Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Hard Truth about Modified Xbox 360s (And Why You Shouldn't Buy Them)

1. You don't know if the modified unit you're buying is an old one or a lemon that just got repaired. How would you know? There'd be no way of knowing.

2. You don't know if the technician who modifies your unit even knows what the hell he's doing. If it breaks, how can you blame them? They'll probably put you through hoops, make you come back week after week after week, give you more hassle. Hey, it's your time...far as I know, time is money, at least for me.

3. You don't know who these people are who are churning out these firmware modifications. How do you know these things won't break your 360 with some bug or two that surfaces later on?

4. By supporting piracy, you become part of the problem. So these consoles break so easily (the truth is, all of them break, not just the 360. PS3 = BDL). We don't have anyone to turn to to have these things fixed. Why? Because the console makers don't want to support us here. Why? Because we support piracy. As far as these companies are concerned, they don't really need our market; we're the ones who have to show them that we're willing to support them. Are you waiting for the local government to do something about piracy? They can't even do anything for the other, more important problems that they should be fixing, so why are you waiting for them to solve piracy for us? You can make up your own mind to not support piracy; if you were able to support the PS3 and it's ridiculously overpriced original games, it should be easier to support the 360 and its relatively cheaper games.

5. There are already so many sources for cheaper games. You can buy games from surplus shops like HMR in Pioneer. You have the forums here with used, original games going for as low as 500 pesos or less. You can trade with other players. You can buy brand new Xbox 360 titles for 2,200 or even less depending on the game (available on our forums or in certain stores in Greenhills or even I-Tech in Market-Market). You can rent games from Gamehopper. The point being, why go with piracy and have the risk of 3RL overshadowing you on a daily basis, when you can just go with an untampered system and have a less risk of getting it, and just find other ways to get inexpensive games?

Anyway, the 360 is already a hardware defect prone machine, why go modified? If it breaks, there's no one else to blame but yourself, because you let someone else tamper with it. If you can afford PS3 original titles, why can't you buy Xbox 360 original titles? Because PS3 titles are made on blu-ray discs? That's a ridiculous justification if you ask me. The space barely makes the games better anyway, looking at all the multiplatform games that are out there, and the Xbox 360's games which are on the lesser-space DVDs equal (and in some cases) surpass its blu-ray counterparts.

Just GO LEGIT.

Friday, May 30, 2008

NINJA GAIDEN 2 DEMO IMPRESSIONS - Woot!!


Impressions:

1. You only get to pick the easiest setting....so I thought this game would be a walk in the park.

2. Around four or five guys jump me at the start of the game, and I'm surprised at how aggressive they are. I had to use block in most cases. They weren't able to kill me (since the game was in the Easiest setting) but I was surprised at the enemy AI's behavior. After having played DMC4 I totally didn't expect that.

3. I was all oooohs and aaaaahs at the 60 FPS frame rate! There were a few rare occasions that it dipped but I didn't care! BLOOD AND GUTS EVERYWHERE FTW OMG YEAH!

4. You can pick Japanese voice / English subs for the purists out there.

5. You can choose from VARIOUS WEAPONS in the DEMO! Oh man, I loved the scythe! Yesssss! And then later, you pick up a SPEAR and it's more awesome compared to the scythe!!!

6. I'm amazed at the quality of Ryu's animations and there seem to be a good variety of moves for an action game.

7. The graphics are incredible! Triple-A quality game, definitely.

8. The demo felt a bit longer than the usual demos and that's a great thing. It has enough content to make you want more.

The videos for this game don't do it justice. This is one -AWESOME- action/adventure game for the Xbox 360, you'll just know it the moment you try the demo. Definitely worth getting!

Now, if I can only figure out a way to fit both Ninja Gaiden 2 and Race Driver: Grid into my gaming budget.....once again, the eternal problem of xbox 360 gamers---we're just spoiled brats when it comes to the number of triple-A quality titles to play---there's just so many damn awesome games! Add this to the mountainous pile of quality titles...defintely worth it!!!!!!!!111111

NINJA GAIDEN 2 Demo Out on Japan Marketplace!

The demo for NINJA GAIDEN 2 is out on the JAPAN Marketplace for Xbox Live Gold Users! The demo is about 857MB. :D

Virtua Fighter 5 Ver.D Commercials




Click here for a nice article - Tekken vs. Virtua Fighter - which is the best?

Virtua Fighter 5 Ver. D Wallpapers



I found these from http://www.virtuafighter.jp/.

Oh, if only SEGA had better distribution for their fighting games! We're stuck with TEKKEN 6 here in the Philippines. I tried it the other day and I really didn't like it.

Couple that with VF5's dismal sales on the Xbox 360; it looks like VF5 Live Arena will be the last VF game that I'll be able to play on my console unless I get a Playstation 3.

For various-sized versions of the above wallpapers, click this link to go directly to virtuafighter.jp's downloads section.

Also, there's a video about VF5 Version D here:

Jacky's Extra Winning Pose in VF5 Arcade Ver. D

I found this on VFDC the other day, I didn't know Jacky got an extra winning pose in Version D. It's the best one. Too bad it's not on the Xbox 360 version! (To see the winning pose right away, fast forward to the 3 minute mark).



Who wouldn't be annoyed by that one! Hahaha!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Great Read: Regarding all those GTAIV 10's

This is another nice article about game reviews and Grand Theft Auto IV:

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=18761

"Opinion: 'PR’s Dirty Little Game With 11th Hour Reviews'

[In a sharply worded opinion piece, British games journalist and producer Simon Parkin discusses how limited access to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV may have affected its initial reception by the press, suggesting that withholding pre-release versions may be affecting reviews of many big game titles.]

Judgments cast before they'd been adequately weighed; words sold before they’d been properly valued; shallow opinions that should have been presented as the first word in a conversation but were dropped with the clacking gavel pound of a conclusion. Yeah, every writer has regrets.

Four weeks ago in this publication I referred to Grand Theft Auto IV’s depiction of immigrants as being more nuanced and sympathetic than that demonstrated by the exquisite Baltimore-set television drama, The Wire.

The exact words were: “[Niko Bellic’s] portrayal should do more to warm viewers to illegal immigrants than any of the (nevertheless awesome) characters in, say, the culturally-acclaimed TV series, The Wire.”

While it seems like a harmless enough statement it was an idiotic comparison considering the heavyweight dramatic nature of the television series and the shits-and-giggles, tongue-in-cheek parody of the video game.

But what’s really nagged and irritated me over the following weeks is that, with a little distance and perspective, the bold proclamation was so obviously made, like so many from within our industry, with the aim of elevating video games to the respectability of more established media via bald association.

The opinion piece was written following a short weekend's playing of the game just prior to its release and, as I’ve played on through the rest of the story, the fault lines in that specific claim have become ever more apparent. While I adore the slow pacing of the first few hours, the way Nico starts off on the straight and narrow and is dragged into the shadows of the American Dream by forces of poverty and necessity, the game soon enough swings into full adolescent-posing-as-adult narrative fizz.

There’s nothing particularly unusual or wrong with that, especially when sat alongside Hollywood’s output, but claiming it has anything particularly meaningful to say about the immigration issue is stretching the game beyond its purpose.

More interesting than this whiny narcissism are the forces that brought about my (and ten thousand other professional) snap judgments of the game. "


We haven't picked up GTA4 at all (due to budget considerations...we had to buy an Xbox 360 Arcade to play Rock Band, remember?). It did surprise me that the game got so many 10's across the board. Every time I watched videos of the game online, the game never struck me as a 'must-have!' title. The setting never seemed that interesting, the lead character is the typical angry guy that most Western games have....I dunno. I couldn't see what was so special about the game.

I will get around to trying this game eventually; but right now it just seems so uninteresting to me. I'm more interested in the upcoming games GRID, Ninja Gaiden 2, and Soul Calibur 4.

Great Read: "How Rock Band Saved My Marriage"


Found this great article, again via Neogaf forums:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/05/27/rock_band/?ybf1=1

"The fake crowd roars. I fake drum faster. Our fake band, Sex Baby, embarks on a fake world tour on our fake jet, playing fake stadiums in all the fake capitals of Europe. Our fake selves grace the covers of fake magazines, and our fake fans number in the millions. When our fake manager calls to tell us we've been invited to play the fake Hall of Fame showcase in fake Stockholm, my real husband turns toward me, and smiles."


I can imagine, not every gamer is going to find a significant other that also enjoys video games (let alone understands them). Rock Band is a great equalizer; after all, it involves playing music and singing---I think these things are enjoyed universally by people of all ages.


Wuffy's comment:

Slightly Off Topic: Scythe and I sometimes ask ourselves why we often have nice conversations regarding gaming but have nothing to record it on before we forget it. One of our converstations have something to do with rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rockband.

Some people in the gaming industry are going on and on about how the Nintendo Wii was such an amazing device that pushed the bounderies of gaming. The Wii-mote was the revolutionary tool that got grandfathers and grandmothers to pick up a videogame console for the first time in their lives. I don't believe in those things...after all my grandmother used to play videogames with me as a child and she had this addiction to tetris which allowed her to beat everyone's scores in the house. (God bless the souls of my grandparents!)

The real innovation started with Guitar Hero. I believe it brought more to gaming (and pop culture) compared to the Wii. My younger brother (who actually uses the XBL Gamertag: wuffy) grew up without knowing the value of rock. Local entertainment in the Philippines, consists of having pop songs coming from the 80's to the 90's sung over and over again. It's bad enough that when you enter the regular McDonalds here, you'll hear a local artist doing her own version of an 80's song which American Idol's Simon will roll his eyes at. Most radio stations aren't helping either. The songs in the airwaves are nothing more but lame R&B hip-hop (not the ones that actually have meaning beyond bling and booty), bleeding emo...or an even lamer song from a sexy dance troupe which would have classified as a nursery song had it not required you to dance to it provocatively. While there are indeed some nice local bands in the country, they hardly get well deserved air-time.

So my brother grew up tuning out music. That was until we brought him Guitar Hero. Rafael, my brother, played Guitar Hero around last year and he became hooked. Next thing I knew, he was rummaging around for old CDs and loading the songs from the game to his MP3 player. After that he started listening to other songs from the bands featured in Guitar Hero and then he tell me that his classmates are also listening to it because its cool. Heck by now...he knows more stuff about those bands than I ever did when I was a teenager.

That's the real success story in my opinion. Because of rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rockband, gamers are exposed to a wealth of musical culture. I never realized that the music from my parent's generation was actually good! When I play these games, I encounter the thrill of being a make-believe music artist even if I do not have the skill to actually play a real instrument nor do I have the patience to become a rock star.

My husband and I play, rhythm games cooperatively. We choose the songs we want to play and take turns on the instruments. Like the couple in the article, these games are a great way to spend time with each other. It gives us a finer appreciation of rock music as well. There was a time, I couldn't even distinguish a lead guitar from a base guitar but now I can! When I listen to songs, I can now single out the guitar, bass and the drums. No longer am I held hostage by the voice of the singer!

The true social game is something that people can relate with which is why these rhythm games are such a big hit compared to the ones made by Konami which featured a wealth of JPOP that most people can't recognize.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PINOYPSX Crazed Sony Fanboys Trolling PINOYXBOX Forums

Note that this isn't the first time that they've done this.

Here's what I have to say to the psychotic Sony fanboys.

"Hay naku, here we go again.

And you wonder why Pinoypsx never gets any respect from Pinoyxbox members.

One time my friend (a Playstation fan) went to Pinoypsx and he said he couldn't understand why the posts there felt so immature. And they're always flaming members about something. Basically he said the members on PPSX were always so hostile or angry about something. It's either console wars or they're flaming other gamers about petty things.

I told him I was more of an Xbox person and I said what I thought about the PS3 freely. Heck I told him what was so wrong about it. But he didn't mind, and at the end of the day he's still getting a PS3 for MGS4.

I respect his decision. After all, that's the game he wants to play, and at the end of the day, that's the whole point of buying a game system. To play the game that YOU want. It doesn't matter if there's an entire community of people totally against one game or one system. If you love something, just enjoy it. You don't have to wage World War III and justify your purchase. It's wrong, pointless, immature and stupid. And for some to expect that Pinoyxbox gamers will not be 'biased' for or against the PS3 is really ridiculous. This is Pinoyxbox. People who are fans of the Xbox will go here, and they'll favor the xbox. What did you expect? Naturally if you post something that's implicitly against the Xbox, you will get flamed, it's just the way it goes on an Xbox forum. Much like if I went to PPSX and posted every-single-thing I dislike about the PS3, I'd get flamed all the way to hell for it. The difference being that I don't go around making forum accounts and trolling in places which support things that I'm not a fan of.

If friendlier dialogue were even remotely possible between Pinoypsx and Pinoyxbox than maybe the two sites could have worked together and helped advance console gaming here in this country. Because as it stands, we all have the same problem: There's no official support. When our consoles break (that includes you PPSX people and your BDL woes) we have no choice but to spend more to fix our problems. Console games are hard to find and relatively expensive here compared to neighboring countries. And there's nothing being done about piracy, which only discourages official support all the more.

Anyway, after reading some posts here, I'm locking this thread and reporting all the trolls to recommend for ban. It's obvious some of you are just here to cause trouble, and this thread should remain here in this forum, for everyone to see exactly why animosity exists between Pinoyxbox and Pinoypsx."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Guitar Hero World Tour Drum Kit


I found a nice, large picture for the drum kit for Guitar Hero World Tour (GH4) online. Looks great! I just hope they can solve the problems that the Rock Band drum kit had:

- the Rock Band drum pedals break easily (ours hasn't broken yet but we've read online that it really does break easily; we had to modify ours with rubber stoppers to prevent it from breaking).

- the Rock Band pads are so loud, so sometimes it's hard to hear the notes that are playing in the game when you hit the pads hard enough. I also read they're prone to breaking if you hit them too hard too.

- Lastly, I also read that the Rock Band drum pads aren't sensitive enough for playing through some songs on Hard or Expert difficulty. It can't keep up when you're drumming really, really fast on some songs.

Activision can capitalize on these mistakes from EA/Harmonix and make a better drumkit. Now, if only they had access to a better list of songs and had more downloadable content.....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gamespot Article: Microsoft scaling down 360 sales in India

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6191360.html?tag=latestnews;title;4

"Report: Microsoft scaling down 360 sales in India

Lacklustre sales of the console in the country has led the company to begin withdrawing from the market, according to Money Control India.

By Emma Boyes, GameSpot UK

Posted May 21, 2008 7:45 am PT

The Xbox 360 launched in India on September 25, 2006 with the standard console (now called Premium) selling for 23,990 rupees ($561), and the Core (which came without a hard drive) for 19,990 rupees ($465). For the console's debut, Bollywood heartthrob Akshay Kumar and cricketer Yuvraj Singh were enlisted to feature in an advert promoting the new console.

However, the venture didn't really go as planned, according to a report in Money Control India. From the article, "The company has been facing dismal sales already due to sloppy customer support, high hardware failure, and pirated games. While Microsoft games cost upwards of 2,500 rupees [$58] each, [they are] easily available on the grey market for 100 rupees [$2]."

Also, India is one of the few regions in which the Xbox 360 has not yet been given a price cut, despite up to 20 percent being lopped off of the price in other Asian regions including Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

The news Web page cites "sources" as confirming that Microsoft has withdrawn from several tier-one cities across India due to disappointing sales, and Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division has also withdrawn its marketing budget for the current fiscal year.

It also states that the marketing head of the same Entertainment and Devices division of Microsoft India, Ashim Mathur, is set to leave the company, following on from the departure of country manager Mohit Anand.

Microsoft India denied this, and commented, "The Microsoft Entertainment Devices Division is very much on track with its targeted business plans." Microsoft did not return calls from GameSpot to comment as of press time. "

Rumor: Playstation Network Removing Accounts Made from Unsupported Countries?

On Pinoyxbox's "PXB Taksil! Thread" (PS3 users thread), it was reported that Playstation Network (PSN) accounts made by gamers living in the Philippines are being suspended by Sony.

From Holocause on the Pinoyxbox forums:

"From what I've been reading, the potential reasons could be from:

Falsifying your identity... stating that your living in Japan when your IP clearly show's your not.

Making multiple accounts from a single PS3. You have 1 account for the PSN server in Japan, another account for the US server etc... etc...

Probably got complained to by someone (bad feedback)

Game sharing... purchasing content from the PSN store and then giving them away for free to 5 other buddies on your friendslist

Joining up for PSN from a region that is not supported by PSN

These ofcourse are unfounded right now and are just rumors as to why the block. Nothing to confirm them. Its similar rin I think as to the grounds of how XBL blocks-off content from users. Difference kasi with Live users I think kasi is that we're paying customers so they don't Ban us unless we violate 'Terms of use', they just block off content that we shouldn't have access to."

This is a really unfortunate development for gamers in unsupported countries like mine. Actually, the Xbox 360 also almost had a similar incident before, when rumors swirled that Microsoft's newest update would remove accounts in unsupported countries from Xbox Live.

(Very old thread) Philippine-based XBL Users Threatened By Incoming Update!


Luckily, the gamers from unsupported countries (in particular, Greece, which was then unsupported) rallied together and informed Microsoft that it would be detrimental for them if their service became so strict with the enforcement of regions. In the end, thankfully, Microsoft's update did not harm gamers with accounts from unsupported places.

Right now this story still classifies as a rumor, since there are some other gamers who are from the Philippines but are able to get in PSN. This news story will never make it to Kotaku or Joystiq or any of those major gaming news sites/blogs because it hardly affects them at all. I think imposing regional restrictions on console gaming networks limits the potential growth for the console gaming markets in unsupported countries. The truth is, once console hardware leaves the factory, who knows where it gets shipped and how it gets there. Gaming has players from around the world and not just in supported countries; and while the markets in unsupported places are relatively small, they're still customers, and I think they all deserve some degree of good online service from game console manufacturers. At the end of the day, they're customers who can end up buying more software from game companies via online services---why close that out as a potential source of profits? Online services are part and parcel of this generation of game systems; it's part of the hefty sum that gamers pay for when they buy game consoles, and I think that gamers shouldn't be deprived of the ability to access them.

We'll try to find out more about the PSN issue and post it here once we get more information.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reminder: WCG Preliminaries continue this weekend


Join the XBOX 360 WCG Preliminaries for GUITAR HERO III and VIRTUA FIGHTER 5 and get a chance to win one of the following Xbox 360 original games or items!

2 GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS OF ROCK with XBOX 360 WIRELESS GUITAR
2 UNIVERSE AT WAR: EARTH ASSAULT
1 GRAND THEFT AUTO IV
1 RAINBOW SIX VEGAS 2
1 GHOST RECON ADVANCED WARFIGHTER 2
1 VIRTUA FIGHTER 5 LIVE ARENA
1 PROJECT GOTHAM RACING 4
1 HDMI Cable

Each of these prizes also come along with other freebies such as a Grand Theft Auto IV Poster and a Need For Speed ProStreet Seatbelt Casing.

To qualify for the raffle for these prizes, all you have to do is play for the XBOX preliminaries at the WCG. You don't need to become one of the finalists to be eligible for the prizes. Just join in the preliminaries for the Xbox 360 games and get a chance to win one of these games!

The final draw for the winners for these games will be done at the WCG Finals at the SM Mall of Asia on July 13, 2008, after the awarding ceremonies. If you've already participated in the Xbox 360 preliminaries, simply be at the SM Mall of Asia on July 13 for the final draw so that, if you win the raffle, you can claim your prize right away.

Good luck to everyone! This raffle is brought to you by the Pinoyxbox Community http://www.pinoyxbox.com

Click here for Pinoyxbox's Official Forum Thread for the World Cyber Games 2008.

Friday, May 16, 2008

April NPD - Pachter was Wrong, and Regarding Fanboy Gloom and Doom

The cold, hard facts: April NPD US Sales Figures were released today. First post has the numbers:
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=296026

"Hardware
PlayStation 2 124.4K
PlayStation 3 187.1K
PSP 192.7K
Xbox 360 188.0K
Wii 714.2K
Nintendo DS 414.8K

Top 10 VG Titles - April'08
Units*
360 GTA IV 1.85mm
Wii Mario Kart w/ wheel 1.12mm
PS3 GTA IV 1.00mm
Wii Play 360K
Wii Super Smash Bros. Brawl 326K
PS3 Gran Turismo 5: Prologue 224K
DS Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness 202K
DS Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time 202K
Wii Guitar Hero III 152K
360 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 141K

*includes bundles, collector's editions, GOTY editions"
My take:

360 and PS3 sales were neck and neck for the first time in months. GTAIV on the Xbox 360 confirms that the US gaming population has chosen the Xbox 360 as their platform of choice for the highly rated sandbox/action game. Nintendo continues their sales dominance, which isn't really interesting anymore, nor is it news to me. Their successful-with-the-non-gaming-masses formula of simplistic gaming has really caught on, no doubt about that, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Predictions that the Playstation 3 would take off in sales and overtake the Xbox 360 because of GTAIV's release last April were completely and utterly wrong. The Playstation 3 only matched the Xbox 360, and if I'll be nitpicky about it, the Playstation 3 didn't even take the lead. In software sales for GTAIV, the Playstation 3 was utterly destroyed once again, with the Xbox 360 garnering over 1.8 million units and the PS3 only selling about a million flat.

The famous console pundit/analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan was completely wrong in betting on improved sales for the Playstation 3 for April, and these sales figures (cold hard facts) prove it. It goes to show you that real gamers are interested in games and not systems, and since the Xbox 360 does clearly have the larger lineup of highly rated games and a more diverse lineup of titles than the Playstation 3, it only takes common sense to figure out that Grand Theft Auto IV would do better on the Xbox 360. Consumers are smart; they'll pick the best investment and if they had to choose between a 360 or a PS3, the 360 at this time will always win, because it simply has more games. Its moments like these that make you wonder how these video game industry "analysts/experts" get hired for their jobs. I think sometimes that they release predictions on the market because they think that what they say can influence the video game market to move in a certain direction. And in that sense, they give out predictions that will probably be in favor of whatever business interests they have, or for the interests of their peers, investors or business clients. Perhaps Pachter or his business clients own stocks in Sony and they want the value of their long held investments to go up already, since they've been waiting so long for the Playstation 3's promised miracle of profits to already happen. Or they want their clients to start selling their Microsoft stocks (and if they broker stocks, that type of transaction would be profitable for them)....whatever the case, it's clear that a bit of common sense wasn't used by Pachter in figuring out what would happen when GTAIV would hit the market.

It's clear that Michael Pachter lives in a box of reality where past consumer behavior always determines the future, and made his prediction based on that. He must have looked at the data from the past, which said, "From the year 2002 onwards, the Playstation brand was immensely successful...", so that must mean, the Playstation 3 will be successful eventually, because their brand is well known, and it has so many "loyal" customers. He didn't consider the present, and how consumers have changed, or how Microsoft is really putting up an incredible fight against Sony in getting the core gamer, securing previously exclusive titles and continuing to improve their products and services. He also didn't consider all of Sony's screw-ups for this generation of consoles, from the late launch, to the lack of games, to the initiallys steep price of entry, and their cluelessness when it comes to the implementation of online play. Pachter stayed blind to Sony's crucial mistakes, remaining forever faithful to the ever-reliable analyst-tenet of "past behavior must determine the future". This failure of his is a huge blow to his credibility--and to the credibility of other analysts who don't really understand the gaming industry or its consumers.

It isn't the first time that Pachter has fouled up. During the Xbox 360's launch period he was one fo the system's biggest detractors, again encouraging the belief that when the Playstation 3 arrives it would easily overthrow Microsoft's second foray into the world of game consoles. His stance on Sony has never changed, and despite him being wrong so many times regarding how gamers would receive the Xbox 360 and its games, he has retained his belief that Sony will return to the forefront of console gaming. With the sales figures for GTAIV already out, it's clear that he has no business talking about the game industry, he has no idea how it works and he will never, ever give any accurate predictions on behavior of the market now or in the future.

****

And my other ramble is regarding the reaction to the hardware sales for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 for April from the Neogaf thread I posted. You'll see a lot of gloom and doom from the fanboys; that Nintendo will herald the death of gaming and the end of core games.

I think a lot of them are simply overreacting. For one thing, software sales still shows that gamers are still buying core games like COD4, Halo 3 or Gears. FPS titles or shooters are still 'hot' among a lot of core gamers, while sales of other types of core games like fighting games are on a steep decline. (Smash Brothers is a fighting game that is selling well and as such it is an exception; but I don't think it's a 'core' fighting game since it doesn't really take that much skill to play it. It's a button masher. Your mom could play it.).

I don't think April's sales figures already mean that we're looking at a Nintendo controlled future where every game will have some kind of waggle feature on it. To think that way would be to think no better than those analysts on the game industry who never seem to get it. The big picture is, a lot of core games where skill is required do still sell quite well. Software sales for the Xbox 360 clearly shows that the market is still healthy for these kinds of titles and while there will be casual games to occupy the time of the non-gamers, core games will never go away. It's just fanboy gloom and doom, and such opinions aren't worthy of any attention.

As it stands, GTAIV on the Xbox 360 is still on top for April 2008. If a Wii game would have beaten GTAIV on the date of the game's launch, now that would be alarming.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Falcon has Landed! :D








Now playing Rock Band, we'll be back...really, we promise! :D

The World Is Not The Internet

I posted this on my 'base page' on Teamxbox....it just generally reflects what I think about their online community.

"The World is Not The Internet

By: scytherage
12:17 AM PDT
Views: 62

After years of visiting, I've realized that the forum here in Teamxbox is a place where gamers constantly lament about their Xbox 360, tirelessly bemoan their game purchases (usually after five minutes of actual video game play), and long for any other game platform that isn't made by Microsoft.

In other words, this isn't really a place for real gamers or real Xbox 360 fans...It's a great place for xbox 360 news, though. But opinions? Reading the stuff here can be quite depressing; it'll make you want to move on to another hobby with less fanboys (or less people who think they aren't fanboys).

If you want to actually enjoy Xbox 360 gaming, play the games, make the most of them, and meet friends in REAL LIFE who like the same thing that you do and deal with them instead of the anonymous strangers who post here daily. The world is not the Internet....because of Internet anonymity, people are just too brutally honest and they don't really think things through before posting anything on forums online. Or they'd rather post just to get some 'lulz' (in real conversational dialogue, I meant, a lot of people post on forums just to get a laugh out of other people who they know, inevitably are going to take the arguments here too seriously).

So if you're new to forumgoing and notice that everyone's so damned negative about the Xbox 360, don't worry---it's NORMAL on this forum. It's not a reflection of reality. If that were the reality (that all the gamers who do have an Xbox 360 absolutely hated it and its games), then Microsoft would be pulling out of the console race already, and the company can simply go back to just focusing on general purpose computers or other real-world software applications (which is really their specialization and what brings them the most income). It's not like Microsoft NEEDS to be in the video game business. The sales data for Microsoft's game console also reflects how generally, the Xbox platform is now an accepted part of the console industry (worldwide); they're no longer newbies to the business and they know what it takes to make money and please their customers. Anyone who tells you otherwise still lives in their mother's basement and thinks it's 1995.

The only exception to this is Microsoft's performance in Japan, but that's an altogether different (and more complicated) topic of discussion entirely. In two of the major regions for console gaming, the United States and Europe, the Xbox 360 is faring well, and enjoys healthy sales for its variety of games. There is no gloom and doom other than what the forum posters may want you to believe....(and no, the Xbox 360's sales failure in Japan will never, ever make the incredible game/hardware sales for the Xbox 360 in Europe and the USA irrelevant.)

The truth is, many gamers (out there in the real world, who don't post on forums) do like the Xbox 360. The games are great, and there's a lot of fun to be had if you actually spend more time playing the games. The truth is, the 360 has a great future...it may have strong competition in the Playstation 3 but it's not like the system is the Dreamcast of this generation (fyi, the dreamcast is an old, failed game console from years back, created by Sega. If you want to learn more about console failure, look up more information about the Dreamcast. Now THAT is the very definition of failure). The Xbox 360 may have problems like the three red lights of death, but for the most part Microsoft has dealt with this with better hardware (the Falcon, which doesn't get acknowledged at all by most gamers) and with a really solid three-year warranty.

And yes, despite what Microsoft has done to solve their hardware woes, some anonymous forum posters will endlessly, tirelessly, lament about this hardware issue anyway. It will never end, so usually posters like that are better off in your ignore list.

Many, many posters on this forum are very good at making it feel like Microsoft is a sinking ship, day in and day out. But the business reality is, they're doing very well, and I think they're quite happy with their position in the console industry. So if you start regretting your game console purchase after reading a paragraph or two from other so-called 'gamers' here, step off the PC and actually play with your Xbox 360. You'll feel a whole lot better. Remember that the installed base of the 360 worldwide is already well beyond the ten million mark, so Microsoft and other third-parties simply can't afford to ignore your game system. In other words, there will still be great games in the future for your Xbox 360, and don't make the 'supposedly-more-objective-because-they-hate-everything-Microsoft' fanboys make you believe otherwise.

If you really have a major problem with something xbox 360 related and want Microsoft to know about it, why post here? Go straight to Xbox.com or call their technical support...There's a higher likelihood that something will be done about your problem by going straight to the source rather than posting about your issue here. At least you know your complaints will get somewhere where it counts. Posting it here will just cause you to wallow in misery with the rest of the unhappy lot who don't play games and live to complain about something on a daily basis. A jaggy here, a framerate drop there---and it's the end of the world for a lot of the posters on this forum. Which is just sad, considering that sometimes, if you appreciate the entire game rather than the few moments when it didn't work the way you expect it to, you can actually have some fun or get some entertainment out of it."

Rock Band! Woohoo!!!


Early this morning we received word that that US Xbox 360 Arcade that we ordered is arriving TODAY! So finally we can play this game! w00t w00t!!!

As was reported previously there is no definite date for the Asian Xbox 360 version of Rock Band. Perhaps the version coming out in Europe will be compatible but it's incredibly expensive. This is the best option for us right now.

It's just unfortunate that EA handled the worldwide distribution of Rock Band very poorly (by making the game region locked for the Xbox 360, the platform with the largest installed base of next-generation systems).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This made me laugh today

Some of you may get it, some won't....I'm posting it for posterity, though



When good enough works right now

Note: This my delayed reaction to this article: Blu-Ray: The future has been delayed . I wrote this blogpost a long time ago but I just forgot to publish it.

First of all, we all have to congratulate Sony for their amazing strategy. Once HD-DVD has thrown in the towel, the PS3 has become the defacto Blu-Ray player. The PS3 is the the most logical choice for anybody if they want a Blu-Ray player. First: it's the cheapest Blu-Ray player around in the market. Second: The PS3 is the only player which can be updated and consumers will need that considering the standards to Blu-Ray has not been finalized.

By having Blu-Ray win the HD Wars, Sony has effectively instigated a quasi monopoly in the HD Movie market. Sony can boast that even a sale for a non-gamer consumer who buys a PS3 for movies...can also be qualified as a sale for the videogame industry since now that he has the PS3 that certain consumer has a greater propensity to purchase a PS3 game simply because the they already have the hardware.

Bravo Sony! Bravo!


After resigning, Ken Kutaragi seemed to be more relaxed. He even grew his hair!

Of course very few people will see it in this manner. Should the roles be reversed and it was Microsoft up there things would be a lot of different and the worlds 'ANTI TRUST' will be flung all over the Internet and the gaming communities. And yes I did look up the legal definition of that word before typing it in this post. But I'm not here to talk about the big bad wolf more commonly known by some people as Microsoft. I'm hear to discuss the premature victory of Blu-Ray.

As a recap, the article above states that the sales of the Blu-Ray stand-alone player (not the PS3) hasn't been doing well. If one is to consider the price of the stand alone Blu-Ray players compared to the PS3, that news should come as a no-brainer. But despite that much fan-dangled sales growth of the PS3 the growth of Blu-Ray hasn't sky rocketed as many analysts believe it would.

The problem lies more on the consumer more than the product itself.

The biggest market for home video is North America and if one will look at the current economic slump in the region, why would anyone want to buy a $20++ Blu-Ray movie when they can get the same thing for $10 or less? The default answer 'Internet' answer to this is the amazing difference between an HD movie (playing back on an HD TV) compared your standard DVD upscaled to fit the HD TV.

We own an HDTV which is being used mostly for gaming purposes. Every so often we will watch a DVD using our Samsung DVD player or the XBOX 360. While chances are the Blu-Ray movie will be sharper than the DVD upscaling feature...does that sharpness amount to the extra $10 I will need to shell out if I buy it on Blu-Ray?

That's the real dilemma of the next generation HD format.

Movie studios are hoping that people will rebuy their whole DVD collection just to watch old movies in HD. Well, I've got news for them, most people hardly watch a movie twice, me included. These days I go to the cinema and I feel sorry for my wallet after an hour or two of a horrendous movie whose trailer happened to be better than the actual movie itself. I pick my movie purchases with care rather than the desire to fill shelves and shelves of my home with movie cases as a décor. While there is a portion of the market that we can consider movie or video fanatics, they do not constitute majority of the market who would much rather spend that extra $10 to supplement their gas purchases credit card bills and just go on living.

And does the movie actually change its main content with Blu-Ray? Apart from the special features, which most of the time are not worth watching, the answer is NO. If you purchase Top Gun for Blu-Ray and DVD, the actor will still be Tom Cruise and the movie will still be about a maverick jet pilot. No change or whatsoever.

To top it all off, Blu-Ray doesn't have an answer to movie downloads and digital distribution. People can say all they want about the costs of having high speed internet or the hurdles that the telecommunication companies will face. The expansion of the Internet is inevitable. It is no longer a question of 'IF' but 'WHEN'. The advancement of the Internet IS a loftier and more profitable venture compared optical media. Why? Because the Internet isn't just about movies or data disks. If the Internet is a single entity where you can buy shares of stock, I'll put my money in that over Blu-Ray.

The future of majority media will rest in digital distribution. It's already being done, albeit illegally. While the part of the blame lies somewhere in the Internet, organizations such as the MPAA are addressing the issue incorrectly. Rather than filing lawsuits and issues 'cease and desist' orders, these guys should seriously consider legal means of digital distribution for their intellectual property. Other than I-Tunes, the business model for legal digital distribution of entertainment media is not clear-cut and there will be a lot of challenges ahead but no doubt it will play a major role in things to come. I'm not saying that physical media will disappear. All I am trying to say is that as technology grows and digital communication becomes a cheaper commodity, the Internet will become a viable marketplace which spans the global community without the need for middlemen from a default physical retail set-up.


Any sign of Blu-Ray from the future, doc? Oh by the way...it's 2008, where's my flying car?

With the proliferation of digital distribution comes the whole idea for a centralized media server for the home. With storage companies offering Network Access Storage (NAS) devices at a price that the consumer may afford, physical media is looking more and more like unnecessary clutter in the household...specially if the said media happens to be a bad movie or horrible audio disk that you had the misfortune of buying and can't get rid off.

It is because of this one, that I consider Blu-Ray as transitional technology. Like the way the Laser Disk was in the early 90s. New and better technologies will emerge in the near future. This is one of the reasons why I hesitate to support Blu-Ray (or HD-DVD for that matter). I don't want to be stuck with a lot of clutter once Blu-Ray is revealed to be NOT the future. And right now Blu-Ray marketing isn't really doing a good job convincing people that it is indeed the future.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Correction regarding prizes for WCG Winners

Earlier I posted the prizes for the WCG/ACG winners, which I based on the paper press release which Esports handed out during the press event. I learned today that the press release wasn't the updated list of prizes; the correct prize listing is on the page for it on http://ph.worldcybergames.com/

This is the correct listing of prizes for WCG Phils 2008:

"LIST OF PRIZES:

For WCG winners (Xbox 360: 1 winner for Guitar Hero III):

FIRST PRIZE

- P30,000 in cash
- Round Trip Airfare and accommodations to Cologne, Germany on November 5-9, 2008 to represent our country in the World Finals
- US$100 Food Allowance - The latest Samsung mobile phone
- Quad Core processor from Intel
- Villman Premium Item
- Logitech Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
- Asrock Motherboard
- Sparkle Video Card
- PHP 1,000 Gift Check from SM
- PHP1,000.00 Gift Check from World of Fun
- Playground Subscription
- Datablitz Game Boxes

SECOND PRIZE

- P5,000 Cash and Samsung MP3 Player

For ACG winners (Xbox 360: 1 winner for Guitar Hero III and 1 winner for Virtua Fighter 5):

FIRST PRIZE

- P4,000.00 Cash and Samsung MP3 Player
- Round -Trip Ticket to Singapore to Compete in WCG 2008 Asian Championship
- US$ 100 Food Allowance

SECOND PRIZE

- P2,000.00 Cash (each Player)

In addition to the prizes for the champions, each participant who makes it to the WCG Philippines 2008 Finals will recieve PHP 1000.00.

This prize listing was updated as of May 14, 2008. "


Apologies for any confusion my earlier post may have caused. For more updates on this, please check the official site http://ph.worldcybergames.com/ .

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mistwalker Official Website is back online!

I'd just like to give a heads-up to all JRPG fans out there. Mistwalker's Official Website is back online and now translated in ENGLISH!!! I hope that the inclusion of English means that Mistwalker acknowleges their growing fanbase outside Japan. It's also nice to see the articles without having to go through hoops with an online translator.

Without further ado...

It's also interesting to note that Mistwalker did not pull out the gallery images. The cute colorful drawings appear to be a Nintendo DS game which is being made by one of Mistwalker's developer partners, Brownie Brown. The other images, which reminds me of Battle Angel Alita, is still unnamed. Is this the new face of Cry On or something completely new from Mistwalker?

Hmmm...come to think of it, its about time for MSKK (MS Japan) to have a new press conference for their latest Japanese 360 exclusive title. I'm keeping my fingers crossed its another JRPG from Mistwalker.

On a side note, Blue Dragon DS will be released this coming summer in Japan. I'll try to see if I can get my brother to lend me his DS again so I can try out the game.

Hackenslash Article: "Pinoyxbox Likes it Live"

During the World Cyber Games press event we met with Alex Villafania and chatted about the Pinoyxbox community and the upcoming WCG preliminaries. They posted a new article on http://blogs.inquirer.net/hackenslash/ with a video interview with us about the Xbox Community in the Philippines.



Article link :
http://blogs.inquirer.net/hackenslash/2008/05/12/pxb-likes-it-live/

Thanks to Alex from Inquirer.net for helping us to promote the local Xbox community :D

Friday, May 09, 2008

PINOYXBOX WCG Raffle Prize Update!

In case you didn't know about it yet, the PINOYXBOX COMMUNITY is going to raffle Xbox 360 prizes for players who simply join the Xbox Preliminaries for the World Cyber Games 2008. In a nutshell, you can simply participate in the WCG qualifying rounds and you're already eligible to win a prize!


The following is the updated list of PRIZES for the Pinoyxbox WCG Raffle:

1 Virtua Figher 5 Live Arena (Asian Version)
2 Universe at War Earth Assault (Asian Version)
1 Project Gotham Racing 4 (Asian Version)
2 Guitar Hero III Bundle (NOTE This includes the guitar!)
1 Rainbow Six Vegas 2
1 Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Legacy Edition
1 Grand Theft Auto IV
1 Ver1.3B HDMI Cable
5 200 Peso discount coupons for buying games from Pinoyxbox's Wakka05
1 12+1 Month XBOX LIVE Subscription

(Updated 6:59PM)

So what are you waiting for! Join the XBOX PRELIMINARIES for the WORLD CYBER GAMES 2008 starting on May 17, 2008! Here's the schedule for the preliminaries:

METRO MANILA ELIMINATIONS
Venue: SM Cyberzone, Villman Gaming Area SM Megamall

GUITAR HERO III:

All Saturdays and Sundays from May 17 to June 1, 2008.
2 Rounds per day

- Round 1 Registration Cut-off: 1:30 PM
- Round 2 Registration Cut-off: 3:30 PM

VIRTUA FIGHTER 5

June 7 and 8, 2008
1:30 PM

DAVAO ELIMINATIONS
Venue: TBA

GUITAR HERO III:

June 21 – 22, 2008

CEBU ELIMINATIONS
Venue: TBA

GUITAR HERO III:

June 28 – 29, 2008

Updates for the schedules for the preliminaries will be posted here:
http://ph.worldcybergames.com/venues.htm

REGISTRATION for the WCG 2008 PRELIMINARIES is also on the official site: http://ph.worldcybergames.com/

Direct link to WCG Registration: http://ph.worldcybergames.com/register2.php

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

WCG 2008 RECAP and DETAILS ON PRIZES

Third World Gamer was recently invited by the organizers for the World Cyber Games (WCG) here in the Philippines to their press event in CityKart Racing, Sucat. With WCG 2008 looming on the horizon, the press event was their means of announcing that the preliminary competitions would be underway starting May 17, 2008. As announced previously, the following are the listing of games included for the World Cyber Games:

Console Games:

Guitar Hero III
Virtua Fighter 5 Live Arena

PC Games:

Counterstrike 1.6
Warcraft III: Frozen Throne
Command and Conquer III: Kane's Wrath
Defense of the Ancients
Need For Speed: Pro-Street

To be clear, the organizers for WCG are looking for players to represent the Philippines for two international competitions: the Asian Cyber Games (ACG), and the World Cyber Games (WCG). The finals for the ACG will be held in Singapore while the finals for the WCG will be in Cologne, Germany.

Since our blog focuses more on the console side of the competition, we're putting more emphasis on this. Esports is looking for one player for the WCG for Guitar Hero III, and they are also looking for two players for the ACG--one for Guitar Hero III and another one for Virtua Fighter 5 Live Arena. From what I recall, the Philippine finals for Guitar Hero III will choose two winners. The first placer will be the representative for the WCG while the 2nd runner up will be the representative for the ACG. For Virtua Fighter 5, the winner will be the representative for the ACG. In summary:

WCG (Xbox 360): Guitar Hero III
ACG (Xbox 360): Guitar Hero III and Virtua Fighter 5

Despite the fact that the platform for the competition will be the Xbox 360, the organizers are encouraging console players from various platforms to join the competition. Both GH3 and VF5 are multiplatform games, so gamers on the PS2, PS3, and Wii are welcome to join the event.

From the press release provided during the press event, this is a listing of THE PRIZES UP FOR GRABS FOR THE CHAMPIONS IN EACH CATEGORY:

  • 30,000 PESOS IN CASH
  • The latest SAMSUNG mobile phone
  • Quad Core processor from Intel
  • Villman Flash drives
  • Logitech mouse and keyboard
  • Sparkle Video Cards
  • Gift Certificates from SM
  • Gift Certificates from Worlds of Fun
  • A Game Box from Datablitz
  • A One-year subscription to Playground Magazine.
Based on my understanding of the press release provided to me, technically this means that if you win, let's say the Guitar Hero III competition, you get all that loot. O_O

And you get the honor to represent the Philippines for the World Cyber Games 2008. That includes the trip to Cologne, Germany if you qualified for the WCG or the trip to Singapore.

There are also other prizes listed on this page of esports; it says that winners who make it to the National Finals get 1,000 PESOS each. More details are provided on this page here, click this link.

In a nutshell, that's one incredible set of prizes, folks. Just for playing video games! Wow. And there are even prizes for just playing and qualifying for the NATIONAL FINALS. You could screw up and lose in the national finals but still be 1,000 pesos richer. Oh my goodness.....

In addition, PINOYXBOX is planning to raffle off PRIZES for players who simply participate for the WCG 2008 console game preliminaries! Thanks to one of the sellers in our community, Wakka05, we are able to have a raffle to give away XBOX 360 GAMES and other console-gaming related items! The raffle prizes are the following:

1 Virtua Figher 5 Live Arena (Asian Version)
1 Universe at War Earth Assault (Asian Version)
1 Project Gotham Racing 4 (Asian Version)
1 Ver1.3B HDMI Cable
5 200 Peso discount coupons for buying games from Pinoyxbox's Wakka05




Why are we doing this? I'll give you the straight up simple reason: We want to show the organizers of the WCG that interest in CONSOLE GAMING does exist in this country. I know there are gamers who play on modified consoles, gamers who are a generation behind, etcetera....but regardless, the interest in CONSOLE GAMING is there. The possibility to spark interest in establishing console-gaming-related businesses is there. I believe that the numbers exist, it's just that we have to find a way to make the gamers show up in events like this. Now I'm sure some people would think, "But I'm not that good in Guitar Hero! I'm going to lose!" and they're not going to bother with the trouble of joining this thing. But think about it....you can win some great items even if you don't qualify for the World Cyber Games at all!

It's a gamer's dream come true, if you ask me. And you get to revel in an epic, video gaming-focused event that normally doesn't come along that often here in our corner of the globe.

So, as a Pinoy gamer, what are you waiting for....sign up for the console gaming preliminaries today, let's show the organizers that interest in console gaming is strong in this country. It's one small step towards the dream of official support for console gaming. And you get the chance to win some great stuff, too. It's not just that...it's the opportunity to meet with fellow gamers, and just swim in a sea of gaming goodness. Think of it as being at E3....or think of it as being at the gaming convention that you've always dreamed of going to. It's going to be a gaming spectacle, folks. Come to the preliminaries, join the games, and show your gaming skills.....it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's going to be an incredible experience like no other.

Register for the Console Gaming preliminaries here at http://ph.worldcybergames.com/

Inquirer VDO: Brother, Sister Rock On to Guitar Hero III

Third World Gamer's Wuffy and Yahoosoda got featured on Inquirer VDO today, playing Guitar Hero III at the press event for the World Cyber Games 2008.

http://www.inquirer.net/vdo/player.php?vid=756&pageID=1

"PARAÑAQUE CITY, Philippines--PinoyXbox.com moderator Joanne Ortiz and her brother Rafael Formoso play Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock on the Xbox 360 on its highest difficulty setting. The song title is "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by Steve Ouimette. Video taken by INQUIRER.net community evangelist Alex Villafania."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Videos: VIRTUA FIGHTER 5 on XBOX LIVE


Ever since SEGA patched VF5, the game has allowed players to save their online Xbox Live matches on their Xbox 360 hard disk drives and view them again later on as match replays. I thought this was one of the best features of the game, since it would let you review online matches and learn from your mistakes, and it would also let you revel in those hard-earned victories and close matches!

Now I've recently recorded some of the best online matches I've ever had and I'm currently in the process of uploading these to Youtube. These replays not only demonstrate the level of competition that's available for VF5 on Xbox Live; they also show how great the netcode is for the game. The way it plays online practically feels like you're playing right next to your opponent. Granted there are those very rare occasions when you get into a laggy match, but for the most part, online matches feel and play as smooth as is demonstrated by this video. Note that my internet connection is PLDT, it isn't really very good and gives me a lot of lag in Call of Duty 4. For Virtua Fighter 5 the game plays very smoothly online.

This is the first match I've uploaded the youtube. It's not a match where I end up winning though. Actually I performed quite poorly in this match against another Jacky player. I'm the Jacky player in the black outfit on the right. The reason why I saved this replay is because I was so impressed by the skill of my opponent; I've never seen any other Jacky player play like this guy, he's really good at the game and there's a lot that one can learn by just watching how he fights.

JACKY VS. JACKY (Scytherage == the one on the right)



AKIRA VS. JACKY

I guess by this point you've figured out that my favorite character at the moment for VF is Jacky. Here's an online match I had a night ago which was pretty close. I was beaten four times in a row by this expert Akira player. Surprisingly he wanted to play again with me for several matches, so this is the one time that I did win against him.

I enjoyed the last round because I caught him by surprise at the end. I guess he didn't expect that rage kick!




EILEEN VS. JACKY

Now here's a nice come-from-behind victory I had before with a skilled Eileen player. She's quick and tricky but her range can be quite short at times.



BRAD vs. JACKY

I like what happens at the last second :D



SARAH vs. JACKY

If the sound suddenly gets cut off, that's my Xbox 360 DVD drive acting up again (happened while I was recording).



LEI-FEI vs. JACKY

Lei-Fei's Shaolin Kung Fu style is always entertaining to watch.



VANESSA vs. JACKY

Wall combo!



WOLF vs. JACKY

Even more online VF fighting goodness.



For ThirdWorldGamer's review of Virtua Fighter 5 Live Arena, click here!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Video Game Wallpapers and High Resolution Artwork

NEOGAF has this ongoing thread with a compilation of some video game wallpapers and high resolution artwork (some of the graphics there are in 2000++ resolution)

Really useful thread!
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=276451

Another off-topic day: Some interesting reads on the 'net

We're still waiting for that US Xbox 360 Arcade unit that we ordered from someone over in pinoyxbox.com so we can play Rock Band! :D

While waiting I occasionally play Virtua Fighter 5 on Xbox Live (in preparation for the WCG Preliminaries). One of these days I'll post replays of some online matches that I enjoyed.

In other news....well, most of the gaming news I've seen these days are GTAIV related, and they're linked practically everywhere so you can't miss them. Money's a bit tight these days since we did order that new 360, so we aren't able to get in on the whole GTAIV thing.

So this will be another completely-unrelated-to-gaming post. But this is my blog and I can do whatever I want hehehe :D I saw this interesting write up on MSNBC:

It's related to this story:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24129953/

My wife's a big Harry Potter fan and I only got into it because of the movies. I read a little of the first book, and the rest I only really know about through the films, which are just massive blockbusters.

I remember seeing a TV show about JK Rowling where it said that she is one of the richest women in the world. She was in the top 10 of that show's list. That said, I'm surprised that she's pursuing this lawsuit. She's a bit too controlling of her intellectual property, and in a way, what she's doing is alienating her fans. It's not like the guy in the article is claiming the work as his own....but then, later on in the same article it says how JK was planning to write her own encyclopedia a few years from now....tsk tsk tsk...I bet she only thought of doing that after seeing his work.

I guess greed and power know no bounds.

***

There's more nice write-ups in that MSNBC link I provided; they're all at the bottom portion of the JK Rowling commentary I posted. They're mostly related to stuff on the internet, like movies and viral marketing, violence getting posted on Youtube, etc....well written stuff that doesn't sound like the usual tripe off the Internet. Imagine a time when there weren't any blogs or messageboards; it's the kind of material that feels straight out of that magazine you used to buy before the Internet came along. Great reads.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Watched IRON MAN today and had a blast :D


The past few Marvel movies have been a total miss for me. Yes, even Spider-Man 3. I just couldn't stand the "That 70's Show" guy as Venom. And the scenes with "emo Peter Parker" were a complete failure....after the whole sequence in SM3 that seemed straight out of a Broadway musical, well....that was the last straw. Tobey Maguire is NOT Peter Parker as I remember him from the comic books. I also thought there was too much melodrama and not enough superhero-spectacle.

So today we watched Iron Man. With a bit of hesitation, actually, considering I thought that the trailer was just OK and I had a feeling this was going to be like Ghost Rider all over again.

That said, I came out of the theater very satisfied. :D Robert Downey Jr. did a great job as Tony Stark and I thought he made the character interesting and unique from other superhero alter egos. Gwyneth Paltrow as the love interest surprisingly did well too; normally the female leads in superhero movies are forgettable and shallow. I thought her acting was well done for this movie; she doesn't do anything terribly annoying or come off as a useless damsel-in-distress.

I don't really overanalyze superhero movies; the only thing I don't like is when they pull something like a deus-ex-machina (where out of nowhere the solution to a problem comes along, or where a character suddenly changes character for no apparent or believable reason). I do enjoy seeing great action and nicely done special effects---in this film's case, the big winner is that Iron Man suit, which remarkably resembles the suit from the comic books! The render for the suit is just fantastic! And every minute that suit is onscreen is just golden.

Simply put, the Iron Man suit in the Iron Man movie, kicks ass.

For others watching the movie sometime soon, don't forget to wait through the entire credits....there's a nice surprise at the end of the film which hints at the future of these Marvel superhero franchises.

*****

After writing this blog post, I found this well-written IRON MAN review by Moriarty of Ain't It Cool News [I find myself agreeing with this guy's movie reviews most of the time]: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/36560

Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto IV outsells the PS3 version in the UK


http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/gta-iv-sets-uk-day-one-sales-records

"GTA IV sets UK day one records

Chart-Track has made available UK sales data for GTA IV's launch based upon actual EPoS data and retailer estimates.

According to Chart-Track estimates, GTA IV first day sales were 609,000 units - eclipsing the record of 501,000 units set by GTA: San Andreas in 2004.

GTA IV also set a record for first day sales Xbox 360 software, with 335,000 units. The prior record, set last September by Halo 3, was 266,000 units.

GTA IV easily eclipsed the first day PS3 sales record previously held by Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, which had day one sales of 80,000 last month.
The PS3 version of GTA IV sold 274,000 units in the UK on day one.

These initial figures may change once Chart-Track has analysed the data in its entirety on May 6 following the UK Bank holiday."