Saturday, January 22


Keeper of the Bloodbank, Manipulator of Time, Benevolent Shopkeep, the Sun around which the Gang Revolves... Vin turns one year older today!

It's been a swell several years hanging out at Comic Quest, talking comics, anime, movies, toys, a thousand and one uses for the Vanishing Ray and more with you, Mr. Big Little Boy. And I'm looking to see a lot more years to come.

Happy Birthday!
Tekken 5

Got the latest PSM magazine, and it came with a DVD that had, amongst the many vids and trailers, several fights from the upcoming Tekken 5. I am not too sure if the graphics are from the PS2 or arcade version, but all I can say is that Tekken just can't compare graphically to Dead or Alive Ultimate. That said, Tekken 5 will offset this slight deficiency with lots of extras when it comes to the PS2- tons of CG cinematics, customization options, a mini-action/adventure game and extra characters supposedly not found in the arcade game. Barring any delays, we should all be Tekken it to the next level this February or March.

Friday, January 21

Ooh, pretty art...

I've just seen the preview of Frank Cho's Shanna the She-Devil #1 over at Mile High Comics.

DAMN that Monkeyboy's art is frickin' gorgeous.

Even though I've seen the pages, read the story... I gotta have the comic. Shanna is going to sell through the roof. At least, that's what I think. Half-naked kick-ass babe, dinosaurs, Nazis, lions, tigers... bears... Oh, my.

It's out early February. Get your copy, but not before me. Heh.

I've more or less decided that the first release of K.I.A. will have the subtitle Kai: Infinite Assassin. Previous copy possibilities included stuff like "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "Daughter of K.A.L.I", but a suggestion was given to have a definition of the K.I.A. title. From what I have read and heard, the acronym K.I.A. is military jargon for "Killed In Action", and so this is perfect for reflecting the somewhat darker tone of the Kai anthology. It also helped that K.I.A. is a play on Kai's mixed-up identity these days. Still, all of this is probably clear just to me, so all right, I'll help things along and make things clearer.

On the subject of K.I.A., it's still chugging along. I'm still working on some pages, but it's really just a matter of time before we pull this off. Like Agent K herself, we won't give up until we finish this mission. More as it happens.
Running Time

Whew. The week's finally over. It's been pretty tiring since I've started going a lot earlier to work. I should actually go home earlier since I come to work earlier, but that really doesn't happen since I usually pass by the Blood Bank to unwind. Maybe I should make it a point to go home right away on at least a couple of weekdays, and have dinner at home both to get rest and save a little cash.
It will probably help to get myself a new alarm clock- the one in The Sanctum is still that old Culture Crash giveaway (Pasig artwork) which works but is hard to set since you can't see any numbers aside from the four cardinal points... which makes setting the alarm a bit of guesstimation. But then, it's important to have the alarm since I have apparently the tendency to sleep through the TV Alarm system which I thought once pretty reliable.

Anyway, I think I'm getting the hang of getting up at 7:30 everyday and taking ice-cold showers to wake up... just give me a couple of weeks to get the biological clock into step.

Wednesday, January 19


Five people go to space.

One will become BAD.

Four will become... FANTASTIC.

This God-awful bit of copy is what heralds the trailer of Fantastic Four, the latest comic-to-movie translation from Marvel Comics. It's VERY early to really say anything about it, but it's not a very nice trailer. Hate the music, the CG effects are iffy, the Thing looks wrong, Dr. Doom (weird that they put his origin along with the rest of the FF) looks wrong and so forth. Even slick editing won't fix a lame movie, but what the hey- the Fantastic Four are such a, well, fantastic, bunch of heroes so for all we know, at the very least this should be an action-packed outing. Jessica Alba provides eye candy, though Sue Richards AKA Invisible Girl seems a bit old a role for her. I'm not that much into the title, but just the same I'll chuck this into the list of anticipated films later this year.

Spent the whole day in a hotel function room, where we helped clients thresh out their stuff for the year.

Well, the hardest thing for me to do the whole time was to keep anyone from noticing me nodding off or having my eyes glass out. The good thing was there was plenty of food, and we had a great buffet lunch and some really cute desserts. In the end it was a job well done and everyone left more or less happy. Real work begins next time. Yay.

Tuesday, January 18

Man of Action (Figures)

Over the weekend I got myself three figures from SOTA Toys' Streetfighter series. These include of course, the two classic SF ladies, THE original kung fu lady cop Chun Li and British commando Cammy. The third is Dragon Punch-crazy Ken (actually I wanted Ryu but I couldn't find one at the price I wanted). The figures feature tons of articulation which should make for tons of great poses... if and when I actually open the packs. I might try to get a Ryu figure at Comic Quest, if they are selling singles.
The voting for the Series Four wave of SF SOTA figures is over- don't know yet if my favorite ninja girl, Ibuki, won or not, but I'm crossing my fingers. If she did, I'll be one happy camper at the prospect of having all the best SF ladies in an action figure set (schoolgirl Sakura is in Series 3). We'll see. Hope, hope...
Game Bytes

Powerful, honorable Rau and lithe, lethal Tati team up in Rise of the Kasai.

Rise of the Kasai was one of my most anticipated games last year. Both prequel and sequel to the critically-acclaimed fantasy-strategic action title Mark of Kri, ROTK once again takes us into the saga of Rau, powerful warrior of a tribe protecting the secrets of powerful magic. This time around, you not only get to use Rau but his hot, thong-wearing sister Tati as well (she was a 10-year old kid in the first game) and a couple of other veteran warriors. The plot is still pretty hazy, but happens both before and after the events in Mark of Kri. It certainly concerns events that lead to Rau's apparent death, and follows the fate of Tati, who has been cursed with powerful tattoos on her body that both give her great power and may lead her to a path of evil.

Mark of Kri made me sit up and take notice primarily due to the odd blend of high quality, Disney-esque character designs AND brutally realistic action and animation (think a Disney-made Conan the Barbarian animated movie). Rise of the Kasai looks to continue this mature streak. Originally intended to have an online gameplay component, ROTK is now a totally offline, one-player game, which is no problem to me. According to the official ROTK webpage, the game is set for a March 15, 2005 release. One more game to look forward to.

Death by Degrees: Nina Williams is shaping up well. The concerns from before, involving the somewhat stiff gameplay and controls, have reportedly been addressed. Aside from battling the various goons of the secret Kometa organization she's up against, the Irish-born assassin has to contend with several tough bosses. This includes Nina's 'beloved' sister Anna, which will most probably lead to the Mother of all Catfights between the two siblings. DBD will reportedly reveal many things about Nina and Anna's past, the biggest of which being the event that led to their separation from their father, and their subsequent rivalry.
Awesome CG cinematics and Tekken-sidestory drama aside, Death by Degrees will also feature- get this- costume damage. Yep... Nina's duds will get ripped and torn off as she gets beat up, which will undoubtably please fans. That the game is set on a ship makes DBD that much more similar to the old Sega Dreamcast beat 'em up, Dynamite Deka. Last but not least, gamers will want to check out Death by Degrees simply for the fact that it will come with a demo of Tekken 5. YOWZA! Wait for it, guys and gals, this February.

A new Inu Yasha fighting game is coming later this year from Bandai. Unlike the previous IY fighter, Sengoku Otogi Gassen, the new anime beat 'em up will be in 3-D. The game will also feature tag team action and of course a lineup that includes all the cool characters from the popular Takahashi fantasy drama series.

Team Ninja is hard at work on Dead or Alive 4. The sequel to the best fighting game on Xbox and the sexiest brawler ever still hasn't pinned down the actual platform it will appear on, whether that be XBox or XBox Next. According to the fickle Tomonobu Itagaki's interviews with some online magazines, we know the following:

DOA4 will have an online element, improved over DOA Ultimate

Lisa, who originally appeared in DOAX, will be joining the roster, and she will be fighting with a 'mysterious skill';

The main storyline will involve Helena's taking over of the DOATEC megacorporation as its second chairman.

There will be CG endings- Itagaki describes filming footage at the Great Wall for Lei Fang's ending.

Bah. Nothing really... expect DOA4 to hit perhaps next year. Oh well, at least we have DOA Ultimate...

Games on my Playing List Right Now: Champions of Norrath (PS2), Dead or Alive Ultimate (XBox), Inu Yasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask (PS2), Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 (XBox), Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (PS2), Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Monday, January 17


Now this is my kind of party...

In the late, late hours of Friday (or the early, early hours of Saturday), I was getting my feet wet in the MMORPG genre, through the new 3-D online RPG Tantra. I got the game cd of the Tantra beta version free with a magazine, and since there aren't any fees (yet), I decided to try. The game looks pretty gorgeous, with really nice character models and backgrounds, though with my dial-up connection the animation was at best extremely choppy. I spent about an hour walking bout, trying to kill some basic monsters (and getting subsequently killed every time) and just trying to make heads or tails of the control scheme.
I'm not really an online RPG kind of gamer, but Tantras' world and designs interested me so I gave it a try. But unless I get a broadband connection to smoothen out the experience, I don't think I'll be making regular trips back to the Hindu-themed fantasy world, or any other online game for that matter. Most probably I'll be playing Champions of Norrath offline on the PS2 in preparation for Return to Arms this February.
Out of Touch

Wasn't able to update over the weekend since phone lines at the subdivision went dead and stayed dead since Friday or so. Don't know why... maybe some bastard stole the copper wires in the telephone wires AGAIN. BAH. Anyway, hope the phone company fixes the thing so I can surf from The Sanctum again sometime in this lifetime.
Sucky Movie

Last night, me and the ol' college buddies hunkered down in The Sanctum to chill, have our monthly dose of unhealthy pizza, soda and dessert, rummage through my stuff, and to talk about current events and old times. Somehow, even after all that, we still managed to watch the latest (and perhaps last) movie in the Blade series of films with Wesley Snipes. We watched the flick from a decently clear dvd, though the sound seemed oddly and slightly out of sync, making it kinda like an old kung fu movie. The third film, entitled Blade Trinity, has the 'Daywalker' Blade (half-vampire, half-human hybrid Snipes) returning with scraggly sidekick/weapons developer/mentor Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), still out regularly hunting vampires who prey on the human population.
The film begins though with a team of the bloodsuckers, led by evil hottie Danica Talos (Parker Posey), entering an ancient tomb in Iraq and finding something- scary. The CG monstrocity (which looks like a cross between Giger's Alien, Sauron from LOTR and the monster from Species) is actually THE vampire- the first of his kind, known to the world as... DRACULA.
Well, these days though, he's known simply as Drake (John Doe's Dominic Purcell), and for most of the film he appears as a foppy Euro-hunk. Not exactly the picture of Dracula you'd expect at all. Anyway, Drake 'allows' Danica and her crew to take him back to urban USA, where they concoct a scheme to take out their greatest enemy- Blade- and rule the world. In pretty short order, Blade is exposed to the public at large, hunted down by the authorities and left hanging in the wind alone.
But not for long. Blade Trinity marks the debut of The Nightstalkers, a network of vampire-hunters working in secret to aid Blade in fighting the bloodsucker threat. Chief among them are Abigail Whistler (a HOT Jessica Biel), ol' Abe's kick-ass daughter who loves killing vamps while listening to MP3s, and Hannibal King (Van Wilder's Ryan Reynolds), a former vampire who's equally at home shooting snappy funnies as he is shooting UV bullets. Despite some initial friction, Blade and the 'rookies' soon prove to be a potent team as they work to use the appearance of Drake as the way to defeat the vampire threat once and for all.

There are lots of good stuff in this movie. The action is still something to watch, though the quality of the fights is still markedly the least in the Blade series. Abby Whistler and Hannibal King are pretty cool characters, with King providing the movie with some pretty funny lines in between the action. However, we had our bones to pick.
For the most part, the fault lies in the baddies- Parker Posey's Danica Talos and her gang (including WWE superstar Triple H AKA Paul Michael Levesque as main henchman Jarko Grimwood) seem to drift around without really much of a plan, save to serve as straight men to Ryan Reynold's jokes. No one really stands out as too formidable (Triple H DOES get to do some wrestling moves, but is woefully underused- he's a LOT more menacing as his WWE heel persona). But the cake is taken by Drake AKA Dracula, who is simply the most unimpressive, not-scary, not formidable Dracula/Blade main villain in the trilogy. Stephen Dorff'sDeacon Frost in the first movie or Luke Goss' Nomak in Blade II, or even Ron Perlman's Reinhart were cooler, more dangerous and infinitely more fun than the Euro-trash man-whore main villain of Blade Trinity. Yawn.

In the end, we had a few laughs from Hannibal King, gaped at the hotness of Jessica Biel, watched the strangely by-the-numbers fights. Watching Trinity just made me glad that I decided to watch Kung Fu Hustle instead of this run-of-the-mill timesucker in the cinemas. Oh well.