The Lone Gamer’s Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin Kyoto Inferno

Posted in Anime, Movies, My Stuff on September 9th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Now when do we get our live-action Revenge Arc?

When I saw the first Rurouni Kenshin live-action flick a couple of years ago, I was satisfied and inwardly pleased- but I honestly didn’t expect a sequel. Well lo and behold, two years later, we will not be getting a sequel but TWO sequels, in the form of a two-part epic adapting the series’ most beloved story arc (both in the manga and in the anime series).

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno starts off the tale strong, with a small army of Japanese Meiji-Era police on the prowl to capture a notorious criminal named Makoto Shishio (an unrecognizable Tatsuya Fujiwara or Nanahara for you Battle Royale fans). Though led by the cigarette-smoking former samurai Saito Hajime (Yosuke Eguchi), the police are pretty much massacred and Saito left all by his lonesome to chat with Shishio, who makes an impressive and suitably demonic first appearance, surrounded by hanging bodies of dying constables and backed by his own cultish group of chanting monks and blade-twirling henchmen.

The ball is soon thrown to our man, Kenshin Himura (Takeru Sato), our androgynous, gentleman retired-super assassin, who has been living the quiet life in the Kamiya Dojo with Kaoru Kamiya (Emi Takei). With every police detachment sent to apprehend Shishio being wiped out, the government’s head, Home Minister Okubo (Kazufumi Miyazawa) turns to the legendary Battousai. It turns out that Shishio was Kenshin’s replacement after he turned Rurouni. Though Kenshin is advised by everyone he cares about to refuse the mission, events soon take it out of their control (and of course we wouldn’t have much of a movie then would we?).

The first chapter of the Shishio Saga adaptation includes Kenshin’s acceptance of the quest to rid the land of his successor, his first journey into Shishio’s occupied territories and his meetings with several important allies and villains- including Makimachi Misao (Tao Tsuchiya), a feisty young kunoichi or ninja, and the staff of the Aoiya Inn in Kyoto- all former Shogunate Ninja, and Cho the Sword Hunter (Ryosuke Miura), the first of Shishio’s minions he fights. Also lurking in the sidelines (but thankfully having the direction sense of Ranma 1/2′s Ryouga) is Aoshi Shinomori (Yusuke Iseya), another former ninja-turned swordsman looking to challenge the Battousai.

I have to say that this is a very Japanese film in style, flavor and feel- anyone not familiar with the source material may feel a bit out of it- particularly because the flick doesn’t explain much… it just assumes you have watched the first film at least, or are a fan of the anime/manga. Which is FINE since otherwise, you wouldn’t be watching. Heh.

At more than two hours, this costumed, period epic and anime adaptation will surely please Rurouni Kenshin fans and those who enjoyed the first film- it pretty much is an improvement on everything- the story pacing is faster (but still a bit leisurely), the action a lot better and visually more punchy (the high points being the fight between Kenshin and Sojiro, the village battle and of course, the Kyoto finale) and the costumed characters even more anime-ish (and in this case that’s a plus) from Shishio’s bandaged, mummy-like visage to Cho’s blonde coifs that would make Paul Phoenix and Guile bristle with jealousy. You just gotta love it.

Of course, the film ends with a MAMMOTH cliffhanger, but thankfully we don’t have to wait too long- Part 2, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, is set to arrive here in Manila on September 24.

I feel so lucky that RK is so beloved here in the Philippines we Pinoys get a special release so soon after Japan. Heheh. Till then, I may find myself rewatching the anime over and over till late September. All I can say is, I can’t wait to see Kenshin finally, FINALLY, do THE stance. Heheh. Can’t. Freakin’. Wait.

New iMac is in the House!

Posted in Gadgets, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff on August 26th, 2014 by thelonegamer

I’m back! Well, I never left- I was just incommunicado thanks to my home workstation- a 20-inch iMac- went KAPUT. It took me a while (about three or so days), but I finally got a replacement in a brand-spankin’ new 21-inch iMac with Retina Display.
The important stuff is that it goes up to 2.7 GHz speed with its Quad Core processors, 8 GB RAM and 1 Terabyte of HD space. This means that editing videos for my Skyrim Let’s Play series will be faster- IF I can get iMovie HD to work with the incumbent OS (Mavericks).

Anyways, what else is on my plate? I got a copy of Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition for Xboz One- nope, it’s still not the game that will make me buy a PS4. Hope to get into that soon- I may even post vids for it as a blind Let’s Play series. Maybe.

Hoping that more updates for Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat X and Killer Instinct 2 come along soon in the next few weeks. Admittedly, another reason why I haven’t updated is that most of my fave upcoming games aren’t releasing too much information as of late. Hopefully that will change soon. We’ll see. Till then, I’ll be playing with my new workstation (by installing Steam on it, natch. WAHAHAH).

Dragon Age: Inquisition ‘The Enemy of Thedas’ Trailer

Posted in Dragon Age Inquisition, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox360 on August 14th, 2014 by thelonegamer

DAI’s Big Bads revealed?

It’s really a bummer that the MEGA-RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition was delayed, but at least its still headed for our platforms of choice THIS year. And we get a new trailer for this awesome RPG, care of the recent Gamescom. This latest spot shows off the enemies your Inquisitor and his allies will face off for the fate of all Thedas.
It’s still quite a mystery- we get evil, ominous voices, something called ‘The Elder One’, the gladiator-like Venatori, various dragons and demons and such which will surely test your heroes to their limits.

But probably the best parts of the trailer involve some familiar faces from the past- Morrigan, THE Warden from Dragon Age Origins and Hawke from Dragon Age 2… I think part of the delay is putting these iconic heroes of DA’s past back in with more meaningful participation than just silly cameos. Heheh.

This is IMO the best trailer for the game yet (Villain Spots usually are) and I am PUMPED.

I’m still neck-deep into Skyrim thanks to my LPs, but darn, I am totally on my toes waiting for this epic. See you in November, Inquisitors!

Another Skyrim Let’s Play! Tale of Jo’Kir: Khajiit Illusionist

Posted in Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, mods, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, RPGs, Skyrim Let's Play on July 31st, 2014 by thelonegamer

Coming soon to the Youtube Channel!

Following the wonderful reception I’ve been getting to my first Skyrim Roleplaying LP, A Coming of Mage Story (which is into its Second Volume/Season!), I’ve decided to spread myself thinner, like butter spread across too much bread, with ANOTHER LP series.

The reason being that Vryll’s series is well enough on its way- and it will continue indefinitely. However, I wish to do things and play Skyrim (continuously) through other avenues and directions that our admittedly Goody Two-Shoes Altmer Archmage and Animunculist won’t or can’t go. Where Vryll won’t head, our new protagonist Jo’Kir will.
The gameplay style will be markedly different- although they are both mages, Jo’Kir will be using primarily the Illusion School of Magic (SkyRe), Conjuration and Restoration. Alteration will be secondary (mainly just for utility and Mage Armor), and Destruction not at all- Jo’Kir’s ranged offense will be totally different. His melee talents will be new as well, with him being a trained Monk of the mysterious Monastery of the Mists- he will only fight using his bare hands/claws- which are in themselves formidable weapons.

Is Jo’Kir evil? Perhaps that’s too strong a word, but I need to give him a very different voice, tone and mood from Vryll- but hopefully, still make him a likable character to follow, if not interesting. His adventures will take him to the darker corners, nooks and crannies of Skyrim, such as the Thieves’ Guild, perhaps the Dark Brotherhood and perhaps even… Castle Volkihar? We’ll see.

I don’t plan this series to be as long, or as updated as often as my other LP, but we’ll see. For now, please look forward to more Skyrim RP-ing from the Lone Gamer soon!

Namco-Bandai Fighting Game Panel @ SDCC 2014

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 7 on July 28th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Stay a while and listen…

Last July 25 at the San Diego Comic Convention, Namco-Bandai held their panel for fighting game previews for the next few years. In focus was the upcoming Tekken 7, whose information didn’t amount to much concrete facts, mostly story-centric.

The game will revolve primarily around the conclusion of the Mishima Saga, and explain once and for all why series antagonist Heihachi Mishima has been trying his best all this time to kill off his descendants- mainly son Kazuya and grandson, Jin. The game will feature in some as-yet-unrevealed degree Heihachi’s (presumably deceased) wife Kazumi.
On the game’s roster, the only character confirmed during the panel was Lars Alexandersson, the ex-Tekken Force commander introduced during Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion/Tekken 6 PS3. By simple process of deduction, we can probably assume that Heihachi and Kazuya at least will be in the game as well (DUH). No word yet on the current condition of Jin, who exited Tekken 6′s Scenario Campaign Story half-buried in sand. Chances are he’ll be back too, I think.

In terms of gameplay, Harada revealed that the game will focus on one-on-one fighting, and dispense with the tag team mechanic in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. The Tekken Team is still in the process of developing the basic gameplay and polishing it.

Several guest artists will be contributing character designs for the game- this will include the artsists of Bayonetta, Fire Emblem: Awakening, No More Heroes and Anarchy Reigns. Director Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed, Halo Legends, Captain Harlock CG) will be handling the game’s cinematic intro.

Tekken 7 will be using the Unreal 4 Engine. It is supposed by most that Xbox One and PS4 versions are no-brainers, and that a PC version is very likely.

Last but not least, Tekken X Streetfighter is STILL in development, but according to the devs, is still trying to find it’s own time to be put on the limelight- heck, with T7 now in development, when will that be? In five to ten years? YIKES…

Recently on Twitter, a fan asked Harada about Character Customization, referring to the feature in Tekken 6 which was far superior to the customization in the subsequent Tekken Tag 2. Harada replied with the answer, ‘more deep’.
Also, the game will not be using the stat-boosting or red moves introduced in the F2P PS3 game, Tekken Revolution.

To be honest, I was really disappointed by the relative scant info revealed at SDCC, but this is the single most important fighting game for me in the near future. I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes out for this. Again, hoping this doesn’t take too long to arrive. More as we get it then.

Tekken 7 at SDCC… WTF? THAT’S IT?

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 7 on July 25th, 2014 by thelonegamer

The Tekken 7 ‘Full’ Teaser Trailer. Yawn.

Really. What a disappointment.

No gameplay. No solid info aside from ‘Lars is in the game’.

Nothing save the cinematic bore-fest above.

Sadly, I am beginning to think that Harada and team have forgotten how to do their own game anymore. It’s been so long since the last good Tekken, or the last Soul Calibur. All they’ve been doing since are rehashes and F2P nonsense. They need to get their heads on straight.

This, honestly, is crap. This is the crappiest showing of Tekken I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe how worthless this SDCC showing has been. They should have just NOT announced the game until they could have showed something. Like the first Tekken 6 trailer. THAT had stuff. That had content.

This… This crap… a fan could do better. I am totally serious. Really, Namco, Harada, Tekken Team- please re-watch all the trailers and spots you did in the past and realize how SHITTY your stuff is now. My GOD this is horrible.

I won’t talk or speculate about Tekken on this blog again until they show something worth being excited about.

That is all.

My gosh, this was such a fail.

Tekken 7 Headed for PC?

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 7 on July 21st, 2014 by thelonegamer

Just for kicks, here’s some footage of the Tekken 7 Evo Announcement, care of LevelUpYourGame.

It’s still a few days till our next glimpse of what the next Tekken, or Tekken 7, will look like at SDCC, but this early fight fans are already being teased by the possibility (or is it already confirmation?) that the next Iron Fist Tournament may be headed for PCs.
Aside from this article from Shoryuken, the simple fact that the next Tekken is using the Unreal 4 Engine means that portability to any platform, PC included, is a given. So what will playing Tekken on PC entail, aside from needing to buy a spiffy game controller or fiddling with new specs?

For the most part I am salivating for Tekken 7 PC for the possibility of mods. If the awesome mods I’ve seen (and am enjoying) with the PC versions of Streetfighter X Tekken and Super Streetfighter IV AE are any indication, just give a few talented individuals the tools to play with and you’ll find awesome, awesome treats for the Tekken characters on the platform. Mods will give the game untold longevity and replayability, and I hope that the Tekken Team embraces this aspect of the PC version.

In any case I am also quite curious to how the game will look apart from the previous versions, given the new graphics engine. We can speculate all we want though- SDCC is just a few more days away, and I can’t freakin’ wait to see the next trailer.

Musing About: The Tekken 7 Teaser Trailer

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 7 on July 14th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Taking apart the first video of the upcoming Tekken sequel.

We’ve seen it, and now it’s all we have to know that the next canon Tekken game is coming. Tekken 7 is in our futures, and with that little snap, Katsuhiro Harada and recaptured the attention of thousands and thousands of dormant Tekken fans all over the world. Well, this 1 minute and 30-second or so video is all we have to go on until July 25, when the full, first trailer for Tekken 7 is revealed. So, let’s take a look at the spot, shall we?
Note: I will be referring to the Japanese language version.

• The spot starts with grainy, scratchy video footage of a woman in very traditional-looking Japanese hairstyle and costume sitting/kneeling in a temple, her back to the camera so we cannot see her face. The sepia-toned look and sounds reveal this is a flashback, something that happened many years ago- presumably before the birth of Kazuya Mishima.

• The Temple is similar to stages like the Honmaru Shrine in Tekken 4. The Japanese do love their temples.

• The woman is almost certainly Kazumi Mishima, wife of Heihachi and mother to Kazuya.

• A figure opens the doors going into the Temple, behind the seated woman. It is that of a male, and I speculate that this is probably a young(er) Heihachi.

• There are many cuts of images from past Tekken Cinematics, most of them involving Heihachi and Kazuya, including bodies being dropped into volcanoes and such. The woman mentions that she must stop Heihachi, whom she knows has finally realized that Kazuya has inherited her powers.
It is common knowledge in the Tekken mythos that the Devil Gene, the power that lies inside Kazuya and Jin, which is coveted by Heihachi, is not present within Heihachi, Jinpachi or Lars. The original person who first had the Devil Gene may now be assumed to be Kazumi herself. In order to protect Kazuya from being exploited by Heihachi for his power, she resolves to fight him.

• We then see a scene between Heihachi and an angry Kazuya who says, ‘You killed my mother!’ Up to now, it has been said that Kazumi had died in childbirth delivering Kazuya. The truth may be that she was murdered/killed by her own husband, dying to protect her son.

• The confrontation between Kazuya and Heihachi apparently takes place in a place with splashing lava and flames- the volcano from which both father and son have in turn thrown each other into may be the setting of their climactic final meeting.

• After the Tekken 7 logo, we then cut to a final scene (which seems to be missing from the English-dubbed trailer) showing the names ‘Heihachi and Kazumi’ engraved into the Temple’s woooden floor. Awww, so sweet.

• It is not known in what capacity Kazumi will appear in the game. To have her only appear in flashback cinematics seems to be a waste of a character, and supposedly dead people often return to the story very much alive, and very malevolently powerful (like Jinpachi and Jun before). Perhaps we’ll see Kazumi appear as a boss or playable fighter as the first and long-sought-after female Mishima fighter? That would be awesome.

• We don’t know how long Tekken 7 has been in development, but I hope that the game is far more along that we may know or hope- this IS being touted as an offering marking the 20th Anniversary of the series, which is this year…
In any case, I just hope that this doesn’t need to head for arcades and have the customary 2-year wait before coming to consoles. In any case, the next time we see anything of this game is at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con, this coming July 25.

Tekken 7 Teaser FINALLY Arrives! (Updated with Japanese Version)

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken 7 on July 14th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Yep, it’s real and it’s coming.

It’s been a LOOOOOONG time coming since the last CANON Tekken game… Tekken 6 came out in 2006 after all (arcades). But about eight years later, the long-suffering fans of one of the most popular fighting game franchises ever may be rewarded for their vigil. Tekken 7 has finally, FINALLY been announced at this year’s EVO Tournaments, via a teaser trailer from Tekken Director Katsuhiro Harada.

But the announcement didn’t come without a bit of controversy or hiccups- earlier today, the teaser was supposedly leaked on AOL by IGN, and because of this there were fears the reveal would be postponed. But here it is, nevertheless, and it’s something fight fans have long been wanting. No, it’s not Tekken X Streetfighter yet, but arguably it’s BETTER. The 7th REAL Tekken. No silly Tag-gimmicks. No Revolting Revolution crap. This has to be the real deal. I am hoping this is a return-to-form for the Tekken team and their baby- depth of characters, detail, modes aplenty, customization that hearkens back to Tekken 6 at least (not the garbage from TTT2 please) and hopefully, continuation (and what appears to be a conclusion) to the Mishima War.

No details yet aside from the teaser above, which I want to just take apart second by second. Who is this mysterious lady? What ‘Power’ does she speak of?

More details as they come. Time has finally started moving again.

UPDATE: Here’s the Japanese version trailer via Tekken Channel. It also has subtitles, and also a scene I believe wasn’t in the English-dubbed trailer. Check it out. I think it may reveal the identity of the mystery woman…
The Japanese trailer also has a bit that mentions that the game will use the Unreal Engine- Harada has said during Evo that they chose Unreal Engine 4 since it will allow the game to look like a proper next-gen game, and still let them port it to any system they wish (I expect it to arrive in some form to every console out there).
Next update for this game will be at the upcoming San Diego Comic Convention (July 25), where Harada will debut the full trailer. Damn, it’s About Freakin’ Time.

Tekken 7′s Japanese language teaser.

Killer Instinct Season 2: Maya Revealed!

Posted in Arcade, DLC, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Killer Instinct, Killer Instinct 3, Xbox One on July 11th, 2014 by thelonegamer

Warrior Queen Maya returns in KI’s Season 2.

At their panel during EVO 2014, developer Iron Galaxy revealed their second character to come in Killer Instinct’s sophomore season. Set to appear alongside the previously-shown T.J. Combo is the warrior woman Maya, who originally debuted in the original KI2. Just as before, this femme fatale fights using dual daggers, which this time apparently can be leveled up in power, and will entail a bit of risk and reward as these weapons may actually be left on the ground and need to be recovered after some specific attacks.
The character design has also seen a bit of updating- and while I love the stylistic upgrade (gone is the ‘Janet Jackson’ clone look of before’s game), I expect (nope, DEMAND) that her classic ‘Jungle Queen’ look be available, at least as a set in her accessories or alternate costumes. Heheh.

No videos yet shown of Maya in action, but I expect that to arrive soon. Of course, this reveal will surely disappoint fans expecting Cinder (who was assumed to be the one teased at the end of T.J’s trailer), but I am ecstatic to see more of the fairer sex entering the arena for KI. More on this as we get it.