Thursday, November 23

A Day at the Beach

Yes, I went ahead and took a day off after about three days of intensive pitch work. But no, I didn't actually go to the beach. My copy of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 arrived today, and I gave it the once over. I paid for a so-called 'Limited Edition' copy of the game, and it came in packed in a nice box with those cute little foam biscuits, along with a limited edition pack of DOAX2 Playing Cards. Well, I don't really play cards so I'll just keep the pack in storage and maybe sell it on eBay someday... anyway, on to the game.
Thankfully, despite being a Japanese version, DOAX2 has both english and Japanese language tracks, as well as subtitles. The english-dub is satisfactory; I didn't find myself turning to the regular Japanese voices, though I have to admit I initially winced at hearing Helena speak english with a French accent.

As with the first game, DOAX2 puts you onto a resurfaced, resurrected Zack Island, a tropical vacationer's paradise created by the easy-going Muay Thai expert from the DOA fighting game. Once again, the DOA girls are lured into the island on various pretenses, but in the end it's all the same. Your chosen girl for the game spends 2 weeks on the island, relaxing at the poolside, engaging in various diversions like minigames and the title's two main activities (volleyball and jetski races) and using the proceeds earned to purchase tons of items and sexy swimsuits.

Once again, instrumental to the game is making and keeping relationships with other characters through gift-giving and doing well in volleyball games. The friendlier your team is with each other, the better they play and the more rewards you'll get in terms of gifts from your partner and in some little extra bits. The sexy Gravure Scenes have returned ranging from the girls frolicking on the beach to looking a bit too interested in some large trees, to a scandalously hot pole dancing scene you have to unlock. These scenes are a lot sexier than in the previous game, and there are even two-girl scenes if you're good enough. Fan service, T&A and lots of bouncy boobs are the name of the game here, and if you enjoy anime and videogame babes, this is one slick title.

So far, I've played through the 2-week Vacation mode three times- getting money is hard at first, but gets easier once you get the hang of the slightly revised volleyball game- which is still let down a bit by an occasionally restrictive camera. The camera for taking snaps in the Gravure Scenes will also take getting used to, even going as far as having detailed camera settings if you want to take in-game photos of your virtual models.

The game, of course, looks incredible- virtual skin never looked so nice. Next generation graphics right there. Heheh. This is a nice fun title for anyone who owns an Xbox360 and loves virtual vixens- those looking for serious sports or deep gameplay will probably be disappointed. It's all just shallow, depthless but quite fetchingly gorgeous fun here. A nice getaway every now and then, and that's all I can ask for these days.
Now, if you'll excuse me... I have to go buy some bikinis.

Wednesday, November 22

Back from the Salt Mines

I haven't been able to post lately thanks to a big pitch at the Salt Mines which had me and everyone else in the Creative Department working overtime every day since last week. A pitch basically entails intensive brainstorming and group work for hours and hours on end, seeing us all wail away the night and early morning in the office, sustained only by our sense of teamwork, professional duty and bottles and bottles of caffeine-heavy beverages. Work piles on and things get re-worked again and again until the last second when no more modifications or adjustments can be made. Then, we go and sell the stuff to the client... and hope our stuff is better than, oh, some of the sharpest ad agencies in the country.

But even though there's a dull pain in the back of my head and in the area of my face just between by eyes and hair line (due to lack of sleep... I probably had less than eight hours total sleep in the past three days), I feel content and happy. Happy that I was able to work alongside a great team and give the job at hand our darndest best. That's what matters, really. Though bagging a multi-million peso account would be fricking sweet too.

Gonna take a rest though. A little break and a pause to stop and smell the flowers, enjoy a game or two and just catch up on Z's.

Break starts... NOW.

Monday, November 20

Going Elemental

Here's some awesome elemental action from my favorite series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The current episode, The Earth King, sees Aang and friends racing to warn the mysterious leader of the vast Earth Kingdom of the threat being posed by the Fire Nation outside Ba Sing Se's walls, and the danger of the ruthless Dai Li within. Unfortunately, one doesn't just "pop in" to see the Earth King, and now they have to go through an army to reach their quarry. Air, Earth and Water join in the young heroes' hands as their rush into battle.

Action this good isn't the only reason why I love Avatar, but darn it's one of the better ones. Enjoy!

Two weeks to the Season Finale of Avatar's second season... darn... it's going to be a long wait.

Sunday, November 19

The Dark Side of Gaming

The Playstation 3 is out in both Japan and the US, and already there have been some less-than-savoury incidents. There have been reports of armed robbers breaking into stores and carting away the valuable consoles, and even of some guy getting shot when he refused to give up his newly-purchased Sony console. Ouch! Don't die for your PS3, gamers... you can always get a new PS3, but unlike videogame characters, we don't come with extra lives or continues.
No doubt stolen PS3s are destined to be resold at astronomical prices for desperate gamers. I really don't see these thieves actually going through all that trouble just to play Resistance: Fall of Man.
Anyway, I haven't seen PS3s locally, but I'll be standing off getting one until games like the super-slick Virtua Fighter 5 show up on it. That's still a ways off- perhaps some time in the first quarter of 2007. Hopefully the price will have gone down from the 50K+ amount it is now. Well, I have the Christmas break to mull things over, but gaming should be good in the New Year. Though I may have to make allowances for a gun to go with a new PS3 for my own protection... Sigh.