Evil Returns… in a New Diablo III TV Spot!

Posted in Diablo III, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, RPGs on April 30th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

May 15 can’t come soon enough.

Here’s the smokin’ new TV spot for the just-around-the-corner Diablo III that Blizzard has been hyping up over the weekend. The spot was slated to air after the latest episode of Family Guy, but the ad’s been posted online as well. The 30-second ad was supposed to contain some never-before-seen bits of cinematics, and I guess this includes our first-time looks at an Angel, perhaps Tyrael himself, back in the fight, as well as a look at the Flamin’ Lord of Terror as well. As usual, the cutscenes look spectacular… this game is going to rock. May 15, on PC and Mac. It’s finally going to happen. Awesome!

The Avengers (2012) Movie Review: Now The Lone Gamer Wants to be a Team Player!

Posted in Movies, My Stuff, Uncategorized on April 27th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Avengers Assemble!!!

Comic Book Fans, rejoice. Nah, scratch that… Movie Fans in General, rejoice. The Avengers, one of the most ambitious film ventures taken- the climax anticipated and setup by at least five other major movies based on Marvel Comics’ titles- is the Real Deal. It just simply IS.
THIS is what we all wish a comic book movie can be, overcoming quite a few anticipated film pitfalls and mistakes in the past to come up with an epic two hour plus EPIC that’s smart, thrilling, engaging, dramatic, badass, inspiring AND freakin’ hilarious all in one sitting. Director Joss Whedon, co-writer Zak Penn, and their all-star cast knocks this one out of the park to bring us one of the BEST superhero films and easily THE BEST Superhero Team Film yet seen. Oh, and it’s one kick-ass action-scifi-fantasy Epic and Sure-Blockbuster. Ka-Ching!

Loki (played once again with charming yet conflicted gusto by Tom Hiddleston), the exiled Asgardian god of trickery, has allied himself with the Alien Chitauri- In return for giving him command of their forces, Loki will acquire for them the Tessaract- that Cosmic Cube-esque object of immense power first seen in the events of the Captain America movie. To counter this threat, Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) realizes that the only hope humanity has now lies in the hands of a few, powerful but diverse individuals who must come together as a team to save the world- the Avengers.

Where can I begin? Let me say first that The Avengers straight up gives all the previous superhero movies a right cross. After five or six movies of buildup, this climactic finale (or is it a beginning?) hits the ground running. Whereas some superhero movies are top-heavy with too much dialogue and too-little action, The Avengers has action (and really good action) scattered throughout it’s length… and when there aren’t super-powered beings or super-skilled fighters tussling onscreen, there’s verbal sparring of high order as we get the customary Whedon-esque dialogue and character moments that will flesh out comic book archetypes into real, whole, believable characters or which will just straight up make you laugh out loud. That’s where this movie works and keeps working- it’s great at throwing punches, lines AND punchlines.

You’d think with a team of big names, there would be clashes on who’s the real/biggest star… well, yes and no. Yes, in the way that it’s intended to be that way, and no in the sense that thankfully ALL the heroes get their moments, their parts to shine (and even the Villain, of course, as he should) and even if you may have your favorite, it’s a Team Thing this time. But here it’s even better realized than in any previous team flick- yes, any and all the X-mens and Fantastic Fours. DC Justice League… you have your work cut out for you, if you ever happen.

Yes, Iron Man AKA Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is still his endearingly fast-talking self with some juicy, funny lines and scenes, but that just thankfully enriches the characters he butts heads with- most directly his polar opposite, straightshooting war hero/super-soldier Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, still awesome). Anyone knowing the history between these two (well, really Cap and Tony’s dad) will just appreciate the emotions behind their interactions.
Meanwhile, ever-suave thunder-god Thor (Chris Hemsworth, also still darn awesome) doesn’t take a back seat to his two new comrades, getting quite a few pay-off scenes and moments (I heartily recommend watching the Thor movie beforehand) and nicely gets scenes that show the quiet, cool humanity within this god-among-men. Oh, and he gets one of the freakin’ funniest lines in the flick.
Watching these three, It really dawns on me how perfect and fortuitous the casting for the Marvel films have been, to score these guys in these starring roles.

Mark Ruffalo, who takes over the role of Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk from Edward Norton, was riding on a two-edged sword going into this flick. On the one hand, he didn’t have his own movie to prelude his character and comes in relatively cold. On the other hand, if he bats this right, he takes a huge bite of the flick’s bad-assery as the movie’s pay-off Butt-Kicker. To his credit, Ruffalo delivers as a very likable, earnest and fresh Banner, and he’s quietly dangerous and compelling until The Other Guy breaks out. And then… Oh My.
The HULK. The Freakin’ HULK. It took them long enough, but they got him. They NAIL the Hulk- finally show WHY he is so awesome… in this one. Perfect. SMASH. SMASH. SMASH. He’s the green gamma ray-powered non-nuclear deterrent. So, enemy worlds, take note- you may have armies greater than ours, but we have a Hulk.

Rounding off the team are the less-than-super-powered members; Natasha Romanoff AKA The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is SHIELD’s best assassin and agent, and even if she’s not as strong as the big boys she’s in fine form and NEVER a damsel in distress- testament to Whedon for keeping this lady badass AND smoldering hot at the same time. Give this girl her own flick.
Then there’s Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who made his debut in Thor. He has to contend with being sidelined as a baddie for most of the film, but when he’s good… he’s REALLY good.

Bringing up support is SHIELD- the ‘good guy’ secret army headed by Fury and captained by the always-reliable Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, reprising his longtime role) and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), who makes her debut from the comics onto the screen. Also making its debut is a longtime SHIELD ‘accessory’ that finally um, surfaces in fine form.

So, it it all so perfect? Are there any big flaws or noticeable hiccups? Well, a couple I guess. I wish the music was more epic, and more pronounced like the score was in, say, Thor. The movie deserves that. As it is right now, the music is okay. I wish the Chitauri- Loki’s alien flunkies- were a wee bit scarier. I also wish a certain event in the film didn’t happen because I really like the character. Oh, and lastly- the 3D didn’t do a thing for me. Eeeh… this flick shines even without it.

Regadless… at about two and a half hours, The Avengers starts off with an action-packed setup even before we get to any of the actual superheroes, then liberally sprinkles action and badass fights throughout until the even more action-packed finale. But it isn’t just about action and tons of CG slickery- this film will keep you engaged even during the quiet moments, and some scenes of amazing emotion- specifically that one scene in Germany, where a man stands up to a god. Magnificent.

It’s also the simple consistency and continuity (payoffs all around for those who’ve seen all the other films in the series), the way the characters spar with each other (physically or verbally) thanks to the clever and sharp script. Amazingly, pretty much EVERYONE gets their chance to shine, to be badass when they need to be, to be heroic when they have to be, and freakin’ funny because they just are. Order the small soda so you don’t miss anything. Seriously.

This movie OutStars, OutFights, OutWits, OutFunnies and basically OutClasses all comic book movies that have come before. The bar has been raised, and we can only hope they keep shooting for the stars. They certainly shot for the stars to make this movie, and by the fates, they scored a bull’s eye.
What comes after this one? Only time will tell, but things bode well. Here’s to The Avengers continuing the fight someday, but till then THIS is here and now and goddamn that’s all we can ever ask for.

The Lone Gamer gives The Avengers 6 Marvelous Stars out of 5 (because there are 6 Avengers, after all!).

Go watch this with your friends, so you can do a Team Pose afterwards.

Two More Fighters for Dead or Alive 5!

Posted in Dead or Alive 5, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Xbox360 on April 27th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper
Christie and Bayman report for duty.

As tweeted earlier this week by Team Ninja/Tecmo-KOEI’s Twitter, two more fighters have just been revealed for the upcoming Dead or Alive 5. So now, joining the four ninja already confirmed, we’ve got… two assassins. How’s that for variety? Heh…

Anyways, I’m pretty glad to see the hot, hot, hot Christie back and dressed in her tighty-whities, while Russian wetworks expert Bayman returns looking like he jumped in from a Call of Duty game. Also debuting in the latest DOA5 vid is a new stage- a battlefield that looks like one of those bullet-riddled flashpoints from MGS4, complete with helicopters and things blowing up. All that and STILL no one ever gets KO’ed… man, Team Ninja, incorporate REAL knockout animations, dammit!
Also in, 4Gamer.Net just posted an article with the latest additions, lotsa screenshots and character art/renders from the game. Check them all out here.

Still smokin’ hot and all snake-fisty.

Well, the game is surely looking amazing regardless, and a ton of fun with all the crap flying around. I’m hoping though that not every freakin’ stage is a funhouse of wacky explosions and non-bloody physical comedy routines. We’ll see as more stuff is revealed as we head on towards release later this year.

EX-Play: Adam Sessler Has Left G4TV

Posted in Fan Service, Game-related Events, Gaming on April 26th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

X-play. Comedy and gaming… good times.

For most of my gaming life, ever since we first got cable TV, when I saw game reviews and content, it was from TechTV’s X-Play. Yeah, back when it was still called TechTV’s X-Play or Extended Play, I watched the reviews and chuckled at the cheap but entertaining skits.
Years passed and TechTV turned into G4TV, and X-Play continued to evolve, getting more snazzy intros, getting a slicker stage and so forth. But for the most part one aspect remained constant and comforting- the funny and always-entertaining video reviews… and Adam Sessler. I didn’t always agree with the reviews, but I loved watching them, and I totally appreciated the game-based skits and comedic segments that just found my gaming funnybone like no other… and of course, the voice and antics of the Sess were always the best of them.

Well, I guess all good things come to an end, and in the same way that X-Play seems to be minimizing comedy in recent times, they’ve apparently also cut ties with The Sess. According to this article by Kotaku, the host has left G4TV and will be pursuing his own path, though hopefully still within the gaming industry.
I’ve no doubt that Adam will make something cool and game-based on his new direction. Hoping it’s still something gamers can watch and be entertained/informed/enlightened by as always. But wherever you go, Sessman, I wish you luck.

For now, I have my memories (and an iPod full of classic X-play vids) to cherish and revisit. Later, dude.

Tekken Tag 2 Story Mode Endings on Console!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Xbox360 on April 25th, 2012 by thelonegamer

More info on the upcoming console port.

In fighting games, there are two types of gamers- ones who like and care about the story/background of all the fighting and are excited about where the action is going… and then there are those who don’t give a shit and just want to beat up the other guy for the hell of it. Well, I’m of the former,; I love Story Modes and ending cinematics so THIS is news for me. Tekken has had endings for its characters from the first console port of the original Tekken, down into all the games up to Tekken 6. How bout Tekken Tag Tournament 2 then?

Fast Tube by Casper

Here’s the CG ending for Unknown in Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2).

If we’re basing solely from the arcade version, we already know there are some in-game cutscenes that tell a bit of narrative- you get one for defeating Heihachi and Jinpachi, an intro each for True Ogre and Jun Kazama, and a final cinematic showing Unknown’s defeat and apparent demise running into the credits.
But these common cutscenes aside, we haven’t seen any individual character resolutions for TTT2. Well, as usually is the case, the console version will have the goods.

According to a recent tweet from Katsuhiro Harada, TTT2 will have Story Ending movies/cinematics for EACH character that will range in length from a minute and a half to two and a half minutes long. With over 50 characters in the final game, that’s a LOT of Story content to unlock and watch. Here’s the original tweet:

Harada_Tekken: We’ve 1min30sec to 2min30sec story movie for a each character(much longer than 6). Over 50 char RT

I guess the details will have to wait a bit- whether these cutscenes will be pre-rendered CG or be realtime cinematics using the game engine (the original TTT used realtime, with only the final boss ending pre-rendered).. and how silly/badass/funny each will be. I assume though that there may be some common elements to each one… such as Unknown’s defeat and such… but this really sounds promising. It certainly sounds like the Tekken devs are pulling out all the stops to make TTT2 console an exceptional release. I’ll be on this like a freakin’ hawk as we creep up towards September.

Marvel VS Capcom 2… on iOS!?!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, Mobile Games on April 24th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Who’d have thought we’d be able to play THIS on a phone?

Darn, it truly IS the greatest time to be a gamer. It’s that day when we can have console-quality fun on devices once thought limited to just calling and texting. Yeah, I knew smartphones were supposed to be cool- and yeah, years ago I could play some PSOne classics on my Windows smartphone… but this! Arcade classic and 2D madhouse of Capcom-powered crazy brawling action, Marvel VS Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, is now available (or will be later today) on the iOS platform. Yes, THAT Marvel VS Capcom 2… the one with the 54-strong roster that includes Ruby Heart, Son-Son, effin’ CABLE, Blackheart and so forth. All playable, with supposedly no cutbacks- super combos, super attacks, special techniques, hidden characters… the works! Even better, this is a Universal release, meaning it’s made for both iPhones/iPod Touch AND iPads. Some bad news though- iPhone 3GS and original iPad owners, as well as those owning iPod Touch 3rd Gen and lower are out of luck… you’re going to need the more advanced iDevices to play.

That said, this is looking freakin’ amazing. I was never really a big MvC fan, but man- just the sheer ability to have this on my iPad (and yes, thankfully I have the new iPad) is amazing and just a MUST for a beat ‘em up fan. I’ll be sure to grab this from the appstore once it appears (hopefully sometime tomorrow night). At an opening sale of $2.99, this seems as inexpensive as it is awesome.

Man, if this is possible, what other fighting games may we see on our Apple devices someday? Streetfighter III? Third Strike? Darkstalkers? GIMME A TEKKEN iOS, PLEASE!

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown: Fuudo Interview

Posted in DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Xbox360 on April 23rd, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

VF5 Star Player Fuudo invites everyone to get their asses kicked by him on console!

Man, I still can’t get over that we’re getting Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. It IS literally my dream fighter… more so than any other beat ‘em up in recent memory, THIS is the one I want to have. That desire was fueled even more by the simple fact that it has always been a Japan-only Arcade Release… making it something we can never have. Well, until now, that is. While the exact release date is still at a vague ‘Summer 2012′, things are pointing to a mid to late June release, given that Sega is holding their Pre-release party for the game on May 19. I simply MUST have this game.

Well, thankfully it seems that Sega is giving the release their support, complete with promo vids and interviews for the game. The latest vid above shows off arcade star player Fuudo as he talks about his background, play style and message to gamers for VF5FS. Fascinating as this may be to hardcore VF players, I’d much rather see game footage and features… well, that’ll probably come eventually. I assume that aside from taking on Fuudo online perhaps his ‘ghost’ or A.I. will be available in VF5FS’s single player campaign or battle mode.
As technical or complex VF5 or the series in general may seem to be, it’s gotten a lot more playable and accessible to more players with every new installment, particularly with FS I think. I really hope this pays off well- for us players, to get an arcade-perfect, complete FS in a couple of months, andfor Sega, to get their money’s worth from it so they can get AM2 to start work on the much-awaited Virtua Fighter 6. Man, the future of fighting games seems bright and sweeeeet.

Diablo III Beta Hopes Dashed!

Posted in Diablo III, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, RPGs on April 23rd, 2012 by thelonegamer

Blizzard announced late last week that the Beta for Diablo III would be open for players all over the world. All you needed was a Battle.Net account and you were set to play any of the available classes up to Level 13.

Well, sadly as much as I wanted to get my Monk fix, I just wasn’t able to complete the installation. It was just taking too long- at the rate it went, the weekend would have been over by the time I got it installed. So what the hey- it’s only a few weeks to the release of the final game… I’ll just wait a bit longer and have my Diablo III Experience a complete one. Sigh. In any case, if you want to see how the Beta went, there are TONS of gameplay/playthrough vids posted/being posted online now, so check those out if you want.

Tekken Tag 2: Gamereactor Interviews Harada

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Xbox360 on April 18th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

A One-on-One with Tekken’s Great One.

Here’s a short video with game channel Game Reactor catching up with Katsuhiro Harada right after his pimpin’ appearance at Namco-Bandai’s Global Gamer’s Day event. Once again, Harada mentions the large roster, but this time with the words ‘more than you can imagine’…. which are some pretty big words. I find myself hoping and praying that not all these additional fighters for the home won’t be just backburner jockeys from Tekken’s past dusted off and thrown into the fray. Really, half of the names in so many Wish Lists are palette swappers or clone characters… PLEASE let there be actual new fighters. Well, I can hope, can’t I? I just want Kunimitsu, a decent Michelle and a playable Unknown. After that, who knows? Not really thinking they’d debut someone totally new here, but anything is possible I think.

Anyway, nice to hear that TTT2 is running on PS3 already, so they’re working more on Extras now. Still a while till September, so hoping they really make this port special. Till then, they’ve got a lot of work hyping this up. Harada’s going to be busy for a good long while.

Tekken Tag 2 Console Trailer and Info!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Xbox360 on April 18th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

‘Switch’ is the song and the theme for TTT2′s latest trailer.

With the embargo lifted for media from Namco-Bandai’s recent event, information and media is finally trickling out. The trailer above is for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the console (PS3 and Xbox360), and confirms a lot of the stuff tweeted by Katsuhiro Harada over the weekend- over 50 characters playable, a much faster and superior netcode, pair play… the works!
TTT2′s Fight Lab indeed puts Tekken 4′s Mechanical Mimic, Combot, in your hands, learning new moves as you learn game techniques and combos in this new incarnation of the practice mode. As you go, you can customize Combot both visually and with specific attacks, making him unique from other players. I’m just not that interested myself in playing a robot character, but playing around with Combot may be a nice diversion.

The new Tekken Tag 2 logo for consoles is simpler, but I’m fine with it.

For high-res screenshots of TTT2 as well as some nice HD character art, head on over to Gemaga’s TTT2 Gallery. We’ll surely see more of TTT2 as it works its way to the September 2012 release date. More as we get it then!