Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Inter Media @rtists and Specialists Show

The Originals

So yeah, I got carried away yesterday (and today), playing the new PS2 fighting game Hokuto no Ken in which i got on the way home yesterday. Because of that, i had a ton of practice and think I'll try my go at the arcades this weekend :D. w/out further ado, finally more iM@S:

Been sick for the past couple of days. Gonna finish up iM@S today. First up is the latest Famitsu scores:


Barnyard: Shuyaku wa Ore, Ushi (Wii, THQ): 7 / 6 / 6 / 6 - (25/40)
Shin Sangoku Musou DS: Fighter's Battle (NDS, Koei): 7 / 6 / 7 / 7 - (27/40)
Meitantei Conan: Tantei Ryoku Trainer (NDS, Bandai Namco): 6 / 6 / 7 / 7 - (26/40)
Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu Portable 2 (PSP, Konami): 10 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (34/40)
Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable (PSP, Bandai Namco): 9 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (33/40)
Naruto Shippuuden: Narutimate Accel (PS2, Bandai Namco): 8 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (32/40)
Pro Yakyuu Netsu Star 2007 (PS2, Bandai Namco): 8 / 8 / 7 / 7 - (30/40)

Dengeki PS

Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix + (PS2, Square Enix): 90 / 85 / 95 / 90
Pro Yakyuu Spirits 4 (PS2, Konami): 80 / 90 / 90 / 90
Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu Portable 2 (PSP, Konami): 80 / 80 / 95 / 80
Naruto Shippuuden: Narutimate Accel (PS2, Bandai Namco): 80 / 85 / 80 / 80
Musou Orochi (PS2, Koei): 85 / 75 / 65 / 85

and Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword looks interesting

Let's all enjoy Xenoglossia next week ^^.

So that ends another theme and without a doubt i finish off w/ my fave at the end! Miki for the final win!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

T & @ss 2 The MAX

Since y'all know that I follow DJ MAX Portable 2 closely (yesterday i had a scare w/ the JPN LE, turned out to be false thankfully) Ruliweb would like to show ya the opening movie and screenshots from it. Contains some 3D, 3D cel shading animation (really good), static images and modes from the game. It's okay but I was expecting something that would top the awesome (and 'fanservicey') Korean animated intro. I hope there's another intro cuz some games contain an 'opening' AND an 'intro', if you get my drift. Somehow, i doubt it as the OP song is featured in full as well as 'the band'. Oh well, it sux if that's the only opening/intro as one would've expected something bigger and better w/ the profits they made. Here's some pics from the intro from Ruliweb if you haven't already clicked on the above link. HAWT!

DJ MAX Portable 2 Vocal Paradigm 2 was also released today w/ hot e.l featured fully on the cover. yum. Need to check this out as i've been listening to vocal paradigm 1 for a month now.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Fave Cooking M@sters

Only missing Miki though. So yeah, as you can see, today's idol includes (the ever hot & stacked) Azusa, Chihaya and Makoto.

Been sorta busy lately w/ NCAA basketball going on (damn, Ohio St. that was fucking close) and drinking myself crazy yesterday (hope ppl drank a lot of green beer ^^). Finally saw 300 recently and damn that was an awesome movie. Total guy film which my girl didn't mind watching with me ^^. Just wanna mention that two scenes really stood out for me. I was surprised about how evenly paced the story was (and the amount of story was surprising for an action movie).

Gonna talk about some gaming in which is related to this post's title. Some of you may or may not know that Cooking Mama Wii comes out in a couple of days. If you think that game on the DS was totally original then think again as there were a couple cooking games before it. I've been re-playing this pretty old and obscure PSX game that not many have heard about. I got this game not long after I got my first PS2 during my crazy PSone game rush (bought about 100+ psx games in 2000) as i skipped the 32-bit/64-bit era. This game is called Ore no Ryori and it's probably still THE BEST COOKING GAME i've played. i'll see if my opinion changes when i try cooking mama wii, though it doesn't seem like it'll overthrow OnR. So yeah, I remember picking this game up for like 5 or 6 bucks in the bargain bin and what a gem it is. The game takes full use of the dual analogs on the PSone controllers as w/out it, you can't play it. The game basically has you doing a ton of different food for customers in a restaurant like french fries, spaghetti, tempura, gyouza, udon, pancakes, pouring beer etc. So like real food and beverages, you need to know the correct way and recipe to make this all work and this is where the beauty of the dual analogs come in. Like for cutting things, you move the left analog left a bit to move, say, a vegetable. u then use the right analog to cut, by pressing down. So the motion is "left down left down", however you are rated on how well you cut the vegetable. If pieces are not (approximately) evenly cut, you'll get a low score for cutting. These score determines the final product of the food and if the customer is happy or not. It will also lower your status bar (which means game over when it reaches zero). Not only do you have to do a good job making the food, you also got to watch for your customers (as they have a timer bar & certain customers are critics) and micro manage on things they order. Say 3 customers come in at the same time and 2 want ramens while the other wants an ice cream. ramens take few steps to make, and it would save time to accept both ramen orders instead of one. While the ramen is in the step of boiling the noodles, you should then go ahead w/ the ice cream order. It's things like these that make things hectic (especially on the later stages) and fun. After doing a good job w/ the customers, you're then pit in a iron-chef style competition against one of the frog enemies (if ya want to know, basically, these frogs basically want food domination in your world and it's up to you to beat them). Food isn't the only thing one needs to worry about as there are events where customers may eat and run, u then have to chase 'em down. another even involves calling the police for a drunkard, so a rotating telephone comes up and you need one analog to dial while the other analog pushes the correct number. I highly recommend this game if you like cooking games or enjoyed Cooking Mama.

Curry House Coco Ichibanya was another fun cooking game worth mentioning on the PS2. The game is based on a restaurant in Japan and as you can tell from the name, they focus on curry dishes. The game is essentially like OnR in which you prepare food and need to micro manage w/ the customers. However, unlike OnR this game is focuses more on the perfection of making curry dishes since it lacks the variety of foods. OnR only had curry rice and it took like 3-4 steps. Still, the game is great fun, but still can't beat OnR.

Getting off the cooking scene, i just wanted to make a note on the Kenichi PS2 fighting game from Capcom in which i picked up on friday. While the graphics are good for an anime fighter (sweet original anime intro too), it's simply too shallow like most anime fighters. U can't duck or jump in the game. you auto-guard high and low attacks when you don't press a thing (sorta like Tekken, but tekken only blocks highs/mids and you can still press back to block). The counter button is like DOA but most of the counter moves look crappy and don't deal much damage. Every one basically has the same moves (ie. qcf + light, qcf + strong, qcb + light, qcb + strong) and super moves (qcf ,qcf + strong). It's pretty pathetic. Speaking of super moves, the qcf x 2 + strong is hard to peform unless you use one of your power up gauges. It's still do-able w/out using the gauge though. So yeah, there goes a knock on controls. Combos are basically like tekken where you dial'em in or button mash and you'll sort of get something. If you're a fan of the Kenichi manga and anime, you'll obviously dig. However, for anime fans, the game's story mode will spoil ya since it skips a lot & goes way past the current episodes (ep.22 is only about halfway through the game's story mode). The mini games are fun for like the first 2-3 times and will get bored quickly after. In the end, can't recommend this game at all for any fighting game fans.

So, i'll end on a happy note w/ my two fave girls from the recently released Resort Boin game, Mika & Kanae. Happo's work is too awesome.

Where the fuck is my fave gal Touko from Boin? While Nao & Mitsugu are hawt (moreso for Nao), why didn't Touko return!!!!!

I'll finish up on iM@S soon and hopefully have something good.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Twin Pigtails

Today's iM@S girls are the twins and the two pigtailed chicks, Ritsuko & Yayoi.

Latest Famitsu scores as seen in the mag:

Mist of Chaos (PS3, Idea Factory): 4 / 3 / 4 / 5 - (16/40) - that's the shite, literally. Still, one's gotta luv !F's chara design and art.
Bomberman Story DS (NDS, Hudson): 7 / 6 / 7 / 6 - (26/40)
Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Goku Densetsu (NDS, Bandai Namco): 6 / 6 / 7 / 8 - (27/40) - i'd have to say that's quite decent for a card game. For some reason, it doesn't look as good as the old Famicom and GB DBZ games. I never played the gay ass American Card came on GBA.
Crayon Shin-Chan DS: Arashi wo Yobu Nutte Crayoon Daisakusen! (NDS, Banpresto): 7 / 6 / 8 / 8 - (31/40)
Negima!? Chou Mahora Taisen Chuu: Checkiin Zenin Shuugou! Yappari Onsen Kichaimashitaa (NDS, Marvelous): 7 / 5 / 6 / 6 - (24/40)
Bomberman Land Portable (PSP, Hudson): 6 / 4 / 7 / 6 - (23/40)
Eyeshield 21: Field Saikyou no Senshi Tachi (Wii, Nintendo): 6 / 6 / 6 / 6 - (24/40) - this game looked cool. sucks about the mediocre score.
Musou Orochi (PS2, Koei): 9 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (33/40) - OH WOW! Gee that's surprising! Now w/ my sarcasm put aside, i'm actually looking forward to this almost rehash game. It could've scored a 10 and i'd still get. It's just i don't think it deserves such a high score.
Rozen Maiden: Geppetto Garden (PS2, Taito): 7 / 6 / 6 / 5 - (24/40) - A bummer score, but i'm still gonna get cuz it's a Rozen Maiden FIGHTING game!!

I just felt like doing a few game news cuz they're some of the best news so far this week. The biggest news for me has got to be the confirmation of Tales of the World for NA release yesterday. Being a Tales fanboy, i'm greatly hyped for this game after being a pirate and downloading the JP ISO :P. The game uses Abyss' flex range LMBS (THE BEST battle system in the series thus far) and like some of the ToW games, it features some charas (Nakiri Dungeon 3 had all charas from Tales games it used) from all the previous main Tales games except for Tempest. Might be a bummer to some since their fave charas might not be in but understandable cuz you have to recreate charas into 3D polygons. Though they could've just reused the old polygon charas they made Symphonia's and Abyss' battle arena (actually they did for some of the charas, but didn't include all of 'em). Regardless, this is a great game and unexpected from Namco Bandai since ToW games haven't been released because not all of the main Tales games have been translated (ie. Destiny 2 & Rebirth). So there's some hope that they might finally make it to NA shores, especially ToD 2 and it's recent PSP release in JPN. This announcement is also interesting cuz about a month ago Namco Bandai USA sent a survey to those who subscribed to Tales newsletter (yeah, i'm one of those ppl) regarding what NA fans want and value in their Tales games. So, if you're a Tales RPG fan, YOU MUST GET this game and support the Tales series in NA. I definitely can't wait for this baby!

The 2nd biggest news is Capcom officially coming on board w/ the Wii. That game is Treasure Island Z...and it looks kiddie :(. Whatev, as long as they're on board and it's a decent game, i'm happy :). Jeux-France jacked a snapshot from Famitsu and in return here's what JPN sources say to that w/ these 'cleaner' scans ^^ LOL

Another Wii news is Naruto: Clash of the Ninja MVZ was announced for the NA Wii yesterday. The exclusive charas most likely indicate that this is Naruto Shippuuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX since there's no way the cartoon in NA has caught up w/ JPN. Or it could be a totally hacked up mish mashed game exclusively for NA as the press states. If it IS EX, this is surprising as one didn't expect this game to come out so soon cuz companies usually DO wait for the series to catch up. Though it may be confusing for the mainstream audience (and ENG manga readers) to see grown up Naruto charas, it's sort of a good move to release a new game while it's still fresh and not too dated IMO. It's also good for naruto internet watchers :P. If it is EX, i probably won't get it if it only includes the Eng. dub. I'll wait until a Wii free loader is made. Still don't trust the modchip yet. By then the sequel(s) will probably be out and much better of course.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

3 iM@Sketeers

Today it's the main three from the anime.

Also, PA's personal agent announced yesterday that they finally got in restock copies of DJ Max Portable 1 Korean version. So, don't miss out on this chance to have one the best PSP games. Sorry UK folks :(.

Finally, looks like it didn't take me long to give in to my weak-willed Hisayuki obsession. I preordered that Queen's Blade Comic Anthology that i mentioned 2 posts ago. I mean, how could a resist w/ a cover like this:

♥Ultra HAWWWT, me wuv me wuv♥

The Otome site also updated yesterday w/ a new Otome novel. It's part two of the Otome saga featuring Ayane. The novel is called My-ZHiME saga ~ Ayane's Hijyou (舞‐乙HiME列伝 ~アヤネ飛翔☆篇~). Once again, Hisayuki will have a little bit of input. The novel will be released April 10th. U can bet your ass that i'll be getting both this novel and QB Comic Antho. However, i won't get them until the end of May ;).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Theme: i'M @n aSs

Seriously, everytime I see "iM@S", that's how i read it to myself in my head, (probably out loud too ^^). Anyways, since i haven't done a theme in a while, i decided to pick iDOL M@STER since it's based on an arcade game as well as a recently released Xbox 360 game. I'll be also doing Xenoglossia, thus it'll coincide w/ my game & anime interest. Though i'm not a fan of the game since i do not have access to play it (nor have any particular interest in playing it after watching a friend play it), I am a fan of the simple yet great character designs, which were done by legendary Lunar artist, Toshiyuki Kubooka. It's because of Kubooka that got me interested in learning about the game itself as I loved his character designs for Lunar. However, unlike iM@S, i like the Lunar games. Thus, after learning that Kubooka worked on this game, I wondered how his art fared over the years. It has still got a bit of his distinct style, but iM@S's designs are much simpler than his old Lunar designs. Especially the faces, an area that was already 'simple' for the Lunar characters. The simplicity is most likely because Namco wanted them to be simple so they would translate well (and easier) in 3D. As for me covering Xenoglossia, well, it's one of the Spring shows that I'm looking forward to and hope to follow mainly cuz it's Sunrise. That and cuz the show will undoubtedly become a hit w/ anime fans, since it contains all the pedigrees to make a show popular. A plot to keep the world @ peace? check. Robot/Mechas? check. A well known staff and animation production in charge? check. Action/violence? check. Cute underage school girls? check. Fanservice for the horny boys? check. So yeah, there's more than enough that this is gonna be a hit w/ the anime fanboys and girls. It's already a franchise in the making being loosely based off the game. Aside from the show being from Sunrise, i'm looking forward to the show cuz of the animated forms of some of my fave chicks from the game (from appearances of course). Oh, AND the mecha action in the comiket 71 trailer cuz i'd be lying if i said no. However, i'm having hard time listening to the lead, Asami Haruka (Iguchi Yuka). Her voice in the anime just annoys me for some reason. I would've preferred if they had used the seiyuus from the game. Well, just for Haruka (Nakamura Emiko).

So yeah, expect more frequent updates SOLELY consisting of iDOL M@STER promo art. I might stick a post w/ content/rant in there ^_^. Finally for those who care, here's the chicks i dig from the game and anime, based on appearance and designs:

iM@S game:
1. Miki Hoshii
2. Azusa Miura
3. Chihaya Kisaragi
4. Makoto Kikuchi

iM@S anime:
1. Azusa Miura
2. Chihaya Kisaragi
3. Hotaru Yasuhara
4. Makoto Kikuchi

I'm sure most of my picks aren't too surprising since it's known that i like my chicks "developed". I actually like the minor looking characters in the anime more than Makoto's anime design (ie. Chikako & Naze), but decided to stick her in there even though it looks like she won't play a huge role out of the rest of the school girls. Yeah, i'm not a fan of any of the main 3 in the show (they look so stereotypical in personalities), but if i had to pick one of the 3, i guess i would go w/ Iori even though yukiho is the most "developed" of the three. Iori looks like she's got a spunky (but also bitchy attitude) that i might like. Still, not a fan of the 3, hopefully they'll have some good development that will change my impressions when the show begins.
One of my fave iM@S art featuring ever hawt Miki & Chihaya, oh, and Ritsuko :P ^^. If Azusa was in there, it would've been PUUUUURRRFECT. Thanks to Digi for letting me know about this cover ;).

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

So, Do I want to live in Sangenjaya Bitch?

No, I'm not talking about the district. Though, someone like wrex would be more suitable talking about it ^_^ (i'm still waiting on pt.2 of Akihabara :P). I'm actually talking about DJ MAX Portable 2 and the title is in reference to this song I downloaded a while ago by someone called DJ Max w/ the song obviously titled Sangenjaya ;) ^^. This post is mainly a purchase/thought rant for those who care.

For those who've been following, I did an entry on DJ MAX Portable last month and have influenced even johnny to get/track to down the Korean version of this game. So it's no surprise that i'm a fan of the game (and series) thanks to my friend, or maybe it should be NO THANKS. Since I didn't have a PSP at the time when the Prestige Box came out. I mentioned I would get the LE of DJMAXP2 when that one came out. Well, it was announced last month and for those who aren't rabid game news gurus, the LE is called Orpheus Package and it comes it two flavas: Night Black and Metallic Silver and there's only 1000 of the produced. So yeah, they're really LIMITED. You can check out what comes inside these beauties at Ruliweb of course. While the Orpheus package costs about 90-100 bucks US if you buy it in Korea, Play-Asia was selling it for 150 bucks US, not including shipping. They're the only import shop known that had preorders for the both Night Black and Metallic Silver. They were also tricky by not announcing when they had preorders, thus, one had check their site almost daily to see when they would go up. So it wasn't until last week that they discretely put up preorders in the morning. Night Black was sold out immediately, w/ Metallic Silver following not long after. However, preorders were put up once again later on in the day and NB was gone once again w/ MS being presold by the next morning. Well, being the game guru that i am, i managed to snag a Night Black during the morning of the preorders, as I was just surfing on the net during class, pretending to take notes :P.

Now as you see, this game costs me just over 200 bones CDN and i'm like thinking, "that's fucking expensive.". So i'm currently in a dilemma. Do I want the LE or not? I had thoughts of selling it on ebay (a preorder went for 300 bucks US recently) and just burning the soundtrack. I would get the game afterwards with profits. But I would think "hey, this is a really rare collector's item." . Thus, I'm currently undecided as I got to see how I fare by the end of the month financially. As money should be spent on needs not wants (yeah, like i listen to myself all the time ;)). My social life isn't making this any easier either. Oh well, we'll see.

And I'll finish off as always w/ the latest Famitsu reviews (heh, quite a few girly games next week due to White Day):

Sonic to Himitsu no Ring [Sonic and the Secret Rings] (Wii, Sega): 9 / 8 / 8 / 7 - (32/40)
Theme Park DS (NDS, EA): 7 / 7 / 7 / 7 - (28/40)
Survival Kids: Lost in Blue 2 (NDS, Konami): 8 / 7 / 7 / 7 - (29/40)
Bionicle Heroes (NDS, EA): 6 / 6 / 7 / 6 - (25/40)
Kaseki Chou-Shinka Spectrobes (NDS, Disney): 6 / 7 / 7 / 6 - (26/40)
Tokimeki Memorial: Girl's Side: 1st Love (NDS, Konami): 7 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (31/40)
KuruPoto (NDS, Starfish): 5 / 5 / 5 / 5 - (20/40)
KuruKuru Princess: Figure de KiraKira Koori no Angel (NDS, Spike): 6 / 7 / 6 / 7 - (26/40)
SpongeBob to Nakamatachi (NDS, THQ): 6 / 6 / 4 / 7 - (23/40)
Kotoba no Puzzle: Mojipittan DS (NDS, Bandai Namco): 9 / 8 / 8 / 8 - (33/40)
Tottoko Hamutaro Haai! Hamu-Chans no Hamu Hamu Challenge! Atsumare Haai! (NDS, Marvelous): 7 / 6 / 7 / 6 - (26/40)
Garouden Break Blow: Fist or Twist (PS2, ESP): 7 / 8 / 6 / 6 - (27/40) - Heh, I was semi-interested since this is a fighting game, looks like a pass for me
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 (PS2, EA): 7 / 7 / 7 / 6 - (27/40)
Shijou Saikyou no Teishi: Kenichi (PS2, Capcom): 7 / 8 / 8 / 6 - (29/40) - This mediocre score won't stop me from gettin' as Miu and the chicks are hawt. Too bad Shigure (who's the hawtest) isn't playable. Anyways, i'm just looking forward to this cuz it's a CAPCOM FIGHTING GAME!!
Kiniro no Corda 2 (PS2, Koei): 8 / 7 / 8 / 9 - (32/40)
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab (PS2, THQ): 7 / 7 / 6 / 7 - (27/40)
G1 Jockey Wii (Wii, Koei): 8 / 8 / 8 / 7 - (31/40)

Dengeki PS2

Vitamin X (PS2, D3): 70 / 85 / 85 / 75
Shijou Saikyou no Teishi: Kenichi (PS2, Capcom): 80 / 70 / 70 / 75
Kiniro no Corda 2 (PS2, Koei): 90 / 95 / 80 / 90

If you want the full uncropped version of the pics, go to Ruliweb for the full watermarked version :P.

March 9th '07 9:28 AM edit: too lazy to make a real post. i just want to note that the Queen's Blade Anthology comic is up for preorder at AJ, though i guess ppl won't be getting it from AJ now. The book is to be released near the end of April. If I do get it, i'll probably get it in May along w/ Zwei 3 ;). The reason I may get this, is only cuz Hisayuki did the cover for this book (Hisayuki finished the cover only a week ago) just like some of the HiME comic anthology books (which i sorta regret buying as the art from the other artists are meh, some stories were funny though). Details on the comic and ppl involved can be read at Amiami's link. Not many from the QB staff. I'm on the fence w/ this one, i'll see if i submit later ^^.