Saturday, October 2


After I broke my glasses a couple of days ago, I had to revert to my old pair of specs. Unfortunately, my old pair was a wire-frame pair that wasn't wide enough for my head. The stiff metal frame was tight, and the stems were literally biting into my temples. I was able to stand this a long time ago, before I finally changed to my present pair... so I thought I could stand two weeks with them on.
I lasted two days before I finally threw up my hands. The constant irritating pain on the temples simply would not stop, so I just said "Enough is enough" and walked into Sarabia Optical in Megamall.
At first I was just asking if I could have the stems replaced, but in the end I bought a new frame altogether. Luckily, it wasn't hard to find a similarly-shaped frame, but this time with the nice adjustable stems which yielded to the shape of your face. AND it only cost me less than P500, instead of the 2k+ price I was being given in Vision Express (DAMN... Maybe I should have had my glasses made there instead... GRRRR...). Anyway, I had to walk around a bit sans glasses again for a bit before finally getting my new temporary glasses.
Actually I feel pretty good with my new pair- they look good and they fit me great now, so I now have a nice backup pair of specs when I get my present glasses back in a couple of weeks. Coolness.
Final Rant

They're showing the Spirits Within movie on Animax. It still boggles my mind how this crappy Alien rip-off made it into reality. What was going through Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi when he came up with it?

Now that Final Fantasy has captured the imagination and hearts of gamers everywhere, we will immortalize the game in movie form! But true to Square tradition, we will NOT give the fans what they want. We will not use the beloved and familiar settings and characters from previous FF games.
Here's the BIG IDEA! We will throw away the fantasy elements, magic, midieval worlds full of wonder and mystery, evil villains with grandiose plans of world domination, powerful magic, weapons and summoning spells. Basically, everything that makes Final Fantasy a FANTASY, we will throw out.
Let us instead place the spotlight on the cool tech demos featuring our new animation studios' generic character models. I love Aliens and tech crap, so let's make it as close as we can to those movies. Let's make most of the heroes expendable marines. Death is good! Heroes dying is cool! A little death never hurt anybody! Anyway, kids will surely dig these faceless grunts since we're going to hire famous Hollywood actors to give them character!

Of course, our heroine has got to be gorgeous. She's gotta have great hair. The hair's gotta be perfect. That's because that's the only part of her body we're gonna show off. We haven't fully developed female character models yet, so we can't really show her off that much. It's OK, since we're getting the actress who played CHUN-LI in the Street Fighter movie to voice her! WOOHOO! When we finally pirate some guys from Tecmo's Team NInja, maybe then we can slip in a second or two of our heroine in her lingerie. Maybe even a volleyball game. Mmm. Nah.

Anyway, we'll set the story in a ruined Earth. There's an Alien threat, and our heroes are working to beat it. That's all I can say since I really have no idea how to work it all out. Let's just kill off most of the heroes since drama is always good. And put in LOTS and LOTS of tech crap and machines. That's what Final Fantasy is all about, after all. Machines and mecha and tech crap.

(After watching the rough cut)
Damn, it's depressing. Almost everyone dies, it's all about spirituality and faith and there are no great action sequences or magic or stuff that makes for exciting adventure. I LIKE IT!!! It's PROFOUND!!!

But I guess we need to add in some Final Fantasy stuff after all. Okay, let's change the name of one of the characters to Cid, since ALL the FF games have a character named Cid in them. (Note: Change Doctor Baba-Uta's name to Cid). I guess that will satisfy fans, right? RIGHT! YEAH! Okay, send it out the theaters! YYYEEEAAAAHHH!!! We're gonna rake it in!"

End result. Without the Fantasy, the Spirits Within movie was just... Final. The movie was a colossal flop, even into the home video market. It did so bad, Square Animation pretty much died soon after the theatrical release of this flop. Sakaguchi lost his job as VP of Square (he has since gone off to form a small game studio called Mist Walker) and it seemed that the beloved title had lost a bit of its luster.

Well, not really. Gamers still bought the games and their love of the characters moved Square to finally break their STOOPID tradition of never revisiting their past games. Final Fantasy X was popular enough to warrant a sequel, and soon, after all these years, a return to the most beloved of FF's, Final Fantasy VII, is about to happen in cinematic splendour with the CG movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. No crappy space marines. No tech crap. No faceless generic monsters. No spiritualist mumbo-jumbo. Okay, maybe a little, since this IS from Japan. But everything is in; Summoning Spells, Gunblades, spiky-haired heroes, hauntingly beautiful Flower Girls, silver-haired villains and LOTS of action.

Ah. All things come to those who wait. And we've waited a long time.

Friday, October 1

Game Boy

Last weekend I went with my sister to get a Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP. It's a pretty funny story actually. Some time ago, my nephew David celebrated his birthday. Of course, his doting Granny (my sister's husband's mom) asked him what he wanted for his bday gift. Despite being raised like Puritans by my sis (heh), the kid asked for the coolest toy a kid could have these days- a Gameboy Advance SP.
So that would have been easy, right? Well, no. Granny went off to a store in Rockwell, lugging along David's older sibling Catheriine to point out the toy. Well, for some weird reason that I can not to this day comprehend, the girl picked out a pack of Gameboy Advance Accessories worth P700 and said that THAT was a Gameboy Advance SP. Never mind that the package did NOT in any way have any label saying it was a portable gaming console- they didn't even look or test the device, which would at least show that there's no game in the thing. I can't even fathom WHY the salespeople of that store sold an accessory pack instead of a whole gaming unit. I guess they all left their brains at home, the lot of them.

Anyway, it ended of course with poor David opening the gift he got from Granny, expecting a spiffy new Gameboy Advance SP and finding only... accessories for the older Gameboy Advance. TOTALLY USELESS. Can you say... TOTAL letdown? Yep, the kid was devastated. It had me in stitches though. MAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!

Okay, before you all think I'm the most horrible uncle on Earth (which I aspire to), I went with my sister of course to Greenhills to get the darn toy. Of course, my sister wouldn't even consider asking Granny to get the real thing (so she got off this year spending just P700 bucks... Feh) as I recommended, so she had to shell out the cash herself to save David from becoming a bitter youth. My sis is probably the most frugal person I know, and she was considering just getting a Gameboy Advance instead of the SP. I of course recommended the newer, cooler clamshell SP since it had it's own backlight, better and longer batteries, yadda-yadda-yadda. So, to seal the deal I pitched in and paid for about a third of the price so David and his siblings wouldn't be wanting for a great toy. Am I great or what? Heh. I wonder if my sis is considering my suggestion of taking out the price of the Gameboy SP out of Catherine's trust fund? Hoho...

NEVER try anything concerning gaming without consulting the resident game guru. You'll save money.

The Gameboy Advance SP is a pretty cool plaything. I actually wanted to get one months ago, but balked. Seeing it again gave me temptations again, but I won't bite. Nintendo really isn't my bag. It's the Playstation Portable or PSP that has my name written all over it. For those of you who love the big N though, you'll be glad to know that Nintendo's next gen handheld, the Nintendo DS will be coming out this November in the US (and probably soon here as well). The thing is a clamshell like the SP, but sports two screens (hence the DS monicker). The game lineup is long and filled with big names, but until I see the words 'Tekken' or 'Dead or Alive' on the roster, I'm not biting.

Ah, toys. So many toys, so little time. And cash. Oh well.

Thursday, September 30

Gaming For Grownups

I realized that a lot of the games I am looking forward to in the next few weeks and months are rated Mature, thanks to elements of sexuality, violence and other mature issues. Dead or Alive Ultimate and Rumble Roses provide CG skin, while Mortal Kombat Deception and Resident Evil provide digital blood and gore. This year as well seems to be the first time a wave of games like The Guy Game, an updated Leisure Suit Larry and other nudity-promising titles are coming en masse. Interactive entertainment is worth billions (now in the league or perhaps even surpassing film and movies), and a great chunk of the audience are people who earn money and pay big bucks for games to take their minds off the daily grind.

Gaming really isn't just for kids, though that is probably not something fully understandable to a lot of parents. I remember being at Toy Kingdom a few years ago and I saw a father buying Resident Evil for a little kid. Which is probably one of the factors that make this generation the most desensitized of the lot.

Anyway, that's why with all the lovely gaming consoles in The Sanctum, my little nephews and nieces will probably never see me kicking back and kicking arse. A huge library of titles, and not one of them has the word 'Mario' or 'Sonic' on them. Heh. I wonder how long gaming will interest me? Into my forties and fifties, perhaps? Who knows. Since entertainment has a lot to do with drive, perhaps as long as I can feel pleasure, I will be a gamer. Because if you can't enjoy something, why play at all?

Yep, the Sony Ericsson P910, the proverbial Death Star of Mobile Phones, is in Manila.

I swung by Megamall's Cyberzone and at least four shops had SE's latest and greatest displayed on their storefronts. At a lofty 45K (one shop though had it at 44,990... BAH!) it's beyond my reach for now... at least until it becomes available at a store that accepts trade-ins. Anyway, with my 7610 probably tradeable at a 20K value, I'd better wait a bit until the price goes down in a few weeks to a month or so. If all else fails, I can always get it as a Christmas gift for myself. HOHO!

Anyway, there's a nice review/article on the P910i (the local model released in Asia) here.

Wednesday, September 29

Ninja, VANISH!

And so, Kunoichi Boy remains in shadow.

Apparently, there have been many upheavals in Questor, which apparently have affected the coming releases of Questor Extreme Mangamania, the manga arm of the local anime and manga mag. My Kunoichi Boy was supposed to come out in the pages of QM, but it appears that the rumors I have heard are true. QM is no more, or at least, on indefinite hold until sales of it's parent mag pick up. At best, a single story from the QM lineup (along with Streetsweepers, Free Spirits and Camp Big V) will be featured or released as an insert with each issue of Questor. The latest issue of Questor contains the conclusion of David Hontiveros' supernatural thriller, Cante Ista, in ashcan form.

So just when the first installment of Kunoichi Boy will be available is up in the air, along with what form it will take or it's future. I haven't been contacted recently or of late by the editor, so I am pretty much in the dark (like a ninja). Well, I've got other things on my plate so if this isn't worth my time I'll just take my title and go my own road.

We'll see.
What's Next?

With Siglo: Passion finally done on my end, I can finally set my sights on other matters. Specifically, the acquisition of my latest object of lust. The Sony Ericsson P910. This software and hardware upgrade of the best-selling P900 is...

Head suddenly locked in a death-grip from behind

As I was saying, specifically, the production and release of K.I.A., the Angel Ace spin-off book that stars the lovely, sexy, gorgeous and extremely patient and forgiving super-assassin Kai Mishima. The page count of this BOOK has already hit the 160+ mark, and will contain stories and art from some pretty cool people in the field of local comics. The content has been upped a bit, and apart from the upcoming pages from Jennyson Rosero, I have a couple of requirements that need filling. These things are what will be taking up my time from now on, and hopefully we'll be seeing this book at the printers by November or so. If and when there's a big event at the end of the year, we'll try to have a presence with our favorite femme fatale.

Okay... Kai... you can let go now... Kai... Aaaahh...
Rumble Roses

Sexy Slams and Submissions Galore

With Dead or Alive Ultimate and it's lush wardrobe of active gear and swimwear on the way, hot-blooded gamers can look forward to another game that features digital divas created just to titillate. Rumble Roses is an all-female wrestling game for the PS2 from Konami (the makers of Metal Gear and Silent Hill). The game will star nine to ten selectable grapplers, each of which fits a fan service requirement and stereotype.
There's Reiko, the short-haired Japanese angel who's fast, skilled and as cute as a button. Dixie Clemets fills in the slot for big, blonde and busty American cowgirl, while dusky-skinned Aisha dances like she's auditioning for Showgirls. Like a bit of mystery with your girl? There's Evil Rose, who comes into the ring fully covered in a leather devil-suit. Bloody Shadow is a ninja-themed wrestler whose costume leaves little hidden. The latest revealed members of the roster include Anasthesia, a vixen in a nurse's outfit who dispenses pain instead of first aid; Aigle, a pigtained cutie, and Makoto, a lovely martial artist who comes complete in a barely-there gi.

Aside from the usual modes of play expected in a wrestling game, RR gains the dubious distinction of having the first-ever mud wrestling mode in a mainstream wrestling videogame. Yep, the girls strip down to their bikinis and have it out in slick pools of mud that actually coats the ladies' polygonal bods. Similar to DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, there will also be a Watch Mode where gamers can take a break watching the girls do the same- which amounts to lolling and bouncing around in their swimsuits. Mmmm.
Also recently revealed were more details of the game's Story Mode, which will involve the unlocking of the girls' dark sides. This typically involves the said girl going through a series of unfortunate events which end up with them taking up the skimpier outfits of EVIL and becoming Bad-Ass Heels. Once unlocked, the Heel Personas are pretty much unique wrestlers themselves, which will effectively double the selectable roster- great if you thought that nine or ten was a pretty thin number.
Perhaps the most provocative aspect of RR's gameplay is the inclusion of Humiliation Moves in the girls' arsenals, which are triggered by performing certain conditions during matches. Can you say... spanking?'

It may seem that Konami is directly challenging the sex appeal and babe factor of Tecmo's Dead or Alive, even surpassing the already sexist lines of DOA with some pretty risque elements (and an equally risque marketing campaign). Whether Konami's wrassler becomes as much a classic as Dead or Alive though, rests on the quality of the gameplay and content... since they already seem to have the graphics and animation on the right track. Mmmm.

Rumble Roses is set for a November 2004 release.
Photo Finish



I've finally finished my Siglo: Passion pages. Now all that's left is to deliver the finished pages to editors Vin and Dean. DAMN I do work best under pressure. HOHO...

Tuesday, September 28


My story in Siglo Passion is set in the 1950s.

If there's one thing I can feel good about right now, it's that I am well on my way to finishing my art requirments for Siglo: Passion. From a story by Jason Banico, I drew up the pages for my first colored art to appear in a major comic project. Set in the 1950s, the story is about a star-crossed romance, the Hukbalahap rebels, standing up for your beliefs and of course, the dance called the Mambo. It's just one of the many stories to be featured in the second anthology from our ever-growing group in Siglo, scheduled for a Christmas release from Nautilus Comics. Wait for it!
Cracking Up


That's it. I am positive that the lobby of my office building is JINXED.

A couple of weeks ago, it was my laptop. It fell to the floor and got dented.

Today, my glasses fell and the right lens got CRACKED.

MY GLASSES!!! My fricking super-thin, scratch-proof, super-thin glasses. I was told they were pretty strong, and they were... I've dropped them before but never did they crack. Well, I guess I used up their lives with this final drop.

AAAACCCCCCCHHHH!!!! I had to more or less make my way half-blind to Megamall to have them replaced. The bad news is, it will take a couple of weeks since the lens have to be special-ordered overseas. GODDAMMIT!!!!! Afterwards, I had to make do without any eye-aids through lunch and the trip home. It really wasn't hard, since I can still see without my glasses- it's just super blurry and unfocused (I am myopic, or near-sighted) so I can't read much and recognize people from afar unless I recognize their shape. Si, while I got off work today, I can't enjoy it by going to any mall since I can't see for shit. Just had to go home and find my old pair of glasses, and start getting used to the old pair again.

Well, at least I don't have to worry about 7 years of bad luck since I don't think my glasses count as mirrors. But, DAMN! The last time I broke a lens in my glasses was back when I was in Grade Three. Since then, I used plastic lenses, which are unbreakable but scratch rather easily. My latest pair was glass- scratch resistant and thin, but apparently glass is still glass. I will have to be extra careful when I get them again, since this is pretty expensive. Or I should start thinking about getting contacts again.