Friday, August 19


Eyesight is perhaps the most valuable sense. Really. There are so many things you can appreciate with sight that taste, hearing, smell and touch just can't capture or appreciate. Perhaps it's because I'm nearsighted and astigmatic with eyes murkier than Manila canal water that I seem to keep awake as long as I have to, devouring eye candy like I have an eternally-itching eye-sweet tooth.

Well, I learned recently that my Mom, the light of the family, has some trouble with her eyesight. She's got cataracts in one of her eyes, and it's been steadily giving her trouble. Lately, her vision's been getting blurred in that eye, so that she's now practically blind in it at night. She had it checked today with my sister and we found out that it's not a problem that's going to go away. In fact, it can only get worse. If untreated, her eye could go totally blind in several months. After that, her other eye may be affected as well.
So she's getting an operation. I heard how much it will cost and I am flabbergasted. Fortunately though, the insurance of my sister and I will help a bit, at least. I think that we can all handle this thing no problem, no matter what. I just hope everything goes well and this will all pass shortly. I just can't see anything else happening other than that. I just can't.

Prayers and well wishes will be appreciated.

I've been frickin' busy all week. All MONTH seems like. Haven't been able to go to Mega and chill at all this whole time. And it looks like the darn load will spill into the weekend and not let up until mid-week next week.

Yikes. On the bright side though, things, while hard, seem to be proceeding smoothly. Gotta just keep things under control, keep all the bases covered and not let anything sneak up on me. Sheesh.

Have to start work on Project Hero stuff soon. Gotta read that pile of DC Infinite Crisis stuff Vin made me buy. Gotta relax and play. Gotta rest.

Soon. Soon. SOON. I hope.

Thursday, August 18


Recently, I discovered a cool little program for the PC called PSXVideo that lets you view (and convert to AVI format) CG movies and FMV in various Playstation 1 games. Now I don't have to play through games like, oh, Parasite Eve (which I played years ago) just to see the pretty CG. Speaking of pretty, it's funny to watch the videos of intros and endings of classic PS games and see how nicely (or badly) they've aged. These days, CG intros to games are about as complex, detailed and epic as full-blown movie trailers (check out the Tekken 5 and DOA Ultimate intro movies)... but there are still classic intros that still stand up to the test of time and make me want to dust off the old PS1 discs for a re-play.

Soul Edge

The Soul Edge intro. Still as sharp as ever after all these years.

The best scene: Siegfried escaping a crushing fate.

Sophitia's nudity was censored in the US version.

Taki kicks demon butt while showing off hers.

The opening CG movie of the original Namco weapons fighter is, in my book, perhaps the greatest intro movie of the PS era. No other PS1 game can equal the rocking opening movie- a series of various scenes showing the game's cast of warriors, assassins and weirdos engaged in battle or in bathing (as in the case of Sophitia). Set to a rocking, fast-paced song, the video just gets your heart racing and your hands aching for the controller. Too bad the game's sequels (Soul Calibur 1 and 2) ditched CG intros for realtime demos... Oh well. This is a great vid to just watch every now and then.


Law being assaulted by fireflies, looks like.

The original Nina Williams in action.

Yeah, these days the Tekken series is known for great CG. The series' intros and endings from Tekken 3 onwards pretty much solidified Namco's claim to fame as masters of the videogame movie. However, they weren't always like that... The original Tekken intro really looks first-generation CG. But hey, to get to where they are now, artists and videogame creators had to pass by these stages, right? For me though, the original Tekken intro has a cool nostalgia factor which I love even to this day. Really.

Suikoden II

No fancy CG here, except for some simple scenes... most of the intro to arguably the best chapter of this beloved RPG series is made up of various character art. But still, the direction of the scenes and the GREAT music just makes for a rousing opening for an epic quest. This is one of my favorite intros, and the game itself is one of my favorite RPGs of all time. Recognize.

We took fighting game intros for granted a lot during the days of the PS1, since there were so many of them. Still, not every game is a Tekken or a DOA, and some of the less-known brawlers had cool CG. One of the better ones was the intro for Ehrgeiz, a free-moving fighter from Squaresoft (Makers of Final Fantasy). Showing off the various fighters in cool situations made for an awesome introduction to a pretty cool game overall.

Final Fantasy 8
While I still believe that Final Fantasy VII is the best FF ever, and that the sequel FF8 is a piece of trying-hard, unadulterated pap trying to capitalize on the previous chapter's thunder, I have to admit that the CG movies in the 8th Final Fantasy game are pretty incredible. The battle between Seifer and Squall, the lovely Rinoa Heartilly, and the promise of an epic story of love, magic and adventure was excellently set by the intro movie... unfortunately the game turned out to be more teenybopper than epic, and the story incomprehensible. Aaaah, what the heck. The intro was awesome. Moving on.

There are tons more cool PS intro and CG movies worth mentioning... the cinematics of Final Fantasy VII, the great creepy videos of Silent Hill... ah, those were the days when it was like Christmas every week and coolness resided in every CD. They don't make 'em like they used to anymore.

Perhaps these days we're all a bit harder to please, or maybe we've seen it all. It takes a lot more to please us these days, but whatever happens, the gamer in me will always love and enjoy a good intro. Whether or not the game after it is worth the bucks we paid for them. Heh.

Tuesday, August 16

Advent Figure

FFVII AC's Tifa action figure.

Over the weekend me and my college friend Pot went off on our occasional Sunday jaunt to Greenhills, and our general agenda was looking over the various model and hobby shops. In one of the places we went to I saw the new Tifa Lockheart action figure as she looks in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Advent Children movie. You know what? I really like the characeter but come on... why did they have to change her duds? I mean, lots more skin shown in her old outfit aside, Tifa is the only character apparently who had to change her look... everyone else looks the same, from Cloud to Yuffie to Cid to Barret and Vincent. And why the frumpy overalls? In fact, her present look just makes Tifa look too similar to Rinoa Heartilly from FF8. My secret hope is that when Advent Children actually hits, Square changes Tifa's duds back to her REAL costume. Oh well. We can dream. Or play FFVII or Ehrgeiz to see the real Lockheart look in action. Heh.

Monday, August 15


Picked up a game over the weekend- the brand new first-person shooter Darkwatch. This supernatural, western-themed action game puts players into the boots of outlaw Jericho Cross, train robber extraordinaire who gets in waaaaay over his ten-gallon hat-topped head when he jumps on board a strange train for his last score. For inside the armored boxcars isn't a load of gold... it's a force of ultimate evil known as Lazarus. Thrown together with a young lady named Cassidy, Jericho soon finds himself afflicted with vampirism, in danger of losing his soul and hot on the trail of a devil on earth. It's gonna take tons of bullets, dynamite and lots of killing undead hordes before Jericho somehow saves or damns his soul... which will it be?
I'm not really one for shooters, but this is actually a pretty good game. Thankfully, it has a 'greenhorn' difficulty level which lets a total FPS spacecase like me to wade through enemies and continue when I die (a lot). The story seems pretty cool and it's getting me to keep going on even though the odds seem insurmountable. And I am finding it pretty fun to engage skeletal bandidos in gunfights... though often I just wade in and take their heads off with a well-placed rifle butt. The controls are pretty slick, though there are some irritating jumping segments that are maddening to navigate- good thing there aren't any one-hit deaths... so far.

This is a pretty cool game, although a bit on the mature side. Want some gunslinging action with a supernatural twist? Join the Darkwatch and see if you've got what it takes to take on your dark side.