WTF?! Dead TV on Christmas Day!

Posted in Gadgets, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff on December 25th, 2012 by thelonegamer

GAH! For some weird reason, my TV decided to DIE today of all days. Christmas Day! It happened last night- one moment it was just sitting there, on the nightly news- then another second it just went black. The red ‘power’ light on the lower side blinked on and off, and there was a series of clicking sounds from inside the TV. My set’s a 51-inch D550 Plasma TV from Samsung… I’ve checked out some sites online, and apparently this may be a case of a bad capacitor- something that may have caused a recall of some Samsung TVs in the past year or so. It’s been more than a year since I got the TV since November (I got it November 2011 according to the receipt), but if I read the online customer service terms right, I should have up to 2 years warranty for my set.

So hopefully I can call the service center tomorrow (they’re on holiday now, of course) and they can send a guy ASAP to have the TV fixed. Hoping there isn’t any wrinkle or technicality that disqualifies me- I’ve so far been satisfied with Samsung gear- if this TV mars that record, well too bad for them (and me of course!!!). Man, this certainly cripples my gaming schedule- I certainly don’t want to go through the whole holiday without a TV (and games), darn it. Crossing fingers that this gets resolved by tomorrow or so. Till then… well, I got my laptop and iPad. Sigh…

The Lone Gamer’s Gadget Gushes of 2012

Posted in Android, Gadgets, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, Mobile Games, mods, My Stuff, PC Gaming on December 24th, 2012 by thelonegamer

My Galaxy Note 2: Communicator, Console, Compact Cinema.

This past year was an awesome time for gadgets, and I was fortunate enough to find a couple that have since become indispensable, constant companions. It truly is a wonderful time to be a gamer, as today’s latest toys will most assuredly keep boredom at bay indefinitely with awesome apps and flawless media playing.

On the game console side, I still have to say my Playstation 3 has held the line admirably, with both disc-based games AND digitally-released titles. The best DLC game I’ve had all year is surely Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown from Sega, a classic fighting game that had, for the longest time, only been available in Japanese arcades. Thankfully Sega finally allowed us to have this sexy brawler on our consoles, with excellent online play as well as the complete suite of Character Customizations. My PS3 continues to be my main home console- not bad for a machine that’s fast approaching 10 years old (my PS3 is a first-run classic Japanese version complete with PS1 Backwards-Compatibility)!

My current mobile phone, discovered a couple months ago, is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This gorgeous and uber-powerful smartphone pretty much banished the iPhone 5 from my thoughts. Even if it’s quite a handful, the large screen really is the main feature, with the ability to play pretty much any media file you can throw at it, as well as something the iOS platform doesn’t have… the ability to play PS1 Games which makes it truly a portable console that kicks ass. Yeah, PSX Emulation isn’t new- but thanks to the GN2′s beefy power, I can play Dead or Alive or any of my PS1 faves without the phone heating up or the battery running dry too quickly.

Despite the Retina-enable iPad being busted out recently by Apple, I’m still in love with my ‘New iPad’ or iPad 3. There’s no game or app this device can’t handle, and with tons of awesome titles like Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, my pad has truly become the Tablet of Tablets.

For PC Gaming, my needs are sated by my Acer i5 Laptop. With it I’ve enjoyed countless hours of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, X-Com: Enemy Unknown, Hotline Miami and more. Plus, crazy-sexy mods make the PC versions of Streetfighter X Tekken and Super Streetfighter IV Arcade Edition far better than their console counterparts.

Sadly I haven’t found any of the new gadgets from Sony or Nintendo that desirable as yet- but who knows- maybe some upcoming titles will make the Nintendo WiiU or the Playstation Vita viable gadgets someday. Till then, I’ll be busy playing with my gadget menagerie right now into the New Year. Have a Techy Holiday, people!

Awesome Megaman X Fan-made Movie!

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Fan Service, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming on December 23rd, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Who knew Megaman knew kung-fu?

I’m a huge fan of CG fight flicks, in particular indie works like the Dead Fantasy series by Monty Oum. Well, while the sequel to that is still seemingly in the works, there’s this awesome new action short by Shane Newville starring Capcom’s Blue Bomber, Megaman, that everyone should check out. Made to celebrate Megaman’s 25th Anniversary, the fight choreography in this indie work is top-notch, and there’s a cool story being told as well. With this as well as the recently-released Streetfighter X Megaman, Mega-Fans should feel a lot of love. Great stuff!

The Making of Soul Calibur V: Behind the Game

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

Fast Tube by Casper

Behind the scenes of one of the year’s best fighters.

This might be quite a bit late in the posting but hey, I just found this myself today. Someone was nice enough to post the 30-minute Behind-the-Scenes featurette on the Making of Soul Calibur V. The vid’s been on YT for a few months, so hopefully it will stay there for any fighting game fan to watch and enjoy for the duration. If you’re a SC fan who didn’t pick up the SCV Collector’s Edition, you’ll want to watch this. The vid brings you into the rooms of the members of Namco-Bandai’s Project Soul (led by director Daishi Odashima) who talk about the game and the thinking that went into its production. Worth a watch, even if it’s a bit anti-climactic at this point. Heh…

I think that Soul Calibur V performed fairly well since its release, so hopefully there will be another chapter to the Tale of Souls and Swords Eternally Told someday- perhaps within the coming year? We’ll just have to wait and see. Crossing swords and fingers!

Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2 Info!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat Legacy, Movies on December 17th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Cary ‘Shang Tsung’ Tagawa is ready for Season 2.

Kevin Tancharoen has been pretty active lately on his Twitter Account, showing off several teaser images for next year’s Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2. The images include stuff like Kitana’s new costume, the original Shang Tsung, Cary Tagawa as the shapeshifting sorcerer, a flag with a very beastly version of the MK logo, and more. Aside from this, info on both returning, new and non-returning actors for the new season has been revealed. Season 2 brings in a couple of well-known names into the roster- Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) takes over the role of Johnny Cage from previous actor Matt Mullins, while Mark Dacascos (Crying Freeman) debuts as Kung Lao.

More info on the Cast, what MK Characters we can expect to appear in Season 2, has been nicely posted by Fighter’s Generation. I have to say I’m pretty excited for this- I love this show, and I can’t wait to see more and better. All this plus a new MK movie! Sadly we can’t count on a new game anytime soon, but we can’t have everything…

Doomsday Game Prepper: The Lone Gamer’s Top Ten Games For Apocalypse 2012

Posted in Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, mods, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS3, RPGs, Shooters, Videogame Comedy on December 14th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Hey everyone! We’ve all got just about a week to go before society and life as we know it vanishes on the December 21. How’s it going to happen? Meteor? Zombie Plague? Alien Invasion? Mega Tsunami? For all we know, when we open the window or door on the 21st, all we’ll see is an abyss of darkness, or a ravaged, blood-drenched wasteland. So the best thing to do while we have time is prep- and not just with silly stuff like canned beans or tracer round ammo, but vital stuff that will keep you SANE… GAMES, man!

Oh, of course when the apocalypse arrives, no more new games, since every game company will either be dust in the wind or fighting to save their own lives instead of doing something vital, like working. So before the End of All Things, make sure your Last Hidey-Hole comes with a cache of your favorite games- they’ll most surely keep you sane, and you’ll be playing them till your last dying breath. Here’s my list of games to die with come the Big Finale…

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim (PC) What’s the perfect game to play at the end of the world? One that puts you into another world to live in! Bethesda’s best-selling RPG has a gazillion things to do and technically never ends, so you can play it forever (or until you die, which will probably come first). I recommend a ton of great mods to make this awesome game ten times for awesome. Heck, who cares if the outside world is crumbling when you’re searching for that last Stone of Barenziah? Or a supply of clay?

Tekken 6 (PS3) Of all the canon Tekkens, I find that this is still my favorite. The roster is nice and huge, the animation and gameplay a level best for the series at this point. Plus the home version has tons and TONS of content- yes I am one gamer who appreciates and loves the Scenario Campaign mode. Tekken Tag 2 has just as much, if not more stuffings, but it’s a non-canon, Tag-play fighter- for good, classic one-on-one Tekken action with all the trimmings, this is the Tekken I’ll be found gripping with in my cold, dead hands.

Super Streetfighter IV Arcade Edition (PC) I really want the World Warriors to be with me at the end of the world, and this version is arguably the best you can get for good times the biggest SF roster ever. I recommend installing sexy costume mods make this hot fighter even hotter and really, doing Hadokens and Shoryukens never gets old. Nor does seeing Cammy in a bikini doing Frankensteiners.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (PS3) In sheer content, you can technically play this game forever- just the possibilities of character combinations you can have boggle the mind. Plus my butterfingers will ensure I’ll be trying to master the Tag Assault combos for a long, long time. Well, at least until the fuel for my Game Sanctum generators run out. Well, I have a waterwheel generator and an underground river, so technically that won’t ever happen.

Plants VS Zombies (iPad/PC) Why this? Because it’s fun, cheery and funny, as well as something you can play for a long, long time. Just unlock Survival Endless and you’ll have something to stare at till your perfect Doom Shroom defense crumbles… probably at the same time the real zombies bust through the bunker doors, but by then you’ll be ready for the end.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown (PS3) This finishes my three beat ‘em ups on my list- VF5FS is the best AND latest version of the VF series you can get for the home, and this is pretty much complete including all the customizations from the arcade. Oh, and they say it takes years to just master Akira’s Stun Palm of Doom… I guess I’ll soon find the time to put that to the test.

Far Cry 3 (PC) There are literally hundreds of shooters around, so why pick this one? Aside from being new and fresh and pretty awesome with its open world setting, Far Cry 3 has a delicious theme of Insanity running through it, which is nicely visualized in game by characters like its maniacal villain, Vaas Montenegro. Once the end is near, you’ll probably be batshit crazy yourself and talking to the game as you’re playing it.

Diablo 2 (PC) Forget that crap with the ‘III’ at the end… THIS is where it is at, still the best dungeon crawler of all time. This is a game you can truly play for a long time, to perfect your killing technique and to just upgrade your armor, skills and weapons that bit stronger. Too bad you can’t bring that upgraded mega-saber into real life…

Civilization V (PC) There are great RTS and Strategy games out there, but I guess one perfect one to have at the end of the world is one which lets you start things over, and see where mankind could have gone to prevent the Cataclysm. Then your saved game would be used by later survivors to rebuild… isn’t that nice?

Dead or Alive Extreme 2 (Xbox360) Because even if the sun has been blotted out by Armageddon, nothing brightens up the day more than a hot bikini babe poledancing.

So what’s your list of Doomsday Gaming? Honestly though, I have a large cache of stuff to play on the 21st, but we’ll see. I do sincerely hope we’ll move on past 2012 and see a Tekken 7 or an Elder Scrolls VI someday. Keep your fingers crossed that we’ll all be gaming (and I’ll be blogging) well into the next decade. Keep safe, everyone!

Pacific Rim Trailer Strikes my Giant Robot VS Giant Monster Chord

Posted in Action Adventure, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies on December 13th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Kaiju Cinema from Guillermo del Toro!

Haven’t seen a Giant Monster flick in a while- Pacific Rim from director Guillermo del Toro, has Big Blockbuster for 2013 written all over it. There are gamer nods aplenty, from the way that the pilots control the giant mechs to the way they got GLADOS Herself to voice the A.I. This should be pretty cool, even if it kinda makes me think about that pretty cheezy old flick Robot Jox. Heheh. Summer 2013… well, if there IS a Summer 2013…

The Lone Gamer’s Rurouni Kenshin the Movie (2012) Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Fan Service, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Manga, Movies, My Stuff on December 10th, 2012 by thelonegamer

A beloved anime/manga hero makes a comeback via a long-awaited Live-action Adaptation.

A few years ago, a certain anime series hit the small screens and made a generation of youths believe in a red-haired swordsman with a cross-shaped scar and a sword with no edge. It was called Samurai X and from the moment Kenshin Himura AKA Hitokiri Battousai kicked butt the first time, we couldn’t get enough of it. Yeah, there were probably many similar titles in anime, but for some reason this title in particular excelled in bringing to life that ideal of the Quiet, Unassuming Invincible Badass Hero. Of course, anyone who had access to knowledge of manga would know that the series’ real (Japanese) name was Rurouni Kenshin (Kenshin the Wanderer), and his story was long, bloody, sad and powerful and controversial in the telling.

I can wax nostalgic forever about this series- about how it’s first OVA series (Tsuiokuhen AKA ‘Trust and Betrayal’) is simply one of the most powerful, gloriously tragic and sublime works of animation I’ve ever seen, how one should only watch the first 65 or so episodes of the anime and ignore all the rest including the crappy anime movie and that horrific, evil 2nd OVA (Seisohen AKA Reflection) at all costs. In lieu of that though, I’ll just say that bad decisions and bad anime-only fillers robbed Rurouni Kenshin of its longevity, and thankfully now a resurgence of this title may be rekindled- at least starting from this live-action adaptation.

Rurouni Kenshin tells the story of Kenshin Himura (Takeru Sato), a gifted young swordsman who became a peerless, feared assassin during Japan’s civil war in the late 1800s in order to usher in a new age of peace. When the war ended to begin the new, more modern Meiji Era, Kenshin disappeared into obscurity. Years later, Kenshin, now a wanderer who has sworn off killing, tries to protect the weak from oppression to atone for his past sins. He soon finds himself in a town where murders are being committed by ‘Battousai’, his old alias. He soon finds himself involved with Kaoru Kamiya (Emi Takei), a young woman and owner of a struggling kendo school, and Kanryu Takeda (Teruyuki Kagawa), a ruthless businessman/crimelord.

Though Kenshin has sworn never to kill again, he finds himself encountering men who would see the old Battousai back to his bloody ways- including an old rival in the war, Saito Hajime (Yosuke Higuchi) and Udo Jinei (Koji Kikkawa), a murderous henchman to a criminal boss who ‘inherited’ Kenshin’s old sword (and lust for killing) after the war. To protect the ones he has now come to love, Kenshin must take up his sword once more…

You have to hand it to the Japanese when they adapt a manga- they really go to great lengths to make sure characters look and act like they do in the source material- in this case the anime and manga. Granted, it works great in some ways, iffy in some. Takeru Sato, for example, is almost a perfect Kenshin (which is basically what matters most), from the look (red hair and everythihg), the cat-like speed and poise and the awesome sword work. Some characters kinda look odd- Sanosuke Sagara (Munetaka Aoki) really kinda stands out as looking very odd with his wild hair and white Streetfighter outfit. Some characters, ironically minor ones, look like they stepped from a manga page.

For the most part, the note-perfect looks match the action and fight scenes, which include some wire work but nothing extremely over the top apart from Kenshin’s acrobatic skills. The film doesn’t lack in action, but works best when the fight is between two combatants- some fights between Kenshin and multiple enemies are a bit hard to follow, but are still badass because it just IS. RK fans are sure to squeal in pleasure whenever Kenshin strikes a pose or a stance- sadly he doesn’t go Amakakeru Ryu No Hirameki on anyone’s ass but he does do something almost as good.

Running at slightly above two hours, the least I can say about Rurouni Kenshin’s pacing is ‘leisurely’. There are quite a few pauses of silence or just the camera taking in the scenery (which is admittedly quite lovely) which I myself don’t mind but some action addicts may find slow. Despite this, I think that the movie does a good job of squashing in the events of a couple of manga/anime arcs AND a couple of pivotal flashbacks (nods to the aforementioned awesome first OVA) to make a coherent watch. This isn’t a thrill-a-minute film by any means, and may require a bit of patience (good thing the audience during my watch had that and more).

I may nitpick as well a bit that they focused a bit too much on crime boss Kanryu Takeda, who’s really not a foe worth Battousai’s blade- yeah he gets to fire a gatling gun, but a bit unnecessarily he gets more than needed air time AND a bunch of lookalike toadies cluttering up the scenery. I think much more emphasis could have been put on the more formidable baddies, whom I believe don’t even get their names mentioned in the course of the movie- these include Gein (Gou Ayano), a gadget-using masked killer/puppetmaster and Banjin Inui (played by ex-MMA fighter Genki Sudo), a monk-like fighter. Both of these baddies appear only in the manga-exclusive Jinchu or Revenge Arc.

All in all though, slow pace and Otaku nitpicks aside, I really enjoyed my time watching Rurouni Kenshin… that I did so in a theater packed with a like-minded, totally-game audience made it even more fun. There were cheers and claps, laughter (though some in some kinda inappropriate moments) and quite a few whistles. The film does strike the nostalgia chords true.
If you’re familiar with the source material, I’d say this is a must-watch if only for the endless otaku discussions and talkbacks that will inevitably follow. If you’re coming into Rurouni Kenshin clueless, you may find it a cool samurai sword flick that seems to run like a comic- don’t worry, that’s intentional. If you like it, then I say find the anime and first OVA to make yourself a full RK fan in no time.

Is this the start of a new resurgence of Rurouni Kenshin? I sure hope so- I want my Revenge Arc anime adaptation and live-action Shishio Showdown now!

Far Cry 3: ‘Voices of Insanity’ Behind-the-Scenes

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Far Cry 3, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, Xbox360 on December 5th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Goddamn, they cast this guy perfect.

Ubisoft certainly has pulled out all the stops in marketing Far Cry 3‘s cast, even so far as putting out these pretty slick trailers featuring the actual voice actors and apparent live models for the in-game characters. Actor Michael Mando certainly made an impression with his chilling but engaging portrayal of lead thug Vaas Montenegro, coming up with an enemy you truly love to hate. I’m having a ball with the game so far… and looking forward to seeing more of Vaas later on as I make my way through Rook Island. For now, check out these two entertaining spots… certainly a new way of showing off talent, eh?

Fast Tube by Casper

I want some of what he’s having.

Far Cry 3 First Day Impressions

Posted in Action Adventure, Far Cry 3, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, PS3, Shooters on December 4th, 2012 by thelonegamer

Far Cry 3′s Vaas Montenegro in a pensive moment.

Anyone who has read this blog for a bit will probably know that I’m not the biggest shooter fan. I’m more of a fighting game freak, and quite a bit of an RPG nut. But then, that’s the funny thing about Ubisoft’s latest, Far Cry 3. It’s a superior first person, lone wolf adventure that strikes quite a few chords in this Lone Gamer’s heart.

For starters, I do kinda identify with the in-game hero, AKA Jason Brody- promising college boy, athlete and a bit of a slacker who finds himself in a desperate battle to save his friends and younger brother from a horrible fate- being sold off into slavery by modern-day pirates. Jason starts off as the unprepared wet-behind-the-ears guy to his older brother Grant, who seems at the start pretty much made for this kind of situation. But it doesn’t take long for things to spiral into madness leaving Jason firmly in spotlight. I find the way you elevate Jason from a quivering wreck in the prologue to a hardened, badass warrior to be pretty satisfying and empowering.

Secondly, the Rook Islands, where the adventure takes place, is an awesome open world playground that is a joy to explore and frolic in. Perhaps a bit too joyful I think- how can Jason keep himself troubled over rescuing his friends when he can just spend hours leisurely hunting the wildlife, driving the countryside in various free vehicles or best of all, practice the fine art of killing on an army of utterly despicable bad guys? Well, to his credit, hunting animals is the only way to fashion vital equipment like holsters that will allow you to carry a whole arsenal into battle, ammo and medicines you’ll mix up yourself.

And then there’s the cast of troublemakers you’ll encounter in your time on Rook- from the eerily likable but totally demented Vaas to the chummy Dennis, characters are wonderfully expressive and animated- you’ll be hard put to find a more menacing yet fascinating off-kilter menagerie of villains and allies to tussle with. Granted, I’d probably put a bullet into each of their skulls but I’ll remember these buggers fondly.

I’ve so far been enjoying my time playing FC3- even if I’ve been dying a LOT. Animals are particularly dangerous, and it’s far too easy to just walk into a mob of bloodthirsty thugs when you’re just enjoying the sights. But slowly and surely, I’m building Jason’s skills and racking up those kills. I certainly haven’t had this much fun with a shooter in a while. I’ll see about a full review once I’ve given this its due time.

Now if you’ll excuse me- I gotta hunt me some sharks.