Wednesday, April 30, 2008

LOL: Lost Odyssey Caramelldansen

LOL!



(The artwork is cute and well done, too)

Grand Theft Auto IV: Win 500 Microsoft Points! (Extended)


For gamers eagerly anticipating GTAIV in Asia, there's a promotion right now which can net you 500 Microsoft Points for FREE! If you already registered for this promotion but haven't been able to play on launch day, the good news is that the promo has been extended:

http://www.xbox.com/zh-SG/gtaiv/

"UPDATE: Registration for the promo is closed but for those who have registered all you need to do now is play GTA IV on Xbox LIVE on launch day (now extended to before 5th May) to get a chance to win 500 Microsoft Points!

The much awaited sequel for Grand Theft Auto is coming to Asian XBOX 360 owners on April 29, 2008. Currently Microsoft Singapore is running a promotion for XBOX 360 owners with gamer tags registered to Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore wherein you can obtain 500 MS points by simply playing GTA 4 on its launch date! What are you waiting for? Grab those points so you can download the upcoming exclusive DLC for GTA4 on the XBOX 360!

Eligibility Requirements:

This promotion is only open to valid Xbox LIVE accounts registered in the following locales: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore

You must register your gamertag between March 20, 2008, and April 20, 2008 on Xbox.com. (NOTE: You must register on this web site using the same Xbox LIVE gamertag that you will use to play GTA IV on the Xbox LIVE service). Please be sure that your Xbox LIVE account membership information including e-mail address, mailing address and phone is correct and current.)

On the launch day of GTA IV, you must log onto Xbox LIVE and play GTA IV."


As for the lack of GTAIV coverage here on Third World Gamer, to be honest, the game has been hyped all over the web these past few days. If you're a gamer, you just can't escape the GTAIV craziness online. The game just got 10s in every major review site and it has ads plastered all over the place. The moment you start commenting on GTAIV, you're effectively advertising it (regardless of what kind of comments you're giving, positive or negative). See, I just did the same thing (Now, will Rockstar send me a cheque? Oops, not officially supported...)

I figured, why add even more noise for the game? I guess I posted about this promo because it might be more relevant for gamers in Asia. It's free points! Maybe you can even use it to buy the upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive DLC, which is rumored to be out during the summer season in the United States (by around June 2008).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Microsoft Cuts Xbox 360 Prices in Four Asian Markets

Good news for gamers in Asia thinking of buying an Xbox 360:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aPVnmYFcu28g&refer=japan

"Microsoft Cuts Xbox 360 Prices in Four Asian Markets (Update1)

By Chinmei Sung

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. cut prices of its Xbox 360 game console in four Asian markets to help fend off market-share declines against Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp.

The Redmond, Washington-based company cut estimated retail prices in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, Brenda Hsieh, a Microsoft spokeswoman in Taipei, said today.

The price of a basic version will drop by 17 percent to NT$10,360 ($340) in Taiwan and by about 11 percent in Hong Kong effective today, Hsieh said. Prices will fall 5.1 percent to 369,000 won ($369) in Korea and by 20 percent to S$499 ($366) in Singapore, according to separate e-mailed statements.

Global Xbox 360 shipments will probably fall 40 percent to 9.1 million units in the year ending in March 2009 after peaking during the previous 12-month period, Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd. estimated last month. Shipments of Sony's PlayStation 3 will jump 47 percent to 14 million units, while those of Nintendo's Wii may rise 26 percent to 24 million, according to Daiwa.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chinmei Sung in Taipei at csung4@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: April 28, 2008 23:33 EDT"

Another one I found in NEOGAF (source link not given):
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=287994

"SINGAPORE -(Dow Jones)- Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Tuesday said it has cut the price of its Xbox 360 video game console in four Asian markets.

The estimated retail price for the model with a 20-gigabyte hard drive was cut 19.5% in Singapore to S$499 Tuesday, while that in Taiwan was cut 17% to NT$10, 360.

The unit price in Hong Kong fell 10.7% to HK$2,499 Tuesday, while that in South Korea will be cut 5.1% to KRW369,000 on Thursday.

"This price drop is part of Microsoft's ongoing strategy to bring Xbox's high- definition gaming and entertainment experience to an even wider user base," Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft also cut the price of its Xbox 360 Arcade model, which lacks a hard drive, by 13.1% to S$399, in Singapore. The price for the Xbox 360 Elite model, which comes with a 120-gigabyte hard drive, was cut 12.5% to S$699 in Singapore.

Microsoft has officially launched Xbox 360 in five markets in Asia - Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

"If and when price adjustments in other regions make sense, we will be sure to keep you informed, but we have nothing to announce at this time," the company said.

The company said on April 24 that revenue from its entertainment and devices division rose 68% on year for the quarter ended March 31 on strong demand for its Xbox 360.

Microsoft said cumulative sales for the Xbox 360, launched in November 2005, " surpassed 19 million" during the quarter, up 74% from a year earlier.

The company has said sales for the Xbox 360 will remain strong in 2008 on growing demand for high-definition television, given the console's focus on HD games. "

Saturday, April 26, 2008

WINNERS for the "What's Your Gamertag?" Contest!


Thanks to everyone who joined the "What's your Gamertag" contest!

Here are the winners :

TiQal:

manjungle US
slapshockk
d22th
MystiqueQA
mickeyfojas
Tetragnome
ickerson322
faraway 888
iyabayani

Brain Challenge:

Isidro Bukag
AngelsCircle
DrAner79
Ganfoll
Daizzy
kyuz08
poi5on85
spoon42
pataylagi

For the winners, the Xbox Live Arcade promotional codes have been sent to your Xbox Live messaging inbox. Simply input the code via the 'Redeem Code' option on the Xbox Live Marketplace. You can also get the option to redeem the code after downloading the trial version of the game that you won. Simply download the trial version (of whichever game you won), then choose to buy the game....from that point, there should be an option to 'redeem code' which can then let you unlock the full version of the game for free, using the promo code provided.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Last call for our "What's your Gamertag" contest!

We just got back from our little vacation and I'd like to repost that our "Third World Gamers - What's your Gamertag?" contest is ending soon. Over 18 XBLA promotional codes are up for grabs (which let you play the full version of either TiQaL or Brain Challenge for FREE). The contest will end on April 26, 2008 at 9PM so if you'd like to join in, post a comment in that section right now to join!
Good luck :D

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We're Out of Town This Week....

...so there won't be any updates to this blog until Friday or so. Until we meet again, enjoy gaming, everyone.

Have you joined our "Third World Gamers, What's your Gamertag" competition? Click here to participate and get a chance to win an Xbox Live Arcade game for FREE! We've got over 18 codes up for grabs thanks to Xbox Singapore's Asia Bloggers program.

Also, join the World Cyber Games 2008! Are you intimidated that you might end up facing some super hardcore player that's mastered Through the Fire and Flames on Expert difficulty in Guitar Hero III? Don't be! Just join in for the fun of it. Meet up with other console gamers and together lets show WCG Philippines that interest does exist for game console-based competitions. For more information, check this link here or go directly to the site for WCG Philippines, http://www.esports.ph . Pinoyxbox also has an ongoing thread about the competition in this link.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tekken 6 NOT PLAYSTATION 3 Exclusive according to interview with GamEX Magazine

From the interview of GamEX magazine in their latest issue (posted below) with Namco Bandai staff regarding Tekken 6. I just got around to reading it this afternoon, and I was quite surprised to read this tidbit.

In the introduction it says:

"The GamEX staff got an exclusive interview with Japan's Bandai-Namco Tekken Team, Haruki Suzaki, project director for Tekken 5 DR and Ryuichi Enomoto, International Sales Representative whent they visited the Philippines as special guests of Quantum Amusement Corp.'s Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection Tournament."

Later in the interview:

"GamEX: Wow! 2 years (laughs). Will it be exclusive for the Playstation 3 console?

Suzaki: No, it hasn't been determined yet as of the moment, but we are developing it for Playstation 3 so you can play it.

GamEX: Will Tekken 6 be available in other consoles like the Xbox 360?

Ryuichi: As of the moment we have no idea"

So is Tekken 6 coming to the Xbox 360? Maybe.





Latest Issue of GamEX now available, features reviews from Third World Gamer

A few months ago we wrote up some reviews for GamEX magazine. I thought that PSICOM stopped printing the mag, but apparently that's not true, because I found the latest issue in Power Books in SM Megamall yesterday:


Earlier I posted about the latest issue of Playground Magazine with the Pinoyxbox community feature. That said, I thought both magazines were quite good, with GamEX getting props for the layout and game pictures, while Playground getting props for the game articles. Both magazines are out in newsstands now, and they're quite affordable (below PHP 100 for each magazine, compared to international game magazines like EGM which cost more than PHP 500 sometimes!). Reading them is a great way to stay in touch with the local gaming scene. While the scene in the Philippines isn't as big or advanced as it is in first world countries, there is interest in console games and I think a good number of people in the Philippines do enjoy this past time a lot.

The focus on local magazines is usually MMORPGs but I think it's hard to blame these mags for it; I think MMORPGs are the only games that have official support in the Philippines from their respective developers. Personally I no longer play MMORPGs because they require so much grind, but at the same time I think that those games are the Philippines' "foot-in-the-door", when it comes to the gaming industry. They're a start for gamers in this country, and maybe they'll inspire some players to pursue careers in the gaming industry (or inspire them to do something and help bring some degree of official support from other game companies).

Pinoyxbox Community featured in Playground Magazine


The latest issue of Playground Magazine (Issue # 3) features an interview with the moderators of the Pinoyxbox Community . It also has a version of Third World Gamer's Lost Odyssey review. Pick up a copy in local newsstands in the Philippines today!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Turning Japanese?

NOTE: This is my long reaction piece over something I've read over the Internet that Filipinos are more inclined to Japanese games compared to Western ones.

One of the banner cries of several console gaming advocates in the Philippines are Japanese games. Some biases in favor of Nintendo and Sony stem from the concept that as Japanese consoles, they are most likely to have MORE Japanese games. Some people here in the Philippines, seem to think that console gaming revolves around Japanese games. And I simply beg to differ. Now before anything else, this same bias for Japanese made games also has its western game counterpart but for the purpose of my 'rant' on how Filipino's are Japanese game centric, I will focus more on the Japanese game bias.

Like most of the gamers from my generation (80's – 90's), Japanese games served as our introduction to the wonderful world of gaming. It started with the 'Game And Watch' which lead all the way to the Super Family Computer and the prerequisite Super Mario Bros game. I will not deny that I enjoy playing Japanese games but at the same time I recognize that it was not the end off all gaming.

As I outgrew the eternal plumber, one of my mom's officemates introduced me to PC gaming. The very first PC game that I played seriously was Kings Quest. That game held a lot of memories for me because it was the game that taught me how to type on a keyboard, it was also the game that got me interested in computers in general. By the time the later editions of the Quest Series (Kings Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest and Quest for Glory) rolled in, I had become quite familiar with MS DOS and Windows which was a feat that would never have happened had not I bothered to play those games.

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Kings Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Quest for Glory....some of the greatest games made! Who said good 'ol adventure games don't work anymore?!?

I was around 9 years old when I stopped playing Nintendo and Japanese games in general to focus more on PC gaming...or should I say...western gaming. But my interest with Japanese games was renewed as when I discovered anime and the Japanese pop culture. I assume that most people who are Japanese game zealots can find that the roots of their passion came from manga and anime.

By then, I was so fascinated when I realized that Ranma ½ had a more intricate plot compared to Care Bears. The characters were also those that I can relate with despite having unimaginable hair color. In my teenage years, Japanese Anime was influential in shaping the kind of media that I liked. And back then, I was unable to look past the rose colored anime glasses to realize that the amazing thing that I saw in anime was far simpler than worshiping everything that came out of Japan.

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For me, nothing beats the anime 'classics'...

And one of the easiest ways to satisfy my craving for all things Japanese (other than eating Sushi all day), was to play Japanese games, particularly Japanese RPGS (JRPGs) and their glorious CG movies that keep me playing so I get to see the next 'anime' cutscene. Japanese gaming was an extension of my passion for anime.

As my obsession with anime grew and as my knowledge regarding the subject increased, I begun to see certain things that made me rethink my opinion of anime and Japanese games. Through the years the original anime series which I once thought out to be unique and creative, were rehashed several times or are rehashes in themselves. I've seen it all... Shonen Anime, Shojou Anime, Harem Anime...

The stardard issue dark haired pilot who will save the world...
The innocent anime girl love interest with her hands clasped in prayer all the time...
The bishonen I'm-too-sexy-for-my-shirt aloof character with long hair (preferably silver)...
The bad ass guy with family issues and a huge chip on his shoulder who wants to destroy the world...
The little characters who seem like they are about to break into song any minute now...
The cute cuddly creatures that defy any realistic imagination...

As I saw these templates, my vision regarding anime and the Japanese pop culture cracked. Many Japanese fans accuse western media of using template characters and rehashing the plot. Well...I can definitively say that Japanese media also do the same thing! The only difference is, western media aren't keen on having a hundred foot lizard destroying the whole town but opted for a hundred foot ape instead!

I found similar patterns and rehashes in Japanese games as well. I also grew tired of the 'fan service' that most games dish out. (Oh look...this character is getting a new series because he is so uber cool! SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!~~~ XD) I enjoy fan service but sometimes its simply too much. It also helped that I took some form of Japanese studies in college which made me realize that what I see in anime isn't exactly what Japan is.

Now that I am much older, everytime I hear this Japanese games are bettter argument, I laugh. Been there...done that...said that... And I was wrong.

I was wrong because I was unable to identify what made a game 'click' with me. I was unable to look past the glitter, sugary sweetness and wide eyed Japanese characters to realize that what I was looking for in media (and in gaming) was far simpler than having something made in Japan.
I was looking for good presentation and a reasonable plot.

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I wish Blizzard can stop milking World of Warcraft and make more RTS games again!


The Japanese are masters of presentation Everything about Japan is presentation...from the texture of the paper you use in your calling card up to decorating your lunch box with star shaped cucumbers. It's no surprise that this flair in presentation will make its way to anime and videogames. But who is to say that the west cannot offer the same quality, even in gaming? Take a look at popular western games like War Craft and Star Craft...which amazingly also has a following in Japan. Even the much laughed at, FPS Box (aka XBOX) mascot, Master Chief has a home with Japanese gamers living in Japan.


People who say that only Japanese games have good presentation and a semblance of plot either have not played any other games other than Japanese ones or simply cannot live with the truth that it is nothing more but a matter of preference rather than fact.


For example, check out Call of Duty 4. That game SCREAMS western! And its even the much hated FPS for the extreme Japanese lovin crowd! But as I watched my husband play through that game, I was amazed at how well the game was presented and the plot that was woven in to make the game better.


So in the end what am I trying to say?

Good media (or games) are not identified by the nationality of the group that made them. What makes something good, at least from my perspective, has something to do with the actual presentation and plot. With this mindset, I am able to enjoy games without characters that need to wear a sailor school-girl uniform. I think Filipino gamers can equally enjoy both eastern and western styled games but in the end its all matter of preference and not necessarily a cultural fact.

World Cyber Games / Asian Cyber Games 2008 - Guitar Hero III and Virtua Fighter 5

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Here's an update on the World Cyber Games (WCG) / Asian Cyber Games (ACG) for 2008. For console gaming, the Philippine team will be looking for players on the Xbox 360 platform and these are the games:

World Cyber Games 2008 (Germany)

Guitar Hero III

Asian Cyber Games 2008 (Singapore)

Guitar Hero III
Virtua Fighter 5

WCG Philippines will be getting 2 players for Guitar Hero III (one for WCG, another one for ACG), and 1 player for Virtua Fighter 5 (ACG). For Guitar Hero III they will have a competition wherein the first place winner goes to the WCG (Germany), while the 2nd runner up goes to ACG (Singapore). For Virtua Fighter 5 there will be a competition to find the best player to send for the ACG.

There are more details on this subject over on the official site for WCG Philippines. There is an announcement forum thread here with even more details (including the PC games that will be part of the competition).

Pinoyxbox also has a forum thread on the subject of the WCG / ACG. If you'd like to meet other Xbox players who are planning to go to the competition, check out this Pinoyxbox forum thread.

Dates have been set for the preliminaries. The preliminary for Guitar Hero 3 begins on MAY 10, 2008. As for venue and registration details, we have yet to receive word on those, but we do know that there will be online registration for the competition. Eliminations will be held in Manila, Davao and Cebu.

The Philippine finals will be held on July 10 -13 at SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

We'll continue to post updates on this as they happen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Third World Gamers, What's Your Gamertag? Xbox Live Arcade CONTEST!

Third World Gamers, what's your Xbox Live Gamertag?

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Tell us and you could win a promotional token to download an XBOX LIVE ARCADE GAME for free! Up for grabs are 18 Xbox Live Arcade Promotional Codes which let you download either TiQal or Brain Challenge for FREE! [Note: 9 codes are for TiQaL while the other 9 are for Brain Training] Now that's an awful lot of promotional codes, which gives everyone a really good chance of winning!

All you have to do is post your XBOX LIVE GAMERTAG in the comments section here on Third World Gamer. We'll then pick 18 gamertags at random, then send the XBLA promo code via a message on Xbox Live.

Deadline for entries is April 26, 2008, 9:00:00 PM Philippine Time. We gave this a long deadline so everyone can have a good chance to find out about this and join. Just post your gamertag in the comments section; there aren't any contest rules, really, this isn't one of those contests where you have to be from one of the fifty states of the USA, everyone's invited to join in, as long as you've got a gamertag. Of course the only way I'm sending the codes is via an Xbox Live message, so no Xbox Live gamertag, no prize :D Note that the prize you'll get is also random, it's either TiQaL or Brain Challenge. 9 of each are up for grabs :D

So what are you waiting for? Jump in!
*Courtesy of the XBOX Asia Bloggers Program

Getting ready to rock!!!

Do you believe in fate?

A couple of days ago, I had this weird dream wherein I was playing Rockband with my brother and he was whining since he kept on resurrecting me since I was failing with the guitar. The dream was so vivid that the moment I woke up, I actually thought of getting out of bed just to play the game.

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Unfortunately, Rockband is not available in Asia with no release date given. A few months ago EA Singapore had a countdown in their official site for Rockband which was supposed to end sometime in March but now that clock has been reset and it isn't about to end anytime soon. Fellow XBOX 360 gamers from Singapore narrate that most stores in SG doesn't seem to have information regarding Rockband with rumors that they will be selling the game but not the instruments?!?

It is with that small dream that our quest for Rockband has reached its peak. Ever since we played the game in the PinoyXBOX Grand EB 2007, we wanted to have one for ourselves. Me and my husband love playing games together. We played Halo 3 and Gears of War cooperatively and we are both fans of Guitar Hero. My brother loves Guitar Hero and keeps tabs on Rockband in hopes that he will be able to play it before his summer vacation ends. Chances are he will end up camping at our place more often when Rockband comes out.

Since Rockband is a very big package the local importers sell this game for a hefty price tag. And because the game is region locked, one will need a US console to play it. Those two things were our biggest stumbling blocks. As my husband mentioned, we were actually considering buying a PS3 just for this game.

On the same day that I had that dream, my husband's best friend, who happens to be a major Metal Gear Solid fan, calls him to ask for more information regarding the Blu-Ray lens problems and the other update problems for the PS3. His concern made us a little worried with the whole PS3 thing. My husband and I understand that even if we have a PS3 our main gaming machine will still be the XBOX 360 and we are worried that the machine will just gather dust on the side which might cause it to break. Other than that a lot of negative press regarding the PS3 hardware was starting to surface. My husband and I have been through several broken XBOX 360 (Xenon models from 2005-2006) breakdowns, we don't want another one for the PS3.

So I pleaded with my husband to go to this surplus store one last time just to check if Rockband was available. I was kidding around with him that if the PS3 version of Rockband was there, that's the sign that we needed to get a PS3. For the last couple of weeks, I was like a madwoman going to that store when we happened to pass by the area...but every time I went, there was no complete Rockband set to be found. The only one left was the same box without the drum kit... And what is Rockband without the drums????

On that day, I entered the store and....alas no Rockband. Dejectedly we just looked through the other merchandise and a 2nd had copy of Guitar Hero 3 for the XBOX 360 with the wireless guitar was being sold. We grabbed that package before anyone else took it since we loved the wireless guitar that my brother owns. However when we opened the package we saw that the CD had an obvious scratch. My husband asked the sales lady there if they can just replace the disk or get a discount. I jokingly said maybe they can replace the disk with the Rockband disk from the incomplete package. Then at that moment, the sales lady gave me this funny look.... She mentioned that she couldn't do that since the game was part of a complete package WHICH JUST ARRIVED!

I turned to look at the direction she was pointing at and LO AND BEHOLD....some store guy was carrying in two boxes of the Rockband Special Edition for the XBOX 360! COMPLETE!!! AND AT A GREAT PRICE!!! I rushed to that area as fast as I can and secured one box for us. I was so darn happy that the sales lady probably laughed at me since I was jumping up and down like a nutcase!

We went back home with gigantic grins on our faces to complement the gigantic Rockband package and the Guitar Hero 3 that we also decided to purchase. We knew that there are risks when it comes to buying second hand items so we downloaded 'Boom Boom Rocket' from XBOX Live Arcade to test out the Guitar and the Drum controllers for Rockand. We were so happy when both instruments actually worked!


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After that we realized....now that we had a Rockband set all that's left is getting a US XBOX 360. Thanks to some of the PinoyXBOX members we ordered a Falcon Arcade bundle at a pretty good price too!

I know this was too good to believe...but it happened! I cannot believe my luck on that day! I was so happy that I kept on sending God prayers of thanks for my advanced birthday present. Was it fate? Who knows... But we came from wanting to buy a PS3 to getting another XBOX 360 just to play Rockband. I would have considered myself crazy had it not been the luck that we had on that day.

In a few weeks, our US console should arrive and it's time to rock!

NOTE: If you want to know what surplus store I'm talking about. Well the store name's start with an 'H' and ends with an 'R'. There's also a discussion thread about this store in PinoyXBOX so check it out!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pinoy Gamers TV Show at the PinoyXBOX Grand EB (Video)

Here's video from the Pinoy Gamers episode this week where the show covered the PinoyXbox/Pinoy-N Grand EB and Christmas Party:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Help Put An End to Uwe Boll's Career

http://kotaku.com/376625/make-uwe-boll-disappear-yeah-riiiiight

"Poor Uwe Boll. Beat up some game nerds and making some shitty movies and suddenly everyone hates your guts. What gives?! Some folks dislike Uwe so much that they've created an online petition hoping to do what online petitions typically do: Nothing. That, or convince Dr. Boll to stop making crappy movies. Ha! From an interview with website FEARnet:

"Are you aware that there is a petition online, signed by 18,000 people, requesting that you stop making movies?

Uwe Boll: Yeah, I know that. 18,000 is not enough to convince me.

How many would it take?

Uwe Boll: One million. Now we have a new goal."

If Uwe Boll did not exist, someone would have to invent him.
Boll Interview [FEARnet via /Film Thanks, Jonathan!]"

So there you have it, we gamers can *probably* get Uwe Boll out of the movie business forever.

Yep, online petitions never work. But this is actually for a GOOD CAUSE! lol. I signed. What's the harm? :)

The petition started at 18,000, but since this news got posted it climbed to well over 90,000 votes and it's continuing to go up rapidly. Do your part by signing here:

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Lost Odyssey DLC on April 10 (Extra Dungeon and Item)

On Famitsu it's been reported that new DLC is coming out for Lost Odyssey for 400 MS points. By the way, keep in mind that the DLC for Lost Odyssey hasn't been released for the US; I personally don't know why that is, however, the DLC is out for the Singapore marketplace. So if you had MS points and was wondering what region to put it in, I recommend Singapore over the USA for getting the Lost Odyssey downloadable content.

The Memory Lamp DLC is already out but I couldn't buy it because my points are all in my US Gamertag! So once this new DLC hits Singapore, I'm loading my points to my SG account instead of my US one.

Here's the Famitsu article about this (in Japanese):


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Where is the Asian Xbox 360 version of Rock Band?


Rock Band is published by Electronic Arts. That company puts region locking on all their Xbox 360 games, probably to ensure that their global distributors get an even share of revenues. Because of this, we aren't able to buy Rock Band for the Xbox 360 because our 360 is an Asian version console (only NTSC-J games work on it, or Region-free games). Rock Band is already available locally in Data Blitz stores here in the Philippines; we just can't buy it because it won't work on our 360. =(

We're actually considering buying a Playstation 3 just for Rock Band, because the PS3 doesn't have any region locking built in (so it will play games from any region, apparently). The only time I ever got to try this game was during Pinoyxbox's Grand EB last year. It's a great game; it's just unfortunate that it's in the hands of such an evil publisher. (google "Take Two Interactive EA Hostile Takeover" and you'll see what I mean)

It's really really unfortunate that nothing (as in, NOTHING) has been announced regarding an official Xbox 360 Asian release for Rock Band. Maybe there's the occasional forum post or best guess about when it's coming out (June? Really? Last I checked they said March, then it became April, then .... then.... )

Whoever's running the show for Microsoft in Asia is falling asleep at the wheel, it seems. This is a lost opportunity for them, because while we're seriously pondering buying a PS3 because of this reason, there are likely more people out there (in the Asian region) who are getting a PS3 over an Xbox 360 because they can't buy Rock Band on the 360 here. It's almost as if Rock Band here in Asia is practically Playstation-exclusive because anyone can just get the US import version of Rock Band for the PS3 and have it work on their Asian PS3 systems.

I've read all the reasons of Microsoft for implementing region-locking in their game console. I think it all boils down to them preventing themselves by getting sued by some money-hungry publisher (any opportunity to get money out of a 330BN-dollar corporation is a good opportunity, apparently). But I don't understand how Sony can get away with it. I think Sony just said 'Screw the risk, we're getting beaten six ways to Sunday here' and made their system region free despite possible complaints from publishers. And surprisingly, publishers don't seem to mind at all.

I do notice that Playstation 3 game prices are higher than Xbox 360 prices---perhaps that's the only downside to completely region-free games. But when one region can get a great game like Rock Band and the rest of the world is 'technically' deprived of it (I say technically because, like my situation, the game's already here, via imports; it just won't work on my system!), I just think it's a little frustrating.

Friday, April 04, 2008

New Playstation Ads Promote Facism and Worship of the Playstation Brand



This might explain why Sony Fanboys are insane. Sony promotes its brand image and its Playstation product like this most of the time.

It's just a video game console, Sony; why not just market it as that? What's with the false gods and the Nazi flags? Do people really worship their game consoles like this? Oh, wait....some of them do.

That said, gaming is just a hobby, it's a fun one but it isn't the end all and be all of everything, as these ads seem to portray.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

SONY FANBOYS, if you want to earn some respect, start acting like you deserve it!

A recent invasion on the Pinoyxbox forums from Sony fanboys:

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b34/scytherage/trolling1.jpg
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b34/scytherage/trolling6.jpg

Some of the trolling posts are written in Filipino, my native language. Yes, the "Sony Fanboy" trolling phenomenon isn't something that's limited to gamers from the First World. Even gamers from the Third World do it too. And let me tell the people from outside the Philippines something that's even more fascinating: Some of these Sony die hards don't even OWN a Playstation 3! They're only defending the PS3 because their previous system was a Playstation 2, and most of them had shelves upon shelves of PIRATED Playstation 2 games. So yes, they're even more insane than American Sony fanboys, European Sony fanboys, or the Japanese Sony fanboys....they justify their game system of choice and they DON'T EVEN OWN IT. Good grief!

Honestly I don't understand what exactly is the mindset with Sony fanboys that they enjoy causing carnage like this. If they want their points to be heard (regarding their crazed worship for their game system of choice), resorting to immature behavior on messageboards is not the answer.

I think it's simply hard for them to accept that Sony did make some mistakes with the Playstation 3, and when Xbox players point those out, their feelings get hurt so easily and then they resort to flaming, name-calling and whatever other childish tactics.

While I hate to see stuff like this on the 'board, quite frankly I'm not surprised anymore. Sony fanboys have always exhibited this kind of crazed zeal that I'll never fully comprehend. And it's all for a gaming console. Sheesh....it's pathetic, really.

Devil May Cry 4 Review (Long overdue)


RATING: Go buy it, just don't expect an awesome story and enjoy it for what it is.

I've been meaning to write a review for DMC4 for the Xbox 360 for a while now. For the time that I played it (before lending it off to my brother), I did enjoy the game, and played it for quite a while. I played starting directly in DEVIL HUNTER mode (I skipped Human mode entirely) then I finished the SON OF SPARDA mode a few days afterwards. Finishing SOS mode took about a week because I would intersperse playing SOS with the 'Bloody Palace' mode that gets unlocked after beating the game once.

The thing that stood out for me the most about Devil May Cry 4 is the gameplay. At Devil Hunter mode, learning how to mix up attacks and combos is pretty important, especially in later levels when faced with tougher enemies like Angelos (who can block your attacks quite easily). The game has a system which lets you buy new abilities by earning Proud Souls. You get these after each level. You can also improve your character by getting Red Orbs which let you increase your health and spirit energy.

I also found the boss monsters quite challenging in my first playthrough. Later on, since the game makes you fight the boss characters over and over again, you'll figure out that there are certain techniques which make fighting them easier.

The cutscenes in the game are very well-rendered; they're testament to the power of Capcom's MT framework game engine, which I think is superior to Epic's Unreal Engine 3. Unfortunately, in terms of story content, the cutscenes don't really have that much . The story in the game is really, really simple, and I'd say that it's just there to put a bit of purpose to the action (if you must know, the story is a lot like Mario....'save the princess' then save the world in the process). I don't really have a problem with the simplicity of video-game plots; so long as the game is fun and the story doesn't get in the way of delivering an overall great 'game' experience, I think that a game is worth recommending. I could spend a lot of time nitpicking story points but I realized that this game wasn't really meant for that purpose. The action in the game is top-notch and very challenging (if played starting out with DEVIL HUNTER mode). I skipped HUMAN mode because I heard that this was the mode in the demo of the game (downloadable from xbox live). I found the demo to be less than appealing in terms of challenge, so for the full game I decided to go straight to Devil Hunter mode, and thus I had a more enjoyable experience.

Another thing I really enjoyed about DMC4 was the Bloody Palace mode. This is essentially a survival mode, where you have to stay alive and beat all the enemies before the time expires. From what I've read this is about 100 stages, and thus far I've only been able to make it to Stage 20+ (after fighting the boss, Berial). It's a great way to explore the gameplay options available to each character; it lets you learn more about the available combos and skills and how to use them effectively.

Perhaps the only thing that I didn't like about the game was the fact that it makes you fight some of the boss enemies over and over again. I wish that Capcom introduced more scenarios instead of teleporting you to the boss area instantly for some stages. I did enjoy one boss character in particular, and that's Credo. He offers the most challenging fight in the game (when you start out, you don't have that many abilities; perhaps that added to the challenge factor). He's also a well designed character and one of the more interesting new additions to the series. It's just too bad that *SPOILERS* they kill him off pretty quickly *END SPOILERS*

Also, it's a bit unfortunate that Dante seems to overshadow Nero at every opportunity. Because they had Dante in the game, it seemed to me that Nero appeared more like a secondary character for the series. From what I've read, they were supposed to pass on the torch to Nero as the new hero of DMC; but based on this game, Nero just doesn't seem as interesting as a character compared to Dante. Nero also doesn't really get that many moments to make his character more interesting for players. However, maybe that's only because it's obvious that developing a good story wasn't really the emphasis for the game design of DMC4 to begin with. Nero does get the Devil Grabber/Snatch ability (thanks to his arm), which makes him superior to Dante in terms of executing continuous combos. That said, I hope that they just pair these two characters up again for DMC5. I don't think Capcom should retire Dante yet.

Overall, DMC4 gets my recommendation, for players who want a game that has challenging gameplay values and if you're willing to overlook the lack of story content. This game made me interested in the series (it's my first DMC game, by the way), and now I'm looking forward to DMC5, which will hopefully be made for the current generation of consoles.