's the two player part. SOOO old-school and dumb for this type of game. The tagging though is also available in single player.

Like DW, the game is a repetitive hack & slash against a bunch of zombies on-screen. Also, you can build up the stats of your character like DW. Combos are also available and more moves will be unlocked when you reach certain stats/levels. There's also a 'rage' kind of mode you can go into and that will add 1 or 2 additional attacks iirc. Some problems I remember having with the game was the camera and how you always have to position it and set it back in place so that you can see the action comfortably. For me it gets tedious and ruined my enjoyment a bit. The environments weren't as varied, there's not many characters and did i mention no 2 player coop. That's why DW is better. But hey, this was a budget title, so you can't expect THAT much. Graphics were very good for a budget title as Aya and the girls looked good w/ smooth animation, appealing models and some extra polys for jiggle as D3 usual. I own Oneechan Bara Blue (i think, as i don't know where it is and might have lost it or lent it or sold it)
Oneechan Bara 2 and Oneechan Pon - Oneechan Bara 2 SE. Now this game won't make me buy a 360 (that would OBVIOUSLY be Blue Dragon) but NA owners should hope it comes over as it's a guilty pleasure game and w/ crap like Rumble Roses XX and the softcore of DOAX2, this game fits just in between those boobies.

Also of note is Oneechan Bara Mobile which also comes out this winter to coincide w/ vorteX. Art is by the famed Kengo Yonekura (NSFW), who's famous for her adult doujins and work on some eroge games.