Archive for January, 2008

Chronon

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Eye Maze’s Chrono is an puzzle game that’s so original it should get its own genre patented.

The game takes incredible creativity with the element of time. Basically, whatever you do at a certain time directly reflects to various results at other time slots. Surprises and wows keep popping up with big smiles.

There’s no way you could beat this game without a walkthrough (go pretend)…..Donno if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Before you get too frustrated to google the guide, enjoy exploring the random little cause and effects you could find in the game?

RPB Tuesday

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
THE XIN Role Playing Boards
Public High School #552

Public High School # 259

Hircine High

Mugen Hall

Hallen High

RPBs Under Development
Ballaton Academy

Life.1 Forum Manga Update

Monday, January 28th, 2008
9 new pages! End of chapter 1

Art and story by unicomics

Discussion

5 minutes review – January

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

For February Review

Trauma Center:
Under the Knife
DS
Whether it was an attempt to simulate the surgical intention, this game was full of tight time restrain and pressure. Flow of surgeries: trial -> error -> redo -> memorize the procedure -> hope for the best. Always unexpected situations to add to the intensity (or chaos). Some inaccurate touch screen recognition. Super corny plot. Sloppy dialogues. Music sounds strikingly like Hotel Dusk…or the other way around. Second half of the game is full of repetitions.
Are You Kidding Me? and Give Me a Break will become your motto.
Mortal Kombat:
Shaolin monks
PS2
Smells a lot like a budget game.. Cheesy cutscenes are unintentionally hilarious. You can almost casually walk into some sort of bug or severe graphic glitch. Cheap looking graphics. Having that said, the beat-em-up aspect is fun and addictive with lots of stress-reliving moves. And then you really can’t complain about the co-op. Longer than expected in a positive way. Many secrets to explore!
I feel bad for the real Shaolin monks.
Mario Party DS
DS
Neat comfortable presentation with some fresh feeling mini-games (which by now you’d imagine Nintendo running out of ideas). Still the mini-game collection feels small… Definitely play with friends just to take advantage of its great one cartridge local wireless tech, also you’d inevitable feel cheated losing to an AI. You’d wish things can fast forward when it’s not your turn. Kamek boss fight is insanely cute. Boring unlockables are tedious to unlock.
A day will pass by just like that.
Sangokushi Taisen
DS
Interesting approach of RTS with the popular three kingdom subject is a good mix. Rules are easy enough for anyone to pick up and deep enough for rooms to master. Some pretty useless special abilities. Short scenario match ups mean quick entertainment that doesn’t take much of time, but it also means short life span with not much to explore after you’ve beaten everything. Tremendous collection of outstanding character illustrations done by famous artists.
I love you, Wolfina.

Dragonball Z
Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Wii
This review concerns the Wii version. If you are familiar with the Tenkaichi series, you probably remember the last title’s pointer system. if successfully, you could perform a Kamehameha or Spirit Bomb, given you moved the pointer appropriately. This time, things have changed. No pointer exists in the game and instead, the game uses motion sensing to execute special attacks. Just press the appropriate button on the D-Pad and an on-screen prompt appears for the move. For a smash attack, you must hold A and shake the remote. (which I personally find slightly annoying). Other than that, it is mostly the same with more characters, more environments to crush, and a story mode that covers more Dragonball history, albeit a little more briefly. While it can be frustrating for a Tenkaichi veteran, you’ll come to adapt to the new controls and be ready for online play, where you can enter a ranking system to earn (or lose) points. If both players have a good connection the fight should go smoothly.
Rent it twice before you buy it.
Yu-Gi-Oh
World Championship 2008
DS
If you don’t like the card game, this most certainly is not the game for you. However, if you are a fan or are wanting to start playing, this is a great game.

Graphics wise, it looks much more cleaned up than the previous games. The monster sprites and special animations are smoothened and less blocky. Game wise, the AI is smarter and the system moves just a pinch faster, which is very welcomed. Duel World is a simplified system based on the previous DS games that had players search for opponents, which includes a few special duels, such as those with pre-made decks. World Champhionship mode is the usual, select a duelist from the menu to duel. Team Dueling makes its DS debut along with the official rules, all cards up to Gladiator’s Assault are available and a card selected by can be downloaded through Wi-Fi every day for no credits, and usually a powerful one at that. The Wi-Fi flows smoother if neither players are up, and moving around in their areas. If you have a Nintendo DS and enjoy Yu-Gi-Oh, this is definately a game you will want to get. The bonus card Burden of the Mighty may even compel you if you are an avid card collector.


Carnivores
PC
Although I am not much into hunting games, I found this one quite entertaining. Basically your mission is to hunt a specific animal – in this case a dinosaur. Based in the future, Dinocorp has organized these hunting trips and you are the hunter. All you need to do is find the right target (preferably the bigger one) and bring it down with either a crossbow; shotgun or rifle. Should you succeed you take it home to your trophy case. Should you fail… this is where it gets fun. The prey runs or it charges. Imagine having a Raptor suddenly turn on you. (Hint: You can’t run fast enough!)
Two things that make it extremely challenging is a) their keen sense of sight, hearing and scent. If you’re able to overcome them you’ll do well. b) Their target zones. You cannot just pump lead into them. That usually annoys them. For a quick easy kill you need to hit the kill zone. This can be the head and neck area (easy) or the eye (hard – and it’s the ONLY target area for the T-Rex)
The few problems with it are: it may be too frustrating at first. You may also lose motivation to keep playing once you bag the T-Rex (but it may take you a while to accomplish it)

Korea Forgotten Conflict
PC
To be honest, I had never heard of this game till I accidentally stumbled across it. Very similar to Commandos 2, this tactical strategy is based in Korea where you control 6 specialized members of your team to accomplish your missions.
The game is completely 3D and allows you to view your map in a full 360 rotation making it easier to spot your enemy. The game uses authentic weapons and vehicles which I feel added a nice touch.
It’s one drawback which I found was that the controls were a little bit fiddly. You need to take some time to get used to them.

Silent Storm
PC
Reminiscent of Fallout Tactics but based in World War 2. You get to create your main character and choose from 6 classes. Then as you form your team, you select 5 additional characters (again of different classes) and take them on missions. For each kill you gain experience which later gives you ability points to give your character skills.
You need to be smart as you play this as each move requires Action Points to work. If you don’t have enough you are stuck. Also you can’t kill your enemy if you can’t see them – so beware!!

It’s fun and frustrating at the same time. But I still love it.

Trauma Center:
New Blood
Wii
Another great installment to the Trauma Center series. First off: it’s fully voiced! Not a word is written onscreen that doesn’t have a voice behind it, and the voice acting is done very well too.
Anime graphics, and long long dialogues can make the game boring for people who don’t like drama. However, the operations are very fun as always, and this game features Co-Op mode, where two people can be doing the operation at once. Not only does this make many of the difficult operations much easier (my friend and I removed like six tumors in thirty seconds flat) but it is extremely fun.
The story is exciting and dramatic, however in my opinion the previous game’s (Second Opinion) plot was quite a bit better. It’s fifteen (I think) years after that and there’s a new manmade disease on the loose–cue expert doctors with magic time-stopping powers to the rescue.
Great game and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys drama/cutting open mannequins.
Summon Night
GBA
This is one of those oddball games that my brother happened to grab one day. I borrowed it and haven’t given it back to him since. It’s fun–the premise of the game is you’re an apprentice Craftknight, who are people who forge weapons then fight with them. Therefore, there are zero weapon shops in the game–you get to make all of your own weapons, and how well you do in fights depends on how much time you spend on the 100-level (although before you beat the game it only goes to fifty) dungeon called the Labyrinth, where you gather materials for weapon forging.
The battle system is “cut-time” — separate battle screens where you and the enemies move around freely doing battle. Also, in battles, your weapons can break. You can have a maximum of three weapons equipped, and if one of them breaks, you’ll switch to another one. Also, very difficult but worth it, you can steal weapon techniques from humans you fight, by forcing their weapon to break before killing them.
As for the story–well, it’s not bad, but this is one of those games where a lot of stuff was “lost in translation when they copied and pasted the Japanese text into an online translator and didn’t review what it looked like in English when they put it into the game”.
Fun game, beatable in 15 hours, although the Labyrinth continues down 50 more levels of difficult madness which I have yet to get to the bottom of.


Call Of Duty 4:
Modern Warfare
Xbox 360
This is an awesome FPS, with modern settings, awesome story line, and epic gameplay. The graphics are breath taking and the details that have been put into this game ar e absolutely amazing. The textures are smooth and well ,ade. the graphics are displaying next-gen capabilities.
Next the sound design, which is absolutely awesome. Various explosions heard as you run, the sound of the guns are very real, you teammates talking to you and screaming as your held down under a barrage of endless fire, plus the music is quite enjoyable.
The gameplay is flawless for and fps, fast paced at times, also at times full of strategy, call of duty 4 does not disappoint. The controls are tight and natural. Missions are fun and at times are quite long. Battles can become massive and almost impossible as you fight your way trying to stay alive. As for online, with customizable weapons, classes, a leveling system and multiple game types you will have hours upon hours of fun fast paced online re-playability.
Overall this game is absolutely amazing, and breathtaking, you must play it and own it. I enjoyed this game way more the I thought I would, and find it to be one of the best fps out.


Parasite Eve
PSX
This is a fun action RPG hybrid style game which is a lot like vagrant story released by square for the PSX. It has a wired story doing with the mitochondria in your body being alive and evolving…you must play it to get it, it’s pretty out there crazy and weird. Set in new york city thrown in turmoil the story spans the six days as the female protagonist playing through the game trying to stop eve, and mutated evolved mitchondria creature. The graphics are well for a PSX game with pre rendered backgrounds, and well made character models. The combat is quite fun since it involves random encounters, but you need to walk up tp the enemy, get it in range, choose an abilities or attack you want to use, and attack it with your gun. This is a great PSX games that you should try out if you see it. With unique gameplay, cool graphics, nice music, this is a great PSX game.


Megaman X5
PSX
Best megaman X game in the series. It’s the old school megaman X spinoff that you know and loved before it sucked. (I.e X6-curent X games) This is the first X game that uses the crouch feature (VERY useful) With nice 2D graphics, cool megaman techno music, bonus armors, fast paced side scrolling actions, this is one of the best megaman X games made by capcom.

Tempest: BJ

Friday, January 25th, 2008


Discussion

Original Design: Designed , colored by Max
bj.jpg


New Design: Redesigned and colored by Steven
bj6.jpg


Character Profile
Name: BJ Greenich
Origin: Scotland

Age: 30
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 185 lbs

Occupation: Cop

Arena: Glasgow City Chambers

Winning pose:
1. Play accordion
2. Shake his butt

Likes: Tobacco
Hates: Street vendors

Purpose: On duty to capture Slain


Special moves:
BJ Bull Punch
←←→ + Punch

BJ Beer Kick
←←→ + Kick

BJ Headbutt
↙↓↗ + Punch

BJ Steaming Engine
↓↙←→ + Kick

Killer moves:
BJ Castle Thrust
↓↙←→↘↓ + Heavy punch

BJ the Scottish
↓↙←→↘↓ + Heavy kick


Comments:
Don’t be fooled by the skirt (Kilt), BJ is a tough as nails, take no prisoners kind of guy, when it comes to fighting. Still, if you get on his good side, he’s also one hell of a drinking buddy, who tells the best stories, and bar jokes. Like most, of the redesigns I did, I tried not to stray too far from the original concept arts, and treated them more like I was just redrawing them in a different style. At one point however, I was indeed contemplating putting BJ into a police uniform, but I figured the kilt and beret getup was what made me want to redraw the character in the first place, so I stuck with it. - Steven


Next in Line: Zen Ma


Movie Prospects for Jan, 25, 2008

Thursday, January 24th, 2008
RAMBO
Baby's got back!

Perceived Plot:
A buff old man wearing a bandana runs around taking apart a bunch of bad guys to save the the day.

Why I would watch this:
It’s Rambo!

Why I would not watch this:
It’s Rambo..

In reality:
Curiousity will get the best of me.

Animation Reviews – January

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

hana.jpg

nana.gif NANA
If you’re like me and LOVE stories that cling closely to real life, then THIS shoujo anime is totally for you.

The story is about two girls – of the same name, of the same age – on a bus, Nana Oosaki and Nana Komatsu from their first day in Tokyo. The plot’s highly dramatic and problems like unwanted pregnancy are faced by characters.

I can’t believe how many times I’ve cried from episode 10-20. The drama is intense, the characters are well made, the voice acting is excellent, and the songs for TRAPNEST and BLAck STones are AWESOME! You’ll be able to watch this series over and over and over again and still get the same reaction from yourself.

HIGHLY RECCOMMENDED despite the fact I got somewhat bored around the introduction episodes. (2-9 i think)

Positive : Very easy to relate to, Character conflicts are consistent, Realistic story and plot, and the songs are awesome.
Negative : Season one’s done, but where is season two?! You’ll love this so much you’ll have problems waiting. (like me) and the first few episodes get boring for some people. But they’re good, none the less.

hajime.gif Hajime No Ippo
Hajime No Ippo is an anime series about a high school student named Ippo taking up boxing. It’s a very character driven series that has a lot of serious moments, comedy, and intense training in it. As if that wasn’t enough, the actual boxing fights in the series are amazingly well done, and incredibly captivating! (Sometimes you don’t even notice those 3 minute rounds taking 10 :p)

Although the series lasts a fair bit, it still ends at what is roughly the halfway point in the series, which is unfortunate. The manga is very popular, and the anime is amazingly well done, even the english versions. Anyone who is a fan of Boxing, Rocky, or Comedy will most likely enjoy this series. Those who love all three, will probably replace their current favourite anime with Hajime no Ippo.

One of the best things about the series though, is how indepth the viewpoint goes in both fighters of every fight. Near the time of the match it can very often lead you to be cheering for the side characters rather than the ‘good guys’, and that leads to very captivating fights. Overall the series has no downsides, except maybe the anime being shortlived for such a popular anime in Japan. For those wanting to play the games, the english releases are titled “Victorious Boxers” (1, 2, and Revolution for the Wii) As the series has no real down sides, I easily give it a 5/5.

Exo-Squad
season 1 (1993)
This is the American response to the Japanese mecha genre. If Mobile Suit Gundam 79 was the Pacific theater with the ships always backing them up, in WW2 then this series is the Western Front of WW2 with paratroopers and large ground fights.

The story is about the second war between the humans and the man made NeoSapiens(think Cylons but more Facist). Unlike shows like Transformers or GI Joe this is an actual war and there are casualties. The stories are actually very good as with the animation. The mechs are actually smaller than most other series most are the size of either a car or a tank which brings in some more interesting battles.

The look however is very early 90s aweful colors for the clothes and stupid hair. The voice actors are decent especially the villains. The story is also impressively mature, with allusions to genocide, religion, and concentration camps. Great series that really needs to be released on DVD. This series shows what animation can do, and most people who work for animation should look back to this show to see how to make a good mature cartoon as opposed to all the Adult Swim shows that are really childish.

watch it at http://www.myspace.com/exo_squad All three seasons are uploaded and are not the best video quality.
Also help support Exo Squad at Hulu.com. Watch it there better quality (apparently).

Season one gets:
Watch it, and demand that it gets an official DVD release which in all honesty it won’t…maybe Itunes but Universal has weird dealings with Apple

Positive: Great Story, Strong mature themes, cool action
Negative: Music, art style, and designs are very 90s and show their age
Overall: A great series that is unfortunately not on DVD and is the best example of what animation can do in the right hand.

batman.gif BATMAN: Mask of the Phantasm (DVD)
Plot: A mysterious new villain in Gotham is killing some of the big mobsters in Gotham. Batman is blamed and must find the real killer. The case brings up memory of Batman’s first years under the cape and the origin of his nemesis the Joker.

This movie features the early 90s art style for the Batman series. It has a noir style with an Arc Deco designs. The mystery and story is genuinely intriguing and the voice acting was top notch. Story highlights involve Bruce Wayne falling in love and wondering whether he should actually become the Batman and whenever the Joker appeared he can manage to act creepy and funny the same time. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill mastered their respective roles. Kevin’s Batman sounds different than his Bruce which adds a nice touch of the personalities to the persona’s. Overall it is not only a great animated movie, not only a great superhero movie, but it is a good movie overall. Go buy it and enjoy it on DVD even though unfortunately there were no extra features on the DVD.

Rating: Buy it

Good
Art design, voice acting, writing, animation

BAD
CGI building intro had no purpose, Ending is a bit odd

mib.gif MIB: The Series

The Long So-Long Syndrome
This is the first episode of MIB: The Series. Before I begin my review let me just state that I’m a big alien conspiracy fan. Shows like this are really my type of shows. The main theme of this series is that nothing is what it seems. From the trees, baseballs, and even the president nothing is quite what you imagined.

Plot: Rookie agent J caused an alien shrimp to explode. Now an entire planet of shrimp monsters are after him. Basically this was a spin off of the popular movies. Though the character designs do not like the actors of the film at all(that’s explained in a later film).

Thumbs up: The art style, it’s is very unique some of the characters designs look kind of like a mixed of Peter Chung with a more western design. Plus the shows intro really shows what it is about. The dead pan delivery of most the agents also improve the story and humors. The designs allows for great character animation. The mix of humor and action really gels for this series. It’s light hearted at points but never in a condescending way.

Thumps down: Some jerky car animations. The ending was really bad compared to the rest of the episodes. They explain it as being it’s just because, and no I’m not kidding about that.

Verdict? Solid episode for a decent series that one would expect to be nothing than just a way to sell toys and shirts for a summer block-buster but it proved that you can do something with a great concept and decent writing. Still despite all the humor and action of this episode it still suffered from a weak ending.