Saturday, January 25

Today's Agenda...

I plan to head for this afternoon on my usual expedition. Who knows, I may find GOLD in the Philippines... On the gaming side, I'm quite fixated on DOAX so I don't expect any other game to catch my eye unless I see bikinis; I saw Panzer Dragoon Orta at Toy Kingdom last night, but I just couldn't stomach dropping almost 4K for a shooter (albeit a highly-rated one) game. I have to say the main draw of this for me are the cinematics and Orta's story. Maybe I should pass on that one. I will try to look for neat new DVDs and stuff, or maybe even a copy of DOAX if it suddenly shows up. I might have to pass on a prolonged evening outside though; need time to do my requirements, namely KC Strange for Dean and Nikki. But who knows what I can slip in today...

Friday, January 24

The Week Ends...

This whole week I've been working and trying to just get by depsite having the knowledge that DOA fans like myself in the US are playing the latest DOA game ahead of me. AAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! Sigh. The game is all the rage across various gaming sites and forums, despite pathetic attempts by forum trolls to try and killjoy their way into the countless discussions on what's the sexiest bikini or how you can get a DOA girl to team up with you. Darn. Well, I'm hoping to get a copy sometime next week. We'll see...
Anyway, I had lunch out today with some officemates again, which seems to be turning into a nice tradition. Instead of a high-profile fancy-pants joint like MYLK though, this time we just had chow at the Glorietta 3 Foodcenter. I had a nice Katsudon and California Maki from a Japanese restaurant named Shin Kanzen (apparently named after the bullet train). The neat thing about the design of the stand is that it seems to be made to look like a Japanese train station (I think that Dean will probably get a chill of fear out of that. Heh), and there are even models of Japanese trains on display. Cool.
Anyway, we had a nice lunch and I told the girls all about what will happen to the LOTR cast in The Return of The King, based on the books and the animated films. I tried not to give away major spoilers and stressed on how Peter Jackson's final film would probably be very different in execution. That made me think of course of how ROTK will eventually be. Darn. One year away... Sigh.
Will be a bit busy this weekend; have to finish the KC Strange pages as well as start a new project and continue Angel Ace. No rest and no time for gaming... good thing too... I get DOAX next week. Heh.

Thursday, January 23

My precious...

Sexy volleyball-vacation sim DOAX is now in US stores.

Right now, at this very moment, gamer dudes all over the US are enjoying the newly-released Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball for the Xbox. The game was released yesterday and is now trickling into stores. Reviews are beginning to appear on major gaming sites as well; IGNXbox gave the game a flying colors score of 9.2 out of 10, while Gamepro gave it a hearty 4.5 of 5. gave it an 8/10, similar to the recent GMR magazine score. A curveball review comes from Gamespot, which gave the game a 6/10. However, in general, remarks point to a game that boasts gorgeous visuals, a simple but surprisingly addictive volleyball engine, tons of extras and eye candy up the wazoo.
Of course, it will take a bit of time for a copy to make it's way here, but we're doing our darndest to get one ASAP... Expect a review then...

Wednesday, January 22

Leader under Fire

I learned an interesting tidbit on LOTR last night from Arnold Arre; Actor Bernard Hill, who played the noble King Theoden of Rohan in The Two Towers, also played the doomed Captain Smith in the James Cameron blockbuster, Titanic. Quite interesting; he looked a LOT older and less formidable in Titanic... well then, he was a ship's captain facing dishonor and an iceberg. In TTT, he's a formidable warrior king facing an army of 10,000 rabid Uruk-Hai. Cool. Plus both TTT and T were blockbusters. Perhaps the dignified Hill is a lucky charm for films where he appears in? Heh.

Captain Smith of the Titanic, King Theoden of Rohan. Actor Bernard Hill seems to fit very well in roles of embattled leaders.
A Long-Awaited Party

Last night, I finished off a long day with a night in a rented condo in Ortigas with the gang. It was a joint birthday celebration for both Mike and Carl, and lo, the whole gang was there. Even Arnold and Cynthia were able to make it, so it was a cool time. I arrived a bit late so the food was kinda cold and half-eaten but I was so hungry the single piece of cold KFC chicken I ate tasted even better than that ostrich meat salpicao I paid over 300 for at MYLK in Greenbelt 3. Later, we played games of Apples To Apples (which is all about word/phrase association) and Cranium (Intellectual/creative competitive race game). Amidst all this, Arnold and I kept mouthing out various quotes from the Lord of the Rings movies at random. Heh. Later, there was an odd pastry/cake called Brazo de Mercedes with indelible blue icing that Arn and Cyn brought... odd but yummy. Also, Carl brought steamed oysters. Which I didn't eat though. I was pretty tired but me and Carl still managed to win a close Cranium game. Nice one!
The night ended for us a little after midnight since work was still on for tomorrow, but Mike, Carl, Ralph, Jason and Cams stayed overnight. Great stuff. Happy Birthday, Mike and Carl!

Tuesday, January 21

DOAX released today.

Fighting girls go on vacation!

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or DOAX, is released today in the US! Of course, that isn't for another 12 or so hours since we're in Manila, but what the hey! We've been waiting for this game for over a year, so you can't blame us for being impatient! TV spots of the game are already making the rounds on US television, featuring sexy footage from the game along with a gang of gaping youths whose eyes are positively glued to the screen. That's actually an improvement over their yucky 'She kicks high' ad for Dead or Alive 3 last year... at least now they're not insulting their target market. Also, the official site has been launched, so it appears that the seemingly endless delays that plagued the game since November of last year are now over. This game is arriving on top of a wave of hype, with DOA fans in both the US and Japan getting the game almost at the same time. For the record, this game will probably sell at a 1:1 ratio with Xbox in Japan... that's how popular it is there in the Land of the Rising Sun! Many are even saying this game may just revive Xbox's prospects in Japan... we'll see...
Anyway, on the local front, we're expecting copies of the game to arrive here perhaps in a few days or maybe even a week or so... who knows? But judging from the hype of this game with Pinoy Xbox owners, gameshops here will surely stock up on the title.

Well, that's that. It's almost four and I am still awake. Probably that extra-heavy coffee I drank yesterday afternoon and the glasses of Coke I had a while ago. Go figure. Heh.

Monday, January 20

The Return of the Return of the King (Animation)

I was walking around Glorietta during lunch when I saw the old Rankin Bass version of The Return of the King playing on a widescreen TV in one of the shops. It's just as I remembered it, with the very cartoony art style (orcs and goblins actually looked kinda cute). The part I saw was during the siege of Minas Tirith, with a huge battering ram being brought into play against the gate as the Witch King of Angband (the leader of the Nine Ringwraiths and the one that skewered Frodo in Fellowship) arrived. It amazes me how much I see Ian McKellen in Gandalf and even Elijah Wood in Frodo now, and how even the cartoon versions reflect the present movie cast. Great casting... I wonder if the LOTR crew looked at the Rankin Bass animations as well in their research?
I remember that aside from the animated LOTR by Ralph Bakshi (the one with weird rotoscoped animation), there was never any Two Towers cartoon. I know that the Bakshi feature encompassed quite a bit of TTT, from the start of the quest to the Battle of Helm's Deep. The Rankin Bass Return of the King is a favorite of mine since the action is pretty cool.
I wonder now how the ROTK movie will handle Minas Tirith, Pelennor Fields, the Tower of the Teeth, the Black Fleet, Shelob and the finale? Can it all fit in just three hours? Boggles the mind, but from what Fellowship and Two Towers has shown us, the crew behind the LOTR trilogy is up to the task.
I know of one shop in Greenhills that sells VCDs of ROTK. I wonder if I should get it? Just to tide me over before the finale of Peter Jackson's trilogy hits next year... Next year... NEXT YEAR.... AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!
Sunday Punch

Yesterday I went to Greenhills and got myself a bunch of knick-knacks; clear DVD copies of The Ring and The Two Towers, a couple of Xbox games (Hunter the Reckoning and Crimson Sea). Yes, now I can watch TTT at any time, with a super-clear home copy. The video quality is the same as the bootleg Fellowship DVD last year, with somewhat uneven sound though. It's great though at a certain part there seems to be some glitching; still watchable though. Plus, of course, at some points a 'for your consideration' subtitle appears onscreen, leading me to believe that this bootleg was copied from a review copy sent out for Oscar voting/nominations.
As for The Ring (US version) DVD, it wasn't as crisp as the TTT disc, but it was clear. Plus, there is a glaring 'Property of...' subtitle onscreen the whole time. Oh well. Anyway, I plan to buy both titles on original DVD since I like them pretty much.
Later in the night, my friend Pot came and we ordered Pizza Hut. There was a cool promo which gave us two servings of spaghetti, a family-size Super Supreme pizza, a bottle of Pepsi Twist and a container of 4 chocolate heart desserts. Mmmm. We played The Ring dvd as we ate, but we eventually turned it off since Pot was bored to death with the pace of the story; the only good thing he saw was the fact that the actresses in the film were simply gorgeous. Heh.
I spent the rest of the night fiddling with my computer, loading programs and later surfing. I sketched out some panels for the 4-page KC Strange comic, which is due this weekend. Ah, work looms once again. Bring it.

Sunday, January 19

Lara Croft Returns!

Lara Croft is getting ready for a new adventure...

Did anyone here love the Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie? I mean, it had it's flaws... okay, it was a boring story with a few but far-too-sparse action sequences, but I have to say Angelina is a goddess. I really can't comment on her english accent, but she was gorgeous. She's recognizable as who she is since she's a relatively big star, but she was able to stamp her imprint on the character, so when I see her we can say, 'It's Lara Croft', and not 'It's Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft!'... Hmm... Okay, she has the full lips of the videogame vixen, at least. Heh.
Anyway, despite the shortcomings, Tomb Raider was a hit, so a sequel is in the works. It has actually been in production for some time, with location shoots in the Mediterranean, Greece and even Hong Kong. Plot details on this second adventure are scarce, though the subtitle Cradle of Life has been added to the Tomb Raider 2 name. The movie will co-star Djimon Hounsou (who played Maximus' friend and ally in Gladiator).
As for Miss Jolie, she's reportedly looking as fine and trim as ever, though reportedly she's going for a healthier, curvier and slightly fuller physique for Lara (and judging from the photo above, I can believe that). Which is a bit of a deviation from the toothpick-limbed videogame character. But I like it. Heh. Anyway, TR2 is set for a July 25 release... trailers are said to hit the Net in the next couple of weeks.
Once Again, Into the Breach...

Last night, I watched The Two Towers for the fourth and probably my last time in the theaters (I've watched it with all of my close friends). This means that the next several times I watch it will be on DVD. Heh. Anyway, Mike, me and Emrys had a chat about TTT afterwards at Country Waffles, basically stating the film's flaws and differences from the book. Overall though, we all agreed it was a fine movie and just made us more excited to see MORE. Darn, one year to The Return of the King. Sigh. Well, moving on, moving on...
Finally got my new Epson 660 scanner installed, and as promised the process was painless. I can finally do computer artwork again, so I will have to rush headlong into projects that were delayed by the technical downtime I had last week. I can finally get all this tech stuff and frustration behind me and get on with my life. Ah.