The Life and Times of Playstation

Posted in Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSOne on October 22nd, 2013 by thelonegamer


When did You jump onto the PS Wagon?

I saw this video on Youtube and well, I can just identify so much. I have to admit, with some pride I must say, I’m an Old Timer. I’ve been around since the PSX or PSOne days, and stuck with them ever since. I bought my first Playstation with my own money, on a trip to Hong Kong, and never replaced it until the PS2 came. I went through the days of awesomeness, when the PSX was busted open by bootleggers and it seemed that games came EVERY WEEK. Those were the days of true gaming bliss.

Playstation 2 came and still I played games which lasted hours on hours. I probably went through two PS2′s in that era. Some of the best games I ever experienced were on that console.

Playstation 3 was a mixed bag. On the one hand, this 3rd era was a long, prolonged life for the console, and it’s still going. I still expect to enjoy PS3 games (I did just buy my current PS3 a few months ago) well into the next few years.

Now we’re on the cusp of the ‘Next Gen’. Playstation 4 is just around the corner, although I have not yet seen any game that justifies buying one (Come on, Harada- announce that new Tekken already), but it’s pretty much a done deal I’ll be getting one. Looking forward to sitting in front of my HDTV, spending nights once again with this or that awesome world the new console will open up for us.

Man, I love being a gamer.

Tekken Tag 2: Five MORE Characters for Console?

Posted in DLC, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fighting Games, PS2, Tekken, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Xbox360 on June 8th, 2012 by thelonegamer


Bring out those wishlists, Tekkenfans!

Looks like the fun and surprises aren’t ending anytime soon for Namco-Bandai’s Tekken Tag Tournament 2. We’ve already been given four additional fighters recently, but now it seems that there are even more waiting in the wings according to the above teaser pic. The screengrab comes from a recently-posted updated version of TTT2′s ‘Switch’ trailer, and points to at least five more challengers just itching to be outed and revealed.

So who’s next? Doctor B? P.Jack? Tougou? Some word on forums is that the next reveals will be in July- man, that’s a bit far away… but well, so much stuff has been shown off at E3, we at least have lots to chew on for now. Let the speculations continue! Tekken Tag 2 is out for PS3 and Xbox360 in September 2012.

Tekken Hybrid Japanese Promo Vid!

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, PS2, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue on October 6th, 2011 by thelonegamer


Fast Tube by Casper

A package chock-ful of Tekken fun!

Here’s the trailer vid for the Japanese Tekken Hybrid package, which is set for release on December 1. There’s quite a lot of new footage, particularly of the Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie, including a kinda spoilery quick glimpse of a character not for the most part known to be in the film. Of course you also have looks at Tekken Tag Tournament HD (the remastered PS2 game) and the TTT2 Demo, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue. Of course, as cool as this vid is, I’ll most surely be getting either the US version (out November 22) or the Asian/EU version (release TBA). Darn, I really want to see Blood Vengeance already. Still several weeks away, but it’s coming. Slowly but surely.

Tekken Hybrid Release Dates Revealed! (UPDATED!)

Posted in Anime, Arcade, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, PS2, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue on September 29th, 2011 by thelonegamer


Set those calendars, mates!

Katsuhiro Harada just announced today on Twitter that Tekken Hybrid will be released in Japan on December 1. For the US, the release date will be a bit earlier- November 22 for the Tekken Hybrid Limited Edition. As for Europe and Asia, the release date is still TBA.

As previously posted, the regular Tekken Hybrid package will include the 3D Blu-ray movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance, a remasterd PS2 classic in Tekken Tag Tournament HD and a taste of the latest arcade Tekken in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue which comes with 3D stereoscopic output and a character model viewer. The Limited Edition will include an additional art book, 2-CD Soundtrack and PSN Bonus Content.

It’s still a ways off… At this point, the biggest thing for me in the kit is the Blood Vengeance film, since it’s the freshest thing on offer. TTT HD’s almost negligible. TTT2′s already in arcades, and Prologue, playable as it is, is just a wee taste. I just wanna see some CG Nina-Anna action, now.

The Fighting Game Story Mode: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Action Adventure, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, King of Fighters, King of Fighters XIII, Mortal Kombat, My Stuff, PS2, PS3, PSOne, Retro-gaming, Soul Calibur, Soulcalibur 5, Soulcalibur IV, Streetfighter, Streetfighter X Tekken, Tekken, Tekken 6, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Xbox360 on September 22nd, 2011 by thelonegamer


Fast Tube by Casper

Soul Edge’s PS Intro: Always start a story with a rousing opening!

Ah, the Fighting Game genre. It’s certainly my most favorite of all videogame categories- my most beloved guilty pleasure in gaming. I’ve been playing fighters since I got into this hobby, from Streetfighter II on the Super NES to today’s Tekken 6 and Mortal Kombat remake. Many get into these games for the simple pleasure of owning someone else- the unabashed satisfaction of proving your dominance in the most blatant and base way possible- by sheer physicality or superior skill. Really, in the end, fighting games do of course boil down to a simple equation most eloquently shouted out by bloodthirsty masses in Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome- Two men enter, one man leaves. Well, sometimes Two women, or two THINGS. You get the picture, right?

Anyway, I think it’s a mark of a fan of these games themselves and not the sheer act of fighting that despite it being sheer gravy, that I put great importance on an aspect of these games that most often is glossed over- The Story.


Fast Tube by Casper

The Fight- and The Story- is All.

Why is all this fighting going on, anyway? Who’s the ‘good’ guy? Who’s the ‘bad’ buy? What’s at stake? Should we care? In all seriousness, it does add to the enjoyment of a story that we know the backgrounds of each and every single character in a fighting game’s often voluminous roster of Playables, and to follow their blood-slogging climb to the top of the tournament ladder. Drama, comedy, horror, evil, good, jealousy, courage… all encapsulated in what basically is about two guys hitting each other until one goes down and stays down.
Hell, if man going mano-y-mano with one’s fellow man didn’t make for good drama, then Homer’s Iliad wouldn’t have been certified a classic since the freakin’ Ancient Greeks. But hey, wouldn’t the Iliad make for a damn awesome fighter?


Fast Tube by Casper

MK didn’t always have great production values for it’s cutscenes…

This is probably something that fighting games spearheaded apart from other games- no longer did players fight to reach the end just to see a high score- they wanted to see an ENDING- something that couldn’t be quantified into any single number- but the satisfaction of reuniting your electronic avatar with his family, missing sibling or long-sought-after prize of revenge. Or a meeting with his country’s premier!


Fast Tube by Casper

Congratulations, comrade!

Anyway, relating a Fighting Game story has been done in various ways since the beginning. For the most part, the easiest and most expected way is the simple End Cutscene. Streetfighter II did it back in the day, rewarding the player’s victory over M. Bison with a bunch of screens with minimal animation and text. So effective was this that every game afterwards seemed to follow that same template- the ending was the reward, the narrative carrot dangled before the combatant. From SNK’s many brawlers like King of Fighters to Samurai Shodown to the original Mortal Kombat to every 90′s wannabee Streetfighter, it was all there in varying degrees of campiness.


Fast Tube by Casper

Your usual, run-of-the-mill Story Mode ending.

Of course there are a few games that didn’t bother to tell their story- the most significant being Sega’s Virtua Fighter series. All semblance of narrative was placed firmly outside the games, in arcane literature or dictated by actual game tournaments. In many ways, I think, that’s why VF has never found a certain closeness to gamers, with the most hardcore fans of this particular brawler more invested in game mechanics, frame counts and simple gameplay.


Fast Tube by Casper

Virtua Fighter’s Intro hints at a deeper story behind the fighters.

A benefit or detriment? Well, let’s just say that the fan support for VF, while rabid, is perhaps the smallest of all the big fighting game franchises. That’s not to say that the Virtua Fighters don’t have a story- it’s there, certainly, but just not being told as much. Perhaps when we are given a trail to follow and care for, perhaps that’s when VF will bloom to the emotional masses.


Fast Tube by Casper

A Tekken CG Ending waaaay back in the PSOne days.

As game technology and CG animation got better, ending cinematics became slicker and more elaborate. Perhaps the series that most surely chronicles not only it’s characters’ personal sagas but also visualizes the gradual leap of graphical and animation quality is Namco-Bandai’s Tekken series- from the very basic and simple end cutscenes of the first Tekken on the original Playstation, the cinematic cutscenes have raised the bar with every installment afterwards.


Fast Tube by Casper

Despite being an unpopular chapter, Tekken 4 placed more emphasis on story than most other installments in the franchise.

The series has now the reputation for these eye-catching cinematics, with perhaps the culmination of that reputation being the somewhat controversial Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie- perhaps the most complex cutscene yet for a fighting game.


Fast Tube by Casper

Tekken 6 endings are gorgeously animated, but the stories told range from the cool to the downright silly.

Ironically, Tekken 6′s Scenario Campaign is actually a very different way of telling the game’s story, albeit the mode proved unpopular with some players. I actually found this a very engaging and enjoyable mode, though perhaps it could do with some improvements.


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Mortal Kombat’s Story Mode is Epic in so many ways.

But CG visual quality isn’t the end-all and be-all of Fighting Game storytelling- Mortal Kombat proved this with it’s 2011 remake’s quite revolutionary Story Mode. It may have been a bit of a gamble on paper- a long and involved story told in real-time, in-engine graphics, visualizing the whole MK saga from the beginning to the future and back to the present, running many, many hours long and throwing the player into the boots of various warriors. But ultimately, it WORKED. Gamers got into the story, they loved it and acclaim for this way of doing the till-then tired Story Mode was pretty much universal. The one best thing about MK’s Story Mode? It showed one thing that other games always get wrong- The Ending is NOT the Story.
Mortal Kombat showed us that it was all about seeing the fighters’ tales unfold, seeing plots twist and turn and end up in outcomes we didn’t see coming and snowball to something we fear/await/dread was entertaining and kept us going hour after hour, through every fight till the very end.

Of course, MK isn’t the only fighter to have a long and involved Story Mode- just the most visible and perhaps the one boasting the highest production values. Truth be told though, 2D fighter Blazblue has a very involved and complex Story Mode as well, though told mostly in text or voice-driven static cutscenes but boasting multiple endings and paths, sometimes dictated by your victories or defeats.


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Blazblue’s anime-style storytelling makes for many hours of battle, voice-acting and battling voice-acting.

Dead or Alive Dimensions on the 3DS was able to summarize it’s entire enigmatic decades-long saga with it’s rather long but entertaining main Story mode (. The upcoming King of Fighters XIII will also boast a Story mode bursting with replay value for multiple playthroughs when it arrives later this year on consoles.


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The Soul Calibur series often featured interactive endings, where a button press could change the outcome.

Going back a bit, Namco-Bandai’s almost ill-fated Soul Calibur series has had a past filled with exceptional story modes. The original Soul Blade on PSOne had interactive endings where you could change the outcome of your fighter’s fate with a fast button press. Soul Calibur III had a Tales of Souls mode which boasted multiple paths and alternate endings- it encouraged multiple playthroughs so you could see all the possible endings and cutscenes, or unlock a very challenging boss encounter.

Sadly, SoulCalibur IV dropped many things from the previous installments, many of them conceivably fan favorite aspects that were sorely missed. Gone were the multi-aspect Story Mode and explorative minigames, in their place a generic Story Mode with a repetitive and generic cutscene and rather enigmatic endings. The Tower of Lost Souls, a challenging ladder game, proved to be more frustrating to many players than anything else. Perhaps the result? SoulCalibur IV was almost the last game in this long-running series, apparently only saved from the brink of oblivion by fan requests and support.

And so, what have we learned from all this? One important thing.

The Best Story Modes should be about The Journey, NOT the Ending. It’s about a story that’s compelling throughout, not just a prize waiting after all that’s said and done.

But would other fighters learn from this example? Only future fighters will tell. Or, perhaps, the next wave of fighters will.


Fast Tube by Casper

Soul Calibur IV’s Endings looked great, but the overall storytelling left much to be desired.

Soul Calibur V, set for release in First Quarter 2012, looks to have a Story Mode that hopefully has been influenced by recent games. Though we’ve yet to get any solid information on the gameplay, we’ve seen screens showing a map screen, which should bode well for the chance that this won’t simply be a series of fights leading to one ending. At the very least, cutscenes and a pathways chosen by the player may be included, and hopefully challenges and encounters that add and encourage replay- something the series is not a stranger to, as we’ve seen.

With the future of this fan-supported fighter perhaps lying in SCV’s performance, I’m hoping they make the story something that really gets players involved and wanting more of this Tale of Souls and Swords for years to come.


Fast Tube by Casper

Soul Calibur V, set 17 years after the last game, looks to have a story more dramatic than ever before.

With the current resurgence of Fighting Games as a popular genre in gaming, there will surely be more emphasis on the Story Mode. Thanks to Mortal Kombat’s high-profile success, we may expect even more epic storytelling to come from beat ‘em ups in the years to come. Hopefully we’ll see the Fighting Game story evolve into something truly enjoyable and interactive for gamers, so that our favorite fighters continue on and have their Tales Eternally Retold.

Mortal Kombat: What’s Past is Prologue

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Mortal Kombat, PS2, PS3, Xbox360 on April 18th, 2011 by thelonegamer

On the eve of the release of the new Mortal Kombat, I thought about taking a good look back at the last three games of the series, from which the new saga takes off from. This second trilogy of MK games, all exclusively made for home consoles, continued the saga from the original trilogy and MK4. These chapters did a lot of things nicely in terms of character designs and presentation. The storyline in particular was excellent, showing a more desperate and losing battle for the forces of good. So let’s just forget everything bad about these games and just bask in the awesomeness of these CG cinematics.


Fast Tube by Casper

The Deadly Alliance forever shattered the Status Quo.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance would forever change the landscape of the MK saga, with that single scene of Lui Kang’s neck being broken by his arch foe, Shang Tsung. New heroes were introduced, a struggle renewed even if the heroes of Earth had to fight without their greatest warrior.


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Deception’s Intro battle is just awesome beyond words.

Continuing the events in DA, Mortal Kombat: Deception sees all the good guys dead with only Raiden left to take on Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. In the end, he too falls but the villains are left to face an even greater threat- the Dragon King Onaga. This can probably count as the “Another Empire Strikes Back” chapter of the series… heheh.


Fast Tube by Casper

Armageddon’s intro is a fabulous, bloody free-for-all.

Everything comes to a head in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, the biggest MK at the time and one big bag of stuff which on paper looked awesome- Motor Kombat, Chess Kombat, Kreate a Kharacter, Konquest, Kreate-a-Fatality… wow. In the end though, it was all just one spectacular mess… just like the awesome intro above. Afterwards, things got so bad that MK seemed dead and gone for a while… at least, until Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe. But now, we have a true ‘Rebirth’.


Fast Tube by Casper

Raiden recoils from the weirdness that is Lui Kang’s face.

And here is the intro to the new Mortal Kombat’s Story Mode, which takes off directly from the Armageddon intro. It’s a whole new story with a Terminator-style twist that gives Earth Realm a second chance at altering their doomed destiny. Still, messing around with time is never an easy thing, and who knows what will happen from here on in…

From all indications, the new Mortal Kombat looks to draw in as many new players and serious fight game fans than any previous installment has before. Thanks to sticking to their bloody guns with totally off-the-wall fatalities, awesome graphics and animations AND fighting game action that seems on par with today’s modern fighting games, the new MK just may take this franchise to new heights (or depths, as it may be). I’ll be sure to post my review once I get my hands all bloody with this one. The game is out tomorrow, April 12, for PS3 and Xbox360.

Tekken Intro Retrospective

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS2, PS3, PSOne, PSP, Tekken, Tekken 6, Xbox360 on October 12th, 2009 by thelonegamer

Over it’s 15 or so years of existence, the Tekken franchise has seen many traditions that fans have come to depend on. One of those cherished traditions is the Awesome CG Intro. Every home version of the Tekken series has always had an exciting opening cinematic whose quality pretty much shows the state of CG quality at the time. Here’s a look back at the many Tekken intros that have graced our screens and consoles over the years.


Tekken Intro on the PSX.

Okay, let’s just be frank. Even back then… Tekken wasn’t the prettiest of games. The art style was offbeat but it had its appeal. The PSX version got a new CG intro that showed off the main roster of fighters in various situations, with nothing much about any storyline. It hasn’t aged well but I have to say there’s a nice nostalgic feeling whenever I see it.


Tekken 2 Intro on the PSX.

Things got cooler in Tekken 2′s pretty slick PSX Intro. It was a step up from the previous game, with the art style becoming more comely and softer, characters and backgrounds getting a lot more detail and personality.
The most striking part for me, of course, was the start of the intro, with the familiar yet a lot more detailed figure of Heihachi Mishima clawing his way up the cliff he had been dropped from at the end of the previous game… like a horn-haired Sadako climbing out of the well. After that, the usual montage of character moments would roll, set to some pretty awesome techno music. One gripe of mine is Nina’s bit- from an assassin under fire in the first game suddenly she’s lounging around in some parlor and stroking her (really badly-done, even then) hair… couldn’t they have given her something more exciting to do? Anyway, surely the best bit was the Sub-boss roll call towards the end, culminating with a creepy Kaz posing with Angel. Though the visuals and animation are again pretty dated, this is still a pretty cool intro by any standard.


Tekken 3 Intro on the PSX.

When I first saw Tekken 3′s intro, my eyes popped out of their sockets. The CG quality of the intro (and the many character endings) was a huge leap from the previous game, incorporating highly-detailed character models, dynamic camera angles, moody effects and lighting with lots of action. The Tekken 3 intro probably made a lot of fans think that a Tekken CG movie would be a good idea. Even today it looks impressive.
The music was catchy and cool, the overall mood dark, with lots of shadows and gritty imagery, book-ended by the emerging threat of Ogre and Jin Kazama being scarred with his trademark tattoos. Tekken 3 introduced a whole new cast of fighters who would become more or less the mainstays of the saga today, and laid the foundations of the plotlines that still rage at present.


Tekken Tag Tournament’s Intro on the PS2.

Ah, Tekken Tag Tournament… the ‘lost’, non-canon just-for-fun chapter with all characters Tekken. As the first PS2 Tekken, this martial arts mash-up came with a pretty awesome, if brief, intro, the graphical quality looking worlds above the previous game thanks to the PS2′s power. The CG was more realistic than ever and showed off several characters; once again Nina is relegated to a silly nose-powdering segment while Bryan guns down some goons and Lei Wulong engages in a high speed police chase. The two missing majors from Tekken 3, Kazuya and Jun, show up here, each looking quite great despite their respective apparent demises.


Tekken 4 Intro on the PS2.

Once again boasting some impressive-looking CG, the Tekken 4 intro was a big leap from previous intros, now boasting even more detailed and advanced character models and animations than ever, plus with actual speech and dialogue. It was shorter than usual (the smaller roster probably contributed to this), focusing mainly on the main storyline while introducing the new challengers. Overall, this felt more personal and a smaller story than the usual big tournament type of feel.


Tekken 5 Intro on the PS2.

As the intro to the series’ return to form, Tekken 5‘s Opening had a lot riding on it… and thankfully, it delivered. No other Tekken intro before or since had so much crammed into Tekken 5′s cinematic prologues. We get Heihachi and Kazuya vs an Army of Jacks in a pretty awesome battle, the seeming death of a series’ mainstay, and a rockin’ parade of action vignettes showing pretty much every fighter having his or her time in the limelight, all set to the entertainingly crass ‘Sparking’ song. Best of all, Nina is in action and not powdering her nose or adjusting her bra this time. Yeah, Asuka’s riding around on a bicycle instead of kicking butt as she should, but man, she rode it off the Tokyo Tower. Fun, fun and more fun from beginning to end.


Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection Intro on the PSP/PS3.

The pseudo sequel/arcade upgrade Tekken Dark Resurrection eventually made it’s way to consumer versions (PS3/PSP), and as such demanded a new CG intro. The DR Intro was pretty slick, boasting slightly better CG quality than Tekken 5 (it had been a while since Tekken 5′s PS2 release, after all). The stars of the show were easily the debuting Lili Rochefort and Sergei Dragunov, though a few choice fighters also made appearances. The best thing about this intro for me though is seeing Asuka Kazama in her P1 outfit in a prerendered cinematic.


The Tekken 6 intro.

We’ve all seen the Tekken 6 intro by now, I think. Presented in state of the art pre-rendered CG, the T6 intro is more dramatic and somber to reflect the current storyline of world-strife and chaos. Not everyone is shown again, focusing more on the newcomers and some select fighters. The lavish, life-like detail of the characters plus the impressive production values of the scenes shown has a grand, big budget feel that will surely interest gamers into the story even if it doesn’t quite get the blood pumping.

So what’s the Best Intro in the series so far? I’d have to go with… the Tekken 5 Intro. If we could only choose one opening to represent the series as a whole, T5′s rousing and slickly-animated montage of action and character coolness, plus the amazing Mishima-Jack battle encapsulate pretty much all the fun and over-the-top style of the franchise; from cool poses and hard-hitting punches to rocket launchers blazing away and supernatural heavies awaiting in the wings- this had it all. Yeah, the song was cheezy, but it was fun as heck regardless.

I really don’t see the series ending anytime soon… surely more Tekkens and more intro movies will be coming in the years ahead, so perhaps someday we’ll have another retropsective. Till then, enjoy the intros and get ready for the next battle!

Avatar: The Burning Earth Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, PS2 on November 5th, 2007 by thelonegamer

I was able to get some playtime with Avatar the Last Airbender: The Burning Earth for the PS2 over the weekend. What are my thoughts on this 2nd game in the Nicktoon-to-game series? Read on.

The second game based on the Avatar franchise (which I love to distraction), Avatar: The Burning Earth is set naturally in Season 2 of the series, or The Book of Earth. Avatar Aang and his friends, the Water Tribe brother and sister Sokka and Katara and animal companions Appa and Momo, arrive in the vast Earth Kingdom to find an earthbending teacher. The main Story Mode of the game is split into chapters, each of which is based on an episode from the cartoon. While the first chapter, The Avatar State, dispenses with any exploration or character interaction and just throws you into a battle against a misguidedly hostile Earth Kingdom general and his troops, the rest of the episodes after have you and a companion (either human or CPU-controlled) going through a stage to end up with a boss encounter or big fight at the end.

The controls are pretty easy- two attack buttons, a jump, a block and a character switching button are available, and the response is adequate. The CPU companion at least does a good job of following you around, but doesn’t seem to do very well with fighting on its own against enemies. Still, I didn’t find myself babysitting my ally since you can pretty much handle most encounters yourself, and they don’t die permanently anyway (this IS a Nicktoon after all). The simple platforming and puzzle elements are kiddie-friendly and frustration is kept at a minimum by the fact that even if you make a mistake and fall off or fail a section, you simply teleport back to try again. Same goes for your CPU ally- as long as you make it, they’ll make it.

The game’s challenge is usually found at the end of the stages, when you face off with a boss fight. Some are expected, like General Fong in Chapter One, or the Swamp Monster in, well, The Swamp. The game diverts at times from the series, such as throwing the Fire Nation Governor at you as a boss in the Return to Omashu chapter (he was a non-combative pansy in the cartoon) instead of a confrontation with the Ozai Angels, perhaps to save the formidable Princess Azula and her cronies as the final bosses for the game.

For the most part, the fighting action is simple and easy, and you unlock moves and characters as you go in the Story Mode for use in the Combat Arena mode. The latter is a one-on-one fighting mode set in the Earth Rumble Tournament Ring, where you can face off with a human or CPU-controlled opponent. Initially only Aang, Katara and Sokka are available, with more unlocked as you encounter them in the Story Mode. There’s not much to the combat, and disappointingly it doesn’t make for a very compelling or deep beat ‘em up- don’t expect Street Fighter. But for fans, being able to kick butt with the Avatar cast should be a treat.

This will be a nice diversion for fans of the series and those who played through the first game and liked it- it’s more of the same but slightly better thanks to the inclusion of the series’ more fun characters (Toph) and a more action-oriented feel throughout. Anyone else might be a little lost or confused by some of the storytelling. Better check out the actual cartoon instead of this game to get a real feel of the Avatar series.

Hot Game

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, PS2 on October 24th, 2007 by thelonegamer

I got myself several games today, the most ‘newsy’ of which would be Avatar the Last Airbender: The Burning Earth for the PS2. I kinda-sorta-probably liked the first game, but only ’cause I’m an Avatar fan and at the time I was really hurting for my Nicktoon fix. Anyways, it will be nice to see what this bigger, better game in the series has to offer… I mean, getting to play a Firebender via Zuko or Iroh should be cool (heh), and Toph should ROCK in gameplay. Ouch, painful stuff. Anyways, I’ll post vids and info once I practice some bending.

The Simpsons Game

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox360 on September 9th, 2007 by thelonegamer

I remember at least a decade ago watching The Simpsons arcade game- it was a Final Fight-style beat ‘em up, with you picking a member of the clan and wailing away on mobs of bad guys to try and save Baby Maggie, who has been kidnapped by the evil Smithers. It was cool and 4-player games are always a blast. But since that time, it seems that most Simpsons games weren’t really up to snuff. That seems set to change with The Simpsons Game coming out this Fall.

The game apparently involves the family realizing that they’ve been put into a videogame (heh) and thus learning that they each have videogame-y super powers. In one stage, Homer gets the ability to inflate himself into a ball and bounce around. Lisa gets a ‘Hand of Buddha’ type power where a giant hand reaches down from the sky to pluck things out of the ground. Marge gets the power to gather a mob and fight oppressive corporate thugs, while Bart gets to turn into Bartman (and all that entails). The graphics look like they’ve been snatched right out of The Simpsons Movie, with sharp cel-shaded characters that look just like the cartoon. And, despite being so cartoony, the physics are pretty impressive during parts where stuff gets blown into pieces, or when Homer turns into a soft, bouncy ball. There are cool storylines and stages, like the Private Ryan-esque Medal of Homer stage, as well as homages to classic Simpsons episodes like Attack of the 50 foot Eyesores and the Treehouse of Horror specials and even some videogames like Katamari Damacy and Okami.

After seeing that the producers seem very much well-versed and dedicated to the actual source material, this doesn’t seem to be a trashy cash-in like previous games based on the Springfield cast. I certainly found myself actually looking forward to this, when it comes out later this year on pretty much every console.

In the meantime, check out this awesome featurette on the game, from Gametrailers.