Thursday, May 18, 2006

Current Game

I always had found memories of the first Onimusha game. Released shortly after the launch of the PS2 in 2000, it was essentially Resident Evil (Biohazzard for all my Nihonjin no Tomodachi) with samurais, swords, demons, epic music and ancient Japanese castles. Even the shitty control scheme was the same. Yet I played it nearly to the end and enjoyed it. At the time of its release, a big pull for it was not only the then next-gen graphics, but that the main character, a fictional samurai named Samanosuke Akechi (supposed cousin of the real Mitsuhide Akechi) was modeled to look like the Japanese action star: Kaneshiro Takeshi.

Parts 2 & 3 continued to evolve the series by adding deeper fighting engines, full 3D graphics (1 & 2 had 3D characters on pre-rendered backgrounds), supporting characters and even more actors (Yusaku Matsuda, made famous for the thriller, Black Rain, played Jubei Yagyu, while Jean Reno played Jacques Blanc in Onimusha 3, where the demons attack modern day Paris.

While in Virgin Mega Store the other day I decided to pick up part 4, called Onimusha Dawn of Dreams. A new different game based in the same universe. Capcom rebuilt everything and have presented a game that's fresh and new. Also hearing monsters come up behind me on my new home theater system is awesome. I can truly say that they (speakers, not monsters) got me back into gaming. Why should you play Onimusha? Well not to sound like an advertisement, but for me, I have very little game time and am starting to focus more on games I can play for 2-3 tops and drop it for a few days. Upon returning it’s very easy to get into. The combat combo system is great, the comedy is spot on and they even left in the Japanese dialogue so I can practice.

Kingdom Hearts 2 might be next. But I'm buying a DS soon!

Monday, May 15, 2006

If Eyebrows Could Speak

Do you like watching the news? Okay, really I don't either, but its slowly become a morning ritual of mine to turn on NY1 and see what's happening.

For those of you who have never lived in New York, NY1 is an all-day news network focused primarily on NYC. While they do occasionally show happenings from other places (the recent budget crisis in Puerto Rico) the focus is here. Which brings me to one of their correspondents, George Whipple.

I've never seen this
man before in any capacity except for recently on NY1's movie reviews and entertainment segments. As for his biography and background, I'll leave it up to Google. The most important topic here are those masses of fur and hair attached directly below his forehead: eyebrows, if they can be called that. They are absolutely huge. Much larger than either Unibrau or the Unibrowed security guard at one of my client's businesses. Bigger than Lou Albano's mustache on the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Bigger than even all the hair on Robin William's body. These eyebrows could cook you dinner and hold the fork for you while you eat and play games. The Google image search I did was far too hideous to show here. Let’s just say that those have never, ever been trimmed.

Don't believe me? Watch for yourself and see. At least you might be lucky enough to spot the lovely Sandra Endo.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Show's Over Folks

For those of you living under a rock, Thursday marked the end of the annual Electronics Entertainment Expo. I only realized too late that I finally have a job that would permit me to get in. Oh well, there's always next year. Actually for a trade-only event, the E3 is pretty crowded with tourists, fanboys, and useless celebrities. And I didn't even get to the G4 crowd.

What impressed me? Not the Xbox360. The PS3 makes it look like a Dreamcast (love that little guy) with no good games. The Halo 3 trailer looked great, but it was more of a cinematic than a game. I doubt we'll see any gameplay for a year or so. Additionally, Sony is out of their minds to sell a brand new system for $599 starting. Yes, I'll buy one for Metal Gear Solid 4 (sequel heaven these days). Yet, most people agree that it was Nintendo that stole the show.

To start, the originally underpowered DS (against a portable PS2??!!!!??) is paying off. The software out now and in the pipeline looks amazing. I may never play my PSP again. New Super Mario Bros, Starfox, Castlevania: Gothic Adjective of Creepy Intanigible Thing (the names are getting ridiculous), and Zelda look great. I'm dying to play Mario Kart and Metroid Prime Hunters. But the true light was revealed after. The Nintendo Wii. Okay the name kinda sucks. But the games, the controller, the style. I can't describe it, you just have to watch it. Nintendo will spark a true Revolution. Nintendo is doing what everyone else don’t, trying something new, pushing the enevolope, going further than the competition. The DS has two screen and a touch pad, the PSP is just a really powerful Game Gear. The Wii controller has more technology packed inside it than 12 Dual Shock controllers put together, the PS3 is using a slight variation of the same controller! Nintendo is redesigning it’s francises for the future, the Xbox360 is simply adding better graphics. And finally Nintendo is reducing costs. Where Sony and Microsoft are starting to get out of control, pricewise, Nintendo intends to sell the Wii at a price under $250, and in addition is going out of its way to reduce development costs for designers who just want to make great games.

Still, if I had to talk about numbers, I’d be worried that the PS3 will win because too many idiots who started playing games late (late = middle of PSX lifestyle) want HD graphics and more Grand Theft Auto... Sorry guys, Nintendo is back. It may be for kids, but its fun as hell. They are going to change the face of gameplay as we know it, and once it’s done, there is no going back.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Welcome Back, Again


That's all I can say. Yes I know it’s been about three weeks since my last update, and I apologize. Moving and setting up the new place took a lot more energy and effort and time and money then I thought, but in the end, it was worth it.

The new place came out great and while I still have a very strong connection to my old place in the gaijin ghetto (a.k.a. Benteniary or the olde ben-ten), I do have to say the new place is superior in many ways. First, the paint job is great! (thanks Uncle Jimmy, Jay, Keith, Chie and Andrew) and the furniture also came out really good (thanks Jay, Keith, Ed, Hank and Chie). And finally with a new home theater system (thanks Samsung, sorry neighbors) the place is becoming very comfortable. The theater system is quite possibly the best speaker system I've ever had, the bed is definitely the biggest, the TV I want will be the nicest, this place is definitely getting cool.

Still, there are a few differences to note: a) 50 parties, while possible, are a no/no; b) romantic balcony is no longer an option; c) kitchen based flame thrower, that I used to call a stove, has been replaced with an electric version - I like fire!; d) new place has windows-a-plenty, old place had 1; e) old building and neighboring buildings had a few cute girls inside, Bay Ridge has tons.

So, when are you coming over?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My aching cell phone

I am known mostly for using, fixing and buying electronics. Also, I'm pretty good at breaking them.

Last Tuesday, my cell phone had a lovely short visit with his not so close aquitence, the ground. While all the major features are still intact, it no longer likes Memory sticks and refuses to read them. Therefore, it now cannot transfer pictures to my computer and I am without a way to get pictures to this blog, as I destroyed my sister's digital camera during the last snow storm and am not using her new one.

I'll be in the Cingular shop soon to use that insurance I pay for every month.