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  • Witness the japanese intro video of Final Fantasy XII...
    By on December 18th, 2009 | No Comments Comments

    final fantasy 13 japanese intro
    I thought the intro was ok, I mean the graphics are certainly amazing but I was expecting something similiar to the previously shown trailers. Its missing the drama from the rest (its too calm and quiet for my taste, for an intro that is).

    Anyway, March 9th 2010 people. Less than 3 months and counting! Or figure out a way to get the Japanese version, but then you won’t know what’s going on with the story. :)

  • The Grudge Video game – Another one for the luc...
    By on May 2nd, 2009 | No Comments Comments

    When I saw it on Gametrailers, I couldn’t believe it, the video game version of The Grudge is coming out, well at least in Japan, for the Nintendo Wii. I can tell you I am a Japanese horror movie fanatic, I have all 3 games from the Fatal Frame series for the PlayStation 2, the forth installment is again for the Wii only, why?

    Anyway, the trailer is pretty good in my opinion, the spookiness and the fact that you are exploring with just the flashlight makes the game even scarier. And in the end, the classic ghost-woman who makes creepy noise while crawling slowly towards you, just like from the movies! I’m pretty much used to all the horror movies, I don’t jump that easily but this one, although didn’t make me jump, I shaked a bit.

    But why won’t it make it to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is really beyond me. That’s my grudge.

  • Macross Ace Frontier – PSP review
    By on December 5th, 2008 | 3 Comments3 Comments Comments

    macross ace frontier

    Macross Ace Frontier is basically the Macross version of Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable. For those that don’t know Macross, its another Japanese anime with robots. The japanese version of the game has actually be released more than two months ago and no words for a North American release yet, as usual. The main ones are different though as they can transform into three different forms – plane, half plane half robot and full robot mode. Check out the latest series called Macross Frontier which just ended recently (25 episodes in total).

    macross ace frontier macross ace frontier macross ace frontier

    Story and game play
    There are two game modes for Single player – campaign mode and free mode. Everyone should know what you can do in free mode (just incase you don’t, you can pick random levels to play). Campaign mode contains four stories from the anime series ranging from the very first series Macross, Macross Plus, Macross 7 and finally the newest Macross Frontier.

    I first started with the very first series Macross and first thing I don’t like right away is how crowded the menus are and its just so hard to navigate and too much to read (see image). It will take some time to get used to.

    macross ace frontier macross ace frontier macross ace frontier

    Missions are relatively short so its really good for people looking for on-the-go kind of games. There is one type of mission that I absolutely hate and Bandai Namco keeps implementing this type of mission in all these games – stupid crate pick up game where you have to pick up supply crates from one spot back to the ship which I find it really annoying and waste of time. Other than that, I don’t have much more to complain. It plays just as well as the Gundam counterpart. Also, you now have a partner that will assist you in missions as well and it does a pretty find job at helping instead of getting into your way. Your partner loves going out there all by itself sometimes. Unless you give your partner a specific task like defend, attack, grapple and operator (I assume the operator will tell you your current object if choosing this option)

    I would also like to point out that there are many large scale battles, while they are very intense and fun to play. As trade off, the game suffers frame rate problems during these battles.

    I haven’t had a chance to test but multiplayer mode supports up to 4 players.

    macross ace frontier macross ace frontier macross ace frontier

    Controls are identical as well (go figure) with one button for melee, range weapon, boost/jump and even the special attacks are the same (L + melee/change target/both). Enough with similarities, there are in fact differences between Macross and Gundam. First of all, as mentioned the main Macross robots can transform into three different modes (I know some Gundams are transformable too like Z Gundam, ZZ Gundam etc but they don’t have the half plan half robot form) with your analog button. I prefer the robot mode though because the other two modes you are constantly moving since you are a plane/half plane and I find it hard to control still as in the ones in the Gundam game. And as usual, you will unlock new robots, leveling up you and your partner after completing missions as well as abilities which is something new. Abilities like higher defense and further sight etc. Upon finishing up each series you will also unlock a few missions where you will get to play as the enemy from that series.

    Another major difference is weaponry, Macross robots are famous for their missiles. The game does a nice job of showing that by having two modes of missiles. The first one is your normal lock-on missiles for a single target and the second one allows you to lock-on to multiple targets (by holding the circle button and the computer will auto lock-on to the targets for you, provided you are in range) which I find pretty interesting. I also find it fun to launch missiles non-stop at targets until you run out. By the way, all weapons can be recharged and the recharge time can be reduced through upgrade. The missiles are kind of overpowered in my opinion, but then again you are deal with a lot more enemies in this game then in the Gundam ones.

    macross ace frontier macross ace frontier macross ace frontier

    There is nothing new in the upgrade section except it looks more crowded with the menu design. Your upgrades will reflect on your partner’s robot as well so you don’t have to waste your upgrade points on the same type of robot, doesn’t make sense to anyway. You can upgrade a wide range of options like having more ammo in your gun, longer boost, reduced recharge time, more HP and of course stronger weapons etc.

    Completely new to this game, or this type of game is the addition of customizing your own robots with different colors. The customization has three parts, main body, secondary body and the eyes. There are also many preset colors for you if you are too lazy to bother playing and testing with the colors yourself. This feature is a big PLUS as I always think being able to personalize your items, in this case, robots makes the game ten times more enjoyable because you can really call it your own.

    macross ace frontier macross ace frontier macross ace frontier

    Finally, you can also switch between first and third person view and I find it very helpful to be in first person when you are in the plane mode. It gives me the Ace Combat feeling actually. Pretty neat feature there! :)

    Graphics and audio
    Again, graphics are similar to its Gundam counterpart. I know I’ve been saying this for the past few PSP reviews but I think its true as you can’t really go any further on a PSP than it possibly can. All I can say is that its good enough to be enjoyable. This goes to audio as well, nothing new here, just your usual robot moving sound, machine/laser gun and missiles firing. And as long as the game uses actual music from the anime series, I’m happy. I would be even happier if they actually implemented songs with people actually singing like Gundam vs Gundam instead of just plain music.

    [correction] Its probably the first Macross series that doesn’t have songs, if you pick the Macross Frontier series, you will actually hear a song instead of just music on the very first level. So there are songs but not on every single level and I suspect only on a few levels.

    macross ace frontier

    Final verdict
    Another great game that I am sure Gundam/Macross or any robot fans will enjoy. While it didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it did add a few new features to the game. The greatest feature being the ability to customize your robots with different colors. And again, tons of unlockables like robots, missions and character abilities. If you really want this game even if you don’t know Japanese, you can find it on yesasia and ebay as well.


    macross ace frontier

  • Gundam vs Gundam – PSP review
    By on November 20th, 2008 | 9 Comments9 Comments Comments

    Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot

    Previous Gundam related games like Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable, Gundam Battle Royale and Gundam Battle Tactics were all great games, specially Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable that had, at the time, the latest mobile suits from the Gundam Seed series. Now, Gundam vs Gundam, the newest Gundam game has released for the PlayStation Portable in Japan (no date for North American release yet). Is this one worth buying at all? Read on…..

    For those that haven’t played the games or even heard of Gundams before, they are basically transformers but only look 100x better. The games mentioned above basically put you in one of the mobile suits, not necessary Gundams because there are different robots in the series. You will be controlling and fighting against one of the other sides, usually two sides each with different mobile suits and mobile armor (these are not necessary robots but can be fighter planes etc). Its really a third person shooter, just replace human/monsters with robots.

    Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot

    If I remember correctly, this game was originally from the arcade and it was ported over to the PlayStation 2, then to the PSP. Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable was a great game that offered hours of play time and great replay value because you can upgrade many of your mobile suits’ stats such as how fast the weapon can fire, more ammo, more fire power as well as more health, jump higher and more booster power etc. This is pretty much level grinding though, which I think was necessary in order to pass some of the harder levels.

    Game play
    Gundam vs Gundam is really just the arcade version ported over to the PSP. At first I thought there was a story mode just like Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable. I should have figured that out from the name of the game, stupid me. The controls are basically the same or really similar to the other games though – jump, boost, shoot, melee, shoot 2, special shot, special melee and special. The three specials are hard to execute because you have to hold triangle, plus either the shoot or melee. The special move is slightly easier and its executed by pressing triangle, square and cross (might as well press your right thumb onto all four buttons)
    I have yet to even execute any of them. How did I even figure out how to execute these hard to do moves? They are actually mentioned in one of the game options. I will update once I figure out how to execute them. I have never had such frustration over special moves from previous Gundam games.

    [Update: I have finally managed to execute the special attack (only when your special gauge is full) by pressing.....L and R together twice]

    Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot

    Aside from the standards, now you can assign orders to your computer teammate, commands like attack, dodge and surprise attack. You can also call in support where an additional mobile suit for a second and throw in a few more shots at your current target, as usual, the calls for support can be recharged with time just like recharging your gun’s ammo. I find the support useful because, if I remember correctly it was able to take the hits for me as well as acting as a decoy for a short time.

    Enough with the controls, the game has three game modes – “normal” mode (I call it the normal mode, was going to say story mode but its not a story) where you fight through 8 stages with the last stage as boss stage, quick play and multiplayer that supports 2 on 2 battles. I think the 2 on 2 is the selling point here, just like the arcade version, the fun is from shooting and slashing other human piloted mobile suits. Once you have selected a mobile suit from the list with 20+ of them and more can be unlocked by completing the “normal” mode. They range from the oldest 0079 series all the way to the newest ones from the Gundam 00 series. The objective of any of these game mode is the same, you and your enemies both have a life bar, you will lose if your side’s life bar reaches 0. When you and/or your teammate dies (same goes for enemies), the amount of life your team loses is based on the mobile suit you picked. The stronger the mobile suit, the higher points its worth, which means when it blows up, your team loses a bigger amount of life. So that means its not always better to pick the strongest from the list. I picked my favorite Freedom Gundam and its worth 3000GP, I lost one of the games once by dying only twice!

    Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot

    In “normal” mode, you will fight in random locations and you will have a random computer mobile suit to fight along side with you. There are a total of 8 stages with the last one being the boss stage. The boss is huge, relative to your mobile suit and it took me 2 tries to beat it, I was one hit away from losing the game for the second time! I guess I just need to practice more with the controls, a training mode would be a perfect game mode for this game.

    Quick play is no brainer, you pick your mobile suit and pick up to 3 other computer to fight with or against you. You can modify options like how long the match lasts for, how fast your special gauge fills up or different stages/music.

    Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to try out the multiplayer.

    Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot Gundam vs Gundam screenshot

    So as you can see, there isn’t any level grinding here. Although you can still unlock more mobile suits, intro movies, endings and images for the multimedia galleries.

    Graphics and audio
    Graphics are again, PSP quality, the mobile suits are nicely detailed, environments are plain but the game is so fast paced you won’t have time to appreciate or pay attention to, not that there is anything to appreciate here. Music is actually real sound tracks from the Gundam series, so based on which Gundam series’ stage you are fighting in, you will be listening to that series’ soundtrack. The soundtracks bring back a lot of memories by the way.

    Gundam vs Gundam screenshot

    Final verdict
    Overall I think this game is OK. I still prefer Gundam Seed: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. Portable because it has a story mode and level grinding although you can still unlock more mobile suits, maybe its just me. For those that are looking for fast paced arcade style game play, Gundam vs Gundam should suit your needs. Skills really matter in this game since there’s no level grinding where you can easily overpower your enemies by powering up your mobile suits and weapons. If you have lots of Gundam loving friends with PSP, I suggest convincing them to get a copy so up to 4 of you and your friends can fight each other anytime without going to the arcade.


  • Shopping with a robot!
    By on September 9th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    ASIMO, a robot that can run, walk as well as conducting a symphony orchestra (the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in May) developed by Honda was and is still a breakthrough in intelligence technologies. Now another japanese robotic company tmsuk has also been developing robots,the most recent being the TMSUK-4 humanoid and was showcased in one of the department stores in Japan.

    The demonstration was about an immobile grandmother unable to shop with her granddaughter physically, so she controled the TMSUK-4 with a built in camera so she saw what the robot saw so she could shop with her granddaughter. While this is interesting, I don’t think you can use this for anything shopping. What I mean is, it can be used to shop for groceries, you cannot use it for shopping for clothes or shoes. The purpose of this robot is somewhat limited, at least for now.

    I wonder if I would live long enough to see Gundams flying around :)


  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice Review
    By on August 28th, 2008 | 1 Comment1 Comment Comments

    I was going to wait til Friday (day off) to get a copy of Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice from EB Games, I couldn’t wait and got it yesterday :) I have been waiting for an RPG game for my PlayStation 3 since I got it last November. Until Final Fantasy 13 comes out, which is hopefully end of this year, I would need some RPG to satisfy my RPG hunger til then. And what can suit me better than a Japanese anime style, level grinding RPG game? None except this game. Obviously I have not finished the game, and most likely I won’t in the foreseeable future. Here are my thoughts so far.

    As mentioned, this is a RPG game and turn-based with 2D sprites with 3 camera modes (bird’s-eye view, zoomed in view and really zoomed in view). First thing I noticed about this game is the graphics, which is pretty outdated in my opinion. They remind me of an online RPG gamed called Ragnarok Online, which has been out since 2001 and still remains popular even after it started charging monthly fees instead of being free like in the beta period. This shows that a game can still be a considered a good game even without fancy graphics, a game with fancy graphics but with no game play value is still a bad game, well most of the time. Disgaea 3 is exactly the case, even though its graphics are outdated. Its game play more than made up for the short coming.

    The game starts you off with your main character, a netherworld student from Maritsu Evil Academy called Mao, a son of the overlord in the Netherworld. You actually play on the evil side for once as oppose to other games where most of the time you are on the “good” side fighting off evil. Here’s the fun part, in the netherworld school, an honor student is a person who skips class and not doing homework as much as possible, whereas a delinquent is a person who acts the exact opposite. And as you can guess, Mao is an honor student. The story is ok, its more suited for teens since most of the conversations are pretty childish, which is ok because the characters are after all, kids. There are also humor here and there as well and some are pretty funny. There is also an option to skip any story telling and conversation between characters by pressing triangle button which is a huge plus since I don’t find the majority of the story interesting, at least not yet. You can also change the voice over from English back to Japanese, which is yet another big plus since it just feels different having English voice over.


    Game play of this game is what made me want to buy this game right away as oppose to wait for a couple of months and let the price drop. The play value as well as replay value is amazing. For those of you that are into leveling up your characters, you can level them to level 1000 and each stage can be played repeatedly or you can just play through the game by clearing each level once. Since it is a turn-based game, you get to move and attack/use item and end the turn, then your enemies will do the same. A very noticable difference, or I should say improvement over any other turn-based games is that the enemies move all at once as oppose to one at a time which can be annoying. The game pace is fast even under normal speed setting. Your characters can counter attacks and enemies can do the same randomly, so you can see counter-counter-counter attacks for example. Characters, again enemies as well, can combine attacks and form combos and which also happen randomly. There are also monsters in the game and they can “magichange” which pretty much means morph into weapons and allow human/demon characters to wield them, another fun feature. I’m pretty sure there are other fun features as I play more, but as you can see, this game is packed with so many features. Oh and by the way, I look forward to my first million point damage!

    Control is pretty standard and straight forward like any other similar games. You can rotate the map 360 degrees so you don’t miss anything and 3 different views mentioned above.

    While I like this game a lot, there is one thing that really bothers me, the music. While the music is very upbeat, it gets boring and down to annoying if you remain in the same area or in the same battle for too long.

    That’s all I got to tell you guys for now, I’m sure I have missed something but there are just too much to talk about and I need more time to digest. So if you are an anime fan and are into level grinding, you should really check this game out.

    You might save some money by buying on ebay link. I saw some good deals there, even the limited addition version. I would buy games off ebay if there were more Canadian sellers, sending from the US is not worth it and is often more expensive than buying in local stores.

  • Siren: Blood Curse Chapter 1 Review
    By on July 30th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    Once I have it installed and I started the game right away. First impression, at least on the music, CREEPY. I started the chapter right away, my character was a high school guy for some reason in this maze looking forest somewhere in Japan. From the first cut scene, he was trying to save a girl from being killed by the dead people, or possessed people and ended up running for his own life. Ok I think I should not spoil the whole story.

    Onto the game play.

    Siren: Blood Curse Chapter 1

    The control is somewhat easy to get used to like any third person shooter. After another short cut scene from the first, I was controlling the high school kid and running for my life right off the bat. I picked up a “sake” (sake is Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice) bottle, I was exited that I found a weapon and I jumped onto the dead person right away. Bad move, since he had a gun, I was dead after a few shots. The environment was really dark actually, I should have turned up the brightness a bit but I didn’t expect to be this dark. So after dying a few times trying to run away from the dead, I managed to find the escape path by fluke. :)

    Dead nurses from Japanese horror games/movies are still sexy, even if they kill. :)

    The chapter was rather short, I would say 15 minutes or even less if you could manage to find the path right away. Therefore I cannot comment much about this chapter. The next chapter is actually from the demo where you get to use the man with glasses and I expect it to be longer.

    Stay tuned!

  • Siren: Blood Curse review for PS3 (all 12 episodes)
    By on July 29th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    And I thought August doesn’t have any games that will amuse me. I was half right, nothing on the shelf can but there’s one game on Playstation Store can, and that’s Siren: Blood Curse. I love Japanese horror style games so much I don’t think its right to miss this game.

    Say tuned for reviews on all 12 episodes. Not all at once! But as I progress on each episode.

    And by the way, if you are planning to buy the series, I strongly recommand buying all 12 at once for $39.99 to save some money (each 4 chapter set is $14.99).