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7:56 PM on 04.30.2012

Fez Patch For Possible Mid-May Release

After finally getting my hands on the indie sensation Fez, I was able to play it for about three hours and like many other people frequent crashes the the dashboard started happening making the game totally unplayable. So I went ahead and emailed Polytron’s customer support. To my surprise, I actually got a response back, although it was over two weeks later.

Now if my crash was happening in a certain part of the game I was told by Renaud Bedard, “you’re screwed” and I pretty much needed to start a new game. He also stated that, “ETA on the patch is about mid-May, but no guarantees on that yet.” Now that pretty much confirms a timeframe for the patch. So now I have totally lost all interest in the game and not going to wait another month for a patch to continue my save. Have any other users experienced what I have? If so, please comment below.   read

7:39 PM on 04.16.2012

Shenmue Review

Inside a living breathing Japan set in the 1980s, you play the young Martial Artist Ryo Hazuki on an unforgettable adventure seeking revenge for his father’s murder. Ryo must unravel the mystery of a secret chinese cartel to find the location of his father’s murderer.

Shenmue (Dreamcast)
Developer: Sega AM2
Publisher: Sega
Release: November 6, 2000

Our hero, Ryo Hazuki witnesses the murder of his father at the hands of a mysterious chinese man named Lan Di. Ryo must gather clues about his father’s murderer by questioning friends, neighbors, and fellow Martial Artists in his small town. In his hunt, Ryo will discover some of his father’s hidden past and make new powerful allies along the way. Ryo will have to look deep within himself to obtain the courage to follow Lan Di to the ends of the Earth to seek vengeance for his father.

Shenmue’s gameplay is sectioned off into three parts, Quest, Quick Time Events, and Battle.

Quest, is where most of the game takes place. This is where you will explore the world of Shenmue. Talking to NPCs to find clues to further the narrative. Opening any nook and cranny just to see what’s inside random drawers or what’s in the refrigerator. Step into the local arcade to play a few rounds of Space Harrier or Hang On if you wish. Even walk into a empty parking lot to practice a few techniques. There are also several hidden sides quests throughout the game, like having to get milk for a lost kitten which will change the world’s perception of Ryo. Leaving you to your own devices to find everything you can in the world. However, this can lead to unclear story objectives making you exhaust every single option in order to move the plot forward. Also near the end of the game, forklift driving does overstay its welcome making the game come to a crawl.

Quick Time Event or QTE for short. Are a sequence of events that require precise button presses in the correct order to trigger certain cinematic actions. A great example of this is when you need to save the local children from a gangster. A boy has a soccer ball and nudges it to Ryo’s foot. Allowing Ryo to kick the ball as hard as he can hitting the gangster in the face stunning him, allowing the child to flee from his grasp. Another one of my favorite scenes is when Ryo enters a bar, the patrons just start harassing him out of nowhere. Clearly in this scene Ryo is not messing around. A man charges Ryo and he stops him by giving him a Chuck Norris like spin kick sending him crashing into the bar breaking all kinds of glass in the process.

The Battle system is easily the highlight of Shenmue. If you have ever played the Virtua Fighter series of games you will be right at home here. Using real Martial Arts techniques for fast paced reactive battles. Battles often begin with Ryo vs multiple opponents at any given time all attacking you at once. Knowing when to punch, kick, parry, and throw are essential during combat. Ryo’s moves have a sense of weight, power, and flow to them. Hitting an enemy with a powerful move and watching them crumple to the ground delivers a great sense of satisfaction. Mastering combat in Shenmue is one of the most rewarding experiences in the game, making you feel like a true Martial Artist when you take out five surrounding foes with as few moves as possible.

Shenmue’s surreal world is fully voiced, every person has something to say. However, this comes at a cost. The voice acting throughout the game is very hit or miss on a ton of occasions. Speech is sometimes delivered awkwardly and out of place or some characters completely changing the subject mid sentence. Sometimes Ryo has trouble expressing simple emotions like anger or confusion in some scenes taking you out of the experience completely. Not all of the audio work is bad though, when you enter the arcade you hear all kinds of pings, pops, and beeps. Walking around town you’ll really hear the hustle and bustle of Japan. People ringing their bells on bicycles signaling you to move out of the way. Or the friendly hot dog salesman blasting his tunes from his BoomBox. Shenmue has some of the most profound music to ever grace video games. When you hear the main theme queue up you know right away you are hearing Shenmue.

Shenmue transcends the meaning of what a videogame is by delivering you a cinematic masterpiece that is worthy enough to be on film. This is a game everyone needs to experience in their lifetime, because there is no other game like Shenmue that exists. Even with the game's faults which can bring you out of the world can be easily omitted for what the game has to offer. If you ever wanted to live a true Martial Arts story then this is the game for you.

Final Score
7.5/10   read

8:04 PM on 01.03.2012

Parasite Eve Storyboards Leaked

A former Squaresoft employee has revealed an earlier concept to Parasite Eve’s intro sequence. I love seeing early production work on games to see how much has changed during the development cycle. Aya looks very different then her final version in game. Also Melissa begins her grotesque transformation on stage. The storyboard's depiction is actually very graphic. This is pretty awesome to see since I just bought Parasite Eve on PSN mere months ago.

Parasite Eve Storyboards Slip Out [Siliconera]   read

11:32 AM on 01.01.2012

Two More Characters Leaked for Street Fighter X Tekken

Well the Xbox Live Marketplace does it again for leaking Capcom content. The store updated Street Figther X Tekken with twenty new screenshots. If you take a quick look at the screenshot below you clearly see the silhouettes of two new fighters Ling Xiaoyu and M. Bison. This is really becoming the norm for Capcom with the Xbox Live Marketplace leaking content.

M. Bison and Ling Xiaoyu leaked for Street Fighter X Tekken [Eventhubs]   read

3:11 PM on 12.30.2011

One Piece: Pirate Musou Coming Over Seas?

If your a One Piece fan and haven’t seen this game yet your missing out. Namco Bandai and Tecmo Koei are at it again for another Dynasty Warriors anime game. Since the Dynasty Warriors Gundam series has been popular they are trying it with one of Japan’s most beloved animes.

Usually when Koei brings these games to other regions the word musou is renamed to warriors. By looking at this picture below you can see that the name is Pirate Warriors is trademarked. I’m really hoping that this title comes out in the west. Usually the people in Europe don’t have to worry because they get most of the One Piece video games released in their region. Let’s hope this title is not just for the Europeans and is for the Americans as well.

One Piece: Pirate Musou May Come Overseas As One Piece: Pirate Warriors [Siliconera]   read

8:17 PM on 12.29.2011

Mega Man Is Not Dead!

Were you as sad as I was when Capcom announced that Mega Man Universe was cancelled? Is Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge on the 3DS’s virtual console not filling the Mega Man void for you? Then look no further then Rokko-chan! A fun little browser game that feels just like a Mega Man game in his 8-bit heyday.

Rokko-chan is like a female version of Mega Man with a Mega Man X style dash and super jump, making it feel like a mix of the old and new. The music and sprite work is amazing feeling like I’m playing and old NES Mega Man game. Before you play I highly recommend that you use Joy2Key and some kind of gamepad because the game can be quite difficult using just the keyboard.

Rokko-chan also features the awesome corniness and charm come to be expected from old Mega Man games. The moving eyes on the character select screen and the wacky and cheesy robot names. Just the thing needed to scratch that Mega Man itch.

Hurry and go check it out here!

Perhaps Rokko Chan Will Help Fill That Mega Man-Shaped Hole In Your Heart [Siliconera]   read

11:10 PM on 11.28.2011

The First Video Game I Ever Played

Do you remember your special game that got you into gaming? Most people’s first game was Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Mine was a lesser known title called Archon. I still remember picking up the cartridge for the first time and seeing the the art on it. A man lion beast fighting Shredder in front of some statues, I had to play it right away. Well, after blowing in the cartridge and slamming it on the edge of my Nintendo it finally started up. I heard the epic medieval music and I was instantly sucked in. I had eyes locked on the screen watching the black and white dueling dragons battle it out. After seeing and hearing this I couldn’t wait to press the start button.

Then I proceeded to play the 1 player mode. Then the game finally started, and it was totally like a game of chess. During this time I was watching the film Searching For Bobby Fischer at least once a day during my childhood. So I was ready for whatever game of chess my Nintendo wanted to play. Watching the pieces move onto the board was so whimsical, I’ll never forget it. The knights, dragons, and unicorns marching onto the battlefield for the lightside. Trolls, goblins, and manticores creeping on the board for the darkside. All of the pieces lined up and ready for battle. Being able to move the square cursor on screen, I knew it was my turn to start.

So I started to move my cursor and selected my first piece. After selecting my knight I started to control him, I was moving him all over the board. I couldn’t believe I was controling the character at first. What I didn’t know was I would be walking him to his certain doom. Then the darkside’s wizard teleported his manticore right onto my knight. I thought it would just take my piece and that would be the end of it. No, this was Nintendo not some trivial game of human chess. The doors slammed shut then I knew it was a battle to the death. I was running around stabbing the air trying to hit the beast, then seconds later death. One by one my pieces started disappearing. Then finally the wizard was my last piece. He had some fight left, but finally was broken down and defeated.

I played the game all night and day and I kept trying and trying to win. To this day I never managed to win against the computer. It was a lesson my fragile mind would soon learn. Nintendo games are not fair. Little did I know that cartridge was the start of a love for gaming that I’ll never forget. Once in a while I will still play the cartridge trying to beat the computer.   read

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