Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Street Fighter IV: New Anime footage from ComicCon 08

New footage of the Street Fighter IV anime!
Let the video load up then skip to 2:58. Nice to see Cammy, I wonder if this is more confirmation that she's gonna make it on the console version of Street Fighter IV. For those fans of Street Fighter you'll also catch the fact that the outfit Chun Li is wearing in the begining of the vid is the same as her outfit at the end of Street Fighter II. LMAO at Guile's wife, he's leaving AGAIN!? I just know that Guile's ending for Street Fighter IV is gonna have him return home to an empty house and find divorce papers under the door!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Street Fighter IV: Here Comes a New Outfit

In previous incarnations of the Street Fighter franchise begining with Street Fighter II Champion Ed. players were able to choose alternate colors to differenciate two players choosing the same character, with Street Fighter IV players will now be able choose alternate outfits for their character! Each characters alternate outfit is unique and some give a glimpse into their background...El Fuerte's alt outfit comes to mind. A few have been revealed, Chun Li so far IMO has the best alternate outfit. Akuma's isn't too bad either LMAO!

Game Review: 1942 Joint Strike

After reading about the awesome features 1942 Joint Strike has I DL'd it from the PSN as soon as I could. HD graphics, Online co op...retro gaming in the HD era!
The graphics are very polished the game has a muted earth tone look to it but considering the era it works. Boss's are large and unique, they offer a decent challenge to defeat them.
The sound effects are crisp and are reminiscent of the old school games from this series.
Now to the negatives....The game is extremely short, once you defeat the final stage you will be flying the friendly skies of the first stage again but with an amped difficulty. The game becomes very repetitive, and the BIGGEST problem with this game is it primary selling point and it's in the actual title, JOINT STRIKE! I never once was able to connect with ANYONE to play the game co-operatively!  The hype was about the amazing power up's you and a wing man can unleash when working in tandem.....never got to witness that. :/

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Street Fighter IV: Here Comes A New Challenger

Two more characters have been announced for Street Fighter IV! Fei Long from Super Street Fighter II and Dan from Street Fighter Alpha. They will not make it to the arcade versions but that's fine by many gamers as the arcade scene here in the US is pretty much dead. If these two made the console cut I wonder why Capcom even bothered with their poll a few months back, Sakura and Dudley had much higher vote counts. There's rumor that another SSFIIT character will be making it to the home consoles.....

Street Fighter IV: Here Comes a New Challenger

Cammy's back, and Mr. Sellers better watch his back. Speaking of backs Cammy's got one of the best in fighting games! Looks like two of the four ST characters will be in Street Fighter IV, Sorry Dee Jay and T. Hawk you just didn't make the cut...
I really can't think of an alt. costume for Cammy that could be better than her Delta Red uniform!

If I'm gonna get my ass kicked by a girl this is how I want it to happen!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FF Vs XIII teaser trailer from Jump Festa

July has been an exciting month for gamers and movies. E3 may be over but the hits just keep on coming, Check out the latest teaser trailer for FF VS XIII. As far as I know this one is still a PS3 exclusive. The video showcases some very impressive FMV...like Advent Children impressive. I still say that the dark haired guy is Sasuke Uchiha (kidding). Anyway check it out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm demo impressions

I got to check out the upcoming PS3 exclusive Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm today, color me impressed! The Demo is limited to choosing Naruto or Kakashi, and there is a quick tutorial that gives the button commands and explains support characters. First thing I noticed was the choice of English or Japanese language, for those hardcore Otaku this is a plus. Next you choose one of the two available characters then you go into the character intro and the fight begins. I have to admit I wasn't expecting the game to be as fluid and faithful to the artistic style of the anime as it was. The button commands become familiar after two or three times, it's a button masher in a similar vein to Soul Calibur, I did notice that when I performed Naruto's secret Jutsu it incorporated the button command setup from previous Naruto U.N. games, where you and your opponent need to enter the corect sequence of buttons to maximize/minimize damage given/taken. I'm glad the two plane fighting system is gone, I felt it broke the flow of a fight when you were constantly trying to close the gap on your opponent and stay on the same plane as they are.

I also didn't spot a bit of lag even when I called in both of my support characters Sasuke and Sakura! They'd unleash on Kakashi and I'd be attacking and using substitution jutsu's on Kakashi as his Ninja hounds attacked me! I'm adding Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm to my "must have games" cue.

Street Fighter IV @ E3

Street Fighter IV was playable at E3, I believe this is the build from the latest loktest. The first fight is with my favorite character from Street Fighter II Chun Li as she goes up against Vega (US). Notice the upper left corner of the screen it says link match, Capcom has made the arcade cabnets linkable via the interwebs so you can actually play someone onlineline via the arcade, I'm not sure if the link is worldwide or regional. Enjoy the vids and I look forward to all the great challengers around the world I'll be able to fight online onthe PS3!

Street Fighter IV intro music http://mynando.com/audio/music/street-fighter/sf4-music.mp3

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

Lets put a smile on that face!

Gotham City, it's a great place to live and a better place to work. Not so much if your in the mob. Do you believe in Harvey Dent? I did and had the bumper sticker to prove it. Gotham City's DA a white knight determined to stamp out organized crime in Gotham and make the street safe again for families, with some help from Jim Gordan and his "special task force" he might just do it!

With the head of the Maroni crime family out of the picture the Mob's of Gotham seem to have lost their influence over the city, cops are cracking down on organized crime. Bruce Wayne's "symbol" to stike fear into those who prey on the fearful has been taken too far as some vigilate's have taken up the cause by imitating the Dark Knight...but with less sucess. The city seems a little safer thanks to the diligent efforts of Harvey Dent. But there's still that Joker fella running around causing chaos.

At the annual Gotham City Organized Crime Association the new head of the Maroni crime family along with the dozen other crime families discover from a Mr Lao that the fuzz is about to seize all their funds, so he's taken it upon himself to "relocate" all their funds to a safer location. Enter the Joker, without a worry in the world the Joker enters the meeting and tells them what must be done to get things back the way they were....simply kill the Batman, he drops his card and leaves.

From here on Harvey Dent takes the spotlight as a crusader for justice as he rounds up the majority of Gothams criminals in one fell swoop with the help of Batman and Jim Gordon. But that doesn't deter the Joker, his crimes become more brazen and begins targeting Gotham PD. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne throws a ball to celebrate the efforts of Harvey Dent.

From here on out Batman focuses all his attention on stoping the Joker, but what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Chaos! In Batman Begins Ras Al Ghul was an outside force that attempted to destroy Gotham from within by making the people tear themselves apart thru fear. The Joker on the other hand is like a cancer within Gotham that feeds on the fears of it's citizens, and we see thru his actions that he can manipulate the people of Gotham thru fear. I think Darth Maul put it best, "Fear. Fear attracts the fearful. The strong. The weak. The innocent. The corrupt. Fear. Fear is my ally."

If you look back on the villans in superhero movies prior to TDK from Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor to McKellan's Magneto they all were villanous because of what they were trying to do or get. Lex Luthor trying to get rich from a warped real estate plan, Obidiah Stayne wants to get rich thru selling technology to the highest bidder, the Green Goblin wants to kill Spiderman...they all have a "master plan" Heath Ledgers Joker on the other had really just wants to see the city tear itself apart thru fear, he may come off as a psychotic killer but he's always a few steps ahead of everyone including batman. Just look at how elaborate his scheme was to corupt Gothams white knight. He purposely gets caught by Gordan who is supposedly dead just to get his players in position. The joker was by no means a stupid crimal, he almost could see the future, or perhaps manipulate events that would come to be in the future, just listen to what he says to Batman while in the interogation room!

"Don't talk like one of them, you're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them... you're just a freak. Like me! They need you right now, but when they don't... they'll cast you out... like a leper! See their morals, their code... is a bad joke. Dropped, at the first sight of trouble. They're only as good as the people allow them to be. I'll show you... when the chips are down, these, uh... these civilized people; they'll eat each other... See, I'm not a monster, I'm just ahead of the curve..."
And how did the movie end????? Batman didn't make that choice the joker forced him to!

Heath Ledgers Joker was a pure villan and has made villans like Kevin Spacey's Lex Luther seem stupid and non threatening. He stole the spotlight from Batman in every scene the two shared. Heath Ledgers mannerisms such as licking his lips and such trully added another layer to his joker that made him anything but funny.
Christian Bale's Batman/Bruce Wayne remains my favorite to date and his performance was consistantly as good as Batman Begins, the love triangle between him Rachael Dawes and Harvey Dent was interesting, and added a new dimension to the typical superhero love interest. It didn't go the way I expected that's for certain, and in retrospect I appreciate the honest outcome allot more than say Spiderman's fromage-fest.
Aaron Eckhart was a good choice for Harvey "two face" Dent and I enjoyed his performace on both sides of the perverbial coin as the crusader of justice and the vengeful vigilante. As with Bale and Ledger his performance was great and he fit into Christopher Nolans Batman universe nicely. Harvey Dents fall from grace isn't much different than Anakin Skywalkers except it didn't take three movies and was slightly more believable.
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes was a good replacement for Katie Holmes who was not universally loved in the first film. I don't think she was bad but I do think Maggie made Rachel a stronger female character and in doing so showed the character had grown from what we saw in Batman begins.
I was also glad to see Morgan Freeman and Michael Cane return as Lucius Fox and Alfred Pennyworth respectfully. The blackmail scene with Freeman was funny as hell...."good luck with that"
TDK had a large marketing campaign which included a viral campaign that rivaled Cloverfield's, unlike the later this great viral campaign promoted a equally great movie. I had Harvey Dent bumper stickers on my car....funny how so few people knew who Harvey Dent was...I'm sure they do now! I enjoyed TDK very much, it was a terrific follow up to 2005's Batman Begins and pushed the superhero genre further into the mainstream, at times TDK felt more like a crime drama than a superhero movie! My only complaint was the flow of the film wavered a bit during Batmans "investigation" scene of the bullet fragment, for me the scene seemed forced and a bit disjointed...the timing had to be just right or else the scene wouldn't have worked, what are the chances???
So Christopher Nolan is 2 for 2 he's set to break the Superhero movie jinx with a solid trilogy, If he does a third (which I can't believe the studio wouldn't want too) I have faith he'll bat it out of the park...pun intended.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Terminator Salvation Teaser

For those of you lucky enough to have seen or are seeing TDK tonight you may be treated to the first peek of Christian Bale as John Connor in Terminator 4 : Salvation.
Don't expect Ahhnold to reprise his role as the T800, but there will be an Austran look alike taking the reins of the T800. The end begins 2009.

Valkyria Chronicals demo

Valkyria Chronicals is a Strategy RPG that caught my eye over six months ago, before it was announced that it was coming to the US. The artistic cell shading style alone is gorgeous and the gameplay has some new and refreshing aspects like the TPS mode. The game sounds very deep and I'm really digging the character art. The PS3 is about to be flooded (not like Texas) with an abundance of quality games, get your wallets ready!

E3 08 Sony Montage

I really think this would make a great commercial for Sony. It's the stuff that makes fanboys raise their controllers in the air in unison and cheer thunderously!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm

Sony may have lost Final Fantasy XIII as an exclusive, but let me remind you we still have many other exclusives like NUNS! After seeing the trailer for this new Naruto game I have to admit if it really looks like that in game OMG! If you downloaded the second issue of Qore the demo will be available 7/17/08. Harem Jutsu in 1080p :)
I spoted allot of the shows characters in the trailer, but not Zabuza, Haku, Grandma Tsunade, or Itachi Uchiha, but I'm sure they'll be in the game in some form, wether playable or not I'm not sure yet.
Check out the website for more info and the lastest trailer that kicks all sorts of ninja ass@ http://ultimateninjastorm.com/

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

E3 2008: God of War III teaser trailer

The God of War series has been amazing so far, now that Kratos is taking the fight to his old man in Olympus on the PS3 it's gonna get crazy!

Hold onto your toga's and don't drop your gyro, feast your eyes on the first sighting of Kratos for the PS3!

Socom Confrontation: Assault Trailer

Speaking of Zipper Int. I forgot to throw this latest trailer for SOCOM Confrontation up the other day. It has a decent amount of gameplay footage. I'm a vet with this series but for some reason this trailer isn't really selling the game for me, the graphics look meh to me. I get a kick out of the fact a soldier is taking cover behind an oil drum and a wooden wheel barrel, C'MON! Who's gonna be stupid enough to do that! Environmental destruction aside....

E3 2008: Zipper Int. announces MAG

Surprise surprise, Zipper Interactive has been working on a new title while we're all focusing on SOCOM: Confrontation! Initial reports from E3 has the game titled MAG, think MMORPG but MMOWS (Massively Multiplayer Online Warfare Simulator) I'm trademarking that acronym pronto!

MAG will offer up to 256 players! Squad based -- 8
player squads. One captain on each squad. commando to field medic to
demolitions. Leveling up and such like MGO.

Resistance 2 E3 2008 trailer

I missed out on the first Resistance game, maybe I'll pick it up when it hits stores as a PS3 greatest hits title before R2 comes out. After seeing this very cool trailer I gotta say this game looks really great....the trailer isn't to shabby either!
The multiplayer offers up 40 player matches and eight player co-op online!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Final Fantasy XIII E3 2008 trailer

It's been awhile since we've seen anything from Sqeenix regarding Final Fantasy XIII. E3 2008 is just starting and here's the good news, a new trailer (with some previously seen footage). The bad news, it's no longer a PS3 exclusive in english speaking countries :(.
Final Fantasy XIII will be a PS3 exclusive in Japan and will be multiplatform once the localization is complete for english speaking countries...US, Europe, Aus.
Will the game still be necessary on Bluray since it's gonna be on X360 also? How many DVD's will the game be on for X360? Will the game fully take advantage of the Bluray storage?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Macross Frontier Episode 11: Missing Birthday

With the success of the Bird Human movie Ranka has become an overnight celebrity. Her life has suddenly become alot busier, she finds it much more difficult to keep in touch with her friends as Elmo accompanies her from one event to another.
Meanwhile Alto and the gang are hanging out at school, they talk about Ranka and Nanase brings up Alto's birthday wondering why Ranka hasn't been in touch with Alto about his birthday. Luca reminds her that she's probably so busy getting ready for her first live concert she just hasn't had the time, Sheryl chimes in saying that Luca's right and that it's a very exciting time in Ranka's career. Alto takes this opportunity to poke fun at Sheryl by saying she's had alot of free time lately. She reminds Alto that as a professional she just knows how to manage her time and she actually has a special benefit concert on Gallia 4 for the 33rd Marine Forces stationed there. Luca tells Alto that Gallia 4 is mostly uninhabited even though it has an atmosphere and one side of the planet always faces it's sun. While Luca researches the planet a young man emerges from a limo, Yasaburo, a Kabuki student of Ranzou Saotome. Alto and Yasaburo go to get lunch and Yasaburo congratulates Alto on his performance in the Bird Human movie, he tells Alto that his father collapsed recently and is recovering, he asks Alto to return home on his birthday and his father will welcome him back into the family.
Over at the concert hall Ranka meets Elmo to get the ticket to her debut concert that she requested, Sheryl's there and guesses that she's planning on giving it to Alto for his birthday, Ranka admits that she also has something else planned and Sheryl tells her he'll like it, this catches Ranka off guard, she's surprised that Sheryl knows so much about Alto.
At that moment Sheryl becomes lightheaded and almost collapses, back in her apartment Grace tells her she's running a fever and suggests cancelling the benefit concert on Gallia 4, but Sheryl insists she'll be fine.
Later that day Nanase calls Ranka concerned that she hasn't contacted Alto yet regarding his birthday, she tells Ranka that Sheryl and Alto have become very close recently. Knowing how Ranka feels about Alto she fears Ranka might lose him to Sheryl. Afterwards Ranka calls Alto only to get his voicemail, she leaves a message that she wants to meet at the Griffith Observatory park on his birthday to give him his gift.
Meanwhile Sheryl meets up with Alto and offers him the chance to fly in a real sky free from the limitation aboard the Frontier, if he goes to Gallia4 with her.
That night Alto considers his three options, the next day Ranka runs to Griffith Park to meets Alto only to be greeted by Mikhail who explains that Alto is escorting Sheryl to Gallia4. Ranka sits alone in the park as the sun sets with her gift for Alto, just then her little green friend shows up and she shares her cookies with it as she wishes Alto a happy birthday.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tatsunoko vS Capcom: Cross Generation of Heros

The next gen successor to the Marvel vs Capcom series is coming. Tatsunoko, the legendary Japanese Anime studio responsible for classics such as Speed Racer, Gatchaman, and Robotech, have a long roster of characters to go head-to-head with Capcom's finest in this upcoming arcade fighter!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Macross Frontier Episode 10: Legend of Zero

Since Macross Frontier is part of the 25 year anniversary of the Macross franchise it has been full of so many wonderful references to previous Macross projects. This episode absolutely blew me away, not only did it pay homage to Macross Zero it wove the story of Shin Kudo, Sarah and Mao Nome directly into the Macross Frontier story seamlessly and artistically and also propelled the character development forward in the traditional Macross fashion that echoed the timeless themes of Macross. For those unfamiliar with Macross Zero you can go here and read my synopsis of that series http://willsfreeswim.blogspot.com/2007/12/macross-zero.html .

Legend of Zero begins with Ranka telling Alto that she has gotten a bit part in the upcoming movie Birdhuman, a movie about the events that took place 51 years earlier in 2008 on the Mayan Island.
She explains that she's nervous because she's never acted before, Alto reassures her by saying her roll probably won't have any lines anyway, but then gives her some good advice, to act from the heart and not the mind. Their conversation is interupted as Sheryl yells for Alto to return to the shoot, Ranka hears her and lets Alto go.
Over at NUNS HQ Leon reviews footage from the battle against the Vajra a few days ago in particular the footage of the VF-27, the report says that the aircraft is not unmanned despite the velocity and manueverability of it.
The next day Ranka and Bobby arrive on the island set and meet up with Mikhail and Luca. Ranka runs into Miranda Melin from the Miss Macross contest, she is playing the role of Sarah Nome.
Alto and Sheryl arrive as the producers argue over the theme song for the film, Sheryl offers to write a more fitting song but the director needs to think it over. Miranda spots Sheryl and goes to talk to her but Sheryl blows her off to congratulate Ranka on her hard work and asks Alto what he thinks, when the director and producers hear his name they immediately recognise him as the famous kabuki actor that performed as Sakura Hime, and beg for him to be in the movie, but Alto refuses saying that he is a pilot now and not too keen on dressing up as a woman.
Upon hearing this Ranka questions Luca and Sheryl who say tell her they knew about his falling out with his father and his past as a famous Kabuki actor. The fact that she didn't know this, yet everyone else apparently did upsets her and she tells them she wants to be alone for a bit and goes off into the jungle. Ranka reaches a bluff overlooking the sea and begins to sing Aimo to herself, down below the director hears the song while fishing and spots Ranka singing.
Meanwhile back on the mainland Leon meets up with a mysterious individual and the two trade info and one of the mysterious purple crystals.
Back on the Island drama engulfs the production of the movie as the actress who supposed to play Mao Nome still hasn't arrived. Sheryl teases Alto about accepting the directors plea's to be in the film and tells him he's got a kiss scene, Alto tells her it's no big deal and goes off to look for Ranka who finds herself being tracked by a wild hydra, just as the Hydra is about to attack Alto shows up and shoots at the beast but gets knocked back, the hydra turns back to Ranka and as it leaps at her again the pilot of the VF 27 blocks the attack with his forearm and knocks the beast back. Ranka passes out and the Hydra charges at them again the mysterious pilot counters the attack and guts it down the middle with a retractable blade. As he starts walking off Alto comes to and asks who he is, not knowing he's the pilot of the VF-27 he fought with, the stranger tells him "Brera Sterne" and walks off.
Back at the base camp more drama as the actor playing Shin Kudo is refusing to do the underwater scene. Ranka wakes up as Alto carries her back to the camp and thinks he saved her from the Hydra and thanks him. When they reach the camp Elmo yells that he's got super big good news for Ranka, the director heard her singing and offers her the part of Mao Nome. Alto congratulates her then realizes his scene is the underwater kiss scene, Ranka freakes and doesn't immediately accept the role, later Bobby confronts her and asks why she didn't accept the role, Ranka tells him she doesn't know if she can do it, she doesn't understand the character of Mao and her motivations for going after a man her sister likes. Meanwhile up the beach Alto and Sheryl are hanging out wondering why Ranka hasn't accepted the role yet when out of the blue Sheryl kisses Alto, caught off guard he acts stunned, Sheryl teases him about his non chalant attitude earlier. Ranka sees Sheryl kiss Alto and makes up her mind and tells the director she'll accept the role of Mao Nome. As the scene gets underway the episode seems to meld into the actual Macross Zero OVA and then fades to the credits. I really thought the episode was going to end as if it were the end of Macross Zero but it transitions to Ranka and Nanase sitting in the audience of the theater as the audience applauses the premere the cast is called on stage one by one and when the announcer calls Ranka's name she is stunned as the theater gives her a standing ovation as the spot lights focus on her and the director takes her hand and leads her to the stage.
As I stated earlier this is my favorite episode for many reasons, the tie in with M0, the implications/possibilities it opens with the MF story and the simple fact it was great to see Ranka finally make it after all the hard work! For the keen eyed fans it was funny to see the production staff drinking the same energy drinks Aries offered the Islanders in exchange for taking blood samples.
Also pay attention to the eyecatch, VF-25<--->VF-0 magic! And some say the director in this episode is actually supposed to be Shoji Kawamori, that would be pretty cool if true!

Mao <3 Shin 2008

Ranka <3 Alto 2059