Thursday, December 31, 2009

Great Fanart to Bring in 2010

Enjoy some nice artwork from Pixiv, and have a Happy New Year.

This Ar Tonelico picture is sexy, lol.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Countdown to Magfest

In a few days I will be heading up to DC for Magfest. Magfest is a huge four day gaming con for fans by fans. I went last year and I have to say, it was a blast. Some of last year's highlights included playing Street Fighter IV before the console release, meeting the Angry Video Nerd, and seeing some really cool game music tribute bands live. The tickets are pretty cheap ($45 for four days) considering all the cool stuff you get to see and do. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to this year:

  • Sid Meier is going to be there. He created the Civilization series.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd is coming back.
  • CAVE arcade games and Bemani arcade games from Japan will be there to blow our minds...woohoo!
  • Gaming tournaments galore (I am a beast at BlazBlue, hehe.)
The event starts on Jan. 1 and last through the 4th. For those interested, I will post the Magfest site.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Big Let Downs of 2009: Epic Fails

While I loved many of the games of 2009 and much of the news in the gaming world, many things irked me as well. Here is my top five epic fails of the gaming industry for the past year:

5. Square says "Fuck you, Chrono Trigger fans" - SquareEnix loves to alienate their fans it seems. Many people have waited years for any news of a of possible sequel to Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross. One fan took action by starting a 3D remake of Chrono Trigger, and another group worked on a new sequel using sprites directly pulled from the SNES version. These were both fan projects, that would earn the groups no monetary gain; but Square did not care. They sent Cease and Desist orders to both fan groups to stop their projects immediately or face the legal consequences. For them to screw over such a neglected fan base makes no sense. Is it only about the money to SquareEnix? The sequel, Chrono Trigger : Crimson Echoes was 98% complete when they recieved their legal warning... what a waste of time for those poor fans and the people eaglerly anticipating the project. I guess SquareEnix cares about small fan projects, but the elicit pornographic doujin scene surrounding Final Fantasy in Japan is all good. What a waste.

4. King of Fighter 12 Sucks! - I wanted to love this SNK game. When I first saw screen shots for it I was very excited. The new graphics and animations finally seemed to step up to the modern generation of consoles. Closer and closer to release I noticed problems however. The character rosters looked very small...I thought I can work with it, Street Fighter IV's roster was fairly small actually. Then I heard their was no end boss...I thought that kinda sucks but I mostly play fighters online anyway. Finally, I get the game and the online is horribly broken and laggy as hell. WHAT HAPPENED?! I think SNK ran out of development time, and the big boss in Japan said," You better get this game out the door, and quick!" This came as a huge blow to long time King of Fighter fans, and made me personally question how viable SNK's future in the gaming market really is.

3. Deathsmiles is Japan Only, Sorry other 99% of the World - This is one of the finest shooting games I have played. I actually gave this game a glowing review earlier this year. How did I review it? I had to buy a Japanese Xbox 360 and import the game. For some reason Cave region locked the game to Japan only even though there was alot of hype in the UK and the US. Does Cave not like money? I can see no reason to keep such a fine game with such limited text to translate exclusive to Japan. Cave attempted to gauge the reactions of players outside Japan by making their latest title region free. From sales figures, it was clear more people bought Deathsmiles even with region locking. There is still a small, small chance someone might pick this up for us "gaijins" but I would not count on it.

2. DSi Became Region Locked - I hate region locking. It is an outdated theory in an international world. I used to do quite abit of traveling overseas with my Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS. It was always great to walk into a foreign store and buy one of their games then try it out on my US system. This is what portable systems are for, they are meant to be played anywhere in the world. With region locking, the DSi only allows games from your region to be played, so I hope you don't travel overseas with it. Plenty of fine DS games never received a domestic release such Jump Ultimate Stars, but sell well on import sites because the Nintendo DS and DS lite did not discriminate between region. This was a poor marketing idea by Nintendo. I think it might have been to combat piracy, but as far as I know the R4 cart still seems to work with the DSi. "Thanks" Nintendo.

1. Duke Nukem Forever Cancelled - Duke Nukem Forever was a title many looked forward to for a decade. I thought it was going to be awesome, anything that took that long has to be...or at least that is what I told myself. Instead the development team squandered millions without producing as much as a working demo. For Duke Nukem fans and FPS fans the day cancellation was announced seemed like the end of one of gaming's coolest heroes. Duke Nukem has yet to receive a modern game that is worthy of how badass he is. I for one wouldn't count on a new Duke Nukem project for a long time....maybe ever.

Well that is the fail list 2009. The PSPGo was a close runner up, but since the PSP stays region free they are exempt from my anger ( for now.)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Five Best Games of 2009: A Year in Review

Well the gaming year is almost over and 2010 is upon us. As usual I sit and ponder the many great games I have played over the past year. Here is the rundown of my five personal favorites:

5. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 - This game just screams high production values. The graphics are among the best of this console generation. The story is cool and leaves room for the expected sequel. What really made me love this game however is the online. There are tons of options, from team death match to capture the flag, it is all here. The online also offers cool achievement titles outside of your normal 360 achievement list which gives you cool titles and emblems to enhance your "killer" persona. I was in the military at one point, so seeing the amount of realism in this game's equipment and introduction mission were also big highlights for me. Kudos to the developers. Now I am waiting for some Nazi Zombie DLC action (crosses fingers.)

4. Tekken 6 - Being a long time Tekken fan I was almost hesitant to get this game. I was thinking how will this be different from any other Tekken I have played? Well first off, the character roster is all open from the start, so there is no character unlocking; this was a nice change of pace from previous installments. The online was sketchy at first, but an update has made it very good and playable, bravo Namco. The new characters are the real kicker for this new installment. I love the robot girl, Alisa, and the weird Middle Eastern chick, Zafina. They both fight in exciting new ways. The game's premium edition is what made this one of my top five. It gave me flashbacks of Working Designs. Not only did you get the game but you also got a wireless arcade stick, slick artbook, and a calender. That is a kickass bundle if you ask me.

3. Scribblenauts - This little DS game rocks. Just about anything your mind can imagine or shouldn't imagine can be wrote in to solve puzzles or craft your own stages. The amount of creativeness this game allows is unprecidented. I loved everything about this game, it would have been nice if it were longer( you can replay levels however.) Besides that little flaw, this game deserves a spot on everyone's must play list.

2. New Super Mario Bros. Wii - I just finished this game, so I maybe a little impartial. Even without that fact, this is a fantastic game. This title appeals to retro gamers and the youngsters alike. Everything about this Mario is spot on from music to level design, only the way Nintendo can lovingly craft it. This is my Wii game of the year, and may even end up being my favorite Wii game ever; consider this is a bold statement from a man who unlocked everything in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

1. Street Fighter IV - I am a life long Street Fighter fan so this game really meant something to me. Street Fighter IV takes it main game mechanics from fan favorite Street Fighter 2 and adds new systems like the Focus attack to perfect their fighting series. I loved everything about this game just like Mario, but I have went back to this game time and time again, which something I can't say about Mario yet. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel, Super Street Fighter IV. For everyone that complains," I can't believe Capcom is ripping us off like this," I say look at the amount of material Super is will not be just another update.

That's the list, share your opinions in the comments below. I would love to know what other people think their list would look like. :-)

The wait for Super Street Fighter IV begins...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Latest Games I've Picked Up

My collection just keeps growing. Here are the newest games I have bought:

NeoGeo Pocket- It is a pretty obscure handheld that didn't last too long against the Gameboy Advance. I picked up three games with it, they are Samurai Shodown, King of Fighters R2, and Bust a Move. Bust a Move is my favorite, as its a simple puzzle game that is easy to jump into when you got a free minute. My biggest gripe with the NeoGeo Pocket is the lack of a backlight. It is impossible to see the screen in the dark or in a place with little light.

Castle of Shikigami 3 - This is a bargain bin bullet hell for the Wii. I picked it up for $10 and I have to say the game is pretty damn good (especially for a cheap price.) The game has cool looking anime characters and the soundtrack is pretty nice as well. I haven't beaten it yet but it is fun enough to play in between Mario and Smash Bros.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii - This is the 2-D follow up we have all been waiting for since Yoshi's Island on SNES. The game style is a mix of Mario 3 and Mario World. The multiplayer is fun and frustrating. It is hard enough to dodge crap coming from everywhere, but on top of that looking out for your friend can be a test of endurance. I prefer single player honestly. The koopa kids are back and so is the ship stage from Mario 3 with its iconic music. You have to get this if you own a Wii or love the oldschool Mario games.

Naruto Shippuden Accel 3 - This is a cool PSP game for Naruto fans. The fighting is fun and hectic like the previous PS2 entries. The game is import only right now, but it is pretty friendly to non-Japanese speakers. The graphics are great considering it is for PSP. I love the large character roster (50+ selectable) and Itachi is so badass in this game.

GoGo Ackman trilogy - I am a big fan of Akira Toriyami, so when I heard he helped design three Super Famicom platformers I had to track them down. The games ranked from best to worst: GoGo Ackman 3, 1, then 2. The third, while short, is funny and fun to play. The story involves a gay angel who wants to get (and get with) the demon kid, Ackman. It is typical Japanese over the top insanity. Overall it seems to be the most well thought out of the three games. The first is fun, but the levels are pretty long, and there is no save or password feature. The second game is more like the third, but the stages seemed rushed, and it just lacks the fun of the other two games. I would recommend the games to Toriyami fans (Ackman looks like an evil version of Trunks), or people who love a classic platformer.

If you'll excuse me, I hear Mario calling my name!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If you like gaming at all, then check out this link!!!!!

Here is pretty much the best looking fan tribute game ever. It is still in the testing stages but this video looks f**king amazing! Check it out.

I will be updating more often soon. I had finals this past week, and they are over now(woohoo). With Christmas break I will show off some of my gaming collection and stuff I am receiving as gifts.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Site Dedicated to Great Video Game Box Art

Video game box art is usually written off as just another part of the package. Sometimes a great picture stays with you however. A site has been up for a little while now dedicated to preserving the best box art around. Plenty of retro and offbeat import designs fill the gallery; he also updates the gallery often. Be sure to give it a look!

Here is an example of what you will not find there:


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Awesome Game Fan Art Part V

Here is the fifth part of my awesome art upload gallery.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble review (PSP)

Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble for PSP is one of those games that comes out of nowhere and makes you addicted to it in no time. I picked this game up on a whim since I try to support smaller scale releases from Atlus and man is it a fun game. Kenka Bancho follows a young bancho (high school bully) on his class field trip to Kyoto. On the trip you can fight all the other banchos on school trips, romance a woman or two, and randomly insult any thugs you come across. You have seven days to become the most badass kid in Japan.
Kenka is a sandbox game, the type which allows you free access to run amok through the city like the GTA titles. You can't hijack cars; but you can beat the crap out of pretty much anyone. Customization comes in the form of deciding your deliquent's wardrobe, haircut, and city of origen. Another nice feature is the ability to fight with a weapon or without one; but be warned using a weapon is not considered manly in the world of bancho and this loses you man points ...yes I am serious about that.
The graphics look like a first generation PS2 game which isn't too bad. The music is just okay, but some of the tunes are catchy. The real highlight of the game is the open endedness and the story itself. The story is very funny, giving you a slice of Japanese culture many are not very accustom to. Being a thug is supposed to be honorable in Japanese highschool and one must treat his underlings with respect or he runs the risk of being a lame bancho. Also being un-manly is grounds to not be a bancho ( such as starting a brawl without a proper insult). One of the key features in the game is the insult system used to start fights. You have a bunch of random words pop up and it is your job to put them together into a cool insult, if you fail the enemy gets the upper hand. This is pretty original and entertaining as well.
The open endedness of the game is sort of like the old Way of the Samurai titles. You pick who you battle and when as the seven day trip counts down. Your ultimate goal is to be the biggest badass and hopefully get a hot chick along the way. If you choose however your character can just run around the whole time wearing a giant banana suit dodging traffic, and (gasp) actually going on the educational trips around Kyoto with your classmates. It is all up to you.
Kenka Bancho has alot of replayability. The trip has many opportunities you'll miss the first time around and you will want to see what those are. The game becomes very addictive as you keep thinking let me beat just one more bancho, and every bancho you beat becomes your personal underling. This is a pretty rewarding system. Also a percentage meter shows how much of the game you have seen, and even after beating the game my first time it was fairly low.
If you have a PSP and love Japanese culture or manga this game is a no brainer, go get it. I think the story itself is fun enough, and the Final Fight like battle system is more than enough to satisfy most gamers. I just hope Atlus makes a few bucks for brining it overseas, lord knows everyone loves to pirate PSP games. This game deserves your if you liked this
review, please do not download it like a bum.
  • This isn't the first Kenka Bancho. There are actually two other Kenka Bancho games for PS2. These games were never released outside of Japan.
  • One of the game's more amusing side missions has you tracking down mysterious UMA like a Kappa, UFO, and a dog demon.
  • If you like the punk culture of Japanese high school be sure to sure to check out the manga, Crows or the anime, GTO.