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Standing on the edge of Summer

March 3, 2011 1 comment

Another section I’ll have in the Summer issue will be dedicated to Scifi Channel’s (before Syfy) “Summer of Anime” sometime in the mid 90s. As a kid I loved Scifi Channel’s “Saturday Anime” programming and through that I was exposed to a lot of classic titles.

One summer, for a whole week, they devoted their prime-time slots to airing anime, and while this may not sound special now, back then when anime (namely anime that called itself anime, and didn’t try to pretend it was just another American cartoon) on American tv was few and far between, it was incredible. The presentation, from what I remember, was pretty cool complete with a cute host named “Apollo Smile” (she was also the voice of Ulala in Space Channel 5… wonder what happened to her) who’d tell us young American fans interesting facts and tidbits about anime.

 

 

I really look forward to sharing more of my memories with you all in the upcoming issue!

– Furry Senpai

 

 

Our lovely host this Summer, Apollo Smile

Possible Summer look at: Rio – Rainbow Gate!

So I mentioned to my fellow writers, editors, and bossman that I’ll review Rio for the Summer issue. I’ve watched a few episodes and just had a sick feeling my stomach. The show itself is pretty light and fluffy… so I wasn’t sure why I was left feeling so upset. So I rewatched the first episode and it dawned on me, there’s absolutely NO brain nor heart in this anime.

 

 

Now if you know me, you know it is not my style to nitpick. If something was not meant to be over thought, I will not over think it. This is why I consider Street Fighter: The Movie (the REAL one, not that Chun-Li movie made a few years ago) to be one of the most fun films ever made, and why I can actually enjoy movies such as Alien Resurrection, Friday the 13th Part 4, Spiderman 3, Independence Day, and The Lost Boys sequels.

However, dumb anime is  dumb.. and as much as I try, I cannot give Rio: Rainbow Gate any mercy. First of all, in the first episode, by a conservative count, there are eight closeups of her ass, and about seven devoted to her chest. Look, I like women as much as the next guy, but I really don’t need to be reminded every two minutes that Rio has boobs. My memory isn’t great, but it isn’t nearly that bad.
Secondly, what casino on Earth would ever want a dealer that is so lucky, that customers are more likely to win when she’s in the room? That’s Rio’s claim to fame (and why she’s called the Goddess of Victory), that customers’ chances increase greatly when she’s around. I could see just how that would go in Vegas…

Boss: So Rio, do we have a problem?
Rio: No sir! Out of the thirty-seven gentlemen at my roulette table, thirty of them were big winners and won so much cash from our casino.

Boss:

Rio: Isn’t that great?! Now they have more than enough money to put all of their kids through college!

Boss: *ahem* Look, about those customers-

Rio: Right! As you say, “anything for the customer!” Well, sadly seven of them didn’t win at my table… but I tracked each of them down and gave them just enough luck to hit the jackpot on the slots! So everybody won!

Boss:

Rio: They don’t call me the Goddess of Victory for nothing! *giggle wink!* I plan on doubling the amount of winners tomorrow!

Boss: You’re fired.

Now I’ve only been to casinos in America (Foxwoods, Mohegan, Atlantic City and Vegas), but never in Japan. Perhaps in the land of the rising sun it’s different? I mean, in this anime poker looks less like a boring card game and more like an episode of Yugioh that was written by David Lynch.

I was just waiting for someone to say "Heart of the Cards"

 

This will be a fun review to say the least…

– Furry Senpai

Dreamt I was Taokaka/Why Capcom and G4 annoy me

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, I had an odd night of sleep to say the least.

I dreamt I was the one and only, Taokaka of the Kaka Clan, and I was trying to bust Bang Shishigami out of prison by distracting Captain America, his guard, with things that (I thought) were American… In America! Of course hilarity ensued as I tried to sing the National Anthem (butchered it, but not as bad as Christina Aguilera apparently), engaged Cpt. America in a debate about xmas, wondered aloud if I can run for President with “Boobie Lady” (Litchi), and devoured hotdogs.

"By the name of the... big white thingy in the sky.. Tao shall punish you!"

Want to know what’s a really weird coincidence? Taokaka’s birthday is today! February 22nd!
What does this all have to do with my disappointment with Capcom and G4? Well… I’m getting to that, but first I need to explain my love for Blazblue. I remember picking up the first Blazblue, Calamity Trigger, right around the time I got my ps3. I wanted a fun fighting game for it, and this seemed like a nice pick, plus I was a fan of the Guilty Gear series, so why not?
I pop in the game and up comes a strange menu of characters, each one more more unique than the last. I had no idea who to pick, there weren’t any Ryu-clones here to help me get into the game. I began my BlazBlue experience by playing Rachel Alucard (because Gothic Lolita style is f’n awesome!), and progressed through the game’s story mode. As I did, I became acquainted with all the different characters and appreciated their detailed backstories and personalities. The best part of that game was watching the dialogue unfold among these characters, which allowed me to get to know them. As I got to know them, I liked them even more and wanted to play them not because they seemed powerful or certain ones seemed “top tier,” but because I generally loved the character. So I became a Taokaka player, not because of her lightning-quick style, but because she’s hilarious and an easy to love underdog.
And here is where I know I’ll draw a lot of hate, but it is a huge plus for me if I can get behind the characters in a game. Engaging gameplay is always appreciated, but in quality titles like BlazBlue and Marvel vs Capcom, that is to be expected. What I want are reasons to generally care about the characters and want to play each and every single one.

Sadly, I do not have that incentive with Marvel vs Capcom 3. Now I understand you might be thinking “Well, Marvel vs Capcom 2 and 1 didn’t have a story mode, and you LOVED those games, right? So why are you hating on Marvel vs Cap 3?!” True… but the prior games had dozens of characters I knew and loved from outside the game, which was good because the game itself wasn’t going to give me a single reason to give a shit, outside of being able to play as them and smack around other capcom and marvel icons.

Sadly the third installment is much more stingy with their selection.

If I’m going to have to pay more for extra characters, then I want to get the most out of the characters that are available to me. So let’s see… the guy from Bionic Commando? Meh, didn’t care about him the first time around. Modoc? LOL when am I ever going to play as him? Trish? Huh?? Tron Bonne? Wasn’t she from Megaman 64? I’d think they’d want to forget about that, but somehow she’s in it… and Megaman’s not, ok…Taskmaster, C-Viper.. meh… they’re not all BAD characters at all, but a lot of them I feel nothing for, and a story mode (or something that will at least have them intereacting with eachother) might make me want to play as them. That, or have unlockables. If I was able to unlock a character in the game’s Arcade mode by beating it with say, Modoc, I might actually give just enough of a crap to try him out.

Yes I know you can’t really have much of a coherent “Story” around a cast like his, but at least try. It’s Capcom, and they are not strangers to trying out new original and fun ideas. Maybe have “rival matches” too, which will be right before Galactus, and depending on who you pick, a certain locked fighter may appear on the opposing rival team. Or maybe have a brief interactive comic that’s unlocked every time you beat the game with a character that discusses their backstory. Something/anything is all I ask, because right now it is just feels too emotionless… which is a shame considering the roster.

Before I continue I want to make it clear that it is a lot of fun to play, and it’s not a bad fighting game by any means (it’s actually quite good), but as good as this is, Capcom can do better. The annoying thing is that they KNOW they can do better, and will do better.. in the form of downloadable content.

So onto my G4 point, I decided to go check out what Adam Sessler thought about it. Surely he’d agree that it’s decent but could have been better. Yeah, he’s my boy, he’s bound to give it a well deserved 3 out of 5, maybe even 4, but definitely not 5 out of 5… right?

Dammit…

Well let’s keep reading here..k, Brian Leahy says it has a “Great cast of characters” Eh.. let’s keep going… “Rewarding fighting system” that’s true, but expected from Capcom… so what else is there? Oh.. “Excellent training mode” oh good, it has a training mode! Does it have an options mode too? Adjustable difficulty? Time limit? Online Multiplayer? Spectator Mode? Er wait… it actually doesn’t have Spectator Mode? Oh… I was being sarcastic there.. hm.. ok… er what’s that? Maybe as DLC?

You know what’s sad? They announced DLC a few hours after the game’s release… And you know what’s even sadder? I’m probably going to buy it. STREET FIGHTER 1 RYU!!! HELL YEAH!

Alright... Now when they release Sagat as DLC then I'll be in business!

I’ll keep playing and probably do a bit on it with fellow-fan Dave in an upcoming issue.

– Furry Senpai
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Please note…
1/24/12
This post is about a year old now, I feel I should add in that Capcom has “improved” on the original MvC3… not through DLC as I thought, but by making another MVC3 game… yeah.. well, it’s old news at this point, but just thought I should add this in there.

To me everyday is Halloween…

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

With my stuff pretty much done for the Spring issue, I have began looking ahead and planning what I’ll do for future issues.  The weird thing is that I already have tons of ideas for the Fall issue, much more than the Summer edition.
For the fall I’m thinking about covering Shiki, and Level E.


Aliens and Vampires? …”Alien Vampires”? …Astrovamps?? I’m down with both.

I have had a lot of fun screening both titles, especially Shiki. It has been awhile since I’ve seen vampires portrayed in Japan THIS creepily. More details to come…

For my retrogaming bit I have been meaning to do a “Freddy VS Jason” special, covering the NES installments and comparing both titles. Already I’m going to come out and say it, the Nightmare on Elm St. game is much more fun to play. I usually get bored with the Friday the 13th shortly after killing Jason for the first time. I also would like to talk more about what a next-gen version of both games would look like. Lastly I would like to “convince” three other Senpai peoples to play the NOES game with me, since it supports 4 player via the NES Four Score multitap.

Four blades... one for each of us... *gulp* Not even the Powerglove can save us this time!

Future article suggestion: Top 5 Gaming Sequels We Want To See

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking about creating a “wish list” section in the magazine where authors and readers can post their “top 5 sequels” they want to see made.

If I were to make a personal (I can’t stress that word enough) top 5 gaming sequels I want to see, here’s what my list would look like:

1. Strider 3: The Redemption


After his successful return in the Marvel vs Capcom series, Strider Hiryu appeared in Strider 2 for the Playstation. While it was a very good game, there were a few things that kept it from being outstanding, namely the hardware limitations. Time and again there’d be so much crap on the screen that the game would begin to lag, and that would hamper the fast-paced action that Strider die-hards have come to expect from the series.
With Hiryu’s questionable absence in MvsC3, he needs to be resurrected pronto in a third game for the PS3 and 360 if he is to be saved (again!) from obscurity. If Capcom really did their best to try to get the most out of the current-gen hardware, I’m sure we’d see an adventure so intense and epic that it’d make Ryu Hayabusa look like a white belt.

2. Sewer Shark 2: Escape from Solar City!

I am an avid fan of fmv games, and I consider Sewer Shark to be incredibly underrated. The action is simple yet intense, the acting is incredibly funny, and the characters’ attitudes towards you were directly impacted by how well you played the game. My only major complaint? It was TOO short and left me wanting more! I actually wanted to know why only a select few got to go to the surface, and out of the sewers. What had happened to the world? What had happened to humanity to make people like Commisioner Stenchler think that it’s ok to use their employees as ‘disposable resources?’ It had all the hints of a dystopian cyberpunk future, but never went further than that.

All of this can be explored more in a sequel to Sewer Shark, complete with a fully customizable ‘Hole Hog’ ship. The player can work their way through ‘Top Rat’ academy and earn points and awards as they compete with other players. Once they reach a certain level they join a company and compete with eachother for supremacy of the sewers!

If nothing else, it would be fun to just “shoot the tubes” once again.

3. Double Dragon 5: The Real Fight

Yes yes I know, there technically is already a “Double Dragon V” but let me explain. Ahem…

That game is complete shit.

I refuse to accept it since it’s based off of the silly cartoon show and it’s a poor-man’s “Street Fighter 2” clone.
“Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls,” like “Strider Returns” are half-hearted attempts to capitalize on a classic game and both should be rightly ignored. This is why a sequel needs to be made with the understanding that it is the definitive “Part 5.” It is a tragedy how the Double Dragon series ended so pathetically, and it sorely deserves a fitting “Farewell” title before walking off into the the sunset for good.

4. Kid Chameleon 2: The Game Master

For some, it is easy to forget about all of the amazing exclusives on the Sega Genesis, including “Kid Chameleon” This game stood out for it’s incredibly original gameplay and excellent music. It was pretty long, but it kept us playing for hours by making us always wonder what would we see next.

I would love to see this classic reborn on the ps3, xbox360, and even the wii. One of the best parts about this game was seeing our hero change into a variety of different avatars, and then using their special talents to solve each level. With next-gen hardware powering it, there can a dizzying variety of new transformations and, therefore, hundreds of ways to solve each level. New music is to be expected, but let’s hope they keep it sounding the same as the original. Indeed, the original score is just so… “Genesis.”

5. Evil Zone 2: Hey, does anyone remember us?

This is a game I’ve been meaning to discuss in more detail in the magazine. What set this game apart from other generic fighters, and why I’d love to see a sequel one of these days, is the incredibly likable characters.  Each character has their own backstory which unfolds as you play the game. Their stories are told in episodic segments, and they progress like in an anime.  All the heroes have their own distinct (yet familiar, more on why below) personalities and none of them appear to have been short-changed in favor of more “major” characters, as is the problem in most other fighters.

Part of “Evil Zone’s” charm is how it was a subtle parody of the most common genres in anime, so fans of anime should feel very familiar with each character’s quirks and be able to pick a favorite based on their own viewing tastes. If there is a sequel it would be great if the game pushed the 4th wall barrier a little more and continued in its self-referencing humor. Granted, the gameplay the first time around was a bit shallow, but that could be expanded upon in the sequel.

Again, this is a “personal” list, and of course there are a lot more titles out there. Originally I had this bit as a “Top Ten” but it’s going on 1:30 am and I’m sleepy. So there it is. Care? Don’t Care? Indifferent? Feel free to comment as always, and thanks for reading!

– Mike

Possible game review for our Summer issue

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

So a few days ago I went to gamestop and reserved Mortal Kombat. I also purchased Dead Space 2 and, while I was talking to my good friend and overlord, Davekun, I noticed this:

And I began drooling. It was a BIG box with cute moe-style girls all over it in shiny, complex-yet revealing, cyberpunk armor. So OF COURSE I bought it too! Yeah yeah, I know, it was otaku-bait, but I am pretty otaku unfortunately…

However, I also love a good game which thus far, Neptunia, hasn’t quite delivered. It is very pretty, and I think it depends too heavily on its “charm” to satisfy the player. The girls are all very cute, and it doesn’t take long at all for them to start talking about their breast-sizes (about five minutes into the game… I want to say it was actually the 4th or 5th dialogue box you see from starting the game.

It’s not difficult… but I kept getting that oh-s0-familiar “Cross Edge” feeling of “Uhm.. I’m not sure if I’m playing this game right… I haven’t died yet so I must be doing it right, but I’m not sure”  The combat, like a lot of other jrpgs, is centered around stringing combos together within a certain amount of ability points. Also healing is done automatically through the item’s ability… I apologize I cannot explain it any better since, I admit, I have little idea what that all means. But, again, two hours in and I haven’t died yet, so far so good…?

Btw, if you do pick up this game, PLEASE PUT ON THE JAPANESE! The dub is not something I recommend.

I do give points to Neptunia for its interesting concept. At the heart of the game are three goddesses, each one signifying a console. There’s one for Lowee (Wii), Leanbox (Xbox 360), and LastStation (playstation). Fittingly enough, the game begins with their victory over Neptune, who you control throughout the game in her goddess-less state (however, when certain conditions are met, she can become powerful during combat).
Of course Neptune is a not-so-subtle nod to Sega’s Neptune which was never released. There are other characters in the game that help out Neptune on her adventure, and each one signifies a specific company that helped this game.

So let’s see… interesting concept, very cute characters, but the linear and clumsy gameplay makes it a bit of a chore so far. Depending how much more I play of this, you may see a more complete analysis of it in the Summer issue.The goddess of Leanbox… Oh if only my Xbox 360 looked liked this… Please God, no “Red Ring.”

Categories: Article ideas