Saturday, February 12


Apparently, someone in government (supposedly the VRB or Video Regulatory Board) thought it would be a bright idea to have guards and checkpoints confiscate everything that looks like a pirated CD or DVD or any recordable media they get their pokey sticks on at the MRTs and LRTs.

Well, all this Gestapo-like tactic is doing is getting people MAD as hell. It's pretty stupid, almost as stupid as the notion that bombers will actually walk up to a mall's front door with a time bomb complete with ticking clock, sticks of dynamite and red wires just ready to be seen once their bag is opened.

I've been so far lucky to not be subjected to this, but it seems to be true according to guys like Jonas and recently, Elbert. So if you're bringing stuff of this sensitive nature, better take a cab or a bus. And spread the word, so this black-ops harassment can just die a much-deserved cease and desist. Feh.

I just got the latest PSM Magazine and watched the included dvd. The disc primarily has stuff on the PSP, including a pretty cool run-through of the system's menus and almost an hour of clips from the various games. Sad to say, the games so far failed to impress me.
I mean, Ridge Racer looks like Ridge Racer. Metal Gear Acid looks boring and it's just NOT cool to have turn-based, card game mechanics run a stealth action hero like Solid Snake. Darkstalkers? DARKSTALKERS? You've got PS2 Tekkens, DOAs, Streetfighter III Third Strike and you launch with an OLD niche fighter like Darkstalkers? FEH.
Other stuff like Dynasty Warriors, the puzzle games and the starter RPGs just don't get me thinking "I have to get my PSP now!" Which is actually good in a way since I have a lot of other stuff to spend my money on.

Once again, I don't see myself buying a PSP anytime soon. Incredibly enough, I'm not too excited about it. It's plainly cool to see and hold and it's a great device, but without hot games, it's just an expensive not-a-phone gadget. Yawn.

Which does not mean I won't be doing cartwheels if I suddenly get gifted with a PSP, or find one lying in the street. But if I have to spend twenty plus thousand on it, I'm gonna have to be wooed by something better than the stuff so far revealed.

PSP Dead or Alive. Mmmmm.... Am I dreaming? Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, February 11

Kai: Impending Arrival

The K.I.A. anthology comic is going to print in the next couple of weeks, by hook or by crook. If we allow about three or four weeks of printing and production, copies hot off the press should be in my hands by early to mid-April. This time though, I want to give ample time and preparation for the release- I want a launch event with all or most of the contributing artists, writers and creators. I want the website up and running. I want special extras ready for giving away with the comic. I want it present in every anime or comic event that pops up this year. All in all, even with the printing coming up, I may delay the Grand Launch till a good, sizeable event. Though I'll probably have copies in the stores as soon as possible. We'll see.

Everything's possible, as long as we put in all the due sweat and elbow grease. With all the effort that's gone into this thing, I'd better get it right. We only have one shot at this, so this time we have gotta make it count.
The Godfather (the Game) Part II

I've just seen clips of this game in development, and I have to say it looks pretty good. But then again, so far all that's been shown are CG vids of the cinematics and non-interactive visuals. But still, what's already been shown seems to be of top notch quality, as videogames go.
For one thing, Electronic Arts (the game producers) are actually using the original voice actors to reprise their roles; the video I saw had Robert Duvall and James Caan recording dialogue between their characters, Corleone consiglierie Tom Hagen and Sonny Corleone. Though the two actors are a LOT older, they still sound pretty much the same. The teaser trailer for the game, which simply shows you an eerily lifelike Vito Corleone addressing you and giving you an offer you can't refuse, is pretty cool. I can't tell though if they got a Marlon Brando Sound-alike or if they used the voice from the movie.
The last vid I saw showed a CG re-enactment of the scene in Godfather where the Don gets ambushed while buying fruit. There were two characters NOT in the movie who seem to be in a position to intervene and perhaps change movie continuity- are these guys the players' surrogates in the game?

No gameplay yet- still, I wonder how they'll handle this. In the case of the Don's Assassination Attempt, will you shoot it out with the two assassins, or will you face a TON of gunmen to make things longer and more videogamey? And will you be able to change huge events from the movie, and alter fates of various characters?

Intriguing stuff. I guess we'll all have to wait till the game arrives in Fall 2005.
It is HERE.

Tekken 5 is in Manila!!!

Yep. Last night, I found the latest King of Iron Fist tournament brawler, surrounded by gamefans and hardcore players trying out the new game, complete with memory cards for you to save your records, acquired items and accessories. The game looks great, although still a bit too much of the lackluster Tekken 4 seems to linger in the graphics. The gameplay though looks pretty cool, if a bit too combo and juggle heavy for my tastes. Contrary to what has been stated, it appears that reports of Heihachi Mishima's demise are greatly exaggerated- The machine had all the unlockable characters selectable from the get-go, and old Hei's one of them.
I got my memory card and my game card ready, but I wasn't able to play yet, since the rabid Tekken fanboys and giddy weirdos were all over it like bees on honey. We'll try tonight... anyway, this is just all prologue to the PS2 version, due in a couple of months. WOOHOO! Tekken fever's back in town.

Thursday, February 10

Ninja vs Hackers

It's been reported that Tecmo has finally gotten around to sueing the pants off the guys over at, a forum/board/website specializing in modding and hacking various games, not the least of which are Tecmo's Dead or Alive games, including Dead or Alive 3, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, Ninja Gaiden and more. The mods have included the ability to show the various female characters in the game nude, or near-nude, among other things.

Tecmo seems ready and willing to take this as far as it can go. Beware, hackers! Ninja are coming after you.

The Future of Advertising

Yesterday night, me and Vin and Andrew went up to the fourth floor of Megamall to the exhibit area where advertising students were holding their thesis exhibit. We met up with Elbert to congratulate his beloved and future art director Camy on a thesis well done.
Most of the exhibit area was packed with slick-looking booths festooned with advertising materials, posters, ads and merchandising paraphernalia. Some of them even looked real! It's a testament to the times that a student these days can whip up good, professional-looking ads with just a computer and a good printer.

Back in my day (cue in old geezer impression), we didn't have fancy-smancy printing shops or all-in-one typesetting programs and layout stuff. We had to guess-timate font sizes, use the basic enlarge/reduce functions in copier machines and manually draw copy blocks for our ads. Computers were rare, and the programs weren't as complete or as easy to use as today. Yeah, the young whippersnappers these days have it easy. All you really need is a good PC/Computer with scanner, a Photoshop program and Freehand to make ads.

Oh, and of course, creativity doesn't hurt at all. In fact, that's the best thing to have, and something that wil set apart the real future advertising greats from the rest of the pack.

Wednesday, February 9

Hot Anime

Rei faces his destiny in Steamboy.

Here's probably one of the most anticipated anime movies to come in many years.

The latest work of master animator/director/manga-ka Katsuhiro Otomo is entitled Steamboy, a fantastic action-adventure set in a Steampunk version of Nineteenth-Century Europe. The protagonist, young inventor Rei Steam, is about to attend the first World Expo when a mysterious device called The Steam Ball arrives at his doorstep from his father in the US. Soon after that, mysterious and sinister forces close in on Rei to capture the Steam Ball and it's awesome powers. Of course, these evil forces didn't reckon with a spunky, never-say-die kid who won't let the baddies take the day without a fight.

This movie seems to have it all- spies, armored troops, jetpacks, cool vehicles, flying fortresses AND a pretty heroine for Rei to fall for. All done with the trademark LOVELY animation you'd expect from the director of the legendary Akira. Refreshingly, Steamboy looks to be a whole lot more whimsical, humorous and uplifting than Otomo's most famous film.

Haven't found a local copy yet- but the film is set for a March release in the US, so perhaps we can expect this anyday now. I can't wait.
Show of Hands

I finally got to read the six-issue mini-series Elektra: The Hand. It's a nice little story detailing how the infamous ninja cult in the Marvel Universe had it's origins. That it came from being a sword school driven to become an all-powerful underground organization by its vengeful, foreigner-hating leader is cool, but quite a bit is unrevealed- like how they got all that mystical stuff like resurrection, and how they eventually become worshippers of The Beast. It actually kinda reminds me of the Itto-Ryu sword school from Blade of the Immortal.
The art isn't spectacular, but very nice. The action is pretty good, and overall this is a cool story for Elektra and ninja fans in general interested in learning more about some of the coolest villains in the Marvel Universe. Especially in light of that crappy Elektra film. Heh. Yeah, yeah, flogging a dead horse... hehehe...

Tuesday, February 8

Ghost Photo?

My officemate Fabo went on a shoot in the province last week, and being the camera buff that he is, he was snapping away at every opportunity.
While they were inside an old church, he came upon a flight of stairs leading to the choir loft. They were told that the area was off limits, and that it was locked up.

So Fabo off-handedly took one shot of the stairs, looked away for a second and took a pic of a nearby wall, and then took another pic of the stairs.

Imagine his surprise later when he finds something that wasn't there before in the second photo of the stairs.



If you close in, it's obviously a little kid, a little baby girl in a fancy red dress holding what appears to be a rattle that covers her face. Fabo's pretty positive that he didn't see anyone at the top of the stairs. Thinking back, he remembers that the day he shot this was a Tuesday- not a day for a kid to be dressed up. Plus, he can't think of WHY any parent would allow such a small child to be walking ALONE atop such a high flight of stairs.

Is it just actually a small kid alone at the top of a supposedly closed section of an old church, or is it something else?


Monday, February 7

The Next Bloomin' Epic

I've just seen the trailer for Kingdom of Heaven, and WOW. It's an epic film about the Crusades, or the war between Christians and Moors during the Middle Ages. The film stars Orlando Bloom as a young knight quested with protecting Jerusalem from the heathens. From the pretty lengthy trailer you can see HUGE battle scenes, with hordes of horses, masses of knights and warriors, siege engines casting flame, great fortress walls and lots of swords and armor being readied. Could this be the next epic?
Yep, we've had epic blunders recently (Alexander), and slickly-edited trailers make films look a lot better than they really are, but the scenes shown just simply rock. Plus, the film is being directed by Ridley Scott, a man not unfamiliar with helming mammoth productions. So this might actually be pretty good, if not great.
Kingdom of Heaven will also star Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson and David Thewlis. It's set for theaters in the US in May. Something to look forward to, I hope.
K.I.A. : Kai's Infinite Acronyms

"How about... Kai Is Annoyed?"

Last Saturday, over coffee and tea in UCC at Tomas Morato, the gang winded down and talked about- surprise, surprise, comics! Really, it's been a long time since we talked about local publishing and creative projects involving our passion in graficion and panels, so it was pretty refreshing.
Funny though, that after talking about upcoming projects, we eventually settled into the subject of my own soon-to-be-released K.I.A. anthology... particularly what the acronym K.I.A. should stand for. There were the TONS of variations of the letter 'I', which ranged from Illogical to Impractical to Incorrigible to Ignorant to Introspective and God knows what else.
Then there were the really weird ones, like Kai Is Assassin (which strangely enough I kinda like), or Kai: I'm Assassin! (which I do not). Needless to say, Dean, Vin, Jason, Nikki and I were all laughing our heads off (broken by occasional moments of silence when we thought 'Hey, that actually sounds cool'), probably to the irritation of the other customers. Heh.

Anyway, it just got me even more pumped to release the anthology, which is on the last leg of submissions. Soon, very soon. Promise!

Sunday, February 6

New Games

Got some additions to the ol' gaming library.

There's Suikoden IV, the latest game in Konami's popular RPG. You play yet another hero scarred with a rune of power and seeking to bring together the 108 Stars of Destiny to take down an evil regime. This time, the action's at sea.

Playboy: The Mansion is a Sims-like game except this time you're given the role of Hugh Hefner, head of the Playboy Magazine mega-empire. Shmooze guests, hold parties, set up photo-shoots and publish racy magazines in your bid to big bucks and a bigger sofa.

Tenchu: Fatal Shadows is the latest ninja stealth-action game in this popular franchise. This time, two female protagonists take the stage as ninja he-man Rikimaru goes missing. Veteran Ayame crosses paths with the limb-twisting, neck-breaking Rin as they seek to punish evildoers with their deadly skills of ninjitsu.

Death by Degrees is the action-adventure spinoff from the best-selling Tekken series, starring blonde Irish assassin Nina Williams. The bombshell is on a sneaking and killing mission on a cruise ship controlled by an underworld organization. Expect lots of fighting moves, weapons, puzzles, cannon-fodder goons and rippable costumes.

Lotsa stuff to play with. Oooh. Heheh.
Can't Believe It

What the HELL is up with Ripley's Believe it or Not? Every week they now seem to have this weird segment with Kelly Packard reporting on some stupid competition with gross or crazy stuff- things like eating scorpions or the most hotdogs or breaking wooden planks with their heads. Why are they suddenly aping Fear Factor?

Arrrhhh... How I miss the days of Jack Palance...