10 Thoughts I Have About the iPad

Posted in Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPhone, Mobile Games, My Stuff, Uncategorized on January 29th, 2010 by thelonegamer

That’s one freakin’ huge iPod Touch.

Wallpapers and movies on the thing should look freakin’ awesome.

If you get one, better invest in one heck of a nice case.

Snatcher Magnet.

Playing Plants VS Zombies on it, or any RTS, should be sweet.

Why no camera? Largest Viewscreen Ever Otherwise…

How hot can that thing get with heavy use?

I hope the speakers are proportionally better and louder to complement the size.

The keyboard dock is damn awesome.

I’m not sold on it, and I already have a damn iPhone already. But I’m sure I’ll be drooling nevertheless if I see this thing in person a few months from now.

SSFIV Anime Trailer in English

Posted in Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Super Streetfighter IV, Xbox360 on January 26th, 2010 by thelonegamer

Here’s the recently-released trailer for the Xbox360-exclusive anime feature, now dubbed nicely in english. The audio was grabbed from the US version available on Xboxlive, so now we can figure out what’s going on with the new anti-heroine on the block, Juri Han. The voice acting is fine, I think- hearing Juri say more than “I’LL HAVE MY REVEEEENGE!!!” is pretty cool.

Looks to be pretty cut-and-dried to me; Juri makes her debut in another evil scheme cooked up by S.I.N. head honcho, Seth, along the way kidnapping the Shadaloo Dolls and seriously messing with the Interpol SF-ers. Will Juri be evil through and through, or will the kidnapped girl from years ago somehow show up and redeem herself? Nah…
Anyway, we’ll see in a few months when this anime pops up as we get our Super Streetfighter IV in late April.

Super Streetfighter IV: GONZO Anime, Collector's Edition and Release Date

Posted in Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, Super Streetfighter IV, Xbox360 on January 26th, 2010 by thelonegamer

This is for that horrible live-action movie.

Nope, Capcom hasn’t revealed the last few remaining fighters for Super Streetfighter IV. However, they showed off a pretty chunky update today on the Developer’s Blog and Official SSFIV site.

There are a couple of New Trailers online- the first is a redone and slicker spot showing off Juri, T-Hawk, Deejay, Cody, Adon and Guy. Nice stuff, but a lot of it has been seen before save for some cool new stylized cinematics showing a battle between Juri and Chun-li.

Big, hulking Guile getting bullied by a tiny wisp of a girl?

The cooler new trailer is for a new anime feature that will be exclusively packed in with the Japanese Xbox360 version of the game, courtesy of the world-renowned GONZO Animation studio. The anime will star Juri Han, the new Taekwondo villainess and agent of S.I.N.
It’s been mentioned many times before that Juri, despite being a bad girl, is the main character in the SSFIV storyline, so she’ll be at the center of it all in this OAV. She’s apparently carrying out another sinister scheme for Seth which involves more kidnapped martial artists as well as The Shadaloo Dolls. As usual, good guys Chun-li, Cammy and Guile are on the case, and they’re going to have a nasty fight on their hands with the Feng Shui-powered dominatrix. It’s possible that there’s more to Juri than simply being some invincible evil uber-babe, and revelations about her past may impact on what happens in the end. In any case, the anime looks to have tons of action and high-kicking hotties… which is always a great thing.
Apparently the trailer for the Juri anime is already up on Xboxlive in ENGLISH, so a US release of this is likely as well, to be packed in with the game.

Juri, Chun-li, Cammy AND the Dolls… this anime won’t be short on babes.

Finally, there’s news of a Collector’s Edition, which apparently includes an artbook, soundtrack and anime DVD. All cheeky stuff, but it’s still a bit of a wait- apparently this all comes on both PS3 and Xbox360 on April 27 for the US, while Japan gets their fighting fix a day later on April 28.

Well, fight fans, this looks to be the Big Event for Beat ‘Em Ups this year so far. Mark down those calendars. There should be more SSFIV news in the weeks ahead (we’re gonna have to wait a bit more for new characters…), so all we can do is just enjoy these new trailers and info for now and keep chugging along. Sigh…

Dragon Age: Endings and Beginnings

Posted in Dragon Age: Origins, Gaming, My Stuff, RPGs, Xbox360 on January 25th, 2010 by thelonegamer

As right as rain, I called it correctly and was able to finish off the main quest in Bioware’s RPG epic, Dragon Age: Origins, over the weekend. I did it with my male human noble rogue, twice- each with a slightly different take on the resolution of a certain character but both making sure my adventurer lives to quest again another day. I certainly am looking forward to the sequel/expansion, Dragon Age Awakening this March.

For now though my questing isn’t over in Ferelden even- right afterwards I started off another human noble rogue, this time female, with my eyes on the throne (heheh). I’ll also start off quests for elven and dwarven characters as well. It would be safe to say I’ll still be playing this weeks and weeks still from now. It’s really been a while since I’ve played an RPG I’ve been driven to actually finish, and then want to replay again and again and again, just to see the various aspects and sides to the story. Games like this don’t happen all the time… I’m gonna play this to the bloody hilt. Later then!

Weekend Warrior (and Mage, and Rogue)

Posted in Dragon Age: Origins, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, RPGs, Xbox360 on January 22nd, 2010 by thelonegamer

FINALLY, at long last, the freakin’ work week is over. Been a long seven days.

I am really looking forward to catching up on sleep, and then hunkering down to finishing my first playthrough in Dragon Age: Origins. It’s the data with my Human Noble Rogue, who at present is at level 15 and pretty much kicking ass wherever he goes with his dual enchantment-enhanced daggers, with a party of comrades who all LOVE him. Playing the Rogue is awesome since you have lockpicking right off the bat, giving you access to tons of locked chests which every other class apparently can’t do crap with (anybody ever heard of Knock spells? Bend Bars??). Anyway, my Rogue’s deep into the last major quest before the big endgame. But as far as I can tell, the final leg of Dragon Age is still pretty chunky, so it may take an entire weekend’s playtime to get to the finish. Then… onto a different class and maybe a different race. Man, this game keeps on giving and giving.

Hope you’re all having as much fun on your weekend break as well. Later!

Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition brings Excellance

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, PS3, Resident Evil 5, Survival Horror, Xbox360 on January 22nd, 2010 by thelonegamer

Designer dress and shoes, $10,000. Kicking zombie ass in style, priceless.

Kotaku just posted a bunch of screens from the upcoming upgrade/expansion to Resident Evil 5, the beefy Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition. Not only do you get extended adventures showing off the behind-the-scenes action with Jill Valentine and Josh Stone, you also get a new playable character in the Mercenaries minigame- namely Tricell’s cold-blooded beauty of a CEO, Excella Gionne. Let everyone else fight in unsightly combat gear or tacky costumes- Excella shops for her splatter outfits only at Rodeo Drive. Also being shown are the individual character-specific attacks for the characters, including Stone’s elbow drop on the hapless Majini.

Anyway, I really think a real boss fight or a more prolonged hands-on confrontation with Excella was missing in RE5 (no, fighting her transformed into a big tentacle blob doesn’t count), so now you can see her in down-and-dirty action. Maybe it will be worth getting the Gold Edition just to see Excella chomped down by a Reaper? Anyway, this is out in a couple of months.

"Zombie, SMASH!!!"

Posted in Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPhone, Mobile Games, My Stuff, Tower Defense Games on January 22nd, 2010 by thelonegamer

Defend the shack in hand-to-screen combat.

Man, I’m beginning to post a more and more about games on the iPhone. Soon I may have to change my blog name to The Phone Gamer. Nah. Anyway, can you really blame me? iPhone games have of late gone beyond the borders of simple tower defense or puzzle games to really console-competitive titles. The US and Euro territories already have gotten a release of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (which is still not out in Asia, goddamit Rockstar), and there was the recent release of Assassins Creed II. The iPhone has shooters, fighting games, RTS titles and more, and it’s almost certain that more and more developers are going to want a piece of the Apple Pie. That can all only get more feverish once the game-friendly Apple Tablet is revealed next week.

Anyway, one thing that is not lacking in iPhone games are zombie titles. You have a gaggle of Resident Evil titles (which I am not too happy with, anyway) Call of Duty WAW Zombies and more that let you splatter undead brains all over the place. The latest title is the one above, Zombie Smash, from Game Doctors. It’s another defense game where you, the quarry of the unrelenting zombie hordes, have inexplicable access to all manners of defenses and powers including wrecking balls, mines, sniper rifles and even just the killer powers of your pointy-finger to sadistically smash, fling, shoot, explode and SMASH the brain-hungering hordes to oblivion.
This, of course, is not new- there have been other titles in this vein- Knights Onrush and Castle Frenzy at least. But well, this kinda appeals to me thanks to some pretty nice art (very reminiscent of another game I am awaiting for, Plants vs Zombies), ragdoll animations and some cool options like the ability to queue the zombies you want to grind up. Even though I have two finger-defense titles already, I’ll probably pick this one up when it comes out supposedly in February.

Hopefully though, even before then I’ll be playing PvZ on my 3Gs which SHOULD be out sometime within the next several days. Fingers crossed…

Tekken Voice Actor Passes Away

Posted in Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken 6, Uncategorized on January 19th, 2010 by thelonegamer

A bit of sad news hit recently that is sure to hit anime and gaming fans. Last Sunday, Japanese voice actor Daisuke Gouri, 57, was found lying on his stomach with blood dripping from his wrists in the middle of a Nakano, Tokyo street by a passerby, who then notified the police. Authorities discovered a knife under his body as well as a nearby suicide note addressed to his family.

Unless you’re really hardcore into knowing voice actor credits in your anime and games, you might not know Mr. Gouri, but you’ve probably heard his gravelly, old/big man voice in countless titles. He is most known for giving the infamous Heihachi Mishima his voice since Tekken 3, and also was the voice for Bass Armstrong in Dead or Alive. Mr. Gouri has been working as vocal talent since 1973. He will surely be missed… but with the multitude of games and animation that bear his voice, he’ll always be around.

Trying out Tekken 6 Online CO-OP

Posted in Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, Tekken 6 on January 19th, 2010 by thelonegamer

Last night I was able to tear myself away from Ferelden for a bit, to fire up the ol’ PS3 and install the latest update and the Co-op patch for Tekken 6. As posted about last week, the long-promised patch brings online co-op playability to Tekken 6′s Scenario Campaign mode, letting you and someone else take your favorite Tekken 6 fighters and take on waves of enemies outside the regular one-on-one arena.

Once you update your system and game, it’s off into the Scenario Campaign mode. Since I was the guest of another player’s session, I wasn’t able to choose the parameters- I assume that the host chose the dificulty level and stages. Anyway, once the connection syncs, you choose your fighter (yes, you have all your customizations and added properties/abilities) and are off.

Even though my connection isn’t the best and has a bit of lag, Scenario Campaign isn’t really about spot-on combo timing and just basically using effective moves and lots of lows over and over… very button-masher friendly, so a little lag time didn’t matter much. Enemies seem easier and rewards in the form of item drops are heavy, but the End Stage Bosses seem to have longer life bars than the single player game. Nice thing- the co-op levels show off different enemies and bosses in some of the stages. In the Mokujin stage I found myself facing off with an odd combination of sumo wrestlers and Christie-like dancers, complete with gaudy feathers. We ended the session facing off with the tag-team of Marduk and King.

So far the Tekken 6 Co-op patch is fine, and it’s a nice way of just having some mindless button-mashing fun with a friend if you’re not in the mood for the regular one-on-one style of fighting. It certainly makes this fighting package that much more complete, so download and install the patch already, go online and start playing.

Freakin' Out in Ferelden

Posted in Dragon Age: Origins, Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, RPGs, Xbox360 on January 18th, 2010 by thelonegamer

Hey… this game is pretty awesome!

Yeah, Bioware’s RPG opus and new original IP, Dragon Age: Origins, came out months ago. I knew it was hot stuff already back then, as I read the reviews and got into playing a couple of hours into it. However, some pretty crappy stat-placement made my first party a bit of a lopsided affair, with my heroic Grey Wardens dropping dead away in most fights, leaving a scant victory to be scraped by the faithful pooch and the bitchy Goth witch.

Well, lo and behold, I got some time on my hands recently, started off from scratch and wow… this game freakin’ KICKS ASS. Yeah, graphics-wise DAO never hit my as looking particularly awesome- at least, it didn’t hit me like Oblivion did a few years ago. The look and feel of the characters and environments reminded me a bit of World of Warcraft, which was utilitarian and not gorgeous. However, I do recognize that at least character models’ faces are better than the iffy look of the people of Tamriel. Also, the fight animations are better with nice death throes for enemies, including the occasional beheading or dismemberment of particularly loathsome foes.

But looks isn’t really where Dragon Age shines- it sparkles everywhere else. Particularly in the way it just sinks it’s dragony claws into you once you get past the first hour or so. The continent of Ferelden is a vast and lively land, filled with plots, subplots, threats and troubles that make for a lot of neat adventuring. And the characters that populate it… what a colorful lot. It helps too that the game’s culture seems based a lot on the works of George R.R. Martin- which all just sets well to make the ‘dark fantasy’ feel, all steamy and sordid as well as bloody, so pronounced. If this was a TV series, it would be something like that kick-ass HBO series, Rome. Ferelden is a land wracked not only by a demonic menace but by the plots and ambitions of flawed and fallible men and women, which makes for pretty gripping stuff.

Gameplay isn’t that hard- at least, compared to the PC version as far as I know. Console gaming in Ferelden is a lot forgiving (read: messy) since you’re always locked into a close, over the shoulder view of the character you’re controlling (who may be one of your four active party members). So instead of the very strategy-intensive, anal battle planning of the PC games, the console is more about straight up slap matches, with the liberal use of talents or spells to make the monster slaughtering a bit faster.

But really, what makes Dragon Age so awesome is the character interactions- like most of Bioware’s RPGs of old, you command a party of colorfully dysfunctional adventurers who aren’t content to just enlist and fight without nary a qualm. From your fellow Grey Warden and Templar pretty boy Alistair to bisexual elf assassin Zevram, Chic Joan of Arc-wannabee Leliana to amoral wilder witch Morrigan, every character has their own set of morals, principles, goals and ulterior motives you have to deal with, satisfy or stave off in the course of the adventure. Play your cards right, your comrade can become your best friend or a turncoat, or even a sparring partner in the tent on cold nights. But it all boils down to them being more bad-ass killers on the battlefield.

Oh, and the bickering! You just have to hear your party members talk as you run about towns or dungeons. The conversations are clever or insightful, often humorous and revealing, complemented perfectly by awesome voice acting and sharp, witty writing. Kudos has to be given to the cast and writers, and man, Claudia Black certainly made herself a gaming goddess last year with both Morrigan and Chloe Fraser under her belt. But best character voice in the game for me has to go to Steve Valentine, for his wonderful performance as your wry but often vulnerable fellow Grey Warden, Alistair.

Whereas Oblivion was an often lonely solo quest, Dragon Age is made great by the company- which is awesome in a single player RPG. You really do get to caring about your party and the world you’re romping in, and that is a totally awesome sign that the game works. Right now I’m juggling three characters (a Fighter, a Rogue and a Mage), and see myself continuing onto other paths once I finish with them, not only to see various endings but to hear all the cool bits of dialogue stuffed into this game. Hopefully I’ll be good and ready with some nice Save Data for the expansion, Dragon Age: Origins Awakening, set to drop in March. For now though, it’s a freakin’ blast.