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Showing posts from 2006

Capcom's DEAD RISING deserves a 10!

I just finished the 72 hour mode of Dead Rising for the first time. I must say that I am blown away by this game. Contrary to what most reviews say, I think the save system in this game is sheer genius. It just makes the game more challenging and even the decision on whether or not to save your game becomes a factor in gameplay (since you only have one slot).

Plot of game: Zombies in a mall. It just works.

If you read numerous reviews online, they always bring up the save system as a major problem in the game, and thus, most of the reviews gave this game an 8/10 or so. I highly disagree. This is a triple-A title, people. This is one of those games that ushers in the next generation of gaming. It introduces a lot of new concepts in gaming which will likely be imitated by future titles.

Anything and everything is a weapon....

Have you ever watched a zombie film? While zombie films are almost always questioned for their lack of story depth, Dead Rising, while similar to a zombie film, has lo…

The Importance of Blue Dragon

Blue Dragon IS Microsoft’s biggest ace in Japan for this year. This could also be their last chance of proving themselves in that market and to the rest of the world who is stuck in the 80's thinking Japan is the center of the gaming universe.

As a JRPG fan, I found this game to be awesome! This is the first time in a long time that I actually felt excited to play a JRPG. I’m 26 and a part of me feels that I’ve seen every single JRPG and encountered every clich├ęd, anime sugarcoated JRPG plot. But Blue Dragon gives me that feeling that I’m up for something new.

It doesn't matter how good Blue Dragon may be nor how cheap Blue Dragon bundle from Japan, a part of me is not that optimistic that it will sell truckloads in the first week. It will sell truckloads in Japan eventually...but not in the first week.

Unfortunately, for us, the immature gaming industry/journalism considers the success of the game within the first few days of sale. It’s not a marathon to the end (which is bette…

Quake 4 - Review

I finally finished quake 4 today at Lieutenant level. I never played the default difficulty setting; I played the difficulty setting that was one setting higher straight away, because I've played a lot of shooters and wanted a bit of challenge.

In the end, I came off very impressed. The single player campaign is just nonstop FPS action. ID Software/Raven really delivers an impressive shooter experience for the Xbox 360. I also like how the game ends...the final battle is pretty epic and when you finish it, you get this nice feeling of satisfaction and reward.

While the ending is the usual 'short ending' that most games have, IMO I thought the ending was pretty satisfying. It finishes the story while at the same time leaving everything a bit open-ended:


At the end of the game you get all the nice congratulations from all the other soldiers; however, there is a slight hint that, since you yourself are a Strogg, essentially, the Strogg have not yet been defeated…

In-game? Real-time? The sad truth is, nobody cares....

Every other day there's a thread on here about how the 360 is going to win the console war. And thus far, while the 360 is enjoying very good sales, it's difficult to say that the machine has truly hit the mainstream. Like most people on this board, I would want the Xbox 360 to succeed, but the reason why it has yet to really take off isn't because of the power of the machine compared to its main rival, the Playstation 3. It also isn't because of the lack of support from Japanese developers. It's simply because the games need better characters.

The other day, I read this article from, and one part caught my eye:

John Carmack Details id's New Direction

id software's John Carmack stated at QuakeCon 2006 that his company is going in new directions, which involves putting content before graphics, creating new IP and refining the development process.

John Carmack …

Quake 4 - Extremely late impressions

I haven't finished the game yet, so I can't call this a review.....

Right now I'm playing Quake 4, a game I bought a few months ago but only now have gotten around to playing. Wow, it's actually pretty good. Once you get over the fact that the framerate dips really bad, the game is playable and it has this nice 'Half Life 2' style scripting going on (with characters talking and with a lot of nice 'cutscene-like' sequences). I like the storytelling that ID put into the game....looks like they're getting better at it. I'm sure the PC version has a much better framerate, so if you have a really powerful PC I'd recommend the game. But if you don't have a good PC but have a 360 instead, the 360 version isn't as bad as the reviews make it out to be. The framerate dips (thus far) don't seem to be messing up my aim, and there are lengthy segments of the game where the framerate is very smooth, even with many enemies onscreen.

If you like y…

Ninety Nine Nights - REVIEW

Ok, so I've played through all the characters in Ninety Nine Nights, and have a general idea of the game and its plot. While I haven't finished the quintessentially final mission in the game (Inphyy's Special Stage), I think I have played enough to form an opinion on it.

This game is a hack-and-slash genre game. Keep that in mind. For new gamers, I think it can be a fun experience, since it's relatively easy to learn and play. For gamers who are expecting the game to deliver something new or groundbreaking, it does deliver in one area, and that is in the sheer number of enemies that you face per level. You face literally thousands of enemies, and you have allies at your side to fight with you. While the A.I. isn't stellar, it really is the standard A.I. of most games of this type of genre. A.I. in these types of hack and slash games generally swarm your character and take a swing at you, but aren't that smart and don't really care if they will get hit. That&…

Today's Game Reviews are Out of Touch

When a reviewer says that a game is 'too hard', he's probably a wimp who's pissed that he can't meet his review deadline because the game won't let him. When a game reviewer says that a game is 'too easy', they probably didn't get beyond the second level of a title, because some other titles have their attention more (case in point, Ridge Racer 6 and Ninety Nine Nights. I bet a lot of reviewers only tried those games in five minutes and decided they were bad.). Reviewers don't really look at games the same way as gamers do, at least not today in 2006. Back in the 90s game reviews were essential, because the number of crappy games and quick-cash-in attempts were insane. While the same holds true today, to some extent a crappy score on a review isn't only because a game is bad; sometimes it's the gamer who reviewed the game that sucks.

As I said earlier, game reviewers today rush through a game to be the first site with the 'world exclu…

How do you like your games? Over-easy or hard-boiled?

The thing that bugs me about game reviews today is the subjective view on game difficulty. When is a game too easy, and when is it too difficult?

Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting for Xbox Live Arcade got a lot of flack recently because the difficulty of the single player mode at three stars is just too hard---according to some people on forums and on reviews. Some people think the A.I. plays cheesily (relying on instant throws and no-charge moves). I took to task recently and played SF II HF single player a bit more.

Yes, it is true that the A.I. in that game is hard. But I don't think it's unfair. For one thing I am of the firm belief that A.I. just can't be as smart as people can. A.I. just can't predict people that well. So I think that, to some extent, game A.I. has to cheat. Why? Because it just can't be as good as people can.

If you're playing SFII HF and you think the A.I. is cheating on you or reading your moves, think for a second of how you're playin…

Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Xbox Live Arcade, ROCKS!!!

Just got Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting yesterday from Xbox Live Arcade for 800 points. It rocks. It's an arcade perfect port, right down to the difficult A.I. I love it.

It's a great classic to have on the 360, and is fun to play whether offline or online. If you've played SF2 in the past, you know what to expect. This SF2 is a bit older, so a lot of the things that gamers are used to, like air-blocks and insta-combos, aren't in the's as basic as it can get, and in a way, I feel that it's more strategic.

I have lots of respect now for the folks over at Capcom and their Xbox 360 support. Not only did they give the Xbox 360 an amazing port of SF2 HF, they're also sending over Dead Rising and Lost Planet. Capcom just improved their reputation in my book. In the past, they were seen as the 'king of the rehash'. But now, with their much improved online capable version of SF2 HF and their upcoming new franchise titles for the 360, these guys ar…

Enchant Arm: A great start for JRPGs in the XBOX 360!

I'll go straight to the point here.

Enchant Arms is a GOOD JRPG!

If Enchant Arms signals the dawn of the JRPGs in the XBOX platform, then we XBOX users have a lot to look forward to! This will be a long post, so bear with me but I'll try to put in as much info as I can for those people who are interested in getting the game. I'll also try my best not to put too much spoilers.

The strength of this game lies in its story (particularly in character interaction) and the battle system that From Software implemented. I'll divide this post into several parts, hopefully it will be coherent.

I played the Asian version of Enchant Arm published by Microsoft which is direct translation of the Japanese version of the game. The game has full English support with English subtitles and Japanese audio. THE ASIAN VERSION OF THIS GAME IS NOT REGION FREE. You guys outside Asia will have to wait for the version that will be released by Ubisoft this August 2006.


JRPGs have candy coated typi…

More than Six Months since Launch: On Xbox 360 Game Regions

As the owner of a Japanese version Xbox 360, I've been watching the trend when it comes to game releases and availability of English text/voice and menus in NTSC-J games. For the most part, English support on Xbox 360 games is just excellent. In a nutshell, most NTSC-J games already have ENGLISH support in them so long as you set your console to ENGLISH.

I want to summarize this for gamers who are worried about the whole 'region locking' problem on the 360, which in my opinion really isn't a problem to begin with. Here are a few points to keep in mind if you're an English speaking person but can only buy an Asian version/Japanese version Xbox 360:

1. For Maximum compatibility with all NTSC-J releases (both from Asia and Japan), get the Japanese Xbox 360. If you want to have no issues with power/voltage, or essentially, if you don't want to fuss over buying a voltage converter (from 220V to 110V), get the Asian Xbox 360. It is true that the Asian Xbox 360 has com…

Ask Bethesda to raise the bar and they say, "HOW HIGH?"

It's now official. I simply can't look at RPGs the same way again.


That's what happened to me.

I can't possibly imagine how those mad geniuses at Bethesda could have created this game. Oblivion is a game that you have *never* experienced before, an entire fantasy world, living and breathing right before you, and not totally depending on you for it to exist or to matter at all.

Oblivion. Play it, and you will understand.

Score for Oblivion: 12/10

May 8 2006 will forever be remembered as the Xbox 360 Vindication Day

May 8 2006 will forever be remembered as the Xbox 360 Vindication Day. This is the day when Sony shocked the world by disappointing their fans, when it turned out that their very expensive game console was really no more powerful than the Xbox 360.

On May 8, 2006, it turned out that Xbox 360 gamers had a next-generation system after all. For an entire year, the gaming press and misinformed gamers berated the 360 for the lack of CG quality visuals; not realizing that such powerful technology can't really be stuffed into a sub-$500 box with only 512MB of RAM. Microsoft and their fans had to endure ridicule upon ridicule over the slightest jaggy or the slightest drop in framerate, all simply because the juggernaut that was the Playstation 3 was at hand. Ironic, then that it turned out that the Playstation 3 would have the same problems, and would be far worse off in many cases. A more expensive game machine being LESS POWERFUL, LESS COMPELLING, and LESS INNOVATIVE THAN THE COMPETITION…

Gamers based in the Philippines: How to get in Xbox Live

NOTE: This article has recently been updated (as of August 12, 2006). Singapore no longer lets you input '00000' as your zip code. Please see below for alternate zip codes.

So you're a Filipino living in the Philippines with a brand-spanking new Xbox 360. You've heard about all the wonderful stories on Xbox Live. You happen to have a pretty good broadband connection. One day, you try out the Xbox Live sign-up options on your 360, and you find out to your dismay that your country is NOT listed. What do you do?

Now, you can probably enjoy your 360 without live at all, but I have to tell you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT. As Peter Moore said in the recent MS Press Conference: "Having your 360 connected to Xbox Live is as vital as having your computer connected to the Internet".

He is so damned right.

I've been playing on Xbox Live for almost a year now (both on my original Xbox and the Xbox 360). Essentially I found out all of this with a little bit of research, a little…

Why "It's all about the games" is no longer a valid argument for the Playstation 3.

In my opinion, if you support Sony's Playstation 3, essentially you're telling them that it's alright to give huge promises to your customers and not keep them. It may be all about the games, true; but doesn't your trust (or lack thereof) in a company to deliver promised features also factor into your buying decisions? As consumers, if you get a Playstation 3, essentially you're letting them 'get away with' what they pulled last year. And no doubt, if Sony succeeds this generation, they will use these marketing tactics again.

Heck, if Sony succeeds this generation, most likely both Microsoft and Nintendo will follow their lead and start using the same deceptive practices as Sony just to win the end, we encourage these big console makers to continue to lie to us if we let Sony win. The pressure to deliver 'real-time' results IMO makes these three companies work harder to deliver truly next-generation games and experiences.

Now it is true…

Sony Playstation 3 - WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

If you're a well informed gamer, by now you've seen all three conferences by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. To make this brief, Sony screwed up. Big time. The price of the Playstation 3 is incredible. Unprecedented. Of course it's been done before by other game companies but no console manufacturer has ever succeeded at the price point that they chose for the playstation 3. They're in deep trouble.

I'll repost soon when I find the time; for now, visit this message board thread HERE for interesting insight on Sony. Yes, it's mostly negative and against what occured during their conference, but it's the truth. You can do your own research and you will come up with the same conclusion.

I'll post further insights soon...

LET THE BS...uh E3... BEGIN!

Before anything else, let me get a few things straight. First, I'm looking forward to E3 2006 a lot and I enjoy the show. Second, I own multiple consoles but I'm currently favoring the XBOX 360. Now that I have that over with, let me present you the freshest marketing BS for the 2 consoles that will be debuting (hopefully) this year.

Nintendo Wii
As is "we".
While the code-name "Revolution" expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer.
Wii will break down that wall that separates video game players from everybody else.
Wii will put people more in touch with their games..and each other.But you're
probably asking: what does the name mean?
Wii sounds like "we", which emphasizes this console is for everyone.
Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they
speak.No confusion.No need to abbreviate.Just Wii.
Wii has the distinctive "ii" spelling that symbolizes b…

E3 2006: The Changing of the Guard

It's E3 next week. Both Nintendo and Sony will be unveiling their new hardware and their games, so we will have a good idea of what their new consoles can really offer. Up to this point, all we've been hearing from those two sides are all promises. We are about to find out if they're going to deliver.

Next week there's going to be a LOT of knee jerk reactions to what will be shown at E3, much like last year. Hardcore gamers, most especially, are going to be very myopic about everything that will be shown. Conclusions will be drawn from early graphics, hardware will be judged from poor software...all of those things are going to happen next week. It's quite clear to me that the media is going to paint the picture that they're going to want you to see, and from what I've been seeing, they're more in favor of the old guard of the console industry---the continued leadership of Sony and Nintendo.

While I have a lot of respect for those two companies, I feel t…