11/17/2009

Fake Girls And Real Headphones

by Matthew Hawkins

In this post:
1. Highlights from this past weekend, including plenty of pics of stuff bought.
2. My latest (and perhaps final) conversation with the guy who wants to open a game lounge.
3. My review of Tekken 6.
4. And the latest round of highlights from the world of video games at large.

First, the weekend…

Once Again, 2008′s Movie Of The Year

Well by this point I was expecting to share pics of my brand new, just out of the box Figma Aegis, which as noted last Wednesday, was finally on its way. And immediately afterward, the FedEd guy tried stopping by something several times, but I kept missing him; he?d show up by around 9:30am, whereas I’d be getting into bed around 5:30am. Though this morning I finally managed to get up in time and accept the special delivery, but alas, it wasn’t from HobbyLink after all. At least MS finally got around to sending me Windows 7! If you’re reading this dmauro, yes, I can finally play Left 4 Dead 2, though I need to get a new hard drive first so I can back up my Mac before slapping on a new operating system. So how about some pics of the stuff I got on Friday instead?

After a business meeting in the afternoon, I decided to stop by Kinokuniya and finally pick these up…

… Everyone know how much I love drawings of anime girls, but what about my love for fancy headphones? Hence why these books are totally up my alley; they simply feature illustrations of assorted moe girls sporting assorted high-end earpieces. And for each, there’s another page that goes into the technical aspects of the featured headgear….

… The first collection’s illustrations are simply okay. Nothing horrible, but no real stand outs like what’s found in the second book…

… BTW, this might be an excellent time to mention that Katie and I recently celebrated our two-year anniversary, and her gift to me was a pair of silver Zumreed ZHP-005s!

… Seriously the best over the hear headphones I’ve ever had. And for those who might be interested. Urban Outfitters is the best place to get Zumreeds, though the one you see above is a special edition that’s only available from Japan directly! Anyhow, back to the books, animu hotties being used to pimp consumer goods is apparently a new thing in Japan. Danny Choo recently passed along pics from a book that’s more or less the same, except instead of headphones, it’s girls with samurai swords. Katie, you did want to know what to get me for Christmas, right?

Moving on, I also picked this up Friday night…

… I love Persona 3 and all, just not as much as Persona 4. I have pretty much every single official P4 related book to come from Japan, but because this one was just sitting there, and not for the asking price of $50+ that most eBay sellers demand, I figured what the hell. Even though I had zero idea what to expect, there was the assumption that it would be similar to Persona Club 4 book, which had lots of detailed info about the game, peppered with fan art. In this case, it was mostly the former and not so much the latter, meaning, mostly just words that I can’t read. Oh well. Plus, much of the fan art featured in the P4 book was nothing spectacular, just cute. Anyway, here’s a taste of Persona Club 4…

… I guess what I stumbled across in the back issue rack in the magazine section?

… Yup, TWO copies of last winter’s video game issue of Studio Voice. For a look inside, I actually went over it a while ago! But yeah, it’s been the pride and joy of my Japanese video game magazine collection, second only to some prime issues of Mega Drive Beep, so it’s nice to have spare copies to actually handle on a regular basis. Maybe I can gut one and have proper scans out there. Anyone interested? Unfortunately, according to people at Kinokuniya, the magazine just ceased publication, which is a shame; I have their issue on vinyl toys, another one on jazz, and whatever the topic, it was fantastic magazine to flip through.

Immediately after exiting the store, I ran into ex-Nick Mag editor and all around awesome guy Chris Duffy on the street! He too had just taken care of some business and was killing some time before a movie; him and Joey Cavalieri were seeing Old Dogs, and I was invited to join with, but politely declined. Though I did have a quick beer with Chris, at the Dave & Busters nearby (yes, I know, but we were in Times Square for Christ’s sake), which is where he passed along a copy of his comic that he was giving out at SPX this past year…

… Chris also told about his son’s blog, in which he asks people to vote on their favorite things in a video game. It just started, so there’s not much there at the moment, but make the kid happy by checking it out and even casting a vote!

As for the rest of the weekend, it was exceptionally low-key. Because Katie was in Pittsburgh, visiting friends and family, I had the apartment to myself, to do whatever I wanted and without question. Which meant parking my lazy ass in front of the television all day and night long to watch anime on the PS3 (which at this point is what I mostly use it for, truth be told.) Finally saw Cencoroll! And it was neat. Then there was my four hour-long Pac Man Championship Edition session, in which I came up with a new technique that helped me to beat the 300,000 barrier! 303,000 to be exact. Quite proud of myself, but I still have a ways to go in order to top the brand new high score of my friends’ leaderboard, which is like 311,000 or something.

But it wasn’t pure laziness that kept me grounded Saturday afternoon and not at the Nintendo World Store, where there was some temporary Mushroom Kingdom that was erected to celebrate the launch of New Super Mario Bros Wii, which Joe Salina wanted to check out and asked if I’d tag along. But we both ended up passing, due to the crap weather. Plus, I wasn’t on the press list, and honestly didn’t feel like standing in line for five hours outside (unfortunately, Nintendo along with a few other parties, such as Sony and EA, all dropped me like a bad habit once Nick Mag folded, since I was a primary contact there, and they no longer have time for “just a blogger” these days… oh well). At least Steve Totilo shot some video and Tracy John took some pictures of the shindig.

Later that night, Hilary came over to hang out, though… and perhaps she doesn’t want me mentioning this, but because it IS video game related… instead of getting off at the 181 St station in Manhattan, which is half a block from where I live, she got off at the 180 St station in the Bronx because she was too absorbed in her game of Super Puzzle Fighter. Ha! Backtracking unfortunately took quite a while, and not just because the trains run like ass on the weekend. And of course, once she arrived and I finally got the chance to show off my fancy new way of watching anime, the stupid media server stopped working. Wonderful. Because, you just can’t stick a file on a USB drive and stick that in the system to play, you have to run an application that transcodes the file while also playing it, wirelessly. Which, hey, is stupid more than the stupid Xbox 360 can do, even with all it’s Windows Media Browsing bullsh*t. So we never got around to watching Mind Games, which was recently released on DVD in France, meaning there’s a very nice digital copy floating around the web for those who know where to look! Instead we just watched 2008′s movie of the yeah, and I’m speaking of Speed Racer of course. Dear God what an amazing movie, and I am so dead serious. Just do a search and I’m sure you’ll come across my review (which apparently was printed out and passed around the offices of Warner Bros developmental, as proof that as least one person “got it”).

And on Sunday, yesterday, Katie arrived just in time to tear into New Super Mario Bros Wii, which I had just picked up at the Gamestop on 105th and Broadway; I believe I once noted that one as the only actually decent GS in the city. Well, not anymore; all the cool people either quit or got transferred to other locations, so all that’s there now are the usual gang of idiots one expects to find behind the counter at such a place (along with the usual gang of idiots that are seemingly always there trying to buy stuff). I’ll spare everyone the details, but long story short, I kinda wished I had gone to Chinatown the day prior with Joe, where they always love to break the street date of any game. Plus I’m sure everyone knows already first-hand how utterly brilliant Mario’s brand new adventure is, so I’ll skip that for the time being as well. Once it’s been conquered, expect a review shortly afterward, though I also need to get some proper four-player action in as well. How about instead, I go back to Saturday afternoon, which was my latest phone conversation with Tom?

Creating A Place For Gamers To Hang Out (Part 3 of ???)

My last talk with what guy who wants to open a video game lounge ended with him stating that he had plans to check out that game center in Jersey. Mostly because his conversation with its owner gave him so much hope and enthusiasm; Tom definitely felt that he was on the right track, and on my end, it certainly appeared that he was dead set on making his own plans for one a reality. Well, that all changed after the visit, which simply took the wind out of his sails, to quote Tom.

He went with a pal on a Friday night, and was shocked and dismayed to find the place a veritable graveyard. There were just two kids at the entire place, and one of them was the owner’s son. A few other kids showed up, along with their parents, who idly say by and watched their kids play games, doing not much else.

According to Tom, the place itself seemed to entirely cater towards eight year olds. I’m not sure if the owner had Tom to believe something otherwise. As for what he himself was expecting to see, it was a place that was packed to the roof with a bunch of older teens/twenty-somethings. I had tried explaining to him that anyone that age who was remotely interested in video games probably had a console already. I also asked if Tom had a good time, and he did, mostly from playing GTA4. Which I tried pointing out is a fantastic experience for someone who has never played the game, but most folks have.

Tom still feels the idea of a video game lounge is a good one; him and his buddy had a great time that evening for less than the cost of a movie. But the issue of cost… specifically profit… is something that he can’t figure out. Apparently the business makes most of its money from birthday parties. They charge a couple of hundred dollars a pop, and have a couple of them per month. BTW, what do people get for their money? Not much; the party area is basically a small room in the back that can barely house a picnic table apparently. I asked if there was a kitchen, and along with it a dedicated staff, but there is none; people must supply their own food. But soda is included with the deal… so that’s $300 for a tiny room and some Pepsi. Wonderful. I’m shocked that they’ve managed to stay in business thus far. I didn’t ask Tom if he would do anything differently on his end, but he seemed equally unimpressed.

The revelation that they powered down television sets and even sections of the place during business hours if there aren’t enough people simply made matters worse in Tom’s mind. He tried his best to crunch his own numbers, by assuming how much electricity is being used, along with how much profit they could possibly make from the aforementioned parties, yet nothing would add up. Neither of us can figure out how this other place is staying in business. Again, Tom still thinks its a great idea, because it offers a place for kids to go, though I once again tried pointing out that the kids of today… especially those who are into gaming… are quite content with staying at home, cuz that’s where all their games are. Plus the internet.

One additional thing which we both found to be rather curious: apparently the association that helped their other game lounge get started and lent assistance for special events like tournaments is no longer as willing to offer a hand when it comes to the latter. This other owner simply couldn’t understand it himself, though my theory is that, with the rise of entities such as the World Cyber Leagues, there might be less tournaments overall in order to strengthen the legitimacy and name value of those that wish to be the “official” ones. After all, Capcom doesn’t support every single fighting game tournament out there.

I also tried pointing out that this has to be a bad time for game lounges in general; we’re in the very midst of the hardware cycle, and pretty much everyone has at least one of the three consoles available, even two, perhaps all three. I would imagine that the main draw would be the new consoles that are still too expensive for most folks. Which simply validated Tom’s plan at the moment to simply sit back and wait a year before moving forward. Provided that it’s even an option. In the meantime, he’s going down to the Tampa Bay area of Florida, to check out some game centers there. Apparently there’s quite a few down there, plus they all do very well, which is hardly a shock considering that tourism is quite strong in those parts. Though most importantly, land down there is apparently much cheaper than land up here.

So I think that’s it for Tom, at least for the time being. I told him that if he ever had a question, I would always be available, but who knows what the future holds and if I’ll ever heard from the guy again. Like I said before, he’s a nice guy, and as neat as the idea of a video game lounge is, I?d rather not think about another business going down the tubes, no matter how well intentioned and enticing it might be.

… And on that note, how about we go a few days further back, to last Wednesday? That was when I was originally going to show Tom both Chinatown Fair and Barcade. But he got held up with other business, so instead I went over to Joe Salina’s in Queens, mostly because he wanted to take me to the Arby’s that’s nearby. Sometimes married friends of mine like to live vicariously though me, via my wacky single dude’s exploits, and sometimes vegan friends like to watch me eat stuff that they can’t touch; I’m happy to oblige in either instance. Dave Mauro also came along, though the highlight was the new friend I made! While waiting in line, some creepy old guy motion for me to come closer, and instead of hitting me with his penis or a kiss, he gave me some two for one coupons. I hate old people in Manhattan, and can barely tolerate them in Brooklyn either, but they totally rock in Queens! Anyhow, we also played some games of course, mostly old games on the Wii. Both myself and Dave discovered the splendors of Devil’s Crush, though Joe was spot on when he noted that the Genesis version is much better than the Wii’s TurboGrafix variant. I also brought along both copies of Tekken 6 that I have, so Joe can see for himself the differences between the PS3 and Xbox 360 version, which I was eager to find out as well on his HD display. Plus our head to heard matches was just what I needed to finally commence with…

REVIEW: Tekken 6 (PS3 & Xbox 360)

Tekken is just a weird fighting game. Most hardcore fighting fanatics can’t stand the series and feel that it’s either too flashy or way unbalanced to be taken seriously, and a complete affront to the likes of Virtua Fighter or Street Fighter (though it can easily be argued that SF4 suffers from many of Tekken’s most maligned aspects in its own ways). I for one should not have liked part 2, especially since it was so heavily reliant upon string combos, hence why I hated Killer Instinct so much (which thankfully the series has somewhat walked away from). But it was the over the top-ness, specifically the wacky characters and even wackier story-lines, along with the sense of humor and the copious amounts of “stuff” that drew me in, and which have all become a staple. Naturally, I loved part 3 like everyone else, it’s still the top fighter for the PSone; didn’t flat out hate part 4 like everyone, and even admired it for trying to mix things up, yet I didn’t exactly love it either. And part 5 was pretty dandy, all things considered, but my reaction was similar to that of VF4 in which I tried to understand the need to go back to what worked in order to appease the haters, but was still put off by how routine it all felt. So at long last we have part 6. And how does it compare?

To put it bluntly, it’s an absolute mess. Where to begin? Well, the core gameplay, is still present; what worked before still works, and conversely, all the stupid crap that doesn’t make sense or is just flat out annoying is also readily available. Some of the new characters have the coolest looking moves yet in any fighting games, while the new end boss is also the cheapest ever (his gigantic size makes him all but impossible to deal with, unless one is willing to accept the fact that you’re going to have to play dirty). Not everyone have re-directs for whatever reason, and it’s still pretty ridiculous and infuriating. The primary issue though is how everything that you and I love Tekken for has been inexplicably buried deep, deep down for absolutely no reason.

The biggest offender is the main gameplay mode, the campaign, which is essentially the Tekken Force mode from part 3 but greatly expanded upon. And it was loads of fun back in the day… when it was this extra thing that was a bonus that was only three or so stages long and were easily conquered, plus you got a bonus character for your trouble (either Dr. B or Gon, I forget). But now it’s the feature attraction, front and center, and there’s more than just a small handful of stage but a whole bunch, which doesn’t sound horrible until you consider the other differences. For starters, instead of just going left to right, the cameras will go all over the place and stuff will get in the way of the action, which wouldn’t be such a big problem if not for the fact that there’s bottomless pits (seriously). They’re also super long; it takes almost forever to reach the end boss, and even if you’re super careful and have 100% health by the time you arrive to the end, just a few blows will knock you down. Hitting continue means starting all over, which is absolutely infuriating to say the least. There’s ways to deal with this, since as you battle, you can upgrade your character (more on this in a second), but the beginning of the game will make you want to throw your console, with the game inside of course, out the window. There’s a long story to go along with the action, and at first it seems super exciting due to the lengthy hand-drawn animatic (which isn’t very good btw) of all the primary story points from parts 1-5. And what follows is a series of boring, nonsensical cut scenes which, worst of all, has characters saying and doing the stupidest of things (even for a Tekken game) that aren’t consistent with what’s been established. Which I know will only matter to the ten or so people that have been paying attention this entire time, but still! Though I should have know there was going to be problems during that aforementioned build-up when they got the dates wrong. Anyhow, by far the biggest problem is how one HAS to play this mode if they want to enjoy all the bonuses that one gets from the one player mode usually.

You wouldn’t believe how furious I was to finally beat the last boss in arcade mode and not get an end movie, which has always been the selling point of the series. No, you have to play the sh*t campaign mode to unlock the character, and THEN play through arcade mode mode once again with him or her to get the goods. Totally insane and inexcusable. The game just won’t let you have fun, not just on a grand scale, but even on a smaller one. For example; most of the stages are rather boring and uninteresting, though that’s kinda been the case since day one, so I’m not going to hold it against it now (though Tekken 2′s approach of less is more was rather successful). But there is one lone exception; you’re in the Alps, playing amongst some grazing sheep. It’s the one stage that EVERYONE loves to not just fight in but look at and listen (along with the music is yodeling), and guess what? It’s the only stage that is NOT selectable, unless you get lucky with the random stage select. Why Namco, why?!?!

On the plus side, the roster is the largest ever. Super SF4 is so proud of its new Taekwondo character. Tekken 6 meanwhile has three of them! As noted, you can choose a fighter and build them up, a la VF5, by obtaining ranks and getting items to help personalize their appearance. Problem is, most of the characters are exceptionally uninteresting and share much of the same moves, so I can’t see anyone wanting to spend much time with anyone either than the most popular faces (whereas in VF, everyone is liked and utilized across the board). They also look pretty damn ugly, and henceforth the other main issue with the game, the technical aspects. Like I said, the backgrounds are boring, but they’re also not very well done, though its nowhere as bad as the fighters themselves. Some are worse than others, though they’re all pretty bland and ugly looking. The absolute worst one would have to be Lee Chaolan, whose model looks seriously nabbed from the crappy CGI ending of part 2, no joke. Thankfully the animation is just fine, thanks mostly to the semi-controversial motion blur, which I totally dig. Aside from helping Tekken to stand out from the rest of the pack, it does a long way to hide the actual ugliness. The lighting is a bit more pronounced and exaggerated on the Xbox 360 version, resulting in more of a bloom, which some object to, but I also think its neat. Though most seem to feel that the 360 is visually superior, for reasons that mean nothing to me since I’m a standard definition guy, though I just find it rather funny when one considers that the game was originally designed for arcade hardware that mirrors the PS3. The music, with the lone exception of the yodeling song, totally blows. I remember when a Tekken soundtrack was the cause for celebration, or at the very least, a long line of amazing remix CDs (I still treasure the four or so I have for Tekken 2 to this very day). But now its just generic trash, which makes no sense since the music for Ridge Racer is still outstanding to this very day.

But back to the differences between the PS3 and 360 versions; you’ve all heard about it by now, the totally absurd load times. It takes FOREVER to get a game going on the PS3, even when you’ve installed data on the hard drive. It’s positively insane. And then there’s crazy lag when trying to play the game online. I’ve been patiently waiting for the patch that will supposedly fix everything, but I’m so done with the game at this point, hence the review right now. The bottom-line is, the only ones who probably care about this release (again, most of the world find Tekken to be “that fighting game with the panda and kangaroo, right?”) are the die-hards, and they’re going to be both severely disappointed and flat-out outraged by all the annoyances and laziness that is contained within. Though if you have to choose one, I’d say the 360 version, due to the reasonable load times. Then again, using its default pad is pure hell, whereas most are probably used to the PlayStation pad. But then you’ll want to slit your wrists from all sitting around and waiting… in the end, Tekken 6 is truly a no-win situation.

Also Once Again, The Greatest Mecha In A Video Game, Ever

Okay, so I realize that I’ve probably gone long enough, but instead of waiting another month or so to pass along headlines and the like, which would mean an even ridiculously longer post that’s filled with lots of dated info, how about I try doing the same but on a more frequent and slightly more manageable basis?

- To be honest, not a whole lot has been making headlines, other than the release of Modern Warfare 2 (zzzz) and New Super Mario Bros Wii (which again rocks the house). Though I’m one of those who got early access to the Bayonetta demo for the American 360 earlier this afternoon. And? I’m still certainly not ga-ga for the game (again, going for that Cowboby Bebop vibe is SO ten years ago), though it is indeed a superior experience when compared to the PS3 demo, albeit not by too much. The load times are faster and the controls also feel more comfortable, which is odd considering that it handles a lot like Devil May Cry, so you’d figure that it would feel completely natural with a Dual Shock.

BTW, I’m only mentioning Bayonetta yet again so I can simply segue into this

- The real news IMHO is still the recent revelation of how, at long last, there’s going to be a real life reproduction of the greatest mecha ever to grace a video game. I’m talking about of course Metal Gear Rex

… I don’t care how much it costs, it WILL be mine.

- Via Phil Fish, the high-def trailer for Cactus’s new game TUNING, which is making its official debut at the Independent Games Festival in 2010. Some might recall that both myself and Dave played it earlier this summer, and it was pretty rad… until we hit a spot that absolutely no one knew how to get past!

- I’m also expecting Symphony to make an appearance at the IGF as well, which is essentially a combination music game and shmup in which the enemies are generated by the songs on a player’s computer. Not surprisingly, more than one person has compared it to Audiosuf, and it’s quite appropriate; there’s just as much of a disconnect between the audio and the action its supposedly creating here as it was for the most overrated indie game of 2008. Sorry!

- Though one indie title from this past year that has definitely deserved all the accolades it’s gotten is the Canabalt, so check out Brandon Boyer with a great look at some behind the scenes artwork

- Sticking with the independent game dev scene for a bit, even though it’s still months away, anticipation for the next IGF has never been stronger, at among folks like Phil and the gang via Twitter. And now more than ever, the indie game scene is truly happening. After-all, things must be happening if the New York Times is writing about it, right?

- And back to Phil one last time, he recently renamed his game Fedge, plus several others decided to also send the same basic message to Langdell over his idiotic, litigious ways. Which is: you’re a douchebag!

- Time to check out what’s new over at Tiny Cartridge! First off, Eric and JC are once again all over the Mega Man E-Tank in American controversy. On a semi related note, I still have that can of the Street Fighter energy drink in my fridge that I got from the first Capcom Fight Club last year. Every time someone comes over and spots it, such as Hilary this past weekend, they always suggest that I finally give it a shot, and each time when I comes close to saying yes (or at least pretend to), that same person will make an immediate retraction because they’re afraid that I will go into a full-blown diabetic shock, right there on the spot.

- This is simply awesome…

… Though the best stuff is still found primarily at his Pixiv account

- And photos from Super Potato will NEVER get old in my book, no matter what…

- I’m only mentioning this intro to an old anime that’s based upon Adventure Island simply because when I first read the headline, I thought it was a cartoon based on the Genesis to Mega Drive converter, called the Honey Pot that Hudson also produced! That and the theme song is super catchy.

- It’s been a while since they posted another installment of Game Center CX!.Though I think I’d much rather watch a whole episode of Arino trying to beat Super Mario Bros 3 instead. Roguelikes are just not my cup of tea.

- Ladies and gentlemen, a Kill Bill NES

- Not only have they been gracious enough to pass along a dandy piece of Sakura Note wallpaper, but from Phantasy Star Zero as well!

- And the iPhone has cool games and all, but sometimes you just can’t beat all the insane stuff that’s found on regular cell phones in Japan.

- At least some of that good stuff is making its way here, via the iPhone no less! Such as My Neighbor Girl, which I just nabbed. I’d pass along screenshots of its hilariously bad translation, but the real comedy lies within the just as ludicrous voice-over, which is broken English spoken by a Japanese woman who clearly has little mastery of a second language.

- Back to Pixiv: honestly, when was the last time you saw any Breath of Fire 5 fan art, huh? Never mind if the quality is somewhat so-so…

- Hipster sweatshop blog Mishka can be a neat place to find game related junk on occasion. Like this interview with one of the artists over at Double Fine, Scott Campbell. Aside from being an enjoyable read, be sure to check out the neat little Daft Punk doodle he did as well!

- I also wrote about Mishka and Double Fine over at Heavy! Along with the ladies of Mystik, a gimmicky but still cool nonetheless trailer for the Darkside Chronicles, and the very best when it comes to the very worst in video game voice acting.

- Might as well stop by GameSetWatch for a bit; here we have a conversation with the creator of Katamari and the co-creator of PixelJunk Eden. Not surprisingly, they cover a LOT of ground.

- I for one cannot wait for Saitone’s chiptune tribute to Michael Jackson to appear on iTunes later this month.

- Time for two different examples of love; first, between a game designer and his dog, and second, a male Pokemon cosplayer and a female Pokemon cosplayer.

- Remember when name Game Arts used to mean something? I do, and so does Ollie, who focuses on Gungriffon in his latest GSW column. I was the proud owner of part one, and after reading that article, I really regret passing up part two! Though he also passed along a link to a crazy good deal on a sealed copy of the Japanese PS2 version for me while chit-chatting on IM this afternoon.

- Actually they do have a potentially interesting title on the horizon. Though like most folks, I just want Lunar 3 or Silpheed 2 (I’m talking about a shump, never mind that well-intentioned but ultimately not so good RPG that Square Enix made a few years back).

- Siliconera also has the first details regarding the sequel to Hotel Dusk, Last Window. I was a huge fan of Room 215 and am ecstatic that there’s a follow-up! Of course, it remains to be seen if it’ll ever reach our shores.

- Plus there’s gonna be a Girl Who Leapt Through Space shump for DSiWare? Sweet. That makes it, what, four shumps for the system that we’re probably never gonna get!

- Despite being I’m a card carrying Donkey Kong Country hater, this video did manage to make me chuckle.

- Sankaku Complex’s look at potential Project Natal applications is equally juvenile, though who cares, right?

- Oh, and if Dream Club wasn’t uncomfortable enough, here comes some ultra pervy DLC! At least one of the girls looks like Rent-A-Hero.

- 4 Color Rebellion meanwhile seems to take offense to the latest Space Invaders Extreme, and I could not disagree more. BTW, I should finally have my review ready by the end of this week, barring any unforeseen circumstances!

- And they’re the only ones I’ve seen who remembered that today is Shigeru Miyamoto’s birthday! Or was… as of this writing, it’s officially past the midnight mark. Oh well.

- This particular piece isn’t implicitly Street Fighter related, but I like to pretend that she’s inspired by Sakura…

- Nation Console Support now has the Ikkitousen Xross Impact special edition available for pre-order. Was going to pick it till I heard what’s inside, which isn’t much: I’ve never been gaga for Nendoroids, but at least that sounds a lot more enticing than pogs. Seriously, pogs? In the 21st century?

- I’ll PayPal anyone $2 if they can help tell me what game this clip is from.

- Here’s another ancient vid that I recently re-discovered, by Select Button’s Mister Toups, of a dude eating a sausage while on the Nintendo Power Pad.

- Gay Dead Space fan art anyone?

- And remember how I also mentioned last time that if there was enough pre-orders, NIS America would produce a UMD version of Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman? Well, not gonna happen after-all I’m afraid.

- Plus what about those Capcom and Gainax custom paint jobs in Forza 3? Well, Christopher Walken beats them both…

- A live-action Metal Gear Solid flick that’s not helmed by Hideo Kojima (or even Ry˚hei Kitamura)? Yeah, that’s a splendid idea, yup.

- Not only do I love video games, but I also have a soft spot for pinball, hence why I desperately need to get my hands on this documentary.

- Going back to toys and figures for the home stretch, hey look, Touhou Project statues that AREN’T based on Reimu!

-These Mega Man figures look pretty awful if you ask me, but for you hardcore collectors out there… now you know.

- I’m also not going to bother with picking out the best pics from Tomopop’s review of the new Rise from Person 4 statue since I’m expecting to flood this place with photos of my own. Provided it’s actually on its way; I pre-ordered with National Console Support months ago but haven’t heard a thing since. I’ll have to give them a call tomorrow. Hmmm…

- So there’s a new video game publication on the horizon called Kill Screen that promises a “smart approach” towards the subject matter. And I have to be honest, despite the fact that I’m probably going to get some flack for stating the following: as much as I want to support every new game oriented publication out there, especially one that’s willing to go the print route, I’m a bit turned off by Kill Screen for the time being, at least by their sales pitch.

Sorry, but I can’t help roll my eyes whenever anyone aspires to be the next Rolling Stones, or claims to have the attitude that everything that’s been done thus far is stupid, which seems to be the underlining attitude. I can’t help but be a tad bit insulted; don’t get me wrong, a vast majority of game reporting thus far has been total garbage, but to write it all off is pure ignorance. And not to stereotype, but I’ve known plenty of journalists from “legitimate” publication (not unlike some of those ones listed) that have gigantic attitudes and egos that they’re better than your average game writer, when in fact, your average pimply-faced forumite at NeoGAF can run circles around them on various levels.

Though I hope to be proven wrong! I gladly welcome to be completely honest. After all, I want to feel as if my $20 pledge is justified.

- Lastly, something new Bryan Green just brought to my attention; the Atari 2600 business card holder

… That’s it for now! Actually, one more thing, courtesy of Katie: if there ever is to be a fort90convention, God willing, her suggestion of Forty Fort, Pennsylvania as the location sounds pretty much perfect! And I hate to spoil the surprise, but I was actually going to finally divulge details in my next post, to help celebrate my 750th entry. Though unfortunately, things have been somewhat of a mess on that end; the preliminary panel and workshop schedule is more or less in place, but not the guest list. Let’s just say that my guest of honor won’t respond to my Facebook messages. Either that or I’ve been messaging the wrong Emma Watson this entire time! Which means I might have to resort to plan B: my cat.

  • jc

    That incredible clip is from Game Tengoku for Sega Saturn, a game that I am now frantically trying to find information about.

    http://www.segagagadomain.com/saturn12/gametengoku.htm

  • http://chudbabies.livejournal.com Arnold Palmer

    I miss Gamefan…all scores should be based on a scale of 100!

  • http://www.fort90.com Matthew Hawkins

    Yes, I totally realize that my Tekken 6 review is perhaps way too long and somewhat rambling. :(

    Though if you’re referring to Kill Screen, well, Gamefan… I still have very strong opinions of the publication to this very day, and much of it goes against popular opinion, which IMHO is a bit too drenched with nostalgia. But still, I’m a proud owner of every issue from the first couple of years, if only because of the eye-popping layouts! Which more than anything else is sorely needed in this day and age.

    From the limited sample that they provided, Kill Screen looks nice and clean and stylish and all, but hardly anything to get excited over. Not saying that a video game magazine’s layout should ape Gamepro, circa the early 90s, but the same goes for Vanity Fair, regardless of when, as well.

    On a related note, I’ve been struggling to figure out a better look for my own zine, but everything I come up with looks like a lame copycat of what’s out there. In the end, it’s a zine damnit! it should sorta look like shit.

  • http://neo-rama.com lamar

    omg i will totally give you awesome drawings for one of those studio voices…if you’re down for that kind of thing.

  • http://leiseus.net Douggie

    Hey, those headphone artbooks look mighty fine! Could you tell me what the title of those books are and where to get them (online)? Thanks!

    BTW. Great post – like usual!

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