Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fringe Season 5 promo 1 "Etta"

The final season of Fringe is is inevitable....everything must end. I have been a fan of the show since S01E01 and it's sad that the show will end after after 13 episodes but the fourth season was my least favorite so perhaps the last season will conclude in an epic way, the way season 1 and 2 did. The promo's are starting to pop up and the first promo Etta is unnerving especially for parents with young children...2036 looks to be a bad year.
Welcome back Fringe Fridays!

Metal Gear 25th Anniversary! Lunch Boxes, key chains and Metal Gear Ground 5ero!

The Metal Gear franchise celebrated it's 25th anniversary last night in Japan with announcements from Metal Gear merchandise (lunch boxes!!!) to M.G.S Social Ops to Avi Arad announcing he's producing the long time rumored Metal Gear Solid movie....he's got a decent track record so I'll follow the movie's development.

But the "industry shaker" came when Kojima showcased the Fox engine with Metal Gear: Ground Zero!

The scene starts in a remote military base with heavy rain. The camera is following a shadowy figure in a business suit and hat accompanied by a number of well-armed soldiers and guard dogs as he converses with a little boy in a cage. He throws a portable music player after some dialogue and the boy proceeded to use it. The rest of the scene was playing "Here's To You" from the film "Sacco e Vanzetti" (also on Metal Gear Solid 4) as the man in a coat rides off to an airfield before taking off on a helicopter to an undisclosed location. Before erasing the "XOF" emblem off of the helicopter, he took out his hat and speaks about what transpired in very vague words. His face and head was all burned-up and scarred with no hair; at this point in time, we have no idea who he is. He proceeded to toss away all a stash of mini "XOF" emblems as he flew off with the rest of the soldiers.
Series creator Hideo Kojima then took centrestage and showed off the title's gameplay for a few minutes. We see Snake do what he does best: go in a prone state and sneak around (no Octocam this time; just old-fashioned crawling and hiding), as well as going into aiming mode in third person shooting a nearby guard at a security post. We should also mention that the demo gave out a sandbox open-world vibe; the military base itself felt expansive and huge, and Snake can summon a helicopter to bring him around as well as drive a jeep to go from point A to B. Kojima did state that he wishes to add a new spin to the stealth genre; even when you're discovered, you can use all the means and tools to escape rather than see a "game over" screen.
The subtitle Ground 5ero (see what I did there) leads me to believe this may actually be a brand new storyline or perhaps a retcon of the original Metal Gear. Too soon to tell, can't wait to see the footage from MG:G0!

John Ricciardi ‏@johntvWell other ppl talking about it MG shown, and it looks F'ing HOT. Metal Gear: Ground Zeroes #foxengine #mgs25 #openworld #want 

@markmacd 12:09 AMSnake crawled @ avoiding searchlights, killed guard, rode jeep, called in heli for evac. Sounds like MG, but the scale & atmosphere... Wow.

@kazamatsuri 12:08 AMMetal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes demo was truly amazing, running on a PC at current-gen specs. Wow. #mg25

@markmacdDemo of "Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes", started w cutscene (all realtime), went into gameplay, open world, night, raining, base. AMAZING
@ItCameFromJapan 12:55 AMSorry for the delayed tweet - distracted by the wine. #MGS Ground Zeroes on Fox Engine - rich detail, open world, and Old Snake is back!

                                              SNAKE IS BACK!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

COMBO ATTACK - 25 Years of Street Fighter Group Art Exibition

On August 3, 2012, Capcom tagged iam8bit once again, this time to curate a group art extravaganza that would most respectfully pay homage to the last 25 years of Street Fighter. Nearly 1,800 attendees visited the iam8bit gallery in Los Angeles during the opening night.

The culmination of 50 artists and nearly 100 artworks (from paintings to plush) was mind-rattling, transporting fans to an intimate place, rarely explored in the lore of Street Fighter. The personal stories told through each piece were sentimental and badass.

Also part of the evening's events:

* A real-life BONUS ROUND, featuring a 6-foot pinata
* A giant graffiti wall by famed street artist, LEBA
* A pop-up shop featuring limited edition Street Fighter merch
* A Photo Playset that put players INTO the game
* An animated GIF gallery, scoured from the vastness of the world wide web
* ...and a very belligerent Ryu (who probably had a terrible weekend)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Transformers Prime S2E42 Hurt Preview

Dam it's been so long since Toxicity! That was a long hiatus. Rumor has it that Bulkhead might be going to that chop shop in the sky.... I doubt it but this ain't the G1 series I grew up with as a kid. The bots need fresh blood and I want to see Shockwave return!

Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Opening Cinematic Trailer from Gamescom

 Here's the opening cinematic for TTT2!
I don't remember Ogre having an alien mouth and Angel is scary as hell!

Remember Me Announcement trailer

 Capcom jumped the gun and just announced a new IP Remember Me!
I know I'm shocked too!
The trailer is very well done and gave me the impression this game is inspired by Inception, Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell....all three fantastic films, Remember Me takes place in the year 20XX 2084 in neo Paris, the main character, Nilin, a memory hunter (Extractor in the film Inception) looks alot like Regina from Capcoms Dino Crisis series, she is a member of the Errorist organization trying to destroy the manufacturer of the sensation engine, Memoreyes, a unit which digitizes experiences and stores them.
Remember Me will be showcased at this years Gamescon, and has a tentative release date of May 2013.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My time at Street Fighter 25th NYC

Yesterday I went to the NYC qualifiers for Capcom's 25th anniversary global tournament celebration, I got there at 8am met up with my friend Krogenar. We were 22nd in line and by the time they opened the doors the line was almost back to 10th Ave. The event was held at Center 548, 548 West 22nd St, NYC. They started letting us in  around 8:30, we headed upstairs and were told for on site registrations go to one table and for those pre-registered go to another table. I checked in and got my Statue of Chun Li...berty tee shirt! That alone made the trip worthwhile, as she is my main character and has been since Street Fighter II: The World Warriors and the shirt is very cool.
So Krog and I headed over to one of the  PS3's and I started playing some casuals against some kid, sorry can't remember your name....:/
I got a few matches in and then I looked around and the venue had started filling up fast. I spotted a FNEX tee shirt and suddenly remembered one of the guys I play with from Capcom Unity was 
coming from NJ. I found Doc Shadow and we talked about the ol' Unity tourney's Tongari Dan Vs BJ.....where did she disappear to? He talked a bit about traveling wit the FNEX team to all the east coast tourneys.
While we were shootin' the shit Big E announced that the first set of brackets for AE would be published at 1pm, and anyone competeing in SFXT who wanted to change their name could....but not no XxSITHappensxX :(
Krog and I decide to go get early lunch and end up at NY Burger, it was a decent burger but it was no 5 Guys burger!
Krog and I headed back the venue thinking most folks would be out getting lunch so we could get some more casuals in....that never happened. We got back and the crowds around the SSFIVAE machines were still very crowded, Krog kept urging me to try and get in more casuals, I was like "it makes no skills aren't gonna magically escalate to S rank with a few casuals. So instead I hung out near the main screen and charged my phone....I've never seen my battery die faster than that day! So 1 pm rolls around and the announcement for the first round of SSFIVAE brackets is made, they also announce that because   

there are som many registrants for SSFIVAE that there will be a second set of brackets announced at 3pm and a third set at 5pm! Once they post the brackets everyone registered for AE rushes the wall to see if they're listed....20 mins later I reach the wall and to my dismay I am not i have to wait till at the earliest 3 pm another 2 hours, as I was  shuffling my way to the wall my friend BlueEyedDemon and his wife show up! I explain I have to wait till 3pm to see if  I'm on the second bracket listing, they decide to go grab lunch. So Doc Shadow, Krog and I sit and wait over at the main screen while some Super Street Fighter II HDR casuals are going on....and I begin charging my phone again!
While I wait Big E and the other event organizers announce untethered PS3 DS3 controllers cannot be used during matches and that they have madcats fightpads to borrow....WHAT THE DEUCE!
I don't have a fight stick so I brought my PS3 DS3 controller...if I can't use it I'm screwed! My muscle memory is based on years and years of using Play Station dual shock controllers!
BlueEyedDemon and his wife returned and we checked out some of the matches going on from the first brackets.

At 2:45 I spotted the 3pm brackets being posted so I ran over and saw my name, THANK GOD, cause if I wasn't on the 3 I was not hanging around till 5!
 I was in 2-B, against Amanda Rambo :/
I've played against some females...BJ, and underestimating female players is a quick way to the losers bracket!
So now I can't use my controller, I'm up against a girl and my nerves are starting to get the best of me...
At 3:45 I finally was called and Amanda Rambo looked like a no show, but some dude with a green Mohawk showed up asking if they called Rambo...

Turns out Amanda Rambo was a dood (Roboydo you were right!)
By the time I got called I was tired and I wasn't gonna be able to stay till 9PM or when ever the event was gonna end on Saturday, plus I had to be up at 5am the next day for work so I wasn't gonna be able to come back Sunday if by some miracle I made it to the top 8...
 I explained to the guy supervising my table that win or lose I was leaving and he was cool and allowed me to use my controller! 

The basic EVO rules were in effect best 2/3 rounds per match / best 2/3 matches @ 99 seconds per round. I ended up taking the matches 2-0 and 2-1.
I took my win and pulled a Ryu and walked away, had I stayed I most likely would've faced Aquasilk a Zangief player with plenty of tournament experience.

It was a great experience, I've always wanted to be in a Street Fighter Tournament since I played Street Fighter II in the Arcades back in 1991/1992! It's great to see the community is still strong, there were wives, girlfriends, daughters and I even spotted some old school players from the World Warrior                          

days that still have that fighting spirit.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Our thoughts on the Ouya System

Krogenar and I had a little discussion regarding the Ouya System. Here's what we had to say about the little kick starter project that might...

K: What do you think if the Ouya system? 

W: Normally I would say the industry doesn't need another console, but in this case the Ouya might be just what the industry needs. I like the idea for a 90% open end console...true power to the players! I've read the info on the kick starter home page and I actually hope this little box can get some more support from third party devs. And the controller is pretty is the price point. What about you? What are you're thoughts about Ouya?

K: I'm waiting to hear of a kickstarter project that actually worked. Someone in industry pointed out that tv makers could internalize something like it much more cheaply. I think age of console coming to an end. I don't think of Android games as very good... I think gaming will go SaaS route within our lifetimes. 

W: Saas? 

K: Software as a service. No software on user end. Just log into the system from anywhere. Lots of software companies planning on this. Gmail best example of SaaS. 

W: With Sony's purchase gaikai cloud services that is most likely going to happen eventually but I don't think the next gen consoles will go full Saas. Surprisingly many people still want the tangible....myself included. 

K: Might mean segmentation of market... Casual handed go SaaS route... Old slippers keep console. But lots of benefits to SaaS route. 

W: Most likely all old PS games will be avail. via the cloud But getting back to the Ouya, from what I've read it works on the android OS but the system will support more than just mobile games, in fact Jenova Chen (that game company) apparently will be developing games for the Ouya.
But getting back to the Ouya, from what I've read it works on the android OS but the system will support more than just mobile games, in fact Jenova Chen (that game company) apparently will be developing games for the Ouya. 

K: They won't be able to compete in longterm versus major manufacturers. And any games created for ouya would be available to competitors.... 

W:That's a good point...whatever the company that's building the ouya they probably don't have any in house studios, thus the need to make the system open to hackers And user generated content. But I just realized the ouya specs are no where near as powerful as what Nintendo Sony and Microsoft have coming. So games made for ouya may not show up on Wii U, PS4 and Xbox 720... Perhaps Ouya will find a new niche market that the other 3 haven't. One of the biggest reasons I want the Ouya to succeed is I haven't seen many new original IP's from the major game studios this generation! So many sequels and abuse of DLC. The creative juices are being damned due to the skyrocketing costs of game development! And in the end it's us that have to pay

K:If the licensing for games is truly 'open' then games might be free to everyone ... Including competitors! Future will be steamlike SaaS with widest available g ame library. Like instant watch for netflix... But games! Plus how many game developers will work for free? 

W:Maybe they'll be paid less but perhaps get a larger percentage of the sales, so the incentive to make great games is in their hands vs cookie cutter shooters and sequels.

So what's your feelings on the Ouya? Will it change the course of the games industry or just be another vaporware console?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

G4 celebrates 25 years of Street Fighter

My first memory of Street fighter is at Adventures Arcade in Cross County Shopping center, the place is long gone but I remember playing the original there and then between 1991 & 1992 my friend Krogenar and I driving to the Nathans on Central Ave in Yonkers to put down our quarters to get to play against some of the best local talent!
It's a brisk fall day in as Krog and I drive up the hill towards our destination, I bring up the matches we had a few days prior and what we could do differently if the girl who plays Blanka is there or that japanese dude that spams the Shoryuken. As we park the car and head towards the doors I feel my anxiety rise...or is that my chi? Krog boasts about how he pummeled the guy playing Zangeif and how he was totally feeling his Krojo after knocking the guy playing Guile off his win streak. The chill of the air and the light of the afternoon sun fade as the sounds of HADOKEN's and YOU WIN's fill the stuffy air of the arcade, as we walk thru the door way a wall of Street Fighter II cabinets form wall of neon, electronic euphoria. I reach into my pocket and grab a ten and slide it into the change machine, like a crack addict my hands begin to shake with excitement, I meet up with Krog at one of the machines where there's room to put our quarters down....only five matches ahead of us. We watch as challenger faces off against the current leader of the machine...I study his methods...looking for patterns, patterns that I can exploit. My turn arrives and I throw my quarters in and scroll to my primary fighter...the one I am most familiar with...the first lady of fighting games...

As the announcer says ready...I get into position, run my fingers over the six buttons and get a comfortable grasp on the joystick, my mind is facing on what my first move will be...vertical jump forward, play offensive or jump backwards and turtle? Perhaps a straight vertical jump or risk a spinning bird kick from the getgo to let him know I know how to play the Chunster.....FIGHT! the cheering and noise fade away as the match gets underway, I slip into a sort of tunnel vision as all I'm aware of is my health bar and how my oponent is doing, where's the opening to get a punch in or a I have enough health to risk the spinning bird again I got him with it twice...should I switch up my style and go on defense...I have the much time is much of a lead do I have...
The match comes to en end and the dull sounds of the crowd flow back into the room, Krog cheers me on as he drops his quarter in to challenge me, the experience starts again but now the trash talking ensues...
That is what it was like during the early 90's when Street Fighter II rejuvinated the US arcades? I haven't played Street Fighter in the arcades since then but i never stopped playing, and i've been playing Street Fighter IV/SSFIV/AE/2012 since launch, and come a week from this saturday i'll be celebrating playing Street Fighter for 25 years! I don't know but there's a competitive spirit that burns in me every single time I play, it drives me and makes me strive to become better with every match I fight. The best analogy is the competitive nature between Ken and Ryu seen in the story line and the anime's. And in the end it's pure fun!