Friday, July 30

MORE Retro-fighting on the PS2

Aside from getting Streetfighter 3: Third Strike via the Streetfighter Anniversary Anthology disc, the Playstation 2 will also be getting Sega AM2's fighting classic, Virtua Fighter 2 as part of the Sega Ages series of games.
The last time VF2 was made into a home version (if you ignore a pretty horrid translation to the Sega Genesis) was for the Sega Saturn, which really wasn't up to the task of recreating the advanced Model 2 graphics of the time. While gameplay was intact, the look of the Saturn's graphics was just a fraction of the arcade version's visuals. The PS2 however should have more than enough muscle to produce an arcade-perfect port. The conversion will contain not only the original arcade game edition, but the upgrade VF 2.1 as well.
I remember the arcade version, and it was a handsome game for its time... it'll be great to see it in full glory and action again.

The PS2 port of Virtua Fighter 2 is scheduled for Japanese release in October.
Welcome to Hanuda

Japanese horror on your PS2 awaits in Forbidden: Siren.

With Asian horror and suspense films being all the rage these days, wouldn't you like to live through one?

Well, I sure as hell WOULDN'T, but in case YOU would, you could try to experience a visit to the mysterious village of Hanuda, a quaint little hamlet in rural Japan which just happens to have a history of sinister mysticism and bloody massacre. It's the setting of Siren, a survival-horror game for the Playstation 2. In it, you take the role of ten people caught in the middle of a cataclysmic event that has turned Hanuda into a place where shibito, or the walking dead, prowl to plague the living. All you have are your wits, the occasional weapon to fend away the shibito and the ability to sight-jack, a psychic ability that lets you see through the eyes of nearby undead.

Siren was released some time ago, and actually did not get very good reviews; an iffy dub with British accents for obviously Japanese characters diluted a bit of the suspense, along with frustrating trial-and-error gameplay. But I have to say that the premise of the game and some pretty excellent websites accompanying the game are worth seeing to feel the atmospheric suspense of an Asian horror film. The TV commerical for the game was actually pulled from the air in Japan after a lot of Japanese children were scared silly after seeing the chilling ad.

Luckily, you don't need to play the game (unless you want to) to dip your toes into the blood-red waters of Siren. You can sample the creepiness by visiting the game's excellent flash website at and going through a creepy point-and-click meeting with a few of the souls trapped in Hanuda. The voiceovers are in Japanese, but there are subtitles, which give it all a Ringu-ish feel. Just have a fast computer, a good web connection (cable or DSL is preferred) and have a scary good time...

Thursday, July 29


So here I am, sitting in the pantry of our office on the 20th floor, looking down at the brightly lit length of Ayala Avenue.

it's past midnight, but you'll find that at anytime there are quite a lot of people milling about nearby. Once, you'd think that the nightshift would be populated only by the odd old security guard or night watchman, or some 24 hour resto skeleton crew.

These days though, you'll find troops of young people hanging out at a random building or filling up a nearby MiniStop. Of course, it's not because there's a trendy nightspot in the area... they're probably just the employees of a call center, which seems to be the "in" starting profession for greenhorns these days. All you need I guess is a good speaking voice and the command of the english language, and a good sense for punctuality. The hours are horrid, the pay is probably basic, and the demands totally exacting (one case of tardiness and you're OUT, according to Charles), but it seems that everyone and their cousin is heading for a Call Center these days.
Me? I'd never make it into one of those things. I'd get fired the first day.

Fortunately, overnights are rare for me (relatively), so I can still get home at decent hours every now and then. Sometimes, I even get to see the SUN. Just one of the perks for working in a hotshot ad agency. Hehehehe... Sigh.

Okay. Back to thinking about promos...

It's that time of the month again. Crunch time. Every now and then a pitch (where we lock horns with other agencies for a job or account) is thrown onto our laps and we scramble like headless chickens to do our darndest to bring home the bacon.

That's been pretty much my whole week. It's funny that since Saturday I haven't even been able to go to Megamall and deliver a load of Angel Ace Again #4 at the request of a reader. Haven't had time.

Still, I can't complain. The work gives me what I need to get on with my life, live the way I want and even indulge in my interests and passions with impunity.

And speaking of passions, I've got to get cracking on the Siglo pages once I get to breathe again... Yikes...

Wednesday, July 28


We finally got rid of our dog, Taffy, today.

Since my brother and sister's families are migrating overseas in the near future, my Dad had commented that he wanted to get a dog so he could have a hobby. Well, my brother jumped the gun and got Taffy. He was a mongrel of a Pit Bull and a Labrador, and a pretty weird dog. When he was a little pup, the kids were all over him... I had lost most of my enthusiasm for animals a long time ago, so I basically just kept my distance. But then, Taffy wasn't your usual nice dog. For one thing, he was exceptionally stinky... you just couldn't get near him for too long without wanting to go wash up. It didn't help that none of the household help would give him a bath- apparently he would grow too skiddish and unmanageable. Also, the maids seemed to always have a hard time in finding him something to eat.

I think it just all boiled down to the fact that he wasn't a likeable dog. If you don't like him, you don't want to bother with him. So, Taffy just got stinkier and weirder.
A week ago, I actuallly tried to play with him... to my regret. He'd grow TOO enthusiastic and playful, almost dangerously so. He actually threw himself at me (kinda like a cross-body wrestling splash), and his leg brushed my groin. GAH! And of course, to add insult to injury, he still stank. Blech. After that, I didn't play with Taffy anymore. On a more serious note though, he also seems to try and bite you as you play, so that's pretty dangerous... especially for the kids. But then again I think even the kids didn't play with him anymore.

Well, today, my Dad carried him bodily into the car and went with me and my Mom. We brought him to the Guard Station at the front of our subdivision and gave Taffy to the guard. I asked my parents to make sure that they would at least take care of the odd dog. Maybe there, he'd find the dog's life we couldn't give him at home.

I'm not gonna miss Taffy. Not a bit. But I hope he's happy there.

Tuesday, July 27

Loss of Spirit

I'm depressed and pissed.

It seems that Animax is going ahead and dubbing ALL of their shows in english ALL the time.

You know, there are reasons why anime enthusiasts like me prefer to watch anime in original Japanese. There are emotions, meanings and nuances that english just simply cannot translate properly. Second, Japanese voices just sound COOLER. Guys sound more intense. Girls are cuter or more sultry. Jokes are funnier even if you don't hear the words' meanings- you can feel it in their voices. And finally, a LOT of english dubs just SUCK. Remember those horrid AXN dubs for Ninku? The flat translations of Samurai X on Studio 23?

"I will beat your Amakakeru Ryu No Hirameki with MY Amakakeru Ryu No Hirameki!!!"


Really, decent english dubs are rare, though they do exist. But for the most part, rushed dubs for these cable networks just don't cut it.

Well, I guess I can still just stick to my store-bought anime VCDs for my authentic Japanese-voiceovers, and the shows on Animax as of late are quite mediocre, so it's no big loss yet. I'm just cringing right now at the prospect of watching Getbackers all over again... in ENGLISH... Geh...

Return of the King Extended Edition Set


Here's more info on the scenes that will be appearing in what may be the BEST of the BEST extended dvd sets ever. Some corrections to my earlier post... at LEAST 50 minutes of new footage is featured; it may or may not be 58 minutes. And there will be over 20 hours of extras and bonus features. DAAAAMN!!! You could watch this thing for a DAY and STILL not be finished!!! WOOOHHHHAAAAA!!!

Anyway, onto the scenes...

- Shots of Saruman on top of Orthanc, talking trash at the good guys and then throwing a FIREBALL at Gandald... Well, Vin will be happy now that finally a wizards gets to throw a BIG SFX spell. Supposedly it looks pretty good.

- Frodo/Sam/Gollum approaching the crossroads...

- Frodo and Sam in orc costumes marching with orcs, big orc yelling "move on!"

- Merry saying "I know there isn't much hope, I know I can't do much. I'm just a hobbit. But I want to help"

- Mouth of Sauron rides out, and he's an UGLY bastard. He says " I have a token I was bidden to show thee" and then he reveals Frodo's mithril vest and throws it down to the ground.

- Eowyn in bed at Edoras, Aragorn is walking away from her but before he can get too far she reaches out and takes his hand.

- Eomer grieving for Eowyn... this scene has been spotted in theatrical trailers but not shown in the actual theatrical cut. It was theorized before by some that the person Eomer is grieving for was not Eowyn, but a fellow Rohirrim.

- Sam in Mordor looking at the dark, red lit sky telling Frodo that he sees a light.

- Aragorn using the Palantir...

- Gandalf battling against the Witch King, who finally gets a chance to make good on his promise to "break him".

- Lots of new shots of the siege of Gondor, orcs using small battering ram, fell beast swooping in and picking up soldiers

- Eowyn fighting Gothmog... I was wondering what happened to him... So Eowyn offs BOTH of Sauron's heavies? What a woman!

-Faramir telling Pippin about the child who once owned the suit of Gondorian armor he is now wearing...

- Eowyn and Faramir in the Houses of Healing... a much-anticipated scene, I must say...

- Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli running away from an avalanche of skulls in the paths of the dead...

And one last thing... the release is supposed to be in December 2004. DAAAAMMNNN!!!! I WANT IT NOW!!!

My Preciousssss....

Monday, July 26

Talking about Bread

Not your everyday bakeshop: Bread Talk at the Glorietta.

First it was Gonuts Donuts. Now, it's all about Bread at the recently-opened specialty bakery/bakeshop known as Bread Talk. Hailing from Korea or Singapore (or some other Asian country), the place specializes in delicious, fancy breads, pastries and buns of various preparations. Like Gonuts, the crusty concoctions are baked and done right in front of the customers, behind glass. In the main area are various shelves with large baskets where the just-cooked buns are cooling and waiting to be picked up (with some handy nearby prongs).
The breads range from meat or tuna-filled buns to fanciful creations such as the rather large Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bacon, a large crusty and chewy breadloaf with strips of crispy meat inside. Then there's the savoury floss breads, soft buns topped with a light, fur-like layer of meat shavings. The spicy Fire Floss was really nice! Aside from savoury treats, there are also nice pastries to satisfy any sweet tooth.
The breads aren't cheap (they cost a lot of dough), but the taste and quality are hard to resist. I have to say I'm hooked... I'll probably be back soon to try some other stuff. And who knows... maybe someday I might even spring a couple of thousand bucks for their special GIANT-size special bread. heh.

Sunday, July 25

Classic Cartoon

Just finished watching The Great Mouse Detective on the Disney Channel. I love this charming animated movie about Sherlock Holmes ala Mickey- Basil of Baker Street and how he first meets his trusted companion and assistant Dr. Dawson and tackles a case involving his nemesis, Dr. Ratigan (voiced by Vincent Price). The character of Basil is pretty cool and the film's funny and action-packed. It's too bad that it isn't one of the more popular Disney features... there never was any sequel or continuation of Basil's adventures. But who knows? Maybe someday Disney will open up the trunk and reopen more of the Mouse Detective's cases.

Unlike past years, the end of 2004 won't see a Lord of the Rings film... but we WILL be seeing the Extended Edition Set DVD of the Return of the King!

Like the previous two sets, the ROTK:EE set will include additional scenes, featurettes and other odds and ends enough to satisfy any movie fan. According to Ain't It Cool News, the extended version will have an additional 58 minutes of new, unseen footage! ALMOST AN HOUR MORE ROTK!!!

The extra scenes will include among others a wizard's duel between Gandalf and Saruman at Orthanc; the courtship of Eowyn by Faramir at the Houses of Healing, a nice scene between Pippin and Faramir involving Pippin's Gondorian armor; more Paths of the Dead, the Mouth of Sauron, Eowyin versus Gothmog (the orc general with the marshmallow head) and MORE.

It would have been great if the ROTK theatrical dvd had a preview of the EE... perhaps they'll release some sort of ad or preview online. Anyway, it sounds awesome... November can't come fast enough.
Sith Happens

It's been announced at a recent Comic Convention.

The third prequel film in the Star Wars series is called...

Revenge of the Sith

I recall that the third film in the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi, was also called Revenge of the Jedi before it was 'toned down'. Who knows... it may eventually become Return of the Sith as well. But then, the Sith have been around since Episode One...

The origin of Darth Vader is expected in theaters in 2005. Or something like that.
Searing Documentary

I remember back in my college days watching the Oliver Stone film JFK. All of my friends and I were appalled, amazed, horrified and affected by the events in it. It opened our eyes to conspiracy, to how even a president of the US, the most powerful man in the world, could be endangered by corruption and power plays.

Now, years and years later, after watching the documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11 by filmmaker Michael Moore, I've gone through those old feelings again. Times TEN. JFK was nothing. NOTHING compared to what I felt at the end of watching Fahrenheit 9/11.

I'll never believe another U.S.-made propaganda ever again without taking it with a grain of salt and a ton of cynicism.

I'll never watch FOX News again. Even CNN is suspect. You can't trust them. Not ever again.

When I see the crowds of Americans chanting 'USA, USA' in a WWE show when booing stereotypical heel wrestlers like the French La Resistance, I can't help but feel for the so-called "bad guys".

I now find it hard to believe that Truth and Justice comprise the American Way.

I feel outraged that all this time we were fooled into believing all the lies about Iraq, Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and Wars on Terror.

GOD DAMN. They destroyed a nation for money. Not for lofty ideals, not for keeping the world safe, not even for keeping America safe. It was all for FRICKIN' money. They KILLED kids and women and innocents in the name of freedom, but it was all for FUCKING MONEY. GOD DAMN.

If this all seems gibberish, it's because my mind is reeling. It's all because of that film and what it revealed.

Grab a copy of Fahrenheit 9/11. Watch it with your parents, your friends, your co-workers. Watch it with your community if you can.

Powerful stuff. Watch and start seeing the news in a whole new light. I just hope enough Americans see this and come to their senses in time to change the order come the elections in November. RUN THE FRICKIN' BASTARDS FROM THE OFFICE.