Friday, May 31, 2013

Bad Box Art of the Week: Backyard Baseball '09

The face only a mother could love...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle Will Be Da Bomb

In case you don't know, I am huge fan of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. The series captured my interest with the old Capcom game back in the day, later I read the manga, and these days I am addicted to the anime series. Cyberconnect (the guys behind Asura's Wrath and the Naruto games) are slaving away on their latest fighting game, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle for PS3. Literally everything I have seen about the game is awesome, from character selection to the attention given to walking animations taken straight from the pages of the manga.
There have been a ton of characters announced so far, with the latest ones being the suave gentlemen of part 5, Bruno and Narancia, along with their nemesis Diavolo. I am still waiting to hear about Weather Report, Diego, and Hot Pants...hopefully they make the cut. I haven't been this excited for a fighting game in a long time. I just hope it is being balanced better than the Naruto fighters which never gain traction with the FGC. In the meantime, let's dream of an English release in physical form. Or at least an Italian one, I can kinda understand that language (but I will miss the crazy Engrish...SHEER HEARTO ATTACKA!!)
Also check out this fine English patch for the Super Famicom Jojo game, found here:
That is an unusual stand power...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finally! Game Boy Pocket: Pepperoni Pizza Edition

Yes, this is a real thing. Is it weird that I want to play this badboy in my local Pizza Hut for shits and giggles? It can be ordered here:

as seen on TinyCartridge

Welcome to the D&D World...of Japan

While in the USA, we get a sad digital-only release for the new Dungeons and Dragons collection, Japan will get this sweet ass special edition instead. Their gorgeous special edition comes with a reprint of the official guidebook and the Capcom Secret File. Other goodies include a 2 disc soundtrack and a wallpaper DLC code. I wish Capcom would release this in the West, but I know that is impossible since they do not like to release physical copies of hardcore stuff anymore (ex. Ace Attorney 5 is download only.) Fortunately this is a very import friendly package (and region free) if you are willing to drop $130 for the privilege of preserving this series in your game collection. Personally, these are two of my favorite arcade games ever, so my wallet is ready. It sure beats hooking up a Sega Saturn and fooling with that 4MB Ram crap to play these on my TV.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The New Xbox: Another One Bites the Dust

After carefully and painstakingly analyzing reactions over the Xbox One press conference today, I can sum it all up in one word: disappointment. Bitter, piss-flavored disappointment. It's a sad day for gamers. Let me recap Microsoft's epic failure.

1. The Xbox One plays TV shows and other premium TV services on your TV. If you wanted a new machine for watching TV shows on your TV then the future is here.

2. A once every 24 check of your Internet connection means you are basically renting a license for your games. Note: people without constant Internet connections will not be able to play their own games. This sucks for men and women of the US Armed Forces in places like Afghanistan, where Internet is a luxury. Seems like they will lose a huge customer base, as every soldier I know loves Xbox.

3. Fees for used games are just an added way of reminding customers, they do not truly own anything for the Xbox One.

4. Xbox One's Kinect is not optional. Also the camera and microphone are always on in your living room. Welcome to 1984, your new overlord, Bill Gates anticipates your obedience.

5. None of your purchases will transfer from the 360 except media content. So all those games you play online like Street Fighter 3 and X-Men will be useless when the 360's online service ends.

6. No backwards compatibility ensures that you will not be playing the classics from this gen via disc, but I'm sure they will resell them like PSN's PS2 archives.

7. The system looks like an old VCR, not exactly the sleek design that 2013 calls for, but maybe it will be appeal to my mom or dad.

8. Boring game reveals...oh a new Call of Duty...yawn..."cool dude." They say wait to E3, but I just don't care at this point.

I will not buy this system unless Microsoft somehow sees fit to listen to the gamers that have supported them from the beginning. The casual market will buy this crap, but I hope enough of the gaming community votes with their dollars and shows that this new business strategy is outrageous. It will be like SimCity 4 on a massive scale, and no one wants to see that mess happen again.

I personally think it's time for Sega to come back, guns blazin'. Dreamcast 2 powered by Steam...launch games, Shenmue 3 and Phantasy Star 5.

Bad Box Art of the Week: The Legend of Alon D'ar

High fives for everyone that didn't buy this game.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Returned from Japan

This past weekend, I finally went to Tokyo. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to travel to Japan, the mecca of gaming. I stayed for three days in Shinagawa and from there, I traveled to various hot spots around Tokyo, including Akihibara and Shibuya. Here are some random thoughts from my trip:

  • Contrary to what you may have heard, most people are not reading manga or playing portable game systems on the trains in Tokyo. Out of the several trains I took over my three day stay, I saw three people playing Vitas. I saw no one rockin' a 3DS, but I did get a ton of Streetpasses, so I know they had them hidden somewhere. As far as manga goes, one middle-aged Japanese lady was reading Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (part IV), so she obviously had excellent taste.
  • Akihibara is a weird place. There are tons of otaku-themed places there, including maid cafes and anime PVC figure shops. The game shops were amazing, especially the retro themed place I found, I even found myself a copy of Sexy Parodius to replace the one I lost years ago. Most things seemed overpriced compared to eBay, but the "junk" sections had plenty of gems like Puzzle Bobble 3 for 2 bucks. The staff in most stores could speak some English, and they were very polite. Unfortunately, Akihibara is becoming overrun by porn stores, which seemed to outnumber game stores 2-1.
  • Japanese people are very polite, and most people will speak to you in English if you ask for directions.  Don't try to speak Japanese unless you are fluent, they will assume you can understand them and speak very quickly to you!
  • My hotel was actually positioned across the street from Bandai Namco. One would think with the amount of history those two companies have produced (Pac-Man, Galaga, Tekken, Gundam, etc.) the building would have some sort of monument or statues outside of their corporate headquarters. Sadly, it is a very dull looking building with no signs of the culture they helped to create in Japan.
Overall, my trip to Japan was fun, but I can't help but feel the so-called mecca of gaming is a bit lacking these days. Maybe the gaming culture is losing traction in the Land of the Rising Sun with the masses.The arcades were particularly interesting as they were filled with two groups of people: tired looking salary men chain smoking away and school girls playing crane games. Where were the young men? Anyway, maybe I will return there one day, I just hope games are still a part of the norm at that time.