Soul Calibur V: The Lone Gamer’s First Day Impressions!

Posted in Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, Soulcalibur 5, Xbox360 on January 31st, 2012 by thelonegamer

The latest installment of The Tale of Souls and Swords has arrived!

As I posted earlier, I had the very good fortune of getting my copy of Soul Calibur V last night- about a day or so ahead of schedule. It was all a bit of luck, I guess- I visited the mall and game shop towards closing time, and the stocks for the next day had just arrived. I’m pretty sure a lot of gamers here in Manila have their copy already, and are already getting themselves acquainted with this new and hot-hot-hot beat ‘em up.

This really isn’t my review- I can’t give that since I just got the game- however, I HAVE been playing the game almost non-stop since last night. I think I’ve clocked easily eight hours of play on the game- playing Arcade Mode with Hilde, Blazing through Story Mode and playing a lot of Quick Battle, and dipping my toe a bit in Legendary Souls (GYAAAH). I think it’s safe to say I kinda LIKE this game. A LOT. But short of a full review, here are my early impressions of the game, and thoughts on related topics.

Fast Tube by Casper

A peek at SCV’s much-improved Character Creation mode.

First off… the game looks freakin’ BEE-YOU-TEA-FULL. Absolutely goddamn ravishing. It’s weird but the game should look similar to Soul Calibur IV- and it does (they’re both on PS3 anyway) but for some reason, SCV just looks better. I guess the character models are just more refined, more detailed and just a wee bit softer. They certainly move more smoothly, and man- the game looks amazing moving at a rock-solid 60FPS, on my 51-inch Plasma. First time I booted it up (and installed), my jaw went slack as I saw the detail on Hilde’s armor, all the things going on in her stage (no less than a full-on LOTR-style Battle with freakin’ War Oliphaunts in the distance).
Then there’s the animation. Just as I loved that aspect in Tekken 6, SCV moves very fluidly but clearly- even if there’s tons of pyrotechnics and weapon trails flying about, the action is so detailed and smooth it’s very easy to follow, and darn entertaining to watch. Looking back now- feminism or sexism or other isms aside- those SCV ads with Ivy’s butt or boobs is kinda apt cause… man, this game is SEXY.

Sound and Music is suitably Epic, which is a no-brainer. SC has always had awesome orchestral fantasy scores, and SCV continues that tradition. In terms of vocal assets, so far I’ve been playing the game in English, and so far I haven’t found any cringe-worthy performances from the main cast. The actors for Patrokolus and Pyrrah deserve massive props for really making me feel for their characters’ plight in the Story Mode. Also, there’s a nice option to choose sound effects- either ‘Realistic’ or ‘Exaggerated’, although I haven’t yet checked them out.

Then there’s the Gameplay. Yummy. I guess it’s a no-brainer that the controls are responsive, however, this game is just fun. The A.I. can get tough, particularly nasty once they start doing combos on you when you’re downed. It’s a very different world here than in Tekken, where I’m more familiar. However, since this IS the fighter of the present, I am very interested in actually learning this game more in-depth than ever. That has never been for any previous SC, even if I’ve always been a follower of the series. I just want to play this game and see all the nuances. There’s so much to the system now- the gauges, the SSFIV-like Ultras/Critical Edges, the sidesteps and the Brave Edges… It’s gonna take a while to get used to it all. However, I think this is a great game to really get to grips with the gameplay.

On the Modes, have to say I have mixed feelings. On the outset, it seems that SCV is a bit sparse- there’s no ‘Quest’ mode to speak of, aside from the big Story Mode. After playing a bit of Arcade Mode, I was a bit disappointed- there’s not much point to it, since there are NO ENDINGS to find at the end, as is usually the case. Yeah, Project Soul put all their Narrative Eggs into the Story Mode. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it is something to note.

Quick Battle will be where most Single Play will be held, I think. Similar to how this was handled in Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, you basically just choose your fighter and an opponent from several choices at any given time- in this it’s similar to Ghost Battle in Tekken. Opponents include various fighters made using the CAS mode, some of them looking quite outlandish. You’ll also face the virtual version of Katsuhiro Harada here, given enough fighting.

Then, there’s Story Mode. It’s a pretty long thread- centering on the adventures of Patrokolus Alexandra as he searches for his missing sister, Pyrrah. Most of it is told in still art illustrations with full voice-acting, and this isn’t really half bad. The actors are pretty good, and as I mentioned Patrokolus’ and Pyrrah’s voices are exceptionally good. Patrokolus is a rank asshole at the start of the story, but you’ll be rooting for him by midway and into the end. The pivotal moments of the story are presented in lavish and gorgeous pre-rendered CG cutscenes which are really, really lovely- the emotions and acting of the characters are very convincing, particularly for Pyrrah. Finishing this will take quite a few hours- depending on how fast you beat the opposition (it’s not that hard). Sadly, as engaging and cool the story is, once you finish it…that’s it. However, kudos to Project Soul for fashioning such a well-told tale. Not quite as eye-candy full as MK (which was inspiration, I heard), but it does the job well.

Finally there’s Legendary Souls, which is essentially Boss Rush. You unlock this after finishing Story Mode- and… well… suffice to say, I haven’t made any headway yet in this. I can’t get past the first guy, no matter how hard I try. Need more practice I guess. But practice I’ll get, as I plan to be playing this game for a long, long, long time. Or until the next Soul Calibur game.

My full review to come soon, hopefully in Video Form! However, I’ll say it now- this is good, quality fighting right here, people. Project Soul did great. The Soul Still Burns!

Soul Calibur V is IN the House!

Posted in DLC, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, Soulcalibur 5 on January 30th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Well, I guess I really, really lucked out tonight! I made the trek to the mall after work and made the effort to go to the videogame store even if I knew there wouldn’t be anything there for me. LO and behold, I stare at the display and there be Soul Calibur V copies sitting in plain sight. I sauntered in and got my copy, freshly-arrived!

Three cool points to take into account with my luck today. One, my copy is an Asian SCV, so I got it as cheap as I can get a game. Two, since I was an early buyer, they threw in a Dampierre DLC Code as a bonus. WHEEE!!! And finally, yeah, it’s the 30th right now (as of this writing), so I got my game about a day or so early! OH JOY!

So I guess I’ll be laying aside Skyrim for now, and going into another type of fantasy experience. Impressions to come soon!

Tekken Tweetbits! Clues to the Next Tekken Games?

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken, Tekken 6, Tekken X Streetfighter, Xbox360 on January 28th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Katsuhiro Harada, head of the Tekken Project, let out some intriguing little tidbits for fans on Twitter today. They may be just little farts of info, but they may also be something to think about going into the next couple of Tekken titles. The first bit regards Tekken X Streetfighter- supposedly Harada is considering that the Streetfighter characters will play with their usual 6-button configuration, while the Tekken fighters retain the Iron-fisted 4-button layout. Will TxSF be literally a game that clashes two totally different play systems?

The other little bit may potentially be something that affects perhaps Tekken 7- or whatever the next canon Tekken chapter will be called. As one gamer asked Harada who won Tekken 6, the replay that came was a simple ‘Not Jin’.

That sadly only opens this subject up to a lot more questions. Were the events in Scenario Campaign canon? Was the winner Lars? Or perhaps Kazuya and his ending showing him carrying a defeated Devil Jin? Intriguing and maddening but sadly, we won’t probably learn the true answer for a good long while. This year will see the development of Tekken X Streetfighter and the eventual release of the console version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Tekken 7 is still at least a couple of years away. I’ll probably still be a gamer and Tekken fan then, so no skin off my teeth. But will you? Stay tuned then, gamers! We’ll get there together… someday!

Extra Character Trailers for Soul Calibur V and Streetfighter X Tekken!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Soulcalibur 5, Streetfighter X Tekken, Xbox360 on January 27th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Three powerful competitors are formally revealed in this trailer!

Namco-Bandai finally catches up to the rest of the internet with a trailer for former SCIV boss Algol, master mimic Edgemaster and the Soul of Devil Jin fighting style for Character Creation. The DJ chaacter of course, in case you haven’t noticed, is made to resemble Tekken Project Director Katsuhiro Harada. Hmmm… Of course, I’ll try to recreate Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono in the game ASAP for a big brawl between these two friendly rivals? Heheh. Have to say though I can’t help but notice the more- um, low angle view now given to Algol’s Critical Edge (former Critical Finish)… well, I guess there will be players who’ll appreciate that. The game is out in a few days! Hoping to get my copy soon.

Fast Tube by Casper

Pac-Man and Megaman join the crazy action in SFxTekken!

And on the Streetfighter X Tekken side, two mascots join the battle with this trailer revealing Namco-Bandai’s Pac-man and Capcom’s Megaman as two more exclusive PS3 and PS VIta extra fighters. In case you missed it, both of these characters appeared (kinda) in the early SFxT trailers so there was already a bit of a teaser back then of their appearance in-game. For some reason though, instead of cool/cute cartoony MM, Capcom opted to put the weird, ‘real-life’ Megaman who appeared on the crappy old US packaging art, along with hammy dialogue. I personally suspect it’s actually Dan in disguise. The game is out in early March! Lots of fighting to come very soon, but I’ll all about Soul Calibur V right now. Can’t freakin’ wait for next week!!!

Soul Calibur V Collector’s Edition Unboxing

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Soulcalibur 5, Xbox360 on January 25th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

FilthieRich takes us through the spiffy SCV CE Package.

I’ll be honest- I’m not one for spending extra for CE’s… but this particular package, the Soul Calibur V Collector’s Edition- has me mouthwatering a bit. The whole thing looks really slick, and I like that Artbook in particular, as well as the Making Of disc. Granted, both will probably be available online in some form for free, but hey… it’s still a really choice bit of gaming swag. Anyways, check out the vid and salivate yourself. Sadly (or perhaps luckily) the CE is unavailable for me at this time (Play-Asia has it listed as Sold Out or Out of Print), but if I encounter it at the store, I may spring for it. Maybe. We’ll see. I just want this game already… Just about six days to go!!!

Soul Calibur V: Mysterious Fighters in Motion

Posted in Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Soulcalibur 5, Xbox360 on January 21st, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Elysium, Kilik, Alpha Patorklos, Pyrrah Omega… Oh, my!

It’s been quite a ruckus for Soul Calibur V in the past several days. There have been rumors circulating around about the identities of several of the as-yet-unrevealed characters; that the game will now have not one, not two… but THREE Mimic Characters. A Mimic is a character who doesn’t have a fighting style all his/her own, but instead cycles through those of other fighters. In Tekken, it’s usually Mokujin. In Soul Calibur, it’s Edge Master (who was confirmed in the game last week).
But now it’s known that there are apparently two more- the Angel-like Elysium and apparently the returning, and now-masked Kilik! You can see these two in action early on in the vid above, with Elysium using Viola’s Orb style. According to the rumors, Elysium (the name comes from the equivalent of Heaven or Paradise in Greek Mythology) will mimic only female fighter styles, while Kilik will be limited to the male warrior styles. That aside, I guess these characters’ true natures or backgrounds will be revealed as players progress in the game’s Story Mode.

Also veiled in mystery so far are Alpha Patroklos and Pyrrah Omega; The latter is Patroklos who has thrown away his little buckler in favor of a sheathed-sword style very similar to Setsuka’s Iai-style sword art in SCIV… and he looks freakin’ badass if used right. Pyrrah Omega looks obviously like Sophie’s daughter corrupted by Soul Edge- and while she still has some silly stances, her moves are very different from Vanilla Pyrrah. I guess these alternate versions of the two Alexandria siblings will be unlocked through the Story. Intriguing!

Have to say, I understand that many players are feeling disgruntled that actual characters like Talim and Zasalamel may have been left on the Cutting Room floor in favor of Mimics and Alt-versions of existing characters… but I say, let’s see the whole story unfold first. Things have been done and the game is gold, due out in 12 days. Let’s play it, then see where we go from here. Have to say I’m still hyped like crazy. I want this game yesterday!
To finish things off, here’s a look at the Devil Jin-style in SCV, available for use in the Character Creation mode. Playing is the Harada character, based on the iconic Head of the Tekken Project.

Fast Tube by Casper

Harada bashes his way into the Caliburverse!

Soul Calibur iOS Arrives on the AppStore

Posted in Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, Soul Calibur on January 19th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Console quality fighting action on the go?

Perhaps as a nice prelude to the big release of Soul Calibur V at the end of the month, Namco-Bandai got their mobile guys to port the classic Soul Calibur (back from the days of the Dreamcast and Original Xbox) to their iOS platform. While this kinda sounds cool, there are a lot of caveats.
First off, the game costs $11.99- pretty pricey for an app, but still I guess nowhere near as expensive as some Square RPGs on the appstore. The complete game roster of 19 fighters is available, with Arcade, Survival, Extra Survival (Sudden Death), Time Attack, Museum and Practice modes on offer. No Story Mode it seems, at least for now.

The files size is about 215 MB, which is large but not overly so. However, it requires an iPhone 4 or 4S, iPod Touch 4th Generaton or an iPad2 to run- and from the vid above it doesn’t seem to run that smoothly. If you factor in that much of SC’s appeal is silky-smooth animation, this may dash quite a few gamers’ dreams of heavenly beat ‘em up action on the go.

Lastly, despite being called Universal, the game apparently won’t run on iPad1. So if I get this, I’ll only be able to play it (at least until some patch addresses this) on my iTouch.

My Touch is already full of fighters- Streetfighter IV Volt, King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat 3 and Infinity Blade 2. Adding in Soul Calibur would probably be another nice feather in that cap. I’ll decide if I get this or not later tonight when I get home to the Sanctum and have access to my iTunes. So far though I’m at 40-60, against getting it. What I actually, really, totally and truly want, after all, is Soul Calibur V. Oh well…

Soul Calibur V Story Trailer, Now in English!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Soulcalibur 5, Xbox360 on January 18th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Finally we can figure out what’s going on. A bit.

Some time ago, Namco-Bandai released a trailer showing off Soul Calibur V‘s much-anticipated Story Mode. Of course, it was in Japanese, so as emotive and give-all as Japanese seiyuu can be, we can’t really empathize if we don’t know what they’re saying. Well, the vid above is finally in English, and honestly- now I’m even more excited and stoked than I was before watching it. So check it out and maybe, just maybe, you won’t be hating on pompous Patroklos or scaredy-cat Pyrrah when you know what they’ve been through these past 17 years.

Soul Calibur V is out on PS3 and Xbox360 this coming Jan. 31.

Streetfighter X Tekken: Lotsa New Characters!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, PSP Vita, Streetfighter X Tekken, Xbox360 on January 18th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

‘Episode 5′ of the Streetfighter X Tekken Cinematic Spots brings in more faces into the roster.

Today was perhaps the biggest day of reveals yet for upcoming crossover fighter, Streetfighter X Tekken, with even more familiar faces revealed in two new trailers for the game. The first vid above, which continues the line of cinematic spots, throws into the Pandora-fueled conflict Mishima Zaibatsu Emo CEO Jin Kazama and his lady love Ling Xiaoyu from the Tekken side, while Shadaloo Dictator M. Bison and S.I.N renegade Juri Han barge in from the SF side.
I particularly like Capcom’s interpretation of Jin- never liked him that much, but he’s badass here. Bison looks spectacularly evil and powerful, while Juri is… just Juri. Man, that woman is so maniacally awesome. Poor Xiao probably got the worst end of the whole stick, coming off as a bit weak. Hopefully she’ll play a lot better than she performed here.

The day’s reveals don’t end there though- a second, gameplay-only spot also reveals Paul Phoenix and Marshall Law from Tekken, while Balrog and Vega arrive from Capcom’s flagship. But that’s NOT all! The 2nd spot promises even more fighters to come. Whoa, how large is the SFxTekken roster? I’m thinking this will push into the 40 range at least. We’ll see. For now, enjoy these awesome new trailers, and check out the Hi-res character art for the new reveals over at Fighter’s Generation.

Fast Tube by Casper

Even more new reveals emerge in this gameplay-heavy trailer!

The Lone Gamer’s Top 5 Favorite Skyrim Videos

Posted in Action Adventure, Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, RPGs, Videogame Comedy, Xbox360 on January 17th, 2012 by thelonegamer

In case you don’t already know, I FREAKIN’ LOVE The Elder Scrolls V Skryim. At least as much as I love fighting games, Tekken and Streetfighter, and that’s saying something. Like my fave games, one great thing about Skyrim is that it’s one of those games that are just so fun to watch as much as play yourself. Testament to this are the gazillions of player and fan-made vids from the game online, on Youtube and elsewhere. Some are nice, some are meh, some are out there, while some just make you feel great about loving this masterpiece of an RPG/Open World Game/Alternate Life Simulator. Here are five of the most entertaining Skyrim videos I’ve yet seen, so enjoy!

Fast Tube by Casper

5. Army of CHILDREN
A hilarious vid from Robbaz (whom you’ll be hearing again from later) whose accent really makes this vid doubly funny to me. But really, the sight of a mob of knife-wielding, expressionless little buggers should be enough to turn any defender’s blood to icewater.

Fast Tube by Casper

4. Skyrim Theme with Piano and Violin
By now there are lots of Skyrim music vids, but this was the first one that I ever saw online, and I still think it’s the best. Still gives me chills to hear the majestic music interpreted by these two talented musicians. Lara6686 and ViolinTay, take a bow!

Fast Tube by Casper

3. Skyrim on Master Difficulty
Someday, I may deem it necessary to give myself more challenge and ratchet up Skyrim’s difficulty up to Master. Till then though, perhaps I’ll just live that Masochistic Life vicariously through this series of playthrough vids made thoroughly entertaining by the laugh out loud-hilarious commentary by Brickwallgames, with the vid up above (Episode 71) being especially LOLriffic. One. More. Round!!!

Fast Tube by Casper

2. The Adventures of Felix the Peaceful Monk
A truly unique way to play the game is shown here in the Adventures of Felix the Peaceful Monk, by WestSideLuigi, who has opted to try the unconventional route of Pacifist in Skyrim. The point is to not kill anything or anyone directly or indirectly (via followers, albeit traps are fine). How is this done? Via lots of running and lavish use of stealth or Illusion spells, that’s how. Still, being strictly pacifistic will certainly prevent you from progressing in most of the game quests and faction storylines, but this is truly a fascinating watch for gamers who want to see a very unusual gameplay style.
Oh, and WestSideLuigi’s voice is just so soothing. The guy should sell pillowcases.

Fast Tube by Casper

1. Unarmed Badass Viking with Commentary
There are many vids showing off the unarmed fighter build in Skyrim, but darn- none are as colorfully or convincingly narrated and sold by Robbaz, ‘King of Sweden’ (and Yes, I did indeed make an Unarmed Fighter and he’s doing well, thank you very much). Watching this vid will make you save over your previous messy build and sell off those swords and silly spells ’cause, well, only a pussy needs anything but SMITING, Heavy Armor and his FISTS to kill everything in Skyrim. Oh, and a nice badass Viking helm too. WHO WANTS TO BE A WALRUS???

With the game only out for about two and a half months, there’s sure to be more vids to come. Who knows, maybe I’ll make a couple of my own? Well, still playing as much as I am watching, and blogging here is taking time away from both of those activities. So LATER! Heheh.