Archive for March, 2008

Manga Snapshot 08

Monday, March 31st, 2008

From Yoshihiro Togashi ‘s Hunter × Hunter

5 Minutes Review March

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

For April entry

Apollo Justice:
Ace Attorney
DS
Not much has changed eh? Veterans should know what they get is a pure virtual novel by now. The effort of gameplay extension is there…however limited the upgrade feels. In a good way new stuffs like footprint and poison sprays aren’t overused. Main leads are basically spiritual incarnation of the old bunch with small variations. You’ll start each case on a slow pace then rush your way to the end. Interesting “past and present” interactions. Satisfying finale that ties up loosen ends. You’d want more once it ends.
Carries on the franchise on a moderate path
Metal Gear Solid 3:
Subsistence
PS2
A game with patience… not just the stealth part but also the exploration of different approach is fun. Not to mention the lengthy beefy cutscenes. Concealing the strategy guide in the radio conversations is a nice invention… random remarks on old sci-fi movies are great! Spin the clock backward is a clever way to boost up the difficulty. The extra dynamics of reality survival may get tedious from time to time. And they almost made the game felt a bit “Snake Sim” ish. Outstanding boss fights. The game keeps getting better as it goes! (Bike chase scenes – damn!) You’d only see about 20% of the game on a regular first time run-through. Raikov was great.
Kojima is the king of easter eggs.

Chrono Trigger
SNES
Probably the best RPG by far, maybe the best game for the SNES. Gameplay is addicting.
Great character development. There are a nice diversity of characters, ranging from a sword-wielding frog to a runaway princess. The soundtrack is EXCELLENT. The graphics i think are pretty good for that time, and the storyline is simple but unique. Some people might find it too short and easy, but in my opinion it is a perfectly fine game.
If you love RPGs, Chrono Trigger is a definite must-play.

Metal Slug 1
Arcade
The first metal slug. basically you’re a soldier fighting a bunch of villians. Jump around shoot get guns drive tanks. This game is impossible to play without dying which is the purpose of these games.

What really makes the Metal slug games besides the humor which I don’t really find that funny is the graphics. I’ve mentioned that The Last Blade was one of the most beautiful pixel arts in a game this is very good the graphics are not as pleasing but are of the same quality. The game is smooth and the animation is very detailed. Which they had time for the short but action packed games.


Platoon
PC
Who can forget the iconic quote: The first casualty of war is Innocence! Based on the classic movie, you take control of Sgt. Lionsdale and his squad which can consist of riflemen; machine gunners, medics and many more, on your tour of Vietnam. I am not 100% sure if it does follow the movie, it has been a very long time since I had seen it, though this was one of the main reasons I got it in the first place.

The missions are relatively straight forward but the gameplay is far from it. Each mission you start off with a number of soldiers and a hero character. If the hero dies – gameover! You have hardly any possibility for reinforcements (no buildings; no trainings) so if you are meant to play a level with 10 men then by Jove you will accomplish it with 10 men or die trying!

I found the game incorporated an interesting feature. Your terrain is by far your worst enemy NOT the VCs (though they don’t help much) Terrain characteristics play a huge part in combat. If you are standing in open ground you are completely exposed, giving the enemy easier sight of you and making you a pretty target. If you are in undergrowth or jungle there is more cover making it difficult to spot you and giving you a defense bonus.

A few very irksome things about the game is that at first the controls need getting used to. No option to change them around. Also, the need to be facing in the direction of the enemy to see them makes it a must to get used to otherwise you start losing men really quickly. Also, unit selection is organized as squads. If you select a rifleman you select all riflemen, therefore you can sustain unnecessary casualties. Finally, the lack of a quick save is painful. One wrong turn and you will be starting all over.

Truthfully I expected a little more from this game. Yes it has nice graphics and it does bloody well feel like the VCs have you outnumbered (even in the tutorial mission!!!!) It just feels like more could have been done.

Get it if you enjoy the movie, that’s all.
Ballance
PC
When I first saw this I instantly thought of Marble Madness. And blimey! It really is! You get to control a ball through a large map, avoid obstacles and solving puzzles, the whole time at risk of falling off the map or getting hit by dangerous obstacles.

The controls are simple and so the game is very easy to get into. Just like Marble Madness, a simple push of a direction button sends you on your way but one needs to be aware of the terrain affects. For example, going on a level path requires your input; going downward requires you to control the speed and direction while going upward requires that you do not fall back!

There is also the ability to change the material of the ball. This helps by making the ball heavier or even lighter (making the game easier or even harder)

It’s addictive!!!

Tempest: Savika

Friday, March 28th, 2008


Discussion

Original Design: (no full design)


New Design: Redesigned and colored by Max


Character Profile

Name: Savika Sukapatana
Origin: Thailand

Age: 14
Height: 4’6
Weight: 60 lbs

Occupation: Temple kid

Arena: Phra That Chae Haeng

Winning pose:
1. Throw flower around from her basket
2. Imitate muay thai moves

Likes: Banana leaves, coconut milk
Hates: Cockroaches

Purpose: In her break time with nothing better to do


Special moves: (special thanks to Taige for the names)
Ray of Enlightenment
→→ + Heavy punch

Pride of Four Face Buddha
↓↑↓ + Heavy kick

River of Locusts
←↙↓↘→→ + Light kick

Element Stomp
↑↓↑ + Light kick + Heavy kick

Lotus Spin
↖↑↗ + Heavy kick

Bangkok Bang
↙↓↘ + Heavy punch

Killer moves:
Andaman Typhoon
↖↑↗↓↙↓↘ + Light punch + Heavy kick+ Light Kick + Heavy punch

Siddhartha’s Rage
↖↑↗↓↙↓↘ + Light kick + Heavy punch + Light punch + Heavy kick


Comment:
Steven had matured Kim into a woman, now I had to reinstall a little girl back in the series :P . Muay thai is a character type that has been overly abused in fighting games, but I feel traditional Thai girl outfit is much more interesting in terms of the visuals. Fancy textile pattern should be there as well…my hands just got super lazy. My brain was dry when it came to the moves, that was when I turned to Master Taige again. Also managed to squeeze a couple command list out of him…Taige specified light and heavy attacks for the moves, which I followed. Probably made her one of the more difficult characters to use :P - Max


Next in Line: Iky


This game takes more than 5 minutes – Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Professor Layton and the Curious Village


This game is hard to put down once picked up. You’d wish the same for your textbooks as this game is pretty much an IQ test book sugar coded with splendid presentations. The cartoonish character and scene designs deserve careful looks. And of course all the animations are well done. All together with the great soundtracks the mysterious atmosphere of this European town is successfully established. Definitely something refreshing on the DS.

The main plot line is not merely just an excuse for the puzzles, it’s actually involving. Nonetheless I was expecting each of the mystery to be gradually solved one by one, but the events are too tied up eventually the truth behind the “curious village” answers every question at once.

A huge amount of trick questions that you either see through immediately or regret not seeing it right away. As a matter of fact, asking yourself “is this a trick question” becomes a tedious challenge itself. Some puzzles can be worded more reasonably to reduce the pain… Sub quests like the gadget dog and furniture arrangement add yet another layer of fun.


You start off in a town called “St. Mystere” which has a very unique story behind it. You may think this would be a normal town but you are mistaken. The story involves you to find the treasure of the Golden Apple which was written in a will of one of the richest town person of St. Mystere. Your mission is to find the apple and solve the mystery behind it. But that’s just the beginning. You encounter many other missions involving murder and kidnapping of the citizens.

St. Mystere is filled with many deep secrets and many puzzles. The puzzles range from easy to difficult. If problems keep occurring during the puzzle, you may use your Hint Tokens. These tokens give you hints to the problem your dealing with, but you may want to be cautious on using your coins. If used on easy puzzles you might not have enough coins to complete the more difficult ones. Finding coins may be a little bit hard, but if you look closer at the environment you may be lucky.

Some puzzles require math and calculated questions, but some may be very easy. Don’t worry about your unsolved puzzles. they are sent to Granny. R for you to solve whenever you want to. Animation to this game has very good graphics for the DS and great animation too. The reason why St. Mystere is called the curious city is because the citizens absolutely love puzzles. When talking to the townspeople they can provide you with info one of your missions and even a puzzle at the end for your enjoyment.

Bottomline
Max:
KentaShimazu:

Should be enjoyed together with a cup of tea.

Tempest: Antonio

Friday, March 21st, 2008


Discussion

Original Design:


New Design:
antonio2.jpg


Character Profile

Name: Antonio Fiddle
Origin: Austria

Age: 34
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 160 lbs

Occupation: Cellist

Arena: Stephansdom

Winning pose:
1. Play cello as violin
2. Play piano

Likes: Tuxedo shopping
Hates: Traffic jam

Purpose: In attempt to share a stage with Erik Raoul


Special moves:
Stave Shot
→↘↓ + Punch

Eternal Coda
→←→ + Punch

Module Penetration
↓↓↙← + Light kick

String Arrows
↓↓↙← + Kick

Duet of Black Keys
↘↙↓↘↙↓ + Heavy kick

Killer moves:
Moonlight Symphony
→←↙→↘ + Heavy kick

Choir of 50
→←↖←↙↓↘→ + Heavy punch + heavy kick


Comment:
I’m a lover of instrument fighters -> see Legends of Far East. Austria offers just that. Originally (I meant, the original “in class sketch” prior to the original design) had him as a violinist. But then a dude wielding violin doesn’t feel anywhere close to spectacular. When it’s blown up to cello things feel much better. He has to be rescued from his hide at the corner pose to something more flashy. Moral of the change: musicians look good. - Max


Next in Line: Savika Sukapatana


Manga Snapshot 07

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

From Kashiwagi Haruko ‘s Quojuz

Gallery Glaze

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Artwork thread


By Unicomics
Can’t say no to this guy. What’s the vertical line doing there? Could use more white space…



By Unicomics
Nice angle. Definitely putting those flash effects in works.



By MidnightRaven
Can’t wait for the actual heavy pouring.



By Tri11
Character designs! Let there be more projects :D . Conceptual art sketches can’t be missed.



By Gear Zero
There’s no need to repeat the anticipation… Action action action



By MidnightRaven
I like the storytelling and the creative use of film roll. Will be nice to see some depth on the layers… aka soft drop shadows.



By yoruichimaru
Almost mistaking you with somebody else. For some reason blank expression with shade is one of my favorites. Nice contrast too.