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3/31/2011

ANIME REVIEW: Queen's Blade

After about a month I finally finished watching the anime series “Queen’s Blade”. I’m probably going to get some hate from saying this but the truth is that I really liked it. It’s about a group of girls, each with her own back-story, participating in a fighting tournament to gain the title of “Queen of Gainos”, the name of an entire continent where the events take place.

It is an ecchi anime, meaning that every girl was created to be very beautiful. Most of them will have big breasts, wear little clothes and will normally have the camera aiming at their panties and things like that. The series takes the ecchi factor really seriously, meaning that besides telling a story and developing the characters, there’s going to be a lot of emphasis in showing the girls and their bodies.

What I watched were two complete seasons, each one with twelve episodes. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a third one. The very first episode in the series is actually quite bad, makes no sense at all and presents one of the weirdest characters to the public, a demonic girl named “Melona” with pink hair and some hands covering her breasts. She actually attacks her opponents by spilling acid from them. Yes, you read right, acid. That definitely does not leave a good impression but after the second episode, things start to make more sense and the important (and more “normal” girls) start to appear and take more screen time.

The main protagonist in the series is a princess named “Reina” from a city called Vance. She is an adventurer by heart and after being tired of the rule of her father, she decides to leave the castle and start traveling around the continent to get stronger and win the Queen’s Blade tournament to become the ruler of the land. She has one older sister called “Claudette”, a red-head woman who controls lighting and a younger sister called “Elina”, a blonde girl who uses a spear in battle and seems to be in love with Reina because she is the series’ excuse when awkward lesbian moments happen.

Most of the episodes in the series will focus completely in Reina’s progress through her fighting abilities, her friendship with the other characters and the places she visits in her travels. There are other important girls like the common samurai named “Tomoe”, a thief called “Risti” and the queen of the continent herself, named “Aldra”. Unlike other series in the genre, male characters are very uncommon. I can only remember two from the top of my head and they almost never get screen time. So technically, Queen’s Blade will not suffer from the common and way too used “harem” environment.

There’s also a trio of villains who are some of the most famous characters in the series. The Melona I already mentioned, a very young looking girl called “Airi”, who wears a maid outfit and uses a scythe as her weapon, she can literally suck the life out of her opponents. And the final one is “Menace” a beautiful girl who used to be the empress of an Egypt-like kingdom called Amara (which she’s constantly trying to build back). She wears a very small Egyptian outfit and uses scepter that is literally alive, having the spirit of a pervert cat inside it.

While the story is not innovative and is full of anime clichés, it’s not bad. There’s a good balance between story-telling, battles, presentation of new places and girls and of course, the ecchi moments. The truth is that anyone used to watching Japanese animation will probably predict how things are gonna turn out while halfway through the series. Queen’s Blade is very entertaining; none of the episodes are boring. There’s a lot of humor here and there, usually coming from a very silly angel called “Nanael” who is in charge of supervising the battles for the tournament.

But, besides the good stuff, there are a lot of things people will consider uncommon and even disgusting (even for an ecchi series). There are some characters that will try to please really weird fetishes that if you don’t have them, will seem very awkward and uncomfortable. Fortunately, these girls will not get much screen time and are not very important in the story.

Queen’s Blade is a really (in) famous series especially over the internet.  If you like to collect figures like me, you’ll notice that some of the best anime figures and statues out there are characters from here, which is considered to be the flag of the ecchi genre and is almost always used for high-quality material. 

So, for closing comments I can say that the series is good. It’s definitely aimed at the male public because like I already said, it has a lot of ecchi content and it takes it very seriously. But the story is entertaining, the battles are good, has a lot of good humor and the characters are interesting for the most part. It only has 24 episodes, at least for now, so it is very short and will not take long to watch completely. I totally recommend it.

DiRT 3 - Group B Rally Lives On Trailer Video (HD)


Simply beautiful...

3/30/2011

REVIEW: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PS3)


Capcom has always been famous for creating great and famous fighting games, and sometimes they make mixes between their series and other franchises like “X-men vs. Street Fighter”, “Capcom vs. SNK”, among others. But the most successful of all is definitely “Marvel vs. Capcom” which crosses some of the greatest super heroes and villains from the huge comic maker and the most famous characters from several Capcom-made videogames.

After ten long years of waiting, fans of the first two entries in the series are finally able to get their hands on Marvel vs. Capcom 3 which is simply amazing in every way. With 19 characters on every side (for now), it has a great cast with tons of play styles that will surely fit the tastes of every fighting game player.

One of the most important aspects to notice in this game is that instead of just using one character, you will have to use teams of three different ones. This makes the player the option to create good teams based on the character’s abilities so they nullify the other one’s weaknesses.  The characters’ play styles go from quick rushdown fighters like Felicia (Darkstalkers) and X-23 (X-men) to heavy and strong but slower characters like Hulk and Mike Haggar (Final Fight). Some of them even focus a little more on projectiles and other ranged attacks like M.O.D.O.K. (Iron Man’s comics) and Chris (Resident Evil).

The graphics are very good; using cel-shaded textures in every character gives unique looks to all of them. It makes use of great lighting effects on the characters and running at a stable 60 fps, the fighters have excellent animations and movements that make them come to life in an excellent way. Every stage is a 2D platform with invisible walls in the corners but they all have unique backgrounds filled with tons of things happening at the same time which can even be a little distracting to the players. Each stage features a location related to a character, for example you can fight in a Spiderman parade, in a world from Resident Evil and a level from Ghost n’ Goblins, etc.

Gameplay-wise the game is very fast and intense. It is probably one of the fastest fighting games out there. The commands in the game are quite simple: You have a light, medium and heavy attack and a fourth “special” attack that is almost always an uppercut used to send the opponent to the air and continue the huge number of impressive combos available. Each character has several moves you can use by combining those buttons with directional commands like the ones used for almost every other fighting game, requiring the player to memorize the command list of a character before starting to master his or her abilities.

While in battle, you will only control one of the characters of your team at a time, but you can press the L1 or R1 buttons to call one of your team members to do an assist move you chose on him/her. If you hold the button, you will completely switch to another character, giving you a lot of options to choose from when trying to attack or defend from your opponent’s movements. Besides that, every character has a few “Hyper Combos” which are very impressive moves they have and normally result in combos of double and triple digits if they successfully connect.  To use them you have to fill up the bars in the lower corners of the screen by attacking your opponent or receiving hits from them. Using your hyper combos wisely is the key to victory in this game.

The game offers the common “Arcade” mode where you chose a team and fight along several stages until you have to beat a final boss. There’s also a training mode with tons of options to work out and practice your abilities and a very cool “Mission” mode where every character has about ten insane combos you have to complete to unlock cool stuff like artwork, titles to show off in online multiplayer and videos.

Then there’s the multiplayer which can be both offline or online. When playing against other people online, you will have the option to choose between ranked matches to work your way up the leaderboards (which can be accessed as well) or casual matches just for fun. The online matches run very smoothly and lag is almost never present which is great given that this is a very fast game.

The soundtrack is great as well; it is filled with several themes, one for each character (besides one for the menus, option screen, etc). Capcom fans will surely notice several remixes of songs used in franchises some of the characters come from. Like Chun-Li’s theme from Street Fighter II, Zero’s theme from Megaman X, among others. The fighters are fully voiced in an excellent way and you can even switch from Japanese voices to English one for some of the Capcom characters like Ryu, Morrigan and Felicia. 

For closing comments, I can say that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an excellent game and definitely one of the best fighting titles Capcom has ever made. The game modes it offers are sure to guarantee several hundred hours to pretty much any kind of gamer. The graphics are great, it plays and sounds great and the character roster is incredible. It is 100% sure everyone will find a team of characters they like and with some practice, build up enough abilities to take out the strong opponents already waiting in the online ranked matches. Totally recommended.


Pros:

-          Fast and intense battle system
-          Great roster of characters from both names
-          Smooth and easy-to-use online system and leaderboards

Cons:
    
-          Story mode is very archaic
-          It can be confusing to understand what to do in Mission mode


Graphics and Visual Effects……..….8
Music and Sound Effects…………...8
Gameplay……………………..……8
Replay Value………………….……9

OVERALL SCORE…………….…8.25/10

3/29/2011

REVIEW: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)



Final Fantasy XIII is the last entry in the series made by the famous Publisher Square-Enix.  In this occasion, the game takes place in a huge fantasy planet called Pulse, inside it, there’s a utopia floating in the sky called Cocoon, where most of the important things in the story take place. In this universe, there are some demigod beings called the “Fal’cie” who live alongside humans in a time of peace. Eventually, a hostile Fal’cie from Pulse (the world below Cocoon) makes it into the city and infiltrates the organization ruling Cocoon, named “Sanctum”.

Being a Fal’cie, the creature has the power to grant magical abilities to humans to use them as tools for its own purposes, these magical humans are called “L’cie” and Sanctum sees them as carriers of a contagious disease that threatens the very existence of Cocoon. For this reason, the organization decides to realize mass executions of L’cie subjects called “Purges” using its gigantic military power to avoid the disease or curse to get into the city.

Along the inhabitants about to be murdered are a young girl called Serah and a little boy called Dahj. To save them, Serah’s sister, only known as “Lighting” and Dahj’s father named Sazh infiltrate the trains where the L’cie where being moved to have easy access to them. At the same time, a rebel group lead by Serah’s boyfriend named “Snow” takes arms and fight Sanctum to stop the mass-executions.

Visually speaking, the game is simply spectacular. Every location has very rich texture quality, anti-aliasing, frames per second, etc. As commonly seen in Japanese RPGs, the atmosphere is very varied, using natural surroundings like mountains, caves, mines, plains and different city locations which, unlike other entries in the series, are very modern in FFXIII, like the ones you would see in a sci-fi or cyberpunk setting. The characters come to life in an excellent way because they are full of movements, actions and reactions which avoid falling into the typical infinite animations some RPGs have (like Tales).

The Gameplay is completely fresh and easy-to-get-into, which makes the game very accessible to fans used to the genre as well as new-comers. Like in the vast majority of RPGs, outside battle, you will control the character you’re using as party leader. You can interact with NPCs, switches, chests and other objects with the “X” button. Sometimes, the characters will have to jump around several parts of the map you’re currently visiting; this makes the player pay attention to any location where the party members could go by jumping. Unlike many games in the genre, and particularly in the series, FFXIII lets you see the enemies before starting a battle with them. Avoiding the (in) famous “random encounters”. You can see all the mobs so the typical case where you touch one enemy and five of them appear in battle will never happen.

Inside battle, you will take control exclusively of the party leader, while the other two members will be handled by the game’s AI. The most important task in the battles (besides defeating the enemies, of course) is to fill up a bar called the “Stagger Bar” that every enemy has and acts as a damage multiplier. Its base is always 100% and you can fill it up until 999% by damaging the enemies so every hit would deal ten times the damage it would normally do. To successfully fill the bar, you need to attack the enemies in several different ways like physical, magic spells and status changes (like poison, sleep, etc). Every time you hit an enemy, the stagger bar fills up a bit, but it will slowly return to normal, forcing the player to create an effective strategy to play both offensively and defensively at the same time.

Like in many other games in the series, Final Fantasy XIII uses a “job” system where the characters have access to six different classes like Commando,  an equivalent of the Warrior, the Ravager (Black Mage) or Medic (White Mage), among others. To use these jobs the game offers you have to equip them in sets of three (one for each member). These sets of jobs are called “Paradigms” in the game, and you have the option to easily switch them inside battles. Example: You can use a paradigm with one commando and two ravagers to play completely offensively and if you feel in danger, you can switch to another paradigm with two medics and a ravager to balance the play style to your advantage. So, even if you only have control of the party leader inside battles, the excellent paradigm system provides with nearly unlimited options to create effective strategies to emerge victorious in the battles, especially in the boss fights which can be really hard.

In terms of soundtrack, it is definitely one of the strongest points in the game. The OST is really spectacular and follows on the steps of the great Nobuo Uematsu, who created the music for the vast majority of the previous entries in the series. Every song fits perfectly with what’s happening in the game, none of the themes become annoying if you have to listen to it for a long time (if you get stuck in a dungeon, for example). The voice acting is also very good. None of the characters feel like they have voices that don’t fit or are forced. The sound effects are also top quality. Every object in the game emits a sound. From the character’s steps, background conversations, rivers, wind to the machines and the beast’s roars.

Besides the excellent story, the game offers tons of sidequests around the entire world filled with great rewards for finishing them like weapons, stat boosts, armor and even the opportunity to ride a Chocobo. Doing everything the game offers will take around a hundred hours to complete if you have experience in the genre. FFXIII is definitely one of the best JRPGs in this gaming generation for its top quality in every aspect and though it’s not superior to other entries in the series like VI, VII or X, it deserves a lot of respect and should not be missed by any kind of gamer. 100% recommended.


Pros:


     - Excellent narrative that makes an amazing and interesting world come to life
     - The battle system, while simple, provides tons of options to created effective strategies in-battle
     - Great cast of characters and environments


Cons: 


    - Some of the dungeon maps are literally a straight line and are not worth explorating
    - Several of the story elements (like Vanille's voice and Hope's whining) can get into the player's nerves


Graphics and Visual Effects……..….10
Music and Sound Effects…………...10
Gameplay…………………….…….8
Replay Value………………….……9
      SCORE TOTAL……………………9.25/10

My Tumblr account

Tumblr

I've owned a Tumblr account for a few months now but I just recently started to use it. It is an awkward way of sharing media but can be fun to watch if you follow people who share stuff related to what you like. It's like a twitter where people post pics and videos instead of just text saying what they're currently doing. My address there is www.trimike.tumblr.com Feel free to visit and follow me. I will be constantly sharing images, videos and music related to gaming and other things I enjoy like cars, american football, soccer, action figures, babes, F1, rallies, etc. Enjoy!

Madden NFL 3D Trailer - Nintendo 3DS


After watching this video I'm seriously considering Madden as a purchase for the 3DS. WATCH!

Team Ninja's T-shirt!


This is one of the gifts my girlfriend gave to me last week, an insanely amazing t-shirt with Team Ninja's logo! I want to like, wear it everyday!

Final Fantasy XIII review coming up

I finally started to translate the review for FFXIII I wrote back when the game came out. I originally wrote it in Spanish so I'm currently translating it and adding a couple of things. It will be up tomorrow night.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to say that while getting Enslaved's platinum trophy was on my short-term plans, I've decided to cancel it at least for now. Getting that reward will require me to get every orb in the game which is going to be a pain in the ass. I'd rather spend that time with God of War 2 and 3 which I never played before to finally be able to make good opinions about the series. 

Besides that, I resumed my run for FF: The 4 Heroes of Light and I'm really close to the part where the four party members get together (I know I've whined about it several times but it bothers me a lot) and the game is getting better and better. So, as far as storylines go, the only game I'm playing right now is that DS RPG which is gonna take most of my time.

Finally, something VERY awesome that for some reason, I forgot to mention in the blog before. My girlfriend and I just reached our first year in a relationship and as an amazing present, she gave me a blue t-shirt and a sticker for my car with Team Ninja's logo on them. TN is the developer's team responsible for Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden, so it's of course, one of my favorite developers in the world. I will upload a picture of the t-shirt in a bit.

Nintendo 3DS first impressions

Today while waiting to watch Battle: Los Angeles with my girlfriend at one of the local cinemas, I visited my group of friends who work at the gaming store where I sometimes buy and they let me try a 3DS. They had Pilotwings so I messed around with the game a bit but the important thing; the 3D effects are insanely great.

It takes a little while to get used to them and you have to keep the system in an exact position to avoid getting dizzy but I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of that, getting used to them. The Pilotwings game is very cool; it lets you drive three different vehicles around a Mii island to complete score-based missions. Looks cool and I'm still considering it for a purchase.

The graphics look much better than anything on the DS. This proves the system is indeed much more powerful than its predecessor. I noticed the graphics in Pilotwings look a bit better with the 3D effects turned off. While playing in 3D, you can see a severe lack of AA in several parts of the island and the Miis. Also, turning off the 3D made the game run smoother, but Nintendo and other developers already talked about this and it's confirmed that Dimensions will run at 30 frames per second in 3D and 60 without it.

Also, just like the PSP one, the analog stick works perfectly and is very comfortable, looks like Nintendo did a great job with the buttons. The stylus is much smaller than the DS one but still, comfortable to use. The home menu is very similar to the one I've seen in the DSi (I'm not sure about this because I own a DS fat and a DS Lite).

So far, the systems looks very good and with the huge amount of cool games coming for it I'm sure it's gonna be just as successful as the DS and every other Nintendo console. I can't wait to get my hands on mine.

3/25/2011

My first 3DS titles



As I've mentioned before, I'm most likely getting my 3DS in about 2 weeks. It should be here by April 7th or 8th but the games I'm truly interested about are DOA Dimensions and the Ocarina of Time remake which won't be available until May and June respectively. So, to avoid having the system for almost 2 months with no games (which won't happen no matter what) I'm going to buy at least two games from the launch line up. After considering all the options I'm actually interested in Samurai Warriors, Madden, Pilot Wings and Street Fighter 4.

Samurai Warriors looks pretty, but the previous games in that series don't have good reviews and to be honest they just seem like soulless hack n' slash games where you just smash buttons to kills random hordes of enemies. But since I want to simply try what the hell the 3D thing in the system is about, it might be a cool title to get.

Madden could be great if the game takes full advantage of the 3D effects. If not then I'll forget it because I already have Madden 11 for my American Football fever. SF4 seems to have excellent 3D effects and plays mostly like the console versions according to some reviews already available in the web. It could be good. The negative things are that it's a fighting game from a series I don't like much and I would simply stop playing it forever the moment I get my hands on Dimensions.

The last one, Pilot Wings is the only first-party title which looks interesting to me. Since it is made by Nintendo I can easily assume it will have great 3D effects but... it's a Pilot Wings game and they're not for everyone. As a handheld game it could end up being an extremely boring title to me so I'm not really sure.

Surprisingly for me, the one "winning" right now is Samurai Warriors because it could at least be a lot of fun to just destroy infinite hordes of enemies on it. During these two or so weeks I'm going to have to make a lot of research on these and other titles in the launch line up to see if anything is worth my money while waiting for dimensions.

REVIEW: Halo Reach (Xbox 360)



Halo Reach is the fifth game in the famous first-person shooter series developed by Bungie who jumped to fame in the industry thanks to Halo: Combat Evolved, back in 2001. This time, the story takes place before Halo 1 explaining the events that lead to the destruction of planet Reach, one of the biggest military colonies for the human race and the Master Chief’s escape in the Pillar of Autumn.

In the game, the player takes control of the sixth member of a Spartan squadron called “Noble Team”. You can customize how the armor looks in the menu and you will use that character in the campaign. It stays really faithful to what the games have looked and played like over the years. Just like in the previous Halo titles, you will travel around the environments shooting at the covenant either solo or accompanied by the common marines, picking up weapons of both human and alien origins to prevail in the fights and accomplish the mission objectives.

Graphically, the game looks extremely good. It carries some of the best graphics I’ve seen in a FPS this generation. Everything in the game runs perfectly:  physics, lighting effects, texture details, etc. Bungie managed to take the great job it did with Halo 3 and ODST and took it to another level, pushing the Xbox 360’s power even further. I could notice a lack of anti-aliasing here and there but to be honest it’s nothing that looks bad or makes gameplay uncomfortable.

Just like always in the series, some of the best qualities the game offers are the sound effects, voice acting and of course, the soundtrack. The sound effects in the game are top notch. The player can easily notice everything Bungie did to recreate how an intergalactic war between humans and aliens would sound like. Every weapon shot, object, explosion, vehicle, crash, etc makes a sound and sometimes there are way too many things happening at the same time in a location and the sound effects never make a glitch or mistake.

The voice acting is incredibly good as well, the game relies heavily on it to tell the story and every conversation sounds very natural, every voice fits perfectly on the characters. While in-game, the marines talk a lot like usual and they have many lines so it’s hard to hear them say the same things like it happened in Halo 1 and 2. One important thing is that this time, the Covenant will not speak in English. All the races have “voices” but in reality are roars and screams fitting the high-pitched sounds the Grunts make or the scary voices of the Elites and Brutes. 

Gameplay-wise the game is just as good. It keeps the same feeling every Halo game has. You can freely move around combining analog sticks and jump, melee attack, change weapons, reload, throw grenades and of course, fire you currently equipped weapon with the buttons in the controller. A new thing is that you can now grab some items which give your Spartan a certain ability like for example a sprint which allows the character to run faster for a few seconds, some other ones you can use are a jet pack used for huge jumps, a bubble shield which heals every Spartan inside it and a super shield which resists most attacks for an instant. They’re all very good and since you can only equip one at a time it makes great use of strategy to know which one you need, especially in Firefight mode.

Just like in ODST, Halo Reach has no dual-wielding. You can only carry two weapons like always but now you can only use one at a time. Some of the weapons from the previous games are gone, like the SMG and Battle Rifle. But there are a good bunch of new ones like the DMR (an assault rifle that fires one bullet for every button press), Plasma Repeater which is a crappy version of the Plasma Rifle and the Grenade Launcher which can be charged so the grenades lower bigger amounts of shield with every explosion. Most of the weapons are great and can kill pretty much every enemy with no problems. The new plasma repeater is the only one that always gives trouble, especially when trying to kill Elites or Hunters with it.

Reach doesn’t introduce any new races to the Covenant side but there’s a new kind of Jackal who doesn’t carry a shield but moves extremely fast and always comes in groups of about six of them, they are very tricky to kill and when together with the Elites they can be a real pain even to experienced players. The Elites are back and they’re definitely the best race in the Covenant, there are several kinds of them with different equipment and can carry pretty much any weapon, including the human ones.

Outside the campaign the game offers a great Multiplayer mode with pretty much any game type a FPS can think of. There are Slayer and Team Slayer in which the players compete to kill more opponents than the competition. Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, etc. Forge mode is back and better than ever. The players can do whatever they want to the maps so they can create any mode they want, change weapons and items locations, add objects and respawn points, etc. Like in Halo 3, Forge mode gives unlimited possibilities to the multiplayer mode and makes it one of the best in this generation. One of the great new competitive modes the game has is the Spartan vs. Elites mode in which players choose sides and play with different objectives. It’s a 
great new mode because teams were always determined by the player’s colors regarding of the race.

Besides the great competitive mode, Firefight’s mode from ODST is back. This is a survival mode in which up to six players (four Spartans and two Elites) try to survive countless waves of Covenant enemies and every kills gives a score. The objective is not only to survive but to get a highscore by chaining kills and using teamwork with other players either in split-screen or online. Like in multiplayer, there are a lot of options to customize your games, from the weapons you’re going to start with to the enemies that are going to appear in every wave. Again, the possibilities are pretty much infinite.

Halo Reach is simply an excellent title worthy of the Halo name, it's definitely the best game in the series (technically speaking) and takes the Xbox 360's power to a whole new level. It's a great proof that a big name is not the only thing taking this series to fame and making the developers sell millions and millions of copies of them. I truly recommend the game. It's the best way to get into the series if for some reason you never played the original trilogy and ODST before. It takes place in one of the most amazing sci-fi universes out there, has awesome characters, weapons, narrative and environments.


Pros:


     - Excellent campaign with great action, enemies and weapons
     - Huge multiplayer modes with both competitive and cooperative gameplay
     - Answers a lot of questions left as plot holes in the original trilogy and ODST


Cons:


     - Some weapons feel useless in multiplayer
     - Several campaign moments won't feel as good to people playing Halo for the first time


Graphics and Visuals…………9
Music and Sound Effects……..10
Gameplay…………………....10
Replay Value………………...10

Overall Score………………..9.8/10



3/24/2011

I'm driving for McLaren!

I FINALLY finished the season I've been playing since Christmas in F1 2010. I ended up second in the driver's championship and 4th in the constructor's one. Excellent results for a Lotus driver. I was a little scared in the last two races (Brazil and Abu Dhabi) because even though I got offers from Toro Rosso and BMW Sauber I never accepted them because I actually wanted to drive for Williams.

While practicing in Brazil I noticed that Toro Rosso's and BMW's offers were not there anymore and I was scared because I thought I was gonna have to drive for a second time for Lotus. And worse yet, as the second driver behind Jarno Trulli. So, after a great 2nd place in Sao Paulo and a win in Yan Marina I noticed that Mc Laren offered me a great 10million dollar deal as the second driver in the team behind Jenson Button. I immediately accepted and with that, my second season starts. I'm finally getting a good car in this game to be able to play in manual sequential and a higher difficulty.

3/23/2011

Yakuza 4 Battle Trailer [HD]


OMG, This game looks VERY good. I'm downloading the demo on my PS3 to try it out. I've never played a Yakuza game before and from what I've been reading lately they're great. Offer excellent storylines, fights, characters and environments. Who knows¿ They might be a cool addition to my roster in the later weeks or months.

New Resident Evil game announced.

According to the spanish site LivingPS3.com. A new game in the Resident Evil series is coming for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Supposedly, it contains both RE4 and Code Veronica in HD versions with a few extras.

You can read the site's article here

This could be very good for fans of the series because those two titles are some of the favorites for RE players. Though I think a fourth RE4 remake is a bit of an abuse, it could be cool for the fans. We'll have to wait and see what Capcom says about this new title in the following weeks.

Samurai Warriors Chronicles Debut Trailer [HD]


A trailer I just saw for the Samurai Warriors game coming at launch for the 3DS. It looks fun but I'm not sure. The reviews for the previous games in the series are not very good. Since I know someone inside Tecmo-Koei I'm going to ask him what he thinks and if he truly recommends the game as my first purchase for the system.

DiRT 3 - Extended Developer Q&A Part 3 - Keeping it Real (HD)

Halo Reach's review, MvC3 and DOA Dimensions impressions.

Tonight I started writing Halo Reach's review. While I know the game came out several months ago, I wanted to write a review for it. It's halfway done and it's going to be up tomorrow. I will be covering every aspect I can think of: graphics, sound, gameplay, multiplayer, firefight, etc. 

I'd also like to share more opinions on Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I've noticed that even though the game has a great cast of around 30+ characters, a lot of them have the same command list. It usually does not go beyond "Hadouken, Shoryuken and Tatsumaki". There are exceptions of course. So, while surfing around www.shoryuken.com I looked at some of the character's video and text guides over there (which are amazing by the way) and decided to look for the characters that offer the most moves and require better inputs to create good and effective combos. I was very lucky because Felicia turned out to be one of the best rush down characters in the game but her move list require some skill in the inputs, I like that because I don't want to win by just using the common "L, M, H, S" combo plus the three moves I already mentioned. 

Another character the guide claims to have a big and effective command list is Dante, from the Devil May Cry series (which I never played sadly). I was already a bit curious to play as him and after watching some combo videos I'm really interested in what he offers. I'm pretty sure Morrigan is going to be on my main team because I usually do very well with her, I like her balance between good combos, fireballs, specials and assists. She's definitely one of the best characters in the game. Amaterasu is also another character that looks very interesting because she can switch to any of her three weapons; each one has different range, moves and properties, giving her many possible gameplay styles. The letdown is that she doesn't seem to have much HP.

From the Marvel side, the only character I really like a lot is Deadpool. He seems to be more of a range fighter than a rush down, which could be good if for example, I decide to play him along Felicia and Dante. His specials and assists are very good and he even has a cool counter-attack. I also played as Spidey, Wolverine, Sentinel and Captain America and while they're all great, none of them give me the satisfaction Deadpool gives me. (Though I admit that Wolverine and Sentinel are tempting me).

My objective in the game would be to create one main team to learn and get used to the system. Just like I did with Helena and Hayabusa in DOA, Litchi in Blazblue or Akira in Virtua Fighter. So I have to try everything I can until I create my final team. Fortunately, the game has a lot of great options to choose from and will give me tons of hours of fun before starting to play Dimensions.

Now, talking about DOAD, today I watched some gameplay for Alpha-152 and Genra for the first time and to be quite honest, I'm a bit scared about what I saw. In the Genra video specially, he spends the entire trailer shooting fireballs and shockwaves at Ayane. DOA has never had fireballs in its gameplay and this could break the game. Most of the characters have range hits but they all require them to move towards the opponent, giving him/her to opportunity to block, counter-attack or sidestep. If Genra has the possibility to stay turtling while shooting fireballs it could be really harmful to the rest of the cast, especially the slow fighters like Bass and Lisa.

Alpha-152 seems to be the same broken character she was in DOA4, with huge fast and strong combos, extremely powerful holds, grabs and teleports. I'm scared about this game's online system turning to a riot of players spamming cheap moves with Alpha and Genra. Now, the positive thing is that according to one of the pros who went to Tokyo to try the game, these two characters do NOT have defensive holds (counter-attacks) which could limit their possibilities a lot while playing defensively against a fast character like for example, Christie and Jann Lee and giving the normal and slow character a much better chance to win as well.

Tengu seems the same as always and while he's ugly as hell, there's never been anything wrong with him gameplay-wise so I'm cool about Tengu; he's more than welcome to the game. But taking out the Alpha-152 and Genra stuff, the game looks incredible and I literally can't wait. I already gave my savings to a cousin who is going to travel to the States to bring me my black 3DS and once the game comes out I'll start going around the local stores until I see it somewhere. 

That brings me to the final thing in the post. Since I'm most likely getting the system at least a month before Dimensions comes out, I need to buy a game to try out the "3D without glasses thing", I'm a bit tempted about Street Fighter 4 but I've never liked that series and a fighting game would only be wasted money once DOAD comes out. There's a Samurai Warriors game coming out at launch which could be a good option since I've never played that series and could be good if the 3D effects are cool. I'm also thinking about Pilotwings but it could turn out to be extremely boring and I don't want that. So, if you read this I'd like some comments either here or in my Twitter account (@Mike_Nieto) with recommendations about what to get as my first 3DS game.

3/19/2011

Menace and Deadpool

The Menace figurine I bought got here a few days ago, I took some pictures of it but didn't post them in the blog for some reason. I also found about a store selling the Deadpool I mentioned here a couple weeks ago and bought it. Both figures are excellent and are currently shown in my room along some others I've been collecting over the years (since I was a little kid). Look at the pics:

This is Menace from the anime series "Queen's Blade", an ecchi fantasy anime about really hot (and some disgusting) girls fighting each other a-la Saint Seiya. The figure features her in a bikini. Even though it doesn't come from any well-known name like BOME, it has an incredible amount of detail and captures the essence of the characters in the series in an excellent way, as you can see, she's incredibly beautiful.








This one is Deadpool, a rather obscure Marvel anti-hero that I've seen becoming more and more famous because of internet memes. He's usually called the "merc with a mouth" because he's really crazy and never shuts up. His comics are some of the best Marvel has to offer. In this figure, he's shown standing with some of his weapons, a couple katanas in his back and both his pistols. He also comes packed with a couple daggers. Just like most Marvel figurines, the details on it are very good, especially from this series. He comes with a base to show him around. Excellent figure.






Pokémon Black Progress

In these past days two days I've been really hooked into Pokémon Black. As I said before, the game is basically the same thing we've all been playing since the 90s. It does have a lot of cool new features like the C-Gear which lets you communicate with your friends easily using Nintendo WFC.

A good thing about these new games is that they force you to use Pokémon exclusively from the 5th gen. Unlike in the GBA and first DS games where you could go and catch creatures like Zubat, Pidgey and Rattata everywhere in the game. Black/White will not allow you to trade and catch Pokémon from the first 4 generations at least until you beat the Elite 4 as far as I'm concerned. 

I'm currently just before challenging the 3rd Gym Leader who uses bug-types. My current team is the following:

- Pignite: The first evolution of the fire-type starter Tepig, he's VERY good and just like Blaziken and Infernape, when he evolves, he becomes a Fight-type. He's an excellent Pokémon so far.

- Tranquill: This is the first evolution of the bird Pidove, who takes Pidgey's place in the game. You could say Tranquill is Pokémon Black's Pidgeotto. He's good but hasn't learnt very good moves yet. To be honest, Pidgeotto was better in SoulSilver.

- Sawk: An amazing Fight-type I caught before the second gym. He doesn't have any evolutions and I feel that he's something like Hitmonlee. Most of the moves he learns by himself are fight-type but his attack stat is so high that sometimes it feels like the rest of the team is useless.

- Swadloon: A very cool mix between Bug and Grass-type. Her final evolution has a lot of moves like the ones Scyther and Scizor use and has a good attack stat. I've always been a fan of Bug-type Pokémon so I wanted to have a good bug in the team. She's currently not very good compared to the rest but once she evolves she's going to kick a lot of ass.


- Victini: This one seems like a new version of Mew. He's a mix between Fire and Psychic-type and has both great attack and special-attack stats. Even though he's a legendary, I don't care and will use it. The only way to get him so far is by downloading a mystery gift from the Nintendo WFC to access an island where you can catch him. He can be a pain, took me about 12 Great Balls until he finally joined me.

So, I have an empty slot which I want filled by a water-type but I haven't seen any I want to train. Changing subjects, I didn't play any ModNation yesterday because I went to visit some friends for some MvsC3. I'm going to get back on it today. But the most important thing is that I haven't posted any of the articles I promised last week and just want to say I haven't given up on it. I will write a lot of articles starting tomorrow. 

3/17/2011

ModNation Racers impressions

This post is most likely going to sound like a huge "Hello and welcome to last week" but the truth is that I never played ModNation Racers in the past until today. I'm totally surprised by the things this amazing racing game offers. If you're like me, then you've probably heard the usual description of "a racing version of Little Big Planet" and it's basically that. You can edit pretty much any aspect of your character, kart and track to crate whatever you want and share it with the online community. 

At first, I wanted to take the game seriously and created a few skins for characters with racing suits like the ones people use in Rally and F1 (And I actually made some amazing suits) but then I went to take a look at the most famous characters online and wow... everything on it is just outstanding. From Mario and Link to Spiderman and Deadpool. Pretty much anything you like is gonna be up there by now. The best characters I saw are a Gundam, Spawn, Link and Felicia. 

You can also download and share karts and tracks you create. I'm currently using a Ferrari F50 skin somebody made and it’s beautiful. I checked some of the tracks available and raced in a cute version of Monte Carlo and a famous drifting track from the Initial D anime. 

Trust me on this. Forget completely about Mario Kart. If you still haven't tried this game and like fun and fast-paced racing titles then this is for you. It really is a racing version of Little Big Planet but that's precisely what makes it so freaking awesome.

3/16/2011

I started Pokemon Black!

I finally started my Pokémon Black Version. So far it feels like more of the same, I choose Snivy as my starter but didn't like it much so I had to restart the game to choose Tepig, the fire-type I wanted from the beginning. The game is cool. Now you have two rivals who choose the other starters and the new Pokémon seem cool for the most part. I also got a bird Pokémon which I decided to use along Tepig. 

I have to remember to go somewhere with free wifi because my DS does not support my router's security setting and I'm definitely not going to change it. I need to do this to get a Legendary Pokémon called Victini which Nintendo is giving for free until April 10th. Seriously need to remember that. 

I also decided to start playing my copy of ModNation Racers and found that it has seven huge updates to download. What a pain. I'm downloading them right now while the internet is fast where I live (which is extremely rare). I'm pretty excited about this game. Also, I'm extremely hooked up to F1 2010. I finally got offers from better teams, Toro Rosso and BMW are offering me contracts and I'm pretty sure I'm going to race for BMW for my second year in the game. I truly recommend it.

Also, I bought a Deadpool figure recently which is very cool. I need to take some pictures of it to show it here. I'm going to do that tomorrow. My Menace also got here along MvsC3 and the figure is extremely beautiful, much better than I expected. I already took some photos of it and will upload them together with Deadpool's.

3/14/2011

I'm back into posting

I haven't posted anything since I uploaded the DOAD trailers to YouTube because I went out of the city for a couple days with my girlfriend's family. I had a great time and ended up really tired so I haven't played anything other than a little MvsC3 which got here this Thursday. I bought my copy of Pokemon Black last Friday and haven't even tried it yet. I'm going to start it either tonight or tomorrow. The truth is that I'm so tired that I don't feel like playing anything.

I've been paying close attention to everything that has been happening in Japan since the earthquake that struck them last Friday and I really feel bad for them. I'm pretty sure they will emerge victorious after all this and will become an even stronger country. My condolences to all the people in Japan.

3/09/2011

Uncharted 3: Katherine Marlowe SPAIN



An excellent new video for Uncharted 3, it shows the new antagonist. A woman names Katherine who is after Nate's ring. It has spanish subtitles.

DOA3 - Eternity Kasumi (Kasumi's Theme)



Another quick video I just made with one of my favorite songs from Dead or Alive 3. I used some pics of the series' girls for the visuals. Enjoy.

Nintendo Wii's successor on the way¿


Now that the PS3 and Xbox 360 have Move and Kinect, The Wii has serious competition in its career for being the owners of the motion sensor market. If we add to the formula the fact that the poor console is the weakest of the three and that the 3DS and PSP2 will probably be more powerful, I’m sure the time has come for Nintendo to announce the Wii’s successor.

I’m 100% sure the company has been working on this new console since at least mid-2010 and they will announce it at this year’s E3. Now, If Nintendo does everything right, they should release it in mid-2012 and finally forget about the casual crap and become the kick-ass company we all loved so much in the SNES and N64 era. Now, what does a “Wii 2” need¿ this is a list of the things I think Nintendo should take into serious consideration for its next home console.

-          -Keep the motion sensor while adapting it to hardcore titles from its first part franchises.

-          -The console needs to have DVD and Bluray support.

-          -An online system where people create an account and have similarities to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

-          -Forget the Miis forever.

-          -Support more third party companies to develop in the console.

-          -Have HD and 3D capabilities.

-          -Backwards compatibility with Gamecube and Wii titles

-          -Keep the Virtual Console and add new famous titles to it constantly, specially from the N64 and Dreamcast

-          -Have an HDD with a lot of capacity.

I think that if Nintendo does all that, they could have a really serious contender to compete with the PS3 and Xbox 360 and they could even force the other two companies to keep working on new material. Seriously, because of the Wii, Nintendo is missing the opportunity to have many of the most successful games of the generation in its console (games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Final Fantasy XIII and Bioshock are not on the Wii because of the console’s weak potential).

That’s why I seriously think Nintendo is going to make a huge move in this year’s E3 and I really hope so because the company is giving a lot of signs of wanting to come back to the way it was.