Thursday, March 26, 2009

Modern Warefare 2 teaser trailer

GDC 09 is underway and there's bound to be some sweet surprises for Modern Warefare 2! The trailer seems to focus on sound and the way it interacts with the environment around you. From what I could make out from my initial observation, there's a group of either terrorists or special forces in an elevator. MW2 deploys 11.10.09.....oooh a countdown O.o

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Street Fighter IV Review

I got to gamestop around 2:30 in the afternoon and when I arrived, one of the managers waiting said the shipment would arrive around 4pm. I waited in the store, there were about 10 people ahead of me who were also waiting for Street Fighter IV. By 4pm the store was pretty full of people mostly waiting for the delivery of Street Fighter IV. When the managers carted the first boxes labled Capcom the energy level became unstable in the store. The line was formed down the middle and reached the doors. I got my Collectors Edition and quickly scurried out the store and to the car. Like a kid at Christmas I opened the box to check that everything was there. Game:check, Anime: check, Ryu figurine: check, Free DLC redemtion code:check, Soundtrack:check, headband:....Where was the stinkin headband??? I didn't bother going back in the store to ask for it. It's been almost a month since launch day and I've been playing Street Fighter IV about 2-3 hours every day I can! Within the first 24 hours I unlocked Dan, Gen, Cammy, Fei Long, Sakura, Rose, Gouki and Gouken and Seth. I've fought at least a thousand online matches. Street Fighter IV has alot to offer the fans of the series, which I'll go into greater depth in a bit. The first thing you'll notice about SFIV is the game play is dramatically slower than you'll be used to if you've been playing SSFIITHDR! It will take a day or two of solid gameplay to get over the speed. The basics are there for those who haven't played since Street Fighter II, no air blocking, parrying, counters (Gouken being the exeption). Supers are in the game but don't seem so super anymore...for the big flashy wins now you'll need to be able to perform Ultra moves, basically the same as a Super but with either 3 punch buttons or 3 kick buttons. Ultra become available to a player once their revenge meter is more than fifty percent full. Street Fighter IV attempts to level the playing field by making the Ultra meter fill as you take damage and the Super Meter fill as you dish out the hurt...a sort of yin/yang aspect which is seen thru out the game. So for instance you may think because you're totally owning the person playing Zangief that the win is "in the bag", but remember while your filling up your super meter with your aggressive tactics your also filling up your opponents ultra meter, and that may be part of his tactic!
Another new game mechanic introduced is focus attacks, focus attacks are in a way the polar opposite of parrys from SFIII, from my experience they encourage agressive game play and make turtling less of an option. Focus attacks cost you a bit of your health bar but can break thru your opponents impenetrable defenses, and if you aren't hit afterwards the health you "spent" on the focus attack regenerates.
EX moves return from SFIII, EX moves are basically special moves like Chun Li's SBK or Guiles Sonic Boom. They will cost 1 block of your Super meter but can get you out of a pinch in a flash. For example; I'm pinned in the corner and my opponent is charging a focus attack, my EX SBK will break his focus attack...yin/yang again.
Onto the characters...
Since SFII I've mostly mained Chun Li, in Street Fighter IV Chuny's moves are similar yet not to's gonna take some time to get used to her in SFIV, I've seen so many complaints that she's been nerfed beyond repair. I had a seriously tough time with her at first, but I was positive there was still good in her and persevered, and am happy to say, with some patience and determination Chun Li can hold her own against a good Sagat player!
The four newest additions to the Street Fighter roster are Abel, Crimson Viper, El Fuerte and Rufus.
Abel is a French grappler type that suffers amnesia, I like his design and fighting style, he fits well into the Street Fighter universe.
C. Viper is a female CIA double agent deep with the SIN organization. She uses the latest technological weapons to assist her in her fights including flame pumps and electric gloves, besides being the first Street Fighter MILF she reminds me of Janet Jackson and her outfit screams wardrobe malfunction.
Another wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen is Rufus, I hate the design but love the character, apparently he HATES Ken Masters and wants to fight him...that's all I need, best of luck Rufus!
Last but not least is El Fuerte, a fighter based on the Luche Libre fighting style popular in Central America, I love the design and the fun, light hearted attitude he brings to the game. He is the perfect representative for that region of the world in the Street Fighter world....unlike T. Hawk (yack)
There is one other "new" fighter in Street Fighter IV, he is non other than Gouken! Ever since EGM's infamous Sheng Long april fools joke he has been rumored to be in the game, Gouken has been a part of Street Fighter canon. Being Gouki's brother as well as Ryu and Kens sensai he has a very detailed back story. After unlocking Gouken I immediately began playing him, I can say without a shadow of a doubt he is absolutely badass and is unique enough as a shoto to not make Street Fighter IV feel over crowded with shoto clones.
Speaking of Shoto clones, Dan Hibiki, the comic relief character born from a grudge Capcom had with SNK's blatant ripoff of the Ryu character.....he doesn't completely suck in IV lol! Perhaps it really is your time to shine Dan. Let me give you fair warning...never underestimate your opponent if he chooses Dan, being beaten with Dan is the worst humiliation you can suffer in Street Fighter.
Oh yeah if you're playing thru arcade to unlock the remaining cast TURN OFF ONLINE INVITES, hit R1 and turn them off. You can turn it back on later.

Street Fighter IV is accesable to the casual gamer as well as the Hardcore Street Fighter community, sure you can pick it up and play with your friends and never bother unlocking any of the extras, but there is a virutal treasure trove of addition content for those looking for more! Beside the unlockable characters, there's alt colors, taunts, titles and icons as well as PSN trophy support. Street Fighter IV also has PS Home support, by meeting certain critera you unlock t-shirts for your PS Home avatar such as the Dan Hibiki, Akuma "10", and Shadaloo t-shirts. I have the first two and am working on the Shadaloo t-shirt now.
There's also photo galleries and video galleries that can be unlocked by completeing tasks in the Challege Modes section.
Aside from Arcade Mode and Versus Mode, Street Fighter has Network Battle Mode (Online fighting). Unlike SSFIITHDR there is no lobby system or tournament mode, all matches are 1 on 1. I don't really mind it but many people are upset that Capcom went with this over SSFIITHDR's GGPO network. Network Mode has two types, Friendly or Ranked, they are pretty much self explanatory, with Ranked matches you earn BP (battle points), the more wins you get the higher your BP gets, the larger the varience in BP the greater the win/loss of BP is gonna be. Right now BP isn't used for anything but bragging rights but I hope in the future they offer DLC that can be purchased via BP iso real money, which is another sticky point with alot of fans. The current alt outfits that are being released in weekly packages such as the "femme fatale" are actually in the game already and have been in the game long before launch as seen in some youtube vids.
Street Fighter has the option to toggle individual characters V/O between Japanese and English, thank the good Lord because some of the english voices are horrible...exceptions imo are Sagat and Bison. I wish there was a way to shut the announcer off, he's only slightly less awful than SFA3 & CVS2's announcer!
Another minor quip I have with Street Fighter IV is the pop rock intro...OMG if my wife loves it yet hates the game what's that say? I can tolerate it and prefer it to the SFIII 3S intro but I don't think it fits. They should've just had the remixed themes randomly play each time you turn on the game.
On a similar note I was surprised to find SFIV allows for custom sountracks, sorta. So if you just absolutely can't take hearing In...destruc...tible one more time create a Street Fighter playlist on your XMB and listen to that while you wait for the game to connect you to your opponent.
When I first read that Street Fighter IV was going to have animated prologes and endings I was really psyched but after seeing every characters prologe and ending I have say some of them are very poor, and I would've prefered the static image endings and if they incorporated the ink brush style it would've felt more consistant.
If you are unaware Street Fighter IV actually takes place BETWEEN SFII & SFIII in the timeline. The story is very hokey and feels thrown together at the last minute...but we don't play fighting games for their epic storylines.
Now to the Collectors Edition goodies I got, The anime "The Ties that Bind" I'm always up for a Street Fighter anime, but this felt like two episodes of a much bigger project spliced together. This anime is light on the fighting and heavy on the chit chat..It should've been titled "Street Talker: The Conversations that Drag".
The next item in my CE package is the soundtrack, 17 or 18 tracks of remixed Street Fighter character theme's, no complaints here, each track is a treat to listen to! And No indestructable ^^.
The free DLC was strictly for the Grappler pack...yippee I don't play much with Zangief, Honda, or Abel. I wish we had the choice to use it with whatever pack we wanted but I guess they figured the grappler pack would be the least like to be purchased.
The Ryu figurine is great if you're a 40 year old vigin who collects that stuff, meh I'll take it, whatevs it's better than the MILF figurine.
The collectors edition mini guide...if you're getting the CE you most likely already know all about the game, use it to make SFIV CE coasters!
And the real reason we all got the CE, the Headband!!! This item gives you the right to go up to people in public and perform Shoryukens on strangers then run away like Dan Hibiki!
The more I play the worse the addiction gets! I've laughed more playing this Street Fighter than any previous version...lots of fanservice!
I've been playing Street Fighter since Ryu had red hair and slippers and have played every iteration of the franchise to some extent. Going from SSFIITHDR to SFIV was tough, mostly because of the difference in speed, but I'm adjusting. The gameplay is solid and the character animations are silky smooth.The strange thing about SFIV is I feel comfortable with the game mechanics to a cetain point, but there's new aspects like focus attacks that make me feel like I did the first time I played SFII in the I guess thats a good thing! Familiar yet fresh and new at the same time.
The one thing I would really like patched is the fact that ranked matches or for that matter all online matches should be double blind.


*this review may be slightly biased >.<

Saturday, March 7, 2009

MLB 2K9 - XBOX 360

I was pumped for this new game. 2K8 left a bad taste in my mouth. I mean when you pitch and the computer is hitting home runs off of you when the pitch is wayyy off the plate, something is wrong.

So I decided this time to rent 2K9. I get it and am ready to begin in Franchise Mode. I pick the St.Louis Cardinals because that is my team and I'm from Missouri, so anyhow, the game has a different pitch mode, you have to use the right stick. They used this in 2K8 as well. But it sucked in that game because no matter how you pitched it either threw it down the middle or off the plate.

They fixed the controls this time around. It also feels like a more real baseball game, well as best as they can get it. The camera angles are different. When a ball is hit there is a sky camera panning down to see the whole field. I like that.

When you pitch you automatically pitch from the pitcher's point of view. That is pretty cool.

At first I had to get use to the timing of batting again. Hey, I haven't played a baseball game over the winter, so I need my timing back again, lol. My pitching mechanics were a bit off too.

I noticed the crowd is more involved this time around, they look better and act more like a crowd. When a home run or foul ball is hit, they'll dive, jump , and go crazy to get the ball.

They changed the commentators this time around too. I think they do a better job at actually talking about the game this time than the others did. Joe Morgan and Jon Miller have been on the last two games. It is Steve Phillips and Gary Thorne on 2K9.

There are still glitches in this new game and some bad weird things that happen. Hopefully they will fix them, but they aren't as bad, IMO as in the last two installments. I still think they put it out in a rush.

Right now, I have played through thirteen games and I am above .500 with a 8 - 5 record on above rookie difficulty.

I hope they either go watch a game and really understand how a baseball game works, or let some other company give it a try next time though.

I played MLB The Show on the PS3 and it has always been better in terms of how the game is in real life.

Overall I'd give it an 6.5 out of 10

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

ShineDown, Raleigh, NC 2/28/09

My friend Will invited me to this blog. Just gonna jump in with a recap of the recent concert I went to.

I love concerts. The spring and summer I go more than winter, but I don't let rain/snow/heat or floods stop me from seeing my favorite bands. lol

Because as I said, I am a concert junkie.

I like all types of music. I’m not much on hop-hop/rap, or even Country, but I do like some once in awhile.

I listen to some 80’s rock. such as Metallica, Motley Crue anything similar.

But I am mostly into Alternative/Modern Rock/Post grunge. Bands like Seether, Smile Empty Soul, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, etc…

So around a month ago I see ShineDown which is one my favorite groups coming to Raleigh, NC. That is an hour and a half from me. I’m going no matter what. Hell or highwater. And there was alot of water cause it has been raining since yesterday morning.

So anyhow, I bought tickets and won a meet&greet with the band. I was totally stoked. So I go yesterday and get there quite early. Four hours early in fact. There were about 15 people already standing in line. It is cold and misting rain. But hey, I’m with crazy like minded people. I always have fun going to concerts. Everyone is always cool, of course there will be a few drunken idiots, but everyone is good to be around.

So after two hours of standing there one of the opening acts called, Halestorm which has a knockout woman singer, by the way, comes up to us with the bass player and their tour manager. They serve us coffee. lol

They said we were crazy dedicated fans and deserve something warm. It was really cool of them to do that.

So about an hour and half later at 6:45 the tour manager came out and asked about the meet&greet winners. He checks ID’s and my name is on the list. There were only three of us.

We get in they check our ID’s and confirmation stuff again. The tour manager told us to warm up and the band will be here any second. So I got to the bathroom, then come out and there they are. They were really, really cool guys. Very nice. They signed my CD and we took a picture and hung out for ten minutes while the freezing fans look inside the door. I told them I really appreciated their music and that it means alot to me. Which is does. Just talked about different things. Pretty intimate setting really. Then they had to go. We got to stay and go anywhere we liked for the concert.

They let in everyone about a 5 minutes later. It was soldout. Packed to the gills.

Halestorm came on. The singer has a great voice and they rocked us for 30 minutes. I had never actually heard them before, but I liked them. And they make great coffee, lol

Second band was Black Stone Cherry. I seen these guys a few years ago and met them. Very cool guys. They are from Kentucky and sound great. They play hard rock with a southern feel. They put on a great show. They played for 45 minutes.

Finally Shinedown comes on. I couldn’t wait. I’ve seen them several times and they have great songs. Songs with meaning. The singer sings with passion.

They literally tear the roof off the place. The crowd was into it, jumping and singing every word. Shinedown is very energetic and make you feel like part of the band. They played alot of songs off their new CD called, “The Sound of Madness” and some of their signature songs off their old CD’s such as “Burning Bright” and “Fly from the inside.”

In all I had such a blast. Meeting new people and exchanging emails or myspace addresses with people who love music like I do. And end up with new friends by the end of the night.

Until next time. Rock on.

New Terminator 4 Media

Terminator 4 is a little over two months away and the hype train is leaving the station! Check out the latest trailer that just hit the web, and the latest poster. I'm finding it very difficult to keep my enthusiasm low, I was kinda surprised they let the cat outta the bad regarding the Markus Wright character! I suppose there's an even bigger surprise in store for us...