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9:52 AM on 09.02.2008

PSP PSN Store Coming


According to PSPFanboy.com, it seems that the PSP is getting their own version of the PSN store coming around the Fall in Japan, but most likely will be a global release for all when it is released in Japan. You'll get to purchase and download all your PSP demos and what not without the need of your PS3 or PC. It seems like there will also be an additional feature of linking up to the PS3 in order to play online. SWEET! You'll also be able to get Mainichi Issyo Portable (possibly Japan only) for free! DOUBLE SWEET! Anyways if the PSPN store is anywhere near as streamlined as its big brother, you could see me buying lotsa stuff on their store in the near future. Oh and CFW users may have to wait for this feature, sorry. What do you guys think of all the cool upcoming things for the PSP? Should we just expect trophies will be coming soon?

Link to original article.   read


10:29 AM on 08.05.2008

The Phoenix Wright Summer (any objections?)

The summer has not been good to me...I've had more homework and studying to do for the summer semester at my university then I have ever had in a long time, and that was supposed to be a summer semester. But for every bad of this summer, there has been some good. First off, I finally stopped bitching about it and got a DS just because I can and decided to give some thought about games I wanted to try. Stumbling in the value bargain bin at Amazon was the entire Phoenix Wright Trilogy for $40. I decided to give it a whirl and almost instantly, I fell in love with the single best court drama game series EVER!
For the longest time, I have been extremely puzzled by the memes going around the internet with "Objection!" and what not. Now I know...IT'S FUCKING AWESOME TO SCREAM THAT OUT! As soon as I picked up the first trial and started using my logic to solve contradictions and people's fallacies and what not, I was instantly enticed by the fact that this was unlike any other game I've played.
Almost overnight, I fell in love with all the lovable characters in the Phoenix Wright series: I felt the joy when Phoenix would prove his contradictions, I felt the sorrow of seeing Mia Fey die (oops....spoilers). But most of all, every single character in the entire series, from the most minor like Wendy Oldbag, to the major like Chief Gantz were certainly memorable characters. And they had to be, cause if you didn't remember what ONE character said by slip of the tongue, you'd be completely fucked in the case with no idea of what evidence to present.
After finishing the first game during a weekend, I quickly moved on to "Justice for All" to see all the completely zany adventures Phoenix would have to go through with people trying to undermine him and prove he's an idiot. Needless to say, I didn't like it too much, something from the first one was totally missing. I didn't feel for any of the characters, some cases were downright absurd, and 'ol Phoenix would somehow take it to a new level of stupidity even though he learned all his lessons from the first game. Eventually, I did finish the game, even though it was only 4 cases compared to the original's 5, I just couldn't keep myself awake after series and series of backtracking several rooms and having to put up with the ever annoying Oldbag and Lotta Hart, possibly the two WORST CHARACTERS TO EVER COME INTO EXISTENCE.
Well I waited to try Trials and Tribulations due to being totally disappointed in the 2nd one. But my games started to pile up and I thought, might as well finish the series while I still have it fresh in my head. Well anyways, lemme tell you something, Trials and Tribulations was the shit. A perfect wrap up to the Phoenix Wright saga. Every plot hole ever introduced in the original game was answered, every great character came back in one epic courtroom showdown, and Godot was badass. Not to mention for once in the Phoenix Wright series, someone proven guilty in one crime was actually proven linked to another. That to me was just ingenious. Oh and let's not forget that this is possibly the funniest iteration of the judge I have ever seen.
Then after that, I finally started Apollo Justice. I am now in the middle of Apollo Justice but somehow I think the flair is lost. The biggest disappointment to me was seeing Phoenix in a state of degenerate bum with a daughter, and he speaks in riddles like he's some wise man. I dunno where they're taking this game, but I'm not digging the new courtroom or some of the new characters. I mean Kalvier and Gavin aren't as cool as Edgeworth or von Karma and I don't know if I can stand with Trucy Wright being my replacement Maya. Granted, the gameplay is new and different, but the storyline is almost totally negligent to me, oh and his "Objection!" is weak too.
To sum it up, this summer has been what I will call, the Phoenix Wright summer for me. After a series of hardcore game after hardcore game, Phoenix Wright was certainly the break I needed from the hardcore. I actually for once had to think and examine every nuance of wordplay and detail, something that many hardcore games I was playing at the time were lacking. If I were to describe to anyone who had not seen me the entire summer as to what I was doing.I would scream out "OBJECTION!" Objection indeed....   read


9:55 AM on 07.31.2008

Whatever Happened to Smell-o-vision?

A few days ago, after archiving my old magazines and books, I happened to come across a little piece of nostalgia. Shuffling through all my books, I finally saw the cover to "the Official Dreamcast Magazine" #3 where Lei Fang of Dead or Alive fame was plastered all over the front cover. I turned the pages to get a feel of how much the gaming industry has changed these past 9 years and nonetheless I was quite flabbergasted.
"Damn," I said to myself, "Konami was actually thinking about releasing Reiselied (AKA Ephemeral Fantasia) on the Dreamcast back in the day." But enough about that. There's actually one article that I found of interest in that whole magazine, and that was the proposed idea of Smell-O-Vision making its way into video games. The proposed idea was that some dude apparently patented some idea of speakers that would give off scent whenever you went into say, a field of flowers, and such. I remembered reading something about this in numerous articles and they always spoke of the promise it could present by immersing people further into the movie/gaming experience.
Well, nine years later, still no Smell-O-vision. I wonder what kind of experiences we would have had as gamers had smell-o-vision been full force implemented. Would you have been able to smell the charred remains of Elites in Halo? Would those beautiful environments in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus actually been more impressive and that much more beautiful? The world may never know.

What do you all think gaming would become if aromatic environments were implemented?   read


2:41 PM on 07.25.2008

Rumor: God of War Movie to be directed by........

Before someone reads this preview before hitting the jump...I'll just copy and paste a random quote from somewhere. Until you actually hit the jump. "there's two theories to aruguing with women. neither one works some people are funny. they spend money they don't have, to buy things they don't need, to impress people they don't like... she who laughs, lasts the early bird get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese stop the q-tip when you hit resistance." Ok now here's hoping you actually hit the jump. So apparently, there goes a rumor circulating around the internets that Brett Ratner is slated to direct the live action God of War movie. [url=http://www.joystiq.com/2008/07/25/rumor-ratner-to-turn-god-of-war-film-into-geek-tragedy/]Source[/img] I don't know about you people, but the only difference I see between Uwe Boll and Brett Ratner is a bigger budget. We can all agree that X-Men 3 absolutely sucked, I don't know what the hell they were thinking when they even let Ratner remotely come close to touching those series of movies or any other movies that he will ever touch. Just ask Jackie Chan, whose renown work with his Rush Hour series was by far self-admittedly, his lowest in his career. I wonder if Chris Tucker is going to be Kratos now?   read


12:57 PM on 07.17.2008

E3 2008: The Year Sega Came Back?

While many people are still clamoring/bitching about Microsoft's "one more thing" FF13 announcement, a lot of people look away from the developers' titles that build the stepping stones of the consoles' third party support. That being said, while many people are declaring Microsoft the winner of this year's E3, I think the true developer's award this year goes to Sega and the strong game lineup they have for this year at E3.

It's no secret that I have supported Sega since the beginning of time. I still won't forget the defining games that developed Sega - the company, and not Sega - the console. But recent years have not been kind to Sega. While other retro companies have adapted to the 7th console generation, Sega has stayed in the past, developing for arcade companies and releasing crap game after crap game. After Sonic 2006, Sega fans everywhere were ready to bury the symbol that created the company, Mr Sonic the Hedgehog himself. In a game where loading takes up 75% of the game, it followed up with another disappointment of releasing "Seven Rings in Hand" for the Wii (which mind you, I didn't think was terrible but people say otherwise). I haven't played Nights yet, but not too many people are giving it the praise that the first game received so I am glad that I am waiting patiently for the price to go down for this game.

But something mysteriously happened this E3. Somehow, rather than being the antiquated old company that has been stubborn to listen for so long. It seems that they're finally getting something's right with their gaming lineup this year. And most importantly, it all started with trying to bring their mascot to form, Sonic the Hedgehog. I don't want to write any impressions on the trailers as many people have done that already, but I will say that Sonic Chronicles and Unleashed suddenly have piqued my interest again and has brought the hope to revive the company back to 3rd party relevance.

Self admittedly, I haven't played a great Sega game in a long time. We all know how they have to stoop to getting movie licenses and making god-awful Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk games, but I've been more disappointed in Viking: Battle for Asgard and the Club, both of which I thought would be tremendous games but just didn't feel like Sega of old ingenuity, but soon that may change.

The games that will spearhead Sega back into the fray: Mad World, a Okami/Sin City hybrid is so super violently and stylistically cool and looking finer by the minute.
Samba De Amigo with it's addictive theme song 'Al Compas Del Mambo' are looking to make me shake those Wii-motes like a 4 year old on too much sugar. Golden Axe could be great, but as long as there are dwarves and pixies dropping health. Valkyria Chronicles could be a sleeper hit exclusive for PS3, that is if M$ doesn't buy that too.

Sega has been looking on the up and up, and seems to have finally listened to our bitching and moaning of what the Sonic series has become and cleaned it up truly. They've also followed suit by showing some promising games that may restore their ruined reputation from the crap we've been delivered in recent years. Heck, I'll even go as far to say that Sega was a Shenmue 3/Skies of Arcadia 2/Jet Set Radio 2 (3?) away from announcing that rumors of patenting the Dreamcast 2 brand were true and going to manifest into them coming back into the console world (and no the 360 is NOT their reincarnation).

Yes I could say if up until this point, if you've truly missed Sega the company of old, this could be a great year for them and would be wise to start playing some of the stuff they have in store. It has been, after all, 9 years since 9/9/99 and honestly Sega has shown that it was probably the strongest developer coming into E3.   read


10:31 AM on 07.03.2008

Alternate Universe: 5 Movies That You Think Could Have Been Great Games

Since the summer has rolled by, I've been doing nothing but studying for my summer term, firing up the PSTriple (360 is collecting dust T_T), and watching an assortment of movies that just "per chance" happened to be on sale at Best Buy in the Bluray department. So after watching a bunch of them I thought about this topic. Which movies, if introduced as a game first, would you think have been named a great game?

I know the two don't EVER, EVER, EVER, go together, but let's just pretend for a second here that we're living in another universe where all games were movies and all movies were games. Here's my list, what's yours?
P.S.Kudos if you have watched/recognize all the movies I mention here.

5: Ultraviolet

I have noticed that one suggestion for Equilibrium had been done, so I'm not going to copy that entry instead I would suggest this other work by Kurt Wimmer. I don't know what it is about his movies, but his gun katas action is unparalleled, which could make a perfect translation into video games. The settings are futuristic and highly reminiscent of games like Persona. Not to mention Milla Jovovich's character has this cool Octocamo thing going with her hair so they could implement some open world stealth in this game. Complete with femme fatale, I think Ultraviolet, while not a very good movie, could make an excellent Assassin's Creed style game (with 100% less boring).

4: Seven Samurai

This was an old 1960s Japanese black and white film that has possibly been the precursor to all movies which involve clever teamwork (Oceans 11, Italian Job). In the movie, each samurai has a specific talent that he contributes to the whole team. If done correctly, I could imagine this game being a hybrid genre style, where you could take control of each character and hone his ability to do things to accomplish your missions. You'd have a character whose missions specialize in tactically organizing your fellow samurai and villagers (a la FF Tactics). You'd have characters capable of stealth missions. Character's that would go around and build traps. The sheer idea of teamwork and different genre's that each character could bring to the game could make this, in my opinion, a damn fine game.

3: Storm Riders

I don't know if anybody here watches Hong Kong cinema. But if you don't, you must absolutely watch this movie. The movie is based on the excellent comic book of same name and has an intriguing story that would turn this into a fine RPG. In the movie there are two main protagonists, Wind and Cloud, who both have their own unique supernatural martial arts. Wind has the ability to fly around and just kick the shit out of everything super fast, whereas Cloud has the ability to manipulate anything liquid (including his own blood). If polished correctly, this could be the perfect mesh of Devil May Cry and Jade Empire.

2: Princess Mononoke

I know what you're thinking...why? Because the setting of Princess Mononoke is so lush and green and excellently detailed in animation form, that I think making a graphical representation of this environment in-game would be totally revolutionary and would get a minimum 8 score (out of 10) on presentation alone. Also the movie totally reminds me of a puzzle solving ambient adventure like Lost Winds, or could take a turn during battles and be like Shadow of the Colossus.

1: Face/Off

Arguably one of the best action movies of it's time, Face/Off is #1 on my list for everything I could want in an action game. Awesome bullet time, plot twists and turns, cover and destructible environments, doves and pigeons flying around a church fight. Does anything get better than that John Woo signature? Face/Off was a great movie, and I mean it a lot when I can say, it'd be a damn fine game.

Well this is my list, stay tuned to another entry of my alternate universe series where I'll turn the tables. Before I do so though, what is everyone's top 5 for movies-to-games?   read


4:32 PM on 06.06.2008

Playstation Qore Impressions: Is it here to stay?



Today, I woke up, sticky and probably foul smelling saliva in my mouth with one sole purpose, to download the latest Playstation Store content because last night, Sony wanted to get the hell out of the office. Well after dragging my butt to wake up, turn on my PS3 and going to the New Releases, there was one piece of content I wanted to immediately put on the top of my queue.

Thats right, Qore full year service. Now unlike many PS3 owners who are turned off by the idea of "paying for having ads shoved in your face for a year," I wasn't at all reluctant to immediately sign up for the service, cause so far, Sony has been nice to me: I wasn't forced to buy a PSN account, I didn't have to pay extra to get a wireless card or HDMI, heck Bluray even won, so why not help out Sony by trying their service out for a year?

Well the verdict is, I think Qore has potential. It might be $25 to get ads shoved in your face, but I see a lot of things that could make Qore not only great, but possibly setting a new trend in print media.

Well here's the rundown, once you download Qore, you have to install the 1.16 GB install and it could eventually be found in your XMB under the game menu. Well once you get all that initial mumbo jumbo out of the way, you get to see an awesome HD trailer of "the Incredible Hulk" which looks amazing, especially after you are greeted by a cute and corny geek who goes by the name none other than Veronica Belmont (I first noticed her on that Mahalo show where she's doing yoga poses like the picture above) but she comes out first to shove in your face how great Qore is going to be and then acts cute for no particular reason.

But the way the content is presented after this is both love and hate. Could Sony have done better? Hell yeah! But is this a great start? Most definitely! The idea of Qore itself is just true to whatever Sony is trying to do, to be different, to be a trendsetter, they hit spot on with this interactive magazine. They aimed to do something no one would do in the first place and they at least sold me to spend the money to try it out. I wouldn't mind at all to get my magazines in a digital format thats just so awesomely presented.

But the real question is, is it here to stay? I mean, the PS3 is projected with a 10 year life span, but how do you provide exclusive content especially in this day and age where people love to pirate their material. It just makes me wonder if Qore will even survive the light of day. But oh well, I am sold on the idea, I like Qore but there are some things that I know they could perform much better.

-If you're gonna put ads, either footnote them, embed them on the bottom of the page, or allow to skip the ad. Don't put it right on my face and make me waste 3-4 seconds of my life.
-Make a rewind and fast forward function in the videos, nothing is more annoying then watching the whole thing over again.
-Make Qore a community based interactive magazine. Allow things to be posted here like people's game saves, rosters (for sports games), user submitted videos of achievments, and other things. Don't restrict to just being the "background access."
-Put more content. I'm not spending essentially $2 a month to only know about (in this case, 4-5 games). Thats just not cool.

Anyways what do you guys think? Did Qore hit the spot? Is it going in the right direction? Or will it be something we'll totally forget?   read


4:05 PM on 05.29.2008

First Blog (better late than never): Are Japanese Developers Losing Their Touch?

I really don't know how to start off a first blog, so I'll start with a little introduction.

HELLO D-TOIDERS!

Anyways I have been a long time lurker of this site, I finally decided its about time to start a Clog after everyone has been doing one. Usually I try to vent with some of my thoughts, but if I read some other person's Clog and they seem to get my idea down, I'll rest easy. But if I search and search and find the topic has not been discussed, I usually will start a post unless some bastard beats me to it in the 1 minute it takes me to write one. So without further ado, there's a topic thats been on my mind for a while that I wouldn't mind discussing on this community.



Are the Japanese Developers Losing Credibility within Console Gaming?

Okay before I get mobbed by angry individuals with pitchforks, I'd like to reiterate that I am strictly talking about console gaming, as thats all I really know.

I grew up around the period when the SNES and Genesis were at odds. I have vague memories of all the back and forth slandering of the consoles, the "Sega do what Nintendon't" motto that made that era of gaming famous. And one day, as I was sitting in class, in a somewhat racist environment of my third grade class, we were talking about race and what each race was essentially good for. On a whim, one of the asinine students shouted out "All Japanese are good for is making videogames."

Needless to say, I didn't really know what the difference of an American guy or a Japanese guy being the creator of Mario would affect gaming in anyways, but surely it did affect a lot of the public portrayal in media about gaming usually being associated with Japan.

As I started growing up, anime started being the big thing with Dragon Ball Z taking off, this caused somewhat of a chain reaction when I noticed that around this time, a lot of my friends were starting anime clubs, video game clubs, and heck, there was even a Japanese club (mind you I don't know any Japanese in South FL). But I started really getting into videogames during Final Fantasy 7's infamous debut.

From then on, I guess I had this preconceived notion, that most videogame wonders had standards set by Japanese developed software. Call me racist, call me living in a bubble, but during this time, I could easily recognize the name Shinji Mikami over someone like Ed Boon.

I mean back then, I guess the first generation Playstation really took off during the JRPG revolution, with Final Fantasy 7 being the forefront of all that (I wasn't into Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana back in the day), prompting me to get any game essentially that had a Japanese developer on the helm. And usually it didn't disappoint. I guess its like us who prefer Japanese cars over American ones.

But lately, there has been a shift of the public opinion starting with last generation. When Microsoft entered the console market, I started of hearing more American hits. Halo and what not have been rising the charts in popularity and hype, its gotten to the point where in this current generation, I can not honestly name a single game that is completely Japanese helmed and "memorable." I think quite honestly, seeing the PS3 more popular in Europe and the Wii being so kiddy has skewed my image even more about what has happened to Japanese developers in general. I mean it wasn't too long ago when I had a conversation with my friend about going into the gaming industry and he stated something along the lines of "Well you might wanna go to Japan and check out working for a developer there, all games are made in Japan anyways." (of course we know that isn't true)

So what does everyone think? Am I living in a bubble? am I being racist (although I assure you I'm not)? Have the Japanese really lost their "dominance" if you will in the gaming world? Are Sony products really better cause they're Japanese and Caucasians are too damn tall (see below video)?

Comment me and tell me what you think, and be gentle if you are gonna flame me.

[embed]88163:11690[/embed]   read


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