Monday, August 31, 2009

Random Japanese - あらゆる月曜日

Believe it or not, they actually have a prison themed restaurant in Tokyo. I cannot make this shit up. Now, I've been to The Safe House in Milwaukee, which is themed like a spy hangout, but this is just...well, you know.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Random Weirdness - Every Monday

After a brief hiatus, I return with two videos, both of which are tied together in a couple of ways. Orson Welles was best known for his role in Citizen Kane, but he had some notoriety for voice over work as well. Of course, there was the infamous War of the Worlds incident that brought people into a panicked frenzy over an alien invasion, but Mr. Welles also did voice work for Findus Frozen Foods in the 1970s, which led to a moment where he walked out in exasperation at the directing he was getting from a stupid frozen foods commercial. This incident was lampooned in Animaniacs when they, almost word for word, replicated the recording, but with staple characters Pinky and the Brain, the latter voiced by Maurice LaMarche. This first video is the Animaniacs skit, which, to be honest, I didn't get when I was a kid. It was way over my head. Instead of the actual sound from the skit, someone overdubbed the original recording of Orson Welles from the incident to near perfection. So, in essence, this is The Brain "voiced" by Orson Welles. The second video is much shorter, but much sweeter. This one is from the show The Critic, starring John Lovitz. This has Orson Welles, also voiced by Maurice LaMarche, doing another frozen peas commercial. So, this time Orson Welles is being voiced by "The Brain." I can't help but giggle my ass off every time I see this. You just have to see what I mean.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Random Kaiserness - Back From the Con

So, like I said before, I went to Anime Iowa this weekend. Here's my con report status: ...meh. It was okay, but I just didn't have as much fun as I expected. I think the biggest letdown was the dealer room. While it was big and there were a lot of vendors there, there just wasn't very much I was excited about buying. I eventually did spend my money on things. I bought the complete Godannar box set. I picked up a couple of Rurouni Kenshin manga. I got a Gurren Lagann T-shirt, a big figure of Ultraman Mebius, plus the Highlander anime from Madhouse that I wanted to see and, of course, a Lupin III movie, The Fuma Conspiracy. But what I was really looking for was japanese DS games, particularly Jump Ultimate Stars. I think I only saw one DS game - just one. I was pretty disappointed about that, but, hey, there's always Play-Asia. I will say there were a lot of products with hot chicks on them, such as the über-pervy body pillow covers featuring the girls of Ikki Tousen in semi-naked, lesbionic positions, but dealers were charging over $100 for those. If I can have sex with my wife for free, why would I want to pay that much just to dry hump a pillow? Fuck, a decent hooker would cost less. Cosplay was disappointing, too. I didn't see much of anything that stood out, except for the Team Fortress 2 cosplay that my friends were doing. And no, not any hot girls in sexy cosplay (At least from what I saw). Even the panels I went to were more miss than hit. The one exception were the swordfighting demo and the japanese weapons panel that a local dojo from Iowa did. Those were awesome. From what I saw of the Anime Improv, it was a disaster. Hell, (Edit ->) the people who went to Karaoke weren't into it as much, which was a big letdownt for me, since I helped host it up until last year, as well as this year. I have to wonder. Am I just getting jaded after going to this convention for years, or is the magic really leaching out of this convention. I don't go to any other conventions (If GenCon Indy wasn't on the same weekend, I'd love to go to that), so I don't know if I'd feel this way at another convention. Regardless, I gotta post some weird video, and I have the perfect one. This was actually from Anime Iowa Karaoke 2007 (when my cousin-in-law and I ran the show). We did a Yatta! sing along. (If you don't know what Yatta! is, you can always YouTube it or I might put it in Random Japanese another week). Anyway, here's the video from that. I'm the one up front with the microphone, dancing and singing like a jackass.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Short Convention Season

Tomorrow morning, I'm making a trek north to Anime Iowa, so I'll be gone for the weekend. This is the only convention I attend right now, though I wish I could go back to GenCon. Anyway, I'll see if I can get some pictures of hot girls in sexy cosplay. See you next week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

GI Joe Action - Savage Worlds Style (Part 2)

All right, back to business.

The second game is from Daring Entertainment, who also do supplements for the Mutants and Masterminds RPG, which one of their products for the line, Dawn of Legends, already saw release in Savage Worlds. Their game is called G.E.T. Into Action and seems to effectively capture the spirit of the GI Joe cartoon. Even from the cover page, you can tell this is all about “Red and Blue Laser Action!” While we're on the subject, let's talk about the art and layout. While G.E.T. Into Action doesn't dress as professionally as Strike Force 7, it does feature a lot more artwork. Now the maps at the end of the book are not as well done as Strike Force 7, and the photos of real military vehicles, while they do give the players an excellent visual reference, look like someone went haywire with Microsoft Photo Editor. The character drawings, however, are great. They are consistently well done, they look (almost exactly, in some cases) like characters from GI Joe, and I have two words for the Scarlett look-alike on page 9: Nice ass!

Moving on, the book starts off with the history of G.E.T. (Global Elite Tactical) and the terrorist organization known as STORM. Basically, a Black Ops agent gets disenchanted with the bloody-handed methods he has to employ to keep America safe. Seeing dissent in the agent's eyes, his unit supposedly kills him.

Of course, he survives and sets up STORM to enact his “ultimate revenge.” Later on, it turns out that STORM is being used by these mechanical life forms from outer space as a front to destroy all of humanity...

Hold on, what? Mechanical life forms from outer space? Yes it turns out that a long dead alien race sent these robots to enslave the human race thousands of years ago. In retaliation to their masters, some of them, who called themselves “Eliminators” decided to kill all the humans as a first blow against the alien empire. Then there were those to decided to protect the humans and joined together as the “Guardiatrons.”

Okay, I know that GI Joe was hardly based in reality and had some pretty way out shit. I mean, Serpentor turned Cobra Commander into a snake, for fuck's sake. But, seriously, get your Transformers out of my GI Joe.

After the storyline, the book gets into character creation. First off is concept. Now instead of having your character assigned to a certain team, like in Strike Force 7, you just pick what type of soldier you want your character to be. Let's face it, GI Joe didn't have teams, it was just GI Joe. You could have a team made up of a sailor, a marine, an astronaut, and a ninja and call it good. G.E.T. Into Action keeps it simple and I like it that way. After taking you through getting your Attributes, Skills, and what not, it goes through this list of questions to help flesh out your character. The thing is there is this (fortunately) optional system where you draw cards from a poker deck to randomly pick what sort of personality, history, and outlook your character has, which takes up three pages. Now the book is a healthy 70 pages (this excludes the ads in the back of the book), but in my opinion, this is unnecessary filler.

Now, we're getting to the good stuff - the Edges. This is a definite strong point of the book. It offers a plethora of useful and interesting Edges. Actually, there's a reason why there's so many Edges. What they did was, with full permission, use some of the Edges from the upcoming Weird War II campaign that Pinnacle is releasing. This is not to say that these borrowed Edges are the only good ones in the game, but it does make a solid foundation for a meaty selection of benefits. What I really like are the new professional Edges, because they allow the character to become a specialist, as all the members of GI Joe were. For example, you could be a medic, a mechanical specialist, demolitions specialist, etc. The players portion of the book ends with some combat rules variants and a Rank/Promotion system.

The Game Master's section starts out with an overview of Global Elite Tactical and STORM, including stats for NPCs, vehicles, and (this is awesome) rules for creating your own headquarters and missions. It also does the same thing that Strike Force 7 did, and gives the GM hints on how to set the tone of the game, but this one actually tells you how to change the rules a bit to fit more in line with a cartoon type game (little to no deaths in combat, being able to bounce back from getting hurt, etc.). Following that is a lengthy mission and stats on some of the major characters in the game.

All in all, I like this game. It certainly captures the feel of the "Real American Heroes" and makes good use of the Savage World rules. If you are looking for a Savage Worlds version of GI Joe, this would be it.

While this is only the tip of the iceberg for military RPGs (even for Savage Worlds), I hope this has helped you make a better decision on what game you should buy for what kind of military game you're wanting to play, whether it's the Saturday Morning variety, a super-soldiers and psychics type game, or a gritty Tom Clancy-esque thriller. As they say, now you know.

And knowing is half the battle.

Kaiser out

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

GI Joe Action - Savage Worlds Style (Part 1)

Like I said before, the new GI Joe movie came out recently, so I'm reviewing not one, but two RPGs for Savage Worlds that were inspired by the cartoon. Each of them are different in their own ways. Both of them do add something new to the table, but which one gives a more authentic GI Joe experience? By that, I mean which one feels more like the cartoon and not just another military RPG?

Starting off, we have Strike Force 7, published by Super Genius Games, who also make supplements for the Call of Cthulu RPG. Before we get into the meat of the system, lets talk about how pretty it dresses. The book certainly does have a well put together and professional layout, and the cover art is pretty good, but there is a severe lack of interior artwork. The only art inside the pages is a snippet from the front cover transposed onto the border lining of each page. While this isn't such a big deal, it does feel like there should be something there to give a visual for some of the vehicles and armor suits that are featured in the book.

Anyway, onto the content. Strike Force 7 starts by asking what kind of person do you want your character to be, from their childhood to why they joined an elite group of commandos. Thankfully, that section doesn't take up too much space as to be too extraneous and only helps you create a concept of your character. After that, you're asked to pick a team affiliation within the organization. Some examples of teams are Military Operations, Counter-Terrorist, and Media Relations...

Wait, Media Relations?

Are you serious? I mean, the other teams make sense, but Media Relations seems kinda... Well, let's just say you won't find Duke or Flint holding a press conference (It would be funny to watch Snake Eyes try to hold one, though)

I guess that's for games that want a more realistic or political bent. To be honest, the game does kind of have a realistic angle on US politics. I mean the author mentions the 9-11 terrorist attacks and even includes the team foiling an assassination attempt on Senator John McCain. While that's fine, it does kind of taint the Saturday Morning Cartoon feel. I mean, you don't often see actual political figures, with the exception of presidents from days long ago (such as Washington), in fictional media – not just in cartoons, but in other TV programs and movies, as well.

Not only that, but it also includes a deep conspiracy, involving inter-department espionage, psychic spies, assassination, and cover ups, which makes it significantly darker than your “Real American Hero.”

Okay, so if this is supposed to be a darker, somewhat realistic campaign, you wouldn't know it from the antagonists of the game. Though the terrorist organization known as Skorpion does have a deep, political origin and background, it definitely feels like an organization that could hold it's ground with Cobra in terms of techno-wizardry and silly code names. This makes an odd counterpoint to the semi-serious Strike Force 7 team.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. After choosing your team, you, of course go through the usual drill of picking Attributes, Skills, Edges, and Hindrances. And, of course, there are new Edges and Hindrances, but some of them are a bit confusing or unnecessary (and I say this as constructive criticism).

First off is Cart Away, which allows you to grapple an opponent from behind if you have surprise (SWEX p. 61) against him. This allows you to cover his mouth and get a +2 to grapple checks against the opponent. The opponent can only speak if he breaks from the grapple. Truth is, you don't need this Edge. I would rule that any character who grapples a surprised opponent has “the drop” on them (SWEX p. 68) and would get a +4 to any grapple check (since a grapple is a Fighting check – I would even go so far as to add it to the Strength/Agility check to hold onto the victim. Gagging him would just be gravy on top of that.

One group of Edges that confused me are Dodging Tumble/Bullet Dance. It says that you can add 2 to the TN of attack(s) with a rate of fire greater than 1 (Dodging Tumble affects only one attack, while Bullet Dance affects multiple ones). It lists the conditions as “When targeted by a strafe attack or the free attack from failing to take cover from suppressive fire.” What is that supposed to mean? I've looked in my rulebook and on Savagepedia and I've heard nothing about a “strafe” attack. And what's this about a “free attack from failing to take cover from suppressive fire?” Are they talking about opponents who succeed their Spirit checks against the suppressive fire? They don't get a free attack. They just don't get shaken from failing their roll. And the person using suppressive fire doesn't get a free attack against those who succeed against their Spirit roll, either. This edge makes no sense.

Then there's “rate of fire greater than 1.” Double barrel shotguns can have a rate of fire of 2 and I don't think that this Edge would cover against shotgun fire. All of the guns that can be used for suppressive fire have at least a 3 in rate of fire, so it should really say any weapon with a rate of fire of 3 or greater. Despite some broken Edges, though, there are some good ones that can be used in a military game (or some other types of game).

After that, there's a section on equipment, mostly cutting edge stuff for Strike Force 7 and sci-fi technology for Skorpion.

The next chapter covers the complex backstory that, while it makes for some good military espionage, just doesn't seem to fit the whole GI Joe mold. Then the obligatory GM's section, which allows GMs to tailor the campaign to fit any style of play, from gritty and realistic, to high tech super soldiers, to, of course, the “Saturday Morning Cartoon” variety.

Even with the variety of ways to play, doing a cartoonish style with the storyline may require some work. Like I said, this feels more at home with a kind of black ops/super soldier type game, what with the psychic operatives, political undermining, and conspiracies. If you're looking for something more along the lines of that, then this game will work great for you.

Well, it looks like this review took too long already and I still have one game left to review. Tune in tomorrow as we “G.E.T. Into Action!”

Kaiser out

Monday, August 10, 2009

Random Weirdness - Every Monday

So, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra is out in theaters (I have yet to see it, but I kinda want to. I loved the cartoon series and most critics said it was better than Transformers 2). In honor of that, I bring you this nugget of ridiculousness from G4's Attack of the Show. Attack of the Show - Cobra Commander's Movie Pitch Next time, I'll review two Savage Worlds campaigns that were inspired by the GI Joe cartoon.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Games You Should Know About (But Probably Don't)

In my last post, I said that Samurai Shodown celebrated its 15 year anniversary in 2008, but that wasn't the only SNK property to celebrate a landmark anniversary. In 1998, SNK decided to jump into the portable race with the Neo Geo Pocket. Unfortunately, the system only endured for year in the Japanese and Hong Kong markets (it never saw the light of day in the US) and only had 12 games in its library. However, out of the ashes of its predecessor came the Neo Geo Pocket Color, a handheld system that did come to the states and, despite the odds against it, could have toppled the stagnant monolith that was the Nintendo Game Boy. When the Game Boy came out, everyone went ape shit because it was a novel idea to play Tetris in the car, at grandma's house, in the bathroom, even at the boring ass vacation your parents dragged you on. But the Game Boy was much more than a portable Tetris dispenser. There were countless games in the Game Boy's library, even expanding into the Game Boy Color lineup. The problem was that about 95% of the games sucked ass. With the exception of the Legend of Zelda games (I still own a copy of Link's Awakening DX) and a couple other notable series, it was a shit shingle buffet. You would think that someone would have created a superior handheld with a stellar game library to pull the rug from under Nintendo's feet, and many have tried, but most of those handhelds couldn't do what should have been an easy task. The problem was the hardware. Systems like Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx were too expensive and could drain an entire package of batteries in days. Add to the fact that none of them offered any games that enticed the consumer and Nintendo didn't even have to work up a sweat to retain their throne in the handheld race. Then came the Neo Geo Pocket Color. It was released in the States in 1999. I first caught notice of the system on some late night TV commercial, you know, the ones with the 800-number at the end. By the look of the commercial, I thought it was another crappy portable. Then I went to my local independent used game store (by local, I mean that only one is in existence, instead of the local chains, such as Slackers or Game X-Change - that might give some of you an idea of where I live). The store owner had a bunch of them in stock, along with a modest selection of games. After the guy told me about the system, I was sold. I bought one (Stone Blue in color) and a copy of Samurai Shodown 2 (note that I don't use the roman numeral for the game, because it's a different game from Samurai Shodown II, and is actually labeled with the number "2"), which is the game I referred to in my last post as being tied with Samurai Shodown IV as my favorite in the series. What was so great about the NGPC? First, the game library, though small in comparison to the Game Boy, sucked a lot less. That is to say that most of the games didn't suck at all. One thing the NGPC did well was, not so surprisingly, fighting games, as they were SNK's strongest selling video games. Along with Samurai Shodown, the NGPC had versions of Fatal Fury, King of Fighters, and The Last Blade (strikingly similar to Samurai Shodown, with different characters) in it's library, along with other popular SNK franchises, such as Metal Slug. It also had some pretty strong third party support, with games being made by Sega, Taito, Namco, and (most importantly) Capcom, who used their acclaimed SNK vs Capcom franchise to not only create a crossover fighting game, but an excellent card battle game, SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters Clash. Sega also worked with Capcom and SNK to allow NGPC games to connect with games for their own underdog system, the Sega Dreamcast. The hardware was stellar, too. The NGPC had a really cool D-pad that worked like a cross between a joystick and an analog stick and played like a dream. It was the first handheld to have no region protection, so you could play japanese games without needing to mod your system. The system had no backlit screen to devour batteries in record time. But the best part was that it only cost, get this, $69.95. Not even the pointless Game Boy Micro was cheaper than that. While the NGPC wasn't given as much shelf space in retail stores, places like WalMart, Toys 'R' Us, and Best Buy did sell them. With great hardware, a small, but superior library of games, and a cheap price tag, the NGPC had all the ingredients to knock the Game Boy down a notch. But, of course, it never happened. Why? A lot of things happened to end the NGPC's reign of terror before it began. First off, SNK was imploding upon itself. I've heard rumors that third party communications grinded to a halt. Then there was the buyout by Pachinko and Slots company, Aruze, who were supposed to salvage the company, but instead hastened SNK's demise and liquidated their assets. SNK was barely saved by its former executives who bought back all their properties and reformed, a couple years later, as SNK Playmore (They also sued Aruze for copyright infringement... and won. Way to take out the corporate evil!) But another factor brought down SNK's handheld - none other than Nintendo itself. After years of resting on their laurels, the big N took out all competition in two strikes. First, came (shudder) Pokemon. Nintendo's game of capturing animals and making them fight each other for prestige (it's like a fucking cutesy, fluffy cockfight) became a phenomenon that single-handedly resuscitated the then faltering Game Boy. The other stroke was the impending Game Boy Advance, which was the final blow in this round of the portable wars. Even though there were already handhelds that had 16-bit graphics, the Advance was a 16-bit system that didn't have the failings of it's competitors (high price and short battery life). By this point, the NGPC had quietly faded into obscurity. Even though the original Neo Geo Pocket came out in 1998, the Neo Geo Pocket Color came out in the States on August 6, 1999 which means it celebrated its 10 year anniversary a couple days ago. Though many people only see the NGPC as an insignificant footnote in the history of portable gaming, I fully recognize that it was a solid system that, if things had been different, could have been highly successful. It did a lot of things right that put it a step above the Game Boy, even the Game Boy Color. Nonetheless, it is nothing more than a slight diversion in the collective consciousness of the gaming populace. Even so, I still have my NGPC, and you can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Then, I'll resurrect myself, kill you, and reclaim it. Happy 10th birthday, NGPC. Never leave an old friend behind. Kaiser out

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Savage Samurai Fighting Game Apocalypse!

The Samurai Shodown series (Samurai Spirits in Japan) is one of the staunchest contenders in my list of favorite fighting games and also helped bring weapon based fighting games to the forefront. Before Soul Edge/Calibur, there was Samurai Shodown. I recently picked up the Wii version of Samurai Shodown Anthology and thought it would be good to do a retrospective, since it was released in celebration of the 15 year anniversary of the series in 2008. It actually is a very interesting look at the history of the series because Samurai Shodown went through quite a few changes over the years. The anthology chronicles all the 2-D arcade games in the series (there were three games that were in 3-D, which I own one for the Playstation - Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage, along with an RPG and others). I decided to play all of them, one after the other, and note the differences. For this purpose, I played them all with my favorite character, the silent, poetic Ukyo Tachibana. The inaugural Samurai Shodown actually felt a bit primitive. The control scheme was a bit odd. The attacks were divided into three different punches and kicks - weak, medium, and strong, just like Street Fighter II. Yet the Neo Geo arcade systems only had four buttons. The solution was to push both the weak and medium attacks to activate the strong attack, which doesn't seem to work too well. I kept trying to hit them both at the same time, but ended up constantly hitting one before the other, which made me do either a weak or medium attack and really wasn't worth trying over and over. Another thing is, while some of the characters have a full compliment of special moves, Ukyo himself got screwed. He has no sort of ranged attack. The only real special move he had kinda required you pin the opponent at the edge of the stage and it never really worked. To be honest, Ukyo was broken in the first game. Samurai Shodown II improved on the existing formula a bit. But while the game looked better and added some cool new characters (Genjuro Kibagami is another of my favorites), they still held onto the ridiculous attack control scheme and Ukyo still sucked. Some fans consider this the pinnacle of the series, but I have to disagree. Both the first and second games were quite hard (I think Samurai Shodown II is actually tougher than the first one), and the controls really aren't very forgiving for errors when it comes to pressing the right buttons for the attack strength you want. And these games aren't really the kind of fighting games where aggression gets you far, either. You have to land your blows, then pull back, because the CPU fighters blocked a lot of your attacks. You had to pick apart their defenses with a well placed shot and make damn sure you put up just as much of a defense because they will be relentless when they strike. Then came Samurai Shodown III: Blades of Blood, which did an enormous overhaul on the previous formula. First off, they finally changed the button scheme, mapping the strong attack on its own button and having only one kick button. Next, they implemented the Slash/Bust system, which gave players two different play styles for each character, each with their own movesets. Third, they shifted the focus of the story into a darker direction and away from Haohmaru in favor of a new character, Shizumaru Hisame (another favorite of mine) as he seeks revenge for the death of his family. Haohmaru, who is pretty much akin to Ryu in Street Fighter II as the primary character of his respective series, becomes a mentor to the young Shizumaru during this time This game actually got a lot of flak, some for the changes I mentioned above (which, in my opinion, I see as an improvement) but also because this game was buggy. It also made people feel ripped off in the arcades because damage for attacks were significantly upped, making for shorter matches. To be honest, I felt the matches lasted just as long are were just as hard, especially the boss, Zankuro, who is just plain hard. In hindsight, people did begin to appreciate some of the changes to the series in this game, but still felt it needed fixing. It must be said that, in this game, Ukyo actually did get a better moveset; finally having a move that can quickly bridge the gap between fighters in order to keep up with "fireball slingers" such as Haohmaru and Galford (fuck, I hate Galford. American Ninja, my ass). Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusa's Revenge is probably my favorite of the series. They did fix some of the persistent problems of the previous game and kept the better changes to the series. Ukyo still plays solid in this game. They tightened up the new control scheme to a polished shine and toned down the damage one attack can do. Nonetheless, this seems to be one of the easier games in the series, that is, until you reach Amakusa, the original boss in the first two games. He took a boss hiatus in the third one (and became a playable character). His return heralds one of the most frustrating boss battles I've played. He's a pain in the ass in this game. Goddamn fruitcup sorcerer. After the collapse and resurgence of SNK in early millenium years, a new Samurai Shodown game arose. The game was developed by Yuki Enterprise, who pretty much did simulation and board games for the budget priced (read "cheapass") Simple 2000 series of games. While that does not bode well, they did entice japanese gamers by announcing that some of the new characters were to be designed by Nobuhiro Watsuki, famous for creating the great anime and manga series Rurouni Kenshin (once again, another favorite of mine, which I may post about some other time). The result was Samurai Shodown V, which was known a Samurai Spirits Zero in Japan, as it was a prequel to the entire series. Needless to say, though, this game is just watered down. It's not that bad, but it's not what should have been made to bring the series back to it's feet. One big thing that chafes me, though, is that they changed the mapping on the slash attacks back to what it was in the first two games! Why? So they could change the strong slash button into a defense button, which allows for you to dash and dodge with but a button press and a joystick direction. To this, I ask, "What the fuck is the point?" It wasn't that hard to double tap the joystick to do a backwards dash. Now I have to go back to hitting both the weak and medium buttons to do a strong slash. Fuck that. Most of the new characters that were added were also pretty unremarkable, with the exception of Mina Majikina, who was supposed to be a polar opposite to Nakoruru. She's kinda sexy and she uses a bow and arrow. They also got rid of the Slash/Bust system and took some of the Bust versions of certain characters into their own separate characters, such as the "Evil Ryu" version of Haohmaru, which is pretty weak. the way, Ukyo plays pretty much the same, with the exception of the strong attack being tough to pull off again. They did make a "special edition" of Samurai Shodown V, which improved the graphics a bit and changed the roster. It also changed the end bosses back to the original Amakusa and Zankuro from Samurai Shodown III. A couple of years ago, they made the final game in this anthology, Samurai Shodown VI. The anthology is the first time anyone can play VI in the States. According to the anthology game manual, VI takes place before all the others. The game is mostly remarkable because every character in every Samurai Shodown game is playable. It also goes back to the button scheme from III and IV because the defense button in V was stupid. Ukyo still plays pretty good, but they changed his moveset. He now has a fast-draw sort of slash move that hits at a certain distance away. Pressing weak, medium, or strong during the move changed the elevation of the move, which is good for hitting a jumping character, but doesn't make it as effective of a move as the one it replaced because you have to be at the exact distance to hit. VI also features some new characters. Most notably is Iroha, who is a crane who transformed into a woman. Wait, let me rephrase that - she is a crane who transformed into a fucking hot woman. Check out the tattys on this girl. Hot. Damn. You see, this young noble saved her life when she was still a crane. So she turned into a woman and does his bidding now. Holy shit, I have to find a crane to save. I better make sure it's a female crane, though. I don't want no beefcake bird trying to suck my cock. VI is actually pretty good, certainly better than V, but number IV gets my vote for all time favorite Samurai Shodown game in this collection. But I do have other games from this series not featured in this anthology. As I said before, I have Warrior's Rage for the Playstation, but I also have one for another system, which could give Samurai Shodown IV a good fight for my all time favorite game in the series. I'm not going to say which system it's on yet. That will have to wait for tomorrow, as this system warrants it's own post. It definitely fits into the "Games You Should Know About..." category. Until then, Kaiser out

Monday, August 3, 2009

Random Weirdness - Every Monday

I'm kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel, right now. So here's something recycled from the Nostalgia Chick - footage of that retarded '80s coming of age and mystical power film, Teen Witch.

I swear, everyone in this neighborhood is just begging for an ass kicking.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Double Dose for the Weekend

Okay, so a couple of things. First, someone obviously found evidence of Yeti in the Himalayas. They actually had some sort of press conference and everything to display the evidence.

Congratulations! You found the footprints of the Abdominal Snowman. Never mind the fact that he's HANGING OUT AT MY LAIR AS WE SPEAK, PLAYING STREETS OF RAGE ON MY XBOX 360. I mean, seriously. We're working on our debut album (the Yeti's laying down some vicious drum tracks). Those footprints are probably four months old, anyway. (Oh, wait. This was dated 2007. My bad. Good job, though.)

Well, this could be good publicity for the band. We could build a whole ad campaign around Abdominus' (it's what we call him for short) ancient mystique. The ladies already love him as it is, what with the abs of Adonis and all. But when they find out all the mythology that he is steeped in, they will orgasm on command.

So, onto the second bit. If you haven't heard yet, Disney is making a new TRON movie. It's been talked about for quite some time, but they've finally thrown us a big bone here. At this year's ComiCon, they revealed the first teaser for the film. It seems the movie is called TRON Legacy. And, of course, Jeff Bridges is back as Flynn, but something's not right (watch the trailer and you'll see what I mean).

Anyway, I was worried for a long time that Disney would fuck this up, somehow. Since PIXAR was Disney's bread and butter nowadays, I got the feeling that they would make the computer world completely CG - no flesh and blood actors. I also thought they may try to update the look of the computer world too much to where it wouldn't seem the same. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded.

The teaser looks awesome. It's basically reminiscent of the unforgettable light cycle scene in the first movie with a twist. While the computer world does show a humongous graphical update (which makes sense, since technology has grown rapidly since the early '80s), it does retain the look and feel of the original. The music in the teaser sounds almost as if they just did a slight remix of the original score. It's nice.

But, hell... why am I telling you about it when you can see it for yourself. Here's the teaser for TRON Legacy.

On top of that, there's a viral website for the movie. I'm getting the impression that Flynn is not in the computer world of his own free will, but that's just speculation.

Kaiser out