Saturday, March 13

Ninja Gaiden

Ryu Hayabusa's adventure is an instant classic, no butts about it. Heh.

In between pages of my ninja hero Kunoichi Boy, I've managed to log in some sessions of play with Tecmo of Japan's latest gaming opus- Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. This action adventure puts players in the toed-boots of Ryu Hayabusa, young ninja warrior and scion of the legendary Dragon clan. Entrusted with a sacred weapon known as the Dragon Blade, Ryu is the only member of his village who survives after a deadly attack, and predictably has the responsibility of avenging his comrades and stopping an evil plot by the sinister Vigoor Empire.

NG is, as I said, an action adventure. Despite having a ninja at your command, there's really no stealth element in the gameplay, as in Tenchu or Metal Gear Solid. You have at your command an expandable arsenal of attacks, with a variety of weapons from a katana to a giant throwing star that would make Yuffie Kisaragi green with envy. The enemies range from commandos to samurai, to zombies and demons.
The game looks incredible, which is something you would expect given that this is a product of the same team that produced the gorgeous Dead or Alive series. Character models are detailed and animated wonderfully, with your onscreen hero himself being as insanely lethal-cool as any ninja in any movie, cartoon or past game could be and MORE.
As for gameplay, the controls are very responsive and after some play is quite fluid and natural. There are some hiccups, such as a slightly iffy camera and some crazily difficult puzzles to solve; but for the most part, playing NG is an addictive, fun and exciting experience.

Yep, it lives up the the hype, I think. No Xbox owner should be without this one.
Back to the Drawing Board

I've decided to stay home for the weekend to catch up on my pages. My priority is actually art for Kunoichi Boy, but I will try to get in more K.I.A. pages as they come to me. So far, one story for the Kai anthology is in the can with pages- Jon Mallari has submitted his 10-page quota this week, and I am pleased. There are about two weeks left before March ends, and hopefully we'll be seeing a deluge of story art within the next several days.

Sunday, comic fun day. More pages, I promise.

Friday, March 12

Random Bits

In gaming...
Ninja Gaiden is now in stores. This slashing, leaping, ninja-fighting action game is being hailed as one of the best action-adventure titles yet. Awesome graphics, animation and solid gameplay are cited, along with cool-as-heck CG animation that tells the story of ninja hero Ryu Hayabusa's battle against the evil Vigoor Empire. I'll try to secure a copy soon...

Capcom will be releasing a PS2 version of Street Fighter III: Third Strike later this year in Japan. This is cool, considering that 3S is my favorite SF game, though I hope there are extras since a Dreamcast version (which I have) is already readily available. Online capability is being studied, but for now is unsure.

In films...
Aeon Flux, the dark and sexy sci-fi toon from MTV's Liquid Television by animator Peter Cheung will be getting the live-action treatment. Slated to star as the slinky, sinewy femme fatale is recent Oscar Award winner, Charlize Theron...

Bad news for LOTR fans waiting for the extended version of the ROTK dvd; there won't be a preview of the xtended set in the May release of the 2-disc theatrical ROTK dvd. Too bad, but I hope the sheer pleasure of seeing the finale to Peter Jackson's triad of blockbuster fantasy movies is enough to sate us till November...

That's that for now...

Thursday, March 11

Freedom For All

In addition to existing venues (ComicQuest, CCHQ, and the outlets supplied by Christian Commercial, Christian Ventures, CA Communication, plus Jade Bookstore and Popular Bookstore), Siglo: Freedom will be available at the following bookstores, by late next week:

Rizal Ave. Branch (701 Rizal Ave)
Superbranch (Gen. Roxas St., Cubao)
Glorietta Branch (Ayala Ctr., Makati)
Harrison Plaza Branch (Mabini St.)
QC Ave. Branch (Quezon Ave. cor. Sct. Borromeo)
Ali Mall Branch (Araneta Ctr., Cubao)
Greenhills Branch (Virra Mall)
Greenbelt 1 Branch (Ayala Ctr., Makati)
Robinson's Place Branch (Ermita Manila)
Festival Mall (Filinvest, Muntinlupa)
SM North Branch (North Ave., cor EDSA, QC)
SM City Southmall Branch (Las PiÃ’as)
Robinson's Galleria Branch (Ortigas Ave. cor EDSA)
SM Megamall Branch (Julia Vargas Ave., cor EDSA)
Shangri-la Plaza Branch (Shaw Blvd cor EDSA)
SM Manila Branch (San Marcelino St., Manila)
Katipunan Branch (Katipunan Ave, Loyola Heights)
Sta. Lucia East Branch (Marcos Hwy. cor. Felix Ave., Cainta)
Cyber One Branch (Eastwood Cyber Park, Bagumbayan QC)
Podium Branch (ADB Ave., Ortigas Ctr.)
Greenbelt 4 (Level 2, Greenbelt 4, Ayala Ctr.)
Megamall ((Julia Vargas Ave., cor EDSA)
Alabang Town Ctr (Muntinlupa)
Glorietta 3 (Level 2, Glorietta 3, Ayala Ctr.)

Get your copy now, now, NOW!

Fallen Angel

Yesterday I went to CQ for the customary bloodletting, netting myself a copy of the latest Fallen Angel and the collected edition of Formerly Known as The Justice League. Incredibly enough, I was able to actually read some of the stuff I got last night.

Fallen Angel (written by Peter David, art by David Lopez and Fernando Blanco- I wonder if they're Pinoy?) is one of the few titles I actually collect these days, a dark and mature-themed story about a hooded, super-strong woman named Lee who lives in the crime-infested city of Bete Noir, serving as a vigilante, bounty hunter, enforcer and whatever it takes to deal out her brand of justice. The 'Fallen Angel' isn't squeaky clean- she sleeps and deals on both sides of the fence, and, in the latest couple of issues, isn't above using a bit of torture to get what she needs- in this case, a mysterious shard.
The latest issues also reveal some quite odd quirks about Lee; particularly how she the soles of her feet actually never touch the ground when she walks, and how there's a definite link between the Crucifixion and the events in present-day Bete Noir. Hmmm. I wonder if it's just a coincidence that The Passion of the Christ in the theaters? Intriguing. I can't wait for the next issue to see where this story goes.

As for Formerly Known as The Justice League TPB, I got this solely on the art- the art is gorgeous, and reminds me a lot of Carl's work on Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah. Hyper-detailed, with lots of sexy women and great action- plus the humorous story looks like it's worth a read. Heh.

Good stuff. Check it out if you can at your favorite comic shops.

Go Nuts Donuts

My officemate Allan and his box of GONUTS DONUTS!!!

I finally got to taste the near-legendary Gonuts Donuts today. I've been hearing about these goodies forever; how they're patterned after the popular Krispy Kreme donuts in the US, and how they're so incredibly delicious. Well, I was able to sample a small morsel and I have to say... they're good. Scratch that- they're really good. The closest thing I can compare the cake-like donut is to the sour-cream donut from Country-Style donuts. Perhaps someday, I can make the trek to The Fort and grab a box myself. Someday.

It doesn't look like much, but it tastes great.

Wednesday, March 10

K.I.A. in a Jar


Saw this at the window display of KinX Cakes at Megamall. Just had to snap a pic. Heh.
It runs in the Family

That's my sister, Lea, posing beside her masterpieces.

There's a definite artistic streak running through my family. My brother is an architect from the same university that brought up Gerry Alanguilan, and he's good at technical drawing. I do comics. My elder sister on the other hand, paints. I've seen her draw a lot years and years ago, when we were a lot younger. Recently though, she's been able to get deeper into her painting. Well, it was a pleasant surprise to see her open an art exhibit along with a gaggle of other painters. The exhibit, entitled Sikat, is open now at the 4th floor of SM Megamall. Lots of colorful art to see. Go and take a look if you're in the area.
The King Returns in May

Yep, if you wanna see the nailbiting Siege of Minas Tirith, the MAD, mad, mad charge of the Rohirrim versus the monstrous Haradrim Oliphaunts, the battle between hobbit and giant spider, the charge of the Dead Armies and Viggo Mortensen singing again (Yipe), the date to wait for is May 25. The initial release of ROTK dvd will be the 2-disc widescreen theatrical cut release, which will include of course special features, trailers and other good stuff. The much meatier and more anticipated EXTENDED version will most likely land on our shores by November. Well, that's the LOTR event to wait for this year...
Appealing to my Inner Tyrant

Several weeks ago, Carl introduced the gang to a site called, a game site where you create and guide your own 'nation'. You make up the name, type of government, policies, flag and national animal, and you're off. It seemed like an interesting way to waste more time online, so I resolved to try it. But it was only after seeing Nikki do it that I finally got to making my own little private country online.
My state is called The Dictatorship of Madrapoor, and we're a benevolent but iron-fisted state that has one year of compulsary military service, a belief in strong spirituality and a national animal known as The Madripoor Viper. Yep, it's a nice place to visit, but live there only if you like snakes.

Heh. Okay, back to work...

Monday, March 8

Gaming Interlude

Over the weekend I was able to pick up a bunch of games. The first two are for the Xbox. One is Samurai Shodown Special, which is apparently a cracked version/port of the latest game in the SS series- which is COOL since normally you'd need to have a NEO GEO arcade unit to play that. Anyway, Samurai Shodown 5 brings together a lot of familiar fighters from the past SS games, such as Haohmaru, Genjuro, Charlotte Christine Colde, Nakoruru, Rimururu, Tam Tam, Kyoshiro, Hanzo Hattori, Galford, Gaira, Basara, Sogetsu, Kazuki and more. Joining the veterans are some new combatants, including a sexy, scantily-clad archer girl, a HUGE demon, a warrior with more swords than he has arms, an 'evil' version of Nakoruru and an old man who looks a bit like Han Myoung from the Soul Edge games. I can't really say that I find too many of the new guys interesting (the archer girl is quite fetching though), but this is the latest in a classic series, so I'll give it a play or two.
Everything or Nothing is the latest videogame in the James Bond franchise, and I have to say it looks great. The producers pulled out all the stops and got actor Pierce Brosnan to give his looks for your onscreen bond. Actors Judy Dench (M) and John Cleese (Q) reprise their roles from the films via voiceovers, taking you through the missions and giving the game quite a bit of authenticity. Along with the regular Bond cast, there are a bevy of Bond girls to encounter, played by actress Shannon Elizabeth, model Heidi Klum, singer Mya and Japanese model Misaki Ito. On the heavies side, Willem Dafoe plays the head bad guy. Yep, this game has all the trappings of a real Bond movie- Hell, they even got Richard Kiel to reprise his role as Jaws!

While I never got into past bonds because the gameplay was generally blah, EON has intuitive controls which are responsive and fast. Firefights are exciting and enemies are smart, and it takes no time at all to become an expert gunman. The first few levels are pretty cool and include a battle in a fortress and a train chase. I think I'm gonna see this Bond through.

Finally, Final Fantasy X2: International + Last Mission for the PS2 adds the english voiceovers of the US FFX2 with new modes, a couple of new dress spheres and more to freshen up this girlpower RPG. I doubt I'll be able to finish this one through, but I got it just to see Yuna in her kimono outfit. Heh.
Sigh. So many games, yet so little time to enjoy them. Gotta put these away and get back to churning out pages...

Sunday, March 7


Recently, I was walking home sometime after midnight, inside our subdivision. As I was passing the local basketball court/playground, I noticed some youths grouped at the side in the yard, smoking and hanging around. As I walked by, I heard some of them talking 'gangsta' speak (You know... words with mother and the 'F' word). Just then, several small pebbles clattered all around me. One even hit me on my back. It didn't hurt, but the blow wasn't physical.'


I stopped and turned to look at the darkened playground where the youths were. One of them kept muttering (at me), still in the stupid gangsta speak- "What'cha looking at Motherf___er?"

Perhaps it was against better judgement, but for some reason, I walked TOWARD the pebble-throwers. I could tell they were teens, smoking and probably tipsy with drink, or worse maybe even drugs. It didn't matter. I was mad.
"Were you throwing stones at me?" I rasped.
They at first denied it, saying that it was maybe just some rocks falling from the sky or something. There were no more gangsta comments or quips. They were silent, obviously not prepared to get confronted for their posturing.

"Stop that." I said. I turned, but kept my eyes at them. As I walked away, the guy who spoke to me started apologizing, probably worried that I'd cause trouble. I didn't give any reply and just kept walking away. I was done. I had half a mind to report them, but if I did, whatever happened next I would be at a disadvantage. I'll let it pass, for now. But still, I'm not totally unscathed. Now I have to make it a point to avoid walking that way at that time, just for safety's sake. Gotta make it a point to ride a cab home that late.

This is my home, for God's sake. I've been living here for the past seventeen years. Those bastards were just frickin' sperms in their stupid parents' when I started living here. They have no right to terrorize people here.

PRIME Vanishing Ray targets. Bastards. What a waste of oxygen.

I once thought all SOLAR USA was just good for B-movies, bad cartoons and the odd tagalog action film. Well, ever since the channel got WWE wrestling into its program schedule, it's been a regular stop for me. Imagine my surprise when one night I turned to SOLAR and found myself watching WOW, or Women Of Wrestling. FYI, WOW is the recent (well, it was a few years ago) resurgence of the old GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) show in the 80s. Like its predecessor, WOW features an all-female roster of female wrestlers, most with their various themes, schticks and gimmicks. This includes of course 'faces' (Good Girls) like Terry Gold the Perfect Ten gymnast, and the Beach Patrol, who skip into the ring wearing the trademark red one-piece swimsuits from Baywatch. Then there are the 'heels' (Bad Girls) which include Jungle Grrl, a leopard skin-wearing wildcat who loves flattening her enemies with a splash from the top turnbuckle; and the Disciplinarian, a teacher from hell. As you'd expect, the cheese factor is pretty high, but so is the babe factor, so it's cool for anyone who loves seeing slinky femme fatales doing clotheslines and suplexes. Hey, that's me! Heh.