Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Now I need a new, cheap, cheesy series to collect. Any suggestions?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
You can watch the opening sequence from Continuum Shift here.
Hopefully we will see this hit home consoles in the summer of 2010.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Take for example this action figure of Superman as Nightwing. It has something to do with the Bottled City of Kandor but I'm not really sure.
I also don't understand how this was even popular enough to get made into an action figure.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
- Metroid: Other M
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Super Street Fighter IV
- God of War 3
- Epic Mickey
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Resident Evil Portable
- Final Fantasy XIII
- The Last Guardian
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
- Marvel VS Capcom 2 (multi-platform)
- X-men (arcade)
- Spider-man (PS1)
- X-men (NES)
- Wolverine: Adamantium Rage (SNES)
- Marvel Superheroes: Rise of the Imperfects (multi)
- X-men/Spiderman: Arcade's Revenge (SNES)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I finished scenario mode last night in Tekken 6. Now I need to replay some of the levels to unlock more trophies. The Nightmare Train level is ridiculously difficult though, and as such the Platinum Trophy might elude me.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Tekken 6 takes the tried and true formula and heaps (at times unnecessary) additions on the game for a home console release. There are several modes of play: arcade, online, and scenario campaign mode. The first two modes are standard fare, and as usual for Tekken the control scheme is tight and movesets seamlessly transition into killer combos. Where the game succeeds and fails miraculously is in the scenario mode.
This mode is a beat-em up style 3D adventure that puts you through 40 levels of nameless ninja pounding. The story, while incomprehensible at times, keeps you interested level after level. However, the controls are garbage; hit detection is brutal and movement is clunky at best.
The mode also has some rpg elements to it as well; you can upgrade clothing for added status effects. The problem is that every item is accurately displayed on your character. So while the character design looks great normally, once you upgrade your items you look like some 10 year olds’ design a wrestler from an N64 WCW game. For example, my character currently has a knit cap, aviator glasses, a puffy orange vest, power gauntlets, stretchy pants, and two Chinese swords at his belt. He has great stats, but he looks like a total douche.
The real problem is that scenario mode is uneven. It could have been great but the execution doesn’t quite work. That wouldn’t matter (it is a fighting game after all, not a beat-em up), except for the fact that 80% of the trophies are from the scenario campaign. Namco Bandai forces you to play this silly mode much longer than you would wish.
All of these issues aside, I actually have found Tekken 6 to be the most fun game I have played in a while. It will not replace SF4 or BlazBlue as my favourite current-gen fighter, but it is a fun ride. However, for $65 you should already be a fan of the series to make the purchase. All others wait until it goes down to $30. If only so you too can have your own cowboy hat, pirate shirt, leather vest, checked pants, lightsabered hero.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
When I played the first Superstar Saga game for the GBA I was impressed. Nice graphics, tight gameplay, excellent use of RPG elements, and a comical story all added up to a fun and fulfilling gaming experience. The subsequent release Partners in Time continued with that tradition while further exploring the DS’s capabilities. Bowser’s inside story nicely continues on this trend, adding some new elements, but mostly using the tried and true formula that has made the series a hit worldwide.
The story goes like this: Fawful (veterans of the series will remember him) wants to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. He tricks Bowser into eating a vacuum mushroom, and Bowser, in turn, vacuums up our heroes into his belly. Fawful takes over Bowser’s castle and now the trio must work together to defeat this new villain.
You control either Bowser or Mario and Luigi (game shifts during the story) and each has a unique control scheme. The controls are great, with one exception. There is quite a bit of mandatory touch screen action that is imperfect and annoying (I was eating a giant carrot for a long time). I don’t mind the touch screen when it works, but every time you use the touch screen it could be done easier, faster, and better with a button combo.
That aside, the game is a solid, solid title and will keep you busy for at least 20 hours. That works out to a very reasonable $2 per hour of entertainment. Mario and Luigi is a must have for any RPG fan, but others will enjoy it as well. If you have ever liked a Mario game you should give this a try.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
As the first downloadable only Ratchet and Clank game, Quest for Booty faced pretty high expectations. A lot of gamers were hoping for a robust R&C story to hold them over until the new disc based game hit the shelves.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Making ASM a thrice monthly publication has done nothing but ensure inconsistency in Marvel’s flagship title. Some storylines are great, some mediocre, and some downright horrible. This month’s issue falls into the middle category; the art and writing are fine, but the overall story is lacklustre.
I also have to wonder why Kaine knows Spider-man’s secret identity? Spidey simply states that “it makes sense” that his clone knows who he is. No, it doesn’t. Mephisto changed reality so Aunt May would be alive and no one knows who Spider-man really is. This deal with Mephisto was a ridiculous plot fix and Marvel will forever be cleaning up the mess.
If you are a Spidey collector this will find a place in your comic box, but others should just wait until an actual storyline comes along.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I recently had the chance to re-read Garth Ennis' magnum opus, Preacher. For most of the late 90's this was the comic that I looked forward to every month. While it is still great, I no longer think that it is the greatest gift to all of comicdom.
Some of it seems quite dated and very 90's (e.g. Arseface and Kurt Cobain), but it is still a compelling story. Unless you find a cache of issues for cheap the complete tpb run will cost you $180, so If you are a fan of horror or the western genre this is for you, but if dislike stories with graphic violence, mature situations, and sacrilegious plotlines, steer clear of this title.
I am currently about half way through the game now and I can see why this title is a favourite of many gamers out there. The controls are tight (I only have a complaint on the grenade controls) and responsive. Death will occur frequently, but you start almost exactly where you left off.
The story is compelling, and Uncharted is the only game in recent history where I didn’t try to skip the cutscenes (MGS4 is a great game, but some of those cutscenes are brutally slow). You will get great value from this game and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good solid action title with great puzzle elements.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I read a lot of comic book sites, so a new site has to be quite different to catch my eye. What I enjoy about CBD is the wide variety of comic book related articles and blogs. If you want to know what is new this week, or how the comic book market is doing, or how to prep your books for grading, or which twitter feeds you should be following, don't worry, the folks at CBD have your back.
All in all a great site with a lot of industry info. Visit them today.
I am trying to get my platinum trophy, but I fear that this level will stand in my way. The giant Ndesu boss is near impossible. For those of you who do not know, level 2-3 is a rail shooter (the only one in the game) that forces you to use a Gatling gun mounted on a jeep. No healing items, no different weapons, just a stupid gun that overheats when you fire too much.
The boss has a series of attacks which are difficult to dodge every time. This would not be a huge problem except that his attacks take off about 50% of your life. That’s right folks, two mistakes and you are dead. Oh and there are a bunch of other enemies shooting and throwing bombs at you. You can kill them, but while you are killing them Ndesu is crushing your jeep.
The AI partner is only sort of helpful; sometimes it will stop firing or shoot at some other target for no reason. You can do co-op with a human partner, but I swear that Ndesu has even more life if you play with a friend.
All and all if Capcom removed even one handicap this fight would be manageable. If the gun didn’t overheat, or if you could heal yourself, or if those jerks on the side of the screen didn’t throw stuff at you, or ….. you get my drift.
So far I have died 14 times against Ndesu. I will post when I finally beat him. Any tips would be great appreciated. Rage.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
If you know that you are not going to play a game again, get rid of it. Games today are too long to replay again and again. Even relatively short games (let’s say God of War) will still take you 7 or 8 hours to play again. Plus you will have your game saved to a memory card or hard drive and thus can purchase the game again once it is super-cheap. Example: let’s say you bought Metal Gear Solid 4 at launch ($70) and played it through and beat it (about 20 hours) in about a month. If you traded it/sold it at that time you would get about $40 which you could use to buy a new game. Now lets say that a year later you wanted to play MGS4 again; not a problem as you can re-buy it for $25 (or rent it for way less).
So in short, I keep games that I know I will play at least once a month. If it is a long RPG or action type game I generally trade it in. Below is a list of what I have currently. Any game with an asterisk is one that I do not plan on trading in.
Street Fighter IV*
Resident Evil 5*
Little Big Planet
Metal Gear Solid 4
Fight Night Round 3
Super Smash Brothers Brawl*
Mario Kart Wii*
New Super Mario Brothers*
So I will be looking to pick up the new Professor Layton and Dissidia at the end of the summer. I’ll try to be finished with enough of my games to make some trades in order that I will not need to pay one red cent. However, I am sometimes cautious about trading for handheld games as I will most likely get better value by waiting until there is a great trade in 3 get it free deal at the local EB Games/Gamestop. It is a good bet that God of War 3 will be part of this deal so I will keep a some games around to trade for that in early 2010.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
So the end has find come for one of the longest running Vertigo titles. I remember first reading a preview for 100 Bullets in Preacher, and I was quite unimpressed. However, I did give the series a chance once the third trade-paperback was released. I was hooked.
The characters were interesting, the art was great, lettering tight, and the colouring added to the film noir hard crime style of the story. What I didn’t realize was that the story only reads well if you take the time to read it all in one go.
There are simply too many characters that are too similar in personality and design. You have to keep track of 13 families of the Trust, 7 Minutemen, and all the extra gang characters while trying to remember who is who and what is that painting and why should I care?
Don’t get me wrong the story is great, but Brian Azzarello really painted himself into a corner with a 100 issue run. The series should have been about 70 issues. There is a lot that could have been cut out of the series that would have made the plot tighter and flow much better. While it is good the whole Counterfifth Detective bit could have been cut. I would also remove the majority of the juxtaposed gang stories (especially the one from the last story arc) and the first Jack Daw story.
I only ever bought trade-paperbacks, so that means there were breaks in-between when I last read anything about croatoa, Lono, or Mr. Graves. During this time you forget who is who and when old characters are re-introduced after 40 issues you strain to remember who they were, especially if they are drawn pretty much like everyone else.
Before writing this I read all 13 volumes over a two-week span. I remembered every character and got a lot more out of the series than I had previously, but not everyone will have the inclination to show such dedication to the craft.
If you are a fan of pulp crime as a genre you will love 100 bullets, but those of you who are not already a fan of the genre or Azzarello’s or Rizzo’s work may find the series inaccessible, tedious, and a bit of test.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Needless to say I loved the game. I was even more excited when I could purchase the game for my SNES in the summer of 1992. Countless hours were spent with friends playing a SFII full of combos, cheap moves, and trash talk.
But with the infinite deluge of Super Street Fighter EX Alphas Beta Gamma Plus Final Strikes that came out after SSFII Turbo Capcom complete lost me. However, I was very excited to read reviews on Street Fighter IV. I was hearing that SFIV was just like 2, but with better graphics!
So I picked up a copy for the PS3, and let me say that I am impressed. The graphics are top notch, the play control is the tight scheme that we all know and love, and the additional moves (focus attacks) add some great depth to an already deep and complex game. If you loved Street Fighter II you will love this game.
That being said there are some issues that some fans might find difficult. The last boss, Seth, is completely impossible on any level other than very easy. The unlockables and trophies range from very easy to achieve (like unlocking all the characters) to ridiculous (I will never get the trophy for unlocking every title because I will never master every combo in challenge mode for every character). This is not the game for a platinum trophy-seeking perfectionist.
The online mode is where the game really shines. It is a lot of fun to face off against players from around the world. You might win, you might lose, but you will always be able to try new tricks or learn a new combo. You can play in a free mode (where players of all skill levels can play), or you can compete against people around your own skill level in Championship mode. I say around your own skill level because the various rankings can still have a wide range of skill abilities in them.
For example I am currently in the lowest category (G3) so I only face other people in the G3 level. You get 1 point for a loss and a range of points for a win (maybe 10-100). But the G3 level is from 0-2000 points. So if I am starting out with my 0 point and I get to face the guy that has 1999 points I will probably lose. Once you get yourself the middle of the pack (900 or so points) you will have a better sense of being able to win with some regularity. I can only imagine that it is even worse in G2 as that level runs from 2001 points to 15000 points. So if you are awful and loose 2000 times in a row you will be bumped up into the G2 level and killed over and over again (however, if you lose 2000 times in row you should just give up and sell this game anyway).
If you are a fan of fighting games buy this game now! You will not be sorry. If you only sort of like Street Fighter I would recommend waiting until the game goes greatest hits. There is also some downloadable content in the form of extra costumes, but shame on Capcom for charging for them. Some of them are great (I especially like how Zangief can wear Hagar’s costume from Final Fight), but an extra $14 on top of a $70 game is a kick in the teeth. Content like extra costumes should be unlockable in game, or at the most $5.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Kingdom Hearts 358/2
Tales of Monkey Island
Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Mario VS Donkey Kong: Minis March Again
God of War III
Boy and his Blob
Final Fantasy XIII
Resident Evil PSP
Metroid: The Other M
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
The Last Guardian
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
2. Reese going back changes the timeline in 2 ways: first, he is now the father of John Conner, and, second, Cyberdyne now has the hand from the original T-800 to speed up its work.
3. Now there is a different John Conner who is trained by his mother to lead the resistance, but, as Terminator technology has advanced significantly, Skynet has built a T-1000 by the time John Conner is about to win, again in 2029, and sends it back in time to kill John as a teenager. John sends a reprogrammed T-800 back to protect himself. Miles Dyson helps them destroy his work, this slows down Judgement Day, but does not stop it, as Cyberdyne would have some info backed up offsite and the Airforce takes over. But this does alter the timeline enough that John does not win in 2029 but later in 2032.
4. After John has defeated the robots and he is killed by a T-800, his wife finds out that, though defeated, Skynet tries one last effort by sending the T-X back in time to kill as many of the Resistance leaders as possible. The T-X fails because Conner's wife reprograms the T-800 that kills John and send it back to protect John and the leaders in the past. The T-X is defeated, but Judgement Day cannot be averted as Skynet is satellite software and cannot be shut down.
5. Terminator Salvation takes place in 2018 before John Conner (son of Sarah and Kyle) manages to get the upper hand on the robots; however, we must assume that John Conner is a significant enough thorn is the side of the robots that they feel the need to kill him now. In another 9 years John will be about to win, send a Kyle back, send the T-800 back and then 3 years later he will win, die, and his wife will send the T-800 back.
6. The Terminator timeline ends with the machines defeated but John Conner as a martyr.
So the events would look something like this:
1984 - John Conner born
1991 - Cyberdyne building blown up, Air Force takes over research
2004 - Judgement day (pushed back from 1997)
2018 - events of Terminator Salvation
2029 - Kyle Reese sent back, 2 T-800s and T-1000 sent back
2032 - Machines defeated, T-800 sent back after killing John Conner, T-X sent back
It is not a perfect explanation but it is the best one I could come up with.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
The Web can be a funny place; one day you are surfing for the newest in pop culture phenomena, the next day you discover a fascinating labour of love.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
We all have a favourite something that can instantly take us back to childhood. Maybe it is a smell, or a movie, or a favourite food that reminder you of when you were ten. For me it is the thought of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Punch-Out was one of the first games I had for the Nintendo Entertainment System (the other being the Mario/Duck-Hunt combo) and it still is one of my favourites. The character design was great, the controls perfect, and the challenge could go from pathetically easy (Glass Joe) to impossibly difficult (Tyson himself).
So it was with great enthusiasm that I purchased the new Punch-Out for the Nintendo Wii. Being a huge fan of the series, I was cautiously optimistic when approaching this “remake”. The game features 14 different fighters: 12 from Punch-Out and Super Punch-Out, 1 new character (Disco Kid), and one unlockable character. I was surprised at the inclusion of only 1 new character. If you are going to bother with new blood in a game series why would you only create 1 new face? It may have been better to use all known faces or add 2 or 3 more new ones.
The control scheme is either motion controlled (nunchuck and remote) or the normal way of playing video game (remote held sideways. The motion control method is good for a laugh; it is clunky, tiring, and apparently a prerequisite for any first-party Wii game, but you can’t actually play the game properly using these controls. Try it out once or twice and then switch to the way that most people play videogames.
The normal controls are great with a tight scheme and quick response, drawing from both Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and Super Punch-Out and taking the best of both games. Stars are much harder to come by and require a trick to acquire them. They can be saved up so you can do a 1, 2, or 3 star punch with incremental levels of strength. This adds some variation on speed knockdowns and trick TKOs which fans of the series will appreciate.
There are 3 game modes: career, title defence, and last stand. In career mode you face 13 other fighters to gain all the belts. In defence mode you must defend your championships against the 13 fighters again. This is a great addition as every fighter is much harder than their championship mode counter-part (even Glass Joe is tricky at first). The final mode is a sudden death type mode where after 3 losses you quick. It is only notable for helping you unlock the hidden character.
If you are a veteran of the series you will have no problem with career mode (I actually finished it in within the first day of playing), but you will find they real game begins in title defence mode. Those who have never played a Punch-Out game before and have no sense of the timing required to stop the Bull Charge will find the career mode enough of a challenge.
At a $60 CAN price-tag they aren’t giving the game away, but Punch-Out fans will get $60 worth of fun out of this one. For those of you who have never played a Punch-Out game before I would suggest renting or waiting until it hits the $30 mark.
Friday, May 8, 2009
I must admit that I was pretty sceptical when I first heard that Hollywood was considering making a Wolverine prequel to the X-men movie franchise. Wolverine is a great character, but his origin has become so muddied and convoluted that adaptation from comic book to feature film would be fraught with pitfalls. I do think that a Wolverine solo movie is a great idea (he has been able to carry his own monthly title for some time now), but his origin should always be shrouded in mystery, maintaining his loner mystique for a legion of fans.
Mysterious characters with an unknown past are, unfortunately, all too common today. More distressing is the current predilection of revealing the background of these uber-cool pop culture icons (remember when Boba Fett was silent, super-cool, and NOT a ten year old kid). But I digress, this is a review of the Wolverine movie.
First of all, I did see the leaked version and I went to the theatre and paid my $11. It was actually sort of fun to see the differences and note where special effects, music, and sound make a much more polished product. For anyone who enjoys any of above-mentioned aspects of movie-making, I suggest you watch both versions of the flick.
I was pleasantly surprised with the film. The characters were well cast, Hugh Jackman does a great job in his fourth outing as the character, and Liev Schrieber has a great turn as Sabretooth, but, for me, his performance was slightly marred by the fact that somehow he will become the monosyllabic giant seen in the first X-men movie.
The plot hums along, blissfully taking bits and pieces from 25 years of comic book storylines and weaving them into an enjoyable, but nonsensical tapestry. Those who study the scriptwriting art will especially cringe at the plot device used to explain Wolverine’s memory loss. The movie does suffer from the all too common “too-many-character-itis” that is found in several super-hero movies (e.g. Spider-man 3, Batman Forever), and would have been better served scaling back the number of mutants solely in the movie to appease slavering fanboys .
However, when all is said and done the movie is still a fun ride and a great way to kick off the summer blockbuster season. This is not the Citizen Kane of superhero movies, but you already knew that. At $11 for two hours of entertainment you are getting your money’s worth, but just barely. Let’s hope the sequel in Madripoor ups the ante with less random mutants and more ninjas.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So I thought that I would fill everyone in how my collection is going. I know that a lot of you look to me for guidance, and I can’t blame you; there is plethora of garbage out there.
Firstly, here is a list of the issues that I collect every month: Amazing Spider-man; Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8; Thor; and Agents of Atlas (a great new read, pick it up). I also collect a bunch of titles only in trade-paperback format: Superman/Batman; Green Lantern; 100 Bullets; Ultimate Spider-man; Fables; Daredevil (if you aren’t reading this shame on you); and House of Secrets (best new Vertigo title out there).
I also have been collecting the Atlantis Attacks! storyline and putting together a run of early Thanos appearances. My big push is trying to get a complete run of Marvel Team-Up (volume one, c’mon people). I always want to be collecting something that I can get for $1 or $2.
Additionally, I always keep my eyes peeled for a great deal on a key book, and recently I managed to score a very nice copy of Uncanny X-men #13 (the second half of the first Juggernaut story). A great book.
Now remember that my collection is constantly in flux; I sell all of it at regular intervals to make room for more stuff. This is the only way to collect, everything is new and fresh, and I only keep the really great stuff.
So I hope that this has been enlightening for you all and keep reading the funny books.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Over the holidays I managed to complete my run of every Acts of Vengeance cross over. At twenty years old the story is showing its age, but it does make for an entertaining read. The main problem with the cross-over (and with every comic book cross-over ever made) is the varying quality of product from title to title.
The Amazing Spider-man and Uncanny X-men issues are great, but the Avengers Spotlight and Alpha Flight issues are almost un-readable. The best issue by far is Captain America #367 in which Magneto faces off against the Red Skull to make him accountable for his war crimes. Fantastic. Also great is the Loki vs. Apocalypse street fight in X-Factor #50.
The worst issue is the Power Pack one, with Dr. Doom (who is apparently a psychiatrist) giving mental health advice about sons and fathers to Typhoid Mary.
AOV actually probably would have worked better as a mini-series (the main storyline is sort of hard to follow) that would have allowed for a consistent artist and writer. I mean, the final battle with Loki is actually in West Coast Avengers!? West Coast Avengers? My disdain cannot be accurately conveyed in this forum.
All in all it was a fun read though, and it does not break the bank by any means. So if you are up for the challenge try to find the issues yourself. It is definitely better than DC's Final Crisis. Worst cross-over ever.