Thursday, April 30, 2009

Want Marvel Vs. Capcom 3? Buy Marvel Vs. Capcom 2!

Just reading around the capcom-unity forums, and I found an interesting tidbit there about the possibility of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 ever getting made:

http://www.capcom-unity.com/ask_capcom/go/thread/view/7371/14396175/Is_Capcom_current_rights_holder_for_Marvel_fighting_games?num=10&pg=1

Question: I remember back then when people here said Capcom can't release MVC2 because EA currently has the rights for Marvel fighters and it won't happen until later in the future. So my question is did EA's rights finally expire and Capcom aquired it back? Or did Capcom figure out a way around it to make this happen? Either way I must tell Capcom, nice job!

Answer from Sven at Capcom: The MvC2 deal pertains ONLY to MvC2. Anything that happens beyond that will be contingent upon MvC2's performance (and naturally, Marvel has considerable say in that decision too).

In response to this message:

They [Electronic Arts] did not get the rights back. This is pretty common knowledge.

A moderator on capcom-unity replies:

That's not true.

Thus far there is no evidence supporting the fact that Capcom has reacquired the license. It had been rumored for months that MvC2 was going to be coming to XBLA and PSN, which turned out to be true however it's been confirmed that said deal only pertains to MvC2 and it only meaning that as far as MvC2 goes Capcom still apparently doesn't have the fighting game license.

Based on what Sven said it almost sounds as if Marvel is holding onto the license or that Capcom (and Marvel) want to see how good MvC2 does before entering negotiations about the fighting game license.

Another reply from Sven:

Contractually, Marvel was allowed to break the news first. It was a point we'd agreed upon. They too are big fans of the series and were happy to reach an agreement with us. So far it's been a great partnership.

*****

In summary, essentially what the thread is saying is, the fighting game license for Marvel is up for grabs right now; it's in Marvel's hands and it's their decision who to give it to. Capcom does NOT have the fighting game license. But it seems that Capcom hopes to get it, and the possibility of success depends on how well MvC2 does on both Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network.

To be really brief about it: If you want Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to get made, buy Marvel vs. Capcom 2 when it gets re-released on both Xbox 360 and PS3! This will tell the powers-that-be at Marvel that demand does exist for another sequel for the series. They have to find out if the demand is just from a small niche of hardcore MvC2 players, or if the general gaming populace (including the ones who don't post on forums or go online) really want another MvC game to happen.

**********************

I'm also quite curious how the re-release of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 will fare in the games marketplace. Have fighting games really regained the limelight again, or is it just my imagination? I do wonder why, on http://www.majornelson.com/ (an official Xbox site with updates on Xbox Live activity and content), Street Fighter IV never seems to track at all on the top 10 XBL Games Played. Shooters such as Call of Duty 4, Halo 3 and Gears of War 2 continue to dominate the charts. Is the resurgence in interest with fighting games just with existing fighting game fans, or has it managed to capture a new audience? At the same time, other companies seem confident enough to release more games in the fighting genre than usual for this year. Tekken 6 and SCIV for the PSP came as a complete surprise to me; was this directly influenced by SFIV's success? More importantly, will these upcoming fighting games surpass the sales success of Street Fighter IV worldwide?

Tekken 6 Editor's Day 2009 Trailer


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1UP Reveals PSP Go! Coming this Fall

Sony is supposedly releasing a new version of their PSP, called the 'PSP Go!'. The most interesting thing about it is that it does NOT have a UMD drive anymore; all its games will play off internal storage.



1UP provided an 'artist rendition' of what the PSP Go! might look like. They seem fairly certain that this news item is very real. For more info, check out this link: http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3173959

The Year of the Fighter Continues: Tekken 6 and Soulcalibur Broken Destiny Announced for PSP

Some interesting announcements today: both Tekken 6 and Soulcalibur IV are coming to the Playstation Portable (with SC4 being somewhat of a 'sequel', titled: Soulcalibur Broken Destiny)

Tekken 6 is supposedly coming out alongside the console versions, while Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny is coming out Summer 2009 (which means some time June-August this year).

Articles:

Tekken 6 for PSP Announced: http://psp.ign.com/articles/977/977050p1.html

Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny details: http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/soulcaliburbrokendestiny/news.html?page=1&sid=6208732

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dead Rising 2 - First Full Trailer!

Woohoo!


Marvel Vs Capcom 2 Announced for Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network!

Capcom's worst kept secret is finally out, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is going to be re-released as an Xbox Live Arcade / Playstation Network downloadable game! From shoryuken.com:

One of the most celebrated fighting games in history is coming back for another round! Check out the first teaser trailer, art and details for “Marvel vs. Capcom 2″!

Nine years after taking the arcade gaming scene by storm and over six years after making its original home console debut, “Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes” returns! Slated to hit Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade and PS3’s PSN, expect the same fast, furious and fantastic gameplay you loved with even more awesome online head-to-head action!

The game comes complete with widescreen mode and online play so get your warpneto’s ready for hot action. Thanks Marvel.com for the video!


Here's the teaser trailer:


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Street Fighter IV Championship Mode Impressions

The Championship Mode Update for SFIV was released yesterday night about 5PM Philippine Time. It was active early on for PSN; while Xbox Live users could get it at the same time as Playstation 3 owners, they could only use the update some time late in the evening. I've played a bit of this new mode and I am impressed by the effort Capcom put into it. I like how it doesn't deduct points when you're starting out and you lose to other players of the same rank. I do know that point deductions occur some time later in higher levels of play.

That said, the competition on Championship at this time is quite fierce, perhaps because the players in the lower tiers are just starting to climb up. That means low tier and high tier players are mixed all in level 3-E. So if you're planning to play the new mode, be ready to lose a lot....I sure did.

I do like how they give the matches a 'tournament' feel. Essentially this is just a different way of implementing ranked matches---a better way. Every time you win and lose, you also get stats on who you beat and who beat you, by checking the Player Records submenu. You can also watch replays via the leaderboards. It seems replays are only allowed for players who make it to the final round of a championship tournament. I thought this was unfortunate, considering occasionally I play on Player Match and sometimes I get a memorable match or two in that mode. There's no way to save replays in modes outside of Championship....and you can only save a replay if you win a tournament. That's just too bad. What if you had a good match locally/offline with a bunch of friends over? The ability to save replays would be quite useful. It's unfortunate that you can't save your own replays.

That said, one benefit from the replay system is that you get to watch high definition, high quality replays from great players around the world. I learned a lot just downloading replays off the leaderboard. It's far more useful than just reading a wiki guide online on how to play SF, or perusing the forums of Shoryuken.com. And seeing very skilled players is really entertaining. SFIV isn't in arcades here, so the ability to playback replays from top players is very useful, and educational.

It may not be perfect (particularly with the replay mode implementation) but this update gets a lot of things right. Good job Capcom.

Friday, April 24, 2009

WCG Fighter Club in the US : A Microcosm Which Tells You Which Game Players Want To Play Competitively

Just going around online and made an interesting observation on this site here:
http://qualify.us.wcg.com/fighterclub

The number of competitors which signed up is freely viewable via each game's "COMPETITORS" link. In summary:

Virtua Fighter 5

Active Players: 64
Waiting Players: 13
Total Players: 77

Dead or Alive 4

Active Players: 64
Waiting Players: 20
Total Players: 84

Soulcalibur IV

Active Players: 80
Waiting Players: 21
Total Players: 101

Street Fighter IV

Active Players: 186
Waiting Players: 65
Total Players: 251

Clearly, when someone on the WCG committee picked Virtua Fighter 5 over Street Fighter IV or Soulcalibur IV, they dropped the ball, BIG TIME. Because if the WCG cares about getting sponsors, who are interested in seeing huge crowds watching competitive games, it's clear from those numbers that they picked the WRONG FIGHTING GAME for this year. Again, I've got nothing but respect for VF5 and it's technical fighting system, but there's no doubt that it just can't hold a candle to Street Fighter when it comes to sheer name recognition or even familiarity among gamers.

Does the WCG want hundreds of people to join their competitions? Street Fighter IV would have been the game that would have drawn CROWDS. This game series has a 20 year legacy, and over that time, so many games and spin-offs have been released by Capcom on arcades and various consoles throughout several console generations, it's just impossible for any gamer to not know what the hell Street Fighter is. It's been around far longer than Starcraft has ever been. I read an argument somewhere that, it's thanks to Street Fighter that competitive gaming even exists. Having some idea about the history of gaming, I know that there's some truth to that statement. It pre-dates other competitive games like Doom's Deathmatch play (which inevitably led to Counterstrike), or even the real-time strategic play of the original Warcraft.

Marketing an event around Street Fighter, given enough sponsorship and real effort, would be far, far easier than selling Virtua Fighter 5.

But it's just too late for that now. Gamers are fickle, and next year it could be TEKKEN 6 that will be the hot item among console gamers. Not picking Street Fighter IV for the WCG Grand Final this year is just a mistake that can't be undone anymore. A wasted opportunity at getting more eyeballs at those big WCG events worldwide. Will this opportunity be there again next year? The answer is---we can't say. But we do know that the best time to have put in Street Fighter IV is THIS YEAR. Not any other.

Of course, these numbers are but a microcosm of the entire worldwide gaming community that plays fighting games....but I'd like to think it's a pretty good indication of what gamers want, isn't it? To be fair, this is the United States that we're talking about, where gaming is regarded with some degree of respect compared to how it is in other nations, where occasionally gamers are just seen as those lazy people who just stare and sit in front of the TV all day, pushing buttons.

Arguably, perhaps only 10% of the given numbers I've posted would have attended a WCG fighting game event in other countries. For other countries, especially like mine where console gaming isn't officially supported, that'd be a miracle already. I saw 9 guys attend the Philippines' WCG VF tourney last year. Seeing 25 people at a local Street Fighter competition would be incredible compared to that.

On a final note, if there were some legal impediment to having had Street Fighter IV be at WCG this year, they could have at least picked Soulcalibur IV. It's clearly popular among many gamers and continues to be so....so what was the whole point of that poll they ran on the WCG website a few months ago? In the end, what gamers want doesn't really mean much, apparently.

Street Fighter IV Championship Mode - "Power Up Pack" Out Now

The Street Fighter IV Championship Mode - "Power Up Pack" is now available on both the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace. For PSN it's a free update which will be prompted when you play the game, while for Xbox Live, you can get the update from the Game Marketplace (check the 'New arrivals' menu to find it). I wonder why the Xbox Live version is not a required update? Hmm....

According to Xbox Live, it weighs in at about 16.40 MB. :)

Yet Another Interview With Japanese Pros Daigo and Iyo - This Time from Capcom

A lot more organized and interesting compared to the previous interview. Here's an excerpt:

Shino: What is it that keeps you playing SFIV? What’s so fun about it?

Iyo: Well, I could not win when I first started to play. I was so bad at it.
So many good players who are also my friends I met through playing Capcom vs. SNK2 started to play SFIV. So I naturally got introduced to the game. But it was October while all the other strong players had been playing since July. I started late. It’s not an excuse but I just could not win. So I started play more seriously. Definitely when I finally won though, I felt the joy. I’ve been enjoying the game ever since. You get to play with so many strong players, and that’s fun.

Daigo: Like I said earlier, it’s just so great to have a large player pool. Even if a game is great, if you don’t have anyone to play with, then it’s just no fun. So, having the huge community like what it has is just a great fun factor.

Daigo: I do have to say that I’m impressed overall. It’s a whole brand new game with many more characters and very well balanced. It’s very good for the first installment of a brand new game. Normally, the first installment is bad, and the second one gets improved. And this is especially true for Capcom games. So, SFIV is a really well-done game.

Iyo: Yeah, I can’t agree with him more.

Click the link below for the entire interview:

http://www.capcom-unity.com/s-kill/blog/2009/04/23/unity_exclusive__interview_with_sfiv_masters_daigo_umehara_and_iyo_dhalsim

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Street Fighter IV Championship Mode Out Tomorrow

Tomorrow's April 24th over here, so at some point during the day, the Street Fighter IV Championship Mode Update will be released. Based on experience with past updates on Xbox Live, I have a good feeling it will be out after 4:00PM tomorrow afternoon Philippine time. So I wouldn't be expecting the update until then.

As for Playstation Network, being relatively new to the service, I wouldn't know when it will be up and running there. Maybe it will be at the same time as XBL, we'll have to see.

I hope there'll be other surprises too....for instance, replay mode should be allowed even for offline matches (I really hope this happens) and for any matches you're interested in saving to your local HDD from online play. We'll only find this out tomorrow when the update is finally released.

Real Life Megaman! (Rockman to us here in the Far East)

Found this on capcom-unity, which found it here: http://www.destructoid.com/mock-man-a-real-life-mega-man-that-sucks-129072.phtml





Man, who has the time to make videos like that one? Really funny, though!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Capcom Hosting European Street Fighter IV Official Tournament!

Heads up for European gamers (in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK)....hot on the heels of the success of the US, Korean and Japanese Street Fighter IV tournaments, Capcom is hosting yet another tournament, this time, to find the "Ultimate European Street Fighter Supreme Master." (Hey, that's an exact quote from the official website for the European Tournament here! I couldn't possibly come up with a title that epic.)

The platform for the tournament will be the Xbox 360, and I think it will be done via Xbox Live (according to the site, they'll be monitoring the registered players' performances online). At some point they'll pick out finalists and perhaps that's when they'll have a live event for it (just my guess).

I wonder...will there ever be a South East Asian Street Fighter IV Tournament? Gah, if only there were arcade machines for SFIV here in the Philippines, then maybe interest in the game wouldn't be limited to console owners like myself. More gamers should get to try this fantastic fighting game....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Interview with Daigo from IPlayWinner

Found this on youtube, which references http://www.iplaywinner.com/
as the source for it (Interview Transcript below, as posted on the youtube link).



A transcript was also posted:

1st Question from Anthony: How does the competition in Japan compare to the United States?

Daigo/Shino: There are more competitors in the USA but more "number 1's" gather in Japan... (?).. and he hopes to see more people later on.. there are more fans that gather here and gives them the opportunity to do their best.

[iPlayWinner Notes: Seems he doesnt really know about the competition in the USA yet but likes the fact that there are so many fans and people looking to play it so it will help people get better.]

2nd Question:
Richard Li: Who is your biggest threat in Japan and who is your biggest threat in Japan?

Shiuno: In this game?

Richard Li: Yes Street Fighter 4.

Daigo: Dosent know the big players in USA so has no answer, but dosent know who his main threat is in Japan either.

Richard Li: What about Iyo?

Daigo: Haha sure.

Haunts Question: Whats the number one thing you can do to get better in Street Fighter?

Shino: Thats a difficult question!

Shino: Is there a grappling system?

Richard Li: Oh throwing!

Daigo/Shino: He doesnt like that system and the trick, but its very important so if you can nail that you will do well in this game.

Haunts: So throwing is the best thing you can learn, ok!

Anthony Question 4: Why did you come back to play Street Fighter 4?

Daigo/Shino: As you know he has stayed away from fighting games for a while, but he decided to come back because its the latest title from CAPCOM, fightin game from CAPCOM, the games CAPCOM is known for. He wanted to see how it worked for him and it works well for him so he continues to play it becuase he enjoys it!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Videos from the Gamestop Street Fighter IV US National Finals

Shaky-cam quality but some of them are pretty sharp.


US National Finals: Justin Wong (Rufus) vs. Mike Ross (E.Honda)


After the final match, where Justin Wong was determined as the Street Fighter IV 2009 Gamestop Tournament USA Champion, the following exhibition matches were held. This was between the following players:

Poongko - SF4 Champion from Korea
Iyo - SF4 Champion from Japan
Daigo - Street Fighter Legend, check this link...
Justin Wong - who just recently won the US championship for SF4

Exhibition Matches:

Iyo (Dhalsim) vs. Poongko (Ryu)


Another angle (same match):


Poongko (Ryu) vs. Daigo (Ryu)


Poongko (Ryu) vs. Justin Wong (Rufus)


Iyo (Dhalsim) vs Daigo (Ryu) *** BEST MATCH OF THE NIGHT! ***


Justin Wong (Rufus) vs. Iyo (Dhalsim)



Justin Wong (Rufus) vs. Daigo (Ryu)


Street Fighter IV US National Finals Results

This was posted on Eventhubs:

http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2009/apr/17/live-audio-national-sfiv-championships-saturday/

Perhaps Daigo truly is the best Street Fighter player in the world today. Yeah, he didn't win the Japanese Nationals (and yeah, the matches he played in were Exhibition matches only), but it must be something to just plow through the best players in the world just like that.

And he beat the US champ 4-0, which is just insane. Can anyone overthrow "the Beast"?

Finals Match
• Justin Wong (Rufus) vs. Mike Ross (E. Honda). Justin Wong won 4-1 in the best of 7 set.

World Finals

The Street Fighter IV World Finals featured the following players:

Daigo Umehara, also known as, The Beast. Simply put, a Street Fighter legend.

Iyo who recently won the Japanese National SFIV tournament.

Poongko who won the Korean SFIV National Tournament and is known for playing an extremely aggressive style of play.

Justin Wong who is regarded as one of the best fighting game players around, period. Justin was the only American in this part of the competition.

•Iyo (Dhalsim) defeats Poongko (Ryu) in the first match, 4-2 in the best of 7.

•Daigo (Ryu) defeats Poongko (Ryu) in the second match, 4-1 in the best of 7.

•Justin Wong (Rufus) defeated Poongko (Ryu) in the third match, 4-3 in the best of 7. (Crowd chanted "USA! USA! USA!" after the match).

•Daigo (Ryu) defeats Iyo (Dhalsim) in the fourth match 4-3. This set was extremely close.

•Justin Wong (Rufus) defeats Iyo (Dhalsim) in the fifth match, 4-2.

•Daigo (Ryu) defeats Justin Wong (Rufus) in the sixth and final match 4-0.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Street Fighter IV US NATIONAL FINALS Tomorrow!



The Street Fighter IV US NATIONAL FINALS is some time tomorrow (Philippine time; April 18 7-11PM US Pacific Time)! I sure hope there'll be streaming video of the event somewhere out there on the Internet.

The matches I'm looking forward to are the ones between the US champions and the Japanese and Korean champions (Daigo, Poongko and Iyo). Those will be very entertaining to watch! I know those will be exhibition matches but it will be a good preview for the upcoming EVO2009 Championship Series this year.

NPD Sales for March 2009 - More Detailed View

Found this on Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/5217172/marchs-top+selling-games-accessories-by-platform , which found it on Wired : http://blog.wired.com/games/2009/04/march-2009s-top.html

Top 20 Games Overall:

1. RESIDENT EVIL 5* 360 CAPCOM USA
2. POKEMON PLATINUM VERSION NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
3. HALO WARS* 360 MICROSOFT
4. RESIDENT EVIL 5* PS3 CAPCOM USA
5. WII FIT WII NINTENDO OF AMERICA
6. MLB '09: THE SHOW PS3 SONY
7. KILLZONE 2 PS3 SONY
8. WII PLAY W/ REMOTE WII NINTENDO OF AMERICA
9. MARIO KART W/WHEEL WII NINTENDO OF AMERICA
10. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K9 360 TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
11. GUITAR HERO METALLICA 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
12. CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR* 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
13. STREET FIGHTER IV* 360 CAPCOM USA
14. MARIO KART DS NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
15. STREET FIGHTER IV* PS3 CAPCOM USA
16. NEW SUPER MARIO BROS NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
17. PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
18. MLB '09: THE SHOW PS2 SONY
19. HALO 3* 360 MICROSOFT
20. LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA WII LUCASARTS

Top 10 Wii:

1. WII FIT NINTENDO OF AMERICA
2. WII PLAY W/ REMOTE NINTENDO OF AMERICA
3. MARIO KART W/WHEEL NINTENDO OF AMERICA
4. LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA LUCASARTS
5. LINK'S CROSSBOW TRAINING NINTENDO OF AMERICA
6. GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR* ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
7. GUITAR HERO METALLICA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
8. NEW PLAY CONTROL! MARIO POWER TENNIS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
9. MADWORLD SEGA OF AMERICA
10. SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT SEGA OF AMERICA

Top 10 Xbox 360:

1. RESIDENT EVIL 5* CAPCOM USA
2. HALO WARS* MICROSOFT
3. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K9 TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
4. GUITAR HERO METALLICA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
5. CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR* ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
6. STREET FIGHTER IV* CAPCOM USA
7. HALO 3* MICROSOFT
8. TOM CLANCY'S H.A.W.X. UBISOFT
9. NBA 2K9 TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
10. WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA THQ

Top 10 PlayStation 2:

1. MLB '09: THE SHOW SONY
2. NARUTO: ULTIMATE NINJA 4 NAMCO BANDAI GAMES OF AMERICA
3. GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
4. NBA 2K9 TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
5. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K9 TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
6. RESIDENT EVIL 4* CAPCOM USA
7. TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS INTERACTIVE
8. GOD OF WAR II SONY
9. CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
10. GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR* ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

Top 10 PlayStation 3:

1. RESIDENT EVIL 5* CAPCOM USA
2. MLB '09: THE SHOW SONY
3. KILLZONE 2 SONY
4. STREET FIGHTER IV* CAPCOM USA
5. GUITAR HERO METALLICA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
6. TOM CLANCY'S H.A.W.X. UBISOFT
7. CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
8. WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA THQ
9. SONIC'S ULTIMATE GENESIS COLLECTION SEGA OF AMERICA
10. NBA 2K9 TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE

Top 10 Game Boy Advance:

1. ASTEROIDS/PONG/YARS DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
2. UNO 52 DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
3. PUPPY LUV: SPA & RESORT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
4. BIG MUTHA TRUCKERS DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
5. VALUE GAME BUNDLE 14.99 MULTIPLE VIDEO GAME MANUFACTURER
6. GBA SPYHUNTER/SUPERSPRINT DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
7. VAN HELSING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
8. PRINCESS NATASHA: STUDENT SECRET AGENT DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
9. UNO/FREEFALL DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
10. GAUNTLET/RAMPART DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.

Top 10 Nintendo DS:

1. POKEMON PLATINUM VERSION NINTENDO OF AMERICA
2. MARIO KART DS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
3. NEW SUPER MARIO BROS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
4. PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO OF AMERICA
5. GRAND THEFT AUTO: CHINATOWN WARS TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
6. LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA LUCASARTS
7. PHINEAS AND FERB DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
8. MARIO PARTY NINTENDO OF AMERICA
9. SUPER MARIO 64 DS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
10. CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS

Top 10 PSP:

1. MLB '09: THE SHOW SONY
2. RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY
3. PHANTASY STAR PORTABLE SEGA OF AMERICA
4. GRAND THEFT AUTO: LIBERTY CITY STORIES TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
5. GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY STORIES TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
6. IRON MAN SEGA OF AMERICA
7. MEDAL OF HONOR: HEROES 2 ELECTRONIC ARTS
8. MIDNIGHT CLUB: LA REMIX TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
9. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2008 THQ
10. MX VS ATV UNLEASHED: ON THE EDGE THQ

Top 10 Portable Games (All):

1. NDS POKEMON PLATINUM VERSION NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
2. NDS MARIO KART DS NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
3. NDS NEW SUPER MARIO BROS NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
4. NDS PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
5. NDS GRAND THEFT AUTO: CHINATOWN WARS NDS TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
6. NDS LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA NDS LUCASARTS
7. NDS PHINEAS AND FERB NDS DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
8. PSP MLB '09: THE SHOW NDS SONY
9. NDS MARIO PARTY NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA
10. NDS SUPER MARIO 64 DS NDS NINTENDO OF AMERICA

Top 10 Accessories

1. WII NUNCHUK CONTROLLER NINTENDO OF AMERICA
2. 360 LIVE 1600 POINT GAME CARD MICROSOFT
3. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER W/ JACKET NINTENDO OF AMERICA
4. PS3 DUALSHOCK 3 WIRELESS CONTROLLER SONY
5. 360 LIVE 1 MONTH GOLD CARD MICROSOFT
6. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER NINTENDO OF AMERICA
7. 360 HEADSET MICROSOFT
8. 360 LIVE 12 MONTH GOLD CARD MICROSOFT
9. 360 LIVE 3 MONTH GOLD CARD MICROSOFT
10. WII WHEEL GRIP NINTENDO OF AMERICA

*Inclusive of limited, collector's, instrument bundles

Friday, April 17, 2009

Street Fighter IV FREE CHAMPIONSHIP MODE for Xbox 360 and PS3 Next Week (April 24)!

Capcom has finally revealed full details on the upcoming FREE CHAMPIONSHIP MODE for Street Fighter IV, for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3!

Replay mode! Championship tournaments for players of all levels! This is going to be great!

http://www.capcom-unity.com/s-kill/blog/2009/04/16/sfivs_free_championship_mode_update_?num=5&pg=2

If there's anything I'd hope for, I wish that Capcom would just make the features for PS3 and Xbox 360 exactly the same; no sense in making them different, unless it has something to do with the network infrastructure for both systems.

The full press release is below:

Championship Mode, in a nutshell, means hot tournament action and match replays that let you watch the best of the best. Championship Mode goes live for both PS3 and Xbox 360 on Friday, April 24, and it comes entirely FREE.

For anyone that wants more than will fit in a nutshell...

Tournaments:

The tournaments offer a new take on classic SFIV competition. They are broken out into 5 different levels, which means everyone can participate and find a good challenge without getting blown out of the water or bored. You score Grade Points (GP) for tournament wins, and as your GP total grows, you’ll become eligible to enter into more exclusive tournaments. Winning tournaments will also net you Championship Points (CP). The CP work basically like “prize money” up for grabs in the tournament. The higher the GP skill of the players in a particular tournament, the bigger the CP prize!

In true tournament tradition, character selection is double-blind. With the CP purse on the line, you won't be able to see who your opponent has picked until you've both made your choices, and the battle is set to begin.

The tournaments are run according to a standard type of single-elimination bracket, but your opponents are generated dynamically. This means the matching system will automatically match you with a player of your skill level participating in that tournament type, so you don’t have to wait around. Since the tournaments are already seeded by player strength, you’re assured quality opponents at your same skill level, as fast as possible. If you can advance through the rounds to take a top placing, you’ll score GP and CP. As your points increase, you’re eligible for tournaments with increasingly strong opponents.

--SG Championship (SUPER GRADE): 5 rounds long. The highest grade championship in which only top players can participate.
--G1 Championship (GRADE 1):5 rounds long, for advanced players
--G2 Championship (GRADE2 2): 4 rounds long, for intermediate players
--G3 Championship (GRADE3) 3 rounds long, for beginners
--FREE Championship (Free Grade): 4 rounds long, open to anyone regardless of their level.

The tournament system is set up to reward you for participating. At G3, you actually score a point even if you get knocked out in your very first match. At G2, you don’t gain points for a first-round loss, but don’t lose any either. Similarly, you never lose points by participating in the FREE rank tournaments. Only in the top G1 and SG tournaments is it possible to lose GP, and even then you only ever lose 5 points for a first-round loss.

One of the best things about the new mode is that can play in tournaments in just the same way you can use the “arcade request” feature, so you’re free to play in arcade mode while waiting for your next tournament challenger, who will be chosen automatically based on your rank.

Last, but most certainly not least, disconnecters, aka pullers, aka ragequitters, your days are numbered: If you disconnect during a match, the system will also dock you your progress in the tournament, so pullers will never be able to advance into the higher ranks of tournaments. What’s even more fun is that the system also happily displays your disconnect percentage, so if you've got a bad habit, it's right there for everyone to see.

Replays

Replays are generated straight from the Championship Mode tournaments. The top 5000 Championship Point leaders will be given the option to upload a replay, which are then available for anyone to watch. Everyone on both X360 and PS3 will have be able to watch any of the replays on their platform, but there are also some system-specific extra features on the replays:

On PS3, viewers can watch your replay and vote in real time according to characteristics like “beautiful” or “funny.” For the nerds, you can vote once every 30 frames (that’s 2x a second!), although there is a cap to avoid total vote spamming. Replays will be ranked according to the user-submitted reviews, making it easy to find the flavor of replays you want to see.

On X360, you can’t vote on the matches, but you can watch and then save a number of your favorites. While watching your saved matches, you’ll also have the option to turn on input commands (just like the Training Mode option), so you can see the gritty details of exactly what button and joystick inputs the top players are using to win.

And just for good meansure, the full press release is below:

Update to Street Fighter IV: Championship Mode comes free!

Capcom is bringing new options to Street Fighter IV with an eye towards serious players. Street Fighter IV’s Championship Mode update expands on the fighting fun by offering players the chance to compete in tournaments and to watch replays of the best tournament matches. Best of all: it comes to you at no cost! The Championship Mode update will be available for both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners on Friday, April 24 (times TBD).

Championship Mode offers you the chance to compete in 5 different grades of tournaments, creating the right challenge for players of every skill level. You’ll score Grade Points (GP) for tournament wins, and as your GP total grows, you’ll become eligible to enter into more exclusive tournaments. Winning tournaments will also net you Championship Points (CP). CP are like “prize money” up for grabs in the tournament. The higher the GP skill of the players in a particular tournament, the bigger the CP prize!

Replay Mode allows you to select and watch the best Championship Mode tournament matches.

On the PlayStation Network, you can rate matches while you watch according to characteristics such as “awesome” or “funny.” Replays are then ranked based on these vote ratings.

On Xbox Live, instead of rating the matches, you can choose to download and save your favorite replays to study the players’ techniques. You’ll also be able to turn on the input commands from both players to be able to review their button and joystick motions in precise detail.

US NPD Sales Figures for March 2009 - Resident Evil 5 on Xbox 360 is Number 1

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=358785

Data care of NPD Group

PlayStation 2 112K
PlayStation 3 218K
PSP 168K
Xbox 360 330K
Wii 601K
Nintendo DS 563K

RESIDENT EVIL 5* (360) 938K
POKEMON PLATINUM VERSION (NDS) 805K
HALO WARS* (360) 639K
RESIDENT EVIL 5* (PS3) 585K
WII FIT W/BALANCE BOARD (WII) 541K
MLB '09: THE SHOW (PS3) 305K
KILLZONE 2 (PS3) 296K
WII PLAY W/REMOTE (WII) 281K
MARIO KART W/WHEEL (WII) 278K
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K9 (360) 205K

(*includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The CD-R King USB Arcade Stick on the Playstation 3 - An Honest (But Not Cynical) Opinion

(*Pictures included below. I also have a picture of the BUTTON CONFIGURATION Screen for Street Fighter IV for the Playstation 3, configured for use with the CDR-King USB Arcade Stick. This will surely be useful for anyone considering to buy the CD-R King USB Arcade Stick. Mapping the buttons on the CD-R King stick can be quite tedious, with the way SFIV is set up for button mapping.)

I spent a (relatively) small amount of money on one of those generic USB Arcade Sticks that they're selling over in CD-R King (the stick cost PHP 550). The thing is, arcade sticks for the Playstation 3 have become extremely rare now that Street Fighter IV is out. Playing on the PS3 controller is workable, but gives me a sore left thumb.

It's one of the hassles of living in an 'unsupported' country that I haven't got any easy access to peripherals for game consoles. Even before SFIV came out, arcade sticks for any console here in the Philippines is extremely rare, and even if they do come out, they're a bit expensive and you don't have that many sticks to choose from. Usually I've seen the regular Hori sticks being offered in some game stores. I've never, ever seen any store offer the high end HRAP3 or the Hori Pro.EX arcade sticks.

As I mentioned before, I already have a Hori EX2 stick for my Xbox 360, which I used for WCG last year and I'm continuing to use for online gaming with SF4 on the Xbox 360. Having picked up SF4 for the PS3, playing on the pad just isn't as satisfying as playing with an arcade stick. So when I found this stick at CD-R King, I thought, why not? It's inexpensive, and even if it turns out to be a bust I could just use this occasionally for any PC games I come across which use it.

I remember in my early days I had this horrific arcade stick for the SNES, which you had to stick on the floor with suction cups. It was even more expensive than this CD-R King Stick (I recall it was about 2,500 or more....). It wasn't made by Hori at all; it was a no-name brand and the build quality was horrendous. The stick was so light that would still slide off the table/ground easily, and playing fighting games with it was a pain at times. But for me, back then, it was enough to prepare for the trip to the arcade; at least my hands got used to the motions for special moves in fighting games. The important thing is to get into the habit of hitting BACK to block, positioning the stick properly when starting up a combo, and so on. This was what that old SNES stick taught me, despite all its shortcomings.

And besides, I didn't really have much of a choice, being here in the Philippines, with no official support for any game console.

So I thought, if I could live with a really shabby fighting stick before, when I was around 12 years old, why can't I do the same today? Considering that I don't really have a choice....I could order online again, but knowing how Philippine customs taxes can be EXTREMELY expensive here in the Philippines, I really don't want that kind of hassle. I paid a lot for customs duties just to get the Hori EX2 stick from Play Asia. Luckily the EX2 isn't that heavy. Imagine if I ordered the Hori Pro.EX. I'd probably be taxed 50% the purchase price or even more....Ouch!

Besides, 550 for a very plain fighting stick doesn't seem to be much. I already tried searching online for info on the CD-R King stick, and there really isn't that much info on it available. So I thought, maybe I should talk about it so that people thinking of buying it will have a better idea (on whether or not to get one of these things). I don't know if there's any other source of information on the CD-R King stick online, anywhere, so maybe this will be a bit helpful.

I tried the stick on the Playstation 3. It also works for the PC but it does NOT work for the Xbox 360. At the PS3's XMB interface, for some reason I had some trouble using the stick in moving the directional pad around the XMB. So I used the PS3 controller to start the game.

When Street Fighter IV eventually loaded, all the functions on the stick started working again. The 8 way directional stick started working again and the buttons didn't seem to have any problems. The stick itself feels much more loose than my Hori EX2 stick. It seems to have a square gate, so diagonals aren't a problem for me in using it. (I prefer a square gate so I can easily tell if I'm hitting a diagonal direction. It's just a preference of mine.)

For the most part, I haven't encountered that many problems with it. Compared to my Hori EX2 stick, of course the EX2 feels better, but the USB Arcade Stick feels like a practical solution. You won't be spending much when you buy this stick, and you won't be expecting much out of the package. But honestly, I didn't have problems doing special moves, moving around the map, etc....the USB arcade stick from CD-R King is pretty responsive. Just note that the USB cord on this CD-R King stick is quite short; you'll have to get something to make it longer if your couch is far away from your TV.

After two hours of play, the only issue I noticed was that you have to push forward a bit more when you're executing a QCF/Hadoken motion. Also, I had a few issues in executing Ultras (Ryu's Metsu Hadoken); sometimes an EX Shoryuken would come out instead of the Ultra. I rarely have this issue with the Hori EX2. There's a slight timing difference in pressing the buttons on this CDR-King stick. If you do it wrong, it will only register one button hit and then register the three button hits right after, so I end up getting the EX Shoryuken instead. I know this because I looked at the input display in training mode; it seems it has a bit of a tough time getting my simultaneous button presses. But then, there are times when I can do it flawlessly.....so overall, the issue is there, but it can be ignored. If you hate the issue, you could always map the three button input to one other button so that you don't have to press all three buttons at once. I don't do that, though; I'm a purist, I suppose.

I had my brother try out the stick; he uses Zangief, and he tells me it's ok....again, it's not like the Hori stick in terms of build quality, but considering the price, you get exactly what you pay for. He said at the very least, it's less painful to execute the Ultimate Atomic Buster on the USB Arcade Stick than it is to execute it with the Playstation 3 controller's D-Pad (the move is executed by spinning the stick 360 degrees 2 times, and then pressing 3 punch buttons).

As for longevity....well, we'll have to wait on that one. I just bought this stick yesterday. Of course, costing 550 it isn't fair to expect this stick will last a long time...If ever it does break I will be sure to post here about that. But for now, after playing with it at the same level of intensity that I do with the Hori stick, it seems to be sturdy enough. I played a few local matches and player matches with this USB Arcade Stick, and for the most part, it seemed to hold up well.

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The picture below is a comparison pic with the HORI FIGHTING STICK EX2 which I own for the Xbox 360.
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CDR-King USB Arcade Stick Button Configuration Mapping for STREET FIGHTER IV.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Ok, So I Was Wrong, and WCG 2009 Picked Some More PC Games....

Admittedly I wrong to think that they would actually pick 2 more Xbox 360 games and one more PC game. I guess I thought that the US WCG site could be right, considering how dead serious the US is when it comes to gaming leagues.

The games they did pick, don't catch my interest at all. Here's the official press release.

Latest Titles for WCG 2009 are:

FIFA 09 (the only good choice in the latest press release....)





Carom3D (To be honest, it's more fun to watch this in real life.)



Red Stone (Hmm...an MMORPG, I think? Ehh....)



Trackmania (Nice race tracks. Will this work competitively? Surprised they didn't pick an EA racing game.)






Three mobile games

Asphalt 4




Wise Star 2 (No video(s) found on youtube)

Dungeon & Fighter




Basically, yeah, I was totally wrong with all my predictions for WCG 2009, but damn, those choices that they made are not really the kind of games I'm interested to watch in a competition setting. The only choice which probably makes sense in that lineup is FIFA 09.

Press Release:

http://www.wcg.com/6th/fun/news/news_view.asp?keyno=C09041310000

NEW YORK, NY. April 13, 2009 – World Cyber Games (WCG / www.wcg.com), the premier international video game competition and festival, has announced seven additional game titles which will be featured throughout 2009.

The new titles include all-time favorite PC titles FIFA Soccer 09, TrackMania Nations Forever, Carom3D and Red Stone as the Official Game Title for WCG. They will join the previously announced five Official Game Titles – including Counter-Strike 1.6 (PC), Starcraft: Brood War (PC), WarCraft III The Frozen Throne (PC), Guitar Hero: World Tour (Xbox 360) and Virtua Fighter 5 (Xbox 360) – to ensure that this year's competition features a wide variety of games that appeal to all different types of gamers around the world.

This marks the ninth year that FIFA 09 will be an Official Game Title for WCG. The beloved soccer game provided one of the shockers of the 2008 Grand Final when Romania ended Germany's dominance to capture the gold. Also marking return engagements in the competition will be Carom3D, which has been a part of the WCG for the past three years, and Red Stone, which made its WCG debut last year. TrackMania, the world famous racing game, will add to the competition's long pedigree of racing games.

Adding to the diversity of the 2009 tournament will be the return of the Mobile Game Category. After making a huge splash through ‘Samsung Mobile Challenge' at the 2008 Grand Final, the two mobile games to be featured include Asphalt 4 and the celestial puzzle game Wise Star2. Also in this year's line-up, MORPG (Multi-player online role-playing game) Dungeon & Fighter will be featured as a Promotional Title.

''The World Cyber Games is more committed than ever to make eSports accessible to every type of gamer around the world'' said Hyoung-Seok Kim, president and CEO of World Cyber Games. ''This year's lineup not only features wide variety of Official Game Title of Xbox 360 and PC games, but we are expanding the number of mobile games. With these new titles, we expect the 2009 Grand Final to be the most diverse and exciting one we have ever had.''

WCG also announced the date of WCG 2009 Grand Final. This year the annual event will be held from November 11 to 15, for 5 days taking place in Chengdu, China

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Windows Ads in the US

Just thought these were interesting....





...because they're true, for me. Macs are either too expensive or too feature limited. They've got great looks, though. But at the end of the day, practical usefulness is what matters more to me than being 'seen' with a particular gadget.

Street Fighter IV Online Play Available Again on Xbox Live

...no championship mode yet T_T Looks like we'll have to wait it out a bit more until the new update gets released.

Looking forward to getting that new feature where you can save replays; that will be really useful!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Street Fighter IV on Xbox Live Currently Unavailable - Championship Mode?

Tried to play some SFIV on Xbox Live today, and I couldn't get into any matches at all via matchmaking (no sessions found, and nobody would join in during arcade mode). I read reports online that the following message appears on people's gamertags:

REQ: CHAMPIONSHIP

....whenever they're playing SF4 online. Rumor has it that Capcom will be releasing the game's 'Championship Mode' soon, so maybe they're testing it out?

On the other hand, because Xbox Live was down, I resorted to playing Street Fighter IV on the Playstation Network. The game is still available for online play there, surprisingly.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wall Street Journal Cites Weakening Sales for Nintendo In Japan


The Wall Street Journal, following news of slowing sales for the Wii and Nintendo DS and a boost in "hardcore" games sales in Japan, says Nintendo is "beginning to look vulnerable" after years of success.

The Journal is referring, of course, to the most recent sales data from Japan, courtesy of sales trackers Enterbrain and Media Create, who show that Sony's PlayStation 3 has started to gain some ground against the Wii, where the contest between the Nintendo DS and PSP is a little more even.

While Sony's monthly domination of Nintendo on the console front may be temporary, video game sales declined in Japan some 18% last year, in contrast to another year of growth for the industry in the United States. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata chalks that up to a weaker market. And it's up to Nintendo to do something about it.

"The Japanese market is not very strong right now overall," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in an interview with the publication, presumably while wearing an energizing leather blazer. "So we need to do something to re-energize it."

As the Journal points out, sales trends in Japan often, but not always, foretell similar trends in the West, a market that Nintendo is still seeing massive success competing in.

***

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123913066338097885.html?mg=com-wsj

Here's a snippet:

What's more, Japan tends to be an early indicator for global consumer trends. Japanese consumers were at the forefront of the shift to casual games. Unconventional titles for Nintendo's handheld DS machine, such as Brain Age and Nintendogs, first became hits in Japan and the market is still seen as an early testing ground for new concepts.

"The usual idea is that whatever you see happening in Japan, you tend to see overseas two to three years later," said Hiroshi Kamide, an analyst at KBC Securities in Tokyo.

Sachiyo Kaneda, a 43-year-old housewife in Tokyo, bought a Wii for her two sons nearly three years ago. Her boys, now 12 and 7 years old, played the Wii often at first and constantly asked for new games.

However, in recent months, the boys have stopped asking for new games. The younger boy still plays with the Wii, but the elder son is now asking for Sony's PlayStation Portable, a handheld with games geared toward more traditional gaming fans.

"Maybe the Wii's software, designed for families, is not as exciting," said Ms. Kaneda about her elder son's request for a PSP.

While Nintendo's Wii has far outsold rivals and continues to be the top seller outside Japan, sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 surpassed those of the Wii in Japan last month. Sony sold 146,948 PS3 consoles for the month, while 99,335 Wii units were sold, according to Enterbrain. Microsoft sold 43,172 Xbox 360 consoles.

***

I haven't been following Media-Create sales that much lately; I'm surprised that the Playstation 3 is now doing well over in Japan. That's a good trend for fans of hardcore games, at least we're not just going to see more and more casual games in the future.

While I understand the need for casual games to attract new gamers to the hobby, it's the hardcore games that keep the industry alive. If every game made from this point were casual, the market would lose sales from hardcore gamers, who are clearly loyal and buy again and again (thus sustaining the market). Usually casual gamers buy a system for one game (case in point: Wii Sports) and that's that; they'll rarely buy more games because gaming is not really their hobby. A focus on casual games could actually cause another video game crash, much like what happened in the 80's, where the market was flooded with poorly designed games and games which were just carbon copies of other existing titles.

In a way, it's Nintendo's fault for being complacent and ignoring the market that keeps on buying games. They could have had a more balanced approach to their releases, but lately they're really focused on making games for non-gamers. I believe it's entirely possible to have games for every market on one system (both casual and hardcore). This approach is more inclusive, and helps grow the market; while at the same time, continuing to sustain more 'hardcore' game titles keeps the industry alive thanks to repeat sales from experienced gamers.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

END OF ETERNITY: New JRPG for PS3 and Xbox 360 from Tri-Ace Announced

I got this from this Neogaf thread; news on a new JRPG from Tri-ace being published by SEGA and created by Tri-Ace. Apparently this is the JRPG which was being hinted at by http://newrpg.jp back in April 1 (which some thought might have been an April Fools joke.) Well, apparently the game is real.

End of Eternity is coming to both the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360.

From the NEOGAF Thread:

End of Eternity
- PS3/360
- Sega/Tri-Ace
- New RPG
- 2009 Winter
- Main character: Zaphyr (17 yr old), partner: Vashyron (26 yr old)
- Machinery gun battle seems to be the theme of the game?
- Experiment 20 (19 years old), the girl who parts with destiny
- semi-real time battle system
- machinery world setting
- 65% done
- Official Site: http://EoE.sega.jp

Pictures:

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Street Fighter Bar Fights - Videos for the First Set

High level SF4 play in the United States on display here, with the Street Fighter Bar Fights! For the first episode it's Ed Ma vs. Combofiend. A really great exhibition of SF4 skill....you may think you're good at SF4, but are you as good as these guys?

http://www.streetfighterbarfights.com

Videos:




Matches:
Ed Ma (mains Ken) vs. Combofiend (mains Balrog), part I

Ed Ma (mains Ken) vs. Combofiend (mains Balrog), part II

Dae & Bustabust vs. Keno and partner part I

Dae & Bustabust vs. Keno and partner part II

Turn out of players:

Feature on the bar fights:



I think there'll be more bar fights in the coming weeks.

Also visit http://www.shoryuken.com and http://www.gootecks.com for more info on the emerging Street Fighter IV scene in the United States.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

World Cyber Games 2009 Update - So, What Are The Last Remaining Games? (Speculation)

Note: The following post is just speculation on my part, nothing official has been announced at all. I just pieced together some information that I've been reading online, and this is what I came up with.

I've been following the news for the upcoming WCG 2009. As a participant from WCG 2008, I'm just curious about how they're going to have their competition this year. I'm NOT participating at all for this year, but I am curious, because I read on the Philippine WCG forum before it was taken down a few months ago that they are NOT going to include ANY of the first FIVE games announced already by http://www.worldcybergames.com/ :

- Guitar Hero World Tour (XBOX 360)
- Virtua Fighter 5 (XBOX 360)
- Counterstrike (PC)
- Starcraft Brood War (PC)
- Warcraft Frozen Throne (PC)

Again, based on what was posted on the forum which used to be available on http://ph.worldcybergames.com, none of the above games are going to be part of WCG 2009 for the Philippines. That forum is no longer available because ph.worldcybergames.com is probably getting upgraded.

Ok, so for the past few weeks I've been waiting and waiting for http://www.worldcybergames.com/ to finally update us on the remaining five games. Well, a few months ago they said there that they'd pick FIVE more games.

But apparently....that isn't the case. According to THIS US WCG WEBSITE, they're only selecting THREE MORE GAMES.

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2 Xbox 360 games, and 1 PC Game.

So, let me get this straight. WCG Philippines said on their forum that they aren't picking any of the five games already announced.

Based on the relatively horrid turnout for the Xbox 360 games last year, I speculate that WCG Philippines aren't going to pick any of the two remaining unannounced Xbox 360 games either, whichever those might be. I may favor the Xbox 360 myself to some extent, but I'm also a realist, and I know what happened last year wasn't up to WCG Philippines' standards. It seemed to me last year that the local WCG was expecting Counterstrike/Warcraft-like numbers when it comes to the turnout for the Xbox 360 games, and to be honest, that just did NOT happen last year.

Which leaves us with ONE PC GAME. Only one more PC game is going to be announced by the WCG. My speculation is that that game will be Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. There has been hearsay that that game can be Defense of the Ancients but I seriously doubt that; DOTA is simply not that popular in the United States. [Note: this doesn't rule out DOTA for the WCG Asian Championship 2009, though.]

As for the other two Xbox 360 games, here's my speculation as to what they might be. It can be any two of the following:

- Halo 3 - because it's Microsoft's flagship franchise and they're a major sponsor for WCG.

- Gears of War 2 - again it's an MS title and they're going to massively push the Xbox 360 for sure through these tournaments.

- Street Fighter IV - I'd love for this to happen---but I am 50/50 on it. If it were SFIV why didn't they pick it in the first place? I'm not sure they're inclined to have two fighting games for the tournament. But, given SFIV and how the game is single-handedly reviving the fighting game genre throughout the globe, WHY NOT?

- Soulcalibur IV - This is a long shot, but given how the game is more accessible than SFIV and is still popular with most gamers, it's likely. I do know that SCIV can attract a fairly good audience of gamers. I've seen it happen myself, in the events I've helped organize in the past few months.

- Project Gotham Racing 4 - is a shoe-in as one of the selected games because they don't have any racing game yet. Unless the unannounced PC game is a racing game.

Again, I'm only speculating that there is only one more PC game (among the unnanounced titles) based on the site pic I posted. Of course it could all change. It's just interesting to me that the US WCG site posted this 'change' to the upcoming announcement on new titles for WCG. I think the US almost always sends a complete contingent of players for this major international tournament; I don't think they would not send any players to any particular game. Add the fact that Microsoft is surely going to push this tournament heavily. Of course the USA will send players for every WCG game. They're the United States, they just have to do that, and they're completely expected to do that. Don't tell me even the current global recession affected this.

So, really, seriously....what is that ONE PC game that hasn't been announced yet that will be part of WCG? It's worth finding out for Philippine gamers because apparently that's the only game that this year's WCG Philippines events may be based on.

Sick Ryu Combos using an Xbox 360 Controller?

This guy claims he did these really hard Ryu combos using just the Xbox 360 default controller (Watch the ending of the video). Is he lying? Who knows. (I can hear some loud tapping in the background which sounds like an arcade stick.) In either case, the video's a pretty good showcase of Ryu skills.



Comments on the Playstation 3 Version of Street Fighter IV

I had to get a copy of Street Fighter IV for the Playstation 3 the other day (the reason why that happened is a very long story, so maybe I'll just save that for another time.). So now I have both the Xbox 360 version and the Playstation 3 version of Street Fighter IV. Anyhow, gave the game a spin today and just a few frustrations came along the way....

Online play seems to not work as well as the Xbox 360 version. I've had about 600+ matches on Xbox Live and I don't recall too many bad experiences playing online with it. Sure, there are probably those few matches where things didn't go that well on Xbox Live, but for the most part, the lag is minimal and I generally had a good experience on it. The best way to play on XBL is to just choose Arcade Mode and let the game take care of the rest (finding matches, etcetera.)

With the PS3, I've had my share of issues. For one thing, the game gets stuck on the VERSUS screen (the one before the actual match) for quite a long time. I read online that some players don't know that you can install Street Fighter IV on your PS3, and that's probably the reason why it takes so long to load a match. The thing is, this happens with practically every opponent on PSN.

Now that I mentioned it, if you don't know how to install Street Fighter IV on your PS3, simply go to the OPTIONS menu of the game and you'll find the option there. It shouldn't take too long to install, and the convenience of having matches start quickly is just priceless.

I've also had problems trying to play with someone who actually lives nearby. I get a message 'Unable to participate in session' more often than I'd like. I don't understand why this happens, considering that the guy I'm trying to play against isn't in a different country. Anyway, it could be ISP issues, so I'll give it a try again later.

Overall, SF4 on the PS3 is on par with the Xbox 360 version...mostly. The jaggies are really visible on the PS3 version, and if you don't set up your PS3 correctly, you can get a 'grainy' looking effect on the graphics. But if you do set it up right, they do look practically the same. Capcom could have avoided these hassles if they put more instructions on the manual to let players optimize the game for their home entertainment setup. But then, maybe the console should take care of issues like that.

Nonetheless, there's no getting around the fact that, around here, in my country, the Playstation is pretty much king with most of the local players when it comes to fighting games. Everyone is just so used to the Playstation controller. I recall Ozine Fest 09 and there were really a lot of players who'd pick the PS3 version over the Xbox 360 version, simply because they were used to the pad of the PS3. For most people it doesn't matter if the PS3 version has a lot of jaggies here and there; they pick the PS3 version because of the Playstation controller, which they're used to using.

Oh, and while I'm talking about that pad....as an arcade stick guy (when it comes to fighting games, anyway)....the PS3 pad is pretty manageable. I can see why most people like it for fighting games; the diagonal directions are more apparent when you play. But honestly, it suffers from the same issues as the Xbox 360 pad. Doing charge + motions for the Ultra for charge characters like Guile, etc., is still very hard on the PS3 D-pad (just as hard as it is on the Xbox 360 controller).

The only thing I don't like about playing on the Xbox 360 default controller for fighting games is using the D-Pad. I actually started learning Virtua Fighter 5 before with the 360 controller; and you can imagine just how hard it was because, like everyone else, I started using that damned 360 D-Pad. At some point, I just gave up on using the D-pad and settled for the analog stick on the 360 controller. It became so much easier to play VF5 when i switched to the analog stick. Later on, when Ozine Fest 09 rolled around, I had to use the Xbox 360 pad at the booth. I ended up using the analog stick and was able to win some games.

Ocassionally during Ozine I'd hear someone ask, so which version is better for Street Fighter IV? Despite the issues I have with the Playstation 3 version, I still think they're practically the same. If you really, REALLY like the PS3 controller over the Xbox 360 controller, I'd recommend getting the PS3 version. But if you want to get the version that offers a better online play experience, and slightly sharper/more colorful graphics, get the Xbox 360 version. You just have to deal with the 360 pad's problems if you do so; I do recommend switching up to the analog stick on the 360 for playing fighting games. With practice, it does become easier.

In either case, Street Fighter IV is best experienced with an arcade stick. Playing with pads does help for getting ready to play at a venue which won't have arcade sticks, though.

For the most part, I'll still be playing more with the Xbox 360 version because I'm more used to the Xbox online experience. I will occasionally play the PS3 version because most of my friends here in the Philippines just prefer the Playstation version (again, because they're used to the pad, and because it's Playstation....ehh, brand loyalty.). The only way people's minds will ever change about the Xbox 360 is if Microsoft decides to bring the console officially to this country....Maybe one day, who knows.

Street Fighter IV "Mini Game": Rose Ball

Taken from this link: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=350974&page=543
which got the video from the Street Fighter Bar Fights: http://streetfighterbarfights.com/

This is interesting, you can actually play Rose vs. Rose and reflect all day. I didn't think that was possible (thought the second reflect would just absorb the projectile or something), I've never tried Rose vs. Rose. But this makes for a seemingly interesting mini-game.


Monday, April 06, 2009

GAMEHOPPER @ Ozine FEST '09 - Final day....DAY 3!

Note: There are a lot of pics for this day...so I decided to just put a link to the album if you want to see all of them.

Link to album: Ozine Fest '09 DAY 3

I will use some pics for the article below :)





Another spectacular day for Gamehopper as the third and final day for OZINE FEST '09 takes place at the SM Megamall Megatrade Hall 2! Gamers from all walks of life gathered together to enjoy games such as SOULCALIBUR IV, STREET FIGHTER IV and SMASH BROTHERS BRAWL on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii respectively.

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On the Street Fighter IV front, at the start of the day both consoles had Street Fighter IV but due to popular demand for the Playstation 3 version, we focused the PS3 to SFIV and set the Xbox 360 to SC4. Many Pinoy gamers are really used to the Playstation controller and having Street Fighter IV on the PS3 was something that was asked from us at the booth, and we obliged accordingly. Of course, there were other gamers that just didn't bother with which console was actually running Street Fighter IV, they just wanted to enjoy the game! Playing it at the booth is a unique experience because unlike playing on Xbox Live or PSN, there is no lag during matches, and the atmosphere during fights is actually not too serious and very friendly. Some players who came back again and again really seemed to enjoy themselves, and maybe they even made some new friends along the way, which is just great! Others don't have a next-gen system yet, and they're finding their older SF skills still work on the latest version (and are seeing a lot of new tricks to use in the game, too).
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This was my match with the guy with the huge 21 win streak, Tom. I was loser #20! He played Abel while I played Ryu.
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Later in the day, some records were made in Street Fighter IV...no, there wasn't any tournament but a little mini-game emerged for SF4 where people wondered who could get the longest winning streak. At the end of the day, it was a guy named Tom who got a huge 21 win streak! [Note to readers: I hope I got the name right because to be honest I'm really horrible with remembering names....! Basically the guy with the t-shirt which said 'Malaki ang Titik O!' is the one with the 21 win streak.] The 20th match (which was against me, haha) was pretty exciting because I thought I could take down his Abel with my Ryu....but it was really hard to win against him. I did win one round hehe! Later on, a 'Legend Killer' came along to beat the champ during his 22nd match. [Note: What was his name? I forgot....sorry man! His pic is below.]

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Win Quote: I Eat Legends For Breakfast. Mmm mmm!


The excitement during the match was just great, I wish I had a video camera to capture that very moment when the 'Legend Killer' finally kicked out the other player hehehe. But it's great that the atmosphere was really friendly during that match; both players and spectators focused on enjoying watching, playing and having a great time. Shoutouts to the 2nd placer with a 19 win streak, Eli [again, sorry if i got the name wrong. The guy with the black jacket and red shirt], and another player who was also with them named Jeff [the guy with the black shirt and red writing on it, and long hair]. Jeff's Ken is very good and fun to watch, I recall he also had a great winning streak but I can't remember how long it was! Again, to the Street Fighter guys, great games, and thanks for visiting the booth! Don't forget to try Gamehopper, rent SFIV, and play against me online hehehe (scytherage on Xbox Live or PSN....send me a friend request!).

If you see the following at any Street Fighter arcade unit, be very afraid:
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Tom, the guy with 21 wins, the highest score for the event!
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That other guy with the red inside shirt, Eli, was the guy with the top score until Tom beat him. He had 19 wins (I think)
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Their prize for the day, hehehe!

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Ryu is actually in the picture above. Can you spot him? For reference: Photobucket

Soulcalibur IV was actually still quite popular particularly towards the end of the day, when most of the gamers interested in it came in. The battles in SCIV seemed to be quite heated, with members from Pinoy Calibur showing up to provide some intense competition! A lot of players enjoyed watching the matches for SCIV and seeing the amazing display of technical prowess at playing the game.
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SCIV is serious business.
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The PinoyCalibur crew poses with the GH Girls!

The Nintendo Wii didn't fail to amuse either, with many players also showing up to enjoy Super Smash Brothers Brawl. At the Gamehopper booth we allowed for three players to play Brawl, and this made for some fun matches between players. We noticed a lot more of the younger audience would enjoy this game, and it really shows how gaming appeals to a wide variety of players of all age groups and interests.

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Overall, the booth for Gamehopper was very successful in showcasing the games for both gamers and non-gamers alike. It was also a great avenue to reach out to gamers regarding the Gamehopper service, where you can rent all the games you want for only PHP 599 a month. Imagine being able to try a game, complete it in three or less days, and then try another one for only a single fee per month...at the rate Pinoys play games, this service is really convenient and helps ease the burden on the wallet when it comes to pursuing the gaming hobby. Players who want to own the games can also use the gamehopper store, http://www.gh-store.com.ph/ , to buy games as well.

Thanks to everyone who went to our Gamehopper booth! Until we meet again ^_^