Saturday, August 12

Black Beauty

Yesterday night, I finally went and got myself a Sony Playstation Portable, or PSP. I've been resisting getting one for months and months, but when a game on this fledgeling platform finally appeared that I really wanted, I guess the decision was made. Once I got the money for the new toy, it was just a matter of deciding where to get it and what version. It's a bit tricky for the PSP since there's a bit of a choice- do I get one with the earlier, infamous 1.5 firmware/OS, which allows for users to use downloaded game ISOs or do I just get one of the normal updated versions for use with normal UMD games.

In the end, I got a regular PSP- I wouldn't be buying games left and right, but I would be choosing the titles I actually get. Of course, I got with my new console the title that finally sold the deal- Tekken: Dark Resurrection, a port of the arcade update to the brilliant PS2 fighter.
Well, what can I say? I got the usual black PSP (instead of the rarer white version prevalent in Japan) which is thankfully free of any dead pixels. The first accessories I got with it were a screen protector (it's not a touch screen but still easily scratchable hence the need for protection), a nice container pouch plus headphones/remote. The device looks DAMN sexy and lovely, I have to admit. It's one gadget which really makes you feel good about buying one, thanks to the nice, quality feel of the thing. It's not a brick, but is of substantial weight... I won't want to be having this on my waist all the time, but it shouldn't be a problem bringing along in any case.
Aside from being a gaming console, the PSP also serves well as a video and music player. Getting videos onto the inserted Memory Stick is pretty easy, and the big PSP screen makes for lovely viewing. So now, I have another portable video player aside from my XDAIIi. Heh.

Last night I was playing Tekken DR again and again. The graphics are lovely... pretty incredible the first time you see it, and still incredible several hours in. It's amazing how Namco was able to squeeze in this game into the PSP. Of course, TDR includes the whole King of Iron Fist Tournament's gang, plus three newcomers- Lili is the deadly dancing daughter of a tycoon fighting to 'free' her father's company from the Mishima Zaibatsu; Dragunov is a creepy undead soldier who uses even scarier Commando Sambo; and finally the returning Armor King is the long-lost master of evil wrestling.
The game is pretty brilliant, and the gameplay is appropriately and perfectly Tekken and the extras are abundant. Finally a true fighting game on the go! Best of all, this should last me for a while... at least, until I get a couple more titles. Fun stuff!

Thursday, August 10

Conjugal Birthday

Today, my parents turn one year older each. It never ceases to amaze me that both my Mom and Dad were born on the same day. Anyway, I took half the day off to spend lunch with them and my sister and her husband. We had steak and spaghetti and paell and had a blast hearing my Mom talk about her days as a nurse while she worked under Dad (who was a doctor then) before they even got married. It was weird hearing that at that time, my Dad had other girlfriends and my Mom never even thought she could ever get hitched with him since the conservative hospital management forbade relationships between nurses and doctors. Well, obviously that didn't stick since I'm here. Hehe.
Anyway, instead of buying them the usual gifts I just gave in to my Mom's suggestion and gave them cash instead. After all these years, it's me who's giving back to my two most important people in the world. Hopefully, I'll have many, many more years to keep on giving to them. Happy birthday, Parents!

Tuesday, August 8


The next big thing in fighting games: Butt Boxing.

Right now, my Xbox360 is all about The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Yeah, it's just total bliss to create your own bad-ass and build him or her up to the deadliest S.O.B. in all of Cyrodiil, explore every corner of the huge continent and strip fallen enemies down to their undies. But even so, I have no doubt in my mind that come late 2006/early 2007, when Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 comes onto the Xbox360, I'll be taking a bit of time off from Tamriel for some fun in the digital sun.

Team Ninja's bouncy sequel to their 'vacation' game is set to be bigger than the first one. DOAX2 this time around will feature not only improved beach volleyball as the main game, but also jet-skiing. The minigames will include a Photography Mode, Waterslides, the returning Pool Hopping game (this time now with two girls in a race), a Race-for-the-Flag beach race, Water Tug-of-War and, get this- Butt Boxing. Butt-boxing or 'The Flotation Device Game' has two DOA girls standing back-to-back on a floating platform, each trying their darndest to bump the other off using well-timed bumps with their behinds. The game will, according to Tomonobu Itagaki, use a similar system to the Rock-Paper-Scissors system used in the actual DOA fighting game, and so will be the closest to a 'fighting minigame' in DOAX2 (cheater...).

Aside from the main games, minigames and the casino activities, DOAX2 will also be featuring the return of the Gravure scenes- the non-interactive cinematics showing the girls in various poses and titillating vignettes. This time around, Team Ninja has invested a LOT of time into these cut scenes, with about 15 unique to each girl and totaling about 170 scenes. The girls however will be able to 'imitate' the scenes of other girls, so if you want to see nice girl Kasumi doing some of Christie's risque poses, you can. There will also be 'Pair Gravure' scenes, which will require you to build up the relationship of the two girls to compose the scene. Also available will be 'RARE' Gravure scenes... whatever that means. Mmmm.

Well anyway, the first DOAX game was solid fun, so having the bikini-clad DOA girls in next-gen splendour sounds pretty swell. Team Ninja hopes to have this game out by the end of 2006... let's see it. There's nothing quite like bikinis on Christmas. Heh.

Monday, August 7

Dark Knight

The sequel to last year's Batman Begins will be entitled Dark Knight, which is probably a nod to the now-classic Frank Miller graphic novel. Christian Bale will return as Bruce Wayne AKA Batman. This time around, the caped crusader will take on his comics nemesis, The Joker, who will be played by none other than Heath Ledger (A Knight's Tale, Brothers Grimm). Now, the choice for the pivotal villain role may have some people scratching their heads, but he has already proven to be a bit of a chameleon when taking on roles, so who knows, he might just be an excellent Clown Prince of Crime. Look for Dark Night in theaters next year.