Monday, 26 July 2010
Monday, 19 July 2010
Hong Kong? Hong Kong is pretty neat. We went over there with my cousin. Hot as hell when we went there, but at least the train service and all the underground tunnels are air-conditioned. Stuff is still reasonably cheap. HK is a haven for collectables and toys, if you know where to look, but first you need to brave through crowds of sticky people. A fine haul:
- 1/100 MG MS-06R-2 Zaku II Johnny Ridden Custom Ver. 2.0
- Figma Drossel
- PlayArts Bayonetta
- Revoltech Hot Rodimus
- Revoltech EVA-05
- S.A.S Killer Queen
- A bunch of trading figures
... and Real Action Heroes Dio! I don't think I'll ever take him out of the box though, no matter how tempting it may be. It was a very good deal too - after currency conversion he cost roughly AU$160.
There's a lot of construction going on in HK, but the taxi ride in was breathtaking. There was a part where we were driven around this large, circular site, which was surrounded by these huge black cranes that looked like birds with red eyes glaring down at something unseen. There was also a literal wall of buildings that look like they were transported out of nowhere.
In terms of other tourist sites, we went and saw the giant Buddha on the mountain. For AU$2, we got to walk up several steps of stairs in the blazing heat to be greeted with a bottle of cold water and an ice cream. Not to mention entry to this exhibition hall which featured paintings done in blood. It's pretty unnerving when you realise. The top of the mountain is equally unnerving; you look up and see the Buddha totally shrouded in clouds, then realise that you are as well.
Sure, that was neat, but it didn't beat the awesome Toy Story 3 exhibit that was happening at one of the shopping centers. A massive replica of Andy's bed, complete with a Slinky Dog that stared down at you. Outside there was an army of aliens and a large scale Buzz Lightyear.
I kind of regret not buying more dumb shit like nail polish, etc. from HK because it was all so damn cheap there. Once we got to Singapore, I think we kind of forgot that stuff wasn't as great a bargain as it was in HK. No matter, I was over looking at branded goods by then. Singapore was supposed to be about chilling with relatives anyway.
Most notable is this kid named Kieren, who is approximately 4 years old. I don't know how he's related to me because families are just crazy like that. I called him cute, which caused him to pout and make an angry noise before telling me that he wasn't any such thing and that he was evil. This just made me laugh and rub his head and call him cute again and before I knew it I was laughing hysterically at the dinner table at this child who kept shouting that he wasn't cute. This prompted my mother to turn and tell my aunt about the nasty streak I have that causes me to provoke people.
Maybe I wasn't looking in the right places, but Singapore kicked the shit out of HK where video games were concerned. While I managed to pick up Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, NMH: Heroes' Paradise and Darkness Within 2 from HK, I got 3D Dot Game Heroes, Aquanaut's Holiday and Hakuna Matata from Singapore. And I haven't even touched Alan Wake yet!
Good times in Singapore, with all the nostalgia. Came home tired as all hell and I'm glad we at least had a couple of days to ourselves.
Pictures and whatever soon, maybe.
Monday, 28 June 2010
Buying stuff aside, the rest of the day was pretty neat. Motorcycle riders really have balls here; they drive up really close to cars. We went to a delightful restaurant for lunch, during which Dad had a dessert called 'Hassimah', which I'm pretty sure I had before. Apparently hassimah is actually frog spit, or phlegm, or glands or something. Frog something. Which I guess isn't so bad because it tastes good.
For dinner we went to a place called Noble House, but the 'BLE' in the neon sign were broken, resulting in us having dinner at a place called 'No House'. They had an interesting, very Western way of serving food up. Pictures in another entry when I can be bothered.
The sun sets really late here. I'm not used to it being light outside until like 7:30PM.
I'm also keeping a running tally of how many Louis Vuitton bags I see each day, based purely on the knowledge that everyone has LV. Knowledge.
Louis Vuitton bag count: 20
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Touched down in Singapore for a couple of hours before jumping back on a plane to head over to Kuala Lumpur. It was a very short flight (under an hour), but the airport is so far from the city central and our hotel that it took around the same amount of time as our flight to get there.
The hotel is so goddamn pretty that when I staggered out of the cab half-asleep, I didn't know if it was really that nice or whether I was just crazy. Tip: It really is that nice. We're in a room facing this giant pair of buildings with this glass bridge joining it. It looks like a trip to walk on. Waking up really early in the morning and looking outside, I could barely see the top of the towers.
I haven't been shopping or anything yet, but stuff here seems super cheap so far. Chip and I ordered room service, and it cost less than AUD$30 for two giant plates of fruit, juice, hot drink, a plate of nasi lemak, grapefruit, muesli and a smoothie.
So far, so good.
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
I remember when I first heard about it, it was an early prototype trailer as featured on a disc that came with CUBE magazine. And I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I would never, ever play that game. How wrong I was.
After reading and watching more of it, not to mention eventually playing it, I was captivated. It's a game that keeps me thinking, even now, discovering new things and trying to make sense of it all. I guess killer7 changed my life; it made me realise that games don't have to just be about blowing shit up.
It's also introduced me to some pretty cool people over at the SINdicate, like BTDO, Topdrunkee, Xed and Lisker.
So thank you, GHM and thank you, Suda, for bringing us this marvelous piece of work.
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Slinky: Fellas! Fellas! Okay, I got some good news, and I got some bad news.
Mrs. Potato Head: What news?
Slinky: The good news is I found your hat, Woody.
Woody: My hat! Slink, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Where'd you find it?
Slinky: Well, that's the bad news.
And anyone who's played Mother 3 will remember Bronson talking to Flint in the first chapter:
Bronson: I have good news, and I have bad news.
Which do you want to hear first...?
Let me start with the good news first.
I picked up a giant "Drago Fang".
It'll make for a great weapon.
I figured you could probably use it.
As for the bad news...
The bad news is...
...It's where I found the Drago Fang.
Does this kind of thing appear in movies or games much?
Monday, 10 May 2010
I get home from work today and what should greet me but two packages, one containing a Gyro Zeppeli Real Action Hero, the other containing Avdol and Kakyoin Super Action Statues.
I pretty much threw the idea of buying a full set of the Stardust Crusaders SAS out the window, so I whittled my options down to two things:
- Buy Star Platinum and The World because hell, I already have Jotaro and Dio; or
- Forget about Stands and just get the Joestar party (minus Joseph, fuck's sake Medicos!).
So I ended up going with the second option, also because I needed to gay up my shelf a little bit more. Waiting on the re-release for Polnareff and then I'm all set for 100% fruitiness.
And then we have Gyro. You have no idea how much of a bitch it was to obtain Gyro. It was literally months of bugging people and all that. Then I realised that agency services exist.
In the end it was so totally worth it because despite bidding fees, agency fees, shipping, etc., Gyro still ended up being cheaper than what I was willing to pay. Not to mention if I had purchased from the only site I could find that had him for sale. (But it was still a pretty pricey collectible.)
Real, nice pictures when I get a better camera or something. And when I decide to spend half an hour trying to open all the packaging.
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
WARNING: Crappy camera, pretty crappy photos.
It sure comes with a lot of stuff! But what totally sold me was the TABLE AND CHAIR. Keep in mind that the last Revoltechs I bought were Optimus and Megatron which came with barely anything, so this was a huge deal to me.
PLUS A TEACUP AND NOTEBOOK, AWESOME
The orange box that you see in the bottom left hand corner is a little box that you can put all the spare hands and whatnot in. Which is extremely useful because I'm sick of misplacing the tiny plastic bags I put all my other action figure parts in.
The first thing I did was sit him down in his chair because THAT'S EXCITING. Also because I wanted to make sure that his legs wouldn't look super retarded (as it goes with pretty much all other figures I've bought thus far).
You can see the packaging in the background. There's an image of Luke. He looks like he put on some weight.
Anyway, it seems like a wonderful figure so far, especially given the price I paid for it (AU$25 or thereabouts). A bit more messing around with it will probably just reinforce my opinion!
And here's the Dio Super Action Statue I bought, rising out of his plastic coffin to murder pretty much everyone, Edward Cullen especially. There's only room for one FABULOUS vampire.
No more pictures of Dio because the quality of my camera is awful.
Monday, 22 March 2010
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Other than that, this week has been like, BAD VIDEOGAME WEEK in terms of what I decided to buy:
- 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (because after hearing what Jordaan told me about it it sounds like the most hilarious piece of work ever)
- Akira: Psycho Ball (I like Akira. The game is about pinball. That is fucking bizarre.)
- Deadly Premonition (This review. Enough said.)
Additionally, Destructoid have this fabulous (troll) article about how Deadly Premontion > Heavy Rain. Can't have enough hype for DP.
If I buy Odama, this can be bad pinball videogame week!
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Saturday, 27 February 2010
Um, I'm sorry guys. I ran out and bought it yesterday because K-Mart were doing it for a fantastic price ($74, far cheaper than any other retail store at the moment) and then it kind of just sat there taunting me. So... I had to play it.
Upon opening it the first thing that fell out was an origami sheet, which made me smile. I haven't gotten around to making my own origami swan yet because I'm afraid I'll ruin it.
Anyway, the game's pretty wonderful so far. It's doing a good job of fucking around with my emotions too. I'm maybe two hours in and tears have come to my eyes like three times already.
Monday, 22 February 2010
- Collecting money and shirts from dumpsters.
- The multi-layered heart that represents your life. In the new game, it just means you take more hits before a square disappears.
- Suda's marvelous trolling. I mean, I expected something totally huge, which I guess kind of worked on me, but then the ending came and nothing really happened.
- OXYGEN GRAFFITI
Well, here's to the next playthrough with the Classic Controller.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Anyway, No More Heroes 2 arrived in the mail yesterday, after about three weeks of waiting for Play-Asia to ship it out. So far, the wait has been so worth it.
The game seems quite short. Having a look at my playtime indicates that it probably is as long as the original No More Heroes, so maybe I've just been playing it obsessively.
Seriously though, this game is enjoyable as hell, not to mention as batshit insane as ever. And it pleases me greatly that some of the Darkside tracks are in here! Especially the We Are Finally Cowboys remix - it would have been cruel not to put that in there while playing as Henry.
A review soon, perhaps.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
In the meantime, have an MP3. The following tune is No More Riot from the No More Heroes Sound Tracks - Dark Side album. The intro to the song was also present in one of the trailers released.
Expect more related hype posts in the coming days, especially since I have some unposted NMH2-related content.
Monday, 18 January 2010
Developer: Platinum Games (360), Sega (PS3)
Year: 2009 (JP), 2010 (NA/PAL)
Once upon a time, there was a Capcom employee named Hideki Kamiya. This man was the director of the original Devil May Cry, which then spawned a series of games featuring half-human/half-demon men with silver hair, pretty faces and the ability to do ridiculous acrobatic stunts.
Fast forward eight years later and Kamiya, now teamed with Platinum Games, has unleashed his latest creation upon the world: Bayonetta. But this time, instead of featuring half-human/half-demon men with silver hair, pretty faces and the ability to do ridiculous acrobatic stunts, we get a hot witch in killer heels (with the ability to turn her hair into any tangible form). Oh, and of course she can pull off ridiculous acrobatic stunts too. But how does Bayonetta stack up against DMC and action games in general?
Short answer: very well. In fact, I'd say it leaps high over DMC's head and sets a new standard for action games to surpass. Long answer? Well...
In terms of storyline, Bayonetta isn't mind-blowingly original, but it's not completely cliche either. You play as Bayonetta, the last surviving member of the Umbra witch clan. Having been freed from an underwater coffin with no memory, she heads off on a tip from an informant to find a jewel in a set known as 'The Eyes of The World'. However, angelic forces are out to stop her, so it's up to her to give them hell while looking totally sexy in a suit made of her hair.
Yes, the suit comes off in certain situations. It's quite tastefully done, though.
You can tell that while Bayonetta was made to appeal to horny adolescents, it's also a game created for hardcore gamers. There are plenty of nods to Clover games, which weren't exactly targeted towards the mainstream market. Furthermore, the game is reasonably challenging, but also quite balanced in terms of difficulty.
Bayonetta implements the same type of gameplay DMC employed, that is, fighting through waves of enemies while progressing through a linear stage, solving the occasional puzzle and fighting the occasional boss. Also as in DMC, Bayonetta uses a combo system, but does not make your success as plainly obvious as the aforementioned game did (DMC used a D to SSS ranking system). The result is that Bayonetta takes the pressure off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on developing your own style of play. There's a crazy amount of weapons and techniques which all add up to an unbelievable number of combos.
A good control scheme, of course, is perhaps the most important aspect of any game in the action genre. DMC has been praised for this and of course, so has Bayonetta. As Bayonetta's emphasis is on spectacular attacks and combo chains, the controls need to be fluid, responsive, and translate perfectly into Bayonetta's graceful moves on-screen. This has been achieved and has exceeded my expectations of how I thought the game would play. It's crazy. It's fast. Which is why dodging (by quickly pressing RT) is so easy to do in this game. What's more, Bayonetta rewards you for dodging the exact moment before an attack hits you by activating Witch Time, a technique which slows time for a few seconds, allowing you to take advantage of the situation.
The only real problem that I really had while playing was the fact that the camera couldn't exactly keep up with the action at certain points, meaning that I couldn't see where Bayonetta was on the screen. This is fairly minor, however, as for the most part (99% of the time) I found the camera to be positioned in a convenient manner.
The camera does not shy away from showing you how beautiful the game is, and I'm not just talking about Bayonetta herself. The graphics for the stages are absolutely beautiful, being top-notch for a current-gen game. As I write this, a particular stage comes to mind: you are in another dimension, standing in a crumbling hall of some sort. As you exit, you realise that the tiny island you are on is rotating in an impossible direction, and you have to make the leap to another island nearby. You do so by jumping on these glowing, translucent platforms hovering in space, and you're surrounded by stars. It's almost as though you could touch them. It's awe-inspiring.
The other thing that I find amazing is how much thought has been put into character designs. Your enemies are angelic yet deadly, and their models reflect their motives and methods of attack accordingly. Bayonetta herself may have odd proportions while one is looking at a flat, 2D image of her, but translated in-game, when she's kicking her legs into the air or winking coquettishly at the camera.
The music is marvelous as well, with the soundtrack containing not only baroque-esque hymns and upbeat lounge jazz, but also a few retro Sega game remixes. The voice acting is top-notch, with Bayonetta's seductive British accent oozing delightfully through your speakers.
Bayonetta is a game that is perfect as a whole. Based on what I've written alone, I don't think there is any way I can express the experience of playing the game, when you are directly involved in controlling the character. There's something indescribably beautiful about Bayonetta, not necessarily something to do with the graphics or the fluid animations or even the emotion captured in the story, but about the whole thing; something very few game developers manage to hit on the head. It's almost as though you feel connected to the world, everything contained within that game disc, and as soon as you let go of the controller, everything pales in comparison.
This is the reason why I believe that Bayonetta will be known for a long time as one of the defining games of the genre. Its qualities and gameplay value means that it is certainly one of the games of the year.
And given that it is only the beginning of 2010, this shows how excellent it truly is.
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Title: OneChanbara Revolution (JP), OneChanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers (NA, PAL)
Year: 2008 (JP), 2009 (NA/PAL)
OneChanbara is a series of games that were originally developed for the PS2 under the Simple 2000 line. Since then, it has spawned two movies, a lot of collectable figures and a number of sequels on various platforms.
Of course, swinging your sword via the Wiimote makes perfect sense. Hey, it worked for several other games, right? Hence Tamsoft's OneChanbara R. Whether or not the name is a throwback to the original name for the Wii remains to be seen.
OneChanbara is one of those series where you never march in expecting a AAA game and of course, R is no exception. The games' main selling point seems to be the fact that everyone is a hot chick. Indeed, the subtitle for the PAL version of R is Bikini Zombie Slayers. Telling.
But is it at least a good bad game? Maybe I'm not at liberty to say, seeing as I appreciate games such as Zombie vs. Ambulance, but I don't believe it's as bad as everybody says.
The game is chock-full of gameplay modes, including the mandatory Story mode, Survival mode and even a Practice mode. You start off with only one character to play as - Aya, the game's main protagonist. Completing the game with her unlocks another character and so on. There are a total of four unlockable characters, as well as numerous outfits for each of them.
Each character's Story mode is quite short, being eight stages in length. The game's narrative is presented in the form of a pre-stage cinematic of scrolling text and the character's voiceover, with the occasional, badly voice-acted cutscene thrown in.
The gameplay takes the form of a crowd-combat game, and I have to say that I found it deeply satisfying to slice my way through waves of zombies. It's mindless, but fun. One of the cool things about the OneChanbara titles is that as you kill enemies, you get covered in their blood. Getting drenched in enough blood means that your character will eventually go into a 'Berserk' mode, which causes your attacks to be more powerful but steadily drains your health. Once this mode has been activated, the only way to revert your character back to normal is to either use an item or to find a statue which removes the blood. Moreover, killing enemies means that your sword becomes bloodier. After a certain amount of hacking and slashing (as indicated by a meter on the side of the screen), your sword will become stuck inside enemies, leaving your vulnerable to attack as you struggle to remove it.
For a budget game and more importantly, for a Wii game that uses the 'waggle technique', the controls work fine. Depending on how many times you flail the Wiimote about, you can create different combos and switch weapon modes with the press of the C button. With Aya, this means that you can use dual swords. The only thing that really frustrated me about the gameplay is the fact that the lock-on mode does not target the nearest enemy, which can lead to problems when you are surrounded by dozens of zombies.
Another thing: unless you have amazing patience, don't try and play the game in one sitting. You will be bored out of your mind if you do. In saying this I'm making a point about the stage layouts, which is literally exactly the same (as are enemy encounters) for each character but just presented in a different order each time. Most of the time the game doesn't even explain what you're doing in a hospital or a forest or wherever you happen to be, which makes you think that maybe Tamsoft just got lazy and picked locations out of a hat.
That being said, the locations don't look bad, given the fact that it is a budget title and that the Wii has limited graphical capabilities. The character models look nice enough, as do the gore effects. It is also worth mentioning that even though R is a crowd-combat game, I do not recall having experienced any lag whatsoever, which impresses me greatly.
OneChanbara Revolution is a rather self-explanatory game. Hot girls kill zombies and get covered in blood. It doesn't require any thought whatsoever. The only thing you need, should you decide to play it, is to abandon any high expectations. If you do so, you should be in for an enjoyable, campy experience, despite its minor flaws.
Sunday, 10 January 2010
Used Jin. Spammed ice car and ice swords like a total scrub because I was too much of a pussy to use Bang.
Friday, 8 January 2010
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
Shit is fabulous. I don't just mean the CE, which has an artbook, soundtrack, special packaging, but also an ab-fab replica of Bayonetta's gun in the game, which was basically the clincher for me.
That and because she shouts a Viewtiful Joe reference and spends the opening level using Ebony and Ivory (from Devil May Cry fame while lamenting over how much they suck.
It shits all over Devil May Cry though. You're not penalized (time-wise) for exploring the level and there are checkpoints so if you die, you don't need to go through five thousand waves of enemy and lava-hopping again. But I guess it's a little less challenging as well, as in it's pretty easy to pull off spectacular combos and whatever. Not to say I haven't died.
Also, the titular (see what I did there) character is balls hot.