Saturday, November 20

Beyond Phone Whoredom

Life beyond my P910i.

When the MADman acquired his P910i, he wept for there were no more phones to conquer.

He was wrong.

To update you all, a week or two ago, my older brother won himself a Nokia 7610 in a raffle (which leads me to believe that our family has finally broken our lifelong curse of raffle-unluckiness). Of course, while most people will probably be overjoyed and be satisfied with the megapixel-fashion phone, my bro wasn't. In fact, a couple of days after he got it he was already thinking of selling it along with his 2-month old K700 and getting a P910i. However, the Sony Ericsson PDA-phone was still to expensive, and in the end he found instead a great alternative in the O2 XDA II, for which he traded in both his phones in a straight swap.
Well, after two days I finally got to look at the XDA II, and I have to say, I'm in LOVE. Or heavily infatuated.

While the P910i is a PDA-Phone, which is basically a phone that has PDA functions, the XDA II is a Phone-PDA... a PDA with phone functions. Which means that it is pretty much a mini-computer you bring around, powered by a hefty 400 MHz processor, 128 MB of ram, Windows programs and compatibility, and the ability to use more mainstrean (non-Memory Stick) memory expansion. In english terms, I can play videos and music with no problems at all, even Windows media and MPEGs (along with my favorite Smartmovie), have tons of apps and games. All this plus I can do Word and Excel documents, surf the web completely (even use my ISP Bonanza cards with it), enjoy WiFi, and Gosh knows what else. Oh, and watch my Smartmovies. TONS and TONS of them since I can load up a Gigabyte-size SD or MMC memory card anytime. WWWWWOOOOOOHHHH!!!!

Which begs the question, why didn't I get the XDA before, instead of spending a bundle on the P910? Well, I wasn't too hot with PDAs before, and it was just too big a risk to take. I also thought it would be too big (it's even bigger than the P910i, but not unmanageable for me). But seeing the XDA now, and feeling it in my hand and seeing what it can do... My gosh. Just the screen- the HUGE screen that dwarfs even my P910's... is mesmerizing...

I have half a mind to march off to Greenhills and get a brand-new XDA II (But I will surely get shortchanged). Or better yet, trade my P910i for my bro's XDA II. It depends on how we go about it. It's not final, but seeing as how gung-ho about these things I am, it's almost a done deal. Maybe. We'll see. Heh.

Friday, November 19

Marvelous Team Ups

Read the adventures of Crystal for free right now!

Jason Banico of Baylans and Dynatica has put up a cool site with all the recent comic projects he has done alongside various artists. These include Carlo Vergara (Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah), Armand Roy Canlas (Armor Troopers), Honoel Ibardolaza (Homanga, Gomanga), Ner Pedrina (Sanduguan) and Jake Bilbao. Oh, and there's a guy named Marco Dimaano too! Jason works with a lot of people.

The stories are mostly action-fantasy or sci-fi, including Baylans Prologue, Crystal and the Sorority of Light, Bagani, Mystic Machine Maharlika, Tikbalang Nation and The Pact. To ever see these stories, you either have to buy the indie comics at Comic Quest, or wait for the (eternally delayed) Cherry Blossom High. So, take a hint and read them NOW NOW NOW for FREE FREE FREE!

Click here for pages and pages of comics!

Thursday, November 18

Tekken it to the Next Level

The newest King of Iron Fist Tournament game, Tekken 5, is now in arcades in Japan and Asia (though not yet here, I guess). The game shipped out on November 16, and by now fighting gamers starved for a good arcade brawler are probably swarming all over it.
The end bosses of Tekken 5 are Devil Jin and Jinpachi Mishima. Similar to Devil in Tekken 2, the diabolical form of Jin Kazama comes complete with flapping black wings and lazer eyebeams. Jinpachi is actually the father of the late Heihachi, though those familiar with Tekken lore and backstory will already know this. The elder Mishima appears as an even older version of Heihachi, and he transforms into a fiery, demonic incarnation for battle- which kinda looks like a cross between Heihachi and Soul Edge. Monstrously powerful, Jinpachi may or may not be playable, though if he isn't, that would be a first since past end bosses have always been unlockable.

Tekken fan that I am, I'll be keeping my eyes out for this one in the major arcades (those that are left, anyway). The home versions for Tekken 5 are expected in early to mid-2005.

Wednesday, November 17

10 Signs that You've Been Reading Too Much George R.R. Martin

1. Your dream pet is a dire wolf.

2. You say 'ser' instead of 'sir'.

3. You find yourself making up cast lists for a Game of Thrones movie.

4. When in restaurants, you often order lamprey pie.

5. You feel very uncomfortable at weddings.

6. You have a soft spot for dwarves.

7. You enjoy laughing at a good jape.

8. You often name your pets after dead relatives.

9. You find villains a lot cooler than heroes.

10. You wish you could shit gold.
Date with a She-Devil

The She-devil strikes in the month of hearts.

FINALLY! The 8-issue Shanna the She-Devil mini-series has been given a February 2005 release date. A comic about a gorgeous leather bikini-clad vixen taking on dinosaurs and evildoers in steamy jungles? What's not to love??? Of course, the best part of this is that it's being drawn by Frank Cho, one of my favorite artists and one guy who just draws sexy babes right. Mr. Cho has already stated in interviews that he's reinventing the character from the ground up, with little of the baggage (Ka-zar, environmental schtick) and more of the sexy good stuff you'd want to see in a jungle girl comic. Sexist? Without a doubt. But DAMN it should look incredible.
Shanna the She-Devil will be part of Marvel's MAX line, so expect it to be rated mature and have a bit of nudity in the pages. We'll all see when the comic comes out early next year.
Storm of Reading

Over the prolonged break, I started AND finished reading A Storm of Swords, the third book in the Song of Ice and Fire trilogy by George R.R. Martin. Let's just say that I was left at a precipice by the second book, and could not help but be drawn into a snowballing session of more midieval fantasy, high-level political power plays, duels and battles to the death, conquest, journeys and more power plays. The third book sees more crowned heads rolling, leaving the many-sided war started in Clash of Kings pretty much over. But death doesn't seem to be that much of an obstacle for some characters, as the power to resurrect the dead has come back to the world courtesy of the power of a new god; Rh'llor, the lord of light.

Secrets have been revealed, yet more questions, particularly about the futures of characters we follow addictively (whether we hate or love them) have arisen. The power of the books so far come from the way this epic is told from multiple viewpoints, from various sides of the battle. This volume showed us that even the so-called villains of the saga- specifically members of the powerful Lannister family- can be seen with a sympathetic eye and even become 'good'. Which is great since the so-called "good guys" have an irritating way of walking into bloody deathtraps with impunity.

Well, that's it then. I had wanted to save SOS for reading this Christmas, but I just couldn't resist. NOW that I've finished, there's nothing more to do except perhaps track down the side-stories or other stuff by George R.R. Martin. The next book, A Feast For Crows, has yet to get a firm release date, so it's all waiting from here on it. Darn! Oh well, I guess I could just read the books AGAIN. What's an addict to do? Heh.

Monday, November 15

Ninja Anime

Ninja enthusiasts need no other anime series aside from Naruto.

With the Inu Yasha anime over for now, I've been looking for new titles to get into. One of them is Naruto, which can probably be described as the definitive ninja anime. Set in a world where ninja and their skills are commonplace and large towns or even villages populated entirely of ninja exist, Naruto combines cool animation, long and complex battles, interesting characters and the ninja mystique to form one of the most popular anime out there right now.
In the Hidden Leaf Village of ninja, young Uzumaki Naruto is an outcast; many years ago, a powerful and dangerous fox spirit was sealed into the boy's body. Being a prison for a demon has not made life easy at all for the orphan, but despite it all, Naruto grew up as a good-natured and fun-loving youth, if a bit loud-mouthed and brash. His goal is to one day become the Hokage- the greatest ninja in the village. Naruto's closest comrades include Sasuke, a taciturn young genius who immediately becomes his closest rival, and Sakura, a lovely ninja girl whom Naruto has a crush on. Complicating matters is the fact that Sakura has eyes only for Sasuke, and has an opinion that Naruto is a good-for-nothing windbag.
Naruto's animation is pretty good, and places a big emphasis on the characters' use of jutse, or ninja magic. Along with these powerful special techniques, Naruto and company's battles with enemy ninja are fought with shuriken and kunai- more traditional ninja weapons.

So far, I've watched almost twenty episodes of the series, and I have to say that it's a very leisurely-paced series. A story arc- with Naruto and his friends going on their first serious job- lasts more than 13 episodes, with one major battle between the heroes and two enemy ninja lasting over 8 episodes! The episodes, as it turns out, are pretty short at just a little over twenty minutes each, and often the first several minutes are devoted to flashbacks or scenes from the previous chapter.

Despite this, the series is pretty addictive and cool to watch- and with over a hundred episodes already out, that's a LOT of ninja fighting action to check out. Well, I guess I'm hooked, ninja fan that I am. Fans of ninja action and cool comedy and action would do well to check Naruto out.