Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tekken: Blood Vengeance Review

Tonight I went to the premier of Tekken: Blood Vengeance. The movie was a mixed bag of cool fight scenes, odd humor, and cheesy dialogue. The movie was shown in 3-D, which looked quite amazing and disorienting at the same time. Honestly, I could have done without 3-D, but this was the only way to watch the film in theaters, so I can't complain too much. Let's start with the plot...(beware some spoilers below)
The movie mainly follows the adventures of Ling Xiaoyu and Alisa Bosconivitch. Ling Xiaoyu gets transferred to an international school by Anna, in a convert effort to capture a young man named Shin. Shin was infected with a rare mutagen that grants immortality and each of the Mishima men want him dead or alive. Xiaoyu and Alisa both fall for the guy, and ultimately join forces to rescue him. Did I mention Devil Jin and Devil Kazuya fight Dragon Ball Z style?

The plot has plenty of cameos from characters like Lee (who is hilarious), Lei, and Ganryu. Don't expect everyone to appear however, as the movie doesn't follow a tournament plot line. I admired this idea, as most fighting game animes or films try to cram in every character and it always seems too forced for my liking. Keeping the cast down to a select few allowed for more character exploration and a descent story. Don't go into Tekken: BV expecting Shakespeare, but it is certainly better than the recent Tekken live action film or any Uwe Boll nonsense.

The movie has plenty of funny scenes. Panda has her shining moments but the show stealer is the Mishima misfit, Lee. He is a teacher and odd caretaker for school girls, Alisa and Xiaoyu. His lines are delivered in a superbly aloof manner, and the audience cracked up whenever he appeared. Unfortunately, the movie also has plenty of unintentional humor from poorly written dialogue.

The voice acting seemed to employ every well-known anime voice actor and actress in the biz. This gave the movie a strong dub, but also distracts with jarring performances from Jin, who sounds way too old and Anna, who sounds really over the top whenever she speaks. Dialogue is hit and miss, mainly miss. One scene toward the end had the audience cracking up as every other line seemed like a gay innuendo. It started to feel like Tobias from Arrested Development wrote the script at this point...what a blow hard!
The fight scenes are what the fans came to see, and for the most part, Tekken: BV doesn't disappoint. Alisa's chainsaw mode gets represented to dramatic effect, and Xiaoyu looks cool using her fighting style to avoid the berserk android. Later in the film, the whole Mishima family throws down, and it is really badass to see your favorite signature moves being used to tear down Kyoto Castle. The devil battle is the film's highlight, with an unfortunate lackluster "fight" occurring afterwards that feels anti-climatic and very "un-Tekken" like.
 Overall, this movie should be a real treat for Tekken fans. However, I would avoid this movie unless you know the Tekken cast or love CGI films, because there isn't much background story given for those unfamiliar with the franchise. The movie will be released on PS3 as Tekken Hybrid, a dual pack with the film on Bluray and a HD upgrade for fan favorite, Tekken Tag Team Tournament. The movie with debut in Japan in September. Hopefully Namco sees fit to release Tekken Hybrid on Xbox 360 as well.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Collecting Saturn Imports

I have become a Sega Saturn addict lately. Between Hyper Duel and Elevator Action Returns, I am loving this old system's beautiful 2-D graphics and lovely control pad. Collecting Japanese Saturn games is not the cheapest hobby. However, I feel inclined to do so, because the games are very fun and cover art is usually so fucking awesome.

 Example of a cool cover and classic underboob.

Prices for import Saturn games range from cheap (Puyo Puyo Sun is only $5) to the insanely expensive (Radiant Silvergun is $250+.) The Saturn is one of the few systems where the rare games are usually worth the money. There are a few stinkers like the ultra rare and horrid, Final Fight Revenge, but for the most part, the hard to find games are said to be worth the price tag. For fans of arcade style fighters and shooters, the Saturn import library is essential. Unlike the Dreamcast, almost every good game from Capcom and SNK stayed in Japan.

Here is my current wish list:

Batsugun Early bullet hell shooter from Toaplan, the last game before the company's demise
Princess Crown The original Vanillaware game, looks very similar to Odin Sphere
Dracula XX The Saturn version of this hit had new levels and a playable Maria added in
Blast Wind Cool looking shooter from Technosoft, creators of the Thunderforce series
Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter Versus game with a console exclusive character, superb arcade port

I also want this shirt:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Help Bring Back MML 3

Join the fight against Capcom's MML 3 cancellation. Go to the Facebook page 100,000 Strong for Bringing Back Mega Man Legends 3. Only  the fans can convince them to change their mind. It seems impossible, but we have to at least try.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is Mega Man Dead?

In recent days Capcom has broken many hearts. First Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled and today it was revealed that Rock nor his X iteration will be included in the upcoming cashgrab, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. This is personally upsetting on many levels. One of my earliest gaming memories is renting Mega Man 3 and scribbling down the continue passwords in hopes of beating it one day. At about the age of ten, I experienced Mega Man X, and found it to be one my favorite games on the SNES (and it continues to be to this day.) Later I would love the Mega Man Legends series and the Mega Man Zero series on GBA. This is not to mention my retro collecting of the original series and the X series. I even own the Mega Man Complete Works art book and a model kit of Rock Man from Japan. I love the Blue Bomber.
 Earlier this year, Capcom canned Mega Man Universe, a downloadable game which gave players the ability to make their own Mega Man game Little Big Planet style. Many speculated it was due to the product being low quality, so I sucked up that lame excuse and carried on. I kept holding out for Mega Man Legends 3, knowing in my heart, Capcom wouldn't cancel something that so many people wanted for so long for (and still do.) How wrong I was...
MML 3 was using fan input to decide how characters worked and what type of cast the game would have; the project seemed like a labor of love right from the start and inspired me to take an interest in the creation process, even swearing to buy a 3DS when the Prototype version emerged on the eShop channel. However, long time Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune left Capcom last year, and things started to unravel. He despised the top guys at Capcom for their incompetence and lack of fan appreciation, and left to form his own studio. Without Inafune, suddenly everything Mega Man started to come an end, with the final nail in the coffin being MML3's cancellation which could be due to a lack of 3DS sales or an intentional stab at Inafune's legacy from spiteful corporate assholes.

The series hasn't sold too well in the past few years, with the exception of Mega Man 9. However, many fans (myself included) feel like Mega Man is the mascot for Capcom. It would be like Nintendo cancelling all of their Mario titles, fans would certainly question what the hell is going on in the corporate office. Capcom of Europe is blaming MML3 fans for the cancellation, citing a general lack of interest among gamers...I call bullshit on that excuse. For me, today's leak of the entire roster of UMvC 3 confirmed that Capcom no longer cares about the Mega Man franchise. Capcom ran polls on their site to see which popular characters should make into the MvC sequel, and Mega Man X ranked 2nd overall. This didn't seem to matter to Capcom who decided Frank West is a better character to have in the game, when no one really gives a shit about him.
Unlike Capcom, I will say farewell old friend. It has been a good ride, Rock. I will continue to throw in Mega Man 2 or Mega Man X whenever I need a good action game to remind me of why I love video games in the first place.

December 1987-March 2010

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bad Box Art of the Week: Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu

Awesome Box Art of the Week: F-Zero X (Japan)

Here's the Lousy Club Nintendo 2011 Gold and Platinum Rewards

This year's Club Nintendo Gold and Platinum rewards are now available. Gold members get calendars...isn't it always calendars for Gold? Platinum gets a a Super Mario Bros. themed pin set. Both rewards are really crappy compared to previous years' Mario statue and exclusive Punch Out download. It has been a bad year to be a Nintendo fan...